Encouragement after Multiple Miscarriages

Encouragement for someone who has had more than one miscarriage.

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ORIGINAL POST 

Just hoping to get some encouragement from people on this list who've been through the same thing. Over the past year I've had 2 miscarriages and we're now trying again but I'm feeling pretty anxious and defeated by the whole thing. I need to keep thinking positive so would love to hear from anyone on the list who went through two or more miscarriages in a row and came out the other side with a healthy pregnancy. Any advice? What did you do to keep yourself going while you were trying? Thanks in advance for sharing your stories!

 

 RESPONSES:

 

“I hope you're hanging in there. I had one miscarriage before my son was born and two more last year, one of which was around 12 weeks. All of it was emotionally and physically trying, but I was told and reminded myself that it was all normal and statistically made sense and was for the best. I didn't think there were any fertility issues, and getting pregnant didn't seem to be an issue, so I didn't bother with any treatments etc. My OB said they wouldn't normally pursue that unless it was 3 in a row. It helped that I heard of enough women with multiple miscarriages who had healthy children. I just had to go through a lot of pain to get there.  I'm pregnant again and 2 months from my due date now. I was holding my breath for a long time.”

 

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“I had four miscarriages over the course of two years of trying to conceive. I know how hard it is, and I felt extremely discouraged at my best and distraught at my worst. We got the help of a reproductive endocrinologist, who basically discovered nothing that was fixable was wrong, although I did go through a phase of searching for fixes (progesterone? aspirin? etc.). Luckily, our doctor was a good match for us, didn't push any reproductive science on us, and encouraged us to simply keep trying. The things he did that helped me feel like I was doing something were testing the quality of my eggs (all the standard stuff), early monitoring (though this also resulted in the seeing a heartbeat/then no heartbeat disappointment), and some ovulation monitoring by sonogram. I read statistics that made me feel like after four miscarriages, my odds were incredibly low for success.

I also read a book called "Coming to Term" that was incredibly helpful. The author's wife had multiple miscarriages and he basically set out to know everything he could about miscarriage. A science writer, he then published this book, which was both personal and super informative. It made me feel hopeful -- his story also ends in full term pregnancy.

Though, in the end, we simply got pregnant again and it "stuck." When we made it to 11 weeks, I couldn't believe it. When we made it to 20 and found out we were having a daughter, I was overjoyed. When I birthed her and started my life as a mama, I was amazed how quickly my identity as “struggling with multiple miscarriages” disappeared and my confidence in my body's ability to create and nurture my daughter took over. While I know very well how you may be feeling, the feeling receded and I am at my happiest. Sometimes I look at my daughter and can't imagine her being one of those other eggs; she is so smart, funny, lively... if it took 4 bad eggs to get to her, I am only grateful we got to her in the end! I wouldn't want it any other way.”

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“I'm sorry to hear about your experience and hope that sharing mine offers some help, especially because as noted, it's one of those things that people don't talk about and therefore feels more lonely (especially living in Strollerville some days!).

I had 2 miscarriages after my first child and before my second one was born. The first miscarriage was early and not awful for me; the second was later and hit me like a ton of bricks. After the second one I was referred to a doctor who was also an IVF guy, but clearly stated to him that I didn't want IVF which he was fine with. They did some testing to see what might have caused the miscarriage and didn't come up with anything definitive but did have some guidelines that helped and were useful for treatment when I did get pregnant again (some hormonal, steroids early on etc).

Then it was not as easy to get pregnant again, and the big 4-0 clock was ticking for me, I ultimately did go ahead with IVF. For me being pushy with getting intervention right after the second miscarriage (technically I think they say to wait for 3 miscarriages to consider it a problem) definitely helped and sped up the process in a good way. I liked my doctor and his whole set up a lot (Dr. Drew Tortoriello at Sher Institute in midtown Manhattan) and felt that he had some advance technologies that were my best shot at preventing a third miscarriage.

Miscarriage is hard, and so, so individual a thing, that rarely did anything anyone said to me help. So figure out what makes you feel better in life in general (crappy tv shows, food, massages etc.) and give yourself that too. Best of luck!” 

 

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“We had two miscarriages in two years before conceiving and carrying our daughter, now 9 months, to term. At the time, the process of starting our family felt like an eternity. A painful, painful eternity. You have my deepest empathy. You are not alone.

That said, one of the things that got us through it was our strong belief that our family was "out there," just waiting to be realized. We were interested in adoption as well as conception, although we hadn't designated a timeline as to when we would stop trying to conceive and start the process of adoption. (We continue to be interested in adoption if our plans to conceive a sibling for our daughter don't pan out.)

I also wanted to add: I don't know if adoption appeals to you, and it's certainly its no more of a fast track or sure thing than pregnancy is. But if adoption is something that you are considering, I encourage you to try to take some solace in knowing that you have other opportunities to create your family if you decide to go that route.

At our best moments, we actually felt fortunate knowing that we had two different ways we could try to create our family, whereas other people (either because they aren't interested in adoption or because they know that that is their only option) only had one way. At our worst moments, of course, well that's another story. But we definitely had a number of sustained, optimistic, bright moments as a result of knowing that we had more than one option.” 

 

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“I have been there. Two MCs in a row, and people kept telling me how “lucky” I was that I kept getting pregnant (I was 42ish). I certainly didn't feel very lucky, with no baby to show. When I got pregnant for the third time, I was a little annoyed -- I even had to reschedule my IVF consultation "just in case" I didn't need to bother with it, but since my prior two pregnancies didn't work out I had no reason to believe that this one would be any different. We were shocked when we saw a strong heartbeat a few weeks later and amazed when all of the testing came back ok. Now the baby is almost one, so I know that these happy results can indeed occur.

“But I also know how hard it is when going through the process. And how everyone's well-meaning advice can ring hollow when nothing seems to be working. But, I learned that the doctors can be right. It only takes one good egg/sperm. So hang in there and just know that there are many of us out there.”

 

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“Just to echo many of the previous comments - I'm really glad you raised the issue. Miscarriage is often such a taboo topic and I think the lack of public discourse often makes it all the more isolating. In trying to have a second child, I've been pregnant three times over the past year. The first two pregnancies resulted in miscarriages circa 8 weeks. I'm happy to say that the third is now a healthy viable second trimester pregnancy! I struggled with my own expectations about what should happen when. Getting pregnant/staying pregnant with my first had been so easy. What I tried to hold on to, looking around at friends who were struggling to get pregnant, or those who were dealing with children born with special needs, was the fact that many of us face personal challenges when it comes to creating family, and this happened to be mine. Not always an easy task, I know.

Though I choose to stay away from advanced fertility care, I was always happy to be reminded that there are some pretty amazing practitioners out there doing pretty amazing things should I want/need it. I will say that I was often disappointed with my OB visits (and I tried a few since my care fell out of my homebirth midwife's scope of practice). Finding compassionate care was difficult. I felt there was a lot of fear mongering and I wasn't ready to give up on the two miscarriages being tragic, unfortunate, unlikely, but NORMAL events. I will say that Dr. Phyllis Hyde (hematologist, internist, oncologist - Brooklyn Heights), who did the follow-up assessment to my basic thrombophilia panel, was AMAZING, and everything a doctor/practice should be. I highly recommend her care if you are checking for any clotting/blood related issues.”

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“I have total four miscarriages between 2009 and 2012. Things got difficult after having my first child. There is no solid reason for what happened because I had a normal first pregnancy. We are not going to use advanced medical treatments to get pregnant, but to keep doing “what married couples do” (wink wink).”