January 14, 2007

Well, That Was Fun While It Lasted

As I’m sure you can guess, Friday morning’s ultrasound did not go well. It was done at an office that includes a perinatologist, a genetic counselor and a radiologist who specializes strictly in obstetrical radiology. If you’re there, it’s because something is going (or appears to be going) very, very wrong – it’s not the kind of place where you go if you’re having a happy, run-of-the-mill pregnancy.

After what was by far the most thorough wanding of my life (the tech recorded 53 different images!), the radiologist came in and gave the verdict: “abnormal pregnancy tissue,” “an abnormally shaped gestational sac” and “there’s no hope for this to progress.”

I held it together pretty well up until the words “there’s no hope,” and then my throat closed, my eyes started to fill up and I scanned the room in hopes of spotting a Kleenex box. The tech noticed, and she grabbed a very long, thin box and brought it over to me.

For a moment, I didn’t understand, because this was not like any Kleenex box I’d ever seen. Then, as she pulled out this big, thick paper that had to be at least 20 inches by 20 inches, the image of a clown pulling a giant handkerchief out of his sleeve flashed through my mind. The sound that came from my throat began as a laugh but ended up more like a choked cry.

The radiologist and the tech took that as their cue to high-tail it out of the room, which they promptly did. As soon as the door shut behind them, I buried my whole face in the clown Kleenex and wailed.

I have to hand it to that place – at least they know their audience. No normal-size tissues designed for a dainty little sneeze. No siree, these were definitely industrial strength Kleenex, designed for industrial strength tears.

I’ve been told to stop all meds and to expect the miscarriage of baby B to begin sometime this week.

Two miscarriages less than three weeks into the new year. Not exactly the way I had pictured to start 2007…

January 10, 2007


On Monday, I was composing a post in my head about how well this pregnancy seems to be going. My symptoms were good over the weekend – fatigue, increasing nausea, etc. I was ready for lunch by 10:30 a.m. on Monday (the women in the office were laughing at me), and I made R stop and get me a ridiculously large dinner when he stopped by my office at 4:30 p.m. because I was already starving again. Just before he arrived, I went to the bathroom. Everything was fine – not even a speck of spotting.

Less than three hours later, there was blood. Not just a little bit of spotting, but a small clot in the toilet and enough to bleed through to my pants. I paged the doctor on call at my ob/gyn’s office, and he advised us to go to the emergency room.

So we did. And we sat and waited, and sat and waited, with me getting up every hour or so to go pass more clots. When you’re barely 6 weeks pregnant and bleeding, the ER docs and nurses know there’s really nothing they can do for you, so you are at the bottom of the waiting room food chain.

We sat there for five hours, until 1 a.m. I finally went back to the triage nurse, told her I was thinking I’d probably be better off just going home and promptly burst into tears. She promised to try to get me a bed as quickly as she could, which turned out to be another hour later.

They put me in the ER’s ob/gyn room, which at least afforded us a little more privacy than being in a bed separated only by curtains. I remember R and I joking and laughing about things, although at this point I don’t remember what the subject of our jesting was. I just remember commenting on how perverse it seemed that we are able to laugh while I’m sitting there possibly bleeding out our baby. But I guess we’ve been through this so much that it doesn’t phase us like it used to.

An ultrasound was done, and the tech couldn’t see a gestational sac. We thought that was the beginning of the end, but then my hcg level came back at almost 7,400. The first miscarriage I experienced was at pretty much the exact same point in the pregnancy, and that time my hcg on that day was only 424. So we grasped onto the little bit of hope that number presented.

We finally got home at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, and then slept for several hours. The bleeding had turned to light spotting, and by early afternoon, it stopped altogether for a few hours. It returned Tuesday night, but by this morning was brown instead of pinkish red and then stopped by late morning.

We went to my ob/gyn for another ultrasound today. He was able to see a gestational sac, although he said it only looked like it was about 5 weeks, and I’m 6w3d today. He wasn’t happy with the quality of images he gets from his machine for this early stage, so he’s sending me for a level 2 ultrasound someplace else on Friday morning.

The spotting resumed again after the ultrasound, but it’s still very light and mostly brown, so I’m trying to take those as good signs. Our RE thinks we still have a good chance of this working out, and that I probably lost a baby on Monday night. The ob/gyn says we “have a fighting chance” and he’s not willing to say it’s a non-viable pregnancy at this point, but of course he’d prefer the sac be bigger. (Wouldn’t we all?!)

So for now I’m sitting at home, trying to rest and not drive myself too crazy worrying about what is ultimately beyond my control at this point. I’m going to try to catch up with all of you during the next few days.

January 01, 2007

Poking My Head Back Out

I suppose it’s time for me to come back out of my cave.

I’m fine – I haven’t been sad or depressed or anything. It’s just that we’ve had a lot of non-infertility stuff going on what with moving, trying to sell two houses and getting adjusted to a new boss, so the infertility stuff (and blogging and pretty much anything else not house-related) has kind of been pushed to the background for a couple months. Actually, it’s been kind of nice not to focus so much on infertility – I was even beginning to remember what it is like to have a “normal” life!

But, of course, “normal” only lasts for so long, and in my case it tends not to be long at all.

We did our second FET in December. Doc gave us two choices after FET #1 failed: Do another FET, this time transferring back three embryos rather than two; or leave our eight frozens alone for now and do another fresh cycle with less stims (not that I was on much to begin with) to see if that could improve egg quality.

I didn’t see myself being up for another fresh cycle until March or April, so we opted for the FET. To be honest, I wasn’t really in the mood to do that, either. I looked at it mainly as one more thing we had to do so we could cross it off our list, and at one point I almost opted not to go forward with the cycle and wait until after the beginning of the year.

But finally I found a little better place, and we continued forward. Then the betas came back:

Dec. 22, 7dp5dt: 48
Dec. 26, 11dp5dt: 181

So, I’m officially – well, you know. I still have a difficult time saying the word. There are some people who know we were cycling. I’ve told them I’m “incubating.” It’s more scientific, less emotion-laden. It helps me be detached.

I’m 5w1d today. I had some mild pain/cramping/aching from about 3w6d to 4w4d. That made me nervous. Then it went away. That, too, made me nervous. It came back a little bit yesterday. That made me happy, then nervous.

I’ve also had nausea and a heightened sense of smell on and off, but that doesn’t seem to be happening consistently either. I’m happy when I feel it, but nervous when I don’t. On the plus side, so far there hasn’t been a speck of spotting and I’ve been going to the bathroom pretty much every two hours very consistently.

Our first ultrasound isn’t scheduled until Jan. 11, which would be 6w4d. It will be with my ob/gyn, since we cycled out of state. I’m debating whether to call and see if I can get it moved up to this week. What do you think?

People keep saying, "Oh, aren't you so excited?!" Honestly, no, I'm not. Blissful ignorance is not an option anymore in our world. I'm scared. I'm trying to have faith. I'm taking it one day at a time, because there are no guarantees and things could change at any moment. I don't know that I will truly be able to be excited until I am holding a baby in my arms.

Here's hoping that 2007 is a year that brings all of us great joy...