Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My day-before-Thanksgiving-boss-is-gone-and-I’m-totally-slacking Update

Been feeling much better lately. Which, I am finding, is wonderful in terms of my motivation and mood; but –SURPRISE-I also worry that perhaps it means something else. Having the fatigue and nausea sucked, but I also felt pregnant.

Monday will mark 13 weeks. The time at which I lost the last pregnancy and the farthest I’ve ever gotten in a pregnancy. I’m a little nervous.


I have been meaning for a long time to clear up a post from several months ago. My father, trying to be helpful and using some numbers I gave him from our RE (that Jason and I had a 75% chance of success with no intervention), incorrectly assessed our successive chances. Here is what he wrote:

"Suppose you decide to try 4 more times, in future (Hope you are willing to look that far ahead).

What's the probability of success in at least one of those 4 times?
Probability of first failure = 0.35
Probability of first and second tries failing = 0.35 x 0.35 = 0.1225
Probability of 3 failed attempts = 0.35 x 0.35 x 0.35 = 0.042875
Probability of 4 failed attempts = 0.35 x 0.35 x 0.35 x 0.35 = 0.01500625
The probability of at least one success in those 4 attempts = 1 - 0.01500625 = 0.985"

It seemed a little fishy at the time since, in all my book and blog reading, the statistics definitely did not parse out so optimistically. But I thought, what the hell do I know about probabilities? His math must be right.

Anyway, the human body does not bend to such a straightforward probability model. I was confirmed in my intuition by some materials that Misfits posted after returning from her fabulous trip to Chicago where she met experts who had written books specifically about RPL. One of the books came with the table below, which corrected my father’s assumption that each “event” is independent from the other. In undiagnosed RPL – that is not the case; from occurrence to occurrence, the probability of success does NOT stay the same.

I have also included a seriously shocking graph depicting the estimated survival of human conceptions by gestation. They say that human reproduction is incredibly inefficient, and this graph certainly presents it as such.

Though not quite so optimistic as my father’s calculation, I think the RPL landscape (if the losses are unexplained) still presents a hopeful picture. Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No go

We didn’t do the CVS.

It never even occurred to me that there would be a situation in which we would decide NOT to undergo the procedure; but as I should know by now, there are no guarantees in this game.

So I got to the maternal fetal medicine clinic on Monday morning with a VERY full bladder (as per instructions) and was in a foul mood because 1) Jason and I had had a fight the evening before, 2) I was very uncomfortable because of my bladder, 3) the doctor was late, and 4) I was fucking nervous.

So by the time we got into a room to measure baby etc etc, I was fit to be tied. Even though I had seen the fetus just a week before, I burst out crying when we saw the baby moving. My sobbing was so sudden and so contradictory to the happy situation we found ourselves in (baby alive, heartbeat there, measuring correctly, blah blah) that Jason was, I could tell, having one of those moments men have when they are completely kerflummoxed by a woman’s emotions. I surprised myself, so I know he was completely baffled. He just grabbed my hand and asked, “What’s wrong baby? Everything’s fine!” All I could say was, “I know.”

It felt like a release to cry and I am sure I was crying for a variety of reasons – relief that everything looked good, PTSD from the last time I had an ultrasound in that office (when we did the NT quad screen and everything looked fine, only to find out a week later that our test came back positive for chromosomal problems and then we subsequently miscarried at 13 weeks), and anxiety about the CVS procedure.

When the doctor finally arrived, I had had some time to collect myself, though he could tell I’d been crying. He was very kind AND he let me pee for 15 seconds – so I fell in love with him.

After looking around for a bit, he got up and, using the ultrasound picture on the monitor in front of me, pointed out the position of all my organs and then proceeded to explain how the position of the organs and the uterus increased my risk of miscarriage from the procedure. As you can see from my brilliant reconstruction of the ultrasound, my intestines were blocking the path from my stomach to the villi – that meant that entry through the stomach was 100% not an option - and the path from the vaginal canal would have required a risky 90 degree turn to access the villi.

He recommended waiting till week 15 when we could do amniocentesis; we agreed.

So, after another emotional roller-coaster ride, guess what I did? I went to the maternity store and spent $233 dollars on pants and some summer dresses and shirts that I MIGHT need if I make it to the summer. The pants I was OK buying (I need those); but I felt foolish and na├»ve for buying the summer clothes. Yet hope and excitement definitely triumphed. I haven’t even reached the date of my last miscarriage and I’m buying clothes that I can’t wear for another 4-5 months. My only excuse is that they were discounted significantly and my frugality (and, yes, hope) won the day. I will burn them if I miscarry.

I love the maternity pants and don’t know why we don’t wear these fabulous elasticized, stretchy pants ALL the time. They are so comfortable and have made my life about 50% better already. My gas-filled intestines and teeny-tiny uterus can hang as far out as they want – yay for elastic.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Drama Rama

Ladies – to know that you are thinking of me and wondering how I am. Well it warms my heart. Thank you for checking in B and Roccie.

I am doing much better this week. I am amazed at how much better my outlook on life is when I don’t feel like the walking dead with indigestion. Feeling rested and being able to eat with a modicum of comfort have made a big difference.

I also broke down and bought some Metamusil this week since the intestinal backup was becoming urgent. Just FYI, when you see any pregnant woman in the first trimester rubbing her “pregnant belly,” she is basically giving her swollen, jacked-up bowels a good stroking. I was wondering what the hell was moving me into my size 10 pants so quickly, never having suffered from constipation before. I’m ordinarily suuuuper regular and thankful for that. Doc told me that it was my digestive organs moving further up in my abdomen as the uterus expands. I had no idea. I don’t know how I missed that the first three times, but I thought all that bloating was a swelling uterus. Nope. So all those stupid ladies who are 6 weeks pregnant and rubbing their bellies are just grabbing their stomachs and large intestines. I’m sure you all knew that, but if you didn’t – now you can take pleasure in their ignorance. I have been very “anti belly-rub” this whole pregnancy except when I grab my stomach out of a fit of mild nausea. And now I am so glad because how stupid would I have looked!

Also, I think it is no coincidence that I am also feeling better this week because I got to verify on Monday that the fetus is still alive and kicking. I was not due to check in on the fetus until this coming Monday (the day of the CVS procedure) and I could not fathom showing up for that very scary procedure to be told that there was no reason to do the procedure. So I called my doc on Monday and he saw me that afternoon. While we couldn’t find the heartbeat with the Doppler thingy (slightly distressing- so glad I haven’t gotten the fetal monitor yet), we were able to see the fetus with an ancient ultrasound machine. The little heart was flickering. It was also waving what I have brilliantly identified as its right arm/hand/bud.

So I was reassured, my system seems to be settling down, and I am only three days (one work day) away from the next big hurdle. So I feel very fine today. Very fine.

I am trying hard to avoid thinking about the CVS procedure. As you all know, it comes with a risk of miscarriage. That’s as far as I’m willing to discuss it. I will be flat on my back for all of Monday, and Tuesday as well if I feel any inkling that my uterus is twinging. Shit, I won’t even go in to work if I have a bad case of gas. I am completely horizontal next week for as long as I need. What else is there to say except if I ever needed your positive energy, it is on Monday at 10:00 am CST. Thanksverymuch.
In other news, this weekend, my insensitive friend, Belle, called me while she was making a long interstate drive; this is when we usually chat, during her hour trek on I-10. This tends to imply to me that she has no idea that we may need to have a "special" conversation as opposed to “the usual.” On the other hand, she has not sent me any other emails and this is the first time she has been in touch since she sent that dreadful email during the summer. I missed the call and she left a message. I had to have Jason listen to the message; I absolutely couldn’t face any number of things she might have had to say. Turns out she was just checking in on me, seeing how I’m doing etc.

So now I need your advice. I don’t know what to do with her. I have not called her back and feel absolutely no desire to. Even if I did decide to talk to her, I certainly couldn’t do it at this point while she is a few months away from pregnancy, clearly incapable of protecting my feelings, and while I am on the precipice of finding out if my pregnancy is viable. The most I could possibly do is email.

Secondly, I don’t think I am willing to carry on a charade of a relationship where I stuff my feelings down and simply protect myself from her in the future. I just felt that the situation was mishandled so miserably and my trust in her as a friend was so damaged that I wouldn’t be able to have any sort of relationship with her without addressing my feelings. It would almost violate my integrity.

I would love to just ignore her calls and emails and pretend like she never existed. Yet, despite what I FEEL, I KNOW it would be much more adult if I could acknowledge my feelings to her and clearly address why I have not been in contact. It is the fair, adult thing to do that gives her a chance to explain herself. It would appropriately honor the 16-year friendship we’ve maintained.

So what do I do? How do I address this? I could just ignore it and never speak to her again; but I don’t think that’s feasible. So do I send her an email that explains that I can’t talk to her now and, by the way, she really damaged our friendship? I don’t want drama; I want it to go away. But it feels wrong to so completely burn a bridge. I still feel some inkling of loyalty and duty to the friendship. Help.