Saturday, August 15, 2015

My Pregnancy Journey: Part 5 - A Special Kind of Luck

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." -John 14:27

Here's what's on my heart tonight:

It's been a rough month. (And not just this whole pregnancy thing - there are other factors that have made this a difficult summer.) I can't seem to go about things the "easy" way.  The hyperemesis (morning sickness) was brutal. It was devastating, to say the least, that the baby had a slow heartbeat and we had to just sit and wait for the baby to die, which took another week.

After the baby no longer had a heartbeat 3 1/2 weeks ago, I took meds to induce the miscarriage to speed things along.  2 weeks later there were some complications (think: gross woman stuff), I was still so nauseous, and the pain was brutal.  To spare you further details, I'll just say I ended up at my OB's office 10 days after the start of the miscarriage process.

An ultrasound revealed I had tissue remaining - actually adhered to the top of the uterus.  It's not uncommon to need a D&C (dilation and curettage) to completely empty the body of pregnancy tissue. I do love my doctor and so appreciate her frankness - she said I "have a special kind of luck. Go buy a lottery ticket."

I managed to sneak in a pre-op physical with my Family Doc on that Friday and went in for surgery on Monday.  My biggest fear was the aftereffects of anesthesia.  In the past I have not reacted well to it - the medicine takes a long time to leave my system.  I can't hardly open my eyes for days.

This time around the procedure was so quick and the anesthesia so short-acting that I had no problem waking up! Things went really well and I felt great! I was uncomfortable for a day or two but not really in much pain. 

9 days after the D&C I began having some complications again (all that same gross post-pregnancy stuff  - and a lot of painful cramping).  I went in yesterday - 11 days after the surgery and over THREE weeks since the baby had passed away. My hcg hormone levels were far too high for this stage of the game.

After my ultrasound I was in with my doctor and there is was again, that "special kind of luck" comment. "Medical Anomaly" was also used.  Hey, we all gotta have our "thing" that makes us special, right? She tells me that I have a very unique sort of luck - "buy a lottery ticket." she says again.  So I did.  If I win I will probably be the first person to say "My Gynecologist told me to."

Basically, there is STILL dead pregnancy tissue retained and ANOTHER D&C is needed. It's only 2 cm worth of tissue and it should have dislodged naturally if missed by the surgery.

Last time she did not use a scope - she stated this has happened only 3 times in her entire career that tissue is left behind after the surgery.  A camera is typically not needed.  Then she said "but you're never typical - I really should have known.  I'm not surprised - I mean, it's YOU."  I kept trying to apologize but she would only apologize back and say it was her fault.  I feel it's my fault simply for existing.  How am I so medically complicated??!

We will repeat the surgery next week, this time WITH a camera AND a post-op 3D ultrasound.  I'm way less intimidated by it since I am no longer so scared of the anesthesia meds.  Like nervous a little, but can't explain exactly why.  I am feeling very inconvenienced by the whole thing.  I REALLY do NOT have time for this. The calendar is so full! Sadly, this isn't even my worst pregnancy!

I don't mean to seem distant or uncaring - I DO care.  I am sad that I'm in my second trimester and have all the pregnancy hormones (they are milder now than before, but still...) but NOT have a baby anymore. I'm frustrated I can't move on and that this whole process is taking so long. It makes the grief more intense and very present and real.

The crazy thing is how this is all still so worth it for us.  The risk (and pain) is worth the reward. I'm not always certain what God has for us in this - but I know for certain He is IN this WITH us.

"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." -Psalm 23:4

If a miscarriage is not something you have personally experienced, I hope the following words provide some insight into how parents can become so invested in a child that only existed a short time on Earth.  This is our child forever - even if we never met them.  There is a very real and valid loss, a deep grief, anger, frustration, even relief the whole process is over (like the miscarrying part or the morning sickness stage). 

Every emotion is acceptable.  Here's how you can support them: Grieve with them. Say "I'm sorry for your loss." Please refrain from telling us the baby is in a better place or is now an angel watching over us.  We don't want to hear how we can always try again and have a new baby or that it wasn't a real person yet, or at least we were not very far along. Or at least we already have other children. Or that something must have been wrong with the child and it is for the best.  All those comments may be made out of love but they actually hurt a lot.

You don't mean to. You just aren't really sure what to do. Also, don't forget about them.  Just because 2 weeks or 2 months have passed does not mean that your friend couldn't use a really big hug next time you see them.  We still need you to remember us in your prayers from time to time to pray for peace and comfort.

Thanks for meeting us where we are at. That's what helps the most.

So here's something I really feel I need to say (my Disclaimer, if you will):

If you aren’t witnessing my life first hand you really wouldn’t believe it.  I get it. I am LIVING it and often have trouble believing it! Comprehending how I could be causing so much "stuff." High drama, hypochondriac, exaggerating, liar, attention-seeking.  These things  have all been said about me.  I "make excuses or blame others or have a low pain tolerance."  With my ridiculous desire to people-please it is understandable that knowing these things are being said (mostly behind my back) really hurts.  And of course I then desire to defend and over explain. 

I don’t share my life and put all this out there to gain empathy or get attention; I truly believe God is in every detail and I hope that someone can relate or feel encouraged, or can encourage me and lift me up.