Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The miscarriage mantra: "just try again"

This blogger nails it:
When you can't conceive, there is treatment, but for recurrent unexplained pregnancy loss, there is just keep trying. I'm not entirely convinced infertility treatment will help overcome pregnancy loss. I think it might help you get pregnant quicker and more often and give you a better chance that a pregnancy will take sooner rather then later.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Okay, I am now already officially sick of the two week wait

I'm over this already.

(And embarrassingly, I must admit that I already took a HPT. It was - not surprsingly - quite negative.)

For those of us who have miscarried repeatedly, waiting for the positive test is exciting, but also kind of scary. If we get one this month, I will then have to steel myself for the "Three Month Wait," after which I will no longer live in mortal fear each day that I will lose the baby.

But still, I'd like a positive. My due date would be October 14, which is when my eldest child was due. A good day.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A product recommendation -

After reading Toni Weschler's amazing book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, I knew I wanted to start following my own body's cycles via Basal Body Temperature charting. But being an online kinda gal, I wanted to find a way to enter my temperatures online, and have them charted via software. Enter Fertility Friend. Somewhat silly name. Great product.

Every morning, I take my temperature, make note of any other fertility signs, and just enter them at the FF site. The software does the rest. It tells me when I ovulated, whether I ovulated, and allows me to follow my cycle through the month with an easy-to-read visual chart. It also allows me to compare my chart to other people's - so I could filter for charts that belong to 41 year old women on clomid, after miscarriage. Then I can see how my chart this month matches up to other people's - particularly folks who actually managed to get pregnant.

If you are trying to get pregnant, I HIGHLY recommend this online tool. It's well worth the $25 or whatever it costs for two or three months of using it.


Friday, January 23, 2009

The MTHFR-Miscarriage debate

Does MTHFR in and of itself lead to a higher miscarriage risk? Or is it only when MTHFR actually manifests as higher homocysteine levels that it presents a risk? Here's a clear overview of the current debate on this topic in the medical community.

The infamous two week wait....

I am now in it.

Oh joy.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Catholic perspective on miscarriage

Catholic columnist Leslie Sholly wrote a lovely piece about her own sad loss:

I’ve written so many times about the dangers of assuming we can plan and control our lives. We’ve never planned any pregnancy as deliberately as we did this one. I failed myself this time to remember that life is a gift and none of us is promised another day after today. Just yesterday we received the tragic news of an 18-year-old family member in Maryland who was killed by a drunken driver on his way home from senior week at the beach. He had just graduated from high school. His fate was certainly never part of his parents’ plans for him when they decided to conceive a second child.

For the moment we have no plan. As I heal physically and our family heals emotionally, we are praying to discern God’s plan regarding another member for our family. We both still want another one, but we’re scared. No one needs to tell us we should be grateful for our five healthy children. I was reminded of that just today, talking to a pharmacy tech at the drugstore who is afraid to have a baby because she doesn’t want to pass on the kidney disease she inherited. But it’s because of our five healthy children that we wanted another. Every child is different and adds something special and irreplaceable.

Sometimes I think I’d like the comfort of the belief some people have—that this baby’s soul is lurking somewhere and if we have another, that soul will still be born. But I know that isn’t true. That particular immortal soul will never come down to earth, and that makes me sad. I didn’t want an “angel” in heaven just yet but a baby on earth. Still, both John and I have been comforted by the thought that my grandmother, who died in January, is rocking our baby in heaven as she did the others when they were little, singing her special lullaby.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Miscarriage - an "invisible phenomenon"


Expectant women are often advised that they should not publicly reveal their pregnancy until they are past the 12-week mark. One reason given is the high chance of miscarriage in the first trimester. The assumption is that if you were to have a miscarriage, the last thing you’d want is for anyone to know about it. It is a misfortune which we are expected to keep to ourselves.

Dux goes on to recount her own recent experience of miscarriage. It is not actually such an uncommon event amongst adult women. Indeed, for every three women who have given birth by their early 30s, one has had a miscarriage. Yet, Dux argues, despite its frequency, miscarriage is an “almost invisible” phenomenon.

It seems our society is not geared towards grieving, or even acknowledging, the loss of an early pregnancy. As the American author Peggy Orenstein has observed, the English language doesn’t even have a word for a lost foetus.

It makes you wonder: would grieving women find more support if the subject wasn’t hidden away as an shameful “women’s issue”? Or do many women actually prefer not to talk about? I assume there are 10,000 different answers to the question. A little acknowledgment might go a long way though.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A MTHFR discussion forum

Lots of women discussing MTHFR and pregnancy issues right here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lisa Marie Presley opens up about miscarriages before twins

It sounds like she has some type of genetic thrombophilia. Presley says:

I really wanted these babies," says Presley, 40, who tried for two years to get pregnant before conceiving the twins.

"My blood was too thick and would clot, which caused several miscarriages," she tells PEOPLE. "The moment I took blood thinners, I got pregnant."

Monday, January 12, 2009

What it's like to be pregnant after multiple miscarriages

What she says:

Pregnancy, for those of us who’ve had the misfortune of experiencing recurrent pregnancy losses (RPL) is not actually a happy time. In fact, the number one emotion I recall experiencing with my last pregnancy was anxiety. Constant, never ending anxiety. Anxiety when you open your eyes first thing in the morning, anxiety throughout the day, anxiety when you try to sleep at night. Anxiety that builds and builds and builds and in my case has even resulted in panic attacks. I think I speak for all women who’ve suffered the misfortune of RPL, that the level of anxiety increases with the number of pregnancies lost.

As sick as it may sound, the only relief I’ve had from the terrible anxiety has come in the form of a miscarriage. Miscarriage I know, miscarriages I know what to expect and what to do, I know how it happens, I know the signs of it happening and as soon as its been confirmed I feel…….. resigned relief….. sick I know, but I feel a sense of resigned relief at not having to live with the constant anxiety that eats away at my mind every second of every day that I carry a pregnancy. My anxiety was so out of control with my last pregnancy that I’ve already arranged with my RE that the second I get my positive result I’ll be going on some safe anxiety medication for the remainder of my pregnancy.

Now I know what the non-RPL’ers will say, just relax. Stay calm, don’t get yourself so worked up. But everyone who’s suffered RPL will tell you, relaxing is impossible. EVERYTHING is terrifying. Every mile stone in the pregnancy achieved is frightening. My first reaction on seeing the two lines on a pee stick is crying. I immediately get this overwhelming sense of foreboding and anxiety and I can’t stop crying. Then we face the next hurdle, the blood test, once you’ve passed the first blood test its the agonizing wait for the second and third blood tests, analysing the HCG counts with each and everyone. Squeezing your boobs constantly, wondering why they’re so sore? Is it because of the pregnancy or because of your constant poking and prodding. Convincing yourself that they’re not as sore as they were the day before and hence a miscarriage is imminant. Going for the first scan………. God scans terrify me, I’ve never had a good one. They’ve always been bad and so for me scans will always be terrifying.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Folic acid for the guys, too

Your man should be taking folic acid:

Men with relatively low levels of folate had increased risks for sperm containing either too few or too many chromosomes, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. These types of deficiencies can cause birth defects and miscarriages, the experts noted.

More women taking unprescribed clomid to try to get pregnant with multiples

That's the controversial topic I tackle over at my Babble blog today.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

clomid - day #2

Still absolutely no side effects. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I can make it through the whole five days without any of the nasty possibilities rearing their ugly heads...

RESEARCH: Miscarriage makes next pregnancy riskier

From the study:

"Our work, based on the analysis of pregnancy records of more than 32,000 women, shows that a single initial miscarriage increases the risks of pregnancy complications in the next continuing pregnancy," Dr. Sohinee Bhattacharya of the Aberdeen Maternity Hospital told Reuters Health.

For their study, in the medical journal BJOG, Bhattacharya and colleagues analyzed the pregnancy outcomes of 1561 women who had previously had a first miscarriage, 10,549 women who had had a previous live birth, and 21,118 women who were pregnant for the first time.

Compared with the women with a previous live birth and the women with a first pregnancy, the miscarriage group was at greater risk of a variety of adverse outcomes. These included threatened miscarriage, the need to induce labor, instrumental delivery, postpartum hemorrhage, and preterm delivery.

"While for most women these risks are small," Bhattacharya commented, extra vigilance "should not be restricted only to women with multiple miscarriages."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Clomid - Day One

Took my first dose of the clomid last night. I was REALLY worried about side effects, but so far I feel 100% normal.

This is good.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The miscarriage in "Marley & Me"

People are debating whether the miscarriage (along with some other topics) of one of the main characters in the new movie "Marley & Me" should have garnered a stronger rating:

We made the mistake of taking our 7-year-old daughter to see Marley and Me, a PG-rated movie we thought would be an innocent story about a family's connection to its dog. Unfortunately, what we saw was a movie that contained a stabbing, a miscarriage, skinny dipping and other sexual connotations, vulgar language and a scene that shows a dog being put to sleep by a veterinarian.
This is a very good movie for adults. Shouldn't this type of subject matter be limited to PG-13 movies?

What do you think? Should miscarriage be lumped in with vulgar language and violence as a topic when deciding movie ratings?

Friday, January 2, 2009

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

I heard an interview with this author on NPR this morning, and now I want to read her memoir about her stillbirth, which she beautifully describes as her lost child's biography.