“It’s over. It’s over.”
That’s all Breanne could really say the day everything hit her and she finally broke. She had been strong throughout the whole ordeal, and up until that point had somehow held it together. With every doctor’s appointment, every hCG test that wasn’t rising properly, every ultrasound that showed that the pregnancy wasn’t progressing as it should, and even the miscarriage, she managed to stay positive and focused, able to see the silver lining in this dark cloud of infertility. Still, I knew at some point it would hit her. It needed to hit her. Otherwise, how could we move on?
The miscarriage happened on Christmas morning. Yes, you read that correctly – Christmas morning. Certainly not the holiday we had in mind. We were opening presents at Breanne’s parents’ house like we do every Christmas morning, when all of a sudden she started cramping. Being the trooper that she is, she was able to make it through breakfast and opening presents before retiring to her old room to sleep off the cramps. So while Breanne was incapacitated, I headed outside to fry the Christmas turkey on our 80-degree Mississippi Christmas morning. About an hour later, I got a text from Breanne. She was in the bathroom…miscarrying. My heart sank. Not because we didn’t expect this – we did and had prepared ourselves – but the timing of it seemed like a cruel joke.
She said the rest of the day was a blur for her. If you remember from my last post, Breanne LOVES Christmas. We have a tradition of eating Christmas dinner with the Ivy crew (her mom’s family) and playing games afterwards, so Breanne was determined not to miss out on the festivities. So I passed her her straightener and make-up bag through the bathroom door so she could slowly get ready, she “hopped on the saddle” (a term I wish I had never learned), and we headed over to the Ivy’s with a bag of feminine products and pain relievers in hand. Breanne wasn’t quite herself while we were over there – she even relinquished her duties as Dirty Santa coordinator to her sister. At that point, I knew she didn’t feel good! Despite the difficult timing of our loss, we wound up having a great night surrounded by family, which is exactly what we needed. It turns out that having the miscarriage occur on Christmas Day was a blessing in disguise.
We had an appointment with Breanne’s OB/GYN the Tuesday after Christmas. The ultrasound confirmed that the pregnancy was officially over. There was no longer a sac. Ironically, we looked at each other with relief. After what we went through on Christmas morning, we had hoped the worst of it was over. Her hCG was still measuring at 3,100, so we were instructed to keep checking it every week to confirm that it was continuing to decrease. A plateau or rise meant a D&C (surgery).
The next day was Breanne’s first full day back at work since the holidays. I had taken the entire week off, so I walked her to her car and climbed right back in bed. A few minutes later, Breanne was back home. I knew something was up. I greeted her with a “Well hey there!” She just stood in the doorway to our bedroom, shook her head, and started crying. And even though my wife always gets bummed every year when Christmas is over, I knew that wasn’t what the tears were for. She had finally broken. And in a way, I was relieved. She’s such a fighter that she often blocks out her emotions to keep her mind focused on the process and our goal of being parents, but sometimes it’s good for her to stop fighting and just feel. And when the tears slowed down long enough for her to speak, she whispered, “It’s over. It’s over.”
She was right, the pregnancy was over. This chance was over. But here we are almost 5 weeks later, and even though the pregnancy is over, it feels like the miscarriage isn’t. We’re still waiting for her hCG levels to drop below 5 and for her cramping and bleeding to stop. A week after Christmas, her hCG had only dropped 300 points, from 3,100 to 2,800. We felt so far from the end. We wanted the bandage ripped off, not slowly pulled back. A week later, her level had dropped all the way to 850. We high fived each other when the lab called us with the “good” news. When people say infertility is like being on a roller coaster, boy are they right! A few weeks ago, we were praying with everything we had that her levels would keep rising. Now we are celebrating every drop. She’s now at 59, which means this should all be over in a couple weeks.
We appreciate the outpouring of love we received since we posted that the pregnancy was likely not viable. I can’t say enough how everyone’s thoughts and prayers are felt and have helped us keep going. We’ll always hold a special place in our hearts for this embryo and the hope it brought us – our first pregnancy! Now we’re ready to use that hope to push forward to the next step – Transfer #3, coming Spring 2017.