Getting off the Rollercoaster - Going for Adoption

Thursday, July 06, 2006

43 or . . . “it’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to”

I was trying not to be depressed – after all it’s just another day, really, and I am only a day older than I was yesterday. And as I always so cheerily say to people who grumble about being old (usually they are in their 20’s) ‘in 10 years time you will be amazed you were ever this young’. Yep, when I am 53 I will be amazed I was ever this young, but I am horrified to be just 10 years away from 53. OMG. Really, what happened?

So I drove to work trying to be upbeat (yes, today I am in the office – in a paranoid moment I thought they would think I was skiving if I chose to work from home on my birthday) – anyway, as I drove to work they played Bob Dylan ‘ She belongs to me’ on the radio, and I burst into tears. - here are the lyrics, in case you want them. “She never stumbles, she’s got no place to fall”. Oh dear, Bob Dylan is truly the greatest songwriter.

But life goes on. I stumble along.

Yesterday was my Canadian SIL’s 40th birthday and the four of us went out to dinner. Fabulous food, and a really enjoyable evening – very rare for R and his brother to go out together, but we all had such a good time I think we will do it again. My SIL has a 7-year-old son who is ‘in the autistic spectrum’ – so hard work, but they adore him. In slightly drunken state at the end of the evening when she and I were alone, she told me they have been trying to get pregnant again for 4 years. No reason diagnosed for the lack of success – tubes were thought blocked, then told they are just ‘quite convoluted’ which sounds a bit strange to me. They suggested she had maybe had some kind of infection, and she clearly thinks they were insinuating that she had caught something from someone other than her husband. She started (very unnecessarily) assuring me that this simply couldn’t be the case. It also turns out that she sees the same consultant (Dr Nice) as me! How funny – I wonder if he has made the connection! The Hopeless Infertile Family. I told her about the 6th miscarriage. It was a relief to tell her. She was very nice about it and didn’t say anything stupid at all.

So that was all good really.

Then there was The Hospital Appointment yesterday.
What a shambles.
First, as I was in SUCH a state last Weds, I didn’t take in the date for the new appointment – it just got written on the card. It actually said 3 July, but it looked JUST LIKE 5 July – so clever me turned up on the wrong day. I was prepared to go away, but the receptionist was really rude and asked me to wait and the waiting area was rammed full of women with enormous bumps and I went to sit down, and ended up crying again. It took lots of very sympathetic nurses to track down Dr Nice – in Theatre, but said he would see me anyway when he came out. Nearly 2 hours later I got my meeting.

So here in summary:

hCG now at 27.

  • No point doing D&C, as would be v unlikely to be able to get enough tissue for analysis and unless bleeding is prolonged. . . I don’t think it will be this time, to be honest. I can put up with 10 days or 2 weeks or so. As long as it is over before I go on holiday.
  • IVF – I asked about whether it would be worth my while considering IVF with PGD – he thinks not, as is really only useful if we knew that my miscarriages are due to a particular genetic or chromosomal problem and it is not really possible to just screen for ‘normal’ embryos. No, of course, that made sense.
  • MTHFR – I was a bit disconcerted to find he didn’t seem to know what I was talking about with this one. Then he seemed to catch on, and we discussed getting high dose folic acid – he said that he would prescribe me this if I wanted it anyway, without any tests, as he was happy it wouldn’t do me any harm.
  • He is very sceptical about my Harley Street doctor’s 80% claim. So am I really – I never had the results from his clinic to back it up. He definitely thinks I should NOT take any higher a dose of steroids than I have been prescribed so far.
  • Vitamins – possibly selenium may help. Can’t harm, so take them too.
  • Acupuncture (I wanted his view on this) – definitely helps some people with some complaints, so may be worth trying – highly unlikely to do any harm and certainly safer to try this than do more steroids. (He isn’t keen on steroids! I don’t blame him, but I really had to try, and will almost certainly give it one more go.)

    In essence we are no closer to finding a reason or a cure for my RPL than we were 2 years ago, or whenever the hell I started seeing the quacks. He clearly doesn't think there is any intervention which will work, but understands my need to 'leave no stone unturned'. When I finally give up, I need to believe I tried everything.

    Where does this leave me?

    More than three years older than when I started trying for a baby, and finally facing – or at least beginning to think - the unthinkable.

    It could be never.

    So, what shall I have for birthday tea?


  • Hi - I just stumbled over to you from another blog. My heart goes out to you. You are one strong, amazing woman and you don't deserve this. Life is just so unfair. Wishing you peace, happiness and a great birthday, from across the ocean.

    By Blogger Ella, at 2:24 pm  

  • First let me say "Happy Birthday". I'm sorry that there still is no reason to explain your devestating losses. It just amazes me that with all the advances in science, doctors can't help us find out what is causing our losses. It is just so frustrating and I'm so sorry for all you have been through. Try and celebrate today. It is your day and you deserve it!

    By Blogger Kate, at 2:30 pm  

  • Dear Vivien, I wish you a happy birthday -- and a year that is much, much, much better than this one was.

    I'm so sorry about your doctor's appointment, and glad he's willing to listen to you.

    By Anonymous Kath, at 3:02 pm  

  • Vivien-I wish you a happy birthday and a wonderful year ahead....may 43 be magic for you.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 3:13 pm  

  • Happy Birthday my dear! I understand that you may not feel all the up for celebration. Wish it was different for you.

    Did you take in treats for the office? That is a tradition where I work, have to bring treats on your birthday, I personally think everyone should be bringing me something but oh well.

    Have a cocktail when you get home and take a nice hot bath. I know I took alot of baths and drank much wine and beer after each of my losses.

    Take care and know I am thinking of you.

    By Blogger Shinny, at 3:16 pm  

  • Hey Vivien (I would say "hello" but I am also 43 and trying to make up for it with my ubercool vocabulary).
    I feel so much pressure now that I have to say something appropriate given my fantastic previous comment. Well, fantastic may be overstating it a little :-)
    I would say welcome to club 43 but really, who wants to be here? Shall we plot daring escape plans? Unfortunately, I think we're pretty well captive here in this beastly place.
    My 43rd birthday was 10 days after miscarriage #4 so I can once again understand (damn, I wish I couldn't).
    I think one of the hardest things for me was that there is not any time to even take a while for reflection or to sort things out emotionally (and barely to sort things out physically). Tick, tick, tick....
    I went through 4 fresh IVF and 3 miscarriages within a year and a half before I finally packed it in (and then two more miscarriages since then). Sometimes it just seems like there is no point to all of this crap. What the (@*^&*%@& is the point of being able to get pregnant if you just miscarry over and over and over again. Unfortunatley, people who believe "everything happens for a reason" are supposed to be much happier so I am still searching for the reason - tell me if you come up with one that lasts for any length of time.
    I would say Happy Birthday but I try not to be knowingly heartless (I think it takes being here to know).
    Maybe I could just wish you some sanity and a little less sadness? I would say a lot less sadness but I thought I'd shoot for something more attainable.
    In honor of your birthday, I will tell you a secret - for the last few years, every time I see someone obviously pregnant I instantly think "BITCH" quickly and angrily inside my head. I sometimes worry that I may start doing it verbally.

    By Blogger DinosaurD, at 5:10 pm  

  • Vivien, there is one more stone left to be turned. My mom is a nutritional and hormone educator who speaks to doctors, nurses and the public all over the world. She helps women get pregnant by testing their saliva to detect levels of hormones. As you obviously know, low levels of progesterone will bottom out a pregnancy. My mom has been involved with helping many many women get pregnant just by regulating their hormones naturally....and it really works. You can read testimonies of these people! Please check out my mom's website at on the first page enter under "representative" Jackie Harvey. Feel free to contact her too. I know she'll want to help you if you're willing.

    By Blogger running wildly, at 6:47 pm  

  • I'm sorry you had such a difficult birthday. I think you know I'm dreading mine.

    Can you get Dr Nice to refer to you the St Mary's lot? They do really seem to be the authority and maybe, just maybe, they might find something else to look at?

    I wish there was an answer.

    By Blogger Thalia, at 8:15 pm  

  • Happy Birthday! RPL, especially without a cause, is so frustrating and heartbreaking. I hope this year is lucky!

    By Blogger Michelle, at 1:03 am  

  • For what it's worth, I took slenium and magnesium for 6 months before getting pregnant again, and so far so good. Of course, I have no earthly way fo knowing whether that's what has made things OK so far (it may be the fact that I no longer commute to London every day or that I dumped a toxic 'friend'), so chuck it in the assvice bin if you want.

    I am thinking of you, Vivien. If you need a shoulder, drop me a line.

    By Anonymous Lola Badeggs, at 3:12 pm  

  • Happy birthday!

    I'm sorry its not such a happy one for you and that you have to go through this again and again and again. And I hear you on the stopping after x # of miscarriages and never having it work. Its hard to know when to stop and when to keep going.

    By Anonymous Leggy, at 6:04 pm  

  • I am sorry this was such a difficult birthday. I totally get the stress that comes with each passing year. People always say 'don't worry about your age,' but that's easier said than done.

    I'm not sure what birthday tea is, but hopefully it includes a lot of alcohol!

    By Anonymous Watson, at 7:51 pm  

  • Oh vivien, happy birthday, i know its not so happy but it is still a celebration of you.....& yes it is heartbreaking that there is no answer, no explanation - its not good enough is it? Im off to a miscarriage specialist on wed for our second opinion - if theres anything she offers me, i'll let you know, apparently she does a thorough work up, but im sure youve probably had every necesary test, im thinking of you & praying we both get there x

    By Blogger Womb in Waiting, at 10:08 am  

  • I'm sending you (belated) birthday wishes and hoping that this next year is brighter. I hope this puzzle is pieced together soon.

    By Anonymous Nikole, at 7:14 pm  

  • Happy belated b-day. I turn 42 in a week. I can't figure out when this happened, either. BTW, I'm on 4mg of folic acid a day for my MTHFR, plus prenatals.

    By Blogger Sue, at 6:01 am  

  • Happy (?) belated birthday, Vivien. I have been away and just checking in now.

    My GP prescribed 5mg folic acid tablets for me (1 per day). Extra selenium and magnesium would not hurt. I would also take extra B vits too. Also take the baby aspirin and bug Dr Nice about prog. supplementation for the 2ww too. Sorry if you do all this already!

    By Blogger Pamplemousse, at 5:51 pm  

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