I was swimming from deep underwater, trying to reach the top to breathe. A few seconds later, I did burst through to air, gasping in a huge breath as I made it.
I was crying.
My OB told Dave that my first words upon awakening were "It waved at me." It meaning the baby.
The first thing I remember was calling out for my baby, tears streaming down my face. I was back where I had started, in a small room with a curtain separating me from the hallway. The curtain was open, and I could see various nurses and other hospital staff walking around. Some looked at me, some didn't. No one said anything.
I had forgotten to say goodbye. I kept putting it off, not wanting to say it, not wanting to think it. I figured I could mourn and say goodbye right before they put me under. I barely remember being wheeled from that curtained room into the operating room. I do remember being so so cold in the operating room, and someone, maybe a nurse, explaining it was that way because all of the lights would cause the room to heat up soon.
I went under anesthesia and woke up to a panic attack.
"I didn't get to say goodbye," I said to no one in particular. "I need to say goodbye. Where is my baby? Can I see my baby? I want to hold my baby."
The moments after I fully woke seemed to stretch out forever to me before Dave came into the room. I hate that he saw me like that, but I did start to relax once I saw him. I woke up more fully and became more rational. Of course I couldn't hold my baby, and of course I couldn't see it. He or she was off to be examined, and then later cremated in a mass ceremony for all fetuses born that day. Becoming more fully aware of my reality did little to comfort.
The D&C went as well as could be expected. Dave says my OB was practically beaming when she came to speak with him in the waiting room. She had warned both of us that the baby was almost too large for a D&C, being 14 weeks along, and the surgery would be more difficult than they usually are for her. It could take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. It took her only 20 minutes. My body was ready, she said, either from the drugs they gave me - stronger than Pitocin - or because I was closer to miscarrying on my own anyway. I had cramped all that morning, so I figured it was a little of both.
My OB had used an ultrasound to guide her during the procedure. She told Dave that it had been obvious why the baby had not survived. Little kiddo had something wrong with its brain, a defect that was always fatal. Babies typically didn't survive even this long. My baby had been such a fighter.
We had a little consolation that there was nothing that we could have done to either prevent what happened or fix it. Every pregnancy has the same chance of this happening, no matter what you do or how many vitamins you take or how much you exercise or whatever. It's a fluke, a freak development. No one's fault. We'll find out more about what exactly happened to baby at my follow-up appointment in 1-2 weeks. However, my mind and heart are lifted a little by knowing it wasn't just some random infection that killed my baby.
Once I could get up and pee, we were allowed to go home a little over an hour after I woke. I fell asleep on the way home, woke up, and immediately had to throw up the small cup of water I drank at the hospital before leaving. Besides that one bout of nausea, I have felt fine. I've got good painkillers in me, and I only really feel pain when I get up and move around.
The last couple of days have felt so surreal to me. Pregnant, then not pregnant. So excited to have a newborn in the house again come August, then having to go home without a baby inside of me. I've put everything behind me for the moment, work, school, everything. My heart is healing, but I don't think it'll ever be the same again.
But come next week, I have to restart life. I have a 20-month-old on which to focus. G has been a huge healing factor for me. My oh-so sweet toddler has been giving me lots of hugs and cuddles, almost like he understands that Mommy is sad and needs them right now. When I came home with a hospital band on one arm and a large bandage covering my IV site on the other, G immediately focused on them. His little chubby face was so serious. He would touch one object on my arm, then the other. He would get up from my lap and touch them again. He would pick out another book to read, then touch them once again as he sat back down on my lap. His concern was obvious and it touched me deeply.
Dave and I are allowed to try again for another baby after I have a period or two. We're not quite sure what we want to do - I feel like I haven't mourned this baby enough, but maybe I'll be ready in a few months. Maybe I won't ever be truly ready again.
I woke up crying after the surgery. I haven't cried since. Maybe I'm just cried out. Maybe I'm glad it's over and I can start to heal. Maybe I'm just numb inside. A part of me left with that baby yesterday afternoon and I won't ever get it back.