To Full Term

When tag-surfing today, I came across this post which talked about the book To Full Term by Darci Klein. I’ve not heard of it before, but it sounds really interesting. It deals with miscarriage, and the author’s struggles with miscarriage and pre-term birth, and what she wished she knew after her first pregnancy ended. Here is an excerpt from her website:

The book weaves in medical information that can help prevent loss, and urges women to seek testing after miscarriage to protect future pregnancies. Medical guidelines don’t require physicians to test for a cause of miscarriage, saying that doctors can consider testing after two or more losses. So unless families ask for testing, many get no diagnostic evaluation.

I didn’t know this. I was correctly diagnosed only after enduring my daughter’s preterm birth and losing four children. Sadly, my experience is not rare. Doctors who specialize in diagnosing causes of loss regularly see patients with three, four, even five losses – and no prior testing has ever been completed.

My sister had three miscarriages before she had her two pregnancies that she carried to term. After the first miscarriage, everyone said, “It’s just one of those things. Maybe the baby was deformed in some way, and this is just nature’s way of taking care of the situation.” After the second miscarriage, she asked her doctor for diagnostic tests, but was told that they wouldn’t do it until she’d had three miscarriages. Three. Three dead babies. Three heart-aches of several months’ duration. [I’m not sure if it was her insurance company that wouldn’t pay for the referral, or if the specialist wouldn’t accept patients without that many fetal deaths.]

But the problem was fairly simply diagnosed and repaired: she had a septated uterus, possibly due to DES exposure when she was a fetus. She had laparoscopic surgery to remove the uterine wall, and was able to carry two babies to term. (Since there was the possibility that her miscarriages may have been due to low progesterone, she was also placed on medication in early pregnancy. Even though it was more likely that her miscarriages were due to the septum than low hormones, she didn’t want to take that chance, so used them for both of her successful pregnancies.)

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