We Will Now Talk to Each Other in Tones

It’s a really strange feeling waiting for something awful to happen to you. I imagine it’s what clinical paranoia feels like. Knowing, with certainty, that something terrible is in the wind.

That is how I feel right now.

I’ve chosen to miscarry naturally at home.

I have no idea when it will begin, or how long it will last, but I plan to accept each cramp and contraction, acknowledge each piece of expelled tissue, and trust in my body’s innate ability to clean the slate. It will be part of my grieving of this pregnancy, which I believe, hasn’t truly started yet. I’m choosing to see this not as a carriage gone amiss, but rather as the privilege to experience pregnancy for the first time. A sneak peak. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to give my body the time to do this, to do this at home, and to still have one more embryo left.

Something really beautiful and unexpected happened today. I was driving to the grocery store, listening to CBC radio when I heard a nice narrative about Beethoven. Beethoven had a friend who had suffered a miscarriage, and was emotionally distraught. As she was a dear friend, he wanted to console her, but did so in the only way that he knew how- through music. He pulled her in close, and said “Now we will talk to each other in tones”. He then improvised a beautiful piece now known as his Sonata No. 28.

I sat in the car, parked, with the ignition in second position, and revelled in the beautifully somber melody. I thought of our own little spark and how beautiful it would be to set her free through such a melody.

When I got home, I googled the song, and found this sheet music from a Wikipedia article:

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My jaw dropped when I read the dedication, “To my friend Dorothea…”, as that is also my name.

Have a listen.

This was meant for me.

Natural, Cytotec, or D&C? That is the Question.

The RE’s office called today to tell me officially to stop my meds. The radiologist took a look at the ultrasounds and called it.

I didn’t speak to them. In fact, my cell phone didn’t even ring. They sent it directly as a voicemail. Motherfuckers. Clearly, they weren’t interested in entertaining any questions. They just reiterated that I had three options: miscarry naturally, take Cytotec, or do a D&C.

Option A: Miscarrying naturally sounds the gentlest of the three options, but it could take weeks for my body to initiate this, and weeks for it to fully complete the task.

Option B: Cytotec/Misoprostal freaks me out a bit, as I imagine it’s basically Option A condensed into a violent and short period of time. I’ve read of women opting to bleed it out at the hospital for the access to effective pain killers, you know, the good shit. Getting it done with in a predictable amount of time sounds attractive to me. However, sometimes remnants remain and you end up utilizing Option C anyway.

Option C: D & C is the one most people fear initially. It involves dilating the cervix, and then either scraping or vacuuming out the contents of the uterus. It is often scheduled, and while women often report some moderate pain afterwards, it isn’t usually as painful as Options A and B because you’re under general anesthetic. With this option, you can be sure that all of the remnants are removed, while with the other two options, sometimes large clumps of endometrial tissue and the gestational sac have a difficult time passing through the opening of the cervix, which prolongs the bleeding and cramping (trying to flush it out).

Right now, I’m leaning towards Option B, because I don’t think I can emotionally handle waiting for the inevitable. I also need my HCG to go down as quickly as possible so that we can start trying again with our last embryo. I have heard that this can take WEEKS, even MONTHS, for women with levels as high as mine are right now.

Anyone at around 8 weeks miscarry naturally? How long did it take to begin the process, how long did it last, and how badly did it hurt?

Anyone with HCG around 40,000 know how long it will take to return to <5?

And finally, pain control: what works for the labour-like cramps and contractions?

Thank you for helping me mentally prepare myself.

The Final Chapter

I’m at a loss for words right now, but I wanted to give you all an update.

We went for our ultrasound this morning, and the technologist dated me at 6 weeks. I am supposed to be 7 weeks and 4 days.

She saw no heartbeat.

She also didn’t measure anything inside the gestational sac- which we were told to assume is because there was nothing measurable, because there was nothing growing in there.

Monday I see my family doctor for what was supposed to be a medical leave due to threatened pregnancy, and now will be a medical leave due to stress.

The RE’s nurse told me there’s a pill they can give me which causes cramping and I can collect all of the products to be sent off for testing. How lovely.

I guess this upcoming week of bed rest at home will be to accommodate the impending cramping and expelling of what remains of my short-lived, 7 week pregnancy.

Welcome to miscarriage number three.

Some Answers

I took it easy today. I made some gluten-free butter tarts:

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Had my blood drawn at two different labs (one for HCG for RE, other for thyroid for endocrinologist).

I actually ate some food today, and had a 20 minute nap. I cried on three separate occasions when I thought about returning to work. I have this sense of impending doom that is consuming me. After talking it through with DW, it’s become clear that I am not fit to work for physical and emotional reasons. I think I need to go on a medical leave from my job temporarily.

Some good news though, my HCG has increased since August 22nd. It was 1800, and is now 39435. That’s a doubling time of 75 hours, which is good for that range.

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The RE moved up my ultrasound from Thursday to tomorrow. He also wants me off work for a week, after which time we reassess.

So that’s the plan for now.

Thanks everyone for your support.

In Crisis

I have not slept for two nights. I have lost 3 lbs in 3 days. I can’t eat more than two half-portioned meals per day. I am 7 weeks pregnant.

This isn’t healthy.

So far, I’ve kept my spotting and bleeding of clots quiet from our RE. But today, I just felt sick about it all and emailed my primary nurse and told her what has been going on. Hopefully, I hear back from her tomorrow and maybe I can get an ultrasound to find out what’s going on.

Previously, I had been against taking a day off work (they highly discourage teachers taking sick days in my board- even though they are part of our compensation), because I’m a relatively new teacher (third year permanent), and it looks bad when you use them (even though we encounter hundreds of dirty teenager’s germs daily). Right now, my seat mate is sick with the flu, and I’m secretly angry at her for touching my stuff and coming to work at all!

Anyways, my new role is very physical. I have to travel two floors and across the length of the school to get from my first period class to my office and other two classes. Often, I am carrying 40lbs of textbooks and student binders, as well as other supplemental equipment from floor to floor. Today, I was carrying a stack of 40 magazines from the basement, up to the second floor, and felt a cramp in my abdomen. I stopped and waited until I saw two kids on washroom breaks and had them carry the rest to my classroom. I then had to go back an grab a class set of scissors, glue sticks, stack of cardboard poster boards, and a bin of markers. I had to make two more trips for that. In my classes, I am working with kids with significant developmental and intellectual challenges. Our kids are high school aged, but function at the reading and cognitive level of grades 1-6. They also have significant behavioural and maturity issues- so I am never sitting down at all in my classrooms. I am on my feet all day, dealing with students who are difficult to reason with and can often become violent in the classroom. Today, a student swore at me because I tried to help him brainstorm “other words” that he could use to express how he felt (rather than “fuck”).

It is physically, and emotionally taxing. I have been bleeding, and haven’t eaten or slept in two/three days. I am taking tomorrow off to re-group, but all I feel is the dread of having to go back there and managing my stress from my less-than-perfect pregnancy symptoms.

I am in crisis, and can’t seem to find a way out.