I held on to hope that they could find a magic cure to get me pregnant

Polly has been trying for a family since she got married, but has suffered recurrent miscarriages.

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 Polly and her husband on their wedding day

by Polly Mayers

February 2016

I've always wanted to have children and was desperate for a baby. I had been on the oral contraceptive pill for 10 years, so in the February of 2014 I stopped taking them. We did not use contraception throughout this time, but I tried to avoid getting pregnant before the wedding, knowing full well that it could happen.

So when we got married we tried straight away. I found out I was 4 weeks pregnant a week before Christmas in 2014. We were so excited that we told our family on Christmas Day that I was 5 weeks pregnant. I was very fit and healthy, and would exercise 3-4 times a week and watch what I ate. I downloaded baby apps and looked at baby names.

A few days after Christmas I noticed spotting and cramps

I thought I spotted more after exercise, so I cut out the exercise. I contacted my local early pregnancy unit, who booked me in for a scan on 31st December. The morning of the 31st I felt different; I no longer had tender breasts, later that morning I passed clots.

When I went to the early pregnancy unit, they tested me to see if I was pregnant, and unfortunately it was negative. We were devastated. I cancelled my midwife appointment and went back to work two days later. My periods came back and we tried again. During this time, I continued to exercise and took part in a few triathlons. This kept my mind busy and helped not to think about a child we desperately wanted. 

I went to see a female GP in the Spring who was very unsympathetic, and refused to refer me on for investigation. She told me not to expect to get pregnant if I was training for triathlons. During this time, I looked through forums and found many women that trained far more than me and had no problems in falling pregnant or during pregnancy.

In June 2015 I was late for my period, I had tender breasts and straight away I knew I was pregnant again. I didn't want to test too early, so I waited and at 5 weeks, I miscarried again. I went back to a locum GP in late June, who listened to me and referred me onto a gynaecology team.

I felt relieved when the appointment came through and held on to hope that they could find a magic cure to get me pregnant

We saw the consultant gynaecologist who took down our information. He told me to stop exercising and recommended that the only exercise I do is 20 minutes of walking a day. At this point, I had just finished the triathlon season, but was still exercising four times a week. I followed his advice and stopped everything. I occasionally swam once a week.

He then sent me for various blood tests at different times of my menstrual cycle to see if I was ovulating, which I was. Our next appointment was in the October of 2015, when we saw the registrar who told me my results of bloods where normal, and performed internal examination and high vaginal swabs. They then sent my husband off to a local private hospital for semen analysis. During this time, it was recommended that I try reflexology, so I started seeing a nice lady roughly once a month. I felt that she really helped.

Our next appointment was in January, when we saw the registrar again who gave us my results from transvaginal ultrasound, which showed I had a small cyst on my left ovary, which they were not worried about. She explained that if I didn't fall pregnant after 6 months, they may do a laparoscopy and dye procedure to check the ovaries and tubes.

My husband’s semen results came back as very good, and he was very relieved as he doubted that he was the problem in our infertility. The registrar then explained that we could try a drug called clomid 50mg for 3 months. I went to see my reflexologist who said that she could feel something was going on, but didn't want to get my hopes up. This was 10 days before my period!

A week before my period, January 16, I started spotting and had cramps and very sore breasts. I did an early pregnancy test at 3 weeks 1 day and tada - it was positive! I was so happy, I hoped my spotting was implantation bleeding. But I had some cramping too, so I rung the early pregnancy unit for advice. They booked me in for a scan in four days time. I would be 3 weeks and 6 days pregnant.

I went for the internal ultrasound at the early pregnancy unit and the sonographer was very kind. I explained to her I was worried that I was having an ectopic pregnancy, as I had been looking on forums at my symptoms, which all indicated it could be ectopic, pain in one side, brown spotting discharge, painful when passing urine.

They could not see an intrauterine pregnancy but a mass near my right tube, they suspected this was an ectopic pregnancy, and kept me behind to check my beta hCG levels. My levels were 291 which was about right. They gave me strict instructions to come back if I had any pain and made plans for me to come back in exactly 48 hours' time for bloods. The nurse from the ward rang me on the Saturday, saying my bloods are now 302, I knew for an interuterine pregnancy the bloods needed to go up by 66%, this was less than 4% rise.

I knew the pregnancy wasn't okay, I held on to hope that the levels would rise and the mass they saw was just a cyst and everything would be okay

They wanted me to come in the next day to discuss treatment options. I had been told Methotrexate was one of the options. I'm a nurse, I know this drug used to treat certain cancers and arthritis. It's a cytotoxic drug, which could harm my baby, if I was to get pregnant within 6 months. I had spoken to my fellow colleagues who also told me not to take it.

I was pushed by the Doctor that this was our treatment option and told that it works very effectively. I stood my ground, I would rather have a fallopian tube removed than to take a cytotoxic drug. On Sunday, my bloods had gone down to 281. The Doctor explained that my fallopian tubes were still at risk of bursting.

After this I started to spot. My breasts are still tender, I'm told my levels probably won't go down to zero for another 2-3 weeks. This is now my third miscarriage. Looking back, I believe I may have had an ectopic pregnancy the first time I miscarried, as the symptoms are all the same.

I'm still pregnant, waiting for the egg to pass, wondering where to go next. Do I take the clomid when my period starts, or do I ask for IVF, or cut the wait and pay privately for it on a payment plan? I feel as if there isn't much support out there. My next appointment to see the consultant is in May 2016.

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