Tag Archives: miscarriage

Onwards and Upwards

I agonised about whether or not to go back to the EPU today for the follow up appointment. There was a part of me that didn’t think there was much point, they were only going to tell me what I already knew, but I also had a lot of questions, so in the end after a lot of internal argument I decided to go.

I’m actually really glad that I did.

They did a repeat urine test (negative) and another scan (also negative) and then another beta hcg test (just got the result and it was 2), but I got a chance to have a good chat with the doctor about it and get the answers that I needed.

He believes it was an ectopic pregnancy that resolved itself. I also asked about the bleeding. I’ve been sitting here for the past week or so waiting for a period like bleed and worrying that if that didn’t come I’d need some sort of treatment to bring it on. The doctor told me that I may not necessarily have a bleed like that, the spotting I had probably passed the majority of the tissue and if I didn’t have a full on period like bleed it wasn’t something to worry about.   He said that the fact that I’m still breastfeeding may be suppressing it, and he also told me I could have some more spotting for a few weeks but I can largely consider this done and dusted (and on a side note the doctor looked like my husband’s best friend’s long lost twin – which was oddly reassuring in itself).

I felt so positive leaving there today, which was in itself a slightly weird feeling. I’ve been agonising about putting this all beyond me and getting on with things but now I feel that I can. So I’m really glad that I went and now I can move on.

I guess that’s why they call it fiction….

My older sister is a novelist. Her fifth book has just been released and I picked up my copy of it last week, and twice I had to hurl it against wall. It’s not that it isn’t a good book, it just features a unplanned pregnancy/threatened miscarriage subplot and I’m not in a place to read it.

I guess it annoyed me more than anything because of the fairly unrealistic portrayal of how these things go down. My sister knows better, she held my hand in the hospital through my first miscarriage, she had a threatened miscarriage in her last pregnancy. I guess maybe people don’t want to read about the details. Her character wakes up bleeding, goes to the hospital, has an abdominal ultrasound (she’s supposed to be about 5 weeks gone) and instantly sees a little wriggling (admittedly described as “shrimp like”) baby with a fluttering heart beat. Sorry that doesn’t happen at five weeks. At five weeks you undergo the indignity of them pulling out a dildo like probe, rolling a condom over it, topping it with conducting gel and inserting it in your holiest of holies for an internal scan. If you are very lucky you might see a gestational sac, if you’re extremely luck you might see yoke sac or fetal pole. At six to seven weeks you might see something like this


That’s an early scan I had with my son at almost seven weeks, he’s the little peanut on the right and that’s his yoke sac hanging out with him on the left.

I’m just a stickler for details. Maybe this is why I’m not a writer because it would interrupt the narrative flow to bang on about beta hcg counts and the intricacies of procedure at the EPU.

I’m not annoyed with my sister for being inaccurate, the media in general annoys the crap out of me with it’s portrayals of trying to conceive, pregnancy and birth. I can’t think of a single thing I’ve read or watched where they have really got it right. I’m thinking of Charlotte on Sex and The City waving around a thermometer in the afternoon and declaring “I’m ovulating now!”, I’m thinking of Juno knocking back gallons of orange juice so she can pee on another test, I’m thinking of every tv show or movie ever (except maybe Friends where at least Rachael was in labour for a convincing amount of time) where labour starts with someone’s water breaking and two seconds later they’re screaming in agony and delivering the baby before the ad break. But I guess all that stuff is dramatic, and people want drama, not all of an episode spent with someone dehydrating themselves and holding in their pee for as long as possible before posting a long message (possibly with photos) to discuss the quantity and quality of their cervical mucus.

And to be honest an awful lot of documentaries about child birth annoy the crap out of me too, especially Portland Babies and a lot of the America shows where no one seems to go without an epidural, an induction, an instrumental delivery or a Caesarian, and every single person seems to spend their entire labour on their back! It gives me the rage.

Thank god for the internet eh? at least everything you read on here is entirely accurate…… 😉

Oh for a Day of Evil (not as sinister as it sounds)

When I was a teenager and having a crisis, or friend was having a crisis, we would “invoke a day of evil.” Basically this meant bunking off college and chain smoking cigarettes and eating our own body weight in pickled onion flavour corn snacks and chocolate buttons.  Saying we were invoking a day of evil was just code to get past any sharp-eared parent who would simply dismiss the phrase as the general bollocks that teenagers ramble about. We would take ourselves to the park opposite my house and perch on benches talking our dramas out until we got cold and the cigarettes ran out. It was a way to take a break from the world, from what we thought were our responsibilities, a time to be utterly self indulgent.

Times have changed. Few of my friends live here any more, we’ve scattered to London and Brighton and Canada. I’m still here, as is my best friend, but she has her job and her daughter and her further education course and I have my kids. It’s hard to get time to brush my teeth never mind spend a whole day bitching.

I long for it though.

I know this is temporary but right now I feel so depressed. I’m only getting out of bed in the morning because I have to. I’m only getting dressed because I have to. I’m only speaking to people and walking around and cooking and cleaning because I absolutely have to. What I want to do is sit with a blanket over my head and not face the world. I want to run away and not have to deal with the demands of several other people for just a little while.

Maybe this is the heart of what being a mother is all about, putting yourself firmly at the bottom of a long list of priorities and accepting that when you’re falling apart… well you just can’t fall apart, there’s no one to look after you because you need to look after them.

I’ve barely had a moment to stop and process what is going on, there’s always something to be done, and there’s no point and saying damn it and leaving it there because I’ll only have to do it later along with a pile of other stuff. I’m feeling so sorry for myself right now. I want to have a huge grade A tantrum, show the toddlers how it’s done, and scream it’s not fair!

I haven’t just lost a baby, right now I’ve lost my sense of purpose and direction, along with my sense of humour. I’m not pregnant, but I’m still waiting for the actual miscarriage to happen.

I want a little day of evil to myself, but I don’t have the means to make it happen. I don’t have the babysitters or the money or even the people for company. I have nowhere to go.

So I guess I’ll follow the advice of the great philosopher Dory and just keep swimming, and hope I come out the other side.



That’s All Folks…

I had some more bleeding so got a repeat blood test. Just got the result and the levels have fallen to 97, so I guess that’s it.

Right now I’m fighting back being upset. Right now I’m just so frigging angry that I have spent the past week eating like a pig from the stress of it all and have probably put on about 7lbs.

How weird is that reaction? I don’t have a baby and no I’m fat for no good reason.

I know the real emotion is bubbling away there under the surface and there will be tears before bed time.

Right now I wish this had just happened a fricking week ago.

Life really sucks sometimes.

Not Great Frankly

I called the gynae ward last night and got the blood test results. The nurse I spoke to on the phone was really lovely, actually everyone I spoke to yesterday was really lovely. It was a huge change from the last time I went through this and I was treated like at best a fantasist and at worst a downright liar.

The beta HCG count was 40. The nurse asked me if they’ve told me what they thought was happening when I’d been with the doctors earlier. I said to her the way they had worded it was either I wasn’t pregnant or it was too early, but personally I thought it was a pregnancy that just wasn’t progressing. She said they still want me to come back on Saturday for the repeat blood test and she was very sorry this was happening. That was a lovely thing to hear, a bit of sympathy and some acknowledgement  that I was going through something. I thanked her before hanging up the phone.

I spent some time then googling HCG levels and HCG calculators. The average HCG level at 19DPO is (apparently, I’m not going to vouch for absolute truth of this) 303 mIU/ml, with a typical range of 111-514 mIU/ml. At 40 I am well below that. My understanding is that the sensitivity of the digital tests is 50 mIU/ml, so if I was getting a positive with them on Sunday, my HCG should be around the 200 mark at least.

I really don’t want to go back for the repeat on Saturday but I understand why I have to. I just don’t want to make the call to get the results.

To add insult to injury the spotting has stopped again as well. If this is going to end, if this has ended, I just want it over with as soon as possible.

I’m feeling this so much more acutely than the last time, maybe because I waited so long for this and I wanted it so badly. I was so happy on Sunday. This was the first pregnancy that I faced without the slightest bit of trepidation or nerves or intimidation at what adding a new baby to our brood would mean, and it just sucks to have it all taken away.

Arse Biscuits

That’s a polite way of saying it hasn’t been a very good day. You may think it’s not that polite, but believe me, it’s way more polite than the string of expletives that I want write.

Actually it’s been such a bad day I feel I am fully justified in quoting Stephen Fry’s “The Liar” –

damn, shit, bollocks and buggery fuck.”

I was trying with the PMA, I really was. I ordered jelly rolls to start making a cot quilt, I started knitting a blanket (no mean feat because I have minimal knitting skills), I even wrote PMA in huge letters on our family notice board to remind me to stop being such a merchant of doom.

Last night I started spotting. I assumed the worst and cried myself to sleep. I had nightmares, woke up, did another test. It was positive, darker than they had been but still not as dark as the control line, and the spotting seemed to have stopped.

I relaxed a bit, went back to bed, slept (badly) and woke up in the morning again to more spotting, now with added cramping.

I had an appointment to see my GP so I went along and had a chat with her.  She phoned the gynae ward at our local hospital and they agreed to see me this afternoon.

The spotting continued.

When I got to the gynae ward they did an internal ultrasound scan and found nothing. That’s not so bad in itself, I’m 4+4 or 4+5 at the most, I think I would have been very lucky to even see a gestational sac. They repeated the urine test and it was a faint positive. My heart just sank at that, at 19 DPO I should be having blaring positives. I should have been having blaring positives for days. They decided to order a beta HCG test and now I’m sitting here waiting for the result, depending on what it is I have to return on Saturday for another blood test.

I’m not feeling terribly optimistic.

Right now I’m in a sort of calm, resigned place. I don’t know if this is the right place to be. I don’t know if I should be doggedly hopeful in the face of this, but if I get my hopes up will it be all the worse if they come crashing down around my ears?

I hate the thought of starting over. I hate to think of all the extra worry I’ll face.

I know one hcg count in itself means very little, it’s the doubling time that’s important, but I dread calling tonight.