This is Part 1 of my D&C story. Parts 2-4 will be published in the following days.
This week started out on a wild note, to put it mildly. Monday I had an appointment with my doctor. It was over two weeks since we’d found out our baby no longer had a heartbeat, and I still hadn’t really started the physical miscarriage process yet. I’d had some mild bleeding and cramps off and on for about a week, but nothing else.
Actually, let’s back it up to a few days before my appointment. My doctor called me with my second blood work results. The day we learned of our baby’s death my HCG was 15,240. A week later it had gone up to 15,860. Because the pregnancy was located in the cornual portion of the uterus, my doctor expressed his concern that the baby could have implanted in the muscle wall, which would be a cause for surgery.
So now back to the appointment on Monday… My doctor was very kind and gave me a lot of information. We did an ultrasound and saw that the gestational sac and baby were still hanging around. Still in the same location. Still the same size. Still dead. They said that the sac looked as if it was beginning to collapse, and even I could see it. The doctor prescribed me cytotec to begin the next day, hoping that that would get things started.
If the cytotec didn’t work, he explained that that probably meant that baby was in the muscle wall and we would plan to do surgery. This was somewhat confusing for me, because, as far as I knew, an angular pregnancy is located in the uterus–not the opening of the tube. The specialist who identified my pregnancy as angular made that distinction–it is angular, NOT interstitial. However, my regular doctor seemed to use those terms interchangeably. He described the surgery that he planned to do if necessary: a cornual resection, which would leave me without part of my uterus and without my right tube. I was, of course, worried and devastated… I filled my prescription, went home, and prayed that I wouldn’t need that surgery. I planned to start the cytotec Tuesday morning.
As that evening went on, I started having some regular cramps, but nothing painful. The bleeding started to pick up, and I knew things would be happening soon. With my last miscarriage, the cramps hurt and they came regularly every four minutes or so. I knew when everything was out because the cramping stopped, and there was a sense of relief. I thought that this time would be pretty much the same. I went about my night, and the cramps became increasingly more intense. I decided I’d better take some pain medicine and go to bed. It was too late at that point, though, for the meds to do anything. The pain quickly became unbearable.
I worked through some the the cramps in bed, on my hands and knees…just trying to breathe. These were much more intense than last time. There wasn’t much time between the cramps, but I eventually decided I needed to move to the bathroom. I don’t know how long I stayed there. Things really changed fast at this point. The bleeding was more than I’d seen before, and I felt so much pressure on my cervix. It felt like something was stuck. I started getting really dizzy–my body was starting to have the same reaction to the pain as it does when I have a ruptured ovarian cyst. This, of course, worried me because of my doctor’s concerns about the baby maybe being in the muscle wall. I was worried that maybe something was starting to rupture.
Still sitting on the toilet, crying and bleeding, my vision started to turn black around the edges. I was becoming more and more dizzy, barely able to hold my body up. I finally found enough strength to yell for my husband, who was, until this point, completely unaware of everything going on. He stands next to me, asking what he can do, but I can barely speak. I asked for a cold washcloth, and he quickly wets one and holds it on my forehead. Before I know it, nausea strikes and I’m throwing up into the bathtub, still sitting on the toilet. My husband gets me some water and a clean shirt. I keep vomiting, even the water…
At this point, I don’t want to tough it out anymore. I can’t tough it out. I’m slightly concerned that something may be wrong. I’m not getting any breaks between cramps. I can’t move, but I need to move. We need to go to the hospital. My husband is obviously worried, even though I can hardly hold my eyes open to see it. He calls his mom (I don’t remember why, but it ended up being a good thing), and they make a plan to get me to the nearest hospital 30 minutes away.
Finally, I get a small enough break to force myself into the living room. I’m on the floor, leaning over our couch, still working through the cramps that won’t stop. My husband cleans up the bathtub (bless him), gathers everything we need (paperwork, medical info, phones, bucket for vomit, water bottles), and helps me get ready. I can’t even put my shoes on myself, but once they’re on, we manage to start out to the car. Before we even make it to the driveway, I had to stop and lean on my husband through another episode of cramping. They were coming every minute.
Once we got in the car, we were on our way. I don’t remember much about the car ride. In the beginning I was sitting up. Still crying, still groaning through each cramp. By the end of the car ride, I was partially in the floor, partially draped over the back seat. I don’t even remember how I got inside of the hospital, but I know that it wasn’t a long wait before I was seen.
Read Part 2
Read Part 3
Read Part 4