Thursday, October 15, 2015

I am 1 in 4



Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  A day that before this year, wasn't something that really affected my life.

If you have been around here for the past year or so, you know that I have now lost 4 different pregnancies. I've passed one due date, and I'm still not quite sure what the "fix" is for all of this. 

But today, I wanted to share a little bit more of my story in hopes that it will help someone out there that is going through this hardship, too. 

Jay and I got married in January 2013. I found out I was pregnant with my daughter in March 2013. We got pregnant 2 weeks after I got of birth control. One very uneventful pregnancy later, and I was blessed with our beautiful Juliet. We had a rough beginning with her, but I have always loved being a mom. 

When Juliet was about 10 months old, we just really felt that we wanted another little munchkin in our family. It happened so easily with her, I had no worries trying for more children.

It took a few months and Juliet finishing breastfeeding but in January we got a positive pregnancy test. I was so excited! The nausea started more quickly with that one, but sadly just a week after I got the positive, I lost the baby

I was told it was probably just a genetic abnormality. We should wait a cycle and start trying again. So that's what I did. And low and behold, in March we were pregnant again. I got excited, but it was different after a loss. I didn't want to get my hopes up too much. 

We lost that baby, too. That's when my doctor decided I needed to see a specialist. I was appreciative that they were being proactive about the losses.

We met with a fertility specialist, who still said there was a 60% chance our next pregnancy would be fine without any help. We did all kinds of testing, including thyroid, estrogen, even undergoing a hysteroscopy to make sure that there weren't any uterine issues. All came back normal.  

And then, in May, we got pregnant again. By accident that time. The fertility specialist monitored my blood levels every other day to make sure my HCG was rising appropriately and to see when we could do an ultrasound. About 5.5 weeks, I once again started bleeding. My levels were still rising, so the specialist decided that he didn't need to see me for another week. 

It was the longest, most excruciating week of my life. I felt so alone. The nurses snobbily told me that there was nothing they could do when I called with questions. I was hormonal, sad and scared. Not to mention that this was the longest pregnancy I had sustained, which also made the miscarriage that much more physically painful.

I called my OBGYN after that loss and explained what was going on, including that the reproductive specialist was pushing to get genetic testing on my husband and I and talking about fertility drugs. Jay and I just didn't feel like we were at that point yet and it seemed like we were being rushed to make some expensive decisions.

Luckily, I have a wonderful OBGYN that agreed they were rushing me into testing when there was other things they could check. She did a battery of tests and found that I had inherited the mild form of Factor 5 Leiden, something that causes my blood to clot more than it should and could potentially be the reason for the miscarriages.

That's when I started on baby aspirin. Fast forward to August, and we decided to try again now that we were armed with more information. My OB also agreed to put me on progesterone as soon as I got pregnant to help support the pregnancy.

Then my OB was blessed with her second child, and now I was back to square one because her partner did not feel comfortable prescribing the progesterone. I scrambled to get into a different fertility specialist since we had been trying to get pregnant that month. I met with Dr. Schmidt and it was night and day from my first experience. He was absolutely wonderful and told me that there wasn't any reason I should be rushing into IVF, especially when I could get pregnant on my own.  He tested my progesterone levels that day since I was past ovulation, and immediately started me on progesterone.

We found out what I had expected all along, that my body for some reason was not producing the amount of progesterone needed to sustain a pregnancy after ovulating. Unfortunately, you need to start the progesterone immediately after ovulation to give a pregnancy the best shot. Although I did get pregnant in August and the pregnancy held on for a bit longer than my previous ones, I still lost the baby.

And now we're here. To today. A day that means so much to me now. A day to speak out about my four lost babies, and a day I put a face to pregnancy loss and recurrent miscarriage. My journey is far from being over.

 We have a plan for when I am comfortable trying again. It's safe to say that learning I'm pregnant and pregnancy in general will not ever be the same experience for me as it was with Juliet. I won't be as relaxed and I will probably freak out about small things, if I ever make it to that point again. It's made me face the idea of not being able to have more children. It's made me feel like my body is failing at the one thing it should be able to do. It's pushed me to advocate for myself, my health, and my fertility. And it'll make me never take a pregnancy or having a healthy child for granted ever again.
 
I am the 1 in 4.

2 comments:

  1. I am so sorry for your losses. It is heartbreaking. It is wonderful that you are using your voice to bring awareness to miscarriage and infant loss. Hugs and prayers.

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  2. Thanks for sharing Caitlin. I lost my first pregnancy at 6 weeks and know the pain. Prayers for you and I this day for sure.
    Rachel

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