• Waiting for the Stork: Overcoming APAS

    One mom overcomes the heartbreak of miscarriages and challenges of a difficult pregnancy to have her miracle baby.
    by Maan Pamaran .
  • As the popular kiddie skip rope chant goes, after K-I-S-S-I-N-G in a tree, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a baby carriage. “I used to think I got it all planned out… get married at 24, have my first kid at 27, and another at 30, and travel the world by 40,” Cachelle de Alba recounts. So, after she and her then-boyfriend of three years Miguel tied the knot, the couple eagerly awaited the stork’s arrival.

    “In 2003, after being married for three years, my husband and I were able to conceive. We were very excited - finally, we would become parents! However, after 5 weeks into the pregnancy, an ultrasound determined that I had a blighted ovum. The egg was fertilized, but the baby did not form. I was 27 at the time and being quite healthy, I did not expect this to happen to me. The doctor told me that it was a common occurrence. She prodded us to just try again and I became hopeful,” she shares. “The following year, we conceived again, but after 6 weeks, I had another blighted pregnancy. This time, I had to go through a D&C. I was emotionally devastated. I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me. What if I will never be able to have a baby? I voiced out my concerns with my doctor, and even asked if I needed some tests done, but she gave me the same spiel, and dismissed my worry by telling us to just try for a third time.”

    Determined to be a mommy
    “I don’t think I could emotionally survive another miscarriage so I went to seek a second opinion from a specialist a friend recommended. This doctor asked me to undergo a number of tests. Through these tests, we found out that my body was producing anti-phospholipid antibodies or APAS. These anti-bodies clot my blood during pregnancy, which make it difficult for the baby to grow. This explains the miscarriages,” she continues.

    There was a ray of hope, though. “The doctor reassured me that this can be addressed. My husband was to inject me with heparin shots (anti-coagulator/blood thinner) twice a day for the whole nine months. Also, I would need to get blood tests done regularly and visit the clinic every two weeks. It would take a lot of work, a lot of time and of course, a lot of money. My husband was very concerned with the shots and how this whole process would be taxing on me,” she says.

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