I decided to write in detail about my complication because when I went into this process, I never read about any complications on other abortion blogs.
I scoured those blogs for the details of what to expect from the surgery, what other women's experiences were like, what healing and moving on was like... So I think I should be detailed about this part of the process too. Again, hopefully it helps someone.*
On Friday evening at work, I suddenly became very crampy. I sat for quite a while at my desk, waiting for the cramps to pass before I got up to use the restroom. When I used the restroom, I felt a huge gush of blood and glanced down to discover the toilet bowl, as I described to the doctors later that night in the ER, "looked like a bucket full of red paint, opaque." Literally, I couldn't see the walls of the toilet bowl or the bottom of it. It was just bright red and thick with blood.
That was disconcerting, but I didn't let it phase me too much. I noted that it the bright red color was something I had been told to watch for, however, and decided to keep my eye on my pad for heavy bleeding. Soaking one pad an hour, I remembered my paperwork saying, would mean a phone call to the on-call doctor at the OB/GYNE office.
I drove home with plans to eat some dinner with my folks before heading out for a game night with friends.
However, I felt crampy upon getting home, noticed more blood and decided to take a Motrin and a hot shower to try to alleviate the cramping. I explained to my mom what was up, she threw some dinner on for me and I jumped in the shower.
Again, I used the toilet to find yet more blood, though not completely opaque this time. I showered.
I put a new pad (Pad #1 since getting home) on.
Forty-five minutes later, I had bled pretty heavily in the pad, but I wouldn't say I had "soaked" it. I had noticed, however, that when I sat on the toilet, lots and lots of blood would come out. So there was blood not catching in the pad that would definitely add to its soaking factor.
With that in mind, I called the OB/GYNE's after-hours emergency number, spoke to a male nurse (I mention this because I have never ever dealt with a man before this moment at an OB/GYNE office. This was a first for me.), described the bleeding in detail, and requested that the on-call doctor call me ASAP.
He said the on-call doctor would call me back within twenty minutes. Happily, she called back within five minutes, and we discussed my bleeding. Since I wasn't quite soaking a pad per hour, she asked me to monitor myself for the next hour or two and call back if things were the same or got worse.
Bleeding is generally a sign of something left in the uterus, she said, either placenta or blood clots that haven't passed. If that was the case, I'd need to come into the ER where she would see me. The ER, unfortunately, was the only way I could get to the OB/GYNE team. She apologized for that, which seemed unnecessary but kind.
I texted my boyfriend to let him know what was up, in case I did need to go to the ER. I felt bad, knowing he was hanging out with his ex-girlfriend (Yup, both he and I are the types who remain close friends with our exes.) and not wanting to make him worry unnecessarily. It didn't seem possible at this point that I would go to the ER, I kept saying to myself. After texting him, I had some ice cream while I sat on the floor watching NCAA basketball with my parents.
During this time, I could feel the bleeding picking up. I could also feel some small clots passing, which is a bizarre sensation since you cannot control or stop the passage of a clot. It's upsetting in the same way as vomiting or, I assume as I happily have not experienced this, uncontrollable diarrhea. Your body is doing something, and you can't do a single thing to stop it. It's a very helpless and foreign feeling.
My phone rang ten minutes after my text. It was the boyfriend, very concerned and asking me if I wanted him to come pick me up from my apartment to go to the ER right away. I insisted that I didn't, that it probably wasn't anything, and I'd just keep my eyes peeled. But as I talked to him, I had stood up and I felt another clot pass and I sucked my breath in.
"Ughh," I moaned. "Okay, I may need to go, but let's not go yet. I was told to wait an hour and monitor myself anyway."
He agreed, and we hung up.
I changed my pad again. Pad #2.
I went back to watching basketball and nervously eating ice cream, wondering if eating was a bad idea if I possibly was going to be rushed into an operating room in the next several hours. At this point, I had had three slices of pizza and now ice cream. I stopped eating the ice cream.
I chatted with my mom about the latest sensations, and she insisted that she used to have clotting with her period sometimes. Maybe this was just a bad period?
Uh, no, Mom. I said. I know what period clotting is like. This is definitely more than just a bad period.
Thirty minutes passed, and the boyfriend called again around 9:20. This time, he was more insistent. What was the difference, he said, between waiting another thirty minutes or going now? He wanted to come pick me up, and as we talked, I checked my pad.
To my horror, as I checked my pad (which was already pretty bloody), two clots the size of quarters, if a quarter was a sphere, dropped down into my underwear.
"What is it? Is it cramping??" my boyfriend asked.
"No," I said. "No, it's just... it's gross. It's just really, really gross." I paused for a second and fished the clots out of my underwear and dropped them into the toilet.
"Is it bleeding?" he asked urgently.
"No, it's clots," I said. "Uh, yeah. Let's go to the ER. Like, now."
We got off the phone, and I changed my pad again. (Pad #3.)
It took the boyfriend about thirty minutes to get to his place and grab his car (he had been on his motorcycle, which obviously wouldn't work to transport me) and then to my place.
In the meantime, I called the on-call doctor. I first spoke with a new nurse, who said the doctor would return my call "tonight."
I got hot and bothered, asked her if she was aware that the doctor had already spoken with me and that this was an emergency. The nurse then said in a very disinterested voice that it probably wouldn't be that long.
Thankfully, the doctor called me within ten minutes. I spoke with her and confirmed that I should be coming in. The ER would expect me, she said.
I would go through the ER routine and then be taken back for an ultrasound. The ultrasound would reveal whether I had anything left in my uterus. At that point, they would decide whether I should take a drug to help evacuate the uterus, or if I needed surgery, a D&C.
I asked her if my boyfriend could be with me, and she said he could be at my side the whole time, up until the point and only if I needed surgery.
I packed an overnight bag (I have become an expert at the You're Having an Abortion! checklist, apparently... Sigh.) and was suddenly very happy that I had lots of pads and stick-on heating pads leftover from two weeks ago. I had even bought oversized underwear for after my procedure and never used it. Now was the time! I threw a stick-on heating pad on my back and waited, updating this blog in the meantime.
I then sat with my parents, talked with them about what was going on and got very upset when I explained I might need a D&C. They hugged me as I cried.
When my boyfriend arrived at 10 PM to pick me up, I thought about changing my pad one last time but wanted so badly to get moving that I didn't. The bleeding didn't seem too bad for the last 30 minutes, so I stuffed two or three extra pads into my purse and off we went. I would later regret this decision.
We arrived at the hospital complex. I insisted to the boyfriend that I wanted to park the car with him in the garage and walk to the ER. I wasn't interested in going in alone.
However, while walking to the ER, I realized that this may have been a bad idea. I felt small clots passing and blood... not quite gushing, and not quite dripping... from my vagina. I picked up the pace to the ER.
The entrance to the ER features a fun little door contraption that requires you to enter through one set of sliding doors, stand in a particular box, wait for the first set of sliding doors to close and then wait for a second set of doors to open. The boyfriend didn't understand and was complaining about the stupid doors while I could feel more blood pouring out of me, and I dragged him into the right box with perhaps not the friendliest of pulls.
We checked into the ER.
For my first check-in, I checked in at the front desk just to get the basics in the system. There was, of course, very little privacy for this process. I announced that I was bleeding like crazy from my vagina and that I had a D&E procedure ten days prior. The nurse marked some things down and explained I would now check in to get a wristband.
Then, I moved down the counter for the second part of the check-in. I confirmed my name and birthdate and got my wristband. While we were standing there, an RN moved out right next to us and called my name.
"Right here!" I responded.
She glanced around the room and called my name again.
"She's right here!" the nurse checking me in said louder.
The RN stared blankly around the room, looked at her chart and began to call my name again.
"RIGHT HERE!" the nurse and I both very loudly responded to her. The RN blinked at me several times and then gestured that I join her at her station.
For the third, final and most grueling part of my check-in, I was checked by this RN, Tina, we will call her. Tina had me sit down in her patient's cream fabric chair, which I had the good sense to throw down my dark coat over before sitting. (No, this may be my most intense, but it is certainly not my first rodeo, Uterine Blood.)
Her station was, like the rest of the waiting room and check-in area, not private. The boyfriend stood somewhat in front of me, blocking most of the waiting room, but conversations and the buzz of the TV could be heard in detail.
Tina took my vitals and asked me a few questions.
Tina: Why are you at the ER this evening?At this point, I did go to the waiting room bathroom because I was freaked about how wet my pad was feeling. In true shitty waiting room fashion, there was NO LOCK on this door, and I put my purse in front of it in a very feeble attempt to keep anyone from entering the bathroom.
Me: I had a D&E procedure ten days ago, and now I am bleeding profusely.
Tina: Bleeding from where?
Me: ... Uh, my vagina.
Tina: You had a what kind of procedure?
Me: A D&E.
Tina: What is that?
Me: ...A dilation and evacuation.
Tina: A what? What is that?
Me: ...An abortion... A pregnancy termination.
Tina: Oh! ... (Tina gets whispery.) OH, oh gosh. Oh, I am so sorry.
Me: Uhhh, it's okay.
Tina: What did you say it's called again?
Me: A dilation and evacuation procedure.
Tina: Ok. Why did you terminate the pregnancy?
Me: (Given the way things were going here, I got angry for a half-second, thinking that Tina was getting personal, before I realized that she probably was more interested in whether I had any medical complications that led to the termination.) It was unplanned.
Tina: Unplanned. (She jots some notes down.) Ok. How many pads are you going through?
Me: (Feeling what is now a sopping-wet pad underneath me.) Uh, more than one an hour, at this point.
Tina: Hm. OK. (She fidgets a bit.) I'm going to have to ask my neighbor about this. Sorry. I'm new to this, and I don't know what triage to put you at.
Me: (New to this. Okay, so this explains something...) Okay.
Tina: (Leaves, returns, holding a urine cup.) Ok, I need you to wait in the waiting room, and we'll need a urine sample from you. The bathroom is right over there. (She gestures to a hallway off the waiting room.)
Me: Uh, you need me to do the urine test and then hold onto it?
Tina: Oh yes. We just need to be sure, you know, that you were pregnant. Just in case, you know, the doctors want to do a CAT scan.
Me: (Though I am thinking, WTF?! Was I pregnant? CAT scan?? Is this really how crazy hospital administrative BS is??? ...) Uh, I absolutely have to do the urine sample out here?
Tina: Oh, no! There's a bathroom back there if you can't pee yet.
Me: I think I'll do that, as long as the doctors know they're probably going to wind up with a mess of blood instead of urine.
I discovered that not only was my pad a heaping mess of blood, but my underwear was more or less soaked through too, and I had bled through my stretch pants. Now, anywhere I sit down, I would leave a little red splotch. Fabulous.
In trying to clean myself up, I got blood all over the bathroom floor, toilet seat and sink and then spent time cleaning up after myself too.
I finally returned to my spot in the waiting room, recognized that there was indeed a little red splotch where I had sat briefly, tucked my dark jacket underneath me and sat down. I updated the blog again, taking in the sights and smells of the waiting room. I was happy that we arrived when we did as it was clear already that a later-night, crazier and more upsetting crowd was already arriving.
A friendly nurse called me back to the ER. The nurse rotated my bed for me so that it faced the wall rather than the curtained sheet that separated it from a very busy hallway.
The hallway outside my room was full of other cases--people in wheelchairs, people on gurneys. The gentleman right outside my room was a middle-aged black man on a gurney who was high on cocaine, suicidal and liked orange juice. We would listen to several different medical professionals talk to him throughout the evening, the least effective of whom is Tina who chided him repeatedly.
I went to the bathroom in the ER to attempt that urine sample. The boyfriend and I, after I slipped into my gown, tried to guess what substance my urine sample most looked like. I said tomato juice, but he disagreed and suggested that it looked like some kind of chemical experiment.
A nurse took my vitals again since I was losing so much blood. I kept my underwear and my pad on, though a disposable underpad (lifesaver!) had been tucked underneath me. The nurse also took several blood samples and hooked an IV needle into my arm in case I needed fluids later.
The ER resident arrived to discuss my situation with me. She was intense with hair slicked back into an oily ponytail and a bedside demeanor that involved her sitting wide-legged on her rolling stool while she knotted her face into concerned looks and nodded meaningfully. It was a bit unsettling, and as the boyfriend later said, it felt like she had just returned from her fifth tour of duty in Iraq, but I did like her.
She seemed uneasy about the pelvic exam she was about to perform on me.
"Listen," the ER resident said, "nobody likes pelvic exams. I don't like giving them. You don't like getting them. So we'll just do this as fast as possible."
Uh, okay. Pelvic exams are not that bad, in my book, but ten-four.
I explained that I was bleeding profusely, and at this point, I wanted to throw my underwear away. I requested a pair of disposable underwear for later, which the nurse brought me.
It's time for Pelvic Exam Number 1.
I peeled off my bloody underwear, wrapped it up as best I could and, with no help from the resident or my boyfriend, tossed it into a distant trashcan.
"Ha! See, I sort of know how to play basketball," I said to no one in particular. (I would talk somewhat crazily like this throughout the entire ER visit. Not totally sure in retrospect if I was just nervous and trying to calm down or losing lots of blood and not thinking clearly.)
The ER resident directed me into the stirrups and immediately said in surprise, "Oh wow. You weren't kidding. That's a lot of blood."
I looked proudly at my boyfriend. Check me out! Lots of blood, did you hear that? Aww, yeah. How awesome is your girlfriend?
As she put together the ambulatory pelvic exam contraption, she explained, "We get lots of women in the ER who say they are bleeding a lot. 'Meh, I'm bleeding through a pad an hour!' Yeah, right. No, this is a lot of blood."
She began the pelvic exam, and it was immediately clear that she's not an OB/GYNE professional. The speculum scraped my vaginal canal, and I tried to stay relaxed.
"Have you been passing clots like this?" she asked.
Oh, I must be passing a clot. Who knew?
"Uh, am I passing a clot? Uh, yeah. There have been lots of them," I answered.
She removed the speculum and began using her hands for the second part of the exam. This process would be the most excruciating thing I felt at the ER.
With the blood I'd been dropping, my pubic hair had become clotted with blood. It was dry, sticky and clumpy. Part of her hand caught, twisted and pulled my pubic hair. My eyes watered and I laughed in the delirium of the pain.
"Try to relax," she intoned.
Fuck you! I wanted to scream back at her. LET GO OF MY PUBIC HAIR.
I made a note that I shall shave myself as soon as I possibly can.
The ER resident finished and explained that the OB/GYNE team would see me soon. They were also waiting on my blood test results, so I should just relax and let her and the nurses know if I need anything.
I requested another underpad right away. I could feel the wet blood underneath me from the exam, and she pulled one out of a drawer and tucked it underneath me.
11:30 to 12:05ish
We hung out and waited for a long while. I had my vitals taken at some point again. The boyfriend and I talked, joked, held hands. We listened to the man outside our room. We got on Facebook on our phones.
I felt a bit light-headed, but I couldn't tell if it was because I was losing blood or if it was because the lights in my tiny little room were really bright and the whole experience was surreal.
Around 12:00 a supervising resident arrived in my room. I barely got a chance to meet him. He was wearing a white coat unlike anyone else I had met at this point, so I assume he was a supervising resident.
He asked me if I was feeling faint, and I explained that I wasn't sure given the situation. He turned the overhead lights off, which helped immensely and immediately. One up-facing medical light over the far wall remained on, lighting the room but not blinding me.
This doctor only had time to introduce himself, ask how I was doing and turn the lights down before he could explain the OB/GYNE team would arrive soon as they literally knocked and entered.
12:05ish to 12:30ish
The OB/GYNE team, a male/female duo of residents, had obviously just walked off the set of Grey's Anatomy.
The woman was petite with a darling face and cute blond cropped haircut. The man was tall and well-built with dark hair and a handsome face. If it were not for the likelihood, given his mannerims and his lingering eye on my boyfriend, that he was gay, I would say that they had just gotten done making out in a maintenance closet. (That is the way hospitals work, right?)
Anyway, they were awesome. They were nice, gentle and confident. For the first time this evening, I felt like I was in really, really good hands.
I explained for the umpteenth time what was going on with me. This time, I explained in more explicit detail. When I said to them that the toilet bowl at work looked like a bucketful of red paint, both the residents squinched up their faces.
Whoops. That's a bad sign if I am grossing out the doctors.
They explained that they've looked over my chart, and that it looks like everything at the D&E went well. (THIS IS LITERALLY THE FIRST TIME I AM HEARING MY SURGERY WENT FINE.)
They had talked with the on-call doctor, who I had spoken to on the phone, and they would now do a pelvic exam. They apologized because they know I already had one from the ER resident. But such is ER protocol.
The male resident performed the pelvic exam. As I mentioned earlier, talking with a male nurse on the phone earlier that evening was the most contact I'd ever had with male OB/GYNE professionals. Now I was getting my first pelvic exam from a male OB/GYNE resident! And I could not have been in better hands.
He was, by far, the most gentle professional to ever dig around in my vagina. In attempting to feel the uterus and identify where my pain was, he was reassuring and gentle in his touch. When I winced once, he squeezed my thigh with his free hand and said he was sorry and almost done. Such a change from the pubic hair twisting I had received earlier that night!
They then explained they would need to do an internal transvaginal ultrasound to see if they can tell what and how much tissue is left in my uterus. Again, the male resident handled the internal wand while the female resident watched the screen and took images from it.
The ultrasound took much longer than I wanted it to, and it made me uneasy.
As the male resident moved the wand inside me, the female resident would say, "Oh, do you see..."
And he would respond, "Yes."
And then she'd take a picture.
WHAT IS IT?! I wanted to yell. WHAT ARE YOU SEEING?
This went on for several minutes. It seemed their focus had changed at one point when the wand was moving at sharper angles to the left and right. Finally the male resident explained, "Don't worry. Right now we're looking for your ovaries. They can be hard to find sometimes."
"Oh, they're very shy," I said, my voice shaking and laughing at the same time, again with the nervous nonsense talk.
He nodded politely and kept working.
During this part of the exam, dear Tina walked in without knocking and then stood there for a solid 30 seconds not talking. She then announced she'd come back another time. The OB/GYNE team didn't glance at her once. Poor Tina.
He finished up and explained that it was very, very difficult to see anything because of the amount of blood I was producing. There was something there, but they could not tell from the ultrasound if it was tissue or blood clots.
The next step was to decide what treatment I needed: either a drug to evacuate the uterus, or a D&C. The residents would confer with the on-call doctor and return to discuss her decision.
12:30ish to 12:45ish
Again, the boyfriend and I found ourselves waiting. Another new underpad had been placed under me after the OB/GYNE exams, so I was relatively dry.
I was starting to feel really tired. The cramps that had woken me up the night before had robbed me of some sleep, and this whole process was exhausting.
The phone for the ER doctors was outside my room, probably right by the dude on the gurney. This set-up led to the interesting situation of hearing every single word my male OB/GYNE resident said to the on-call doctor about my case.
He said that he estimated there was about six centimeters of tissue in my uterus, but that he could not tell exactly what it was. He said that I was a hearty and strong patient, "not at all squeamish" (I wondered if the fact that I made HIM squirm had helped in this assesment) and "handling everything really well." He said I didn't seem to be reacting to losing blood, and I could probably handle taking the pill.
"I just don't think a surgery is necessary at this point," he said.
The boyfriend and I high-fived.
The OB/GYNE duo returned. I would take a dose of Misoprostol, or Cytotec, that night at the hospital. It would cause cramping and hopefully help evacuate whatever was left in my uterus.
I would be prescribed an additional dose of Cytotec to take the next night.
"If you're still cramping and bleeding tomorrow night, call us, and it's possible you'll need a D&C," the male resident said.
"But aren't I supposed to take the Cytotec at midnight tomorrow night?" I asked, confused.
"Well, just go ahead and take the Cytotec no matter what," the female resident said.
"But should I call you?" I asked, looking back and forth at them.
"Only if you think you need to," the male resident said.
"Wait, how do I know if I need to?"
...It had gotten confusing. Eventually, I discerned the following:
I would take one dose tonight. Most likely, the bleeding and cramping would drop off significantly during the next day. Regardless, I should take the second dose the next day, 24 hours later. If, on Sunday, I was still cramping and bleeding like the dickens, I should call right away. Then, a D&C might be necessary.
The residents added that, despite losing blood, I was handling everything okay. They made sure I was still not feeling chills, light-headed or nauseous.
"You have a ridiculous amount of hemoglobin in your blood," the male resident said. (14.4 actually, which isn't too much, but is on the higher end of healthy for women.)
"Yeah, it's awesome," the female resident enthused, nodding. "You're doing really well."
I was feeling super great at this point. I may be sitting in a big pool of blood, but I am a stellar patient and my blood is awesome! Go me!
Before they left, the male resident told us (actually, he addressed my boyfriend completely) that I would take the four pills buccally. (Pronounced buckle-y, it means in your cheeks.) Shoved down into my gums, the pills would dissolve for a half hour, and then I could swallow.
12:45ish to 1:00ish
We found ourselves waiting yet again. This time, we looked up pictures of Japan on the NYTimes, checked out charts explaining radiation and then tried to understand how radiation works. You know, just your usual "1 o'clock in the morning on a Friday night in the emergency room" business.
The very sweet boyfriend also rearranged my bloody bed/butt situation. He folded up all the used underpads so they wouldn't leak on me and then grabbed two new underpads for me. He also put my bed back a bit to make me more comfortable. Then, he snagged two extra underpads and shoved them in my purse! Heck yeah!
I realized that I should call my parents to update them on my situation. I knew they will stay up all night until they hear from me, so I wanted to put them at ease so they can go to sleep. I no sooner got my mom on the line than Tina, with what appeared to be an incredible knack for timing, marched into the room carrying pills and a cup of water.
"Uh, I am about to put pills in my mouth for 30 minutes, Mom," I said quickly, "so let me just tell you what's going on."
I explained the situation to her quickly and hung up.
"Oookay, then," Tina asked, "Did I just overhear you saying that you are putting these in your mouth for 30 minutes?"
"Yes," I responded, baffled and realizing that she'd brought the water for me to swallow them.
"Hmm," Tina put the pills and water down on a tray. "Okay, then we better do what the doctors told you to do."
Geez, I guess so? How did this part of the process get confused???
I took a quick last drink of water before shoving the pills down my checks, against my gums. For 30 minutes, I fiddled around and finally swallowed them at 1:37 AM.
The Misoprostol hurt my cheeks. It felt like I had burned the inside of my cheeks and my throat. I drank lots and lots of water to help.
Tina returned with discharge papers and removed the IV needle from my arm.
"You're all set!" she said and told me to feel better.
At this point, I started to feel chilly, lightheaded and nauseous--all those things that I'd been asked all night if I was feeling. Tina had swept off, and there was no one to take my temperature.
My boyfriend wrapped his arms around me, rubbing my arms. We decided that I was probably feeling these things because I was exhausted, worn out and cold from having sat in my own now cold blood with very little covering me.
Shivering, I put my clothes on and felt much better once I had the weight of my coat on me.
We started to walk out of the ER and into the waiting room before we realized we hadn't been told if we needed to check out. Just waltzing out of the ER seemed strange.
We walked back into the ER, looking for a sign or a nurse at a desk. There was no one and nothing. Finally, I spotted a small Check-Out sign at an empty desk. We waited for a couple minutes before a nurse asked us if anyone had helped us. She sent someone to the desk.
While we waited, we watched some more typical downtown Friday night ER business go down. A woman screamed profanities from her wheelchair at EMTs. Some serious racial lines were drawn, which I suppose is typical of the city I live in. We had seen and heard racism all night with hatred going in all directions. "OBAMA PRESIDENT NOW!" the black woman yelled at the white male EMT, "Don't you forget that!" The white EMT rolled his eyes and walked away.
We were finally checked out, a quick and painless process, and walked back to the car. I was shaking and very, very cold. We decided what I needed was some food, something with sugar and preferably something hot. COOKIES!!!!!!! My apparent favorite comfort food. Hot chocolate chip cookies!!!
I sipped my water and enjoyed the heated seats and cranked heat in the car.
We finally arrived back home. I updated my blog, jumped in the shower and the boyfriend ran up the street to the 24-hour drug store to pick me up more pads, underpads, lemonade (yay!), cookie dough (yay!) and other goodies.
I also slammed a leftover Norco, narcotic painkiller, before jumping in the shower. I figured it'd be a good idea, as I could expect more cramps as the night turned into day.
The boyfriend made me peppermint tea (to help my Misoprostol-pained mouth) and fought with a feisty oven to make me my cookies. (He is allergic to dairy and cannot eat the store-bought kind, poor dude.) Finally, he succeeded, but it had gotten really late. We were exhausted, but those cookies were damn good and made me feel SO much better.
We crawled into bed. I stuck a sticky heating pad onto my abdomen, and a heating pad was cranked to the max under my back.
I should mention that I am not a fan of the guest bed at the boyfriend's mom's place, particularly not when one is crampy. The week following my surgery, as well as the first few nights following my compliction, I slept on top of the comforter for extra cushioning support. I brought my favorite fuzzy blue blanket from home to keep me warm and wrapped around me. (This thing is ratty as all get-out, but I adore it. It got me through mono at age 16, and it still helps me today.)
This night, I also devised a Don't-Bleed-on-the-Bed contraption, consisting of (1) underpad on top of the comforter, (2) an old towel on top of the underpad, and finally (3) the heating pad on top of the towel.
I crawled on top of this Princess and the Pea-like structure and almost immediately began to feel a cramp that was unlike any other. They say it takes about 2 to 4 hours for the true brunt of Misoprostal pain to kick in, and I am here to confirm that.
I went to the bathroom and before I could sit on the toilet, I passed THE BIGGEST CLOT I HAVE EVER SEEN. Like earlier, it dropped into my underwear, and I fished it out to examine it.
It was, most likely, almost 4 inches in length and 1.5 inches at its thickest point. It looked like dark maroon Jell-O and had a consistency similar to Jell-O, but a bit stronger. IT WAS SO GROSS AND AWESOME.
I desperately wanted to show my boyfriend how amazing and disgusting and crazy this clot was, but he was very sleepy and I figured running into the bedroom waving a blood clot around was not a nice way to treat him at 4:15 in the morning.
When I mentioned this passing desire to him the next day, he was very disappointed.
"Why didn't you show me?!" he asked sadly. "I would've wanted to see it! It sounds awesome!"
I promised that if I passed another clot, he would see it. Unfortunately for him, at that point, I seemed to have passed all the clots I would and have not passed any since.... Knock on wood!
P.S. That urine sample/tomato juice/chemical experiment sat on the floor the whole time we were in my ER room until we left. The boyfriend and I put it on the tray, just in case they still wanted it...