Updates From The Otherside

I’ve recently been thinking about how dedicated I was to this blog and how much I truly miss it. A lot has gone on in the month and a half that I’ve spent neglecting this blog so I felt it appropriate to bring you up to speed.

As you are aware, my D&C at the end of October never happened. I was told that I didn’t need it.
3 weeks later I returned to the OB to have a follow up ultrasound and talk to the doctor.
Somehow, there was something HUGE in my uterus. We were hoping that it was just tissue forming for the start of my period. Unfortunately that was not the case. We waited for 3 more weeks doing repeat ultrasounds and finding no change. Finally I agreed to the D&C. That was two days ago. The 17th. Since then I have felt wonderful. The procedure went well and I’m feeling great. No more pain and no bleeding.
I’m waiting till my appointment on the 27th at which I will find out what the pathology reports said it was. I’m nervous, but hopeful.

Apart from all the pain and misery I’ve gone through, I have continued my doula work. I’ve got a website and a facebook page as well as some business cards. I have yet to find my first clients, but I’m very hopeful.
Currently I’m marketing myself as just a birth and postpartum doula but my hope is that during the new year I’ll be able to expand as a full-spectrum doula, working with those who have abortions, miscarriages, still births, surrogacy, and maybe eventually work with trans* folks who are in the middle of transition, or with women who are facing infertility, menstrual issues, or whatever else comes along with having a uterus. I’m really hopeful that my work will allow me to help people who need me and to truly follow my passions.

I’m going to try to keep updating this blog, it will likely not be as frequent as it once was but I do not want to abandon you anymore. I will keep you up to date with my life in general, with my TTC  journey, and with my life as a doula.

Thank you all for sticking by me.

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Never Have I Been So Wrong

In my last post, I thought that I had seen the worst of my miscarriage experience.

Until last night. And this morning.

The physical and emotional pain were killing me.

Yesterday, I was in pretty okay shape. We went and helped my dad a little, we got some things moved out of the apartment and we had a good time overall.

That night, about 7:00, we were still at my mothers, just kind of hanging out and chatting.
I started getting contractions again as I was trying to get my laundry together.
My mother insisted I sit down, got me a heating pad, and folded the laundry (she’s a saint).
This went on for what seemed like ages, but was really probably maybe an hour, a little more.
It was HORRIBLE.
Finally I went to the bathroom. I felt the blood. It was alarming. Much more than the previous night.
I passed a lot of small clots and even discovered a small, smooth looking spherical *something* I have no idea what these things coming out of me are.
By 8:30 or so I was feeling a little better, so we got in the car to come home.

I had about half an hour at home before it started again. Not as bad, but terribly sore and ache-y. I passed quite a bit of blood. I hardly slept all night. I woke up several times in pain and needing to use the bathroom and change my pad.

This morning I was sore, but mostly okay.
I did a little bit of cleaning and then the contractions started again. This time for almost an hour again, but nothing productive. There was very little blood and no clotting.

The pain has been on and off all day, but there hasn’t been much blood. I still don’t know if this means I’m almost done or if I still have more to go.
Until today, I don’t think I truly knew the depth of the emotional pain and turmoil I can expect from a miscarriage.
Last night, the pain was bad enough that emotionally I felt next to nothing until it started to subside.
On the way home from my mothers, I cried. A lot. Eric could do nothing. I felt bad. I wanted his help. I’ve never felt so lonely.

During the night,  I was tired and in pain, so emotions were nil. I felt okay, I just wanted the pain to stop.

By this morning I was tempted to call the doctor for some good pain medication. Tomorrow I’m supposed to spend the day moving. Driving back and forth, hauling boxes, dealing with family.
Honestly, I partially wanted medication to dull the emotional pain as well. I’ve been numb all day. It’s killing me.

I was supposed to spend the day packing. Eric was at work and tomorrow morning we have a lot to accomplish. Shortly after my pain subsided this morning, I thought I would be okay. When we got in the car for him to go to work, I started sobbing again. As I was driving it was all I could do to not stop by the gas station for cigarettes. I haven’t been a “smoker” in a little over a year. Some days are harder than others.

I didn’t accomplish much today.
The bathroom and the kitchen are pretty well boxed up, but that’s about it.
That didn’t even happen until about an hour ago when I got a call from Eric that cheered me up a little, so I had some motivation.

I sat in bed, wrapped in my robe, heating pad on my belly. Intermittently bursting with tears.
I perused forums and blogs and articles about miscarriage. I spoke to other women who had suffered a blighted ovum.
I learned the ways some women commemorate their children.
Within the past few days I’ve even discovered my baby’s name.
It’s Lily.
I’ve known for almost as long as I knew I was pregnant that I was pregnant with a little girl. I could feel it. It feels appropriate now to refer to her by her name.

Lily.

I’m still trying to find the right path through my grief.
I don’t want Lily to be forgotten.
I feel like I’m the only one who feels the loss. I know Eric is slightly disappointed, but he’s over it, apart from having to see me in physical and emotional pain, he feels okay, he wasn’t attached.
Everyone else is “sad for me” but not sad for Lily. They don’t even know her name. They didn’t feel her presence.

I think that, at the very least, I soon will get a ring or a necklace with her name on it.
I’m leaning towards a necklace, so she can be close to my heart.

I’m really feeling this for the first time.

Numb.
Helpless.
Lost.
Lonely.

It was the hardest thing, sending Eric off to work today when the only thing I wanted was for him to be there with me.

I feel miserable. I don’t want this anymore.

Confirmation

As of yesterday at about 10am, I have closure.

I woke my boyfriend and we showered and dressed for the day at 9am. At 9:45 we headed for the OB/GYN.
As we drove there I asked him for confirmation that I wasn’t crazy. I didn’t feel sad. I was a little nervous and of course I was hoping to go in there and see that little flicker that says that I’m pregnant, but after my waning symptoms and my high hCG but no clear ultrasound I was not optimistic. Eric assured me that it was perfectly fine. I had taken the appropriate time to think things through and I knew not to get my hopes up. I was being a reasonable and level headed person.
Toni, the ultrasound tech, was the same woman who had done my last one. She vaguely remembered my face and asked me to go into the last room on the right and undress from the waist down. My information was already all up on the screen, including my LMP and “Due Date” as though that meant anything anymore. Despite not expecting anything, I took in every image I was seeing on the screen, hoping to see something. Still nothing. No surprise there.
Toni was much kinder this time. Before she started she asked if I had had any bleeding or cramps I told her no, but that my symptoms were starting to fade and that I wasn’t expecting any changes. It was all over in less than 10 minutes. Probably much less than that, although when you’re staring at a screen straining to see a baby that doesn’t exist you don’t have much sense of time. Toni began printing off different angles to show the doctor and as she was doing so she said that she did not see any change from last time and that there was clearly no fetal pole. She asked about my blood tests, I told her that my levels were 43,000 on Thursday, but that I had yet to hear back about my second test (I ended up getting them drawn Tuesday morning. Both myself and my doctors all forgot that Monday was a holiday). She told me to dress and she would give me my papers to head upstairs to see the doctor. As I left her downstairs office, she said that she was unsure what the next step would be, but that she might see me again next week to check for any progress. She wished me good luck and I was on my way.

Upstairs, the receptionist took my papers and sent me to the bathroom for a urine sample. There were no other women in the waiting room at the time. I was grateful. I waited for maybe 6 minutes and then was called back to see the nurse. She was an unpleasant woman, she seemed grumpy, but maybe she was just having a bad day. As I sat down to have my blood pressure read, she went into the office across from me to use the computer, she kept glancing at me. Her stare seemed icy but maybe I’m imagining things. After she sent me into the office, it was only a few moments before Dr. Allen arrived to speak to me. In the time that we were waiting, I discussed with Eric one last time what our options were and confirmed that he was on board for waiting to see if things would happen on their own.

Dr. Allen was a tall, thin woman with a kind face. She was not overly formal. She introduced herself and the very next thing out of her mouth was “So, things don’t look good.” She apologized, but not in a pitiful way, and explained what we were seeing on the ultrasounds (a whole lotta nothin’). She went over our options again and explained that she rarely likes to give out the vaginal suppository as she’s seen a lot of women try it and have horrible experiences, but that if I did want it she was willing to prescribe it. After explaining everything she asked what we thought we’d like to do. I explained that we’d had about a week to think about it and discuss things and we’d like to see if we can do this on our own and then if nothing happens, revisit our options. She seemed to very much like this idea and she said that it was a wise choice. We’re supposed to call her if anything happens. If nothing changes in two weeks, we’re supposed to call and schedule an ultrasound (just to make sure) and to think about medical management.

As we left, Dr. Allen told the receptionist the basics and she said to me “Okay, Nicole, you’re all set and we have you scheduled for an annual exam in December.” Then she looked at me with this pitiful face and said “Good luck” and “Call us if you have any questions at all.” That was the worst part of the whole visit. We had known about this for almost a week. It was too late to pity us. But she didn’t know that. I wanted to be sad, but I just wasn’t. When we got home, I had coffee. The first time in a month. I didn’t feel like I had to avoid it anymore. There is no one counting on me to shelter and care for them for the next 9 months. It’s kind of freeing, but I know that, until this is officially over with, I won’t be able to go back to normal. There’s still this feeling like I’m pregnant and need to be on my best behavior. Eric made me toast when we got home, I had not eaten enough and I felt sick. I broke down, just a little. I think realizing that what I ate no longer had any impact on anyone but myself was the thing that made this a little scary, as strange as it sounds. He held me for a couple minutes and then I was better.

As of now, we’ve actually been feeling so much better. We’re very excited to wait. As much as we wanted this child, we now have the chance to plan better for our next one. I’m going to be heading to cosmetology school in a couple months like I’ve always wanted. Sometime within the next couple years, after I find a job in the field, Eric will be returning to college to get his degree. I’m looking for at least a part time job that I can do while I’m at cosmetology school. We’re planning on, while living with my mother, saving at least half of his income and all of mine (if/when I find some) so that we can save for a house and hopefully a better car. We’re really optimistic. It’s great to have a second chance.

As for all the baby stuff that people have been slowly giving to me, I just found out today that my good friends (married young adults who have educations and careers!) may be pregnant, so if that’s the case, this baby stuff will not sit in a box for the next few years. It’s bittersweet, and I’m sure my grief is probably not entirely over with, but I’m feeling very good about this, in spite of all our hopes and dreams.