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Two miscarraiges, so many questions.

(29 Posts)
bunny2 Sun 19-Oct-03 11:07:58

I had a second mc 3 weeks ago but didnt find out till a 12 week scan on Monday when I was told there was no heartbeat and the foetus was only 9.4. This happened 2 years ago, the dates and timing are almost identical so I am convinced there is something that is happening during the pregnancy to cause these miscarriages. I have so far been fobbed off with statistics and rules - we will only investigate after 3, lots of pregnancies end in mc etc but I am not satisfied with these answers. Surely the fact that both were so identical indicates some sort of problem that I have. I've done lots of reading and, possibly wrongly, can surmise that most miscarraiges caused by chromosonal problems happen earlier, around 6 wks. Both my babies have got to 9 or 10 weeks and then died. I have to know why. I now feel I have to get pg and go through a third miscarriage before I get any help and I just dont know if I am emotionally strong enough to do so.

bundle Sun 19-Oct-03 11:23:24

bunny, sorry to hear your news. I know a couple who had 2 m/cs and were v insistent with medical staff that they weren't just going to get pg again just so they could get investigated. I don't know where you live, but they got referred to the specialist unit at St Mary's in Paddington. Nothing was found wrong so they were just monitored closely, offered lots of scans etc(this has been shown to improve outcome even when there's no known reason for repeated m/cs)and she had triplets! (naturally, not ivf)
another friend had 3 m/cs in a year and ended up with a diagnosis of antiphospholipid syndrome, a clotting disorder and had to inject herself to sustain her eventually successful pgnancy. so don't give up, there is the help there especially if you make a fuss.good luck, x

bunny2 Sun 19-Oct-03 11:32:19

Tkanks Bundle. I feel too vunerable right now to make a fuss, still very weepy. But, we see the Consultant in 6 weeks and by then I will have my list of questions for him. We have also been told I wont get any early scans when I do get pg again which I think is really bad. Looks like we will have to pay for the then ... lucky we have just remortgaged.

Hughsie Sun 19-Oct-03 12:27:28

Bunny2 - I am so sorry to hear of your loss - I too had two miscarriages - one at 6 weeks and one at 9 and I felt so emotionally drained and depressed at the thought that I would have to endure the third loss before any investigation to take place. I like you convinced myself that it must be chromosone related and that I would never have a successful pregnancy without medical help so I registered at St Marys in Manchester for my third preganancy as I was sure there would be problems and felt that they were best placed to investigate. Luckily everything was fine and ds1 is now 2.5 yrs and I have a second son at 7 months. I do know how you feel and felt a complete lack of confidence in my body before trying for a third pregnancy but somehow you find the strength and every day of that pregancy is so hard as you worry about loss again. All I can say is that it worked for me and I hope that you too will be successful.

i had actually kept the loss of the 9 week baby in the hope that they would investigate then but was told that it was not considered a problem until the third - very harsh at the time but I do now realise that they were right and the first two babies were just not meant to be and it is natures was of telling you that something is wrong.

My advice is to talk openly with your partner about how you feel and when you both feel strong enough - consider trying again.

My thoughts are with you - best of luck

hewlettsdaughter Sun 19-Oct-03 12:40:09

bunny, the 'only investigate after 3 m/cs' attitude seems very cruel, doesn't it. I kind of understand why they say it (because 3 are less likely to happen by chance, they have a budget etc etc) but it's so black and white, and doesn't make it any easier for people in your situation. Do you know the consultant that you will see in 6 weeks? If so, do you think you will be able to discuss what you're feeling with him/her? You could always ask to see someone else if you don't think they will listen to what you have to say.

Hughsie Sun 19-Oct-03 13:34:20

I went to counselling after the second one and if anything I found comfort from knowing it wasn't just me and in fact the other people were far worse off than I was in that they had had much longer pregnancies before miscarrying - it made me feel a little better but I know it isn't for everyone. There are no guarantees in this baby business but try to take comfort from the fact that you know you can conceive as that can be the hardest bit for some people.

Be nice to yourself for a bit and take care of each other as you have been through a terrible ordeal.

bunny2 Sun 19-Oct-03 14:00:44

Dh and I have just had a screaming row, maybe we had both bottled up all the anger and then, having dropped ds off at my mother for the afternoon, it all came out. Well, bugger him.

Anyway, questions ..
Bundle, re your friend with the clotting disorder - do you know of the length of her pregnancies before he lost them? I have wondered if it is something to do with me and the placenta, a blood disorder could fit the bill.HOw/when was she diagnosed?

Hughsie, how did you ever find the strength to go through another pg? It will be like a nightmare for me and I have even considered being sterilised.

HD, the consultant we will eb seeing is the one who prescribed Clomid so yes we know him, he also visited me in hospital which was thoughtful. However, he suggested that testing/investigating after only 2 mcs might be counterproductive. Dh wants us to see him privately again so that he is not bound by NHS constraints. I wonder what sort of tests they can do - surely eliminating things such as blood disorders is simple by a quick blood test?

hewlettsdaughter Sun 19-Oct-03 14:03:27

Hi again, sorry you had a row
How do you feel about seeing the consultant privately?

bunny2 Sun 19-Oct-03 14:11:59

Question for Ghosty - I cant find the thread now but I remember you (I hope it was you) saying that in your mc the scan showed the baby hadnt grown and was therefore showing a younger date than its actual date. in other words, the baby hadnt died weeks before but had died just before your scan, only the dates werent compatible because it hadnt grown properly. If it was you, were you given any clues at all as to why the baby hadnt grown? I ask because I am trying to figure out if my babies fail to grow properly before they die - might be important in establishing a cause.

HD, I will be very p*ssed off if we have to pay for the investigations. But I dont have any ethical reasons to avoid going private and if it gives me the answers I so desperately need, and helps me have my longer for baby, it will be worth it at any price.

mears Sun 19-Oct-03 17:26:08

Bunny2 - I am so sorry to read about your loss. In my experience as a midwife I have found that there is often no cause found for repeated miscarriage. In my own unit it is also 3 miscarriages before investigations are carried out, not preodominantly because of cost but because often women successfully conceive next time.
On a personal note I have 2 close friends who had recurrent miscarriages just like yours. The first friend had 3 miscarriages and went for counselling to a specialist hospital where no cause was found. She tried hormones for the second and third pregnancies which miscarried which did not help. Sge also tried low dose apirin. She suffered from back problems with a slipped disc and had read how that can affect successful pregnancy. She went to a chiropractor who told her that she had a misalignment of her vertebrae that can affect blood supply to the uterus by pressing on nerves supplying it. She had manipulation to her back throughout her pregnancy and successfully had a wee girl.
The second friend had 4 miscarriages and had been referred to London but conceived accidentally in the interim. She also tries hormones to support the pregnancy and that didn't work. When she accidentally fell pregnant she decided to wait and see and had a lovely pregnancy resulting in a beautiful son.
I know it is so hard when you lose a baby and you need answers. Unfortunatley there often are none. However, taly it all through with your consultant. Do not lose hope - you would be surprised at how many women actually miscarry repeatedly for no apparent reason. Please do not think of getting sterilised at this time, you are too emotionally labile to make such a decision. Look after yourself and wait to talk things over with the consultant. I had one miscarraige where my GP told me it was my body's was of telling me not to have any more babies (I had 3 children at the time). I talked it over with my consultant who made me feel so much better. I then had my dd. Hang in there, best wishes, mears.

bunny2 Sun 19-Oct-03 18:11:49

Thanks Mears, good to hear from the voice of experience! Hearing stories of women who have gone on to have successful pregnancies gives me so much hope. Can you pls clarify re your friend with the misaligned vertebrae, did the aspirin help her sustain her pg or was it presumed to be down to the chiropractor? I have had lower back problems in the past and this may be another angle I can explore. Also, I have read lots about taking aspirin, is it something I should do only under the guidance of my consultant or is it something I could do anyway?

mears Sun 19-Oct-03 18:22:15

Hi Bunny2 - I would take aspirin under the guidance of the consultant TBH. My friend had taken aspirin but still had miscarried. She had sufferred from a slipped disk and had treatment to that prior to becoming pregnant. She felt that was a result of having an epidural for her first pregnancy and labour. She felt that the chiropractor made the difference but she knows she couldn't prove that. She is also a midwife so knows that there is nothing scientific about it but it gave her confidence.

I meant to say to you in my last post that when babies die in the womb, the size regresses so it does not necessarly mean that the baby died at 9 weeks. The size of the baby shrinks once it has died. That does not help things in the longrun though. Talk over aspirin and hormone support with your consultant. It would seem that hormones do not make a difference but extra sureillance and professional support does. With my other frind, she didn't do anything different but just 'felt' different.

bunny2 Sun 19-Oct-03 18:30:36

Thanks again Mears, I have been racking my brains to think what I was doing when the foetus was 9.4 wks and torturing myself that it died becasue I got stressed about our noisy neighbours, to hear that it could have died much later and then shrunk does make me feel better. Could I ask you one more question please? Am I right in saying a chromosonal problem would have ended in an earlier mc? Also (ok, 2 questions), we have had one healthy baby, can we therefore cancel out genetic reasons?

mears Sun 19-Oct-03 18:41:07

Not sure about the chromosomal question I have to say. When women have a third miscarriage, the products at D&C are sent away for examination and very often there is no chromosomal reason found. I think women are so conscious of their bodies now they are able to test far earlier regarding pregnancy. In the 'old days', women would have had what they thought were 'late periods' which were infact miscarriages.
I remember how devastated I felt when I miscarried, feeling that it was something that shouldn't happen to me. For you to suffer that second time aroung must be horrendous. I know it is no comfort to you at this moment to say that your experience is not uncommon, but I hope to allay some of your fears by saying I have seen very many women who have miscarried more than once before continuing to have a normal pregnancy. Give yurself time to grieve and get healthy. Talk to your consultant and the passage of time will help. You have had a baby before - your body can do it. Keep positive thoughts XX

Brunhilda Sun 19-Oct-03 20:12:23

I had 2 mcs - both at about 6 to 8 weeks. With one I had D&C. The other I lost naturally. It was May last year and in June I was pregnant again. I was terrified of losing the baby but I did not - I had a lovely baby girl. Love and support to you Bunny2.

tamum Sun 19-Oct-03 20:20:52

Bunny2, if mears doesn't mind me butting in, there's no reason to think a chromosomal abnormality would have to cause miscarriage at 6 weeks, as there are so many possible abnormalities; it's not equivalent to just one "cause". Having one healthy child doesn't rule out the possibility that you have a predisposition, but honestly it's unlikely to be that. There are chromosomal abormalities in 50% of miscarriages, and in the vast majority of those there will be no obvious reason if the parents' chromosomes are examined. It's just a very fragile process that can very easily go wrong. I don't suppose that helps much, but if you think about how many people you know who have miscarried, you can see that it wouldn't be that uncommon to miscarry twice without a real "reason"- I can hardly think of anyone I know with children who hasn't miscarried at least once, and many twice. I do know how you feel.

Ghosty Sun 19-Oct-03 20:26:12

Hi Bunny ... me here ... I am glad you are talking - it is the best thing for you to be doing at this stage. I am like that ... if something bad happens to me I need to talk and talk to get it all straight in my head ... Thank goodness for MN!
It was me that said that about the baby not growing. I started bleeding the day my pregnancy got to 12 weeks. My 12 week scan was booked for a couple of days later so my doctor brought it forward. On the scan the baby showed no heartbeat and was the size of a 9.2 week foetus. One of the things I remember feeling really strongly was that I had carried a dead baby around for 3 weeks - I found that really hard to cope with, that my body had let me down ...
When I said this to my consultant he was very quick to reassure me that this was possibly not the case. He said that most probably the baby had had something wrong with it from conception and had not grown at the normal pace and then had given up once it got to that size although it was at 12 weeks gestation. I can't remember all the things he said but what he said made sense to me ... He reassured me about it being nature's way and that it was far better for this to happen than for me to lose a baby at a later stage of pregnancy ... He talked about chromosomal disorders and other things but that we would never know ... and that in NZ (like in the UK) no investigations would happen until 3 m/cs ... BUT - I would get early scans in subsequent pgs if I wanted to ... He also said, like mears said, that in the 'old days' m/cs at 6-8 weeks were often considered late periods ...
I have read that foetuses (foeti??) shrink after they die ... but I can't believe that was the case with my baby because not only was it small, it was still the 'bean' shape of a first trimester foetus ... not like DS and my current pregnancy where at 12 weeks the baby is fully formes but only 5cm long IYSWIM?? I can understand that the baby can shrink in size, but can it regress in development too???
Sorry this is such a long post Bunny .... I just wanted to explain what happened to me as it was so similar to your situation ...
Most importantly ... the only way for me to get my head around it was to make myself believe it was NOT MY FAULT ... and there was nothing I could have done to avoid this happening. I have a good friend who saw it the other way and was very defensive of her baby and said she felt better blaming herself and there couldn't possibly have been anything wrong with HER baby. I don't know what way you tick Bunny, but try to find a way to get your head around it if you can.
I am thinking of you ... and sending hugs across the world {{{{{}}}}}

Lisa1 Sun 19-Oct-03 20:46:08

Bunny
thinking of you. I have had a similiar experience. I had a dd1 and then a missed miscarriage which was picked up at 12 week scan. I was very lucky, had the ercp privately, and it was tested. There were no chromosomal abnormalities. I don't know if it made me feel better or worse. I then lost one at around 7 weeks and then one at around 6 weeks. I was very lucky my GP was supportive, and after that she referred me to St. Mary's Paddingtons miscarriage clinic. Just before my appointment there I was pregnant again and went on to have a healthy ds2. I got lots of support from the ealry pregnancy unit and had loads of scans which I'm sure helped me through the pregnancy. I would be very insistent. You could always be a bit unethical and tell your doctor you've had a third very early miscarriage (though I actually did) if its the only way to get the support you need. Also if you do get pregnant and they won't send you to early preganncy unit, tell them you think you may have had some spotting. Then they really should do - with your history. I'm not a beleiver in dishonesty really, but its just a way of battling through the system.
There is a fantastic book written by the woman who runs the miscarriage clinic at St. Mary's. I can't think of her name right now. The miscarriage association is a good organisation to talk to and they will know the title of the book.
Good luck

quackers Mon 20-Oct-03 08:55:41

Hi again, Bunny, I posted last night but it hasn't appeared! It was about the book. 'When a miscarriage happens' by Lesley Reagan. She is the consultant at St Mary's and the book is a very thorough and valuable insight. It generally is for people who have had more than one m/c and does say a few things about those who have had 2 which, helped me a great deal. It then goes on to talk about those with 'recurrent' m/c and the reasons, statistics etc.... I actually was very encouraged by it. I bought the book In August straight after as I needed answers and although my Doc has promised Sy Mary's if I have another, I'm genuinly encouraged by the chances of a successful third attempt. It will help you piece together some information that you could discuss with the consultant. I did get sent for all the blood tests after2 which in itself was helpful as it confirmed there were no problems there, so it must have been baby's development/chromosomal make up that went wrong. It does say in the book that 'generally' those, pg's that end early, ie before 7/8 weeks had a higher chance of being a hormonal problem or chromosomal problem with the baby. But a chromo problem could happen later too. Like Ghosty, I couldn't believe the baby was not alive for so long (7 weeks) and my body didn't pick it up. The second though it m/c spontaneously. The website for Sy mary's has most of Lelsey Reagans information, there to see.
stmarys
HTH, Love for now xxxxx

Hughsie Mon 20-Oct-03 09:14:38

Bunny - for me - once I had decided that I wanted to have children I knew I would have to try everything possible before giving up. I was at an all time low when we conceived ds1 and had lost confidence in myself completely but when the pregnancy progressed I got stronger and completely focussed on the baby and dh who was brilliant. He had not been as keen to try again due to the suffering emotionally and physically for me but I was sure it was the right thing to do especially as no investigation could take place until we had had another one which at the time I presumed would be the case.

Give yourself one or two periods beforeyou consider it - it was right for us but everyone is different.

Go easy on yourself as a couple - you are both suffering loss.

hewlettsdaughter Mon 20-Oct-03 19:31:43

Bunny, I have a copy of "Miscarriage: What Every Woman Needs to Know" by Lesley Regan and can send it to you if you would like it.

bunny2 Mon 20-Oct-03 21:04:07

Hi everyone and thanks do much for your support, what a great resource MN is. It means so much to read of others who have gone through this, kept their sanity AND then had a successful pregnancy, it really gives me strength, cheers to you all.

I do feel a bit better today, I lost it completely yesterday and told dh to find another woman then at least ds could have half-siblings. I really meant it too, I felt I have let ds down, and dh and the grandparents etc. I also spent much of yesterday crying hard (ds was with my parents for the day so I suppose I let everything out). Anyway today I went off to a Mums and Tots group, met up with some friends, had lots of laughs with ds and had a really good day. I am not over it and I expect many hard days to come but I do feel as if I have dealt with it well this time. After my previous mc I rushed back to normal life straight away and consequently I was still emotionally in pieces six months later.

HD, I'd love to borrow your book, can I forward my address to you? Thanks for the offer, you're fab!

Hughsie, I am quite keen to get pg asap, I will wait for at least one cycle beforee starting on Clomid (apart from miscarriages, I also have probelms conceiving, double bummer). Last time it was 6 months before I felt ready, I am optimistic it will be much sooner this time.

Quacks, I've sent you a mail, see you on the TTC thread soon.

Tanks again everyone.

bunny2 Mon 20-Oct-03 21:09:35

HD, cant get the contact another member bit to work, can you try to contact me? If it doesnt work, I'll post my email on this thread. Let me know. Cheers Bunny

bluestar Mon 20-Oct-03 21:47:31

Bunny2, sorry to hear your news. Hope you are feeling a bit better. I mc in July, which seems ages ago now and have been trying again, although back to irregular cycles for me. I also find it hard when people keep asking about having another one, it has made me more sensitive of others though and I try not to ask these sorts of questions anymore. I guess we are all a little bit guilty on this front. Big hugs to you x x

hewlettsdaughter Mon 20-Oct-03 22:32:28

Bunny, I've sent a message to the mumsnet team that should get forwarded to you (poss. tomorrow).

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