Thursday, September 14, 2006

Coping with Loss

Some of you, the more perceptive readers, had noticed my occasional reference, in the past couple of months, to food cravings and queasiness. It was strange and yet exciting for both Guillermo and me. Guillermo even joked that he was going through it with me, minus the queasiness.

We both couldn't quite believe it, at first, that 8 weeks into this wonderful new phase of our lives, we have become part of a set of common statistics. We have gone back to square one.

Guillermo and my family have been wonderfully supportive. My 85 year-old PoPo (maternal grandmother) was particularly strong although I knew she had been most looking forward to me stepping into motherhood. I am also extremely fortunate that I have close friends around me with whom I can share this disappointment.

Guillermo and I have gathered our emotions and reviewed whether we would handle the earlier stages differently next time.

We were too excited to keep the fantastic news from my parents and grandmother so we told them pretty much as soon as we found out ourselves. However, we decided not to breathe a word to Guillermo's family until it was secure to do so.

A friend and her husband guessed and bingo-ed, so they knew. My close friend in Buenos Aires, Madeline, a wonderful acupuncturist, was the next to know. Then Diana, our masseuses cum Chinese nourishment expert, had to be told so she could determine whether it was appropriate to continue my bi-weekly sessions.

I don't think we would do any of that differently. I am actually relieved that I am free to be sad among people I love and trust. All of them have been wonderfully understanding; Madeline and Diana, in particular, shared invaluable professional knowledge in how to recuperate and nourish a traumatised body.

The same cannot be said about the medical care side of things though. We are covered by private health insurer Medicus which has a GP and specialist referral system. My GP is a very sweet lady, about my age. We went to her after I tested positive at home. She was excited for me and told me I was almost 8 weeks into the first trimester. That was completely off the mark; I knew I was 5 weeks at that point. She scheduled a blood test and an ultrasound to be performed immediately.

I have to come clean that I am not one who embraces medication or medical technology unless and until absolutely necessary. Having medical doctors and surgeons in my family actually make us consider even more seriously the merits of a holistic approach to life and health. I have not had more than a couple of Panadol in the past 10 years; mild fever and flu were warded off by bed rest and plenty of fluid.

I was reluctant to have an ultrasound too early; not only because it doesn't achieve much at that stage but it would mean a few more intrusions in the 1st trimester. My 1st ultrasound that afternoon confirmed the error of my GP; I was indeed only at week 5.

The following week, we went to see my gynaecologist/obstetrician. He is a wonderful man and a reputable doctor. He wanted another ultrasound at his office straight away because he said the first was taken too early. He is confident that ultrasound is completely harmless and told me pregnant women in this country love having them and have at least 5-6 throughout the 40 weeks.

I was concerned, especially after reading an article on CNN.Com as recent as 7th August last month which has since been pulled probably because it quoted doctors' criticism and concern over Tom Cruise's own sonogram machinery and another article both expressed concerns over the potential harm in the excessive use of ultrasound on a developing foetus.
I felt railroaded into my 2nd ultrasound which again showed very little at week 6. My doctor apologised and had to schedule another, my 3rd, ultrasound at week 8 at the Medicus Centre. I came out of his office feeling upset, stressed and worried about the interferences we were putting our young pea in a pod through.

At my 3rd ultrasound a couple of weeks later, the lady doctor conducting it actually made me feel like a piece of meat and when we didn't see the embryo, she almost bolted from the room immediately. Guillermo managed to ask her before her hasty exit what was wrong and she just said the result was bad and we should go to our own doctor. Both of us were so stunned and traumatised by her abrupt attitude that we weren't quite able to speak for some time.

Next time, we have decided, we would actually wait until week 7-8 to contact my gynaecologist directly. I think I would also be a lot more direct in communicating my concerns and firmer in what I wish done on me.

We are trying to look at this whole experience as a valuable lesson for our future, and we have no reason to believe that it wouldn't be a bright one.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home