Last week’s period lasted 4 days. It was lighter than usual, as though I skipped the first two days of heavy flow, so it probably wasn’t a true menstrual period. But it was the first real sign that slowly, slowly, my body is returning to its pre-pregnancy state.
Then, on Monday, I found out that my TSH levels fell into a normal range and, at 2.68, were even below the American Thyroid Association’s recommended upper limit of 3.0. Good news!
And yesterday, I had another ultrasound to see if I needed a more extensive examination called an HSG — which would diagnose any blockages. Even though my period returned by the time yesterday’s appointment came around, Dr. D. still wanted me to proceed with the ultrasound, and I was eager to see what was going on inside.
As with the ultrasound that confirmed there was remaining tissue after I miscarried, this ultrasound wasn’t performed by an ob/gyn but by an ultrasound specialist in the radiology department. I had to drink 32oz (a litre) of water between 7.30 – 8am and hold it for my 9am trans-abdominal ultrasound, then take a delightfully eye-watering trip to the bathroom before a trans-vaginal ultrasound. It wasn’t too bad. The trans-abdominal ultrasound was moderately uncomfortable when the technician pressed the wand on my bladder. The trans-vaginal was fine too. Sheesh, at this point I’ve had so many that I start humming Ian Dury & the Blockheads as I change into my medical gown…
Although I won’t get the official report until tomorrow, the ultrasound technician shared more good news: no blockages, nothing stuck in my cervix, in fact, everything looks great. My uterine lining is exactly the thickness you would expect the week after a period, and my right ovary is about to release an egg!
I was done before 10am and had a few hours to kill before my 2pm appointment with my primary care physician (PCP — or GP if you are in the UK). So, I went to the beach — one of the perks of living in southern California!
My PCP (GP) appointment went without a hitch. Amongst other things, I wanted to see what I could do now to get in the best possible shape before getting pregnant again. Based on the fact that my TSH levels were 1.66 in August 2010, I have theorised that my pregnancy caused my thyroid levels to soar, which could have caused my miscarriage, so I want to make sure my thyroid is happy for pregnancy #2. Dr. M. listened to my theory and happily referred me to an endocrinologist, and I have an appointment at the end of July.
I don’t think we’ll start TTC this month, even though my right ovary is apparently all geared up. Part of me is worried that I am making a bad decision — after all, what if that’s The Egg? The other part of me reminds myself that it would be helpful to have a month of post-pregnancy/miscarriage cycle charting under my belt.
But today I can’t shake the feeling that I’m back where I started six months ago. To have gone through all of this physical trauma and emotional heartbreak and to find myself at square one, but without a baby or bump, makes me incredibly sad. (And, putting it crudely, we have spent thousands of dollars on medical care for me only to have a non-baby.) What has this all been for? I struggle with that question. At times like these that I am envious of people of faith, who entrust that life’s shittiness is ultimately for a higher purpose than mere suffering alone.
Most importantly, I remind myself that there is still emotional healing to be done. Better to let the dust settle first, and enjoy feeling more like myself again. I also can’t shake the feeling that this could happen again so easily. I’m 35, no spring chicken for pregnancy, and although time is of the essence, an extra month surely can’t make all the difference, can it? Isn’t it better that I make sure I am in the best possible place before conceiving, both physically and emotionally? Is it wishful thinking to imagine that by waiting an extra month, I might not be completely destroyed if the worst comes to the worst and I miscarry again?
Quiet tears were shed as I ate my lunch. I am no longer wracked by grief but am learning to live with it. I am beginning to understand what a friend meant when she shared the wisdom a friend gave her after her daughter was born still: You will never be able to move on from this, but the pain will lessen, and you will be able to move on with this. I think I am finally reaching that point.
My miscarriage has changed me. I am the same person, but different and I think I need to get to know this new me.