Cancer Ever After

Musings on Infertility, Adoption, Cancer and Widowhood.

On Miscarriage – Part One.

on 01/12/2015

PRIMAL SCREAM. That is the sound that reverberates in your head, in your heart, in your soul, when you are told you are losing a child. It’s hard to explain how real that child is to you, even when it’s not yet real to anyone else.

Our first is what I would call the miscarriage from hell. I had started my period (or thought I had) that morning and Tim and I were getting ready. I can’t remember what we were talking about, but when I suddenly yelled at him and then proceeded to start crying, he said, “Are you sure you aren’t pregnant?” We had been trying for a little over six months. I remember saying to him, “I just started, it’s not possible.” But, I went ahead and dutifully peed on a stick. Positive!

We were both giddy with excitement. I calculated my due date (the baby would be due the day before our one year anniversary), called the doctor’s office right away for an appointment, and just basked in it. I was only mildly concerned that I was still having a period. I asked about it when I scheduled my appointment and they brushed off my concern with “You’re fine–if the test said you’re pregnant, you’re pregnant and everything will be fine.”

I continued to bleed. After three days, I called the doctor’s office again because I was becoming concerned. This time I was berated for not coming in immediately–it wasn’t normal to bleed. I had to go in that afternoon for a blood draw. Tim and I discussed possible baby names. I began looking at baby bedding online.

They got the results. I was pregnant, but they wanted to do more tests. At this point, I knew nothing about betas, HCG levels, or ectopic pregnancies. I just knew that the doctors and nurses kept reassuring me that I was pregnant.

We were worried about the bleeding, but continued to be excited. We started working on taking down wallpaper in one of the spare rooms because we wanted to get the nursery ready.

I went back for blood work every other day for the next two weeks, and I continued to bleed. The nurses weren’t quite as peppy as I continued to come back, but I couldn’t get any definite answers. My levels were a concern, but they were within the normal range for pregnancy. We just needed to give it more time.

When I was five and a half weeks pregnant, they gave me the first ultrasound and we didn’t see anything.

“Does that mean I lost the baby?” I asked. They reassured me. “No, it’s still early. Your dates are probably off.”

I was becoming more alarmed with each visit. Our joy had turned into a constant concern, but still we dreamed. Was it a boy or a girl? And I continued to bleed every single day.

At six and a half weeks pregnant, I received another ultrasound, and another at eight weeks. Still no definite answer. At this point, I was afraid to dream of little booties and blankets. I had consulted Dr. Google and friends, and I knew that something was definitely wrong. I still bled every single day. They wanted me to schedule one more follow-up. I lost it in the doctor’s office right then and there.

“Why are you doing all these tests?Why won’t someone just tell me what is going on?” I burst into hysterical tears and a nurse took me into a separate room.

This was the first time an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage was ever mentioned to me. Eight weeks into this beta hell. They had been drawing my blood every other day for weeks. My levels continued to climb, but at a slow rate, and that, combined with lack of a fetal pole or heartbeat on the ultrasound, meant the pregnancy was ectopic.

I could wait and do one more ultrasound (which is what they were scheduling), or I could go ahead and take a cancer drug that would end the pregnancy. There was no chance that the pregnancy was viable. If I waited, there was a chance I could lose an ovary, but they honestly weren’t exactly sure where the pregnancy was developing. They just knew it wasn’t in my uterus.

I’m sure they said more. All I heard was that my baby wasn’t going to make it. The little boy or girl that we had been hoping or dreaming of had no chance to make it because it was an ectopic pregnancy.

I cried for what seemed like an hour. Then I pulled myself together enough to find out more from the nurse. It was too much to process. I needed time and I needed my husband.

The time after that was a blur: talking through options, arranging for the methotrexate shot, going to the hospital. And then more bleeding. Ten weeks of bleeding in total. That is all I had to show for my baby. And more blood draws.

My levels still weren’t dropping like they wanted and if they didn’t drop by a certain amount, I would need a second shot. If we got a second shot, it would not be safe for us to try to conceive for at least six months. It felt like one blow after another. I just found out that I lost my baby, and then you tell me that you want to pump me full of drugs so that my body becomes toxic to a baby?

Luckily, my levels dropped. I took a week off work, and I cried myself sick every damn day. My husband was at a loss. Something that was so very real and so incredibly wanted was ripped from us.

My soul reverberated with that primal scream–a scream of complete anguish. I couldn’t see friends. I couldn’t have conversations. Life as I knew it was forever changed. This loss was profound and deep for me.

2 responses to “On Miscarriage – Part One.

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s so cruel for such hope and life to be taken… 😦 and it’s harder for people to understand or validate because it’s less visible… Again, I’m so sorry.


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