Monday, February 23, 2015

Quinn, I love you, and I miss you.

"She's convinced she could hold back a glacier
but she couldn't keep Baby alive" - Tori Amos

Dear Quinn,

I am so, so, so, so, so, so, sorry.

You lived in my womb for 14 weeks and 3 days. I did not know you had died until 15 weeks, 6 days, on Friday, February 6th, 2015.

I was so shocked. It was just a routine appointment. They went through everything, and at the end they tried to find your heartbeat with the doppler. No luck. Then they used "R2D2" (the very old ultrasound machine in the exam room). "Come on, I thought I heard you!" the midwife said in frustration. So they took me back to the high-tech ultrasound room. I hopped up on the bed, excited to see my baby on the big screen. You appeared, and I was so elated. "I can see its spine!" I proclaimed, because it was not visible during the last ultrasound done at 12 weeks. The sonographer said "Yes Rhiannon, but here's it's heart....I'm so sorry, it's not beating."

"What?!? What do you mean it's not beating?!? This can't be! What's going on?" I scrambled up in the bed, my belly still covered with gel, half-naked yet feeling utterly exposed. Tears started following immediately as I began sobbing and wailing.

The lights were dim. They always are in that ultrasound room, but I felt grateful for the darkness at that time.

An eery silence. Kris, the midwife, brought me tissues. The student NP stood silently towards the back, her hands respectfully clasped in front of her.

"We'll get Dr. Adelberg."

In the meantime, I call my work, tell them I've lost my baby, and I can't work today. I call Damian, tell him we've lost the baby, and please come pick me up. I was in such shock I could barely remember the phone numbers.

Dr. Adelberg comes in, and I immediately wail "it's the medications I'm on!"

She says no, if that were the case, this would've happened much sooner.

I ask her "So what do we do now?"

She tells me my options, that in time my body might expel it, but it's quite large--YOU were large--and that there's a procedure called a D&E.

I tell her "Just tell me what to do, I can't make a decision right now."

She recommended the D&E.

While we're waiting for Damian to arrive, they take me to another room. This is not an exam room, there's no machines or table to sit on. This looks more like a break room, with a recliner. More dim lighting.

Damian shows up, and Dr. Adelberg talks to us, though about what, I can't really remember. So much shock. She called it a "missed abortion," because my body gave no indicators that anything was wrong.

There was room on the operating room schedule for Monday, February 9th, 2015, and that is when I was to have my D&E.

All weekend long I felt so uncomfortable, disturbed, even, to know that my baby was in my body, but it was not alive. I was carrying a dead baby. I just wanted it out of me. At the same time, I did not want to have the D&E. I've never had surgery before, and being a former victim of sexual assault, I was uncomfortable with the idea of a bunch of strangers sticking implements up inside of me. Implements that would suction and scrape your poor little remains from my uterus.

Damian and I took several walks around the lake. The weather was perfect--idyllic, even. And each time we walked, I saw families with strollers, and my emotions would well up. We clung tightly to each other, each of us needing each other more than we've ever needed each other before.

(to be continued)