The message to “keep going, don’t ever give up!” is the one we always hear. What about that small quiet voice that says “enough, it’s ok to stop”? This is one of those rare articles about a couple who went through IVF, experienced failure and loss, and eventually decided not to pursue parenthood. No need to scan […]
I’ve been a bit quiet on here recently. I’m quite drained personally as my husband and I are in the process of moving houses. It’s been far more stressful that we had anticipated.
We sold our house around January time however we were forced to pull out of the place we were buying after 4 long months, without going into too much detail we felt like we had no choice but to pull out of the house.
Anyway we are continuing with the selling our house as we didn’t want to let our buyers down. This has been a stress trying to get the solicitors to do their jobs but after a long month we are finally there and exchanged yesterday, we will completing in two weeks and then moving out… to my parents’ house.
For anyone who has read my blogs you will know that as a that it’s not an ideal situation to say the least but we had hoped this would be temporary.
We have found a new place to buy and it’s wonderful however that’s very much a separate transaction as we felt that our buyers had already been so patient, it wasn’t fair to make them wait longer.
The new house though is proving tricky as we were told the sellers would be moving in with their children as they are buying a new build house (and often in the UK you are expected to move into rented accommodation so that you can easily move into the new house once it’s ready). After calling the estate agents today it would seem that perhaps the sellers may not be moving in with their children and we fear they will expect us to hold on until their new house is ready – not something we have agreed to. Also we risk our new mortgage offer expiring if we don’t move in the next few months.
So last night after we exchanged on our sale we felt a bit of a relief after weeks of stress chasing solicitors, only to now face a new challenge with the new place. We already feel that we have been through so much stress with the last house, with dealing with estate agents and solicitors giving us the run around… we just can’t face it again.
So my husband plans to knock on the door of the house we are buying to find out what they plan to do (the estate agents have been appalling communication). We would rather know now if it’s not going to work out or if they expect us to hold on (if so we will review the offer we made on the house as this was based on them moving in with their children).
So it’s another phase of stress, I just really hope all works out with the new place. If not I think we’ll have to look at rented accommodation as we both know we can’t live with my parents for more than a month or two.
We’re also having to pay for storage, cattery (though the cat is badly ill at the moment) so it’s all a bit much. Plus I feel a bit sensitive about babies at the moment, I don’t know… just a bit low, I think about my miscarriage more than I should at the moment. This is not where we should be, i’d give it all up to meet you little one.
Don’t get my wrong, I know I need to do a reality check, I am so so privileged to be able to afford to move, to have a house over my head, to have parents who will take me in. I will give myself a slap on the wrist for my selfish rambles.
Like so many of you out there I identified so much with this article having found out our baby had died at our 12 week scan… so many people have no idea and it’s a loss i struggle with each day…
The heartbreak of losing your baby… before anyone even knows you’re expecting: Deeply moving. Bravely candid. And what every woman who has been through it will want to read
- Jennie Agg was days away from her first official scan when she had a miscarriage
- One in five pregnancies end in miscarriage, when the baby dies before 23 weeks
- Nearly four in ten women who experience a miscarriage get PTSD symptoms
As my husband drives me to the hospital, the gripping pain in my abdomen intensifies. It comes in waves and instinctively I try to breathe through it — the way women in labour are supposed to.
But when I realise what I’m doing, I start to cry. Because I am not having a baby, I am having a miscarriage.
I am 12 weeks pregnant with my first child and a few days away from my first official scan. Bleeding heavily I know, deep down, I will not be keeping that appointment. From the grim line of my husband Dan’s mouth as he stares at the road, I know he does, too.
When the bleeding started the previous morning, I hadn’t been too concerned. Spotting — light bleeding — is common in early pregnancy as the developing embryo implants itself in the womb.
I’d had it once before, around the six-week mark. That time, I’d had an early scan, the midwife found a heartbeat and the spotting stopped after a day or so.
So when it starts again almost six weeks later, I go to work as normal and try not to think about it. But with no sign of it stopping by the afternoon, I phone my GP, who suggests I go in to be referred for a scan. I hastily type a message to my boss and rush out of the office.
My GP books me in for a hospital appointment the next morning. All Dan and I can do is distract ourselves. We go for dinner, then to the cinema.
By the time the film is over, I have cramps — like bad period pain — and the bleeding is getting worse.
A miscarriage can be graphic in its violence. For me, it isn’t ‘just a heavy period’, as it’s sometimes portrayed.
When I sit up in bed the next morning, the sheets flood with blood. I race to the bathroom and to my horror, feel something slide away. I scream.
When Dan asks what’s happening, I can’t find the words.
On the way to A&E, we walk through the maternity wing, past smiling women with big bumps. We wait several hours for a scan. And then, just like that, it is over.
Our first pregnancy ends, not with a cry bursting from a newborn’s lungs, but with a midwife’s whisper: ‘I’m so sorry.’
I catch a glimpse of the ultrasound screen showing the image of my womb. Empty. It is exactly how I feel.
Miscarriage, defined as a loss of a baby in the first 23 weeks of pregnancy, is incredibly common, as Dan and I have been told repeatedly since ours three months ago. About one in five pregnancies end this way. Most occur in the first trimester.
The majority are thought to be due to a genetic problem, meaning the baby doesn’t develop properly. Infections such as measles can sometimes trigger a miscarriage and some conditions make it more likely, such as a weak cervix (the neck of the womb) or blood-clotting disorders that can affect blood flow to the placenta.
If women have more than one miscarriage, or if the miscarriage is after the first trimester, investigative tests may be offered. But most, like me, will never know why it happened.
If you’re young and otherwise healthy (I am 30, Dan is 32, neither of us smokes or is overweight, we eat healthily and I didn’t drink while pregnant), there’s almost nothing constructive anyone can tell you. It can leave you feeling as if a miscarriage is something to shrug off, like a cold.
Sometimes it’s not even clear if a woman has miscarried.
‘There can be an assumption it’s like what you see on TV,’ says Ruth Bender Atik, director of the Miscarriage Association. ‘A woman suddenly clutching her belly and collapsing in a pool of blood. But often that’s not how it is. A woman may have some symptoms, such as spotting, but a scan may not be conclusive.
‘There might be a heartbeat, but it’s not very strong, or the baby is smaller than it should be, so they may be told to come back in a couple of weeks. There can be quite a protracted period of waiting.’
There are those who discover only at their 12-week scan that their baby has died — they have no signs that anything is wrong and still feel pregnant as the hormones remain high.
After a miscarriage, women may need medication or even surgery to clear remaining pregnancy tissue. But the effects, of course, aren’t just physical. In the days after, I stay at home. I cry and watch rubbish TV. Some days I feel fine and determined — almost manically so — to get on with things: I go running, cook massive batches of dinners for the freezer. Other days I’m tearful and can barely do anything.
We should talk
I met a friend for lunch today, I originally met her at my first job in london 8 or so years ago , there’s a group of 6 of us who meet up every few months. The woman I met today had live overseas for a 5 years but has recently moved back. We have never been hugely close (as in the kind of close where you have deep and meaningful conversations) but it’s always nice to see her.
Most of the group meet ups involve a fair amount of alcohol, that’s the group dynamic and I’ve long since accepted that. I have a group of friends who are the closest I’ll get to sisters (being an only child) and then I have other groups who are the kind you go out and have fun with, perhaps a bit lighter in terms of friendship but we all get what we need from the group. They may not be the kind of group I call if I need someone but they are the kind of group that guarantee a great night out.
Anyway I wanted to tell the girl who has been away about our year last year. Not because I need someone to talk about it but because I guess I don’t want to forget what happened and also I don’t want to hide it, it’s not a secret. It was so important, it wasn’t just something that happened, the baby we lost was mine and my husband’s baby, the only baby who will ever be biologically our child together.
I didn’t need to tell her, in fact it was a little bit awkward as she’s not one for hugely asking questions so I found myself talking about moving house, starting afresh and then going into it. Conversations tend to be on the surface so much of the time but I went to a ground rarely covered.
Selfishly it will also help her understand that when the time comes for that particular group to have babies (very much on the cards in the near future) she will then understand if I take a step back. Most of the group are married now, the lady I met is getting married next year. The three others are very much talking about children now, it’s a matter of when they will fall pregnant over the next year not ‘if’.
It’s strange really when I think about it, how the group is changing. They are very much the go to group for nice (note expensive) restaurants in london and for acting irresponsibly, it’s such a ticking time bomb and I’m watching the bomb count down as I live in limbo.
I do think people should talk about this more, the struggles we face here aren’t new, each step we take by talking and telling people will only help us heal…
Living in Limbo
I’m not trying to be melancholic here when I talk about Limbo. I am in Limbo and some days I have so much fun being so. We just got back from Disneyland Paris where my husband and I spent 3 days in the sunshine riding roller coasters and having the best time acting like children, I felt so relaxed and at ease, I couldn’t tell you a time when I’d had that much fun for so long. The weather helped as Paris had a heatwave, I kept thinking I was in Florida so it was wonderful.
I struggled with Skiing in March hugely. It couldn’t switch off from anything, I lost confidence in skiing and had to force myself to go out. I stayed at the hotel one afternoon and made my husband go without me as I just didn’t want to go. I know it must have been because of our due date and I was glad to get home. It made Paris all the more enjoyable as I switched off completely.
This weekend is bank holiday, 4 days which will be great. We are seeing some friends and my auntie and uncle so I’m really looking forward to that… ah Limbo you are becoming like an old ‘friend’…
…WordPress has just notified me so I feel like I should acknowledge the day.
I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I wrote my first post.
I can remember it well, I felt so lost and was searching for some help after my first failed IVF. I couldn’t sleep and found myself just sitting at my computer in the small hours of the morning. I wrote for hours. It felt like a huge relief to put my feelings out there to people who didn’t know me, didn’t judge me and who could understand.
It has helped so much knowing there are others going through what I felt at the same, especially as I felt so alone. I hope there are others like me who no longer feel alone.
In a small way this post is really about saying thank you to everyone’s blog who I have read, to all the blogs that have inspired me and given me strength at times when I felt like I had none – Thank You x
I do think time passes fast, even though days or weeks sometimes feel like they’re lasting forever, overall when I think where we are today, time goes fast.
On the 21st of March our baby should have been born, I can’t quite believe it’s almost here.
I try not to think about it but the closer the day approaches the more I’m thinking about it. I can’t seem not to each day. I push the thoughts away and get on with things but it’s looming.
I will be away Skiing in France as a distraction that week, the week of my birthday too. I don’t know how I’ll feel or what I’ll do when the day comes. Will I try to forget it? should I celebrate it? should I pretend it’s not happening? Should I allow myself to wallow in sadness or should I go and ski, like it’s a normal day…
I don’t know, the thought makes me feel sick to my stomach, even now I’m trying to hold in the tears.
I should have been ready to drop now, heavily pregnant, maybe even thinking about finishing work… no good can come from feeling this way but I know i’ll never forget. And part of me believes I’ll never get past this.
My husband and I vowed to have a good year, 2017 is going to kick 2016’s backside so I thought it would be good for me to write a positive post. We’re trying to make the most of this year but booking fun things to do, things that perhaps we would have said ‘ahh I can’t afford it’ or ‘I’m not sure where we’ll be’. This doesn’t apply to this year. Money comes and goes but this year is for us.
Some fun things we have planned..
Last year we booked 2 skiing holidays before we had ever gone skiing to make sure 2017 will be awesome. We had a great time together at Christmas and we have our next holiday in March for skiing. We’d never been skiing because it’s an absolute fortune but we thought why not?! And I’m so glad we did, it’s hard work and scary but so much fun. Something we didn’t expect was that we met people, other couples (no children) and we spent Christmas day at midnight in a bar with 2 other couples from different countries – something which isn’t really ‘us’ and I loved it.
Who knows what will come of March but I’m so looking forward to it.
We booked Disney for September. I’m not even that big of a Disney fan but there’s something about being in Florida which appeals to my husband and I on a very childish level, it was the first proper holiday we ever did together and we had the best time. How ironic that kids make me sad but being in Disney running around with my husband is one of my favourite places to be.
My husband asked me to book a Monday off in April last week and didn’t tell me why. He told me last night that he’d booked us 3 nights in France, 2 nights in a Disneyland hotel in walking distance to Disneyland Paris with 3 days entry to the parks. I am beyond excited to go, I have no words for how grateful I am. We’re heading there on the motorbike/eurotunnel and then can walk to the parks. He even mentioned a potentially riding round Paris on the motorbike, who knows, but I can’t wait.
I booked us a weekend away in The Cotswolds around my husband’s birthday, I told him last night and that’s when he told me he’d actually booked Disney – he most definitely trumped me there!
We’ll try and plan another weekend away in the summer if we can.
Other fun stuff
Making the most of london, going out to nice restaurants and bars. Tonight we’re out in london separately so have booked a hotel in the city, tomorrow I booked us breakfast up The Shard in London because… why not. Monday we’re going to a musical, a weekend in May we’re going to discover hidden underground tube stations.
My husband and I moved to the countryside two years ago from a flat in London. We moved to a lovely semi-detached home that was brought to raise a family. I love our house so very much, it was a new(sih) house that needed very little doing to it. With a good sized spare bedroom, pretty little garden and a small room perfect for a little one.
But I struggled, after our miscarriage…that small room was just a small room with no purpose, it was too small for a guest bed, it was always meant to be something it won’t ever be. We also struggle a bit with our loud neighbours next door so that was almost an added push (excuse) to seal the deal on a move.
So on the first of January we decided we would move house to a detached house, within a month we’d sold and found a place we wanted to buy so we’re going through that process at the moment.
It’s a selfish house, it’s not brought with the intention that one of the rooms will be a little persons room. I’m going to have some kind of dressing or craft room, my husband maybe a study or music room. Of course I hope it will be a family home at some point but it’s not the kind of family I had originally planned. It’s also very different from the home we currently live in, the future house needs a bit of work to make it our own, we’re going to make it into something special and right for us and I can’t wait to spend time doing that.
Here’s to a continued positive 2017…
IVF is tricky, the whole experience is mentally draining, it’s expensive and it pushes you to breaking point. There are so many companies who put out stories and figures to appeal to people so desperate for a child. I’m not saying these stories aren’t true, or the figures aren’t correct but figures can be displayed in many different ways, omitting certain numbers, which would lead a person to believe something is better than it is.
On paper I’m a success story, my second round of IVF worked, that’s a fact and will be recorded as such on one set of data. Yes there are birth success rates which you can look at, but if you look at IVF figures which resulted in pregnancy then I’m in that group. What may not be mentioned is that I miscarried, that I found this out at my 12 week scan.
Again this is my personal view and I’m not trying to be negative, I appreciate some people may not see it this way. I read so many stories of people giving up their lives on the quest for a child, it’s made me really think about when/ if people ever say enough is enough.
I would have a child one day… right?
I grew up playing ‘families’ with the girl next door, we had a garage next to each other and we would spend hours in the garage with our fantasy family, popping to each other’s houses, taking our dolls for a stroll in our pram. The thought of never having a child of course didn’t occur to me at that age. It was a given, I would one day be a mum and have a real family.
Then as you get old, the fairytale fades and you realise things wouldn’t quite go the way you planned…
Even throughout our first round of IVF I had the goal set (egg fertilization), it didn’t even occur to me that we wouldn’t have any eggs fertilize, the thought never crossed my mind. So when we were told we had one egg fertilize it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Then to the second round, my goal posts moved, now it was to get pregnant as I would be on the home stretch, never did it occur to me that our baby wouldn’t survive. I remember so vividly being in the waiting room before our scan, the excitement and anticipation. I could not have prepared for what happened next.
That’s a term that’s been so relevant to IVF, it’s something that was / is repeated to me by so many people. I am not saying I think it’s a bad thing to say, of course it’s so important. What is the point of any of this if you are not positive?
It’s just for me positive thinking will only get you so far and can sometimes (I believe) cause you to ignores the facts, even science/logical thinking and may set a false hope.
Of course when we were going through IVF we were positive, we had to be because there is no other choice, there is no point to any of it without positive thinking but there are times for it and times when it’s best to accept what’s really going on.
When enough is enough?
When do you accept that your own statistics mean you won’t ever have a biological child with your partner? Maybe this is something you can never accept, I’m still struggling with this hugely.
Do you keep trying and trying, spending thousands and thousands. Give up your life for a child. Humans are, after all, built to reproduce. For some perhaps there isn’t ever a cut off? If you look you’ll always be able to find stories of ‘5th, 6th, 7th rounds of IVF with no end date in sight.
My husband and I lost ourselves last year to a large extent, days, weeks, planned round injections, the whole process was mentally draining. I didn’t want to go out with friends, the hormones, the mood swings, I can honestly say we lost the people we were (something we could only see once we stopped).
Our cut off
Our cut off for trying with both my eggs and my husband’s sperm was our second round.
So many reasons. My husband has been married before and had already been years dealing with infertility (they believed the issues were with his wife). So after years of struggling they stopped trying and he spent years accepting he will never have his own children and he had a vasectomy. He married for life so never expected his marriage to end- another example of life not going the way you think. Then once we were together he had a vasectomy reversal, again we were positive, we were told his chances were strong. This failed which I didn’t expect. So he’d already been through two operations resulting in pain he still deals with today.
He didn’t want IVF but he did it for me, he’s an incredibly unselfish man. So with IVF came another operation for him, again. And our first round failed which was tough but we always said we’d give it another go just to make sure it wasn’t a once off, even though if we were being honest, the signs were there to say that biologically there was an issue.
So we did another round, thankfully there was enough sperm left over from our first round so no more operations for him. The second round though worked and we were pregnant. Amazingly we had made it. But of course this wasn’t to last and for me, it was the cruelest outcome to have come so far down the line and have it end in the way it did.
That was it, we did what we agreed and we stopped, I’m not saying it was easy, it involved many conversations over a long period of time, prior to IVF and after.
It was my husband’s last chance of having a biological child, something he has said to me more than once since our miscarriage. I know he is heartbroken. I wear a ring to remember our baby, but my husband carries the weight of multiple miscarriage’s on his shoulders, long before I was around and I know it will stay with him forever.
A lot of people say we should get more tests, my husband should have got more tests. But no he doesn’t. He doesn’t have to do any of that, we don’t. He’s been through so much, far more than I can contemplate or anyone else outside of him can. He’s spent years trying to have a child, he’s spent a fortune and given up so much of his life. He went through with IVF, twice, for me because he didn’t want to stop me from having a baby even after everything he’s been through.
It makes me angry to my heart that my husband will never father a biological child, he is a wonderful man, completely one of a kind and I would do anything to have his traits in a child. But that’s the way it is. It would be foolish to continue, not only that I couldn’t do it to him. He’s already done and given so much, we could spend the rest of our life chasing something that will clearly never be what we want.
Or we could accept the facts, not something I’m sure we’ll ever be able to do but we still try to move forward together. I don’t know our next steps but I know we deserve a life that isn’t spent chasing something that won’t ever happen (and to have spent thousands and years of heartache to go with it). I hope one day we will both be parents, but it won’t be biologically together.
I also am starting to realize we don’t always get what we want. I literally have no idea what our next step will be, I run the options through my head multiple times a day and I fall short each time.
What I do know is I want a great life with my husband, full of fun and adventures. Full of holiday and unsensible decisions (which we are great at).
I have found out from another friend that my close friend is going to be having a baby shower.
My view on baby showers
I am based in the UK so the concept of a baby shower is not huge – or at least I didn’t think it was. I thought it was very much an American thing to do. I don’t personally get it, you celebrate and bring gifts when a baby is born. I don’t get a baby shower. When I was pregnant my husband and I discussed me having a baby shower, I didn’t want one – I didn’t get it plus any one in my friendship group struggling to have children would just feel rubbish.
Right back to it…
This is the close friend who is pregnant who I asked for advice on before.
Update on situation overall
I told my pregnant friend I was struggling with her pregnancy, she was wonderful, as the weeks have gone on I have made an effort to ask her how she is, spoke to her about her 3 month scan. Every time I speak to her on the phone I ask and in text.
Another mutual friend has potential fertility issues and a few weeks back we discussed a baby shower for our mutually pregnant friend. We thought our friends colleague would organise a shower and we would let her know we’d leave it to just be a work baby shower.
Hopefully I’m making some sense so far.
Anyway I get a call from my friend (with potential fertility issues) saying another close friend got contacted by our pregnant friends husband to ask to organise a baby shower.
So the husband did message the 3 of us (we were all bridesmaids) and went to one only – this got my back up a bit but i may be over-thinking this and he might not have wanted to upset me and my other friend.
Anyway the other friend is now going to organise a baby shower. My other friend doesn’t know whether to go – her husband thinks she should because she might start not being included with other things if she doesn’t go. I think she will go.
I spoke to my husband whose views haven’t changed on baby showers – he doesn’t see the point because we will all celebrate and buy stuff when the baby is born.
I struggled to be on a skype call to a pregnant colleague the other week because another colleague said ‘we’re all so jealous that you’re pregnant’ i had to leave the room and cried.
I don’t want to make it all about me (contrary to this post all about me) but I just don’t get baby showers. Plus the idea of talking about having babies, babies, babies, surrounded by women talking about them, I just don’t think i’m strong enough.
Plus I was due to have my baby in on March 21st this year, if it’s around that time I will be crushed.
No one has contacted me yet
Apart from the friend to warn me, nothing from the pregnant friends husband or from my friend who is organising – so it’s made me already feel so far out of the loop.
Hurting my friend
I worry my friend would be hurt if I don’t go, I worry about what her husband would think if I don’t go along with my friends. I don’t believe they get the situation I am in.
But then what if I do go and get upset – wouldn’t that be worse?
I am trying to heal my heart, i can’t see how this could possibly help?
I am not saving I won’t be there as soon as I can when she gives birth, I will. I will do all I can to support her but I just don’t think I can do the baby showers.
*I should have said – my pregnant friend doesn’t know about the baby shower – her husband started the ball rolling with organising it, so i won’t be able to explain myself to my friend, i also don’t have the relationship to explain to my pregnant friend’s husband either…*
Has anyone ever been in this situation? what would you do?
Is this utterly selfish, should I just try to suck it up?
Anxiety is high this week, it was high last week but I put it down to being that time of the month but it’s still here, anxiety my old friend, my learned behaviour.
Each time of the month that comes makes me sad as I’m sure it does every woman dealing with infertility but I think that’s only part of it. I have techniques to try and cope with anxiety from my counsellor but nothing seems to help at the moment, perhaps that’s an excuse… who knows.
I have my last session with my counsellor next week, in some ways she’s helped but in more ways she hasn’t (another post on that some other time maybe).
A year off, a year of limbo. As much as we need this year, as much as we are lucky to be able to take it, to have to need it, it presents a year of no answers. And a year I can’t change because I’m not ready. A year of trying to accept any child will not be biologically mine and my husbands.
I don’t know if I want more IVF, I don’t want to kid myself, to put myself through it again, to put us through it again. My husband who has been through so much on the quest for a child, who has spent thousands and thousands, years of heartache. Plus the idea of another 12 week scan makes me stomach turn, I push back the tears and put the feelings in a box again.
As for adoption and the mind field of this, of giving up all of the time we can spare to volunteer with children, just to be considered, just to get a foot in the door, it makes me angry of how much is expected just to be put on a list, whilst so many woman who arguably were not fit to have or raise a child, have done so without a single form to fill in or person to answer to.
Are we meant to be childless, the idea of being childless is never discussed, no one dares to mention – a wise blogger once wrote / echoed . Why is that never presented as a feasible option whilst growing up. Perhaps if it was then it might be easier to consider.
For me right now it’s not an option, but it’s not to say it won’t ever be. I think about everything, our options, our lack of options, thoughts change over time, so much throughout the day, just looking for answers and wishing for an impossible outcome.
We are so fortunate in so many ways and I don’t mean to be ungrateful for all that I have, it’s just tough sometimes, I feel suffocated in uncertainty.