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My honest view of recurrent miscarriages...

(43 Posts)
StickyWiggler Fri 23-Nov-12 14:04:07

I am writing this as when I first miscarried I didn't realise the lasting emotional impact it would have and how guilty I would feel about my feelings. 5 mcs later, all at different stages (All either late 1st or 2nd trimester), I came to realise that it is ok to feel some of these things and wanted to write this in case any other women out there feel like I did/do maybe it gives them some comfort.

The first few times time I MC I was determined to see my self as unlucky, I saw forum pages on here and elsewhere and didn't want to join 'that' band of women, I didn't want to be one of those who struggled to keep my babies inside me when everyone else thrived, I didn't want to be in that 'club' and avoided all such support. I refused to look at Miscarriage support threads and pages. I refused to discuss whether there was a reason because that would be accepting I had a problem.

I went through stages of blaming myself and blaming my DH, I was furious if people tried to speak to me about the MCs but at the same time felt hurt and abandoned if they didn't talk to me about it. I felt like a failure as a woman. coming from a farming family which 'breeds' children easily made it no easier, everyone else succeeded where I failed, I remember thinking about the poor cow who would not take with calf and therefore deemed useless and sent to market, thats how I felt. I felt like as a failure as a wife, a mother, a daughter.

I was terribly upset when my DS and DSil's all feel pregnant, I was pleased for them, but so sad for me and DH. sometimes I thought (and i know this awful) that if they would lose a child then I wouldn't be the only one who this happened too and who people looked on in pity, I didn't want to be people's focus anymore. I hated myself for this thought ever entering my mind. Then I began to think in another way, maybe I was losing these babies so it meant others didn't have to, someone has to have MCs right? Well if it was me taking the fall then others would be ok (i think I'd lost it a bit by this point!).

Each time I lost a baby I thought I should give my body a break but emotionally I couldn't and was determined we started trying again straight away, ignoring medical advice and practically pinning my poor DH down. I was a woman obsessed. Sex wasn't about love it was about conception.

I was ashamed and embarrassed of my losses and my failures.

Apart from DH though I think I carried a very 'brave' face on it, people who knew commented on how 'strong' I was, inside I was in torment. Then I would see/ speak to others who were going through this and think how well they coped, and thought I must be weak. In truth they probably were just as upset inside as I was.

I now have a healthy, beautiful DD and I think it is only now I have started to come to terms with all those feelings and anxieties. Been thinking about it alot today I just wanted somewhere to put this down, felt I needed to share, not sure why.....

Cadmum Thu 29-Nov-12 10:42:19

Thanks for your reply havingkittens. I see the consultant who oversaw my induction last week on December17. I will ask him what he knows about NKCs.

I am incredibly fortunate to have had two effortless pregnancies before my first late miscarriage. I look back on those early pregnancies with wonder at how incredibly naive I was. I had NO idea that mid-trimester miscarriages/stillbirths were a possibility.

From my fist loss, I have done nothing but worry from the end of the morning sickness days straight through to delivery. With dd2, I looked at her moments after she was born and said, "I wish that someone could have told me that I was having a baby." I fully expected to lose her as well so even past the point of my latest miscarriage, I was unable to consider the possibility that she might beat the odds.

Havingkittens Thu 29-Nov-12 10:28:25

Hi Cadmum, It has been said that a full term pregnancy can trigger NK Cells, which explains why there are a lot of people who've had a child and then subsequent miscarriages but I don't know anything about those who have always had them but somehow managed to have a baby. I suppose it could be possible, or perhaps levels can fluctuate, I'm really not sure at all. I'm sorry to hear of all your losses. Late miscarriages must be so terribly painful after all that hope sad.

Thank you Tracey. I hope all that treatment was a success for you too.

Cadmum Thu 29-Nov-12 06:15:31

Is it possible to carry to term at all if you have killer cells? Dd2 remains a mystery/miracle as I had two late miscarriages before her and have gone on to have three since. :-(

Traceymac2 Wed 28-Nov-12 20:59:06

Accidental, I just wanted to add re the natural killer cells test that there is another way of testing this now, that is via a uterine biopsy which is what I had.
A little pinch of tissue is taken in much the same way as a smear. I had this done 2 yrs ago before I conceived my last baby.
Apparently this is more accurate than the blood tests as obviously it shows exactly what is happening in the uterine tissue itself. I had it done privately at a fertility clinic.
The test was still in it's experimental stages at the time, the experts in this field were awaiting the release of findings from a long study by Dr Siobhan Quenby in Birmingham to assess whether this was a way forward for some women or not. If high the treatment is prednisilone steroids. If this test wasn't available I was going to be placed on steroids just incase they may have helped.
My results were normal but I would have requested them anyway if my last pregnancy didn't go to term.
My fertility consultant has been happy to work with me as there really wasn't much to lose even if the drugs were ineffective.
I also had a hysteroscopy to check for anatomical abnormalities plus my dh had various tests on his sperm and an ultrasound of my ovaries in addition to the usual tests.
I have taken, heparin, aspirin, metformin, progesterone, hcg injections, (plus the high dose vit d and omega 3 prior to conception). I don't know if it was the drugs that helped me to have my babies as I did miscarry on some of them too or whether it was just luck. It certainly made me feel that I was giving the pregnancies every chance anyway.
I live abroad too so you can still get help outside of the UK.

having kittens congratulations on your pregnancy and for the future with your little baby. You so deserve this joy after all that you have gone through.

nananaps Mon 26-Nov-12 20:04:40

I agree with much of what is said within these sad pages.
I agree because it is how i have felt over and over again with all 7 of my miscarriages.

Anger at the utter utter unfairness of it.
Anger at the lack of answers and tangible support
Anger at people attitudes. Even those close to me.

Disapointed at myself and my God damned stupid body
Disapointed at daring to let a wee bit of hope creep in.
Disapointed at the turnaround in personality that i experienced with each loss...not me at all.

But also
Wonder and astonishment at the miracles that i have achieved through sheer bloody mindeness. Innability to give up completly.

I have no theories other than no one knows why in 70% of cases, no one can tel us why or tell us how to stop it happening.

Yay!! Is it now time for you to relax now? :-D xx

AlphaBeta82 Mon 26-Nov-12 12:33:30

Scan was perfect - lovely little wiggler showing off as much as possible! grin!! xx

Alpha let me know how you get on :-D

freelancegirl Mon 26-Nov-12 10:40:07

Hi all, a short Ish post from me as I'm on the phone (with a sleeping four month old little boy on my knee) but I'm a thread friend of Kittens above <waves!> and I second the recommendation for exploring nk cells with mr shehata at the miscarriage clinic or at least researching this yourselves. Like kittens I researched everything I could about the subject and also found myself on the Recurrent Buns thread. After finding the treatment I started the TTC/ pregnancy on prednisolone or similar thread and we now have around 50 of us on there - lots of whom have had babies and others like kittens who are pregnant.

After 4 mcs I firmly believe the treatment helped me have my little boy and that, honestly, my chances of having him without it might have been very small. You're more likely to have high natural killer cells if you have a family history of immune issues - thyroid, arthritis, asthma, allergies etc etc. But worth checking out anyway for those of you who still have found no reason for the mcs.

Havingkittens Mon 26-Nov-12 10:22:14

Accidental, Thanks for the congratulations. I had a blood test specifically to find this out. I don't think my pregnancy would be successful if this hadn't have been treated. The steroids suppress my immune system. I was on those from ovulation each cycle whilst I was TTC and then increased my dose once I got a BFP, I was also taking hydroxychloroquinine (an anti malaria drug, which also regulates the immune system) and an intravenous drip of intralipids, which are basically soya bean oil every 4 weeks from 4 weeks to 16 weeks. The treatment varies depending on your levels, mine were very high. If they are just a bit high then you just take the steroids. If you want to know more, we have a thread on the Conception board called something like "TTC or Pregnant on Prednisolone or similar". Obviously this is only relevant if you have high NK Cells. There are other treatments which can help if you have a blood clotting disorder which prevents blood getting through the placenta effectively.

Alpha, the point of my post was that it's very often not just a case of bad luck. Having one or two mcs could be considered so but if you are continuing to have repeated miscarriages it's very likely that there is an underlying problem. If any of your healthcare professionals tell you it's just bad luck they are fobbing you off because they don't have the budget or open mind to test as extensively as they should do. I have had the NK Cell treatment poo-pooed by a few NHS consultants, yet I know several people who have had one, or more babies under this treatment where they have had so many losses previously. There are also those for whom the treatment sadly didn't work and they are digging further into the causes through other tests and consultants. There's so much we don't know about via the NHS.

I am not here on a "NK Cell" crusade, as there are various reasons for recurrent miscarriage that can be treated, but it does break my heart to hear people who have been through the same heartache and loss as I have ending up having to dismiss it as "bad luck", or ever worse, blaming themselves because it so very rarely is the mother's fault unless you are a bit of a twat who takes class A drugs, drinks heavily or does stuff like dangerous sport whilst pregnant. What I do know though, is that if I'd have stopped at my NHS testing and hadn't dug further I would've probably given up before now and resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't going to happen for me.

Believe me, I do so understand the need not to define yourself by the tragedies by joining the various miscarriage threads on here but there are some that will really help and empower you.

Regardless of NK Cells, my consultant told me to get at least 6 weeks run of prior to TTC again of taking 250ug Vit D2, Omega 3 and pregnacare every day so I would recommend that to anyone TTC.

Cadmum Mon 26-Nov-12 09:12:42

Thanks sticky... Beautifully written post that illustrates the range of feelings possible following miscarriages.

I have has as many theories for my losses as there are days in a year. I can find hundreds of ways to blame myself. If only I ate more healthfully or threw up less in the early weeks. If only I could get more rest. If only I could allow myself to bond with my unborn. The 'if only' list is endless.

I am recovering from my fifth second trimester miscarriage. On top of feeling like a failure I feel like a fraud because we already had two dcs when I had my first miscarriage. (a boy AND a girl so I should have been satisfied and left well enough alone...)

I have never begrudged another woman a pregnancy or a newborn but I find it devastating when close friends think that I might. It was helpful for me to read that you have had these feelings. Maybe it really helped that we had children first.

I am familiar with rage: I wanted to murder my SIL when she announced that she was unhappy about expecting a baby at a time when she knew that we were desperately tring to conceive before the gap between ds2 and the next baby was 'too big' (whatever that meant to me at the time back when I thought conception meant a likely live birth...).

I don't want to listen to expectant mum's complain about discomfort. I would trade places in a heartbeat if it meant that my unborn's would continue to beat.

I live with deep regrets about the weeks I have spent with morning sickness neglecting my children, my husband, my home and my friends. I would hate for my children to think that they are not enough for dh and I when it is precusely because of how much we love them that we long for another child.

I have foolishly and inadvertently risked my own life on this selfish quest.

I barely recognize myself but I did in all of the posts in this thread. Thank you to all of the posters for bravely sharing your stories.

AlphaBeta82 Sun 25-Nov-12 21:15:31

Hi riley no its tomorrow!! Quite anxious but have had scans at 6, 8 and 10 weeks and they were all good so hopeful! smile

Alpha, congratulations on your new pregnancy :-D. You had your 12 week scan?

AlphaBeta82 Sun 25-Nov-12 13:37:05

I had about 10 different theories to my MCs and now 13 weeks pregnant, with what I hope is a stickler!
I do think as someone said above, you can drive yourself a bit nuts looking for the why's but accepting it is just bad luck makes me feel so much more vulnerable somehow.
good luck to all those who are pregnant and best of luck to all those who are trying! there is lots of support to be found in Mumsnet - helped me no end, especially as few people in RL know!

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Sun 25-Nov-12 13:13:10

HavingKittens, how did they find you had high natural killer cells?
Can you ever have a fullterm pregnancy with natural killer Cells, or does it absolutely have to be treated?
What other medication did you try as well as the steroids?

Lastly hugh congratulations on getting this far.

Havingkittens Sun 25-Nov-12 11:18:02

I'm sorry to hear of all of your losses. I am on the opposite side of the coin where, rather than deciding not to join any of the miscarriage threads I did the opposite and found out as much information as I could. I'd been through the NHS miscarriage testing and they had found nothing. They told me that obviously for me to loose so many pregnancies was not just a case of "bad luck" (or, "it just wasn't my time") but they couldn't find a reason and that it was up to me if I wanted to carry on and take my chances that it will eventually work out. That's when I went on a research frenzy, on here mostly. Starting off on a thread entitled "Recurrent Buns - Miscarriage testing and beyond" which is not that active anymore but does contain a lot of very helpful information and positive inspiration. This lead me to getting my GP to refer me to Mr Shehata at St Helier hospital who specialises in immune issues, namely NK Cells. The theory being that if you have a very high level of these cells, who's purpose is to kill things like tumours that are invading the body, they will also see a pregnancy as a 'foreign body' and attack that too. Unfortunately St Helier is under threat from NHS cuts so not sure if you can still get a referral there (still worth a try) but Mr Shehata, as well as a few others around the country who specialise in this treatment have private clinics too.

I have been on his treatment of steroids amongst other things to suppress my over active immune system during this pregnancy and I am now just over 20 weeks into my 7th pregnancy (my first baby).

It's true, these things do happen for a reason. Sometimes it's because there is a chromosomal problem and the pregnancy would have been rejected regardless of anything else but if that has not been the cause then there can be other physiological reasons which can be overcome.

I wish you all the best of luck. Recurrent miscarriage is utterly soul destroying, not least of all due to the blissfully naive being so dismissive of it.

lotsofcheese Sun 25-Nov-12 11:03:24

So sorry to hear of all the losses on this thread; it's truly heartbreaking. I personally don't think you ever "get over" a miscarriage - you just find some way of living with it.

I'm pregnant again after 2 miscarriages. Psychologically, it's incredibly tough. I still don't feel any connection with "the baby" & can't believe it will actually happen.

I hate telling people, as they're always happy & upbeat, whereas I feel fear & like a fraud. I also hate scans & antenatal appointments, or even having a conversation about it.

I am showing now & people have asked me about it, plus I'll have to tell my manager tomorrow as I need time off for hospital appointments. I've chickened out several times but have to do it now.

It's the most awful thing to happen once, never mind repeatedly. Wishing you all peace of mind & sending love.

TERRICOVERLEYDoSAC Sun 25-Nov-12 01:57:50

Sticky, Cupcake,

Thanks for your posts describing the legacy miscarriage leaves even after being lucky enough to go on to have a child. It's a relief to hear other people describe this.

I has 7 losses between DD and DS (in both 1st and 2nd trimester). Although his safe arrival was wonderful and helped me out of a really dark place, I still feel marked (but perhaps no longer defined) by these experiences. Three years on I notice that my old happy-go-lucky, 'things will work out OK' spirit has been replaced by something more anxious and fragile. I guess it's that realisation that freakishly unlucky things can and do happen (and not just to other people). No-one (health professionals included) seems very aware or interested in the wider shadow miscarriage (especially recurent) can cast - or is this just part of the whole taboo around pregnancy loss?

Best wishes to all - such difficult stuff to go through; hope everyone is getting the help and support they need.

They give me scans at 12, 16, 20 & 24 seals to watch my cervix, if they think I need one then they will give me one. For infection i get swabs at 20 & 24 weeks. And an early scan for my early mc. It still does't reasure me!

They said it could happen to me again which is what puts me on edge!

Private clinics will treat you better most likely and will have more knowledge and equipment :-).

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Sat 24-Nov-12 23:54:40

Thanks Traceymac2 I've often wondered about whether private clinics could do more. I think I've missed my chance now though as I live abroad.

The very best of luck to you RileyLeeHargreaves2012. As awful as it sounds, do you get some reassurance knowing it was an infection and a weak cervix? It sounds like you have a good chance with following pregnancies..

Traceymac2 Sat 24-Nov-12 23:47:38

I can't even begin to imagine how hard that must have been for you to cope with. Will they give you a cervical stitch at 12 weeks on your next pregnancy?

Atleast you found something tracey... they offered to so a postmortem on Riley we said no, couldnt if let them do anythig to hin. plus we new is was due to an infection which could of killed me and a suspected weak cervix... and they checked my blood clot which was fine, that's all they gave me.

Fingers crossed for all three of us in the future!!

Traceymac2 Sat 24-Nov-12 23:39:25

TheAccidentalExhibitionist, my obs/gynae dr gave up on me after the tests came back clear and I miscarried again. I asked to be referred privately to a fertility clinic for a review and they did some less common tests. They decided to control my cycle with drugs, I also took heparin and various others just incase they might help. The only thing I didn't try was steroids, that would have been next if my last pregnancy miscarried.

Not knowing makes it worse, cant even imagine how you feel :-(. Sorry to hear, it will happen one day for you, you've just got to keep trying :-)

Traceymac2 Sat 24-Nov-12 23:33:21

Riley, I am glad to hear that you will get the extra monitoring but it is terrible that you would be made to wait for a third after the loss of your little boy. Did they not do any tests at all?

I had a battery of tests after my second. Only 50% of the time is any problem identified. I know the standard is three but my consultant didn't want to leave me to try again without ruling some causes out. I would press your gp on referring you for this, it is very cruel to leave you like this. The gp could do some tests in the surgery such as the ones for blood clotting disorders. If these showed anything you could start treatment at the start of your next pregnancy.

The only thing that was picked up with me was mild PCOS which threw my hormones out of balance and made my cycles very long so I took lots of drugs to try to sort this out plus a few others thrown in just incase. This is such an unknown area of medicine compared to many other problems.

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