Friday, September 28, 2007

Not Zero

Yesterday's beta was 16. Which means I'm still a little pregnant. If this pregnancy had been viable, I would be 9w2d right now. Instead I will have spent the entire month of September miscarrying.

I want a do-over.

She’s not evil

I read through the comments to my last post and I feel a little guilty. My SIL is not evil. She’s not heartless. In fact, I am deeply grateful for her. She saved my brother from a really bad relationship, and gave him back to us. She convinced him to have children when he thought he wanted none. And their two boys light up our lives, and the lives of my parents.

The issue really is that their lives took one path while ours took another. While they struggled some to conceive their first, the second and now third were conceived without any planning whatsoever. And it has been a struggle for them to manage the expense of two children under two, much less three under three. I know it hasn’t been easy and I wish it were. But their children are gorgeous and healthy and smart and loving so it is hard to have sympathy for them.

We have had a set back for each of their steps forward. Every day that passes, the chasm between us grows. They try to bridge the gap. I know they do. And we try too. But their source of joy adds a little lemon in our wounds, and our wounds spoil a little of their sweetness. It’s a two way street and they’ve tried to let me take the lead. They learned not to share details of the pregnancy unless I ask. They curtail conversations about decorating and birth plans when I’m around. And it appears they kept all talk of this last minute shower to themselves until it was time to send the invitations. They did what they thought was best given what they knew of me, which includes the knowledge that I hate being left out of family things. They weighed whether I would be more hurt to get an invite to a shower for a baby I know is coming, or to learn of a family get together weeks after the fact. I think they made the right choice, I just really wish the news had been delivered differently.

In all honesty, if I hadn't gotten pregnant last month, I would probably have enjoyed the shower. And I certianly would have loved it if I were still pregnant. I already had plans to make little tiny pink things with lady bugs for the new arrival. The pile of material and buttons just sits there though, waiting for me to get over my grief enough to touch it without tears.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

baby shower invitation

I started and didn’t finish a post last week about the tidal wave of grief that swept over me last weekend. I wrote a lot about the tears that wouldn’t stop. But I couldn’t get the words right so I set it aside.

I’ll have to write about it some other time because I must must must get out the crap that happened today. I had a great day at work. I got a lot done and stayed really busy (which is unusual for me at this time of year). I felt productive and excited about work. I got home and was exited to spend the evening with my mom sewing my clothes for Paris. Good things all around considering how weepy I was last week.

And then my husband innocently mentioned that I got a baby shower invite in the mail today for my SIL. I stewed over it for a few minutes before going to look at it. I decided that before I got really mad at her for sending me a shower invite for her third kid when she knows I’m still miscarrying, that I should make sure it wasn’t sent by her clueless mother. One look and I was full of rage. It was in her handwriting. And the invite was all about celebrating her soon to arrive baby girl. The party is taking place while we will be in Paris.

What kind of motherfucking jackass sends a shower invite with no warning to someone who has just had an absolutely heartbreaking miscarriage? Who does that?

Our struggle is not a secret from anyone. I shared because I wanted their support. I thought honesty would keep people from unintentionally doing or saying something hurtful. It has, on the whole, been the right thing for us. But it also means that when someone does something hurtful, my hurt is deeper because I sense that they hurt me on purpose. That they knew I would feel badly and they did it anyway.

And that is exactly how I felt when I saw the invitation in her handwriting.

They know every single detail of what has happened to us. Their family building has made my infertility more painful than it otherwise would have been and they know it. They found out they were pg with #2 the week we started infertility treatment. They were open with us about their surprise and angst (they had a 6 month old when they got pg and were already four months along when they found out). She gave birth to him 5 weeks after I had my first miscarriage. The day she gave birth was one of the worst days of my life. I contemplated ending my life that day and in the days after that. I thought I was losing my mind. It took me a year of individual and group therapy, plus a mind body class, to get myself on level ground again.

When my brother told my husband while I was out of town on a business trip this spring that they were pregnant again, I refused to speak to him for 6 weeks. I could not think of anything to say to him that was didn’t include at least a dozen f-words and I decided at the time that just wasn’t worth doing.

Tonight I finally found the words. I could not let them have that control over me. I would have festered in my hurt and anger for weeks. I might never have forgiven them for being so thoughtless. I couldn’t let them ruin my once in a lifetime trip in two weeks. So I called. I told them I got the invite and that I was hurt. I cried for all the hurt that has been bottled up for months. I begged for more care and understanding. All I want is for my brother to call me and tell me things like this himself. Don’t pass it on to my husband. Don’t send it to me in the mail. Pick up the god damned phone (after work please) and tell me yourself. And say it with kindness. And compassion. And love. And know that I love you back but that I’m in a pit of despair right now and might not do well in showing it.

It felt good. He was surprisingly open to listening to me. He apologized for unintentionally hurting me. He never would have guessed what I wanted him to do if I hadn’t told him. I feel closer to him now than I did before and feel like I got reassurance about how much I mean to him and how much he cares about me. Even if I had to beg for it.

I'm thankful the shower is on a day when I absolutely can not attend. It saves me from a lot of agnst about whether or not I should attend. I can't go and I don't have to feel guilty about it.

Tomorrow should be my final beta for the pregnancy. Last week's number was 45 (finally below 50 was considered good news) so I'm hopeful I will be below five and officially no longer pregnant. I am praying that my cycle is kind and goes back to normal quickly. I just want to feel human again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The miscarriage that would.not.end.

So last time I posted, I just received the shots of methotrexate to end the pregnancy that would not quit. Everything seemed fine over the weekend – suspiciously fine. No cramping, no bleeding. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Until yesterday. I was in a meeting at work when I started to feel faint and thought I might throw up. I freaked out and had a coworker take me to the ER at the big/local/teaching hospital (otherwise known as BLT). DH met me there and we wiled away the evening explaining my sorry state to a million new people. The end result was that the numbers still hadn't fallen and there were "products of conception" in my uterus and they needed to come out.

I was told to stop eating at midnight last night to prep for a possible D&C today. The doc on call (who was fantastic that DH and I both want her to be our best friend. She is going to be known as Dr.Fantastic) today decided to do another ultrasound instead of scheduling the D&C. The u/s showed the same thing as yesterday's -- stuff in my uterus. Dr.Fantastic decided to wait until we have the results of Thursday's previously scheduled beta before proceeding.

So I am still pregnant. I never thought I'd be in a position to wish for the end of a pregnancy given how long it took us to get here and how much we wanted, and still want, a child. But man, I am so totally over this.

To distract myself, I have been sewing tops. I started the pink floral one the night before we found out I was pregnant. I finished it the weekend I had bleeding I thought would be the end of this pregnancy. I started the yellow and white one last Friday and finished on Saturday. I’ve almost finished with another one already – a white t-shirt. I have at least a half dozen more things to make before our trip to Paris in 24 days.

I feel like a fraud for being so excited about our trip while I’m still in the process of miscarrying. How can any sane person who has longed for a child as long as we have find joy in anything when they are in the process of losing a pregnancy? Does that invalidate my stirrup queens membership card?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

both cheeks

I finally got the methotrexate shots (yes shots) this afternoon. The beta on Tuesday was deemed inconclusive by new doogy doc (he looks maybe 20 and he wears an old sweatshirt over scrubs) so he wanted to wait until today and repeat the beta before deciding. Today's number was 74. Up. Again. We decided the shot was the best course of action.

I went in and got a shot in each butt cheek this afternoon. Plus a bonus lecture that if I wanted to continue to TTC I should really consider an HSG because at this point we just can't be sure of the status of my tubes. Seriously, some dumb fuck OB just told me today, AFTER hearing my whole sob story on TUESDAY about almost three years of IF including one whole year of treatment, that I should consider an HSG*. This leads me to believe one of three things, none of which is good in a doctor -- either he doesn't listen, or he has no memory, or he is just a complete motherfucker who thinks this whole thing is amusing. None of which I like. I won't be going back to him.

Oh and the best part was he couldn't remember the testing protocol post shot -- thank god I have google!

The shot itself was strange -- it burned going in and for hours afterward. I felt a little woozy almost immediately and it lasted (almost like a hangover or something) into the evening. I hope this is all over soon...

* I told him Tuesday that my tubes were suspect. That the HSG was crazy painful, but that the fluid spilled, though unevenly. I told him that another doc had reviewed the films and thought the tubal openings were so small as to possibly indicate some tubal disease leading to impairment of fertility. He said then that doc was micro managing (as if that is a bad thing) and that if they are open they are open. Which of course he totally contradicted today.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Yesterday's number was 64. I think the new doc will order the methotrexate shot today. He's in surgery now so I won't know until this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


The choices I outlined in my previous post just didn't work for me. I had a meltdown at work and did the only thing I could think of -- I went to talk to our HR director who I knew to be sympathetic. She saved my day.

The HR director sent me to a nearby clinic see a new doc this afternoon. The docs were a little perplexed by my situation (low beta, bleeding, cramping) in a brand new patient but they handled it well. I explained what I understood to be my options and they agreed with everything except the sedation policies of my doc/hmo. The new docs decided to persue the same course of action as my old doc -- repeat the beta and if it hasn't dropped significantly, do a dose of methotrexate and keep watch on the betas until it goes to zero. If it has gone up again, then it's a whole different ball of wax. If it gets to that I'm promised proper (read knock you out) drugs. That small promise makes a world of difference to me.

As for my previous bad experience with the hysteroscopy (to remove a unterine polyp) and concious sedation, I thought I was prepared, having had similiar sedation for 5 colonoscopies in the same outpatient center. I was severely mistaken. I was awake and crying through the whole thing. I could feel everything -- the dilation and the cutting. It was truly awful. Something I hope never to repeat.

Hopefully the uncertainty won't last much longer. I'm so ready for this to be over.

Damn it

The beta numbers aren't falling properly. Here's the recap:
4w6d 198
5w1d 225
5w3d 150 or so
5w5d 78
6w2d 53
6w5d 78

WTF? I've been spotting and cramping since 5w3d and it intesified last week after I stopped the progesterone suppositories. I had light bleeding with lots of clots this weekend but nothing like the heavy bleeding I was expecting. My doc called me this morning, concerned that things are not progressing properly. She gave me several options, all of which suck. I feel like I am now ready to go in and get this over with as quickly as possible but I don't know which option to choose. Any advice?

Here are the choices:
1. Suction with no anesthetic (holy mother of god that sounds awful).
2. D&C with concious sedation. I didn't do well with similar sedation for a hysteroscopy with polypectomy (which involved a d&C) so this terrifies me but sounds like the best option.
3. shot of methotrexate. should work but i'd still have several more days of cramping and bleeding at home which I just don't want.
4. laproscopy to identify ectopic. doc does not recommend this but i sort of want one anyway to figure out what is up with my tubes (which are already suspect) and figure they might be able to see whether I have endo (though I'm not sure that would do me any good).

Help. Now I'm lost.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sucky Pants

The cramping is miserable and the bleeding merely annoying. It isn’t at all what I expected. I’ll be glad when it is over and I’m really hoping my cycle figures itself out and I don’t get my next period while we are in Paris in 32 days. I will be so fucking pissed if I suddenly start bleeding in Paris. You’ll hear my “NOT FAIR!” cry all the way in the states I’m sure.

Sadly, my news isn’t even the worst news I received this week. A dear friend lost his third child to Trisomy 18 at birth two weeks ago and didn’t tell me because he knew I was newly pregnant and didn’t want to upset me. I feel terrible that I wasn’t there for him in his darkest hours. I don’t know what to do to provide comfort. In times of crisis, I take dinner but he lives thousands of miles away. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

I also learned this weekend that another dear friend had a miscarriage a few months ago and that she didn’t know how to tell me. She knows all about our efforts but I think for a long time she struggled to understand it. God bless her, even if it didn’t make sense to her, she always tried to be supportive. Unfortunately, now she gets it. It broke my heart to hear her talk about all the uncertainty and pain and anxiety she feels. I’ve been in that place and I don’t want my friends to have to go there too. I wish I could spare her, send her back to the beginning. But I can’t. She’s knee deep in it and the only thing I can do is tell her that she’s not alone. And that no matter how it turns out, she’ll be okay. We’ll all be okay, right?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Beta numbers are falling

The appointment was not good. The weekend beta numbers were on a downward trend, 78 at last check. My doc was sweet and supportive. When she said she was sorry, I actually said, "It's okay." There isn't anything okay about it. It sucks. I didn't need to be taught another lesson in the "Life is NOT fair" school of hard knocks. I got the message the first 50 times.

Anyway, I'm staying home the rest of the week and hoping that it resolves itself before Monday. The other options sounded truly awful (suction without sedation or a d&c with concious sedation). I'd rather avoid them, even though she said they could test the tissue (what tissue?) if I did either of the surgical options. Both sounded way too painful.

So back to the drawing board. Pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. And pray really really hard that it doesn't take us as long to get pregnant again as it did the first two times (15 cycles the first time, and then 25 more the second).

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

No new numbers today

I didn't hear from my doc today with the weekend's beta numbers. It is just as well. I had work to do today and I wouldn't have been able to think of anything else if I had heard the phone ring.

There was some let up today in the spotting. Other than crazy acne and totally wacky moodiness (teary one minute, joyous the next), I'm feeling good.

I see my doc Wednesday morning. I think we'll be doing an ultrasound and reviewing numbers. Hope the news is good.

Thank you for all the support. It helps to know that other stirrup queens have my back.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Monday Meltdown

I was doing so well until today. The suspense is driving me crazy and I just lost it. I'm angry and taking it out on my poor sweet husband. I picked a fight with him until I disolved into sloppy wet tears.

A few weeks ago, I was finally happy despite our inability to conceive (much less carry) a child. Really happy. Content with my life and our future, knowing that someday we'd have kids. Somehow. And then I found out that despite the odds, I managed to get pregnant.

And now I can't imagine how this turns out well. I've had cramping all weekend, plus more spotting since Saturday morning, not matter how still I try to be. It's not a lot, just enough to drive me insane. I did two more blood draws, on Saturday and today and should hear the results on Tuesday. I don't even know what number would be considered good.

I wonder how I'll be happy again if this doesn't turn into a spring baby. How the heck am I going to cope? How do I get over another, swifter, deeper kick to the gut?