Thursday, October 17, 2013

miscarriage

it's weird... i've written on this blog half a dozen times over the past three months and i won't be publishing any of those drafts. instead of my cheery pregnancy announcement, 8 week check in, 10 week check in, etc., the blog i'm going to post is about losing all of that.

today i found out i had a miscarriage.

i found out i was pregnant over labor day weekend and it was exciting. jake and i have been wanting leila to have a little brother or sister, but wanted to wait to start trying until after we'd moved to fort worth and were ready. two months after arriving in the metroplex, we were ready. two months after that, pregnant.

but this pregnancy was plagued from the start.

i went to my first appointment and did some standard paperwork and bloodwork. a few days later i had an ultrasound. it looked fine and i was measuring about 7 weeks. neither appointment was with my actual obgyn, just a nurse then ultrasound tech. the bloodwork came back with high thyroid levels and low platelets. they ordered more bloodwork to get further tests done. when i finally saw my obgyn a week later, she said i was probably going to need to see a high risk pregnancy doctor due to my thyroid and platelets. further tests showed that i had platelet antibodies. basically my body was attacking itself.

through all of that, i slowly grew to despise my doctor's practice. it took weeks to get bloodwork, with seemingly no follow up. i felt like i was annoying them when i'd call and ask for the latest on the bloodwork or ask what the next steps would be with my thyroid and platelets. nobody seemed to be concerned with either issue. i also didn't like that most of my appointments weren't with the doctor and were instead with random people i'd never met. maybe i was spoiled in my pregnancy with leila, but i saw one consistent nurse and one doctor at every visit with that pregnancy.

last week i called the doctor's office and told them i had cramping. the woman assured me that cramping was normal and that as long as there was no blood, there was no problem. i quickly ordered a fetal doppler online with hopes of detecting a heartbeat to feel better.

i told my husband on saturday that i thought i'd miscarried. i told him i was cramping and i just didn't feel pregnant anymore. i was upset because we hadn't been home to sign for the doppler and i was going to have to wait until tuesday to get it from the post office.

once i received the doppler, i spent hours trying to find a heartbeat. cumulatively, i spent 4 hours on tuesday and 2 hours on wednesday with that sonoline b. i never found a heartbeat and was sure i was using it correctly.

since i was growing more and more worried, i called the doctor's office this morning and asked for an appointment. they had a cancellation and squeezed me in after lunch. i went back to the room and the nurse was unable to find a heartbeat with the doppler. she said that was normal because i was 11 weeks along. it takes 13 weeks to detect for some women. the nurse practitioner came in and ordered a sonogram.

i went in for the sonogram and knew it was all wrong. the tech said that she'd be printing out pictures during the ultrasound, and might even turn the screen and print pictures for me so i could see things. she seemed friendly, like the kind of woman who would show you your baby's heartbeat so you felt reassured. every second i laid there, i knew it was over. no screen, no pictures for mommy. just pictures for someone else. someone who was going to give me bad news. i went to the waiting room and waited for a nurse to get me.

when i got back to the exam room, the nurse practitioner said the tech couldn't find a heartbeat. i don't think i'll ever forget whispering "i miscarried?" nor will i forget falling to the floor when she left the room. and just crying "no no no no no."

the past 6 hours have been a blur. i've spoken to a few people that i knew could make me feel better. jake and leila have been the greatest.

we went for a family walk, like we do most nights, each of us holding one of leila's hands. as cars drove past and saw us laughing and running, i'm sure they thought we were a perfect little family spending time together. you can't know the hurt that someone is experiencing behind the laughter and smiles. it feels ironic.

i have to go for in for a d&c on monday, unless i miscarry naturally before then. we'll see. i'm not going back to work until the middle of next week because i need time to recover.

i thought blogging about it would be a good first step. i keep playing this afternoon in my head over and over again. the no heartbeat doppler. the silent ultrasound. the whisper and the breakdown.

you know what else i keep playing in my head? all the times i told megan and jake that i wanted to switch doctors. the times i felt like i wasn't taken care of. i knew fluctuating thyroid levels were dangerous. i knew low platelets were a red flag. but there was no action. i'm supposed to see the high risk doctor on monday- over a month after finding out i was high risk. i keep thinking about the throngs of people i met with this doctor. one nurse at first appt; one tech at second appt; second nurse and obgyn at third appt; third nurse, second tech, and nurse practitioner today.

next time around, i'm going to insist on better care. i don't care how many people spew the "it wasn't meant to be" or "it was probably a chromosomal abnormality" lines. i will, for the foreseeable future, blame this miscarriage on a lack of care. if my thyroid had been under control or at least monitored better, maybe this wouldn't have happened. if they hadn't made me feel annoying every time i called, maybe i would've insisted on going in last week when i knew there was a problem. i'll never know because this pregnancy was stripped from me. leila's little brother or sister was stripped from her. jake's child was stripped from him.

mostly, right now, i just feel stripped to pieces.