*IMPORTANT MESSAGE* please share this with as many people as you think it will touch. I encourage comments and questions below, please share your stories and spread the word that it's okay to talk about these things - it helps.
This blogpost was written almost two weeks ago on Tuesday, January 15th, but Charlie and I weren't ready to post it yet.
On December 11th, two days before Charlie and I were leaving for Boston, and exactly one week before he deployed, I was g-chatting with Eden, and
You can imagine my astonishment when this came up:
I then typed "omgomgomgomgomg" to Eden which was followed by "I can't tell you, I have to tell Lauren" (my mother) "first".
We told very few family members and best friends, and waited for the news to sink in.
Here is Jaren giving me 23482384 books to read:
We had all noticed my more extreme exhaustion, but I am ALWAYS a tired person. I never want to wake up in the morning. So we didn't think anything of it. Also noticed a heightened sense of smell, but the same - I usually have a strong sense of smell. No nausea or anything.
I kept taking pregnancy tests each day to make sure it was real. When sore breasts made their way into the picture I believed it a bit more. Charlie left on the 18th for his deployment, and I traveled a bit more. I kept obsessively taking pregnancy tests and analyzing if the "line" appeared more quickly. I hope some of you are laughing at this since I am sure we've all done the exact same thing.
I started believing I was pregnant a bit more. You really don't feel pregnant at first, it's very surreal! I snapped pictures of food I couldn't eat (the conference I was at was at the Ritz and had amazing food) and sent pictures to Charlie and my mom with pouty faces.
Sad, no seared tuna for this sushi lover!
I went home and enjoyed it.
I took a "belly" pic to highlight my not flat for the first time tummy:
My body is very un-proportional - I have a tiny waist (25 inches) and large hips, thighs, and butt. I know the baby was the size of like, a pea that week, but trust me, that is a pooch compared to my normal tummy.
I was still exhausted and had a great New Years Eve eating a pizza in bed with my dogs and disney movies :-) Hmmm, maybe my pooch was due to these sorts of things....
I had an appointment a week after I came back (7 weeks pregnant already). Can you imagine my frustration when I wasn't scheduled for an ultrasound? Let me just say, that although I love my ob-gyn and have been with her for over 10 years, that I am beyond disappointed with her office. I will talk about this more later in the blog, and yes, I have a list, and some advice on how to be an advocate if your doctor's office is incompetent.
Since my dad is a radiologist, I begged him to get me an ultrasound at an imaging clinic that day. My doctor wrote the referral, and Charlie stayed up until after 1 am his time, having to fly the next morning, so he could Skype in to the appointment. Best husband ever award. Hands down.
We had a heartbeat. Tiny thing in the middle of a white alien blob flickering! Instant relief. I measured about 6 weeks, which wasn't a red flag (based on my last menstrual period I was 7 weeks) since early in pregnancy your dates can be off, and I didn't know when I ovulated, just when my last period was. Heart rate was 105. Jaren said her heart rates with both girls were much higher, but I wasn't concerned - the heart starts beating at around 5 weeks, at around the same as the mothers (85), and increases about 3 beats per day. Keeps beating til it gets really fast (up to the 180s in some cases) and then levels off for the rest of the pregnancy.
Anyway, the baby basically looked like a blob. Charlie snapped one through Skype that semi-resembled a gummy bear as opposed to a triangle:
Okay it still looks triangular. Most beautiful triangle you've ever seen though, right?
And now I present you with another act of disappointment with the doctor's office - I had to call 5 days later to get my official results. It went something like this:
Them: Oh, (casually mentioning) you need a follow up ultrasound, since you measured so early. You need to do it on Thursday.
Me: (internally): WHAT THE F*** why am I calling you for this information, are you incompetent? (if you're curious, the answer is, yes they are)
Me: (to them): Okay, what time should I come in on Thursday then?
Them: We're full on Thursday.
"Dad can you please book me again?"
Thank goodness his imaging center takes tricare and fit me in. Thank you for their amazing ultrasound tech for staying late etc for me. The cookies I baked were not enough to express our gratitude.
Thursday rolls around. I've already told a few more people - they say once you hear a heartbeat it's extremely unlikely to miscarry.
2 days growth happened in 7 days. Heart rate drops. To 99.
Now all of you that know me know I do not have a good memory for detail. You usually need to tell me you're going out of town 6 times before I stop asking you for a gym date, etc. Let me tell you something - when you're studying about your baby's medical development, you remember every single figure. It's miraculous.
The ultrasound tech did not know if it was bad. Charlie starts looking things up. Everyone I know starts looking things up.
But I know what it's supposed to be.
I call my doctor's office, and they literally said "your progesterone went up, we'll see you on the 31st for your next appointment" (this was on january 10th, so 3 week wait).
Um, I am having a 90 something percent chance of a miscarriage, and you're telling me I'm fine????
No no no.
Through the power of dad being a doctor, I got another ultrasound the next day elsewhere, to make sure that the reading was accurate. He also spoke to my doctor who told him I should come in early next week (he spoke to her on a Friday, she acknowledged it was very bad, and wanted me to come in Monday or Tuesday to follow up). She supposedly called her office to tell them that. Guess what her office said when they called me?
"Your progesterone is finally higher. We'll see you on the 31st".
To which I again had the reaction go "F YOU!!!!" (excuse the insane amount of profanity in this post).
That same day during the ultrasound, we couldn't even hear the heartbeat, just see a small irregular ish flicker. They guessed 93.
It's so interesting what happens then. I didn't feel like grieving. I didn't feel like people telling me to pray for a miracle. I didn't pray for a miracle (then). I just knew what it meant, wanted to accept it, and that's it. I of course had to share the news with the few people that were desperately keeping tabs on me. I texted something like "barely detectable heart rate. don't want to talk about it". I didn't take any phone calls, not even from my sister whose almost a doctor (in may!) or my MOTHER. I went over to Jaren's house and told her I didn't want to talk about it. Instead I played with her daughters and we baked a cake.
Obviously you get the "I love you so much and I'm here when you are ready", or "I'll pray for you" texts when you ignore the voicemails (sorry friends). At that moment, you just ignore the text because anything loving, any support, makes you remember what you're going through, when you just want to bake a damn butter cake and watch an episode of Friends. By the way, thanks Nick at Night for airing the episode when Rachel has her baby. That wasn't a moment that made me wake up my mom after midnight sobbing.
On Saturday I decided to pray for a miracle. I remembered reading the story of a college friend who was told at 6 weeks, that he and his wife's baby stopped growing at 4 weeks. They went two weeks later for a d&c, and there was a strong heartbeat and a growing little lima bean (she's now due in February and has a gorgeous round belly)! So I started singing "mishehberach" with Odge, and asking friends of all faiths to pray. I remembered that my friend Ilana Shapiro (the same one with the original cookie recipe) had recommended a doctor to me a few months ago. I called and scheduled an appointment. They fit me right in.
To anybody in the Las Vegas area who is pregnant, call Desert Perinatal (I saw Dr Adashek). They are a g-dsend.
I had an ultrasound the day I wrote this, which was 13 days ago, and there was no heartbeat. The baby stopped growing at 7 weeks. I know nobody ever thinks this will happen to them. Especially after seeing that initial heartbeat, you think you're safe. You're basically guaranteed to be safe, except for a very small percentage, which we fell under.
I made an appointment for a d&c (update, I had the d&c 9 days ago and will write a blogpost about why to expect); I did not want to risk waking up soaked in blood - sorry if that's too graphic. The blood isn't even what I care about, but the emotion of going through that. Plus, with the d&c, they will send in the "specimen" for analysis, to see what went wrong (probably chromosomal, in which case it was inevitable from conception). It may not work because they need live cells, and the baby has probabley been dead around two weeks. If they are able to analyze, we can choose if we want to know the gender. I want to know but Charlie doesn't.
I had to leave immediately to teach my Hebrew school class, so I guarded myself up again and didn't accept hugs or anything. Definitely shut my mind off during T'filah (the prayer portion) of the evening. I really don't want to talk about it just yet. Nowhere near ready. I know you all love us and are praying for us and are there when we are ready. Thank you in advance for those messages I know we will receive.
*update - it's been a week and a half since I wrote this and I am ready to talk about it if anybody has questions, etc*
I was astonished when I realized that I hadn't made an effort once throughout this ordeal to console Charlie. How freaking selfish. We are both ready to be parents and want it so bad, and we know our time will come. Sorry my most amazing husband, I love you more than you know.
Well that's my debbie downer story, or my "shit happens" story, or my "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" story etc. Like I said, please understand that when I see you, I will have a smile on my face and talk about things like the Golden Globes, the freezing weather (seriously what is up Las Vegas?), and my dogs needing to be groomed. I guess that's just my way of coping for now.