Silver lining & moving forward

The other day I went in for what was meant to be my 7 week scan. They already knew I had lost this pregnancy but wanted to be sure everything has come out cleanly. It was emotional. The last time I was on that table we were told our 10w sweet pea’s heart stopped beating. I hate that place.

The good news out of a bad situation is that there’s nothing left inside. My womb was clean and tidy. And the bonus was finding out is my lining on CD12 after a miscarriage was 9mm. I don’t think I have ever had 9mm ever, or at least not while we’ve been aware of my lining being pretty thin. During our 5th pregnancy in the summer it was consistently around 7mm. Not ideal.

I never got the chance to get my lining checked in this last pregnancy but I’ve been on a mission to improve my lining regardless. Pomegranate juice, protein, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and oh yeah, this cycle I started on viagra suppositories. I had only been on them a few days when I had the scan but something’s obviously working. Now’s the time to act on it.

Or is it? I can’t help but feel somewhat reckless trying again so soon after loss. Is it really a good idea? Am I trying to forget too quickly? Have I allowed enough time to heal? Will this have a backlash later? Am I dishonouring the loss by moving on too quickly? Am I in denial that this might never happen?

I don’t know where the guilt and hesitation is coming from. Maybe it’s my TCM who wants us to take a three month break. She wants us to build the body back up again. I do recognise the benefit of waiting on the body. I see how it can rebuild strength and stabilise hormones. I may be kidding myself but I don’t see the proof that my body is depleted from this loss. Previous ones? Definitely. But this time I feel good physically. My BBT chart is the most consistent and stable it’s been since I started charting years ago. My lining is good. I’ve sustained the preconception plan for months. And I am feeling better mentally than I have in a long long time. Although I am tired of all of this, I feel … strong.

We are definitely running the risk of repeating a pattern though, I see that. Our first four losses were literally back to back, I think it was our way of pushing past the pain. Just keep trying again and one will stick. It has to. I’m seeing some of that motivation in myself again now, but things are different. Back then I was confident we’d get there eventually, and as our positivity and hope gradually faded with loss after loss, devastation took its toll. That is when we took our much needed breaks.

Now, I have absolutely no idea what to expect. We could go through another six losses and still come out empty handed. I recognise that now and am gradually coming to accept it. So although I may be motivated by desperation, truthfully there’s a little bit of “what do I have to lose?” going on in there as well.

Wait or try again? There are benefits and disadvantages to both.

After some thorough discussion we decided to give this a chance, we committed to trying this cycle. I am still on the supplements and diet, the Clexane, the steroids, the Intralipids, the Valium. I’ve got follow up appointments with two clinics the coming weeks.

We both fully acknowledge this may very well lead to disappointment in more ways than one, but at least we feel like things are moving forward. I feel I need to act while motivations are up because who knows when I’ll feel this good again. So much of recurrent loss is about finding balance in the continuous cycle of highs and lows. Finding the strength to pick ourselves up again. Recovering when down, moving forward when up. Strike while the iron is hot I guess. I’m willing to accept the consequences.

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One step at a time

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I have been in a bit of a funk for most of it. I started writing several posts but never published them. I’m just not feeling it, I feel like I have nothing to contribute. I feel like I’m all doom and gloom these days and trying to be positive is just not working. So rather than bore all of you with my mundane drivel I’ve been hanging low.

I have been reading loads of great blogs but I haven’t even really had the opportunity to comment on them, which I would like to do. So I’m going to try to make some time to do that tomorrow. I also drastically need to update my blogroll because I think I am following in the region of 200+ blogs at the moment and they all deserve recognition. I promise to do that soon.

On the upside I had my last day at my old job the other day. I am finally free of the Sweet Pea Thief. And it feels damn good. I immediately felt the huge weight lifted off my shoulders. It could not have come soon enough. The constant drooling over her by others nearly did my head in. I literally sat at my desk with my headphones on max so I didn’t have to hear the crap they were spewing over her. I even managed to skirt my leaving drinks, and saying goodbye to her and the rest of my colleagues because thankfully my last day was spent entirely in meetings and one of my particularly needy clients wanted a handover meeting as the last thing I did that day, which meant I was nowhere near the office on my last day. Couldn’t have worked out better if I had planned it.

I had one day off in between jobs which I spent getting a massage, going to the spa and having lunch with a friend and her brand new puppy who is pretty freaking cute right?

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I know, she’s crazy cute. It was a pretty great day. I felt rested and ready for the new job the next day.

And so far the new job is pretty good. Despite a few very stressful days last week when I was kind of working for them while also working for the other place (naughty I know), for the most part it’s going well. It’s always a scary transition isn’t it, but the people and environment are nice and I am busy (in a good way) right away. I have had plenty of “what am I doing” moments but I guess these are to be expected when going through this kind of transition. Being anonymous feels great. No one there knows my story except for a super good friend of mine who started working there this week too. She happens to be one of the most supportive people in real life right now. And I even like my view on my commute home.

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Not bad right? So everything seems somewhat positive, I am feeling good about that side of life.

I had my second LIT treatment yesterday. This one was far more painful than the first and my skin bubbled up in hives immediately. This apparently means it’s working. I was far too annoyed to listen to that because I was too busy watching the dumbass nurse eject at least £200 worth of the Hubs white blood cells onto her lap when it was meant for my arm. Stupid stupid fool. Today I’m bandaged up and sore and glad it’s over. I won’t need another one for 6 months or so.

In the meantime, this cycle was pretty much a bust. I felt like it was a bust from the very start. Just wasn’t feeling it. I tested on 9dpo and 11dpo and both were white as snow. So I came off the progesterone support so AF could make her appearance. I’ve been feeling pretty crampy and emotional and was just riding it out for AF. I was actually OK at processing the disappointment this month. On one hand I felt slightly relieved because next cycle I would officially qualify for maternity pay should I be lucky enough to fall pregnant again, but on the other hand it was yet another sad result. I had a good cry that evening and felt a bit out of sorts but was already looking ahead at what I would do differently for next cycle.

Viagra suppositories. Yep, my womb lining needs all the help it can get and a few of those puppies can do a girl’s lining wonders. I was poised on “click to buy” online when I decided to do one more test this morning for the hell of it, purely because Viagra is expensive and I don’t want to be out of pocket for something I might not need for a while. Anyway, I was confused as to why AF is still nowhere to be seen when my cramps have been pretty full fledged for 5 days now. AF is only one day late but this is not unusual, especially after last cycle’s trauma.

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Today is 15dpo. Sorry for the shit pic but can you see a second line? Because I can barely see a second line. In fact, I totally missed this second line. First thing this morning after I peed on this stick and saw within thirty seconds that it was stark white, I went back to bed. It was only a few hours later when I was having a pee when I glanced over at it and saw a super faint not even really there second line. Convinced this was an evaporation line, I quickly sought the advice of Doctor Google who says that an evaporation line is a different colour to the test line. This second line is pink. Pink like the test line.

Commence freak out. I had been really successful at ignoring any symptoms and not allowing any symptom spotting to occur during the 2WW this cycle. That is, until my telltale symptom kicked in. The raging super quick pulse I get in my abdomen. This has only ever meant one thing. And when the pulsating hum hadn’t stopped this morning I ran out to buy a digital test expecting it to be negative. Instead I got this.

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I’m sad to admit it but we didn’t even smile for each other. There were no hugs or high fives or elated kisses. Instead we muttered a few “oh dears” and sat in silent shock at the result sitting before us. What the hell do we do now.

A faint positive at 15dpo is considered late implantation. Consistently, the last five pregnancies have all been late implanters. All five pregnancies ended in tears. This has been a critical part of my diagnosis with the unfortunately termed condition known as “super fertility.” I know all too well what a faint double line means at this late stage. I have been off progesterone for four days now so who knows what havoc this has caused for my lining or for the poor little embie trying to make a home.

I could list all the things that I have done wrong in these two weeks. For someone who is acutely aware of what to do and not to do in the 2WW I have been pretty lame at it this cycle. My gloom got the better of me. Because I expected things to fail this cycle I lived like they had. I could have stayed on the progesterone, and messed up my cycle for a few more days but provide the support the embie needs. I could have not gone to the spa or spent all day getting hot, then cold, then hot, then cold. I could have eaten better or slept when I needed it or gone on the steroids I’ve been prescribed but been too reluctant to go on. But there is nothing I can do about any of that now.

But I guess on the flipside there are a lot of things we have done differently this time around. Since our last loss I’ve been diagnosed with a clotting disorder, immune issues and a defective womb. And we are / will be actively treating all these things. Aspirin, progesterone, LIT, intralipids, clexane, prednisone, chinese herbs, acupuncture. We can only hope that one / all of these treatments might tip the scales this time.

I am angry that a moment that should be full of happiness and celebration was replaced with impending doom, fear and raw panic. How can I stop feeling this way? How can I turn this around? How does one do that exactly?

Will history repeat itself? I don’t know. There is nothing I can do to change the outcome of this. All I can do is try to look forward. Try to be hopeful. Try to take one step a time. The phrase has never been more poignant in all my life.

Mental block

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Man I am really dragging my ass this cycle. I cannot for the life of me get into any meditation or tapes or mindfulness or visualisation or yoga or abdominal massage or anything remotely relaxing or mentally good for me. What is up with that?

I seem to be able to down my supplements and herbs every morning, to eat better again, to stay on top of nutrition and to do some moderate exercise. But there is some weird mental block in terms of trying to get into this all again.

I started listening to my Circle & Bloom MP3s again but they just make me feel exhausted. Even my old faithful Zita West isn’t doing it for me this time. They bring me back to the desperation I felt before the last BFP. It’s a horrible reminder how low I felt back then. I feel I’m in a different place now. Still desperate but different.

Maybe because there’s so much going on right now I haven’t made room for all these lovely things. I think it’s time to make time. I wonder what will make the switch. Probably one cycle of BFFN and I’ll be buckled in nice and tight back on the bandwagon again.

Fruits of our labour

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Last year we bought a house. The garden needed lots of work, still does. I’ve been slowly chipping away at it.

We inherited a lovely little plum and pear tree. Both have been struggling, they are old, scrawny, ravaged by slugs. They hadn’t produced fruit in years we were told. We decided to put a compost near them to see if that might boost their growth.

A year of organic compost later, the nutrients and goodness feeding them for the last year has turned these sad, barren little trees into lush, solid, strong trees bursting with luscious fruit. I have been pulling gorgeous, delicious fruit off them for weeks. They are so sweet and so tasty.

I can’t help but make the comparison to my withering miserable old womb. Progressively with each loss my awareness and attention of my womb has increased. Progressively over the past year I’ve been giving it more love and more attention and more nutrients and more goodness. Maybe one day it will flourish too.

OPK – not today

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There she is, that cute little OPK happy face smiling back at me. My little eggy just begging to be courted.

Sadly she’ll be flying solo today.

Yes a conscious decision to let this special monthly moment go by the wayside.

It’s freaking killing me but we have made and unmade this decision several times. The plan, I’m reminded, is to wait for tests to be performed and results received before we try this again.

Am I nuts? It has been over 2-1/2 years since these opportunities have been deemed golden and put to good use. Watching this one pass us by going to waste is a very sad thing to witness.

But I guess what we are after are answers. Next week I’m due to have a biopsy to test for NK cells and to test out this super fertility assessment. We’ll also be doing karyotyping and other immunological testing, many of which I explained here. For all these tests we need to be unpregnant. We are doing this to prevent more losses, I have to keep reminding myself.

But there’s the part of me that wants to throw caution to the wind. Part of me that wants to just go for it and see what happens. Was it all just bad luck? Is there really a problem? Could it work maybe just this once? Is there a good egg in there that will bring us our little bundle? Is this one, is she the one?

I guess the bottom line is we are too stunned and scared to find out. Still sore from recent losses. Still aching and exhausted from all the trauma. And so we’ll be sitting this month out.

I’ll be watching and hoping to see some smily faces put to good use out there in Fertility Cyberland ladies! Just hope I get to put one of my own to work again one day soon.

Back to business

My period. Today is the first sign of it in over four months. Almost one month to the day since my ERPC, six weeks since our baby’s heart stopped. Evidence of my body is getting back to normal. Back to business. Without consulting how I could possibly feel about it. My body has no interest in that, why would it?

But at first sight of blood now I recoil and that anxiety creeps in. I know there’s no baby in there. I know it’s good to get my cycle back on track. But it feels like another kick in the teeth. Yet another reminder of our loss. Yet another reminder we have no children. That teetering tower of Chinese Sticks has collapsed. We have slowly started picking up the pieces and will begin to lay the first ones back down again. To start rebuilding that tower. We are back to the beginning. Back to basics. Sigh.

Back on the horse.

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Ugh. The very thought of it makes me feel ill.

Commence Operation Sweet Pea (otherwise known as preconception plan)

It has only been 6 weeks since finding out our baby’s heart stopped and one month since the ERPC. And although I may never get over the last loss (or the others before it) I feel like I need some direction here. Am I ready for this? Probably not. But I need to feel like I’m doing something rather than waiting, healing, grieving.

I don’t really feel like I’ve given myself a proper chance at recovering 100% but I’m hoping this can carry on concurrently. I know what’s got me motivated. It’s that damn ticking clock again. Too loud to ignore, I’ll allow myself to gently ramp it up again, trying to be good to myself in the process.

So today marks Day One of gearing myself up mentally and physically for yet another go at this.

Commence once again the charting, the supplements, the progesterone, the fertility diet, the visualisation tapes, the self abdominal massage, the yoga, the protein shakes, the OPKs, and I guess most importantly, the next round of further investigations. New doctors. New tests.

The next two months will be preparing for hopefully another Opportunity Sweet Pea while we hold off TTC until results of more tests come back. Ditched the old consultants, it’s time for a new perspective. More bloods for anti thyroid antibodies, biopsy for NK cells and the whole gamut of NK cell blood testing. Press here to empty bank account.

But it’s good. It’s a step in the right direction. If I say it out loud I’ll have to stick with it. Right? Ugh.