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Our Story

I wrote up our story, the one I shared at the campus ministry event last Friday, and added it as a new page in the top navigation bar of my site. I wanted to write it down and put it somewhere so I can go back and read it when I get discouraged. My WordPress professional hubby (have I ever told you that he builds WP sites for a living?) reminded me that page updates don’t show up in reader feeds so I wanted to let you know that the story was there if you are interested in reading it.

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Keeping On Keeping On

Don’t mind me, just in the middle of the TWW, trying to simultaneously convince myself I am and am not pregnant. I’m a little gassy; I must be pregnant! I’m tired in the evenings; I must be pregnant!

My extended family is mourning the death of my sister-in-law, M’s, niece. She was 11 years old and has been fighting an inoperable brain tumor for a year. Her mom had been mostly out of the picture so she and her (twin) sister lived with my brother’s in-laws and spent many weekends and family gatherings with my brother and sister-in-law. It wasn’t unexpected but it is still a difficult situation to live through.

I am putting some effort into very casual meal planning. Whenever I run out of meal ideas and the pantry is getting empty, I sit down with my recipe box of family-approved foods, my Pinterest boards, and cookbooks. I sort through the ingredients I have on hand, figure out what recipes fit those the closest, and make a grocery list of anything I’ll need to pick up. Last time I did this, I came up with 10 dinner sized meals, which will last us at least two weeks.

I don’t assign meals to days but try to get a variety of different preparations (crock pot, oven, quick skillet meal) so I can pick the method that works best on a particular day. Being able to work off this list had greatly reduced my stress level in the afternoon when Ben is hungry and clingy and my brain is already fried plus I’ve made more new recipes in the last few weeks than I have in a long time. My favorite was tonight’s dinner of Chicken Pozole, a meal I had several times when I lived Mexico in college. You should try it!

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Mourning Amid the Excitement

In the middle of all the joy and excitement of Christmas, I was surprised to get a phone call early yesterday morning from my mom. She asked if I had been on Facebook yet (no) and told me that my cousin S’s house burned down overnight. A and his roommates are all fine but S’s dog was trapped and didn’t make it out.

It is hard to think about the excesses of most Christmas gatherings when someone I love has only the clothes on his back and the car he was driving when he got home and discovered the fire. His dog was his baby, he even signed his Christmas cards with her name.

I haven’t lost a pet like this and I’m sure the pain is horrible but I have known loss and know that the pain fades. Still, we got a healthy dose of reality during a very celebratory time of year.

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Follow Up and Moving Forward

I’ve been meaning to write this post for almost a week now. Ben has been going through another nap strike so any chance I get, I’ve been playing catch-up on housework. Ben is sleeping right now AND I’m done with laundry for a day or two so I have time to post again.

I saw my OB last Wednesday for a 2 week follow up after my D&C. I was expecting a pelvic exam but that didn’t happen. The nurse asked me if I was still bleeding (I was) so that might be why I didn’t have to undress. I wasn’t complaining though, I’d rather keep my clothes on! Although I was still bleeding, I wasn’t having any pain, cramps, or other warning signs of complications. I’ve really been feeling pretty good. After asking a bunch of questions about pain, medications, hormones, etc, I was dismissed with a clean bill of health and don’t need to return to the OB until I am pregnant again. I asked about the timing of the initial appointments. I’m worried about not seeing a live baby before something goes wrong IF something goes wrong. He said that they would definitely see me earlier than 10/12 weeks if that is what I want. Hooray!

We talked a bit more about the findings of the blood test. The baby had Turner Syndrome and all babies with Turner Syndrome are born female. It kills me a little that this was the daughter I was hoping for. There is still hope for more babies in the future so that is something else we discussed. The OB told me that normally he’d recommend waiting through two cycles before trying to get pregnant again but since we aren’t anticipating me cycling, that we can decide to start whenever we are ready after 6-8 weeks post-op, which is sometime between December 18 and January 1. If I was to get pregnant on this first cycle, the baby would be due right around Ben’s birthday. I don’t know if we want our kids’ birthdays that close together but it’s just as likely that I won’t get pregnant this month. B and I will be talking it over for sure. Hopefully we can figure out which we want more, to not waste a cycle or to keep kids’ birthdays apart.

I’m not quite looking forward to seeing family over Christmas because they all know what happened but we haven’t seen them since. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it if they try to talk about it. I already know that I’m going to have a difficult time getting along with B’s younger cousin. She is an 18 year old college sophomore who accidentally got pregnant over the summer. There are few things that are more frustrating to me than an accidental pregnancy for someone who had no intention of having kids anytime soon since we have to work to get pregnant and right now, don’t have a very good track record (1 in 3). B doesn’t believe skipping the extended family gathering is an option so this will be an interesting discussion.

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How It Went

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.

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D&C

My D&C is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at 12:15. It will be an interesting experience because the only other surgery I’ve had was getting my wisdom teeth out with general anesthetic back in high school. Ben is having Grammy Day all day, even getting a bath, and B and I will hang out at home after.

I don’t really know what to expect other than that I won’t remember the procedure. Thank God! I’m sure I’ll have thoughts on how things go after the fact and definitely will be able to tell you if the anti-nausea medication the preintake nurse promised works to keep me from becoming sick from the anesthesia.

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Sometimes Things Don’t Go as Expected

The OB’s office called me back this morning and we scheduled a time for me to come in during the early afternoon for the nurse to scan again and this time the doctor was available for an ultrasound if necessary.

The nurse listened with the doppler, the doctor listened with the doppler and they still didn’t find anything.

One short wait that felt terribly long later and the ultrasound showed the baby but no heartbeat. Baby 2 measured right around 9 weeks so something happened a week ago and I had no clue. I haven’t had any cramps since 5 weeks or spotting at all this pregnancy.

We’re still in shock and are mourning our little bean. Part of me can’t believe that we’re going through this again! Why me? What is wrong with me that my body can’t grow a baby?!

We have to decide what to do next, either wait for a natural miscarriage or schedule a d&c. I’ve been through a natural miscarriage and it’s not something I’d like to repeat. I’m starting to think it will be worth paying the ridiculous copay to be put under and not have that memory this time around. Either way, we’re waiting over the weekend because there’s nothing that can be done until Monday.