Saturday, December 6, 2008

Here We Are, the End of the Year.

So it is December. We are thinking about picking out our tree and perhaps throwing a small Christmas party. After all, someone needs to help us drink all that spiced wine I make.

We just returned from a great week in Chicago. Rarely do we have that much time to visit with family and friends. A week felt like a luxury. We got some snow the last few days we were there which made me very happy.

Today is a beautiful day in Portland. Cold and clear with blue skies which is abnormal for this time of year. We installed light blocking shades in our bedroom last night...totally necessary for city living. I can't believe we've gone this long without them! After a nice night of sleep we woke up and took the dogs for a walk on Mount Tabor. For those of you who've never been to Portland Mount Tabor is our neighborhood park and also has the designation of being the only volcano in an American city. That's right, our local park is a volcano! Don't worry though, it is extinct. No eruptions anytime soon. Now Mount Hood is a different matter. It has been trembling more and more lately. Here is a photo of Mt. Hood as seen from our walk this morning.

Here are some more photos from our walk.

Here are a few random photos of Jelly. First is her pirate eye patch for her bad eye.

Jelly's Halloween Costume.

In other exciting news I stumbled on a book that has changed out lives.

This book explains that 50% of miscarriage is just nature running it's course. That means that 50% of miscarriages are the result of TREATABLE CONDITIONS. Such a simple reverse of logic why have we never looked at our problems from this perspective? Perhaps the most frustrating angle to our experience has been the countless doctors and genetics councilors who have simply told us to "keep trying". Keep trying huh? I wonder if a single one of those people has ever lost a child. Can they possible fathom what they are asking us to do? The grief, anxiety and depression we will walk through if we lose a baby again? My guess is NO.

Well, now we have hope. This book led me to several others which are educating me on all the prepregnancy testing we should have been receiving this entire time. Testing that no doctor has offered us. Testing to show everything from genetic problems to blood clotting issues. Tests that have been there waiting for us all along. When we lost the last baby we went to one of the mostly highly acclaimed research hospitals on the west coast for me to have a D&C. At this hospital we saw a genetics specialist. When I asked for further testing including testing the "products of conception" (another horrible medical term) I was told that they would not run tests until I had lost 3 pregnancies. In other words we are expected to simply go home, 'try again' and only then if we lose another baby will they "consider" further testing.

As I am sure you can all understand we are now processing some serious anger about our lack of medical care. According to my research the single most important test is to check the miscarried fetus for abnormalities. This should have been done with the first pregnancy since I miscarriage after 10 weeks (when most chromosomal abnormalities miscarry by), and my second pregnancy since I already had a history of losing pregnancies. Not only were we not tested, we were scoffed at for daring to ask before we have lost 3 babies. I mean really, are we living in the dark ages? There is absolutely no reason to be treated with this lack of concern when you are losing children.

Now, the good news. Through this research I learned of two Perinatal centers here in Portland that work with couples like us. Unfortunately one is at the research hospital we attended so I am skeptical about that one. We are going to call the other center after the new year and see what their approach is. I will no longer take no for an answer. I will no longer allow a doctor to imply that I am hysterical or imbalanced for wanting answers. I will no longer accept a doctor that implies I am wasting his or her time with my questions.

So, some sadness and frustration but a silver lining. This is the first time in a long, long, time that we have felt hope. Now I am holding my breath and hoping that our insurance will cover the testing. Remember, the medical community doesn't believe we have a medically necessary situation here. urrrgggghhhh.... Wish us luck and send us your prayers and positive thought, we are going to need it.

If you would like to understand further what we have been experiencing, paste this link into your browser and watch the short video at the bottom of the page:

If any of you know people going through fertility struggles, please refer them to these books. I wish I had known of them earlier:

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