Monday, January 24, 2011

Frustrating yet reassuring

So...Owen and I headed over to the UT High Risk Pregnancy Center this morning for our appointment with Dr. Owen Phillips.  And I have to say, everyone was right in that we really did like her.  While parts of our appointment were frustrating, others provided reassurance.

What was frustrating:
- Feeling like we went there for no reason.  Turner Syndrome is not something that can be prevented, and usually, never occurs more than once.  We will never know what happened with Lil' Bean but they speculate that is was NOT Turner Syndrome.
- Nothing in our family history makes them suspect that we are carrying any genetic abnormalities.  The geneticist did recommend we be tested to see if we are carries for Cystic Fibrosis since we are of Northern European descent, but no one in our family has Cystic Fibrosis so it is very unlikely that we are carriers.
- They do not recommend the complete panel of testing for recurrent pregnancy loss until you have had 3 miscarriages.  Yes, that's 3.  Why is this you ask?  Well, most insurances don't pay for the testing until after 3 losses.  Seems like a lot to have to go through when you could just test after one...but, I guess this is how they look at it:  with each pregnancy your chance of miscarriage is about 25%, so if 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage, why pay the $1000+ to check you after just one...not that I agree with the insurance folks on this but hey, I don't want to pay out the wazoo for insurance either.
- Dr. Phillips did offer to put us through the panel of testing but she stated she highly doubted they would find anything because none of our history nor our "patterns" pointed to something these tests would find (i.e. genetic abnormalities, hormone problems, uterine structure problems, antibodies, infection). 

We decided to go with her initial recommendation of no additional testing since it may not be covered by insurance and I'd hate to pay $1000 for a bunch of tests that will tell me absolutely nothing.  I'm sure by now you, too, are wondering why we had to go over there this morning if there was nothing they could do for us, but at this point Dr. Phillips did go over some recommendations that she would make to my doctor and this is where the visit made a 180 turn.

What was reassuring:
- Our chances of a 3rd miscarriage are not any higher because of our two previous.
- Since I do have a history of irregular cycles she is going to recommend my doctor recheck my thyroid.  It has been almost a year since I recall this being checked, so probably a good thing we check it again.
- She is also going to recommend me being put on progesterone supplementation when we get pregnant again.  IF I did have a hormonal problem that would make it difficult for my body to sustain a pregnancy, we can A - catch it with this thyroid test and treat it, and B - treat empirically with progesterone to prevent another loss without having to actually go through all the testing to find out if this is the problem.  (I see you going "Ah..." at this very moment, as you have realized, like we did, that she's trying to "cheat" the system and help us prevent another loss without actually running all the expensive tests).  Click here to see why progesterone is so important in pregnancy.
- She is also recommending that my doctor do early ultrasounds and blood work with my next pregnancy.  He did it with Lil' Peanut so likely not something that needs to be recommended, but still nice to hear.

So, not a complete waste of time this morning.  Still not something I can put a bandaid on to make sure it never happens again, but at least we are going to do everything we can right now to make sure we don't have to go back and visit her again (which would mean we'd have suffered another loss). 

We officially have the green light to try again to have another baby.  Thank you all for the prayers and support the past 5 months, we are truly grateful to have such wonderful friends!!!