#misCOURAGE stories, 11/01/2017, by Nicola
If you had asked me this next time last year what I thought I would be doing I would have told you being a Mum. I was due to get married in the March and I was so sure (I would have put money on it then) that I would come back from my honeymoon pregnant, however, the reality is somewhat different as we approach our 1st wedding anniversary.
I came off the pill in December 2015 in the hope I would fall pregnant pretty quickly (which I did). My January period arrived 5 weeks later and I was slightly disappointed but I was convinced February would be our month and by the time we got married on the 5th March we would have our own little secret that day.
After my first period I continued to bleed and I just thought it was my body adjusting to coming off the pill and everything would return to normal.
I went to Birmingham and celebrated my upcoming nuptials, drank, sang, danced and pretty much didn't have a care in the world. A few days later my bleeding became heavier and worried I made a doctors appointment.
I knew they would test to make sure I wasn't pregnant so I decided to test that morning before I went and as soon as I saw the second line appear I knew there was no hope, that this pregnant wasn't viable.
Numerous blood tests and scans later the pregnancy could not be located and I was told 5 days before my wedding I would need a laposcopy to see what was going on, but after various discussions with doctors and consultants it was agreed I could have a drug called methotrexate to dissolve the pregnancy as I was reluctant to have surgery days before my wedding.
I was even asked what the medical system was like for our chosen honeymoon destination in case I needed emergency surgery, pretty scary stuff.
Luckily after being warned of the scary side effects of the drug (hair loss, vomiting, diarrhoea) I suffered no ill effects and my wedding day is by far the best day of my life.
We had been advised to wait 3 months before trying again as the methotrexate depleted all folic acid levels and I needed time to rebuild those or risk birth defects with a future pregnancy. We waited the advised time and I was eager to start trying again.
I spent many hours on Google looking at people who had conceived shortly after methotrexate, however, I knew we had to be sensible and I spent those months tracking my temperature and ovulation so I was ready for when the time came and we got back down to business.
You could say I was lucky, we fell pregnant on our second month trying and I was elated. I told close family and a few friends and booked in for a 6 week scan to make sure the pregnancy was in the right place.
All went well at the hospital, our jelly bean was in the right place and we were even shown the heartbeat. This was it, I was pregnant and I was going to be a Mum.
A few weeks later myself and my husband were on a break away and I told him I wanted to book another scan in between the previous and the standard 12 weeks as I was worried due to my lack of symptoms, he agreed and I made an appointment for a week later.
When we arrived at the private scanning place the room was filled with happy faces, people much further along in their pregnancies and it was such a nice atmosphere. We were called through and to my relief I was told it would be an external scan due to my dates.
I think within 30 seconds I knew something wasn't right. I was told the lady needed to get her colleague just to check something. I looked at my husband and shook my head.
"Sorry, there is no heartbeat".
I can only describe the pain as falling off a cliff, being hit by a train and being plunged into ice cold water all at the same time whilst having your heart ripped out. There really is nothing like it.
The next few days were a blur. My husband called family and explained to them as I couldn't talk without breaking down. He become my rock and over the next few days supported me as the miscarriage happened and gave me hope that next time around would be our time.
It was at the private scan I was first told about Tommy's charity and to call them as they would be able to offer some advice and a friendly ear to listen. At the time I took the details with no intention of calling, this was just unlucky and I wouldn't have to go through this again.
As the months passed I really struggled and every pregnancy announcement filled me with happiness for them but sadness for me, why me and why can it not be as simple as it seems for everyone else.
The thing I now realise though is everyone has their own struggles and most of the time you just don't realise. The more people I've opened up to the more people have done the same to me and I have many friends who have fought their own battles and are only just coming out the other side.
Tommy's have been the most supportive people I could wish to meet, after an initial phone call to them I felt so much better and they arranged for me to come in and have some bloods taken to rule out some simple issues for next time around.
After a few months of trying again I decided to give up in December. Perfectly timed sex wasn't natural and I didn't want to be that person obsessing over an ovulation second line, which I was slowly becoming.
It's true what they say, relax and it will happen. It's funny because every month I have convinced myself I'm pregnant my period has arrived and the two months I've told myself it can't be this month have been the times I've seen those positives.
I decided to test on Christmas Day, what better present than a positive pregnancy test and after a meltdown on Christmas Eve to my husband about how unfair the world was because everyone but me was pregnant and we deserved it more because of what we had already been through - those two lines appeared.
I ran upstairs and told my husband I had the best Christmas present for him ever.
This time was different, I had symptoms and I knew we would be ok. We went away over the New Year's break and I stayed away from the hot tub, alcohol, soft cheese and did everything you should when pregnant.
We got back home on Monday 2nd January and had a restful day the following day before back to work on the 4th.
The evening before returning to work I went to bed with cramping and I didn't think too much of it as I presumed everything was stretching for the pregnancy.
I woke up on Wednesday morning when my alarm went off and went to the toilet and sheer panic overwhelmed me as there was a substantial amount of blood on the toilet paper, this really couldn't be happening again.
After a call to the early pregnancy unit they advised us to go to A&E as they didn't have any slots to scan me and I would more than likely get one that way. I then made a phone call to the doctors who told me to come in and I was seen early.
My heart was racing as I sat in the waiting room and I couldn't keep it together as I walked into the doctors room in floods of tears. He pretty much confirmed what we already knew.
The second time around still hurt as much as the first but I was stronger and more resilient now and this gave me an inner strength and I knew I wouldn't give up on my dream until it became a reality. Once again I spoke to Tommy's who as always offered me so much more support than anywhere else.
At present I am awaiting a follow up consultation and the next steps will be discussed, Tommy's have told me they will be with me all the way until we get that positive outcome and I genuinely believe that.
I still have hope and I have so much support from the people around me that I still think I am lucky. I'm loved and I have so much love to give back to those people and I'm keeping a little bit for when that special little person makes their appearance.
I have found talking to people therapeutic and if my story helps someone in a small way then that's all I need. I don't want to pretend I haven't been through this incredible pain because it's a chapter of my story...but that's what I also need to remember, it's just a chapter. The rest of the story is still unwritten.
I'll never forget the hopes and dreams and the what ifs I had for you, part of my jigsaw will always be missing but the picture still makes sense.
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