Everything with the miscarriage is now behind us, physically anyway. I didn’t end up having to have a DNC, which I was so very thankful for and I’m feeling a little more like myself. My cycles have started up again and I’m back to ovulating on CD 15, which means that my body appears to be back on track. I’m not nearly as sad as I was a few weeks ago, which I’m most thankful for because carrying sadness with you everyday is the worst feeling in the world. It’s amazing how the body figures out how to bounce back like that and fix what feels broken. I still have tough days, especially when I notice where I would be with my pregnancy week to week had I not miscarried, but I try my best not to focus on that. Some days I can shift my focus and some days I feel anxious and it’s harder to do. Thankfully, as it stands today, the good days outweigh the bad and for that I am grateful.
Anxiety has been a new experience for me, one that I’m definitely not fond of. Georgia has experienced some anxiety over the years and while she’s tried explaining what it felt like in the past, I never truly understood how horrible it was until I experienced a full on anxiety attack for myself. It happened this past weekend while we were at the lake and it was a completely foreign and scary experience for me. I think the panic was brought on by yet another BFN coupled with some recent health concerns, which I’ll get to in a minute. I knew I would be testing at the lake, which was not the most ideal situation but you do what you have to do… I actually joked with G that we would either be jumping for joy and lighting fireworks or she would need to make me a cocktail. Looking back to that conversation, it’s pretty clear that neither of us anticipated how I would react to a 5th failed attempt.
I tested on Thursday and felt like Georgia and I handled the bad news pretty well. We were excited to be at the lake with Grace for the first time and felt that fun in the sun would be the perfect distraction. Then Friday came along and for whatever reason, that’s when the disappointment set in. That evening I started feeling a heavy sensation in my chest and my heart began to race like nothing I’ve ever experienced. The more feelings I had that something wasn’t right, the more I didn’t want to be around a lot of people so I tried laying down in the camper with Grace, who was already asleep for the night. I began feeling very dizzy almost as if I was still on the boat so lying down turned out to be a bad idea. Within minutes I begin having feelings of total panic and I couldn’t sit still. I moved from laying on one bed in the camper to another. I tried wetting my face and drinking water but none of it helped. The fireworks that were going off outside were completely stressing me out, to the point that I had to call Georgia in to the camper to be with me. I couldn’t figure out what was going on but remembered past times when she explained what panic attacks felt like for her and I realized that I was definitely having one. I just wanted to sleep but couldn’t and while G did everything she could to try and make me feel better, none of it worked.
I did finally fall asleep at some point in the middle of the night and thankfully the next morning brought feelings of relief that it was over. What the experience showed me was that it’s time I give my body and mind a break from TTC. It’s like I’ve pushed myself and pushed myself stressing about how long it’s taken us, the miscarriage, the cost, Grace getting older, our donor no longer being available, etc. and finally I just hit a wall. Since December I’ve felt that if I took a break we would loose momentum and so I’ve pushed myself month after month to keep moving forward. I’ve pumped my body full of fertility drugs and have lived life in 2 week increments for almost 8 months now. G reminded me this past weekend that we took 4 breaks when she was TTC Grace and that had she not taken some time to just live and relax, we wouldn’t have our beautiful little girl. I know she’s right, I guess I just needed to be told that it was ok to take time off even if it is just for a month or two. Considering the news we got a couple weeks ago regarding my blood tests, a break would also allow me to take the new medication I’ve been prescribed so it looks like that’s our plan for now.
Here’s the bad news… Following a series of blood tests completed after the miscarriage, it was discovered that I have MTHFR C677T and I’m homozygous, which means that I inherited the gene mutation from both of my parents. I’ve since learned that the type I have is the worse of the two common genotypes so as you can imagine, that’s also been a contributor to my anxiety. I remember talking with our RE about the tests he was going to run following the m/c and when he mentioned the test for MTHFR, I said out loud, “oh God, can you even imagine if I had that?!” At the time I felt it was the worst of the possible results we could get so when I was told that I do in fact have it, I was devastated. I had to give 9 vials of blood to run these tests and it turned out that the MTHFR screening had to be sent to Tennessee to be conducted so it took a few weeks to get the results. The nurse called me at work last month once the results were in and happened to call a few minutes before I was to have a really important meeting with my director. When she told me that I have MTHFR, very matter of fact, everything went blank. I asked her to hold as I walk over to Georgia’s office. I handed G the phone and told her in a sentence that I could barely get out that I have MTHFR and that she would need to talk to the nurse for me because I couldn’t.
Since getting the results I’ve started piecing things together and the more I learn about this genetic mutation, the more obvious it is that I’ve had it my entire life and that both of my parents most certainly have/had it. As I’ve posted in the past, my dad died of a massive heart attack at 39 years old, which is young even by heart attack standards. What I’ve never posted about on this blog is that my mom spent over a month in intensive care several years ago following a routine surgery due to blood clots. It’s actually a miracle that she survived. Heart disease and blood clotting are just a few of the health risks associated with this mutation, with miscarriage being another. I’m not going to write too much about what MTHFR is exactly but if you want to know more, you can Google it. What I will say is that it has proven to be a common factor in both infertility and pregnancy loss and while my RE would not say that this is what caused my miscarriage, he does believe that it could have been a factor.
Because my body is extremely deficient in its ability to absorb folate (also known as B9) and I have a decreased ability to metabolize folic acid and other B vitamins, I’m now on a prescription drug that I will take twice a day for the rest of my life along with a baby aspirin. All in all, the pills aren’t so bad. I haven’t experienced any of the side effects listed and after several weeks of taking the meds, it’s become a part of my every day routine.
The thing I am most thankful for is that they discovered this now and not 3 miscarriages from now or if, God forbid, I suffered a late-term miscarriage, which is when most women find out that they have it. In our most recent sit-down with my RE, he told us in so many words, that if I take my medicine and exercise I will produce all the things my body needs to get pregnant and have a healthy full-term pregnancy. He also said that the fact that I conceived while being untreated was a great sign that it will happen again only now I’ll be equip with the things I need to stay pregnant, so that was good to hear. Again, trying to find the positive.
When I think about my PCOS, the MTHFR and the miscarriage, it can be very overwhelming, so I’m just taking it one day at a time. It certainly helps that I’m married to the most amazingly supportive woman on the planet and that we have a beautiful baby to love. Aside from the panic attack, it really was a fun weekend so if you’re still reading this, thanks for listening and here’s some pictures of our 4th of July at the lake. I hope you all had a good Independence Day too. :)
Another attempt at a family photo…
When there’s a 2 year old involved, you take what you can get, LOL!
The bean found the boat very relaxing.
She made some new friends!
There was lots of sand play.
And lots of delicious food!
Grace got to hold a sparkler for the first time on her own. Closely supervised by her mama’s and Nani, of course. ;)
We spent most of our time playing in the water and hanging out at our camp!
And we watched movies on the lake! That was awesome!
The Bean looked just as cute as ever in her lake attire
But if I had to pick a favorite part of our trip, it would have to be watching the fireworks off the lake. Grace is always on the go and doesn’t cuddle much these days, so I LOVED having her cling to me during the show, haha!
Oh and I got to hang out with this hottie, which is always a plus!