Thursday, October 18, 2018

October

I’m taking a break from my miscarriage story for a couple of reasons.  One, I’m at the point where it really gets difficult to process and think about, and two, it is October.

My heart is heavy.  It is amazing how the body, even without the mind processing the thoughts, knows when a certain date is approaching.  October 1 rolled around and my facebook feed was filled with posts of people professing their love and gratitude for October.  And at each and every post, I cringed. 
October makes my heart hurt.  October is the month our precious Chandler and Paisley were born, months too soon, and passed away.  October also happens to be the month recognized and pregnancy and infant loss awareness month.  October 15 is the day that the international wave of light is recognized, where, at 7pm, a candle is lit for babies lost too soon, in each time zone, so that there is a continuous light shone around the clock. 

Honestly, I hate October.  I feel myself slipping into a depression and each day at work, I just want to leave and go home, shower, and curl up in my bed and watch Grey’s Anatomy.  Other days, I just want to leave and go get my babies and hug them and never let them go, and thank God that I have their beautiful, amazing soles here with me, with their daddy, to keep us moving forward each day. 
I still miss Chandler and Paisley tremendously.  I can’t believe it has been four years.  I look back at timehop and I see the innocent posts I made in the first few weeks of October, and I just think, if I had only known.  But of course, I had no idea.  The guilt floods me.  As a mother, I feel like I should have known.  I should have done more.  I should not have let my babies die.  I failed them. 

I hate October.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Miscarriage Aftermath Part 1

I have no idea the statistics, but I would say nearly all miscarriages happen, and that's the end.  The chapter on the miscarriage closes, and people begin to heal and move on to next steps.

Unless...you find out your tissue pathology results indicate a partial molar pregnancy...

A what?  Partial what?

Yeah, that was my thought too.

I had my D&C on the 26th of July, and the next week, my hubby and I took the week off and had a staycation filled with all sorts of fun things with the babies.  It was a great week.  The miscarriage was in the back of our minds the whole time, but we were doing good with it.

And then my phone rang on Friday, August 3rd at 8:15.  I didn't recognize the number, but thought it may be a client, so I answered.  And on the other end, I hear, "Michelle?  This is Dr. Hix."  And I jumped out of bed (we had been laying in bed with the babies watching tv), and moved to the kitchen where I could take notes and listen better, because I knew instantly something was wrong.  The only other time a doctor has actually called me (and not the nurse) was when Dr. Hix's wife called me after my HSG test to ask me how I was feeling and to discuss the results of the test.  It just doesn't happen.  Honestly, my first thought was cervical cancer, that's just where my mind went.  But it wasn't that. 

Instead, what my doctor told me was the pathology results from the tissue came back, and the cells that were present indicated a partial molar pregnancy.  My doctor told me the types of cells that were found, but I just can't remember what they were, and I couldn't spell it! 

My doctor then went on to say there is risk that the cells could begin to regenerate and could come back somewhere in my body and I would need chemotherapy! 

Chemotherapy?  What?

Of course, that is rare, but honestly, give me rare odds and I swear to you, I will beat them. 

So, the course of treatment is to monitor my hcg levels weekly, until they return to negative, and then follow my hgc levels for 6 months. 

No getting pregnant for 6 months. 

*crushed*

Every dream I had of being fertile following the D&C and getting pregnant again without medical intervention, crushed.  It died right there, on the phone with my doctor.  My heart broke again. 

My doctor doesn't truly think it was a partial molar pregnancy because I had zero other symptoms of it (extremely high HCG levels, extreme morning sickness), but because it is so easy to treat in case the cells do return, my doctor doesn't want to risk it.  Which I appreciate.  And apparently those cells being present would not indicate anything else except this, so, it just makes sense.  

I just couldn't even believe it.  Of all things.  I can't even have a normal miscarriage. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Knew it was going to end...

To continue from last post...

From my lab results, there was zero indication anything would be wrong with this pregnancy.  My HCG level was 1,950 at about 2.5 weeks post ovulation (we aren't exactly sure when I ovulated), and my progesterone was 18.  That was a little on the lower end, but not concerning, so my doctor prescribed progesterone for me to use vaginally. 

On July 9th, Dusty and I went in for my first ultrasound.  I should have been about 7 1/2 weeks along.  My doctor started the ultrasound and I remembered instantly being a little worried about what I saw on the screen, but then again, we were using an older ultrasound with the little grainy screen, and not the better quality one, so I let it go.  The doctor measured the baby, and the baby was only measuring 6 weeks and 1 day, and I knew instantly something was wrong.  I expected it to be a few days off, and had even told Dusty to not be surprised if it measured a few days behind what they would initially estimate based on my last period, since I figured they would use an average cycle length of 28 days, when mine was more like 31, but I knew over a week off was not good at all.

However; my doctor did his best to reassure me, and tell me it was fine.  We did see a heartbeat, after all, so that was a good sign, and my cycles are crazy and we didn't know when I ovulated, so he said he wasn't worried, and I shouldn't either.  Easier said than done, right?

So, we went back on July 17th.  This time, the u/s was done in the room with the better quality u/s machine, and I knew instantly the baby hadn't grown.  The tech had a hard time getting a heartbeat, and wasn't able to play it, only measure it.  The heartbeat was low, in the 70s, and the baby had not grown at all. 

I instantly started crying.  I had been prepared for this, but had hoped for better news.  Instead, we were faced with this miracle pregnancy that was just going to end in a miscarriage.  Why?  Why give us this, only to rip it away?

I met with my doctor, who knew I didn't want to be there and there was nothing to say.  Unfortunately, I was in a waiting game, where we just had to go back in a week, and see if the heart stopped, and then discuss options at that point.

So that's what we did.  We went back on the 23rd.  There was no heartbeat.  Instead, there was a sac, and a spot where the baby had been, and an SCH, which I have to wonder if played a role in the miscarriage.  I met with my doctor to discuss options.  We discussed taking the medication to cause my body to expel it (cytotec), a D&C, or letting my body see if it would miscarry on its own. 

A dear friend of mine had recently gone through a miscarriage after an FET, and started off with the cytotec, had an awful experience, and ended up having an emergency D&C, so really, that was off the table for me.  I didn't want to spend hours cramping and watching my body expel the dreams that had died inside of me.  We opted for the D&C, which I had the following Thursday, July 26th. 

The D&C was typical.  No major complications.  My cervix wouldn't stop bleeding so my doctor had to put a stitch in my cervix, but nothing major.  And really, the recovery was much easier than I thought it would be with very little cramping at all.

I didn't really cry after that 2nd u/s.  I felt empty.  Looking back, I think I know when the baby's heartbeat stopped.  On Saturday the 21st, I began to feel incredibly empty.  I felt dead inside.  I'm sure that was when my baby's heart stopped beating.  It's an eerie feeling, to know you had a life inside of you, but then, it stopped, and you can almost feel it leave your body. 

I think I've felt dead inside ever since.

Friday, August 17, 2018

I had a miscarriage...

Goodness...it's been a while since I last posted.  And I certainly never thought this would be the topic of my next blog post.

June 20th...the 8 year anniversary of my dad's passing.  I realized I was on cycle day 37.  In March, my cycle was 35 days, but that was the longest by a couple of days since my cycles started back when I quit breastfeeding.  So 37 days was pretty unusual.  I also am almost certain, TMI warning.......that Dusty and I only had sex once during my May/June cycle.  So, I thought, there is no way in hell, but I guess, since I'm at cycle day 37, that I should probably go take a test and you know, be proactive, just in case (after all, isn't being proactive about our health something I preach??), and get my levels and progesterone checked on the off chance it was positive.  So, in the middle of the morning, I got up from my desk at work, and drove the mile to the nearest Walgreens and bought a pink lines test (because, after all, those seem to be the best). 

The entire way to and from Walgreens, I mentally prepared myself to see the stark white results next to the control line in the test window.  After all, I've stared at stark white results until I'm blue in the face and imagining lines, so I told myself, I wasn't going to do that this time, if it was white, it was white, and I was sure my period would start the next day.

I got back to the office and went straight to the bathroom to test.  I laid the test down beside me and watched it, and as I watched it, something amazing happened.  A bright pink line popped up immediately!  Oh.my.goodness (to quote my sweet baby girl).  I couldn't even believe it!!  I even thought, that control line is in the wrong place!!  I was shaking.  I was just in so much shock.

I left the stall and forced myself to look at my face in the mirror, to see the joy on my face, for the first time in my life, of taking a pregnancy test and it being positive without all of the intervention of doctors and bloodwork and needles and all sorts of other types of intervention.  I still can picture my face.  It was filled with joy, shock, worry and mostly, amazement, all at the same time.  I couldn't even believe it.

I called my doctors office and my doctor was actually in the clinic near my work, so I ran there, shaking with so much excitement, and had my labs drawn.  I also did the calculation of my due date based on an online calculator and could not even believe it, but Chandler and Paisley's due date was my estimated due date.  This was all fate, right?  Dad's passing, their due date, just wow, God showed up in a huge way!!  

I couldn't even stand to stay at work, and went home early that day!  Mom was home with the babies, and I showed her the test.  I think she was quite shocked! 

The best part, though, was showing Dusty.  Just a few days before, he had asked me if I had started yet, and when I shook my head, he said, well, maybe???  I laughed it off, as if, that's impossible, right? 

Dusty took the test and then took me and hugged me and the smile did not leave his face for at least 24 hours.  I don't know when the last time I saw him so giddy.  It made my heart so happy.  I could see him falling in love already. 

And as the title of this post tells you, it didn't last.  I'll share more of my story over the next few days.