Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A love/hate relationship with statistics

I have a love/hate relationship with statistics.  After the first miscarriage I was comforted by the statistic that 15-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, something I didn’t know before.  I was comforted in knowing that next time I’d have an 80% chance of success.  After the second miscarriage I felt that I won a bad luck lottery because the odds of having 2 recurrent miscarriages are 2.25%.  I really hated statistics after my 2nd miscarriage.  In time, I grew to love one statistic: the odds of having 3 recurrent miscarriages are 1%.  This statistic was in the bad of my mind as a result of my effort to remain positive and you know, find a rainbow.  Some would call this self-preservation. 

Well, now that I’ve had a 3rd miscarriage I’m back to hating statistics.  I swear - if I go back to the doctor and she says one more word about ‘the statistics’ I am going to blow a gasket in the middle of her sentence.  I’m talking a full-blown meltdown.  Thankfully though my husband will be at the appointment in anticipation of my meltdown.  I think that the second I sit down to talk to her the first words I say are going to be “whatever you do, don’t mention ANY statistics.”

Rainshower:      Why do I have to be that person in the 1% category?  The bad luck lottery just keeps knocking at my door.

Rainbow:          I have a followup appointment -an opportunity for a gameplan.  This is as positive as I can be right now.  Also, the 
odds are still in my favor to eventually have a successful pregnancy but I’m not in the place to accept that yet.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

An Epiphany?

Thanks to some ladies at an online support group I think I just might have an idea what might be causing my miscarriages.  Apparently in 2003 the normal range for your thyroid level (TSH) was changed from 0.3-5.0 to 0.3-3.0.  My level was 4.34.  Some doctors like to see women that are trying to conceive/stay pregnant with levels below 2.5.  I found an article titled “New Research Indicates Higher Risk for Miscarriage in Pregnant Women with Thyroid Test Levels on High End of Normal which sums it up nicely.  This is something that I will be bringing up with my RE at an upcoming appointment.  

The hardest part of this journey is the ‘why’ & ‘what is wrong’ & ‘everything is normal’.  Regardless of whether or not my elevated TSH level is a contributing factor to my miscarriages it is at least a step in the right direction.  I feel refreshed, motivated and hopeful today which is in stark contrast to the worry that was setting in last night.

Rainshower:      I may have a thyroid issue
Rainbow:          I am actually happy I may have a thyroid issue, crazy, isn’t it?? 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Well this is unexpected.

After 6 cycles of trying to conceive, I was pregnant despite multiple negative pregnancy tests.  I even had a light period while pregnant.  I know all of this because I am now having another early miscarriage.  That makes three for those who are counting and trust me, I'm counting.  

I can’t say that I am upset about any of these revelations though for multiple reasons.  1. I never had a ‘positive’ test so I was never excited. 2. I’ve had two miscarriages already so a third isn’t much of a surprise.  In a way I’m taking this as a positive from a “see, I told you there was something wrong with me” perspective.  Why won’t anyone listen to me?  Why does it take three early miscarriages to wake up medical professionals?  Both my OB and RE assured me that there was NOTHING wrong with me.  I wasn’t convinced though.  Perhaps now they will finally change their tune.  The word of the day yesterday, before I found out that the mid cycle bleeding was a result of a chemical, was ‘frustrated’. It is still the word of the day.  It has been the word of the summer really.  Earlier this summer I was frustrated that I wasn’t yet pregnant. Now I am frustrated because I lost ANOTHER one.  I am not deterred though.  This will happen.  We are getting closer.

Rainshower:      Frustration is infuriating.
Rainbow:          I told you so, Dr.  Will you believe me now?  I am one step closer to getting this figured out!

Wow, this is taking awhile (previously written)

I thought I’d have a ‘sticky bean’ by now.  I haven’t been trying again that long really (6 cycles) but the first pregnancies were, if you can believe it, on the first try.  Crazy, right?  Dumb luck, really.  I guess this is another lesson for me.  Another way to be sympathetic to a different set of people trying to conceive (other than people with multiple miscarriage)... the people that have never seen a positive pregnancy test.  The first time I saw a positive pregnancy test I was in disbelief.  Then I quickly became excited and almost as quickly became terrified.  I’m looking forward to feeling that roller coaster of emotions again.  Soon, I hope.

Rainshower:      Waiting is no fun.  Living your life in two week intervals stinks.   
Rainbow:          I have even more appreciation for women that have infertility.  Especially those that have been longing for a baby for so long.

The Silent Misery of Miscarriage

We don’t talk about it, why?  I’ll tell you why I have chosen not to talk about it at this point.  (Yes that is right, I have spoken about my heartache with almost no one, not even my mother, yet here I am writing my entire experience for you to read.)  I chose not to talk about it because I do not believe that singular experiences, no matter how painful or profound, should define you in the eyes of friends, family, strangers and coworkers.  I don’t want the sympathetic faces staring at me.  I don’t want to be pitied.  I don’t want you to look at me any differently.  I don’t even want to hear your story about that one miscarriage you had between your 3rd and 4th child.  Lucky you – you can have children.  I still don’t even know if it is possible for me.  At this point I’ve had two back-to-back miscarriages.  No one shares the same situation, not even the women that have suffered multiple or recurrent miscarriages like me

The truth is - a miscarriage conversation is uncomfortable for everyone involved.  No one knows what to say or do and no one wants to upset anyone else.  The most compelling reason for me not to speak about my miscarriage is that I am terrified that someone I confide in will break my heart by unknowingly saying the wrong thing and I just cannot bear to lose any more than I already have.

I want you to believe that there are rainbows and unicorns when it is your turn to have a baby.  Statistically speaking it is true.  I just happen to be on the other side of the statistic.  Repeatedly.  That is hard for me. 

It is especially hard for me to talk about.  So I write.  So I hope that I can be an inspiration to someone.  So I read blogs.  So I joined a multiple miscarriage forum online.  So I continue to push ahead.  So I continue to dream.  So I continue to be reassured by the stories I hear from other women out there like me.  So I move forward the best way I know how.  So I hope that someday I will be a success story.  I hope for my rainbow baby so I can fill the nursery with rainbows and unicorns.

Rainshower:      Miscarriages are emotionally wrenching.
Rainbow:          After a miscarriage you really appreciate the miracle of life.

Without the Rain There Would Be No Rainbow

My new motto!!!!!   I have lots of mottos really but this will be THE one of the year.  It is on the cover of my 2012 calendar.  It is on the cover of my ‘trying to conceive” binder.  Yes, you read that right, I have one.  I am in love with a particular image that symbolizes this motto.  It is by Matheus Lopes.  It is beautiful and inspirational.  2012 is my year – damn it!

Members on various forums refer to their babies born after miscarriage as ‘rainbow babies’.  Boy do I understand why now.  I want my rainbow baby too.

Rainshower:      If 2012 is not ‘the’ year than this motto will not be my go-to motto in 2013
Rainbow:          My rainbow baby will be here, one way or another. One year or another.