We lost Jasmine on November 3. It’s been incredibly difficult on our entire little family.
My dad’s cousin, whom I refer to as my cousin, Joe, was hospitalized with terminal stomach cancer (and pretty much everywhere else cancer at this point) right around the time of our Family Reunion on November 14.
The bright spot, has been this anniversary getaway here in Walt Disney World.
It’s hard to find the starting point. So many thoughts. So many eloquent words that are forever just out of my grasp.
On December 9, I tested positive on a home pregnancy test. I looked at the + and thought, “welp, this is how my relationship with Bruce started, just a couple of blue lines on a pee test.” When Tom discovered it on the bathroom counter, he yelled, “IS THIS FOR REAL?!” while I spied on him from the other room.
On December 14, I miscarried in room 2826, at 5:45 am, at Disney’s Old Key West Resort.
I just don’t understand how much one person should be required to endure at one time. Tom and I have had many long, tearful talks this week. We believe life begins at conception. We believe that the tiny little ball of heartbeat that my uterus so ungraciously refused to host was our son or daughter. So. I named him/her Jo. Calling them “It” hurt my feelings every time. So, now we’re calling them Jo, in honor of my cousin Joe, who we’re all going to miss really bad here soon.
I just want to get it all down while it’s still fresh in my mind and on my heart.
I’d been spotting the entire pregnancy. We didn’t know we were pregnant until almost 8 weeks into the game because I had such heavy spotting in November that I thought it was a regular, albeit light, period. The reason I know we’d almost hit the 8 week mark is because I had an ultrasound done on the morning of December 13 at Florida Celebration Hospital. We went in to the Emergency Room because the spotting was getting to the point where I was starting to worry about it.
That entire experience was bizarre enough that I’m contemplating discussing it with an attorney.
So. We go in, we tell the doctor my symptoms. He orders blood work, a pregnancy test, and an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech couldn’t tell me anything. She said, basically, that the doctor would have to tell me what she saw, she couldn’t tell me herself. (Which sucked, because since she couldn’t TELL me that she was looking for my non-existent right ovary, she continued to poke and prod while my feet and legs fell asleep.)
So, Tom and I assumed that post-ultrasound we would return to the room in the ER where we first met Dr. Adam and he’d show us what was going on.
We went into a large waiting room with about half a dozen other patients and waited on lab results. Some of us were wearing only hospital gowns. Alright, well, when the test results came back, surely we’d see the doctor.
Nope! And don’t call me “Surely.”
We were called to a desk at the front of the room where a nurse told me in front of a room full of people that I have a “Threatened Abortion.” And that I should stay hydrated, take it easy, and that she herself had 4 miscarriages, one of them while she was vacuuming, so avoid that kind of heavy vibration. “Maybe you overdid it at Disney.”
Can you spare me the fucking anecdotes, please? Can you not say, “ABORTION,” in front of a waiting room full of people? I thought The Twilight Zone was over at Hollywood Studios. What is happening?! She also mentioned other things that were going on, but because I respect my own right to privacy, I’m not going to post what they are on the internet.
There was no comfort in that. It was a printout based on a symphony of symptoms. It was basically the same information I read at home on WebMD that got me anxious enough to look into it at the hospital in the first place. At least it wasn’t an ectopic pregnancy. At least there really was a baby with a heart beat.
We left. As we waited for the valet to retrieve our car, a lady who had also been in the waiting room thought it would be cool to talk about how that was a heck of a thing to go through on our vacation.
I read the paperwork from the hospital and what really has stuck with me is “fetal heart rate: 154 bpm.” That really resonates and makes it feel real. Our baby was at 8 weeks and 2 days gestation on December 13, 2015. (I concede that’s not very far along. It’s basically one skipped period. But hey, 2 months down, 7 to go.)
We went to Epcot and spent the rest of the day taking it real easy and enjoying our time with our friends from Texas. We picked a pearl in Epcot. When I said, “I only get pearls when I do races,” we decided that this would be my, “congrats! We’re having a baby!” pearl.
I woke up at 5:45 am on December 14 with bad cramps and a full bladder. I went to the bathroom, and returned to bed. But as quickly as I pulled the covers over me, I ripped them off and ran back into the bathroom. And that’s where it happened.
The cramps were the worst part. I think they wholeheartedly confirmed that vaginal delivery will never be for me. It was like what I imagine contractions feel like during labor. It was worse than the torsion of my fallopian tube with Mr. Nasty. It brought tears to my eyes (which, for me, is saying something). Isn’t it bad enough that I’m losing my baby? Why must I also be tortured? It was excruciating. I’d cramp really bad, and then something would drop. This cycle went on for about two, maybe two and a half hours. I was waiting for Dr. Wolanski’s office to open at 8:30 am. They pulled my chart, and when the nurse called back at about 9, the cramping had leveled out to standard menstrual cramping levels. I told her the pain had been a little bit more than I was willing to bear, and she said to definitely return to the hospital and let them help me with that. I didn’t need to. By 11:20, I was at lunch at Hollywood Studios, overwhelmed with love and hugs from our Texas Twins. They bought us lunch. That was such a warm gesture, and something I’m sure I’ll never forget. It was nice to let someone take care of us for a second.
We went back to the room and physically I was much better. Lindsay came to see us. We laid in bed and tried to guess the 23 Disney-released full-length animated feature films whose title consists of only one word. She took us to Company D, the Disney Cast Member shop. Being with people, just being wrapped up in love and support, is the part that will always stay with me. I know that’s how it works. I don’t remember how it felt to have staples in my head after the bus accident when I was in high school. I remember Jonathan Rettimnier bringing a card to the hospital in Melbourne that had been signed by my entire photography class. I don’t really reflect too much on the pain I experienced with Mr. Nasty. I remember my family sitting in that tiny hospital room, just to be with me.
There were so many beautiful sentiments that came to my mind while I was in the shower this morning that I ran to the computer to get them all down, but now that I’m sitting in front of the computer, I’m suddenly at a loss for words (even at a word count of over 1000 so far).
The waitress at Artist Point brought us a champagne toast last night, without even knowing that it was almost our anniversary, or that it had been such an arduous week. We toasted to Jo. Champagne glass in hand, Tom said, “I want to say something, but I can’t because we’ll both lose it.” He said he’d tell me later. It was, “we love you.”
He also said, through tears, “the day will come, you know?”