Sunday, May 3, 2009

I could have created some compelling blog drama

This past month could have produced a tension filled, emotionally charged blog to follow. I didn't have the heart to do it. At 5 weeks 3 days I started bleeding. A gush of blood in the toilet. My OB had me go in to her office for a urine test, and a beta hcg draw. My HCG number was fine. It had doubled up as expected from the previous draw at 15 days past ovulation. My urine tested clear for infection. I was sent home. Another small gush of blood as I was preparing steaks for the oven that evening. My husband came home and we took a taxi to the hospital. My HMO has recently consolidated its former 2 emergency rooms to one. The waiting room was packed with about 50 people. I was triage after about an hour and a half. Nobody was being called back. More people kept checking in. I was seen by a doctor nearly 7 hours after I arrived. By that time I was hungry and terrified that I was losing my pregnancy. An ultrasound showed nothing visible in my uterus. There should have been a measurable sac. The ER doc assured me it was still early, to give it a few days. The bleeding was light but consistent, sometimes pink, mostly brown and gunky. Two days later my OB's office called me in to have yet another hcg draw. They put me in a stuffy waiting room for almost two hours while I waited for the result. An advice nurse informed me that my hcg had only gone up slightly, which suggested an ectopic pregnancy at worst, a garden variety miscarriage at best. I lost my shit. I stood up and shouted at the nurse. I was angry for having to wait in that stuffy room. I was angry at the doctors for not doing a recurrent miscarriage workup on me the last time. I was angry about having waited in the ER for so long , and I was just so sad and angry that this was happening again. The nurse told me to go home and return in 48 hours for an hcg draw, so they could get a better idea of what was going on.Less than pleased about the prospect of going home to wait for the terrible pain and possible tube bursting that can happen with an ectopic pregnancy, I swore and insisted on seeing a doctor. My OB wasn't in the office so they had the lady that had performed my last d&c come in. In the end I had to agree to keep having my hcg monitored until they could be reasonably sure to see something on an ultrasound. My final hcg draw = a number that was still going steadily up, but not nearly how it ought to have been. At 6 weeks 3 days I finally had that ultrasound. The tech was tight lipped the entire exam. I knew I was looking at a pregnancy sac with a heartbeat, but had no idea where it was. Could have been my uterus, could have been a tube or an ovary. I was put in that same stuffy waiting room after the exam, an hour and a half later the nurse came in with a few jotted down notes. "Congratulations, there is a baby with a heartbeat in there" my response "whatever, I want to speak to the doctor". The doctor on staff told me that the test was inconclusive. Sure I had a live pregnancy in my uterus of the appropriate size for my conception date. but it was surrounded by a pool of blood in my uterus, and was situated fairly low in there. They said it was most likely that I would miscarry, but that there was a slight chance that it might be a totally normal pregnancy. I knew it was all bad news. I asked my doctor for a d&c that week, and she told me to hang in there on the chance that the embryo was just trying to form a better attachment. ten days later I had a routine prenatal appointment. What should have been my first for that pregnancy. No heartbeat, dead fetus.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Emily, words are not enough, but I give you these: I know the kind of anger and pain you are suffering, and I am feeling for you. I am so sorry you are going through this awful, difficult, horrendous experience of recurrent loss. Having been there so many times, I know that I can get through each new loss, like I always have done in the past. I will survive. But I also know that getting through it hurts like absolute hell, and takes a long, long, time. And it changes you as a person. And most people do not understand one iota of any of this.

    Know that I am here for you, whenever you need a friend. BIG hugs. xx