I've contemplated this post, and at first I didn't think I'd write it. But so many people have been asking how the repeat ultrasound went, and you've all been sending well wishes and prayers and happy thoughts. So I decided to just write it to fill you in.
Yesterday I relived one of the most difficult moments of my life. I laid on a table waiting for the grainy black and white screen to show me a reassuring flicker. The screen swirled and I immediately saw the sac with the baby. Whew. I also saw the yolk sac, which I wasn't able to see last week, so I took that as a sign. Then I saw a blink, and then like a jackass I said "Whew! There's the heartbeat!"
But as the doctor zoomed in to get an audio I just heard static. She fiddled with the wand and the machine a bit, zoomed in more and still just the vacant steady whooshing of static. She recorded some kind of pulse, but said it was slower than she'd expect at this stage. I think I saw 114 bpm but I can't be sure. She said it was most likely blood flow from my own body.
My heart sank and the pit in my stomach opened up to swallow it. I've been there before with my own, and here I was lying there with Baby Mama and Baby Daddy silently standing behind me. I don't know exactly what they were feeling, but I have a pretty good idea.
The doctor started to measure and I noticed that all the measurements read 6weeks0days. There was no change from last week. No good heartbeat. No growth. The doctor offered her condolences. It looks like an early loss.
I tried to keep it together until Baby Mama and Baby Daddy left the room, but the second they were out I broke down into tears. The doctor told me there was nothing I could have done. And I know that. But it doesn't make me less sad for those two people out there letting it sink in that most likely they just saw their baby for the last time.
She said she'd send her report to California, so we'd have to wait for instructions from them. The doc said she personally would do another ultrasound in a few days or a week just to really be sure it's a loss. So I got myself together and headed out of the office into the hall.
Baby Mama hugged me and I just broke down again telling her I was so sorry. She told me it would be okay and not to worry. This woman. The mother of this baby was keeping it together for me. I felt awful that I wasn't stronger for them because I'm sure they were on the verge. I'll just blame hormones, but I think it's more than that. I know what that moment feels like, and maybe I relived my own moment a little bit. I just felt so angry and helpless and sad all at once. Miscarriage is just bull shit. Plain and simple.
We parted ways and I sat in the parking lot for a while breaking the news to Hubs, my mom and my sweet friend who suffered two similar losses last year. She told me to come over if I needed to. I halfway wanted to go home and just be alone, but I knew being alone with my thoughts and Google was a recipe for disaster. So I headed her way.
She knew exactly what to say because she's been there, and we hashed out all the details. Why could I see more detail this time than last? Why did I see a flicker? Did I really see a flicker of a heart or just a flicker from the grainy black and white screen? Why didn't they send me for a high level ultrasound? Did my tilted uterus have anything to do with the outcome? Maybe they couldn't measure right or see the heartbeat because it's the reverse of "normal." We compared the two ultrasounds side by side. I don't want to post here out of respect for Baby Mama and Baby Daddy, but there were certainly differences in detail.
We hashed every detail we could, and I told her honestly I almost felt at peace about it. I'd had a weird feeling all week. Maybe the seed of doubt the clinic planted when they said the baby was measuring small. Maybe intuition. I don't know. But I felt something wasn't right. I think another ultrasound is in order to confirm everything we knew, but I felt at peace with everything. It would be okay. They would get their baby, but maybe not this baby. Just like my own kids. I got my two kids, just not the first two kids I started with. It's heartbreaking and completely unfair and well...it's bullshit.
The thing my friend didn't say is "It's God's plan." or "It's for the best." or "It's nature's way of taking care of a problem." Those were the worst things people said with my miscarriage, and I'm sure people said those things to her. So while I still think miscarriage is bull shit, I'm glad I have someone in my life who has been through it and knows just what to say.
We decided to grab lunch just like we did after I took her to her doctor's appointment for her own miscarriage. We opted for enchiladas just like we did after her miscarriage. Nothing like Miscarriage Mexican Monday to make you feel better.
I headed to pick up Sunshine at school. I've decided not to tell her anything yet. I am going to tell her and basically be honest. Sometimes when babies are really tiny and just starting to grow, they just stop growing. It's like when we planted our tomato seeds. Some seeds didn't sprout. Out of the ones that sprouted some of them just stopped growing when they were only tiny. Then there was the one seed that took hold and grew into our beautiful green plant. I will tell her all this when the time comes, but for now I need to get my thoughts in order about it all.
We went home, and I collapsed into exhaustion into the recliner. I made some chocolate chip cookies and checked my messages as I ate my feelings. Nothing from the clinic yet, so I gave them a call. No answer so I left a message. My ultrasound was at 8:15, it was now 3:30. What the crap. I sent an email for good measure.
As I sat there snuggling my kids I remembered to be thankful for them. Those pregnancy hormones have really shortened my patience the last few weeks, but this was a really big smack in the face of how lucky I was to have these two little patience testers.
I got a call a little while later from the clinic saying she still didn't have results but she'd put in an email to the monitoring clinic asking for them. As I gave her a rundown of the ultrasound she said there's no point in doing another ultrasound because hearts don't just stop beating then start again. I told her the other RE recommended one, and she said they must have measured something then that they thought might be a heartbeat. While we're talking about it she said the monitoring clinic was on the other line and the RE wanted to talk to her before she sent the report. I let her go and sat tight.
When she called back she said they'd measured what they suspected was my blood flow, but wanted to do another ultrasound on Friday to be sure. She also said the yolk sac looked enlarged, which signaled a problem with development. "I don't want you to be optimistic about Friday's ultrasound. It's basically just to give closure and reassurance," she said. She told me to prepare to stop meds Friday afternoon, and to prepare to miscarry after that. Merry Frickin' Christmas.
I told her I understood and that my hopes were nowhere near high for Friday. I was making peace with this being the end. But then I did something terrible. I googled.
I'm so so so so stupid. Google access should be illegal for pregnancy. Nothing good ever comes from it. I started googling if a tilted uterus could affect an ultrasound, and the response from Dr. Google was overwhelmingly YES. There were way too many cases of no heartbeat at 7 or 8 weeks and then finding it again at 13 weeks. There were too many cases of the baby "not growing" but then catching up again at 10 weeks.
This did two horrible things. It took away all that reassurance I felt after talking to the Cali clinic. And it also made me doubt my own decision to have a D&C when I saw that my twins were measuring 10 weeks and no heartbeat when I was 13 weeks. Again... it should be illegal. I put the last thought out of my mind because had I done things any differently I wouldn't have the two beautiful children that light up my life. But that first thought kept creeping back.
The dilemma I'm in is that come Friday if we don't get a heartbeat they want me to stop meds. That's basically saying pull the life support plug. I can still wait to miscarry naturally, but pulling those meds is not even giving the pregnancy a chance to progress.
I don't expect a miracle Friday, although I will be hoping for one with everything I have. I am realistic that this pregnancy is probably over. There are definitely signs pointing that way. But there are a few signs that are just too questionable for me to feel comfortable pulling the plug. I just wish there was a way to wait another month. If it were a "normal" non IVF pregnancy I could wait. I could just wait to miscarry naturally. But this decision has to be made Friday. Going off meds is saying we are done.
But when I step back and look at everything I realize this isn't about me. This isn't about what I should've done with my own miscarriage. This is about someone else's baby. This is about their decision of what to do. Do they want to be drug through a month of torturous uncertainty just to be disappointed in the end anyway? I realized that what I really want Friday is answers for them. If this pregnancy isn't viable I want them to feel completely confident Friday that it is over. I want all or nothing. I want to see a vibrant heartbeat or an empty sac. I want no seeds of doubt. Because those seeds will haunt them forever. I should know. I waited a week for another ultrasound and the only thing that lets me sleep at night is that I know what I saw. I saw no heartbeats and the babies had gotten smaller, indicating they were deteriorating. That's morbid and horrible, but it's the only thing that lets me feel like I did the right thing. I want that for them.
But as we all know, it's not about what we want. This whole parenting game is so not about us or our wants. And quite frankly this part of it is just bullshit.