Lynn & Michael
Our profile became active on June 1st, 2005 with Parent Profiles, and we were contacted by Sarah, our birthmother, on July 29th. After about a month of corresponding, talking, and going to meet her, Sarah chose us as the couple to raise her son who is due to be born on December 3rd. Sarah is a wonderful, unselfish, and brave young lady! Michael and I feel truly blessed and honored to have more ...
Most pregnancy loss happens in the first trimester, with up to 15% of all known pregnancies being lost in the first 20 weeks. (In the earliest stages, it's called a miscarriage: after 20 weeks, it's called a stillbirth.) Between 50 and 70% of all first trimester miscarriages are probably random events caused by chromosomal abnormalities in the fertilized egg. Usually it's something as simple as the wrong number of chromosomes, which prevent the egg from developing properly. Or the egg may not have implanted properly in the uterus. Usually the precise cause is never known, because pregnancy loss is so common that most practitioners won't do a full work-up unless you've had two or three such losses.
There are a few factors that may predispose a woman to pregnancy loss, including increasing age, getting pregnant within three months after giving birth, having diseases such as lupus or poorly-controlled diabetes, and problems with your uterus or cervix. A family history of birth defects or genetic defects can raise your risk, as can a personal history of two or more consecutive miscarriages.
You may be the first to suspect pregnancy loss, when your breasts suddenly lose their swelling and tenderness or when you start spotting. Sometimes a routine prenatal visit will find no fetal heartbeat or show that your uterus isn't growing as expected. (Often the embryo or fetus will stop developing a few weeks before you have any symptoms.)
You may pass the products of conception - placenta and embryonic or fetal tissue - on your own, either right away or within a week or so of discovering the pregnancy loss. Or you may need a D&C (dilation and curettage), in which the tissues are either suctioned or gently scraped from the uterine walls.
Physical recovery from a pregnancy loss can take up to six weeks, though the emotional impact may linger. You may need time and considerable support, both personal and professional, to heal. Losing a baby is heartbreaking no matter when it happens, and you need to give yourself permission to mourn and to nurture yourself. The good news is that when you feel ready to try again - and when you've been given the okay by your medical practitioner, usually within two to three months - the chances of your next pregnancy being fine are still overwhelmingly in your favor.