I've been thinking about whether to post something to Fb this month (infant & pregnancy loss awareness month) and I'm still not sure. But, I wrote this and I think it would feel good to share it somewhere.
Since March I’ve had two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy. And it sucks. It doesn’t actually make me especially sad. Many people who experience pregnancy loss feel as if they’ve lost a baby. That’s not my experience: 12+ years of working in abortion care really differentiates embryo/fetus/pregnancy from baby. It can be really crappy without being especially sad though.
I worry a lot about getting older and less fertile. And about the possibility of higher and higher rates of miscarriage and trisomies as time and aging plod along.
I worry about having an awkward age gap. If that first miscarriage had been good, LO#1 and #2 would be just over 2.5 years apart, definitely close enough to be friends and play together. If LO#1 and #2 are more like 3.5 years (or more) apart will they be agemates enough to play?
I worry about vain things. Like how if that first pregnancy had been good, I would have been cute-pregnant when we went to the beach this summer. Instead, I was stress-eating-chubby and bloated.
And I worry that if I weren’t a medical professional, my care providers would kill me through ignorance and/or negligence. I’ve lost a lot of trust and respect for my care providers and I feel nervous about if I will feel comfortable seeing them and trusting their clinical judgment if I ever do get a viable pregnancy.
With the second miscarriage, my beta hCG levels plateaued in a way that looked very concerning for an ectopic pregnancy. One of my midwives was totally unconcerned and didn’t even seem to realize that the labs looked bad. One was appropriately worried, but didn’t have the resources and equipment to do my workup or to treat me. The maternal-fetal medicine practice that the midwives referred me to couldn’t find any sign of a normal pregnancy, but they still just congratulated me and told me I was probably really early.
I wanted everything to be ok, I wanted to be able to trust the expertise of the maternal-fetal medicine docs. But I knew they were wrong.
I called an OB/Gyn practice I’d seen a few years before, they connected the dots the same way I had, and they squeezed me in for a procedure the next morning so I didn’t have to go to the emergency room. Luckily, despite all the signals pointing to an ectopic pregnancy, that one turned out be "just" an abnormal uterine pregnancy.
The third time did turn out to be ectopic. The same OB/Gyn practice that took great care of me with miscarriage #2 completely missed an important lab value with the one that turned out to be ectopic. This resulted in delaying treatment by about 10 days. The really scary thing is that I only got treated as soon as I did because I was insistent that something wasn’t right; I came in for another evaluation 2 weeks before they wanted me to. If I had allowed myself to believe the assurances that things were looking good, I could’ve wound up in the hospital with a ruptured ectopic. Or died.
The ectopic was treated more than 6 weeks ago and I’m still waiting for my pregnancy hormone levels to go all the way back down to zero. It could take a few more weeks. If this had been a viable pregnancy, I would already be in my second trimester. If the first pregnancy had been viable I would be 31 weeks pregnant. This is dragging on and on.
Even though I don’t find it sad, it is sucky and stressful in so many ways. And it feels like it is taking forever. And I can’t escape pregnancy. I work in an abortion clinic. I go to a midwifery school. My life revolves around pregnancy; there’s no break.