I liked the RE, Dr. S, despite the fact that she didn’t hand over a magical pill as I was hoping.  She was really nice and really compassionate – which is good since I am stuck with her until I am 10 weeks pregnant – whenever that is.  No more Dr. T.  At the first sign of “oh, I think I might be pregnant” I get to go to the shiny-quiet-no-16-year-old-teen-mother place for an immediate blood draw and ultrasound.  Do not pass “Go,” do not sit next to 3 month pregnant woman saying, “people say getting pregnant is hard, it just happened for me!” to get my blood drawn.  Being labelled RPL has it’s advantages, I guess.

Dr. S said that she was concerned about all the chemical pregnancies (another one this month) and miscarriage (finally someone else who is concerned) so she ordered a hydro-sonogram which is exactly what it sounds like – water into the uterus through a cathater and then a transvaginal ultrasound.  She wants to make sure that nothing is going on with the lining of my uterus (like scar tissue or fibroids).   When I delivered the boys, the doctor had a hard time removing all of the placenta so they really dug in there (God Bless Dr. Lee and her tiny Asian hands).  Ever since, I have had cramping when I ovulate (yes, I know uterus and tubes are different things) but I have always worried that there was some scarring but no one would listen.  Well, Dr. S. listened to me and ordered this test.

While she did want to take a look at my uterus, she agrees that more than likely we can blame the genetic issue and that we just need to keep at it and that the only way we will not get a baby is if we stop trying.  She said that she doesn’t want to give me drugs because I am obviously fertile.  All the tests that my girlfriend suggested were done when I was in the hospital delivering, I just didn’t know it.  All were negative.  Dr. S. is concerned that drugs will hyper-stimulate the ovaries to produce more than one egg at a time and increase our chance of twins again. 

There was a spirited discussion between me, Hubby, and Dr. S.  If there are two eggs and one egg is genetically viable and one is not, we have just increased our chances of a viable pregnancy two-fold, right?  Technically, yes, but she doesn’t want to take the chance of twins for both physical and emotional reasons.  I didn’t know how to not sound ungrateful about her concern for my mental health but I would rather have 2 babies at once and never have to try and get pregnant again then have a baby and in a year go through another round of miscarriages until I had another baby.  We compromised with a 6 months timeline to revisit the drugs.

Also, she said that she didn’t recommend the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis with IVF (which is good because it is $20k and we totally can’t afford it).  It’s not 100% and statistically, it’s really not better than trying on our own.  That made me feel better since I was trying to figure out who to borrow $20k from and was drawing a complete blank.

All in all, it was a good visit.  She told us that we needed counseling, that a support person would be essential to us not losing hope.  The person she recommended doesn’t take our insurance and Hubby gets like 30 visits a year under his plan so it’s really silly not to use an “in-network” person….I’m off to search for a new counselor.

Sigh.  I am hopeful though.  I feel like I have to be.

Advertisements

Today is our appointment with the RE.  I had hoped that I would be able to walk in and say, “oh by the way, can you do an HCG test on me, my period is 6 days late, my boobs are sore and heavy and I have intermittent cramping – basically, I think I am pregnant.”  Well, those symptoms went away on Saturday and I got my period Sunday morning.  I’m guessing another chemical pregnancy but since I was too scared to take a test, I don’t know.  Besides, chemical pregnancies don’t usually generate enough HCG to trip a test anyway.  The other option is that my body is just now recovering from the miscarriage to have a period and the “symptoms” were something else but I am getting pretty good at knowing when I am pregnant.

So because of that, I’m a little down plus the fact that I feel like this appointment today isn’t going to tell me anything that I don’t already know.  I am predicting that the RE will say, “your repetitive pregnancy losses are due to the genetic issue and all you can do is keep trying and suffer through the continued miscarriages.”  Not anything I don’t already know and think about all the time.  I mean, is it worse to get pregnant and lose them or never get pregnant?  I don’t know but I keep trying to remind myself of the law of averages – that eventually the statistics will swing in my favor and that the boys were fine, they didn’t have the genetic issue but died from something else completely unrelated and unpredictable.  It happened once, it will happen again.

Do I let this doctor do a bunch of tests on me to rule out other possible issues when this genetic issue is staring right at me?  Hubby thinks it’s a little weird that a fertilized egg bounces around in there for a couple of days and then just doesn’t implant.  We have had at least 3 chemical pregnancies (2 we know of for sure because the doctor did blood work and the HCG level was over 5 but never got to 50 before I started bleeding).  A bum egg or genetically not viable egg would just bounce around and then disintegrate though.  Hard to say.  Dr. T recommended a Hysterosalpingogram or HSG.  I know some of you who read this blog have had one but for the unfamiliar it’s an x-ray where they shoot dye into the uterus and watch it come out the tubes.  If there is blockage in the tubes, the dye doesn’t come out.  I don’t think I have blockage – my eggs are all dressed up in their favorite dresses and heels, going out and hitting the bar and getting picked up by the sperm.  In other words, I get pregnant, I just don’t stay that way.  My best friend from high school is a L and D nurse and she got a list of tests that her friend recently had done.  Again, I will take to the RE about that list with me but if those are tests for unexplained infertility, they aren’t going to help me.  I get pregnant, I just don’t stay that way.

I know that this is an exercise in hope and patience.  I get that, I do.  That doesn’t make me less frustrated or sad that I can’t just have sex with my loving husband, get pregnant with a healthy baby and STAY THAT WAY for 9 months.  Today is Chinese New Year so I thought it was fitting that I wear a new outfit, go see a new doctor and hope for a shiny new baby.  We shall see.

I Laughed.

January 21, 2009

I truly laughed for the first time yesterday.  I have been feeling a lot better, not so sad all the time.  I have good days and bad days but it seems like the good have really outweighed the bad.  After the first of the year, I had this sort of peace come over me.  I can’t explain it.  It was a hopefulness and relaxation that I just seemed to be able to settle into.

Yesterday, Hubby and I got a snow day.  Here in NC, it’s very unusual to get significant amounts of snow.  We got 6 inches.  There was no going to work for me and therefore, Hubby had to entertain me.  I made french toast for breakfast, we watched the inauguration, had some soup and then went to the park to let the dogs run in the snow.  Those of you who know me know that I am from San Diego.  That means snow is something in a cone, ice belongs in a glass with Bourbon and a cherry.  I love it, I just don’t get it.

So Hubby and I had ourselves a “snow-down.”  I threw snowballs at him, he threw me down in the snow and tried to bury me.  It was fun.

And I laughed without thinking about anything.  I just laughed.

One of Those Days….

January 14, 2009

I go through these phases where I accept the fact that I have been labeled “RPL” (recurrent pregnancy loss – I need to write a whole blog on how a label is extremely damaging to an already tired, grieving and frustrated woman).  I understand that eventually, I will have a baby but that I will likely miscarry a good number more times before getting that healthy baby gets here.  I sort of just figure, this is the way it’s going to be and while I can shake my fists at the universe and ponder why some people get pregnancy standing up wind from their husband and have little or no compassion for anyone other than themselves (if you read my blog regularly, you know of whom I speak), it’s not going to accomplish anything.  We just keep timing sex each month and waiting for the next positive result and hopefully it sticks.

And then there are the days that I just get pissed and I do shake my fists at the universe and scream, “Why me?  Why me?  WHY ME?”  Today I am pissed.  I woke up pissed.  I’m sullen and angry.

But that’s okay because I am allowed to be angry and mad today because tomorrow, I won’t be.  Or maybe I will be.  Who knows.  Part of this whole experience, for me, has been not being tied to one single emotion all the time and knowing that is okay.  I just have to ride it out.

On another note, here is a great blog about announcing pregnancies and I think it’s good for everyone to read.  I was guilty of this with the boys.  I just told everyone regardless of what happened in their past (in my defense, I didn’t know that some of my friends had lost babies – part of that culture of silence and shame that surrounds miscarriages and hopefully, blogging has taken away) and for that I am sorry.  Trust me, I’ve been schooled. 

http://staceysthoughtsoninfertility.blogspot.com/2009/01/announcements-part-one.html

My friend Deb, who had losses before I was pregnant with the boys, called me and told me over the phone (we live 3,000 miles apart).  I was grateful for her directness and honesty and not letting me find out another way.  I was able to talk with her about her fears and concerns and it made me more aware when I got pregnant again.  Another friend has yet to tell me that they are pregnant but I know because they have a Facebook page.  It’s more painful to me to learn that way – it makes me think you can’t trust me and my reactions.  I know that you don’t want to hurt me but guess what?  I got hurt in April when I lost the boys, you had/have no control over that.  I will be happy for you but I will be sad for what I have lost.  There is nothing you can do about that and your deception only makes it worse.  It makes my loss about you instead of just your joy being about you. 

That being said, all in all, I’m doing okay even being sullen and angry.

Thompson Twins anyone?  Did I just show my age there?

Hubby and I went to the therapist on Friday.  She was nice.  I don’t think she’s the person for us for a couple of reasons.  One, she’s not on our insurance plan like her website said she was.  We had to write a check for her services at the end, which is fine but I don’t want to spend $75 every 2 weeks when Hubby gets 30 mental health visits for a mere $25 co-pay.  Second, she wanted to focus a lot of the time on my relationship with me mother.  I agree, it sucks and needs work.  However, I am more concerned with my relationship with Hubby and our future attempts (and certain failures) with concieving a child.  I repeatedly told her this and while the session started out with her wanting to discuss the losses and what they were doing to our relationship, she moved quickly into my relationship with my mother, effectively leaving Hubby out of the session.

I did take away something that, while I think I already knew it, it helped to hear.  She said that it’s normal, at this stage, to still want to give into the grief even if it’s just for a small time everyday.  What’s not normal is to sink so low into the grief that you can’t face anything else.  Everyone loses something, everyone experiences a grief, but it’s how and if you try and work to recover from that grief that sets people apart.  One of the biggest concerns that Hubby had was that I was never going to recover from the loss of the boys.  The therapist said that while we would never be the same, we would move forward – that we were moving forward – otherwise, we wouldn’t be seeking counseling, going to work, going swimming, going to yoga, etc.  Makes sense.

I felt much better after the session.  I slept a lot this weekend, probably making up for all the bad nights of sleep that I have had in the past couple of months.  I think therapy is going to be good for us because it’s a place where it’s acceptable to cry – even encouraged.  That’s something that I feel I don’t have right now – someplace to cry.

On another note,  I am finally getting Lasik eye surgery next week.  I was scheduled to have it last year (2007) , right after Thanksgiving but found out the day before the procedure that we were pregnant.  Then, I was scheduled to have it done right before Christmas (2008 ) this year and bam!  Found out we were pregnant again.  This time it’s scheduled during the two week wait.  I might be pregnant, I might not be but there is no way to know and hence, eye surgery!

So all in all, things are good.  I’m hopeful and feeling positive.

Proactive Me.

January 8, 2009

Went to the doctor yesterday for the “annual” exam.  I joke that I’m like a smoke detector, I need to be checked out around New Year’s because otherwise I forget and the house might burn down.  The lady parts are fine.  We have been referred to an RE for additional testing.  I think it’s a waste of time because the source of our miscarriages is the translocated chromosome but can’t hurt to rule out other things too, right?  I have embraced the fact that while 2/3 of my pregnancies will fail, 1/3 will not.  I have had 3 pregnancies, 2 have failed and 1 has not (for the genetic issue anyway).  I’m basically back to the beginning.  New year, new slate, new pregnancies.

And we see a therapist on Friday afternoon.

And the diet started Monday.  I need to lose the remaining 15 pounds that is leftover from the twins.  I have had this attitude of “oh well, it won’t matter because I will be pregnant again soon and then I can be as fat and unhealthy as I want to be.”  Wrong.  My blood pressure was 139/78 yesterday.  My blood pressure is never over 118/68.  Could have been the argument with Hubby the night before, the fact that I didn’t sleep well, that going to UNC makes me anxious in general or that I took some Benedryl to help me sleep but I wasn’t pleased with the number I saw when I stepped on the scale either.  Hanging on to the weight is not going to make it any easier to conceive and while getting pregnant isn’t the issue, why make it the issue, you know?  I lost 15 pounds right before I got pregnant with the twins and I loved the way I looked.

I have developed some bad habits over the past month or so.  I could chalk it up to the holidays but I have been drinking a hot chocolate from Starbucks just about 4 times a week, skipping the gym, eating meat, and snacking on candy and cookies with regularity.  I found out yesterday that those hot chocolates I love from Starbucks (the Signature Hazlenut Hot Chocolate is my favorite), despite being made with non-fat milk – has 650 calories.  That’s right, 650 calories.  A simple switch to a non-fat, sugar-free vanilla latte (decaf, of course!) is a savings of 450 calories right there! 

So cutting back on calories, no more meat, lots of veggies, back to swimming 3 times a week and Kelly has offered to go to yoga on Wednesday nights instead of mid-day (remember? I can’t deal with the pregnant yoga teacher so I just stopped going) is the plan.  Yoga and swimming will make me feel better and losing weight will boost my self-esteem.

So moving ahead trying to get me back.

Hell, I sound almost normal, don’t I?

Nahhhhhhhh.

So last night, Hubby admitted that he thinks we made a mistake in trying again this month so soon after the miscarriage.  He is frustrated and stressed and it’s making him angry all the time.  He then thinks that I am going to blame him if we don’t get pregnant this month or think that a month off is wasted time.  Then he gets angry when I tell him that the only person I blame is me – it’s my genetic issue that is the cause of all of our problems.  He is trying so hard to take care of me that I think he has forgotten how to take care of himself.  He also thinks that all our future happiness depends on having a baby – that I can’t be happy ever again unless we have a child.  He is wrong.  I’m to the point now where my happiness is a day by day thing – my whole existence is not clouded by the death of the twins like it was 6 months ago.  I cried over the miscarriage but was also relieved to have been pregnant again.  I’m happiest when he and I spend time together, when we go to the zoo, to the movies, to the park.  When we read together or nap.  I am happy then.  I can’t really think in terms of a “global” happiness.  Maybe that’s depression talking.  I don’t know.  I know haven’t been the most emotional stable individual the past couple of months but have felt like I was moving forward – getting better.  I have good days and bad days but the good ones are starting to out number the bad.

And maybe it’s hubby’s turn to meltdown and I need to be the cheerleader like he has been for me the last couple of months.  I’m fine to do that but I just don’t want him to give up on having a baby.

The thing is, I am hopeful that we will get pregnant (and stay that way) this year.  I really am.  I have my bad days where I cry because I miss the boys or because I am thinking about what might have been but I started this year hopeful.  Something that I need hubby to understand – and I don’t think he does – as much as this year has sucked big time, it’s only been a year.  We have had 3 pregnancies in a year.  Eventually the law of averages will work in our favor – it did once with the boys – they didn’t have the translocated chromosome and it will happen again.  See?  That’s hope.

We decided last night that we are going to take next month off and relax and then start again new, with a fresh prespective.  We are also going to get a referral for counseling along with the referral for the RE.