Monday, April 21, 2008

A Month by Any Other Name . . .

As some of you will note - April is a "busy" month for me. April is the month I was married in. My husband graduated in April just two years later. That same month and year, my father's stepfather passed away. He was the man who took on the role of raising three children not his own, still raising his first son and adding another daughter during that time. Two months after his passing, my first and newborn son bore his name. In another April, I delivered our youngest daughter. I've been due in other Aprils, with babies I was unable to carry that far. April has always been a favorite month for me - though, for all it's joys, April has also had it's share of tears - a premature daughter readmitted for RSV, the loss of my little Easter Lily (the last of my several miscarriages) and also Caelan.

We had just moved to the midwest. Unpacking took me several months - the more important boxes attended to first. It was while unpacking the last box for the bathroom that I came across a cycle's worth of Clomid I hadn't used. Call me pessimistic, I had filled the prescription right before testing the last time I was pregnant. I sat there, bottle in hand. I knew we would try again - we both wanted a large family. Was I ready to start that again though? I didn't even have a doctor yet - despite having lived in our new surroundings almost a year. The expiration date hadn't even passed yet on the Clomid, it would expire the coming April, and it was only February - was this a sign? Just enough time to think about it - but not so much I could put it off for too long. I don't know that I expected it to work. I wasn't actively looking for a doctor at the time - I guess I reasoned I had taken enough Clomid in the past to pretty much know the drill. Most doctors wouldn't see you before 8-10 weeks anyway, I figured I had time. I think perhaps I also thought that one cycle with "old" Clomid wasn't likely to work. I was wrong.

In honesty, I don't remember my state of mind those first several weeks I was pregnant. I recall being a little surprised - I am sure I must have been a bit anxious, given my track record. Since we hadn't told anyone, I am sure that I must have been hesitant to expect I would be pregnant for the duration. I still didn't have a doctor the day I began bleeding. Because it takes me a while to settle in a new place - I really didn't have any friends I felt I could call on for help. I grabbed the list of numbers of people from church and began calling and found - no one. My bleeding was getting heavier and I was cramping quite a bit - definitely feeling more pain than I recalled with my previous miscarriages. My husband was "out in the plant" somewhere and couldn't be located, notwithstanding he didn't work close by. Fearing I would end up losing so much blood I would pass out with two small children alone at home, I put them both in the car and drove to the hospital. I was the only one in the emergency room. Cramps had me doubled over enough I was barely able to sit let alone keep two energetic small children in check. The lady at check in gave me constant looks. I interpreted them to mean she disapproved of our situation - especially when she asked " is there NO ONE who could take the kids?" in a non-friendly tone. The Triage nurse was a little better, seemingly a little more sympathetic. I was still trying to reach someone by phone - my husband or anyone, leaving message after message . . . .

The cavalry arrived all at once - a lady from church that I at least knew a first name for showed up and bundled my kids into her car and told me to not worry about dinner or the kids. My husband arrived about the same time and the doctor came in right behind him. Up to this point I had only had bloodwork done. My hcg came back at just over 8000, so I was certainly pregnant. I had figured I was about 8 weeks - and while 8000 is in the range for that many weeks gestation, it is right on the bottom end of it. Given my bleeding and cramping, I was thinking that 8000 was not enough. I was examined - the pain was surprising - hot and sharp - I let out a yelp. The doctor seemed immediately concerned, saying I should not be in this much pain. I was sent for an u/s. The tech was rude and thoughtless. She asked me twice "Are you sure you are pregnant?" I told her that's what the test said. She said "was that test here or at home?" I asked her "Why? Are you not seeing anything?" with probably a bit more sarcasm than I normally would have used - tit for tat. She snottily replied "the doctor has to be the one to tell you that." and with that, the rest of the scan continued in silence.

By this point, I am pretty certain how the story ends. When the doctor returned to the exam room, I knew - I knew the last page, before he even opened his mouth. I had read and re-read this book enough times to know. He told me all my blood works shows I am very healthy, that I was pregnant and u/s scan and bleeding/cramping are evidence that I am miscarrying. He doesn't think the baby implanted in my uterus though, there is no evidence of an embryo in my tube or on my ovaries and he thinks I have a rare kind of ectopic where the baby implants in the abdominal cavity. Without a vascular enough spot to support a growing pregnancy, the pregnancy "aborts" - his term. I need to find/follow up with a doctor, given a list of "watch for's" and sent home. At home, I know the drill - this isn't the first time, nor will it be the last.

April 1998


loribeth said...

(((hugs))) How awful to be all by yourself with two small children in that situation.

Remembering Caelan with you today.

CLC said...

What a scary story. I am sorry you had to dael with that by yourself. I am thinking of you and Caelan.

Searching said...

Oh, how very scary!!! I am so thankful you were able to get to the hospital! Saying a prayer for you. I am sorry for the loss of your sweet Caelan.