Thursday, July 19, 2007

Big long story

I've been meaning to post this one for a while... Just as a record for safekeeping. It's long but true, I haven't done much editing to it after the fact. A little timeline of the beginning of this year.

Thursday, January 25th: Just got my period (after an evening of playing volleyball). A shame, because I was starting to feel quite pregnant, being a few weeks late and all. Of course late is a relative term, since I am the most irregular person even my doctor's ever heard of... I must have been making up all the symptoms, wishful thinking and all...

Friday, January 26th: Period over? Can't be. Now this is definitely new, never heard of a 12 hour period... Googling furiously, and the only thing I can figure out is that I am indeed pregnant, but had some bleeding. Best odds I can find is 50/50 of this ending up in a miscarriage. Trying not to obsess too much about it all.

Saturday, February 3rd: OK, finally broke down and peed on a stick... What do you know, it was positive! Wow, I got a positive! Hard to believe, really. Will repeat the experiment the next day for sure... In the meantime, called my doctor's office to book an appointment. It's all feeling a little surreal! And of course I can't forget what happened on the 25, it's always in the back of my mind... 50% chance, but I'm willing to take it. Better than a 0% chance of being pregnant I guess...

Wednesday, February 7th: Doctor's appointment. She sounds all excited, and not at all concerned about anything. Just said I have to stop playing volleyball. I'm willing to give up pretty much anything to make this happen, so as much as I am going to miss the volleyball, it's off limits from now on. Cautiously optimistic? Maybe. Have an ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Can't wait... Oh yeah, it's my sister's birthday... Didn't even send her a card, though I did call and leave a message with a "Happy Birthday" duet with DH.

Thursday, February 8th: Ultrasound clinic. Waiting is tough. Lots of other women, some look just as preggers (or un-preggers) as me, some really close to the end. The mood overall is of subdued excitement. Most women have someone with them, and I'm furiously scribbling on my PDA just to pass the time. Just before I go in, DH gives me a call, which helps calm down the nerves a little... The results: slightly alarming... The tech said that I was "definitely pregnant", though not as far along as we'd thought. Alarm bells going off in my head. I knew I wasn't as far along as my doctor thought, because that would have meant conception just around Christmas time, and with all the guests and stuff, there was definitely nothing of that sort happening at the time. But even by my most conservative estimates, we should have been at more than 6 weeks. I guess it's time to start worrying... Next doctor's appointment is not until the 19th, so I just have to sit and try to not fret until then...

Monday, February 19th: Longest 11 days of my life. The doc seems unperturbed, very excitedly babbling about the need to plan, getting on the midwife waiting list (done!), making decisions about pre-natal scans, and diet changes and blood tests and all that. DH and I quietly listen, finally allowing ourselves to believe this may be actually happening. Super long questionnaires are filled out, new appointments scheduled, and we're sent on our merry way. Is it possible that this is really happening???

Tuesday, February 20th: Back to reality. Second ultrasound appointment was today. The news is essentially bad, and the tech was nice enough to tell me right there and then, after consulting with the doctor on the premises. And just to make sure, on top of a regular ultrasound, I got an intra-vaginal one (yes, it's just as much fun as it sounds...). She spent a lot of time trying to get images of my ovaries, contributing to my paranoia... In short, though nothing has grown since the last time. Results will be sent to my doc, and she'll let me know what's next. The words "not viable" have not been uttered, but I know that this is the diagnosis. The cute little sac I've come to know and love has nothing growing in it, and I will soon have to say goodbye. No amount of googling will fix this mess...

Wednesday, February 21st: Today is my other sister's birthday... Kind of ironic if you think about it. I'm not in much of a celebrating mood, but having a nice chat with her actually gets my mind off this awful mess. I'm trying to plan as many distractions as I can over the next few days, because I just can't sit and dwell on things. I might never get back up...

Friday, February 23rd: I'm in a meeting at work when I get the call from my doctor. Have to take it, so I beg out of the meeting (luckily it hadn't really started yet). I like my doctor, she's clear and to the point, but also compassionate. We keep my next appointment as scheduled, and she tells me to expect an expulsion fairly soon (i.e. miscarriage). Go to the emergency if bleeding more than a pad an hour. Sounds pretty simple, really...

Sunday, February 25th: Ok, enough waiting. I'm taking things into my own hands. Went skiing with friends in the morning (partially to keep myself distracted, partially because I thought physical exertion has to help things along). And as expected, by the evening I was "expelling" things. Wicked cramps and bleeding is all I remember from the Oscars evening... Luckily by bedtime I was feeling fairly ok (the double dose of advil probably helped), and I was able to get a good night of sleep.

Monday, February 26th: Not bad, I'm thinking. Went to work all day, then did a bunch of cooking and cleanup... Probably still running on the hormonal high of pregnancy that seemed to be turning me into a Martha Stewart clone (organizing the house, baking and cooking and everything). But by bedtime, the wicked cramps came back. And then got worse. Then worse again... DH is calling me Crampy McDoubledOverson. Called Tele-Health, the nurse at the other end went through her questionnaire and said that I should not be in so much pain at this point, and I should go to emergency...

Tuesday, February 27th: We greet the day at the ER. We arrive at 12:30, and settle in the waiting room. Every few minutes I just bend over with pain, and I'm sure people are thinking I've gone insane (the rest of the time I appear quite normal). The two hour wait doesn't seem too bad, though I am starting to bleed quite heavily. When I am finally admitted, I get a very nice cubicle (ER code for a cozy little room), and I get my own little gurney. They take a bunch of blood samples, and a urine sample (noone told me I'd have to pee!). They leave the needle in my arm, in case they have to connect an IV - this is starting to get serious. The doctor is mumbling something a D&C, which I want to avoid at all costs... I keep thinking maybe I should have stayed home after all. Although I probably would have gone insane from the pain - at least at the hospital I am constantly distracted, and I think the adrenaline is working wonders. By the time the doc wants to "examine" me, I am barely feeling the cramps at all. I have new appreciation for my regular doctor, as she's never angrily ordered me to relax while inserting that unpleasantly cold and sharp speculum... Yeah, you try to relax and forget that I'm lying half-naked on a gurney in the ER, bleeding profusely and cramping! The good news is that he can't see much stuff in there, mostly just blood. So the threat of D&C has passed... I am relieved! The bad news is that one of the machines that was supposed to do the analysis of my blood needs to be recalibrated, so we have to wait another hour before we can get discharged. DH orders me to have a snooze (now that the cramps are very mild), and I gladly comply. Unbelievably enough, I had a pretty good sleep... In the end we are discharged, but have to come back for an ultrasound to confirm the status of the miscarriage...

Tuesday, February 27th (part 2): So we go home, get some rest, have a bite to eat and go back to the hospital for the ultrasound. I am getting quite comfortable now lying half-naked on a gurney, getting poked and prodded by strangers. The ultrasound technician again insisted on doing an intra-vaginal. I've lost all sense of modesty, and eagerly allowed the rubber-glove clad poking instrument to be shoved inside and poke around... But it was done and over with in record time. Then I had to go back to the ER to hear the verdict. Two hours later, I was given a clean bill of health, and told that there was just one small piece awaiting to be expelled. The ER doctor also gave me a copy of all the records, so that I can bring it to my next appointment with my doc. The report includes this charming line: "maternal ovaries are unremarkable". My ovaries are still reeling from the insult!

Wednesday, February 28th: So after an uneventful night of sleep, I decided to go to work. Everything seemed to be going ok, until the evil cramps started making a comeback. Thankfully a coworker provided me with a bunch of Tylenol, so I was sort of able to slowly limp through the workday. Working at my desk was not all that bad, after all the time in between cramps I was fairly lucid, and I was able to make it through the cramps with no screaming or kicking ;) But I was worried about my team meeting in the afternoon. It's a little harder to hide pain when trying to sit very quietly in a meeting. But it turned out I didn't need to worry. Around 5 minutes before the meeting, I had a monster sneeze. And it turns out that was all that I needed to get that annoying last bit "expelled". I really wish the ER docs or nurses would have told me. 3 days of evil cramps and all I needed was a sneeze? Give me a break!!!! OK, so it was a major sneeze, and the resulting bloody mayhem would have turned all but the most solid stomachs, but still. I was just amazing that it's all it took. After that, it's all smooth sailing. All I have to worry about from now on, is the emotional scars... And that won't take too long, will it?

So here you have it. The full account of my pregnancy, miscarriage, ER visit, and the sneeze that ended it all.

1 comment:

balazinska said...

You are very brave!