Since my miscarriage, I’ve been on a fact-finding mission. Mainly to discover what, if anything, could have been done to prevent what I went through.
I quickly learned that a diagnosis of “miscarriage” is a very mysterious, confusing one. On one hand, you could just have had chromosomal issues and the egg was doomed from the start, while on the other, you could have a chronic health issue that will cause you to likely miscarry again and again.
What’s even more frustrating, it that the pervasive thinking in the medical community is to do nothing until a woman has had at least three repeat miscarriages. THREE. That boggles my mind. While doctors will hand out antibiotics and prescription drugs like candy, they won’t run routine blood work on a woman who has miscarried to rule out preventable causes until she suffers through three of them in a row.
Well I am by nature a researcher, so there was no way I was going to just “wait and see” if I was going to go through this two more times before running tests. I became very assertive about my health and ended up going to four different OB/Gyns until I found one who would take me seriously.
I knew I had found the right doctor this week when after I apologized for “being difficult” by asking so many questions, she said “no, this is your health and it’s right of you to take control of it. I’ve had two losses myself and I know the desperate feeling you get when you just want answers.” Yup. Bingo.
I am happy I kept searching for the right doctor and pushed for this bloodwork too, because it turns out in addition to my compound heterozygous MTHFR, I also have very low progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone that sustains a pregnancy in the beginning until the placenta takes over in the second trimester, so it was likely that if left untreated I would have continued to miscarry.
Progesterone is a tricky thing too because one of the main things that can lower it, is stress. Well, it’s safe to say I’ve had a lot of that in the past six months with a cross-country move, new job for Luke, living as a guest in my parent’s house, buying our own house AND suffering a miscarriage.
My new doctor helped me devise a plan I finally feel confident in. First I will take high doses of methylfolate to combat my MTHFR. I will also add in a baby aspirin as a preventative measure as MTHFR can cause clotting in people with high homocysteine (which I do not have). At the first sign of a new pregnancy, my doctor will run a progesterone level and start me on supplementation immediately if my level is low. Finally, I am doing my best to reduce my stress level with walks, meditation and prayer.
I feel like I can finally put my worried mind to rest for a bit, knowing I have more information about my health and how to optimize it for a future pregnancy. The past few months have been an exhausting and emotional roller coaster that hopefully I’ll never have to relive again.