So there I was laying on this examination table about to have this 9 inch needle pushed into my belly through to the 11 week old placenta and hopefully dodging the growing foetus… There was this lovely team of women all around me, reassuring me that all was going to be easy today.
“Hmmm I’m sorry Lorene but you have too much fluid in your bladder… can you go empty out half please?”
I think to myself… ‘Are flipping kidding me!?! You want me to only let out half!!!’
“Sure I’ll give it a go.”
And so I sit on the loo… almost too scared to begin to pee knowing that if I start I may not be able to hold back the huge tidal wave of urine just busting to get out!! Drink a litre an hour before… they say… yeah right!! Also knowing there are 5 other people on the other side of the door didn’t help the performance either! So I relax… just a tiny bit.. a dribble… stop… dribble… then …GUSHHH!!! Ahhhhh lovel….. Ohhhh shit!!! Stop Stop Stop!! Phew… I did it!!! I think…
In this weird arse moment I look at my reflection as I wash my hands and wonder how did I get here???
Back 10 years ago I never would have dreamed that for me to be pregnant would see me going down this path with genetic specialists and counsellors and bloody HUGE arse needles going into my body!!! I thought pregnancy would be this easy thing that I would just fly through and besides the normal doctors visits and midwife stuff it would be sweet as!! I could be waiting for the scans and enjoying every moment… the 12 week scan… finding out the sex of the baby… preparing it’s bedroom… getting the things ready for it… enjoying the excitement from our parents… the baby shower given by my friends… Finally using all the experiences and knowledge I had gathered over many years of being around babies and children… It had been for everyone else in my family, so I couldn’t even fathom that this would be a part of my reality…
“Lorene, are you ok in there??”
“Hmm oh yeah, all good just coming out now”
Back onto the table… and for the first time my partner gets to see baby on the screen… a head, arms, body, legs and feet… about 4.5cm long from the top of the head to the butt… Way to go bub! We were to learn a little later at the results time that it was a touch small for that gestation… and it was likely due to the condition… But I’m getting ahead of myself…
So this needle goes into my belly… they are pressing down very firmly so they have a good shot at the placenta… what they were doing was a procedure called CVS.. or Chorionic Villus Sampling. They push this 9” needle into the placenta and another needle follows down inside the larger one and they then take about 3 samples. Luckily the placenta was in a fairly good spot so it didn’t hurt too much. It was a bit like having medium strength period pain, not unbearable but certainly uncomfortable. After about 15-20 minutes we are sent on our way and now the waiting game begins… Will I miscarry? What will the results come back with? How will we cope if it’s not good?
And so the very tedious hours tick by… It’s one of those times in my life when it felt like the longest 2 damn weeks ever in history… I was attempting to remain really positive and also was distracting myself as best as I could by pressing on with the house renovations and the upcoming addition into my family with my brother getting married back in New Zealand, which unfortunately I had to choose to not go to due to the timing of the results, so I was doing all that I could from a few thousand miles away to welcome another woman into the family.
And so we waited for the call… 10 days down… we get a call from our genetics lady… so sorry the results aren’t in yet… let’s give it just a couple more days ok?
And so the waiting continues…
A few more days of painting and shifting of things… of gardening… of becoming more and more aware of this lump in my lower belly… going off the taste of meat on the bone… not wanting to have coffee, but tea was nice! And making my partner pretty much douse himself in smellies so I didn’t have to deal with the ciggy smoke when he came inside… Beginning to crochet a beautiful white blanket for this miracle…
And then it happened… it was an early morning call on a Friday… I was home alone…
“I’m really sorry to have to tell you this Lorene but the results are in and they are unbalanced.”
“Ummm Ok…” blink blink… tears begin to brim… “I know we did say we didn’t want to know what the sex of the baby is… but can I know now please?”
“Sure… let’s see… it is a girl.”
Choking back more tears I say, “Ok thank you… Now what do we do? When can I come in to… you know… end it???”
And so the date was set… The following Tuesday all would be done..
I then had to ring the midwife clinic to cancel my first visit with them.
“Hi, I would like to cancel my appointment please.” I say bravely
“Ok Lorene, can I ask why? Because you know that you may not be able to get an appointment as easily or quickly if you need it.” Says the clinic receptionist
“I just want to cancel the appointment please.” Barely holding back the flood of tears and my voice crackles.
“Are you really sure Lorene? These appointments are quite important you know?” presses the receptionist.
And now I can’t hold the tears back any more “I’m having a termination next week ALRIGHT! So no I don’t want the damn appointment!!!”
Silence…. “Oh, I am so sorry….”
I hang up the phone, lay down on our bed, hugging my pillow tight and curl into a ball of tears and snot and hurt and heartache…
We arrived early at the Woman’s and Children’s Hospital to make sure we got a park as we would be there all day and neither of us wanted to walk far once we were done.
We were shown through to the waiting area on the ground floor. The lady at reception was nice and soon I was holding the yellow piece of paper that was essentially the death notice of this foetus inside me. While we, my partner and I, had agreed even before starting on this journey that if the chromosomes came back unbalanced we would terminate it, it didn’t make this part of the process any easier. For the longest time I had desired to be a Mum… I had been “Camp Mum” to my brothers, my friends, my Uni mates, my partners, yup even the cat and later the dog! It had been a thing that I had decided I would love to have in my life, and now here I am choosing to not have that.
As we are eventually taken upstairs and shown through to the birthing suite (the irony wasn’t lost on me) I attempted to keep upbeat about things as I knew this whole thing was really playing havoc on my partner… The genetic condition was from his side and for pretty much his whole adult life he had decided he wasn’t going to have kids as he had seen the hard and exhausting life his sister was having to live through every day having a son with this condition. The constant fear of the next seizure (which for a long time were severe enough to land the lad in hospital 2-3 times a week) being the last one ever… the constant worry that he would fall and break something… the knowing that this is one child who if he does make it to adult hood (and that’s a big might) that he will never be independent and will forever be reliant on his parents, family and extended care group including specialists, doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, physios and so many others. So for these reasons my partner had many reservations about even trying… and with good reason… and so the agreement was that we would have the CVS test once we knew that he was indeed a carrier of the condition, for those of you wanting the technical speak for it as there is no fancy name for it… it’s the Unbalanced transdislocation of chromosomes 3 and 6. Which basically means the tiny tips of one line of each of the chromosome pairs are switched over.
If it’s balanced then sweet! All the “information” to have a ‘normal’ baby is there. But if the parent with the genetic condition only provides one part of the information and doubles up on the other or leaves it out completely then it becomes unbalanced… kind of like adding way too much baking soda to a cake mix where there should have been some sugar instead… Hopefully that makes sense!
And so here we are… the view from the room is wonderful… there is a park down below and we spend some time watching people go on by… by now it’s about 9:30am and I have seen the first of a few different people who will be helping me today… by in large though this day is quite a lonely one.
We are both in our own worlds of despair and hurt and blame, shame, guilt and regret…
At this point I am thankful that the spiritual connection I had with this being as it meant that I was able to converse with her that morning and had done so over the weekend thanking her for the gift that she be, but it was time for her to leave that body as I didn’t wish for her to experience the trauma that was about to come for both me and the foetus. So my knowing was that she had gone.
The pills were working… we had seen the surgeon… the anaesthetist… the morning midwife… At this point the pills were doing a wonderful job and I was becoming very aware of the pain levels increasing in my belly dissolving the cervix plug and essentially cutting off the blood flow to the foetus so it will be able to be removed with greater ease and less harm to my uterus. … so the next experience was some tramadol.
Now that was probably the funniest moment of the entire day! I’m sitting on the bed looking at my partner and with the goofiest grin on my face… and the next words out of my mouth were… “Ohhh I feel sooooo… ummmm FLUFFY!!! Yup Fluffy!!! Bawahahahahahaha!!” and yes I sat there giggling for a little while till I just had to lay down for a bit…
We had been told that I would be going in about 12:30pm… then 1pm came and still I was waiting… then 1:30pm… and I had to go to the toilet… ohhh shit I’m starting to bleed, heavily… So we press the bell and the nurse comes in. She reassures me that it shouldn’t be too much longer. I’m dehydrated. Having drunk nothing since last night and only having 50 mls to take my tablets in the morning. I’m really not feeling great so I try to lay down and rest. 2pm finally some movement from the staff. 2:15pm I was wheeled off to theatre…
The next hour I don’t really remember for obvious reasons… I was knocked out for most of it!! Haha
Although I do recall something about being told in recovery that they had inserted a suppository into my rectum. I just went “ah-ha” but not really having a clue what that meant.
When I woke up properly I was back in the room with my partner looking into the distance… He heard me moan and was back with me again… “What can I do?” He asks… “Water…” I croak..
He had gone and gotten a bottle of water while I was in theatre, (I may have mentioned a few times how thirsty I was before I went in!)… and he quickly grabbed it from the table for me. I drank like a thirsty beast! I smiled at him and said “Thank you honey…” and I could see him visibly relax. 20 minutes more for me to get my head together and I realised I really needed to go to the loo… so I stumbled to the bathroom… sat down and the most massive dumping of all fluids and excretions all at once! Urine, blood and bowels all having a party at once! It seriously sounded like I was vomiting! I tell you what, I felt 5kgs lighter after that!!
The next thing I noticed was that the lump that had once been in my belly was now gone and I could bend over with ease. It’s amazing what the body can feel at 14.5 weeks gestation and the sudden absence of it was an interesting sensation.
4pm rolls around and still no one has been in to see me. I get dressed… I have had enough of this place and I’m ready to leave… The afternoon midwife pops in to see how I’m doing and is surprised to find me up and dressed and asking to see the doctor or whoever it is that can discharge me.
Finally, at 5pm we are released. With paperwork and a pamphlet for a counselling support group and some painkillers. I am quiet. My partner is happy to be getting out of there. We stop at the drive through of McDonalds for a happy meal for me. I’m hungry but not sure how much will stay down if I try to eat a big meal.
We get home and are welcomed with a huge bunch of flowers at the front door from my partner’s parents. His Mum really wanted to be there for us but was working away from home that week so she did what she could to let us know she was thinking of us…
And so the next 6 weeks of basic physical healing happened. The bleeding was incredibly heavy. The cramping was horrible and while I had the rest of the week off work it really wasn’t much fun going back into the childcare environment surrounded by children of all ages so soon… Many tears were held back and the bottom lip was bitten with a deep breath and closed eyes as I listened to a baby in the nursery crying.. And so I was glad to go out and drive the van for pick ups of the elder kids for OSH. And in the following months even happier when the official OSH programme was started and I was off site with one other worker creating our own programme and having fun with the primary school kids.
So began the burying myself in work for a while. I held a very brave face from the moment I walked back in the door of our house that Tuesday evening. I remember crying when his Mum gave us the memory blanket she had crochet. I remember being really frustrated and dismayed during a conversation on the phone, just 4 days after I had had the termination, I was sitting outside on the steps of the caravan which was still serving as our kitchen and bathroom looking at the beginnings of our garden when I received the phone call from someone who had been right there for me through the whole thing suddenly said “I’m sorry but I just can’t be your friend anymore as I don’t agree with the choices you are making in regards to babies.”
I hung up the phone and stared at it for a moment and then laughed! I really laughed because I just couldn’t cry about one more thing… and so I laughed!
Any other tears that came would only be allowed to pop up in the shower… Bloody good places to get down and snotty! Especially as I would watch the blood flowing down my legs and along the shower floor into the plug hole… Yup there were a few tears that joined the flow over those 6 weeks.
And so life carried on… Did I receive any counselling at that time? No… was it offered?? Sort of. But the group thing from the pamphlet just felt really yucky to me and I just couldn’t handle a bunch of women sitting around stuck in the same trauma and drama loop as I had seen many times during the period I was a telephone counsellor for life line. So after about 6 months and we are thinking we are strong enough to begin to try just once more… a couple more months and nothing is happening. I had an internal knowing, gut instinct if you will, that something was energetically off in my body. I was chatting to a friend who lived in Queensland and she said, “hey I have been hearing about this thing called The BARS.. I don’t know much about it but maybe it will help you?”
And so began my search for this process called The BARS… I managed to find 1 person in Adelaide in my google search and as luck would have it she could come to me! I had no idea really what I was about to have but something made me choose it.
So up rocks this lady who was like a kindly auntie on a sunny Thursday in winter, and introduces herself as Judy Valero. She has this massage table and a bag of stuff which turned out to be blankets and pillows so I was super comfortable. I am having an excited but slightly nervous moment as I just don’t know what’s happening except that she will be touching my head. We have a bit of a chat and she asks “If you could get anything out of this session what would it be?”
I have no idea how to answer that! So I just ask for an all over general session please. I didn’t even mention about the pregnancy stuff at this point.
That’s when the real healing began! From the moment her gentle fingers settled on my head my body began to awaken. The colours I could see when I closed my eyes were vibrant and changing where I hadn’t really seen anything but dullness for at least 6 months. Ever so slowly my body began to tingle… and for the first time in a long time I relaxed! And before I knew it 90 minutes was done!
Judy took great care with me to make sure I was settled before she left with a gentle reminder to make sure I drank plenty of water and that my body may also be after something salty and sweet.
The biggest change from that session was I was actually SMILING!! With my whole entire face including my eyes!! I felt like I was floating on air for a full 2 days afterwards and for the first time in many months I didn’t grind my teeth while I slept. I actually slept soundly and quietly much to my partners relief as I had been doing a lot of talking in my sleep processing everything as best as I could. And boy did I detox!! 24 hours straight (except when I slept!) of black bowel motions and yet I still was floating around with this huge lightness. It was like an enormous weight had been lifted from my entire body. And the ladies at work on Friday all kept asking “Are you ok? What have you taken? You are just so different!”
I smiled and said “I got my BARS run yesterday!!”
To which they replied… “Huh? You went to the pub?”
I laughed!! “No! This lady came to my house and touched my head for 90 minutes and that was it!”
This was then met with shakes of the head and confusion and an “Okaaaaayyy…”
I smile even more as I ask to be excused to go to the loo again! Who knew detoxing could actually feel so damn good!!!
Fast forward a couple more months and while we still weren’t pregnant, I was far happier in my body than I had been in a long time. So I called Judy back again… This time it was with the intention of doing some area specific clearing around pregnancy. This time it was interesting, as I became aware of areas around my family and the structures and pressures I had made so solid in my world and together we cleared them… The energetic stuff not the family!! HAHHA!!
And low and behold! That week turned out to be the week we managed to become pregnant again!
Once again we went through the process…
6 week dating scan
Setting up the appointment with the genetics counsellor
NOT setting up appointments with the midwife clinic
Choosing to take a trip on my own for 2 weeks to give me some breathing room.
CVS @ 12 weeks – where the foetus was actually slightly larger than the first time, we were hopeful.
Waiting for the results…
The results process took an excruciatingly long 2 weeks…
The news came in on Thursday the 11th of December 2014, and once again I was on my own when the news came.
I made the choice that I would have the termination the next day. Then I rang my partner who came home as quick as he could. And for the second time, I began the process of saying goodbye. Releasing her spirit form from any obligation to me or my body or her body. That shower saw a great many snotty tears over the next 24 hours… It was a space I could cry quietly and messily and not feel like I was impacting on my partner or increasing his guilt levels. In my world, there was nothing for him to feel guilty about. We both made the choice to try, to roll the dice of chance, to give it another shot… and the odds just weren’t in our favour.
As a woman who desired to be a Mum so bad during her 20’s that there were times she couldn’t even walk passed the baby section at Kmart, was this a hard and heartbreaking process to go through at 36? You absolutely flipping bet your barnacles it was!
Was this a huge blessing in my life? Yes… although it would take another 12ish months for me to really see some of the gems that this experience had given me.
One thing that it did give me was the gift of experiencing my Access BARS® being run. Even my partner was able to see the difference in me and had asked if I should have them run while we were waiting for the results so I could be calmer. I said no. But I will have them run the week after the results have come in. And I did!
On the Monday I had Judy come back again and we did some specific work on healing and the body and sexuality BARS®. And here’s one of the many miracles that played out… You may remember that first time around I bled very heavily with lots of pain for 6 weeks solid… this time with the addition of my BARS® being run just the once on that Monday, the healing time was cut back to just 4 weeks and the pain was no worse than light period twinges! I didn’t even require any pain relief during that time! And another unexpected result was I just didn’t feel as emotionally knocked around this time. While my partner was totally reeling from the experience and going into a really rough spiral of depression and emotional trauma and drama, I was calm. Not numb. Just calm. Like I was really able to see things from a totally objective space and that proved to be a huge freedom at that time. Did I still cry? Yes… Was I still sad from time to time? Yes… But I was not distraught, I wasn’t angry or depressed. It was all just choices that we made and sometimes things don’t work out like we would think they will.
It would take a heavy toll on the relationship though and 5 months later we went our separate ways. There’s no animosity from either of us these days… however we did both require a great deal more personal healing time apart before we could chat comfortably over a coffee or 3!
Another gift of these pregnancies… was the point when I began choosing to learn some of the phenomenal Access energetic healing processes that I get to have with me for as long as I choose to use them… and the privilege of being able to offer them to others in their time of need.
If you are curious about the amazing and potent body process I have spoken about here called The Access BARS® and you would love to experience the magic that having Your BARS run can have on your body and mind and give you the space to heal, regenerate, have less stress and create greater ease no matter what you are going through.
I invite you to message me at CraftingPossibilities.com
And if you wish to have more information about The Access BARS® you are welcome to pop over to: TheAccessBars.com
If you are wondering about that beautiful white blanket that I began to crochet with the first pregnancy… yes I did finish it in the last 5 months of the relationship… and I still have it now safe and sound with the most special mementos I have of my Grandad… his last pair of pyjamas…