Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Long Drive: One Important Decision After Miscarriage

Every time I walk past our town hospital, I feel nothing. And for that I am grateful. It wasn't until just the other day, as I was driving along listening to a radio segment about pregnancy loss and grieving after miscarriage and stillbirth, that I realized why my local hospital doesn't fill me with sadness and disappointment and the vague gnawing sense that the future I'm living in is just a little off.

It's because I took my miscarriage out of town, into Boston where it couldn't ruin the backdrop of my life. We were offered the very sensible option of having the D&E performed locally - or we could take the long drive into Boston to an unfamiliar hospital where we'd have to cope with the sights and sounds of an active OB/GYN practice and a bustling maternity area.

Some people, the perinatologist said, prefer not to be around pregnant women or walls full of pictures of babies. I'll cope, I answered. And I did.

Driving into the city during the holidays and navigating a gigantic parking garage, walking a multi-building maze of wards to find the perinatologist's office... first, to receive my pre-operative lamanaria, then for the D&E procedure itself, and then for a post-op checkup... was worth all the trouble. Even when I was alone for the third visit, newly tattooed and still numb and dumb with anger and sadness.

Worth it because my memories of my local hospital are still of the all-you-can-eat hospital food available on the maternity floor and checking into and out of the NICU a hundred times a day to sit with the Babby once upon a time. Of sitting with a full bladder in the ultrasound waiting room. Of checking out of maternity with no cards or flowers or balloons, and especially no new bouncy baby... but knowing my baby was healthy and would be coming home soon.

While all my memories of miscarriage and after, of waking up from anesthesia crying for what felt like no good reason except the throbbing scrape of my intubated throat, of driving in full and driving home empty, and of the ache of loss, all take place in unfamiliar offices and waiting rooms. Places I'd never been before and hopefully will never be again. Places that are vague and dreamlike in my memories and perhaps will blow away like dust as more and more years go by if I'm lucky.

The hospital I think of as my hospital is the site of other memories, some good and some not so good, but not those memories. I'll say it again: For that, I am grateful.


  1. I'm glad you're continuing on the practice of being grateful for less traditional things. Really does make the world a better place, I find.

    What's weird to me is that my stillborn daughter was born on the same day, in the same room, with the same people as her twin brother. So there are no separate memories other than time we spent with her while he was in the NICU....

  2. I think that if I were you, that would have felt almost intolerable for a long time - both because she wouldn't have had her own set of memories or he wouldn't. But then, maybe not, because they were a pair. I really can't say.

    That said, in case you come back to comment or check for replies, I wanted to say I'm rooting for you and really glad you're sharing your current journey on your blog!

  3. I normally set up the subscribe on you because I like your thoughts. It bothered me that their "significant day" was the same, so I up and changed hers. Might not be technically correct, but works for me. I saw a blog once for a single twin that was titled joy and sorrow intertwined. Think that summed it up pretty well.

    I enjoy the oversharing with the internet, really seems to help to work out thoughts!

  4. If I ever find myself in a similar situation I will do what you did.

  5. I love this post. I changed ob/gyn practices after my first miscarriage, but was out of options after the second. Luckily I didn't have to go have a D&E ... I miscarried naturally each time. But I *do* have difficult memories from our town library, where I lost the second pregnancy, which was much farther along. I was there with my son that day, trying to entertain him ... and I wish now that I'd been taking care of myself in a place that was more anonymous.

    Thank you for sharing this ...

  6. I'm inspired that you continue to work through you feelings by sharing your experience. It helps others who are mourning angel babies too

  7. Thank you for stopping by my blog this morning!

    I am so very sorry for your loss. You are very brave to share your feelings and experience like you do. Troubles baby making are so deflating and exhausting.

  8. Miscarriage can be a very difficult and confusing time for men. Society may be suggesting that nothing very important has happened, but you know otherwise.

    get pregnant after miscarriage


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