Sunday, October 07, 2007

So about all that cheery optimism

It's kind of not working.

For those of you who may be thinking that a positive pregnancy test means a live baby for me, and all I needed was to fix my non-existent ovulation, we need to talk.

I haven't posted about every pregnancy experience I've had, and I really ought to fix that. Urghhhhh. Basically, I have lost pregnancies at every stage. And the odds of this resulting in a live baby are so low, the high risk docs won't even give me a number.

Since I had a Trisomy 18 pregnancy at the age of 28, amniocentesis and a nuchal scan isn't even optional, it's mandatory. It's thought to be incredibly rare for a young woman to have a chromosomally damaged egg, (poorly gathered miscarriage evidence notwithstanding) that my odds of a good egg are crap. And honestly, I'm not sure what I'd do this time if I got a bad amnio result. After 9 years of guilt and judgement heaped on my head----fuck I can't even go there.

And it is pretty presumptuous of me to think I'll get to 18-21 weeks. Pregnancy #6 was lost a few days after the positive. And Mira and Georgia never got past 12 & 16 weeks.

I DO have two living children. They escaped from my crappy uterus before anything could go wrong, so I have to give the docs some credit. Even after Mac was born with lungs full of meconium and had an Apgar of 1 at one minute, hey, the docs suctioned him and he pinked up, and hell, he's alive and healthy.

You know, most bloggers who get pregnant seem to have a "safe point" where they no longer worry about the pregnancy, and start assuming they will get a live baby out of this adventure. I really don't have that point. So every moment of the next 35 weeks is going to be absolutely terrifying. And it seems to have made me even more nutty about my living kids.

But I'm not upset to see pregnant women or babies anymore. I've only felt that way during my worst moments to be honest. I'm more of a babyluster myself. I'm the crazy woman who looks at your newborn like I want to steal it. Not little kids, mind you. Just babies, and the smaller the better. I follow them around like an addict looking for a fix desperate to smell them or touch them.

Tomorrow I'm going to pack a bag for the hospital. It's not a bag for L&D. It's a bag of stuff I'll need if I'm miscarrying at any point. I'm tired of having to send my husband home to bring me hospital gear, and he returns with whatever he grabs because he's grief stricken and in shock and can only find my pantyhose and lipstick, but not maxipads. (And who the fuck needs pantyhose after a D&C? I never did understand that one. Poor sweet crazy man....)

And in more of the "getting ahead of myself" category....this next conversation is predicated on the fact that someone will need to take care of me if I miscarry at least.

The issue is that my hospital, the women's one in town, has been gutted over time and parcelled out amongst various hospitals. So it's still got the best NICU, and the best L&D, but if any other part of my body acts up, it's problematic. The only other decent high risk hospital I'd go to, I don't really like. They get so intervention happy that they turn every single birth into a high risk one. I've literally never met a woman in real life who gave birth there and didn't get an automatic unneeded pitocin drip and a crash vacuum or a crash c-section. No wait a minute, since they refuse to VBAC anyone, they do a lot of next birth scheduled c-sections. In fact, they have the highest rate in the province.

So you're asking, why wouldn't Aurelia want every damn intervention on earth? Don't interventions ALWAYS save babies?

Ummm, no, not always.

I don't want the wrong interventions just because they exist. I want the right treatment for me and the fetbryo and sometimes the right treatment is to turn off the pit drip, or to wait for the baby to descend slowly and not push it into distress with extra drugs or a vacuum. And some OBs who live for adrenaline or interventions are very very authoritarian towards patients. Sometimes listening to a Mom who tells you something is wrong, is critical. Every time something has gone really wrong, I've known it deep down. I can't always say what, but I know if something has changed and they need to do something help me.

I knew something was wrong just before Mira died, and before Matthew was diagnosed, and when Georgia died, weeks before. And now, I barely trust my intuition anymore. I don't want a Doc talking down to me as well. Every time I don't feel sick or gassy or tired or well, pregnant, I start to lose faith. And I can't do that. It won't help.

The question is, how do I find that magical perfect Doc?

In my world of magical thinking, Dr.J. is the only reason my babies made it. Every time I've had a live baby, she was there, and every time I had a dead baby, I had another doctor. Completely illogical, I mean she was my GP when Matthew was conceived, and all the others, but still, I can't stand the fact that she isn't delivering babies anymore. And I have no idea how to clone her.

I'm truly blathering now, and it's late. I need to go to sleep.

So, if some of my fellow IFer's can't read me all the time for the next while I get it, it might be too painful to read, just please please please don't assume my attempts at joking and optimism are anything but a defense mechanism.

I will never be the happy innocent preggo ever again. I AM trying to fake it 'til I make it, one day at a time.


  1. I am at a loss for words. I only know to say that I will continue to visit your blog and hold my breath that things are going to work out this time. You obviously have an enormous amount of strength. Who am I to say that? No one really, just a visitor from Niobe's blog, who is impressed with your courage, and this is the first time I have been here..hope you don't mind my intrusion.

  2. Is there such a thing as a innocent preggo after all that? I seriously doubt it. Each loss is kinda like losing your virginity all over again. On the upside obviously losing your virginity CAN result in a live baby down the road and that is my wish for you.

    Any chance you could call Dr,J and ask her who she would recommend to her sister, niece etc..I would keep the staff out of the loop and talk to Dr. J directly..she will be more forthcoming with a referral.

  3. Aurelia, you have been through so much, more than we probably can imagine. I can not fathom how difficult this time is for you, and frankly, for you not to just go crazy right now.

    Try to remember, there is time to figure out some of these things (hospital, dr, etc). I have to believe that this time you will have a compassionate experience. And hopefully a positive outcome.

    Like dd said on niobe's blog -- "hope is a burden your friends carry for you when you no longer can," -- we are ready. Write anything that helps you get through this time.


  4. Not all of it, but so much of this I understand. Especially the feeling that my uterus is a dangerous place for a child. But, Aurelia, if anyone knows how to help this fetbryo grow into a living take-home baby, it's you. You know what to do differently this time. You are one of the most caring, wonderfully maternal women in the world - and I still only know this from words on a screen.

    I hope we will meet this baby safely in the summer (June?), but I understand your reservations and fear. I wish I could be there to support you in person, but I'll have to leave that to the lucky lucky Canadian bloggers. In the meantime, I'll be reading every anxious, ironic, defensive word you need to get out there.

  5. Whether it's joking and optimism or fear and anxiety, I'll still be here. You do whatever it takes to get you through this with some sanity.


  6. When I find myself at a loss for words or the post has said it all, but I still feel the need to leave a tiny bit of me, I make jokes.

    So here it is: you said "preggo". Don't DO that! You're not allowed to say "preggers", either. You and I have been around the block and we get to use the appropriate terms. You are pregnant, OK?

  7. Optimism? Safe point? Magical perfect doc?'re not supposed to be drinking while pregnant. :o)

    I understand the fear. I really really do. Not seven times over...but two times over. For all the rest I'll just have to say...take it one day at a time and TRY to find some peace and happiness wherever you can. Oh...and remember...there are some things you can control and some you can't Don't overcompensate or you'll driver yourself crazy.

    And if there is morbid or sick humor to be had...let it fly...I am just happy to know I'm not alone in that.

  8. Oh, I am so sorry that you've had to endure so much. I for one will not leave your side through this. So post your fears, your crude jokes, and of course, good news. I'll keep listening.

  9. Defense mechanisms are all we have to hang on to some days. So you just go right ahead. :)

  10. Dear Aurelia, all those years of trying and losing (unfortunately) has left deep marks on us and we will never be that happy carefree preggo woman. I though I had reached my "safe place" (silly me) and than I started spotting, just to remind me that it is NEVER safe, but we have to try to believe in happy endings !!! wishing the best 35 weeks that you can have ahead of you

  11. Understood, understood. It's a thin facade.


  12. Honor how you feel - that's what I'm trying to learn to do. When you honor it, it changes. You will be in my thoughts and in my prayers - if that's okay - because I do believe in miracles and I do believe that anything is possible.

  13. I don't have anything particularly witty to say...I just wanted to congratulate you and let you know that I am pulling for you and your little babe. (((hugs)))

  14. Anytime you need to be cynical and tell off-colour jokes, I'm here for you. We can have a "fear-and-pity-party" and play "pin the extra hand on the fetus".

    Big hugs. This is not going to be easy... but you're not alone. Hopefully that helps.

  15. Aurelia, with your T18 history have you considered doing CVS in the first trimester rather than amnio in the second?

    I hope I am not sounding too nosy or like I'm pushing one option over another. It's just that after my T18 baby, I know the testing thing -- screening? diagnositc? If diagnostic, which one? -- became a huge issue in the next pregnancy. So I'm curious about how other people make that decision, too.

  16. No problem Wabi, I did consider it, but the genetics department consult said last time that I should wait and see what the nuchal test said, and then make the decision. They could do an immediate one there if necessary.

    This time, because of all the placental damage I've had, they are a little reticent to touch it with a ten-foot pole, or needle so to speak.

    If the baby looked really really bad on the nuchal, we'd reconsider in consult with the placental specialist.

  17. Wow, the combination of such a history and a whole lot of extra knowledge on the subject of pregnancy is quite a load to carry.

    Sometimes you're in a situation where you can either hang your head and cry or keep your chin up and laugh (wryly). Do whichever makes sense to you.

  18. Wow, I hadn't surfed by in a while!
    CONGRATULATIONS, dear Aurelia, I will keep my fingers & all other un-used appendages crossed for you these next 35 wks...