Tuesday, 14 January 2014

It's a ride, it's just a ride...

At the start of December 2013 I went to yoga at 6:30am. Instead of concentrating on my practice by the sea, all I could think about was the persistent stabbing pain in my lower right abdomen (think ovulation pain crossed with a hernia) every time I moved. By midday I was at the doctor having blood tests for a possible ectopic pregnancy marked "URGENT".

Now, it's not like we hadn't been trying - second month lucky as it turned out. The following morning the doctor called with the test results... Pregnant indeed! I was booked in the following day for an early scan to see whether the pregnancy was inside or outside the womb. Cue a bladder full to bursting, the inevitable slight delay (pure torture), and both an external and an internal scan - lucky me.

Let me just say that this is a fairly stressful way to start a pregnancy, particularly a first. I did not feel good about things and any excitement was pretty much eclipsed by everything else.

Anyway, with the magic wand working it's magic up inside me, the technician pointed out a little gestational sac actually inside my womb. Hooray! I was still feeling dodgy so went to see a friend rather than going back to work. I bought some pregnancy tests on the way and peed on a stick as soon as I arrived. The ClearBlue digital test said "Pregnant 1-2 weeks", meaning exactly what it said. I know that the indication of how far along you are isn't an exact science, but I also know it's based on hCG levels and my test should have said 3+. I did more googling during the first week of my confirmed pregnancy than was perhaps healthy... Dr. Google is not all knowing and the forums are not all reassuring. I convinced myself I was going to miscarry (but held onto the forum posts from women who had low hCG levels and had, nonetheless, carried their babies to term).

I spent the weekend not drinking.

On the Tuesday night the cramping started, followed shortly by the bleeding. Most of that night was spent in A&E bleeding and cramping, cramping and bleeding. Big clots, small clots, no clots, more clots. This went on for days and days. I was home alone with my husband overseas on business, and it was a pretty shitty week. Every time I went to the loo - BANG. There it was again. And again. And again. It's fair to say that my emotionally challenged husband was useless. He didn't call me for the first 2 days and then spouted "it's OK, we can try again". Er, yeah, OK, that's totally what I need to hear right now. What I actually needed was reassurance, and support and someone close to me (the closest person, really) to understand that what was happening to me and my body was really really horrible. Someone who would understand that I was struggling anyway having been off meds for 10 days. And if they weren't able to understand that they would put some effort in and read some articles, do bit of research - you know? Make me feel like I wasn't stranded. Make me feel like somebody cared and would stick me back together if I let go for a second. I'd still like to feel that way.

Still, it was nice when he came home and I wasn't alone again.

I think it's very different for men and women. For me, as soon as the pregnancy was confirmed, I was an almost mum, if not a mum. For him, it was a bunch of cells or a pre-baby. I'm rational and a scientist and yet I still blamed myself and felt a complete failure and that it had to have been my fault, due to something I'd done or not done. So I was feeling sad, and loss, and guilt and all this on top of stopping my antidepressants over the previous 2 weeks. A bit of crying and a chocolate binge later and I was ready to talk to myself like a sensible person again. The fetus no doubt aborted itself because it had too many or too few of a chromosome or two - our bodies are clever and complex and they know how to protect us and themselves.

Now, just a little timing perspective: The miscarriage started 5 weeks ago.

Yesterday I had a backache and, tongue in cheek and not prone to backache, emailed husband "I'm either pregnant or I have a backache". I did a dippy stick test when we got home and.... drum-roll please.... PREGNANT. So I did the sane thing and went to an after hours pharmacy to buy all the tests in the world, drank a lot and peed on some sticks. All positive.

This morning I went back to the doctor (after peeing on another ClearBlue with a 2-3 weeks result), he choked and did a double take when I told him I thought I was pregnant again. "Super fertile" were the words he used. I was sent for a whole suite of tests - blood, urine, full blood count, blood type (I know it's AB+ but since they won't take my risk-of-mad-cow-disease blood in this country, it's never been tested here), vit D, Hep A, B, C, Syphilis, HIV, iron, blablabla, pregnancy and quantitative hCG. I'll go back again in a week for more hhCG, then again a week after for more and for a dating scan. It throws them a bit when there's no LMP (last menstrual period) to date things by. I reckon that by medical standards I'm probably 5 weeks now, so should have a heartbeat by the time I have a scan in a couple of weeks time. Should.

In December I miscarried at 6 weeks. It seems my hCG levels are already higher than last time, in a couple of days I'll know just how high. The next worry will be whether they are increasing, hence the serial quantitative HCG testing.

Fingers crossed I suppose! Meanwhile, I'l try to enjoy this little flutter of excitement. Talk about a roller coaster...

I need to add here that my husband is awesome and caring and the best person in my life. He doesn't always understand, but he is always (normally) there, a constant in my sometimes screwy world. We'll get there on the emotion front; asking for everything in one go is greedy. We all have shit we need to work on. 

Though when I rant it may not seem like it, I am very grateful for what I have.

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