If you have been following my journey, you will already be aware that in August, we miscarried our third pregnancy. At the end of Is there a storm coming? (part 2), I mentioned that we were being referred to the recurrent miscarriage team.
It was the beginning of October when we had our first appointment at the clinic, around 6 weeks after our miscarriage. We were initially worried that we might not fit the criteria for investigations. Currently in the UK, you have to have 3 consecutive miscarriages before investigations take place. As Guy was a second trimester loss in-between the two miscarriages (and we are yet to have a live birth), they were happy to look into the potential causes of early pregnancy loss.
The first appointment was short and sweet. The specialist nurse noted down our pregnancy history and explained what investigations are done. They do blood tests to check for thyroid problems, Lupus, Coeliacs, Vitamin D deficiency, and thrombophillia (sticky blood). I would also have a scan of my uterus to check for abnormalities. Once these tests were done, we would go back and see her a few weeks later for all the results.
We left the appointment armed with a prescription for progesterone pessaries which I would have to use for the first few weeks when we next get pregnant. Then off I went to get copious amounts of blood taken (9 bottles!), and booked a scan in for the following week.
It was an anxious time waiting for our next appointment. We both felt hopeful for some answers, but equally only wanted answers with solutions. There was a slight fear that we could discover a problem that meant we would never carry a baby to term. This even led us to discuss what we would do if this ended up being the case… surrogacy? Adoption?
Last week, we returned for our follow up appointment…
The specialist nurse explained that all the blood tests had come back normal. This is good news, as it means that there are no new complications and obstacles to tackle. She explained how there was another test we could have done to look into whether I have high levels of Natural Killer Cells. However, this test isn’t available on the NHS, we would have to pay privately for it. We could either go to a private clinic, or refer ourselves to Professor Quenby, who I have heard about before through Tommy’s research. This is not something we think we need to do at present, but would definitely consider if we have a further miscarriage.
If you have read my previous blogs, you might remember me mentioning my suspicions about having a unicornuate shaped womb (half a womb). We mentioned this to nurse and asked whether this had shown up on the scan. She explained that the scan appeared to be normal, but 2D scans do not always show up womb abnormalities. They mainly check your ovaries, and the lining of the womb, and this all looked normal.
She said they could investigate further with an MRI scan, as abnormal womb shapes would show up better. We took her up on the offer, as we are really keen to know either way. Although there is very little (or nothing) they can do about abnormal womb shapes, she explained that we would get extra monitoring for premature labour. Abnormal womb shapes bring with it the risk or premature birth, and from what I have read through a little online research, can also cause second trimester losses.
We initially left the appointment feeling like we had wasted time, and were walking away with no answers. But in reality we do have answers. We know that there is currently nothing serious causing our miscarriages. We know we will be cared for during early pregnancy under the miscarriage team. We have hormone pessaries to use next pregnancy which is something new. And we will get an MRI scan to answer our other main query.
It was so easy to be disappointed by ‘normal’ results. But looking at the bigger picture, this is nothing but good news. It’s what we hoped for in terms of future pregnancies. I think the disappointment lies in the fact that it doesn’t give us answers to our previous miscarriages.
So, now we wait for an MRI scan. But in the meantime, we are good to start trying again knowing that there’s nothing too serious standing in our way… except for sheer bad luck.