Category Archives: miscarriage

A litle relief …

The scan went well. After warning the sonographer about my history – and my week! – she whipped the screen away from me before inserting the dildo-cam and asked me to give her time to look first.  But almost straight away she turned it back and showed me a much larger looking embryo than last week with a “perfect” heartbeat.  It’s measuring 8 weeks exactly so it’s had a bit of a growth spurt and is 2 days ahead.  It even wiggled its bottom during the scan – the sonographer videoed it for us!

They couldn’t locate the cause of the bleeding. They suggested that it could have been a result of me pushing the pessaries in way too far. Apparently that can cause the cervix to bleed, in addition to being on Clexane & Aspirin which hadn’t occurred to me as a possible cause.

Anyone that reads my blog regularly will know that I err on the side of pessimism and on the rare occasions I have embraced the positive it’s blown up spectacularly in my face, so for now I can’t yet allow myself to become anything other than neutral about this.  I am so relieved that my scan was positive but unless I can be attached to the dildo-cam for the next seven months I cannot be sure that it’s still fine now.  This is because with my first pregnancy I had a great scan at 8 weeks 2 days and the embryo died the next day.  So I still go to the toilet with fear and trepidation, I am still worried about every twinge and I still fear a disaster around the corner.  But I am hopeful that these feelings might begin to subside one day, hopefully if this pregnancy progresses successfully.

Thanks for the positive comments and thoughts.  I’ll take all the positivity I can get right now!

Falling down

I had hoped that I would have some good news to share.  June was the month that I was going to do my first proper ICSI cycle, regardless of how many follicles I had.  I decided I had become a real negative drain and so throughout May I switched my attention to becoming the life and soul of the party – not something I am known for!  I relaxed, I laughed, I drank gin and ate gluten and … I fell pregnant.  Cycle on hold.

This time I passed through weeks four and five with no bleeding.  I managed my stress through hypnosis and I was pretty chilled – for me!  I had a HCG test which was “sky high”.  Last week I had a scan and measured exactly where I should be: 6 weeks and 5 days with a healthy looking heartbeat.  My consultant described it as “textbook”.  Phew!  They even gave us a photo.  We’ve never had a photo before – even the sonographer became tearful at that point.

And then three days later I began to bleed.  Brown mucus at first, but today it’s progressed to red fluid.  My boobs were a bit sore until Monday – they’re not any more.  I felt a bit sick last week – I don’t any more.

I have another scan tomorrow and I’m desperate to hear that the embryo is doing well but my past experiences really don’t give me much hope.  I feel so responsible for this.  My body is failing us again.  I have worked so hard over the last three years to have a healthy baby but I fall down every time I try. And I’m not sure how many more times I can get myself back up.

Positivity has left the building

A few weeks ago, when I attended my endometrial scratch, I asked what would happen if I didn’t produce enough follicles.  The nurse said that it would be cancelled but “that almost never happens; it won’t happen to you”.  On Easter Sunday my cycle was cancelled as I still only had one good-sized follicle.  The doctor’s advice was to take the HCG trigger on Sunday evening and try naturally this month.  My consultant rang me last night and advised that I’m likely to get the same response on the next cycle and that as I’m on the top dose of treatment there is very little that we can do except go ahead with egg retrieval and see what is collected.  He did say that as I had a few smaller follicles growing he could give me a drug that coordinates them to all grow at the same time.  That could be good.  So last week I was crying because I thought I’d only have five follicles.  This week I’m devastated that I only have one.

After investing in therapy to make me positive I had actually begun to believe that IVF would work for us.  Now I am struggling to come to terms with the fact that I may very well remain infertile for the rest of my life.  I can’t accept it – it actually frightens me to think I’ll never carry my own child.  My pregnant colleague makes it look so effortless – I know she’s not finding her pregnancy easy but I am so envious of her today.  I wasn’t envious a few weeks ago because I really thought it would be my turn soon.  Now I realise that it probably won’t be.

Currently I’m dosed up on HCG and Progesterone, on the off-chance that I’ve magically conceived a healthy pregnancy naturally this month.  It’s laughable really.  I feel embarrassed, as though I’m pretending that I might be pregnant.  How can I have conceived when all the medicine in the world of IVF didn’t yield a thing?

I’m also stressing because I’m stressed and if I have magically conceived then stress won’t help with implantation because it might cause my uterus to contract.  Aargh!

IVF is now on hold until June – a full twelve months after starting the IVF process (how many follicles might I have had if the CCG had simply said “yes” straightaway?).  I’m an emotional wreck which is probably a combination of normal disappointment and the cocktail of hormones I’m currently taking.  I have no other choice but to wait, but it breaks me every time there is a delay such as this.  I am heartbroken and there is no positivity left in me at present.

1, 2, 3, oh!

It’s Day 8 of my cycle so I went for a scan to check my lining and follicle growth. My lining thickness is good so that’s a relief. The not so good news is that I only have 3 follicles on the left ovary and 2 small ones on the right. Only 1 is a good size. The others will need more drugs to stimulate them to grow to a usable size. In December I had 7 follicles on day 3 of my cycle. In March I had 14 follicles on day 27. I hate to sound whingy and negative but I have to wonder why, when it really matters, have I now only got 5? I’m on the highest dose of fsh yet it seems to have had the opposite effect? And why has my previously good right ovary suddenly shut down?

The nurse didn’t have any answers and just confirmed my fears that this number is “not great” – her words, not mine.

I have another scan on Easter Sunday so we’ll hopefully see a decent improvement but I’m trying to prepare myself for bad news. The nurse stressed that it’s early days so fingers crossed the next few days brings me more follicles.

Stepping up for ICSI

After a nine-month wait (how ironic!) I am finally starting my ICSI treatment. I had my endometrial scratch two weeks ago – for those of you who haven’t had one, I have a low pain threshold (so The Boy tells me) and I coped.  It did hurt but it really didn’t last long.  It mainly hurt to speak when answering the questions that my nurse was firing, asking what type of gin I like, to distract me.  Luckily The Boy noticed and answered on my behalf.  It’s Opihr by the way – in case anyone’s wondering!  I can’t for the life of me say it, particularly after I’ve had a few …

I went to Lundy for a long weekend straight after the Scratch and quickly began to bleed, just a bit at first but it got heavier.  I wasn’t expecting this and so I hadn’t brought my IVF drugs.  Lundy has no mobile phone signal apart from in very random pockets within fields whereby a message will arrive but it’s not enough to make a call.  The only public phone is in the pub – right in the bar.  So in amongst all the other holiday-makers I had quite a frank conversation about my cervical mucus with a nurse on the phone and whether or not this was my period.  Eventually we decided it wasn’t and a few days later I had a light period (apparently the lightness is due to the Microgynon I was taking prior to the injections) and I started injecting on Day 2 of that.

I’m currently taking Gonadotropin and Buserelin – the highest doses apparently, because my consultant has decided to throw everything at it.  I’ll be having Quad therapy once they transfer the embryo/s which consists of Prednisolone, Aspirin, Heparin and Progesterone. I saw a psychic a few years ago, after my first miscarriage, and she told me I’d have IVF.  She’s been alarmingly accurate about a few things (she said my brother would marry and move abroad – he did without telling anyone!) .  She warned me to “look out for health conditions around IVF”, so naturally I’m convinced that I’m going to get OHSS!  Hopefully she means the sickness I’ve just had, which admittedly was about the IVF.  Anyway, I’m currently on Day 6 and so far, so good!  I’ve had a few twingey pains in my abdomen but nothing major.  Today I had to stop myself having a meltdown because I couldn’t make a decision about what day I’d like to go to the theatre – problems of the modern world!  My cat took control of the situation and led me to the sofa.  Other than that I’m doing fine.  I have a scan in two days to see how the follicles are growing and then I’ll have another next week.  The cycle will be cancelled if I don’t have many follicles (or eggs) so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  It seems like at every step there’s a hurdle.  I’m trying not to think about the nightmare of emotions I’m bound to encounter over the next few weeks.  I’m just taking it one day at a time.

I didn’t attach my story for Tommy’s properly last time so I’ve done it again here.  Let me know if it doesn’t work!

https://www.tommys.org/miscourage-stories/societal-norm-dictated-me-and-my-friends-how-we-should-react-my-miscarriages

A Lovely Day

So I had some happy news today.  The Awful Colleague is leaving!!!  This is a huge weight off my mind.  She isn’t even back from maternity leave yet and people have been dreading her return.  She’ll be back in May for a couple of months max and she’ll be off – hurrah!

Secondly my bathroom (which is my current pride and joy) will be finished today.  We have two, young enough-to-drive but borderline old enough-to-drink, lads working on it.  They’ve had some difficulties because my husband is really cheeky and keeps asking them to do extra jobs which weren’t on the list.  I’m really hoping they won’t bill us for them but it’s totally fair enough if they do.  Anyway, to thank them my husband bought them a case of 18 cans of lager (Stella: wife-beater’s lager!).  I bought them a box of Thorntons chocolates.  Then, when pressed one of them admitted he doesn’t drink lager so then I went to buy Jack Daniels and the medium-sized bottle was cheaper than the small one.  Now my husband thinks we should give them the lot!  It’s a family business and their dad is overseeing them (basically on the phone at every step) so I don’t feel it’s responsible to give two young lads all that alcohol.  It was meant to be a token gesture but now it’s escalated thanks to The Boy.  You can totally see how we’re going to parent one day!  Polar opposites . . .

In other news my story was published on Tommys’ website last week.  Here it is:

 

 

Awakening the unconscious mind

So it’s been a while!  I signed myself off work after my last post – that turned into several weeks as I continued to faint, posing a risk to both myself and more importantly to my patients.  I wasn’t allowed back and this kind of forced my hand.  I was suddenly in a position where I had no choice but to take stock, to grieve properly and to start living again. Otherwise my health was really going to suffer.  During this period I have changed a lot.

I began to see a cognitive hypnotherapist (the one that’s pregnant!).  I have to say she’s been amazing and by some small miracle she has turned me into a positive thinker!  Anybody who has read my blog will not have failed to notice that I have erred on the side of pessismism throughout this journey.  This is a natural protective mechanism that often helps us not to be too disapointed when things don’t go so well.  But it was starting to do me some harm.  I had become struck with terror the moment I discovered I was pregnant for fear of miscarrying (which I inevitably did) and when I collapsed at work back in January I had started to project this terror into my proposed IVF.  I’d convinced myself it couldn’t work.  Then I convinced myself that I had already ruined it with my negative thoughts and I began blaming myself (somewhat pre-emptively!).  I couldn’t break away from this awful circle of negativity.

My “homework” was to spend time listening to hypnosis recordings developed specifically for me, walking in the woods (my happy place), going out for coffee and cake, doing yoga, reading for pleasure, sitting by the fire, enjoying a glass of wine and painting.  Slowly but surely the weight literally lifted from my shoulders.  I’d been having regular massages as my shoulder stiffness was causing headaches – they stopped about six weeks ago.  I began to laugh at my husband’s bad jokes.  I could begin to see positive intentions behind people’s actions – something I’d always struggled to do before, believing that the entire world was somehow against me.  I began to smile more and more, about nothing in particular.  Now, and I can’t believe I am actually writing this, I AM EXCITED ABOUT IVF!  I’m still fully aware of the stats; there is still a chance it won’t work.  But I don’t know the outcome yet, so I have nothing to be fearful of yet.  Who knows, it might actually work!  Stats-wise I seem to have good odds.  I have a 42% chance of success with the first cycle; this rises to 65% in cycle 2 and rises again to about 78% in cycle 3.  At some point it plateaus but we can only really manage 3 cycles (2 on the NHS & we’ll fund 1).

I’m starting to lean away from the herbs & all the alternative stuff.  I’m still organic where I can be but I’m not rigid about it.  I’m not massaging my belly anymore – it was always done in such a rush with no feelings of positivity & it put pressure on my bladder.  It just wasn’t pleasant so I’ve binned that.  I thought I’d feel guilty about giving it all up but for the first time in ages I think I am finally thinking clearly.  My most successful pregnancies (as a good friend pointed out) were when I wasn’t doing any of this stuff.  I’m still having acupuncture because the evidence for this is well-established.

I finally had my surgery by the way.  It hurt like a mother!  That was ten days ago.  Apparently it went really well and the cycst (which had grown again) came away easily.  She checked my the outside of my tubes and the right ovary – all normal – and said the endo wasn’t that bad so she didn’t need to remove it.  She said I might lose some follicles through the surgery but said that we have millions so to lose a few is okay.  Millions?!  I pointed out that I only had five on my right ovary in December and that my follicles were pretty precious to me.  Hopefully none were lost but I’ll never know because the cyst was blocking them anyway.

Typically the surgery occurred the day before I was due to ovulate so the surgeon said I probably wouldn’t release an egg due to the shock, so this month is out.  But she did say that I could start IVF as soon as I feel ready.  I’ll see what my gynae says on Friday but even if he says we can start this month I think I’ll wait until April.  It’s my sister’s 50th on April 1st and we’re going to Lundy Island for a walking & drinking weekend.  That’s basically all there is to do there and I don’t want to be abstaining or worrying about whether I’ve walked too far and all that crap.  It’s worth waiting just one more month I think.

In other pregnancy news my colleague texted me to confirm that I was right, she is pregnant.  I literally must have guessed the week that she found out.  I haven’t seen her yet but my stomach no longer lurches when I see that she’s texted me – I’m just genuinely pleased for her.  A fellow recurrent miscarrier who I met through a forum has also just discovered she’s pregnant again.  I used to stress about other people getting pregnant before me but I now feel pretty neutral about it, like I used to feel about pregnancy before I started trying.  Of course, I still have sporadic twinges of jealousy but they are momentary and I move on pretty quickly.  Sadly two other friends have miscarried recently. One of them must have miscarried 4-5 times in the last twelve months.  The other one has been told by her husband not to tell anyone about it, which perpetuates this feeling of shame that is so dominant in the miscarriage culture.  I totally see why he feels like this though. Tommy’s has a really good campaign for men and women to speak out about their experiences: https://www.tommys.org/miscourage-stories.  I’ve sent them my story but they’ve been so inundated with stories that they’re struggling to put them all onto the site.  It’s so telling that it’s such an unspoken issue, yet they’ve had such a huge response.

In other non-pregnancy news, I’ve rediscovered furniture painting.  I’ll put some before & after pics up once I’ve worked out how.  It’s amazing for mindful therapy.  And we’re having a new bathrom installed, so we’ll have no shower or bath for two weeks starting today.  I’m going to have to join a gym!

So all in all it’s good.  I think the fainting was my unconscious trying to tell me it couldn’t cope.  Apparently this is super common when an event happens that the mind feels too traumatised by to process, so it comes out in physical symptoms.  I stopped fainting about three weeks ago & my new boss seems to be very supportive.  He stopped me returning early twice to make sure I gave myelf a good rest before and after the surgery.  I’m starting back on Monday so wish me luck!