September 03, 2006

The End of the Beginning

The bleeding is (finally) nearly done.

It's true that my breasts went down in size overnight, but the hcg still wrecked havoc on me for several days, meaning that I was still nauseaous. That too has now passed.

I had the classical symptoms of pregnancy-heightened sense of smell, nausea, exhaustion, night sweats, larger breasts, and the frequent need to pee (due to the kidneys working overtime, not due to heavy baby on bladder).

I have just had all of the classic signs of miscarriage-fading pregnancy symptoms, bleeding and/or passing of tissue or blood clots, and period-like cramps.

There are other side effects of miscarriage that they don't talk about. Your face breaks out, and it does it badly. I had more spots on my chin that I did in my entire teenage life.

The bleeding isn't just "a little bit of blood"-I bled and bled and bled. Blood clots and tissue came out at various times and here's something they also don't tell you-it doesn't smell good. You get the indignation of not only bleeding out that "perfect lining" you worked so hard to build up, but you are also a walking personal disgrace. I'm a neat freak and I wasn't remotely happy that the stuff coming out didn't smell nice (a common side effect, my RE said. Funny how no web pages talk about that.)

The cramps, too, aren't period cramps. I'm a tough chick when it comes to pain (but I often have bad period cramps severe enough to send me running for the hardcore ibuprofen). These cramps beat those cramps without question-the only time I've ever felt worse than what I just had was on my very first IVF cycle, I had what was recently diagnosed a mild case of OHSS. Then, even walking was an agony worthy of screaming crying jags. The miscarriage cramps were not the blue ribbon winner of cramps but came second worst in history, equivalent to the cramps I had after egg retrieval this last time, where they gave me pethidine. One week ago today I was still potentially viably pregnant, so all I could take was paracetamol and curl up and breathe through my mouth as each cramp came and went.

The bleeding was constant but, for the first time in my life, managed with regular or lite tampons. My insides though are so incredibly sore that often I resorted to pads because I simply couldn't bear the agony of the tampon applicator.

In short, this has been the worst experience of my life so far.

I read other blogs where the bloggers can't wait to finish miscarrying so they can get started on their next cycle. I can't wait to finish simply because I want the symptoms to all go away. My next cycle is (period dependent) end of the year-the RE wants me to have two periods and I think that's imminently sensible, too. I need time to not only recover but to emotionally prepare myself.

I also know other bloggers seem to have a great sense of humor about miscarrying, but I'm struggling with it.

Tuesday on that horrible drive home, Aidan asked me what I wanted. I sat there and thought before replying: "I want unpasteurized cheese. With a side of uncooked shellfish."

He looked over at me. "Undercooked eggs on the side?"

"Yes please. And some pâté."

We laughed. And then I cried. And when he went to the shops to get food, I had-for the first time in a month-written down something I wanted.

He bought me chocolate chip cookies.

He did not bring home the other thing I had on the list-"Mind Altering Drugs".

Friday we broke open the champagne and celebrated the end of the worst week of our lives, and the end of August 2006-a month of startling highs and stunning lows.

The truth is, I do feel pretty positive about cycling again. While I'd hate to hear it from others, the good news is that I am indeed able to get pregnant and stay pregnant-true, we miscarried but the RE said it's most likely I miscarried because there was something genetically wrong with the child, not because I'd done something wrong and not because my body couldn't manage it (the u/s where we saw the one embryo also looked good, so I feel reasonably ok about that.)

What I do worry about is the 2ww + 2 weeks before scan next time. I have a feeling I'm going to be supremely worried.

I don't ever want to feel like this again.

I suppose what gets me most of all is the fact that everything I dreamt came true. I dreamt of positive pregnancy tests and I got them. I dreamt of one implanting and I got that too. Then I dreamt of a toilet bowl full of blood-a toilet in a public place I had never seen before-and a week later I got that, too. It was exactly as I had seen it in my dream, and when I saw it I freaked out in the hospital and started sobbing and shaking.

Everyone looked at me like I was crazy.

And then two nights ago I dreamt I took a pregnancy test. It was one I hadn't seen before, it was some kind of test that showed a "+" in a window, and the + comes up in pink? Rings any bells, or just my imagination? Anyway, the + has one line that's a control line, and the other part of the +, if it appears, means a positive result (is this a real test or should I up my dosage?). In my dream, the line was faint but it was there-there was a positive pregnancy.

Maybe it'll happen, maybe it won't.

I still cry a lot, but at least I am trying to look forward-but most IF and pregnancy sites are far too hard to deal with and at least one blogger has been stricken off, so don't be angry if I'm not around for a while.

It's called, ironically, baby steps.

-PS-I am trying to move my site. I have a new domain set up but it's not ready yet. When it's moved, it will be here.

Posted by Vanessa at September 3, 2006 08:16 AM | TrackBack


I'm glad you posted, although I'm sorry for what you are dealing with now. I have been there myself of course, and it F*cking sucks. I'm glad you are posting though, and that the comments are back -- I think of you often and it's nice to see updates from you, even though it's not with the news we were all hoping for you.

I don't know what the dreams mean. I too have very strange dreams during times when I am cycling, in the 2WW from an ET, or in the aftermaths of + pregnancy tests, or miscarriages. But I do hope that your dream of a + HPT means there is another in your near future!

As an aside -- could anyone elaborate on Pamplemousse's comment? I know Pamplemousse suffered an ectopic pregnancy....but Vanessa's pregnancy was I guess I just did not follow what she was saying. Maybe that's just me though!

Anyway, I am thinking of you a lot Vanessa -- thanks for the email, and please keep in touch. Anytime you want to vent or whatever, please feel free to email me!

Many hugs,

Posted by: "Nilla @ Vanilladreams at September 5, 2006 05:36 AM

I just want to let you both know how sorry I am. Bad things like this just shouldn't happen.

Posted by: Lindsay at September 4, 2006 08:33 PM

Just want to send you and Aidan a big hug.

Posted by: justme at September 4, 2006 12:33 PM

I am sorry to hear your tragic news. I know I am late with this but I had been avoiding your blog because you were newly PG. It all comes down to self-preservation.

I had read blogs about ectopics and their aftermaths before it happened to me but I guess when it was not happening to me personally, I turned my head away. The reality of it happening to me almost led to me losing my mind and although I am on the upside now, the rage and the grief still sweep over me at times.

I am thinking of you and Aidan.

Posted by: Pamplemousse at September 4, 2006 10:24 AM

Vanessa, i am so sorry to hear your news. I cant get online often but when i can i always swing by to see you...i will be thinking of you whether i can swing by or not

abs x

Posted by: abs at September 4, 2006 08:46 AM

Do you suppose it means anything that I've had good dreams for you, too?

Wrapping you in a wordless hug of friendship, sweetness.

Posted by: Jennifer at September 4, 2006 12:57 AM

Continuing to think about you both a great deal, and hope that the symptoms and bleeding go away soon so that you can stop physically hurting - that must be so debilitating.

Congratulations on moving, I'm delighted!

Posted by: thalia at September 3, 2006 10:18 PM

Vanessa, I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I'll be thinking of you here on the other side of the Atlantic and hoping the chocolate chip cookies and champagne (and your wonderful Aidan!) are helping you feel a tiny bit better.

Posted by: Zee at September 3, 2006 07:56 PM

I don't know how to express my sadness and sorrow, I don't think English has a word for the gravity of this situation. All I can think of is, Life F'ing sucks. I am so sorry for your loss.

Posted by: Lassie at September 3, 2006 07:02 PM

I'm so sorry.

Posted by: a duck at September 3, 2006 04:43 PM

I'm thinking of you always.

Posted by: statia at September 3, 2006 03:33 PM

chocolate chip cookies with the one you love cure a whole world of ills. :-) Your Aidan is a great guy.

you know I'm here for you
Love and Hugs,

Posted by: caltechgirl at September 3, 2006 03:33 PM

Vanessa and Aidan, I am so sorry. And really, sorry doesn't begin to describe it. I wish there were some way to fix this for you, or even to make you feel a little better. There's not, so please know that I'm thinking of of you and hoping for only the best for you both. Take care of each other, and give yourself plenty of time and rest and comfort. I'm so sorry.

Posted by: EJW at September 3, 2006 02:23 PM