Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Reality

This is another one of those posts that will probably make you say WTF is going on.  I know, I feel you. I get it.  This is one gnarley situation that I can't fully explain because honestly I don't fully comprehend it.  But what I do know is that I feel better.  As sick and as wrong as that is.  I feel better in a way that lets me sleep at night and lets me contemplate putting one foot in front of the other...moving forward. 

I wrote a long sappy post. A wordy attempt at a poetic ending to this spiral.  I erased it.

Instead, I'll tell you what I'm living.  (although wordy poetry does tend to float around in my head a little more than I'd like to admit)

Here's a little catch up.  B and I got "pregnant". The reason for the quotation marks is that the first phone call where you reproductive endocrinologist tells you that your IVF worked and you're pregnant is not supposed to begin with "I've got good news and I've got bad news".  Ours did.  HCG was 12. Then 85. Then 115. Not good enough. Our doctor stopped progesterone and estrogen.  He knows what he's doing- he's done this before. IVF is an exact science.  12-85-115 is the equivalent of "No, no, really-no". 

We cry through a chemical pregnancy and wait for the numbers to go down. They go up. They go up. They go way up. We fear an ectopic. We see a "pseudo sac" in my uterus on ultrasound, nothing else.  Just an empty sac. We take methotrexate to ensure any hiding ectopics won't surface in a bad way.  My number goes down. Once. Then goes back up.  We take a second shot because WTF is going on. Then we get our first high resolution ultrasound which shows a gestational sac with a yolk sac and "something else" inside.

We are devastated.

We are more than devastated.  We are angry.  The ultrasound doctor comes in and says that she doesn't really deal with IVF, but with an image like this she'd think this was still viable.  She did not review my history, my labs.  I explain the HCG numbers. She says they don't matter. I explain the metho. She says that matters, and that it's over...

I am inconsolable.

That was one week ago, yesterday.

Yesterday, I met with my doctor in person for the first time after the ultrasound. The one who gave me the baby killing drug. 

I was angry, but defeated.  I was desperately needing to tell him he was wrong. But desperately needing to move on.  I was ready to listen.

Then he told me that he called the head of the imaging center. He asked why a doctor would tell me that HCG doesn't matter. He asked where she came up with that.  The head of the imaging center froze.  He apologized.  And then he explained that the ultrasound doctor was fired the morning of my appointment.  That she had been fired for not properly reviewing patient history before discussing their case, before discussing their options. She was not supposed to have any patient contact that day.  I was the last appointment.  She hasn't been back since.

WTF is going on.

He explained that with IVF, HCG numbers do matter.  It's an exact science. We know exactly when the egg was retrieved, we know when it was transferred.  There isn't wiggle room. He explained that when we did methotrexate, we should have seen a heartbeat if anything was viable.  We did not see a heartbeat, we didn't even see a yolk sac. I would have been six weeks along.

I demanded an ultrasound. I needed one right then and there. I wanted him to see what I saw. I wanted him to understand. I cried.  He held my hand.

As soon as he started the ultrasound he saw it.  He agreed.  It did not look like it did before the metho. It was "bigger".  There was a yolk sac.  He agreed. 

But then he told me that it was already too late before the first metho shot.  No matter what came of it, it was too late.  I asked about stopping the progesterone early.  He said it was already too late then.  This baby was never going to be ours.

I know you may think I'm crazy, you may think I'm wrong and stupid.  But I feel better. It's all so f'd up.  There's nothing right about any of this.  But that's just what it is. And if I try to figure out what's up from down, I'll never move on.

I believe him.  At six weeks, we didn't see what we needed to see.  I agree.  Should he have sent me for a high res ultrasound to avoid the metho? Yes. Should he have checked to make sure? Yes.  Should he have stopped the progesterone? I have no idea. I feel like no, but where does that get me? He has a protocol.  He follows it everytime. He doesn't go changing things on a whim, and I can't blame him for that. I can blame him for not giving us the chance to feel our own loss.  For not allowing me to be pregnant. For forcing me to grieve, right off the bat.  But I can't blame him for following the numbers, no matter how much I want to.

Wow, so there it is.  I hate ...  well, pretty much everything about this.  But it's our life, it's what we're living in. I can't change it, I can't fix it.  I have to keep living it.  And put one foot in front of the other.  At least for now.

I started Cytotec 6 hours ago. Now we wait and hope that I can miscarry on my own.  D & C is scheduled for Tuesday, in case.

I have no idea what's next, where to go, what to do. But I know we're not done.  And I know I don't hate Dr. Z anymore. At least not right now.  And I know that I could have never made it through this without all of you.  Everyone who has read through this shit storm, who has felt for us and felt with us.  Everyone who has commented, called, emailed, and held us.  I felt so alone, and then I wasn't.  Then I was alive again, because of you.  Then I had a way of standing, walking, making it through this when I honestly wasn't sure if I'd be able to simply breathe. Thank you. Really, thank you.

To the life that I wanted but never got. You were, in my heart, the most real thing that I'd ever felt. You will always be my real, no matter what they say.
I love you.         I'm sorry.


  1. I am sending love your way...

    You are not crazy, wrong, or stupid. You are an amazingly strong woman who is coping with an unbelievably difficult situation with immense grace. I am sending positive energy your way (to you and to your husband)!


  2. What a roller coaster ride.
    You are amazing, you are talking sense and what he said makes sense about not seeing the heartbeat when you would have been 6 weeks along.
    I really hope you get off this ride soon.

  3. You have been in my heart and thoughts since I first heard about all of this and I am glad that you have found a place of (I want to say peace but I'm not sure it's the right word) acceptance of all that has happened. You've been through something incredibly painful, difficult and confusing and to see you looking at it like this so soon is incredible... you are so much stronger than you may ever believe! My thoughts and love continue to be with you xx

  4. sorry, I signed in with my new blog details, so just in case you wonder who I (amanda claire) am, it's Amanda from Me and You at 22 xx

  5. Cytotec is not a fun drug, but for us (I was 7.5 weeks with no heart beat) it worked. It feels strange to say this, but I hope it works for you, too. I'd hate for you to have to endure a D&C on top of everything else.

    What an incredibly challenging appointment that had to have been. My heart just hurts for you. I am glad, though, that you have some answers. It is ugly and unfair and just plain shitty, but what he had to say does make sense. And, he confirmed that you didn't do anything wrong even if your heart tells you otherwise.

    I continue to send love your way...

  6. I know this is all so hard to understand and I think you are so strong and dealing with it so well. We're here with you through all of it.

  7. I have mentioned you to my husband, he continually asks about you. We are both just worried about you and your husband and also are amazed at your strength. I think for sanity reasons you have to believe your doctor, it will help you move on. We have not been in your exact situation, but in a way we know the grief you are going through. I delivered stillborn twin boys. Time does make it easier, doesn't take it away. I know it helped me when people somewhat understood the pain. I found your blog through LFCA and can't help but follow your story, your life and wish you the best.

  8. Well you are a stronger woman than I. I completely understand your need to move on. You can't change it. You can't dwell. You can only move forward. Start again when you have healed. My husband and I grew closer with our 2 losses and while I had support from family and friends around, it was his touch and his kind words that gave me peace. I hope it is the same for you and I hope this bumpy road ends soon for you both. You are in my thoughts and my heart.

  9. It sounds like you are dealing with this in such a wonderful way...I think you're very strong. I'm glad the doctor was able to give you some peace of mind.

  10. I had a possible ectopic a few years ago and a lot of the feelings you describe bring back so many memories. My beta was low, it went up, it went down, I bled, it went back up. Nothing was ever found on an ultrasound, so to this day, I don't know where it was. I still felt like I had killed the baby, even though logically I know there wasn't a chance. I didn't have to go through the horrible experience you had to with the ultrasound and seeing that things had grown and a yolk sac, I can only imagine how much more horrifying that makes the situation. You are not alone. This whole situation sucks and I wish you peace.

  11. Oh my gosh I cannot even begin to imagine what you have been through. I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging, and I am sorry I wasn't around to offer you my love and support as you went through this nightmare.

    Thinking of you, I am just beyond sorry. I hope the conversation with your doctor helped, even just a little.

    All my love xxxx

  12. Here from L&F, I am so very sorry for your loss. When I read the snippet on L&F, I whispered What!?! I could feel my heart drop and I got chills. I can't imagine the pain you are going through, but know that I am keeping you in my thoughts.