The baby had full trisomy 6. It would have been a girl.
Full trisomy 6 always results in miscarriage. Babies with partial trisomy 6 all die in infancy. It's rare and random, was not caused by anything I did or didn't do, and probably won't happen again. We can move on with the expectation that we will have other children and they will most likely be healthy. Our questions have been answered, and the answers are less painful than I'd feared.
She existed, she was real, but she was irreparably flawed. Nothing could have changed the outcome, there never was a future, it really and truly wasn't meant to be. For some reason, I can accept that. I'm even thankful we were spared a worse experience. It seems like I should finally be able to put this behind me. Things should be getting better.
For lack of anything better
Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 09:20 a.m.
I've been kind of at a loss for words lately. It's been a rough month, and not one I've really felt like documenting. I guess I'm doing okay, though. For the most part, life really does goes on.
Things have been busy at work. At first I was making up for the time I unexpectedly took off, and now I'm catching up on the things I should have been doing while I was catching up. This week has been particularly stressful so far, with looming deadlines, mounds of paperwork, and urgent projects randomly falling out of the sky. I'm pretty sure there are a great many clients pissed at me at the moment, but I just don't care about that as much as I should.
Micah turned 10 months old on the 12th, and started pulling himself to standing shortly after. It took him hauling two coffee cups (one of them half-full) off the table before I wised up and started putting things out of his improved reach, but he still requires an astonishing amount of supervision these days. If it's not dragging Things That Could Cause Death off onto his head, it's the eating of Things Not Intended For Human Consumption, including (but not limited to) such tempting tidbits as cat food, electrical cords, wads of cat fur, dead bugs, and mulch. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
This past weekend, Todd and I went and talked to a realtor about building in a neighborhood we've both been interested in for a while. For several reasons, we really feel now is the best time to sell our house, and the place we're looking at building is closer to our offices, in a better school district, and has several amenities we'd like. This coming weekend, we're going to look at a few other houses and neighborhoods. Right now we're still in the number-crunching hypothetical stage, but it's creeping closer to maybe becoming a reality, and it's simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking.
Today, I have my follow-up appointment with my OB. He routinely sends off the tissues from a D&C for testing to see if there's anything that can explain the miscarriage. Before the surgery, I'd decided I didn't particularly want him to do that, but at the last minute just shrugged when he asked. I don't know if those results will be back today or not - I never asked the timetable - but I'm still pretty ambivalent about it. Does it really matter what caused my miscarriage? Will I feel better or worse if there were no genetic abnormalities? I've only just now stopped blaming myself every second of every day for what happened - will those results start the whole cycle over again? What if there WAS something wrong, something likely to happen again? I'm afraid it will be just too much to handle at this point.
Hey, wow. That's kind of depressing again. Uhm...look! A picture!
This started out as another depressing entry, mostly about my difficulty accepting that, as a consequence of the antibiotics I'm on for the D&C, I can't nurse Micah for a week. I wasn't give that tidbit of information until AFTER I woke up from surgery, so I was completely unprepared for that loss, on top of the other. Let's just say I'm not taking either of them very well. But, I deleted all that mess and decided instead to post two pictures that make me smile. So, here you go:
And then, nothing
Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 09:53 a.m.
On June 11, after several weeks of exhaustion, nausea, and the return of the troubles with my SI joints, it finally occurred to me to take a pregnancy test. Much to my surprise (and, at the time, dismay), it was positive.
Although I still had a few regrets at the derailment of all our plans, by the time Todd got home from his trip a few days later, I was happy. We were happy. Any worries I had about Todd vanished the moment I told him and his eyes lit up.
I had the bloodwork done to confirm it on June 15 and 17th. The hormone levels were high and looked good with an hCG of over 30,000. The nurse said we could be as far along as 12 weeks. Based on my symptoms, I was thinking 8 to 10, but since I've been nursing, there was no way to know. We scheduled an ultrasound for June 30 at 8:45 AM.
Tuesday, I was so excited to get a final due date for this baby. The question of how far along we were would be answered, and we'd know if she would be born in January or even late December. I was hoping we were far enough along to see an actual baby. With Micah we could see legs and arms, and we could see him moving. We could see his heart beating, his arms waving. I wished we'd thought to bring a CD to record this baby’s first ultrasound.
And then there was no heartbeat. No sign of life. Just the dim shape of what used to be a growing baby, and silence.
I didn't get to see the doctor until nearly 4. Todd and I spent over an hour in the waiting room, surrounded by happy, healthy pregnant women, the whole time knowing our baby was most likely dead. All we lacked was the official pronouncement from my doctor to make the nightmare real, and so we sat there, waiting. I don't blame the nurses – they didn't know. Once they realized what was going on, they swept us back to a room they don't use for examinations, where we could wait in relative peace.
During the second ultrasound, I kept my eyes glued to the screen. It wasn't that I thought the first one might have been wrong - it was because it was my last chance to see this baby. There wasn't much to see, but it was my child, my second child, and I wanted to know she was real. The doctor was very gentle, very sympathetic, and kind, and I'm grateful for the time he took with us. He was busy that day, it was late, and he still had a dozen patients waiting, but he stayed with us and answered all our questions.
I have mixed emotions on having a D&C, but since we're waiting on bloodwork to confirm dropping hormone levels, I have time to think about it. There's still no sign that anything is wrong. I'm still nauseous and exhausted, and my hips still hurt. Without the ultrasound, we'd never know anything was out of the ordinary. Now, it's a waiting game. How long before my body figures it out? We don't know. But every wave of nausea, every twinge in my hips, every sudden food craving only reminds me I'm carrying a baby that is no longer alive.
I'm glad we have Micah. Without him, this would be infinitely worse.
Three weeks ago, I thought our family was complete. I wasn't ready for another child, hadn't even thought about it really. But then, everything changed. And while I might have been uncertain at first, we had 18 days to accept it and find joy in it. By the time we walked into that room to see our baby for the first time, we were excited, thrilled, everything expectant parents should be. It never crossed my mind there would be anything other than a happy outcome – I took it for granted. And then it was gone.
Now we're back to a family of three, but what seemed so right only three weeks ago suddenly feels incomplete. There's a piece missing, a hole where I never saw one before, and it hurts so much more than I ever could have expected.