Triggering memories

I can’t remember the last time I had a chance to sit down at the computer and write.   I know I always complain that time is flying by, but it seems to be a moving at warp speed right now.  I just can’t keep up.

Both boys have been sick, which hasn’t helped.  Littleman developed a cold last weekend and had to stay home last Monday.  He’s gotten pretty good at wiping his own nose (and not even on his shirt – mostly!) but he doesn’t realize that he can use the tissue for more than one quick swipe.  I’d leave for a quick moment to feed his brother and return to find him buried in a pile of barely used tissues.

Then, a few days later, Bo woke up from an afternoon nap with super raspy breathing.  Poor little guy.  We cranked up the humidifier and (thankfully) he slept like a champ for a couple of days and it definitely on the mend now.  There’s nothing I hate more than seeing my babies sick!

D was busy with work and other commitments through most of the week so I was on my own a lot with the kids.  Not feeling well, partnered with shitty weather (and just being three, probably) made Littleman into a bit of a monster.  I thought we were getting past the worst of the threenage angst, but good lord, this week has been a challenge.

I’ve been reading a lot of novels on my phone these days during nursing.  It’s one of the few quiet times I have during the day and, after catching up on blog reading, I really enjoy getting lost in a good book.  The last couple of books I’ve read, though – all unrelated to each other – have included characters who suffered from miscarriage, infertility or stillbirth.  None of those things were the central theme of the books and so I didn’t see it coming when I started reading.  And still, after all the time that’s gone by, it hits me hard to read about it.  I felt the lump in my throat this morning when a woman had to call her husband to tell him about her miscarriage at 16 weeks.  I could so clearly remember the moment I called D to tell him.  And when I read about her waking from her D&C, all I could picture was the room I was in…the nurse sitting at a desk nearby, me asking what time it was, wanting a glass of water, wanting it all to be not real.

So now that Christmas season is upon us, I think I need to find myself some jollier reading material.  Any suggestions?

31 weeks (and Merry Christmas!)

Merry Christmas!  I’m officially 31 weeks pregnant today and I have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas.  At almost 3 years old, this is the first year that Littleman has really understood what’s going on.  As we got closer to the big day, he got more and more excited.  Last night, he put out cookies for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph (along with a pear and an avocado, just because!)  This morning, he was a bit confused when he realized that “Santa isn’t here now?” but was totally thrilled with his fire truck – the one thing he asked Santa for.

Snacks for Santa and Rudolph!

Snacks for Santa and Rudolph!

It’s so nice to spend Christmas with my parents at the farm.  It’s freezing out, but the snow is beautiful and we don’t have to go anywhere, so we can enjoy it from beside the warm fireplace.  I received a great pair of purple Uggs, which make me so happy (and which I’d never spend the money on myself).  All in all, aside from the fact that daddy had to leave to go work night shift, it’s been a wonderful day.

Although we’re having a lovely Christmas, I have been thinking a lot about Puppet, the baby we lost earlier this year.  (S)he would have been three months old and celebrating his or her first Christmas today.  It’s times like this when it’s hard not to think about what happened, but I am so blessed with my sweet little boy and am beyond thrilled that we have another one on the way in a couple more months.

I’m also sad today for a very good friend of mine on the other side of the world, who spent Christmas Eve in the hospital having a D&C after losing what would have been her third baby.  She is a strong, wonderful woman so I know she will be OK, but my heart breaks for her.  It would be especially hard to go through something like that over the holidays.  Luckily she has two amazing little girls who are helping her get through Christmas.

Now, on to what this past week has thrown at my from a pregnancy perspective…

Symptoms:  The contractions that started last week have continued, off and on, all week.  Some days are good and I barely have any noticeable contractions.  Other days, like yesterday, it seems to go on almost constantly for a couple of hours at a time.  Those days scare me so much.  They aren’t painful and are generally irregular (but can be frequent).  I just really need this baby to hang in there and keep cooking for a few more weeks!

I’m officially waddling now.  There’s just no way around it.  I feel like it’s a bit too early for that, but not much I can do about it.

I have to pee ALL THE TIME.  I swear, I leave the bathroom and pretty much have to turn around and go right back in.  My poor bladder doesn’t really know what’s hit it.

Sleep:  Definitely struggling in the sleep department these days.  Sometimes it’s the peeing that wakes me up.  Other times, it’s the middle-of-the-night dance parties that Baby Bo decides to conduct.   Rolling over with all my supportive pillows is a major production so I definitely cherish any little bit of sleep I get.

Other: Not much else to report this week.  I’m looking forward to my next OB appointment on Monday to make sure things are still ok in there.  I’m really glad that I have some time off work because I think my body really needed the break!

The bleeding

I apologize in advance if you don’t want to hear about the gory details of my post-D&C bleeding.  I need to write about it for myself so I can remember what happened – and for anyone who is trying to figure out what might be normal after a D&C.  Feel free to click away now!

Anyway, a constant reminder of my loss and subsequent D&C was the bleeding and spotting that followed the surgery.  Over the course of the 2 1/2 weeks following the procedure, my body has played tricks on me.  Some days there would be barely any spotting, leading me to think that everything has made its way out of me.  Then BAM it would come back, heavier than the day before.

I kept a log of my bleeding in my iPhone, so I’d remember in case I needed to tell Dr. P about it.  It started out heavy and bright red on the day of the surgery.  Then it turned lighter, then more like spotting.  It varied in colour.  It was pink, then deeper red, then rust coloured, then brown, then beige.

Each time I’d visit the bathroom, I’d hope to see nothing.  Each time, I’d be disappointed.  Then, one day, I got that Leona Lewis song stuck in my head, “Keep bleeding, I keep keep bleeding…”  Oh man, I had totally lost my mind.

I knew it was probably normal to still be bleeding (although I don’t believe there’s really anything normal about having to deal with this situation at all) but I really wished it would end.  It made it hard to forget what had happened to me, even for a moment, when I continued to bleed.

Finally, it feels safe to say that the bleeding has stopped.  It’s been three days of nothing.   It kind of feels like a milestone.  While I should be celebrating being 17 weeks pregnant today, instead I’m celebrating being three days blood-free.  This isn’t a milestone I ever would have expected (or wanted)  to celebrate, but it’s a milestone nonetheless.  It means I’m taking one small step forward, moving away from the miscarriage toward whatever may come next for me.

Recovering

Physically, recovering from the D&C wasn’t so bad.  I was a little uncomfortable when I got home but the cramps weren’t even as bad as some of the worst period cramps I’ve had before.  The bleeding was minimal… a couple of gushes the first few times I stood up and then it was just spotting.

Emotionally, that first evening was easier than what was to come (although I didn’t know that at the time).  It may have been residual effects of the anesthetic or pure exhaustion, but I think I was pretty calm.  Dr. P had prescribed me something to help me sleep, which I took eagerly and went to bed early.  I went to sleep hoping we could start to move on and heal from this ordeal.

The procedure

I guess my only experience with surgery is from watching TV, which turns out not to be very realistic.  I wasn’t rolled into the OR on a gurney, but I strolled in myself and had to hop up onto the bed in the middle of the room.  This is where I started to panic a bit.  The room was massive and cold.  There were lots of people milling around – all with masks so I couldn’t really see their faces.  My arm was hooked up to the IV.  Dr. P asked me some questions.  Then it was time.  A nurse put an oxygen mask on my face and then told me that I’d go to sleep soon.  I felt claustrophobic and felt like there was no way I could ever go to sleep in that state.  Then I felt some pain in my hand from the IV fluid.

The next thing I remember was waking up with some man talking to me in another room.  He said that everything was done and that he’d monitor me for a bit longer and then I could see D.  It felt weird.  I was almost mad at the man for waking me up… like all I wanted to do was sleep and forget.

Shortly after, I was wheeled back into the room where we had waited for the surgery.  D came to see me and I was finally allowed to drink some water.  I felt like I hadn’t had anything to drink in days.  There wasn’t any pain but I could feel some bleeding.  The nurse made me get up to check the bleeding and then gave me some Pitocin by IV to help contract my uterus before I was allowed to leave.  A couple of hours after the surgery, we were sent home.

D (&C) Day

We arrived at the hospital for the D&C.  I was told to go to the day surgery area and that I would be on the “wait and see” list, meaning I would sit there all day until there was either a cancellation or someone else’s surgery finished early and there was a space for me.  I was terrified.  I’ve always been a squeamish person.  I hate hospitals.  I used to faint every time I had blood taken (although I’ve vastly improved in this department since getting pregnant and giving birth the first time!)  I have an aversion to veins so IVs gross me out.  I’ve never had general anesthetic before.  All of this, plus my current emotional state, seemed like a recipe for disaster.  Amazingly, I held myself together pretty well.

I was called into the pre-op area pretty quickly after we arrived at the hospital.  I changed into a gown and my IV was put in.  Then the nurse called in D and told him he could wait with me.  It was another few hours before Dr. P came and told us it was time.

Numb

Getting through that night was horrible.   D arrived home with the Littleman.  I tried to stay strong so I wouldn’t scare Littleman, but it was too hard.  “Mommy sad?” he asked.

I was told that I couldn’t eat in the morning before my surgery so I had to try to force myself to eat something before bed that night.  It was awful.  Everything tasted like sawdust.  Sleep never came and I lay in bed all night wondering how this happened and where we would go from here.