Sunday, March 31, 2013

The pain got better then got worse

Thursday, the day of my D&C was physically painful, but then Friday I felt really good again. There was hardly any bleeding or cramping and I felt very similar to how I did after my hysteroscopy last July, so I thought I'd have a quick recovery once again. However, yesterday the bleeding picked up a lot out of nowhere, as did the cramping. The cramping was so bad I actually called the after-hours number for my OB and asked for advice. The on-call nurse said to go to the ER if I had excessive bleeding or cramping that was unbearable.

Last night after dinner I was in even more pain and had to lay down and take it easy. And there was a LOT more bleeding too seemingly out of nowhere. But while it was painful, I still considered it tolerable and I wasn't bleeding to the level the nurse mentioned was ER worthy. So I went to bed but was up every few hours because of the pain and checking on bleeding. This morning seems to be somewhat better but I'm still hurting way more than that day following the procedure.

Emotionally I feel some healing happening too. Although Friday night Kevin and I both just cried hysterically together for a while talking about our little Maggie and how much we loved her. The feeling that night was so empty and lost. I hate that this happened, but I know we will be able to heal. We have one another and we are so blessed for that.

As far as the physical pain goes, my question to you all is: has anyone else who has been through a D&C experienced a seemingly quick recovery physically only to have delayed cramping and bleeding later on? I'm really hoping this calms down by tomorrow because I told my work I'd be back and if I'm feeling like I did last night, that doesn't appear likely.

I had planned to make a delicious Easter meal for Kevin chock full of honey roasted ham, potatoes, and pecan pie and I but I'm worried about overexerting myself, since that seems to be exasperating the situation. I think I'll be supervising from the couch and Kevin will make it this year. I think I can deal with that. :)

Update: After I wrote this post, I ended up having even more pain to the point where I told Kevin I needed to go to the ER at around 11am. But before we did, I opted to take three IB profen and try to wait it out until at least noon. My bleeding started to increase and I ended up passing some really large clots. After those clots passed, I felt a million times better and the bleeding appears to have slowed down. I took it easy the rest of the day and felt pretty good for the most part.When I talked to the nurse and described what happened, she said it's not uncommon for blood clots to pass post D&C. Your body goes into contractions and will expel them on your own. Wow, it hurt BAD but I'm so glad it's over!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

More bad news

The RE called me to answer some questions that I had about next steps. She felt like everything looked good to cycle again in a few months and felt that the reason for this miscarriage was due to chromosomal issues with the embryo. We just drew the unlucky card. 

I asked about our final remaining embryo, and she told me the embryologist would give me a call to discuss that aspect.

A few hours later, sure enough I got a call from the embryologist. She told us that while she does not know the grading of the final embryo, she is not optimistic about it surviving thaw due to the way it was frozen and refrozen using "slow-freeze" technique. We thought this might be the case, but to hear an expert in the field tell us this about our final remaining embryo was like ripping another piece of our heart out. 


Friday, March 29, 2013

The D and C

Yesterday I had my D and C at 9w1d. It went a lot better emotionally than I had expected. When I first sensed trouble with this pregnancy, I kept thinking about how a D and C would go and I pictured myself crying on the way to the surgery center, at the surgery center, in recovery, etc. But it didn't happen like that. I teared up a couple of times though. Once when one of the nurses came over and kindly told me she had experienced a miscarriage too and how sorry she was for our loss. This meant a lot because the previous nurse was so flippant about our situation I could tell she totally didn't get it - even when I tried to explain the road we had traveled.  I also cried when one of my brothers texted me telling me how sorry he was. I didn't tell him the news, but I asked that my Dad do it. My brothers and I are not very close, I'll have to write a post about that story one of these days but to hear from one of them meant the world. Maybe I'll still hear from the other, but I'm not holding my breath.

I think the reason I didn't cry is because I didn't feel like yesterday was the "goodbye." Baby Maggie had stopped growing sometime the week prior. And all that was left was her body, not her spirit. I know her spirit had already left and was in God's loving arms. Kevin made a point that this was just a process for the body and that's exactly how I felt.

The procedure itself went very well. The OB talked to Kevin while I was in recovery and said everything was very easy and he was thorough. The baby and the gestational sac had already detached themselves from the uterine wall and clots were forming around it. This was a sign that a miscarriage was imminent - likely in the next day or two. It reaffirmed that the choice to do a D and C was the right one which brought so much comfort as we had struggled with this decision for at least two weeks. There was no amount of waiting that would have helped Maggie grow. And while her body is not longer with me, her spirit will always be. The D and C will never change that.

I had a lot of pain after the procedure and slept most of the afternoon and evening. Kevin  was suffering quite a bit emotionally yesterday and felt the finality to our loss. I love him so much and I hate seeing him suffer like this, but I know it's a necessary part of this process. He is the most incredible man and was the best Dad anyone could have asked for in the past 9 weeks that Maggie was with us.

Planting her Magnolia tree was so therapeutic for me and I know meant a lot to Kevin too. I didn't actually do the work to plant it, I can thank my incredible husband for that. Watching him dig a hole in the earth felt like a funeral of sorts. Placing the sleeping baby statue made both of us tear up. Kevin went inside to get something and one of our neighbors kids went outside and started saying "Mommy! Mommy!" right at that moment. That definitely tore a piece of my heart out. Someday I pray some little voice will be calling that word out emphatically to me.

Thank you for all of your kind comments on my previous posts. I normally go back and respond to each and every one but there are just too many for me to do that. I want you to know how grateful I am and I have read every single one. I have cried at the outpouring of support and it's meant the world.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Our Magnolia memorial

Kevin planted our memorial tree in memory of our snowflake baby this afternoon. We didn't quite know what to get, but when we came across a beautiful Little Gem Magnolia Tree tree at the nursery, we just knew it was the right one. It blooms beautiful flowers from May through October. I always felt like this baby was a little girl, and she deserved a name. So I named her Magnolia. Mommy and Daddy will always love you and will miss you, Baby Maggie.

While at the nursery, we found the perfect statue to go next to the tree:. A sleeping angel baby. I will always be able to look out of my window and see my precious Magnolia growing strong. She may not have ever been in my arms, but she will be forever in my heart. I know I will meet her someday in heaven and grandma is with her watching over her until I join them.

We are so blessed to have such an outpouring of love and sympathy today. I thank God for our friends and family, my incredible and caring doctors, and you as my blog readers. You have helped me feel that I'm not alone during this excruciatingly painful time. Thank you so much for the support.

Born straight to heaven

I write this through tears.

Our baby didn't make it. No heartbeat today. The fetal pole had shrunk which the OB said is a sign of reabsorption. The fact that it shrunk was enough for the OB to assure us that this baby didn't make it on it's own and we have a D&C scheduled for tomorrow at noon CST. I will be 9w1d. I feel comfortable knowing this is the right thing to do now. I prayed for guidance on this decision and this is the right one without question.

Thank you so much for the prayers for healing. We know our baby was born straight to heaven and is in God's loving arms now.

I think I want to go plant a tree in our yard near my mom's memorial tree in our baby's memory. I already miss this baby so much.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Anxious for tomorrow

There's really not any big update but I figured I'd type something up this morning.

We are anxious awaiting tomorrow morning's ultrasound appointment. The OB said last Wednesday that he'd be able to call this pregnancy viable or not at tomorrow's appointment. I'm terrified and somewhat relieved all at the same time. However, one thing I've really come to realize is I need proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's not viable for me to really believe it and take action. I'm beyond terrified of miscarrying naturally especially this late in the game at 9 weeks. I've read way too many accounts of how that process physically and emotionally goes and I don't think I can do it for a whole array of reasons. For one, I am terrified of seeing the baby come out. I couldn't even see my mom's body after she died because I wanted to remember her in her living state and I have no regrets about that. This feels similar to me. But on the flip side, I know I can't do a D&C without 110% knowing that it was already over either. It's such a delicate path to walk and either choice will have implications for the rest of my life.

Every minor cramp or twinge I have makes me immediately wonder if this is the beginning of the end. I have no idea what my hcg levels are doing since we aren't going to take anymore (according to the RE) so for all I know they are dropping. It's crazy where your mind goes to when you're going through this. But in reality, I've only had really minor cramping and no spotting whatsoever.

I don't want to sound completely doom and gloom and I am still hanging onto a glimmer of hope for a miracle heartbeat tomorrow. It does happen in miracle cases. I mean, the truth is that the OB DID see a fetal pole last week so the next step should be a heartbeat. But we are braced for either outcome. And we are even braced for having to wait some more if that's what it takes. But every day brings us closer to knowing where this will ultimately take this.

For certain I can say Kevin and I both love this baby more than anything and whether or not our snowflake baby is born here on earth or born straight to heaven, this will never change. I've been thinking a lot about the song the young mother would sing to her child in  "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. This was a cherished book my mom used to read to me when I was small and brings tears to my eyes whenever I think about it, as you can imagine:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Too many tears and an OB update

First of all, thank you so much for the outpouring of love, support, and encouragement from yesterday's gloomy faith-questioning post. I was at a very low place yesterday. I couldn't stop crying for the majority of the day. I cried while in the shower, getting ready for work, driving to work. I was so upset I think I even forgot to brush my teeth. I had a one-on-one meeting with my boss and he asked me how I was doing with everything because he knows the basics of what is going on. And guess what? I cried in there too. At least it wasn't sobbing ugly-crying. Just more of the eyes-tear-up-and-you-need-to-catch-your-breath-before-speaking kind of cry. He is very understanding and said if I need time away from work, I can have it. I'm sure I will, but right now I'm trying to tough it out because I will need it if the end finally comes. One of my coworkers came over to me later in the day and asked me if I was okay. I think he could probably sense my moping and lack of talking to others. I explained things weren't going well on the pregnancy front, and of course choked back tears explaining it. Hopefully the crying trigger will be a little less sensitive today.

The OB's nurse called yesterday and left a voicemail. She said they received the beta results. If you'll remember, the OB said at Wednesday's appointment that if the beta was below 10,000 he would call this over now. Well, apparently he saw the results were 8661 and is now saying that we should still "press forward" so I would consider that a change of mind from his earlier statement. I'm slightly uplifted by this, except I still believe this is not headed in a good direction. But at least I know his recommendation is not to end this now. Because I couldn't even if he wanted me to.

My next ultrasound is next Wednesday, March 27th at 8:30am CST.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Why do I pray?

What is the purpose of prayer? It is a genuine question that I have done a lot of thinking about and I'm not quite sure I understand why I do it anymore.

If God has a plan for me, then why would He alter it just because I asked Him to through prayer? If His plan is for our baby to die, what difference will my begging and pleading make? What is the point?

In hindsight, His plan was to take my mom to heaven. We prayed for her heath, for her not to suffer. Yet she suffered greatly then died despite our pleas. That was apparently His plan.

I have prayed for peace through our infertility, yet it has been the hardest thing we've ever endured. We have suffered so greatly and in a way that even our most caring loved ones can't even begin to understand.

I prayed that the doctors were wrong about my DOR diagnosis. They weren't.

I prayed that IVF would work for us in 2012. It didn't.

I prayed all of our embryos would survive after thaw so we'd have options in case our transfer failed. Two died and only one remains. It could very well die at thaw too after spending thousands of dollars, many injections, and months to prepare my body to receive it.

I have prayed for both Kevin and I to have peace and comfort during this excruciating time as we likely lose this precious baby who we went to enormous lengths to have. Yet we have not received peace or comfort. We are  broken beyond words.  I have prayed for reassuring betas, ultrasounds, appointments. They don't happen. We get a glimmer of hope only to have it yanked away. It just feels like one blow after another.

I'm praying I don't start bleeding at work, or at the grocery store, or sitting in traffic. But is this the next step in His plan for me? Am I supposed to learn something from enduring even more trauma?

If it is His will for this baby to die and for us to suffer, what is the point of my prayers?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Beta #7 results are in

Beta is 8661. Doubling time is now 217 hours. The OB said if it was under 10,000 it was over for us. So I guess by that train of thought, it's over.

I cannot in a good conscience schedule a D&C based off of this beta not being at the 10,000 mark. While I may say that emotionally I've given up hope, I won't physically give up right now. I just don't have it in me to do that to this child of mine. I don't care how much emotional turmoil I have going on, I'm the mother for now and I'm putting this baby first ahead of my need for closure, even if I know it's going to end in tragedy.

I shared the results from today with the RE and she said she doesn't want to run any more betas because she doesn't think they will be useful anymore. I must say that I'm relieved about that. I'm not sure if the OB will agree, but we will see. We will rely on ultrasounds to determine where this pregnancy is going. I know I keep saying this, but by next week we should have answers. I'm beginning to feel like a broken record. Broken.

Still in a holding pattern

I had my u/s and beta this morning. No beta results yet, but I can update you on the u/s at least.

I am 8 weeks today, and we saw that the 12mm empty gestational sac from last week  had grown to 24mm today and now has a fetal pole and yolk sac. However, no heartbeat. The OB said that we should see a heartbeat by now, however it's possible that due to my tilted uterus, it's just that the ultrasound can't pick it up. I'd buy into this theory except my betas and doubling time have sucked so bad up to this point that it's difficult for me to hang onto any hope at all anymore since clearly we aren't experiencing normal stuff by now.

He said that if my beta results come back under 10,000 today then we can call it over today. Otherwise, we wait it out for another week, have a final u/s and he will feel comfortable calling it one way or the other then. I figured we'd have closure today (and we might if the beta sucks) but sounds like we are in a holding pattern until next week. I can definitely do this for another week but it's hard!

I wish I could say I was hopeful, but I'm not. I'm so freakin' damaged at this point that hope scares the absolute crap out of me. I almost feel like I'm being toyed with. :(  I pray pray PRAY I'm wrong and next week we see a beautiful heartbeat. But I'm fully expecting my beta to come back this afternoon telling the final chapter to this story as a big eff you, Liz.

There's my update. I want this to end positively like you wouldn't believe but I just can't get myself back on the hope-wagon. It kills me to see Kevin have hope in his eyes again, because I know what it will look like if it's whisked away. I probably should talk to a shrink because I shouldn't feel this way, but I do. :( Thanks for listening, caring, and thinking about us and praying for us.

I'll post the beta results once they are in.

Monday, March 18, 2013

To the friends/family of someone struggling with infertility

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days.

We are still in a torturous holding pattern. I'm not sure what else to say about it hence why I haven't really had anything to write about. We are still braced for the news of a blighted ovum miscarriage on Wednesday. I lie awake almost every night with a heavy heart and a injured soul. It is becoming easier to face the facts than hold out unjustified hope. It feels like it's the right thing to do at the moment and acknowledge where this is headed, as painful as it is. We can't explain away the non-doubling betas or the empty sac at 7 weeks. That's just the reality of it. Unless a actual miracle happens, we've come to terms with this ending badly.

On top of everything, we are bleeding money left and right for these ultrasounds and lab work appointments because my RE's billing staff still has not processed our claim properly for the FET and it appears our deductible for 2013 has not been met, when it really has. I'm so upset over that. I hope it can get worked out this week. I am riding them like crazy but it doesn't seem to matter. I hate to say this, but if I have a D&C (surgery to remove the contents of a miscarriage from a uterus) in my future and I have to pay out of pocket needlessly for it, I'm going to blow an emotional gasket and probably have a nervous breakdown. Or I could just spontaneously start bleeding at the moment I least expect it. Like at work, during a meeting, or while laying in bed. I can't begin to describe the emotions we are working through.

On a separate but related note, I receive daily emails from a Christian infertility organization called Sarah's Laughter. I liked this one and thought I would share.

I have heard friends and family say to us "I was going to reach out but I just didn't know what to say." That's a tough situation to be in. Those suffering need the support and love from their family and friends. Hopefully this post will help those of you know how to best support someone in your life who is suffering from infertility/loss.

For Friends & Family

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.  
Philippians 4:13-14

If you are the one struggling with infertility, guess what?  Today’s Daily Double Portion is not for you!  Please print this copy out, hand it to the nearest friend or family member, turn your computer off and patiently wait until tomorrow for your next Daily Double Portion!

If you love someone who is carrying the heavy load of unplanned “un-pregnancy”,  you may find it difficult to know how to offer support for their struggle.  They definitely need your encouragement, but it is sometimes so difficult for friends and family to know how to offer the support.  As we struggle with infertility, our relationships with friends and family are undeniably touched.  Those who conceive easily may have difficulty truly understanding the struggle an infertile couple faces every single day.  In our effort to offer support for those who struggle, we submit these suggestions for ways that friends and family can offer their own support to those they love.  These are simple, practical ways to show your love and support.  If Sarah’s Laughter can help you in any way, please feel free to contact us at any time.

What to Say...

  • I’m so sorry.
  • I’m praying for you. (Only say this if you really will pray.)
  • How would you like me to pray for you? (Join in agreement with them in prayer.  Don’t assume you know what they’re praying for.  They may be praying for something that seems totally off the wall to you.  You don’t have to understand why certain things are important.  It may be important for your friend to not be invited to her cousin’s shower, or to be called into work on what should have been her due date.  When you validate their feelings by praying in agreement with them, it can be a beautifully healing thing.)
  • I’m here if you need to talk. (Then don’t be afraid of what they may say.  Don’t be offended if they don’t want to talk.  Being available to them as a sounding board is priceless.)

What NOT to say...

  • Relax, honey.  It will happen.  (This minimizes the hurt the couple is feeling.  Also, sometimes it doesn't happen.)
  • You’re so lucky not to be tied down with kids.  You can go on vacation any time you want.
  • At were only a few weeks along, At have one child.At have time with just the two of you.  (A good rule of thumb is--if you start a sentence with “at least” it’s probably the wrong thing to say!) In our case, "At least you have one embryo left" can fall into this category.
  • So whose fault is it--yours or his?  (Infertility is not an issue of fault.  It is a medical condition that carries a heavy emotional and spiritual burden.  This is an intensely personal battle.  If they want--or need--to share personal, medical information with you, let them.  It’s really quite an honor to be trusted with such vulnerable information. If they don’t want to share, please don’t ask.)
  • You can always have another baby.  (Unfortunately, many who experience infertility also experience loss.  Even if they are blessed with a houseful of other children, they still grieve the baby they've lost.  They love  this baby.  They want this baby.
  • I know how you feel.  (No, you don’t.  Even if you suffered with infertility or miscarriage, you cannot know exactly how this person feels.  You may have a good idea based on your own experience, but not the specifics of this situation.)   
  • Don’t cry.  It’ll be okay.  (Let them cry.  Let them cry with you or on you. Just let them cry.)

Be Sensitive...

  • Infertility and loss are excruciating experiences which tend to be extremely private.  If someone dares to trust in you and shares these experiences with you, take their hurt very seriously even if you cannot relate to their pain.  Maintain their confidence.  If someone else questions you about your friend’s childlessness, keep the information to yourself.  Even when others ask out of concern, remember the intimacy of this situation.  If and when your friend wants to share with others, she will--just as she shared with you.  
  • Don’t ask infertile women or mothers who have miscarried to pass out gifts on Mother’s Day, host baby showers, etc.  These are excruciating events for those who struggle.
  • Realize that the grief an infertile couple carries begins anew approximately every 28 days.
  • Don’t panic if the couple “emotionally vomits” on you.  Don’t cringe if they start talking about sperm counts or post-coital tests.  Your support can be life giving to someone who feels like they are going to collapse under the weight of an empty cradle.
  • Don’t be afraid of anger.  Hurting people tend to lash out.  If they are angry at their spouse, their doctor, their baby, their body or even at God, let them vent.
  • Give hurting couples an “out” on Mother’s Day/Father’s Day, on days when you have a baby dedication at church, for baby showers, children's birthday parties, etc.  Let them know about the dedication in advance if you are comfortable doing so, so that they can decide if they want to attend that Sunday.  These are hard events to attend.  Don’t criticize if they do not attend.  However, follow up with them if they miss more than just the difficult days or if they are pulling away too much.
  • Let them know you care.  However it works for you and those you care for, just let them know you care. 

As Philippians 4:13-14 says, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength, but it is so good of you to share with your infertile friends/family in their trouble. Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you for caring for hurting people and making such a wonderful effort to ease the pain of unintentional childlessness.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'm just sad

After yesterday's ultrasound, we held onto some hope for a while. But after Kevin got home from work we really got to talking about it, and we we came to real terms with the possibility of this ending badly. We came to terms with the fact that there's a very good chance this will be a blighted ovum miscarriage. We talked realistically about next steps. Those of you who have been through a blighted ovum miscarriage before I'm sure have been thinking the same thing and maybe just haven't been willing to say it, and I appreciate helping us stay optimistic. But we know too much at this point. Sure, we can and will hold onto hope for a miracle but the reality is that we are already at 7 weeks with just an empty sac AND betas that aren't doubling properly. Next week should finally give us answers, but I'm afraid of what those answers will be. But at least we will have answers, there is some relief in that. I can't begin to describe the emotional turmoil this has put us through. We have never been through something so horrific in our lives. We just need answers and to get out of this gray area.

We are praying for a miracle, but the truth is, I can feel that we are both working through the stages of acceptance that this may not be it for us. And today I'm just really sad, weepy, and depressed.

Last night, I had a dream that my mom was comforting me through this. I wonder if it was really her.

Thanks for listening. Please continue to pray for a miracle for us.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

7w0d ultrasound update

I just got home from the ultrasound appointment with the OB. It went pretty well! No bad news! And to me, no bad news is great news. :) As the RE had said during the pep talk yesterday, our goal today was to see gestational sac growth and we definitely got that. No fetal pole or yolk sac yet, but we have another appointment next Wednesday where hopefully we will get to see that. I will also have yet another beta drawn that day too. He originally asked that we do the beta on Tuesday (the day before the ultrasound) but I requested that we stop with the betas already because they are causing Kevin and I so much emotional distress. The doctor said it's good information to have, but compromised and said we could do the beta draw on the morning of ultrasound day. That way we will get the beta back after we've already done the ultrasound. This sounded SO much better to me! Those betas are killing us. I hope this approach gives us a little more peace of mind.  He also agreed with the RE that there's a very slim chance that this is still ectopic, but he's much less concerned about that at this point.

Anyway, here are the photos to compare of the two ultrasounds. The top is from today, and the bottom is from Friday. Check it out! What a difference! I had no idea so much was going on in there.

We obviously were concerned that we are at the 7 week mark with no fetal pole or yolk sac yet. But the OB said that every pregnancy is different. And while we aren't out of the woods until we have a heartbeat, this is going in the right direction and he's pleased for now. I'm so happy we aren't out of the game yet and this little one is hanging on, albeit slowly! Thank you for the continued prayers. I know it's not just lip service and that you all are actually praying for us, because these prayers are making a difference. We are overwhelmed with the amount of love and support from friends, coworkers, and blog readers. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The RE pep talk

The RE just called me again just to see how I was doing. I already received the beta results but I think she could sense my emotional breakdown from Friday's insanity and is trying to give me some TLC by holding my hand every new step of the way. I REALLY appreciated this. Here are some things she said:

I should try to not worry about the betas. Betas wildly vary. No two pregnancies are the same. We don't even necessarily need to see them double perfectly within the standard limits. Those are just averages, and many women don't fall within those standards. My betas are still going way up, even if not perfectly! We will get concerned if betas drop, or if they hit a plateau. But for now, they are rising and she is pleased.

We put in two beautiful blasts. One might be struggling/decreasing and the other struggling/increasing. It's difficult to say but we should try not to put too much stock into the betas. A struggling twin is a possibility....albeit slim.

The important thing is that we see some growth on the gestational sac at the next ultrasound. We may not see anything else, but growth will be the goal. If we see more than that, great!

We still have a minor concern over an ectopic because without the fetal pole and yolk sac in the gestational sac, we cannot verify that what the OB saw on ultrasound was indeed a pregnancy. It could just be a uterine anomaly. I am to continue to pay close attention to any bleeding or severe cramping and call the doctor immediately if this happens. So far I've had none of either.

Even though I appreciated her call, I started to cry. I told her that I knew there was no way to tell the future but it has just been torture on us. I asked her point blank - "Have you ever seen this happen before and turn out okay?"

Her response - "Absolutely" without skipping a beat. This gave me so much hope.

Beta #6

Beta #6 today was 4658. This is up from Friday's 2569 giving us a doubling time of 110 hours. At this level, it should be doubling between 72-96 hours. Why can't I just have an mindblowing put-me-at-ease beta for once? I guess it's still going up and the nurse didn't seem concerned. But then again I don't have a lot of faith in the nurses at my clinic right now.

There's my update. Any encouraging words would be appreciated.

Ultrasound is tomorrow at 9am CST.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I'm upset

I am still angry about what happened to us on Friday. It's not consuming my every waking moment or anything, but I honestly feel like I'm recovering from going to a war of sorts. I am traumatized. I think it's hit Kevin even harder than me. He didn't want to do anything this weekend.

I'm just so upset.

When I had to quickly type up the blog post account of what happened on Friday, some parts of the story may not have been clear so I'll try to clear some stuff up here.

We originally chose to go to the OB because he had better imaging equipment to detect ectopic pregnancies. Something using another kind of technology, but I don't  remember what it was called. However, he didn't have to use that special imaging technique to find the gestational sac. He used the regular sonogram machine when he found the sac.

When my RE got the empty ultrasounds sent to her on Friday by my local office, she called me and agreed it definitely did not look good because there was nothing to see. We even talked about the MTX shot to terminate if we continued to not see anything on ultrasound. Had we gone in for another ultrasound and they had seen nothing, we may have terminated a pregnancy needlessly. This is one of the scariest parts of the whole thing.

Another thing that has me really upset is that when we got the "You have no hope" speech, we both had to tell our respective coworkers/bosses that we were not going to be going to work. There's no way we could be at work after getting news like that. Kevin emailed his boss, and I emailed mine. In addition, I knew I was going to be on-call next week starting on Sunday night. I knew that having just lost my baby, there was no way on this earth I was fit to be on-call.  I knew that I had to arrange for coverage quickly since it was a Friday and my on-call started Sunday.  Because of this, I decided to email three of my fellow team members and ask if they wouldn't mind taking over my on-call shift. This is a very big favor to ask on such short notice, so I went ahead and let the cat out of the bag to help them understand why I was asking this favor. I said something along the lines of having lost a baby that we had gone to enormous lengths to have over the course of two years. I figured this was the story's finale, and it would be a fact shared only in hindsight.

Now that we know there actually is a gestational sac and some hope is restored, I feel like an idiot for having shared such personal information with coworkers so early on in the process. I'm definitely glad I did switch my on-call shift because I have no idea how this week will play out. I could very well get the same news on Tuesday (another beta) or Wednesday (second ultrasound) and learn that this baby didn't make it. I'd be right back to square one so I'm hesitant now to continue to provide updates only to have us back to where we started: no baby. But if it does work out, I feel like I cried "wolf"! It's hard to explain how this makes me feel. They are great coworkers and understood, but still, I just feel embarrassed.

Now I'm not quite sure how to approach it with my team members. Do I give them every little detail as this progresses? What if we learn we have lost this baby on Wednesday after I tell them there really is hope after all? That would be back and forth and back and forth. It's driving me crazy. I can't let them go on thinking that I've lost my baby so I'm going to need to give them an update today but it just sucks big-time feeling like I called wolf. And to explain why it's not my fault just seems like sharing TMI.

I'm also upset that if we do lose this pregnancy, we will have had to have go through that kind of pain twice. I'm terrified of going to that place again, even though I know its a very real possibility. I also know it might work out. But we had to needlessly go through something so harrowing and awful it just kills me to think about mourning a miscarriage twice for one child. Just awful.

My RE called me twice on Friday. The first was after she got the bad information from my local office and had my beta results. I told her I was at the OB getting another ultrasound (which hadn't been performed at that point yet.) I think both of us weren't expecting to see anything. After the ultrasound was completed, he sent over the report of what he found, and a few hours later the RE called again.

She just called for no real reason other than to see how I was doing and express her delight that the OB found the sac. I could sense she may have even been irritated herself that she was given bad info by the local office. My RE is really great, it's this other stuff that seems to be the issue. I told her very clearly how upset I was that they had told me it was ectopic and that they had said that we had no hope left. I told her I couldn't believe they were diagnosing patients and giving them no hope when they shouldn't be. The RE agreed that this should never happen. I also told her I wasn't going back to the RE's office ever again and instead the OB will oversee the ultrasounds and bloodwork and the information will be shared with the RE. She understood and told me to contact her directly from now on. They will continue to monitor my meds and my OB will manage this pregnancy. She really is fantastic.

Well, I know that was long but I'm still angry and I felt like I wanted to get that off my chest. Thanks for reading.

I would love prayers for tomorrow's beta and Wednesday's ultrasound.

Friday, March 8, 2013

They were wrong. There is a sac!

We have been crying and grieving all morning after we were told we had no hope after our ultrasound. They couldn't find a gestational sac and said it was ectopic. Devastated doesn't come close to describing how we felt.

After we got home, Kevin urged me to go to our OB who might have better imaging equipment and could possibly locate the ectopic so at least we'd have an answer as to where it was. I was fully prepared for the OB to say the same thing, that we had no hope. I just wanted answers as to where this pregnancy may have landed.

Unbelievably, he found a gestational sac within about 10 seconds IN MY UTERUS!

He said its right in line with my beta which went also up to to today to 2569, doubling time at 90 hours which is under the 96 hour mark for being over 2000. He said the sac is definitely small for 6w2d, but it's there.

I am so upset that we were told we had no hope. They said it was over for us. We left there crying like we have never cried before, hurting like we've never hurt before. I can't believe that happened. As it stands, I have another beta on Tuesday and another ultrasound with my OB on Wednesday.

I appreciate the continued thoughts and prayers as this moves forward. We are being cautiously pessimistic, if that's a word. Hope is so scary to have again after the blow we endured this morning, but we will take every ounce of hope we can get.

There is no baby

Our ultrasound showed no baby.

They said there is no hope. They drew another beta, and in some ways I want it to just have dropped so I know and there's closure. They couldn't even see a gestational sac so they are leaning toward ectopic but no one knows for sure. We are beyond sick. Devastated doesn't even come close to describing how we feel.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's a new day

Yesterday sucked. Bad. I am so glad it's a new day. I was in the depths of a serious depression for the majority of a day into the late afternoon. I've never experienced depression like that. I feel better today, despite the fact that nothing changed since then. We still have our crappy doubling betas looming overhead, but I do feel a little better. I do feel more hopeful. Perhaps it was all of your responses, divine intervention, or maybe my hormones decided to flip a switch but I do feel better today.

I called to schedule our ultrasound, and it turns out I only had Friday as an option so I made it for first thing on Friday: 7am CST. I pray we do get some kind of positive news although I feel like if we don't see anything that day, I can tell myself it's just too early. We will have a second ultrasound next Friday, 3/15. If we don't see anything at that one (7w2d) I can probably say that this likely isn't working out as hoped, and the RE agrees. But I'm holding on hope until then.

Onto lighter news, last night my PIO shot was an interesting adventure. Apparently many REs don't even instruct patients to pull back on the plunger before injecting because of the incredibly slim chance that they might hit a blood vessel. Kevin is an EMT/Firefighter so he is careful to always pull back on mine to check for blood, and last night I'm glad he did because he DID hit a blood vessel! PIO injected directly into a vein would have been very bad to say the least and would have made for a terrible end to a terrible day!

I thought it looked kind of cool in the syringe because the viscosity of the blood was different from the oil so it reminded me of a lava lamp.

That's all for today. I wish I could tell you that my panicked and depressed blog posting days were over, but only time will tell. I'm trying to keep it together, I swear I am. And as I said in the beginning, I promised to be real and honest in my posts so others going through similar experiences wouldn't feel alone. I'm sure I'm not the only person to lose my marbles from crappy beta results, and I won't be the last.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why can't anything just be easy?

This is going to be a very negative blog post. I am in a bad place emotionally. So if you're not in a space to hear negativity, you may want to skip this one. The reason I started this blog is to be a place for others going through similar situations to know they aren't alone. I'm going to be real in expressing how I feel throughout the whole process, and right now I feel defeated and I need to post about it. And no matter how much people tell me to relax, it's a simple fact: I can't. Believe me, I am trying with all of my heart, mind, and soul. This baby is my child. I am her mother. I have now been told that this child of mine who I have spent countless days praying for, immense amounts of money spent on, dozens of needles painfully plunged into my stomach and back to make, endless nights dreaming of....she very well could be ripped away. She could die. I am her mother. Any mother worries for the life of her child. I cannot replace her, so course I'm worried and I can't relax. It is beyond my control.

I have read too many stories about betas not doubling properly and slowing down. I see women post on forums and blog about it all the time. I see these women's cheerleaders and friends telling them it will be okay and that there's nothing to worry about. Then I see them post later that they've miscarried. I am hungry for data and hungry for knowledge. I always have been, that's part of who I am. But I have absorbed way too much data and knowledge along the way and I know way too much for my own good. Non-doubling numbers are not a good sign. I can't put my head in the sand no matter how much I try.

I hardly slept last night, and after my husband left for work I had a good cry. Then I got on my knees and prayed. I was honest with God today. This is extremely faith challenging for me. I am angry that this is not easy. If this does not work out, I will feel played with. If it's destined to not work out, why take me this far? Why? I would feel abandoned by Him. I am being honest, but in the past few years I have prayed for miracles for the things that matter most to me (like my Mom to survive) and those miracles did not happen. At least they didn't happen how I imagined they should.

I know what you all are thinking, and of course the sane part of me is thinking this too. God is in control. God knows what is best for me. God has a plan. But my greatest fear is that it is in God's plan for this to fail. Maybe he wants me to learn something through all of it. Isn't that what most of our failures in life are about? And in hindsight, most of my failures turned out to be blessings. I'm sure even a the loss of our child would be no different. There would be some silver lining I'm sure. I just can't possibly see what it could be at this point, I can't connect the dots. I honestly can't see how I'd heal. I would, but I can't make sense of it right now.

My husband is an incredible man. He has been my rock and I can't believe how lucky I am to have him. He has been worried sick too but has been scouring the internet looking for hopeful stories to counteract the tragic ones I have immersed myself with over the past few years. And it has given me hope, of course. I'd be a fool to lose hope at this point of the game. He said that by this time next week we should have answers. He's always been right when he says stuff like that and I'm sure he's right here too. This time next week we should have answers.

As far as our ultrasound goes, my nurse says I can have my ultrasound this Thursday with my actual RE or this Friday with only the nurse. The RE only comes to our office location every Thursday because it's only a satellite office. Thursday will put me at 6w1d and Friday will be 6w2d. I'm leaning toward Friday but would love to hear your thoughts. I don't want to go in way too early because we might not see something when we could have if we had just waited a day. Also, doing it on Friday gives me the weekend to decompress if we get some kind of bad news.

I'm also a little disheartened about getting incorrect information from my doctor's office. First, I don't think I mentioned this since my beta #2 post but they gave me the wrong beta number for beta #2! I was emailed the results I know it was not my mistake in hearing it. It said it was 294. This put my doubling rate at 44 hours. Well, I get the lab results in my email from the lab and a few days later I saw the results myself. 249. That changed the doubling time to 50 hours. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, but it frustrates me.

I'm also having issues getting our FET claim properly processed. I have had to call and follow up over nine times already because my insurance is not showing it as submitted. The billing person assured me last Wednesday that it was submitted to the insurance but I have yet to have the insurance company say they've received it. I'm ready to scream about this because we have an HSA and our FET amount hitting insurance will make us exceed our yearly deductible. This means all other health costs, infertility related or not, will be covered at 85%. Until that deductible is met, everything, infertility or not is out of pocket. We've actually met that deductible, but until the insurance company registers that, we continue to pay out of pocket needlessly for EVERYTHING. I'm super stressed, everyone. I am not fun to be around and I'm sure of it is amplified by my bad beta yesterday.

Thanks for the continued thoughts and prayers. This has been so hard. Please pray for my baby and pray for us to have peace.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Beta #4 - :(

It came back as 1235 today after being at 580 on Thursday. This puts doubling at 88 hours and not between 48-72 hours like it should be. I'm beside myself in tears. I had to come home early from work and ugly cried the whole way. I had to call my boss and tried to hold back ugly crying (unsuccessfully) telling him I'm gone for the day and possible tomorrow if I can't get it together.

I got my beta by calling into the office and the nurse who answered read it to me but said the doctor had not interpreted the results yet. She said that my assigned nurse would be contacting me with next steps. Sure enough, about 15 minutes later I got an email from my assigned nurse saying that we should get scheduled for an ultrasound next Friday, 3/15. I don't get it. They aren't doing any more betas on me until then and she even said "be prepared to not see a heartbeat or even a baby since it will be so early" (I would be 7w2d at that time so I think it would be pretty bad not to see anything...) Am I losing my mind? 88 hours is terrible.

Anyway, I don't know what to think/feel right now. I'm scared to hold onto too much hope. I'm scared to let myself fall into believing I'm destined to miscarry. I just kind of want to crawl out of my skin.

A baby purchase I couldn't pass up

I saw this onesie yesterday on the clearance rack for $2.99. I know it's presumptuous to get a girl item, but if I did not buy it and we found out we were having a girl, I would have kicked myself. How cute is that?

Well, today is beta #4. I'm feeling pretty good about it and am trying to remind myself that women get pregnant all the time without having beta after beta to consume them. So I haven't even POAS the past few days (which was becoming an obsession) and I'm just going with the flow. I am still praying for a great number. And I also hope that after this beta, we will finally get to schedule an ultrasound. Finally! I'll let you know what happens.

My symptoms are: Fatigue, on and off cramping, food aversions, occasional intensified smell, and occasional nausea.

Thanks for all of your support, as always!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Beta #3. Letting go is hard.

I got beta #3 back yesterday: 580. So here's what we have so far:

Beta #1 @ 11dp5dt-93
Beta #2 @ 14dp5dt - 249   Doubling 50.67 hrs
Beta #3 @ 17dp5dt - 580   Doubling 59.02 hrs

I was really hoping for a mind blowing third beta to finally put my mind at ease, yet this wasn't quite it. However it certainly is still within the normal 48-72 hour doubling range. I realize my traumatized and scarred mental state (thank you, infertility) is forcing me make up bad news at every turn even where there isn't any! In fact when I first got this beta, my first reaction was heartbroken. What the heck? I don't know what I was looking for. But in hindsight, I don't there there was a number high enough that would have made me happy and giddy. But my reaction taught me a lot about the need to really let go of this obsession over these numbers. I have a fourth beta on Monday. Let's see if I can really let go. I'm praying for peace like you wouldn't believe.

I always thought that things would get easier after that BFP. I thought that finally the fear and anxiety would be lifted and I could be normal for once. I'm actually surprised at how this has all felt to me. I really want to enjoy being pregnant like everyone keeps telling me to, but despite this, I'm living in fear. If I can't shake this in the next couple of days/weeks, I might need to go talk to a therapist to try to sort it out. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the events of 2011 and infertility itself. I just want to be freed from it already. It feels like fertiles get to just pee on a stick, see a BFP and live blissfully and happily ever after until their ultrasound. Many might not even know what a beta is. But the betas are getting the best of me right now and it's not good.