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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Damn. Dammit. Shit.

10 weeks, 1 day.

That's how long I carried this last little one.


We had the positive pregnancy test in the beginning of December and I felt really good about it.
I got those immediate, dark confirmation lines a few days before I was even due to miss my period.
I have the inability to ignore those pregnancy tests sitting under our sink and that was the last one.
I didn't even feel compelled to buy more, I already knew because of the total and complete exhaustion I felt that I was absolutely pregnant.

I put a Big Brother shirt on Peanut the next day and waited for daddy to notice what it said.  We celebrated with more reserve then we would have before the first miscarriage.  We'd feel better when we saw that little beating heart on the monitor during the first ultrasound.  Still we were excited, despite my aversion to meat and my waves of nausea.

A day before the 8 week mark we sat in the doctors office.  I shifted with a crunch, crunch as I sat on the paper-covered examining chair.   I tried to cover my freezing legs with a sheet and ignore the nervousness I was suddenly feeling.

The midwife and trainee came in and chatted through the preliminary questions.  They knew that after the last miscarriage I would be eager to get through this and tried their best to hurry.  She commented on how fast my heart was beating and I gave a nervous laugh.

When the ultrasound started we all looked at it in silence.  I couldn't see anything inside the yolk sack.  
My mind flitted back to the first appointment with Peanut where at 6 1/2 weeks we saw the little flicker of his beating heart.  I held my breath.  Then we saw the little blip of the baby as they tried to maneuver the ultrasound wand to get a better view.  The sack was measuring 7 only weeks and there wasn't a heartbeat yet.  We were told that at this stage in development the heartbeat could show up any day.  There was still a chance.

We walked out of the office in a silent daze.  This was not how I had envisioned the visit going.  B left for work and I headed to the lab to get my blood drawn.  Over the next week we kept track of my steadily climbing HCG levels with great hope.  The levels looked so good they bumped up the next appointment for an ultrasound.

A little over a week later we sat in the waiting room for far too long.  It was the first time they had run late like this and B had to leave for work as I sat waiting in the examination room.   As soon as the ultrasound started I knew it wasn't good.  Although the baby looked a little bigger she still couldn't find a heartbeat. They sent me down for more blood work and an ultrasound in radiology where the machines are more sensitive.  I spent the rest of the afternoon waiting for results from various tests and reading the same few pages of my book.  The midwife cried with me when she told me that the baby didn't make it.  There was no heartbeat, the yolk sack was an abnormal shape and despite the rising HCG levels the pregnancy had failed.  She told me I had gone through too much in my young life and gave me my options.

I sobbed in the parking lot as I called B at work.  Again.  Here I am again, sitting in the parking lot, calling B at work to tell him that we lost the baby.  Again.  I sent a message to my mom to tell her and let her know that I would pick up Peanut later.  I needed to go home and sleep, I was so tired all of a sudden.  A little Taco Bell therapy and a nap.  B came home early from work and we talked about moving forward.  I felt better by the evening.  I'd known for a week this was a possibility.

A week later at 10 weeks my body wasn't showing any signs of a natural miscarriage and I had decided not to wait on it.  I looked at the prescription I had picked up and read the direction on how to take the medication.  Insert both pills into your vagina 3 hours before surgery.  I read the directions again.  You see, the pills were the same ones I took during the last miscarriage only I had taken them ORALLY.  These weren't suppositories, these were just plain ole pills and there was no applicator.  I sent the doctor a message and called the nurse.  "Are you sure?  I stick these, up there, with my finger?", I asked.  She assured me that the pills can be taken orally or vaginally.  This is still odd to me.  I mean, they couldn't make the same pill a little more vagina friendly?   Who's with me?  I assumed I could then ignore the part of the instructions that said the medicine should be taken with food.  I hope.


The next day, after "taking my medicine" my mom took me to the surgery center after she came to pick up Peanut.  B was heading in from work to pick me up.  I sat in pre-op by myself and thought about how I could handle anything.  I felt calm as I read my book and listened to the woman behind the curtain next to me.  She was a nervous wreck and I felt bad for her.  I sat calmly as the doctor asked 100 questions regarding my breast cancer diagnosis and then what vein I prefer he use for the IV.  Doctors are always interested in my breast cancer history, it's seems like a fun learning case.  I was impressed with the lidocaine numbing shot before the IV (wrist and hand IV's always hurt a bit) and the awesome heating contraption they hooked to my gown.  I sat comfortably waiting for my turn in the OR.  I reclined in my bed and slipped into the world described in my book.

2 hours later I realized the lidocaine had worn off when I could feel how uncomfortable the IV was.  I had picked my favorite chemo spot, a nice vein in my wrist that usually didn't give me any trouble.  Apparently the vein was tired and he had to go in a little higher.  I sat with my hand hanging over the railing in hopes of relieving some of the pressure.  I tried to pull the IV back slightly but the tape did it's job and made it impossible.  I could feel the bruise forming.  It makes me laugh that I feel I can do things like adjust my own IV because that just can't be a good idea.

That cool contraption that was heating my gown was starting to feel like a personal torture device.  I tried to look around and follow the hose pumping in the hot air to it's source.  There was no luck.  I kept up a never-ending round of texts to my parents and B as I started to sweat.  I sent pictures of my stocking feet as I waited in bed.  I suspect that this is not normal behavior for a person but I blame blogging on my impulse to document everything.  I kept eyeing the red button that calls the nurse.

Does sweating in your dressing down give you cause to push the red button hanging next to the bed?  If I push the button are people going to come rushing in to save me?  How long can I stand the heat?  Is this for emergencies only?  It was at this point specifically that I wished desperately that B was with me.  Not because of the actual surgery or because of the emotional difficulty but because of the heat induced panic I was nearly in.

I envisioned them putting me on the operating table and talking about how they would need to wipe the sweat off my body before starting.  Nobody wants to deal with a sweaty hoo hoo and so I quickly pushed the button and looked around anxiously.  I'm sure I looked a lot like Peanut just after he's done something he knows he shouldn't.  The nurse came in and pointed out a dial that would have apparently controlled the heat.  This would have been good to know during the hour I sat in my own little piece of hell.  

It was close to 2 pm and I hadn't had anything to eat since the night before.  I tried to fan the sweat off my body.  A few minutes later a nurse came in to take me to the OR.  What is my name, when is my birthday, etc, etc.  She asked me to confirm name of the procedure I was waiting on.  Suddenly I couldn't remember what it was called.  In my mind I recalled my mom calling it a "dusting and cleaning" and I laughed at the thought of repeating that to her.  I'm here for a D&C and my voice sounded calm and easy.  Everyone looked at me as if I might break down into tears but there is something very familiar to me about being at the doctor.  I felt completely comfortable, even more so after the calming cocktail.  A few minutes later, under the bright lights I took a few deep breaths and that was it.

When I woke up I saw the nurse pull out the mesh panties.  I laughed at seeing them again before remembered the baby I was holding the last time I had to wear them.  It was something about the damn mesh panties.  We chit chatted and I found out that she had 4 boys, the youngest is 3 and I couldn't believe her energy.  I'm always compelled to talk to my nurses and doctors and find out more about them.  It might be habit from managing restaurants, that same social tendency to get to know people and make them feel comfortable.  It might be a way for me to focus on things other than my nerves.  Maybe I'm just nosey.  My doctor is 36 and grew up in HB, he seemed slightly socially uncomfortable and I tried to give him encouraging smiles when he made eye contact.  The anesthesiologist is also a comedian, the nurse prefers tea over coffee, these are things I remember.

B came in as they got me ready to head home.  I hobbled inside our house and sat staring at the TV, clicking, clicking, clicking without seeing the pictures.  I wondered why my doctor needed to give me 100 pills with a refill.  I wondered how bad the pain would be.  600 mg ibuprofen and I still have Vicodin from the last miscarriage and I started thinking about the prescription drug problem in America.  I'm pretty sure I came up with a few ways to save the world but I can't remember any of them anymore.  I cried into B's chest before bed as I had a few days prior and went to sleep feeling closer to him then ever before.

The next day I felt a million times better.  I had taken 2 pills.  I cleaned house, organizing things that made life feel more in control.  I thought about what the doctor had told us.  

She reminded me that after rounds and rounds of chemo it affected my body in more permanent ways.  At 33 years old my eggs were really in their 40's.  I had thought the difficulty would be in getting pregnant but I suppose that for me the difficulty is in staying pregnant.  2 miscarriages in 6 months, almost to the day.


That was when I realized how lucky we are.  We always new Peanut was a gift but I never appreciated him so much.  We got pregnant with him so quickly that it seemed the threat of having chemo-fied eggs was over. Now we were reminded the truth and I felt a new rush of gratitude for having Peanut.  If all else fails, if we never make it through another pregnancy, we have each other and we have Peanut and we have friends and family who love us and we will always be grateful for this world that we have.

Sometimes I'm sad.  Sometimes I think about that pink-cheeked baby I thought I would be holding in August or the one I so briefly thought about holding in March and my arms twitch momentarily and I swallow the lump in my throat.  But at this point, 5 days later, I mostly feel positive.  I look forward to getting healthy, getting my body back in shape, getting my mind back in shape and spending some time with my family.  


  1. Damn. Damnit. Shit. Indeed!

    I love you guys.

  2. {{hugs}} I'm so sorry, sweet lady.

  3. I'm so sorry. I'm cussing from here for you, too. Your attitude is a gift.

  4. Tonight I will say a prayer for you guys. Every time I see your blog, I will say a prayer for you.
    think positive!

  5. you squeeze that Peanut tight and don't let go. and your hubby too <3

  6. I don't know whether to say how sorry I am or to compliment you on what a good writer you are. You are so strong. Love you and miss you!

  7. Thank you for sharing and I'm so sorry for your loss. Peanut truly is a gift.

  8. Sad for you . . .I agree with the above person . . .hug peanut . . . and B too!

  9. I had no idea you were going through this and I am so sorry. My love and prayers are with you.

  10. I had no idea you were going through this and I am so sorry. My love and prayers are with you.

  11. I had no idea you were going through this and I am so sorry. My love and prayers are with you.

  12. I had no idea you were going through this and I am so sorry. My love and prayers are with you.

  13. I just had a misscarriage two weeks ago at 11 weeks. I'm sorry for your loss. I feel your pain.

  14. You are incredibly strong. Love to you, your Peanut and B.

  15. I'm so sorry for your loss. What beautiful blessings you have in B & your little peanut.

  16. I'm so sorry for your loss Dawn - you are so amazing for sharing your story with everyone. Our prayers are with you and your family!

  17. Oh girl I'm so sorry. The whole ordeal sounded so painful. My dear friend has been trying to get pregnant for 7 years. She's had 5 IVF's. I was with her when the last one took and then by her side when it wasn't "viable" and she lost it. I know your pain. Squeeze that peanut close. Praying for you friend.

  18. I'm so sorry Dawn. I can't believe how strong you are. I'm pretty sure I would be in bed for 2 weeks having a pity party.
    See you soon. xoxo

  19. I'm still so angry and sad for you and what you had to go through. I admire your positive attitude and strength so much. I love that you can appreciate all you have. You know I'm here if you ever need to talk. Sending you so much love and positive thoughts.

  20. Oh I am so sorry Dawn. Thank you for being open to sharing the pain with the rest of us. I know this pain and would shoulder it for you if I could.

  21. I am terribly sorry ;( Sorry you had to go through this again, my friend. Sending hugs ♥ I do LOVE that picture of you and Peanut! - Tammy

  22. ahhh sweetie, i'm so so sorry....

    love and hugs from grandma rocky mountain to your sweet little family...

    shit! and damn!

  23. I know Im a little late in responding to this but I know what you are feeling. It stings a little still when I hear someone is having their 2nd child. Sometimes I get angry, sometimes, most of the time, it makes me sad. I OFTEN look at Jake and say, "there is NO way I could imagine having two so close together", but the fact that the option is taken away from me is what frustrates me most. I hate having to get frustrated when people literally hound me on why I am not having another one. Depending on whether they try to make me feel guilty, I decide on whether I give the snarky response,"well, usually when you almost die, they tend to suggest its not wise to risk going through it again." Ha! Anyway Dawn, you can grieve, you can keep trying and you can curse to the moon as often as you want. Its all good. Our boys are happy, healthy and tiring as hell! For the moment, Im pretty OK with that. I also realize that if I had two, Grammy might not be willing to take both of them at the same time, so there really wouldn't be any quiet time! I can't imagine! AAHHAA!!!


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