Hello darkness my old friendSome people may find this post upsetting, but I want to record everything that has happened on my last day with our baby.
After a sleepless night we went early to our obstetrician's clinic to have one last look at our baby. It's not that I held out any hope of a miracle, but I always said that if this happened I would want to be 100% sure. It's something I would advise only if, like me, you needed some extra reassurance. Our baby was definitely dead, I didn't need a technician to analyse it for me. The previous day s/he had looked like a perfect, fully grown baby, lying stretched out on his/her back, just sleeping. Yesterday s/he had shrivelled into a fetal position, arms and legs too short and oversized head. We got a picture, something I wish I'd asked for the previous day, but I don't think I'll be opening the envelope to look at it any time soon.
We went straight to the hospital and were checked into a private room, thank God. Valerie, our obstetrician went through the ERPC (Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception - a D&C for those that are still pregnant) procedure and reassured me about the anaesthetic - it was my first. She explained that tests would be carried out on the placenta and my tissue, but not on the baby unless I requested it. There is a 96% chance that at this late stage the problem was chromosomal and not indicative of any future problems - the 4% chance that it was infection can be assessed by testing the placenta and other tissue, and if a problem is found then I can be treated. Neither of us is interested in finding out what chromosomal problem our baby may have had, so we didn't take that any further.
Someone came to talk to us about burying our baby. We were warned that the baby may not come out in one piece (s/he didn't), but that she would organise the baby to be put in a coffin that we could pick up from the hospital (DH is afraid that curiosity will get the better of him and he will have to have a peek). There is a cemetery near us that has a communal plot for miscarriages and stillbirths, so we decided to go with that. She went through the admistrative procedures before dropping the financial bombshell - 500 quid to open the grave and more to have the baby's name engraved on a plaque (we are not choosing a name, it will just be Baby B). Doesn't anyone know how much we've spent already?!?!
Several people mentioned to us that although a miscarriage is a terrible ordeal, that we will get over it in time and then we can try again and before you know it we will have a baby. Not one to bite my tongue, I pointed out over and over again that we could try til the cows come home and it will almost certainly never result in a baby. If only miscarriage was always that fucking easy - you lose your baby, but hey, a couple of months later you get another one, and then you can tell everyone that it's ok because if you hadn't lost the first baby then you wouldn't get to have this one. A counsellor came to talk to us, and while she was very nice and easy to talk to, she didn't get this concept. She told me that I should contact the Miscarriage Association so I could talk to other people in my situation. I told her that I didn't want to do that as then I would have to watch these other people getting pregnant again and having their babies, and that that would be the worst thing I could do to myself. She told me that infertility must be hard too, but maybe I should try it anyway.
As I was waiting outside the theatre for the ERPC, saying goodbye to my baby and crying my eyes out (I realise I have been very factual in my last two posts, but I suppose I should point out that I haven't stopped crying since Tuesday morning), I had my only really negative experience in the hospital. A nurse sat down with me and told me she would look after me. She told me to remember that our baby's death was God's will and that it was part of God's plan for me. And guess what, if I pray really hard to God he will give me another baby. I told her we could pray all we liked but it wouldn't do any good as we can't conceive naturally. Well, do you know all I have to do? I can do IVF (thanks) and then I have to pray very hard to God and..........it will work! Maybe that's what all you ladies have been doing wrong. I was so angry that the first thing I thought of when I came round was to make sure I didn't have to deal with her again. I didn't, but I did mention it on my comments form before I checked out. Hospital got top marks in all other areas - I look forward to having a baby there someday.
We left last night. We tried to leave around 8pm but my temperature was too high. So we watched the match and tried again, and got home about 10pm. I had some cramping for an hour or so before I fell asleep, but no worse than bad period pains - almost gone this morning. I also bled quite a lot after the procedure, but it eased off fairly quickly and is very light now. I know everyone will tell me to take some time off to grieve, and I will, but I'm trying to think of today as CD2 as I need to have some sort of structure in my life.
To everyone (well, those of you who've managed to read this far!) who sent me messages here, emails, messages and PMs on MM, thank you. I read them all on my phone before I went to theatre, and while each and every one of them made me wail, they did make me feel better.
I know from last time that the first week is, in a way, the easiest as life is still focused on the baby and on our recovery. The hardest part of all is when everything gets back to "normal" and I will be pushed back out into the street to confront normal people, their pregnancies, their babies, and their fading memories of our baby. My greatest fear is not of another miscarriage, or even another prolonged period of infertility; it is of what will become of me in the coming months and years. I can handle the pain, but what about the bitterness, the resentment and the feeling of complete and utter brokenness and detachment that infertility brings? I need a hobby. Or a drink problem.
But I want to end on a positive note, for my baby's sake and for the sake of our future. Your support has made me feel special and cared for, and is the best thing that has come out of all of this. I know you won't forget us in the months to come, and maybe that is what will get us through.