Tuesday, April 10, 2007

9 Weeks Down, No More to Go, It Seems

The doctor's appointment did not go well. Okay, to say it that way sounds almost flippant, which is not how I feel. The long and short of it is that the baby I'm carrying seems to have died a few weeks ago and I can expect to miscarry any time now. Ultrasound showed a fetal 'sac' that stopped growing at 6 weeks' gestation...

And the weird thing is that I could tell, before the nurse said anything, that it wasn't good. Not because I'm good at reading ultrasounds or anything, but because there was this tangible shift in the energy in the room as she looked at the screen, in that 20-second gap before she started explaining what we were looking at. Before she even had a chance to say anything, I had to ask the questions... I asked her before she could tell me, if there was a baby in that sac. Yet somehow it didn't help any, except maybe to make it easier for her, I don't know. It can't be easy, being the person to deliver this news.

And she was so nice. She has obviously told hundreds of women that their pregnancies aren't viable, and yet hasn't lost touch with the fact that for each of them, it's the first time...

She explained that this is "normal", or at least common-- what the hell does normal mean, anyways? How normal can it be? Common. That it probably doesn't affect my chances of getting pregnant or staying pregnant again in the future, but that they can do some tests to make sure, something about progesterone and blood-clotting stuff, I don't know. That we can start trying again, almost right away. She gave me her cell-phone number and said I could call her anytime at all. (any time at all, all you gotta do is call...and I'll be there... what, don't Beatles lyrics pop into everybody's head at odd intervals?)

She explained that because I am still so early, I can miscarry naturally and don't have to have a "procedure"-- a surgical abortion to scrape out what's left. I guess that's a relief, to be spared the D&C, but sitting here waiting for what will feel like "a really heavy period" is nerve-wracking. I called in sick today-- the appointment lasted to the point I was supposed to be at work already-- but I have to get a grip by tomorrow. I have only today to wallow in my yoga pants, sobbing into my soup. Tomorrow I must pull myself together and present a professional face to the world, or else tell my bosses about all this and ask for some time, which seems like a bad idea. If I get pregnant again soon, I'll need all the time I can take then, I don't want to waste it now.

I was sent to the hospital to get my blood work done: they test my HCG or HGC or whichever it is today, and again on Thursday, compare the two numbers to confirm what the ultrasound showed. She said that there's a chance she could be wrong, if I'm wrong about my dates, and the blood work will give more detail.

But I know my dates perfectly. This pregnancy was no accident or surprise, so I was keeping close track... I know that my last period started February 3rd. I know that I ovulated either the 15th or the 16th, I know that I took the pregnancy test on March the 6th, when my period was 2 or 3 days late. There's no way in hell I could be only six weeks along instead of nine-and-a-bit, no way. It's a fool's hope.

Right now I feel weirdly calm, something that would have helped me at the hospital... I was crying all over the place and people were staring; or not so much actually staring as doing that not-looking-at-the-upset-person. They probably thought I was dying or something, nothing as simple as a botched up pregnancy. I've talked to my mom and to Don, of course. Everybody else is going to have to be put on hold for awhile.

3 comments:

Aunt Sally said...

Dearest Mara, I was so sad to read of your loss. I know you've never even met me but I figure if you're a friend of Ben's you're a friend of mine. Hope you don't mind. Have courage over the next few weeks and months. Life is not always easy, I know. Just take good care of yourself and let's see what the future holds. God Bless!

Bella said...

Oh Mara, I am so, so sorry about your loss. I know I feared it everytime I went in for an exam or days when I couldn't feel him move... I can't even imagine.

Yes, have courage but whatever you do, DO NOT blame yourself or get stuck on any kind of cycle like that. Nature has her own plans and our bodies know more of what is going on than we do. :)

You are amazing, and if you need anything or want to chat, just give me a buzz.

Mara said...

Thanks so much, both of you. It means a lot to me...