Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Terror, anxiety, insomnia, more terror, and finally some tears

Since my last post my emotions have run the gamut. Once I got over the flashbacks that came with the Christmas tree, I actually started to feel quite grateful for my two beautiful and healthy children and all of the riches that life has provided me with.

We were having a really nice Christmas day and I was feeling pretty good about everything until the contractions started. With each of my three pregnancies that lasted long enough, I started the Braxton-Hicks contractions at about 16 weeks. No idea why. But on Christmas day they came clustered closely together and were more intense than normal for such an early stage in my pregnancy (15 weeks, 5 days). Naturally, I freaked.

I had an ultrasound on the 26th and my cervix and stitch look fine. The guy who did the u/s, I’ll call him Al the Automaton because he displayed no evidence of having a heart or a soul, was a complete a-hole. (He did check the baby’s heartbeat which was 144, down from 166 last time. When I expressed concern about the drop, he repeated twice, “160 to 140 is considered the normal range.” I forgot to ask fancy doc about the drop so I’ll just have to assume that the drop is okay. I got my Doppler today and heard a heartbeat that seems to be in the 150’s by my count so I am pretty convinced that the baby is alive and has a normal heartbeat.) Anyway, the sound was off when Al the A-hole checked the heartbeat so I couldn’t even hear it. He reluctantly took a cursory look at gender and then snapped, “The legs are shut.” Fucker. Worst u/s tech I ever had and that’s sayin’ something.

Anyway, I saw fancy doc after the u/s and he was completely unfazed by the contractions. He seemed relieved that there was no damage to the stitch from the contractions the night before. I hadn’t considered that as a possibility so naturally that freaked me out a little especially since as I said he isn’t worried at all about the contractions. No need to take it easier, no need to drink some water and lay down (standard advice for the gazillion other b-h contractions that I had with other pregnancies). As long as the contractions don’t continue in the event that I happen to lie down, there is no reason to worry about them. He said if they become problematic, then he can put me on indomethicin. Now, I’m not dying to go on bedrest here but why in the hell would he put me on meds before suggesting that I lie the fuck down?

Naturally I didn’t get good and worked up about this until later, conveniently when Rocket Man and I were out for a rare dinner by ourselves. I am worried that fancy doc isn’t more worried about contractions at barely 16 weeks. He said, “Well that’s just your uterus.” Granted I have the very same uterus but my friggin cervix had a ¼ of itself lopped off and now it has a fucking bootlace holding it together so I don’t go into labor at 20 weeks like I was about to with LC. I don’t trust my cervix one bit or my uterus for that matter. Guilty by association the uterus is.

After the appointment I worried my self into a frenzy even by my standards and RM and I argued and it got ugly. I accused him of resisting the notion of bedrest partly because tremendous pressure will fall on him. He got mad. I went to bed upset. And terribly anxious. I couldn’t explain to him how completely and utterly petrified I am all the time that something is going to come out of the fucking blue again and that my baby will be torn away from me for the fourth and final time. I don’t know how I’d survive it. The aftermath of the infection/LC disaster was a big fat fucking nightmare and the wake of this summer’s disaster got almost as ugly in some ways.

With every ounce of my being I fear having to go through something like either of those again. I was human fucking pin cushion for four tortuous days in the hospital as they stuck things in nearly all of my orifices as they frantically tried to figure out what the hell was wrong with me, how to stop the contractions, how to start them again, how to induce labor, how to prevent another fever of 106.1, how to treat my infected uterus so I didn’t die from septic shock, how to keep my organs functioning as we waited for the baby, how to get my baby out for her to die so I could live.

I can’t ever do anything like that again. I think I handled the entire fucking nightmare pretty goddamn gracefully from start to finish. Then what happened?

I get pregnant again and my baby turns up dead at 11 weeks with out a single fucking warning sign and I have to wait 5 days for a D&C but I deliver, thanks to trusty misoprostol which was supposed to “ripen” my cervix, the baby in a horrific scene into the palm of my hand and then have to get a D&C anyway without any fucking anesthesia WHATSOEVER.

This is my LAST pregnancy. I’ve been pregnant six times in six years. I have two kids. If this thing goes south, the devastation will be complete and permanent.

The fear is so ingrained in me that I have lost touch with what is reasonable. I can’t separate paranoia from intuition or intuition from paranoia. In a way I feel like I’m walking through a forest in the pitch dark and I am straining my every sense to figure out where the danger might be coming from. My fear of being there in the first place is overwhelming my other faculties and I’m locked into a constant state of near panic. I am working so hard to depress the anxiety that I am barely functioning in life. I wish I could just curl up in bed and somebody wake me when it’s over. The fleeting moments of relief are so insubstantial in comparison to the fear that I don’t even think that I would miss much.

This morning I woke up at 4:15 and couldn’t fucking go back to sleep. Once I get up to pee, I am screwed. Insomnia seems like about the worst kind of torture that I could endure right now. I read until 6:30 when I finally started to feel a little droopy in the eyes. Then out of nowhere a stream of tears that eventually turned into a torrent. I guess the dam finally broke.

Most of the time my terror manifests as anxiety and depression, both of which can make me a little unpleasant to be around. I was kind of relieved and empty-feeling afterwards as if I’d just a gigantic pus-filled boil drained. I’m sure I could have slept like a baby for hours. It was a partly welcome relief to not just feel so bitchy and nit-picky and uptight and why-didn’t-fancy doc-do-this or-say-that and nothing makes me happy and my cleaning lady doesn’t clean under stuff and why are we doing this anyway. I could go on and on. Actually just quaking with sobs for our dead babies and my horrifying memories and my abject terror at going through anything like that again was a relief of sorts.

I realized why I was so mad at Al the u/s A-hole and it was because the u/s provides me with the opportunity for a brief moment of relief and joy and connection with the baby growing inside me. It’s a shred of hope and wonder amidst round-the-clock catastrophizing. It’s the only chance I get to feel connected to this baby and to the idea that this baby might actually live to be born, alive. I think that’s partly why I am so eager to find out if it’s a boy or a girl, that is so I can connect and imagine and fantasize a little.

After a whirlwind of emotions I am feeling a little more grounded. I checked the heartbeat with the Doppler twice today and it gave me some peace. After the first time, I felt a surge of an actual appetite. Small wonder that I’ve had no appetite. Being completely fucking petrified and depressed is not so conducive to hunger, at least for me.

I’m still worried that fancy doc is being a bit blasé about the contractions. I feel like I am worrying more because he isn’t worrying. I think he solves problems when they become problems and I’d very much like to prevent a problem. Not sure where I’ll come out on this one but I can see the issues a little more clearly after my big cry. Even on five hours of sleep.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:43 AM  
Blogger Co said...

Thinking of you.

5:12 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Wow..I'm so sorry for this hell you've been in. What a nightmare you have been going thru. I just assumed your life was continuing along the lines of boring-ness. I'm with you in the solving-problems-before-they-start-concept. Then again, my doctor seems to think BH at 16 weeks is ok as well. I've already been warned that BH could start pretty much any time, and she too seems unfazed. Maybe they know something we don't?? Maybe they see this all the time? Considering your history, your terror is completely justified. I'm glad the Doppler is providing some relief for you, and I hope you can find a calm place. (Tell me where it is if you find it.)

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel so bad, that I don't have any sage words of wisdom to offer. But please know that I'm thinking of you.

6:45 AM  
Anonymous steph said...

I hate that you're going through all of this exhausting stress. I wish the worry would washout with the buckets of tears - you've got to let it out. I think about you all of the time and wish I could give you a hug and make you laugh. Hang in there. I still have a good feeling that this baby is strong and is going to make it through and be so worth the wait.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I *think* you'll think this is stupid, but let me give two quick messages to your HOPE and your DESPAIR.

Dear WTF's HOPE... stick with her. Let this be the baby that lives. Let it all go well. And help her enjoy some peace while she successfully carries this healthy pregnancy to term.

Dear WTF's DESPAIR... get the eff out of here! You've tormented her for too long, and it's not fair. NOBODY should ever have to deal with you for three straight pregnancies. Seriously, DESPAIR, you're not welcome in 2007.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous bri said...

Oh, this is just hideous. I am so sorry. I can only barely imagine the images you have to carry around. Mine keep me awake as it is. I am thinking of you.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, you are living some kind of hell. I'm sorry. Hmmm, I believe ElectricLady has had ctx from very early on, I *think* her blog is at or something similar.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You poor woman. Your bravery is amazing. Your family is lucky to have you. I hope all goes well for you in the future, and please remember that all of these episodes are probably wreacking hormonal hell on your body, so if you need find a doctor or someone to speak about that, please do it. You need to take care of yourself before you can take proper care of others, no matter how many children you have.

4:24 PM  

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