Thursday, August 13, 2009

Conception: Round 2

So, off we went to the doctor’s, unable to believe that the Metformin had worked so well and so quickly. When we got there, the receptionist asked me how many pregnancy tests I had taken and when I answered just one, she said we would be taking another (as a FYI for anyone reading this who thinks about getting pregnant in the future, apparently if you take 2 tests at home then you don’t have to take one at the doctors – at least in my doctor’s office).

Being a woman, I was of course able to pee on demand so I took the test in a jiffy. It was not a fancy physician test; it was the same test I took at home. We were escorted to a room where we waited for the nurse midwife to come in. And when she did, she didn’t seem as excited as we did and we knew why in an instant. The test I had taken came back as negative – showing me as not pregnant. I didn’t even understand how this was possible and she didn’t offer any explanation (that combined with her matter-of-face attitude has made her our least favorite nurse midwife of the practice). She explained that since there were two contradictory tests that they wanted to take blood for a final answer.

Utterly confused and in a stupor, Brian and I went to the lab (thankfully only one floor up from the office) and I had blood drawn. I think I made it to the car before I completely broke down. I just didn’t understand what was going on. Was I pregnant or not? Was my body functioning “normally” or had it failed me yet again? Brian really was trying to console me, but I think he was probably dealing with emotions that were just as confusing (he later told me he kind of wanted a baby up to this moment when it shifted and he REALLY wanted a baby). We pulled out of the hospital and as we were waiting at a red light, I looked over and saw the now-infamous homeless woman (now-infamous because Brian had re-told this moment many times over).

Some brief facts before I continue with this story:

1. Austin is pan-handling friendly in most places of the city so seeing a homeless woman on a corner is not uncommon.
2. You must understand that at the moment, while I was crying (okay, probably sobbing) in the car, I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t pregnant and that somehow this was because I was defective… and even more importantly that the defect was somehow my fault (yes, I’m aware of the fact that there was no rational basis for this but when are you rational when you’re sobbing?).
3. I believe that Brian saw this woman before me because I remember him sighing which is what made me look over.

And here is what I said when I looked at the woman: “Oh my God, even the homeless woman can get pregnant.” Brian considers this to be a watershed moment in conception, when I completely lost touch with reality. But, all I could see is that this woman, who had no pre-natal care, no hygiene (trust me, I was looking at her), etc, had been able to get pregnant and the verdict was still out on me. It was just bad timing. But, important enough that I’m sure I could pick her out of a line-up today.

So, we went home and started to wait. Not being very patient people, we decided to take the remaining pregnancy tests in the house (about 5) all in one day. Each one came back pregnant. We talked to the medical professionals in our life (parents) and we all agreed I had to be pregnant. It was a Friday when I went to the OB so the earliest I would hear back from them would be Monday. Sunday night I got my period so it was no surprise when they called to tell me that I wasn’t pregnant.

There were, however, two surprises that did come from the phone call. The first one was that according to my doctor’s office, I had probably had a chemical pregnancy. I’m sorry… what? Here’s the deal. Nowadays, with all the brand new tests, people can get a positive pregnancy test almost a month before any other generation. But all the test is detecting is the level of hCG (pregnancy hormone) in your body. It does not detect viability and does not detect a gestational sac. So, when this scenario occurs, where your body gets ready to develop the gestational sac but something goes awry and this never occurs, it is called a chemical pregnancy. This probably occurred in my parent’s generation but to them it just seemed like their period was a little late.

So, here is where technology is not my favorite thing in the world. The doctor’s office talked about this chemical pregnancy as if I was never really pregnant and they didn’t use the term miscarriage. However, for me, I was pregnant, if only for a few days. So, I was dealing with a miscarriage and they were dealing with something completely different. As I was trying to process the fact that in my mind I’d had a miscarriage, the office had moved on the second surprise. They knew why I had a chemical pregnancy / miscarriage and were ready to solve the problem.

Apparently, my brilliant physician (no sarcasm here, it was purely her intelligence that discoveredf this very important fact about me), at the last minute, ordered a thyroid test for my blood and the results showed I was VERY out of whack and had hypothyroidism. According to what I was hearing, I would never have a viable pregnancy with my current levels because an out of whack thyroid impacts the development of a fetus’ brain. But, good news, all I had to do was go to an endocrinologist, get on the right level of medication, and everything would be fixed. Sounded great – right? And they were done with giving me information – have a good day.

So, let’s recap… here is what I heard that day:

• I had a miscarriage because my body was defective and couldn’t sustain a pregnancy.
• I was already on one medication that addressed one issue (the whole ovulation thing) and would now have to go on another to address the other process my body couldn’t do on its own.
• My medical professionals were optimistic that all was good now even though I wasn’t pregnant.

I’m sure I cried again (Brian refers to this time period as when he seriously thought about adoption because he couldn’t stand my crying) and I was scared to think if this was as bad as it could get… or could it get worse?

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