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So We Decided to Try Again. Now What? Our 7 Steps to Pregnancy After Miscarriage

7 Steps to Pregnancy After Miscarriage

It has been almost three weeks since I miscarried my twins at 17 weeks.

When I was being released from the hospital childless, the specialist said, “We recommend that you wait until one full menstrual cycle before you try again.” I looked at my wife, completely confused, turned to the doctor and said, “Oh, we’re not trying again.” I was devastated and there was no way I was going to risk going through this living hell again.

The next day at home, two days after the miscarriage, I said to Sara, “I think I could consider trying again at some point.” After a lengthy conversation, we agreed that perhaps it was something we could do again in the future.

The following day, while Sara cooked us breakfast, I declared, “I want to try again.”

These past few weeks have been rough physically and emotionally. But I’ve received so many sympathetic, kind, encouraging, loving, and hopeful words from so many people. All have helped us begin to heal, and some words stick out more than others. Specifically, “Give yourself the time to heal, and when it’s right, try again.”

I say we’ve begun to heal. And I don’t believe that anybody ever fully heals from this type of loss. Everyone handles it differently, on their own time, in their own way. But I do believe that each woman will know “when the time is right” for them to try again to have a baby.

For us, the time is now. Granted, ours is a unique story that involves fertility treatments and numerous “this first, then this” scenarios that often leave us in a holding pattern. So while “the time is now” sounds like the time is now, there are actually quite a few things that need to happen before a baby finds its way into my belly again. And these are what they are…

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  • The Return of My Period 1 of 7
    The Return of My Period
    First things first, my period needs to return before I can begin anything. I've been told it should arrive anywhere from four to eight weeks after the date of my miscarriage. Four weeks puts us as soon as next week, and eight weeks brings us to the middle of February.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • A Saline Infused Sonogram (SIS) 2 of 7
    A Saline Infused Sonogram (SIS)
    When my period arrives, I'll have to call my fertility center to schedule a saline infused sonogram, also called a sonohysterograph. Basically, a saline solution is pumped into my uterus to make it "balloon," with the purpose of allowing my doctor to view it fully and check for any issues that may have developed from or been possible reasons behind my miscarriage, like uterine scarring or newly developed fibroids.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Blood Work 3 of 7
    Blood Work
    In addition to the SIS, I'll have to get blood work done to check my hCG and progesterone levels. If all else is a "go" while these levels are still too high, I'll have to wait another cycle -- or two -- for them to drop before I can try again.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Estrogen Patches 4 of 7
    Estrogen Patches
    After my period returns, and after my saline infused sonogram reveals a healthy uterus, and after my blood work comes back clear, then I'll be able to begin prepping my body for the embryo transfer. This won't be nearly involved as my first two IVF cycles because I now have four embryos frozen and won't have to undergo another egg retrieval, which means no injectable hormones this go-round. I will, however, have to wear estrogen patches on my lower abdomen to thicken my uterine lining so it is primed for the embryo.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Progesterone Suppositories 5 of 7
    Progesterone Suppositories
    After my period returns, and after my a-ok SIS, and after my approved blood results, and after the estrogen patches, then I will have the delight of using progesterone suppositories each night. I had to use these during both previous IVF cycles, and I'm told that it, too, helps the lining of the uterus.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Frozen Embryo Transfer 6 of 7
    Frozen Embryo Transfer
    After I get my period, after my SIS, after my blood work, after the estrogen patches, after the progesterone suppositories, then we'll be able to move forward with the embryo transfer. We have already decided that we will be transferring just one embryo this time.
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Wait 7 of 7
    Wait
    And then we wait. Believe it or not, THIS is the hardest step. Ten days will pass before we find out if all these steps resulted in a positive pregnancy (blood) test. And then we pray that this baby stays inside of me until its due date...
    Photo: iStockphoto

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