Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Miscarriage Part 3

After a while, the nurse who had told me to clean myself came in and told me "I have to take the fetus."


"I was told you brought the fetus here, and I have to take it to pathology."

"NO! You are not allowed to take my baby!" I screamed at her.

"I have to... it's the rules."

"I won't let you! He's not yours, he's mine! I had him, and he's my baby!"

The nurse seemed very unsympathetic and actually appeared annoyed that I wouldn't let her take him. What is wrong with this picture? I just had a *traumatic* miscarriage. Everything was still so fresh. Where was the compassion??

"Well, rules are rules. I'll have to call the chaplain in... you can talk with her. She was the one who told me to take the baby." And then she walked out.

At this point, I was shaking. "Isaac- hide the baby! Put him in my purse! They can't take him if they don't know where he is!"

A little while later, Sister Brenda, from Pastoral Care, came in the room. I knew she was there to take my baby away, so I immediately felt like I couldn't trust her.

She came to the side of my bed and whispered, "I'm so sorry this happened to you..."

"Can you pray for me?" I asked her.

"Of course... Lord Jesus... please bring comfort and healing to Sigrid in a special way..." Her prayer was beautiful and heartfelt. I still just could not bring myself to trust her.

She began to explain the situation. "I talked to our legal department and to pathology. We're going to need to see the baby for testing... and then I'll take him to the undertaker. And then we'll give him back."

"How much will that cost?"

"I know an undertaker who will do this for you for free. But... your baby will have to be cremated."

My heart started screaming inside of me. I got very upset. "NO! You CAN'T burn my baby! I gave birth to him whole and perfect. He's mine! I don't understand! Why do you think you can take him away from me?? He was never yours! He's ours!" I began shaking and hyperventilating.

"Sigrid, breathe! In and out. Just breathe. Breathe." Khristeena was very serious. I knew she meant business. I was getting so worked up. It wasn't good for me.

"I'll make some more calls and see what I can do," Sister Brenda said. She knew there was no reasoning with me at that time. Apparently, my reaction caused quite a stir on the floor. We began to hear a lot of mumblings between doctors and nurses that I wouldn't let them have "the fetus." When the doctor came in later that night, I heard him whisper to the chaplain: "did you take care of that issue yet?"

What a terrible night this was. The emotional weight of everything was just crushing. I began to think about Judah and Galilee. It was bad enough that I lost one baby... what if my other babies lost their mom? I really thought I could die.

The residents came back. I had started bleeding again. They wanted to "evacuate" my cervix of clots. I begged for them to let Khristeena do it. "Honey, they won't let me" she whispered to me. She held my right hand while Isaac held my left. It was torture. I definitely began screaming again.

"I just can't believe how anterior your cervix is!" Dr. Shields kept exclaiming. "I honestly can't believe that you had a vaginal birth with the way your uterus is tilted! And you're so small, too! How did you have such a huge baby??" Ok... first, you insult my body... then you insult my baby... not cool.

"Isn't it great that birth works?" Khristeena said to try to quiet the resident from making these ridiculous and insensitive 'observations.' Oh man, she is my midwife-role model!

The OB attending physician, Dr. Baliya, came in and told me that we were just waiting for the ultrasound tech to get here (wow, that sounds familiar! Deja vu!) to do a sonogram to determine how much tissue was still inside of my uterus before they could decide if I would need surgery or not. If there was still tissue inside, my body would just continue bleeding to try and flush out all those clots unless they went in surgically to remove them with a D&C. I desperately did not want surgery!

Khristeena kept telling me to imagine my uterus closing up. I tried so hard. I visualized myself just turning off a faucet. I felt a lot of cramping and was hoping that the pitocin was working to close off all those blood vessels... but it wasn't. I was still bleeding very heavily.

At that point, Dr. Shields, the female resident, came in and said I had to have Methergine. It's a drug that will also help to contract my uterus down. Apparently, at this stage of pregnancy, I didn't have enough oxytocin receptors in my uterus for the pitocin to work effectively.

A nurse came in and gave me the methergine shot in my arm. It felt like a bee sting. Shortly after, I got very lightheaded and my heart started pounding. I felt very anxious. Apparently these are all side effects.

The nurse then came in and drew a vial of blood from my IV. "Are you drawing another CBC?" I asked.

"Type and Screen" she answered.

"Oh." I knew that meant I was getting a transfusion. Wow.

At that point, the ER doc came in and told me that my Hemoglobin count went from 12 to 8 in about an hour and that I was going to get four units of blood and a unit of fresh frozen plasma. WHAT? Seriously? That's a lot of blood!

The nurse came in and hooked up the first bag of blood. The IV in my right arm began throbbing. It hurt so bad. I told her it didn't feel right. I think the IV had infiltrated, because I now have a large bruise at the site. She unhooked it and reattached it to the IV in my left arm. Much better.

After about half hour, the ER doc came in with the transfusion consent form. "Sorry... I signed off for you as emergency consent because you were so critical." I was? Really? Wow...

I tried to pick up the pen and sign my name for consent, but my hands were so weak and shaky. I remember thinking "I hope this is ok, because that doesn't look like my signature!"

Finally... at about 9:00... 5 hours after we left our house by ambulance... the Ultrasound tech finally got there! It was the same sweet woman that I had the day before. She was so nice... but why the heck did she make me wait HOURS two days in a row? She recognized me: "Oh, it's you again! Honey, I'm so sorry..."

She did the sonogram at the bedside and it was determined that I did, indeed, need surgery and then I'd be admitted overnight for observation. They just needed to wait until I got my first unit of blood and they had to call in all their on-call surgery people in from home. Note: if you are going to hemorrhage, don't do it on a weekend! Dr. Baliya explained that they would use a special tool to dilate my cervix and then use a suction curette to scrape out the lining of my uterus and any remaining "products of conception." I kept asking questions about how they were going to dilate me, since I knew that was the riskiest part. "Oh yes, it's risky. I could puncture the uterus! But, of course, that's not going to happen to you! Don't worry. And, I just want to tell you, that this didn't happen because of anything you did. It is not you or your husband's fault. Usually these things happen because there was a mistake with the baby."

I just nodded my head. I refuse to believe there was anything wrong with our baby. He was perfect. The doctor was only trying to comfort me. He failed miserably in the comfort, but I knew he only meant well.

This day was just getting worse and worse.

"Well... God is just giving me more opportunities to grow! I'm going to be an amazing midwife after all of this!" I joked.

I asked the ultrasound tech if our ultrasound was still on her computer upstairs and if it was possible to get a picture printed of our baby. "I'll try my best" she said. She came through for us, and I now have a sonogram picture of my sweet little baby. I'm so so so happy that I have this.

Sister Brenda came back. She found some turkey sandwiches and juice for Isaac to eat and drink. I was so grateful that she found something for him! I had been worried that he would be starving because he hadn't eaten since before noon. I had been asking all day for someone to bring something for him to drink. She also brought me a fan from her office. I had been complaining earlier because there was no air conditioning in my room and I was very flushed and sweating. That little fan felt so good!

She told me that she made some phone calls about the baby... he did indeed have to go to pathology. I made a face and started to cry. She said: "wait, wait! Listen to what I have to say! They said that they won't touch the baby... they'll just look at him through the bag to make sure that he's all there... then they'll release him back to you!"

I was so relieved. I desperately desired to have my baby to say goodbye to. We really felt we needed to properly bury him.

"But... where can I put him? Is there a fridge on the 5th floor?"

"I'll find out... but if not... I'll keep him in the refrigerator in my office."

AH! I was so happy I could kiss her! I started off feeling like I couldn't trust her... and wow, she really came through for me! I know that it is a total miracle that God allowed for the baby to come home- intact- with us.

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