Our Miscarriage Story – Part 5 of 5| What Miscarriage is Really Like: Real, Honest, and Raw
If you haven’t done so, Read Part 1 / Read Part 2 / Read Part 3 / Read Part 4
I turned over onto my side to attempt to get comfortable and maybe try to get some sleep (poor Ryan was trying to sleep in the waiting room-like chair beside me), but with the people talking beside us, and the other main screaming out it was very difficult to sleep. I was also afraid that I would bleed out while sleeping. At this point, around 6am, I remember there being a shift change in our nurses, and when my new nurse came in to introduce herself and check on me, she looked into my covers, saw the blood puddle I was laying in, without anything on below, and offered to change my bedsheets and get me cleaned up. I loved this nurse, and I’m sad I can’t remember her name. She changed my sheets, got me a diaper so I would stop bleeding all over myself, and got me a hospital gown to wear. I felt nice to be cleaned up. I told her however, that Gyno wanted to check on my bleeding and needed to see the bed pad, so she kept it and put it in a plastic bag.
Gyno came back and saw that I was still bleeding heavily and decided then that I would be scheduled for an emergency Dilation and Curettage (commonly known as a D & C). This was not something I wanted. I was very scared and felt like I just stared at them while they explained the procedure. I remember my questions, “what are the risks, could I still get pregnant?” They explained there could be scarring which could make it more difficult to get pregnant, but that I could also get scarring from miscarriage and it would be difficult to tell which caused it. They got me the consent forms (for the procedure, and for blood transfusions), I signed and they brought them to the surgical Gyno team. A nurse put in a thicker IV (ouch!) into my left hand (for any blood transfusions I might need).
Maybe less than 10 mins later, a team of doctors showed up in my ER ‘room’, introduced themselves, and the wheeled me out to the Operating Room prep area. They let Ryan stay with me right up until they brought me to the OR. The OR nurse asked me some questions, while the attending gynecologist reassured Ryan and told him here he should go to find the waiting room, and how to track my surgery using my patient tracking number.
I can’t imagine what he was going through waiting for me by himself in a waiting room, watching a screen with my status on it, hoping everything goes well.
Ryan left, and they wheeled me over the the OR. I was very scared. I have never been given anesthetic, or been in an OR. The amount of doctors around me was very overwhelming. Outside the OR room, the resident anesthesiologist asked me some more questions, if I or any family members had a history of reactions to anesthetic, and explained that they’d be using my arteries to track my heart rate, etc. When the anesthesiologist gave the okay, they wheeled me into the OR up next to the operating table, they asked me to move myself over the the table and cautioned me that it was skinnier than my ER bed (and harder).
Once I was on the table, things seemed to move at a rapid pace. It looked like there was anywhere from 10-15 people all around me, the residents and their attendings, everyone talking to each other, it was noisy and overwhelming. They gave me oxygen and told me to breath in slowly and deeply. I was scared and shivering, and although I was trying to listen to their instructions, it couldn’t breath slowly.
They stretched out my left arm with my wrist over a block, and taped down my hand. The anesthesiologist explained she was going to be giving me a needle to numb the area for the IV they needed to insert. It hurt, they put it in then needed to rub it around, but it didn’t feel numb. I felt myself get pricked in that area a few more times, and heard them complaining about my veins. The nurse then went over to my right arm, to get in the IV to monitor my pulse, everything was quite painful that I started to cry. I remember the nurse asking them to put me out so she could poke me after I was asleep, but they wanted to make sure they had a read on my stats before I was put out.
They finally got everything in, and I felt someone taking off the diaper that the nurse had given me earlier. The last thing I remember was someone asking me to tilt my head back and put my chin up, then they told me they were going to give me the anesthetic and warned that it might sting a bit. IT BURNED! I felt it enter the site and go up my arm and…
I woke up in the recovery area confused and my eyes couldn’t focus. My throat hurt from the breathing tube, and my arms were swollen and painful. The nurse came over and explained I was in recovery. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t see. I was scared. It’s really strange to be awake and hyper-alert, and then wake up confused and in a different room. It’s not that I didn’t expect it, It just felt weird. The nurse offered me some water, and took my vitals, and told me I received two blood transfusions due to my blood loss. I laid there for a while, feeling quite tired and felt myself falling asleep, to which I’d wake up abruptly.
When my vision started to come back, I explained, in what seemed like a whisper, that I was seeing double. My eyes stayed like this for a while. There was a quote written on the wall that I was trying hard to focus on and just couldn’t make it out. If I looked straight ahead, I could see, but my peripherals and moving my eyes at all caused double vision. The nursed called up to the anesthesiology, and a doctor came down to check on me. She said it was just the drugs still wearing off and that I should be okay soon.
After a while, my vision mostly went back to normal. They took out my artery IV which was quite painful as the nurse had to apply pressure to the already tender area for 5 mins. Then called for me to get a bed. One became available in the Gynecology Department and they had someone wheel me up. They got me into the room and change my underwear and gave me a mega-pad, checked my vitals, and got me into what felt like the most comfortable hospital bed.
My tracking number must have let Ryan know where I was, because he showed up at my room and I felt the most intense feeling of relief. I was so worried about him when they told him to leave OR, and I had no way to let him know I was awake, where I was, or that I was okay. I felt his fear. He came into the room and sat in the chair next to me bed. I remember saying how afraid I was for him, he said he was scared but was glad I was okay, and we both teared up. It was beautiful. You really feel a deep and true love when you practice your “in sickness” vow, and boy did I test him this past week. I am so lucky to have such an amazing husband.
We talked for a while, he explained that my mom wanted to come see me and would be there around 1pm. I was happy because this meant that Ryan could finally get some sleep. I can’t help myself, even after what I had gone through, I wanted to make sure everyone else was okay. I told Ryan to climb in my hospital bed with me (this bed felt huge in comparison to my ER bed) so that we could both maybe get some sleep, He did, and we were able to cuddle for about 5 minutes before my IV machine started beeping. UGH, give us a break! Ryan got up to look at it, and there was an option to silence it. He got back into the bed with me, and it went off again. I thought that maybe it was because of how my arm was sitting that maybe it wasn’t following properly, but moving it didn’t help. We called the nurse and she just had to put in a code, and it was fixed.
My mom called and asked if we wanted any food (ugh yeah, the omelette and pudding they had at the hospital just looked yuck…) She showed up not too long after. Ryan was able to go home and get some sleep and be with our dogs.
They kept me in the hospital room until they could take me off the IV with Oxytocin to a regular saline IV, that I could go to the bathroom by myself, that I was no longer bleeding heavily, and could walk. It took about 5.5 hours. When they finally told me I was going to be discharged I was so happy. I had seen enough of the hospital in the last week and just wanted to be home with Ryan. They took out all my IVs and bandaged me up, gave me a prescription for iron, and said I would be called for a follow up appointment then sent me on my way.
Luckily, in the frantic mess of Wednesday night, Ryan remembered to pack me a bag of clothes. I got changed and my mom pushed me out of the hospital in a wheelchair. It was actually a nice comedic relief because my mom got lost trying to get out to her parking lot while pushing me around. Thanks mom.
My mom brought me home and made Ryan and I dinner, it was very thoughtful of her as Ryan and I were both exhausted. We all had dinner together, my mom left, and we were able to go to bed. And we slept, for 12 hours, which brings me to now, writing about the whirlwind of an experience…
I’m honestly struggling of how to close this blog post, mostly because “closure” doesn’t seem like the right word to me. I’m never going to forget our first baby, or my experience with miscarriage… I still want to have a baby, however there is a fear and anxiety of having to go through this traumatic experience again. For now, all I can do is share my story, and hope that next time will be different.
Miscarriage is one of those things that you cannot truly understand until you experience it.
If you are experiencing or have experienced a miscarriage, I am so sorry.
Know that I truly empathize with you. It is not easy, and you are not alone.