Sunday, August 25, 2013

Is This Ride Over Yet?

Over the last few summers, I've noticed that with the warm weather comes anxiousness, changes, drama, and weariness. I guess people just don't know what to do with themselves with that extra hour the sun is up. This summer has proved to be all of that and more and it's a roller coaster I'd like to get off of.

We've had a lot of fun times this summer, but they have been surrounded and laced with general unpleasantness. Thinking back, these have been a long, eventful, last four months.

Thinking all the way back to April, that was when I got pregnant. I didn't find out until May but I had a pretty good idea long before then. And, well, you know how that turned out.

I figured I'd have to deal with the aftermath for a while; like I said, bleeding can last one to five weeks. I learned later, however, that bleeding consistently with no break and experiencing random gushes were not part of the normal routine. I found this out during a warm summer morning around 3am...

Disclaimer: I'm talking about blood, and lots of it.

I slowly came out of sleep last Thursday morning at about 2:45 with the vague sensation I was bleeding. I got up to go to the bathroom, but didn't turn the light on. Rather too late, I decided having the light on was probably best so I waddled over to the switch, flicked it on, looked down and saw what resembled a light spring rain of blood all over my pajamas. After a few minutes, I thought I had myself put back together and believed if I could just get to laying back in bed, things would be fine. I made it, with just a few minutes to almost drift off to sleep before I started to feel discomfort.

It was pain on a low scale, a little sharp pressure in my what Scary Mommy blogger refers to as her "Weary Elephant" after having three children. The little voice in my head picked up her megaphone and shouted at me that that was my one and final warning; I needed to get up and fast. I made it to just inside the doorway of the bathroom - no time to flick on the lights - and what I can only describe as a water balloon exploded from me. I shrieked and Jacob came running, helping me to the toilet. He asked me if I was feeling ok and I said I wasn't in any pain. As he came to sit next to me on the bathtub ledge, I said I was feeling dizzy. The next thing I remember is dreaming, then being hoisted up by Jacob who was trying adamantly to wake me up. He told me later that I had passed out right after declaring I was dizzy. Having what Jacob called the "dead-eyed look," he shouted my name and lightly slapped my face as I just stared off into nothing, eyes wide open, mouth agape, complete unconscious.

When I wouldn't come to, Jacob propped me up on the toilet as best her could so that he could run and grab his cell phone. Just as he reached it, he heard a thunk and found me, bloody ass in the air, slumped over the edge of the bathtub into the curtain, out cold. I started to come to and said I wanted to lay down. But just as Jacob eased me onto the floor, I immediately sat up and wretched into an already very busy toilet.

Jacob called 911 when I was unconscious so there was no way I could say no, protest, or insist that I was fine (sneaky bastard). In the two minutes until the ambulance arrived, I was able to sit up, pull myself together a little, and survey the crime scene. All I kept thinking was, I just cleaned the bathroom!

The paramedics arrived (as I sat there, naked from the waste town with a blood-soaked towel around my waist, I was thankful these weren't of paramedic calendar hotness), hooked me up to machines, strapped me into a stretcher, wheeled me into an ambulance, and drove me to the ER as I shook uncontrollably from all the adrenaline.

I continued to bleed heavily until shortly after I arrived in my own ER room. After taking all kinds of blood, giving me an IV, and hooking me up to various machines, the college-basketball-player nurse with a thick Australian accent cleaned me up as best she could with baby wipes. If there is one upside to the hospital, it's those toasty-warm blankets. I was offered a few because I was now completely naked, having been required to don a robe, and I was the first legitimate case for both the paramedics and ER staff all night. Everyone was more than happy to take care of me, at one point I even had a doctor and two nurses in my room at the same time, and not just to inform me that someone else would be along in a minute.

During my stay, I had two exams (the first with the ER doctor, during which I thanked God for OB/GYNs and the gentleness in which they are expertly trained), an ultrasound - which determined I needed a D&C - and a blood transfusion.

A D&C is a minor, outpatient procedure and is the same principal as having a surgical abortion (exactly, actually, except there's no fetus, just debris). It only took about 20 minutes, but I was put under and given a litany of other drugs, one of them rectally (while I was still unconscious, thank God). Upon further research, I learned pregnancies after 10 weeks mostly require a D&C as opposed to naturally miscarrying because they are almost always incomplete. In short, I should have been offered a D&C when I initially learned I miscarried.

Jacob and I spent a few minutes camped out in the very small recovery room while a lovely nurse tended to us like we were in some exclusive, five-star hotel. When I started to fall asleep, I realized I would rather be home, which the nurse wholeheartedly agreed to. It was a little after 9am and the volunteers hadn't arrived yet so she wheeled me out to the car herself.

We got home shortly thereafter, I tried to eat something, but really just wanted to get the small amount of errands we needed done so I could sleep for the day and not feel bad about it. Thanks to the implementation of drive-thru's, I barely had to get out of the car, which was good because I looked pretty drugged up and felt like I was walking in a bubble.

I didn't end up sleeping at all during the day, but I was able to relax so just resigned myself to the fact that 9:30pm would probably be the latest I could stay up. Right on schedule, Jacob - who had been through Hell and back, helpless with nothing to do but worry and imagine the worst - started snoring at about 9:26pm. He, obviously, stayed with me that entire day and the next day, too, giving us a long four-day weekend together. My second week on the job of Stay-at-Home Mom and I already had to call in sick.

I bled only the slightest bit post-procedure but it has since stopped. I feel a lot better physically, and like I've just come out of a fog mentally. I read in a few publications that some women choose to have a D&C after learning their fetus is not longer living because it offers them a sense of closure. I initially thought this was ridiculous but now realize the validity. In a way I sort of miss bleeding; like I still had something of what once was and what could have been, as morbid and disgusting as that might sound. And it's weird - yet liberating - leaving the house and not having to make sure I'm stocked with enough Maxi pads to fashion a quick life raft.

Meanwhile, I'm more physically capable of the big changes we have coming our way. And in a way I do feel closure. The thing I've dealt with in some capacity since April, and that has been the Linus-fog that accompanied me through the rest of my summer activities, is finally over and gone. Now I can finally step into the uber-cliched "next chapter." Go me.