Thursday, January 21, 2010

The journey of our angels

Where to start? The last month or so we've been on an emotional rollercoaster. We're still not sure exactly what's going on but I felt the need to write things down...Here's our story so far:

A couple of weeks before Christmas I was late for my period (or we suspected so, they hadn't been exactly regular in coming) so we did a pregnancy test. The result was instant: positive! We were both very excited although I think I was still in a little shock. We hadn't been actively TTC but hadn't been using any contraceptive since Esme was born so it wasn't totally unexpected ;)

It looked like this baby would be another August baby, like Esme. I thought I knew when I had ovulated so we calculated it from there. The EDD would have been the 15th of August (3 days before Esme's EDD, although she decided not to come until the 27th in the end!) We were so excited about being able to tell our families about this little baby at Christmas time again. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. Four days before Christmas I started to bleed. It wasn't much to start with, but each day it seemed to increase just a little bit. I'd had bleeding with Esme's and Jacob's pregnancy but it never lasted more than a day or two. This bleeding was different. I think I knew then that this baby wouldn't make it. Combined also with a lack of pregnancy symptoms, morning sickness, sore breasts, tiredness, etc, I didn't hold out much hope. So we decided not to tell our parents at Christmas time and we spent Christmas day and Boxing day wondering what was going on.

The day after Boxing Day, I got hold of the midwife who'd attended Esme's birth. We had a chat about all that was happening and we both agreed that it didn't look good for this baby. I got off the phone to Jan and just cried. I knew it was over. I was passing a lot more blood by now and also some small clots. I felt strangely reassured by talking to Jan though and I think I was able to start grieving. The next morning I got up and lost quite a large clot. I knew that was it and the baby was gone. I felt incredibly sad and just wanted to be alone. I'm so grateful that Chris was on holidays and could take care of the kids so I could just be by myself. I've had so many people say to me to just 'cuddle my kids' to help me feel better. I love my kids dearly but that comment really didn't help me. I just kept looking at them and thinking about what I'd lost. About the baby that I'd never see grow up and do what my kids were doing.

Anyway, the week moved on. I think my immune system must have been affected by the miscarriage because I caught a mild tummy bug and then a few days later I caught a bad cold that dragged on for ages and made me feel miserable. The following Monday I was still having vague pregnancy symptoms so I thought, I'll do another test and it came up positive! I know that the pregnancy hormones can take a while to come down so I was trying to convince myself that that must have been it. But I couldn't help having a glimmer of hope, 'What if? What if this baby is still here?' Up to now I had been reluctant to have any sort of tests done, blood tests or ultrasounds (I just wanted this pregnancy to be as natural as possible) but I thought maybe I should get them done 'just in case'. So off I went to the doctor to get the referrals. I didn't bother with the ultrasound because I was feeling more and more that this baby was gone, but had the blood tests and HCG levels checked. This involved two blood tests, 3 days apart to check if the levels were rising and how quickly. I absolutely hate blood tests with a vengence so this quite a horrible experience for me.

The following week I made it to the doctor for my results. He told me my levels were 1000 and had risen to 2,500 in the time between the tests. He indicated that this was a really positive sign and the fact that there'd been such an increase was great. I nearly fell off the chair, I had so expected to hear bad news. He told me to get the ultrasound done straight away. I walked out of the Doctors feeling on top on the world. This baby was still alive, I hadn't lost it after all. I rang Chris straight away to tell him the good news, he was excited too. I spent Wednesday feeling great. I had managed to book an ultrasound for the following afternoon so was looking forward to it and hopefully finding out some answers for all the bleeding.

The next afternoon I met Chris at the ultrasound place and we all went in to the appointment together. The sonographer ran the scanner over my tummy. I couldn't see the screen and he seemed to be doing it for an awful long time without any comment. I started to wonder...We'd thought we'd be about 9 weeks or so by now so surely he'd see the baby straight away. Eventually he says that he will need to do an internal ultrasound because he couldn't see anything. My heart just dropped. After the sonographer left the room I turned to Chris and said 'this isn't good' I wanted to cry. The sonographer came back and continued on with the internal. Again, he was doing it for ages. He couldn't see anything again. I asked him what that meant. He said it could mean that it is very early in the pregnancy, that I have had a miscarriage or that it is an ectopic pregnancy. I didn't know what to think or what was going on. I just knew that there wasn't any hope for the baby I thought was still there. I cried in the room but had to try and compose myself to go out and pay. I said to Chris that I wish I hadn't had all these tests and scans done. I wish I had just left it to nature and TRUSTED my body.

So where does this leave us now?? Well, we know that I have definately had a miscarriage for sure. This pregnancy should have been at least 9 weeks along by now and there is no 9 week baby in my tummy. I've had to go through all the hurt and pain of losing a baby again. I'd done my grieving for this lost baby after I bled and lost those clots but the Doctor gave me hope that this was the same baby. For that I feel so sad. It is unlikely that this is an ectopic pregnancy given that I have already had all that bleeding and haven't experienced any pain that goes with ectopic pregnancies. The only thing that it can mean is that I have gotten pregnant again since the miscarriage and it is very early pregnancy (hence the big rise in my HCG levels and not being able to see anything in the ultrasound). I have spoken to Jan and she agrees that this is probably the case. She told me to keep a diary of how I feel and she'll visit me in a couple of weeks. And she told me not to go back to the Doctor.

Fast forward two days...

I had another blood test to check my HCG levels (as per doctor's instructions) and went back on Monday to see him to get the results. Levels were 4,700 so still rising. I questioned him about the rate of rise (everything I had read seemed to indicate that HCG levels should double every 30 hours). The doctor seemed to think that the rate of increase was fine but for some reason I walked out of his rooms not feeling confident that this pregnancy was going well. Going to see him hadn't reassured me at all, in fact I just felt worse. The doctor didn't want me to have any more blood tests, just insisted that I have an ultrasound in a couple of weeks. I think if the levels had been about 10,000 I would have felt a lot better! I mentioned that I'd had a little bit of blood tinged CM and he didn't seem to think it was a problem (and I also passed it off as implantation bleeding). The following day I had more bleeding, quite a bit more. I rang the doctor but once again he told me a little bit of bleeding was ok. I think I knew that it wasn't ok but tried to convince myself that there's no way I could be having another miscarriage. Surely that just isn't fair?

Well, it looked like nature had other ideas. Yesterday morning the bleeding all started in a rush but I am certain that I have now lost this second baby as I am passing clots again...I would have been 4 weeks along yesterday. My heart is breaking and I don't know how I am going to get through this. How can it be fair that the universe does this to me??

And now the decisions...I don't think I can go through this again next month. The worry, the heartache, the lost dreams...I think we are going to give TTC a rest for a little while (even though we weren't actively trying). I need time now to heal myself physically, emotionally and mentally. I've decided that the next time we think I might be pregnant that I am not going to be getting any tests done. I need to learn to trust in my body again. I think the tests we've done with these two little babies have caused us more pain and heartache than not having tests done. I probably wouldn't have even known I was pregnant a second time if I'd hadn't had these tests done....

Good bye to our two little angels., you won't be forgotten!

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