As I write this, I am hoping against hope that the third time truly is the charm. I’ve written about my experience with my missed miscarriage, my D&E, and the complications thereafter, but I’m determined to share my experiences and see this whole thing through, as I had a D&C performed last night. My hope is that someone else, going through a similar experience, will stumble upon my post(s) and know that she is not alone and that this does sometimes happen (unfortunately).
I’ve not felt well since my initial D&E, and then contracting infection and having to go into labor and miscarry with the Misoprostol. I honestly chucked my fatigue and nausea up to feeling depressed from the trauma of it all. But, when I went to my follow-up appointment on Thursday, I found that I still had a uterine infection and that my doctor believed that I was still retaining tissue. At that point I absolutely lost it. This has become a neverending saga, whereas I just want to heal, physically & emotionally, and move on. I was scheduled for an ultrasound the next day at 2pm in the afternoon.
I arranged childcare and had my sister drive me to my ultrasound appointment so that I could take painkillers. I should add that when the doctor tried examining me at my appointment on Thursday, I almost hit the ceiling with the pain — she was unable to complete the internal exam because it was just too intense for me (it was akin to a dentist hitting a nerve while drilling…without having administered novocaine). I went through the ultrasound (thank goodness for those painkillers) and then waited at the imaging center for my doctor to call me with the results. The ultrasound confirmed her suspicions; there was, indeed, tissue remaining in my uterus.
The doctor told me that she wanted to perform another procedure, this time with an ultrasound technician in surgery so that they could double-check to make sure that all of the tissue was removed. She asked me about my availability and I told her that I could do it anytime, the sooner the better (I didn’t want to prolong this with infection going on). Luckily, I’ve had no appetite, so I hadn’t eaten since early that morning and was able to undergo surgery. The doctor asked me to stay in the area (the imaging center is across from the hospital) and she would call back. When the call came, she said that she could perform the surgery that evening and that I should report to the hospital as soon as I could get over there (!).
I am so thankful that I had no notice for surgery, as it gave me absolutely NO time to get nervous. Thankfully, D was being watched by his Pop-Pop, and I was able to give instructions for his dinner and subsequent care. My husband works an hour and forty minutes away, so he was unable to make it home for my surgery, but he was able to get home in time to put Declan to bed. I’m also thankful that my sister was available, and able to drive me to my ultrasound appointment and be my support person for surgery (I joked that she got more than she had signed-up for that day!).
When I got up to the Outpatient Surgery ward, one of the nurses remarked that she remembered me from the week before, and the orderly that took my back to the OR asked if I had just been in last week (I don’t remember seeing him at all). Do they give out frequent patient rewards? (Not that that is something I would ever strive for!) Outside of the OR, my doctor took my vitals and then passed me to another doctor who would perform the surgery. I have to admit that I was a bit relieved, as you tend to lose a little trust once something like this happens. My new doctor was older, and I’m assuming more experienced, as he canceled the order for the ultrasound technician to be present during surgery. My new doctor said that he always prays before surgery (this is a Catholic hospital with crosses on every wall and in every room) and asked if it would be okay if he prayed with me. I had held it together until then. As he prayed aloud, I could only think of my husband and son, neither of which I got to see prior to surgery. My doctor finished his prayer and I headed into the OR.
I awoke as they were rolling me out of surgery, and was pretty alert immediately. The doctor came to see me and told me that everything went well, and that he expected me to start feeling better soon. YAY! While I don’t feel ready to run a marathon, I’m already feeling like I have a little more energy than I’ve have in the past two weeks.
If you’re wondering how and why (as I am), the best explanation I’ve received is that all of this is due to the fact that I have a bicornuate uterus. According to my surgeon and midwife (at the delivery of my son last year), my uterus is a “perfect heart shape”. While my uterus is not in two pieces, it is divided 2/3 of the way and has two horns (think of a heart where the ‘V’ comes way down). Because of the shape of my uterus, the doctor missed tissue in one of my horns (the right one, where I was pregnant this time). If I had a ‘normal’ uterus, it would have been one large open space and, therefore, easier to suction out. Because I have a divide, and because this is a ‘blind’ procedure (they do not use a scope to direct them, they go by ‘feel’), one side of my uterus (ironically, the side that the baby was in) was missed. For some reason, laboring, and subsequently miscarrying, with Misoprostol still did not force my body shed the remaining tissue. The fact that I was still exhibiting signs of infection is what prompted my doctor to order another procedure.
As I said, I’m already feeling a little better, and hope to move forward and put all of this behind me. To say that this experience was traumatic is an understatement, as I’ve been suffering from nightmares for the past two weeks. I can only hope that this last attempt was successful, and that I can truly begin to heal, both physically and emotionally…