I give the enchiladas a B-, although I fully acknowledge the fault was mine for injudiciously altering the suggested spices and subsequently blowing the top of my head off. "Spicy" being one thing and "masochism" quite another. Yow.
I am now making the Asian Spiced Pork Ribs with Noodles (ibid.) and have only just remembered, tragically late, how much I loathe and despise Five Spice Powder. Why do I even have it in my cupboard, I ask myself? It is just too sweet smelling to pair with meat, as far as my unsophisticated palate is concerned. Alas, nothing to be done about it now but glower at the Crock Pot for another 6 hours.
Sooooooooooooo, the doctor's appointment and related miscarriage were both such non-events it is hard to even write about them without dozing off. However, there is a housekeeping aspect to blog writing that dictates one cannot just jump from one exciting event (Patrick has an ear infection!) to another (I made chicken enchiladas!) without providing a narrative framework (then the doctor said, "No way!" and I was all, "Uh-HUH!" and she was like, "Shut UP!" and I said, "No you shut up!")
The miscarriage proper was cake. CAKE, I tell you! It was so easy I just wish I had taken it for credit.
Thursday - Spotting; Friday - Bleeding; Saturday (am) An Hour of oh-damn-it painful cramps; Saturday (pm) More bleeding; Sunday - Less bleeding; Monday - Am I even still bleeding?; Tuesday - Spotting; Wednesday/Thursday - Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd allllllllllll done.
So, physically, it was a big notsobadatall. Emotionally, well, I have to admit that I feel happily giddy. Giddily happy. Giddappy. I am walking on sunshine and shedding bluebirds like lint. We have known since the moon was born that this was not going to work out and there is something so repressive about slogging along with a growing-but-doomed pregnancy. You are as far from having a baby as you can possibly be and yet there is nothing to do but kick the curb and wait. So I think of the miscarriage as a very good thing indeed, a harbinger of more hopeful things to come. A flag bearer for Possibilities. Of course, I am well known for my irrepressibility, so I am perhaps not the hundred year mark for this sort of thing. You, for example, might find a miscarriage really fucking depressing. And that is ok too.
At the end of last week I wondered aloud why my doctor was bringing me in again on Monday and I have decided that it was just to chat and see how I was feeling. Isn't that thoughtful? I have had OBs threaten to get restraining orders when I suggested some sort of post-miscarriage follow-up so I find this doctor quite refreshing, what with all of her "compassion" and "concern for my health."
Our conversation went like this:
Did I want to check my hemoglobin levels as I had been bleeding all weekend? No.
Did I want to check hcg? Yes (91 on Monday!! Yay!! Down down down!)
Did I want to have another ultrasound on Thursday? Yes (changed to No after the hcg levels came back, as it is obvious that things are winding up nicely on their own.)
Will we be trying again? You bet yer sweet ass we will.
Will we do IVF again? Um, no thanks! I can miscarry for free.
What about the blastocyst we have in the ice cream chest in DC? We will try an FET (frozen embryo transfer) in the Spring if a) I have not conceived on my own by then [uh, our own] or b) I have conceived but have miscarried again. If the planets miraculously align etc. and I actually get pregnant AND it actually works then we would try an FET in the distant future and (wait, I am laughing so hard my fingers are shaking) try to have a THIRD child. Hoo boy! Maybe we'd better put in another bathroom upstairs, just in case.
And, finally, did we want to try to do genetic testing on this pregnancy or was it a moot point? No, and yes. We had already decided that we would not have the products of conception tested this time around. Mostly because there is no finding (genetically normal; genetically abnormal but not Steve's translocation; genetically abnormal, Steve's translocation) that would change what we will do next. I have already been tested for everything for which there is a test, so if I have miscarried a normal embryo the only thing we could do differently next time would be Heparin/Lovanox to address the single gene MTHFR mutation*. If it was genetically abnormal but the rearrangement was unrelated to Steve's little issue well... that happens, actually. Rather a lot, if you must know. Sometimes embryos are just frelled. C'est la mort. And, if the embryo did carry the same translocation that PGD was supposed to test for but failed to find (again)... ok. So what? PGD is obviously imperfect for translocations (case in point: Me) but it was never presented to us as anything else. Last time this occurred the DC people offered us a vastly reduced price for a second cycle. We will not do IVF again, so that is out. And what else is there? A refund? To be perfectly frank but vulgar, we do not need the money and I am not angry enough to fight about it. In fact, I am not angry at all. We tried it and it did not work for us. Good to know. Time to move on.
Besides, the whole question of genetic testing became irrelevant when I decided to forgo a D&C. Although it is reportedly possible to collect the products of conception for ones self (one's self? onesself? one elf?) and deliver them to an appropriate licensed testing facility there was never one moment during this brief and uneventful miscarriage that I could state with any certainty, "AhHA! There it is! THAT is the product of our conception!" I mean, there was a quantity of gross stuff but it all looked exactly the same and none of it looked remotely test-able. Do you have any idea how small a 5 week gestational sac is? Well, maybe you do, but I don't and as far as I am concerned mine just vanished like Wildfire. So ultimately it didn't matter if we had wanted testing or not.
* The two partners in my doctor's practice (mine is merely their associate) are very hot on immune testing and subsequent treatment if mutations are found. Anecdotally, they feel that they have managed to bring women to term by being more aggressive in their management of potential problems with clotting factors. I met one of the partners a few weeks ago and she suggested that we go with injections of Heparin/Lovanox (I don't remember which) as soon as we start trying again. She admitted this is not standard but also pointed out that we have nothing to lose. My doctor (who was a genetics counselor before med school) is skeptical about calling anything that is present in 50% of the Caucasian population (like the single gene MTHFR mutation I carry) a disease state but said it is up to me. If I would like to try blood thinners with a future pregnancy she will support that. So although I do not really believe that any of my pregnancies failed because of blood clots, I decided what the hell. Why not? Injections are not fun, but after you ride the ART pony it is hard to just dig in the spurs, drop anchor on some windy atoll, and say, Whoa, Nutmeg, hoist the jack-staff. I mean, just have sex? No shots? How very twentieth century.
I am off to Boston tomorrow with bells on my fingers and rings on my toes, so I expect to have music where'er I go. The plan is to spend the weekend cramming my quattro formaggio hole and getting sloppy drunk with "a friend" (she blogs. perhaps you have heard of her. in fact, I'll bet you have. and yet, did you know we were on such terms of intimacy as to share hotel suites? no, no you did not. and why? because I am a very close and guarded person, that's why. because I am totally secretive. honest, it's true. Johnny Tightlips, that's me. yessir.)