Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Post D&C


Just looking at my list of posts and seeing one say "Baby Ridley Number 2 Coming June 2019" followed by the next one titled "No Heartbeat" is absolutely heartbreaking.  I don't know why but I am still in this fog of disbelief about what has unfolded over the last 2 weeks.  What went from our first time seeing our baby and hearing it's heartbeat changed for the worst in an instant, and now it's all officially over physically.  All I can think about is how unfair this is and wondering how I will ever get myself to the point of going through this again.  I am SO fearful of another failed cycle, I can't even imagine having this not work for a 3rd time (or a 10th time really) and losing another one of our precious embryos.  

I am trying so hard to get passed this, although I've experienced loss in the past, this one has been the worst, probably because things seemed to be going so well, because we actually made it to an ultrasound before realizing it was over.  It was the farthest along loss I've had and having to have a D&C seemed to make it 10 times worse.  All I can think about is how I am supposed to be pregnant right now.  How our baby shared it's due date with my husband's birthday, how everything seemed to be meant to be and aligned so perfectly, yet it was taken away so quickly.  I've been crying all week at work and I am still just so unbelievably sad about it. 

The hardest part to me was having to carry for 2 weeks before they were able to do surgery.  I know this is nothing compared to mama's who have to carry their babies stillborn until delivery, I know that a D&C at six weeks is common, and that things could've been much much worse and that others have had it much much worse, but that doesn't mean that it hurt any less.  Sitting in the hospital Friday thinking I should be 9 weeks pregnant, yet here I am getting my baby scraped out of my uterus as I waited for a surgery which ran over 2 hours late was absolute torture.  Every nurse, phlebotomist, and staff I encountered who knew what I was there offered their condolences which was sweet but also made it an even tougher day. 

The D&C itself took about 15 minutes, however the surgery is about an hour total.  I got checked in around 9:30 and then headed to the lab where I did a blood draw and a pregnancy test.  I told them I would definitely be getting a positive result since I was there for a D&C, they said they weren't sure why the test was ordered, but I had to do it.  I then headed up to day surgery where I got changed, had an IV placed, spoke to my OB, the anesthesiologist, and had to wait very patiently for them to take me back.  It was a very long morning and unfortunately they got backed up so my surgery that was supposed to be at 10:30 didn't happen until after 12:30.  

They finally took me back, had me move onto the operating table, gave me a sedative via IV, then put the breathing mask on me.  I took one deep breath and I was out.  I woke up in recovery a short while later and felt fine.  They gave me a heavy dose of anti-nausea meds before I went in so I had no motion sickness after which I was thankful for.  They finally let me go back to my room where Joe was waiting and gave me a blueberry muffin and a turkey sandwich.  My OB told Joe all went well.  They took some final vitals on me, let me get dressed, and then we were basically out the door heading home.  We stopped for my prescriptions at CVS and grabbed a Little Caesar's hot & ready to bring home.  

Georgia slept over at grandmas that evening so I was able to go home and hop on the couch and relax for the rest of the evening.  I was instructed to take 600mg of Motrin every 6 hours, she said to keep up on it because not only does it help with pain but it also helps the bleeding.  I've had very minimal bleeding luckily.  She said no tampons for 2 weeks.  She also gave me 2 Norco's for any breakthrough pain I would have, but I didn't need it.  I have had zero pain at all which I am thankful for.  It sounded like I would have some pretty severe cramping but I have had none.  I'm really thankful that this physical part has gone so smooth.  At my follow up appointment on Tuesday afternoon my OB said that I lost a lot of blood which she would expect because of the 2 gestational sacs.  She said it wasn't enough to need a transfusion, but that I definitely will be feeling the effects of the loss of blood.  I've been tired and have had some severe headaches which she said is normal for how much blood I lost.  On top of my RPL, she also ordered a CBC to check my blood.  She wants me to go on iron supplements which she said will take 2 weeks to take effect but which should help regenerate my blood quicker.  She said it will take about 3 months total for my level to return to normal.  

We did opt to have the POC (products of conception) tested which my OB said is typically covered by insurance.  After this D&C my deducible has been met so the testing should be covered as well as any further betas or other bloodwork I might have done before the year is over.  I also had a new RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss) panel done to make sure that my levels are where they need to be.  I had one done in 2015 and everything came back normal, however I know something like an elevated prolactin level can cause miscarriage and since I did breastfeed for over a year that could be an issue.  I definitely want to check off everything I can before proceeding with another transfer.  

Lots of people have asked what we plan to do next.  At this point for the rest of the year, nothing.  The only thing we will do this year is testing.  We will not have another transfer this year.  I will definitely need to have at least one or two normal periods before which from what I've learned from others who have had D&C's can sometimes take a couple months to have a regular period.  I need to let me body rest again as it's gone through lots of hormonal changes since July.  We also need to get our finances in order and save up around $5000 before we can proceed.  My guess is within the first few months of 2019 we will get scheduled for another transfer, but as of right now that is just a guess.  

We should have the results of the RPL in the next week or so and the POC results in within 3 to 4 weeks.  My physical recovery overall has been surprisingly easy, the emotional recovery on the other hand has been one of the hardest I've ever experienced.  I want so much to be able to just focus on the holiday's and make sure to soak in every minute of it in happiness and joy.  I have been crying at work both Monday and Tuesday and seeing pregnancy updates have triggered me for the first time in years.  I know that Georgia will be a welcomed distraction to everything that is going on.  This year with her will be so fun, I can't wait to see her open up some gifts herself.  I am forever grateful for her and the love and light she brings into our lives, no matter what happens in the future, we will always have her shining little soul to brighten our lives.  I am doing the best I can to focus on her and the upcoming holiday's as I continue to recover from this.  

Thursday, November 08, 2018

No Heartbeat

This is not the post I was hoping to be writing.  I was hoping after our first ultrasound Monday at 7w2d I'd be updating with a happy post about a baby with a strong heartbeat and excellent measurements, unfortunately, although there were 2 gestational sacs present, one was empty (blighted ovum) and the other the baby was clearly there but had stopped growing around 6w and had no heartbeat.  During pregnancy it seems there's always the lingering thought in the back of your mind that something might go wrong.  It's just the nature of the game with pregnancy, especially that first ultrasound, but with our high betas, I was feeling very confident that things were progressing as they should.  At our appointment she tried to do a belly scan but because of my retroverted uterus she had to do a vaginal.  It was the shortest appointment I think I've ever had and the worst.  

I could clearly see worry on her face, when I saw her measure the baby I saw that it was only measuring 6w1d and I wasn't seeing a flicker, then within a split second of me noticing these things, she told us that the baby appeared to have stopped growing about a week ago and there was no heartbeat.  She turned the sound on and it was just a hollow uterus, no sounds of life pulsating on the screen like we had hoped for.  She asked if I wanted a picture and I blurted out "no" through a steady stream of tears and that was it, it was over.  I don't even know if I was comprehending what she was saying.  She continued to say she was sorry as she left the room.  I honestly think it would've been an easier blow if this cycle just failed from the beginning rather than having to go through this.  

My clinic got back to me saying that I needed to schedule a D&C with karotyping to see if the baby was normal or abnormal.  At this point I'm really hoping for an abnormal result as much as I hate to say that.  Two sacs would also indicate that the embryo split.  We really don't know at this point.  All we know is that things came crashing down pretty quickly and I know I am still in shock over all of it.  All I could think as I was laying there being told what was happening was that I just can't imagine going through this again.  I know that at some point we will, but thinking about the fact that this could happen again makes me want to give up at this point because why would anyone in their right mind purposely put themselves through this heartbreak again?  

We are blessed in so many ways with our situation.  Our amazing egg donor, the open relationship we have, the true gift that was given to us; however it's a logistical and financial nightmare to fathom all over again.  Days off work, travel costs, coming up with the money to finance all of it yet again is just too much to think about right now.  I'm certain that we will begin selling off our belongings and putting money at the top of our Christmas lists that we will all hope will end up in a successful outcome.  Joe will continue to work 7 days a week spreading himself too thin to help fund another cycle.  We put ourselves through so much all for something that comes with no guarantee whatsoever. 

At this point we now have 3 embryos left, they are not PGS tested, all are very high quality, but that is not indicative of anything.  Two of the three we have transferred so far have now ended in losses and I'm fearful of the outcome of our 3 remaining.  I've had a Recurrent Pregnancy Loss panel done in the past and the results were all negative for any issues, however if the results from the baby come back as "normal" I will be requesting a repeat of that test.  I am so fearful that something is wrong with me, something that maybe with Georgia we got lucky and it didn't effect.  I am so fearful to continue attempting transfers of these embryos only to have them end in loss.  These are our LAST embryos.  You can see I have so many thoughts racing through my mind right now, all exacerbated by hormones from a pregnancy that has ended yet I am still carrying.  It's cruel and unfair and all I want to do is curl into a ball in my bed and close my eyes and wake up to it not being true.  

Unfortunately I will now be spending the upcoming holidays constantly thinking about the baby I should be carrying, surrounded by other family and friends who are also pregnant, I know it's bound to be a very hard couple of months.  Do I sound like I am pitying myself, yeah I do, maybe I am a little bit I don't really know.  I just know right now I am caught up in a whirlwind of emotions and hormones and I know that with the passing days things will get better and we will move forward.  This has just proven to be the hardest of our losses so far and learning how to handle it is something I'm new at.  

My D&C is officially scheduled for next Friday, aka. not soon enough.  My OB wanted my records from my IVF cycle and my ultrasound before making a decision on whether or not to perform the surgery.  I was able to give a verbal consent to send my records over immediately yesterday so luckily that was taken care of quickly.  They also need to me to d a confirmation ultrasound and a pre-op appointment so next Thursday at 1:30 I will be doing both of those.  I'm hoping the days go by quickly so I can get this over with.  As always, the outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming and we certainly are so lucky to have such an awesome group of people who continue to cheer us on from the side-lines as we go through all of these things, both the good and the bad. 


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Baby Ridley Number 2 Coming June 2019


Well, it's official!  My beta at 11dpt was 909!!  This was almost as high as my 1st beta with Georgia at 11dpt which was 967.  As some of you may know, I never POAS because for me I'd rather just enjoy being pregnant as long as possible.  I think I'm one of the only ones in our vast community that does not test early.  For most people the wait just kills them & they need to know as soon as possible, but for me it's better for me to wait until beta.

My first test was scheduled for Monday the 15th.  I always go really early to the lab at our local hospital right before work so I can make sure I get my results same day.  I emailed my clinic and told my IVF coordinator that I had gone for bloodwork.  A few hours later she responded saying she'd be on the lookout for them.  My clinic is an hour ahead of us here in Illinois and their office closes for lunch around 11am our time.  The last several betas I had done I was getting back right around 11 so I was highly anticipating to get them at the same time.  I heard nothing so I tried to relax a little bit because I knew their office was closing for an entire hour and I wouldn't be hearing back any time soon.  12:30pm our time rolled around & still nothing so I emailed her again, no response.  My donor had texted asking for an update & she suggested calling the lab to see if they had even processed the labs yet.  I called & they said the HCG had been completed, however the progesterone & estrogen had to be sent out to another lab which is fine because those aren't as important as that BETA!  I emailed my nurse again around 2:30pm, still NOTHING.  I was sooo anxious and nervous and stressed out. 

I got off work at 3:30 and still hadn't heard from them so I headed to Target where I needed diapers and bought a HPT to take right there in the Target bathroom.  There was no way I could wait til I got home because I still had to pick up Georgia from my parents & then drive home, I needed to know NOW.  I went in the bathroom with a practically empty bladder and got probably less than the required 5 second stream needed onto the test.  It was a 1 minute result test.  I cleaned up the packaging that I had literally thrown on the floor and looked up at the test and saw that my test line was 10x darker than the control line!  It looked JUST like the first test I had taken with Georgia.  I knew instantly that my beta was going to be high.  2 of my close friends just happened to be shopping at Target & I ran into them as I was running through Target to grab tests.  They saw me before the test & I told them I had to leave.  Once I got my result I messaged them and told them to come to the bathroom ASAP.  I also sent out a few text messages to Joe, my family members, & our donor who were anxiously awaiting our first results.  I decided right away that I didn't want to share our test dates with more than our close family because of how our tests went last time.  It was confusing, stressful, and frustrating to tell people that I was pregnant just to have to turn around a week later and tell them it was a loss.  


The next morning I figured I would have an email bright & early from my clinic but I didn't so I started blowing up their phones in both Augusta and in Atlanta.  Neither clinic answered and I left a message, gave them about an hour, then called back.  The receptionist told me that the lab hadn't sent the results, but I'm not sure if that actually happened or not.  She put me through to the nurses line right away where the nurse delivered the news!  I also had her change me from the awful vaginal progesterone Endometrin to an oral version since I have to take it for about 8 more weeks.  I also continue with PIO til 12 weeks and baby aspirin until 18 weeks.

My clinic actually requires 3 beta's total if you're getting positives so I went back Wednesday at 13dpt and my beta came back more than double at 2044.  They wanted me to have one more but they wanted me to wait an entire WEEK so I knew my beta needed to be roughly over 10,000.  I went in again early Wednesday morning & by lunch time I had received my email.  Our 3rd beta came back at 32,103!  I seriously couldn't believe how close these numbers were to Georgia's betas, she was 3215 at 13dpt and 40,344 at 21dpt.  It was so amazing and relieving to hear how good my rises were.  I was able to schedule an ultrasound for Monday 11/5, I will be 7w2d so we should definitely be able to see everything we need to and also hear a heartbeat.

We are so very excited that we have made such amazing progress so far.  The next big step will be our scan.  As always, we appreciate everyone's love, support, prayers, and good vibes that were sent our way as we continue to journey down this path of growing our family.  
 
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