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Hi - my first appointment is tomorrow and I'm x-posting this to the PAL board in order to get as much help as possible. I'm seeing the same high-risk specialist as my last pregnancy in which we lost our baby at 18 weeks. The doctor couldn't explain what caused the loss but said it was most likely caused by my abnormal uterus. I have had one prior successful full-term pregnancy (almost 18 years ago).
I have a bicornuate uterus (a heart shaped uterus) and when I had my u/s the day we lost the baby, my uterus contained many blood clots. They had never mentioned prior to that that there were blood clots in my uterus (I had had about 8 u/s up till then).
The day started with me passing a fist sized clot and bleeding bright red, I went to the ER but I had no cramping, u/s showed a healthy baby (with the blood clots). I was told everything was fine - some women just have blood clots that they pass normally. I was sent home and cramping started at home (about 8 hours after I first passed the blood clot). The sac started to come out at home (within the first 10 minutes of cramping) Rushed back to hospital, baby had no heartbeat and I delivered him about 7 hours later.
I really have no other option in terms of the doctor I see - there are no other resources in my area. I want to ask the doctor many questions and get all the tests necessary to help ensure a successful pregnancy. I'm not sure if I have a blood clotting disorder - what test would detect that? Is there anything else the doctor should be testing for? Does anyone know what would cause a build up of blood clots?
I'm a May DDC member and lost my baby at 18 weeks too. You want to ask your doctor for a blood clotting disorder panel, they are pretty standard. I would also ask to start taking baby aspirin to prevent clotting. I take it, though I don't actually have a blood clotting disorder (they run in my family so I dodged a bullet there). I would also ask for increased monitoring - extra u/s, and biophysical profiles and NSTs towards the end. In addition, I would ask about placental abnormalities, like placenta previa and subchorionic hematoma that can cause bleeding during pregnancy and even stillbirth. Here are some resources you might be interested in:
I really understand your fear. Even though I know the cause of my son's stillbirth, I'm terrified of losing this baby too. Please feel free to check out the Stillbirth board for support. You may have been told that it's not a stillbirth if the baby died before 22 weeks, but that's an old type of classification, nowadays if you delivered the baby it's considered a stillbirth. The girls of the Stillbirth board got me through a very tough time, and there are several other Stillbirth mommies in our DDC too.
Thanks for your help Rebecca. The resource lists you compiled are really useful and I'm sure will help many women. I did start taking aspiring just based on reading the posts on this board. I figured it couldn't hurt at this point.
Part of the problem with asking for increased monitoring is my DH is totally against it. He blames the doctors and hospital for what happened and since the doctors couldn't really explain why this happened, my DH doesn't think they are useful. He would prefer I see a midwife and stay away from all unecessary intervention. Our differing opinions is just another added stress right now. I do believe I need to be closely monitored for blood clots but if there's nothing they can do about them, then what's the point?
There are things they can do about blood clots. The most common treatment is a drug called Lovenox, it is an injectible blood thinner. A whole bunch of ladies here take it. Bedrest is another treatment. I'm sure there are others, I just don't know them. And any good midwife is going to tell you that you are too high risk for her care and send you to a high risk doctor. Are there any other doctors in neighboring towns? Some of the girls here travel several hours to see their specialists.
I don't have too much to add other than make sure that you write down everything you want to ask the doctor. Also write down the answers that you get. Seems simple enough, but it is a huge help. I did this throughout my pregnancy and it was so nice to have those "notes" to refer to.