Monday, July 17, 2006

Back from our escape, back to the grind....

Our weekend away was lovely but far too short. It rained most of the time so it was a cosy indoors weekend with a fire & spa. It was nice to have a w'end without the computer or tv, we just lay infront of the fire on the couch & rug drinking wine, roasting marshmellows & connecting.....twas lovely. We had time to really talk about stuff we'd hung on to or just kept inside till we had some time. Some of the things I communicated to A i hadn't realised I'd felt or was one of those weekends....having the time to think, connect & share.
Our cottage was in the middle of a forest & the boys loved adventuring in the unknowns. They were so curious. Part of me loved their freedom & sense of adventure while another part was terrified they'd be bitten by snakes. A told me it was snake territory & from his country veterinary days he knew that only 50% of dogs bitten by snakes make it ....i was worried. They'd be exploring in bush & suddenly hear an unfamiliar rustle & run as fast as they could back to us with their tales under their bums....we've raised true city dogs.

We both were back to the grind today. I was grateful at least I was returning to a job I enjoyed but for the next 3 nights A is doing nights so we coexist like ships in the night for the next 3 nights & don't really see eachother till Thurs nite. I miss him.

I am grateful we are so connected & loving. Despite the trauma we are experiencing & living through, we have somehow managed to retain our connectedness & togetherness in a deeply solid way. I know this process is hard for couples but for us, while its been challenging it has also bound us closer to eachother & for that im grateful. The flip side of that i think is....while its bound us closer to eachother, its distanced us from others....i do feel more distant than i ever have from my closest friends. Im normally quite a communicative person who enjoys a good rave on the phone with friends. Over the last few years, ive definitely been less social but still enjoyed connecting with friends & since this last miscarriage it seems i cant even manage that. It feels as tho' this whole experience is so personal & difficult that it requires the conserving of energy & huddling together of A & i & unfortunately at the cost of maintaining good communication with my close friends. I know they get it & i know its ok but it does feel like Im quite distanced from them & their lives right now.

My RE consulted with a thyroid specialist about my thyroid results & called me today. Both drs arent worried at all since my thyroxin was totally smack bang in the middle of normal but given i had low level antibodies, they still think its important i retest them in 3 mths. It felt a tad worrying but im choosing to let it go for now (coz really what else am i to do?)...they tell you its normal & nothings wrong at all but then they tell you to retest in 3 other words....there is something going on but we dont know what it is but you do have antibodies but your thyroxin is normal but we dont know what were talking abt & we need to be covering our arse just in case so just retest in 3 mths....i know that sounds very cynical, bitter & untrusting but i do tend to decipher dr speak in that way now.....unfortunately.

Our RE tried to dissuade me from thinking about PGD. From his point of view, it would be very possible to discard good embryos due to a technical flaw in the process so he doesnt really like the idea. Apparently, a coloured type of substance needs to stick to the chromosomes in order for them to be tested & if, for whatever technical reason, the glue doesnt / cant attach to a chromosome, then that embryo is discarded when, according to my RE, it could be a fine embryo. I told A who felt he agreed with RE. The cost though, of not doing PGD is perhaps more unnecessary miscarriages as I get pregnant with embryos that cant survive.

& when i think about that - as strange as it sounds, i feel as though there are two versions of me experiencing this. There is a tough, quite stoic, quite resilient me who recognises RE is probably right & its probably worth just implanting the embryos we do make & riding the wave of miscarriages till we get to that chromosomally normal embryo & though it is torturous, i can handle the process. Then there's another version of me, a far more vulnerable me who feels i cant bare any more of this trauma & who therefore would like PGD if it in any way prevents unncessary traumas.

I think the distinction is time. When im right in it, awaiting bleeding after a miscarriage or knowing im going to lose it when im still effectively pregnant - im the most vulnerable. When im slightly removed from the acuity of it like now when im 2 & a half wks away from the first bleeding days of clots & a tad more resilient.

This w'end I finished Coming to Term. Im very grateful to Nikole for suggesting it. It was reassuring. It recounts all the possible treatments for miscarriage & for most of them, proves them invalid. It explains that most women my age who keep miscarrying will eventually carry a healthy child to term even if it is after 5, 8 or 10 miscarriages. It explains that despite all the women thinking its them, in 90% of cases it is the embryo & so it is, at the end of the day, a numbers game. I dont know why i (& my peer bloggers) are the ones who are forced to play this numbers game & others (most of my friends) dont seem to have the dodgy embryos that cause recurring miscarriage but the fact is - i am here. The book has helped me try to come to terms with my reproductive fate. If this is my lot & im surviving it & eventually we get there then - thats just the way it is for us. (dont get me wrong i hate that this is happening but every now & then i do get a glimpse of acceptance & faith we will get there too in our own time) other times im still angry & loathsome that this is happening.

& as I write this tonight I can feel my right ovary sore & stretching as it prepares to release my egg this cycle. I am ovulating much later than usual this cycle but apparenlty after a miscarriage, thats normal.

There was a time when i didnt recognise this feeling. There was a time when i had never experienced even one miscarriage. The thought of even one was my worst nightmare. I dreaded ever having to have a D&C. I think this is how resilience develops & grows...when there are things we fear & dread & then we survive them, only to face more pain that we never ever knew was possible.....& then we even survive that...& it goes on....& on.

Today I went in again for more blood. One tube only - delightful. I think I only have to have 3 more tests till the biopsy. Im not looking forward to that test.

The local pathologist knows me now, smiles at me differently, with familiarity & maybe even empathy. I told her Ive had 4 miscarriages. She is a sweet young woman who is professional & well meaning. If I have to go have bloods at 7.20am, then at least im going to someone easy to be with.

There are other thoughts, feelings & insights that came to me this w'end that i'd like to share but I guess they'll find their way to these pages in their own time. Im really tired now & my sleep is a precious thing.


Anonymous Nikole said...

I'm glad you had a nice, restful weekend away. It sounds like it was a lovely time. I feel the same way about being able to remain close and connected with my husband. This whole process has definitnely been difficult for us, but I really feel like we are closer and have a much deeper intimacy after being on this journey together. I know how hard this can be on couples, and I'm so, so happy that we seem to be doing okay. We have been seeing a couple's therapist for a few months, and I think that has really helped. The doctors' advice on the thyroid would definitely leave me feeling disappointed as well. I don't want to be "that" patient who is a PITA, but at the same time, if we don't advocate for our healthcare, who will?

I have been thinking a lot about what your friend said about your body maybe not being so good at filtering out abnormal embryos, and this may make sense for me as well. I have had no trouble at all getting pregnant--in fact, I've gotten knocked up every time I've tried, and once when I wasn't trying, so it makes sense. There's a part of me that thinks I will have more miscarriages, but who knows. I know I'll be okay, and I keep the faith that one day, I will have a baby. Glad you're back. lots of love to you!

4:25 AM  
Anonymous Jill said...

Your weekend of relaxation and bonding time with your husband sounds wonderful and just what you needed. I, too, have felt like my miscarriages have drawn my husband and I closer together and strengthened our sense of being a team while they also often have left me feeling a bit isolated from my fertile friends.

I hope that everything turns out to be just fine with your thyroid.

1:56 PM  

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