Trying again? Again?

Yesterday morning Paul and I had our follow up appointment with the GP to discuss our first lot of fertility test results…and it was good news as all the results were perfectly normal!

Our GP is great, I don’t know whether perhaps she’s got personal experience of loss or infertility or whether she’s just a very good Dr but she just seems to get it. She doesn’t think we’re being impatient or worrying about nothing, and she’s being proactive in getting as many preliminary tests done now as she can so that as soon as we hit the 12 month mark of unsuccessfully trying she can refer us to the fertility clinic.

So the next step is for me to have a pelvic scan to make sure that, in her words, everything is structurally as it should be, and to rule out ovarian cysts etc due to my suddenly wacky periods and general discomfort at random times of the month. It’s not very scientific but I just feel like something is a bit off with my body, so I’m really glad to be having a scan. It’s one step closer to figuring out what the hold up is and that’s definitely no bad thing as far as I’m concerned. She also mentioned possibly testing me for endometriosis so I really feel as though she’s doing her best to figure out if there is any reason we’re not getting pregnant.

But the biggest take away from this appointment for me was that she told me if I do get pregnant again that I need to contact her straight away so that they can refer me to a specialist to try and minimise the risk of another miscarriage. This has NEVER ever been mentioned to me in any of my pregnancies before, even though I’ve always felt I probably should have some sort of extra monitoring or gynaecological checks early on. She mentioned the possibility of using low dose aspirin as a way of minimising the risk of miscarriage, as well as the possibility of an incompetent cervix (I had Lletz loop treatment about 4 years ago and have always wondered if that’s played a role in my losses) and it being worth a specialist checking that out and maybe putting a little stitch in if necessary to protect pregnancy. She said that those were just some things that she was aware of, but that a specialist would obviously have other ideas too, but generally she left me feeling hopeful.

I feel so much more positive than I have in months. Not only knowing that, on the surface at least, Paul and I are perfectly fertile, but also knowing that any future pregnancies will be better managed with more support and hopefully less anxiety.

We took a little break from trying last month. It was needed. My mental health was starting to suffer and I was starting to break. The break has done/is doing me good for sure and that makes me nervous to throw myself back in to the world of ovulation testing and obsessive two week waits, especially now. Next month, 17th November, would’ve been my due date.

Up until we took this little break in trying I felt this immense pressure and panic that I absolutely had to be pregnant again before my due date rolled around. The thought of having to go through that day without the hope of a new pregnancy to lean on is scary. I don’t know how I’ll cope with it, but taking some time out to think about it has given me a bit more perspective. I’ve made my peace with not being pregnant for it, and with that I seem to have let go of a lot of anxiety as well as the pressure I was piling on myself. So now the big question is, do we start actively trying again this month? Half of me wants to, but half of me can’t face feeling crushed again every month it doesn’t happen.

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5 red things

I’m very lucky I have an understanding boss who knows what I’ve been through and am currently going through. We had a chat last week and he told me that if I’m having a rough day and can’t face the office then to just work from home. Sounds simple doesn’t it? But I can’t tell you how much of a relief it was to hear those words. At the moment, there are 5 people sat within spitting distance of me in my office who are all expecting babies. To say it’s difficult to be around this baby mania is an understatement!

After last weekend’s upset I decided to work from home Monday and Tuesday. Now I realise that I can’t just hide away at home avoiding pregnant women forever, and I have dragged myself in to the office this morning because I’d promised one of the boys in my team that I’d bake and donate cupcakes for the office coffee morning to raise money for a cancer hospice, which honestly, seems as good a reason as any to bite the bullet and stop hiding from my pregnant colleagues. But I’m really glad I was able to work from home a couple of days this week, because I really needed that time to dust myself off (again) and to feel strong enough to face people.

Now that I am back in the office, I’m going to try a coping mechanism that a friend of mine told me about. She sadly suffered a loss in the new year and has been having some counselling for it, her new counsellor told her about the 5 red things method, whereby any time she encounters something pregnancy related and feels herself going in to panic/hysterical crying/irrational anger she has to find 5 red things. I forget exactly how it works, but the gist was that you have to find 5 red things to see, smell or taste. It’s nothing more complex really than a distraction method, but for halting unwanted feelings or tears in the middle of the office I think it’d work, so today I’m going to try it out and see how I get on.

Anything to get through the day to be honest.

Giving up.

I really thought we’d done it this month. I’ve had a few dizzy spells the last few days as well as bouts of nausea, and absolutely no normal period symptoms. I honestly thought that this was our month until this morning when that hope was squashed again.

I never handle the disappointment brilliantly, but this month in particular it’s hit me really hard. I can’t seem to get myself together, stop crying or get a grip. All I keep thinking is that it’s really not fair and that I can’t keep doing this.

I think we have to stop trying. I can’t keep putting myself through this. It’s really affecting every part of my life. I can’t focus in work, I’m constantly anxious about who’s going to be next to announce a pregnancy, I’m so up and down constantly I don’t know which Cerian is getting up in the morning; the happy hopeful one, or the miserable, bitter, jealous one. I hate feeling this way. I hate that I don’t feel like me any more, I lost myself somewhere along the way and I don’t know how to get back. I hate that I hate my body, I feel like it’s my enemy and I don’t know how to make it a friend again. I hate that our lives are on hold waiting for this baby that may never come.

The only thing I can think to do is to stop trying. Take away that hope and make my peace with never having another child. The thought of never having another baby is almost unbearable, but what’s more unbearable is this monthly rollercoaster of hope, disappointment, anxiety and sadness.

What would’ve been my due date is looming ever closer, and the closer it gets the more desperate I feel. After my first miscarriage we instantly got pregnant again with Arthur, so although I was still upset on what would’ve been my due date, I was ok because I was then 5 months pregnant with a healthy baby boy. This time all I feel is emptiness. A lacking. A void I don’t know how else to fill. The thought of going through this would be due date and not being pregnant scares me. I have no idea how I’m going to react to it but if today is anything to go by then it won’t be pretty.

I’m exhausted by all of it. The miscarriages, the trying, the disappointment.

I think I’m done trying.

TTC rollercoaster

Hmmm where to begin. It’s been a while since I last blogged, partly because life is busy and partly because I wasn’t ready to put it out there…since the last miscarriage back in March we’ve been trying again. Unfortunately we’ve not had much luck.

I’ve been pregnant 3 times now, each time it happened instantly so to suddenly not be able to conceive is new territory to me. Getting pregnant hasn’t ever been our problem, staying pregnant has always been my concern. Now I’m in a weird limbo of not getting pregnant and not knowing why. We’re doing everything right. We’re both healthy, eat well, active, don’t smoke, barely drink…there’s no reason we shouldn’t be pregnant by now and yet here we are. Another failed month.

It hit me especially hard this month. It seems like all of my friends are announcing pregnancies or giving birth at the moment and I’m left feeling like it’s all really unfair that other people get it easy and for us it’s never been that way.

In desperation I rang my GP yesterday, I didn’t really expect them to do anything to be honest but I just felt like I needed to be doing something. To my surprise, they were able to see me yesterday afternoon and the Dr was brilliant. Even though we haven’t been trying that long in the grand scheme of things, she agreed that given my history of recurrent miscarriage and the fact that getting pregnant hasn’t been a problem for us previously, it was worth running some tests. I’m booked in for bloods to check hormone levels, ovulation and all the other possible reasons for us not getting pregnant. I should be happy with that, it’s what I wanted, and it is a positive step in getting some answers/help/closer to having another baby…but mostly I’m worried and anxious. What if the tests throw up something that ends all our hope? What if I have to face the reality that I may never have another child? I’m not sure how I deal with that. We know how lucky we are to have Arthur, he’s such a happy, healthy, perfect little man and that won’t change regardless of whether or not we have another child, but I can’t squash the desire to give him a sibling, to feel those magical kicks and wriggles, to hold a tiny newborn to my chest. I’m not ready for that to all be a distant memory and nothing more.

I’m trying really hard to just focus on the tests for now, one thing at a time and deal with things as and when we need to, but it’s certainly easier said than done.

Jealousy

I hate feeling this way. I hate that as more and more of my friends tell me that they’re pregnant, that I have to force myself to be happy for them. I want to be happy for them, (and on some level I genuinely am) I don’t want to feel jealous, I don’t want to feel like it’s unfair…but I can’t help it. That IS how I feel. I should be pregnant right now. I should be excitedly making plans with them, guessing on what we’re all having; girls or boys.

Instead I had another miscarriage and no luck in getting pregnant again since. And all I can think is how is that fair? Why do we have to keep going through the pain?

Even writing that, I feel guilty. Of course I don’t wish what we’ve had to go through on anyone else, of course I don’t want anything to go wrong for any of my friends. I just didn’t want any of it to happen to us either.

I feel self indulgent and ungrateful for blogging about this because I know how lucky we are to have Arthur, I know I should be happy with my lot but I can’t shake that ache, that longing that a loss leaves you with. And the truth is that I don’t feel like there’s anyone other than Paul that I can talk to about it. And so, here I am. Blogging. Because it’s my only outlet, my self prescribed therapy.

Most of the time I’m ok, I dust myself off and I get on with it, because what else is there to do? But today I feel like I’ve been blindsided. It’s just been babies from all angles today and it broke me a bit.

Today I’m sick of putting a brave face on. I’m sick of being strong. And most of all I’m sick of the envy that’s always with me.

It’s really really shitty.

A bad day

I’m not in good shape today. I’ve been doing so well, and I actually thought I was fine and then randomly out of nowhere the tears started and now they won’t stop.

I had a dream last night that woke me. I was in a hospital bed, unable to move, surrounded by scared children who I had to protect from some sinister figure lurking on the ward. I was meant to keep them safe but I couldn’t stop them from running off into danger, I couldn’t stop them from being snatched away. I was completely powerless. I suppose if that’s where my mind is right now it’s no wonder I’m having such a hard day today. I know it’ll pass, I know it’ll get easier. I know it’s just a bad day. I also know I have to live through the bad days to get to the good days, but that doesn’t make any of this any easier.

Gone

It was confirmed this morning. The positives to take from this morning’s appointment were that no intervention was needed. My body has very efficiently done what it should. Not that it feels all that positive.

It was also a very different experience to the last time. A different hospital this time, and frankly, a much better one. We were treated with care, kindness and compassion which makes such a difference. The lady we spoke to after the scan gave us lots of good advice, lots of reassurance that despite having another miscarriage there’s no additional risk that it could happen again, and the fact that in between the two losses we had Arthur is reassuring in itself. The scan also showed that everything looks healthy and normal so as shitty as it is, this miscarriage was just one of those things.

I’ve been holding it together pretty well all week (or maybe just bottling it up, who knows) but I really feel it today. I’m sad. I’m angry. I want my baby.

Life’s not very fair sometimes.