A different perspective 

No news here I’m afraid – all pregnancy tests are negative, so just waiting to get my period. 

It’s been 2.5 years since we started trying for a baby, with three losses along the way. But this post isn’t about how sad I feel about this, but rather how my perspective has changed as we’ve gone along.

After the first loss, I absolutely hit rock bottom. Up to that point, my life had ticked along very nicely – university, good jobs, great friends, fantastic husband – it was all going so well. Then in the space of weeks I got married, had an amazing honeymoon, then was made redundant, moved to a new area where I knew next to no-one, then lost our baby. I can honestly say that those were some of the darkest days I’ve ever know . My entire life was pulled away from me and I really, really struggled to come back from it. 

The second and third losses were somehow easier. I think part of me expected to lose them after the first – my whole perspective somehow changed and everything became default to ‘negative’. This was completely unlike me, but it’s easier to deal with the worst if you’re already prepared for it I found.

After this, my husbands mum died, very young and very suddenly. Within three months she was diagnosed with cancer and died. 

The whole RPL journey really affected the way I saw my own body. I became very afraid of illness and constantly worried about my health – I think that this came from a distrust of my body – that it used to work, but now it didn’t and I couldn’t rely on it to do what it should like I used to. I struggled with this for a long time and still do a little, especially now I’m on so many treatments which have really affected my day to day life and health. 

What I wanted to talk about was how my mind and perspective have changed, after our losses, but more notably since the loss of my mother in law. 

We all use that phrase ‘life’s too short’ but I saw first hand a beautiful, kind, healthy woman taken far too soon, and in a horrible, horrible way. And nowadays I still get upset about not having a baby, and having lost so many, but it doesn’t affect me like it used to. Don’t get me wrong, I have my days when I cry and despair and wonder when the f**k all of this will be over and we’ll actually have a baby, but I find myself smiling far more often than crying. 

I guess part of me knows that one day this will all be over – either we’ll have a baby, or adopt, or whatever we decide to do, but I want to enjoy as much of my life as I can until then. One of my biggest fears is that I’ll have wasted so much of my life and happiness trying for a baby, and I will never be able to get that time back. I know that I won’t ever be 100% happy until we have a baby, and many times I’ll be enjoying myself, but still with that thought in my mind, but I’ll still damn well try and enjoy myself in the meantime.

Yesterday morning my husband woke me up with a cup of tea in our new home, and as he left for work I lay in bed and listened to the birds singing outside and felt truly happy. I love these moments and I try my best to enjoy them and remember them – because they are what life is all about. 

My desire for a baby hasn’t lessened at all, if anything its greater, but I think I’m realising that this is all a marathon now – not a sprint. After three losses, none of it will be easy, but I’ve lost my manic, type A, control freak attitude to all of it. Maybe there’s a limit to how much grief or desire a person can handle, so it somehow naturally just plateaus out, I don’t know, but I feel somehow calmer about it all (except around 8dpo, when I’m actually a mad woman!!). Friends of mine tell me Im so positive – I don’t know if I’m positive at all really, I just don’t want to give up yet, so this is the only option.

I’ll keep plodding on and hoping for the best. I’m going out for dinner with my husband tonight and I’m going to have a glass of wine and a dessert – because like I said, life is too f**king short….

X

Another one bites the dust!

   

Yep, looks like it’s game over for this month!

My husband and I moved into our new house yesterday, which is brilliant, so when it came to testing this morning I think we both felt that this might be it – new house, new start – but sadly not!  I could see that my husband was a bit upset, but we both got on with it and will crack on again next month. Im just hoping that it doesn’t take an age for me to get my period like it did last month, fingers crossed eh?

I feel ok about this cycle, I’m sure it’ll work eventually and we’ll fall pregnant, it just might take a bit more time. Bring on the next cycle. Good luck to anyone else in the two week wait! 

X

10dp0 – test day



As expected for this early on, it’s a BFN. Honestly, having to test this early is so bloody stressful! I’d been testing earlier this week, just to make sure that the ovitrelle shot was out of my system, so I’m glad that’s the case as a false positive probably would have tipped me over the edge. Now it’s back to just good old fashioned waiting. Thankfully I’ve been much better on the steroids this month and have slept fine, so I’m very grateful for that at least! 

If it’s still like this on Sunday then I think I’m out, as that’s when I’d got my positives before. Bring on the slowest 48 hours ever now!!!!

X

7DPO, nothing much to report!

Here we are again, plodding along towards the end of another cycle! I’m feeling ok about things at the moment – I don’t really get any more/less excited each cycle, as every time I’ve fallen pregnant it’s been different, so I know not to symptom-check or overanalyse how I’m feeling.

I had to have a shot of Ovitrelle to make me ovulate, and this shot stays in your system for around 10 days, so I know that any tests I do before 10dpo would be positive, which is quite odd actually. I took a test today, just to see if it was positive, and it was, so i’ll see how this develops over the next few days until I actually have to test on Friday. I know that I should wait and just test on Friday, but the thought of getting a false positive is just bloody horrible, so i’d rather see the HCG filter out of my system so I know where I stand. I must admit that it was lovely seeing a positive test this morning, even though I knew it wasn’t real! Ah well, a girl can dream for a bit, can’t she?

I’ve been much better on my steroids this time around – i’ve slept fine and haven’t felt my heart as fast or as strong as I did last month, so I’m really happy about that. I just have to wait until the end of the week to test and then see how it goes! I had a lovely weekend away with my family and we are moving house at the end of this week, so i’ve been very grateful to have had such good distractions whilst I’m waiting.

I also wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone reading, as my blog has now got over 100 followers – amazing!! I can’t believe that so many people are interested in my daft ramblings and stories, but i’m over the moon that you do and am so happy to have met so many amazing women on here, it absolutely makes the whole journey much more bearable and interesting! Thank you again!

X

Ovulation scan and a sad experience in the waiting room

Today I went for my ovulation scan as part of my first cycle on Letrozole. I have PCOS, so I don’t always ovulate on time/at all, which obviously makes things pretty difficult when you’re trying for a baby! I started taking 5mg of Letrozole on day 2 of my cycle, for 5 days, and today was day 11. Anyone who reads my blog will know that this cycle is a tricky one, as my husband is away from tomorrow until Friday, which isn’t ideal timing-wise as it is right around ovulation, but c’est la vie.

I had the scan and the doc was really happy with how I responded to the drug. My lining was nice and thick (he did say how thick, but I forgot as I was too busy looking for eggs!!) and that I had two eggs – one in each ovary – which were around 20mm and ready to pop, which is great news! Two eggs have got to be better than one, right!? I usually ovulate around day 14-15, but the doc said that I needed to take an injection of Ovitrelle asap, which would make me release these eggs late tomorrow evening, on day 12.

As I said, my husband is away from tomorrow, so luckily we tried yesterday, and then we can try again tomorrow morning before he leaves. In an ideal world, we’d be able to try again on Wednesday, but its just not possible, and to be honest I feel fine about it. We’ve never fallen pregnant when we’ve tried every single day, it’s only ever been when we tried every other day, and two of the three times that I’ve fallen pregnant has been from one-off tries, so I think we have as good a chance as any. I’ve tried to control everything around trying for a baby for so long – diet, timing, exercise, you name it – and in my experience it’s as much about luck as it is anything else, so we’ll just have a go and see what happens. It’s actually quite nice to have it all happen so quickly this month – usually there’s a week of build up before ovulation, but its just one try, one scan, one more try and then that’s it – straight into the two week wait! I start my steroids on Wednesday and then after 10 days I take a pregnancy test. Let’s hope that the steroids aren’t as bad this month and I actually manage to get some sleep!!

One thing that I wanted to share too was a really sad moment which happened when I was in the waiting room before my appointment. The recurrent miscarriage specialist who I see has clinics in both London and in Epsom (which is the clinic which I usually go to). As you can imagine, the London clinic is much busier than the out-of-town one which I go to, and when I got there there was one couple waiting and a woman on her own, with a baby who must have been about a year old. Luckily, I love seeing babies – even after three losses and all the drama which comes with it, seeing babies still brings a smile to my face. There’s always that initial tinge of sadness, but the happiness I feel is much greater than the sadness, which I am really grateful for, so I was happy watching this cute little guy crawling around the waiting room floor, happily playing with his toys.

The lady with the baby went up for her appointment and a woman and her father came into the waiting room (I heard her call him Dad) and they started chatting. The woman looked around my age, probably early 30s, and was in good spirits as she talked to him. Not long after, the woman with the baby came back into the waiting room. She sat one chair away from the woman, put her baby in his pushchair and gave him his bottle. Honestly, the look on this poor girl’s face as the baby started to happily gurgle on his bottle, right next to her, was just heartbreaking. I saw her look at him, and you know the look that most people have when they watch a baby feeding – it’s a look of ‘ahhh, isn’t he/she cute?’ ‘don’t they look happy now they’ve got their dinner?’ – this wasn’t the look at all. She stared at him with a look of complete despair. No smile. No happiness. Just a strained face and sad eyes – it was horrible. I looked away, and when I glanced back she was still watching him, with the same look. After a while she put her head back, took a deep breath, and then got out her phone and started looking at something on it, clearly just trying to distract herself from what was happening right next to her.

I felt such a mix of emotions as I watched all of this. I have to admit that part of me felt angry towards the woman with the baby for sitting right next to this girl. After all, this was a recurrent miscarriage clinic, so there’s a good chance that most of the women in there didn’t have a child, and didn’t know if they’d ever be able to have a child. Couldn’t she have moved a little further away, just so it wasn’t right in the girl’s face? But I also felt bad for the woman with the baby. Even though she had a baby she was there to see the specialist too, so there’s a good chance that she had experienced losses as well, so why should she have to hide away her baby just in case it upset other women? Honestly, it was such a weird situation.

After what felt like hours of the baby finishing his bottle, the woman sorted the baby and left. I really wanted to say something to the girl, but as she was with her Dad it just didn’t feel right. If she broke down, which I think she was close to doing, he’d have had to deal with it, and no Dad wants to see their little girl like that. So I left it. I felt so sad for this girl, and so hopeful that she gets the help that she needs from the specialist. But I also felt strangely grateful – that I was plodding on, that I was keeping my head above water and that I also have hope with this new specialist. I feel that despair, that aching and that loss, but I am still persevering and am still hopeful. Let’s see how this cycle goes, i’ll keep you posted.

X

Planning ahead….

After our third loss, we were told by the NHS that we’d be eligible for IVF, but not until June 2015. We were told this in October last year – after my laparoscopy and hysteroscopy – and at the time it felt like yeeeeeaaars away! So we decided to see the private specialist and forgot all about it.

Now that it’s March already (seriously, how do the cycles go so slowly but life whizzes by so fast?!), it popped into my head to look into this avenue after all. In an ideal world, we’d keep trying with the treatment that I’m on now and before then i’d fall pregnant and manage to stay pregnant. But, given our luck so far, I don’t see any harm in looking into a Plan B! So I called up and got an appointment to see the NHS specialist at the end of May. We will then get some tests and be referred for IVF.

Our problem so far hasn’t been falling pregnant, but staying pregnant, so IVF never really seemed like a necessary option. We’ve fallen pregnant relatively easily in the past, but this might not be the case this time around, so I think it’s worth getting the wheels in motion just in case. I will need to check what the deal is with carrying on my reproductive immunology treatment whilst I have IVF, but i’m sure it will be fine as my clinic does offer IVF, so it can absolutely be done. I know that IVF is a big old process, and nothing is guaranteed, but I feel better knowing that we’ve started the ball rolling on this. I’m still hoping that we won’t need it, but a back up plan is always good.

To anyone who has PCOS and is taking clomid – I’ve just finished my first round of letrozole and am happy to report that I had no side effects – no anger, tears, shouting, screaming – it was brilliant! I had three rounds of clomid last year and basically wanted to punch anything that moved, but this was much better! I’m having an ovulation scan on Monday to see if it’s worked, so i’ll let you know, but so far i’m really happy with how it went side effects-wise.

Fingers crossed that we get a few good eggs and can manage to get our timings right for trying!

X

New beginnings 

I don’t usually write much on here that isn’t baby/fertility related, but last week my husband and I bought a new house – wahooo!! Well, I say new, it’s actually been lived in by the same couple for the last 40 years, and they hadn’t decorated or updated anything in that time, so as you can imagine, there’s a lot of work to be done! But we’re so happy and excited to start working on it. The lady whom we bought it from is in her 70s I guess, and a lovely kind woman who has wished us every happiness in our new home. She lived there with her husband for 40 years, when he sadly died last year, and now she is moving into a retirement flat. 

Whilst we’ve been stripping the wallpaper, I’ve found several things written in pencil under the paper, clearly by her husband, about how beautiful she is, that she is the best wife, and that she has a funny face! It has absolutely pulled on my heart strings reading these sentences – imagining them as my husband and I are now – excited to be in their new home, decorating it, being silly together. I’ve taken photos of each of them and I’ll keep them in case maybe she’d like to see them one day. It might be a bit soon yet, but I know if it was me I’d love to see them – reminders of happy times and new beginnings.

The lady left something important at the house, so I offered to collect it and drop it at her new home. When I got there she happily showed me around and whilst we were in the spare room I asked if she had any children. She said no, and that she had no family about from her two sisters-in-law. Honestly, standing in that little flat with that lovely lady, this almost broke me. We got chatting and I told her briefly about our losses and that we were having fertility treatment and she wished me luck with all of it.

I called my husband straight after I left and said that no matter what – be it our own babies, adoption, whichever works for us – we need to keep going until we have our children. Seeing that lovely lady, with so much kindness and love to give, with no family around her, just absolutely floored me. She’d enjoyed a happy life with her husband, but was now sadly all alone. I don’t know their situation regarding children, but I do know that it has made me realise even more the importance of family, however that family is made, and how much I am willing to keep trying until we get there. 

This month is a funny one as I’ve said before, with my husband being away and all, but we’ll have a go and see what happens. I know that we’ll be really happy in our new home and I hope the lady is happy in her new home too.

X