B and I dropped Ben off at my parents’ house at 9:30 in the morning so we didn’t need to worry about him or coordinate his care. He loves his Grammy and Grammy loves to have her Ben around so they were happy with the arrangement. We had just enough time to run a quick errand before heading to the hospital.
We navigated the hospital’s very full parking garage and I was hit with memories of doing the same thing when in labor with Ben. The walk from the parking garage through the sky bridge, over to the main hospital building is long but seems even longer when you have to take a break for every contraction that hits you along the way. Instead of heading to Labor and Delivery on the 9th floor, our destination was Outpatient Surgery on 3.
I typed my name into a registration kiosk and sat down in the waiting room. It took only a few minutes for the receptionist to call me up to sign paperwork and receive my ID bracelet. Above our heads was a large monitor with patient ID numbers and short status updates like “prepping for surgery” and “in recovery.” I thought it was cool that the hospital wants people waiting to have as much information as possible. B got a sheet of paper with his instructions as a very important loved one with my ID number, a timeline of when he would be able to see me, and a few other details. We waited a few minutes more before a nurse stopped in the waiting room to collect us.
We walked across the hall into another ward of pre-surgery prep rooms. The nurse got my weight and we headed to the coldest and farthest room in the area. We played 20 questions about my medical history (don’t smoke, drink, do drugs, have any breathing problems, 3 pregnancies, no I haven’t eaten today, yes I know what the surgery is about) before she left me to change into the flattering hospital gown and double sided, grippy slippers. Like I said, it was freezing in there so I wasn’t too keen on losing my layers.
Once I had changed and packed up my clothes for B to take care of, the nurse came back to prep me for surgery. First she had me sign consent forms for the procedure and for anesthesia then covered me up with what she called a “bear hug” blanket. The first layer was a thin, papery blanket. The second layer was like a giant, deflated bubble wrap blanket that the nurse then hooked up to a space heater with a hose. The plastic pockets inflated with warm air and I was quite cozy. The top layer was a plain sheet. I got hooked up to my IV (I need to remember that I should ALWAYS get an IV in my left hand). All meds that I needed to get before the surgery were intravenous because my stomach had to stay empty. I started getting fluids and because of my previous reaction to general anesthesia, the nurse also gave me Zofran and Pepcid to keep me from getting sick when I woke up.
My OB stopped by to talk about what as going to happen and suggest the Maternit21 blood test to check for chromosomal abnormalities. He told me that there is a good change that our insurance will cover it so we agreed. We should have done more legwork and called our insurance company. Both B and I are almost certain now that we’ve had time to think about it that our insurance will refuse to pay for it. I really don’t want to get saddled with a several thousand dollar invoice when the test might not actually answer any questions. My hope is that we’ll get a bill before my follow up appointment with the OB in a few weeks so we can talk it over if it is as high as we fear.
Finally, when all this was done, I met with the resident surgeon who was assisting my OB (one thing I love about my OB is their office is partnered with the hospital I love and all their doctors practice at both locations) and the anesthesiologist. He approved me for the kind I was hoping to have (mac instead of general) and the nurse pumped half of my anesthesia into my IV. Everything got a little soft and fuzzy at that point, partially from the anesthesia and partly because B took my glasses. I kissed B goodbye and was wheeled into OR.
There were people buzzing all over the place. I was as introduced to a nurse practitioner, the anesthesiologist’s assistant, and several people I can barely remember. They transferred me over to the operating table and must have pumped the second half of sleeping drugs into my IV because I remember nothing beyond that point. Since not remembering was the highlight of having to go through this surgery for me, I am thankful that was true.
I woke up in a small recovery room with Brian waiting next to me with crackers and ginger ale. I told him on the way to the hospital that all I wanted when it was all over was something to drink and he had it ready. He told me that once I went into the OR, he had just enough time to run to the cafeteria for a quick lunch before my OB went to find him to tell B I was done. Recovery from a mac anesthetic is shorter than a general so before long, within an hour actually, I was getting dressed and was ready to go home. They wheeled me through that forever-long hallway to the parking garage (so thankful I didn’t have to walk it!) and we got to go home.
Today I am slightly crampy, very bloated, and uncomfortable but not in pain. It’s tough to pick up Ben’s 20+ pounds of dead weight so B has been helping for diaper changes and meals. Most importantly though, I am no longer nauseous and can eat again! I’m enjoying having energy and enough willpower to get things done around the house.
As bad as this experience could have been, the staff made it bearable. Everyone knew why we were there and expressed their sympathy when we met them. The nurse told me that after the surgery, the lab will analyze to the best of their ability to find out any information about why I miscarried. After that, the baby will be buried and we will be notified when the service will be so we can decide if we want to go or not. I told this to a friend of mine who also had a late first trimester loss and she was surprised. They didn’t have the opportunity to bury their baby and she had never heard of a hospital that offered something like this. This is just one more reason that this hospital is my favorite and we are blessed to live so close. I hope with all my heart that I never have to make the choice to go through a D&C again but if that has to happen, we will be in good hands with our staff.