miscarriage blog: babyfruit - the miscarriage diaries

miscarriage obsessions, celebrity miscarriage, miscarriage in the news...survival for the miscarrying woman. For complete blog, go to Babyfruit.com


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Days of Fear and Panic

Had a terribly restless sleep last night. Very non-specific uncomfortableness, every position I tossed or turned into seemed...dangerous. I was certain I was killing the embryo somehow by the way my body was twisted.

This morning, I didn't feel pregnant. Maybe I did, but I couldn't coax a sore boob or bit of queasiness out of my body. I was saddened by this, and G. was concerned. But I didn't want to call my RE in a panic because I felt like I was being hysterical.

All day, I haven't felt as pregnant as the day before. My girlfriend who is in the 5th month of a textbook pregnancy said there were days in her first trimester when she thought to herself "Am I really pregnant?" so it must be normal. But for a woman who miscarries, a lack of strong, definitive symptoms is a huge red flag with warning lights.

Still, I hesitated doing anything about it because I do not want to be the girl who cried "Wolf."

Then this afternoon, I layed down for a little nap and dozed deeply. Then my right boob started to feel tender again. Then the left. Then I felt a wave of nausea and did not want to eat for fear it would go away. Then I finally ate because I shouldn't be starving the alien and the nausea subsided.

So now I'm feeling sorta pregnant. Tomorrow I go in for progesterone levels again and another shot. Then Friday will be the 3rd sonogram.

My big fears right now (and tell me if I'm crazy):

1. Lying on my stomach will kill it.

2. Lying on my back will kill it.

3. Lying on my side and then putting one leg over the other so my torso is twisted will kill it.

4. Eating certain kinds of foods will kill it. (Like peas and mushrooms)

5 Forgetting to drink water will kill it. (Because dehydration can cause uterine contractions).

6. Having sex will kill it.

7. Taking a hot shower will kill it.

8. Handling doggie meds (like Phenobarbitol and Prednisone) will kill it.

9. Picking up doggie poop and cleaning up doggie pee will kill it.

10. Smelling or touching household cleaners will kill it.


another week, still pregnant

Well, I still have pregnancy symptoms, so that's a plus. Of course, my boobs were killing me last night each time I got up to pee. And this morning, I felt queasy enough that getting out of bed was not an attractive option. I mentioned it to G. who started kissing my hand and telling me how happy he was that I nauseous, or something to that effect. Gotta love my hubby.

Progesterone today was 23.7 which is not bad but still not high. Had my 2nd shot of progesterone in the other butt cheek/hip region. When my RE jabbed me, I must have made some kind of noise because she laughed "You don't like shots, do you?" Whatever gave her that idea?

She also suggested that G. learn how to inject the progesterone, too. This shot warrants a different technique because it is intramuscular so he would have to "dart" me with a longer needle whereas the Lovenox is subcutaneous so he injects the shorter needle into tummy fat. The other day, I think he was getting experimental, and he darted me with the Lovenox needle. Needless to say, I was none too pleased with his needle happy ways.

I'm also getting very bruised on the right side of my abdomen because for some reason, I panicked about having the Lovenox injected into my left side, so I insisted on him injecting the right side over and over again. The result is a lovely patchwork of bloody dots and greenish purple brusing. So finally I asked my RE if I should be injecting somewhere else, and she said "all over your belly. Don't do it in the same place twice."

Okay, the official word is to stop obsessing over keeping it on the right side. I don't know why I have to wait to hear it from authoritative sources to shake me out of my superstitious behavior. G. probably suggested the same thing but God forbid I listen to my husband. I just don't want to put him in the position of giving me advice and then, if it doesn't work out, blaming him.

I know this doesn't sound logical but it is the same illogic I'm using in choosing not to have him inject me with progesterone right now and getting it done at the RE's office. If I'm having enough of a breakdown having him inject me in my belly, I don't think I need him darting my ass, too. I want him to be my safe haven, my protector, not my Needle Bogeyman.

My world currently revolves around pregnancy (napping, eating, peeing), caring for a sick dog who now pees indescriminantly around the house (anyone have experience with doggie diapers?) and trying to cobble together a totally freelance living.

I am amazed to be saying in this blog that I'm still pregnant. I have no illusions that I'm in the clear yet, but I'm definitely in a new headspace. I feel like I'm trying on a new outfit and wish I had a personal tailor who could make it fit just right. At the moment, it is too big in some places, too tight in others. And do I look fat in this outfit?


so here's where we are at

Okay, Chewie is resting comfortably, and I'm ready to lay down for a while. I decided to make Shepherd's Pie for dinner with homemade mashed potatoes, and it is ready to be popped into the oven. And I vaccuumed. I'm a Domestic Goddess.

And, I'm pregnant. Yes, I'm saying it now. I am pregnant. I am pregnant, hear me roar.

I know that we are still not out of the Pregnancy Twilight Zone but my hCG is over 15,000 and my progesterone is 21.8 - dropped again so I got my first progesterone injection. Will get them Monday, Wednesday and Friday as long as progesterone remains over 20.

And we heard the heartbeat - 123 beats per minute. We actually heard it.

So we are now talking about the fact that I'm pregnant instead of hovering in this nebulous limbo land. I'm being realistic and know that so many things could happen, good and bad, but I'm now in a new place, a new head space.

This place feels so strange, so foreign. But not too unpleasant.

I'm just going to get into the recliner in the living room, read a magazine, relax. Because I'm pregnant, dammit, and I deserve it.

And now for those blurry, amoeba-like images for your viewing pleasure. Take care, Babyfruit Posse, take good care, and thank you for your support. Will be back in a day or two.


la la la la Update la la la la

1. Today's Levels:

hcG 11583
no longer a problem that they are not doubling - they are rising so that is good

Progesterone - 25.7
back up from 21.1 now that I'm doing suppositories 3x a day. Good sign.

2. Will do levels again Friday. If progesterone looks sketchy - or if I get nervous - we can start progesterone shots DAILY in the BUTT for 4 WEEKS. Once Week 10 rolls around, if things still look viable, shots will stop and if progesterone is low, suppository supplements will be given again.

I called my RE and asked "Am I crazy if I want a sonogram on Friday instead of having to wait until Monday?" and she said "Call them and tell them I said to change the date."

Simple as that. No doubting. No condescending remark. She is my favorite medical practitioner EVER.

G. and I just want to HEAR the heartbeat. Seeing a little flickering speck is one thing. Hearing it may put our minds at ease - at least a little more.

I just want to get to the place where I can be HAPPY. Right now, I'm hovering in UNDECIDED.

RE also says if boobs stop hurting, call immediately and get levels checked. She is not taking any chances. Such a relief.

To read the entire blog uninterrupted and uncensored, go to Babyfruit at http://babyfruit.typepad.com/baby/


Well, Hit Me Over the Head with a 2 by 4

Okay, don't know what to think or feel but here it is.

hCG levels - 9176
prog 21.1

Found this out around 11:30am and thought "what the fuck?" My levels have never been this high and even though technically they did not double in 72 hours, they were only a mere 300 under doubling. What the hell is going on?

Got the Sonogram at 1pm and...

We saw the heartbeat flicker.

We couldn't hear it but the technician said that it would probably be audible as early as tomorrow. I'm about 6 weeks 3 or 4 days give or take.

This is so much more than we've had before. Before it was a gestational sac and yolk sac but also a big black void and much too small for the stage I was in. This time, it measured about 6 weeks. And we've never had a heartbeat flicker before. Sure, we've had a loud, gaping silence and solemn technicians who didn't want to tell me too much because they weren't doctors. Never a technician saying "With all the years experience I've had doing this, I know a fetal heartbeat when I see one."

All of this stuff is so imprecise - how is a sane, intelligent woman supposed to make heads or tails of any of it?

I do recall one doctor saying that once you hear a heartbeat, the chance of miscarriage drops significantly. Can't rule it out, but certainly the odds are much better for carrying to term when a heartbeat is detected.

So anyone want off of my reproductive rollercoaster ride yet? I'll slow it down this week in case any of you are needing a break from this madness called "Babymaking After 4 Miscarriages..."

Next steps:

1. Up progesterone supplement to 3x a day because of the drop.

2. Check progesterone again Wednesday. If below 20, she'll start injecting me with progesterone.

3. Sonogram #2 on next Monday - Halloween.


Friday night, after the levels went from 3491 to 4733 and I was certain that it was the beginning of the end, my doctor told me to continue everything as usual and not to give up, but frankly, I gave up. I told G. that I didn't want any more shots, that I didn't feel like taking anything. He didn't agree but wanted to be supportive of my choice.

So Friday night, we shared two beers and I didn't even take my vitamins. I hate to admit it but I felt so incredibly relieved not to have to have the shot and thought I was doing the right thing.

Saturday morning, I woke up and immediately said to G. - "I think we better resume the shots tonight."

I don't know why. I can't say I "had a feeling" that the pregnancy was okay. I just thought I should do it. So I took baby aspirin that morning and did the whole routine (Lovenox injections, Omega 3, Prenatal vitamin, extra Folic, baby aspirin, 2 doses progesterone) Saturday and Sunday, too.

I think it was the beer. If we have this baby, maybe we should name it "Corona."


This Is It - Levels #6

Well, this is probably one of the last entries under the category Pregnancy #5. Stay tuned for Miscarriage #5.

Levels were 4733.
2 days ago they were 3491.

Okay, that is that. Sorry to bring everyone on yet another rollercoaster ride but there it is.

Silver lining? Okay, let's spin this:

1. My elevated FSH levels mean it will be harder for me to get pregnant. Then again, I got pregnant first try without even trying so that isn't yet an issue. Being able to get pregnant is a GOOD THING.

2. Once I do get pregnant despite high FSH, I then have the same chance as any other 40 year old woman in terms of carrying a pregnancy to term - 20%. Well, at least that isn't 10% or 5% so 20% is a GOOD THING.

Somewhere in those crotchety eggs of mine are a few good ones.

Per my doctor, I am to continue what I'm doing tonight through Sunday night then get levels Monday morning and the Sonogram to make sure what we suspect (HELLO! What we KNOW!) is actually happening then she will let me deal with it by natural means.

She'll also still test me for NK Cells, etc. and the cost of that lab is only $85 US so not a big deal.

Then I have to prep myself for miscarrying again. Damn, I've gotten way too good at it.

I'm feeling drained and crampy. I wish I could just pull a plug and things would come out quickly and painlessly. Like pulling the stopper on a drain.


Bullshit Positive Crap - Levels #5

Okay, first I have to say thank you to everyone for your amazing on-Babyfruit and off-blog support - I can't tell you how much it means to me to hear everyone's perspectives so I'm not trapped in the vortex of my own incessant brain babble.

Now, I must warn you that any positive things you may say at this time will fill me with absolute rage, but go ahead, do whatever you want. This is a free country.

I was going to blog earlier this morning to say I think something was not going right but decided to take the positive road less travelled rather than revert to pessimistic yet humorous snarkiness.

Today's levels are 3491. Monday's were 1901.
Progesterone was fine at 30.1 so guess that isn't the problem.

Now before you go on about "well, the hCG almost doubled" or "that sure is close to doubling," read my #5 hCG post from my previous pregnancy that took place three weeks before I miscarriaged for the fourth time.

Almost doubling is not good enough. My new doctor says that just because it doesn't double once isn't cause for alarm - to hang in there and not write things off, just wait until the next levels. Of course, last pregnancy (and the one before and the one before that) showed the same wimpy non-doubling levels around this same time - see #6 hCG post from April 2005. Been there, done that.

In fact, let's together re-live the less-than-doubling world of my hCG from last time:

New Rules of hCG - Remember the ludicrous new rule I was told that the levels don't have to double but only be at least 90% of doubling? They pulled that one out of their ass as my levels ebbed.

Mental Breakdown at the ER - The lovely experience once I knew my levels SUCKED but the damn hospital that was supposed to give me a sonogram to confirm non-viability did not believe me.

Limbo Land for Miscarrying Women - And let's not forget the runaround I kept getting with sonogram after sonogram trying to determine what I already knew. I was miscarrying, dammit.

How can this time be different? How can anyone tell me things will be okay? How can I have faith or even a smattering of false hope?

Wouldn't it be so excellent and freaky and insane if by next week, I'm actually still pregnant and everything starts looking really positive with powerhouse hCG numbers coming out of the woodwork and something in the sonogram that truly resembles the appropriate development for the stage I'm supposedly at, and we can all look at this post and throw our heads back, laughing heartily, me farting accidentally, and I'd say "Gosh, I sure was a hysterical wreck last week, wasn't I?"

Why can't I buy into that fantasy?


4th Levels and Cravings

hCG - 1901 (up from 509 on Friday so more than tripled)
prog - 29.6 (down from 39.2 Friday - still okay in their book)

Well, cannot say that I'm hopeful exactly but I did call to schedule my Oct 24 sonogram - the 6 weeks check for viability. That sure will piss me off if the levels look good this week but the sonogram sucks.

On to cravings...

Okay, is it a craving when you want hard pretzels and honey mustard to dip them in all of a sudden while grocery shopping and cannot resist? I haven't had those for years, but it popped into my head, and I had to have them. Then I begged G. to buy me a can of Ovaltine, malt flavor, for my organic milk. Haven't had that in eons.

I don't know what pretzels, honey mustard and Ovaltine mean...that is, I thought cravings were a way to get a missing nutrient, mineral, vitamin, something - but they don't seem healthy or supplying much of anything nutritious. Maybe I'm just craving junk because I've been too careful in the past with my diet so my body wants me to mix it up a little, get a little wild with the food intake.

I have no clue.


hibernation / laziness

I've spent most of the day in a reclining position, finishing reading my first chick lit book ever - "Good Grief" by Lolly Winston. Have another to read next - "Good in Bed" by Jennifer Weiner.

I've been feeling very crampy and thought I was staining a little after a long walk with G. last night. It was much more of a vigorous walk than I had wanted or intended and have felt tired ever since.

So today was "pamper thyself" day or really "crawl under the feather comforter with a book and food and hibernate." And yes, a part of me - that Overachiever Won't Shut Up part - is feeling like I'm a lazy ass who should get up out of bed and organize the home office, do the laundry, work on some writing assignments, blah blah blah.

Since I'm at the computer but about to log off, I thought I'd blog a moment. Then back to the reclining position. Why do I feel so guilty just laying around doing nothing? Even when I know it is probably a wise thing to do, I am overwhelmed with guilt and feelings of utter uselessness.

I keep asking G. when he is going to trade me in for a less defective model. He keeps assuring me in his incredibly warm, sincere way that I'm the best out there and he'll never trade me in.

Note to Self: Remember to be sweet and loving to your husband.

Note to Self: Get the hell off the computer and back to lounging.


Channeling Happy Pregnancy Vibes

Early this morning, after G. got up to shower, I tried to assess if I felt pregnant yet. I was feeling decidedly not pregnant without sore boobs, no nausea, nothing.

I decided to invite the Positive, Happy, Pregnancy Vibes into my being and basically just thought happy, pregnancy thoughts and happy-to-be-pregnant thoughts. I tried to imagine positive pregnancy energy flowing through me. I sent positive messages to my ovaried, my uterus, to the microscopic alien, saying "Yes, this is good. Yes, I want to be pregnant. Yes, I want to have a baby."

I tried to be happy about being pregnant instead of being neutral. I was worried that my neutral non-emotions might be freezing out the loving, warm, nurturing, mother-energy that this thing needs to grow. I'm so busy trying not to feel anything emotionally so that if my numbers go south, it won't be such a devastating thing, that I may be turning myself into a non-loving space that won't support life.

Okay, so maybe I was still half asleep as I had all of these thoughts because now they sound crazy as hell. But I gave it my best shot - envisioning smiley ovaries and a happy uterus and beaming zygote. We sang, we danced, we laughed, and I embraced them all and said everything would be okay.

Then I realized that my boobs still didn't hurt, there was not an inkling of nausea and other than the fact that I don't have my period, I'm not really having pregnancy symptoms.

Tomorrow I go in for my next levels. Thanks to Agness for the Beta hCG info on her blog. This particular beta base chart shows me that there is no normal range - that these freaking numbers are all over the place - so I cannot base my happiness on numbers. Still, I want to know if they double tomorrow. Call me obsessed.


Things Miscarrying Women Obsess About

Regardless of how many pregnancies and miscarriages, I cannot believe I'm still immediately entering this obsessive zone where every little thing is significant, telling and earth shattering.

1. Boob Check - We constantly lift our shirts, remove our bras, stare into the bathroom mirror and wonder "Are they bigger? Are they getting just a little bit bigger yet? And are the aureoles changing color, size or shape?" The answer is still no.

2. Boob Soreness Testing - We are constantly squeezing our boobs, one in each hand, wondering if they are sore at that moment. Weren't they sore just a few minutes ago? Why aren't they sore now? Am I starting to miscarry?

3. Lukewarm Showers - We keep turning down the hot water in our showers because God Forbid our body temperature goes up too high and this microscopic alien inside of us boils to death.

4. Anti Stomach Suck - We make a conscious effort to undo years of holding in our stomachs for that "Yes, I still have flat abs" look because God Forbid we were to crush anything in our uterus from these constant paranoid abdominal crunches. Relax abs. Make room.

5. Nausea Check - We measure infinitisimal waves of mere queasiness and wonder if it will soon roil into full-on nausea because we've heard that the more nauseaous, the better chance of keeping a pregnancy. We pray for nausea.

6. Caffeine Cold Turkey Process - We barely sip our coffee, worried that we'll somehow damage some hormonal balance or send our microscopic alien into some kind of jitters and it will shake loose and fall out. We lament the fact that we don't have decaf on hand. We get a headache.

7. Food Analysis - We are suddenly keenly aware of the non-organic crap we are putting into our bodies and realize that we're probably chock full of preservatives, steroids, artificial coloring and flavoring and bovine hormones because we were too lax at the grocery store. We are certain that we are a hostile environment for a fetus.

8. The Head to Toe Assessment - We wonder if every tweak, twinge, body sound and function is somehow a sign of being pregnant or being on the verge of miscarrying. No twitch is immune from our scrutiny.

Needles and Suppositories

Thought that post title would be a grabber. Ah, the wonders of needles and suppositories. I know you are all dying to hear the details. And I would never disappoint because my goal is to let you into the glamorous world of multiple miscarriage and wacky freaky things we must do to our bodies and our selves to try to hold on to this microscopic alien inside.

As the time drew near for my first injection of Lovenox (similar to Heparin - a blood thinner), I went into a cozy state of denial. Needle? In me? Nah, couldn't be. I'm the one who threatens to kick the woman who draws my blood and she thinks I'm joking. When I say "Needles are not my favorite things" or "I'm terrified of needles," I'm being dead serious.

So I hand over the pre-dosed sterile needle to my wildlife biologist husband who has assured me that years injecting wild animals with sedation and injecting himself one time in Africa with epinephran when he was having an allergic reaction, makes him perfectly suited to poke his wife with a hypodermic.

I start to panic as we stand in our bathroom, G. with needle in hand like a mad scientist, me pinching an inch on my abdomen, preparing to receive the injection.

"Wait a minute, wait a minute, I have to call my sister," I exclaim, running to get the cellphone and dialing her number. She is going to school in Portland for naturopathic medicine so I'm sure she has studied injections. She Googles "subcutaneous injections" and reads the instructions to us, step by step.

I start wiggling around and dancing, fancy footwork helping me to avoid the needle in G.'s hand.

"Wait a minute, wait a minute, I'm not ready," I say, signs of hyperventilation creeping up.

My sister's voice comes over the cellphone speakerphone.

"Breathe slowly, in through your nose, out through your mouth."

"I'm breathing, I'm breathing," I say and G. approaches me with the needle.

"Wait a minute, wait a minute," I say again and dance away from him, panicked like a caged animal looking for my escape. In my head I'm thinking "I gotta do it. I gotta do it."

"Are you sitting?" my sister asks. "I think it is better if you sit down. Your abdominal muscles relax."

I sit on the toilet. My stomach muscles do relax. I'm still pinching an inch, but this is no Special K commercial. This is proof that I'll never be a needle junkie. Never.

"Ready?" G. asks, poised with this enormous, gigantic needle of doom.

"No. I mean yes. No, no, no, okay do it," I stare at the needle for a moment even though he tells me not to look. It has a teeny tiny drop of liquid at its tip. It is salivating.

I start groaning or squealing or making some sort of animal sound and try, try, try to relax.

"Your going to feel a sting," he says and sure enough, the stinging prick of needle in skin. Fuck. Stop it now. Stop it now.

"Stop stop stop stop!" I chant over and over, with increasing volume and higher and higher pitch.

He is slowly pushing in the plunger. I can feel the fluid crawling under my skin, gurgling like an alien being.

"Faster! Faster!" I order him and a few excruciatingly long moments later, the needle is out.

That wasn't such a big deal.

But you say I need to do this again? And every day for the next 8+ months if I can hold onto this pregnancy?

This is going to be fun.

Oh yeah, the suppository part - progesterone (Prometrium) shoved up my vagina. That's a piece of cake compared to needles. Bring it on!


1st Levels

Back to the old level-checking drawing board. I've been here before. Actually, I've been here 5 times before. Deja vu.

hCG - 51
Prog 21.9

Should be starting Week 5.

pink lines...again

It is offical - or as official as a cheap Home Pregnancy Test will confirm at the moment.

I'm pregnant again.

My period is 4 days late. I did my best not to obsess over dates and did an HPT on what should have been Day 1 of my cycle. It was negative.

So the HPT test taken today was the first positive one because I refrained from taking any more tests for a few days, drank a little wine, acted as if nothing was unusual, actually thinking that not having my period was the end of the end of my fertile reproductive life.

This is Pregnancy #5 or #6, depending on if you count the chemical pregnancy.

Let's face it - after the FSH levels at 22.5 or some such ridiculous number and my own reproductive endocrinologist confessing that she wasn't sure that I should try again, I was of the mind that pregnancy was no longer in the cards for me.

Then again, getting pregnant has simply never been an issue. And, true to form, the first time we try after the Monster Cyst Incidents proves to be successful - at least in the positive HPT department.

I had mixed feelings before about getting pregnant without doing the aggressive 10 Step Plan including the estrogen suppositories and progesterone and Lovenox, so I have been in this frame of mind that "nothing is going to happen" with the occasional "what if something happens I'm a freaking idiot for being so careless" thoughts.

And here I am - with two lines, albeit one faint yet visible to the naked eye and to the pragmatic husband.

"Yes, that is a double line," he announced as I strained and squinted to make the faint line darker so it would seem more definitive, more certain.

Called Dr. J, my ER, who had me come in immediately to take my blood. hCG levels and progesterone levels will be in within a few hours.

Yes, I will be taking Lovenox, starting this evening. Injections every day, possibly for the rest of the pregnancy - that is, if I remain pregnant this FIFTH or SIXTH time.

How do I feel? Exhausted, a little dizzy, and looking at this kernel of emotion that should be excitement and watching it pulsate but refuse to expand. I'm in Happiness Denial.


Symptoms or Insanity?

Well, I have heard from many many sources that you aren't supposed to have pregnancy symptoms until the 6th week. But so far, for every pregnancy, I've had symptoms - intermittently - from implantation on. Then when I have a miscarriage, the symptoms disappearing are the first sign for me that something has gone wrong.

Maybe I'm hypersensitive, maybe I'm totally in tune with my body or maybe I'm a freaking crazy woman. So be it.

Right now, I'm having what I'd like to think are symptoms.

1. Sore breasts - yes folks, they are feeling tender. Not raging like they do when I drink too much caffeine and aggravate the fibrocystic cysts that make up the majority of my breast tissue. But they are tender and feeling - what is the word I'm looking for...pendulous. I am a small/average breasted woman - a just-about-34B. My bra is a little snug but without a bra, I feel like these suckers are flapping in the wind. They are no longer pert but feel heavy. So this is either gravity and age or pregnancy hormones stirring things up.

2. Queasy - okay, not full on nausea but definitely this feeling like a lump in my throat that wants to turn into nausea but holds back coyly. Eating something makes it feel better, then I get to burping burping burping.

3. Gassy - I confess, I want to fart constantly. And I have been letting them rip with more abandon lately, at least around the house. If I remain pregnant, I will be a pariah. Who wants a farting woman in a social setting?

4. Constipation - This is not blood vessel popping constipated but just mildly plugged up where I'm actually reaching for reading material as I sit and wait. I know there is something there and it wants to come out but it sits back for a while with a devil-may-care attitude. You want to get off the pot? Guess you'll just have to readjust your schedule to OUR time, says the progesterone-laden bowels.

Welcome to my world of early pregnancy. Can't wait to see what else will happen to me. Here's to many more symptoms over many more months.