Saturday, April 28, 2012

Not again.

I honestly can't believe I am writing this.  We lost the baby.  It feels like the cruelest form of deja vu.  There are a lot of similarities between the our first loss we had in September.  In September shortly after I announced I was pregnant to my work, on facebook, and on this blog I miscarried.  And again that has happened.  I finally felt ready to share our joy and excitement with the world and now we have to share our grief.  This is so hard.  Last time I think what got me through was thinking that it was a fluke, that is was "one of those things" and that we would have a healthy pregnancy next time.  This time I am overcome with the realization that it isn't a fluke something is wrong and that is extremely hard to handle.  Earlier in my pregnancy I was scared to death that something would go wrong.  I was so anxious and nervous but when I got past 11 weeks I slowly started getting excited and I really started feeling comfortable with this pregnancy and really thought things were going to go great.   

I had a routine 16 week appointment on Friday.  For the first time this pregnancy I wasn't anxious about the appointment and my blood pressure was perfect (anxiety had been increasing it every other appointment).  When the nurse couldn't find the heartbeat with the doppler I wasn't even that freaked out, they took me to ultrasound and we immediately saw a precious little face.  I said "wow, he has grown a lot since my last ultrasound" and the room was quiet.  It was pretty obvious quickly that the baby was not moving.  The nurse tried to find a heartbeat or look for movement and then the midwife did too.  Then the Dr. B came in.  I knew it was over but I kept hoping that the baby would start moving and then for everyone to laugh.  Obviously that didn't happen.  Our baby had died very recently.  In cruel hindsight I think it probably happened one or two days before the appointment because I had been feeling flutters and I hadn't for a couple of days.  I wasn't worried because I knew that the baby can move positions and make feeling him or her early on inconsistent.  I have also lost some hair the last couple of weeks - which did make me a little nervous because I noticed I lost hair before I miscarried in September.  But again, I chalked it up to this being a "different" pregnancy. 

After learning the baby died the next thing was to learn the options and try to make the best decision for us.  This is something that I have heard other women refer to and it was as awful of a decision as I had imagined.  With our last miscarriage we didn't get to "chose" what to do as I miscarried naturally and horrifically at home and then the bleeding didn't stop so I had to have an emergency D&C to stop the bleeding.  The doctor said that since I had so much bleeding last time that I had to be at the hospital and therefore miscarrying at home would not be a safe option.  After my experience last time this was a relief to me.  If I had the option of going through the miscarriage at home, I probably would have naturally leaned that way but I would also be petrified of losing blood as quickly as I did last time.  So the options presented to me were to have a D&C on Saturday or to check into the hospital on Saturday and have labor induced.  Again - I naturally leaned toward having labor induced for several reasons but actually giving birth to the baby is a little more comforting to me personally and I would have the opportunity to hold the baby and see if it was a boy or a girl.  But the downsides to that is that it could take a long time and I don't think my husband or I could deal with being at a hospital waiting to deliver our dead child for long.  We both have so much anxiety and sadness over Fisher's birth and then the last miscarriage that I was afraid it would be too much for us to handle. The other downside was that there would be a chance that that I would go through all that and still need a D&C due to bleeding.   If I knew that wouldn't be the case, I probably would have gone through induction but since what happened last time I had a higher chance of needing the D&C anyway. 

I made the initial decision to go with the D&C and Shawn called and set it up for early Saturday morning.  Shawn was also leaning towards the D&C because he was traumatized by the last miscarriage.  I can't say I blame him, but he told me over and over that ultimately it was my choice.  The doctor wanted to do what we decided as soon as possible before I started miscarrying naturally and would have the risk of uncontrolled bleeding again.  After taking a nap I started second guessing my decision.  We were going to find out on Tuesday if we were having a boy or a girl and I really want to know, I want to give our baby a name.  I called and talked to the midwife that would have delivered our baby via VBAC.  I explained to her my reservations and she talked me through both options and told me that since Dr. B was ordering chromosome tests on the baby we would find out if it was a boy or a girl from that.  I also explained my fear of being induced and it taking a long time or ending up with the D&C anyway.  She said she understood and talked me through the different possibilities of that happening.  After talking to her I felt better about going with the original decision to do the D&C.  I also talked to my would-be doula and friend who has been through a similar situation at 18 weeks.  And having her support and understanding helped me be at peace with my decision. 

Saturday morning Shawn and I went to the hospital while my mom watched Fisher at our house.  I talked to Dr. B before the surgery and told him that I really wanted to know if the baby was a boy or a girl and he said he understood and would do his best to submit samples for chromosomal studies.   I ended up having a D&E instead of the D&C.  Basically it is a more aggressive procedure they had to do because the baby was too big for the D&C.  I lost quite a bit of blood in the OR (but not as much as last time thank God!) and woke up from surgery feeling horrible.  They admitted me to the Women's hospital and put me on pitocin because they wanted to make sure all of the uterus contents were out and to make sure my bleeding stayed under control.  I was actually glad they admitted me because I don't think I would have been comfortable going home.   While I was on pitocin I had some pretty bad cramping and passed some large clots.  I realized that I definitely made the right decision for me emotionally by doing the surgical procedure as opposed to the induction.  I can only imagine the emotional trauma that would come with hours of that.  After being on pitocin for several hours and being stable, they said that I could go home if I felt comfortable.  By this point I was ready to get in my own house and relax and to see Fisher.  So I jumped on the opportunity. 

Unfortunately just getting home made me feel really bad and weak.  I have been laying in bed most of the evening but have had a little Fisher time here and there.  But so far physically this has been harder than last time.   I am still in shock that this happened.  If the chromosomal studies do not show a problem then we will look at different issues.  It is horrific that you have to go through this at least twice before investigating problems.  I have heard many doctors say they won't look into the problem causing miscarriages until after three miscarriages.  Dr. B. said that since I have had two late miscarriages on babies that appeared completely healthy by ultrasound that it makes sense to investigate further.  I agree. 

I am heartbroken and pretty angry at the world right now.  I love being a mom so much and I have always imagined having at least two children.  I wanted them close in age.  That won't happen now most likely even if we do decide to try again I think it will be a long time.  I am angry that I allowed myself to get excited about this pregnancy.  I am angry that I already felt bonded with the baby and that I had convinced myself that this was going to be a healthy pregnancy.  I hate that I told work and have to go through that uncomfortable situation again. It was so hard on me last time and I can't believe I have to relive that.   I hate that I JUST got passed the due date of the last baby and was past all of those thoughts of how far along I would have been and now I have to go through all that again.  It just seems cruel and unfair.  I am usually such a positive person but I don't want to be that person right now.  I know that life will have to get back to normal and that I will have to carry on but not tonight.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Vacuum Injury

Vacuum injury.  That is what it is called in the medical world apparently.  Funny how we have been dealing with this crap for 2.5 years and that is the first time I have heard that term.  But according to an OB that recently reviewed Fisher's records - his injuries are textbook vacuum injury.  He said that the vacuum injury was of course caused by the brow presentation but that even pitocin induced contractions couldn't have caused the amount of damage on Fisher's face.  He said there is no way for a vacuum to cause such an injury except in a malpresentation situation.

I know it doesn't change things.   But having the cause of Fisher's problems laid out so simply, so succinctly is hard.   It would have been so easy to say "No, no vacuum.  Stop." I didn't.  I couldn't.  I didn't have the information and my head knows that I can't blame myself.  But sometimes my heart doesn't listen.  On the other side of the coin - in some ways "vacuum injury" is a little easier to stomach.  In my head I had always imagined Fisher's injuries developing over 22 hours of labor.  Thinking that the majority of the injuries happened over a shorter span is a little better to me.

This has been and continues to be such a long process.  In so many ways it would be easier to stop thinking about it, act like it didn't happen, and move on.  I know that many people could do that and a lot of times I wish I could. But I just can't ignore whatever it is inside me that keeps pushing me forward.  I ignored my intuition while I was in labor with Fisher and if there is one thing I have learned in this whole ordeal is that I will never make that mistake again.

Monday, April 23, 2012

So much to say....

I haven't posted in a long time!  I have had a pretty crazy 2012 thus far and there have been many times when I wanted to write about it, but for one reason or another I haven't. 

The big news - I am pregnant again :)  And SO excited to be into my 2nd trimester!!!!  The main reason I didn't post anything new since January is that we found out we were pregnant in January and it has been such an emotional roller coaster.  Things are so very different this pregnancy than with my first two pregnancies.  Instead of being super excited and bursting to tell everyone - I was scared and wanted to keep it just between Shawn and I for a long, long time.  I did tell a few friends very early and each time instead of being excited it scared me and felt like I had exposed a raw nerve.  Of course my friends are awesome and supportive and loving and just perfect at saying the right things.  It wasn't them, it was me.  We even held off on telling my family for quite a while.  It was just a bridge that was hard to cross this time.  To add to it, the first trimester was anything but easy.  I was sick, sicker than I had been with my first pregnancies.  My amazing team of practioners have been watching things closely and found that my progesterone dropped lower than it should.  So to err on the side of caution I was put on progesterone suppliments "just in case."  I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when I got past 11 weeks, which was the point where I lost the baby last time.  And again - I am so thankful to have an awesome group of midwives and nurses who took the time to reassure me that everything was ok at that point. 

I have survived a couple of big milestones - first I told my work I was pregnant about 2 weeks ago.  I was so nervous about that but it actually went really well.  I can't express how relieved I am.  Also, I made it past the due date of the last pregnancy.  Ironically, I told work the day before that due date and I think the reaction I got at work made the due date a little easier for me.  So in a weird sort of way, I am feel like that little one was somehow connected to this pregnancy and the big announcement. 

So here we are - I am in my 15th week now, we find out NEXT week if we are having a boy or a girl.  :)  Things are going good - I am off the progesterone, past the sickness phase, and starting to show just a little.  It is actually starting to feel real and each day I find myself just a little more excited and bonding a little bit with this awesome little son or daughter that is devloping inside me.

Lots more I want to write about/document.  We found out Fisher has some teeth problems thanks to his birth trauma, I freaking helped plan and pull off what turned out to be an AWESOME Knoxville Natural Parenting Expo and Great Cloth Diaper Change....but that is all for now :)