Tag: rpl

I lost a part of myself that day…

I lost a part of myself that day…

I thought it was going to be easy until it was not. I thought (as a good medical student) it was just a standard medical procedure but then it was more than that. I thought the second time around would be just as the first. I wanted answers, and I wanted them fast. I wanted to know what went wrong, I wanted to fix it. I wanted to understand from a scientific point of view what caused my two precious peanut boys to stop developing. And then, after the D&C was done, and I returned home, I felt an emptiness like I never had before. I lost a part of myself that day and the days that followed.

On the surgical room, the surgeon not only removed a physical part of me but she also took the emotional and spiritual parts of me that could never be replaced.
I vaguely remember going back to school like a zombie, not feeling anything but pain and sorrow. I had to be strong enough to study, take exams, go to medical school interviews, and be a balabusta. No matter what I did, that feeling of emptiness was not going away. Every time I read or saw a video with content related to pregnancy loss, I broke into tears. During those three months of non-stop bleeding (and non-stop niddah), all I wanted was a hug and a kiss from my husband. I was furious, confused, and miserable because of that never ending niddah status. More often than not I blame myself or my overactive immune system or the medications I was on. Then I followed to blame my husband and his nonchalant attitude. Finally, it became my obsession, to the point that my hubby said it was the only thing I talked about.

But how not to be obsessed with the fact that…

I will never kiss my babies.

I will never hear them cry.

I will never change their diapers.

I will never see them crawl.

They will never have a bris, bar mitzvah, or a chasuna.

It does not matter how much time passes, I will always love them and be obsessed because I lost an essential part of who I am. But I will never forget them nor will I ever stop being thankful for allowing me to be a mother for a short couple of months.

I am now able to talk (and write) about my loss without a meltdown, without tears in my eyes. And I have started to research and read scientific journals about the causes and treatments of pregnancy loss, which has helped me find some closure and has convinced me that it was not my fault. I have finally achieved the acceptance status, no more anger, no more resentment. I feel ready to try and love again.

 

RPL: The effects of Age and Aneuploidy

RPL: The effects of Age and Aneuploidy

Just as the external physical body shows signs of aging, such as wrinkles and gray hair, the internal organs and cells also age. Thus, maternal age is one of the most determinant factors in regards to pregnancy success rates and live births. At the age of 40, it is estimated that as much as 30% of embryos are aneuploidy (a cell with an abnormal number of chromosomes), while at the age of 45, this increases to almost 100%. Thus the incidence of embryos with chromosomal abnormalities increase as maternal age increases. Most aneuploidies arise from errors in meiosis, typically due to nondisjunction (inability of a chromosome to properly separate) and account for approximately 50% of first trimester losses, 30% of second-trimester losses, and 3 % of stillborn births. Aneuploidy also accounts for unsuccessful IVF cycles when embryos are not screened.
Amongst the lethal aneuploidy category, 35% cause spontaneous abortions (such as 45X and trisomy 16, 21 and 22); while about 4% cause stillborn births (such as trisomy 13, 18 and 21). Of those aneuploidies that are somewhat compatible with life, trisomy 21, also known as Down syndrome, is the most common autosomal trisomy. Individuals with Down’s syndrome typically show signs of cognitive impairment, heart defects, and muscle weakness. The only other two autosomal trisomies that are detected in appreciable numbers are 13 and 18, however, affected individuals rarely survive the first few months of life.

trisomy21
Trisomy 21/Down’s Syndrome

On the other hand, Klinefelter’s syndrome (male 47, XXY) is an example of a sex chromosome trisomy. Affected individuals commonly show reduced sexual development and fertility, but they often have somewhat normal life spans. Monosomies are the opposite of trisomy, in that individuals affected have one chromosome less, 45 instead of 46. One uncommon monosomy is Turner syndrome (female 45, X0). Affected females have an array of symptoms, as there are a few variations of Turner’s syndrome (fully affected vs mosaicism), but typically include infertility, impaired sexual development, short stature, and heart defects.

Current Available Intervention

Couples who have conceived an embryo with an abnormal karyotype in the past, regardless of the pregnancy outcome, may be offered IVF with preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) or comprehensive chromosomal screening (CCS). PGD encompasses both screening and diagnostic measures, which aims to analyze, select and transfer only embryos that have the appropriate number of chromosomes. PGD has been found to reduce the rate of miscarriage once pregnancy is achieved, but its ability to provide a better outcome for live birth compared to natural conception over time is controversial.

References:

Chromosomal Abnormalities: Aneuploidies | Learn Science at Scitable. (2017). Nature.com. Retrieved 11 August 2017, from https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/chromosomal-abnormalities-aneuploidies-290

Bashiri, A., Harlev, A., & Agarwal, A. (2016). Recurrent Pregnancy Loss. Cham: Springer International Publishing.