Ups and downs

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These last few days have been full of ups and downs, not unusual for an infertile or recurrent miscarrier.

Down: A colleague from work, the one who forced me to tell my story because she wanted information on IVF, is visibly pregnant, probably 20+ weeks. She never told me about her pregnancy. She never said ‘I’m sorry’ for my last loss either – or any loss for that matter. Last week she found out the sex of the baby, so she brought a cake to work to celebrate. And she didn’t invite me. I’m guessing (from how far along she is) she never needed IVF after all. I finally realised she wasn’t going to say anything, so I walked up to her and said ‘Congratulations!’ with a big (half-fake) smile. She still didn’t acknowledge anything, nor did she ask me how I was doing. Too busy enjoying her pregnancy, I suppose.

Down: Another colleague opened up to me about recently finding out that the baby his wife is carrying has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. He doesn’t know about our struggles with infertility and RPL. I tried to be supportive and caring – and non-judgemental – in this difficult time for him. However, when he was sharing that he wanted to convince his wife to abort the baby (which is legal here in this circumstance) and she refused, he said something that felt like a sharp knife going into my stomach: ‘She can’t do it at this point in pregnancy (20 something weeks); it would feel to her as if she’s killing someone, like killing you or I, because she can now feel the baby’s movements. Now, the baby is its own person. It would be different if it was earlier in the pregnancy’. I froze at that moment, my thoughts going straight to ‘what about my babies? Does that mean they’re nothing? My babies don’t matter?’. I didn’t say anything, though.

Down: Due to some bureaucratic misunderstanding regarding our referral to the RPL specialist, I received a letter from the hospital in which our fertility clinic is located, saying I had voluntarily moved away from their clinic and switched to the new RPL clinic. This is incorrect, as I still plan on doing the FET on this fertility clinic (they have our embryos and it’s much closer to us). I was worried we would loose our public funding for the FET altogether, so called the hospital to clarify. After being passed around to different departments, repeating my story again and again, I talked to the secretary at our fertility clinic. She was extremely rude, saying (again) they will not support my treatment with the RPL specialist; but at least she confirmed I’m still registered as their patient and can have the FET any time I choose to. I had to made these phone calls at work, due to the opening hours, and after it I was having a mini meltdown and couldn’t stay at work, so I left early saying I wasn’t feeling well. I really think their attitude is unacceptable. Infertility and recurrent miscarriages are recognised by the government as chronic diseases. The offered treatments and clinics I’m attending are publicly run. Why should I feel like I need to beg and fight to have access to it?

Up: After some exhausting days, I really needed to relax and have some fun. Some friends from work came over and we had a girls night, just talking, eating cake and drinking coffee. It was wonderful. They are very supportive. We also vented our frustrations about work and laughed a lot. I need nights like that more often.

Up: Thursday was my husband’s birthday! We went out in the evening, after work, had a great dinner and watched ‘The Revenant’ in the cinema. It was wonderful. Food was great, movie was great and we didn’t talk about infertility. We always enjoy ourselves when we go out on a date night.

Down and Up: Friday I went to the hospital to do the Aspirin allergy test. I was really scared I was going into anaphylactic shock again, since I’ve had it twice when I was a kid, both times from Aspirin. How would you feel if you doctor offered to give you the same substance you almost died from twice before? I was freaking out. I barely slept the night before, thinking I shouldn’t have had those 2 glasses of wine during dinner (it was hubby’s birthday, though!). Before starting the test, they took my blood pressure and it was too high. They said if I don’t calm down and my blood pressure decreases, they couldn’t proceed. I wanted to do this, so I can have more painkiller and anaesthesia options. I kept thinking if I need to go through another miscarriage I want better drugs to manage the pain (I don’t react well to opioids as they make me sick, so I end up preferring the pain then throwing up all the time). And baby Aspirin is often used to treat RPL. I tried my best to control my nerves and was able to complete the test. It took about 6 hours in total. I had no reaction whatsoever. The doctor said they don’t know why. Maybe I reacted to some other substances in the pill, not the Aspirin itself, when I was younger. Or maybe I just grew out of it. I’m now allowed to take anything, but I think I’ll still be afraid for the first couple of times. If only I had done this test earlier, I wouldn’t have gone through 20 years of drug-free painful periods, muscular pains and headaches. Well, better late than never.

Up and down: Sunday we celebrated my husband’s birthday with some friends at our place. It was just an afternoon tea with hot-dogs and brownies, but it was so nice spending time with friends, talking and playing board games. I was a bit nervous about it, as I hadn’t seen my pregnant friend in over a month. I just have a hard time being around her due to her pregnancy being so close to my last pregnancy. We talk a lot on the phone and text each other, but when her huge belly is staring at my face it’s much harder for me. She’s quite nice about it most of the time, I think she understands it’s not easy for me, even though we never really talked about how it makes me feel. Her husband, on the other hand, is much less caring. He often times says or do things that are hurtful to me without noticing. This time was no different. At some point, my friend and I were sitting side by side just talking normally, when he came over and started rubbing her belly. Somehow, I never see him rubbing or kissing her belly unless she’s sitting right besides me. Then he does it all the time. I’m sure it’s not on purpose, but can’t he really see how uncomfortable it makes me? Well, my friend feels uncomfortable too, so she removes his hand and tries to gently push him away. And he starts a small fight, saying: ‘Why are you pushing me away? It’s my baby too, I can touch it whenever I feel like it.’ What else can I do in these cases but to get up and walk away? Why can’t even my closest friends, who have watched me go through all of it, understand how difficult it is, how their small actions affect me? I wish they didn’t, I wish I could touch her belly and feel excited too. But it’s impossible for me to not feel sad for what could, should, would have been.

I hope the days to come are filled with more ups than downs.

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22 thoughts on “Ups and downs

  1. Hugs.. You know this post describes infertility and RPL perfectly. Some times are good and sometimes are horrible. I’m sorry you’ve been having a lot of downs. 😦 I wish things would improve. And yes.. Your babies do matter. Even if they aren’t in your arms, you’re still their momma. xoxo

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    • Thank you for recognising my babies’ importance. They matter to me, if not to anyone else. Unfortunately, these ups and downs are the everyday reality of infertility and RPL, as you know (I think). There isn’t much we can do but try to be kind to ourselves in the down times and enjoy the ups (and hope for more of the latter), so that’s what I try to do. Thanks for your support!

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  2. Ah! That sounds like a lot of ups and downs. Tough stuff, this infertility trip.

    I’m sorry about your pregnant colleague – I have one like that too and I hate being anywhere around her. Today she was going round members of the team saying whether they had children or not. Because she could tell. I put my headset on and made out I was making a call. She’s so annoying.

    The DS thing is tough. I don’t know what I would say as I don’t know if someone would be looking for validation or whatever. It seems strange to discuss something so life changing with someone at work (particularly in light of the fact that his wife doesn’t want to). Where I am it’s possible to abort due to DS. T and I have discussed it and he definitely wouldn’t want to abort. His experience of DS is positive. It must be a difficult decision to make.

    Your babies absolutely matter. I don’t know whether he meant to upset you – I’m sure he didn’t. People are thoughtless when it doesn’t apply to them.

    It sounds like you’ve had a really eventful week. That phone call must have been really upsetting. That sucks. I found that people in hospital could be quite abrupt, especially the people in the EGU where I had the miscarriage confirmed. Horrible to deal with – poor you.

    I really hope that the ups you experienced will turn into mega ups and outweigh the downs! X

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    • Thanks! A DS diagnosis must be really hard to handle, so I tried not to give my opinion, but only to listen to his frustrations/ worries and let him vent. I guess that’s what he needed. However, it became difficult to me after his comment, even though I’m sure he didn’t mean to hurt me, he doesn’t know anything about what we’ve been through. I often wonder why coworkers I’m not really friends with keep coming to me to discuss this kind of ‘heavy’ subjects (I’ve had people open up about divorce, chronic illnesses and even suicide before). Maybe because I’m one of few women, or maybe I look like a psychologist?! It’s weird, but I try to be kind, even if it’s uncomfortable to me.
      Thanks for saying my babies matter, they certainly do to me, as I’m sure PB matter to you too!
      The phone call issue shouldn’t have been that hard. I totally overreacted. Still don’t know why I couldn’t cope with it that day. Some days the toll of infertility and RPL on me is bigger than I care to admit, I guess. But the ups were great! I hope they keep coming (I’m sure they will, as will the downs too, so we need to learn to live with both)!
      BTW, I used your recipe for the brownies for hubby’s birthday party and everybody loved them! 🙂 Thanks!

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  3. I love how you share the ups and downs from your week as each week brings us so many hard experiences, but also some happier times. Sorry that your coworker was very un-empathetic, but it sounds like you handled the situation well and were able to rise above. xo

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  4. My mouth is open at how awful your co-workers have been. My heart is breaking for you. Makes me almost glad I work with a bunch of clueless men who try to keep me at bro level. Now I know that next time someone wants to talk to me about abortion, I should say I’m not comfortable talking about that at work. I probably wouldn’t have been prepared for that one.

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    • Thank you! These situations at work are always hard to handle! I wouldn’t mind discussing abortion before, but now my experience has impacted my opinion on the matter, so I prefer not to talk about it with people that doesn’t know of what I’ve been through. But I certainly wasn’t prepared for that and it really shook me up.

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  5. I agree with everyone else who is appalled at the behavior of your co-workers — not to mention your friend’s husband! What is the problem with him? It’s not like he’s with you 24/7 — surely he can control himself during the time he’s spending with you, out of respect and empathy.

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    • Thank you for your support! I totally agree with you on my friend’s husband! That’s exactly how I feel, why can’t he control himself for just a couple of hours once a month? Is he really that clueless? I guess most people don’t stop to think how their actions impact other people. I’m so glad I have this online community that get’s it!

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  6. Sounds like it’s been a bad stretch of downs. Your friend’s hubby sounds like an idiot and the same goes for your coworker. I hope for more good days for you soon!

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    • Thank you! My friend’s husband is not a bad person, but he keeps hurting me with these small actions. I guess he just don’t realise it affects me (I could say something but I feel weird about it; if he is not empathetic enough to get it on his own, he’ll probably be offended if I say anything). My co-worker, on the other hand, I won’t defend. I’ll keep my distance to her. Hope everything is going well with your cycle so far, I’m rooting for you!

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  7. I am so saddened that you were made to feel like your babies don’t matter. It’s no wonder why those of us who suffer from RPL and miscarriages don’t want to share. I’m sorry you’re having some down times, but very glad they are somewhat balanced by good times as well. Sending you love and hugs.

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  8. I know all these things are hell lot painful after our RPL!. One of our good friend was pregnant along with me during my third pregnancy. I lost my baby at 8 weeks and she carried to the term. Me and my husband had real bad time seeing them frequently and i always i end up in tears after seeing her growing belly. I had my 4th loss when she was 7 months pregnant and i stopped seeing them!. Once the baby was born i started seeing her again eventhough it hurts me. It is less painful now. You are not alone dear!! Hugs..

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  9. Thanks for sharing and for your support! It’s nice to know someone who truly gets it (though I’m so sorry you had to go through that!). Coping with this friend’s pregnancy has been especially hard on me because our due dates were so close. I can’t help but wonder about my own pregnancy every time I see her. You know how hard it is as you have lived it yourself. It’s good to know it’s easier now, but I’m sure it will still hurt for a long time… 😦

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  10. I’m so glad you had some nice time with your husband and your girl friends this week. And also that you can have aspirin!
    Our days can be so tough, just from insensitive people. I know that practically every other person has commented on this, but your babies definitely matter. After my last loss (blighted ovum), I often wonder about whether it was an actual baby or not. But it was. Sperm met egg, it was a life, it matters. I’m a mum of 2, and just because we can’t see them it doesn’t make the fact any less true. I can’t quite remember how many losses you have been through but you’re a mother, you and your husband and your babies all matter and anyone who disagrees with that can be walked away from.
    I hope you have a really good weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your support! I’m sorry about your losses. My last (4th) loss was also a blighted ovum and I had the same feelings you describe. But our babies matters, even if they go very early; thanks for reminding me. Hope you’re recovering well from your hysteroscopy!

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  11. Of course your babies and your feelings matter. The entitlement of people who’ve never experienced loss can be overwhelming and mostly bad for me too even now. I’m sorry there have been some truly tough downs lately. I hope you find more ways to bring those good times into life. I totally agree about your clinic by the way. Appalling.

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