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Daily Needle in the Stomach, Something I'm Strangely Looking Forward To

By Devan McGuinness |

Factor V Leiden & Pregnancy (via Babble.com)If you have been following my story here for a while — or read either of my two blogs, you will know that I just experienced my 13th miscarriage — though I define them as 12 miscarriages + one stillbirth. That feels weird for me to type out — like I am some kind of freak, but being staying pregnant is not an easy task for us. I am not complaining; I have learned a lot through this path and am happy that we have had three very successful and healthy pregnancies so far. I am hoping to get rid of this baby fever and the nagging feeling someone is missing and complete our family with Babe #4.

I will go more into detail in a few other posts, but I have had much testing done to find out what is going on with my body and all the miscarriages and have been “lucky” enough to have diagnosed the issues. They are “treatable” though not without any promise of losses, as noted by my last miscarriage, but we at least have a plan and an answer.

One part of the diagnosis for me is a blood clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden. It’s not a disease — it’s an inherited (genetic) disorder that can increase chances of developing abnormal blood clots. Most with this mutation don’t know it, or do and never have any issues and some (like me) can develop deep vein thrombosis or issues with blood clots when on birth control or pregnant.

For me, they have been at least part of the cause of my miscarriages and because of this — my pregnancies are a bit different. Even the trying to get pregnant phases need some medications.

Thankfully, I have something I can do – it helps me cope with the anxiety. While I am trying to conceive, I take a daily low-dose aspirin which helps thin the blood. Once I get my positive pregnancy test and as long as there aren’t any other issues (like my low progesterone), I start to take a medication that is stronger than the aspirin, and does a better job at reducing clot risks. The only thing is I have to give myself a needle everyday. In my pregnant stomach — and I take that daily from the moment I am pregnant until 8 weeks postpartum when the risk of clots in the average person is reduced.

I was totally iffy about it the first time, but after so much loss I was willing to try anything. After a few weeks of getting used to the whole thing, it became a calming ritual for me to do everyday. It helped a lot with the anxiety knowing that there was something that I could do and oddly enough, I am looking forward to it again.

For many it may seem a huge setback and hindrance during pregnancy, another thing to complain about and wish the days away. But, for me — it’s comforting to know that I am doing something when I can otherwise feel so powerless and afraid.

Photo credit: glass syringe on Shutterstock

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About Devan McGuinness

devanmcguinness

Devan McGuinness

Devan McGuinness is the writer of the lifestyle blog Accustomed Chaos. After surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan founded Unspoken Grief, a resource and support site for perinatal and neonatal loss. Read bio and latest posts → Read Devan's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Daily Needle in the Stomach, Something I'm Strangely Looking Forward To

  1. Jessica P. says:

    I have been taking these daily injections for about 16 weeks now. My husband (who is much braver than I) does them for me. In a strange way, it’s a comforting ritual we can share in taking an active role in keeping our baby safe.

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