*nervously peeks out from behind the curtain*
I didn’t intend to give up blogging, exactly, and I’m not sure if I’m really back, but our story has gone on and I find I want to tell it.
Previously, on ginger and lime:
- Unexplained infertility.
- Big honking fibroids; myomectomy.
- MFI? Yes, no, who the hell knows?
Cayenne is THREE. He helps in the kitchen and watches ridiculous cartoons and asks me questions about conveyor belts (oh lort, the conveyor belts). When we weren’t looking he went from baby to toddler to full-on kid.
This is where I get stuck. Because how do I tell it? It seems impossible.
I went on the pill when Cayenne was born because after the rough time I had with his birth even the tiny, miracle chance I had of getting pregnant was too risky for my poor embattled uterus.
Anyway, when my period came back (at 15 months, when I stopped nursing) we talked about it and I stopped the pill because it was making me crazy and it’s not like I was going to get pregnant.
Five months later I was sitting in my OB’s office wondering what new fuckery my body was visiting on me. I had missed a period and had a positive HPT, so I figured something goofy was going on with my hormones. Menopause. Cancer. Who the hell knew?
The nurse did a quick test and said I was pregnant. The OB, who had read my chart, didn’t think so. She was thinking ectopic because of all the scarring and adhesions. She sent me over for an immediate ultrasound and it was impossible to miss the worry in her voice.
She got the machine turned on and almost immediately she relaxed. Smiled. She said I was pregnant.
There was a sac and a fetal pole and a heartbeat. It was not in my tube.
Shock doesn’t really cover it. How do I tell this story?
We had always talked about having two, but didn’t really think it would happen. We had Cayenne, we were grateful, we were a family of three. I kept asking, how did this happen?
We proceeded with trepidation. After the first trimester was over we started telling people. We smiled awkwardly when we got responses like “So I guess you didn’t really need all that fertility treatment, did you?” We pulled baby things out of the basement. We bought Cayenne a baby doll.
I started showing; maybe this was really going to happen.
At 30 weeks my OB saw placenta accreta on an ultrasound.* She said hemorrhage and hysterectomy and I’m sorry. I said, is the baby ok?
He was great. The placenta was nourishing him and he was growing just as he should. Apparently accreta is one of those things that’s totally fine right up to the moment when it’s really, really not.
I went home with a scheduled C-section date for 35 weeks, and instructions to get to the hospital immediately in the event of any contractions or bleeding.
Is your husband a fast driver? It might be better to call an ambulance.
It’s hard to talk about this time. Such a strange mix of relief (because my broken body wasn’t hurting this miracle baby who was somehow in there), dread (because I could actually die), excitement (because new baby), and frustration (because there was nothing I could do about the accreta but hope I didn’t start bleeding).
My family went off the deep end. One person thought I should be on hospital bed rest. Another wanted to know “Well, how long are you going to be in the hospital this time? You know, Kate Middleton went home after 10 hours.” It was this weird mix of insinuating I wasn’t taking it seriously enough, and insinuating I must be exaggerating.
I made it to the scheduled date with no bleeds and no worries about the baby’s growth or heart rate. The C-section was a completely different experience from Cayenne’s birth. Despite all the extra people in the room and the knowledge that we were looking at a more complicated surgery, there was no sense of emergency. It was just calm. And then–there was Coriander.
When he was born he cried.
He cried. He breathed. He didn’t need the NICU despite being 5 weeks early. He’s calmer than his brother, less assertive and more laid-back. Coriander to his brother’s Cayenne.
So now we are four, and I’m still a little shocked by it all, and Coriander is nine months old, and how do I tell this story?
Post-script. I did have accreta, but instead of the hysterectomy they ended up doing a resection–that is, they cut out the part of my uterus that was fused to the placenta–and a tubal ligation. So this is the final irony. Infertile again, this time on purpose.
*this is a little simplistic – she saw indicators of accreta, and until they actually cut me open my diagnosis was “suspected accreta.”