I knew I was pregnant even before I’d taken the test. I hadn’t missed my period but it was due that day, a Friday, and I thought sod it, let’s pee on a stick (because let’s face it, it is an addiction for any woman trying to conceive).
I’d left the stick in the bathroom, went about my normal routine and wondered back upstairs. Scott was just out of the shower when I asked him to check how many lines. “One” he told me. I wasn’t so convinced so checked myself. Lo and behold, there was a second, very feint, squint and you can see it line. Scott didn’t believe me, that feint smudge wasn’t a line! But I was sure. I’d been there enough times to know. The feelings that followed weren’t the normal, elated feelings a newly pregnant woman feels. I sobbed. Terrified for what lay ahead. The uncertainty, the emotional rollercoaster, the weeks of invasive checks and not knowing whether my body was planning on keeping this baby. I didn’t know if I could go through it all again!
I contacted the wonderful consultants at Coventry straight away to seek their advice. They’d taken me off progesterone because it was messing up my cycle but, now I was pregnant, I wanted to try everything could to make this work. They agreed and I started the pessaries at just over 4 weeks pregnant. Previously I’d used them in the main front entrance but this was messy (and I didn’t want to prod and poke too much) so I took the trademan’s entrance, the back door. Not the comfiest way of using them but it worked, they stayed put and there was less mess. I’ll come onto the side effects later you’ll be pleased to know.
A week after finding out we were off work for the week. We’d planned to go away as it may be the last holiday we managed to get for a while with the possibility of starting IVF this year. That all changed though. My second miscarriage started when we were abroad, there was no way I would risk anything with this pregnancy. We decided to have a few day trips out and just try and relax a bit. I was exhausted with recent events at work and the pregnancy was taking its toll – I could nap anywhere! By the Tuesday of that week, I was 5 ½ weeks pregnant and getting fed up of doing nothing. We decided to have an overnighter somewhere so started looking a places. But then history looked to be repeating itself. I started spotting brown and cramping – exactly the same point as with other pregnancies. I was terrified. I tried to brush it off but I couldn’t. It wasn’t fair – was I ever going to have a successful pregnancy? My symptoms had also started to subside – all pointing to the inevitable – AGAIN!
We made an appointment at St Mary’s with the recurrent miscarriage team for the Monday we’d got back to work. They wanted to just provide emotional support and help with the practicalities of being pregnant again, like booking us in for additional scans. Knowing you can’t see much earlier than 6 ½ weeks, we opted for a scan on the Thursday, when I was 6 weeks and 6 days pregnant.
I was terrified going for that scan. We nervously sat in the waiting room, trying to be positive. But it was so hard. We were called for the scan and taken into the room where The Wand awaited me. At that point I broke down, unable to control my emotions and sobbed, almost having a panic attack. The sonographer was wonderful. She calmed me down, asked me all the relevant questions before the scan and switched off the secondary monitor. As I lay there, I grabbed Scott’s hand and we didn’t look at her (it’s amazing how you are able to read them like a book when they are searching through your uterus). Within a very short space of time she asked if we wanted to see our baby, heatbeat and all. I broke down. This wasn’t what we’d been expecting – we never get good news like this. She spun the screen round and there it was – our little baby with its flickering heart! We couldn’t believe it! Everything looked perfect and measuring right for my dates. I’d never felt such happiness! Resting, progesterone and a healthy diet were helping us – we were doing this!
We were booked in for a scan 2 weeks from the first – at that point I’d be almost 9 weeks pregnant. Over the days that followed I bled again – this time a gush of red. I tried to tell myself that it was just because of the probing but deep down I was worried again. My symptoms, however, came back with a vengeance. I had terrible morning, noon and night sickness. In the early part of the day I’d just feel queasy, like I was on a boat, but by the later part of the afternoon, it would turn into full on sickness, with me throwing up on occasion. My particular favourite was trying to be discreetly sick during Glastonbury, whilst we had guests and throwing up with such force that it splashed back in my face! URGH! They do say your dignity goes with pregnancy.
Talking of dignity, so I mentioned the side effects of the twice daily bum bullets….I’ll explain a little more. For some reason, the bullets, give you incredible wind…..like tornado style. Not only that but morning bum bullets have a tendency to want to exit quite quickly after being inserted. By that I mean that they decide “I know, now is a good time for a bout of the screaming sh!ts”….but you can’t go – you have to hold said explosion in for about 30 minutes at least. Needless to say, it’s not pretty!
So 2 weeks later, at nearly 9 weeks, I’m sent for a second scan, just to check everything is progressing well. Again, I’ve got horrific anxiety. My heart is pounding and I burst into tears as soon as I’m called. Part of me believes everything is OK – why else would I have horrific sickness and extreme exhaustion! I’ve been throwing up too and consuming my bodyweight in wotsits to stave off the sickness! I still can’t face anything sweet and the thought of a cup of tea makes me wretch! Thankfully there’s been no further bleeding but I worry about missed miscarriages…. that horrendous anxiety just doesn’t go.
I’m called into the room with a very full bladder but told straight off to go pee. Hallelujah! When I come back in the room I see the secondary screen in switched on for us to see the scan – we turn it off. The sonographer inserts the probe and immediately tells me everything is OK with baby! I can’t quite believe it. This is the furthest we’ve got and it feels wonderful. She tells Scott to switch the screen on so we can watch the scan. Wow, it looks like a real baby now! Everything is so clear and perfect! I can’t stop crying! This is such a huge step for us but still we’re not out of the woods. Every milestone is important and I’m still as terrified as we were at the start. Statistically, now we’ve seen a perfect baby and heartbeat there is a 99% chance everything will be OK – I still worry about that 1% though!
At 11 weeks we go for another scan. I’ve already been for my first antenatal appointment, allowing myself to believe it was OK to start getting things in order now. Again, at the scan I’m terrified and cry. We go through the same process….turn off the second screen, don’t look at the sonographer and pray all is OK. This time we avoid the wand and it’s a tummy scan – we’ve never got to the point where I’ve had one of these! Again she senses my anxiety and immediately tells me baby is fine. We switch on the second screen and see the heartbeat and the little one moving around. We are both completely blown away – our baby is moving around….it’s real! They tell me that the intestine is slightly protruding into the cord but apparently this should right itself so this is going to be monitored (apparently this is normal…). Although we are almost out of the danger zone, we still can’t bring ourselves to get too excited.
Finally, the day we thought we’d never see, our dating scan. I can’t believe we are at this point. Still I’m terrified! It can still go wrong. It’s the same process with the scan….I get called in, I cry and start panicking, they turn off the screen and we hold our breath! Immediately we’re told “baby is fine”! Indeed baby was fine – lay relaxing, legs crossed waving at us. One chilled little monster! The scan took a little longer than it should as our little one decided not to co-operate! All measurements were fine and the intestine looked to be where it should be. After 30 minutes watching our baby, we were sent to see the consultant. Due to my previous miscarriages, I get extra care, which has been fantastic. I see a specialist who deals with ladies that have had previous losses – she’s amazing! Instantly she puts my mind at ease and arranging for extra scans. By this point I’ve finished my progesterone supplements but they’ve almost been like a comfort blanket to me so I ask her if I can carry them on. Without hesitation she writes a prescription and tells me that if it helps give me peace of mind, it isn’t going to cause me any issues! I’m back in 4 weeks for an additional scan for reassurance! So finally, after 4 hours, we’re on the way to Mothercare to finally allow ourselves to get excited and see what is on offer (and how expensive it all is)!
So we’re now at the 16 weeks mark. Yesterday we heard the heartbeat for the first time. I never thought anything could leave me speechless and so emotional. Despite having seen our baby wriggling around on the screen numerous times, this somehow made it more real – there was a little heart inside me, fluttering away. The most unbelievable feeling in the world! I spent the whole day in a complete daze….!
We saw our baby again today, I’ll never tired of seeing it – what a wonderful feeling!
Our little family will (hopefully) be complete in 6 months and we couldn’t be happier. From being that couple with unexplained infertility, we’re now parents-to-be!