Nobody Told Me…

This post is baby-related, so if you’re feeling delicate then it might be an idea not to read on. Hopefully it won’t be too depressing/annoying/sickening though! I know I said I might not post again, but hey, I’m a woman, I’m allowed to change my mind! This post is a list of things that I’ve discovered in the past year, that nobody tells you. Or, you don’t listen to.

So, nobody told me…

That for the (previously?) infertile woman, pregnancy is not fun. I was pleased to be pregnant. Beyond pleased. But it was petrifying. Every day I was scared of losing her. Scans were an ordeal in anticipation and worry, and the relief we felt at seeing her little heartbeat and her wriggling around lasted only as long as the scan lasted. Movements were reassuring, but also worrying – was she moving enough? Too much? Was she healthy? The physical discomforts of pregnancy were nothing compared to the mental stress (though the experience of waking up trying to aspirate on my own reflux was not one I’d like to repeat). I laughed at my obstetrician when she told me to “enjoy my pregnancy” – was she insane? I was too petrified for that.

That we would “watch” the Olympics together, and that she would jump around in my womb whenever strong female athletes were competing. She particularly seemed to like rowers and cyclists.

That labour would hurt so much. I guess that’s what full-blown contractions against a cervix with adhesions does to you. 

That I wouldn’t believe she was mine. When she was born, I kept expecting somebody to take her away. I still do sometimes. After so long trying, I kept expecting someone to tell me there had been a big mistake, that she wasn’t mine after all. It felt so surreal to hold this tiny thing in my arms, finally.

That I would spend 24 hours after the birth thinking that there was another one in there. Seriously. I had phantom baby movements, and even a hard lump where her feet used to be. It was lucky that there wasn’t another baby in there as the thought of going through labour again still brings me out in a cold sweat.

That I would still be bleeding, 8 weeks later. It comes and goes, but I am beyond fed up of bleeding now, especially as yesterday it got heavy again. Back to the GP tomorrow, I think. I appreciate the irony of this after wanting heavier periods for the last 3 years…

That breastfeeding hurts. Everyone seems to say that if it hurts, you’re doing it wrong. Bollocks to that, it still hurts.

That the guilt I would feel is immense. I feel guilty about everything. I felt guilty about not being able to push her out quickly enough and needing a ventouse delivery (she was distressed). I felt guilty about her needing to be readmitted with jaundice. I felt hugely guilty about our early feeding issues (she didn’t feed properly, poor supply) and I feel guilty every time she cries. I know I put this pressure on myself, but I just wanted everything to be perfect, and of course it isn’t. This is real life; nothing is.

That I would look at her every day, with amazement that she grew in my womb. It’s her eyes that get me. They’re so perfect. How could something that perfect grow from microscopic cells in a dodgy environment?

How it would feel when I’m the one she wants. When she’s upset, and she settles and relaxes in my arms just because I’m her mother. How privileged and blessed I would feel at this.

That one beautiful smile from her would not make the last few years cease to matter, but would make them so, so much easier to bear.



Well, it’s been a really long time since I posted anything here, and to be honest, this post will probably be my last, at least for now. I will leave this blog up for people to read, for now, but I haven’t had a lot to say for a long time now.

As you know, in my last post, I was pregnant, and bleeding heavily. I was convinced I’d lost the baby. Your sympathy and empathy was so very kind and so very much appreciated. I managed to get an early scan (after my lovely fertility consultant phoned the EPAU to whinge at them…) which showed an intrauterine sac, nothing else. But it was early, 5+ weeks, and so we went back 2 weeks later, expecting the worst. What we saw was a blob. With a heartbeat, that most elusive of things.

The blob grew. And I didn’t post, because I didn’t want to jinx anything. Against all the many odds stacked against us, the blob continued to grow and develop, and at our 20 week scan was said to be a little girl.

Somehow, in that uterus that didn’t work, she found a way to live.

On Christmas Day, at 5am, at 40+3, my waters broke and I went into labour. I won’t go into the details but let’s just say that epidurals are amazing inventions. Our daughter was born, safe and well, in the early hours of Boxing Day. The best Christmas present ever.

She’s now asleep, curled up on my chest, and I know that I am so very lucky. 

I hope and pray that one day, very soon, you will all have your own personal miracles. Love to you all.

Stop the world, I want to get off.


I found out I was pregnant a little while ago. I didn’t want to say anything, and because it was so high-risk we only told a few people. Not even our families, though both have been pretty useless.

I was due on the same date as WFI. Christmas fucking Day.

I didn’t have many symptoms, and those I did have (namely sore breasts) reduced a few days ago. I cyclogested myself, but I was scared.

I started spotting last night.

It got much heavier this morning.

I think I can safely say it’s over. That I lost another baby.

I am broken. Of heart, and of mind.



= not good.

My endometrium is thinner, as I thought it would be. Maximum of 4.8 as opposed to some measurements of 6mm. I could even see a difference on the pictures.

And I appear to have stopped ovulating apparently.

The appointment is on Thursday. Part of me wants to throttle him, and part of me wants to fall at his feet in floods of tears and beg him to fix me.

Today? I don’t honestly know how much more of this I can take. Perhaps I should face the fact that I’m never going to get pregnant again or have a baby.


It’s official…

…I have the world’s most useless uterus. I defy anybody to present a more useless one than mine.

I’ve been on this medication for 3 months now, and it had been three months of daily headaches, occasional nausea, and worst of all, even lighter periods. I didn’t think my periods could get any lighter, but it turns out that they can and they have. In fact, they’ve pretty much stopped.

I haven’t got a clue why this could be, logically it doesn’t make much sense at all. The only thing I can think of is that the scar tissue around my cervix has closed up even more, or grown somehow, but I don’t know why or how that would happen.

I am feeling very fed up. It has now been 2 1/2 years of nothing but failure. NOTHING we have tried has helped at all. Everything has either had no effect or seemed to make things worse. Whilst around me, people reproduce with no second thought.

I have a scan and an appointment in a few weeks time. I don’t think either will go very well. *Sad face*.

How Not to Make Brownies

And no, I don’t mean small girls in brown dresses. Or yellow jumpers and brown culottes, which is what I think I used to wear as a brownie. Either that or my mother bought me Really Bad Clothes when I was growing up.

When I first saw the recipe for marshmallow chocolate brownies, I was excited. It doesn’t take a lot; anything with chocolate in it tends to excite me these days, being off the booze (the vascular dementia drugs give me horrible headaches. I have pretty much had a permanent headache for the past 3 weeks, which is annoying to say the least. I have worked out ways to keep it under control though, by having NO caffeine (sob!) and no alcohol (bit of a bugger, like my wine) and eating on a very regular basis (like every hour or so)). So I was imagining gooey chocolatey goodness, with soft, fluffy marshmallows like little stars in it…

I followed the recipe. That was my first mistake apparently, because it told me to bake said brownies in a hot oven for 20 minutes. I did so, than removed them. The top was burnt, and they felt suspiciously soft.

“Oh well,” I thought to myself, “I’ve never made this recipe before, maybe they’re supposed to be like that.” I dutifully left them to cool and did some work for my course.

When they were cool and I tried to cut them up, I discovered that although the top was burnt (due I think to the marshmallows being in close proximity to the top?) the underneath was rather more gooey than I had anticipated. Imagine a burnt crust on top of raw brownie mix, and you’ve got the right idea.

Annoying, as I had to take those brownies somewhere. And I didn’t have any more ingredients. What to do? I ended up putting them back in the oven for another 30 minutes. After which they were cooked, but, well, had a nice topping of charcoal. Yum.

Weirdly, they actually tasted OK. Quite nice, dense a bit chewy, like a good brownie should be. No sign of the marshmallows though. They were completely gone. Bastards.

Next time, I’ll be making HFF’s ginger cake

Chocolate biscuits by the bucket-load

I finally had an appointment today to get the prescription for my meds. WHY the consultant couldn’t have scribbled on a prescription pad when we saw him 6 weeks ago, I do NOT know, because that was all the doctor did today. I could have saved myself 6 weeks of emailing…

But, getting the requisite bit of paper and depositing it in the hospital pharmacy was not as simple as it sounds. The doctor rang pharmacy to check they had the meds, as they’re a bit weird. They did, and put them on the side, ready to be dispensed. All good.

I toddled off to the pharmacy, where I was told I would have to wait 30mins. “OK,” I thought to myself, “that’s fine, I’ll go and get a coffee.” I wandered over to the coffee shop, had to have tea instead because they’d run out of decaf coffee (one of the meds causes palpitations… seeing as I already get them sometimes, it would appear to be prudent to give up caffeine for the time being…). I sat, drinking my luke-warm tea (apparently they haven’t heard of boiling water in the NHS) only to be rudely interrupted by a man PUTTING HIS NEWBORN BABY ON MY TABLE! I was minding my own business, when he obviously thought she was too heavy to hold at all of, what, 7 pounds? And just plonked her straight down on to the table in front of me. I was somewhat taken aback by this, but couldn’t find the words to say “What are you doing you weirdo? Can’t you see I’m sitting here?!” as she was surrounded, instantly, like flies on shit, by a group of women cooing over her and tickling her.

Is this normal behaviour??

I escaped, not long afterwards, leaving the rest of my tea to the newborn, and back to the pharmacy, sure that my prescription would be ready, and I would be able to make a quick exit and get home. I didn’t count on the fact that I would be sitting there a full 90 minutes later, still waiting. Yes, two hours to do a prescription. The weirdest part of it all was that it wasn’t the vascular dementia drug they had problems with giving to an under-30, but the Vitamin E… Apparently they’d never seen a dose that high before. Call me weird, but I didn’t honestly think that 1000iu of Vitamin E was that strange… They kept wondering if it was supposed to be Vitamin D (I know, because I was eavesdropping… Nothing else to do you see…). Even the woman with her very large bag of IVF injectables escaped at least an hour before I did!

So I drove home, took the dog for a walk and am now having a large cup of (hot) tea and half a packet of digestives caramels to make myself feel better. All ruined, of course, by the fact that I went and read the information leaflets for the meds and decided I don’t want to take them…


Sprout, anyone?

Or, if anyone’s bored, would they like to join me in a raid? I’m thinking of using HFF’s idea and getting  a battering ram to storm the hospital as it seems to be the only way I’m going to get my hands on the medication… There has been little movement over the festive season, despite chasing.

I am fed up. I am so fed up, I’m watching Lord of the Rings, which I tend to reserve for Specially Fed Up Occasions. And I’ve peeled a giant pile of sprouts for tea, hence the title. (Don’t worry, we’re also eating turkey. I appear to have forgotten Christmas has finished.)

So to answer a few questions – my particular cocktail contains: Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Aspirin, Pentoxyphylline (reassuringly used for the treatment of vascular dementia… er…) Oestrogen (patches + oral +/- injections) and Viagra. So don’t worry, HFF, I think by mentioning that I’ll be sending *those* visitors here myself! What I need from you guys is all your thickening, juicy, plumping thoughts that it works, please!

It’s a risky business, though. Because of my adhesions, I have higher risks than a *normal* IVF cycle. I hesitate to call it normal, because really, when is an IVF cycle ever normal? I don’t know if my uterus will stretch to accommodate a growing baby, and adhesions will interfere with normal placental function. The chances of a normal delivery are remote (but really, if I get that far, I really don’t care about that!).

Anyway. My period is late. I feel decidedly unpregnant, and am certain it will start in the next 24 hrs, but really, have these pelvic organs no manners? I’ve had cramping for the last 3 days. I mean, it’s just rude, isn’t it? If it’s not going to fulfil its primary function, it could at least be polite, start my period on time, and Not Hurt. That’s just good manners!


Merry Christmas

OK, OK, so I know I don’t write this blog very often anymore. But things are just so… DREARY that I can’t see why anyone would want to read it. It’s not exactly joyous news that I have to impart.

The uterus is a pain in the… well anyway. I saw the consultant, who looked decidedly less optimistic this time, and he scanned me, as my period was definitely heavier after the HSG (and no I didn’t get pregnant after… not one of those “A HSG made me pregnant!” stories… Though if it had, it wouldn’t be a HSG after all…) but my endometrium had not got thicker (and why would it, really…). It was between 5 and 6mm (the husband was watching, he told me there were some measurements of 6mm). The endometrium is “deficient” at the bottom of the uterus, from about halfway down, and also on the right, which he hadn’t seen before, but was seeing with the benefit of the HSG having told him that there was scarring there. The weird sac-thing was still there. The only good news to come out of the scan was that I definitely have a triple stripe appearance to the endometrium I do have, which means it works and is reasonably healthy.

However, his face when he was scanning me, was not the face of a man who was pleased with what he saw. and I KNOW he is less optimistic now. In fact he’s starting to become pessimistic. He told us to think about surrogacy. Which is a difficult one. I’m not keen, really. I want our “own”, biological child, obviously, but I don’t know who on earth would do that for us, and I don’t know who I’d trust to do that. I also don’t want to spend years trying to find someone to be a surrogate when we could be pursuing expanding our family in other ways. The husband, however, seems kind of keen on this, which makes me a little uneasy. As if I’m the one with the physical problem, therefore I should go along with what he wants as it’s All My Fault.

(Before anyone thinks anything, if I was completely against it and told him so, he’d never make me do it, he’s not like that, but I would feel that I had to…)

The plan, for now, surprisingly is not for surgery. It’s an option, but I think the consultant was unsure if it was possible to remove the scarring, or if it would change my fertility. So he’s going to give me an interesting cocktail of drugs to try to thicken my endometrium and if that helps, then it’s ahead to IVF/FET. If not – surgery and repeat as appropriate. Not that I’ve had the drugs yet – I’m having to continually chase people to try and get them. Bloody useless NHS.

Of course IVF is another matter, which scares me stiff. He seems to think pregnancy and carrying a baby is possible (I asked him outright) but the risks are, well, increased greatly, to the baby and to me. Which brings me onto the question – is it completely selfish of us to try this? What if the baby dies? What if the baby has serious and life-limiting sequelae of very early pre-term birth throughout their life because of what we’ve done to have a baby of our own? Would I then spend my entire life blaming myself? I know there are risks of this anyway, but going into it knowing the risks are so much more… seems different somehow.

And then there’s the other elephant in the room – adoption. We’re not ready. I know we’re not ready. We have to finish (and start, let’s be honest!) our treatment first. And then grieve our biological children that we didn’t have. But I have good feelings towards it.

It’s Christmas in a few days, and I feel decidedly un-Christmassy. The husband is on call on Christmas Day, so the family are coming down. I don’t know if I can survive 3 days with my parents and remain unscathed. And I spent far too much money at the supermarket yesterday. So, Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings and all that. Here’s hoping that 2012 will be a better year for all of us. The last 3 years have been shocking, surely it’s time for a good news year??

Infertility… The gift that keeps on smacking you in the face…

OK, I know I haven’t posted here for a long time. If anyone’s pregnancy radar has been going off, I’m not. Definitely not. Blame a combination of moving to a house with no internet or phone line, apathy, and an intense desire to have a break from all things conception-related.

We had a break for a few months, and it was good. I felt human again. There were other things in life, like blue cheese, good wine, and of course our Obligatory Infertility Animal; our retired greyhound (who is utterly gorgeous by the way, and gentle, and funny, and helps to mend a broken heart). This week, we came back down to earth with a bump. Or an almighty crash, if you like.

I had a HSG this week. I told them, in the nicest possible way, that they should cover me with antibiotics. They said it would “depend on their protocol”. They couldn’t get the catheter through the adhesions into my uterus, so inflated the balloon in my cervix. Yes, the same poor, battered cervix that got forcibly dilated earlier this year. They got some dye through the not insubstantial adhesions into my uterus, which showed more scarring near my right tube. My right tube was open, my left was not (which surprised/disappointed me actually, as I’ve always been told they were both open. Liars). And then I started swearing at them because it hurt so much, and they stopped. They didn’t give me antibiotics.

They did, however, give me an infection.

Great news for adhesions and future fertility, hey? I went to my GP, who was surprisingly helpful, and phoned the gynae reg on call, and gave me antibiotics. I really hope they kick in soon, though, as somewhat worryingly the pain is getting worse. It’s not so bad that I can’t function, or eat cake, however. But it’s there.

I’ll keep a close eye on it. If it continues to get worse I’ll have to go to A&E I suppose and try and see gynae. I don’t know what else to do. My consultant hasn’t answered his phone this week. Helpful!

So to say I’m a bit pissed off is an understatement. I don’t know where we go from here, fertility-wise. I suspect they’d need to do more surgery for IVF to even be an option. I didn’t know if I wanted IVF, it scares me (as does pregnancy now – all I can see is the spectre of pain and failure and loss). But now knowing that I might not be able to have it, or not yet, well I feel disappointed. Which tells me that we need to at least give it a go; I’m not ready to give up yet. We need a plan. And I need to get rid of this bloody infection.