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To Full Term: A Mother's Triumph Over Miscarriage Paperback – Bargain Price, June 5, 2007
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Pregnant for the fifth time, Klein knew she would have to marshal all available resources to ensure a healthy delivery. Unfortunately for this high-risk mom, the news couldn't have come at a worse time. She, husband Jon, and five-year-old daughter Maddie had just moved across the country and knew little about their new city. They had no doctor, few friends, and no family close by. Three previous pregnancies having ended in miscarriage, Klein felt that she and she alone would have to be the assertive, outspoken advocate of her unborn child. She wasted no time. She notes that nearly half of the estimated two million miscarriages per year are the results of treatable conditions and also that high-risk pregnant women must demand certain tests and interventions. She did demand them, and this journal of her pregnancy puts the authority of personal experience behind heavy-duty advice on what expectant mothers, especially those who have had one or more miscarriages, must do to ensure a full-term pregnancy. Chavez, Donna
Pregnant for the fifth time, Klein knew she would have to marshal all available resources to ensure a healthy delivery. Unfortunately for this high-risk mom, the news couldn't have come at a worse time. She, husband Jon, and five-year-old daughter Maddie had just moved across the country and knew little about their new city. They had no doctor, few friends, and no family close by. Three previous pregnancies having ended in miscarriage, Klein felt that she and she alone would have to be the assertive, outspoken advocate of her unborn child. She wasted no time. She notes that nearly half of the estimated two million miscarriages per year are the results of treatable conditions and also that high-risk pregnant women must demand certain tests and interventions. She did demand them, and this journal of her pregnancy plus the authority of personal experience behind heavy-duty advice on what expectant mothers, especially those who have had one or more miscarriages, must do to ensure a full-term pregnancy.
"I am a visual reader and this book affected me more than I would have expected. What I mean is that I "see" what I read. It is almost as if I am experiencing it myself as I read the words on the page. I had no idea before hand just how much this book would pull at my heart or how much time I would spend crying, unable to read any further for hours at a time. This is a personal journey written almost like a combination between a blog and journal. If you are sensitive to miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth, or have ever experienced any of these, this book may bring those memories screaming back to you as it did for me. I recommend keeping tissues or a hankie on hand while reading the book.
"What this book will also do is inform you of different conditions that cause miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. One that the author Darci has is called Factor V Leiden. This condition impairs the body's natural ability to breakdown and dissolve blood clots. These clots can then travel through the blood stream and find their way to a developing baby's placenta or umbilical cord blocking the flow of needed nutrients and either causing miscarriage or fetal growth retardation. Another condition that the author has is an incompetent cervix. This is the label placed on a cervix that, for unknown reasons, weakens in the second trimester of pregnancy and can no longer support the weight of the developing baby. As the cervix weakens and becomes thinner labor starts and very premature delivery is the normal outcome.
"There are treatments for both Factor V Leiden and for incompetent cervix, which the author experiences and shares with you in her book. It's more than just the treatment that Darci receives that stirs the emotions as you read; it's her vivid memories of her losses, her daily struggle to maintain a pregnancy that she could lose at any moment, and the family dynamic that changes throughout her pregnancy. As I read the book I could "see" Darci resting on her couch in her new house, or confined to bed and scared to move. I could picture the conversations with her husband, the looks that they would exchange, the pain and fear that would show in their eyes.
"Darci's pregnancy journey ends in the triumphant birth of her son Sam by scheduled C-section, but that is not where the story ends by any means at all. Included in the book are several wonderful resources for the reader. In "What Every Woman Should Know About Pregnancy Loss" Darci makes statements and offers as much information as a woman needs to make her choices about getting additional testing, as well as knowing what the current guidelines set forth by the ACOG are and why most women are not offered additional testing and treatment for different conditions. She also explains why many miscarriages and stillbirths can be prevented with different treatments, like cervical cerclage.
"Other resources offered in the book include information on organizations that offer referrals to different physicians. An explanation of the organization and what it offers as well as their URL is included for the reader. She also recommends books about the newest treatments to prevent pregnancy loss as well as the emotional tolls that are experienced after a pregnancy loss and how to prepare for a future pregnancy.
"This is such a well-written book that is full of information, reality, and hope that I recommend it to all women and couples that have suffered a loss. If you as a woman have suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth, and you and your partner are having difficulties understanding how each other is coping with the loss, this book may give your partner a look at how one woman has lived with and relived her loss. It may open the doors of communication that is needed and allow you to support each other as you grieve and hopefully prepare to take the pregnancy journey again."
--Debbi Secaur, TTC Dreams
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I am convinced, after reading this, that if Darci hadn't fought to have her opinions and hunches considered during every step of her pregnancy, she would not have carried her baby to full term. Medical science sees thousands of pregnancies each year, so they treat you based on statistics sometimes rather than your own body. But every woman's body is different. Just symptoms alone vary widely, thus, so do other aspects of carrying a child.
From reading this, I knew which questions to ask the doctors with my own pregnancy (as an older mom) and which tests to push for so I could give my child the best chance, to the extent it was in my control (obviously some things aren't, but some things are.)
I think anyone who wants to have a child might benefit from reading this. It has a happy ending, despite the ups and downs. Of course, it may be better to just get pregnant when you're young and be blissfully ignorant of all the things that can go wrong later in life, but if you might be in a risk group or have complications, read this so you are aware that you should question doctors and make sure you follow your instincts. This book pretty much informed how I dealt with my pregnancy.
Interweaved in the story are background facts, statistics about loss, the National Institutes of Health's woeful funding on miscarriage, and what she feels is the incriminating lack of chromosomal testing on early miscarriages to separate women into those who had "bad luck," and those who have a problem that can be treated to save pregnancies.
Klein's story is passionate and clearly told. She was adamant that she not lose any more babies and demanded medical intervention to save them.
I do think, however, that her mixture of stats and story is not very helpful in the early days following your first loss. It's hard to feel emotionally involved in her journey when you are constantly being fed facts in an order that might not be what you want to know, when you want to know it. Her writing is very edgy and strong, a voice that might be difficult to relate to during your saddest days.
But for those of you who have had two losses or more, those of you who are determined, frustrated, and maybe still a bit angry at your lack of answers or your care, then this is a solidly written and researched book about the journey.
Read a full review at [...]
But despite living through Darci's pregnancy (as much as someone 3,000 miles away can experience it) and knowing the story, I honestly found "To Full Term" a powerful and engaging story which taught me something about Darci, about her relationship with her husband, and perhaps most important of all, about the remarkable lack of attention pregnancy loss gets and the importance of being an educated and engaged parent and patient. I have no doubt that Darci's fight for the care she received was truly a fight for her son Sam's life, one that would have been lost had she not been so committed.
This is a gripping story that reads like great fiction -- with interesting, sympethetic characters and compelling drama -- but it's also a shocking expose on one important way our health care providers and the medical community fail us, and it's a story that needs to be told.