I remember the night. Someone came in every hour to take my vitals. My husband was there. He had the nurse bring me ice packs for my incision. Any time I moved he was right there to make sure I was ok. I had a button in my hand and when it was green I could push it and I would just drift back to sleep.
Early the next morning I remember more. My husband had to leave early to go home and check on our dogs, pick up some things for both of us as I was going to be in the hospital for a few days and he was staying with me, and go to his post-op appointment (he had wrist surgery about 10 days before this). It snowed overnight. I was awake for longer periods of time. I was anxious for my doctors to come in. The nurse took my catheter out and I was not happy about it. That meant I would have to get up soon. I texted with my sister and a couple of close friends who knew what had happened.
I do not remember the exact moment when I found out what happened to me. As hard as I try, I just cannot remember. I do remember always knowing what happened. When I was more aware on Monday morning there was never a moment of panic when I didn't know what happened.
So what did happen?
During surgery two amazing doctors, Dr. D and Dr. W (the GYN surgeon Dr. D called in) put me back together. I was bleeding internally, but it was a challenge to determine from where. Everything really looked fine. They then discovered a small hole in my uterus. On the right side, underneath. Our baby was in a very wrong place and caused my uterus to tear. They delivered our baby, repaired my torn uterus and made sure everything else was stable. It took three hours.
I lost a lot of blood.
And our baby.
I had a blood transfusion. I spent four nights in the hospital. I swelled up so much I weighed 15 pounds more when I left the hospital than I did when I went in (and let me tell you, it is not fun to lose 15lbs of water weight in approximately 36 hours after I got home! I made 15 trips to the bathroom the first night I was home.) I had 45 staples that closed a 9 inch vertical incision that started at my navel.
I scared everyone. Myself, my husband, my parents and siblings, my friends and co-workers, my doctors.
I was grateful to be alive. I was grateful I didn't try to wait out the pain at home any longer than I did. I was grateful for Dr. D who somehow knew what was going on before he even saw me and set all the wheels into motion so quickly and saved me.
My recovery was long and short all at the same time. It took me 8 weeks to feel physically normal again. But I did fully recover. I took five weeks off of work. I battled with sore everything. Weakness and fatigue like I had never experienced before. Let me tell you, blood loss is no joke.
Emotionally, I am not sure I have recovered fully, or that I ever will. I'm writing this 16 months after my surgery.
The emotion of losing our baby and being in a life-threatening situation took about a week to hit me and I know exactly when it did.
I was released from the hospital on a Thursday. On the following Monday my husband took me to Dr. D's office to have my staples removed. My appointment was good. Dr. D took all of my staples out. We talked about my surgery and how I was doing. We talked about totally random other things. He gave me a copy of the op report of my surgery. When we left my mom met us in the lobby and we talked for a few minutes. My husband went to get the car so he could take me home and then go back to work. As I stood there with my mom, waiting for my husband to pick me up, the tears came. Right there in the lobby of the medical building in the hospital. And I couldn't stop them. I cried and cried. I cried more on the way home. I got home and read my op report and cried some more. I cried until I don't think I could have cried any more.
This wasn't fair. How had this happened?? How had we lost a fourth baby, and in this terrible and scary way??? What did we do to deserve this???
These questions follow me. As I move further and further away from the trauma of my surgery and our four pregnancy losses these questions still linger, but I do not let them control my life or my emotions. I have spent hours and hours with a wonderful women's health counselor who has provided me with the tools to not let this take over or consume me.
This has not been easy and has definitely been the hardest fight of my and my husband's lives. But we are still standing, we are still working toward trying to have another baby. And we have learned so much about love, life, and ourselves.