If Only

If Baby 2 (whom we named Daisy) had survived, she would have been born sometime around this week or next.

She was our IVF baby and we were elated that the IVF had been successful. The IVF process itself had not been pleasant for me. But that’s another post.

The fertility clinic books the 7 week ultrasound for you. You get to go to a special part of the radiology clinic (all in the same building). I was terrified. Once you have been there before, you know The Fear. Most people think they are scared, but it doesn’t happen to them so they don’t really ever know  The Fear.  Or their miscarriage happens with bleeding. Not a lot of people get to experience an ultrasound where you are told there is no heartbeat without any warning. Trust me when I say this. And once it happens to you, there is no turning back. No period in time where you will ever not have The Fear.

The Tech was kind and she did the ultrasound and quietly told us she could not see a heartbeat. We asked for the measurements and it was measuring exactly the right size. There is no grey area with measurements when it is IVF, you know the gestational age to just about the hour. The radiologist came in and told us that he believed it was a missed miscarriage. But because the baby was the right size we asked to see our fertility clinic doctor.

Our doctor said the same thing.

We asked to wait another week and they reluctantly agreed and scheduled another ultrasound for a week later.

I worked that week. I honestly can’t tell you what I even did. I think I was busy. I think I was even efficient – in between intermittent crying periods – because I was dying inside. I was empty.

A week later the tech barely bothered to do a proper ultrasound. The fetal pole was gone. The dead tissue absorbed into the sac. A confirmed fetal demise.

The options were presented, a D&C or try to pass it myself with misoprostol. They push the misoprostol (after all it is non-surgical) and it had worked with the first miscarriage so I decided to try it again.

We had guests come that weekend, it was just before Easter. I don’t recommend houseguests when having a miscarriage. I did the first round and passed a bit of blood, clots and tissue. I went for an ultrasound the next morning at the clinic. The sac was still there. I was given a second round. It is supposed to work with two doses for 80% of people. I didn’t pass anything. We have the most amazing luck with statistics, only it never seems work for lottery tickets.

Next ultrasound and it was clear that the sac was still there.   Misoprostol round 3.

I tried everything with round 3. A hot bath, Advil, cinnamon, you name it.   And still nothing passed.

It was this moment where I stopped believing in God. I am sorry if that offends you.

Three rounds of sitting on the toilet with cramping and pain and waiting for my large blood clot to pass so I can flush my baby down the toilet. And still nothing.

Sunday I was put on alert for an emergency D&C. Monday morning I was instructed to go and sit in emergency. 9 hours later I was discharged from the hospital. D&C completed. Baby gone and over $10,000 poorer with nothing to show for it.

We left two days later for Hong Kong. I continued to pass blood and have excruciating cramps during our four days of sight-seeing. The heat and humidity made everything worse. Sometimes I had to go back to the hotel and just sleep. We then travelled to Bali where we had booked an incredible private villa with our pool. A pool I wasn’t allowed to go in, near an ocean I couldn’t swim in for fear of infection.   What a tragic f**king joke.

I wonder what she would have looked like, our Daisy.

Wonder

Broken

About three weeks ago, I broke. After a slew of pregnancy announcements, friend issues and work issues, I fell apart. I was driving and I had to pull over because I was crying so hard and felt so hopeless. It was without a doubt my lowest point in this journey. I wanted to drive my car into a light post. I wanted the air bag to go off and I wanted to be hurt. Because then no one would expect anything from me. I could stay away from work and friends and family and even my obligations as an adult. I could hide being mentally broken behind a physical injury. I scared myself.

This was near the end of the week and that Saturday I saw my psychologist who told me my depression baseline was the lowest it had ever been. Lower than after the third miscarriage. She recommended I go and see my doctor because she wasn’t sure she could help me in the state I was in. For cognitive behavioral therapy to work, you have to be able to do it and I was at a barely functioning state. I had had peaks and valley before but this was the lowest valley and one that seemed impossible to climb out of.

The weekend passed and I wasn’t able to go to work. I didn’t care anymore. I phoned in sick for two days. I was sick but it wasn’t something I could explain. Ultimately, I went to my doctor and she agreed with my psychologist, I needed help to get myself to a point where I could help myself.

I started an anti-depressant called sertraline (you might know it as Zoloft) and a sleeping pill called trazodone (which is also an anti-depressant).   It takes a while for anti-depressants to kick in (apparently 3 weeks) and I am at the 3 week mark now and I am “functioning”. I wouldn’t say it has been a huge success. Thankfully I have had better results with the trazodone and I can now sleep through the night. I haven’t slept through the night in well over a year. It’s a start, I guess.   A start towards putting the pieces back together.

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Microblog: Distractions

Waiting is the worst. It doesn’t look like we will get in for our frozen embryo transfer before Christmas and so I am working on finding projects to distract myself with. 

I started with Christmas shopping after Halloween. I love shopping for presents and I especially love shopping for Christmas presents. In fact, I am almost finished my shopping already! (I know, I know…) I justified it to myself that if we are accepted for frozen transfer this year then at  least I will have spread the expenses around and won’t be paying for everything at once. 

After the Christmas shopping went so well, I decided we needed a bigger project so we moved on to painting our buffet. That’s turned out to be much bigger project that I thought. I will have to post pictures when it’s finally done, we are currently in the middle of the whole chalk painting process (check out Annie Sloan Chalk Paint). 

And after that I intend to tackle our whole house after being inspired by the KonMari method in The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I may be going a bit overboard. I don’t know. I need to do something. 

What do you to distract yourself between treatments, during the two week wait, etc?

  

Not Just Me

I am sharing this article, part of Mind Body Green’s Real Talk series on fertility issues. Whatever you may think about MBG, I have really related to some of the articles including this one:

After My Third Miscarriage at 36, I Thought Things Couldn’t Get Worse…

The author also had a heartbeat and then lost the baby after eight weeks, as we did with the third miscarriage. The one I am having the hardest time getting over. 

Today I realized it’s because of that heartbeat. Unlike the author, we had a beautiful, strong heartbeat at 7 weeks. And at what I thought was 11 weeks we learned the baby was only measuring 8 weeks, 3 days and no heartbeat. My baby died. It died inside of me and I could not save its life. 

Until this article I thought I was the only one who was unfortunate enough to see a heartbeat and only to have my dreams shattered later. I guess not. 

My heart breaks for all of us. In this unlucky club of broken dreams.