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Posts Tagged ‘Miscarriage’

Well,  its eventually arrived.  Today is the day our babies should have been born according to the due date calculators and my FS.  I have been dreading this day for over a month now, and yes, I am sad, but I think I’m holding up better than I thought I would.  On the one side I just want to get it over with so that I can hopefully go on with my life, but somehow I don’t think the sadness will be just gone by tomorrow.

I had hoped to have been pregnant again by now…  But I’m not.  Hopefully I will be soon though…

On a different note:  Its International Blog Delurking week.  I know I have a lot more readers than those that comment often – I can see it on my stats, but I don’t know who you are!  I would love to get to know you all, so I’m asking that you comment and tell us a little about yourself!

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Last year was rough. One of the toughest ever, but I think also one of the most memorable. So much happened and although I felt at times that I would not survive it, I did! I don’t want to complain in this post, because you all know by know what my hardships were. Instead I want to marvel at God – how absolutely awsome He is and what He did for us.

When I think back to the beginning of the year I couldn’t wait to get my hysteroscopy over and done with, to remove the polyp and get going with my FET. The operation was really easy and I healed well. I had read up a lot about intralipids and I just had this feeling that the intralipids was what I needed to get pregnant and even though my FS did not believe it would work I was able to convince him that it could not hurt to try it.

In February we went ahead with a natural FET – no medication before hand as the FS explained to me that high levels of oestrogen was causing the polyps. I had a perfect follicle and lining and I was triggered when the follicle was big enough. I had 9 embryo’s left from my previous IVF. With my previous IVF they transferred three 8 cell embryo’s on day 3 and the rest were all frozen. There were 2 more 8 cell embryo’s frozen, some 6 cells, some 4 cells and even a 2 cell. I knew not all were good enough, but I had hoped that I would at least be able to do 2 FET’s. On ET day I was told only 2 survived the thaw out of the 9. Those 2 were only 3 cells each and bad quality – the worst quality they rate at my clinic. So it was no surprise that even though I had the intralipids for the first time I didn’t get pregnant. Intralipids cannot fix bad quality embryo’s. It was still a shock and a big disappointment to me to get the news of a BFN only a few days before my birthday. The interesting thing was that this time my beta was 2. Previously I always got a beta of <5 on the report. I don’t know whether it meant something or not, it was still a BFN, but it was certainly the first time that I knew some HCG was in my body.

I went to see my FS about 2 weeks later and he suggested that we do a mini IVF. For 3 reasons: 1. He didn’t want to give me too strong medication as it could cause another polyp, 2. I stimmed well, I made 14 eggs with both previous IVF’s which my FS found that to be too much anyway, and 3. My embryo’s did not do well with the freezing and thawing process and that was another reason not to get too many embryo’s. Initially we said the FET’s would be our last chance, but when the FS suggested the mini IVF, and the costs were quite a bit less than a normal IVF, we decided to make a plan and go ahead with it.

I started writing in the beginning of the year, but I was not comfortable to share it with anyone. It did not come easy, but I managed to write down some stuff that was incredibly hard to admit to myself let alone anyone else. Some time in March I felt compelled to start this blog, but the writing style and topics were so different to what I wrote about previously. This time it was not hard to write at all. It came easy and I loved it. I think most of it did not come from me, but was inspired by the Holy Spirit, because every time I try to write something about other stuff, it’s hard again, and just does not seem to work…

At first when I got my BFP I found it strange to have battled infertility for 10.5 years and suddenly only a month after I started my blog I’m pregnant. How’s that for timing? I cannot believe that it was coincidence. Another thing that I realized much later was that just after I started my blog, Shumi started to get sick. I just didn’t realize it at the time. In the first week of April Shumi started to get nosebleeds, not a lot and not too often, but enough for me to take him to the vet. I remember this as it was around his birthday which is the 5th of April. The vet mentioned that it could be cancer, but I refused to even entertain the thought. The bleeding stopped after the visit to the vet and I didn’t think about it again until a few months later. My mom had also just stopped her radiation treatment and we were all hopeful that she was completely healed.

Our pregnancy was off course the highlight of the year – something that was just a dream come true and a absolute miracle to us. I cannot tell you in words the joy we felt in knowing that eventually I was pregnant. The thought of miscarriage did not even cross my mind. I always thought that God would protect me from miscarriage – we battled so long to get pregnant, I just assumed that everything would go well afterwards, that we deserved a problem free pregnancy. Or in the least that God would not take away the miracle that He gave us in the first place. I was so wrong in my thinking!

But I did miscarry and shortly afterwards Shumi got sick again and was diagnosed with cancer, my mom found out she had to go for Chemo therapy, because the PET scan was inconclusive and they could not say whether she had cancer or not, so it was best to be cautious and treat her for cancer…

That was when I felt the bottom had dropped out completely. I had lost our miracle baby and the closest thing to a child of our own was our beloved dog Shumi, who was terminally ill, and more than 1 vet told us there is nothing they can do for him, and all of that together with my mom’s illness was just about too much to handle. I felt like I was going to lose my mind, and I had so many questions regarding why this was happening to us. One day I read an article in the “Joy” magazine about Jo.hn G La.ke Mini.stries after I begged God to give me answers to all my questions. That led me to listen to their course “The Di.vine Hea.ling Tech.nician” and that opened my eyes to a whole different side of God, and Jesus Christ and my view on Christianity. God also led me to some other resources that confirmed what I learnt there, and if you look back to my previous posts you will see that I mention them all.

So many of the things I believed were proven wrong. I learnt that God does not cause or even allow illness, or infertility or miscarriages. I learnt that the person to blame was the devil, not God. I learnt that I was doing a lot of stuff wrong and that my wrong actions allowed these bad things to happen. I learnt to trust God completely, and to stop trusting in myself, medicine and doctors. I’m not saying it’s wrong to trust in medicine or doctors, but that in certain instances they will still fail you, and then there is nothing else you can trust in but God, and that was what I had to do. I had to learn to be patient, to be at peace, to stop worrying and find rest with God. I learnt there is power in the Word of God, and the words we speak and the thoughts we think. If those words or thoughts are negative, then it will influence your life negatively, and if you are positive it will influence your life positively. I learnt to see and appreciate the small miracles from day to day. I learnt to accept and receive God’s blessings and love, to stay close to Him and let Him comfort me. I learnt to start expecting good things to happen, and not to get discouraged when they don’t happen as quickly as I would like it to happen. I learnt to be obedient to God and do what He requires from me.

I was really impatient in the beginning when I learnt about God’s healing power – I wanted instant healing, like you read about in the Bible, but I learnt that it does not always happen instantly. I believe it works differently for everybody, because we don’t always understand or learn our lessons quickly. When I did not see results quickly I tried to get help from others, but it seems God wanted me to deal with this on my own. I get the idea He wants me to grow and learn from this, and not get anyone else to fix it for me. At the moment we haven’t had a breakthrough yet, but I’m expecting it any day now.

My mom will probably go for another PET scan soon, and I’m hoping that this time there will be no doubt that she is completely healed from her cancer. She still has some IBS symptoms, she was admitted to hospital about a week before Christmas with terrible pain, but it turned out to be the after effects of the barium enema and nothing serious. She tells me she feels better every day.

I’m expecting a pregnancy every month, so far it hasn’t happened, but it also hasn’t discouraged me from hoping that this month will be it. What I have found is that my cycles are getting longer again and my lutual phase is longer, the spotting that I had before AF arrives is getting less again, my CM is becoming more like egg white consistency again and I have no more pain assocated with the adenomyosis like previous months. I can feel the inside of my pelvic area is more sensitive during ovulation, so I’m assuming it’s ovulation pains, which I normally also never feel.

Shumi is much better – he has no more snot, and his eye looks good, but he has had quite a bit of nose bleeds again. There is still some swelling on top of his nose and his nose is still mostly blocked, but he has a lot of energy, he eats well and looks well. It is almost 6 months after the vet said that he will only live a “couple” of months.

So in summary: It was a hard year, with intensely sad moments that I did not know how to cope with or survive at the time, but I have learnt and grown so much and God has been such a rock for me to lean on. I have felt His intense love for me, I realised that He hurts just as much as we do in the difficult moments, and that He just wants all that is good for us.   So I cannot say that 2010 was just a bad year – it was also a good year! But I’m not so brave to say that I would do it again though!

Psalm 50:14-15(NIV): 14 Sacrifice thank- offerings to God, fulfil your vows to the Most High, 15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me.”

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I cannot help to think about what could have happened or what should have happened.  I’m talking about my pregnancy.  The due date (6 January 2011) is getting closer and closer and if I think about the fact that my pregnancy started out as a twin pregnancy, it just makes me realize that I would most probably not have carried them to full term, so I could have been very close to having those babies by now, should things have worked out differently.   I worked out yesterday that I was supposed to have been 35 weeks by now. 

Last year we went to visit my mom in hospital on Christmas day.  We first went to church and then we picked up my dad and went through to the hospital which was quite far from where we live.  My mom had her hysterectomy on the 23rd of December and she was the only patient in ICU at that stage.  It was incredibly quiet in the hospital, as it is a hospital that has mostly Gynaecologist’s and Obstetricians practising from there.  The only other people we could see were some new mom’s and dad’s leaving the hospital with their newly born little babies.   When I looked up how far I was supposed to be I saw that 38 weeks would have been on 23 December this year.  It is the same date my mom had her hysterectomy – emergency hysterectomy because she had cancer.  Her doctor did not want to take a chance on waiting until after Christmas or New Year; it had to be done immediately…

Now that we are getting close to Christmas I keep thinking about all this.  About how we could have had Christmas babies, but we are not having them.  How our family could have visited me in hospital with our babies this year on Christmas, or even better yet, we might have been home already!  And it makes me incredibly sad and angry!  I have moments where I just want to burst out in tears, most of the time at the most inappropriate moments, like social gatherings and in church, etc.  I am so angry at the devil for stealing and killing my miracle babies! He had no right to do that!

Christmas has been hard for me for so many years now.  I actually cannot remember when last I looked forward to it.  It’s been a stressful time for so long.  Firstly the issue of who do we celebrate Christmas with:  my parents or DH’s parents.  I know they love us and want us to spend the day with them, but what do you do when both want to see you at the same time? Try to divide it up as fairly as possible – but it is not always possible and not always seen as such by everyone!  It’s complicated by the fact that we have 1 brother and 2 sisters between us.  They also have to divide their time between their families and their in-laws and sometimes it doesn’t always work out that they can spend Christmas with our parents at the same time as we can. 

Then there are the presents – who do you buy for and who don’t you buy for?  Some people don’t buy presents for others.  Others put a lot of effort in to get us really nice presents. So I just buy for everyone, because I cannot buy something for some and not for others.  Even though it is quite expensive to buy for so many people, and because of that I really spend a lot of time trying to get nice presents at affordable prices, without it looking cheap… 

The last aspect and by far the hardest part are the children.  Christmas is the favourite holiday for children and they look so forward to it and opening up all the presents!  And every single time when it is time to open up the presents I think of how nice it would be to see our own children’s expectant faces!  This year is going to be the 12th Christmas where I will long for that! 

And then I start to think of the meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it and I realize that it’s not fair to Jesus that I dread it so much!  God sent his Son to earth, as a helpless little baby.  Jesus gave up His place in Heaven, His Godliness, to be born as a little baby, not as the son of a king or someone important but as the adopted son of a poor carpenter.  He was not born in a hospital or a nice house or palace, but in a stable and put in a manger, a trough that farm animals eat out of. 

And He did all that for me!  So I have decided that although it is difficult, although it is painful, I must be grateful and at least try my best to enjoy and appreciate Christmas this year.  Not to dread Christmas although it has the potential to be the most difficult yet.  And I have decided that this Christmas the presents will reflect the spirit of Christmas – it will be about Jesus, everyone will get something that will remind them of what Christmas is all about.  I don’t  want it to be about the commercial aspect of it, the Santa Claus image, the wanting of as many nice gifts as possible, but about Jesus’ sacrifice that He made for each of us.  About how much Jesus loves each of us, or rather each of them, every member of our family.  I think not all will appreciate their gifts, because not everybody is a born again Christian, but I hope and pray that the Holy Spirit will work in their hearts that they may also give their lives over to Him!  That is especially the reason they are all getting these gifts this Christmas!

Ps.  I am not saying what they are getting, because you never know who reads this post!  It might be one of them!

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101 posts!

I saw after I posted my last post that it was in fact my 100th post. So I think I’ll rather celebrate my 101st post here! Since it’s almost ICLW I’ll also make this my ICLW introduction.  Welcome all new readers!

It’s been almost 6 months of blogging and have those 6 months flown by!  But so much has happened since I started this blog it should not be a surprise!  When I started this blog I was wondering if we should do another IVF, and scared out of my mind that it would result in another BFN. We did go ahead and we got our first BFP ever! I could not believe it at first; I was almost convinced it would never happen. At 7 weeks we had our first scan, and we found out that there was 1 healthy heartbeat and 1 blighted ovum. I was a little sad about losing the one, but a lot more happy about the healthy heartbeat! I focussed on the good news and not the bad news. Almost three weeks later I got the worst news ever – our little precious baby’s heartbeat had stopped beating. Something that I never thought would ever happen to me (how naïve!) I always thought that once I got pregnant that everything would be all right – that it would be the end of the struggle and problems, but not so! I had the D & C at about 10 and a half weeks.

In the mean time my mom also found out that her cancer had returned – her Para aortic lymph nodes were swollen, but because she didn’t trust her oncologist she went for a second and third opinion. It turned out after a PET scan that those lymph nodes were PET positive, which does not mean its a 100% chance of cancer, but most probably it is. Rather than taking chances the new oncologist suggested that she go for chemotherapy. She had had 1 session so far and is getting the second one next week Monday. She took the first chemo rather well – the only side effect she had was extreme tiredness, fortunately no nausea or hair falling out or any other symptoms. My mom’s oncologist said that the rest of the treatments will result in the same side effects as the first one, so she should be taking it all rather well. That was such good news for her!

We also found out about a month after our miscarriage that our beloved dog Shumi had a tumour in his nose and the 2 vets we had him at said that there is nothing they can do to treat or cure him. We were also told that he has a few months to live at the most. It was absolutely devastating news to us, especially if you take into account that Shumi is still relatively young at 5 years… Shumi is like a child and we absolutely adore him. I could not accept that I have to lose Shumi too, so in desperation I studied faith healing and even went to a healing service, not just for Shumi, but also for DH, my mom and myself… I am hoping for full healing for all of us…

We also got another puppy (KT), not to replace Shumi, but because I always wanted another puppy after our last one passed away more than 3 years ago already. She is absolutely adorable and I must say she does help to distract me from the worst of the broody feelings. I’m posting some more pictures and another video clip of Shumi and KT:


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The day of our appointment has finally arrived exactly one month after my evacuation D & C.   The FS said that our little baby had Trisomy 13 or Patau syndrome and that is where the foetus had an additional third chromosome 13 and that is caused by nondisjunction of chromosomes during myosis.  In layman’s terms what that means is that the chromosomes did not split properly during myosis (which occurs during maturation of the egg) and that there was an extra chromosome on the pair numbered 13.  The three common occurrences are at the genes numbered 13, 18 and 21 and of those, number 21 is the one where Down’s syndrome originates from and that is also the only one where the foetus is most likely to survive to birth.  It is very rare for a baby with trisomy 13 to survive until birth and should it survive it would be severely handicapped mentally and physically and they do not survive for longer than a year after birth. 

We discussed a plan of action for a new IVF cycle and we can start with one (Femara & Gonal F like IVF # 3) when AF arrives if we want, or we have the option to do a long protocol and do a month of birth control first and the IVF in the cycle after that.  After some discussion of the pros and cons we have decided to do the long protocol with Lucrin and Fostimon (Like IVF # 2).   I have a few reasons for that – the most important being that the cycle we did that way produced better looking embryos on day 3.  The other reasons were that my FS feels that the short protocol is better for poor responders and I’ve never been a poor responder, I’ve read that Femara compromises quality by influencing the myosis process (my FS does not agree but I don’t want to take the chance) and I’ve read that the down regulation of LH with birth control and Lucrin can also help with quality (again my FS is not convinced of that).  We will be doing a lower dose of Fostimon than last time – I was on 225 units but now I will go on 150 units, and hopefully it won’t give me a polyp.  Last time it was reduced halfway through stims to 150 units anyway so I think it will be sufficient.

I don’t have a clue where I am in my cycle and the doctor did a scan – my uterus looks good, no polyp present and it looked like I did ovulate from my one ovary, so the FS said AF can come anytime from now up to 2 weeks from now – I guess I just have to wait patiently…

We discussed PGD – it’s an option that we are seriously considering but the doctor recommended that we only do it if we have at least 3-4 8-cell embryos on day 3.  We spoke to the lady that does the PGD and she is a qualified genetic specialist.  She gave us a lot of information on it, and we found out that if we would have done PGD the trisomy 13 would most probably have been detected.  There is a chance however that the test can come back inconclusive or that the embryo can be damaged.  The other problem is that it will cost an additional R10000 on top of the cost of the IVF, for which we didn’t get a quote on today.  So we will have to see if the budget allows for it.  We have at least 6-8 weeks to decide on it anyway, so no rush…

So the first thing is for AF to arrive, of which there is still no sign of by the way, and then I must start the birth control pills.  DH thinks it’s totally weird for me to go on them when I want to get pregnant, but its better that way as it will also help to regulate my cycle which can still be disrupted from the miscarriage after AF has come on.   It also means IVF will be done in the 3rd cycle after our miscarriage and that’s also a bit safer…

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The unexplained factor:

I’ve been feeling a little guilty about something I’ve written in yesterday’s post as I’m afraid you might misunderstand what I tried to say.  It’s all about this part:  “I must say I’m feeling a bit better about the miscarriage knowing what went wrong…”  It sounds horrible, that the fact that my baby was abnormal makes me feel better, and that just sounds wrong…

Let me try to explain:  Our whole IF journey I have been told that although we have some problems (Endo stage 2, polyps, hostile CM at one stage and not so ideal sperm morphology) that those problems are not severe enough to cause this long wait… According to all the FS’s I’ve seen it should have been relatively easy to get pregnant.  A year ago my own FS said (at the age of 38 I must add) that we should be able to get pregnant naturally, but because it’s taken so long we tried IUI again for 3 more times.  It did not work and we moved on to IVF, and we’ve done 2 fresh cycles and 1 FET since then…  Some of those FS’s have mentioned the words “unexplained IF”…

I can understand that diagnosis as I know of ladies with much more severe problems that have been able to get pregnant rather easily compared to what I’ve been going through.  For example:  I worked with one girl that took 1-2 days off work every month when AF arrived due to her terrible endometriosis.  She was pregnant naturally within 6 months of getting married and has 2 darling little sons at the moment.  Another lady I know had such severe problems (I’m not exactly sure what – I think it was also endo), and her gynae wanted to do a hysterectomy at the age of 23, 6 weeks before her wedding day.  When she came back from honeymoon she was 4 weeks pregnant.  She also did not get any form of fertility treatments, but I know she did go for quite a lot of operations before and after her pregnancies.  The second child took a bit longer, but there is about 3 years difference between them, so I assume she tried at the most for 2 years.  I’m assuming it’s more that 1 year here because she told me once that trying for 1 year is nothing!  That was when I was upset at our 1 year mark, but in all fairness she did not know that we had 3 failed IUI’s already behind us.  Then there are also cases that I’ve read about on the internet – ladies with endo stage 4 that get pregnant with 1-3 IUI’s, other ladies with severe problems that require laparotomies that get  pregnant on their first or second IVF and so on… (I know not all of them get pregnant so easily, I’m just saying the time you battle to get pregnant cannot be directly linked to what is wrong with you…)

So it’s been extremely frustrating to have a doctor tell me that I should get pregnant relatively easily, but it never happened that way.  The doctors could not explain why it was so difficult for us.  In the mean time DH’s sperm apoptosis test was done and we found out that he has a high amount of genetically defective sperm and then we found out that I have adenomyosis as well, but that is still not enough reason for our failure to conceive.  Eventually (after 10 years) it seems that I have autoimmune issues that are killing off our embryo’s in my uterus and with the help of intralipids I eventually got pregnant for the first time…

The point I’m trying to make here is that I’ve heard so many times that the doctors just can’t explain why we have problems that I was sort of expecting the same answer regarding this miscarriage again.  Fortunately it was not the case – we have a clear explanation here, and for once I know that it’s not due to any of the known problems that I have.  The FS has mentioned that it could be due to other problems, like lack of progesterone (tests came back high enough), thyroid problems (my tests have always been normal even though I’ve had a growth on my thyroid) or the auto immune issues (which I was treated for).  Now we know it was not due to any of these things, and although it is not a nice thought that we had a chromosomally abnormal foetus, at least we know what the problem was and we can do something about it in the future…

I still miss being pregnant and I think of our lost little ones every day, but I’m thinking of them in Jesus’ presence and I must admit they are in a much better place than we are…

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The sister phoned me regarding the genetic tests that were done and she said that it revealed aneuploid 13, which is a severe form of chromosomal disorder and that is the reason for my miscarriage.  I guess we will have some more information next week Wednesday when we see our FS and the sister says they have a genetic specialist there and that we can see her as well. We can then decide if we want to do PGD (or whatever genetic tests they offer) with a future IVF or not…

I must say I’m feeling a bit better about the miscarriage knowing what went wrong, and that it happened this way, rather than the other options (I don’t think I would be able to abort a severely handicapped foetus or even cope with having a severely handicapped baby…) Now I know that the miscarriage was not due to any fault with me or my body, and that we must concentrate on getting good euploid (chromosomally normal) embryos next time…

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