Friday, June 28, 2013

The never-ending miscarriage

warning:  this is super confusing.  Still to us too.  I'm sorry if I don't explain it well below!

We've moved on from pregnancy and infertility, right?  I miscarried on May 29th.  I period-like bled for several days after that, spotted for a few more days, and then voila!  All was done and we moved on head first into adoption.  Those days are behind us, right?  RIGHT?!

Wrong.  The only conclusion I can come to is that my body hates me.  HATES ME.  Anytime I fall into a sense of normalcy, it laughs and rips the rug right out from under me.

After my first miscarriage, my period started exactly 4 weeks after my d&c.  Right on schedule, none of this "miscarriage can delay your period" stuff for me.  No, despite all the drugs, procedures, babies, non-babies, my body has always known how to have a period on time.  That was at least something I could be proud of.

I knew something could be different after my natural miscarriage.  Maybe it would take a little longer for the pregnancy hormone to leave my body.  Maybe my period would be a week or so late.  No biggie.  I could handle that.  To backtrack a bit, a "normal" miscarriage would mean that the hcg in your body (the pregnancy hormone that shows up on pregnancy tests) decreases substantially in the days after your miscarriage.  Once it gets to sufficiently low levels, you can ovulate or have a period.  Everyone seems a little different on which, as many people have anovulatory cycles after miscarriages, in which they skip ovulation and go straight to period.  In general, everyone's hcg comes down within a couple weeks (many are tested regularly to prove this).  The few that take longer have bleeding/spotting the entire time.  T looked online and found ONE person that still had hcg in her system at 4 weeks and the level was 40.  So surely, a spectrum of outcomes, all very normal.

Except me.  I'm not normal.  Never normal.  I have no idea what made me take a pregnancy test on Monday.  But I did.  Mostly because it was there and I couldn't just throw it away without peeing on it.  It was a digital test.  Within a short period of time, it said "Pregnant". 

Now, my mind never went to the possibility that I actually WAS pregnant at that point.  I first felt annoyance.  My body had failed me yet again, and there was hormone still in my body.  I sent T a message and asked him to buy the tests with the lines, so I could see how dark they were.  My theory was that it would be pretty light, and I'd just wait it out, cursing my body each step.   But, of course, it was a dark line.  As in, any person trying to get pregnant would have been doing cartwheels.  I talked to my ob/gyn, and they said to come in the next day to get my levels checked.  Said it was likely leftover tissue from my miscarriage and I would potentially need a d&c.

I totally agreed with that.  That was the most likely and totally reasonable outcome.  Then something hit me.  Something I still can't explain at all as I sit here scratching my skin while writing this.  As many of you know, I'm allergic to progesterone.  It really flairs when I take the progesterone shots during IVF and I have to take medications to manage it.  During a natural cycle, once you ovulate, the follicle that ovulated the egg also makes progesterone.  For this smaller amount I can usually handle the itchiness without ingesting meds. I just have some benadryl gel I rub on my feet at night. It really only lasts a few days during the peak production, and my itchiness then falls away right before my period starts.  No biggie.

I have been itching for over about a week and a half now. I remember Tory even commenting that I had the gel with me on the nightstand in Chicago.  I made this realization, and the only explanation I know is that I ovulated.  Like a normal cycle.  Which means my miscarriage would have HAD to be completed, and this pregnancy was a NEW one.  T and I both freaked out at this possibility.  It did not make us happy.  We were in a good place with the adoption.  Why in the world would I need to go through another pregnancy and a likely miscarriage.  For kicks?  And we can't even get pregnant on our own.  How in the world did this happen?!?!

I get my first day's beta/hcg results back on Tuesday.  136.  This is a ridiculously high number for 4 weeks after miscarriage, with no bleeding or spotting whatsoever in weeks.  Basing my supposed ovulation on the only "encounter" T and I had that could have resulted in pregnancy, I placed my time at 14 days past ovulation on test day.  The average on this "beta base" for 14 dpo is 109.  So it was right in the ballpark.  Freak out continues.

Two days later, I went for additional labs.  This would tell us if the level was going up or down.  It went...

...down.  To 131. 

I am supposed to go back next week to get another level taken and see what we are dealing with:

If it goes way down, then it was either a very long miscarriage that fixed itself or a very early miscarriage of a new pregnancy.  We will never know for sure.  I'd be inclined to think the first is more likely, but this is very very uncommon that it would suddenly "catch up" if it is taken this long.  Granted the second is very unlikely as well, but I can't get the itchy feet out of my head.  Ultimately, I'm guessing I'll always think it was an early miscarriage, as the path of the levels would "fit" that very well, and all symptoms and timing fit it.  Either way, my body sucks and I hate it.

If it stays about the same, then it seems most likely it was the IVF miscarriage that stalled. It looks like they will do a d&c or give me some drugs to break up whatever is inside me producing the hormones.  Both suck.

Theoretically, it could go up.  The most common reason for this is an ectopic pregnancy, where the baby grows somewhere outside the uterus.  Most likely in the fallopian tube.  They would likely try to give me drugs to break it up, but it is very common to lose your fallopian tube as well.  That sucks completely.

It all sucks.  I just want to concentrate on adoption stuff (which we are still doing obviously).  I just want this part to be OVER.



  1. I'm so sorry. I hate that you have to go through all of this, especially when your head and heart were set on adoption.

    Did you doctor say that in any way this could be a viable pregnancy?

    1. Oops, meant the post below to be a reply to yours!

  2. I don't think we will really know until next week. The ONE possibility I found that points to a viable pregnancy is the "vanishing twin syndrome". So we had a new pregnancy with twins, one died, and the decrease in the hormone from that twin was more than the rise from the surviving twin. Very uncommon, so I'm definitely not thinking that will happen. Big sigh, I know. I'm pretty sure we'll never know for certain that this was a new pregnancy or not :(

    1. I'm so sorry. This all really sucks. Of course I hope that this will turn into a happy healthy baby in 9 months, but if not, then I hope that whatever needs to happen, will happen quickly so that you can move onto your adoption journey. My fingers are crossed for you girl and you're in my thoughts <3

  3. So sorry this is happening. My miscarriage took ages to stop producing HCG. I could still pee on a test for 2 months after my miscarriage and we used condoms during this time to make sure there was no new pregnancy until the hcg was down to zero. I had no idea it wasn't normal. My period lasted 7 weeks and then 3 weeks later I had a period that last 3 weeks. I thought it was never going to be over... and then suddenly it was. I hope that your doctor can put your mind at ease. Hugs

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