Here I am begging for prayers again! I am going to have a surgery on Tuesday with Dr. S. This is a long post – feel free to skim.
Most of you know that I had my third miscarriage in July. Because I was just about to leave on a big family vacation to the beach, I opted to have a D&C. This was my first time having a D&C and it may have been the worst decision I have ever made. Everything seemed to be going fine. I had signs of ovulation about a month later, and about two weeks after that, when I would expect my period, I had two days of very light spotting. This was accompanied by pelvic pain and the need to pee a lot! I kept telling my husband that I felt like I had fluid swirling around in my lower abdomen. It was really uncomfortable – even to walk. I thought that I must have had an anovulatory cycle accompanied by a bladder infection based on the symptoms. So, the following month I took my temperatures a few times to confirm that I actually ovulated. I had signs of ovulation and the temps corresponded. But last week, I was out of town and got hit by all the same symptoms. I was helping lead a day and a half workshop and kept having to run out of the room to hit the bathroom and
I was popping ibuprofen the whole time! I knew then that something was wrong.
So, I consulted Dr. Google. I kept typing in my symptoms and a website for Asherman's Syndrome popped up every time. No, no, no, I thought – I went onto all the regular message boards, but was not finding anyone describing what I was going through. So, I finally clicked on the Asherman's website, went to their list of symptoms, and realized that they were describing what I was going through. Asherman's Syndrome is scar tissue in your uterus that is most often caused by an overly aggressive D&C. The potential side effects are devastating – diminishment or complete loss of a period, permanent infertility, miscarriages, high risk pregnancies (placenta previa, incompetent cervix, and worse!). It can also cause endo because if your cervix or uterus are scarred shut, and you are still building an endometrial lining, it cannot be passed from the body during a period – instead it flows back into your abdominal cavity. I started googling Asherman's and every website said the same thing, "rare disorder, rare disorder, rare disorder." I feel like I am being totally broken down. Everything that we have done up to this point means nothing if I have a serious case.
As with endo, there are varying stages of Ashermans. I am lucky to have figured this out early, as many women take years before they realize what is going on and by then the disease has caused permanent damage. Treatment would be by hysteroscopy. You then have to have repeat diagnostic hysteroscopies or HSGs to determine if scar tissue has reformed. If it continues to form, you continue to have surgeries. I will also likely have to go through hormone therapy to try to build up my endometrial lining so that it is thick enough to carry a baby. Whether it will grow back and how much it will grow back will be determined by how bad the D&C damage is. I am hoping that since I am seeing spotting and I really feel like I have fluid in my abdomen during my times of spotting, that I still have a pretty good endometrial lining.
It has been an emotional past couple of days since I came to this realization. I am feeling alternately overwhelmed, defeated, and hopeful. I feel like God is telling me to have Hope. As most of you know, we decided to name our third baby Hope. The name had come to me sometime between my 2nd and 3rd miscarriages. I always thought I would have a third miscarriage – I don't really credit this to intuition as much as to the fact that any woman who had had two m/c's in a row and has not been given any real explanation for it will anticipate the same result with her next pregnancy. When I got pregnant, I really couldn't imagine that I was going to carry to term, I didn't want to talk about the pregnancy, even with my husband. This Sunday, we were saying a rosary and at the very beginning, we were praying for faith, hope, and love. I started pondering Hope and wondering why God had placed that name on my heart for my third baby when I knew I was going to miscarry. Not only did I miscarry, but losing that baby is causing me this horrible disease. Then I realized that THIS was the reason God led me to that name. That He does not want me to despair about what might happen, but to have Hope. So I am trying to ponder that right now when I am feeling down.
Monday night I emailed Dr. S to tell him I was suspecting Asherman's. We were scheduled to see him on Thursday to review a slew of blood tests I had after my m/c, but I knew that this would completely change the conversation. First thing the next morning, I got a call from the surgery scheduler in his office who told me that Dr. S had received my message and wanted to know when the date of my last period was. As I was opening up my chart on the computer, she explained that Dr S had a surgery cancellation on Tuesday morning and that if I began my "period" on the 15th or after, that I could come in for surgery. Well, I look at my chart, and my spotting and pain began on the 15th! I had imagined that it would be at least December before I could have surgery due to my travel schedule and Dr. S's surgery schedule. That would have meant two more months of pain, period backflow, and scar tissue growth. My husband was supposed to be in New York Monday and coming home Tuesday, but he was able to rearrange his schedule so that he can be with me on Tuesday! I have been a bit concerned about having Dr. S do my surgery because although he is a talented surgeon, he is not an Asherman's specialist. But I feel like God has been leading us in this direction and providing many signs that this is the way for us to go. This morning I got one more sign. I had emailed my friend to ask for her prayers for Tuesday. She wrote back to assure me of her prayers and said that about a month ago she had called her church to ask that they say Mass for us this Tuesday, the Feast of the Archangels. Our first two babies were named Michael and Gabriel, so this feast day means a lot to us. I had not even made the connection and to know that a mass will be said for us that morning is amazing! Also, we are at "home" in Georgia this weekend visiting family and we are asking our good friend who is a priest to anoint me. So, please pray that my surgery will go well on Tuesday and that my fertility will be completely restored. Surgery is 8:00 am and I should be able to come home that day. Recovery should be much easier than the lap. Thank you to everyone in advance for all of your support and prayers!!!