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PAL (Pregnancy After Loss) Mamas November 2011

post #1 of 183
Thread Starter 

Looking at the roster already it looks like we could use a PAL thread here, I know I sure could! Hoping it's good luck to be the one to start it. redface.gif


Here's a place for those of us pregnant after loss (miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss) to share our journey and support each other. C'mon sticky rainbows!!

post #2 of 183

Thanks for starting this!  I am going to need it too.  We had our loss on Chrismas '10.  I don't have my 1st appointment with the midwife until the 14th so I am trying to stay positive for now.

post #3 of 183
Thread Starter 

tank it makes me so happy to be here with you after being with you on the "other side" too! My last loss was just three weeks before yours. That's a long agonizing wait, I hope it'll go fast for you. Will your midwife order betas? Or do you not want to do them?

post #4 of 183

I'm so sorry for both your losses. It's really hard around the holidays... or any other time, I guess.


I've had two miscarriages. One was six years ago and the other was also just this Christmas. We were in Mexico for our honeymoon. I don't really know what to say. It was awful and I'm feeling kind of overwhelmed with nerves since finding out I'm pregnant again. I really want to be positive and confident. The friends/family who know about all this keep trying to reassure me that miscarriage is common, which I understand, but after 2 losses and no babies, I'm just not feeling secure.


Can I ask what your midwives (or other care providers) are suggesting to you? I'm not really comfortable with having an ultrasound really early and I'm hoping for other ideas of things to do to provide some reassurance.. 

post #5 of 183
Thread Starter 

Hi opus and so sorry for your losses as well. I'm actually seeing an RE now since we'd been trying for two years and had two losses consecutively. I'll let you guys know what he says when I call to tell him this morning! But as far as I know, besides ultrasounds the only other really early thing they can do is beta HCG and progesterone levels, which can be unreliable indicators but usually if they show good doubling times all is going well....

post #6 of 183

I honestly don't know what my midwife will do.  This is my 1st and I still haven't had one appointment yet.  My last pregnancy appt got receduled then I had a m/c.  Then my after m/c appt got resceduled 3 times!  I would say that it is bad luck or I should see a different midwife but it's all because of the snow and then once because there was a birth to attend.  I guess I can't blame her there. 


I was wondering what she could possible do to see if the pregnancy is looking normal so far.  Just u/s or betas?  I really don't want another ultrasound until I can see the sex at 20 weeks but if it is the only way to reassure me that there is actually a baby in there I might.  I don't know.  I had a really bad experience with the u/s because I had it done by someone who wasn't a doctor/nurse/midwife so she couldn't tell me what she thought or saw.

post #7 of 183

Sigh.  I hit the magical post-deleting button again.


One thing that has made me feel better is hearing stories of people who had a miscarriage, or multiple miscarriages, and went on to have children.  It's not widely talked about, but it's not so uncommon either.  My MIL had a miscarriage between her two children, I know my grandmother had at least one miscarriage (although I don't know when, but she ended up with 5 kids), my best friend told me that her mother's first two pregnancies ended in miscarriage before she had her two daughters.  It really is pretty common, and it seldom means anything is wrong that can't be righted.


Another thing that helped me was going to the November 2010 DDC and reading the oldest threads, especially the PAL threads.  A lot of the women's signatures now show that they have a new little one, and I stalked some of them that didn't have that in their signature, and found that they were posting up until the 8th or 9th month of pregnancy, and then stopped.  Presumably they had their little ones and are now to busy to post.  Doing this, although it made me feel a little like a creepy stalker, made me worry less.  It also made me worry less about worrying - these ladies were stressed that they might lose their pregnancies, just like anyone is after a loss, and it didn't hurt their pregnancies or their babies noticeably.


I don't have any specific advice for things to get done so you can worry less.  I think I am going to ask the doctor at my appointment (March 14) if he will get me in for an early ultrasound.  I know there are possible risks associated with multiple ultrasounds, but I think it will really make me able to go through the pregnancy with some feeling of certainty and not be as fearful.  I think it will also help me bond with the baby better, in utero.  If you're not comfortable with that, I'm not sure what I would suggest.  I hope all of the fears we all have are completely unfounded!

post #8 of 183

My first loss was just before Thanksgiving. My pregnancy innocence went with it. My second would have been mistaken for a period if I hadn't felt so STRANGE, spurring me to test.


I wasn't able to bond with my second baby. I figured I'd bond at birth if I had so much issue in pregnancy. Then we had a complicated labor that required an epidural and the drugs killed our bond for another 10 months. I have some postpartum trauma from it, actually. I went through all the motions, did everything right, struggled with terrible breastfeeding issues that I'd never seen anyone get through without supplementing (and never supplemented) and all of that, with a baby that I didn't even feel like was mine. I loved her like my niece. Important and my word, but not my own. Then she almost drowned (she was at my feet in the kitchen and I didn't see her leave while I was turned around making food and my then-3 year old was in the bath--I turned to look at the baby, then I head a splash and RAN to the tub--she was at the bottom and came out blue... she didn't inhale a drop according to the ER, thank god) and whatever was wrong just vanished. I had a few hiccups after that, like the bonding system was a computer system coming online and debugging, but she's been 'mine' ever since. It gave me PPD and made me terrified to ever have another child.


I had to identify all of this and start working through it to be able to TTC again. I was afraid that our family was going to forever be incomplete. And it all started because I was afraid to bond with another baby, for fear that they would be lost to me. I bonded instantly with that first baby I lost.


I'm bonded to this baby already and it terrifies me. I feel such a strong attachment and I never thought I'd feel that again this early. So I'm so scared. Every day, I feel like a pendulum is swinging lower and I'm trying to protect the baby and can't. :(

post #9 of 183

 Our last loss was at the start of November at roughly 9-10wks along.  It took over 3 years to get pregnant with that baby.  I'm labeled a recurrent miscarriage patient. I will be starting on 200mg progesterone 1x nightly  tonight, and instructed to start 81mg baby aspirin today also which will continue til 12wks. I have a repeat beta Friday. My first beta today was 39.

post #10 of 183
Thread Starter 

Kami I'm so excited to see you over here too! smile.gif And so nice to "meet" everyone else...we have quite a little group already here, must be a lucky month for PAL.


So when I called the RE to tell him I'm pregnant he told me that some of my massive amount of bloodwork had come back positive - two of the clotting factors, so Antiphospholipid Antibodies. So I immediately started baby aspirin and my hematologist (who I was already seeing for something else) is taking a look at it to decide if I need to be on Lovenox too. I'm feeling good about just doing the baby aspirin I think....Kami are you on it as a preventative or did some of your RPL testing come back positive? I also am heterozygous for MTHFR, the more problematic of the two possible mutations. There are mixed opinions about whether just the one copy of it can really cause problems, but I'm not taking any chances and so have started extra liquid Folic Acid/B12.


Both of these things could certainly explain my losses, especially the last one where we had a heartbeat at 7 weeks but baby died two days later. Of course, there are plenty of other possible reasons, so....Anyway, at first I was upset about all of it but then started feeling like, at least it makes me feel like it really wasn't my fault.


First beta at 16 dpo was 255, progesterone 13.9, I'll have the results of the second draw tomorrow. I can't explain it but I really don't feel much anxiety about this pregnancy at all so far. Not sure if that's a sign of mama-intuition or that I'm more detached. I just feel like this one's a keeper. It feels in many ways just like DD's pregnancy and not like the losses, and a lot of things have improved for me health-wise since the losses. I'm also a big believer in not spending my pregnancy, however long or short it may be, being miserable and paranoid. I was thankful last time that I'd embraced that baby and felt so close to him for the time I had him, even though it probably made the grief deeper.

post #11 of 183

 Megan~  The aspirin is a preventative measure. I had a bunch of clotting disorder stuff ruled out with my RPL blood work that was done in Sept. before i found out i was pregnant with  November Hope. 



Edited by SoCaliMommy - 3/3/11 at 1:41pm
post #12 of 183

Megan--I had a heartbeat at 6 weeks and my baby died the day after. I strongly blame the vaginal ultrasound for my loss. I found out afterward that I was not alone in having a healthy baby go within a day or two of an early ultrasound :( It's so hard, not knowing that the baby's okay in there and being afraid that that's what took my first.


Thankfully, since I don't know when I'll have access to a doctor (I need to get insurance, but to do that, I have to get a new ID because my 2 year old lost mine and to replace it, I finally have to fix my birth certificate because my name was changed when I was 7 years old, but it was done out of court--a legal method full recognized by all authorities EXCEPT the DMV called common usage--and until 2006, it was never an issue... and that's going to cost around $400 after court and other legal fees--which is why I've never done it), a PAL mom sent me a doppler during my last pregnancy (because it took 10 weeks for the insurance company to admit that they hadn't even started my paperwork! rant.gif and I had to talk to a supervisor to get it so I could finally get to the doc at 21 weeks). So, if I can't get up to the midwife by week 12, I can check to make sure baby is okay... but that's 7 weeks away of worrying and not having any way to know that baby's okay greensad.gif

post #13 of 183
Thread Starter 

Humm....I don't at all blame the ultrasound for my losses, but I can see how the coincidence makes you feel wary of them. For every story of babies passing within days of an early ultrasound, there are a dozen uneventful ones. The sad fact is that the 4-8 week window is the most common time for babies to be lost. It's when all of the major organs and systems are forming, so therefore when most chromosomal defects and malfunctions will trigger a miscarriage. Also when most autoimmune and maternal deficiencies can have their most acute effect.


In my case, the heartbeat at 7 weeks was already quite slow and baby was measuring small while the yolk sac was slightly enlarged. So there were clearly signs (including, in retrospect, my early betas and progesterone) that the pregnancy was failing. But we hoped against hope for a week, there are several good explanations for those measurements. I felt it when the baby actually passed, I knew it for certain and everyone told me I was being a worrywart. Then at the 8 week ultrasound by the measurements he'd only grown a day or so, just as I thought. There was something already very wrong before that first ultrasound, and I know that my baby was already dying before we saw the heartbeat. I think if anything, he hung on till then just so we could see him before he was gone.


Anyway I can totally understand you feeling the way you do about ultrasounds, many people are wary of them. We each need to do what best helps us get through. Personally I had a couple of early ultrasounds with DD (because of a SCH) as well with absolutely no ill effects. My first miscarriage happened at 5.5 weeks without ever getting near an ultrasound. Most of my friends and family have had ultrasounds before 10 weeks for one reason or another with no problems at all.


So, all of this just to say that like anything else in pregnancy it's a personal decision and a gamble. If I make it, I'll be having one around 7 weeks and likely again before the anatomy scan, because the reassurance it can offer (or the confirmation that the pregnancy isn't going to continue) outweighs any possible risks for me.

post #14 of 183

 I don't see how a ultrasound can cause you you to loose a baby at all. 



 I'm in the camp of being wary of ultrasounds though. With my first missed m/c i was told at 10wks baby measure6wks, yet 1wk later in the E R at 11wks bbay measured in the 8wk range.  M y last loss at 7wks i was told baby measured 6wks-  it was the same midwife that did the other first ultrasound.  When i passed my baby at almost 10wks from what i could feel when i put the baby in a bag to take to the ER, that was no 6wk baby, it felt like the length of a baby that was closer to where was in my pregnancy.  The ER screwed up and put the baby in formalin instead of saline so they still tried to do the chromosome testing but it didnt work no cells grew.    I'm also somewhat leery about my beta's since with my last loss they continued to climb but not in the way the drs wanted.

Edited by SoCaliMommy - 3/5/11 at 7:42am
post #15 of 183

I agree that there's no way to really be sure either way and I'm all for peace of mind. I have no problem with ultrasounds after the first trimester, but I am, as you said, wary of them now in the first trimester. There was nothing wrong with the baby--everything checked out perfect. Then I was bleeding shortly after the u/s and lost the baby that night. I think there's a good possibility that if not the ultrasound waves, then the wand may have irritated my rather sensitive cervix and caused it. Of course, I also avoid all other things that happened right before the loss--just to be safe (so I won't have sex in the first two months after baby's conceived... my poor husband, lol, he's stuck with "other things")


Since it's estimated around 50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, there's obviously no answer. It may have been an abnormality, it may have been an irritated cervix or the heating of the cells (that ultrasounds are proven to do; I've also read at least one study that showed them causing m/c in mice, but they were used at long intervals, not accurately imitating how ultrasounds are typically used, so it's very questionable... but typically, studies are looking to prove new tech safe, not risky) or just rotten luck. It could have been secondary infertility from my cesarean (if the baby implanted near my scar, there might not have been enough endometrial lining for him/her to stick in) or scarring from my endometriosis. Obviously, it's not something I can ever know.


All any of us can do is protect our babies to the best of our abilities by following the course we feel does that the best. I know that bringing up my concern of u/s is risky in a PAL thread, but I was just expressing one of my own concerns that leaves me lacking information I would like to have, ya know?

post #16 of 183

I don't think anyone is offended if you choose to avoid things that happened before your previous miscarriage.  My husband is also having to live with only "other things" until I at least talk to my doctor.  And I'm trying not to exercise too hard, because we were digging a shallow foundation by hand when I lost the previous one.  And the sensitive cervix thing gives me something to think about, because I think I have one, and that's why I think it's possible that sex MIGHT have caused my miscarriage.  I also know that it's completely possible that it was nothing that I did or didn't do, and that the fetus just got to the stage where it needed something, and that that something wasn't quite right.  But it isn't going to stop me from avoiding other things that just might have triggered the problem.  I've been thinking that I do want an ultrasound, but I'm going to see if the doctor tries to discourage me or not before I decide for sure.  And my husband (and my own soaring libido) can just wait a little longer until I can talk to the doctor about that too.  I probably won't wait until the second trimester for that, though, because my second trimester starts at about the same time my husband goes away to work, and he'll be gone until August.


Anyway, it would sure be nice to believe that u/s was completely safe, because it would really make a lot of us feel better to be able to see the little ones in there.  At the same time, if you don't feel it is safe for you (or you feel that it might not be), then you have the right to express that, especially because it means that you won't get the reassurance that so many people feel is so important.  It's also possible that it is safer for some people than it is for others, due (for example) to cervical sensitivity or who-knows-what-else.

post #17 of 183

I go back and forth on if I want an u/s or not.  Both of my  u/s with my m/c pregnancy were awful and painful.  The transvaginal ones.  My sac grew a little bit between them but there wasn't a baby to be seen so I don't know if it did any damage or the damage had already been done.  I have read the studies on u/s about how they can really disturb the baby and that is the main reason I don't want one in the first trimester.  But on the other hand I didn't know I was definatly going to m/c till I did at 12 weeks and because it had been that long I had a very painful m/c.  So it would be nice to #1 know if everything is ok and if it's not have a d&c right away.


I think my partner is more scared of me having a m/c again than I am.  I am pretty confident that it is for real this time and he is having a hard time getting excited about it.  He also has lots of wild ideas about what caused my m/c last time.  He thinks us having sex when he had had some beer could have done it.  No matter how many times I explain to him that that isn't possible he still brings it up.  I think he is actually scared to have sex with me a little bit.  I don't know how to ease his pain other than present him with facts.

post #18 of 183

Yeah, there's a very good chance that it's my individual body. I had always thought of u/s as safe before that. Not something I wanted to do more than a few times, but generally safe. But of course, when pregnancy innocence goes, it's very hard not to lose it about other things, too.


And there's another good point--since I won't have a d&c because the risks aren't worth it (unless I have risk factors, obviously--I'm really scared about how much damage it could do with my cesarean scar and the potential scarring from my endo) I don't WANT to know if it happens, ya know? I've watched so many mamas waiting weeks, even months, for the baby to pass and... I don't know if I could handle that. I don't want to, I know that. I do wish I could peek in there and see the little critter forming, though.


Every crampy twinge sends me into another fit of worry. I had PMS symptoms down to cramps with my first DD for about 4 weeks (week 4-8, roughly). I really hate this stage of pregnancy now. I'm not showing, I can't talk about it on FB (until DH tells his parents), I'm exhausted and weak and today I was so dizzy at the store that when my four year old moved the cart and I didn't have it to grab, I ended up falling and couldn't get my equilibrium enough to stand up without help.


I had to POAS this morning to finally get that strong, definite line and really, really believe it (I'm over a week late and still have trouble believing it... but I'm really good at denial--I was convinced for 4 weeks after my BFP HPT with my first that I just had a tumor or something, lol). It was such a relief and I felt like I have permission to feel pregnant now, lol--I'm sure that sounds silly.

post #19 of 183

I hope it doesn't sound silly.  I saved my last two pregnancy tests and just took the last one last week.  I needed to see the line getting darker (it did).  It helped a lot.

post #20 of 183
Thread Starter 

Hykue I don't think it's silly at all. A lot of mamas do that, even non-PAL mamas! I happened to have a bunch of ICs with my last pregnancy and took them almost daily the first couple of weeks for just that same kind of reassurance. This time I again have a ton of ICs (just happened to order them the week before I found out - we were supposed to be starting TTC in earnest next cycle! orngtongue.gif) but so far don't feel the need to use them. I'm being more closely monitored now so have reassurance from the blood tests. I also continued charting last pregnancy and this one, though again this time I'm taking a more laid back approach and just "checking in" with my temp every few days, stopped checking CP and CF for the most part. It helps me.


I started giving myself Lovenox shots twice a day after a lot of back and forth consulting with docs. Two of my Antiphospholipid Antibodies were really high, and combined with the one bad MTHFR gene I have, it looks like clotting disorders explain my losses. At least, that's what I'm really hoping. I have to say it's a huge relief to have a diagnosis, at least it gives me something I can *do* to try to keep this baby sticky. Doing the Lovenox, baby aspirin, and extra Folic Acid/B12 get my odds up from 10% to about 75% - same as a "typical" pregnancy. It also gives me relief from being paranoid that something I did in the previous pregnancies caused the losses. I've been able to relax a lot more. Doesn't mean I'm not still scrutinizing stuff, but a lot less than before. So, it's worth it to adjust to giving myself a shot twice a day and bruises and track marks all over my belly and keeping track of all of the vitamins and herbs all day! So far away from the all natural pregnancy I had with DD and thought I'd have again...sigh....but worth it all if I get to hold this one in the end.

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