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.


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.


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.


Implantation bleeding?

Apologies for TMI in this post. Today is CD25 and 9DPO. Earlier today I had a small amount of pink blood tinged vaginal discharge. My initial thought was “well that’s this cycle done, I’m obviously not pregnant” followed by, “how really frustrating that my cycle isn’t consistent yet, I’m not due my period until Friday”. However, so far I haven’t had any more bleeding which has now got me questioning (hoping) that it was implantation bleeding. I haven’t had this with my three previous pregnancies but I usually wear dark coloured underwear so it’s possible I’ve missed it in the past. I’m going to try (probably unsuccessfully) to not become an obsessive symptom spotter over the next few days but I really hope that AF stays away and I get a BFP at the end of the week.

Recurrent miscarriage clinic – First appointment

In good news, we’ve officially been released from follow-up with the molar pregnancy screening service. I will need further follow up following any subsequent pregnancies (regardless of the outcome) but for now that testing is done and we can focus on trying to get pregnant again.

Yesterday I had my first appointment with a recurrent miscarriage specialist. I was really lucky as the consultant who I saw is a friend of a friend so I knew that I was going to be properly looked after. She works at a small local hospital about 30 mins from our home. Whist it felt strange driving past the huge town hospital to get there, it was lovely to be in a new environment. It felt like a new start and on the drive there I couldn’t get the “We’re off to see the wizard” song out of my head which I feel can only be a good sign (yes I’m willing to look for positive signs in everything).

The appointment itself was fairly uneventful. They took my weight, height, blood pressure, medical and family history and discussed my pregnancies to date. I don’t think I learnt anything new (I’m blaming you guys because I’ve learnt so much from you already just by reading your posts) but it was great to hear what I thought being repeated.

She arranged for me to have the following blood tests and booked a follow up appointment for seven weeks time but said to let her know if we conceive before then as she would want to book an early scan. She also recommended taking low dose aspirin if I do conceive because whilst she doesn’t know if it will help, it won’t do any harm and might be useful if I have a clotting issue.

The tests that were ordered are (this is so I don’t forget what I’ve had done):
FBC (full blood count)
LA (Lupus Anticoagulant)
aCL ( anticardiolipin antibodies)
Thrombophilia screen
TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)

At this stage she doesn’t propose doing any more detailed testing and said that the boy wouldn’t need any tests at this stage. I think I was a little disappointed that we aren’t going to learn more. I seem to read about people who’ve had full semen analysis and know their egg quality and AMH level but this might be more likely to be tested for IVF rather than recurrent miscarriage?? At this stage my main focus is just getting pregnant again. I’m feeling positive that the chances of having a successful pregnancy are higher than the chances of another miscarriage so I’m keen to see if we can have a ‘happy number 4’.

Today is CD 21 so we’ve done everything we can this month now it’s just a waiting game to see if we caught the eggie. Fingers crossed by the end of this month I’ll see a BFP.

When parents question whether their children were worth having

The boy and I are at the age when the majority of our friendship group have children or are pregnant and I’ve noticed recently that a lot of them seem to be questioning whether having their children was really worth giving up their social lives, stifling their careers, the endless sleepless nights etc.

A few weeks ago a friend told me that if they could go back they would have waited until they were older before having a baby (they’re 33 and their baby is 14 months). Today another friend put on Facebook a link to an article about babies “Are they really worth it?” which essentially concluded that you make the most of having a baby but your old life is ruined forever (the analogy being that a baby is like winning the lottery but losing a leg).

When you feel like your entire life is focused on trying to get pregnant and sustain a successful pregnancy it is really hard to hear people who have a baby with no effort at all questioning whether it was worth it. Almost questioning why you’re bothering and implying they would swap their life with yours.

I’m not naive. I don’t imagine that having a baby is all giggles and sleepy cuddles. I know there will be difficult times when I struggle with the lack of sleep and loss of independence. In fact one of my biggest worries is getting post natal depression. I’m conscious that recurrent miscarriage can greatly increase the risk of mental health issues post pregnancy. But when I think about what I’ve been through so far and I’m still no closer to having a baby, I need parents who’ve made it to the other side to remind me why I’m doing this and to make me feel like the months of un-romantic sex, weeks of praying that each pregnancy would last, pain of miscarriage and surgery and months of mourning, is going to be worth it in the end.

I hope that if I am able to have a baby that I will feel differently to my friends. They miss their old lives because they have nothing but fond memories, whereas I find that being able to go to a pub on a Wednesday is simply a reminder that my life isn’t where I want it to be. I have had a good time focusing on my career, taking expensive holidays and going for impromptu dinners and drinks but now feel like I’m done with that and I’m ready for the next step. But what if I’m wrong? If they are right and this part of my life is as good as it gets, why am I going through all this pain and heartache just to get a baby which those who have one seem to resent and would trade to get their old lives back?