APAS and Stress

“In the 50s, women believed in home, children and prayer. In the 60s, it was “do your own thing.” The 70s were all about “being liberated”. In the 80s, it was becoming “superwoman.” In the 90s, we were tapping at the “glass ceiling.” In the first decade of the 2000s, we went “green” and became environmentalists. What’s next? We’re exhausted!

-365 Things Every Woman Should Know by Emily Barnes

When I first read this book, that quote did not really sink in. I was at the peak of my career when I got married two years ago. I had a lot of time, that’s what I thought. Seriously though, who doesn’t want to be a superwoman, right? I never entertained anything else aside from climbing the corporate ladder. Passive income or building my own business was never an option, not even if I can do things on my own terms.  That sounded boring. Corporate life is exciting. Stressful, but exciting. Corporate was just the only way for me.

And then, I lost my second pregnancy.

Lying at the hospital recovering from my operation, I did a little introspection of my life. What am I doing? Where do I want to go? What are my priorities, really? These questions bogged me until the time that I knew the reason why I could not maintain my pregnancies. I was tested positive for APAS or Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome>>

First, it came as a shock. Why have I never heard of this syndrome before? If I had, could I have kept my second pregnancy? Of course, there was really nothing much to do except move forward. And so, I underwent a lot of treatment and was given an advice to just rest — to rest from my job, to take a break from the corporate world.

It was a laughable thought at that time. Me? Quit my job? But then, somewhere along the way, it just happened. I just knew I had to quit if I wanted to have a baby. So me and the husband jumped the gun.

The journey was is not an easy one. But of course, God always sends angels along the way to guide you to the right path. I am grateful of course for the group of APAS survivors and APAS mommies who have continuously provided inspiration to people who know very little about this syndrome. Sometime this month, I sent out a short survey to those who have reproductive-immuno disorder. I have been a strong advocate for knowing more about the causes of this unfortunate disorder because it is hard to lose a pregnancy. You would not wish a miscarriage to happen to anyone because it is heart-breaking. It really is. There will always be holes in your heart that can never be filled after you lose a little one.

Anyway, going back to the survey — I was able to generate around 33 responses. While there seems to be nothing conclusive (much to my exasperation), I am enlisting some of my own conclusions (please take a look at the graphs and let me know if you find something else or have some other ideas): :

  1. All respondents affected are aged 25-44. Marrying age is indeed becoming higher in number and it does not seem to benefit married couples.
  2. Almost 80% have had at least one miscarriage.
  3. Only 10% are homemakers. 90% have day jobs (corporate, professionals, etc) and out of this 90%, 60% would categorize their job as stressful and demanding.
  4. Only 20% smoked cigarettes and 56% are occasional (seasonal) drinkers.
  5. 72% consume at least one cup of coffee a day.

This did not make a lot of sense, really. Nothing seems to be common except majority would say that their jobs have been stressful. Other than that, it is not the smoking or the drinking of alcohol or coffee (things I was guilty of and kept on haunting me).

I hope that this information has brought you some value at one point or another. If you have your own thoughts you would like to share, please feel free to send me an email or hit me with a comment. I would truly appreciate that.

On another note, this All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, join us as we offer a short, sweet prayer to our little angels in heaven.

Inside my belly, I carried you
Your tender heartbeats, your lil echo
But you were gone too soon 
Before I could even hold you in my arms
So today, I’m sending Mommy’s and Daddy’s hugs
I hope they keep you warm. 
To our dear little playful cherubs in heaven
In the memory of your love, we will always be smitten
Whisper a prayer to Jesus please and make it two
That He can finally make our dreams come true.

Much love,
Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 22.28.06