Jeff took me in to the hospital, we got checked in and brought to the pre-op room for my D&C (Dilation and curettage). I changed into the ridiculous gown and socks and sat back on to the bed. They put in my IV, gave me some warming blankets and the weight of it hit me. I started to cry and the nurse called a Chaplain. I realized they were calling her in because today was officially the end of our baby’s short life. They asked me if I wanted a burial and if they could give us contact information for funeral directors. It was all too much. My eyes welled with tears again and I looked at Jeff. Thankfully, Jeff stepped in for that discussion, because I did not have the emotional bandwidth for decision making (for the record we did not do a burial or funeral). I felt so often that my tears replaced the words I couldn’t find to describe what I was feeling in the moment. My tears kept me in the moment when my overwhelmed mind wanted to escape the heartache. This wasn’t just a surgical procedure, this was so much more than that.
The nurses were wonderful, kind, and apologetic. Not the pity kind of apologetic, but the knowing kind. The eyes behind those surgical masks told me some of them knew it personally and even though they couldn’t fix our grief, they promised me they were going to take good care of me and do everything they could to make this part of the process easy. I was relieved to have an all female team of doctors, nurses and even an anesthesiologist. Women understand the delicate nature of this kind of a procedure in a way men cannot understand, and that was important to me. They gave me some good drugs, rolled me into the operating room and I was out. The whole thing was over in 30 minutes, as if I had just opened my eyes from a nap. In post-op they said the procedure went well and they’d call me with results from pathology and genetics once they got word back.
I’ll always remember the nurse who woke me in post-op. She was assertive but kind and reminded me of a spunky grandmother. She was gentle with me as I came out of the fog of anesthesia. She looked at me and said, “Now honey, some people are going to tell you that this is God’s will. I need you to know that God’s will was in the garden, and you losing your baby is not God’s will. They are just saying those things because they don’t know what else to say, but it isn’t true.” Then she patted my hand and smiled at me. It was a sacred moment, a reminder that God is not cruel and that He isn’t punishing us with a miscarriage.
They discharged me about an hour later once I could walk to the bathroom on my own. I felt surprisingly good, no cramping and not much bleeding, just an odd sensation of emptiness. Miscarriage is odd when it doesn’t happen naturally. I think it’s a mercy to do it surgically in some ways because its ‘cleaner’ so to speak. You don’t have to worry about it happening unannounced in the middle of your day. On the other hand, you don’t experience the closure that a natural miscarriage brings. I just woke up from surgery and was told it was over. I never saw my baby or ‘the tissue’ as they called it when they sent samples off to pathology and genetics for testing. It’s just over. You take some good pain killers for a day or two and they say you can return to work. Though for me, the adjustment to back to ‘normal’ after pregnancy loss wasn’t normal at all. Instead of getting the green light to start trying again, we got the news that our miscarriage came with a risk of cancer.