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Nightmare Honeymoon

by jlewis

Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000

I am 32 and I did not meet my husband until last year. After a lot of painful relationships with the wrong people, I knew immediately that he was my one and only true love. After 4 months of dating we got engaged on the eve of the new millennium and decided to get married on July 15, 2000.
On June 14, I discovered I was pregnant. It was not planned but we were so thrilled!! We had been planning to start trying within a few months anyway. I was inexplicably scared that the baby would not be "normal" and was afraid to tell everyone that I was pregnant. Still, the joy of it overtook me and my fears began to go away. I joked with a good friend of mine from college who had also been pregnant at her wedding. She said not to worry about it; she was not too sick or tried to enjoy her honeymoon - she and her husband did lots of fun things and had lots of sex...seven months later they had a healthy baby boy who is now six and was the ring bearer in our wedding.
Planning the wedding was very stressful for me - I live far away from my entire family - they are spread all over the country. I was so tired from being pregnant I barely had the energy to do all the things I needed to do. Also, I was dreading the arrival of my divorced parents who hadn't seen each other for years. My mom said not to worry about being tired, it would go away soon. Mysteriously, about a week before the wedding, it did. I mistakenly thought this was a good sign.
We had a beautiful wedding, my parents behaved, I was taking my vitamins, feeling the beautiful bride, voluptuous and pregnant - everything seemed perfect. We left Colorado for a honeymoon on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I never had any reservations about traveling to another country while pregnant - after all, I was feeling fine.
We had two perfect days of exploring the beach, hiking in the rainforest, eating crab legs, making love in the morning...it was a storybook honeymoon.
On the morning of the third day I got up to go to the bathroom and I was bleeding. I screamed for my husband and he came in the bathroom, saw the blood and immediately burst into tears. I had never seen him cry before. We just stood there, holding each other and sobbing. He was asking me if we should go to the hospital and I was saying yes but I somehow knew it was already too late.
We had been staying in a remote area of the island and had to drive for a while to reach the nearest big town. I was not yet bleeding that heavily so I was hoping against hope that they would be able to stop it somehow and save my baby. We couldn't find the hospital anywhere - finally had to stop at an ambulance station. I had to ride in the ambulance to the hospital, which I had never done before, ironic since I am an EMT and take others in an ambulance all the time.
When we arrived they did an ultrasound. They would not tell me what they saw - they said they weren't allowed and that the doctor had to tell me. I knew it was a copout and that we were going to get bad news but I kept closing my eyes, concentrating on my belly, trying to tell our little baby to hang on, everything would be ok.
We waited for an hour, watching the doctor read a magazine and drink coffee, before he finally came in and said I had a blighted ovum. I started to cry. He said I could have a D&C in Canada or head for home; that the bleeding would get heavier but possibly not for another 2 weeks. He never told me what to expect. We decided to head for home.
Vancouver Island is connected to the mainland by a ferry that takes 2 hours to cross, by the time the cars are loaded and unloaded.
Unfortunately, I started to gush massive amounts of blood and clots while on the ferry. I ruined a pair of pants and the seat of the rental car. I was too terrified to care and so was my husband. We got to Vancouver and booked a flight out in the morning. In the hotel room, my cramps became unbearable, the worst pain I had ever experienced in my life. My husband said we had to go to the emergency room again. When we got there it was full of people, but they admitted me ahead of someone with chest pain. I must have looked awful. We waited in a cold, cramped hospital room for a doctor - me gushing blood all over a pad on the table and literally writhing in pain. My poor husband went to get a nurse to insist that they give me something for the pain. They did a pelvic exam - excruciating - and said I had a "clot" halfway past the cervix. Suddenly I realized what the doctor in the previous hospital hadn't told me - that I was in labor. Big or small, alive or dead, I had to have the baby. Had I been told what to expect I would have opted for the D&C at the first hospital. But nobody tells you.
They just said, "Oh, too bad you have to be in the hospital on your honeymoon. Bummer!" As if I had a broken ankle or something! I wanted to scream, "f*** the honeymoon, we lost our baby!"
That was the longest night of my life. They gave me Demerol for the pain through my IV - it made me sleepy and I would pass out for spells.
But it didn't dull the pain for long. I would start screaming and they'd come give me more. Twice my husband shook me awake - I could see pure terror in his eyes. He later told me I had stopped breathing from all the Demerol - no nurse was around to notice. He said in those moments he realized that I was all he had and he was all I had. That is the only positive thing I can say about this horrible experience - it has brought us even closer together.
Finally I passed the "clot". It was much bigger than I expected (I was 10 weeks) and there was no mistaking what it was. No one had told me to save it, so in horror I picked it up out of my pad and tossed it in the trash. The next morning, the hospital gynecologist had to examine me in order for me to be discharged. He started off by asking us if we were Americans, and when we said yes, he said that we had a very bad reputation in Canada and that he had been screwed by Americans before who came in for treatment and then left, never paying. He said we would have to pay up front for his services. He also said that if I were Canadian I would have had my D&C a long time ago in the first hospital. I started bawling, saying we never planned to have a miscarriage on our honeymoon. He was totally inhuman - did not react at all. He asked if I had passed anything and where it was. I told him it was in the trash and he fished it out, put it in a clear jar and left it sitting right next to me in plain sight while he went to do something else. I couldn't bear it and finally my husband hid it behind another object on the counter.
We came home early from our honeymoon, broken-hearted and exhausted. I dread seeing everyone in our small town who knew I was pregnant and making all of those long distance phone calls to my family to tell them that my good news from the wedding has turned for the worst. It's been a week since the miscarriage started - I know it will be a long road ahead. 
jlewis@amigo.net
  

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