I had put in a "Placeholder" post with the intention of moving on and getting back to weekly documenting of my training.... but that obviously didn't happen. With everything I had been through in the back half of the year, updating my training for the tiny audience of PAES suffers that find me through google or instagram just was not a worthwhile investment of my energy... BUT I would like to update to at least follow up on how the McGinley Method has continued to work and what my plans are now. Warning... There's a plot twist. Huge Trigger warning for mention of miscarriage, and political views on abortion...
Picking up where I left off in June...
On June 24, the day Roe V. Wade was overturned, I found out I was pregnant. This quite possibly, could be the absolute worst day on the planet to find out you are unexpectedly pregnant. If you've followed my blog for awhile you probably know I have pretty liberal political views, but primarily have remained conservative with my abortion views, I just always maintain that I do not believe it should be politicized and it is more of a personal moral issue for each individual. I do believe it's a life, and access to abortion care is never something I ever thought I'd even need to consider for myself. This unexpected situation did not (initially) change that at all... but still... I felt more empathetic to unplanned pregnancies (As two consenting and married adults, we still use recommended precautions to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but here we were.... again....) I also felt pretty triggered by the amount of judgement passed on people who get pregnant without wanting to when this is my second rodeo here... like, Okay. It was also the absolute worst day to find out you are pregnant for other reasons... Why? Because every single possible horror story of wanted pregnancies gone wrong were blasted across the internet. Suddenly the fragility of it all hit me in a way I had never even considered before.... Little did I know that was just the start of becoming acutely aware of how fragile it all is.....
I really struggled with finding out I was pregnant for the first few weeks.... If I had a dollar for every time I said some version of "How the F did this happen... again!" followed up with ironic laughter and tears... I'd have enough money to take a reasonable maternity leave! This isn't the first time I have conceived with protection. Raea is that 1% on the back of the trojan box.... well of course I'd be the 1% again! PAES impacts less than 1% of people, I'm a lightning rod for rare and random things happening, apparently....
The tears were complicated.... On the one hand we just spent close to $30,000 on my legs and now I have to discontinue treatment until AFTER breastfeeding (which the recommendations were just switched to two years right before Roe V Wade overturned.) I'm already depressed over having lost myself in all the diagnostics and not being able to move and exercise the way I most enjoy... and I was finally starting to feel like I had a path forward...
On the other hand... I didn't feel pregnant. I didn't trust the pregnancy. I was full of anxiety and I couldn't pinpoint if it was my intuition preparing me for what was to come or if it was because so many reasons to worry were circulating the internet that I was just made to feel insecure about it all... I kept calling the doctors trying to get in to see them earlier... telling them I'm 37, and a grandma in baby making years, shouldn't I be monitored more? But nope. I had two previous uncomplicated pregnancies with the same partner, and no issues with fertility (unless you count getting pregnant with protection twice... which isn't necessarily a fertility issue, but later I learned could be a contributing factor to the events to follow).... "Call if there's cramping or bleeding"... cool... thanks for NOTHING! I had spent so many years advocating for my legs that I couldn't tell if my desire to keep badgering doctors to do more for me was reasonable or if I just have lost so much trust in the whole system that I can't stop making phone calls even when unnecessary. I had to talk myself off a ledge many times and convince myself to dial it back "be normal, Caitlyn... Try and trust this..."... And so I started to... Nothing would have made a difference anyway, but in hindsight my intuition absolutely knew something was wrong here... but I accepted that everything is fine until I have signs otherwise....
Matt was having trouble with this at first. We were DEAD BROKE when we had Raea (unplanned) and even though we were not much better a few years later, I wanted kids close in age so we put everything in our life on credit cards took a chance on a new company, and stretched ourselves insanely thin for years to live in a safe area and keep a roof over our head but... there's definitely some residual trauma that really makes Matt afraid to do it again even though our situation has drastically improved since Matt has had 5 promotions in the last 5 years and the company has skyrocketed. I actually remember he came in from a 2+ hour run right around when I was 7 weeks along saying that he was getting excited. I miss runs like that, where you process all the anxiety you've been harboring and come back free. His excitement made me feel excited, too. I was still feeling really uncomfortable... I had no food aversions, no sickness, no fatigue... but maybe after everything with my legs I'm catching a break and having an easy pregnancy. "Maybe it's a boy" ... I never experienced a boy pregnancy before? Everything I read said that chance of Miscarriage is a lot lower once there's a heartbeat. I had made it to 8 weeks and no bad signs yet, heart should be strong and things should be good. I started making plans to rearrange the house for a nursery, created a list of things we needed and an Amazon wishlist... I bought the girls some zipper up bunkbed bedding so they can be bunked again once we make it public... I also I bought some big sister t-shirts for the girls, a joke t-shirt "Oops we did it again" for me, and a "I'm the Last One... Seriously" onsie for the baby.
A few days later I started spotting. I never had that happen before, but lots of things were saying it still could be normal. We went to get an ultrasound and the baby was only measuring 5weeks an 6 days... I knew the moment I saw the ultrasound that it wasn't what it was supposed to look like at nearly 9 weeks. They told me "it's too early to know anything" because to them it was only 5weeks an 6 days... often too soon to detect a heartbeat... but I knew all the possible dates of conception and knew when I most likely ovulated, and though I tried to convince myself I got something wrong, I was already bleeding. I went home and waited for the cramping and bleeding to intensify. It took a while.... but eventually, on Raea's birthday, I had early to mid labor cramps and miscarried at home. I returned to the doctor a few days later (still bleeding) to confirm and unfortunately I was retaining tissue and needed intervention. Abortion care.
I did have the option to wait it out... but at this point I was already trying to figure out when I could next conceive. Yes it was an unplanned pregnancy, but I couldn't see our family without a baby now and having been barely dipping my toes out of the world of depression just before pregnancy, I was hitting some new lows. Though Matt was completely fine with our family being complete as is, he understood this was something that I needed to feel whole again. So I opted for the "abortion pill" to complete my miscarriage so that my HCG could return low enough for my cycle to reboot. The first round of Misoprostol unfortunately barely did anything... so then I'm getting second script over the phone just a few days after the first. The OB is letting me know that in Massachusetts it's rare, but since the overturning of Roe V. Wade they have had complaints regarding some pharmacies giving people a hard time. I was coached on what to do if that happened to me (it didn't, fortunately). Given that I was getting my second in a row I couldn't help but think of what it would be like to live in Texas going through this. Insult to injury, for sure. I have never been more pro-abortion access in my life. Fortunately round 2 worked. I was given a series of blood draws to make sure my HCG was dropping. I could tell from signs from my body that my cycle had restarted before my HCG was even below 100, and I could conceive again soon, I continued to take pregnancy tests every few days to make sure my line was fading until it was gone. My last HCG draw was 5.2 and I ovulated the next day, Maebels birthday.
During most of this pregnancy I did continue to workout... And I did actually document that in my previous post where I foolishly thought I could find some sort of balance in this rollercoaster I was on. I made that post thinking it would be the start of documenting workouts for my second pregnancy.... but as I'll write in part 2, that was short lived. I was running about 20 miles a week and was lifting. But I started getting treated by the chiropractor for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome since my left shoulder had been numb for months. They thought this could maybe be a sign of ectopic pregnancy, thankfully it was not that. I was sure that I had this numbness before I got pregnant so I wasn't too worried... but certainly it opened the door to one more thing to worry about in future pregnancies. More to come in Part 2.... If I ever get around to it... The big take away for PAES followers or people who stumble here due to PAES symptoms is that I did not discontinue botox for anything related to symptoms... My symptoms were getting worse but predictably and gradually so. I have no concerns about if the treatment is working, I just simply couldn't get it again when I needed to. I considered going back to get a treatment between this loss and another pregnancy, but part of me really worried that the 10 CTA's I had in the last year had something to do with the miscarriage. I have since been informed that there's no way and have since regained confidence that this was not the cause... but at the time a. I couldn't risk it and b. didn't want to wait the advised 3 months in between treatment to try again.... SO we just tried again right away and surprise to absolutely no one that knows my fertility history, we were pregnant again.
Welcome to my blog! I've been blogging for a long time on various platforms. My intention has never been to reach the masses, but rather to give myself a chance to reflect and journal. I feel it at least challenges me to be somewhat coherent, however you can expect ramblings and grammatical incorrectness here!
I've recently been diagnosed with CECS and fPAES and had it treated with BOTOX of all things... So I suspect to see more and more people looking for answers with that in the future and hope to continue blogging so there will be easy to access follow-ups as that was helpful for me.
NOTE: Apologies that some of the pictures incorrectly load sometimes. I try to keep up with the glitches, but can't always! Hope it doesn't impact the blog experience for all the PAES visitors.