Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Big Plunge

I finally took The Big Plunge and made an appointment to finish my recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) testing before trying to get pregnant a third time. I'll be seeing a high-risk pregnancy doctor in Baltimore, who will finish the testing that I wasn't able to have done in Boston before we moved. She will also be able and hopefully more willing to monitor my next pregnancy more cautiously than an regular Ob/Gyn. My appointment isn't until September 21 (not too bad for a brand new patient), so we will have to be careful to not get me pregnant next cycle! Less than five weeks to go...

I decided to get testing before a third pregnancy because of an online talk I heard from a RPL specialist at Shady Grove Fertility Clinic. He basically said that although doctors used to make patients wait for three miscarriages, it's hard for them to tell patients that they need to wait for a third dead baby to have testing done, especially with the low difference in chances of miscarrying after a second and third loss. A lot of patients with unexplained RPL have successful pregnancies with TLC and a few harmless, possibly helpful treatments (like baby aspirin to help prevent clotting and progesterone in case of low progesterone, even though they don't know if this actually prevents miscarriage or not). After listening to his talk, I felt a little less crazy for wanting testing done now.

It's hard to not know anyone in real life who has had two losses before any successful pregnancies. Sometimes I feel like everyone around me is thinking that I must be a hypochondriac, that I'm just making this up. Or that because I am pessimistic in general that I am blowing this up to be a bigger deal than it is. It's hard, too, because I'm not a part of the infertility sisterhood. I felt like I couldn't make an appointment at Shady Grove Fertility Clinic because I could be taking the spot of someone who can't get pregnant on her own, and that wouldn't be fair. I can get pregnant on my own, rather easily, I just don't keep the babies.

I was thinking about skipping trying to get pregnant next month, anyway. I can only imagine the terror I would have had to have another baby due in June, to have another loss in December. Although part of me thinks, hey, why shouldn't I let the bad dates pile up in December; then I will just have a really, really rough month instead of spreading out the loss throughout the year. (I found out on December 9 last year that Max had died; I miscarried him on December 14; Olivia was due on December 7 or 16, depending on whether you trust the U/S date or my dating.)

What would you have done?


Anonymous said...

I think most people don't understand how difficult, both physically and emotionally, a miscarriage is - I know I didn't until I had one. I knew objectively that it would probably be very sad, but admittedly, I didn't understand why the mothers couldn't just let it go - I mean, it's not like the mothers had held their baby and gotten attached to it, right...? Wrong, clearly. I think it's probably not something anyone can really understand until they go through it. I imagine some people do probably think you're making a bigger deal out of it than it is... but these people don't understand - it is a big deal, a huge deal.

For what it's worth, I have the same thinking, that people see my miscarriage as something that was really no big deal, and that they don't want to hear about it, it makes them uncomfortable. This is why I'm grateful to have contact with you, because I know that you don't think this - that you know that losing your baby is a huge deal that one doesn't just "get over".

Wow, long comment, and I'm not even halfway done D:

I used to be friends with this guy whose favorite thing to say when I was feeling bad was "I know how you feel". I always got so angry with him when he said that, because I knew, and he knew, that he had no idea how I felt, not really, he was just spouting a pseudopsychological catchphrase to try to make me feel better. No one can know what another person feels at any given time, because we're all different. Even though I lost my baby, I have no idea how you're feeling. Maybe I know better than most people, but still not really, because the situations are similar, but different. I can sympathize with you, and listen to you (read your writing?) without rolling my eyes and making you feel bad, though.

As for making that appointment, I think it's a good idea. At least this way you know before trying to conceive again. :-)

Staci said...

I think it is a great idea for you to make that appointment! I have a good friend who had two miscarriages (about 14 and 12 weeks) before she had a successful third pregnancy. She ended up getting the testing done after the second miscarriage and had to take the baby aspirin and something else for several weeks once she found out she was pregnant. She is now blessed with a 5 year old boy and almost 4 year old girl. Anyone who thinks you are crazy or, what did you say?...a hypochondriac for doing this now obviously hasn't been walking in your shoes at all! Praying that you get some answers that are helpful.

Kim Neyer said...

I think you should go ahead with the testing, definitely. My neighbor is now pregnant and out of the "danger zone" after having two miscarriages this past year. It seems, and we pray, that this baby is healthy and will be carried to term. Good luck with your testing!

Brooke said...

I am glad you are starting the testing. I cant imagine a doctor asking you to endure another loss just so they can say you have had three. Why not figure out the problem so that the next time you get pregnant it will stick! I hope they find out the issue and you are pregnant in no time.

MoDLin said...

I'm sorry for your losses. One is so hard, but multiples are extremely difficult to handle. If it helps you at all, my daughter had two miscarriages before she was blessed with her daughter Alyce.

I think it's a good idea for you to keep that appointment. You may learn something very helpful from it. Wishing the best for you.

joy! said...

Glad you're having the testing done. Fertility is more than becoming pregnant, so you're not taking away a spot from someone else. Erase that thought from your mind!!

Instead, allow this brief time of rest to restore your body, mind and spirit.

Perfectly Imperfect said...

Good for you on going ahead with the testing. I think you definitely made the right choice. Hopefully they'll be able to get you some answers. I'll be praying for you..

And I completely understand the not trying next month time frame thing. I seem to always lose my babies right around Christmas. Every time. So not I hate having sex in October and November!! I'm so scared!!!