Our story began 5 years ago when my partner and I decided to try for a baby, I was considered old (37) for trying for my first child but I had never wanted children before that so I had my IUD removed and was pregnant within the first month. Obviously we were shocked but once it had sunk in we were elated! We spent the following weeks looking at prams and baby clothes and getting excited to have our 12 week scan so on the day we walked in expecting to see our baby.
That day will never leave my memory and the week that followed was one of the worst of my (our) lives. No heartbeat we were told, very matter of factly too...our baby's heart had stopped around 9.5 weeks. In complete shock we were advised to go home and let things happen naturally and if nothing happened to return the following week. We were not offered any advice or other options at that point.
We both walked out of that room in utter shock and didn't speak the whole way home. Then in the safety of my own home I cried, sobbed in fact, for 2 whole days, sometimes silently and then uncontrollably. It was a living nightmare and I couldn't understand what I'd done wrong. Five days later I started spotting, then bleeding, then came the severe cramps and back pain, then the pain became so unbearable I was curled up in a ball on the bed.
My partner came home from work and took me straight to hospital where thankfully we were given a side room to ourselves, then we were left, for a long time, and my pain was becoming totally unbearable I thought I was dying. When a nurse came in and gave me morphine she told me my cervix was probably opening ready to 'pass it.'
I will never forget those words... I had never lost a baby before and I was terrified.
After about another 40 minutes I 'passed it' into a dish whilst on the toilet and remember having to walk down to the nurse station just looking at my tiny baby and hand 'it' over to them. That moment changed me forever.
After having a small procedure to ensure it was all gone (whilst awake as my cervix was still dilated) I was taken back to my room and told they wanted to monitor me overnight and I could go home the next day, I cried all night.
That was our first miscarriage and we have had a further 5 losses, failed IVF and last year I suffered an ectopic pregnancy where I underwent emergency surgery, my left ovary and Fallopian tube were removed.
I cannot describe fully how infertility affects me personally, it is difficult to find the right words but I do know it has affected all aspects of my life in one way or another, from finding it utterly unbearable to watch friends and loved ones announce their 'wonderful ' news (when I just feel guilty for 'pretending' to be happy for them!) to have heard every cliche from people around us who think they're helping but really you just want to punch them! To have this huge thing in our lives which is like a constant elephant in the room and has changed our lives immeasurably.
Thankfully for us, we are fighters and are stronger than ever as a couple, I feel blessed for having my partner, family and the few close friends who have been on, and continue to support us on this crazy journey, we are having one last try and then I think that's it, physically, emotionally and every other 'ally' you can think of!
What this journey has taught me is that I am stronger than I thought, I have picked myself up and carried on, when sometimes I thought I just couldn't go on, I have, we have.
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