Monday, February 22, 2016

Keep going......part 3

And we were there again. In that darkened room, me laying on the table, both of us wanting and not wanting to look at the screen in the corner that showed us our baby. 

It was quiet. Very few words were spoken. I had spent a lot of time with the sonographer at Dr. D's office. We knew each other well. But that morning there was nothing to say. She moved as quickly as she could, taking measurements, asking me only a few questions. She was amazing and I thank her always for being there. 

I only really remember two feelings from that morning. The tears that I was fighting so hard to keep from falling, but were silently streaming down my cheeks and running behind my ears as I laid on the table. The other is the warm of my husband's hand. He never let go. Not once. Every now and then he would squeeze harder, like a reminder that he was there and not going anywhere. And I always squeezed back, as a reminder to him that I was there too. For him. 

I found myself staring at the screen in the corner. As much as I didn't want to look because I didn't want to cry, I knew I had to. I would regret it if I didn't. It was the last look I would have of our baby. 

Soon, the sonographer was done. She told me she was going to go get Dr. D so we didn't have to go back out to the waiting room. Thank you, because I really don't want to go out there with all of the pregnant women, here for their appointments. She was back quickly and said we should walk down the hall to his office. 

Then we were back in those chairs. The ones we have become very familiar with. The ones we sat in and discussed what to do next when the fertility treatments we were using were not working. The ones we sat in and celebrated positive pregnancy tests and planned for the upcoming months. And the ones we now sat in, now for the third time, and talked about losing our baby. Those chairs. 

There was a complication. I was 14 weeks. Second trimester. A D&C was not the normally prescribed course of treatment for my loss. There were a couple of other options and Dr. D went through them all and answered our questions about each. But I wasn't really pleased with any of them. I was not really in a place where I could make a decision. What I wanted was for Dr. D to tell me what the best option was. 

My options were: 
1) Let it happen naturally, at home. It would be painful, and may take a long time, and I could come to the hospital at any time. Probably my last choice. 

2) Come back that evening and be admitted to Labor & Delivery. They would basically induce me and I would deliver the baby in the hospital. Not my favorite option, but something I was considering. 

3) Have a D&E. Similar to a D&C, but done during second trimester. It would be done by a different doctor. A doctor I knew, but who wasn't Dr. D.  This was the option I was leaning toward. The part I didn't like was the other doctor, because he wasn't Dr. D. 

I didn't know. I really didn't want to decide. I wanted someone to tell me what to do. And Dr. D didn't really seem to want to decide either. Like he was unsure for some reason. So we decided together that he would call the other doctor and talk to him. Then he would call me and we would decide. I felt good about that. 

We left the office. Made a short stop to see my Mom in her office and then it was time to go back home. My husband had to go back to work. I really didn't want to go home. So I went to my office. Not to work, but because I needed to not be at home alone. I wasn't there long, but long enough to talk to my closest friends and pass some time. 

While I was driving home Dr. D called me. The decision was for him to do a D&C. It was definitely the best option. I was 14 weeks by the calendar, but the baby measured 11 weeks. He was having it scheduled for Thursday. His office would call me back with the time. If I needed ANYTHING before then, just call. 

I went home and cried. 

I don't really remember the rest of the day. I am sure it was fairly normal. My husband and son came home and we had a normal family night. Then we all went to bed. I was exhausted and was hoping to sleep. Then, at 3am I woke up. 

I was cramping. I could not stay in bed. I was very uncomfortable. My restlessness woke up my husband. I really was ok, just uncomfortable and awake. The cramps (let's be really honest, they are contractions....way worse than the cramps of a normal period...but not as strong as full term labor) were familiar, I felt them before with my first loss. I knew they would get worse. I was just hoping they would stop. I moved to the living room and curled up in our recliner hoping to doze a little. I was awake for three hours. Finally around 6am just as my house was starting to wake up my pain subsided and I fell asleep. I was very glad the pain stopped. In the wee hours of the morning in my tired and emotional state, I  convinced myself I was going to have to call Dr. D on Wedneday morning. At least for now that wasn't the case. 

My day was quiet. I was tired. I rested a lot. I really had no desire to do anything else. I had been here before and could not believe we were here again. And I really really really did not want the pain to start again. I worried all day that it would. 

My mother-in-law picked our son up from school and he stayed with them for the night. My husband came home and we both realized we had forgotten about a prescription that needed to be picked up for me. So we went out. We stopped by the pharmacy and then went to dinner. It was nice, just the two of us. We talked about everything except the reality we were living. It was a nice escape for a little while. 

However, as dinner was ending I was getting restless. The cramping was coming back and I was getting uncomfortable again. My amazing husband noticed before I could say anything. He finished paying, took my hand and got me to the car and home as fast as he could. I collapsed into the recliner again and braced for and unknown number of hours of pain. 

Three hours in, it was almost 10pm and I was exhausted. It didn't seem to be subsiding and my anxiety was through the roof. Then the tears came and I couldn't stop them. All I wanted was to sleep and make it to my scheduled D&C the next morning. I had to be at the hospital about 12 hours later. 

But I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I called Dr. D's exchange at 10pm, before it got too late. Dr. D was on call (somehow he is always on call when I need him most!) and he called me back about 30 seconds later. He sounded worried. We talked, I told him what was going on and how I felt. I could come to the hospital if I wanted and they would monitor me through the night. I could wait it out at home if I wanted and would see him in the morning. If I needed him in the night to call him back. And most importantly, the prescription I had to pick up earlier was for Cervidil, which would make me contract more. Since I was cramping already, he said not to take it as it would make everything worse. 

I just wanted it to stop and I wanted to sleep. 

Finally it did, just before midnight. Thank goodness. And I got to sleep, for three hours. 

At 3am I woke up again. Wide awake. I immediately focused my attention to my uterus. Ok, no cramps. Good. Then why am I awake? Oh, miscarriage insomnia. This is not an actual medical condition, but it is my best description of what happens to me. My body forgets how to sleep through the night. 

I got up and moved to the couch. My husband woke up, worried I was cramping again. I assured him I was ok and he should go back to sleep. I settled in on the couch for a few hours of bad movies and infomercials. 

Soon it was morning and time to get ready and head to the hospital. I had to be there at 11am for a 1pm procedure. I was ready. 

The routine at the hospital is familiar to us. We have done it three times before for me. I got checked in, ready and waited. And waited. And waited. Dr. D was running late. But I wasn't going anywhere. 

Dr. D finally arrived and it was time. To the OR, time for anesthesia. I was ready. Dr. D sat with me in the OR and we idly chatted while the nurses finished getting me ready and getting set up. Him sitting with me and the conversation about anything random is one of my favorite things. It helps ease my anxiety and almost makes me forget about why I am laying on a cold table in and OR, covered in warm blankets, with an IV in my arm. And about what happens next. 

Then I woke up. I was crying. The nurse was handing me a tissue and asking me if I needed anything. I just wanted my husband. In a minute he was there. It was over. 

After I woke up it was time to go home. It was time to heal and then decide what came next. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

It has been a year.

This weekend marks one year since my last pregnancy loss and a surgery that took me months to fully recover from. A year since an event that scared me, my husband, my family, my friends, and my doctor. 

It has been quite a year. 

I know I haven't gotten to the story of my last pregnancy loss yet and I won't go into a lot of the details in this post. That is to come soon. But it was definitely the hardest. It took me the longest to recover from, physically, and probably emotionally. But all of my losses were hard to recover from emotionally. 

It is the loss I may have learned the most from. It is the one that changed my perspective on life. It's the one that could have taken my life. 

It truly seems like it just happened yesterday. I almost cannot believe it has been a year. 

As I think about all I have been through, and everything I have done to fully recover I cannot also help but think about all of those who helped me - my husband, my son, my family, my friends, and Dr. D and his staff. I have an amazing support system and every person plays a different yet equally important role for me. I could not have gotten through this without every single one of them. 

So here it is, my advice. Create a support system. One, two, ten people. However many you need. They are the people who will help you get through it. Those who will guide you, be there when you need to cry, be there when you need a push to get up and move forward. Those who will help you laugh, remember, and love. While it will never be quite the same, life does continue on and you have to continue on with it.