I’m not entirely sure where this story ends as I haven’t quite got there yet, but I’ve decided I should start right at the beginning and hopefully some day there will be a happy ending but life’s no fairy tale and often the saddest stories are never told. There’s been no fairy godmother on my journey of trying to conceive which started in March of this year, in fact I’ve never felt more alone in my whole life.
I hope within this first post I can start by showing it’s ok to talk about pregnancy loss and the turmoil that comes with it, I plan to go on to share my research and knowledge on miscarriage so that woman can support each other and have a place to share and discuss their own experiences.
Myself and my husband have never been in any real rush to start a family, I’m very much a career driven woman with aspirations and goals and having a baby has always come second to that until now. I experienced one of my best friends have a little girl last year and that moment changed my life as I’ve never experienced something so precious and the more time I spent with them I realised no achievement in business could match that feeling and I was only ‘auntie sam’ so imagine how I would feel if I was mummy!
So we had the chat … and decided now was the right time for us. I went into trying to conceive completely blind with no knowledge really of my own body, my cycle or half of the things I’ve learnt now through becoming a crazed fertility queen! I’ve come to learn that so many women are also crazy like me when it comes to baby making but no one ever talks about it.. well now I do!
The first month was pretty laid back I figured it was best to try 14 days after the start of my cycle and hope for the best. Hey presto pregnant in the first month of trying… great news, even if my husband wasn’t going to get months of baby making days that they all must dream of!
The first pregnancy was very alien to me, I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel I’ve never been pregnant before! I felt that I was probably over reacting if I told anyone I had an awful sharp pain in my left side for two weeks, I didn’t know if that was normal so I ignored it yet if I’m honest now I would say I knew something was not right. At 4 weeks 6 days I lost that pregnancy, it was fairly traumatic, terrible pain and very heavy bleeding I felt like I was having my heart and my insides ripped out all at once!
After the first pregnancy I had a good support unit we told family & close friends and really no matter what anyone says to you I’m not sure they can ever say the right thing, but I did know and feel like people were there. I was determined that I wasn’t going to mope around and I had to just think it was bad luck, next time will be ok.. and find the strength to try again.
I educated myself as much as I could and became a bit of a fertility addict at this point… husband said I was taking things too far but I felt more in control this way. So I began tracking my bbt (Basel body temperature) and me and my friend Kate discovered the smep method (sperm meets egg plan) sure enough the crazy in me worked because I was pregnant again in just 2 cycles!
The SMEP was like the bible to conception me and kate both stuck to it and both became instantly pregnant! We then told other people around us and it worked for them too… I’ve started talking to people trying to conceive that are just taking a stab in the dark and then 12 months on still aren’t pregnant. They need to read Deanna Roy’s book and become crazy like we did, it just might help! This gave me a sense of control back and having a ‘plan’ to follow gave me focus and determination.
This time felt different, it felt better, it felt right… I got further, my hcg kept rising and I felt positive, yet positively worried if that is even a thing! It’s always in the back of your mind that it might not be. At 5 weeks and 6 days I began to bleed and I just knew the worst was happening all over again.
How could I even be THAT unlucky! There I was again sat in a&e on a weekend full of party animals that had too much to drink. I felt like my world was falling apart yet the hospital staff talk to you like there’s a glimmer of hope… not for me, I knew that feeling.
Sure enough Monday morning I had it confirmed that my hcg levels had dropped too low, however was told I was not ‘entitled’ to a scan because my hcg level was non viable. I just wanted to know if it was over I wanted to know everything had come away but I wasn’t entitled to that. I had to go back in 48 hours for a repeated blood test, I was told I would have a negative pregnancy test within two weeks but if I didn’t that I should go back to the epau (early pregnancy assessment unit). I called them two weeks later to say I still had positive tests and I was due to go on holiday, I was told not to worry it would be negative soon enough.
No referral, no questions answered.. had to happen 3 times before they will look into it. 5 weeks later I still felt rotten and was still getting positive tests… turned out it hadnt all come away properly. Could have saved me that extra heartache if they just scanned me 5 weeks earlier. Finally at the beginning of august that miscarriage was over and I began to feel normal again.
Whilst I know people around me felt sadness for us and empathised, I think people don’t really know what to say and sometimes that results in people saying nothing at all or ‘ your time will come’ ‘it wasn’t meant to be’. All with good intention but not what someone like me wants to hear.
Four weeks later and I was stood holding a positive pregnancy test in the bedroom crying at my husband. He couldn’t understand why I was crying, I could… I was scared, scared of pregnancy and if I would have to go through it again. The chances were slim very slim 1 in 100 people have a 3rd loss. This time I had done even more reading and research and decided to self medicate with baby aspirin and several other vitamins along with extra dose of folic acid.
This time felt like the 1st time did though so I didn’t have much hope or enthusiasm and decided to just not even think about the fact I might end up with a baby. Sure enough 5 days later the miscarriage started, I was in a trance like some sort of robot, I went for lunch with a friend and just refused to let it drag me down. I left went home and climbed into bed prepared for what was about to happen, I didn’t have it in me to go and sit in the hospital this time. I remember laying there thinking maybe I didn’t wake up yet today, but I had…. it was over pretty quick.
So NOW I was entitled to ask questions and to be considered for help hallelujah! I went to the GP the next day 15th sept. I was told I could be referred to the recurrent miscarriage clinic and would be seen around March time. March! All three of my pregnancies would have almost been due to be born by then!
For the first time in my life something was out of my control and there was nothing I could do to be in the driving seat. I have so many amazing people around me yet this journey is so lonely. Once again I decided the best option was to research and to learn everything i possibly could about recurrent miscarriage & possible causes. I probably know the names of most obstetricians across England the tests and treatments available. I have become an encyclopaedic fertility queen now.
1 in 4 people have a pregnancy loss but I had now fallen into the 1 in 100 category and as time ticks by I need to find answers. I feel relieved we started trying now what if we had waited until I was 36 and then all of this started to happen I would then also be faced with the geriatric treatment too.
we decided not to wait until March to see a consultant and proceeded to go into private healthcare at our local spire hospital. Before our appointment I joined several rpl (recurrent pregnancy loss) forums and spoke to hundreds of women and read their stories. Lots of women in the UK but many more in America. Women who had taken their care into their own hands like I want to, they had decided what they wanted testing for and which drugs they wanted to try and have gone out there and got it.
I’ve learnt so much about myself this year and I’ve discovered some wonderful friendships, that I just wish had come about because of nicer circumstances, most of all I’ve learnt it’s good to talk!
So that’s where I’m at now… I’m researching, learning and repairing ready for the next chapter of this story… and as usual I’m waiting, this process is all about waiting, I hope my turn at the front of the queue is soon but in the mean time I continue to read, write and be empowered by other women that are talking about pregnancy loss.
For anyone wanting to follow my journey via Facebook I have set up a page called crazy fertility queen.
11 thoughts on “The journey began…”
What a brilliant blog entry Sam!
I am so sorry you have gone through so much heartbreak this year. No wonder (apart from finances) you couldn’t do Zumba any more. Concentrating on yourself if definitely the most important thing.
How inspiring it is to read how you have spun all these horrid experiences into positivity – the research and your hope.
I am not planning a family anytime soon, but worry this could happen to me. It took my Mum an awful long time to conceive me and my brother, and my Auntie couldn’t have children. I have no idea why they had trouble and am too afraid to ask. Maybe I will now.
I really don’t feel ready for a child but my husband would love one. Like you said, what if I wait until age 35, 36 and then discover problems. Scary thought.
I really hope you find answers to your questions and get the medical advice/treatment you long for.
I know you hate this, but your time will definitely come, no matter how you start your family.
Sending lot of love and hugs xxx
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I had miscarriages and recurrent ivf failure. There is a fab book called Is Your Body Baby Friendly by Dr Beer. Reading that, and fertilityfriends forum, helped give me the knowledge and positivity to keep going and I got my daughter and son.
Hi, thank for your comment- I have read some info on Dr Beer but I don’t have that book so I will take a look. It’s lovely to hear success stories and have support, Sam x
I had ivig and steroids initially and then a cheaper solution of intralipids. Good luck to you x xxx
I am keeping everything crossed for you that things work out and you have the outcome you want and deserve. It’s hard to stay strong and positive but you seem a remarkable person and your determination will in the end come through. Big hugs x
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The best of luck to you both xx
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Sam I am so sorry for your heartbreak and I know how hard it is to suffer the loss of a baby. I know the absolute devastation that is experienced. I myself spent 10 years going through many rounds of ivf treatment, suffering failure and loss all the way through. After three failures I felt I could no longer go through the process again. However after having my embryos frozen for two years I was told I either needed to use them or they would be destroyed. With a heavy heart we decided that this would be the last time. On the day of my embryo transfer my partner watched the process and told me the embryos sparkled like little stars, he took this as a positive. I still remained distant as I was preparing myself for yet another failure. Two weeks later my test was positive and I began to hope. Two little heartbeats. Yet it was not meant to be. My next scan only detected one. After lots of worry and becoming a nervous wreck with every slight twitch the day came and yes I had my gorgeous girl by emergency c section. She is now a beautiful teen and I hope you agree as she loves being with you at dance. Please accept our love and continue for your little star.
Ah Marie that’s amazing! How strong of you to keep going through all of that, I hope if it comes to it that I can find that strength! Comments like this give me hope and touch my heart, I have my fingers crossed we will get there. Yes I agree she is a wonderful girl and you should be very proud. Thank you for your wishes x
Sam, mine is a slightly different story but similar in so many ways and should give you the hope and peace of mind you deserve. Having had Ulcerative Colitis since aged 21 with very serious flare ups we decided to wait to start a family (people got married younger those days) and agreed we were both young so we had plenty of time. As the years rolled by and my desires to become a Mum increased I approached my specialist for his views on my medication and pregnancy. He told me to wait until my condition was reasonably stable and to come off my medication. This eventually happened at the age of 35 by which time all my friends had been there and got the tee shirt but being older and fully ware of the risks involved and my burning desire to be a mum we continued to try for a family. Month after month of waiting I was not pregnant, every time I left the house I bumped into a heavily pregnant mum to be. I didn’t know so many existed, it was as if they were constantly in my face. Age was the issue now so eventually we were referred by our GP to see a specialist. Numerous tests received no reason why I’d not fallen pregnant but as I thought time was ticking away we would consider different options , i.e IVF or adoption. We decided on IVF. To our horror, as I was now the great old age of 35 no funding was available and each round would cost 8k which 19 years ago was a lot of money. Deflated , emotionally unstable we decided to book a holiday and save up as soon as we returned. On return from our holidays 4 weeks later to our amazement I was pregnant. Wow I will never forget that moment. Life carried on until at 6 weeks I miscarriaged. You know how that feels. So I picked myself up and realised yes I could conceive without help and was sure I was get pregnant again. Life progressed and as I was nearly 38 and our savings growing we decidedly to press forward regarding IVF. Before our appointment, yes you guessed I fell pregnant again, excactly the same month as before. Sadly at 6 weeks again I miscarriaged. By this time I was convinced I was not going to be a mum and went into melt down. Life was so unfair, none of this was my fault. On the waiting list for treatment and I realised I was pregnant for a third time. Yes this pregnancy was different from day one, I was sick each day, every day for the entire pregnancy. It didn’t matter and I was so pleased when the midwife said, sickness each day is a sign of a healthy baby!! My story had a happy ending as we have a great son, now 16 whom we love dearly. Please don’t ever give up following your dream.
Thank you for sharing your story with me Janet. It’s hard the excitement each time and then to have it taken away so quickly. Thank you for giving me hope and for reading my blog xx
Best of luck❤