They’re finally listening!!

2 years ago this month I had my first miscarriage.  12 months later on the exact day i had the first miscarriage my second should have been born and this April my third was due.  What do I have to show for it….no baby in arms but a courage and strength I never knew I had.  And I’ve had many battles, tried to open many doors but had them shut on me – we’ve felt like no-one has listened to us but we’ve not given up.  And for once, April, the month I’ve come to dread has brought us some good news, some positivity and I feel like now we are getting somewhere!

So after over 2/12 years of being on this journey, enduring 3 miscarriages and countless tests and heartache, someone is listening!  I’ll fill you in…..

So since our trip to Coventry for private Killer Cell testing, I have been undecided about whether to have a repeat of the test (my results had come back normal).  I’d emailed the clinic to ask to speak to a consultant and was patiently awaiting a response – no-one replied.  A few weeks later I emailed them again and I got a telephone consultation with Prof Quenby (she’s like the queen of all things fertility so I was extremely pleased to have someone else to speak to, another perspective on our situation).

So I come to speaking with Prof Quenby, armed with my questions:

  1. Do I really need the test again?  What are the chances of the results changing drastically?
  2. Why am I not ovulating at the moment?  Temperature charting shows I’m annovulatory – should I be worried?
  3. What do I need to do next?  No-one is listening!

So I set off on my questions – no, another test isn’t necessary as I was super normal rather than borderline; progesterone supplements they prescribed might be affecting my cycle so stop them.  I didn’t really need to ask question 3, they answered it within question 2….and here is how!

When we discussed my questionable ovulation status, I mentioned that in the past I’d been tested and my AMH levels (basically, my egg count) was low for my age.  How low?  Well 3.6 I seem to recall.  I told Prof Quenby that everyone I’d mentioned that to in the past wasn’t that interested, they were so focused on the miscarriages that they’d ignored it – even the fertility specialist!  Anyway, as soon as I mention the number and my age she says those golden words….

“I am referring you for IVF”

I was so shocked I just sobbed, uncontrollable sobbing!  Someone was listening to me and someone wanted to help us!  I couldn’t thank this wonderful woman enough!  I felt like the cost, pain and illness I’d suffered having the test in Coventry was now worth it! We were going to get somewhere and they had to help us now.

Within a week of that phone call I’m sat in the doctors, armed with my notes, test results and the referral, asking the doctor to process the request (it has to officially come from my doctor – another pointless hurdle).  I’m used to having to fight the doctors but since we’ve moved and I’ve changed doctors, I’ve been completely supported throughout.  I expected a fight – she agreed straight away and processed the request.  Again, tears streamed, we were getting there!  There was some glimmer of hope!  I expected to have to jump through hoops, request funding, basically fight for this but no, all it needed was a letter to the hospital and we were on the list!  WOW!

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So we’re now a few more days on and I’ve come home to a letter allowing me to book my appointment.  OMG the NHS seem to have pulled their socks up now! I get the choice of two clinics, St Mary’s in Manchester and the Hewitt Clinic in Knutsford….I was told this earlier in the week and have been trying to research to find the best clinic.  St Mary’s seems the obvious choice, close to work, I know staff there, they have my history but I’ve heard negative reviews.  But then I can’t find anything about Knutsford – maybe I’m not looking hard enough and subconsciously I’m drawing myself to St Mary’s!  So after quizzing a few people, I’m going with St Mary’s!  Why not, I was born there, I’d love our baby to be born there too!

I never in a million years thought I’d get to this point.  If I’d just sat back and waited, we could be waiting for an eternity to get pregnant again – maybe it would have never happen naturally!

I’d love to say this will lead to the end of our journey and that little bundle of cuteness but I’m realistic!  IVF has around a 30% success rate for women of my age and the longer we have to wait, the lower that figure gets!  But the odds are better than going it alone at the moment and whilst I’m realistic, my positivity is trying to peep through, telling me this will work and we will succeed!

And if nothing else, we can help other couples going through this journey by sharing our experiences (I’m convinced that him upstairs has said “you know what, she quite likes this blogging so lets launch another challenge at her and see what she’s got to say about it”!)

Due Date

“One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl….”

Magpies….I hate them! I’m superstitious when it comes to magpies. Today I’ve seen 3, twice. Could it be that the baby I lost in September is giving me a little sign that she was a girl? I totally believe in the bad luck element of magpies. Each time I’m pregnant I see one….one for sorrow. I hate it. I blame them for what happens each time. Stupid magpies!

Its been a tough week.  Mother’s Day and my due date in the same week. Double dose of shit!  Mother’s Day was tough, but also lovely.  We went to our friends baby’s dedication.  We were seeing a few friends, folks we’d not seen for ages and of course plenty of babies. With it being Mothering Sunday, the service was about mums….cue tears, and lots of them!  I knew it would happen but not to this extent. I was fortunate to be sat by a wonderful, newly pregnant friend who was unbelievably kind and lovely to me. Everyone was. During the service they gave cards and a book out to the mums and expectant mums. Again, more tears From me. Two wonderful ladies spotted how upset I was and their motherly instinct kicked in and they handed me their card and book. Their kindness really was overwhelming. The hugs and little knowing shoulder squeezes made me realise that you’re never alone with your grief.  I was so thankful for spending the day with wonderful people who allowed me to let the tears flow (and of course I got to cuddle the cutest little monkey)!

The rest of the week was a bit of a strange week. Work was a distraction but dealing with an upsetting issue with a member of staff made me break. It made me realise that there are people much worse off than us. But it allowed me to take time out from my sorrow, to look at someone else’s misfortune, and be sad for them!

So back to today. My due date. My heart ached from waking up. I kept just crying.  I couldn’t control the tears. They just fell, heavy!  I didn’t want to face anyone today, I just wanted to clean.  It’s my distraction, bizarrely. It felt like I was nesting, how I should be if I was fat and ready to pop. I scrubbed and scrubbed!  Scott is wonderful when I’m like this.  He knew I needed to just get on with something and cry when I needed to. He was ever the prankster, trying to make me laugh. Headstands, daft yoga poses and being a general clown!  It helps! And the hugs help. Just the silent, knowing hugs that make me think it’s all going to be ok and we’re here for each other.  He also decorated our bedroom so he’s not too bad is he?!

As much as I feel I’m coping with everything, I’m still thinking time isn’t on my side. I feel at a stalemate with the NHS. I’m playing a waiting game – no more appointments until I’m pregnant. I’m waiting for the appointment with my colleague. I’ve got so much I need to talk to him about. I want to explore why I don’t get pregnant easily. The consultants I’ve seen so far  don’t seem to be too interested in this but the clock is ticking. Faster than other’s with my low egg count.

I’ve thought a lot about grief recently. The Rio Ferdinand programme brought it to the forefront of my mind. I feel I’m dealing with my grief well.  Everyone deals with grief differently. There’s no textbook response! The blog and being open about it all helps. I’ve thought a lot too about loss.  Part of me feels I’m not so much grieving our losses, more the not having. We want a baby more than anything. That’s what we grieve each day, the opportunity to smash parenthood.

So for now my focus is getting fit and healthy to be the best oven for our little bun. I run twice a week and Bootcamp twice a week. It gives me a focus. I’m ready to take on the NHS soon too. I’m building my list of things to speak to them about. I’m possibly the worlds most annoying patient. I research everything and go armed with my own diagnosis and expect them to prove me wrong….I’m a nightmare!

But for tonight, I’m wallowing, eating curry, chocolate and generally trying to just keep strong. If this journey has taught me anything, it’s that I have strength I didn’t know I had. That our marriage is a solid base of strength that will get us through anything. And my family and friends are awesome! ❤