Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The memories we keep- my SCH experience

I've found myself posting about my SCH on the forums a lot, relating my experience to others and reminding them that while it's terrifying most SCHs resolve with no issues. Not a guarantee, but some hope. I never know how much I should tell them though. I might tell them I bled until around 15 weeks, or I might tell them I literally poured blood while passing sludge and clots for weeks. I never relate the horror though. I wrote about it here, but I still didn't go in depth.

I want to share what happened. I think I'm finally ready to relate the horror in it's entirety; not just the PC version, or the short hand, but all of it. If you're squeamish, this is your exit.

I was happy, because two days prior we had confirmed that he was still alive. With arm buds (!) and leg buds (!). It had been an amazing experience hearing his heart beat and knowing we'd made it that far. I hadn't bled in awhile too, and I was starting to feel good about things- like this might be the one.

It started while eating dinner. I'd made enchiladas, and we were sitting at the couch watching "Doctor Who." As the episode unfolded, I begin to feel pressure building, until sitting became uncomfortable. I wasn't sure what was going on, I tried to ignore it, but I knew something was wrong. I finally grimaced, set my plate aside and got up, then limped to the stairs. Walking up the stairs was difficult, and the pressure kept building. When I got to the bathroom I sat down, and saw to my horror that I was covered in vibrant red blood, I threw my underwear straight in the trash and called out to A. I shook, I screamed and cried, "Not again!"

I didn't go to the ER because I thought that they could save him, I knew there was nothing they could do. I don't think the staff there ever grasped that. I needed them to check my hemoglobin (because of the Lovenox) and then...since I assumed the worst, having been here enough times, I wanted them to collect him for testing. It feels clinical to type that, but while we knew we would never try again, I still wanted answers damn it. I needed to know if it was me, or it was him, that went wrong. Well, we know now that it's me. It's always been me. I never really had any doubt, but I needed confirmation. I needed closure.

I told the receptionist that I couldn't sit in the waiting room chairs because I'd already bled through my pad during the car ride. She ignored me, I was just another miscarrying waste of time since there was nothing they could do, so I stood outside triage and waited. I had rushed from my house in my desperation for answers; I didn't have any pads at home anyway, just tampons. I didn't have any cash to go into the bathroom to buy an emergency pad, and she didn't offer me any help. She huffed and came over with a wheel chair and told me to sit, like I was an idiot.

I was whisked through triage, asked over and over why I was on Lovenox, what clotting disorders I had, why I was there. When I got to the room I was told to disrobe and sit down, that's where things got scary. I took off my underwear and blood literally gushed down my legs. I'll never forget how hot it was. The way it burned running down my legs. The way it splattered on the floor, dripping a path to the hospital bed. I think that's when the nurses realized I wasn't just "bleeding."

They finally brought me a bed pad, and helped settle me in. I had an IV, and they ran tests to make sure I didn't need a transfusion. When the doctor did the internal exam they removed a lodged piece of something near my cervix; I don't know if it was tissue or leftover Crionone buildup, but when he removed it the pressure went with it. Blood poured out, rushing onto the floor, and covering it. The doctor rolled his chair back quickly, avoiding the splash. He collected the blob for testing, and set it on the table next to me. I looked at the floor and saw a huge puddle of blood. By this point, we had all given up hope.

I was bawling my eyes out, and I remember telling A over and over, "I am never doing this again. Never. Never. Never. I can't do this again." I held his hand, and I shook with both the emotional grief and the physical pain from the cramps. They added some morphine to my IV for the pain.

We were wheeled down to the ultrasound room, where they did an abdominal scan (not wanting to do an internal with the bleeding). And there he was... heart beating fiercely, moving ever so slightly. I went between relief and horror. Relief because, my god he was still alive. Horror because I didn't know for how long.

How could anything survive this?

So the bed rest began. I saw Dr. J the next morning, and V was still alive. She tried to tell me that she's seen worse, that SCHs are not uncommon, that I am at higher risk, that it happens.

A week went by, and I continued to bleed, although not to that same extent. We came back, and he was still  alive. Three days later, I was in bed watching "Labyrinth," eating dinner. Why always at dinner? Ugh. I felt some pressure, and started bleeding heavier. Within 30 minutes I had filled up my heavy overnight pad, then in another 30 minutes the same. I felt dizzy and faint, nauseous, and A demanded we go back to the ER. I did not want to go.

At the ER I passed huge clots, and bled more. I was shaky. The cramps were intense, and my uterus felt on fire. I was in so much pain that time. My hemoglobin was fine though and V was still alive, somehow. They sent me home with pain killers. The next morning I saw Dr. J, and I was in a lot of pain. I had trouble sitting, moving, my uterus felt shredded, like a knife had twisted in it and ripped it apart. V was still alive, and the tear in my lining had doubled in size so that it was bigger than V.

The next few weeks I bled more off and on, but it was mostly brown sludge with little clots. I was told over and over that it was good, it meant that the clot was breaking down, that it was healing. It took about 6 weeks from the last episode before I finally stopped bleeding. I didn't get off bed rest until 18wks, and pelvic rest until 21wks.

I feel like, and I'm sure other people think, that I should be over this. The outcome was positive, I endured and V survived. What more could I want?

But... there's always that but. That experience was  more horrifying in some ways than my miscarriages were. My miscarriages were bad, and the outcome has left marks on my heart that will never leave me, but the physical experience itself? I'm not sure which was worse- my second miscarriage or V's pregnancy. I still look back in horror. I still remember the sensations, the feel of the blood on my skin. How did anything survive that? I don't understand. I never will.

When people say they're pregnant and bleeding, I want to console them. I want to tell them that anything is possible. I do believe it is, but at the same time I had bleeding with all four of my pregnancies and only one survived. The one I bled the most with. The one that went on and on. The one where I had issue after issue. Still, statistically what are the odds? Reality and hope don't always offer the same comfort. I don't believe in offering false hope, but I know now that stranger things have happened. Who am I to deny that improbability is often mislabeled as impossibility?

SCHs can cause miscarriages, but they often don't. I know women who have lost to them. I've seen women who've made it through. I've seen lingering ones that last until delivery, causing issues until the very end. Mine was one of the worst cases I've seen, but not the worst by far. For something so relatively common, I find it mind numbing at times how wide the variation in severity.

And here's the thing: I'm at high risk of this happening again. I knowingly am opening myself to this possibility again. Dr. J, and Dr. M, they tell me it's probably inevitable. But that hopefully next time it'll be less severe. Hopefully... that's the best we can do.

SCHs are more common in patients who undergo fertility treatments. Check.
Women who suffer recurrent miscarriages. Check.
Who have clotting disorders. Check.
Who use Lovenox. Check.
Who've suffered them before... well, Check.

That's assuming we can even get me pregnant, right? One thing at a time. There is a chance I might get lucky, I might not have any issues. It's possible... not probable, but I'm not going to worry over the semantics of all that. It'll either happen, or it won't. Just like I'll either get pregnant, or I won't. It's all in the luck of the draw.

If you've made it this far, thank you. I never told our families what really happened, I never posted the dirty truth of it on the forums, not the whole story here, and besides A... I just needed to put it out there. Maybe it'll help someone. Maybe it'll shed some clarity on the drama within me. I don't know.

But thank you just the same.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Crunch time-

From here on out, I have plans every weekend until the end of September. Deep breaths! My friend's wedding is at the end, and before that we have lots of wedding stuff to prepare and celebrate, and A's birthday (going to make him a Star Trek cake, if things come together), plus some nephew's birthdays, and... yeah. We're going to be busy around here!

I'm still trying really hard to get this money tucked away for this cycle. We might have to push it back until November. I really really really don't want to do that though. If push comes to shove, I'll probably allow myself a natural cycle while we wait. No hopes there, but at least I'd have a break from the evil BCPs. I don't know. I'm still hoping we'll have all the money together by then. I feel way more confident about injects... I got pregnant on 2 out of 3 ovulatory cycles on them, so they have a better track record for me.

I have a hard time believing that it's almost September. I think that hits me every year, the moment where you go, "Holy moly, it's almost fall!"

I feel like there's so much left to do this year, and so little time. All the stuff in September, then Halloween (almost finished my costume, still gotta work on A and V's though!), then the possible cycle, Thanksgiving, V's party (think we're doing it a couple weeks before Christmas this year, we got snowed out last year!), then Christmas, and then V's actual birthday... I am not at all prepared for the marathon that is the tail end of 2013! At least it'll keep me busy? Ha!

I'll let you in on the costumes. You remember that I said we would all be going "Doctor Who" themed? Okay. I'm rather proud of myself so far, for an amateur seamstress. I turned this out (keep in mind it's NOT done yet- this is just the base) ->

Now, if you don't know what this is supposed to be, that's alright! It's the base for my Dalek costume though. The gold is a bit darker in real life, and I still need sensor balls (trying to figure out the logistics), and then I want to make a headpiece to match. The fabric was on clearance for realy cheap (squee!) and the pattern was only $1 at Wa.l.mart. Super happy with the results! I did a pretty shoddy job, but it's a costume- it just needs to look the part, not be perfect.

A is planning on being the 4th Doctor (Tom Baker) since that's his favorite. I got him this scarf for his birthday (while it was on sale- it's $20 off a lot, just have to keep an eye on it), and I let him go ahead and open it. He tried it on and played with it for awhile, so I think he likes it hahaha. So it's a neat present, and can be used for his costume. We just need to get serious about our thrift store hunting for the rest of his costume.

V is going to be the 10th Doctor (David Tennant). I hope! He plays with his hair a lot, and gets it stuck up just like the Doctor's, then we proceed to chuckle about his crazy hair and... it just works! I need to find him a cheap little suit, and some Converse sneakers.

So that's the plan! V also has a tiger costume my mom picked up, in case we want him to wear that to other things (like the zoo's Halloween thing), but I like the family themed thing. We never did that as a kid, and I think it's neat. I'll admit, Neil Patrick Harris' family and their themes get me every Halloween now- right in the feels! And I love dressing up, even if we're just sitting on the porch passing out candy I need to have a costume!

I'm really trying to pace myself and make the most of this season. We had a cold snap, but it's gotten warm again, so most days I hang laundry then chill with V in his inflatable pool for a bit. Just trying to soak in the last of summer! I feel a little silly lounging in his blow up pool, but who cares? We have a good time out there! He's come a long way since we first got him a pool, he was scared of it but now he runs right to it and tries to get in- properly clothed or not! We've very lucky that we can have that moment too. It's nice to be able to just relax and enjoy the peace.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sooo, here's what's been going on-

Well, I finally called about the saline ultrasound. I got both the diagnostic and the procedure codes, and.... I'll be honest, I don't even know why we're paying for this insurance half the time. Insurance is great in emergencies (sometimes) but for your everyday medical needs it kind of blows.

First of all, the procedure is for my abnormal bleeding. It's "covered" but requires prior-authorization. Furthermore, as I have not met my deductible, I'd have to pay 100%. Soooo... yeah. The only reason I'd have it authorized is so it can count towards my deductible. Which doesn't feel like a very big incentive to me.

It's pretty expensive out of pocket, so we're not going to have it done at this time. I really don't think there's an issue, I just wanted to be sure, you know? Our only indication for it is the breakthrough bleeding on BCP, I don't have any issues while ovulatory. Both Dr. J and Dr. M said it would be nice, but were okay with not doing it too. I've taken that stance myself. It would be nice, and if I had some coverage I'd be all over it, but as it is... I'll have to pass for now.

Aside from that, I've upped my Inositol to 4g a day- so far no issues. I'm counting down the days now! Things are very busy right now, and will only get busier as the weeks go on. From here until the end of September I have plans pretty much every single weekend... all culminating in my friend's wedding! Not much longer!

Otherwise, I've been visiting with my sister and mediating various family drama.

About my last post, I should have clarified, but I was venting. It was about my mother and sister. My mother is mentally ill and I don't know how to tell her to mind her own business. She gossips, she's very needy, and if I tell her I don't want to talk about it she will cry, she will take it personally, probably stop talking to me for awhile, and then she'll gossip about it. It's complicated. As for my sister, she only comes up every two years- she asked in front of a large group of family, at a kid's birthday party. I thought my sister would know better honestly, I didn't expect it at all! It's one thing if she asked me over the phone, but at the party in front of my aunt, uncle, and cousins... just not an appropriate time.

However, it's true that I should figure out how to deal with these questions better, because deflection will only go so far. Right now though, my mother has already had multiple meltdowns this week over family drama (most made up in her head, god love her), and my sister is leaving Friday. When I have a chance I will figure out a standard response. I really don't know how to handle my mother, it will require a extreme level of tact and compassion... but I'll get it figured out. I usually do- it comes with the territory.

What else is going on?... I don't even know. I need a few days to recharge, because it's been one thing after another around here. I really do hope that thing start to settle down and lighten up around here.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


"Have you given anymore thought to trying again?"

"Have you considered going back to treatments?"

Twice in the last two days? Really?

No. Okay. No. I haven't given it ANY thought. Ever. It's not like it haunts me or anything. It's not like the new-nephew-baby-mania doesn't bring up those feelings of inadequacy, but yeah... this is the perfect time to ask me that.

Their hearts are in the right place. I know. I KNOW.

But I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to be pestered, I don't want the pity, the intrusion. So I dodged. And dodged. I've managed to steer the conversation tactfully, while not really answering. I mention how treatments cost money, and there's a lot of stuff involved... blah blah blah, implications of stuff, then I steer that conversation right out of that whole area.

Still. This is the second time my mother had asked in the last couple months.

She might be on to me.

Monday, August 5, 2013


Yeah. The water main was not fixed properly, so it started leaking again. We spent most of last weekend without water while that got resolved (hopefully for the LAST TIME).

 My brother had his baby, and much mocha was drank. Lots of sappy things were posted. Some felt abrasive to my heart, not through any fault of his own. Just bragging about how she managed the pregnancy, with no medical issues, worked till the end, how it was the longest pregnancy, and so on and so on. I know he was praising her, but in the process he was making light of what others may have went through. I'm just being sensitive, and he's a proud papa, which is why I'm not saying anything.

It's yet another reminder of how my reality differs from almost everyone I know.

Speaking of which, many pregnancy announcements were had. Some made me so freakin' happy! While some made me happy, but also reminded me... you know, that is never ever in a million years going to be me. I'm not saying I'll never get pregnant, I mean announce early, be giddy, have it come without massive medical intervention and demand upon my person... ain't gonna happen.

I feel resentful that not only did treatments fail to work so far, but that we have to wait before we can even try again. I'm not resentful against anyone, I mean it's not anyone's fault my body is stupid and our finances leave something to be desired... I'm just mad at the universe I guess. I'm mad at our insurance. I'm mad at life. I guess you could say I've reached the anger stage of the grieving process?

Maybe it's just the hormones. My BCP is back to the "ya shall bleed one week, then not the next, but then the next week, and not the next..." And I want a dozen cookies, hosed down with a glass of milk.

Pfft... whatever.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


The other day I snapped this picture, and only later really looked at it. It's V with Sebastian's tree. Both are growing so much. The tree has already reached maximum height, but each year its trunk grows thicker and its branches fuller. It flowers and bears more fruit, which never gets harvested; not  by us anyway.

Some thoughts have been percolating and I've been processing them.

You know, the same: I'm afraid of getting pregnant, and I'm afraid of not. I'm afraid of losing again. And I'm afraid that whatever went right with V won't ever be repeated.

My urge to try again both grows more resolved and more lenient. The urgency has died down since we started our break. Part of me is still anxious to come back in October, while part of me argues, "What's the rush? March is as good a time as any." Financially it would be easier to wait until then, but I've been preparing myself (physically and emotionally) for October. We could try in November, maybe. Or December, January, even February... sure. But I hate driving two hours round trip in the snow; it makes me anxious.

I just want another baby. I don't want to try, or go through hell again. I'd be happy if I could just know that somewhere down the road it will happen. Who am I  kidding? I'd be happy if I could know that it won't too, because then I could start processing the inevitability. Not that it would make it easier, but it would give me more time.

Part of me looks at this string of bad luck, and wonders if I should take it as a sign. That I should cool my heels and wait for things to find their balance again. But that argument is illogical; I have no faith in signs. Pfft. If signs held true, then our other pregnancies would have made it. Things would have been easier when I was pregnant with V. Life would have taken a very different path a long time ago.

I have no control. I want to take the reigns and drive my own path. I have no clear direction, only a feeling of where I need to go.

We're on a break, but at the same time we're not. I'm crunching the numbers and throwing everything back that I can. I'm taking pills and preparing my reserves. Saying I'm on a break feels like a misnomer. The pressure is off in some ways, but it's crushing in others. And yet, we aren't trying right now. We're trying to try.

And these same thoughts, this same trying to try feeling, has already been hashed out. I guess I'm still hashing it out. I'm stuck in limbo. Forgive me; there isn't much else I can do but twiddle my thumbs and wait for the next day, then the next month, and so on. I feel very idle, like I'm not doing anything. I mean, I am... in  way... but I'm not.

My brother's baby was due a couple days ago (on the same day I was due with Little Bit) and they're still waiting for him to arrive. The waiting feels heavy to me, like there's weight added to my own brevity of fertility, and my failure at sustaining life. Little Bit was never very real to me, I lost it so fast. I barely got to say hello, before I said good bye. I felt, before I even took the test, that it wasn't going to last. I tried, I did what we could with the information available, but it wasn't enough. What was it my doctor said at the time... probably implantation failure. Not really much comfort in that.

I never really blamed myself for my losses though. I blamed our lack of knowledge. I blamed my womb of doom (and the evil ovary duo). But never myself. Could I have switched doctors sooner, or demanded more testing... maybe. It won't change the fact that they're gone though. Time can't be rewritten, it can only be used to shape the future. We did the best that we could with the information available. We used what we learned to successfully bring V into the world.

And we'll never know what went right. I mean, what precisely went right. Was it just him? Was it one factor, or the sum of all the parts? Who knows.

Little Bit is still an obscure concept to me. I lost him quickly. I kept my distance, hardened my heart and put up my shields. I loved him, and I mourned him, but by that point I didn't have much left to give. I was so spent. My soul was battered, my heart shattered under the blow of so many hammers: infertility, loss, loss, invasive treatments, financial strain, and insurmountable uncertainty.

I want to say that our parallel pregnancies are nothing alike, but I daren't jinx them. Things can go wrong, my sister and I are proof enough of that, though our families never acknowledge it. I wish them the best, them and their shadow baby, really I do.

I just wish I didn't feel so bitter at times.

(Don't you know, as soon as I posted this her water broke.)