Life Goes On...
Robert Frost got it right... "In 3 words I can sum up everything I have learned about life, it goes on"
In my recent post I talked about the sad loss of Sebastien and Samuel, today I would like to talk about dealing with that loss and what came afterwards.
I have to say the Medical team at Royal Hospital for Women, in Sydney, were just all fabulous and very caring. Dr Antonia Shand was my Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist and much like Dr Koch is one of a kind in her wonderful way with patients and her real interest in care for them. She was with me when we realised the twins were not going to make it, she explained the situation and the options I had. The Counsellor saw me straight away and was an amazing woman in the way she dealt with me and explained what I needed to do, if I wanted to name the twins, did I want to see them and did I want to keep them after surgery, would I be cremating - providing the details of the Crematorium that would assist in this. She also provided contacts for Stillbirth Foundation and other help centres. I had the night to get everything in order before I was back at the hospital, saying hello and goodbye to my twin boys.
Many people ask me what I did following the birth, some people don't agree with my decision but I believe this is something we all have to do for ourselves, I decided to cremate Sebastien and Samuel, I have kept their ashes at home with me and on special occasions, I let 2 balloons go in memory of them. Seb & Sam will always be in my memory and my heart, just never to be held in my arms.
Following all of the sadness and getting through the emotional pain, I unfortunately went through some postpartum physical issues. Having taken 2 weeks off of work following the loss and cremation of the twins, I went back to work as life really does have to go on, however, I didn't last long. 6pm that first day back I was rushed into St Vincents Emergency as I was in so much pain with a high fever... it basically felt like I had gone into labour. This episode indicated I had retained tissue, from the removal of the placenta by D&E, it became severely infected. I really didn't want more surgery so I opted for Antibiotics and strong drugs over a week, with constant monitoring, this now meant another week off of work - really not practical when you are running a team, have deadlines to meet and a leader in a business. But what could I do...Life does go on but you have to prioritise health.
I made a joke of this situation and said this just meant that the twins really didn't want to leave their mum. Anyway... the drugs weren't working. A week later I was back in surgery to remove the retained tissue, this was emotional for me as it felt like I was going back in and losing anything that was left of my twin boys, it was a final chapter of the book, coming to a close. I was also very worried about the risk of over-scraping which can result in infertility, known as Ashermans Syndrome but Dr Koch was undertaking the surgery so I felt in safe hands.
Surgery was done...yet the drama wasn't over. Not only had my body been through all of that, I then began to become quite sick again. At this stage I started to hate my body, it was as if everything a female body is supposed to do just wasn't working and I felt it was trying to tell me I just shouldn't get pregnant and I shouldn't be doing IUI, using a Sperm Donor and everything that came with it.
A couple of days post surgery, following numerous doctors and gynaecological appointments within 24 hours, I was diagnosed with Pseudomembranous Colitis. Here's a new one... I was allergic to the antibiotics in my IV drip during surgery. This disease only happens to 8 in 100,000 people - yes I am one of those people who just falls into the rare category constantly, firstly I get pregnant with a rare twin type that only happens to 1% of pregnancies and then I get this rare disease. Onto recovery I went, lots of gut flora rebuilding, this consisted of naturopathy, acupuncture, digesting lots of pickles and fermented foods.
As you can imagine, this was now nearly 6 weeks away from the office and by this stage I decided enough was enough and had to make a very difficult decision and quit my job. This is not something I had planned and it wasn't easy, I am a high achiever, I hadn't finished what I had set out to do, I was letting my team and peers down and I just felt like I was giving in. And more importantly what was I going to do?!
But... Life has to go on, we have to realise our self worth and we have to shift priorities sometimes. So what's next for me...