My Personal Hell -- Part II
I had a dream last night. In it I was standing in my bathroom, staring at a pregnancy test. It had the faintest positive line and I was terrified to call my doctor. Dr. P. said that I need to wait for the results of the genetics testing on my husband and me to come back (next Thursday)...that I can't get pregnant again before they have a day 21 progesterone level on me (Day 21 is Monday). So in my dream, I was crying not because I was pregnant, but because my doctor was going to yell at me. Now for most of you, this seems odd, I'm sure. But this is the same doctor that I HATED with everything in me for several months. Back in January, during all of the bleeding, when we had the ultrasound showing a gestational sac and fetal poles, he said something I swore I would never forgive:
"As I see it, you're miscarrying. I mean, we can have HCG levels done, but they're just going to show what I already know. A marked decrease, or at the very least, a leveling off. But, then again, I guess I've seen women with very little bleeding miscarry. And I've seen women with just shitloads of blood go on to have normal deliveries."
When my pregnancy continued, I got more and more angry. When I lost the baby a month later, I hated him.
When he was the one who told me about my second loss just 4 months after the first, I needed him. I needed his stark reality. He told me exactly what no one else would. He looked me in the eye and said "I don't know what the FUCK just happened!" He assured me that I would be a mother. And then he left me with my husband to go make the arrangements with the hospital. And then I sent my husband away to call our families. And I stood there, staring at the persian rug on the floor. I knew I had to leave. I also knew there were 2 pregnant women right outside the door. Dr. P. came back in, a bit startled to see me there crying. He hugged me and said that he knew, just felt deep inside that I *will* be a mother. He asked if I needed anything, and I said no, that I could do this. I walked out, past those other women, and went straight down the stairs.
The receptionist at the bottom was supposed to have the information for my second D&C, but wasn't completely finished with the hospital. I stood immobile at the foot of the stairs. I couldn't leave until I got that information. But the downstairs waiting room was filled with women and newborns waiting for their first appointment and pregnant women anxiously awaiting their turn with Walter and the ultrasound. I couldn't go in there. So I stood, staring at the industrial carpeting that covered the hardwood.
The receptionists all jumped. They ran searching for an office or exam room that was not in use. They led me into the front office, and a woman who looked familiar was clearing out her things so I could curl up on the antique sofa and cry. It's only now that I realize the woman was the genetic counselor I saw in 2001 to make sure that my laundry list of health problems would not affect my children...the same genetic counselor I will see next week to determine if my husband or I have some horrible chromosomal abnormality that has ushered me into Hell.
I cried there until my husband came in. He helped me get to my feet, and supported me all the way to my car. I called the fifth grade teacher in the classroom next to mine and left a message that she would need to make plans for my class. I called the sub service and told them I wouldn't be in because I was having surgery the next day. The woman took down the information and then said "the nature of your absence?" "I'm having surgery to remove the dead baby in my uterus." She sputtered out something to the effect of "you didn't have to go into that kind of detail." "I'm sorry." *click*
I waited for what seemed an eternity the following day for my surgery. Dr. S. performed this one too, and was so kind. I woke up and refused to speak. The nurses asked questions I wouldn't answer, and when I did, I could do little more than whisper faintly. I remember the phone ringing at the nurses' station. I heard them saying they didn't have a cordless phone, that they didn't think the phone would reach, that they would try to find a cordless phone. The phone rang again, they still hadn't found one, but alright Dr. P., we'll try. The phone was handed to me and Dr. P. asked if I was alright, if I needed anything, if there was anything that *HE* could do. I told him no, that I was cold and my stomach was sore, but I would be fine. He said to remember to tell the receptionist in his office that he wanted extra time with my follow up two weeks later so we could discuss where we go from here.
Somewhere between my routine ultrasound the day before and Dr. P. explaining my situation, I found the only doctor I really trust. The one who tells me exactly how he sees things, even if he isn't right. At least I know where I stand with him. He doesn't offer up false hope.