November 6, 2013

Factor V Leiden...PLEASE READ

    For starters, I'd like to state the obvious..I'm not a doctor, nor do I claim to be. I'm writing this blog post because there have been too many infant deaths that could have been prevented through a simple blood test and digging around in family history. It wasn't until after receiving my blood test results and talking to other women who had suffered miscarriages did I realize how common this disorder is. Please share this post with other women, especially those who are pregnant or who have suffered "unexplainable" miscarriages.
    Factor V(five) Leiden is the most common inherited form of thrombophilia or blood clotting disorder. It is not a disease, but between 3 and 8 percent of people with European ancestry carry one copy of the factor V Leiden mutation in each cell, and about 1 in 5,000 people have two copies of the mutation.The mutation is less common in other populations So this post is VERY relevant to many people of southern Indiana. (Genetics Home Reference).
   People who have factor V Leiden have a greater risk of developing blood clots that can break away and lodge into other places in the body. For pregnant women, they are more likely to have multiple miscarriages and much more likely to suffer pregnancy loss during the second and third trimesters. We are more likely to have complications, high blood pressure, slow fetal growth and go into labor early.
    I thank God every single day that family history led me to getting checked, because our baby girl is growing healthily. One of my cousins had a blood clot at a very young age which led her to get tested. Once her results revealed that she had factor V, it meant there was a chance that other people in my family either had it or were a carrier. After her diagnosis I was reminded that my sister had suffered painful blood clots during her pregnancy with my niece in 2010 and nn late July of this year, my dad suffered a blood clot in his arm following a surgery. This isn't out of the ordinary, but they are very active and healthy, so being pregnant I decided to get checked as soon as possible. Shortly after, my doctor confirmed that I have the heterozygous gene of Factor V Leiden thrombosis.
    I already had an appointment with a specialist scheduled that week, so I allowed myself a two day pity party. I cried (most of which I'd like to blame on hormones). I was scared, I didn't want my little girl to suffer or for her to carry this gene. I was overwhelmed, I knew I'd have to make decisions that would affect Madeline's and my own health. Lastly there is no other way to put it than I was freaked out. My doctor explained that I'd be giving myself blood thinning injections twice a day. I'd never taken more than birth control on a daily basis, now I have to take shots?!
    I started on Lovenox, which is a "preloaded" and ready to use syringe that contains a blood thinner to reduce my chances of developing a "deep vein thrombosis" or blood clots. Thanks to the wonderful staff at Tristate Perinatology (especially Susan!) I felt confident giving myself the injections in my side and stomach area twice a day. Due to the cost(we are talking more than my car!) after the first month I switched to Heparin, which is also an anti coagulant. Rather than being preloaded, I simply have to draw out the shot into a syringe. This option is more affordable for the last trimester that lie ahead. My doctor has explained that as we near my due date my dosage will be increased to prevent any complications during labor and post labor I will take my blood thinner for a few weeks.
    After my initial doctor's appointment(which I'm thankful my mom attended with me!) I shut down my pity party and gave it to God. At that point I had no idea how blessed we were to have been given this information and the means to help Madeline and I get through this pregnancy. Many women suffer numerous miscarriages and loose their babies late into their second and third trimester.  They aren't given answers to why they happen or how to prevent them in the future, only the unbearable pain of losing a child. I'm thankful that God has placed doctors and a supportive family around me who have helped Madeline and I reach a healthy 27 weeks. I praise God for our little girl who is squirming, kicking, and growing every day. 
    Of all the articles that you read, share, and post today..please share this one. Not because I want people to read my writing, but because I want there to be more cases like my sister and I who get treatment early. 




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