I realize that by sharing my story openly I invite the criticism and misunderstanding of other people. So far, I've received nothing but support and love from friends, family, and my online community, but I wonder what people will think when I try again.
After going through three losses in a row, I wonder if they will start to doubt the wisdom (or sanity) of jumping right back in and trying again. I suppose the reason this thought bothers me is that I have the same doubts, myself.
In reality it is, of course, not anyone's decision or rightful place to judge how I proceed from here. So I ought to just let it go. Let's just call that anxiety the price of leaning on loved ones for support. If I plan on continuing to share my story I just have to accept their involvement and opinions as a matter of fact.
So it is with a tiny bit of trepidation that I share my plans for what happens next. I still want another child, and I am still determined to make it happen, one way or another. Right now, the most practical path to having a second child is still getting pregnant naturally. But how I approach making that happen, and what happens after that will change a bit on this go round.
First of all, I will need to wait for my body to cycle. While I'm waiting for that to happen I plan on starting an anti-inflammatory diet supported by a few choice fertility supplements. This means abstaining from potentially inflammatory foods like alcohol, gluten, sugar, and nightshades, and increasing the amount of fruits, veggies, and healthy fats I consume. In addition to the diet, I will be taking the following medications and supplements:
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Royal Jelly
- Maca Root
- Multi-Vitamins formulated for MTHFR
- Additional methyl folate
- Low dose aspirin (for Factor V)
This step has two purposes. The first is to simply get my mind and body to function a little better. I figure the sooner my body feels better the sooner my spirit will heal.
The second reason I'm embracing this diet is to hopefully increase my chances of getting pregnant quickly (I've had success using fertility diets and supplements in the past) and maybe, just maybe, increase the chances of staying pregnant. I got the idea from my maternal fetal specialist mentioning the use of prednisone as a next step.
Prescribing prednisone shortly before conception and during early pregnancy is a relatively new and experimental practice. From what I understand, it is meant to reduce inflammation and stop the mother's immune system from possibly turning on the fetus in a confused attempt at self defense. We have no way of knowing whether or not this was the case with any of my failed pregnancies, but with limited options left at my disposal I'm willing to explore whether inflammation could be playing a part.
Unfortunately, the use of prednisone is not without risk. There is a possible connection between its use and babies being born with cleft palates. It also may increase risk of blood clot or blood-related complications. From what I've read, these aren't super common or typical outcomes, especially when the prednisone is only used short-term, but I plan on asking my doctor to research the topic some more before we make a decision about using it.
In addition to considering prednisone, I will also be getting tested for PCOS in about two weeks. My doctor told me that if I did show signs he could prescribe a medication to help speed up my chances of getting pregnant quickly. He didn't think it was too likely that the medication would help stabilize the next pregnancy, but at least it might help make it happen more quickly.
As soon as I cycle next we'll start a new regimen of medications. From now on I will begin lovenox injections on Day 14 and start taking prescription strength pregesterone on Day 21. That means a lot more injections, discomfort, etc. but I'm willing to do pretty much anything in the name of protecting the next baby that comes along.
Oh, and I am currently looking into anti-depressants and anti-anxiety solutions in an effort to keep my head from going crazy-pants. Right now I feel surprisingly ok, but I know from experience how false that sense of stability can be. I'd rather not lose it if I can help it. Whether that means trying prescription meds for the first time or leaning on an herbal supplement remains to be seen.
And why am I crazy enough to want to go through all of this again? I ask myself the same thing, but it always boils down to the same thought. When I look back on the years of infertility before I had CC, I never doubt for a second whether the pain of waiting was worth it.
Should I succeed, I know in my heart that my second child will be just as worthy of love and sacrifice. If I knew CC was on the other side of all of this, I wouldn't hesitate to risk another D&C. I wouldn't hesitate to risk a bullet if it meant saving his life, so it makes sense to me to risk pain and suffering in the pursuit of Baby Number Two.
Having a plan, staying on target, and soldiering on is my plan. I hope to god I won't have to experience another loss, but I refuse to give up, at least not yet.
If we should fail again, it might be time to start planning for IVF or adoption. Both of those paths involve a financial challenge that will almost definitely require us to sell our house and completely uproot our lives. There is a part of me that wishes we were ready to do that - just because I'm so very tired of pain and grief, but we aren't there yet.
This old body of mine deserves at least one more shot at getting this right. My job right now is to give her every chance to succeed.
Cross your fingers.