Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Pro-Lifer's Experience With RU-486

I haven't been on here in a few days. I wanted to write this post, but also wanted to be sure that I got it right. I wanted to write about my own experience taking Mifeprex and Misoprostol, the abortion drugs known as RU-486.

In July of 2006, I was 18 weeks pregnant with our sixth child. We were excited about this new person , but had all of the normal trepidations that come with a new baby. I don't think it matters if you are expecting your first or your tenth, the worries and fears are all the same.

On the fourth of July, we went to a friend's house for swimming and a bar-be-que in celebration, with plans to go downtown to watch the fireworks that night. I hadn't been feeling right for a couple of days and complained to my friend that I had a back ache, and just generally felt run down. I spent the day curled up in a chair and went home before the fireworks began.

The next day, I had the kids' grandmother come over and I drove myself in to my midwife's office for a little reassurance and to just get peace of mind that everything was okay. It wasn't. Our baby had died at some point during the previous week. I was given three options for what to do now:
1. Surgical intervention- Called a D&E, the doctor would dilate my cervix and evacuate the "contents" of my uterus (that's the way he put it..touching isn't it?)
2. Induce labor with Mifeprex and Misoprostol within the next 24 hours to get things over with quickly
3. Wait for nature to take care of it.

Normally I'm in favor of doing things naturally, but it could have taken 2 or more weeks for me to go into labor, and I didn't feel that I could emotionally handle walking around with my dead baby inside of me waiting to set off an emotional time bomb. The surgical option carries with it the chance of significant damage to the cervix and/or uterus, so this was not an option. I chose the induction, then I had to call my husband and tell him our baby was dead, then tell our other children.

We went to the hospital the next morning at 9:00 AM for the induction. I was told that it could take up to 24 hours for labor to begin. Really, I just wanted them to give me the drugs and let me go home. I didn't want to spend 24 hours on the maternity ward listening to the cries of other people's healthy babies and wait for my own heartbreak to begin. I have been in labor a few times and thought it was reasonable to think that I would know when to come to the hospital. I was told I could bleed to death. I stayed.

Labor began for me about 3 hours after I took the first dosage. It was administered both orally and vaginally. Within the first hour, I understood why I couldn't have gone home. I began to pass blood clots. They came in steady succession as if on a string. They ranged in size from the size of a chicken's egg to as large as my fist. Every time I moved another clot would become loose and come out. I thought I was hemorrhaging; I thought I was going to bleed to death. It was horrific. I forgot why I was there for a while and just sat on the bed crying and shaking in fear that my 4 living children would grow up without me. I have no idea how much blood came out of my body. I stopped counting clots at 20. After 20, it just didn't seem to matter any more. I asked the nurse if my experience was normal and she assured me that this was what an RU-486 abortion looked like and that I was fine.

Our daughter's body was delivered four and a half hours after the first contraction. She was the size of my hand. She was smooth and shiny and pink with perfect fingers and toes. Heartbreakingly small and achingly perfect. Our midwife wiped her clean and laid her on a blanket before handing her to me. I have never seen such agony as I saw on my husband's face when he heard her whisper, "It's a girl." His face looked like it folded in on itself. Our baby was really and truly dead. Somehow it didn't seem real until we held her in our hands and looked at her through our tears.

It wasn't over yet. I still had to deliver the placenta. It took another two hours for it to let go and come out of me. The doctor who was supervising kept coming by to check and ask "Is it out yet?" in a strangely cold voice. I later learned from my midwife that she performed abortions herself and was deeply disturbed by our pain. She told our midwife to get us out of the hospital as quickly as possible because we were upsetting the staff, and that she didn't understand why we were crying over something which was little more than a tumor in medical terms.

I can not imagine being 14, at home, trying to hide this from my mother, and having this experience. My brain can't even get to that place of fear. A child, scared and alone, passing blood clot after blood clot, thinking you're bleeding to death, but afraid to tell in case you aren't. And then, delivering that impossibly small body. Perfect, lifeless, and undeniably human. What does a little girl do when her body hurts that much, and her mind fears that much, and her baby lies dead in her hand? How is this okay?

I am not sure what the answers are, but I do know that women deserve better than to be treated this way. Our bodies and our minds deserve better protection. People can chant and scream about the rights of women, but I know that women and girls have a right to something better than this. They have a right to something better than abortion.

37 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

God bless you for having the courage to write about your painful experience. I pray to God that by your posting some practicing abortionist will see this post and see the light.

And frankly, I hope a lot of teenage girls and young women see this too.

Too many of them now are lured by the seduction of evil known as "premarital sex" thinking "oh, that's so old fashioned to wait, my boyfriend loves me, I love him." Babies are conceived, and suddenly the guy who they thought loved them suddenly is gone, and they find the truth that he is often immature, and has no intention of being a father. Planned parenthood then seduces women with the lie that "it's just tissue."

I highly suspect the "doctor" was disturbed, was because her conscience was pricked. If it was "just tissue" like a tonsil, it wouldn't be a "difficult choice."
Who has a "difficult choice" deciding whether or not to remove a tonsil?

Karen

Karin said...

Mom-

Thank you for having the courage to share this story with us.
My heart goes out to you and your family, it is never easy to loose a child and to have to go through this on top of it, I am sorry!

I hope that your story can open the eyes of all that preform or seek abortions, but if it only touches one, and makes one person change then that is good too :)

Hugs...God Bless

the Mom said...

I am hoping to open an eye or two of people who think this is the easier choice.

As my midwife says, "In my experience, it is mush easier to have the baby that to 'not' have the baby."

Please pass this on to anyone you think may benefit from it.

Laurel said...

I, with the others, thank you deeply for sharing this. May God Bless you and your family.

Pilgrim said...

I understand why you wrote this and wish the people who need to hear it would get the message.
The other side of that story is that your family have a Saint in Heaven praying for you.
Baby Bernadette, pray for us.
Love,

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

God bless you.
I am sorry for what you went through-not just loosing your beloved daughter, but the coldness of the staff.

And you are so right-women and girls have a right to something better.

Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

*hug*

My baby sister lost a baby too-- late enough that she'd tested and it came back positive, early enough that the baby was too small to see.

That's the one thing that scares me about having kids. I know that miscarrage runs in my family. My mom's mom lost two kids that they know of; my sister lost one, although if they hadn't been checking they might not have known.

I'm sure your daughter knows she is loved.

Catholic Wife and Mother said...

Thank you so much for sharing your very touching story.

I am sorry that you had to go through that. Not only the loss of your baby, but the traumatic way in which you delivered her.

the Mom said...

Welcome Emmaus Bible College Alumni. I'm not sure how y'all have found me, but I'm glad you're here.

Grab a glass of iced tea, sit down and read a while.

Peter said...

Thank you sincerely for sharing this heart rending story. Regarding the hard hearted attitude of the abortionist, there are many similar stories recorded by women who tell their story of an abortion in the book "Giving Sorrow Words" - Melinda Tankard-Reist. The book is not an easy read, nor for the faint hearted. I recall screaming at a wall at one stage in sheer disbelief that a human being could become so callous about the tragic plight such a vulnerable and beautiful human being.

This is why one of the most amazing aspects of Catholic piety (for me coming into the Church) is the 'Holy Innocents'.

Glad to have found your blog!

Jennifer F. said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am so sorry for your loss.

Jessica said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your baby's death. Thank you, though, for writing such a moving testament to her life, and what it meant. I don't think I'll ever forget this story.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica snell

PlainCatholic said...

You mentioned on your comment at another blog site you were formulating a response to a Baptist about Redemptive Suffering. They prefer Sola Scriptura rationale so here is a Scripture that will help you share this important theology in King James Version which is a preferred translation in Protestant circles:

Colossians 1:24 (King James Version)
24Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

the Mom said...

PC,
Thanks for the quote. I can always use them. My brother is an Evangelical minister and we discuss these things often. Any help I can get is always welcome.

I just didn't get to finish it yesterday, the baby is teething and wouldn't stop crying. I got it finished and posted this morning. Nothing earth-shattering, but hopefully amusing and a good easy explanation.

Abigail said...

Thank you for sharing this honest story. I miscarried (naturally) a little boy at 13 weeks and felt most of the emotions that you described. I'll pray for further healing for you and your family.

Lilder said...

Oh, hon, HUGS!! I can't belive how beautifully you wrote this out. I hope it touches many lives.

ashli said...

May I PLEASE post this in full at thesiclecell.blogspot.com?

Thank you so much for this very IMPORTANT account.

May God continue to comfort and hold you in the place left empty by the loss of your precious daughter.

the Mom said...

Ashli,
Absolutely. Use it, please. Maybe we can open a few eyes and hearts to the truth. Let me know if I can help in any other way.

Love,
the Mom

the owl of the remove said...

Thank you - I'm going to use your idea of a "woman's right to something better" for my Respect Life homily this weekend - God Bless!

Therese said...

linking to this fantastic testimony Mom. Thanks so much for sharing.

ashli said...

Thanks so much, Mom!

Maria said...

Beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you, your husband, and your family with healing.

LilyBug said...

Thank you for this post, MOM. I agree with your point that women deserve better than abortion. Will we ever get to the point where delivering the baby is the better option for everyone? I struggle with the issue of abortion a lot, especially since our baby daughter was born. Your beautiful post gave me a lot to think about.

:o) said...

I am so very sorry for the death of your baby girl and the grief you are suffering.

Thank you so much for sharing such a painful, emotional event in your life. Maybe your suffering will open the eyes of that abortionist doctor.

May I post this on my blog?

the Mom said...

You saw the rules. If you can follow them, you can post it.

God bless.

Love,
Mom

the Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori said...

I could have written this, but for me it took DAYS in the hospital before I delivered the baby. I think I was there 4 days total. I took a whole lot of comfort in the fact that I was able to deliver my baby..whole and intact..instead of doing a "D&C". I hope more women are able to take advantage of delivering and seeing the baby. Our baby measured 14 weeks.
pax tibi
L

Lesley said...

This really isn't what a RU-486 abortion would be like. Physicians can only administer RU-486 up to the 9th week of pregnancy and is generally contraindicated for teenagers. If you were in your 16th week you had a much harder time. Additionally, there is no way an OBGYN with malpractice insurnace would send a minor home on a dose of RU-486 without knowing she was being monitored and cared for by a qualified adult--they can't legally do it. Please don't misunderstand me--a dear friend of mine had a terrible experience with RU-486 and I am in no way advocating for any position. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss and your experience was alarming to read about. I hope your life is blessed and your next pregnancy goes well.

Patricia said...

Hi,
I am a prolife mom of 4 and I read this post only recently. First of all, I am sorry about your loss of your baby.
However, I am troubled by the use of RU-486. I can't imagine that this would be the drug of choice to induce labour. I have not had the misfortune to have a miscarriage but I've had friends who have - and they have never used RU-486.
What drugs can be used other than RU-486? Was this the only drug your doctor suggested?
I am asking these questions not because I doubt your choice but in the hopes of understanding the situation. Many pro-abortion advocates say abortion is necessary because of circumstances such as yours. Yet, my friends would be horrified if they were told they'd had an abortion after miscarrying!
God bless, you
Patricia

the Mom said...

Because of the late term of our daughter's death, it was the gentlest drug which could be given to induce labor. Having had labor induced with pitocin, I can tell you that the contractions were not as fierce, but these were different that regular labor. I can't explain it any other way. I have felt that the purpose behind it all was to give me the experience so that I could speak about it from a first hand experience within the pro-life movement. There is no better argument that "I have been there.

Anonymous said...

Dear friend,

I am an obgyn, and a mom who has experienced the loss of a child. My heart goes out to you.

But, I have a question. Are you absolutely sure that they used RU486? It would be a very unusual use of RU486.

The more likely drug that they used would be a drug called misoprostol.

Misoprostol sounds a lot like mifepristone (RU486), so sometimes the drug names are confused.

Could you double check and find out if for sure they used mifepristone and not misoprostol?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

http://www.aclu.org/reproductiverights/abortion/16509res20001229.html
The ACLU's website (be warned it is PRO-abort) addresses off label uses of the both mifepristone and misoprostol. According to them these 9both) drugs are commonly used for these purposes. I think asking whether it is mifepristone or misoprostol is sort of splitting hairs when BOTH drugs are typically taken when using them for an abortion.
I think the overall point of this story is that abortions aren't a neat, tidy walk in the park.

the Mom said...

Dear Anonymous M.D.,
Thanks for checking up on me! I emailed my midwife who checked my chart and says you are partly correct, and I stand corrected. I was not given Mifeprex alone, but both Mifeprex and Misoprostol. I will amend the post to reflect that fact. You win the fact check prize. Which isn't really anything more than my gratitude for making sure I have all my ducks in a row.

Love,
the Mom

Kim said...

BTW, my blog twin...
I think I forgot this in my note last night: This is another BIG thing we have in common. I had a very similar experience in Feb 2007, when I lost a daughter at 18 weeks gestation. I recently read a description (somewhere online, of course) of a medically induced abortion, and I thought "that sounds exactly like what they gave me!" I guess it probably was. Can you even imagine doing that if the baby had a heartbeat going in? Unspeakably horrible!
When we found no heartbeat at my 18-week appointment, I cried and begged my OB for a C-section, which I've never had. She said if I had ever had one, I wouldn't be proposing that idea! This March when I delivered my now #5, I delivered w/out an epidural, first time ever. It seems connected to the other experience, in a way--"this time NO drugs," or something...hey, sounds like a future post over on my twin blog. :)
Anyway, the experience was heartbreaking (obviously), and your article was really right on. I can't imagine how ANYONE who has ever lost a child to miscarriage could support abortion.

RD said...

The Mom,
I am so, so sorry for your loss and for what you went through.
Thank God you have the good Lord in your life.
I will pray for you & your husband's healing from the experience.
God bless,
Regina

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Anonymous said...

HI,
Sorry to hear about your loss. I completely agree with your opinion of this drug and that women deserve better. I actually did have an abortion this way. A heartbreaking experience that forever changed me. First of all, immediately after taking the pill I changed my mind and tried desperately to throw it up and drink water to flush it from my system. I didn't really want an abortion. I just didn't know what else to do. I had to wait a long time to see if it worked. I began bleeding and went back to the doctor, who brought me to the ER--I cannot imagine having gone through that alone at home. The amount of blood was terrific. Then seeing the baby on the ultrasound--it was still alive. The drug tricked my body into thinking it had died--that's what it does. The baby, however was moving and viable right up until the end. Then it came out and a tiny 9 week old baby was shown to me in a basin. I brought it home with me and put it in my freezer. I know that is extremely disgusting, but I couldn't let the baby go. I was in hell. Abortion is bad enough, but this is really the worst way to have one in my opinion. Even if you're not right about the 14 year old, you're right about the image of the young girl or woman all alone, going through hell and then having to see the evidence of her choice, that helpless baby forever gone.