It’s been a crazy 3 months. Excuse me for the long post but I wanted to have a place to document all the stuff we’ve been through.
Within these 3 months, we ended multiple chapters of our life.. only to start a new beginning in a new place.
- Andrew transitioned from his 4-5 year position at his work to another position within a different group inside the company.
- Andrew ended his MDIV degree at Fuller Theological Seminary.. only to started his new !!UNDERGRADUATE!! degree in Mission Aviation.
- We left Santa Monica & LA, only to be in a new city where we have little or no friends at all.
- The most taxing trial of all… we found out that I was pregnant, only to find out, in the end, that we lost to baby. Now we’re at that new beginning – where we have to try again while hoping that we don’t have to go through this again.
With all that has happened and when I look back at all that has happened since we moved, I really don’t feel like it’s only been one month since we’ve relocated (TODAY is our official one month). Even when we discovered that we lost the baby, life just went on… at least we had to accept it and move on.
It’s definitely been a rollar coaster ride. And here’s what our lives have been like for the past 3 months.
July 11 – July 27 – We got back from our, possibly last, Europe trip. We stopped in Germany, went to Hungary, Czech, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary again.
July 31st – I find out that I’m pregnant using a quick home pregnancy test – First Response . It was more like… I realized “oh my gosh, I just completely skipped my period all together. Could that possibly mean I’m pregnant?”. I was in doubt and ended up testing 4 times within the next 2-3 days
Early August – Andrew decides, finally, to take on this Mission Aviation program at SDCC. Which, of course, means our relocation.
August 4 – Having already scoured through Craigslist and contacted a few people to see the apartments and condos, we drive down to SD early Saturday morning in search of our new home. A home that we’ll live in for possibly the next 5-6 years. By the end of the day we knew which one we wanted.
August 8 – After a rigorous credit check and follow-ups with the broker, the place we wanted was finally ours! The reason why we choose this place was for the beautiful view. There was also a large and long counter in the kitchen, as well as the only gas stove on the list of apartments and condos that we were looking at. It has a dishwasher as well as a washer & dryer in the unit.. not to mention we don’t have to pay for water.
August 20 – We moved in our first boxes. While I stayed at our new place for the afternoon, Andrew went to his first orientation at SDCC. After this Saturday, we made 1 or 2 more trips from SM-SD just to minimize the amount of boxes we had to pack into the truck we were planning to rent for our BIG move.
Too bad it doesn’t look this nice right now. Will update the photos once we clean up the place and decorate it more!
August 25 – With 5 of our closest friends & family (plus our baby nephew.. who just looked cute the whole time), they helped us pack and load our rental truck for our BIG move to SD. Unfortunately it doesn’t really end here. And I just realized, today, that I didn’t even bother to take any photos during that day. What a bummer. SIGH! They helped us out from 10 am – 11 pm. We are SOO indebted to them for this!
August 30 – Andrew already started school. After having somewhat settled down at our new place for a couple of days, we excitedly went for our first appointment. with the doctor. We knew that, if everything was going well, we would get to hear the baby’s heartbeat. That would have definitely been the most exciting thing in the world.
Throughout my pregnancy, everyone praised me for ease during my first trimester. Often times i couldn’t help but wish that I did have all those terrible symptoms to remind and assure me that I really was pregnant. And perhaps, it was my body telling me something that I didn’t quite understand until this first appointment.
So… when the day arrived, we got ready for the appointment and drove to the OBGYN group that I was hoping to deliver the baby with. We arrived promptly to fill out all the paperwork. After it was done, they settled us into a room where we waited for the nurse and then the doctor to come and see us.
The nurse practitioner, Marcy, finally arrived and asks us a battery of questions about my health, Andrew’s health and etc. After finishing all the official business part and filling out all the paper work, we got to chat with her and I felt relaxed and totally at ease with them. I was really glad that I choose Westcoast OBGYN – who works hand-in-hand with one of the best women’s and children’s hospital in California –Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns.
Not too long after, Dr. Craig Saffer walks in, and introduces himself. He then proceeds to do the ultrasound with us. While doing the ultrasound, I kept looking and watching his reaction. I told him, before the beginning of the ultrasound, that I wished I felt all the symptoms of being pregnant because often times I worried that I wasn’t pregnant at all. After seeing his face change, I realized why I was feeling the way I did.
While doing the ultrasound, he kept on asking me “how many weeks did you say you were?” And I kept on telling him, I should be 9 weeks. Then he said, along the lines of, “I’m sorry to say, and it’s never really easy to say this but I can’t see the heartbeat – it should have been here (points at the point) and it’s not. From the ultrasound and the size of the baby, it looks to only be 8 weeks and 5 days old, which means, that the baby passed only within the past few days. This is probably why you didn’t feel as pregnant as you thought you were.”
When I think back to when he said this, I wonder what was the look on our faces… neither of us reacted much. We could only take in information. We also needed to know what to expect and what were our options.
He then proceeded to comfort us by telling us that it wasn’t our fault at all and that there was nothing we really could have done to keep this from happening. It’s usually a chromosomal error or the possibility that the baby didn’t inplant in the right place. It’s apparently a very common thing for miscarriages to happen. My brother-in-law told us it was 1 in 5. After a few more words, he asked us to schedule a second follow-up to get another ultrasound done to just double check. He told us that he’s pretty sure certain that it would end with the same conclusion, but it’s better to check again than not. He then sent us away with his condolences and the staff all did the same.
Facing the Miscarriage
It wasn’t until I saw nurse Marcy again that things began to sink in. Her “I’m so sorry. I hope the next time will be happier news”… made me start to choke. I did my best to hold things together. We both walked to the elevator in silence. It wasn’t until I looked over at Andrew… saw him wipe his tears away… that I began to cry harder. We both pretty much drove home silent and crying. I couldn’t help but think “not us as well” or… “what am I supposed to tell our families?” or… “now I understand why people wait till 3 months to say anything. And to imagine if it happened even after 3 months…”
The first people we told were Andrew’s brother and sister-in-law. We knew they would understand exactly how we felt and say exactly enough for us to feel okay. Then we slowly went down the line of family and eventually to our friends. After we finished all the calls, my phone beeped with this. The picture of our baby.
Of course… receiving this just made me cry even more but it this was the only photo we had of the little one. And this will be the only photo we’ll ever have of the little one.
I started researching on what to expect when faced with a miscarriage. There are apparently 3 options.
1) Dilation (or dilatation) and curettage (D&C) – a 10-20 minute surgery that involves opening the cervix (dilation) in order to scrape or suction (curettage) the the lining tissue.
2) Misoprostol (maybe with mifepristone or methotrexate) – pills that induces the cervix to open up (dilate) and to shed it’s lining.
3) Natural miscarriage – letting your body naturally dispel to fetus.
After researching about people’s experiences with each of these choices and talking to a trusted OBGYN doctor that I knew, I choose to do the D & C. I was told that for how far along I was with the baby, it was the safest to undergo the D&C – more because of the amount of bleeding I might encounter may put me in shock if i waited for the baby to abort naturally.
For me, the main reason I choose the D&C was that there is an actual and definite end. With going naturally, I didn’t know what, where and when it would happen – today, tomorrow, two weeks from now, three weeks from now. And with both the natural and the pill method, there are possible complications that might send me to the hospital anyways – either because of too much bleeding or that I needed to make sure everything was out and that nothing was left inside. And so, I called the hospital to schedule the D&C.
Because the D&C is an outpatient surgical procedure, I had to prep the day before for it. The day before the D&C, I tried to eat as much food as I could to fill up. I was told that after 11pm, I was not allowed to eat anything. I was worried about the 13 hrs+ of not being able to eat anything at all… so I did my best to eat up until the last minute.
The morning of the D&C, I was only allowed liquids until 10:30 a.m. After Andrew came home from school, he ended up making a sandwich in order to prep for when I would be in surgery (grrr). With how hungry I was… I tried to ignore the smell of the sandwich. I then took a quick shower . I was not allowed to put any lotions and fragrant stuff in order to prep for the surgery. I was instructed to wear loose clothing to the hospital.. and so I put on a one piece cotton dress.
We arrived at the hospital in time around 12:30. We were sent to Admin, where they asked us all the usual admission questions. From there on, the admin escorted us up to the 2nd floor to the waiting area.
About 20-30 minutes of waiting, a nurse comes out to take us to the OR prep-area. We were greeted warmly by all the nurses. The warmth of the staff definitely made me feel better, especially because I have never been admitted into the hospital before.
When we entered the OR prep-room, they then brought me over to the restroom and instructed me on how to change into the hospital gown. I was giving a pair of Barepaw socks, a gown and a cotton hat.
After changing, they took me to this little waiting room where I was hooked up to a heater. (excuse the photos.. they were taken with Andrew’s cell phone.). From then on they took some blood sample and put in the IV for the surgery. While I was waiting to be taken in to the OR, they gave me water and
electrolytes to make sure my body was well hydrated. It actually took them two tries to find the proper spot to establish the IV. Not too long the IV was finally established in a place where it was flowing at the speed the nurse wanted, I was escorted into the OR. It was around 1:30 pm.
The OR room was definitely a little scary. There were three people all together – the surgeon and two other attendies. I was instructed to get up on the table and to lay down with my bottom right above this large hole – which I felt but couldn’t see because it was covered up. They then covered me up with blankets and told me to put my arms out. Before I even knew it, I was completely out due to the anesthetics. All I remembered was putting my arm out and I was gone.
The moment I woke up, I was in the recovery room. It was about 3:30 p.m. or so. The nurses asked me where my husband was. I told them that “he was a 6’1” Asian guy. That’s all I could say. I couldn’t even remember what he was wearing that day. Not too long after I was asked, he walks in. The nurses laughed and told him that while i was waking up from the anesthetics, I was talking about Andrew right before he came in. I asked “did he do this to me”. With this comment, the nurses were almost tempted to dress him up in scrubs and present him to me. Of course i had no memory of me saying any of that but I found it funny…
The nurses told me that I was doing very well. My pulse looked great and they gave me other medications for the possible side effect of anesthetics – such as nausea and vomiting. In general, after the moment I was fully I awake I felt fine. I didn’t feel nausea and I didn’t feel like anything really happened.
About 4:00-4:30 pm, I finished all the paperwork and was discharged. I was given granny underwear and was wearing a very thick pad (wasn’t very comfortable at all). I was instructed to get something good to eat and to take it really easy for the next two days.
Andrew asked me what I wanted for dinner. After stopping by the pharmacy to pick up my 800 mg or Ibuprofen and Vicodin, I told him I was craving Italian. in the end, we ended up going to the Peruvian restaurant that we found not too long after we moved here to San Diego. I was starving and I definitely ate my fill of whatever I wanted.
Recovering from the D&C
This past Tuesday was exactly 1 week from the surgery. Throughout the recovery time, I made sure I was drinking a lot of water and eating a lot of foods that were high in iron and calcium. I also started to drink an Chinese herbal soup with herbs that my mother-in-law gave me Friday of last week.
As for bleeding, after the surgery, I had minimal to no bleeding until about Thursday (2 days after the surgery). After Thursday, I started bleeding like a normal period. It became heavier around Monday and Tuesday it was at its heaviest. It wasn’t so heavy that I was bleeding through one pad a day, but it was definitely more than I would like. I called the doctor just to make sure it was okay.
Since the day of the surgery, all I took was the 800 mg or Ibuprofen. I decided to stop the Ibuprofen on Tuesday. Because I stopped the Ibuprofen that day, I started noticing how crappy I was feeling. I was crampy and I definitely felt crappy the whole day. And at around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night, I felt something heavy coming. Thank God I was home. I hurried to the restroom and before I knew it, my body forced out, two times, what looked like to be a lot of blood and some tissue. I started to panic. I went to Andrew immediately.. panicking and saying “we really need to go to the hospital”. We we finally left for the hospital, I was still feeling like my body was trying to expel stuff. We ended up at the Mary Burch Triage and there I waited. One nurse came in to ask me admin stuff and the other nurse came him to ask me questions on what was wrong. After about 1-2 hours, she finally comes back after talking to the doctor on the phone. She pretty much said that I will need to expect this to happen at least once or twice during the recovery period after the D&C. It was definitely normal. What wouldn’t be normal is 1) if I was soaking a pad every hour, 2) I was having a mild fever – which means there was a possible infection and 3) if my blood was starting to smell funny. Because I had none of these symptoms and also my pulse and vitals looked good, I had nothing to worry about. After that scare, I definitely know what to expect.
Sept 20 – Looking back at everything
So I guess the important part of everything that has happened is… that everything happens for a reason and in the end God’s will definitely be done. As corney as it sounds, I believe Andrew and I just knew that in the end God knows best. We were definitely sad we lost the little one. We had our time to cry, and we had our time to grieve.. but in the end, we had to pick things back up and walk on ahead. We knew it wasn’t our faults and we will definitely always remember this time.
Everyone has been exceptionally supportive and I couldn’t have asked for more. I know that all our friends have been praying for us and will continue praying for us as we continue our journey on. Things like this are never easy, but as long as we believe that God knows best, who are we to question.
“Get well” flowers from SDCC’s Aviation Team & other friends