My husband I and I met in September of 2000. By October we were saying I love you and talking about our future. Our future unfolded quickly, as overnight stays became living together and dreams and decisions became "ours." We became engaged in October 2003, and were married in October 2004. It was a long wait, but everything had fallen in to place as it needed to, and THE BEST part about the waiting was that we were finally going to start working on our big dream of having a family.
After quitting BCP and abstaining for the three months prior to our wedding, we were REALLY ready to start having a family. My first few cycles off BCP were long, about 41 days. By the time we were married my cycle had started to shorten, but we couldn't quite hop on the TTC wagon yet. The day after we got home from our honeymoon my doctor called me to notify me that I needed to have a LEEP procedure to remove some abnormal cells from my cervix. While this delayed TTC by a month, I wasn't too devastated. We had planned on waiting until after my sister's wedding anyhow, which was in November. Our weddings were timed perfectly, and we couldn't wait to be pregnant together when low and behold, my sister found out she was pregnant on Thanksgiving Day 2004, not two weeks after her wedding. Turns out she wasn't abstaining like Scott and I had, and she was actually about 14 weeks pregnant when she found out! I couldn't have been happier for my sister, and Scott and I decided, yes...we wanted to start trying so her baby could have a cousin and we could rub bellies together.
December 2004/January 2005 was our official first month trying. I had read up on BBT charting and bought a pack of OPK. I was ready as all ready could be, except for one important piece: my husband was living 2 hours away for most of the month! Scott had started a new job January 1, 2005, and was away working during the weeks while I continued working in our previous town. I was packing up the house and spending a lot of time on the computer, learning all about making a baby. Much to my surprise, I got a positive OPK on a Friday, the same night Scott was coming home. We got busy, but didn't get lucky. A few weeks later I got my period. No surprise, and no disappointment, I never expected to get it the first time out of the gate.
By the time I had gotten my period, I had moved over to be with Scott. Until our house was finished being built we were living in a 25 foot travel trailer at the RV Resort of the golf course Scott was now taking care of. Can you say 250 square feet of fun? Well, it wasn't exactly FUN, and there wasn't really a lot to do, plus it was cold outside, so we really hit the sheets hard that month!
On Friday February 25, I went to the break room at work to finally eat something. I had had two cups of coffee and it was noon, so I was starving and feeling the effects of the caffeine. I heated up a can of soup, Progresso Minestrone, and took a few bites. I almost lost it. I felt like garbage. It took me about three minutes to decided I was going home, er...rather, back to the trailer. Once I got to the trailer I changed in to my favorite sweats and t-shirt and crawled in to the bed. I stayed there until Scott was done working, and he said, "Let's go to Wal-Mart. I need some things for work, and we're buying you a pregnancy test." I mean, the thought had crossed my mind, but not seriously. I was already feeling better from earlier, and I just didn't "feel" pregnant. But, we bought the test, my first one ever!, a two pack of FRER. I POAS when we got back to the trailer and in about a minute we saw a little light pink line right there next to the dark pink one. Two lines = pregnant, right? Well, to us novice TTCers, we weren't sure. We flip flopped: the picture in the box showed two dark lines, but I remembered reading "a line is a line."
We couldn't decide what to think about that little pink line, even after consulting the FRER website and a message board. The drift at the message board was, "A line is a line," but I didn't really know what that meant. I mean, this was my first ever pregnancy test, after all!
That same evening we drove back to our hometown to finish packing up our house and move all of our belongings to storage. We went out to eat at our favorite brewery, and I even ordered a beer. I had maybe three sips, and decided I better not. All I could think about was taking that second test in the morning! I did exactly that, and in the morning I again saw a second pink line, and it was a little darker this time! This was enough for me to believe that I was actually pregnant.
Finding out you are pregnant for the first time is the weirdest feeling. As much as I wanted to be pregnant, I was in denial that I actually could be pregnant. It definitely took a few days to sink in but at the same time I was bursting with joy...I was also shoccked that it happened so soon...I was ready to tell the world, but cautious about getting too excited.
The following weekend, March 5, 2005, we moved in to our new house. I was thrilled to finally get to sunggle in our own bed again, and couldn't wait to start painting and buying furniture for the baby's room. We also couldn't wait to tell our families! The only people who knew at that point were my husband's brother (we had to tell him because we got the +HPT on his birthday!) and my sister (who was about 5-6 months pregnant!). Most of our immediate family came down to help us move in and see the house for the first time, so we decided to put a sign on the baby's room and let people figure it out for themselves:
Reserved for Baby Moff
It was interesting and touching to see everyone's different reactions. The first to see the sign was my father-in-law. He said, "Oh, cute. Who made that?" He did NOT get it. Scott had to say that I made the sign, then rub my belly before he "got it." Then came the big hugs and kisses. My brother overheard the commotion in the hallway, and got it right away. It was a little while before my mom got there, and same thing...didn't really get it right away, but when she did the tears were flowing! My mother-in-law came next, and she was the only one who really got it, she said "Are you pregnant!?!?!?!" (granted, we all followed her down the hall to see her reaction!). Again, the tears were flowing!
We enjoyed the first few weeks of the pregnancy. We bought some books and told some friends our good news. Everyone was so excited (some were already packing up boxes of their hand-me-downs!). My husband was very sweet and we looked smiliingly toward the future...for a bit.
It wasn't long after we started spreading the news that we began to worry about whether we should have been a little more tight-lipped. I had began to spot, and despite a few somewhat reassuring ultrasounds (110 BPM at 6 weeks), I bled out and passed tissue on March 17, 2005. It was, at the time, the most difficult thing I had ever had to deal with. I really couldn't believe it, I never thought it would happen to me. It's something you never expect and can never prepare for.
Depsite the disappointment and let down, it took only about a week or two for us to decided it was a very normal occurrence and to move on. Of course I still desperately wanted my baby, and since there was no way I could have the first one, we decided to we wouldn't waste any time working on another one. We wanted a family more than we needed to grieve, at that point. We began to have sex regularly just after the bleeding stopped, and I continued to temp every morning. Since I was temping and keeping track of BD, I knew we had timed our intercourse adequately to become pregnant that cycle. I took a few tests, I think at 12 and 14 DPO, and both were negative. I took one more test at 16 DPO, on May 1, 2005, and sure enough, we were pregnant again. Again, we were shocked! There was no way we expected to become pregnant that quickly again, but we were sure thankful. In a mere 45 days our lives had gone from just the two of us to three of us again. We couldn't have been more pleased, and we had hope: the very thing happened with Scott's brother's wife, and she now has our adorable niece Payton (plus little Joey)!
While we were very excited again, we kept pretty quite. We told select family members, and no friends. It's amazing what one miscarriage can do to your confidence! But we couldn't keep totally quite because I needed the support from my family, particularly my sister, Brooke (sister-in-law) and my mother-in-law. We decided to forego telling my mom, for various reasons. She is known to have insensitive reactions to both good and bad news, so it was better for us if there was "no news" for her.
I got the pregnancy books back out and began to enjoy the new life growing inside of me. We moved through the next few weeks happily, yet cautiously, until I began spotting again. I tried to tell myself it would be okay, spotting happens all the time and this COULDN'T be happening for a second time in a row...There was just no way...But the spotting turned to bleeding a bit quicker than it did the first time, and by the time I got to the doctor's office for an ultrasound on May 17, at 6.5 weeks again, I had already passed all "products of conception." It was so hard to see my empty uterus on the ultrasound screen, yet even harder to hear a doctor I had never met tell me that I should have been more careful not to get pregnant so soon, and No, they wont start running any tests on me because two miscarriages are still very common. "Wait until you loose another child and then we'll see if you need help," was what they told me. I wasn't satisfied with this, but I wanted to believe her that next time would be the "one." Since the doctor wasn't willing to do testing at that point, I demanded I start progesterone upon my next positive HPT. She agreed that if I called with a positive HPT result that she would write a script and order a beta blood test. I felt a little better about being proactive.
Upon doctor's advice and our own personal decision to refrain from possible further heartache the following month, Scott and I began to practice abstinence yet again (condoms really have no place in our home!). I feared getting pregnant before I had my first post-miscarriage period, and I really admire Scott for putting up with that. I also really didn't want to get pregnant the next cycle after that, but we found ourselves full-on trying after just one regular period. At 16 DPO I decided I would take a test, and as I looked down to see how my aim was with hitting the stick, I started my period! I laughed out loud, and thought "How evil!" but was in no way disappointed. I don't think I was ready to be pregnant again that month. There was still a little bit of summertime left and I had enjoyed getting back to myself. I needed that time to reconnect with myself and Scott and just be free and young. There were weddings to go to and backyard BBQs to attend, so I was okay with being able to enjoy myself fully (alcohol included!) for a few more weeks. It was weird though, because that was the first cycle that we really tried getting pregnant but didn't. And that was the only cycle I wanted that to happen on again!
And it was! In just a few short weeks, on August 25, 2005, we found out we were pregnant again. Even for the third time, it is rush of joy and surprise and excitement to see those two pink lines on a HPT. I was testing just to test that particular morning...I had no hopes of seeing a positive test because I had never gotten a positive test that early (13 DPO). So I POAS, set it on the counter, walked in to the closet to grab my clothes for work, and returned to the counter. I almost didn't even look at the test because I really figured it would be negative, but I glanced down, did a double take and said out loud (with a smile on my face), "Oh, f*ck me." Nice, I know.
I spent most of my morning at work taking peeks at my positive pregnancy test, feeling so elated! (Yes, I brought it to work with me!). On my lunch break I bought another pack of FRER, and POAS for the first time out of the comfort of my own home. I did it at Togo's, my favorite sandwich shop, and in a few minutes I had TWO positive pregnancy tests to peek at in my purse! After enjoying my sandwich in the sun I ran to Hallmark to buy a card for Scott. I wrote a note in the card, and put the two positive tests in the middle. He was thoroughly suprised, and every bit as cautious as any man in his shoes would have been. I, on the other hand, was just very excited and hopeful.
I had already purchased some over-the-counter natural progesterone cream and had been using that every day since ovulation. Later that day I got the progesterone pills from the pharmacy and began my third pregnancy with confidence. Third time's a charm, right? The tests looked good, that was for sure!
And the third time was a charm, for a week longer than it ever had been. I made it to 7 weeks without any spotting or bleeding, but by 7.5 weeks, on September 23, I had once again bled out and passed tissue. This, again, was after several somewhat reassuring ultrasounds. I had seen the heartbeat twice, but it was low, around 120 at 7 weeks. My beta was also rising, but not very quickly. It went from about 4800 to 5200 in 72 hours. This confused my doctors so we stopped doing betas and just did ultrasounds. Unfortunately the next ultrasound showed yet again an empty uterus. But this time was different, because I was able to bring my baby to the doctor.
My third miscarriage actually occured at work. The bleeding had picked up once I got to work, and on one of many trips to the bathroom I passed the gestational sac. It took about a half second to stand up and reach my hand in the toilet water and pull out my baby. I didn't know what to do, so through tears I peered into the bloody mess, looking for my baby. And as I squeezed and picked through the clot in my hand, I found the little grape. I squeezed on it hard. I thought I wanted to pop it so I could touch my baby. But it wouldn't pop, and I'm glad it didnt. I was, however, able to see through the membrane and there was my baby. It was about the size of a raisin, maybe a little smaller (sunflower seed?) and had a head, arm buds and a little tail. There were tiny light and dark masses throughout the head and body, probably the eyes and organs starting to form. I'll never forget what my baby looked like.
I knew I needed to take my baby to the doctor...I just didn't know how I was going to do it. I was at work...I didn't have a container, a plastic bag...nothing. So I wadded up a ball of tissue, placed my baby in it, left the bathroom and placed it in my purse at my desk. I then went in to my boss' office, closed the door, and broke down. He was, for the third time, more generous and understanding than I normally would have given him credit for. He told me to go home, and that he will keep praying for me. As I drove home I called the doctor's office and notified the receptionist of what had just happened and that I had tissue to bring in. She said a nurse would call me back. The next call I made was to my sister. She was immediately in her car for the hour long drive to come be with me. I called my husband too, and told him he didn't have to come home, that I would rather be with my sister. In a few minutes my mother-in-law was calling me. She said she was on her way after work.
My sister arrived, and we decided to make some lunch. Cooking is one thing we really love to do together, so we decided to cook and have some wine. Just as we were heading to the store, I got a call from the doctor's office. They wanted me to bring in the tissue and have an ultrasound. The doctor was concerned that the tissue had been passed three hours ago and that the lab may not be able to grow chromosomes off of it because of that. This, I notified her, could have been prevented had her staff acted in a more timely manner, as I had called three hours ago. She was unsympathetic about that (as I figured) but nonetheless my sister and I abandonded our trip to the store and headed to the doctor's office. The doctor looked at the tissue, saw the baby, said "I'm sorry" and took it to place it in saline. We did the ultrasound, and I saw the infamous empty uterus. The date was September 23, 2005.
The next day I was on the phone with a new doctor. A little history here...When I first became pregnant I called the OB/GYN practice up at the hospital near my office. They informed me that the office runs on rotation for OB patients, so you have not one but eight doctors. They explained that this way when it comes time to deliver you will have had developed a relationship with each doctor who may do your delivery. I like this idea at first, but once I began having complications I quickly learned that the "rotation" made me just another chart, not a person with a story. As the months and the failed pregnancies when by I felt less and less cared for. I heard what we all hear: It's not uncommon to to have two losses...most likely it will be fine next time/We won't do any testing until you have 3 consecutive losses/"Three is the magic number"/You can try progesterone if you want, but there's no evidence that you need it. I heard all of these things, but very few "I'm sorry's" and only one hug from one doctor through all of those losses. If I could go to that doctor who had the heart to give me a hug and ONLY that doctor, I would have never made the call to switch. She had compassion, but I couldn't handle having to explain myself to someone new everytime something went wrong. It was hard enough to show up, then to revist the pain of prior visits with other doctors was just too much for me.
So I called a new doctor. When I moved to town and first became pregnant I told the girl who was cutting my hair about my pregnancy. I was so excited, I couldn't help but tell her when she asked if I had any kids. She proceeded to tell me about her doctor, and how wonderful she was to her, even coming in on her day off to deliver her baby because the doctor knew of her fear of men looking up her vagina (the only other doctors at the practice are men ). I didn't go with this doctor at that time...but I soon found out that the wife of my husband's boss also went to this same doctor. Since she came so highly recommended from both of these women, that is who I called when I decided I needed a change. My first appointment with her was October 10, the day after Scott and mine's first anniversary and two and a half weeks after my third miscarriage.
The first appointment went well. I told the doctor why I switched from the other practice (no comment from her ) and described as many details as I could from the three miscarriages. She asked me a lot of questions, and I asked her just as many. We talked a lot about what-ifs and what tests we should do. In the end I left with orders to not get pregnant and slips for CD3 and 7DPO blood work, and a great feeling of relief for finally working on a plan. At this point I was still very sensitive, and while I didn't get the hug and pat on the back like I was hoping for, I was happy to finally have a doctor who was pointing me down a path. She was all business, and I was ready to get down to business and find out what was going on with my body.
I waited patiently the next few weeks for my period to come. On doctor's orders Scott and I abstained until several days after my breasts became tender. I knew I had ovulated a few days ago so we finally had sex for the first time since we saw the doctor. I waited a few more days for my period to come. I knew it was just around the corner by the way my boobs were killing me. On CD39 (39DPM/C) I decided I would take a pregnancy test, knowing that the second I did, I would finally get my period, which I wanted more than anything so we could start doing some testing. Well, speaking of testing...that pregnancy test, well...it was positive! And visibly, flat out VERY positive.
I couldn't believe it. The first thing I thought of was, "My doctor is going to kill me." Then the second thing I thought of was, "When the hell did this happen???" At 6:30 in the morning I logged on to Fertility Friend as I dialed my husband's cell phone. As I explained to him what was going on, I looked at my chart. We had sex two times before the doctor's appoinement on the 10th...once on the 9th (our anniversary) and once on the 6th. These dates fell on CD14 and 17. With my previous miscarriages I didn't ovulate until CD30 and CD26. I thought for SURE we were in the clear when we had sex on CD14 and 17 as I had never O'd that early after a miscarriage. Turns out, however that I ovulated right on time after the third miscarriage and were were indeed pregnant again. That same day (it was Halloween!) I went up to the hospital for a beta hCG. It came back later that day at 2371! I was so thrilled, as this was just about right for 5.5 weeks. In 48 hours I had another beta hCG drawn. I had my fingers crossed and wishes made for at least 4000. It came back at 4939! I couldn't believe it. I was elated! Elated!!!
The next few days were great. I started to feel quite nauseous, and was loving it! I had food aversions and had to stick with really simple foods. I craved orange juice. I had to suck on LifeSavers to keep from gagging. My breasts were amazingly tender and engorged. The doctor ordered my first ultrasound at the radiology department for Friday November 4, with a follow up visit in her office on Monday November 7. The radiology ultrasound was a little alarming, as we were hoping to see an embryo with a beating heart, but all we saw was the gestational sac and yolk sac. The gestational sac measured 5.5 weeks, which was a little behind by my calculations. The tech assured us not to worry, and that this was a common finding, especially since we were fresh off of a miscarriage and were unsure on the actual ovulation date. What she told me didn't seem right because I knew with hCG as high as mine was that there should be visible development of an embryo, but I tried not to worry, and did a pretty good job of it. Later that night, my mother-in-laws birthday, we told them about our pregnancy and asked for their prayers. The weekend flew by and on Monday we had the follow up visit with my doctor. She asked me how I was feeling, and we were both pleased that I wasn't feeling well (though she was a little turned off that we had gotten pregnant---but in our defense, it happened BEFORE we met with her, so we got a little laugh out of that). She asked if I wanted another ultrasound, and I did very much! She rolled in the machine and we did yet another ultrasound, finding exactly what we found on Friday. No fetal pole. Yet, my doctor said. She stayed quite optimistic that next week we would have really good developement and told me to come back in a week. We decided to come back in two weeks.
It was a long two weeks, but I was comforted by the fact that I felt worse than I ever had in a pregnancy, and in all honesty...I hadn't let my emotions connect with this pregnancy yet. Since I wasn't connected with the pregnancy it was easier than in the past to not dwell on it with every breath that I took. As I say that I feel the need to say that I very much wanted the pregnancy, but in the event of misfortune I didn't want to have to fall as far as I did in the past if I were to be let down again. I suppose I put up a wall to protect myself, and in many ways I went on with my life as though I had never taken that test on Halloween. It was easier for me to sort of ignore that I was pregnant.
At the end of those two weeks we made the awaited visit back to the doctor's office for ultrasound number 3 of pregnancy number 4. As I peered into the ultrasound screen and yet another image of my empty gestational sac, I looked over to my husband, looked him in the eye, shook my head, and closed my eyes so as not to let the tears swell out on to my cheeks. We had no baby. The hCG, the morning sickness, the tender breasts...it was all an evil lie. November 21--the truth was revealed, and the pregnancy was a lie. My body played a trick on me. We confirmed it with one more ultrasound two days later, then celebrated Thanksgiving the following day with our families. It was the worst Thanksgiving. I was supposed to be 9 weeks pregnant and making a big announcement, but instead I had a glass of wine and played with my dear niece, wishing I could give her a cousin.
I also had to suck it up on Thanksgiving. As I got up from the table to check on the kids, my mom intercepted me in the kitchen. She touched my stomach and said, "Do you have something in here?" I looked at her blankly. She said "Your butt looks bigger and that's the first thing I noticed when your sister was pregnant, so do you have something to tell me?" It was agony. What was I supposed to say? Tell her yes, I'm pregnant, but not with a baby. I'm pregnant with a gestational sac. Is that what I was supposed to say??? In a fraction of a second I brushed it off, told her no, reminded her that I had already asked her not to ask me if I was pregnant, gave her a hug, and went back to the dinner table. She sat at the other end of the table with hurt feelings and tears in her eyes because I was "mean to her," but I died inside just having to have that conversation. It ranks among the worst 15 seconds of my life, and she has no idea about the way she effected me. And not because I didn't tell her, but because she wouldn't understand even if I did. This is why I don't tell my mom anything about my personal life. Because in some way, shape or form, it is always contorted in to something about her. And for once in my life, this was truly about me.
And Tuesday the following week was all about me having to medically end my fourth pregnancy with a D&C.
The D&C was one of the scariest, most unsettling things I have ever undergone, and this was surprising to me. I had had a week to think about it, and though I had cried a little, I didn't allow myself to think it was a big deal. So on the morning of the D&C I totally played it down. Despite being nervous about going under for the first time, I just went with the flow. It wasn't until I was in the gown and in the pre-op room that the emotions, the fear, the reality set it. The reality for me was that my doctor was going to knock me out so she could take away my baby. That was it. It was no consolation to me that a baby never actually formed. It didn't make one bit of difference to me, I was still loosing this pregnancy when I was supposed to be growing a baby. And then, wouldn't you know it...in my moment of fear and sadness and heartache...the lullabye that chimes throughout the hospital when a baby is born was played. It played as I was lying there getting ready to end my fourth unsuccessful pregnancy. Oh, the irony.
From my little curtained section of pre-op I saw and heard my doctor visit the nurses station. I couldn't quite make out what they were saying, but the moment I saw her I felt this overwhelming need to talk to her. I guess you could say I wasn't doing as well as I would have liked to believe, because when she approached my bed and asked how I was I broke out in tears as I tried to utter, "Okay." It was a strange few minutes. I was fearful, I was sad, I was confused. And then she told us (Scott had just been allowed to come be with me) that she had the results from my chromosome karyotype.......Normal. This was a relief, but she still didn't have Scott's results. This of course caused him to fear that his results were taking longer because they were abnormal, but in a few days this worry was squelched when the doctor called with his normal results, too.
I don't remember a lot between the time that my doctor visited me and waking up in post-op. I know a lot of things were pushed through my IV, the last of which was an amnesiac. The first thing I remember from post-op was waking up and asking someone something, but I don't know what to whom. I hate that, and I hate that I was put out of consciousness when my baby was taken away. It's just not a feeling that I can come to terms with....going to "sleep" while people enter my body and waking up "changed" is just not something I can come to grips with.
After the D&C Scott and I decided we would wait a few months to TTC again. We had put ourselves through so much in less than 10 months that we were due for a little break.
We did our best to enjoy the holidays, despite my frequent thoughts about how it could have been "Baby's First Christmas" or how pregnant I was supposed to be.
We decided we would wait 2 periods post D&C before we starting to try again. And much to my surprise, the first period came December 29th, the day before Scott's 30th birthday. This was the quickest AF after a loss for me yet, and it made me hopeful. I was hopeful that my body was back to normal, and hopeful for a successful pregnancy.
The heartache had been so great in the past year, that I was very much looking forward to 2006 with the utmost positivity and hope.
I got a call from my doctor last night...when we did the thrombophilia panel several weeks back she didn't realize that the MTHFR and homocysteine tests weren't included in the panel. So last week I had blood drawn for both of those test. The results came in yesterday, and last night I found out that I am homozygous for the MTHFR mutation (meaning I have the full mutation, inherited from both of my parents). This is the most concerning form of the mutation, especially when homocysteine levels are elevated. Apparently mine are not, but none the less we are treating me as if they were. The treatment is 4mg folic acid, 25 mg B6 and 25mcg B12, every day--probably for the rest of my life. In addition, if elevated homocysteine ever appears to be a problem and I am TTC, I would need to start heparin injections. I am currently taking 81mg aspirin.
The doctor stressed that this gene mutation is not the cause of my miscarriages (definitely not #3, which was chromosomal). If the homocysteine level were elevated, then she may be able to draw a better/different conclusion. However, since I talked to her last night I have done quite a bit of reading...and I have discovered that since I was taking extra folic acid (1.6mg) at the time I had the blood drawn, the folic acid may have helped my level to lower. I didn't actually get the level from her...hopefully I will today.
So while I still don't have a solid answer, I do have a renewed sense of hope. I feel better taking the supplements, especially since I have been wanting to take them but was waiting for the advice to do so. I'm a little scared about this genetic discorder (causes serious cardiac problems later in life), but glad to know about it as well.
All in all I am very excited about TTC again. I feel fresh and renewed, and look forward to February!
The last few days and my entire weekend have been filled with diligent internet searcing for anything to do with the MTHFR gene mutation I have. I have found a lot of information, but probably more likely...a lot of MISINFORMATION! Whatever the information, good or bad, true or false, it is helping me put together a list of questions that I'll be asking my doctor on Februaury 6th when I go see her for a pap (given that I am not still having AF after a long, messed up cycle ths month ).
The most concerning thing to me is the variation in treatments given to patients with the same mutation. Its true that everyone with the form of the gene that I have (C677T homozygous) is put on extra folic acid, B6 and B12. Some doctors also prescribe heparin or lovenox, some do not. Normally if the homocysteine level is elevated a patient will receive an injecable blood thinner, but if it is not (like me) then you find some doctors who do prescribe the injections and some who do not. I happen to have a doctor who does NOT prescribe heparin to patients such as myself, and because of this I have to ask her why. This doesn't say I go to disagree with her, I just need to know why some doctors have their patients take it and some don't. This isn't because I don't trust her, but I have to know that I am doing everything I can to keep my next pregnancy. If that means sticking myself with a needle twice a day, every day then by all means that's what I will do...but if she can convince me that the effort would be futile or otherwise less than beneficial, I would be okay with that too. I think she probably has a pretty good case for NOT using heparin with me. She has already firmly told me that this diagnosis does not explain my miscarriages, but there is of course that part of me that says "Well maybe science just hasn't figured out the direct link yet and this special treatment is all I need to have a healthy pregnancy." That's what I hope.
At this point I haven't even let myself become incredibly concerned with the ramifications of having this gene mutation besides the possible effects on pregnancy. The possible heart failure, hardening of the arteries, etc. haven't impacted me yet as they surely will later in life. I feel good knowing that I will stay on the treatment to help ensure that my homocycteine never gets out of control, and hopefully that will prevent me from having cardiac complications as I age. But right now, my obvious focus is on how it can/will/might affect pregnancy. That is the ultimate most important thing to me right now. It's also important for me to tell my mom, dad and brother about the gene because it could be of critical importance to each of them as well. I will, however, have to wait until I am far in to a healthy pregnancy to tell them. They haven't the first clue about this terrible journery we have been on (save from the first miscarriage, and dad doesn't even know about that). I don't know what I would say about why I found out at this point, so I have decided to wait. I'll bring it up later as something we discovered in pregnancy.
Thanks to this long cycle I am having I have feeling that my appointment on the 6th will be a bust. If I don't start my period in the next day or two I wont be able to go. And no, there are no cancellations for tonight. I would love it if I could get it, but it doesn't look like it. GRRR I really shouldn't worry about it, I can always reschedule, I am just eager to see the doctor so I can ask about MTHFR. I could care less about getting the pap done, so yes...you could say I have ulterior motives for being anxious about the appointment!
One new question I have formulated for her about MTHFR is how the B6 I am taking will affect my LP. My LP is already 15-16 days long, and I really don't want it any longer. I have a feeling the B6 could lengthen it, but I don't know if B6 lengthens LP only if it is short already or if it can lengthen in regardless. I can't imagine a long LP has any benefit, but I don't know if it can be harmful. It's somthing I will have to talk to her about because I definitely don't want to lengthen it since it is on the long side already.
At any rate, the following is a running list of questions for the doc. This will be my first time taking a list to the doctor, but I know women do it all the time. I am now one of those women! (I feel like my mom---a list for everything )
1. What was my homocysteine level?
2. Why do some doctors prescribe heparin or lovenox even when homocysteine isn't elevated?
3. Is this something that can affect the heart health of men? If so, should I tell my brother about this? (He is my only sibling who has both the same mom and dad.)
4. Will I need to take the vitamin supplements for the rest of my life?
5. Can homocysteine levels change/become elevated during pregnancy when they are otherwise not elevated?
6. Will my homocysteine level be checked during pregnancy?
7. Will the B6 lengthen my LP? If so, are there any negative affects to having a long LP, when it is 15-16 days normally?
Non-MTHFR Related Questions:
1. What was the chromosome abnormality with my third miscarriage?
2. Was it a boy or a girl?
(I have been waiting to ask this question for a long time. I think I need to know, and I am finally ready to know.)
AF came knocking on my door this morning! I woke up around 3 or 4 am with the cramps, and I was just delighted! Really, I was! For two reasons:
1. Today is Wednesday...the bleeding will have tapered off plenty by Monday, so I will be able to go to my appointment on Monday no problem.
2. This confirms that my LP is 15 days.
I have known that my LP is approximately 15/16 days for some time now, but this cycle confirmed it for me (sometimes we just need a little extra confirmation in life!). I had been using FRER OPK this cycle and expected to ovulate on or around CD16, however I didn't start to get positive OPK until CD17. Me being the addict that I am, kept testing after that first "positive" test. The tests on CD17 and 18 looked positive, the TEST line and the CONTROL line were the same color, when finally the test on CD19 was CLEARLY positive. The TEST line was darker than the CONTROL line. To confirm what I was seeing I used a second test from Dollar Tree. This test too was clearly positive. I figured I would be ovulating soon based on these results, and to just to ease my mind I kept testing for one more day to see if I would get a negative test, indicating that my LH surge was over. On CD20 I again used two tests...the FRER seemed positive (both lines the same color), but the Dollar Tree test was clearly negative. So I confirmed that I O'd on CD19 or 20. I also confirmed that a positive FRER OPK is harder to read than a positive Dollar Tree test, and far less money, so I'm switching brands! Unfortunately my temps weren't able to help me confirm ovulation particularly well this cycle because I was staying at my in-laws for a few of these days and my temps are always messed up there because I don't sleep well in their small bed!
Here are a few pictures to illustrate:
At any rate, AF showed up today, right on schedule, the day after 15DPO. While my cycle was longer than normal (34 days instead of 31), I learned a really good lesson about "being late." All "being late" means is that you ovulated later than normal. Since I ovulated 3 days later than I expected, AF came 3 days later than expected. It's very interesting to see the body function this way...it is something a woman would never realize unless she was able to pinpoint her ovulation and determine the length of her LP. It's not something they teach you in sex ed, is it?! Honestly, most women would never care, notice, or need to know...but put yourself in my shoes or the shoes of any other woman devoted to starting a family and struggling with it and these are the types of things that you learn, and they become the bane of your existence!
I had a rough couple of days following my pap appointment on Monday. The appointment began with an hour long wait in a waiting room full of very pregnant women. It was excruciating. I was hungry, I was tired, I was sad, I was nervous. Why was I nervous for a pap?? I wasn't nervous for the pap itself, I was nervous about seeing my doctor...nervous about what I was going to ask her, nervous about whether she was going to be kind to me, and just upset and rattled and emotional to be there. I feel like such a nuisance patient. Nothing is ever good or easy or happy at my appointments, so I was feeling very uneasy. My nerves got to me in the waiting room, and I couldn't help but let a few tears sneak out. I was just so sad. And scared. Being around all the pregnant women really made me feel scared about the possibility that that may NEVER be me. It was just so disheartening, and I couldn't keep myself from being negative. When I was finally called back to the office, I had another 15 minutes to wait. The waiting was too much for me in that state that I was in, and it got the best of me again. Tears. Then the doctor came in, and it only got worse. At this point I was a complete emotional crab. She apologized first thing for the wait, and I was less than gracious. I said they needed to get her another female partner, and she laughed in agreeance. I should have stopped there, but I continued to say, "I'm serious. Everyone out there is waiting for you." This irritated her, which I understand now in hindsight. She was working her butt off to help way too many women, and there I was being a complete ***. I feel bad for this. After flipping through my chart things went a little like this:
Doc, How are you doing?
D, Are you sick or have you been crying?
D, Yes, you're sick?
M, No, I'm not sick.
D, What's going on.
M, Oh, it's just hard to be in the waiting room with all the pregnant women.
D, Well, how can I help you? I mean, I can just do your exam and let you go, or I can try to help you. Did you call the greif group?
D, Have you seen a counselor? Do you want to see a counselor?
M, No, I really think I'm okay, today was just hard. I have good days and bad days, and being out there was difficult. But I think I'm okay.
D, Well alright. If you change your mind you can always call me if you need anything. Call me if you decide you want to see a counselor and you need a referral. If you decide you want to adopt a baby, call me and I'll give you some numbers.
Hello? Doctor, are you in the same room as me??? While I am not opposed to adopting a baby, its not something I am seriously considering at the time. I was under the impression that she was a bit more aware of my desire to be pregnant and have a baby. If I weren't so taken aback and NAKED, I probably would have left (this is of course my conclusion after dwelling on the situation for days now...leaving didn't actually cross my mind at the time). Even at the time and in the moment, I was completely surprised that she said that to me. I thought about it for hours and kept it to myself, pondering all possible reasons she said that to me before I even said anything to Scott. When I told him I lost it. He was far less emotional, but encouraged me to "Don't worry babe, we going to keep trying." And we are, but her even brining up adoption has spurred lots of questions for me. Did she bring it up because she doesn't think I will ever have a baby from my womb? Did she bring it up because she thinks I want a baby NOW, and that would be the fastest way? Is she preparing me for the fact that I might need to look in to other options? Was she just trying to be compassionate in offering any kind of help that I might be seeking? Was she being subtle about suggesting I look into further options?
I don't know what her intention was, or even if there was an intention, but the comment made me uncomfortable. However, I've thought about it entirely too much and I'm not going to dwell on it anymore. I by all means want to become pregnant again and keep trying either until it works right or until I truly can't do it anymore. Despite my bad days, I've still got a lot left to give before I begin pursuing other options. I hope the time is quick and the pain is little between now and seeing our dream come true, but come what may, we will persist. And in time, if we can't win the battle the way we thought we would, we'll find a way to make it happen.
At any rate, the appointment progressed, and I ended up leaving feeling like a jerk, and upset that it didn't go better. I didn't pull out my list of questions (I felt way too stupid), but I managed to get some of them asked.