Saturday, November 15, 2014

Let the Testing Begin

It has been a little over a month since the D&C. I was referred to infertility because I have now had 2 miscarriages in a row, 3 overall, and because this last one was so late. So far it's just testing. I have had several blood tests. All have come back normal so far except the IgM and IgG test. However, they said most likely it's elevated from my pregnancy and I'll retest in a couple months. I've also had a uterine abnormality ultrasound which came back normal. Mark and I both had chromosomal tests, but we won't get the results back on those for about another month. Mark also has to give a semen sample. I'm assuming everything will come back normal and we will be one of the 60-75% of couples you have unexplained recurrent miscarriages. Really there is no obvious reason for this to be happening. We are healthy and young and haven't ever had alcohol or drugs or a cigarette. I am not obese or overweight. We have had 2 children without any problems. It's a puzzle.

As far as the baby is concerned, I finally got the pathology report back from St. Mary's only to learn that no testing was ordered so they only did a visual examination: weight, length, head shape, skin maceration. So I don't know the gender for sure and I will never know if it was something wrong with the baby or with me. I can't even begin to explain how upset I was when I saw that report. Maybe I had expected too much, but I was counting on that paper to rule out something, anything! And to help me with closure. I wanted to know the gender so so badly! I wanted to name it - if only in my heart. I felt like if I just knew the gender and whether or not it was sick I could heal a bit more. So when I saw nothing my heart broke all over again. It was a rough day, but luckily it only lasted the day and I was able to realize that it's still my baby regardless of it's gender or why it died. Someday I will know the gender. I will know that baby.

I have also learned some statistics. Two recurrent miscarriages only happens to 2% of women and 3 recurrent only to 1%. After 2 subsequent losses you have a 60-70% chance of having a successful pregnancy, which is actually not that much worse than never ever having a miscarriage. However, being part of 2% of the pregnant population makes even a 30% chance of another miscarriage seem terrifying and completely possible.  I'm starting to realize what a wreck I will be next time. I don't know when I'll ever feel "safe." I should have been "safe" last time. I made it so far. I had heard the heart beat 3 times. I was sicker than I have ever been. Everything pointed toward a completely healthy pregnancy and yet it wasn't. Was it me? Was it the baby? I don't know if I'll ever know. Next time nothing will ease my anxiety. Not symptoms, not a heart beat, not even making it past the first trimester. And since this last one was a missed miscarriage, the time between appointments might just do me in. I mean I walked around with a dead baby for 3 weeks! 3 WEEKS! The whole time thinking everything was fine! I will be a disaster! I can only hope that I will have divine help! I will need it!

Luckily, I haven't been given the green light to try again so I'm just trying to enjoy this time not being pregnant or thinking about being pregnant. I am giving myself time to heal (and maybe even forget) some of the pain and fear. I know that the second we start trying I will be afraid to get pregnant and afraid to not get pregnant. So for now I am just enjoying the lack of anxiety. In fact, I feel the healthiest mentally that I have felt in a long time! My anxiety is at an all time low and I love that! Maybe going through that trauma gave me a good reality check or maybe my hormones got knocked back into place. Who knows. Hopefully it sticks around! I also feel like I have gained a huge amount of empathy. I have a couple friends who are pregnant right now and in their first trimesters. I have found a lot of healing helping them out - bringing them dinners, taking their kids for a while, or visiting with them. I have also taken a good look at my life and the lives of my children and taken screen out of our lives during the weekdays and its been amazing! So there have definitely been blessings during this trial, which I am grateful for!