31 December 2012

Tomorrow's Another Year

Tomorrow's 2013. 2012 definitely had some ups and downs. On the upside: 1. My dad survived a serious heart attack; 2. I started running and lost over 20 pounds; 3. Found out we could refinance our house; 4. most relaxing vacation ever at Pymatuning State Park; 5. Aniiversary getaway to Port Clinton; 6. post-miscarriage family vacation to Myrtle Beach
On the downside: 1. another miscarriage; 2. an ectopic pregnancy; 3. spent lots of money

We might spend NYE with my sister and her fam. We might not.

Weight: 160.7 lbs

Today's Mix (20 minute program+ time to end of last song, 320 calories):

Heart in Your Heartbreak - Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Queer - Garbage
Time to Dance - Panic at the Disco
The Inevitable Return of the Great White Dope - The Bloodhound Gang
Ring My Bell - Anita Ward
Local God - Everclear

Embedded music videos after the jump.

28 December 2012

Tylenol Just Won't Cut It

Another trip to the lab this morning. It wasn't crowded at all--in and out in record time. Today's value is: 438 Next lab work is scheduled for next Friday! Huzzah.

Last night my bleeding increased to heavy bleeding. So that's good since it most likely means the HCG level is still in decline. But not so good? Cramps! Normally I load up on on advil or motrin (whatever's handy), but those are currently on the forbidden list. They did say tylenol is okay, but that didn't actually do anything for me. So last night I broke out the ole heating pad. It's the one I used ever since my first cramps started. It looks very 1970s, but I don't know for sure how old it is. It has colors like mustard yellow and turquoise and it's a paisley pattern. I've been using it since the early 90s. A bit of menstrual cramp nostalgia right there. But of course every other time I've relied on the magic of the heating pad I've also been on copious amounts of ibuprofen. At one pint last night I turned off the heating pad. Apparently a mistake, because I woke up later and needed it again. But the good news is I've been told I can take my hydrocodone that's leftover from my surgery if my cramps get bad again. Sweet!

The roads are greatly improved after Wednesday's weather. HOWEVER, we could get 1-3 inches tonight. Ugh.

And another thing. Today is the 10th anniversary of my grandfather's death. My eyes still well up with tears every time I think about it. In fact (I wasn't sure of the exact year until my uncle posted it on Facebook today), but it was the reason I didn't want my parents to reschedule Christmas this year. We rescheduled Christmas in 2002, because my grandfather wasn't doing well. He was having back pain and they wound up calling a squad to take him to the hospital. Three days later he died. He had cancer and wasn't going to live much longer anyway, but it just felt too awful to reschedule Christmas because of my dad's influenza and developing pneumonia. Irrationally, in the back of my mind I thought the same thing could happen. We almost lost my dad in March and I didn't want to chance it this week. Superstitious? YES!!!!!!

People Who Can Have Children Updated 12/28

These people can all have children. I cannot.

Investigators: Lancaster Man Had Meth-Making Materials, Kids At Home - 30 year old man with 2 young kids at home (ages 2 & 4). Police were called by neighbors because of suspected drug activity in the house.

Ohio Woman Facing 5th Drunken Driving Charge - 32 year old mother caught drunken driving with her 8 year old son and a bottle of rum in the car.

Mom Charged after Thrown Baby Dies - 25 year old mother threw her 6 month old baby against a hard surface. He suffered skull fractures and brain damage and died at the hospital.

Parents Indicted In Connection With 2-Year-Old’s Scalding Death - I don't blame them at all for the scalding death. That was a tragic tragic accident. However, no one involved realized he needed major help. I'm not as upset about this family. They're more on the fringes of my anger at the universe.

26 December 2012

Wednesday is the New Monday

After a thrilling 4 day weekend, it's back to the ole grindstone. Except it isn't really. Today we're in the midst of some winter weather. Our office currently holds just 4 people: 2 office assistants, a student worker, and an HR person. (Isn't funny that when I started up my Google music just now the first song was "Lonesome Town?") It seems most of the mucky mucks had already planned to take today off. We are the troopers. Well, it seems everyone else drove here. I took public transit. It's $2 each way, and well worth it.
snowy view from window
View from my window at 9:40 am on 12/26/2012

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas with my family. My dad has influenza A/ H1N1. My mom seems to also be sick. And my nephew and niece spent a lot of time coughing. It's a miracle we got out of there alive. Of course we could have been infected and it just hasn't kicked in yet.
My hcg level on Monday was 734. It seems to be continuing a downward trend, because I am now experiencing a bit of bleeding. My next blood draw will be Friday. Hopefully I can get my little car out of the neighborhood by then.

21 December 2012

Take that, Errant Embryo!

This morning I had another blood draw for an official pre-treatment HCG level. Then I went to the doctor's office to get my methotrexate injections (yes, plural). One in each hip. Ugh. Monday I go back for another HCG. And then next Friday. The nurse said next Friday is the important one. From that one they'll know if it's decreasing enough. So here's hoping today marks the beginning of the end of Smeagol.
In other apocalyptic news, it's snowing! Gross! And it could snow on Monday. Thumbs down!

Update: My hcg level this morning (pre-injection) was 944. So there was already some decrease, so hopefully with the methotrexate there will be a continues decrease and no more of this back and forth.

20 December 2012

Small Elegy by Reginald Gibbons

Small Elegy by Reginald Gibbons

"Someone has left us now
before we have even touched hands."

This is the Pregnancy that will not End

Yesterday's beta was 1003. Yes, that is an increase. Thanks, Universe.
My incisions look good; however, now there's some regret over saving my tube. My doctor thinks if she had just removed the tube we wouldn't be in this situation. So . . . . after leaving the doctor's office I went to the lab to have a CBC and profile. Either this afternoon or tomorrow I will go back to the office and have a methotrexate injection. That's right . . . now I get to have a chemical abortion. I'll have to pick up the medication from the pharmacy of a local hospital and take it with me. If I go tomorrow, I'll stop by the lab and have blood drawn for another beta test.
I will start vaginally bleeding again in 4-7 days. In 4 days I'll have my hcg level checked and then again 7 days from the injection. Then weekly until it's back to baseline. Some people need a second injection. The information they gave me also said some people don't respond to the methotrexate. Which one will I be? Let's start taking bets!
At the very moment what upsets me the most? NO ALCOHOL UNTIL HCG IS BACK TO BASELINE. WHAT?! Fuck you, Smeagol.*

*Smeagol is what we named this embryo. It was partly thanks to my nephew. Our first pregnancy/miscarriage was Delbert. We didn't really name the second one. The third one(s) was/were Dinobaby RAWR. Also, my 3 polyps that were removed were named Larry, Curly, and Moe.

People Who Can Have Children

These people can all have children. I cannot.

Ohio Woman Facing 5th Drunken Driving Charge - 32 year old mother caught drunken driving with her 8 year old son and a bottle of rum in the car.

Mom Charged after Thrown Baby Dies - 25 year old mother threw her 6 month old baby against a hard surface. He suffered skull fractures and brain damage and died at the hospital.

Parents Indicted In Connection With 2-Year-Old’s Scalding Death - I don't blame them at all for the scalding death. That was a tragic tragic accident. However, no one involved realized he needed major help. I'm not as upset about this family. They're more on the fringes of my anger at the universe.

19 December 2012


This morning I stopped by the lab for another HCG level. Hopefully, it has continued to decrease. It took me longer than necessary to get there, because I missed the turn. I was heading straight to work. Ugh. So while I waited in the lobby I worked on my niece's stocking. Not sure I'll get it done by Christmas, but I'll try. I took a long break from it.
Tomorrow is my post-op appointment. My thyroid level is where they want it, so no more checking for about another 6 months. I took the surgical tape off my incisions this morning. I think everything's still in place. If I'm feeling brave tomorrow I might mention wanting to get a second opinion from the Cleveland Clinic. If I'm not feeling especially brave, I'll just ask my question about whether or not I should have another HSG before we get back to trying.
Saw this article this morning and it made me tear up a bit and appreciate the Jackmans a little bit more:
Hugh Jackman on Grieving After His Wife's Miscarriages

17 December 2012

So Much Emotion

Yesterday morning I started crying while Josh and I were moving cars (so he could go to work), because I didn't say goodbye to him before we got in our cars. Seriously. Then I wept off and on until I left for work. And good thing I had to go to work, because that got me out of the sad cycle.

13 December 2012

Money Money Money

Doctor's office just called. The karyotypes are going to be resubmitted, so the cost won't be as astronomical (hopefully). So that's good.

I started poking around in my online medical chart. For some reason it didn't automatically occur to me that my surgery and hospitalization would be there. My discharge instructions are there too. So that's kinda nifty. But there's this so black & white under surgical history:
Treatment Abortion Missed 1st Trimester W/ D&c

12 December 2012

I'm So Exhausted

Firsties: Whenever I find something helpful I want it to be the same helpful for everyone. So here's yesterday's website find: The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust. So so so so much good information. Most of the sites with info on ectopics are sooooo clinical. This felt like someone wrapping a warm blanket around my shoulders and handing me a warm cup of something comforting (tea, hot chocolate, coffee, rum).

Yesterday right before I left work the doctor's office called with my blood results. (Ah, the power of STAT). 679. We're definitely decreasing, so there are no worries about an errant embryo still clinging on. Phew. My next check will be next Wednesday before I go for my post-op check. Two Three things about post-op: 1. I am currently itchy as all get out at my incisions and 2. I'm wearing real pants for the first time since last Tuesday. They aren't properly buttoned, but they're on. So that feels like an accomplishment. 3. When I woke up this morning I felt pretty rested, but now I'm ready for a nap. I'm looking forward to getting some kind of energy level back. That would be amazing.

11 December 2012


About an hour ago my doctor's office called. The pathology report for the contents of my left tube came back a wee bit unexpected. Blood clots only. No products of conception. The nurse asked if I was bleeding (um yes) and experiencing pain (yes, cramping and mild-ish discomfort on my right side). These things are not unexpected. However, the doctor wanted me to get my blood drawn this morning to check the beta HCG level. So off I drove to the lab. I called my parents. My dad answered. He obviously didn't understand (or maybe hear correctly), so my mom called concerned that I was passing clots, which I have been, but which isn't really a huge concern. The gist of it is my blood is drawn, the lab order said STAT, and now I'm waiting (patiently-ish) for the results, which could come this afternoon or tomorrow morning.
I texted my sister about the situation, and she likened the search for my POC to the search for WMDs in Iraq. "WHERE ARE U HIDING YOUR PRODUCTS OF CONCEPTION?" This makes me laugh.


Last night I decided to light our candles. For whatever reason Josh has been reluctant to participate in the celebration of the miracle this year, but yesterday morning I thought to myself Fuck him. I want to light the damn candles. I could use a little miracle in my life right about now. So after I got home, took care of the dog and cats, and put dinner in the fridge (impulse buy of pizza and bread sticks), I trudged my way to the basement and dug out a menorah and box of candles. I looked up the blessings on the Chabad website. I'm not so into their politics, but if I need a blessing fast or a quickie explanation of how to do something . . .
So the candles were lit, I turned out the lights, and I began keening to anyone who might be listening from the ether. After about 10 minutes I settled down and just watched the flames. I felt exhausted, but not sleepy. I just relaxed into the futon and watched the flames until the last one went out. It was the shamash and it happened the moment Josh's car door shut in the driveway.

10 December 2012

Back to Normal?

As soon as the ectopic was confirmed when I came out of anesthesia, I no longer felt sad. I felt immediate relief and gratitude. I was so glad I had been scheduled for the D&C that afternoon and not in the morning when I wouldn't have been feeling pain and not a day or two later so I would have been at work when the intense pain set in. And gratitude that my tube hadn't ruptured. And gratitude that I could stay at the hospital until I was fit to care for myself. And then gratitude that my mom could stay overnight in the hospital even though it was against regulations. I was done mourning this pregnancy, because it was so final. Not only did it just not work, it could have seriously hurt me. In an extreme case, I could have died. Let's not mourn for something like that.
But as the days go by I start slipping into more sadness. I want a lot without giving anything. Part of me wants to be fawned over for people to acknowledge what I've been through, but I don't want to tell anyone what I've been through.
And curse my brain--my non-stop brain. The doctor told my family there's a 10% chance this could happen again. In my mind that means: THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN. IN 3 MONTHS WHEN YOU TRY AGAIN THIS. WILL. HAPPEN. And there's the money. The insurance is insisting the October karyotypes should be billed under the infertility coverage. And because of that Josh would have a separate $400 deductible, so we would owe $400 for his and then $138 for mine. And then who knows what the bills will be for last week's surgery and stay. The deductible I paid at admission was $100. And it just occured to me that I probably need some sort of authorization for the hospitalization. I don't know why insurance has to be so hard.
And really it's just so overwhelming. I don't want to be a 35 year old first time mom. I wanted my first child before I was 30. And since this is just dragging on and on (and adoption can take FOREVER) I honestly feel I've missed my opportunity at motherhood. It's probably just hormones and what not, but at this moment I feel like I've just been passed by completely. Stuck forever as pet owner and aunt.

Update: Our employee wellness group just posted this link to Facebook (might they be reading my blog? or could it be that we're currently in the midst of the most depressing time of the year and I'm not the only one?): Depressed? 12 Mental Tricks to Turn it Around

09 December 2012

My Surprise Abortion

Tuesday morning I went to my doctor's office for an ultrasound. Monday morning I had a beta HCG test drawn and instead of continuing a decline the result was over three times the value of a week before. One thought was I could have lost a twin, but the second embryo was growing. However, the ultrasound didn't show anything. She could see a lot of tissue, but nothing else visible in the uterus or tubes. She was concerned that there could be a molar pregnancy that was obscured by the vast amount of tissue. She said I needed a D&C this week. She looked at her schedule and said she had time the next afternoon (Wednesday). It was overwhelming. I was by myself, because it's Josh's busy time at work. Up until this point the only person who knew we had been looking at a potential loss was my sister. I knew I would have to tell my parents, because I would need a ride to and from the hospital. Part of me wanted to insist on waiting for more blood work or another ultrasound, but I let myself be carried along. It was hard to discuss much through all the hysterical sobbing.
The result was a 1:00 show time for a 3:00 surgery and the rest of the week off work. So in addition to my parents I would have to tell my boss something. While still at the office I texted my sister. Then as I was pulling out of the parking lot I called my parents. Despite an attempt to hold it together I broke down. (Over the past 4 years I've become very adept at the sobbing while driving). Once that was figured out I called Josh at work and told him that they were going to do surgery to remove the tissue and that my parents were available to drive. Back at work I waited for my boss to get back from meetings and I simply said, "I'm having outpatient surgery tomorrow and will need the rest of the week off." Usually he asks questions, but he didn't and I didn't want to get into it.
With food, water, etc all banned after midnight, I spent most of Wednesday morning in bed. I had started bleeding more overnight, so I put a call in to the doctor's office to find out if they still wanted me if I was bleeding. The answer was still a big yes. My doctor wanted to make sure all the tissue was removed. I was thinking about doing dishes, but decided I needed to stay out of the kitchen--so hungry, but mostly sooooo thirsty. Josh called a little before noon to say we should wait for him, because he was going to be able to make it home. My parents arrived with snacks for post-surgery, a new robe, and fuzzy socks.
At the hospital, my parents dropped us off at the front and then went to park the car. Josh and I walked into the admissions office and once I gave my name, we found our seats. Almost immediately I started feeling a sharp pain on my left side. It became progressively worse as I was checked in and led upstairs to the ambulatory surgery waiting room. Waves on nausea. I had Josh move the trash can close and find me a box of tissues. In the back of my mind I wondered if my parents would find us, but I couldn't focus between the nausea and the pain. My parents did show up. My mom went to find a nurse and my dad sat beside me with his hand on my back as I shook and sobbed. When my mom came back she went to the bathroom for a wet paper towel for the back of my neck. Eventually a nurse came out to make me trade the trash can for a shallow kidney shaped pan. A few minutes later they took me back to a room, so I could change and answer a million more check-in questions. The pain continued to worsen--spreading down my left leg to just above my knee and then up my back to the middle left side. My blood pressure was ridiculously low.
Almost as soon as they finished getting my stats (which included a domestic violence screening) the OR called for me to get prepped. A nurse brought my family back. It was hypothesized that the pain was simply miscarriage. It could feel different because molar pregnancies attach differently. When it was time for me to go, it was decided Josh would go with me for prep. We went down separate ways since the initial prep would have to be done before they brought him back. With each moment that passed the pain worsened. I cried as they wheeled me past the waiting area where Josh sat.
I don't remember the exact order of everything that happened next. There was the constant pain. Eventually an IV was started, Josh was brought back, pain meds were injected into the IV, more pain meds were injected into the IV, a nurse assisting my doctor's current surgery came out to find out what was going on so she could report back to my doctor. They had heard from ambulatory surgery that I wasn't well. My blood pressure was more reasonable. At some point my doctor came out of surgery with the nurse and another doctor. They did an ultrasound to check for fluid in my abdomen, which would have indicated a ruptured tube. There wasn't any. So the plan remained the same: D&C, look for "products of conception," if there aren't any then go looking for an errant implantation (starting on the left). Then more waiting. While we waited, I had Josh rub the pain in my leg. Then they took him away. And I was alone.
In the actual OR prep room I was moved to the operating table and the anesthesia was started. My doctor was there. She stood with her hand on my shoulder. I cried as I fell asleep. It was no longer from the pain in my side--the medicine had taken care of that. It was the realization that this pregnancy was over now. I had mourned it multiple times, and this was the absolute end. My doctor offered comfort, promising we would get this figured out. I heard them discussing the order of things and then I woke up.
It was 7:30 pm when I woke up. I had been under anesthesia for about 3 hours. After the D&C they froze the removed uterine lining, which took an hour. Then when no "products of conception" were seen they started laproscopic surgery. My left Fallopian tube was very swollen and was leaking blood. They were able to remove the offending cells and clots without removing the tube. When my doctor reported back to my family, she said there was a 10% chance of another ectopic and if that happened they would just removed the tube.
I"ll handle the details of my recovery in subsequent posts.

06 December 2012

Right Place at the Right Time

I'll write more later, but the gist is I just returned from an overnight stay at the hospital wherein my ectopic pregnancy was removed.

04 December 2012

I'd Like to Thank the Universe . . .

Today's ultrasound showed nothing. Just a lot of tissue. So to make a long story short, I just had a whirlwind doc visit wherein we scheduled a D&C for tomorrow afternoon.
Also, the old SIL is pregnant again. Fuck them.

03 December 2012

Hold the Phone

This morning's beta was 1900. Ultrasound tomorrow morning.

Still Waiting

Cramping and light spotting Friday and Saturday mornings. Other than that? Zilch.

I had bllod work to check my HCG level this morning. Hopefully I'll get a call this afternoon with the results.I know it's stupid to still have hope, but I can't help it. There's definitely a glimmer there. Ugh.