Thursday, April 13, 2006

Closer To Fine

This is rather long, I wrote it mostly to purge, to lay it to rest. It is also decidedly unpleasant. If you can't be bothered to read it all it's all right, we are both fine, the worst is over, skip to the last paragraph.

On Tuesday we had planned on going for the 2nd beta at 1.30 pm but E. received a call for a job interview at 10 am and they wanted him at their offices bfr 11, and so, bcs the hospital is nearby, we decided I'd drop him off and drive there and he'd come join me and then we'd come back home. Bcs there wasn't a lot of time left, he walked the dog and then she came w us (she is used to waiting in the car for us, asleep). I dropped him off, drove to the hospital, parked in the underground garage, walked up, asked where the lab was and by that time I was slowly shuffling along the corridors, holding my belly w one hand. When I got there I could barely sit and I had at least 15 people ahead of me, so I asked the lady at the counter if they could speed things up. She took one look at me and the reason for the blood test and I was the first one to be called in. The technician who saw me assumed I was going straight to the ER from there and frankly, so did I. It had become literally painfully clear that this miscarriage was going to happen, and sooner than later. I shuffled all the way to the ER, was sent up almost immediately, and then tried to sit in that waiting room until I felt like I was going to faint. I couldn't find a position that didn't hurt, the contractions were very painful, I felt absolutely nauseated and slightly disoriented and decided to get up and ask a nurse for some sugar to place under my tongue. I then tried to go to the bathroom (yes, constipation makes the pain much worse, I learnt that basically with my 1st period) where I found I was passing clots again and more blood than the days before. I went back to the waiting room (dragged myself there from wall to wall) bcs I was afraid I'd pass out if I stood but I truly couldn't stand the painof sitting, or even reclining, so I went back to haunting the corridors. At this point I was near tears and I think I'd have cried if I hadn't been concentrating so hard on not passing out. I coudn0t sit and I couldn't stand and I couldn't call for help and the corridor was deserted but for 2 drs. who'd been talking and laughing for what felt like a good while and I was feeling absolutely desperate when one of he drs. saw me - hard to miss - and asked me if I was waiting for something. I whispered A miscarriage, he said I needed to be seen immediately and asked if I could walk to the examination room, and I slowly shuffled there, so relieved someone was going to see me. I was in too much pain to climb onto the table on my own, and wasn't by then really too surprised to hear him say It's a retained miscarriage (don't know what it's called in English) and then i asked if the pg was absolutely not viable and he said it absolutely wasn't, but the sac was intact and they thought it'd all come out whole, and then he told his colleague I looked too pale and they should keep me there anyway and had I had blood drawn and I whispered Beta, he said I'm afraid we don't need that anymore, and his colleague said Yes but we have no beds and he said Let's put her in the recovery room with that other lady who miscarried as well and they said tehy'd be back in a minute and I said I cannot move and so I remained perched at the end of the table w my feet on the dr.'s stool and head btwn my knees, feeling wave after wave of nausea and pain and wondering when I'd topple over and then I decided I'd feel more comfortable if I wasn't bleeding on me anymore so managed to get up and put knickers back on but then sat on the stool and held on to he stirrups for dear life and don't know how long i was there but pain got worse, nausea did too, i was shaking and sweating somuch I had to removemy jumper, and then i saw 2 feet near mine and a woman asked if i was all right and I said Miscarriage, she asked if I'd been seen, I said Yes, she called a nurse to bring a gurney and fluids and painkillers, we waited, thegurney arrived and I climbed onto it somehow and just lay there, sideways on my belly, and while the nurse tried to find a vein in my wrist to draw some blood and then set up the IV drip I felt my mouth fill with saliva and I actually thought Vomit centre activated and then I started spitting the saliva onto the floor bcs I cannot really vomit, seems my body doesn't know how to even when it's needed, and really, it's amazing what happens to your sense of decorum when you're in that much pain bcs you will puke, spit, moan and nevermind who sees your bare arse or that you're causing a mess, you're beyond caring, and at that moment the other 2 drs returned and the 1st one, the one w the 2 feet whose face I hadn't seen yet and never would said I saw her as I was walking past the door and she looked terrible, she needs a room and they said they'd gone to find one (still think I shouldn0t have been left alone while bleeding w low blood pressure atop an examination table w my head forward) and then they wheeled me there and the ride didn't help the nausea much, and I asked if I could have something for the pain and they said they'd given me something and was I not better, and I said no and asked for something stronger, an then I crawled onto the bed on my hands and knees bcs it felt less bad then rolling on my back, and then they gave me something more but it didn't help much, and I had to try and ring Emanuel and my parents bcs I'd forgotten my mobile and the dog was still in the underground garage and no one was answering, and finally I managed to reach E. and tried to give him directions for the car but he was so panicked he kept interrupting and saying I'm on my way and I had to start from the beginning bcs I needed him to contact my parents as well, and then I was given an anti-emetic for the nausea and more painkillers and the pain diminished a bit and I dozed off and then I felt a touch on my leg and he was there and I thought he was going to faint bcs his face was absolutely white, and he could barely touch me bcs he was afraid he'd hurt me or give me an infection and he told me the interview had gone very well [when my father came round yesterday he exclaimed But you look much better! and that's when I found out that even when the analgesics were working my face was dead white and my lips were bloodless the whole day till I came out of the OR, and my mum was so concerned bcs my eyes were sunken in and when she told me this it occurred to me that I must have looked like one of our cows when they're very ill, and then yesterday also I found out I was anaemic, had a low HT but normal Hb and a definite leukopenia which now has me on antibiotics, but all things considered I'd say this isn't bad at all]. Then my mother showed up, my father was in the garage w the dog, and then Emanuel got a call saying he'dpassed on to the 2nd phase and they wanted to see him at 3 pm and he got white again and sat down and held my hand and all he could say was Too many emotions today, too many emotions and then E. left and I went to the bathroom bcs I could feel my sphincters contract just by looking at the bedpan, no way ever, and as I sat there I realised I could vomit after all, and I did, repeatedly and neatly into the conveniently positioned bidet (and you wonder why we love them) and then I felt a bit better but it didn't last, bcs then the analgesics wore off and so did the anti-emetic and my poor father came then when I was at my lowest and really, this is what I'd been trying to spare them from, I don't think it does them any good to see their child, no matter how grown up, in that much pain, moaning and trashing in bed bcs every position hurts and makes the nausea worse and by then I couldn't not do it, and then I turned on my belly again and I found out I was a repeat vomiter after all and I only had time to throw the vomit bag onto the ground bfr I was wracked bt a series of vomits that left me disgusted and depleted, but the nausea was a bit better, and then i asked my parents to bother the nurse till i was given more Primperam and pain killers, and the nurse said they had and now they couldn't anymore bcs the Dr. was going to do a D&C after 4.30 pm and I asked why so late and it turns out I'd eaten a small flat biscuit and drank a coke at 10.30 and now needed to regain fast status for fuck's sake and no more meds till then and was I all right with the D&C and I told the nurse I didn't care if it was invasive, I couldn't stand that much pain anymore and they could take my spleen as well if it helped, just make it stop and the time from 3.40 pm till 4.50 pm was truly horrendous but they must have given me something bcs the pain got a bit more manageable, and I remember the woman in the other bed saying You haven't had any children yet have you and I said No and she said I know, you were unprepared, this is what labour feels like and let me tell you right now, right now nothing could be further from my mind than being pg again, I'll need to forget abt the pain first, and then I got up to go to the bathrroom, my father had gone home to bring the dog and only my Mum and E. were there, and some other dr. showed up and gave me a pill that is actually designed for stomach trouble but can be effective at inducing miscarriages, and after abt 30 min I felt that solid gushy feeling and this amazing, AMAZING, UNVEBELIEVABLE coagulated mass rushed down (and E. nearly fainted) and I thought I did it, it's over, and I couldn't believe it, and the nurse came and called the dr, and she came and took one look and said No, this is just blood, and she felt my cervix (and fuck, painful!) and said it was softening a bit but I'd never make it on my own so let's get her prepped for a D&C and I thought Fuck, ONLY blood, how can that be and how long did the blood have to pool to create an amount that fits in my cupped hands only, and then they came to wheel me away to the OR floor, and I was beside myself bcs there was an end to the pain in sight, and I was placed in a corridor just outside the newborns' room, I actually think it may have been the prematures but I couldn't see very well, but I did see one tiny baby with flailing arms and legs suckle for the first time, and I could hear them meowling in their tiny voices, and for some reason I found it deeply comforting to be surrounded by live babies and live mummies and really, this is how it should be for everyone but since it isn't, this is how it should be for the majority, my own pregnancy had made me so ill, E. sat by my side still holding my hand very lightly so as not to infect or break me, and he mumbled I hate hospitals and me, I love them, I'd not have survived as a baby without them, or as a child or adolescent for the matter, and now, without a hospital I'd have suffered and suffered for days, probably not passing the sac bcs I apparently do good implantation and that blighted ovum embryo was firmly put, and by then the infection that was just starting would ravage me and I'd die, how could I NOT love hospitals, and then the pain was gone, they ust have given me something stronger in preparation and I quietly lay there listening to the babies and mothers, and then the nurse came and helped me to the bathroom, she pushed the saline on wheels and I held onto my flapping hospital gown bcs by then I gave a shit again who saw my fat white arse, and then I shocked her by asking her how many D&C's Dr. Jorge [NOT LIKE SPANISH! Sounds like "gorge" but the J is like the French one, ok? Jór-j.] had done, and had he ever left a tiny leg or arm inside and she sniffed and said she couldn't answer that but hey, it's my uterus and my life, and then I was wheeled in and the thougth that I'd not feel that pain again was exhilarating, I couldn't care less abt the anaesthesia, and I'd made my peace with the end of this pregnancy, that embryo was a very ill one and I hope had not developed enough to experience pain but it was sick and it was impossible and one of us needed to come out of this whole and so I let it go, and I asked Dr. Jorge to please keep in mind that I still intented to put this uterus to good use so would he pay extra attention, and then the Anaesthesiologist started talking to me and injecting stuff and asked me if I felt any difference, and I said no, and she said All right, let's give her Propofol now, and I lay there annoyed bcs I couldn't remember whether Propofol was a beta-receptor blocker, or an alpha-receptor or what and I should know it, and then I felt the induction which is as anguishing as I remembered it bcs you feel you're dissociating from your body and I always think this is how dying must feel like and the Anaesth. asked if I felt anything and I said I certainly did and either I was dying or being induced and she actually jumped a bit at my cheekiness or what have you and told me not to even say that word in there, and then the last thing I remember is discussing sushi, which is not a bad last memory at all, and then I was woken up against my will from a very deep and comforting sleep during which I even dreamt good dreams, and the first thing I noticed was that my lower back wasn't hurting and it was the first time in over a week, and then I noticed I didn't feel any pain whatsoever, or nausea, NO NAUSEA, NO PAIN, and I was starving and felt alive for the first time in a long time, and they asked me how I felt and I said Splendid, when may I go home? and they laughed and wheeled me out and I saw my parents and E. and cheerily waved at them and then a nurse came into the recovery room, where I was w 2 C-section mothers and their little newborns and she said I cannot believe this is you, you look so much better! and I stared at her and realised this was my nurse, the one I'd had in the other room and I hadn't recognised her, and she said You went through such a rough time, poor thing, I’ so glad you’re feeling better, every time I came in you were on your hands and knees rocking back and forth and do you know I barely remembered this but it's true, she kept telling me to lie on my side and I couldn't even be bothered to answe after the first few times bcs THAT DIDN'T HELP EITHER and I'd assume the position that felt less excruciating at any given time which isn't saying much, and then I needed to pee and I wasn't allowed up so I accepted the bedpan and peed and peed and peed and it felt wonderful, and then I remembered I'd also been desperate to go to the bathroom while in the OR and they'd told me they'd express my bladder after I was under and I assumed they hadn't but nurse said they had and would you believe I lay there and wondered where on earth I was finding the fluid to make all that urine and later when I told E. abt it he looked at me like I was mad (the look he reserves for when he has to go hunt for my keys, or my glasses or etc bcs I can never find or remember anything and he always does) and said They have been relacing your IV bags for hours now, you've had so many! and true, I had an IV drip (which has given me a fine, big hematoma), and I waited and waited for E. and my parents and one of the husbands even went out into the halway to see if they were anywhere to be seen (they all felt awful I think, the nurse had walked up to me and cheerily asked Normal birth or C-section? and I'd answered Abnormal miscarriage, normal D&C, and they all looked away but seriously, the babies, all those new lives were comforting, and besides, I'd been thinking E. and I had got into this quite ambivalently, I mean, being a parent is the scariest thing, and this had turned us into 2 people who knew w absolute certainty that this is what they wanted, regardless, and for that how could I not be grateful), so finally one of the husbands lent me his mobile and I rang E. and he said he’d made everyone stay away on purpose so I could rest and I told him I felt wonderful and was bored and please come, and then they all came, taking turns, and E. kept remarking that my heart rate and respiratory frequency were normal, did I hear that, they were normal, look how normal!, and I was told I’d be released later that evening, and then the nurse told me patients usually went home after abt 2-4 hours in the recovery room but my family had felt that that was too soon and I said WHAT?!, and luckily for me and sadly for him Dr. Jorge was walking past the open door and I called him and asked him to please not be swayed by my incredibly catastrophe-fearing parents and he said You’re doing fine, I’d let you go home now, it’s the anaesthesiologist that needs convincing, an by then it was 8 pm already and the story was, usually the anaesth. wants to wait 2 h, TWO HOURS, but my parents had apparently talked to her and since they were still afraid I’d exsanguinate, and bcs they couldn’t forget how I’d been a mere hours bfr they couldn’t believe I’d be in any shape to go home so soon after all that, EH. Then I sent everyone home to rest bcs it was ridiculous, E. had a test the next day and my parebts looked absolutely knackered and I’d be released in a few hours anyway and would give them a ring so they could come get me, and after a batlle of wills they all went home and eventually I was moved to a new room, given food, pestered the nurses to call the Anaesth. every so often in the hopes that’d make them want to get rid of me faster, and finally one came and pronounced me fine and I dove for the phone and asked my parents to please fly back to the hospital, and then I got dressed and felt no pain whatsoever, or nausea, and I walked up and down the corridor bcs I couldn’t wait to be out of there, an the nurse who’d sniffed and disaproved smiled at me politely and then did a double turn and said It’s you, I cannot believe it, you don’t look like the same person at all! and I laughed and that didn’t hurt me either, and then my parents came, and we drove to the chemist’s for the antibiotics, the 2 sorts of pain killers and the pill that is to help shrink my uterus and get it back into shape, and then I was home, in my home, on my sofa, with E. and my pets, and I was giddy with lack of pain and I couldn’t do anything but revel in it, absolutely nothing hurt except for the IV drip vein but that hardly counts [actually counts a bit, can be unbelievably painful], and then I slept and woke up at 3 am or so and tried to write a post but couldn’t bcs was still high from lack of pain and exhaustion, and then I slept some more and yesterday when I woke up I felt exhausted still and could barely move w tiredness, and I tried writing that post and answering emails but I couldn’t so I watched Bend it like Beckham, Nanny McPhee and House M.D. and started re-reading David Nobbs’ Pratt of the Argus, and then I fell asleep at 10 pm and woke up at 4 am and then went back to sleep and 5.30 am or so, and woke up abt an hour ago and decided I needed to write this for me, so apologies for length and detail, I dare say not many made it this far.

I want to talk more abt everyone who helped me so much but that will be for another day, I’ve written enough as it is (I wish I knew how to do the Continue reading link but I don’t). I am in no pain physically [UPDATE: am now a bit, sharp pain on right side that comes and goes, still manageable, I suppose it's to be expected], ibuprufen w every meal and paracetamol every 8h. I feel my uterus and my right ovary region at times but it’s mostly harmless. I'm barely bleeding. I’m still pale and tired but everyone pronounces me positively rosey in comparison, so that’s fine. I have come to terms w the fact that this pregnancy was not viable. Don’t know if this is the total amount of digesting I’ll do but I’ve learnt that in life a) shit happens and b) pain is unavoidable, suffering is optional. The first beta at 6w4d was 1654, remember? At 6w6d it was 535. Poor thing never really stood a chance. I was watching E. sleeping tonight, and early this morning (still wake up a few times during the night), and was thinking how bizarre to have been pregnant at my birthday and to not even know it. This has made me realise how much I do want children. I’ll be all right.


UPDATE: E. has just rang me, he'd gone out with my father to buy me this very car in Panther Black today (remember it was supposed to be for my birthday) and got a phone call, HE GOT THE JOB, he got the job he wanted, and it's well paid as well! It may not seem quite like it but our life is most definitely changing for the better.



At 13/4/06 11:59, Anonymous Boulder said...

My friend, I've read every word. I've shared your journey, as you know, and reading along it felt just as fresh and raw as it did the last time it happened to me. You've really written so honestly - I wish, sometimes, that I'd done the same, because I feel sometimes that I cannot remember the small details. The edges of the picture become fuzzy with time, and the pain eases in an emotional and physical sense.

Be kind to yourself, you have been through a hell of sorts. I'm so sorry for your loss. My fondest wish is for you and your love to fulfill this new dream when you are ready.

I adore you.


At 13/4/06 12:00, Anonymous Boulder said...

(The ulcer drug you were given was misoprostol also known as Cytotec.)

At 13/4/06 14:25, Blogger Ed said...

How could anyone not read - and be absorbed by - every word?

I really feel for you with all the suffering you've been through, but glad that you feel positive about it now.

Take care.

At 13/4/06 17:25, Blogger UtRus said...

thank you sooooo much for your detailed and truthful and heartfelt post. this is my first visit to you (came here from Manuela). i am so sorry you had to go through this and that your pregnancy had to end.

i really am impressed with your amazing outlook and positivity that comes through, even with this intensely horrible experience and loss. i just "met" you and you are amazing!

Hag Semeach to you, too, and may this be a season of renewal for both you and Emanuel. I will be back to support you through whatever comes next. take care of yourself!

At 13/4/06 17:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you went through all that. You're an amazingly strong woman.

At 13/4/06 19:32, Anonymous kiwi said...

I am so sorry you had to go through all that. I am so glad you are ok now. Take care of yourself, body and heart.

At 13/4/06 19:48, Blogger Tertia said...

Love you.

At 13/4/06 19:53, Blogger Candace said...

Oh my goodness.

I go and get pneumonia and this happens to you. I'm sorry to say that I only read far enough to realize you miscarried, because I'm still not over my own that happened two years ago. But only because that one wasn't supposed to *be* and it was our last chance for another baby.

Actually, I've had two miscarriages. The first didn't seem to bother me much (Callous? Maybe.) and then I had my babies.

"We know, so many don't have that and we do, and we're grateful. We’ll be all right." That was beautiful. I think you'll be just fine.


At 13/4/06 19:56, Blogger Diana said...

Thank you for writing all this so we could try to understand some of what you went through. I'm hoping that things continue to look brighter, now.

I'm also wondering if the extra money will be spent on all those lovely suits and razor blades? If so, money well spent, eh?

Happy smelling of the new car, darlin'.

At 13/4/06 20:30, Blogger brooksba said...

I read all of your post and it's not too long. I am glad that you had Emanuel and your parents to be there with you during this hard time. I'm still thinking of you and send you my love.

At 13/4/06 20:34, Blogger Pamplemousse said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

At 13/4/06 22:30, Blogger Lala said...

I actually found the detail riveting so I enjoyed the length of the post, not so much what you had to go through to write it. I'm so relieved you have come through it well.
luv and happy pesach to you and your family.

At 13/4/06 22:31, Anonymous Orodemniades said...

I'm glad you're okay after such a nightmare day of pain.

Congrats to Emanuel, too.

At 14/4/06 00:33, Blogger treppenwitz said...

Terribly sorry for what you've had to go through... and wishing with all my heart that this is the worst thing you will ever have to face in a long, healthy and happy life (tfu, tfu, tfu).

At 14/4/06 01:21, Anonymous Manuela said...

So many emotions came flooding back as I remembered my own similar experience at 12 weeks... as time passes you will be so glad that you have documented this... because once the memory of the physical pain starts to fade, you will re-read these words with amazement at what we are capable of enduring... and still coming out feeling positive the end of it... possibly even BECAUSE of it.

Johnny... you know how much I adore you... and I'm so incredibly sorry you've had to go through this... but on the other hand... in a very twisted fashion... it also makes me feel that this shared experience lends us a new level of mutual understanding and compassion. That is quite possibly a strange sentiment... but it exists never the less.

Much love my friend...

At 14/4/06 03:18, Blogger Milenka said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

At 14/4/06 03:51, Blogger Jen P said...

Dear J -- you sound so much better. I think the D&C did wonders for everything. And poor E. It must have been so hard to watch someone he loves so much in such a very bad place. How dreadful for him.

I'm so glad everything is going ok now. It sounds exactly like my missed m/c I delivered at home. All the hands and knee rocking, the fever, the nausea. It was dreadful.

I will never forget it and I know this will always be a moment you'll remember. Documented like this people will be able to read and know what miscarriage is. Reading it brought back floods of memories for me. It was healing. Painful but healing.

I wish you a lovely, peaceful weekend.

At 14/4/06 17:56, Blogger CarpeDM said...

I read it all as well, although I really appreciate your disclaimer at the top that you were fine - I was getting really nervous about midway through your post.

I have been thinking about you so much, J, and am glad that you're better. Love you.

Hey. Would you please email me your address? I have some things I want to send you. Email me at greenduckiesgirl AT myway DOT com


At 14/4/06 18:05, Blogger Savtadotty said...

So sorry you had to go through this. So glad it's over, and a new car (for you) and a new job (for Manny) came at the same time. Not for a moment to imply that there's any equivalence, logic, or justice, mind you. Thinking of you a lot today. Shabbat Shalom!

At 14/4/06 23:11, Blogger Udge said...

What can I say? Sorry that you (both) had to experience this, glad that you made it through to the other side with your sense of humour intact. I wish you a speedy recovery.

Congrats to Emanuel, and Gute Fahrt to you. Take care.

At 15/4/06 14:10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ech, this brought back so many memories. So glad for your good news, and glad this is all over.

-- Soper

At 15/4/06 18:36, Blogger ontheface said...

Hey sweetie, it appears that I have nothing to add except that I send my love, and a big hug to Emanuel with the hope that I'll be able to meet him soon. Perhaps at the naming ceremony for your first born?;)

You're so lucky to have found each other.

Chag sameach.

At 15/4/06 20:20, Anonymous wessel said...

Oh my dear, I am so sorry. I am behind on my blog reading so I didn't know about all this until today. Hug Emanuel tighter, and keep your eyes on the prize. Meeting the man of your dreams is half the battle.

I'd wish you a Pesach Sameach but it seems like such a sad time, it almost doesn't sound like the right thing to say. Hang in there.

At 15/4/06 22:51, Blogger DeadBug said...

Oh, my sweet friend, I am sorrier than I can say. I have been out of touch for a few weeks and had no idea all of this was going on with you.

Sending you much love and healing,


At 17/4/06 20:20, Anonymous JDEgirl said...

I've been in very much the same situation that you were in - as Manuela said, you will be happy you got the details down while they were still fresh in your mind.

The hormones and the not sleeping thing - they last a while, a good long while.

Very sad that this much-wanted baby of yours did not live. Very sad.

At 18/4/06 22:55, Anonymous Paola said...

I came across this post today by a circuitous route but have often seen you comment on Tertia's blog.

I just wanted to say how very sorry I am to hear about your loss. I have had four miscarriages (and now a beautiful baby girl) and they really are the pits. Your posts brought back so many dreadful memories.

I also wanted to urge you to take care of yourself in the weeks ahead. You have lost a lot of blood and will need to rest and eat lots of iron-rich food. I tried to carry on as normal and ended up with terrible anaemia which made everything even worse. And do give yourself the time and space to grieve. I'm sure it doesn't count for anything right now, but I'm thinking of you.

At 24/4/06 22:23, Blogger squarepeg said...

dear johnny,
sorry i don't manage to come around and get caught up often -- hardly blog-read or write anymore, damn it. so i'm just now aware of all you've been through and want to send you love. in spite of it all, you are looking at the life not the death, and this is wonderful to read. good stuff charged right in! i had a miscarriage (of an unexpected pregnancy) that was nothing like yours, except for that horrible in-between hoping period where the sac was there but apparently no embryo, but "maybe you have your dates wrong" -- fat chance, i'm quite anal about writing that stuff down. so even though i wanted to put it behind me, i built up hope for 2 weeks against my will. gah. and then a tidy little non-emergency d&c which was incredibly easy. the kid would have been 8 now...
thinking of you very fondly, my dear,


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