Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Longest Weekend of My Life: Peace

This is the fourth post in a special bi-weekly series.  Please check back next Wednesday for Part 5.

Part 4: Peace

The ultrasound was disappointing to say the least. The technician couldn't find any evidence of an egg sac or embryo anywhere. He was very thorough, but as he searched he couldn't see anything in the uterus or the tubes. He mentioned some “cystic formations” on one of my ovaries, and at one point he phoned a colleague for confirmation of what he was seeing. They argued, which didn't help matters. He apologized and explained that it could just be too early in the pregnancy to see anything. He phoned my doctor and had her talk to me.

The doctor explained that since the ultrasound was inconclusive she wanted to do a quantitative blood test to check my hormone levels and see if the levels were right for my stage of pregnancy and if they were doubling at the appropriate rate. This meant that I needed to walk over to the hospital lab and have my blood drawn. Then I would need to return to Instacare 24 hours later, on Sunday, to have my blood drawn again. I would have an answer by Sunday evening at the latest, or so I thought.

The ultrasound technician was nice, and he very kindly told me “good luck” at least 3 times as I was leaving. At first I thought he was just being nice, but as I thought about it I wondered “Did he see something I'm not aware of?” I couldn't think about it.

I asked for directions to the lab, and was sent on what felt like a wild goose chase as I went from one end of the hospital to the other, just to be sent back virtually to where I'd been in the first place. The benefit of being at the hospital on a Saturday is that there's no crowd and no waiting. The downside is that most of the doors are locked, and you have to figure out how to get where you need to go. After driving and parking three different times I finally found the right door and got to the lab. The waiting room was empty and I was helped right away. One of the lab technicians checked me in while she and the other tech chatted away with a hospital security guard about their families.

I was taken into a room with chairs and needles and all that fun stuff, and I used my labor breathing techniques as my left arm was poked and my blood was drawn. It wasn't so bad. The technician did a good job and it was mostly painless. I had to breathe just to keep myself calm, and made sure to avert my eyes. For some reason I can watch someone else get poked and prodded, but when it's happening to me I can't watch or I tend to hyperventilate.

It was over quickly and the lab technicians gave me a card with a number to call for my results. I said “my doctor will have that” and she replied that it was still my right to access my lab results personally. I thought that sounded unnecessary and I stuffed the card into my purse thinking I wouldn't need it.

I came home to find that the kids had done surprisingly well in my absence, and my husband had even been able to get out of bed to help the baby. We had a simple dinner of sandwiches and I spent the evening reading and enjoying my family. I felt a sense of peace with me throughout the evening, and I focused on spending time with my kids and husband. I didn't worry about the messy kitchen and house, and just let myself have some down time. At one point the two youngest children were climbing on me, and my husband commented: “And you're ready for another one?” I quipped back: “I never said anything about being ready!” The pelvic pain was also gradually easing.

After the kids were in bed I was lying in my own bed finishing the book I'd been reading off and on for the past day. My husband came in and we talked about the situation. He was worried and didn't know what to think or how to feel about everything. I shared with him the peaceful feeling I had, and how I knew that whatever happened everything would be alright. As I said the words I realized the truth of them, and I realized in that moment that I was being blessed with this veil of peace. As my husband walked out of the room I prayed for him that he would be blessed with peace as well.

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