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.

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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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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) 😦

I want to get off this awful roller-coaster

At the start of last week i discovered that pregnancy #4 was pretty much a non-starter and doomed to failure. Thankfully (yes i am actually thankful for this small mercy) my period came pretty quickly and although it wasn’t a pleasant experience it only lasted a few days and I’m now, at least physically, pretty much back to normal.

Unfortunately, my mind and soul are not so quickly healed. I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself. I find myself googling topics like “how to tell your boss you can’t cope” and “when will I feel normal again”. I feel like I should be doing something to try to fix myself but I have no idea what to do so I’m basically going through the motions of each day, going to work, and hoping that soon I’ll feel less lost and out of control and in the meantime I’m hoping I won’t totally screw up my career or relationships. Last week I had a little bit of a melt down at work when I felt like my boss was attacking me for an option I had on a mutual project and I ended up crying. In justification I was in full on hormone drop mode (I hate that I have to go through the ‘baby blues’ just to get my hCG back to normal levels) and within 20 mins of being in the office two co-workers had announced their pregnancies with much cooing and excitement in the office! I wish that I could just tell everyone in the office so they wouldn’t think I was the strange girl who cries in the toilets and won’t look at pregnancy scan pictures.

In trying to get through last week without breaking down on everyone I know, I’ve been reading stories of others who’ve been through similar recurrently losses. An article in the Independent from 2009 really resonated so I wanted to share some excerpts. It’s written by Kate Evans and is titled “Miscarriage: The Loneliest Grief of all”. I’m writing on my phone so I can’t add a link but the article is definitely worth reading.

On wanting to believe each new pregnancy will work: It surprises me how surprised I am. This is the sixth baby we will have lost; you would think that I would be used to it by now. But maybe it’s not surprising that I had to believe in this baby, as though by investing in it some hope, and some love, I could will it into being.

On the depression felt after a miscarriage: I have never known depression like the cloud that descends every time I lose a baby. I can compare it with the death of a close friend and I can honestly say that it’s worse. When a friend of mine died suddenly, we viewed the body, we buried him and we were able to say goodbye. I had the company of others who were as grief-stricken as I was. With a miscarriage, I’m left battling through the layers of euphemism to even recognise that I have been bereaved. What is this that has happened? “Pregnancy loss”? The word “baby” was never mentioned by the staff in the Early Pregnancy Advisory Unit. When the scan revealed that my baby was no longer viable, I was referred for an operation with the horrendous name of “Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception”. My child, described as clinical waste.

On the loneliness of suffering miscarriage: When a friend dies, you can seek solace in the company of other mourners. Miscarriage, by contrast is an entirely private grief. “How are you?” a friend will ask, in a conversational tone, and I wonder, do they really want to know the blackness of my mood?

On how difficult recurrent miscarriage can be (Having just suffered my 4th miscarriage I found this bit particularly powerful): Every time it happens, I find it harder to struggle through, and yet 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.

Feeling super proud of my body

It might not be very good at maintaining a pregnancy but today I’m feeling very proud of my body and sorry for all the times I have cursed it for being too chunky or pasty-white. Today it carried me around my first ever triathlon and finished it in under 2 hours! The bike course was very hilly but despite being my worst of the three disciplines, I was still able to catch and overtake people on the climbs and still had strength in my legs for the run.

I had wanted to take part in a triathlon with my husband last week but when the entries opened at the end of last year I was pregnant and by the time the miscarriage happened the event was full. Thankfully I was able to get a last minute place for today’s event and having been helping the boy with his training I wasn’t too out of shape so it only took a few more runs and a long cycle last weekend to prepare.

With regard to TTC, there isn’t much to report. We’re currently mid-cycle. I ovulated on Saturday and we’ve been following the ‘sperm meets egg plan’ so I have been feeling less stressed about trying to work out how often we should be having sex. I was a little worried that today’s exercise could affect the outcome of this cycle but I feel like I can’t keep putting my life on hold and avoiding everything I want to do. Whether this cycle is successful or not, today was a good day and I have a new found respect for my body. It might not look like a model and might not be a baby making machine but it is stronger than I had given it credit for.

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