Sunday, December 12, 2010

Wrapping my Mind Around it All

Now that it's been a little over a week since our D&C I've been trying to get a grip on everything that happened starting with how our IVF cycle ended now that I have all of the information. So here is the whole synopsis.

I guess when they called us with our blood hcg on 10.23.10 the level was 5 and apparently anything 5 and under is negative. So the RN just told me the blood value was negative. I got my period the next day which I thought was odd because normally after I stopped the progesterone it takes like 3 days to come. But I figured it was a blessing. I had a normal 4 day, full blood, yucky, crampy period. Then we went about our lives trying to move on. We went out, ate sushi, drank wine (a glass) etc. I was tired but it was also daylights savings time so figured my body wasn’t adjusting well. Then around Nov 8th or so I was having mild nausea but it would come and go and wouldn’t be every day so I really thought nothing of it. That same day I started having what I thought was ovulation pain on the left side. I had that sharp twitching that lasted just for a a few seconds and never happened again. I went home that afternoon and took an ovulation test which came up very positive. Even though we didn't 'prep' Hammer for that cycle we did enjoy our selves that night. I had ordered some Instead Cups as I had heard they might help keep the boys up near your cervix. I thought this would be a good time to try them out but certainly didn't think that anything would come of it. On a side note, the Instead Cups fit "most" women but I am not one of those women. When I took the cup out after only a few hours and feeling very uncomfortable the whole time I saw blood and it freaked me out. I have never had mid cycle spotting but I figured that maybe I just irritated my cervix too much trying to make my first attempt to put it in. Total disaster. So I resolved to get a Diva Cup instead which come in different sizes. November 11th was our meeting with the RE and while I sat in the office with him making random guesses that my eggs must be bad because "what's left," I was actually pregnant, oh the irony.

I went to get the flu shot on Monday Nov 15th and had to fill out the same form 3 times because I kept circling ‘yes’ that I was pregnant and I totally didn’t think I was. I chucked it up to wishful thinking and fatigue and got the shot. A few days later the nausea came in full force and while I never got sick it was hit or miss if I could get up the urge to eat anything. I thought I got the stomach flu from the shot and totally forgot about how I had mild nausea the week before. Later in the week my mother kept telling me to take a HPT but I refused rationalizing that it didn't make sense because I was only a week and a half post ovulation, or so I thought. So certainly my nausea couldn't be morning sickness. My period was supposed to arrive on Friday Nov 19th but because we’ve been dealing with this for 4 ½ years I’m not really quick to test and wanted to wait to see if it was actually late. We had a wedding for my cousin that weekend so we were out of town and staying at my parents house. I have to admit that over this weekend I did start to get suspicious. My boobs were totally getting sore, the fatigue was setting in but the nausea was lifting a bit and the food cravings and aversions were starting. I was starting to feel more like I did with our first pregnancy where my symptoms started right away. So based upon that factor I thought that maybe we did get pregnant on our own. I never thought that it could be from our IVF cycle because I had a blood test that was negative and period!

When Monday Nov 22 rolled around and my period was nowhere in sight I took a test and it came up positive immediately. Hammer and I were shocked but we totally thought that it had happened naturally. I called my RE and asked for a blood test. The next day we were shocked again to hear it was over 61,000 which falls around levels for 8 ½ to 9 weeks. They immediately scheduled us for an u/s the next day. I took the day off of work just in case which turned out to be a very good decision. At the ultrasound the room was a bit crowded as it was our RE, a student, Hammer and myself. When the image of our baby showed up on the monitor I was totally shocked to see just how far along we were. This was the first time we had ever seen not only a placenta, but an aminotic sac and a little baby attached by it's umbilical cord. It had little hands and feet but as much as I tried to see it there was no flicker on the screen. I kept saying "I don't understand, I had a period, I had a negative blood test." Our doctor did measurements and officially told us that he didn't see a heart beat. He then started rambling on about the crown-to-rump length but honestly after I heard that there was no heart beat I didn't hear anything else. I was in total shock but I do remember telling him that I can't end the pregnancy just yet. After the ultrasound we went back to his office and I slumped into one of the chairs and kept saying, "I don't understand" over and over again. He said that we would be just fine waiting till next week and had his RN schedule another ultrasound for the following Wednesday. When we left the office we went to see my mom who was in town and told both her and my brother, who happened to be there, our shocking news. My mom is a former pathophysiology professor so she was whipping out her manuals and asking us developmentally what we saw on the monitor. It was at about 7 1/2 to 8 weeks development. We went through Thanksgiving weekend in a state of shock and sadness. I totally felt pregnancy symptoms the entire time which was confusing. I could barely eat any of the Thanksgiving meal as I was having food aversions and spent most of the night asleep on the sofa at my Aunt and Uncles house. As the week went on leading up to our appointment I noticed that I started showing. I also discovered I could only fit into two pairs of pants. I'm not a large person so it was very apparent that at only 91/2 -10 weeks that my tummy was sticking out already making it much more emotionally difficult to know that our baby was gone.

The day before I requested to have my hcg and progesterone done so we would have the results at our appointment. The following Wed I had both Hammer and my mother come with me. I also requested no student be present as it was just too much to handle that again. Unfortunately the ultrasound confirmed again what we had already learned the previous week. My mom was there to ask questions that we just wouldn't think of to ask or be too emotional. The baby looked smaller on the screen but I think it just wasn't as good of an angle as the last time. This time we could wrap our minds around it a bit more and felt more prepared to make a decision. My hcg though had continued to go up and was now near 70,000 while my progesterone was only 6. I was hoping that maybe if the hcg was going down it would help make a decision but I was surprised to hear about the progesterone. I have to say it made me suspicious since I hadn't been on progesterone at all. But our RE said that the majority of women don't need the progesterone and likely what I thought was ovulation was my corpus lutem twitching as it worked to increase the progesterone. But I still wonder as I have heard that low progesterone that does not cause bleeding can still cause a decreased amount of blood to the fetus. Our RE offered to let us go another week if we needed it and did say that we could do the Cytotec to bring on a natural miscarriage. But I was completely traumatized by that experience and I only had a gestational sac of 5 weeks that time. We decided to do a D&C because we wanted to have a pathology report done to see if it would give us some answers since we've tried for so long to get this far only to have so much happen and end in tragedy. I had a d&c scheduled for the next day (Dec 2). Since I was 10 week along and my placenta was quite large I didn’t want to try to have a natural miscarriage anyway. There was no knowing when it would actually happen since my hcg kept on rising and I was totally showing already. I don’t think I could have handled having to buy maternity pants just to wait out a miscarriage. And since I didn’t have any medical care, i.e. I stopped my progesterone and thyroid medication, we wanted to know if that was the cause of our loss or if it was genetic.

[I'm going to brag about my mom here because I think she is amazing]
On another note, my mom hated our RE. It made all my feelings more justified. I completely trust her medical opinion above all else as she is literally a walking medical dictionary. And she went head to head with him on the DNA fragmentation. Apparently because I had been talking to her about it she went and looked up the research herself. As editor of a medical journal and NIH grant reviewer she knows good research from bad and agrees with the research on DNA fragmentation as a likely cause of our issues. As we sat there still in shock and disappointment we did enjoy our RE getting his butt handed to him while my mom argued her points. Way to go mom.

Upcoming post...D&C and next steps.


Allison said...

I am so very glad you have your mom to be an advocate for you and Hammer when you aren't as able because of your emotional attachment. I also am happy you have your mom as a reference and to confirm some of the feelings you've had (both about your doctor and your intuition about your possible fertility problems).

I hope, whatever the path you choose, that you can find a way to find peace with your situation. I'm saying prayers for you guys, that you somehow have a simpler road to parenthood from here with as little pain as possible. You've been through so much already.

RELH said...

What crazyness... so sorry this is all happening. :/

Miss Megan said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through all of this. What a rollercoaster of emotions. And the holidays make it harder I know. We had a D&C last year about two weeks after Thanksgiving, and I too really felt that I was showing already and it made it so much harder. Sending lots of (((HUGS))) and positive thoughts your way hun.

Amber said...

I am so sorry that you and your dh had to go through this emotional rollercoaster. I am also very thankful for you that you have your mom as an advocate for you!! I'm sure you and dh can appreciate that! Praying for you now.

Hillary said...

I can barely wrap my mind around all that happened to you - I'm sure your head is spinning (and in a daze). Praying for your heart that is hurting, too.


Mrs. Katia said...

Just so you know, when my hcg was 60,000, my progesterone was in the high 20s (and so far so good this pregnancy, thank goodness). I think you're really intuitive about a lot of things doctors are overlooking. Go with your gut!

Sarah said...

I'm without words. As always, we continue to pray for your miracle. Sometimes I am hesistant to comment b/c it may not seem like I understand since we did finally get our miracles. But, I do know much of the pain you speak of and will continue to pray that God will give you the desires of your heart!

Mandy said...

I came across you blog yesterday and you have been on my mind ever since. Long story short I have lost 5 babies and have 3 living children. Three of my pregnancies ended with D&C. Two of them we could not find heart beats, but my levels kept rising like it was a normal pregnancy. I was pretty far along with all of them around 11 and 12 weeks. So I completely understand what you are going through. After I lost three in a row, is when they finally checked my progesterone levels and they were low so I started the shots and everything did work out for that pregnancy. Ended up having a healthy baby boy. Next pregnancy started progesterone at 5 weeks and ended up with another healthy baby girl. Then this year everything was going well and my hcg levels were being check every other day and I had a drop in the levels. Then two days later it when back up, but baby was measuring 2 weeks behind and a few days later no heart beat. My doctors never checked my progesterone level...said they don't do that anymore??? All that being said, I have not heard of anyone else having the same problem as myself until I found your blog. I really feel your pain and have walked down the same path as you are going now, but keep the faith and God will bless you.