Author Archives: RJ

About RJ

I am an almost 35 year old RN who lives is the SF bay area. I enjoy cooking, running, and spending time with my friends, husband, and amazing daughter. I started this blog because I was so grateful for the few accounts of miscarriages I found online after having my first one is 2014. Little did I know I would go on to have two more before being diagnosed as a unicorn (a half uterus...unicornuate uterus or UU) and high FSH (13 with E2 <50)/borderline low AMH (1.24). Essentially poor egg quality/DOR. I luckily conceived my miracle baby in Jan 2016, and delivered her at 37 weeks after a stressful and complicated pregnancy. She was growth restricted (a common complication for UU pregnancies) and I had to be induced. She is 18 months now and I am so incredibly thankful to be her mommy and have her in my life. While I am ok with one baby, my husband really wants another one so we are currently TTC again. I’ve already had my 4th miscarriage (a chemical pregnancy) and am debating whether to bother getting my labs drawn and going back to the fertility specialists. Honestly I don’t think I have it in me to do IVF especially because I am likely already DOR. 5 pregnancies and 1 live birth...not a great record. Who knows what will happen, and so we press onward. **this section has bee updated last in April 2018**

The next steps

Just a quick update to say I finally got my referral to the new RE and they had a cancelation so I’ll be meeting him next week. Most of the RPL labs I did last time were ordered and to my knowledge they look normal. Except for my beta 2 glycoprotein 1 came back positive. I did not have this drawn last time and from my research this can cause blood clotting during pregnancy contributing to miscarriages. Apparently to be considered an issue the test needs to be positive twice with 3 months in between tests. So it’ll be interesting to see what he has to say about that. I also asked for my FSH, E2, LH and AMH to be run for comparison.

Honestly I am mostly interested in a thorough uterine cavity evaluation looking for polyps or anything else that could cause issues. But if anything else can help us that would be great too!

I ovulated on CD 13 this month, which is unheard of for me. My earliest ovulation date is CD 17. Now I’m wondering if this in a one-off or if it’s an indication of my declining fertility. I guess only time will tell.

I have basically cut out all refined carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol. And I’m about to wean off the caffeine too! It’s been easier than I thought it would be so I’ll be keeping it up for as long as I can. I figure it can’t hurt, right?!

Emotionally I’m doing well. It took a little time but I have been going about my life and have been feeling pretty happy, all things considered. I hope we will be able to have another baby but if that is not in the cards, I think I’ll be ok. My husband said to me recently if I wanted to stop trying he is ok with that, even though he does want another child. It really helped to hear that. So we shall see.

Hope everyone else is doing well.

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Normal

I just got the results from the genetic testing performed on the baby. At first I just wanted to know if it was abnormal because knowing the sex makes it a little too real for me. But the baby was chromosomally normal. Then I had to know if it was a male or female because a female karyotype can mean the mother’s tissue was run instead of the baby’s. And the baby was a normal male.

So what does this mean for me? I really don’t know. The OB I spoke with (mine is on vacation) said that this only shows the chromosomes were correct, and something else could have been wrong. But it makes me wonder about my uterus and if the blood flow is just not that good. Maybe the baby has to implant in the perfect spot, and A was one in a million. It also makes me wonder about my first and third miscarriages, the ones where there was a baby to measure on ultrasound, and if he/she were normal as well. And maybe my odds of having a normal egg are better than I’m assuming they are. But that’s not really comforting because the goal is obviously to have a genetically normal egg that makes it to a full term, healthy baby.

I asked again about the referral to the new RE because I have a lot more questions now. I’m also a bit bummed that a microarray test was not ordered but I don’t think that’s something routinely done by regular OB’s, or even the RE’s, in my insurance plan. I tried. Oh well.

I called my husband crying. I feel so terrible about losing a normal baby. My husband really wants a boy so I feel like it’s a big blow to him even though he would never say so. He said it’s just news and it’s ok. I’ve been doing really well this week to so this has crushed my spirit a bit.

I also always felt like my first pregnancy was a boy, so maybe my body just miscarries boys (and I realize how ridiculous that sounds but that’s just how I feel)!

My follow up ultrasound is today to make sure my uterus is empty. I took a pregnancy test this morning and I’ve never been so annoyed to see a faint line. Figures, right?! I guess I’m going to ask for blood draws to make sure it goes to 0. I’m taking A to the appointment with me so hopefully the iPad and headphones will keep her entertained!

So one live birth, two abnormal pregnancies (chemical and one hardly developed), one normal, and two unknown.

What’s next?

Freak of nature

There are some graphic descriptions of my miscarriage in this post so please do not read if you’re squeamish or not in a good space.

This was the quickest miscarriage. Once the real cramping and back pain set in around 8:30pm, I took a Percocet and promptly fell asleep curled up with my heating pad in bed. I slept HARD and woke up around 4:30am with a heavy feeling. Once I sat on the toilet I knew I was going to pass the baby and I caught it with a strainer. I immediately felt relief that it was over quickly and simultaneously felt so incredibly sad. I could see the tiny outline of something in the sac, and when I picked it up it made me think this will be the only time I will hold this baby. Of course there were tears. My husband got up with me as I put it into the container with saline, and then into a plastic bag, and lastly into a paper bag before placing it in the refrigerator where it would wait until my doctors office was open.

My husband took the day off to be with me so he drove us to the doctor. It was really weird bringing my baby to the doctors office and navigating the system to make sure it made it to my doctor. Everyone I interacted with was really nice but I just hate the pity that you see and feel in their actions. I had to do a lot of waiting as my doctor was on a long phone call, so I just clutched the brown bag, and got to take one last look at the baby who wasn’t meant to be while alone in the nurses office. Now the waiting begins to see if we can determine anything about its genetics.

I really didn’t start bleeding like a period until Sunday afternoon, I just had lots of pretty gross looking blackish discharge. I even took the second dose of misoprostol Friday night hoping to get things moving. But surprisingly I am having no cramping since the actual bleeding began, so nothing like my normal periods.

I’ve been googling to see if I can figure out what kind of genetic issues can have a heartbeat and then pass. It looks like it could be trisomy 21, 18, 13 or turners syndrome. Or the really scary totally normal chromosomes, meaning I miscarried a perfectly normal baby. Which I’m not sure how I will deal with if I get that news. I do know the likely reason is genetic issues, especially with my egg quality history, but this half uterus really throws a wrench in things.

My OB is putting in a referral to a different RE so we can double check that nothing has been missed. Most likely that’ll include re-testing my day 3 labs and AMH, and AFC. It’s funny but I’m not sure I really want to do that just yet but I’m certainly interested in at least talking to the RE. Side note: I now work with my old REs, Drs. N and H, and I just prefer to keep my professional and personal lives separate, which is why I don’t want to go back to them at this time.

One of the reasons I hate telling people I’m pregnant is that I really don’t like un-telling them. It’s way easier to tell people I’ve had a miscarriage after the fact. Either way, it’s really hard to disappoint people with bad news. People usually don’t know what to say when someone has a miscarriage, but what do you say to the person who has had 5? Seriously, 5? I never in a million years thought I would be here. While I know I’m not alone in having this many miscarriages, I certainly feel alone, and I feel like a freak of nature with all these miscarriages and my half uterus. I just want to be normal, but what is normal anyway?

Thank you for reading if you made it through this post. And thank you for all of the support I’ve received.

Not the scan I was hoping for…

Unfortunately, there is no heartbeat. I’m so sad, but not surprised given my history. I should have been 8 + 3 but the baby was only measuring 7 + 1. This is the first time I have miscarried after seeing a heartbeat, which doesn’t make it suck any more or less than the other times…it just sucks.

My OB, as always, is amazing and I am still so incredibly thankful I switched to her. Super compassionate and willing to find answers and explore options for me. This time, I have again elected to use misoprostol (I am petrified of having a D&C). She recommends taking an antibiotic with it so I’m doing that as well. I will have a follow up appointment in two weeks to make sure everything has passed. She’s going to get in touch with the local RE to see if there is anything else we can do in the testing department (although I suspect not but I appreciate the gesture). She also entertained my request to try and get genetic testing on the baby. She called the lab and got instructions on what to do and then passed those on to me.

I have always wanted to do genetic testing but my last OB said there was no way to do it (which I now know is not true). I would like the closure of knowing if the baby was actually normal (meaning my uterus could be the problem) or if it’s chromosomal (which is the assumption based on the timing of my miscarriages and my egg quality lab results).

It’s time for me to go back to making all of the lifestyle changes I made in the past. I have actually continued to use green beauty products, soap/shampoo, and trying to avoid plastic, but my diet needs an overhaul. I’m not sure how crazy I will actually go but I know I need to cut out sugar. I’m sure I’ll blog more about this.

Thank you everyone for your positive thoughts. I truly appreciate having this community of wonderful ladies supporting me regardless of the outcome. Sending lots of love.

Now onto my date with misoprostol, ibuprofen, a warm pack, and possibly some Percocet.

Ultrasound day…

I am so impressed with myself making it to today with minimal anxiety. Being busy has helped immensely, as has the random nausea I’ve been having most days. Still with no to hardly sore breasts and minimal cramping though, which makes me nervous. A very different pregnancy for sure.

Of course yesterday I had no pregnancy symptoms so now I am pretty scared for my appointment later this morning. Just wanted to put it out there for the world to send me some good thoughts. I know the results are out of my control but I hate the anxiety that comes with scans.

Update to come later today. Thank you for being here for me and I wish you all good things.

First hurdle…check…

I will be talking about my pregnancy and ultrasound in this post. Please skip if you are not in the right place.

Somehow I made it through the last couple of weeks. I guess having a toddler, job, and taking a mini vacation to visit my BFF who moved to Chicago really helped the time fly by. I didn’t have nearly enough time to google everything (although I did my fair share of googling, which was basically pointless). I also peed on a couple more sticks, which was also pointless at this point and made me feel silly for wasting money.

My symptoms have been very mild to non-existent so while I was trying to hold onto the hope that my betas and progesterone were good, it was really hard to let go of all the ultrasound trauma I’ve been through with first trimester scans. I was especially worried that I have had almost no cramping, which was very present with my only successful pregnancy. So I also bought my favorite beer just in case.

My appointment was at the end of the day after a particularly slow and painful shift at work that did not keep me distracted. But she was able to find the baby almost immediately and we could all see the flickering heartbeat! It was 131, so perfect for this stage! Baby is measuring 6 weeks exactly, which is 4 days behind my assumed ovulation date I calculated with OPK and basal body temps. At this stage it’s within the margin of error so hopefully it’s just that and not some ominous sign.

Of course I was hoping for the good news we got, but I am also thankful not to be in limbo. Honestly that is harder than getting bad news because there is always that tiny shred of hope and then you get crushed all over again.

So if things continue to go well we will be having a baby on 12/24 (although I’m assuming he or she will be early just like baby A since last time I checked I still have a half uterus to work with). I am hopeful that it’s stretched out more this time and maybe he or she will be bigger.

My husband and I made chocolate chip cookies to celebrate tonight. They were delicious but I certainly regret eating 5 because now I feel yucky. Oh well, they were delicious!

Side note: A and I are basically at the end of our breastfeeding relationship. It’s been a little sad for me but it’s been on her terms and I am thankful for that. I let her latch on when she asks, which is usually in the mornings 2-3 times a week. I’m pretty sure she gets almost nothing

So the other morning she asked “di di’s” (her name for my boobs) so I let her latch on. She vigorously and unsuccessfully tried to get a let down on both sides. Then she proceeds to point at each of my nipples and say “broken”. I almost peed my pants laughing. It was so funny I just had to share.

Number 6….

This is a “P” post. Please do not read if you are not in the right space. I’ve decided to adopt these disclaimers as well because I think they are really sensitive to the places others may be in. I wish I would have adopted them earlier.

As I’m sure you can tell from my above disclaimer, I am pregnant again. Pretty surprised because I’m fairly sure I ovulated from my unconnected left ovary (although that’s based on my feeling of ovulation pain on that side so who knows how accurate that is). I thought my period was going to come because of a temp drop I always get on my period day, but it never showed and went back up the next day prompting my POAS addiction to start again.

My progesterone was 48, which is the highest I’ve ever had so I’m choosing to think that’s a good sign.

I am currently taking vaginal progesterone twice daily, my regular prenatal, extra folic acid, and 81mg baby aspirin.

My HCG is rising appropriately.

13dpo: 31

15dpo: 49 (73 hr doubling time, increase of 58%…side note this freaked me out because it was right on the cusp)

20dpo: 328(40 hour doubling time)

And now I’m in the horrible wait for that dreaded early ultrasound. I’ll be 6w4d if my fertility friend charting is correct. I have never posted about a P this early but I just really need to get it off my chest.

I feel relatively un-pregnant. I had one day of all day nausea so far 3 days ago, but it’s intermittent at best these past few days. No sore boobs, less cramping that I remember with my successful P with A, not super tired, and my bloating and gassiness has tapered off. I took meticulous notes on my former Ps and these symptoms are more consistent with my missed miscarriages than my successful P. But who the heck knows, it’s not an exact science, this is a “second” (edited to add a subsequent) pregnancy, and every pregnancy is different…or so they say. I certainly felt my 3rd beta was going to be bad because I felt all my bloating and gassiness lessen and I was wrong there.

So I thank all of you for being in this space with me and letting me air my anxieties (and celebrate a little bit as well). The ultrasound is on April 30 in the late afternoon, giving me 8 more days of torture.