Monday, June 23, 2014

The "Miscarriage"

Most people know about this, but I want to journalize the experience so here it is:

Ammon and I wanted get pregnant in the Summer of 2013. Unfortunately, the IV antibiotics they gave me during my MRSA hospital stay could do a number on my insides, so they recommended delaying a pregnancy until August.  Well when August came, things weren't exactly 'normal' with me.  I had alternating periods every 6  weeks then 2 weeks, so I visited with my doc.  I had been off birth control since January technically, but my body could take up to a year to regulate the hormones, so she recommended an ultrasound.  I still had a bunch of bills from my hospital stay, so I decided to put off my ultrasound until December 1st, when our insurance and flex spending account would renew.  Well, at the end of October, I had a positive pregnancy test, so Ammon and I were excited that we would be having another baby without much fuss.  However, it felt very different from my other pregnancies.  I couldn't really explain it, but I knew something was weird.  That and the occasional spotting kept me pretty worried, but everybody with whom I discussed it always assured me everything would be fine.

 My OB doesn't like to see pregnancy patients before they are 8 weeks along (since the heartbeat doesn't start beating till around 7), so I scheduled the ultrasound accordingly on November 20ish.  Due to all my weird feelings, I convinced Ammon to take time off work to meet me at the doc's office for the appointment.  He told her how I had crazy paranoia and they had a good laugh until, sure enough, the ultrasound showed that it was nothing but dud:  the technical term is a blighted ovum, but basically I was having a false pregnancy.  It happened to most women at some point in their life, but often they don't even realize it because the body gets rid of it before a test is even taken.  The doc suggested I do a D&C, but because of the financial situation, I couldn't agree to it until December.  In the mean time, I was asked to go in for weekly blood tests and biweekly ultrasounds to ensure that the fetus was in fact not viable and that nothing abnormal was happening.  The doc said that as long as my hormones go down and it didn't get any bigger, we could just allow my body to miscarry the sac the old-fashioned way. 

Of course I believe it was the spirit preparing me for the shock of the situation.  I had a good cry that day, but when I started bleeding the next evening, I felt comforted with the sequence of events.  If I had started bleeding before my appointment, I could have worked myself into a real panic and always questioned if I had done something to hurt a possible baby.  However, since this wasn't ever a baby, and I knew that, the loss was small....

Fast-forward two-weeks later.  My hormones had gone up and in spite of bleeding, the sac was still there.  I was even getting frequently nauseated like a normal pregnancy. The doc was now strongly suggesting a D&C, but I was still nervous and didn't want to go through another surgery.  She said we could wait another two weeks, but with how much my hormones were climbing, she was worried waiting too long might do further harm than good. The Sunday after that appointment, a woman in relief society shared an experience she had the year before involving her two-year old daughter.  Basically, the daughter's skull had been crushed and in spite of otherwise recovering miraculously quick, her skull did not fuse together like it was supposed to.  Months went by with frequent visits to her doctor, but the skull still didn't fuse.  The mom kept putting off the surgery until, at one appointment, the doctor told her they could only wait one more month. Any longer and they would be running the risk of permanent damage to the daughter's brain.  As she struggled through that month, she said she was finally put it in God's hands and agree to the surgery.  At the next doctor's appointment, she told the doctor to move forward with the procedure.  The miracle, of course, was that the skull had finally fused. 

I couldn't help feeling that her story was very much for me.  I just needed to let go and let God, as they say.  My sis-in-law had gone through the D&C procedure a few years ago (with the same doc), so that Sunday evening I went to her house to discuss her experience.  She made me feel confident that I could go through it, so at the next doc's appointment, I asked for them to do the insurance precert and inform me of the price.  The next week, they informed me that it would cost less than $100, so I decided to schedule the procedure.  Unfortunately, with the holidays and the doctor's busy schedule, they couldn't fit me in until the 2nd Tuesday in January.  As Murphy's law would have it, the week before my surgery, the pregnancy hormones began to drop significantly.  This meant that because my body was getting rid of it naturally, it was no longer medically reasonable to perform the surgery. 

So... I kept getting blood tests and ultrasounds.  I received a blessing that told me I should listen to the counsel of the docs, so I decided to stop worrying and do what they said.  On February 11th, I finally started having the miscarriage.  It was a bloody mess of course, but I am so fortunate that it wasn't very painful.  I almost passed out the first morning, but luckily Ammon just happened to have called in sick that day.  Ironically, I was very excited to finally have this problem resolving... After two weeks of alternating normal-flow and chunk-filled-gushing, I figured I was out of the woods... but nope.  I still had that stupid HCG hormone in my body.  At the highest it was in the 6000's and at this point it went from 15 one week to 14 the next week.  My doc once again suggested a D&C since my body was not ridding itself of it fast enough.  Sure enough, in the middle of March I had another week of gushing which finally did the trick.  My hormones finally got below 5, and I was now longer considered pregnant.  When all was said and done, it had been around 22 weeks that I had been running around with useless pregnancy hormones coursing through my veins. 

Of course, Ammon and I are hoping we will be able to get pregnant sooner rather than later, but over the last year, I have been able to accept that everything needs to be in the Lord's timing. 

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