Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The One Rare Case

My first miscarriage was an unusual type of loss called a blighted ovum pregnancy that lasted past 10 weeks. Pregnancy and birth are my geekdom, so I find the science fascinating. I'll spare you the details, but if you asked I could talk your ear off. One interesting fact, though, is that as far as scientists can tell, this type of loss is completely random. You can't point to any risk factors and say, oh, you have XYZ, that's why it happened. Any woman in any given pregnancy has exactly the same risk as anyone else. And because it's random, having had it once does not put you at any higher risk of having it again. It's not that common to have a long-lasting blighted ovum once. It's really rare to have it twice. My most recent loss was also a blighted ovum pregnancy that lasted past 10 weeks, which makes me The One Rare Case.

I'm part of a peer-to-peer support group for survivors of preeclampsia. At least once a week, someone will ask what the chances are of having it again. We always quote the statistics: It most often happens in a first pregnancy and doesn't recur. The earlier and more severely you got it the first time, the greater the risk of recurrence. If it does happen again, it's usually later and milder. Regardless, your doctor will monitor you and baby closely. Even if you get sick again, your chances of taking home a living baby are good. But then we add this caution: There are always rare cases.

Statistics mean very little to the individual. If you happen to be The One Rare Case, it won't matter that you had a 99.9% chance of a living child.

I do actually have a number of risk factors that put me at greater risk for recurrent preeclampsia, so it's not that surprising I've had PE three times. But one of my miscarriages was in the second trimester and just four days after a perfect ultrasound when the statistical risk was very low--The One Rare Case. And while I've done everything in my power to manage my various conditions, I've been struck by random bad luck not once but twice. I can't exactly manage randomness.

My first loss was my physically hardest, my second was more emotional, my third affected me spiritually. This one seems to be mental, falling into negative thoughts. I don't believe in jinxes, karma, or manifestation. But having been The One Rare Case over and over, it's hard not to feel cursed. That is what I've been struggling with this time around.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry for your loss. We are praying for you.