Sunday, 8 August 2010

The definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing, over and over again, and expecting different results.

I have been pregnant 6 times. Possibly 7. Maybe 9 if you count the times I never got as far as testing but with hindsight, things are pretty obvious. I have one child. A fabulous child. A child who has saved me from the worst of myself and placed a buffer around my heart so nothing will ever hurt me deeply again. Not even pregnancy loss. Which is lucky as I am currently 7 (or 5) weeks pregnant and waiting for another scan at the EPU to see if my 7 (or 5) week sac has a heartbeat or if this is miscarriage #5. Or possibly #6 if the current theory of miscarrying a twin earlier 3 weeks ago turns out to be the case.

My current experience of pregnancy is this: Get a positive test. Have a bleed. Go for a scan/ HCG test. Then either HCG test falling, you’re out of the game (we’re so sorry) OR scan inconclusive, collect £200 and progress to scan #2. Then heavier bleed. Possibly with clots the size of badgers. Scan #2- sorry, it was a complete miscarriage, you’re out of the game (we’re so sorry) OR sac is growing, still inconclusive, collect a further £200 and progress to scan #3. Have the odd bit of spotting. Keep self in a state of cat like readiness. Scan #3- OMG heartbeat! Collect your last £200 and progress to the 12 week scan with all of the normal people.

There was the odd diversion from the script last time which included a hospital admission for a suspected ectopic at around the 4 week mark which came before Scan#1. That was fun.

We started trying for a baby in September 2005. We gave up smoking. I miscarried in October (very early and confirmed by the GP). Then it took us a further 11 months to conceive again, and I miscarried in Holy Week 2007 (confirmed by HCG test at the shittiest and most uncaring EPU I have ever encountered- shame on you Morriston Hospital). I was referred for fertility investigation by my GP and had the basic tests. We picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and I took a new job. 2 weeks before I started that job (in August 2007) I miscarried again, though this time I was seen by the amazing EPU at Russell’s Hall Hospital. I actually broke down because they were so nice. I was referred to a consultant who recommended aspirin. So I started taking low dose aspirin (though too high a dose actually, but that’s another story for another day and will include a rant against pharmacists). In December 2007 I found out I was pregnant (but bleeding) and found myself in A&E preparing myself for another miscarriage. I had 4 scans in the first trimester and- miracle of miracles- he stuck. Infact, he stuck so well he had to pulled out of me via the sunroof by a Surgeon stood on a chair after a 30 hour labour and 2 hours of pushing. On Sept 5th 2008- 3 years since we started trying- I finally became a Mother.

It took a long time to think about trying for another baby- I was emotionally scarred by both the previous miscarriages and my experience of pregnancy and birth (a 9 month battle with my body to stay pregnant followed by the little sodface not wanting to come out and a hell of a bleed in surgery). Also, parenthood drastically changed the dynamics in our relationship and we wobbled. Oh, how we wobbled. It was only when we back to actually liking each other again that we started to think about #2. We decided when Small Roar was around 15 months that we’d give it a go. We took the new year as the starting point, and I started taking aspirin again. I had experienced 2 very painful ovarian cysts in the 15 months since giving birth and was convinced the scarring would harm my already fragile fertility. I conceived on our first time trying. That was the pregnancy of hospital stays, suspected ectopics and eventually waking up to a scene from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was the most physically difficult (and shocking) of all my miscarriages. But it wasn’t the most emotionally difficult, because I had Small Roar. It also caused me to pose the question: if this is going to keep happening, when do I call time on trying for another baby, for the sake of my family? It’s only a matter of time before Small realises what is going on. DrRoar is hurting too.

Despite these fears, I got straight back on the metaphorical horse. Again we conceived straight away, and I find myself sat again at the scan#1 is inconclusive stage wondering what the hell will happen next. I am not too hopeful- my dates are 2 weeks ahead of the actual size of the sac. I have some more bleeding (I have been bleeding off and on for 6 weeks). I have some pain. The nausea is gone. When do I give up?

I just needed to say these things, and I am far more eloquent on paper than in person. I have some big decisions ahead of me. The craziest and most terrifying fact is that for all the pain, physical trauma and heartbreak I have been through, I would go through it again a thousand times over if it meant having Small Roar.