Wednesday, January 21, 2015

the aftermath.

By the time I got to the doctor's office on Monday, the bleeding had slowed considerably. It was maybe a light period (if that). We sat in the waiting room almost 25 minutes before being called back. I had an insulated lunch sack with two flat ice things and my glass dish. This I happily handed over to the assistant as I told her how upset I was with Dr. Smiles for not preparing me. She's normally one of the front-desk people but I guess they'd been slammed that day so she was helping out. We turned the dish over to the nurses and I felt lighter instantly.

"Do you want your husband to come with you?" the assistant asked. I told her no, that I didn't want to put him through this. He was in the waiting room with the BFF; that's where I wanted him to stay.

There's only one ultrasound tech (that I know of) at Posh Clinic. So the woman who first showed me Nugget's heartbeat was the same one to confirm that yes, I passed her that morning. There was still a small clot that I'd be passing but most of it was gone. There was no need for the D&E.

"Looks like you saved yourself a procedure," the tech said.

I'd hear variations of that phrase half a dozen times that morning, and all of them made me feel angry and upset. I DIDN'T WANT THIS. This is the only thing that kept running through my mind. I DIDN'T WANT THIS.

I got dressed and went back to the small waiting room until it was time to see Dr. Smiles. For this, I did call Mr. Hope back. We sat together, holding hands, until a nurse took us to see the doctor.

I'm pretty sure one of the first things I said to him was, "Why didn't you prepare me for this?" Only, in his mind, he had. He said, "I told you there would be bleeding and that there was a 50% chance you'd miscarry at home." Both Mr. Hope and I assured him that no, he didn't. We kind of argued over it for a couple of minutes but I was tired. I didn't have a lot of fight left in me. And when Dr. Smiles confessed that he'd just gone through the same exact thing with his wife not even three months ago - and that he was with her when she miscarried their nine-week fetus into the toilet - my heart broke that much more.

Dr. Smiles had told me that in the long run this was better for me. "Better for you," I'd said. But he insisted that the best procedure was the one I didn't need to have. Even though the D&E was perfectly safe, there's always a possibility of scarring or infection and now I'd have neither of those.

And even then, my head was clear enough to see that I'd been relatively lucky. Emotionally, the whole thing was appalling and traumatic. But physically, I'd just had some really bad cramps. Hell, I think I slept through the worst of it. You read stories of women who have actual contractions during a miscarriage. Not to be crass, but all I had to do was fart.

I mentioned to Dr. Smiles that I hadn't heard back from the UnproRepro about our next match. He asked if we wanted to be proactive and talk to her while we were there. Mr. Hope and I looked at each other. Typically he doesn't come to my appointments - at least, he hadn't until there were ultrasounds - so we figured what the hell. We were both there. Let's talk to her.

We ended up in one of the meeting rooms for almost another 40 minutes. The first ten to fifteen minutes the door was open. Dr. Smiles' office was right next door. You could hear everything.

First he walked down the hall to meet some obnoxious woman's twins. I say "obnoxious" because Mr. Hope told me she'd brought the twins into the main waiting room and struck up conversations with other women. Women who were NOT there with twins. There are signs in the office that specifically ask that you not bring children with you out of sensitivity to other patients. On the sign it actually says that if you'd like to bring your kids back for a visit to call the office and they'll arrange for you to do it outside of normal business hours.

So we heard him cooing over the twins. And then we heard him talking to a woman he was releasing to her OB. Clear as day, I heard him telling her how perfect her hormone levels were, how right on target the baby's growth was. Milestones I hadn't hit. Milestones I'm terrified I will never hit. When he said, "I can't wait to meet this baby," I felt like I'd gotten kicked in the gut.

Eventually the UnproRepro came into the room and talked to us about a blast she had. One blast to add to the one we have on ice. We asked if there were any other sets that maybe had more embryos at 2PN. She had a set of 2PNs we could have but there were only two embryos total, which meant having to grow them out. No guarantees of any blasts there.

She handed us the profile of the blast and then said she'd go pull the 2PN one so that we could see it, to, We told her we weren't trying to be difficult but we were hoping there'd be at least the possibility of genetic siblings. "That's unusual for donor embryo," she told us. But it's not, not really. The matches that many of the women in my FB group have made have been with larger sets. One woman was given eight! And she went through a regular clinic like we did, and not through a larger program like the ones at NEDC or FIRM.

We asked about donor egg. Not so that we could mix it with Mr. Hope's sperm but so that we could maybe make our own double donor embryos. Frozen eggs are $2,000 a pop. For $8,000, we might end up with four embryos but more likely we'd end up with two.

I felt frustrated, like the UnproRepro may have actually had better things in her database but was just this super-strict gatekeeper who didn't like me very much. But it's more likely that my clinic just doesn't have a ton of embies. Especially not now that word about donor embryos is growing. I think the wait lists are going to get longer and longer.


Something was wrong with the UnproRepro's computer and she couldn't print the other profile but promised to send it to us later over email. So, we left the office around 12:30 and headed off to lunch with the BFF as a thank you for all of the love and support she'd given us.

Then we drove to Quirky's office for a counseling session. She was very concerned about how matter-of-fact I was about everything. She keeps telling me that it's almost like I disassociate from my body - that I am hovering above the situation, reporting on what's happening down below. This, she thinks, is my defense mechanism. She's probably right.

I did break down at one point - I can't remember why - but honestly? I haven't cried a ton though this. I cried when I realized I would likely lose the baby at home. I've had a few jags here and there. I almost lost it on my trip at an exhibit commemorating 9/11. But for the most part, I still feel kind of numb and flat and blank.

Quirky's concern is that I process my  miscarriage before jumping into another cycle. But I'll be honest: If I could start that next cycle today I would. Yes, I'm grieving the loss of Nugget. I will always grieve that loss. But I am so ready to be on the other side of this. To have a healthy, successful pregnancy. To deliver a healthy, happy baby. To be a mother. Is it any wonder why I want to press the fast forward button to get there?

I'm back to work today and I wish I wasn't. I'm definitely not 100% ("okayish" is the word I've been using). I'm functional but I wish I had the luxury to not be functional, if that makes sense. But life goes on and things at my job are blowing up and I need to be in the office doing my part. It's just the way things are.

Also: I'm sorry that I haven't responded to the sweet comments some of you have left. I'm getting there, I promise.


  1. Wow, that is alot to process. I hope you take some time to just breathe.

    I totally know what you mean about wishing you had the luxury to not be functional. While neither of my losses were are horrific as yours, I remember feeling like I needed to hide under the covers for a while. I had a major panic attack the day before I returned to work feeling like I just wasn't ready to face anyone.
    Hugs and prayers. You are stronger than you think and braver than you believe.

    1. Thank you, Charlotte. I think it's natural to want to shut down and hide. A couple of coworkers who knew what has been going on were surprised to see me yesterday. Literally, one said, "Why are you *here*?" But it was a decent distraction. And the week is almost over. :)