Day 85: Suckerpunch

(I wrote this yesterday – Friday – but didn’t finish it so posting it now in the early hours of Saturday.)

I never really knew much about miscarriage because I never knew about pregnancy. I knew that they happened, and that they were common. But I’d never thought about it that much because I’d never really even had a shadow of being pregnant. 

This time, I let myself hope. Not until I’d done 9 positive pregnancy tests, and seen my baby’s heartbeat on an ultrasound.

Some thoughts:

I wish they’d told me at the first ultrasound that it didn’t look good. Instead they focused on the fact that there was a heartbeat even though baby was too small. They only got me in for the second scan on the pretext that “It wasn’t very clear”. They should have told us it wasn’t good from the start. We went home home happy. I showed that ultrasound to my parents. They thought they were getting a grandchild. The second ultrasound there wasn’t any change and it didn’t look good, but they were still very ambiguous about what might be happening. 

I wish they had been clearer about the fact that it was most likely not going to proceed, rather than giving us false hope. 

I wish that the emergency gynaecology unit wasn’t where you have to go for “early pregnancy” ie miscarriage. Because you have to wait with all the pregnant women with children and babies. I wish it wasn’t right next to the neonatal unit. It seems like it’s rubbing your face in it. I’m surrounded by pregnant women and children and I’m waiting to arrange to get my dead baby suctioned out of me. 

I wish I hadn’t had to explain that to my GP’s receptionist in front of other people when I went there yesterday to get signed off from work, as they’d told me at the EGU I should do. I wish the receptionist hadn’t been some temp who had no sensitivity and told me I’d have to come back tomorrow and see the GP. I said that I was sick of appointments and just wanted a sick note and said I didn’t think I should be made to go through all the details repeatedly when it was right in the letter in front of her. Fortunately a locum who overheard our conversation said that he completely understood how distressing it was and wrote me a sick note whilst subtly telling the receptionist that I was obviously upset and needed to be helped rather than faced with further bureaucracy. 

I wish I didn’t need a sick note. But I’m glad I’ve got one as I can’t face people in general. Especially not people at my work, where being female is almost a sackable offence and where any evidence of femaleness is looked on with distaste. 

I wish I didn’t live in a predominantly ethnic area which happens to have a culture of having lots of children and apparently being really fertile. Every woman in my area seems to have three to four children. I feel unduly angry that I don’t seem to be the ethnicity that is super fertile. I feel like a fraud for being one of those annoying “ethnic immigrants” who can’t even get up the duff and get a council house. I feel really annoyed when I see them covering up their little girls, and covering their faces. I think, if you can’t even accept how your child looks without thinking it’s somehow sinful, you don’t deserve to have children. 

I wish I didn’t feel so angry that everyone who seems to pop out kids doesn’t even deserve them. I didn’t drink. I didn’t smoke. I have enough money. I’m in a stable relationship. And yet everyone who feels like getting pregnant just clicks their fingers and has a baby. 

I wish I could have enjoyed the weeks I was pregnant but I didn’t. I didn’t because I was so petrified that something was going to go wrong. I wish I wasn’t right. 

I wish there wasn’t such a stupid irony of being the product of adoption (unwanted pregnancy) when I can’t even get pregnant successfully. 

I wish I hadn’t gotten my hopes up. I was actually kind of okay about not ever expecting to get pregnant naturally but as soon as you’re into that process, you’re on heightened alert for hoping. I wish we hadn’t hoped. 

I wish I didn’t have an NHS (UK national health service) maternity exemption card (so you don’t have to pay for prescriptions) that I’ll now have to send back. I wish I’d had the chance to get one of those super smug Baby On Board badges to wear on the tube so people will give up their seat for a pregnant woman. I never got to do that. Hardly anyone ever knew I was pregnant. 

I wish I was pregnant rather than just fat. I have put on loads of weight from the fertility IVF drugs and even before then and I now feel like I have nothing to show for it apart from rolls of flab. I feel terrible about my body right now – I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been – and I don’t have any justification for being fat. 

I wish I hadn’t had to go through IVF with no support from work and a really stressful job. My client had a hissy fit about my day off for egg collection, and went postal when I said I had to stay in London to get the scans. I wish I had been able to say screw you but I didn’t because I need my job. I had to get straight on a train to work away from home as soon as our embryo had been transferred. I wish I didn’t have to stay in a job where they treat me like **** because I want to keep my maternity leave rights. Rights I may never get to use. 

I wish the miscarriage options conversation in the EGU hadn’t taken place in a room that’s supposed to be a sort of grieving room with signs on the door saying Strictly no entry! which still didn’t deter the person on their lunch break from bursting in carrying their lunchbox. 

I wish the people at the EGU were as nice as the people at the fertility clinic. They’re not. I wish I’d been told about miscarriage options by a doctor or a sympathetic nurse rather than a foreign speaking person who didn’t seem very interested or knowledgeable and couldn’t provide any information other than what I already knew. 

I wish I wasn’t so angry and resentful of every pregnant friend and everyone who’s easily had a baby, and all the pregnant women wandering around now, and all the mothers pushing prams. 

I wish I didn’t want to tell my friends that I was pregnant… I am suffering and I could just go out and have fun. But I can’t. They all met up this evening and I was going to go but I didn’t. I want someone to say to me I’m sorry you’re going through that. But even my best friend regaled me with tales of how common it is and how other friends have had it worse. I’m glad I haven’t had it worse. I’m grateful I didn’t have a problem with a later pregnancy. I understand my pregnancy didn’t even really “count” and it never really got to the stage of looking like a baby. 

My baby was just a little blob of 5.3mm. But to me he was a baby. I’d thought of names. I knew what pram I was going to get. I even went for a wander round Mothercare (though I didn’t buy anything). I’d told my parents. T and I had talked about what we would do. 

Now I’m just how I was before, only fatter. There will be no baby in February. I won’t get to quit my job any time soon. I am lucky – I have a great partner and I have a lovely dog and we have a nice life. But I spent the last 3 months going through this big thing and now it’s almost over, and we feel slightly less than we did before. 

I’m okay. I haven’t been crying. I’ve been keeping busy. I’m going to have the operation next week, assuming nothing happens over the weekend. And then we wait. 

We’re good at waiting. 

I hate waiting. 

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53 comments

  1. Courtney

    I am just so sorry that you’re going through this. Everything you wrote here is how I felt when we were failing miserably at IVF. You hate it ALL, and that is OK. You don’t have to qualify it with, ‘but I know I have a great life.’ We know you know that. Having a great life doesn’t make this any easier. Having a great life doesn’t make this go any faster. Please don’t feel like you need to qualify your pain and struggles with a balance of good. You don’t. It’s OK (and normal) to just hate it all right now.

    I gained a LOT of weight as we tried to get pregnant and then cycled for what felt like forever to get pregnant. It all came off, and then it came off again (and even more) after our second IVF baby. Don’t worry about that right now – you have all the time in the world to take it off. You WILL get pregnant and carry to term, which means you will put on even more weight. Don’t sweat it! It comes off!

    I’m hugging you!

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you for this. I really appreciate knowing that it can work and you’re the proof! And the weight thing… I know it sounds stupid but I’m glad you said that! Thank you for understanding and thinking of me. Sorry it took so long to reply!

      Like

  2. ashleykyleanderson

    I am so sorry. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I am so sorry that you now know so much more about miscarriage. I am so sorry that you aren’t able to experience the things you had dreamed about. I am so sorry for the loss of sweet little PB. And I am so sorry for each and every thing on this list of terrible things.

    Right now I am reading this through tears. It is not right, it is not fair, and I hate that this is happening to you. And I know that you will comment and tell me you are okay or that you are better now but you do not have to do that. It is okay to not be okay right now.

    Please tell me if you want to talk or if there is anything that I can do. You can email me and just vent if you like. 💗💗💗 Sending love from across the pond.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you so much. You are so sweet. I really appreciate the offer! I am just watching a lot of terrible tv (TLC!) And I’m getting there! Thank you for caring xx

      Like

  3. workingwomensivf

    I am so sorry you are going through this. There is nothing I can say that will make it better or take the pain away but know that we here in the blogging world are here for you xx

    Like

  4. RC

    Oh darling, this post made me cry. And portions of it, I could have written myself some months ago.
    Im so sorry you’re going through this, and Im sorry for the loss of your much wanted baby. Im sorry your hopes, dreams and thoughts of how the future would be are for this moment, dashed. (Im sorry if Im projecting my feelings about my mc on to you, and if that is what Ive done, I apologise).
    I had a plan of how life was going to be- my demanding job was going to go, Christmas would be at ours with our little baby. Next years holidays would be spent at baby-friendly destinations. My partner had bought maternity clothes for me,and I imagined a winter of growing bellies and ASOS swing coats. One scan though and that was all over.
    Im sorry your friends are arseholes, and I wish they could be there to comfort you in your grief.
    I also just wanted to say its ok to chuck in the towel for a bit. Ok to be angry at smug, fertile as fuck couples. Cry. Ok to stop reasoning away why you should be happy for the positives in your life, and just say its shit. Stay in your jarmies and say that its just not fair. Because it isn’t. Don’t forget to appreciate that your and T’s baby, your loss and your grief are real.
    Hugs, and look after T and yourself.

    Like

    • Nara

      Aaww thank you. It really sounds like you understand and you’re not projecting your feelings – I do feel like that! That part about ASOS made me cry because that’s exactly how I felt. My friends aren’t bad… they have been sympathetic but I think I was probably guilty of not understanding before it happened to me. You do think it is really early. Like my miscarriage was 9 weeks which doesn’t sound like that much… but it was the culmination of 3 months of IVF process and lots more trying. It’s kind of the death of hope (or this round of hope). I have been staying in my PJs and watching tv – you’re right, it’s the best way! Thank you for caring x

      Like

  5. MyDaysInLimbo

    I am so sorry you are going through this. As the previous commenter said, I could have written some of this too, two years ago. The pain, the anger, the insensitivity of medical professionals and of close friends, and yes the fat (every single one of my miscarriages mysteriously adds at least a pound, even chemical pregnancy ones do that), and then this horrible waiting… all this hurts so much. Please hang in there. Lots of hugs.

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you so much. Yes, the fat is just another insult really. I hope it goes away soon but I’ll have to cut down a bit! It sounds like I have a lot of normal emotions and hopefully this means it will get better with time. Thank you for the hugs!

      Like

  6. countyourselfunlucky

    I feel so bad for you. This is so tough. So sorry for you. Don’t be hard on yourself for feeling bad. I hope your parents will give you extra support to get through this shit time. xxx

    Like

  7. Recurrentlyhopeful

    Your pregnancy did count. I’ve lost late ones and early ones and they all hurt. You have a right to grieve over this. It hurts and I’m really sorry you are experiencing it. From my experience, time is the best healer. Thinking of you x

    Like

  8. notabroodychick

    So much of what you wrote here really resonated with me. The fact that the NHS EPU staff are no where as nice as clinic staff and often foreign with poor English (the first time I went a week after my MMC they scanned me again and it was so horrible, I already knew my baby hadn’t made it, I had no hope that it would change, and they were so not gentle with me and so brusque in telling me there was no heartbeat.. It was awful), I hated how I had to wait 2 hours to be seen despite being told I had an appointment, and as you say waiting with all pregnant ladies around me. It was so sad to have to send back my NHS free prescription card. This time I haven’t even seen a midwife yet to register for one. I was so sad inside that I wouldn’t get to leave work for maternity leave when I thought I would. I’m pretty fed up of my job, although by the sound of it it is loads better than yours, but I was oh so looking forward to leaving. The frustration at all those ladies who get pregnant so easily, even those that don’t want it and those don’t look after themselves in pregnancy and carry on smoking etc.. I get that too.

    Please never ever think your baby did not count. Pizza baby absolutely did. It was the start of a precious life and as special as any baby who sadly is lost at a later stage. The only thing is because it was so small it makes the physical side of recovery slightly easier. But that doesn’t mean your grief will be any less, or you don’t have as much right to feel sad and grieve as other ladies who miscarry.

    I’m glad you got signed off, even if you had to battle the nasty receptionist. It’s a hard time but as you say you are ok (in as much as anyone can be ok at this time) and you will be more ok with each day, you will get back into routines, you’ll get back in shape in time, you will take faith from knowing you can get pregnant, and you will get pregnant again and you’ll be so worried this might happen again, but I’m sure that one day you will get your dream and hold a child of your own,

    Your real friends may not get it, they may struggle to appreciate the loss, but even if they get that, they can’t appreciate what it is to have to go through IVF, and how that makes this even harder. But know all your virtual friends here online do get it. And we are so very sorry you have to go through this.

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you for all of this! I really do appreciate it. It sounds like we’ve had such similar experiences. So sad. They are a pain in the EGU… not sympathetic at all, which seems weird if you’ve specifically chosen to work there. I think people act like an early pregnancy didn’t count. Having to do another scan was horrible, and having to wait… it sounds like our experiences were really similar. I’m amazed they still handle it in this way! Thank you for all your thoughts and for understanding. You don’t know what a comfort it is. X

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Infertile Before 30

    I’m sorry your having a hard time.

    Yes you lost your baby in early pregnancy but it was still your baby, and you should be able to grieve just like anyone else! Your baby does count, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

    I hope you start feeling better soon, but don’t worry if you don’t. Take it at your own pace 🙂 and have a nice glass (or bottle) of wine x

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you! Strangely I haven’t really felt like drinking that much, but we have a little holiday planned (long weekend with Dog) so hopefully I can relax a bit and have some wine. Thanks for your well wishes x

      Like

  10. andthewindscreamsmary

    I can identify with so many of the feelings you’ve described here. I’m so very sorry you are going through this. It’s okay to grieve and be sad, and no matter how far along you are your baby counts. Take care of you, and if you need time off take it. I get so mad when companies or bosses try and rush people back before they are ready. You have to put yourself first and take the time to grieve and heal. Hugs….

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you. I have got two weeks off so I hope I’ll be in a much better state by then. We also have a planned long weekend this weekend with Dog so I think that will be good. Thank you for the hugs!

      Like

  11. babyangelb

    I struggle with a lot of the same feelings of people that have no idea what it can actually take to bring life into this world. It seems some people just think about getting pregnant and poof, here comes baby. And I get very resentful of people who I feel “don’t deserve” to have babies. Life is unfair. Plain and simple.
    Also, we lost our son just after birth and now I am facing miscarriage. Both losses hurt very badly. Don’t think that your pregnancy doesn’t count. It does. Your loss counts too. Allow yourself to grieve.

    Like

    • Nara

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this and I don’t know how you can cope with such heartbreak. It sucks. I too feel resentful of people who seem to get pregnant and have kids so easily! It seems like they’re everywhere now, but it’s just summer I think. You’re right… life is unfair. I hope we get our break soon x

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Arwen

    Oh my friend pizza baby does count of course he does. Let yourself be mad as fucking hell and you don’t have to say its ok because you have a good life, this is not ok. This is so fucking unfair. Sending you love and chocolate.

    Like

  13. stealingnectar

    Hey there. This is so well written…I definitely understand everything you wrote. I am so sad for you and have been keeping you in my prayers. It’s hard not to remember you as that pain you are feeling is very familiar and acute to me, even though I haven’t been pregnant in many months. Thank you for sharing your emotions. Basically, this deeply sucks and nothing really makes it better. But you are not alone. Your hormones will balance; your weight will balance; and your emotions will balance. Take your time and know you will get through this. Hugs.

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you. You’re right, it deeply sucks! I’m taking the time to get better and I’m sure we will be okay in the end. Thank you for thinking of us!

      Like

  14. RJ

    I wish there was something I could say to make everything better but I know there is nothing. I’m so sorry for all of the insensitive things people do. It’s so hard when people have a lack of compassion or understanding for those going through rough times. I feel that the medical community sugar coats things and really strays away from preparing people for bad news. It really does the receiver of the news a disservice. Sometimes it’s easier to prepare for the worst. I think it allows us to be realistic while still keeping some hope.

    Please give yourself permission to grieve for as long as you feel necessary. It’s ok to be sad. This is an incredibly traumatic event to navigate through, especially the first time, when you don’t know what to expect in terms of your body and your emotions. I’m so sorry you have to experience this event. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Lots of love being sent your way.

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you. I think that’s what we found hard, the lack of clarity around what was happening. It wasn’t obvious whether we should be expecting bad news or not, even though in hindsight they must have been thinking that from that first scan.
      Thank you for your understanding… It really helps. X

      Like

  15. She Patiently Waits

    I HATE HATE HATE that you are going through this. Seriously…HATE IT! Question for you, do they do genetic screening or offer it in your area? We avoided potentially 3 massive miscarriages because our embryos were screened for any chromosome abnormalities. Not to say that we can’t have a miscarriage but the chances are much lower since we’ve put in two very normal embryos. Just a thought. Maybe this is something to ask the doctor next time? I’m not sure what is offered on the other side of the pond.

    Just so heartbroken for you. Know that we all care for you and are supporting you from all parts of the world!

    Like

    • Nara

      Hello… they don’t do genetic screening for us – I think they only investigate after three miscarriages (what a thought) and also I don’t think they “count” if they were through IVF. I’ve realised they don’t do much investigation before IVF which seems like we lack of foresight. I’ve been alerted to a submucosal (in the womb lining) fibroid at all of my IVF scans and was told by the doc in the EGU that it may prevent successful pregnancy… I don’t understand why they didn’t deal with that earlier when I had operations for my endometriosis. So at the final scan they are probably going to refer me. I’m hoping removal of that fibroid might help.

      Liked by 1 person

      • She Patiently Waits

        We lived in Germany for 4 years and tried to do IVF but they had all these rules and regulations. They forced us to do inseminations first and although it would have been MUCH cheaper…(like $35,000 cheaper) they wouldn’t have been as rigorous as here in the states. Same with the genetic screening and how many eggs they retrieve. At least you know there is a fibroid in there and I would definitely search to get that taken care of first. You never know, it might just work on your own after this now!

        Like

      • Nara

        Ha, that would be amazing! I’m guessing I haven’t had the fibroid for all the time I haven’t been able to get pregnant, but you never know! I hope that we can do it naturally… It would be a miracle! (I have bought some ovulation sticks as we might as well have some fun before the next round of IVF!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • She Patiently Waits

        Amen to that! Have a LOT of fun! 🙂 There is a woman I know who went through IVF a bunch of times and ended up adopting a girl from another country. As soon as she got the girl home she found out she was pregnant with twins, naturally!!! It can happen! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Mrs T

    That was your baby and it counts. Some have had it worse but others don’t go through it at all. You can be sad and angry about your situation because it just plain sucks. (I’ve been there with the false hope from the ultrasound people too – that one hurt the most.)

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you. I know, it’s so hard with the false hope. It kind of makes me wish we hadn’t raised our hopes in the first place. Thanks for your well wishes.

      Like

  17. ourgreatestdesire

    I am so sorry you’re going through this and I’m so sorry that your best friend didn’t support you as she should have. Yes, things could always be worse, but that doesn’t matter when you are going through heart break. Your baby absolutely matters. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t far along, you were pregnant and you didn’t get to see that pregnancy fruition into a baby in your arms. It’s hard and it’s miserable and it sucks and you have every right to be feeling the way you do. You need to be able to grieve and have people that will support you through that. And I totally get the hating your body and being overweight with nothing to show for it. That’s exactly how I feel. Sending you so much love and big hugs!!!

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you! Thanks for understanding how it feels. It is a comfort that I’m not alone in this! I’m sure it will get better for all of us with time. X

      Like

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