Scan Nerves

Last week, I experienced some serious cramping. No bleeding, and was told by many that it’s likely to be the cyclogest, but I was worried enough to go to my doctors and request a transferral to the early pregnancy unit at the hospital. I had an appointment there last Thursday, they performed a scan – was far too early to see anything but the sonographer said the uterine lining is lovely and thick.

Then i had beta. Results were in roughly 2 hours later – 95. Due to history of ectopic pregnancy they wanted me to be monitored over the weekend, so I went back on Saturday to a ward (a loooong day waiting) and the phonecall at 7:45pm after 2:15 blood draw confirming beta was 326. Way more than double, perfect. Back on Monday for a third, an hour later results – 975. This is a big thing – we have never had rising betas before, they’ve always either fallen or remained stable.

We were booked for a scan, it was either Friday or Monday. We chose Monday as would be able to see more, but called today and brought it forward to Friday at 9am. I’m terrified. We’ve been told that as I’m only a little over 5 weeks, we probably won’t see more than the gestational sac and yolk sac – but we’ve never even got that far before. There will be a rescan in a weeks time to try and pick up a heartbeat if it all goes well.

This is all just too good to be true.

Today I’ve had some pretty major symptoms, but also the cramping I had last week is back and very uncomfortable. Feels so similar to what I’ve had before previous miscarriages. Don’t know what to think. Trying to remain positive, but it’s SO difficult when the only outcome we’ve ever had from a pregnancy is loss after loss.

Please be growing in there, little marshmallow. We love you very much.

Gobsmacked

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I’m pregnant. I started feeling a bit suss when certain things started happening this cycle on the exact same DPO as last cycle, when I had the chemical pregnancy. Sharp pains, then an upset tummy. This evening, when I got home from work I needed to feed my POAS addiction, so peed on an OPK. The only test I had in the house of any description. Glaring positive. Holy crap. This happened last cycle too.

When my husband walked in the door, I showed him and he started flapping saying we needed to test. He went and bought some, I peed, and up came a lovely strong second pink line immediately. WTF. It’s now 4 weeks to the day of the last loss, and I can’t believe this is happening. I started on the progesterone pessaries tonight, and the baby aspirin. Full dose of my normal vitamins and I guess now we wait and pray.

I can’t sleep, I’m terrified, I don’t know how I’ll cope if I lose this one too.

Please, please stick little baby of mine.

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Dear Forever Baby

Dear Forever Baby,

Each night, when I go to bed I think of you. You’re on my mind first thing in the morning when I reach for my thermometer and record my temperature, when I enter details onto my chart, every twinge that could be the end of another cycle or the first indication that you’re on your way. When I’m in the shower, or getting dressed I see the scars from the procedures I’ve had to try and help you along. I touch them, watch them fade, the purple turning to pink then silvery white, like the stars that shine in the sky from the failed attempts at keeping you.

There are scars that aren’t so physical. My heart aches and each time we thought you were coming, a little piece of my heart soared up to the sky with you when you left. I’m so sorry we haven’t met yet, but I find comfort that the parts of you are here already. Me and your Daddy are in our house, waiting, praying and dreaming of your arrival.

We know you’re on your way, we’re trying so hard to help you find your way into our arms. We stand in the doorway of what will be your room, we’re slowly trying to empty it in preparation, but there’s already so much room for you in our hearts, and really that’s all that matters.

We already love you, and you’re not even made yet. This journey is only increasing the love, and I didn’t think that would ever be possible. We will do whatever it takes to meet you, hold you in our arms and watch you grow.

We will never give up on you.

Love you to the moon and back, always

Mummy xxx

Thank you for the memories

October is a very difficult month for us. We have a ‘should have been’ due date, the anniversary of diagnosis and removal of ectopic pregnancy and now 2 miscarriages.

I’ve been very reflective recently on my experiences of being pregnant. Trying very hard to focus only on the good feelings I got, and not on the negative aspects of when it was over and soon to be.

-Giving a presentation, unbelievably nervous and briefly laying my hand on my belly. I wasn’t alone up there, it was me and my baby.
-A text from my husband, telling me how much he loved both of us.
-Reading about pregnancy, discovering that baby’s heart was the size of a poppy seed and knowing that that would be her name.
-Telling my Dad on the phone that I felt ill but great, and was settling into pregnancy.
-My husband laying his hand on my belly whilst we were in bed cuddling and sighing with happiness.
-Launching myself into my husbands arms when pregnancy was confirmed and sobbing with joy.
-Holding that positive pregnancy test for hours, not believing it was real.
-Being anywhere, just knowing it was me & baby.

I miss you all. So, so much.

First IVF Appointment

Last night we had our initial IVF consultation for funding assessment & a general overview of the process. After all that’s happened in the last week, and still being unwell with this stinking cold/flu thing, I genuinely didn’t know if we’d go until I was sat in front of the consultant.

Glad we did go, nothing major happened, and with recent events I’m not even having blood tests until I’ve had my next period following the chemical pregnancy. Giving this cycle to allow things to settle down, if not just for my body, but will help my mind to heal too. With Christmas approaching, it’s likely that we’ll start down reg in my December/January cycle which allows us some time to get used to the idea.

I spoke to the consultant about NK testing, and they offer the blood tests there. He said that results take about 10 days, and once he has them he can make a decision on treatment if it’s necessary. So plenty of time for us to get everything sorted before we start. It makes sense for us to go ahead with the testing offered by our own clinic at the moment. If we need further testing, we’ll assess at a later date.

All in all, I’m feeling fairly positive. We were told that we have a 50-55% chance of IVF success due to age and the fact that we’ve achieved pregnancy on multiple occasions. I’m terrified but can’t wait to get this show on the road. Even knowing there was no waiting list, I’m shocked at how soon we can do this. In a little over 2 months we may begin our cycle.

My dream is that this is successful, and Christmas 2013 will be our first as a family.

Natural Born Killer?

This morning I don’t know what to do. I’m being urged by my consultant to attend our initial IVF appointment as planned, on Monday. It feels too soon, but the IVF consultant & my current consultant have spoken about me and both feel that this is our best chance. They have said they will work together to help us achieve and sustain a pregnancy through IVF.

But, the fact is this: I’ve had 5 natural conceptions. None of which have been conceived during clomid (in fact, I didn’t take clomid this last month and conceived) but I’ve lost every single pregnancy by 8 weeks. The only thing i’ve ever seen on a scan is a heartbeat in my Fallopian tube with the ectopic.

This one took 2 and a half years to conceive, during which time I’ve had so much testing to try and determine a cause for recurrent miscarriage. Blood clotting, lupus anticoagulant, hysteroscopy, laparoscopy, referral to the recurrent miscarriage clinic. All results came back fine. They recommended I take low dose aspirin daily as soon as I get a BFP (which I did) and my consultant prescribed progesterone pessaries which I didn’t get round to using as they had to be ordered into pharmacy and by bedtime on the day I got them I was bleeding heavily.

The only testing I haven’t had is for natural killer cells. My concern is that that is what’s causing an implantation issue, but I can find very little information on it and I think we’d have to pay privately to have it done. It would also mean more travel for further testing and more money paid out on something that might be a no go.

But if we don’t do this, have IVF and the same thing happens, & NK cells are the issue, then any IVF from then on has to be privately funded as we’d have wasted our NHS round.

Anyone have any experience with this sort of testing? I’m looking specifically at uterine NK testing, as it appears the only pregnancy that developed as it could was the ectopic, which wasn’t in the uterus. Be grateful for any advice/input.

Here we go again

Today I’m trying to process the fact we’re experiencing our fifth pregnancy loss. We now have four awful anniversaries in the month of October alone. I don’t quite know how to process what’s happening at the moment, despite dealing with the immediate issues at hand; pain & the other unmentionables with waiting for nature to take its course.

My little miracle that I’d only known about for 3 days was short lived, but in that time so, so loved and wanted.

There is nothing more soul destroying than finding your husband sobbing in the kitchen. Please, please, please let the next time be the baby we’re meant to take home.

The truth about me and Clomid

I’m coming to the end of my first cycle back on clomid. This is cycle 9(!!) with an 18 month break in between, and over the course of this cycle I’ve come to remember everything I hate about this damn drug. Not to say that it isn’t amazing, of course. But it certainly isn’t an easy option.

I remember wanting to be prescribed it, over 2 years ago. Saying to my husband that I’d like to try, and I know that my face lit up like a child at Christmas during that moment after my consultant said “have you heard of clomiphene?” Why, yes, I certainly have! The wonder drug that you take 5 days a cycle and gives you twins! (I didn’t actually say that, or think that, but it isn’t far from what I actually thought) the prescription was given, after discussing the negatives, one 50mg tablet cycle days 2-6. As luck would have it, it was day 2, so I popped my first that evening an dove straight in.

The following 8 cycles of absolute misery and disappointment were forgotten within 2 cycles of no clomid. I’d come to rely on that as my means to get pregnant, despite the fact that I was ovulating without it. Every appointment I went to after that, I asked for it again. Only recently, after my lap did my consultant bring it up again. And what happened? Face lit up! Permission to take clomid again! And, I’ve just had my lap so I’ve got an even better chance! Cue a stupid amount of hope on those 5 little pills.

I should say here, that my prescription is empiric. I do not have any problems with ovulation, my cycles are always pretty regular. However, my consultant is a firm believer in the studies which have shown it to improve egg quality, which he believes may help us with the history of recurrent miscarriage. So this is my cycle on clomid…

It all sounds wonderful, until you hit a heat wave the second day you take it and you feel like you’re living in a microwave.

The hot flushes are intense. They start in my neck and burn their way into your scalp. The fan is now your best friend. What makes this even more fun, is the headache you have almost constantly whilst taking them, so not only do you have a furnace creeping it’s way up your face but there’s some mad cow banging away pots and pans in your brain.

Speaking of mad cows, I forgot how much of an absolute psychopath it made me. An argument can start because someone didn’t use a coaster. I say argument, I mean ‘the end of all things’ and I say someone, but I mean my husband, or another visitor, but it’s still my poor husband who gets it.

Then there’s the twinges. Your ovaries start to wake up within a few days, and the stabbing pains are more and more frequent. And through the psycho haze you think, perhaps that’s THE ONE. That follicle I can feel growing in me is the one which holds the little egg which’ll become one half of our perfect circle. Our little baby. And you hold onto that thought. And you try, and you try, always hoping that you’ve done enough. Because once you’ve taken the clomid, done the opk’s and had sex when you’re supposed to you can do no more and it’s time to wait.

And the waiting is harder than anything. Somehow, as the two week wait progresses, the psycho who vacated the building 3 days after the last tab is back. This time, she’s not only going crazy at the slightest thing, but she’s urging you to test. Telling you that you did everything right, so you surely must be pregnant.

She’s wrong, and you’re not. So you get out the clomid and you wait for your period to arrive and start all over again.

Finally, A Label?

I haven’t blogged in a crazy amount of time. My head has been in a bad place (and still is) but I’m slowly getting there. So much has happened. I’m still not pregnant, but I may not be “unlabelled” anymore.

I saw my consultant a while ago, in a hope he’d finally listen to me that I just knew something wasn’t right. It’s not normal to have period pain a week before you’re due on – and the concentration of it on my right side right down my right leg was making me suspect endometriosis. After talking to him, he suggested we do a laparoscopy, as well as the hysteroscopy that the recurrent miscarriage clinic suggested I have done.

The date was set for 20th June, I won’t go into what happened on the day too much but I was in theatre just after 3pm and home at 9pm, despite the fact they wanted me to stay overnight. I had endometriosis, my consultant says very minimal. This was concentrated on my right side (surprise, surprise!) and he burnt it away. I also had adhesions to my ovaries. Again, the right side was much worse but my left ovary was also affected. He’s freed up the adhesions so fingers crossed that will make a difference.

Hysteroscopy was ok, my uterus doesn’t have the “normal” shape, but it’s fine. I have a slight indentation at the top, which is what was suspected, but no septum. This shouldn’t cause any issues. For the dye test, it didn’t go through straight away. It took an extra shot of the dye till it all came spilling out so there’s a possibility there was a slight blockage beforehand. I know most of the team who were in theatre as my Mum works there, and apparently when it didn’t go through first time there was silence as everyone watched the screen. As soon as the dye spilled through there was a huge cheer that my Mum heard in the coffee room. When I heard that I had a little tear.

So, my uterus is ok, my left tube is clear, right tube is blocked because of the ectopic but we knew that. Endo was present, but now gone (for the moment) and the same for adhesions.

My consultant thinks that as soon as I’m healed (about 3 more weeks to the start of next cycle) and infection free (10 days of antibiotics due to an infected belly button post-lap!) we have a good chance. He’s positive, but said obviously he found problems – he’s fixed them as well as he can and he’s confident we can do this without IVF. The best chance is obviously the next few months. So…. we’re trying clomid again. Before that I have day 21 bloods to be drawn next week just to check hormones before we start.

Let’s hope this time clomid works for us.

Short and not so sweet

I’ve been thinking for a while, a lot to do with my last post. We’re not trying hard enough and I wondered the reasons. Pure and simple: I’m terrified of being pregnant at the moment.

 

Even thinking to the past year when I’ve got to the POAS stage of a cycle, I’ve been focusing on the fact that it feels like my heart has been ripped out when it’s a negative, and forgetting about the bit where I’m waiting the 2 minutes for the test to work thinking “how the hell will I cope if I am pregnant?”

 

I don’t know if my heart can take being pregnant. Every time I have been it’s ended in heartbreak, and it’s been two years now since we’ve even had that. I don’t know what to think, or what to do. I don’t want my husband to think that I don’t want a baby, because I do, so so much. But I don’t know how to cope with what being pregnant might throw at me, again. Right now, I’m scared that I’m not strong enough to deal with anything else going wrong.

 

Am I saying that I won’t TTC or persue IVF until I’m emotionally prepared for another miscarriage?

 

I have no idea.