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Posts Tagged ‘miscarriage’

Yep, another bloodwork appointment tomorrow, and, I assume, an ultrasound, since I haven’t bled anything out yet.  Which is frustrating.  I’m just ready to move on, though I suspect that’s not going to happen until after the first of the year. I’ve been on tenterhooks, waiting to see if this miscarriage would hurry up and complete, but it occurred to me today, (when I saw what almost looked like fertile CM on CD14,) that my set-in-stone cycle must have already kicked back in. Probably won’t be seeing anything coming free until my normally scheduled period is due to start. ie: January 3.

So I’ll stop waiting anxiously, and just assume things are progressing as they should, until I hear otherwise. Actually, I’m hoping for an ultrasound to confirm that the embryo has left my tube & is just hanging out in utero. Mostly because I’m tired of waiting for, you know, unbearable pain which might signal internal bleeding and impending shock and death. If I’ve got to get back to ‘normal’ life, I’d like it to be normal, so I can enjoy normal activities. Ahem. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

I’m pretty stressed about Christmas, which is just four days away as I type this – oh gads! Probably better off being stressed about the holidays than about everything else going on in my life, to tell the truth.  Holiday stress is familiar and almost comforting. Other than stress? Not a hell of a lot happening in Sprogblogger-land. Another holiday, another series of regrets and fears passing before my eyes. You know the drill.

I’m so ready for it to be January 7th or so…

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And today I underwent the procedure I was trying to avoid two months ago when I forewent the D&C for a natural, astonishingly scary & painful miscarriage at home.  

Today’s hysteroscopy/D&C was certainly unnatural, but really not scary or painful at all, thanks to the joys of a general anesthetic, which I’m pretty sure he used to spare me the emotional pain of dealing with the fact that it was probably the remains of my poor baby that wouldn’t come out.  All things considered, if I ever have to go through this again – I’m choosing what’s behind curtain number two right away.  

At least as long as curtain number two is actually a privacy shield in a very clean and professionally run surgical center.

The center itself was a hoot.  Just off Park Avenue, so catering to the, uh, rich and catered-to, the waiting room looked like a boudoir that had seen better days.  Brocade.  Tassels on the lamps.  Framed antique maps and prints from obscure children’s books.  A fireplace.  A samovar.  Truly, all it needed was a woman in the corner,  wearing negligee and smoking a ciggie with a long filter to complete the picture of weird decadence.  I expected to see a hookah in there somewhere, but did not.  Obviously I just didn’t look hard enough.  

Past the waiting room, though, it was all business.  The pre-op/recovery room was just a long maze of gurneys divided by privacy curtains.  Very professional and antiseptic looking, except since most of their early-morning patients were post-colonoscopies being urged to pass all the air from their bowels, it was noisy and awfully surreal in a goofy sort of way.  

The woman in the next gurney-slot over from me was an old dear in for a carpal tunnel excavation, “72 years young”, as she kept explaining to anyone who stood still long enough.  Then she’d praise her doctor to the skies – “He’s a mensch, one of the good guys!  I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for Dr. H.”  Then she tried to hit on the anesthesiologist – which was understandable, because he was a cutie, but it was still sort of weird to be privy to her bizaare bed-top manner.  

The center itself had all the bells & whistles – weird for someone like me who is used to bare-bones medical care, if any at all.  But this was top-notch, and pretty cushy besides.  My hospital gown had an attachment for what – for all intents and purposes – was a hairdryer.  To keep me warm.  Sounds goofy, but oh my, when I woke up shivering from the damned general anesthesia, I fell in love.  I’d’ve stayed there all day if they’d left that thing running.  I want one at home.  As soon as those suckers are commercially available, I’m all over that…

The staff also kept up a running commentary of stupid jokes of the sort I tend to appreciate, though the nurse who insisted on probing for the complete story of my infertility was sort of annoying.  I think she thought she was keeping my mind off the upcoming procedure, but really, what my mind needs to be taken off these days is the infertility – not the various treatments surrounding same.  But everyone was kind.  It would have been all right going there for a D&C.  Next time I’ll know.

(I can’t believe I just wrote that.  Scratch previous negative thought, please.)

And it looks like it wasn’t a polyp or a fibroid or some weird nasty tumorous growth.  Just a remnant from the pregnancy that didn’t want to leave.  When I asked my doctor how it went, he laughed and said, “You do know that this is the fourth time you’ve asked that.”  Er, sorry.  Anesthesia is weird.  But he was kind and explained it all over again for me, and then a few minutes later popped back in to ask if I remembered what he’d said this time.  I do like this man.  I’m glad I lucked into him for my RE, but I sort of wish that he was a “regular” doctor simply because he’s the sort of doctor I could see remaining loyal to for just about ever.  I trust this man more than I’ve ever trusted a doctor before, which makes this easier than it would be otherwise, I think.  So anyway, he got everything out that should have come out, and let everything be that should be let be.  And I’m on Estrace again – it felt funny opening up the pill bottle, recognizing the little lozenges, and then verifying that –Yes!- this time I get to take them Orally!  Who would have thought the day would come when I would be thrilled to take a pill twice a day – down my THROAT!  

Boy was a dear and came to pick me up.  He also managed to get hold of his parents in Italy to tell them about the wedding next week.  *sigh*  Bad enough that it’s an “elopement”, which was really a practicalconsideration so that:

A) My parents won’t have to fly out.

B) His daughters won’t have to choose between being there & being pissy, or not being there & being branded bitches.

C) I won’t have to have a fuss made over me, or endure a wedding where lots of his friends show up, and none of mine can jet across the country to be there.  The fact that his BFF agreed to (and is qualified to) do this just solved an awful lot of problems.  This way it’ll be special, but not stupid.  Because, you know?  I’ve done this before.  I really don’t need the party.

But I still suspect they’ll suspect I put him up to this, when truly, it’s just his scatterbrainedness.  The market’s heaving and pitching this week has him mightily distracted, but still, I hope they’re not too weirded out by this – their eldest boy getting married without them…

But back to the IVF part of the blog.  So anyway, I’m home, it’s over, I am bleeding a bit of bright red blood though really, less cramping and bleeding than I’d feared.  And, according to my doctor, that should clear up quickly (at which point, the Estrace will probably trigger a period.  At which point I need to schedule a new consultation with him to figure out what comes next.)  And, at this point, I can finally (finally, finally, finally) consider my miscarriage complete.

This summer sucked.  But it’s almost over.  Here’s to new beginnings.

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This has gotten so fucking old.

So, I had the MRI. Good news is that my various problems do not include adenomyosis. Thank god for small favors.

Bad news is, there is an unexplained, er, thingy still in my uterus. Despite the heavy period. Despite my doctor’s poking around in there with the HSG catheter trying to “break it up”. Ouch. Didn’t work, either.

So the really bad news is that I’m getting a hysteroscope/D&C. Should have just goddamn well done this two months ago at the beginning of the miscarriage saga. And October’s cycle is a no-go while my poor abused innards heal. And I’ll be on an estrogen to try to prevent scarring. And we’re hoping it’s just a particularly tenacious blood clot, or even the poor dead fetus, and not a bit of cancerous polyp.

Have I mentioned recently how tired I am of this?

On the bright side, my doctor thinks I’m quite the trooper, since I didn’t even wince while he was wrenching my cervix all over the place, trying to get an angle on the whatever-it-is. Quite honestly, my definitions of pain & discomfort have been radically rewritten since July.

I guess I’m looking forward to an end in sight with this bleeding. Looking forward to not being anemic anymore. Not looking forward to another round of anesthesia, or to the bill I’ll be getting for this service. Not looking forward to having to wait another 2 months (best case scenario, which – Hey! -I have to confess that I’m not counting on!) to begin a new IVF cycle. But at least I am pleased that this bleeding isn’t some new chronic condition, and at least I’m pleased that I’m not yet out of the running for another pregnancy – which I would have been with an adenomyosis diagnosis.

Trying to think positive here, but really, I’m just mourning the loss of one more sick day used up in a laboratory. Not to mention the prospect of more cramping & bleeding, because you know what? Pretty much ready to be done with this already.

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So, um, even though I haven’t yet stopped bleeding from the miscarriage, oh so many weeks ago, it seems to have kicked up a notch, back to what I would call “Normal Period” type bleeding.

I’m thinking it might actually be a period. Since it would be right on schedule for me, give or take a day or two.

Hmmph. So, even though I’m bleeding heavier now than I was yesterday, I’m taking this as possibly a hopeful sign – maybe I’m slowly coming round back to normal. Maybe I can look forward to a blood-free day sometime in the near future?

Maybe not, of course, because if nothing else, this experience has taught me not to get my hopes up even knee-high.

In other news, I’m still waiting to hear if my insurance is going to approve the MRI – I’m assuming they will, but it’s just another bit of worry. I’m scheduled to go in on Friday.

The DHEA continues to offer up no noticeable side effects. The general good-mood going on here, I’m likely to put down to the presence of Nelly the Whippet, who makes me very happy, very much of the time. Especially since a good mood was not among the side effects listed.

Nothing else new. I love my boyfriend. I love my dog. I’m sick of my rebellious body. Same old.

More later, when I have more to say.

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First off – Dog. Dog is good. Her name is Nellie – as in “Nervous Nellie” or possibly “Nosy Nellie”. She is, what could charitably be called, timid. Since my previous dog was so overly confident that she once jumped into a river. From a cliff. To rescue my husband. Who actually wasn’t drowning. Even though she couldn’t swim. It took a long time to fish her out, convince her that she was the only one in trouble, and that maybe she shouldn’t have jumped from quite so high a distance anyway. The vet loved my previous dog. Her hijinks put his eldest through college.

Nellie doesn’t suffer from this sort of self-delusion.

She is a princess, and she knows she’s a princess. This means that people are there to protect her. Certainly not the other way around. It also means she suffers from sighthound anorexia. ie: she’s been here for three days now, and has possibly consumed two cups of food in that time. Need to work on that.

She is, however, a cuddler, despite being all elbows and knees and sharp pointy noses. Raised by a gay couple, she instantly bonded with boy, but is less sure what to make of me. Taking her jogging helped, although I think she’d be just as happy to never leave the house again.

But the step-daughters like her as much as they can like anything to do with me. And the boy is being a veritable saint about this all. She makes his eyes itch when she licks him, and because of her thing for boys, she tries to lick him quite often.

I am better, emotionally, than I have been in a very very long time. It’s so good to have something besides coming home from work to look forward to in the morning. It’s so good to have a dose of doggie-joy when I come home. It’s so nice to be needed and looked for by half of the members of this household instead of just by 1/3 of them.

Nellie is the best.

No side-effects from the DHEA so far, and it’s been about a week. Bleeding still hasn’t stopped, but it’s definitely spotting now, not full on bleeding. My skin is looking better than usual, and I’m feeling happy (though, again, I’m inclined to give that credit to the boy for giving me the dog.) Trying for optimism, here, but willing to settle for cautious interest. This could still all come to shit. I’m having an MRI on the 5th, a week from tomorrow, and that should either rule out Adenomyosis, or it’ll rule out ever having a baby. No big.

Ack.

And, continuing in that optimism-vein, assuming everything goes the way we hope, we’re then going to be waiting for me to have a REAL period (Yay, more blood!) at which point we can try to figure out exactly what we’re doing in October. At the moment, there’s a writing convention in Calgary that I’m planning to attend. A writers’ con. that I’ve gone to every year for the past many, where I reconnect with friends not seen since last year’s convention, and also where I met the boy. I have a lot of reasons to want to attend, but not if it comes in the middle of stimming. There’s one up in Albany, too, that I’d like to go to, but that one I can attend even if I just go up for an overnight in between appointments. Boy would, I think, like me to delay this next cycle so that nothing could possibly interfere, but then it just gets stupid. There’s Thanksgiving. There’s Christmas. And no, I don’t think it’s reasonable to wait until January. We’re under some hormonal constraints here!

So, yeah, more waiting, though since I get to pop pills three times a day, I do feel like I’m accomplishing something. Eggs on Drugs! Yes!

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Well.

Not in so many words, but my doctor just basically said to me that Dr. Bigshot’s full of shit.

Ok, so not really, I’m reading between the lines here, but he did express professional disagreement with Bigshot’s insta-diagnosis of “worst case of Adenomyosis I’ve ever seen.” My doctor thinks this bleeding is just the result of my poor, over-abused hormonal system trying to figure out which end is up, and that we’re still just seeing varicosities on the ultrasound, because of their position relative to the endometrium & uterine walls, because I’ve had really no pain to speak of since the miscarriage, during my normal (hah) periods, etc. He also made the point rather strongly that a diagnosis like this should never be made on the basis of one ultrasound, at least not where the patient can hear you. He seems pretty confident that if I had a case of AM that was as bad as all this, I wouldn’t be functional for 3 weeks out of the month.

But, since my doc. also realizes that hearing two completely different things from professional colleagues is disconcerting, to say the least, and since this is something that can be definitively ruled out with an MRI, he suggested I get myself to an MRI center &, um, rule it out. A peace of mind third opinion to be the tie-breaker. So I’ll make the appointment, and have it done, but he seemed pretty satisfied that we were still looking at weirdo veins, but nothing new, nothing scary, nothing that would make it impossible for me to carry a pregnancy to term.

Especially since a good solid implantation was not a problem. At all.

Have I mentioned that I really like my doctor, and that Dr. Bigshot just pisses me off every time I have to deal with him? I think next time I have to have an ultrasound with anyone other than my doc, I’ll just pass & come back the next day. Because, really, my reproductive life’s too short for this kind of stressful shit.

If the big black holes currently taking up space in the wall of my uterus do turn out to be a wicked case of Adenomyosis, my doctor did allow that he would recommend against ever trying IVF again. He also seems pretty sensitive to how hard losing this baby hit me, and seemed to be recommending DE pretty seriously – I think simply because it has such a better live birth rate than using 38 year old eggs.

After talking it over with the boy, we decided that while I am not averse to using DE, I do want one shot of using my own eggs on DHEA. (Eggs on Drugs! Boy said it sounded like a particularly scary band, and I had to agree.) However, if we strike out, or if I miscarry again (and I would opt for a D&C with genetic testing), then we’ll probably go that route and not look back since we’re such a bad match for adoption.

And my doc gave me a prescription for DHEA, and told me to start taking it at any time. Supposedly, it’s going to make me feel like a teenager again. No, not in a good way. Pimples, greasy hair, crazy moodswings. However, I’ve always had blah skin, oily hair, and, er, crazy moodswings, so I suppose I could be one of the lucky ones that it just levels everything out, just like when I was pregnant. That would be nice.

Oh, and my HCG levels are down under 10. I’m officially not-pregnant. That’s nice too.

And, assuming I get a real period one of these days/weeks/months, we might be ready to start trying for a sprog of our own again in a month and a half or so. Which is good because I’m missing the needles, let me tell you. Actually, I’m just feeling old and used-up. I’ll turn 39 in a few months, and that’s just scaring me to death. Stupid prematurely aging ovaries.

So I guess, on a whacked out level, today is the first day of prep for my next IVF cycle.

Assuming I get another cycle, which I’m going to try very hard to keep assuming. Optimism. Yeah. I vaguely remember that feeling. Shall make the MRI appointment on Monday, since there’s no real rush, other than a need to know, at this point. And then I can settle into a nice long stretch of anticipation & crazy-making hormone manipulation.

Not that I know what that’s like or anything…

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Ah fuck.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Went in for another HCG test today & mentioned that I’m still bleeding, er, heavily.

Wasn’t my doctor but the gruff guy whose bedside manner sucks.

Looks like all ‘products of conception’ have left the building, but, I’ve developed(?) “the most severe case of adenomyosis [doctor] has ever seen”

Fuck.

He gives me no information after this, just says, “It’s like endometriosis, only in the muscular wall of your uterus”.

So, how do I get rid of it?

“The best way to treat it is through a successful pregnancy.” He actually said that to me.

Um, Doc? I’m at a fertility clinic, and I’m still bleeding too much from my latest miscarriage. Pregnancy is something that I find rather difficult to achieve, let alone succeed at, you sodding smug bastard.

And, Dr. Google is scaring the shit out of me – hey, miscarriage is a typical problem for women with moderate cases of this.

And no one can tell me why this was never diagnosed before if it’s as severe as all that. Wondering if this is actually what my doctor saw & diagnosed as ‘varicose uterine veins’. Wonder if he’s right, or if Dr.I’mTheTopSpecialistAtThisClinic is right. Wonder if it matters.

Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

So, now we know why I keep bleeding long past when it should have stopped.

Fuck.

Heard back from the nurse, and my HCG levels haven’t zeroed out yet – they’re at 14. So I go back in on Friday, at which time I’ll also talk to my own doctor, who will, I hope, be a bit more forthcoming with actual info instead of scary words and half-assed explanations.

Hoping to get going again on pregnancy not only for purpose of, well, baby-result, but also to avoid bleeding for 3 out of every 4 weeks for the rest of my life, but since I need to demonstrate an actual, normal period before that, who knows when the hell that’s going to happen.

And I’m scared to death that everything’s just going to get worse from here on out. Scared that this is the reason I miscarried. Scared that any pregnancy I do manage, is going to end just the same way. All the literature I found keeps talking about how in severe cases of this, the best way to achieve pregnancy is to hire a surrogate.

Yeah, well, not going to happen. And I don’t want to be bleeding all the time for the rest of my pathetically fucked up reproductive life. My mother didn’t hit menopause until her early 60s. So I can look forward to being severely anemic, exhausted, and generally sick-feeling from constant blood loss for the next 20 years? Goddamn it. Why can’t one single thing work out the way it should? Why can’t I catch a single fucking break? I really don’t feel like I’m asking too much from life here.

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