4th time lucky?

I conceived on our first month trying, getting our first ever positive test on Christmas Day and couldn’t believe our luck.

#misCOURAGE story by Laura,

We decided to start trying for a baby in December 2016, 2 months after we got married.

I conceived on our first month trying, getting our first ever positive test on Christmas Day and couldn’t believe our luck. I didn’t really have many symptoms but trusted what I read online that some people just don’t get them, and went to our early bird appointment at 6 weeks and our booking appointment at 8+3, but still decided to go for an early reassurance scan because I’m a natural born worrier.

We had made all sorts of plans and I’d even bought a little teddy bear, so the day I had my private scan at 8+4 weeks and we were told there was no heartbeat my world came tumbling down around me. We always knew it was a possibility but always thought “it won’t happen to us”. No one around me had really spoken of miscarriage so I had no idea it was as common as it is.

So when 5 or so months later I found out I was pregnant again, I told myself the last time was just bad luck and this time we would have a baby. We again started to think about the future and make plans, and because of the last time, the EPAC sent us for an early scan at 8 weeks. Expecting bad news again, I was so shocked and overjoyed that I bawled my eyes out with happy tears to see a lumpy little blob with a distinctive heartbeat flickering away in there! The next 2 weeks were worry free until I got to 10weeks pregnant and the EPAC wanted to scan me again, just to make sure there was progression. As soon as that transducer was inside (I have a retroverted uterus), I could tell instantly that there was something wrong. I couldn’t see the heartbeat and our little lumpy was no bigger than last time.

The midwives guessed that the heartbeat had stopped not long after my last scan, possibly even the same day. I felt totally blown away this time, after hearing all the stories about how the risk drops so significantly after seeing the heartbeat. After the first time I knew it was a possibility but how unlucky did I have to be to have 2 in a row?!

So at the start of 2018 I developed acute pyelonephritis and sepsis and was in hospital for a while. When I was feeling better, life got back to normal and a few short weeks later, on my 28th Birthday I got another positive test! Being so unwell had knocked my cycle back by a whole week that I didn’t know about! Maybe this ‘accident’ was going to be the one. I say accident, we would still have been trying, just that particular month I wasn’t tracking and logging like normal. Seeing those 2 lines though, it didn’t bring the joy that it should. Only worry and fear and anxiety because I had been here twice before and twice I’d been through hell. So when I miscarried again, I think I was numb.

We had genetic testing carried out and recently received the results to tell us it was a little boy that we lost. He had trisomy 13, 15, 16, 18, 21 and 22. Six additional chromosomes. At this point in time I’m awaiting a follow up. I feel like I could benefit from counselling as I feel we’ve not had any real support, so I don’t know what the next steps are for us. Whether I will ever hold my own baby in my arms.

The midwives and EPAC nurses were amazing, however. But as much as this affects me, mentally and physically, I will keep going because the thought of one day holding my baby is what keeps me going. I would never wish this on my worst enemy. Every day I think about it in some way, the injustice, the pain, the longing, but I know that I wouldn’t be challenged this way if I wasn’t strong enough to fight back.

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