Progress, Surprises, Craziness

I will put a new excerpt up soon, hopefully tonight. I cranked out another 20 pages yesterday and have propelled to chapter six. I am approximately 1/3 of the way through the novel.

I spun out Dot and Barry’s entire story of their love affair last night, and Dot surprised me by revealing more than I thought would be in the book. She lives in a trailer, has been deserted by her husband, and Barry comes along as her first true love at age 26. She already has five kids.

But she gets pregnant, and the baby ends up with anencephaly, and in a pair of very difficult scenes, a happy sonogram goes very wrong, and eventually she is forced to terminate the pregnancy to avoid endangering her own life in delivery.

I didn’t plan to write the termination sequence into the book, but when one of you ladies posted mentioned a family who got to hear their baby’s  heartbeat on the monitors until the very last one, well, I had to write it. Along the way I mentioned another troubling story when the doctor commented on a woman’s weight as he put her in the stirrups, as well as a rather awful comment from my own nurse (I had to go to an abortion clinic like many of us do when we are in the second trimester before the baby dies) during my D&E warning me “not to cry or it would interfere with the anesthesia gas.”

Yeah, don’t cry as they take your baby from your body.

While I doubt a lot of caregivers will read the book–and even if they did they probably wouldn’t recognize insensitivity as it might apply to things they sometimes do or say–I do want people to be shocked by what has happened to people and hopefully speak up. Most of us, in these traumatic moments, don’t say anything at all. I didn’t. And while many wonderful ob/gyns and nurses (my regular ob/gyn and staff are certainly among them) are amazing and kind and help us through the process with sensitivity and compassion, many–so many–make our experiences even harder than they have to be.

I will post the excerpt when I get a chance to read over it (right now I am eleven orders behind on my photo work) and we can all feel what is like to see the heartbeat go from 180 to zero in the space of a lifetime.

It’s been a hard day or two of writing, and most everyone in the Austin NaNoWriMo group is prepared with Kleenex when I come to a write in.

But I’m doing okay.

2 thoughts on “Progress, Surprises, Craziness

  1. Okay, now I have chills.

    Baby L.A. lives on despite her brief life and parent’s heart wrenching decision.

    Excited to read this book in it’s entirety. Almost every possible circumstance is in it, even though we’ve all got different nuances, most anyone with miscarriage will relate I bet. Of course, you’ll hear from someone out there with a strange twist, but pain and break downs, going on and getting on…we can relate.

  2. Also, so sorry that nurse said that to you! I was treated well most days during my miscarriages, even having a nurse pray with me before the laminaria was put in the day before my d&e. Still, those negative things “the fetus was put out with the medical waste” stick and hurt! I am glad you included that insensitive remark as maybe some future nurse will read it an NEVER say something like that to a woman in grief. Even if it were an abortion by choice, it’s not appropriate to say that. Fear, mourning, or whatever can cause crying. It’s normal to cry and no way would that interfere. How stupid!

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