Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Which is Harder?

Now that we've had two miscarriages (one with a D & C, one naturally), I've had people ask me which is more difficult to endure. I hesitate to answer because it's such a personal choice. Everyone grieves differently, and everyone's miscarriage experience is completely different. But you know me-if my experience helps someone else, I'm willing to share, so here goes. I pray you're never in a situation where you have to decide. But if you are, I hope my comments can help make your decision less confusing.

A D & C is a surgical procedure in which the baby, gestational sac, and all other tissue is removed by the doctor using a machine. The patient is asleep for the entire procedure. I'm not a medical professional so I won't even try to explain how they do it. If this is a procedure you are considering, I recommend asking your doctor about the specifics. I'll be the first to admit, it's excruciating to discuss. The most difficult part of my surgery was discussing with the nurse what we wanted to do with the baby's remains. Nonetheless, it's better to know what you're getting yourself into before the procedure than after. I went in for surgery around one o'clock and was home by four or so. So what are the pros and cons? (Keep in mind, this is totally my opinion. Everyone is different. Do what you think is best for you.)

Pros: You have much less bleeding and cramping than you would if you miscarried naturally, you never have to feel as though you're flushing your child down the toilet, and it's really not very painful. The worse pain I felt was the IV before the surgery.

Cons: It's more expensive and has more risks involved. I also felt somewhat guilty for doing it. Even though my baby had been dead for weeks when I had surgery, a part of me felt like I was keeping God from doing a miracle. What if he wanted to bring my baby back to life? I didn't let him. I know it's not logical, but that's how I felt nonetheless.

When you miscarry naturally, it's just as it sounds: natural. I didn't have any medicine to help with the pain other than over-the-counter medications. And I was awake for all of it. (TMI alert-Don't read on if you don't want a lot of information!) I experienced heavy bleeding with large clots and painful cramps. The bleeding continued for about a week.

Pros: There are no fees whatsoever and fewer risks. I never wondered if God was going to save my baby. It was abundantly clear he wasn't going to.

Cons: It was emotional every time I used the restroom, it was painful, and it was more difficult to take care of my family while going through it. Weird, I know. You'd think surgery would make it more difficult. Maybe for some people it does, but not for me. I didn't want to do anything but lie on the couch and cry for about a week and a half.

So which is more difficult? I'm still not sure. They both suck (excuse my language, but I can think of no better word to describe it). For me, it was probably harder to pass it naturally than to have surgery. There are still nights when I can't get the mental pictures of my baby's remains out of my mind. It's something I'll probably never forget. No matter how hard I try. . .

But everyone's different. My advice: pray about it before you decide and listen to your heart. You know better than anyone else which will be less excruciating. Whatever you decide, know this: neither option is good. Both will leave you with empty arms, tears, and a family that doesn't feel quite whole.

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