An unnecessary miscarriage. A severely hypothyroid mom. And a vow.

An unnecessary miscarriage. A severely hypothyroid mom. And a vow.
It was January 2009
In New York City.
And it was cold.
I was so cold.

January is Thyroid Awareness Month,
And that date, I know,
Was a message, somehow.
I was on a medical exam table
Legs up in stirrups
Waiting for the surgical procedure
That would remove my miscarried baby
From my body at 12 weeks.
 
An ultrasound was taken to reconfirm
That there was no heartbeat,
And there on the screen was my child.
I sprang off the table toward the image.
A howl
Like no sound I’d ever heard before
And it was my reflection in the screen
That I realized
That howl
It was coming from me.
 
Months of pregnancy
Frantically calling my doctor.
I was sick.
I felt toxic.
 
A few days later up all hours of the night
Searching online for studies on hypothyroidism.
You should know that I was once the team leader
Of a Columbia University professor’s research team
While completing my double Master’s degrees there.
 
The Endocrine Society’s 2007 guidelines for pregnancy.
That’s it.
Let me read this.
The guidelines recommend a TSH
Less than 2.5 in the first trimester of pregnancy
And less than 3.0 in the second and third.
I repeat less than 2.5.
TSH is considered the gold standard for the treatment
Of hypothyroidism, in conventional medicine that is.
 
Wait let me get the lab report taken during my pregnancy.
There it is.
 
And there, as an arrow pierced my soul
 
In bold letters to the right of my TSH
Lab score was the word HIGH.
 
My TSH was roaring too high
At close to 10.0 during my pregnancy.
Too dangerously high for my child
So that my child was not receiving
Adequate thyroid hormone.
 
During the early months a fetus relies
On the mother’s thyroid hormone supply.
This lack of thyroid hormone meant my child
Was unable to properly grow and develop.
 
Do you mean to tell me that I lost my baby
All because my doctor didn’t read the guidelines?
 
When I dug deeper
It became painfully clear
That this was a much more complex problem.
According to a study published in Thyroid in 2010,
Three waves of mail surveys were distributed
To 1601 health care providers, all members
Of the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists
Or the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Only 11.5% had read the Endocrine Society’s guidelines.
 
I knew something was wrong during my pregnancy.
My instincts roared at me.
But I squelched the screams because
Doctor knows best
Or so I thought.
As a child, I envisioned doctors flying
Off tall buildings wearing red capes
Ready to save the day.
I forgot to consider one important thing
That doctors, they are human, just like us.
They make mistakes too.
They don’t know absolutely everything,
Not even something as important as this.
 
And it’s up to us, the patients,
To be well-informed, always,
To partner with doctors in our care,
To be our very own advocate
And even bossy and demanding if needed.
Oh yes, I know.
Good girls are never bossy.
Well, being a good girl got me in this mess.
 
Straight off a cliff I marched,
Good and obedient
Never protesting
Falling and falling.
 
Why did I create Hypothyroid Mom?
I’m asked all the time.
Guilt.
So much guilt.
I trusted unquestioningly.
I failed to protect my child.
 
Falling endlessly in the air,
Something changed.
I grabbed a handhold
With a strength I never knew I had
And vowed, “Never again.”
 
I will never stand by while
Women, men, and children with hypothyroidism
Are struggling for proper care
And while babies are lost and harmed
Unnecessarily,
Every again.
 
All hours of the day and night spent researching
Published studies on hypothyroidism,
Hours of turning myself into a guinea pig
To find the thyroid treatments that really work,
And the ones that don’t,
And a quest to find top thyroid doctors,
And yes there are incredibles ones out there,
And now I am in the best health ever.
 
I was told that I would never have
Another healthy pregnancy again.
There was no hope
Because of my severe hypothyroidism.
 
But my son
He was born 
And with his first newborn cry
He let the world know
That there is one thing for certain
In this world
There is always hope
Oh so much hope.
 
There are no words to describe my sorrow,
My sweet little one.
I should have better protected you.
I am sorry, so very sorry.
American poet Maya Angelou said,
“When you know better, you do better.”
Mommy knows better now
Helping over one million people
With hypothyroidism at this 
Website called Hypothyroid Mom
 
And it’s all for you.
 

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About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini M.A., Ed.M., founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby she lost to hypothyroidism. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

Comments

  1. I had 5 miscarriages 3 between 8 n 10 weeks and 2 at 16 weeks both requiring surgery 15 yrs later trying to uncover another mystery illness during a time I was waiting for a parathyroid to be removed I was then told it was likely it was my thyroid that was causing the miscarriages?!?! I was finally blessed with a beautiful baby girl 15 yrs ago.

  2. I had 4 miscarriages. The longest I was able to carry was 14 weeks in 2008. Was the last one. I had already been diagnosed with hypothyroidism when we were in California but noone explained it, and I obviously didn’t do enough research.
    I had a partial hysterectomy 2010 and that same year was sent to an endocrinologist that told me I cld still have children if I took a baby aspirin daily. I replied back that I would also need a uterus.
    Luckily back in 93 I was able to conceive and carry my handsome son. Before… I am grateful for him.

    Thank you for your story and this page.

  3. Elaine moniz says

    I also lost 3 children to Thyroid disease. I was 17 years old the first time. Doctors never mentioned my Thyroid. Being so young I didn’t know about what thyroid was all about. I did have my first born at 20 born full term and healthy. And at 28 a second child. I have hypothyroidism and now am 71 years old still dealing with symptoms every day.

  4. You literally wrote this the day after I had a miscarriage at 9 weeks you will never know the way that you have just touched my soul… I feel pain I feel guilt I feel resentment I feel anger and you put it all into perspective. I too only have one child oddly enough A 6 year old boy…. and Jan 27th 2019 I lost my baby who stopped developing at 7 weeks though I was 9 weeks pregnant… I thank you for your story… You just never know what someone is going through.

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