I suffered losses of three naturally conceived pregnancies, always at the end of the first trimester, after two good u/s with h/b.
Two of these losses I suffered while under the care of the RE, Dr. * (also while seeing an acupuncturist/herbalist who specialized in fertility.) Dr. * and my OB, Dr. ** both told me that such losses are "always chromosomal" and advised me to move on to DE IVF. I did not fully believe them (call it a "gut" impression) and sent off a "tissue sample" from the last fetus for analysis. When it came back "XX (girl) NORMAL" Dr. * said, "That result proves nothing. Only XY (boy) normal would prove that nothing was genetically wrong with the baby. XX could accidentally have been YOUR tissue she sampled."
So I finally decided to move on to DE (donor egg) IVF. However, at the advice of my therapist whose help I sought to deal with the grief, I saw a reproductive immunologist, Dr. ***. Dr.*** recommended a long list of expensive tests (not covered by insurance) and he seemed eccentric. So I took that list to Dr. ***. and I asked, "What if anything on this list has merit?
" He replied, "I'd get you tested for APA (antiphospholipid antibodies) and NK (natural killer cell) count." (I am not sure why I
had to bring him this list before he suggested that) So through an outside, independent lab
I was tested and came up positive for APA with elevated NK Count. Dr. M. said, "If you were to succeed in getting pregnant again I'd suggest that you inject a blood thinner, Lovenox, and also take low dose Prednisone, a steroid, for the first trimester. So with my DE IVF pg I did both. I also told my OB that I was on the blood thinner. At no point did anyone suggest that I could not safely carry a pregnancy
. For most of the pregnancy I was blissfully happy and did nothing more strenuous than prenatal yoga and aqua aerobics at the local "Y."
Unfortunately, I needed a scheduled c-section due to a fibroid blocking my cervix. Due to the surgery, my OB told me to go off the blood thinner one week before the C-section (two weeks before my due date) and two days later
I came down with the worst class of HELLP. It presented as a severe headache, stomach ache, vomiting and nausea. HELLP ruptured my liver and gave me a brain hemorrhage that put me in a three-week long coma, from which the doctors were not certain I'd emerge.
I was on a feeding tube, respirator, and a ventilator, and when I did emerge from the coma I had no memory of ever having been pregnant or having a baby. My husband tells me that when he would put our infant in my arms I would gaze at her and say, "She's beautiful. Can we keep her?" and that when he told me she was ours I just looked at him skeptically. So he gave me the pregnancy journal I'd made and reading it was like reading new information and because so much of it was so sad it made me weep all over again. I have no memories of the early months in rehab or of our baby girl when she was small but I do remember the night I read that book and wept. I am so glad I made and kept a pregnancy journal.
I thought I was writing for our daughter so that she would know the story of her origins when she got older but I was also (apparently) writing to inform myself.
My husband and I were blessed with world-class health care covered by our dual union-provided health insurance (mine has since lapsed) but unlike so many other families we were SOOO fortunate. The excellent care I received did not bankrupt us AND our daughter is healthy.I wish everyone had the benefits of union provided health insurance
. I also wish that an affordable public option existed and that my OB had paid closer attention to my health once I went off of the blood thinner.
I'm not sure if any of this could have been prevented but I will always wonder about that.
Now I seem to be developing RA symptoms (stiffness in my joints) and the doctors think that it may have something to do with the damage my liver suffered from HELLP though they are not certain. Any information on what HELLP does long-term and any info on the odds of my daughter getting HELLP if she tries to have a baby (I hope none?) are welcome. Thanks!