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! 

Finding the Rainbow After a Storm

Today was our post-op appointment after the hysteroscopy done last week.

The pathology results from the biopsy came back with 2 findings: 1.) chronic inflammation, & 2). placental plaque, or tissues.

The chronic inflammation is probably due to all of the zillion procedures that have been done.  The placental plaque or tissue, on the other hand, was not what we were expecting. Somehow, someway, there is still placenta left in my uterus from a pregnancy. Don’t ask me how.  In fact, it was not even able to be seen on the hysteroscopy, it was only detected through the biopsy.  If something “rare” were to happen, you already knew it would.

So, the plan is to remove, or try to remove this “invisible” placenta when we try to remove the Adenomyoma in a few weeks. Removing the Adenomyoma will go something like this: Under general anesthesia, the doctor will once again enter my uterus with a camera through the cervix, locate the mass, and “shave” it down with a special tool, that she called a “wand” at one point. A wand! Ha! Like this is a fairy tale or something.

After she shaves the mass down enough to where it appears flush with my uterine wall, she will inject Vasopressin into my uterus to make it contract.  The Vasopressin will force any “hidden” Adenomyoma to seep out.  Sounds disgusting, I know.  I guess entire Adenomyomas are not always fully visible, which brings us to the next point.  Our doctor said, and I quote, “there is a chance I may not be able to safely remove the entire Adenomyoma” or that “the cavity will appear normalized at the time of the surgery, but there will be residual tissue left that can grow back.”

She will take get out as much as she can safely, without damaging my uterus, and send it out to pathology to confirm that it was indeed an Adenomyoma.  She will also insert a balloon in the place where the mass previously was (in order to prevent scar tissue from forming). The balloon will stay in my uterus for about a week as it heals (maybe I’ll fly away). Of course, she said I won’t even feel it, but I doubt she ever walked around with a balloon in her va-jay-jay.

About a month after all this jazz (in June sometime), we will have to do another diagnostic hysteroscopy/biopsy, just like the one last week.  This will confirm that the Adenomyoma is fully gone, along with the placental tissue.  It’s hard for me to think about not being able to fully remove it.  I guess because we know it has to come out entirely, or we cant even consider getting pregnant.  And even if it is fully removed, there is always the chance another one will grow back.  And there is not timeline as to when, or how quickly.  This is very frustrating to say the least, especially since there is a pretty good chance this caused us to miscarry the last time.  You know I don’t believe in percentages, but if I had to give you one on whether this mass caused the loss or not, I’d say I’m 90% sure it did.

The doctor thinks that this Adenomyoma has probably been festering for a little while now (at least before the last transfer). In fact, the “fluid” that popped up back in December, that almost cancelled our transfer, we can most likely thank Mr. Adenomyoma for.  Fluid can be related  to many things, among them, less commonly, an Adenomyoma. Of course there was no way in knowing this was the relationship then-I saw every single ultrasound, SIS, and HSG with my own eyes, and this mass was not visible. So how can we not help but ask why, God? Back in December, we prayed and prayed for that transfer to be cancelled if it wasn’t right.  Maybe we didn’t see the signs.  I don’t know.  I’m not sure if we will ever know.  But, we can’t keep looking back, we can only look forward and hope.  Looking back hurts.  And getting angry doesn’t help either.  I know God never wastes a hurt.  My mom reminds me of this frequently.  If we can help one person, or couple out there, then at least some good can come out of this loss.

We received this card not too long ago, when we least expected it, from someone we do not know on a close basis at all.  It made me cry.  Tonight, when nothing seems to make sense, this card makes me remember how God is using us through this journey to touch other people’s lives.  Knowing that makes me feel better about “why.”  

Hysteroscopy

Despite everything we have been through, I must admit, I am still extremely nervous to get this hysteroscopy done today.  I suppose it’s been a while since I have had a “first” so to speak.  I know what to expect when I get a HSG, or a SIS, egg retrieval, transfer, or even a D & C unfortunately. However, I do not know what to expect with this hysteroscopy/biopsy business. Reading about it, or hearing how it was for someone else, isn’t the same.  At least from my experience, it always seems to differ.

I’ve spent some time trying to put my finger on what else could be making me so nervous, other than it being a “first.”  I know it can’t be the fact that I will only be in a twilight state, rather than completely knocked out.  I was in a twilight for our first d & c and I survived (although being asleep is definitely preferred).  Of course, I pray not to remember anything or feel any pain, just like any normal person would.

Perhaps, it’s the biopsy part that is freaking me out.  Whenever I think of a biopsy, I think of someone who is being tested for cancer.  I picture the doctor slicing off a piece of you, almost like a piece of meat.  Sorry to be so graphic, but it’s the truth.  

Or maybe I am just frightened because this is a last resort for us.  There are no more tests to be done.  This could be the missing piece to the puzzle, or so we hope. Honestly, my fear is probably a combination of all of the above.  So, today, I will keep trying to remind myself of what my mom has always told me, “there is nothing to fear except fear itself.”  

Fear-is-nothing-more-than-an-obstacle