November 02, 2011 by
So, before you proceed further, I am going to warn you that this post talks about things like blood, and lots of blood, and possibly pee, and what it is physically like to have a miscarriage. And I might talk about things like my uterus and bladder and other lady bits. Proceed at your own risk.
On Monday, Tim went back to work because I was feeling pretty good, physically. I had started bleeding on Sunday. It has picked up a bit throughout the day, but was never heavier than your standard bad period. Monday morning, I bled pretty heavily, and passed what I thought was a significant amount of tissue. Throughout the day on Monday, the bleeding slowed up some and I felt pretty great.
So, I did what any person moving in thirty days (hopefully) would do—laundry, and attempt to go through the closets and throw away some things that we didn’t need. Apparently, that was a mistake, because by late Monday afternoon, I began cramping and bleeding more and more.
By the time Tim got home from work Monday, and we were placating trick-or-treaters with candy, I was bleeding more than I ever could have imagined. It continued to get worse and worse until I basically sitting on the toilet gushing blood. (Happy Halloween, right?)
I called my midwife and she said that if I was soaking more than a pad an hour (an impossible gauge, really, when you can’t get off the damn toilet) for three or more hours, that I needed to go to the nearest ER.
Three hours hit and there was no end in sight so Tim rushed me to the nearest ER.
I nearly turned around and walked out when the triage nurse asked helpful questions like, “Is that a medication?” in response to me stating that I have a serious allergy to a class of antibiotics, and “Do you have a medical history?” (No, bud. This is my first time at the doctor. Who are you?)
Because we had the option to either laugh hysterically or break down in tears, Tim and I just started cracking up. Which led to the most massive amount of blood I’ve ever seen. Luckily, that guy was the only questionable employee we saw the entire time.
Anyway. They finally got me into a room in the ER, and god bless the ER doctor. She was a complete godsend. She knew exactly what to say (“I’m so sorry,” and “This is not your fault”) and was amazingly even-keel and calm.
She gave me a pelvic exam and attempted to clean things out a bit manually. We were then told to wait an hour, and they’d do another pelvic to see if it had slowed and I could go home.
By this point, it was after midnight and we were both exhausted. Tim snoozed in a chair while I read a book, and felt things distinctly…not slow down.
The second pelvic exam was a nightmare. Not because the staff wasn’t skilled and kind, because they were, but because the amount of blood was so staggering I heard the doctor say things like “we should call housekeeping ASAP” and “this light is going to be need to be sent out for deep cleaning.” And I’m pretty sure I ruined the doctor’s scrub pants. There was a lot of gushing. They decided I was going to be admitted as soon as they took a look, but attempted again to clean things out with great vigor.
We waited for awhile after this and I finally agreed to take pain meds for the cramping and anti-emetics for the nausea that accompanied them.. The pain was sporadic, but I felt like I could take until that point, when I just kind of gave up and knew I wasn’t going home. The drugs were amazing and I felt extremely sleepy by the time I was wheeled up to my room.
The nurse upstairs checked me in and I promptly went to sleep and sent Tim home to tend to the dog. Sleep in a hospital is kind of non-existent, though. I was admitted around 2:30, and had a visitor at 4 to check my blood pressure, and a visitor at 5 to take some blood, and another blood pressure check at 6.
Tim returned around 7. Where we took the standard “this sucks” photo.
Tuesday was a blur. I tweeted some, but I was not allowed any food or drink (sucky). I was on IV fluids the whole day, and had another dose of pain meds in the morning. The bleeding had slowed some, but was still going on, and it’s really hard to…take care of that…with an IV pole in your arm.
In the morning, I met with the on call OB/GYN (who was also great, and wearing a Mizzou jacket and therefore trustworthy) who said our options at that point all hinged on the results of a pelvic ultrasound. If my ute appeared empty, I could go home; if there was a little stuff remaining, I could get pills to help expel it naturally; if there was a lot, the best option would be a D&C, where they surgically evacuate the contents of my uterus.
At about 1 or 2, they decided they needed to give me a catheter to properly inflate my bladder for the ultrasound. Except everything down there was so swollen it took three (painful) tries and a special kind of tip to get things in. I never want to do that again.
The ultrasound tech was wonderful and basically told me that I hadn’t passed the sac as I thought I had, and that I still had a vigorous bit of lining remaining. We waited (and waited, and waited) for the OB/GYN to come meet with us all afternoon (because he was delivering babies, sigh), and I started losing it a bit mentally. Thanks to the catheter, I was unable to move much and there wasn’t a great way to deal with the bleeding. I started to lose it during an episode of Antiques Roadshow.
Finally, the doctor came in and told me what we already knew—that there was a lot left. He said he’d still be fine with me trying the drugs, but he felt the D&C was extremely safe and hinted strongly that it was probably our best option. Even if I had opted for the drugs, there was a 30% or so chance I’d need a D&C later eventually. At that point I was so exhausted physically and emotionally, after a week of waiting and three days of horrific bleeding, that we decided to go for the D&C. I just could not stomach the idea of more blood, and going home to play the “will it work?” waiting game again.
I was wheeled down to surgery and was handled by two extremely kind, compassionate nurses. I had trouble holding back tears as they prepped me, and when one nurse asked, “No, how are you DOING?” I lost it for a brief moment. Even though I was confident it was the best decision, damn, it still hurts to realize this is the real, true end of the tiny creature we’d loved for the last fifty days.
Thankfully, the surgery was uneventful and quick. I remember blathering on about how the nurses should get raises and I wanted a milkshake on the way out as I was waking up from the anesthesia. The only pain I had was from the anesthesia tube down my throat—it’s still feeling scratchy today. It was a very easy procedure, and for that I am grateful.
This morning, I feel wobbly and swollen. I’m still on strong pain meds, as well as the cramping meds that were discussed pre-surgery. I’ve set myself up a nice little bed on the couch and will probably take a nap as soon as I hit publish.
I wasn’t sure whether to blog the gory details of this, but then I decided (as I usually do) that there’s not much point to hiding it.
Thankfully, I have an excellent blog helper to stop my tears when I’m feeling sad writing this.
It deserves mention that throughout this all, Tim was amazing. He got maybe 3 or 4 hours of sleep the whole time, but was there for me throughout without batting an eyelash.
And thank you for all your support through this terrible ordeal. I am glad to be able to say definitively that it is over, at least physically.
Time for a nap.