Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

The morning of my D&C I was scared. I had never been under general anesthesia before, and felt scared to be completely put out. On top of the jitters I had anticipating an unknown medical procedure, I was also suffering from the emotional aspect of it all. Three days prior I was pregnant with what I thought was going to be our future child. Today, I was waking up at 5:30am to go the surgical center to have the contents of my uterus expelled. I blinked back tears all morning, as I got dressed and while my husband drove me to the surgical center; as I filled out forms, and sat in the waiting room to be called in; as I laid in my hospital gown as the nurse inserted the IV needle into my arm. My husband stayed by my side, held my hand, giving me tentative smiles. I was happy when the anesthesiologist arrived, asked me a bunch of questions, then said “this is going to help relax you.” It took 30 seconds before the horrid knot in my stomach melted, untied, and I finally felt ok. I looked at my husband and giggled, self-conscious that I was completely high. He giggled back, and we shared a few moments of laughing at each other for no reason. Momentary relief. I could almost forget what was happening.

Soon they wheeled me off to the surgical center. I said goodbye to my husband and as reality hit, a tear slid down my face. Twenty minutes later I was no longer pregnant. The first face I saw when I woke up was my husband’s, smiling, peering at me. I became vaguely aware of the doctor telling me everything went well, my uterus looked great. I was woozy, dizzy, tired. I had no pain except for a sore throat and felt extremely parched. What felt like just a few minutes later (my husband tells me in actuality it was about 30 minutes) the nurse helped me get dressed, and put me in a wheelchair to help me get to the car to go home. The entire process took less than three hours.

Once home, I cozied up on the couch and spent the day watching comfort TV. I was grateful to have no cramping or pain, which they had warned me of. I took naps off and on all day. Emotionally I felt ok, I wasn’t sure if it was lingering effects of the anesthesia, or that I had gotten through something that I was so scared of. The D&C had such a finality to it, it didn’t drag on for a week like my first miscarriage. It felt like it was time to rest, heal, and begin to move on. The day before I had anxiously and emotionally debated the best method of undergoing the miscarriage – wait to see if it occurred naturally, take pills to induce the miscarriage, or the D&C. I had heard that the pills could be harsh on your body, painful, and may not expel everything, leaving you needing a D&C anyway. And although I had started spotting, I couldn’t predict what my body would do – how long it would take to fully miscarry. Emotionally, I needed to move through this as soon as possible, and dreaded a long, drawn out situation. And although I worried about something going wrong and wanted to avoid a surgical procedure, I decided the D&C was the best choice for me. Overall the experience was quick, and physically painless. I bled lightly for about a week and my period returned exactly 4 weeks to the day of the D&C.


Click here for more information about D&C’s from the American Pregnancy Association.

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