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Jessica’s Journey: Part 13- When a Miscarriage Can’t Just be a Miscarriage

February 17th, 2018

After three miscarriages, I feel like I should be a pro at this point. In reflecting back on each one, it is clear they each have been more complicated than the last. The first lasted over 60 days. The second was a tad shorter but if you read our blog a year ago know that there were some complications with my blood work. When we were experiencing our third, I felt like maybe this one will be more straight forward and easier. I know saying the words easy and miscarriage in the same paragraph seem wrong, but when you've gone through what we have, you can say whatever you want. Needless to say, my third was definitely not as simple as I thought it would be.

For those who haven't joined the land of the infertile, pregnancy is a lot different. You pee on a stick and celebrate the happy news. At 8 weeks you go to the doctor and hear your baby's heartbeat and the joy continues. For those who see a fertility specialist or take fertility meds, there is more to it than that. Yes, you still get to pee on a stick and do feel the joys of finding out you are pregnant, but then you get your blood drawn to see if your HCG levels are high enough. The next step is to make sure these numbers are doubling every 48 hours. We knew we were miscarrying at 4.5 weeks when our numbers only increased by 46%. We had accepted it and knew it was inevitable. The doctors still wanted me to get my blood drawn every few days to make sure my levels went down, and as much a I hated it. I still complied.

The Waiting Game

After a week and two days, the miscarriage began. With it being so early, it is common to let it miscarry naturally versus getting a D&C which medically removes it from your body. We had always used the natural method and this seemed no different than the last. It is basically the WORST period of your life (sorry guys) and should last 1-2 weeks (unless you are me). My body seemed to be returning to normal and I was excited because I actually felt like maybe this wouldn't last as long as the others had. Such a silly gal I was.

What Goes Up Must Come Down

I went in for blood test #4 and found out after a week, my levels only went down by 26. The nurse called and said they were concerned it was ectopic and that I needed to go in again for another set in 2 days. I asked if I could go once a week instead as going in for a blood test that makes you sad isn’t exactly how I want to spend every other morning. I told her this was my 3rd time and that my body tends to take longer than others to miscarry. She said she needed to talk to the doctor and would let me know. That day came and went and I thought I was in the clear. Then 4 o'clock on Friday rolled around and the nurse called back informing me that if I didn't go in for another blood draw in 2 days, they would no longer service me. Up until this point, I hadn't cried about this miscarriage. I think I've grown numb to it as a protection, but that all went out the window. I believe I said the doctor needed to stop being such a man, I also said that he had no idea what this is like and welcomed him to join me every two days in this sad process. It was not a pretty convo and I give so much credit to this poor nurse who just listened and told me she was sorry. Whoever you are, you are a saint. I left work and called my husband crying telling him how mean the doctor was and how unfair this whole thing was turning out to be. My husband knew what I needed and comforted me, then once I was calm explained that just maybe they knew what they were doing and to trust them. I humored him and said ok as I was secretly waiting to prove them wrong. I would get my blood drawn and laugh when it went down just as I knew it would. Once again, a silly gal I was.

Insert Foot in Mouth

My blood did go down but only by a little so they were still concerned, so I had an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed nothing in my uterus and as far as they could see, nothing anywhere else. Then when I went in for another blood draw it went down by over 300 and I felt so gratified. Finally it was going to be over and I still ended up proving it was ectopic and just my body doing its thing. So Friday, two days later, I was pretty shocked to find out it went up by 150. The doctors called me and advised I was likely having an ectopic and needed to go in for an injection that day. I begged to wait just one more week and they were not having it.

Another Loss and Moving Forward

It was the snowiest day the year and here I was on my way to the cancer center at our local hospital. The injections I would be getting was a dose of Methotrexate. It was a mild form of chemotherapy and often used to correct ectopic pregnancies. I'll never forget the mixture of emotions I felt. Although the building was beautiful, it was filled with sadness. Many were there fighting for their lives as they got strong doses of chemotherapy. It made my situation feel so minor. As I sat in my room with my husband and parents I listened to the nurse tell me how this was going to go. She would inject two shots of Methotrexate in my lower back region and the Methotrexate would seek out rapidly developing cells, which is why this is used for Cancer patients as that is what Cancer is. In my case it would find the pregnancy and.....well you know the rest. Hearing this was more difficult than I can express and I lost it. I felt like I was getting an abortion. I know it wasn't and I know if the ectopic grew, it could potentially kill me, but it was still extremely difficult to comprehend and live with. The injections luckily didn’t hurt and I went home that night to snuggle my husband and eat pizza (our comfort food). Since then, I started bleeding again which is common as it is basically getting rid of any remnants of pregnancy in your body. I am also on as strict path with no vitamins, aspirin, sex, or alcohol (luckily we don't drink anyway). Once my levels are back to 0, I can act as normal. I have to have my kidney and liver functions checked and did so yesterday. My Red and White Blood Cell Counts are low which is common as the Methotrexate takes down your immune system, but otherwise am fine. My legs bruised and look like I joined a fight club too.

I was happy to see my levels decreased by quite a bit so the injections did work. I am very much looking forward to having my normal body back and moving forward with life, like welcoming our baby boy in June!!

The Mystery of Ectopic

The reason I am posting this is because I could't find many stories similar to mine online. My levels went up and down for quite a while and they never saw an ectopic in my ultrasound. That is the true mystery of ectopic. Some women don't know until it ruptures, damages their tubes, and requires surgery. Others find an ectopic in their ultrasounds located in their ovaries or in their tubes. For me, they thought I had one because of the fact there was no pregnancy in my uterus and my levels were increasing. It truly is a complex situation, but I am glad I finally let go and trusted the doctors. I am still an advocate for asking questions and being aware of how your body works, but I don't have medical degree and need to trust as well. So hopefully this story will shed some light or give extra information for someone else in search of answers.

All Natural

After this loss, I am done with fertility meds. I feel like I've been pumped with medication since August 2015 and after having a form of chemotherapy in me, want to give my body a break. Our son will be born in June and to us, that is all we need. The longing of being pregnant has passed and realized as a longing to me a mom, which I already am.

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