Monday, January 16, 2012

So it goes.

Well, I think most of you guys know what happened next, but I'll want to look back and remember this in ten years, so here it is. On Thursday 1/5 I went in for an ultrasound with the ultrasound tech. The monitor for the patient to watch is broken, so I waited until the tech had talked to my doctor before I knew anything. My doctor finally came in, said I had an ectopic pregnancy on the left side, and that I was going to have surgery right then. She then asked if I had a cell phone to call my husband, and left so she could call the hospital. She eventually came back and talked to me a little more, but basically I had an ectopic pregnancy that had been missed in the last two ultrasounds, and a bunch of internal bleeding caused by it, and needed surgery immediately. So Scott called my sister-in-law, who came over to watch the kids, and I headed over to the hospital next door. Unfortunately, Scott got there just a few minutes before I had to go into surgery.

Now, I had an inguinal hernia repair when I was 4, and it was the most scary, painful thing, and the memories of it have overshadowed most of my early childhood. And so I am scared to death of surgery, and it was just awful. The anesthesiologist was really nice though, so that was good. When I woke up I was just so full of sadness. I had lost two babies, my doctor told me I had a huge cyst on my right ovary, and now I had lost my left fallopian tube, so I was worried that now I'd never be able to get pregnant again. And it hurt. Eventually Scott came in, and I was able to go home a few hours later. I pretty much only stayed in bed for the next two days, and everything just hurt. i felt bad for my poor kids, especially Max, because I couldn't hold them or anything, and it seemed like every time Max was near me he kicked me in the belly.

The really amazing thing was all of the love and help from friends and family. It just blew me away. We had tons of people bring us dinners, and my friend Rachel brought us groceries twice, and someone brought me really pretty flowers, and everyone offered to help. We're so grateful for all the great friends we have, and how immediately they were willing to give and serve.

I've been doing pretty well emotionally, for the most part. It did all crash down on me pretty terribly on Saturday, because I couldn't remember how big twin size quilts are, so I searched for "twin quilt" on Flickr, and saw page after page full of pictures of twins of all ages with their adorable quilts that their mommies and grandmas had made them, and I lost it a little.

Now I am doing pretty well. They did laprascopic surgery, so I have a big incision in my belly button (weird!) and three others on my lower abdomen. They still hurt a little, and inside my belly still hurts a little, but all in all I'm pretty much recovered. I can pick up Max, and today I went to Target and vacuumed, so things are pretty good. I had a follow-up exam with my doctor today, and she said everything looked fine. She told me that when she did the surgery I had about 350mls of old blood in my abdomen, so she almost did a blood transfusion, but decided not to, which is good. She said that it looked like the ectopic pregnancy had been leaking blood for a while, but hadn't exploded yet, so that was why I could still function. She was really amazed that I was functioning as well as I was. She also told me (after I asked) that the pathology from the lab showed that the pregnancy was mostly placental tissue, and there was a "fetal pole" but no heartbeat, no organs, no form--it was basically a mass of tissue. I can't tell you how relieved this made me feel. I was picturing a normal 9-week-old baby that got cut out of my tube and then left in some surgery tray to die, and I was so happy to find out that that wasn't the case with me. My doctor said she saw two cases while she was a resident 20 years ago that were perfectly developed 12-week babies, and that it was "absolutely heartbreaking" to do surgery on them, because they were alive and perfect, and there was no way to save them or move them to the uterus or anything. I have to admit, her language made me feel much better. As cool as Star Wars is, no one wants an emotionless robot caring for them, especially in something like this.

Surprisingly, I think this last week or so has been one of the happiest times for our family. Maybe not happiest, but most content. I have been able to appreciate Scott a LOT, since he had to completely take care of me, and all the kids, and the house, for pretty much an entire week, and he was amazing. I am so lucky to have married someone so good. And I think he saw how much work it is, and was able to appreciate me more too. And even though we're sad, we have a very strong knowledge that our family is loved, both by our friends and family, and by our Heavenly Father, and that even though we really do not understand why all this happened, we know that it will be OK. And because we were sealed in the Temple, we know that we'll get to meet those two babies some day.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And it continues

So. Here's our basic timeline:

12/11: bleeding, positive pregnancy test
12/14: Doctor visit, antibiotics, hCG 1427
12/16: hCG 1303.2
12/22: Ultrasound, no heartbeat, CRL ~5wks, LMP ~7wks
12/25: miscarriage
12/26: hCG 2900 something
12/29: another super quick ultrasound, still "lots of stuff in there"
1/2:     hCG 5345; and all that "stuff"
1/5: full ultrasound with tech, found left ectopic pregnancy & abdominal bleeding, immediate surgery to remove left Fallopian tube

When I went in for my "follow up" ultrasound on the 29th my doctor just did it herself, and literally only looked around for about 15 seconds. She said my fallopian tubes were clear, and there was still "lots of stuff" in there. Then she told me that my hCG had increased, and that was strange, and wanted to make sure I was still taking prenatal vitamins, "because you never know, there might be...." She wanted me to get another hCG level done, preferably after I had completely stopped bleeding, but Monday at the latest. So thanks to the Interweb, I found out that sometimes people are pregnant with twins, and miscarry one, and the other is OK. And sometimes it's hard to find both twins early in pregnancy. And I really couldn't figure out what my doctor was trying to tell me. But if she thought there was a twin, why didn't she look around for it? Anyway, I really tried not to get my hopes up, but of course I did anyway.

On Sunday night I was feeling really yucky, but couldn't tell what it was. I was getting worried though. So Scott went to work on Monday, and I called and made an appointment at the vet to put Tasha down. She has needed help getting up for weeks, and she finally got to the point where she could only walk about 3 steps without falling down. It was terrible to watch her struggle. So I called Scott, and he planned on coming home early so we could go get blood drawn and take Tasha in. Then about 15 minutes later I was in enormous pain, and fevery and pale and felt terrible, so I had to call Scott & make him come home. I stayed in bed until we had to go to the lab. The whole time I was on the pain meds, and still really painful. We left to go to the lab, and we brought Tasha with us in the car. I forgot to bring the pain meds, which was no good. Everything took forever--all the labs were closed for the holiday, so I had to go to the actual hospital lab, and all the registration and paperwork took a super long time. Another reason I miss Kaiser!

We finally got out of there, and headed to the vet. I took Tasha in and Scott stayed in the car with the kids. It took a really long time to get everything ready, and get her IV catheter in, and pay, and everything. They were really nice though, and gave her some See's candies. She had a severe food allergy her whole life, and hasn't had a treat in 11 years, so at first she didn't know what to do with them, but once she figured it out she loved them! She was the best dog, and so great with the kids, and so smart and fun and I had her before Scott & I started dating, and before I had kids, and before I joined the church, and she was just my oldest friend. My poor sweet old dog.

By the time I got back into the car I was in a ton of pain again, and feeling sick & weak, and it was like 7:30 at night, so we went to a drive-through. I ate half of my dinner in the car, and as soon as we got home I climbed in bed, took pain meds, and tried to lay still. After a couple hours I decided I needed some iron and my prenatal vitamins, and eventually took another dose of pain meds and 800mgs of ibuprofen, because I told Scott I wanted the absolute maximum amount of medication I could take without dying. I'm honestly not sure if I miscarried another baby or just the "stuff" that was left in my uterus. It was mostly fluid, so I'm not sure. Tuesday I stayed in bed all day, except when Scott went to pick up our friends from the airport which took a few hours. I threw up a couple times, and was weak, and my chest and belly were very painful. Max was pretty sad all day because I couldn't hold or play with him. I tried calling my doctor (she was supposed to call me with blood results), but the office closed a few minutes before I called.

I'm a little better today, although still sore. I took the kids to Park Day and just sat the whole time, but there were lots of other kids there to play with and I think it was good for them. As much as it was terrible having this happen on Christmas, it was actually pretty good timing. Scott is out of school and has lots of vacation days, so he's been able to be home a lot. Will just went back to school yesterday, so I haven't had to worry about getting him there or picking him up. And I have many amazing friends who have been so helpful and kind. I'm honestly kind of at a point of giving up though. I just want to curl up in a ball and cry until this is all over. One of the worst parts is that I'm so sick that I can't eat hardly anything, so I can't even self-medicate with ice cream or anything. So I'm taking everyone up on their offers to help, even though it's really hard for me, I'm not going to even try to clean or do anything at all, and I'm not going to feel bad about it. Hopefully my doctor will call me at some point today--her assistant called and couldn't find my bloodwork, so she was going to try to contact the hospital and have my doctor call back when she found them. So that's where we are. I just want it to be over.

Thanks again for your prayers and thoughts and help. I really am grateful for all the little things that are making this slightly easier.

2:45pm ETA: My doctor was out of the office today, but one of the other doctors from the practice just called me. My hCG from Monday was 5345--so it has gone up a LOT again in a week. So I have an appointment with my doctor for 3:30 tomorrow, and they are going to try to see if they can get one of the ultrasound techs to stay late so that they can do the ultrasound, so we can see what the heck is going on. She said if there is miraculously a viable pregnancy still, with my hCG that high it should definitely be visible. So, here we go, let's start hoping again!