Saturday, 9 February 2008
For a brief moment it was going to be three under three
I actually got my period back in November 2007 (*fair punch* First one since July 2004!).
I know I sound blonde but I really did think that we were having unprotected sex at a “safe” time, but the world’s most fertile couple managed to do it again.
My GP has since explained that menstruation when you are breast feeding is not terribly reliable – the cycle can be long or short, but invariably is different from month to month. Maybe something I should have found out before I got back on the band wagon so to speak.
Anyway, I was about 8 weeks pregnant by the time we found out about it. I had suspected that I could be pregnant but was in a state of denial over the silly season. It took some getting used to – three babies in such a short period of time! The baby would have been born in August 2008. Nugget would only be three years, four months and Doo Dah 20 months. De ja vu!
We were still getting our heads around it – making mental lists of pros and cons – by the end of Jan this year. For the pros list was “getting it over and done with”, “Mum completes family at 35”, and as we have been sleep deprived for 3 years, we might as well keep going before we remember how nice it is to get some sleep!
On the cons list was “how will we cope with three so close together???” and “can we actually afford three children?”.
Added to all of this confusion and questioning, I had been feeling pretty unwell. I had not had any morning sickness with the boys, so I secretly started to think that I was pregnant with a girl! I was thrilled with the prospect, although the reality was that I just felt crap and had to keep going to work and caring for the boys and getting on with all the things that made up my busy life.
We went to dinner on the evening of Feb 1. It was a dinner we had been looking forward to for ages. B&R , R&G, Lisa and her beau, Dale, and us all together for the first time in awhile.
The kids came for a sleep over and we planned to kick back and enjoy ourselves once they were all in for the night. I was 10 weeks pregnant and we had discussed telling everyone.
Not long after we arrived and B&R's place (the first time I had seen the home that they bought in Jan) I started to bleed. It wasn’t copious amounts, just persistent. I spent the night making excuses for not drinking and further excuses for needing to go to the bathroom constantly. It wasn’t until after we had gone to bed that the serious bleeding started. By this time, Geege was pretty drunk and not very with it. I didn't really know what to do. I was pretty sure I knew what was happening.
In the end I had to wake B to get a pad from her (she was about 32 weeks pregnant and already had a stash of maternity pads, which was fortuitous.) She and R woke in a stunned state and promised to do anything they could to help. "Just wake us" they said.
I got through the night, without a wink of sleep. The bleeding continued.
The next morning, Geege had to go to work but I needed to get things sorted out. I was clearly having a miscarriage. B&R minded the boys and after many phonecalls to the emergency department at the local hospital in Balmain and back at Hornsby, I drove back to Hornsby, past my GP, who works on a Saturday morning, and stopped there. She arranged for me to have an urgent ultrasound and some blood tests.
I was still feeling hopeful as I entered the ultrasound place. My friend B had said that she had unexplained bleeding during her first pregnancy. Lots of people do. Maybe this wasn’t as serious as I thought?
I had to wait for awhile. It was excrutiating. I ended up calling my Sister B (also heavily pregnant) and she came to sit with me.
The reality was that I had been bleeding on and off for 12+ hours, but really I had not lost a lot of blood.
Could there be another explanation other than miscarriage?
I was called in to the ultrasound. What followed was even a little surprising to me. There was nothing there. I had an enlarged uterus that contained a sac, but there was no embryo. The doctor reported a “blighted ovum”, something Sister A had had a couple of years before.
I was devastated, although (truthfully) a little relieved. The relief came from not having to see a dead foetus inside my body.
I returned to the GP who explained my options, said I should come back on Monday and to arrange a week off work. I thought the week off work was excessive, but agreed to discuss this on the Monday at the appointment.
I had a pretty awful weekend. I felt as though I was poised at all times for the rest of the miscarriage to happen. It never did.
I returned to the GP on Monday and she took more bloods. We decided to sit and wait.
I got a call from her on Tuesday to say that my blood tests were not making sense! She arranged for me to attend the OB/GYN clinic at HKH on Wednesday morning. I did this. They too were confused about the blood tests and result of ultrasound. My blood beta-HCG level was not decreasing as you would expect with a miscarriage. It was coming down a little, but they expected it to halve every two days. They requested I have another ultrasound.
They arranged one at the hospital for the next morning, and I had to make another appointment for the OB/GYN clinic on the Friday.
I attended the ultrasound on Thursday morning. I went on my own feeling less nervous this time. I knew what to expect.
I was seen by a sonographer on her own as the Doctor was not available. She stated that I was “confusing” and I appeared to have “two embryos” and a least one heart beat! She concluded that I was expecting twins, but one hadn’t made it.
There was no blighted ovum and the uterus and sac size had increased since the ultrasound the week before.
I didn’t know what to think or feel. I think I held my breath for a full minute.
She wanted me to see the doctor, so asked me to come back in an hour when the radiographer would be available. I raced away, rang the Geege and my parents and burst into tears. Complete roller coaster of emotions!
I returned to have a repeat ultrasound. The Doctor apologised. He said that I did have a non-viable pregnancy (as per the original ultrasound). The “heart beat” the sonographer had detected was mine (referred to the embryonic pole that had not grown past 6 weeks).
It was so confusing, but the radiographer (who I knew because I used to work with him at HKH) was very clear in his explanation. The ultrasound that he saw and the pictures we could see were easily explained by him, and none of it left him with a question mark about the end of the pregnancy.
He apologized. I still wondered - Where had this baby been last week?
I had been there at both ultrasounds and this picture was different. What could the explanation for all of this be?
I returned to the OB/GYN clinic the next day. I explained the experience that I had at the ultrasound (never again would I commit to having an ultrasound at a place that did not specialize in obstetrics!). The report written by the doctor referred in no way to the information the sonographer had given me.
The obstetrician wanted me to “wait a week, have another ultrasound before we do a D&C. Just to be sure.” I WAS sure ( I didn't FEEL pregnant anymore) and I did not want another week of wondering when the miscarriage would complete itself. I wanted this to be over.
They booked me in for a D&C, which I had that afternoon.
Another baby, another operation. I can get them in there but I really can’t get them out again.
I woke from the anaesthetic crying. I was surprised by this, but concluded that I was profoundly sad for the terrible way this had all ended. Even my soul was hurt and my sub-conscious was so miserable that I couldn’t contain the pain.
Goodbye little one. I lost my daughter.