Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What to Expect From a D&C

Super huge disclaimer: I'm not a doctor.  I'm just a totally regular momma who had to have a D&C.  The purpose of writing this is I wanted to know what to expect when having a D&C, and the internet in all its internet-ly glory provided answers.

One thing to point out was I had a choice of whether to have a D&C or not.  The drawback of not having one would mean waiting for things to happen naturally, which could have been another few weeks.  Since I had already been waiting for a month, I just wanted to move on.  I just wanted to be done.  I know now, weeks later, it was the right choice for me.

Two days prior to having a D&C, I had a barrage of tests.  Blood, urine, IQ...well, maybe not the last one.  I'm not queasy about any of that stuff, thanks to years of donating blood.

The D&C: My husband and I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 A.M.  An admitting nurse had a few more forms for us to fill out & sign.  Since I had already pre-registered, it took less than ten minutes.  Matt wasn't allowed to come with me initially when I was taken back into the surgical ward.  Once the IV was done, he came back to hang out.

After seeing the doctor and anesthesiologist, I was ready to go.  Wheeling down the corridors of the hallway were a little nerve-racking.  I had read all of the documentation provided in advance, but I was going through the same steps as the dude with prostate cancer or the lady getting her torn something or other repaired.   What I didn't expect was how surgical the actual day would be.

We had conflicting estimates about the duration of the procedure.  Honestly, it was about 10 minutes.  Matt didn't have time to start worrying before the doctor came to tell him everything was over and went well.  Within a few hours, we were on our way home.

Recovery:  I slept off the anesthesia for a few hours from the comfort of my couch.  I had been shown a pain scale with happy and not-so-happy faces.  Leaving the hospital, I was about a 3 out of 10.  Uncomfortable, but nowhere near miserable.  Some over the counter generic ibuprofen was totally enough.  However, for the first two days I was bummed when the ibuprofen started running out because of cramping.

There is some bleeding after having a D&C.  It varies from a few days to few weeks, depending on the person.  It's the universe's way of making up for not having to have a period while I was pregnant, I guess.  Laaaaame.

Life After:  Now that I'm a month out from the whole ordeal, I really am confident I made the right choice for me.  Of course, that doesn't make it the right choice for everyone.  It gave me an opportunity to start moving on at a time when I desperately needed to move on.  Life's back to normal, and that's a really comforting thing.

I have the ultrasound pictures the technician gave me at our first ultrasound.  I just can't throw them away.  Actually, they're in my purse.  Not because I pull them out and torture myself, but honestly because it's a really big purse and I don't clean it out enough.  Everything else pregnancy-related has been packed away.  Gone are the freshly laundered maternity clothes, the baby books, the pregnancy apps.  I'm not saying they won't be back (and hopefully in the not too distant future), but I didn't need them as a daily reminder.

If you are having a D&C, I promise you'll be able to look at pregnant women and not kinda hate them.  I promise you'll be able to be happy when others announce they're expecting.  I can't say for certain how long it will take, but you'll get there.  If you want to talk while you're coming up with excuses to not hold a friend's new baby,  I'm here.