When I last posted, it was just a few days prior to our cruise and I shared the fact that I had caved and taken an HPT and gotten a BFP. On Friday Feb 7th (just two days before we sailed away on our cruise) my nurse asked me to come in for a beta since I had gotten a couple of positive home pregnancy tests. That beta came back at 97 at 10dp5dt. We were excited, but of course cautiously optimistic. Remember, we have been here before and sadly those pregnancies ended early on.
We spent 7 glorious days aboard the Freedom of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) sailing to the eastern Caribbean to islands like St. Thomas and St. Maarten. This time we took our dear friends, Wayne and Debbie and this was their first cruise ever! We had some great times and some laughs together, and most importantly we got to relax.
Unlike the other cruises I have been on, I was extra careful because of my “condition”. I took the elevator everywhere even if just going up or down one level. I just didn’t want to come this far and do something silly to cause any issues. I made sure to rest every afternoon for a couple hours. This part wasn’t hard at all because I was so exhausted by mid-day and really needed that down time. I think Ken enjoyed that downtime as well. I even took special care to not drink anything caffeinated (sodas/teas) and didn’t eat lunch meat or seafood as I am well aware of those risks as well.
On our last night, I was getting ready for the show and dinner and noticed a tiny bit of “old blood” when I went to the restroom. Nothing heavy and nothing that I was really concerned about. After dinner though, when I went to the restroom there was some more blood when I wiped and this was more pink than brown. I let Ken know and we made the night short and went back to our cabin to bed. By 6am the next morning (debarkation day) the blood had completely stopped and there was NOTHING! There had hardly been anything to begin with, but now there was nothing and I felt so relieved.
During the long drive home from Port Canaveral to South Carolina we stopped often so I could use the restroom and every time I checked with caution and thankfully it seemed like the bleeding had stopped and my only conclusion was that it was just some irritation from the Crinone (vaginal progesterone). I felt fine, felt pregnant (symptom wise) and was sure all was going to be ok.
The next day, Monday Feb 17th I went in for another beta draw and that level came back at 730 (20dp5dt). It was up, but it should have been much higher. The doubling rate was over 82 hours. I knew that this couldn’t be a good sign. I thought about it and called the nurse back and asked to have the doctor call me. Shockingly my nurse was “ok” with these numbers and didn’t think I needed to come back until my ultrasound, but I just knew I needed to double check that level to make sure that it was in fact going up and not coming down.
The next day the doctor called me and understood my concerns given my history. He asked that I come back in the next day (22dpt) to have a follow up beta test. When the doctor called back with my numbers, I just knew it couldn’t be good and I was right. Those numbers came back at somewhere around 450. I just knew it was over. I’ve been here before, and with numbers falling like that I know that this is not going to have the outcome we had been praying for. After talking with the doctor, he asked that I stay on all my medications and come back on Friday (24dpt) for another check. He mentioned the possibility of a vanishing twin and gave me some hope…but I wasn’t so sure that things were going to be good. Friday’s beta was down to 273 (24dp5dt).
At this point I was ready to just throw in the towel. I knew that I felt the end was coming and that once again we were going to suffer another heartbreak. I was really surprised when the doctor asked that I stay on all meds and come in on Monday for an ultrasound. Maybe he was just trying to give me hope. Maybe he actually believed that everything was going to work out for us. Maybe he was just humoring me. I don’t know, but I trusted him. I still trust him. So I took his advice and stayed on all my meds. We would wait to see what Monday would bring and what an ultrasound would show.
On February 24th (6w4d) I went in for my ultrasound…
On the way to the clinic I prayed as hard as I can remember ever praying. I asked God for his will. I asked that if this wasn’t going to end the way we had hoped that he would protect my heart and my soul from the pain that would come. I told him I was “ok” with whatever shall be, but I also prayed that he would follow me into that ultrasound room and show off in a big and mighty way.
The ultrasound tech started and in came my doctor. The technician started by checking my ovaries and tubes. I’m sure that the first concern was that this could possibly be an ectopic pregnancy. Thankfully…all was clear there. She then made her way down to my uterus and there was something…but I wasn’t sure what it was. My doctor and the tech took a good hard look and I remember turning to look at my doctor’s face to try and gauge his expressions. There was a smile…but what does that mean? Turns out, it was a gestational sac and fetal pole. No heartbeat was detected, but my doctor was not concerned by that and reassured me that it could just be too early for it to be heard or seen.
I was amazed, and gave glory to God for what we had just witnessed, but I knew that we were not in the clear just yet. I asked the doctor flat out what his thoughts/opinions were on this. His words put me at ease at the moment… “You’re pregnant! You have the makings of a viable pregnancy.” I can hear those words now as though they were just being said to me. No beta was checked that day, as the doctor didn’t feel the need after seeing the ultrasound, and looking back now I probably should have requested it, but I too was ok with what we had seen on the ultrasound and I really didn’t want to be in that beta hell any longer. It just screws with my mind too much. I was just given the instructions to stay on my meds and come back the following week for another ultrasound, which was actually supposed to be my initial ultrasound to begin with. This time I was going to make sure to have Ken there. I didn’t want him to miss a beat.
That week went by pretty slow, at least looking back now it seems like it was slow. I just couldn’t wait to get back to the doctor’s office to get another ultrasound to see this little jelly bean I had in my tummy. I had an acupuncture session in the middle of the week and shared my updates with my acupuncturist. She felt my pulse and I remember her telling me, “you are pregnant.” Apparently pregnant women have a distinctive pulse and she felt this strong pulse and once again I had hope that this was really going to work for us. I just held onto the faith that I so desperately have struggled with throughout this IF journey.
When Monday rolled around, Ken met me at the doctor for our appointment. Looking back, I think in my heart I kind of knew what was about to happen, but I think at the time I thought it was the devil playing with my emotions and testing my faith. I tried so hard to hang onto my faith and believe that God was giving us our hearts desire.
Ultrasound time –NOTHING! My heart sank.
How could this be? How can something that was there last week not be there now? I don’t understand. I’m angry and I’m just sick and tired of having these heartbreaks over and over again and no one can tell me why this keeps happening!
I will say this, I know that I was led to come to this new clinic and that this doctor I am seeing is the right doctor for me. I truly believe that. His compassion for Ken and me during this loss/defeat is more than I could have ever expected and something that we both needed at the time. I don’t blame this doctor for our failed attempt. I don’t blame him for keeping me on medication when quite possibly any other doctor would have thrown in the towel. I actually praise him and appreciate the efforts he gave us and the faith he had for us even when my faith was far from where it should have been.
So where do we go from here? I have a laundry list of questions that I plan on asking him when I have that “What the heck” appointment next week. They are monitoring my beta to make sure it falls down to zero. This past Monday it was down to 25, so it is going the direction it is supposed to, even though it isn’t the direction I was hoping for.
At this point I just don’t know what our next move is. I am almost thinking that quite possibly this is an egg quality issue since the same thing keeps happening at roughly the same time. This is one of the many questions I will be asking the doctor next week.
As for how we are doing? Well, I keep telling those who ask me that I am doing ok. I guess I am doing ok, but I’m not where I should be, mentally. I am angry and hurt and confused and heartbroken. I feel at times that I am in this dark place or in the middle of a nightmare that I just cannot wake myself from. Really…how do women go through this time and time again? Surely I am not the only women who keep getting knocked down over and over again, but how much can one person take? How much can one couple take?
I do know one thing…when I told God that I was “ok” with whatever the outcome is with this…I was lying. I’m not ok with the fact that once again our hearts have been ripped out of our chest and stomped on.