In which I lose all self-respect

Hello, I’m back, I’m writing this in the comfort of my very own armchair, drinking flat ginger ale out of my very own glass, wearing (thank God) my very own pyjamas. Aaaaaand…. breathe.

Well, that sucked. As H said, yesterday I was sitting about at home, minding my own very gloomy miserable business, when I noticed the bleeding getting more-so. Fair enough, I am having a miscarriage. The pain is getting more-so too. Only to be expected. Only, hang on, surely, this is just a little much? This pain, this bleeding, a bit fucking much? And at the point where I collapsed on the bed sobbing and howling in a manner that makes me feel quite pink with embarrassment to recall, H decided, that is enough. And started calling in medical assistance. I have no idea who said what to whom about what and when, as by this point I was kneeling on the bathroom floor with my head in the toilet. Oh, joy. And then there was an almost-pleasant-in-comparison interval while I lay on my face, thinking ‘holy hell, when did I last mop in here? This floor is disgusting‘ while H ran about finding clothes to stuff me into and books and keys and phones and a bag and whathaveyou while waiting for the ambulance.

The gas and air in said ambulance was very nice, by the way, once they’d solved the air-lock in the feed which had the mouthpiece making a hideously funny farting noise every time I sucked on it. The pain was still going on, but it was happening to some other poor unfortunate woman just over there, so that was all right (I remember pethidine having much the same effect on me). I was aware that my undercarriage was very very wet, downright soggy, even, and possibly this was cause for concern, but hey! gas and air says relax!

When the ambulance driver was helping me roll from their trolley-bed onto the hospital trolley bed she said ‘oh! You’re actively bleeding, aren’t you!’ and I was alas too stoned to say ‘nooooo, I’m definitely passively bleeding… I’m just lying here getting you to do all the heavy lifting…’ Then the gas and air wore off (the cruel brutes were taking the cyclinder back to the ambulance with them, as if anyone else needed it more than me, HAH) and I realised that in the 30 to 40 minutes we’d been in the ambulance (they were taking us back to the hospital that released me the day before, hence long drive), I had bled through a super-duper heavy flow pad, the track-suit bottoms H had shuffled me into, the thick towelling dressing-gown ditto, the ambulance blanket, the sheet, and onto the trolley.

Yes, I know. Yuk. Exactly.

Anyway, this sort of thing gets the attention of the A&E doctors fairly sharpish, and I was being peeled out of my sodden clothes and put into a hospital gown in short order. My blood pressure had dropped, not catastrophically (or I suppose they’d’ve been ripping me open looking for internal bleeding), but definitely, so they got a drip in – the poor nurse had to dig for a vein, what with mine all being half-empty and pathetic, and I even noticed that it bloody hurt despite Cute Ute ramping up the hysterics. And then the on-call gynae doctor turned up, and she was very nice, and announced she was going to examine me internally, at which point H firmly announced he was going outside to find a glass of water. I think he’d had about as much gore and sobbing as he could take, poor lamb.

Cue unpleasant episode with speculum, swabs, tweezers, and so on.

Gynae doctor finally explained that she thought a piece of pregnancy tissue had got stuck in the cervix, and all the massive cramps, bleeding, vomiting and horrible horrible blood-clots where the Cute Ute’s attempts to get it out (cervixes are fussy like that). It had gone now, anyway. And finally, here was some codeine to make it all better, and a bed in a private room to feel all better on. And poor H, who had reappeared when the exam was over and had been holding my hand and carrying bags of my blood-stained clothes about, was allowed to go home.

Today started quite well. The sweet doctor who had diagnosed the not-ectopic-after-all reappeared, and there was talk of scans and second opinions. I felt… OK. Sore, but OK. I read my book. I dutifully used bed-pans so the nurses could check the amount of fluid coming out of me was matching the amount going in, and (urgh urgh urgh) keep an eye on the blood-clots to make sure I was passing pregnancy tissue, as they kept calling it. I was. Urgh.

By lunch time everything was going tits-up again. The sweet doctor and the nurses had got all at cross-purposes, and no-one knew who was doing what with me when, or, at least, certainly not bothering to explain it to me. H called the ward at midday to ask after me, but they didn’t bother to tell me that, and I was wondering where the hell he was. They told him I had had a scan (I so had not) and a second opinion was needed (actually, sweet doctor wanted a second opinion to decide if there was any need to do a scan). H called back at 2, and no one told him that I was asking for him, ohh, no, and then no one told me that H said he’d be along at some point later that afternoon, so I was getting quite stressed on the ‘where the buggery fuck is my bloody husband?’ scale. This was all compounded by the fact the pain was back, in spades, with added burningness and tenderness, and by the time I drew the nurses’ attention to this and she finally got around to finding some more codeine, I was having a ‘pain peak’ in the cute phrase of the sweet doctor and neither codeine nor diclofenac could control it.

In short, gentle readers, I panicked, and cried. Again. Which sucked.

Luckily, sweet doctor had been collecting together all my blood and urine test results and had found her second opinion and came back to find me tear-stained and dishevelled (thank GOD for the private room, eh?) and in need of reassurance. So she gave it. The blood test (the Beta, you call it in the States) was under 5, and the pee-stick was negative, and there was no danger of a lingering ectopic they’d missed. The cramps were certainly caused by the passing of the ‘pregnancy tissue’ and would get better over the next few days, as should the bleeding.

As for the rather extreme nature of the pain I was in? Umm, well, it would seem I had managed to pick up a urinary tract infection on top of everything else. The burning pain? Err, that was that. Made worse by pressing on a wildly cramping uterus and all the general prostaglandin excess in the area.

The indignity of it. A feckin’ UTI. I cried like a terrified six-year-old over a UTI. I will now burst into flames of shame. *foom*

And, naturally, having discovered that the reason I was feverish, with a racing pulse, cramping and aching horribly, and feeling like I’d been run over by a small-to-medium sized tractor, was a mere UTI (oh, and some mere serious blood-loss), and not internal bleeding or a ruptured ovary or John Hurt’s Alien heading for fresh air and daylight, I cheered the fuck up and felt much much better. And then H turned up, and I felt better still. So much so that they agreed I could go home, with a big pile of antibiotics and pain-killers, and lots of warnings about coming straight back if I got worse again (or panicked myself into hysterics again. Hah hah).

Embarrassing, really, to discover just how much you can aggravate your own physical pain by being terrified and miserable. Also, my famous posh British stiff upper lip? I’ve lost it. I shall have to make do with a fake mustache.

Anyway, Gentle Readers, I love you all. Thank you a thousand times for the support and comments.

26 responses to “In which I lose all self-respect

  • MFA Mama

    Oh, honey. Don’t feel ashamed of yourself. UTIs can really be quite awful, and a UTI plus a miscarriage plus your bleeding tendency and the addition of that lovely “we don’t know what the hell is happening here” component would make ANYONE lose their composure. I’m glad they sorted it out and explained it to you, and that you were able to go home to recuperate. I myself had a terrible UTI in the wake of a hysterectomy and subsequent re-op for peritonitis, and freaked right the fuck out because the last time I’d been in such bad pain I got hauled back in for more surgery; I felt pretty foolish when that’s what it turned out to be, but oh well (my doctor confessed that she’d freaked out when I presented with pain in the lower belly AGAIN herself until she saw the urine results, which did make me feel a little better). After your dreadful experience with the last (known) miscarriage and complications I’m sure the discomfort plus the not-knowing (on top of the Known Bad Things, Ongoing) was awful for you, and I’m glad you’re no longer afraid for your health (which was an entirely reasonable and appropriate reaction, I mean good GOD look at your history). Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • Xbox4NappyRash

    I just don’t know what to say. You certainly have nothing to be ashamed of.

    You’ve been through an awful lot, even in the last day or two. Too much.

    I’m glad to hear you’re home at least, take it easy on yourselves for a little.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    UTIs are DREADFUL things! They can cause mental confusion and all sorts. No downplaying of upset necessary, at all.

    You, ummm, MOP your bathroom floor then, do you? *sits with furrowed brow to think when the last mop saw our ensuite floor. Probably in the vinyl showroom…*

    I wish someone medical and clever would have a bright thought and tell you why Cute Ute bleeds so astonishingly heavily. That’s some very serious heavy blood loss for an early miscarriage, and what with your periods being absolutely torrential too, it does make you wonder how she’s physically managing it. If it weren’t for the plethora of scans you’ve had I’d be bouncing up & down and screaming ‘Adenomyosis!’ but as it is, I’m merely baffled and concerned.

    And oh, so sorry, my dear.

  • meganlisbeth

    i’m glad you’re home.
    i’m so sorry about everything else.
    please be gentle with yourself. i read nothing shameful up there. the universe has crapped upon you and you are acting human — scared, sad, upset… nothing to hang your head about. the universe is the one who should be ashamed right now.

  • QoB

    Dear sweet Lord, woman, you’re perfectly entitled to cry!!
    I have heard of these British stiff upper lips, and I’m sure the moustaches are lovely and all, but really. Cry away if you feel the need.

    Glad you’re home and hopefully feeling better.

  • Solnushka

    Frankly I’m surprised you kept it together as well as you did. It not being a completely catastrophic meltdown of the insides doesn’t make it less painful after all and you certainly have reason to doubt the universe’s kindness towards you.

    Very glad it’s more manageable now too. Go your armchair and your pajamas.

  • Heather

    I’m crying just reading this. (You know, I have a very strict no one cries alone in my presence rule…and I know, I know, you are in my computer…but I care about you May.)

    You should have self-respect by the boat-loads. This is a traumatic experience. They would have had to lock me in a padded room. You are so strong and brave. Hold your head up, Sweetie.

    Thinking of you guys.

  • Fertility Chick

    Well shit, what a time.

    I agree with anyone else, you deserve nothing short of a medal – UTI’s are awful and I would’ve been crying, swearing, and possibly flailing my arms madly had it been me.

    Rest up and lay low. Sending you good thoughts from here.

  • Ben Warsop



    You could think of it as a kind of bladdery couvade?

    Or maybe not.

  • geohde

    Ah May, hon,

    Don’t feel silly in the least.

    The complications of UTI have cost me some renal function, and the repeated courses of gentamicin have not done great things for my hearing.

    Oh, and there was that time I was septic and dangerously hypotensive. That one would have killed me without timely intervention and I was seriously unwell when admitted. I don’t remember a thing about that time, though. Except all the bloody lines.

    Summary. UTI’s are common but should always be taken seriously.

    Also, I have never had a miscarriage, but it is one of the saddest things I can imagine happening to me.

    Cry away.



  • Teuchter

    * gentle but heartfelt hug

  • Nina

    Cry you a couple of rivers, recuperate, and call me in the morning, hon. We all love you and care about you, and just want good things for you. You have every right to storm around, throw things, and scream. In fact, I recommend that too.

  • Bee Cee

    Oh I am so glad you are home – I have been thinking about you lots.

    Make sure you take good care of yourself (I know H will look after you well), but still…take it easy and recover.

    And for what it is worth, I used to get UTI’s ALL the time (about 2 years ago) and I had to take antibiotics EVERY day for it.


  • a

    I don’t know why you wouldn’t be crying and hysterical. I don’t believe even the stiffest upper lip could withstand pain, blood, ambulance rides, and lack of information. I don’t think you need a mustache. On the other hand, it is Halloween, so perhaps a mustache is in order.

    Glad you’re home, and feeling a bit better.

  • Womb For Improvement

    Welcome home. And maybe you can treat yourself with a fizzy ginger ale next time. xx

  • twangy

    Oh May. That was a humdinger of an experience. Bloomin Nora. So glad you are okay and all tube-ually intact. Heartfelt PHEW.
    Lie back and recover, watch yourself some Star Trek, and no more feeling bad, dear Lawd, you had a horrible time, girl.

    (Lying on the bathroom tiles is the worst. URG. Tremendous sympathy! The definition of Real Sickness, as far as I am concerned, is when their chilly hardness actually feels weirdly okay).

  • Goosey Lucy

    And remember “You have every right to be in a funk. You don’t have to keep pretending everything’s OK. You’ve got a really good reason not to be OK”.
    My thoughts are with you.
    Mind you and let yours mind you too.

  • Katie

    I take my eye off the ball for a few days…

    I am so, so sorry about this. I can’t think of anything to say except this is just a pile of cr*p. Seriously large pile.

  • Meg

    So glad you’re home now and feeling better and so sorry you had to go through all of this!

  • Sam

    oh lordie lordie what a to do!!! You need some serious pampering now – feel better soon. xx

  • Lesley

    I am very sorry you had to experience that. Early miscarriages can be surprisingly awful. I wish more women knew what to expect in those situations; I found that my health practitioners gave me almost zero information. I resorted to doing crosswords and Sudoko puzzles obsessively in order to cope (they weren’t very helpful, actually).

    Be gentle with yourself.

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