For anyone new around here, here's our story so far.
The quick version is that my husband and I have been trying for a baby since 2017. Since then we've had five miscarriages and zero successful pregnancies. We've tried lots of medication, we've had lots of scans, and lots of tests, but they just can't figure out why it always happens.
If you fancy reading on for the long version, I talk about each pregnancy in more detail.
We fell pregnant the first month of trying. The. First. Month. Amazing. We were still on a high from our wedding in June, and everything felt like it was coming together perfectly. I'd written our thank you cards to our wedding guests, with a little surprise envelope announcing our exciting news. Chris was working away for a while but I was sending him weekly updates on the size of bubs, growing from a grain of rice, to a raspberry and so on. I bought a little white cotton baby grow and hand painted ferns on it for crying out loud. We were ready.
Oh. How. Naive.
A couple of days before our 12 week scan I went to the toilet and when I wiped I saw a tiny, diluted stream of brown blood. Weird. I immediately grabbed my phone and googles 'is brown blood in pregnancy normal?'. I scoured through a range of answers, but as soon as I read one that said 'it sounds like you're having a miscarriage hun' I burst into tears. At this point I didn't actually tell anyone what was happening. My husband was on a flight back from a work trip abroad, and I'd planned to go round my friends house for dinner. So I shook off the prospect of loosing this baby, and carried on as normal. I talked excitedly about our 12 week scan with my friends, and when they asked me if I'd had any sickness I said 'no, I haven't really had any symptoms at all'. I vividly remember my friend (jokingly) asking 'are you even sure there's anything in there?'. I laughed, and then cried as I drove to pick up my husband from the airport.
The next morning the blood was red. Bright red. And heavier than before. I had no idea what to do. I'd already had my booking in appointment with my midwife, so I rang the number on the front of the book and got straight through. I explained the situation, and as she said 'We need to get you booked into the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) for an emergency scan' I could hear the consolation in her voice. I couldn't even reply, I just cried down the phone as she comforted me, telling me 'it could all be ok'. But at that point I absolutely knew it wouldn't be.
Chris and I both went to the EPU and waited for the scan that bought with it the feared for words 'I'm sorry, I can't see a heartbeat'. We went home and I miscarried slowly and painfully over the next six weeks. Bad luck.
We fell pregnant after six months of trying again. 'Right, this is the one' I thought. No one miscarries twice in a row, surely? That would be super bad luck.
At 7 weeks we decided to book in for a private scan to check everything was ok. We saw a heartbeat. 'The risk of miscarriage goes right down after we've seen a heartbeat' we were told. Amazing. This is it. We booked in for another private scan at 10 weeks.
It was our first wedding anniversary the weekend before our 10 week scan. We went away for the weekend to celebrate, and it felt like the right time to tell some of our closest friends the good news. I was confident it was all going to be ok. On the Saturday morning I woke up with a sharp pain in my tummy. Oh god. I went to the toilet and saw brown blood as I wiped. It's not happening again, it's not happening again, it's NOT happening again I repeated to myself as I cried into a rail of towels. I decided I wouldn't tell Chris because I didn't want to ruin our weekend. I went to the toilet again, and when I wiped there was no blood. See, it's fine. I went into the kitchen where Chris was making breakfast and I didn't even have to say anything, he just knew. We rang the EPU and they told us I would need to come in, but they couldn't see us until Tuesday, so just try and enjoy your weekend. Monday was our private scan anyway, and even when we went in I was still quite confident everything was ok. I hadn't bled at all since Saturday.
I lay there waiting for the sonographer to say something, but what I actually heard was the long intake of breath as she prepared to say those words again. 'I'm sorry...'
I have barely any photos from this pregnancy compared to the first. We got a photo of the scan at 7 weeks, but when everything went wrong I hid it away somewhere and I genuinely can't remember where I've put it.
We fell pregnant after three months of trying again. But this time it was a very short pregnancy. A week after testing positive, I started bleeding. Gone.
We fell pregnant after seven months of trying again. I track my ovulation to a tee every month by the way. At this point I was obsessed with it (I've eased off slightly now).
We were now under the care of the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic (RMC) in Bristol. A detailed scan has revealed I have a bicornuate uterus and a horseshoe shaped kidney. We've had a batch of blood tests which have come back normal, so to conclude, we don't know why you are miscarrying. It must just be bad luck. But for this pregnancy we'd like you to take the following:
• Progesterone pessaries twice a day
• Clexane injections (there's nothing to suggest I really need these, but apparently it can't hurt to take them anyway, just incase)
• High dose folic acid
I can't actually remember the details of this pregnancy. I'm not sure if I've blocked it out or what, but I know we had a scan at 7 weeks, saw a heartbeat, but by 10 weeks it had gone again. We opted for a D&C because I didn't have the mental capacity to wait for it to happen naturally again.
You see that black space to the right of the circle? That's the dip in my uterus. If you do the peace sign with your fingers that's essentially what my uterus looks like, and this little bub was growing in one of the fingers.
I was very nervous about my first D&C. The idea of going under general anaesthetic really scared me, but I was told to pretend I was on a beach and I'd just had a few too many G&Ts. That's exactly what it feels like, then you're out like a light.
We fell pregnant after seven months of trying again. We are now going all out with the medication and are on the following:
• Progesterone pessaries twice a day
• Clexane injections (just incase)
• High dose folic acid
• Prednisolone steroids (a controversial drug, but we're running out of options so it's a 'let's see if it works' approach)
I also had a course of Doxycycline antibiotics before this pregnancy incase I had any inflammation on my uterus lining which might be causing problems for the fetus.
It's the usual drill by now, but we're getting more regular scans at our clinic rather than having to go privately for them. Our scan at 6 weeks showed a heartbeat, just. But by 8 weeks it was lost. Another D&C, and it's all over again.
Just for the record I am the worst person to have to take an injection every day. I pass out at just the very sight of a needle, which makes blood tests and medication extremely tricky. Chris was excellent at injecting me every day, and I am actually quite proud of these bruises.
So here we are, three years later, preparing to pick ourselves up and try again for our sixth pregnancy.