Sunday, May 11, 2014

Another Unexpected Speed Bump

By this point, you'd think Scott & I would be used to setbacks and speed bumps. Bad news, unexpected news, curveballs, they're all one in the same. But no matter how many difficulties you go through in life, they just keep coming and don't really get any easier. This week was no different.

As I posted last week, I truly was accepting the fact that I miscarried and lost the baby. It is completely heartbreaking and devastating, but I'm thankful that it happened so early on and I really think it helped me to process and accept it faster. I was able to wrap my head around what happened, why it may have happened, and found comfort in the fact that it is so common- although completely cruel. 

I told a few people at work and I was beginning to accept it and be okay with it each day. Certain songs on the radio would make me cry and I would have sudden moments of unexplained sadness but I know that's to be expected and is all part of the healing process. I know I can't ignore these feelings and it's not healthy to push them down. Part of healing and moving on is accepting it and letting myself feel the emotions that come with difficulties. But I was doing all of that and was proud of myself for accepting it, working through it, blogging to get it all out, and exercising daily. I was proud of myself for doing 1 hard core workout each day for a full week~ Zumba and an interval/circuit class at the gym, T25 at home~ I felt good. Then Wednesday happened and threw a huge curveball in everything, knocking me down right back to where I was 2 weeks ago. 

After our appointment with the Dr. who confirmed I had miscarried, he said I would have blood tests weekly to check my hormones. Ideally, the pregnancy hormone would drop over time and when it reaches 0, we can start up again. I was certain I had passed everything on my own, there was no sac on the scan, and I felt fine, so naturally I thought we were good to go and numbers would decrease each week. Nope.

 I had a voicemail from my nurse Wednesday after school, and I checked it quickly before heading to a faculty meeting. I had no doubt that they'd be going down, and was just curious what she would report with numbers. To my complete shock, the message said that my numbers actually went up, which is what we don't want. I immediately lost it, crying and in a complete fog/full of confusion. How would this be possible? The thought of the baby actually making it, or another one being present didn't even cross my mind because my numbers were too low for this to even be possible. In my mind, this only meant one thing~ possible ectopic pregnancy (an embryo implanting somewhere other than the uterus- typically in one of the tubes, but could be anywhere). I called the nurse back and she was just as confused and surprised as I was. I asked if it could be ectopic and she said it *could* be but they weren't really sure. In looking up symptoms of an ectopic, I didn't fit any of them really. Numbers increase with it, yes, but usually they sky rocket and mine were just kind of slowly rising. Also they say you might be in extreme pain and that wasn't the case either. She said I needed to come back Friday to recheck my levels and also get extra blood drawn to test my liver function and a few other things. If they were still elevated or continuing to rise, I would need to come back that afternoon for an injection of methotrexate. 

I somehow managed to make it through the faculty meeting (which was longer than usual, as we were scheduled to stay from 3:30 to 5:00 this week~ go figure!). I drove home in a fog and texted Scott when I got home~ he was at work and I didn't want to bother him with something I couldn't really explain 100% and couldn't do anything about in the meantime. I also naturally started Googling methotrexate, ectopic pregnancies, reasons why HCG levels might rise other than pregnancy, etc etc. I know Google can be a very dangerous thing and I know not to take everything for face value that you read on the Internet. I also know it's an incredibly stupid thing when you're an emotional wreck because results will most likely scare you to death about things not true.... but I can't help it and it's often my go to when I don't have experts to talk to. 

Search results for methotrexate had me in tears. I was reading that it's a super serious drug used for cancer patients undergoing chemo, it's not a drug to be messed with, it has very serious risks and side effects, etc. I also read that you have to wait 3 months before trying to conceive after having the drug. Obviously this made me even more emotional and I was just completely losing it. I didn't want to tell our parents or broadcast it because I couldn't wrap my head around what was happening.

I didn't know if I actually needed it. 
I didn't know if my blood test was a fluke or not. 
I didn't know if I could handle waiting another 3 months after all we've been through. 
I didn't know what the drug would do to me. 
I feared having a tube rupture before Friday if it was indeed ectopic. 

I couldn't stop wondering why in the world this was happening to us. I had accepted our loss and started to move on. I now felt like I was being punished for handling it so well. "Oh, look, Stace is handling this all to well with her happy shiny positivity... let's go change that." I had wrapped my head around everything and now it was all being shaken up again. I didn't have answers. I didn't know what was happening or why. I couldn't answer anyone else's questions because I didn't have my own. I was an emotional wreck. I cried easily... very easily. I came home Thursday and took an almost 3-hour nap, barely ate anything, and cried myself to sleep until Scott came home, when I fell apart again. It was a rough rough day. I just wanted answers and wanted it all to be over so I could pick up the pieces and move on again. 

Friday came and I drove out to the clinic again for blood work, then was on the edge of my seat all afternoon waiting for the results call. Luckily we got out of work early (staff work day) at 2, and the call came at like 1:57. My numbers went up again. I needed to come get the injection. Thankfully, I was able to come home and get Scott so he could drive and be with me. I was an emotional, crying mess the entire drive out there, and even in the waiting room. I checked in and saw our patient coordinator behind the desk. She asked if I was okay, and normally I would automatically say "yea" even if I wasn't. This time, I wasn't even able to hold back and just said "nope" and started crying again. I felt so bad because I didn't want to be mean and felt like I even surprised her by my reaction. Oops. 

We got called back right away, and I'm glad it was my nurse on duty that day, so she could do it for herself. She gave me 2 information packets~ one was a consent to sign for the injection and to read all the possible risks and side effects, the other was aftercare info for home. I couldn't think or see straight and was just literally crying nonstop. While she went to prep the meds, our Dr. came in to check if I was okay. In asking if it was indeed ectopic, she said we couldn't really know. Nothing showed up on an ultrasound they did, I wasn't showing signs, but because of my numbers, we had to treat it as if it was for precautionary reasons. The shot would take the place of a D&C or other surgeries needed sometimes after miscarriages. In  most cases, the shot does the same thing. It targets rapidly dividing cells (in my case, pregnancy cells) and breaks them apart, so that whatever is left over in my system will stop and disappear. I told her my fear of waiting another 3 months on top of it (mad at my body for not just passing it all on its own), but she said that wasn't the case, and to stop Googling. hehe ;) (Enter Scott with an "I told ya so.") She said we just need to wait for the levels to reach 0, and we can go from there. She also said it shouldn't hurt our chances of conceiving again in the future either, so all of this gave me renewed hope immediately. All of that was a huge huge relief. 

Now all I had to do was face the injection... which was actually divided into 2 injections. Ick. We all know how much I hate needles. I've gotten good at blood draws. I got through 2 injections before IUI, but these were bigger needles and going into the muscle in my hip/butt area. Ouuuuuch! I was beyond nervous but my nurse is literally a rock star and I barely felt a thing for each. When she said "just a little pinch", it literally was just that. The Novocain shot before getting a cavity filled is literally worse than these were, combined. I thanked her a million times and was so happy it didn't hurt like hell. 

Only major drawbacks to the injection, for now, are no drinking or exercising for 2 solid weeks. I don't really mind the drinking one as I had really stopped anyway... but the exercise one made me mad. I had just done so so well, and now have to break for 2 weeks. Nothing outside of normal daily activity. Also can't take many medications and have to stop prenatal vitamins for the time being too. I always get into an exercise groove and then need to stop because of something like an injury, sickness, etc. Blah. Looking forward to getting back in after 2 weeks because it felt good and I was happy with myself, plus it was great stress relief. 

As we left the office, I was getting hugs from some of the nurses and I was instantly starting to feel more like myself. This was the closure I needed. I had the injection, I know what it's doing, and as long as it does it's job, we are good to go. I will continue to go for weekly blood checks of my levels and hope that they now start dropping, and we will be in good shape. So I'm praying for just that and we can put this all behind us. 

I can't wait to be done with all of the hiccups that come with fertility treatments. Just to name a few, here are some annoying things we go through:

-waking up at 5am & driving A LOT on days I need to go to the clinic. Morning monitoring is between 7 and 8 am, and the clinic is an hour from our house, and another hour to work. Work starts at 8:15, so I try to be there by 6:45 because it's first come, first serve and I need to be gone by 7:25 in order to just barely make it to work (it's actually 50 mins even). 

-so much driving. I got gas before the appt on Friday, and by the time I got to work, I had driven 95 miles. We did it twice on Friday too, and that didn't count the 20 miles from school to home. '

-multiple blood draws~ about 1-2 a week over the past few weeks, and 1 a week from now on. 

-Being glued to my phone between 12 and 2 on days I'm waiting on a call for blood test results. 

-internal ultrasounds. I hate those stupid tables, stirrups, and the damn ultrasound wand. Sometimes I hate being a girl. 

-fertility meds. Whether it be Clomid, Ovidrel injection before IUI, or now Methotrexate. Ugh. 

-all the mental stress, frustration, confusion, etc. It truly is an emotional roller coaster... the mack daddy of emotional roller coasters.

-the fact that only so many people truly get it. We've been fortunate to have an amazing support system and everyone tries so hard and means so well, and it's appreciated so so much. But at the end of the day, it's only 100% relatable if you've been in the same boat. 

That's it for now. No frilly pic quotes with this one. Just had to get it all out... actually I do have one that I'll close with, but it's not in pic form. Sorry I can't EVER seem to get my posts to be short enough to read within 5 mins~ I envy all my fellow blogger friends who can say all of this in just a few paragraphs. I always feel the need to write and retell every. single. detail.... for no reason. Oh well. Again, not offended if you don't read, I really started it all more for myself to get it out there. So for now, please pray that the injection works and my numbers go down over the next week, and that we don't have to wait another eternity to conceive and become parents. I now won't pray to get pregnant, but to actually have a live, healthy baby in our arms one day. 

"God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently God thinks I'm a bad-ass." ;) 

P.S... Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there! New moms, pregnant moms, angel moms, and those trying desperately to become moms. <3 xoxo

1 comment:

  1. Oh girl you have gone through a lot!!! Trusting that He will carry you through on all of these super hard days xoxo