Sunday, November 14, 2010

Baby #2

I'm going to start with Baby #2 because it was more recent and the one that hurts the most. We were really trying to get pregnant because we really wanted another child. I know a lot of people who have one child and feel like that's enough. In fact, at my follow-up visit right after the delivery, the doctor asked me if I'd be having more children - her version of a joke since you're sleep deprived and recovering from surgery. My honest answer was, "yes." Ever since we Katie arrived, I knew I wanted more. I loved her so much that I knew I wanted to have other children to share that love with.

We didn't have a lot of trouble conceiving Katie. It was a very stressful time in my life - finishing up my PhD, getting a new job, etc., but once we really tried, we were lucky. This time, it didn't work out so well. By the time we were pregnant with Baby #2, I was ecstatic - having already lost one earlier in the year. But it was not looking good from the start.

When I first went in and had my HCG levels tested, I was at 36. This was now five weeks after my last "period;" however, I had had a pretty significant period only the week before. The positive was a surprise since we were pretty sure that I had just had a period. Getting our counts back told us that we were either very very early in the pregnancy or that we were going to have problems. The told me to get ready for a miscarriage (simply based on dates and history).

I was a mess. I called my mom, who helped talk me down. Then I went home to wait. We did the second blood test a day later (48 hours in between to see if the levels doubled). Well, they did - to 70. That's not quite doubling, but it was growing - a good sign.

I went to visit my family that weekend and started spotting on Saturday. We told ourselves it was nothing. The spotting continued and then became heavy. On Sunday morning, as we were preparing to leave my parents' house, we called the nurse who sent us to the local ER. We spent a very long and painful day there as they did all kinds of tests to see what they could. The absolute worst was that they had to use a catheter to fill my bladder so they could see anything - this was all done without any kind of pain killer or anesthetic and was excruciating. That took about two hours and was horrible. After several hours of useless blood tests and sonograms, we found that they couldn't see anything (you can't really until you're at about 2000), but that the cervix was closed and my level had gone up to 110. Again - still not doubling, but growing.

Back at the doctor the next day, we found that it could be any one of the following: a cystic pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy, a normal pregnancy with spotting, or a pregnancy about to miscarry. They didn't know what. At this point, I had spent three weeks going to doctors and ER's to determine what the incredible pain was I was having. I started having pain in my lower abdomen and back; during this time, they did numerous pregnancy tests which always came back with an HCG of less than 5 - no chance of pregnancy. Therefore, I was on painkillers and lots of antibiotics. I was diagnosed with everything from kidney stones (not on the CT or sonogram) to Pelvic Inflammatory disease caused by an STD (tests for which came back negative). At the doctor to determine if I had cysts on my ovaries - another possible culprit - I was told to take a pregnancy test (that I knew would come back negative because it had as recently as a day ago) before treatment...this is the one that surprisingly came up positive.

The pain had become so excruciating that I simply couldn't handle it. I could barely stand upright. I couldn't take anything because I was pregnant, but I was still spotting.

Our next HCG went up to 115 and we were told it was over. The pregnancy was no longer viable and not growing. It was over. And I was still in pain.

It went down, but just barely. Over the next set of tests, it went down to 111, 110, and 108 - too slow to miscarry. At this point, the doctors became concerned it was an ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy) which can be fatal, so I was scheduled for immediate surgery.

In the surgery, they removed all they could and concluded that the embryo either left the tubes or that they were able to remove it (based on their post-op findings). In any case, it stopped the pain, which was good, but was a horrible experience. We were asked if we would like to keep the "fetal waste" after the operation. The what???? They suggested we not try to keep anything (since we were only about 11 weeks along at this point) and that we let the hospital do the disposal. In my foggy state, I agreed. And yes, that was probably best.

The worst part is that in one month I had spent almost every day getting blood drawn. I was in the ER four times. I was in surgery for a day. I was in the doctor's office six times. No one at work, except my boss, knew. I was miserable, tired, and not myself and no one noticed. I'm the drama queen who blows everything out of proportion, so of course I wasn't going to bring it up.

And now it happens again. As I've rushed out of classes to be sick, gotten ill in my office, and generally been foggy minded and forgetful, I've had to tell a couple of people. How do I walk in and say - 'sorry - wrong again."? When I was having a lot of trouble last fall in my relationship and with losing the baby, my office mate actually told me that she dreaded coming to work because she couldn't deal with hearing about my problems. It was at that point that I realized I couldn't share at all. Which, I guess, is what leads me here to cyberspace.

But how do you function in daily life if you have to keep everything you are inside you? How do you smile and joke and laugh and hear about everyone else's lives and problems yet know you can't share your own? This is something I"m really struggling with.

No comments:

Post a Comment