*If you have missed my previous blog,catch up here*
If love could of saved you, you would of lived forever.
The two week wait is finally over, we are advised by the clinic to visit on my 14th day following transfer to perform a blood test & a pregnancy test, I knew as soon as I was given this advice I would be testing myself at home, I didn’t think I could handle a stranger telling me my fate. If I needed to cry I could do so in the comfort of my home, I could wail as long as I wanted and not be escorted from the premises!
It turns out it was the right decision because the IUI failed, and once again, so did my hope.
I was adamant it would work, I had once again built all my hopes up and had the ‘gut feeling’ this would be ‘the one’ we where due to get married in 3 months time & I was hoping to announce our wonderful miracle on the day, to be surrounded by cheers and love and it would all be like a fairytale, I now look back and realise how naive I was towards fertility, I constantly mirrored myself on other success stories, every twinge I could relate to I did, I tried to be blissfully ignorant towards the negative stories, it was more than likely the worst thing as I had no comfort at my time of need, nothing to relate to, I felt so alone – me and Mr.F against the world.
Strangely enough despite feeling like my dream was over the maternal instinct within me suddenly went from despair to determination, something deep inside me just clicked and as the days flew by one after another I got on with it, I still don’t know how to this day.
We hadn’t told many people about our treatment, mainly due to embarrassment and the stigma, I felt less of a woman, I know Mr.F’s bravado was dented, his ego had a big ugly black bruise, since my experience i have spoken to many friends openly and one theme that reoccurs during fertility treatment is that its taboo, i wouldn’t express my problems to friends, its only since writing this blog that I’ve realised that in fact the best thing to do is open up and listen to peoples own experiences, be a shoulder to cry upon and challenge the never ending questions of ‘When are you having children?’ (the worst conversation killer) My immediate family knew and once I’d opened up it was a relief to share my highs and lows, Pappa H bless him didn’t understand much of the technology side at the time but since relaxing and letting him into my little bubble of treatment he now just about understands, and my 78 year old Grandad was just as confused, he’d never seen fertility problems, he’d never experienced them and most certainly in his time there was no fertility problems, you just got on with it, The one person that guided me through was Auntie B, with 30+ years as a nurse and specialist in Endocrinology, specialising in hormones, she understood every irrational fear and thought. Every new medication was discussed at length, newspaper cuttings of medical breakthroughs were saved, support was given & I cannot thank my family enough for all that they have done.
Mr.F was involved from right the start, asking the questions id forgotten to ask, reiterating the nurses instructions when it all became too much to take on board, but I figured he needed a break and there would be many times I’d ring my Auntie and offload all my built up anger and emotions.
We decided to carry on and try another round of IUI, this time I was more prepared, I knew what to expect, I knew the procedure and the routine, it helped massively, it felt like a walk in the park, just another routine appointment, i never felt stress or anxiety just excitement and positivity.
By now we had been married & honeymooned in Dubai & The Maldives, I had the most wonderful day, but in the back of my mind I wished I had a baby on board, I knew we had so much love to give to a new family.
A week after returning from honeymoon we was sat in the clinic ready for a fresh start, sadly this time didn’t work again either,…NOR THE NEXT.
‘ 3 attempts is the recommended amount of tries’ -Mr.Harris’ words echoed around my head as we received negative after negative pregnancy test result. I remember thinking my chances of becoming a Mother had gone, my dream was over, and that was inconsolable, i hadn’t researched the next step,i was so positive it would work.
‘The quality of your eggs are great, we should attempt one more time for a successful pregnancy’ – Mr Harris.
I’ll be honest I wasn’t hopeful, it was like a routine now, a chore. I knew it wasn’t going to work, why should it? My body had let me down previously so many times before… until..
3 months later:
I’m sat at the same clinic, the same room with the same nurses Helen & Erica, the same screen used to monitor my ovaries, only this time we where hear to see my 8 week old babies heartbeat. And what a joyous moment that was, it was one of life’s experiences you can’t put into words, I’m surprised I could hear anything over my own pounding heart! Mr.F gave my hand a little squeeze, I could see the excitement and relief in his face, this touched me more than the scan and is a highly treasured memory thats forever etched in my mind.
Our third attempt at IUI had worked!!! ♥
We measured at 8 weeks 3 days, right on target, I couldn’t believe after all our trials and challenges the patience and determination had paid off.
Being discharged back to the regular maternity unit at my local hospital was daunting, I’d grown to know the familiar walls, the never ending smell tea & coffee making facilities, the bond with the nurses, this place had seen more genuine tears and prayers than a church, these walls kept my secrets and thoughts, but we knew we couldn’t stay longer, it was time to fly the nest.
It sounds silly but one of the greatest milestones for me was visiting a local midwife and being handed my green pregnancy notes, id run my fingers across the page in awe,feeling the crispness of the pages beneath my fingertips, staring over and over again at my name written in black at the top, it was little things like this that built to the excitement, I was in a bubble of euphoria and nothing could stop me, it suddenly hit home, we was expecting a bloody baby!!!
10 weeks into my pregnancy my usual tender greats started to ease, the morning sickness dwindled off and I didn’t feel very ‘pregnant’ & i could suddenly enter a room with strawberries in there without feeling violently sick.
After doing esearch upon research I found that without any bleeding, cramping or clots I was more than likely safe, it was my go to symptom checker in the middle of the night when i tossed and turned, instead of listening to my body i relied on advice from forums, instead of listening to the sensible part of me, i became oblivious to the fact that all women are different, again by not speaking out i was just a number, conforming to the expected symptoms and limited knowledge, i pushed the doubts to the back of my mind, telling myself not to be dramatic.
Week 12 and we are sat in an unfamiliar waiting room at the local maternity unit, Mr.F is silent, I’m in awe of the ladies that surround me, some ready to give birth, some with the smallest bump ready to start their journey, and all I kept thinking was ‘where’s my bump?!’, me and Mr.F had taken the day off and planned to head to the Trafford Centre to buy our very first baby item.. and spend a small fortune on neutral baby grows, hoards of paint samples for nurseries and brochures on furniture, Today was a good day!
We are led to the sonographers room and I am instructed to lift my dress up ready for the scan, my breathing slows down and I am waiting to hear the heartbeat.
‘Can you empty your bladder please, it’s a little tricky to find baby, we’d like to perform an internal scan’
I pop to the toilet, still blissfully unaware there is anything suspect, to return back to the room, ready for the scan I’ve received so many times before, only this time Mr.F is as white as a ghost, I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it but his hands are shaking, I’m sure of it. I think I’ve got the wrong room, this isn’t the room I left, it was smiles and excitement, the atmosphere in this room is cold and unwelcoming.
After what seems a lifetime the midwife performs the internal scan and I hear the words that no woman should ever hear in her lifetime;
“I’m sorry, you have lost your baby.”
Panic. Dizziness. Panic. Sobs. Panic. Panic. Panic.
Why is she saying that?! I’ve only just seen my baby’s heartbeat, I’ve had no bleeding, my baby is there, we are you saying this?!
My heart shattered into a million pieces, my world had been flipped upside down in a matter of seconds, and still to this day when writing this blog it brings up so many emotions that i experienced in that moment, the raw heartache and devastation will never leave me, but times a healer and i found comfort in the words of others, i found solace in the fact it wasn’t meant to be, what did anger me and led me to a downward spiral of mild depression and anxiety was the events that happened when i was asked to leave the room during the scan, Mr.F had confided that the nurse has flippantly mentioned ‘she (referring to myself) has lost the baby’. No compassion was given, no after care or advice on my next step, nothing. This led to me making a formal complaint within the NHS (more on this later on in the blog)
We later went on to learn that I’d suffered a ‘Missed Miscarriage’ – cue plenty of research! We was no longer in the 25% of failed fertility, we was now into the 20% bracket of women that suffer miscarriages within the first 3 months of pregnancy.
We had lost our miracle child at 10 weeks, no explained reason, no symptoms, no time to grieve.
The timing could not be any worse, my grandmother whom I was dearly close to had passed a few days before with a long battle will illness, I remember during her final days sitting with her in hospital, feeling pride that I was carrying her first Great Grandchild, i held her hand against my lower abdomen and promised to carry on her memory within my unborn child, we would never forget her and my child would know all there was about the Grandma that wasn’t there to love, I found comfort in the knowledge that when she finally rested her eyes she was unaware of my sorrow and heartbreak, and it brought great comfort to me at my darkest times and still does to this very day.
Less than 25 hours later I was sat in the family funeral car following the most amazing woman on her way to her final resting place. I chose to carry out a natural miscarriage due to to the timing with the offer of medical intervention booked just days later if there was no natural movement, it was one of the most mentally and emotionally challenging events I’ve ever put my body through, our bodies work in mysterious and wonderful ways and somehow I got through it. My body carried me through and did what it needed to do, but every hug and tear shed at the funeral was followed by a silent tear from the grief of losing our baby.
I had just lost two of the most important people in my life and i had no idea what i needed to do to carry on.
Grieve if you need to, laugh if you need to.
Be strong,you’ve got this, i promise.