Archive | May 2014

Miscarriage & Insensitivity

I am continuously surprised by the insensitivity of others. If there is nothing nice to say, the least someone can do is say nothing at all. Not in our family however. We kept the news about our pregnancy discrete deliberately because we didn’t want to have to deal with everyone knowing our sorrow and holding it up to our faces when we’d rather grieve in private.

couple grieving

This is something that is not uncommon. Many couples don’t disclose their pregnancy until they are in their second trimester because of the very same reason. Our culture doesn’t have a place or even a word for a parent who has lost a child, so grieving in private is how we cope.

About a month and a half after our miscarriage, I was on the phone with one of the few people who knew of our pregnancy and loss. We had made it clear how important it was not to disclose the news until we heard the heartbeat, and when we didn’t we thanked everyone for not sharing our news as we did not want this to be broadcast to the rest of the world. So, when she told me that she disclosed our miscarriage to a distant relative whom I haven’t seen in a decade, I was more than hurt.

woman crying on the phone

I couldn’t help but interrupt her at that point. How could she share our private business with the world as if it were her own?

I lost it. I raise my voice and expressed my displeasure at her choice to share my personal information without my permission. Her response was stunning, “it’s over now” Over? Over? I was still bleeding at the time of this conversation. I hadn’t had my D&C and I was pretty raw.

I couldn’t believe she thought it was over. For me it wasn’t over, it isn’t over. I’m still mourning the loss of my child, feeling raw inside and out. As shocking as it was to hear that she thought it was over, the next few minutes of our conversation took her coldness and cruelty to a new level.

oh no you didn't

Grieving mother: “How could you share my private business with her? I asked you not to share this with anyone!”

Insensitive individual : “So I can’t tell anyone then. Will I be allowed to tell people when you’ve had a child?”

Grieving mother: “Seriously? This is not about you! You do not get to make this about you! This is my personal health and well-being, this is not your business to share!  Never mind the fact that you have no respect for me and the process I’m going through”

The conversation ended shortly after that. It has been almost two months since then. I have not spoken to this person once since. And if you’ve been following my blog, this is the same person who was cold enough to mention nothing but babies the day Prince William & Princess Kate’s baby was born, and the same person who ditched me in the middle of a crisis.

Family or not, I’ve had enough. This person needs to find someone else to bother. I haven’t heard from her in more than two months and I don’t feel the need to involve her in my life. ON the one hand I should have made that decision long ago. On the other hand, having waited this long, I feel no guilt, no remorse. Instead life is better without her and her negativity.

The Never Ending Miscarriage

Just when I thought my miscarriage had ended, there I was, back in the throes of uncertainty, and waiting to see just where my wheel of fortune would land.

A while ago, I was positively elated.  After nearly 90 days of bleeding, I thought my miscarriage had ended, and I had what I thought was period.  At the moment I can’t really tell you if that was truly a period, all I can say is that I had the normal crescendo pattern that is characteristic of menstruation:  light bleeding which builds up to a heavy red flow, then tapers to medium, then light, and finally very light brown bleeding.  However after that “period” ended things started to get really weird.

Lost and Confused Signpost

On Monday, the first day of my April Vacation, I took a late shower and decided to spend some time taking care of my body.  As I was getting dressed, I felt water on my leg.  This was odd, because I remembered drying off fairly well, just a few moments before.  I didn’t think much of it until I felt more moisture accumulate and run down my leg.  One glance told me it wasn’t water, it was blood.

Immediately, I ran to the bathroom, sat on the toilet and watched way too much blood pour out of me.  I stayed there for a few more minutes as I bled, then grabbed the thickest pad I could find and got myself situated so that I could leave the bathroom.  I was stunned by the amount of blood I had left on the bedroom carpet, but forced myself to ignore the stains so that I could call Dr. C, my NaProTechnology doctor.

woman crying on the phone

I reached Dr. C’s answering service.  It was just after 12:00, and his office had closed for lunch.  I left a message explaining my circumstances.  Thankfully, I had been given the low down on bleeding numerous times during my miscarriage.  I set the timer on my phone, knowing that if I completely filled the sanitary pad within the hour, I would have to head to the ER.  I was beyond scared as I waited.

I bled and waited; waited and bled.  I doused the carpet in disinfectant and blotted it with a rag, trying to remove the blood.  Finally when the phone rang it was doctor C, my NaProTechnology doctor.  Dr C, is the amazing doctor who is responsible for us getting pregnant in the first place.  When other doctors said it could only be done via IVF, Dr. C helped us conceive naturally.  Despite the way our pregnancy ended, I will be forever grateful to him for helping us conceive.

Although my miscarriage had been handled by my local OB, Dr. C remained well informed of what was happening.  All my labs were copied to him, so he was aware that nearly three months after the baby had passed away my HCG levels hadn’t yet hit zero.  When he asked about the bleeding, I explained that I had what I thought was a period about a week prior to the unexpected heavy bleeding.

doctor on the phone

That’s when he said it, “It sounds like you’ll need a D&C.”  I had been through so much while trying to preserve my fertility and avoid unneeded medical intervention, only to be forced to the OR?  I wanted to vomit.

I asked if he was 100% certain, of course, he said no, and encouraged me to connect with the local OB.  I contacted the doctor with whom I had been working only to learn that she was on vacation.  The doctor covering for her asked that I go for yet another HCG blood draw.  We were hoping that it would show my levels had hit zero and that this gush was the grand finale of my monster miscarriage.

Twenty-four hours after the blood draw, I learned that my HCG levels had not hit zero.  They were still at 32.  Because I had experienced a period, we didn’t know if they were on their way up or down.  When I inquired as to the next steps in this process, the nurse said I should get another blood draw in a few days, and then have an ultrasound if there was still HCG in my blood.

I could see this headed towards a D&C.  Dr. C said it earlier, and I’ve never known him to be wrong.  I didn’t want to wait for another blood draw; I wanted to expedite this process.  I asked if it was possible to do the ultrasound instead of waiting.  After receiving the on call doctor’s permission to do the ultrasound, I made the appointment.woman having an ultrasound

 

By this time the heavy bleeding had stopped and started again.  It established a pattern of 6-12 hours between gushes.  The gushes included large amounts of heavy bleeding with clots of blood or tissue.  They continued through the day on Tuesday, into Wednesday, and through Thursday.

I’m not someone who waits around.  I persistently called the doctor’s office, telling them I was still bleeding, leaving messages for nurses, and asking for the ultrasound results. On Thursday, three days after I first called the office and informed them of the heavy bleeding, they finally told me I’d need to see a doctor.  They were darn lucky I hadn’t bled to death in the process.  Although, perhaps they were waiting for my situation to worsen and lead me to the ER so it wouldn’t be their problem.  I can’t ever know, but looking back on all this, I’m thinking it’s time to find another OB/GYN office.

Male doctor talking to couple in waiting room

Earlier that week, Dr. C, my NaProTechnology doctor, told me I’d need a D&C, and I was pretty sure that that’s what I was going there for.  Sure enough during my appointment, we scheduled a D&C for the following day.