A Blight

In many ways 2015 has offered us a good first quarter.

Jon rebuilt the garden for this spring & summer and we got a boat and have taken it out a handful of times in these winter months.  We got 3 lbs of bees for our garden hive and they seem to be doing well making their home so far!  We re-homed the guinea fowl to a lovely farm with more guinea for them to partner with.

We went home to Virginia in early February and were able to see our family, baby niece, Mila, and spend time with friends – plus, Jon killed a deer to provide many meals for us.

We have enjoyed some warm days in April for bike rides, park time with the dogs, and evening walks.  Jon, his brother, and 2 friends did a “guys only” camping trip in West Virginia to do 4-wheeler trail rides.   I have been working hard on my grad course at GMU this semester, and I am then only one class away from completing the program.  Jon had his 36th birthday, and Popcorn had his 2nd birthday – Both on April 28th!  And finally, in a couple weeks, I will begin a Real Estate License class.

Many great things happened, with many on the horizon!!

There has been some difficult things as well – mainly the loss of two pregnancies.

I know many have gone through similar things, and far worse.  I am not sharing this for pity or sympathy.  I’m going to share what we experienced for a few reasons – in part to share with family & friends, because we haven’t really talked about it & in part for the someone randomly searching on the internet looking for answers on similar tribulations, as I did for many, many nights.

Finally, I am doing it for myself – to write it out for a bit of therapy and memory.  It’s been several weeks but I think its an important part of my final healing on this (hopefully).  I have kept a lot of it in, but usually if I get stuff out… I can go forward in a better place.

In early January, while Jon was at sea, I had a miscarriage at 5 weeks pregnant at work.  It was my first pregnancy, and while it was tough to go through alone – I knew it was something to “expect”.  The miscarriage itself was tangible and I was able to connect and understand what had happened in order to move forward. Although, having the actual miscarriage at my work office was a bit strange.  However, being somewhere safe with people who could help me if needed would have been far better than it occurring while I was driving or in some grocery store. I wasn’t feeling too well physically for a few days – and mentally/emotionally I was drained for a week or two.  It was not something I’d wish on anyone – even in the earliest part of pregnancy.  It took a lot out of me, plus the disappointment.  I kept thinking about those who have had miscarriages much further along, and how hard that must be.

In mid-February, we became (surprisingly) pregnant a second time.  I was nervous, but things seemed to go along very well.  I had nausea, food cravings, waking up 2 times in the night to pee, and some other very specific (hopeful) symptoms.  Once I passed the 5 week mark I had such a slight sense of relief that I was closer to not having a repeated miscarriage.  My body was changing before my eyes, and quicker than I expected.  The doctors office and my mother, the nurse, both said that it could progress in a way that seems quicker because of the prior miscarriage and the hormones.  Then on to week 7, a week before Jon was to come home from work and we would be able to have our first scan.

On Monday, March 30th, we went in for our ultrasound.  About 8 weeks along.  A few minutes into it, I unknowingly slapped my forehead with my hand.  Jon says, “Why’d you do that?!”  I acted like I didn’t have a reason – but I saw a huge and empty sac on the screen.  I was hoping there was just some other angle that would show something…. anything…..

The formerly giggly & chatty Tech quickly printed some things off, and practically ran out of the room saying, ” The doctor will be right in.”  As soon as the door closed, I said to Jon, “Something’s wrong.  There is nothing in there.”

Jon said I was just worried and nervous.  Until the doctor came in, re-did the ultrasound to be sure, then she told us, “There is no longer a baby here, I am so sorry.  Please meet me in my office once you are both ready.”

I didn’t want to.  I told Jon that I didn’t want to talk about it, I just wanted to go home.  I said that several times, I believe.  I was at least screaming it in my own head.

I was crushed and embarrassed…. and sad.  Looking at his face. I saw a bit of confusion and a bit sorrowful.  But, I could also see the wheels trying to turn in his head trying to “fix” this and find the way of making it easier on me (and himself).

He told me, calmly, that we had to go in and hear why this might have happened and what we have to do.  I kept saying no, but followed down the hall anyway.

The doctor came in and told us that I had an anembryonic gestation, or a blighted ovum.

Blight: something that spoils the appearance or completeness of a thing
(Merriam-Webster)

A blighted ovum is a pregnancy in which as it progresses a visible embryo never develops or is reabsorbed.  The sac/placenta and all the hormones continue to act and progress as though the baby was alive and well.  There is no sign of the loss at all – like in a miscarriage. The Doctor felt that in my case, it was perhaps an issue of absorption, as though my body was treating the embryo as a virus.  We were told that had we not been scheduled for the appointment to have the ultrascan – my body would have reacted as though the pregnancy was good and progressing for as long as up to 12 or 14 weeks. That would have been another 4 to 6 weeks of nausea, body changes, soreness, reaction to smells, EVERYTHING.

That blew my mind! My body thought it was still pregnant and the hormones were still pumping and might have done for few more weeks.  Why would anyone think anything was wrong?!?  It was terrible, but a little amazing how biology works.

What was I doing the moment that made the first pregnancy fail?  What was it that kept the second embryo from growing?   Can I ever trust my body’s signals ever again?  If we ever are able to get pregnant again, will I have any hope for a positive outcome or will I just sit around not being able to trust my body or my feelings?  Do I have some kind of underlying illness or issue that doctors aren’t looking for?  Is this from the Lyme’s Disease?  Do I have some thyroid issue? Will this sort of thing keep happening?  Have I let people down with both of these losses? Should I feel as embarrassed and hurt as I do?  Do I not feel sad enough? Why would we try this again?

I was scheduled for a D&C immediately. I  was an emotional wreck from the time we left the doctor’s office until we arrived at the hospital for the surgery.  I hadn’t been that afraid, sad, and distressed since I got a phone call that my grandfather committed suicide, with my father and uncle with him – 2 days after my grandmother was put into hospital for dementia and almost dying of alcohol poisoning because she thought a bottle of vodka was water and guzzled the bottle down in mad thirst from her medication.  That may seem dramatic, but it is the truth. My mind and body had the same level of profound sadness, fear, anger, and helplessness.

So, the surgery.  Home recovering for a few days.  Body taking me on a path of all kinds of reactions and pain.  Emotions and hormones going all over.  Then just depression of thinking about the hows and whys.  I wouldn’t wish any of that on my worst enemy (which I don’t have, but still…)

It took a while to recover completely.  Might always be there lingering.  The fear of trying to or getting pregnant again is still present. I don’t know if I will get past that part of it for a while.

That’s probably all I can say about it for now.

We have a lot of positive things on the horizon – so I’ll have to keep looking toward those!

 

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