We’ll start with the blastocyst

Blogosphere, I am a new mom. I have become a reader of mommy blogs and mommy Facebook pages and mommy apps. I’ve made new mommy friends. I know and use a device called the snot sucker. I know what a DD is and a DH (darling daughter, darling husband). I know how hard breast feeding is (seriously, it’s really really hard).
I also want to throw in that this (the baby, not the breastfeeding) is the reason for my lack of recent posts.

At first, I would only refer to the pregnancy as a blastocyst. It gave me some distance and made me less anxious. I wouldn’t say the word embryo or fetus. These two little lines gave me a lot of anxiety. I worried that something would go wrong.

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So let’s start with this worry:
In one study, women were tested daily for pregnancy. When a pregnancy was detected, it was detected earlier than normal (because these women were in a study, pregnancy tests were done even before a period was late). Of these pregnancies, 26% ended in preclinical loss (meaning the only reason they knew they were pregnant was because they were in the study. Most women at this point would have their period and never know they were ever pregnant); 8% ended in a clinical loss (what we think of as a miscarriage); 64% ended in a live birth. The other 2% were either ectopic pregnancies, stillbirths, abortions, or other rare abnormal pregnancies.

Why do miscarriages happen? Most often because of genetic abnormalities. There are some risk factors that make a miscarriage more likely also. Age is important, and the older you are, the higher of a chance there is for a miscarriage: about 10% chance for someone 30 years old or younger, to about 40% chance by the age of 40 (this is probably linked to the genetic abnormalities – the older you are, the higher the chance of a genetic anomaly). Previous miscarriage can increase your risk too.

Other risk factors: Smoking. Consuming alcohol. Extreme caffeine intake, like 3 grande coffees from Starbucks within 8 hours. Taking ibuprofen. Using cocaine. Uncontrolled medical problems (think out of control diabetes). Problems in the uterus that distort the normal anatomy. For all these reasons, preconception counseling is important, especially if you have a medical problem. You can stabilize and optimize your health before pregnancy to potentially decrease the risk of a miscarriage.

So for me, at that point, I knew I was pregnant. I had already passed the “preclinical” part of pregnancy. That meant there was about a 8% chance that the pregnancy would end in miscarriage. That meant a 92% chance that it wouldn’t. That meant pretty good odds overall for my blastocyst.

 

 

Study:

Wang X, Chen C, Wang L, Chen D, Guang W, French J. Conception, early pregnancy loss, and time to clinical pregnancy: a population-based prospective study. Fertil Steril. 2003;79(3):577.
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