I know it’s not fair of me to be annoyed about this but I can’t help myself. I am the last of the people I physically know that has been through one or more miscarriages and hasn’t gone on to have a successful pregnancy. All the others that I know have either given birth or they’ve just announced their pregnancy on Facebook.
Facebook pregnancy announcements are always my bug-bear. They kick me hard in the stomach, whether I’m expecting them or not. My friends that have also suffered from recurrent miscarriages and/or infertility have also shared with me their frustrations at seeing Facebook announcements. So it’s come as quite a surprise to me that each & every one of them has gradually joined “the club” & added an announcement of their own. Today was the final one. I genuinely believed that this friend wouldn’t have done it, given how upset she’s been by others in the past. I’ve known about her pregnancy since she has. I’m genuinely delighted for her & she’s had six years of trying to conceive naturally & 3 ectopics. I get that she deserves this moment. But it hurt deeper than I imagined when I saw her scan picture and saw 153 comments and lots more likes.
I want that.
But I’ll never get it. Partly because I’ve deleted all friends who I expected to make such an announcement (note to self, should have just come off Facebook!). Partly because I’m no longer sure motherhood is on the cards for me. But mainly because I still firmly believe that there might be people out there who are still suffering in silence & to whom I wouldn’t want to cause the pain that I regularly feel when I see these things.
Why is it always me that’s the loser?!
I think I deal with miscarriage far better than I deal with being pregnant.
Whilst I was devastated that this was happening again I’d been so concerned about the lack of symptoms that I was the most stressed I’d ever felt. Knowing that stress isn’t helpful to pregnancy only served to stress me out even further. I was a wreck. At least, when I saw the bleeding, I knew for sure.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m heartbroken. I have failed yet again to do the one thing I was biologically geared to do. In my eyes I’m defected, flawed, a pointless human being. (I don’t believe this about anyone else by the way. I am simply my own worst critic.) But I am now no longer worried about miscarrying. I can pee now without panicking before I wipe. I no longer press my boobs wishing they were sore. I’ve stopped worrying about night sweats. I no longer have to ram ground sesame seeds, maca powder and dulse down me every morning (because if I didn’t I’d miscarry of course!). For now I am relaxed.
I passed the pregnancy sac on Sunday morning – of course it would be on a weekend again so that it can’t be tested! This time I took it in anyway and the nurse said she’d try to persuade histology to test it for me. It’s ironic that they refused to test earlier specimens because I hadn’t miscarried often enough but now I have I still can’t get them tested because I don’t miscarry on the right day!
All of last week I had hounded my doctor’s very disinterested secretary with concerns that I was miscarrying. Today I rang again & she stopped me when I mentioned my name saying “I’ve already given him your messages”. “This is a new message” I said. “I’ve miscarried”. The secretary’s tone softened a few hundred notches as she apologised! I actually felt a bit righteous – as though I should have been taken more seriously.
So what do I do now? Take some annual leave. The Boy & I have found a wooden hut in the countryside which has chickens, an outdoor bath with bubbles and no Internet. That’ll do for starters. Next, I’d like to know what tests still need to be done. Should I be thinking more about natural killer cells? Auto-immune conditions? What about Prednisone for unexplained RPL? Should I take a break? Should I try straight away?
I saw a psychic last year and she told me that I’d have IVF. I didn’t want to believe her but she did say my brother would get married & he did randomly in Canada without telling anyone! I don’t think my consultant will rush to IVF on the basis of my psychic (lol) and I can’t see how IVF can help me anyway? I’m at a bit of a loss. I know that there are more things that I can try still. Two years, six pregnancies – relatively speaking it’s still early days. But equally I feel it’s important to start the process of accepting that this might not go my way. I’m not ready to admit defeat yet, but I need to protect myself by preparing for an alternative outcome.
I was never convinced by this pregnancy. Leading up to the date my period was due I didn’t feel any symptoms so I was certain that I wasn’t pregnant. I only tested because I needed to check I could definitely stop taking the Progesterone pessaries. I didn’t even really believe the test. I’ve been filled with dread since testing (just eight days ago) waiting for it to go wrong. My consultant (he’s so nice) actually rang me at home to ask how I’m doing. He was a bit concerned about the lack of symptoms & agreed it can precede a miscarriage but equally stated that every pregnancy is different & it might mean nothing. He advised not to worry unless I start bleeding.
So at 5pm this lovely Friday afternoon when the EPU has closed & my doctor has finished for the weekend I discover that I’m passing large amounts of fresh blood and mucus. Normally my body torments me with the odd smear of brown for a week or two before a full onslaught of bleeding. I’m grateful for it to happen a bit quicker this time. A tiny part of me was actually relieved because it broke the tension that I’ve been carrying around for the last week. At least I know now. But I’m absolutely devastated.
I know that it could be implantation bleeding. My doctor even said that “most women bleed at some stage during their pregnancy”. I’m not sure if that’s really true or whether he means most of his patients do because he sees the worst case scenarios who probably do have complex pregnancies. I don’t think this is implantation bleeding though. If it is, where are my pregnancy symptoms? There’s a lot said about women’s intuition and I definitely think I have it. This pregnancy was never going to work.
The timing of this also sucks. I’m supposed to be attending my manager’s leaving party right now. I might have still gone except that the Awful Colleague is bringing her newborn baby for everyone to coo over and be impressed by. I hate the Awful Colleague. When I was going through my fourth miscarriage she announced her pregnancy and began to wear tight clothing and a bow around her bump. It turned out that she knew I was miscarrying but I doubt that she intended to hurt my feelings. She just couldn’t help herself. This week an A4 sheet of photos of her baby was posted on the wall just by where I happen to sit. I see it every time I look up. It’s a lovely idea to have some pics for people to see but it’s ill thought-out given that everyone knows I suffer from recurrent miscarriage. Since she told me she was pregnant at 6 weeks the Awful Colleague has been a constant reminder of what I can’t have. When she left for mat leave I was so relieved that she was gone. Now the pictures of her baby hanging over my desk have brought back that constant reminder. Whoever put it there must never have realised that it would cause me so much heartache. I toyed with moving it. I think it would be too obvious it was me & people would think (alright, know!) that I’m bitter.
On the upside, a January child would have always resented having their birthday immediately after Christmas. I thought I’d have a list of upsides but I’m stuck already. Still, at least there’s one.
Last week I took a pregnancy test on the day my period was due & two lines came up -a positive result. After my melodramatic response to my blood test results (thinking I was post-menopausal) I was relieved! I know that this result would be awesome for many of my fellow bloggers and it is, but getting pregnant isn’t really my problem. I seem to be able to do that pretty easily now. Staying pregnant is my particular issue. This will be my sixth pregnancy (or fourth according to the doctors who don’t count chemical pregnancies). And what’s to say this isn’t another chemical pregnancy?
As pleased as I am to be pregnant I can’t help but wait for it to fail. I don’t have the same symptoms I’ve had previously. That’s really worrying me right now because they’ve always been quite strong. My boobs are only slightly sore – I tell myself this is the progesterone pessaries balancing my hormones. I’m not really getting up to pee in the night – that’s always been one of my pregnancy symptoms – I’m trying to ignore this. The last couple of days I’ve had some cramping. The frustrating thing about this is that cramps can either be a good sign or a bad one. I’ve been banned from Google by just about everyone I know but I’ve already read enough to know that none of this is confirmation of anything. I’ve tried to relax this weekend and take in some comedy shows at a local festival & my husband and I dressed up in 40s gear & went to a swing festival yesterday. That’s Swing music – not a swingers festival! The comedy festival was so surreal. Some of my favourite comedians were walking around amongst me & Joe Public. I was super excited! We did try to talk to one comedienne but she literally turned her back to us mid-sentence. Awkward! But quite funny in itself too!
The weekend has been a great distraction for me but I still worried about standing for too long or dancing too much (in case I inadvertently unimplanted it – this is how I think!) and getting too cold (Eastern medicine is all about keeping the uterus warm) etc etc. I’m not even five weeks yet and I’m analysing every decision I make & every twinge I feel.
I keep reminding myself that this time I have Progesterone to build up the uterus lining, aspirin to prevent any clotting & IF I get to eight weeks I’ll have Heparin injections for auto-immune issues. So my chances are better. But my progesterone test was nomal, as were the blood-clotting & auto-immune tests so I’m finding it hard to feel confident as I feel like we haven’t really found the root cause yet. I would so love to be in ignorant bliss right now, just happily enjoying these early days.
In other news a very good friend of mine who also suffered from recurrent miscarriage has just had a healthy baby. Get this: her labour lasted 132 hours!! That doesn’t even include the day & a half of early contractions she’d been having. I didn’t know it could take that long! I don’t think I want to know the details but I’m super pleased for her. She’s been my voice of experience, my voice of reason & my symbol of hope.