a work in progress
First of all, please accept my most heartfelt condolences that you find yourself here. There is no lesson more painful to learn than the cruelty and unfairness of life. What follows are things that helped me before and after the termination. Trash or treasure!
I had a D&E at 18 weeks. It was three day procedure – her heart stopped on Day 1 and I was dilated, Day 2 was more dilation, and Day 3 was the evacuation. I’m only sharing things that worked for me personally, so if you are faced with L&D, I have no experience there, just with the grief.
- Have a clean house. I had no motivation to clean at all after my DX, and the house was so disgusting that I found myself wanting to spend all my time at my in-laws clean house. DH realized that this was not healthy and wanted to make the house a safe and comfortable environment for me, so he cleaned the entire house. By himself. I KNOW! I just sat on the computer, in a spina bifida/TFMR research coma. I think it helped him as well – he has the stereotypical manly attitude of wanting the fix things, and cleaning the house really helped my attitude. I did take all of my laundry to a Washy-Dry-Fold service, and that was amazing.
- Comfort food – Stock up pre-made food. Don’t count calories. Just make sure that you have “food” that will be easy to eat. For me, it was Jello, Pop-Tarts and Popsicles. I personally didn’t even want to eat, so if were expected to feed myself, I would have wasted away.
- Throw Away clothes – I wanted comfortable clothes, but I didn’t want my favorite lounging pants to be ruined with an association with the termination. I went to Kohl’s and bought cheap PJ pants. I wore underwear, t-shirts, and socks that I was already planning on either throwing away or donating. I don’t have any of those items of clothing anymore. I did buy myself a nice purple robe that was really nice to wear around the house. It was comforting, and holds no bad memories for me.
- Baby-free television distraction – Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares was a godsend. Not a single baby! I also watching Zoolander, The Mighty Boosh, and other funny shows. Even if your intended tv show is safe, be aware that stupid Hallmark commercials can attack at any moment. Luckily for me, my husband is an IT nerd, and he has stripped all commercials from our television sources.
- Be pro-active with anti-anxiety medication
- Be proactive with pain medication
- Ask for hand prints/footprints before tx
- If you need one, ask about an autopsy. You may find that you need to wait a few more weeks
- Ask if cremation is an option.
- Don’t be afraid to fight insurance companies.
- Make sure you have someone drive you. DH drove the first two days, but the last day, the in-laws drove us so he could sit in the backseat of the car with me.
- Make a memory box.
- Talk to someone else who has had to terminate for medical reasons, even if it’s just on a message board.
- Get an amnio if you even think it might be important later on.