Well here I go. This post comes to you thanks to a fellow mom blogger that shared her personal story of loss and pain and inspired me to talk about my/our most recent foray into the same.
~This might be a little graphic for more sensitive readers~
I am recounting this tale to you as I sit on the couch recouping from a D&C for a miscarriage. This D&C has been a long time coming too. Let me start at the beginning.
I started spotting about June 11th or so. A little late for my cycle, but ok. No big deal...except...something doesn't seem right. Oh well. Move on. Quit making something out of nothing.
After a week, on June 17th, I decided to take a pregnancy test anyway. Something is up here.... Low and behold, there was that double line staring me right in the face. But what about this crummy spotting for the last week?
I called the midwife that night but didn't recieve a call back until after I had finally made it to bed and didn't answer the phone (she was tied up in a complicated delivery, which was fine). I called back in the morning when I discovered my sparce brown spotting had turned to red. After telling her what was going on, she told me what I had already known. This was probably a miscarriage, or actually, quite possibly a blighted ovum.
Now, let me inject here, that I spent just shy of 7 years working in OB/GYN and Labor & Delivery. I'm well aware that miscarriage happens (as best we can tell) because of some incompatibility with life. Miscarriage is our body's way of taking care of some problem before it becomes one. I truly know, understand, and believe this. In this way, I am very fortunate. I do not share the most common problem amongst women/families who suffer miscarriages. I do not wonder what I did wrong. I do not wonder why. I do not blame myself. Honestly, I am thankful that the body is able to do this. I can't imagine the pain that could/would come later if not for this amazing feat of mother nature.
Ok. So a miscarriage. Well, I've known since the beginning, somewhere within me, that something was just not right. Ok. This is ok. This pregnancy certainly was not planned for and we are not in a good position right now to bring another life into this world. But....there is still a chance that it may not be a miscarriage. I'd have to wait until Monday (this was Saturday morning) to go in and get my blood drawn and have an ultrasound.
Are you kidding?! Wait 2 whole days?! Yeah right! But, oh wait...no choice....ok....we're in for a long weekend.
By Monday, the bleeding was still red, although not very heavy at all. I went in and had an ultrasound. There was definite bleeding from within the uterus. It's safe to say miscarriage now. Despite the preparation, it still hurt. It was still loss. It was still quite painful (emotionally). We (the midwife and I) decided that I could let this pass on it's own. It seemed on it's way and afterall, I'd already done this once before almost exactly 7 years ago... So home I went, prepared to be done with this, hopefully as soon as possible.
Well, not so much....my body apparently wasn't on the same page. I continued to bleed lightly for the rest of the week. All the while, my levels of HCG (the pregnancy hormone) were dropping accordingly. By Wednesday, June 29th, I had stopped bleeding altogether and my hormone level had dropped down to 103 (from a starting point on the 20th of 1310 [negative is <5]). Well alrighty. We're almost back to normal and we can move on. When I went in on the 6th of July for what we assumed would be my last blood draw, we were taken by surprise. Instead of dropping all the way down to nothing, it had begun to climb again. Now, I'm back up to 199. Well what the heck does this mean? It means, that I'll go back in on Friday to redraw. We want to eliminate the possiblity of lab error. And this time we'll draw it STAT to make sure we have the results right away. Well, the results came in at 219. It hadn't gone up as much as we would've thought with a new pregnancy, but it DID go up so... After some debate and confusion, it was decided that since the possibility was there, it was probable that I was pregnant again. New pregnancy. "uh.......ummmmm.......uhhhhhh.....ok." Well now what?! I tell ya-dealing with the loss of a pregnancy makes you really look at how you feel about another one, planned or otherwise. Cuz as scary as it was, we were happy about this one. Were we financially stable? No. But would we make it work? You bet! We got to work on mentally preparing ourselves for this unforseen adventure. The plan was now to wait a week. Have my blood drawn again and have another ultrasound to verify. But no point in doing it until the level is higher and there is something to be seen to confirm. Ok. I have to wait an entire week now?!?! Will the torture never end?! Are you kidding me?! Well, I went in on Monday and had my level drawn. It's been 48 hours, it should have doubled. Well, it was only 258. That's nowhere near doubling.... That evening I heard what I already knew..."yes, we think it's a new pregnancy, we just don't know if it's a healthy pregnancy". I knew this already, but it didn't make hearing it any easier.
So I manage to survive, with most of my sanity for another 2 days. Wednesday, July 13th comes and is almost past when I start bleeding again. AGAIN. Seriously?! Again?!? But this time with some mild-moderate left sided cramping. Dominic calls in and we grieve....again. I call the midwive's office when they open and let them know what's going on. They nearly all cry with me and set an appointment for later that afternoon.
After an exam and some discussion, they send me to another office for a more precise ultrasound. This one confirms what we've all been wondering about for the last month. No, this was not a new pregnancy. It was the same pregnancy. It was a miscarriage at probably around 6 weeks that just didn't pass. Oh! And that left sided pain is a fair size cyst on my left ovary that may need follow up.... So. Again. I hear what I already "knew". Again, I cry for the loss..that I've now had to mourn twice.... So back to the midwive's office we go (Justice in tow) and let them know the findings. We sit down and set a plan. Do I want to try to let this go on it's own? NO! Do I want the help of medicine to further it along faster? No. Do I want to just have a D&C to get it done and over with? No, but yes. I/we certainly can't do this anymore. It's been just over a month already......I simply can't do it anymore. I just can't. Ok. So we wait for the doctor to review the ultrasound and make their recommendations and then we go forward. I may hear back today, I may have to wait until tomorrow.....Ok....
Friday, July 15th. I hear back that yes, I can call the doctor's office to schedule the D&C. I do so. Immediately. Let's get this show on the road. I get an appointment for Tuesday, July 19th. We're on 5 1/2 weeks since I 1st started spotting...
I go in on Tuesday and meet the doctor and sign the consent. I let him know that I need this done as soon as humanly possible and he agrees. I may hear from the surgery scheduler this afternoon or maybe not until tomorrow morning. Well the evening passes, then so does the morning. I finally call just after noon. She says that she was out for the morning and will call me back shortly, after conferring with the O.R. She calls me back and let's me know I'm scheduled for Thursday, July 21st at 10:30am.
Finally! There is an end in sight. No more. (I apologize here for what may be difficult and/or extreme)
I don't have to walk around anymore carrying a dead embryo. No more trying to carry on as usual knowing that this life, that started, is now dead and will start to decay within me. I mourned the death, twice actually, but I didn't get to be rid of it like I was supposed to. Instead, I had to carry it around with me. Always. Everywhere. No matter what I did, no matter where I was. I was carrying death...
So here I sit. On my couch. Laptop in lap. "Recovering" from what has provided me with an incredible sense of relief. It's finally over. We finally get to move on. Our loss will always be with us in our hearts, sure, but at least now the healing can really begin.....