Monday, August 20, 2007

Scared To Look Forwards?

How can I possibly thank you all for all your comments and support. I really can't put into words how much this has meant to me. I have read and re-read each one. From those who I have a Blog relationship with, to new people who have been pointed here by those who care and want to help. Thank you heaps. I am truly amazed by the power of the internet. I couldn't have believed that strangers all over the world would be able to relate to me when I was really down. To help me feel less isolated. But you have, you really have.

I still feel really flat. I'm not as emotional as I was after the big miscarriage. It doesn't compare to what I 'lost' then. That was a baby, a fully formed baby. This was the beginnings, the potential, and to me, it was the hope of a baby.

I think what is really troubling me this time is the realisation that this may never work.

See part of the problem is that I had tried really hard to convince myself that it had all been bad luck. The first loss was so long ago, when my cycles were so screwed up, I'm really guessing at dates and the second was really early, even the doctors don't seem to see these as anything other than normal, upsetting, but not a medical issue and I kind of didn't either. They both happened easily so there was no lead up to the pregnancy and no fear that it wouldn't happen again. Then I told myself that perhaps the last one had really just been 'one of these things', lots of woman miscarry, and this one would be fine. I really thought that this pregnancy, which happened as we were down regulating to start IVF, was a gift. Saved from the mouth of IVF. In fact we had been delayed for month due to test results, perhaps this was the reason why. Fate. Because we were meant to have this baby. Sentimental, but it is how I was thinking.

So now I don't feel the intense sorrow of the last time, I don't feel the same huge loss and bereavement, but this time I feel defeated. Finished. It is draining. I am functioning on a day to day basis fairly normally. To my colleagues I'm sure it appears that everything is just fine. I'm maybe slightly quieter but not so as they'd remark. To my friends and family I'm texting but keeping my distance, they all know how busy a time this is being back for a new year at school. It's not unusual for me to be a little hermit like anyway until I get the term underway. Only my husband sees the real difference.

It isn't only sorrow for this particular pregnancy this time. It is a deeper feeling, a feeling that nothing is ever going to be all right again, that there is a huge shadow over me and it is going to be around for a while. I smile with my mouth but can't with my eyes. I say what I think I should because I'm too scared to even think about how I really feel. Everything seems so shallow and pointless. I try to listen to others news and be glad for them but it's hard because I don't care. That's not a nice thing to realise but I don't care. I don't care about their daughter's wedding or who's bought a new house. The only emotion I can connect with right now is sadness. I'm finding it hard to put how I feel into words. I guess I feel empty, I feel pointless. I don't feel strong enough to try again and yet I can't imagine not trying. To accept that this is it. It was all for nothing.

With each loss, a little bit of my spirit is gone. The first two only took my innocence, they made me realise that bad things could happen, and did happen and could happen again. They made me more weary and afraid of life in general. The biggest loss scarred me like I didn't know was possible. I wanted to stop feeling such intense emotions that I really contemplated unwise choices. I experienced depression for the first time and it wasn't pretty. The infertility that I then experienced took away the living for the moment. I was always planning and waiting, waiting to ovulate, waiting to test and trying to eat well, live well, avoid toxins, give my body the best chance possible and then still having to cope with disappointment after disappointment. The loss of hope.

That's the awful part. I'm not really sure what effect the loss of this pregnancy will have in the future, but, from experience, I do know it will take its toll At the moment I am just trying to get through. My heart is heavy, my hope has gone, I feel less like my old self than ever. And the process has only just started, it's scaring me.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Being A Bit More Honest

I have realised that I am repeating old patterns. I am shutting myself off from everyone, and now even my Blog. I think if I can't be a little upbeat or positive then I just run away from everyone. This is not a great reaction in real life but I reckon it is even worse here. This is supposed to be a journal of my journey and I'm avoiding writing because I've nothing jolly to say. So I will write how I feel, for me, for the future.

It has been a long week. My hormones seemed to hit rock bottom at the end of last week. I saw my GP on Monday and she is the best. She had phoned me at home when the report came in from the EPU because she was so upset for us. Unfortunately we have moved house and I hadn't updated my details but I really, really appreciated her taking time to do that. She kept saying, 'I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry.' and she was so kind I started to cry, I mean really cry, could barely catch my breath crying. I just don't cry in front of strangers but I couldn't stop. She let me cry and I know that the appointments are only meant to be ten minutes long, she must have run behind for the rest of the morning after that. She doesn't have the answers, but she cares and that means a lot. She asked if I wanted signed off work but I'm off until Monday anyway. I said I'd rather go back then. She told me to give myself time and to go off if it was all too much. Its only a job.

Monday was the last of the really terrible crying. My husband was so worried about me over the weekend that he went to work on Monday morning, sorted his week out, and came home again at lunchtime having arranged to take the rest of the week off. I know this isn't convenient for him. He said he doesn't know what to do or how to help but his place was with me, not at work. I so love that man.

That brings me to the point of this post. The running away. I don't want to see anyone right now except my husband. I am absolutely dreading having to chat politely with my colleagues on Monday, of course the opening sentence, again and again, will be, "Did you have a good summer?" Sigh.

My mother is worried about me, I know she is but I just can't speak to her. It doesn't make me feel good about myself. I let the phone go to voicemail mostly. Every so often I'll answer and she'll ask how I am. I just say, "fine, and you." I'm shutting her out. Completely. This happened last time too. This is not her fault but she just doesn't understand how I feel. She hurt my feelings terribly last time and I'm not letting her close enough to do it again.
I've spoken to some friends but, again, I won't talk about how I feel, or even what's happened this time with most of them. I've not been open with any of them about IF. They all know of the big miscarriage but I just can't seem to let people in. My counsellor called it inappropriate pride, I have thought about that often this last 10 days. I agree with her but she never did help me sort it out. I'm still full of 'inappropriate pride' it would seem.

So how am I feeling? Shattered, defeated, a failure, sorry for my self, angry - so angry, unable to think ahead, unable to live for the moment, sad just plain sad. I don't want to feel this way, I don't want to dwell. I don't want to mope. I certainly don't want to go down the same road I travelled last time.

I'm trying to have a word with myself but it would seem I'm not listening. So my lovely ladies, the ones who do get it, the ones who have coped, what do I do? How do I sort myself out? How do you get back on your feet, ready to fight again?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Where Am I Now?

I don't really know where I am but I do know it is very black and I don't like it. I thought I was doing OK but I'm not.

I keep going over and over the day of the procedure, like I have to relive each event. Not healthy I think? I'm going to write the main parts down. It'll be lengthy so feel free to skip.

I was admitted to the EPU, which is a room at the end of the maternity ward, at 8am and told theatre would be at 11.00. Then I saw no one else for hours until a nurse arrived with some tablets (the vaginal pessary) to soften the cervix and laughingly said, "These are for you but you're not getting them in your mouth!" and she was so jolly, like she had just cracked the best of jokes. I realise I may not have been in the best of moods but I found it totally inappropriate. She then sat on my bed and said nothing more as I stared at her. I was still dressed and she didn't give me a gown or tell me what to do. I didn't want to just strip to the waist in front of my husband and her and hop up on the bed, I've never been asked to undress in front of people like that before. I've always been given some privacy and a sheet or something to cover up before they come back into the room. I've little enough dignity left without this. So it was very awkward. 'It's just like a vaginal exam," she said. I asked for some privacy and she seemed quite put out. When she did administer the pessaries she seemed to think my cervix was just below my ribcage. I'm not sure that she is used to this job?

After that the rest was fairly straight forward. Each midwife/doctor/anaesthetist was really nice in themselves. They all seemed quite caring people however no one seemed to know what anyone else had said and so each had some variation in instructions. It was like there was a procedure missing. Just a bed at the top of the ward to be dealt with with no one really knowing what their role was. A different face each time. The procedure was explained and I was told, by the anaesthetist, I'd wake up comfortable with no pain but may have some cramping later. My husband was allowed to come down to the theatre prep place with me and stay till they knocked me out. I really appreciated that.

I didn't get taken down to theatre until about 1.30. I'm not sure why but I suppose these things happen. The theatre tech even apologised for my wait.

The next thing I was aware of was waking up, and what a shock it was. I was in loads of pain and I was howling. I must have been crying before I was aware of being awake because my face was wet with tears, It was all really scary. I hadn't any pain like this last time and remembered waking up quite sleepily. This was a complete contrast. I seemed to go from asleep to hysterical in a heartbeat. I can't really explain it but I wouldn't want to do it again. They gave me painkillers in the recovery room but they took a while to kick in. Even as I was wheeled back to the ward I was barely aware of anything but my cramping. It was a different anaesthetist to the one who had promised me no pain, perhaps due to the delay, I'm not sure if that would make a difference.

The midwife on the ward got the doctor to give me another painkiller, a purple one, much better, I always did like purple and after 20 mins or so it all died down to a bad period like cramp. As i was feeling less distressed I became aware of my bottom lip. It seems my lip must have between the air tube and my teeth. It was all swollen like I'd been punched and it was tingly as if I'd been to the dentist. Its still a bit swollen now and all cut inside. Its still a bit tingly too but at least I can drink tea without it running down my chin now. I guess these things happen too but no one was all that interested or able to explain why. The midwife said that maybe I'd bitten it and she was sure it'd be fine in a day or two. OK then, I'll just leave looking beaten up, no problem.

Later in the afternoonI asked when I could leave but then they discovered my drip hadn't been dripping. The valve was blocked and my blood was going up the tube rather than the stuff coming down, so I had to stay until this was sorted and then I had to have something to eat.
I finally left at 7.45pm with a bottle of painkillers. Physically all sorted I suppose, emotionally in bits.

I'm finding it more difficult than I thought. I just seem to swing from anger to distress and back. I really don't know how to move on. I feel as if I'm on my own now. The health care service has patched me up but there is no focus on how you feel. None at all.

I phoned my midwife this morning to cancel my appointment tomorrow she said she had heard from the EPU so she knew I wasn't coming but thanks for ringing. She then asked if this meant another trip (another trip!) to the Assisted Conception Unit (what to 'pick up' another pregnancy?) I said I just didn't know what I was going to do. I hoped she would speak to me but she just said that she hoped to see me sometime in the future. This got me really upset and I cried for ages when I got off the phone. There isn't any support.

I see my GP on Monday and I love her, she's so empathetic, but really, what can she say? What can anyone say? I don't know what to say myself, I just walk round and hear myself sighing.

I'm hoping this is all the hormone crash. I keep telling myself I've been through worse, I'll get through this too. It is probably true, I will, but I can't tell you how much I wish I didn't have to.

Friday, August 03, 2007

That Will Be That Then.

Firstly, thank you all so so much for your kind and thoughtful comments. Really. Thank you.

Final scan today at the early pregnancy unit, of course nothing had changed so I'm booked in for an ERPC on Monday.

I'm doing ok right now. Not sure how I'll feel when the hormones crash.

My husband is not so good. His best friend's partner had a little boy on Sunday. It has hit him quite hard this time. We went to see the baby last night and Mr L held him, I've NEVER seen him hold a baby before. He said it was the first time he's thought of a baby as a person, like a mini G. He spoke of how proud his friend is and how badly he really wants to be a dad. It isn't like him to be so emotional. I'm finding that hard.

He also keeps saying how we'll try again, straight away. How we can go straight to IVF. I felt like this after my other losses but I don't feel the same this time. I just don't want any of it. I don't want to try and I don't want IVF. I don't think I can go through this process again. Its too hard.

Anyway, I'm going to try not to make any decisions right now, it isn't necessary at the moment.

So ERPC on Monday, after that........well, we'll just wait and see.