Monday, 10 November 2008

Closure


***warning - this is a very long and at times, graphic post***

After six weeks of agonizing limbo, it's finally over. I'm no longer pregnant.

Despite everything, I never thought it would happen naturally. I truly believed that we'd be kept in limbo for as long as the universe deemed necessary, then I'd finally be able to go for a D&C and that, as they say, would be that.

We were supposed to go to the clinic today at 10am for another ultrasound. One to see if there was still a heartbeat. One to help us make plans going forward. I did get an ultrasound this morning - but not at the clinic, and not at 10am. Instead, I had one at our local hospital.

After spending a fantastic day yesterday at Elmwood spa with my fabulous sister in law, I was wiped. DH and I flopped on the couch, had comfort food for dinner and watched the latest Chris Rock special on TMN. Then we headed off to bed just before 11, exhausted from our weekend.

Just over two hours later, I woke up. I had been dreaming that I was miscarrying, in a car of all places, in the desert. Weird, but true. When I awoke, I thought I had just soaked the sheets thanks to hormone induced night sweats, all too common in my world these days. And then something clicked. I knew, just knew, that wasn't the case.

I got up, moved quickly to the bathroom, and turned on the light.

I apologize if things get graphic from here on out. I realize that not everyone is comfortable, nor should they necessarily be, talking about things like miscarriage and blood and passing large clots...but this is as much catharsis for me as it is update for you. So bear with me, and feel free to turn away or skip over portions if need be.

Back to the bathroom. I sat down on the toilet and there was blood everywhere. Running down my legs, all over the floor, on the carpet, you name it. Like a bad horror movie come to life.

I sat there, stunned, disbelieving that this was actually happening. How could I have gone from zero to bang in a matter of hours? No cramps, nothing. No advanced notice whatsoever. And then all I could think was how thankful I was that this hadn't happened 12 hours earlier, while floating in the salt water pool that's part of the water therapies at Elmwood.

But I digress.

I was truly in shock. Couldn't move. Wasn't fully awake. Couldn't process.

Eventually I got it together enough to wake Hubs. I just called his name, and said "something has happened". That he should check the bed, the sheets were probably covered. And I was right.

He sprung into action, stripping the bed so I didn't have to see it. Sheets straight into the washer along with the duvet cover. Mattress pad to follow. Bless his heart, he remade the bed so I could get back in, but put a garbage bag and towel down underneath the sheets so I wouldn't be worried about making more mess.

Still stunned, I stumbled into the shower to clean myself up. Surreal - again, right out of a horror movie watching that crimson water swirl down the drain, taking with it so much of the hopes and dreams we'd invested in the entire IVF process and the pregnancy as a whole.

I dried off, put on a pad, and sat stunned on the chair in our bedroom while Hubs, not quite awake, decided that Windex was the perfect cleaning tool for the blood on the carpet. A few ticks later and he remembered that we had a SpotBot...problem solved.

I went and laid down in bed and seconds later had the strangest sensation. Again, gross here, but part of the natural miscarriage process is the expulsion of massive clots, and in that moment I passed what was to be the first of many many many freaky, mess with your mind clots. Not cool.

Back to the washroom, and then I noticed I'd soaked through the pad. 10 minutes, and nothing but red. Then I knew that we were on our way to the ER, no questions asked.

Hubs set to work getting clothes together for me, starting the car to warm it up, putting towels down on the seat, putting in a second load of laundry. I put on some deodorant, the clothes he'd laid out for me, and grabbing a whole whack of pads, I headed downstairs. Just before leaving, I changed the pad again. By this time I was quite scared - I'd never bled that much or that fast in my entire life.

Into the car we got and we made our way to the hospital. We decided not to go to our closer hospital, but to take the extra time to get to one with a well known ob/gyn department as it's hugely important that to us that everything possible be considered so when we're ready, we'll be free and clear to try again.

The trip took less than 30 minutes, and by the time I got out of the car I'd soaked through everything - the pad, my underwear, my pants and onto the towel on the seat. Excellent thinking on that one, Hubs.

I stumbled into the ER and straight to triage where I stood. And waited. Finally someone came out and I told her I was miscarrying. Plain and simple. We knew it was coming, we knew exactly how far along I was (and when the baby had stopped developing) so while a shock, it was no real surprise.

From there I flew to the washroom in an attempt to apply fresh field dressings, as Hubs called them. I was greeted with blood everywhere - I can't even begin to explain the fear of seeing that much blood, to have it simply gush like a river right out of you. To have clots everywhere, not knowing which, if any, contained what had been your baby. Some of you reading this will know what I mean all too well - and if so, I apologize for bringing back memories you'll likely never be rid of. But you'll understand better than most.

I attempted to pull myself together, tried to clean myself and the bathroom as best as I could. Then I waddled over to check in, and this time they took me seriously and took me quickly into my own little room in the ER. I could finally get out of my clothes, put on a fresh pad, and just lie down.

They took my vitals, and my blood pressure was 180/98. Yeah, no shit. Could I BE anymore stressed? Guess not.

But even in the room of my own, I couldn't relax. The clots just kept coming, and I soaked through everything. The pad, the gowns I was wearing, the pads on the bed, the sheet itself. Every half hour.

Then my loving husband had a stroke of genius - he found me some adult diapers, yes diapers, and I could finally relax with confidence, knowing I was protected. The nurse came in, started an IV in the worst possible place, the crook of my right arm, and the saline started its work. They took blood, and told me to relax.

The night staff were amazing. I had two male nurses that were absolutely incredible - great sense of humour, really explained everything that was happening, and, maybe most importantly, they actually expressed sorrow at what we were going through. Amazing what a little kindness can accomplish.

Then we saw the doctor, and he recommended I get pitocin/oxytoxin, a hormone that causes the uterus to contract. This would apparently help to ensure everything was expelled and that the bleeding would subside, because it just.wasn't.letting.up.

Of course a lovely side effect of this medication is extra cramping, really feeling like you're having contractions. All things considered I was fortunate - I never really had massive cramping, and the pain was never unbearable. I thank the universe for that.

My wonderful sister in law showed up then, having made a trip to our house to pick up clothes for me so I'd actually have something to wear home. Bless bless bless her.

Hours went by and we waited for our OB consult. But first, I needed an ultrasound so they could know what they were dealing with and if a D&C was necessary. So at around 7:30 am, I was told that my ultrasound would be at 9:30 and I needed to drink four glasses of water to fill my bladder.

Okey dokey then.

Having done a gazillion full bladder ultrasounds, I know how much I have to drink and when. So I based my consumption on being ready for 9:30. You can imagine, then, the lack of bladder fullness I presented with when they took me to ultrasound half an hour early.

Now, through all of this, as scary and hard as it was, I hadn't yet cried at the hospital. These days I cry at any and everything, so this was a big feat. I'd managed to hold it together...until I made it to ultrasound.

They wheeled me over, me madly trying to swig back glass of water number two. Then as we got in the room, they took my glass and tossed it down the sink, saying I couldn't drink while laying down anyway. Okay.

Then all hell broke loose. The technician, a raging thundercunt if ever there was one, tried to tell Hubs that he should wait outside, that there were going to be things he didn't really want to be seeing going on.

Shock and awe.

He fought his way in, saying he'd been with me through all this and wasn't leaving me alone now. He'd seen how many ultrasounds - he wasn't stepping outside now.

She fought him - he won.

And then the good times started in earnest. She tried to do the full bladder ultrasound, but told me I was empty and they weren't going to see anything that way. I felt like a child being chastised - just what I needed.

Then she asked me what brought me to the emergency room this morning. Diva says WHUT? Do you really have to ask me that? You know exactly why I'm here! Ugh.

Then she asked about the date of my last menstrual period. I said I didn't know, but knew exactly how far along I should be, and she, in the snippiest of tones, asked how I could possibly know that. I replied that this was an IVF pregnancy, gave her all the details, and she asked if my clinic had sent the info over to the hospital for them to review.

Uh, well, they might have had anyone asked us to ask them, but nope. They're not mind readers. They're good, they're not that good.

Finally she makes me get up to put the silly pillow thing under my butt for the internal. I give her some guidance on how to insert the probe properly and easily, and she tells me that I'm going to insert it myself.

Yeah, like that's easy. I have a short IV line in my right hand, and I'm right handed. The danged IV box kept going off all the time as it was because I would have to bend my arm from time to time - now you want me to bend my arm and run the risk of ripping out my IV to insert the probe myself? Fuck you very much.

Finally we're in and she gets to work. Says nothing. Clicks, snaps, measures, whatever, then takes out the probe and gives me a small box of Kleenex to 'clean up with'. I asked if she could see anything, and she snapped right back that the doctor would review it and get back to me.

Okey dokey then.

She leaves. Gone.

Another nurse comes in and gives me bigger, better wipes to use. As I'm sure you can imagine, this all makes quite a mess, not something that can be cleaned up easily with a half sized kleened with an IV line that doesn't give me enough slack to scratch my own nose.

By this point I'm standing up, trying to reorient myself and throw away all the wipes I'd been given. I'm straightening out the covers, tryin to figure out how to get back on the bed, and my IV line alarm starts going off, the nurses keep pushing in to see if I'm ready to go back to the ER, and at this point, I lost it. I just burst into tears. I was so frustrated, the alarm wouldn't stop, I felt dehumanized and humilated - truly awful.

I lost it with tears, Hubs lost it with the nursing staff. He called them out - 'will someone please get over here and help my wife?' He got action, that's for sure. They helped me navigate back into bed and got me the hell outta there. What a horrible experience.

Finally back to the ward (I'd been kicked out of my private room and squished amongst the other sickies) and it was all about waiting for my ultrasound results and the final say from the doctor. By this time, it was well after 10am and I was starving. Of course I couldn't eat anything in case they had to do the D&C, so I sat there, watching the minutes pass, craving coffee and a bagel.

At long long last, the doctor finally came and told me that I'd miscarried almost all of the 'products of conception', that there was 'minimal residue' and that it wasn't thought that I would need the D&C after all. They unhooked my IV (bliss, true bliss), and sent me on my way.

Almost nine hours to the minute that we left the house, we were home.

First thing I did was take a shower, and it was blissful. Then I ate. Then I called my mom. Then I slept. And that's kinda been my day.

I'm exhausted in every sense of the word.

Physically, mentally, emotionally, I am spent.

Despite everything, I don't think the magnitude of what's happened has, in fact, hit me yet. I just can't wrap my brain around what we went through today. Or the fact that this is over, really over. I've even surprised myself with how generally 'okay' I am mentally. Maybe it's because a part of me, a big part, started mourning this pregnancy long ago.

The bleeding has stopped - for now. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but for the moment, I have some relief. I'll be staying home from work tomorrow as well to try and recover, again, both physically and mentally. But most of all, I just want to sleep.

If you've actually read this, thanks. Hope I didn't gross you out too much. :)

Thanks too for all the support you've shown over the past few weeks - it really has helped me get through what has been a very dark and dreary time. My hope now is that the healing can begin in earnest, and Hubs and I can spend our time comforting one another, healing together, instead of merely stressing out about what the next week, next ultrasound will bring.

So for now, we hope this is the end, we follow up with the clinic, we take some time for ourselves, and we look ahead to the possibility of trying again in January.

And I try to look on the bright side. At least now I can have rum in my holiday eggnog.

And that's your daily dash. How's your diva doin'?

19 comments on "Closure"

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celtic_kitten on 11 November 2008 at 09:28 said...

There just aren't any words, Sweetie... other than "I'm here if you need/want me" and lots and lots and lots of hugs.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you & your Hubs. :( Your hubs sounds like he was awesome during the whole thing - I can't believe how insensitive some people are! I'm so sorry.

Ginelle

Robin on 11 November 2008 at 12:33 said...
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Talia said...

I can't even begin to fallom all of the emotions you've been through in the past few weeks. Please know that I'm here if you ever need a friend.

divajen on 11 November 2008 at 14:07 said...

Thank you all so much for the comments and kind words. They are very much appreciated.

You may notice a few posts have been deleted. Please note that I have taken them down not because there was anything offensive or because I didn't appreciate what was written but because they contained my and Hubs' real names.

While most of you know exactly who we are, I do try to keep real names out of this blog as much as possible to protect certain people, particularly DeeDee. And since it's not possible for me or most people to go in and edit comments after they're made, I had to delete them instead. Sucks, but unfortunately what needs to be done to protect some important people.

Hope you understand, and thanks again for the kind words. Diva

Christy on 11 November 2008 at 14:47 said...

Oh Diva my hart breaks for you. You have such an amazing DH, a really pillar of strength standing beside you for sure. All our thoughts and prayers are with you, and we will be looking forward to January too with you.

Oh, and have some of the rum for me too please ;)

Marlene on 11 November 2008 at 15:50 said...

I'm so so so sorry for you. I can't begin to imagine what you've gone through and what you are dealing with, but my heart goes out to you and Hubs.

I will be keeping you in my thoughts. Take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

Thundercunt is my new favourite word.

MMK

;)

Magnum said...

Hey Diva, I have never been through what you have but I feel like I have lived it along with you. You are stronger that I think I could ever be and it sounds like Hubs is one amazing man! I know I'm just one of the WB ladies but if there's anything you need, I would love to be able to help in some way. *hug*

Erica Barrera on 13 November 2008 at 21:47 said...

Diva my heart is breaking for you! You are by far the strongest woman I have ever **known**!! I can't even find the words to properly express how deeply sorry I am and how hopeful I am for your future! Take care hon.

SV_from_WB said...

Diva I'm so sorry for your loss. I read the whole thing and I cried. My heart aches for you and your hubs.

ladybug07 said...

Oh Diva. You've been through so much, my heart hurts for you. I'm sorry that you've endured so much pain.

My thoughts are with you and your hubby.

Dagny on 22 November 2008 at 13:21 said...

O M F G

Where is that ultra sound bitch so I can go and kick her stupid ass for you. Seriously, I started to cry for you reading that. She should be FIRED. FIRED I SAY.

I'm so sorry about everything. You have been so brave, and still there for others while you were going through hell. You are an amazing woman.

Sorry it took my so long to find your blog!

Much love to you and Hubby.

Dagny aka Hopeful_flyer.

xoxo

victoria on 27 November 2008 at 20:52 said...

Diva, I didn't know all this. You remained so calm I would have never thought all that happened if I had not read your blog. You've handled everything well and I'm glad you won't have to worry about anything else as I can see that Dagny will take care of it.

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