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Tag: dilatation & curettage

One year later

Last March was the worst month of my life.

The whole month of February was spent in blissful naiveté. Then March 1st it felt like my world fell apart.

I feel the sting in little reminders. Like yesterday, I went to get a prenatal massage and in filling out the form I had a tiny little punch to the gut.

2nd pregnancy 1st birth

Then I had to talk about it to the massage therapist. She was chatty.

I also keep thinking about that first ultrasound. There was nothing to see except my empty uterus and yet I cannot stop thinking about the picture that automatically printed. My mind replays my doctor ripping it off the machine, crumpling it up and throwing it in the trash over and over. I didn’t ask for it. I wish I had although I don’t know why exactly. There are many moments that replay from that day but that one stands out the most. Such a stupid little thing.

After that ultrasound we spent 12 days in torturous limbo and then I took what little control I could of the whole horrible situation and opted to have a D&C.

That was one year ago today.

For me personally it was the best decision I could have made. As weird as it feels to say it, the actual procedure was a very positive experience. A large part of that was the wonderful hospital staff and the other part was just the fact that I was taking control of a situation that I was completely out of control of otherwise. When it feels like your world is completely spinning out of control any grasp of control can make that spinning feel slightly less overwhelming.

While that day started the healing process, it was a long, hard road to feeling like myself again. Although saying “myself” doesn’t feel quite accurate. I’m not the same person I was before all this happened.

I think that’s a good thing.

It has taken a year’s worth of time to gain perspective because in the moment and aftermath I could not fathom how anything good could come out of losing my first pregnancy.

I know Joel and I are so much closer than we ever were. Tragedies can make or break a relationship. Thankfully it made us. We had several marriage struggles in the years before our first pregnancy. I blame the fact that we were practically babies when we got married. I was only 20 and Joel was just 24. Babies. Somehow we made it through those and then, instead of letting the blinding pain of losing a pregnancy rip us apart, we relied on each other in a much deeper way than we ever did before. I wish I could give more insight into how we did that but I either do not have enough distance from that time or there is no answer. Either way, I have never felt happier with our relationship or more in love with the man I call my husband.

Another good thing that came out of this was my ability to share my experience. I hate that anyone else in the world has to lose a pregnancy. But at least now I can offer my empathy instead of just my sympathy. Everyone’s journey is different but when I was in the middle of my worst pain other people rallied around me and it help me so much. Now I can be one who rallies around others. If sharing my experience helps even one other person that is a positive thing.

I also get my Wesley out of this. Sure, part of me has struggled with the mixed feeling of missing my other almost baby and being happy about this current one. Now that I’m thisclose to holding our Wesley in my arms though I have a hard time imagining I’d change anything. I love the little boy inside of me. My rainbow baby. My little lucky charm. My Wesley. I wouldn’t have him if it weren’t for my other loss.

I’m glad this year is over because it was freaking hard. I will never forget my loss, it has forever changed me. Change is not always bad though and I anticipate beautiful things in my future both in spite and because of my loss. And the change I look forward to the most is my son. You’re welcome any time, little guy.

All clear

I visited my doctor for the follow up on my D&C. Everything is normal and we now have the all clear to resume, ahem, martial relations.

Side of TMI: Five weeks is hella long to not have sex, especially after enjoying a couple months of protection and worry free married fun.

Anyway, he showed me the results from the tissue they removed and it was confirmed there were genetic abnormalities. He made sure to emphasize that it means nothing I did or didn’t do caused it and that it’s very common to have have healthy pregnancies after this kind of loss.

And, even though it was only (my word, not his) my first loss, he told me to call the minute I think I’m pregnant again and that we’ll do extra blood work and a very early ultrasound to make sure things are going well.

I love my doctor.

From what I understand up to three miscarriages in a row are considered normal. Three. Apparently some doctors don’t start any extra tests or anything before a third loss. That just blows my mind. Thankfully I have good insurance and a doctor who is very compassionate and seems to want to put my mind at ease.

The next pregnancy will still be nervewracking but at least I’ll know that everything possible is being done to make sure there is a better outcome.

So that’s my happy news for the day. I don’t know if Joel and I will decide to start trying again right away or if we’ll wait a little while still. At least I know that I’ll have extra assurances once we get those two little lines again.

Fragile

It’s one week after the procedure and I’m doing well. Most of the time.

A lot of the time I feel wonderful. Physically I’ve felt fine since the procedure. I’ve been loving the gorgeous weather. Warmth and sunshine do wonders over the normal cold and gloom we have this time of year. Joel and I are closer than ever. He is so sweet and understanding and does nothing but offer hugs, kisses and back rubs whenever I have a melt down.

I’ve managed to get out of the house a few times. I basically holed up for two weeks, not leaving for anything but doctors appointments. Over the past few days I’ve finally had the courage to face other people. I went to small group last Thursday and ballet last night. It was harder than I expected.

I’m not the kind of person who has ever been emotionally fragile. I’m used to being the strong one, the one that does the comforting. That has always been my role. I’ve never been the kind of person who is fighting tears every five minutes. I don’t know what I expected but it’s not this.

At ballet last night one of the girls asked how I was doing. I said okay and then she asked if the morning sickness was still bad. I felt like I’d been punched. She’s not Facebook friends with me, there’s no way she could have known, she was only asking to be nice. I muttered something about it being gone now and she went along chatting with some of the other girls in the room. I didn’t tell her. I literally couldn’t speak.

I spent class in a tug of war of emotions. It felt great to dance again but there were moments I just wanted to scream or run away. I didn’t though of course and I’m so glad. After class the owner, who already knew about everything, gave me the most wonderful hug. Funny how sometimes you don’t realize how much you need a hug until you’re in the middle of it.

I don’t like being fragile like this. I don’t like feeling like the smallest breeze will shatter me into a million pieces. The sight of a baby, the mention of pregnancy, any twinge of my body that I mistake for a pregnancy symptom for a split second. Any of it can send me into a spiral that’s hard to pull out of. If I’m alone I don’t have to try at all, I can just cry or mope or curl up in a ball until it passes. If I’m around people I have to try and hold it together and that is exhausting.

My solution so far has been to keep hiding. I’m safe to be happy or sad here at home. It’s not a permanent solution but for now it works. I won’t always be this fragile… right?

Done

The sun shone in the bright blue sky as I made my way into the hospital and followed the signs to registration. I couldn’t help but notice the huge sign noting that floor number 4 was for Labor and Delivery. Instead I pressed the button for floor 2, same day surgery.

It was an unusually quiet day for surgery and I was the only one on the floor. The nurse handed me a gown and ushered me into a curtained off area. She laughed when I told Joel there was no reason for him to hang back while I changed since “he’s seen it all.” I was doted on by the three nurses on the floor with as many warm blankets, smiles and kinds words as I could handle. Joel and I actually laughed and made jokes as I took in the very new experience of being the one in the hospital bed instead of the support in the chair.

Part of the hospitals security procedures requires every new staff member to verify my name, birth date and why I was there before they performed any procedure.

D&C

The words always hung in the air for a few short seconds after they were said.

Joel held my hand as I took deep breaths through my blood draw and very first IV. I didn’t pass out or throw up and when you combine my hate of needles and my already uneasy hormonal stomach that is a serious win.

I was wheeled down the hall and onto another floor for the procedure. Joel had to leave me at that point and that’s when I got really nervous. I made sure to tell him that if something were to go wrong to give me a fighting chance before they unplug me. I was mostly joking.

I had no real idea of what to expect as my surgical experience is limited to what I’ve seen on TV. I was not lifted, sheets and all, onto the operating table. It makes sense since there was no trauma but still, I didn’t realize until I was sliding myself from the bed to the table that I’d half expected it. Everything goes dark shortly after that. No mask and counting back from 10. No idea how they knocked me out actually although I assume it was something slipped into my IV.  I do remember someone calling me petite and being half complimented, half worried about what that might mean for the anaesthesia.

I was obviously in very capable hands because next thing I knew I was in recovery asking a nurse if everything went okay. I was apparently there for an hour but I truly only remember the last 15-20 minutes of it. The secrets of that room and any post antithetic antics will forever be with that nurse and the 90-year-old man next to me since Joel was only allowed in the room once I was fully conscious. Phew.

I’m still amazed how quickly I’ve recovered. Before I knew it I was eating the most delicious toast I’ve ever had in my life (not being nauseous for the first time in weeks is truly a beautiful thing) and then getting dressed and being wheeled down to the car to come home. It was honestly easier than getting my wisdom teeth pulled. Physically anyway.

As far as mentally, I’m glad that it’s over. I’m glad to not have to sit around and wait and wonder anymore. As long as my body refused to take care of things by itself and kept me feeling so lousy I couldn’t help but hang onto that lingering what-if. Now there’s no question. It’s done. I’m ready to start truly dealing with my loss and to start rejoining society. I couldn’t do that when my half my focus was on what I could stand to put in my stomach and the other half was spent trying to keep what little food I managed to eat down.

I have one more day of rest and then Thursday I will dip my toe back into the world. My healing has begun.

Scheduled

Last night I tossed and turned, took deep breaths and tried to think of anything but how much the contents of my stomach wanted to make a reappearance. As tears ran down my cheeks I made the decision that enough is enough. So this morning I called my doctor’s office and scheduled a D&C for tomorrow morning. I just want it done. Over. I want my body back.

I hate feeling sick all the time for no freaking reason. I know I’m not as sick as some. I’ve only puked once so far and that’s so much easier than what my sister and some of my other friends have had to deal with. The thing is, I wouldn’t mind being nauseous all the time if it means a chubby, healthy baby in nine months. I do mind feeling this sick just to wait for an empty sac to pass. Every time my stomach turns it reminds me that there won’t be a baby at the end of this. It makes it so much more painful for me.

It’s not worth it. It’s just making me more miserable and I’m over it. I want to really be able to deal with all the emotions without adding resentment toward my body for not being able to figure out there’s no human growing inside me.

All that being said, I’m pretty nervous about the whole thing. I’ve lived a blissfully healthy life so far and other than having my wisdom teeth pulled I’ve never had any kind of surgical procedure. I’ve been in hospitals but only as support for those who were really sick. This time I’m the one checking into the hospital. It is an outpatient procedure and fairly routine so in the grand scheme of things this is so minor. It’s still scary to me.

As scary as surgery is, I’m less worried about it than I’m worried about physical and mental toll this failed pregnancy is taking on my body. I need closure. I need to start healing.

I’m taking charge of my body and scheduling my healing to start at 9:15 tomorrow morning.

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