Wednesday, April 15, 2015

plodding along.

I should have written this update Monday, after I got back from seeing Smiles. I know there are a few lovely people who've been following my story and I honestly didn't mean to worry anyone by not reporting back. I am very sorry. 

Here's what's been going on:

Went back to Posh Clinic on Monday. They took me back for blood work while Mr. Hope was still parking the car. I see a piece of paper on the top of my file with an hCG number. It was in the 67k range. I don't  know if this was from Wednesday or Friday, as I had blood draws at the satellite clinic both days. But I do know the number is low, especially since the previous Monday it had been in the 56k range. Immediately feel sick to my stomach.

In the waiting room, start running numbers through a doubling calculator on my phone. I know at this stage that it's normal for it to take up to three and a half days to double. If the 67k draw was on Wednesday, it had a doubling time of seven and a half days. If on Friday, fifteen days. Neither one looks good.

I look at hCG ranges by week. I'm still in a great range, number-wise. Even my chart had a "HIGH" flag on it. But I'm less concerned with the overall number than I am doubling time. I know this is because my numbers never doubled properly with the last pregnancy - that it's now an anxiety trigger for me. I figure I will ask Smiles about it when I see him.

We go back for the u/s. As I'm pulling down my pants I tell Mr. Hope that I have a bad feeling. He asks me why. I tell him I don't know; I just do. He gives me sad face. My heart is racing. I'm sure it's over. I am "sure" it's over before every u/s, but this time I'm really sure.

K, our favorite u/s tech, gets right down to it. Within seconds, we see Jellybean's heartbeat. I blurt out, "OH THANK GOD," and Mr. Hope squeezes my hand. I start asking questions. "Give me a minute," she says, not unkindly. 

Heart rate is 137. I panic for a second before she assures me this is a great number for where we're at. The crown-rump length is 10 mm, only one off from where they'd predicted last Monday. These are all good things.

The bleed has gotten slightly bigger and changed shape. It's no longer a pencil eraser but a long, skinny banana. Like a crescent, or the back end of parentheses. K tells us that it's in a good place for a bleed, behind the baby and not on top of it. This is reassuring.

We don't wait long to see Dr. Smiles. I am still a ball of nerves. When I walk into his office I say, "You know I'm about to lose my shit, right? You know this is happening." (Have I mentioned how much I love my doctor?)

He goes over my meds with me and decides to discontinue the lovenox (blood thinner) to see if it will help. Then he tells me that I'm still on bed rest.

I say, "Can we talk about this for a second? What are the advantages of full bed rest over modified?"

"None," he says. 

Um, okay.

He tells me that he's sure I've Googled enough to know that bed rest can't prevent a miscarriage, but to him, resting when there's a bleed seems intuitive. I ask about sitting with my feet up so I can work. He didn't realize that I can work from home, and when he does, he says, "If you're telling me all you're doing is moving from the couch to a chair with bathroom breaks, I'm fine with that." No standing too long, no cooking, no lifting, no walking the dog, no anything other than laying on the couch or sitting in a chair or using the potty.

This is an enormous relief to me, because the stress of not being able to work wasn't doing me a damned bit of good.

I ask about the hCGs and how they're not doubling any more. He tells me he doesn't care about that, because they plateau at a certain point anyway. But he didn't care about my ridiculously low hCG last time around, and we all know how that ended.

So then I say, "Be straight with me. What are the chances that this baby is going to make it?"

He chews this over for a second, then says, "Ninety-eight percent." 

"Really?" I say. "You're that confident?"

"Yes," he says. "I am."

As we leave the clinic, Mr. Hope says, "Those are really good odds." And he's right; they are. If someone told me I had a 98% chance of winning the lottery, I'd buy a ticket, no questions asked.

And yet the broken part of my brain thinks, "How can he be so sure?" and "What if I'm in the other 2%?" and "Why am I still terrified I'm going to lose this kid?"

At home I log onto my work laptop and see that I have 550+ emails backed up. This is with me checking sporadically on bed rest. We have a big event scheduled for the next day and I dive right in. Initially I think I'll work for two hours and then rest, but I don't. I work for five hours straight before feeling so exhausted that I have to lay down on the couch. 

I figure I'll update my blog in the morning. But when I wake up, the day of the event, I log on early and just never get off. I work steadily, with only a short break for a therapy appointment with Quirky and another to talk to Mr. Hope when he gets home for work, until eight o'clock. Seriously, it was 8 p.m. when I finally logged off. I got on the couch and was passing out within a couple of hours. 

So that brings us to today. Tomorrow morning, it's back to the clinic for another scan. I will say that I've had less discharge the past two days on modified bed rest than I did on the four and a half days of full bed rest. I hope this means the blood is reabsorbing or working its way out. I can handle modified bed rest, but during my session with Quirky I apparently talked without breathing for 20 minutes (I know she was thinking MANIC). I think this is because I went from working in an office where I'm in meetings with different people all day to being at home all by myself for most of the time. I think I miss interaction.

I'm starting to catch up on day job but am still behind on the freelance project. The project manager is getting antsy. She knows my history and I told her about being on bed rest but now being on modified. Her response was "Great! How far have you gotten?" Since I lost almost a full week, and went on bed rest literally the day after she asked for the last status update, the answer is NOT BLOODY FAR. But I didn't really say this. I just told her I was plodding along.

This is kind of how I feel about my life right now. I am plodding along. I get up, I do some stuff, I go to bed. Waiting for something to happen, or to not happen. Time moves slowly and quickly all at the same time.

I don't know what it will take for me to feel comfortable with this pregnancy. I felt good for two days after we saw the heartbeat and then I gushed red. So now I feel like nothing is guaranteed, it could end any second, and feeling comfortable just means setting yourself up for disappointment. It's not healthy, but it's where I am.

Tomorrow I will be eight weeks. We lost Nugget between weeks 8 and 9, but the weight week ultrasound already showed a slower heartbeat and signs of lagging growth. The gestational sac was too small, the yolk sac too big. All of my sacs are appropriately sized right now. So, maybe tomorrow. Maybe if the growth is appropriate and the heart is beating strong and there's no sign that Jellybean is going the way of the Nugget, maybe then I'll feel better?



  1. I'm glad the U/S was good!! Keep plodding along, and keep that 98% in your head!!!

    1. I'm feeling SO much better today, now that the bleed has shrunk!

  2. Honestly, you won't feel better until you hold that baby in your arms. It's the nature of the IF/Loss Beast. I'm glad Jellybean is doing great in there. Hoping the lack of Lovenox will ease the bleed. Those 98% odds are great. Hold onto that. And thank you for updating. I'll try not to be such a worry wart. :-)

    1. I probably won't feel 100% until then, but right now - today - I'm feeling good. I'm feeling light. I'm not feeling like an anxiety-ridden freak. Cutting out the Lovenox really did help! P.S. I appreciate the concern, sincerely. :)

  3. 98%!! That is great! And at least the bleed is not in a bad place. Great news from the ultrasound! I hope the next one gives you great news too!! And modified bed rest! That should make things easier for you! It's always good to keep your mind occupied when you are worried about something- if nothing else it helps pass the time!

    1. Off bed rest! Can return to work on Monday. Still on some restrictions but stopping the Lovenox really helped. Work has kept me SO busy I barely have time to think about baby stuff. So that's been a blessing, too.

  4. I'm not sure even a baby in my arms will make me feel at peace because life is so fragile and there are a million things that can happen after the birth. But I do know for me each milestone has helped give reassurance and help me be a bit happier all the time. I hope your ultrasound is great and you can have as much peace as possible on the loss anniversary of Nugget.

    1. This is what I'm working with Quirky on. Because now I'm nervous that I'm going to take the anxiety from pregnancy and transfer it to a live kid. What she's focusing on is trying to get me comfortable with discomfort, if that makes sense. It must be working because I've been better the past couple of days than I have been in a long time.

  5. I am way behind in my reading, but I wanted to say...I just had my 10 week on appointment and I was convinced it was over...not for any reason other that I am crazy. But I swear I thought there was either going to be no baby, or no heartbeat. To the point that I am staring at the screen watching this live baby wiggling around and I actually said "is it ok?" Like my brain was computing. I work in Radiology, and wouldn't let anyone scan me at work because I didn't want to hear bad news at work, and that was all I could imagine happening.
    Maybe after yesterday seeing a baby measuring exactly on, and a heart rate of 178, maybe I can relax???
    So, you are not alone AT ALL!! Also, so happy everything is going so well for you and that the bleed is almost gone!!

    1. My brain wasn't computing.***

    2. I'm so glad everything is okay! Will we ever relax? At first I said, "Once I see the heartbeat, I'll be fine." But I've now had 6 fantastic u/s (besides the SCH) and I still get nervous before each one. Loss (and IF in general) can do that to you.

      So happy your little one is looking so good! <3