Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Surviving a tsunami

I had to go to a non-baby related specialist appointment today. That in itself was no biggy. The fact the appointment was in the hospital I first found out I had lost my baby – well, that was a biggy!

What are the chances that out of all the potential locations for a random specialist to have their office in Brisbane, it would be in this hospital? I don’t know if the universe was playing a sick joke or just being cruel. But, as I pulled into the carpark, my heart started to beat faster.

As I walked across the street, I looked to the left and saw the Emergency sign. I remembered my husband dropping me off there and going to park the car. I remembered the receptionist telling me that she had my problem through all her pregnancies and all of her babies were fine. I remembered being filled with false hope.

As I walked through the main section of the hospital, I looked down at the grey lino floor. It was a marbled grey with white lines. I had a flashback to sitting in a wheelchair, shivering under a thin cotton blanket, being wheeled to have my scan. It’s funny that the colour and pattern of that floor is so ingrained in my mind. I guess I must have been looking down at it the whole time I sat in that wheelchair. If I could have run through the hospital at that moment I would have. I was desperate to get off that floor.

As the lino became carpet, I felt a great sense of relieve. I had made it to the lift which would take me to another floor and away from this memory. I was mistaken though as I saw the Q Scan sign – I had taken the same lift ride last time – to the first floor. To the cold, dark room where my life would change forever. To the moment when time would stand still as the words “your pregnancy doesn’t look viable” pierced my brain and stabbed my heart.

I pushed that memory aside so I could make it to my appointment. As I sat in the waiting room, I wondered if this was some kind of post traumatic shock flashback – like the kind you see men who have been in war have. Where something suddenly happens to trigger the whole experience all over again. That’s exactly where I was – I had been hit by a tsunami of memories and emotions and was re-living the horrific events of October 6th 2012.

That in turn bought up all the memories associated with that day - sitting at home that weekend to see if I would miscarry naturally, being scanned by the obstetrician to have my miscarriage confirmed, calling my Mother to tell her I had lost the baby, booking in to have the operation and telling work I wouldn’t be in for a week. That was a lot for my brain to process in the 45 minutes I sat there waiting to see the specialist.

I felt emotionally exhausted, sad, lonely and depressed. By the time my appointment was finished, I couldn’t wait to get out of the place, but I had to take the same journey back to the car. I was fine going back up the lift, but as soon as I hit that grey lino floor the tears started to well in my eyes.

I do try my hardest not to cry in public as I always think it looks weird when you see someone crying on the street. But then I realised I was leaving a hospital – people probably leave hospitals crying all the time. I managed to keep it together though and get back to my car. I marvelled at how good I’ve become at compartmentalising my brain – blocking things or moving them to the side so I can still function. I guess that’s a trait of a survivor.

Now I’m at home and it just feels like that was another trigger I had to deal with. I feel like each one is like a little test to see how well I am doing. I managed to get through today without crying or falling apart so I guess that’s good. I guess that’s progress. I guess that’s an indication that I’m moving on. But, it’s also validation that my choice to go back to the counsellor this week is a good one too. Despite all this patting myself on the back, I still made a stop at the bottle shop on the way home.  It’s moments like these when I decide I well and truly deserve a glass of wine!

Image by Evgeni Dinev
Courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

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