Sunday, June 26, 2011

Talking and learning

There it was. In August of 2004, we lost baby #2. I was sad. I was disappointed. I had not yet felt like I had gotten over the first loss. But suddenly, now, I could talk about it. Maybe because I had been through it before. Maybe because people knew this time. Whatever the reason, it helped. Suddenly a bunch of people came out of the woodwork who had been through this. Some of my dear friends and even a cousin reached out to me as they had experienced miscarriage. I learned that there was something to having a support system. And now that I could talk about it, I learned from others. I learned that there could be reasons behind these losses. Medical reasons. I learned that there were fertility specialists and medications. There were tests that could determine why pregnancy loss occurs.

I talked to my doctor about it. I was floored to learn that a patient isn't referred for any of this kind of testing until after three miscarriages. Since I could get pregnant, I wasn't considered infertile, so I couldn't just go see a fertility specialist, insurance would never pay for it. Insurance also wouldn't pay for any testing for the miscarriages because I hadn't had three.

To this day I don't understand that. Why would a medical professional wish another miscarriage upon a person in order to do testing? It also makes no sense that insurance companies would want to wait. I looked at the medical bills of a subsequent miscarriage and the hospital bill alone was over $10,000. I paid $100 of that. If the insurance company had paid for testing prior to that and discovered that all I needed was a pill, they would have saved $9,900. But wait, they won't cover the cost of that pill anyway.

To clarify, I didn't only just need a pill, I am stating that hypothetically because in many instances and for many women that is the solution. For me, it wasn't, and I will continue to document my story and details in further posts. But it frustrated me how short sighted the insurance companies were. I was extra ticked off just knowing that I may have to go through another miscarriage just to get some answers. I didn't feel like I could do that.

Two weeks later

It was a strange two weeks that passed after hearing the news. I had to tell people that I was pregnant, but not really. This was necessary in some instances such as work so that I could explain why I may need to suddenly call in sick for a few days, or in telling my Bishop and counselors so that they would know what to expect.

Then there was that irrational part of me that when each day passed without miscarrying, a part of me still hoped the doctors got it wrong. I was now 10 weeks pregnant with an empty gestational sac that measured only 6 weeks.

Finally my body caught on. I had the miscarriage at home with my husband and mom by my side. I knew it was coming, and I'd been through it before, but it was still awful. I guess you can never be fully prepared for the pain, both physically and emotionally.

About a week after this miscarriage I went back to work. I began having severe cramping and bleeding that felt like I was miscarrying all over again. As it turns out, it was some retained placenta. This would occur again in a later miscarriage and also after Audrey was born.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The ultrasound

At eight weeks pregnant I went in for an ultrasound. I remember the tech doing the measurements. She measured the sac and said it was measuring at six weeks. I knew she was wrong. I was 8 weeks along, no question. That's all she said and sent me down to talk to the doctor. Aaron was with me and I don't know if he was feeling the same way as I was, but I could tell things weren't right. The measurement was off and she said nothing about the baby.

With great apprehension we met with the doctor. She pulled out the ultrasound pictures and started talking about them. She said there was a yolk sac visible and the gestational sac measured at 6 weeks, but that it was empty. There was no baby. Feelings of sadness and confusion swept over me. She went on to explain that what happened was that I had been pregnant, conception had occurred. But that somewhere very early on in the pregnancy the fetus died and was absorbed into the gestational sac. However, my body had not yet clued in to this fact and continued on with this pregnancy, growing a gestational sac, etc. I was given the option to have a D&C, to go home with medication that would terminate the pregnancy, or to just let it go and have my body expel the pregnancy eventually.

I couldn't fathom taking an abortion medication, even though I knew there wasn't a living baby there, and I didn't want to do a D&C. I think a part of me hoped that this was all some mistake and there truly was a baby in there, so I opted to just let things play out naturally. The doctor sent me home with some pain medication for when it happened. I waited for two weeks. Each day of those two weeks I wondered if there was a mistake, because I still wasn't miscarrying. I know now that I was delusional, but I wanted a baby so badly that I thought just maybe there was still one in there, after all, I was still pregnant.