Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Good News? Bad News? Still Not Sure...

We went in for our follow-up for the D&E last week. Nothing big to report there. I talked with the doc a while and both of us tried to figure out what the heck happened. Actually, I think the exact phrase the doc used was "can't wrap my head around..." and I'm really not sure what he said next, but what I filled in the blank was "why I lost that baby."

The next day was our consultation with the local infertility clinic (Reproductive Endocrinologists). But before I talk about that, I have to speak of my amazement about what my regular OB did: I told him I was going for the consultation. And he made sure that instead of the regular 10 to 14 day wait to transfer the files over, they were faxed over the next day with a two page summary of my case for the infertility doc.

Wow. Really. Wow. He wants to help us get pregnant.

Cuz the news from the RE was not so uplifting. First, we're not keen on IVF what with the 9% success rate for women my age. I'm not a gambling woman with the $15k it would take for one IVF cycle. I was honestly hoping the doctor would say: oh, but YOU! YOU! You! Are the exception! We think YOU will have a greater than 50% chance of getting pregnant! Alas, he said, I'm glad you're not that keen on IVF because I don't think it will improve your chances over what you're currently doing. (Oh! One tiny glimmer of good news: my ob and the RE both agreed I get pg faster than most other old hags my age. Yippee!)

The RE then said that he thought that the last m/c was a trisomy problem, which maybe it was. (However, I really don't think so) and the RE maybe misinterpretting my attempts at humor as being carefree instead of carefully-timed-to-keep-me-from-crying went on to say he thought that maybe I was one of those women who have sticky eggs so the divisions likely lead to trisomy and that I'm like to continue having trisomy miscarriages and pretty much I will likely keep miscarrying until I can't get pg any more. (or that's what I heard at least)

Can I repeat ONCE AGAIN that we have ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE at this time that there is a trisomy problem!??!?!? The nuchal translucency was BETTER THAN AVERAGE. The growth rate was BETTER THAN AVERAGE. The heart rate was FASTER THAN AVERAGE (bad, but not a sign of trisomy problem). SO EFF YOU, RE, because there is no evidence of a trisomy problem. Yet. Yes, we'll know for sure in 3-4 more weeks. And yes, if you hear hoofbeats in North Carolina then it's more likely to be a horse than a zebra (a phrase he used!), but might I point out that so far, we ain't heard no hoofbeats.

So our current options right now at the infertility clinic are....nothing. Nada. No hyperovulation stimulation because I don't have a problem with ovulating. No IVF (fine by me). No any other thing. Unless the genetic exam for the baby comes back normal. (And even then, if it's a girl, the RE suggested that it could be MY DNA and not the baby's)

Well, he did give some advice: a baby aspirin a day and 2 mg of folic acid per day. That's a boatload of folic acid, folks. Prenates contain 400 micrograms. I'm taking four (4!) additional 400 microgram pills of folic acid to get up to his suggested level. The baby aspirin helps with implantation and the folic acid is supposed to help with egg development and separation. So that, I'm doing.

However, I'm also going to go back to my regular OB and start the bloodwork to try to detect if I have a clotting disorder. I'd also like to test for some auto-immune problems. There is some possibility that women can develop clotting disorders even after having a healthy live birth. Some people think that miscarriages can even cause them. It's a bit controversial, and if you've heard anything about Dr. Alan Beer, let me know.

That's it.

I'm doing better emotionally and ready for life to get on. We're even thinking of when we're going to start trying again.

And also of seriously pursuing domestic adoption.

There could be a lot going on around here sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Everything Conceivably Annoying

No, I have not read the book yet, but if I hear one more story on NPR about Everything Conceivable and how horrible it is for older women to try to get pregnant and how multiples by older women are a threat to our society, I'm going to have to stage my own infertility clinic sit in.

Although the vast majority of stories this author has been on have been sensational, particularly for NPR standards (OLD!! INFERTILE!! WOMEN! BAD! TWINS! EVIL!!!!), the author on the Diane Rehm show was much more subtle in her criticisms and supportive of older women. (BTW, did you catch the show with Newt Gingrich last week....when he LEFT 40 minutes into the program?? Diane was LIVID!! I was stunned. What an a$$ he is/was.)

Anywho, it seems like since the miscarriage, there has been at least one story on the radio or in the paper about how older mothers are wrong and bad and shouldn't be supported. Well, folks, this is my life. This is the path I'm on. I didn't meet Dave 20 years ago, I met him 6 1/2 years ago. We got married 4 1/2 years ago and we had Conor just 3 years ago. And we want to have another baby. We're healthy, responsible, and just running into some bad luck. So another show on the evils of infertility and the older woman is going to get a earful from me.


(Oh, and I LOVED the comment from the beeyatch who said older women in infertility treatments are selfish and they should just adopt. Yeah, because those 14,000 infants available for domestic adoption are just growing on trees waiting for us to snap them up! And those 18 month to 2 year waits for international adoptions at over $20k are easy as pie, too.)

Phhhht again.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm So Not Kidding About that Bucket Thing

This is a semi-action photo from our vacation. Conor was running around the room in those camaflouge jammie bottoms and his bucket and not much else.

This is walking up the steps from the outrageously expensive spa. Really. Can you stand those curls? It's about all I can do not to lick the screen right now they are so delicious.

Why It's All Worth It

Ahhh. Our little buckethead. The child loves to run around with a bucket on his head. This was a particularly adorable moment, what with the bucket, flag, Easter basket full of puzzle pieces and the stickers all over his dinosaur camouflage pajamas. And if you don't think I'm getting this one out at the prom, you really don't know me.

Though, he may prefer this video, in all his golf-y wonderous. Dave just mowed him his own one-hole golf course yesterday which is already a big hit. I'll have to get a video of it. We have to admit, we've been quite surprised at our little toddler who will golf around the back yard for nearly an hour, breaking out in a big sized sweat as he announces "I'm gonna whack that ball real hard!" I told Dave that Mozart, upon seeing a piano for the first time at 2 1/2 years old, sat down and actually played a song. At just that moment, Conor chose to whack, whack, whack, whack that ball back and forth (as seen in the video) with less Mozart than "chopsticks" coming to mind.

Nonetheless, we're impressed.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm Still Here

Yes, I've taken a bit of time off.

The surgery went.....fine?.......Well? How about let's just say, it's done. The main positive thing is that the psycho anaesthesiologist was not there. Thus, I did not have to contend with some over-involved doctor slipping me a Valium mickey before the surgery and baby feet afterwards. Indeed, I told everyone that I was concerned about the effects of the drugs, and this surgery's anaesthesiologist and his nurse gave me much less. Apparently, I am very sensitive to sedatives and it only takes one step beyond waving the drug over my head and I pass out. Also, I now know I have miniscule veins and they have to turn the IV to the lowest setting or my veins will have incredibly painful spasms.

I could honestly live without knowing either of those bits of information.

I would much rather have the baby who was supposed to turn 1 year old this July. OR the baby who should be about 6 weeks old right now. OR the baby who was still supposed to be growing in my belly right now and due right around Thanksgiving.

Any one of those babies would have been just fine. All three of them would have been a challenge, and darn near physically impossible, but happily welcomed.

As it is, I am not doing well.

Despite the sensitivity to sedatives and small veins, I am generally considered a strong woman. Nonetheless, right now, I am weepy and angry and short of temper. I can cry at any point without any obvious external provocation. (Although if you heard my internal thoughts, it would make perfect sense) I know I'm going to be fine; I always am. However, I'm not enjoying the process right now.

I'm just really pissed off that everything was supposed to be going well, and I do not have a baby any more.

Fine. I'll stop being pissed off at some point. I hope this summer I can heal a bit and I hope even more that I get pregnant with an incredibly healthy, normal, kicking and screaming baby as soon as we can try again.

Conor and I are actually with Dave right now at a conference in Asheville at the Grove Park Inn. It's a wonderful place and I'm glad we're here. The amenities are entirely too expensive, so although I'd love a day of pampering so I don't entirely hate my body as much as I do right now, we can't afford it. (It's $55 just to walk into the spa and not even have any treatments done) Nonetheless, it's beautiful here and I'm enjoying a bit of an escape.

I just really wish I didn't have anything I felt like I had to escape from.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Tomorrow is the D&E.

I'm not really looking forward to it (who would?!). It's also freaking me out how big the baby is. I cannot imagine what it must be like for women further along to miscarry or have a still birth. This sucks, but there is always more suck for someone else.

I got the results of the first trimester screen yesterday (I did not return their bright-and-early message on Monday morning). However, they called again yesterday and I really just wanted to get it over with. The results were relatively good. The Down's probability went from 1:34 due to my age alone to 1:170--it's still considered "at risk" but I would not have pursued it. Additionally, my Trisomy 18 probability went down to 1:6900. (No, that's not a typo) I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the baby didn't die due to a Trisomy 18 problem.

I think there was a heart defect. Maybe it came from the fever I had early in this pregnancy. Maybe it was just some sort of bad luck in the baby's genes. Maybe it just sucks.

Conor has been incredible during this time. He has been very excited about the baby in Mommy's belly and liked to talk to it and kiss my belly. I told him that the baby was sick and going to go live with Duncan (and Baby Jesus.....don't judge me! That's how we had to explain why Simba went to live with Grandma and Grandaddy, but Duncan went to live somewhere else). Anyhoo, Conor got what that meant (the baby wasn't going to live with us) and said a long "Ohhhhhhh." I told him I was sad too and he assured me that he wasn't sad. But since then, he often comes up to me to hug me and say "I make you feel better." And of course, he does.

I'm still angry, but less so and less often. A friend from my local TTC group describes the feeling as a stranger coming up to you and slapping you. It's the absolute truth. The shock, the indignation, the anger at being singled out to be hurt, it's all there in a stranger slapping me.

Now if I could find that b*tch and slap her back, I'd feel a lot better. ;-)

Monday, May 07, 2007

You Have Got to Be Effing Kidding Me

I planned to start out this week blogging about how we FINALLY cleaned our house and describing the dust, dog fur and adorable incident of our son shuffling around the kitchen with towels on his feet as we relented and promised to mop the floors.

I even thought I'd add in a few anectdotes about how great the perennial garden looks and although late, how I'm getting in the rest of the vegetables.

Then, on Tuesday, I'd wow you with the results of our first trimester screen, which started last Monday and for which we've been waiting the results. The initial verdict was good as the nuchal translucency was below average (!). However, the baby's heart rate was a bit high---200 when the average is 175 at this point. However, because I have the doppler fetal monitor at home, I could report that the heartbeat went down to 170.

Then it went back to 200.

And I called the doctor on Friday who 1) wasn't initially amused with my possession of the doppler but then 2) said it was fine because I could monitor the heartbeat.

But overall, things were going well.

Were. Going well.

Were. Past tense.

11 1/2 weeks. With an amazingly strong fetal growth, great nuchal screen and a strong, albeit fast heartbeat.

Shit. Fuck. Damn.

I am so angry right now. Everything has been going great!!!! All the signs and tests have been fantastic. How COULD THE BABY'S HEART STOP ON SATURDAY??????? WHY???? WHY ME?!?!?!?!?!?!??!!

I tried to find the baby's heartbeat Sunday night, but couldn't. I skipped checking on Saturday because I assured myself I was being too cautious and all was well.

This morning, I still couldn't find it. We called the doctor and they had us come in immediately. There was no good news. I honestly about lost it during the ultrasound and I thought I was going to scream. I may have moaned out loud. I do know that I was so mad.

Of course, I cannot stay this mad and sad forever. And the one memory that brings me comfort is pantomining to the doctor using tiny defibriliation paddles on the baby to jump start his/her heart again. I can't stay upset forever. And an easy transition for me involves morbid humor. It cuts the tension. I laugh.

But can you f*cking believe this? I cannot. I honestly think this has to be some sick joke the world is playing on me. I feel like someone has lied to me and I can't figure out who.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Garden

I changed my mind: this is the time I like the garden the best. Maybe it has something to do with the fresh strawberries and asparagus we're harvesting right now.

And the fact that the weeds are still at bay.

And that the garden peas are thriving better than I've ever had before.

And that we have lettuce, beets, turnips and an amazing bed of onions growing heartily right now.

And that the herbs I planted as seeds are actually growing! Who knew!?

And that I just put in the tomato, pepper, and eggplant plants and they appear to be happy.

I still have the rest of the seeds to get in: the late freeze and my busy weekends mean that I'm behind on other important plantings, but I think it's not too, too late.

And the perenial garden is finally taking shape. There is greenery! There are flowers! There is a newly planted peony.

How do you say "Peony?" Big discussion in the house this weekend:

Northern way: Pee-ah-NEE
Southern way: Pee-OH-nee (sounds like pee-ON-me without that hard N in the middle. Figures, eh?!)

It's really pretty in our yard now. Yes, I do need to take pictures. And load them up. School will be out soon......