Inferior Imitator

ep·i·gone n. A second-rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or a philosopher.

Friday, April 11, 2014


I've come to accept that I don't live in a world where positive pregnancy tests mean you're going to have a baby. At least it was a new ending this time. Instead of "there's no heartbeat" we got "I can't find anything". A more sensitive ultrasound showed "something" in my fallopian tube. A week of slowly increasing betas, and a New Year's morning where I thought I was passing a kidney stone led to another ultrasound showing the "something" in my tube had grown to fill it. It had bled, but there was no active bleeding, so I took the option to take chemotherapy drugs to stop the growth of the "something", leaving surgery for backup.

My numbers decreased well over the next two weeks, but another Friday night and Saturday morning of pain sent me to the ER with internal bleeding. The "something" had increased in size due to the bleeding, and I was going to rupture. They did emergency surgery to remove the damaged tube and ovary. I'm a couple months out from surgery, and doing fine.

This one was the easiest, ever since I started crying in the exam room before the very first ultrasound. I didn't *know* something was wrong, but my body obviously knew it. Maybe it helps that the blastocyst never resolved itself into anything, and I didn't have to (get to) see that little shape on the screen, with a head and arms and legs that was supposed to be my baby. Maybe I was so caught up in the physical trauma that the emotional stuff took a backseat. Maybe I'm becoming desensitized to pregnancy loss.

My recurrent pregnancy loss panel didn't show anything aside from my progesterone problems, which we've already got under control. From everything I've read, having only one tube or ovary doesn't decrease your chances much, as the remaining parts just take over. My right ovary was less responsive to medication anyway, so taking it out of the rotation might actually be a good thing.

Since my tubes weren't blocked and ectopics aren't really caused by anything, it's still the "bad luck" diagnosis. I saw a reproductive endocrinologist at the University hospital for a second opinion, and that was a comfort. She confirmed we were on the right track, put me on some extra medication to be on the safe side, and I go back in six months if we're not pregnant or if we have another loss.

The due date for my second pregnancy passed without fanfare last month. All the women I know who got pregnant about the same time I did have now had their babies, so it's been pretty painful getting all that news. We're trying again, because it hurts more to not try than to try. In the meantime, we're trying not to live our lives on hold.

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