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Our third loss - ??

December 1st, 2016 we were finally cleared to stop “avoiding conception”. So here we go again. I have now realized that I have absolutely no control over this process, and that I can’t revolve my life around trying to get pregnant. That sounds like a no-brainer, but I had a really hard time getting to that place, as shown in my last several posts. I had to come to that realization on my own, not from other people trying to convince me of it. So we determined we weren’t going to “try”, but we also weren’t going to “not try.” Meaning, I’m done with ovulation tests and thermometers. We’re just going to enjoy our lives and hope things work out how they should. I had spent that last 2 ½ years planning my life around hoping to become pregnant, or being pregnant. Not gonna do it anymore.

One thing that I did do that helped me feel like I was doing something to “help” the process and my stress-level was see an acupuncturist. Before we were supposed to start IVF, the fertility doctor recommended I do acupuncture to increase my chances. I started going to Axelrad Clinic, an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility, a couple days before we got our second positive test. And have continued, as I’ve seen the difference in my overall physical and emotional well-being. They work with me to manage my stress levels, focus on egg quality, and improve my overall health and fertility. And I could feel the difference. After we were cleared to start trying again after the second loss, I went in to see Chris, my acupuncturist, and he recommended I go on a low-carb diet. He has done studies that showed a correlation between low AMH levels (which is my issue) and inflammation in the gut. So I vowed to give it a try.

Over the Christmas holiday, I had all sorts of pregnancy symptoms. But I assumed they were in my head, as usual. As you may remember, December 25th was our first due date, so I kept thinking that part of it was just wishful thinking in order to help me get through a difficult time. No way would we be one of those couples who gets pregnant the first month. On December 31st, I thought I was supposed to get my period. But since the last loss, my cycle hadn’t really been “normal” (sorry, but if I’m really going to share the details, this is an important part of it.) I spotted that day, and then it stopped. So I took a test. Negative. Next day was New Year’s Day… I woke up and took another test. Negative. Okay, so my period is just off. Not surprising. On Monday the 2nd, I woke up and took another test. Reid went into the bathroom a little while later and said “your test is negative again” That’s okay, I figured as much. I went in to the bathroom a little later, looked at the test and there it was. A very faint line. I walked out and said “this isn’t negative.” We both looked at each other like “what do we do now?” We didn’t do a happy dance, I don’t even think either of us smiled, because we knew the timing was a little off and the line was very faint. Which meant my HCG was low. And at this point, we know way too much about this stuff to celebrate. I called the doctor’s office to go in for a test.

I became super anxious. I called my mom on the way to the doctor and said “I’m pregnant, BUT I don’t know anything yet. The line is faint, so my numbers are low, and we’re not celebrating yet.” I went in for the blood test and then we tried to stay busy that afternoon while we waited for the results. We weren’t expecting good news. Of course we hoped for it, but we didn’t expect it. The nurse finally called me that afternoon, asked me the date of my last period, and shared that my HCG was at 26. In order to confirm a pregnancy, they typically want to see it over 25. So we were just barely there. She asked if I still had progesterone suppositories and estrogen pills from the last pregnancy, which I did, and she directed me to start taking them. She asked me to come in for another blood test the next day, and mentions that we need to see the numbers increasing, and then we’ll know more. So still no celebrating.

For the next couple of weeks, we had blood tests which showed my numbers increasing, just not at a normal rate. But we remained cautiously optimistic. And by that I mean we mostly avoided even talking about the pregnancy. Here’s the thing about being pregnant after multiple losses: You never really relax. When you’ve had the kind of “luck” that we have in this area, you almost learn to expect the worst. So we worried. I didn’t do anything the same as last time. I didn’t download the apps that told me what developments the baby had each day, I didn’t write in a pregnancy journal, I didn’t text my closest family and friends each time I got the results of my blood test. The few that did know I asked not to ask questions, or check on me. I told them “no news is good news,” as I didn’t want to feel their stress on top of mine. It was almost as if I wanted to pretend I wasn’t pregnant, so I didn’t think about it all the time. And I did a pretty good job of doing just that (of course I still ate healthy, drank lots of water, and avoided alcohol).

On January 17th of this year, we went in for an ultrasound and confirmed that the baby was in the uterus, so we dodged another ectopic. At that point the doctor thought everything looked great. Until we got the blood work back later that day. All of my numbers were low, and we started to really worry. But he didn’t want to “call it quits” on the baby just yet. So we upped the hormones, and went in for more testing two days later. Things didn’t change much. The following Tuesday, we went in for another ultrasound and blood work. The baby hadn’t grown much since the week prior, so we were pretty sure we knew this wasn’t going to work out how we hoped. Later that afternoon, we got a call from the doctor. He said the baby was no longer viable, and he was sorry that he was having to give me this kind of news again. I understood that this would probably be the case, and had prepared myself for it for a couple of weeks now. I asked what the next steps were. He gave me the option to come off of the hormones and let my body miscarry naturally (which could take days or weeks), or I could go in for another D&C. I chose the latter. I knew the process of a D&C, and knew we could also find out what happened that way. I knew that as a fertility doctor, he doesn’t completely scrape the inside of my uterus (which is what most people worry about with a D&C.) And I felt that waiting for my body to naturally miscarry sounded like an agonizing process. Each day I would be wondering if that was the day that my body would expel the baby. So we scheduled another D&C for two days later.

A couple of years ago, I worked with someone who had 3 miscarriages. I remember talking to her about helping with a project, and she shared that she was having another D&C, but could be there the day after. I told her I thought that wasn’t a good idea, as she needed time to heal and process and her response was “I feel kinda numb at this point. We’ve been through this a couple times now.” I totally understood that feeling now. Yes, I was sad. But we’d been through this. I knew what to expect, I knew what I’d need, and I knew how I’d feel. Somehow it just gets easier.  


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