Hi friends. Long time no write— but with good reasons. I shared this story on instagram this last month— but I thought I would share it here too. Document. Share. Heal. You know the deal…
I’m going to edit a few things from the original copy, just so that it makes sense in this blog format, but other than that, these are the feelings and thoughts I was experiencing during a very dark and difficult time. Thanks for listening. Thanks for supporting.
I want to share the details of the last two months or so— and especially the last two weeks. a lot of this may sound dry and like a list of facts, because to be honest— that’s all I can share. the emotional is too hard right now. when I let my emotions come in this all feels more like a nightmare. my dreams and the quiet hours of the night bring me enough emotions — and there are too many to release here. so I’m going to, in parts (it’s long) share a bit of our current situation. thank you for your comments, messages, and prayers. we’ve needed them.
part 1. Do you see the photo above? me in a cheetah dress? beach vibe? I had been feeling good. not only had I finally gained weight after almost a decade of trying, but I had successfully avoided anyone who recently got a magic potion and hadn’t experienced tissue/blood-shedding or progesterone loss for a few months. I had been temperature-checking for a few cycles and had consistently high levels of progesterone. after a few months of back and forth discussion, Alex and I made a decision that day that we would attempt to get pregnant one more time— “in the next year”— to give me more time to work on my minerals first. well, Mr. one-shot wonder got me pregnant that very night. (getting pregnant has never been the problem, but it’s the ‘after’ that’s the problem. but again, my progesterone levels had me hopeful.) that’s when everything started going wrong. within 3-5 days I knew I was pregnant. I could feel it. crazy, I know, but I felt crazy. I felt a huge and intense shift in my hormones. I stayed hopeful that things would normalize. I told Alex, “I can’t test yet— it’s too early but I’m either pregnant or going to have a stroke. something is happening.” my tongue swelled up and got a thick white coating, a depression came over me, my colitis/celiac symptoms flared along with my entire digestive tract, my tinnitus came back, and nothing— absolutely nothing could remove the dehydration I experienced within my body. it was like I became allergic to myself— or at least the hormones my body was making. but again— over and over repeating- *stay hopeful*
part 2. as hormones grew the pain in my stomach increased. nothing could settle in my stomach. everything caused excruciating pain. even water had me bent in half with stomach discomfort. then it got worse. more than morning sickness— literally everything would make me vomit. the farm — our hopeful retreat had become a danger zone for me. inside the smell of hay caused problems— but even worse— I couldn’t even step outside without the smell of soil, ground, trees, everything forcing me to purge— but there was nothing to purge.
we drove to the city to meet with a midwife I had met with earlier (for non-pregnancy reasons). we did an ultrasound. the sack was there. the yolk was there. no fetus. never had I prayed for blood more. I wanted the pain to be over.
we made the drive back to the lake and rented a home in town for the next month. a place for me to wait for a miscarriage. I was still bedridden but at least the smell of the *outside* didn’t exist. after days of water only— I was finally able to mostly keep down coconut water. but each day passed and nothing more helped. weeks in bed. losing all the weight I gained. and feeling hopeless. 5 pregnancies. one child. but I’ve never had a natural miscarriage. I didn’t want another aspiration. I refused to take misoprostol (again). but it was getting to the breaking point— how much more could I take?
in Guatemala, my option would be an aspiration, non-sedated with misoprostol. I’ve done an aspiration before without sedation— undrugged. it was one of the most traumatic events I ever experienced. I had used misoprostol in my prior (somewhat similar) pregnancy and it was terrifying— my already inflamed body could not stand to be more inflamed.
we made the choice to drive to méxico for an aspiration. I was scared beyond belief. I’ve had weird heart symptoms since the first time I was exposed to a recently magic potion-ed person. but I felt pushed against a wall. we got in the car— crossed the border of Guatemala into Mexico and made the three-day drive to Oaxaca. we arrived on Sunday.
part 3. the night we arrived Alex seemed to be struggling with some stomach concerns— but we figured it would pass— just something quick he crossed paths with. marlowe also struggled on the drive— something not like her. the next morning I went in for an aspiration. 8 am. a lot of tears were involved. I was scared. by 11 am I was back in our rental. and doing seemingly well. I was relieved.
that evening Marlowe didn’t look well. eating the same food Alex ate— we assumed maybe they both got some sort of food poisoning. but that evening her fever was 102f. she was not well. between the elevation and the fever, her heart rate was through the roof. that night I was able to eat a meal. Alex’s stomach pain increased— and that would be the last full meal he would eat for days. the next day was the same. I seemed okay but Marlowe’s fever continued. despite her being sick, I chose her bed to sleep in— not the best move to risk germs— but that’s what we do as mothers, isn’t it? the next day was much of the same. I felt fine— ate another meal, but Alex said he could not put anything in— his stomach was getting worse. as I got in bed with Marlowe that night I felt a tickle in my nose. the next morning I woke up with a sore throat and a fever to join Marlowe’s.
Alex was mobile with his stomach pain but getting worse. by Thursday evening, he also got a fever.
I could feel my hormones dropping, but I found the pain in my pelvis growing. I knew that I was sick with whatever we all had, but I worried the symptoms could be covering up a potential infection in my uterus. I didn’t like the rush-rush US vibe of the first doctor — so despite both of us being sick, Alex drove me to a different doctor on the outskirts of town.
part 4. the doctor was nice enough. I explained our situation and she said we would start with an ultrasound to examine the situation. well, right away the doctor could not/would not believe that I had already had an aspiration that week. my mouth dropped. everything I had gone through and my uterus was still filled with tissues after a failed aspiration. she said that was the cause of my pain and would examine me further to check for a possible infection.
well, as she went to do a pelvic exam, Alex found himself on the floor of the office— passing out from his blood pressure dropping too low. everything felt like a nightmare. like none of this could possibly be real.
once he came back to and his blood pressure stabilized she continued with my exam — she said it seemed that there was a possible infection and I would need to go into an emergency d+c either that night or first thing in the morning. I opted for morning hoping that Alex could get some rest. it was obvious we were drowning. alone in a polluted city, we hate— a sick kid at home, one needing an emergency procedure and the other passing out.
we waited in the office another two hours or so for blood work and a forced nose test— my very first one. we went home and two hours later got a text that my test was positive. the next morning we called the office to find out exactly what that meant for me— she said that because of clot risk, I would have to wait. wait for what and for when exactly? we didn’t know. we packed up all our things and sat on some concrete (there is nothing green in this city) waiting for us to be able to check into another apartment.
at this point, thankfully Marlowe was on the mend, but Alex and I were still very much in it. we settled into another apartment and started the process of getting labs done for Alex to find out what was in his gut and what actions we could take against it. both parasites and e. coli came back positive.
part 5. the pain in my pelvis is not going away. I experience mild cramping but nothing is passing. I know that every day that goes by I’m risking infection. the doctor we had met with recommends another clinic that is likely to see me despite my positive c status. we make an appointment and visit. at this point I’m tired. and drained beyond belief. both physically and emotionally but any positive c symptoms are gone (fever and body aches— my throat only hurts with the mask).
the doctor I met with was incredibly nice. anyone who knows me, knows this is incredibly rare for me to say— but he is patient, listens, and spends a lot of time with me, curious to hear about my health history and medical traumas I experienced back in the US. he performs an ultrasound on me and agrees, I need surgery. another procedure. I don’t even think I cried at this point. my tears were already drained that day. he says we can give it another day— I can try a medication to create contractions and see if that works. I’m scared of the medication. I’m scared of all medication after experiencing such medical neglect in the past. he is patient and agrees that I can try a natural route first.
I find an herbalist. who creates a tea blend to start contractions. within two cups I feel contractions starting. I start bleeding again. one piece of tissue passes. I continue this + castor packs on my uterus for the rest of the day. it helps, but I know it’s not enough.
while Marlowe is getting better and my fever is gone, we’re still in a city with no one to help, stacking up bills on short-term rentals, hardly eating, and Alex can barely drive at this point. my mother flies in. I realize over and over again how lucky I am to have such constant family support. others are not this lucky. three planes that day and she arrives the night before the scheduled surgery.
the next morning my mother and I take a taxi back to the doctor. I tell him I passed a little but I don’t think it’s enough. under another ultrasound, he confirms the mass of tissue is smaller, but it is still very much present. more blood work starts. another test up my nose (why?!?— this one makes me lose my sense of smell 😑) and I’m prepped for the surgical room.
part 6. I again, cry a lot going under. I tell the doctor I just wanted a baby. this is a nightmare to be here on a bed again. I tell him I do have faith in his abilities, I just don’t trust medicine or the medical system and I’m finding it hard to trust my body right now, but I trust him and the anesthesiologist. they assure me they’re going to take care of me and the next thing I know I’m waking up and being moved to another bed. they tell me everything went well.
the next day Alex goes back to the same hospital I was at to meet with a doctor. Oaxaca, for whatever reason, turns out to be the only state in méxico that requires prescriptions at the pharmacy. I’ve been treating him at home with natural parasite measures— and while he seems to be in less pain, he’s still noticeably uncomfortable. the doctor seems surprised that he has been so affected by the parasites (cryptosporidium) and asks if he’s had other problems going on. yes, a viral thing— and numerous levels of emotional, financial, and physical stress— to say the least.
I rest at home with Marlowe that day. I’m not in a lot of pain and things seem okay— but my follow-up the next day would show otherwise.
if you thought this process couldn’t be more ridiculous and torturous — you were wrong. the doctor asks how I’ve been. I tell him my pain is basically gone. great! he asks about bleeding. I say, “none.” he looks worried. I thought none would be good— but no apparently not. we do another ultrasound. the surgery went fine and all pieces of tissue are clear. but not only did my hormones drop— but apparently my decidua dropped too— all in one piece and has covered up my cervix completely. I’ve shed no blood because the passage is now blocked and clots have been pooling in my uterus.
I want to believe that my body will take care of it— that this can come out on its own, but it’s been pretty obvious by the shape changes in my body that my hormones are low and there’s not a lot of chance for more natural contractions any time soon.
part 7. the doctor gives me another chance to try the herbs. I call the herbalist and ask for something stronger. I need heavier contractions to push out an entire trapped decidual cast right now. the doctor says if I can move enough out, the rest should follow. castor packs again. one cup of tea, two cups, I keep going— a cup an hour, but nothing. not even a drop moves. 6 cups in and the herbs become unbearably bitter and I begin to vomit. short of giving me a heavy dose of hormones, there’s not much more I can do.
the next morning I’m back at the hospital once again. not for my first or second procedure. but my third time going under in this two-week time period. THIRD TIME. I don’t even speak that day. my mother does all the speaking for me. I’m done. really done. at this point I have spent the entire night pleading and crying with god, the universe, with my body, with whatever power in the world will listen to make this better. I’m helpless and hopeless and the only thing i can do is nod a yes, when the doctor asks, “in acuerdo?” (in agreement?). I mean, I guess I’m in agreement— what other choice do I have at this point? my hormones have dropped. the tea didn’t work. too much time has passed and i’ve got nothing.
1 failed pregnancy, 1 d+c, and 2 aspirations.
my hands and arms are bruised from the dozens of needles that have made their way through my skin that week. another stupid test up my nose (again why?!?) this one is negative— not that it matters because it’s only a matter of minutes before I’m on the surgery table again. crying, pleading.
this process was shorter. I watch the clock right before I go under. in my head repeating, “in Omnia patatús” — a silly in-joke that feels fitting for my life right now— “prepared in all things / ready for everything” I’m obviously far from ready, but I’m here now and there’s nowhere to go but forward.
this time there’s another person in the room— a radiologist with a portable ultrasound machine to ensure that anything stuck or left behind comes out. another very nice man in a very shitty system.
this process is shorter, with fewer drugs, but I’m still SO groggy and waking up to move beds.
part 8. this doctor has been unbelievably patient with me. letting me try natural measures first and suggesting, but not pressuring me to take antibiotics after knowing my history with them. but now, he is clear— while I don’t want to take the medication he suggests (ergotrate) and the idea of ever taking an antibiotic again is enough to send me into a deep panic— I have to (or should probably) do what he suggests. I muscle test myself and agree— I will try both.
I try each, individually in the hospital to see if I have allergic reactions. thankfully I don’t.
a few hours later and I’m released again. and there’s not much left for me to do except hope for the best.
here we are two days later. another follow-up— my ten-millionth ultrasound this month— but finally, with some good news, everything seems clear. a breath in and an exhale. I should be able to begin healing and rebuilding.
alex too is on the mend. eating almost regular meals again. and we can finally start discussing the three-day drive back to Guatemala.
part 9. Alex tells me over and over again that there was nothing wrong with us being hopeful that this pregnancy could go well. being hopeful was a good thing.
but I’m left with so many what if’s. what if I had first built up the proper minerals I needed? what if we waited another month, 6 months, or more? what if we left for Oaxaca sooner— or later? what if I had just held out longer for this to (inevitably) pass naturally? no one can answer my questions. it’s not possible.
maybe he’s right— being hopeful and idealistic is one of the best traits I’ve carried in this weird life. but I can’t help but feel defeated and maybe I shouldn’t have been so hopeful. because here we are with a serious and heartbreaking loss for all of us. three medical procedures under my belt. dealing with con-vid and parasites in a city we hate. all the weight I worked so hard to gain— gone. paying rent for an empty apartment that we haven’t even been living in— and continuing to pay for it because while we’re here, our stuff has been sitting there unused and it can’t be rented out to anyone else like that. paying for our caretaker to stay full-time — day and night on our farm property while we’ve been away. endless amounts of money spent on short-term rentals, testing, doctor’s visits, surgeries and still hemorrhaging money daily— putting our family in some serious financial debt— all our savings gone. all because I was hopeful that I could maybe, possibly become pregnant and share the experience with someone else for once and for all.
we know the drive won’t be easy. and once we return, there’s a lot on us. something else to be discussed, but we know the best thing that could happen for us would be a quick sell of the farm. not something we want, but something we know has to be done right now. a long road ahead— in every way.
I’m lucky to be alive. I’m lucky to be on the mend. but this was all a little too much. and I haven’t even processed it all yet.
That story above was written over a month ago now. Something I wrote about, mostly in real-time. A real hard time. A month out and I’m still working on healing. I eat a bit of THC and CBD each day for the massive amount of pain and inflammation I’m still feeling. I wonder if I somehow healed incorrectly due to ten days of car travel post-surgery. Anyone who has ever sat with me, in a car or otherwise knows that my knees are consistently pressed to my chest. I am a ball of human skin scrunched up at all times. Standing hurts most these days. Sitting, without being curled up hurts too. The pain has been growing, but over the last day or two, it seems to be lessening. Or this could also be due to potential cysts from the rollercoaster of hormones I’ve experienced.
But I’m happy to say that despite being bombarded with difficulties, pain, and hormones, I’m emotionally doing okay. Sometimes I’m sad about the whole thing. And sometimes I believe that maybe this truly was for the better. I don’t know. I have so many more things I’d like to say– crazy to experience these events during a month when the internet was so engrossed in the fight of roe vs. wade. The internet has already seemed to move on from that topic– but I’m sure there are many like me, who have had volatile and scary pregnancies that still feel certain ways. I don’t want to speak on the topic much, given that I feel that I feel as if BOTH sides of the parties will be mad or triggered by my thoughts.
But I will say, we women have let the outside world control us– and most of us will never be aware of the extent of it. We can all interpret that thought however we see fit. It’s important that we learn more about ourselves and who we are outside of constructed systems. But you guys know I feel this way. Maybe I’ll share more thoughts in a private post. But for now, that’s all I want to say. No– one more thing– that Marlowe is in fact the best thing that has happened to me. Five pregnancies and I’m so grateful that one, the scariest one, came out this way.
Someone messaged me a few weeks ago with their condolences. She said she was sorry for the second pregnancy loss we’ve experienced in Guatemala. Something that had crossed my mind at some point and then fell out. Two times now we’ve tried to bring life into the world in Guatemala (Three if you count the farm) and turned our lives upside down afterward. Our life has drastically changed in the last few months– again. There’s been hard emotional moments for all of us. But maybe the universe does have a plan. Or maybe we’re experiencing these moments to push us where we really need to be. We’ve each had to go inside and make sense of our current and future situations.
Each hard moment and each internal struggle has the opportunity to bring about a lot of clarity. I’m feeling that. I feel like I am seeing, once again, a clear direction in what I want in my immediate life. But now the question is, will I take action to get there? Will any of us do that? We’ll see. For now, I’m doing my very best to learn from my past and live in the present– even in the crazy space of limbo and chaos.
if you’ve read this far, if you cared, messaged, commented, and/or donated money for our expenses and losses, thank you. I really appreciate it. Love you all.