Monday was tough, especially because Toby was going away on Tuesday and I really didn't want to be alone with my thoughts.
I decided to go back to work on Tuesday to limit the amount of time I would be spending alone at home. I still wasn't feeling physically great and then had the added challenge of dealing with intense emotions. I was worried I'd be a bit weepy at work but in actual fact I was fine, although quiet on account of how tired I was. I couldn't concentrate on my work at all and after my friend Nirvana invited me to the movies that evening I spent the afternoon watching movie trailers on the internet whilst deciding whether to go. By 3pm I decided there was no point in my being at work and I might as well go home and rest then head out to the cinema later. I told my boss that I'd be taking a day off later in the week for minor surgery. I figured that would let me off the hook if I performed badly that week.
When I got home I called Lucie. She was the first person I told I was pregnant (other than my yoga instructor) and the last I told I wasn't. I'd wanted to tell her over the phone but hadn't been able to get hold of her. Eventually I didn't want to drag it out any more so I emailed her. I realised that she'd invited Toby and I around for dinner that night but I'd been so out of it when I got her email the previous Thursday that I hadn't really taken it in. We had a chat about it and I found her to have the perfect level of sympathy and practicality. She told me she was shocked by the news and then gauged my reaction before encouraging me with positive statements such as I'd be pregnant again in no time, this sort of thing happens all the time, 50 % of her friends have had miscarriages. Some people may have found her unsympathetic but it was exactly what I needed and I suspect her reaction would have been very different had I been sobbing down the phone to her. I felt so much better after our chat and I realised how much I'd missed her the last few weeks whilst I'd been getting used to being pregnant and she'd been away on holiday. I decided not to go to dinner as I didn't feel up to meeting her brother for the first time.
Going to the movies was a great idea. Fool's Gold was the the escap I needed. See my review here: http://linsdownunder.blogspot.com/2008/03/movie-fools-gold.html. Nirvana was also great and I realised the value of telling at least a few close friends and family, people who know you and know how to gauge your mood, early on in a pregnancy.
On Wednesday I felt slightly better than Tuesday but still pretty rough. I still don't know what was making me feel so physically awful. It is a terrible coincidence that it all happened around the time the embryo died, and the obstetrician told me some women report having felt different at that time, but I suspect I actually had a virus made worse by the fact that I was pregnant and thus my immune system was low. I base this on the fact that the boys at work started to feel unwell this week. Ooops. I was convinced that what I had wasn't catching but obviously they don't agree. They started calling me The Grinch, a name Dan's friends gave to him after he made our boss ill over Christmas. I actually got a little upset for a few moments as I was still adamant my failed pregnancy was what was making me feel so bad. I managed to pull myself together but had almost as useless a day as yesterday and finally left around 4.30pm.
I picked Toby up from the bus stop around 6pm and we ordered Indian and bought ice cream. Mark and Mindi arrived at our place later that evening and I enjoyed a beer with my dinner, the first in a while. I'd been feeling anxious about them staying over as I felt Toby and I needed some alone time. It helped that Toby arrived before them and having them there did take my mind off things a little. I hid the flowers from my parents in the bedroom to avoid awkward questions.
There was an awkward moment when Mark wanted to check his email on my computer but I was trying to fax my admission form to the hospital but it all worked out okay. I was feeling better physically and actually managed to get some work done. It felt strange when I explained to people that I wouldn't be at work the next day and they told me to "enjoy".
I woke up at 2.10am with a stonking headache. Actually it was more like an intense pain in the head than an ache. I couldn't take any painkillers, and I couldn't drink any water as I wasn't to eat or drink anything after midnight. I was so thirsty and there was no way I could sleep through it. I took sips of water and held them in my mouth so that I would at least feel like I was drinking something. I got up and mixed up some essential oils, marjoram for headaches and insomnia and lavender for relaxation, and rubbed them onto my temples and the back of my neck. Toby then massaged the base of my skull which was incredibly tense, perhaps unsurprisingly. I eventually got back to sleep.
I think the fact that I was feeling better physically helped me to cope with the emotional side of things much better. I was relieved it was all going to be over soon and we could move on. I did get a little bit nervous about having to have anaesthetic but the staff at the day surgery were really nice. They let Toby come in with me whilst I was changing and being checked over. I was lighter than I had been all three times I'd been weighed on Monday, which is bizarre considering I'd been eating stodgy comfort food and sweets all week (rebelling against having to eat heathily for the baby, you see).
The anaesthetist and his nurse introduced themselves to me which I don't think has ever happened before (I've had general anaesthetic on 3 previous occasions) but which I really appreciated. The obstetrician appeared very briefly and said "hi" but didn't really bother to talk to me. Nevertheless I was relieved to see a familiar face. The weirdest bit was when I had to get off my bed, walk into the room where I was being anaesthetised and which may also have been the room where the procedure was performed, and hop up onto the trolley in there. I'm used to being wheeled around everywhere. I felt the anaesthetic slide up my arm from the needle in my elbow and was out within seconds.
I woke up soon after, amazed it was all over already. By about 10.30am, which I think was 10 minutes later, my cognitive functions started to return and I was able to read the time on the clock which was much earlier than I'd expected. I lay, feeling incredibly relaxed and watching the nurses going about their business, watching other people being wheeled into recovery and slowly start to wake up. Every few minutes a blood pressure monitor swelled up around my left arm and eventually I was able to turn my head and see numbers flashing on a screen. A pulse monitor was attached to my index finger on my right hand. I was also attached to a drip somehow. I asked a nurse what time I'd been given the anaesthetic. She said it would have been between 9.45 and 10am. I was amazed. I actually felt really nice, not sick at all, just relaxed and floaty and happy to be just lying there.
At about 11.30am, by which time they'd brought my clothes and bag to me, they pulled the curtains around my bed and told me to sit up slowly and get dressed when I was ready. They then carried my bag for me and I followed them through to the recovery room. This was incredible. Less than 2 hours after having been knocked out I was up and walking, a far cry from my first experience of anaesthetic when I was seven years old and vomited all over my hair and couldn't even sit up in bed and colour in for the rest of the day. I guess shortening an eye muscle is a slightly more complex procedure though.
I then got to lounge in the most comfortable recliner chair with a little tray for drinks and food, although all they gave me was water. I had a heat-pack on my tummy to help with cramps, a blanket round my shoulders and another one on my legs. I read my trashy magazine and sat there for another 2 hours before Toby came to pick me up. During that time I did manage to get up and go to the toilet, at which point I discovered the disinfectant around my middle and groin was still there and my trousers had stuck to my skin. Ouch! I then asked for a cup of tea and some food as I was starving. They gave me biscuits, a little reluctantly, and told me to eat really slowly, which I did. They took my blood pressure and told me it was too low and they couldn't take the needle out of my arm yet. I had to get my fluids up. Yay!!!
At around 1.30pm I was discharged. Toby took me home, rearranged the furniture so I could sit with my feet up, made me some lunch and heated up my rosemary-scented heat-pack, whilst I had a shower. We spent the rest of the day watching movies we'd rented the night before.
Feeling much better than I had in weeks, we headed up to Eumundi Markets to shop for presents for people. After about 2 hours I got tired and my painkillers wore off so we headed home and again, I spent much of the day on the settee hugging my heat-pack. Lucie came over and we went to the local cafe for lunch. Things were starting to feel a bit more normal again.
Much much better. I think I only heated the pack up once today, didn't spend much time on the couch at all and even backed an orange and poppyseed cake and coconut biscuits.
It's now Tuesday (it took me a while to write this) and I'm feeling much better. Had a great yoga session last night and I'm heading back to the gym tonight. I'm unfit so still tire easily but I have more energy than I've had in ages. I can't really remember what I felt like before I got sick two weeks ago, but I think I have more energy than I had then. I certainly feel a lot more normal. Part of me feels bad for thinking that because the reason I felt not normal was mainly due to being pregnant. However, it is kind of a relief to not feel like that anymore. I know (if I'm lucky) that I'll have to go through it all again some day, but I'm enjoying having my body to myself again and being able to do (almost) what I want with it. I still have moments of sadness and low energy but that is to be expected whilst everything settles down.