Saturday, August 30, 2008


Yesterday was an incredibly difficult day for both H and I. For me personally, I needed the strength of a twenty-thousand ton semi to power through, but I was as fragile as a lone dandelion in an empty field standing tall against the wind.

H and I had what is labeled as a Missed Miscarriage. If you don't want to know the details then stop reading. According to the doctor, a missed miscarriage or incomplete miscarriage is a rare type of miscarriage where the body fails to recognize the death of an unborn child and does not simultaneously abort. Based on what we were told, it was clear that H's body was not going to miscarry on its own. We were told we had only a couple of options.

1. The doctor would prescribe misoprostol, which would or can cause the body to expel the fetus. It could take up to a few hours or as long as a month.

2. The doctor could preform a D & C. Also known as dilation and curettage. This is the same procedure that is done for women who want to abort a pregnancy.

Given our circumstances the doctor did not feel that the body would respond naturally and felt that H was at risk for serious complications if we did not expel the fetus as soon as possible. With that, H and I didn't really feel like we had very many options. We agreed that we would go ahead with the D & C. Once we made the decision, it was back to herding us through the system like cattle. Don't get me wrong, the medical staff were incredibly sympathetic and supportive, but we were just one of eleven or twelve patients they would see that day performing the same procedure.

H woke up early around 5AM to empty her bladder and take the misoprostol. She was not allowed any food or water, so she climbed back into bed and waited. We laid there together holding hands and saying nothing. I think both of us were terrified to even move, terrified that the medication would force the fetus to miscarry. At this point, neither one of us wanted that to happen in our own home. I suppose we were terrified of the unknown, either unknown. The unknown of how she would react to the medication, the unknown of what the procedure would be like, the unknown of how we would feel when it was all over, the unknown of what we would do now; it was all very overwhelming.

By 8:30 AM we were on the road to the clinic. By 9:30 we had parked, walked the long route to the office, and had checked in. Thankfully we were alone in the waiting room. We sat there staring at the clock and hoping that we had made the right decision. Still H did not feel any different. She still felt pregnant. I kept wondering if it was possible that everything that had happened up to this point was a mistake, a cruel mistake. I knew deep in my heart it wasn't, but how could this be happening? What did we do wrong? I know you're not suppose to think that we did anything that caused this, but how can you not?

Our appointment was at 9:40 AM, and by 9:39 AM the nurse called us back. There was no turning back now. The procedure room was incredibly tiny, claustrophobic small. The nurse opened the door, told me to sit in the little blue chair and for H to sit up on the table. She went through the usual rounds, capturing weight, blood pressure, pulse, etc. There were words coming out of her mouth, but as hard as I tried I couldn't hear them. She handed us the consent form and gave us a few minutes to read through it. I had an overwhelming sense of guilt overcome me. How could I have let this happen? I would have given anything to make the situation different, to take H away and replace myself in her shoes. It was so unfair for her to have to be the one to go through this. I'm the one that has been versed in going through these types of things, I'm the one with all the patient experience, I'm the one that should have been up on that table, not H. She's been my rock through years, hours of chemotherapy. She's been my rock through all the good nurses, bad nurses. She's been my rock through everything. I couldn't help but wonder how she found the strength, but I needed to find my own. I needed to be strong for her, for me.

At 9:50 AM, the doctor and assisting nurse entered the room. The moment the assisting nurse walked in, H and I looked at each other. H made some sny remark under her breath, and I let out a sarcastic sigh and said "oh,'re the 1 in 5 nurse!". She looked at me in confusion, so I was more precise with my words, "you're the nurse that facilitated the orientation and said that 1 out of every 5 pregnancies end in a miscarriage. There were 5 pregnant women in that room. I wish you would have never said that." She countered with, "Oh, well yes, that's the statistic." You callus bitch I thought, but I let it go because I could see that H was getting agitated.

At 10:00 AM, the nurse gave H a narcotic (not sure the name of the medication). The medication was to help with pain management. She advised H and she would feel like she had one too many drinks and that the room would spin from front to back, like a movie projector. As H was adjusting to the medication, the procedure had already started. I reached out for her hand and she held it firmly. There was an incredible amount of strength within her grip. This was it. The doctor turned the curettage machine on and the hum from the machine filled the room. It stayed that way for a few minutes and then the doctor turned some knob or pressed some pedal on the machine and it started to sound like it was powering down. I took a deep breath and though that wasn't so ba-, and the next sound to fill the room was one I would give anything to forget. Have you ever heard the nights silence get interrupted with the sound of a cat scream? I hate that sound because it fills my imagination with horrible images. This too will be a sound that I will remember. By 10:15 it was over.

I don't know where we go from here, and for the time being I think we are okay with not knowing. But I can tell you that this day and the next will require an inner strength so great it's hard to imagine it is possible.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Within An Instant

Within an instant your entire life can change. Your dreams, your hopes, your plans, your expectations; they can all vanish before your very eyes. H and I went to the doctor for our first appointment yesterday. I had secretly hoped for our first scan, and now looking back on the events that transpired I wish I hadn't hoped for a scan at all.

It's difficult for me to describe what happened, but just know that at that very moment we lost our baby. During the first in office scan, the baby's heartbeat was barely detectable but it there was one. By the time we took the second scan, the baby's heartbeat had stopped. Our baby died at the very moment we thought we were going to be celebrating its new life. The doctor said "in all of my twenty plus years, this is the first I've experienced the transition to a miscarriage." There is so much more that could be said, but words escape me. I know for sure this is not what we imagined, but somehow this is what was meant to be.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Where in the World is C & H?

We're here and still chugging along! It's been ages (okay, so not really ages, but over two weeks) since we've posted. Things have been crazy here in the Northwest! Here's a snapshot of what we've been up to:

  • About two weeks ago we had our first appointment with our HMO's women's health care facility. Let me start out by saying that this was a HUGE disappointment. First off, they sent us a packet in the mail with the usual "1st visit questionnaire" included for us to fill out and bring to the appointment. They eluded to the fact that this appointment was an "orientation" and mandatory. But, they did not tell us that they were going to herd us and every other pregnant female in Seattle through the same orientation like cattle. We had to sit through an 1.5 hour class going over pregnancy 101. H and I felt like it was a complete waste of time. Did we really have to sit in a room full of other pregnant women to determine our approximate due date? Seriously! What's even more shocking is that these people didn't know how to calculate this information on their own. I was shocked! Then we had to listen to the groups "symptoms", or a.k.a complaints. There was one women who was just four weeks pregnant that complained about EVERYTHING! Her back hurt, she was nauseous, she was constipated, she had itchy skin, she was dizzy, and it went on and on and on. Come on, we really have to rely on our health care system to take care of our basic of basic needs? Is it really that difficult to take charge of your own health or even want to?

  • I should also mention that it was rather uncomfortable being the ONLY same-sex couple in the room. We got the usual "you'll be condemned to hell" look from the "christian" couple that had been trying to get pregnant for forever and were really excited that God provided them such a wonderful gift. That same couple felt the need to ask the group "we are so excited about that we are pregnant. When do you think we should tell my mother?" Really? It's not like the nurse practitioner "teaching" the class is a therapist.

  • Oh, and I can't forget the best part! H and I had to stay after class because H is 35. It was like the nurse was doing us a favor. "I didn't want to embarrass you, but since you are considered a high risk pregnancy because you are 35, there are some screening tests that we can order for you. They are completely optional, but I thought we would go over your options separately." Are you kidding me?

  • After that horrifying nightmare, we decided that we needed to shop around and lay out all of our options. We may have to adhere to all of the HMO's rules, but you better believe we are going to suck as much OUTSTANDING care out of them as we can! We have an appointment next week to see a midwife (also a lesbian) at this clinic. We had a consultation early on in the TTC process and were impressed. It turns out that they are a contracted partner with our HMO, which is fabulous! However, they handle all of their hospital transitions through the same clinic that labeled us with a number and herded us through that horrible class. We also made an appointment at the clinic on the Eastside to meet the midwives that are available at that facility. Hopefully within the next few weeks we'll have settled on a midwife and care facility.

  • After all of that, we took a week off of work to just settle down from all the craziness that our life has become over the last year. We decided that we were NOT going to travel anywhere special and would just hunker down in the area and try to really relax, and that's exactly what we did. In the early morning hours, I spent most of my time practicing Hot Yoga while H went to the gym and tinkered. We picked up a heart rate monitor for her to wear while she is on the elliptical or treadmill so she knows exactly how much energy she is exerting. H was pretty content with catching up on Harr.y Po.tter and exercising at the gym, and I was content sweating out every last toxic pollutant I had built up over the last month of bad eating and over-the-top stress at work.

  • About mid-week we met up with my ex-sister-in-law to can pickles, peaches and jam. Canning runs in the family and has been passed down from generation to generation. If you were old enough to wear diapers, you were old enough to help clean cucumbers or stuff jars. So, we spent a day getting our hands dirty and canning about 6 dozen pickles, 8 dozen jars of peach/blackberry jam, and 6 dozen jars of peaches. I think she is still used to canning for a family of 12! I know we certainly don't need that many pickles, but now we have a pantry full. I'm not complaining...the family recipe for pickles is sought after and loved by many!

  • We also took a day trip to Ed.monds, Port Gamb.le and a few other island towns around the area. We had such a wonderful time window shopping, enjoying a cup or two of coffee (although H thinks that coffee is gross now, which is pretty amazing given that before she was pregnant you could have tattooed 'Star.bucks' on her body and she would have loved it), and read books on the beach. We even stopped in a local bookstore no bigger than our living room and sat down in the children's book aisle and read as many children's books as we could. I think the owner thought were were crazy!

So there you have it...we've been up to allot of things and nothing at the same time. We're officially 9 weeks pregnant as of Monday and go in for our first actual doctor appointment tomorrow. This appointment is with H's OB-GYN and at the same clinic we don't care for, but since we've had it scheduled for awhile we figure we'll keep it and see how it goes. Hopefully this one will be better! Oh, and I'm secretly hoping we can get scheduled for our first scan.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

True Love IS Priceless

H went to a baby shower this afternoon, so I went for a bike ride. I was 1/3 of the way up Nor.way Hill when Ben's song 'Not Fire Not Ice' started playing on my iP.od. I couldn't help but think of H and how far we've come over the years. My favorite line..."there's nothing can keep me from loving you". The timing of the song was impeccable. It was as if the hill didn't even exist.

18 Years - 8/10/08

Happy Anniversary, H! Eighteen years seems like a long time on paper, but it feels like it was just yesterday that we started out on this journey together. Now look at us...we have a baby on the way, we are rich in love and life, and we have a lifetime of love still to give. You are simply the most beautiful soul I know. I'm blessed to have found my soul mate so early in life. It's made for an incredible journey. I love you, H.

Love is the greatest refreshment in life.~ Pablo Picasso

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chicken Sandwich and Fries

This morning I asked H if there was anything special she would like to do for our Anniversary on Sunday. She said, "How about dinner somewhere?" I thought, okay, yeah, a nice dinner out on the town. Maybe a fancy resteraunt and a moonlight walk along the pier. I said, "Oh, how about Cafe F.lora or Car.melita's?" H responded, "Nah, it's too about Re.d R.obin?" I looked at her like is she serious? "Oh come on, it might be fun! A nice chicken sandwich and some fries...and, we can hear the Happy Birthday song!" Okay, now that's got to be the pregnancy talking! I'm not taking H to Re.d R.obin for our 18th wedding Anniversary! Please!

I've been thinking about it all week, but haven't decided on any one particuliar thing. It's the big 18, so it's got to be something special! We have plans to go to the coast the week after next, which is part of our Anniversary gift to each other. But, like heck if I would let Sunday come and go without some sort of celebration.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

6 Weeks Already?

WOW...we're already in our sixth week! Our first doctor appointment isn't until 8/14 and that's just an orientation. Our first opportunity for an ultra-sound to see what's happening inside won't be until our eighth week, but according to all the books and articles we've read the little one is already starting to develop a heartbeat! Can you believe it? A tiny little embryo less than 1 gram and 1/8th of an inch (that's about as big as a mini chocolate chip or cupcake sprinkle) is already starting to pump blood and the umbilical cord has started to develop. This is absolutely amazing to me. Except for being more tired and having sore boobs, H has been the same as she was before she was preggers. So far there's no sign of morning sickness and she's been reasonably mellow, which is an improvement from last week and the week before. I was starting to wonder if I was going to survive a whole nine months.

I think our biggest adjustment so far has been exercise. Having been heavily active prior to the pregnancy, I think H is mourning over the fact that she's stuck walking or doing light activities at the gym. I know that I miss my workout buddy already! Of course I have Maggie, but that's not the same. H and I were always doing some sort of activity that pushed our bodies to new levels. And to be honest, I need exercise now more than ever. I typically have to push myself to my outer limits on a regular basis for my mind and spirit to remain balanced. If I don't, all those toxins from either negative energy or stress have a field-day inside and start causing havoc. Taking a nice two mile walk with the dogs just doesn't cut it, unless it's after a 6-8 mile run in hill country. I know we'll work it out and it's not like I can't do those things on my's just I miss racing around on some hill with H nipping at my heals pushing me to go harder.

Well, I'd better wrap things up...H is downstairs starting on dinner. The sounds of the pots and pans clanking around is starting to get louder, so that's my queue that I need to get my butt down there and help out.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Bike Rack or Go Naked?

Here's the dilemma- As you know, we recently sold the "beast" (a.k.a. Ta.hoe). I had a nice Ya.kima hitch bike rack for lugging around our bikes for whatever reason. Well, if we want a bike rack for the new car, we need to move to a roof rack system. That's fine, but have you seen how expensive these racks are? I thought maybe we could get everything we needed for around $500, which is still a good chunk of change. But, after researching it, to get everything we would need we'd have to fork over $800!

So, I went to my back-up plan and have been monitoring what is available over Cra.igslist. I found a seller willing to sell the full-meal-deal for $350.00. The rack is only a few years old and looks barely used. Great deal, right? Except I'm having a hard time justifying spending the money for a bike rack system. We really should save the money and not spend it. But, then I counter with myself, "do you want to shell out nearly a $1000 at some point?" Of course I don't, but do we really need a rack? It's not like H will be able to ride, so that's at least a year before we would need to carry multiple bikes. Then there's the Classi.c, Chill.y Hi.lly, all rides that would require transporting your bike to somewhere. Oh, heck, I don't know. What do you all think? Is $350.00 a good enough deal? Should we just deal with going naked and save the $$?