I’m officially 2 days late. I’m hoping by saying (writing) it out loud – it will somehow jinx me and bring on a heavy flow.

I’m not saying I want my period to come – I just hate the waiting. And the constant checking of the toilet paper. Man, I miss the days of just wiping and flushing. Isn’t it funny the things you take for granted. Wiping and flushing has got to be in the top 5.

“Why don’t you just take a test Nicola?” says the voice in my head, and I’m sure some of you are thinking it too. Truth be told, I have no answer for that. Fear maybe. Risk of disappointment.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have any and it’s Sunday so I’m putting off getting dressed for as long as possible.

I don’t want to jump the gun. It is only 2 days. 99% of the time, I’m a 30 day cycle, but there’s always that 1% that likes to wind me up.

Ach maybe I’ll get dressed and buy a test.

Maybe I’ll wait.

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Starting treatment

Starting treatment

8th May 2018. My final appointment before I begin treatment. Can I scream a little? Do a dance? Or should I just smile to myself? I quite fancy the screaming if I’m honest. 

My next appointment will last around an hour and we’ll do a detailed medical history and then they’ll make sure I’m emotionally stable and secure enough to have a child (my previous rants don’t count right?). Once that’s been confirmed I need to phone them on the first day of my period then BOOM. Treatment! (Unless they’re fully booked in which case I’ll go 4 weeks later).  

I can’t believe we’re finally here. It’s finally happening. I have to say that it’s been incredibly quick (I.V.F wise – the whole TTC thing has felt like a lifetime at times). I had my first appointment in October and treatment will begin around June so that’s about 8months. Considering this is a free NHS provided treatment I’m pretty impressed! 

 

**side note – I took part in another Miscarriage Association about coping (or not) with pregnancy after loss. It’s a great campaign so check it out if you’d like support/info 

https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/story/nicolas-pregnancy-loss-story/ 

https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/your-feelings/pregnancyaftermiscarriage/ 

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. 

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! 

 

 

M.R.I

M.R.I

My mum lost her hearing in one of her ears a few years ago and the doctors never knew what caused it. She was booked in for an M.R.I scan, but ended up not going through with it saying she felt too frightened and claustrophobic. I told her she was being ridiculous, and that if it was going to help well, she should just bloody do it! 

Mere hours after my own M.R.I, I phoned to apologise to her. I understood exactly what she meant. 

The nurses told me to remove all my jewellery, piercings and hair pins. Nothing metal left in my body, and seeing as I have no plates or bionic limbs, that should’ve been pretty simple right? Not quite. I have an intimate piercing that is quite literally impossible to remove on my own. I sheepishly explained this and was told that I may need to reschedule as the piercings can “explode” and rip out whatever part of the body it’s attached to. (yeah, she actually said “rip”). Then another nurse came, handed me a magnet and told me to hold it against my piercing to see if it was magnetised. It wasn’t, so she said I would be safe to go in and there would be nothing to worry about. Sorted then! Then why were exploding vaginas all I could think about? 

I put on my gown and answered some basic health questions, then was warned that the IV buscopan that I was about to receive might make my vision blurred so not to panic about blindness or anything, and that on rare occasions,  some tattoos can heat excessively during an MRI, and if this happens I should push the buzzer and they’ll take me out (I have about 27 tattoos so this wasn’t particularly pleasant news). So now all I can think about it is losing my sight, having exploding genitals and burning from the inside out. Great. What a morning. 

I lay on the bed and 2 boards were placed on top of me and fastened to the bed so that my arms were trapped by my side, rendering me unable to move. So when my vaginas flying around in tiny pieces, I won’t be able to throw my hands out and grab anything to salvage! 

I was told I’d be lying under the machine for an hour. An HOUR! I thought this would take a few minutes! As I started to be moved in, I immediately knew what my mum meant – it was horrendous. I felt totally trapped and couldn’t see anything around me apart from white, clinical plastic. They gave me earphones, but it was impossible to concentrate on the awful music over the hum and beeps and murmurs of the machine. 

About 30mins in, I needed to sneeze. Shit. I’m not supposed to move in here right? It came and went twice, until I couldn’t stop it anymore. Damn, not one but, two sneezes! I tried in vain to stifle them, which only resulted in my eyes watering. I could feel a small steady stream of tears rolling down my face. I couldn’t life my arm to wipe it. Uh-oh, now my nose was running. Snotters slowly dripped down my face. Oh my God, it’s going in my mouth, it’s going in my mouth! I turned my head ever so slightly to try veer the snotters off course. Result! They bypassed my mouth and continued rolling down my chin and on to my neck. Crap, there goes my eyes again. More tears were coming, followed by even more snotters. My face was a soggy mess and I couldn’t do anything about it. 

Finally, the murmurs stopped and I started to feel myself move backwards. The nurses appeared and unstrapped the boards. I could finally lift my hands and I immediately wiped my wet, snotter soaked face. It was over.  

Or was it? Was that actually the easy part? 

Appointment with the NHS

Appointment with the NHS

I’ve spoken briefly about my frustration with the NHS in relation to my miscarriages and I think I should be more specific. Its mainly at my local GP’S attitude and staff than aren’t directly involved with my history. And I tend to be constantly angry at the R.A.H hospital by how I was treated by them during my 1st miscarriage at 21. (See my post ‘guilt’ for more detail on that one)

I had my appointment at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital  (Southern general – it’ll always be southern general to me)

Anyway.. the doctor and sister that seen me today were fantastic. I’d already met the sister when I was in for tests around 9months ago (9months,  how horrendously ironic). They were both so understanding and sympathetic.  I wasnt patronised or made to feel like it wasnt a big deal. They were genuine.  And while I cried at least 4 times, I left feeling better… feeling listened to.

I never had further tests done as everything that could be tested already has been. Everything is negative. Or positive. I dunno.. it’s a good result. I’m basically a picture of health. I’ve just been unlucky. Three times.
Part of me hoped there was something – at least that way it could be treated. But I was assured that medically speaking its better this way.

The advice was just to keep trying. Stay positive. Do everything I’m already doing. It’s hard to see the light sometimes but I am going to keep going. I’ve only been fighting for a year and I know some of you have been fighting much longer. Your strength helps me keep going.

If anyone is delaying the tests, or scared to go for fear of discovering something they didn’t want to know – just go. The worst is fear of the unknown. Once you have some kind of answer, you can start to move on. I’m still going to feel like shit every now and then, I’m still going to be angry and frustrated. I’ll 100% still cry. But I’ll know that there’s nothing more I can or could ever have done. I know that when it’s my time.. I’ll have my baby.

(At least that’s the positivity I’m trying to lead with today!)