Sadness

Sadness

I woke up feeling worse today. I took a test to rule out the possibility that maybe I was pregnant and the bleeding was due to the progesterone or the blood thinners. It was negative. Of course it was.

I can’t help but think of my life 4 years ago. Before all this was normal.

I’m so much happier in different parts of my life, but there’s always a small part of me that wishes I could go back to that time.

To not know what miscarriage really was. To not know the feeling of infertility. To not know the feeling of unexplained failure. To not have a cloud hanging over us even on the sunniest of days.

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Tears

Tears

I got my period today. 10.10am in college and I decided a pee would be a good way to get out the boring class for a few minutes. Serves me bloody right.

I didn’t actually shed any tears when I seen it. But I know they’ll come. I can feel them. I’m trying not to break down in public, but I know when I’m home I won’t be as strong.

I’m heartbroken. They put something inside me that was part me and part Nikki and now it’s gone. I don’t know when it left me, but I just know it’s not there anymore.

Of course I blame myself. I never rested enough, I never relaxed enough. I shouldn’t have went back to work. My college bag was probably too heavy. I forgot to count my bottle of coke toward my caffeine intake. It must be something I done. At least then I would have a reason. At least then I would understand why this failed. Why my body continues to fail at the one things it’s supposed to do.

2 people on here that I consider to be friends also had crappy news over the past few days and it makes me angry. No, not angry. I’m not angry, I’m frustrated. How can 3 good people have such a shitty time? How can we ever begin to understand why this happens. Making a baby is supposed to be simple and fun. We deserve better. We deserve our happy ending.

IVF for Dummies

IVF for Dummies

I’m nearly finished my first IVF cycle which of course now makes me a bona fide expert so, I thought I’d do a post on what to do, and what not to do if you’re about to start IVF for the first time. Plus, it also distracts me from testing.(yup, that’s a what not to do)

  • First things first. Stage 1. The injections. After much trial and error, I found it was much easier to inject myself. Hubby liked being a part of it and truth to be told – I liked that too. But it honestly is much easier to self jag. You can control the pressure much easier. If you’re really afraid of needles, then get your partner but just give him/her these tips too!
  • RELEASE!!! I learned this the hard way. Thanks to advice from Callie (fellow blogger) I realised you should release and breathe out once the needle is in/as it’s coming out. Much less chance of bruising this way. I pinched my belly throughout the entire thing and it hurt like Hell.
  • It’s also much easier to do it sitting down. Gives you a bit more belly roll and saves on the pinching!
  • Tell your work. People might disagree on this but I personally think it’s much easier if your boss knows. Your appointments will be all over the place and all very last minute so giving them a heads up will only help you both out in my opinion
  • Don’t make plans. Don’t agree to any social events unless you absolutely NEED to. We had a wedding we had to attend at the day of our booster injection and had to carry a very fetching little orange cool bag around with us all day so the injection could be refrigerated.
  • Stay off internet forums. Yes we all need advice but honestly these things end up making you feel worse. Ask on your blog, ask a friend but the forums end up resulting in you straying towards dangerous territory and you feel shit or guilty cos Karen tested positive 3 days past her transfer and ate nothing but Green Tea and pineapple for 2 weeks but you’ve spent the last 3 days drinking coffee and eating Big Macs.
  • Retrieval Day. Take a day off. 2 days if you can. It’s definitely sore afterward and you usually start progesterone at that time too so that just enhances everything. I felt like I couldn’t poop for about 3 days and was so bloody miserable. So take the time off and feel sorry for yourself and binge watch Queer Eye on Netflix.
  • Take pictures. It’s an important journey and no matter what happens you’re going to want to remember what you want through. It’s all part of the journey and I know that I’m going to want to look back one day and see what we went through. (Of course if it doesn’t work out I can always burn then in a ceremonial bonfire).
  • Don’t test. I mean yeah, you’re probably gonna. I’m probably gonna too. But try not. And if you do and it’s negative, don’t be disheartened. It ain’t negative until that period comes missy!
  • Enjoy it. We spend so long worrying and stressing about IVF that sometimes I think it’s easy to forget that it’s an amazing process and one that should be enjoyed. Good luck to everyone starting/has started. Fingers and toes crossed for you all!
The fear

The fear

Fear has set in. I left work early tonight after bursting in to tears after feeling some cramps and thinking I’d pushed myself too much.

I was 8 hours in to a 12 hour shift and I realised that maybe I wasn’t ready. It was too soon. I suddenly felt this huge amount of guilt and couldn’t stop crying.

I panicked that our round of IVF won’t work. Then I panicked more that it will work, but it’ll end how all my other pregnancies have ended.

I know this is a just a blimp and I’ll be ok in a day or two but right now I’m struggling.

Husbands Story

Husbands Story

You’re probably fed up hearing from me these days, so this is an experience on miscarriage from my husband’s side. He’s not big on talking (or even writing) about things so I’m super proud of him for doing this.

My name is Nikki and I am going to share Nicola and I’s story through my eyes for the first time and this has not been an easy thing for me to do.

The reason I’m choosing to share my story is simple really. Nicola has taught me and so many others that talking openly about our loss or losses doesn’t only make us stronger but it connects us all.

When we share our stories they all become one. No longer do you need to feel hurt or scared or alone.

Let me set the scene…. It’s our wedding day. Nicola has just agreed to be my wife. Before the party starts my son comes up to make his speech.

He stands up in front of our friends and family, thanks them all for coming then announces to everyone that Nicola is pregnant and he’s going to be a big brother. It means the world to Kian to be a big brother.

Fast forward a week or so and we’re loving life. A newly married couple lying on the beach in Cuba, in 30 degree heat (in January!) Life was perfect!

Nicola suddenly started to feel funny. She wasn’t quite her normal self and she said she had a sore stomach and was going to the room to lie down.

I collected all our towels and said to our friends where we were going and headed up to our room to see if Nicola was ok.

You need to realise life at this moment was “perfect” I have just married my best friend, I am in Cuba – one of the most beautiful places I have ever been lucky enough to visit – and I am going to be a dad for a second time………like I said perfect.

But it was about to change……

I went in to our room and Nicola was in the toilet. She was breaking her heart and her hands were covered in blood.

She was sobbing and repeating over and over again

The baby, the baby.

I helped her off the toilet, gave her a kiss and told her lots of people bleed through pregnancy. I pulled out the trusted old Google and confidently said not to worry. Everything would be fine.

I went to reception to call an ambulance just to get everything checked out anyway.

When the ambulance came I was still confident everything would be ok. You always think

this will never happen to us!

When we got to the hospital it was empty. We were the only people in the place apart from a doctor and 2 nurses.

The language barrier was terrible. The 2 nurses never spoke any English and the Dr only spoke broken English at best.

We tried to explain what was happening and the Dr rushed Nicola in for an ultrasound. They lifted up her T-shirt put the cold jelly on the machine and started looking for our wee peanut.

They found our baby!

I have never been so happy or relieved in my life. I am not religious in the slightest but even me in that dark time thought “what if?”

We saw our beautiful wee baby. They showed us the heartbeat on the screen, printed us off the picture and told us everything would be ok. Sometimes bleeding is normal.

I was over the moon and turned to Nicola to give her a kiss but she wasn’t happy. Her pain was increasing and she felt like something was wrong.

I will never forget the moment Nicola suddenly rushed to the toilet. She sat on the toilet and it happened. She put her hand between her legs and our baby landed on it.

I took the baby from her and showed the Dr. He looked at it, shrugged and said “maybe”.

They asked me to sit in the hall way whilst they took Nicola away to clean her up and to re-scan her.

This is the part I really struggle with.

They left me sitting by myself not being able to check on my wife and still holding my dead baby for nearly 20 minutes.

As much as I did not want to look I couldn’t take my eyes off our wee baby. (Because that’s what it was, a baby.) This was my wee peanut!

That image of our baby will be forever burnt in to my memory. I got up off the seat and flushed the baby down the toilet. That single moment would come back to haunt me for years and I still struggle with that action today.

Nicola came back from the scan and all was confirmed by the Dr. They tried to keep Nicola in but she wanted to go back to the hotel and signed herself out.

When we arrived back at the hotel I took Nicola up to the room, gave her a massive kiss and sucked in all my hurt so I could put on a brave face. I had to be strong for Nicola.

The thought of someone questioning Nicola about the baby broke my heart so I went around the people in the hotel and explained what had happened.

When we got back to Scotland things took a darker turn. Nicola was on a dark path, a path I never thought I would be able to get her off.

Everything seemed to be heading in one direction and it all came to a head one day. Nicola and I got in to a massive fight and we nearly called it a day.

Our handling of the situation nearly cost us everything

4 weeks previously I was marrying my best friend, going to be a dad again and suddenly I was losing my wife and my baby.

I started looking in to loss and how people cope and I came across an article that said the best way to release pain and sadness is to write about it.

So I came up with the idea of blogging for Nicola. We spoke about it for hours and hours and came to the conclusion that this would be a great idea. One – it might help Nicola heal and Two – we never wanted a man or woman to go through what we did, but, if they had to, I wanted them to be better prepared than we were.

Nicola seeing your blog go from strength to strength, seeing you help yourself and others and seeing you beginning to get closure has helped me more than you will ever know.

I have kept all this in for so long Nicola and I could never fully get over everything knowing you were still hurting. Seeing you heal and smile again for the first time in years has helped me so much and from the bottom of my heart and everyone else who you have helped thank you.

Transfer Day

Transfer Day

“Would you like to see your embryo”?

I remember thinking how unfair it was that I had to do IVF, that I wasn’t able to fall naturally. I didn’t see why I had to spend weeks injecting myself when most people only had to do the fun stuff to have a baby.

But then yesterday happened. Hubby and I sat together with our scrubs on and we got to watch our little embryo on screen. We watched it enter my body and travel up to where it’s (hopefully) going to spend the next 9 months. None of us realised how emotional we’d find it. It’s the beginning of life and we were lucky enough to see it.

All the injections and mood swings and bloating and vagina bullets have been worth it.

I know nothing is guaranteed but we’re hopeful. We’re excited. We’re letting ourselves enjoy this moment. I’m done with worrying and always preparing for the worst. It’s time to enjoy these moments.

** technical stuff coming up for anyone that’s wanting to know more **

I had 6 blastocysts from the 9 eggs that had fertilised. 5 of them were good quality and frozen. 1 was transferred (as is recommended for my age and the fact it’s cycle number 1) and it was a grade 5AB. They said 5AA is the best you can get, so they were pretty happy with my little blasto.

Would love if you all had me in your thoughts over the next 2 week’s. Happy, wishful thoughts please!

Retrieval Day

Retrieval Day

They don’t tell you enough about IVF before you start. Everything has been a surprise to me. I’ve found out most of what I know through forums and chatting to people on here. I don’t get it. Why is this yet another subject that isn’t spoken about?

“Keep all your miscarriages brushed under the table.. Oh and don’t talk about your IVF either while you’re at it”

Ok ok, so no-one is saying that to me, but sometimes it feels that way.

Quick update for anyone that’s wondering. I had injections twice a day (plucked up the courage to do a few of these myself by the way) for 2 weeks then a few days before retrieval I had my booster injection. After that it was bye bye needles and hello nice relaxing time. I feel I should stick in a maniacal laughing emoji right about now because that’s definitely not how it turned out.

Retrieval itself was pretty straightforward. I’ll try make everything as simple and short as possible. I was sedated and honestly never felt a thing. They retrieved 12 eggs – 9 matured and all 9 fertilised (I hear this is good. I still don’t understand why.)

Strict rest for 24 hours after. No cooking, no cleaning. And certainly no funny stuff

(whoever would want to is a sadist).

I was absolutely fine leaving the hospital. Zero pain. I realise now that I was probably still buzzing off my tits on the pain relief.

Once that wears off, fuck! It’s sore. My belly felt twice the size and painkillers didn’t help much. I would definitely recommend a day in bed just to relax and feel a bit sorry for yourself.

Next morning the fun stuff started. Pessaries. Now guys, I’m normally a big fan of you all. I trust you all. Tell you all my deepest, darkest secrets. Nobody could’ve given me a heads up on these things? Jeez!

I need to put these bloody bullet shaped little demons inside my vagina (or bum I was told as if having that second option is a positive thing) every morning and every night. I lie down for 20minutes so it doesn’t “ooze out”. Yup that’s what it says. The side effects of these wee dreams are endless. Bloating, nausea, constipation, lethargy, confusion, tender breasts, mood swings, sudden urge to fire one of the bullets up your husbands arse because

all he’s had to do through this entire process is a have a good time in a cup!

Never mind. It’s only for 15 days…

…. And then another 28 if we get pregnant.

From blogger to vlogger

From blogger to vlogger

I uploaded my first video to YouTube today.

I should probably tell you that I’m crippled by self doubt and constantly notice my own flaws and imperfections so this was a huge step for me. I felt like I wanted to do more and open myself up a little bit and give people a true insight in to IVF.

I’m hoping to show the ups and downs, the injections, the side effects – everything really (within reason of course – there won’t be any internal scans going on there!)

One of the other reasons I did it is because I’ve reached out to a few people to ask them to send me video clips of them saying how my blog helped them or inspired them or even got them through one bad day. I felt like it’d be pretty crappy of me to ask something like that when I haven’t been able to put my face out there yet.

Which brings me to my next point – if anyone’s reading this and thinks I’ve helped them a little along the way, would you be willing to say so in a short 20sec video clip? I’m making a video as part of my Butterfly Award campaign and I think it would be amazing to feature some of you guys in it. Please, please let me know if you’d be willing to help. You have no idea how much I’d appreciate it.

Please check it out (and don’t judge – I swear they’ll get better when I figure out how to add music/text/snazzy little pictures)

 

 

 

Down Day

Down Day

It’s been a shitty day and no amount of Grace and Frankie has made me feel any better (if Jane Fonda selling vibrators to OAPs while a stoned Lily Tomlison stands idly by doesn’t cheer you up, you know it’s a bad day.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me specifically to be totally honest. I’ve felt really low today and there doesn’t seem to be any real reason why. Is this a side effect of the drugs? Or is it just coincidence? Whatever it is, it doesn’t feel too nice.

I downloaded a couple of IVF mindfulness apps in the hope they’d come in handy at times like this so I’m about to put a break on Jane Fonda and her entrepreneurial prowess, lie down and hope the soothing Irish voice beaming out from my phone will help me feel normal again.

Pins & Needles

Pins & Needles

I’ve started my injections. I won’t be going in to too much medical/technical detail (but if you want to know, just ask and I’ll tell you. It might just seem too alien to anyone not going through it. Hell, it still seems alien to me)

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a vlog of my IVF. If I do, I’ll keep you guys posted – I’m still pretty nervous about putting my face out there though.

So, back to my injections. I was scanned on Wednesday at the hospital and my lining was nice and thin. I tell you, there’s nothing nicer than having an internal scan while you’re menstruating.

The nurse (who, by the way is fantastic) gave me my first injection. In to my belly. I was sitting down so my little rolls gave her perfect opportunity to pinch an inch. It stung and felt tingly. Nothing more, nothing less.

I was sent home with my little bag of drugs and syringes and told to inject twice a day for the next week. Hubby and I had already agreed that he would do the injecting. I have around 30 tattoos but somehow the idea of stabbing myself with a needle makes my “knees weak, palms sweaty, vomit on my sweater already moms spaghetti”…… Sorry, got carried away there. Anyway, it terrifies me.

Day 1 went by nice and smooth. Hubby did a great job. I’m now on day 3 and it’s starting to hurt. It stings when it goes in and my belly is getting a little red and bruised. I still don’t feel anything hormone wise – I haven’t wanted to kill anyone yet so I take that as a positive. Of course, it’s early days.

It feels like I’ve waited forever this day to come. From having appointments to appointments suddenly being cancelled, to being away on holiday during appointments so having to push back yet another month. But, now it’s here it seems so fast. Everything’s happening all at once. I can’t help but be a little excited. Of course I’m still terrified, but I’m allowing myself this little bit of joy too.