Monday, August 6, 2012

Moving on after a miscarriage

I started writing this a few months ago and I just finished it. It is a long one:

I need to write this as part of the healing process. I may just have to sit here with tears streaming down my face trying to see the words slowly coming together on the screen of my laptop. I cry tears not only for myself but for all the other wonderful women in my life that have also experienced the loss of a precious baby. As women, we have a special kind of intuition, we just feel our babies inside us from the beginning. And we know when we have lost them if it has ended in a miscarriage. But the first time it happened to me, I didn't have a clue.
Here are the awful ugly parts of my story
Miscarriage #1 (nov 2009)
I was still trying to get used to the daily struggle with nausea and strong smells and morning sickness when it was the 9th week of my very first pregnancy and my doctor had scheduled an ultrasound. I was so excited to see a REAL BABY inside of myself I could hardly concentrate at work and surprisingly I felt as if the nausea had eased or at least maybe I was just so caught up in the excitement that I was ignoring it. All my hopes and dreams of becoming a mother and having my own little precious baby that would one day look like me or act like me came to a sudden halt when the ultrasound tech didn't let me see the screen and coldly informed me that the doctor would be in to tell me the results of my ultrasound. I hated the doctor when she told me the news that there was no heartbeat. She had to tell me a few times how certain she was of the results because I didn't want to accept it. She did consent to having another ultrasound a week later with Juan there and that visit was just as miserable as the first with confirmation of the miscarriage. The hardest thing about it was the coldness of our doctor and her terrible bereavement skills or lack thereof. I had a D&C a couple of days later and cried my way through the next few weeks whenever I had to stop people from congratulating me on my pregnancy that I probably should not have announced to the world in the first place.
Miscarriage #2 (apr 2012)
We found out we were pregnant on valentines day this year (2012). I was nervous about it at first because we didn't have insurance because Juan had just changed jobs and had a probationary period of 3 months before the insurance would kick in. We had to pay cash for our doctors visits. I felt very nauseous and fatigued for 2 months until the day I started spotting. I called the health nurse and she advised an ultrasound but we knew it would be very expensive. So we found a clinic that does ultrasounds for cheaper- you know the happy ones where they have a wide variety of ways to see your unborn baby and print your out 3D pictures. We did the cheapest one just to check for a heartbeat. Well there was no heartbeat, which is what we expected, and the poor ultrasound tech didn't know what to say to us. The night before I felt different. I just knew our baby was gone because my nauseousness was coming and going and I was feeling more energized. We paid another $250 for a doctor's visit and she confirmed that I had had a partial molar pregnancy. Go here for a medical definition. Basically, the embryo had never developed into a fetus but my body was still producing prenatal tissue and I was experiencing all the pregnancy symptoms. I would need to have the tissue removed and tested for malignancy. Cancer? What the...
Now what were we going to do? Without insurance the option of having a D&C by my doctor at the hospital was out of the question. The cost could be anywhere between 6,000 to 10,000 dollars. Since I ruled that out my doctor gave me the option to wait the 12 days until my insurance kicked in to have the D&C or go to an abortion clinic. AN ABORTION CLINIC! I was horrified of the thought. Stupid insurance!!
So, I decided to wait. With the threat of having a natural miscarriage I tried my best to take it easy but how can you do that with a 1 year old? The inevitable happened and I started bleeding heavier than I ever have before. Without any other options we called the abortion clinic. My body was not able to wait for our appointment and passed a lot of tissue- what I thought was the fetus. I am so glad that I had Juan there at the time and that Marcus was sleeping because it was not easy emotionally.
Our experience at the abortion clinic was unique to say the least. We had to be buzzed in at every door and there were bulletproof windows with speaker holes like you see in the movies when someone goes to visit a prisoner. Juan was not allowed in the room where I had my ultrasound and met with the doctor. Everyone in the waiting room kept there heads down and no one was talking. The most silent waiting room full of people that I have ever been in. We just stared at the fish tank. I hated the doctor from the minute I met him. He seemed to be caught up in the politics of abortions rather than the people. He treated me just like he would treat any woman patient wanting to get rid of whats inside. I had a cold sore on my lip and he said to me-
"Oh, you have herpes. You know where you got that from right? Yeah, and if you keep going down there you are gonna pass it to the next person and its gonna get passed all around and get really ugly so you need to stop." I could not believe it. The reason why I had a 'stress sore' on my lip was because I was under a lot of stress from the miscarriage. I wish Juan would have been in the room to punch him in the face.
So gladly accepting the laughing gas the room was soon spinning and my body and eyelids got heavy. I had to tell myself that I at least wanted to hear what they were saying. I tried to focus the energy that was being numbed out of me just to listen to what the doctor was saying.
"Wow, she is already dilated almost completely," and "this is a lot of tissue," and "there is plenty of tissue here to be sent to the lab, just put it all in the jar."
It was really scary to say the least. I was able to relax after they took the laughing gas off and wheeled me into the recovery room. But that was short lived. The recovery room was very open- really just the hallway foyer to all the other operating rooms. There was someone right next to me (I think it was the 15-year-old-looking girl). The doctors and nurses were walking in and out of all the operating rooms while the doctor barked orders. I was forced to listen to their conversation because the gas had not worn off yet. Someone came into the room and started showing the doctor some documents. It was something controversial about abortion like a study or something political. So the doctor started cursing and flying off the handle over this issue. I had to lay there and listen to his rantings and it made me tighten up and wish I could get out of there. Finally, I felt a little more feeling and sat up. The nurse ran over and said, "Oh, honey! I don't think you are ready to get up yet." I told her I was fine and she helped me to the bathroom. Finally peace and quiet. I stayed in there until I felt recovered enough to walk out to the waiting room and Juan. It felt so good to walk out of that terrible place. I don't know why but I just felt sick about the whole experience. I am so glad it is over and I am so glad we have insurance now.

Interspersed tender mercies of the Lord
1. The experience of losing a baby helped me form a friendship with a dear sweet sister in our student ward who had lost a baby at childbirth. I admired and still admire her courage and testimony.
2. We were all the more grateful for the news of a second pregnancy of our sweet baby Marcus.
3. We were able to get pregnant again only 4 months after the D&C.
4. Whenever I found out of of other sisters in our ward who had had a miscarriage I wanted to run to them and cry with them. I was able to form more meaningful relationships.
5. We have Marcus- who is the light of our lives
6.  My mom and dad just happen to show up the weekend that we found out we had lost the baby. They stayed with us for a long time and we had some great bonding moments.
7. The lab of the abortion clinic sent samples to my regular OBGYN so they were able to tell me the results.
8. The result were surprisingly that I no longer have any cancer cells.
9. We are able to try to get pregnant again.
10. We were able to go on some fun trips this summer and I was able to do some things that pregnant women can't do: go down a waterslide, hike a 17 miler, and play in a volleyball tournament.

It has been a while since this all happened and I can finally say that I have recovered from it. I look forward to adding little cuties to our family in the future and I think if there are any more bumps in my baby making years we can make it through. It will be alright in the end and if it isn't alright then it isn't the end.



Amy, you're so brave for writing about such a painful experience. I am sorry about your loss. I had to visit an abortion clinic (no insurance) to find out that I was pregnant and it was a very sobering experience. I felt terrible the entire time I was in the clinic and was so glad to leave. Good luck with your sweet little family. Marcus is totally adorable -- boys are the best!

Jeana said...

I'm so sorry that you have had those experiences, but thanks for being such a good example and finding the good, its not an easy thing to do. Praying that a little one will be able to join your life soon! Miss you.

LeeYen said...

Oh Amy I'm so glad that you shared this. Not glad that you had to go through that twice. I'm definitely glad that all is well now. Kisses to Marcus from us.

LOVE BIRDS said...

Amy you are an amazing person. I am sorry you have had to go through these hard experiences. You ate such an amazing monmouth marcus is lucky to have you. I love ya

The Johnsons said...

Thank you for sharing this Amy, Im so lucky to have such an amazing friend!!!