There isn’t really a way to begin this post. There is no way to ease into something that, well, just isn’t easy to talk about.
When I went to my final appointment at the clinic, you know the graduation appointment where they cheerfully discharge you to the care of an OB, I had routine bloodwork. I then had an ultrasound.
The tech was silent. I could sense something wasn’t right but I still made a joke, “hey let me know what’s going on in there.” She patted my knee and apologized. She pulled the wand out and said she needed to get a 2nd opinion.
I knew then. Not good.
Two minutes later the 2nd tech confirmed. No heartbeat.
And with those words the future that I had been planning and dreaming of disintegrated. I couldn’t make a sound. Tears just kept gushing out of my eyes. I was told to get dressed and that someone would take me to a room where I could meet with the doctor on duty.
I walked through the lobby, packed with excited and hopeful faces, and was taken to an exam room to wait for the doctor to be available to me.
They gave me a box of tissues, plonked my medical chart on the exam table, and crooned sympathy at me. Then they left me alone with the world’s loudest wall clock.
When you have been told that your baby has no heartbeat the very last thing you should endure is being alone in a room with a loud ticking clock.
The front page of my chart had a post it on it. I could read the note from where I sat: fetal demise, 10w2d.
Things were measuring perfectly. This heart stopping bullshit? It had to have happened within hours of my appointment.
I texted with Mom, who immediately started beating herself up for not being with me. I texted with my closest friends. Cecily immediately texted back that she was on her way to get me. I cried. I cried. I cried.
Thirty minutes later I was taken to an office to meet a doctor that I had never met before. He tried to hug me but I sat down before he could. He had this tone, this, “I’m so sorry for your loss” way of speaking that I found so obnoxious. I mean he was kind, but it felt scripted. Probably because I had no idea who he was so why did he give a shit?
He explained the what next of it all. I could do nothing and let my body have a “spontaneous miscarriage”. He elaborated that some women preferred “this method”, but that since I was so far along that would probably lead to an “emergency situation”. He said my “best bet” would be to have a D & E at a hospital. He said to call my OB, “they do them all the time!” as soon as possible. He said to continue taking vaginal progesterone to help delay anything “spontaneous”.
He must have asked me 20 times if I had any questions. I couldn’t think of any. I know better to ask why. There is no reason. Shitty stuff happens. I get it.
Cecily drove me home. We listened to NPR and gawked when we drove by Airforce One. She let me be quiet.
Mom was waiting for me in front of the house when we pulled up. As soon as I got inside I lost it. Oh this is so hard. I hope I can make it through.
There is, of course, a not so amusing problem with my OB being able to perform a D & E. They are only covered to treat me for my OB needs. Since this is classified as a NOT OB issue I have to find someone new to help me. I am planning on reaching out to my primary care doc and finding out what he says to do. I feel so, I don’t know, is lazy the right word? I feel lazy about the final shit I have to do. I just want to show up someplace and be put to sleep and wake up when it is all over. I don’t want to make calls and figure things out.
There is death inside of me and it is overwhelming. I can’t move forward until the death is out. And yet, fuck, I am still in such shock, I still have this pesky and obnoxious feeling that this is all some big mistake. They couldn’t see the heartbeat on the ultrasound because I am fat, or tall, or because of the position of my uterus…
But as often as I have this feeling I know that it is over.
I’m angry and sad and I feel stupid for having been hopeful. What an idiot for writing smug pregnant person posts! See? Shit stuff HAPPENS.
I feel broken and damaged. My heart is broken.