Archive for July, 2009

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In Conclusion, Miscarriage #2

July 26, 2009

The spotting got darker so Jack urged me to go the ER. At the ER the bleeding got a little more, and then as I went to change my pad, it came out of me. They kept saying it looks like blood clots, not a fetus or placenta. But I knew. They checked the uterus: empty. My cervix strangely appears closed though it must have opened enough to let out my baby. Four hours and three pinpricks later, I’m home. I’m surprised at how I feel: calm, peaceful almost. I think the pain and torture of this week has drained me of all emotion. Yes you’re pregnant. No you’re not. Yes! No. Yes! And now today, the final affirmative no. I don’t know what the future holds. At the moment I can’t imagine that I’ll ever get to call myself a mother. I can’t imagine getting pregnant again and I can’t imagine waiting for the inevitable miscarriage. The steps I have set out for myself now are 1) have a final chat with my OB-GYN 2) Try to get genetic testing on the fetus 3) See an RE. As much as I like my OB, she is in the business of more than just infertility and pregnancy loss. I need someone who lives and breathes this. It’s worth every cent if this won’t happen again.

The nurses and the techs were very nice. They all said wait 3-6 months before trying again. One told me she had two miscarriages before her four babies. One told me she had . . . wait for it . . . fifteen miscarriages before her three year old daughter. She said she never gave up hope. I ponder the word hope right now. Right now I feel neither hope, nor despair. I’m a constant thinker, I guess its the writer in me, but right now, I can think of nothing. Just the sound of the water running. My fingers tapping on the keyboard. The air conditioner rumbling in the distance. The pain in my uterus as I cramp and bleed between my legs.

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And then there was blood

July 25, 2009

I’m spotting. It’s not a flow but its there. Pinkish Reddish. The doctor says we saw a heartbeat I’m reassured, stay off your feet and rest up. I’ve heard this before, oh yeah, in April. Please keep me in your prayers. I feel like I’m in the rings of hell from Dante’s inferno.

Edited to add: It’s still no blood on the pad and its been 14 hours since I first noticed blood. [only when I wipe] My first miscarriage from the first blood sighting to the loss it took about 16 hours. I’m really tempted to go to the ER to get an ultrasound. I shoudn’t right? I should just be patient, right? Sigh.

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Fears and in-laws

July 24, 2009

I close my eyes to sleep tonight and the thoughts from this week swirl through my mind. I’m so sorry, you are having a miscarriage. Conversations about D&Cs. Accepting another miscarriage. The hurt was physical in equal parts as it was emotional. I hear my doctor’s voice as I lay in silence. I see my father’s e-mail comforting me. I feel Jack’s arms around me as I shake with tears. The next day. I remember telling the specialist No! I don’t want an ultrasound, my HCGs are dropping, why are you going to do this? I shudder to think if he listened. Will that moment when the tech tells me my baby is 6w1d with a 104 heart rate ever feel less surreal? Because right now all I can do is think of it and feel myself tremble with disbelief and awe.

I’ve been fine all day but now tears drip down my cheeks and I’m not sure why. This blog has always been my place to sort through my feelings so forgive me if this all seems silly or unnecessary. I try to tell myself not to be afraid anymore because clearly what is meant to happen will happen and I only have today so don’t dwell on the what if’s in the future. The problem is I’ve not only just had a miscarriage in April, I thought I lost the one I have right now. The HCG isn’t doubling. They must be concerned to do weekly ultrasounds. I’m trying not to worry about the Thursday ultrasound but I can’t help it. I’m scared. I want to believe the doctors when they shrug off my not having nausea or hardly any symptoms, but its hard when you’re so afraid. My lower back hurts. Is that okay? I wonder. I feel pressure in my uterus area. Not cramping but just pressure. I immediately consult Dr. Google and scare myself silly. Pregnancy post miscarriage is always more difficult since you know what can happen. Add a history of infertility and its a recipe for paranoia and fear.

My therapist encourages me not to name the baby (Too late, Baby Bug). He said I shouldn’t talk to it. I shouldn’t say things like she’s a fighter since it hurts harder if I lose it. That I should not pin all my hopes on this one pregnancy. Isn’t that natural though? How can I see the ultrasound and the beating heart and not feel overcome by love and the corresponding worry. Every instinct in my being wants to send it good vibes, asking it to keep on fighting. I can’t wave my hand and say well if not this one, the next one. I want this one.

I think I’m also feeling very emotional because after a long week like this what I’d like more than anything is to curl in bed all weekend and catch up on the sleep I’ve gone without this week. But I can’t do that. Jack’s parents are coming in town.  I’ve written a little about them here but to put it briefly we don’t get along and thanks to how they acted after my miscarriage we won’t be telling them the news until much later (please God let there be a much later).  I also have a weird habit of bleeding whenever I see them. Somehow whenever we would visit I’d get my period. I miscarried the weekend we were visiting them. After my miscarriage there was a big blowout and we haven’t seen them in over three months. Tomorrow they will be here and the house isn’t up to par clean wise, but I don’t have the energy, and well shouldn’t JACK be working on it considering its his parents? There is no food in the house, I haven’t cooked in advance. I’m usually a good host (even if they’re seldom impressed) but I’m just feeling overwhelmed and yes, I’m scared because of the whole bleeding when they’re here sort of thing. I know its likely just a coincidence but its a fucking scary as hell coincidence. And here’s the most awful part. I know they wish Jack married someone else. Someone who was a homemaker, who had kids right away, who was more religious, etc. Sometimes I feel so guilty that I have all these fertility challenges. When I see them and the hopes and dreams I did not give them, despite my intellectual awareness that they’re wrong,  despite knowing Jack loves me and we’re in this IF struggle together, I feel so guilty that their darling boy didn’t get the fertile bunny they wanted. I feel guilty I haven’t given them grandkids yet. I feel like a huge failure and disappointment. I judge myself through their eyes. These are thoughts I struggle with when I see them and I do overcome them, however I am worried about my emotional well being while they are here after a week that makes me feel like an NBA basketball.

I’m sure it will be okay. I just need to get through each day one day at a time. This weekend will pass. Thursday will come. The ultrasound will show what it will. I will be okay. Sigh.

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Notes from the roller coaster, doctor updates

July 23, 2009

Stalking works, it seems. My doctor called me back after an e-mail message and two voice messages. She said she is very confused by the falling HCG but the developing on schedule fetus. However, she said this is good.  I am pregnant and the HCG dropping means diddly squat in light of my heart beating fetus. She does not think I need to retest HCG anymore and we should just monitor the fetus on ultrasound. So to summarize: I am not miscarrying. Yet. I hate saying the word yet but I’ve been down this road before and I know that though they tell me a heartbeat reduces my risk of a miscarriage to 2%, I’ve been the 2%er before. I will remain with bated breath until that child is in my arms.

I called my maternal fetal specialist to get my labwork transferred to my OB’s office since my insurance won’t pay for work done at the specialists. The specialist wants to re-test me for Lupus Anticoagulant and a host of other clotting related issues. If present I’ll be put on heparin/lovenox. Here’s my issue, the tests take about two weeks to come back and that will put me at 8 weeks which is around the time the baby died last time (though I miscarried week 11). I asked them if they could just start me on lovenox and then take me off if the tests were fine, but they said they can’t do that.

They drew my HCG yesterday and so here is how its reading so far: June 16: 3,500; June 20: 3,000; June 22: 3,014

The specialist said the results are meaningless and from now on lets just go by what the ultrasound shows us and not worry about the HCG levels.  He scheduled one for a week from now. I might be harsh here, but easy to say when its not your baby.  I thought HCG levels rise to maintain your pregnancy so if mine aren’t, how am I supposed to shrug and laugh that off? I don’t understand it. How is this meaningless? What if they fall?

Jack has been so strong for me through this whole ordeal. Yesterday though, as we sat over dinner just staring at each other in befuddlement, I said to him our little one reminds me of you. He laughed, oh yeah? how so? I said, she’s a fighter. She doesn’t care about those HCG levels she’s too focused on growing. She’s stubborn like her dad. He winced and went slightly pale. What’s wrong? I asked him. He shook his head When you say things like that it makes it so much harder for me. To know that the baby is fighting to stick around . . . if this doesn’t work out I’ll be crushed. It was surprising to see how emotional he got. Sometimes I forget he is dealing with a lot too.

After my crushing heartbreak on Tuesday, I never imagined I would tell anyone that it seems I am not miscarrying after all, but that seems to be the case. There is still a long road ahead. I have six more excruicating weeks of a first trimester to get through and as any of you IF sisters know, we can’t breathe easy until we’re holding our baby in our arms. I just have to say I never thought my sunflower miracle would really be this miraculous. If this pregnancy succeeds her nursery is going to look like a field of sunflowers. Even if its a boy! Wow, just writing that makes me tense up. To imagine a future nine months from now frightens me. I’m so scared to dream because I’m so scared to fall.

Finally, thank you again so so so so so much for your support and your prayers and your thoughts. Like I’ve said before, no one really knows in my real life and had I not your support and your encouragement and advice I would feel all alone. Thank you for reading and for commenting and for sharing my burden with me. I cannot thank you guys enough, you will never know how your comments kept me afloat as I feared sinking to the bottom of the ocean floor.

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Back to square . . . WHAT? Visiting the maternal fetal specialist

July 22, 2009

I didn’t want to go to the maternal fetal specialist today to discuss my lupus anticoagulant disorder. It felt too painful to go discuss “the next pregnancy” when it should have been a “this pregnancy” conversation. Still, Jack urged me to go, my Dr. urged me to go. So I went. I got there and they said we’ll be doing an ultrasound. I shook my head. My HCG is going down I’ve been told I’ve miscarried, this is just a for future reference meeting. They insisted they had to do an ultrasound since its standard procedure. Cursing them under my breath I went into the ultrasound room. They tried to do it abdominally. I looked at the tech like she’s crazy but she said Well your LMP was May 13. I nodded but I have PCOS so that doesn’t tell you anything. She asked me How far along were you supposed to be? I sighed, About six weeks. So she does the vaginal ultrasound. We see the womb. We see the little sac. We see what is an embryo. I feel emotional as I look at what could have been and again curse them for making my loss more real. Then, she says, Yep you’re right, its measuring at 6 weeks 1 day and the heart beat is 104 bmp which is normal at this stage.

Um. WHAT. THE. FUCK?!?! I kept asking her if it was a mistake, how could this be. I was told I’m miscarrying. I was told not to do an ultrasound yesterday because there’d be nothing to see and you’re telling me that there is a baby in there with a HEARTBEAT and is growing ON SCHEDULE?

The doctor was wonderfully evasive. I got no straight answer. He said its the fetus is in the right place. The fluid is wonderful. The ovaries are marvelous. Had he not known about the HCG he’d tell me I had a less than 1% chance to miscarry. Except well, there is that HCG test that told me instead of doubling my levels were FALLING!!! He took my blood work for another HCG. He said if the numbers keep falling I will have a miscarriage but the fact is that so far the baby is growing according to schedule. I guess no one told it the numbers were falling. He said it happens sometimes. I told him I HAVE NO SYMPTOMS. I don’t wake up to pee in the middle of the night. I feel lovely! He said while it can be a factor, he pointed to my ultrasound and said, that’s the most conclusive data.

My head is throbbing and I’m shaking. I don’t know what to do or how to feel. I called my doctor’s office but they scheduled me for two weeks from now? You’re fucking kidding me right? I just sent her an e-mail and we’ll see what she says. The specialist said I am cautiously hopeful for you. I wish I knew what *I* should feel right now. I crashed so low last night. I fell into the deepest caverns of despair and now you’re telling me maybe? This is the appropriate word for emotional roller coaster.

Now I’m supposed to wait for HCG results tomorrow. I’m so exhausted, so drained, so confused, so befuddled, so perplexed I don’t know whether to cry, or laugh, or smile or just pass out from the sheer emotional weight that all of this has.

Has ANYONE heard of this happening?

*Updated to add*: Why did my OB-GYN’s office tell me don’t worry about taking more HCG tests? Wouldn’t you think they’d be frantically trying to retest? I’m so confused.

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A plea for advice on how to miscarry

July 22, 2009

My last miscarriage came out of the blue and in 12 hours it was over. This one is different since I’ve been informed I have miscarried but am not bleeding. I got two hours of sleep so woke up to call in sick and hoped to fall back asleep but now I have this weird pressure on my abdomen area. Not strong. Not contractions. Just pressure. Kind of like when I’m on the second day of a period. Has anyone reading sat around (or know someone who did) waiting to miscarry? Is there a process I can expect? How long should I wait? Is this cramping indicating the process has begun? Any advice or personal anecdote would help me. Surprisingly Dr. Google is turning up nothing.

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My non-viable pregnancy, waiting to miscarry

July 22, 2009

I can’t sleep despite my best efforts so as I thought I’d share what happened. The doctor called around noon and from her voice I could tell things were bad. My HCG level, instead of doubling from 3500, dropped to 3000. She said this miscarriage is different from the last one. The last one was so close to the second trimester. We saw a heart beat and she’s convinced the lupus anticoagulant caused it. This one, due to how early its happening, she thinks is a more standard first trimester loss. One of those shit happens time of deal. She told me to still see the maternal fetal specialist tomorrow so that we can get a go ahead on lovenox the blood thinner. This way next pregnancy as soon as I see two pink lines I can start the shots right away. She called it pre-pregnancy planning except that technically I’m still pregnant. She told me I’m a high risk pregnancy person now. She wants to test my HCG levels Monday and asked me to give it two weeks to see if I’ll miscarry naturally. For such an early pregnancy she doesn’t want to put me through a D&C. It’s not easy to walk around knowing something is in you that no longer has a chance.

We ordered Chinese take out and watched two silly comedies in a row (Paul Blart Mall Cop, He’s Just Not That IntoYou) Those helped take my mind off of things but as soon as the television shut off and we went upstairs to sleep I can’t stop thinking about what happened. I can’t believe I’m going through this again. I thought it was a blessing from God, how I found peace of mind and began to just trust in the process. I found prayer and meditation and then out of the blue it happened. I was pregnant! Except it really didn’t. Two things swirl through my mind whispering in my ear: Its so hard for me to get pregnant. Now when I get pregnant, I’m high risk to lose the pregnancy.

I feel numb like someone dipped me in Novicain. My head is throbbing but inside I just feel empty. Except I’m not empty am I? There is an embryo within my womb falling apart pieces at a time. I cringe at the BFP HPT I wrapped and placed on the dinner table for our seventh anniversary. Jack’s face lighting up with joy makes me now sink further into darkness. My thoughts weave and meander through empty buildings and tiptoe over landmines. Will I ever get pregnant again? Will I ever be a mother? When can I try again? Am I ready to try again? Should I just give up? It is a sickening feeling to know that I now have to wait to miscarry. Wait to bleed. Try again. Two Week Wait again. Have any of you ever considered just giving up? The feeling consumes me at the moment.

My dad sent me an e-mail. It was actually a note I wrote to him 14 years ago when he lost his job and the small business he opened didn’t work and we were on the brink of losing our home. He time traveled me back to the past in an attempt to comfort with me with my own words:

Lately life seems hard and I know its very stressful for you. But please remember  never to feel guilty b/c you did what you thought was right. Always keep in mind that this stress is only temporary. We have dealt with worse and we all love you very much.No matter what may happen as long as you have us and we are all healthy and safe, there is no reason for stress. I love you so much, and it makes me sad that you have so much to deal with. But keep in mind all the good things in your life. I am proud of you, and I love you more than anything else. Every night pray to God, He loves you and you always try to help people.  I love you and I want your happiness.

Thank you so much to all of you who read and left me words of comfort. I read them and it felt like a hug from each and every single one of you. I don’t know what I would do if I did not have this small space in the blogosphere to let out my feelings and if I didn’t have your support who unfortunately know all too well my pain. With the way IF is such a hush hush ‘shameful’ topic I shudder to think how alone I would otherwise feel.

My dream for myself and each one of you reading is that one day our blogs will be gathering dust because we’re too busy playing with our coveted children. Until then, I’m here. Wringing my tears with the written word.