Archive | May, 2011

What happened and what next

3 May

I have decided to get back on the horse, so to speak. I have purchased more sperm and fortunately from the same donor which I used last time. Focusing on the success I had with my first IVF round – 100% fertilization rate and a confirmed pregnancy, it seemed to make sense to stick with a good thing. I spent so much time choosing a donor too and I am happy with all his characteristics. The fact that he had available sperm sealed the deal for me and I purchased two straws this time.

I would like to highlight here that although I have purchased sperm and intend on doing another IVF cycle when my doctor says my body is ready, I also remain open to whatever life presents to me in the meantime. I want to put this up front because I realise now that it is important to live every day  as it comes.  It’s great to have a plan but investing too much energy in what is to come in a couple months can take the beauty out of what is happening right now. Who knows what is going to happen tomorrow but whatever it is, I welcome it.

In the spirit of being open about this whole process, I feel I need to rewind a little and explain what happened with my pregnancy loss.

I experienced what is known as a missed miscarriage. A missed miscarriage occurs when the fetus dies, however the woman’s body continues as if the fetus is still viable.  The diagnosis of a missed miscarriage is usually considered after fetal heart tones are not heard or the size of the uterus has not grown.  In my case, when I was having my 7 week dating ultrasound it was discovered that the fetus had no heart beat and that development had stopped less than a week prior.

I can’t explain in words how I felt when the sonographer said “I’m so sorry Natasha but there is no heart beat.” I think I was in shock. I remember actually feeling really sorry for the sonogapher as she looked really devastated for me. Of course, it is terrible receiving this news but it must also be terrible having to deliver it. I remained relatively stoic and kept it together long enough until I could get home and fall to pieces in private.

A missed miscarriage will usually have no signs and symptoms initially and this was certainly the case for me. I had a blood test to check my hCG levels 4 days before and this indicated everything was fine. I also still had sore and swollen breasts. My body’s opinion was that I was still preggers.

There are three treatment options for a missed miscarriage. 1. To wait and see if the body will naturally move into miscarriage (emotionally I couldn’t continue feeling pregnant knowing the fetus has died); 2.  Take medication to force the body into miscarriage; 3.  Have surgical treatment which is a D&C (dilatation & curettage).  My fertility specialist recommended that I have a D & C so my body could start healing quicker and therefore be prepared for another round of IVF sooner (usually two menstrual cycles). Unfortunately I found out on a Friday so I had to wait the weekend out, feeling pregnant, until I could have the surgery on Monday.

A D&C entails a women going into the hospital and having anesthesia while an obstetrician dilates her cervix and curettes (scrapes) the uterine lining to ensure complete removal of all products of conception.  A benefit of this type of treatment is that the products of conception are sent to a pathologist for evaluation and genetic testing can be performed if so desired. This was done but I am still unclear of the results.

The cause is most commonly due to chromosomal abnormalities within the fetus.  These chromosomal abnormalities can be due to several factors including poor quality sperm or egg, abnormal cell division of the fetus, and / or genetic abnormalities of either mother or father.

I have called my fertility specialist to ask whether he has looked over the results and also because the hospital has since discovered that I have an in-uterine polyp but he is on holiday for the next two weeks. Actually, this is third time I have called at various stages of this journey and he has been on holidays (This is a moan I will save for another post, lucky reader you).

So that’s that really. Until I can talk to my well-traveled fertility specialist, I am not sure where to next – except that tomorrow is another glorious day which I welcome with open arms.