Monday, August 15, 2011

It Wasn't Over

*This is the second in a series of posts about my experience of having a miscarriage, and what happened after.*

After the D and C, Meezy and I were in surprisingly "good" spirits.  We viewed this as a setback, but knew we could overcome it together.  My doctor told me I would need to wait 4-6 weeks post-procedure before we started trying again.  Okay, no big deal.  I could spend the next month eating cold deli meats, drinking sodas with aspartame, and enjoying an alcoholic drink if I so chose (things I had previously given up when I became pregnant).  I knew my body was capable of getting pregnant, so I tried to stay upbeat. The time would fly...or so we thought.

A few days after the procedure, my doctor called me with the pathology results.  She had sent the evidence of conception off for testing to see if they could determine what went wrong.  I didn't think what she said could be worse than finding out my pregnancy had failed, but it was. It was bad news.  I had experienced a "molar" pregnancy.  This means instead of developing into a fetus, my "baby" had just become a mole, or growth.  Something went wrong in fertilization, but my body didn't know that.  It thought I was technically pregnant.  (Lucky me for being the 1 in 1,000 women who experience this!)  Even though the D and C removed the growth and scraped the surface layer of my uterus, if the mole had moved into the muscle layer below, then there would be problems.  I would develop a disease and more than likely need to be treated with chemotherapy.  Whoa.  That's a lot to take in.  The way to determine if that occurred was by getting repeated blood tests to check my level of hCG hormone.  After a normal D and C, my level should drop to zero within a couple of weeks.  If I had developed the disease, then my level would plateau or rise.  For three weeks in a row, I had to go in for blood tests to see if my level was decreasing.  If it did reach zero, then I would have to start coming in monthly to make sure it stayed at zero.  In the meantime, we weren't allowed to take any chances with becoming pregnant again, because that would skew the results. That 4-6 week waiting period just went out the window, and now we were talking about a minimum of 3 months.  That news was more devastating to me than the news I got the day I went in for the sonogram.

At my first blood test, my hCG level had dropped from 5,880 to 156.  At my second blood test, it had dropped to 22, then to 7 on the third.  Finally I went in for my follow-up appointment with my doctor (one month post-op), and the level came back at 0.  Whew.  This didn't mean I was completely out of the woods, but it did give me reason to be very hopeful.  From there, I was required to schedule a monthly blood test for the next couple of months, to make sure the level stayed at 0.  I know some of you will think a couple of months doesn't sound very long, but when you go from being pregnant in February, to being not pregnant in March, and then not even able to start trying again until June, it feels like an eternity. 

I guess I was "lucky" in the sense that it wasn't worse. It could've become a cancerous growth and could've required chemotherapy.  That would've meant at least a year before we could try again.  I'm really, really thankful that it didn't come to that, because I don't think I could have handled a year of the emotions I experienced.

More to come...

1 comment:

mom said...

As we spoke of before, it's probably really miraculous that so many pregnancies are relatively uneventful. As you posted, it's so important to be careful what we say to others about something as personal as pregnancy, because we don't know what trauma or heartache they might be experiencing. I am so thankful that everything looks good for you with this one.