Thursday, October 2, 2008
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness
Hello Everyone! I wanted to take a minute to send out this message. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. October 15th is a special day of remembrance to those who have lost a baby either through miscarriage, still birth or loss after birth. There are an astounding number of losses every year, MANY of those could have been prevented.
As most of you know Mike and I have miscarried three times now. According to standard procedure, testing to locate a cause of repeated miscarriages is not conducted until you have had three or more consecutive losses. Bear in mind that not all practitioners follow this but it is widely accepted as "routine". Many times a woman is diagnosed with a problem such as a progesterone deficiency, like my friend who lost two pregnancies before being diagnosed. Once diagnosed she was treated with progesterone and is now enjoying her last trimester. Likewise many women are suffering from something like an infection or a blood clotting disorder. These are treated with antibiotics and blood thinners. Yes you heard me correctly. An astonishing number of recurring miscarriages were due to things that could have easily been fixed with a pill or an injection. Because of the common acceptance that miscarriages are standard and the bodies way of correcting a problem, many women suffer repeated heart ache when the solution is simple.
In my mind, another form of loss is infertility. Infertility is an increasing problem that faces thousands of couples every day. The frustration and pain caused by infertility are enormous. Again, standard practices that are currently in place have couples "trying" for 12 months before any testing will be done. For most of us, 12 months seems a small window. For a couple who is desperately wanting a baby, 12 months can feel like eternity. One dear friend of mine struggled to get pregnant for 18 months when she was finally seen and prescribed clomid to help her ovulate. She conceived the first month and delivered three (yes, three) healthy babies. She spent 18 long months trying to overcome a problem over which she had no control but which was easily corrected with a simple supply of pills. While the solution is not always so easy, any trying to conceive couple will tell you that each day is a month and the more proactive our doctors are, the better chances of conceiving and having children quickly!
I feel strongly that raising awareness of this issue could help to encourage doctors to take a new look at their course of action. If a woman suffers a miscarriage a simple run of tests can determine the cause in almost 70% of cases. Another widely accepted theory is that a majority of first trimester miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities, some doctors claim up to 85%. While there is absolutely merit in that, one thing that is not noted is that this is largely due to the number of miscarriages taking place after the mother is 35 years old. Miscarriages in women under 35 are LARGELY due to immune and hormonal issues.
I would ask each of you to look at the website link below about pregnancy and infant loss awareness. Raising awareness does not require money it only requires TALKING! Talk to your friends, neighbors, parents, siblings, DOCTORS! Many doctors will test you after a first miscarriage but only at your request/demand. :) We need to be encouraging the practice of testing immediately at a couple's request. Testing is always optional but this would give those couples wanting to conceive the benefit of knowing what caused their loss and possibly preventing future ones.
Thank you all for your support and your prayers, as well as for indulging me on my little tirade. We appreciate it so much!
Mike, Jenny, Gavin, Caeden and Suzy