Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

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Clomid. Progesterone. Bloodwork. Oh My!

August 5, 2009

My doctor called today with the results of the panel of tests my maternal fetal specialist ordered to investigate my lupus anticoagulant disorder. The results were funky. The lupus anticoagulant test came back normal which confused my doctor and me. Her theory is that either I’m borderline and the test got me on a good day, or the aspirin is helping fix that issue. Four tests came back bad and I wish I knew the names but they were so convoluted I got confused, however those four clotting disorders that were present increase the risk of miscarriage. My next step is to see a hematologist and go over the results with them and see if they recommend anything above and beyond lovenox or heparin and if this will affect me beyond just getting and staying pregnant. She can’t refer me to a hematologist since I’m no longer pregnant so now I get to go through some insurance fun to figure out my recommendation. Fun times!

As much as I know I should avoid Dr. Google, he’s just always there for me. I’ve been doing some research on the link between PCOS and low progesterone and the results seem to be mixed. Some say that PCOS causes low progesterone which can cause miscarriages. Some say this theory is rubbish. My progesterone levels at 5 weeks pregnant were 9.5 which my doctor said was low. However, the question is: Did the low progesterone cause the miscarriage, or was the pregnancy doomed hence the progesterone low? The reason I’m researching is because I’m considering taking Clomid next cycle. Until now I’ve gotten pregnant twice on Metformin alone but my ovulations happened on crazy cycle days like CD29 and CD40. To be effective progesterone supplements must be taken immediately upon ovulation. Clomid would help us predict ovulation and thus when to take progesterone supplements. So my goal with Clomid is to be able to time my progesterone supplements.

In my OB’s opinion she didn’t think progesterone supplements did anything but it never hurts to take them so she fully supports a Clomid/progesterone cycle if it will ease my worries. She encouraged me to talk to the RE in September to get a more informed opinion.

I’m already taking more pills than an 84 year old grandmother so the thought of adding more pills if I don’t have to is causing me confusion. There are side effects to clomid I’ve read such as decreased EWCM and occasional implantation issues, so if I dont have to take it then I don’t want to [though my ovulation is so unpredictable there is a huge thought of comfort that with Clomid at least I’d most likely ovulate]. I’m just so confused about whether or not progesterone does in fact save pregnancies, or if my issue is just the clotting issue which lovenox could resolve.

Have you used Clomid? Or had low progesterone but successful pregnancies via Lovenox? Any thoughts or advice on any of this that you might have would be much appreciated.

**And by the way- My boobs are aching. I feel ready to sleep at 9pm and have to drag myself out at 8am. I have waves of nausea! Is this normal post-miscarriage? I thought all this stuff should be going away, not to mention I didn’t have them when I was actually pregnant!

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Grief, Crying It Out

May 6, 2009

Two weeks ago when I saw my therapist I discussed my attempts to supress my tears, to try and not listen to sad music, to move on. He told me not to do this. He said I should let myself cry and not judge myself and if I want to listen to sad music while I do so, its okay. I’ve resisted doing this until today. Today the grief weighed so heavy and dark over me I couldn’t stand it. I worked out and then lay down, my ipod in my hand and listened to all the songs that I avoid and I cried. My body wracked with sobs. I cried for sixty minutes. As I calmed down Jack walked in and saw me weeping and lay next to me and held me. I feel so empty now, but in a good way. I feel calm. I know this is temporary. The eye of the storm. But I am grateful. I share this personal story so that if you are like me fighting against your grief, let yourself sink into it from time to time. Not always, but at certain times each day or each week, however frequently you need it, and let it out. I’ve fought it for so long but I think allowing yourself to sink from time to time is the only way I will heal.

Incidentally, someone found my website with the search term: I fucking hate infertility. To you who found me like this I’m with you. Infertility is fucking awful. I feel your pain.

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Friends and Miscarriage

April 27, 2009

A friend stopped by my office to give me a hug. She had told me she was pregnant several weeks back and unable to contain my joy, I shared too. She was on the bcc list to whom I broke my news of miscarriage. She stopped by to say hi. She gave me a hug and told me she prayed for me. Then she proceeded to talk about law school graduation and how much her exams are bothering her and how her graduation dinner planning is driving her bonkers. Then with a hug, she was out. She didn’t do anything wrong. She said the right things and its good to not join me in my plummet to the bottom of the earth, but, I don’t know why, I felt angry. Emotions, its me, Kate. I’d like for you to make some fucking sense to me again because I’m sick of this. I’m not that person. I’m not forever bitter and unhappy with the world. What has this miscarriage done to me?

Some friends treat me like I’ve developed the plague and if they venture too close they might catch this mysterious miscarriage thingie. One went so far as to say she was scared to come over and see me. I guess the problem is that because I did not lose a child recognized by any legal institution, and because in their minds it happened for a fucking good reason or some other bullshit, they don’t feel my pain. They just don’t understand. I can’t say I would behave differently. I cannot know for sure.

Instead of This happened for a reason say, I’m sorry to hear.

Instead of It’ll get better, say, I’ve been thinking of you.

Instead of You can always get pregnant again, say Is there anything I can do for you?

Pretty much, as a rule of thumb, consider what you would say to someone who God Forbid lost a living breathing child of five years of age. You would not tell them the child got hit by a truck for a reason. You would not tell a grieving parent It will get better. You would not tell a mother as she lays her child to rest You can always get pregnant again.

BUT this is different- you might argue. This was not a child, just a fetus. Yes- but grief is grief and grief is raw and real and the emotions I feel while I will never claim to be as intense as my example above, are still real and painful and powerful, so please… just please.

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“It Happened For A Reason”

April 23, 2009

Today I pulled my shit together and went to get my blood work done. Tomorrow I get a call to learn if my HCG levels are going down. I keep going for blood tests until my HCG levels are zero.

I’m proud of myself. I cried just a little when the receptionist greeted me and asked if I was coming for a pregnancy appointment, since this was once upon a time the day it was supposed to be just that. I took deep breaths and stared at my hands in the waiting room, trying not to focus on the swelling bellies, and nervous happy flat stomached women holding their husband’s hands and clutching the same “Newly Pregnant” paperwork I had just held weeks earlier. I tell you, I kept my shit together. Until. Yes, there is an until.

Sitting there, my arm stretched out for the pinpricks I no longer feel, the tech says, “I’m sure this happened for a good reason.” I didn’t scream. I didn’t commit aggravated assault. I just looked at her. She glanced and adjusted her statement, “Well, that’s what they say anyway.”

What is this bullshit answer people giving me, “this happened for a reason?” What’s the reason? Don’t know? Then stop telling me its for a reason. And GOOD reason? Fine, tell me its God’s will for me to be infertile, for me to finally with tears in my eyes sigh a breath of relief that I will be a mother, and it’s God’s will for me to lose a baby before I ever got to hold him. FINE. I guess he has his reasons. I have to believe this if I believe in Him.

Yet- when people say “well if its a chromosomal abnormality, its good that God stopped it.” But for me I can’t reconcile this- Why did God let me get pregnant then? Why didn’t he just give me a healthy baby? He knows all right?

So what’s the good reason? The only one that makes sense are these a) I am being punished for a wrong I’ve committed. This is penance. b) I am being tested and this is the arc of my life- my struggle to conceive and God is watching me like a scientist wondering how I will react.

When I got pregnant my mom sounded triumphant. “I prayed so hard this month and I just knew.” I felt rewarded by God since I had thrown a baby shower for a friend and trust me baby showers are hard to attend for me much less host, but I did it with charm and grace and thought the pregnancy was God telling me I’d evolved into a better person. I prayed EVERY night for a happy healthy baby. I thanked God for blessing me.

The night my womb contracted pushing my child out of me and taking with him my dreams- I bargained hard with God. I begged Him. I promised to do all my prayers on time forever. I offered large sums of money to charity. I promised I would be a better person.

So what is the power of my prayer? Does he answer prayers or just provide strength to people to work through their struggles? Or does He just not like me anymore?

I used to have such a strong connection to God. I felt at peace with Him at all times.  I was the boat, he was my sail.

Now I am unmoored. I am floundering.

In conclusion, please don’t ever tell me this happened for a reason.

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Trying to move on after a miscarriage

April 20, 2009

Some things that have helped me

1. Working out. I put on my ipod nano and just powerwalked on the treadmill without looking at the clock. Two hours later, I could have continued but for the blisters on my feet. I felt like I was in my own world in a parallel universe just immersed in the music, sweat dripping down my chin. It helped.

2. Talking about it.

3. Writing about it.

4. Crying about it.

5. Sleeping.

What did not help:

1. Retail therapy. I bought a coach purse (’twas on sale) but it did nothing for me. Material possessions cannot remedy the absence of a piece of your soul.

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Miscarriage- Don’t be ashamed

April 19, 2009

There is a standard three month rule I grew up hearing: Don’t tell people you are expecting until three months because your risk of miscarriage is highest before three months.

But why don’t you want people to know? Is it because you’re ashamed or because its difficult to “untell” all the people you told.

Personally, it killed me to tell my brothers and parents that I miscarried because of the excitement I’d heard in their voicse when I first told them I was pregnant. It hurt to hear the sadness. I realize it was concern for me, but I felt sad for the hopes they had raised.

However- people have been my support. Those who know have written me and called and sent flowers and these small acts of kindness have helped me survive.

There is no need to be ashamed. Its a horrible miserable tragedy. But like any other issue such as a broken bone, or an amputated arm, its not your fault and you have no reason to feel ashamed.

I wish all women who miscarried, all one out of four of us would speak out and tell others so that we could all turn to each other.

I read a statistic that one million American women miscarry each year.

You would’nt know it from the crickets chirping on the subject.

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Note to Cashiers

April 23, 2008

When people said they felt embarassed checking out with a bag of maxipads or condoms at the grocery store I thought this was silly. The cashiers have seen it all (after all, their store sells it!) and they would never be so bold as to mention the item?

Why is it that pregnancy tests seem to elicit all sorts of responses? Here are a handful of comments check out folks have given me when paying for a preggers test.

“Haha Naughty Naughty! We know how THAT happens!”

“OHMIGOD!!!! I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! THIS IS SO EXCITING”

“Congratulations!!!!”

But what if I didnt want to get pregnant? What if I’m checking to see if my deadbeat husband who beat me finally left me and now I am afraid we will be connected for life? What if this was the result of a drunken night and four men and I’m not sure who the baby is? Or what if like me, I’m not getting a positive result like I so desperately want? It can be very very inappropriate.

Sometimes I would buy a few extra things in the hopes that it would get scanned and bagged nearly unnoticed, but I should not have to do thoat!

Cashiers, its sweet for you to be so happy for me, but please please please, just scan and bag that particular item. Anything less like the green peppers, or the guacamole? Lets gab!