The things I haven’t said

I had another miscarriage, back in October. My third. I was shocked to find out I was pregnant, since we were preventing. I was considerably less shocked when the bleeding started around 6 1/2 weeks. It was, depressingly, so familiar to me that I didn’t even bother calling my doctor.* A negative pregnancy test a week or so after everything was over was confirmation.

I didn’t write about it at the time because what is there to say? We weren’t trying, and it would have been terrible timing. And where my miscarriage before Daniel threw me full on into wanting another baby RIGHT THIS MINUTE, this didn’t. Yes, I want more. Not right now. Don’t get me wrong, I was sad. Devastated even. Much sadder than seemed appropriate considering I was terrified to find out I was pregnant in the first place. But I would have happily welcomed another baby, terrible timing or no.

Miscarriage is one of those things that, as long as you’re managing to also have babies, sort of gets ignored. Half my pregnancies have ended in miscarriage. What does that mean for my medical records? NOTHING. My doctor told me that they wouldn’t do any testing until I’d had three miscarriages IN A ROW. It’s not considered “recurrent miscarriage” until it’s three in a row. It’s actually lucky for me that I ended up having the clotting panel run during my pregnancy with Kalena. (If you’re newish here, my sister Kirsta had a blood clot during her first pregnancy. I was also pregnant at the time, so my doctor ran the whole clotting panel as a precaution.) The clotting panel showed that I have Factor V Leiden (puts me at increased risk of blood clots) and a homozygous MTHFR mutation. Now, my doctor told me that MTHFR affects the way I process folic acid so I’d need to take more during pregnancy. That was it. I’ve since learned that MTHFR can be related to headaches (check!) miscarriage (check!) and babies with trisomies, specifically trisomy 21 (AND CHECK.) So I’m fortunate to know the likely cause, but there’s little to be done about it. I take folic acid, the only thing that might make a difference.

Anyway. I have no moment of understanding or life lesson learned here. It happened. Honestly, I expect it will happen again before all is said and done. We all have struggles. Apparently this is one of mine.

*I don’t remember if I mentioned here, but during my previous miscarriage I called the doctor who had me come in and do an ultrasound and blood work. Which meant I ended up paying several hundred dollars to confirm that I would not, in fact, be having a baby.

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37 thoughts on “The things I haven’t said

  1. First, let’s start with a joke. To lighten the mood? MTHFR really. I mean REALLY. Looks like a shorthand notation for a certain obscenity. I can’t be the only one that’s noticed this. Seems kind of fitting too, yes?

    Okay, but seriously. We do all have our struggles. That doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. Just like having a baby doesn’t make a miscarriage any less difficult. I’m sorry this is one of yours Elsha. I wish you didn’t have to have any. (Any struggles I mean. Obviously.)

    I also can’t help but notice the timing of this post… (Unless I’m reading into this too much. Which is possible.) Oh life. Always throwing us curve balls.

    Let’s Skype sometime this week.

    • I know, MTHFR is quite the abbreviation. Want to know what it stands for? Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. Organic chemistry served one purpose- I can remember the formal name of my genetic abnormally.

      Timing is coincidentally here. I’ve had this in my drafts folder for WEEKS, and finally got around to finishing my edits.

      Definitely let’s skype. I’ll text you.

  2. Also – for what it’s worth – this was really well written. I know you don’t usually write things like this, but whenever you do your honest and simple style makes it especially touching.

  3. I am so sorry to hear you had another miscarriage. They are hard no matter when or how many you have, although my first was also certainly the hardest. I have had odd blood work and symptoms this go around and had the MTHFR test done, it came back negative, but my B levels were still really low and my midwife had me start taking Methyl-Guard Plus by Thorne Research. It has significantly improved all my labs and is specifically recommended for MTHFR. Not sure if you are interested in unsolicited advice, but I just learned this in the last month and thought I would share.Big hugs, pregnancy loss is really hard.

    • Yes, my first was the hardest too, because I didn’t have kids yet. So it brought up all kinds of “what if I can’t EVER carry to term?” worries.

      I’ll definitely look into the Methyl-Gaurd Plus. Is it prescription or over the counter? (It seems like the doctors and nurses I’ve talked to don’t know much about MTHFR, so I’m always eager to hear what other people have learned.)

  4. I’m so sorry to hear thay this happened again for you. You’re totally right- I’ve “only” had one miscarriage, after 2 totally healthy babies & before another quick & healthy pregnancy… so sometimes I feel GUILTY for thinking sad thoughts about last summer. It was such a blip on the grand scale, right? But it doesn’t change the fact that going through it sucks BALLS. It’s physically & emotionally hard & then mentally hard later with all the questions in your head, you know? So… anyway. I’m sorry. You’re allowed to grieve, even though it was unexpected. xoxo

  5. Ah sh*t. I’m so sorry. I too am a veteran of multiple losses (two between each successful pregnancy). It is super interesting to me about this gene mutation though..my last miscarriage before this pregnancy was far enough along I had chromosomes run which revealed Trisomy 13 due to a translocation. Just seems to hit so many remote odds when combined with a baby with sporadic Trisomy 21 at age 25. If i had any plans for more children (I don’t) I would absolutely request this panel be run.

    I know I am beyond fortunate to have the children I do, but I can’t help feeling a little bitter when I see people follow the sex=pregnancy=healthy baby with no hiccups along the way. I have long since ceased feeling much beyond anxiety when I get a positive test.

    Uh, not to make this about me or anything! Again, I’m just so sorry you had to go through it again, and I hope you’ll give us all the chance to send our best positive thoughts and vibes out for future babies if and when it’s required 🙂

    • I actually find it reassuring to read other people’s stories. Reminds me that I’m not alone. I see people announce pregnancies at 5 or 6 weeks and I wonder what it would be like to feel confident at 5 weeks that I’d have a baby at the end.

      I’m surprised the panel doesn’t get run after miscarriage more often, but it seems like most doctors just chalk miscarriages up to bad luck. I’ll definitely have it run on Kalena though, at some point, so that she can have as much information as possible ahead of time.

  6. I hate that you have had to deal with miscarriage once, much less 3 times. I can’t even imagine.
    That’s crazy that MTHFR is linked to those 3 things that you’ve had!
    I hope you have an easy pregnancy when you are ready.

  7. I appreciate your strength, honesty, and bravery in speaking (via posting) about your loss. I am so sorry for your loss, and wish you success in the future. It helps others who have experienced similar losses. 😉

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