Results and a lot of waiting

* In this post I will be discussing my journey with our fertility specialist.  I may be going into detail of things done during the appointment, so please be aware that very little will be filtered. If you are not comfortable reading this about me, or my life, in this context please stop reading now. Also, please note, I am only discussing what I have experienced. This does not mean your journey will be the same, nor should you make any medical decisions based on what I have experienced or decided to do. I hope in some way, me sharing my journey helps you during yours. Xo

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It has been 13 days since our first appointment with our fertility specialist and I’m finally receiving results from the blood tests we had done.  We received the results yesterday, Monday, although that was a very difficult day for me so I needed to take some time before I wrote this post.  Yesterday marked one week until our due date for our first baby lost to miscarriage and I am not remaining as strong as I would have hoped for.  Yes, I understand this is all part of the grieving process but it still took me a bit by surprise.

Anyways, back to where I am in our fertility testing.  All of our prenatal blood work and other tests came back as being negative, and everything is functioning normally which is all great news.   We also received our results from Counsyl, which is the company who did our genetic screening.  The test I had analyzed my DNA for 104 genetic mutations that could potentially be passed on to our baby.  Luckily, all results came back as negative, which means I am not a carrier of any of the tested genetic mutations, and therefore we are not at risk of passing them on to our children.  My husband will not be tested for any genetic mutations because, for most, both parents have to be a carrier in order for the mutation to potentially be passed on to a child.  (He’s pretty happy that he is done with blood work!).

My doctor has also been tracking my hCG levels.  For those not familiar, Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a horomone produced by the placenta after implantation has occurred.  This is the hormone responsible for giving a positive pregnancy test.   Following a miscarriage (aka MC during this post), your body takes several weeks to return to a zero hCG level.  You will not have your menstrual cycle and ovulate until this happens.  I was told on average it takes 6-8 weeks post miscarriage (aka PMC during this post) for hCG to return to zero, although everyone’s body is different.

I am currently 4 weeks and 4 days PMC.  My first hCG test, at 2 weeks 5 days PM, came back at 86.7 and my second test, at 3 weeks 5 days, came back at 27.6.  This is a considerable drop in numbers considering one week before my MC my hCG was 58,609.   I have another draw tomorrow so I am hopeful that I will be fairly close to zero.  With my first MC, it took my body a long time to return to zero hCG and we were on the verge of having a second d&c to remove any possible tissue left behind (while not often, this does happen).  Luckily, I did not have to go through that.  I will continue to go weekly to have my hCG tracked, and then once I get my menstrual cycle the remaining tests will be scheduled.  Until then, it is a waiting game.

We are also waiting on the POC genetic testing, which unfortunately is a slow process.  This test takes the product of conception (aka POC) and tests the tissue for an aneuploidy, which is a change in the number of chromosomes.  Many types of aneuploidy are not compatible with life and result in a natural MC.  The results will not only give us a potential reason as to why the miscarriages happened, but it will also determine the gender of our two angel babies.  Even at I sit here and type that last part “determine the gender” tears threaten to spill over.   If you’ve read previous blogs, you may know that I believe our first angel is a little girl. I haven’t talked about this much, but I do believe that our second is a little boy.  It has been comforting to be able to refer to them as “she” and “he” in my thoughts and prayers and I am not sure how I will feel if I find out that my motherly intuition was incorrect.  Regardless, I am sure finding out will help me move forward and possibly feel a bit more closure.

So why are we tracking my hCG weekly?  Well, for a few different reasons.  First, as I mentioned earlier, if he hCG levels do not decrease that could be a sign that some tissue from the pregnancy may have been left behind during the d&c.  Second, I will not get my menstrual cycle, and therefore will not ovulate, until the levels are at zero.  Once that happens, it has been recommended that we wait at least three cycles before trying to conceive (aka ttc) to give my uterus a chance to heal, both from th d&C and from the any future tests done.  Lastly, there are still a few outstanding tests that cannot be preformed until I have gotten my period.

The first test is my Cycle Day 3 bloodwork, which tests three different hormones: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and estradiol (E2).  The FSH test helps diagnose problems with fertility, menstruation and sexual development.  The results can be used to diagnose infertility as well as ovarian cysts, irregular bleeding, and polycystic ovary disease.  High levels of FSH can also indicate that the quantity and quality of the eggs are low.  The LH test determines the level of LH produced by your pituitary gland.  If this level is higher than it should be, this could indicate problems with your ovaries or the presence of polycystic ovary disease.  The E2 test determines the level of estradiol, a form of estrogen, in your system.  This hormone is responsible for the growth and health of your reproductive organs. 

The next test I am waiting on happens between day 6 and day 12 of my cycle (once bleeding has stopped but before ovulation occurs).  This is a sonohysterogram (aka SHG or SIS) which is when the uterus is filled with a saline solution before a transvaginal ultrasound is preformed.  This test is used to determine any issues with the uterine lining, any uterine abnormalities and other disorders such as polyps, fibroids or adhesions.

Well, that’s where we currently stand on our appointments and testing.   I was also going to include where I’ve been emotionally in this post, but I now think that will be better served in its own.

Until next time,

Xo

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