Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fifteen Days

Two weeks ago yesterday was the ultrasound.  That was a bad day, but the days since have been fine.

Like I said in my first post about the miscarriage, the fact that this pregnancy never made an embryo was significant to me, and has really meant that I haven't mourned the loss the way I would have had a proto-person ever developed.  And I certainly don't mean to minimize the grief experienced by other women in the same situation.  I feel pretty strongly that you don't get to choose how you feel about something, and there's a big range of valid reactions to any experience, and it's just the luck of the draw that I don't happen to have been made very sad by this one.

It has been a bit of a roller-coaster, though.  When I still wasn't bleeding after a week, the NP became concerned that my hCG levels weren't dropping the way she'd expect, so I had to go for more bloodwork and schedule another ultrasound.  It was possible that I was still pregnant, but my dates were way off, or I might have had an ectopic pregnancy.  The former possibility seemed so remote to me that I honestly didn't really even consider it.  My cycles have never been irregular.  I tested positive the day before my period was due, and then again about a week later, and the likelihood of two false positives is so close to zero that it might as well be zero.  The latter possibility, though, was pretty terrifying.  I drew some comfort from the fact that it seemed implausible that I'd have gotten to nine weeks with an ectopic pregnancy without feeling any pain.  In any case, when the results of the second blood draw showed that my hormone levels had dropped significantly, I was relieved -- way, way, way more relieved than disappointed.  I canceled the ultrasound and turned down another shot at a D&C.

Another week passed, still no bleeding.  I had the next weekly blood draw yesterday morning and checked in with the NP in the afternoon.  My hCG levels are now below half of what they were at the first test.  She wasn't concerned yet about the possibility of necrotic tissue causing an infection and was totally on board with my continuing to wait for things to work out on their own.  Which is still and will remain, until it seems like any kind of threat to my health, my preference.

And it kind of blows to be two weeks out and still with no end in sight, unable to move on, wearing pads when I leave the house because who knows when the bleeding will start.

Too graphic, too intimate?  I'm erring on the side of over-sharing because it seems to me that we're all a little too delicate about stuff like this, and the result is that every woman who has a miscarriage has to learn it all herself, rather than benefitting from other people's experiences well before the event.  It's too common an experience to be so shrouded in mystery.

3 comments:

Shopkeeper said...

While talk about miscarriage is not for the dinner-table, it is very wise to air experiences and feelings about it in this amazing new forum. Way back when I had a miscarriage, even my (male) doctor, who was very well qualified and highly regarded, didn't explain any of the specifics with me, which I would have found helpful. So it was a fairly frightening experience, and I just wanted to put it behind me so I could get on with producing a baby. Which I eventually did, I'm so happy to report!

Leah said...

We've talked and you've written in the past about women writers and women protagonists. Perhaps the silence surrounding pregnancy loss is part of the same thing. The amazing part of beginning to talk about miscarriages and other experiences of life surrounding motherhood is that the women around you begin to share their own stories. Soon, you don't feel quite so alone. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, 4 out of 5 women experience baby blues, 1 out of 3 post-partum depression... I hope healing continues. Keep writing. It helps.

msrevolution said...

love the honesty. keep it coming. thanks also for asserting that there are a whole range of feelings that are okay.