Today is International Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day, and in a horrible cruel twist of irony, we are mourning the loss of our pregnancy on Tuesday night at 20 weeks and 6 days. The best guess is that I got an infection wile I was sick, which went into the fluid around the baby. On Tuesday afternoon the fluids broke and I had to deliver a baby that was still alive inside of me, but wouldn't survive without those fluids. I've fallen completely in love with my husband all over again. He was beyond awesome. He was a superstar, and he still is. We are clinging to each other, and I am trying to hide from the world.
Part of me wants to block this all out - take some kind of drug to make me a zombie until the pain is bearable. But as tempting as that is, I'm smart enough to know that it won't help. Some stuff just has to be dealt with, or it keeps coming back. And this is one of those things.
We will heal, and we will try again, and we will have a baby. It won't be Baby Teysko - Baby Teysko is up in heaven, and I'm not going to call another baby that. But we will have a family, and we will heal, and eventually it won't feel like there are knives stabbing my heart every time I take a breath.
There are a few very clear memories that I have of Tuesday afternoon/evening.
The first was when we were still at home, getting ready to go to the doctor's because I had cramping. We were just on our way out the door, and I thought I would pee again, given the fact that I was peeing every five minutes. That's when my water broke, and I screamed. Jonathan kept me calm and called the doctor, and he said to go to the nearest emergency room, not to try to go to him. The entire drive, I was bleeding like crazy, and crying, and trying so hard to keep it together, and I remember there was a gorgeous sunset. I remember thinking that maybe it was a gift for me because God knew what we were going through, and knew that I could use some really stunning colors at that time.
When we got to the hospital there was no parking, so Jonathan parked in the ambulance spot and left the keys in the car while he rushed me up to the labor and delivery area. After filling out the paperwork, and getting me a room, he asked whether he should move his car and everyone agreed that he should, so he left for five or ten minutes. That's when they told me what was going on, and I insisted that I wasn't making any decisions without Jonathan. The doctors tried to tell me that there weren't really any decisions to be made, but I shut my ears until he came back.
I don't remember the few hours of labor leading up to the delivery. I remember people were talking to me about pain medications, epidurals, and things like that. I had been pretty much against an epidural for the birth, but I was so upset with this, and I knew the baby wasn't going to make it, so I said I wanted to be drugged, stoned out of my brain, and not have to remember any of it. So an epidural was ordered. By the time I got it, I was having horrible contractions, and really struggled to sit still long enough to receive it. I remember screaming for people to help me. I was so frustrated, and in such pain, and there was a room full of doctors and nurses but nobody seemed to be doing anything to help me. I realize now that I had their full attention, but there just wasn't anything they could do then.
In another twist of fate, the epidural didn't work, so I felt the entire thing. I did get some other pain medicine, which helped a lot. It let me relax enough to both deliver the baby, and the placenta (after another hour of pushing).
Afterwards, they brought me a big glass of sprite and cranberry juice, and I remember thinking that nothing in the world had ever tasted so good. I also remember thinking how weird it was that in the midst of such pain, something like a cold drink could still be so wonderful. I was also really hungry, and again it struck me that in the middle of this, the body still wants to go on, and life still wants to go on. They brought me some food, and it felt good to eat.
As the drugs wore off, and I became more aware of what was going on, that's when I started really falling in love with Jonathan again. He had taken such good care of me. He had been so strong. He had done everything exactly how he should have done it, and I just wanted to wrap myself up in him and hide from everything. After a few more hours I was transferred to another room to recover, and they had set a cot up for Jonathan, but I wanted him in the bed with me. So we squished each other in the little bed, but we found a comfortable position and slept for several hours like that, spooning, until it got light. In the past few days, we have spent hardly any time apart. He only left me alone at the hospital to come back home and get fresh clothes for me, and feed the cats. During that time I took a long shower, so it was ok. When he came back, he had changed into my favorite t-shirt of his, the one he wore on our first date. I love that man.
I am trying to find the silver linings. The biggest one is that this could have easily happened on the plane to London. With all the blood I lost, I don't want to think about what might have happened if I'd have been trapped on a plane over the ocean. And I would have been alone, without Jonathan. The next time I'm pregnant, I'm not planning any cross-country flights. And I'm not leaving Jonathan's side for more than a few hours at a time.
The second one is that I was able to pass everything without needing surgery, which makes the healing so much faster and easier. I'm already feeling pretty close to normal physically, and the blood loss is letting up. As awful as it was to have to go through delivery, I am so grateful that they forced me to do it because it has made it so much easier to recover.
Emotionally, I want to get pregnant again. I loved being pregnant. It was miserable sometimes, and I was nauseated and hot all the time, and couldn't sleep, but I loved it. That being said, it will be so hard for me to get as excited about the next one. I told Jonathan that the next time we're pregnant, I didn't want to do anything to get ready. I could start a shopping cart at Babies R Us online and then after the baby is born I could just buy everything and have it delivered quickly, and someone could bring us a car seat and we could buy stuff at the hospital. Because this is just too hard, and we didn't even have a nursery or anything like that ready yet. I've heard about women losing their babies the week before they're due, and I don't know how you cope with something that awful. I just really don't know how anyone is expected to cope with that. So I know it's cynical, and I will probably change my mind, but the next time we get pregnant I'm not doing the fruit-ticker thing, and I'm not buying stuff, and I'm not getting super-excited. I'll take my vitaims and go to my appointments, and I'll take good care of myself, but I will save the excitement for when I actually hold the baby.
The other silver lining is just how much love there is out there. I feel like there's this secret club of women who have lost pregnancies, and when you go through the initiation to become part of it, they just welcome you in with such love and understanding. I'm so sad that I need to be part of this group, but am blown away by how strong they all are. If you need to be forced in to a group of people, this isn't a bad group to be forced in to.
Early mornings are the hardest part of the day for me, and I'm glad it's daylight now and there are sounds in the neighborhood, and people are up and moving around, living life. It's amazing to me, how strong the pull of life is. Life wants to be lived, more than anything else, and I'm going to do my best to live it. I need some time to hibernate and wrap myself in my husband and just be a little coccoon for a while, but after I get some energy back, I'm going to go live life, because that's all you can do.