Because Nothing is Ever Simple

So, apparently my HCG levels are still rising.  They went from 1600-something on Monday to 2300-something on Wednesday.  Much lower than they should be at this stage, and not doubling particularly quickly, but still within the “normal” range for the 4w3d ultrasound measurement from Monday.  Argh.  So now they want me to go back for another ultrasound on Monday, just to make absolutely sure there’s nothing in there before giving me the misoprostol to end the pregnancy.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, when I got my blood drawn for the 2nd HCG test yesterday, by the time I got to my office (a 5-minute drive from the hospital lab) my arm had swelled up to the size of a tangerine at the site of the needle stick.  I freaked out and called my doctor’s office, and they said to come in, all so that the doctor could hand me an ice pack and tell me that it happens sometimes (supposedly when they drive the needle out the back of your vein so that it bleeds into the surrounding tissue).  As a bonus, I do have a large and colorful bruise on my arm today!

The doctor called last night with the HCG results, and was awkwardly trying to be reassuring while not giving me false hope — she is a really funny and weird old lady with whom I’ve had awkward conversations before (like the random 3rd-trimester checkup during my pregnancy with S where she said to me, “So, just to make sure, you NEVER, EVER use your cell phone, right?”  My husband and I were looking at each other confusedly, so she repeated herself… and I said, “Um, yes, I do, is that a problem?” and she said, “Oh, I mean, while driving!”)  So on the phone yesterday she kept saying, “Now, I don’t want you to feel like I’m being too optimistic.  But I don’t want you to feel like I’m being too pessimistic either.  I mean, we’ve seen it all.  But that doesn’t mean it’s going to work out this time.  But it might.”  And she kept going until I was like, “It’s fine, I’m glad you’re being thorough so that you can be completely sure before taking any action,” and she seemed content with that.  I like her because she always says exactly what’s on her mind and is very decisive and action-oriented — she’s like a little tornado of doctor every time she comes into a room, even if her verbal communication skills could use some work.  After the bad ultrasound on Monday she walked into the room and two minutes later whipped out a phlebotomy kit and drew my blood then and there for the HCG test — I’ve never seen a doctor do that before!  So I’m actually kind of glad she’s been the one managing this (likely) miscarriage even though I usually prefer the younger, kinder doctor (married to one of the other faculty members at my university) who made me feel so reassured after our daughter died.  I actually just want frank talk and decisive action rather than reassurance right now.

So now I’m just waiting… again.  I’ve been spotting for the past few days and even had some bright red blood this morning, so maybe this will all just end on its own soon.  But otherwise I’m in limbo until Monday.

12 thoughts on “Because Nothing is Ever Simple

  1. Mamalife

    I am sorry. my 3rd pregnancy (which ended unfortunately) was eerily similar. My HCG levels never rose as expected and it dragged out for a good 2 weeks before there was some closure. It sucks, sending you lots of love and a tight hug hon. why the hell is this never easy for some of us!

    1. lyra211 Post author

      Thank you. ❤ I'm sure I'm headed the same direction as your 3rd pregnancy — from the moment we saw the ultrasound I was like, "I just don't want this to drag on…" but so far that's exactly what it's doing. Well, I can hang out until Monday anyway. I don't mind walking around carrying an empty gestational sac nearly as much as I minded walking around carrying a dead 18-week-old fetus (sorry to be graphic!). It's the random twinges of nausea that are the most annoying — I don't mind having pregnancy symptoms when I'm actually pregnant, but this is just unfair!

      1. Mamalife

        yes, its just bloody unfair. And no, its not graphic. at 18 weeks the loss is far far worse (not that you can measure pain and loss, but more in terms of attachment to the baby and the hopes and dreams that break)

  2. My Perfect Breakdown

    This is exactly what I was hoping you would be able to avoid. For me, I always wanted a clear answer – either yes or no. But, I always found myself stuck in the waiting, and experiencing a mix of emotions – hoping for baby to keep growing and also hoping for it to just end. Your doctor’s perspective is probably the best – you may miscarry, but you may not.
    I wish I could say something that will actually help you right now. But there’s nothing. So just know that I’m thinking about you and sending my love your way.

    1. lyra211 Post author

      Yes, exactly — I just want a clear answer! As much as I would love for this baby to keep growing, I just don’t believe that it will, so it’s frustrating that it’s dragging out. I’ve always said that if my pregnancy has to end, I want it to end SOON. It’s still pretty early… according to LMP I’ll be 8 weeks this weekend… but that’s two months that feel like wasted TTC time, and then who knows how long it’ll be after this is all over before my cycles get on track again. Argh.

      Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and wishes — I know you’ve been here more times than you care to remember. It’s always wonderful to know that you’re there rooting for me.

  3. jwhitworth7

    Ugh. I’m so sorry for that this is being drawn out. And while it does sound like the Dr is a bit awkward I know what you mean about appreciating her being direct. I hope you can gain some physical closure soon and be on to other things. Thinking about you.

  4. RJ

    Oh man I’m so sorry this is dragging out. I hope you have some answers at your appt. I will be keeping you in my thoughts. Hugs.

  5. Dani

    I’m so sorry this is dragging on, it’s just not fair. With my ectopic they said there is a less than 1% chance it is a viable pregnancy, and it was awful because less than 1%is still a chance and even though I knew I had miscarried it niggled at me, what if they are wrong? and just needed that closure instead. I really feel for you, it’s just awful, big hugs X

    1. lyra211 Post author

      Yes, don’t you hate that? Even if you’re almost completely sure that it’s over, you just don’t want to do anything final because there’s that tiny, tiny chance that everything might be OK. It stinks that so much of the time it’s hard for them to be 100% sure — reproductive science is so inexact.


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