Archive | April, 2014

Doctor Interview #1: Duke

30 Apr

The last couple weeks have been a roller coaster, and I am so thankful they’re over.

After I posted about our last appointment at the NCCRM, they finally called and offered to let me come in for a “mini-D&C” in office.  The catch: I would have to be awake during it.  I don’t know if this was to discourage me from choosing this option or not.  While that freaked me out, almost 2 weeks of dead babies inside of me was more than enough.  I was ready to schedule it and have this whole thing be over.  But then, only a few hours later, I started to spot.  I spotted into the next day until I started to completely miscarry on my own.  While I’m thankful I didn’t have to go back into that office, I don’t think I ever want to miscarry naturally again if I can help it.  It was emotional and painful and isolating and just horrible.  Give me the drugs.  Give me the D&C.   Let someone else handle it.

We took a spur of the moment trip up to Chicago to spend Easter with my family.  I needed to leave the house.  I needed to get away from home for a while.  It was nice to see my family.  I wasn’t really ready to leave. :/

Last Wednesday, I had an appointment with Duke Fertility.  The two doctors I saw were the complete opposite of my Dr at the NCCRM.  Both were women, which I loved, and both were super compassionate, yet very professional.  They asked a lot of questions and dug into everything I brought with me.  They disagree with Dr. T’s use of lovenox and want to take a closer look at my thyroid.  Dr. B picked up some anti-thyroid antibodies in my blood last year and they didn’t like that no one really looked further into that.  At the very least, they would recommend a low dose thyroid medicine.  Like the lovenox, it can’t hurt and can only help.  They wanted to run the recurrent miscarriage blood panel that Dr. T said was a waste of time.  They answered my questions and explained things to me.  They were interested in educating me as well as finding out what, if anything, went wrong last time, and how they can do things differently next time.
When I asked about my cramping during transfer and for the next couple weeks after, they said it was probably my endometriosis causing pain and irritation.  There’s probably nothing to be done about it, but it’s also probably not hurting anything right now.  It’s a bummer that nothing can be done, but at least they tried to explain it.
They also gave me the run down on how they would proceed with another retrieval should I need/decide to go that route.  They  would insist on another 3 months of lupron to treat any endometriosis that has grown back.  They probably wouldn’t have even done this last retrieval without a round of lupron.  As much as I hated being on lupron, I like that they’re being proactive and are wanting to treat my endometriosis seriously.

Tomorrow, I go meet with one more doctor at UNC.  I’ve heard that UNC has excellent bedside manner.  Best case scenario: we have two excellent doctors to choose from.  Worst case: we don’t care for UNC and switch to Duke next week.
I would be perfectly happy switching to Duke right now.  They remind me of Dr. B and I felt very comfortable with them.  I can send the Dr. emails directly too, which I love.   Duke’s live birth rates are slightly higher than UNC’s, but not enough for that to be the deciding factor.

I feel a little more empowered as I’m choosing a new doctor.  I’m trying to treat each appointment like an interview.  I’m interviewing these doctors like they’ll be working for me.  I’m trying not to feel desperate, but to be proactive and logical.  I think it’s helping.

More after UNC tomorrow.

 

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In Threes

26 Apr

April 2014 might go down in our history as the worst month ever.  Seriously..

You know the myth that death comes in 3’s?  Yea.  It’s been that kind of month.

First, the baby(ies).  It sucks.  We’re still working through it.  It’s easier than last time, but I’m so much angrier about it.

Then, Jeremy’s Oma died two weeks ago.  He wasn’t super close to her, but it’s always sad when a grandparent dies.  It’s been really rough for his family. 😦

Today, after a sudden illness put her in the hospital last week, my Grandmother died.  It’s devastating and I can’t help but fluctuate between grief and anger.

I’m so angry that this baby died.  I’m so angry that our children will never get to meet my grandmother or Jeremy’s oma.  I know most kids don’t get to meet their great grandparents, but if our first baby would have made it, or if we hadn’t had to put up with so much of this bullshit then ours would have.  They should have.  If this most recent baby wouldn’t have died, I would have at least been able to tell her about it.  She would have been so happy.  I’m glad I didn’t tell her though.  I’m glad I didn’t have to tell her that this baby died too.

I’m so lucky I got the chance to know my grandmother.  I love my grandmother and there’s never going to be another human being like her.  She had her flaws, everyone does, but it feels like such a disservice to our children that they don’t get to meet her.

I’m so tired of death and bad news.  I’m so tired of being so angry that life is so unfair.  I hate this.

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I love you, Grandmother. Rest in Peace, Rebecca Pearl. ❤

I Am Frustrated

14 Apr

Well, here we are, a week and a half later and I still don’t really have anything concrete to update. 😦

Our appointment with our Dr last Monday was anticlimactic and mostly useless.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but that definitely wasn’t it.  He sat down and looked at us and said there was nothing he could do about this and it’s just “bad luck.”  No sympathy, no emotion at all.  He wouldn’t run any other tests, he said there wasn’t anything else we could check that would change my protocol.  He would just recommend switching to steroid injections next time instead of the lovenox.  He tried really hard to escape the room, but we had questions to ask.  He had no thoughts on all of the cramping I experienced and no answer for looking into something to help keep my anxiety level down (he doesn’t like to add extra medications… says the IVF doctor…).  He turned our age around and told us that we’re still so young.  I nearly yelled at him that if I can’t get pregnant at 26 (or 23), my odds of getting pregnant at 30 aren’t much better.  I don’t want 6 of our embryos turning into 1 baby.  I want to have more than 1 baby.   He just looked at me and smiled politely.

When we first met this doctor, I thought his straight to the point and “my word is law” mentality would help things move along more smoothly.  But I’m finding that he doesn’t like to be questioned and has no interest in teaching us or helping us understand anything.  He doesn’t have time for emotions.

I also let the nurse know that I don’t want this miscarriage to go on forever.  Last time, I miscarried almost as soon as I stopped my progesterone.  This time, it’s been 10 days since I stopped my progesterone injections and nothing is happening.  Last Monday, my final beta came back at 2 and my progesterone was only 10.  Things were low and only getting lower.  The nurse told me to wait until Thursday and then give her a call and they’d see what they could do.  Since Thursday, I’ve left her 3 messages and called the office manager only to hear today that I’m just going to have to wait until my body miscarries naturally, that they don’t want to interfere.

I just don’t feel like it’s that odd to want this to be over.  I feel like I’m carrying dead babies around inside of me and it just makes me sick.  I don’t want to look at my body.  I don’t want to go out in public more than I have to.   I recognize that I was barely 5 weeks when they died.  But at this point, I would be almost 7 weeks.  If I hadn’t had the 2nd beta, I would still think I’m pregnant.  I’ve had very little cramping and no spotting.  It’s overwhelming and agonizing and I’m so angry and frustrated that no one seems to care.  Is it really that hard to prescribe some misoprostol?!  Or at the very least, explain why a natural miscarriage is so important to them?

Jeremy and I both feel like this has been kind of the last straw with this clinic.  We’ve got 2 appointments in the next few weeks to see two other clinics in the Raleigh/Durham area.  Duke Fertility and UNC Fertility.  I wish we could check out Carolina Conceptions too, but our insurance won’t cover them.  While the NCCRM has higher birth rates than Duke or UNC, I can’t help but think a clinic who will answer my questions and return my phone calls will do a world of good for our next transfer.

I miss Dr. B.  I miss Rush Copley’s Center for Reproductive Health.  I miss how friendly and helpful the nurses were.  I miss not being worried that I was continuously falling through the cracks.  My body NEVER does what it’s supposed to do and I miss being with a clinic who understands that and understands all of the emotions that go along with it.  My insurance covers IVF with Dr. B now.  Traveling to Chicago from Raleigh for a transfer is really silly, but right now it’s so appealing.

Overall, if I wasn’t having to fight to actually achieve a miscarriage right now, I think I would be doing ok.  But this isn’t helping.  This isn’t making the process easier.   I just want it to be over. 😦

Beta #3: It’s Just Us Again

5 Apr

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Beta came back at just 7.  Our babies are gone.  It’s just us again.

We’re coping in our own ways.  It’s both easier and more difficult than last time.  I’m finding myself hoping that some good will come out of this, that maybe this will reveal the last piece in the puzzle. That the rest of our embryos will actually have a chance.

On Thursday, I was on the verge of refusing to do another transfer.  Ever.  Over the course of the past couple days, I realized that we have 4 more embryos who deserve the chance their siblings just had.  But after those 4, I think we’ve decided that will be it.  I can’t keep letting this happen.  It feels irresponsible in a way to my body, to my and my husband’s emotional wellbeing, and to these embryos.  I can’t keep creating them only to have them die.

I have to go in for 1 more beta on Monday to make sure my level gets below 5.  They also squeezed us in to see Dr. T on Monday afternoon which I am incredibly thankful for.  I want to see him sooner rather than later while this is still so fresh in our minds.  We have some questions and some thoughts and it will be good the hear what he has to say as well.

Beta #2

4 Apr

The last time I lost a baby, the numbers started out bad and just got worse.  We knew right away that it was unlikely that our baby was going to make it.  It was devastating, but I’m thankful it happened early and I’m thankful it was swift.

This time, I was able to be blissfully pregnant (or however blissful an infertile woman being pregnant ever can be) for 9 whole days.  The pregnancy tests were dark and obvious.  They showed up quickly.  They were beautiful.  My progesterone check and first beta were beautiful and indicative of at least 1 healthy, growing baby.  Just a few days ago, Jeremy and I were laying in bed and I realized that for the first time in 3 1/2 years, things felt so good.  Things felt right and wonderful.  I couldn’t have asked for anything more than what I had at that moment.  I was starving and exhausted all the time, but it was the most wonderful feeling.

I woke up yesterday morning knowing that I had made it to 5 weeks.  I had made it further than I ever had before.   The night before, I ordered yarn for the baby’s blanket.  Things just felt so wonderful.

And then I went to have beta #2 drawn and waited in terror for some reason until the nurse finally called me at 2:45.  My beautiful first beta of 80 had dropped.  To just 31.  I tried to keep hysterics under control while the nurse tried to relay information from the doctor.  That has to be the worst part of her job.  I could tell she just felt so bad.

According to the doctor, our best case scenario means that we lost one baby and the other is trying to hang on, but doing poorly.  Worst case scenario is that we have lost them both.  I will have a 3rd beta drawn tomorrow and that will tell us everything.

This is feels so much like the last time now.  We’re just waiting to find out.  Jeremy is hoping for the best.  I’m finding it hard to be optimistic at all.  Any thoughts and prayers will be appreciated.  More tomorrow.

Beta #1

1 Apr

Beta #1 was this morning and it came back at 80.  I was really hoping for a higher number, but the nurse said they just want it to be higher than 50 at 2 weeks post transfer.  I tested 2 days early, so they’re super happy with my beta.  She said everything looks just perfect so far.  Coupled with my nice high progesterone, I have two very healthy numbers.

So I’m back in Thursday and Saturday to make sure everything is doubling appropriately.  As long as Saturday’s comes back fine, we can go ahead and schedule my first ultrasound. 🙂

I had always thought that once I got pregnant again that I would start knitting up a storm.  That I would be going crazy as I created this excellent knitted wardrobe for this amazing little person.  Since we found out, I haven’t been able to pick up a pair of needles or sit at my sewing machine with the thought of knitting for a baby.  Any baby.  I know this fear stems from the fact that anything I knit right now will be for this baby.  It will belong to him or her.  And if he or she doesn’t make it, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use that piece of clothing for another baby.
I know it’s still so early, but it’s just so interesting how much my feelings changed once we actually got what we’ve been waiting for.  I’m sure once things move on, I’ll be able to start creating things for this new little life.  Maybe it will be after our 3rd beta, maybe after the ultrasound, or maybe it won’t be until 24 weeks.  It makes me all the more thankful that I’ve been knitting for our babies during all the time we’ve been waiting.  Even if I can’t bring myself to knit for him or her this whole pregnancy, he or she already has a plethora of sweaters and booties waiting.

I made myself sew the buttons on this sweater the day we found out.  Thankfully, it was 100% completed otherwise.  It matches the teal booties I made after our egg retrieval. 🙂
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