I strongly dislike those three words. In movies, TV shows, books..... it always means the same thing. You have to wait. Until the sequel comes out, until the next season begins or until the next book is written. When I see those three words, I feel stuck. Powerless in my ability to move forward and continue the story.
Recently, this is also how we've felt in our real life. Our friends and family already know this, but we found out on Feb. 28 that I'd had another miscarriage at 8 weeks. I haven't written about this topic in quite a while on here, mainly because there hasn't been much to write about. But here is how we got to this point.
After my second miscarriage in January 2012, we began to see a reproductive endocrinologist. She ran a panel of blood tests, testing for the most common causes of recurrent miscarriage. The results were pretty inconclusive. I did test positive for MTHFR, but I also tested negative for all of the clotting issues that usually come with that. Basically, 40% of women will test positive for MTHFR and never know it, because it typically will not cause any problems. Because of this, my doctor really does not believe this is the cause of the miscarriages. She started me on an extra 4mg of folic acid daily and as a precaution, she wanted me on blood thinners for any future pregnancies. So last Spring, with mostly good results, we were hopeful of what was to come.
After a couple months, I ended up with a positive pregnancy test in July 2012, but this ended up being a chemical pregnancy. Meaning, I went in for a blood test on a Monday and by Wednesday, my hcg level was already falling. This basically means I was about 4.5 weeks pregnant. Most women would not even realize they were pregnant and just chalk it up to a late period; but medically, it counts as a very early miscarriage. Because of this, my doctor wanted to be sure my body was producing enough hormones from the beginning of my cycle to sustain future pregnancies. The next time we began trying, Clomid would be added into the mix. Clomid is typically used to induce ovulation, but it also tricks your body into thinking your hormone levels are low so that it overcompensates by producing extra hormones- namely progesterone.
After July, we decided to take a break through the end of the year. I started Clomid in January 2013 and found out I was pregnant on January 29. At that point, my doctor started me on daily baby aspirin, progesterone and lovenox injections (self-administered) in addition to my normal prenatal vitamins and extra dose of folic acid. All of this was still basically precautionary, as my previous test results were negative. I had ultrasounds at 6wks and 7 wks. At both of which, we were able to hear and see a fairly strong heartbeat. Combine that with the fact that I felt different this time and I was on an army of meds, we were very hopeful. Over the past four weeks, I took care of myself, sat out the big rides in Disney World and anxiously began counting down to October 5th. It was at my 8 wk ultrasound on Feb. 28, that we learned our little one had joined his or her siblings in Heaven and I had my second D&C on March 4.
While the last couple of weeks have been hard, we have felt overwhelmingly loved by sweet friends and family in the form of texts, emails, meals delivered and our house cleaned while we were at the beach. We managed to escape to Hilton Head for four nights shortly after my surgery for some much-needed R&R. Our immediate next steps are to wait on the results from the genetic testing of this pregnancy and then Dustin and I will have genetic testing done on ourselves. We hadn't done this before, because it will more than likely not find anything; but we're at that point now. Once we get those results, we'll need to start making decisions about how we want to proceed. If genetic test results are all negative, my doctor will most likely tell us that we can try again with the same combination of drugs, because pregnancy is really a numbers game and the numbers tell us that even most women who have had 4+ miscarriages for unknown reasons still have a 70% chance of carrying a healthy pregnancy in the future (which is about the same as someone who has never had a miscarriage). There are also some much more medically involved options that I will get into later if we start looking into them.
So here we are... with our story still to be continued. While it
could be very easy for me to be angry with God and throw myself a never
ending pity party, we are still choosing hope. Right now, neither of us has a strong desire for me to be pregnant anytime soon. We are praying about our next steps and ultimately still hopeful about what God has in store for our family. We know that He is so much bigger than we imagine Him to be and loves us immensely more than we realize. This breaks His heart as well and He has lavishly poured out His comfort and grace. We know that our babies are being cared for by their Heavenly Father and we will get to meet them one day. Until then, we are choosing to be faithful to this life He's called us to live and taking each step as it comes.