Once you have experienced the loss of a baby, it changes your world. The way you approach pregnancy has changed forever. It will never be the same experience as it once was thought. The unimaginable happened to you. And if you tried again, you somehow got enough courage, strength, and hope to take that "jump" off that cliff, not knowing what would happen. How deep is that water below? Is there a net? Holding hands with your significant other, you jumped, with your eyes have closed, half open. You were told that "most couples" go onto having a living baby here after a loss. So, if it sadly happens again, losing another baby, it changes your world again.
It is difficult to find literature and support when you lose a baby. Even harder when you lose another baby again. We hope that the information that we provide here helps you feel not alone.
Recurrent pregnancy loss also known as "RPL" used to be three or more losses in a row. Recently, the medical community changed it to be two or more losses in a row before 20 weeks. Recurrent pregnancy loss has many reasons for why it happened. Below are the most common causes:
Anatomy of the uterus
Many times, doctors will not test you for reasons as to why a loss has happened unless you have experienced more than one in a row. Some of the tests that you can inquire about, if not offered, are:
Blood tests - medical, immune, or blood clotting
Karyotype - chromosomes can be studied using a special blood test
Testing of tissue - tissue from your baby or placenta can be tested for their chromosomes
Special ultrasound of your uterus
There are treatments that can be done, if a possible reason is determined. Or even if no reason is found, there are treatments that you can have administered before getting pregnant or after. Please inquire with your doctor or specialist to see options for you.
Many times, after having experienced more than one loss in a row, the thought of, "Will I be able to have a baby here, even with a history of RPL?," may surface. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine, says that, "even after having three miscarriages, a women has a 60-80% chance of conceiving and carrying a full-term pregnancy." Even with such statistics in your favor, it can bring up many different feelings, thoughts, and emotions. You experienced the unimaginable, more than once. Again, the decision is up to you and your significant other, whether or not trying again, is even possible.
Here are some resources, books, and information to help support you during your losses:
emily's and michael's blog. Found on this website, www.emilysgiftofhope.org, under the "About Us" page. I, Anne talk about my journey of losing two babies consecutively within a year's time.
Project Sweet Pea, http://projectsweetpea.wordpress.com. A bereaved mother tells of her journey since losing six babies within 18 months. She is now expecting a baby boy, and tells of her emotions and feelings that go with that.
"Carrying to Term," by Jon Cohen. After his wife lost four pregnancies, Jon Cohen set out to gather the most comprehensive and accurate information on miscarriage - a topic shrouded in myth, hype, and uncertainty. The result of his mission is a uniquely revealing and inspirational book for every woman who has lost at least one pregnancy - and for her partner, family, and close friends. If you live in the Cleveland area, this book can be inter-loaned with Avon Lake Public Library or bought online at www.amazon.com.
"One in Four: Shifting the Balance on Pregnancy Loss," by Barbara Toppin, MD. In One in Four, Dr. Barbara Toppin reveals the blind eye turned on one of the most prevalent causes of pregnancy loss: thrombophilias, or clotting disorders. Affecting nearly 42% of the population, thrombophilias often go undetected in women, yet are a primary cause of miscarriages.
"Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Therapy," by Holly B. Ford, MD and Danny J. Schust, MD, Spring 2009. Article can be found at: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709325.