Mom to Trisomy 13 Baby – September 2010
and Baby Miscarried March 2011
Montvale, New Jersey
I was 39 had been TTC for almost a year. I finally went to the fertility clinic and spent a lot of money on tests that were not covered by my medical insurance just to find out that I had an FSH of 18 and was perimenopausal. I had diminished ovarian reserve. I could take Clomid and to help me ovulate. I took it and got pregnant the very first cycle on it.
At the first ultrasound I was told there were 3 sacs, one looked empty, one looked the correct size and one they weren’t too sure about. I went back 10 days later and felt very lucky to be told I had one viable pregnancy.
Given my age, I made an appointment for a CVS at 11 and half weeks. I made it to 10 weeks and I started telling people I was pregnant. The CVS appt. came up. My husband took me to the maternal fetal medicine office. We met with the genetic counselor, we were excited because we were going to find out the gender of the baby the next day with the preliminary test results. We went into the exam room. The technician did an ultrasound to see if the baby was in a good position to have the CVS done. We could see the baby on a TV monitor up on a wall. Its ankles were crossed, we watched it moving. The tech kept shaking the ultrasound equipment and it did occur to us that there might be something wrong. She said the baby was not in a good position for a CVS and I should drink some water. Ten minutes later she checked it again, she said it was still not turned correctly and I could go urinate. She checked it again, it was still in the wrong position. Finally the doctor came in and said she would not be able to perform the CVS and we could have it done vaginally by another doctor in the city but she wants us to know the nuchal fold on the baby was bad. Really bad. The baby only had a 20% chance of being normal. Even if the CVS results were ok the baby still only had the same chance of being normal. It could have a serious heart defect. We said don’t bother doing the CVS.
We asked to see the genetic counselor. I asked her to confirm what the doctor had told us. She did. I asked her to please make me an appointment to terminate the pregnancy as soon as possible. It was the day before Labor Day weekend, she worked the phone and finally got me an appointment at a clinic for the next morning. We were in shock. When the genetic counselor says you have a 1 in 100 chance of this or that you never think you are going to be the 1 but someone is and it was me. I cried hysterically countless times; at work, at home, in my car, buying clothes for my 4 year old son in a store full of baby clothes, at news of someone else having a child or being pregnant.
I felt so guilty for feeling so badly about someone else’s good fortune. I don’t think anyone close to me really knew what to say to me to make me feel better. I don’t think there was anything to say that could have anyway. We had the fetal tissue tested and six weeks later the genetic counselor called me. The baby had had a chromosomal abnormality, Trisomy 13. This pregnancy should not have made it to 12 weeks even. I was grieving the loss of that baby for months.
I finally found a support group called Heartbreaking Choices and the people there helped me a great deal. My goal between each monthly support group meeting was to have less crying breakdowns. It took many months but I saw improvement. I was recovering.
During this time I was still trying to get pregnant and someone mentioned to me I should try Reiki. So I went to a spa and had a Reiki treatment and lo and behold I got pregnant again. At six weeks I had an ultrasound and there was nothing but a sac and so I had a blighted ovum. I went for a d&c, I cried on a hospital cot for hours while waiting for the surgery. My pregnancy losses were piling up. I was crushed all over again.
Since then I have had a few more sessions of Reiki and had three chemical pregnancies. It’s frustrating. I get sad and can barely stand to see a stroller or a pregnant woman. It’s hard for me. Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan. I’ll be giving up trying to conceive at the end of this year.
Sharon can be contacted at email@example.com