I can’t lie to you guys. This is a safe place, so I’m going to do what I always do and speak freely. Here’s the truth: I did hang onto a shred of hope for my ultrasound today. It’s stupid, I know it’s stupid. But I just couldn’t help it. For one thing, they made me keep taking the medication, which indicated that they could know something that I didn’t. For another, Eric kept his hope alive, too (mostly for the same reason). I’ll never forget on Tuesday morning hearing him say from the hallway, “…and then they’ll say, it’s a MEEEERACLE!” I laughed. But I also hoped. It’s so hard to not hope.
But alas, my child did not become the next Lazarus. The New Hope ultrasound machine was not broken on Monday. All of my PIO shots this week have been a total waste of time, pain and money. It’s so damn depressing to really let go. Oh, and I finally stopped bleeding after 9 days. I guess now I can look forward to bleeding again sometime soon. (Like, Monday-ish).
We decided (me, my mom, my OB/GYN) not to do another D&C. I’m not as far along, and it’s not twins. I just want my body to heal, and for this task at least, I trust my body to do the right thing. Last time one of the reasons I opted for the D&C was that it sped up the process, but since we’re taking a break anyway, I figured this would be a natural way to pace myself. I got a script for some drug to induce the miscarriage, which is pretty cool. I didn’t know they had those. I thought I just had to wait and wait. But really I can time it and it should only take a few hours. Something else that made me feel a little better was that the embryo is gone already. No more sac; no more visible fetal pole. So I don’t have that super creepy feeling of knowing it’s still… you know… in there. All that’s left is tissue and stuff.
As if this evening wasn’t traumatic enough, I went directly from that soul-crushing ultrasound to the viewing for Eric’s friend. He was 31 years old. It’s just so damn unfair sometimes. I truly wish there was some way to make sense of all this tragedy or to see some kind of reason for it, but I just can’t. You know what? There is no reason. Life just sucks today. Oh, and I happened to overhear a conversation between two young-ish moms as we were walking in. I heard one of them say, “It’s just so different now that we have kids, you know? It makes it so much more real.” Oh, thanks, honey. Thanks for insinuating that my childlessness makes me less capable of feeling sorrow over death. That was EXACTLY what I needed today.
To add another layer of depression to this whole shitty situation, I looked into Reproductive Immunology and Dr. Braverman. I gave them a call, only to find that the consult is $900, not covered by insurance. That’s just the consult. The whole point of doing this clinical trial was that we could not afford to do infertility treatments out of pocket, remember? It would be one thing if it was just $900; I could probably come up with that. But that does not include any of the blood work and testing, it’s just a basic appointment to go over history and have an ultrasound. I would gain nothing from just doing that. I know many of you suggested Kwak-Kim (and I thank you as always for your advice), but I’d be willing to bet she’s not covered either. All of these doctors bill as infertility and Pennsylvania does not mandate infertility coverage, so it’s extremely rare to have it. I’m fucked.
Dr. L insisted that Braverman would be covered. I didn’t believe her, but it was still a nice slap in the face when my theory was confirmed. I’ve been finding blogs of people who have gone to Kwak-Kim and they have been gracious enough to write out the protocol she suggests. It sounds like a lot of PIO, Prednisone, baby aspirin, Lovenox and supplements. So… I’m already halfway there. Is it ridiculous to think I can just guess what she would say without actually seeing her? The only other option I can think of is to see a regular old immunologist around here (which would probably be covered) and see if he/she could order the tests or prescribe the same things. Maybe I would get lucky and find someone who has a modicum of interest or experience in immunology as it relates to miscarriage. I’m clutching at straws, I know. I just need to figure out a way to get some answers on my insurance’s dime rather than on my own.
My mom and I had our post-ultrasound pow-wow and talked about what’s next. She insisted that it’s more than just diet… it’s stress. I need to let go of stress and relax for once in my life. I think part of what makes it so hard is that the process itself is so stressful, which is why taking a break can only help me. I need to get right with my emotions and control-freak tendencies. I need to calm the hell down. I’ve committed myself to starting yoga and at the very least trying acupuncture. I stopped at Barnes & Noble on my way to the appointment to pick up a book called “Preventing Miscarriage.” Let me tell you how fun it was when I couldn’t find it and had to ask at the information desk, loud enough for a gum-snapping college student to overhear. Whatever. I picked it up and started flipping through. There was an entire chapter explaining the trauma of miscarriage, a particularly long section on having an incompetent cervix (so not my problem at all) and a brief section on Environmental Factors. They cautioned against using cocaine and methamphetamines, mentioned the dangers of air pollution and advocated a healthy diet. Seriously? If I was snorting lines of coke every night, I would NOT be questioning my miscarriage. Needless to say, I didn’t buy the book.
My mom has been going through old calendars trying to figure out the name of the doctor who she saw back in ’99. At our pow-wow, I mentioned that I was interested in the book “Is Your Body Baby Friendly?” by Dr. Alan Beer. Her eyes lit up at the name. “That’s it! That’s who I went to see!” she said. I remember how much she said she liked him and how nice he was, plus it turns out he was a mentor to Dr. Kwak-Kim (my mom even talked to her briefly, way back then). It seems like some kind of sign. Dr. Beer has since passed away, but at least I can read his book and hopefully it will have better advice in in than “don’t snort coke.” It’s definitely more in the budget than a $900 meeting just to gaze into Braverman’s baby blues.
Well, after a day chock-full of depressing ultrasounds and viewings for friends who were taken from this Earth way too soon, I’m off to bed. We’re heading into the woods this weekend for a family camping trip. And you know what? I can drink alcohol. And you know what else? I plan to.