How do you like your eggs in the morning? 

“Smile through your tears, be strong even through your fears


It’s been 3 months and not a day goes by that I don’t think of our loss, some days I’m spiralling into a dark hole and others i’m optimistic for our future, I know we have other options and everyone keeps telling me to wait, to let my body and mind heal, in all honesty I want to try  almost immediately, as if to make up for our loss.

I’m not a PCOS sufferer or a miscarriage sufferer, I am a survivor, a warrior. It’s only recently that we have moved house that I came across the file of my precious notes in the loft, packed amongst other memories and trinkets of our journey together, holiday photos, old cinema tickets, tacky key rings we’d gathered, it’s all part of me, on paper or in my mind, on photo or in my heart, it’s there and it’s buried deep within. But I want more memories, I want a bible of memorabilia, the whole shebang!
After reviewing your notes we feel we should refer you for further treatment.. Have you heard of IVF?’ – Mr.Harris.

Of course we had heard of it! It’s for people over 50 that want more children, right?

Not exactly, it’s for people like you, people who struggle to conceive naturally and still struggle with a little medicated guidance. IVF is a more monitored and controlled treatment allowing us to take control and dictate the outcome as best we can’

My head is spinning, I’m 26. Surely this can’t be right, there must be something else we can do before this? It sounds so serious, but I know deep down my consultant knows best, he knows my body better than I do, he knows my desire, but he also knows my fear, and he gingerly broaches the subject of the procedure.. Including anaesthetic.

Not a chance. No way. Hell will freeze over before you sedate me. I’d rather be wearing them slippers on my wedding day than this! The walls I usually describe as familiar suddenly feel cruel, the world seems cruel, I am bitter and scared,petrified. I am upset that the only way of conceiving our child was through Mr.F producing a sample into a sterile cup, and someone to help medically produce my eggs to be frozen and reunited at a later date.


You’re probably wondering what is wrong with me, it’s only a sedation, and honestly I can’t even tell you why I feel this way, it’s been a long standing fear of mine that I’ve never had to tackle face on, I’ve never had to confront my nemesis. I’m silent all the way home from the appointment and Mr.F knows it,he also knows there no way of reassuring me, I’m adamant I can’t do it. I throw the large information file we had been given into ‘the bill drawer’ ( You may of denied ever owning ‘comfort pants’ in my last blog but I know you have this drawer!)

I text everyone ‘it’s over

My dream of becoming a mother is over once and for all, the battle has defeated me and I’m tired, I’m tired of trying, I’m tired of pushing for the next option, i’m tired of disappointment and failure, and I’m exhausted of being prodded and poked every other day. God bless the internet because Google became my best friend, if anyone could see my search history they would be concerned!

  • ‘Can you die during Sedation’
  • ‘What does General anaesthetic (GA)  feel like?’
  • ‘What if I never wake up from GA?’
  • ‘Does GA make your heart race?’
  • ‘How long does the effect of GA take to ease’
  • ‘How many people have died during GA’
  • ‘Can you overdose on anaesthetic’
  • ‘What happens to my body if I die during a GA?’

Thankyou Google for never judging – a true friend at its finest, always there to give me the answers I need, and turning a blind eye to the chocolates I scoffed and the tears I cried whilst questioning you, and of course you never judged the lack of matching Pj’s or the ‘just got out of bed’ look I sported oh so many times upon our late night redenvouz but the more I researched the more it became apparent I was slowly reasoning with the devil, I was coming round to the idea, the desire to become a mother was beating it, slowly , but surely.

Everyone knew my fears, there was no point asking for advice, I would only retort with statistics and bad experiences i’d researched, as if convincing them that it was a bad thing to do, as always I needed to convince myself first. It was only until I briefly mentioned it to a friend of Mr.F’s who’s a anaesthetist, when the idea dawned on me, she would become my counsellor! and she would provide me with a crash course in all I needed to know, I was offered counselling via my clinic which we attended but I felt ashamed to admit my fears, I was scared of being judged, I didn’t want to show my weakness as if somehow not being strong enough was going to hinder my chances, I didn’t return as I wasn’t being totally open to the idea, I would rather confide in the comfort of my own front room where no one would be taking notes

We sat and talked, mainly she talked and I listened, it was a cold early winter evening but my body was shivering from the nerves, even talking about it sent me crazy but it worked, I knew I had to book in for IVF before I changed my mind, the date was set and that was it, no going back..

By now it was the middle of winter and I have these oddly fond memories of standing shivering,and bottomless in our living room in front of the fire to keep warm,Mr.F sat at knee height armed with injections and pills, firstly the fragmin (to thin my blood due to risk of clots) into my lower abdomen, it was during these times I was grateful for a ‘little’ extra flesh in that area because they hurt,they stung with until the last air bubble expelled but the tears in my eyes stung more, I’d throw myself into the sofa in a ball and wait for the next jab into my thigh, we bonded over injections, we grew closer, we was on the journey together & behind closed doors it was our little routine, it smarted and ached and by the end of the protocol I was peppered with ugly black bruises all over my stomach and thighs, but all for a good cause because I was ready for my egg collection date, and the monitoring and prodding made the 3 week build up fly by.

Im panicking now, it was the night before the collection, I had my day bad packed (minus the ghastly slippers!) and my stomach was constantly doing somersaults, I’m told to arrive at Care Fertility Manchester deodorant and fragrance free, nail varnish was a big no-no & strictly nil by mouth, luckily I was due to go down to theatre early morning & I don’t think my nerves would of allowed breakfast. A work colleague had offered to drive us the usually 20 minute journey to Care fertility UK & save us the hassle and stress, but we hadn’t accounted for the rush hour traffic, or road diversions (I knew that if I hadn’t packed the slippers something would go go wrong!) we arrived an hour late, I’m bleary eyed from having a restless sleep and from crying through the frustration of being late, and no amount of make up is going to save my grace, we sign into reception and have our photos taken for our identity cards. I’d love to show you the photo of that very morning, it captured the mood to a tee, my face was pale, withdrawn, and in all honestly I look like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards ready to be sectioned.. Maybe,just maybe one day I’ll be confident enough to show you the photo!

My first impressions where fantastic, a clean and welcoming place with genuine friendly smiles, soft paint colours on the wall, I was blessed to be offered treatment within the NHS at this place, No sooner had i been sat in my own private room with a comfy bed when I was being taken through my observations, as soon as the nurse walked through the door I howled, and I mean howled, a full on mental breakdown just one notch below kicking and screaming level, i’d only just managed to calm down when there was a knock on the door, our surgeon, a friendly looking approachable soul, and the tears came flooding again. How would I ever do this? I wasn’t strong enough mentally nor emotionally to do this but I knew I would regret it, I had to be an adult and face my fears.

Mr.F didn’t have a clue what to do, as reassuring as he was, his words fell on deaf ears, I felt so trapped and so alone, and vulnerable in my open backed gown, why should it be the woman that does all this? All the male has to contribute is by flicking through the magazines in the ‘room’, I walked down the corridor leaning on the nurses for support as my legs buckled beneath me, almost like the final walk to death row with my dignity, confidence and the tails of my gown all flailing behind me , I hear the words;

Ok Mr.F your room is to the left, you and your wife will be reunited in 20 minutes after the procedure’.

What? 

What?!

What?!?!

I had automatically presumed Mr.F would be sat by my side in theatre holding my hand and watching as they retrieve the eggs I’d grown, I was told it would be mild sedation, I would be relaxed but a little woozy but fully responsive, looking back I think they may have heard my screams beforehand and had called in for extra emergency supplies because before I knew it I was being wheeled back into my suite with a HUGE grin on my face.. And an ever so loudly announcement that I LOVED the whole experience and I was planning on having a breast enlargement and butt implants next, Mr.F and the nurses laughed in polite unison, a unspoken code of ‘This woman is crazy!’

And that was that, within 10 minutes I was sat upright on the bed, gossiping away whilst devouring a tuna sandwich off the free lunch menu & a small slice of cake for my efforts. No pain, no tears, nothing but a huge grin & a big thumbs up!

It seems strange having no after pain, every female is different but I feel incredibly blessed that I didn’t feel a thing, almost surreal that someone had done the procedure and there was no evidence to suggest otherwise.. Quite scary to think actually.

Now I have to wait to see how many eggs they had retrieved and how many where viable, shit! , amongst my self praising I’d forgotten about that last hurdle!

It’s the run up to christmas, festivities are high, the winter has set and I’m on a countdown to presents and a baby, I have to remind myself that this is not a competition and I am only running against my own expectations.

So now it’s time to catch breath, slow the pace and refocus my energy towards that end goal. I remind myself of what is important to me – myself, my sanity, my relationship, my family and my friends. The finish line is there in front of me, I’m just running a little further behind than I had expected.

Silent tears and irrational fears. 

*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!!! ♥

IMG_3173

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.

IMG_3176-1It 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.

SILENCE.

‘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.

The very last time i held her hand. Joan Hall 19/01/1941 – 24/05/2013


🎶Goodbye my friend,

i know your gone,

you said your gone but i can still feel you’re here, its not the end.🎶

 Further advice on a MMC  here or miscarriages, listen to your body, seek advice,accept support.

Grieve if you need to, laugh if you need to.

Be strong,you’ve got this,  i promise.

Tatty

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