Friday, March 28, 2008

The Physical Toll

Feeling Quiet
Hearing Silence

Most loving God, losing a child is devastating.
Comfort me in my loss.
Give me hope for children to come.
Bless me with an abundance of love that as my body heals, so too may my heart.
Give me the courage to face each new day in the confidence of your love.
In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Again~I am writing this more for me and a lot of this entry will have TMI for the casual reader. This entry is more about what happened to me physically. The emotional entry will be another time.

I had my annual gynecological appointment at the beginning of the month and found out that I was pregnant!!

What a happy surprise!!!

Unfortunately, I was pretty crampy right away. At first I assumed it was from the pap smear as I am always a bit tender after that. After more than three days of cramping I called the doctor who was not concerned as I did not have a fever and was not bleeding and had no other symptoms. He indicated the cramping was my body preparing for the next few months and told me to take it easy but not to stress. So I settled in and after a few days I was still cramping but not worried.

I went to the doctor the next week to do all my labs and blood work and things looked great. I was given a due date of October 29th and an appointment for a little over a week later.

After having had a miscarriage in the past there was always this little voice in the back of my head that worried about every twinge and pain but I was feeling pregnant and happy and thankful. Every night Hubby & I would thank God for giving us one more day. Hubby and I started talking about names and we were cautiously optimistic.

The only people who knew about the pregnancy in my real life were my MIL & FIL (and we only told them because my doctor didn’t think it was a good idea to take her to chemotherapy so I had to tell her so she could make other arrangements), by best friend Jen and my friend Stephanie. I also had to tell The Prince's teacher at school as well as the Principal and school secretary as I was not going to be able to volunteer in The Prince's class or be a substitute for the school. Every time I subbed in the past I picked up some bug and we didn't want to take any chances.

At the beginning of last week I was still cramping but not badly and I was okay. We had a good week.

Things took a turn for the worse on Friday afternoon. I started bleeding. I called the doctor. After describing the blood (the rest of this entry could be a little TMI for many of you) he was still not overly concerned because it was not a lot of blood and appeared to be old blood. He told me to take it easy but unless the cramping got worse or the bleeding picked up I was okay.

By 4:30 that afternoon the bleeding had increased and the color was more brightly colored so the doctor sent me to the emergency room.

At this point the terror had set in.

My symptoms and time line were almost exactly like when I miscarried the last time. They tell you that you can not compare experiences but in all practicality it is impossible not to.

They were great to me in the ER. They did more blood work and labs and then sent me to ultrasound. I was preparing myself for the worst but we saw the baby and a strong heartbeat!! After a physical exam they indicated that everything looked good and to follow up with my doctor on Monday.

I took it really easy all weekend. We canceled our family Easter dinner as I couldn’t deal with company and just wanted to be with Hubby and The Prince.

Monday morning came and Hubby and I went to see my doctor. He said things looked good especially as the ultrasound put my due date two weeks later (November 12). He said the bleeding was not as big of a deal at six weeks as it would be at 8 weeks and now that we had seen a heartbeat he was not concerned.

There was still the little voice in my head that said “We saw the heartbeat last time too!” but it was nothing I said out loud.

Hubby of course is Mr. Optimistic but I couldn’t shake that voice and the bleeding and the cramping hadn’t increased so I was thankful.

Tuesday morning the bleeding appeared to have almost stopped. I was thrilled.

Things changed mid-morning and by noon I called Hubby in tears because of the cramping. The bleeding had increased but I was not passing any tissue. I still knew this wasn’t right.

I learned after my first miscarriage that nature is very cruel. My first miscarriage happened at 14 (or 16 weeks depending on which date I used as they kept moving my due date) weeks (right after we had told The Prince about the baby!). I had bleeding on a Friday but no cramping. We went to the ER on that Saturday and they couldn’t find a heartbeat. Since I wasn’t in pain the sent me home and I went to the doctor on Monday who scheduled a D&C for me on Tuesday. But by Monday afternoon my body had other plans and I basically went into labor. I had read a lot about miscarriage and I know every experience is different but no where had I read that it was possible to have very strong labor pains to expel the baby. I found it very cruel to have to go through the same pain with no baby. I ended up in the ER that afternoon for an emergency D&C.

This time I knew the pain immediately. It makes sense now. Your body does what it is expected and the motions are going to be the same. The contractions and the pain are strong (I will say this time was not as painful as last time and last time was not as bad as labor~makes sense as the baby is not as big). The contractions come just like labor where you could time them and I felt the need to push. I expelled a small mass of tissue (or products of conception if you want to get technical) and the cramping basically stopped as did the bleeding.

I called the doctor (again) who gave me a glimmer of hope.

He was not convinced I had miscarried. He said if I had really miscarried I should still be bleeding pretty heavily and maybe I just passed a clot and that is what had been causing all the cramping and bleeding as my body was trying to get it out.

He scheduled me for an ultrasound and an appointment with him for first thing in the morning.

Hubby and I were clinging to the little bit of hope but in my heart I knew. It felt the same as last time and what my body delivered was not a blood clot. I didn’t even feel pregnant anymore but the little bit of hope was still there.

Wednesday morning the cramping started again but I was still not really bleeding. We went for the ultrasound which confirmed what I already knew.

My womb was empty and what they had seen Friday night was no longer there.

I went to my doctor’s appointment and he sent me back to the hospital for a D&C as I was cramping so badly.

I do have to say that both of my D&C’s were done at the same hospital and the hospital staff was amazing each time. They were gentle and considerate of our feelings and did everything they could to make me comfortable.

I was in a room by 2:00 and in surgery by 4:30. The D&C took about 5 minutes as I had passed most of it myself but there was quite a big clot trying to get out which was causing my pain. We were home by 7:30.

I am so grateful that the doctor went ahead and did the D&C. I was so early in pregnancy some doctors would decide to let you pass the rest naturally. My doctor gave me the choice and we chose the D&C because that gave us a finality that we needed to start the healing.

I am doing okay physically. The bleeding has been almost minimal and the cramping has been minor. I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks and we have to decide where to go from here.