You have to assume by the use of the word “fucking” in the title that the ultrasound today did not go well. Your assumptions would be correct.
Baby Toast had no detectable heartbeat today, at 7 weeks 1 day. I knew it. I knew it when I woke up this morning. I prayed and pleaded the whole way there. I tried to distract myself. I tried to keep hope alive. But then I got there. They called me back to the room. I was lying on the table waiting for the exam to start and I just started crying; from nerves, from stress, from the knowledge that nothing was going to be OK. I had the same ultrasound tech as the last horrible ultrasound. I knew it when she left the room to go get the doctor, ostensibly to “check out that chorionic hematoma,” but come on. I had already mentioned the slow heartbeat concern. If anything was there, she would have told me. Today is, coincidentally, exactly three months since that fateful day when I was told that my twins had no heartbeat. Today their sister (?) joined them, wherever they are.
You may wonder how I’m coherent enough to write any of this. The truth is, writing is my catharsis. Writing this is the only thing keeping me sane in this moment. Writing, and the immediate flood of phone calls offering support, tears and understanding. To be honest, I’d rather blog about this than call everyone. I don’t have the energy to keep saying the same thing over and over. I’m sorry if I didn’t call or text you personally. I just can’t right now.
It’s so fucking unfair. It is. I wish I had the words to express the unfairness. There is nothing I’ve ever wanted more in my entire life and it just keeps getting ripped away from me. What’s worse is that I’m totally powerless to stop it. I feel so disconnected from my own body. I try so hard to be a welcoming place for these little babies but something deep inside of me keeps catastrophically failing. I can’t stop it, and I don’t know what it is. I feel like I’m living with some kind of monster, but on the inside.
Dr. L came in and talked about next steps. It was like deja vu all over again. This time she made it clear that she wants me to wait to try again, and in the meantime referred me to an NYC doctor specializing in repeat pregnancy loss and immunology, which sounds like it’s right up my alley. I’m grateful that there is a specialist in this field and that no one thinks I’m crazy. The kicker is that with Eric starting his new job, we will be sans insurance for the entire month of August. But you know what… it’s different this time. I’m not so eager to get pregnant again right away. I need a break from this drama. I need to let my heart recover.
Here’s the really messed up part. OK, so I got the dire news, left the office in tears and made some calls. Then I went down to the subway platform to go catch the bus. I was standing there waiting for my train, trying to ignore the hordes of pregnant women surrounding me (at LEAST five) when I got a call from New Hope. Non-English speaking nurse says, “Everything looks good, keep taking medication, repeat ultrasound in one week.” I’m not gonna lie, I yelled at her. I was like, “Everything is not fine, I just had an ultrasound where they told me my baby is dead. I do not need to continue taking medication or have another devastating ultrasound.” (Ever been on a subway platform? It’s rather loud. So I was essentially yelling at the top of my lungs that my baby had no heartbeat. Fun times.) We argued back and forth for a while and finally she agreed to go double check with Dr. L. Well, apparently I AM supposed to keep taking my medication and repeat the ultrasound, preferably in a week or even as early as Thursday. This works out well because my “viability ultrasound” with the OB/GYN was already scheduled for that day. But what the fuck? Are they messing with me? When Dr. L was in the room with me, she made it very clear that this ride was over. So why ten minutes later are you telling me to keep hope alive, even a tiny bit? Are you suggesting she’s the ultimate drama queen, to the point of stopping her own heart and then having it restart? That’s not even possible. I don’t understand why they would suggest something like that. I want to grieve now, not hold onto false hope for four more days. It’s like mental torture.
I’m not hopeful. When a heartbeat is apparent and normal at 6 weeks 1 day, slow and concerning at 6 weeks 5 days and gone at 7 weeks 1 day, it seems like a pretty cut and dried case, right? But last time after the bad ultrasound they had me stop medication. This time I’m supposed to keep taking it. I’m so confused. Their ultrasound machine appeared to be functioning. If the heartbeat was there, wouldn’t they have seen it?
I don’t get it. I know, despite not always being a perfect angel, that I do not deserve this. No one does. Right now the only word I can think is defeated. I feel like I keep trying, I keep trying so hard, and I keep getting defeated. Exhausted isn’t even the word. I’m weary. I’m defeated. I want to close my eyes for a very, very long time and somehow just wake up happy and pregnant.
In the space of an hour I had three generous offers for surrogates. These women who are close to me are willing, and even eager, to give me this most precious gift. It brings me to tears that they would even offer something like that. As far as going through with it… I don’t know. It’s such a big decision. Is it selfish of me that I still desperately want to be pregnant? That I want to grow and nurture this child with my own body? That I want to feel her kick and move, that I want all the morning sickness in the world, that I want to excitedly text my husband that I’m in labor rather than text him on his first day of a new job to say his child has no heartbeat? Should I give up on that dream now? We only have four embryos left. I know that I am so, so lucky to have any left at all, but I can’t help but feel like the number keeps dwindling. When do I give up and let someone else do it? When do I give up on this dream of growing my baby for myself? (There are like 400 questions in this post, it should go without saying that 99% of them are rhetorical).
Sorry this is all over the place. I thought I was more coherent than I actually am. You can all cancel your appointments with my psychic. I need to call her though, because I have just one more very important question: What the fuck happened to February?