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.
I thought I’d been managing to hold it together but it seems that I haven’t. The friends thing that I’ve harked on about for a while now came to an abrupt conclusion this weekend.
The three girls that were supposed to come to stay in January last year came to stay in my town. Two days beforehand I asked if I could be picked up on the way to the hotel as I lived nearby. Unbeknownst to me the driver has a phobia of driving in my town so she asked if we could just meet in town instead. I (being overly sensitive) got upset that she wouldn’t take a 5 minute detour when it takes me an hour and twenty to get to town. I messaged back saying surely the hotel was easier for them too but got no reply. I tried ringing her but she didn’t pick up. I could see that she’d read my messages on Facebook because it tells you, so in my mind she was avoiding me and I didn’t know why. I rang one of the other girls. She had a migraine and said she’d ring the next day. But she didn’t get chance. She said she’d ring the next day too. But she didn’t. By then this was the day of and I’d sent a couple of really stressed out messages to the Mutual Friend. I’d had a text from the Driver who’d said she’d pick me up, but I thought it might actually be out of her way if she was coming in on a different road so I said I’d get the bus.
Once in town I received a text saying they were at the hotel. Really? I replied. So I could have had a lift… Cue massive row. Underlying all this is that I’d texted the Driver in May to say I’d had a miscarriage and she never replied. I’d assumed she’d forgotten but I was still hurt. Normally I don’t confront this sort of issue but I’d planned to and had told our Mutual Friend about this. I didn’t get the chance. The Driver rang me saying that they’d discussed it on the way over and that they were all “in bits” about seeing me and didn’t really want to. She said she was ringing to say sorry but she didn’t know what it was she’d done & that it was unintentional. When I say she said sorry, she said “SORRY!!!!!”. It turns out she’s been having problems herself and has nearly had two nervous breakdowns this year. Again I didn’t realise & my heart broke as she told me that. I realised that as much as I have things going on, so does everyone else. She puts up a facade on Facebook – it looks like she’s living the dream – but apparently it’s not real.
I felt awful but I was still hurting and tried to explain why. Although she did listen I didn’t really feel that she processed what I had said. Eventually we met up but we didn’t discuss it at all. For the whole weekend. The mutual friend and I did and she gave me a reality check. A harsh one but probably a fair one. She said that it was my problem and that although she understood I’m going through a difficult time she couldn’t get to the bottom of why I felt that the Driver didn’t have a very high opinion of me. It’s cliche I know but I don’t think anyone should have a high opinion of me. I can’t have children. It’s not that I don’t want them. I desperately want them but I can’t. It’s such a basic flaw in my schema and when I meet these three, obviously they all talk about their children and I feel very out of place. (I only think this about myself by the way, not anyone else struggling to have children & I’m aware that that’s not rational). The mutual friend said I needed to sort it out (she acknowledged that this is not easy) and said I needed to consider whether my move abroad will actually fix my issues.
The next day they left together and I spent the entire day in tears. I also sent the Driver some flowers to apologise for being over-sensitive and hurting her. She texted me today to thank me but said she’s still struggling to let go of the hurt caused at the weekend. She was tactful not to say the hurt that I had caused. She then said she can’t get over the fact that I thought that she’d been intentionally hurtful. This is something I was careful not to say because genuinely I don’t think for a second she was. Somehow I’ve given out a misconception which I feel I need to put right but feel it could cause more stress. She ended the text by saying we’re both too sensitive to be around each other and advised that I find a safe place and look after myself. So I’ve ruined an eleven year friendship in one weekend. Well done me!
It’s probably deserved but I’m hurting again. I’m hurting because I think very highly of this friend and I suppose this is why I felt so rejected when I thought she didn’t acknowledge my miscarriage or when she wouldn’t pick me up or answer the phone. Plus I’m ridiculously over-sensitive and hormonal at the moment. Confrontation is really not me and I am truly scarred by this experience. I’m hurting because I went to meet the three of them, knowing they’d discussed it, knowing they were upset with me, but I still went because the friendship had meant something to me and I’d wanted to sort it out. I’m hurting because I don’t think I got my message across at all and the fact that they thought I’d believed her behaviour was intentional demonstrates that they didn’t fully hear what I was trying to say. I’m hurting because essentially I’ve lost those three friends now.
I’m really, really hurting.
I read somewhere that people with recurrent miscarriage have the same anxiety levels as soldiers with PTSD. I was a bit dismissive of that statement at first although it came from a credible source. Lately I’ve been thinking how true it sounds. I’m currently agonising over every last thing I do. Particularly on my 2WW but even more so when I’m pregnant. I cannot move for worrying about whether or not a) I’m possibly pregant and b) whether what I’m doing might kill any potential baby. I live with this night and day. I eat fruit because I need the vitamin C but then I stress about eating too much sugar. Then I eat chocolate because I feel I’m not enjoying myself enough and then I stress about that too. Then I stress about being stressed! I’m on alert every minute of every day and my fight or flight response is on a knife edge. Every time I feel threatened I react. I’m not excusing this. Of course not, this is an awful problem to have. I’m trying really hard to understand it. Otherwise the three friends I have just lost will be joined by everyone else I care about. And then I really will be depressed.
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.