Friday, January 18, 2008

Dr. Google Says. . .

He may have a medical degree in pure evil, but I simply cannot stay way from the good doctor. On days when the fears of miscarriage creep into my brain, I try to find online reassurance.

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).

13 comments:

Melissa said...

Have faith-you are doing so great and this little baby is a strong fighter. I continue to pray this one "sticks."
*hugs*

Maria said...

I think those facts are comforting. And I think it's okay to allow yourself to take comfort in them. You have been through a lot.

K @ ourboxofrain said...

I'm sad and horrified to admit that upon reading this I was momentarily glad to have had to carry around a dead fetus for somewhere between 5 and 15 days prior to the D&E. P has always insisted that it wasn't the apartment that was the problem but the tenant, which left me feeling both sad and hopeful.

On a totally different note, according to your ticker, your wee one is beginning to make pee today. That seems very exciting to me.

Kathy V said...

Yeah I have to say that it is a little more comforting. I fall under bullet point two so it does help. Thanks for posting this. It does seem like we are given the same statistics over and over without any explanttion.

Fertilize Me said...

hang in there - my husband took my dr google priveledges away

Pamala said...

It's the only thing that kept me from having a break down with mine. Now I know what was wrong with those I lost, because the daughter I do have has an illness. I often wonder what would have happened if I hadn't miscarried the others?

Adriane said...

Interesting excerpt you posted. I imagine that information would provide comfort after everything you've been through. You definitely have had horribly bad luck. I hope you are staying positive! I am hoping this is it for you!!

My Reality said...

Great info. Thanks for posting it.

Waiting Amy said...

Yes, my losses fall into bullet points 1 and 2. And I have had one successful pregnancy. So I keep trying to believe that this time they are normal and will make it to the end. I think I'm just more nervous because there are now 2 to worry about.

Hang in there, things are looking great so far! How long until your next appt?

Polka Dot said...

I think the not knowing is the worst - we tend to blame ourselves for something that nature caused. I'm glad you were able to find some peace.

DrSpouse said...

I had two that were under point 1 and 1 under point 2, but no chromosome testing. Then I had one that was heartbeat at 6w and 8w, spotting started at 9+2, which turned out to be 1 week after fetal demise.

That one turned out to have normal chromosomes (as far as they can tell - it was female) though they'd been telling me that the previous ones were probably chromosomal. So, since none of the tests came back positive we don't know what it was, and are plumping for "developmental abnormalities" (1/3 of recurrent miscarriages) or "unknown" (a remaining 1/3.

Anns said...

How long 'til you're in the 2nd trimester.. I feel that it's gotta be just around the corner, no?

Hang in there and just keep the countdown going... you're almost there. xo

Geohde said...

I'm glad you found some comfort in the information you found.

Really hoping this little one sticks around.

J