Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Details: Part Six

Just in case you missed them . . .

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

Okay, it's time to wrap up this very, very long story. When I first began writing this, I had no idea where it would end up going. Which is probably a good thing. Had I known, I may have never started sharing it with you, and I'm so glad that I have record of it. It's amazing how blurry the details are in my mind already, and it's a story that I don't want to forget. Except that some days, I do.

After being told that our baby was gone (actually, the PA's exact words were "there is no fetus" which really got all over me. Maybe I was just being sensitive, but in my head I screamed, "It's not a fetus, it is my baby!!!"), I was sent home to wait while my body continued to expel the pregnancy and all that entailed. I was SO THANKFUL that my mom was here with me as this was an extremely painful (and, at times, debilitating) process. I had no idea how painful a miscarriage can be. And, since I was still recovering from being very sick, I was just extremely weak and tired. There was no way that I would have been able to care for myself and my two babies by myself while this was all taking place. Chris had been off work for about a week due to the holidays and our whole family being sick, so he really really needed to be at the office. My mom being here allowed him to do what he needed to do to fulfill his responsibilities as well.

However, my mom was also sick, so her ability to take care of all of us was pretty limited for the first 2 days she was here. So, my sister also came and stayed with us. She (my sister) pretty much took care of all the kids (her daughter and my two) while my mom and I took care of ourselves. Again, I can't say enough how grateful I am that they were both here. My mom is so good at caring for other people. She just does things that need to be done without me ever having to ask, yet she also respects boundaries. I know how blessed I am to have such a wonderful Mom.

Those first few days were rough. I mean really rough. Physically, it was bad, but mentally it was way worse. My mind just kept going back to this precious little baby over and over and over again. Our B3.

I wasn't sleeping at night. I wasn't sleeping during the day. I would go in my room to take a nap and not be able to relax. I would close my eyes and see my baby. My mind would become overtaken with thoughts of "How could this be my story?" and "Will I ever carry another child again?" and "Will my heart ever feel like it's not suffocating?". I'm normally the type of person that if I have two hours to take a nap, I can sleep for an hour and 59 minutes. But I just couldn't. My mind wouldn't let me. And sometimes, I would finally relax only to have a "spell" of physical pain and cramping hit. I was so heartsick I couldn't even eat. It was a dark time.

On Thursday evening, I decided that I needed to put the news on FB and on here. I didn't want to - what I really wanted to do was ignore it altogether - but I was still receiving private messages of congratulations from people who were just hearing our joyous announcement. So, I put it out there on social media, and that was hard too. Putting it into writing just made it seem that much more real.

As the weekend progressed, I began to feel better and better. This is our family on Sunday morning before church:

I still wasn't feeling great, but I was feeling like I could function. And not a moment too soon either. My mom was leaving to go back home and so I would be on my own once again. I thought I would be okay (and for the most part, I was), but it was harder than I thought it would be. I was still in pain, still weak, and had a ton of trouble concentrating on anything.

On Tuesday, January 8th, I went to back to see my doctor for a follow-up appointment. The appointment started off really badly when his nurse asked me if we knew what we were having yet or if this was our gender reveal appointment. Chris and I were already thisclose to not being able to hold ourselves together, so this did not help! I know it was an honest mistake, but seriously. So. bad. When Dr. N came in the room, he was very calm and very gentle with me. He is normally a whirlwind, so this was a side of him that I've not seen often. We talked for a bit about how uncommon a miscarriage is for someone in my situation (13 weeks, heard/saw heartbeat 3 times, no previous losses, etc), and he said that my chances of miscarriage were less than 5%. Wow. He would not agree with me that we lost the baby because I had been sick, but I personally still think that is what happened. I think that my body just couldn't handle everything that was going on. However, it really doesn't matter, so I try not to dwell on what happened exactly too much. We'll never know and knowing doesn't change anything anyway.

Dr. N then did an ultrasound and discovered that I still had "a lot of debris" (his words . . . and he did clarify that he meant no disrespect by using that word.) He explained that there were bits of placenta, and blood, and tissue, and just "stuff" that was unidentifiable, and that I was at a very high risk for infection at that point. Old blood plus debris plus dead tissue equals breeding ground for infection. This was not what we wanted to hear. I know it was written all over my face, so he told me to get dressed and he'd be back in to discuss options.

When he came back in, he said that he highly recommended a D&C. UGH. I was so upset. WHY did I just suffer through a WEEK of pain and feeling horrible if I was going to have a D&C anyway??? The thought that I went through all of that for nothing . . . that this could have been over with a week ago . . . that I was going to have to go under anyway for a procedure . . . it just upset me so much. And Dr. N understood this. He said that he hated that I went through all that and this process was dragging out so long. He told me I should have called him and we would have worked something out, but I didn't know. I've never been through this before and I didn't know that what I was going through wasn't normal. Megan said my pain and discharge would be up to TEN TIMES that of a normal period. That's A LOT. He basically said that he wished he would have called me because he never would have made me go through what I did.

So, my D&C was scheduled for Wednesday, January 9th, and I left Dr. N's office feeling so defeated. I honestly think that this was the hardest day for me. All of the exhaustion and frustration and sadness of the past 8 days just hit me, but the shock wasn't there to buffer it. Things had gone back to "normal" in our world (company had gone home, phone calls/texts had died down, cards had stopped coming, etc), but I was still stuck in this nightmare. It was all going to be over soon - and while I was relieved by that prospect - I was also heartbroken. It seemed so final. I was scared. And, like I said, I felt defeated. So down. So disappointed in how things were turning out. I felt like my body had failed (once again). I can't conceive on my own. I couldn't carry this baby. And now, I couldn't even miscarry right. Now, I know that these thoughts weren't really rational. I can see that now. At the time though? I was too emotional to see that.   Things just looked so bleak to me.

Chris and I arrived at the hospital bright and early the next morning for the procedure. My sister came and stayed with my kiddos. I was scheduled to have the D&C at 9:00am, but Dr. N didn't end up being available until close to 10:30am. He visited with me for a bit - eased my mind about what was getting ready to happen - and away I went into surgery. After the procedure, he told Chris that my uterus had really shrunk back down already so the surgery was harder than he thought it would be. However, he was able to get everything cleaned out and not a moment too soon as much of what he extracted was black (meaning infection was setting in). I was awake within the hour and on my way home shortly after that. I did take some pain meds that made me quite loopy that day, and honestly it was so nice. It was the first mental reprieve that I had gotten since this had all began, and I needed it. I spent the rest of the day napping and letting my mind REST.

By Thursday morning (the next day), I was feeling really good. Better than I had in weeks, in fact. I was still weak and tired, but the pain was gone. I did continue to spot for about two weeks, but it was very light. Over the course of the next week, I got physically better every day. However, mentally I was still struggling quite a bit. Sleep was still hard. I was running on caffeine and junk food as my appetite was still lacking. The TV was being used too much as a babysitter in our house. I would just sit and become entranced in my thoughts in the middle of the day. I was distracted. My kids were definitely not getting the best of their Mommy at this point in time. I allowed myself to be like this for a little while, but we had a D&C follow-up appointment scheduled for the following Thursday (January 17th) and I told myself that that was it. After that appointment, I had to engage in life again. I had to get dressed. Schedule a playdate. Do things with the kids. Eat better. Take care of me so I could take care of them.

At our follow-up appointment, Dr. N was great. He came in and just stood by me and patted and rubbed my back (in a very paternal type way). I couldn't have been more impressed with how sensitive and gentle he was with me, but at the same time he took care of business. I have thanked God many times for the blessing of a good doctor. I checked out healthy at this appointment, and as I left Dr. N said, "I hope to see you back soon." Although I'm not sure where we stand with that yet, it was nice to feel like he's rooting for us.

So, what's next? We don't know. Chris and I have talked very briefly about trying again, but I am really dragging my feet about it right now. I know that I'm just not ready to go down that road. If we didn't have to do fertility treatments . . . I may feel differently about it. Or not. I don't know. My biggest fear with fertility treatments used to be a failed cycle, but now the thought of a successful cycle is way scarier to me. What if we have another loss? I just know that {right now} I am not ready to take that risk. My heart isn't ready yet. It's a strange place for me to be because for the last 10 years I've been desperate to be pregnant, and I don't feel that way right now. Part of me fears that I may never feel that way again. I mean, who am I if I'm not desperate to be pregnant and yearning for a houseful of babies?

We've been praying about this a lot. I pray specifically for wisdom and patience as I grieve and heal and move forward. I pray for grace for the hard times and gratitude in the better times. I pray that I'll learn the lessons I need to learn from this experience. I pray that my journey will bring glory to God. I pray that no matter what, I will always recognize the blessings that have been showered upon me and not take those two beautiful babies I have on earth with me for granted. Ever.

We'll see what the future holds for us. In the meantime, we're striving to make each day count as we seek God's will in our life.


Elana said...

Oh sweetie. My heart breaks for you. I'm sorry you had to go through all of that. I'm not a midwife yet, so I don't know all of the ins and outs of why these things happen, but I tend to agree with you that being sick and still having to work through it may have been too much for your body to take. But no one will ever know, and it could have been completely unrelated. I have hope that you will get your pregnancy desire back, though it will take some time. The fear never goes away, no matter when you had a miscarriage. My first pregnancy was an early one - 5 1/2 weeks chemical pregnancy - yet I still fear even at 16 weeks that something could go wrong. But, as I am sure you do, sometimes we just have to leave it in God's hands and let go. It's INSANELY difficult to do, but I'm finally getting it this time around. I can't remember if I told you about the Jewish views on miscarriage, but if I haven't, let me know and I'll send it to you. It's a beautiful concept.

Mayor's Girl said...

Hi! I've been reading your story for just a couple of months, but I just wanted to say how sorry I am! I've had one miscarriage. It was very early, so it in no way compares to what you went through. But, I can completely relate to all the emotions you felt. I was so scared to try again and have another miscarriage, but the thought of NOT having another baby was scary too! I did end of getting pregnant again, and it was hard. But, I had a healthy baby! Just know that all of those feelings are completely

Cheryl said...

You are such a brave girl to share this experience with your bloggy friends. I still keep you in my prayers as I know that it just takes time to heal from this. We know that God's timing is the perfect timing even when we don't understand the situation we're facing in life. Stay strong!

Kriss said...

I just wanted to give you a hug. So sorry you had to go thru that.

asg said...

I really admire your strength to tell your personal stories. I miss you so much, reading your blog helps me feel closer to you. Love you!!!