Friday, December 7, 2007

Thoughts on Surrogacy, Miscarriage, Diagnosis & Courage

By Lisa G, 36, BU

I've thought about it, as in if it comes to that I'll at least entertain it. But I'm not there yet, even with 2 m/c behind me. I'm not sure what your reproductive history is, and certainly each person's experience is unique. Having said that, m/c absolutely positively suck, there's no two ways about it. They break your heart, they pull the rug out from under you, they take you to some pretty ugly places (at least mine did). But I know too many people who have had miscarriages and gone on to have healthy, beautiful babies. And I haven't yet been knocked out for the count by them (fortunately).

As someone who always thought I had a normal uterus (as I'm sure every single one of us on here did), it does come as a shock to realize that your parts aren't what you thought they were. It does suck that you have to take a crash course on reproductive medicine and know enough to weed out idiot doctors. I've been to more docs in the past 5 years than I have in my entire 31 years prior to that.

But, it isn't by any means hopeless. And the good news is you have an amazing group of wise, savvy women here who are glad to help.

If you truly want to go the surrogate route and feel that's what's best for you then by all means do it. But if you're making that decision out of panic and anxiety and fear, may I gently suggest that you let the dust settle a bit. Just because no doc you've seen has yet given a clear answer doesn't mean there isn't one to be found and it may be a bit early yet to throw in the towel. You might find that after you feel sorry for yourself, and kick and scream and wonder "why me???!!!" that you decide to pick yourself up and put one foot in front of the other and continue looking for answers. You are not alone. Many women have gone before you.

When I first met with my ob/gyn after we'd decided to jump on the ttc bandwagon, he found I had a thyroid that was 2-3 times the size of normal. I was shocked. Then he ordered a pelvic MRI (we already knew I had large fibroids) to see more clearly where my fibroids were and whether or not surgery was indicated. From that they suspected that in addition to large fibroids I also had what looked like a bicornuate uterus. I couldn't believe they'd found one more thing wrong with me. It totally knocked the wind out of me.

I was told by my ob/gyn during my first HSG that "I've seen bicornuate before, but I've never seen a bicornuate like that before." (he'd been in practice a long time). The diganosis by the radiologist was that I had a UU. Even I knew that wasn't right. I consulted with an RE locally who told me that it could be bicornuate or it could be a septum but that a septum only slightly increased the chances of miscarriage. Fired him. Then I went to "mecca" at Cleveland Clinic and realized again that I knew more than the "specialist" I was seeing. I lucked out on my 3rd try and travelled 10 hours to Philly to undergo a myomectomy and a Strassman to reunify my bicornuate (not typically done).

All of this to say that you may be stronger than you think and you may want to gather a little more info before making your decision (or you may already know it's the right decision for you). I will say that on this journey, I've met the most incredible, brave, courageous women. And if I could offer anything to you it would be to know that while life can pull the rug out from you at times, there are the most amazing gifts that come from unexpected detours, twists, turns and crashes. I've never been able to outrun my pain, or eat enough ice cream to drown it, but when I finally was willing to look it in the face, it wasn't nearly as scary as I thought. And in a strange, unexpected way it has made me a better human being.


Linda said...

Who did your surgery in phily? Have you been able to concieve since the surgery.


Jen said...

I too have add 2 m/c (7 weeks & 20weeks)and was recently diagnosed with a SU. This journey has been very difficult for me, reading your posting has made me realize I am not alone. After our last m/c I realized I had to get some answers and I wasn't ready to give up just yet. As you said I put one foot forward and began the most important journey of my life. I chose to researh my condition and consult with many doctors until I found the right group. I have a great group of doctors and I feel confident and trust that they will do all they can to improve our pregnancy outcome. In the next month I will undergo surgery to repair my SU. I am excited to move forward and get closer to my dream of one day having a baby. Life can be tough but I feel through all of its ups and downs we eventually grow into stroger and better human beings.