Friday, October 11, 2013

6 Weeks: When I Had The Most Traumatic Meltdown of My Entire Life

So, that last post was a doozy, eh?  I know you're probably all dying waiting to hear how pregnancy has been treating me for the last few months - and I promise I have plenty to tell you. But I maybe won't inundate you with all the stories, in one enormous post.  I think we can all agree that that was kind of completely exhausting.

(And a warning for all my squeamish readers (I can't really imagine that I even have squeamish readers, but just in case...) I talk about blood in this post.  More specifically, lady blood, ifyouknowwhatImean.  So, if that makes you want to gouge your eyeballs out, I'd suggest maybe turning around.  Like, now.)

So we left off my last post at having my second beta test, showing that my levels were rising appropriately, and everything was supposedly on track.  And as if I weren't already paranoid enough, I instantly became the mother of all paranoia.  I Googled all the things I could and couldn't do.  I second guessed just about everything I put into my mouth.  I refused to have sex, even though I knew it was okay (sorry, husband).  I dyed my hair around 5 weeks, and had a panic attack afterwards when it dawned on me that I had no idea if hair dye was going to kill my baby or not. It was pretty extreme.  In my mind, I figured that if I could avoid anything and everything that could potentially, even maybe cause an issue with a pregnancy - I would.  Because if, heaven forbid, I ever lost the baby, I didn't want to have any reason to blame myself - even though I know miscarriages happen for a myriad of reasons, and the chances that eating a Subway sandwich would end my pregnancy were extremely low.  (Holy run-on sentence, Batman.)  But we had worked hard to make this baby, and I was going to do everything I could to make sure we brought home a beautiful tiny human in 9 months.

In the week following my second HCG test, I began to spot a tiny bit.  It was usually either really light pink, or some creepy shade of poop brown.  You can imagine the anxiety attack I had when I first saw a color other than pee on my toilet paper.  In my last post, I told you about those tampon-like applicators I was using to shove vag suppositories clear up my business - remember?  The first time I saw the spotting, I had seen blood on the applicator after inserting a pill.  (Normally I'd maybe apologize for the unsolicited mental imagine, but I feel like we're kind of past that now - right?)  Anyways, I tried to keep the tears of hysteria at bay and immediately consulted with the pregnancy forums online, because you know, they're always right.  Most of them said that most likely what happened was that the suppository applicator knicked my suddenly-super-sensitive cervix.  The spotting never lasted very long, and was always very light - so I tried to just ignore it and hope that my cervix would buck up and grow a metaphoric pair, so the spotting would stop.  However the spotting still had me petrified to pull my pants down.  Like, ever.

Aside from the spotting, I didn't have a whole ton of super intense symptoms - mostly just random twinges here and there, and I constantly felt dizzy and light-headed.  I could stand up slower than an 80 year-old and still feel like I was about to pass out.  I also started to occasionally feel a lot more sick to my stomach when I wouldn't eat, or even when I'd eat just a little bit.  There wasn't any throwing up, which I was grateful for - although I wouldn't even have minded.  I've never felt more relieved to feel so nauseated - which might sound totally crazy - but I was full on ready to experience the worst symptoms ever, as long as it meant a healthy pregnancy when all was said and done.

At 6 weeks, we were getting ready to go to the temple with my family when the light pink spotting started again.  I took a deep breath and chalked it up to my overly-sensistive cervix being jabbed by a plastic stick.  After our session was over, I went to the restroom and was had instant tears when I saw a lot of red blood on the toilet paper.  Bright red blood.  This wasn't just the brown spotting I had been having - this was identical to how my periods would start.  This was the type of blood that all those online pregnancy forums warned about.  I was horrified, to say the least.  Any ounce of hope I had for this pregnancy was instantly shot into oblivion.  With my family still not knowing that I was pregnant - I tried to compose myself in the bathroom stall and hold it together long enough to get to the car.  

As I walked out of the women's dressing room and saw Shawn, my eyes instantly welled up with tears and he knew something was wrong.  We walked somewhere where my family couldn't see me, and all I could get out was, "It's red" before I started bawling.  Shawn, being the more optimistic one in our marriage, assured me that it was all going to be okay, and that it was probably just a fluke.  He refused to believe that we were losing something we had worked so hard for.

My parent's car had died (literally right in front of the temple), but they somehow managed to get it started again long enough to drive to Sizzler, where we were going to have dinner with our family and my sister-in-law's family.  I tried to stay calm while we drove there, but ended up crying the entire way there.  I pulled myself together to see my family again, and as we stood in line waiting for a table - it took every ounce of self-control I had to not burst into tears.  I made it long enough to sit down and eat a salad, until I couldn't take it anymore and excused myself to the restroom.  And that's when I found even more bright red blood.  I was silently, hysterically sobbing in the bathroom stall.  It was over.  There was no way that I could possibly have this much blood and still have a baby with a beating heart.  I was absolutely heart-broken, as I sat weeping in the bathroom stall.

I couldn't fake getting sick, because we had to take my parents and siblings home, since their car was less than dependent.  And I didn't want my family to find out I had finally gotten pregnant like this.  We had kept it a secret so we could surprise them in a happy way.  After I was finished in the bathroom,  I walked straight to the parking lot so I could call the after-hours line at my fertility clinic to see what I should do.  I was no more than two words into the voicemail I was leaving when my voice cracked and I, once again, started sobbing.  From that point on, the crying didn't stop for a while.

I had been outside for about 10 minutes when Shawn finally came outside, and through my tears, I told him that I was pretty sure I was losing the baby.  Our baby.  He was at a loss for words, and asked me if I wanted him to go get my mom.  And if there was ever a time when I knew I needed my mom, it was then.  I felt sick to my stomach knowing that this would be how she was going to find out she was going to be a grandma for the first time, and in the same breath I'd take it all away from her.

She finally came out to find me completely melting down.  She came and instantly wrapped her arms around me and asked what was going on.  I took a deep breath and told her that I was 6 weeks pregnant, but that I was bleeding a lot of bright red blood, and I was sure I was miscarrying.  I was hyperventilating by this point, because I was crying so hard.  My mom's reaction was sympathetic, but she couldn't help but be completely excited that I was pregnant.  She kept hugging me and telling me that she had bled with some of her pregnancies, and that I still didn't know what the blood was from - and suggested trying to call the hospital to see what they'd say.

At this point, Shawn was still composed enough to call the hospital - but they obviously couldn't tell us anything over the phone, and recommended that we go to the ER.  We had been standing outside for a while, when my little sister came out.  As I told her what was going on, she started crying too.  And that's when I noticed my sweet husband, with his face buried in his hands just sobbing.  I had only seen him cry once before, and that's when we broke up before he left on his mission.  Seeing him cry was when I completely lost it.  Even as I sit here typing about it, I can't contain my emotions.  I literally have never felt more sad and hopeless in my entire life than when I saw my husband weeping over the child we both were sure we'd never have.  I, once again, felt like a broken, useless failure.  I kept apologizing over and over and over again.  I was so sorry that my body couldn't do what it was supposed to do.  I was so sorry that I couldn't give him children.  I was so sorry I had ever brought this trial into his life.

My brother and dad finally came outside as well, to find most of the family completely melting down in the parking lot.  My siblings were crying, my husband was crying - and feeling completely responsible for all the heartache, I cried.  I'm sure anyone who was walking by was completely confused by the freak show that was happening by our car.  I've had plenty of meltdowns in my life.  But guys, this was the mother of all meltdowns ever.  I was wailing.  Repeating over and over again, "Oh my gosh.  How is this happening?  I'm so sorry."  I can't even hardly describe just how emotional I was - but it was traumatic, to say the least.

We finally decided that my parents would drive us to the ER, since we hadn't heard back from the after-hours nurse.  Shawn and I sat in the back seat, and had managed to somehow find some calm.  I was able to stop crying as I recounted to my parents our whole IVF experience - which felt so awesome to finally tell them.  Although they were concerned, they were both over the moon that I had gotten pregnant.  And they both remained cautiously optimistic that everything was going to be okay.

We got to the ER, and I told them I was 6 weeks pregnant and bleeding, they immediately put me in a wheelchair.  I felt kind of silly being in a wheelchair when I was surrounded by people who were so obviously in much more physical pain than I was.  They took my vitals and then we waited.  As we got closer to getting called back, my nurse finally called.  She told me not to waste my money at the ER, and that I could come to the office the following Saturday morning to have an ultrasound.  She tried to assure me that there's a lot of women who bleed throughout their pregnancy, and that it's completely possible that everything was just fine.  I was relieved that she called before we were called back to an ER doctor.  Because after spending that much money on IVF, we weren't exactly swimming in money to pay for an ER visit.

We went back to my parent's house to find my sweet little sister just bawling.  Apparently she had been told that I was in the hospital, but that I was okay and we'd be home soon.  She had no idea what was going on, bless her furry little heart.  My brother had been Googling furiously about bleeding during early pregnancy, and it made me so proud.  Like brother like sister.  Shawn and I both got a priesthood blessing from my dad and my brother.  I finally got the nerve to go to the bathroom again - and when I did, the red blood had disappeared.  It had transformed into some weird, creepy orange color.  I still wasn't convinced that it was a good thing, but the blessing I had just gotten helped me feel find a peace that comforted me in knowing that whatever happened, everything was going to be okay eventually.

The next morning I drove to the fertility clinic with my husband and mom.  The bleeding had completely stopped, which resurrected just a tiny bit of hope that maybe, just maybe, things would be okay.  But I was still heavily guarded.  My doctor came in to do the ultrasound, and asked me about my bleeding.  Trying hard not to get choked up, I explained to her what had happened, and said a quick prayer that everything would please be okay.

As my uterus flashed up on the screen, my doctor immediately pointed to a tiny dot on the screen and said, "See that?  That's your baby's heartbeat."  It was the most beautiful flicker I had ever seen.  Our baby's heart was beating.  A wave of relief and gratitude washed over me as my doctor went on to say that my baby was measuring perfectly, and everything else looked great.  I cried as I watched my little one's heart race furiously - but they were tears of joy.  Pure joy.

My doctor couldn't find any reason for the bleeding.  She told me that I may be "one of those women" who bleeds throughout their entire pregnancy.  Great.  Because that's what I needed, a complete freak meltdown every time I bled.  She also said that it could have been because of the progesterone applicator, that had been causing the spotting before.  I apparently must have jousted the crap out of my cervix with the applicator, because homegirl was obviously not very happy the night before.  My doctor told me she didn't want anything but the applicator going into my vagina for the next few weeks, just to be safe.  And I think we all know what that meant for Shawn.  

I'm happy to say that after that night, I never had bright red blood ever again.  I did have some random spotting, but it was always very light and very infrequent.  That was, without a doubt, the most traumatic moment of this pregnancy so far.  We're incredibly lucky and blessed that everything turned out okay.  I thank my Heavenly Father every day for that.  I know how many women and couples go through miscarriages every day - and I just have to say how much respect I have for those women (and men).  I only got a glimpse of the heartache that I'd imagine accompanies a miscarriage, and that wasn't easy.  I can't imagine how I would've felt if I had actually lost my baby.  I want to give a giant hug to anyone who has ever lost a child - I just can't even imagine.  And I know that although I'm out of the "scare zone", I'm still not totally out of the woods.  I'll probably continue to be paranoid throughout the rest of my pregnancy, and probably for the rest of our poor kid's life - because that's how I roll.  But I do find solace in knowing that everything that happens, happens for a reason. And although sad things may or may not happen, I'll always have the love of my Heavenly Father and my family to keep me going.

So with that totally depressing post out of the way, we'll get back to the regularly scheduled bowel movements and getting fat posts soon.  Hooray!


  1. This post has me in tears... which I hurriedly had to hide when Hattie came in so she wouldn't get concerned. :)

    I can't imagine miscarrying either, but especially after such a long and expensive process of getting pregnant. How painful would that be?! I'm so glad everything's okay and progressing normally. I have physically difficult pregnancies, but I will forever stand by my assertion that THE worst part of being pregnant is the worry and anxiety over the baby. If you could guarantee me that everything was going to be okay with the baby, I would take all those crappy pregnancy side effects without complaint. I really have a love-hate relationship with Google during pregnancy.

    I can't wait to see your cute bump!

  2. Gah. Seriously reading this about broke my heart even though I knew how it ended. Brings up a lot of emotions. Soooo happy the little guy/girl is okay!! And still so so excited for you guys!! :)

  3. I miscarried at 6 weeks, so I know that fear and despair you guys were feeling. I am so happy that you have a heartbeat!!! And dont worry, Google Syndrome is completely normal, and it does go away. Yay for baby!!!