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Bernards Watch 

I used to get home from school when I was little and see Bernard’s Watch on the tv, I loved imaginative play as a child and I still have quite a wild imagination as an adult but boy do I wish I could get my hands on that watch! If I could just pause time and get some answers and then click go again that would be just great! 
When sat in the epau each time watching people come out of their scan with their happy smiles and celebrating I wished I could hit the watch and just stop it all, I wasn’t having a happy time I was losing another pregnancy but I had to sit there in the same room as the people that weren’t going through this whilst they waited for their scan photo. 

I most definitely think lots of women take pregnancy for granted both the trying and the miracle of what it is to have a child. I had no idea how scientific and difficult it is to actually make a baby. I had no clue that there was only 6 days a month that I could fall pregnant, I had no knowledge on ovulation and the hormones in my body. 

I ordered a plethora of books off amazon as a starting point as I didn’t want to over rely on google, although I’ve found some fantastic blogs and forums online. Normally when there’s something wrong with you, you can visit the doctor and definitely get an answer as to what it is. Not with this though and I’m faced with the fact that I also might never know, most women with rpl never find a reason for their losses.

Before I continue to talk about the things I’ve learnt I must state that I’m no doctor and not qualified to give medical advice but as I’m taking this into my own hands and self medicating, I thought I would share and then if you are going through this too it’s something to consider looking into yourself and things to ask your doctor about. 

I’ve spoken to so many people who are living with infertility some of them for years and I’ve said have you checked for this or heard of that and they haven’t – I just worry if I leave my fate in someone else’s hands we will never get there. 

After the first miscarriage I read ‘taking charge of your fertility’ and that’s where I discovered bbt charting. This is something that still continues to amaze me and has made me feel real awareness with my body. I had no idea that my temperature could tell me so much about my body. 

With the 2nd & 3rd miscarriages i knew I was miscarrying before it physically started just by my morning temperature, yes it made my heart sink but I’m glad I knew … with the 2nd I could have gone on 4 more weeks thinking everything was ok if I hadn’t been charting. 

I also relied heavily on clear blue digital pregnancy tests which detect the level of hcg going up to tell you how many weeks pregnant you are. That morning when my temperature had dipped I knew that if I did another test the weeks would have gone down because my hcg was dropping. 

By the time I was seen after a weekend of riding it out at home my blood test results were inconclusive every time. I panicked that it wouldn’t count as a pregnancy on my records and that I would be made to go through it again before I could be referred. 

This is an observation i have made with all three of my pregnancies that my hcg levels drop drastically fast and potentially do not get that high to start with, which has lead me to believe that I have a progesterone deficiency, I will talk about progesterone in more detail later as it might even need its own blog I have that much to say about it. 

After the second loss I did a lot of reading and found that so many women would have a diagnosis of antiphilosophid syndrome (aps) which is a blood clotting disorder that can cause miscarriage. My GP did do a series of blood tests for me after the 2nd one with some begging and pleading, one of which was for aps which came back negative, however I’ve now learnt that blood clotting disorders should only be tested for at least 6 weeks after a pregnancy, mine were done 2 weeks after and so not necessarily accurate.

Treatment for this in the first instance is baby aspirin (75mg). I decided to take the aspirin throughout my 3rd pregnancy as a precaution. Unfortunately it didn’t help but aps is also not ruled out for me as depending on your levels you may also need further treatment (heparin) alongside the aspirin, so this is still on the list! 

I can’t remember exactly at what point I started to notice pregnant people, I’ve never noticed before but…. they are everywhere! Everywhere I turn there’s a woman that’s glowing with a lovely bump and all of a sudden I get a pang inside of me of disappointment. I scroll past pregnancy announcements as fast as I can because I don’t know what to do. 

It’s hard and horrible to have those feelings to feel jealousy and bitterness but it is part of what I’m going through so I’m happy to hold my hand up and admit it, that’s how it makes me feel. I don’t like it I don’t want to feel that way but I do. I sat and cried for hours that I didn’t feel happy for someone because I don’t want to feel like that but I just can’t help it, my husband said but why are you crying just be happy for them, but it’s not that simple, it’s out of my control just like the rest of this journey. 

That said I have found that uniting with people trying to conceive and supporting each other when having a bad day really motivating. looking at each other’s charts and ovulation tests and squinting at those early pregnancy tests together has really helped me and hopefully them too. 

Sometimes we laugh at our utterly gross conversations but at least we are laughing. When someone finally gets there I feel hope and it spurs me on to keep going and maybe one day I’ll be having play dates instead of comparing waking temperatures and other things I won’t talk about here! 

One Monday night after work my husband and I had our first appointment booked at the spire for a private consultation with a local ob/gyne. I can now say I really wish I had researched consultants and that I had gone to see someone that had been recommended to me, but I was so desperate for someone to listen to me and to say they would help us I just took the first available appointment. 

I sat in the waiting room feeling geared up ready to get answers to all the questions I had. I’ve never wanted there to be something wrong with me before, it’s strange really, normally you go to a doctor and have tests and you really hope it all comes back clear. I want to have a blood clotting disorder or high NK cells, I want to be treated, I don’t want to be one of the millions of women who are left no wiser with no diagnosis. 

We went into the consultation and I had hope and to be fair I did leave with hope too. We discussed the most common causes of rpl and the tests that can be done and also that we may never find a problem and it might just be very bad luck. We left with a plan of action which was to be referred back to our GP for a list of tests to be done and then to return to the consultant 8 weeks later to discuss the results. This is when I learnt that some testing could only be done 6 weeks after the last pregnancy and so my previous blood tests were irrelevant. The testing that was suggested was full thrombophilia screening, antipholosophid syndrome and parental karyotyping (chromosome testing). 

I cried a lot that night, I realised that this wasn’t going to be a smooth road and it was going to take time. I’m not wanting to be impatient but when I am already living with urinary incontinence that effects me every day and knowing I need surgery on my bladder which has been put on hold until we have children I feel like time isn’t something I have. 

I decided I needed something to focus on to get me through the 8 week count down and so I reluctantly booked a personal trainer. Not to lose weight but more for mental focus and something to help me countdown the weeks, however I am back in some jeans that were a bit tight so that’s a bonus! 

The hardest part of the consultation was being told it’s best we stop trying for now. Stopping trying for something you really want is really hard, each cycle that passes and we don’t try catch that egg is painful. 

I’ve had over a hundred woman contact me since my first post, just to chat, meet for coffee or tell me their story. I have a diary full of coffee dates and lunches and plans to bring people together that find sharing beneficial to their own journey.
 

I never started this blog with any purpose other than to reach out and encourage people to talk about miscarriage, I’ve discovered that so many people do want to talk about it, and I feel privileged that so many are sharing with me and that we can help each other, yet saddened that so many women are living this too. 
Sam xxx

(Feel free to contact me via Facebook through Crazy Fertility Queen page) 

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