Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why is it SO hard to care about someone's feelings?

Today is March 31st. That means tomorrow is April Fool's Day. Most of us really enjoy this day, and for good reason. It can be fun. However, some people really go overboard, and do so without thinking about someone else's feelings.

For the last few days, the "pregnancy is not a joke" pictures have been going around. I made a status about this, and have noticed a few friends sharing the photos (and even some who have shared my status!). I was quite surprised at the responses I got to my status. It makes me happy to know that I may have made someone stop and think "Wow, I have never looked at it that way before". I'm so proud at the attention these photos have gotten over the past few years! It still isn't getting the point across to most people, though. In fact, four minutes after I posted the simple, informative status about this subject, someone reported it to try and get it taken down. This was probably someone who is sick of me advocating for infertility and loss (they don't care), or it was someone who had this BRILLIANT joke planned and I ruined it. I was shocked that someone would do such a thing.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are still in that "get over it" mindset. If you click on the original photos shared by organizations, you'll see a lot of rude comments. Here are some examples (with some replies I would like to give!):

1) "I don't care if my friends take offense to this. I'll do it anyway. If jokes offend you, then you need to delete your Facebook. It's not my problem."

Of course it isn't your problem. You should be glad that it isn't your problem, and I'm sure you are. However, why are you so uncaring? You probably have multiple Facebook friends who are struggling with infertility and/or pregnancy/infant loss, and you just said that you don't care -that it isn't your problem. That means you are not a nice person. I don't even really have a good response to this, except for...you will live a very sad life with that attitude. That is karma right there. Have fun with that.

2) "People who lose babies or are infertile are way too sensitive."

You know what, I'll actually agree to this statement. It is true in most cases. I am way too sensitive, and I'll shout that from the rooftops. It is common knowledge. However, we aren't asking you to do anything crazy except for stop making pregnancy a joke, when to us, it isn't. It's pretty simple. It hurts. Hurting someone should be something you try NOT to do. I personally try my best to not hurt someone else. I know that I have before, but I always try to make it right, as everyone should.

3) "Stop playing the victim card. You're just looking for attention."

Wow. See #1, but I can assure you that we are not looking for attention. We want to inform others and be an advocate for something we are experiencing, because it is still taboo. It is clear by this comment and the rest of these that we still have a long way to go.

4) "Just because you're struggling doesn't mean I can't have fun. Get over yourselves."

I see "get over yourselves" quite often, and this one is just awful. I'm not going to "get over" my losses. It doesn't work that way. I'm also not going to just get over the fact that people are jerks and many don't understand how painful infertility and loss is. Again, why is it so hard to actually care about how someone else is feeling? Being selfish gets you nowhere. Also, there are plenty of ways to have fun on April Fool's Day without hurting someone else just so you can get a forced laugh out of someone else - because let's be honest, nobody is going to believe you're actually pregnant. It's overdone.

These are comments that I personally cannot even begin to understand. What I can understand is the ignorance behind it - if you haven't been there, you won't understand. What I don't understand is the lack of empathy people have. I know the world isn't a nice place sometimes, but until I lost babies, I never knew how absolutely awful some people are. It's true, some people only care about themselves, and I don't understand that at all. (Most) of these people wouldn't make jokes about a relative dying, cancer, etc, but they're fine about joking about pregnancy because they just don't see how it could hurt someone. This is understandable, but that is why we are trying to show HOW it can hurt someone.

Now, since so many people do not understand why this joke is hurtful, let me explain. Imagine (and I say to imagine this, but this will be hard to do) that you have been trying to get pregnant for over two years. You've given up hope that it will ever happen for you. You've cried a million tears, and prayed a million prayers. One day, you wake up a couple of days before your period is due, and as you always do at this time of the month, you take a cheap pregnancy test. You lay the test aside, because, let's be honest, it will be negative just like it has been for the past twenty-six months. You shower, and when you get out, you reach for your towel and realize...there is a second line. You're in disbelief, and the happy tears start flowing. You cannot BELIEVE it! You're finally pregnant! You spend the next six weeks absolutely overjoyed. You're the happiest you've been in years, when...BAM. You start bleeding. A visit to your doctor confirms your worst fear...your baby has died. You spend a week in agonizing physical and emotional pain. But the emotional pain never goes away.

THIS is why pregnancy is not a joke to some of us. Pregnancy is serious. It's hard to achieve, hard to maintain, and hard to think about for many of us. The fact that some people take it so lightly...we don't understand it. We will never understand it. Seeing someone make a joke about being pregnant and then saying "HAHA! Just kidding! Thank GOD I'm not really pregnant!!!" sends a jolt of pain into our hearts. Should we feel this way? Well, a lot of people think we shouldn't, but it is something most of us can't help. All that we ask for is a bit of empathy. If you want to call your husband, sister, or mom and make this joke, so be it. But doing it for all of us to see is hurtful. Most of us prefer to at least be hidden from said post if you are going to do it, but remember, most people struggling with infertility and/or pregnancy loss aren't vocal about it. You're hurting people without even knowing it.

This last point was brought to my attention by someone else. I have unfortunately lost two pregnancies and have been trying to conceive for a year and counting. I'm very open about this. My Facebook friends know all of this about me. If I were to make a joke tomorrow about being pregnant, my friends and family would be shocked and think I was sick. Because how sick would it be for me, who has struggled, to make a joke about that? That's not funny! Yet, most of the people thinking that wouldn't think twice about making the same joke TO me or for me to see. That is a problem. It has a simple solution, and that is empathy.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Due Date #1

My sweet Sunny was due today. I hard a really emotional day yesterday but so far today I have only cried once! I don't really feel like typing so I will just add pictures today. The top one is something my husband gave me. The bottom two are part of my Facebook post.

Also, unfortunately last night I took a pregnancy test and there was definitely a squinter there. Even my husband could see it. We got excited, hoping that we would wake up this morning to a rainbow baby bfp. Unfortunately, the line is even lighter, just a shadow. All lines were there before the time limit and gradually faded out after the time linit. I am not sure if it is a chemical or what, but it is still sad. I really hope next month is it for us.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A bit of hope.

I called another OB last Friday and I got an appointment!

I am excited, to say the least. However, I know it is very likely that I will be told the same thing by him. It is worth a try, though. My appointment is April 7th, so if I have my 11 day luteal phase I will be on cycle day 24. If I ovulate normally around cd18, I will be about 6dpo. So if he agrees to the lovenox, it will come just in time!

I am 7dpo today. My temps are still a bit low this cycle, most likely due to cold weather and it being post-d&c. I really doubt I will be pregnant this cycle. As much as I would love to be, I am kind of scared. Okay, really scared. However, it would be great to be pregnant next month (assuming we will still be on the same insurance) because we will save a lot of money since we have met our deductible. Assuming it is a healthy pregnancy. It would also be good because I will have had a month to get my homocysteine levels down even a bit. However, I would have to have gotten really lucky to get pregnant on the second try. I will take what I can get. It isn't in my hands.

My due date with Sunny, my first angel, is this Friday. I'm sure I will be a mess...bit I am hoping that somehow it isn't as bad as I am expecting it to be. It is definitely sad. I really hoped I would be pregnant on this day, so that it would make it less painful. Now, of course, there will be even more pain since we have lost another baby and we know now it could have probably been prevented if somehow I had known about my MTHFR defect.

Oh! Also - on my old labs, I saw that they checked my progesterone level at 7dpo...which was just a few days before my bfp with my living child, Audrey. It was 7. Which is low. I'm not sure how I had her. But I am glad we are adding progesterone suppositories next time.

❤ Until next time!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

No luck so far...

Yesterday, I called another OB office (I had two names constantly recommended to me in a Facebook post I made) and inquired about a consultation. They just happened to be in the same office. The receptionist was awesome! The office I am currently with is so busy that no receptionist has ever spent any more time on the phone with me than necessary. It is rush, rush, rush, all the time. "Please hold" etc. This receptionist actually talked to me and even told me to tell her what was going on to see if she had any idea of how to help me. Unfortunately, she didn't, but she did say she couldn't believe my doctor wasn't even looking into it for me.

She also told me that Doctor #1, the OB who apparently deals with a lot of high risk patients, is completely booked through October with OB patients. Even if he could get me in for GYN, I couldn't use him as a doctor. Doctor #2 was also highly recommended, but he isn't taking GYN patients, only OB, so she told me I could call back as soon as I got a BFP. Sigh. I didn't think of this until a few minutes ago, but part of me considered asking if I could get in to see Doctor #1 for my yearly in two months, and then bring this up and see if he can speak to Doctor #2 for me. But then again, he may not even agree with the correct treatment either, although I think he is my best bet. However, this office has a) a sweet receptionist, b) awesome nurses, and c) an online charting system that I can use to view labs and leave messages to my nurse and doctor.

I also had a Doctor #3 to call, however I had some mixed reviews on him. He closed early yesterday due to inclement weather and is also closed today, so I will have to try tomorrow. I have a friend that really likes him, but agrees that he isn't very personable. She did say he is intelligent, focused, and super kind, and that his nurse is super sweet as well and answers messages quickly. However, the person who told me that has never had any issues with miscarriage or any other pregnancy complications. The person who made me nervous has had two losses and used him for one of them, and she said he was very blunt and made her even more upset. I really don't want a lot of sympathy, but if I have another miscarriage, I don't want someone to make me hurt even more. I'm not sure about this guy, but I am willing to meet him and see. I just worry, because a lot of times doctors will act one way and then later on act another.

Lastly, I called my nurse. I hate talking to her. She wasn't rude this time, just rushed (as always). She was at home yesterday since my OB does surgeries on Wednesday's. She told me that my OB doesn't ever prescribe a blood thinner, and if he does, it is only baby aspirin. She kind of hinted that he has maybe prescribed lovenox before, but made it apparent that it wasn't in my situation. I'm just not thrilled...it isn't hard to read two paragraphs on my lab work about my condition and gather that something further should be done. She did agree to checking my homocysteine levels (which are what need to be checked to see if I need the blood thinner), but told me to wait until I got pregnant. That doesn't make any sense. Also, what does it matter, if they won't prescribe a blood thinner even if it shows I need one? It just doesn't make any sense at all.

I'm going to try Doctor #3, and then go from there. I'm really worried that I won't be able to find a doctor who will manage this appropriately and that I will be "winging" the next pregnancy. I only hope that baby aspirin and progesterone will be enough in addition to my new supplements. Baby aspirin didn't help me last time, but maybe folate/b vitamins and progesterone will?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Always get copies of your labs, ladies...

Yesterday, I went to get a copy of my lab work. I have never done that before, but with so many things on the test, I felt like I needed to. I also just really felt like I needed to look at it myself.

I am pretty angry. I really like my doctor, but I am not very happy with them at the moment and am seriously considering switching out of their office completely. He is actually the third doctor I have used in that office. The first one I used for a gynecologist, but he was going to stop delivering babies starting three months before I was due, so I had to switch out.. The second one was sweet but super busy. I had an issue in my one full-term pregnancy and they basically just let me hurt because they were too busy to call me back and I almost ended up in L&D. Then that doctor also rushed my c-section (I still feel it was very unnecessary, as do my mother and MIL, who both have medical experience), and then blew off my PPD. That is when I switched to the doctor I am using now.

They're all in the same office, and this office is extremely busy, and I am honestly sick of it. I know if you're someone with super easy pregnancies with no issues, they would be fine. But I will be honest - I feel like a number. The only doctor that always got back to me immediately was my gynecologist. He always called me back himself, never had his nurse do it. He thoroughly explained lab results, spent time asking me questions and listening to my answers, etc.

So anyway, I got my lab results yesterday. Everything on there except for one thing was as they said, negative, which is really good. However:

1) The lab work has all of my information at the top, and one of the things it includes is when it was entered into the system both times - with what to test for, and the results. Apparently, my results were received at 5pm on February 19th. I never got a phone call. Instead, they made me wait an entire week until *I* called them. That makes me feel like I'm not important to them. They would have been calling any pregnant woman immediately with the results of their blood work. Plus, I had told the nurse when she ordered my blood work that I only had a few synthroid pills left, and needed a refill. Instead of ordering it through our local lab which would have results the next day, she sent it out knowing it would take a week. I called her on the 16th and found that out (she told me it would probably be another week), so she knew I was needing it. Yet she made me wait another week after they received it. Very unprofessional.

2) The only thing "wrong" with me. High homocysteine levels, right? Wrong. My homocysteine levels were not even checked. However, they did test me for MTHFR. I have been assuming that I have this, and they hinted that I did on the phone, but didn't come out and say it. I am homozygous MTHFR C677T. Which is one of the worst combos to have, apparently. It means I am at risk for blood clots during pregnancy. Why didn't they just tell me what I have? Also, on the note, it says I am at a higher risk for recurrent pregnancy loss, yet my nurse told me that my OB "doesn't feel like it causes miscarriages". The note also says to check my fasting homocysteine levels to see if I need a blood thinner or not. This was never mentioned to me, as they told me they were high. So they are just assuming I have high levels instead of doing the appropriate blood work to find out, which is pure laziness. I'm also not really happy, because they didn't mention a blood thinner on the phone, I just assumed I would be on one with this, but now after hearing this and putting 2 and 2 together, I'm pretty positive he will say he doesn't believe in it. I'll be finding that out for sure.

Basically, I am already feeling like I need to switch out of that office entirely and into an office that actually has time to take care of me and my babies. I'm not one of those people who is totally cool with having multiple miscarriages before she tries certain things out (that are already thought to be necessary with their issues). Who is? Everyone suffering from RPL wants a healthy baby. Why can't doctors actually do research and not lie to their patients? What is wrong with actually doing your job correctly?

Livid! To make matters worse, if I had known I had this specific form of MTHFR, I would not have been TTC this cycle. I would have waited at least one more month for all of the supplements to start building up. However, I am on cd23 today, and it looks as if I ovulated yesterday. We babydanced the two days prior to that. Just in case I didn't, we aren't babydancing anymore.

I had three days of positive OPK, and it turned negative today. My chart is hard to read because my temps are ALL over the place, but I will know tomorrow I guess. I still don't know whether to forgive my doctor and just call and tell them what's up, then see about lovenox, or just start "interviewing" other doctors. I really don't know.