Trial of Pregnancy

2/24/08 – I ended up at the ER yesterday because the bleeding was too heavy.  After an exam, curretage was recommended.  I agreed to it especially since they wouldn’t have to dilate my cervix.  I am recovering fairly comfortably at home.  There is very little bleeding after this procedure, when things go well, and it is nice to not have that to deal with this time around.  The bleeding and passing the clots and tissue are constant reminders of another lost baby.  I wouldn’t have dealt well with it this time around.  This is after all my 3rd miscarriage in a row.

This is the end of my journal for now . . . for good?  I’m keeping this page public for a while longer in case people are interested to read my journey. 

2/22/08 – I already posted this on the blog, but my pregnancy is non-viable.  I scheduled an ultrasound because I’d had a bit of bleeding this week.  The ultrasound showed a 7 week gestational sac and 6 week 5 day embryo.  I am utterly destroyed and have no idea how to go on.  I have a repeat ultrasound and consultation with an OB on Monday.  I don’t know if I should hope for a natural miscarriage or would a D&C or aspiration be prudent?  We’re looking for answers since this is the 3rd miscarriage in a row. 

2/21/08 – cross posting – Yesterday I could tell that my cervical fluid (CF) was more prominent.  My midwife said my leukocyte level was elevated, indicated by a urine test.  She told me to do a “wash” twice daily of warm water and apple cidar vinegar.  I ignored her since I was a bit confused on how to do this and because the yeast wasn’t bothering me.

However, yesterday afternoon I felt a trickle.  It wasn’t completely familiar – didn’t seem like blood but didn’t NOT seem like blood either.  My heart nearly stopped when I took a look at my pantiliner.  There was a streak/string of red blood in the CF!!  I tried to stay calm and called my midwife for guidance.  She said that some women will bleed from yeast infections and suggested that I buy some Yeast Guard and apple cidar vinegar.

Luckily it was the end of my work day, so I was able to get to the store and home before my DH and DD came home.  There was no more blood, but of course I’m checking my pants every few minutes anyway.  And I’m afraid to poop.

This is what a recent history of miscarriage has done to me.  At 10 weeks I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel of worry, and yesterday’s blood threw me right back into the tunnel.

Today I am exhausted.  Hardly functioning at work.  Thank goodness I’m done early again today.  It’s a good thing considering that my entire office is SHAKING from the construction outside.  It’s making me feel insane. 

~*~

My midwife didn’t detect the heartbeat with her 3mhz doppler.  However, the placenta sounds great!  She’s sure that the baby was hiding under/behind my anterior (damnit!) placental.  I’m measuring “ahead” – 12 weeks.  These are good signs.  I’m scheduled for another doppler on March 3 – can’t hardly wait.  I did test positive for excess yeast.  Need to work on that . . .

2/16/08 – first prenatal appointment – I haven’t had a first prenatal appointment since 2004!  My last 2 pregnancies ended before I got to the point of meeting with a provider for a real prenatal visit.  I’ve been feeling a LOT less confident about this pregnancy this week.  Maybe that one romp in the sack with DH was enough to shake my confidence.  I had maybe possibly a teeny bit of pink-ish discharge after that?  I really don’t know.  My eyes play tricks on me, I think.  Regardless, I am nervous as hell.  I’ve had so much more discharge this week.  WHY WHY WHY??  My boobs aren’t excrutiatingly sore.  WHY WHY WHY?  I’m still extremely tired and moody, so that’s “good”.  I’m thinking (trying to convince myself, actually) that I’m just exceedingly nervous because my first prenatal is today.  I know I’ll want my MW to try and find a heartbeat.  But at 9 weeks and 3-5 days, it’s unlikely that she’ll detect it.  I’m trying to prepare myself for that and remind myself that it doesn’t mean a THING if the heartbeat isn’t found.  My CNM didn’t find DD’s heartbeat with the doppler at nearly 11 weeks, and the ultrasound revealed my beautiful “ghost frog” baby fooling around in utero. 

2/13/08 – I have continued to be tired and emotional.  I got so angry with a student on Friday that I wanted to cry.  I had to kick a student out of her lesson on Monday for being completely unprepared.  Being tired does not help balance emotions!  I just remembered that I am 9 weeks pregnant today, according to LMP!!  Yippee!  I can hardly believe I am here.  I had some nausea over the weekend and am fairly sensitive to strong smells, but otherwise I’m doing ok.  Sometimes I think I am feeling movement.  Other times it’s just gas.  I’m still suspecting twins – can’t really explain why, except that sometimes I feel movement to both sides of the midline, not just in one location . . . 

2/8/08 – I am exceedingly tired and crabby.  I was out until 11pm last night because of the opera performance and gala.  I began teaching at 9am and stopped around 4:30pm.  I’m due back at the theater at 6:30pm, so I should take a quick snooze (on my office floor) and then scare up some dinner.  I’m already hungry.  Today one of my students aggravated me so badly I nearly cried.  My voice was shaking.  Can you say “out of control emotions?”

I think I am feeling some movement.  It feels like “buzzing”.  I remember feeling that before with my DD’s pregnancy – not this early on of course.  Otherwise, it’s just gas.  I am sure that as my uterus grows, the motion of other visceral materials will cause moving sensations.  Then again, several women in my due date club who are repeat mamas also felt movement start in this week.   

I looked at my blog stats today and was shocked to see that I had about 250 hits a couple of days ago.  Wonder why . . .

2/5/08 – tomorrow I will be 8 weeks!  Or yesterday I was 8 weeks (I ovulated on CD13).  I can hardly believe it.  After holding my breath for weeks now, and knowing that I still “could” miscarry in the future, I am all discombobulated!  I’m having to limit my exposure to miscarriage and birth loss forums on which I participate, and that makes me sad.  I’ve received such great support at those places, and I feel guilty not giving back to them right now.  But I guess “me me me” and “baby baby baby” first!  One of my friends started spotting red, but her baby is doing just fine.  Phew!  It was neat to see her ultrasound since she’s only a few days behind me.

Today I feel like total crap.  I woke up with a fierce headache and of course can’t take anything for it at the moment.  My stomach has been all topsy turvy today too.  I didn’t go to work this morning.  Instead, got back in bed and slept.  Went in to work in the late afternoon and have opera dress rehearsal tonight.  I don’t feel well. 

2/2/08- I am so tired that I didn’t drive over to Helena yesterday for their BOBB screening.  I feel horribly guilty about that, but I’m not functioning particularly well this week.  So so tired!  Last night I had a vivid dream that I miscarried.  In my dream I woke up to go to the bathroom.  As usual I investigated my pad and was distressed to find a lot of pink on the pad.  In my dream I kept trying to tell myself that perhaps there was still a baby in there and that maybe I had only miscarried one baby.  Thank God I woke up from that nightmare.  Women on my loss board that were due in August are still miscarrying . . . that’s heartbreaking and terrifying – probably what prompted my dream.  Trying to remind myself that I have excellent evidence of a healthy pregnancy. 

1/31/08 – According to Baby-Gaga today, my baby is 5/8″ tall and his brain is beginning to grow.  That is so exciting!  I think my baby must be growing big brains.  I am already cute suitshowing.  I am merely 7 weeks pregnant!  Already my belly feels full and occupied.  I know I won’t last much longer in my regular pants and skirts.  In fact, I was so certain that I’d never get my cute suit back on that I took a picture of myself in it the other day.  It’s not the greatest picture, but here it is.  Too bad that I started this pregnancy 10-15 lbs up.  That’s what back-to-back miscarriages did to my body.  Ugh.

I called a midwife and asked her to attend me during childbirth.  We’ll have our first prenatal appointment at our house shortly after Valentine’s Day.

1/27/08- I am now a week past the point that I miscarried last time.  Last week I learned about two studies on caffeine and miscarriage.  One said that as little as 200mg of caffeine is associated with miscarriage.  The other said that there was not a strong link between caff and miscarriage.  My problem is that I am a coffee addict.  I gave up alcohol for pregnancy, and I’m trying to limit the coffee, but I really am resistant to completely getting rid of it.  Plus, I’m not sure what’d happen to my BMs if I didn’t have the coffee lube.  ;)

Pregnancy symptoms – yesterday I felt sick to my stomach most of the day and was tired.  Boobs aren’t nearly as sore as they were with my first pregnancy (with DD).

I haven’t had my HCG or progesterone levels checked with this pregnancy.  The OB that managed my miscarriage doesn’t think that doing blood levels are terribly predictive.  Obviously, she’s not one to supplement with progesterone.  I got kind of freaked out about NOT being on progesterone, but I do feel like I’ve been led to trusting that everything is going to be ok.  The OB wanted to schedule me for a 7 week ultrasound.  Not going to do that either.  I will have my first appointment with my midwife at week 9.  Maybe then we’ll hear a heartbeat though I know that would be kind of early.  I have decided on a midwife, so I should give her a call and let her know that I’d like to work with her.  Just need to talk with our benefits administrator, because it seems that she has new information for me with regard to covered services.  (Luckily I have several choices when it comes to insurance companies.) 

1/16/08- Based on LMP I am 5 weeks along today.  Based on ovulation I am 5 weeks and 2 days along.  Maybe I should split the difference?  Except that I know this baby implanted a bit later than “normal” based on 13DPO cramping and perhaps a light spot on 14DPO.  (According to Fertility Friend, implantation takes place around 7-10DPO.)  I never felt implantation before.  I was sure that my period was going to come after all.  LoL!  Given that bit of information it is possible that I’m not even as far along as 5 weeks.  The book I was reading though does date pregnancy from LMP and/or conception, not from implantation.  I know in the long run it doesn’t matter, but when you’re praying that the ax won’t fall, every minute that goes by that I don’t bleed is a miracle and a blessing.

I woke up at 3am because DD had a nightmare.  DH (oh dear dear hubby) got up to see what was wrong, but I wasn’t able to go back to sleep.  My stomach didn’t feel good, and I was thirsty, and then I was hungry, and I had music (Suor Angelica) going through my mind, and the cell phone was beeping, complaining about being out of battery.  And I’ve been awake ever since. 

Symptoms – constipation (wow, that’s unpleasant), exhausted (of course), boobs starting to feel sensitive (and praying that they start to ache as badly as they did when I was pregnant with my DD), middle of the night hunger, out of breath, easily dizzzzzzy

Interviewing another homebirth midwife today.

1/14/08- I saw my chiropractor today.  She said my round ligament on the right side was very tight.  When she worked on it, I felt sick.  Ack!  I “interviewed” two direct-entry midwives.  I am in awe of midwifery and am excited about being cared for by a midwife.  I plan to interview a couple more midwives, but I do think I have found my “match.”  My herbalist is still MIA, so I may have to buy more black haw from another local herbalist.  Today I’ve been tired and out of breath.  I felt faint moving from a sitting position up to my knees.  One of the midwives said that these were good signs of surging pregnancy hormones! 

1/13/08 – It’s a new year.  Bye-bye 2007 – you sucked.  Two miscarriages; ailing grandparents moved back to Canada; beloved grandfather died . . . Enough!

Today is my 35th birthday.  I am determined that this pregnancy is going to stick and be healthy and happy.  Some minutes of the day I believe this, and other times my fear and insecurity and lack of Faith grabs hold of me.  This is one of those times – I am feeling incredibly insecure and depressed this afternoon.  Trying to find the source.  Should read some Scripture before heading off to my party.

No symptoms other than being tired and crabby. 

A gift from Enjoy Birth was this bit of Scripture – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

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In spite of a UTI and horrible yeast infection, I am pregnant again!  I’m very excited and trying not to let fear get the best of me.

9/24 – Dollar Tree test starts to look pregnant but isn’t exactly convincing

9/25- First Response test confirms that I am pregnant (BFP)

9/27 – I told my chiropractor that I am pregnant and nearly burst into tears when she said “if”.  I’ve started feeling twinges in the lower abdomen, similar to my last pregnancy.  Other than being exhausted (really for about 10-12 days now), I don’t feel pregnant.

9/28- I interviewed a CNM today.  This appointment was originally scheduled as a follow-up to the out of control yeast infection.  Conveniently, it disappeared a couple of days before the appointment.  So we talked and she answered many of my questions very well:

How many women want to VBAC with you and are successful?  She thinks her cesarean rate is around 10% and VBAC success rate is about 70%.  Part of the reason there are so few VBACs is that much to her “chagrin” (as she put it), women do elect repeat cesareans.  However, I wonder if that’s because they’re really only told about the risks associated with VBAC and not the risks of cesarean birth.  She is willing to pull her data if I would like.

Do you induce a VBAC?  Nope, induction is the leading cause of uterine rupture.

What is her philosophy on going past 40 weeks?  This is not a problem, but at some point there would be more frequent monitoring which is fine.

Does she attend vaginal breech births?  Well, I didn’t ask her this exactly, but during our conversation about malposition, I discovered that one of the docs does do versions.  That’s good news.

How many uterine ruptures have they witnessed?  She hasn’t had anyone rupture, but she has seen it happen.

Does she have a time-limit on how long you can labor before they send you for a cesarean?  Well, I’ll need to talk to her more about this.  She indicated that long periods of pushing can damage the pelvic floor.

Am I permitted to move and deliver in whatever position you want?  I assume so.  When we talked about my . . . ahem . . . small pelvis, she said it’s all about position.  She doesn’t believe in CPD.  Pelvises move.  If indeed my pelvis is short front to back, it means we’ll have to work more with the tailbone.  Phew!  She was VERY encouraging here.

I have many more questions to ask but wasn’t going to completely inundate her at the start.  I have decided to continue care with her.

I did have a quantitative hcg test run which confirmed the pregnancy and a healthy level of hormone.  I can repeat the test next week if I want, but that’d really just be a comfort measure for me.  I could also have an ultrasound as early as 6 weeks, but again, I’m not really sure what the benefits would be other than peace of mind (or early confirmation that the pregnancy won’t be viable).  Is it better to know or trust?

9/29 – getting ready for a conference and lecture-recital in Helena.  Excited to meet a fellow ICAN member on Sunday.  Definitely feeling crampy/twingy.  Boobs feel full but they aren’t sore yet.  Thus far this pregnancy is almost exactly like my last pregnancy, and that concerns me. 

10/5- I tried to add to this journal earlier this week, but my changes weren’t saving.  I was sick with a head cold over the weekend, but I’m on the mend.  I think being away last weekend made me nervous, so I called into the CNM’s office on Tuesday saying that I wanted to talk about more hcg testing and early ultrasound.  I heard back from the CNM on Wednesday, and by that time I had had a change of heart.  I want to focus on positive mental energy, and those tests won’t add to that at this point.  We’ll see how I feel in a few weeks.  I scheduled my first “official” prenatal visit for early November before I leave for a conference out of state.

Maybe it’s in my mind, but I am feeling crampy.  Sometimes I feel a bit queasy or have fleeting nausea.  Boobs are a bit sore but not what I remember with my DD.

10/7- strong cramping began around 4:30pm; went to the ER; diagnosed with “threatened miscarriage”, a likely blighted ovum, and a subchorionic hematoma; despair . . . utter and total despair

10/14- it’s been an emotional, frustrating, and tiring week.  I wouldn’t have made it through were it not for the support of my family, friends, colleagues, and on-line support networks such as ICAN.

I had an appointment with the OB on 10/9.  The bleeding had stopped, and there had been no tissue loss.  My hcg was great – had nearly doubled in less than 48 hours.  But that didn’t mean that everything was ok.  And actually, later that day I had a real scary spell and the bleeding started up again.  I think I started passing tissue on Friday.  The bleeding picked up again Saturday, so today I am exhausted.

Tomorrow I have a repeat ultrasound scheduled for 4:30pm.  I am very glad that I’m having this done.  I’m almost certain that I am indeed having a miscarriage, but the bleeding has been way too heavy for a 5w miscarriage.  I need to be sure that there isn’t more going on.  I can’t imagine that my pregnancy has weathered this storm, but of course I am still holding out hope.  I’m still praying that there is a healthy baby growing in my womb.

It is what it is, and there’s nothing I can do to control that . . .

10/15 – the repeat ultrasound confirmed what I already knew ~ that I lost the pregnancy yesterday.  I know that I completed the miscarriage yesterday because the entire placenta came out at one time!  I also know now that I was misdiagnosed with a blighted ovum.  I likely miscarried because of the hematoma.  The OB wants to monitor my levels down to 0 and then do some testing when I’m back to “normal”.  Normal . . . what’s that?  I’ve been fluctuating between pregnancy and non-pregnancy since June.

Three pregnancies, two miscarriages, one child.  My child is my miracle.  Thank God for her and for my saint of a husband.