Friday, January 30, 2009

Ahhh, personality tests.

For the bored at work or at home! This is a quickie, one of my favorites. Under 5 minutes, very general and vague but as today's tests show, a surprisingly perceptive little bugger. (My comments in parantheses and italics follow my results.)

You can take this yourself at!

Your Existing Situation:

Acts calmly, with the minimum of upset, in order to handle existing relationships. Likes to feel relaxed and at ease with her associates and those close to him.

(True enough.)

Your Stress Sources:

The tenacity and strength of will necessary to contend with existing difficulties has become weakened. Feels overtaxed, worn out, and getting nowhere, but continues to stand her ground. She feels this adverse situation as an actual tangible pressure which is intolerable to her and from which she wants to escape, but she feels unable to make the necessary decision.

(Wow. This is pretty accurate. Though I don't think there is a decision to be made at present moment. I do feel overtaxed, worn out and getting nowhere - you should see the pile on my desk.)

Your Restrained Characteristics:

Becomes distressed when her needs or desires are misunderstood and feels that she has no one to turn to or rely on. Egocentric and therefore quick to take offense.
Circumstances are such that she feels forced to compromise for the time being if she is to avoid being cut off from affection or from full participation.

(Yeah, I'd say so. Although I've got a pretty supportive husband, family and friends, I do feel like a burden, especially right now. And egocentric, that's a nice way to put it. Heh.)

Your Desired Objective:

In despair and needs relief of some sort. Wants physical ease, a problem free security, and the chance to recover.

(Dear God, yes, yes, yes. That is my desire, on so many levels. Have I mentioned this thing is good?)

Your Actual Problem:

The tensions induced by trying to cope with conditions which are really beyond her capabilities, or reserves of strength, have led to considerable anxiety and a sense of personal (but unadmitted) inadequacy. She reacts by seeking outside confirmation of her ability and value in order to bolster her self-esteem. Inclined to blame others so that she may shift the blame from herself. Anxiously searching for solutions and prone to compulsive inhibitions and compulsive desires.

(True and not true. I certainly am feeling a good deal of person inadequacy and I don't think I'm blaming anyone but the universe and myself. Anger is being deflected to other areas though. Compulsive you say? Noooo. Ok. Yes. And yes, I've been anxiously googling a million things related to repeat pregnancy loss and after ectopic pregnancies.)

Feeling better, and worse.

Physically, so much better. So very much better. Nearly normal again. I can't tell you how much that helps me, not to be dragging ass and tired and useless. It makes me feel a lot more positive.

Mentally, definitely better as well. Much better headspace, I think. I am still hoping this day moves far more quickly than it has so far.

Beyond that . . . well. I still worry. What is wrong with me that I've had a baby stop growing and and an ectopic pregnancy? Maybe it's nothing at all, just two cases of bad timing and bad luck. But what if it's not?

I feel broken. This is something that is supposed to happen naturally in a certain way, you know what? It does most of the time. It just hasn't yet for me. I hope anyway. The odds continue to climb though.

I guess it's good that I don't seem to have trouble getting pregnant. Both times we've had sex two-three days before and the day of ovulation, I've gotten pregnant. My body seems to respond well to pregnancy, and give it every chance to flourish. That is promising, I suppose.

But it doesn't change the fact that there have been abnormalities. And it doesn't give us any guarantees for the future. I know what the next positive test will bring - beta draws as soon as possible and an early u/s, because I am at increase risk for both m/c and a repeat ectopic. There won't be a lot of calmness or comfort or belief in the next pregnancy until we know that hcg is rising normally and there is a h/b.

It's a lot to take in. It's not aided by the fact I retroactively read up on cervical ectopic pregnancies. I didn't really beforehand, because they are so ridiculously rare. So infrequent, in fact, that there haven't been a lot of studies done, becuase there aren't a lot of cases. The number has climbed a lot since the common use of better ultrasound monitoring and equipment (and since better IUDs are used more commonly, I might add), but they still don't know risk factors yet.

While the prognosis seems to be good for future pregnancies - one case study followed 30 women and there were 38 pregnancies among them in the following 3 years, only 3 of which were ectopic (2 tubal, one repeat cervical) . . . it's still hard to reconcile that with the idea that I am extremely lucky. I'm lucky because the growth and development was so abnormal that there was little tissue, and I'm lucky because methotrexate is available and used. Even 15 years ago, I would likely have had a d&c - and those often result in hemorrhaging and hysterectomies. It is difficult to wrap my mind around that. I might be recovering today from a hysterectomy.

I think reading up on it more just makes me feel more broken than lucky.

But hey, at least I don't want to crawl into bed and not move for days. I'll take improvement where I can get it right now.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


As this has come up again recently and as it is something I again struggle with (though I am hopeful that once my energy levels are higher I will feel more normal again), I want to address it.

I'm bitter.

Oh, yes, indeedy, I am. I no longer pretend otherwise or deny it. In fact, I think I've earned a little bitterness.

Bitterness is negative. It is not something most of us choose to feel or choose to indulge. Many of us swallow our gall and our guilt with the bitterness cocktail, and they choke us. We know how awful it is, how cliched. We know how bitterness makes us sound and look and the last thing we want is for the bitterness to become a known factor, something that spills into our relationships.

There is no choice in bitter, because bitter is an emotion. It rises up and we cannot control it, we cannot feel otherwise, at least for a moment. It is present and it fills our hearts with sourness. It turns otherwise sweet moments of happiness for others into a black hole of pity for ourselves.

I do not seek it, I do not like it, but it is.

I am bitter. I am bitter that I have two failed pregnancies. I am bitter about the way in which I lost Chickadee, and I feel a surge of anger when I reread the letters I wrote to Chickadee- to a baby that was already gone. I feel bitterness about having had to take misoprostol and about having had to meet with a raging asshole and be given a cancer drug to avoid a potentially life-threatening hemorrhage. I am bitter about how long I waited to try and conceive and that the repayment for that is heart-ache, anguish and waiting even longer. I am bitter when I hear about mothers who beat and abuse and despise or neglect their children - that these monsters were given children to hate and hurt, and I have been given emptiness and pain. I am bitter that my faith has wavered, that I question everything. I am bitter about the pain I've caused others and about the anger that seems to be covering me like a mantle I can't pry loose.

I will not deny it and if it makes me a bad person, then so be it.

I do recognize, though, that I have a choice in how I use this bitterness, in how I act. I will not lie - reading pregnancy complaints right now reminds me that I am not pregnant, and returns the bitternes to the upper front of my thoughts. Reading pregnancy announcements does the same. Hearing people complain about their children or about having to wait or about not being pregnant early in trying makes me feel bitterness, because I am not in the position they are in, and I want to be.

But I try generally not to let it affect how I act. I try to let the bitterness wash through me and acknowledge it's existance. Rather than give it power by denying and battling it, I accept it as a part of me for now and with that acknowledgement, push it aside. Focus on the person before me and give them my love and attention. As Blair's friend advised her - separate the things as much as possible.

I try not to let my bitterness stop me from being happy for my friends, stop me from loving them and being excited for them. I try to deal with it when I can, by reminding myself of the numerous blessings in my life and refocusing on silver linings. I try not to dwell in bitterness or summon it to me, not to let it rule my life (ruin my life).

I am not perfect. There are times I cannot do the above, but I do recognize that I have a choice and I actively assert love and even that bitch hope when and where I can do so. I just hope that those who condemn us for bitterness never reach that point, where bitterness is not an option but a reality that has to be dealt with.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You know it's not just the pregnancy stuff.

That is a big thing, and no doubt, I'm feeling emotional about it.

But you know what? I'm just burnt out in general. Still behind at work, but now our audit stuff is nearly done and I can take a moment to breathe and try to catch up on the rest. I have worked every weekend of the month and I feel exhausted.

I need a break. A break in the form of a vacation is not forthcoming, unfortunately. But at least the weekend - free and clear - will be here soon and I can sleep. I just need to recharge my batteries so not everything feels so daunting.

It would help if the house were clean, but baby steps, I suppose.

Thin ice

Not on the roads - we're too near the coast to be badly affected by the massive snow storms plaguing much of Amurca today. In fact, it's sunny and chilly out.

No, I'm referring to my emotional reserves. I'm running low generally and nearly everything that is coming in is on thin ice. It's a question of when I will lose it right now, rather than if I will.

Yesterday morning, the car was dead. I don't know why, or how. It was a shock, and a bad one (as the only other time that car as been that dead was when a wire fried and the entire thing had to be done rewired to the tune of $1k). Fortunately, my bff the Toyota Truck driving AAA man fixed it up and replaced the battery and the car made loud beautiful noises.

Then I left work early due to exhaustion and nausea and got home. As I'm settled in to my chair and starting to doze, there is a knock. I go outside to find my neighbor on my patio telling me my lights are on. Only they aren't, not the headlights anyway. But the tail lights - yes, those are on. But the car isn't. And there is no way to turn them off. Well, now I know why the battery died. Who knows how long that has been going on?

After much drama and hassle, the battery was disconnected. We now have to reconnect and disconnect the battery each time we stop. Srsly. I'm going to try and get it in asap, but it'll likely mean taking a day off work. How fun for me. All I can hope is that it is a cheap and easy fix.

Because that whole mess? Nearly made me lose my shit. I was shaking, on the verge of big tears, feeling weepy and defeated. And in the end? Yeah, it's a hassle, it sucks, but . . . is it that big a deal? Not really, no.

But here I am. I'm just low on everything. Low on patience, on peace, on sadness, on joy. I can't really say I feel anything but tired - and it's true I am still physically tired, I am emotionally wiped out. I have to acknowledge at some point that I am sadness and unhappy about this pregnancy and it's outcome, but I'm not quite there. I mean, it was not viable and despite the hope, I knew it wasn't viable.

It's just hard not to feel like a failure. I mean, 2 failed pregnancies, back to back. I feel bad about this and today, I have not the energy to try and be positive.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Side effects? Nah.

Dear Lord, I am exhausted. So freaking tired. And nauseated, utterly green.

Color me unsurprised to look at the side-effects for methotrexate and see those two things. The OB did say that at the low dosage I received side effects were mild and not very common, but I guess I get to be the lucky one - just like with everything else this pregnancy.

I am feeling down and discouraged today. A cycle off isn't terrible, but that makes March the earliest we can try again, which is ironic to me - as we said March would be a month we'd take off, in order to avoid having a holiday baby. ROFL.

Riiiiiight. Nope, bring on the Christmas baby, I say. Although, I've got a weird feeling the next cycle we try won't be it (that will officially be cycle 6 of trying, while simultaneously being month 10. Man. 10 months, 2 failed pregnancies and an anovulatory cycle. Depressing). I got pregnant with Chickadee on cycle 4, and with fail #2 on the fourth ovulatory cycle. Four is one of my lucky numbers - though at this point, saying it's one of my favorite numbers might more accurate. Seven is my other lucky number - so somehow, thinking of cycle 7 makes me a bit more calm. Maybe that will be the one that finally sticks and grows. . .

Anyhow, with ttc off the table for now, I am going to try and refocus on health - healthy eating habits and getting back into a regular work out routine, as well as regular massage and meditation (which seriously reduce my stress levels). It's less about losing weight and more about general well-being. I feel better and sleep better when those things are in balance. It's time to return to that. But the desire is actually lessened by douchebag doctor. The contrary part of my nature wants to tell him to shove it and not do these things just to prove him wrong. But that is only doing myself and any future pregnancy a disservice - cutting off my nose to spite my face. He was a douche, but the basic facts stripped of his presentation aren't wrong. It will be better for me to lose whatever I can lose in advance of the next pregnancy. It will make everything easier and will me a healthier and better person. So there it is.

I'm contemplating leaving work early to sleep more, as I am getting very little done here today. I think there are two or three things I should do, then go home. All I want to do is sleep.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A couple of random thoughts after I've cooled down some from this morning.

1. This guy was not my OB. He was the OB that my midwife colloborates with when something appears abnormal or something crosses the line to beyond the scope of her care. While he sucked ass, I do want to note that at least he works with a mw. Many doctors will not colloborate on patients or see their clients because they assume care and we are suddenly covered under their malpractice, even if the fault lies with the midwife's care (or lack thereof). So he may be a raging asshole, but I will give him credit for that. And prior to that, his treatment of me was terrific. He was open and explained things and patient with my questions. THEN he was a raging asshole. So the mw was right that he at least knows his shit.

2. We will have to check the expiration date on the condoms in the condom drawer, as we have not used them in nearly 8 months and have not purchased any in some time. Weird feeling to be purchasing condoms right after a ton of pregnancy tests.

3. I feel a lot of mortification about how he spoke to me and what he said. Because while he was wrong about much of it, fundamentally, I am fat and I should lose more weight before getting pregnant. But that also has to be balanced between the other stuff in our life. I will be back on WW next week and I will be resuming a normal workout routine. But it won't be because of asshole doc. It will be because it's the best thing for me to do for my own health and a future pregnancy. Period. And I'm going to think of him and use him as motivation. Because I will have a healthy pregnancy and I'm not going to wait to lose a bunch of weight first. Because I know that health has a lot more to do with your lifestyle than your weight.

4. At least asshole OB was covered by my insurance (which, incidentally, is one reason my mw sent me to him).

The Verdict and the Flaming Asshole OB

There was something (fluid filled cyst) in/on my cervix. That cyst was presumably the pregnancy, though he could not be 100% sure, he felt pretty certain given the position and size of the cyst that it was the pregnancy.

They could not tell whether it was passing through - a uterine pregnancy finally miscarrying, as my cramps and new spotting would suggest, or if it was a cervical ectopic pregnancy. The fact that they picked up Nabothian cysts (plural) at the last u/s and then this cyst where it is makes the OB think it was indeed an ectopic.

The options were d&c, which he didn't recommend and I immediately said no to; methotrexate; or wait and see if it passed or not. He also said there was a possibility that the fluid filled cyst was not the pregnancy, and they simply couldn't see it. He told me that if it were a cervical ectopic, then the risk for hemorrhage was much higher - either in a d&c (hence why he did not recommend it) or if the ectopic pregnancy were to try to miscarry. Which is why he recommended the methotrexate as the safest option. It would stop the growth on the cervix if it was an ectopic, and should it just be a cyst and a tubal pregnancy they couldn't see existed, it would also take care of that. So, that is what I did. One shot in each arm; I will be monitored until hcg is at 0 and I can start ttc after a full cycle.

That was all fine.

The raging, flaming, infuriating part came next. He indeed wanted to talk to me about my weight. In addition to telling me it was irresponsible to be trying to conceive at my weight and that I was extremely high-risk (which isn't true, as my blood pressure is normal and my glucose is normal and my thyroid is normal), and that I would die of heart attack or stroke in the next 20 years (my cholesterol is also normal), he told me I needed to put off ttc for a year and lose 100 pounds.

But oh, no, he's not done. And that part I expected, though not with such dramatic flair (I can't quite capture the disgust in his voice at the gall I show in ttc and just how high-risk I am, even though I'm basically healthy).

Additionally, I am currently consuming 3000-4000 calories a day just to maintain my current weight (no, I'm not) and that if I just eat like a normal person I will lose 2 pounds a week. Oh, and also - the best part - I need to eat smaller portions. This man, who knows nothing about my eating habits, having met me 20 minutes before and asked only if I eat junk food, sweets and consume sugary drinks, tells me the thing is my stomach is so stretched out from all the ginormous portions I eat that it will take awhile before I know I'm full. So I also need to slow down my eating, because it takes about 15 minutes for the stomach to signal that it's full, and I'm on my third or fourth cheeseburger by then, thinking I'm still hungry. I was gripping the table so hard my knuckles turned white, because otherwise I would have punched him. I start getting shaky and teary thinking about it. That is the rudest someone has ever been to me in my life and I'm furious about how he spoke to me.

So that's the update.

I feel ok - crampy and bleedy, which sucks, but I'm ok. The one month off ttc sucks, but hey, maybe I can lose some of the weight that so disgusts this OB. I told the midwife about the appointment and relayed what he said, and she was pretty upset. I don't mean to start anything, but it was utterly inappropriate. It's one thing to nicely point out the risks of pregnany (and health) at my weight, it's actually his job. But to be a raging dick about it (in every paternalistic, chauvenistic sense of the word) was actually infuriating.

But I'm still glad to have (some) answer and for it to be drawing to a close.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Some news.

The mw spoke with the OB.

He fussed at her for not flagging it as an emergency file, because his initial paper diagnoses was ectopic and he was concerned that he would be unable to see me before next week. She reassured him that she had seen me and talked to me this week and that I had no bleeding or pain that would indicate ectopic (and that I was well aware of the signs and symptoms), and that she personally did not think it was ectopic. He was reassured, but wants to see me first thing Monday.

He did say that it was not a normal pregnancy and would not develop into a normal pregnancy. While I've known this all along, my heart still twisted when she said that to me. The ironic thing here? I'll be seeing the doctor at 9w1d (according to ovulation), which is the same week/day that I learned that Chickadee was gone. Really, fate, it's terribly amusing. Except for the amusing part.

Of course, any signs of pain localized on one side, any sudden unexplained bleeding, any shoulder or upper back pain send me right to the ER and any other sort of abnormality or pain means I should call the mw and if the OB can see me before then he will. I'm cramping now, cramps that remind me of the miso cramps (dead center by the way, and tight. annoying, but still mild and no spotting), and am debating calling her now, but I think I will see what develops.

The biggest signs point towards a blighted ovum. Which, as I went back and did more research on it, makes a whole lot of sense. A blighted ovum is a one-off where the fertilized egg implants and a sac starts forming, but the embryo never develops. The body sustains the 'pregnancy' for awhile, but with no embryo, eventually, the body miscarries the remaining products of conception. A lot of b/o's are found around this point in pregnancy and can be characterized by exceedingly low levels of hcg and an u/s that shows an empty sac. No one knows for sure why they happen, and they can't be prevented. They are pretty well random. Not even really genetically based - it just doesn't form.

And in my particular case, it would make a LOT of sense. I've said before that I didn't think this pregnancy ever stood a chance because the lowering temps and the period indicated the corpus luteum had disintegrated. The continuing low temps support the idea that progesterone was gone, and that is usually necessary for a pregnancy to survive. But clearly something implanted - and stayed put - and a b/o would explain the abnormal but persistant rise in hcg and even the spotting (and the cramps I'm having now). It would also be easy to get rid of via misoprostol and we could start ttc immediately.

So that is what we are hoping for, since there is little point in hoping that we'll see a baby with a twinkling, flickering heart waving back at us.

I will meet the OB first thing, have an u/s and discuss treatment options from there. Hopefully it is just misoprostol again - though that is a sucky thing to hope for, it's still the best possible outcome right now.

The mw did warn me that the doctor was very blunt and that I should be prepared to hear him lecture me about my weight and say that I should lose 50-100 pounds before I consider ttc again. I'm glad of the warning, because I otherwise would have been furious. While I agree it is a doctor's solemn duty to point out things like that, I'm not stupid. I know I'm fat. I know the health risks that carries (I'm in pretty good general health, thanks) and the specific risks it carries for ttc (I have normal ovulatory function and cycles and there is no reason to think at this point that my weight has contributed to my m/c's). If someone is condescending or rude about my weight, then I get livid, and quickly. So the warning was appreciated. If it's done kindly, as my mw has addressed it, I appreciate it. If it's not, I lose it. And the mw warned me, because as she said, it's already an emotional enough situation.

So, answers soon, one way or another. Let's hope and pray it's the easier way that doesn't require a lot of time off work or time off ttc.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Oh please, sweetie. I KNOW that tone.

You know how some babies (or really a lot of babies) are ugly? Especially newborns. I mean, I usually see beauty in them, because it's a new life! it's an amazing miracle! they are so teeny! But let's face it - a lot of babies aren't attractive (mine will be in this category, never fear) (the not attractive category, that is). Often they inherit features they will grow into (noses, eyes and ears are a good example), and it's not permanent. But sometimes you see babies and are forced to comment to a beaming mother and you privately think 'Dear God, please don't let my ugly kid have a nose like that!' But you don't say it, obviously, because it's rude and they probably won't be ugly forever (but you will always be shallow and judgmental!), so you say something effusive like 'Oh my! Look at all that hair!' or 'Oh, I could just squeeze those little cheeks!' or 'Her eyes are just killing me, so lovely!' (and you're covered, because you also say those things when a kid is cute but has killer eyes or a curly mop of hair or adorable, kissable cheeks).


Well in the elevator today, a woman got on and said to me, "Oh my! Your shirt is SO . . . yellow! Like . . . like a goldeny yellow flower!"

And yes, yes it is. It's a long sleeve v-neck tunic length t-shirt and the color is marigold. It's from Old Navy. It is indeed very bright. I bought it because it was bright. It makes me feel happier in stressful times or on bleak gray days. Oddly neither are applicable to today - I just wanted to wear it and it was clean, so I did.

I joked at work that it is my busy bee look, as I wear it with black, flowy wide leg pants. I'm aware of the look and how it's maybe not the most flattering ever and I don't give a shit. The woman looked at me with a big, fakey smile on her face that didn't cover the bewildered expression in her eys.

I'm not actually sure why she wanted to talk to me at all, since we don't work together. However, she did and that was what she said. "Your shirt is SO . . . yellow." But it was so clearly said with a tone of 'He's just so . . .tiny!' that I recognized it for what it was. I mean, how can you not? It's a falsely bright voice rushing out the first part, followed by a pause, and then a triumphant vague yet appropriate adjective. The inclination in pitch and the self-satisfied mixture of triumph and relief are a dead give away.

So here is to you, Yellow Shirt Lady and your valiant attempt at a compliment. You made my day, and I mean that, because I'm still chuckling about it.

BTW - if I've ever said that your kid had a lot of hair or tiny toes or perfect rosebud lips or eyes that killed me - I totally meant that. I wasn't trying to avoid saying your kid was ugly. Cross my heart.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A bit of a break

For you, the loyal readers.

In short - no news yet. I talked briefly with the mw - a frustrating conversation in which she repeated her initial message to me. She doesn't know what to think, she's consulting her OB, she has no advice or options until after that conversation. She expects he'll want to do an u/s himself and will probably talk about a d&c or methotrexate, depending on the findings. Damn right we'll be doing another u/s. She knows I'm frustrated and upset, she's sorry. She said she expects to hear something by Friday, but hopes later today.

So it is what it is, to be as cliche as possible. Lots of well wishes, for which I thank you all! Lots of inquiries into how I'm feeling and here is my brief response: Pretty good overall. I am mostly calm, very distracted by what I'll talk about in a minute, and have moments of anger about this, moments of why me? ness and there is a near constant frustration. But to be totally honest? Those negative feelings are pretty minor and on the whole, I feel ok. Thanks for asking, thanks for the well-wishes, the desires for answer and the prayers.

Hope remains again one of the hardest parts, as it is there. I will freely admit here that a tiny part of leaped for joy, and hopes that I will be like one of my readers (and fellow Honors alum!) and this will be a miracle and we'll go into the u/s and see a teeny alien worm thing floating around with a leetle flickering h/b. I am trying my hardest to keep logical and level-headed, but in truth, the hope is there and I'm not squashing it down anymore. It's as possible as this whole goddamned crazy situation happening in the first place, so it just exists, exultingly, next to the frustration and peace.

But the main thing I wanted to talk about was our audit. It's next week. I've been swamped and freaking out and going crazy and working weekends. This 'pregnancy' has frustrated me to no end as it has completely wiped my focus and attention span from work at a critical time.

We just got our list of required documents to present to the auditors, and while it's only the beginning (they'll request more in the two weeks after our meetings), it is so much better than I expected. It's all going to be ok. The areas I was most concerned with seem to be in order for what they need and I am breathing a big sigh of relief. Everyone has told me that no one has ever been fired over an audit and that I have the perfect built in excuse for any findings (still in training) but any sort of overview of my performance that finds me lacking makes me quake in fear and want to hide under my desk. My coworkers openly laugh at my fear of performance reviews (which will be happening again soon, damn it).

So yeah, some relief is in sight, though not of the kind I'd hoped for.

I'm also refocusing my energy to positively cross all known appendages for my friends Babs and LJ as they await the results of their cycle. I'm hoping it's positive, loves!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some clarifications

So, as I've been talking about this situation, some people are coming in late or don't remember what is happening or have (very kindly) been offering up possible scenarios. So here is a quick overview of my recent gynecological history and explanation as to why I am a giant case of 'What the fuck?!'

Going back to October and my previous pregnancy:
10.30 - 9w appointment with no heartbeat on doppler, b/w done to reassure after spotting.
10.31 - b/w comes back far too low, sent for u/s and find development stopped around 5w.
11.3 - repeat b/w to see if levels are naturally falling in advance of taking misoprostol to induce 'natural m/c'
11.4 - Take misoprostal. Pass some tissue and clots.
11.6 - Bleeding picks up, cramps increase in severity and remaining tissue/clots are passed.
11. 27 - Negative hpt and negative OPK
12.6 - positive OPK
12.7 - ovulation, confirmed by - OPK and temp rise on 12.8
12.17/18 - Negative hpt, small temp decreases
12.19 - temp drop back to coverline, brown spotting begins (normal for me in a non-pregnancy cycle, brown spotting on 12 dpo, period on 13 dpo/cd1). Take one more test to see negative, but is + instead.
12.20 - + hpt, red spotting, finally light then medium flow
12.21 - + hpt, heavy flow all day12/22 + hpt, medium to light flow
12.23 - spotting/end of period. beta =35, mw says it was likely chemical pregnancy
12.26 - + hpt (and + everyday until next beta)
12.27 - red spotting returns and continues throughout
01.02 - beta = 87. Spotting continues, sometimes heavier like a light to medium flow. Surprised beta went up, still not viable. Expect it to drop soon.
01.08 - beta = 495 (pass large clot this day and each of the next two days) Shocked by this.
01.12 - beta = 863 (still low, ectopic suspected)
01.11 - u/s shows normal pelvic u/s, normal lining, good ovaries, clear tubes, empty ute (pass another large clot and red spotting ends)
01.19 - beta = 2106 (spotting gone - lightly tan colored cm remains)

Please note that positive tests continued throughout. Please also note (which you know if you read regularly) that I have not had sex since 12/07.

Some of the possible explanations:

-Chemical pregnancy
-Blighted Ovum
-Ectopic pregnancy
-Late implanter/slow developer
-Vanishing Twin
-An early m/c followed by a second ovulation and resulting pregnancy
-Medication making the tests inaccurate
-Molar pregnancy
-Cancer (that one is really more thanks to Dr. Google)

So, some of those can immediately be discarded. New ovulation/pregnancy is not possible unless it's the Anti-Christ or I'm the Virgin Mary (I'm not the Virgin Mary). Chemical pregnancy is now out the window. Vanishing twin might have explained the bleeding but not the abnormal beta numbers and empty u/s. Molar pregnancy is likewise unlikely, given the clear u/s and low numbers. Cancer is highly unlikely, given the recently clean bill of health and clear u/s, and while I'm due for my annual Pap, my cervix has appeared fine and cervical cancer is unlikely to cause this rise in hcg. Likewise, I am not on any type of prescribed medication of any kind, and Tylenol/Advil doesn't cause this to happen.

That leaves miscarriage (which is probably inevitable, but clearly has yet to occur), ectopic pregnancy and a blighted ovum. After the u/s the mw discussed why she did not think ectopic was a concern. Primarily, she would have expected more rapid growth and that by 7w3d (technically by ovulation) she would have expected greater symptoms or something on u/s. Additionally, though I'd had some pain on the left side, it went away and was never severe. Also, my uterine lining was completely normal, not thickened at all (as one expects in pregnancy period, but is often seen in abnormal thickness in an ectopic pregnancy). Since that time, I have had no pain at all and the spotting stopped, rather than increasing. Nevertheless, it is still a possibility, and will have to be ruled out or I will have to have methotrexate (as I understand it).

A blighted ovum remains a possibility - they are usually discovered around this time, but of course the beta numbers and bleeding throw a kink in the works.

There is a possible explanation for the u/s findings - the tech told me (and research confirmed) that it is usually impossible to see anything when the levels are under 1000 - 1500. The fact that I had a full period and an additional 3 weeks of bleeding would explain the normal size lining.

A lot of people are asking when/if I'll get a second opinion or see an OB (or why I haven't seen one already). That part is easy. The midwife is consulting with her colloboration physician as soon as possible, which is tomorrow. Up to this point, there has been no reason to see an OB or get a second opinion. The same testing and procedures would have been done. Beta draws and u/s. The results are the abnormal part, not the care or diagnoses plan I've received. I've done a lot of research and have confidence inwhat we've done so far.

I am tired of this, which I think is obvious. It's drug on and on and on. A viable pregnancy would be somewhere beyond a medical miracle and would be something worthy of Vatican consideration, imo. It's pretty old at this point. I'm tired of the bruising and the other issues. I don't want to get intimate with the dildo cam again. I just want this to end.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fuck Me.

I just got a message from my mw.

My lab work came back.

It went up again.


I have no words. I'm just really upset. No pregnancy symptoms, no cramps, no more spotting. No explanations. She said she is consulting her back-up physician, but he is out of the office on Wednesdays. So Thursday at the earliest. I just feel devastated.

Idiots on the internet.


I need to learn how to let go. In real life and online, I have a tendency to dig my heels in and argue until I'm blue in the face when I am sure I am right.

To that end, I've been arguing with an idiot over the internet about ovulation and a recent article by a Fox News Sexpert on popular sex myths. The issue:

"5. Myth: You Can't Get Pregnant if You Aren't Ovulating

She’s not ovulating so she can’t get pregnant — Not!

Fact: While pregnancy is likeliest to occur during the six days leading up to, and including, ovulation, a female can get pregnant at any point in her menstrual cycle. This includes the week of her period.Even if couples want to take a chance and avoid unprotected sex around day 14 of her menstrual cycle (when she is most fertile), the fact that many women have irregular cycles makes this a dicey decision. Even women who have regular menstrual cycles may not ovulate on the same day each month."

First and foremost, the intent of the myth is accurate - a woman can indeed get pregnant at any point in a cycle, as a woman can ovulate at any point in a cycle, and not just on cd14 as so many people are wrongfully taught.

My issue with this was two-fold. Her statements seem to indicate that a woman can get pregnant when she is not ovulating (that is in fact the title of the myth). Obviously, basic biology dictates that to be false. A woman can only get pregnant if she is ovulating. The author also states that a woman is most fertile around cd 14, which again, is false.

The fact of the matter is this: Ovulation occurs once a cycle. It can occur at any point - very early, very late, and even during a 'period' which is really anovulatory bleeding. I point that out. I agree that the message is good and everyone should use birth control. One of my readers here engages with me in a debate about semantics - which is what I'm really arguing, after all - and we leave it at that.

Another poster, who is male, btw (not that I think that automatically makes him unqualified to participate, but without deliberately studying women's cycles, I'm already raising an eyebrow at him) comes in to tell me I am factually wrong. This man insists that ovulation doesn't have to occur for an egg to be present. He also insists that eggs can be fertilized at any point. He says my reading comprehension skills are low and that I am completely misunderstanding the accurate article.

Only - I understand the menstrual cycle. I get how it works. He doesn't. If the idea that eggs just sit around forever waiting to be fertilized isn't bad enough, he actually told me that an egg could be present without ovulation occuring.

I asked him if he knew what ovulation was.

In the end, he continues to say that I am saying the same thing as the article (partially true) and that I am an idiot. Except - all my information is accurate and verified and the whole point was that I was disgusted with this woman for not giving out accurate information. I literally sat and fumed at his dismissive words and completely inaccurate statements. Especially because it was so condescending. This guy doesn't have the basic biology they teach in 9th grade down and he has the gall to call me an idiot?

In the end, I let it go. I don't know if he will respond to my final statement (which, incidentally, was 'NONE of my information has been inaccurate. You are utterly ridiculous.'). I'm not going to look. I'm not gaining anything by arguing further with him. He refuses to acknowledge that my information is factual (backed up by linked sources, no less), and chooses to take issue with something that wasn't even my argument. I can't make him understand. I can't change his wilful ignorance.

But damned if it isn't crazy hard for me to do. I will admit if I'm wrong (eventually, anyway), but I have a hard time walking away when I know I'm right. Sometimes though, it's just necessary for your own sanity.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Yet another bruise!

Had blood drawn today, and I have to say that my comfort with my midwife is reaffirmed. For awhile, especially at the beginning, I was starting to think I needed to consider finding another mw. She was terrific during my m/c but I didn't love her office lately. She, however, has continued to be terrific and I appreciate her helpfulness. I do think she is great and given that I want a homebirth, my options are somewhat limited. I can't have it all, but to like her personally and feel a rapport and have a homebirth, I'm good with that.

Anyhow, one of the drawbacks to her is that she nearly always and inevitably gives me a bruise. And today was no exception. I could see the blue seeping around the bandage under my skin even as I left. Oh, well, at least they match - one for each arm! The hope and prayer, of course, is that it is the last one until the next pregnancy. Fingers are crossed.

In other news, spotting is GONE. Oh yes, my darlings, I am so getting laid. But perhaps not tonight, because when I announced to my dear husband, the love of my life, the man I've been longing to have sex with for weeks now, that the spotting was gone and we could have sex and did he wanna do me? His response was, "Eh, maybe."

MAYBE?! MAYBE! FFS, it has been SIX WEEKS. Asshat. He was chuckling, so pleased with himself until I announced that sex was no longer an option. Now, he's cooking dinner and bringing me stuff to drink. Uh -huh. That's what I thought.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bit of a change.

As you've undoubtedly already noticed, I played with the appearance of the blog for a bit this afternoon. I couldn't find a background I liked more, but the fall-ish colors were beginning to depress me a bit. Spring is coming soon, which means flowers and growth and lovely weather and good things.

I'm feeling hopeful that other changes are coming soon as well, such as decreased hcg and a new cycle and chance to procreate, hopefully with a bit less drama.

So in the spirit of an early spring cleaning that takes far less time than actually cleaning, say, my house, I have changed it up here instead. Hope you like it, but if you don't, well, sorry. It's staying like this for awhile, unless I get to work and the appearance on that monitor scalds my eyes out.

In the spirit of hope and expectation of a new cycle, I spent waaaaay too much money yesterday on more OPKs and pregnancy tests. Shhhhh, don't tell DH. I bought 100 opk's and 50 pregnancy tests - cassette style, which is my preference - from I could have gotten a 100 pregnancy tests as well, but DH would have killed me. The way his eyes bugged out in apoplectic stupor when I explained that I did purchase what I did made me relieved that I stopped where I did (there). The idea is that I use the opk's during my long fertile periods and when they seem positive, I confirm with the fantastic, lovely digital tests. This way, if continuing ttc takes awhile we are wasting less money. I also got a good deal on digital opk's on EBay. Oh, also digital tests and FRER tests. Again, shhhhhh.

Surprising as it was to me (but probably no one else), I have found that despite my m/c I still want to test early and often. I want to know what is happening in there, if only to start worrying about the appropriate thing as soon as possible. That requires a good deal of tests. Many of my EBay deals have expiry dates of this summer, so I have some time to use them. The other stuff should be good well into 2010. So yay!

Now, let's just all cross our fingers for decreased hcg at tomorrow's blood draw, shall we? My boobs mostly feel less sore. Not achey like they did previously and that was about the only pregnancy symptom I had. The spotting has also decreased and changed - no red spotting since Friday, and the amount is much smaller- now it's more like stained cm than actual spotting. So I'm hoping, hoping, hoping. If for no other reason than 6 weeks without sex is really, really starting to wear on me. I want to get laid.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Bitter Taste

My good friend Blair recently posted about the difference between Miscarriage/Infertile Girls and Fertile Girls (and to some extent the group that exist between), and her struggles to avoid being a M/C Girl. A M/C girl is frequently marked by bitterness and harshness towards fertile girls, which she strives to avoid.

I think there is a lot of good in that, and her post was excellent. You can find that and many other witty, funny, fabulous posts here: - highly recommended reading.

Anyhow, I think many of us struggle with that post-miscarriage or when dealing with trouble ttc. Few people want to be bitter and few people revel in not-very-nice feelings when confronted with pregnancy announcements or trying to sympathize when pregnant women complain about late pregnancy or new mothers complain about lack of sleep. Most of us know (logically anyway)that just because their struggles center around the thing we want doesn't make them less difficult to deal with and try to overcome or ignore the pangs we feel when faced with those situations.

But I cannot deny that despite negative feelings, I have bitter days. I have bitter thoughts. There are days I wonder if I will ever have what I long for and days when I angrily throw questions into the winds of the universe about why this is happening to me and whether or not I've been through enough yet. I think with bitterness about those people who do not appreciate the gifts they've been given with their easy conceptions and pregnancies or who abuse their bodies or children. I think - why them and not me?

I've had more than a few bitter moments lately, as this nonsense has dragged on, especially again as I was faced with a strong possibility of an ectopic. People who read regularly know how worked up I was, whereas people who just got quick updates commented more than once on my strength. Which is funny to me, because I don't feel strong. I feel angry.

I think some bitterness in life is not a bad thing - I've heard my Jewish friend say before that it is the horseradish on the Passover plate, to remind us that life is hard and bitter and that we should enjoy the richness and sweetness we also experience. But I do not want to be consumed by bitterness. I do not want to always be a M/C girl - whose life is defined by that tragic event.

I reflected on this recently, and changed my profile/About Me to mention this. My m/c is frequently near the front of my mind and I do talk about it. I don't hide my failed pregnancy in shame and it comes up because it's fairly recent in my life. I want other people to know I experienced it, both to honor Chickadee and to get it out there that it happens and you can survive. But though I talk about it, and though ttc is among the biggest focuses of my life - it is not the defining event of my laugh. I still do things that have nothing to do with it and think on other things and live life. Soon, I'll be pruning and planting for the new patio garden. That will be consuming a lot of time. I still write, working on both a (very bad and formulaic) original work and a fanfic (replete with both good and awkwardly written sex scenes). I do some craft work, but not as much as I should. My m/c is a part of me (now literally, with my tattoo), but it isn't all of me. This medical mystery is a part of me, but doesn't consume me (contrary to popular belief - I do think, talk and write about other things!).

There is a bitterness lately though. I read today back through some old entries, including all the letters I wrote to Chickadee. It made me cry a bit, there was so much hope contained in those letters, so much love. And the whole time, for each one, my Chickadee was gone. There is a lot of anger in my writing since then, and though I decry it, there is still a great deal of hope in my blog. I don't like it, I don't want it, I push it away (much as I realize I've been doing with God lately), but nevertheless it is there (much as I suspect God is), it swirls through me and fills me and encircles me, even against my will. I was surprised to find that early in my letters to Chickadee I touched on that in a positive way - encouraging Chickadee to know that hope, like love, is always there, always growing and abundant.

It's true, even when we neither want nor deserve it. Even for those of us with little faith, hope and love abound - waiting, swirling around, eager to fill us and give us strength and purpose. Would we recognize that sweetness and light, if we did not have some bitterness to contrast with it?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Feeling somewhat better today

After talking to my mw, I feel somewhat better. It's a weird situation. She was really surprised we didn't see anything at all, but I'm not given what I've learned about u/s and hcg levels recently. She is still not terribly concerned about an ectopic; her reasoning seems to be that as abnormal as this has been, it doesn't meet up with the expectations of an ectopic. The uterine lining is normal and there aren't other indications that one would expect to see from an ectopic. She seems to think that it is another miscarriage.

Right now the plan is to repeat bloodwork Monday (or Tuesday) and see what it does. If it goes up, another u/s and we could reasonably expect to see something somewhere. If we don't and the levels are over 1000, it is a presumptive ectopic and I will see her back-up OB or an OB of my choosing. If the levels go down, then that is a presumptive m/c and we just need to do another round of b/w to verify the levels are decreasing.

So . . . yeah. Apparently about half of all ectopic pregnancies resolve themselves and a good percentage of abnormal intrauterine pregnancies resolve themselves. Given that the levels are SO low a good 6 weeks post ovulation, the odds are increasing that this is going to resolve itself. That would be ideal of course.

I am just feeling a bit back and forth. I will feel better if things resolve themselves, because it means we are more likely to return to a cycle soon and to ttc again. Though, honestly, a break may not be the worst idea ever. I'm just so tired of all of this. I'd like to be normal again.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Now that the high is over, I feel deflated and defeated.

When I heard that there was nothing in the uterus, my heart sank. When I heard there was likewise nothing in the tubes, my heart leapt with relief and joy. I felt like I could sing or dance, I was so happy.

Now I've come back down to earth. There are still no answers, it does not appear to have resolved itself and there is no reason to believe that I won't be facing the same issue in a week. And I feel deflated. It's not over, I have no answers. It's still probably ectopic. I mean, shit. SHIT. This is only a temporary reprieve.

I spent some time looking at baby board today, complete with lots of baby pictures. I want to cry. Because I want a baby. I want *my* baby. I should have been going for my big u/s today, celebrating our little boy or little girl. Instead, I was relieved to hear that nothing was there.

I have a lot of baby stuff tucked away upstairs. It's been accumulating for years. I normally don't even think about it. It's just there, you know? I remember my mother disapproving of it, asking what we would do if I had a miscarriage or we couldn't have kids. I remember my exact words were "That's pretty unlikely to happen, don't you think? Besides we will have kids somehow." I still believe that last part but I am terrified again that I will never have a normal pregnancy and never feel my baby inside me or hold my newborn in my arms and cry with joy.

Will I ever have that which I most wanted and dreamed of and planned for? Will I ever get to feel the popcorn butterfly fluttering of early movement? Know what it is like to hear your baby's heartbeat for the first time? Feel the baby kick me, and run my hand over my stomach and identify which part of baby I am tickling? Suffer through labor and feel my baby slither from my body and hear that first cry? Hold my baby near my heart and watch it melt while the baby sleeps on dh's chest and the dog sleeps on his feet?

Right now, that dream feels like it's slipping farther and farther away and I am tired of this uncertainty and angry at the universe for what has happened again. I want an explanation, an answer, a glimmer of hope that I can have a baby. I know that is not forthcoming, but I want it all the same.

No news is good news. At least sort of.

By which I mean - nothing in the tubes that the tech could see (and she spent some time checking out the left tube) and nothing in/on the ovaries. Which is good news. I won't lose a tube tonight. The bad news is that there was likewise nothing to be seen in the uterus either.

So, something has to be growing somewhere in there to be continuing to produce and increase hcg. But it's too small to show up on u/s. So it could still be ectopic and it could still show up as non-viable in the uterus.

Sigh. So really, no news. No answers. But some clarification that I shouldn't have to worry too much about a tube rupture in the next couple of days. Should levels not drop on their own, I will still have to explore a shot of methotrexate. Which would also entail a mandatory 3 month sabbatical from ttc. That would suck, but would be preferable to losing a fallopian tube or an ovary, so we'll just go with that if it's necessary. There would be benefits to it should it be necessary - 3 more months to pay off some debt and to work on returning to healthy eating and exercise/weight loss.

But I hope for things to resolve on their own. That would be peachy keen as far as I am concerned.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Well, fuck.

Beta is back.


Did not double in 4 full days. Fuck.

It's like when you are watching World Series of Poker, and the percentages go up after the deal, then change after the flop and the turn. Well, then, the river card is flipped and the percentage is irrevocably and sometimes dramatically changed and the game is over.

Well, think of this as the turn and the u/s tomorrow afternoon as the river card. The percentages have been changing, it's been flipping, but this turn has pushed the odds heavily back towards ectopic pregnancy.

Much to my chagrin.

I am desparately hoping and even praying that it is simply a blighted ovum or some such other non-viable pregnancy or anything other than an ectopic pregnancy. I am terrified of losing functionality in the left tube (since my right ovary seems to be up awfully high) - not to mention losing the tube.

Please, God, don't do this to me, don't let this happen. Don't take away my chance of having children.

Monday, January 12, 2009

No real news.

Went out and had my blood drawn.

It was awful. The last one was no bruise, no pain, quick and done. This one was terrible. There was needle digging, that's all I will say. And a large blue bruise that won't look really awful for another day or so. Eek.

She said the results may be in tonight, but tomorrow is more likely, and indeed it will be tomorrow. I am nervous about the number. I am hopeful it will be high, but the last time I hoped that it didn't go so well at all. So I am leery.

The mw asked if I'd had any pregnancy symptoms, and I have, which I shared with her. Once she finished up, she said she is excited and hopeful for me, which surprised me. It was uplifting though, made me hopeful. We talked about how I am trying not to be hopeful, but it is true that the spotting is so much lighter than it was last week, at least since I passed the clot yesterday. I actually successfully slept without a pad and it was fine. I did take the precaution of wearing a pad to work, and that was good. There was another small clot, but it was fine after that. That makes me hopeful that perhaps the numbers will go up.

She pointed out that she was surprised by what had happened already, and that she had a good feeling now about this. I can only hope. I told her that I was worried about ectopic and she said she still was not concerned, though she said that we would have to rule it out if the numbers came back higher.

So I should have an u/s in the next couple of days if the numbers have increased. I feel rather nervous about that. The last one was not such a good experience, you know. And I have no idea what we would be expecting to see. I mean, I know what you would expect to see on a 7 week u/s, but with super low levels, what do you expect? Are you concerned if you see a 5 week pregnancy? If there is no h/b? I guess whatever it is will have to be repeated if we don't see whatever someone is expecting. The hope of course is that there is something in the uterus, disspelling the idea of something not in the uterus.

I feel just sort of nervous and mildly anxious. Too many variables at play here and that persistant, never ending hope weaving through it all.


I find myself overwhelmingly tired after this past weekend.

Not that I did anything. The house remains a mess, the bed remains unchanged, the remaining bags from our trip remain unpacked. I did not come into work, though I did do some work at home.

I did go out for an evening of games with friends of DH, and it was fun enough. But it was tiring as well.

I am tired of this roller-coaster situation. I am tired of bleeding. I am tired of wearing pads. I am tired of the bleeding slowing down and picking up again. I am tired of waiting for answers and being patient. I am tired of people insinuating I am not taking this seriously and tired of people questioning my course of action (which is pretty well considered).

I am tired of feeling tired and tired of the pregnancy symptoms that popped up this weekend, seemingly just to mess with me. I'm tired of feeling blocked off from my husband because we haven't had sex in weeks because of all this bleeding and I'm tired of his gentle support. I am grateful for it, of course, but tired of the timidity and the caution he shows and tired of having to pry to get to what he's really feeling about this mess.

I am tired of the over-analysis of symptoms and tired of fearing the worst and wondering what to do next. I'm tired of wondering if that twinge, generally located on the left means something or if those cramps are the first signs of impending physical miscarriage. I'm tired of confusing intestinal cramps with uterine cramps and tired of thinking it's over again and again only to have yet another round of ha ha! shoved in my face.

There is a lot I can handle with some level of equanimity. There is a vast deal more I can cope with if forced to and come out ok. This is really pushing my boundaries and in a very uncomfortable way. I was sad when I thought it wasn't going to work, and I've been through my share of bitterness over the way and the length of this pregnancy, but it was still nothing when compared to losing Chickadee. I was still handling it - probably not gracefully or anything like, but getting along and finding my way. Continually dragging me back into this and giving me hope seems cruel.

Right now, the best analogy I can think of is one of my worst dreams. I don't mean this is a nightmare; rather, I mean that this is like one of my recurrent nightmares. A dream in which I drown, quite realistically. I am disoriented under water, and there is blue around me and I am swimming but I can't quite break to the surface in time and I get dragged back down and finally I can't stand it anymore, the breath I'm holding is hot and tense inside me and I am crying for air and I finally allow that breath to explode and I try and struggle and struggle not to breathe in and I see the sky and it's there and I can't make it and my mind won't let me anymore and I can't help it - I take a deep inhalation of the water and start choking. Inevitably, it is at this point I awaken to find myself gulping in deep breaths of sweet air, not water and realize that the dream is so real that to that point I have been holding my breath in my sleep.

It's a lot like that - or the time I went tubing and came to a short waterfall. Most people got out and went around, because it was powerful enough to flip you and suck you under, but there were some guys playing around and offering to help people out of the water if you wanted to go over, so I did. I knew help was coming so I wasn't panicked as I flipped and was sucked under and tossed over a few times. I could see the sky and then the rocks and then the sky and then strong hands pulled me out and I laughed. It's like that.

It's like that, being tossed over and over and yet having no reassurance of strong hands to grab me. There is a fear that is present in my dreams and it lingers over me and it is sucking away at me, like one of Rowling's dementors. It's hard not to worry about the way this could end and about whether I'm doing the right thing. All I can hope is that this turns out ok in the end. But without a working ball, I don't know, and so I sit and wait, tired and worried.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Meeting Mr. Wrong

The Romantic Misadventures of a Southern Belle

By Stephanie Snowe

-my dear friend -

Link to the page

Hell yeah I am pimping this book, not because it is my friend's book (though I would) but because this book is going to be good. Real, honest, painful and funny as hell, because that is how my friend writes. I've read her stuff and she is amazing.

I am so happy for her, because she has worked hard and her dream of being a 'real' writer - a published author - is coming true. I can't do much from a different state but e-squee for her. But I am e-squeeing for you Steph and I'm so proud of you, love.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I can barely form coherent sentences right now.

I just got off the phone with my mw about 20 minutes ago and I'm still trying to process.

My b/w came back. I did another draw yesterday (only a tiny bruise) to check and see if they were going down, since the spotting went away and then came back (only, heavier, joy for me and now I need a new pair of panties).

I would not have been surprised to hear it was the same. Or that it was slightly lower. Or that it was slightly higher.

I was cautious when she asked if I had a minute to talk. I said yes and was bowled over to learn that my level went up. High.


She has no explanation. She quickly said that I should not get my hopes up, because these are still abnormally low numbers. She said I can have an u/s but there is no rush, and I can have more b/w.

I'm going for more b/w Monday and probably an u/s Tuesday after the b/w comes back, unless the numbers go down.

This puts an ectopic back on the table. Damn it. I was so glad we were done worrying about that.

The doubling rate is still low - 2.39 days. In early pregnancy, rates should double about every 48-72 hours, and most are faster than that. This is in that range, but is it worth pointing out that I ovulated on 12/7? Which should make me 6w5d pregnant? Which makes those rates ridiculously low?

Didn't think so.

This is insane.


I just don't even know what to think. Or do. Or say. I am ready for this to be done, and despite having resigned myself to another miscarriage/chemical pregnancy/whatever and looking forward to moving on - Here I fucking am. Again.

And fuck yes, there is a little hopeful voice somewhere inside singing, "OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG" with joy and pointing out that my boobs were inexplicably sore today (which I noted before the mw called me).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Do you ever think about death?

I don't often. I mean, it's a looming presence, it's constant, it's the end of life - as natural an occurrence of the night following day.

But we don't know what death means, really, do we? We can speculate, but what do we know? Nothing. And that is scary.

I find it impossible to believe that the essence of a person, the soul of a person simply ceases to be. I think of Ross and it is impossible to believe that that wonderful man, that large personality, that much kindness, goodness, love and mischief is just gone. I find it hard to believe that the core of who I am will simply expire one day when my lungs cease to take in air and my heart ceases to beat.

Flesh and blood - that does feel separate to me, that does feel on a timeline, impermanent. But I have always felt somewhat separate from my body, as if it and my spirit are two separate things, only intimately entwined.

I started thinking about death tonight because, of all things, an episode of Scrubs. Death scares me. Not knowing what comes next frightens me. I have no idea what is going to happen, only that it will happen someday. We go through life, making plans for hours, days, months, years into the future, all without knowing whether we will ever acheive those minutes or whether we will meet death first. We plan and we act and we live our lives and we waste precious minutes in foolish ways and all the time, death moves closer and closer.

It approaches, always. We do not think about it, we choose not to, because 'what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil must give us pause' - the calamity that makes long life Shakespeare informs us. I assume that there is something after death. It makes more sense to me than nothingness. Perhaps it's just egoism on my part, but so much intelligence and so much individuality as the human race has produced - I cannot believe it so random.

But I do not know, and that is frightening, isn't it? I wonder sometimes, if at the end of my life, I will think back to how I lived and be ashamed, or pleased. If I will think of this time, and sob at the waste, or if I will be content with what is left behind me.

There are two pieces of Shakespeare that I cannot help think of. The obvious from Hamlet - To Be or Not to Be -

'To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect'
That makes calamity of so long life;'

And from MacBeth:
' To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.'

But is this all? Sound and fury? A walking shadow? A sleep that frightens us?

I hope not.

So, yeah. Fertile again.

Well, in theory, anyway.

Lots of the ewcm. And the cervix is pretty high up there.

Oh, and still with the clearly + tests. AWESOME.

It could lead to actual ovulation or it could be a split peak (gear up for ovulation, display signs of fertility, but don't actually ovulate, then gear back down and then up again later). I tend to have really long fertile periods, so who knows.

I'm not even sure what to do with this information. There is no question it is ewcm. It is apparently possible to ovulate while still having hcg in your system, though it is not common. I just feel sort of gobsmacked. I need to call and set up additional bloodwork. OPKs are useless right now, and I just feel sort of lost right now.

Will the crazy ever end?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Why saying certain things you think are comforting could be really, really hurtful.

OK, I haven't talked terribly much about this because I was extremely lucky with my losses. Only one person said something really offensive to me, so the most I had to cope with was being driven mad by people telling me they were sorry.

It is difficult to talk to someone who has suffered a loss of any kind. And it's made even harder when you can't directly relate because you haven't been in that position. I know I feel awkward trying to offer comfort to someone who has lost their parent, because I still have mine, for example. I never got to know my grandparents well, so I don't know how to give solace to someone who was extremely close to their newly deceased grandparent.

Of course all sympathy and comfort are reduced to platitudes and are not terribly helpful in a loss, but we still try. We know there are safe things to say. 'I'm sorry for your loss' and 'Please, if there is anything I can do, let me know' and 'I'm here to listen to anything without judgment or advice if you need someone to talk to' - these are always safe territory. Yes, they feel inadequate, but that's because they are inadequate. Not one thing you say can take away the pain and hurt or restore the dead to life again.

But often, we feel the inadequacy of those words and feel awkward and we have a tendency to start spewing out words to fill the silence. Words we think are comforting or are meant to provide some solace. In fact, these ramblings often stick a knife further in, and make the pain worse.

This is especially true when it comes to miscarriage, because already, we feel conflicted. The baby was never a person, wasn't someone we knew. It wasn't someone whose features we remember or whose personality will be a sore loss. There is no body to bury, and there is no sign of that baby left. Outside the mother, everyone (even the father) is at one remove from the loss, because there was never a physical person. So many of us who suffer pregnancy losses feel guilty about our emotional reactions and our sadness, because there was never a baby in our arms. Likewise, people are unsure how to react, precisely because of the lack of physicality in this loss. The baby was never a solid, real thing to them (at least with early losses), it isn't much more than a concept to anyone other than the mother who is so physically affected by it so early.

Additionally, a large part of what we lost was our innocence. Our hopes and our dreams and expectations for our lives and families are gone. Just as we've adjusted to the expansion and have made plans for the new addition, it is suddenly not there anymore. The months ahead suddenly have a gaping hole in them, where days before were markers of growth and excitement and hope and expectations of events (ultrasounds, planning the nursery, showers, maternity leave). Never again will we approach pregnancy with the same openness and hopefulness. Never again will we assume that a baby will be in our arms in so many months.

Also, we don't know why it happened. Some of us will get a partial answer - a previously undiagnosed (and hopefully fixable) medical issue, a random lightning strike of chromosomal defects, bad luck. But even those answers don't address the core issue of why. We will never know why, this side of life anyway. We will never know why that sperm or egg was bad or why the cell division didn't work correctly (or sometimes which it was). There is always room for doubt and guilt - even if you know that it was nothing you did, you wonder if past living created that bad egg or late implantation.

Finally, we don't know if it will ever happen again. While the numbers suggest that many women miscarry and go one to have healthy pregnancies, and that the vast majority of pregnancies are healthy - the stories inevitably come out of the woodwork after a miscarriage. You go places you never would have before, having previously had no reason to be there. You learn frightening stories of women who miscarry 4, 5, 6 times in their quest for their babies. You learn of women who try for years and can't find anything wrong. You learn of women who find out too late their eggs are not of good quality and their only options become expensive fertility procedures, adoption or donor eggs or surrogacy. You are suddenly in a sorority you never though you'd be in, and you are already one of the small number of pregnancies that didn't go well and didn't work out. What is to stop you from being a part of an even smaller number of women unable to carry a pregnancy to term? God knows I am battling the fear that threatens to rise up and choke me since I've had two miscarriages back to back. You don't know if you will ever get pregnant again, and you know now all too well that getting pregnant is only half the battle. Where two weeks before you were filled with hope and joy and expectation, your future now is totally unclear and there are no guarantees.

So all of that is to say - there are certain things that you may find on the tip of the tongue if you are trying to comfort a friend who has had a loss. There are things you may feel strongly about, that you think would comfort you. Unless you know that person as well as you know yourself, bite those words back that threaten to tumble out into an awkward pause or silence.

Don't say things like this:

'It's all God's plan/ It's all part of a greater plan' - well, that's a shitty plan then. I'd like to know why it was planned for me to go through a whole lot of physical and emotional pain and to bring hurt to those I love because I couldn't carry a live baby. If there is a good reason, fine, but I'd sure like to know. And I'd like to know that the plan includes children in the future too, because at the point of loss, you can't help but wonder if you'll ever be a parent or if your only chance is now gone. I'd also like to understand the blueprints of a plan that take my baby from me, a stable woman in a stable, loving relationship who is financially and emotionally prepared for the responsibility of bringing a new life into the world and raising it - especially when there are multitudes of women bringing children into less than ideal circumstances, and multitudes of women having (or not having) unwanted children or harming their children. That is a plan I don't understand and can't quite get behind if someone won't explain it to me.

'God doesn't give you more than you can handle' - see above. My reaction is along the lines of fuck that. I don't care how much I can handle. I don't want to handle this. I want my baby back. I don't want the physical pain, I don't want the emotional pain. I don't want to look at my husband and cry because I've let him down and I don't want to relive every decision I've made to eat this or that or drink this or that and wonder if it's all my fault. I don't want to have to handle the decisions about natural vs. misoprostol vs. surgery or how much time to take off work when I have to think that this is eating away any potential maternity leave I have.

'It's better in the long run/There was probably something wrong with the baby' - you know what? We don't know that. Maybe there was something wrong. Maybe the miscarriage has saved us a lot of agony down the road. Nevertheless, you don't get to say that, and most especially not before any pathology reports are back. Remember, that was our child that we have lost. It's difficult at the point of loss to think anything in this pain could be to benefit. That is something that may come later, but some people will never, ever believe that.

'Better now than down the road.' See above. There is never a good time to lose your child. I would have preferred, given the option, to have lost Chickadee when Chickadee stopped growing, rather than 4 weeks later. But I'd rather have never lost Chickadee.

'You're young/healthy/got pregnant easily. You can get pregnant again.' or the related 'You already have X number of children. It's ok' Would you ever say to someone who lost a friend that they can make more, or to someone who lost one parent or sibling that they still have others? Of course not. It demeans the loss of the child who was wanted and loved to suggest such a thing. Even if there are other children or we can get pregnant again - this child, this pregnancy is gone.

'It wasn't a good time anyway.' Again, not appropriate. There may be family issues, financial issues, uncertain economy, whatever - it is never a good time to lose a child, and it is never appropriate for someone outside to suggest a silver lining.

So there you are. I hope this gives some insight into why people who have suffered a loss shudder when they hear statements like those above. We get it - we know they are well meaning. Many of us have uttered something similar at some point. We know that people don't know what to say and we know that some people truly believe these things and think they will be offering comfort by sharing.

But if you are ever faced with a friend or relative (female or male - men experience the losses too) in this situation - please, keep your mouth shut. Stick to expressions of love and support and offers to help (concrete offers like bringing over dinner or arranging a gift certificate, or offering to clean, whatever are invaluable when someone is mourning - but don't be offended if they aren't up to chatting on the phone or company), stick to expressions of sorrow for their loss. Talk to them later as well. Many people move on quickly, but for the mother, her body can take weeks to adjust to the loss and emotionally, it can feel like you are stuck or moving backwards because everything around you continues and your immediate life is shattered. Allowing them space to talk weeks or even months later - checking in on them - is so much appreciated.

I hope your loved ones are never in this situation. But if they are - think of what you are saying, please, for the love of everything holy, don't make it worse for them.

Yeah, being sick sucks.

I have a bad cold.

I spent most of yesterday and today in bed.


My head is wrapped in cotton. At least when it explodes from the sinus pressure, it'll be less messy.

Also, why the fuck do I suddenly have fertile cervical fluid? Seriously?

News of some variety.

Beta came back - 87.

So . . . definitely not viable, but definitely still pregnant. I didn't talk directly with the midwife, but she wants to do another draw in the next day or so. She didn't seem worried about an ectopic pregnancy with a level that low, which is somewhat relieving.

And related - spotting has nearly stopped.

So the hope is that the spotting was the pregnancy ending and hcg will be dropping rapidly now, and a new cycle will be starting. That is my hope anyway. Pregnancy tests from this morning are still clearly positive, but overall, I'm feeling more hopeful about things. I hesitate to call this pregnancy a miscarriage (I was even hesitant to call it a pregnancy, so calling it a miscarriage seems wrong), even if it technically was. Maybe part of that is hoping to avoid a label of repeat miscarriage. I'd rather just be unlucky.

Anyway, this has all sort of sucked, but there are good things coming out of it. I feel like I've learned some patience and am learning how to deal with things outside my control. I feel better about ttc again and a lot more hopeful generally. The last one is something I find ironically amusing. It's a go figure sort of moment for me, I think.

So there we are, that's what I know for now.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig!

That is what my mom always said as we pulled into the driveway, whether we were going home from school or from a two week trip to other states of the union.

Home again, home again.

It's a comforting statement, as soothing as her voice when I don't feel well. And it applies equally to my return to my home, away from her.

We are home again, and as has become routine, we left my mom all alone, waving in the driveway, as I blink back tears and drive away. I miss her and I am always sad to leave her all alone.

However, returning home - ah, home. The comforts of being able to be ourselves, to be comfortable, with our things around us. To have cable and internet, to have all our distractions and luxuries like our own bed. Oh, I love my bed.

The holidays were nice - nicer than I expected. Though I am not sorry to be home again, and no longer running from one group to the next, trying to balance our need to enjoy the last rest from work for some time and seeing every single family member an equal amount of time.

It is good to be home. But it is bittersweet.

Friday, January 2, 2009

All done now.

Blood is drawn, but results will not be available before Monday. For a viable pregnancy, the least we would need to see is about 1200. At least, over 1000 - that would be within a standard for the time it was drawn (on the low end though) and a normal doubling rate of roughly 48 hours. My gut instinct is that it will be way lower, probably in the 400-500 range, if even that high at all. I am expecting to need an u/s to be certain there is no ectopic pregnancy.

I just have a very difficult time reconciling 7 days of red spotting/bleeding/light flow (with some tmi small clots/tissue - smaller than a normal period for me though) and the initially low beta with potentially viable pregnancy, you know?

I know there is still something inside me that is hopeful I'll get wildly wonderful numbers back and we'll immediately do an u/s where we will see a sac in the uterus and a flittering, beating heart and we'll find that progesterone is the issue and it will be fixed and lovely and in 8 months, I will have a squealing, shrill, beautiful bundle of joy in my arms.

But that most definitely has the tenor of fantasy about it, doesn't it?

I'd just be really happy to settle for not requiring surgery, honestly. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the level were even lower that what I mentioned above, closer to 100. I don't even know what that would mean.

I'm just ready for it to be done, one way or another. To resolve into a healthy pregnancy or to be gone and a new cycle started. I haven't even updated my chart in 2 weeks, because I truly have no idea what to put in there. I just wish for the New Year, that if this pregnancy is doomed (as I feel it is) that the next one comes soon and just in the way it should. A normal, healthy, happy, straightforward pregnancy that carries to term and delivers a healthy, gorgeous baby into my arms. Hell, I'll even take ugly. That's my hope for the New Year.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cramps suck.

Not a newsflash, I'm aware.

Nevertheless, they suck. I've been having a lot of them on the left side, which is kind of worrisome in terms of the potential for an ectopic pregnancy. Nothing really sharp or painful, and I also have cramps in the middle general uterine area; in fact most of today's cramps have been centrally located.

But now's cramps are on the left and kind of persistent. Not fun. Not even 'I need Advil STAT' bad, but . . . yeah.

I'll be going for bloodwork at some point tomorrow. I fear the results. But there it is. If they are where I fear they will be, then I'll need to go for an u/s sooner rather than later. Suck suck suck.

Yet again, I am stumped.

This morning's tests back to immediate and dark.

Bah. Who the hell knows? Should be able to get bloodwork done tomorrow. Still crampy and spotting. Red spotting. Not much fluid, but I still feel leaky, which is not a lot of fun, if I'm being honest.

I worry about the results of the bloodwork. Like it changes anything, rather than giving answers. Just meh. I'm so tired of it.