A Personal Story

Submitted Aug. 8, 2000

Name: Dawn
Weight: 160
Height: 5'5"
Age: 22
Pregnancy Test: Yes. Positive.
Success: Yes

Do you smoke tobacco? yes

Did you have a pregnancy test? yes
When was it taken? when i was about a week late
What was the result. positive

since i've been pregnant more than once, i'll answer both of these. only took a pregnancy test once. below, i've felt i was pregnant two or three times.
If no pregnancy test was taken - do you think you were pregnant? oh, yes!
How strongly do you feel this way? about to resort to a clotheshanger, god help me.
Did you experience any symptoms or signs of pregnancy? swollen, tender breasts, hair falling out in clumps, constant fatigue, nausea, heartburn, nonstop hunger, and at one point, lactation.

How was the pregnancy ended? vit C, dong quai, black cohosh

Were you successful in using the herbs? yes

Is this your first pregnancy? no

Were you using birth control? yes
What kind/method of birth control/contraception were you using? condom
Do you know how/why it failed? it always does, for no apparent reason. no holes, no tears. i don't have contact with semen in any way, supposedly. I'm just too damned fertile...

What was the date of the first day of your last menstrual period? unknown. never keep track
Do you know the date of fertilizing intercourse? What was it? No
What was the date you were expecting menstruation? Unknown
How long do your cycles usually run? The whole cycle; 28 days, 30 days, more? less? does it vary? 28 days, no variance.
Do you cycle regularly or irregularly? regularly. i never keep track because i can feel ovulation & know the day before my period will start (pain).

What was the date when the herbs were started? 1 week late, figured out afterwards.

Please include a summary of dosage information. And any side effects noted. Useful information includes for each herb used:
Each taken during same 6 days. once it took 8 days, but, same effects.

Name of the herb: vitamin c
Form or method taken or used: 500mg capsules
Amount taken: 60 pill bottle in 3 days, for 6 days.
Frequency: 2 every hour, 5 on waking and 5 before sleep
Duration (dates are useful) : 6 days
side effects: gas. not very bad, and definitely worth it considering the alternative.

Name of the herb: dong quai
Form or method taken or used: capsules... the green and white bottle they sell at walgreens. i forget the brand. Nature's Choice, or something...? Tastes like BBQ.
Amount taken: 2 capsules Frequency: every 2-4 hours
Duration (dates are useful) : 6 days
side effects: dong quai makes your orgasms SO much better!
other comments: i masturbated to orgasm 3 times in a row, every night. actually got to where i hated doing it, but wanted to shake the placenta loose. i think this helped immensely.

Name of the herb: black cohosh
Form or method taken or used: capsules, same source as dong quai.
Amount taken: what it says on the bottle... 2 capsules at mealtimes, i believe.
Frequency: 3 times daily, plus 4 in morning & 4 in evening.
Duration : 6 days side effects: seems like it gave me dull headaches. Drinking lots of water helps.

Bleeding started as a flood each time. Actually felt it exit. Got nasty little maroon-black chunks for the next week, along with a very heavy period, but never saw anything resembling yellow branches.

Comments: there is a different odor to a miscarriage, than to a period. More like... sawdust, for lack of a better word. I'll never forget that smell. I first smelled it after going to a clinic and being put through absolute hell.

Is there anything you would have done differently?
Yes. A few comments here.

1. When you're pregnant, you don't think straight. Your intelligence goes straight down the pot. I think it's the nutritional strain... in any case, I remember being pregnant the first time, reading something on the net about vitamin C, and I tried it for a few hours. When I missed an hour, I decided it wasn't going to work and stopped altogether, ultimately ending up, desperate and penniless, in a clinic. (Side note: wear a sweater. They refuse to turn the heat up or give you a blanket. I went into shock from the cold & the pain; shivered until the IV got pushed out; they had to pin me down on the table, screaming... I still get nightmares. Home methods are definitely the way to go).

2. Pennyroyal is overrated. Second time I was pregnant, I didn't want to go through clinical hell again. So I found a bottle of pennyroyal oil. There was no indication of potency, so I took a drop. Next day, no effect, I took two drops. Next day, three drops. It went on like that until I took half a tablespoon, no effect, a whole tablespoon, no effect. I took the rest of what was left in the bottle all at once -- two tablespoons. I felt like I had the flu. I felt awful... I could feel my heart beating all day, as if with major effort. I felt like I was going to die. Still no period. I went on to the other herbs, and, a week later bleeding began. I don't think pennyroyal is worth the risk.

3. I would have pre-ordered some tansy. It's out of season now, and very hard to find.

For your info, during this pregnancy among other things I took two tablespoons of pennyroyal extract. I know this was dangerous, and indeed, my heart felt fluttery all day, but I was getting desperate as the 15-24 daily drops the bottle suggested hadn't been doing any good. It was still another three days before I got my period, so I'm not sure if pennyroyal specifically helped or not.

(As a side note, I called around about pennyroyal the first time I was pregnant, and was basically told to go to hell. One lady told me, in a disgusted voice, that pennyroyal had been outlawed by the FDA and was no longer allowed to be sold in the US. I stopped looking, unfortunately taking her word for it. But you can buy it at a little witchcraft shop right down the street from where I live now....)

I also took 500mg black cohosh every 12 hours for those three days, and 500mg of vitamin C every hour. Again, I'm not sure if that specifically helped or not.

These were the only medicines I could find in my area, and they didn't seem to be having an effect, so I improvised. I had the luxury of being able to ride one of those "Do not ride if you're expecting" roller coasters for 2 hours straight... You might add this suggestion to your page. The idea came to me after I remembered a girl who'd sued the park over losing her baby.

Afterwards, I drank about 6 shots of Southern Comfort at a club, and smoked an entire pack of Kamel Reds. I was feeling very sick by the time I went to bed, but a day later I got my period. Praise be.

I do believe in reincarnation, and again, I feel relieved, not guilty, that I don't have to go through the childbearing/raising process right now. The kid would have had a lousy life if that were the case, and so would I, as I'm unemployed while I'm in college. But you don't need to hear the reasons, I suppose... we all have our own reasons that mean enough to us to be worth it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

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