Monthly Archives: December 2012

Connection

On Christmas day I had a pretty incredible experience. You see, back at the beginning of this month I found out my cousin and his wife lost their precious twin baby girls at 22 weeks. My heart immediately broke for them. No one should ever have to know what it is like to lose a desperately wanted pregnancy, yet here was another sweet and innocent young couple that were facing just that.

I don’t see that side of my family often. I think I had been introduced to her only once and very briefly at that, but through this heartache and pain I felt a kinship with her. We gathered at our grandparents house on Christmas day, me fresh out of surgery for yet another loss, when they walked in. I stood up and embraced her. We both got teary and asked if the other was okay. I spent the majority of the visit speaking with her.

And it was amazing.

Somehow the topic of blogs got brought up (not by me) so I mentioned that I could send her a few links to those who have gone through similar losses. I also did something I have never done before, I gave her my blog address. The only other person in real life who I have allowed to read this blog is J. But I just wanted her to know that even though our journeys are very different, I get it. I understand the pain and so do many others.

The thing is, it was healing for me to connect to another person that way. I have experienced this before whenever I meet up with Tutti (who is pretty much my favorite person ever if you haven’t noticed). To be able to converse with someone face to face in such an honest and real manner, without fear of misunderstanding or judgement is liberating. To be able to express fears, frustrations, and anger.

This next year is going to be an interesting one. This time last year I remember feeling so much hope. I had just gotten my first un-medicated period since we had started trying, it was the Year of the Dragon, and I was sure it was a turning point. Little did I know. Sometimes I wish I could jump back to that more innocent me. The one who didn’t have any losses following her around. The one who was sure that once she got pregnant it would stick.

All bets are off now. The decisions we now have to face are critical. They will forever change our future and who I am. I wish I could say I had a lot of hope. Some days I do…but then something happens. A comment, or a memory, they creep up on me and psych me out. They make me feel like I am forever destined to be…this. Stagnant.

But I hold on to that connection. Knowing that I am not alone in my grief or fear. And hopefully my words were a comfort to her as well. I am not sure if she will ever read this or not. I hope this sweet girl finds a way to get through the difficult road ahead. I can hope very well for others, I’ve become very good at that. It is easier to hope for others than yourself, especially when so many times your world has come crashing down.

Tonight I remember this year. A year that has left not only me, but many others, scarred beyond recognition. This year has forever changed many of our lives. I can’t help but think of all those that had their hopes and dreams taken away this year. Tonight I’m sending all you, anyone who has experienced loss this year a big hug. Tomorrow starts a new day, and we are all still here to face it.

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Filed under Depression, Healing, Infertility, It's not always about me, Miscarriage, RPL

I’m sane again

First of all I hope everyone had a good holiday! I know how difficult this time of year can be for many of us but I hope everyone was able to find a little joy.

Secondly I fully admit I was on a lot of pain killers when I wrote my last post so I am not sure if I made a lot of sense about what happened and the outcome.

Last Friday I went to the ER in severe pain. They did an ultrasound which revealed that I was bleeding internally. From this they figured that the ectopic pregnancy had ruptured my tube. They decided to go in to remove the pregnancy and most likely my tube. They did all this with the approval of my RE. I called him on the way to the ER and after a lot of swearing (because he couldn’t meet us at the hospital due to us being out of the state) he made sure that the doctors in the ER would keep him in the loop about everything.

When they finally got me into surgery they found that my tube was not ruptured like they originally thought, in fact it was fine. What happened was that the Methotrexate did actually work. But when some of the tissue was expelled from my tube a little piece got caught on the end of the tube. I am not sure how or why this happened but the result was a blood clot that formed which was causing me the pain and the internal bleeding. They clipped the blood clot (well as much of it as they could. They had to leave a small piece in order to not touch my tube but they are confident it will go away on its own and not be an issue) and cleared up the blood in my abdomen. They did not have to do any work on my tube and it should be fully functional.

However my surgeon said that my tube is abnormal shaped. From the pictures and what she told us my tube has a loop in it. Almost like a roller coaster loop. Every woman has a 2% chance of an Ectopic Pregnancy. After your first one it jumps up to 10%. The more you have the higher your chances go. She feels that based on my tube shape though, that we have an extremely high chance of another Ectopic and that we should not try naturally to get pregnant again, but do IVF.

This is where I get confused though. I have had another laparoscopic surgery where they did look at my left ovary and tube even though they were working on the right side. I have had a HSG that showed my tubes were normal. I have had 3 other pregnancies that all made it out of the tube of death and into my uterus. So why are we just barely hearing about this apparent looped tube? It makes no sense to me that this would just be revealed after everything we have done. All my images and results are being sent to my RE so I will make an appointment to meet with him and ask all these questions when we get home. I just don’t get it.

Other than that I am healing well. Slow and sore but that just takes time. I’ve developed a few unpleasant side effects from the surgery that I haven’t experienced before including (TMI) a bladder infection and hemorrhoids. FUN! But over all I am doing good. My mind is okay and I know where we are headed. I will post more about that later though. For now I just wanted to clear up a few questions and thank everyone for the kind thoughts, especially all those who send messages checking up on me.

The one good thing is that this happened at my parents house and not at my in-laws. That would have been a whole lot worse. So you know, count the little blessings. Again I hope everyone was able to find a little joy this holiday season. I love you all and am so grateful that I have this community in my life. Happy Holidays!

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P.S. Happy 200th post to me!

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Filed under Ectopic, Healing, Just my luck, Miscarriage, On the Road, Sickness

The End of the World

December 21st 2012, to most it was supposed to be the end of the world. For me it was the end of a very long journey. We had driven through the night, 10 hours, to visit my family. We finally got home at 8:00 and immediately crashed into bed. I had been feeling pretty bloated but I figured it was due to sitting for 11 hours in the car. At 9:30 I woke up to sharp pains. I stayed calm and tried to ease the pain by taking medication and sitting in a hot bath. By 11:00 I could not ignore it anymore, the pain wasn’t going away.

We contacted my RE and went straight to the ER. While we were there they did an ultrasound and found that I was bleeding internally. This earned me a one-way ticket straight to the Operating Room.

Last night they went in Laproscopicaly to remove the excess tissue and possibly my tube. When they got in there they found that my tube had not ruptured like they originally thought. However there was a blood clot  outside of my tube that was causing the bleeding. The clot was most likely formed from the tube trying to expel the tissue from the pregnancy.

The surgeon also said that my tube was kind of funny shaped, almost like a half circle. She said that based on this she thinks we should not try again naturally to get pregnant again because it would most likely be another ectopic. I don’t necessarily agree because I have had 3 other pregnancies and none of them got stuck in my tube. We even know for a fact that my second pregnancy was implanted high up in my uterus based on my ultrasounds.

Luckily the hospital is sending all the things they found during the surgery to my RE so it is something I can ask him about later. Not like I’m planning on getting pregnant any time soon, really I’m not sure if I ever want to be pregnant again after this. But for now I know that is a decision I know I can’t make right away.

It just figures that this would happen so close to Christmas though. We were supposed to flying to Michigan this morning to spend the holidays with J’s family. I am grateful though that is happened before we flew out though, as bummed as I am about missing this time with the side of the family we rarely see, I would not have wanted this to happen while we were out there. It would have just made things much more difficult.

Merry Christmas to us. This whole thing has really not helped me get rid of the Grinch in me.signature

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Filed under Depression, Ectopic, Healing, Infertility, Just my luck

Um…OUCH!

When I found out this pregnancy was ectopic I did the proper infertile thing and consulted Dr. Google. I did research about Methotrexate, ruptured ectopics and tube loss. I’ve been meticulous about taking care of myself and watching signs and symptoms.

One thing the internet did not prepare me for is the pain that accompanies when the tissue starts to break down. Last night I thought it was over. I woke up with pain on my left side that kept me awake for 3 hours. I was on the verge of heading to the ER when the pain started to subside a bit. I decided I could hold off till morning when I could get a hold of my doctor.

I woke up feeling so sore and so incredibly bloated. Every step is painful and it feels like all my organs are trying to fall out. I talked to my doctor and he reassured me that all this is normal. My beta yesterday came back at 1200. This is an excellent sign as my numbers are dropping steadily.

He said that mild to moderate pain happens when the tissue starts to die. He also suspects that the blood vessels that were supporting the pregnancy are starting to collapse which caused the pain last night and the soreness today. The bloating is coming from the fact that my tube is most likely leaking so my abdomen is full of fluid. What sucks is that my stomach is so full that I do actually look pregnant. Awesome.

At least my mind was set at ease once I spoke to my doctor. He also told me how things will play out from here. Once my levels zero out he will put me on birth control for one month (more on this later but lets just say one month is not enough for us right now) and then around the first of  March we will do a HSG test to check to see if the tube is still functional. Can’t tell you how excited I am about this. I LOVED the last HSG. I hope the sarcasm is dripping from all of your computer screens right now. Luckily I still have some pain killers left over from my surgery that I can take before hand. Not to mention it will take place right around MB’s due date. Yup, pain killers are looking mighty fine.

Right now I am just focusing on getting through the next 2 weeks. Then we will be past the holidays and hopefully my levels will be bottomed out. Then maybe we can find the strength to move on.

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Filed under Betas, Depression, Ectopic, Healing, Just my luck, Miscarriage

How Trisha avoided Christmas

I have always loved Christmas. I love the holiday spirit, seeing decorations, wrapping presents, all of it. I’m a firm believer that Christmas should not start until after Thanksgiving, but I’m also the person is pulling out my decorations the very next day.

We’ve never had a big tree since we move so often and we are always out-of-town on Christmas day it has never made much sense. But we have a little 2 ft. Christmas tree that I pull out every year. I decorate it, set our stockings next to it and gleefully put presents around it.

But do you know where that tree is right now? A mere 9 days before Christmas? It is in its bin. In the storage closet. Buried.

We leave for my family’s house on Thursday night and the farthest I gotten into the holiday spirit is purchasing the necessary gifts. I haven’t put up any decorations, I’ve wrapped no presents. Usually I do my best to buy J a bunch of little surprises that he did not ask for. This year I stuck to his list.

I feel like I am walking through the motions of the holidays but to be honest I could care less about them. On Christmas day we will be at J’s parents house. Surrounded by his many siblings and my baby niece and nephew. They are absolutely adorable and I don’t get to see them very often. But still. Ouch.

Not to mention we will most likely have to make trips to get my blood drawn while we are out there, just another reminder of how this year turned out nothing like it was supposed to.

Today is a day that I’ve been avoiding thinking about as much as I’ve been avoiding Christmas. Today, December 16th, is my very first due date. I remember when I miscarried and I was at my OB’s office my nurse was talking to me. She sympathetically told me she had a miscarriage and that the due date would be the hardest day of my life, except of course if I was pregnant again.

Doubly whammy for me. Because not only is this my due date, but a reminder that I would be 29 weeks today with MB. Third trimester. Something that I am starting to realize I may never experience. So it begins, this last year was the year of loss, this coming year is now the year of remembering loss. Although today makes me sad and thing of what might have been, I know this day will not compare with March 2nd. That day is going to be my personal version of hell.

Luckily today has fallen in the “holiday” range and I’ve been doing a damn good job at ignoring everything else up to this point. What is one more day? Although there are some final things I need to get done before we leave later this week. Mostly being finally wrapping the few presents I have. There will be no Christmas music in the background though. I won’t feel like Santa’s elf. The only part of the holidays I’m looking forward to is seeing our families and having time off of work. The rest I’d be okay to skip this year.

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Filed under Depression, Healing, Infertility, Living Life, Miscarriage, RPL

Downward

To say this week has been tense would be an understatement. I have felt like a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. I’m sorry for not being better about updating, I know I had a few people check in wanting to know what is going on.

I have had 2 betas since I received the Methotrexate shot. On the day of the shot my HCG was 4800. 4 days later, this past Monday, my beta came back at 5300. This did not worry the doctor, he said that often when the tissue starts dying we see a small surge of HCG before it starts declining. Considering it only went up 500 rather than the 1200 it went up in 24 hours previously, he felt this was a good sign. I went in 2 days later (yesterday) for a repeat. From all the studies I’ve looked at they want to see a 15% decrease between day 4 and day 7 (after the shot). Mine went from 5300 on day 4 to 3800 on day 6. This is a great sign as it went down almost 30%.

We are not out of the woods yet, my doctor has been very clear that ectopics are highly unpredictable and you can never underestimate them. However we are definitely on the right path. This news was especially good to hear since we are going to be out-of-town for the holidays. My doctor feels this should not be a problem, however he might send me for a blood draw while we are gone, which we are more than fine with.

I am breathing a bit easier tonight. This whole experience has shed a lot of light for us and has caused us to really take a close look at what we want from our future. For now I am just going to say that I still have hope that next year will be a better year than this one. I have to believe we are going to get our happy ending somehow.

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Filed under Betas, Ectopic, Miscarriage, RPL

Walking on Eggshells

Thank you to everyone who reached out to me after my last post. I received so many comments and e-mails that it filled my heart. This weekend has been a tense one in our house. Problems is…we have been through this before. We’ve done the whole sudden gripping pain, ER, and surgery route. Seems ironic that it was 11 months ago that we were dealing with this. So because we know how this goes we are extra cautious / nervous.

The added stress around this time of the year is less than ideal but there is not much we can do about it. All we really can do is take it as easy as possible and hope the Methotrexate works as it is supposed to. But we are prepared for the worse to happen. I immediately programmed my doctor’s cell number into my phone as well as hung it up on the fridge. Then J gave me some of his co-workers numbers to save just in case he is at work and is unable to hear his phone ring. We mapped out a plan on what we will do if the worst happens. In a way I feel like I’m preparing for the end of the world, all down to what I will bring to the hospital and who we will call first.

I’ve also had some pretty morbid thoughts. One of them being every time I step out of the shower and start getting dressed I rifle through my underwear drawer trying to decide which pair to wear. This is because I want to be wearing nice enough panties that I won’t be embarrassed of them when I go to the hospital, but not so nice that I would be upset if this off / on inconsistent bleeding ruined them.

Yesterday I started having some pain on my left side. It started in my thigh and then worked its way up to my abdomen where I experienced sharp stabbing pains right where my doctor said the pain would be. The pain wasn’t intense, only a 3 on the pain scale, and it was very come and go. But of course I freaked out and messaged my doctor. He said that often when the shot starts working you experience mild pain. As long as the pain did not become intense or constant he wasn’t worried, in fact he believed it to be a good sign. I felt more relaxed after this but when it came time to go to bed, when I was very tired and at my most vulnerable, thoughts raged through my head. I wondered if my doctor was wrong and if the pain was coming from the tube leaking, not rupturing. Then I thought I must be bleeding internally and that if I went to sleep I wouldn’t ever wake up again.

This is all very dramatic in the light of day when my head is back on straight but last night was hard. I almost woke up J and told him to set an alarm to wake me up every 2 hours to make sure I was still alive. Like I said, dramatic. But this is the fear I have had over the past few days. I never thought I’d fear for my own life during a pregnancy, only the life of my baby. Everything has changed now.

Good news is today I have had no pain and the bleeding also stopped. I go in tomorrow for a blood draw to see if the Methotrexate is working. Hopefully then we will know if I am destined for surgery or not. Funny thing is…I’m not scared of the surgery. It sucks, but I’ve been through it before and I can do it again. I am more scared of the pain caused by a rupture, the loss of my tube, and waiting. Especially waiting. I just want to know how this is going to end up. If I am going to be operated on, I’d rather it be sooner than later. I can handle this. I just need be able to breathe again without fear.

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Filed under Ectopic, First Trimester, Just my luck, Miscarriage, Pregnancy, RPL