So What's Wrong With You?
As discussed in a previous post Being The Infertile One, I revealed that our inability to have children was my fault. Due to the fact that I am the cause of our infertility, I am often asked, "What's wrong with you? Why can't you have kids?"
MTHFR, or that is all the doctor's could come up with. It is a rare genetic defect. It is the genetic defect that doctors have used to try and explain my inability to carry a pregnancy to term. I usually just tell people when they ask why I can't have biological children "I'm a genetic mutant". If they know me well enough, they usually respond, "oh, well that explains a lot." Sarcasm. It's just my way of dealing with what life hands you.
I'm not a doctor. I do not understand medical terminology. I can however do my best to explain to you what MTHFR is. MTHFR stands for Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase . Whew! That's a mouthful. Many people do not even realize they carry the defective gene until they have had several pregnancy losses. In my case, I had five early term miscarriages. Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase is the name of the gene that produces an enzyme by the same name. The mutation of this gene can inhibit the production of this enzyme and create elevated homocysteine levels. When the body is deficient in Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase it becomes unable to absorb folic acid and certain B vitamins. As most know, folate and Vitamin B are essential in healthy fetal development.
There are two types of MTHFR gene mutations heterozygous and homozygous. Homozygous being the most problematic and of course the type of mutation I have. All this being said, MTHFR mutations are an unproven cause of miscarriages and continue to be researched and debated. MTHFR can be treated, but in my personal situation, treatment was not guaranteed and the risks for certain birth defects was too high.
To make a long and difficult to understand story short, I was sick of being poked and prodded with instruments and needles. I had more vials of blood drawn from my body than I care to ever count. The doctors told me I could continue to get pregnant, certain drugs and supplements could possibly help, but I would likely miscarry again. They also told me I would run a higher risk for many birth defects, preeclampsia, blood clots, and stillbirth. I didn't want to continue to take the risk. I didn't want to have another miscarriage. I was tired. I was emotionally and physically spent. I felt like a lab rat.
In the end, we weighed our options to continue or to look into adoption. Brian and I made the decision to pursue adoption. We felt it was the best decision for us. We have never looked back. Our lives have been blessed and our hopes for parenthood fulfilled.
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