Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve and Day

This is not at all how I imagined I would be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year. I imagined that I might be feeling yucky, but for completely different reasons....

This past week has been.... among the very worst of my life.

Wednesday, right after we had opened gifts with the kids, we got a call from another doctor! He was the doctor in the office where my original doctor was out on call or whatever, and he called me to try and convince me to come on in that day, get the bloodwork done and a shot. My instincts told me to wait but he was really pushing and condescending on the phone and it really just ruined our day. We decided to go with our original plan because that's what we wanted to do.

Yesterday morning, we went to the doctor first thing for bloodwork. I had decided over night that I wanted to CHANGE my doctor's appointment because I had NO INTEREST in seeing that guy who called me on the phone. When we got to the doctor I tried to change my appointment to someone else, but they told me he was the only one in the office. Now, here comes a part where I really like Kaiser again. They looked at all the other Kaiser offices in the area and found me someone else I could see yesterday afternoon. A lady at the Cobb office. I was relieved that whatever the outcome of the blood work, I would be able to talk to someone different about it...get another opinion.

It was about 4 hours till the appointment, so we drove over, found the office, then had some breakfast. After that we still had 3 hours to go, so we went to see Disney's A Christmas Carol. As soon as that was over, the test results were ready....

From my first doctor's visit a week ago, to yesterday, my hcg levels only rose a total of 85.... numbers that are supposed to double and triple and be in the thousands. We went from seeing a 5 1/2 week empty gestational sac, to seeing nothing but a tiny dot of fluid left. Since my numbers were slowly rising instead of falling and I had not done very much "expelling" of tissue...the doctors were worried that I had an ectopic pregnancy...a pregnancy "somewhere" other than where it could live in the body. They can be very threatening if left alone. I wasn't convinced that that was what was going on since I had hardly any symptoms and did not feel at peace rushing into a drug that would basically "kill" everything in my body. (that drug is also used to treat cancer if that tells you anything)

With my numbers slowly rising and nothing being seen, the NEW doctor that I saw yesterday gave us three options:

1. get my bloodwork done and then get a shot of methotrexate which would dissolve the ectopic pregnancy.

2. wait and see AGAIN, visiting the ER on Saturday to get more hcg drawn to see if it started going down.

3. go to the ER, get another detailed ultrasound done by a different machine to see if anything looked hopeful or different as well as get the bloodwork done I needed for then getting the methotrexate if I wanted to at that point.

I was truly hoping that my hcg was going to go down significantly yesterday morning. That way, the doctors would feel confident that the pregnancy was naturally taking care of itself and I could avoid the harsh drugs and "wondering".

When we got the results, I was not surprised actually, but they had inched up again. We had decided a few days earlier that if the hcg went UP again, and an ultrasound showed nothing, I would feel comfortable doing the shot...since inching up numbers mean that it isn't taking care of itself.

We chose option number three, so we headed over to Northside Hospital to get the ultrasound and blood work done. It wound up being a very long night of waiting that ended with me getting two shots of Methotrexate which felt like two bee stings in my upper "cheeks" (not the face!)

By the time we were finished, it was 8:15 and every place to eat was closed. We hadn't eaten lunch between all the running around and had hoped to be finished at the ER before 6 or so since we had arrived at 3pm, but no such luck. There was a McDonald's in the hospital that was still open, so that's where we had a Christmas Eve meal.

At about 10 till 7 they announced that they were having a Christmas Eve service in the chapel and if I had been wearing clothes, we totally would have gone! I wish now that we had asked and went anyway!

So, that's the story of our Christmas Eve. Today I am laying the bed, feeling nauseous from the drugs. It was a very difficult choice to make, taking that shot. But, I feel we made the best decision we could under the circumstances. We gave it time and prayer and really waited until we had peace with doing it. I know that God can heal and could have taken care of that situation, but we completely put it in his hands and felt at peace with what we decided to do... in order to protect my future fertility and organs, and ultimately, my life. I had to think of my other two children, who need me, and the fact that I didn't want to wait too long on those numbers to go down that it was too late for a simple (though very harsh) drug treatment rather than emergency surgery.

We were satisfied and at peace with the second opinion, the multiple ultrasounds showing NOTHING in my uterus except fluid.... and the still rising hcg levels.

I have to go back Monday to make sure the numbers ARE going down now. They have to follow me till they are zero.

I have discovered that I have now joined a club that has turned out to be not as exclusive as people think. The "miscarriage" club. I never thought it would be me, but it has been now, and I have so many things for which to be thankful. I am thankful that it never became an urgent emergency situation. I am thankful for the fact that we told all our friends on facebook, because it really became a great source of prayer and encouragement for us. I am thankful for two beautifully healthy children who bless our lives every day with humor and love. I am thankful for living near two sets of grandparents and friends who were willing to keep our children for "indeterminable" lengths of time when we would head out to the doctor, never knowing where we would end up by the end of the day. I am thankful for the silent nudgings and guidance of God via conscience or verse.
Last but not least: I am thankful for my husband. He has been so good. He has allowed me to fume about the doctors and share my "gut instinct" and trusted me on it. He has taken care of me and given me humor in the waiting rooms and in the ER, making the time seem not so drab and boring, and lightening the mood everywhere we went. And now, he is in the kitchen making the cheeseball for tonight's gathering, and cooking a hashbrown casserole for us to eat.

I am so blessed.
And one more thing:
A certain verse kept coming to me over and over yesterday, and I know it is from God.
I am taking it as a promise....

Psalm 30:11-12

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.

O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

I remembered posting this verse on my regular blog recently, so I looked back to see when it was. I had posted it the day before Thanksgiving and ended with this thought: Life is great. God is good. Always and still true.


Emily Green said...

Carrie, I have been thinking of you over these holidays. It's not fun to be in that "club". It may happen to many, many people, but eadch time it is a distinct and very personal pain. My prayer was always to trust the Lord to give us the right child at the right time, and I know that is exactly what He did. I do not know the reason for the losses, only that I was happy that it had not taken me years to conceive a it had some I know.

Keep your faith and He will guide you, sustain you and bring you peace and joy. Sending you love and hugs...Emily

Andy's Bethy said...

Joy comes in the morning. Mom's joy came later - I trust completely that your's will too.
I am so thankful for Corey. We are blessed with the men we have in our lives!
I love you Carrie. Remember, one moment at a time. Don't rush yourself emotionally, or physically.

Karen said...

I love your sweet heart...and that you and Corey were able to support each other during this time...and especially that your faith in the Lord saw your both through this and that His strength is what you drew upon each day....

PJ said...

Carrie, my thoughts and prayers have been with you and Corey through this week. Those prayers won't stop. I wish I had some profound words of wisdom and encouragement. I just want you guys to know that we love you and we are here for you, for ANYTHING at ANYTIME!