Recurrent Miscarriages? It could be your immune system, mommy!

I have never thought much about my immune system. In fact, the only time it came up in conversations was when I would have colds and my mom would tell me to drink Vitamin C to boost “it” so that my body would fight the infection.

I never imagined, even in my wildest dreams, that my immune system would be the reason why I would lose my pregnancies.

Yes, mommy, you heard it right.

My pregnancies (there were two) were terminated by my overactive immune system.

It feels as cold as it sounds.

Recurrent Miscarriages

I can clearly remember, three years ago, when I lost my second baby. In the midst of another immense heartache and confusion, my doctor told me that I had APAS. I went blank.

What the hell is APAS!?

I scoured the internet about this condition. It was a confusing and devastating time. I needed answers. It did not help that there were very limited resources about the disorder. When I found one, the articles were mostly dreary and flabbergasting!

My OB advised me to look for a perinatologist (OB for high-risk cases) so that someone can explain to me in detail why I keep on losing my babies. That was when I stumbled upon Dr. Valerie Guinto.

Doc Leir can seem aloof at first but she is heaven-sent. Her experience in handling cases like mine is stellar (although you have to be really patient because the queue in her clinic is loooooong).

After running several tests, she confirmed it. I had APAS. Truth is, I had more than APAS. I was positive on 3 out of five repro-immunological disorders!

REPRO-IMMUNO DISORDERS?! What the *bleep* is that?

Advances in medicine have found a relationship between a woman’s reproductive and immune systems. Apparently, the immune system plays a big role in sustaining a growing fetus in one’s tummy.

Let me go into some biology here.

When you conceive, your uterus is supposed to protect your embryo by producing blocking antibodies. Since the baby is a ‘foreign object’ inside of you, your natural killer (NK) cells are triggered. If you do not produce the blocking antibodies, it is most likely that your NK cells will treat that growing embryo as a tumor and attack it.

This is just one scenario. (There are more??!)

Dr. Guinto then asked me to see to an immunologist, Dr. Carol Gloria, to help her manage the immune side of my recurrent miscarriages and so that Doc Carol can explain to me all other categories.

Meeting Doc Carol was like finding a light at the end of the tunnel. She is a burst of sunshine!

Doc Carol explained to me that APAS (or Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome) has been loosely used to refer to repro-immuno disorders in general but there are actually five. To put them in the simplest terms, these are: (1) failure to produce blocking antibodies (2) production of antiphospholipid antibodies (3) production of antinuclear antibodies (4) production of antisperm antibodies; and (5) your natural killer cells are on an overdrive.

It was information overload!  Had I known that there was a condition like this, I would have had myself tested after my first miscarriage.

But this is not the case. Most doctors would usually give a prognosis that you have APAS after a second miscarriage (which they qualify as recurrent miscarriages). I think it is cruel. No mother (or would-be mother) would want to suffer another devastating loss. A mother, whether she carries the baby for a week or the whole nine yards, will suffer the same heartache; her loss is not discounted even if she loses her babies early in the pregnancy.

I had then made it my mission to spread about APAS awareness. I treaded the issue lightly before because I felt that I was in no position to talk about the condition because I didn’t have a success story to tell.

But I think now is the opportune time to tell the world that THERE IS HOPE.

There is hope for those who are suffering from this condition.

With the proper treatment/s (and gazillions of prayers), noone has to endure the pain of having recurrent miscarriages caused by immune disorders.

I know because after two miscarriages and four years of waiting, I now hold little Santiago in my arms.

Repro-immuno disorders are now more talked about. If you want to know more, join our Facebook group and get support from thousands of our sisters (and their husbands) who have more success stories to share. I got my sanity from that group when everything was bleak and dreary. I hope you get your ray of light there, too!

Babydust APAS survivors!