The results are in! I'm going to die of either a heart attack or a blood clot! Choose your own adventure!
No, no, I jest. But apparently I very well could have suddenly developed either of those things if my doctor hadn't sent me get that blood work done. And I'm still at risk for them, but with the appropriate doses of baby aspirin and folic acid every day for the rest of my life, it should be a very manageable problem. In a way, you could view the fact that I've already had two miscarriages at twenty four years old as a very lucky thing. Recurrent miscarrying caused me to be sent for blood work, tests which, according to my doctor, wouldn't generally be ordered until someone has already had a blood clot or a heart problem. It's just been in the last few years that they've found the connection between these blood disorders and a heightened risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal growth retardation, and so have been recommending them for anyone who has had two or more failed pregnancies.
So that's the good news. I may have just been saved from having a random heart attack at forty years old, or dying of a blood clot or something horrible. And with any luck, I have been saved from further miscarrying. (The doctor did say that she still thinks I have progesterone level problems and that the blood disorders aren't related to that. So I still need to do Clomid and Prometrium along with the aspirin and the folic supplements.)
The bad news is, obviously, the increased risk of medical problems and the need for drugs and supplements. I'm supposed to go for a consultation with a hematologist, in fact, to "manage my risk of cardiovascular disease." I will now be considered high risk if I get pregnant again (well, more than I already was, since I'm also at risk for preterm labor.) I'll have to have a lot more office visits, blood draws and ultrasounds than in my previous pregnancies, to make sure blood clots aren't developing in the baby, the placenta or the umbilical cord. Also, she said I may have to be on Lovenox during pregnancy, which is a blood thinner that you INJECT INTO YOUR BELLY.
But. For some reason I still feel pretty relieved. Yes, miscarriage will always be a possibility for us, more so than most people. Yes, I will probably spend my entire next pregnancy trying to push down fears about stillbirth and blood clots and dangers to my baby. Yet I feel very lucky that we are learning more all the time about what can contribute to miscarriage. It feels better, to me anyways, than just a shoulder shrugging "you must have gotten unlucky" type explanation. And sure, just plain bad luck could still come into play. That is true for anyone.
But it's reassuring to know that though I have x wrong with me, we can do y and z to correct it or minimize its effects. We can do ultrasounds throughout pregnancy to check for any beginning blood clots in the placenta, cord, or the baby itself and hopefully control them before they pose much danger. I can take blood thinners to prevent blood clots in my own body. I can take supplements to up my abnormally low progesterone levels and help my pregnancies stick. I can take action, instead of just sitting around waiting and wondering if my body is going to sabotage itself again. I can do more than just hope.
Also, no matter what, there are these two.
And with all the various odds that are stacked against us, isn't that lucky?