Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rattling a Few Bones~A Personal History~Part IV

*WARNING* If you are SQUEAMISH or EASILY OFFENDED, it might be in your best interest to STOP NOW and go read something a little less gorey. Don't say I didn't warn you...

The rest of the story can be found here:
Part I
Part II
Part III

It was near the end of September when I finally saw an OB/GYN. I had been pregnant since late July; violently so at first, but by September, my symptoms of nausea, fatigue, and tenderness had dissipated, leaving me feeling frantically awry and a little depressed.

When the doctor did an ultrasound he could find no heartbeat. He tried again and again, before gently breaking the news that there was no baby. It had begun and ended, after about a month of gestating, leaving only a yolk sac as proof there had been anything at all. I think we both cried when we got the news. It was no surprise to me, but I had hoped I was wrong about what I knew in my heart. But my poor husband; he had been so excited, and called everyone we knew to announce the good news, even before a month had passed. Now he would have to tell them all that it wasn't going to happen.

I couldn't bring myself talk to anyone about it - it was too close and the weight of everyone's disappointment was a palpable burden on my shoulders. I know they were all just trying to be sympathetic, but when I'm in a dark place, like I was then, there are very few people allowed in.

I decided not to undergo a D&C right away, preferring to give my body the chance to take care of things its own way. (Note to past self - this wasn't a good call.) About two weeks went by, and nothing happened, other than me getting progressively more depressed and more afraid that things weren't going to resolve themselves. At the end of that two weeks, I decided I was going to drink a margarita, come what may. It wasn't like it was going to harm any fetus, was it, and somehow I thought a little thinning of the blood might be a good thing.

The next morning I woke up, feeling distinctly like crap. I noticed I was beginning to bleed, so I called the OB/GYN's office to let them know and find out what to do next. The nurse seemed to think I should just sit tight, and wait until a more convincing flow of blood began. A couple hours later, suitably hemmoraging, I called back, and they pencilled me in for an appointment that morning. Since my hub-man was at work in a galaxy far, far away, the ETA of which is roughly a 45 minutes' drive, Bea came home from work and took me to the doctor's office. After checking me the doctor decided it was time for the D&C procedure, but it would have to be scheduled for later in the day, so I went back home to call the hub-man and rest until then. Bea stayed with me, against her better instincts (she faints at the sight of blood - I shit you not. It really brought her candy-striper career to an abrupt end, but I digress...) in case I needed help before the man got home.

I went to bed, but I couldn't sleep. I could tell I was bleeding heavily, so I went into the bathroom for the changing of the guard, so to speak. As I sat down on the toilet, something large fell out and went "Splash!" I looked and there was the yolk sac I'd seen on the ultrasound, floating gently down to rest against the bottom, swaying lightly in the toilet tide. "Bea!" I shrieked, a little rattled at this turn of events, this unexpected visitor. I knew I couldn't leave what had once been the beginning of my child in the toilet, to be flushed away. I also knew that the doctor might find it important to see what had fallen out. "Can you bring me a little plastic dish with a lid?" I inquired of Bea, who was cautiously approaching the bathroom. I told her what had happened and why I needed the dish. She turned right around and went into the kitchen, where she found me a grated cheese container and brought it to me, averting her eyes as she came near me.

Using a metal hanger as a rather grisly scoop, I caught the sac and put it in the cheese dish. It was about this time I realized I couldn't stop bleeding long enough to get a clean pad under the flow. I yelled down the hall again, to Bea; "Can you bring me a bag to put this dish in, so I'm not toting human remains around in full sight?" I was so preoccupied with trying to staunch the frighteningly continual flow of blood, I didn't see Bea until she was right there, looking away as hard as she could, with an absolutely HUGE paper bag in her hand. It just struck me, there in the middle of all that trauma, as hilarious. Bea had brought an immense bag to put a tiny little plastic dish in. No way anyone would know what we had in THAT bag! I started laughing at that ludicrous paper bag and couldn't stop. When she asked me what the hell I was laughing at, I told her and we both laughed, albeit, Bea was still a little shaky and studiously not looking at me.

After staunching what flow I could, I crawled back into bed and called the doctor's office again. I told them what had happened, expecting a cancellation of the afternoon's procedure, and maybe another trip to their office for a check up. Oh no, once you schedule a procedure at the hospital, you are bound to it! May be they were right and it was necessary. Maybe they were just covering their asses. Maybe, if I had known what a craptastically inefficient piece of shit hospital it was I could have refused to go. But the ole hindsight just wasn't there, so when the hub-man got home, off we went, giant paper bag in tow.

The people at the hospital were nice enough, but they didn't listen and they didn't really care about my well being. They knocked me out cold with anesthesia, after I pointedly said no, I don't want to be unconscious. When I woke up, disoriented and upset, I wasn't allowed to have my husband near me, as the one other patient in the recovery room had six visitors. Does this strike anyone else as complete bullshit and really poor care? Let me just say that I will never use that hospital again, for anything, after the crap care I received there. Oh, and they billed me wrong too, so the misery of having been there stayed with us for three months afterwards, while we tried to get the billing straightened out. Did I mention I hate that MF hospital?

We went home to heal and pick up the pieces of our life. I was incredibly depressed afterwards, even up through Christmas. I painted and internalized and brooded, which maybe isn't that healthy sounding, but its how I cope. In early January I realized I was pregnant again, and the rollercoaster ride was starting all over.


Chanda (aka Bea) said...

Excellent Post! That's some pretty intense personal history, and I imagine none to easy to tell.

Im glad I was sorta there for you, giant paperbag and all. Im nothing if not comic relief.

hele said...

This wonderful story had me laughing and crying at the same time. Thank you for sharing this piece of your life.

jennifer h said...

Oh honey, that's such a sad story. (Albeit, with a funny moment!) I'm glad you were able to get pregnant again.

I think I would have throttled about 4 of the 6 people visiting the woman next to me. That's ridiculous.

flutter said...

Oh sweetheart.

Oh, sweetheart. I just love you and what a friend you have in Bea

maggie, dammit said...

I'm with Flutter on this one (oh who am I kidding, I'm always with Flutter - what's not to be with?) I love the friendship the two of you have. This is such a sad story. I'm honored you trusted us enough to tell it here.