Well, it’s done.
I had my assessment first thing in the morning.
They offered to do a second ultrasound, which I accepted – not because I really hoped they’d find anything different, but just for peace of mind – and it was slightly healing because they did the things that didn’t happen in the first ultrasound.
They let PH come in. They let me see the screen. They showed me the still grey jelly bean, and the place where the heart should be beating. They showed my blood pulsing through the uterus and placenta – and not through the grey jelly bean.
Then they looked at my ovaries, and showed me the corpus luteum, the place where this baby started, still there, still producing hormones, supporting a baby that will never be. They also showed me other follicles, which they said were fresh ova, waiting to be released.
I looked at them. Maybe one of them would become my baby.
Then they re-presented my options to me – wait to miscarry naturally, get a suppository to induce miscarriage, or have a D&C. They said that the baby was far enough along that they didn’t recommend the suppository option, so really it was wait it out, or D&C.
We already knew what we wanted. We had already waited nearly a week, and who knows how long since the baby actually died.
My options were to do it with nothing but a whackload of ibuprofen, with sedation, or with full anesthesia in the O.R. The first seemed not medicated enough, the last seemed far too medicated. So I asked for sedation.
To get the sedation, I had to go upstairs to a “secure area” where women were having D&Cs for “all sorts of reasons”, so in other words, a shmashmortion clinic.
So they took me up there and PH sat in the waiting room and read the “Men please read” materials there about how to deal with your wife’s shmashmortion.
They ushered me in, told me to take off my bottoms and put on a wrap around skirt and stuff my undies, complete with a pad, in a front pocket for easy access. I hate situations like this because I never know whether they want me to take off my socks. This time I decided to, and they didn’t correct me the way they corrected another girl who took off her shirt. So I guess that was ok.
Then they put in an IV and gave me a bunch of pills to take.
They left me sitting in a little hospital bed for a while under woollen covers, then they took me into a room and had me lay down with my legs in stirrups.
They injected the sedation and inanimate objects began to move a little bit.
I was conscious through the whole procedure, but I wasn’t really aware of it. The nurse had found out through small talk that I work at a vet clinic and was full of questions about what that is like. I think we talked about it through the procedure but I don’t remember anything of the conversation.
I just remember the OB-GYN announcing that it was done after a very short period of time, and he carried a metal bowl out of the room. The sedation made me less afraid to ask the question I thought might horrify them:
“Can I… see it?”
And to my surprise, a casual “sure,” came out of the next room. A few minutes later they brought me a sort of tray or bowl filled with water, with little pinkish bits of stuff floating in it.
They pointed to one strand that looked like all the other strands and said “we think that’s it.”
It didn’t look like anything. Certainly not a baby, not even an embryo. I felt better about the fact that it was being thrown away.
They must have put my underwear on me, or had me put it on myself, but I don’t remember that. I do remember them asking if I needed a wheelchair, but I said I could walk. They led me to my hospital bed, and I lay down and closed my eyes, and tears squeezed out from under my eyelids.
I was comfortable in that sedated space. The fentanyl kept me from feeling any pain. The sedative made me feel pleasantly drifty. I kept drifting off into a sleepy land of no pain, occasionally weeping quietly, and the nurses would stop by now and then to take out my catheter, hand me some crackers and water, check my bleeding and so on.
After about a half an hour they said I could go. I put on my pants and shoes, and shuffled out to the waiting room where PH was waiting. He helped me to the car and took me home.
The pain started in the car as the fentanyl wore off. I wished I had more of that, and more of the sedation, so I could keep drifting in that fuzzy place where sleep seemed to accessible.
Instead I took a bunch of Tylenol 3 (of which we have a lot at home because PH has health issues) and zoned out watching Firefly, trying to keep myself distracted, while PH reheated my magic bag for me occasionally.
It hurt. Not like menstrual cramping, but not as bad as labour either – more like very early labour where you have a dull discomfort interrupted by sudden sharp pains.
The T3s would kick in for a while and then they’d start to wear off and the pain would come back. At one point I actually got up and walked away, half expecting to walk away from the pain, as if it were just an uncomfortable chair or something.
I don’t know whether the pain was really that bad or if there was a psychosomatic component as well. Maybe knowing that it was the ache of my empty womb, the feeling of my body going “wheredafuck did you put my babby?” or “whatthehell just scraped my uterus?” made it worse.
I don’t know.
But I spent the day in front of the TV, which I never really do. When PH finally took over the remote and switched to stuff I didn’t care about, I went to bed. I slept until 8:30 this morning, and I felt better when I woke up.
The pain is mild today. More slight cramping and psychic discomfort. But I’m feeling angry, too.
My baby is gone.
Really, my baby never really was – doomed by bad chromosomes never to have a future: a mistake of mother nature that never had real potential… but I thought I had a baby, I thought it had a future, and god damnit, I want that back.