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Posts Tagged ‘missed miscarriage’

…and it was an illuminating, if somewhat discouraging, conversation.

I told him I was starting to get really antsy about getting started again, and that I’m tired of feeling like shit all the time, and that it seemed to me that my HCG numbers are dropping really really really slowly, yes?

He said yes, and that he had been planning to talk to me at my next blood draw on Monday about this. What he basically said was:

A. These HCG numbers really aren’t dropping the way he’d like to see.
B. Me feeling so physically crappy all the time probably has something to do with the fact that the goddamn fucking USELESS placenta is still growing, producing hormones, having never received the bulletin that the audition’s over & everyone can go home now. He’s also starting to get slightly concerned about the possibility of infection, since I’ve been carrying this non-viable pregnancy for almost four weeks after that heartbeat stopped.
C. He imagines that I will, next cycle, be a candidate for DHEA but that, unless I’d like to be their guinea pig for “Use during end of pregnancy”, he wouldn’t recommend that I begin said protocol until I’m at <5 HCG again.
D. However, they’re using a 6-week, instead of a 4-month DHEA protocol these days, so that’s good.
E. However, at the rate I’m halving, it could still be another four weeks before I lose all “products of conception”, and then another 10 weeks after that for my levels to return to “not-pregnant” levels. At which point they’d want me to wait for a “normal menstrual cycle” before we could start shooting up again in preparation for another round of fun.

Fuck.

So, all things considered, he recommended that I make the appointment for a D&C, for late next week. If my body decides to step up to the plate before then, great! (Well, depends on how you view the concept of great, I suppose). Otherwise, he’ll do the procedure and that will – he hopes – get things started a little quicker for me. Which should let me finish this process a little quicker so that I can climb back up in those stirrups again, asap.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

And I keep putting off making this phone call, though I’m not sure why since I’m sort of resigned to it all at this point. It just sounds so unpleasant and so, I don’t know – out there in the world. I was really hoping I could end this at home where I could grieve and deal with it in private, on my own. I’m still hoping that, to be honest. But I guess it’s time to deal with it so that I can get going with the original plan which was, I keep reminding myself, to have a real live baby.

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Mostly because that’s the day I go in for my weekly HCG tests at the baby-makin’ clinic. That’s where all my tests are classified as ‘preg.’ instead of ‘decidedly not-preg’. Which sucks.

On the good (good?) news-front, my HCG numbers are still halving – however, the bad news is that we’re looking at a half-life of about a week, so at this pathetically slow rate (pauses to do some quick calculations…) I’ll be down to about zero & ready to start trying again in a mere two and a half months.

Which is flat-out ridiculous. Not to be stood for. So I’ve asked for a phone appointment with my doc, to see what the next theoretical step is. Because if it’s DHEA, which I suspect he’ll recommend, since that’s what this clinic is apparently ALL about, then I think I need to be on it for 4 months or so to reap all the ova-benefits. In which case, this whole ‘let it happen naturally’ thing will work out fine, since it’s not like I’m gonna be using that space or those hormones for anything during that four-month time frame anyway. Well, nothing that (in my case) leads to babies, anyway.

But if he thinks I’m not a candidate for DHEA for some reason, then I think I’m going to start pushing pretty hard for the artificial, induced, ‘knock me out and get it out of me’ option. Damn the risks. I know he doesn’t prefer to do it that way, but it’s been two weeks now, and about three weeks since they estimate that Sprog died. Not so much as a single spot or a cute little cramp. Nada. Things are still happily chugging along in there, not yet having received the message that it’s too little, too late.

Argh.

So, enough, already. I have a life – a reproductively challenged life in which the time left before I am completely and utterly unable to bear a child is beginning to give way to the tick-tock sound of impending doom. Doom with the big thunder and scary scary horsemen and maybe a vampire or two thrown in for kicks.

So we’ll see what the doc says tomorrow. And if he thinks DHEA might work wonders for my younger-than-they-act ovaries, then I’ll try to start taking that asap and pray to whatever god Rapunzel prayed to that it doesn’t do a number on my already-thin hair. But either way, I hope I’ll be able to decide on one course of action or the other tomorrow, since it will make me feel like there’s still a goal to be moved toward that doesn’t totally suck shit through a straw.

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Still waiting to start to miscarry. Still waiting.

Not that I should really be looking forward to misery and blood, but I guess I’m really believing that this one is over, and I need to start looking forward to the next attempt.

I’m drinking a glass of hard cider, even as I type. Yum. I’m still dealing with prednisone-headaches, but nothing like the evening of death I endured two nights ago. And is it very wrong of me to admit that I’m really enjoying the freedom from injections (and let me say I hope my doctor takes my current lack of miscarriage into account my next time around. I’m thinking that fucking placenta is producing plenty of progesterone to maintain a pregnancy already, and I was at 8 weeks when I stopped injecting. Here’s to the fond wish that progesterone injections will not be indicated for the full 12 weeks next time! The lumps in my ass are slowly disappearing, though the side that endured that incredibly painful mistake is still pretty sore and pretty lumpy. Better, though.

And, just to give you way too much information about my life, I’m really really REALLY glad to be off pelvic rest. Damn, that was a long time with no conjugal joy…

The boy’s daughters have been mostly absent since he told them that I’m not some passing fling (which still pisses me off, because after having lived here for more than a year, I would HOPE they might have figured that one out on their own.) But they’re all still talking to their dad in more or less complete sentences, which is the most important thing. It’s not like I’ve been close to any of them, for this period of not-closeness to be an abrupt change. And tomorrow, the youngest daughter goes back to her mother for a couple of weeks. Which will be a relief, I have to say.

As for me, I’m still waiting for my body to figure out what’s going on. But I’m trying to do other things & think other thoughts in the meantime. Trying to get back into the writing habit, and trying to remember all the things I love to do that have nothing to do with babies. Hard though that is, sometimes, to remember. I decided today that the best way for me to look at this miscarriage is that there was something wrong with the baby. Its little cells weren’t dividing or sealing up properly. It had too many – or not enough – chromosomes somewhere in there. We knew they weren’t superstar embryos to begin with, and much better that the sprog die on its own than for me to have to make a horrible decision in another couple of weeks. I’m glad that decision was taken out of my hands. And now I just want it to be over so I can get started on trying again.

I’ve been checking out past contributors on CycleSistas, and was struck by how many of the IVFers are currently pregnant, even if they didn’t get that way on their first cycle. It’s encouraging, I guess, even if I have to stifle “it’s not fair!” thoughts when I see how trouble-free some of these pregnancies have been, after sperm meets egg. But it is encouraging. The DHEA research I’m reading has been more than encouraging, and luckily for me, I ended up (through no real fault or credit of my own) at the premier clinic that’s been dealing with this protocol. When the senior partner had the US wand halfway up me a few weeks ago, he asked, (because making conversation is really what a woman wants to do while a stranger roots around in her girl-goods) “So, how did you find us?” I had to admit that the website was easy to navigate, the receptionist was nice, and they were able to see me right away – on Good Friday – when I called, as opposed to the three month wait some other clinics had. It was pure luck, though I’ve been so very pleased with my care there, especially compared to some of my friends who went with Cornell or other top-dollar clinics in town. Also, I think they automatically put second-cycle IVFers on it, so I won’t even need to do much convincing of my doctor, which is nice. I’m not feeling persuasive these days, just bullying. It might also mean that the horrible fight with boy might be moot, since I think this clinic prefers a few months on DHEA before trying again. Ok. I can live with that.

My insurance will cover two more tries, and really, even if we don’t get lucky these next couple of times, I’m willing to go the donor-egg route. I’m willing to adopt (though that’s going to be a tricky proposition, given my age, the boy’s age, our unwillingness to adopt anything other than an infant, and our previous marriages/divorces/currently unwed state of being. [Which was, actually, the reason for his springing the whole ‘we’re getting married’ thing on his kids. I told him we should probably get cracking, due to the adoption issue, and he moved on it. I cannot fault this man. He is trying very hard to give me what I want so that I’m in a place to give him what he wants. I want a baby, he wants a wife. We’ll both get our wishes in the end, I think.])

But all that’s at least a few weeks in the future. Let’s see – what else is occupying previously pregnancy-occupied space in my brain these days?

Still trying to finish the quilt I started three years ago. I love hand-piecing, but I really don’t have the patience for hand-quilting. But I want that quilt on my bed instead of on the chair in my bedroom, so that’s good incentive to finish it. I’ll get there before winter, I promise. I’m still plugging away at the cross stitch I’m trying to finish before I die. I love cross stitch, and I really love intricate cross stitch, but this one is like 500 stitches x 400 stitches, and it’s baby-themed, and it’s just taking me for-damn-ever. Hmmm, other ponderings? I really need to start working out. It would be a good thing for me to lose about ten pounds before our next IVF attempt. Since I found it difficult to maintain – let alone diminish – my weight while on the drugs. Though I did. I weigh exactly what I did when we started, but I’d like to do better this time around. Of course, I’m still in the comfort-food stage of grieving, so that’s not likely to happen for another week or two.

And I have tomorrow off work, too, which is a better thing than I can really express here. In a way, the insurance thing is keeping me from moving forward at work. I’ve known since the beginning that this stupid schedule where I have far too few two-day weekends was not going to work for me, but how could I look for better working conditions when it would mean giving up the insurance that was covering something like 80% of this. And then, how could I consider changing insurance carriers mid-pregnancy? Maybe I’ll start seriously job-hunting again, to see if I can find something that allows me a life outside of work. I think it would make a difference as to how much I like living here, and I think that would only help my relationship with boy, my state of happiness, and possibly my conception-affecting stress levels.

So there. You’re all caught up with my life, and I’ll try not to post again until I have something IVF-related to talk about.

Hah. As if that’s going to happen.

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So yesterday was the first day I wasn’t on prednisone, and I nearly didn’t make it home.

Started getting light-headed on the subway which, if you’ve never feared fainting on NYC’s subways at rush hour, is a treat not to be missed. Nothing like fearing for your life if you pass out instead of just being embarrassed about the fuss. Made it back home without actually blacking out, and immediately collapsed on the bed. Boy ran out of the room, and I heard him yelling on the phone but simply couldn’t go find him to see what was wrong.

At that point, I wasn’t even thinking prednisone withdrawal, was more thinking massive infection. But there was no fever, and no cramping and so nothing to really worry me; so I just waited it out. This morning, I’m a bit better, though I feel like I truly understand the meaning of the word ‘wan’ for the first time now. I feel wan. I look wan, too, according to the boy. Actually, I think his exact words were, “Holy shit, I’ve never seen you look so white before. Are you dead?” No, I just play a dead person on tv, but thanks for asking.

So this morning, when I got up and didn’t immediately fall over, I went to the computer to check prednisone withdrawal symptoms. Sure enough. Low blood pressure, light-headedness, chills, trembling extremities. Fun times, but not life threatening. Most likely. A bit worse reaction than we could have expected, given that I tapered off an already low dose over the course of a week, but nothing too scary. I guess now we know I’m sensitive to steroids. Good to know.

And this morning I’m better, not worse, at least physically. Mentally is another matter.

Because, see, the other thing that happened last night, the thing that all the yelling on the phone was about, is that the boy chose to tell his youngest daughters about our marriage/baby plans last night. And all fucking hell broke loose. His youngest daughter has given him an ultimatum – she’ll move out the moment I announce a pregnancy. His middle daughter apparently hung up on him, then called him back so she could practice her cursing for a while. Hysterical doesn’t really begin to cover it. She’s an excitable girl. And the boy is upset, and I’m upset – beyond upset, really. Because how can I ask him to make a choice between his daughters and me? It’s not in me to enjoy what I want, if it means that other people are miserable. And how could this not make him miserable? So I’m angsting over this, and then he announces that he thinks we should wait until October or November to try again. This knocked me back a bit. We’ve already waited, er, far too long.

Obviously.

So it turns out he doesn’t want to have me due (as if that’s a given!) during the same general time frame that his daughter’s due to graduate from high school. So I should just wait until winter to start this process again.

I did not take this suggestion well at all. I mean, I’ve been awfully damned patient with his kids and their crappy attitudes, their rudeness, their unbearable rudeness. I’ve put up with the expectation that I should put off my life so as not to impact theirs too much. I’ve put my life on hold, put my own feelings aside, and pushed my emotional well-being to the back-burner in an attempt to make this all easier on them.

And I should put off something that cannot be put off any longer? They hate me already, and I should jeopardize the rest of my fucking life because of hs graduation conflicts? To hell with that.

Because no matter what I do, or try to do, or don’t do – it doesn’t work. Now they’re whining that they don’t know me well enough for their father to marry me. Not that they’ve ever shown the slightest inclination to get to know me. What they mean is that we are dissimilar. We’re from dissimilar cultures, educational backgrounds, socioeconomic backgrounds. We have very different values, different experiences, different ways of relating to the world. In short, I’m nothing like their mother, or like them, for that matter. And I think it freaks them out a little bit that their dad fell for someone so very different from anyone they’ve ever met in New York.

And I simply don’t know what to do about it, or if I can do anything about it. And at the moment, I’m not even feeling that inclined to try.

Because, you see, I keep trying to become involved in their lives and I keep getting rebuffed. When daughters are at dinner, the only topic of conversation (literally) is celebrity news, and reality shows. The boy wants to know why I don’t join in these conversations – well, that would be mostly because I have nothing to add that wouldn’t be insulting. I don’t know – or care – who most of these folks are, and I’m not about to start watching TV at this point in my life in order to be able to stay current with an entertainment trend I find repulsive. “Just be yourself,” he pleads. Well, I am being myself. Myself happens to be introverted and shy. Myself dislikes conflict and the vicious behavior these kids tend to exhibit at the dinner table. Myself could not give a shit about celebrity gossip, and finally, myself thinks it’s more polite not to say anything in such a situation, than to join in with what I actually think about the lame-ass, waste-of-time subject of the conversation.

I’m just heartsick, and I feel like I’m being asked to do, and give, and accept too much. I want to go away for a while. I want a vacation from my life. I woke up crying last night. Sad dreams, because, you know, I didn’t get enough sobbing done last night.

I’m cried out, I’m exhausted, I’m sick, and I’m still waiting to get rid of this dead baby.

I’d be glad it’s Friday, except that means I have to go home tonight. And right now, that sounds like a worse deal than being at work all day.

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So I went in to the doctor, had the stupid ultrasound, and, sure enough, it turns out that my doctor had overlooked last week’s numbers, so he wasn’t really basing the “your numbers are so high” on anything at all.

Grrr.

We were able to get a bit of info, though. He showed me how massive the placental tissue is becoming and warned me that this is likely to be more than a “heavy period” sort of miscarriage, and told me how much blood & clotting to expect (lots), and gave me guidelines for when to get to an emergency room, if necessary. We were also able to see where it’s starting to pull away from my uterus, which indicates it might happen sooner rather than later. Which is a good thing. Until I heard the numbers from this week, I’ll confess to having some pretty far-fetched hope that maybe this would all turn out to be a mistake. After all, three weeks ago, one doctor diagnosed an empty sac, where another doctor was able to find a heartbeat two days later. But, if I’m honest with myself, all my pregnancy symptoms are pretty much gone. Breasts aren’t really tender, my lovely pregnancy-glowing-skin is just plain old oily again, and my formerly damned-even-keel emotions (hah) are back to “normal” – meaning all over the damn place, and taking savage downturns at random times. Hormonally manic-depressive – that’s me. So I’m past hoping that a mistake might have possibly been made and everything’s going to be ok.

Now I’m just hoping for an easy miscarriage.

Preferably before I destroy my relationship with the boy.

I took my last prednisone yesterday, so this will also be the first day without taking objectionable meds orally in a very long time. Yay for me. Maybe I’ll celebrate with an unhealthy dose of caffeine. I’m feeling the need for a triple latte. Last night was a 2 margarita night – it made South Pacific much more interesting than it probably was. Maybe this weekend I’ll get well & truly sloshed.

I started looking into DHEA supplements, and will ask my doctor about them next time I’m in. I’m at the clinic that has done all the research that there is (not much, since they have a hard time persuading women in the know to submit to a blind study where they might end up taking sugar pills even though DHEA might really help). Since there’s new evidence that DHEA patients have fewer miscarriages – probably just because of their more-robust embryos at transfer – I’d be way interested in this as an option this next time around, though, I think it’s a four-month protocol, which will be frustrating to me. I wonder if I could start the DHEA now. Make me feel like I’m doing SOMETHING.

Something besides waiting to miscarry which, if I haven’t mentioned it before, is a fucking lousy way to spend a summer.

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Went in for my weekly HCG test. Not only did one of the techs – who actually knew better, but forgot – breeze in & say, “You must be so excited!”

Um no. Not actually.

Then she couldn’t get a vein to give up enough blood. Bad veins have been the bane of this IVF experience, and at the moment, both elbows are bruised and – I’m sure – scarred. So she had to go into the back of my hand. Ouch. There’s a reason that’s not the preferred spot.

I made her tell me what my HCG levels were last week – 31,570 – and got out of there as soon as I could, after asking her to have someone give me a call with my numbers. I want some idea of what’s happening in my poor body.

So I got a call from the nurse, who gave me this week’s count – 16,350 – & told me that my RE wants me to come in tomorrow morning for an ultrasound. I asked, “Why?” I did not continue, “I mean, looking at electronic photos of dead babies is pretty fun, but once you’ve seen it once, the thrill is gone.” She said it was because my levels were still so high.

Um, no they’re not. They’re about half of what they were last week. Not particularly high at all. I mean, if they were three times what they were last week, I could see wanting a peek in there because, omigod what if we made a mistake? If they were just a teeny-tiny bit higher, I could see wanting to maybe run some tests stat to make sure we’re not looking at a molar placenta issue or something ghastly like that. But half of what they were a week ago sounds sorta like an impending miscarriage, yes? I mean it’s dropped enough that it’s obviously not viable, even in my most pollyanna dreams.

So why the fuck do we have to have a look?

The best I can come up with is that he wants a visual confirmation so that he can, in good conscience, sit me down and offer me some management options. ie: pain meds, grief counselor, heroin, whatever. I was pretty ragged right after I found out last week, so, being a good doctor, he might just want to make sure I’m not suicidal or planning to bomb his clinic. Which is nice, and I realize that so many women going through this process are seen by faceless drones, so I really shouldn’t complain that my doctor is taking the time to really make sure I’m doing ok, despite me messing up his live-birth statistics for the year.

But I was already strong once today and I have to confess that I really don’t want to go do this tomorrow.

Just in case you hadn’t figured that out already.

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…save that there’s nothing new to report.

Boy decided that the reason I’m having “such a hard time getting over this” is because of the waiting. He hadn’t realized (actually, let that read “he hadn’t registered when I told him the first time”,) that this process might take up to 6 weeks to begin, and that I was going to feel pregnant that whole time. And here I thought I was being quite the trooper. I think to him, it never felt real – especially since his first wife had a couple of miscarriages. Like my mom, I never had much in the way of pregnancy symptoms, and those I had, were so minor compared to the IVF-drug symptoms that I sort of downplayed them. It felt real to me, though. I think so far, only my RE has gotten it right. He told me he understood that it felt like I lost a baby, not the chance of a baby. I don’t know that I’d go that far, but it comes close. But truly, as hard as this is, it can’t possibly be as hard as it would have been to lose a baby after I’d counted its toes in a 3D ultrasound at 8 months. It can’t even be as hard as the decision to terminate a pregnancy would have been, if the 13 week tests had shown something horrible was wrong with sprog. It certainly can’t be as hard as losing a child that you’d held in your arms.

But it’s still fucking hard, waiting for my stupid body to realize that the baby I was growing is dead.

And did I mention how much I hate waiting for anything? I mean, waiting for Christmas day is a bummer, and you know it’s going to be fun. But this? Waiting for blood and pain and even more mental anguish (it’s really really really over) has just got to be the worst. I’m starting to understand why women just close their eyes and ignore any risks and go ahead with the D&C – just for some fucking closure so that they can start to move on with their lives.

And, in the cases of infertiles’ like us, anyway, so that they can start trying again. Because hell, it’s been a full 7 days with no needles, and my bruises are starting to go away. Must. Inject. Myself. With something.

It’s a good thing I’ve never been tempted to try heroin, or now would totally be the time.

Although, tomorrow will be my second HCG blood draw (whew!) so I’ll get my needle-fix then. Not to mention my dose of unhappy nurses trying to be comforting, but mostly saying lame things like, “It just wasn’t meant to be,” or my favorite: “Everything happens for a reason.”

Um, no. Actually some things are just completely fucking random and should be raged against, as such.

So there.

No, seriously, I think I’m doing better. Well, I know I’m doing better than I was a week ago, since I’m not currently throwing things at the wall just to hear them shatter. I’d never really understood that impulse before, but it’s all I could do to express how I was feeling, and, you know, I never liked that vase anyway. I’ll have to stock up on ugly crockery before my next IVF round…

I still haven’t had a glass of wine, though I had a latte this morning and it was good. Had my lamb chop this evening cooked bloody rare and it was awfully tasty. I’m still taking prenatal vitamins, though I’ve switched from the prescription, $2 a day kind to the cheapo kind.

Hope springs eternal, but not entirely damn-the-expense, I guess.

Because I need to save my pennies for the next round. Which, given the lack of progress on the whole miscarriage-front, will likely be taking place somewhere in September.

I wonder if I can re-use the vial of Lupron that’s still hiding in the fridge…

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