Saturday, August 30, 2008

Strength

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, great...you'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.

7 Comments:

Blogger Heidi said...

I'm so sorry that you both had to go through that. I'm so sorry that you have lost your precious baby.

Much love and hugs and comfort being sent your way.

I'll be thinking about you both.

August 30, 2008 at 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Strawberry said...

I can't imagine. Here is wishing you both all the strength in the world, and then some.

August 30, 2008 at 6:44 PM  
OpenID wishinghopingpraying said...

I am so sorry that you had to go through that. That they didn't put her to sleep, that the bitchy nurse was there, that you even had to be there to begin with. My thoughts and prayers are with both of you. I am so very sorry for your loss.

August 30, 2008 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Travelher and Pufferfish said...

None of this is fair, is it? So so sorry for the 1 in 5, the bitchy nurse, the pain of it all. I'm so happy you are there for each other.

September 1, 2008 at 2:16 PM  
Anonymous Elize said...

I'm so so sorry for your loss. Sitting in while they were doing the D&c will probably haunt you forever. (((HUGS)) for you and H.

September 3, 2008 at 12:31 PM  
OpenID insertmetaphor said...

That sounds so horrible. I'm so sorry you're going through this.

September 3, 2008 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger word to your mother(s) said...

I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I hope you continue to find strength in each other.

September 5, 2008 at 10:39 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home