A Dilemma 

I was diagnosed with a pretty severe case of scoliosis when I was in the 5th grade. I started seeing an orthopedic surgeon at that time, and the best option to prevent my curve from progressing was to wear a back brace. I hated the thing, but ended up wearing it 22 hrs a day for what seemed like forever. Im guessing it was a year or two in all reality. 

The back brace did its job for many years, and my curve stayed at what it was since the time I was an adolescent. I got yearly x-rays and that was about it. Fast forward to around age 21 or 22, I started to experience pain in my back and neck, something the scoliosis had never previously caused. My yearly x-rays revealed my curve had jumped another 10 degrees. I had always been a candidate for surgery, but now I most certainly was. My curve was now somewhere in 50 degree range. 


The surgery itself is pretty serious, the doctors that perform it are limited, and there are a lot of different dynamics that play into it. I wont get into all that today because its not what this post is about. Its about how I always questioned how my back condition would play into a pregnancy and delivery. 

All the doctors I saw over the years never seemed toooo concerned about it. However, in the back of my mind, I was always worried. Worried about how painful pregnancy would be (which I try not to discuss much on this blog because I know how upsetting it can be to hear pregnant women complain when you are trying), worried about how I would be able to deliver my baby safely when I clearly was not built structurally “normal.”

Brings us to the current dilemma. I decided I should take my x-ray images to my OB appt this week just to make sure all looked okay delivery wise, since we are now at 33 weeks. Lets just say she was a little surprised by what she saw. I guess I hide my curve pretty well, or so Ive heard over the years. She immediately said I needed an anesthesia consult at the hospital because she wasnt sure if I could even receive an epidural or spinal block due to the curve. Her concern seemed to be getting the needles in place correctly. There was some talk of general anesthesia during delivery and thats when I started to feel the anxiety and fear building up as it used to at my doctor appointments. I heard words like “only options,” “very serious,” “baby born sleeping,” “dont see the baby for awhile” etc. I zoned out. 

After going through much bullshit to get the person I needed to talk to at the hospital, I was sitting in their office the next morning for a consult, x-ray images in hand. The anesthesiologist examined them and my spine. She explained that both epidurals and spinals are inserted into the L4 or L5 vertebrates, which are towards the bottom of the spine. This was very good news for me, because my curve is mostly towards the top of my spine. She was able to locate my L4 and L5 easily and said she would not have any issue getting either in at that location as my OB worried about. She credited my “small frame” (ha!) as making it easy for her to find. 

Worst case scenario? According to the anesthesiologist, an epidural or a spinal block in me may only numb one side, instead of both sides that should be numbed in a “normal” person. My curve may cause the medicine to stay on one side more than the other, but there is no way of knowing that until we try. 

Bottom line? It would be best to try to deliver vaginally first (even though my pelvis is quite tilted due to my scoliosis) with the possibility of an epidural that doesnt fully work, than to schedule a c-section and get a spinal block that doesnt fully work. 

If I was to get a spinal that didnt fully work, I would have to then undergo general anesthesia for the section. And that, of course, is what no one wants at all. 

The anesthesiologist put all of the notes into the computer system so that my OB and all the other anesthesiologists could see her findings. I am happy I got to speak with her, she relieved some of my fears. Now its on my OB and I moving forward as far as what we do. 

Baby boy is not breech anymore, which helps us avoid the c-section route. Also, his weight is not above average which us another positive in avoiding a section. Finally, my RE confirmed my myomectomy (fibroid removal) did not cut into the uterine wall since it was done lap. These facts are all in our favor for delivery vaginally. Now, at my next appt we need to look at my birth canal/pelvis and see if she thinks it could birth a baby without putting him in danger. 

I should wrap this up by saying that I do not care how our baby comes into this world as long as it is safely

All medical personnel agree that undergoing general anesthesia is not the ideal way to bring a baby safely into the world, although it can be done. My way of thinking (and hubbys)  is that perhaps we need to exhaust all options in case a worst case scenario comes up. 

Try vaginally. Get an epidural if needed. If it doesnt numb both sides, still try to push through. If he cant get out safely, move on to a c-section with a spinal block. Pray it numbs both sides. If it doesnt, last resort…get knocked out. 

Cant anything ever be easy?!?

Could it be a Sign?

Last week, I posted how much I believe in dreams.  Yesterday, I posted how indecisive and worried I am about making the decision about which clinic we will move forward at.  I also discussed how I am praying God will make it clear to us which path to take.  

Last night I had another dream.  Or maybe I should say a nightmare.  It was about our current clinic. They had scheduled another Hysteroscopy to perform on me before we did another FET.  It was a total disaster.  It took 2 months for them to get me in for it, which I was clearly not happy with.  The day the H/S was originally scheduled for, they put me under anesthesia and I awoke only to hearing them say they couldn’t do the procedure because they didn’t have the necessary tools at hand. So, my mom drove me back the next day for them to try to do it again.

When we arrived the next day, we were informed that our RE was MIA.  So, we sat and waited for hours.  Finally, our familiar nurse called us back.  As I usually do before any procedure, I asked her to make sure I was out of it and wouldn’t feel anything during it. She proceeded to tell me that I could not receive any anesthesia because I had some the day before when they were not able to perform the H/S.  I started to throw a fit, demanding it.  She asked me to leave and told me that they would call me later in the day after she talked with our RE.

We left. My mom and I drove around for hours (since we do not live in the area, we couldn’t go home).  I kept calling the clinic and no one would pick up.  Finally, my mom drive back so we could confront them.  She was not happy about all of this either.  When I walked in, I saw another familiar staff member. I started angrily telling her that it took us 2 months to get in for this, now I have missed 2 days of work, you tell me I can’t have anesthesia and to leave, and I still haven’t seen my RE! After this rant, she asked me who I was.  Like she didn’t know! SMH. I started shouted as I was crying, “You know who I am! Do you not remember what we have been through?!” She tried to cut me off and I interjected, “No! You will listen to me! We have had 3 IVF losses here at this clinic! Do you want us to take our embryos someplace else?!” No reply.

This nurse called for the other nurse at this point, as I was extremely irate. She said they would give me the anesthesia, but that my usual RE would not be the one to do the procedure.  Some creepy guy came in and started speaking another language to me.  I couldn’t understand a word he said.  Supposedly, he was the RE in place of my usual one.  He quickly inserted a needle into my arm and I started to zone out.  I knew I was going under, and I told him, “that’s enough..no more!” I felt like I was going to die from too much.  Then I was out.

The procedure was horrific. I will spare the details, but the end result was my uterus being damaged beyond repair.  When I awoke, I found myself walking through a dark alley with my current RE.  She questioned me, “what happened? Are you okay?” We nicely conversated back and forth and she told me that she didn’t think I was ready to move forward with another transfer.  And then, I woke up.

Could this be a sign that I asked for? My husband seems to think so. Or am I totally over analyzing things? I need some feedback friends.

A New Chapter Begins

I survived Hysteroscopy #3 yesterday.  Since this was more diagnostic than operative (unlike the last time when I got that cursed balloon put in), I was only under a twilight anesthesia.  I took 3 Valium’s before the procedure as I was instructed, and they gave me Vercet (supposed to make you forget everything) and Demoral (for pain) through my IV.

Usually when I am under twilight, I remember NOTHING.  Yesterday was different.  I was actually watching the screen as they did the procedure! They told me I was very alert, and I do remember talking to them and trying my best to focus on the images.  I also remember letting out a “ughhhh” in pain, and them telling me “you are doing great, we are almost done.” Maybe I am so used to the anesthetic by now that I have built up a tolerance for it or something…who knows! Either way, it wasn’t that bad and I am actually feeling pretty good today so far.  Other than some minor bleeding and a headache, physically I’m alright.

The report from my RE was just as we had prayed for, meaning there was:

  1. No masses found
  2. No placental tissue found
  3. No scar tissue formed 

This is very positive news for us! This means the mass is completely gone and has not grown back quickly.  It also means that the various procedures have not scarred my uterus.  A scarred uterus is a big problem because an embryo cannot implant where there is scarring.  And most importantly, it means we are finally able to put this behind us and hopefully start a new chapter in our lives!

Moving forward, we now confidently know there is nothing wrong with my uterus.  The husband & I will go to my post-op appointment next week. At that appointment she will also do my very first lining check, as it worked out perfectly that I will be on day 12 of my cycle then.  This being said, my lining should be at its thickest since this is supposed to be ovulation time for a typical 28 day cycle.

This will be another big day for us.  My thin lining had been an issue during IVF 1 & 2, and that was before I had to undergo a D & C at 10 weeks pregnant, a biopsy, and 3 Hysteroscopies after IVF 3.  So, we are really praying that the lining being thin is not an issue again.  My RE seems to think it might be, and that we will need a good amount of time (maybe 3 cycles or so) for it to heal naturally.  Naturally, meaning through healthy eating, exercise, and acupuncture rather than through estrogen pills and patches.  I guess we will see what we are working with in just a few short days!