In many ways our loss this month is very different than the loss we experienced last year. First: last year’s loss was the first time we were faced with that kind of sadness and devastation, so in some ways this one seems like less of a shock (it’s as though the world is playing a cruel trick on us). Second: last year all we had was an empty gestational sac that had to come out one way or another whereas this year we had a healthy little embryo with a healthy little heartbeat. Third: last year the physical loss was significantly more traumatic than what I’ve gone through so far because I had to have 2 D&Cs with weekly HCG tests for 3 months afterwards, and I had bleeding and cramping for the entire time between the first D&C and the second one. This time, I had the injection on Friday and since then have had nothing but minor cramping for the first day or two.
Right now I feel as though I’m in this very weird in-between stage between being pregnant and not being pregnant. My body still thinks I’m 2 months pregnant. The doctors anticipated that between Friday (when we got the methotrexate injection) and today, my HCG levels would rise, which means my body still thinks it’s preparing to house an embryo for the next 7 months. I’m still experiencing some of the physical signs of pregnancy: sore and tender breasts, hunger every 2 hours, occasional light-headedness/queasiness. But I know that on Friday the doctors injected the sac with methotrexate to terminate the pregnancy and I know that whatever is still inside of me needs to be reabsorbed or come out somehow. Physically nothing is happening at the moment: I’m not bleeding or cramping, so it feels like once again, my body is failing me and doesn’t know what to do. My body thinks I’m pregnant but my mind knows I’m not, and that’s a weird place to be.
I’m hoping that on Wednesday we’ll be able to see what size the gestational sac is and we’ll have a better understanding of when we can expect things to happen, when my body will start to expel this pregnancy, when my HCG levels will come down, when we can expect to schedule the surgery to remove the horn, and then when we can try again (if we decide that’s what we want). We want to have the surgery done as soon as possible, but we also need to make sure we have some additional help at home around the time the surgery is scheduled. My mom has a trip planned to Harrisburg for mid-February, and Ken’s parents are planning to come for his birthday weekend. If we can schedule it around their trips, that would be ideal since they’re already planning to be here and we could have help from my mom and then from Ken’s parents, but if waiting until their trips are scheduled means delaying the whole process more than necessary we might just see if we can get some help from local friends and family (cousins, friends in Baltimore who might be able to help out a bit, etc.)
One of the weirdest parts of this pregnancy loss is that we are in such a small group of people who have experienced this specific type of loss such that there is so little information out there about what we can expect. I didn’t have a normal ectopic pregnancy so people who had normal ectopics can’t really tell me what to expect. Last year at least I had a lot of friends who had undergone D&C’s and they could tell me what to expect. Nobody we know has experienced this so we don’t really know what we’re facing in terms of my numbers dropping or the physical symptoms I am likely to endure in the next few weeks. So we feel very alone in this experience and unsure of what the future may bring.