Day 7/14 When You Just Want To Cry

standingtall

I’ll explain the giraffe later.

 

You know why I want to cry? In fact, that’s a moot question because I am crying, and I cried a lot yesterday too.

Because I’m so sad and angry about how the last 2.5 years have turned out.

I am wallowing in a great big pool of feeling sorry for myself at the moment, and you know what?

It’s okay.

The future perfect me, the one that I always think of when I am at my lowest point, the one who has all her shit together no matter what’s going on in her life, she tells me that it’s ok. And so it is. It’s completely okay to cry your heart out for losing so many pregnancies. It’s completely okay to feel cheated, angry, bitter, exhausted and numb from the relentless pain. It’s completely okay to cry and cry and cry for catching a too-small-to-be-born baby in the palm of your hand in the midst of a bloody miscarriage.

I had hopes this month, with all the cramps and twinges, it felt hopeful.

But yesterday morning, it all came to a stop. And total radio silence has resumed.

Having been pregnant 10 times (5 of those didn’t even make 72 hours after implantation), I pretty much know that total silence from my uterus means NO PREGNANCY.

And I’ve walked around with such a heavy heart for the last 24 hours.

Because I really know, deep down, that it’s time to stop this. And I knew that at the start of this month, because to be honest, our trying consisted of two very perfunctory BDs and I was relieved when it was done.

So I’m grieving.

Grieving for the unfairness of everything I’ve been through. For the lost dream. For every time I’ve imagined five of us sat around the dinner table. For the fact that despite trying hard, I couldn’t make it happen. I failed.

Me – with my grammar school education and two degrees, my problem solving skills and my excellent grasp of english and maths, with my ability to dig deep and find reserves even when they aren’t there, to manage 36 hours of hard labour with no pain relief, to smile at the midwife when she sewed me up, to keep it together in the face of my mother’s attempted suicide, to cycle 1800km across Europe, to bunji jump off of Victoria Falls in Africa, to win £4000 back in bank charges for my little brother (don’t even ask), and to raise two boys, 21 months apart without a single piece of support or help from anyone other than my husband. Capable me – the person I believed could do anything I put my mind to, no matter what.

I failed to have a third baby.

This hurts me. As much as the loss of my third child does. It’s a broken dream AND a failure on my part.

So I am grieving.

But I don’t have trying in me any more.

I can’t stick to a healthy diet because the anger just keeps bubbling up and sabotaging my efforts – the anger that says other people can eat shit, and drink, and smoke, and still get pregnant, so what’s the deal?

I’m done with trying, and I think, deep down, I can accept that.

I’m going to take a break from this blog, and from all things pregnancy and baby.

I will pop back in a few months (maybe for my 40th birthday in December!) and let you know how I’m doing.

But for now, I need to learn how to be me without all of this.

So, just to reassure you that I am in fact, alright, this is what the next few months, getting back on my feet, are going to be like for me:

standingup

But hopefully next time we speak I will be more like this:

standingtall

Love and light to you all.

The 21st Two Week Wait

I’m 3 days into Yet Another Two Week Wait.

I’m feeling surprisingly good about all this trying and waiting. It’s almost like the coinciding of my last miscarriage with my coeliac diagnosis has wiped the slate clean. I really believe that I am now capable of having a healthy pregnancy, it’s just a case of catching a good egg.

And I know, at 39, I’m pretty damn lucky to be able to repeatedly get pregnant (even if they don’t stick around, ha ha).

So, I’m going to test early in a few days time, because In a weird way I find it more reassuring to catch a brief pregnancy that doesn’t stick than to have a big fat nothing.

Got a good feeling about this month though. A goooooooood feeling!!!

Learning From Failure

Failure.

I hate that word.

Always have.

And recurrent pregnancy loss. That’s like failure too.

So what can we do in the face of failure?

We damn well pick ourselves up, we dust ourselves down and we get out there and bloody well carry on.

THAT has been my opinion my whole life.

But I forgot a step – because there’s something else you have to do in the face of failure, and that is LEARN FROM IT.

Doh!

I forgot that part! So many times! From crappy boyfriend to crappy boyfriend, from bad choice to bad choice, I forgot that you have to take away a LESSON!! Failure is all about a lesson, and at the grand old age of 39 I think I am finally GETTING it.

I fell off my healthy eating plan.

And I feel like crap x 2 because of it:

1. Because now I’ve given my body crappy food to eat when I am trying to grow healthy eggs, and

2. Because actually, eating crap food makes me feel like crap! It does!

Sigh.

On a more moderate note, life conspired a little bit and I just caved. On day 12 (when I was feeling so blo*dy brilliant from how well I’d been eating and exercising), I noticed I was getting little pimples again – since (by the books recommendation that I’d been following), I upped my dairy intake to two servings a day instead of one.

And that got me thinking about the time I went vegan and how, despite the sickness and bloating and pain (from all the gluten I was consuming), my skin was the clearest it’s ever been. And then I thought about the time as a teenager I had a terrible case of cystic acne and finally linked it to the nightly glass of hot milk I’d started having before bed. And then I thought about how I’d f*cked up my healthy-eating-90-day-amazing-eggs plan by not realising that there is something in dairy – even non-cows dairy – that my body doesn’t like.

So once I thought that my diet wasn’t 100% perfect anymore… well, it seemed like I’d wasted all that effort. So then I ate a load of chocolate from the cupboard that my mum had bought for the kids. And then I had a gluten-free pizza for dinner.

And how did I feel?

SICK.

I felt so sick.

I went to bed with a distended stomach and nausea and it was still there in the morning.

I intended to get right back to eating well, but the next day, I got all depressed about some crappy behaviour in my family (my brother not coming to see the boys after 8 MONTHS of being in hospital because he had to buy a PS4 game that day, my Dad skirting the issue of attending DS2’s birthday because he’s probably busy doing something with his girlfriend’s family), and so I had more chocolate.

And I felt sick again.

And yesterday I had a hot chocolate and a few pick and mix sweets.

So all-in-all, it’s not like I’ve gone off the deep end, but I feel so yuk for eating stuff that basically does nothing for my body.

So, I thought it was time to learn some lessons:

  1. Dairy doesn’t like me. Even though I love it. It just doesn’t like me. I don’t have to never eat it, but I should be fully aware that it is crap for my skin.
  2. Sugar really DOES make me feel like sh*t. No matter how much I love the taste, it will never make me feel good other than for the 10 seconds that I am actually eating it.
  3. I have a serious sugar addiction, and really need to face up to trying to moderate my consumption of it.
  4. I really DO feel amazing when I commit to eating really well. Like – really amazing.

So there we go.

I’m about to ovulate and I’ve poured chocolate down my throat.

Hopes for this month?

Still  hoping.

GODAMMIT I JUST WANT TO HAVE A BABY IS THAT REALLY SO BLOODY DIFFICULT?

Pulling Out The Big Guns

arnie

We have made an appointment at a fertility clinic.

Never in a bazillion years did I think I would ever say this. Hell, I don’t even know what on earth they might be able to do for us.

But time is ticking away – it’s been 27 months now. And I’m turning 40 in December. I’ve been trying for a third baby since I was 37 and although I’ve gotten pregnant five times, and said I’m going to stop trying way more than five times, we’re still here, still stuck, still hoping.

So, the date is August the 8th.

We’ll go in, we’ll talk to the consultant, and we’ll see what they say.

I’m kind of hoping that we can just speed things up – it’s not so much GETTING pregnant, it’s STAYING pregnant. But since my coeliac diagnosis, I have this weird feeling that I won’t miscarry any more.

But it could take 6 more months for a natural pregnancy to happen. I am thinking maybe IUI will give us a head start – the best sperm, a better chance. Then it’s up to my body to see if it will hold.

So there we go.

I’m CD5 at the moment, so we’ll fit another try in before we see anyone (and probably another try after that unless they move with lightning speed).

I feel a mixture of relief and trepidation. Relief at finally asking for help.

Trepidation that nothing and no one can help me.

Coeliac Disease, Miscarriage, and Me

Today I went back to the doctors to go over the blood test results from my Coeliac test 20 months ago.

Well.

It turns out that on the four markers they checked, I was out of range for three, but the fourth was normal. The one that was normal was the most important: anti-tissue transglutnase.

I was clinically deficient in calcium and potassium, and I had a very high (way out of normal range) level of serum C reactive protein, which indicates inflammation or infection.

It is commonly accepted in the coeliac community that the antibody test can come back negative if you are IgA deficient, and sometimes even if you are not, and you can still get a positive gut biopsy and be diagnosed as a coeliac.

The doctor that reviewed my results 20 months ago was a stand-in doctor who I saw because my usual doctor was away.

My usual doctor said the following.

  • With those results I should have had a repeat test or further investigation
  • It was, in all likelihood, a false negative, given my low calcium and potassium levels
  • They could do a gut biopsy, but I would have to eat gluten every day for two months beforehand (longer if the NHS waiting list is busy).
  • Essentially, he stated that I am almost certainly coeliac, but if I am reluctant to eat gluten going forward the best thing to do is to stay off gluten for six months and then do a dietary challenge.

I came home and my head is all over the place.

Why didn’t I follow up on these results 20 months ago?

Here are some of the symptoms usually associated with coeliac disease (taken from ceoliac.org.uk) that I have experienced:

  • severe or occasional diarrhoea, excessive wind and/or constipation – YES
  • recurrent stomach pain, cramping or bloating – YES
  • anaemia – YES (childhood and pregnancy)
  • tiredness and/or headaches – YES
  • mouth ulcers – YES
  • depression – YES
  • infertility – YES
  • liver abnormalities – YES (unexplained liver inflammation during illnesses. Tested for hepatitis – all -ve)
  • repeated miscarriages – YES
  • joint and/or bone pain – YES
  • neurological (nerve) problems such as ataxia (poor muscle coordination) and neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet) – YES (neuropathy)

Out of this list it doesn’t take a genius to guess which one of these jumps out at me the most.

Repeated miscarriages

20 months ago, when the stand-in doctor wrote “Normal, no action” on my file, I’d just suffered my third miscarriage.

AT THAT POINT she could have called me back to try to find out why my other results were so out of line.
AT THAT POINT I would have had the energy for a biopsy, for stuffing my face with gluten. I would have done anything for that third baby.

Today, 20 months, and four more unexplained miscarriages later, my fight is all gone.

I refused the gut biopsy today.

I stopped eating gluten 6 days ago and (I write this with tears filling my eyes), my insomnia is better, my eczema has dried up and softened, my stomach is flatter than it’s been in years, and all my pain and bloating and soreness is gone.

Once you start eating gluten-free your intestine starts to repair and a biopsy will be inconclusive. There is no other definitive test.

Six weeks ago I lost a developmentally and chromosomally normal baby boy. A boy! With no explanation. Sad expressions from doctors and nurses, all unable to explain why my body keeps rejecting babies. 46 days on and I am still bleeding.

Would I have gone through this if the doctor had called for the biopsy 20 months ago?

Would I be sitting here now with a baby on my lap?

It’s almost unbearable to think about. A casual dismissal of some of out range results that could have changed the course of my entire life.

But.

Life goes on, if you’re lucky.

And I am lucky.

My doctor’s advice was to stay off gluten for 6 months. Ha. I will never touch it again.

Could I sustain a pregnancy now?

I don’t know if I even care. I remember the nurse on the ward telling me to never give up. That she had her daughter at 43.

But even while she was saying it I think I knew that I didn’t have any more fight left in me for babies. The increasing age gap, the stress of worrying, the stupid trying and stupid waiting and stupid scheduled sex, and my broken heart: held together with scraps of tape after losing so many pregnancies.

I feel beaten.

And for that I am crying today, even though I think I finally have my answer.

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