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) ūüė¶

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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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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?

Trying, trying and trying some more to conceive

This is our first month of TTC since I last got a BFP in October (which ended in our third miscarriage in December). Whilst that might not seem very long, I was very keen to try again and hated the months of waiting for the molar pregnancy testing to be complete. Through this whole process I’ve come to realise that I like to be seriously proactive (or should that be a control freak??). I need to know what the plan is and what I can do to increase our chances. Having a plan helps me feel more in control.

As it is our first month back TTC I decided that we would take a relaxed approach. I realise now that I was just deluding myself. To achieve this ‘relaxation’ I decided that I wouldn’t use OPKs and would simply have sex when we felt like it and try to have a more concentrated effort around my ‘fertile window’. The problem with this is that after having screwed up hormones for months, I don’t really know when that window is. This means that the ‘My Days’ app has identified an almost two week window for TTC and because I’m a bit of a control freak and paranoid about missing ovulation, I don’t feel content to limit sex to every 2-3 days during this time. This means that we have had sex five times in the last six days and I have mentally scheduled ‘sexy time’ every day until Monday! My poor husband. If we’re not successful this month I think he’s going to be forcing me to get the OPKs out next month!

Because I’m super relaxed about this cycle (ha!) I am now finding myself becoming paranoid about ruining the boy’s sperm quality (and thus our chances this month) by having sex too regularly. The problem is Dr Google won’t give me a consistent answer. When TTC can you have too much sex? If yes, how much is too much and what can you do to increase your chances of getting a BFP? Any ideas ladies? Despite it apparently being nothing but an old wives tale, I already spend 30 mins post sex with a pillow propping my bottom up ‘soaking’ as my husband calls it to try to give the sperm a helping hand in the right direction. So I’ll pretty much try anything which could improve our chances of seeing a BFP!

Actually excited to be TTC – CD3

I don’t know why I hadn’t realised it already (after all, AFs arrival is a pretty obvious sign of a new cycle) but its only just sunk in that we are back to TTC. It feels like ages since we did this last (it was October). But today we are officially CD3.

I feel really lucky that we are able to start trying again so quickly. I was expecting to be banned from trying for months due to the molar pregnancy but thankfully it was only a partial mole and the hospital have said that if my next test is clear they’ll sign me off to try again. We’re actually jumping the gun a bit as my next test isn’t until Thursday but I’m convinced it will be clear and I don’t want to miss another month so I’m going to pretend that we’ve already got this month’s all clear. After all what are the chances we’ll actually conceive this month?

So I’ve stocked up on another supply of conception support vitamins and after the boy’s birthday party this weekend I’ll be cutting right back on the wine again. Fingers crossed we are able to conceive again quickly and that this one will stick (or more importantly keep growing as after needing three D&Cs, i don’t think sticking is our problem).

In other good news I’ve also finally got a referral to the recurrent miscarriage clinic and the consultant is not the rubbish one I was seeing about the molar pregnancy but a new one who is the recurrent miscarriage specialist for our whole area. I really hope I get to meet her and not a junior doctor working her service. Will find out at the end of next month but in the meantime I’ll be following Barren Betty’s lead and writing a huge list of questions in preparation for the appointment.