Trigger warning: miscarriage and pregnancy loss
With that, I’m sure you know where this post is going. In the spirit of being honest with myself and others, and showing the parts of life that aren’t the pretty “outfit of the day” or diy blog posts. Because while those are fun and bring more traffic, they’re not, in my opinion, an accurate representation of life.
Life is messy. It sucks sometimes, and sometimes life’s a breeze. There are ups and downs and oftentimes there’s not a damn thing you could do to change it. You handle it in the way you’re familiar with, while life keeps happening.
If you’ve been to my blog before, you know that getting knocked up isn’t always as easy as getting busy in the backseat of a car. Sometimes doctors are involved with needles and ultrasounds and probings. I have been seeing an infertility doctor for the better part of a year and been diagnosed with PCOS. Since then, I have been on drug called Femara to induce ovulation and even a round of IUI. Nothing for months.
Then, around graduation, I tested two days before my period was due. Negative. Since that was the way things have been progressing I thought nothing of it and kept going.
A few weeks later, we had our belongings packed and shipped to Atlanta and things settled down. I noticed I still hadn’t had my period. Ever the pessimist, I thought that I had somehow messed up my medication and the Femara didn’t work. SB, however thought I was pregnant.
He was right. The two pink lines and little stick that read “pregnant” confirmed it.
Unable to wait, I ran to Target to grab a “Father to be” card. He was thrilled, I was giddy. He jumped right into planning for the next year. We spent the night thinking about how to tell our families the news.
The next day was one of the best I’ve had in a while. Nothing of any significance happened, but SB and I were living in our own bubble of happiness. Since I hadn’t been in Atlanta for a week, I began looking for a new doctor in the area. I ordered some extra vitamins. I noticed some signs I had missed over the last two weeks. I peed on another stick to convince myself that this really was happening.
The next morning, I woke up in a puddle of bright red blood. SB began looking stuff up on his phone and trying to reassure me with info he came across about how it might be normal. But I knew exactly what was happening. I was having a miscarriage.
I layed in bed, trying to pretend nothing was happening before the cramping got worse. I called out of work and SB drove me to urgent care. I waited in the waiting area, then the exam room for almost an hour before being told that they didn’t have an ultrasound and wouldn’t be able to help me. They sent me to the ER. By the time I got there, the pain was so unbearable that it was hard to stand. I was taken in and immediately curled into a ball on the bed, trying to breathe through the pain.
Now, I figured, it was time to call my parents. My mom was in my room within 15 minutes. After having urine and blood samples taken, not being allowed drugs, a painful intravaginal ultrasound, and another hour of waiting, the doctor came in and gave me unsurprising news. My hormones were low for 6 weeks. So it was either a miscarriage and they were on their way down , or I was not as far along as I thought and that my hormones could go up. But with my bleeding and cramping, it was most likely the first scenario.
I went home and sulked for two days before I was able to see a doctor. Since it was our first time with her, we spent a while talking about my medical history and catching her up with what my previous doctor had us doing. We did more bloodwork which showed that my HCG levels had gone up instead of down, and another ultrasound where she couldn’t find anything despite my rising HCG levels. She was concerned that I had had an ectopic pregnancy – a pregnancy outside of the uterus.
We continued to monitor my HCG levels that week as they slowly crept up. She also had a biopsy of my endometrium done, which was… painful. After all was said and done she determined that I did have an ectopic pregnancy. Since we caught it early we avoided having to do surgery and I got Methotrexate instead. Methotrexate is usually used to treat cancer as it kills rapidly diving cells, which is also what an early pregnancy is. I thought the cramps during my ER visit and biopsy were bad, but the night after I got my methotrexate shots (one on each side of my ass), were the worst. I’m not sure if labor pains feel like that, but it made me question some decisions for a while.
The treatment has been working and my HCG levels have started going down. I’m thankful that we found out when we did, ectopic pregnancies can be dangerous if you find out too late, deadly even. I’ll need to go back for a few weeks until my HCG levels get back to 0.
But I’m ok. I’ll be ok. I keep reminding myself that miscarriages happen – 10 to 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. I know family and friends who have miscarried; even Beyoncé has. These strong women can get through it and so can I.
We have to wait at least three months before we start trying again, but at least I know I can get pregnant. So I’m going to live out a few cliches while we wait. I’m going to focus on me. I’m getting back into the gym (my body has not responded well to these hormonal changes). I’m going to shoot some things (like a bale of hay with my bow). I’m going to stop temping and obsessing over my cycle each month.
I’m going to take care of myself.