Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Part Five- The Second Opinion

If you're just stopping by the blog, you'll probably want to check out a few other posts first to understand.  They are listed here:

Part One
Parts Two & Three
Part Four

For everyone else, Part Five- The Second Opinion.

I waited.  And I waited.  And I waited.

And nothing happened.

No cramps, no bleeding, no pain.  I still woke up every morning and felt pregnant, some mornings, I did even have to return to my well-used spot in worship of the porcelain goddess just like so many days in my last pregnancy with little man.

Closer to the end of the week, I decided to take action.  I'm not one that sits well.  I just kept thinking to myself, god forbid, if someone told me that little man were to have an incurable illness in which he only had a week or two left, I wouldn't just go home and wait.  I would go to as many doctors as I needed to hear what I needed to hear.  Even if going to another doctor would confirm the diagnosis of miscarriage, it would help me to know, to process the loss, and to begin to heal once the actual process began.

Back before all this started, I had an appointment scheduled for a dating ultrasound initially after I had seen my PCP for the first blood test.  The ultrasound scheduled initially was a routine thing, especially since I had not had a period to give them an estimate on my due date.  After everything that had happened, I didn't think I still had this appointment, I thought I had cancelled it.  But apparently, I had not, and when I did go to cancel this appointment, I asked to be patched back to one of the ultrasound techs to ask a few questions.

The tech I spoke with over the phone was very kind in regards to my questions, and actually helped me problem solve through a few of my questions.  I was surprised at this because typically, in my experience, (and I'm in healthcare so I understand) healthcare professionals don't want to give any advice to unknown patients over the phone, for fear of someone claiming they were 'diagnosed' or some other nonsense over the phone.  But this tech asked for all the information I had to give, such as my hcg numbers, my prior ultrasound results, my symptoms or lack thereof.  She highly suggested that based on how I sound over the phone, that I should have my blood work completed again, and she highly recommended that I keep my appointment for the ultrasound the next day to review what is happening.  

I was somewhat wary at first, because I had already been through so much this week.  But then I really thought about it, took a deep breath, and called my PCP.  They were happy to repeat the blood work, although their tech was not working that day, so I had to go to a local hospital to have it repeated.  

I received the results of the blood work the morning of the ultrasound.  Surprisingly to me, the PCP had called my Ob, and relayed the blood work hcg numbers to him.  The Ob called me that day before the ultrasound and gave me the numbers, which were almost at 30,000, which was a great jump from my prior numbers of 7,000. This meant that because those numbers were still rising and doubling, it could be a good thing.  The Ob talked to me over the phone on that call, and said that while he did not want to send me off thinking that it was all gloom and doom, that it could just be that my body hadn't gotten the message yet that there was no baby in the sac, and that eventually, when it did, the numbers would go down and that I would start to miscarry.  He asked me if I wanted to come in and have a repeat ultrasound done with him that day, at which time I told him that I had already had one scheduled for later in the day elsewhere, and I was planning on keeping that appointment.  The Ob then told me he hoped I would prove him wrong but didn't see it as likely, and gave me his cell phone number to call after the test to verbally give him the results if they told me anything about the test.

The appointment was late in the afternoon that day, and since little man had taken a late afternoon nap, he was still sleeping when I needed to leave.  So, DH stayed home with little man and I left for the appointment.  When I got to the imaging center, they had me fill out some pieces of paperwork.  I had quite a rough time with this. One of their intake forms had the question: Pregnant?  And then a check box for yes, and a check box for no.  Of course, tears began to well up, and the somewhat confused receptionist looked across the desk at me.  My only response at that time was, "I'm not sure which one to check."

After I finished filling out the paperwork, I waited for a few minutes and then the tech who was to complete my test brought me out of the waiting room.  She sounded fairly upbeat and positive based on the results of my blood work and how my hcg levels were still rising, but I was a complete wreck at this point.  Shaky, crying, unable to form a coherent thought at some points, the whole nine yards.

I was so scared.  I was so scared that I had given myself room to hope where there was none.  I was so scared that I gave my mind and heart the liberty to run with the idea that my baby was still with me, and I was preparing for the worst, preparing for another grim message that my baby was no longer with me.

The tech began with an abdominal ultrasound, in which she wasn't able to see a lot (mainly because I was still just about 6 weeks pregnant at the time), but she showed me a little blob and said, "I think your doctor had you scared for nothing."

She began the transvaginal ultrasound and was ever so quickly able to locate a fetal pole.

With a heartbeat.

In a matter of two days, there was my child.  

I was almost as much shocked as I was ecstatic, and as much confused as I was to both of those.  Apparently, it was really early on to say that there would be no baby at my appointment a few days prior.  The tech also measured the gestational sac to be 6 weeks, with the baby measuring at 5 weeks 6 days, right in line to where I thought I should be based on when I ovulated.  I asked about the measurement a few days prior of a 9 week gestational sac, and the tech said no, that it did not measure 9 weeks, it measured 6 weeks, and it would not have measured 9 weeks a few days ago because it wouldn't have been right on track for the first ultrasound, ballooned in size by 3 weeks beyond what it should be by a few days later, and then have shrunk back to normal size a few days later than that.

I think I cried throughout almost the entire rest of the test, with the tech at one point telling me, 'So long as those are happy tears, then I'm okay with it" And happy tears were they ever.  I had a second chance.  My baby, this perfect little miracle inside of me, was right there, with their little heart beating away at 110 beats per minute.  All those thoughts about those teeny hands, the sweet kisses, the fluttery eyelashes, even the tears in which your baby only wants you, all those thoughts came flooding back in and I couldn't quite hold it back.  I had a second chance with this child.

The tech also did notice, and mention, a large dark spot in the gestational sac close to the baby with the heartbeat, but separate from.  She reported that part of the ultrasound, she would be unable to comment on, because it is a diagnostic finding, and that would have to go through the radiologist first prior to giving me that information.

I left the office that day feeling relieved, hopeful, and happy.  I immediately called DH to tell him, and then after I got off the phone with him, called the Ob as he requested.  He sounded shocked, but said he would like to see me back on the following Tuesday for another ultrasound to check everything again, and to call him with any concerns over the weekend.  He also took a guess and said that sometimes he has seen dark spots in pregnancies where there is a twin that reabsorbs if the twin does not make it, but that he would need to see and possibly repeat the ultrasound to be more sure of that diagnosis.  We'll delve into this topic and what that spot really was/is probably in my next post, there's too much information to share here.

I am so, so, so, so, so very lucky.  I don't know of any women who have had a threatened miscarriage to the point where they were told to go home and wait to pass the baby, who have come back to the next appointment to spontaneously then have a baby with a heartbeat.  I realize just how lucky I am.

(I had to strike out this previous statement because in between the time I started and finished this post, several people have contacted me to let me know they have been through something similar, and offer support.  I am sadly surprised on how much more common this is than I thought it would be.  Apparently, this is much more common than I thought.  There are many questions that come to mind in regards to women being told they will no longer have their baby, but one of them blazes in the forefront.  Who gives any man (or woman) the right to think he is God?  I cannot predict the future.  You cannot predict the future.  While we can give a guess that things are not looking well, to offer a prediction in a confident tone regarding a life is just not possible.  Even with working with the sick elderly I know this.  You can guess that someone does not have very much time, but in many of those cases, they surprise you.  They are almost always stronger than we give them credit for.  Again, I turn in this situation to my midwife friend's words, to pray to my baby to stay, but pray for it to be quick if not.  She did not presume anything.  She did not suspect anything.  She prayed for me and for my body to do what it was going to do, whatever that may be.  Why are more practitioners more respectful of life like she is?  I can't even imagine what I would have gone through if this would have continued the way it was starting, if I had taken those pills, or decided on a D&C procedure because I wasn't mentally strong enough to handle the pain or the agony of waiting any more.  I'll say it again, life and death, they can never be predicted, just like you cannot predict the future.)

I am dealing with the fear, the pain, the grief, the sadness, the anger that also accompanied the loss I was expecting to have, but I am trying very hard to focus on the positives.  I am trying not to focus on the fact that I was incorrectly told I was going to lose my baby, and spent several days in hell because of it.  I'm trying to focus on the fact that babies are never guaranteed until they are in your arms, and that I have a second chance with this child, and that I need to take it and be as positive as I can to keep this baby in as safe of an environment as I can produce for it. Just because I saw a heartbeat, still does not mean this is a take home baby.  Again, they are never guaranteed.  But, in the meantime, all I can do is be my absolute best to give my child the best I can.  To be calm, to be still, to be appreciative, to be aware, to be their shelter and their solace.  So, as of today, I am pregnant, I am happy, I am thankful, and I am loving this new child.

There is one additional post to this story, and I'll get on about writing it soon, but the little man is back and forth up tonight, needing some extra kisses and snuggles, so I'll share my next appointment and the other bit of information soon.



2 comments:

  1. I just cried as much as I did the first time you told me. ILY.

    <3 this story is just amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing, amazing news! I can't wait to hear the rest. He is good. :)

    ReplyDelete

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