Now What?

It has been a hard few weeks since my last post. On December 23rd, I took my first round of misoprostol. It was a long night of cramping and bleeding, but I did pass a lot of tissue. I was hopeful that my follow up ultrasound would confirm that all of the pregnancy tissue was gone and that my uterus looked clean.

The ultrasound showed that, despite passing the gestational sac, I still had some pregnancy tissue remaining in my uterus. I decided to try one more round of misoprostol before surrendering to a D&C. The second round of misoprostol was ineffective. I had some mild cramping but no bleeding. I felt defeated and resentful that I had to have a D&C. My body had failed to eject the pregnancy for almost seven weeks and each day my risk for infection increased. Why couldn’t I move forward naturally without medical intervention?

On Monday, I went to St. Charles Hospital for a D&C. The hospital visit was difficult emotionally. The operation took place in the same wing of the hospital as the family birthing center. I waited in the lobby prior to surgery with grandparents to-be, beaming with anticipation of the new babies being born just down the hall. My surgery was scheduled for 1pm, but I waited, strapped to the hospital bed and hooked up to an IV for four hours while the OB on call tended to women that were pushing live babies into the world.

I requested to have the procedure without general anesthesia. The anesthesiologist’s reaction was one of shock and disapproval. He asked me what I was “scared of” and was clearly not open to the idea. By this point, I was simply worn out. I was beaten. I didn’t want to argue. “I’ll just do what everyone else does,” I said.

The procedure itself was very quick and non-eventful and lasted about 20 minutes. I recovered for about an hour before being released. I had no cramping and only minor drowsiness from the anesthesia. I was able to eat dinner that evening. It is now Sunday (six days later), and I have almost no bleeding now.

To my surprise, the real pain came Tuesday, the day after the D&C. I realized that I had spent the three weeks since finding out about my miscarriage managing medical options. Now that there was nothing else to “do”, the reality of the loss set in. This was it. I didn’t have a next move. It was over.

On Tuesday I spent most of the day fighting back tears. My hormone levels must have plummeted because I woke up with severe fatigue and headache. It was all I could do to get out of bed in the morning. When I did, the world seemed bleak and hopeless. I spent most of the day on the couch. On Wednesday, I had to go into work for a meeting. I felt equally tired and achy. A bag of frozen peas reduced the swelling on my puffy eyes enough to make me feel somewhat less self-conscious about my appearance. I could not manage makeup or hair. Everyone at work knew that I had been pregnant, and most knew that I had miscarried. One sweet woman did not know and made a happy comment about how I would soon be a mommy. It was painful and awkward to tell her that I had miscarried, especially since there were several people standing there, but she handled the news very well and the conversation soon moved on.

Only in the last two or three days have I started to feel better again. I have resumed an exercise routine, a huge huge help. It is difficult most mornings to “get going”, and find that if I can force myself to exercise, it creates a momentum that carries me through the rest of the day. Honestly, if I can just keep going, it has been a good day. Here are the little things, although small, feel like huge accomplishments:

  1. made vegetable beef soup from scratch
  2. washed my car inside and out
  3. went to Home Depot
  4. went to Joann’s to pick upholstery fabric
  5. vacuumed the entire house
  6. went to book club
  7. went to Michelle’s house for coffee
  8. picked up dog poop in the backyard

Granted, this is not a lot of activity for six days, but believe me, every time I completed one of these small feats, I felt like I was one step closer to feeling like myself again. Hey, when picking up dog poop makes you proud of yourself, you know you must be near the bottom, right? 🙂

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