Time to heal

I had a follow-up appointment with my regular gyn after passing the fetus. She wanted me to have another ultrasound done to see whether anything was left in the uterus and it turned out there was. She gave me a month to give my body time to pass the rest. Otherwise she’d have me do a D&C … after everything I’d already gone through, I really didn’t want that.

So one month later I had another u/s. They did it with colors this time. The technician said if there are red spots in the uterus area, that means there’s blood, which in turn means there’s still something there that shouldn’t be. When the doctor called me, she confirmed that there was something still left. I told  her that I was getting my period that day, so she asked me to get another u/s done two weeks from when the period started.

Finally, that follow-up u/s, in January, showed that everything was cleared. We were ready to go again! Unfortunately I missed my O that cycle – it happened just before I got the u/s results.

But now we’re back in the game and still hoping for a little miracle this cycle!

Time of grief

At the hospital they called the doctor who was covering for my gyn (yes, there was in fact someone covering…) and made an appointment for me for the next day.

Wednesday morning, Nov. 16, I went into denial. They never showed me any numbers on paper (from the blood test), I never got to see the ultrasounds. All I had was the doctor’s word. And I wanted my baby so bad. That phase passed quickly though, when only a little while later the blood started flowing, not just spotting, but some real flow. I cried a lot throughout the next few days/weeks. What was the greater purpose here, I kept asking myself.

We went to see the doctor, who was very nice. I swear that guy must have studied psychology. He knew exactly how to approach me and what to say to make me feel better. The question was, should I miscarry naturally or have a D&C done. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m very much against any chemical or unnatural interference into my body. I try to stay away from that as much as I can. But miscarrying naturally meant more pain, and a longer time of getting back on track.

The doctor sent me off and told me to think about it and talk about it with DH, then come back later that afternoon. The doctor knew my decision before I did. I didn’t really want to do a D&C.

Thursday, Nov. 17, I started cramping slightly around 6pm or so. It got worse and worse. I lied down and used an electrical heating pad to ease the pain. It got so bad I thought I was having actual contractions. My cervix must have been dilating or something. Finally I felt I needed to take a dump and went to the bathroom. I could get the pain under control a little bit, holding my belly. I didn’t need to take a dump. Not in the usual sense. I felt water gushing out of my vagina after a few minutes. When I told the doctor about that the next day, Friday, he asked me if I was sure it came from my vagina. I said yes I’m very sure, I know my body. And he agreed. After the water something flushed out of my vagina that felt as if I was having diarrhea from the wrong hole. That was most likely the fetus dropping out. I dared not looking inside the toilet, as the doctor warned me that at this stage I may be able to make out little arms and legs. How horrible! He wanted me to save some tissue, but I guess that wasn’t going to be possible. I saved something I thought was tissue, but it was just huge blood clots, according to the doctor.

After I had passed the fetus, the cramping eased down and finally stopped completely.

But the physical part was still not over at that point…

Progesterone gel treatment too late

When I started injecting the progesterone into my vagina, the spotting stopped after a few days and I felt good about it. The big wake-up call came about 10 days later.

My doctor had given me progesterone gel in little sample packets because they were very expensive and they wanted to make sure my insurance would cover the cost. So finally on Thursday Nov. 10 I get a call from the pharmacy that my prescription was ready. So we go there to get it and she tells me it’s over 200 Dollars. My jaw dropped at that. We asked whether the insurance was giving a problem or what? As we were trying to figure it all out, it turns out they even ordered the wrong gel (yes they had to order it!). There are two different strength levels of progesterone: 4% and 8%. The doctor had been giving me the 8% and I was sure that’s what she wanted me to continue with. The pharmacy got the 4%, so we called the doctor’s office to set it all straight. Turns out the insurance doesn’t cover it unless we get it from Walgreens. So then Walgreens had to order it and I wasn’t going to get it until the following week! Of course I was on my last 2 or 3 geltubes and I had no way of getting more from my doctor before Monday. So we decided to skip Saturday so we would at least have one for Sunday.

On Sunday, Nov. 13, I found spotting again–this time more than before. I was in tears, I was devastated. DH tried to calm me and encourage me, but there was nothing that could ease my mind anymore. I blamed the absence of the one tube of progesterone gel, I blamed anything I possibly could, even myself for being stupid and not taking care of matters more effeciently.

I called my doctor as soon as I was able on Monday. Unfortunately at that time the doctor was out of town and the assistant told me that, if I’m really that worried about it, I should go to the emergency room. … what kind of answer is that? I mean… don’t you have a doctor covering for your office?! Well, the spotting stopped then on Monday though–there was nothing anymore. So I felt better. Then Tuesday, Nov. 15, I spotted again. I got so sick of not knowing what’s going on, and worrying so much, I tried calling my doctor’s office again after talking to DH and trying to decide what to do. But I couldn’t reach anyone at about 3pm. So we decided to go to the emergency room.

There they took blood and did an ultra sound, telling me nothing. They let me wait hours without letting me know what the hell is happening to my baby! (and of course the doctor whom I saw for 2 min. charged us $236 – heck the assistant was there for me more than that doctor, it’s ridiculous, really).

Finally the doctor comes in and tells me that my hcg lvl had gone down and on the ultrasound they saw that the baby wasn’t moving anymore and the heart had stopped beating.

I was lying on that hospital bed and just wanted to shrink into nothingness. Some people can’t understand how devastating the loss of a baby can be, even when it is only 9 weeks into the pregnancy. It felt like I lost my child, and guess why that is? …. Because I lost my child! It doesn’t matter how old it was or whether it was born or not, it was still my child. I wonder, do those people who can’t understand a mother-to-be’s feelings have any idea how big the fetus is at 9 weeks? It had started developing bones! Yea so maybe it was only about an inch big, so what?

DH was very brave and didn’t shed a tear in the hospital all the while I was crying like a pig. When we got home he finally let go, and we cried together.

The next day I had a short episode of denial…

A difficult path…

So here I was pregnant on our first attempt at the end of September. I can’t even begin to describe how happy we were. I went through many days of very painful cramping, where I actually had to lay down and put my feet up. Every day was at the same time a pain and a joyful wonder… but then…

On October 28, about three weeks after I found out I was pregnant, I found spotting. I was so very concerned, and when I finally called the doctor, I got an appointment for Nov 9. At that point I don’t believe I told them I was spotting. I was concerned but also knew that for some women it is normal to be spotting early on, especially with their first pregnancy. And I couldn’t see the doctor before Nov. 1 because I didn’t have insurance until Nov. 1.

But then I spotted again on Nov. 3. Now I started going nuts worried. I called the doctor again and told her, this time, that I’d been spotting. She wanted to see me right away. I saw my gyn on Nov. 4 and had an ultra sound done. DH and I saw our little baby’s heart beat at 159 bpm and that eased my mind. My gyn said everything looked fine, except that my progesterone level was on the low side. It was in the normal range but minimum. So she asked me to use progesterone gel. I was to shoot that gel inside me every night until I was 12 weeks.

But I didn’t get that far…

A journey begins

For a little while I will be talking about the past. Things that have happened, good things, bad things, before moving on to the present.

Let’s start at the beginning one year ago. In January 2011 we began thinking about starting our own family. I spoke to my gyn to learn all I could in preparation. We wanted this to go right, all planned. I was still on birth control at that time, had been taken BCP for 10 years without break. My gyn advised me to take prenatal vitamins, which she prescribed me, beginning about 3 months before we want to get serious. She also advised me to discontinue taking BCP 1 month before trying.

In July 2011 I started taking the prenatals and at the end of August 2011 I stopped BCP. We were so excited. In fact, we were so excited that we didn’t want to wait any longer at all! So I called my gyn and asked whether I really have to wait 1 month off BCP. She said I could try right now to get pregnant. We got even more excited and couldn’t believe it when that very cycle in September I actually did get pregnant.

But life had a different path for us in mind…