Friday, May 02, 2014

total eclipse of the heart

"(Turn around, Bright eyes)
Every now and then
I fall apart..."

Image credit
I lost my pregnancy 2 weeks ago. I was 8 weeks at the time and we found out the fetus did not progress after 5 weeks. I am fertility challenged and it's been quite a journey trying to conceive and battling my PCOS. I have been on fertility treatment since September last year and we have not been successful with Clomid and hormone shots till now. I can still remember the week before the bad news when my fertility specialist, let's just call him my doctor, told me that things were not looking good and I ought to prepare myself for potential bad news the week after. As much as I tried to be realistic about it, most of me was hopeful for a miracle. That there would be a sign of a fetal pole or a blinking heartbeat. The dreaded week came in and I felt like I was sitting for a major exam as the vaginal ultrasound probe looked for signs of life. I suppose being someone who is constantly exposed to failed pregnancies, my doctor is pretty used to delivering horrid news. He paused and told me that it's official: I am NO LONGER pregnant and that I had a miscarriage. I felt like an absolute failure. As much as I felt I failed myself, I felt that I failed my husband and my parents more.

"(Turn around, Bright eyes)
Every now and then
I fall apart..."
... Bonnie Tyler ...

As I walked out of the room and into the hospital lift tears started streaming down my face. I am always bad at holding back tears. I got that from my mother. I watched pregnant mothers waddle past me and babies squirming in their parents' arms and wondered what was it about me that pregnancy didn't like? They say that children are blessings from God... so reflecting on that statement, how bad a person am I that I'm denied such an opportunity? Le sigh. I got into the car and explained the circumstance to Guy in between my sobs as I informed my family of the unfavourable news. We pulled up into the porch, I dropped my things on the floor and crawled into bed. I waited for Guy to leave the house (or so I thought he did) and let it go. I howled and wailed in pain into my pillow until I exhausted my tears. As it turns out Guy heard everything and came up to sit with me. I appreciated his company but having him within close proximity consumed me in guilt more than ever. The few days after were just crummy. I had to pretend I was dealing well with it in front of the parental units (as my father doesn't deal well with emotional plunges) and customers especially at a bazaar the day after the nightmare. People felt I should have skipped the bazaar but I've made promises, I've paid the booth rent, I've made stock and as much as I dread to acknowledge it, life does swiftly go on.

Nights were the worst. Something about them nights makes one feel most alone.

The miscarriage made me feel like I failed as a woman. Everyone around me seem to get pregnant with the snap of the fingers which goes to show it can be quite effortless for most. It doesn't matter if you're an independent working woman with other form success as the moment you're not pregnant by the second year of marriage, people start giving you the look or verbal jabs and you're mentally deemed a failure. It's like the "When are you going to get married?" but worse. Also I dread having to go through the entire process AGAIN: fertility shots, meds, waiting. Goodness the waiting sucks. Waiting to see if your ovums would mature, waiting to see if the IUI was successful... the waiting's the real killer actually. Then you tend to wonder if you did something wrong that may have jeopardize the pregnancy... it must be something I ate / drank / did / not do... *sigh*

Woke up and felt crummy. The hours of putting up a happy fa├žade finally gave way.. very conveniently at 3am. And you know what Ted says: nothing good ever happens after 2am. Anyhoots this made me laugh out loud. I don't know if it's just me but I found it superbly hilarious and apt (in my situation). Image credit.

I was wondering when I could finally get over this hurdle. I usually recover physically and emotionally very quickly but the feeling of despair seemed to escalate as the days passed. At the time I was still waiting to bleed it out and given that I have not was probably the reason why I could not redha. It was odd pottering about the week knowing there was a dead fetus in me which refused to leave. It was as if my mind and body refused to allow me to move on.

One of the wee hours of the morning as I was crying myself to sleep, a good old friend emerged from the abyss and sent me a msg. We ended up having a long chat comparing battle scars and commiserating. It's bizarre, some days time works against you yet there are days when time works with you. At that very moment it did for me and the conversation was so comforting I fell asleep immediately after.

A week has passed and I started to become restless especially with the cramping sans bleeding. But as much as I wanted it out I didn't go, "GET IT OUTTA ME GAHHH!". Frankly the thought of a D&C gave me the jitters. Yeah doctors make the worst patients. I was scheduled for an appointment with my doctor the day after I called (post-waiting 8 days) and we were going to attempt a dose of Misoprostol. That knowledge must have shook me up inside because I commenced bleeding that very night. The next night I had awful cramps that felt like my uterus was being stabbed and torn into pieces (which I suspect is probably half of what delivering mothers feel). I cried in pain and slept on my dining chair as lying down was wayyy too painful. And for those who don't know, I have a high tolerance for pain! The next day when I was changing my sanitary pad I found something that resembled a mussel lying on the pad. All I could think to say to myself was, "Oh so that's you." I picked it up and explored it as how we were always instructed to back in medical school and housemanship and popped it into a Tupperware. As I showered I discovered what would have been the placenta. I explored that as well. Nothing seemed to be chipped off or missing from both. I popped that into the same Tupperware and stuffed it in my freezer. I had no intention of tossing it into the garbage or flushing it down the toilet. It seemed too crude and, I dunno, disrespectful maybe? It is moments like these that I truly appreciated those open forums on the internet. You get alot of these at etc and it's comforting in a bizarre sense to know you're not alone. And that 'What to do with your miscarried fetus' is actually a fairly common topic. In the end I decided to bury it in a bed of Japanese roses which I went to Sungai Buloh to purchase. By then I have pretty much accepted the 'tragedy'. I get it when people express their sympathies by saying words like "Ah, the little one has no fate with you" or "Belum ada rezeki dari Tuhan lagi" when prior I would shudder in irritation.

In my life there's been heartache and pain
I don't know if I can face it again
Can't stop now, I've traveled so far
To change this lonely life
... Foreigner ...

We all have our battles and this is my life's challenge. What can appear so simple to achieve to others happens to be a very complex recipe for me. Though giving up is not in the cards, disappointments can get very tiresome. Such is life. I can only remind myself that as hard as I think life is for me, it pales in comparison to tragedies out there. William Thacker says it best:

Spike: Hey, you couldn't help me with an incredibly important decision, could you?

William: This is important in comparison to, let's say, whether they should cancel third world debt?

Spike: That's right -- I'm at last going out on a date with the great Janine and I just want to be sure I've picked the right t-shirt.

... Notting Hill ...


Alison Alison said...

Sorry for yourl loss love.I suffered a miscarriage back in 2012. I believe that God took my lil one away because there we unsettled things to settle and it is not the time 2 have a child to patch the situation up.2013 I got married and tried n was blessed with one.Keep on trying.God always gives us what we need in time and Im sure when the right time comes you will be blessed witha bu dle of Joy.

shelbybisou said...

alison: i believe that too now. thank you for your verbal support and positive thoughts, it means alot.

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