I've been in pain. An intense emotional pain. But also a physical very tangible sort of pain.
Monday, 30 November 2009
I've been in pain. An intense emotional pain. But also a physical very tangible sort of pain.
Never before have I experienced a sadness that lives in the body, but grieving the loss of our acrobat has effected me in unexpected ways. I wasn't expecting to feel betrayed by my own body. I couldn't anticipate having these strong conflicting emotions of pregnancy and loss. How could I explain to D that a compliment regarding my new "voluptuous" figure felt like a kick in the stomach this week when just last week it had made me smile. How was it possible to feel devastated and relieved at the same time?
When we first got the news I experienced a tight squeeze around my heart and a firm pressure over my chest. The only thing that would temporarily relieve that feeling was to sob. Loudly. Over the next few days my entire body started to tense up and I felt like every muscle was an achy knot. Taking hot showers worked at first but soon that just wasn't enough. D volunteered to give me a full body massage and that made me cry uncontrollably but left me feeling better for hours. But the pain kept creeping back. A few days ago when my bleeding had finally tapered off to minor spotting D suggested making love to relieve the pain. At first it didn't sound very tempting. All I wanted to do was hibernate until everything was back to normal. So what we hadn't been intimate since the egg retrieval over five weeks ago? Had it really been five weeks? I let him talk me in to it. Reluctantly.
Making love was like therapy and when I finally had an orgasm it felt like my body and mind exploded. Sorry about the bad romantic novel line here but seriously, although sex with D is always good, this was different. It felt as if all the pain and hurt left my body and I started shaking, crying and laughing all at once seconds after climaxing. Scared the heck out of D, he probably thought I had completely lost it. The day after I stopped bleeding completely and for the first time in a very long time I started feeling almost back to normal.
Today I went to have my hcg levels checked. I'm hoping that my body has taken care of this miscarriage on its own and that I won't need a d&c. I talked to Dr. Boss Lady at the fertility clinic in Sweden last week and told her what had happened. She was sad to hear about our loss but made sure to tell me that medically they consider this good news. She said it's nice to know you can get pregnant with yours and Ds embryo, and that what happened is most likely just bad luck and that out of our four nice blasts they happened to pick the one (statistically) with a chromosomal defect. She was very confident next time our chances of success would be even better. We talked about doing an unmedicated FET in February if my cycle is back to normal by then. I feel pretty good about that. It will give me time to heal. It will give me and D time to find each other again. We'll have a Christmas free from worry and we'll be able to toast in champagne for New Years and Ds birthday. And we'll have time to make a whole lot of love.
Friday, 27 November 2009
towards the surface. Finding it a little easier to breathe. Letting some peace and light back in my soul. Starting to look up and to the future.
Physically I seem to be near the end of this nightmare. The bleeding seems to finally start tapering off. My boobs are almost back to normal size. My body is still tense and with residual pain, but I can sense a change for the better.
Just taking one day at the time.
Sunday, 22 November 2009
I'm floating in a deep ocean of sadness. My body goes through the motions of normal daily routines but my mind is somewhere else. The sound that goes in through my ears is distorted and muted like under water. My chest feels too tight and I have to remind myself to breathe. I can see light at the surface but am too tired to swim towards it.
Early Pregnancy Loss. That's what the brochure I was given by Dr. Swedish on Thursday is called. He must have given me the wrong one. I was six weeks and two days pregnant when I miscarried but getting pregnant took us two years and five months. Getting pregnant required a ton of hormones, doctors, embryologists, money and determination. Emotionally this was not an early pregnancy loss. This was the loss of a child we've longed for for years. This was the loss of the last of our innocence.
The brochure talks about what to expect physically and emotionally after a pregnancy loss and ends with the words: "You can ovulate and become pregnant as soon as 2 weeks after an early miscarriage". I can't help but smile. A crooked smile with teary eyes. I wish it was that simple.
For all of you visiting from ICLW, welcome. I'm sorry you had to find me in such a dark place, normally I'm quite a happy girl. Sometimes even funny. Me and D struggle with male factor IF due to a much regretted vasectomy thirteen years ago and a failed reversal almost three years ago. We went through our first IVF with ICSI and TESA in October, miraculously got the much coveted BFP but lost our little acrobat last Thursday after weeks of drama. Right now I'm just trying to stay afloat. Hope to see you again when I get my head above the surface.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
One hour after the nice nurse drew my blood we walked in to Dr. Swedish's office.
One glance confirmed my fears.
He said in a low voice: "I'm sorry Circus Princess, it's not good news".
"Your hcg has dropped to 800".
With a tiny sound my heart broke into a thousand little pieces.
Deep down I knew it was coming.
The bleeding that wouldn't stop.
The lack of tender breasts when I woke up Monday morning.
A sobering feeling of no longer being pregnant.
But I wanted it so badly.
My wish was so deep and my prayers so intense.
I nurtured that speck of hope after seeing our impossible ultrasound on Sunday.
Now I have to say good bye.
Our acrobat is gone.
Tonight I'll cry myself to sleep.
Thought I'd share a few shots (taken with brand spankin' new toy) from my birthday visit to the zoo:
I tried to smuggle this little guy in to my purse...
This guy was a little too big to fit in my bag...
so I had to leave him at the zoo...
This last crazy critter actually lives in my house. Ladies (and gents) meet Kona-boy :)
I ♥ my new camera!
Visit Mel's Show & Tell to see what others are sharing today.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Yesterday I turned 35 years old. It was a very unusual birthday in many ways. First of all because I'm pregnant. Second because I'm exhausted from all the heavy bleeding and worrying. And third because I got to spend it surrounded by people I love.
You see, my whole family had flown in to surprise me and showed up on my doorstep the other day. Do I need to say I cried my eyes out when I opened the door and saw Mamma, Pappa, Sister, Mr. Sister and Nephew standing behind D who had snuck out to get them at the airport. And it wasn't the pretty, happy kind of tears but rather the snot-flying-barely-breathing-sobbing-loudly not so pretty kind. It was just so wonderful to see them and I'm quite frankly an emotional wreck right now.
So my birthday started with the famdamily waking me up with breakfast in bed, a traditional swedish happy birthday song and a small mountain of presents. Among them was a very special present from D that I've had on my wish list for a long time now... one of these:
Happy-happy-joy-joy! I promise I'll post pictures as soon as I figure this baby out.
Later that day we all went to the zoo which we pretty much had to ourselves. I was rolled around in a wheel chair next to my nephew in his stroller. We went exploring, had wild races and made obnoxiously loud animal noises.
For dinner we went to my favorite local restaurant and ate way too much yummy foods and when we came home we stuffed our faces with birthday cake.
Do I need to say it was a wonderful day? Did I mention I have the most awesome family? I just felt surrounded by love and could not have wished for anything more. Except... when I blew out the candles on the cake I closed my eyes and wished for the acrobat to hang on, grow and join us strong and healthy in nine months.
Sunday, 15 November 2009
We went in to have my hcg levels tested again today. They were at 2100. Not quite double from Friday but Dr. Swedish was still pretty sure we'd be able to locate where the acrobat was today based on those levels. So with trembling legs expecting the worst I got up in the stirrup throne and said hello to Mr. Wand. Two seconds later Dr. Swedish turned the screen towards us and here's what we saw:
Somehow, miraculously there was our acrobat. Right where it's supposed to be. A little small. Not perfectly round. But hanging on. In the right spot. Amazing.
I cried. D cried. And the doctor cried.
I'm still bleeding, but it is a little less. Still no pain. Next appointment is on Thursday to see if the hcg is still climbing and if the acrobat is growing. We're just taking one day at the time. And today has been a very good day.
Thank You Mr. Circus Director!
Friday, 13 November 2009
This should be a long post but I don't know if I have the strength to write. I'll try to stick to the bare minimum so I can at least keep you all updated. I can't thank you enough for all your support through this nightmare.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the ER at the Military Hospital and got hooked up to an IV as soon as they noticed my heart rate was over a hundred. Got examined inside and out and they ran more tests than I could keep track of. Apparently my blood pressure was also very high (I'm normally on the low end of normal BP). They saw lots of blood, it was actually gushing out at them as they were examining me... scary. They couldn't find the acrobat anywhere. Not in uterus, cervix, tubes or ovaries. My HCG came back at 1000. They also called the NHS clinic I'd been to on Monday to get the result from that bloodtest... and suddenly the results had magically appeared (it wasn't there a few hours earlier when I called!! OK, I won't get in to that whole mess today). Monday's HCG was 415!? The ER doctor scratched his head and didn't know what to make of it so he paged the OBGYN on call. She came down. Repeated all the probing and poking. Looked over all the test results and told me that I had probably just had a miscarriage when I arrived at the clinic and that she was going to give me some meds to stop the bleeding and make my uterus contract. I said "No Thank You" and asked to come back in the morning to recheck the HCG levels and get that miscarriage confirmed before I took any meds. She said alright and told me the bleeding should be slowing down and my HCG levels should stop or drop.
This morning I went back to the Military Hospital. Waited for an hour and a half to get the result (needless to say I'm never going back to the NHS clinic I went Monday even if the drive down to base is 45 min). Went up to the OBGYN and met Dr. Swedish (crazy, an american who spoke swedish fluently after living a couple of miles from the swedish town I grew up for 2 years). He went over the notes from yesterdays visit to the ER with me, looked at todays HCG result and scratched his head. Todays HCG was 1300. He got me up on the table, brought out the wand and gave me another good scan. He was greeted by a blood bath. He saw nothing. Except... maybe... a tiny speck on the uterine wall. He then gave me the verdict. "It's a mystery. It's possibly an ectopic pregnancy, but we just can't be sure until your HCG levels are at 1500." I guess that's the magic number when they're able to see the embryo on an ultrasound. He said "we can either do a D&C and see if the tissue we remove contain an embryo and/or we can give you methotrexate to help your body terminate the pregnancy no matter where in your body it is". I was confused. So if they'd do a D&C to remove tissue from my uterus and they found the embryo there... wouldn't that in fact mean they would kill the embryo to rule out an ectopic? So again I said "No Thank You, what other options do I have?". He told me that if another blood test showed my kidneys functioning ok and that I'm not too anemic he'd consider waiting until Sunday when my HCG levels would surely be over 1500 if the pregnancy continued to develop, he could then make sure the acrobat wasn't hiding somewhere in my uterus and comfortably give me methotrexate to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. And if my levels would still be under 1500 that would mean it's not a normal pregnancy and a D&C would just help nature along. I went and had the blood work done and was cleared to wait until Sunday. Before we left I asked if there was any chance of bringing home a healthy baby from a pregnancy that starts out like this. He said: "probably less than a 1% chance".
So that's where we stand. In a great vast landscape of gray.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
If miraculously everything turns out alright with the acrobat in spite of all the bleeding, I'm five weeks pregnant today. 5w, 21dpo or 16dp5dt if I've got the whole counting system correct. I'm going to write down everything about the bleeding and all my symptoms because I've been desperately googling for more information during all this and maybe this post will eventually help someone in a future similar situation. Those of you who are faint hearted should probably stop reading here.
Oct 7 - Start stims day two of natural cycle
Oct 20 - Egg retrieval and TESA, 8 mature eggs retrieved, 5 successfully fertilized with ICSI - start vaginal progesterone suppositories - boobies start getting sore almost instantly
Oct 25 - Embryo transfer, 1 blastocyst transferred, 3 blastocysts frozen
Oct 26 - An hour flight from Sweden to England
Oct 27 - A pulling, tugging sensation in the baby department all day off and on
Oct 28 - First nose bleed ever and start falling asleep on the couch by 8 pm
Oct 30 - Light brown spotting after walk
Oct 31- Nov 1 - Spotting continues and gets a little heavier
Nov 1 - Get disgusted by crayfish that I normally LOVE
Nov 2 - Spotting starts to look like a light period, this is the day my period would have arrived in normal cycle (full moon)
Nov 3 - 4 - Bleeding increases and turns redder
Nov 5 - BFP!?!?! Red bleeding continues to increase
Nov 6 - 7 - Bleeding gets BRIGHT red and I pass small stringy clots. Start to get attacks of nausea and/or hunger
Nov 8 - Find an old HPT in a drawer and take the test at night after drinking lots of water and peeing like a race horse... Get this:
Change insertion of progesterone suppositories from vaginal to anal in hopes to stop the bleeding, thinking they're irritating my cervix.
Nov 9 - Worst day of bleeding yet, like a full on period in a crimson red color. Go see doctor to take Beta HCG test.
Nov 10 - Bleeding seems to slow down, pass a few clots the size of a quarter (common during my regular period). I've felt nauseous all day, had hunger attacks and boobies are still sore. I've have had NO pain what so ever and that's weird... I normally have light-moderate period pains since they removed the polyp in February, before that severe pain... so you'd think if this was a miscarriage I'd be in pain... but what do I know.
I'm waiting to get the results from my Beta. I've called a gazillion times already and pestered them but each time they tell me the results aren't in yet and to call back in two hours. Now the damned clinic is closed for the day! SIGH!
I'm slowly going crazy here and I really need to know what's going on with my body. If it is a miscarriage I need to have it confirmed so I can grieve and move on. If the numbers are within range (135-1690 mIU/ml for 20dpo)... well... I guess... I can worry a little longer... and keep wishing, hoping, praying that the numbers double for next tests, the acrobat hangs on tight, I stop bleeding and that this will all have a happy ending.
Saturday, 7 November 2009
Went to the bathroom for the third time in two hours. Noticed lots of bright red blood and tissue on pad. Tried to breath hard quietly. Tried to not sob loudly. Folded up the pad and laid it in the trash can. Wiped my eyes. Put a new pad in. Flushed. Opened the door of my stall in the crowded public restroom and washed my hands without making eye contact with anyone. Walked out to the mall where D was waiting. Bumped in to a woman rocking her beautiful baby in her arms. Put on my sunglasses. Struggled to find my breath to answer D when he asked where I wanted to go next. Whispered: "home".
We didn't talk much on the way home. Well, I tried, but was sobbing too much to really make any sense. When we got home D walked me to our bed, put me in it and wrapped himself around me. He kissed me and told me everything is going to be alright. I love that man.
The neighbors are having a bonfire party. I'm having a pity party. I'd rather be over there.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Today has been a day filled with whirlwind emotions. How are you supposed to feel when you find out that you're not having your period but are in fact pregnant after years of trying, but that you might be having a miscarriage at this very moment?
After getting the unexpected plus this morning I called Nurse Inga who was happy to hear about the pregnancy but concerned about the bleeding. She asked a bunch of questions and I answered by giving her dates, PMS-colors, pad sizes and pain status. She told me there was nothing I could do right now other than hang tight and see what happens. It could be a miscarriage but it could just as well be nothing to worry about. If I'm still bleeding next week she asked me to go to my GP and ask to have an HCG blood test and call with the result. If the bleeding stops I should schedule an ultrasound for Nov 26th. She then asked me if I had gotten the paperwork about the frosties. - Frosty, I said, we only had one, and no we haven't gotten it. -Actually, she said, the two slow ones caught up and you ended up with three nice blastocysts for the freezer.
So, I can be happy about the fact that I'm pregnant and that I have three beautiful snow babies in the freezer or I can be devastated that I might be having a miscarriage. Or I can be both. It's like skipping around next to a ravine. Like singing a happy tune in room full of tigers. Like being barefoot and pregnant on a kitchen floor full of glass shards.
This morning I got up when D's alarm went off at o'gawd early to pee on a stick. I was expecting a confirmation of my fears. I had imagined a day of crying and a night of serious cabernating. I had written a list of questions to ask Nurse Inga today about why this cycle failed and what we could do differently next time.
Instead... as me and D stand with our heads together staring at the little window to show us a minus..... we get this:
HOLY CRAP, I'm pregnant! I have no words. I'm flabbergasted! And now I'm even more puzzled/worried/freaking out about the spotting/bleeding... I'm so confused!!
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
In a worse shade of red. A lot heavier. No matter how I twist and turn things this can't be good news.
I had a good cry in the shower. Put on some make-up and let D take me out to dinner. Half way through the main course in a conversation about Christmas my mascara started running down my face. D squeezed my hand, paid the bill, and took me home. Fell asleep on the couch before 8. Woke up in bed at 5.
Tomorrows test will probably just confirm my fear. The acrobat is not around anymore.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Up and down. With thrills and scares, screams and laughter. Hanging on for dear life to not fall off.
The spotting continues but after being heavier yesterday it seems to have gotten lighter today. And it's still brownish. Being a designer I often use the Pantone Color System to find just the right color and I find myself grading the color of the spotting in PMS colors. It started out at 429 on 5dp5dt, changed to more of a 1525 7dp5dt, then 8dp5dt it was suddenly a 483, today it's almost back at 429. Nuts I know, occupational injury.
Today I'm starting to think/hope that this spotting/bleeding is my body being confused about the fact that The Bloody Monster normally would have arrived yesterday, but that something is different. I'm also thinking the full moon has something to do with it... I've had no cramps or other signs of The Bloody Monster. I have however been extremely tired and not able to stay up much past 8pm and Sunday when D had crayfish for an appetizer I was disgusted (normally I LOVE all seafood). So there might still be a small chance... right?
I'll just keep my fingers tightly crossed and try to stay on this roller coaster for a couple of more days.
Monday, 2 November 2009
I've watched all the recorded shows I missed while in Sweden. Worked hard on the non-profit magazine I art direct. Tinkered with a new logo for a friends company. Finished the book I was reading. And now I'm finally going to thank Kari for the award she gave me a couple of weeks ago.
All we need is a little LOVE! This blog is about sisters uniting together and giving others some love because life is hard and who couldn't use a little love? The rules for this award is simple. I LOVE YOU = 8 letters which gives you 8 rules :)
Here are the rules:
1 Thank the person who nominated you for this award and write a little bit about why you love them.
2 Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3 Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4 Nominate no more than 17 people (why 17?) who you love or you think could use some love.
5 Write one word (you can only use a word once) about what you love about their blog.
6 You cannot nominate someone who has already been nominated-the love has to spread to all.
7 Post links to the 17 blogs you nominate.
8 Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.
Here we go:
Thank you Kari!!
Through your creative and talented writing you always make me feel like I'm part of your journey. And your sweet and thoughful comments make me feel like you're part of mine.
I'd like to nominate all the wonderful women whose stories I follow but I'll settle for four of them today:
Wishing4one - exotic
Our surrogacy adventure - wise
Raining Raining - honest
The secret life of Sass and Lex - hilarious
Now I'm going back to obsessing and worrying about the spotting. But first I'm taking my Dogster for a walk.
Sunday, 1 November 2009
You ladies are wonderful. Reading your comments on my last post made me feel all warm inside. Thank you for helping me stay positive through these weeks of violent roller coaster rides between hope and despair.
I'm still spotting. Possibly getting a little heavier. Tomorrow The Bloody Monster would rear her ugly head if this was a regular cycle for me... But it's not and Test Day is still four days away.
I'm pretty sure it's not implantation bleeding. Or could it still be? Could it be my body's way of adjusting to a little acrobat settling and burrowing in snugly? Could it be that I'm shedding the exess lining that was built up by the extra hormones? Could it be the progesterone suppositories irritating the area and causing the spotting? Could it be that IVF patients generally spot?
Or could it simply be that this little one didn't stick?
I'm normally not the praying kind but I'm grasping for straws here.
Dear Mr Circus Director,
Please could you find it in your great big heart to give us the gift of life.
Would you please help us create, nurture and add a child to our family.
I'm down on my knees, begging you, please.