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Week 14: The D&C; the day I accepted the loss of my baby

March 21, 2015

My miracle didn’t happen, and I’m okay with that. I had such a huge outpouring of love and prayers from family and friends over the last 24 hours and I am so grateful and blessed.

My experience with getting a dilation and curettage – a D&C

I would be lying if I didn’t say that today was not an emotional roller coaster. In the morning while waiting for my OBGYN to call back and confirm appointment times I was up and down with the emotions of “will this or won’t this happen” and when. Dr Copeland confirmed what she said yesterday that there was still no heartbeat… and my body started to confirm the prognosis as well with cramping around 8 am and then cramps were coming and going fairly strong throughout the morning. Dr Copeland was going to schedule the procedure for Monday, but she realized it was my birthday she re-adjusted the afternoon schedule and Overlake Hospital was able to squeeze me in at 3 pm, but I had to be at the hospital by 1 pm.

I’m going to take a quick break… for an educational update for future reference and for potential other mom’s who have found my blog.

A quick aside/advice if you are going to have a D&C

Instead of me explaining what the process is read about it from the MayoClinic here: What is a D&C.
A quick aside for other Mom’s out there who might have found my blog and are reading about others experiences. If you believe that you are going to have a D&C or surgery — NOTHING can pass your lips (food, water, vitamins, NOTHING) for 8 hours before the surgery. They might reschedule if you’ve even just had water. What they will do for you as they did for me is I was dehydrated from all of the crying from the past day that they automatically started an IV to get me hydrated.

Another aside… The scary thing I learned today about D&C:

Part of the hardest thing about going in for a D&C is the terminology that is used at the hospital. I was horrified as I read the paperwork calling the D&C an abortion. My OBGYN, Dr Copeland, held my hand as she read through and explained the paperwork and the process. Anything removing fetal or embryonic tissue from the uterus is medically considered an abortion — and something I didn’t know is that I discovered in my charts was that they had written I had a spontaneous abortion in May 2013. The fact that my body did the work instead of a D&C is considered a “spontaneous abortion.” If in 2014 any embryonic elements had remained then it would have been a partial spontaneous abortion, performed by my body. At Week 14 you are far enough along that they don’t recommend that you wait for your body to do the work due to risk of infection and potential for the body to not dilate enough. If you’re a Mom whose had a miscarriage and has to go through the process of a D&C, keep strong. The terminology is sad and scary.

The other saddest part to a D&C

I think my medical team was completely shocked by two questions I asked.

  1. Can I see my baby after the D&C… I know she is tiny and it doesn’t look like a baby but she is mine.
  2. I know that we’re doign the D&C so they can do genetic and chromosome testing. What do they do with the remains afterwared and may I have them back.

I wasn’t a fan to either response. Multiple doctors my beloved OBGYN as well strongly recommend against seeing the baby post D&C. Because she stopped developing somehwere between late week 9 and 10, they kept on telling me that she doesn’t look like an actual baby yet. That she is tiny, tiny, tiny. That even though she made it past embryo phase, that she just looks like a tiny mass of tissue. I understand this, but my heart aches and longs to see her. I am assuming that based off of their adamant disagreement to let me see her, that the D&C actually does a ton of damange during the scraping out process so it makes it even worse. That is the only thing I can think of.
The second question and call me crazy, but for me some of the closure I want is through a church blessing or something to bury. I spent the awake hours of last night wondering if I should call my minister for a blessing since they destroy the tissue as soon as the genetic testing has been done. It hurts my heart just as much to know that the medical disposal of “sample tissue” as they put it is that it will be burned with all other sample tissue the day that they take the sample. I know that she wasn’t born, but for my closure I’m so envious of the parents who get to have something a memorial or a burial or just anything. A couple from our previous Small Group stopped by while I was still in the hospital and dropped off a tulip plant last night and that is the closest i’m going to get for a remembrance or memorial. That tulip is getting one heck of a nice pot and it’s coming with me for a very very long time. I don’t know about you, but this is also a really hard part of this process for me.

Getting back to my D&C experience

The nurses and hospital staff at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue were amazing. And by amazing, I mean compassionate, empathetic, and willing to take time to say words of comfort me about how they knew I didn’t want to be in the outpatient surgery ward today, but that they would try to make it the best experience possible. I had quite a few ups and downs and despite attempting not to cry while at the hospital– I’ll admit to having tears coming down unchecked as they walked me from the admittance table to the outpatient surgery ward. (As well as when they put the IV in — because it got real, that it was really happening and that my journey toward being a mother, again, is over for now.) What got me the most is that this is the hospital I expected to deliver at. My girlfriend, Kelly, (who introduced me to my OBGYN Dr Copeland at the Bellevue Womens Center and who I love to death and will never see another OBGYN while I live in Seattle), had delivered here and I was in the same building as deliveries, just two floors down. I had envisioned coming here and being admitted to the Maternity Ward that it was a double edge sword to come to this building for them to remove my baby who was still inside me, but passed away.

I had asked to be put fully under. In May of last year I was having some bleeding issues and my OBGYN did a biopsy of my uterian tissue and all I can say politely is that it hurt like a MoFo — and they didn’t have dilate me for that procedure — it was just a tiny instrument that went into the uterus.
I remember being wheeled into the surgery room. I could feel being knocked out, and then I woke up about an hour and a half later in the recovery room. I’m not sure why it was so much later. I was told it would be a 15-30 minute procedure and I’ll have to ask my doctor in the follow up appointment next week, but it was over. I had minor cramping and they gave me a little more pain killers before moving me back to my original room. By 6 pm I had been checked out of Overlake and Jason was driving me home.

I’ve had some minor cramping and light bleeding since the procedure, but I’m not in pain and other than being sad it’s not as bad as I was expecting.

I was starving and wanted to eat right away. So we stopped and got soup and breadsticks… and I had no issues eating.

I’m a bit sore in my mid-section. Especially sore if my puppies attempt to sit on my belly. I’ve been home for the last several hours and am not in pain as I stand up or sit down. Maybe this isn’t normal — but it isn’t as bad as some of the stories I’ve read online.

I’ll update the post with how I progress over the next several days. I’ve got my post-op check up toward the end of the week next week and I’ll let ya’ll know how I’m feeling. I’m expecting there to be ups and downs and to be a hormonal mess for the next week. So if you are my co-workers reading this, I’m sorry in advanced if I break down in tears for no reason. If you’re a member of ACUO I’m going to be out for a few days or a week or so. My community and friends and family, thank you in advanced for your love and hugs and acceptance. I might not be ready to talk yet, so please be patient.

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From → Personal

2 Comments
  1. Charlene permalink

    Thank you for such honesty. I almost had to have one but my body did it on its own. I did not know they don’t let you see our take for burial. That would upset me even more.

  2. Kelly permalink

    Oh Christi, we are praying for you. We would be glad to participate in any blessing service for your sweet daughter.

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