Category Archives: Recurrent pregnancy loss

A quick ending to pregnancy #8

Hello blog world. I am not really sure if anyone reads this anymore but I felt like writing today so here goes…

I found out I was pregnant for the 8th time while on vacation in Hawaii. I knew the test would be positive…that’s the beauty and the curse of having been pregnant so many times. I was also pretty darn sure that my betas would not be very good when I got home because I had absolutely no symptoms after I got that positive test. And I was right. My first beta came in at 152 at 5 weeks. Based on that number alone and that I was incredibly sure of my dates, I was pretty sure I was in chemical pregnancy land. The second number went up…to 168. Not viable. The third number came in at 134 and proceeded to stay there for the follow up draw, prompting panic that this was an ectopic pregnancy. The following draw dropped to 119 and then 26 (which was the day after I started bleeding), so we are pretty sure it’s just an early miscarriage. I will have my blood drawn on Wednesday to confirm this, but I am pretty confident it’ll be 0 at that point.

In general, I feel a bit numb to the feelings that should surround a positive pregnancy test. I’m sure this is a protective mechanism. I did not cry at all over the lost pregnancy, and that was a first. One of the feelings I was not expecting was relief. I was relieved that it was not ectopic, of course, but I was also relieved to not have to go into an ultrasound and be told I had another missed miscarriage, or, worse, another stillbirth.

My husband was also relieved. He just hates this process so much and would love to stop trying for a second kid. I am just not there yet, so as long as he’s still agreeing to try, I am going to press on. I do feel that this is one step closer to a resolution (which is such an obvious statement) but I do feel like I am approaching my limit for this TTC business, and as much as I would like it to end in the live birth of a child, I realize that my preferred outcome is actually not that likely. We are starting to explore the foster to adopt process, but we have plenty of time to do this in the future if we decide that having two children is really what we want.

I did find out that I am homozygous MTHFR C677T, which has been shown to contribute to blood clotting issues and recurrent pregnancy loss. But it has also been shown to not contribute, so who the heck knows if it has anything to do with anything. I already take baby aspirin, which is what is recommended once you find out about the mutation. I have officially cut out all processed foods that are fortified with folic acid and I have started taking a prenatal with methylfolate, which made me feel awful so I switched to one with whole food form of folate. I am going to try another prenatal that is formulated differently with folinic acid and methylfolate and does not make people feel as crappy (so we shall see).

My vacation and the miscarriage screwed up my diet in general, so I am finishing up my delicious Kona Coffee and then I will cut out coffee again. We have one more trip planned this weekend and then I’ll go back onto my full fledged no processed foods and no sweets. Taking a break from the restrictive eating has been nice, but the success of actually getting pregnant again has re-motivated me to get back on the wagon. I also started running again last week, and it has been so nice to do exercise that is not just walking. I plan to continue doing 30 minutes 3 times a week for now.

Lastly I am looking at getting one last consult with an outside RE to see if there is anything I’m missing. My insurance-covered RE’s are just not interested in my case since I am not interested in IVF. I’m willing to spend a little bit of money to have a monitored cycle and to get a saline sonogram to make sure my lining is ok after that D&C. Maybe it’ll give me the diagnosis that actually gets me my live birth…or convinces me to stop!

Here we go…again…

July marks the month where we start trying again. I literally cannot believe that I’m writing those words. After 5 years of TTC, we are still at it. It’s such a surreal feeling.

July 9th was the 5 year anniversary of my first positive pregnancy test. We got pregnant on the first try. Living the dream, right? WRONG! It is unbelievable that after getting pregnant so easily I have experienced 5 miscarriages, a stillbirth, a uterine anomaly diagnosis, DOR and the miracle birth of my daughter. The whole story sounds like it’s someone’s nightmare, but nope, it’s my real freaking life. And I am actively choosing to continue what I assume will add more depth to the nightmare. Sometimes I seriously wonder what is wrong with me and why do I have such a desire to experience pregnancy and a successful live birth again after all we’ve been though. But I’m just not ready to give up on my body. I want this journey to end on my terms instead of on the shitty terms I’ve been dealt.

I have thought a lot about how I wish I had a different (in)fertility diagnosis. For example, I wish I needed IVF to conceive but was able to carry pregnancies with no issues. Or I wish I had a uterine septum instead of a unicornuate uterus. Obviously I have no idea what another road would have been like so I cannot really speculate that I would have preferred another path, but it certainly seems like it would have been less painful. Although, as I’m learning, pain is relative, so it’s likely I would have experienced the same heartbreaking feelings on another journey.

I had my cycle day 3 labs and AMH redrawn and boy are they shitty. My AMH had cut in half in 11 months from 1.2 to 0.6. My FSH is 14 but my E2 is 84, which means my FSH is being artificially suppressed and is likely higher. So now I’m in the full blown DOR zone and not just the likely DOR gray area. It makes me so upset that Colton died and that he may have been my last shot at a normal embryo. I hate the uncertainty of this road and that I have no idea if I will even be able to get pregnant again. But then I think about how I made 2 normal embryos last year and it can’t be that bad yet, right? I’m only 35 and while that’s considered to be of geriatric age for getting pregnant, so many people get pregnant and have no problems at this age and above. There was also a study that came out in 2017 basically saying that having low AMH and/or high FSH showed no difference in the ability of a non-infertile woman to get pregnant naturally. So I’m hoping that since I have never had a problem getting pregnant I am considered “non-infertile” and  I will still be able to get pregnant. Hopefully I still have some good quality eggs left. Too bad my uterus sucks and I have to gamble that the normal embryo implants in the right spot. Lastly I really hope that D&C did not screw up my lining but only time will tell.

Since March I have been taking ubiquinol, prenatal vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin D, extra folic acid, and a B complex vitamin in hopes to improve my egg quality. I also re-read “It Starts with the Egg” by Rebecca Fett and have re-committed myself to eliminating toxins from my household items and food as much as I possibly can. I also plan to re-introduce baby aspirin next month (which I am a bit scared to do since I’ve been dealing with some pretty bad heartburn since Colton’s delivery, but it’s been a lot better recently). Since June I am also eating  no processed carbs, no dairy, no alcohol and no coffee. The no processed carbs and dairy are really easy for me. I had wine/beer on my vacation but that is actually easy for me to eliminate as well. I just wanted to enjoy my vacation and my 6 year wedding anniversary. But man do I love coffee. I did quit for a month, but started again this past week on vacation so now I have to eliminate it again.  There is something so magical about a cup of coffee in the morning. I sound like an addict…

And that’s where I’m at. Overall I am doing just fine considering my baby died 4.5 months ago. We’ve done a lot of fun things, and I am really enjoying my toddler a lot. She’s at such a fun age. I know I sound really negative in this post but I think a lot of it is apathy. It just seems like it’s a futile attempt so I just am finding it hard to really commit to putting my all into trying again. But then I really want to have another baby and there is always the underlying hope that maybe, just maybe, it will actually happen.

20 week ultrasound

So in my true blogging form I am late to the game once again. My 20 week ultrasound was a week and a half ago and I’m happy to report that everything looks within normal limits with the baby! He is measuring on track with dates so far, which is a huge relief. And we confirmed that he actually is a he.

My cervix is measuring 3.2cm which is still in the reassuring range, but of course I’m concerned that it’s been shortening every two weeks. I started in the 5cm range, down to 4cm and now closer to 3cm. I held steady around 4cm for my last pregnancy. Hopefully my cervix check this week will show no change and I can stop worrying about it (yeah right, I am a huge worrier).

Next up is my last cervix check at 22 weeks, and then I will have a growth scan around the 30 week mark. With baby A, the growth scan at 30 weeks was where the IUGR was diagnosed so I’m hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself.

I’ve been feeling movement since 15 weeks but over the last week it’s become very frequent and it’s getting stronger. I even saw a kick through my belly the other night. My husband has been able to feel him this past week as well, which has been great for bonding.

My Braxton hicks contractions have been increasing in frequency over the past week as well. I hate that I feel them so early. I’m always concerned they are going to turn into preterm labor. I’ve also had some period-like pain that I’ve been attributing to round ligament pain (this has been my norm for weeks). It’s been way worse this pregnancy but luckily it’s only severe for 10-15 mins before subsiding.

I finally started telling people at work, and it’s certainly time because I cannot hide I anymore. Hilariously enough I have a co-worker who is due 2 days before me! She also waited until the 20 week mark to say anything. I know she and her husband had a hard time conceiving (although I don’t know the details) so I am super ecstatic for her! Sadly, I have another co-worker who is currently experiencing her third miscarriage in a year. She had a late miscarriage at 18 weeks where her water just broke out of nowhere, followed by two first trimester miscarriages. I’m so sad for her and I did my best to offer her support yesterday when she told me (I disclosed my five miscarriages to her) but I’m still unsure how much support she wants from the pregnant girl so I’ll just keep checking in.

In other news, we are potty training A. She is still in diapers for naps and nights but she’s doing great otherwise. She still poops in her diaper but has also pooped in the potty several times as well. I initially didn’t want to bribe but my husband started giving her 3 chocolate chips if she poops in the potty and that has helped immensely. She doesn’t need any bribing for pee. We had one day this week where she peed herself FIVE times in an afternoon and I though we had completely regressed, but it’s now been almost 4 days and no accidents since then. She is also doing great at daycare using the potty. I hope it keeps going well.

Wishing everyone all the best in the new year!

>5000

I had my blood drawn yesterday, almost exactly 1 week later to the minute! That was certainly not intentional but kind of cool, right? Afterward, I spent the morning doing everything I could to distract myself from checking my email obsessively every 5 minutes (which was no easy task). Luckily, the nurse was very quick this morning and I only waited 2.5 hours to find out my beta had risen to 5,558! So I’m still in the game. These betas are better than my last pregnancy, and similar to my only successful pregnancy, so I’m choosing to take that as a good sign.

My ultrasound is scheduled for Oct. 4th, the day after A’s birthday. Based on my BBT, I think I will be 7w2d. I could have had it on the 2nd but I decided I’d rather spend A’s birthday with her not knowing the outcome so I could focus on her and not another miscarriage (although I’m hoping everything looks good, but I’d rather be in the dark/nervous than upset/sad). I took the day off of work for her birthday so we could do something fun! Also, 7w2d is one day farther along than the size of my last missed miscarriage and I’m hoping if things look good it will help me relax a little (famous last words, I don’t know how to relax during early pregnancy because of my history, especially after my last miscarriage after seeing a heartbeat).

Our whole family came down with a horrific cold and so I’ve been feeling incredibly awful for the past week. I even had to call in sick be because I lost my voice! It was insane. Of course I am worried this illness will affect the pregnancy, even though I know logically it will not. I also think it’s masked any pregnancy symptoms that I may be having as I feel a little off this morning (in a pregnancy way) but I also still just feel like absolute crap (in an illness way)! Here’s to hoping we all get better soon.

In other exciting news, my husband and I signed papers to buy our first house yesterday! We are buying his Grandparents place from his siblings and Mom, and we’ve been living here since Nov. 2017. We moved in with his ailing grandfather, and he unfortunately passed away in Feb 2018, much more quickly than we all anticipated. His family is glad the house will stay on the family and we are glad to finally be homeowners.

So now we begin another two week wait for the ultrasound, ugh. It’s so weird to be here again. My husband commented that we are just approaching the danger zone so while he’s so glad the blood draws look good, we are in no way out of the woods. Hopefully the universe will prove us wrong and there is nothing to be worried about.

Thank you everyone for your support. I really appreciate it. Hope everyone is well.

Lucky number 7?

I will be talking about another P here so please do not read if you’re not in the right space.

One week ago, I noticed some serious abdominal pain, gas and bloating and I just knew I was pregnant. So last Friday I took a cheap internet test and got a squinter. I was pretty sure I saw the line so I shelled out for a better test and I was for sure pregnant. This was at 10dpo.

I had started taking vaginal progesterone twice a day from 3dpo, and I have been taking baby aspirin for months. With my only successful pregnancy I took the vaginal progesterone from 3dpo so I am officially doing everything the same this time around.

I actually waited until 14dpo ask my RE for blood work. I wanted to see some higher numbers this time. My progesterone came back at 49.1, beating out my last progesterone by 1, so I’m still going with the assumption that progesterone is not an issue for me. My first beta came back at 98, and the second (at 16dpo, just over 48 hours later) is 268, so it more than doubled in the correct timeframe. Thank goodness!

The next step is to get a repeat HCG in a week. If things still look good I schedule a viability ultrasound around 7 weeks. I wish 7 weeks wasn’t the week of my daughters 2nd birthday but I don’t want to wait until 8 weeks and fudging the dates will put me at 6 weeks 1 day. That’s way too early in my opinion, especially after seeing a heartbeat around 6 weeks and then miscarrying at 7 weeks 1 day. I’d rather wait a little longer. I have a trip planned that throws a wrench in the scheduling of an ultrasound later on in week 6. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here.

As for pregnancy symptoms, I have had a little gas, bloating and minimal light cramping. But that’s it. I know it’s super early (16DPO) but my mind seems to remember way more cramping this early.

All of this being said, I have been here several times before and it’s fallen through every time but once. I am anxious and scared. But I also feel relaxed a lot of the time because I know there is nothing I can do to change the outcome. I can only hope this embryo implanted in a cozy spot that has enough blood flow to get everything it needs until its birth at full term.

And thus begins the rollercoaster of emotions, anxiety, obsessing over pregnancy symptoms (or the lack thereof) and hope. Because I can’t help but have some hope, even if the odds are against me.

Saline sonogram 2.0

I had my saline sonogram yesterday on CD10. I found my last one in 2015 to be quite crampy and uncomfortable. It was (and still is) my most uncomfortable experience with fertility procedures. This time I took 300mg Motrin 1 hour before and what a difference! Although maybe it was the doctor’s technique that was better but I literally had no pain (although I was bracing myself for pain the entire time). (Edited to add that I apparently took 800mg of Motrin before my last procedure so it must have been my new doctor’s technique). It took less than 10 minutes.

Fortunately there is nothing in my uterus that shouldn’t be there. He also reiterated that if we didn’t know about my UU, he would never be able to tell based on ultrasound that I had one. Oddly enough I almost wished for a polyp so I could undergo another hysteroscopy. One of my theories is that baby A stuck around because of the hysteroscopy creating an area for her to burrow in deep, sort of like an endometrial scratch. Alas I will never know if that was the magic needed but it’s certainly possible.

I still have the same cyst on my left ovary so I hope it stays for several months so I can ovulate from my connected right ovary for awhile, hopefully increasing my chances to be pregnant for the 3rd time in a year…sigh. When we were on our journey toward baby A I had a cyst on my left ovary for a long time, around 6 months. Maybe that is a more cyst-y ovary, if that is even a thing.

I am so unsure that I will ever carry another pregnancy to term. While I now know my body is capable of doing it, I certainly have pretty terrible odds with pregnancy outcomes. What a weird and lonely journey to be on. Never in a million years would I have expected to have recurrent pregnancy loss. I didn’t even know this was a thing until after I had my first miscarriage. Oh to be blissfully ignorant again.

Meeting with the new RE

We had our meeting with our new RE this week, Dr. H2. Overall it went well, I liked him a lot. Kind, easy to talk with, organized and no bullshit. He had all my results and his recommendations typed up when we got into his office, and he reviewed everything with us from that sheet (and I got a copy of it)!

My FSH is up to 15.3 (from 13ish in Sept. 2015). So worse, but not by much. My AMH, however, is still 1.2 (I was 1.24 in Sept. 2015) so that is encouraging. Honestly I’m surprised (and thankful) it hasn’t changed more. All of my other labs are normal, and the clotting lab I was concerned about is not even elevated according to Dr. H2 so that’s good news. He did an ultrasound and my AFC is 8ish on CD 6 with 4 follicles one each side (and a huge cyst leftover from last month). So that hasn’t really changed either. He also said I can do a saline sonogram in my next cycle so I will be scheduling that in the near future.

As for his opinion on my most recent miscarriage, he thinks it was likely due to the fact that a unicornuate uterus has areas of poor blood flow. While one treatment for RPL is IVF with PGS, he does not recommend this in my case since they cannot control where that embryo will implant and I do make normal embryos so it likely won’t help. (It makes me think back to how we were gong to do IVF and then I got pregnant and it worked out. I wonder how that would have ended up.) He suggests baby aspirin and progesterone, both of which I’m already doing. I also asked if he thinks more of my miscarriages were normal embryos and he said most likely yes.

I don’t know why but I feel strangely validated by that bit of information. If I had to wager a guess, I would think that 4/6 of my pregnancies were actually normal, although I can only prove 2 (my live birth and my most recent miscarriage). I mean who really knows but finding out that the last one was normal really makes me question the poor eggs theory (although I still believe my egg quality is lower for my age given my AFC and FSH). He is also the first RE who said this to me. Everyone else said it was more likely my eggs (although I don’t blame them bc no one else had the chromosomally normal miscarriage as evidence). I guess I would have liked to hear this sooner but there was no way for that to happen.

Armed with this new information, I am really beginning to believe that it is a miracle that I have my beautiful, spunky, fabulous toddler and I feel even more lucky to have her.

As for now, the plan is to keep trying and hope the next embryo is normal AND implants in the right spot. But who knows if lightening will strike twice!

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.

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?