Getting off the Rollercoaster - Going for Adoption

Friday, June 30, 2006

Just trying my best really.

Now is probably not a good time to be planning my next baby, is it? No, Vivien, that would be very silly.

But, do you know what?

Here's a choice:
I could be the woman who had 6 miscarriages, and gave up and never had a baby.

Or I could be the woman who had a baby (oh, and do you know, she had 6 miscarriages before she had her baby?)

Am I sounding mad yet?
It's just, what is the point of going through all this if I give up and NEVER have a baby?

Yes, I expect you are all right, and I should be grieving and taking some time off. I have no doubt it will hit me later – it certainly did before. But I am not sure you can choose the timing. If I sit home now and cry, will that stop it hitting me later? I doubt it.

And I am too afraid that if I get into that . . . how will I face getting pregnant again?

If it hurts too much to lose it, how can I keep putting myself through it?

I have to focus on getting the one that DOES survive.

I must be going mad, I am even thinking of IVF, and getting the little embryos scanned first. But I am running away with myself here.

I guess I need to start bleeding first. What do you think?

God this limbo is shit. I wonder if I am still clinging to the hope that the HCG was wrong and the next one will say 3000 or something and everyone will smile and say ‘wow, there’s a first – we told you stranger things have happened!’


I wonder if there’s an asylum I can check myself into.

Well it makes sense to me that I can’t grieve when I am not even bleeding. A theoretical baby followed by a theoretical miscarriage.


I’m scared. I wish it wouldn't happen.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

It isn’t really happening (or – “la la la la – I can’t hear you”)

Well, let’s try this.

With HCG levels so pathetically low, I can hardly claim to have been pregnant, can I?
I don’t want to go through some big emotional trauma over this.

There was no BABY. No point behaving as though it was a BABY. That would just be silly and sentimental of me.

I want it finished and behind me.

I don’t want to bleed. Blood is too real.

Certain thoughts keep coming back. . .

Why didn’t I meet R years ago? Why was I already 38 when I met him? Why do I have to be 43 on Thursday? I have never looked forward to a birthday with more dread.

I gave up smoking over 10 years ago. Smoking is disgusting I can’t believe I did it so long. Perhaps that screwed all my eggs.

Why could my mum have 2 children in her 40s and I can't?

What if I can never have a baby?

I just don't know what to do.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Disclaimer - I am not responsible

I need to write this, but don't know if I can stay rational.
HCG on Friday was 88.
HCG on Monday was 76.
That's it then.

It was beautifully handled, though I suppose if they had just announced my results over a tannoy in the waiting room, it makes no fucking difference. No baby, baby.
A stupid f-ing registrar called me in. Let's call him Dr F/wit.
"Dr Nice is currently with another patient - he will be here soon. I thought I could just take some notes" (opens my file, clearly for the first time).
Me: "I just need my HCG results".
"Ah - your results - well . . . (reads out my LH and FSH results from tests in February. Starts telling me they look pretty good)
Me - "No, the blood tests I have just had done. HCG levels. (me now pointing at the pieces of paper across the desk - I can see them, just can't read them).
Dr F/wit: Ah these results?
Me "Yes (reading them myself and realising).
Dr F/wit: blah blah are you due to have a scan blah blah you can't read too much into these figures.
Me: Blank. Don't speak. Don't cry. Finally: I would like to see Dr Nice.
Dr F/wit: Yes, I will go and see if he's available. Scarpers.

2 or 3 minutes. R tries to find me a tissue. How did we forget that? Sobbing now that the fuckwit has left the room.

Enter Dr Nice with Nurse Really Kind and Dr F/wit loitering with the grace to look embarrassed. What an asshole. I always thought to study medicine you had to have a brain. Clearly some slip through the net.

More crap though. Why is it that they seem to want you to continue clinging onto a lost cause? I mean, really - this couldn't be much more conclusive. Have you EVER heard of HCG levels FALLING and then a normal pregnancy outcome? Well HAVE YOU FUCK?

Dr Nice:
Blah blah blood tests blah blah clinic next week blah blah confirm this is what's happening blah blah let's not rush to interfere with a D&C blah see if it just happens naturally blah fucking blah.

Me: Yes, but we know (sob) what is (sob)happening. And I (sob) really don't want (sob) to bleed for 4 weeks (sob) again like the last time.

Dr Nice: we-ell, let's wait to be sure. Stranger things have happened.

Me. Blank. Sob. What a load of crap. I am NOT going to be talked into believing this. It would be easy and lovely but pointless and ultimately even more painful.

We have scheduled another blood test for Friday and a follow-up appointment on Tuesday. I think that's what happened, anyway.

So I drove home. Half an hour. Now and then I stopped crying.
Now I am having a glass of wine.


No, I am stupid. And old. And childless. Possibly forever. And I will stop now because I am crying too hard to type.

Thank you for listening.

Today's the day, then

At 4pm I have my appointment to find out these Beta HCG results. Who knows.

Last night when I went to bed I just broke down – big huge sobs and loads of tears – real hormone crash stuff. Completely convinced this one is going, and devastated that I will have to go through yet another m/c. Poor R, what was he to do? Just reminded me that we really are doing all we can this time around, and that he is still positive. And lots of sympathy that he isn’t the one having to go through it so directly. (Not that I doubt it is just as hard for him).

Have we really done everything though? I just have at the back of my mind this nagging doubt - I didn’t start taking the Prednisolone until after the positive test, which obviously would not have been in time for the implantation and I just DON’T UNDERSTAND how, if implantation occurs approximately 8 DPO, then how would I be at 5 – 6 weeks before I miscarried or showed any signs? Why are there not more answers? Why can’t they fix me?

Then, this morning I woke up and (sorry!) took my temperature, which was reassuringly high (36.62C) and I actually felt quite sick – not very sick, but definitely a bit. And I have the nasty taste back in my mouth. Nothing shifts it. So, with these pathetic strands of hope I shall try and hold myself together until this afternoon.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bad day

Am having a bad day.
I just cannot make myself believe this pregnancy is going to last.
I have been back to read Aliza’s entries in October last year, to try and gain some comfort. I know she was thinking she would miscarry, and then, obviously, didn’t.

But it’s not really working.

I just want to go home from work and cry and cry and cry.

This is not fair.

How very grown up. I sound like a spoilt child.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Life on the knife edge

I have continued to chart my BBT since getting the positive tests, although I really don’t know if the progesterone pessaries would be enough to keep my temperature up. Anyway, ever since the positive test my temperature has been around 36.65C – never dropping lower than 36.55C. Then today I checked the readout and nearly went into freefall. 36.36C.

I lay there for a while, just thinking how it was irrefutable. If I had assumed the Prog. supplements had been keeping my temperature up, there was absolutely no excuse for it to drop like that. There is only one inevitable conclusion. It’s over.

Or a bad reading?

Clutching at straws I put the thermometer back in my mouth, jamming it firmly under my tongue. Another 60 seconds. A different reading. 36.65C. Relief, disbelief. Trying to believe that in my half-asleep state the first reading had been affected by my having my mouth slightly open or something.

For good measure, 5 minutes later I tried a third time. 36.55C. I feel like I won the two out of three gamble.

But why can’t I just wake up and be sick? I keep searching for symptoms – I couldn’t drink my tea this morning, though the first sip seemed fine. Or am I just imagining it? I do have some nausea this morning, but it may just be the stress of having some idiot lorry-driver pull out right in front of me on a roundabout. I leaned on the horn and he just gave me the finger out of the driver’s window. I felt my stress levels rocket. Real best of British. And I am one of the few people I know who can get travel sick even when driving myself. I have even managed morning sickness (the real thing - actually throwing up) while I was bleeding heavily in the middle of a miscarriage.

So I have a mixture of nausea (very mild) and heartburn, a funny taste in my mouth and I am off tea. Today. And all of these come and go. Quite a lot of the time I just imagine they are still there, and I have that nagging feeling that deep down I know already that this is not going to be. . .

But - I am trying really hard to be positive. 6 weeks ago I was not pregnant. Now I am. I think I am. I think I still am.

There are 2 days to go till they tell me what the Beta HCG is doing.
If it is doing the right thing I will be ecstatic.

I think.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Playing all my cards

I am being a bit evil. I am getting them all to run around me – well eventually.

I think I am 5w exactly today. I am not very good at this sort of thing because having this longish cycle (about 31 days normally) I am never quite sure when to start calculating from, but I can be pretty sure I ovulated on June 1st, and today is the 22nd. So, have I got that right?

I have the 1st scan scheduled, appointment now made for July 8th (yes, a Saturday) in a hospital in Wimbledon (yes – Ladies bloody Finals day – is this really happening?) with Dr X, whom I normally see in his Harley Street clinic. By my calculations I will be 7W3D by then. (I think a lack of heartbeat would be pretty conclusive.)

But then, obviously, I have worked myself up into a complete panic and have been throwing my toys around a bit to get the NHS to monitor me at least a bit, beforehand. The lovely Dr Nice at the hospital, for example. Surely he will help me?

So - there have been lots of rather stressed phone-calls (the doctors surgery told me to call back and speak to a doctor, the doctor told me to call the hospital; The hospital twice put me on hold so long the line went dead; when I finally spoke to Dr Nice’s secretary she coldly informed me he was away and said “have you discussed this with your midwife?”. That left me stuck for words for a moment or two. (What midwife. I haven’t ever got past 8 weeks. Are you trying to make me feel inadequate. HAVE YOU NOT HEARD ANYTHING I HAVE JUST TOLD YOU?

But another 2 calls this morning, and I have got there. I have scheduled a blood test for HCG levels for tomorrow morning at the hospital, then a follow-up one on Monday. Then on Thursday 28th June I have an appointment with Dr Nice at the hospital – a routine follow-up which was actually scheduled before Christmas. Bit of a coincidence really that I should finally see him now. Anyway, by Thursday he should have my HCG results, which I hope at least will say so far so good. Please?

OK, try a bit harder PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can these results say so far so good? None of this “within acceptable limits” rises in HCG that they tried to palm me off with the last time.

I really am a mess, and the word ‘rollercoaster’ never was more apposite. Tuesday I was a headcase, tears and edgy all day. Yesterday you would have thought I had won the lottery. Everyone’s best friend and life and soul of the party. Today I am doing Tuesday again.

This is just not in my control, is it?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Definitely positive test - definitely negative me.

I had a digital test left over, and now, two days past my last possible period due date, I thought it safe enough to try.
Kindly it gave me the message I needed to see. No more squinting at lines. Just ‘pregnant’. R hugged and kissed me, but I can’t shake off this ambivalence, though I tried to get excited too. I kept looking at it as though it could tell me whether this time there will be a baby.

The thing is, I have been here before. 5 times. I know I am doing different stuff this time.
- NEW – daily Heparin injections
- NEW – BIG doses of Progesterone (400mg pessary am and pm - v messy)
- Nearly New – Prednisolone tablets daily
- Plus the aspirin
- And the folic acid of course

I have never seen a heartbeat.
I don’t know that there has never been one, but then I was never even offered a scan before 7 – 8 weeks, by which time it had been scheduled to check whether the bleeding I had had meant bad news. And it always did.

Until the 5th m/c gave me much more information, made it clear to me that although I was only spotting a little and the full-on bleeding didn’t take place until 7-8 weeks, in reality the fetus didn’t made it past about 6.

And Dr X wants me to come in on ‘week 6 -7’ for my first scan.

I would have thought I would be desperate to see something, but I find myself wanting to put off the day of my appointment because I want to KNOW. I don’t want to go all the way to London to be told it’s still a bit early – come back next week.

I want to see that heartbeat SO MUCH. I will feel reassured, though I know that’s not the end of the story, but I would feel better to get that far. And if I put off the date, and I have started spotting, then the scan can either reassure me or confirm my fears.

In the meantime poor R is very upset about the timing of his (our) holiday. We have planned it with 2 other couples, so R can’t pull out as he is the qualified International Mountain Leader, and winter ML with skills none of the others have. He really does need to be on one end of the rope! But now he is panicking that I may m/c while he is away.

Personally I would be glad just to get that far. The end of July seems like years
away to me.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Not very proud of myself

This is going to be a bit hard. Home alone this weekend and here's what I have done:

Went shopping yesterday.
  • Bit of food (high protein stuff, and vegetables)
  • Body Shop cocoa body butter (the top of my back is peeling after a very out-of-character, embarrassing sunburn last weekend)
  • 2 pairs of cut-off trousers - cheap ones. (Just in time for the change in the weather!)
  • Book by Lesley Regan (St Mary's Hospital, London) about miscarriage. 'What every woman should know' apparently.

Then I came home and:

  • Started reading the miscarriage book lying on the bed.
  • Distracted, I updated my fertility / temperature chart book noting the test dates and start dates for the drug treatment that I have now started.
  • Read some more of the miscarriage book.
  • Fell asleep
  • Awoken by the phone ringing. Ran at full tilt down the stairs, thinking it might be R. Also momentarily thinking I may trip and end this pregnancy even more prematurely. Nope - an agency doing market research on shopping habits. Would I take part? No, sorry.
  • Spent time examining and re-examining my current and previous charts, to try and suss out exactly when my period would have been due. I seem to have a slightly long luteal phase - about 15/16 days. Worked myself up (again) into believing my period will start this weekend.
  • Got v depressed about the Lesley Regan book. I am a vulnerable woman who is easily taken in by a doctor offering unproven protocol. Understandable but ultimately stupid and weak.
  • Watched quite a lot of really, really awful TV.
  • Gave myself my third clexane injection. It isn't easy to stick a needle in yourself and I am not really getting any better. My stomach is looking a mess already, as I am so hesitant I seem to stick the needle in and pull it out immediately so have to stick it back in. More holes than necessary.
  • Changed the bed because Roger (the cat) had walked on the duvet with muddy paws.
  • Locked the chickens away after dark. 4 of them (new ones) have still not realised they need to go INSIDE at night. Put them in manually. (Yes - always wash in anti-bacterial handwash after dealing with the chickens).
  • Woke up this morning to find Roger on the bed. Paws lovely and clean - fresh duvet cover a real mess!
  • Breakfast - tomatoes and mushrooms on toast.
  • Radio 4 and net surfing all morning till now (3pm).
  • Spent ages updating my (rather morbid) excel chart which shows each miscarriage and cycle since November 2003.
  • Added a new sheet to aforementioned chart - 'Pregnancy #6'. Added expected dates of demise.
  • Expected date of spotting - 2nd July.
  • Expected date of big bleed starting, approx 11th July.
  • Definite date of my birthday - July 6th.
  • Date of holiday booked to go high level alpine walking, including glacier crossing: 29th July. If I don't miscarry, I would be in my 11th week. I will not go of course. If I do miscarry, what are the chances I will be fit enough to go?

Please, please stop obsessing.

I think I will try and do some gardening and take my mind off all of this. If only it were that easy.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The cat smirketh on

Here’s the story.

On Wednesday after posting I spent the day feeling rather flat. I couldn’t say that I had been SURE, but I really had thought I probably was pregnant, so it that pee-stick was such a let-down. I got home from work, watered the tomatoes and cucumbers etc in the green house, did a bit of garden ‘pottering’ (mostly admiring the deep pink peonies, the roses, and all the other flowers that are currently brightening up life. And then I rather gracelessly flopped in front of the TV to watch our latest rental DVD – Shadowlands with Anthony Hopkins questioning his faith while falling in love, and Deborah Winger dying of cancer – and both R and I cried copiously, though we had both seen it at least twice before. Very therapeutic. Also, seeing as I wasn’t pregnant I had a glass of wine with the film!

Then, as we went to bed but because I am an obsessive, I just picked up the morning’s peestick, put it under a very bright light (the one over the mirror in the bathroom) and could JUST ABOUT make out a very very faint second line. Now I know they say to ignore anything that appears after 10 minutes, but I was grasping at straws here.

Also, in spite of the 10 minute advice, I have never seen a pee stick change from negative to positive before. I started thinking that maybe I should retest. Maybe I had just misjudged things.

Of course, for the first time in probably 2 years, I didn’t have a spare ‘early’ test in the house, so I couldn’t retest on Thursday morning.

So – yesterday at lunchtime I popped into the chemist and bought myself a double pack. I planned to leave the first test till this morning, but in fact ended up using one last night, because apart from being an obsessive, I am also Mrs Impatient. What the hell, I thought, I can always buy more peesticks, but you can't buy patience.

So - after a long spell of NOT peeing, (because, still being 2 days before my period is due, I should really have used the morning stuff) – I tried again.

You have guessed already.

It is really faint still

But there is a second line.

So now what happens?

I don’t think I have ever felt this ambivalent about something I should be pleased about. I am pleased, but at the same time I am so scared too. Actually I keep nearly bursting into tears, which in itself worries me as I think maybe I am having a hormone dip already and this “pregnancy” won’t last through the weekend. As we all know, most pregnancies appear to end before the woman even realises she is pregnant – swept away in what she thinks is a normal period.

So now I am scared of the weekend, and of course R is away running a mountain marathon in the extreme far north of Scotland. He flies to Inverness today and won't be back until Monday night. It’s OK - I can be a wreck all on my own – I don’t need him to help!

I shall cuddle that cat I think.

And next time, if I am wondering about whether I am pregnant, I will ask the cat, and save the money on peesticks.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

“No ticket for you, my girl” – or - “Never trust a smiling cat”

Well, it makes a change from “not bloody pregnant again this month. Bugger.”

I so nearly dared to say in yesterday’s post that I was feeling positive about a positive this month. There is certainly no doubt that we were TTC at the right time etc etc. I had my surefire symptom of going off tea. For a whole day and a half I just couldn’t drink tea – it tasted disgusting, which really is the only consistent symptom I have ever had for any pregnancy, bizarre as it sounds. But the pee-stick wasn’t having any of it, and my temperature took a drop this morning.

I am so disappointed. R was lovely, and said “never mind, I still believe it will happen. Don’t give up”. But it didn’t quite sound sincere to me. I wanted just to get back in bed and stay there, but I had a presentation to do at 8.30 this morning, so a duvet day really wasn’t an option.

Sometimes another month just seems like an eternity.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Better a second line? Even if not enduring?

A few weeks ago I went out to lunch with a friend from work. We are not very close, but roughly the same age and both married without kids. I knew she had fertility ‘issues’ and she knew I had miscarried, but we got to discussing it a bit more.

She told me she had been to the same midlands clinic as me after extensive tests all showing no reason for her infertility. She had tried ICSI, which had been unsuccessful, but had not gone down the IVF route because of the cost. She is actually a bit older than I am. A bit further along the road and has two friends with small children that she is really close to. Sort of kids by proxy.

She asked about me, and I said I had had 5 miscarriages. And that’s when she made the comment:

“Well, at least you can get pregnant”.

It hung in the air a bit.

I was a bit lost for something to say really. I can see from where she is, it must look like success to actually get a positive pregnancy test. I can see that. But it doesn’t feel like success from here. Not at all. That positive pee-stick is your entry ticket to the rollercoaster.

This week I have been SO SORRY about (and for) Pamplemousse and Thalia. How much worse is it to think you have a pregnancy, to have a due date out there, to line up your positive pee-sticks with pride and joy. To have that huge build-up of excitement, and gradually, gradually to let yourself believe it’s true. You are going to have a baby.

And then for it all to f*cking fail. What do you do with THAT?

And yet for me, after 2 pregnancies (obviously both failed) in just 3 cycles between June and October last year I have not even managed to get pregnant at all since. Bizarrely I felt slightly guilty at Murray’s comment on my last post. She was expecting to find a happier ending. I guess at least a bit of action would be something. I admit, it is wearing me down. At the moment I would really like at least the ticket. Actually, of course, I would like a ticket for a different ride this time.

Oh no, I have just visited Nikole, and she has just miscarried too. Another of us. Go visit her?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Clever cat?

Thank you for the support re the Christening. It was a bit tearful but I don’t think anyone but R noticed. The baby was asleep throughout.

Now, what do we know about cats? My cat Roger ALWAYS favours my R's lap, but has suddenly changes his colours and jumped on me and settled down to snooze twice yesterday evening.

Is this grasping at straws, or might he (she - sorry, this is the cat with the gender issues) know something I don’t yet? I have heard something about cats behaving strangely having significance, but have no idea really. Any good stories out there?

Had a fabulous weekend with R. We cycled for two days through stunning countryside. On night # one we camped and woke the next morning with stiff backs and achy limbs but climbed back on the bikes to go for the prize – the luxury hotel accommodation with Michelin starred restaurant, amazing 10 course meal (sorry, I know that is immoral, but it was his 40th) and came home after hotel breakfast, a look around lovely Ludlow and then the biggest cream cake I have ever seen! (Not me, R!)

Then back to work on 06/06/06, and things went quickly downhill. L, (colleague currently on maternity) whose pregnancy coincided with my 4th Miscarriage brought in her absolutely gorgeous baby girl, Sophie, to see us at work. I held her for a while and she was so adorable I thought I might turn into one of those mad old women who steal babies. I just kept thinking ‘this should be my baby, my baby, my baby . . . ‘ But she isn’t and I may never have one, and L is 30, beautiful and just 10 weeks after the birth has a flatter stomach than I have ever (or will ever) have. Is life fair? No, we know it’s not. Hey I don’t have space (or technical know-how!) for all the links to you to prove that.

Next it will be Aliza, she will give birth to baby Noa Grace in just over a week. Aliza at Babyfruit was the first ever blog I found, and the reason I started this one. In October last year she and I were both pregnant, both at 5 weeks, and both fearing we were about to go through a 5th miscarriage. I did, but she didn’t. I do wish her well with the birth, and hope that she will finally stop worrying!

My baby. Where’s my baby?