I should be posting a happy update after my appointment yesterday but instead I am here to write about a nightmare that Ken and I have to live through yet again. We arrived at my appointment yesterday to meet the OB here in Harrisburg. He went over my records, we talked for a little bit and then he did the ultrasound. He found the beautiful little embryo, measuring right on track at 7 weeks 2 days, with a nice strong heartbeat that we listened to and took a video of: 156 beats per minute. Then, because of my complicated anatomy, he started looking around to figure out exactly where the baby is located. I’ve written before about my complicated anatomy: I have a left unicornuate uterus with what we had always been told was a “non-communicating rudimentary horn” on the right side. We had always been told it would be impossible for me to get pregnant on that side, which was a good thing because that side would be unable to sustain a pregnancy. It’s too little, not stretchy enough, and isn’t connected to the birth canal so would make birth (or even a C-Section for that matter) quite complicated. So the doctor looked around a bit and was pretty sure he was seeing this pregnancy in that right-sided horn. He wasn’t entirely certain though, and there was still some doubt in his voice about whether his orientation was off or whether things had been put back funny after my C-section such that right was now left. He printed some pictures of the pretty little bean, and said he’d see us back in 2 weeks and we’d figure out at that time what is going on.
Everyone loves being told to “wait and see,” especially two Type A professionals like me and Ken… so we immediately decided we didn’t like that approach and we called the father of Julia’s babysitter, who happens to be an MFM doctor. He was working in his Columbia, Maryland office yesterday, but said he’d be happy to see us without a referral, to do some additional imaging. So we left and drove down to Columbia. He pretty quickly confirmed exactly what we didn’t want to hear: this pregnancy is located in the rudimentary horn of my unicornuate uterus and his recommendation was to terminate the pregnancy. He said there’s a small chance that this pregnancy could make it in my horn, but chances are we are putting my life at risk because there’s a very strong possibility that my uterus could rupture. In that case, I would need an emergency hysterectomy.
He called the OB to give them an update, then called the MFM in Harrisburg to find out if they could handle my case. What I have going on is so rare and bizarre that they didn’t quite know how to handle it, so they said to call the doctors at Hopkins. I would never go to Hopkins for routine medical care but when you have something weird and strange going on, Hopkins is a great resource to have close by.
So tomorrow morning at 8:15 AM, Ken and I will be heading down to the Johns Hopkins Center for Fetal Therapy to meet with a world-renowned MFM. They will do their own ultrasound to find out what we are dealing with, and will counsel us on steps to take moving forward. Most likely their recommendation will be to do a “direct injection” into the gestational sac. This injection would stop the baby’s heart. After that, depending on exactly what the anatomy in there is like, my body would either expel the “products of conception” or they would become calcified or re-absorbed by my body. At some point we will also likely be speaking to a Reproductive Endocrinologist about the possibility of removing the rudimentary horn and/or tying off the tube on that side to make sure that no future pregnancy could ever happen on that side.
Right now I still feel somewhat in shock and disbelief. It’s so hard to reconcile the fact that we saw a beautiful and strong heartbeat with the fact that we will be terminating this pregnancy tomorrow. It’s so hard to believe this is all happening again, exactly a year after my partial molar pregnancy. It’s hard to believe I’ll have to go through weeks or possibly months of follow-up again to make sure my body is doing what it’s supposed to do and properly expelling the pregnancy. It’s hard to believe that yet again we have to put off our plans to have another baby. We wanted this baby so badly and here we are again, having that dream taken away from us. I don’t know if we can go through this pain and heartbreak again and right now I don’t know if it’s worth it to have another baby. Julia is such an amazing little girl and it’s a miracle that she’s here and healthy. Maybe we should just be grateful to have her and we should stop trying all together. Obviously we are not in a place to even talk or think about trying again but I know that having this dream taken from us twice hurts more than anything has ever hurt before. My heart feels broken and my eyes feel like they have run out of tears. I know that we have to be strong for Julia but it so hard to stay strong when on the inside I feel like I’m being torn apart.