I missed another baby shower. This time because of the stomach flu (no, not the swine flu). Convenient timing, saved me from really having to work through the social anxiety bomb that goes off in my head and heart at the thought of baby celebrations. I was of course in the week leading up to said shower busy prepping myself for it. Doing my mental yoga, saying my mantras, drinking lots of wine, and shopping for them. This friend is having her first baby and I am truly delighted for her. What a relief, to not have to work at feeling happiness for another lucky couple.
Out I went, shopping for a nice gift. Normally our budget for these things is quite small, with me opting to make a lovely handmade gift. Alas, time got the best of me and the boutiques of Portland did not disappoint. I dove into my favorite store for baby gifts and then a funny thing happened. I woke up 45 minutes later with a bag full of presents and no idea where the time went. I made the dazed trek home and presented the gifts to Scott. He voiced some rational concern over the amount of money I had spent which was double our budget. I found myself explaining to him and me that I panicked, I blanked, I went on overloaded autopilot. My superstitious side took over and I felt that by shopping and suffering I was making an offering at the altar of fertility. That somehow if I could survive these stores full of reminders of our loss and give our friends the most beautiful baby gifts, the baby gifts I would like to receive, then our chances at having our own would be boosted. Like I was buying stock in the Karma merry-go-round.
After that uncomfortable realization I thought about returning half the gifts to the store. I decided I've learned what I needed to from that odd experience. I will give the beautiful gifts with love in my heart. It helps to replace the bad feelings with good feelings.
Yesterday I went back to my Naturopath for the results on what looks like the last round of testing. 2009 has been full of blood draws and funny charts on papers being explained to me. This time the jury is in and my hormone levels are officially fucked. My progesterone is so low it might as well not be showing up at all. And apparently I have extreme adrenal fatigue. I had a notion about that problem a year ago but my last doctor never tested for it, or the hormones for that matter. What a relief to now have a doctor who listens and believes in testing. She was able to say that while we will never prove it, she is confident the second miscarriage was caused by the extreme lack of progesterone and the first was most likely due to the genetic blood clotting factor I've inherited.
Oh yeah, the blood clotting thing. I haven't written about that here yet. We went to the big research hospital on the hill, aptly referred to as "The Center for Disappointment (CFD)" by a fellow blogger, to have very specialized testing done. I had read lots and lots of books and had a strong hunch that I carry a genetic mutation that causes lots of miscarriage. We found ourselves in front of a very busy doctor who I had to beg to administer this test. She recommended testing for everything from Lupus to Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome. When I asked repeatedly for my genetic test she finally acquiesced, but only after shooting me a stern look and telling me "in my opinion this is overkill". Four gruelling weeks of waiting ensued and we were once again summoned to the CFD. I was expecting horrible news, diabetes, Lupus, a Heart Condition. Everything was negative....except the genetic mutation.
Now, I believe strongly in my intuition. It has guided me well through many waters in my life. Here it was helping me again. I was so damned relieved not to have any peripheral disease that I didn't ball out the doctor for lecturing me against the very test that helped us. So, now we know....now we have a game plan. Treating the genetic blood clotting factor, treating the hormone imbalance, treating the adrenal fatigue. Our chances are improving every day. I am beginning to dare to hope again. I feel it creeping in like sunlight sneaking through a barely opened door. Could it finally be our time?
I'm not gonna go off on the deep end and wax poetically about how this struggle has turned me into a stronger person. Quite frankly I hate this fucking struggle and I don't wish it on anyone. I hate that I have to walk through iit every day. I hate how jaded I feel, I hate what it's done to my marriage, my friendships, my ability to love, and my finances. But I have learned a few tricks. Now I advocate for myself. Now I'm a lion not to be crossed. Now I can not be convinced that "things are fine" when I know they are not. Now I can not be convinced to return home and "wait for the next time" when I know the next time will be full of tragedy. No longer do I give up my power to someone who "knows more then me". That I have taken with me from this struggle. I believe in my right to health and the health of my future children.
*MTHFR is the name of the genetic blood clotting factor I have. It causes blood clotting and miscarriage when blood can't pass through the placenta to the baby. It also increases my risk for cardiac disease and I will be treating it for the rest of my life. For those of you who text message, or like plays on words in general, you will understand why we have termed this the motherfucker gene.