Church booked…pretty much

After trying to decide between getting married in a Catholic Church and getting married in a Church of Wales church we finally decided to go for the Church of Wales. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to get married in the Catholic church, but I didn’t want to have to argue my case and try to persuade them to let me get married there because I hadn’t attended the church since before Gideon was born. I didn’t want to have to make promises I couldn’t keep about attendance. Basically I decided I DID want to marry in  a Church but the Church of Wales don’t mind that I haven’t attended that church EVER, or that I’m not terribly religious, as long as we live in the Parish. Which we do.

Anyway, the little Church is cute, overlooked by a lovely mountain and really rural looking.

So 7th of July and the day is happening. I can barely believe it after so many years together. And this weekend is wedding dress shopping, well looking, since we are making our own.  But they don’t need to know that!

Also on an interesting note I got a positive ovulation test today – at only day 14. Normally it’s at least day 16. Hopefully that means my body is doing something right, but who knows.

Positive one step OPK

Not bad considering I’m not taking meds this cycle!

But I’m not temping or anything so I wont know for sure when ovulation happens, but my ovary sure does hurt.

Anyway Onwards to wedding planning!

Balloon of Life Day 6 and a Trigger Shot

Today, day 6 of his life, we released a balloon with notes to him inside. It’s very windy so it took off at great speed, and flew away. Luckily we waited until the torrential rain stopped or it may not have worked.

Here are the notes. Mine reads:

To Giddy-Yums, I hope you’re having fun,
In fluffy clouds above,
Written by your mom,
With lots and lots of love,
xx
P.s, is it time for our rainbow?
Huggles xx”

This is John’s Note, it reads

“Dear Giddy Yums,
We miss you so much,
You are my beautiful hugle (sp) boy,
I love you and know you are watching us,
Daddy,”

 And this is the balloon, held by John, ready to send our letters.

On the rainbow front. I got my positive OPK today, and I went ahead and did a trigger shot. A trigger shot is HCG – the pregnancy hormone, it is supposed to help develop the  egg and force all mature follicles to pop. I should ovulate in about 36 hours. I hope this might help the quality of my ovulation and my eggs, and prepare my lining for implantation but I don’t know.

Ovidac 5000 HCG trigger

 

For the next few days I will test positive on a pregnancy test. Sadly, this does not mean I’m pregnant (I wish), but as this is HCG, it will remain in my system for up to 14 days, but probably about 6 days. I tested the last few drops of the HCG left after I injected it on a pregnancy test, as you can see it is positive, and went positive very quickly.

Ovidac test, positive HPT.

 

I could either no test until my period is late, which is unlikely, as this is my first femara cycle, and I foolishly have a tiny bit of hope. Or I can test every morning over the next 2 weeks, so I can see when the shot leaves my system and if the tests then go positive again after implantation – indicating a real pregnancy. So, I’m doing the latter, even though I know it’s going to drive me MAD!! I should see my tests get lighter and then…well, hopefully darker again.

So this month has been femara 5mg cd2-7 and a trigger shot. I can’t afford this very often either.

Oh and when I snapped the amp of the water to mix with the HCG, it exploded and I cut myself. Silly me for not thinking about that!!

I can’t believe it’s on Friday

I knew it was coming, but I honestly find it hard to beleive it’s really happening.

I think somewhere along the way I was expecting a miracle. And I’m not talking about getting my rainbow, but that too, but an actual miracle. A miracle where I would wake up and it would be before pPROM, and my Gideon would still be OK. Or the sort of miracle where I would wake up and Gideon would be alive, that sort of the miracle. The biblical kind of miracle.

I’m sensible enough to realise that those sort of miracles don’t happen to people like me, in the same way Gideon never got the miracle that would have saved his life. But it never stopped me hoping that somehow I would never have to face this day without Gideon in my arms. No mother should have to face their child’s birthday without their baby. No mother should have to visit their child’s grave instead.

I’m still waiting for a miracle here.

Even if it’s a rainbow rather than the biblical kind of miracle.

How long will I have to wait?

A decision…

This month I thought I was pregnant. I had  a two day implantation dip, just like on Gideon’s cycle, I had a big temp rise, the day after, higher than my temperature has been since I was pregnant…and I thought….I actually hoped. I even tested and of course it was negative. Then my temperature dropped big time today and I realised I was stupid to ever hope.

I am crushed beyond belief. So I’ve made a decision, I can’t keep doing this forever, I can’t keep going month after month with a broken heart, believing that it’s going to be my turn soon…well..it’s not. I have 213 days left of my membership to fertility friend, my charting site. When that expires, I’m done.

The NHS has already made it clear they aren’t going to help me, I’m going to pay for a private hycosy to check my tubes but after that I have nothing. And I just can’t keep doing this every month.

I had a lot of friends on fertility friend, a lot of people who I have really got to know and I know I have helped hundreds of people through their losses and their pain. And I will be so sad to go, but I can’t keep going on there everyday watching everyone else get pregnant, and get their rainbows, while I’m no closer at all. I can’t. I saw a woman the other day, with a healthy baby born in July 2011 who is 18 weeks pregnant already.

I can’t keep watching others get pregnant while I get left behind. I just can’t, it breaks my heart. I’m so happy when one of my baby loss mother’s get their bfp, but it also reminds me that I’m a year later and no closer to my rainbow.

I just can’t do it.

So 213 days – 30.4 weeks. BFP or bust. I can’t afford to go private to have IUI’s and IVF’s, I can’t adopt for a long time either. So, I’m going to try and let go of those unrealistic dreams of having a family and make something of my life without children. I’m going to take the next train that comes my way, instead of living my life waiting at a station for a train that’s never going to come. I can’t live my life perpetually waiting.

Let’s see where that train takes me.

Hives, High Temps and Hope

That pretty much explains what’s been happening to me these  past few days. Well since about 2 days after ovulation. I suddenly broke out in an unexpected attack of hives. My first one (or so I thought). Claritin worked wonders for making it go away, but it only came back again, and I looked a mess. Everytime I stop the antihistamines the hives comes back. So currently, I’m on Claritin in the morning and benedryl at night. If I miss a dose this happens, this was about 2 hours after a benedryl dose, which doesn’t really work to get rid of the hives but works great to prevent them. 

I had this all over my body. Very itchy.

This also happens to be almost the antihistamine protocol for IVF’ers with immune issues. Apart from the fact I can’t get hold of pepcid, because it’s a prescription med over here. So, I thought maybe Gideon was trying to give me a hint that I needed antihistamines to help me implant, and I always listen to his signs. So, I’m staying on my antihistamines until the implantation time has passed – around 11dpo. Hopefully my hives wont return.

My temperatures pre-ovulation have been much higher this cycle than most cycles I’ve had. I wonder if it’s to do with my hives? But that of course has meant I have very, very high (for me) post ovulation temperatures. Right now, at 6 days past ovulation, my temperature is higher than it’s  been since I was pregnant. Unfortunately I’m only 6 days past ovulation, so not in the implantation time yet – and therefore not pregnant yet, but I’m hoping these very high temps mean I perhaps either released more than one egg, or a very good egg.

Ovulation was agonizingly painful. I swelled up, I gained 7 pounds in 12 hours, I could barely move. I thought I had OHSS (over stimulation syndrome) and was beginning to worry what I would say to my doctor to explain taking Clomid. Luckily much of the weight dropped by the next day. Not all, I’m still about 5 pounds up from ovulation – 5 pounds in one week.

I am hoping this means a managed to release more than one egg, and that one egg will make it implantation stage. I can feel hope slipping between the cracks of my despair, and I hate it. I want to love hope, but I hate that it will more than likely end with me crying and devastated in another week. Too many days of crying over failed cycles. I try to remember that if I had got pregnant earlier, it would have ended very, very badly. Therefore I shouldn’t  think of the last year of wasted cycles as failed, more as a learning curve, and my Gideon protecting me. This is different, Gideon knows we have a plan now. But I still can’t ignore the pain of 11 cycles behind me.

I did apparently ovulate early this month – cycle day 15! I’ve never ovulated that early in my life, but I’m not 100% certain on my ovulation dates, I seem to have ovulated on the same day as my first positive test, usually it takes 24-48 hours, and my temps really took off at 3 days past ovulation, or cycle day 18, which is normal ovulation dates for me. So I can’t really tell for sure when I ovulated, I’ll only know by my luteal phase length.

So, that’s the fertility update. Also, I’m saving to get a private Hycosy, to check whether my tubes are open or not, since the lovely NHS refuse to help at all. Don’t you know that 3 years down the line from when I started charting to actively ttc, and 1 year before that of ttc with no charting, and probably 7 years of regular unprotected sex, plus one baby I had to bury, isn’t enough reason to help a woman? I began charting in August 2009. It was off and on though because I was completely annovulatory and my cycles were over 90 days each, so frequently I gave up charting. But we’d never used birth control, except right at the beginning, we were 17 when we met and I probably used protection for maybe a year to 18 months, for most of our 11 year relationship there have been no condoms or any other form of birth control. Sometimes we used the withdrawal method if we wanted to avoid any chances, but never once….not ONCE in the 10 years before I got pregnant with Gideon, did I find myself pregnant.

It is that which makes me so very scared. What if my Gideon was just a one off, the only chance, a visit from an angel, and it isn’t going to happen again? Here I am a year of timed intercourse, ovulation every month with regular cycles lasting 28-35 days, and 4 cycles of clomid and not pregnant. It is very worrying. The money I’d need to find to go private for IUI and IVF is extortionate, I don’t have thousands and thousands lying around. I keep telling myself to trust in Gideon, he knows what he’s doing, he must have worked very hard to protect us, and stop us getting pregnant earlier – a hard task since I was on clomid and doing it like rabbits.

I just want my rainbow baby. Anyone have a crystal ball?

Femara

I received my femara today, it came in 2 days! I was very surprised but happy to see it. I have 15 tablets of 2.5mg, I think I’ll start with 5mg days 3-7, next cycle, because I need 100mg of clomid, so I assume I’ll need two tablets of femara too.

I am very eager to start them. Please, please, please be my ticket to a take home baby. I’m ready, I have my plan, I have the cause of my pPROM,

I have coped through a year of grieving and pain, and loneliness and faced all the challenges along the way.

I have kept my kindness, my love, my gentle nature through the worst of times.

I have faltered and fallen, but always climbed back up again.

I have refused to be bitter or cruel.

I have supported others through the same pain.

And I am so HAPPY that I didn’t get pregnant before this. It’s so hard to admit, but I am. I am happy that I didn’t get pregnant months and months ago, otherwise I’d have lost another child. That is too heartbreaking to imagine.

I am so grateful to my little Gideon for looking out for us, for protecting us from living that pain again.

I am so grateful that he came to us, to let us know that my cervix would never hold a pregnancy without help. In doing so, he protected all his siblings. He is my angel.

And now I am ready to face the challenges of pregnancy and what follows, in light of what I know.

I am ready. The time is right.

The rainbow is fighting it’s way through the dark storm. My rainbow, from my little boy.

An answer at last

The appointment went well today.

Dr F is going to do a vaginal cerclage at 10-12 weeks. He feels my cervix is incompetent because it was already open before he even did the hysteroscopy. He doesn’t want to do the TAC because of my weight. Which I understand, but I really wanted that TAC. But instead I’ll do bedrest.

But aside from that, which I already suspected, I also have BV, bacteria vaginosis. This is a bacteria that lives in the vagina in some women. Mostly, it doesn’t cause any issues, unless you also have an incompetent cervix. Because my cervix opened prematurely, the bacteria (entrococcus) was able to bypass the cervix, and infiltrate the amniotic sac, and weakening it. The sac then burst, either because it was funnelling through the cervix, or because of the infection, probably a combination of both.

He said only 1 in 10 women have TWO causes of their pPROM, and I was unfortunate to have both.

Had I not pursued this appointment…had I listened to Dr Clarke who told me to “wait and see”….had I not listened to my intuition that my cervix opened, I would almost certainly have lost another baby. It IS a good thing I haven’t got pregnant yet, or I wouldn’t know all this, and I would be visiting two babies in the cemetery. There are reasons for everything, and I think my Gideon was making sure we didn’t conceive until we were sorted with these plans.

My lupus test was negative BUT my ANA was positive. Dr F said this wasn’t a big deal, and it can positive in women with no issues, BUT I DO have issues, I have an unexplained chronic illness, and a positive ANA with my symptoms sounds like a certain autoimmune in my view. So I want that looked into further.

My progesterone at 8dpo, and on 100mg of clomid (of course Dr F did not know this) was 53!! Without clomid it was 11, so a HUGE improvement. But because I couldn’t tell Dr F this, he assumes I’m ovulating well.

My hormone tests were all fine, even testosterone, which should be raised with PCOS. These were taken on cycle day 3, like the hormone panel normally, is but they were all normal and low.

I still have a yeast infection, still from the pregnancy and nothing will get rid of it. But all my liver, thyroid and full blood panels were just fine.

I wasn’t able to get the clotting factors done as I didn’t give them enough blood, so they re-did it today. It took them 4 attempts, but they got it.

I will get scans every month (ish) from 16 weeks, and cream for my BV every month for 1 week from 12 weeks. I will also visit Dr F every 1-2 weeks during pregnant. It is a long way to Liverpool 2-3 hours one way, I am very concerned that doing this in later pregnancy, with my TVC could cause issues. I don’t know if it’s safe, but I’m telling myself he wouldn’t suggest it if he didn’t think it was. I might have to lay down in the back of the car instead of sitting during that journey.

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t all I’d hoped it would be. Of course I hoped he would give me the TAC, which as a 95% success rate. He offered me 70% success with the TVC. Not the odds I wanted,  but better odds than doing nothing. And he seems confident we will have a successful pregnancy next time.

He is very insistent about my weight, but he doesn’t seem to understand that this is the LOWEST weight I’ve been in years, it’s been a long, tough road, and I’m not giving up, but it isn’t easy.

Emotions wise, initially I only felt relief. Then crept in the sadness. Likely it was the BV which caused Gideon’s delivery in the end. The doctors had stopped the antibiotics a week before we went into labour, if I’d known I had BV I would never have stopped them, he could have had a week, two weeks, 10 weeks longer. And it’s all me, it’s no just a random event, it’s my body, my crappy cervix, my BV. All me. It gives me a feeling in the pit of my stomach, grief, and anger and guilt.

But mostly, I am very excited and happy to have answers. This was a long time coming and I knew that I probably wouldn’t get the TAC. I also knew, in my heart, that I had an incompetent cervix, I knew that it funnelled, just as Dr F confirmed. The TVC wont stop the funnelling, but it will stop it opening from the outside, so no infection should pass.

It will mean bedrest, at least I am doing bedrest. From after my TVC until around 32 weeks, I’m am on  bedrest, not as strictly as I would have been had I not had the cerclage, but around all my appointments and scans, I do intend on resting, just relaxing in bed, and not climbing too many stairs,  which is hard as my toilet is halfway upstairs and halfway downstairs. So, I’ll need to go up there.

But all in all, it’s good. And after the appointment we went out to a museum in Livepool (well, they’re FREE) and then went out to lunch to celebrate.

And all I can think, is that Gideon saved all my future babies lives – all his brothers and sisters. I would never have known I had these issues without him.

He is my wonderful angel. And I miss him so much. But I know he really is watching out for us.