Saturday, February 26, 2011

Our Story: Part I & II

Well, I have just spent the last couple of days reading a blog about a man and his wife who lost their twin boys in 2008 at 20 weeks.  It was written by the husband, and gave the male perspective as he navigated his way through the loss off his sons, through his grief, and through life "after".  He blogged from 2008, and the last entry was in October 2010.  It was so incredibly well written: funny, sad, angry, hopeful, fearful, etc...  He put it all out there for those of us going through similar experiences to read.  I was addicted and ready every post with gusto.  And, I have to admit to myself, and I can hardly believe it really, but I was actually expecting the final post to wrap it all up with a neat little bow, and a healthy pregnancy, or a baby or something.  What an idiot.  Life isn't like that.  Life can be so messy, and unfair, and uneven, and just so wrong. He and his wife seem like the nicest, most loving couple, so ready and eager to have a child of their own.  Any child would be so lucky to be theirs.  But nope.  Not now, and they are trying to come to grips with the possibility of not ever.

Andy and I have been talking about what our plan is now.  I have spent eight of the last 11 months pregnant with two pregnancies, and am left with nothing to show for it but a broken heart and a baby girl who died.  I haven't yet really outlined our whole history in our quest to add to our family.  I gave the coles notes version of what happened to Love, but we also had a pregnancy last year that was surgically ended at 12 weeks.   So, we have been on the "baby making train" for the last full year (I know, that is a relatively short time to those who have struggle for years, but this is my story) and we don't have any trouble getting pregnant.  It's staying that way that is the challenge.

And now I am paralyzed with fear over what could happen next.  It is a reality that my last two pregnancies not only ended badly, but could have killed me.  I guess now is as good a time as any to outline what happened in better detail.

In March 2010 I got pregnant with what should have been our second child.  But wait, I think I should start at the beginning.

Andy and I were married in January of 2008.  We knew we would start trying to have a baby right away as we had been together already for 5 years, and weren't getting any younger.  Also, I had a double uterus at the time, so thought that perhaps we might have some trouble in the baby making department.  Wrong.  We got pg basically right away.  We wanted to use a Midwife, and found one who was awesome.  Because of my double uterus she wanted me to see a specialist because I was "out of the norm".  The specialist said I was "worst case scenario" for someone in my situation because basically my  uterus is half size (the uterus was divided in half and made in two when I developed as a fetus) and then I had also had a leep procedure due to precancerous cells a few years before.  Anyoo, long story short, the doctor recommended a cervical cerclage (a "purse string" stitch meant to keep the cervix closed) to keep my cervix closed and avoid preterm labour.  The doctor seemed pretty "doomsday" about the whole thing, and hoped to get me to 28 weeks if at all possible.  So, basically, I spent the whole pregnancy just waiting to go into preterm labour.  But, I decided to have the mindset that I would worry about "what is" instead of "what could be", so I slapped a smile on my face and just went on with the pregnancy.  Well, I had to see the doctor lots, and kept checking the calendar to count down the weeks to 28 weeks, but other than that, I had a great, uneventful pregnancy.  Well, 28 weeks turned into 38 weeks (I had the cerclage taken out at 36 weeks), then 39, then 40, then to everyone's amazement, 41!!  I was a friggin' week overdue!!  Crazy.  So, I took the midwife "cocktail" to start labour on January 20th 2009 at about 10am, and went into labour at around 2pm, and at 8:05pm that night after only 6 hour of total labour, I delivered our son into the world.  Easy peezy, lemon squeezy.

And that's what I was to expect for future pregnancies, right?  Easy peezy, lemon squeezy??  Not so fast.

When Avery was a year old, Andy and I decided we should start thinking about adding to our family so our kids could be close in age like we both were with our siblings.  So we started "trying" right after Avery's birthday.  I found out in May that I was pg, and Andy & I were stoked.  But not long after that I started spotting.  I called the midwife to let her know and she scheduled an ultrasound for us, should it be an ectopic pregnancy.  I could also tell right away that I was pregnant in my right uterus this time, not the left like I had been with my son.  I wasn't sure if this would be a problem, but thought that I would have been more comfortable if I had been pg in my "proven" left uterus.  So, we go to the ultrasound and the tech tells us that yes, we are pg (I always needed that reassurance for some reason by the tech, like I had been making it up, or wrong, that we weren't pg after all or something.  Funny...), and that we dated around 7 weeks.  Yay!!  then he lets me go pee.  I leave the room to go pee and get my hubby and we have a celebratory hug for the new little person who is on the way.  Then we go back into the room and the tech as gotten the radiologist to come into the room to consult on the ultrasound.  They send hubby back into the hall while they do the scanning.  40 minutes go by with the Dr. and the tech speaking in code, so I have no idea what is going on, but I can tell something isn't right.  Well, i had been bleeding to get us here, so obviously something was going on.  But what??  Finally the Dr. starts to speak to me.
"I'm sorry", he says, "but you were either on the way to miscarrying, or the baby embedded in the wrong spot too low in the uterus, and the pregnancy is not viable".  He says all of this while my hubby is left out in the hall!!  I insisted that hubby be brought in to hear this, because there was no way that I would be able to transfer all that info to him (Andy is a question guy, so I knew I wouldn't have all the info he would need to process what was happening).  We are told that the results will be sent to our midwife and Dr. and we will be contacted later.  We called the midwife right away and she said to stay positive because radiologists are wrong all the time.  So, we go home, and stay as positive as we can.  I get a call from my midwife the next day that things are not as she thought, and are indeed very serious.  It turned out that the right uterus was very under developed and the walls were too thin to carry a full term pregnancy.  We would need to have the pregnancy ended and the uterus removed right away.  "Be ready to have surgery in a couple of days" I was told.  Later that day I get a call from my Dr.'s office.  They have scheduled an appt for consultation on June 4th.  That was 5 WEEKS from this day.  I frickin' lost it.  I was trying to come to grips with having to end the pregnancy, but the thought of having to keep the pregnancy going for 5 more weeks (with all the nausea that comes with it) was heartbreaking.  So, on we go for another 5 weeks as we await surgery.  I started to think of the pregnancy as an illness (not a stretch, considering how I was feeling) instead of a pregnancy, in order to deal with what was going on in my body.  Those were the loooooooongest 5 weeks of my life.  Eventually, the day finally came, the pregnancy was ended and the uterus was removed.  Six weeks of recovery followed.  Lovely.  But I was in good spirits because the ordeal was finally over.  Thank.  God.

We were told by the Doc that we could start trying again in 3 months.  Surgery was June 9th.  That meant we could start trying on Sept 9th.  Okie Dokie...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I've been thinking a lot about all the other women who have been through struggles with pregnancy and the loss of children--not just those we've connected with online, but generations before us as well. This deep need we have, to create someone to love, and the danger of loss and sorrow that we open ourselves up to when we do so. It's astonishing, how fragile and strong we all are.