Monday, February 02, 2009

Just once



While I'm on a roll of downer posts, here for no particular reason is a message I posted on a support board almost two years ago... I'm pasting it in here because at the time I was looking for stories and support from all over the place. And at the time, this was such a big downer, but as with so many miscarriage stories, our TTC (trying-to-conceive) journey ended quite happily, not very long after this story, which felt so very, very soul-depleting at the time.

I'll warn you that it is a bit explicit in places. The plus side is it's so tediously long that you may never reach those places. :-)

Beware - I'm not changing any of the TTC terminology & abbreviations, but there are many glossaries you can get at online, or email me if you need clarification.

Everything from here down was written in June 2007. I'm saying this very explicitly because in a second, you'll read that I'm 23 weeks pregnant. I am NOT currently 23 weeks pregnant! But I was, in June 2007... I hope that makes sense! So don't email me with mazel tovs or b'shaah tovahs... ;-)


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The important postscript here is that we are now 23 weeks along with the baby I'm calling Snowflake [yeah, I did call him Snowflake, completely unaware of what a big chunky brute of an ox-boy he would turn out to be!]. We didn't conceive right after the d&c, but did again in December, following my first normal period since August.

The invitation at the bottom stands. I talk a lot, but if you are going through something like this and you need someone just to listen, I can do that, too. ;-)

J (Jennifer)

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Well, I guess it is over now... or close to being over, so I want to put my story up in here bc other people's have meant so much to me.
We are TTC#4, and have been officially since January, but more like December - I was on the Pill after the birth of dd2 in Feb/05.
We had a chemical pregnancy (very early miscarriage) in July which didn't make a huge impression on me one way or another. I had a couple of bfp's on Friday, and then a couple of bfn's on Sunday... af arrived Sunday evening.
A couple of cycles later brings us to my LMP on Aug 17 and O on September 7th, and this time, we actually caught the egg - yay!
Like in my previous pregnancies, I had felt very few symptoms (I've never gotten bad morning sickness), and when my breasts stopped hurting at 7 weeks, I forced myself not to worry - the same thing happened with dd2 and she is definitely alive and well (having a nap right now!).
But then, at 7.5 weeks, at an u/s for something totally unrelated [the unrelated condition turned out to be my recently-repaired umbilical hernia] they found a sac with fetal pole only - no heartbeat, around five weeks' size. That's bad news. My Dr said I was probably wrong about the dates, but I had opk's, I had temps. After 20 years of flaky, crazy cycles, I actually, finally KNEW my dates.
She also sent me for an hcg beta, which showed 13,000 - not wonderful. She told me the hcg values "plateau" and don't keep going up up UP all pregnancy, which is true, but they don't plateau at 7.5 weeks, and definitely NOT at 5 weeks, which is where she thought I was. That was when I knew for sure.
I had another u/s a week and a half later, at what would have been 9 weeks. I believe they didn't even see a fetal pole on that one - the baby was gone, totally reabsorbed.
Over the week before that second ultrasound, all my pregnancy symptoms - which had kind of lingered - faded one by one, even symptoms I hadn't even known were there:- bleeding gums- NEEDing to pee- deep, gnawing HUNGER- weird cravings- sore boobs- less hair loss when brushing/no-poo'ing [no-'poo is my personal weird technique of NOT using shampoo].
All gone.
I knew the baby was gone, and even though the ultrasound tech didn't want to tell me, I told her I knew and then she was
very nice and open about it and told me she had 3 m/c's - people sure do come out of the woodwork when you go through something like this.
I hadn't experienced any spotting or anything like that - just some cramping from time to time, and I wasn't sure it was any different from normal pregnancy cramping.
So the second u/s was a Thursday. I called my Dr's office on Friday, then Monday, and they still hadn't gotten the "results" of the u/s. So on the Tuesday, I stopped by her office and she sat me down and told me the pregnancy was over - as I'd "suspected."
Because this is Canada, and she's not an ob/gyn, she offered a few choices if I wanted a d&c: call an ob/gyn, make an
appointment, set up a date for the d&c... or call a clinic, make an appointment, set up a date in a couple of weeks for the d&c... or call an abortion clinic and see if they could get me in sooner.
Well, I just wanted it to be over. I am a religious person, pretty sure of my feelings about abortion (shock and horror at most of them), but what I really wanted was to have the pregnancy out of me. I was almost 10 weeks, so it had been over a month since the baby died, and it wasn't showing any signs of coming out on its own (stubborn to the last, like all my kids).
So I called a clinic - the first one in the yellow pages - and they said to come in the next day. Talk about acceptance and letting go of our losses - that evening, for the first time, I did start spotting, just a little... not much, and it eventually stopped.
I won't go into the details of the abortion clinic - knowing what everyone was there for was hard but I tried not to think about it - but everybody was nice enough, if rather FAST. The place is more like an abortion factory. I was in and
out in under an hour and a half, including recovery time after the d&c.
The d&c itself HURT more than I expected. The closest way I can think of to describe it is that I was a balloon, and they stuck in a long pokey vacuum tube that popped me and sucked out everything inside. They told me it would feel like a strong cramp, but it was WAY sharper, more like prolonged pinching and poking than anything else. I actually screamed and they told me (gently) to stop - I guess so none of their abortion ladies would leave - and gave me a shot (fentanyl?) to stop the pain. (I hadn't wanted it bc they said it can make you throw up, which I hate hate HATE, but it never did; I wasn't even nauseous afterwards)
My mother drove me home and left, and my sister came to look after the baby so I could rest, and rest I did... I spent that whole afternoon lounging around in bed, feeling nothing more than a few cramps here and there and almost no bleeding.
After the d&c, I had a couple of days of reddish bleeding, but lighter than af, and a few more days of VERY slight
spotting, which are actually still going on. Yesterday, almost a week later, I was feeling some pinching kind of crampy pains from my cervix - dunno what that's all about. Different from af cramps, more like what you feel during a pap
smear.
My cervix still feels kind of "bruised", like someone is tapping it repeatedly.
I am drinking tea with Vitex and lots of Red Raspberry to help my uterus, cervix and my cycle in general get back to normal because at this point, I just feel like I've lost a few months and need to get back to TTC... well, ASAP.
My Dr. said we should skip a cycle of TTC - I think this is to give the uterine lining a chance to regrow? - but I will see if I'm feeling stronger by the time O is approaching.
Sad but true fact I have admitted to nobody: In the few weeks I knew I was pregnant, I bought a few dipes [newborn-size cloth diapers] and even some clothes for the new baby. I was SO excited.
Here's a chart of the entire pregnancy [I stuck it at the top of this blog post; click to see slightly larger], starting with AF to d&c. I love it because it's so wide but then I think of how much wider it could have gotten... :-(



So there it is. Or was.

Oh, here's what else I wrote back then, that I still mean today:

I'm putting this up here mostly to help people who are going through something similar - not the same, because every m/c is different. If you need to talk, email me through my blog profile.

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