Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Liz-Lemoned My Miscarriage

If anything were normal in my life I wouldn't be here typing. I thought the cathartic post on my horrible 2011 would set a tone of hope and renewal for me in 2012. But there's something about every New Year we fail to realize. It's just another date on the calendar. Life doesn't magically change because of it, or because of heartfelt resolutions and the purging of all the bad from the year before. Below is how my first week of the New Year started and ended, in Liz-Lemon fashion. Below are the emails I sent out to friends.

January 5, 2012: The results are in. My uterus is fetus-free and deformed to boot! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcuate_uterus

Go figure, right. I couldn't just have any normal miscarriage or uterus. It had to be on Christmas Eve, in Church. BTW, Santa is officially on my naughty list. He's on my shit list really. I could really kick that f*cker in the red velvety balls. My red clown nose, screw that, it's Rudolph's now cause I stole it. Then as my Happy Holiday lingers so does all the joy of what an actual miscarriage is. My first one lasted about a week, one hellish week of pain, but a week. This one is still going strong. The cramps are just as bad, if not worse. Son-of-a-Dingelberry!

I went to the doctor on Tuesday, as scheduled, and they drew blood. My HCG (the hey your preggers hormones that make the Home Pregnancy Tests positive) levels were high and they should've been practically down to zero. Concerned, my doc scheduled an ultrasound for today. They said that it can be anything really. Like that I still may be pregnant. I promised myself I wouldn't get my hopes up but I did. Like an idiot I actually thought that maybe I'd get a late Christmas present. But nope. Not my luck. Never is.

I had terrible shocking WTF cramps on Tuesday night and told the Hubby if I got anymore I think I needed to go to the hospital. They went away and I waited on the couch until my appointment with the perionatologist.

Said ultrasound confirmed my empty uterus. But the doc wanted to be sure all was well so he gave me a Vaginal Ultrasound too. Oh, boy! What FUN! Yes, it is as awkward as it sounds. And is basically a dildo shaped wand you have to stick up you Hoo-ha while the doc moves it around like an Atari joystick. Then, in the Liz Lemon fashion my life is, the Ultra Sound Machine runs out of film. Doc says, "Hold this a sec." Yes. I have to sit up and hold that wand in place. All the while the hubby is standing there looking at me like he ate a lemon, not Liz Lemon, a real lemon. Screw you big guy. I wanted to say but I had to concentrate on holding a dipstick up my ying yang. The doc fumbles to load up the machine with more film. He tries to make light of the situation with a joke that it always runs out during the vaginal. Not funny. Hubby now looks like he ate two lemons and should be eating my two fists but my hands are otherwise engaged.

After fifteen long ass minutes of Doc's joystick ride in my Jay-jay he makes his diagnosis. No baby. Ovaries look fantastic, though. (He said that like he wanted to date them, btw.) And my uterus dips a little. I felt like saying no shit, you just got done poking the crap out of it. But alas, it dips. The Tootsie Roll Song popped into my head. (Now dip baby dip, come on now, dip baby dip...) I really have no clue what function my brain  is on half the time.

The Doc apologized for my losses and was so sincere the Charli Tough ass exterior practically crumbled. I have been ordered not to try to conceive for at least three normal cycles. Hopefully my HCG levels have gone down, I won't know til Monday. If they've stayed the same or gone up, then it's another complication. Wonderful. With my luck, I'll be back here next week with another WTF email.

Until then my friends, I cannot say enough for all your support and love. Like I said before, so few know in our family its been hard. Me and the hubby are struggling with what to say to one another. I have no writing mojo as my heart is broken, my body still healing, and my angry clown is festering to escape. I am looking forward to getting back to my writing life but until this is resolved, I gots nothing. Just that damn small spark of hope that I may still be pregnant.

January 10, 2012: I am home typing this on my couch. Recliner up, a heating pad on my belly, and I am heavily medicated. See, I am recovering from emergency surgery from an ectopic pregnancy. Yup, and it ruptured my right fallopian tube. But let me back track a little.

By Sunday my nerves were shot watching the clock, waiting around for Monday when the doc would call with my HCG levels, and the cramps had gotten worse. It was a bad weekend all around. The hubby's birthday was Saturday and he hoped I'd be all stoked to get out and celebrate. I wasn't at all. I was also fighting a nasty cold at this point and puked my guts up on Saturday morning. He thought that I was moping and the stress was making me sick. We had some heated words and basically didn't talk all weekend. Wonderful.

So, Sunday night I drag my sorry stressed out ass up of the couch and did some wash. Then I got dizzy. Then it felt like something exploded on my right side. I struggled up the steps from the basement to my 2nd floor bedroom, hoping the pain is gas or I may still be preggers cramps, not what I think it is. The pain lasted for twelve minutes. I can remember walking down the steps thinking I would fall down them. Through pain stricken tears I crawled to my hubby and said I needed to go to the hospital. I puked again before I left. I paced the kitchen floor thinking maybe the hubby was right, that maybe it was just stress. But my body was telling me something completely different. It was screaming at me.

We get to the hospital and I wait two hours in the ER waiting room. Now this is an inner city ER waiting room. Said ghetto-ness was in full effect. Crackheads, hookers, and a domestic dispute ended in fisticuffs right before my eyes. And crackheads in the ER are the worst. They think they'll get a flurry of free drugs and at the least a turkey sandwich. But it's one of the best hospitals and you gots to do what you gots to do in these situations.

I finally get back there and tell the sad tale to about fifteen different peeps fifteen different times. I try to be all tough and decline pain meds. When I sat still there was mild pain, the pain I'd had every moment of every day since Christmas Eve. But when they started examining and poking I nearly crawled off the ceiling. After the third doc doing this I caved and demanded some drugs. More tests, more ultrasounds, and the verdict was in. Ectopic pregnancy. For about ten seconds in the ultrasound I got my hopes up. The Doc said she saw a pregnancy. I was foolish enough to think it was my baby, alive.

But no, twas not. I waited about another hour before getting whisked off to surgery. Hubby had to leave by this time to get the teen up and ready for school. He hated leaving and I hated seeing him go. The list of what ifs on my consent form scared the living shit out of me. Possible hysterectomy, blood loss, and even death. I didn't get to kiss my daughter goodnight before I'd left to come there. I didn't get to tell her I loved her one more time. I told the hubby I loved him before he left but I didn't get to tell him sorry for the fighting we'd had all weekend.

I prayed like the well trained Catholic girl I am. But while wheeling down the corridors to my possible death I started forgetting the words to the Our Father and Hail Mary. No good Catholic forgets those. If I died on that table I may not like my next location. Damn, I'd be going to hell for sure. Who forgets the Hail Mary??? So I started babbling to God to help a girl out. Then I started pulling images of my deceased brother and father, asking them to intercede and ask the big guy for a break. Then I started wondering why I was wasting my time on an entity that I wondered was even listening. That even if he was that I'd like to curse him out anyways for giving me all this hell. I finally settled on conjuring images of my daughter through the years, loving memories of me and the hubby. My family and friends. I even thought about the joy of writing for a moment.

Then as I am trying to calm myself I overhear the doc bitching how she's been up for 24 hours straight. Before I could protest I got shot with some happy meds. I started bawling and they asked what was wrong. Me, the tough chica from inner city Philly broke down. I told them I was scared while I scooted from the bed to the surgical table. I sobbed and couldn't get out that I was terrified to die, or lose all my girly bits, and that an exhausted woman would be cutting into me.

When I finally got settled instead of protesting about Doctor McSleepy I blurted out how sorry I was that I hadn't shaved my legs. I was mortified that they had to deal with my hairy ham hocks. Where in the hell did that come from? I really wonder what function my brain is on half the time. I told them that I'd rather die with dirty underwear then unshaved legs. That got a laugh from the crew and a weird calm came over me. I think it was the drugs. I figured if I could joke about my stubbly chubby legs then it was a sign. The doc looked so awake all of a sudden. And I could breathe and relief coursed through me. An oxygen mask covered my face and it all went black.

I woke up to bright lights, horrifying pain radiating throughout my entire body, and a throat that was on fire. I was told that the surgery went great. They got out the ectopic pregnancy and the ruptured tube . No baby, one less tube, and I was alive. A different doc did the surgery, saying that the other had just come off 24 hours straight with no rest. Divine intervention maybe?

This doc gleamed about his work. Said my uterus looked great, as did both my ovaries. He even went on to talk about how many women conceive with only one tube. That is something I've yet to decide on. Try again? I've lost two pregnancies since October. I only have one tube left and if I have another ectopic then I'll have none.

My body has been through the ringer these past few months, my heart more so. Recovery is going slow but its going. The family is taking care of me and my friends are awesome. The hubby stayed home all week. Being here for me. It's been so hard on us and it's not going to be easy moving forward but he's my best friend. He's always there for me. That is my true constant in all of this. His love for me and I for him. I'm so afraid until I look into his eyes. He keeps me grounded. He makes me whole but I'm afraid now I'm so broken I won't come back. Now, it's the me I have to work on. And I can do it with him by my side. With him I can do anything.

One day at a time. One keystroke at a time I am getting Charli back. Thanks for listening. Until next time my cyber friends.

Oh, I found out that a fallopian tube can weigh up to 10 ounces, so my New Years resolution to lose some weight is technically on track. Bad joke, I know, but at least I'm joking around a little. Honk-honk.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goodbye 2011: The Official Pity Party Post

To say that this has been one hell of a year is putting it mildly. Not all was bad, nothing ever is, but lots of it sucked, sucked big time.

This year has been filled with immense loss. The kind of loss that changes you and how you look at life. The kind that makes you shake your fist at God or whatever the hell is in charge and ask why? WTF did I ever do that was so damn bad?

My very good friend lost an election, a campaign I worked hard on. Not too hard as I was concentrating on my writing, but hard enough. It was a personal loss and the fact I could've fought harder for him weighs on me day in and day out. My community lost more than anything. A community I live in, was raised in, and hoped to retire in. Not so sure about that now. I never thought I'd leave my 'hood. But I am thinking about it more now.

My beloved Aunt succumbed to cancer after a long, hard, and courageous battle. I hadn't seen her much until we got the news it would only be days. Then, when I finally saw her, the light was fastly dimming. Again, the guilt weighs on me. I could've done more. I should've done more.

The day my Aunt passed was my niece's 13th birthday, the day I met Nicholas Sparks, and the day I miscarried the baby I waited two long years for. Yes, after so long waiting to get pregnant, I did, and it only lasted six weeks.

Life couldn't be crueler, I thought, but I was wrong. I got preggers again right away. YAY! I thought. Finally something good may come out of all this grief. I lost that baby too. On Christmas Eve, right in church, as the choir chimed out Silent Night, before God and the newborn Baby Jesus, the cramp of all cramps came. I rushed to the bathroom and there it was. Massive clumps of blood and tissue.

My sick and twisted sense of humor had me thinking things no good Irish Catholic girl should. My baby, Gloopy we named it, (the first we named Klumpy), landed in the bottom of a church toilet bowl. Is Church toilet water Holy Water, I thought, too traumatized to think seriously. I made the sign of the Cross, looked one last time trying to be sure of what I saw, and then flushed.

When I returned to my pew my Hubby looked at me and he knew. One look and he knew. I had to tell him later what exactly happened. He never got the Christmas Eve gift I had planned for him. The positive home pregnancy test and a pacifier that said, I Love Daddy. It sits in my nightstand drawer now. Unsure if it will ever be used.

Then there are the rejections from this year. The ones on my first and only completed MS. The one that has gone through three title changes and god knows how many revisions. Those hurt but I learned from them. One of those rejections even made my heart smile. A lovely agent passed but praised the writing. She's made of awesomesauce and I even had a picnic lunch with her and other writing buddies in NY this summer.

The rejection that nearly killed the writer in me was for a piece I was ASKED to write. Was sought out for and begged to write. A FB writing friend said she'd been following me and was a secret fan. Yay, I thought, I'm unpubbed and have a fan! She was the editor for an English as a second language magazine in Korea. (I know right, I should've known!) The magazine was legit, so far as I could tell by the Internet, and I said okay. This "friend" saw my author bio page and asked me to write about how the death of my beloved brother sparked the writer in me. I ran some ideas by her and she signed off on me writing 2,000 words about the day my brother died from the POV from when I was 12. I dug up newspaper articles from that day. I asked my mother things she hadn't thought about in years. For two gut wrenching weeks I typed my little heart out, opening wounds long healed and letting them bleed all over the page. I was proud of what I'd written and sent it off. My editor was all smiles and tears. Then time went on and on and on. And nothing. I sent out some emails and was told the editor left due to illness and the new one wasn't interested in my story.

Yeah. I had no words at first. Then I spewed some off. How dare they, I thought, ask me to drudge all this stuff up and then tell me thanks but no thanks. I have profound respect for those who write their memoirs. I only wrote 6 pages and still tear up when I think about it.

However, there is the bright side.My daughter is so amazing and I know I am blessed to have the honor of raising her. And I have my husband. My best friend and soul mate who I wouldn't have been able to get through any of this without. He's my heart and my soul and the reason I am able to type this today. After all these years together I love him more than I ever thought possible. He's my rock. He's my home.

I also got to see AJ twice, once in NY then later in Niagara Falls. I have a job, my health, family and friends who care about me. I have a great network of writers I surround myself with. I did win a contest and two editors from major houses are awaiting my full as I type.

But, the guts to send out anything is gone. At a conference I had another editor from one of the biggies ask for my work but she later rejected it. All confidence is gone and I am desperately trying to find it as I type this Woe is Me Pity Party Post.

I am hoping 2012 brings the Charli Mac gusto back. The big balls that match my big red nose are sadly missed.