Eyewitness News spoke to one Connecticut woman’s journey after she had a miscarriage and learned how she dealt with the situation.
Doctors said one in four pregnancies will end in miscarriage, but given how prevalent it is, we don't talk about it too often.
Carol Reilly said she always wanted to be a mother. When she wanted to start her family, Reilly said she was 40 years old.
She and her husband, Tom, started trying for a family right after they were married. She got pregnant right away, but sadly miscarried.
Reilly said she knew time was of the essence and so, they sought help. They opted to try in vitro fertilization at UConn’s Center for Advanced Reproductive Services.
“We can do genetic testing on those embryos, and we can determine which embryos are genetically normal and which are abnormal,” Dr. John Nulsen, who is the medical director at UConn’s Center for Advanced Reproductive Services said. “Obviously, only transfer back genetically normal embryos."
Reilly said she had three more miscarriages over the next six years, including a set of twins.
“When they're so much further along, you know you're pregnant and it's months that are going by,” Reilly said. “And then to find out you're having yet another miscarriage and another one and another one. That's really where it got a lot harder.”
Nulsen personally oversaw Reilly's care. He said miscarriages are far more common than women realize.
“A young female in her 30s, if she gets pregnant probably has about a 15 to 20 percent chance of having a miscarriage,” Nulsen said. “Unfortunately, as you age that incidence goes up dramatically so if you have someone in her mid-40s who conceives, she, unfortunately, has about a 40 to 50 percent chance of having a miscarriage."
Nulsen said the medical community is still learning what triggers a miscarriage. Usually, it's completely random. A sign that the embryo isn't developing properly.
But, Nulsen said he wants women to know they can still have a successful pregnancy, even after several losses.
“Even someone who's had repetitive losses, so you've had three or four losses, if you do an evaluation and you find nothing, even if we don't do any form of treatment, their likelihood of having success of having a live born child is certainly greater than 50 percent," Nulsen said.
But, experts said a loss, no matter at what stage, is devastating.
“You're grieving not just for the lost baby,” psychologist Dr. Mary Casey Jacob said. “But for the timeline you've lost, the fantasies you've imagined."
Reilly said she knows that heartbreak all too well.
“Jealous, angry, sad, mad. You name it,” Reilly said. “Why can't I get there? I want to be part of that club."
In her Southington home, Reilly told Eyewitness News she never lost hope and in 2008, at 46, she welcomed her daughter Katie. Her son, Alex, followed in 2010.
“They were loved from the get-go,” Reilly said. “And I wouldn't have changed a thing about how anything turned out."
In the end, Reilly said she adores her children.
"Katie who is now seven. Alex, who is about to be six,” Reilly said. “They're fabulous!"
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