Saying goodbye to Canada

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Right now, I’m sitting with two Misoprostol tablets placed in either side of my mouth, slowly dissolving as my timer dissolves away the remaining minutes of their 30-minute wait. My ThermaCare Menstral is lying on top of the delivery receipt for our crib mattress. Misoprostol is an FDA category X drug.

There wasn’t anything on the ultrasound except a “very healthy looking placenta.” But, Placenta had no friend to appreciate its hard work. Blighted, poor Placenta. Seems to be a semi-cruel title, considering what “blight” means. But, the misoprostol is to help Placenta cope with the fact that no one’s buying what it’s selling, and to close up shop and ship out. “You can try again next month, after one cycle passes.”

The placenta sac measured 7 weeks and 5 days, though from my last menstrual date we’d be closer to 12 weeks. Most of these things happen in the first 14 anyways, and no signs of any growth of a baby at any point meant that I was never really pregnant despite the HCG levels, placenta, and symptoms. “These things are very normal, you need 3 consecutive miscarriages before we even raise an eyebrow.”

I feel surprisingly calm. Granted, my 30 minutes of waiting just ended and i’m washing down the chalky remains of the pill with a long-missed fully caffeinated coffee. The pill has made my tongue and tonsils hurt. No cramps yet. I heard they come in 1-hour, and last appx 2-3 hours.

I have PCOS, which is a leading cause of infertility in woman, and so I was extremely paranoid that I’d never even get pregnant. In 2006, when I was diagnosed, I lost 60lbs over the course of the next two years to hopefully reverse the symptoms and prevent my body from denying me the option to say “I never really wanted kids” and not just have it be a self-justification of my body’s inability.

In 2008, I got a clean bill of health and also officially started dating my now husband. Despite my clean bill of health, I’ve been taking a prenatal since January 2013, had a pre-conception appointment for immunization updates in March, started meticulously tracking my period and ovulation cycles, and read about four fertility books. I felt pretty confident that I had the concepts down.

Oh wow… some cramps started. Feels like that moment after a particularly warm cup of coffee. I think I’m going to put on my ThermaCare now. It’s been about 30 minutes after fully ingesting the medicine. My throat and tongue are still feeling really awful–what a poopy medicine.

The first weekend in September was our bachleor/ette parties and the next day I started my last period. The second weekend we got married and then were separated for a week (due to his job). The third weekend of September was the first day of our honeymoon in Canada and (per my charting) our ovulation dates–and guess what: we got pregnant.

Cramps again, but they seem to be mostly the same as before. It’s about an hour after the medicine. This was when it was supposed to really start…so hopefully that means it’s going to start soon. I’d also like to note I’m watching TV, and it doesn’t take me 30 minutes to write a tiny paragraph.

We obviously didn’t know we were pregnant immediately–and First Response was not able to figure it out 4 days before my missed period (tsk tsk tsk). I was exhausted, just sooooo tired. Then I missed two days of my period, so I took my remaining First Response test. Positive.

I rushed to the Safeway once I heard my husband’s shower click on. I bought a card, small gift bag, and a pacifier. Also bought eggs and sausage as a cover story. I frantically returned home to write out the card, taping the test’s instructions inside while my dear husband sang incoherently and shaved his beard. I shoved everything, including the pee-stick, into the bag. Washed my hands and made eggs and sausage as nonchalantly as I could.

My husband found the eggs and sausage just too confusing, that he didn’t even see the gift bag on the table next to his coffee. I mention his coffee, he senses I’m trying to distract him, and asks if I’m trying to get sex out of him, because it’s working. He gives me a kiss and tells me he’s too busy–but will consider it later. Haha!

He finally notices the gift bag and, after receiving a nod of permission, opens it and pulls out the pregnancy test “ew girl, is that sanitary?” gingerly setting it on the edge of the table on a napkin. He opens the remainder of the bag and curiously looks at the contents, reads the card with care and re-examines stick. The eggs were kind of burning at this point, but I was waiting for his response. He grins and comments on his tiger-like sperm. He realizes we haven’t done any “honeymoon yoga” except on our honeymoon and exclaims, “Our baby was: Made in Canada!” and laughs.

Note to self: do not put pressure on lower abdomen…ouch.

We referred to it as “our Canada baby” and it gave me all the standard symptoms. I even started getting nausea around Halloween. The smell of cumin almost did me in one day, though I never officially threw up.

I called kaiser permanente around this time …and the nurse asked me “What was the first day of your missed period?” and so I told her October 6. She said “Oh–you are only a few weeks pregnant.” and I told her “but we haven’t even done anything for a month and a half.” To which she replied, “well that’s what my calculator says, so I can’t schedule you until you are 8 weeks.” So I was scheduled for the first week of December.

Side note: The question should have been phrased: “What was the first day of your last period?”

Around mid-November I bought really cute Christmas cards to announce the pregnancy on Christmas. Though, right as we were heading back to Oregon for Thanksgiving I noted my normally sore breasts had stopped hurting. I kept prodding them to make them hurt again, but to no avail.

We drove out to Oregon for Thanksgiving and to meet my new 1-month old cousin, Ariella. I was feeling really energetic, and at one point in the evening I inexplicably started gushing out my worries over miscarriage to my always sympathetic uncle Andy (and considering no one knew we were pregnant… it was probably an odd conversation for him).

We also wanted to take advantage of Oregon being sales tax free, and use Black Friday to get…yeah, baby stuff. ALL of it. But sssh, don’t let anyone know. As of this post, we still didn’t tell anyone. This post is currently a private post. Maybe when we are successful in having a kid, I’ll make the post public. But, for now, it’s just a place to let me tell my story without anyone responding.

Side note: I’m now even more a believer in that choice as I sit here waiting for these pills to do their thing. The worst part of my day was the extremely pitying looks, questions, and responses the pharmacists and medical staff were giving me. I don’t need to relive a depressing moment with each person’s prodding “sympathy” of questions and statements about miscarriage, or discussions behind the “reason.” I only want the sympathy of the one other human who is directly affected by this: my husband. So I’m very happy we chose to wait to tell, because it will make a big difference to me with how I will be able to cope and recover.

We did our shopping,  and then the day after Black Friday we stopped by a friend’s house. While eating some idli with very spicy tomato chutney , I was suddenly struck by wave of severe cramps. I excused myself to the restroom. But nothing happened, and the cramps subsided. So I went to finish my food. I almost didn’t finish the last idli before I almost threw up, and another wave of stronger cramps hit me. I excused myself again, and I think people were wondering what was wrong with me. This time, there was bright red blood. Not a lot. But, the cramps were pretty bad and my mental “worst-case-scenario” moment was playing out–but, I didn’t know how to handle it because I was a 10-hour drive from home.

I became really edgy and kept trying to get my husband to leave before another wave of cramps hit me. We weren’t going to arrive home until midnight I complained, it’s starting to get late, I think we really should go, and just kept bugging him to leave. My husband complied with, and our friends were confused at the abrupt leaving…I think my husband was also a little wierded out, which–but I was not going to stay.

The instant we got in the car I said, “So–I’m pretty sure we’re having a miscarriage. I need to go to Walmart before we leave.” We were both silent for a moment. The whole admission was pretty sobering.

Then suddenly, more and more cramps, and we had to stop so I could rush to the bathroom at Safeway, and then, the cramps stopped. There was no more blod… so, “That’s good.” I thought. We laughed over the spicy chutney we ate for breakfast and my over-reaction. Just some digestive backup likely. Whew, crisis averted.

The blood was highly confusing though–we were nearing our 12 week mark, we should be exiting the miscarriage danger zone.

A lot of googling reassured and confused me a lot. Bleeding was both normal and spelled our Canada baby’s doom. Spotting did too. It was both fine and fatal.

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Most websites had a really poor description of spotting versus bleeding. Some explicitly said spotting was light bleeding, no matter the color. One said that bleeding and spotting sometimes occurs on the days where your period used to be, and was perfectly normal. Oh! I was tracking all of that. I know exactly when I would be starting each of my periods! I checked, and that day was the exact day I was supposed to normally start my period. Problem solved. We relaxed, congratulated each other on our calm, cool logic and then drove the 10-hours home.

But, the spotting never stopped. While the cramps were never sharp and severe again…they were predictable and constant. Suddenly the countdown to our prenatal visit on Friday (today) couldn’t come soon enough. More googling only caused more confusion. Every shred of information had a counter information.

I started a new job on the Monday before our first Friday Prenatal visit, Day #3 of spotting. The cramps were mild, but constant and uncomfortable. Same for Tuesday and Wednesday. Some reflection made me convinced we were miscarrying. My breasts no longer hurt, I had been feeling particularly energetic, and non-nauseated. The taste of eggs lost their god-like appeal. I bought a deviled egg potato salad specifically to confirm, and it was back to tasting the way it normally did–what a disappointment. The thought of not feeling nauseatingly lethargic all the time really bummed me out. My belly was oddly bloated…and I thought, “maybe I am just beginning to show?” It all made me really anxious.

On Thursday, the day before the prenatal visit, the cramping flared up around 5PM and there was a considerable amount of blood. Man, where was Friday?

6PM and we get a knock on the door. The Fedex guy handed us a package, our breast pump arrived.

Sweet mercy, today (Friday) finally arrived.

Ooo… cramps, nice and sharp. 2 hours and 15 minutes after the medicine. Woo…going to take some pain killers, I was told to take a whooping 800 mg of ibuprofen (a category C drug, but after taking a category X…who really cares? Where’s my wine while I’m at it? Sushi anyone? Just kidding, alcohol is a big no no with this drug, and frankly, I’ll barf up raw salmon at the moment).

It’s not hard to write per se…but it is not really what I want to do at the moment…

Feels pretty rough right now. Nothing terrible really, highly uncomfortable. 3 hours after the medication. Prior to being diagnosed with PCOS, I often missed my periods, sometimes I even skipped several months. Those periods were awful. One time in high school was so bad I couldn’t even walk and the pain was so intense that I vomited. I am really hoping this isn’t like that.

The nurse practitioner gave me two options: natural miscarriage where I sort of wait and see when it happens, or a wham, bam, thank you ma’am approach with the misoprostol. You know which one I chose.

Friday is an excellent day to take this pill anyways because I have the weekend, and it’s not like I want to risk a miscarriage in the middle of my training next week. That isn’t exactly the new employee impression I want to make. Sorry Mother Nature, you have failed me this time…I’ll take a little western medicine approach for this.

Worst cramps so far….4 hours after the medicine…what a liar. That nurse said 1-2 hours…god help her if the 2-3 hours of this is doubled too.

Oh… this feels horrible. Just googled that it takes four hours for misopostral to start and the cramping lasts for up to TWELVE HOURS, I am so thrilled it’s 9:30 PM right now….not.

Oh… I think I might literally throw up.

I’m getting an epidural when I do this for real. I can’t believe I have 800 mg of ibuprofen in my system. What would it be like without it?

Husband brought me a bucket in case I throw up.

Oh man, ladies… not fun.

Asked him to buy me a heating pad. He’s going, I love him.

Hard to stand, pain is pretty bad. Tried standing because I saw it in a video once of a woman doing the natural birth, and thought maybe it would help the pain. Absolutely does not.

Oh… and it’s done. So sudden. I won’t describe it, but not the worst thing ever, and it’s done.

Pain is subsiding. 4.5 hours after medicine exactly, and only about 30 minutes of bad cramping. I definitely could not have had this happen at work. The medicine was such a good choice, I’ll do this again if I have to go through this a second time.

I feel kind of bad for making my husband rush to the store to buy me a heating pad now. He’s so great. We’re going on a wine and sushi tour in California. He’s such a great person. I feel really lucky to know him.

Still cramping, I can’t imagine it will get that bad again. The work is done.

It’s 7 hours after the medicine, and about 3 hours after the miscarriage really started and I’m still cramping. But it’s more like the “worst day of your period” kind of cramps. I probably don’t need any more ibuprofen. My husband is great, this heating pad is heaven.

Well, I got a little taster of what early pregnancy is like, and a less-terrible experience of miscarriage. It wasn’t the end of the world I always thought it would be.

Also I just started a new job, so I wouldn’t have any protection under the FMLA and I don’t qualify for Short Term disability yet–so maybe it was for the best. Now can focus on recovering from this, and trying again sometime after I’ve been with the company for a year so I will get time to spend with a baby.

Now it’s essentially a glorified period. I am just going to monitor and make sure I don’t break out in a fever, or start gushing blood. Or it’s off to the emergency room for me!

Canada baby never really existed… I do miss the idea of Canada baby, because I liked the idea of having a baby conceived on our honeymoon. But, I’m not so thrilled that Canada just bought a house and let it fall into foreclosure then ran away from its responsibilities. Canada would have definitely been grounded for that. So, goodbye Canada…you’re missing out on all the cool stuff we bought you, your awesome dad, and your awesome puppy. Someone else will come along who will appreciate all our hard work, and will appreciate all of Placenta’s hard work too, and it’ll all be worth it.

Time for bed, I’m exhausted.

Updates

It took 41 days before I got my next menstrual cycle in Jan, 34 days for Feb, and 30 days for March…then, pregnant again. I didn’t have any complications, but bled steadily for a little under two weeks.

I never cried over the miscarriage, but a few times I felt like maybe I “should” cry because all the forums I read implied I should be non-stop crying for at least 2 months. Maybe because no one knew? I didn’t have to deal with people mistakenly asking, “how is the baby [that I don’t realized doesn’t exist anymore]?”

After some reflection, my husband and I were both a little depressed after the miscarriage. We were sort of in a mutual funk for the rest of December and most of January. We got out of it near the end of January, and were mentally and emotionally recovered by the time mid-February hit.

The nurse practitioner who saw us, never asked me about my blood type (it wasn’t in my file either). I simply received a last-minute freak-out phone call from her several days after the miscarriage instructing me to rush into the first lab I could find and get a Rhogam shot immediately. She said that if I didn’t go find out my blood type, that my body would develop antibodies against all my future babies! My heart leapt into my throat. WHAT? I had never heard of such a thing. I told her that my doctor’s office in Oregon knew my blood type. I said I thought I was O+. She insisted that there was no time and I must go to the lab immediately to get the Rhogam shot.  I was still recovering from the miscarriage and her panic made me very scared.

So, I sped to the lab and discovered that she hadn’t even put a rush order in on my blood work. They wouldn’t give the Rhogam shot until after my blood type was confirmed. At my insistence that the nurse said there was “no time,” the lab attempted to call the nurse to ask about the rush order, but she had left work for the day (actually, she left work 5 minutes after our call). So the lab would not rush my blood work, and I had to wait 24-hours. I turned to the comfort of Nurse Google. Nurse Google revealed that you only get the Rhogram shot if you had a negative blood type. The results revealed I was Type O, Rh Positive and, of course, had not developed any antibodies and did not need the Rhogam shot. I paid my large miscarriage and lab work bill, and then switched to a hospital in another city. The commute could not be worse than incompetence.

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One thought on “Saying goodbye to Canada

  1. Pingback: First Trimester: Complete! | American Amma

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