In light of the fact that this blog is about my personal AND creative life I need to vent a little bit about the last day of our trip in Florence. I woke up that morning to discover I was having an apparent miscarriage. We'd happily found out we were pregnant again not long before the trip, so I was a bit nervous each day. The nurse at the practice I go to here at home had warned me saying that if I saw even the slightest speck of blood to go to the emergency room. She was nervous due to our experience with the cornual ectopic pregnancy I had back in May (you can read about that experience here); and thought the odds were higher for a dangerous ectopic again. I was scared something bad would happen to me in a foreign country where I didn't know the procedures or speak the language. Anyway, when I saw the blood I panicked. We ran to the front desk where they got us a cab to take us to the "English speaking" hospital. Well, when we got there we couldn't find anyone who spoke English (which I can understand in a regular hospital...but I thought people were able to speak some English at the "English speaking" hospital which was the reason we'd asked to go there). We couldn't read the signs or figure out where to go once inside. I was in a crying frenzy and we felt so confused. Anyway, eventually we found a nurse who I managed to communicate with via Charades and gestures. She found one doctor who spoke English and we were off...they hooked me to an iv and took a bunch of blood. The next thing we know, he was explaining that an ambulance was going to take us to a "gynecological hospital" where they had the right equipment. So, I get strapped to this gurney and covered in blankets and whisked into the ambulance. Still crying and in a panic I still couldn't tell what anyone was saying...and then the sirens came on. I thought "are you kidding me?!" We jetted through the streets of Florence for about 10 minutes...I had to guess that the shocks were out in that vehicle because I swear I felt every cobblestone and pothole we went over. Anyway, at the next hospital we found that most of the staff didn't speak a lick of English there (which we'd assumed), so I was doing a lot of gesturing and sign language to get across what was happening. They wheeled me into this sort of open area with an exam table and an ultrasound machine. It was the sort of room anyone in the hospital would have to pass through to get to other rooms so I felt like I was on display. To my relief, the doctor spoke enough English where we could understand each other and my exam began. It was HORRIBLE. There was so privacy, no private exam room, no gown to put on, no sheet to cover me. NOTHING. I had 3 nurses staring at me, and not at my face. Which I imagined would be the scene one day when I have a baby, but not NOW! And they all looked horrified at the grisly scene and ended up putting a METAL BUCKET under me where I sat at the edge of the table. I felt like some sort of cow.
Of course, the ultrasound showed nothing and he told me what I already knew, but confirmed it was not ectopic. One nurse could see the fear and panic in my face as I shook and cried...she came over to me and stroked my arm and my hair and said soothing words I didn't understand. That simple gesture made me feel so much better. Later, we were released and wandered out in the daylight to find it was raining and we had no idea where we were. Hmm. No coats, no umberellas, and a crying Megan. We shuffled through the streets trying to get to a main drag or someplace that looked like taxis would frequent. Finally, we found a taxi stand at a different hospital and the whole ordeal was done. The good part? From start to finish I was back at the hotel and resting in 2 hours. It was quick, efficient, and to the point. It wasn't what I'd planned for our last day, but that's what we got. I know now that the pregnancy never really progressed past implantation and that is the thought I cling to. It was all a "routine miscarriage" as they say, except this experience was anything but routine for a girl from a small New England town! Anyway, onward and upward. Two pregnancies down, hopefully the third time is the charm, right? I have learned that anything can happen. The third may not work out either. Or it could. I always thought that I might be the one to beat the odds and have a healthy normal pregnancy right away and now I realize that trying for a child is a solemn thing that cannot be planned, predicted or controlled. There is no fairness involved; only the hope that someday it will all work out for the best. Thanks for letting me vent!