My Journey Through Miscarriage, Part 2
We arrived in Anaheim in record time with minimal traffic, considering the departure was later than planned. We stayed at a pretty great hotel for the price, called the Portofino Inn and Suites. It had family suites where the kids had a bunk bed, couch, television, and activity table in their section of the room, which was separated by sliding French doors. The adults had their own TV, nice king-size bed, dresser, and closet, in addition to a microwave and refrigerator. This was where we spent part of the following five days of our trip. It was less than a mile to the park entrance so we walked the first day and Elli was very tired on the way back! We ended up purchasing Anaheim Resort Transit passes for the rest of our trip because it was faster to get to Disneyland, and we could take our ice chest back and forth without overexertion. (Plus it minimized complaints after a long day.)
I will skip the main details of our trip, the main purpose of this post being about my experience. Going to Disneyland/CA Adventure for five days really helped us process this miscarriage as a family, and allowed us to be together every minute of the day. We got to get away, have tons of fun, get lots of exercise, visit with other family as my mom, her hubby Devon, and my brother Jeff joined us Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, we all went to my aunt and uncle’s house for breakfast and to visit with them. Being able to talk about this, cry about this, and seeing those who support me was priceless. I don’t have the luxury of seeing my mom often, she lives in Salinas, Jeff lives in Santa Monica, and my aunt and uncle live in Orange.
We did have a small hope that there was some sort of error, we never had the option to hear any sound during the ultrasound, sometimes people make mistakes, maybe this was all just a mistake, and everything was going to be fine. I felt like everything was fine, I mean, wouldn’t I know, wouldn’t I feel like something was wrong? Deep down, I knew that it was unlikely a mistake was made, but held on to my shred of hope nonetheless. I wanted another ultrasound and I wanted whoever was doing it to show me my baby, let me hear the lack of heartbeat, add to my closure, and help me continue to the next step as much—as I didn’t want it to happen. I must admit, it is really odd walking around, riding rides carefully (oh yes I did), looking pregnant, but knowing the pregnancy will not continue past the middle of the next week—it is over.
We returned home on Monday, July 12, and prepared for the next day. Tuesday, we dropped the girls off at my in-laws’ house, and went to Dr. Thomas’ office for our appointment. We discussed the ultrasound, my appointment with my OB, how we were emotionally, he gave us information on our options to remove the baby, and we asked about doing another ultrasound. He had an ultrasound machine in the office so we went to the next room and did another one. As previously reported, there was no heartbeat, she measured at fourteen weeks and two days, and she was exactly where she was before—the same position. Dr. Thomas explained that babies sink to the lowest part of the uterus as time passes, they get soft, and discolored. We really appreciated his willingness to do an ultrasound and to be perfectly blunt with us as far as our options to remove our baby.
One option was to insert lamineria into my cervix, they absorb all fluid over a twenty-four-hour period, then at the hospital the MD removes the baby, but, it may not come out intact. We weren’t going to consider that one, our baby needed to come out intact. Our second option was the one we chose: I would go to the hospital, they would insert misoprostol tablets into my cervix every four hours to induce labor, and eventually I would give birth to our baby. There was slight concern about the scar on my uterus rupturing since I previously had a C-section with Elli, but it was not likely. We knew this was not a happy situation but we were put at ease, we were informed, and we knew what to expect the following day. The MD asked us what hospital we preferred, St. Agnes or Community Regional Medical Center. We said we usually go to St. Agnes. He told us that is fine but that if he needed access to certain resources, CRMC was a better place to be. We had no problem with that, if he needs something, we want him to have it! They also have staff trained to handle the delicate issue of miscarriage as well as people to provide resources to grieving families. We didn’t need to hear anymore, it sounded ideal to us.
Wednesday, July 14, we got to the hospital at 7:00 a.m., checked in, were shown to my room, I changed into a gown, and waited to begin. My nurse was so wonderful, explained the process to me, made me feel comfortable, etc. My first issue was that they could not get an IV needle in successfully. I knew my veins were tricky to begin with, so knew this was not a quick process. But, in my preparation for my hospital stay, I hadn’t had more than a sip of water and they could not get my veins to cooperate! I ended up with a blown vein in each hand before a successful placement in my forearm. Each attempt was made by a different nurse. I knew it was my fault, both hands hurt, and boy did I learn a lesson! Proper hydration is key to IV placement! Once the IV was in place, the misoprostol tablet insertion was next, and it was uncomfortable. She had to put six tablets in to get me started. Ugh! This process repeated every four hours but with four tablets until about 7:00 p.m.. We basically hung out, watched the news, and talked as my labor began, and gradually escalated over the course of the afternoon.
At about 7:15 p.m., I was ready for pain medication and told my day nurse when she came in to tell me goodbye. My night nurse was informed by my day nurse that I needed medication STAT, she came into my room and I told her myself, she came back and I had to tell her again. I never got it. Upon my last request, my water broke, I told her, she verified that was the case, put a dry pad under me, and went to get the MD. While she was away, (within thirty seconds or less) I gave birth on my own. It was effortless due to the small size of our baby girl. She just sort of slid out and I looked at my husband with what had to be a very shocked/concerned facial expression and told him I thought the baby had come out. He looked under the sheet, and sure enough, there she was. He called the nurses station and told them what had just happened and they sent my MD in with the nurse trailing him. They went to work on me immediately, getting the umbilical cord cut, cleaning me up, ensuring the placenta came out intact. The nursing supervisor came in during all this and carefully cleaned our baby up the best she could without harming her very delicate, softening body.
On a side note: the MD who was attending that evening, was not the one I saw in the office much to my disappointment. In his attempt to remove the placenta, he put me through a lot of pain as he dug for it in my uterus, while gripping my newly acquired green bruise on my right shin courtesy of hopping the fence railing at the Haunted Mansion to get to the end of the line. Ouch!
We were able to hold our third daughter, Olivia Ann, take some pictures of her, of us holding her (she was not visible) in the blanket that we got to keep but ended up losing at midnight when I was moved to a different room and it was left behind. Scotland took a picture of her on each of our phones so we could look at her whenever we want to. To be continued …