*Originally written on 2/6/15, one of the hardest days of my life.
My mom drove me home from the ultrasound appointment as she tried to hold herself together. I told her to text the news to friends or family members we had excitedly told about our pregnancy.
I couldn’t believe I was telling her to do this. Instead of our pregnancy going public in 2 short weeks, we would be suffering yet another loss. Celebrated by serial beta testing. I hated the world. And I despised my body for failing again.
When I got home, I started throwing things away immediately. This was not like the last loss when I asked my husband to put all of the “stuff” away nicely for me. I started pitching medications, cards, maternity clothes, positive tests, books…basically anything I could get my hands on. GARBAGE.
When my husband arrived home that night, we both just laid in bed and cried. There was NOTHING to say. We stared blankly at the ceiling, just as I did at the doctor’s office earlier that morning. I didn’t sleep that night, I sobbed. And from time to time, I shoved my face deep into my pillow and flung my fists. My entire face was pretty much swollen red for days.
The d & c was set for 1 p.m., just 2 days after the ultrasound that changed our lives. Like any other surgery, I couldn’t eat or drink after midnight Thursday night. The eating part I was just fine with. In fact, I had barely taken a bite out of anything since we found out we lost the pregnancy. I went from literally eating non stop, to not eating at all. It was the not drinking part that was a problem for me. Mostly because I had come down with a terrible sore throat and headache Thursday. My throat was as dry as a bone and my head was throbbing.
I stayed up all night, tossing and turning, in true despair and pain, starting to feel like I was being punished. Or tortured for that matter. I had a lifeless child inside of me. I couldn’t have water, and I couldn’t take anything for my headache. I guess the truth of the matter is, that many people, even children, all around the world, experience this torture everyday. No water or medicine to help them feel better. For some reason, in my darkest moment, my heart actually ached for them and not for us.
We made it through the night, and the next day arrived. The day of the d & c, the day I should have been 10 weeks along. Part of me wanted to get it all over with right away, but another part of me wanted to hold on to what was left. The doctor thought it would be in my best interest to undergo general anesthesia, so I had no recollection of the event. But general anesthesia or not, this day of the d & c was plain awful. And when I say awful, I am not by any means exaggerating.
We got to the hospital at 11 a.m. thirsty. After checking in, we went into the waiting room. Of course, there were babies everywhere and wouldn’t you know it, a very pregnant woman directly in front of the empty chairs we had to sit in as we waited.
They took me back, and as usual, got more blood (honestly surprised I have any left). I undressed, put my belongings into a bag, and slipped on the gown. Next, the nurse stuck the IV into my hand (worst place ever to get an IV). I had bruised, greenish-yellow, swollen hands. This nurse was not my doctor’s nurse, and not very gentle to say the least.
She asked me to confirm why I was there, and I (literally) choked on my tears. I mumbled the answer. She simply looked at me and said, “OK” in a perky voice and she walked away. Not, “I’m sorry to hear that,” or “that’s very sad,” or anything. I was simply another patient in this place of death. No longer was this hospital looked at as a place of life. I guess it can be viewed either way depending on who you ask. If you asked me a week earlier, I would have told you I was excited to take a tour where we would have our baby. Now, I loathed the place with everything in me.
Around noon, my mom requested the anesthesiologist give me something so I would calm down. He did, even though I still continued to cry long after it was supposed to have “kicked in.” My doctor came in a little after 1 pm and talked with us. She informed us that the POC (products of conception) would be sent out immediately to the lab. At the lab, the POC (real nice name for a life that was lost) would undergo genetic micro-array testing. The results would let us know us if the baby had a genetic anomaly, such as Trisomy 18 or 21, that caused it to just stop growing. The results would take up to 2 weeks. Another 2WW. FML.
My doctor gave me a hug, and a kiss on the forehead, and said she would take care of me like I was her own daughter. Then she said she would see me when I woke up to let me know how it went. The nurses rolled me off to the operating room. Unfortunately, I still remember the room they took me in. So large, bright and white, with metal instruments surrounding me. They rolled me onto a different bed than the one I was on. Above me, I saw what looked like the small lamp a dentist uses at an exam, but instead the lamps were super sized and everywhere. Creepy. They strapped my arms down, and put the oxygen mask on my face. The anesthesiologist popped in, and said it would be only a few seconds and I’d be out. He was right.
I woke up as they were rolling me into the recovery room. My first memory is throwing up all over myself. After that, opening my eyes and starting to cry within seconds. The little old lady attendant who was waiting to check me into recovery said, “Oh no! Please don’t cry!” I was completely groggy, but still in a lot of pain. The cramps were BAD. My new recovery room nurse gave me Vicodin through my IV right away. About 10 minutes later, the cramping started to subside. As I tried to get comfortable, I felt gushes of blood. I was disgusted in my half alive state. Utterly disgusted. This was not supposed to be happening.
I ended up staying in recovery for a few hours because I kept needing Vicodin. In turn, the Vicodin would make me sick, and I would need Zofran, which would knock me out. It was a vicious cycle- Vicodin, puke, Zofran, sleep, repeat. My doctor came to check on me and tell us how it went.
She said she was able to clearly take our little angel out. That’s all I really heard her say.
At that moment, I wondered what he or she would have looked like, and what it would have been like to hold them.