It's taken me a long time to finish this post. I started Thursday and it's now Monday. I had some really dark, sad moments in between and writing came in starts and stops. I'm feeling much better now, ready to move forward.
So, here's how it's gone...
My body responded to bad news in what I believed to be rapid fashion when I started bleeding Wednesday evening. Not spotting, but full on bleeding. Yes, it felt sad but on the heels of that day's crappy ultrasound but I felt ready and even a little relieved. If it's over, let's get it over with. J and I laid in bed, awake because of an epic thunder and lighting storm, and told each other how sad we were. And eventually, fell asleep. I woke up the next morning to no blood. Nothing after a night of Niagara-esque flow.
I called my doctor's office and they had me come in for another ultrasound. I saw another doctor from the practice, one I hadn't met before. She confirmed that there was no longer any heartbeat. She was incredibly thorough, zooming in on the gestational sac, listening for a long time with the audio function. When she was certain there was no heartbeat, I was able to feel the same. Completely sure. And then the doctor became an emotional robot. She had obviously been trained for this moment.
Dr. Robot: I'm sorry, there's no heartbeat.
Me: Ok, I suspected that was probably the case.
Robot: Yes, but it is one thing to suspect and another to actually find out.
This is, by the way, the correct thing to say. It's just that she said it in a complete monotone without eye contact. Just super awkward. And then it got way more awkward. Mind you, I'm still lying on my back with a wand in my vagina. Me and Dr. Robot are just hanging out, having this conversation.
Robot: (Angling the wand to show the gestational sac) So, there's still STUFF in there.
What? Stuff?!? There's STUFF in my uterus? Like what? Loose change, lint, crumpled receipts? A note to all the future gynecologists, obstetricians, and reproductive endocrinologists of the world: Please do not refer to a non-viable embryo as "stuff." It's a super icky robot thing to do.
Robot: There's still a pregnancy in you that you'll need to pass.
At that point she got into her comfort zone and explained my treatment options. I could wait and let it happen naturally, take medication (methotrexate and misoprostol - not recommended due to a relatively assured side effect of blinding pain and deluge style bleeding), or have a D&C. I opted to wait for a natural miscarriage with the option of scheduling a D&C. Dr. Robot told me to call Monday if I hadn't started bleeding. It is Monday. I haven't.
My doctor, Dr. M, who is an actual human being with real emotions and children that presumably began life as embryos, called me and was completely wonderful. He said I could wait up to a couple of weeks to miscarry naturally though frankly that sounds like torture. If, after weighing the risks, I do opt for a D&C, I will definitely schedule so that he does the procedure. No more robots.
Yet another option was presented by my witch doctor acupuncturist. She has herbs that can assist with the natural miscarriage process (ie. cause uterine contractions). I may go that route and then, should nothing happen, opt for the D&C next week on Tuesday, Dr. M's procedure/surgery day.
Taking acupuncture herbs to cause a miscarriage makes me feel like a character in a grim movie set during Prohibition. Raised in the backwoods of Appalachia, I have found myself in the family way after a regrettable encounter with the film's villain. Under cover of night, I run barefoot to a shack where this mystic with cataracts is boiling sticks and rodents in various pots in her dimly lit cabin. She gives me a filthy mason jar filled with translucent liquid, I drink it and run back into the woods where, as depicted in a series of emotional but bloodless frames, I miscarry. Obviously my face is smeared with dirt so as to highlight my tear tracks. The end.
These are my options. I get to choose my own adventure.
(I wonder why I don't get many messages on my blog. Clearly it's because I'm insane and nobody knows how to respond to my movie plots and such. The fantasy is so clearly spelled out, I leave almost no room for comments.)