Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just When I Thought We Were Done With the Miscarriage...

In my head I was composing a really happy post for today.  I was going to write about the birth of our niece two days ago, and the good news that my blood work came back and I was pregnancy hormone free and physically done with the miscarriage drama.  Ah, the best laid plans…The OB-GYN office called to let me know I still have HCG (pregnancy hormone) in my blood.  The good news is it is a really low level of only 47.  The day I found out about the miscarriage it was over 2000, so 47 does seem pretty good.  But it needs to be 5 or less, especially this long after the D&C.

So what does this mean?  Emotionally it has been a bit of a sucker punch.  I am not one to look on the bright side of almost anything, but I had rallied and convinced myself the blood work would come back clear, I mean I’d already had a period.  I just had to have one more before we could start trying again.  I’d be back on track in no time.  And now I’m reminded why looking on the bright side of anything makes you into a fool.  I should have been preparing myself for bad news, not blithely and naively thinking after a month plus this surely would be all over. 

Physically I’m not sure what it means.  More blood work, another ultrasound.  Maybe the drug that kills placenta cells.  If that doesn’t work another D&C.  If that is the case I’ll be almost 2 months out from the first one.  And at least another 2 months out from being able to try again.  I know it isn’t that long, but as small complication after small complication happens I feel more like this is going to culminate with the news that something is very wrong.  The cruelest joke of all would be still dealing with my body betraying me through the due date of the baby I lost.  I have been hoping with all of my might that I would be pregnant again by April 3rd.  Now I’m just hoping to be back to normal by then.  Living through the due date without this resolved seems unbearable to me. 

Yesterday before I got the news from the OB-GYN’s office I had a therapy session.  We kind of got off on a tangent about the way reproductive issues affect my generation of women.  I had commented to her that I am supposed to be comparing my bleeding to regular menstrual bleeding.  The thing is I was on the pill for 16 years before Thomas.  And I only had one period before I got pregnant with him and two periods before I got pregnant this summer.  To me a regular period is barely having to wear a panty liner.   I have no idea how my body menstruates without drugs regulating my cycle.  The first really heavy bleeding I experienced happened after T’s birth.  And that was anything but normal.  So the two instances of heavy bleeding I’ve experienced since the D&C have scared the living daylights out of me.  I can’t get past the fear of wondering if I’m going to start having fist sized blood clots and horrible pain.  It’s a no fail recipe for anxiety attacks. 

She pointed out that my generation is the first one that felt free to use birth control for years on end.  Many of us waited to start families until we were well into our 30s and now we are finding out there are a different set of repercussions to waiting.  Yes, we got to have footloose and fancy free 20s, we started careers, we took the time to really grow up before we plunged into parenthood.  But we didn’t think about what it would be like to have high schoolers  to raise well into our 50s or even into our 60s.  We didn’t think that getting pregnant and staying pregnant might not be a walk in the park.  We didn’t think that we really might not know our bodies as well as we assumed because of the pill.  Now please don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have changed my choices even if I had been thinking about the consequences, especially about taking the pill.  I had cramps that were so bad I couldn’t function in my teens.  The pill cleared that all up, and an added benefit of being on it for so long is my chances of developing ovarian cancer drop by something crazy like 85% percent.  I do like those odds. 

The point that she was making is the next generation will learn from what my generation has experienced.  The freedom to wait to procreate and to use birth control will be open to those women, but the outcome of some of those choices will be clearer.  Each generation builds upon the experiences of the last. 

The OB-GYN office just called back.  I am going in for another ultra sound and more blood work in less than an hour.  Maybe I’ll have more answers today.  But I’m going to play it safe, not get my hopes up, and assume there will be as much uncertainty this afternoon as there has been this morning.  

Photo by Ellie Leonardsmith
I'm severely biased, but he is so beautiful it breaks my heart.


  1. this has got to be frustrating. and i'd hate leaving a silly comment saying that or this, but i'm thinking of you.

    and yes, he is beautiful.

  2. Ugg. I know. On the day of my miscarriage hcg 3400, 2 weeks later 1300- took misoprostol, 2 weeks later 350- another round of misoprostol, 5 days later 130, then 70, then finally a negative pregnancy test.