Think of Me: Post-Op Ultrasound

I’m a bit of a wreck today.  I seem to get pretty antsy and stressed out before OB visits anymore.  Hmm, wonder why.  Anyway, I have an ultrasound scheduled tomorrow to check on my healing from the hysteroscopic myomectomy that was performed in August.  The myomectomy was supposed to remove a fibroid from the uterus and uterine muscle.  However, the surgeon found NOT a fibroid but an adenomyoma, endometrium growing in the muscle layer.  He’s not sure how much he was able to remove.

I must admit that I’m not feeling terribly confident.  I think I’m feeling less discomfort during ovulation from before, but that’s the only noticeable positive change.  I had one ok period followed by a horrific one in September where I was bleeding and clotting so heavily, and of course, I was busy at a conference at that time.  This last cycle only lasted 22-24 days.  I started spotting on the 22nd day and started heavy flow on the 24th day.  Bummer.  My progesterone must really suck.

I suppose the two possible outcomes for tomorrow are: (1) things look healed, so go for it, or (2) things don’t look so great.  I wonder how distorted my uterus still is?  I wonder if the myoma really had anything to do with my losses?  If things don’t look great, will that mean another surgery?  Or will it just mean more agonizing waiting?

And then what?  I can’t hardly remember any more.  I think I’m supposed to start on antibiotics and low-dose aspirin the cycle before conception.  Then I’ll have HCG shots during my luteal phase and progesterone shots once I get a ++.  My husband and I are both itching for another baby.  It’s crazy, really.  However, we don’t feel like our family is “done.”

What would I do if I lost another baby . . . God forbid.

Please keep me in your thoughts over the next 24 hours.  Thank you!

Getting Weary from the Drawing Board

I’m supposed to have some more blood testing done later this cycle.  On CD3 I had FSH and estradiol levels checked.  Fortunately they came back just dandy – lo and behold my 35-1/2 year old advanced maternal age eggs are doing just fine.  Of course this does bust my hypothesis that my fibroid is caused by imbalanced estrogen levels.  Actually, one of the nurses said that the estrogen-fibroid connection is only relevant in post-menopausal women.  I haven’t done follow-up research to decide if I agree.

Anyway, the RE told me to buy an ovulation prediction kit (OPK) to determine when I would ovulate this cycle.  He didn’t trust me when I said that I *know* when I ovulate.  So, I spent the $24.00 on the cheapest OPKs I could find.  (By the way, Dollar Tree does not uniformly carry OPKs any more.  Drat!)  Let me just say that OPKs are the most stupidly designed hormone tests EVER.  When you test you will likely get 2 lines, but that doesn’t mean that the appropriate hormone (LH, I believe) has been detected.  Oh no.  You need 2 lines of equal strength or your line should be stronger than the test/constant line.  So, is it an equal line?  What if both lines are equally weak?  What if I *think* I’m seeing a strong and equal line but it’s not really accurate.  At the end of the day, I just ended up taking the stupid test so I could say I did it and then rely on my body’s very reliable signs to tell me that yes indeedy I did ovulate when I thought I did.

How am I so sure that I ovulated?  Well, without divulging too many gory details, here are some good ways to know: cervical os open, lots of egg-white-like cervical fluid, ovarian pain, elevated basal body temperature to name a few.  In my case, ovulation is starting to get a bit uncomfortable.  Am I really feeling new pain on the left or am I feeling pain there because I think I should be feeling pain there because I now know that there’s a fibroid there that the doctor has told me needs to be surgically removed?  I feel this discomfort every month.  Isn’t that a bit strange considering that we supposedly ovulate on alternating sides?

Anyway, I called to let the office know that I ovulated.  One of the doctor’s nurses called me back and gave me the good news about my FSH and estradiol levels.  She was far more informative than the other nurse I talked to last week about my test results.  However, she also wanted to talk to me about my x-ray.  Huh?

Evidently my doctor has been carrying around my chart with him.  My new medi friend says that it’s not unusual for a doctor to carry around patient files.  Ok.  Back to the story.  So, he has just recently looked at my HSG picture.  (He wasn’t the doctor that ordered or performed the HSG.  However, why was he looking at the film?  He supposedly had already looked at it and decided that I didn’t have a Mullerian Anomaly.)  What?  And she said that he’s going to want to do a sonohysterogram on CD6 next month.  What?  After the ultrasound he did at my appointment, he very confidently told me that the fibroid is definitely causing me problems; a sono was NOT necessary; get on the books for a myomectomy.

Why has his story changed?  Did he forget that he had already looked at the HSG?  Did he forget that he said a sono was no longer necessary?  Did he forget that he wanted to schedule me for surgery?  Or did he receive some input from one of his partners or the radiologist with regard to the HSG or recent ultrasound?  Is he confusing me with another patient?

Can I just say that I’m very frustrated and that my trust in this medical professional is waning?  Three different doctors; three different diagnoses; at least three different protocols.  It’d be nice for there to be some agreement with regard to a plan of action, particularly between my new OB and this RE.  Or do I need to go back to the drawing board?

Currently Reading and Researching

Since I am at home bleeding with nothing else to do . . . I have been doing a lot of reading and research.  I don’t have the mental fortitude to break it all down into individual posts, so here is the “cluster eff” from yesterday and today:

Homebirth: Safety & Benefits, courtesy of Ronnie Falcao, LM MS – even though her site isn’t stylish, the information is good

Misdiagnosed Miscarriage Site and Forums – lots of food for thought here . . . and very good examples of why women should not do a D&C unless they are unable to miscarry naturally. . . and why women shouldn’t take cytotec to induce abortion.  Check out their Blighted Ovum FAQ.

Please watch this video on the awful things that cytotec induction (in labor and delivery) can do.  Cytotec is an ulcer medication and is contraindicated for pregnant women!!!

Related – “Drugs, Knives, and Midwives: The U.S. maternity care system is in crisis. A grassroots movement to save it is under way” by Elizabeth Larsen, Utne Reader, March/April 2007.  I’ve looked it over but will read it thoroughly today.

I liked this “Helping a Friend Through a Miscarriage“.  Please consider reading it if you’re helping a loved one deal with this tragedy.

I’m certainly more wary of ultrasound these days and regret that I had to have one of Sunday.  (Some may rightly say that I didn’t have to have one on Sunday, but they’re not walking in my shoes right now.)  Yesterday I read Rodgers’ “Questions about Prenatal Ultrasound and the Alarming Increase in Autism” from Midwifery Today, and that scared the crap out of me.  Today I will read Wagner’s “Ultrasound: More Harm Than Good?” and Beech’s “Ultrasound: Weighing the Propaganda Against the Facts”.  I recommend anyone considering ultrasound during pregnancy to look at Kmom’s compilation (2003).

Read some of these testimonials from women who suffered through subchorionic hematoma!  I’ve found this thread very encouraging.

I’m also trying to locate a copy of Lesley Regan’s miscarriage book.  Too bad the local library and the University library don’t have this book.  If anyone I know can loan me a copy . . . I’d sure appreciate it.  Also, feel free to share your favorite miscarriage resources in the comments section.