A Personal Story

Submitted: August 27, 2001

Name: Diana
Age: 22
Weight: 165
Height: 5'11''
Sucessful using the herbs.
Do you smoke tobacco? no

Did you have a pregnancy test? Yes
When was it taken? On day 27 in my cycle.
What was the result? The result was negative at first. Then I looked at it again in 1 hour and there was a faint positive line. However, since the directions said that the test results are invalid after 10 minutes, I disregarded the test.

If no pregnancy test was taken - do you think you were pregnant? How strongly do you feel this way? I believe I was definitely pregnant. Normally, my cycles are 28 to 30 days. I recently met my soulmate and we made love daily (including my fertile time). Stupidly, we only used the withdrawal method and when day 28 in my cycle came, and I felt pregnancy symptoms instead of period symptoms (extreme moodiness, slightly enlarged breasts), I knew I was pregnant. Additionally, I already have one child and I knew I was pregnant with her before my period is even late.

Would you try herbs again, or recommend them to a friend in the same situation? I would try the herbs again. I would make sure I start off with quality herbs in the beginning.

Is there anything that clued you in that the herbs might be working before bleeding started? I was having mild cramps, other than that, I couldnít tell that it was working.

Is this your first pregnancy? No, I have had one pregnancy. (and I kept my baby)

What was the date of the first day of your last menstrual period? July 23rd, 2001
Do you know the date of fertilizing intercourse? What was it? We had intercourse from July 29th (day 7) through August 4th (day 13). It must have been one of those days because I took some QAL seeds to try them as birth control and I had a reaction to them (irritated labia). I didnít have sex again until August 11th (day 20).

What was the date you were expecting menstruation? Between August 19th (day 28) and August 21st (day 30)
How long do your cycles usually run? My cycles used to run on a strict 30-day schedule. After some changes in my life (new apartment, new female roommate, new boyfriend) my cycle became slightly erratic. During June, my cycle was 32 days (not pregnant). In July, it was 26 days.

What was the date when the herbs were started? August 21st (day 30 in my cycle)
How many weeks pregnant were you when the herbs were started? 2 weeks (from ovulation)
For how many days were the herbs used (total)? 6 days
What was the date bleeding started if herbs were successful? August 26th (day 35)

Were you using birth control? Kind of...
What kind/method of birth control/contraception were you using? Withdrawal... but I donít think that counts as birth control...
Do you know how/why it failed? It failed because that is a faulty form of birth control. I think thatís how I got my first baby : )

Did you experience any symptoms or signs of pregnancy? Yes. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I experienced extreme moodiness and my breasts were slightly enlarged. Additionally, (I know this is gross) but I get really big nasty boogers when Iím pregnant... I donít know why... but I guess itís better than morning sickness.
When did they start? The symptoms started around August 15th.

Please include a summary of dosage information.
Don Quai Ė Capsule form 1000mg every 2-4 hours Ė 6 days
Vitamin C Ė pill form 1000 mg every 2-4 hours (stopped after 4 days... gave me headaches and I didnít feel like it was doing anything) Ė 5 days
Black Cohosh Ė capsule form 1000mg every 2-4 hours Ė 6 days

I wasnít very consistent with my doses. I started to panic around the 3rd day of taking everything and I began to overdose (taking pills at scheduled times and in between doses). Then I referred to your website and saw that if a woman is pregnant, a period doesnít usually start until after the 6th day of taking the herbs. So... I went and got a better brand of the Don Quai (I had been using the grocery store brand...looking back... I question the quality of the product) and tried to relax. Within 18 hours of getting the quality Don Quai (1000mg concentrated from GNC) my period started.

Side effects: Got headaches from the Vitamin C. The first 2 bottles of Don Quai I took tasted nasty (especially the Kroger brand... donít buy it... it only comes in 200mg form and it tastes like a cross between a nasty bbq sauce, dirt, and stale cigarettes)

How did the herbs affect you? I didnít experience any side effects with the Don Quai or the Black Cohosh. I had mild cramping throughout.

Any positive effects? Iím not positive, but I think the orgasms I had were better with the herbs I was using.
Where there any negative effects? I got headaches from the Vitamin C.
Do you have any health problems or issues? No, I am very healthy.

How did the herbs make you feel physically? I feel that the Don Quai and the Black Cohosh had a positive effect on me. Taking so much Vitamin C didnít make me feel good.

How did being pregnant make you feel physically? My breasts got a little bit bigger but other than that, I didnít feel much. My first pregnancy was very easy. I didnít really "feel" pregnant I just "knew."

If the herbs caused miscarriage -- how did you feel just before bleeding began? I started bleeding on a Sunday morning. I didnít feel anything before it happened. I felt the same mild cramps but because they were mild... I didnít think anything was happening.

And when bleeding started - How was the bleeding, cramping, etc? When the bleeding started, it was kind of slow at first. I waited for an hour and took 1000mg of Don Quai and 1000mg of Black Cohosh (last dose). Then I just felt really tired relieved the whole day. The cramping was constant but dull and the pain was in my abdominal area and in my lower back. I just took it easy the rest of the day. I could tell I had been pregnant because the blood was different. Normally, my period blood is brown-ish red. This time, there were bright red (almost purple-red) clots and strings of blood. The flow wasnít too heavy but every time I sat down to change my pad, blood would just drip out of me. It is the second day now and the cramping is still consistent Ė constant but not too painful (well, since Iíve given birth, my threshold of pain is high so donít take my word for it.) I feel a little bit more tired with this period also... almost lethargic.

My Story....

First I want to thank Sister Zeus for having this website about womenís reproductive health. All of the information and the personal testimonials guided me through the entire process.

I was watching my cycle closely since I wasnít on a reliable form of birth control and because my boyfriend and I have sex almost every day. About 5 days before my period was due, I started to worry. I became very moody and irritable and small changes started to surface. During my pregnancy, I only really had 2 physical symptoms, larger breasts and really big boogers (sorry... I know thatís nasty). When both of those symptoms appeared, knew that I was pregnant. I was in denial but I had to be prepared for the worst so I waited for day 28 to come in my cycle and nothing happened. I bought some Don Quai, Black Cohosh, and Vitamin C and waited for day 30 to come (my cycles used to always be 30 days).

I began the herbs on day 30. I wasnít always exact with my doses (I usually took too much since Iím tall) and I didnít always do it at the right intervals (I would forget when I took my last dose and take another dose too soon). The pregnancy paranoia set in and I began to panic after taking the herbs for 3 days with no results (other than some light cramping). I referred to the website and remembered that it almost always takes at least 6 days for the herbs to work. I discontinued the Vitamin C after day 4 because I was taking too much, I couldnít really feel the effects, and I was getting headaches. I went out and bought a better quality Don Quai (concentrated from GNC, 1000mg) and continued with that and the Black Cohosh.

On the morning of day 35, I woke up and saw my period still hadnít started. It was early but I couldnít fall asleep because I was so worried. I got up to stretch, meditate and pray so I could try to ease my mind and relax a little bit. I had been praying the whole time but I finally broke down and begged God to let the babyís spirit return to me in 3 or 4 years when I am ready and able to take care of him/her. I went into my boyfriendís bathroom and tried to have an orgasm to start contractions. He was worried about me (I was sitting in the bathroom in the dark) and he kept asking me what was wrong. After being interrupted for a third time, I decided to give up. I turned on the light, looked down and saw blood. I didnít feel it coming, it just started.

It was slow at first so I took one last dose of Don Quai and Black Cohosh to get things flowing. I felt very tired, relaxed and relieved for the rest of the day. The cramps were constant and painful (7 on a scale of 1-10) but they felt good in a weird way. That night, my boyfriend and I talked about it. He said he felt sad and relieved at the same time. Thatís kind of how I feel too. I already have one child, who I love dearly, but I already sacrificed so much for her. I am doing better now, and donít regret it but I need to do more with my life before I can parent 2 children successfully.

There are many lessons that can be learned from an experience such as this, Do you feel you have learned something from this experience? If so what?
I definitely learned that oneís fertility isnít something to mess around with. After this cycle, I am going on the pill. The stress of being pregnant and having to end it is just too hard to go through. Although this turned out to be a positive experience, it was still emotionally painful.

Is there anything you would have done differently? I would have started off with the quality herbs and not bothered with the Vitamin C. The praying and meditating really helped too.

Why did you choose to try herbal options first rather than just go for a clinical or medical abortion?
I am pro-choice (I think itís absurd for a man or anyone else to tell another individual what to do with their genetic material and potential children), but I donít think I could have ever gone through a clinical abortion. I have heard many personal and painful stories and I didnít want to subject my mind and body to that. I would have gone through with a medical abortion as a last resort if the herbs hadnít worked within 2 weeks. But I didnít really want to do that either. I think itís best to keep contact with doctors down to a minimum. They treat diseases, not people and I donít have time for that.

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