My pain, and the doctors’ care

A lot has been happening. I am trying to keep it together. Doing much better now than I was last night and this morning. Last night and this morning I felt like an animal in acute and relentless pain. I was nuts! In my pain, I lashed out savagely at my mom in an email (fantastic! Good work, self!) and I lashed out at DH (he of course immediately forgave me because he is a special breed of human being with limitless capacity for compassion and forgiveness). The damage has not been so bad, I don’t think, that I can’t mend it. The rage-depression-sobbing-numbness swirl was, I hope, like a 24-hour flu bug.

Last night, to calm myself down, I got out my paints and did some insane painting. I squirted tons of paint (pain) on paper and laid my fingers, my hands in it, and swirled it around. Just feeling the cool acrylic paints on my skin was soothing. I was drum-beating on the card stock with my hands and fingers, leaving paint-marks as I did so, and breathing deep. Art therapy. Note to self: Always go paint when you are in needle-sharp pain. Do not email your mother. Paint. Paint!!!

It’s just that I have been having menstrual feelings—shooting pains, some cramps, crazy backache—and still a complete loss of symptoms.  Living in this makes me sad and angry. Especially since I know my body could let go of the little love-star so much easier and more quickly if I weren’t on progesterone and estrogen. I hope my supplements aren’t dragging out the baby’s life unnaturally, causing the tiny life undue stress.

I am letting go. I know I’m supposed to be holding onto hope until my next ultrasound (Tuesday) but I have none. The new RE I saw today assured me, however, that “You absolutely cannot stress yourself into a miscarriage. Genetically sound embryos are remarkably resilient and will live through overwhelming stress. If you miscarry, it will be for a genetic reason, not because of your sadness or stress.” He was adamant. I was grateful. I don’t want to blame myself for anything right now.

The RE’s name is Dr. Gabriel San Roman and I love him. LOVE him. He helped me so much today. He brought me back to the land of the living. He has such a calming, nurturing, grounding presence. He obviously loves what he does. He became so successful that he was able to start his own, tiny RE practice in Suffolk County, and to hire all of his favorite people to work with him, the kind staff I met today. He designed the facilities with infertility patients in mind—lots of windows and sunlight, round tables to create a teamwork feeling, a fireplace in his office, dark wood floors, calming paintings. I loved it there. I needed it. I was losing my mind. He talked to me with such humanness I could have cried in his arms.

I went to see him because I do not like Long Island IVF, where I have been doing my local monitoring. It is a cold-seeming place to me, and I get this feeling that the staff does not jibe with one another all that well. It was a difficult place in which to receive my recent difficult news. Still, they do monitoring in the early A.M., not too far from work, so I went with them. (But I must say that I do think Dr. Brenner of Long Island IVF is a very caring person and excellent doctor. If you need to go to LI IVF, go to him.)

On Thursday, I went to my new OBGYN, Dr. Brian McKenna, and he recommended that I see Dr. San Roman—whom he called “Gaby Baby.” Dr. McKenna, who is a wonderfully warm, reassuring doctor, actually called Dr. San Roman on his cell phone Thursday night because he was so concerned about me. He encouraged me strongly to go see him as soon as possible, which is why I did so today. So between Thursday and today, I have been fortunate enough to gain two new doctors to care for me, an amazing OB who is an excellent surgeon, and an amazing RE, where I can do my local monitoring. The RE’s office is open early mornings and is ten minutes from work, and they are open on Saturdays! And, most importantly, I feel comfortable and cared for there.

At Dr. McKenna’s office on Thurs, at Contemporary Women’s Care—an immaculate facility, remarkably professional nurses and staff, sweet and helpful receptionists—Dr. McKenna took me into his office and talked to me for a full hour, gently, reassuringly, and like a human being. It was just what I needed.

I feel that I am being taken good care of, locally, at precisely the time that I need good care. It matters. It matters so much! I think I was really selling myself short by lazily sticking with what I already had, what I already knew.

And also, I trust Dr. Shapiro, without hesitation, which is invaluable. Our last conversation was difficult, but I felt that he was being straight with me. He is wicked smart. He obviously knows what he is doing. And he is also funny and nice and tries to relate like a human being—even though he always sounds like he is crazy-busy, I can tell that he tries to be sure to pause and listen. I feel I can relax and not have to control or fight or figure anything out. All I need to do is check in about the status of the donor (is she proven now? or other miscarriages?) and from there, just go with whatever he advises. I have decided for sure that that is all I need to do, period. Just follow his lead. I am not the expert here.

I don’t know if little baybina’s heart is still beating, but if it is, I hope baby feels cared for, too, just like I do. Isn’t it sad? The saddest thing in the world? To think of this tiny little life, struggling to live? Oh sisters, it is very very sad. This one is such a fighter. Tiny, tiny, sweet little thing. Innocent, fragile, vulnerable little life. I love you, little life. What a thing. To love a life, just begun. I’ve never seen a baby inside me. Only blighted ovums—no fetal pole. But this time, a little one. A little teeny tiny heart. I have experienced being not just one life, but two lives in one body. I thank the little star for that. Darling strong-heart. My darling little fighter.

Leave a comment


  1. It is the saddest thing in the world. Without a doubt I feel that in my bones. But she feels cared for, she knows that you and the world are fighting for her. She’s stronger and wiser than we will ever know.
    I’m so glad you are getting the compassion and care from your healthcare providers that you need right now. It is so important. You are doing the best you can, don’t forget that. No matter what, regardless of meltdowns, you need support right now. So between the professionals, your hubby, family and us, please know you are loved and supported. Holding your hand xx

  2. Kali

     /  October 13, 2013

    I also remember how it felt to know I was nurturing a life, that there was another heart beating under mine. You are so strong! Btw, I said some horrible things to my mother in the aftermath of my last miscarriage. She has forgiven me completely, of course, I’m not even sure she remembers. Parents can be amazing that way.

    WE will be amazing that way.

    Sending you much love.

    Btw, I also engage in paint therapy, usually refurbishing a piece of furniture.

    • A fellow art therapist! That’s such a symbolic way to process, refurbishing. Because at the end you have something solid to sit on, or to eat on. It’s helpful to hear that you said bad things to your ma—I feel like such an idiot. I hope she forgives me like your mom did. I think she will, but she is still feeling stung by my words I think.

  3. I am so, so sorry for your pain. I completely understand lashing out when in pain and then regretting it, and hopefully eventually everyone will understand that the circumstances were behind the lashing. I hope for peace and a fast resolution in either direction so that this is not a prolonged period of horrible purgatory and pain. :( Thinking of you and so, so sad that this is how things are panning out. I am glad that there is hope for the future and I am glad that you are in good hands. I am glad that you said in your next post that money is less of an issue and I am sad that money is a deciding factor at all for all of us. So much injustice. Holding you in my heart…


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  • Posts By Month


  •© the unexpected trip,, 2012-2017.
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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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