Monday, 16 December 2013

History Repeats Itself

This past weekend, I flew to Southern California for a Continuing Medical Education Conference. While I was in the queue for Security, I noticed they were sending everyone through their Porno Scanner (term adopted from Keith Obermann). Paranoia began to creep in. The rational side of my brain knows these scanning machines are safe for pregnant women. Although I can argue that when TSA makes that claim, they are referring to normal women carrying a healthy pregnancy. I have a delicate little embryo who is already measuring four days behind. I felt that I couldn't expose myself to something that could pose the slightest risk; even while I was acknowledging how absurd I was being. I started planning a little speech. I would tell the TSA agent that I'm finally pregnant after two years and multiple fertility treatments, so forgive me for not taking any chances.

I placed my items on the conveyor belt and walked over to the TSA agent, ready to deliver my spiel. Then I froze.
"I'd like to opt out of the scanning." was all I could get out.  
"Well, you do know that it's totally safe. It just uses sound waves similar to your cell phone." The agent informed me.
Or like an ultrasound...I thought to myself. "Mmm-hmm" I nodded.
"And you'll have to wait a few minutes as I need to call a female officer for your pat down..."
"That's fine." I quietly replied.

As I waited for the female officer to feel me up (which is actually the most action I've seen in a while...) I thought about what transpired. I couldn't even say the words, 'I'm pregnant' out loud. I couldn't say it to someone as inconsequential as a random TSA agent. Until I know this is a viable pregnancy, I don't feel I'm entitled to use that description. I'm still just a hopeful wannabe mother. Also ridiculous, I feel a bit superstitious; as the moment I acknowledge the pregnancy, it will all be taken away from me. Continuing with my previous baseball analogy, it's reminiscent of how no one in the bullpen or dugout will mention the words 'perfect" and 'game' when a single pitcher has consecutively retired every batter he (or she) has faced. Except our situation has been anything but perfect, and this isn't a game.  

It all felt eerily familiar to be back in my RE's office on a late Monday afternoon. It was at that moment, I realised I was here exactly a year ago. The third Monday in December. Looking at my ultrasound and recognising that things didn't look right. The once hard to identify yolk sac was now prominent and suspiciously large. The fetal pole still only measured 3 mm, exactly the same as last week. There was no growth and no progression. It was as if my uterus was frozen in time like Miss Havisham's house. There was a faint, slow flicker of cardiac activity, but it was too feeble to bother calculating a rate. "This is really disappointing." my RE expressed, seeming a bit deflated himself.

We're now 0 for 2. Well, technically 2 and 0. I'm a Gravida -2 Para -0. A two time loss-er. Apparently, I suck at being pregnant. Six weeks appears to be a major stumbling block. Last time my uterus rejected the contents at six weeks and this time around the growth stopped at six weeks. Some people get pregnant twice and have two kids; Co-worker's SIL has been pregnant twice and will have four kids as both were twin pregnancies. I've been pregnant twice and have nothing to show for it. Except a new diagnosis. I can now add Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL) to my resume.

My RE wants me to come back in a week. He'll perform a final scan to confirm (just in case my embryo wakes up and realises, 'Oh shit! I forgot to grow! Let's make up for lost time!') and then will proceed with an MUA (Manual Uterine Aspiration). We'll send the products for chromosomal microarray testing. Remember when I was considering PGD testing, as I didn't want to discover a trisomy on a pathology report after a miscarriage? Now I'm hoping for that scenario. There will be more questions generated if the results indicate this would have been a euploid fetus. My RE and I discussed ordering the RPL lab work to determine if I might consider aspirin or Lovenox for a potential future pregnancy. I haven't asked for his thoughts, but I'm already planning to go gluten free, should there be a next time.

In the most twisted, fucked up way, I feel validated. The annoying Little Miss Know-It-All inside my head is proclaiming, 'I was right!' I knew there was a reason to be cautious and guarded. I knew better than to get my hopes raised. I knew it was a good call not to tell my dentist that I was pregnant a few weeks ago, as I have a follow up appointment tomorrow. Co-worker tried to encourage me to be more positive, but I defended that I wasn't being negative, but being realistic. Even after learning about the pregnancy, I still felt it was a long shot. I never let the pregnancy news settle, so this development is passing right through me. Maybe some day I'll get around to processing it all.

As we arrived home, Husband picked up the post. We only received one Christmas card and it had Myrtle's return address. Once again, without fail, the cosmic connections align so that images of the gorgeous little Myrtle show up on the coat tails of my disappointing news. I admit that I'll sometimes take a little creative license to tweak some details for more concise story telling; but this one my friends,  I promise I cannot make this up. Additionally,  I learned that my friend in Maryland (the one with one ovary who wished me a 'two-for-one' with my first IVF cycle) is pregnant. When I visited her this summer, she informed me that they wanted to become pregnant by the end of the year. I relented, just accept that she is going to be pregnant before you...She's due on 5 June. I can already hear the annoying Little Miss Know-It-All declaring 'I was right!' 

31 comments:

  1. New reader here. I've been catching up for a the last few days. Crying, sobbing as I read your post. I'm in the same club, 2 and 0. Sometimes that little know it all voice needs to shut the hell up, and let us be delusional, even it's just for a moment. I know full well what it's like to hear this, but I'm praying for a positive outcome.... I can't stray away from what gives me hope.... Ugh. Sending love your way, and I don't even know you, yet! Xox

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  2. Well crap. I'm sorry. I was really hoping for better news, but that's stupid to say since I know YOU were wanting it even more. I'm glad to read that you and your RE are alread making plans for a next time, but that doesn't take away from the pain of this time. Hugs, my friend. I'm really sorry.

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  3. Oh Jane. I am so very sorry. I feel heartbroken for you and outraged at the unfairness of all this. Your writing is so eloquent and beautiful; the reference to Miss Havisham's house was so eerily perfect it took my breath away. Someone who writes and thinks as beautifully as you do deserves to reproduce, damn it! You have always been one of my favorite bloggers and I really wanted this to work out for you. I still believe your story will have a happy ending, but I know that doesn't take away the hurt of this experience. Thinking of you.

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  4. Oh gosh, I am so sorry Jane. I was hoping that your title did not mean what I thought it meant, and am really sad to see it does. I hope you find some answers, as I know that the unexplained part can be the most gruesome to deal with.

    Hugs to you.

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  5. I had been waiting for your post all day yesterday. I have no words... I know I'm sorry isn't good enough or what you really need. Know that we are all thinking of you.

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  6. No no no no no. This isn't supposed to happen. You got out, dammit! I've had that annoying little "I was right" voice several times myself: when we started TTC, when I realized my first IVF was going to be cancelled, and when our first FET didn't work. I don't know if it's too soon to say this but try to focus on the fact that you've got a couple of frozen embryos and you can try again soon. Your baby has just GOT to be in that bunch.

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  7. Oh Jane, I'm so sorry. I was really hoping your title wasn't what it seemed, but it looks like it is. I really hope that your next ultrasound is nothing short of a miracle...but I know the odds of that aren't high. I'm sending only positive, comforting thoughts your way. (As a side note, I'm gluten free and it's the best thing I ever did for myself...if you have any questions or just want to talk, feel free to email me!)

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  8. SO SORRY to hear this. I understand your cautiousness from the beginning...but we all just want the happy outcome for each other...and so we hope. Sending you a hug and I'm begging the universe to TAKE IT EASY on you guys (the Myrtle card would have sent me over the edge!).

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  9. Well crap Jane, I am sorry. This sucks. Thinking of you

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  10. Shit. I've been checking back here every few hours for the update and I, for one, was not right. It's so much easier to hold out hope for each other than for ourselves. And to be emotionally irrational. So, I'll go ahead. Screw this. It sucks and it's not fair. I'm so sorry, Jane. I don't have any other words. Thinking of you lots.

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  11. Ah Jane, I'm so sorry to read this. What shitty news. As much as we protect ourselves and plan for/expect bad news, it still hurts. Thinking of you.

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  12. No!! I am so sorry this happened to you and hubby! I hope you get some answers before moving forward. As you probably know, Beloved Burnt Toast had success with a gluten free diet.

    I hear you on the little voice. I knew both of my IVFs were not going to work as soon as we did the transfer. Hubby thought I was negative, but I call it intuition. I really believe listening to that little voice helps protect our hearts a little bit.

    Take care of yourself. I will be thinking of you. xo

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  13. I really thought this was going to work out. Your post brought me to tears. How can this be? I feel terrible because I wish I could take all of the pain and disappointment away. Here you are, in the midst of a potential loss, still writing so beautifully. Please know I am thinking of you. xo

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  14. Oh, Jane. I am so sorry. I know it doesn't change anything, but know that I'm thinking of you and sending comforting hugs your way.

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  15. Oh Jane, I am so sorry. This is such cruel timing for a disappointment. That conspicuously large yolk sac may be the hint at what you already suspected. You're in my thoughts. I pray this passes quickly for you and the new year can bring renewed hope.

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  16. So very sorry to read this. I know even when I 'prepared' myself that the pain is just overwhelming at times. Take care of yourself and I hope you are able to move forward when you are ready.

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  17. Oh Jane, this sucks. I'm so sorry. There's really nothing to say, but I do hope you find some comfort in the number of women in this online community that are pulling for you and will be there for you in whatever next steps you decide to take.

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  18. Crap. I am so sorry. I don't even know what to say. It's all so unfair.

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  19. No! No, no, no, no, no! Jane, I am so incredibly sorry :( Please know that you are in my thoughts and in my prayers. My heart is so sad for you. I am thinking of you my sweet friend. xoxo

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  20. Oh no! I'm so, so, so, so sorry to hear this. It's terribly unfair. You're in my thoughts.

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  21. No! I knew from the title this was going to be bad. I'm so sorry. I know how disappointing this has to be. I understand the validation of knowing your gut was right. I just wish you had been wrong! Again this is too sad, I'm sorry. Sending lots of peace and love your way.

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  22. I'm so sorry. I'm a long-time lurker on your blog. I know you were keeping your expectations in check, but I was so hoping for a better outcome for you. For what it's worth, I had the RPL testing done after my second miscarriage (but not natural killer cell testing, just the thrombophilias). Everything came back clear, but I was glad to have that extra set of data points. As I recall, I had to wait till my HCG was negative for the testing, and then it was several more weeks for the results, so it meant we had to take a break. You're in my thoughts.

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  23. I'm so so sorry Jane. No words here. Just want to give you some love and hugs. :(

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  24. I feel like I used to follow your blog and somehow got thrown off course somehow. Either way, I am so sorry. I am 0-2 as well. It sucks. Sending you peace, love and understanding. Hope you get some answers that you need.

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  25. I'm so sorry to read this. Even when you have a feeling that it's coming, that makes it no less devastating when it does happen.

    My thoughts are with you. And not that our situations are the same or anything, but I was 0 for 2 for no apparent reason and the gluten-free/lovenox regimen seems to have worked this time (so far). So if another try is in your future... just saying, stranger things have happened.

    Truly sorry that this happened, Jane. Sending you a big hug right now.

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  26. Oh Jane, I, too, am very sorry to read this post. I was really hoping that this was your time. Thinking of you.....

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  27. I'm so sorry the news isn't better, Jane. And I can so relate to feeling "I knew this wasn't going to work", or at least "this is too good to be true, to actually work out", and hating that feeling. Hang in there, and take good care of yourself.

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  28. Oh no, I am so sorry! I was (obviously) hoping for such a different outcome for you this time. Just heartbreaking.
    Like someone mentioned above, our bodies and situations are different, but I also had two "unexplained" losses around 6 weeks. For this pregnancy, I've been gluten-free and take a daily baby aspirin. Who knows if that's what helped, but I have my theories.
    Take care of yourself. I'm thinking of you. And hoping SO hard that next time brings your happy ending. xo

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  29. I am so sorry Jane. My heart is breaking for you, that you have to become a member of this shitty RPL club. It's just not fair. Look after yourself and feel what you need to feel. Sending you much healing for the coming days and weeks.

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  30. Oh Jane, this is the last thing I wanted to read from you. I'm so sorry you've had to endure yet another loss. RPL sucks! It's so not fair!

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