Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mama Trauma Drama - Part 1

I can't say that I'm really ready to talk about all this. Eventually, ready or not, I need to. I have to.

I swore my pregnancy with the little would be so much different than that with the bug. I vowed to enjoy as much of it as possible, to worry as little as possible and swore I wouldn't leave the hospital without a good anti-depressant to make sure ppd would not steal from me the joy of having a newborn.

Apparently the universe heard "different" and ignored much of the rest.

At eight days past ovulation, I woke with a start, immediately convinced of two things. I knew I was pregnant and I knew there was a problem with my progesterone. (Not totally unexpected, I do have PCOS - however supplementation with my daughter's pregnancy was purely precautionary) I called my RE, said I knew they'd think I was crazy but would they test me anyway. As it turns out, it was a darn good thing and I started progesterone supplements as soon as the results were back. That was probably the last simple time in my pregnancy.

So many things happened during my pregnancy that it seems unbelievable to me. Hyperemesis set in pretty quickly, and ultimately didn't let up until two weeks before my son was born, despite anti-nausea medications and trying every trick out there. Things that worked during my morning sickness with my daughter either didn't touch my symptoms or made things worse. I even found myself in the ER for IV fluids one night, because I simply could not keep up.

Placenta previa (mild) was an issue that resolved itself eventually, but not before a few bouts of bleeding.

Then there were the preterm contractions - most of which not really considered preterm labor because for a long time they did not change my cervix. Still, I found myself on prescriptions for oral terbutaline and procardia. I had more trips to the L & D ward than I choose to count, though I'm kicking myself for not saving each and every one of the bracelets those trips earned me. By themselves they would tell an amazing story. I could title it "our winter home" or "our visits to --Hospital."

The contractions, of course, were the scariest part. I simply couldn't believe that I was having that problem, that medication wasn't helping and I hated that I made so many of those trips by myself while my husband watched our daughter. Normally with my instructions that I would call if this was it. I didn't want to feel like chicken little, calling family in to watch our daughter, and I was embarassed. I could not believe my body was in such a state that I kept having the contractions, I could not believe that after a normal pregnancy with our daughter things were so different and I was humiliated that I seemed to be failing at that. The cracks and tears caused by infertility, healed over by our daughter and now this pregnancy seemed to reopen. My faith in my body was decreasing instead of increasing.

In the midst of it, a group of women turned against me in ways I can only describe as devastating. A lot of what happened was orchestrated or fed by one woman, whose motivations I'll never totally understand, but it was still awful. In the midst of what was a terrifying time for me, I felt some didn't believe me, some thought I was exaggerating and some scrutinized my every word looking for evidence of...I don't even know...exaggeration, misleading information, excuse to attack. It was like nothing I'd ever experienced, and from women on a message board that I'd trusted as friends, family and confidants. A friend of mine (in real life) joked that I'd singlehandedly brought down a message board. While it wasn't my fault, it still stings that a place I loved is no longer in existence in large part because of what happened. I'm mostly over all this, but sometimes it still hurts to remember what happened and to know when I needed them most, many of those women turned their backs on me.....and in some cases I think it boiled down to being because my situation wasn't as bad as theirs had been.

My whole pregnancy I kept thinking "that was bad, but it could have been so much worse." Every day I was pregnant, I made a point to thank God for it. Every time something happened but didn't turn out as bad as it could have, I was grateful. I lost track of how many times I said how grateful I was, how many times I checked myself from repeating another story because my reactions were being judged as either too careful or not careful enough. I was too worried or not worried enough. It was truly traumatic for me and unlike anything I've ever been through.

In the midst of all that, there were falls, modified bedrest, a kidney stone, a gall bladder attack, more tests, blahblahblah. It wasn't the worst pregnancy it could have been, I just was completely unprepared for it.

I remember one particular night, when nobody in the room thought I would leave it pregnant. The contractions had intensified and they weren't backing down. I'd gone from contractions every 10 minutes, to every 5, to 4, my cervix was dilating and my labor pattern was consistent. They gave me a shot of terbutaline. They put me on magnesium. And still I contracted. We talked about what to do, a NICU nurse came to talk to us about what a baby born early was in for (she painted only the worst case scenarios by the way) and ultimately it was decided the magnesium wasn't helping and should be turned off.

I remember saying to God that we knew this had always been in his hands, that it was hard for us to trust him but we were once again turning it over to him. I remember saying "please make it be all right, whatever that looks like." I remember them prepping the room for a delivery, moving me into "laboring" mode and doing things like allowing me to use the tub.

We'd gone in at night and ultimately left the next afternoon. 3-4 cm dilated (depending upon who checked) and about 80% effaced, I walked out of the hospital. I remember thinking I needed to check my clothing for bullet holes, as if we'd dodged tons of them. I remember wanting to put a bubble around my house and just stay there, not coming out until 39 weeks hit.

I remember wondering just whose life I'd walked into.


Claire said...

Keep it coming sweetie. You need to get this out.

One of the most amazing things isn't that you survived all of that - it's that you've survived that AND everything that has happened since. It's been quite a year.

Carrie said...

You're a tough cookie. It would be one thing if you could look back on all this from a normal state, but coupled with what you're dealing with now - it's unbelieveable. Hope you are all doing well. :)