‘When you lose a child you lose your future’

A repost from last year:

Interesting article about miscarriage in the Irish Independent newspaper. Fiona McPhilips, who has experienced miscarriage and is the author of Trying To Conceive: The Irish Couple’s Guide has this to say:

“No couple expects to be in for the long haul when they start trying for a baby. It is supposed to be a time of great hope and anticipation, when you plan excitedly for your new lives together. It is true that having a baby changes your life, but not having one changes it so much more.”

“I had known how common miscarriage was (approximately one in four pregnancies), but I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of emotions it would bring. I felt angry, cheated, desolate and so, so sad. Everyone said I could try again, but I wanted that baby, the one that would be born on that due date.

When you lose a child, you lose your future. It doesn’t matter how long your baby has been with you, you feel the gap that their death has left behind. From the moment you know about your baby, you plan their future — your future, together. You work out the due date, pick names, imagine who they will look like. When these hopes and dreams are taken away, it often seems like you are expected to forget you ever had them. I couldn’t forget for one second and I knew that, for me, the only cure for miscarriage was another pregnancy.”

Fiona started a blog originally calling it The Two-Week Wait. “The two-week wait is the time between ovulation and when you can test for pregnancy — that’s how long I expected to be writing the blog for. Well, two weeks came and went, and another, and another and, before I knew it, I had unwittingly documented the slow descent into infertility.” 

I identify with the way in which Fiona dealt with her (dis)stress by writing as it is working for me too. Like Fiona, I wrote on internet message boards after the miscarriage and am writing this blog, and again like Fiona ” I met some wonderful women who listened to my rants and kept me sane..the greatest piece of advice I can give to those battling infertility or recurrent miscarriage is to talk to others in the same boat. ”

“I didn’t know anyone who was infertile, so I could only guess at how hard it might be.  I didn’t have a clue. My guess only extended to the long-term pain a couple might feel about not having a child in their lives. Thanks to television, many people assume that there is a once-off diagnosis that a couple has to deal with, and that they are then free to return to their lives and reshape their future without their much-wanted child. If only it was that easy.”

Much heartache followed Fiona’s miscarriage ” an IUI (intrauterine insemination) yielded success but the baby died at three months gestation. Further IUIs were fruitless, so we moved on to IVF (in-vitro fertilisation). Two IVFs and two further miscarriages later, we were running out of options physically, emotionally and financially. We were lucky enough to conceive naturally twice more, but lost both babies. ” Finally, Fiona conceived a daughter and carried her to term and is overjoyed at this happy ending.

Fiona speaks eloquently of “the cumulative effect of month after month, and year after year, of hope and disappointment….after a while, everything hurts — other people’s bumps and babies, anniversaries of failed cycles and lost babies, and every new birthday, Christmas and Mother’s Day you face with empty arms.”, something I understand and feel only too well.

“There is a huge lack of understanding of infertility in the outside world. It is just not viewed as one of the very bad things in life. A common reaction is, “Why can’t you just be happy with what you’ve got? Focus on all the good things in your life”. When you can’t have a baby, nothing else matters. It is not possible to forget about it, channel your energy elsewhere, take up a hobby. The desire for a child goes beyond the desire for the joy that a child brings — it is a primal, uncontainable urge that overpowers all reason. ”

I will leave the final word to Fiona, words of hope for all you brave women reading this who are experiencing the pain of pregnancy loss and infertility:

“My doctor once said to me, “Brave women are generally rewarded”. There are no guarantees, but it can and does happen — even against the greatest of odds.”


Implantation bleeding?

Ah the trials of TTC! So here I am once again obsessively trawling the web, chat forums, blogs, looking for anything I can find to help me determine what’s going on with my unpredictable reproductive system today.

Having returned last week from a much-needed vacation in the sun, where we took that old well-meaning  advice to heart..go have a holiday, relax and it will happen for you (!) I’ve been hoping against hope that we may have brought a permanent souvenir back with us. My period is due end of this week but this morning I started spotting. So is this the start of an early period or is it possibly implantation bleeding, which according to the material I’ve been reading can occur 6-12 days post ovulation?

Things are further complicated by the fact that I am due to start Gonal F (FSH stimulator) injections this cycle in preparation for IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) treatment. I had been meaning to update the blog with that information but then we went on holiday and I had some thinking to do about how I feel about taking this next step.

I have mixed feelings about it…initially I was excited as I felt at last someone expert is taking our fertility issues in hand. I felt as if a weight had been taken off our shoulders. I was really nervous beforehand, afraid they’d deliver some devastating news.. but all our tests were fine..except that my progesterone levels are low but they can work on that. I wasn’t expecting to start on treatment straight away but the consultant reccommended IUI for our next cycle.

Afterwards  I felt a little overwhelmed – I think I always hoped that we’d get pregnant without intervention, so I am just trying to adjust to this new step now. I am torn between excitement, relief, apprehension and fear. How will I cope with this new rollercoaster of fertility treatment which I know can take its toll on couples? And here I am once more waiting..to determine if this an early period or am I really pregnant?  Will I be starting fertility treatment this week or celebrating a pregnancy? Like I say…the trials of TTC!!!