17 May 2012

One more for the road...

I'm not sure how to start this off so I'll just jump into it. We had/are having a second miscarriage. Its sad and disappointing but after the last few weeks it is, and I know this sounds strange, a relief to finally have closure and be able to move on. Here is what we have been experiencing over the last month...

In a nutshell it was... you can't have babies, we're going to adopt a baby, you're pregnant, you're miscarrying, you're not miscarrying, you probably are miscarrying, you're not miscarrying and here is an image of your baby, you are miscarrying, now we're so sure you're miscarrying that we're cancelling your ultrasound. Here is the detailed version...

April 16th we met with Dr. Foulk and he told us that my right fallopian tube is blocked, I was only ovulating from the right side and my left ovary wasn't responding to any treatment. He said logically the next step was IVF, and I wrote a blog post about it. What I didn't include was what happened next.

I had a follicle check ultrasound scheduled for the next morning because we were about halfway through that cycle of treatment. Dr. Foulk, being the great doctor he is, offered to do the ultrasound himself right then even though it was well after 5:00 and nearly everyone else had gone home for the day. In the ultrasound we found out I was going to ovulate from the left side! The left side had a fully mature follicle. We were excited but because I hadn't ovulated from the left before we didn't know if that tube was working any better than the right one. We were cautiously optimistic.

Knowing that I was ovulating from the left side still didn't change our decision to move on from doing IUIs. It doesn't make sense to continue treatments hoping each time that I'll ovulate on the left side, not knowing the damage done to that fallopian tube. So we did the IUI for this cycle and then had a very uncomfortable two week wait.

We decided fairly quickly after meeting with Dr. Foulk that it was now time to move on to adoption. We have always wanted to adopt but I had felt that it would be selfish to adopt when we still had treatment options before IVF. There are so many couples out there who absolutely cannot get pregnant together and I was able to get pregnant with Aurelia. Now however, our situation was different. We were done with every option leading up to IVF and had lost one baby. We felt so excited about starting the adoption process. We had already been doing our research for the last few years so I knew who to call and how to get started but I didn't want to jinx this cycle by calling before we had the results.

12 days after the IUI I went to my regular doctor's office for a blood test. They're closer, call me back faster, and I know them so I prefer getting my results from them. Also, I was impatient so I didn't want to wait the full two weeks for the fertility center blood draw :) Anyway, my count was 17. Pregnant, but not a great number. (I miscarried around the mid 30s last time). So with that number I wasn't very optimistic and waited for the next blood draw. The blood draw with the fertility center two days later came back at 24. An increase, but not a strong healthy one. The phone call went about like this, "we're sorry but your count only went up to 24 and it should ideally double each day. Go ahead and keep taking your progesterone just in case, but we'll have you come in four days for a final draw to confirm end of pregnancy."

Alright, I had probably only had the egg fertilize and it didn't implant. At least we knew and could move on. I called our adoption agency that day and found out there was a monthly orientation meeting (the first step) being held the next day. We went to the meeting, took the paperwork home, filled all of it out that day and submitted it before the office closed that day (Friday). We had accepted that the pregnancy hadn't progressed and were so excited by the idea that somewhere out there was a wonderful birth mother who would hopefully pick us as adoptive parents!

The following Monday I had the "final blood draw" and waited for the call. This was the only time in my life I wasn't anxiously waiting for the results. I "knew" what had happened, we had moved on and knew there was a baby out there that would be coming to our family through adoption. They called with my results and I was shocked and confused when she said "115". I made her double check that they were in fact MY test results. Yep. 115. I kept saying the number over and over. "115. 115? 115? ONE FIFTEEN!"

I called the adoption agency to tell them I was pregnant and to please hold our case for a month until we knew for sure how this was going to go. It was difficult because now we were, in a way, mourning the loss of the baby we wouldn't be adopting. I know that may sound strange but we were so excited and confident about adopting that it threw us for a loop to hear I was actually pregnant.

I started having cramping Wednesday that felt a lot like my miscarriage so I decided to go to my regular doctor for another blood draw. It was 188. Still increasing, but not like it should. It was already scary/frustrating being pregnant after a miscarriage but now I had the stress of these too slowly progressing numbers. We couldn't be excited about being pregnant with the threat of a second miscarriage hanging over our heads.

The fertility center had me come in the next day for an ultrasound to make sure the pregnancy wasn't ectopic (growing in the fallopian tube). Endometriosis causes an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy because of scarring in the tubes. I got to see our little baby on the ultrasound. It was in the right place, all nestled snugly in my uterus. All I got to see was a little sack but it was our little baby there, growing. The blood draw numbers from that day (Thursday) were 250! The numbers were increasing more rapidly, the baby was growing AND in the right place.

The 250 was good news but frustrating too. This was turning into the never ending two week wait. I just wanted the pregnancy to be healthy enough that I could relax. If this baby made it, it would be such a miracle. It seemed like it was trying so hard to survive! If I could just make it another week we would be able to see the heartbeat and be put at ease.

Because of my previous miscarriage the fertility center had me come in the following Monday for another blood draw, and that's when my levels dropped. They went down to 181. They called and said something to the effect of, "I'm sorry but you're levels went down. Go ahead and stop the progesterone and you should start bleeding in the next few days." But then they called me right back...

When I saw they were calling back I thought "maybe they got my results mixed with someone else's!" but nope. Dr. Foulk had come into the room and told them to keep me on the progesterone until we had two consecutive decreasing levels. I was already scheduled for an ultrasound Wednesday so we scheduled a blood draw for then.

There are very few scenarios where a decrease in hCG in early pregnancy doesn't lead to miscarriage (one of them being a vanishing twin). So now I had to come to terms with losing this pregnancy while still trying to be optimistic and not give up on our baby. I didn't want to call the adoption agency to re-open our case because I didn't want to have to put it on hold again if it was good news and then re-open again if I did in fact miscarry.

Two days later (Wednesday) we all three went together to the fertility center for an 8am blood draw. I was scheduled to have an ultrasound but when I got there they essentially said there was no point in doing the ultrasound if I was miscarrying, to wait for the results and then go from there. I kind of lost it on the way home. It had been such a stressful few weeks of back and forth and I just wanted resolution and to know which direction we were going (whether adoption or pregnancy) in bringing a baby into our family. It felt like I was spinning in place.

I waited ALL DAY to hear back from them. My blood draw was at 8:00am and when I hadn't heard by 4 I called in and they said they had the results but were waiting for the doctor to review them. At 4:45 they finally called with the results. My levels had dropped to 145. I felt relived. Not because we had lost our baby (obviously) but because we finally had resolution. We had a definitive answer. The waiting and back and forth were over. We finally knew that I was having a miscarriage and we could deal with it, mourn and move on.

I immediately called the adoption agency so they could reopen our case before the close of business that day. So now we are back making progress there. We are so excited for this next step for our family. We are thankful for all the prayers and words of support from friends and family and ask that you continue to pray for us as we go through the adoption process. :) Please also keep your eyes and ears open for birth mothers who may be looking for an adoptive couple. :)


  1. Jessica,
    You are amazing. I am so sorry to hear how frustrating, disappointing, & heart breaking all of this has been for you! Congratulations on your family's decision to adopt. That is very exciting and I hope the best for you and your sweet family :)

    Stacy Halladay

  2. Jessica! My heart goes out to you! You and your husband are so strong!! I wanna say I am sorry but that won't fix what your going threw. All I can say is I kinda of understand now after having a miscarriage. I pray we don't have another one I may not be as strong as you. I so happy that you guys are adopting. I have always wanted to adopt and still want to. I will be calling you for advice and tips when we are ready to. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being my friend and showing me threw your words that's it's going to be ok. You have helped me threw this hard time with your blogs/ stories. Like I said you help others more than you may know. :)

  3. You're so optimistic about this whole thing. It's quite inspiring and I'm sure that by sharing your story you're helping a lot of women deal with their own struggles. I'll continue to pray for you guys. You will make some little baby very happy.. hopefully sooner rather than later. :)

  4. You are a strong woman...I love that you stay so positive.