I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I pre-write a lot of my posts. Yesterday I was so fired up I wrote two posts – one for immediate release and one for today. I’ve been doing this for a while now. Sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn’t. Like tonight. Last night I spent two hours drafting and rewriting this (hopefully) eloquent post about strength and had every intention of posting it today, but now instead I have other things to say. Tragedy is a great catalyst for posting.
Today… well, a lot of today was all right and then parts of it were a train wreck. Let’s see… I had to wait until 3:30 for my follow up appointment at the OB/GYN. As expected, there were still no heartbeats. This pregnancy is officially over (yes, of course there was still the tiniest glimmer of hope that the doppler yesterday was broken. That’s why it’s positively inhumane that they made me wait until 3:30).
My doctor – and my mother, who I am beyond grateful attended – both talked me into the D&C. For one, it’s guaranteed – I won’t have to wait days or months for my body to do it’s thing. For another, the bleeding will be moderate, not catastrophic. And probably the most compelling reason is that we can send the tissue out for testing and make sure everything was genetically normal.
After the appointment, my mother said, “I sure could use a drink, how about you?” We went around the corner to the TGIFriday’s and got some apps and cocktails. We formed a plan. We talked. You know what I learned? I’ve been incredibly misinformed about her miscarriages. Please disregard everything I’ve ever said about diet pills linked to loss in my family. It was the diet pills – or rather, the high caffeine content in them – that kept her from getting pregnant at all. Her seven miscarriages all came from… ready for this one…immune system issues. At least, that’s what she thinks. My mother has moderate to severe food allergies that were all exacerbated during pregnancy. Not only did she lose most of them at 8 weeks, but she also heard a heartbeat before each seemingly inexplicable loss. She went to specialists and no one could figure it out. The difference in her case is that she had three healthy pregnancies before this started, which she admitted makes it a bit easier to deal with. For some reason her body just started attacking the growing embryos based on the foods she was eating. She carried my sister Allie to term after she restricted her diet and stopped eating the food that was giving her trouble.
So does any of this sound familiar? Um, yeah, just a little. Remember that one of my first symptoms was this ridiculous reaction to high fructose corn syrup. I thought it was cute, but never in a million years did I think it would lead to this. I kept on eating it because the reactions got less intense, especially to solid food form, and because it was Easter and there was lots of candy around. I could sit here and blame myself for not heeding warnings all day long. But who does this happen to? Who? Who loses a pregnancy from freaking food allergies?
I’ve been doing some research and there are numerous links between gluten and miscarriage, but none that I can find about corn syrup. Again, I guess I’m just weird. And of course this is all a theory… until I get the results of the testing. If it comes back normal, which it always did for my mother, then I just think I might be on to something here. It feels so much better to have this theory than it does to just say, “What the hell, this shouldn’t have happened.” I trust genetics. I also believe that the food we eat has massive implications on our health that we cannot fully comprehend. I’m not some high and mighty farm-to-table only nutjob. I’m just a girl who has a strong suspicion that food allergies caused her body to attack healthy embryos. And you know what I can control? My diet.
My plan for now is to eat like shit for a week, drink like a sailor when I feel like it and then go to Cayman and do the same, but tenfold. When I get back I’m going all Paleo. I figure this will take care of corn, dairy, gluten, preservatives and whatever else may be lurking in there. I’m going to request a full allergy panel from my doctor this week but no matter what the results say, I think Paleo is the safest course of action. I would (obviously) do anything to help my chances of not having this happen again. Calming down my immune system seems like a safe bet. And if I somehow manage to drop a few pounds in the process? Well, that’s just an added bonus.
This is nothing at all like the post I planned for tonight. I’m all off in allergy-ville when I wanted to talk about how resilient I was feeling. Maybe I’ll post that one tomorrow.
So my friends and I had planned to meet at happy hour tonight and I’ll be damned if I was going to cancel. My appointment ran a little long since I was bombarding the doctor with questions, and then we went for the apps and by the time we were done it was 5:15. I was supposed to meet up with them 20 minutes away at 5:30. Seeing that I was wearing yoga pants and a plain tee, I convinced my mom to switch outfits with me in the bathroom, pulled my hair into a top knot and left straight from there to go to happy hour. In the course of my travels I somehow dropped my phone under my seat to some unreachable realm, got on the highway going the wrong direction, tried to call my friend using voice command only to get the automated voice to say “POUND! STAR STAR!” and got caught in the turn only lane during rush hour. I am ashamed to admit that I did yell, “Let me in asshole, there are dead babies inside of me!” but thankfully the windows were up. I made it to happy hour – makeup-free, greasy, sweating and wearing my mother’s dress – 15 minutes late. I should note that there is an Old Navy right next to the bar and my original plan was to drink water, then go over and hunt for clearance maternity wear. Instead I used that $20 to buy vodka as I tried to ignore the pregnant person in attendance. It felt weird to drink.
I’ll leave you all with something my mom said. It was actually quite familiar. I have a coworker who is in her 30s and who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. She got the testing and eventual treatment because her mother passed away from it, otherwise she would have had no reason to do the tests. She says that her mother died to save her life. It’s terribly sad, but it does make sense. Today my mom said, “Maybe I suffered all those misses just so I could figure out what’s wrong and tell you.” Again – tragic, but maybe true. She never knew why it kept happening, but she had a good guess. Now today, with the same thing happening to me it seems like it was meant to happen this way. I have a possible cause and solution. Right now, there’s really not more I can ask for.