Tuesday, October 25, 2005

And if I ever get the chance to be exhausted from being up all night with a newborn, please remind me of today's blog


Could NOT get up today. I'm actually starting to feel better, and the penicillin seems to have kicked in, but I felt like I got hit by a truck or something this morning. I just lay in bed for hours reading, because I couldn't muster up the strength to move. Between coughing fits and restless nights, I just feel really exhausted.

At least it was a good book.

Thank goodness Emily called with the latest on her sperm saga, and therefore got my butt moving and out of bed, or else I'd still be there. But I feel like this is just the tail end of THE SICKNESS, and I am getting better. (Insert Hallelujah chorus here...and if you don't know it, my mother would be happy to sing it for you. But she only knows the alto parts.)

In talking to E about her and the wife's drama in getting pregnant, it dawned on me that I haven't discussed too much of that particular topic myself. I know I've mentioned having miscarriages, but not the fact that we are continuing to try. But "try" almost sounds like too simple a word.

The first time we got pregnant was on our honeymoon. It was such a wonderful surprise, especially because frankly, I had never wanted kids with any of my other husbands before (I sound like Erica Kane or something, but you know what I mean). But this was different. Mr. Blogger had two kids from a previous marriage already and I knew he was a good dad. I also knew he would help get me through all this with a sense of calm...a word that does not come trippingly to the tongue for me. In case you hadn't noticed.

So I attacked this, in the same way I do everything else, and read every book known to man. I was an expert on anything and everything having to do with pregnancy. It never even occurred to me to worry about it not going well.

But in my 11th week, I went for an ultrasound and the technician said I must have my dates mixed up or something, because this was the size of a six week pregnancy. I did NOT have my dates mixed up. But I felt fine, so there must have been a mistake. I was told to come back in a week.

With all apologies to M-I-L, this is the part where my Mom will go OFF on the UK and their prehistoric NHS. Maybe she's looking for someone to blame...I know I was.

I ended up hemorrhaging the next night, going by ambulance to the ER, and experiencing the most horrific pain imaginable. And I've had a hypodermic needle in my eyeball.

When I was admitted into the hospital, imagine my surprise to see something out of a WWII movie...a ward with rows and rows of beds, each containing women in varying degrees of pain and/or illness. There was ONE bathroom and shower for all of us. And it was down the hall.

It was also the middle of the worst heat wave ever to hit Europe AND THERE WAS NO AIR CONDITIONING. I just lay in my bed in horror. Visitors who were kind enough to bring standing fans to their loved ones were appreciated, but good luck finding enough outlets. If you wanted a TV, they would wheel one to your bed for a small fee.

I mean, who lives like this? I felt like the ugly American, but I couldn't help but judge. Others may think we're all fat and pampered; I just kept wishing I were home. For many, many reasons.

Honestly though, the heat and the pain and the nightmarish wondering of what the woman in the next bed might have and was it contagious, was nothing compared to the emotional pain.

This did NOT just happen. I did NOT lose my baby. It was all a bad dream and when I woke up, feverish and scared, at least I'd know everything really was ok.

Of course it wasn't ok. By a long shot. I had tried to be so brave about the physical pain...I had bruises on the palms of my hands from where I had gripped the bed rails with all my might, rather than scream or cry. My cousin with three daughters and a hell of a lot of common sense later told my mother, "Well of course she was in pain. She was going through labor."

At least with the pain of labor though, there's the most wondrous joy. I had no such outcome.

MB was by my side the entire time until they made him leave for "quiet time" on the ward. It was only a couple hours or so, and they had wanted me to sleep. But you would have thought they just told me I was to be left alone for eternity. I couldn't get through this without him.

I had no choice, so I told him to go get me a Diet Orange Fanta while he was away at least. That was my "cigarettes and alcohol" that others give up when pregnant. I hadn't had one in months and somehow it seemed like a way to mark the significance of the day.

When they released me, I finally went home and cried and cried and screamed about how it was so unfair. I'm not the only woman this had happened to, not by a long shot, but it felt like I was.

When we moved back to the US, it took a while to get MB here legally. Visas take forever and I was so lonely without him. But pretty much as soon as he entered the country, we got pregnant.

It wasn't as bad as the time in London, but it was the same result.

A month later, we got pregnant again. At our first ultrasound, I was scared, but I prayed with all my might that this time would be the one. And I'm not usually a big praying-type person (lapsed Catholic and all that). I leave that to Mom the Newly Christian.

Everyone I knew was confident. My pregnant sister-in-law said she would be waiting to hear the good news of a heartbeat.

I was eight weeks along. The doctor looked concerned and said that it appeared to be the size of a...let me guess...six week pregnancy. I started shaking and as I lay on the table, tears silently rolling down the sides of my face. The doctor was busy staring at the screen, but Mr. Blogger looked at me. And he knew like I knew. He brought me the box of tissues.

Since then, I haven't had the strength, physically or mentally to go down that road again. After numerous painful and invasive tests, it was concluded that...there's absolutely nothing wrong with me. Part of it is my age, I'm sure. But I keep reminding myself that I can't do anything about the fact that I didn't meet THE ONE until this late in life. He was worth waiting for. The rest will go as it goes.

My doctor has put me on supplemental progesterone just to be sure. Since GETTING pregnant doesn't seem to be our issue, she's thinking that perhaps it's just a lack of progesterone to make it "stick". So this month we started to try again, in earnest, for the first time in ages.

But I can tell you that when and if I get pregnant again, I. WILL. BE. TERRIFIED. I can't help it. I'll go to prenatal yoga, and think calming thoughts, but when it comes time to go to that first ultrasound, I may have trouble getting one foot in front of the other.

If anybody wants to pray/meditate/think good thoughts for us...I'd like that a lot.

6 Comments:

Blogger emily said...

thank you for now convincing me that we haven't even made it to the hardest part yet when everything we've done so far has been pretty fucking hard. not that i didn't already factually know everything you said, but that whole "let's freak out about everything" phase is kicking in.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

If I've learned ANYTHING, it's that you never compare your difficulties to someone else's. It's ALL hard.

But don't freak out...do you know how many friends I have that have had NOT ONE IOTA of an issue with having kids?

Your wife is healthy (and about 10 years younger than I so she won't have the same issues) and all will be well.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous M-I-L said...

Dear Brooke, I am not in the least offended by your comments on the NHS! It is apalling! As you know, I used to work in it!

However, remember your English sister-in-law's experiences. About the same age as you (well, a year younger, but that's nothing) she had exactly the same experience of 3 early miscarriages, and knows just what you were going through! Alright, as a Ward Sister (OK, in a Private Hospital, not the NHS) she may have got better and more sympathetic treatment from hospital staff - many of whom were personal friends, grieving for her losses with her - but she, too, feared she had 'left it too late' and would never have a child with her (also younger than her, although not previously married) husband.

Well, as you know, it all worked out for them! But I just wanted to remind you that the 'hormone boost' they gave her was the cause of the twins! I presume the medics have warned you that it not only helps any conception to 'stick', but also increases the risk of you releasing two eggs? ;-D

And of course you know she is now expecting a third little girl, who will be born just about the twins' first birthday! So be careful what you wish for! :-D

Seriously my dear, I wish you all the very best of luck with your 'next attempt'. I am sure it will all work out well for you in the end! And I know you will make a wonderful mom!

It WILLhappen for you! Believe it! :-D

XXXXXXXX

1:20 AM  
Anonymous kg said...

brookie: i'm with your MIL... it's gonna happen... and it's going to be all good... i believe in you and MB.... you two are the best...you ALWAYS have my best karma, my best energy and all my love and prayers....

10:45 AM  
Blogger kiwi said...

When you guys get pregnant, just think: your baby can play with my baby! :) I never had any miscarriages, as you know, but I've been nervous every time I've gone to the doctor. There's so many things involved, so many things to remember. They really get on you when you haven't drank enough water. My doctor has slapped my hand a couple of times now for that reason. I'll even let you borrow the fertility doll that Jose's friend brought back from Hawaii.

8:01 PM  
Blogger emily said...

hey! i thought we were borrowing that doll!

10:12 PM  

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