Wednesday, August 29, 2007

There's something to be said for keeping busy

And monkeys, as it turns out, are very, very therapeutic.

Passing time

It's amazing what a little trauma can do to a girl. I've spent the last 8 days panicked that I'm going to start bleeding heavily again - simply because no one adequately reassured me that I wouldn't. Not the OB, not the discharge nurse, not the nurse who called on Monday to do a cursory check-in (and I do mean cursory - I could tell she was barely listening to my frenzied requests for reassurance).

I'm sure that I'm fine. I'm sure the light bleeding/spotting that's still going on is totally normal (I bled/spotted for a total of 18 days after my first miscarriage and D&C) and won't turn into anything more than this. Not at this point.

But the thing is, I've hemorrhaged twice since that first D&C four years ago. I'm no longer blissfully ignorant. About anything at all.

I suppose the good part of all of this is that I've been far too preoccupied with my uterus and what's coming out of it to think too much about what I've lost.

It comes in waves. But I push the waves back with my persistent preoccupation with my own health. I can't think about the babies that are no longer inside me because I have me to worry about now. I don't have to wonder and worry about them anymore. I know where they are. And I know where they aren't. It's me I'm not so sure about.

Friday was a bad day. I zombied my way through the morning and crashed spectacularly in a heap of sobs around noon. I cried like I haven't cried since Thomas died. Maybe even before that. I have 5 babies to mourn for now, and that kind of sorrow requires a flood of tears I was shocked by. I didn't know I could cry like that and still survive.

I don't know how we do it, we parents who have lost children. I could have kept crying until I died, so intense was the sorrow and rage. But I didn't. I cried until I felt I could stop, then I did. I ate lunch, showered and carried on with my day.

Since then I've managed to keep the focus on me. I'm sure it's a defense mechanism. I'm not stupid. I know I'm just fooling myself with this pathological preoccupation with spot watching.

But this is just the way it is right now. Grief is a weird and messy thing, and the one thing I've learned is that you just have to let it play out the way it wants to. Putting parameters on it and trying to make it something other than what it is never works.

So I'm spot watching until my heart can bear to think about our two little tigers again.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's just me again

Last night when I lay down across the bed on my tummy to rest for a second after climbing upstairs, I felt the difference. That unmistakable hardness is gone.

They're gone.

And I felt alone in that way only someone who has carried and lost a child can possibly understand.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Because God forbid anything should be easy

The simple "dust and clean", as the ever-so-amusing nurse called it, turned out to be a little more dramatic than that. Because it's me. And if something's going to go wrong, it will.

I hemorrhaged during the surgery (apparently the likes of which the good doctor hadn't seen before in a simple D&C) and my uterus wouldn't contract. I ended up staying the night in the hospital with a balloon catheter in my uterus and a steady supply of Oxytocin in my arm. It was lovely. Just lovely.

The heavy bleeding had stopped by the time they transferred me to the hospital I slept at (the hospital I had the surgery in was a day facility only, so I had a bumpy ambulance ride with a chatty medic who told me his whole life story without taking a breath while my stomach churned and my tummy cramped), so other than a slightly disturbing near fainting spell when I finally got up to go to the bathroom at around 10:00pm, and a night punctuated by code blue alerts, the beeping of my IV machine and vital checks every few hours, the hospital stay itself wasn't too terrible.

But the rest of it, yeah. That was unnecessarily cruel if you ask me. And I have no idea what the hell the gods are thinking anymore. It was bad enough that I was there to miscarry our babies. That it ended up a much more frightening experience than it should have been is just plain mean. But, I suppose, par for the course.

Just our shitty luck.

I'm feeling much better. The cramping eased off around 2:00am last night, and only briefly returned when the doctor took out the balloon catheter this morning. So now I'm just very, very tired. Drained, sad and a little weak. And I look like hell.

I just can't wait to see what happens next.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Instead of thinking...

I could talk about the nightmares I've been having the last few days, or the anxiety attacks I've been having for the last few weeks, or how afraid I am that this might be the last time I'll ever be pregnant, or how much I'm dreading the surgery, or how scared I am of what happens next - but instead I think I'll just post some pictures from my garden.

Since I found out I was pregnant on July 11th, I've sorely neglected my poor angel garden. It got tangled and overgrown, and fell victim to Japanese beetles and bunny rabbits.

Yesterday I went to a peaceful little nursery out in the country and came home with a box full of lilies and phlox. This morning, before it rained, I spent an hour and a half weeding, pruning and culling the bedraggled plants that just needed to go.

And in their place:

There are two lilies and a phlox not yet in bloom that didn't have their pictures taken. They're quietly waiting for their respective close-ups. The promise of blooms in the coming days and a garden that has had order restored is very soothing right now. Digging in the dirt I managed to find a few precious moments of peace.

And if I try hard enough, I can almost pretend this was just a normal day.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Sweet revenge

I'm so tired, and my eyes are stinging and dry from the unexpected crying jag that attacked me while I was watching a puppy video on You Tube earlier this afternoon.

I had words with God, stormed out of the house and bought sugar to make fudge.

It occurred to me today that I'm only partly to blame for the slightly ill-fitting clothing issue I've been having lately. At 11 weeks, 1 day - with two little sacs in there and a hard, growing tummy to go along with it - some of this just isn't my fault. I would have been wearing maternity clothes soon. Much sooner than I did with Thomas, by the look and feel of things.

So screw the currently ill-fitting clothes. I'm making fudge. I'll worry about the damage later.

God, I'm so sad.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sometimes they should stop at "I'm sorry"

I love my OB. He's a good guy and probably as kind and compassionate a doctor as you'll ever get. He wasn't involved in any of the horrendous dealings we've had with the clinic in the last few weeks, and he actually apologized for the way we were treated - and with sincerity. He even had the decency to hang his head and avoid eye contact, he was so horrified on our behalf.

But as good a guy as he is, he still doesn't totally get it. We got the, "It was meant to be - better this than giving birth to a deformed baby" speech.

Oh, well okay then.

See, the thing is, I just don't know that that's true anymore. We all say we want a healthy, happy baby, but I've just added two dead ones to my list of five, and so I'm no longer sure I actually do need a perfect child. I'd take one that wasn't so perfect if I could just bring it home.

And aside from that, after what we've been through over the last four years, I simply don't need the "it was meant to be" speech. I'm way past needing that. I don't need to be told that the babies are in a better place, I don't need to be told that I have angels looking out for me, I don't need to be told that it was God's will, and I don't need to be told that that they weren't going to survive and this was simply nature's way of taking care of it.

I know all that. I know it. I learned it all the first time I sat hunched in agony in the ER waiting to miscarry our first child.

I'm not angry when I hear it all again. It's not that it bothers me per say, it's just that it's a waste of air. It's a waste of words, of time, of energy. And at the end of it all I have no choice but to nod in agreement and say thank you, even though what I really want to do is sigh, roll my eyes and tell the well-meaning person that now isn't the time to look for the silver lining.

But I'm saying this standing in my shoes looking out from my eyes. It's easy to know what to say and do when you're the one who knows what you need said and done.

I suppose it didn't help that the doctor, again attempting to soften the blow and make us feel better while he delivered the news we didn't want to hear, described the D&C as a simple, 5-minute procedure. In and out, as it were.

But the thing is, I've had a D&C. I know the drill. And hearing that it'll just take 5 minutes to scoop out the remains of the two little tigers we thought were going to complete our family doesn't really help me at all. Not one bit.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The end

I have a D&C scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Tonight we eat cheesecake. Maybe the whole thing.

And the gods? Well, they can go screw themselves. We are strong. We've weathered every single horrendous shitstorm they've chosen to hurl at us, and we'll weather this one too.

Battered and bruised - yes, we're battered and bruised. But they can't beat us.

They will never beat us.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A nice little escape. Because how far can we really go right now anyway?

We hid out in the movie theatre this afternoon. Slouching down side by side sharing a big bag of buttered popcorn with the comforting darkness of the nearly empty room all around us was exactly what we needed today.

The only time I thought about the horrendous mess we're in was when I had to leave mid-way through the show to go to the bathroom.

Evidently even doomed pregnancies are capable of rendering your bladder mostly useless.

Which is, of course, cruel as hell.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Yesterday morning while I was in the shower thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking about the upcoming ultrasound, it occurred to me that it might make sense to throw up a prayer or two, just in case. So many other people have been praying for us and the babies, it seemed wrong of me not to too.

So I tried. I really did. I mentally fumbled around trying to order my thoughts, trying to find words that sounded sincere - trying to convince myself and God that I actually believed that those mumbled, half-hearted prayers might actually make a difference.

But I'll let you in on a little secret: I didn't believe it at all, and I'm sure God knew that right from the first stupid word that fell out of my mouth.

The thing is, I just can't muster the energy to pray for all this to end well. I can't bear to beg God for one more thing that I know he can't or won't fix.

I figure if I don't ask him to make this pregnancy magically turn into a healthy, viable one, I can't be disappointed when I inevitably miscarry. If I don't ask, I can't get hurt. Again. I can't rage against him if I didn't ask him for anything in the first place.

After Thomas died I begged - absolutely begged - God to never let me lose another child. I was very clear on that point. I said I never ever wanted to be pregnant again if I wasn't going to take that healthy, live child home with me. I thought that was a very reasonable request, and one that I think should have been easy for him to grant.

And look where it got me. I'm waiting to miscarry not one, but two more babies.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The neverending story

We're either stubborn or stupid, but we decided we couldn't live without one last ultrasound. Not with the pregnancy symptoms still lingering and absolutely no signs of a miscarriage looming on the horizon at all.

I'm hovering around 10 weeks, and after getting so much advice from blogland and reading about misdiagnosed miscarriages online, we decided we needed to wait at least that long before throwing in the towel, no matter how many doctors advised us that we were "wasting time" by coming back again and again.

Thanks for that, Dr. Bedside. Your compassion was much appreciated.

So we went.

I expected nothing, but secretly hoped for something just the same. At the very least I wanted an answer.

Instead, more ambiguity. And no one to talk to us about it. They claimed there were no doctors in the building (my ass there weren't - we passed Dr. Beside in the hall heading up to his upstairs office 5 minutes before we were told they'd all left the building) and suggested I go see my own OB instead. He's affiliated with the clinic and I really did want to have a consultation with him soon anyway, but being told to go away in the midst of this ongoing agonizing limbo kind of makes me want to beat someone about the head with a car antenna.

All I know is that sac A is still empty and sac B has an "ill-defined" yolk sac in it.

They lied to us the first time that yolk sac was spotted. That was the appointment (now more than two weeks ago) that a different doctor told me he was 95% sure I'd miscarry. I asked, quite pointedly, if there was anything in either sac. His answer was a definitive "NO". And yet there was, which we found out at ultrasound #5, five days later. He robbed us of five precious days of hope, the bastard.

The very, very kind and compassionate technician I had for ultrasound #5 told us there was a yolk sac in sac B during the previous ultrasound, but that she was unable to locate it.

It magically reappeared today, albeit "ill-defined".

I know none of this is good. There should be a fetal pole and cardiac activity now. And Dr. Google told me that abnormal yolk sacs are almost always a predictor of a poor pregnancy outcome.

But I just wish someone could tell me for sure.

I'm pinning all my hopes on my poor OB, who I'm seeing first thing Wednesday morning. If he isn't able to explain all this - to tell me why I still feel pregnant, why both sacs are still growing, why my tummy is hard with that familiar fullness, why I can't just seem to miscarry and be done with it - my poor addled brain may just crumble into dust and trickle out my left ear in the night.

Tomorrow it will be four weeks since I saw the blue + on that stick. A month of this. A full month.

I have no idea how I'm even remotely sane. None whatsoever.

I've cried for my poor little tigers, for the dreams we tried not to dream but did, for My Beloved who wants another child so much it makes me ache, for our families who were so excited by our news, and for me - for the mother I want to be and for the empty arms I can't seem to fill.

So tonight I had a giant bowl of chocolate pudding after dinner. The amount of weight I've gained during this agonizing month is another subject altogether, I'm afraid...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thinking of an angel

Happy second birthday sweet boy, and lots of love to your mommy and daddy too...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Status quo

No news isn't always good news. Sometimes it's just no news.

And that's what I have - no news. Nothing has changed. Absolutely nothing at all.

And I just don't know what to say about it.

Friday, August 03, 2007

outside looking in

I know it shouldn't, but while I'm sitting here waiting to miscarry my 4th and my 5th child, this bugs the living hell out of me.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Same old same old

I'm entirely too tired and mentally spent to explain tonight, but the news at today's ultrasound was the same as Friday's. I know I'm not 10 weeks yet - the date at which point (and not before) people say you should be willing to accept that it's well and truly over - but even I have to admit that the evidence is extremely compelling. And I'm a hard nut to crack.

Our plan now is to sleep on it. Just sleep. There's no harm in waiting for the miscarriage to happen naturally, so we're not rushing into anything that will hasten that process at the moment. And yeah, it's possible I might want another ultrasound just to be extra sure, but I don't know. At this point I just don't know if I can go in for the 6th time and deal with the pitying looks from the staff at the clinic.

I get that I'm pitiful. I don't need to see it screaming out at me from every face who looks at my chart, then at me.

So for now, I sleep. No one can see me there.