Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Please don't let tomorrow suck

Going back to work tomorrow, and I just know somebody, at some point, is going to piss me right off.
For the most part, the people I work with are decent, caring folks. And I do understand that sometimes even the most well-thought-out comment can be mistakenly perceived as a shot. Read: I tend to be defensive.
Someone will tell me this happened for a reason.
Which, really, I hope it did. I hope the karotyping shows some abnormality that gives this loss a purpose. If it is another "perfectly normal fetus", I might just scream.
Someone will tell me god works in mysterious ways.
I will bite my tongue until it bleeds.
Someone will be so bold as to suggest maybe it's for the best, you were really stressed out by the situation.
At which point I will burst into sobs.
I had not experienced a pregnancy of my own, failed or otherwise, (failed of course, epic fail), while at this current place of employment. Everyone is now well aware of my history; during the Gestational Festival of 2007-2008/9, I played the pity card on a few occasions so that I would not be subjected to wanton saturation of all things pregnancy-related. We had, I believe, four children and six grandchildren born during that time, and honestly, I was about to gag.
I was able, however, to move past the pain and jealousy somehow, and grew to give a small shit about everyone else's picture perfect fairytale world.
Most recently, say within the past year, I accepted that I was no longer in the "still hoping for a bless-ed miracle" state of mind. Rather, I was starting to enjoy my midlife crisis. Age forty didn't hit me hard; approaching 41 pulled the magic carpet right out from under me. Forty-one meant I was in my forties. I wanted Change. I needed a challenge. Rather career or personal, I wanted to shake things up a bit. I decided I'd go back to school and finally finish my Master's. My boss approached me about an advancement track meaning more leadership responsibilities and more money, so why not go all-in? I'd even begun to ponder my future marital status because of some long-standing issues that have become practically unbearable. The Boy is an adult now, and I can afford to support myself, why spend the rest of my life stuck in an unhappy situation when there could be greener grasses out there over some other fence? (This is my midlife crisis talking, bear with me).
So, here I am, wanting something different, something more, some Change to usher in my old age... imagine my shock when I found out I was knocked up. Right out of the blue, just like that. Wasn't trying, was no longer considering myself a candidate for such a feat, WTF?
I'll be the first to admit, I wasn't immediately thrilled. I actually was a little upset. OK, alot.
For a brief while I had forgotten that this wouldn't amount to anything, and allowed myself a tiny bit of Freak-Out. But then I accepted it, and moved on to Cautiously Waiting. A few more weeks where NBHHY, and I started to WANT this. Maybe THIS is what I needed? Maybe this IS a blessing and oh man wouldn't it be super-cool to be an old mommy with a second chance at starting over again and things would be different and better and oh what an exciting opportunity!
And then it died.
I mean, what else would it do?
And I feel guilty for ever wishing it hadn't happened.
I feel horrible for not wanting it that first couple of weeks.
Because that is when it stopped growing.
And I feel like I caused it. Nevermind my history and my shit luck.
I found out late in the 6th week and it died just prior to the 8th.
When I had to have my little selfish crisis. Me me me.
Nevermind that I carried it for four more weeks, blissfully unaware.
Like a little reminder that I could have had what I wanted but I blew it again.

Someone, at some point, will remind me how freaked out I was at getting pregnant (I was in shock! I couldn't help but be a little unnerved.)
And that someone will equate the loss with being a relief, and I will get angry. Or bawl. It's kind of a toss-up at this point, because that's all I've been doing lately. I'm mad at the universe and feeling sorry for myself.

And this just sucks. I don't wanna go back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The highlight reel, and some retrospect

I had posted a long, drawn-out, detailed account of yesterday's happenings at the old Stirrup Corral, but decided that would best be kept in my personal archives. Nobody really wants to know all the details. Thus, I will give you only the key points.

The little one was still floating in the amniotic sack, like a little oval water balloon, about the size of a 'jumbo' egg from your local friendly supermarket.

It was "right there, almost through the cervix" when I assumed the position. As such, there was no 'procedure' required.

I asked, and was allowed, to view the contents, which I found very interesting from a biology standpoint. The baby was about the size/shape of two tiny peanuts or a whole cashew.

Placenta sent for genetics, everything else sent to pathology. Will be a few weeks before we know anything.

I believe that in viewing the "specimen", as it was, is on some level disengaging my psyche from dwelling on this as losing another "child". I know that probably sounds quite odd to most people, but for those of you who know me, I feel assured you probably understand, or are at least trying to. Dissociation and all.

Even though whatever pregnancy hormones I had are still around at lowish levels, I am finding the sudden drop in the massive progesterone intake has all but ceased any 'symptoms' I had experienced. My boobs aren't nearly as achy, and the gas seems to be dissipating. (Sorry, to those in my immediate vicinity). I am much less tired, but still rather weepy. And a little bit crabby. (Can I blame that on the hormones? Really? Cool.)

In hindsight, some of those that knew about the pregnancy, and now the loss, have told me that I "just didn't look well, or healthy". The husband of a friend told her a couple of weeks ago that he thought something didn't seem right, shouldn't I have that 'pregnancy glow', or at least not look like the walking dead? And he was right. I mean, early pregnancy symptoms are one thing, outright miserable-ness is something else. And now that it's all over, I have to admit I feel less 'toxic', overall. Funny that *I* didn't pick up on the "this seems too excessive, something must not be right" vibe.

The baby died, by measurements, at just shy of 8 weeks. So, maybe carrying around a dead fetus for a month can do weird things to one's body. One (good?) thing about it being an early loss, is I'm not (yet) experiencing the lactation experience. The one I lost at 13w (that actually WAS 13 wks) did involve some slight leakage and firmness in the old girls, but this one has not, for which I am grateful.

I'm still a wee bit crampy as the Uterus of Doom attempts to shrink back and clamp down. (I'm visualizing an Iron Maiden or a venus flytrap). Hardly any spotting, and just a little mucous discharge (lochia, perhaps?).

I'm enjoying better living through pharmacology while I have a few days off work.

Thank you all for your supportive responses. I really do appreciate all my friends and fellow sisters-in-loss. It really does soften the suckage factor to know someone understands.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

One more notch on my belt

11w5d ~ 0330am woke up feeling 'damp'; blood in the panties.

And then the cramps. More blood over the next couple of hours.

Urge to push. Stood over towels on the floor and squatted.

:::cough:: Plop. Large pile of calve's livers. Scooped it up into a clean container.

Dripping, trickling blood while trying to get dressed for the hospital.

Lab work showed Hcg dropped to 4000-something. (was like 21k at 6wks)

L-o-n-g, detailed sonograms, both external and internal - the tech turned the screen away and said it was "hospital policy" to not share the info until the radiologist read the report to the attending physician.

Uncomfortable internal exam to remove more piles of clots from my 'pelvic vault' or whatever.

"I'm sorry but there is no heartbeat. The fetus has dropped low and is lying at your cervix. You have not yet begun to dilate; your cervical Os is open, but we can't access the fetus from here. Your doctor does not feel you'll be needing a D&C at this point. You should pass it soon while you're resting at home. Call your Ob/Gyn today to get an appointment".

Doc calls me during my nap. Said he was reviewing the film and labs; believes the baby died around 7w5d, so about 4 weeks ago. The prometrium kept my body thinking it was pregnant.

(I believe I correctly predicted this already).

The husband is torn up, was crying out to "god" asking why, why us, why now, why again?? We're good people. What point could possibly be need made by doing this??

Another one sent for karyotyping.

Appt in the morning with the doc who will try to extract the remains from his procedure room. Believes that at less than 8 weeks, there should be little to no placental material to remove; thus no D&C. Have believed this before, and after a month of intermittently heavy bleeding, ended up with the D&C and a blood transfusion. But that baby actually was >12wks, so there were retained placental fragments at that time.

This whole thing is suck a mindfuck. The first couple of weeks were an emotional nightmare to me, incredulous, couldn't believe this happened, and I honestly was in shock and not really happy about it either. I became cautiously hopeful. As of about 3 days ago, I was actually excited. I wanted this. We were predicting a girl. I was, dare I say it, happy.

Doesn't pay off for me to get happy or hopeful.

Some sick part of me wants to try again immediately, with careful monitoring and/or assistance for my hormonal support. I'm not getting any younger, and we got to the point where did, indeed, want this. The husband, though, says no, and he'll get a damn vasectomy, because he NEVER wants to have to go through this again. EVER. He can't stand seeing me suffer, and this one in particular hit him like a ton of bricks. He got over the age thing, and had begun planning his future around it. And now he feels lost without a purpose.

But this is all just first-day shock talking. In a few days we'll be back to the cold angry cynics we'd become long ago.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sorry for the wait

I was on vacation. That, and waiting for more exciting news, of which I really have little to share.

Still no spotting, which is great.

Prometrium is still enhancing each and every early-pregnancy symptom, which is not so good - for two reasons. One, it makes me super-miserable. Two, it causes me concern that the symptoms are only present because of the drug, and not because I'm actually still pregnant.

Had my intake appointment which essentially was a waste of time, as well as a clusterfuck of idiocracy at the office. Honestly, I question the expertise of the staff whom I encountered. But, in fairness, I can't expect them to have had experience with my particular history, so I will cut them some slack. And I vow not to bitch and moan about every little thing.

At the time, I was just shy of 10 weeks, so the attempt at dopplering a heartbeat was a failure. I was not concerned, as I knew this. While I would have liked a follow-up u/s just to prove the little one was still alive, I know that the absence of any bleeding, cramping, or other misery is a mark in my favor, and so I wait.

Going for the "first trimester screening" (nuchal translucency scan and papp-a/free beta hcg labs) on 8/31.

Hubby is working on baby names and trying to figure out how to redecorate the nursery for a potential girl. It's cute behavior, and I'm glad he's keeping occupied, but all I can do is just bide my time and 'wait and see', day by day.

11w on Saturday. Time is dragging by.

I'm thrilled to report: "so far, so good".

Sunday, August 01, 2010

I must get off on it

...torturing myself, that is.
I can't leave well enough alone.
These early days are going too well, I tell myself.
I almost became complacent and relaxed.
Overcome with sudden curiosity, I decide I need to do some comparisons.
So, I go back through my old posts from the Fall of 2005. When I lost my 13+wk little girl.
Was I on Prometrium then? I knew I had taken it with Nick. Twice. Because when I stopped the 1st time, I started bleeding again.
My progesterone level with Nick was 17.9 at 6wks. Within normal limits, but I was bleeding, so we used Prometrium. And I carried him to term. (Cord accident at 35wks for those not in the know).
With the last one, my progesterone level was a whopping 28, at 4w3d! Here, in hindsight, I had thought surely that was the problem. I got to thinking, maybe that's why the placenta separated, just as it should have been taking over, maybe I had something wrong with my progesterone levels. Did I take it with her? No, I did not, because the levels were more than sufficient. No spotting with that pregnancy. And I lost it anyway.
So with this one, at 6wks, my progesterone was only 10. So, yeah, I'm taking the supplement. And it appears to be working, so why am I trying to compare?
Cuz that's what I do.
So far, I haven't had one spot. But my fingers are still crossed.
And I swear I'm not obsessing. Not this time. I have become much too zen over the past few years to devote more attention than necessary to incidental happenings that are out of my control. I may be able to influence a thing or two, but it is so completely out of my hands - I'm just along for the ride.
Just wanted, for clarity's sake, to know the numbers. And to prove to myself that nothing means anything. Every single situation is different, and you just can't compare. So I won't.