The only thing I was aware of for my first birth was that I didn’t want Misoprostol, per my reading. So, when I went in at 42 weeks and a few days for my induction (19, naive, unprepared) I told the doctor (not my normal one) that my doc and I had agreed to no misoprostol. He ‘reassured’ me that they hardly used that any more. In hindsight, I see he didn’t really give me a straight answer, so he also didn’t ‘really’ lie to me.
He administered the pill and left, saying my doctor was ‘on’ in 2 hours. When my doctor came in to see how I was doing and read my chart, he jumped through the ceiling, ANGRY.
He didn’t tell me what was up at that time.
Labor went seamlessly.
Birth went quite well.
AFTER birth, I had quite a hemorrhage immediately afterward. Then, 4 nights after birth, I passed a few huge clots. Early EARLY a.m. leading into the 5th day, I woke from a sound sleep to what I ‘thought’ was my babe crying (she slept in a bassinet a few feet from my bed). I got out of bed and walked the two steps to her bassinet only to see she was still sound asleep. What I DID notice is that, in those two steps, blood began pouring from my body. I was having a late-postpartum hemorrhage (pph) and the only person who could help me slept like a rock and was 1 room away.
WARNING, THE REST IS QUITE DETAILED AND NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH:
I hobbled quickly to the bathroom and sat on the toilet. When I heard the bleeding was not slowing, but increasing, I tried getting ‘low’ to get my blood pressure balanced and reduce gravity’s assistance with my bleeding. Crawling to the tub, I began yelling for my mom (who I was living with at the time). Once I pulled myself into the tub and laid down, I began beating on the wall that separated her bedroom from the bathroom. It felt like an eternity… it was probably a few minutes, but she finally came into the bathroom and found her tile and walls, bathroom and tub, painted in my crimson blood. Hand prints dotted the walls and counter tops while a steady line trailed from my room to the bathroom.
She didn’t wait for an explanation but called the hospital, told them she would not be waiting for an ambulance, but to prep the police because she would NOT stop for their lights. She bundled me up in the car on a towel and told me to hold my baby. Her reasoning, she later said, is she thought I was going to die and reckoned that holding my child would help me hold onto this world a little longer.
Off we sped.
I passed out a few times on the way.
Once we got there, they could not find a pulse because it was so weak, nor could they get bp. They had a horrible time getting an IV line in too.
They were asking me questions but I couldn’t hear them. All I saw was their lips move and this rushing water sound. I was answering them as best I could – later my mom would tell me I was yelling and swearing like a sailor – something I never do. They took me away, yelling over their shoulders that she could sign while I was IN surgery.
That’s the last I remember. Next thing I know, I wake up a few hours later in recovery – catheterized, I.V.ed, my then-boyfriend was there, and my stomach felt empty….
I had had placental retention – which caused massive hemorrhage and clots. I was somewhat ‘toxic’ as well and spent some time on antibiotics. My doc said that if I would not have woken up, I would have bled to death in my sleep. A few minutes longer, and I would not have survived my trip to the hospital.
While there in the hospital, he told me he considered it the fault of the misoprostol, aka CYTOTEC. He never used it, because my case made 2 life-threatening Cytotec inductions on his watch. The first, he administered the Cytotec and the mom almost died on his table. The second, me, he had specific orders for no Cytotec and the other doctor blatantly disregarded it and misled me.
My file says ‘iatrogenic complications due to the administration of Misoprostol for postdatism’ regarding my early pph. For my near-death hemorrhage, it states ‘late pph due to placental retention and subsequent septicemia’.
It affected my milk production. I dried up like the Mojave and had no idea (at that time) that I could reestablish milk production. So, at 5 days postpartum, my daughter went fully onto formula. I was devastated.
The saddest and most outrageous thing is that my file clearly ‘cuts out’ the TRUE cause for my placental retention and thus, my pph… the two are so clearly ‘divided’ that an untrained eye would never put the two and two together – thus, another example of the ills of Cytotec goes unreported.
My recovery took over 1 year. I had soreness and battled infection for 3 months postpartum. It took me another 4 months to be ‘ok’ having anything inserted into me (tampons, etc…) because of anxiety, and anemia was my ever present ‘friend’ while trying to regain my blood count and get my iron levels up. I have low bp anyways, so losing that much blood was no small stress on my body.
For more information on Cytotec, you can go to the Tatia Oden French Memorial Foundation website. Tatia Oden French was induced with Cytotec when she went past her due date. Both she and her baby died.
Women need to demand FULL and INFORMED consent/refusal. I was deliberately mislead and it almost cost me my life. It has cost many other women and their babies a higher price than I paid.