Wednesday 27 September 2017

Infertility and Me: Part Three

If you have missed part 1 and part 2 of my fertility posts you can catch up HERE and HERE.

us  pre procedure at the giant nappy pin monument we always visit- pure superstition!
 I left off yesterday summing up our 6th (yes 6th!) go at the IUI procedure and against the odds, this one ‘took’ and I ended the dreaded 2 week wait on happy news. It was a wonderful surprise, we were nervous and thrilled and exhausted. After the huge crazy rollercoaster the last 2 years had turned out to be we were just so happy to finally feel a bit more normal. I got to come off most of my drugs and we didn’t have to go to the hospital ALL THE TIME anymore which felt amazing. We couldn’t believe I was actually pregnant.

us at the clinic excited to be heading in to meet baby at our first scan
We had our 8 week scan to check all was going ok. You usually wouldn’t have an early scan but following fertility treatment you have what they call a ‘viabilty’ scan to check there really is a baby growing in there and that all looks ok. We hadn’t given it much thought before we went but luckily all looked amazing and we even got to hear the heartbeat which was so lovely after what we had come through. It all suddenly felt more real and we were looking forward to allowing ourselves to really enjoy the new adventure. We were seeing my family a couple of days before our next scan at 12ish weeks and we had wanted to get to tell them in person and it was great to celebrate together. 

Fast forward a few incredibly tired weeks and we were finally heading into our 12 week scan and I was so unbelievably nervous that morning. I had tried to ignore any bad feelings that I had been having as we had been told so many times after our early scan that things should be absolutely fine. But they weren’t. And it was the worst morning of my life.

I was lying on the hospital bed with Ally excitedly holding my hand staring at a big screen, looking at the little bean that should have been bigger than it was. I won’t go into details as there was a lot about that morning and our care that makes me mad but the long story short was, we had won one lottery with our IUI working, but lost another with the baby having died between those scans. It really was the most hollowing moment I could ever imagine. And as the weekend progressed (it was Mother’s day the next day….), and the news kicked in, it just all caught up with me. The idea of having to decide how to remove baby; how to tell people; how to face the next big fertility treatment hurdles that we thought we had gotten to leave behind for now. It really was all too much.

finding little spots of solace across the city in the weeks after
It was miserable, lonely, overwhelming and just hard to believe. I can distinctly remember lying curled into Ally on the couch that we hadn’t moved from all of that terrible day, and just wailing at him to make it all be different. A fruitless cry for something he couldn’t do and no one could, but all logic just went out the window. I just didn’t want to face any of it.

But you just keep going, you have no choice. I decided to have the operation to remove baby and it all became so clinical from here on in, and it was as horrible as you can imagine it would be. Never mind that you have to wait to get to have said operation and that is a pretty tough week knowing that what was meant to be growing in there just wasn’t any more.

People might wonder why bother talking about it all now, or why share all this at all. But I have always felt like I wanted to talk about it when I felt ready. The issues surrounding fertility and/or miscarriage are ones that so few people talk about it. I would love to know that one day any of this week’s ramblings might help someone else going through it, help them feel less alone or at least open up that conversation that can be so hard to have. I think to begin with, right back at the start that I felt angry or ashamed at my fertility issues and then you just end up consumed in this machine that you are struggling to understand and keep up with, so you just plod along and try and keep your head above the water. But now I am not ashamed of either, the miscarriage and the problems we have had are not something I want to hide. They have shaped who we are now, and what the last couple of years have been and having it all out in the open here feels much more honest.

continuing to visit our happy places while taking some time out for ourselves
The issue for us at this stage was having to get our heads around the idea that we had to give in and move on to the IVF stage of treatment which had always felt so far away and a bit of a last resort, but it was time to jump in.

We had argued for being allowed to test the baby after my operation and we found out just before starting our IVF that we had been having a girl and she had a chromosomal disorder called Turners Syndrome. That meant she had a 1% chance of making it as far as birth and then very little chance after that. It was such difficult news to have to hear, knowing the sex made it both harder and easier at the same time. We definitely found comfort in knowing what had caused the miscarriage to happen as they often say it is either ‘the seed or the soil’, and in that instance it had been the seed. Having that information was good for us going into IVF as if it had been 'the soil' we would have needed to wait longer to attempt to investigate it. I am so glad we fought for more information on what had happened, but I know it can’t always be done (they usually only will test after three miscarriages), But it did bring us some feelings of closure in time for the next big stage .

**To be continued tomorrow. if you have been here yourself or know anyone who has that wants to chat then feel free to pass this on or get in touch on Twitter, instagram or Email.**

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