A Year In…

It was a year ago yesterday we experienced our first miscarriage and little did we know the road it would propel us on. One of the reasons I started blogging was to share more about our pregnancy loss journey. We have more answers today than we did a year ago, but the end is still uncertain.

(Side note: I originally referred to it as infertility- but my doctor explained to me that infertility is the inability to get pregnant, which isn’t our issue. We’ve been pregnant three times in the past year. Our issue is maintaining the pregnancy.)

Before I jump too far ahead, here’s a little background for any new followers: Greg and I experienced our first miscarriage November 17, 2018. We were 8 weeks along. Just 5 months later we experienced a second miscarriage, this time 5 weeks along. And now just three weeks ago, we experienced a chemical pregnancy- a ‘miscarriage’ only a few days along.

Baby Parlmer #1, the day we saw its heartbeat, just a few days before we miscarried.

It has been a rollercoaster of a year. One of the most frustrating parts has been the fact that in the medical community 1-2 miscarriages are considered normal. It’s not until 3 or more losses that doctors start to dig deeper into the WHY.

As much as our third loss was again devastating, it opened a new door of tests, treatments, and answers for us. The last few weeks have thus been busy with appointments.

Here is what we now know-I’ve been officially diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Unfortunately there is no standard ‘test’ to diagnose PCOS and it presents itself in many different ways- the most common being ovarian cysts and irregular cycles. Doctors take into consideration the many symptoms, blood tests, & ultrasounds before giving an official diagnosis. Thankfully, all of my blood tests and ultrasounds have come back normal. However, I have enough other symptoms that my doctor felt confident diagnosing me- difficulty losing weight (insulin resistance but not diabetic nor high A1C), excess hair growth (due to androgen levels), acne (androgens again), longer (but regular) cycles, and recurrent miscarriages. In some ways it’s a relief to now have ‘reasons’ for all these symptoms I’ve struggled with most of my adult life. The discouraging news: women with PCOS who’ve had miscarriages have a very high recurring miscarriage rate. This was hard to hear.

But, there is hope. There is not a way to cure PCOS or get rid of it, instead there are ways to decrease and eliminate symptoms. My doctor decided (and Greg and I agreed) to try medication as a treatment option. The encouraging news: with this medication, the miscarriage rate dropped significantly for women with PCOS. We’re excited to see if this works.

We also had chromosome testing done this week (Greg finally got poked too!). These results take a bit longer to come back, but we are curious to see if they will find anything. If they do, we will be referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist for genetic counseling. We are hoping this isn’t the case, but glad to know there are options if it is.

To feel like we’re moving forward and to have some answers is so reassuring. For the past few months we’ve felt stuck. After my appointment Friday I sat in my car and cried. There are so many emotions throughout this process-grief, obviously, but Friday I was overcome with relief and hope. My doctor is phenomenal. She is extremely knowledgeable but she’s also a strong Christian. She spent half of my appointment reminding me of God’s promises, encouraging me by sharing her own experiences, and praying. I think the biggest reason the tears came was because of her genuine compassion. To feel so cared for and seen was what my heart so badly needed.

After this week, we’re almost giddy again. We feel like we have options. We have hope.

God has been faithful through this entire process and we pray every day that HIS will be done. It’s a scary prayer, but His ways have always been better than ours. We also covet the prayers of our family, friends, and followers. We believe there is power in prayer and we are SO grateful to have you walking alongside us on this journey. So many of you have been the hands and feet of Jesus to us already.

For anyone reading that is struggling with infertility, pregnancy loss, etc…I am always hear to listen, talk, and pray. Knowing you’re not alone is so reassuring and I’d love to pray for you by name. You matter.

Whatever any of you may be going through, know this: God is good. Sometimes the road feels long and discouraging, but we don’t need to walk it alone. Cling to Him. Reach out to those around you. Trust His promises.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23