13th February, 2015.

My poor neglected blog. I’ve just read back on the events of the last year, and I would so dearly love to go back to myself this time last year and say ‘this time next year, you will be 28 weeks pregnant and completely in love with The Boy’. If only we all had that crystal ball…..

 

So there you have it, the short version, I’m 28 weeks pregnant. I have a fabulous little boy on board, who has been nicknamed The Boy, which I think will probably stick with him for life. He does have a real name too, but will wait until he’s born to announce that!

Long version (I hope you have some cake and a cuppa….). Well, it seems that pregnancy and I aren’t the best of partners. I more or less sailed through the first trimester, had a little bit of nausea, but that settled with a bag or two of salt and vinegar squares. In fact I ate packets of them. I even wrote to Walkers to see if I could buy the seasoning anywhere, as it was the seasoning that made the sickness go. They said they couldn’t divulge their secret recipe (sheesh, it’s just salt and vinegar 😉 ) but sent me some vouchers, which was nice. So, no vomiting (hurrah!), but the anxiety was mounting. I had a few episodes of spotting, I’d get scanned and all was fine. The first time I heard his heartbeat I sobbed on the table. I couldn’t quite believe that that embryo was growing inside of me. We had a few early scans. The bleeds seemed to tail off, and my anxiety lessened as I headed towards the second trimester. We had our dating scan, which put our EDD forward by 4 days (impossible, egg and sperm hadn’t even met at that point!) but hey ho, we were 4 day closer to meeting our baby. I felt great. I was happy, and we could start making little plans. I’d got a job as a midwife, and was awaiting a start date.

Then on November 4th our world briefly came crashing down around our ears again. I was at home, in bed. The Husband was at work. I rolled over in bed and felt a gush of fluid between my legs. I checked, it was bright red blood. I sat up and it was pouring from me. Whenever I talk about it I still feel the warmth of the blood pouring down my legs (and my cream divan bed…..). I tried to call The Husband, but he doesn’t answer his phone (he can’t where he works), so I had to call my Father in Law, to call my Mother in Law who works with The Husband to get him to come home. I was hysterical, sobbing that I was having a miscarriage. My Father in Law had asked me if I’d called an ambulance, which I hadn’t…. So, I call an ambulance and on the phone all I kept saying was ‘I can’t lose this baby, I can’t lose this baby’. The woman was fab, she tried to calm me down and talked me through the next few mins until an ambulance arrived. I explained I was upstairs, couldn’t get downstairs, so she said she would send the police around to break in – that panicked me more, so I grabbed a pillow, put it between my legs, and waddled downstairs, leaving a trail of blood behind me. I managed to open the front door, and then went and sat on the sofa (leather, thankfully!). It felt like ages before they arrived, and even longer for The Husband to arrive. I finally get wheeled to the ambulance, and put in a stretcher. I notice that somehow, I have a chicken feather stuck to the blood on my toe, which actually distracted me from what was going on.

I get to the hospital, and the care was less than adequate. The nursing staff left me in a shut room for 20 mins, no observations, no IV access (considering I’m still bleeding…) and nobody checking on me. The doctor walks in, and all I want there and then (and I suspect that any other woman in the world in my situation) was for her to scan me and see if I am still pregnant or not. But no, she wouldn’t, and walked out of the room telling the nurse I was refusing treatment!! The nurse explained that they need to take a history, examine my abdomen, check my cervix and see if there was anything that indicated miscarriage (you know, apart from the blood I was swimming in!). They couldn’t see my cervix as there were too manty clots in the way, but from what they’d scooped out from my vagina and clothing, there was no evidence of ‘products of conception’. At that point, I knew that my baby was OK. I don’t know how, but I had a calm feeling. The doctor insisted I was miscarrying, but I didn’t believe her. My IVF consultant was called, and I was informed she’d be up to scan me after lunch.

She arrived on the ward, and scanned me, and there in all his glory was The Boy, dancing away like nothing had happened. The Husband had aged about 20 years in those few hours. I just wanted May to arrive, so The Boy would be here. The initial doctor came back and said my iron levels were fine and that I could go home. I refused, I told her that my iron levels are lower than that, I’d bled a little more since she took th eblood, and an accurate iron level can’t be obtained so soon after a significant bleed.  They kept me in overnight, did my bloods in the morning, and I was proved right. The registrar was about to discharge me, hadn’t checked my iron levels, and huffed and puffed as she did so. They had dropped significantly, and was started on iron supplements straight away. Thankfully I run at a really high iron level, so I avoided the need for a blood transfusion! I bled for 6 weeks afterwards, and my iron levels haven’t returned to normal, but are within acceptable limits.

The Boy has well and truly kept me on my toes. I’d been told that the bleed was probably caused by some of my placenta coming away, so I was to expect a growth restricted, premature baby. I’ve had some episodes of reduced movements, and I was scanned. My poor little growth restricted baby appears to be doing very well, and is plotting above the 90th centile, weighing approx 2lbs 8oz at 26+5 weeks pregnant! I was stunned! I have more growth scans booked, and I’m well aware that his growth could still be impaired, but for now, he’s doing OK. My anxiety is through the roof again. I have a low lying placenta (common in IVF pregnancies apparently!) and I have raging SPD, but it’s all worth it for my Boy.

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20th June, 2014

So much has happened, my head is in a spin and I’m dreading the next few months. Fuck. FUCK. I had surgery a week last Monday, to try and unblock my ‘not so damaged tubes’. Well guess what, it didn’t work – it really shouldn’t have come as such a surprise. I was in surgery twice as long as I should have been, and I was in so much pain afterwards, that I had to stay in overnight, when I should have gone home, and in fact, I demanded they discharged me when they admitted me on to the gynae ward and placed me in a room with 2 pregnant women, sensitive, huh? Anyway, my left tube IS mangled beyond repair and has been clipped to prevent hydrosalpinx developing in the future. Right tube is doing it’s own sweet thing, which isn’t what it should be doing. They managed to unblock about 2/3rds of it (so again, my tube that wasn’t really blocked, was really blocked). One of the surgeons thought he could see a tiny spot of fluid pass through the tube, so they didn’t clip it, I wish they had. The adhesions are getting worse, and are now involving my bowel. Both of my ovaries are embedded in the adhesions too. Hey, it’s sounding more and more positive with each sentence I write….. Our consultant was very blunt when she came to see me after surgery, saying that we need to start IVF ASAP. I was stunned, if I wasn’t lying in bed (and off my face on morphine!) I would have collapsed. My consultant has never been direct, we’ve never had any guidance during this, just options of what could be done. So, we start IVF next month, my ovaries are aching at the thought of it, and I am petrified. So, so scared. I’m a nurse, and I’m scared of the injections. I’m scared of IVF not working. I’m scared I’m never going to be  Mummy, Mum, Mother. I am so anxious, I’m crying everyday. The Husband is being so pragmatic about it, I’m sure it’s a man thing. He just says that it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work, we try again.

 

So there we have it, waiting for my period to show up, then we’ll be on the 3 week countdown to IVF. I can’t believe it’s happening so soon.

Tuesday 11th February 2014

I just cannot stop myself getting worked up about IVF. It seems that every spare moment of time, I am researching IVF, looking for things I can do to improve my chances. Researching all the ‘added extras’ such as having an endometrial scratch, using an embryoscope, using EmbryoGlue, having accupuncture, meditation, weight loss, vitamin supplements and even planning to visit the chalk fertility ‘thing’ in the south of England. I’m currently obsessed with comparing clinics results against each other, but the results aren’t very recent, and so many advances have happened in the world of IVF recently, and I don’t think the current HFEA results reflect these advances. Everyday in the media there is always something about infertility/IVF that may offer conflicting views to those you already hold, or conflicting advice to that which you have already taken on board – most recently taking pre-conception multivitamins has shown links to increased miscarriage rates. Seriously, what is a desperate woman to do? I’ve even been researching IVF clinics abroad – I really don’t know if we will have further attempts of IVF in the UK or not.

I’m also getting very worked up about having treatment and working my scans / blood tests / medication around working shifts. In an ideal world, I don’t want anyone I know, especially work colleages, to know I am going through IVF. I don’t want to have to tell people that the treatment failed, or tell them early on that I am pregnant. This is something so, so personal to me, it’s something that I am petrified about and I don’t want to feel like the whole world is watching me. Whilst I moan about the media not offering a true representation of the roller-coaster of infertility, it is still something that is personal and unique to every individual that experiences it.