Entry: Successful pregnancy! Thursday, June 05, 2008

Here's the latest: a successful pregnancy at last! At least, so far, so good. We feel incredibly blessed, and rewarded for all our hard work and research.

I'm now almost 30 weeks pregnant with twins girls, who are in the 50th weight percentile for their age. They're very active and I've had no real complications of pregnancy, except for the usual stuff which can be expected with multiples - gestational diabetes and some minor anemia.

After three years of searching for answers, I determined there are many reasons why people can miscarry. In our case, there were a combination of factors working against us. Although I don't know what specifically contributed to this pregnancy, here is the rundown of events:

I had a blocked fallopian tube, which was corrected with surgery.

I had an underactive thyroid, which was corrected with levothroid (95%) + cytomel (5%). My TSH now hovers around 0.2, though when I conceived, it was around 1.0.

I had an overactive immune system, which was corrected with acupuncture & diet (maybe) and steroids (probably). I also did a double-dose of LIT (lymphocyte immune therapy) which was supposed to help suppress my overactive lymphocytes. The same doctor who recommended LIT told me to get IVIg also, but I didn't do this.

My natural killer cell activity was too high. My doctor put me on steroids, which may have helped with this. And blood thinners + baby aspirin, which seems to help with it too. Later I was taken off the blood thinners, though i still take the baby aspirin.

I had a gene issue - compound homozygous MTHFR - which is associated with poor folate absorption. I took extra folate for this, and B-vitamins which help with folate absorption.

A karyotype determined my 3rd baby had trisomy 8 - apparently I was making bad eggs. So I had PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis) along with IVF (actually ICSI) to screen out the genetically "bad" embryos. I think this was very helpful - of the 8 embryos that were tested, only 4 passed. The other 4 had multiple chromosomal abnormalities across the board and had no chance for survival.  We transferred 3 embryos, and all 3 implanted. And survived, which is the amazing thing. (We lost our boy baby at 16 weeks due to a fatal physical abnormality.)

Whatever the reason or reasons why, my IVF was successful. I personally think it was the PGD that did it for me, but everything else may have helped too.

I think the change of diet (limiting sugars & carbs, eating whole foods & organic when possible) helped me to make healthier eggs. For my age, the IVF doctor was surprised that 50% of my embryos tested normal, as the average is 33%. I may have been lower than 33% at one point, as suggested by four straight losses. Maybe the LIT helped too. I'll never know, since I never went for restesting after (an extra $6000 we put toward IVF/PGD instead!)

But there are many reasons for recurrent loss, some of which are not understood. I just listed some reasons above in case it helps others. Please feel free to email me anytime if you have any questions. I may not have answers, but I've been through a lot and am a good listener!

I wish you all the best of luck on your search for answers!


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