Monday, July 30, 2012

Standing still: day 5


The hate took hold by the time I pushed my way out of the Ob's office. The waiting room was filled with swollen bellies, new  moms, and crying babes. Fuck them. I wanted to hiss at them. I wanted to scream at those women that they will never understand how lucky they are. I wanted to claw at them and show them how their petty complains of swollen ankles or lack of sleep could never compare to my imploded heart. I'm scared at how full of hate I am. Fuck me.

In a situation where there is no right or safe answer, I think I'm going to go forward with the D&C. I'm terrified of this just as much as I'm terrified of the alternative. There is no comfort or relief with this choice, there is only second guessing and all consuming fear.

I started bleeding last night. The red blood, though I knew it was coming, made my knees buckle and a wail erupt from a very deep place. I'm petrified my body won't wait for the surgery and that I'm going to have to do this alone.

I'm angry at Mike for changing his mind on which direction we're going. I've been looking to him as the stable one, the logical one, the one that can make the right decision when I cannot. But his lack of being proactive has unnecessarily prolonged this process. Every second of every day, the fear of this dead thing consumes me. I'm terrified that I will forever blame my husband if it is too late.  

I slept next to a pile of towels and a bottle of Vicoden. This is not how things were supposed to happen. Since Thursday, I can't be alone without gruesome thoughts creeping into my head. For the few moments I have slept, I've been plagued by horrifying dreams of steep cliffs and dark places. I'm scared to close my eyes.

A year and a half of infertility caused thousands of hairline fractures in my marriage. Repeated loss has turned those into deep cravases. Mike doesn't understand my grief and thinks I'm over reacting. I don't understand his lack of compassion and question why he is so removed. Instead of finding strength in each other, we are further apart than we have ever been. I'm afraid of my marriage may not be strong enough.

My Ob didn't seem to think my Hashi's was to blame for this. So what then? 25-30% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. The number plummets to 5% for those that have two consecutive miscarriages. The stats are not in my favor. I'm frightened of what this repeated pregnancy loss means.

I feel sick when I think about returning to the clinic. I walked out those doors two weeks ago so proud, but today I'll be returning with my eyes adverted, shoulders rounded, and forever looking fearfully behind me. The appointments, the injections, the speculums, and pregnancy tests are almost too much to return to. The fear of continuing fertility treatments scares me just as much as choosing not to.

The girl I used to be, so generous with unsolicited smiles, compassion, and love for herself and others, is hardening into something that is almost unrecognizable. The irrational desire to lash out and hurt people that don't deserve it is bound to drive everyone away. I'm afraid that this hate and anger has forever changed who I am.

I'm just so fucking scared.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Standing still: day 3

Disclaimer: This blog will not be pleasant for a while. I'm not going to censor myself because frankly, this is the only place I have where I can openly voice what is happening.

I've only gotten a few hours of sleep since Thursday. Because every time I close my eyes, I either see what could have been or the image of my dead baby on the ultra sound monitor. And yes, it had grown enough in the last week and a half to resemble a little human form.

The knife goes in deeper.

And if it weren't enough to grieve the child I finally allowed to hold all my hopes and dreams, I'm forced to make a decision on how, exactly, I would like to expel it from my body. They've given me 2 choices, both of which carry risks and terrify me beyond words.

A natural miscarriage seems straightforward enough, but the process is, from what I hear, excruciatingly painful. You labor the fetus until it is out, by yourself, completely unaided. I guess they don't have labor and delivery classes for women with dead babies. Or maybe I just haven't earned enough points as a mother yet. Whatever the case, there is approximately a 10% risk of developing a severe infection if all the tissue doesn't expel on its own. If this happens, you have to have a D&C anyway. Sounds like a fun way to spend the afternoon, no? Oh, that's not quite right, it could take over a month for the bleeding to stop.

Or, there is the D&C- a surgical extraction of the fetus. You wake up groggy, in pain, and... empty. Sounds like the easier route to take, but there is an approximately 13% chance of complications due to the anesthesia or permanent scarring of the uterus, which of course, could render you permanently infertile. Oh the irony.

Two really great choices, how ever will I ever pick? But just maybe, while I am in the process of making this decision, my body will force my hand. It is a surreal feeling knowing that literally at any moment, the spotting that has already started, could turn into red blood and I'd be forced to my knees. Not that I'm really in the mood to go shopping at the mall or for a picnic at the beach right now... but still.

I cancelled the D&C that was scheduled by my Ob for Monday. For several reasons I was mad at her and didn't know if I trusted her to do the procedure. There is also the very real possibility that I'm just shooting the messenger because she was the one that delivered the bad news. However, the only doctor I *do* trust is Dr. D, and she is out of the country until early August.

So, I have scheduled a consult on Monday with Dr. D's partner instead. She spent some time on the phone with me yesterday and talked me through the options- something my Ob did not do which left me feeling very scared, very confused, and entirely alone. Mike will be coming with me because he's really concerned about the D&C and scarring. In his mind, he'd rather me go through the pain of a natural miscarriage if it means my fertility is preserved. Which, I totally get and I'm glad he is there to think logically because at this point, I've pretty much shut down. But I'm just so scared to have a natural miscarriage. I don't know if I can physically or emotionally handle it. I'm hopeful that Dr. S will somehow give us the direction we need. But in reality I know that she will just present us with the facts and tell us that this is a personal decision that we must make on our own.

In the meantime, I just want to curl up and die.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Standing still

I would have been 9 weeks on Saturday.

But today, we didn't see that sweet little heartbeat anymore. The ultrasound image was unacceptably still. And now my heart, is torn into a million tiny black pieces.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

7 weeks, 4 days

I've been out of town on an emergency trip to visit family. My cousin's wife passed away unexpectedly. There is nothing quite as heartbreaking as going to the funeral of someone that is 4 years younger than yourself and watching her 3 young children peer into her casket wondering why mommy won't wake up. It makes you ask a lot of questions. Wonder what the purpose of all of this is. And cherish those friends and family you have even more.

I am home now and it's nice to be able to sleep in my own bed. Snuggle with my furry babies (yes, Mike is included in that category) and not have the grueling work hours I've been pulling for the last few months. It's also given me some time to try to attempt to wrap my head around this pregnancy, which I've found impossible to do. This is not somewhere where that I ever thought I would be, so how could this really be happening? Answer: just wait Tuttti, everything will be whisked away from you before you know it.

However, with our latest ultrasound I felt a peace come over me that I've not felt since before we started down this road of trying to expand our family. While staring at that monitor, for the very first time, I felt more excitement than I did fear. It's a foreign place to be, but it feels really good.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

6 weeks

And... we have a single, beautiful little heartbeat.

Shock and awe don't even come close to explaining what I'm feeling right now. That, and more hope than I ever remember feeling in my entire life.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cycle 18, CD 43 (33 DPIUI)

I've talked a lot about my thyroid during this process. I've also dwelled a lot on my TSH numbers. But I'm not sure I've ever explained why.

I have Hashimoto's Disease. It is a type of autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is attacked by antibodies. There are varying degrees of this illness but once diagnosed, it can usually be taken care of simply by taking a little pill each morning. That is, unless you are trying to get pregnant. For woman that have Hashimoto's, achieving pregnancy can be difficult (really? I hadn't noticed). But also, maintaining pregnancy can be very difficult. There is a 3 to 4 fold increase of miscarriage (on top of the 20% risk that women normally face) if you have this disease. Basically, the antibodies see the embryo as a foreign invader and attack it. Add insult to injury, there are also risks to the baby and mother if the pregnancy is able to maneuver through the aforementioned minefield.

And the kicker? There isn't a damn thing modern medicine can do about it.

Many months ago when I had my full thyroid panel done, my RE looked at me and said, "Wow, I haven't seen antibody numbers this high in years!" She went on to explain that my risk of miscarriage, once I was pregnant, was very high. She added that success was possible though.

Those odds didn't instill a lot of faith that things were going to end well. And this is why I'm so freaked out.

So here I sit at almost 6 weeks. We made it over the first, very big conception hurdle. Next we are faced with an even bigger monster: maintaining the pregnancy.

Did I mention? We have our first u/s scheduled for tomorrow morning. I never thought it possible to be so excited and so scared at the same time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cycle 18, CD 41 (31 DPIUI)

My delay in posting was not intentional. I got my beta #2 results back late 6/21 and I was on a flight out of town early the next morning. I only just got back and with a free minute to post . The good thing is, all that blood, sweat, and crazy hours I've been putting in for the last 4 months is finally... over. Now we're back to regularly scheduled programming folks!

Rewinding a bit, I left off with a pretty low first beta. I sobbed myself to sleep for 4 days leading up to my second test. And if I'm really being honest here, I sobbed through the actual blood draw too. I worked myself into a complete frenzy and was convinced something was wrong. Nagging in the back of my mind was the idea that nothing as wonderful as being pregnant could possibly happen to me. But the 2nd test came back with strong doubling numbers. And that, from what they tell me, is all that matters.

It was tough knowing that instead of retesting in 2-3 days, I had to wait 11 full days because I was headed out of town again. I was fine for the first few, then I worked myself into a tizzy again. Not just normal fretting, but full on anxiety and certainty that something wasn't right. I woke up thinking about it. I fell asleep thinking about it. I glared at where I estimated my uterus to be and cursed it for making my life so miserable.

Beta #3 came back yesterday. HCG = 3967. Progesterone = 32.92. TSH = .591. It felt like I took my first gulp of air in over a week and a half.

I've always hated reading blogs of recently pregnant women that were consumed with fear. I'd think to myself, "Shut up! I'd cut off my left arm just to be where you are right now." But right now, that's where I am. Absolutely and completely consumed by fear. Fear that I've been given a tiny taste of what it feels like to be pregnant and it is going to be ripped from me. Fear that my body will reject this tiny human that I so desperately want to grow. Fear of having to return to fertility treatments. I never used to be like this; infertility has seriously fucked me up.

I toggle between elation and anxiety every 5 minutes. I feel like the luckiest girl alive yet cursed because the fear is eating me alive. Somehow, I have to figure out how to just... breath.

I've also been hesitant to write this post because I know that every person struggling with infertility that is reading this right now just got kicked in the gut. I don't care how long we've been following each other or how hard we've been rooting for each other, I just hurt you with my news. I feel absolutely horrible for that. I know how it feels and it's devastating. Even though having a child is what we all are shooting for, the last thing I want to do is to make any of you hurt any more than you already do. My stomach is in knots over it.