Spotting is every woman's worst nightmare during pregnancy, and it is very common in early pregnancy, especially with IVF, and unfortunately, I started spotting. After talking with the IVF nurses, they determined that spotting I was experiencing was part of the "normal" and not concerning. However, they offered me a blood test for "peace of mind"...and who doesn't want "peace of mind?" So, I went to get what I considered routine blood work. I was so unconcerned about it that when the doctor called me a few hours later it took me a second to remember why they were calling me....then, the realization that the DOCTOR and not the NURSE was calling me stopped me in my tracks. I was volunteering at the Convoy of Hope, a ministry event that our church was helping with, but I hurried out to talk to the doctor.
It was not my normal doctor, and he was asking me tons of questions about the dates of my previous blood work because my HCG results were much lower than expected (1100 HCG, should have been 10k). However, he thought that there was a mistake in the dates of my previous tests, but after I confirmed them he said there was strong evidence that I was miscarrying again. I was devastated, and was thankful for the Lord's grace that allowed me to find Evan immediately despite being separated in a sea of 10,000 people. We scheduled an ultrasound and blood work for the next morning, and left the ministry immediately. Our friends started praying for us after seeing us leave so upset, and were very supportive while we waited for more information from the doctor. We spent the evening crying, praying for the Lord's healing hand and wisdom in the situation, and distracting ourselves with pizza and Netflix.
The ultrasound and blood work on Sunday confirmed we were miscarrying, and there was some evidence that this may be another ectopic pregnancy on the left side (the same side as with Hayden before). This was particularly confusing, since IVF shortcuts past fallopian tubes during and should decrease our chances of another ectopic pregnancy.
After more blood work and ultrasounds on Tuesday with the specialist, they confirmed that it was a left side ectopic pregnancy. The header image for this post is the confirmation ultrasound. The doctor, nurses, and tech were pushing heavily to have surgery to remove the tube and pregnancy for because ectopic pregnancies are dangerous and typically require medical intervention and because leaving the damaged tube would increase the likelihood of more future ectopic pregnancies on that side.
After lots of distress, turmoil, questions, prayer, and talking with family, we decided to go forward with the surgery. My mom wisely reminded me that while there was nothing we could do to save the life inside of me, we had made a commitment to give each of our frozen embryos their best possible chance at life, and that leaving the tube in would jeopardize that. This strongly resonated with us, and we felt peace going forward.
Then, in a sudden change of events, right before our scheduled surgery, my HCG dropped dramatically. This indicates that my body had begun to progress through the miscarriage naturally. When the HCG drops, the intense risk of tubal rupture decreases, and the doctor did not want to do the surgery any longer. However, Evan and I still felt strongly about having the surgery due to the tubal damage and the hope to reduce a future left-side tubal ectopic pregnancy. We felt that the doctors had spent an entire day telling us that we needed to have the surgery more for future concerns than the imminent risks (since there are other non-surgical ways to resolve the imminent risk). Despite our desire, many more tests, several disagreements among the doctors, and our best efforts, our surgeon decided not to go forward with the surgery, which was incredibly disheartening.
This miscarriage continued to progress naturally on its own with only minor complications. We were left completely heartbroken with emotional whiplash from the devastating loss from all the changing medical decisions.