First scan 

The plan was that I’d have my first scan tomorrow at my NHS appointment, when I’d be 6 weeks and 4 days. I’ve been plodding along each day, patiently getting through the hours just hoping that I’d make it to the scan. Such is the life of anyone who’s had recurrent miscarriages.

On Sunday morning I had a little spot of light brown when I went to the loo. It looked like the very start of a period. It worried me, but I thought I’d see how the day went. It cleared up, but then just before bed I had a much darker wipe, not bright red period blood, but definitely not what you want to see when you’re pregnant. I wiped one more time – same again.

I showed my husband and we thought that it was all over. Id never had any bleeding in other pregnancies, only the start of a miscarriage which then continued on till all was gone. We hugged, cried and genuinely couldn’t believe that it was all over after such a strong start. I said I’d call the early pregnancy unit the next morning and see if they’d scan me to see what was going on.

God bless the NHS, I called at 8.30am and was booked in for a scan at 1.50pm. You really can’t get better than that. I went to the loo and no blood. Even when I’m on my period it takes a while for my body to warm up on a morning, so I figured it would come once I was up and about. Late morning, nothing. Early afternoon, nothing. A little spark of hope lit up in me – maybe things were ok, maybe it was just a one off. I didn’t dare say this to my husband, but I dared to have a little bit of hope.

We got to the hospital and into the scan room. The sonographer was absolutely lovely, I’d seen her before with previous losses but she clearly didn’t remember, so I told her what had happened and that we weren’t expecting good news. I think it’s kinder to tell a sonographer this – just so they know that you won’t absolutely lose it if it’s bad news. She turned the screen away and started looking.

I felt pretty calm as she was looking – just waiting for the inevitable sad face and empty screen. But she scanned a bit more and said that everything was looking exactly as it should for 6 weeks. 

What?! 

She asked if we wanted to look. I figured it must be ok if she’s saying this – no sonographer would want you to see a scan of your failed pregnancy – so I said yes. She turned the screen and there it was – gestational sac, yolk sac, teeny pole and a good strong heartbeat. I honestly couldn’t (and still can’t) believe what I was seeing.

I instantly panicked about the size, as my two non-chemical losses had heartbeats, but they were waaaaay too small for their age. She said it was really too small to measure, but that she knew that it was exactly where it should be at this stage. Her exact words were ‘textbook’. F**k me, I’ve never had a pregnancy of mine described as ‘textbook’ in. My. Life.

She checked my ovaries etc and couldn’t see any bleeding anywhere, all looked fine. She showed us the sac a few more times just so we could see the heartbeat. I was tempted to video it but didn’t dare in case I tempted fate. Moments like that will always stay in your mind whatever happens anyway. I had thought that there may be two in there, but definitely just one, which is absolutely fine with me.

She kindly offered to scan me again at 9 weeks, so I have some reassurance before the 12 week scan. We were really grateful for that, she was so lovely. The thought of even getting to 7 weeks is a bloody lifetime away right now, but hey, I’ll take as many scans as I can get!

We left the scan feeling a bit dazed to be honest. My mind was racing – was it too small? Was she just being kind and didn’t want to scare me? Should I have got proper measurements? She did try and measure it, but said that at this stage it’s just too tiny to get anything accurate. Even though she said all looked great, my mind just could not accept the good news. My husband seemed much happier – probably because he sensibly accepts the opinion of someone who does this day in day out – not some over-googled nutter like me!!! We got an ice cream to celebrate and had a nice country walk and I started to relax a little. 

I had a little more dark discharge just before bed, but I half expected that after the internal scan. Given that I’ve practically barricaded up my lady bits since I found out I was pregnant (my poor husband!) it really has been a no-go area, so I’m not surprised that it got a bit of a shock from the delightful scan wand! But today things seem to have cleared up, so I’m really hoping that’s the end of it. My midwife had said that I can double up on my progesterone, so I’ll give that a try. We all know that that won’t stop it if something isn’t working, but it certainly can’t hurt to try it.

I’m seeing the NHS doc tomorrow, but I’m not going to ask for a scan. I need time to let things try and develop and don’t want to keep prodding away at it! My next scan is on Wed 7th Oct, when I’d be 7.5 weeks. As you’d expect, I’m absolutely petrified about this one. It’s with my private miscarriage specialist, who’s brilliant but very direct and to the point, so I can’t imagine it being nice if he has to deliver bad news. 

I looked back on both of my non-chemical pregnancies, and at 6 weeks I’d never seen a heartbeat on either of them. One of them I didn’t see anything at all until 8 weeks and another one there was no heartbeat until 8 weeks, but the baby was way too small. I know this, but I still can’t accept that things look good right now. I honestly just can’t imagine that this little baby inside of me will keep growing and I’ll have good news next week. I just cant imagine it. I’m sure it’s normal, but I’m just constantly expecting bad news. I still don’t really have many symptoms – slightly sore boobs, bit tired, bit hungry, that’s it. I’m wishing for an onslaught of symptoms, just so I know that something is happening, but I think the steroids and the hydroxychloroquine seem to be keeping things at bay. Ah well. 

It’s our 3 year wedding anniversary tomorrow, so we’re going out for dinner to celebrate. We’re taking each day at a time and enjoying any happy milestones that we have. Whatever happens, it’s amazing that my husband got to see the heartbeat yesterday. He didn’t see it in my previous pregnancies, as I had to attend some scans without him, so I’m so pleased that he’s at least got to see that. I’ve managed the three week wait to get to my first scan, so waiting a week is perfectly doable now. I’m just praying that there’s no more bleeding, I really am. 

I’ll let you know how I get on – please keep your fingers crossed for me!

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Sorry for the radio silence!

Last time I posted I was just leaving my job and was excited about starting our new house extension in a few weeks time. I was also 7 days past ovulation and planning to start IUI if that cycle wasn’t successful.

I didn’t bother testing at 10 days past ovulation like I usually do, as I’ve never got a positive then even if I am pregnant, so I just waited until 12dpo and this is what appeared…

12

Wowzers. That was a pretty good line for 12dpo, but i’d been there many times before, so even though we were pleased, it was by no means time for celebration – especially given that my last two pregnancies ended only 7-10 days after my first positive test earlier this summer.

I’ve gone round and round with what I should do testing-wise over the years. Once I get a positive test, part of me wants to test regularly, to see if anything is progressing, but then another part of me prefers the ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach – where I just let my body do what its doing and then see what happens. I honestly don’t know which is best – whatever gets you through the day I guess.

We decided to test again at 14dpo, to see if anything seemed to be progressing. Here is what we got…

12and14

The bottom test (at 14dpo) was definitely darker than the 12dpo one, so this was a brilliant thing to see. Again, nothing is guaranteed, but to see some sign of progression was great. Being the total pee stick obsessive that I am, here is a comparison of my last (chemical) pregnancy with this current one – at 12 and 14dpo…

comparison

You can see very clearly that the chemical one (at the top) was very light and hardly progressed at all, whereas the bottom one is definitely darker. This gave us a little bit of hope.

We decided to test again at 16dpo, just to see again if anything was progressing. Here’s what we saw…

121416

Yep – definitely some progression there. We were so happy when we saw this one! We then decided to wait for a while, see how we felt and then decide what else to do test wise. Once the test line gets very dark, it seems pointless doing any more, so the Clearblue weekly tests started to wander back into my mind again. To cut a long story short, here’s what we got at 4 weeks and 5 days…

2-3

Then this morning, at 5 weeks and 2 days…

3plus

So, here we are! As you can probably tell, I’m not exactly bouncing off the walls with excitement – this is my sixth pregnancy without a baby to show – but so far things seem to be progressing as well as we can hope for, which is more than we’ve had in a while. All three of the chemical pregnancies which i’ve had in the past had ended by now, so I’m pleased to be past those milestones, but I’ve also had perfect betas in a previous pregnancy, and still lost the baby, so even though things look good, there really are no guarantees.

Treatment-wise, I’m still on my hydroxychloroquine, steroids, metformin, baby aspirin and vitamins. The doctor has also added omeprazole, as this drug protects your stomach from the long-term usage of steroids, which makes sense. I also went for another intralipid infusion treatment at 13dpo.

I’m seeing our NHS doctor next Wed 30th for our IVF referrral appt (the irony!!) so i’ll go and see him as planned and hopefully i’ll still be pregnant by then. If I am, he might want to scan me, and i’d be 6 weeks and 4 days. This is our 3rd wedding anniversary too, so I really, really am hoping for some good news. I’ve also got a scan booked in with our recurrent miscarriage specialist on 7th October, so we’ll see how things go until then. Both of these dates feel like lifetimes away at the moment, i’m basically just living day to day and hoping that things go well. As I said, I’ve had textbook betas before and still lost the baby, so even though I’m hoping that things work out, you just never know.

I’ll let you know how things go. I’m not feeling much different to be honest – more tired, more hungry and my boobs are a bit more sore, but that’s about it. Please keep your fingers crossed that we can at least make it to the scan and see what’s going on then. The thought of the scan absolutely petrifies me right now, but i’ll just keep taking it day by day.

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Last day at work – onwards and (hopefully) upwards

Well, I’ve worked my month’s notice and today is my last day at work!

It’s been a funny old time thinking that I won’t be working anymore. All of my life i’ve been a grafter (English slang word for someone who works hard). I worked hard at school, college, university, post grad, then managed to secure some really great jobs over the last 10 years or so. I lived in central London aged 21-31, so all of my twenties were a blur of working hard, playing hard, parties, holidays, friends, smiles and fun. I had an absolute blast in London and I wouldn’t change a minute of it, it was brilliant. I moved out to the countryside when we got married and got the job that i’m now leaving. It’s nowhere near as fun or challenging as my previous jobs, but it’s been a steady income during a time when my heart and mind have most definitely not been on work, and i’m very grateful for that.

I might have mentioned before, but we are having an extension built on our house at the end of this month too, so we’ll have about 4-5 months of construction work taking place whilst the extension goes up, then the rest of the house is reconfigured. This means that i’ll have to get out and about quite a bit, which I think is a good thing. I’ve already planned to start yoga/pilates classes and as we live in a really gorgeous part of the world, i’ll make sure I get out and about for walks as much as I can. And the best part of all – time with Daisy our gorgeous cat! My husband has been amazing about the whole thing and just wants me to be able to take it easy as much as I can during this time, so that’s what i’ll try to do, as well as looking after him. Sitting around doesn’t really come naturally to me, but heck, if it helps our chances then i’ll give it a try! I realise how bloody lucky I am to have this time, so i’ll definitely make the most of it.

Baby-making wise, nothing to report here yet! I’m currently 7 days past ovulation and feel totally normal. I’m happy to report that since I started my steroids again last week, I’ve managed to sleep completely normally every night, which is amazing!! I thought that as i’d had a couple of months off them, it might be back to the non-sleeping nightmare that I had the first month, but happily not! I’ve also got my appetite back (that’s an understatement actually – I’m eating like a bloody horse!!) and am generally feeling much more energetic which is great. I know its only temporary, as its the effects of the steroids, but after months of feeling rubbish on the hydroxychloroquine i’ll take whatever I can get!

Test day will be Tuesday next week, at 12 days past ovulation. I used to test at 11 and 12dpo, but I’ve never ever had a positive on those days when I’ve been pregnant, so I’m not wasting my money on First Responses by testing early. Gotta save money now that i’m not working!!

My husband and I have also decided that we’re going to try IUI if i’m not pregnant this month. Even though I am able to fall pregnant, we’ve decided to try and give ourselves the best chance of falling pregnant a little faster (hopefully) by trying IUI. Because we only have a few more cycles until Christmas, there is a bit more time pressure than before, so we’re going to give this a try. It’s basically a case of throwing everything that we can at this before we have to stop and move on to surrogacy.

It’s funny, but if I was to fall (and stay!!) pregnant this month it would be absolutely brilliant – no work, time to relax, perfect. My little heart aches when I imagine this – it really would be fantastic. But the reality is probably that it’ll be negative and next month i’ll be laid in a hospital bed with a catheter up my lady garden to get me up the duff – OH THE GLAMOUR EH LADIES!?!?

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