Category Archives: Betas

Acceptance

This weekend we headed out-of-town to attend J’s best friend’s wedding. This guy was J’s best man at our wedding and is near and dear to my heart. It was so exciting to be able to be there for a moment he has been waiting for, for a very long time.

I knew this weekend would not be without its struggles though. The groom’s sister actually married another one of J’s high school friends and they recently announced that they are pregnant with their second. When we started trying she was 4 months pregnant with her first so this stings quite the bit. Not to mention I have some other issue with them, but I’m not going to get into that. Basically I just knew that having to see them all weekend was going to be very hard.

At the rehearsal dinner we ended up sitting with the groom and his family. I kid you not when I say 75% of the conversation that night was directed to pregnancy or babies. At one point his other sister even mentioned a lady she knew that had several miscarriages. The entire time I sat stoned faced at the table feeling awkward, hurt, and emotional. It took all my strength not to get up from the table, which I didn’t want to do because I have never met these people and didn’t want to cause drama or distress to our friends evening.

What really told me that I had not imagined how horrible though, was when J came up to me after the dinner and asked if I was okay. I told him I was fine, that the situation was just hard. He said “Until tonight I have never really understood how hard this is for you. I just want you to know that when we get home I support you 100%.” This meant more to me than anything in the world.

He has never not supported me, but we have had to make some decisions lately and they have been hard on him for other reasons. We’ve kinda had to take things slow, in order to make it so that he could deal. So for him to say he is 100% in was a huge weight off my shoulders.

The other thing that was hard was at the wedding we were talking to these friends who are expecting again and this time they had their  almost 2-year-old with them. I have not seen him since he was a few days old. He was sitting on top of his dad’s shoulders so I walked up just to see him. I gently tickled his hand and said hi when he reached out for me. I took him in my arms where he immediately laid his head on my shoulder and laid on me. For 10 – 15 min. He stayed that way, wide-awake, while I gently rocked back and forth and rubbed his back. This kid who didn’t know me at all came to me so willingly (he would not let J hold him) and nearly broke my heart. He is a sweet kid and I was so happy to hold him, it just made me realize all the more how ready to be a mother I am. I feel as though I am already a mother, just one without  a child.

Today before we left we stopped by to see their new house and again he reached out to me and laid his head on my shoulder. When J tried to hold him it was me he reached out for.

I want a baby. I want MY baby reaching out for me. One that I don’t have to give back. It’s time for us to get serious. Things have been up in the air since the last pregnancy, we’ve been waiting for things to settle down so we could get our lives back. That time has now arrived. Thursday I had my blood drawn and I am officially no longer pregnant. The hormones are gone even though the scars remain. Now we just have stride forward, with no hesitation and no turning back. I think we are finally ready.

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Filed under BABIES!, Betas, Healing, Infertility, Living Life, Miscarriage, Moving On, People suck, RPL

Enough is enough

In the past I have written a little here and there about my love / hate relationship with my RE. I’m a very passive person by nature and like to see and believe the best in people. He is an extremely nice guy. He has a way of making you feel incredibly secure and hopeful in his presence. He has said from day 1 that he firmly believes that I will be able to carry a pregnancy to term and he has not wavered from that opinion. I always leave his office feeling calm and optimistic.

But then I get home and I start thinking about all the things that he does not do for me. After our Clomid cycle with him failed he was pushing us to go forward with injectables. We did not feel comfortable with this and instead wanted to give Femara a try. He refused and said if Clomid didn’t work Femara wouldn’t either. Then the big cyst happened.  J has had an issue with this guy since my first surgery. Fact of the matter is I never should have been put on such a high dose of Clomid (100mg for 10 days) with the amount of cysts on my ovaries, which he did know about as he did many ultrasounds and a SHG before the Clomid. This is what caused the huge cyst and subsequently the loss of my ovary. After the surgery when I called their office to inform them that I had just had an ovary removed I spoke to the receptionist and heard nothing else from them. At that point I was frustrated, I’m not a needy patient, but I felt very abandoned by this.

However, then I found myself pregnant. Being in this community as long as I had I knew I wanted betas and early ultrasounds done, so I felt I had no other choice but the call up this office since they knew my history. I was a bit worried that they’d refuse since I had gotten pregnant naturally but I was accepted back into the fold. He was with me through all my pregnancies. He saw how broken I was after my 2nd loss. He continually tried to encourage me not to give up. He ran the normal RPL panels and informed me they all came back normal. However when the results from my D&C came back he didn’t even call me, instead he e-mailed me the report so I had to come home from work, open my e-mail and read that my baby was a healthy male. Complete breakdown. I just feel like that situation deserved a bit of respect and sensitivity.

When the first beta came back at 18 for this last pregnancy I was extremely nervous. I knew this was low, but he tried to convince me otherwise. I suspected and ectopic but I let him tell me otherwise by talking about finding it early and the first repeat doubling. When we suspected I was having another miscarriage he did perform an ultrasound to check for a gestational sac but when there was no sac he never checked my ovary or that area, if he had he would have seen a mass which was the ectopic. It wasn’t until a week later when my numbers kept rising that he finally came to the conclusion that I had had since the beginning.

The pain started when I was out-of-town. I frantically called his cell number (which he gave to me in case of circumstances like this) but he never answered. I left message after message. He told me if he didn’t answer to keep calling until he did. I called a total of 4 times (over a 45 min period) before I finally decided to call the office directly. I knew the office was closed but I also knew they had an option to be transferred to the on-call doctor. I had no way of knowing if it would be my doctor since there are others in the practice but at this point I didn’t care. We were in the car on the way to the ER when I made the call, and it was my doctor who picked up. While talking to him he asked why I didn’t call him directly. I told him I had multiple times and left messages. He said “Oh, is your area code ***?” I told him yes (it is not a California area code) and he said he doesn’t pick up numbers he doesn’t know since he gets a lot of sales calls. He said he must have forgotten to save my number in his phone. SERIOUSLY?

At this point I was in too much pain to care. That day while in the ER he kept in touch with my doctors and went ahead and agreed with them about the surgery. From there he washed his hands of me. I was told when I got back in town to follow-up with him. When I called to schedule the follow-up I was told they wouldn’t be able to see me till the middle of January. I stressed that I had just had surgery and I needed to see him but there was nothing. I asked if they had received my medical notes and was told no. I went ahead and scheduled the appointment for mid-January. I was able to get in with my OB that week so she has been doing my post-op care.

For the appointment with the RE I again called and asked them to request my medical notes from the surgery so that when I did go in I could discuss things with him. The receptionist acted very put out and like all I was doing was wasting her time. I ended up getting the medical notes from my OB to take to the appointment, but as I was doing so I realized something. My RE…he had NO idea what has been going on. The hospital never contacted him after it was decided I’d have surgery. He never received (or requested for that matter) my records so for all he knows I lost my tube. He has no idea that for the past week I’ve been at my OB’s monitoring my HCG levels because they have still not bottomed out. He has no idea that my OB almost decided to give me another dose of Methotrexate because she was worried about the levels. He has no idea that I came through that surgery intact. But most importantly, to me it feels like he doesn’t care.

Today I called and cancelled my appointment with him. They asked if I wanted to reschedule and I simply said no. I will not be that person who calls someone out because it is not who I am. If they had asked the reason I would have told the that I felt like I was not getting the care I need or deserve from the office and left it at that. If we ever decide to go back to cycling, I will find a new RE. One who I feel will give me the respect of at least acting like what happens to me matters.  I really wanted this to work with him. But I can no longer ignore what J has been telling me for a year. It’s time to be done with this office.

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Filed under Betas, Clomid, Crazy? I'm not crazy!, Ectopic, Infertility, Miscarriage, PCOS, RPL, Scans

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

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

Coming to a Bitter End

This weekend was a bad one. Little did I know when I posted last that things were just getting started. After that post the bleeding picked up. And when I say picked up I really mean picked up. I have never in my life bled so much. Every time I moved I could feel my body hemorrhaging. I try to enjoy an evening with friends but end up in the bathroom every 20 min trying to keep myself feeling clean and acceptable. The blood loss made me feel sleepy and lethargic. Not to mention the emotional shit that made me feel like a zombie.

On Monday I did not go into work. I couldn’t with how much I was still bleeding. So I called my doctor’s office and explained what was going on. They told me to come in for another beta and we would see what was going on from there. I was initially fine at the appointment until they stuck my arm…and no blood came out. Because I had been feeling so down and crappy that I had forgotten to take a sip of water all day. So another nurse came in and decided to try with my other arm. For some reason this sent all my emotions loose. I’m not sure why, I have had more blood sticks than I can count and they don’t bother me, but this time I was fighting tears the entire time. Then the nurse asked quietly “How many is this?” I choked out “4” and the tears started streaming.

Numbers came back the next day while I was at work. To my utter shock and dismay my nurse informed me that my numbers had not gone down like I had expected, in fact they had gone up. Beta #4 was 1190. Not even close to where it needed to be, yet still a doubling time of 70 hours. At this point I was pissed. Last thing I need right now is for this to drag on for weeks on end. They also asked me if I had stopped taking my progesterone since mine was only at 3.8. Uh oh. I told them yes and I could practically see the disappointed looks through the phone.

They had me go back in today for another beta and an ultrasound. First thing my doctor came out and scolded me for stopping the progesterone. He told me “It can only be one way…either I’m the doctor or you are. You can’t decide this is over before I tell you that it is.”

Whatever dude. You try having your uterus kill 4 babies in 9 months then come talk to me about knowing when it’s over.

Anyways as predicted the ultrasound showed that there is nothing left to hope for. No sac, no fetal pole, no baby. Just a thinning lining that will continue to thin out. Joy, more blood for me. Let me clarify…my doctor is not a bad guy. In fact he is extremely nice. Through all of this he was not mean, and I do see his point, I’m just also say that the one thing that has come out of all this is I KNOW my body. I am so in-tune with it now. And I KNEW without a shadow of a doubt that I had miscarried. Should I have called them before stopping the progesterone? Probably. But do I feel guilty about it? No.

After the ultrasound we talked. Pretty much at this point there is not much else he can offer me. He still feels that I will get pregnant and carry a baby to term, he just doesn’t know how many more losses will come before that baby. He could offer more aggressive treatment but he knows it is something we are not willing to do right now,  I.E. IVF with genetic testing on the embryos. I don’t feel in the current situation this is a solution. We HAD a normal embryo. And we still lost him. So why would I pay 30 grand to risk that happening again? I just can’t.

He looked at me and said “The important thing right now is that we aren’t going to give up”. I sat there silently for a moment before telling him “Right now, we are”.

I don’t know what the future holds or if we will try for a genetic child again. I fully recognize I am not in the mindset right now to make that decision either way. Right now what is important is taking time to regain who I am. I’ve lost so much of myself this year. I need to focus on getting through the holidays, taking time for my marriage, and finding joy outside of a child right now. Bare minimum I need 3 months before I even consider another pregnancy.

This does not mean we are stopping our journey to have a family. Far from it. It just means that our perception of how our family will come to us will have to change. That is what I am going to do for the next 3 months. That and have sex with my husband because I want to. Not because I have to.

I’m severely damaged right now. Unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss. I never thought my year would end up this way.

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Filed under Betas, Crazy? I'm not crazy!, Infertility, Just my luck, Miscarriage, People suck, RPL

Lost

Yesterday was hard. I knew the upcoming holidays were going to be much more difficult to get through than usual but I wasn’t expecting the gloom that settled over me whenever my mind was not actively engaged in something. It probably didn’t help that the night before Thanksgiving J and I had a huge fight that I still wasn’t over. It didn’t help that I felt nauseous every time I tried to eat, resulting in a pretty lame Thanksgiving meal for me. But most of all it didn’t help that the bleeding truly began.

I’ve been expecting it for days. The spotting has been increasing in intensity and times where it has been bright red. I knew there was no chance of this working out at this point. My last beta number came in at 286. Which was a doubling time of 52 hours. My doctor tried to play it off saying there is still a possibility of this working out. But he was not taking into consideration the amount of spotting I’ve been having. Now there is no doubt. I’m wearing a pad and passing tissue. This is over now I just have to wait for it to all go down.

I’m supposed to go in for a final beta and an ultrasound next Wednesday as I would be 6 weeks. I think I’m going to call Monday and try to cancel the ultrasound though. Really there is no point. Plus I have PTSD regarding that ultrasound room and I don’t need another reason for that to continue. I also really want to stop taking my Lovenox injections. I’ve continued because I felt it was the responsible thing to do but now I just feel like I’m sticking needles in myself for no reason. Thoughts? I’m worried if I stop I’ll feel guilty until we confirm my levels are decreasing.

At least now I know we are done for this year. Possibly done for good. It seem very obvious to me that none of this has been “bad luck”. Something is very wrong with my body. Based on how early I’m losing them I think there is something wrong with implanting. But there isn’t much more we can do to help that. And I don’t know if I can do this again. One thing this pregnancy has really taught me is that I’m not healed. Because the pregnancy that I am mourning right now is not the current one. It’s MBs. He was my fighter, the one who somehow got past the implanting stage and made it. Yet he still died. And the fact that I don’t know why he died hurts so much. Yesterday all I could think about was wishing that I still was pregnant with him so that he could be the thing I was grateful for. I’m still too damaged from his loss to embrace a new pregnancy.

Of course my doctor will bench me for a month, then he will encourage me to try again. Of this I am sure. But I’m benching myself. I’m not sure if it is a permanent bench or not at this point. I just know right now I can’t do it. I used to hesitate about adopting because I wanted to be pregnant. I wanted the whole experience. Now pregnancy no longer holds wonder and joy for me. It will be nothing but terror and anxiety. And I am not sure that I want it anymore.

Sorry for the bummer post on the weekend that it supposed to be all about gratitude. All I can do is hope that next year my story is a happier one, even though I have no idea what the hell is going to happen.

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Filed under Betas, Depression, Infertility, PCOS, Pregnancy, RPL, Sickness

Onward we go

I walked into my RE’s office yesterday with my head held high. I was determined for them to see how my low beta number had not destroyed me. They had just gotten back from lunch so when I walked in my doctor was standing at the front desk talking with the receptionist. When he saw me he gave me a big smile and shook my hand. He asked me how I was doing and I was honest. I told him I was good, all things considering. Then he looked straight at me and said “I’m excited”. I must have looked at him like he had 4 heads. I asked him why he was excited and he told me he was excited about my positive. I said to him “It is such a low number…”. He told me it didn’t matter that it was supposed to be low, because we caught it so early. He told me as long as it was doubling, the number didn’t matter and again…that he was excited.

My doctor is a straight shooter. I’ve always liked that about him. He tells you like it is, even if the news is bad. I expected him to brace me for the inevitable loss of this pregnancy. Instead he was there encouraging me and telling me that things are looking good. I felt as if I had jumped through the rabbit hole. How is a 18 looking good? But never the less it did make me feel better to know that someone was positive about the possibility of this pregnancy. Did it give me hope? Not really. But I figure someone better have some.

My number did not quadruple, it did not triple, but it did more than double. 2nd beta came back at 42. A doubling time of 39 hours. My doctor is pleased and is not having me back for another draw until next Wednesday after that we will schedule an ultrasound…something I really can’t even think about because I think I have PTSD from the last one. But I digress.

I am that “P” word that I don’t like to think about. I don’t feel any different. With my other 2 pregnancies from the moment I saw a second line I felt almost a transformation. Even though it was too early for symptoms it was as if my body and mind were already invested and aware of the tiny life growing in me. This time I feel same as I did last week. I feel no magic or wonder. I feel nonchalant. I haven’t even gone pee-stick crazy like I did with my other ones. I’m going to feel guilty as hell if this ends up being my take home baby because I doubted it like crazy. Talk about a downer. I can imagine telling my imaginary child “Yeah, I never believed you’d survive”.

Things are different now. There will be no bump-dates. No belly pics. No ultrasound photos. In the past I tried to pretend that I could be “normal” and enjoy a pregnancy. That is so far gone it is not even funny. I’m already trying to plan ways that I can avoid telling people about this until I’m 30 weeks if I am lucky enough to get there. With my nosy family it doesn’t seem very likely. My point is…don’t expect pregnancy rainbows and sunshine. Expect your normal bitching and moaning. For right now I am content to pretend that nothing has changed.

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Filed under Betas, First Trimester, Infertility, Living Life, Pregnancy