Disclaimer: I’ve had this post in my drafts for a few months now, I’m sorry if it makes no sense, or seems like I’m rambling. This was difficult to write about. This was my experience with Misoprostol, it does not mean yours will be the same. I’m wanting to share this in the hopes of helping others going through a tough time, you are not alone. I also will be going into detail so if you are sensitive to these topics, please don’t read any further. I do not want to upset anyone.
Just before New Years Eve 2017, Paul and I decided we would try for another baby. It took us 5-6 months to fall pregnant with Rory, so we thought we’d start early in case it took some time again.
I’d had my usual 34-day cycles after giving birth to Rory, everything went back to normal so I knew when I was roughly due on. I should’ve been due a period around 14th January 2018, give or take a day – but it didn’t arrive. I kept getting negative tests until the 20th January 2018, when I got a positive. We were thrilled, we didn’t expect it to happen so quickly!
Fast forward a week or so, I ended up at the doctors surgery with sharp pains in my right side of my tummy, they ended up referring me to the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU).
30th January 2018
I went for a scan, they diagnosed me with a pregnancy of an unknown location (PUL). At that point, they suspected an ectopic since going from my last period I should’ve been about 6-7 weeks. I also had a fairly decent sized cyst on my right ovary.
1st Feb 2018
My EPU nurse wanted to monitor things, so she sent me for another scan to see if there was any progress. There was – We saw a gestational sac, albeit empty, it was more than they had seen before so they ruled out an ectopic pregnancy.
12th Feb 2018
This was my follow-up scan, fairly soon after the first one which I was shocked about – I thought they’d leave it a lot longer. We had a bit more luck with this scan, they saw baby’s heartbeat, I was measuring about 6 weeks at most. We felt so relieved and thought great, everything is going okay. So she left me for a few weeks and wanted to see me again at around 9 weeks pregnant, just for reassurance and to monitor the cyst on my ovary.
5th March 2018
So, this was the time I was meant to be around 9 weeks, give or take a few days as early scans aren’t really accurate on dating anyway. I was quite excited for this scan, just to see baby wriggle around (I had a scan the same time with Rory and he looked like a little jelly baby jumping around in there). I went in for my scan, everything seemed okay…
She started doing the scan by checking my ovaries, to check the cyst, it was fine – it hadn’t got much bigger so they figured it was just supporting the pregnancy and will shrink down by 12 weeks-ish. She hovered over the baby while checking the ovaries and I couldn’t see a heartbeat or baby moving, but I thought she’s probably skimmed over it too quick to take note. Until she started scanning the baby to get measurements, I knew straight away. I was measuring bang on, 9 weeks and 2 days, which was fab. She then asked me to go empty my bladder so she could do an internal in case the external ultrasound wasn’t picking up on the heartbeat, so I did. I just knew something was wrong – from the beginning of the scan, I just knew.
I went back in, after emptying my bladder and she started the internal scan and there it was, confirmation that my baby had sadly passed away. No movement, no heartbeat. I started screaming – my MIL was in the waiting area and later that day she said she hoped the noise wasn’t me, but sadly it was.
My EPU nurse came in to see me, gave me a hug and started talking through some options for us. Not a conversation I thought I’d ever have. The first thing I asked her was ‘Did I do something wrong? Was it my fault?’ and she reassured me I didn’t do anything wrong, it just happens sometimes and it’s normally just a one-time thing and it shouldn’t cause issues with future pregnancies.
The three options were: Expectant management, Medical management, Surgical Management.
Expectant Management is where you go home, you leave it a week or two to see if your body manually starts the miscarriage process without having any intervention – if unsuccessful you’ll have to go with medical or surgical.
Medical Management is when you take a tablet, orally or vaginally called Misoprostol – This starts the process for you, dilates your cervix and causes you to contract thus causing you to pass any tissue. You can only have medical management if you are less than 10 weeks pregnant.
Surgical Management is when you’re admitted to the hospital, normally on the day surgery unit, you’re under general anaesthetic and they then perform the surgery, which is called a ERPC – Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception (I know, such a horrible name). The procedure only takes 10-15 minutes if there are no complications and you’re normally home the same day.
After discussing our options, we were sent home to think about them more and to phone the EPU nurse when we had made a decision. So we did, we went home, did some research – which was difficult as I couldn’t really find anyone discussing this, hence why I’m doing this post.
We decided on medical management and that day, I had my first dose at 2pm. If nothing happened, I had to go back in, 24h later for another dose.
I went home, nothing happened so I had to have a second dose – this time I went for vaginally as the first time I had it orally and I figured if it was vaginally it is closer to my cervix and it apparently absorbs better, something I wish I’d known the first time.
This is where I will be going into detail so if you do not want to read on, this is the time to close this post and I wish you all the best.
I went home, after having the second dose of Misoprostol at 2 pm on the 6th March. I wasn’t expecting anything to happen so I just carried on as normal, feeling numb and scared thinking this could be it – I didn’t want to see anything, I don’t think I could’ve coped if I did see anything.
5 pm I started having some cramps and I thought – it’s starting. It wasn’t too painful, just felt like mild period pains. The EPU nurse had given me a little white tub to put anything I passed into so that she could examine it to see what I had passed – if anything. I also had to use a tub, or cup or something, to catch anything in if I could if I was in too much pain and I couldn’t hold anything then that was okay too.
I decided to grab a disposable cup and go to the toilet as I felt a sudden urge to have a wee, which was strange. I was shocked and I started shaking. I’d just passed some very large blood clots – I remember screaming out saying ‘oh god this is it’ to Paul, who came running. He then packed Rory’s things and took him to my mothers for the night since we thought things were happening and we didn’t want him to see me in the state I was. Thank you mum, you have no idea how much I appreciate you and what you did for us.
But that was it, nothing else happened. I stopped bleeding, I didn’t pass anything else. I was so confused!
I had until 2 pm the following day, to see if I passed anything else or the bleeding increased, if not I had to go back to see the EPU nurse again to discuss my options. So I did just that, no bleeding so I had to go see her again.
I’d taken in the little white tub for her to examine – she did, it was just blood clots. Nothing else. She then sent me for another ultrasound to just see if anything had started to happen and again, nothing had happened. Everything was in exactly the same place as it was on Monday (5th March). Two Misoprostol dosages later and I ended up having to have Surgical Management in the end. By now this was the 7th March and they couldn’t get me into surgery til the 9th March (Friday) which really upset me as at this stage, I wanted to have it done, so I could start grieving properly and be there for Rory, something I hadn’t been able to do this past week as I was a mess.
Paul and I had our wedding booked for the 8th March – we had to cancel it and rearrange for a different time (which we did, 8th June) and I just had to sit at home, either waiting for something to happen or wait for my surgery date.
Nothing happened. So 9th March, I was at the hospital for 6 am to be there for surgery opening. Someone came around, took my details, double checked my surgery etc. They also explained the risks of surgery to me which were things like, heavy bleeding, clots, scarring, puncturing the skin in your womb (rare – but they have to warn you!) and I was left to get into a gown, compression stockings and I had another dose of Misoprostol vaginally to soften my cervix which makes the operation a little easier – as they have to manually dilate your cervix using metal rods.
Around 9 am I was taken down to surgery, I can’t really remember much after this point as I was sedated and then in the recovery bay for a while. Paul said he was getting concerned about me as I’d taken longer than they had expected it to take.
After the surgery, when I came round I remember being asked how much pain I was in, just so they could give me the correct dosage of morphine. Once my pain relief was sorted out and I was able to talk more and just come around fully I was taken back downstairs to the ward to get myself comfortable and have some tea and toast.
I felt numb, it was at this point I realized I wasn’t pregnant anymore, everything was gone and I couldn’t do anything about it.
It’s something I still struggle with today, as I should be pregnant now, still. I’m awaiting a therapy referral to help me get through it more as I still get really upset about it whenever it’s mentioned and I don’t go a day without thinking about him/her.
The surgery was over, I was all ready to go home within a few hours and I did.
It was odd being back home, as if I had to just carry on my normal everyday life and pretend everything was okay – I wasn’t really offered any help, no therapy, no counselling, nothing. I had to contact my own GP and I’m still waiting for a referral now and it’s been a few months.
Recovery from surgery was easy, physically. I just kept on top of my pain relief for a few days and I avoided any heavy lifting for a week (as suggested by the lovely nurse in the surgery ward – she was amazing. I recognised her from an old Slimming World group I used to attend and she recognised me, so that was nice.)
Mentally, I’m still struggling as I say – I don’t think I’ll be okay any time soon. I’m dreading October as I should’ve been due around the 6th of October.
If you’re curious, my cycles are still all over the place. I’ve had a 41 day, 29 day and a 33 day cycle. I’ve been told it can take a while for things to settle down though.
I’ve also been given the all clear to TTC again, I’m thinking of starting up a youtube channel the next few weeks if I can get the confidence to do it, so I will be posting some updates on there (hopefully)
This post was probably all over the place – I’m sorry. I wanted to speak up about miscarriage and let anyone who is reading this know – you are not alone. My email and DM’s on insta/twitter are always open if you need anyone.
I’m so, so sorry if you’re going through this, or have previously been through this. There are no words that will make it feel better, I know. Just know you are strong enough to get through this and there’s always someone out there who will listen.