Sunday, September 13, 2009

"My Story..." Monday: Telling The Family

My husband and I basically crept away to go the Emergency Room. I had whispered to him "I'm bleeding... and crampy" from a corner of the ICU waiting room. We had little choice but to try and get it figured out. We walked down two flights of stairs and were quickly ushered into a room with a Noah's ark border all around it. A nurse got me settled in and told me they had the on-call OB on his way. So we waited.

Of course, we had our six-month old son with us at the time. It quickly became apparent that we weren't going to be able to keep him happy and quiet in a tiny ER room while we waited to find out what was happening with my second pregnancy. But what were we supposed to do?

About ten minutes into our wait, my sister-in-law showed up. She had found us because the doctor had arrived to talk to my mother-in-law and her three children about my father-in-law's condition. My husband was the one designated to make any decisions concerning continuing life support. He had to be there.

"Go," I insisted, "You have to go... NOW. Your being here with me won't change anything. I'll tell you whatever I find out." Reluctantly, he followed his sister back up to the ICU.

When the doctor arrived, he asked me a series of questions. I supposed that perhaps I wasn't really pregnant after all- maybe the home pregnancy test had been wrong and I was just late this month and that's what this was all about. He told me they'd run blood-work to be sure but that he was very willing to believe the test.

Blood-work and an examination revealed that, yes, I had been pregnant at the time of the test and was indeed STILL pregnant. Whether or not I would remain that way was still a question. He told me that the conventional recommendation was to go home and remain on bed-rest but that, in all honesty, if I was going to miscarry, all the rest in the world wouldn't stop it. Some women wouldn't appreciate his stance, I'm sure, but I believe what he said was completely true. And, so, he advised me to take it a little easy and to come back in two days for more blood-work. If my hormone levels went up, the pregnancy was intact. If they went down, I had lost the baby. As simple- and heart-wrenching- as that.

While I awaited my discharge summary (the one that read "Threatened Abortion" on it), my husband returned sans 6-month old. He had left him up with the rest of the family. We felt joy that, for the time being, everything was okay. We were terrified what would be revealed in 48 hours...

I decided that- income or no income- we needed to tell the rest of the family. They were surely wondering what was going on with me by then anyhow.

And so we told them that I was six weeks pregnant but quite possibly miscarrying.

I'd like to tell you that our announcement was met with a combination of joy and concern. It was not. Sadly, my mother-in-law and one of my sisters-in-law had experienced miscarriage themselves and they almost shrugged it off. I'm not saying they were unkind, but they had more of a "yep, that's rough" kind of attitude that, quite honestly, assumed the baby was already lost. I guess I really wanted someone to say, "Don't worry- it's going to be okay. We'll pray this baby through." But that's not the response I got. I have no ill feelings about this, however. Remember- this was already an incredibly stressful and devastating time for the family as my father-in-law fought to hold on in the ICU.

It was Monday. And everyone was in for a long night. My husband drove our 6-month old son and me home to get some rest and headed back to keep vigil at the hospital.

Before I turned in for the night, I called my parents...

I'll tell you about that next week.


Myra said...

Wow. I miscarried my first pregnancy and it was the hardest thing I've ever been through. Just hearing or reading of someone else's miscarriage or threatened abortion, just gets to my heart.

It's hard to understand how those who have been through the same thing could be so calloused.

Amy @ Finer Things said...

When, after 3 years of infertility, we FINALLY conceived our daughter, I had a "gushing blood" experience at 9 weeks. So scary! We immediately went in and did a sonogram. Baby girl was swimming around happily. :)

But... I've also miscarried. At 11 weeks. Between my first and second babies. So, so sad. :(

Toni :O) said...

I miscarried at around seven to eight weeks along between my two's an incredibly devastating loss no matter when it happens and I'll never forget. How awful there was no one there to embrace you...I certainly would have. Thanks for sharing this...I'm enjoying learning about your sweet family.