You know that plan to wait until 10 weeks for a scan? Yeah well on the day I woke up and my boobs didn’t hurt like they did before, I caved. Despite finding forums full of women saying the exact same thing had happened to them and they’d had healthy babies, I became utterly convinced that I had had a silent, or missed, miscarriage, where the foetus stops growing but you don’t bleed. I spent the morning in tears, suddenly realising quite how much I wanted everything to be ok. Knowing B was right when he told me that getting upset when we didn’t know if there was anything to get upset about was counterproductive. Knowing he was also right when he said that if this doesn’t work out we’re not in any different place than we were in before, and yet still knowing that for all our backup plans, this was the plan I wanted to work.
Because I’m fed up with being members of the clubs that nobody wants to be members of. The sisterhood of women who froze their eggs but didn’t get pregnant from them; the women that, despite the oft quoted “three cycles of IVF”, didn’t get pregnant; the women who went to that clinic that gets EVERYONE pregnant – and didn’t get pregnant; I don’t want to be a member of the miscarriage club too.
And I know how petulant that sounds. And I know we’re not out of options yet. And I feel so lucky to have managed to accidentally get pregnant in the first place, but I really, as much as it makes me cringe, because I hated these stories when I heard them, I just really want to be one of THOSE women: the ones who try for years to get pregnant using all manner of IVF and then whoops, after they just stop trying, poof – it happens, a happy, healthy, miracle baby. That’s the club I want to be a member of. And that morning I couldn’t stand not knowing which one I was in… so I booked a scan, for that afternoon.
And that was when I found out that what should have been a nine week pregnancy looked much more like a six week one. Without a heartbeat. And while they couldn’t say for sure until they scanned me again next week, unless I’ve got my dates really wrong — which I knew I hadn’t, however much I wanted to think otherwise — that’s a missed miscarriage. To be fair, at the midpoint of my hierarchy of shitness so small mercies and all that.
I knew the chances of this working out were infinitesimally small. I knew the odds were stacked against me. When it comes to fertility I have never been on the right side of a statistic. I also know that nothing is any different from what it was two months ago. The agency is — I assume — still looking for a donor for us, that’s our plan, that’s what I’d got my head around and made my peace with. But that’s all logic, and what I’m feeling now is all emotion, and maybe in a few days I won’t feel like this, but right now I’m just really sad, and really tired and really angry.
I’m angry with nature for dangling this carrot in front of me, the prospect of a pregnancy that wasn’t medicalised to the nth degree, that wasn’t going to cost us thousands and require multiple visits to some fertility clinic. I honestly wish it had never happened. I wish I’d never taken that test, although I guess I would have at some point. It’s months since my last period. But I just wish my body had miscarried properly — weeks ago when it happened. I wish I’d been able to put it down to a particularly heavy period and being perimenopausal. I wish I wasn’t facing the prospect of another scan to confirm what I’m fairly sure I already know: that I have to make a decision between “waiting and letting nature take its course”, taking what are effectively abortion pills, or some form of surgery.
I’m so tired of all this. I’m tired of it being such a dominant feature of our relationship. I’m sad it can’t be something we take for granted.
In bed one night when I couldn’t sleep I went through what I’d been through since I was 36…
- 3 cycles of egg freezing
- 1 IVF cycle with defrosted eggs and donor sperm when I didn’t get pregnant.
- 1 dummy IVF cycle so they could check they were doing the transfer on the right day.
- 1 cancelled IVF cycle when the lining of my womb wasn’t thick enough
- 1 cancelled IVF cycle with defrosted eggs and donor sperm when I didn’t get any embryos.
- 1 cancelled IVF cycle with fresh eggs and donor sperm when I didn’t get any embryos.
- 1 IVF cycle with fresh eggs and donor sperm when I got one embryo to freeze.
- 1 IVF cycle with fresh eggs and donor sperm when I didn’t get pregnant.
- 1 frozen embryo transfer cycle when I didn’t get pregnant.
- 1 IVF cycle with fresh eggs and B when I didn’t get pregnant.
- 1 natural pregnancy that’s ended in a missed miscarriage.
It’s a lot. No wonder I’m tired.