Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Closing a chapter

So my follow-up D and C appointment... UGH!

In all honesty, I've been doing OK in regards to the missed "abortion" and losing the baby - for the most part, at least. Sure I have my moments, but I've been able to get up in the morning and go to work and do my job and whatever else... Granted, I've noticed that I'm angrier than before - at any and every little thing - but I suppose that's all par for the course.

I didn't know quite what to expect from today's appointment, but I had hoped for a couple of things NOT to happen: I didn't want any more blood drawn, any more vaginal exams, any more ultra sounds, and I really didn't want to see any happy pregnant couples in the waiting room. I pretty much figured I was safe with everything but the vaginal exam and the happy couples.

After I signed in to the receptionist and took a seat, I could see that there was indeed a happy couple in the waiting room. Just me, them, the TV and the receptionist. Thank god for the TV! I tried so hard not too look at them because the fact of the matter is that there's NO REASON they shouldn't be happy! And there's no reason I need to be getting upset because of someone else's happiness!

But it was hard. They were happy. Really, really happy. She had an ultrasound picture in her hand, and a little bump already forming in her lap. He also had another ultrasound picture, and the biggest smile on his face. And that's what I saw from my peripheral vision as I tried to study the TV! Then I noticed some extra movement and as much as I tried to focus on the news from the TV, I couldn't help but notice what the movement was: the baby daddy was so happy he leaned over, rubbed his woman's belly and then kissed the belly.

It was one of the most sweetest things I've seen in a long time and while it brings a tear to my eye right now, when it happened it actually made me feel better instead of worse. They were happy. Really, really happy. And they were going to be having a baby!

Soon after the sweet moment, an obvious pregnant woman walked in. I say obvious because her bump was definitely a bump and not just a fat, beer belly. Plus she stood with her hand holding her back... and we all know the toll a women's back can take during pregnancy. :)

The nurse called to the obvious pregnant woman and took her back into the office.

The happy parents-to-be still sat gleaming with joy against the wall.

Another woman strolled in. This time, it wasn't obvious if she was with child or not. She said something to the receptionist and the receptionist said the same thing she said to me in return, "This is just a follow up from the surgery, right?"

My heart sank for her. She was there for the same reason I was.

Finally my name was called and I followed the nurse directly into one of the doctor's offices rather than stopping for my weight like my most recent appointments... back when I was pregnant. And rather than take my blood pressure, she opened a drawer and took out a paper cover up and told me the doctor needed me to get undressed from the waist down.

Fuck, I thought but instead said, "For real?"

She looked at me and said, "Yes." And I could see the empathy in her eyes. And I realized how incredibly difficult their jobs must be at times.

I took off my shoes and pants and fought back the tears all while saying "Fuck" quietly several times. I hoisted my fat ass onto the fucking table and waited.

The doctor came in and I was elated to see that it was my doctor again! He wasn't the cold and matter of fact doctor he was three weeks ago, he was back to the warm and open and informative doctor I chose to be "the one" to examine my Secret Garden all those years back.

He asked how I was doing and if there was any heavy bleeding or cramping.

"Not since the end of that weekend," I replied. "But I have had spotting almost every day."

He told me that was all to be expected but as long as it wasn't real heavy bleeding or cramping and as long as I wasn't screaming in pain during the exam - which he did while he told me this - then all was good.

He told me they send out the "pregnancy tissue" - for which he hesitated saying - to ensure that it comes back as "pregnancy tissue" and not say "intestine", or something. Mine came back "pregnancy tissue" so that was good (I was pregnant!) and made me chuckle because of his delivery of it.

And with that, he was done with the exam and said, "So I guess this means that - if you're ready - you can start trying again."

"I'm not sure if you given that any thought," he continued.

"We have," I said and before the words came out, the tears welled. "We decided," I continued, swallowing the tears, "to start again right away."

He seemed almost happy. And he went on to tell me about how it may take a little while still before the hormone levels go back down, before I ovulate, before things all get back to "normal" but that it shouldn't take more than six months.

He asked if I had questions and I asked that if, nope WHEN we get pregnant would the same things happen again or would they treat me differently. He told me that they really don't start looking more into the why's behind miscarriages until the third miscarriage, and that if they think something may not be going well with a pregnancy, they start taking the hormone levels (hCG).

"So you don't *always* start with the blood tests?" I asked.

"Not unless we can't clear up things on the ultrasound."

And that's when the past three weeks became as clear as a crystal fucking ball to me. The Doc was not his usual, warm and informative Doc that I always liked three weeks ago because he knew from that first appointment that things weren't well. He knew it but he wasn't sure so had to make sure. He couldn't come right out and say "this pregnancy isn't going to last" because he wasn't 100% sure that was the case - hence the blood tests and extra ultrasounds.

It also explained the demeanor of the PA as she, too, knew that we were holding on by a thread.

I mean, really, how fucking draining must it be to work in the area of pregnancies? Sure it's probably wonderful and almost euphoric when the pregnancy is wonderful and healthy... but what does it do to the nurses and doctors and staff when they have to witness an unhealthy pregnancy? When they have to be the bearer of some of the most horrific news imaginable?

"You're baby stopped growing."

"There is no heartbeat."

"The blood tests don't look good."

It wasn't that my doctor was bothered or annoyed by me or that the PA thought my feet smelled or something. It was that they were preparing for my emotion before I could prepare for it myself. They were preparing for my own hell. Just like they have with so many other women and parents many times before (and after) me.

"Just another ride on the roller coaster of life," Doc said to me before saying good-bye.


And I can almost see the top again.


LOG said...

Christina, you are amazing. And it's all going to be wonderful and fantastic and it's going to happen -- maybe even sooner than you think. :)

Angie said...

Everything will work out. Your body is preparing you for a pregnancy and a life that will form inside you, and you're going to be the wonderful mom you were always meant to be.

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