I can’t think in a straight line

Item – Re: The Professor’s clinic not taking an HCG blood test. Well, I’ve been reading her book, and by and large she doesn’t tend to take them, as it doesn’t change the protocol in how she deals with her patients (unless there’s a suspected ectopic or similar issue going on). As for me, I’d’ve been perfectly fine with that, as long as it was discussed with me before-hand and I understood what was going on and why. In this case, chemical pregnancy, over in days, I can actually see there was no point, and when I presented at her clinic, there was no point then either, because the main thing was to make sure my blood wasn’t turning to glue. The non-discussion was in part my fault, because I was so freaked out by being pregnant at all, with that horrible doomy feeling of ‘this is going tits-up any second now’ (how I hate being right all the time) going CLANG CLANG CLANG in my head non-stop, that I sat in The Professor’s office like a bunny in the headlights and looked at her mutely and imploringly and didn’t say anything clever at all, or, indeed, anything daft at all. How was she to know what my expectations were? How was she to know I a) had any and b) am a control-freak who deals by knowing shit? Next time, I write it all down the night before. This has always been the best plan (damn that pregnancy brain, eh? Ha ha ha ha).

Item – January 4th isn’t that far away. We shall discuss luteal phases and progesterone issues and LH levels and whether we should just give the fuck up already with The Professor then.

Item – Chemical pregnancies, when you’ve had a couple already, and several other more ‘official’ miscarriages, and when you’ve been trying to have a child for five years, and when every single thing you try ends in blood and puking and disaster, tear your heart to bits in frustration and sorrow. Even if you never get a chance, or let yourself have a chance, to get attached to the idea of this embryo as a baby, a child, a teenager, an adult.

Item – Its due-date was the 25th of August 2011. My charting software told me. And now that I know, I can’t un-know, just as I can’t un-know the 16th of January 2009, the 3rd of July 2010, and the 14th of September 2010. At least I don’t know the due dates of the two Schrödingers, eh? Because that would be obsessive. Poor little Schrödingers.

Item – We saw Orpheus in the Underworld the evening we conceived this last embryo. I can’t help but think of it as Eurydice. We went on a mission to save it from death, consulting the gods of recurrent miscarriage and everything, making blood and money sacrifices, and yet, somehow, we failed, we looked behind us at the wrong moment, and Eurydice slipped back into the dark.

Item – The puking bleedathon diet of the past three days has lost me another three pounds, and I am now, at last, officially at IVF weight, also known as Not-Obese weight, also also known as the weight at which my weight should not be screwing with my pregnancies. 2010 Forced March Shrinkathon has actually succeeded (probably briefly. It’s Christmas next week). The sheer eye-watering irony of this has unhinged me completely. And chocolate still tastes foul (see?).

Item – The thing about physical pain, if it’s bad enough, is that it stops you really being aware of your emotions. I feel so much better today. I feel so much sadder. And bitter. Oh, I do feel so very, very bitter.

Item – When I was clearing away the several pee-sticks of this cycle, even the vanishing-line out-of-date ones now had visible, if pathetically faint, second lines. Huh. Thanks for that.

Item – We’re going down to see H’s family for the weekend. They don’t know I’ve just lost another of their grandkids (so careless). I don’t think we plan to tell them. It’s very close to the anniversaries of the tragic and untimely deaths of a couple of H’s relatives, and it’s a bittersweet time of year for his clan. It seems somewhat brutal to add to that. On the other hand, I will still be physically weak (and completely miserably constipated by all the codeine) and in a Bad Place mentally, and H isn’t well either, and H is also very sad, and, dear Readers, it’s going to be so hard.


23 responses to “I can’t think in a straight line

  • Bionic Baby Mama

    Oh, May. I’m just so very sorry.

  • Laurel

    A loss of a chemical pregnancy is still the loss of a possibility. Quite literally, the loss of a moment pregnant with expectation and hope.

    Again–I’m so sorry. I’m glad there was reason behind The Professor’s methodology, at least. I’m hoping that if you stick with her, she will have some other tricks up her sleeve. But I know it’s expensive.

  • Melissia

    I, too am very sorry. I hope that being surrounded by family will be comforting and not stressful and that you will find support and a chance to rest and recover physically.
    As for knowing dates, I think our lives are marked by these days of sorrow, my hope for you and H is that one day they are balanced equally by days of joy.

  • a

    I guess the professor trusts patients and tests much more than my doctor. Many of the OB/GYNs here will say that a hpt is accurate enough for their purposes, but specialists tend to do the blood work. Being a professor, she likely knows waaaay more than I do on the matter.

    Well, you can distract yourself with writing down all your questions over the next couple weeks…

    Sending love and lots of sympathy. I’d send alcohol too, but according to the ladies at the Post Office yesterday, you can’t ship alcohol because it’s flammable and will cause planes to fall out of the sky when it leaks and ignites.

  • Amy P

    I’m sorry I gave Bitter McTwisted a weapon when I sat upon her–I didn’t *mean* to…


  • Betty M

    I hope that the weekend away can provide some distractions from the grief and the pain for you both. It will be impossibly hard I’m sure but I’m hoping nonetheless. I’m so sorry both.

  • Korechronicles

    Feeling your sadness and pain from here. Wishing you gentleness and love with each other over the days to come.

  • The Sheila

    I’m still really annoyed at the Professor on your behalf – she should have at least discussed her logic with you and talked through her HCG logic. This is your body and you shouldn’t feel that the non discussion is your fault – it’s her job to talk you through these decisions and she should be experienced enough to know that people in this position aren’t always able to clearly articulate such questions. I’m really quite annoyed with her.

    I too have blood clotting problems (homozygous MTHFR) and was put on clexane from day 7 of stimms during an IVF cycle (though some doctors only do it post egg collection) – I just can’t understand why she didn’t have you on clexane from the second you got your positive test. The other thing I couldn’t understand is why she didn’t give you progesterone support (cyclogest) either – again, this is what is done with every IVF cycle. Maybe it’s a question to add to your list?

    Thinking of you and H and hoping you get through this weekend in one piece.

  • Teuchter

    Thinking of you both and wishing that you’ll get through Xmas and that 2011 will bring you what we all want for you.

  • lulu

    You’re right. It is going to be so hard. You are a superhero for what you have gone through. No, I mean it, I am awestruck by your strength.

  • Nina

    May, I want to encourage you and wish you well, but you need to know that it’s ok to just hide for awhile if you feel like it. I’ve been there, sweets. I know how hard it is to be around even the most well-meaning of relatives (and some of the stupid ones) when you’re going through all this. Take a break if you need it, hon. We’ll all be here when you get back. Love ya, babe.

  • wombattwo

    Whenever you see that magic line, or even sometimes before if you have a strong FEELING you’re pregnant, you start to fall in love, and all those plans, those dreams and those hopes grow wings and take flight. It hurts, and breaks your heart no matter how early the loss is, because you lose all of that. Again.
    Family can help, sometimes. Sometimes you just want to hide from them. I was dreading this weekend, as we were going to see my parents, but the snow intervened. I ended up telling my mum everything on the phone anyway, and actually, it helped. I just hope that you two can get through it.
    For what it’s worth, I think you two are really strong.
    Hoping very much that 2011 is better, and as HFF says, brings a redirection of the shit-stream away from all of us please!
    hugs xxx

  • Twangy

    Ah May and H, I can’t tell you how sorry I am – that you have to suffer this heartbreak on heartbreak – when you’ve been nothing but courageous and sensible, and so deserving – that you’ve come to be so familiar with this awful aching grief, and that there’s nothing to offer you but solidarity.

    Thinking of you.

  • thalia

    A loss is a loss is a loss, whenever it happens, it’s a loss for you and for H. And it’s a bloody awful time of year to be dealing with a loss, whether current or past. Do whatever it takes to get through it.

    FWIW I would make the prof test your hcg next time. They are assuming your only problem is the clotting one, but it’s not clear to me anyone knows that yet.

  • Jay

    Hey there, just discovered your blog off of LFCA. I’m so very sorry you have been through so much, and I have to say, socialized medicine sucks!!

    I’m a little confused- are you on metformin? If not, you probably should be given that you have a confirmed PCOS diagnosis and weight issues which may in part be due to insulin resistance. Metformin seems to improve fertility in women in PCOS . It works in part by improving egg quality (by super mysterious mechanisms) so if you are not already on this drug, talk to your incredibly stingy doctors.

    • Amy P

      I recently did an archive binge, which you may not have had time to do, and metformin has been suggested and discussed before 🙂 I can’t remember all the details, but I do seem to remember that the decision was that it wouldn’t do anything much in May’s particular case.

      • Jay

        I went back and looked through the archives. I’m could not see any good point that argues against metformin in this case.

        My situation is that I’ve had one doctor suggest metformin to me, because I fit some of the diagnostic criteria of PCOS even though I’m thin, have no insulin resistance and ovulate regularly. Because I’ve had to consider it for myself when it looks like I do not need it, I’ve trawled message boards, read original studies (I’m a scientist in a closely related biological field), looked for ancedotal stories, asked every expert I can find, basically spent HOURS on trying to figure out if metformin is right for me.

        2 things I’ve found:

        1)women with PCOS who ovulate regularly can often have issues with losses (some studies offer conflicting results) Overall though, there seems to be a convincing enough trend that PCOS affects fertility adversely even with regular ovulation. A few doctors say that somehow, egg quality can be less than optimal in people with PCOS. Having reviewed everything, I would agree with this conclusion.

        2)Though its a drug that primarily increases insulin sensitivity, treatment with metformin does somehow affect the manifestations of PCOS. I found this utterly amazing and striking

        To break it down,
        It reduces antral follicle counts and AMH
        It has reduced the symptoms of PCOS (like high levels of androgens)
        Anecdotally, both women with PCOS who do not ovulate, do so when on metformin, and in the women with PCOS and losses, I know a couple who took metformin, thier ovaries then looked less polycystic and they carried the next pregnancy to term.

        I’m just laying the facts out here. There are no definite answers in this game, but this seems like metformin does help women with PCOS even if no apparent insulin resistance is evident, and it seems even more logical in women with insulin resistance.

        Best of luck to you, May. This stuff is really ridiculously hard to figure out, and at the end of the day, you just take a leap of faith with any treatment, there are no guarantees.

        Just trying to help and present the facts.

    • May

      Thank you for your kind sympathy, it is appreciated. Really, it is. It was very sweet of you to stop by and offer sympathy.

      I would, however, prefer it if people didn’t pass judgemental and ill-informed remarks on our health system, our doctors, my medical protocols, or anything else, for that matter. This is not the time or place to debate our respective health-care systems, but I can assure you, many people have extremely good reason for thinking that socialized medicine, for all its bureaucratic challenges, is INFINITELY preferable to the American insurance system.

      And my doctors, whatever else they may or may not be, are not stingy. That was uncalled for.

      • Jay

        I meant no offense, and I’m sorry if any was taken. I’m glad you are happy with your medical setup. I guess its really alien to me because I’ve had a lot of tests run preemptively (all covered by insurance) that have shed some light. You sometimes have to throw 20 stones to hit one thing, I’d feel seriously helpless if I could not have the ways and means to do that. The stingy comment came up because I’ve seen a lot of people suffer because their doctors waited a really long time to run some necessary tests on them, if yours don’t fit that description, then that is awesome.

        All in all, this was really not meant to be a debate or even a slur on your health care, it was an expression of sympathy. As long as your happy with the care you are getting, its all good.

  • Justine

    Here from LFCA, and wanted to lend support … I am so, so sorry that you are going through this … it’s so unfair, and my heart hurts for you. I hope that you will be able to be kind to yourself, especially now. You come first. *hug*

  • manapan

    I’ve been avoiding the blog world lately, yours in particular because every time I think about the fact that I’ve been lucky and you two haven’t I start sobbing. It’s just not fair, and I’m so sorry. (((hugs)))

  • Solnushka

    I really do not think that on top of everything you should feel in the slightest bit unable to be distressed over a ‘mere’ chemical pregnancy, a distinction which I’m afraid I don’t get much anyway, in terms of loss anyway. No such thing as being a little bit pregnant and all that, and smacks of one of those my suffering is greater than yours pissing matches which is also a bit odd. I mean, when are you allowed to grieve? 4 weeks not ok, but 8 weeks ok? Or is it only officially horrible after 12 weeks? Now I daresay there are people out there who cope with an early miscarriage well because they don’t see it as an established pregnancy yet, and that’s fine, however people want to deal is up to them of course, but I don’t think anyone should have to feel that way.

    Also, gods, isn’t being a layman, even an informed layman just hellish. Hate hate hate being faced with people in control of my health care, a subject I know not enough about to know whether they are doing the right thing. I particularly recommend ticking the questions off when they are addressed, so you don’t acidently get distracted by an interesting new train of thought and leave off the last two, which is something I am prone to do under pressure. It also works for estate agents, solicitors and very especialy, anyone connected with visa applications.

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