My Miscarriage Story -- Part III

Over a month after my D&C, I was still having pain and was sent for an ultrasound. The test showed an ovarian cyst. I was prescribed painkillers and referred to another doctor. The day before my appointment with the new doctor, I was sitting down to dinner with Jonathan & Hannah when I began feeling worse. In addition to the pain, I felt lightheaded and icky. I couldn’t get comfortable. The pain heated up and soon I was on the floor in the living room. The first of the two excruciating episodes I had that night lasted for 30 minutes. The pain felt like a horrible contraction that would not subside. I had no idea what was happening. My mom called the ER who had her call the hospital’s on-call OB/GYN. When he called back, the pain had subsided. He said that I could wait to see my new doctor the next day unless the pain became unbearable, or I developed nausea. A couple hours later, episode #2 hit and I was again on the floor, in tears, with nausea. This time the horrible pain did not subside for 90 minutes.

Jonathan took me to the ER. I had another ultrasound which showed the cyst the same size as before. The doctor admitted me overnight for pain control. I spent that night on pain killers and when that wasn’t enough, I had a shot of hardcore pain medicine. The new doctor came to see me in the hospital the next morning, diagnosed me with an infection, and after discussing our options, sent me home for five days of bed rest, antibiotics, stronger painkillers, and lots of fluids. I was to come back if the pain got worse, but the doctor thought the cyst would shrink and go away on its own soon.

I spent the next five days in a recliner at my mom’s house, as she looked after Hannah and me. A few days after easing back into my regular routine, still in pain, I went to see the new doctor for a follow-up appointment. He said the cyst felt bigger, and my infection was gone. I was sent for another ultrasound which showed the cyst to be significantly larger, so large that the ovary was now four times the size of my ‘good’ ovary; my uterus had been shoved over to a different place.

Just as my swollen ovary and large cyst had shoved my uterus out of the way, so the pain and physical complications had shoved my grief out of the way. I simply had no capacity to continue grieving while managing the ongoing physical complications of the miscarriage.

Surgery was scheduled to drain the cyst and remove it, and lab work was sent off to test for cancer markers. I spent the next few days drugged to handle the pain, nervous about the surgery and anxious about the lab results.

The lab results came back negative for cancer, and the surgery went smoothly. The surgeon did a laparoscopic procedure, where they made three small incisions, one in my belly button for the scope, and two lower on my abdomen. They found that the weight of the cyst and the enlarged ovary had caused my ovary to torse (literally twist) twice. Now I knew the cause of the excruciating pain episodes. Ovarian torsion is dangerous as blood flow to the ovary can be compromised when the ovary twists. I was told in recovery that I was lucky my ovary had not strangulated and died. I came out of the surgery sore, but hopeful that the pain would now resolve, and I could get on with living my life. I was kept in the hospital for the next 24 hours, sleeping with my hospital bed inclined, so the ovary would not twist again before the swelling from the surgery could go down. If it twisted again, that would mean another surgery. I wrote in my journal that day:

“When I first woke up from the surgery I felt really bad. My throat was extremely dry and sore from the tube, and it took me quite a while to be able to swallow and talk. I got emotional and cried because I didn’t want to have to stay overnight and have Hanny worry.”

I went home again to recover. A blur of sleeping upright in the recliner for five nights (as ordered), potato soup, milk shakes, pajamas, naps, my mom once again taking care of Hannah, sore incisions, and getting bored. I could not wait to get back to normal life. Whatever that was.

Exactly two weeks from the date of my surgery, I wrote a small p.s. in my journal: “I’m having pain again, and I’m worried. :-(” The next night I was again on pain medication, and went to bed with a heating pad. When I woke up, it was Hannah’s 2nd birthday. I confided in my mom that I was having pain again and she, immediately concerned, volunteered to watch Hannah while I went in to see the doctor. He ordered an ultrasound but it could not be done for several days, due to a busy radiology schedule. That evening we had pizza and cupcakes for Hannah with Daddy, Grammy & Papa, and watched a movie about monkeys. At bedtime I read her a story and we sang “The Bear Went Over the Mountain”, which Hannah called “Bears Mountain See Monkeys”, had prayers with Daddy and put my little 2 year-old to bed.

The pain got worse over the next few days; I had the ultrasound which revealed nothing impressive. That night I recorded feeling worse, limping and queasy, and again on prescription painkillers to deal with the pain. The following day we had a big birthday party for Hannah, with her little friends from church and their families. It was the first of her birthday parties I would host in pain and medicated, but it would not be the last...


  1. So many thoughts come to my mind on reading this. I do remember these events, and I still feel scared reading about them. I wish there were a reasonable soft-tissue imaging system that could have given you accurate, non-surgical evaluation. The paragraph in italics about the physical trauma shoving your grief out of the way is a very good analogy! Your strength in moving forward and your courage in fighting for your health have always shone through powerfully to me.

  2. Hi Jenn:

    I know what its like to have an ovarian cyst. So sorry you had to go through this!


I value your comments. Thank you for taking the time to leave one.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...