Quote-a-day (number 2)

Quote-a-day (number 2)

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There’s me talking about how the 3 day challenge is so much easier to stick to and how excited I was to do it, and suddenly I’m 4 days in and only have 1 quote!

My excuses – work, college, weekend, wine(s), a really good film, a christening and a birthday. I think you should let me off.

But here it is. Better late than never. Quote number 2:

“A day without laughter is a day wasted”

This was of course from the late, great Charlie Chaplin. I kind of wish I’d left this until the last day to finish on one of the greats, but I just had to put it in. I guess it sets me a challenge for tomorrow right?

Anyway, this quote. It’s a good one isn’t it? We need to laugh. We need to smile. And we need to remember that no matter what we’re going through, there’s always a reason to be happy. My husband makes me laugh. A lot. My friends silly texts make me giggle. Sticking on a stand up comedy or an episode of Friends does it for me too. Catching my dog trying desperately to catch her tail. Watching Kian pretend he’s a stuntman at the park. In all honesty it took me a while to see it, but everywhere I look there’s reasons to laugh and smile and just be happy.

What are some things that make you laugh?

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Mug Swap

Mug Swap

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I’ve wanted to do a mug swap for ever, but I kept missing the deadlines, or they were U.S only so, I’ve decided to host my own! Well, I hope to – if enough people are interested!

For those who don’t know, it’s pretty simple. Each person receives a bit of info about a persons likes & dislikes etc and you find the perfect mug for them and send it out! Some people add a little handwritten note, another small item or a little teabag/coffee sachet etc if you like, but finer details would be decided later!

I thought it would be a fun idea for my miscarriage/I.V.F family to take part in something, so I’m just wondering if this sounds like something any of you guys would be interested in? Please comment, and include anyone else you think would be up for this too! (they don’t need to have a blog – just an email address is perfect!)

Oh, and no personal info would be sent to anyone else – only the person that was sending the mug to you. It won’t be published here or anywhere else! This would be open to everyone but you could opt out of international postage if you preferred!

If you’re interested, either comment or send me an email and hopefully we can get at least 10 people involved! Nikkihayes86@gmail.com

2nd Appointment

2nd Appointment

I had my 2nd appointment at the I.V.F clinic today. I had no idea what to expect – I kind of figured it wouldn’t be baby making time just yet but, I don’t know what’s left to do. Turns out, it’s a lot.  

I waited for like an hour in the waiting room. It was so busy. I’m not complaining about waiting (well I’m not complaining now. I was probably internally complaining a little at the time) but, I’m just so shocked at how many men and women are going through this. And that was just today! How many were there yesterday? And how many will be there tomorrow? And the next day? 

It’s kind of comforting knowing I’m not doing this alone. There’s so many of us. Of course it’s tragic, and I wish this whole miscarriage/infertility thing was just a myth – but it is kind of nice knowing you’re not in the boat alone.  

I read one of the notices they had up in the waiting room. Turns out this clinic (at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary) has the highest success rate in the whole of Scotland. Something like 168 live births from 309 embryo transfers (I think that’s the terms, I’m still not 100% sure of all of this). Those numbers may not be entirely accurate either, but it’s around that mark. 

Back to the appointment. I had an ultrasound to make sure I was cyst free and that my uterus looked good.  

“You have a lovely uterus” 

“Why thank you, it’s all my own”.  

It’s kind of strange getting compliments on your uterus, but hey – I’m a woman – a compliments a compliment. 

She showed me where I’d ovulated from this month and I could see 5 or 6 little black circles that she told me were my eggs. First scan I’ve had that’s made me smile. That’s an achievement in it’s own. 

Now all that’s left is to wait. Wait for Nikki’s results. Wait to get to the top of the list. Wait to get more blood tests. Wait to get our detailed medical history. Wait for my period. Wait for our treatment to start. 

This is all getting very very real. 

Misconceptions

Misconceptions

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I unfollowed someone on Instagram yesterday because of her pregnancy announcement. 

In my defense, I never blocked her so you know – progress. 

We used to work together and it’s not that I’m unhappy for her – I just don’t want to see the picture updates. I don’t want to see the scans, the bumps, the pram, the clothes she’s buying. I don’t want to see them. Not yet. 

I felt kind of down for a few minutes – Ok 10 maybe – and then do you know what? 

I was okay.  

Totally fine actually (I still didn’t follow her again, but that’s neither here nor there). But I think that’s okay, I think that’s normal. I won’t sit here and lie to you that it’s easy to hear of pregnancies, or to look at people’s social media photos because it’s not easy. I don’t think it ever will be. But it also doesn’t make me feel the way it used to, and that has to be a good thing doesn’t it? 

It’s okay to be a little selfish at times, and it’s ok to not always be nice to everyone. You need to do what makes you feel good. Or what makes you feel even just a little bit better. 

I know I’ve earned the right to be a little selfish sometimes. Fuck it. Fuck everyone else’s opinions. Do what you want to do. 

 

28..01.2018 

Over the past few years I’ve encountered a fair amount of misconceptions, or judgments relating to my miscarriages and I thought I’d share some. My top 5:  

  1. I hate being around children 
  1. I hate pregnant people 
  1. I’m too fragile to hear about your own pregnancy 
  1. There must be something wrong with me – I probably just can’t carry boys. 
  1. I’m not upset anymore. It was ages ago, and it wasn’t even a baby. 

So these things come up a lot. A lot. It’s hard to break the stigma around miscarriage and I know not everyone means to be nasty or hurtful. A lot of people just don’t know what to say, or are too scared to ask so they make their own judgements. But if you’re curious – here’s my answers: 

 

  1. No, I happen to love children. I’m studying childcare, and more often than not, I find them more fun than adults. Yes babies are hard, of course they are – but that doesn’t mean I hate being around them. 
  1. I do not hate pregnant people.  But imagine you losing your wife or husband or you recently went through a horrendous break up – seeing other people happy and in love would have an affect on you for a little while – you’d be a little upset. It’s normal. Same with me and pregnant people. After a loss it’s a little difficult. I’m not the devil. I’m human and I’m flawed. Just like you. 
  1. I am not an idiot. I’m more than aware that people get pregnant. I’ve been dealing with it for a long time – you can tell me. I might not be 100% happy all the time, and I may even ignore your social media pages for a little while but, I’m  more than capable of hearing about it and I’ll deal with it in my own way. And I can be happy for you. 
  1. Please do not try guess what is wrong with me. Nurses don’t know. Doctors don’t know. Teams of specialists don’t know. You certainly don’t know. Yes maybe your auntie “couldn’t carry boys ” (although how they ever found that is beyond me) but I’m not your auntie. I’ve had miscarriages. I’m now struggling to fall pregnant. There is nothing wrong with me. I am like millions of other women around the world. I’m  normal.  
  1. Ok so just don’t. Don’t ever tell me it wasn’t a baby. Don’t tell me how to feel. Don’t tell me how long I can feel sad. Don’t assume anything. I lost my children and I can never change that. But your assumptions and your judgments don’t help anything. If you want to know anything – just ask me. 

Anyone else deal with something similar? I know I’m not the only one!

 

 

Unfollowed

Unfollowed

I unfollowed someone on Instagram yesterday because of her pregnancy announcement. 

In my defence, I never blocked her so you know – progress. 

We used to work together and it’s not that I’m unhappy for her – I just don’t want to see the picture updates. I don’t want to see the scans, the bumps, the pram, the clothes she’s buying. I don’t want to see them. Not yet. 

I felt kind of down for a few minutes – Ok 10 maybe – and then do you know what? 

I was okay.  

Totally fine actually (I still didn’t follow her again, but that’s neither here nor there). But I think that’s okay, I think that’s normal. I won’t sit here and lie to you that it’s easy to hear of pregnancies, or to look at people’s social media photos because it’s not easy. I don’t think it ever will be. But it also doesn’t make me feel the way it used to, and that has to be a good thing doesn’t it? 

It’s okay to be a little selfish at times, and it’s ok to not always be nice to everyone. You need to do what makes you feel good. Or what makes you feel even just a little bit better. 

I know I’ve earned the right to be a little selfish sometimes. Fuck it. Fuck everyone else’s opinions. Do what you want to do. 

Change

Change

In the words of Bob Dylan – “The times they are a-changing”. 

3 years ago, Nikki and I were preparing for our upcoming Wedding and honeymoon. We had only recently found out about my pregnancy, and I was probably busy looking at prams and maternity clothes and googling ‘Traditional Scottish baby names’. In hindsight I was probably a little too eager, but come on, this was 3 years ago. Miscarriage was barely in my vocabulary. 

I was working for a residential care home; a job I enjoyed, but didn’t quite love. I worked 6 days a week, but earned an alright wage and was on course to get a pretty good deal on maternity pay. 

We lived in a flat in Clydebank, that none of us particularly liked, but it was our first home together so we had memories stored in the walls. 

Fast forward a few years and I’ve left my work and went back to college to study Early Education and Childcare. Nikki and I moved in with my mum to save for our own place (which has its ups and downs – but mostly ups). We still have Kian every Fri-Mon so space is a little tight but we make it work! I now have a few more tattoos, shaved half my hair (did I ever mention that? I had huge thick curly auburn hair and chopped 90% of it off. I cried a little at first, but I make it work.) Being a few years older also seems to have added around 7-10lbs to me, but some of that’s boob weight so I’m not complaining! 

And of course we have 4 miscarriages behind us. Our first baby would be turning 3 this year. But I can’t think like that. I’d be rhyming off ages every other month if I lived like that. They will always be in my heart, and I’ll never forget any of the babies I’ve lost, but if it wasn’t for those losses, my life wouldn’t be where it is now. 

I’d probably still be in my care home job, we’d be living in an area we hated, we’d have a beautiful baby – but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’d be happy. A baby doesn’t make you happy. Our losses inspired us to do more – it gave us a kick up the arse. We’re preparing to set up home in a nicer area, we’ve spent so much quality time together as a couple, we’ve travelled more than we ever thought we would. We’re happy. 

Now l’m not saying losing the babies was a good thing – of course it wasn’t. But what I’ve realised is; it doesn’t need to dictate my life anymore. I can still be happy… We are allowed to be happy. 

For anyone going through a miscarriage – it doesn’t need to signal the end of something. Maybe it could be your start of something new. 

I would still love my story to have a baby in it. I would still love to watch our child grow, and watch them take their first steps and take them to their first day at school….  but if I cant.. Well then, my story just won’t have that chapter in it. But it will have hundreds of other chapters. And that’s okay.  

Twisted Cyst 

Twisted Cyst 

A few years ago, it was discovered that I had an ovarian cyst. It wasn’t causing me any pain and everyone said that it wasn’t affecting my fertility or causing my miscarriages, so they left it alone. 

Fast forward about a year and after every other test came back negative, the doctors decided to remove it as a precaution. Tick something else off the list. I received an appointment over a year ago but had to cancel as I was pregnant. I called back after my loss to reschedule but heard nothing. 

Apparently they measured it again at my MRI. The cyst had grown, but I never knew. I was never told. I still never got an appointment. 

Around a week ago I had severe pain in my stomach. The level of pain went from about a 3 out of 10 to about a 7.. it was bearable, but it was never gone. 

I somehow managed to pop some painkillers and sleep it off until I woke the next morning doubled over in agony. I rushed to A&E but the pain had subsided by the time I got there, so they took my BP and bloods and sent me home. 

Next day – same thing. The pain came back. It was worse. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t get dressed, I couldn’t do anything. I was in tears. No-one was home so I called Nikki at work and he told me to call an ambulance and get back to A&E and he would meet me there. I waited in agony on my couch for the ambulance to arrive. 

After the ambulance crew told the doctors that morphine wasn’t even touching my pain, they agreed to scan me. It was discovered my cyst had nearly doubled and had twisted around my fallopian tube causing it to become swollen and of course – causing me to be bloody agony! 

The doctor cooly explained that I would need inmediate surgery and probably need to have my ovary removed. I immediately burst into tears. He tried to reassure me but it was useless. I couldnt think logically or calmy. I was frightened and sore and upset. All I could think was “Why was this happening?! Why me?” 

I woke up after my surgery and was told that a different surgeon performed the operation and he saved my tube and only removed the tiniest part of my ovary. Relief. 

I’m grateful it got dealt with, but I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that this might have been causing my losses. I worry it’s caused lasting damage. I really need to catch a break! 

 

 

Miscarriage & Media

Miscarriage & Media

I can’t remember if I’ve already mentioned that I’m a media volunteer for The Miscarriage Association. It basically means if any journalist wants to do a story or something, they’ll contact MA who will then contact me if I’m suitable for it. I’ve only done 2 newspaper interviews – one small piece for the Scottish Sun, and one for the Saturday Herald (out this Saturday if there’s any local folks reading!)

(if it appears online I’ll pop a link on this weekend)

Anyway, the journalist doing the interview asked me what difference – if any – the miscarriages have made to my life. I’d never really thought about that before…Sure, I’m more aware of miscarriages and the struggles of trying to conceive. I know all the statistics, and about all the delightful stages of our cervical mucus, but I didn’t think she wanted to stick that in her article!

I told her that it had made my marriage stronger – in our 2 years of marriage we’ve went through more shit than most do in a lifetime and we’re still here making each other laugh and pulling through it all together.

Later on I thought some more about it.

I  sat on the train home and thought about the past few years, and thought about the people on here that I’ve spoke to and read about, and do you know what I realised? How bloody strong are we all? How resilient are we? I’ve became a much stronger person since my losses – I seem to be able to bounce back more than I ever thought possible. We’ve been knocked down so many times and we keep getting back up. We’ve got that end goal in sight and we’re all fighting so hard to get it. I know it’s maybe cheesy but we should all be proud of ourselves. I never thought I would be able to get through all these losses.. I never thought I would be able to keep going, but yeah you know what? I bloody can. And I bloody will!