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Choices After a Miscarriage: D&C or Misoprostol?

It’s amazing how time flies when you’re not pregnant. The nine weeks I was pregnant passed with painstaking slowness; life after a miscarriage during the past two weeks, on the other hand, went by in a blur. I’ve been so busy with trying to stay busy, trying not to think, trying to move on with my life. There’s been one thing holding me back: my inability to naturally miscarry.

I had an appointment with the doctor a few days ago. She confirmed the missed miscarriage and offered me the option to continue to wait, to take a dose of Misoprostol, a drug to induce contractions, or to schedule a dilation and curettage procedure, (or D&C). Because I’ve been waiting for two weeks, I opted for the Misoprostol.

Deciding to take this drug was not an easy thing to do and so I planned nearly every detail of how I was going to handle the experience.

My husband and I would take the dog to my parents’ house. On the way home, we would pick up the prescription for Misoprostal and the one for Vicodin. Then, we would go to one of our favorite restaurants, a wine and tapas bar. After dinner, we would go home and watch some TV and at bedtime, I would swallow the pills and wake up the next morning in the throws of a miscarriage.

Everything went according to plan…until morning…Dinner was wonderful. I ate a trifecta of foods that are off limits during pregnancy: soft imported cheese, fresh salami, and wine. We topped off the meal with some crème brule and then headed home to watch the latest episode of Lost.

By 11:30 I could hardly keep my eyes open so I went upstairs and opened the brown pharmacy bottle. Three pills. I held them in my hand and couldn’t believe how hard it was to put them in my mouth. After several minutes of hesitation, I tossed them back and crawled into bed.

At 2:30 a.m., I was still awake, my heart racing with nerves and my mind with thoughts about when it was going to start and how much it would hurt. I decided to head off the pain with some nighttime pain reliever.

I woke up at 7:30 a.m. and didn’t feel anything. I went to the bathroom and noted some light spotting but nothing like what the doctor described. Throughout the day, I continued to lightly spot but had no cramps or heavy bleeding. At 2:30 p.m. I called the doctor and described what had happened so far. The doctor prescribed a second dose of the medication and told me to call in 48 hours if there is no change. If that’s the case, I will have to schedule a D&C.

I don’t know how long this is going to drag on and what I want more than anything in the whole wide world is closure to this chapter so we can start a new one. My husband says every now and then he slips into this space where he wonders how our life would be different this very moment if none of this happened. I can’t help but wonder the same thing. What would the pregnant us be doing? Would we be looking at nursery furniture? Counting down the days until we spilled the beans? Going out to eat and sighing because the wine list looks so good, but beaming because I’d rather be pregnant than drink wine?

Realistically, the pregnant me wouldn’t be doing anything drastically different than the not-pregnant me but that doesn’t stop us from wondering and wishing things were different.

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