Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Losing A Part of Myself, Part 2 (re: Miscarriages)

A lot of things have happened since I last blogged about my miscarriages. Unfortunately, I endured another one in February, just four days before Chandler's 2nd birthday. It's one of those things that can easily bring a person and even a couple down if you let it, but even in our sorrow, we hung on to the belief that God has a reason for all of this. Having one miscarriage is very common, and even having two is fairly common, but four? Like my doctor said, with sorrow in his voice and eyes, four is way too many miscarriages for anyone to have to go though. So, that's why Brent and I decided to pursue genetic testing. My doctor warned us that we may still not have any answers, because so few people in our situation do.

Then, on Valentine's Day, the day before my birthday, I got a phone call from my doctor. In the message, he said the tests definitely turned up some issues that he wanted to talk to me about. I was afraid to call him back because I had no idea what this meant. Naturally, many thoughts began swimming around in my head. What if there was something horrendously wrong with me? What if Brent or I had passed some awful genetic disorder to Chandler?

Finally, I worked up the nerve to call him back. His voice was calm and reassuring as he talked to me. He told me that Brent's tests all came back normal, but that mine showed a genetic abnormality called balanced Robertsonian translocation. With a shaking hand, I wrote this down on the notepad beside my bed. My first question was how this was going to affect me, and my second question was how this was going to affect Chandler. He told me not to worry, that this abnormality will never affect either of us except when I am trying to conceive a child. Most likely, Chandler doesn't even have this abnormality, and even if he does, there is only a slight chance that he and his future wife will have the same problems I have had with carrying babies to term.

He encouraged me to talk to others and do some research of my own to help me understand more about this genetic abnormality, and then he told me he would like for us to visit a genetic counselor as a couple so we could get more specific information so we could make informed decisions about what steps to take next. Surprisingly, I got another phone call just two days later from a perinatal genetic couselor at Northside Hospital's Women's Center with an appointment for Monday, February 20. This happened to be President's Day, and both Brent and I were off work. Now, is that a God thing, or what?

Before we went for the appointment, Brent and I agreed that if the counselor advised us not to have anymore children, then we weren't even going to try. There is no way that either of us would knowingly put a child in danger.

When the counselor came to get us in the waiting room, she was very friendly and welcoming. She made us feel comfortable right away. First, she showed us a map of Brent's chromosomes which are normal. Then, she showed us a map of my chromosomes. One pair of my chromosomes (14) is incomplete, but the missing part is attached to another chromosome (13). It's so weird! I never knew anything like this could happen. The reason this abnormality does not affect me is because my body balances everything out on it's own (hence the "balanced" Robertsonian translocation). The problem comes in when we conceive a child. If the chromosomes are not lined up correctly ("unbalanced" Robertsonian translocation), then a fetus cannot live past the first trimester because of all the defects that are present. Thus, the most probable reason why I have had four miscarriages, all within the first trimester.

Obviously, my chromosomes can line up correctly with Brent's, though. This is why we have Chandler. If you ask me, it is totally a God thing! He gave us Chandler at just the right time that he wanted us to have him, and I am so thankful that he did. He is a precious light in my life, and I am ever thankful for him.

In the long run, we were given the green light to try for more children if we desire to do so. The catch? It's like rolling a dice. It is probable that I will have more miscarriages, but is is also probable, that with enough tries, we can have another child of our own. Will we keep trying forever? I don't think so. Will be try at least one more time? If you know me, then you know the answer is yes. I am not going to give up that easily.

My main desire is to please God with the choices I make, and right now we are going to lean on him for the answers to the questions we have. Like my doctor said today at my yearly exam (the same doctor mentioned above who has been with us each time we faced miscarriage), God knows what He is doing, even when we don't completely understand, and that is enough for me.


  1. I cried just about the whole time reading this! So sad and Heartfelt. I'm glad you have been able to talk to people, doctors, etc. I'm also glad you have made the decision to not give up so easily. Trust God. That's all you can do. Have Faith. At the same time, I'm sure your very inspiring to many people that do have miscarriages and just give up. I hope this message helps those people to never give up. I have 3 kids, but never had a miscarriage. I can't say I know what your going through, though I almost lost my oldest daughter when she was 6 months old. I will pray for you and your family. I wish the best for you, Salena. Your a wonderful person and again, so inspiring!

  2. salena... wow... your transparency is so beautiful. thank you for sharing. what an evidence of God's grace you must see everyday you look at sweet chandler! he is truly a blessing and gift from the Lord. i will be praying for you and brent.