Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Thick

J~'s surgery was successful. He is home, not feeling well at all, but between naps, he is out of bed and walking around, zombie-style. I can't tell you how relieved I am that he is still alive, not paralyzed, in one piece.

It was a rough evening in the hospital -- neck pain, difficulty swallowing, anesthesia wipe-out. He did not look good.

As for me, the long day of stress and waiting, with not enough food and then, finally, toxic hospital salad (with chicken basted in so much preservative it may well have been sitting around since 1972, with a dressing composed, undoubtedly, of high fructose corn syrup and not much else) culminated in a raging headache, sore throat, nausea, and weepy exhaustion. I finally got out of the hospital to head home for a few hours sleep, only to find my car wouldn't start. Thankfully, someone in the emergency room was able to give me a jump.

J~'s night was no better, what with the nurse's rounds every two hours, the literal pain in his neck, and an inability to empty his bladder, forcing a midnight catheter. The next morning, worried about a second painful syphon, he visited the bathroom repeatedly, each time managing to void a little bit more. After one last x-ray, he was released just before noon.

By the time we arrived home, he was feeling pretty rough, and so was I. After doing everything I could to make him comfortable, I wept and admitted I needed to lie down too.

It was a long, hard night. J~ slept in an upright position, snoring and gurgling and coughing so much I had to leave the room. When I awoke, in my stepson's bed (he was on an overnight with his camp) it was out of a dream that the miscarriage had begun, and into the worst cramps yet.

Two days after J~'s surgery, still trying to selflessly care for him in spite of nausea, headache, and cramps (but not yet bleeding), still weeping when I hit my strange new limit of extreme exhaustion, it finally occurred to me that, no matter the imminent demise, I am and continue to be pregnant. My body is simply not up for this.

B~'s grandmother had been a help, but not enough. Over J~'s objections, I called in reinforcements.

A good friend came by this afternoon, started my laundry, washed dishes, made lunch, and made me promise to keep asking for help.

Luckily, J~ is feeling better now, thanks, I think, to a switch from Tylenol to Motrin. And so am I, though no drugs were involved in my case.

My sister-in-law, who is normally tireless and an unswervingly devoted mother, said she also hit a mysterious rough patch in the weeks preceding her miscarriage, where she had to lie down and close her eyes and tell her kids to go watch television. She, too, thought maybe she was coming down with something. And then, hours later, just as mysteriously, the dark cloud passed.

Hearing this, I wondered: I know I was sleep-deprived and highly stressed, but perhaps it got so bad because of pregnancy transitioning into not-pregnancy? Perhaps it takes our bodies some great effort to derail that train?

Anybody else ever feel this?


Frenchie said...

Oh God--what an ordeal. My heart goes out to you. And, the answer is, YES! I had a similar experience, though, I didn't know yet that my pregnancy was about to end...

You were so right to call for help.

Sam said...

Yes. Keep asking for help. We're all still here.

Sara said...

Oh, yes, and without the stress of my husband having just had major surgery. I waited out my miscarriage as well, and didn't begin to bleed for 2 weeks following the diagnosis.

The emotional plus the physical stress of all you're going through is unbelievable. I know I'm a new reader, but I've been thinking of you often.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that J had what sounds like a successful surgery. It was brilliant of you to accept the help, keep doing so.

And yes, I went through the same thing with my m/c in terms of the exhaustion before and leading up to it. Because you are still pregnant, and it is nauseating, exhausting, tiring, even if it's going to end.

Had I to do it over again, I'd have a D&C once I knew it was truly over instead of waiting it all out and going through it on my own. That way the pregnancy symptoms subside more quickly (but it's not instantaneous as you know).

Also, Amy, your pregancy might be viable. I had killer cramps with my successful pregnancy. Consider another ultrasound, please?

Artblog said...

Speedy recovery to J and you too Amy.

And yes from me too. I actually had the D&C as fast as I could because physically it was killing me and I had LaLa to look after. The second I did naturally and it kicked my arse badly too so I asked the doc for some pills to bring on the contractions quickly and it was over the next day.

Even an early pregnancy that will miscarry is a heavy load for the body. Just take it as easy as you can do.

be kind to yourself, thinking of you. X

Liz said...


Pregnancy is exhausting. Miscarrying is exhausting. Waiting to miscarry is exhausting. Watching your spouse going through major surgery is exhausting.

I think the pregnancy hormones make you tired but the dropping hormones and the emotional fallout of the impending miscarriage made me more tired than the pregnancy. I had weeks of post-partum fatigue, too. It is not fun, but you will get through it.

I am glad J~ is better. They only gave him OTC painkillers? I would ask his doctor for something stronger, just so the poor guy can get some sleep.

Ollie said...

I am so glad to hear his surgery went well! There's one load off your mind. I hope his recovery is swift and complete.

As for the other.. well, yeah. All my m/c's were like that. Your body is still technically pregnant for all intents and purposes, so you are still getting the icky side of things. In my last m/c, the last few days before "it" hit, though, I felt better than I had in a long time--my hormones had already dropped low, I just was having an incomplete m/c and required d&c. No nausea, no aches, exhaustion was gone. It's the hormonal plummet that really bites you in the bottom.

I agree, you should get another u/s. For all reasons. If it is indeed viable, it's good to know. But if it isn't, it is a good rule of thumb to know where things stand so that you can be treated in case of problems, God forbid.

megan said...

i'm glad to hear that J is home and recovering. also proud of you for asking for help. i know it's not easy to do. take care of yourself, amy.

Rosa said...

When I had my m/c I felt the same way, as if I had been struck by a train. I was also sleep deprived and stressed, I was working full time (somewhat) and taking care of my mother who had just come home from a long stay in the hospital. I was given a Misoprostol pill to hurry things along, instead of a D&C. My stupid choice, I'll never forget the pain/cramps I got with that. Were the cramps from the pills or the m/c? Not sure, but I blame the pills, I had cramps before I took them, and they went up several notches after. I still felt like crap long afterward.
You are in my thoughts, I'm sorry you're going through this.

Anonymous said...

Amy, I wanted you to know that I have been thinking of you. We have only spoken once (at Becky's), but please if there is anything I can do for you, let me know. Even if it's just to run out and rent a movie for you! ~Jeannie

Dee said...

Glad J made it through surgery and is doing a bit better! You're both in my thoughts every day.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping you and J are both doing ok. Thinking of you and wondering how things are going ....