Misoprostol (Cytotec): The Drug From Hell

At 9 weeks pregnant, after a follow up ultrasound confirming there was no embryo and my sac had stopped growing, I opted to take medication to help my body recognize the loss. My body wasn’t getting the memo that I was no longer growing a human so I was still carrying around the sac and placenta, as well as suffering from morning sickness, heartburn, and fatigue.

My OB gave me the first pill, Mifepristone, in the office. She said they have to watch patients take it because there are people who sell it on the black market to men who slip it in their pregnant girlfriends’ drinks. I happily let them watch me. Eight hours after taking the first pill, bleeding and cramping still had not begun. I then took my prescription of Cytotec, which I had to leave under my tongue for half an hour. Within twenty minutes, the bleeding began. What transpired thereafter is a night I hope never to relive.

I was shaking uncontrollably like I did when I was in labor. I’ve never been so cold in my life, despite being in multiple layers under several blankets. I curled up in a ball in bed, under my fortress of blankets, whimpering from cold and waiting for my body to expel the pregnancy.

I was up all night with severe abdominal cramps and gushing blood, including large clots and the placenta. I was not able to find the gestational sac among all the clots. I was really hoping to see it, to gain that last bit of closure, but I’m confident it was flushed down the toilet and I’m no longer pregnant.

During this night from Hell, I also had to take care of my 9 month old, who still wakes up multiple times a night. Here’s a photo of some morning-after snuggles. I look as awful as I felt inside.

Cytotec is truly a drug designed in Hell by Satan himself. But if I were to go back in time, I’d probably make the same decision to take it. The only alternatives were surgery, which I’m sure isn’t any better, and the uncertainty of waiting for my body to miscarry on its own. Having pregnancy symptoms but no baby, holding my breath every time I wiped praying yet dreading to see red, taking pregnancy tests every day to see if the line got lighter, and not knowing when I could move on was just plain torture.

I experienced a night of pure Hell but at least it’s over. Unless of course there is still pregnancy tissue in my uterus and I need a D&C after all — then this pill is truly evil and I take back the one positive thing I said about it.

I am praying for fading pregnancy tests in the upcoming days/weeks so I can begin to process the loss. Deciding on a course of treatment for miscarriage is something no woman should ever have to do, but should you find yourself in this position and you are considering Cytotec, I would highly recommend the following tips:

  1. Dress in layers and have lots of blankets handy — you may not suffer from the shakes or cold chills like I did, but better safe than sorry.
  2. Have heavy pads on hand. Lots of them 😦
  3. Get someone to watch your small children.
  4. Take the pill in the morning? I’m putting a question mark here because I don’t know if doctors advise this or not. Mine told me to take it before bed, so there must be a reason. But for me it was a million times worse being up all night from pain and then having to care for an infant the next day on zero sleep. Maybe they think women will sleep through the pain and gushing blood? Find me said woman and I’ll give her an effing medal.

Anyways, pregnancy loss sucks. My heart is broken, my body is broken, and I’m now at a 75% failure rate with healthy pregnancies. But I’m currently watching my 1 in 4 miracle bob her head to some music so I’m trying to focus on what I’m thankful for. Keeping my eye on the prize…

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