Tuesday 5 September 2006

goodnight sweetheart, goodnight

When I woke up yesterday morning, I saw more blood. Paul rang the hospital and they told us to come to A&E. Our neighbour came over to mind Jack and she held me tight, whispering that she once had this happen to her, too. The drive to the hospital seemed so much longer than usual, although the empty waiting room was a welcome sight. We were taken to a room right away and waited to see a doctor - the one doctor that they had, due to cutbacks. We sat in the brand new wing, the plastic all clean and bright, waiting for hours for the one doctor to see us. The girl in the room next to me also came in with bleeding, and we could hear her moans of distress through the paper thin walls. An old woman down the corridor kept pleading in a shaky voice, "Would somebody help me, please!"

I was wheeled to the early pregnancy unit where a kind, grey-haired nurse gently explained that she will get her bearings first and then show me the screen once she knows what she's looking it. A few moments passed and she turned the screen to me, "I can't see from this angle; it's too blurry to make out any details." I saw the gestational sac and what she called my "little one", which was completely dark and solid. She switched to a transvaginal ultrasound and called in a colleague. On my back, staring up at a spiral decoration that twirled with the breeze, I heard nothing. They agreed, "It's not good" and the nurse placed a hand on my knee, shook her head and said "I'm sorry." Our baby stopped growing almost two weeks ago.

I sobbed from a depth within me that I hadn't reached in a very long time, so pissed off and so distraught. I cried because I hadn't known my baby had died and because my belly was still expanding. I cried because up until the morning before I was still nauseous and feeling so positive about this pregnancy. I cried because I was nearing ten weeks and our midwife was going to try and listen to the heartbeat the day after Caroline's baby shower, and if we were successful, I was going to tell more people about the baby. I cried because our first scan was booked for the day of our second wedding anniversary. I cried because I would have to cancel the scan we planned in California, because I knew my VBAC CDs were coming in the post today, because I just bought some maternity clothes, because we already had names picked out, because we had hired a fantastic independent midwife and I was finally starting to feel confident about birthing at home.

They gave me a tablet and a leaflet, and we went home. The handout said that I may experience period pains, but it felt more like early labour pains and they became almost unbearable. Today, the cramps have subsided but I am experiencing something that is very much like lochia and it will go on for another week or so. Tomorrow, I am going back into hospital for the day where they will give me more medicine (which means more pain) to ensure that all of the "pregnancy product" has been removed. In a week, I will have another scan.

I held Jack tight, tight. I went up to bed and stroked my belly, and whispered "I'm so sorry" over and over because I couldn't hold on to my baby. I am broken.

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