12 April 2008

The rest of that day, and more feelings about losing a child

After three hours (!) I called for a nurse, who was incredible. After a sandwich (really tasty with actual salad), a couple of offhand responses from some people, and a couple of kind people who didn't know what to do or how to treat me without a doctor telling them what to do, she was like a light walking into the room. She sat on the bed, talked to me about how I was feeling and was actually comforting. She smiled. She told me that she was sorry and referred to what I'd lost as a baby. She promised to chase the doctors up, explained the delay (busy day for them, but I'd noticed that already) and said she would bring me towels so that I could shower.

She was busy, she must have been (I had heard a lot of crying in several other rooms, some screams, confused and angry male voices, and hours of bustling feet going up and down the corridor) but she gave the impression that she had all the time in the world and that she had nowhere more important to be than right there with me supporting my need to get home to my children (who she had lots of questions about). And she removed the damn caunla, which would have gotten anyone brownie points by this stage.

I had to sit down in the shower, but there was no way I was admitting to that. I'd have been shocked if I hadn't been dizzy having spent the best part of two days lying down, losing so much blood, and having dodgy iron levels at the best of times. Martin had brought be clean clothes - actually gone out and bought me new things because so much of my clothing was now in the wash. The girls came and saw me, Morgan nursed right away (it had been six hours since my medication and I figured she was probably fine).

Eventually I had my conversation about genetic testing with another doctor, refused a fetal autopsy and signed the placenta over to them as, although I had firt thought I would like it to be buried with the baby, I was very curious what they might find out from it. And then, finally, discharge papers. The only snag was in finding the baby (yes, they had lost the body). The Ward Sister searched tirelessly for it for twenty minutes, before finally bringing it to me in a lovely tiny little white cardboard coffin, wrapped in a cloth. She was very appologetic, and when she saw that I was getting tearful she came and gave me a hug and said that she understood and had had two miscarriages herself.

I think it may have relieved her to see me cry, I had been so calm that at least four people had come to gently explain to me that I had miscarried (!) obviously thinking that I might not have understood what they were telling me. In reality, how could I? I still don't. I'm neither more nor less devastated than I was when I first knew (did I know all along, was that why I couldn't be happy to be pregnant?) and I'm still crying on and off. I have a lot of crying to do. But calm is as rational a response as any; how CAN there be any words for such grief? The truth is that I don't know how to act any more than anybody knows what to say to me.

I got home to find that Emma had come, cleaned my living room, and made a big pot of vegetable and bean soup. It was so exactly what I needed, something hot and real and hearty. I have been shattered ever since, tired, tired, tired.

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