A Little Less Raw

I feel like I am finally able to write about my most recent D&C, although it has not even been a week. I am hoping writing about it will help me process things a little.

After finding out the heartbeat was non-viable (54 bpm) on Friday, we went in Monday for the D&C at 6:30AM. I woke up a little before 6AM only to find that I had already started bleeding, even with 5+ days of 200mg progesterone suppositories. We got to the hospital before the surgery center even opened, so we had to check in at the Emergency Room. I changed into the fashionable gown, had my blood drawn, and waited for the u/s technicians to arrive.

My husband went with me to the u/s and we got the worst possible news: the heart was still beating at about 54 bpm. I was crushed because I was really hoping that it had stopped by now, especially considering that I was bleeding and starting to really cramp. The nurse had told us that the doctors would not do a D&C if there was still a heartbeat. I was terrified and confused. On the one hand, the thought of having to leave the hospital and possibly miscarry naturally horrified me; the thought of having a D&C that actually stopped the heartbeat — even a very slow non-viable heartbeat — was also horrifying. I take comfort in the fact that both my doctor and my husband didn’t hesitate and decided to do the D&C right then. I just started sobbing. I was so upset that I didn’t even know what I wanted. I didn’t want a D&C because I wanted a healthy baby. I just remember telling my OB to do the genetic testing but that we didn’t want to know the gender, only if the embryo was genetically normal. I have never been so thankful for the pre-operative IV sedative as it knocked me out almost instantly.

When I woke up, I had bad cramping and the nurse in the recovery room gave me two doses of Demerol (REFRAIN). She told me, as my OB told my husband, that when a natural miscarriage had already started, the cramping is worse after the D&C. They also, in an attempt to avoid what happened last time, had done the D&C with an u/s in the OR and had a Pitocin drip in my IV just to make sure everything was expelled. When I got out of the recovery room, another nurse gave me two Percocet and told me I had to stay on the Pitocin for an hour. I have never been so happy to be drugged out of my mind, for both physical and emotional reasons.

I am not sure why, but anesthesia really makes me crave cheeseburgers, so when I awoke I had a cheeseburger from Burger King — none of the generic hospital burgers for me today!! — waiting for me courtesy of my awesome husband. It was honestly one of the best burgers I have ever had. I peed. The nurses were happy that I had peed and eaten, so I was discharged, given the sad look that nurses overseeing your D&C give you, and went home.

I was okay the first day, I think, because I was still groggy from the anesthesia. However, the guilt, if that is even the right word, of having had a D&C when there was still a heartbeat still haunts me. I know it was a non-viable pregnancy, but I just wished it had stopped on its own.  The miscarriage had already started as I was spotting and cramping, so I like to think that my body had figured out the pregnancy was non-viable. I also know that embryonic testing is important and can only be done right after a D&C; this many give us clues as to why this miscarriage happened.

The blighted ovum was so much easier because I was just having the procedure to remove an empty sac that was still cranking out nausea-inducing hormones.   No baby.  No heartbeat.  No guilt.

June 11, 2007. Miscarriage #2.

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