In Loss Limbo

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It is New Year’s Eve, a time of new beginnings. Yet here I am, in the middle of a long, slow ending. As you know, my baby has died. There is no longer a heartbeat. On Monday, the ultrasound showed that the embryo had “deteriorated.” All signs point to goodbye, so long, see you on the other side. But my body won’t let go.

I’ve had no bleeding since last Wednesday night. As of Monday, my hcg was still rising and my progesterone was sky high.

On the one hand, I am grateful to my body for holding on. I’m grateful that it wants to fight for this. I truly am. Body, you are a rock star. But I also just want this part, the physical part, to be over.

There are three options when you have a miscarriage: wait for things to happen naturally, take a pill called Cytotec to induce contractions, or get a surgical procedure called a D & C or D & E. I had a D & C last time. It was completely fine — some cramping, some spotting, that’s it. This time, I am worried about about the risks of the procedure, which include scarring to the uterus. I really don’t need another thing hampering my fertility. And the miscarriage pill? No way, Jose. That scares me. I’ve read many horror stories, some of which say it’s like labor or the worst pain ever felt. I’ll save labor for live babies, thank you very much. And why, when I’m already in so much emotional pain, would I want to add excruciating physical pain to the mix?

So really, what I want is for this to happen naturally. But I also don’t want to wait forever. Carrying around a dead baby is, well, very sad. To this end, I’ve scheduled a D & C for Tuesday. Due to my hemming and hawing, and my clinic’s holiday schedule, they really couldn’t get me in any earlier. I am fine with that. It gives my body almost two weeks from finding out about the loss to do its thing. If there are no signs of letting go by then, I think I will just need to move on at that point.

My doctor has been on vacation since Christmas Eve. She returns on January 5th and we have an appointment to talk to her that day. I’ll ask her about the risks of the D & C then. If she seems concerned, I’ll suck it up and take the freaking Cytotec.

Fun fact: if I miscarry tomorrow, it will end up being a grand tour. Get pregnant on Thanksgiving, find out the baby is gone on Christmas and miscarry on New Year’s Day. A holiday trifecta, people! And yes, I am kind of laughing as I write this part, because it’s both funny and not funny at all.

While I wait for all of this to go down, I’ve been attempting to eat away my problems. I’ve thrown my no-gluten, no-dairy rule to the wind. I’d really like to be drinking my face off as well, but I’m still feeling nauseous, so alcohol isn’t really in the cards. After almost a week of this, I am, not shockingly, feeling physically awful, so it’s probably time to get back on the horse. Fiiiiine.

What do I long for this coming year?

Hope.

That’s it. I’ll keep it simple. I want this to be a year filled with hope.

And I do feel hope. Even now. Right in the center of my aching heart, I feel it. I now know that IVF can work for us. That’s huge. Sure, IVF contributed to the embryo implanting all askew this time, possibly causing the miscarriage. But that doesn’t mean it will happen like that the next time. Nothing is certain, which means anything is possible.

So here we go: 2015. May it be a hopeful new year. For all of us.

I Just Starred In A Carrie Remake

If you read my last post, you know that I was wondering if I might miscarry on my own before my scheduled D & C.

Yeah. That happened. And people, it was not pretty. It was like I was starring in my own personal horror movie…and I was not one of the lucky ones who survived.

I started miscarrying in one of the stalls in the bathroom at work. That was obviously awesome. As I was losing ridiculous amounts of blood and God knows what else, I could hear the click-clack of heels on the lobby floor and the sounds of women talking about absolutely nothing.

I texted Tim and he hopped in a cab to pick me up. When we got home, it got worse. I started feeling lightheaded, so I called the on-call midwife and she told us to head to the ER.

By the time I actually got into the ER triage, the front and back of my shorts, and the bottom of my shirt were soaked in blood. My shirt? Seriously? As we walked in the nurse said, “What are you here for?” Then she took one good look at me and said, “Oh.”

All told, we were in the ER for seven hours. They did an ultrasound at some point, which revealed that the miscarriage was incomplete. They suggested I keep my scheduled D & C appointment the next morning. I was crushed. After all that, I still needed surgery? No. Just no. Honestly, I think I ended up completing the miscarriage after I got home from the ER, but I got the procedure anyway because I wanted to be sure.

The D & C went smoothly. That was a week ago. Sometime in that week, I noticed my perspective on the whole I-can’t-believe-that-happened-and-then-I-still-needed-surgery-holy-shit thing was changing. Because here’s the deal: when I first found out that my baby had died and my body didn’t realize it for weeks, I felt duped. I felt like I couldn’t trust my body. How could the life inside of me have passed on without my body recognizing it? I remember thinking I just want to be able to trust my body.

I think the fact that I ended up miscarrying on my own was my body’s way of saying, Hey dude, you can trust me. I asked and my body listened. I’m taking that as a win. And yeah, I still needed the D & C. But you know what? That’s ok, too. It was closure. I don’t ever have to wonder if there was something left over that might have caused an infection down the line.

I’m not going to lie: I’m devastated. I wish none of this happened. But it did. And I made it through a week. If I made it through one week, I can make it through another.

Now my heartbroken mind and my trustworthy body are going the only place we can go: onward.