That Saturday

I shared an entry from my locked blog here previously. This is a continuation of that entry after we found out that we lost Bean. Our Bean. If you have always wondered what goes through the mind of a woman who has to undergo a D&C procedure, here’s my account of it.

That Saturday

I’m lying here at Dr Y’s clinic in a freezing room, waiting for time to pass after having pills inserted into me in preparation for the procedure.

Right beside this room is a consultation room separated by a thin door. Piercing through the icy silence is a doctor introducing himself to a couple. Doctor is talking to a happy couple about their baby, pointing out the baby’s head, heart chambers, measurements, etc. This doctor is extremely detailed, going into details about baby’s brain being normal. The happy chuckles of the couple intersperse the doctor’s consultation. Oh look. Baby is covering his face. More laughter. Everything’s excellent! Looking great! Oh it looks like a boy. But it may be a girl as well – its too early to tell.

As a bonus round, I even got to hear the loud WHOO WHOO of their baby’s heartbeat at 171 beats per minute.

I wonder if this is God’s idea of irony.

…………………………………………………………

We spent the entire Saturday – the husband’s birthday – at X Hospital. The long day started at Dr Y’s clinic where the scan showed, once again, our baby without the heartbeat. A lifeless, motionless image on the black-and-white screen.

The appointment for the D&C was made for 12.45pm at the hospital. We headed over in silence, lost in our own thoughts. What’s there left to say?

Completed paperwork, signed a million documents, and was then brought to the day surgery beds. I sat on the bed while the husband sat beside me, occasionally leaning his head onto my pillow as we chatted. Time seemed to crawl.

Finally, at 11.45am, I was asked to change into the hospital gown. They were blue in colour. Nicer than the dull pink ones at KKH. Got changed and sat around some more.

Was wondering if I had to walk to the operating theatre on my own or I was going to be wheeled in. I’ve never been wheeled into an OT on a bed. The husband thought I had to walk. I hoped I didn’t have to. Turns out I was going to be wheeled in. There was a rare laugh out loud moment when the nurse wheeling my bed misjudged a wall and banged the bed clumsily against it. It was funny. I laughed. The husband laughed. The nurses laughed.

I’ve watched the scene many times on TV. The one where the concerned relative walked alongside the bed while the patient is being wheeled into the OT. It was the same except that it was a lot less dramatic. It seemed like a long journey to the OT and I stole a glance at the ceiling lights above me. Just like in the movies, I thought. I smiled at the husband as we entered the OT waiting area. He stood outside, alone, and smiled back at me. He said he’d be waiting for me when I awake later.

I was placed at the side of a waiting area where CNA was playing on TV. A man dressed in hospital scrubs stood by the tv, a huge SLR hanging by his shoulders. I guess he was waiting for his wife who was probably undergoing a C-section in the same OT. A distance away, a middle-aged lady was attended to by her doctor before her surgery. She’s scared of pain and told the doctor to do it fast and give her any type of pain relief medication as she will be happy to pay for a no-pain experience. If only money could take away pain…

I remember staring at the TV but cannot remember what was being shown. A cold draft from the airconditioner directly above me was making me shiver. I already had 2 blankets over me. I remembered – I haven’t had anything to eat or drink since the night before. I had to fast before the operation.

At about 12.50pm, I was wheeled into the OT. It was a real operating theatre, complete with the giant lights above and lots of gadgets on one side of the light pink walls. Interestingly, the radio played “Don’t dream it’s over” by Crowded House. How apt. I almost laughed. Loads of nurses in green scrubs walking all around me. While waiting for Dr Y, the anesthetist came by to insert the needle into my left hand. As usual, he couldn’t find my vein. He gave me laughing gas to help ease the pain. I took a deep breath and felt my limbs go limp. Before I knew it, the needle was inserted. Not too painful. Yay.

The operation was scheduled for 12.45pm. It was delayed till 1pm as Dr Y was running late. Damnit. I was starting to cramp due to the medication inserted a few hours earlier (it softens the cervix to prepare for the op). Had to prop my legs up instead of lying flat out to make it less uncomfortable.

There was a huge digital clock in front of me. It was 1.05pm and still no sign of Dr Y. Everyone was waiting for his arrival for the op to begin. Finally, at about 1.15pm, he arrived, to a flurry of movement. Dr Y asked how I was feeling, I said ok. I think I said something like ‘let’s do it’. Not sure why I said that. I think I was just tired of waiting. I remember he smiled, touched my right cheek and said ‘Ok’.

The anesthetist came by and started to pump in the GA. It didn’t hurt this time. I felt a warm feeling come over and then I was out.

Woke up to Dr Y telling me that all was ok and that he gave me a week of hospitalisation leave. Told me to take care and rest well, and that he’d see me next Saturday. I don’t know how I took it all in but I somehow did. I was then wheeled back to the day surgery recovery room and when I opened my eyes again, the husband was beside me. I was back on the day surgery bed. Things were a little groggy. It only lasted 15 minutes. For some strange reason, I couldn’t stop talking to the husband the moment I was conscious. He had to cover my eyes with my jacket and told me to shut up. I blame the drugs.

I napped for a bit and then got up again. By then, it had started to pour really heavily outside. The lovely and kind nurse gave me a cup of water which I gulped down. Water never tasted so good. Soon, I was given a cup of hot Milo and plain biscuits. That was nice too.

I couldn’t help but notice the figure of a digital man printed on the tape holding the needle in. I wonder what it represented. Cute. Also, I realised that I really really need to moisturise. I have very dry hands.

Soon, I was told to change out of the hospital garb into my own clothes. I was also instructed to pee. Not sure why but I guess they wanted to make sure that all was well. Now, I wished someone had warned me but when I peed, it BLOODY FREAKIN’ HURT LIKE HELL?!!! It was a burning sensation down there and I was going WHAT THE FUCK! and OUCH! OUCH! in my head. Told the nurse after and she said, “Oh, this is normal. It would be ok after this.”

Damnit. Couldn’t she have warned me first? I guess pee contains salt and after an op, it’s obvious that salt over a wound is going to hurt.

After yet more paperwork, the nurse discharged me at 4pm. Doctor’s orders, apparently. We said our thanks, and left the building into hard hitting, driving rain. It was as if the Heavens were crying for us too.

Another chapter is over. Again.

Bean no more

I follow Humans of New York’s (HONY) Facebook page and came across a post where a lady shared about losing a baby during pregnancy. It reminded me of the time we lost 2 babies via miscarriages. I have never written nor shared about it publicly so this is the first time I am mentioning it. Like infertility, miscarriages are such a taboo topic in our culture. It is all hush-hush and no one ever talks about it. The Chinese believe that one should never announce pregnancy until it is “stable” after the first trimester. I have since learnt that babies can be lost at any point.

I kept a locked blog during our trying-to-conceive journey as it was cathartic for me to put my thoughts into words. I wrote about my fears, my hopes, my dreams. And when I fell pregnant, I wrote about every little thing I experienced, including the many weird dreams. We did not dare to share the good news until I was entering the 3rd trimester. I was too nervous and was afraid to “jinx” it.

Coming across the post on HONY made me go into my locked blog again to read about our journey. That journey. And here, I want to share with you a piece I wrote after we found out that we have lost our baby at 8 weeks. While reproducing this entry, it brought tears to my eyes and a dull ache in my heart. Again. With time, the heart has healed but the memory never really goes away.

I hope that by sharing it here, it will provide some comfort to someone out there who has had the same experience because the more we talk about it, the less of a taboo subject it becomes. Also, I hope you know that you are not alone.

Bean No More

Today is the first of December. The last month of the year. The month of festivities and celebration as we celebrate Christmas and usher in the New Year. I was looking forward to Christmas this year and 2012 was going to bring with it so many new hopes and dreams.

But it was not to be.

Yesterday, I found out at Dr Y’s that the bean, our baby, no longer has a heartbeat. It stopped growing at 8 weeks. Instead of hearing its thumping heartbeat, the entire room was filled with deathly silence and a straight flat line.

Dr Y sat me down and told me a string of information. Something about chromosones and genetics. Something about how it’s nature’s way. I left the clinic with tears threatening to fall but I managed to hold it in. Was this really happening?

I called the husband.

The reality was sinking in. The tears fell hard and fast. I was barely coherently but said enough for his world to come crashing down together with mine. My worst nightmare, our worst nightmare, has come true.

We managed to make our way home and sat together in the bedroom, paralysed by the news.

Was this really happening?
Again?
For the second fucking time?

I cried. The husband cried.

I have, in the entire time that I have known him, never seen him cry so hard. He was in pure anguish and pain. I wish I could make him feel better. But I didn’t know what to say. What else was there left to say? Throughout the long journey, we have never cried this hard. Crying for the loss of hope, of dreams, of what-could-have-been, of all that we have been through. Crying for the unfairness of it all. Why us? Why is it always us? What have we not done right? What did we not do? What did we do to deserve this? Why is this happening again for the second time?

Crying for the fucking fact that after coming so damn far, we are now back at the starting point.

It was also the first time that I heard him tell me that he was delirious with joy when he first heard the news and wanted to shout it to the world. But instead, he didn’t dare to tell anyone except for one friend. He also told me that he did not ‘dare’ to be too happy in front of me in case it gave me pressure.

My heart broke into a million pieces.

All I want to do now is to stay in bed and not face the world. Not that I’m in any state to face the world anyway. I haven’t cried this much and this hard in a long time. Remember the scene in Sex & The City the movie where Carrie Bradshaw got dumped on her wedding day and she spent much of her time in bed at the Mexican resort, refusing to eat or drink?

That is me today.

It is the first of December. I woke up and cried again.

And on the third of December, we head back to the clinic to do another scan, just to make doubly sure of the situation. What happens after will be the D&C procedure which will take all of 15 minutes. Isn’t it interesting how forming life takes forever while snuffing it out takes a mere 15 minutes?

And the topping on the already wretched situation? The husband’s birthday falls on the third of December.

Tell me our life doesn’t officially suck.

 

Double whammy

One of the best things that came out of blogging about our infertility journey was that I received many, many email from readers sharing their experiences. One of them is Christina. I won’t give away any spoilers about her road to motherhood but I am thankful that she is willing to talk openly about what she had to go through. Here’s part one of Christina’s story.

……….

Once upon a time, I’d failed my Physics exam in Secondary 3. I cried so hard that the vice-principal took me into her office.

She told me, “You may not be good in science, but someday, you will make a GREAT mother.”

I was pretty insulted, like really, couldn’t she find any other talent or aptitude in me?

But yes, that’s exactly how I’d viewed motherhood – that having kids would just be a given and that it would never be anything I would need to be worried about. My grandmother had 13 (!) children, I was an “accident” for my mother who insisted she’d taken precautions and my periods have always been a perfect 28-day cycle.

In fact, when my husband and I tried to conceive, the next month, I discovered that I was pregnant. On my first check-up, everything seemed to be in order. I was spotting a little, but the gynaecologist told me that was common, gave me some hormone pills and prenatal supplements, and congratulated me. I began reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

And that’s when the unexpected occurred.
(more…)

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