Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hello.....anyone out there?

Well I have spent the last few months reading, commenting and lurking other other peoples' infertility blogs, so I've got to the stage of "if you can't reproduce, then join them", so here I am. Quick introduction - I'm 39 years old, married just over 3 years. We started ttc in April '06, just before I turned 37. Why wait so long, you probably ask? Well that's a very long story, involving one failed first marriage, and a long wait for a divorce, but that's a story for another post. Part of the reason why I felt it was ok to wait so long was that I come from a large and uber fertile Irish family, where having babies in their late 30's and early 40's has never been a problem. My Mother had me at the age of 39. One of my sisters in law started her family at 38 and had her youngest at 43. So I foolishly thought if the rest of my family were able to do it, then so would I, what could possibly go wrong?

Well a lot can go wrong, as I have learned in the past 19 months. I first got pregnant after six months of trying. We were at a friend's wedding in France when we conceived our first baby. (Well ok, we didn't actually shag under the dinner table at the reception, but it happened over the course of the weekend. In our hotel room). We nicknamed our little bean Kermit (as in Kermit the frog, because he was made in France). Kermie for short. At five weeks I started spotting. Had two emergency scans. On the first one, we saw a gestational sac, but nothing more. A week later, we saw a heartbeat, relief all round. The following week, we saw no heartbeat, devastation all round. A week later, 8 and a half weeks, I had my first D&C. It was one of the worst days of my life. Right up there (or should I say down there) with the day I left my first husband.

We waited two cycles before trying again. My gynae said there was no reason why this should happen again. So in March 07 I got my second BFP. Again back up on the joyful high. Less than a week later I started bleeding, and my second miscarriage happened. It was less traumatic than the first one, being so much earlier, but the sense of disappointment was emmense, particularly when it came the weekend of Mother's Day. Ouch.

We decided to try again straight away, and the following month I was pregnant again. While we were both over the moon with thoughts of our Christmas baby, this one nicknamed Rudy (short for Rudolph, we really have to start thinking of kinder nicknames), we were trying not to get too excited in case the rug was pulled from underneath us again. And pulled it was. I was just six weeks gone when the spotting started. We were packing to go away for a night for our second wedding anniversary, when I went to the loo and saw the spotting. I nearly lost the plot. I rang my local maternity unit, they told us come in, they took bloods, but as it was a Saturday, they had nobody on duty to scan me. So we had to wait what seemed like an eternity until Monday to return, and miraculously, see our baby's heart beating away goodo on an external scan. I remember bursting into tears at the sight, and the sonographer reassuring me that every pregnancy is different, so just because it happened before, didn't mean it would happen again.

I was put on bedrest and told to come back a week later, and not to worry. Ha! Easy for them to say. The following Monday, I was scanned again. It took her longer to find the heartbeat this time, and when she did, the sac was measuring 6 weeks 3 days, instead of 7 weeks 3 days. It was lagging behind by a week. I was reassured that this was perfectly normal, and that scans are inaccurate timewise in early pregnancy. Later that day, I read in my pregnancy book that scans are most accurate in the first trimester, and alarm bells started to ring in my head once more.

I went back to work, and eleven days later I had my first sceduled scan, which was at nine weeks. Bad news, the sac was now measuring seven weeks, so lagging behind by two weeks, and the heartbeat was much too faint for normal. My gynae sent me away with a prescription for progesterone pessaries, and told me there was a 50/50 chance that our baby would make it. We were told to go back into the maternity hospital on Monday for another scan. So that night I rang my mother and told her get out the rosary beads and put all her favourite saints on overtime rate, which she duly did. Bless her, I'd say she had half of Mayo praying for us! Anyway it wasn't enough, and on Monday we were told that our little Christmas baby had died over the weekend. I had a D&C the following day. Words cannot describe the grief we felt.

We spent the summer of 2007 having bloods done, trying to make our way through the sheer fog of grief that had descended upon us. I found people's reactions baffling. My MIL's reaction was "Ah sure your troubles are small really". Well they seem pretty fucking big to us. Colleagues of mine totally ignored my loss, treating me as though I had been off sick with flu, while simultaneously sympathising with another co worker whose sister had lost a young baby, right in front of me. A pregnant friend whose baby was due the day after the one we lost told me I was lucky to be able to go out on the beer. Unbe-fucking-leivable. I ended up going for five sessions of counselling, and by total coincidence, the counsellor I went to had been through five miscarriages herself. She was fantastic and really helped me get back to myself.

Anyway, blood tests done by the gynae were pretty inconclusive, so we were given the green light to go again in October. Yee haw, back in the saddle again. Lots of walking like John Wayne jokes and all that. And yes, we hit target once again. As soon as we got the BFP we drove stright to a late opening pharmacy and got progesterone pessaries and aspirin. We travelled up to Mayo that weekend to attend my parents' 50th wedding anniversary celebrations. While it cut me to the quick to hear the repeated references to the number of grandchildren and their age range in both the prayers and speeches, at least I had my own little bean on board to comfort me through it. Alas, this little one was not meant to stay long with us either. At five weeks two days I started bleeding again. Miscarriage number four was under way. At this stage I felt like I was losing my mind.

During the summer I had made contact with the Fertility Care Clinic in Galway. We were offered a cancellation appointment and jumped at the chance. The programme they use involves tracking your fertile signs, ie cervical mucous, and noting colour of menstrual flow (sorry if TMI, but that what's involved!). I also had to get a plethora of blood tests done on day 3 of my first cycle with them, and a blood test of progesterone and oestradiol on day 21 of every cycle. Since March, I have been on pregnyl (hcg) injections on dpo +3, +5, +7 & +9, and the month before last they started me on Clomid.

So that pretty much brings me up to date, and from here I can start on my day to day rantings. Thanks for bearing with me so far...


womb for improvement said...

Hi, I'm here!

Different story (having had no miscarridges) but same plot (no baby carridges) here's hoping for a happy ending for both of us.

(And that beer comment! Wow. Can peoplereally be that insensitive?!)

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Just a fly by hi! to say well done on getting this set up.

I can keep track on ya now. ;0)

(I hadn't realised just how complicated your story to date had been.)

Now I'm off to get hammered.

Jane G said...

Yay, my very first visitors. Sit down there and have a nice cup of tea. Go on, go on, go on!!!

@womb for improvement - it never ceases to amaze me the insensitive crap that people come out with. Here's to happy endings for us all!

@Xbox - I pml when I read your comment to me on your blog. Shit on a blanket indeed!! Enjoy the beers.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to blogging!

Bloody hell, you've had it rough. I am so so sorry for your losses.

I'll be back...

Jane G said...

Hi May, thanks for dropping by. You've been through a lot yourself lately too. I was really sorry to read about your recent loss. A lot of what you wrote about it reminded me of what we went through this time last year. Hopefully there are better days ahead.

Please call again!

Feebee said...

Nice to meet you properly after all this time! And your cats are gorgeous.

Jane G said...

Thanks Feebee! Nice to see you!

Country Chick said...

Lots in common with you - I never thought there would be a problem starting late, as similar family background (my Mother had me at 42, and I have a younger sister too) and I have had 7 early miscarriages too.
Best of luck - I shall come by again to see how you are doing.