Saturday, January 25, 2014

Worthless Wishing

I want this to be my last dark post.

I wish this could be my last dark day. Of course, while I could always make the decision never to write of such things again, not feeling them is a bit farther from my control.

While I'm in the habit of wishing, how about I wish this whole experience away?

What if I could go back to that first sonogram and see a heartbeat instead of a near-empty screen? I'd be in my second trimester now.

What if, barring that, I could have had answers sooner, and not spent my Christmas holidays in agony over what might possibly be?

What if those answers had actually made sense from the beginning?

What if I could have come to an acceptance of reality sooner and had the wherewithal to demand the care I deserved?

What if?

I could go on all day listing what-ifs and wishes. I could rant all day in an attempt to burn off my anger. The story will remain the same.

After hearing and processing all of the arguments for why I should elect a D & C, I agreed to one. Once the scheduling was in the works, I set my focus on preparing myself emotionally. I requested more testing, I asked more questions. I did everything I could to quell the nagging doubts that I was sure would haunt me after-the-fact.

True to the pattern of this whole horrible saga, the fears that I anticipated were not the ones that came to light. My ambivalence led my doctor to schedule the procedure for a later date than was perhaps wise. Wednesday's extra ultrasound revealed information that I'm not certain I really wanted to know (though it was pretty essential in helping me better come to terms with what was happening inside of me).

I won't say that it wasn't another spear through my heart to see that second yolk sac on the screen. It was. But what I found more fascinating was how much it didn't hurt anymore- not right away, anyway- after having suffered so much loss already. In this, however, time has not been my friend.

I did not have much time to dwell on the revelation that first day, however, because the bleeding started shortly after, and the panic.

How much time did I have from that point, when my labors tend to be so short? The medical staff that I consulted seemed to think that I had plenty, or perhaps did not care whether I made it to my surgery date or not. I was told that I wasn't bleeding enough just yet, and once again I had to play that same old waiting game.

I played it as bravely as I could, even as the pain increased, and the anxiety. I tried to place my trust in the very people who had already begun to wear down my faith in them.

As a result, that "what if" question pops up once again.

What if I had pushed harder? What if?

Though at one time I thought that what I wanted was to end things privately at home, I had long since set aside that expectation and desire. There were answers that I wanted that only lab analysis could provide. There was a certain level of control promised to me.

These expectations fled before my eyes as things went suddenly out of control on Thursday evening. Gone were the concerns that I would later feel that something was taken from me (though something was, indeed, taken from me- just not in the way that I had anticipated). Up rose the horror at the realization that things were not going at all the way I'd wanted needed them to. I frantically grabbed for Tupperware containers to collect what I could, but not before I lost the first bit to the toilet upon which I sat while trying to figure out just exactly what was happening. I try to tell myself that fretting about whether any one of those containers contained my baby is a useless exercise. After all, what is the lab going to do but take it apart and destroy it? Somehow, however, that option seems a far less dehumanizing end than being sucked down a sewage drain like so much waste.

Something tells me that my baby suffered the latter, and it is a thought that will haunt me to my dying day.

So, too, will the anger I felt at being told to wait and rest as I lay bleeding out on my bed. So, too, will the agony of trying to drag myself out to Urgent Care with Tom (over the initial recommendations of the on-call OB), cold, scared, and damp with my own blood.  So, too, will the fear as I lay on a bed in a back room watching my blood pressure drop and clinic staff run hurriedly around me.

On top of it all, I mourn the tainting of a beautiful memory, one in which I was taken by ambulance from my home with Amelia in my arms and rushed through the emergency department of the hospital to labor and delivery.This time, I rode an ambulance with Tom, wrapped like a mummy in so many blankets, thinking- as I watched the walls and ceilings of the hospital hallways pass me by- that this was just like Amelia, only I had no baby to take home.

No baby.

A trans-vaginal ultrasound at the hospital, made overly traumatic by my sensitivity, pain, and the insertion of a catheter beforehand, revealed that the baby had definitely passed. There was still more to come, however,and despite my obvious weakness I still had to endure the cavalier attitude of the on-call OB, who suggested to me that perhaps I might want to go home for remainder, now that the bleeding had started to slow.

She then proceeded to list for me the risks of D & C (which I was scheduled to have done the next day anyway), in perhaps the most terrifying way possible, and then wait expectantly, wide-eyed and uncaring, for me to decide on the next course of action.

I went ahead with it anyway. There was no assurance that the tissue I collected at home could actually be used, no assurance that things wouldn't get worse again when I left the hospital, and no way I wanted to prolong my misery any further.

Of course, the misery was somewhat prolonged anyway, as I waited uncomfortably for my surgery to begin, nearly always cold and wet in my own blood, and nervously watched my blood pressure begin to drop again. Despite whatever opinion the doctor had, the ER nurse assigned to me deemed me "too weak" to move myself onto the OR bed, enlisting two other staff members to slide me over on my blankets, a favor for which I am eternally grateful.

It's technically over now; surgery went off without a hitch. Well, that's what I'm trying to tell myself, anyway. But I don't know that it will ever truly be over, not with so much awfulness to relive. Not with so much loss to consider. Not with so many, many responsibilities abounding that keep me pushing all of my thoughts and emotions at arms-length until the dark of night. That's when they come in force and bury me with their weight, when I'm suffocated by the immediate demands of all of the pent-up pain, and I fall apart again until morning.

I wish, I wish...

I don't even know what I wish anymore.