Walking In Darkness

Trigger for miscarriage.

I went in on Monday for my 6 week 6 day ultrasound. I wasn’t expecting much, but over the weeks of waiting, betas, and spotting, I’ll be darned if I hadn’t gotten this little flame of hope starting to burn in me. I mean, I hadn’t passed anything resembling a gestational sac, and the bleeding was small in quantity with no bright red. A miracle still seemed within the realm of possibility. Sitting on the ultrasound table, feet up in the stirrups, I said a silent prayer that maybe, just maybe somehow it would be okay.

Long story short: it was not okay.

The ultrasound tech scanned my uterus. There was definitely no gestational sac there, or even the suggestion that one had existed in that area. My heart sank. Dr. E directed her to scan over around my tubes and ovaries. I fought off a rising tidal wave of panic. I knew what he was looking for, and I also knew my symptoms were textbook. A low beta plus all the spotting plus no signs of a uterine gestation brought the specter I’d been dreading into the exam room.

There was a mass that hadn’t been present on previous ultrasounds near my left ovary that was possibly related to my pregnancy, but it was still pretty inconclusive. However, given the mass and the fact that there was absolutely nothing resembling a gestational sac in my uterus, Dr. E suspected an ectopic pregnancy. Apparently IVF – where the embryo is placed in the uterus – puts women at higher risk for an ectopic. Go figure. It’s still a very small chance, but my body just seems to love hitting up those long odds when it comes to potential complications.

The only thing to do at that point was to get a beta number and see what was going on with my HCG. This was the bright spot in the whole mess: my beta had dropped from 290 a week and a half earlier to 253, which meant there was a reasonable chance I’d simply miscarry the pregnancy naturally, my body would reabsorb the products of conception and not need methotrexate or surgery to treat it. However, I would need serial HCG draws and close monitoring to make sure that it didn’t rupture or continue to grow.

My RE’s office immediately put my local OB/GYN’s office on alert, since I needed someone closer to my home who was on-call 24/7 and would see me if I needed emergency care. I cried a little, mostly because by that time, I was so frightened and so stressed that it was the only thing I could do. I had a few passing thoughts about miscarrying, but those sort of got lost in the bigger worry about safety and the busyness of setting up monitoring. It wasn’t until later, when I had time to realize what exactly had just happened, that it all hit me.

I’m miscarrying. Again. I hate that word so much right now. How the hell has this happened? How did we get from “if you can ovulate, you’ll get (and presumably stay) pregnant” to two rounds of ART, both ending in miscarriages?

I could no longer hold it together. I sobbed for hours, even when I didn’t think there was another tear I could cry, they just kept coming. I’ve had three embryos transferred, and I’ve lost every one of them. First the blighted ovum twin. Then the seemingly healthy embryo with a heartbeat. Now this one that somehow strayed outside my uterus. Every single one of them hoped for, prayed for, pleaded for. Not a one that turned into a baby we could bring home.

There was some good news then: a subsequent blood draw on Wednesday showed my HCG continuing to drop to 212. This meant no methotrexate, for which I am very glad. However, I’ve been warned to continue to watch for any abdominal pain or shoulder pain or anything that seems out of the normal for me. Despite the numbers declining, there is still a small chance of further complications. I get my next beta drawn in a week to be sure that the number continues to go down, and will be followed until it goes back to normal.

I’m deeply grateful that it’s resolving pretty uneventfully so far, because it could have been so much worse. But at the same time, I’m so tired. So very, very tired. I’m tired of being poked and prodded and examined. I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of hoping. I’m tired of looking for miracles, of wishing. I’m tired of walking around with invisible wounds. I’m tired of crying. I’m tired of my body feeling like a graveyard, haunted by dead and dying babies.

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34 thoughts on “Walking In Darkness

  1. Oh God, that last line–yes, I’ve been there, and it’s awful. I’m sorry. What else is there to say? It’s all so terribly unfair. Sending love and peace, xo

  2. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and Arthur.
    I know you are hurting and I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I want to tell you something i was told by someone very close to me near the end of my infertility journey…

    I want you to know, to really hear and believe, that if you are ready, it is 100% ok to let go and stop trying. It won’t erase the hurt or take away the scars or make things magically “all better”…but…give yourself permission to grieve, then give yourself permission to live.

  3. Unfair is not even the word. I’m glad you will most likely get through this uneventfully, without methotrexate, but I wish this all away, away from you. Thinking of you and wishing you peace and healing. I’ve been in that tired, tired haunted place before and I just want to take you out of there so badly. Be gentle, soft, nurturing with your good self. Pressing your hand with mine.

  4. I am so, so sorry. What the fuck? I’m glad there wasn’t an added complication, but sad, and angry, that there wasn’t a miracle. It is so hard to keep hoping that the miracle story will be your story and instead be met with tragedy and loss. I don’t know how to stop wishing for the miracle story so I won’t try to convince you to do that, either. I don’t have any words to make it better, just know I’m thinking of you and I hope you have the space to take very good care of yourself (or let someone else take very good care of you) during this immeasurably sad time of just freaking disbelief. I just don’t understand why this has to be so HARD and HORRIBLE, at times disproportionately so for some. Wishing you peace and healing.

  5. Reading this post has reduced me to a puddle of tears. I wish I could reach out and give you a big hug. I know it would not fix anything but I hope you know that you are not alone. You are in my thoughts during this difficult time.

  6. This made me cry:

    “I’m tired of my body feeling like a graveyard, haunted by dead and dying babies.”

    I’m so sorry and wish I had the words, or any word, to make it better.

    Thinking of you.
    And praying for you.

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