Lost Girl

Nearly three weeks later, I finally got the results from the embryo analysis of my miscarried fetus. The embryo was chromosomally abnormal due to maternal Triploidy, 69 XXX. While I was told in a message by my RE that I could find some reassurance in knowing that I did not lose a chromosomally normal embryo (way to look on the bright side Dr. C.), I needed details. I asked my RE’s nurse to email the results and spent all of last night learning about Triploidy, 69 XXX.

XXX = Girl

First of all, I learned that the XXX meant I had lost a girl (It’s been YEARS since I took Biology). This was by far the saddest thing of all. I’ve held it together well since learning that the embryo stopping growing at 6 weeks 1 day, but last night the dame broke. Hubby expressed some concern about my non-stop internet researching (which started up with a vengeance as soon as I got the results), and about what he views as “obsessiveness” and I freaked. I am SO tired of people telling me to relax, right after I get bad news! Yes, I blog and talk about infertility, miscarriage, loss etc. from time to time, but that’s not ALL that I am. I don’t spend all day every day eating, shitting, and breathing infertility (even if I might want to), doesn’t he know that? UGH. I’m still writing my book and redesigning my fitness blog, among a million other things like contemplating the bar exam and deciding whether or not to finish graduate school. I’m still me, albeit recovering from a miscarriage three weeks ago today. SO EXCUSE ME, for being worried, concerned, and sad the evening of getting the weird half good half bad news. And it’s not only him. My mother and some friends have that reaction too. “Just relax. It will happen,” they say. Okay, I get it, I just wrote a blog about “IT” happening. But can I have five minutes to learn about what went wrong? Can I have a minute to mourn having lost one perfectly good female gene carrying sperm to my shitty egg? If and when I finally do get pregnant God strike me down if I ever have the nerve to tell a fellow subfertile or endosister to relax about their baby making fears. Also, keep in mind I wasn’t crying, or yelling, or spazzing out in any way. I was simply researching and reporting my findings during commercial breaks in the movie we were watching. And then, I was simply relaying to my Mother similar things in a late night phone conversation. Moral of the story: NO ONE WILL TAKE YOUR FERTILITY HEALTH AS SERIOUSLY AS YOU DO! And people other then your infertility sisters just will not understand. Grrr.

Daughter Dreams

I didn’t always know I wanted a daughter. I thought my athletic ways would be more suited to a rambunctious boy. I thought I just got along better with boys anyway, being the only girl in the family, the only daughter, the only grand daughter, the only female cousin. I only knew boys, brothers, male cousins. I only knew family gatherings where I was exalted as “the favorite grand daughter,” because, of course, I was the only grand daughter (to this day my Grandpa LOVES telling this “joke”). I had and still have best friends who are guys. And while I have wonderful girlfriends, my pseudo-sisters, I was sure until recently that a family of boys would be best because that’s what I have always known.  Besides, what would I do with a daughter? Her expensive wedding, her luxury tastes, her cat fights with friends? And wouldn’t a daughter be too hard to protect. Protecting myself has been hard enough. While I’m not ready to write about it, to expose the horrors I’ve experienced in their most gruesome forms, I will tell you this, I’ve been a victim. I’m not just a victim of endometriosis, a chronic disease that has impaired my ability to have a child. I am a victim, a survivor, of child abuse. I’ve also been a victim of sexual assault (which I cover briefly in a book I’ve contributed to) .  It’s the simple fact of my gender that’s made me the target of these crimes. It’s because I’m a daughter, sister, niece, that I became a victim at all.

But something changed. Perhaps it was the closeness I’ve obtained with my own mother as I’ve gotten older (despite her and my husband’s “relax” comments I know they both mean well). Perhaps it was the realization that I’m far more girly that I think I am and could envision years of mother daughter bonding over ice tea and fashion magazines (or over kick boxing and hiking). But even deeper still, I think it’s my desire to break the cycle. Because even for what I’ve been through I’m not so bad. I actually like me most of the time. I’m a freaking survivor and I’m an intense, fight for what you want, kick a## at life kind of person. But who would I be had none of that pain been inflicted? How many years of floundering and dangerous experimenting might have  been replaced with a less tumultuous youth, free from self-abuse?

I want to give my daughter that chance. I want to help her be a strong, kick butt kind of girl because she’s secure, not because she’s damaged. I want to learn from the mistakes others have made and be the best darn mom to a daughter that I can be. SO I’ll go ahead and admit it, I want a daughter most of all. Of course I’d be very happy with a baby boy (any baby at all would be a true gift from any and all Gods, I know), but if I can’t have a biological daughter of my own, maybe I will adopt or use an egg donor or go through foster care. There’s no other role I’ve been more sure of, than that I’m meant to be a mother to a daughter. So to learn that I’d lost a baby girl, that a good female gene carrying sperm was lost on my bad egg, was a new kind of devastating.

Triploidy

I still can’t tell if Triploidy chromosomal abnormalities are common or rare based on my research. One paper in particular described Triploidy in the following way (read the entire paper here):

“Triploidy is the most frequent chromosome aberration in first trimester spontaneous abortions. In contrast to aneuploidies due to nondisjunction, increased maternal age is not a risk factor and the mechanism of triploidy remains poorly understood. To date, recurrence of triploidy of maternal origin has been described only in a few families suggesting some underlying genetic factors.”

On the positive side, this particular egg wasn’t bad because of my age, I’m 32. On the not so positive side, I’ve practically convinced myself that I’m going to be one of the rare individuals with “recurrence.” At this point, why wouldn’t I be? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. Not sorry for myself exactly, just doomed. Cursed. Hexed.

Although the article above initially states that Triploidy is “the most frequent chromosome aberration in first trimester spontaneous abortions”, it goes on to say that, “Triploidy occurs approximately in 2% of conceptuses.” If the miscarriage rate is 25% on average and Triploidy is the most common abberation at 2% then something doesn’t add up. I’ve made a note to ask my RE about this, she’s scheduled to call me any minute.

I hope this was a fluke and that someday I’ll get to take home a baby girl (or boy), but I seem to have used up my #itwillhappen steam from a few days ago.

Anyone out there have a miscarriage due to maternal Triploidy? If so, did you go on to have  a healthy baby, via IVF or otherwise?

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26 comments

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  1. gardengirl29

    I am frustrated for you! I know that they’re well-meaning, but you have every right to obsess, research, and grieve this for a while. It’s a big shock, and very tough emotionally. You need to do whatever you can to understand and process it. And you ARE living your life and keeping it together. What people don’t understand is that fertility stuff is a big deal, and that it is pretty much inevitable that it will be a huge part of your life while you’re going through it. That doesn’t mean you’re dysfunctional or not living your life. It just means that infertility and miscarriage is also a part of your life right now, too. It’s normal.

    I had the same problem with a couple of family members expressing their concern for me and wondering why I couldn’t just let things happen. It’s because we’re afraid things will never happen, and we need to process our emotions and research as much as possible so that we know we are doing everything we can.

    It’s frustrating that not a lot is known about triploidy. And I’m so sorry you lost your girl. I would be devastated about that, too.

    Sending big hugs to you, and I hope you hear from your RE soon.

    Like

    • Steph Mignon

      Thanks Garden Girl! I know that even though you’re in a different place with the fertility stuff that you of all people understand. Thank God we’ve been there for each other through this process!

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  2. Daryl

    I think knowing the sex of the embryo takes a loss like this out of the abstract and makes it feel so much more real. While I haven’t had a miscarriage, we did know the sex of one of the embryos we transferred. It was a boy. And since we didn’t know the sex of the other one, I imagined it was a girl. And convinced myself we would be having boy-girl twins. Which, of course, didn’t happen. But somewhere in my psyche, these two still exist, and play together, and it breaks my heart a little.

    So, of course, getting this news, you’re bound to obsess a little. What else are you going to do? Pretend that it doesn’t matter? Because that’s just not true.

    Take as much time as you need to process this, even if it borders on “obsessiveness.” Hugs.

    Like

    • Steph Mignon

      Thank you for sharing the beautiful, but heartbreaking, image with me. And I’m so glad that people like you can relate to what I’m going through. A loss is a loss, in whatever form. While some move on quickly and mourn much much later, I usually cry at first, then research, then find peace. It’s how I role and I’m fine with it. I just wish other people could be too!

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  3. steph50

    I’m very sorry for your loss… We have never been able to find out if our babies were chromosomically normal or not, unfortunately. I do relate to the internet searches and the need to know more. It makes me feel like I’m being proactive about things. Keep doing what you feel helps, because in the end, you’re the one who knows best what’s good for you! Big hugs!

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  4. jack joseph's mom

    I totally get how no one understands our concerns and need to find answers. You are right, no one will care as much about your fertility as you do. I started my blog to express my feelings because no one understood what I am going through, how there are good day, bad days; good moments, bad moments. I, too, am tired of being told to get over it, you can still have kids, you have lots of eggs left, you can adopt… But what if I can’t?

    I love reading your blog – it is so informative.

    I am sorry for the loss of your daughter.

    Have peace, my friend. Be you. Don’t ever stop researching – it’s not obsessive, it’s necessary. I get it. Don’t let anyone else tell you what you can and cannot do.

    Get mad, angry, sad… I do, too.

    Like

    • Steph Mignon

      Absolutely – I DO get mad and I DO get sad. And I’m sure those feelings will revisit me from time to time, as the years go by. Losing a child, at any age or stage is horrendous and I don’t wish it on my worst enemy!

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  5. Fertility Doll

    I agree with Daryl. It sounds like it makes it so much more real because you begin to imagine your child. That must make it so much harder. I’m sorry 😦

    While you feel down, I’m going to believe in It Will Happen for you.. and you can throw a cushion at me.

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  6. redbluebird

    I would “obsessively” research too. Hearing the sex of the baby must have been hard (and nice, in a way). I have always dreamed of having a daughter. Hopefully we both get to experience that dream. I don’t have a crystal ball, but chances are, this was a fluke and the Triploidy isn’t something that will happen in all your pregnancies. As Fertility Doll has been preaching, It Will Happen 🙂

    Like

  7. marwil

    I think it’s natural to want anwers, that’s how we process things and most people cope better when knowing. This is a powerful post, and I’m sorry you have been through some shitty things in the past. To know the sex of the lost baby makes it harder, suddenly you can imagine how the future should have been it in a whole different way.

    Like

    • Steph Mignon

      Thanks Marwil! I just have to keep believing that I’m on the right path. It has all led me to here and here could be a whole lot worse! Thanks for reading and sharing. I so appreciate people trying to understand.

      Like

  8. JustMe

    Yes, I will repeat what everyone else has said. Finding out the gender must have made this so much more real and painful for you. I’m sorry. Finding out the “why” or the “what” must just be frustrating. Because, while it is information, it’s not necessarily information you can do anything about. It is out of your control. I can only imagine how terribly frustrating that is.

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  9. Janice

    Hi Steph,

    I have never struggled with fertility, so I cannot even begin to tell you I know the struggles and pain many couples experience.

    However, I do know pain and I remember it well. I also lost a girl – Triploidy 69 XXX.

    Just wanted to share my story with you…….

    In my early twenties I became pregnant. I had trouble in my pregnancy with spotting – pretty much right from the beginning. My physician told me that 50% of women have spotting during pregnancy and advised that I not worry. To be honest I “knew” something wasn’t right despite trying to convince my self otherwise. My body spent weeks trying to reject my baby and at the time I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.

    Finally, on Mother’s Day 1990, after an ultrasound, I was told that my baby did not have heart beat and that even though I was 18 weeks pregnant the fetus was only 14 weeks gestation. Later that day I delivered my baby girl.

    We were told about the Triploidy 69 XXX. It was a lot to digest and back then although the Internet was around, we didn’t have a computer – yet. I had to research – “old school” style and go to the library. I found very little information – a blurb in a medical book here and there.

    I struggled with my grief, I broke down during baby commercials, or when I saw pregnant women or babies. I was a complete mess – totally unstable. Nobody understood my pain. My husband and I got into fights because “I couldn’t let it go”. I was obsessed – trying to make sense of something so senseless.

    My friend’s mother told me something that I have passed along as I have made my way through this wonderful journey we call life. She said, “I know that these times are almost unbearable, but one day you will be holding a baby for the first time in your arms and you will look into his or her eyes and at that time you will realize that God’s timing is perfect”.

    The following year I had a second miscarriage at around 8 weeks. After losing that baby, I was just numb, but I still clung to those words. I really believed that I would never carry a pregnancy to term.

    My doctor referred my husband and I for genetic counseling. I remember having to wait forever for the appointment. The doctor was amazing and advised that we were free to keep trying to conceive and that we were not at risk for another miscarriage. I remember he used the words that Triploidy is just a “fluke”.

    About a year and a half later I got pregnant and I was absolutely terrified. I decided early in this pregnancy that I wasn’t going be a paranoid, pregnant lady. I made up my mind that I was going to do everything that I usually did when not pregnant . And I did, I even water skied. I am not sure how, but I made peace with myself and was prepared to just go with whatever my higher power had in store for me.

    So, on a stormy cold December day just before Christmas, I received a gift – just as my friend’s mom had promised me. I looked into his eyes and he was absolutely perfect. And all of the pain I had experienced along the way was now just a means to a perfect ending. We named him Trevor.

    Little did I know, it was really the beginning. I have been so blessed. Fifteen months later along came boy number two – Jordan. Two boys fifteen months apart were a handful, so we decided we would stop at two. I was still breastfeeding and on the birth control pill when my plan got rerouted with boy number three – Dylan. Last but not least came number four – Craig! The four of them were born within five years of each other. So when I brought Craig home as a newborn, Dylan was 21 months, Jordan was three and Trevor was two months away from his fifth birthday. That was a long time ago, but it seems like yesterday. Craig turns sixteen this year.

    They are all great kids and I am so blessed to have them in my life. Although I never got another girl, I have never longed for a daughter, because I am forever grateful to the one I lost. I know that if I had not experienced the pain of losing her that in turn I would have never have felt the joy her brothers give me every day.

    Good luck to you!!!!

    Like

    • Steph Mignon

      Omg, your comment brought tears to my eyes! They’re still streaming down my face as I write this. Thank you for sharing your story, your pain, and your happy ending. It’s correspondence like this that makes this journey easier. I’ve found comfort here that I never knew existed! And I’ve also found hope. I’m sure your sons are beautiful, because they certainly have a thoughtful and kind mother. Thanks again for taking the time to share your words – they mean so much. 🙂

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  10. Rebecca Miller

    Steph, today is the three week mark since my 12 week OB appointment when I found out that our baby had no heartbeat. After two natural miscarriages in the previous six months and with the sudden death of my father, I just could not take it anymore. I opted for a D&E the next day. For the past three weeks, I have wrangled with guilt at having my deceased baby sucked out of my body. I blamed myself for his or her demise. What was wrong with me? Today, I had my follow up appointment with the surgeon. I received the chromosomal testing that was one of the fundamental reasons for the surgery. My baby had 69 chromosomes, XXY with some swelling. The surgeon does not know if the partial-molar tissue the lab found was actually in the baby or in the uterus. All I know is that my baby died naturally, and it wasn’t my fault. While that is a relief, I am looking forward to the genetic counseling to find out if my husband or I have “balanced chromosomes” that may lead to this happening AGAIN. On top of that, if it was a partial-molar pregnancy, I am at risk for uterine cancer. I have to be tested weekly and then monthly for seven months to make sure I have no retained molar tissue. After that, we can try again if the genetic counseling comes back well. I am devastated! I’m having a hard time finding information on the internet. Your blog came up. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. God bless you!

    Like

    • Steph Mignon

      Rebecca! Thank you for reaching out. That was indeed a very hard time for me and I am so sorry that you too are having to experience the pain of miscarriage and the uncertainty that comes with a Triploidy diagnosis. I remember being so frustrated because at the time I was eating all organic, doing Chinese medicine, not drinking caffeine or alcohol, exercising daily blah blah blah. I had tried to control EVERYTHING I could about my health and environment, but to no avail. (Then of course I blamed myself for getting a Brazilian blowout when I was pregnant, but didn’t know it and for drinking Lemongrass tea). Still, I carried on with my health regime sans blowouts and bad tea and with one medicated IUI months later became pregnant with my little girl, who is due April 9. With all that said, don’t give up searching for answers. And UGH about the partial molar tissue. I wish we knew MORE about why these things happen! While you are testing and waiting, I highly recommend starting a wordpress blog and joining our wonderful supportive community of other TTC bloggers. Nothing has been more invaluable in getting me through the last 3-years.

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  11. Amy

    I hope Im not a little too late sharing with you. It will be 4 years this September since I lost my 1st baby as well. She stopped growing at 9.5 weeks. I was 13 weeks when it was discovered. My genetic testing results came back Triploidy 69 xxx. I had never heard of the disorder until my call from the Dr. This too was also an extremely heartbreaking blow to my life. I always thought I would have a girl 1st. But, my Doctor who suffered 5 miscarriages shared wisdom with me that changed my life. “Before we even think about becoming a parent, we give up control”.

    I feel blessed to say I went on to give birth to 2 wonderful, healthy, baby boys since this devastating loss. The 1st one wasn’t mentally easy, but, after week 20, I felt a lot more relaxed. I still think about my 1st baby and I know that its not something I will ever forget. I learned quickly that there is a “new normal” after one suffers tragic events. And going through hardships like these makes you stronger, more empathetic, and can boost or sadly bring down relationships. I wish you well and hope this note finds you in a awesome “new normal”.

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    • Steph Mignon

      Thank you for commenting! I am watching my 4-month old baby girl sleep as I write this. She is the biggest blessing EVER, but you’re right… my innocence is gone and I’m left with the nagging fear that anything can happen (good or bad). That’s my new normal. Thank you for sharing yours.

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