I had my D&C Friday and I am so glad that my Beverly Hills fertility clinic was able to fit me in, rather than having to go to the new, closer doctor I found with his old ultrasound equipment. He wanted me to be awake for the procedure, but would drug me with Demerol. Um, no thanks. The lovely Dr. C saw to it that I had an expert anesthesiologist to usher me into a dreamless and painless sleep while the tiny carcass of my fetus was removed. This small, sad thing just didn’t seem to want to leave on its own.
The day of the procedure was seamless. As was the day after. But last night was hell. I was up all night thrashing around, running to the bathroom, and literally puking in pain, yet my body continued and continues to hold on to my endometrial lining like it still thinks there’s a critter in there. Guess those weeks of Estradiol plumped up my uterus a little too nicely. Dr. C said I should expect some very heavy bleeding in the next few days, but have yet to experience any such thing. Don’t you just love not knowing when you’re going to start gushing blood? I’m prepared yes, but not so prepared that I want to resume my normal activities that include lunch meetings and long drives to Hollywood. Not to mention the pain. I’m not doubled over at this moment, but I’m certainly impaired and haunted by it. It feels different from a period, however. It feels all-encompassing and it doesn’t ebb and flow, but radiates through my entire torso like my innards are on fire.
Speaking of all-encompassing, I spent much of the weekend researching. I also finally began to review Brighton Baby, whose author I interviewed recently. The frustrating part is that I had been doing almost EVERYTHING he lists to prepare one’s body for conception prior to this miscarriage. From 5 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables, to high quality supplements and oils (organic coconut, flax, cold pressed olive oil), to a higher protein diet, to adequate exercise – I did it all and for longer than 6-months. I even have a health and fitness blog for God’s sake! My husband also made some serious changes by strictly limiting his alcohol intake and by taking his Proxceed supplements religiously since October. His last sperm analysis from that time period was an improvement, but still showed 79% abnormal forms. I’ve read some research that finds a connection between abnormal forms and miscarriage (though I’m not pointing fingers. We’ll know more when the fetal genetic analysis comes back). With that said, hubby has agreed to continue on Chinese Medicine (he had done one month and stopped a few weeks before conception). He will also try harder to adopt and stick with an exercise program, while continuing his Proxceed supplements. In addition, I’ve added a B-stress complex vitamin (from food sources), Vitamin D (since he’s inside all day) AND ordered L-Gluthathione, an anti-oxidant Dr. Dittmann (of Brighton Baby) recommends for sperm health. These things might not help, but they can’t hurt. And with the extreme stress hubby is under at his job, at the least the acupuncture and B vitamins should help him better cope.
I know it still appears that I am trying to “control” nature, but I want to leave no stone unturned. I want to know that I’ve done everything I can to prepare our bodies yet again, to give us the best chance to lower the odds for next time. But I’m finding the stats, the research, and the studies to be very irritating. If you read this miscarriage research site like I have (click for miscarriage stats), you’ll see all the correlations between prenatals and food sources and miscarriage or lack thereof. What it comes down to is that unless you have a clotting disorder, progesterone deficiency, or immune system problem, your only option to lower the miscarriage rate is to live a healthy lifestyle. Though “lifestyle” certainly hasn’t stopped the Honey Boo Boo mothers of the world from continuing to procreate. Grrrr. Yes, I know, I know, the fertility God’s aren’t fair! And I’m mean and going to hell.
Now I leave you with two stories that speak to the title of this blog post.
Story #1. My mother lost her first baby at age 22. About a week before her due date her blood pressure shot up and she noticed that the baby had stopped moving. What would have been my older sister had died in utero due to a shortened umblical cord. The cord had wrapped around her neck, strangling the poor child. As a result, my mom gave birth to a dead little girl, but said that the act of pushing, or forcing her out, helped to lessen the sadness. In fact, she thought she was ready to move on when she left the hospital.
A week after being discharged, she found a puppy wandering the side of the road a block from her rural Northern California rental. She took this puppy in, fed her, loved her, raised her, and trained her. She named the dog Tooty Muldoon. And, in the months that followed, Tooty helped keep her mind off all she had lost.
Then, exactly a year to the day that my mother’s baby died, her roommate left the gate open and Tooty Muldoon ran into the street and was hit by a car, dying in almost the exact same place she was found. Worse still, Tooty died on the anniversary of her baby’s death and my mother was devastated. Even more so than when she lost the baby. She was more angry than she had ever been. She cursed God. She couldn’t believe that she was being forced to endure more pain. For weeks she cried and wallowed and let sadness envelope her like cloak. But somehow, as the days went by and tears dried up, she healed. She felt Tooty’s death helped her properly grieve for the baby that had died inside of her. And she said the reward she got a few years later, of bringing my brothers and I into the world, made all that she had gone through seem like it was part of some bigger plan. Maybe the first baby and Tooty were preparing her for something beautiful, something that would come with its own deep pains, but something that made it all worth it. Or maybe it was just a cruel coincidence.
Story #2. At exactly 6 weeks 1 day, the day that hubby and I’s baby stopped growing, he and I woke up in my Mother’s guest room. We were visiting for my Grandma’s 90th birthday which had occurred the day before. Neither of us jumped up to use the restroom, or to get the day started, instead we both laid there waiting for the other to speak. He did first when he said, “I had a horrible dream, but I’m afraid to tell you about it.” To which I replied, “So did I! It was awful. And it was about the baby.”
We then blurted out the stories of our nightmares in rapid succession. We BOTH had dreamed that our baby had died (slightly different scenarios, but same outcome). This was the exact day that our baby’s cells stopped multiplying properly, that he stopped growing, that his little heart began to struggle. THE EXACT DAY! How do two people have nearly the same dream, about the same thing, on the day it begins to happen!? HOW!?
So being someone with a difficult relationship with God, I ask you what you think about the two scenarios? Do coincidences like the one with Tooty and my mother just happen? Are messages sent to us through dreams? Is it just a coincidence? Or is it clandestine? Fate? Kismet? Is it a warning or a lesson from God?