Do You Want to Know What It’s Like to be Gutted?

Today is our follow up appointment after having a D&C. Since I am actually writing this before today, I figured I could recap that wonderful day for you all. Why? So that someone who needs a D&C one day will know what they are walking into. So here is the story of my second miscarriage and my D&C….

It was four weeks ago exactly when the husband and I went in for our second prenatal appointment. We were thirteen weeks exactly on that day. I was nervous as I am at every doctor’s appointment, but my brain was filled with a little extra fear of “what if they can’t find the heartbeat this time.” Which just so you all know, is a common thought after a miscarriage. You will always wonder if one day the heartbeat will not be there.

We waited for over an hour past our appointment time to see the doctor. When she finally was able to see us, we discussed how I was feeling. I asked if I could record the sound of the heartbeat this time, so I could have it for when I was worried. The doctor was fine with that and got me on the table to do the normal checkup.

Then she pulled out the Doppler. She moved it around and around and found my heartbeat once. She told me I should put away my phone, and that she needed to grab an ultrasound because sometimes it’s easier to find the heartbeat that way. Panic ripped into me the moment she mentioned that she was having trouble.

The ultrasound wasn’t working. The Doppler was not picking up anything. She called in an ultrasound tech to try to find the heartbeat on the ultrasound. They stood there fidgeting and counting under their breath. The husband snuck behind them to look at the screen. Eventually we heard the words that broke my heart and spirit:

“The heartbeat is low.”

After that, the doctor prepped us for a viability scan for the next day. We were more than likely going to find the baby either dead or still struggling way too hard to survive. Due to the size difference from the last time, she recommended a D&C. (By the way, passing a baby that is an inch big is physically difficult, so passing an almost three inch baby was going to be worse.) So we mentally prepared for the worst as we went home to wait for the scan the next day.

The next day, the scan proved what the doctor knew was coming. The baby had died the day before. The husband had more than likely witnessed its last moments on the ultrasound. The ultrasound tech mourned with us as we saw the images of our very still child in the womb. There was a huge thickening on the back of the neck which lead both ultrasound tech and doctor to believe that there might have been a chromosomal anomaly that caused the miscarriage. With it being my second miscarriage after the 8 week point, the doctor thought it would be a good idea to look into doing an RPL (Recurrent Pregnancy Loss) panel.

We scheduled the D&C for Monday. We were prepped over the phone by the doctor and the hospital. We took the weekend to come to terms with everything as best we could. We found someone to hang out with me the day after because I needed to have supervision for 24 hours after surgery. We got my mother in law to take Monday off so that the husband wasn’t sitting by himself in the waiting room.

I had to start fasting at midnight before the surgery. The next morning mother in law took me to the OB offices so that we could be further prepped on the surgery. Husband met us there as we were checking out. I had to grab some medicine from the pharmacy to soften my cervix (this had to dissolve in my mouth and tasted worse than cardboard) and get blood drawn.

Then we headed to the hospital to the outpatient wing. Once I was checked in, they called me back by myself to get changed into a hospital gown. Nurses came in the confirm my history, as did the anesthesiologist. Then the anesthesiologist stuck around to help with my IV (and more blood work because the original blood work didn’t get put on the system in time) because I’m extremely phobic and prone to both fight and flight responses. After the trauma of the IV, they let husband and Mom in law come back to see me one more time before wheeling me into surgery.

The anesthesiologist gave me something for nerves before we got into the OR. He and the nurse got me talking about vacation places as I drifted off to nothingness. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in recovery one. A nurse sat with me as I came to. I woke up crying, I’m 99% sure I cried the whole procedure. It took a while to stop crying. The reality of what surgery I just had along with coming off of anesthesia kept the tears flowing. However once I seemed physically and mentally stable, they wheeled me to recovery two.

In recovery two, they checked my vitals one more time. Then they brought husband and mother in law back to see me. The surgery had taken half an hour. Then I spent another half an hour in recovery one. So it’d been just over an hour since I saw them. They removed my IV then and I only panicked a bit about that. Then the husband helped me get into my street clothes. They told me not to eat anything spicy or greasy that day (so of course I made the husband get me a spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A).

Recovery after was different but much faster than the recovery of my natural miscarriage. My lower abdomen was very tender for several days and the cramping that first day was awful. Ibuprofen did nothing to help either of these but I’m allergic to Vicodin, so what can you do? I had light on and off bleeding for about two and a half weeks. The pregnancy symptoms went away much quicker with the D&C though. I was not as exhausted and couch ridden for a couple weeks like I was with my natural miscarriage either. Really after two weeks I felt physically fine. It’s just emotionally that I’m still coming to terms with all this.

And that was my extremely long tale of the my second miscarriage.


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