Recurrent Miscarriage: My happy endings

I am somewhat pleased and sad to know that my post about Pregnancy Hormones and Miscarriage is consistently one of my top posts.  I wish I could hold everyone who comes by looking for answers.  I remember being there.  It’s still a healing wound that opens up from time to time.  I still grieve that I’ll never know those souls I lost.  Or do/will I?

Nutshell background:

After an uneventful first pregnancy that produced my 6 year-old daughter in 2004, I suffered three consecutive first term losses.  Getting pregnant has never been my issue; staying pregnant was becoming a real problem for my body and my psyche.  The last straw, the one that nearly killed me, was the 10-week loss, and the OB standing over me as I woke from the curetage telling me my uterus was too thin to ever consider a vagina birth, and this same OB wanting to put me on Clomid to treat my losses.  This OB had also refused to test my progesterone levels, saying that even if they were low she’d not treat for low progesterone.

Here’s what I had to do:

  • Change providers – I’m in a small town, so no one is super specialized in this area, but I at least found a doc willing to work with me; he had also dealt with infertility personally
  • This OB did ultrasound to check for PCOS (which he thought he found in me) and HSG to check for uterine abnormalities
    • PCOS markers may include u/s, but that’s not the only determining factor, so I ruled that out myself
    • The HSG showed an abnormality, alright; the OB thought it was a double uterus
    • I decided it was time to find a specialist
  • I found a yahoo group that supports women with Mullerian Anomalies (double uterus is a type of MA)
    • This group has an anonymous consulting doc who looked at my HSG film and believed the anomaly to be either a septum or bicornuate uterus shape
    • This group had a fantastic resource – a database of recommended reproductive endocrinologists and repro surgeons
  • Because I have family in Denver and was planning on being in Denver the Summer of 2008 for a voice science research program, I chose a RE in Denver.  Tough stuff when you’re essentially ‘out of network,’ but thank God we ponied up and did it.
    • The RE looked at my film and didn’t think it was a MA; he was sure it was a fibroid
    • SHG confirmed his suspicions
    • Extensive blood work revealed . . . LOW FRIGGIN’ PROGESTERONE . . . actually, really really crappy luteal phase progesterone (I am still so angry with the OB who refused to test my progesterone; I still blame her for that loss.)
  • The RE also recommended a myomectomy to remove the fibroid
    • He wanted to do it laparascopically which means cutting through connective tissue and the fundus to reach the fibroid
    • I didn’t want the integrity of my uterus further compromised and requested a hysteroscopic myomectomy instead; he agreed
    • Folks, do your research so you can advocate for your needs!!  I can’t stress this point enough!!!!
  • Thank goodness we did the hyst myo because instead of a regular fibroid, he found adenomyosis which he attributed to the PREVIOUS CESAREAN!
    • Hyst myo turned out to be the best way to remove as much of the adenomyosis as possible
    • Otherwise my uterus looked normal, no thin LUS, cesarean scar wasn’t even visible
  • This RE had a drug protocol that worked to address my progesterone deficiency
  • 3 months later my local OB examined my uterus via ultrasound and said that I was healed and ready to TTC!
  • I also made sure that the RE confirmed that the integrity of my uterus was not compromised from the surgery; my OB was nervous about ‘letting me’ VBAC

My happy endings:

I naturally conceived twins in 2008.  Luckily, I was in Denver over Christmas, and the RE was involved with my early pregnancy care.  My HCG levels were abnormally high, and an early early ultrasound revealed twins.  I enjoyed an easy term pregnancy (39 weeks!) with di-di twins!  My twins are such a blessing – can’t believe they’re almost TWO!

I became pregnant again in October 2010.  God has a sense of humor for sure.  I followed (more or less) the same treatment plan for low progesterone.  The first week of my pregnancy was stressful because I was having a hard time getting ahold of my OB and who had different ideas of how to treat low progesterone that conflicted with the RE’s protocol.  Can you believe this RE’s nurse was still supporting me through this stressful time . . . 2 years later?!  I was able to e-mail her and call her and they were willing to oversee my meds for the 1st trimester if I couldn’t get it worked out with my OB.  I had to ‘correct’ my OBs script a couple of times, and thankfully he was compliant.

Again, you have to advocate for what you need.  Right this minute.  Trust your intuition.  Know that infertility and pregnancy loss is more ‘art’ than ‘science’ at this point.  Know that there are widely disparate ‘camps’ when it comes to treating infertility and loss.

Currently, I am 37 weeks pregnant with my Happily Ever After baby.  May you find a way to yours!

8 thoughts on “Recurrent Miscarriage: My happy endings

  1. “trust your intuition” is a big hurdle for many these days. i think society trains it out of us when we’re young and then we have to battle to get it back when we’re older.

    glad things are going well!

  2. I love this line, it basically deserves to be the mantra for all ttc or pregnant families:

    “Folks, do your research so you can advocate for your needs!! I can’t stress this point enough!!!!”

    The four exclamation points may not even be enough.

    I learned the hard way that NO ONE will ever advocate for you the way you could for yourself, given enough information.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I just want to tell you that I’ve been sitting here reading your blog for a while now.. I had a miscarriage a month ago and was searching for help/support/advice.. and honestly other peoples experiences with this kind of loss. Your stories help me feel normal and hopefull. I want another baby so badly! I have an almost 2 yuear old little girl who I am so thankful for and I love her so completley. You’re so strong for everything you’ve been through and it only makes me stronger reading your posts. I also had a c-section with my first so you have also helped me in learning more about VBAC’s. I’m so glad I ran across your blog. THANK YOU. 🙂

    • Loss is a tough road to go. Every once in a while . . . or at least every Fall . . . I think about the fact that I should have a 3 year old child. But then I remember that perhaps if I had that child I wouldn’t have my twins or my newborn daughter. Such a crazy journey. I am hopeful that you will find your happy ending as well. Glad I could provide some support and comfort to you in your time of despair. xo

  4. pls am passing through a lot with miscarriage now, and do not know where and what to do.My obgyn said he does not have a solution for me. My problem is always low hcg and no one seems to have a solution for me, please I need help, ladies.

    • I am very sorry to read your sad news. Unfortunately, many many doctors don’t believe in low progesterone issues in early pregnancy. The key is to find someone who WILL help you. If I had followed one MD’s advice, I’d have been put on clomid. As it is, I naturally conceived twins. We have to fight for what we know is right for us, our bodies, and our babies. Hugs to you!

      • Thanks so much for your reply. I think what I need is a specialist, does any one know of any fertility specialist or clinic I can go to, my problem has bee low HCG hormone. I stay in the midwest (wichita, missouri, kansas). Though, am ready to travel even if it is not close to me. Pls I need a way out.

  5. I wish I would have turned to an RE after my first loss! I just new something wasn’t right. After my second, they still wouldn’t refer to an RE and told me to try again. Finally, after the 3rd miscarriage, I FLIPPED out on my OB and got the referral that I knew I needed. I learned such a lesson about being my own advocate. I did find an RE that is willing to test everything I have asked for and more. I was diagnosed with PCOS, but my hormones confirmed this to be true. He also discovered that my thyroid was not under control. I started meds and hopefully it’ll work, but this doctor has been nothing but helpful and supportive. It brings me such joy that you got twins! And you have another healthy pregnancy. I just have to keep pushing through.. Persistence. 🙂 Thank you for this post.

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