We had our followup appointment with the consultant today and neither the results, nor my reaction to them, were quite what I was expecting. For some reason I thought the foetus was male - and was convinced they'd find a trisomy. In fact the results came back as a normal female. They only test for sex and 5 other chromosomes, but the ones they test for cover 60-70% of trisomies - the others available cost about £1000 per probe to use and even if we'd been asked if we would pay for that, I think the answer would have been no.
I had thought that if we were given this result, I would be completely unconvinced that they had cultured foetal material. But from what he told us about the lab report (that they managed to get material to grow from the "solid" material) then it/he seemed reasonably confident that it was foetal. And he referred me to this study which found less than half of samples were abnormal. I believe the same group also found developmental abnormalities in about 1/3 of specimens but they don't do that analysis at our hospital.
Oddly I feel quite positive about this. I think it might have been rather depressing to be told there was a trisomy, with the increased risk of future trisomies. We are of course assuming that the other miscarriages were major genetic problems, but we've nothing officially on our slate, so to speak. Risk of miscarriage goes up by about 3-6% per subsequent miscarriage, but doesn't seem to be exponential by any means. He's not as convinced as the previous doctor that getting to a heartbeat means we've a better chance in the future, nor (like the pessimists we are) that having tried everything and failed means less chance. Mr. Spouse says he felt that he - like the smiley doctor - feels more than just professionally sympathetic.
I am quite tired, but feel quite positive in a way, even though we are of course assuming the previous miscarriages were chromosomal abnormalities. I think we are prepared to go on trying for the moment - we have agreed to think about a best-before-date, after which we probably won't go on trying, though I'm not sure it would be the age of 46 (their oldest patient to date with a successful delivery).
(*see Wayne and Waynetta)