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.
Some of you may remember but when I first announced this pregnancy I was devastated by the low number. I even made a prediction about the outcome of this pregnancy. I predicted that my next beta would go up but not double, I also predicted that this was an ectopic pregnancy.
Well, on the last part at least. I had another beta yesterday. As my last beta was a week prior and at around 1300 they were expecting to see it at a zero, or at least very close. Instead it came back at over 3600. Not good. So my doctor called me and told me to come in asap for another ultrasound. I knew when I got there what we were looking for. I knew before he told me he suspected an ectopic that this is what it was. Some times it sucks knowing all the worst case scenarios.
Long story short he confirmed an ectopic via ultrasound and gave me some options. We could go in for surgery right away, cut open the tube, and take out the pregnancy. The problem with this option is sometimes the tube will develop scar tissue and close up. Given that I have only one ovary this is not a chance I’m willing to take. Instead we decided to go with a Methotrxate shot. This gives a fighting chance of saving my last remaining hope of a genetic child.
That being said I am still at a very high risk for rupture given the size of the pregnancy. My office worked frantically calling all the pharmacies in the area trying to find the shot. My doctor wanted it administered today in order to give us the best chance possible. They were able to track it down and I was given the shot an hour ago. That shot is literally a pain in the ass. Definitely feeling very sore.
I’ve been scared of pregnancy ever since I saw my first positive. However that fear always came from the thought of losing the pregnancy. I never thought I’d be scared of the pregnancy itself. But I’m terrified right now. I’m so scared that I have an unavoidable date with the operating room. My doctor gave me his personal cell number and told me to call him if I experienced any pain at all, and he would meet me at the ER. Not exactly reassuring that everything is going to be fine.
Not to mention the lingering fear that this might just be the end. Everyone has a line, and we have already decided ours. We made the choice long ago that IVF is just something we are not willing to do in light of my miscarriages. So if this tube goes…there goes our babies. The ones that I see in my dreams that look like J and I.
In the end I know we will be parents. I just never thought it would end this way.
Thank you to everyone’s comments on my last post. Yes, right now hope is looking pretty slim. Not that I really had a lot of hope about the whole thing, but you know what I mean. It has been interesting. After my post I had a couple of hours where I was spotting dark red/brown blood. That started to taper off and throughout yesterday it was exclusively brown. However during the brown I also passed a decent sized clot (also brown). The brown continued throughout the day yesterday. So far this morning…no spotting at all.
But let’s get real. That does not changes things. It just prolongs them. With as much as I’m spotting and with the clot, this pregnancy is not going to work. And truthfully…I’m okay. My awesome coping mechanisms continue to work. Am I disappointed that I am here again? Yes. Am I sad that it is looking less and less likely that my body will be able to carry a baby to term? Yes. But I know who I am. I know what my relationship is. And I know we will have a family. I wish I could tell myself when or how but that is the hard part.
I got the chance to meet up again with Tami yesterday. I can’t tell you how much I love this girl. I am so incredibly grateful for her friendship through all of this. We sat and talked for hours. We laughed, we cried, we shared our fears and our hopes. I told her one of the ways I’m dealing with this is by repeating words about serenity that people use while in AA.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
I know in my heart that I did everything right. I took all my vitamins. Folic acid, baby aspirin, viatmin D, pre-natals. I injected myself daily with a blood thinner. I took progesterone twice a day*. I did everything a good pregnant person should do. So when this pregnancy fails I know it is not due to my shortcomings. Its biology. Something is wrong in my body and I desperately wish they could figure out what. But I know that if positive thoughts and good intentions created a healthy pregnancy and baby, we’d all have a dozen babies in our homes right now. Unfortunately the world does not work that way though.
In the meantime this pregnancy joins the ranks of numbers 1 and 3. Pregnancies that I am sad I have lost, yet for me none of these have made the impact of #2. MB. My boy. He is the one I still mourn today. Maybe that is heartless considering I technically am pregnant still with a different embryo. But when I think of loss I think of him. That is what I lost this year. The others…well maybe they are just pushing me in a different direction. For now though we wait. We wait to move on, even if we are unsure what the future holds.
*Yes I am still taking all my vitamins and injections. I will not cease until the miscarriage is confirmed even though I believe it to be inevitable.
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.
I haven’t really known how to write this post. I’ve been muddling over it for 3 days now because I don’t want anything to come across wrong. When I said I didn’t want to know what the result of this cycle was I meant it. In fact I kinda wish that I still didn’t know. But circumstances led me to take a pregnancy a mere few hours after my last post.
Let me defend myself here: It was not my intention to test. But after my last post I went to the bathroom only to discover some brown spotting. The same brown spotting that I get every cycle that I am not pregnant a few days before my period. In my mind I felt that I should test to prove that I could stop taking my progesterone and injections. Part of me was very tempted to just stop since it was obvious my period was on its way despite the progesterone but I did the responsible thing and tested so there would be no doubt in my mind. Never for a moment did I consider that it would be positive.
There was no excitement or joy. I’ve become numb during this experience. It was probably the most depression pregnancy announcement made to a husband ever. Because what I did say to him was “There is a line”. His response: “Okay”. And then it was over. He asked me what I was going to do and I told him I’d get a blood test in the morning but other than that we pretty much ignored it.
We are too damaged. Too afraid of the outcome. I fear another loss, he fears my subsequent meltdown.
My doctor is good to me. I called the next morning, they got me in that afternoon, and I had my results by that evening. I told my co-workers I needed to step outside to check my voicemail. I pressed the phone to my ear and listened as my cheerful nurse told me that my blood results were positive for pregnancy…however my HCG was on the “low side”. As she said the number I merely nodded my head and thought “that sounds about right”. Because my number isn’t just on the low side. It’s shockingly low. I had braced myself for a lower number as I had always done betas on 15dpo in the past and this one was taken on 13dpo. But my number…I almost laughed at it. Because my HCG? It is only at 18.
My first pregnancy was a little low at 15dpo at 65. In order to match that number my HCG will have to quadruple. My second pregnancy was 233 at 15dpo. To match that number my number would have to multiply by 13. Mind you both these pregnancies failed. So I’m thinking my 18 isn’t looking to good.
My expectations are low. I am willing to bet that I go in tomorrow for my next beta, the number does go up, but does not double. From there we will pray it is not ectopic. Truthfully if it is going to end I’d rather it end now. I’d rather see declining numbers tomorrow rather than have this drag out painfully.
.My number 4. 4th pregnancy and it is looking like my 4th loss. I know some people would give their right hand to be as “fertile” as me. We have gotten pregnant almost every month we have tried this year. But truthfully right now it feels like a curse. To get a brief glimpse of what could be and then to have it taken away over and over again.
How Far Along: 9+2 Weeks
What is up with Maybe Baby: MB is now the size of a Green Olive. My uterus is the size of a grapefruit…and it feels like it. MB’s heart is now dividing into 4 chambers and the embryonic tail is completely gone. The placenta is now formed enough to start taking over the job of producing hormones. In my case I hope it does it soon so I can get off the 3x a day Crinone mess.
What is up with my body: This week has been interesting to me. Some of my symptoms have definitely started to wane a bit which of course scares me to death. It did not help when I received Tami’s sad news. But I am trying to be positive and confident since I am getting closer to my second trimester. I am still very tired and my boobs still hurt but I often wonder if that is because of MB or the amount of progesterone I’m taking.
My nausea has been reduced dramatically. I still feel it a little bit here and there throughout the day but not to the same extent anymore. Sometimes I even wonder if I am making it all up in my head because I NEED to feel like it hasn’t disappeared completely.
This will be the longest I’ve gone since our 6 week scan without seeing MB and making sure all is well. I know how lucky I am to have gotten to see MB so frequently but it is honestly making me a nervous wreck. I just want to know that that little heart is still beating strong and that all my fears are unfounded. But I will have to try to be calm and patient since our next look will not be till a week from tomorrow.
Cravings: Still nothing major.
Aversions: I’m still struggling finding things that sound and taste good to eat. A lot of times I end up eating cereal when all else fails.
Gender: Please still have a beating heart…I don’t care about much else.
Best moment of the week: Seeing MB right before we left of vacation. It is amazing how much bigger MB looked in just a week. It was also so great to be able to tell my little brothers that if all goes well they will all be Uncles in March.
Looking forward to: My 10 week ultrasound. It can’t come soon enough, although I’m sure once it is here I’ll be so scared that I won’t want to go.
Other: A little rant about insurance here. So when I had my blood drawn this week to check my progesterone it never entered my mind that they would have to raise the dose AGAIN. I mean I was one Prometrium 2 times a day and Crinone 2 times a day. Seems like plenty, no? Well my body says NAY! And they decided to add another dose of Crinone a day. Problem was, I only packed enough for 2 times a day. Yes, I have been very lucky that my office has supplied me with all my Crinone for free. But now we had no choice to call it in to the pharmacy. I was expecting to get screwed financially by this. I know some of my friends told me how much theirs was costing and I expected around the same numbers.
But then I get to the pharmacy and they tell me for 15 doses of Crinone it would cost me $419…and insurance would pay nothing. NOTHING. SERIOUSLY?!?! I about puked. For me 15 doses is a mere 5 days worth. If my office was not supplying me there is NO way we’d be able to afford this! It is unbelievable! Luckily I had a prescription discount card that you can use in case of insurance denial. The girl was convinced that it would only save me a few dollars but I had her run it and it took our total down to $269. Still unreal. But better. So yes…my placenta needs to take over the progesterone production ASAP. I can’t handle anymore of this.
Sorry I’m posting this a bit late, we’ve been on the road so I didn’t get a chance to update you all on our scan on Tuesday. MB is doing great and is getting so big! Heart rate was up to 170 bpm which Dr. said is fantastic. You could also see the arms, legs, umbilical cord, and the amniotic sac surrounding the baby. It is really amazing to me what a difference a week can make.
My body is however fighting the power with this whole progesterone thing. Had another blood draw and even with taking Crinone 2 times a day in addition to Prometirum twice a day, my progesterone level was only 20.67. Yes this is in the normal first trimester range, and there is also going to be a higher dosage near my uterus that does not register on a blood test but they still would like to see my blood work at least at 30. So now I get to do Crinone 3 times a day! Lucky me! But of course I only packed enough for twice a day so it is off to the pharmacy I go. I’ve been really lucky because my RE office has a ton of Crinone samples and they have basically supplied it all for me for free. So I shouldn’t be mad that I have to pay for a few doses. Well 12 really. But yeah.
I’m mostly just frustrated that my body is being so damn stubborn. I’m really grateful that I have a doctor that is watching this so closely and is doing whatever needs to be done to keep MB growing, it’s just aggravating that my body is not helping at all.
Stupid pregnant girl problems…I know.
Sorry about the whinny woe-is-me post. Just had to vent for a bit. In the mean time I am out-of-town but I’ll still try to post bumpdates and what not since really our only plans for this vacation is to sit around and be lazy.
I’ve gotta thank Kelly again for sending my some preggy pops. They seriously helped me on our car ride SO much. Thanks love!