I love September. It’s the beginning of fall, my favorite season (comfy jeans, baggy sweatshirts and decorative scarves, oh my)! Brisk bike rides with my dog. The leaves on the trees are changing into vibrant colors. The smell in the air. Pumpkin muffins and drinks. It’s my husbands birthday month too. This September is a little sad for me though. It’s also the month that our baby would have been born.
We were trying to get pregnant for months. I had an HSG test done to make sure my tubes were nice and open and my husband was checked out too. We wanted to be sure to do everything in advance before our journey because we are in our late 30’s and my sister suffered 3 miscarriages (she now has two beautiful smart & healthy kids). It’s a shame how some people get pregnant so easily or “by mistake”. I’ll never understand how someone gets pregnant by mistake. Never. When we weren’t getting pregnant at first my sister gave me a lot of advice and actually told me what to get tested for (vs an actual doctor). Turns out I carry the MTHFR gene mutation just like she does. There is research that the gene could cause infertility. Most say you have to have more than one copy of it though. She told me to take prescription folic acid and a baby aspirin along with a prenatal vitamin. Did my doctor suggest this? No. The woman who went through hell trying to become a mom told me this. Does it help? Supposedly. At least my doctor agreed when I suggested it to him. More recent studies show that people with MTHFR don’t process Folgard the way the body should. So now I’m taking Metanx which is a natural form of folic acid. Maybe that will help. Who knows.
We did everything right. Had sex during prime ovulation time. Month after month when my period arrived and/or the pregnancy test was negative, we became disappointed but remained optimistic. After the 6th month of trying we should have received more medical help since I’m over 35. The doctor said just keep trying. In January (my birthday month) I took a test and it was positive! I actually took the test in a Meijer bathroom immediately after I bought it because I couldn’t wait to get home (and I was on my way to a friends baby shower). POSITIVE!! We are PREGNANT! After telling my husband I told my sister immediately. She told me to get blood work done to check my beta levels. I did that. And they were low, along with my progesterone levels. The doctor office gave me some vaginal inserts for progesterone. I asked that my initial first appointment be earlier than “normal” because of my fear of something going wrong after what my sister went through. They went ahead and scheduled it.
January 17th. A Friday. We had the appointment. The lady checking us in and taking my weight had a rude tone to her voice saying “you’re here early” after I answered her question of how far along I was. Screw you bitch. You may see a lot of pregnant people in here but if I want to come in at (what we think was) 5 weeks and my doctor allowed this appointment, shut your mouth and just do your job.
The doctor comes in. Probing around in there. Not seeing anything. Sees something that possibly could be the sac but thinks maybe it’s just too early. He sends me to the hospital for a more thorough look. We get to the hospital and this lady was so nice. She made me feel a little more comfortable but I could tell something was wrong. She was in there for what seemed to be hours. Moving that thing around all over the place. Saying she had to make a call and have someone else look at it. Can’t be good news. And, it wasn’t. My doctor was already on a plane to Florida to visit his brother so they had to call the doctor on call. She told me that there could be a few scenarios of options and most likely this is an ectopic pregnancy. This was over the phone. Perhaps trying to keep us hopeful, we were instructed to go to the ER on Sunday for another ultrasound. We didn’t quite understand this, but whatever. I started the day thinking it was just going to be a morning appointment and I would go into work after. I had to call off to my boss, 1.5 months after my start date. Ugh. At this point I’m thinking why go to the ER on Sunday? Is this going to cost us a fortune? Why can’t someone tell me something more concrete now? Because it’s too early?
Saturday morning I wake up to go to the bathroom and all I feel and see is blood. I quickly cry out for my husband. Am I having a miscarriage? Frightened and worried, we contact my sister. She is just as upset if not more than we are. All the pain she has been through and now she feels that pain for her baby sister. I could hear it in her voice. We got off the phone and immediately headed to the ER.
It’s an ectopic. It needs to be terminated. It’s life-threatening to me. We have two choices. Get a shot of methotrexate and the termination takes its course for about two weeks (so they said). Or, I have surgery to have it removed but then my tube would be damaged and make it harder to have a baby later on. We chose the shot. To make a long story short from here, I bled for 8.5 weeks. I had to have a second shot one week after the first shot because my beta number wasn’t going down enough. What I thought would be 2 weeks of bleeding and suffering turned into 8.5 weeks. I didn’t sign up for that! But looking at the positive side, at least I didn’t have to have surgery and my left tube is still “ok”. That baby was one tough cookie trying to hang on. I had to get blood drawn weekly. The first blood draw after the initial methotrexate shot I had to go to the hospital versus the doctor’s office. The lady at the desk was giving me a hard time because my license had 4 names on it (my first, middle, maiden last name and married last name) but on their records it just had my first and married last name. That IS my name. I chose to keep all of my names though legally. Really? This is a problem? After I burst out into tears and I explain to her the simplicity to this whole thing that she thinks is an issue, she finally admits she is wrong. I never got an apology though. I’m dismissed to join the phlebotomist to get my blood drawn. She takes one look at my arm and says “do you get your blood drawn a lot”? I’m assuming she asks this question because I have several bruises there from blood work and an IV. I respond by saying “I was in the hospital for an ectopic pregnancy which I have now and have been poked a lot”. She then says “congratulations”. I had to tell her what an ectopic pregnancy was and that she should not be congratulating me. Then she asks, “so you can’t have the baby”? I think it’s clear that sensitivity training needs to take place in that hopsital for all of their staff. Sensitivity and common f**king sense and knowledge training.
It’s been known to happen that a woman doesn’t get her period until 6 months after an ectopic. I was lucky enough to get it in April after my beta number was finally 0 (actually 1). We had to wait a few cycles until we could try again. So we are spending money on metanx, prenantal vitamins, baby aspirin, ovulation tests, etc. Making sure to hit the right days when we should be able to get pregnant. Knowing there is only a 20% chance of getting pregnant during the time you can get pregnant isn’t very encouraging. Again, I’ll never understand how someone gets pregnant “by mistake” or “by accident”. As of right now, we are not pregnant. Perhaps in October my period won’t arrive and maybe we will be. Fingers crossed. There is a higher percent chance that we will have another ectopic though since we’ve already had one. And, with my age, downs syndrome is a higher possibility.
We’ve since gone to a new doctor recently. The father of a friend. He listened and gave good advice. We felt a connection with him which is needed during this difficult time. He actually joked that we were spending money on ovulation tests when he’d give us a free one – a piece of paper! It does turn our that perhaps we weren’t starting to have sex as soon as we should have been during the ovulation time frame. I know for a fact though which day we got pregnant in December for the January positive result because it just so happened we only had sex on one day during that time frame. This doctor doesn’t deliver babies anymore though so we’ll have to figure all that out once we are pregnant. Will we have my files sent to him and go to him instead? Who will delivery the baby if it comes to that?
If you read my blog titled “Strong Energy” you know I went to see a medium. One of the things she did say was that my late father in law has that baby with him and to think spring. Meaning maybe spring time is a good time to get pregnant? Not sure. We’ll see. I believe everything else that happened during that session. I’m hoping the pregnancy happens sooner than that, but if spring is the time then spring is the time.
While I haven’t let the loss of our child put a stop to my life, I haven’t felt like dancing and enjoying this month as much as I usually do.
“The bell was ringing, our souls were singing”. Hopefully next September I’ll feel like dancing more.