Saturday, February 14, 2009

My So-Called Luck

The thing is, I'm an idiot.

I mean, of course in retrospect, it's easy to see what happened. But how could I have become so willing to believe things were fine when all the evidence was right there? The thyroid specialist said my levels were consistent with post-partum thyroiditis. My iron levels dropped like crazy, really seriously in a short amount of time. And the quad-screen results were too wacky, showing too many different possibilities. Down syndrome shows up as low AFP and uE3 with high hCG. Trisomy 18 shows low levels of all markers. SLOS is indicated by extremely low uE3. Demise shows as high AFP and hCG and low uE3. See? It doesn't make any sense.

And yet my OB looked genuiniely shocked to hear that there was no heartbeat. As shocked as I was, really. I honestly don't think she would have proceeded as confidently as she did if she had thought there was even a chance of this. And, looking back, I guess I wouldn't have, either.

I never really got the hang of the doing my own doppler. I only got it after my last appointment with the OB, when we heard a great fetal heartbeat of 150. I never heard anything over 142, but that's within the normal range of 120 - 175, and actually 140 is dead-on average for a 17 week fetus. It's also pretty average for a nervous woman with no iron in her blood. It was my own heart-rate I was picking up. I had my last appointment with my OB at 14w5d, which is pretty much what the ultrasound measured. So I probably never even had the chance to find the real fetal heartbeat - a few days later it was most likely not even there, but my own blind confidence never ever let me consider that as an option.

I was so attached to the idea of staying calm and not freaking out over everything that I didn't even notice the obvious signs. Like my own post about how much my body didn't want to be pregnent. I just hung onto the fact that second trimester miscarriages are rare. I thought the NT scan results and the good heartbeat were enought to hang my hopes on. NT and first trimester screening tests are much more accurate than the second trimester tests for Down syndrome, and a strong hearbeat and appropriate growth are pretty good indicators of viability. I let myself stop being a nervous wreck. And although I KNOW that being more hypervigilant wouldn't have saved this baby, it might have helped me figure it out sooner, so that at least I might have had a chance to know what really happened.

I don't know much about the d&e. The doctor came to talk to me afterwards and said it would be almost impossible to do genetic testing on the tissues because of the length of time since the demise. They will analyze the placenta, but it had detiorated significantly. I never knew what really made this pregnancy happen in the first place, so I had to accept "luck" as the reason. And now I'll probably never know what happened to end it, so "luck" will have to take the blame, too.


Nikki said...

This is so tough Lorraine. I'm very sorry for your pain and your loss.

Don't blame yourself for not knowing. How could you? If the OB was surprised to not find a hb, how could you have known? You needed to be focusing on being positive and confident, and you were doing a great job at that, considering everything you had been through to get where you were.

I'm sorry for everything you're going through. Please know that you have friends in the blog world that are praying for you and sending you much love and healing vibes.


PJ said...

Oh, how is anyone ever supposed to know whether things are going well or whether they have gone awry, especially given all of the positive signs along the way.

Please be kind to yourself.

I'm so very sorry. It was hard, hard, hard to deal with a miscarriage at 8 weeks, I can't even imagine 17 weeks.

My heart goes out to you Lorraine.

Lost in Space said...

Oh, Lorraine, I am so sorry. There is just no way you could have known, hun. No way. All the signs in the world could be there and we still hold onto hope that all will be fine. Many hugs, sweetie.

Midlife Mommy said...

You are not an idiot, and if things wear going well enough to fool your doctor, how could you have known differently? I read all of your posts, and it sounded like there were some issues (everyone has something, don't they?) but nothing that sounded really bad.

My heart aches for you. I am so very, very sorry. Please don't blame yourself. You didn't do anything wrong.

Big hugs.

Sky said...

Lorraine, such a tough break. You did everything you could have (and more) and you loved this baby.

Sending you hugs and warmth during such a difficult time.


Sarah said...

i was going to say what pretty much everyone else has. and honestly i think that all of us dealing with infertility expect somethingto go wrong at some point, so when you have your 'something' you don't necessarily worry about the other things, if that makes any sense. you felt like you knew the problems you were supposed to be worried about, how would you have thought of this?

i'm just so sorry for your loss.

Shelby said...

No one has a crystal ball in this. Don't expect that of yourself. All you can do is hope for the best and you did. While I'm a believer in intuition, I also believe that with already having a history of loss, you may have been tuning in to that feeling we've been taught to always have with IF: expect the fall. There is no way to know really whether it will come, though.

Lorraine, you are very often in my thoughts and I am wishing you peace and healing as much as it is possible. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

Jill said...

Words can't describe how sorry I am for your loss. I can't imagine the pain that you feel, but just want you to know that I'm praying for you. There was no way for you to have known this. Please take care of yourself. ((hugs))

Sky said...

Just a big hug Lorraine. Hope you're doing a little better. I'm not liking the sad news lately. :(

Lisa DG said...

Jeez I wish I could take it all away. I aggree with Nikki in that you needed to hold onto the positive. A loss this late is a devastating loss.I am so sorry, and am here for you.

Kami said...

How awful.

I understand being hopeful in the face of facts - in fact, subconsciously ignoring the facts. I did the same thing with our first child.