Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss

Blighted ovum, cytotec & d&c experience

I was 8 weeks pregnant and so ready to see our sweet baby on ultrasound. So ready to know he or she was ok. BUT for whatever reason, my first appointment wasn’t for TWO more weeks. Torture. I went to work as normal on Saturday. Had a busy, but not crazy day. Later that evening I went to pee and had some very light pink spotting with red specks. I stopped breathing for a few moments. The nurse in me knew pink spotting is pretty common and doesn’t mean miscarriage right away. But the mom in me knew no bleeding is good bleeding and my baby could be in trouble. I text my best friend who talked me into texting my doctor who just so happened to be on call this weekend. (Let me add that I am a labor nurse and work with my OBGYN. So being able to have a direct line to her is a blessing most don’t have.) She agreed it’s probably ok, but did not want me to return to work the next day. She said she will have me pop in for an ultrasound and BHCG. I had a couple more episodes of light pink when I wiped, but most of the night was fine. 

I woke up the next morning and had no spotting overnight. My doc text me and asked if I could come up to her office. This was around 10am. I went in and got set up for the ultrasound. As soon as she inserted the probe and moved it around, I knew something was wrong. I’ve had 3 other babies. By 8 weeks with my others we could see the little gummy bear. My oldest even was moving her little arms like she was waving “hi!” My doctor continued to look around and said the bleeding was from a cyst on my cervix and was not an issue at all. No bleeding trail from the sac at all. She did say “however I am concerned because we should be seeing more in the sac.” I agreed and told her I know. She said “I’m cautiously optimistic. I know it’s not the news you wanted, but I’m concerned this is a blighted ovum pregnancy. There is a chance your dates are just off and it’s early, but I don’t even see a yolk sac or fetal pole.” She sent me over for a beta HCG. One of my coworkers drew my blood and said she hopes it’s ok. I calmly explained to her what we hadn’t see and what we think is going on. I was fine. Until I got into my car alone. I lost it. Ugly sobbed. This wasn’t fair. I felt pregnant. I had all the symptoms. I’ve had 3 normal pregnancies. This. Is. Not. Fair. I knew my dates were right. Even if it was off a week, we should have see more. All we saw was a black empty sac. 

I went home and cried. Told all my friends and family that knew because I didn’t want to relive this again. 

Within a few hours my bhcg came back: 43,704. Perfect for an 8 week pregnancy. Why so high with no baby? Because the placenta is what makes the HCG and my placenta was fine. The gestational sac and placenta formed. That was all. So. Unfair. Also why I FELT pregnant. My body was pregnant. It had no idea there wasn’t a baby there. The next 24 hours was hard. So hard. I cried, I sobbed, I grieved. I woke up the next morning and realized I wasn’t truly pregnant anymore and I sobbed some more. This wasn’t fair. 

2 days later I had an ultrasound to confirm the empty sac. By this point I was ok emotionally. I was ready for the physical part to be over. After discussing it with the doctor I decided cytotec was a good bet. There wasn’t much tissue and I’d rather be able to do this at home vs having a procedure. I told my husband I wanted to do it when he’s gone because he worries way too much and would hover. 

***So the next morning I woke up around 5am and took the first dose of cytotec 800mcg orally as instructed. I laid back down to attempt to sleep. I noticed cramping, but nothing too bad and was able to sleep on and off for a couple more hours. Zero bleeding all day, but cramps continued. I contact the office to let them know I hadn’t had any results and got another dose. This time I asked if I can do vaginally since it seems to be more potent this way. They agreed as long as I felt comfortable I could. So 12 hours after the first dose I inserted 800mcg vaginally.  About 40 mins later I began cramping again. It was more intense, but not unbearable. I should warn you that I do have awful period cramps and have given birth naturally before. I know some women have taken cytotec and have been unable to stand straight due to the pain. Everyone is different! So, about 4 hours later I took a shower and once out, I sat to pee and heard a plop: the first clot. It was about the size of a kiwi. They didn’t get much bigger and only passed 4-5 more. I was oddly happy. Yes! It’s working. Let’s do this. I had to change my pad once that night. If I laughed or moved I’d have a gush, but I’d compare it to a medium to heavy period. Overnight I had barely any bleeding. About an eraser spot of blood on my pad. Same throughout the day. I would wipe and have blood but nothing like I had heard or expected. So then I asked for the 3rd dose. Hoping since I’ve had some bleeding, this would continue it. About 16 hours after the last dose I took dose 3: orally. This one hit me hard. I had horrible side effects. Mostly just felt sick all day and had horrible diarrhea. I couldn’t eat. I felt weak. But bleeding didn’t change. Again, I stayed in contact with my doctor. We decided to do an ultrasound the next day to see if I just happened to pass it with the first few clots. I kept thinking “no way was it that easy. Was it?” While we waited for the ultrasound I asked to try one more dose of Cytotec just to be sure. This time I did it vaginally again. I had some more moderate bleeding, but still, not what I expected. 

The next day I showed up for the ultrasound. The tech did it abdominally to start and just said she would do a vaginal probe if we can’t tell. As soon as she got sight of my uterus, I saw it. It was still there. Completely intact. Not even the slightest bit deflated. “Damn it” I said. Then apologized. I was frustrated. But I knew deep down that would be the result. So off to talk to the doctor about scheduling a d&c. 

My d&c was luckily 2 days later. I’m now over 24 hours post d&c and have had minimal bleeding. My doctor did say they only get the pregnancy tissue and leave the uterine lining so I will have bleeding eventually. That was good to know. I had some cranking yesterday, but nothing terrible. 

After all this, if I ever go through this again, I would just opt for the d&c. My body didn’t want to let the sac go and I just put myself through more pain trying to force it to do so. I read tons and tons about this prior to making a decision so I just wanted to put mine out there for anyone who needed to hear another story. If that is you, I am so so sorry you’re going through this. It does get better. Hugs to you. 

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Re: Blighted ovum, cytotec &amp; d&amp;c experience

  • I could have written this. I went in 8/16 for my 8 week scan. No baby. Blighted ovum. Back next week and still nothing. So I waited one more week to miscarry naturally but my body wouldn’t do it. At 10 weeks I took the cytotec and I didn’t have any bleeding. Ended up having the d&c yesterday, at 11.5 weeks and now I’m post 24 hours. Finally feeling a little more human. It’s been a rough experience. Having 4 kids already, my first thought is how did this happen. My body carefully created 4 perfect humans and now this? But I know this isn’t the end if I don’t want it to be. 
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    5.5.16 | 8.14.17 | 1.30.19
  • hugs! I so get it. I’ve had 3 amazing pregnancies prior. Feel free to reach out if you ever need to chat! 
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