Tag Archive | HCG

My (NOT SO) Molar Pregnancy Part II

So there were completely devastated over a molar pregnancy.  After church on Sunday, we went to the hospital to have more blood drawn to confirm the diagnosis.  The doctor who was covering for my regular gynecologist over the weekend said that my situation wasn’t an emergency and could wait until Monday morning when I’d be guaranteed an early appointment.

All day Sunday into Monday morning we did nothing but cry and support each other.  I wrote a bit, he worked in the yard, we needed to do things to take our mind off of this terrible situation that was about to take away our ability to conceive for at least 3 months and possibly as long as a year.

supportive husband

Mentally and physically I could deal with having surgery to evacuate my uterus.  That’s no big deal, there wasn’t a baby in there just a “thing” that was growing uncontrollably.  It was the thought of taking oral chemo therapy for an entire month that was devastating.  I had so many questions?  What would it do to me?  Would it affect our chances of conceiving  after treatment was completed?  Would I be able to work? How long would the effects last?  When would I feel like myself again?

At random moments throughout the day, I just burst out crying!  We were so close to becoming parents and it was being taken away from us!

Throughout the day, Dr. C. called to check on us and give us more information on the treatment plan.  He was so patient with me, and answered all of my questions.  I couldn’t have asked him to do any more than he had.

One of the great things about blogging and running the Baby Steps and Tears Facebook page is that I have an amazing support network.  The outpouring of support from the blog and Facebook page were unbelievable!  I really wasn’t in the mood to talk, and I probably couldn’t have spoken much due to the uncontrollable tears.  Being able to connect with supportive people, typing back and forth made such a difference for me!

We needed to be a the hospital on Monday morning, which meant that my husband, Frank, needed to call out of work.  This is something he never does!  He only took one day off this entire summer!  But he swore that I would not go through this alone.  He called his boss, explained the situation, and was told to take as much time as he needed.

As (bad) luck would have it, I was scheduled to attend a professional development seminar the following day.  There was no way I’d be able to make it.  I texted my coworkers and filled them in.  Thank God for electronic communication!  There was no way I could have made that phone call.

After a sleepless Sunday evening, we called my gynecologist’s office and got an appointment with Dr. D who was covering for my regular gynecologist.  We got an appointment for 10:30 and headed to the hospital.  First, she reviewed the data she received from Saturday which stated I had an HCG count of 6 million, then she read me the results of Sunday’s lab work.  The HCG level was 2 which signaled that I was not pregnant.  This was quite different than the Saturday’s HCG level which the lab reported as 6million!  She suggested that we do a urine test.  When it came back, the urine test showed that there was no HCG in my blood.  I wasn’t even pregnant at all!

doctor and couple

Once again we were in shock!  How could this happen?  All that we had gone through in the last 24 hours and now to find it to be the result of an error! Okay, to be fair, it wasn’t officially ruled an error yet.  Dr. D ordered more lab work and an ultrasound.  We went to the lab to get my blood drawn then headed out of the hospital to grab something for lunch.

While we were at the restaurant, Dr. C, my NaProTechnology doctor, called.  He was astounded to look at the faxed lab results he had received.  There was no HCG in my blood!  Prior to calling us, he had connected with the lab who confirmed that the first test was an error due to a mechanical malfunction!  We couldn’t believe it and neither could he!  He said he’d keep in touch with us as he learned more about what had really happened.

We arrived back at the hospital and it was ultrasound time.  I got the full work up: an abdominal ultrasound and a trans-vaginal ultrasound.  Yup, lucky me!  Throughout all this, Frank was with me.  He never complained, he just supported me, took care of me, and kept making me focus on the positive.  He was convinced that this would be a mistake and that we’d be able try again sooner than later.

ultrasound machine

Frank was right.  The end result was that it was all because of a lab error.  We were emotionally drained, exhausted, and speechless. The good news was that I didn’t need surgery.  I wouldn’t need chemo, we wouldn’t have to stop trying to get pregnant!

When we got home, I started to notify all those who had been so supportive.  The word went out to the Facebook friends and followers. We e-mailed and called everyone who we had contacted.  They were as shocked as we were.

It took us a few days to recover.  We had barely slept or eaten for more than 36 hours.  Our bodies had run on nothing but pure adrenaline and we needed rest.  We felt as if we were spared from a great tragedy. We prayed and gave thanks.

After a year of trying…

We hit the twelve month mark.  Twelve months of trying to conceive made it official; we were dealing with infertility.   I felt broken, like something was wrong with my body.  This was truly the first time in my life I had not been able to achieve a goal.  I had no answers to why we couldn’t get pregnant, why I was still gaining weight, and why my pain kept getting worse.  I had always taken care of myself, followed doctors’ orders, I had always eaten good food, why was this happening to me?  My husband and I couldn’t do this without some help, so like it or not, it was back to the ObGyn.

After extensive panels of tests, they pronounced that I was normal and found one slight abnormality with my husband’s sperm.  The doctors wouldn’t say that it was definitely the cause of our infertility, but  there was a strong possibility that was it.  We were told that IUI, intrauterine insemination, would help us bypass this difficulty, and that the procedure was most often effective within three cycles.    We were given a quick overview of the procedure: I would take a drug to help me ovulate, undergo an ultrasound, then get a hormone injection of a drug called HCG, and a few days after the injection we would collect my husband’s sperm and perform the insemination.  In our desperation to become parents, we decided to go through with the procedure.

I was told that mood swings could be a side effect of the ovulation drugs; that was quite an understatement.  In fairness, ovulation drugs don’t affect most women the way they affected me, many women go on to conceive successfully without any side effects.  In my case, the fertility drugs took over my body.  One Saturday afternoon, while tidying up our bedroom, I noticed that my husband had left his socks on the floor.  In my head I thought, “I should tell Frank to pick up his socks.”  However, something different came out of my mouth.  The next thing I knew I was screaming, “ Damn it Frank! Why the heck are you always leaving your things around the house! Why can’t you ever pick up your socks!” I was completely shocked by what came out of my mouth.  I’m usually not the type to get angry over socks on the floor, especially since there is usually a pair of mine lying around somewhere.  But in that moment I was angry in a way that I have never before been angry with my husband, and my normal voice disappeared and was replaced by that of a screaming banshee.  I should have taken that as a sign that fertility treatments weren’t going to work for me, but I thought they were my only alternative and I was willing to put with to conceive a child.

The first round of treatments didn’t work, and round two was no better.  My doctor’s answer to the first failed cycle was an increased dose of the drugs which made me unbelievably ill in the first cycle.  I had acne from my chin to my forehead, I was nauseous, and in pain.  Once again I called the doctor’s office and was told that people sometimes have bad reactions to the treatment.  I can tolerate a lot and was willing to put up with all the negative side effects if it meant conceiving a child. When it was time for the ultrasound, the doctor said he thought we had a good chance of conceiving. Unfortunately, despite our good chances we still were not successful.  The doctor suggested that we try again.

Half way through round three I reached my breaking point.  I had taken the pills which the doctor prescribed but they didn’t have the desired effect, so the doctor prescribed even more of the fertility drugs.  Taking the extra dose in my 3rd cycle of fertility treatments meant that I was taking four times the dose which was initially prescribed for me in the first cycle.  I felt terrible, I was irritable, tired, cranky, bloated, puffy, and sore everywhere.  The thought of taking the last injection and completing the cycle made me even more ill.  Each time I had taken the injection I got unbelievably ill, I experienced hot flashes, moodiness, cravings, and unbelievable pain; all of this was on top of the irritability and moodiness from the pills.  As much as I wanted to be pregnant and become a mother I knew in my heart that making myself ill wasn’t the way to make it happen.