Friday, August 29, 2008

And so it goes...

Life goes on... It has been two weeks since the scan, two weeks since everything came crashing down around me. The weekend was spent quietly at home trying to get our heads around what had happened. There was no point trying to find a reason ... it just simply was.... there were tears and conversations as we digested everything. We both seemed to be on much the same wavelength in terms of how we were dealing with it although the lions share of tears were mine... me and my leaky eyes!

Going to work on the Monday was hard... it was meant to be the day I could share our great news but instead I had to try and keep a grip on reality. I spent a great deal of the day gritting my teeth and trying to reign in my grief... At 3 in the afternoon I got called down to reception to pick up a delivery. Flowers from my Tommy.... it was the final straw for me for the day so I gave up and went home.

Tom didn't have any work on that day so was home when I arrived and was worried that sending the flowers had been the wrong thing to do... poor boy! I knew it was done with love because he was feeling helpless... he couldn't make me feel better any more than I could make him, and yet he still tried. I still had all the pregnancy hormones happening, I had "talked" to this child and started a connection, it was all so physical for me, whereas for Tom it was more conceptual (his words). We both had to find our own way to cope with this, and our experiences would both be quite different.

The following morning I got ready for work but I lost the plot as I was walking out the door... I couldn't do it, I couldn't face anyone, it was too hard.... I crawled back into bed. I didn't want to be anywhere for a while. After Tom left for work I pottered with my craft work... keeping my hands and head busy, but not too busy to think about what was happening. I knew that as much as I wanted to ignore the news, pretend it never happened... it had... and life will go on with or without me.

The next day I was back to work again and I had plenty to keep me occupied so I didn't have lots of time to dwell on things. I booked an appointment to see my GP as so far there was no sign of my body aborting the pregnancy. When I saw him on the Thursday he explained that we could continue to wait and see or I could see the hospital about having a D&C. I was feeling a lot stronger, ready to move on from this and get on with life. I was booked in for an assessment with the hospital the following day.

The assessment was pretty straight forward, lots of forms to fill in and an explanation of the procedure before checking when I could have it done. The soonest would be the following Monday.
Another weekend spent quietly around the house. Luckily, with the show coming up I have plenty to focus on with getting costumes organised... I don't think I've been quite this productive with my crafts in quite a long time!

Monday rolled around soon enough and we got to the hospital at 7am. I was called through to prep for theatre almost immediately. The staff were all marvellous, very sensitive. Tom was sent home and told he'd be called when I was ready to be released again. Once I was taken to pre-op he couldn't see me again until I was released so there was no point in him hanging around at the hospital. I kissed him good-bye and was led off to wait for theatre.

There's not really much more to tell. A wonderful nurse stroked my hand as they stuck all the monitors on. She was still stroking it as the anaesthetic started to work... I could feel my eyes getting heavy... the blood pulsing in my ears.... mmppphf....
"It's working"
"What's that love?"
"It's working... I'm going under...."
"No dear... it's worked... you're waking up... you're in recovery"

Lord... that was quick... I was still a bit disorientated and as I looked around the room the finality of the situation hit me... I wasn't pregnant any more. That was it... over. I could feel the sobs ready to burst out of my chest but managed to calm them with some deep breaths.... haaaaaaaaa.....

After that I had to wait around in recovery for a couple of hours to ensure I was in a fit state to leave. Tommy picked me up and looked after me for the rest of the day, fussing about like mother hen! I am a lucky gal!!

Since then life is returning to normal. I feel as though I'm past the worst of the grief, and I have plenty to be thankful for. It took me a while to actually hit 'publish' on that last post. I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do. I had needed to write about it but it was very personal and I wasn't sure that I should share that with the rest of the world. Part of the devastation of finding out I was miscarrying is feeling so alone, disconnected and insignificant. A great deal of the healing for me is finding out that I am not. This is something that is apparently quite common. When we were given the bad news initially we were told as many as one in four pregnancies ends with miscarriage at varying stages. That was just a statistic to me to begin with... just a number, it didn't help. But as people have learnt about what happened to us I have had many of them reach out with a story about a friend, a relation, or themselves and how they had been through a similar experience, sometime multiple times.

It seems like a selfish thing to say but there is comfort in knowing you aren't alone in the experience, and I can draw strength from all those that have been before me. Maybe by publishing these couple of posts I can pass on some of that to someone else who may need it.

And so, life does go on.... and I look forward to every moment!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Not what I wanted to say...

I had planned this post for a while… A couple of times since my last entry I went to put in a filler post but decided against it… why not wait for the really big news?

Sadly, this is not that entry… not the big news… and most certainly not the entry I’ve been planning to write for quite some time… I’m not sure when that entry will happen now.

I had planned to announce an imminent new family member. Something I’ve wanted to share for quite a while now. Once we'd had the first scan I was going to let work know about my pregnancy and start planning maternity leave, the beginning of a whole new phase of life, letting everyone know how excited we were...

I had had my 12 week visit with a midwife, and booked our first scan for last Friday afternoon - 13 weeks. We walked into the clinic nervous, excited and ready to see our forming child for the first time. Tom held my hand as I lay on the bed and our technician (Hugh) got started.

Hugh was very quiet to begin with and explained that I had a retroverted uterus and that was making it difficult for him to “see”. He also went on to explain that this wasn’t anything to be concerned about… well that was a relief… but it was making his job a little harder. He continued to look hard at the screen and remained very quiet. I thought it was a bit odd that he wasn’t explaining what he was seeing but it was my first scan – how should I know how these things went? Heck he was probably concentrating on keeping the scanner pointed at the right spot, around my other organs behind which my (newly discovered) retroverted uterus was hiding …. Right?

And that’s when he turned to us and said “I can’t see a heartbeat”.

In that moment we went from being excited new parents to … what?

Hugh turned the screen towards us and pointed out the foetus and told us how it was much smaller that it should be and was only about the size it would be at eight weeks not 13 weeks there was no sign of a heartbeat he’d give us a moment while he got a second opinion from someone else….. I barely remember what was said.

As he left the room the blood was rushing around my head and I felt like I’d been thrown off a cliff. Tom squeezed my hand and we both said to each other how it just wasn’t meant to be and it was just nature’s way. It would be okay, we’d start again.

Deep breath… deep breath…

Hugh came back in with confirmation… and a pamphlet on dealing with miscarriage… He was very sorry, and not really any consolation… but there would be no charge for the visit. Well thank God for that… I couldn’t get out of there quick enough… out the door and heading for the car, gulping down the fresh air as I scrambled for the car. Gritting my teeth and trying to keep it together… and Tommy… God… how was he feeling?

What a shitty way to find out... there'd been no real signs of anything being wrong and yet in split second all the plans and excitement from the last couple of months dissolved around us.

Where to from here?