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Can you help me find the perspective I'm lacking?


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#1 juski

Posted 28 October 2019 - 10:52 PM

I write this hoping that perhaps another person’s thoughts or insights can help quiet my frantic mind.

Almost three weeks ago I had a D&C for my third miscarriage. I had a blighted ovum several years ago, immediately followed by a chemical pregnancy. After a break, not too long later I conceived my DS2.5. We had a smooth pregnancy physically, but it was marred by perinatal anxiety. I was constantly convinced that I was going to lose him, presenting multiple times for reduced movements towards the end. We had a fairly traumatic delivery but on the whole we were fine. I struggled with what I believe was postnatal anxiety (not diagnosed at the time) for the first year or so of his life.

The last 18 months have been much happier, and I was finally feeling ready for another baby. We successfully conceived on our first try. At 6 weeks a scan showed a heartbeat that was a little too slow; a week later it had stopped altogether. I waited another week before requesting a D&C.

My GP referred me to the Pregnancy Investigation Unit at my public hospital, as I have now reached the magic 3 miscarriages that move the conversation from “oh, it’s just bad luck” to “there is something wrong [with you]”.

I have also started seeing a psychologist, and have had two sessions with her, but to be honest I don’t feel like anything has changed. She’s nice to talk to but I’m spiralling.

When organising my D&C, the hospital also gave me a referral to have blood taken in advance of my PIU appointment (which is not until Dec 30 - a long wait). On top of the usual thrombophilias and thyroid levels (for which I’ve been tested before and all was normal), they added karyotyping to the list. They also told me that I could start trying again once my period was back.

The following is now running through my mind at a million miles an hour:
  • Could this still be ‘bad luck’? My pregnancy achievement rate is 50% (of 8 cycles attempted, 4 have resulted in a pregnancy). My pregnancy failure rate is 75%. Can these stats still be explained by luck?? Is it even worth trying again before my appointment as it seems so likely that I’ll miscarry if I conceive?
  • What are the realistic chances this is a chromosomal issue of mine? (Karyotyping is looking for a translocation, right?) Why are they karyotyping me but not my husband? Is a chromosomal issue in me more dire than it would be in him?
  • While we’re testing, should I be thinking about testing for other carrier diseases like CF and Fragile X and SMA? Do any of those cause miscarriage?
  • Should I just stop now while I have my son? Was he a fluke for an otherwise subfertile woman?
  • Why am I totally obsessing over unrelated (to my experience thus far) issues like birth defects and stillbirth when I’m not even pregnant? Why is this happening? Why do I feel like if I do manage to carry a pregnancy for longer it is doomed to fail?
  • Why isn’t my seeing a psychologist curbing this??
I know this sounds like the ramblings of a madwoman but I needed to let this out somewhere, and maybe someone has some magic words that can bring some perspective. I’m certainly not asking anyone to diagnose me.. it’s more, which of these thoughts seem normal and which are outright paranoia? Is there something that can help me gain perspective?

Thank you for reading this long. I really appreciate it.

#2 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 28 October 2019 - 11:01 PM

Your story is very similar to mine - 2mc then DD, one mc after getting pregnant as soon as we started trying, then I had DS. For me it was just bad luck. The third mc (also a low heart rate and then stop, then a d&c) we had investigated, and there was nothing wrong. I hope that you get your second baby soon.

#3 becstar101

Posted 28 October 2019 - 11:42 PM

I’m sorry for your losses.

In my case, I got pregnant very easily but had a 50% rate of miscarrying. It is a long time ago now, but I had similar anxieties about never being able to have a healthy pregnancy, and at times thought I was going crazy I was obsessing over every tiny symptom or lack of. I know it tainted my pregnancies, for me I could never truly relax and enjoy things.

It is entirely possible it’s just ‘bad luck’. It used to be that you were only referred for investigations following three consecutive miscarriages, but it’s possible that has changed. I can’t answer your specific questions on why they are testing these particular things, I hope you get some answers at your first appointment. Can I suggest you take a support person with you for that appointment? I know with my anxiety I sometimes barely heard, let alone processed what was said to me. Take your list of questions and make notes if necessary!

I think it’s not abnormal for the psych to not yet be helpful after only two sessions. Is it worthwhile asking to see someone a little more specific, perhaps attached to the women’s hospital or pregnancy unit?

I think it is worth continuing to try to get pregnant, remember that you have carried successfully once, fingers crossed you get there again very soon. I really hope that you are soon out the other side - I can look back rationally now that my two are 12 and 10, but remember very clearly how hard it was while in that space.

#4 Elly_Bells

Posted 29 October 2019 - 06:38 AM

Op, I had a very similar story to you. Medically they couldn't find anything wrong and I found it so frustrating not knowing why it was happening. What helped me was seeing a Chinese medicine practitioner who specialised in fertility and also a naturopath. I took the medicine, changed my diet, exercised, did acupuncture. I have no idea if this made a difference at all but it made me feel healthy and made me feel like I was doing something, and finally resulted in a healthy pregnancy and baby. I second the PP suggestion of seeing a counsellor or psych who specialises in pre and perinatal as that can really make a difference. It's definitely worth keeping in trying.

#5 Beanette

Posted 29 October 2019 - 07:51 AM

I'm so sorry for your losses xxx

I have a story similar to yours - a MC at 6 weeks, then my DS, then a MC at 9 weeks, then a MC at 7 weeks (these were back to back, no period in between), then my DD.

I also had the investigations conducted because I had two MC in a row. I was tested for about 10 things that I can't quite remember (including Fragile X), but no cause was ever found. My OB prescribed a 100mg aspirin as soon as I was pregnant with DD, just to thin my blood a bit as he thought that perhaps the tiny capillaries of the placenta were getting blocked. It seemed to work, as my next pregnancy gave me my DD.

I think it's so normal to have a million thoughts rushing through your head after experiencing recurrent MC. I felt exactly the same way, and was so terrified that I would never have another baby and that there was something wrong with me or DH. I also really struggled emotionally, and wasn't sure whether I could face TTC again and should just be satisfied with one child.

There isn't one "right" way to feel, it's such an emotionally vulnerable time and all the unknowns can really weigh on you. I saw a psychiatrist who specalises in perinatal and postnatal women, this could be something worth looking into if you're feeling overwhelmed

Take care xx

Edited by Beanette, 29 October 2019 - 07:51 AM.


#6 400

Posted 29 October 2019 - 09:33 AM

Hey OP. It sounds like you are stressing out heaps.

I think the most important factor in your story is that you CAN conceive. You have proven that you can have a healthy baby and for the vast majority of people, if you can do it once, you can do it again.

I’m very surprised that you managed to get a referral for recurrent miscarriage with your history- as mentioned by a PP the criteria is actually 3 in a row. Technically, the number of miscarriages resets at zero after having a successful pregnancy, where “recurrence” is concerned. Many health systems also don’t classify a chemical as a miscarriage either.

Unfortunately the “miscarriage rate” that is quoted by health professionals (something in the vicinity of 1 in 4 or 5 recognised pregnancies) is an average across everyone, and some people have zero miscarriages so sway the numbers. This means that some often end up with a higher ratio than the “quoted number”, and many of these women go on to have the number of children that they want. There are many stories of women who only ever have a live baby after a miscarriage. I personally think more research should go into this, but that’s another conversation.

What I’m saying is, is that I think you still fit firmly into the category of “bad luck” rather than “there’s something wrong with you”.

Most miscarriages are a result of a dodgy combination of genetics that are incompatible with continuing development. Many of these are weird little random genetic blips that can’t even be tested for- they just happen, and we can never really prove it. The process of biology is, unfortunately, not as precise as we are taught, and it makes mistakes. Many of the well known genetic illnesses (like what you mentioned) ARE compatible with continuing development, and would be less likely to be involved in miscarrying than issues with a living baby. I wouldn’t dwell on being a carrier of things like CF or SMA unless you had a family history of such things.

I think your anxiety is definitely a significant factor in your life, and I’m glad you are able to recognise that. Bonding with a psychologist is not a perfect science either, and often takes a lot of hard work to reach a breakthrough or make a difference. It’s not like “oh take this medicine and it will fix you”- it’s about getting to the root of the issue and fixing it from the bottom up. I have hated every single psychologist or psychiatrist I have ever been to see, and always dreaded going to see them. That doesn’t mean I didn’t get progress with them - the opposite actually. It’s just that therapy is hard.

As someone who is very lucky when it comes to fertility (two pregnancies resulting in one son and one on the way) I still have the overwhelming irrational dread of “something is going to go wrong” even though I have zero reason to think that. My son was originally a twin, and even though the early loss of that twin doesn’t even count as a miscarriage, and I didn’t have to go through the process of miscarrying (he literally just vanished), I think about it every day and it repeatedly makes me feel like there is something wrong with me, even though I can clearly make healthy children.

What I’m trying to say in a very long winded way is that you are not alone, you are justified in feeling this way, and I really don’t think you should lose hope.

Every time you feel like your body is dodgy and you will never have your rainbow baby, look at your son and remind yourself that you are not barren, you have made a perfect human before.

Best of luck xx

#7 Dianalynch

Posted 29 October 2019 - 10:44 AM

I’m sorry for your losses.

I have no magic words, however I did want to say nothing is ‘wrong’ with you.

#8 justbreath

Posted 29 October 2019 - 11:11 AM

View Post400, on 29 October 2019 - 09:33 AM, said:

Hey OP. It sounds like you are stressing out heaps.

I think the most important factor in your story is that you CAN conceive. You have proven that you can have a healthy baby and for the vast majority of people, if you can do it once, you can do it again.

I’m very surprised that you managed to get a referral for recurrent miscarriage with your history- as mentioned by a PP the criteria is actually 3 in a row. Technically, the number of miscarriages resets at zero after having a successful pregnancy, where “recurrence” is concerned. Many health systems also don’t classify a chemical as a miscarriage either.

Unfortunately the “miscarriage rate” that is quoted by health professionals (something in the vicinity of 1 in 4 or 5 recognised pregnancies) is an average across everyone, and some people have zero miscarriages so sway the numbers. This means that some often end up with a higher ratio than the “quoted number”, and many of these women go on to have the number of children that they want. There are many stories of women who only ever have a live baby after a miscarriage. I personally think more research should go into this, but that’s another conversation.

What I’m saying is, is that I think you still fit firmly into the category of “bad luck” rather than “there’s something wrong with you”.

Most miscarriages are a result of a dodgy combination of genetics that are incompatible with continuing development. Many of these are weird little random genetic blips that can’t even be tested for- they just happen, and we can never really prove it. The process of biology is, unfortunately, not as precise as we are taught, and it makes mistakes. Many of the well known genetic illnesses (like what you mentioned) ARE compatible with continuing development, and would be less likely to be involved in miscarrying than issues with a living baby. I wouldn’t dwell on being a carrier of things like CF or SMA unless you had a family history of such things.

I think your anxiety is definitely a significant factor in your life, and I’m glad you are able to recognise that. Bonding with a psychologist is not a perfect science either, and often takes a lot of hard work to reach a breakthrough or make a difference. It’s not like “oh take this medicine and it will fix you”- it’s about getting to the root of the issue and fixing it from the bottom up. I have hated every single psychologist or psychiatrist I have ever been to see, and always dreaded going to see them. That doesn’t mean I didn’t get progress with them - the opposite actually. It’s just that therapy is hard.

As someone who is very lucky when it comes to fertility (two pregnancies resulting in one son and one on the way) I still have the overwhelming irrational dread of “something is going to go wrong” even though I have zero reason to think that. My son was originally a twin, and even though the early loss of that twin doesn’t even count as a miscarriage, and I didn’t have to go through the process of miscarrying (he literally just vanished), I think about it every day and it repeatedly makes me feel like there is something wrong with me, even though I can clearly make healthy children.

What I’m trying to say in a very long winded way is that you are not alone, you are justified in feeling this way, and I really don’t think you should lose hope.

Every time you feel like your body is dodgy and you will never have your rainbow baby, look at your son and remind yourself that you are not barren, you have made a perfect human before.

Best of luck xx

All of this.

I think there are an overwhelming amount of positives in your favour. You get pregnant very easily plus you have a healthy baby following a healthy pregnancy.

Medically speaking you’ve had two miscarriages as generally speaking the chemical pregnancy isn’t usually “counted” (and certainly isn’t included in the 1:4 stats for miscarriage. That is not to say it isn’t painful and sad though.

I think it’s highly likely you’ll be pregnant by the time your appointment comes around :)

I think your situation falls clearly into bad luck and nothing more.

I can completely relate to your general anxiety and I think getting that managed is probably the more pressing issue right now. Have a chat to your GP about that and possibly consider whether a referral to a perinatal psychiatrist would be helpful.

#9 juski

Posted 29 October 2019 - 08:51 PM

Hi everyone. Thank you so much for your insights and responses. I feel quite a bit calmer since posting these thoughts.

For those who suggested it - my psychologist is from a recommended clinic that specialises in perinatal issues, so hopefully I'm on the right track there.

Re counting the CP and the "three consecutive miscarriages" thing - I had thought the same thing, and thus was pretty taken aback when my GP referred me on with a diagnosis of recurrent miscarriage. I was prepared for another round of "just bad luck, try again!". But it seemed more serious than that and noone along the chain has questioned the number/qualification of the miscarriages, so it seems that it does meet the requirements for referral...

It's a good thing that at least if there is something to be found, I'm a step closer to finding it, but it's been a bit of a shock to the system to suddenly be undertaking tests again and trying to navigate if it really is safe to TTC again before the appointment in 9 weeks' time (which feels like an eternity).

#10 400

Posted 30 October 2019 - 07:19 PM

There’s every chance that they won’t do much thorough investigating given the three in a row thing etc, but at least you’ll be able to hear it from them and get the reassurance and ask the questions you need at your appointment.

I’m glad you are feeling a bit improved.

If I were you, I’d carry on TTC, but obviously it’s your personal choice!


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