Monday, December 8, 2008

Infertility

Those of you who don't see us in person may be surprised to know that we miscarried again in early October. Since then, we have been doing the rounds of doctors and testing, and are being treated for infertility.

It's actually kind of a silly name for it. We have no problem at all getting pregnant; it's staying that way that is hard to do.

After testing, it appears that the reason is that I have a wackily-impressive clotting factor that causes my body to throw blood clots into the placenta, effectively starving/suffocating the developing fetus. Fortunately, this is very easily treated, with two shots of heparin per day to thin my blood once I am successfully pregnant again. I am also on megadoses of folate, because my body doesn't process it correctly. Pleasantly, I did not turn out to have any special insulin resistance, so I am at less risk for diabetes than I feared (although my blood sugar level has always been great).

Infertility treatment has probably dramatically lengthened my life for two reasons: 1) I am taking low-dose aspirin, and am attentive to the clotting, which could very well kill me. 2) before the doctor knew I wasn't insulin resistant, but also just 'cause I'm fat, he put us on the South Beach diet and told us to walk every day. I've lost 20+ pounds in the last month, and Pat has lost a pants size (and is back into his favorite jeans, to his happiness). It's crazy easy to lose weight by cutting down on simple carbs... and I am embarrassed, after all the attention I have given to our diet, to find that it's just a matter of balance after all. Some of the health-conscious things we have been doing (eating fruit after a workout, juicing fruit & vegetables, cutting fats) have actually screwed us over and made us gain weight. We are eating a LOT more fat than we used to, and a lot more food... and the weight is (so far) melting off us. Huh. Live and learn.

We are trying to feel optimistic again and are really enjoying our beach walks. They are calming, energizing, and a great opportunity to watch the sun rise or set on mostly-natural surroundings and to birdwatch. The other day we saw two marbled godwits within 8 feet of us and were surrounded by adorable snowy plovers, some only 3-4 feet away; this after walking through a eucalyptus grove full of sleeping monarch butterflies (it was too cold for them to move) and admiring the glorious West-coast morning sky.

We lack only a child to share this beautiful world with at this point, and we'll take that as it comes. Wish us luck.

5 comments:

Heather said...

We have just a moment, but for some reason today, checked your blog twice. (I admit that I take thorough, but guilty pleasure in reading often during my 30 second breaks, but rarely writing.) Joy! Joy! We are truly pleased, truly happy and truly sharing the full measure of our hope with you.

To 'catch up' soon...

Heather

Sam said...

Oh gosh, I had no idea. It sounds like you are going through a tough time and yet trying to use it to your advantage -- just as I would expect from you both! And the weight loss is a sure sign of how d*** determined you are. I've been working hard and only lost 8 pounds so far (and I'm SOOOO proud, silly me) so super-congrats to you!!

A big hug from here, and hopes that soon Teh N00b will have a "cousin" to play with! :-) (He loves babies, BTW.)

Ducks said...

Thank you both so much. The holidays are obviously rife with diet cheating and exercise-schedule-confounding office parties, so we'll see if it all boomerangs back immediately... but it'll come off again if it does, I'm determined.

More news from the doctor last night; I've got a rather high concentration of "natural killer" cells in the uterus, which is contributing to miscarriage (the embryo cannot implant). The cells serve a normal function but mine are like little barbarian berserkers, I guess. So, more testing and potentially (if the 2nd test confirms this) more medication while pregnant, but the infertility specialist says he is not worried and we'll fix it.

Thank you experienced mommies, and I will hopefully be asking for your more detailed advice and support soon! Hugs to you and your man-things and kidlings, and happy holidays, too.

Heather said...

Argh. I feel like an ass, having read "am successfully pregnant again," rather than "once I am..."
Still, our hope and joy and excitement...even if my reading comprehension score sucks.

Ducks said...

Honey, not to worry... knowing is half the battle and I am joyous knowing what the obstacles may be. Sorry to disappoint for now, but I hope that soon I can take that credit. :)