Monday, March 1, 2010

another appointment.... another devastation

We just got home from our doctor's office about 30 minutes ago and I cannot lie on the bed any longer. I feel like I in exactly the same place, time, mental state I was in exactly a year ago - another failed pregnancy. The only thing I really feel right now is numbness. It is almost as if I expected this news today. I knew my symptoms had gradually started fading about a week ago, and I told my mother and some friends that I had a sinking feeling our baby was not going to make it. But of course, as most people would do, I have prayed and psyched myself up that our baby was going to make it. As soon as we saw the ultrasound screen, however, all motherhood hopes dashed out the window. A little history first is in order to make sense of my devasting quest for motherhood.

My life was coming together perfectly. I was a healthy, active 33 year old with a blessed fiance, great friends, and wonderful family. I finally had found my dream job teaching Spanish at a Catholic elementary school, and my life was truly about to begin.....

Blake and I were married October 11, 2009 on a beautiful day and started our life together with a perfect ceremony, reception, and gorgeous honeymoon fit for movie stars. ( I cannot reccommend El Dorado Maroma en Mexico enough.... those were the days!) I just knew that we would be pregnant right away, and I didn't give miscarriage the slightest thought. Sure I knew people had them, but honestly I never even thought it was an option for us - never entered my mind. Well we missed the window for pregnancy in October due to the date of my cycle right after our honeymoon, but 2 months later in January we had a positive pregnancy test. I was scared at first, but excited also. We had just found out my husband's sister was suprisedly pregnant (she only had one child, 16 year old) as well as my brother's wife and younger brother's girlfriend as well. All three of thier pregnancies were not planned and all a surprise, we had planned ours and we anxiously awaiting our first appointment.

Like I said before, miscarriage was not ever thought of, and I just knew in 9 months, we would be carrying out beautiful bouncing baby home from the hospital, so when the doctor told us the ultrasound results were troubling, I felt like I had been punched in the face by Mike Tyson himself. Not only was the baby not developing, but I had 3 very large fibroid tumors that could negatively impact future pregnancies. I returned 2 days later for follow up bloodwork to see if my numbers had doubled. They had not but went up enough to schedule a follow up ultrasound the next week. We had more troubling news after that ultrasound - we were experiencing a blighted ovum - the baby never developed fully and to expect a miscarriage or to schedule a d & c. I am a staunch Catholic and felt like a d & c was akin to abortion and decided to wait it out. Added to all the anxiety and sadness we encountered with our loss was a clinic and staff very unsopportive to our needs and unsympathetic to our loss. I vowed to change doctors with the next pregnancy for sure! After about a week, my miscarriage started on the Saturday before spring break and I was off work the entire length of the miscarriage so I could grieve at home in peace.

The next month, I went to a fertility/reproductive endocronoligist to discuss the fibroid tumors which could inhibit a future pregnancy. The doctor made me (a self-professed hypochondriac ) feel so at ease about the surgery, my recovery time, and the next pregnancy, that I was ready to get the show on the road. In May 2009, I had an abdominal myomectemy (they were too large to remove laproscoptically), and had a very rough recovery. There were 3 fibroids totalling 2.5 pounds and one was as large as a nerf football! I couldn't return to work (luckily it was almost summer break), and it was very difficult to walk and get around for at least 2 weeks afterwards. I was told to wait a couple months before trying to concieve again, which was okay by me since my sister, friend, and I had a trip to Guatemala the next month. I even hiked up a volcano 6 weeks out of surgery! :) We got home from our trip and got the green light to try to concieve again in late July at my follow up appointment.

I got pregnant the next month and had a positive test in September. Boy, we're fertile! we both thought. I was a little nervous with this pregnancy because now I understood how very fragile life can be. I also knew that once you have a miscarriage, you are twice as likely to miscarry again. We prayed daily, however, and I started feeling so sickly, tired, and moody. I knew this was a good sign especially since my last pregnancy had little to no symptoms. The first appointment wasn't until 8.5 weeks which seemed like eternity! I keep feeling sickly though, so I was gradually gaining confidence in our new baby and losing doubt and fear of miscarriage. Our appointment was textbook perfect. The new doctor's office and our doctor were unbelievable and so different from the first one, as was the ultrasound. Not only was there a perfect heartbeat and baby growing, but she measured almost a week ahead! We were so escatic and texted everyone we knew on the way home. About a week later, I started feeling more energy, less nausea, less breast tenderness, and I started panicking. I googled myself to death and read on so many sites, that losing symptoms starts sometimes around 10 weeks and this is normal. So i ignored my gut instinct to call the doctor, and I just decided to wait 3 weeks for my next appointment. I wasn't showing at all and this also worried me, but I heard you rarely show with your first one until 2nd trimester. When our doctor couldn't find the heartbeat via doppler in the office, I realized this was not going to be a good visit. We then went to have a vaginal ultrasound where we saw our baby had not grown past 10 weeks, less than a week past our last appointment. At this point I was days from 13 weeks, and we were totally devasted. This time I opted for a d & c because I could not bear for the agonizing wait of a natural miscarriage. I had the surgery on October 28 and afterwards I had massive headaches, depression, and anger especially toward pregnant women and those with tiny babies. I avoided my own 3 new nephews and neices who all had just been born (our first should have been born along with them and I could not escape that thought...) At all cost I avoided situations of being near infants and pregnant women. The thought of being around that totally terrified and angered me. I was so resentful and miserable inside.

At my follow up appointment I become more upset when it was suggested to me to wait at least 2 more months before trying to concieve again. All that got me through each day was the thought of getting pregnant again! My doctor finally made me realized that it would be much better to try to find a reason for this than go through another miscarriage so I agreed and made an appointment for miscarriage bloodwork. After the results came back mid December with a diagnosis of MTHFR clotting disorder, I was put on baby aspirin, prenatal vitamin, and folguard, and told to call when I got a postive test result. We also received the report from the d & c (they tested the fetus to rule out chromosomal problems) and were told we were in the clear and that "the fetus was within normal female karotype". This saddened me because it made our baby so much more real knowing the sex, and happy because I thought we are finally on our way to getting some answers!

We got pregnant again right away in January and had an early appointment at 4.5 weeks due to my history of miscarrying. Blood levels were drawn 2 days apart and everything looked great. The next week, I started bleeding bright red blood and panicked! We rushed to the doctor and they did an ultrasound which showed me dating a week behind. I was told to be careful but a miscarriage was likely. Fast forward a week later after more bloodwork with positive results and another ultrasound to a yolk sac and tiny fetal pole. I knew everything would be okay because I had been feeling so ill and tired. An ultrasound 3 days later showed our tiny baby measuring a week behind but with a heartbeat nonetheless. I had prayed for a miracle, and I truly believed we had been given one. The next day I woke up feeling great, no nausea, no tenderness, no fatigue after lunch and I started panicking again. I voiced my fear to my husband who dismissed it as being gun shy after 2 previous m/c. Likewise my friends and family seemed to thing everything was fine, but deep down I knew and started preparing emotionally for another loss. This morning at 9:30 my suspicions were confimed. Indeed our baby had stopped growing the day after our heartbeat ultrasound, the day I started feeling better. So here I am again today, with heavy heart and head awaiting another d and c on Friday at 11. So not only do I have to go through with this emotionally, but physically I have to wait for another 4 days.

How do I feel? Sad obviously, overwhelmingly sad, but also hopeless. I am so scared to even think about getting pregnant again. I am tempted to just start adoption process. I am not sure I can go through this again. My doctor has referred me to a fertility specialist (the same one who did my fibroid myomectemy) since I am now labeled with "recurrent pregnancy loss". I feel without hope for the future and very alone.

1 comment:

  1. hey Allison! Clicked here from HP (JoyfulRedhead), and wanted to tell you how blessed I feel to have met you, and how burdened I feel for your grief. I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your heart so candidly here.
    Please know that you are not alone. There are so many of us bereaved mommies out there. I know how devastating it is to have a label stamped on your forehead (like Recurrent Pregnancy Loss), on top of the grief over your children's deaths. It isn't just the loss of these babies: it is that but it's also so much more. It is the loss of what would have been. The loss of innocence/naivete in pregnancy. The loss of dreams and hopes. The loss of having babies the same age as your nieces/nephews.
    It is so much to bear.
    And I am incredibly sorry.
    May the Lord remove His heavy hand from upon you, and grant you the desires of your heart. May He bear this burden for you, and be glorified in showing mercy.