Ugh… Symptoms

Despite being off the progesterone for two days now, it seems that my HCG continues to rise, and that this morning sickness just won’t quit.

Let me paint you a picture:

Wake up. Take my Synthroid with a full glass of water. Smell the faint trace of chlorination in the water, gag a little.

Dry heave. (I must be hungry).

Go to the kitchen, with intentions to make a healthy breakfast. Open the fridge to find inspiration. Become overwhelmed by the variety of potential aromas.

Dry heave, grab the gluten-free cupcake box, and slam the fridge door closed.

Decide to make a Non-Oprah chai tea latte to go with my salted caramel apple cupcake (since I have been depriving myself of caffeine since the beginning of this FET). Open the carton of lactose-free milk, imagine the musk of the udder that it was milked from, nearly hurl. Continue to steep tea and steam milk anyway.

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Bring my latte and cupcake outside to encourage the forced eating process a little bit. Split the cupcake in half to sandwich the icing. Lick my fingers that are covered in icing, taste too much coconut oil in the icing, almost hurl.

Scrape off icing and eat cupcake like it’s a muffin. Accidentally drop crumbs on the ground so that there is less volume for me to eat. (Dogs circling like sharks). Take so long to eat it that I am able to watch the melting of the vegan buttercream icing into a sloppy mess.

Chug my latte while pinching my nose closed.
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I don’t know if I can wait for this miscarriage to happen on its own. These symptoms plague me, and are not the happy reassurance that they once were.

Now, excuse me while I puke.

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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.

FET#3: An Update Part 2

All of my pregnancy symptoms had disappeared Wednesday and Thursday. No dizziness, no vertigo, no nausea, boobs way less sore, twinges gone.

I was sad and totally devastated.

Time was passing so slowly, and I analyzed every gas bubble and pinch from my belly, not to mention the colour of my used toilet paper.

Friday finally came, and we went for my repeat beta.

I was a bit hopeful because I had some nausea during the morning, and I felt bloated. I have never been so pleased to be bloated.

Three and a half hours later, we got the results of our repeat beta.

Wednesday’s beta: 33
Friday’s beta: 61

Not quite double yet, but increasing. We’re not out of the game. My doubling rate is 54 hours. Because my levels are under 100, the nurse says that I need to go in again in a week to check my HCG again. She sounded neither apologetic nor congratulatory, which was professional of her, but made me really sad. I am trying to stay positive, as the embryo is still in there, and the HCG is still increasing. I just hope that it continues to thrive and is not just a delay of the inevitable.

You see, with five embryos that have failed to make it past this second beta, we feel like we’re getting closer to our goal with this attempt. However, if this one miscarries too, I don’t know how we will recover from it.

To be honest, during these past two days, I have been contemplating many previously unthinkable things. Things like, I don’t know if we would bother with one more FET with our last embryo. If every single one of our embryos miscarried, it makes me wonder if the whole batch is bad. Maybe all of my eggs have a chromosomal abnormality that is still allowing them to look morphologically perfect. Maybe I’ll never be a biological mom because I’m defective. Then I start thinking about how much easier and luxurious life would be if we didn’t have kids (a consolation prize). We could go to Maui every Christmas and Spring Break, we could go to on an Olivia Vacation, we could sleep in and selfishly continue to play all of our team sports with our friends. After all, most of our teammates are lesbians who don’t have kids and they’re always going on amazing trips and have pristine homes and awesome savings accounts. I think I could be happy with that.

But then we go out into public, where babies and kids abound, and I am a baby-magnet! Babies are always fascinated with me- not sure if it’s the dreads or the fact that I’m always smiling at them- and they give me cute giggles and adorable happy hand gestures. It makes my heart melt.

I am not religious, but I am so desperate for this pregnancy to work out that I have been praying for promising HCG levels. I am freaking myself out.

But right now, in this moment, I am pregnant. I am pregnant. I need to not let past tragedies and stupid numbers get in the way of my happiness.

FET#3: Cycle Day 3

Had blood work and a full bladder and empty bladder ultrasounds today. I also started my 6mg of oral Estrace, and boy is it giving me a pounding headache!

I’ve got tons of work to do today, but instead, I’m laying in bed, with the blinds closed, and my iPad on the lowest brightness possible.

I hope this goes away quickly, as I have to take my next dose in 3 hours!
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Fast-forward to 6pm, headache still ailing me. My lovely wife takes over my regular cooking shift and makes me a delicious bowl of gluten-free mac n cheese (plus a protein shake for good measure).

I have been in bed pretty much the entire day 😦

But at least I get served this in bed!

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I’m the luckiest girl!