Today I am sad, but I am also angry.
My high-school-aged sister and I usually make Christmas cookies together right before Christmas. Since I’ve been married, it’s a little more complicated to arrange. Last year she came and helped make and decorate dozens of cookies. It was a fun memory we got to share with Seraphim because he was alive and well. This year was more frustrating. I wanted to get together on Sunday, but she was “busy” doing who-knows-what, and Monday she was “probably busy” hanging out with a friend. I gave her those two options. Since she wouldn’t decide whether or not Monday would work, I baked for hours by myself on Sunday, did three sinkfuls of dishes almost alone (my husband helped a bit in between things he was working on), and then cooked dinner. Yesterday (Monday) my sister texted me to let me know that would work for making cookies. So I told her to bring over a beloved recipe of our deceased grandmother’s and we’d make that.
Somewhere between the second and third batch of baking, I noticed I was bleeding. Really. Badly. I discussed this with my husband for about five minutes (during which, Pandora mercifully shut itself off–the only time I have ever been glad that stupid online radio station has ever given the “Are you still listening?” screen, because I couldn’t shut it off myself by then without really looking evil), since I wanted my sister to leave, right away, but I didn’t want her to feel like I was mad at her. I couldn’t figure out a way to just kick her out in the middle of baking, so my husband helped her with the last four or five batches, I packed up a bunch of cookies (we didn’t get out the frosting–I couldn’t keep it together much longer) for the family, and sent her out the door as fast as possible with the gifts I’d wrapped.
I felt–and still feel–incredibly guilty about the whole thing. My sister and I rarely see each other despite the fact we live 4 miles away, and it figures that the one time we plan things, the great tragedy of my uterus expelling all it’s been working on the past 9 weeks has to occur.
When we were alone, I tearfully looked at my husband and said, “I guess we won’t have Christmas with this baby after all.” And we wept for a long time (although not together, which was a good indication that my husband was incredibly sad; he didn’t want to be near me and he didn’t want me to comfort him). My husband never cries; I think this was the third time he’s cried as long as I’ve known him, and all three of those times were in the past year.
We struggled with what to do. If I went to the hospital, they would just send me into surgery; I went in with bleeding once with Seraphim and the doctor coldly told me, “If there’s no heartbeat, you’re going to surgery now.” There were no options, nothing. I don’t want that. If my body knows how to miscarry, I don’t want to have my insides sucked and scraped out. Besides, and ER visit without surgery would start out at $3,000. I know because I went twice last year–and after insurance cut off its chunk, my bill was just $2,000. Each time.
So I’ve just stayed at home and rode out the cramps and bleeding. It hasn’t stopped yet, but it’s not as heavy as it was, not quite as much clotting or as much tissue as the first 12 hours, though I wish it would just finish up.
So I am sad today, but mostly I am angry.
I am angry that my OBGYN refused to see me until I was 12 weeks along. I called at 5 weeks, shortly after the positive test, and the receptionist coolly told me the next opening was 7 weeks from then, and that they didn’t care what my history was. I figured once my doctor saw my name on the list, maybe she’d request that they call me and get me in sooner. But that never happened.
I am angry that my OBGYN told me I’d be on progesterone all through this pregnancy, and that I wasn’t during the time I needed it, mainly because I could not see her until the first trimester was almost over. Back when I had a primary care physician (when I became pregnant with Seraphim), he was concerned that I was pregnant and said, “Your progesterone levels are so low, I don’t think you can carry to term.” I think the progesterone helped get me through that frightening first trimester.
I am angry that I have untreated hypothyroidism right now that has been untreated since August 2013, when my OBGYN measured my TSH levels, said I was fine, and wouldn’t prescribe me more medication for my Hashimoto’s Disease. She didn’t think the autoimmune antibodies were necessary to check, and I could no longer see my primary care physician because he didn’t accept the insurance I was on then. (This article and related ones validate my feelings: http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-disease-the-danger-of-thyroid-antibodies-and-pregnancy/)
I am angry that my OBGYN is the best in the area.
I am angry that I haven’t had insurance since April thanks to the improvements made under the ACA and the crappy systems that were created with terrible staff who are both lacking in knowledge and lacking in power to change the “inevitable,” which for us was not being able to get our insurance back. We have paid for insurance for January, but there is no telling if we will even get that.
Most of all, I am angry and I am sad that this is the best possible solution to this pregnancy, and has wiped out a multitude of dilemmas in one fell swoop. Those who have lost babies will not resent me for having one, because this one is gone, too. Those who have never lost babies and have reassured me that “Just have another; it’ll make everything better,” and such nonsense will never get the joy of telling me, “Ha ha, I was right!” even though they wouldn’t be. I don’t have to worry about this baby taking Seraphim’s place. I don’t have to worry about our move that is scheduled for this baby’s due date. I don’t have to worry about trying to find a new job in a new city while 9 months pregnant or on maternity leave with a baby in tow. I don’t have to dread our neighbour who thinks we are the noisiest people alive (because we play a musical instrument for 30 minutes once a month, if that) showing up at the door and cussing us out on a regular basis over a crying baby (to think that our landlord put us next to her, knowing full well I was pregnant with Seraphim when we moved in…).
So now everyone else gets to be happy, just not us. As a woman with an obsession for making everyone happy, this has actually made me feel better about all this. I hate that, and that makes me angry, too.
I am sad because despite all the dilemmas, we wanted this baby. It would’ve been hard work, but having children will always be hard work, and we would’ve figured it out just like every other person on this planet has figured it out.
Tomorrow we are going to visit my husband’s family across the state, so I’m taking off work today to try to get my body to speed things up without hurting myself too much. We are both anxious to find the baby, but we never got a confirmation that it was a “real” baby, so how do I even know what I’m looking for? It could’ve been an empty sac, or it could’ve died weeks ago and I’ll miss it entirely. I do know if I lose another baby in that city, I am going to scream. I want it to happen here.
I’ll call my OBGYN’s office on Christmas to cancel my January appointment so that I don’t have to risk talking to some cold-hearted receptionist.