I stumbled my way across this site, which is for a lab service that does testing for all sorts of pregnancy loss, including recurrent miscarriage.
The exerpt that I found to be particularly comforting is this:
"A loss was most likely a chromosomal error if...
- The fetus failed very early. For example, blighted ovums are pregnancy failures in which the fetus never develops. These occur before six-and-a-half weeks and about 90 percent of them are chromosomal errors.
- A long time goes by between the failure of the fetus and the failure of the pregnancy. For example, let's say you had a blighted ovum but your pregnancy was perceived to be clinically normal at twelve weeks. (The placenta can continue to grow and support itself without a baby for up to two months and, therefore, pregnancy hormone levels will continue to rise.) The fact that your placenta was chugging along without a baby on board speaks for adequacy of the uterine environment and adequacy of placental growth and development.
However, if a heartbeat was documented for your baby at seven weeks and you lose your pregnancy at seven weeks and two days, that starts making it less likely that it's a random wrong chromosome number accident. The shorter the death to loss interval, the more likely it is that other factors contributed to the pregnancy loss. Some of the things I always ask patients are: You saw a heartbeat? When? How long after you saw the heartbeat was it before you had any symptoms? What size did the baby measure at death? Did you have any symptoms at a time when you knew the baby was still alive because there was an ultrasound heartbeat?
If you are cramping and bleeding and the baby is alive that obviously has to raise the suspicion that some malfunction in the uterine environment or placenta is causing the baby's death. Your cramping and bleeding means that your tissues are breaking down. The baby is still functioning fine within its little shell but the shell is actually cracking.
My losses have all either been very early (the first bulletpoint) or Gummy Bear's loss, where my body kept doing all of the right things, but nearly two weeks had passed since the baby stopped growing (second bulletpoint). Of course, doctors have always said that the losses were probably chromosomal, but they never gave a reason why they thought that, just quoted the "50% of all early losses" blah, blah that we've all heard.
I am finding this comforting because hopefully this means that we have just had really bad luck. Horrible bad luck, but bad luck nonetheless. My body isn't killing healthy babies (as I have always secretly feared), my babies haven't been healthy and nature has taken it's course (somehow, that's more comforting).