Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Managing the Pain

This may be the hardest one to write yet.  I don't even know where to begin.  I have to start somewhere, because I have to get it out.
I went to my doctor's appointment and ultrasound appt. on Monday.  The u/s tech started the measurements really quickly, before Ches was even in the room.  It was before my appointment time, so he was still parking.  She measured everything very fast, and I didn't get to say/ask anything.  About the time Ches got there, she asked me about the babies' sacs-if there was a membrane between them.  She said she was going to get the doctor, since he'd probably want to look.  Ches and I had a few words-he wasn't happy he'd missed the measurements, and we waited.  My doctor walked in and told me the tech couldn't find any heartbeats.  I just laid on the table.  What do you say?  I was in total shock/disbelief.  I made it this far?  This is the safe time-I made it to 12 weeks.
He showed me on the ultrasound, because I just kept staring at him.  He helped me up, and said to take some time, and to meet him in his office.  I lost it.  I couldn't breathe.  I could've hyperventilated-I just couldn't get air.  I was in total disbelief.
We walked down to his office, as red-faced and teary as they come.  We passed tons of nurses, and there were people waiting outside the ultrasound room when we came out.  I'd feel horrible to see people come out like that-but to be those people?  Even harder.
We talked with the doctor, and again, like the last two times, he said it could be chromosomal.  He's going to consult with a geneticist in Little Rock to see if he has an opinion about testing (both the genetic material of the babies and Ches and me).  I just disagree.  Why did I go so much longer?  The babies were perfectly formed.  (and no, I didn't get any pictures this time)  I think it was the placenta.  Which was my next question: why did it take both of them, and not just one?  He said whatever happened, happened to both of them.  It worries me that they were sharing a placenta (which is what I was praying would not be the case).  There are no good answers.
He told me that it had only happened in the last 48-72 hours.  I estimate that to be Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon.  What was I doing when their hearts stopped?  Could I tell?  They were measuring 10 weeks, 6 days, so he said that's how he could tell when it happened.  Apparently, they start to shrink a little each day, so they count backwards in time.

Now, I have the next hardest hurdle to overcome, and it is quickly becoming equally difficult.  They are still in me, and I've still had no bleeding.  The doctor launched right into management-a d&c (and ALL it's complications: transfusions-including contracting Hepatitis or HIV from blood, even a hysterectomy), and I could only stare at him (interspersed with crying).  What?
I just told him I didn't want a d and c, and what else is there?  I now know there is expectant management (wait and see approach, your body delivers in its own time: could be up to a month), and medical management (you're given medication to cause dilation and contractions, and come with horrible pain, vomiting/diarrhea and severe cramping).  So those are my options.  I told him I didn't have a clue, and what if they were okay and he gave me the medications, and he killed them? (this would be grief, stage one: shock and denial)
I came home to lay in bed.  How can I be expected to make a decision?  I want them to stay right where they are.  (but we don't always get what we want)  I laid in bed with the most awful headache all evening.  I was in severe pain.  I don't know if it was not enough sleep the night before, the stress of it all, the dropping hormones.  I can't say.  I still have a headache today, just not as severe.  I couldn't fall asleep.  I laid in my bed until 10 pm, and nothing.  Just laid there, with awful thoughts in my head.  I finally was granted sleep about 10:30, then I was back up at 2:30.  I didn't get back to sleep until almost 5, so today I bought some Unisom.  I cannot function on that much sleep.
Today I have new problems (in addition to the headache, and a big decision that looms over me).  I have to deal with people.  I wasn't thinking.  I know when I'm happy I'm pretty darn cheerful, but when you hear cheerful chirping and general happy-talk from other people, it's hard.  They want to ask how I'm doing, and exchange nice words, and I don't have any.  I had to tell three people today, and this is not my idea of fun.  I'm not good at giving bad news.  I don't know what to say.  I don't want to tell a story every time, I don't want to cry again (I've already got burns around my eyes where the salty tears have hurt my skin-it feels raw, and is painful).  And I'm still all big-tummy-looking, so you can't see that things are different.  What do you say?  I mean they are still in there, they just aren't there.
I had to tell Mary Claire last night, which is the absolute hardest, and I was absolutely dreading it.  She came in the bedroom to check on me, and asked if the babies were okay.  I just shook my head no, and she looked so concerned.  She asked if they were alive, and I told her their hearts stopped beating.  So she asked if they'd be alive when they came out, and I had to shake my head again.  I was losing it, and she could tell.  I didn't know what else to say.  She cried and rubbed my tummy.  She's such a precious, caring girl.  I hope I can remember what a loving heart she has when I'm tempted to complain about how messy she is.  She is just precious.
Ethan laid in bed with me for a while from 9ish to 10ish while I was tired, but couldn't sleep.  He's a cuddle-bug, and was good for me.  We had no baby words, which made it even easier.
Today I'm researching, preparing for tomorrow.  I have another ultrasound (since my doctor wants me to be sure), and then an appointment again, presumably to make a decision.  I am trying to get ready, but I don't know what I'll do yet.  A d and c is instant, but I'm totally against being put to sleep and scraped out.  The other two are slower and painful.  If they could me managed at the hospital, maybe.  They are so big now, that it's too much to do alone at home. : (
Ok, I have hungry kids, so I have to make time for them and dinner.  I'll do more research and get ready.  Say a prayer for my hurt and angry and un-understanding heart.  This is number three (and four), and I can't take much more.  I don't even understand, at some point don't you break even?  I have more babies in Heaven than on Earth now.  It just seems wrong.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. 
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. 
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Psalm 23 1:6

4 comments:

The Mom said...

You are in my heart and in my prayers. Whatever you need, just call me.

We do not know the answers to all that await us or anyone, or what is before us in heaven or even here on earth, but I do know one thing for sure, faith in the Lord is a constant in good times and in the very worst.

He knows what you need even before you can think the thought.

L&H

P.s Rick came through for you.

Sandra said...

Oh Holly... I am so so sorry... my heart aches for you guys! I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.... if you need anything just let me know!

Kendra said...

Holly, I am so sorry!!!! I'm devastated for you and am praying. If you need anything at ALL, please call me. Love you guys.

busymom said...

Mom-I know He knows what I need, but why didn't He do it? This is hard. I'm glad they'll make it. I need something to look forward to. : )

Sandra-Thanks, more prayers are needed. It only gets worse.

Kendra-Me too. Thanks. Love you guys too.