I didn’t set out to slay this dragon

I didn’t set out to fight this fight.

People have said things like, “You’re so brave.”  Or, “I couldn’t do what you have done.”  Or so many other things – not just about this latest event, but about all of it.

I’m not brave.  You would have done what I did.  I knew something was wrong.  I didn’t know how wrong.  I was terrified when I realized how wrong things were.

I didn’t set out to slay any dragons.  I didn’t volunteer to get really sick.  I just thought, hmm, let’s have kids.  That’s it.  The rest sort of fell like dominoes.  I am not brave.  I didn’t set out to fight this fight.

Honestly, if I didn’t write this blog, I’d start to wonder if I was making this stuff up.  What a trainwreck.  I wish I were making it up.

The questions are starting to come.  I swore, as I saw the look on Mr. Hope’s face, that I would never do this to him or BabyHope again.

Is there a pattern here?  Can this happen again?  I see a potential pattern, and Mr. Hope and I both wonder about all the surgeries and polyps and adhesions.  None were severe, but did all that “stuff” somehow impact the integrity of my uterus?  The pattern I see – and forgive me – it’s essentially “made up”: very sticky placentas.  Going all the way back to the very first IVF cycle – it was a “presumed ectopic” pregnancy based on hCG levels and their behavior, but even after my hCG began to fall, and was only something like 30, it still took two methotrexate shots to end the pregnancy.  BabyHope’s placenta was manually removed at delivery, and I developed adhesions and polyps in the year after it, and at the hysteroscopy to fix that, my doctor found what he believed to be placental tissue.  The miscarriage a year ago – it was a “blighted ovum” or empty sac – I began to bleed, but my hCG continued to rise.  I had a D&C only to discover a month later that placental tissue was yet again left behind, along with scar tissue forming around it.  And now – this is all speculative – perhaps a “sticky” second placenta that bled (and bled and bled) and caused the other pregnancy to fail (hopefully, we will get genetic information on the baby that had a heart beat).  Is this a pattern?  Is there going to be more tissue in there when we do an HSG after the hCG falls to zero?

We have three frozen embryos.  I can’t begin to tell you what we should do with them.  Before Sunday, if we’d “just” had a miscarriage, Mr. Hope and I would have said, “transfer them.”  But I didn’t “just” have a miscarriage.  I think Mr. Hope needs definitive information that doesn’t exist that there isn’t a pattern.

I was on baby aspirin.  I know it shouldn’t matter, but I can’t help wondering.

I didn’t set out to fight this fight.  But somehow this fight landed in my lap.

And somehow, we’re supposed to be able to figure out what to do next.  Obviously, we’ll have medical opinions placed in front of us.  None of them will account for the fear I saw in my husband’s face.  None can erase the images in my head of so much blood.

I am not brave.  I am scared.  I’m scared to make a decision.  I’m scared to plan anything – to never do this again, to do this again.  I’m scared of what could be lurking around the corner.  My body has been rattled in a way that I could never, ever, ever have imagined.

I didn’t set out to fight this fight.  I don’t want this fight.  What is my real choice here?


~ by Larisa on March 5, 2010.

19 Responses to “I didn’t set out to slay this dragon”

  1. I truly hope I don’t come off as being callous here, but I just got home from having one loved one on life support for 7+days and the day after I got home my dh’s dad died. I have been on your journey, although not to the great extent that you physically have. After reading your entries, I believe you have answered your own question…”I swore as I saw the look on Mr. Hope’s face, that I would never do this to him or BabyHope again”.

    As someone who has traveled the IF road for 20+yrs I do not say this lightly – as much as you want “more”, find a way to be fulfilled with the blessings you have. It may not be easy, not at all. But just from reading your words, you are blessed with a wonderful dh and wow,what an incredible little girl!

    These words may not come out the way I intend or even if they do, may not mean squat, especially at this time. But coming out of what my family just did, I just feel so grateful for…life, period.

    You ARE a brave person! I hope you can continue to be as brave in being a wife and wonderful and loving mother to a very special little blessing. Sometimes, even today, I feel that little twinge of wanting “more”,but then I look at my dh and the dd that is a miracle to us and it is sooo greatly lessened.

    I wish you all much peace <

  2. Your “sticky placenta” theory really makes a lot of sense (to me, which admittedly doesn’t mean much). Thinking of you often and praying for you as you recover and decide where to go from here.

  3. It’s just not fair. I can understand why you have no idea. I know as a VBAC’er that scar tissue from previous c-sections have been proven to increase your risk for placental adhesions and even hysterectomy in subsequent pregnancies. I would imagine you have a fair amount of scar tissue; I think your OB friend could probably confirm that it might impact the placenta.

    I hope you get answers and clarity from somewhere. I don’t know how or where, but anything to make this fight that you didn’t choose for yourself easier.

  4. Here from LFCA and just wanted to say how very sorry I am. No words of wisdom, just how terribly sorry I am. Thinking of you and your family.

  5. There are never good or real choices when you look at it, in dealing with anything medical. There is just so much we don’t know, they don’t know, no one knows…just educated guesses, probabilities, percentages, etc. It could all go terribly wrong again or fantastically right. Who knows? That’s the hard part. Because you are so loved and treasured, it takes more than someone’s guess to put your life, your body, your embryos/babies on the line- you want something more definitive and reassuring than that! I hope that whatever you get told brings you clarity, answers/direction, and the information is spot on.

    In medicine there is a saying that if you listen long enough, the patient will tell you exactly what’s wrong with them. You know your body. It very well COULD be a too sticky placenta.

    In the end, I wish it was just all absurdly easier. No one should have to slay dragons for the desire of a child, the addition to a family. So very sorry.

  6. I hope that this suggestion in no way comes off as offensive but is the idea of using a surrogate for the last 3 embryos on the table? Assuming of course that the genetic testing comes back normal. It just seems like you really have had too much happening to you to just explain it all as really bad luck.

    I think your OB friend could offer great advice. It’s lucky that you have her. I hope that physically you are doing much better now. Still thinking of you.

  7. Having had the bad outcome 3 years ago (healthy baby but permanently disabled me), I have slowly come to terms with not carrying another baby. Because it could be fine, and i’d be no different from now. Or it could be not-so-fine, and I don’t have the strength (physically or emotionally) to have another horrific pg/delivery.

    That’s not to say I don’t desperately want my frozen embryos to become my child(ren), but I can’t risk my health and potentially leave Eleanor without a (relatively) normally functioning mom.

    There are other options … But even now I know I am not ready to pursue them.

    I’m sorry for where you’ve landed.

  8. You know, I hadn’t made the connection until you used the phrase “sticky placenta”, but this sounds like placenta accreta. It’s unusual, and I have not been aware of such an early (in pregnancy) presentation. Usually it presents as life threatening hemorrhage at delivery, but can be diagnosed on ultrasound. But risk factors do include thin endometrium and prior uterine instrumentation. You might ask your doctors about this possibility?

  9. It’s been so long since I checked your blog, since you returned from the U.K. I’m so sorry to read that you had a miscarriage and how complicated this is for you. It is so scary just reading about it, I will keep you in my prayers that you will heal without incident and be comforted in your time of loss.

  10. Holy hell, you HAVE been through it. I am so, so sorry. Nobody should have to go through something like this. Especially after everything you went through up to this point. I hope you’re feeling better.

    As to what to do next … maybe it’s time for a second opinion. I’m not sure if there are experts in this type of thing, but maybe it would be worth looking into. Although, even with an expert’s clearance to move ahead, if it were me, I’d still be terrified to try again. I know those three embryos will be calling you, but … above all else, Baby H needs her mommy.

    Hell, I don’t know. I just don’t know. That’s a real rock-and-a-hard-place situation.

  11. I agree with Kristylynne, a real rock and a hard place you are in between. The rock being it’s difficult to rationalize never having another baby, the hard place being it’s difficult to rationalize trying it all again.

    I hope you will be gentle with yourself, dragon and all. Your answer will come, if it hasn’t already, and time perhaps will help you articulate it. You know your path better than anyone else. I hope you can see it and trust it.

    With all my heart I wish it could have been easier, different, and not so heartbreakingly tragic. You have my best thoughts and prayers.

  12. God, I’m so incredibly sorry. I wouldn’t know what to do either and I hope you guys figure out a path soon.


  13. Hmmm. I didn’t think about it like that.

    Such a hard place you are in.

  14. I really don’t know what to say. This is a very difficult juncture to find yourself in. Your desire to have another child is still as strong as it was before, I’m sure. There’s no off button, is there. Not even with such a near-disaster as what you’ve just been through.

    And in the end, you have to make a decision with a lot of information unavailable.

    I assume I would be scared out of my mind for a good while, if I were in your shoes, and not dream of trying again. But as time passed, I also guess the thought of ‘what if’ would start nagging me again.

    You don’t have to decide anything today.

  15. I was going to say I would look into surrogacy, too. It may ‘just’ (and I don’t say that lightly) be your body and how it responds to things. Perhaps another woman, maybe who doesn’t have a history of these issues would be able to carry these embryos for you.

    I wish there was a clear cut answer. I wish you didn’t have to go through any of this shit to begin with. I wish I could help.

    Hang in there.

  16. Thinking of you.


  17. I wish I had answers for you, hon. All I can see is that EVERY answer now is fraught with emotion. There’s no easy way to make your next choice.

    And Lut is right. You DON’T have to make a decision today. Sometimes a little time will help the murky waters settle a bit.

    Either way, I am wishing love, and strength as you and Mr. Hope assess your next steps.


  18. Thinking of you and glad you are physically feeling better. I have no magical words, just keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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