Thursday, May 08, 2008

Coming to Terms

Amongst my hours of researching recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) online, I came across this book, “Coming to Term: Uncovering the Truth About Miscarriage,” by Jon Cohen. The author and his wife have also experienced four consecutive miscarriages after one live birth. He is a correspondent for Science magazine (very notable in the science community). He chronicles his journey about gathering “the most comprehensive and accurate information on miscarriage.” He focuses on three clinics; one in Vancouver, one in Boston, and one in London.

The conclusion of his findings? “After the loss of three or more miscarriages, women will, with no treatment, carry to term nearly 70% of the time.” (Assuming all tests give normal results: clotting problems, Rh factor, or other common diagnosis being treated.) This statement gives me hope. I’ve read pages and pages of unending statistics: first-born male stats, age stats, gestation stats, and stats about stats. The conclusion? The fact that a baby is conceived and delivered in full health is purely a miracle. Each. And. Every. Time.

I was amazed at Cohen’s research at IVF clinics that offered PGD (the testing and discarding of chromosomally abnormal embryos): most embryos were abnormal and had either too few or too many chromosomes. Most embryos are not normal, whether conceived in the lab or in utereo.

The sad truth that Cohen mentions is that there is comparatively little recent research about miscarriage because of the lack of funding from the government and pharmaceutical companies. There is no money to be made. Nature is nature and that is that. Any research that is done is usually because of personal interest and passion for RPL.

We have been asked how long we’ll keep trying for another child. I guess the answer to that question is “We don’t know.” If I had known what we would experience seventeen months ago, I don’t know if I would have had the strength to endure. I don’t know where we will be in our journey in 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months. The decision to not try again isn’t easy.

On the positive side, my pelvic ultrasound results came back and everything is normal. Wonderful. So why is this happening? We may never know. As my Bible study group continues to move through Daniel, I have loved the eschatology and the supremacy of God’s timing. I take comfort in that.

You ask if Cohen had a second child? He wife became pregnant (unplanned) at age 41 after ten years and delivered a little boy. She had another miracle baby at the age of 44 when she decided to end her years of birth control.


april said...

Wow that was very insightful Hillary. I'm glad that you are healthy! I guess I have taken for granted that babies are truly a miracle. hmmm. And as your friend, thank you for being an example of walking by faith. I know you have your moments but thank you for sharing them too.

Jennifer said...

I was reading through your blog and I saw that you quoted Jeremiah 29:11. I cannot tell you the strength I have gained from that promise in the past year. There were times when I really felt like I was being punished and God was bound and determined to teach me a lesson. How comforting is it to know that the God that made this universe has intricate plans for my life and He wants me to be happy and filled with hope, resting in His promise!

I am so sorry for the pain you've been through with your losses. I've heard about this book "Coming to Term" and now I think I'll definitely need to read it.

There is so much I've learned on this journey, and I've realized that I am one who took the birth of a child so granted also. I find myself now whenever I see a baby, or a pregnant belly, thinking about how fragile and precious and how HUGE a miracle the creation of a new life is.

I'll be watching/reading and praying for you!

Glenn+Jenn+Owen said...

Hillary and Dan...praying for you guys, thanks again for sharing the most intimate longings of your heart on your blog. Jenn