Sunday, October 26, 2008

FLASHBACK Loss Number One

I wrote this post on Thursday, May 24, 2007 on my other blog.

"Your pregnancy has implanted in a dangerous place." When the doctor said those unexpected words to us, my world came to a freezing halt. Her sympathetic and troubled face told me that there was nothing good to be done. She went on to explain what was happening yet my brain could not keep up with what she was saying. I didn't know to cry and be upset until she handed me the box of tissues. I just stared down at the box and realized what it all meant. I was going to lose my baby. Chris and I both burst into tears as she told us they were waiting for us across the street at the emergency room...that they would run some blood tests and ultimately give me a shot of methotrexate (a small does of this chemotherapy drug designed to dissolve pregnancy tissue and bring pregnancy hormone levels back down to zero over time). She stated this was the safest course of action and had to be right away...my uterus was apparently in danger or rupturing...causing death or the removal of my uterus. She said surgery was not a good option for now because it leaves a scar and can attract an implanting pregnancy the next time around. I was still dealing with losing THIS one, much less thinking of the next time around. She explained that this was a type of ectopic pregnancy, but a rare version of it. 5% of pregnancies can be ectopic, and 2% of THAT is the chances for a "cornual pregnancy" or "interstitial pregnancy" which is what I have. The embryo is developing and implanted in my upper-uterus just outside of the fallopian tube. It's not down in the safe lining "pouch" where it is supposed to be. It is in the muscle of the uterus, bulging up at the top and would soon grow and burst. The baby would never have made it no matter what and we had to save me and my uterus. Anyway, the doctor left the room and we sat crying for a while. Why us?? Why now? We were in our sixth week and we'd already had 2 ultrasounds due to a small hematoma (blood clot) that was causing some bleeding. But everything had been fine...the baby was developing nicely, we saw the heartbeat...all systems were go! We had no idea and were not prepared at all for the fact that this could happen. We shuffled out of the office, defeated as we lurched to the parking lot. I was numb. We went over to the hospital as we continued to sob for the next few hours. The rest is a blur of tests and waiting and the IV in my hand and then that fateful shot. I was flat on my stomach on the bed as 2 nurses came in, one on each side. They each gave me a shot at the same time in my lower back/upper buttocks. As I lay there gripping the pillow I realized how final this moment would be. I felt so sad and guilty for my little heartbeating "Niblet" as we affectionately called it. We had bonded with it and talked to it and joyously made plans; all now to be dissolved away by this damned shot. We went home that night amid blurs of telephone calls and bad news. All I knew was that this shot would take time to work. Up to a month, in fact, and maybe up to 3. They told me my hormones would slowly go down week-to-week and that eventually they would hit zero. The embryo would dissolve back into my body. As for bleeding, they couldn't tell me if or when it would happen. They said once the hormone levels got down enough, I would shed my lining as a heavy period. The doctor at the hospital had me come back a few days later for more tests to see how it was going and to make sure I wasn't going to rupture. I also had to have another ultrasound to see if it had grown or if it had started to shrink yet. It was awful. We'd said our goodbyes to Niblet and I'd asked it to forgive us and told it how sorry I was this was happening. I know it was for the best and to save my life, but it doesn't take away the pain of forcing a life to end no matter WHAT the reason. Chris even did a little baptismal blessing at my stomach...which I can only hope made him feel better in some small way. I am not Catholic so I just sort of sat there and let him do what he needed. It's just as much his sorrow as mine. The radiologist in the ultrasound room said that the heartbeat was not there and that things didn't look to be rupturing or in trouble. So, it was done. I felt a rush of sadness along with a rush of peace and closure for Niblet. No more waiting in torture for the little life to end. 4 days of waiting for that felt like an eternity. The fear for my life was over too...I could finally get started dealing with the loss. I'm going in today for a follow-up blood test. I will be going in every 4 days to make sure my hormones are dropping. If not, they need to give me another shot. I pray that this works. I don't want another shot and I don't want to have to have surgery. The doctor the other day mentioned "if this had implanted 1 cm down it would have been ok." Gee. Wow.

I'm not sure what to feel about that information, and I'm quite certain I would have gotten by without that nugget of knowledge. And I know all the "hey, this happend for a reason" (and what reason could it POSSIBLY be?) and "At least you can get pregnant". I'm grateful for the truths of these things. Yes, I can get pregnant apparently. And it seemed the baby would have been ok in there had it been lower down. But I have to say it doesn't take away the pain or help in any way to know these things. Niblet is gone and that's the fact of the matter. A loss that must be grieved and felt. I am lonely, sad, and isolated. This was not a miscarriage so I don't fit in there; and it wasn't a tubal pregnancy, so I don't fit in there. We are now waiting. Waiting for time to go by, for my hormones to zero out, for the embryo to dissolve. And who knows how long it will take. We'd love to try again as soon as possible, but it all rides on how fast we can get this going. And it's not up to me. It's out of my hands. I wish this was quick and simple so i could at least know it was over and could grieve and try again soon. But I'm left in this sort of suffering limbo...not knowing what I will be told today after my blood test or 4 days after that. I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I think "why can't I have this go smoothly!!!" "I have enough rare shit going on with my body already...can't I have this go right!??" I already have a rare genetic disorder called "Nail patella syndrome" and I already have "Pressure Urticaria" which is a rare situation where I get hives all over my body every day from any pressure on my skin. This causes fatigue, joint pain, and overall severe itchiness. I was kind of hoping I would have a nice normal pregnancy since I'd already paid my "rare shit" toll. But, I guess not. If only we could have won the lottery with these odds instead! Anyway, I am starting to feel hopeful that things will be better and I know we will feel the joy and thrill of a new baby at some point, however it happens. I still haven't gone back to work yet...I just can't seem to make myself move. I have no strength or energy for my normal activities. But soon I will have to bite the bullet and get started. People out there have it far worse than me. FAR worse. I will be ok. We will be ok. I choose to believe it will all work out. And I have thanked Niblet for getting my body ready for the next one. That it's life was not in vain, but here to ready my body for what is to come. In the meantime, I will get through each day one at a time. I will take deep breaths and I will smile even when I don't feel like it. I will move forward and it will get easier. This is a permanent scar on our lives and will one day be a memory like anything else. Until that day comes, please send us good vibes and good thoughts. I can officially say that I can't do this alone. For anyone who wants to understand what happened via a diagram, click here to see all the versions of ectopic pregnancy...mine is the cornual/interstitial one. Mine was on the right side. Thanks for listening!

2 comments :

Mazo said...

Your "Posts of Note" caught my eye. More specifically, your posts about your great losses. This is such a sad and gut-wrenching post! As a mother of 2 (and hoping for more), I can relate on a "mother" level. I know you are due soon, and hope for the best!

Meg said...

Pregnancy loss is so hard once, but to experience it three times... You are some woman. I recently lost my daughter, she was two weeks overdue, to a tight nuchal cord (cord around her neck.) It has been the most devistating experience I've been faced with. I cannot imagine going through it again. I actually had come across your nursery pictures while looking for ideas for Ava's nursery on flickr and loved it.
I just really identify with your loss and had to comment that you are a strong person for going through what you have and sharing it with everyone.

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