Saturday, March 6, 2010

Starting Over

This is a difficult entry to write. Over the past two days, my life has been turned a little upside-down, but Jay and I are coping and will try again as soon as it is safe. Maybe this entry will help someone else cope with a miscarriage.

Wednesday night I experienced some spotting. All of my pregnancy books said it was normal, as long as I wasn't having any pain or cramping. Physically, I felt completely fine, so I wasn't worried. Thursday morning there was still a little blood, and it didn't seem to be tapering off. Before work, I called the Kaiser advice nurse. She asked some questions, said it could just be normal light bleeding, and left a message for my doctor's office to call me back. They might be able to fit me in for an ultrasound.

I went to work as normal. After a couple of hours, I received a phone call from a nurse at my OBGyn, and she said (from what I described the blood looked like: dark) it sounded normal, and to keep an eye on it. I felt much better about the whole thing, and went on with my day. I had lunch with my husband (he works in the same building), and felt fine.

At about 1pm I went to the bathroom and found a lot of blood on my underwear. It wasn't dark this time, it was bright red. I cleaned myself up and immediately called the nurse at my OBGyn. The machine picked up and I left a message for them to call me back as soon as possible. I was freaking out a little. I went back to work to finish up what I had been working on, then returned to the bathroom to see what was going on. More blood, and a weird, achy feeling in my abdomen and pit of my stomach. I couldn't tell if I was just having anxiety or if I was having a miscarriage. Trying to keep myself together, I tried calling the nurse again, but to only get the answering machine. It must be lunch time. I called Jay. Through tears, I told him I needed to go to the doctor's, and now. He said he would drive me. I called my lead and told her I was leaving.

Finally, at the OBGyn, I was seen by a nurse. My normal doctor wasn't in, so they would try to fit me in with a different doctor. The nurse said it was likely I was having a miscarriage, but they would get an ultrasound to make sure. My heart sank and I tried not to cry again. They brought Jay into the room while I waited for the doctor. She put the probe in for the ultrasound, and moved it around. The uterus still had a fetus in it, but the fetus was just floating around, with no heartbeat. She measured it as 8.5 weeks. I was supposed to be at almost 11 weeks along. It was dead, and had been for about 2 weeks. My body didn't realize it, and was still showing pregnancy symptoms.

The doctor said I could wait a few weeks for my body to push out the fetus and tissue, which could be accompanied with painful cramps and lots of bleeding. Or I could be admitted to the hospital to have it removed (D & C). Or they could perform the D & C in the doctor's office in a couple of hours, with local anesthetic. I said I wanted it removed, and as soon as possible. I couldn't bear the thought of having to pass it myself and see it. And who knows when it would work?? while driving somewhere???

She left the room to see about an appointment. When she came back, she said the soonest appointment for a hospital admittance was a week away. Or, they could get me in tomorrow morning, Friday, to perform it in the office. I took the Friday appointment. She loaded me with prescriptions for pain pills and miso-something (to get my uterus to start contracting). Jay and I made phone calls to get off of work, and then went by the grocery store to get dinner, wine, and maxi-pads. Fun night.

We watched In the Heat of the Night and drank wine. It seemed to help a little. I read every miscarriage-related section of my pregnancy books. They all say it is normal, most women experience one in their lives, the next pregnancy will be fine, etc...

The D & C. Warning: kinda graphic description:
I think most women are put under for these procedures, which I highly recommend. I was given vicoden in the morning, then a local anesthetic. It was still an awful procedure. The doctor was really nice, but she gave me way too much information right before the procedure. Such as: "I am going to scrap out your uterus, but there is a risk that I could puncture it, and then it might also puncture your bowels." WHAT?!?!?! At this point my legs were already in the stirrups and I was woozy from the vicoden and nervous from seeing the weird vacuum next to the bed. The lidocain made my legs shake uncontrollably, and it was all I could do to hold them steady during the procedure. I didn't want to bump the doctor while she had sharp instruments in my uterus. And the vacuum. I imagine this is what an abortion would feel like, and all I could think was "I am so glad I never had to have one." It would be awful. No one should ever judge a woman who has had one, if this is what she had to go through. It is a horrible feeling when they vacuum you out. Yes, you can feel it. And the noise is terrible. The doctor warned me about it, but it was still something out of a horror movie. At least I couldn't see anything. And it was quick.
Afterwards, I was given an ultrasound to make sure all of the tissue was removed. They brought Jay in (thank god I told them he could stay in the waiting room....I don't think he could have handled it), and he helped me clean up and get dressed.

So now: I am recovering and have the weekend to relax and get my head straight. Work sent flowers on Friday, which was a nice surprise. I think I will work on the garden this weekend, if the weather holds out. The purple tulips I planted have bloomed, and the japanese maple needs to be moved.

I was really upset on Thursday, but I am coming to terms with it. It will be hard to have to tell people who knew I was pregnant that I miscarried, but at least I was still in the first trimester. And next time, we are waiting until 12 weeks to tell people I am pregnant. I don't need to go through that again.

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