When do you know its time to stop trying for a baby after recurrent miscarriage?

(23 Posts)
littleduckling Wed 11-Apr-12 14:38:30

Would be interested to hear from other mumsnetters when you knew it was time to stop TTC. After several miscarriages in succession, all tests (negative) I am wondering if I want to spend the last five years of my thirties (and beyond) trying and hoping and becoming increasingly heartbroken.. I have one beloved DD and a lovely husband but our marriage is in a sad and desperate place at the moment. When do you know its time to start looking for other things to give you joy in your life? I think I will only be truly happy again either when I have another baby in my arms or when I've made the decision to close the door, mourned that, and been able to move on...
I'm a mumsnet virgin so am sorry if this thread has appeared elsewhere..

Dropdeadfred Wed 11-Apr-12 14:45:25

Hi Littleduckling
I'm sorry to read about your losses. I have had 3 children but have also had 12 miscarriages ... We had tests and tried the drugs that were prescribed... Still lost the pregnancy. In answer to your question - I don't think I will ever give up until I am past menopause. There is something in me that refuses to believe that I will never have another baby of my own ... But I haven't been sad the whole time. I have had months where I haven't even bought a pregnancy test and haven't a clue what day I ovulated it if I did. I think that is the difference - I knew that making it my priority was damaging my mental state and my dh's happiness too.
I hope you understand what I'm saying I'm not very eloquent on the subject... I just know now that I have been happier since accepting that it is unlikely to happen but still a possibility.. We don't talk about planning or trying anymore we just get in with life and enjoying the family we have ( with fingers crossed behind our backs). Best of luck to you!!!

littleduckling Wed 11-Apr-12 16:12:27

Dropdeadfred, 12 miscarriages- I am so so sorry. And you are so brave to never give up hope and keep going. It really is amazing. I think my constitution won't manage many more losses; I just feel so sad and wondered if anybody had made a positive decision not to try again in order to keep their family together.
I can't bear the uncertainty and the feeling of being in limbo. Am tempted to go on the pill for a while to get back some equilibrium, but can't quite bring myself to do it. Though I'm not trying at the mo, as last loss was very recent and have lost my faith in the whole process. Am utterly besotted with her, but it saddens me to think of my DD being an only child...

Thanks for your kind words..

freelancegirl Wed 11-Apr-12 16:44:13

Hi Little Duckling, sorry to hear of your losses. I haven't yet had a child but I am 25 weeks pregnant after 4 miscarriages. I have to say that I feel that if I had a child already I wouldn't have continued to put myself through the heartache of recurrent miscarriage for much longer, however how would I know if that's how I would feel in as I have only ever had miscarriages so far.

Hopefully that is going to change with this pregnancy.

Anyway - I digress. I meant to ask if you what tests you have had and whether you have been tested for high natural killer cells? it's not something that is easy to get on the NHS but having found out about it on the recurrent miscarriage thread here on MN I have since been treated for it and am now, as I said, hopefully going to have a baby in July. It might be worth you getting checked for that if you haven't already. There is a thread in Conception called TTC on Prednisolone or similar that has around 40 of us now who are undergoing treatment for this!

littleduckling Wed 11-Apr-12 17:30:25

Freelance girl, many congratulations. What a great outcome. Such heroism involved in picking yourself up and trying again, without the consolation of a child already. I feel humbled by the stories on these threads, it is just heartbreaking what people have gone through..

I have had all the standard tests done on NHS, still trying to get a list of what I had done via a subject access request as the hospital gave nothing out other than to say I was all clear. (how ridiculous is that? I did suggest to the consultant he might want to give each patient at his clinic a basic A4 print-out of each of the tests undertaken and results. He looked askance that I had even dared to raise such an outlandish idea!)

But I believe the usual suspects- hormones, Anti-clotting, auto-immune, liver, kidney, anemia, infections etc etc. I haven't been tested for high natural killer cells, I did contact a Mr Shehata (?) and might save up my pennies and go and see him as i think he is private. I will check out the thread you mention.

Lovely to hear a happy ending!

Dropdeadfred Wed 11-Apr-12 17:49:26

It was dr shehata that we went to. He was very kind. I was told I had raised levels of nk cells and a factor v Leiden which is not tested for on nhs

freelancegirl Wed 11-Apr-12 17:51:04

Mr S is the doctor most of us are seeing and he is really a miracle worker. Yes it is private, I was on the NHS waiting list at first but I wanted to act quicker and, privately it was a lot quicker. He is really fair - made sure I had had all the tests possible via my GP before hand and therefore just needed the NK cells one. In the scheme of things it's not that much cash - but obviously it does mean scraping it together in the first place.

NK cells are much more likely if you or your family have a history of allergies, eczema, asthma, thyroid probs, arthritis or any autoimmune issues. But not completely unlikely if there are none of these things in the family either. Once diagnosed treatment is easy and cheap and he has an 85% success rate - not bad considering most of us who go to see him have had a lot of miscarriages and other problems, as well as most of us being late 30s or older.

Come and chat on the thread if you fancy! We are on our 6th version of it I think...

littleduckling Wed 11-Apr-12 17:56:48

Wow, thanks, freelancegirl and dropdeadfred for all your help. Maybe I will go and see him and at least get some clarity and I can rule this out either way. Just awaiting hospital records so I can be absolutely clear on what I've already had....

freelancegirl Wed 11-Apr-12 18:11:07

So sorry to hear what you went through too DropDeadFred and glad you have been happier since making the decision not to try for any more. The heartache involved in recurrent miscarriage is awful. Like I said, I am not sure how long I would have/would keep going if I already had children myself, even though I am sure it is equally devastating.

Honestly do go see Mr S Duckling! Tell him I sent you smile we are amassing a huge group of us on what we call the Pred Thread.

As you are doing, get a list of everything you had had tested via your doctor then hopefully you should only need the NK cells test done. I mean, even if it comes back negative I am sure it is worth ruling out. Then you will at least know you have tried everything. Once you have a pregnancy under Mr S you stop seeing him at 16 weeks or before, so like I said - in the scheme of things it doesn't add up to that much money and, in my case at least, has been very much worth it (being brave and hoping this pregnancy makes it).

Dropdeadfred Wed 11-Apr-12 18:43:41

Thank you freelancegirl. We are not 'trying' but we are not preventing either ... Just letting whatever happens happen... But my last mc ( last week) has made me consider one last trip to mr shehata.... Ahhhhhh

stelabelle Wed 11-Apr-12 19:19:59

Hi girls, I so sorry to hear of a of your losses. Where are you located in the UK littleduckling? I'm 41 never had children and just had 2nd miscarriage, it's heartbreaking - and I love and admire the women who go through these multiple losses because they so want to be a mummy... It's hard. I've been referred to Prof Siobhan Quenby at Cov & Wark via NHS - she is massive in NK cells, it's not my only concern but I'd like it to be ruled our, I had eczema as a child and I have an underactive thyroid these days... Even if you dont live in the Midlands, I am sure you can 'choose and book' if you are prepared to travel, and she is Aldo running clinical trials in her recurrent miscarriage clinic - I wish you all luck in you pregnancies and your TTC.

Estelle

PQ77 Wed 11-Apr-12 20:57:29

Hi littleduckling your post really struck a cord with me. I have a lovely DS, am 35 and have had 6 mc and have had this conversation with dh on a regular basis over the last two years. I want the fun bit of our marriage back. Am I going to spend the rest of my thirties being heartbroken or should we just move on? Dh and I have also struggled with very irrational fears of something happening to DS - not sure if this is an issue for you too (or if it is just me and dh who are slightly unhinged by this!!)

Anyway, I am now a Mr S patient at the miscarriage clinic and am 11.5 weeks pregnant and dosed up on the protocol to lower NK cells. I wish I could post this after my NT scan but that's next Monday so am on the edge of seat until then (and then of course beyond that until I am holding a baby).

Regardless of whether you investigate this nk line of treatment (which free describes very well), i did have some advice from a colleage who has one child and had 7 mc before she decided to throw in the towel - she said that it helped to have a really kind and interested consultant on your side so that when you did stop you felt that you'd done absolutely everything you could before you did. (As an aside, this was a few years ago and she did not ever look into nk cells).

But wishing you - and everyone else on this board - all the very best. I find it a great comfort to know I'm not alone in what sometimes seems to be a world full of the effortlessly fertile!

(Hi free!! will email you tomorrow. About to fall asleep.)

littleduckling Thu 12-Apr-12 13:49:09

stelabelle thanks for your message and so sorry to hear you have had 2 mcs.. I'm in London and I think there are probably plenty of good consultants here- its just making the decision to go ahead and take more action..
PQ77 so sorry to hear you have had 6 mc. I'm also 35. Given what I know now, I wish I'd started earlier..(I know age is not the only factor of course) .. I wouldn't wish this experience on my worst enemy..

Yes, I am also obsessed with the health and safety of my DD. Its almost about putting all your eggs in one basket isn't it? (excuse the pun!) I know I'm overprotective but she is the most precious thing I have and I think its basically my job to ensure she is OK. And also, this experience has made me realise that bad things do happen... so i have stopped caring what other people think..

What wonderful wonderful news that you are 12 weeks preggers- makes me feel more hopeful and you richly deserve it. I will def explore Mr S further.
Like your advice from your colleague- am sure she is right. My consultant seemed disinterested to the point of callousness (and I'm a big girl and don't expect buckets of sympathy from an over-stretched NHS) .. he discharged me from his clinic after the latest mc with a shrug and said "its in your hands now.." charming.
So... I think I will see a nice consultant even if it is to make a final decision about things.

Really feel my life is in limbo and the last year has been terrible. I keep thinking, this is my (late) youth, I don't want to wait too long for something that may never be and I want to enjoy these years of being healthy and vigorous rather than punishing my body like this..

Thanks for all your kind words..

mistlethrush Thu 12-Apr-12 13:57:00

I had a mp after the mc I had prior to ds - and we agreed before conceiving ds that if the mp came again we would adopt. Two mc post ds, both over shadowed with 3 months of terror because HCG levels didn't drop quickly (has it come back, how will I cope with treatment and Ds etc) and we've called it a day. I know 3mc isn't 'many' compared with some here - but the additional strain of the mp issues has, I think, had a big impact and helped to make that decision. I still wonder whether we should look into adoption, but Ds is such a whirlwind that I think it would be quite difficult balancing out a family sucessfully. I have let go - all the baby things in the loft are being sorted and sold, although I'm still sad.

littleduckling Thu 12-Apr-12 14:14:07

mistlethrush thanks for sharing your story, I totally understand why you decided not to keep going and would do the same. Your DS and your DH need you too- to be healthy and to be at the heart of the family. I think 3 mc and an mp is too much for anyone to bear. In my dark moments, I wonder if I want another baby to make sense of the bad stuff earlier- to make it worthwhile somehow and to have a "happy ending" because I find the pointlessness of multiple mcs so hard to reconcile myself to. But I'm not sure life really works like that. There is a grace in accepting your life as it is and concentrating on making happy memories with the little family you are blessed with.. I'm not too far off that place myself...

mistlethrush Thu 12-Apr-12 14:41:46

It came to weighing up the chances of it happening again - high - and the things I might be able to to do to lessen those chances - low (became allergic to asprin after last mc which really doesn't help matters) and the amount of heartache etc involved - lots and look at what we have and decide that its not worth putting ourselves through it all again and to make the most of what we have (and he's great)

PQ77 Thu 12-Apr-12 20:38:34

mislethrush it sounds like you've been through the wringer - from what I've read about mps, and the treatment thereafter, they are just horrible. I'm glad you're on your way to accepting things but of course you will still be very sad I know.

Thanks for your message littleduckling - hope you find that special consultant to guide you through this. You know who free and I recommend so do come and visit us on the pred thread if you head down that path (or just to say hi - there are lots of recurrent miscarriers there).

freelancegirl Thu 12-Apr-12 22:17:44

So sorry to hear again of all the sad times everyone has been through. PQ is right, we have all had a lot of comfort (and hand holding through miscarriage, pregnancy and everything else) from being in touch with each other on here and if any of you want to know more about the immune treatment or just come and have a moan with people who understand, you know where we are!

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 12-Apr-12 22:27:30

I had two miscarriages after DS (who was prem for no apparent reason). We stopped trying after that as it was just too much. We have since adopted (we had always talked about adoption well before DS came along).

It took me a while to come to terms with never being pregnant again, but I now count my blessings rather than wonder what might have been.

I really admire people who have the strength to keep on trying. Good luck.

Patsy99 Mon 16-Apr-12 10:26:43

I'm sort of in a similar situation little duckling. I feel it's time to stop TTC and am ready to start moving on, unfortunately my DH does not agree. Has anyone else resolved this?

I've just had my third mc since DS1 and had the ERPC last week. I'm 41. This was an ivf pregnancy (ARGC) and I had every available treatment for NK cells but still lost the heartbeat at 9 weeks. I've absolutely had enough. TTC has dominiated my life/marriage/sex life for over 3 years, this cycle of IVF/NK treatment cost us £16k and I'm sick of my body being messed about with.

I feel it's time to concentrate on enjoying the lovely DS we are lucky enough to have and get our lives back on track. I know I may regret it when I'm older but my feelings now are pretty clear. DH does not agree and does not feel able to accept having only one child. He is miserable and angry. I'm not sure how or even if we can resolve this but I can't do it again to keep him happy.

Feelancegirl - congratulations on your pregnancy, it sounds like you've been through a lot.

mistlethrush Mon 16-Apr-12 12:58:42

Patsy - that's difficult for you - but its not his body that's going through the mill each time - sounds as though he needs, or you as a couple need some help through the situation. Have you ever contemplated adoption if he's adamant that he wants 2 children?

littleduckling Mon 16-Apr-12 15:10:57

Thanks, Patsy99. Yes my husband is exactly the same as yours. He cannot imagine a future without 2 kids of his own and he is convinced it will all work out next time. But it hasn't so far. He knows I've had a tough time, but thinks it will all be worth it in the end. I am starting to feel a bit resentful towards him- like am I just a walking womb? Aren't we (me and my DD) enough for him?
I also feel I have done enough enough of the medical stuff- some surgery in my 20s (not related to making babies) and then 2 ERPCs recently (1 "good," 1 dreadful) and I think the accumulative effect of surgery somehow scars your soul (and your body).
I'm 35 but have been feeling very old with the grief and trauma of it. I hate the gamble of it and I've lost heart. I can't help thinking that some things are just not meant to be and maybe my body is giving me a message?
Hope things start to improve Patsy. We are indeed blessed to have our darling children. I want to get on with creating happy memories...

Patsy99 Mon 16-Apr-12 17:28:00

Thanks for your comments MT and LD.

I think my DH sees the situation in entirely rational terms, that if we keep trying odds are that it will eventually work out. Maybe, maybe not. But that doesn't take into account the emotional pain involved. I too am feeling resentful that the enormous effort I have put in and the physical misery does not seem to be properly acknowledged. It must be difficult for men not to be in control of the situation, but I honestly think that if it were the other way around I would respect that it was my partner's body and ultimately must be her decision.

I am going to look for some counselling, I don't want this to stuff up our relationship.

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