Tuesday, May 31, 2016

My Miscarriage Experience...everything you did (and didn't) want to know

Thanks for all your kind words and thoughts about last week's news.  I still have to remind myself that I'm no longer pregnant, and there won't be a baby in January.  I wrote about how this miscarriage reminded me to be thankful for not only what I already have and how fortunate I am, but also finding the good in this bad situation.  I'll admit that my feelings weren't, and still aren't always in line with being thankful, but when I catch myself drifting into other places, I repeat all there is to be thankful for in this particular situation.  I've had some wonderfully supportive friends who have texted me everyday, came over to visit, and some of us have become closer friends as we bond through failed cycles, and miscarriage together.  

I wasn't sure how I wanted to address this new found story of my journey, but I found it rather surprising that people would private message me that they themselves had had a miscarriage, or I could see on someone else's post a request to private message them if they wanted to talk about it.  So, in typical Aaryn fashion, I'll bless you with over-sharing how my miscarriage went down, because you know, I'm all about #endingthetaboo and now, that gets to include miscarriage.  

My doctor gave me three options: let the miscarriage happen naturally, have a D&C, or take a pill.  I didn't want to wait for this to happen on it's own-I hate surprises, and the thought of spontaneously hemorrhaging in the grocery store, or while at the gym just didn't appeal to me.  I also thought the D&C was a little invasive and there is a risk of scarring the uterus, so I didn't think that was the best option, even though my doctor said he had no problem doing it for me.  So, I opted to take the pill, mysoprostol, or cytotec.  It's small pills that get inserted vaginally, 4 at a time and they open the cervix and cause contractions which help the uterus empty out.  It should start working within 4 hours, but, if nothing happens within two days, you repeat the dose.  Even though I knew this needed to happen, and I wanted this to be planned, I had a hard time working up the courage to actually insert the pills, knowing it would ultimately be a cause of pain to me.  I swear by self talk I mean, who doesn't talk to themselves in the mirror anyway...but some things I said to myself were: tomorrow will be better, you can handle this, it'll be over soon, be grateful this is it.  And with that, Saturday night, I inserted the 4 pills.  Thankfully, within an hour, I started cramping.  
Tip #1: Take Tylenol a couple hours before so you're pain free when the cramping begins.

My doctor had told me that I would need to insert a tampon after the pills, and I thought it was to keep them in, but it was really to catch the contents.  The tissue and clots can't be absorbed into a pad, so it was really much more comfortable to have it collected this way.  He also told me I needed to see what came out so I would know if the pills had worked and if I had passed the sac because any remnants can cause infection and prevent complete healing. So, around 4am, after having relatively strong cramps, I figured I must be bleeding, and I worked up the courage to go check things out.   
Tip #2: You don't actually need to see what's going on, because you can feel it.  Even with blurry vision I could tell the tampon had collected tissue, and I felt the sac come out.  Also, because I'll go for an ultrasound on Thursday, I'm not solely relying on my examination of passed tissue, so I felt rather comfortable turning a blind eye.  

I had been told to expect a heavy period, but it really was more than a heavy period for a few hours.  Bright red, dripping blood, not slowing down; I wasn't terribly concerned because I wasn't filling pads at an alarming rate, but it was definitely worse than a heavy period.  Around 8am, my cramping had eased and the bleeding had slowed down to almost nothing.  I kept up my Tylenol round the clock and besides making the trek to Dunkin Donuts shocker right?!? I stayed home and didn't do much other than go between my bed and the computer.   I woke up Monday morning feeling really really good, and that was where I made a mistake.  Which leads to
Tip#3: healing takes time, and when you feel good, you tend to overdo it, taking a few steps back.  
I promptly ended up back in bed for a couple hours until the cramping/pain subsided.  Unfortunately, it happened again this morning, so I think it just might be par for the territory.  I don't cramp much during my period, so these cramps have been interesting to deal with-I don't know if what I'm feeling is normal or not.  

Thankfully, my friend warned me that the bleeding picks up a few days later as the lining begins to shed.  That happened today, or maybe it's the combination of the increased activity, I don't know for sure.  I've continued Tylenol and just made sure to sit when I can, not carry anything too heavy, and be in tune with my body.  I can tell my strength is increasing, and I don't feel as sore as I did even earlier today.  I describe the feeling as sore or tender.  It reminds me of the feeling you have after you deliver a baby-the uterus isn't cramping or painful, just kind of sore.
Tip #4: Listen to your mind and body.  I asked on a message board what were the limitations with a miscarriage and when can one resume normal activity?  The answers and experiences varied, but one thing was certain: do what feels right for you, emotionally and physically.  Physically, even this morning, I didn't feel I was even capable of taking a walk.  Tonight, now that I'm up and about, I think I could do it.  Emotionally, everyone is different.  On Saturday I was angry, and scared.  On Sunday I was sad.  On Monday I was sad.  Today, I'm ok.  But, I didn't try to hide my situation from anyone.  When asked how I was, I bluntly stated, "I'm ok, I had a miscarriage on Sunday," and when I needed some grace, I have found everyone to be very understanding.  
  
Funny story from today: I made sure to pick up some super duper pads beforehand, but that was the only thing I looked for.  Unfortunately, I didn't get ones with wings.  It wasn't a big deal, until I resumed real life.  I brought one extra pad with me, because I wasn't anticipating filling both, but, after first period, I went to the bathroom and noticed I was bleeding decently, and my pad was scrunched up in the middle, leaving the sides of my underwear exposed.  Flashback to 8th grade when I bled through the tampon, pad, and all my clothes....I panicked and started asking all the females if they had any pads with them.  Thankfully, one of my co-workers was going to CVS on her lunch break and offered to pick me up some pads with wings.
Tip #5: get pads with wings! 

Here are my recommended miscarriage survival tools: 

A hot water bottle  was great for when the cramps became too much and I couldn't take more Tylenol.  It can't go in the microwave, so using water from a hot water urn worked wonderfully and I found this to be super comforting.  Additionally, Extra Strength Tylenol, pads with wings, Gatorade, and lots and lots of donuts. To be fair, I asked my friend how many donuts were too many donuts, and she told me anything less than 12 was acceptable in this situation #score

When recovering from narcissistic abuse, be gentle with yourself ... very gentle, and very patient.  Healing from such abuse does not happen overnight.:   

UPDATE: Today is day 4, and without a doubt I feel back to my normal self (physically). So, the lesson here, is that if you have to ask yourself if you're feeling ok, then the answer is no. 

1 comment:

  1. Me says you need to say POWERADE, Aaryn! Remember!

    ReplyDelete

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