MTHFR

Just got back from my appointment and learned that I’m one in a million, yay! MTHFR is what I officially have. It’s basically a genetic mutation that prevents my body from being able to absorb folic acid, thus causing neural tube defects and miscarriage. It also seems to go hand-in-hand with immune diseases and deficiencies, which I have.
The good news is that it is possible to have a healthy pregnancy. I have been prescribed a folic acid that will deliver 1,000 times the amount a normal person would need and I have to start taking it after my first cycle. I haven’t had a cycle since the surgery and I was told not to expect a normal 28-day one. After 2 cycles we can start actively trying to get pregnant. The thing Barry is most excited about is the fact that I am off pelvic rest. Merry Christmas to us! hehe
They drew more blood to test my thyroid and make sure I am showing no HcG hormones (thyroids apparently get screwy after pregnancy and if I still show HcG levels, it means my body still thinks I am pregnant, thus no menstural cycle) I think everything is fine, but I’m glad she is checking. I felt like I ovulated this month (I also felt the horrible pain of my cyst) and I don’t know anything about thyroids (Abby says I wouldn’t notice anything, it’s hormonal), but I would assume that something would feel different if there was anything wrong. I feel fine.
I was told to get off the iron supplements because even though having MTHFR means that I anemic, I am not lacking in iron and too much iron could actually make me ill.
The thing I am focused on now is getting a period (weird thing to fixate on) and finding out if this will cause problems in my life without pregnancy in the picture.
Barry was so funny at the exam. She shooed my mom and sister out of the room (along for moral support and to ask questions) and Barry tried to leave with them. She made him sit there while she did an internal exam and he was so uncomfortable that he played on his cell phone and ignored all her chatter. I asked him what was wrong when we got in the car and he said, “I don’t want to see the clinical side of it, I just want to keep the sexual side of it”. I thought it was funny, but I did tell him that he is crazy. How does he think it is going to be when I am giving birth? lol I am totally fine with it because having someone down there has become a pretty normal part of life. But he needs to get over that! He is so forward thinking about so many things but this one caught be off guard.
The other thing I learned was that he is angry. Like super angry about our loss. He hasn’t spoken about it since the surgery but he has been acting different. I know he is stressed at work and has a lot on his plate so I just kind of figured that was it. After talking with Nate on Sunday, he realized that it was a deep anger that was causing the problem. I’m sad for him because it manifested as sadness in me and I have been dealing with it since day one. Talking, sharing with others, researching, reading, praying and hoping. But Barry has just sat there, unmoving. So I guess I can see how it could become overwhelming and eventually boil over into this intense anger.
My little brother is here staying the night, so we haven’t had the opportunity to talk since my appointment, but I plan to talk with him tonight. I want to find out where he stands. I certainly don’t want to rush him into anything but I am hoping that the appointment helped and not hurt him. If, after 2 more weeks he still feels this way, I will suggest that he talks to someone, because it’s not healthy after that.
I think a part of me will always be sad. I will always be a mother and Barry will always be a father, but I found a healing inside that he hasn’t experienced yet. It hasn’t made the situation go away, just made it easier to handle. Especially after today. After getting some answers.
Anyway, I hope the next 6-8 weeks fly by and that 2011 will bring us the new and exciting adventure of pregnancy.
If I don’t update again before Christmas, have a wonderful day!! 🙂

On our 5 year anniversary….

I found out I was pregnant. Yeah. It’s been a wild week. I got back from TAEA (November 10-14) with so many ideas and a new outlook for my classroom. I was so tired but ready for Monday morning to come so I could share some of my new ideas in my classroom (got a ton of new stuff for my inclusion kids). The same night, I took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. I was worried because I only took it on a whim. Remember last month when I said we thought we were pregnant but we weren’t? Wrong. (This would explain my bitchy-ness at TAEA and the crying to a Cranberries song…lol)
I started what I thought was my period on November 8th but it never ended. I took a test just to ease my mind about the bleeding. But that didn’t ease my mind at all. Barry couldn’t stop smiling at me and I couldn’t stop worrying. I wanted to be happy and excited but I was so concerned that something was wrong. Went to the doctor on Monday afternoon, they did blood work. When they got the results back on Tuesday, it was "congrats! you are pregnant"…ok, deep breath. Now what? They want to check my levels to make sure everything is fine and they are not concerned about the bleeding because I am considered young and "low-risk". Some women just bleed. I go back on Thursday for more blood work. My leves are going up but my progesterone is low so they supplement me. Everything looks good. Just take it easy, rest and take my horomones. That’s how I started my weekend.
I had a few pregnancy symptoms. Hurty boobies, emotional, happy husband. This was all starting to feel real.
My due date would be July 15, our families were getting together at my house for Thanksgiving for the first time in 5 years and everything seemed to be aligning perfectly.
Sunday I started to bleed more than I had in the last 2 weeks of bleeding. I got undressed to shower and started to bleed on the floor. I knew in that moment that something was wrong. Barry had me call the doctor and she sounded concerned too, so we set up an appointment for Monday morning. She said she expected to see one of 2 things. Either no baby, meaning a chemical pregnancy (a fancy term for super super early miscarriage) or our baby. When she ended up seeing was even a complete surprise to her. She said she had not seen a case like this in over 15 years and the last time she saw it, it was in her residency. Not comforting and of course it is happening to me.
Basically, we were pregnant, but somewhere along the way our baby was not getting what it needed to develop properly and eventually stopped living. He (I like to think of it as a "he", although I have no idea…) was lacking a head and a heart beat. I could see him very clearly on the ultra sound. Barry just sat in his chair and still as our baby’s heart beat. We were both in shock.

My doctor thinks I have a condition that prevents me from being able to absorb and use folic acid correctly. A normal woman may not even need folic acid, and what little they need is in a prenatal vitamin. But I need 400 times more than the normal person. A developing embryo needs that folic acid, especially in the 3rd and 4th weeks (when most women don’t even know they are pregnant, like me) when they develope their neural tubes. If they don’t get it, they develope conditions like spina bifida and growth defects.
Needless to say the next desicion I found myself making was not what baby colors to put in the room, but whether I was going to have a D&C or a home abortion.
The sadness that took over my heart for the next 2 days cannot be described. All I can say is that I am glad we know now. I am glad that we are doing genetic testing (especially since this condition is so rare that there is no standard test for women). I’m glad that my child did not have to suffer. I am proud to forever be a mother. I am closer to my husband than ever before. I have the best and most supportive friends and family, and that I serve a wonderful God. I really do believe all those things. I am greatful for all those things. I wish that I was sharing happy news with my family this Thanksgiving. I wanted to make my parents grandparents so badly. But now that we have the testing underway, we have a better chance at getting a healthy baby.
In 4 weeks I will know more.
Yesterday, as I lay on the hospital bed, grieving for the loss of our little peanut, I told Barry I didn’t even want to go through this pain again. It’s not fair. It hurts my heart more than I could ever hurt physically. I was angry. I have 590 students, many of whom their parents did drugs while pregnant with them, are not involved in their lives, or were "accidents" and it seems so unfair. Why can’t I have a healthy baby even when I do everything right? And I know I crushed Barry with those words. I begged my doctor for a birthcontrol Rx and I sobbed until they finally gave me some meds to calm me down. I was scared of the surgery. Scared of the humiliation, The loss. I felt like I was being robbed. But the staff was so sweet, kind and supportive. Once I finally calmed down, all that was left was what had to be done, the wonderul nurses and my supportive family. They didn’t get to share in the joy of finding out I was pregnant…only in the grief and loss of finding out I was misscarrying.
This morning when I woke up, I felt more hopeful. I didn’t cry in the shower for an hour and I didn’t feel so sad. I know a part of me will always feel sad fo rour loss, but I feel more hopeful for the future. It’s still worth it to try again.
As I sit here on Thanksgiving Eve, I am more thankful than ever. Thankful for my family and friends, my wonderful husband, my doctor who will help to diagnose our problem, for my wonderful God who protected our little peanut , for my body that knew what was best the whole time, for the fact that I could even get pregnant in the first place…just for everything.
I’m still sad, but I am thankful. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I will.