Blighted ovum-is it ok to turn to medical management for miscarriage?


#1

Hi all! Glad to get to know some of you and hear your advice. I am new to Mommies of little saints and have already read some interesting threads. Hopw someone can help with this question.

I have had 4 sono's and all come back with an empty gestational sac. There is absolutely nothing living or growing in there. A fetal pole never developed. I have the prescription Cytotec to fill. I understand what will happen if I take this. I should be 10 weeks now but measured only 6 weeks on Monday. My HCG levels are dropping. I understand and accept with God's grace what is happening to me at this time.

My question is is it ok to take this medication to artificially have a miscarriage? Since there is nothing in the sac is this ok? I am asking as a Catholic. I want to do the right thing for me and my body. I just kind of freaked out when I looked up Cytotec and read the word aboortion. Technically I am not having an abortion since an embryo never developed and there was never a heartbeat. I know it sounds like I answered my own question!!:o Just need to here from some lovely mommies who have gone thru this.

Thanks so much!

37 years old
married 9 years
have a DD who will turn 3 on May 10, 2010


#2

I would say that if there is no baby, there is no abortion. Just a procedure for removing diseased/problem tissues.


#3

I am so so so so sorry! This happened to me too.

I elected to wait and have the miscarriage at home. Filling the prescription wasnt medically necessary, and neither was having a D and C (although they tried to get me to have one right away).

I eventually felt a lot of pain and went to the ER. While I was there, I "passed" the tissue, which looked exactly like a chicken egg (in size and shape). Afterwards, they preformed a D and C to make sure there was no remaining endometrial tissue.

I carried my poor little empty sac for almost two weeks before the miscarriage actually happened. That, emotoinally, was extremely difficult, HOWEVER, I personally think it was wroth it. The concept of having a D and C, even when the child was no longer alive, was very very hard to stomach for me.

I dont know exactly what the rules are-- but I do know you can call your priest and give him the details, and he will findout for you. I had an ectopic pregnancy last June and this is what I had to do. The details make a big difference about wether or not something qualifies as an abortion.

I am really really really sorry that you are going through this. It was the hardest thing for me to deal with. My doctor tried to tell me that a blighted ovum wasnt a baby. But the sac has its own genetic code, completely different from your own, so I personally believe that it IS a baby. I'm so so sorry and I'm praying for you!


#4

Thank you both for responding so fast! Yes I understand that the sac may have a genetic code but I also see it as just cells that are just sitting there and need to come out. I know that there is no heartbeat, no limbs, no little eyelids forming, as they should by now. I am grappling at this medication or just waiting. My nurse did call and said that my doc wants me to take the pill. She called just this afternoon. I think the anxiety and panic may be setting in that is why I may be rambling. Thank you for allowing me to vent and "talk".


#5

Anecdotal only... but I have heard more than one occurrence of blighted ovum diagnoses which eventually started to grow and some even blessed with a beautiful child.

Patience may be prudent, but consult with your doctor. Multiple ultrasounds before further treatment may be helpful to confirm the diagnosis.

I've suffered a miscarriage before - I'm so sorry. :(
But, sometimes it helps to wait until the bleeding starts - to know for sure.


#6

Em_ in Fl: when did an embryo start to grow? I asked my doc that too but she said she was 99.5% sure this was a blighted ovum.


#7

I have heard that also Em. I dont know how common that is, but I have also read from people who've had that happen.

We waited because it was just too much for me to handle, emotionally, "helping it along", which is how the doctor phrased it. I'm glad we made that decision.

It does really punch you in the gut when you get the bill tho, and it says "ER visit-- assisted abortion".


#8

This wasn't my personal experience... just friends.

I'm not suggesting you shouldn't trust your doctor, but you may find helpful information by searching "blighted ovum misdiagnosed" on google...

My thoughts and prayers will be with you... I know this is not an easy thing to go through... :(


#9

Yellow Daisy: I too do not like the medical technical terms. So much emotion is played into the words. I tend to have a hard time coping with this when I am alone in the house and it's not until my DH comes home from work that I can try to think of something else. Perhaps I should take your advice and call my deacon.


#10

I'm very very sorry for your loss.

You can do either, you can wait it out, or you can take the pill and "clean out" your system. I'd be afraid to get an infection myself, but it's really up to you. Others have waited without consequence. Since it's weighing so heavy on you, I'd also suggest talking to your Priest. He would know if this is considered an "abortion", but really, it doesn't fit the definition of abortion.

Let me add, that if you truly question whether or not you should take the pill, and you think it's going to follow you, then maybe you shouldn't. Maybe you need closure that having it happen naturally might bring you. And if there's a doubt in your mind, you'll wonder about it later. YOU have to live with YOU. So do what's best for you.

The reason why there is genetic information is because there was the beginnings of life. You were pregnant. It got as far as a fertilized egg, with a placenta and membrane, but no embryo developed. In fact, it's usually due to a chromosomal abnormality.

I wish you the very very best no matter which you choose. It's really up to you. And again, I'm sorry for your loss.


#11

\I want to do the right thing for me and my body. I just kind of freaked out when I looked up Cytotec and read the word aboortion.\

**As I learned in my pro-life studies, "miscarriage" is not a medical term.

The proper medical term is "spontaneous abortion." "Abort" and "abortion" are derived from Latin words meaning "to remove or take away."

In your sad case, what is being "taken away" is abnormal and unhealthy tissue, not a developing human being.

yellowdaisy's sad experience illustrates the Eastern Fathers' teaching that it's the presence of the soul that builds up the physical organism.**


#12

Hi. I’m sorry for your loss. I had a blighted ovum miscarriage as well. The sac is simply a sac. It is not a baby. So if it is true that there is no living baby, then it would be perfectly fine, morally speaking, to take medication to hasten the delivery. The only question I would have (morally speaking) is the accuracy of the judgment that the baby is, in fact, not alive. So if that fact is clear, then you don’t have a moral problem.

Medically speaking, every intervention carries risks, and that would be the other reason I would hesitate to choose the path of intervention before making sure I’ve gotten all of the info I can about the intervention and its risks. And of course, the accuracy of the sonograms to be certain that there is no life in there.

Spiritually speaking, I believe that blighted ovum pregnancies DID have a baby at one point. I spent about 5 years questioning this, and not allowing myself to grieve my miscarriage in the same way that I would have had been able to see the baby that I lost. But eventually, I came to the belief (since there isn’t proof) that a baby must have been created when conception happened, and that the baby must have died shortly after that, so that there wasn’t anything left to detect several weeks later when the miscarriage occurred. So 5 years after my miscarriage, I named my baby, chose a “memorial date” to put on the calendar, and registered the baby’s name in the book of life at the shrine of the Holy Innocents. I would encourage you to consider naming your baby as well, even though you have very little evidence of this little one. Prayers for you and the little one.


#13

I've lost two babies now, and I've never heard of this-- that you can name a child in the book of Holy Innocents? how do you go about this-- I'd really really like to.

For waht it's worth, I completely agree with you-- my child was alive at one point. Life begins at conception, not when a heartbeat is visible on an ultrasound. I too had difficulty allowing myself to greive, until I decided for myself that I HAD lost a child-- not just the idea of a child. I believe my child had a soul at t he moment those first two cells divided. And I believe that s/he is safe in the arms of Jesus today, and that, God willing, one day we will be together again in paradise.


#14

The Church of the Holy Innocents is in Manhattan. They have a shrine right in the church, and the book of life is right there. Here is the link to register your baby.

innocents.com/shrine.asp

I had the blessing to visit NYC after I had registered my unborn baby in the book. It was really special to be able to pray at this shrine, knowing that my child's name was in that book.

Another thought on the blighted ovum. You can't find a medical person to say anything beyond the label "blighted ovum." I spent a long time trying to find an answer - to see if someone could say whether or not a distinct baby is created in this case. And there were no answers. They just don't concern themselves with what happened at conception - all that matters to them is that there is no trace of a baby at the time they are able to observe the sac, which is of course, weeks after conception. So when you ask a doctor, "was there ever a baby" and get the repeated answer "it's a blighted ovum," the reality is that they don't know if there might have been a tiny baby, that died while it was only a few cells large. And depending on their perspective, they probably don't even consider it a baby as early as we do - so really, they may not even understand the question you're asking.

And the spiritual question is this: at conception, there is only one cell right? There is no baby and separate sac, it is all one. So we ask, when the sac did form, did it immediately form without a baby? Or was there a tiny baby inside the sac, if only for a few moments or days? Or did the fertilzed egg only develop into an empty sac, and never (even for a few moments) have anything else (baby) form from it? If the second is true, did God still give that fertilzed egg a soul? Do we still call it a baby? These are the questions I wrestled with for 5 years. And my conclusion, though not certain, is that we say that life begins at conception. We say that lacking any other evidence, we believe that conception is the moment when God gives the soul to the new life. So given what we know so far about this topic, it is likely that this tiny life did have a soul. We can't know for sure, but I would rather err on the side of "yes" than "no." That is why I named my baby. In my uncertainty, I told God that if I was wrong, and if there really was no baby, would he please assign this name (along with my spiritual motherhood) to another little baby who wasn't named and didn't have someone praying for it - perhaps an aborted one.


#15

We had this happen with our first Child / Pregnancy and had the dead tissue removed. If it's not alive it's not an abortion, however that doesn't mean he or she wasn't alive for a while.

Once we became Catholic a few years ago we actually went to a service for this type of situation. We now have 4 healthy sons but believe our first was our daughter who is now in heaven with God.

I'm very sorry for your loss and know how difficult it can be. In time I pray that you will be able to rejoice that there is another soul in Heaven Praising God and that someday you will meet them!

Joe


#16

**Thank you all for responding. I spoke to 3 nurses from my ob’s office and they reiterated that I could go weeks without having a nat. miscarriage then possiby have to come in for a D&C anyway. There is also a risk of having to have a D&C after I take Cytotec to help me “medically manage” the miscarriage.

After reading your replies, talking with friends and nurses, I think it is in my best interest to take the meds. Yes, I am sad, but understand that these are cells that need to be expelled from my body to help me prepare for the next “trial” to concieve. I understand that there is not an actual embryo inside of me, just the sace. Doc. and nurses said there was never an embryonic pole so I know there is no baby at this time. The last reply described I may have had the beginnings of an embryo but then it died or became part of the sac. All very interesting and curious. Since I was told it looks there was no embryonic pole in the beginning, I almost feel relief in knowing that much. Sound weird?

Anyhow, I filled the prescription and will take it Fri. I am very nervous. I have deliberated alone, with friends, with God, with you all. I look forward to trying to concieve again and will keep all of your positive pregnancies after miscarriages in mind, that’s what really inspires me and keeps my hopes and sprits up!

If this happens again and there is a sign of an actual embryo then died, this would be different for me I think. But no doc. or nurse can verify that for me now in my case.
I feel I must put some faith in thier expertise.

Wish me luck. Hope to talk to some of you soon.


#17

[quote="modsquad, post:16, topic:183719"]
Thank you all for responding. I spoke to 3 nurses from my ob's office and they reiterated that I could go weeks without having a nat. miscarriage then possiby have to come in for a D&C anyway. There is also a risk of having to have a D&C after I take Cytotec to help me "medically manage" the miscarriage.

After reading your replies, talking with friends and nurses, I think it is in my best interest to take the meds. Yes, I am sad, but understand that these are cells that need to be expelled from my body to help me prepare for the next "trial" to concieve. I understand that there is not an actual embryo inside of me, just the sace. Doc. and nurses said there was never an embryonic pole so I know there is no baby at this time. The last reply described I may have had the beginnings of an embryo but then it died or became part of the sac. All very interesting and curious. Since I was told it looks there was no embryonic pole in the beginning, I almost feel relief in knowing that much. Sound weird?

Anyhow, I filled the prescription and will take it Fri. I am very nervous. I have deliberated alone, with friends, with God, with you all. I look forward to trying to concieve again and will keep all of your positive pregnancies after miscarriages in mind, that's what really inspires me and keeps my hopes and sprits up!

If this happens again and there is a sign of an actual embryo then died, this would be different for me I think. But no doc. or nurse can verify that for me now in my case.
I feel I must put some faith in thier expertise.

Wish me luck. Hope to talk to some of you soon.

[/quote]

No advice, just :hug3::hug3::hug3:


#18

[quote="gam3rchic, post:17, topic:183719"]
No advice, just :hug3::hug3::hug3:

[/quote]

Agreed... (((HUGS))) and prayers.


#19

I am so sorry to hear this :hug1:. If the baby's not alive or it never formed and there is no possibility of it forming (in your case it won't), medical intervention is fine.

I've had both a d&c and used cytotec and I do not recommend cytotec as you may end up needing the d&c anyway. I used it and then 4 hrs later I was in the ER waiting to get a D&C. I was told cytotec can cause uterine rupture, so the best bet is a d&c.

Same goes with an ectopic pregnancy, if you remove the entire tube w/baby in it, it's medically acceptable, but not the methotrexate (sp?) shot since that is designed to kill the baby.


#20

Methotrexate is permissible if the baby has already died in the tube. Thats what happened to me with my second miscarriage. I had to wait for confirmation that the baby had died before I was able to take the methotrexate. In cases where the baby is already too large, they do the emergency surgery to remove the tube with baby still inside, but if they catch the ectopic early enough this is not necessary.

(Note-- I called my parish priest, who called the diocese expert on reproductive dilemmas to find the answer to this question whent he situation arose).


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