No news is… no news

On Wednesday I got a darker line on the FRER. Since then I have tested one more time and again got a dark line. I could happily test daily but it would cost me a fortune and wouldn’t really achieve anything as I have an entire box of positive pregnancy tests which attest to the fact that a BFP doesn’t necessarily result in a baby. So I’m currently just trying to get from one day to the next without going insane.

I’ll be a whole five weeks tomorrow. It sounds so early. Some women don’t even know they’re pregnant until after now but I got a faint positive at 3w4d so I feel like I’ve known for ages already. If we manage to get to next weekend I’ll make an appointment with the consultant for an early scan. I really want to know how things are progressing but I’d like to avoid an inconclusive scan if possible so Im thinking a scan at around 7 weeks (which currently feels like a lifetime away) would probably be a good time to aim for.

The biggest problem I’m finding at the moment is that I’m constantly trying to reassure myself by symptom spotting when nothing I feel could ever be reassuring. I’ve been pregnant four times before and I’ve experienced a whole textbook of pregnancy symptoms. The most ‘pregnant’ I’ve ever felt was at Christmas when there wasn’t even a proper embryo, just a blighted ovum and molar pregnancy sending by hCG skyrocketing, so there is nothing I can do to alleviate my fears. All I can do is remind myself that a positive test is the first step and that even after four losses, the statistics are on our side.

Not written off yet

They’re getting darker! This picture shows tests from 12dpo, 14dpo and 16dpo and the line has definitely got gradually darker. I also haven’t had anything which I’d call bleeding for 24 hours. I’m certainly not hopeful but we’re not out of the game yet.

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Still confused

This is this morning’s HPT. I was expecting a BFN or at least a faint BFP but this looks pretty strong. Unfortunately I’m still spotting. It’s lighter than yesterday afternoon but its not helping me feel hopeful. For now I’ll just keep waiting and will see what happens. Thank you everyone for your support. Sorry for the constant updates but I’m going a little insane and need an outlet.

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Experiences from my four miscarriages

After my post earlier today in which I tentatively announced that we are pregnant for the fifth time, it might seem strange that my thoughts have immediately returned to miscarriage but unfortunately it is a subject which is never far from my mind, particularly when I have recently had a BFP. It is for this reason that I was delighted to see that Mumsnet has launched the Miscarriage Care Campaign which is aimed at getting politicians to pledge to improve miscarriage care, based on the principles of the Mumsnet code, by the end of the next parliament. Some of the results from the Mumsnet survey were heart-breaking so I wanted to add my own thoughts so that the decision makers can see that, even after repeat miscarriages, good hospital care can make a huge different to how women feel about their miscarriages.

Waiting for a scan

I am very lucky that I live in an area with a fantastic new local hospital which has a dedicated Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) and single rooms for every patient which I have greatly appreciated during my three ERPC operations. The Mumsnet survey showed that 46% of women had to wait over 24 hours for a scan to determine if their baby was still alive. Whilst I did have to wait this long because I started bleeding at the weekend and scanning is only available Mon-Fri, I spoke to a lovely woman on the 111 service who arranged me an appointment for the Monday morning and even followed-up later in the afternoon to check that I was still ok. The waiting was horrid and I would have liked there to be the opportunity to have a scan at the weekend but I was still happy with the care which I received and think it helped ease some of my anxiety.

Supportive staff

I have experienced a real mix of staff but I have to say that I remember the good care for far longer than the bad. I have put the bad experiences behind me but I will always remember the kindness that was shown to me by the nurses in the EPAU when my molar pregnancy was discovered and I had to stay in hospital for three days after Christmas. Having had repeat miscarriages I know a lot of the nurses at the EPAU and I feel like they want me to have a successful pregnancy almost as much as I do. I really hope that I am able to carry a baby (hopefully the one I’m currently pregnant with) to term and I look forward to writing a letter of thanks to those women to tell them how much their kindness has meant to me.

Being treated alongside women with on-going pregnancies

This is something which is particularly difficult. The times when I was at a different hospital and had to wait with women who were having successful pregnancies was awful. I felt that bad that I was obviously upset and I think it was as horrid for me as it was for them. If you are having a successful pregnancy, you don’t want to be faced with the reality of miscarriage and for those going though a miscarriage, it can be awful to see women who are pregnant, particularly if they don’t appear to be at all thankful for the amazing thing their bodies are able to do.

Miscarrying at home without adequate pain relief

My at home medical management wasn’t too bad (although it also wasn’t successful as it turned out I had a molar pregnancy and some cells remained) but I did feel a bit unprepared for what to expect. I was given the pills (virginally) and was then told that nothing should happen for at least an hour; which was a concern as I was alone, had driven myself to the hospital and lived over 2 hours away! I was asked if I had any questions but as I was then desperate to get started on the journey home I said that I didn’t and left. I would have really appreciated a detailed information leaflet which explained what to expect as my experience was quite different from what I had been told. I also had to collect the ‘products’ from my miscarriage, keep them in the fridge over night and drive the 4 hour round trip to the hospital to deliver them the next day. Whilst this was unpleasant, I was pleased to be able to go home rather than having to go through the miscarriage experience in hospital and I appreciate the importance of testing the ‘products’ so I don’t see an alternative option is available.

58% of respondents wanted counselling, but only 12% were offered it

Despite having had four miscarriages, including a molar pregnancy, I have never been offered any counselling. I have always been made to feel that once the miscarriage is physically over, I am on my own to ‘try again’. I am told to only come back if I am able to get to 6 weeks. My last pregnancy was a chemical pregnancy which ended at 5 weeks so I haven’t told my GP or the hospital as I doubt they’d be interested. 

Only a quarter (23%) spoke of their experience to friends

I have been lucky to have supportive friends who know about my miscarriages. However, I haven’t told them about the last one. Every time it happens, I find it harder to struggle through but I fear that, for my friends, this drama has become repetitive and boring. With each miscarriage I need help more, yet I feel I can ask for it less.

 

Maybe this time? (Pg mentioned)

Despite our problems in the bedroom this cycle it appears that we have caught the egg for the fifth time. I did a test on Saturday (12DPO) and it was a bit faint which had my mind spinning with fears of another chemical pregnancy but today’s is looking stronger so at least for today we are pregnant again.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about fellow blogger and recurrent miscarriage sufferer Bruised Banana. On discovering her fourth pregnancy (which sadly ended in miscarriage) she wrote a blog which summarised exactly what I’m feeling now so I wanted to share some extracts:

“Before you say anything at all, I remind you that my infertility does not concern GETTING pregnant. My problem is staying that way and there is no explanation as to why I have that problem. This will be [#5] in less than two years. I’m terrified. I’m anxious. I’m over analyzing every little thing.”

“I get that it’s hard to see someone else be pregnant. But please understand that THIS is my infertility. Being pregnant hasn’t solved anything. I’m not suddenly looking at nurseries or picking out names…… 12 weeks? 6 would be a milestone. 9 would be a record. I can’t think about 12 weeks right now.”

Like her I don’t know how to feel now. In my mind a BFP means another miscarriage, I don’t have thoughts of pregnant bellies or babies I’m just wondering how far I’ll get this time. Will this all be over by the weekend with me being embarrassed about feeling even the smallest bit of excitement that this might work? Or will there be another distressing ultrasound with another D&C? Will the molar pregnancy reappear? Who knows. I just know that I want this to work out so badly I can’t even bring myself to hope.

A new problem

You would think that four miscarriages would be enough of a problem but we appear to have a new problem which is threatening our chances of becoming parents. The boy is struggling to orgasm when we have sex and I don’t know what to do about it. I ovulated yesterday so if we are going to have any chance this cycle we really need to be having sex but this morning’s attempt didn’t cross the finish line (this isn’t the first time) and I don’t know whether we should try again or just write off this cycle to give the boy a chance to forget about today.

When faced with this issue, is it better to get back on the proverbial horse as soon as possible with the hope of being successful and banishing the negative thoughts or do we run the risk of another failed attempt which only compounds the problem further? Everything I’ve read says that we need to keep sex lighthearted and fun and spontaneous but how do we achieve that when there is a 15 minute window at 5.30am before we both leave for insanely long days at work. It’s not like we can wait until the weekend. I ovulated on Monday so it will be game over long before Saturday morning arrives. This is another reason why I hate being told to just ‘try again’. We’ve been trying almost continuously for 2 years, have had 4 miscarriages and neither of us are getting any younger. I’m so frustrated I could scream (and will invariably cry at some point today which will further increase my reputation as the office neurotic) 😦