"(my daughter) found out that she had (an MTHFR mutation) from both sides of the family... I am in my 70's and feel for all of you as my ambition when young was to have a happy healthy family... Since finding out more about this condition I would like to help others to know that it also causes other problems among which are heart, stroke,and other blood related problems. Looking back on mine and my husbands family history that certainly bears this out! Everyone on my maternal side died of heart attack or stroke. His side all heart disease.You got this mutation from someone older and being the caring people you certainly would like your parents to know the dangers. Dr. rec. one baby asprin and 1 ml. folic acid taken at night (most h/a start early am). I am so surprised at the number of doctors and others in the medical field who do not know anything about this easy to remedy mutation, which is so potentionally dangerous. I am wondering if this doesn't cause cleft pallette and other birth defects! Couldn't some of you youngsters get this attention in the newspapers or on the TV news? You could possibly save many heataches and even little lives."
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Below are some of the pictures from a photo shoot we did in a local park.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Right now, I'm insanely busy. My wife is pregnant. The baby is due mid April but we may take him out a bit early. So at home we are getting the house ready. My home office has moved into the master bedroom. The 3 year old has moved into my office and we are trying to turn his old room into a nursury. My 3 bedroom, 2200 square foot house once seemed enormous to me but now seems way too small. I'm thinking of buying my parent's house in Cincinnati when they move into a new house that they are currently building. In the meantime, at work my 5 year information systems project is coming to a head with our first North American implementation going live next week at one manufacturing plant in Mexico and one in Indiana. My company originally asked me to be in Mexico the entire month of March, which I refused. I absolutely will not be out of the country during my wife's 3rd tri-mester. At the same time, we are preparing to role the new systems out in 6 more plants in July. So, I am on the road more than ever. After July, I don't have any idea what I'll be doing at work. My project will be done. They want me to either work in California or Canada both of which would suck as I'd only be home on the weekends. I'm sick of being on the road. Anybody know of any good paying ERP or logistics jobs in Cincinatti?
I'll be working from home next week and in Indiana the following week. When I return, they will make a decision on when to induce labor on my wife. And I am taking off a week whenever the baby is born.... plus it'll be hard for the company to get me out of my home office for a while.
But anway, the point I am trying to make is that my life is crazy busy right now. I've got more work on my plate than any normal person plus more than I can get done at home on the weekends.
And throughout all of this, I am dieting.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
By the way, her 16 year old sister was checked for the MTHFR mutation and has it on both X chromosomes. Needless to say, she is a bit worried. But we are glad to know now so that if she ever decides to get pregnant later in life, that she will be able to treat the condition.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Other than 2 weeks off at Christmas, I probably will be away, in Nashville, 3 nights a week until late summer or fall. I have been asked to go to Mexico for February and March but have said "no". I feel a bit guilty about being gone so much. I guess this winter I'll start sending out resumes and looking for some work that doesn't require so much travel. I love my work but the travel is starting to get to me again. Plus our first son, Skylar, will likely be playing sports next summer and I don't want to miss my children growing up.
When I'm not traveling, I work out of my home. I'm losing my home office to make another nursery. It seems we are outgrowing our home. If we don't move up then I'll have to actually drive across town to use my cubical in the Lexington plant. I love working form home but can't do it without a private room in which I can hide. On the bright side, my parents up in Cincinnati may be buying a new house soon. My wife and I are thinking about buying their old house. This would give me space to work from home as well as put me closer to family. My brother's kids are almost old enough to babysit and it'd be really nice to be close to them.
Monday, November 09, 2009
When we did the last ultrasound, we were unable to tell the gender. But they said that the heart rate was fast and in the range for a girl. At the last doctor's visit, they said that the heart rate was in the range for a boy. On November 30th, we'll lay the gender question to rest. On that day, we'll be getting a 3D ultrasound. We're so excited!
BJ's actually lost some weight. When not pregnant, BJ suffered from severe migraine headaches the source of which we were never able to determine. Once again, during pregnancy the headaches have almost all gone away. She has them occasionally but not nearly as badly as before. I'm still convinced that they are somehow related to the MTHFR mutation. My theory is that there is something in the prenatal vitamins or folic acid itself that is preventing the headaches. I wonder how many others with the MTHFR mutation have experienced migraines and whether or not they've gone away when taking vitamins.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
By the way, we're still pregnant! We are just about to enter the 2nd trimester. We go for another doctor's visit a week from Monday. I'm taking off of work to go with her. I'm hoping that this time we'll get to know the gender. BJ thinks it's a girl because she says that she feels very different than she did the last time.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
We're a bit concerned about how to address the baby with our three year old. On the one hand we don't want to get his hopes up in case of a miscarriage. But at the same time, we want him to know and ready for what is coming. And, we want him to understand why he can't climb on his mother --both to protect the baby and to protect his Mom who easily bruises now that she's on blood thinners.
Both of our families now know that we are expecting. They are all a little worried about us. Also, I let my boss at work know so that they wouldn't anticipate me traveling out of the country during the 3rd trimester (when my project team will be most busy).
When I'm not traveling, I work from home. My office doubles as a guest bedroom. We only have a 3 bedroom house. So, now we are in a quandary over whether to make the kids share a room or if we'd be better off moving into a 4 bedroom house. I'm hoping to maybe change jobs next summer. If we wait I might be able to get an employer to pay for moving expenses. Where ever we wind up, we want to stay within a half day's drive of our families here in Kentucky.
Next weekend, we are going out of town to a large fantasy science fiction convention. Both of us are looking forward to it. I've not been in almost 10 years. My wife hasn't ever been but is looking forward to meeting several authors and part of the Twilight movie cast. For this, we will be gone at around the 8 week mark which is where we have sometimes had trouble in the past. I'm torn on whether or not to go. We think that the blood thinners and vitamins work and are hoping for the best. So we will go regardless.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
On the day the when the home test showed positive, BJ started taking baby aspirin, prenatal vitamins and folic acid. She went to her first office visit on Sept. 18 and had it confirmed that she was indeed at 5 1/2 weeks. Several vials of blood were taken. The doctor prescribed daily lovenox injections. The next appointment is Sept 22. Soon after we will visit another doctor who specializes in high risk pregnancies. This other doctor has a 3D ultrasound which should be cool.
BJ told her family about her pregnancy last week. I haven't told my folks yet as I want to do so this weekend in person. Due to problems in the past, I am reluctant to announce it to the world but have let it slip out to a few people at work.
Week 8 is where we had trouble prior to being diagnosed with a single MTHFR mutation. So, in a few more weeks we can breath easy.
I'm still travelling a great deal. Mostly, I am staying in Nashville 3 nights a week. This is only a 3 1/2 hour drive from our home in Lexington. So, it's bearable. At work, I was told that I'm expected to be in Monterrey, Mexico for most of March. I told them "H" no because I don't want to be out of the country during the last trimester.
BJ seems very happy about being pregnant and not nearly as worried as when we had Skylar. We believe that the blood thinners and folic acid supplements work so am expecting everything to turn out all right.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Homocysteine and Migraines
Homocysteine, you may recall from previous communications, has a profound effect on blood vessels, hence its link to heart attacks and strokes. Dr H Kowa from the Institute of Neurological Sciences Faculty of Medicine at Japan’s Tottori University, wondered whether homocysteine might have anything to do with migraines.
He recruited 74 patients who had frequent migraine headaches and 261 normal, healthy controls. After testing them for the MTHFR gene mutation, which indicates a tendency to overproduce homocysteine, he found that, compared to controls, more than twice as many of the migraine sufferers had the mutation. And sufferers who experienced ‘aura’ symptoms before a migraine (blurred vision, bright spots in their field of vision, muddled or confused thinking, extreme exhaustion, anxiety, numbness or a tingling sensation in one side of the body) were four times more likely to have
the mutation and high levels of homocysteine.
This study suggests that the tendency to migraines might be inherited in many people, due to the MTHFR gene mutation, and that high homocysteine levels might also be involved. That has yet to be proven, but if so it would suggest that a homocysteine-lowering diet and supplement program, including B2, B6, B12 and folic acid, might prove enormously helpful for migraine sufferers. In one study, those taking high-dose vitamin B2 for four months had substantially less migraines.
My recommendation is to test your homocysteine level and supplement with homocysteine lowering nutrients daily, including B2 (100mg), B6 (100mg), B12 (150mcg), folic acid (2000mcg), and TMG (3000mg).
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I haven't had a chance to really sit down and discuss this with my wife yet. I think that we both want another child. However, we are concerned about the chances of losing it, having to take daily shots, childbirth, etc. Also, there are the typical mundane worries regarding financial aspects such as daycare costs verses one of us not working. And, my job related travel is about to pick up. From January to June, I am likely to be spending a couple of weeks per month in Europe, half way around the world. I can hardly bare the thought of being gone if something should go wrong. If only we were the type who could just "leave it in God's hands" and shed the worry and responsibility...
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Pregnancy Q & A
Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.
Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.
Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?
Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes , in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.
Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.
Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.
Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.
Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.
Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Each time I tell someone about Skylar turning 1 year old this week, they ask when we're going to have another baby. We're not trying yet... but we are discussing the possibility.
Friday, January 05, 2007
I would like to encourage each of you to post comments on this blog and to share your own experiences with us and other readers. Your experiences can and will make a difference.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
I have not had to travel with work for about a month! And, I have been allowed to work out of my house during this entire time! While I usually lock myself in the guest bedroom to work, it is nice to see Skylar and my wife during breaks and at lunch. I feel very blessed by the entire arrangement. Due to changes at work, my future travel will probably be reduced to one or two weeks a month. I will be in Nashville for four days next week and possibly in France the first week of June.
Sabastian, our chocolate lab, is also doing great. He is already very protective of Skylar. Each time Skylar makes a noise, Sabastian runs over to check on him. He's being very gentle and only steeling an occasional puppy dog kiss.
I am now going to call this blog complete. My wife and I greatly appreciate all of your e-mails and comments. It was very comforting to know that we were not alone. Please feel free to post comments and continue to write e-mails. If my wife ever becomes pregnant, I will begin posting again. For updates on how Skylar is doing, please click on this link to his new blog: http://skylarjoseph.blogspot.com/
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Weight: 7 lbs, 5 oz.
Length: 20 in.
Head: 33 cm
Chest: 32 cm
He is perfectly healthy. We get to take him home Saturday morning.
Brandi, my wife, is doing well also. We'll give more details in a future post.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Today has been very busy. I went to Brandi's work to help pack up her things and carry them home. When we got home, I put in our car seat bases. Then, we washed the dog. And, now at 8:30 PM, we are just finishing cleaning the upstairs of our house. The bathrooms will have to wait. Tomorrow, we go to Florence, KY to see my family for Easter. I will be working from home on Monday and Tuesday. Brandi's mom will be coming up Tuesday. Wednesday morning, we have an appointment at 7:30 AM to begin the labor induction.
In all of our haste to get everything ready, we've forgotten something very important. We have not selected a pediatrician! Labor is to be induced on Wednesday. Yet, we completely forgot to ask our OBGYN for a recommendation. I guess we'll have to call him on Monday...
(some words in this post are intentionally misspelled to avoid adolt content blockers)
Friday, April 14, 2006
This afternoon, I picked up a glider that Brandi had picked out. It isn't a perfect match for the room, but it's a nice piece of furniture.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Here is a picture of the room from the other side. As you can see, we still have plenty of space for Brandi's glider chair... that is if we ever pick one out. Most of these chairs have between a 6 and 18 week leadtime. And, we've still not ordered one!
These two wooden art items were in my own nursery when I was little. My aunt Vickie painted them in 1973. The lower one is designed to hold two baseballs, two bats, and has pegs for a baseball glove to hang on. I think it's really neat that they match the nursery color scheme so well. And, I really like that there is something of my own to be passed on at such an early age. It sort of makes the room span a couple generations.
Friday, April 07, 2006
The week of April 17th, I was scheduled to be in Nashville for a planning week. We were supposed to be working on developing project plans for the next phase of our projects. My boss was originally to be away that week because his wife was pregnant and due April 20th. But, his baby was born early. Therefore, my boss will take my place during the week of April 17th. It's not the ideal week to miss, but there's no way they'd be able to make me go. I'll probably take a week's vacation when the baby is born and then work from home one or two weeks thereafter.
After the doctor's appointment, Brandi, her mother, her sister, and myself went shopping. We bought several items from our registry that we'd not yet received as gifts. I think that we've got the necessities covered. It seems like no matter how much stuff we buy that there is always more stuff we supposedly need. We live in such a materialistic society. I keep thinking back to my cultural anthropology class in college. In that class, we studied many different culture's perspectives on childbirth and child rearing. I don't know if he's lucky to be born in our culture or if all of our materialistic stuff will simply weigh him down and spoil him rotten.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Monday, April 03, 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Friday, we went for another doctors visit. Our prescription was changed from one shot of Lovenox daily to two shots of Heparin daily. We are having trouble getting the prescription filled because it calls for pre-filled needles and nobody seems to stock it this way. So, we're continuing with the left-over Lovenox until Monday when we discuss the prescription with our doctor. The advantage of the Heparin is that it is supposed to be easily reversed if there is much bleeding during the birth.
We're still working on getting the nursery room ready. I'll post pictures when it is done.
In 2 weeks, we will go back and have another ultrasound done.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
Monday, March 06, 2006
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Friday, February 10, 2006
My wife is in her first year of teaching. Even if she continues working, the birth will lead into summer. So, the first few months are not an issue.
Another factor is that she is not currently teaching the classes she wants. Her degree is for middle school English and history. However, she got stuck teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in a rather rough neighborhood. At this school, 87% of the students qualify for free lunch and 13% qualify for discounted lunches (that's 100% qualifying for government assistance). Many of her students are simply waiting until they are old enough to drop out. Needless to say, this is a difficult job. If she gets offered a job teaching English or history, she'd probably take it.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Click here to go to the website for the registry: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/babyreg/ref=ba_hp_tn_br/002-3426123-1153659
Our due date is May 7th. Room colors are green, white, and blue. Some of you were asking about our bedding. The bedding, pictured at right, is called "Barn Yard". Brandi's parents bought this for us. We have already purchased most of the accessories.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
My wife's cousin just had a baby tonight... 9 pounds, 7 ounces. It sounds like it was a rather difficult birth. But the baby is healthy.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Friday, January 13, 2006
Sunday, January 01, 2006
I was driving down the road and she let out a little yell, "aw!". I swerved, thinking I was about to be hit by another driver. She then let out another yelp, "ew!".
I swerved again and asked, "What are you doing? Did I almost hit someone or something?"
She replied, "I think I felt it kick!".
The kicks have become a little more pronounced and more frequent. We hope to return to Kansas with a baby this summer. My grandmother is 95 years old and I'd love for her to see the baby.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
I'm not sure if I'd recommend making everyone wait to find out unless you don't tell them that you are doing a sonogram in the first place.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
A few days later, our friend said, "Its hard to say goodbye when you've never met." They named the baby. A funeral plot was donated by a local cemetery.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
We are not alone! It is amazing how many miscarriages are now being associated with the MTHFR gene mutation(s). Apparently, it has only been a common diagnosis for a few years now. Many doctors do not agree on how to treat this condition. I've also read that as many as 1 in 10 people carry the mutation on at least one of their X chromosomes. If 1 in 6 pregnancies end in miscarriage, I wonder how many are really caused by the MTHFR gene mutation? Its also very hard to understand why it seems to affect some pregnancies and not others. With how common the condition is, you'd think that we'd know more about it.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
We have a 65 pound chocolate lab who lives indoors with us. If any of you have tips as to how to prepare him for the baby, we'd greatly appreciate your advise. Until now, he has been our baby. Sometimes, I'm not sure whether or not he even knows that he is a dog. We treat him pretty much as part of the family. When we bring our newest family member home, I'm not sure how he is going to react. Will he be jealous? Will he lick the baby too much. Will he play too rough with the baby? To complicate matters, we've always bought baby toys for the dog. The baby toys usually don't have hard plastic eyes and generally seem to last longer than dog toys. So, now we have the dilemma: How do we keep him from playing with the baby's toys? Any tips?
Friday, October 28, 2005
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
We did a gender test via the pendulum method. This form of divination has predicted that it will be a boy. However, the Chinese Lunar calendar (if we read the chart right) says that it will be a girl. I personally have more faith in the pendulum. But, we'll see.
Today, we went to Baby's R Us to buy a baby gift for a friend's shower. Its amazing how much stuff you supposedly need when you have a baby.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Her 2nd doctors visit is tomorrow. I'm still uncertain what this visit entails. I'm sad that I am unable to go with her.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
There must be something in the water...
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
I'll be home tomorrow evening and hope to celebrate. She wants to go to Double Stink Hog farm. Double stink is a pumpkin farm with a sort of carnival atmosphere. It'll be a nice change of pace from my hectic indoor office life. I can't wait to get home!
Saturday, September 24, 2005
The other day, she broke up a fight at the school where she teaches. I asked her to not break up any more fights, for fear that she might get hurt.
As soon as I came home last night and we hopped in the car to go out of town together. This time to see her parents in Clay County, Kentucky. Friday was her dad's birthday. She showed her parents the bruises on her belly. The bruising is caused by blood thinner shots that have to be injected into her stomach. Other than this minor inconvenience, we have no complaints.
Today, we went to the chicken festival in London, Kentucky. My wife was looking at baby clothes, but we didn't buy anything.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
I am hoping that, after we have a successful birth, that this blog will provide a bit of hope and comfort for others in the same situation. I can't wait to post pictures of our baby who is due in May, 2006.
Monday, September 19, 2005
I watched my wife give herself her shot last night. She still took forever to build up courage to do it. But it seems to be getting easier for her. I just spoke to her on the phone and forgot to ask how tonight's shot went.
I think that my wife's next doctor's appointment is October 13th. Our doctor is off on Fridays, my only weekday in Lexington. This means that it will be very difficult for me to attend her appointments. I think I'll try my best to arrange it so that I can attend this next appointment.
I love my wife and wish I could be there for her. When we discussed my taking this job, it was before we knew that she was pregnant.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
She says that after having seen the picture, she can't help but get more excited. The heart beat was visible but not audible. I'm very sad that I had to miss seeing the heart beat... Next week, I'll be in Nashville for 5 days. When we make it through next week, we'll have gone farther than we did on the last two pregnancies. I'm very, very concerned about being gone next week. But it is the kick-off week for the project that my new job is all about. I have instructed my wife to call me if there is any spotting or bleeding. I can't help feeling guilty about being gone. But, if there is any trouble, home is only a three hour drive away...
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Monday, September 12, 2005
She was going into labor early. We went to the hospital. They told her it would be okay, but she kept telling them that it was too early. The baby's head was coming out. They told her to go home. She tried to tell them that the baby's head was hanging out but they did not seem concerned.
One of the nurses handed her two small jars and said, "We're not supposed to do this." The jars contained the remains of Brendan and Emily, our previous miscarriages.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
We let both of our families know on Sunday that we were expecting. Everyone congratulated us, but I could tell that they were all worried.
My wife had been taking baby aspirins for the last two weeks of every menstrual cycle, just in case she were pregnant. She'd also been taking prenatal vitamins w/ folate, etc. This was to prevent a miscarriage due to the MTHFR mutation.
This all took place on labor day weekend. So, first thing, Tuesday, she called the doctor. The appointment was not for almost two weeks! I then called the doctors office myself to remind them that she had the MTHFR mutation and that it was very important to run some tests and possibly start taking blood thinners. The nurses were to talk with the doctor and call me back. They decided that my wife should come in immediately for some blood work. They took about 5 tubes of blood from her. We are not positive yet as to what tests they are conducting. The next day, they called and asked for her to come back and give one more vile of blood. We did so. I'm not positive, but I think they were looking for her homocystine levels. They recommended sticking with just the aspirin and vitamins at this time. She is to go back for an office visit on Thursday September 15 (five days from today). I am unable to go with her as I already had a business trip planned that can not be re-scheduled. I wonder if I should feel bad about not going with her? I'm afraid of what I might not hear. How much will she remember clearly enough to tell me about later? I want to soak up every possible piece of information, as I believe that knowledge is power.
This pregnancy worries me to death. I am very scared that she might start bleeding or miscarry while I am out of town, on business. I know that if something should go wrong that she'll need me by her side, supporting her. But then again, I will usually only be a three hour car ride away... And what of her job? She will be due in May, one month before school is let out. Will this mean that they won't hire her back for a second year? I'm not sure what the policies are with first year teachers. This will take a bit of research.
As fate would have it, I ended up not working in France after all. It was decided to move the North American project team's headquarters from Paris, France to Nashville, Tennessee, USA. I was to remain working in Kentucky until September 19th, 2005. Afterwards, I'd be spending 4 days a week in Nashville for the next nine months. The car trip takes about three hours. I am to be there by noon (EST) on Monday and get to leave mid-afternoon on Thursday. This means that I'll be home all weekends and able to get back to Lexington quickly if necessary. It is still a great deal of travel, but it beats spending every other Sunday and alternating Saturday at airports, flying half way around the world. It also means that I'll be spending four nights each week sleeping at home next to my lovely wife.
In August, my wife also got a new job. She would be teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) at a middle school in Lexington. This was not her ideal job. Her college degree was in middle grades English and History. ESL has many unique demands and requires tracking and planning for each student individually. There is a great deal more paperwork and less repetitiveness than teaching "normal" subjects. The new job is keeping her extremely busy. The high-demanding work and stress seems to be doing a wonderful job of keeping her mind off of the past miscarriages. She has been working there now, for over a month. I have noticed that she is no longer extremely depressed. She is more tired and more stressed out, but no longer as sad. She still has a ways to go though, before I'd consider her genuinely happy.
I took off of work to be with my wife. We went into the doctor's office and did an ultrasound/sonogram, or whatever it is called. The placed the device up inside of her and showed us our baby on the screen. It had a hart beat. We were told that the heart beat showed that the baby was doing alright. They didn't think that there would be a miscarriage this time. She was given a prescription for progesterone. We then took our sonogram pictures and went home. Late that night (or early morning), I awoke to screaming. It was a bone chilling scream. One that will haunt me to the end of my days. My wife was losing the baby. A large blood clot went into the toilet. I fetched it out with a spaghetti strainer and placed it into a baggy. We went to the doctor's office first thing in the morning. A sonogram showed no heart beat and no baby this time. The flesh within my baggy was given to them to run more tests on.
We were told that we had an option to do a series of tests on the fetus and ourselves to determine the cause of the miscarriage. But, they also told us that they usually do not run any of these tests until after miscarriage number three. I understand that chance plays a role here, but I think it is absurd to risk yet another young. We did not want to go through a third attempt miscarriage if it could be avoided. So, I told them to run every test that the insurance would cover. We definitely didn't want to go through this again if it could be avoided.
A week later, we got our test results. We made an appointment to see the doctor. When we got there, he had a "medical emergency" happening and was on his way out to go to an emergency room. He told us he couldn't meet with us. But, then, he decided to see us briefly. We had about a 10 minute talk about the findings. It was very rushed, but I recall just about every word. My DNA was fine. But, my wife's showed a chromosome mutation on one of her MTHFR genes. This is a blood clotting disorder that he believed was causing blood clots to form in the placenta. He seemed to think that a baby aspirin a day could have saved our baby. He also said that they might prescribe Heperine (a stronger blood thinner) when we got pregnant again. I wish we had made another appointment to discuss in more detail, but we didn't. Instead, I spent many long hours reading about this clotting disorder on the internet.
Outside of the pregnancy issue, the disorder poses some other risks. It means my wife has a higher chance of developing cardiovascular disorders and strokes later in life. However, since she only had the mutation on one of her X chromosomes, rather than both, that the increased risk was not even as great as that of a tobacco smoker.
Upon hearing this news, my wife became seriously depressed. The depression lasted about six months. I think she felt inferior and considered herself "defective". She took a defeatist attitude, thinking that she could never have a healthy baby. She kept telling me that she was a failure. She said that not only could she not bare children, but that she couldn't find a job. I'm not sure if she understood that I too was mourning, just not in the same way. I constantly tried to remind her that knowing the cause meant that we could treat it the next time around. We finally had the information that would allow us to protect the baby. Something as simple as an aspirin a day could save the next one. I felt that we could beat this thing. I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. But, she seemed to only see darkness. I worried that she might become suicidal. She wasn't working and didn't seem to have a desire to do much of anything. I tried my best to help. But, all I could really do is tell her that I'd be here for her. Her depression was making it difficult for me to stay positive. I felt like we were both going down further and further.
In July, I got a promotion at work. This boosted my mood a little bit. In August, my wife got a job teaching at a middle school. It wasn't exactly the job she wanted, but it was a job none-the-less. The work kept her so busy that she didn't have time to brood over negative things. While the work was stressful, I think it was exactly what she needed to take her out of the rut she'd been wallering in.
With regards to this miscarriage, we thought that we should give the child a name. The name we chose came from a dream of mine that I had while my wife was pregnant. The following is a document that I wrote to honor her and the name we chose:
Conceived March 17th, 2005
Lost April 26, 2005
Expected Birth December 9th, 2005.
Emily - Ambitious. From the Roman family name Aemilius, which was derived from Latin aemulus meaning "rival".
Elizabeth - From Elisabet, the Greek form of the Hebrew name Elisheba meaning "my God is an oath" or perhaps "my God is abundance". In the New Testament this is the name of the mother of John the Baptist.
Shortly before her conception, her father... had a dream. In this dream, he held a beautiful, curly haired, baby girl. Her name was ÂEmily ElizabethÂ. The dream seemed very real and was thought to be a possible premonition. It was a name that he and (his wife) had not previously discussed. Lovingly, (he) began referring to the baby in (her) belly as ÂEmily ElizabethÂ. (She), at first, thought it a bit strange, as ÂEmily ElizabethÂ is the name of the little girl from the serious of books called Clifford The Big Red Dog. But, deep down, we both loved the name.
We were ambitious in our attempt to conceive Emily. And, through this attempt, we learned about the single MTHFR gene and how it had caused blood clots in the placenta. Through EmilyÂs sacrifice, her siblings may live. We are grateful for her contribution.
We never met you, but we will miss you.
As stated in the last post, my wife suggested that we give the baby a name. We named it "Brendan Jacob...". The following is a copy of a document that I wrote to remember him and his name.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
There is a superstition that a pendulum can be used to divine the sex of the fetus. Regardless of whether this works, the pendulum told us that it was a boy.
She had just graduated from college. I had good insurance. Life was good. Until... 8 weeks after her last menstrual cycle things turned ugly. My wife had gone to the bathroom and had discovered light blood spotting on the toilet paper. We were very worried and called the doctor. They told us that this was normal and nothing to be alarmed of but to call back if it got worse. And, it did get worse. We were up most of the night. She was bleeding quite badly. We had the doctor paged. Her doctor was not in but there was another doctor on call.
The doctor on call told us that there was nothing that they could do and that if it was a miscarriage that it'd run its course regardless. We were told that we could go to the emergency room but that it'd probably be better to just wait until morning and go into his office. We couldn't stand waiting, not knowing if something could be done, so we opted to go to the emergency room anyway. It was a long, surreal night. To my surprise, the doctor on call had made a special trip to the emergency room to meet with us. There, we had a sonogram and other tests run. We had taken a sample of her discharged flesh in a baggy and gave it to the nurses to run tests on. I'm glad that we did because it meant my wife didn't need to be "scraped out". The night was excruciating. The hardest part was not knowing what was happening or why. Needless to say, we lost the baby. And, the experience hurt tremendously.
We were told that 1 in 6 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. They said that up until recently, most women would not have even known that they were pregnant. They'd have thought that their period was late and unusually heavy. We were told that they usually do not recommend testing for causes until after the third miscarriage. The reason for miscarriages, they said, was usually a chromosomal problem and that it was the body's natural way of eliminating fetuses that would be born with defects. I suppose this was supposed to make us feel better? It is somewhat like saying "your lucky your baby died because it might have been handicapped." Regardless, the doctor was actually very helpful and seemed to care a great deal about us and our situation.
Both she and I suffered as if we had lost a close family member... Which is exactly what had happened. A few days later, we decided that our baby needed a name. We named it Brendon Jacob. The gifts we had been given were boxed up along with my wife's pregnancy journal.
More to come....