Thursday, December 11, 2008

Me....pregnant again? This HAS to be a joke, right?

I had an appt today with my former ob/gyn, Dr D (my regular ob/gyn is on maternity leave). Dr D was my ob/gyn when I was pregnant with Cole and Bella and he was the one who delivered Garrett and Landon. I absolutely adore him! I had made the appt because it's been 6 months without a period and I guess I'm still in denial that at the age of 39 (which seems young to me) I'm already in the throws of menopause. Even though my ob/gyn had tested my FSH, roughly, 2 months ago and it was already at 32. So I wanted to go in and discuss this topic once again and see if there was any other definitive test that would tell me for sure this is what's going on with my body. Or at the very least, talk to the dr about herbal remedies instead of hormone replacement therapy, if needed.

Upon being called into the exam room, the nurse and I talked about the kids. The wierd thing is that she remembered me from when I was pregnant with Garrett and Landon!! I guess I was in there often enough but it's been 21 months! I should've asked her what kind of pill she takes that allows her to have such an excellent memory because Lord knows I can't even remember my name half the time. She asked the reason for my appointment and I told her that I hadn't gotten my period in 6 months and I figured it was due to perimenopause but I wanted to make sure there was nothing else going on that may be a more serious explanation, like cancer. So totally not likely but once my mind gets going, it doesn't stop. I went from having extremely heavy periods every 2-3 weeks to absolutely nothing, which I thought was pretty strange.

She handed me an empty pee cup and said, "I'm sure Dr D is gonna want me to do a pregnancy test". I laughed so hard I almost fell off the table. She said, "I know, I know....you need another kid like you need a hole in your head but just for humor's sake, let's at least do the test, okay....just to rule it out". I said, "I had my tubes tied with my last c-section!! Dr D did the surgery himself after he delivered the boys. He assured both me and my husband that he did everything short of burning those suckers to the core to make sure there would nothing passing through those tubes ever again." She smiled and said, "I'm sure it'll be negative but it is standard procedure to run a pregnant test when you've gone this long without a period. And besides, haven't you heard of the stories of women who've had their tubes tied and still ended up pregnant. We've had several patients that that has happened to". Yeah, way to reassure me. So I said, "Honestly, I can't even remember the last time we had sex. Maybe 2 times in the last 6 months??" and then I quickly had a flashback where I had said the very same thing when I learned I was pregnant with Garrett and Landon. But at that time, we had had sex only ONCE in a 3-month period and that was the evening my body decided to pop out 2 eggs at the same time, totally unexpectedly. I can't believe it but my heart was actually racing when I handed her the cup. She smiled and said, "I'll be right back and tell you, okay? You said yourself there's no chance you're pregnant so no worries." I looked down at my belly and thought I don't even LOOK pregnant....wouldn't I be like at least 5 months pregnant by now with a big, old, puffy belly?? Geez, when I was 8 weeks pregnant with Garrett and Landon I was already wearing maternity clothes!

I waited...and waited....and waited....and waited some more. I was wondering where the hell the nurse was and what was taking her so long coming back in and telling me the pregnancy test was NEGATIVE. I even felt silly for being worried. Even though I was extremely groggy after my last c-section, I specifically remember asking Dr D, "you did remember to tie my tubes, right?" and he had laughed and said "I did not forget....your tubes are out of commission, I can assure you of that" and then he had gone on to tell me that he was glad I had chosen to have my tubes tied because he did not recommend me becoming pregnant ever again. My uterus had been stretched and overly compromised as it was between the 2 twin pregnancies within 2 years that it was paper thin and he said if I had stayed pregnant another week or 2, we might have risked it rupturing. I remember that scared the hell out of me and I knew in my heart we had made the right choice to go through with the tubal ligation. So this was all going through my head as I waited impatiently.

After what seemed like an eternity, the nurse came back in and said, "Dr D will see you in his office". I said, "wait, I thought you were going to come back in right away and tell me the results, even though I know I'm not pregnant. Isn't he going to come into the exam room?" and she said, "No, he thinks it'll be easier if you just come to his office". Right about now, I'm thinking "OH SHIT...." My heart was pounding and again I was having flashbacks to when my other ob/gyn had told me I was pregnant with another set of twins. She had had the nurse get me from the exam room and lead me straight back to her office where she had said, "have a seat....". Okay, breathe.....breathe.....breathe....but seriously why was I worried? What are the chances of being pregnant after having my tubes tied and only having sex twice in 6 months? Breathe....breathe....breathe....

I walk in to Dr D's office and he's sitting at his computer and smiles at me and says, "Hi, my dear...you look great....all the color's returned to your face and you just look happier and healthier". I thanked him and then he said, "the last time I saw you was right when you were about to deliver the last set of twins and it looked like they had sucked the life right out of you.". Yeah, that about sums it up and they're still draining the life out of me, 21 months later. Then he tried to make small talk with me....was I back at work? how are the other set of twins? how was Tim?

Then he said, "so why do you think you're not getting your period?" and I said very slowly, "probably because I'm peri-menopausal. When I saw Dr N a few months ago, that's what she suspected and she had told me my FSH was 32". He smiled....again....and asked, "hmmmm, is that what you think?". I didn't say anything. I said, "you're not gonna tell me I'm actually pregnant, right? I mean, there's no way...you tied my tubes yourself, for crying out loud!!!". He asked, "what would you say if I told you that you're pregnant?". Again, I didn't say anything. But then I started to laugh. He just stared at me. I think I was gonna start hyperventilating, thinking of how was I gonna tell Tim. What if it was a 3rd set of twins? Holy crap! This has to be a joke! Why is God doing this? First I was infertile and having to through 3 rounds of IVF to conceive our 1st set of twins, then magically becoming pregnant with the 2nd set and now this??

Then he pointed to the computer and said, "look at this"....I looked and saw "32" and I said, "that was the level of my last FSH test...that's not an HCG level, right? I mean, that would be pretty coincidental, don't you think?"

He said, "okay, I won't string you along any further...no, you are not pregnant....you are most definitely finally getting to the last stage of perimenopause....6 more months without another period and you're officially menopausal". I didn't know whether to hug him or slug him. I was relieved for sure, no doubt about that. Although part of me has always wondered what it would be like to experience one baby at a time. I've always been envious of those women who have had multiples and then get pregnant again with a singleton.

With that, he recommended I increase my calcium intake to between 1000-1500 mg a day. He also recommended trying to cut back on the Wellbutrin (after talking to my other dr, of course) and supplementing with some natural herbs that have been known to help with menopausal symptoms, like black cohosh and a couple other things. He didn't recommend HRT unless my symptoms were getting extremely uncomfortable or to the point where I was not able to function at 100% since sleep issues seem to remain my biggest problem right now, even with the increase in melatonin, which he suggested I discontinue and try the other herbs he mentioned.

So....not pregnant.....but at the end of my childbearing years. What irony!!

20 comments:

bonnieearly said...

Not pregnant? I was preparing for a 3rd set of twins...LOL I know what you're thinking... "Hayll no!!!" Wow, I would slap Dr. D for stringing you along like that.

Leslie said...

Oh my God, Helene, you really had me going there! I was having a panic attack FOR YOU!

Leslie

Anonymous said...

My heart was racing and I was sweating while reading your post!

Sandra

Melanie said...

Oh my God, Helene!! My heart is beating out of my chest. I cannot believe your doctor tortured you for so long!

Lana said...

Just like the others, my heart was pounding like crazy for you!!
My mom went into menopause around 40. Make sure you take LOTS of calcium and protect those bones! Mom developed oestioperosis early as a result of early menopause, but didn't know. You're lucky you listen to your body. Good job!

Claroux said...

HOLY CRAP! I read this entire post holding my breath!!!!! Seriously - it was like I was waiting to find out my OWN test results.

twinmama said...

Oh my gosh...I was holding my breath the entire time I was reading your post waiting for the answer!! Could the doctor screw with you any more?

I hope that the herbs help to settle your symptoms.

Cynthia said...

As twinmama just said, I was also holding my breath the whole time I was reading!! Crazy!

Kate said...

I too was having a panic attack for you. I couldn' imagine. I couldn't even imagine having two kids right now, let alone five. Or six, or seven! I can't believe you are old enough to be in menopause. I'd never guess.

motheringmymiraclemultiples said...

I would have kicked the guy's butt!!!!!

Creative Junkie said...

holy cow, you went from one end of the spectrum WAAAAAAAAY on over to the other end in less than five minutes!

I'm coming up right behind you ... I'm perimenopausal and I can't say I'm really enjoying it.

Heather (How to be a Woman..?) said...

This cracked me up: "He assured both me and my husband that he did everything short of burning those suckers to the core to make sure there would nothing passing through those tubes ever again."

Well congratulations on not being pregnant, but a hug to you because I know that it hurts you a little too. What is it with this wave of early menopause? I just read about this on another blog recently. I wonder if there's something in the water?

Really enjoyed your post.

Hajar said...

What a mischievious doc! I'd definitely want to get him back for that. *whew*! (wipes the sweat off brow)

Kim said...

It's tough . . . even though I know I don't want any more children, it's a little sad to know that my baby days are over. So I understand the bittersweetness.

I remember when I thought 30 was old!! And MENOPAUSE? Why, that was something grandmas dealt with. Gulp.

AMY said...

OMG, I was imagining myself and completely freaking out reading this! I had my tubes tied too, but I've heard so many stories of pregnancies after and given that I'm so freakily fertile, I think about this a LOT. well congrats to not being pregnant!

Stacy said...

You've got to love the Dr D's sense of humor though! How often do you think he gets a chance like THAT!

OMG! I never thought about menopause! You are pretty young still, how could this happen? I,I,I'd rather be pregnant than face... Crap. I better make an appointment...

Paula Constable said...

Oh man! I was at the edge of my seat! Pretty funny guy. ha ha.

Doré said...

I was seriously reading as fast as I could to find out... I was getting nervous just reading that!!

Petula said...

Oh my! You had me so nervous... I had my tubes tied too so I was really starting to panic. I had been thinking I'm perimenopausal because of hot flashes and sweats, but my periods are fairly regular then they get irratic then back to regular. So maybe I am at the beginning stages. I'm 40. Now I can breathe easier. :D

Morgan said...

Oh, you so had me going to the very end!!!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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