Hard Times

8 Jun

As you may know, I’ve been undergoing fertility treatments in hopes that T and I would some day be parents. It seemed a miracle that after 7 months of treatment, we got a positive pregnancy test back! Later blood tests proved that we were in fact pregnant- and my pregnancy hormone levels were rising appropriately. Elated, we called our parents to share the great news.

When the statistics give you have a 10% chance of having something bad happen to you- if you’re anything like me, you just assume it’s those “other” 10%. You never think it’s going to happen to you. Unfortunately, Monday morning proved that I was in the 10% range.

I woke up with cramps. Having other common pregnancy symptoms (hello constipation!), I just wrote it off as gas pains. But when I started spotting, I knew something wasn’t right. The doctor asked me to come right in, and our ultrasound did not show any normal gestation sac in my uterus. I went for more blood tests and other pre-chemo tests because my doc suspected that I had an ectopic pregnancy.

I was still in denial, but my body did not slow down its course; the pain increased, breathing became difficult and painful, and the bleeding got worse.  By 4 PM, it finally sunk in that we had lost the baby.  Crying was breathtakingly painful, and I had to hold T’s hand during the shocks of pain. Volts of pain exploded up to my right shoulder, and I had to force myself to restrain from crying just so I could breath.

Since I was in acute pain, I could no longer take the chemotherapy route to “kill the rapidly growing cells.” They rushed me down to the Operating Room for an emergency Laparoscopy. Along the way, my very kind and sympathetic doctor explained that with my level of pain, I probably had a ruptured tube and they would need to remove the tube during surgery. With all the thoughts racing through my mind, I just wanted to make sure I had explored all my options before having any surgery done that would prevent me from having children in the future. I was having visions of never having any children, and like a psychic, Doctor W reassured me that IUI and IVF were still going to be options for me.

I have to say, once we got in the Pre-OR, I was really out of it. T had to go get me admitted, so he wasn’t around for part of it. All these nurses and doctors and anesthesiologists kept swimming in front of me asking me questions and telling me what was going to happen, and I just couldn’t stay focused. They pumped my IV with different drugs, telling me what each one was for. At the time, I just wanted them to do whatever they were going to do- I was in so much pain and all my patience was gone. They started rolling me into the OR, and thankfully I lost consciousness. I was really dreading the transfer from bed to OR table since moving was so painful, so there’s a small silver lining.

When I awoke, Dr. W. was telling me that everything went well, that they removed the tube and that I had a lot of blood in my abdomen. I’m sure she said other stuff, too, but all I remember doing was smiling as big as I could to try to comunicate my thanks to her for taking care of me. T came back into my room and I could tell how relieved he was- I think I remember seeing red around his eyes when he got back from Admissions. I know this must have been very hard on him, too.

The rest of the story is just about recovery- physically and emotionally.  I’ve been in ‘survival mode’ since Monday, meaning that I’ve not allowed myself any sad thoughts or emotions just because the physical pain was too great. Today was the first day I was physically able to cry without extreme pain, so T and I had a good cry at the dinner table. It was good to let some of it out; but I know there’s still a lot of sadness left inside.

I’m going to miss waddling around the Christmas Tree this winter at 7 months pregnant, and I’m going to miss getting the nursery all set up. I already miss having a reason to take care of my body because someone else is relying on me to. I’m sad about the little fingers that won’t grab my hand, and I’m sad about the soft brown hair I’m sure he would have had. I’m sad about the little heartbeat that had just started this week.

T insists that I not blame myself, but I have to admit, that’s very hard. I need something to hold on to- something to change so that next time, this won’t happen again. It’s the human side of me- I want to fix what’s wrong. But there’s nothing wrong. My other tube is open and clear. While inside, they got a good look at the uterus and the ovaries- all in working order. So why did this happen?

I’m going to have to come to terms with not having a reason why. That’s going to be very hard for me, and will take some time. I really appreciate my amazing support network that have rallied around us after this sad event. Friends and family make this so much easier to cope with, and I want you all to know how much you mean to us.

I’ve decided (once again) to publish this story even though many people aren’t comfortable talking about pregnancy and loss of pregnancies. But I think it makes us stronger as individuals, and certainly a stronger community if we’re able to talk about difficult subjects. So thank you for listening, and take care of yourself.

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3 Responses to “Hard Times”

  1. Maurits June 10, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Robin (and Tim),

    I am so sorry to read about this. Again, life’s tragedies (and sometimes victories) create a consciousness which ought not to occur. Sad? Unfair? Of course! Blaming ones self is not necessarily a medical or a psychological matter. It is in the nature of emotions that the likelihood of something going one way or another may be just as much a moral issue which brings on guilt. If a loss is not your fault, there is nothing for you to feel guilty about. Therefore, again, time will heal.

    I agree with you that writing things down (something I never do) can help in the healing process. Years ago, this is what used to keep Moleskine in business (now in large part being replaced with blogs). Socrates asserted that “the unexamined life is not worth living” (although I don’t necessarily agree with that as life takes on many forms), but Barbellion (of “The Journal of a Disappointed Man”) did just that. You try to describe what it means to be alive – and share it with all of us. Nothing less and nothing more. That is just as much a part of the ‘everyday’ where good things or bad things happen.
    Be there for yourself 100% of your time!

    Love/Maurits

  2. thecrazysheeplady June 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    {{{hug}}}

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