Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What Doesn't Kill You - Part 1

January was a spectacular month for us, and not in a good way. I've gone back and forth about whether I wanted to write about everything that has happened. Miscarriage, for whatever reason, is not something people talk about. If it makes you squeamish you might want to skip out on this.

Right after Thanksgiving I found out I was pregnant. (don't get excited.) As I've shared before, I don't "do" pregnancy well. Actually, that is a gross understatement. Without serious ongoing medical intervention, there is very little chance that I will ever carry a pregnancy past the first trimester. Alice was (is) a miracle.

In the month of December, I saw my doctor 10 times. I had so much lab work done that my one decent vein went on strike. Every day I injected myself with an anticoagulant. When I woke up in the morning I prayed for strength and grace to get through the day and when I went to bed at night I thanked God for another day spent pregnant.

In 30 days I had 3 ultrasounds. The first two left us hopeful; the last, devastated. On New Year's Eve, while people were making merry and counting down to midnight, I was sleeping off the good drugs the anaesthesiologist gave me and wondering what the hell went wrong.

We were shocked and grieving. This is my first miscarriage with my current doctor, but it is officially my 4th. He had started to give me the usual speech about grieving, then paused and said, "Unfortunately you are an expert at this." Indeed.

This is by far the worst loss we've been through. I always thought that having an ultrasound and not seeing anything was the worst thing in the world (at least in the baby-making world). I was wrong. Watching your babies heart flutter at one appointment only to see complete stillness at the next is a pain that is indescribable.

In the days that followed, Tim and I had very little patience for poor Alice. A few days after my surgery I was feeling pretty good physically, so we decided to visit friends in Nashville. They have three busy children and we felt the change of scenery would do all of us good.

A few days into our visit, Alice got sick. She started throwing up and couldn't stop. All day, and all the way home from Nashville my poor girl couldn't keep anything down.

We got back into town and Tim suggested that maybe we should bypass home and take her straight to the ER. From the back seat Alice yelled, "I'm STARVING!!!! Can we please go to the Mexican restaurant and THEN go to the hospital? I want an enchilada."

Surely a child who is requesting enchiladas can't be that sick, right?