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To start, I had one episode of spotting at 8 weeks. I went in for an u/s and everything was good. Baby measured the right size and we had a fabulous HR (166 bpm). I had morning sickness, felt pregnant, was gaining weight, etc. Around week 12, I was starting to show and I felt good. At our 12 week check-up, my DH and I heard the baby's heart beat (nice and strong), and we heard the baby kick on the doppler. It was so exciting! Three weeks later, I had an episode of dark red spotting, that quickly turned to brown spotting. I called the Midwife. She thought it was probably from lifting (I had strained myself accidently earlier in the day), and said to put my feet up and rest. If the bleeding got worse, to call her back, but otherwise, if it turns to brown, it's a good sign. I had my 16 week appointment in 5 days, so I tried not to worry. The spotting lasted for the next 5 days. It was very very light, and always brown, so I thought it was just old blood from straining my cervix. Well, at our 16 week appointment, the midwife couldn't find a heartbeat with the doppler. The MD came in with the U/S machine and took a look. When we saw the baby on the monitor, I knew right away that the baby was gone. There was no movement, and no heartbeat. They sent me and DH home, and promised to call the next day to discuss "options." Somehow, just knowing the baby was gone made me start to bleed heavier. I talked with the MD the next day, and we decided to schedule a D&C for the next open slot which was in 5 days. The MD thought I would probably pass the baby naturally before then because my bleeding had started to pick up. But that never happened (despite my prayers that it would). Five days later, I was having the D&C. On a side note, I remember asking the MD why I still felt pregnant if the baby was dead. She told me, "Because you are pregnant. The placenta is still producing all the pregnancy hormones."
For me, the D&C was performed at an outpatient surgery center (same day surgery center). I arrived at 6:30 AM, changed into a gown, and the nurses started an IV and infused normal saline through the IV. I met with my OB GYN very briefly (like for 1 minute), as well as the anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist then gave me Versed to make me sleepy and forgetful of what's going on. The Versed kicked in right away and I began to feel "high" (for lack of a better term) as they wheeled me to the operating room.
Once in the OR, I transfered onto the operating table. I had to take several deep breaths through a mask, and I went to sleep. I was given General Anesthesia, so I was asleep for the whole procedure. While I was under, they also gave me anti-nausea medication, two shots of a pain/anti-inflammatory medication (one in each arm - I think it was Demerol, but not certain), and Pitocin. Pitocin induces uterine contractions which helps the uterus shrink in size, as well as control the blood loss. The whole procedure probably took 30 minutes.
I awoke in the recovery room. I felt groggy and felt the cramps from the Pitocin, which was still infusing through the IV. The nurse gave me fentanyl (powerful pain reliever) through my IV, which took most of the pain away. My doctor saw me briefly and I remember asking if she knew the baby's sex, but she didn't (the baby was too decomposed). About 15 minutes later, I was moved out of the recovery room, to another private room where they helped me get dressed and gave me some crackers and a soda. I kept having to pee from all the IV fluids I received. This lasted all day.
I was home by 10 am. I had a presciption for Methergine (helps uterus contract) and an antibiotic. I felt tired and crampy most of the day, but did feel up to going out to dinner by the evening. I had moderate to heavy bleeding that started to slow down by post-op day 3. On day 4, I hardly had any bleeding. Then on day 5, after having only spotting in the morning, I had a sudden gush of blood. I passed a lot of large clots and the blood litterally poored out of me. This lasted 2 1/2 hours, but then slowed to almost a stop. I ended up finally going to the ER after waiting 2 hours for it to slow. Naturally, as soon as I got to the ER, the bleeding stopped on its own. This was the "grand finale" as my husband put it. I had very light spotting for the next 2 days. By day 10, no bleeding except maybe a little spotting after exercise. I had a post-op check up 3 weeks after the D&C, which involved a pelvic exam to see if the uterus is back to normal size, there were no signs of infection, and that my cervix was closed. My MD doesn't test HCG levels (I wish they would), but I was told not to try to conceive for 3 months from the date of the procedure. I was also told that I would have my first period in 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure. I found having the follow-up appointment was really tough. I thought I would be excited, b/c it was sort of a "moving on." Instead, I was upset by seeing other pregnant women in the office (I overheard one woman talking about how she felt her baby having the hiccups) and by the MD telling me to use birth control for the next 3 months. To be honest, after the MD left the exam room, I flipped her off. Childish, I know.
A few other things: My pregnant look went away completely about 5 days after the D&C. However, I still have the belly fat. I had gained 10 lbs with my pregnancy. Three weeks later, I hadn't lost a pound. I expected to lose all the weight right away, but I didn't. Losing the weight is really tough, even with trying to eat right.
To anyone going through this, I'm sorry for your loss.
Nolan John turns 2 on 8/28/09 Thank you Jessica for the siggy!