Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2 Week Follow-Up & Testing

Yesterday was 2 weeks since Seth was born sleeping.  Today is 2 weeks since the horrid D&C.  I found out at my follow-up yesterday (with my midwife, NOT that horrendously rough and angry doctor) that after a D&C, even though the wounds are on the inside, they still "scab" over.  Not the hard scabs like after you scrape your knee or elbow, but more of a soft, slimy type of scab after scraping the inside of your uterus.  Interesting thought, internal scabbing!  Anyway, so I was afraid that I had been over working myself because after a particularly long, eventful day, I would find that I bled all the next day.  Sorry if that's TMI but someone is likely going through all of this and may need to know (which is why I journal all of this publicly to begin with).  Anyway, so I go for a walk, bleed, and think to myself "c'mon already, I can't even WALK without hurting myself?!"  But now I know that it was just the internal scab sluffing off.  Which means I get to walk without fear!!  WALK! 

Anyway, so I also saw a doctor yesterday.  Again, not that horridly rough doctor from 2 weeks ago, but someone else.  This guy is apparently THE top doctor in the COUNTRY when it comes to recurrent pregnancy loss and stillbirth (check out his 221 publications!!).  Were you aware of the study going on using baby asprin during pregnancy?  He's at the center of that study.  I remember hearing about that just after Keith was born!  Anyway, so I went to see him.  He ordered some blood tests and it'll be a week or two before the results are back, but based on my pregnancy history, he ordered one for APS (where antibodies attack "pregnancy products") and a panel of thrombophilias (various clotting disorders - where you clot too quickly, hemophilia is where you don't clot quickly enough and then bleed too much).  After that, he'll do a sonohystogram to check for abnormalities with my uterus (if the placenta attaches to a regular portion of the uterus, the pregnancy can progress normally whereas if the placenta attaches to an abnormal part, complications can arise).  If all of that comes back clean, and if our insurance will cover it (it's super expensive) then we'll do genetic testing on both me and Ben.  And if THAT comes back clean, he said we have three options:  1) decide not to risk losing any more and be done with pregnancies.  2) try again anyway, with my current stats of 3 living full-term babies, 2 second trimester losses, and 1 early loss, I have about a 75% chance of having another full-term healthy baby.  Or 3) try again, but with some help to improve my odds of having a full-term baby.  He said that about 1/3 of pregnancies end in a loss.  About 3% of those are later losses like Taylor and Seth (or even later like some of my loss-mama friends).  And an even tinier percentage have two later losses in a row like I have experienced this year.  So... do I want to risk continuing down the path of recurrent pregnancy loss?  Or not?

Right now, I am ready to rest.  I can't get pregnant again until I am ready to possibly face another loss.  I don't know that I could mentally/emotionally handle 3 losses in a row.  It scares me to think of another pregnancy.  Needless to say, I'll be scared out of my mind the whole time.  I was already fairly nervous throughout my pregnancy with Seth after having lost Taylor already this year.  Nervous is going to be an easy day if I ever get pregnant again though.  Terrified will be more like it.  However, the thought of my family being complete how it is right now just doesn't feel right either.  Ben has never been into "trying" or "avoiding," he's more of an "it either happens or it doesn't" kind of guy.  So although adoption would be a lovely option, I don't think Ben really wants to.  At least it's probably not important to him right now.  I need to wait at least until after all this testing to see how things go before making any big decisions, but I still need to contemplate how I will feel about the results.  Will I want to have another pregnancy if I have to have three shots in my stomach every day in order to deliver a healthy, full-term baby?  If it's just a pill or 15, I know I'm fine with that.  What if it's abnormalities in my uterus?  Will they be reparable?  Or will I just have to hope for a good implantation spot?  What if all these tests show NOTHING?  (Ugh, talk about a let down - something fixable or treatable is acceptable to me.  Nothing, no conclusions, just a random "well, that sucks" just isn't okay for me.)  I need to plan out my feelings.  Yes, I really said that.  I need to determine what I'm willing to do in order to carry more babies, and what is more than I can handle causing me to call it quits.  I need to imagine receiving each diagnosis so I can work through the emotions now so that I can choose how to feel about it rather than letting my emotions get the best of me, bringing me down, or causing me needless worry.  With 3 living children and 3 losses, how much am I willing to endure?  How will any of it effect my children's daily lives? 

Lots to consider.  Hoping for a fixable, treatable diagnosis.  Hoping to not be headed into a dark tunnel with no flashlight.  A diagnosis of absolutely nothing is more scary than any of it.  A reason is good.  Oh please let there be a treatable reason!


Kim said...

I am so sorry you are faced with these difficult decisions on top of everything you're going through. I saw a different high risk doctor (my 4th one) who finally discovered I have MTHFR and I will take baby aspirin and lovenox with another pregnancy if we go that route. It is so overwhelming to think of everything and make these huge decisions on top of what you're going through after your loss of Seth and Taylor. I have seen many baby loss moms, as I am sure you have, who have had no answers as to what happened, used aspirin and had full term pregnancies. Hopefully you can get some answers or feel settled with that as your option knowing the success. Thinking of you. I know how it feels to know your family is not complete, but feeling stuck in making that decision to try again.

~GINGER~ said...

Thanks, Kim. Knowing more is always helpful. I'll be looking up the MTHFR of course, and lovenox. I want to know all the options to various outcomes to see if it's something I can handle or not. And you're right, there are so many who just get the "no good reason" diagnosis and it bites!! That's my fear right now. No good reason. Nothing I can fix.

Blessings to you as you continue your journey...

Minou Barton said...

Ginger, a sweet couple we love is going through something similar, having lost their third baby (two full-term, one 16 weeks) last week. In that case, the mom is desperate for more children as siblings to their first-grader, but the dad is desperate for the agony to stop.

I'm wondering: what does your husband want? Is he interested in continuing to try to have more children? Is one of you more interested than the other? What would you advise my friends--him, for being done, and her, for not?

~GINGER~ said...

My husband is a little different. He doesn't really care either way if we have more kids or not. I want more desperately though I am not yet ready because I'm still fearful of another loss again so soon after losing two so close together.

So, since I want more and hubby doesn't care either way, I'm not sure if I can answer your question appropriately. However, if either is so emotionally terrified of experiencing another loss, it's really probably best to wait. If it has taken such an emotional toll on EITHER parent, you really want to give that person a chance to work through emotions and get to where having another baby over-rides the fear of losing another baby. If they've lost three, two of them full-term, I can definitely understand his fear!!! Have they discussed adoption? I'd think it'd be the most logical next step so that dad isn't fearful of the baby dying and mom still gets a sibling for her 1st grader.

I hope this helps!

Minou Barton said...

Thank you for your thoughts. After asking, I realized, there wasn't much I could do with whatever you answered. No way am I offering advice on this...they're both so raw. (Interesting note: my friend's name is Ginger, too!) But thank you, anyway, and best wishes for you and your family.

Shingleton Family said...

I just suffered my second 2nd term loss. I lost one 3 years ago at 1 9 weeks. Then I had a healthy Boy with the help of an amazing doctor in GA I was but on Fanerra to get pregnant then progestron pills. Then lovinox Shots for the test of my pregnancy. It was a scary ride but he made it. We moved to Utah when u was 8 months pregnant with him and the UT doctors said they were over treating me but I continued on with what my GA doctor recsnrnded. So this last time around I get pregnant have testing and the doctor says no need to do any of the stuff done with the last pregnancy. I delivered my baby at 22 weeks. Mow I want answers and a doctor that will give them to me. Any suggerstions thanks for sharing your story.

~GINGER~ said...

Yes, I would highly suggest seeing Dr. Silver at the U of U Hospital in Salt Lake. Does your insurance cover him? Call his office (801-581-3834) and talk to them about insurance and scheduling an appointment. Your doctor this time around obviously had something wrong, and your doctor last time apparently had something right. But Dr. Silver should be able to tell you more.

I am so, so very sorry that you're going through this. I'm so sorry that you've lost another precious baby. Hugs and prayers for you, mama. I know it's still so fresh and painful. I can't help but cry for you, knowing how much you hurt.