Thursday, 15 December 2011

No greater gift than love

The Bible talks a lot about loving one another... in fact Jesus said that after loving God loving one another is the next greatest commandment.

Over the past few weeks I've been a little overwhelmed by what other people are going through and wondered what I really could do to support so many people.  But I think what's become clear in my mind is the need or me to start somewhere... to do something.  To not be so caught up in the mountain of problems that I end up standing still without offering anything.

Mother Teresa had so much to say about this.  Here are a few of her quotes that will hopefully inspire you:
  • Even the rich are hungry for love, for being care for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own
  • If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one
  • Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love
  • Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty
  • Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at home
  • Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand
  • One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody
  • Spread love everywhere you go.  Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier
  • The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted
  • The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread
  • Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness
If you are reading this, I would like you to know that you were created in God's image and that in your darkest days God watches over you and weeps with you.  When you celebrate He is celebrating too.  Know that you are loved by your creator!

I hope that you have a lovely Christmas filled with peace and love :-)

Friday, 25 November 2011

20 weeks 5 days

It's been a loooong while since I posted on here!  I think it was at least 3 months ago!  So just a quick update from me...

If you read my previous update you will know that I am pregnant.  I am now 20 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  I have found pregnancy firstly a huge answer to prayer but in equal measure I have found it really difficult to relax in to being pregnant.  With the blood condition I have (pro thrombin mutant gene or its more medical term hetrozygous gene for prothrombin) I am on daily blood thinners throughout the pregnancy.  This is to ensure that my placenta functions properly and the baby gets the nutrients it needs to stay alive.  So far so good, I can now feel the baby which is a daily reassurance that she is doing fine.

My blood condition has meant that I have found it really hard to not worry that I would lose another baby.  But this week (after my 20 week scan last Friday) I am now feeling happier that in just a few months time me and my husband will have a baby! :-)

I think the reason for my lack of posting has been that I haven't known what to put and today I feel like I am rambling a bit :-) so please bear with me!  I have wanted to get excited but equally known that this would mean a bigger fall should anything go wrong.  I've thought about posting about my worries but thought actually it is a BIG blessing that I am getting closer to the reality of being able to have my own baby and so my worries and fears pale in to insignificance with others.

My heart and prayers are with those of you reading this blog who are on the journey to trying to conceive.  It's a difficult place to be and I've cried many tears of brokenness over my 4 years of attempts and miscarriages so I pray that as you come into December and the end of this year your spirits will be lifted and that 2012 will be an amazing time of opportunities, new beginnings, answered prayers and fulfilled dreams.

If you are a praying person me and my DH would be really blessed if you prayed a quick prayer for our baby that she is kept safe throughout my pregnancy and that she is born healthy and happy in Spring next year.  My due date is 8th April 2012

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

first blog for a few week's... my feelings on my 4th pregnancy so far!

It's been a while since I posted a blog... I even had to re-read my last blog post to see where I'd got to with what I put last time.

I haven't been able to put my finger on why I've not wanted to blog, I've also not been posting on twitter much.  It was during a time of insomnia that my reason came to me.  (I am exhausted all the time but still seem to have moments in the middle of the night when my brain is whirling and I can't switch off).

As some of you may know I am in the first trimester of pregnancy.  I've had three miscarriages before and this is my fourth pregnancy.  The hope is that this time all will be well as I'm having daily blood thinning injections that hopefully are ensuring that the baby gets all the nutrients it needs.  Well I'm now around 8 weeks and 5 days.  I've a scan on Saturday morning and at that point I should be 9 weeks and 2 days.

Anyway, back to my reason for not blogging or twittering.... the reason that came to me in the dark of night was that I've realised I don't want to make the pregnancy real in my own mind if it may not work again.  I appreciate this may sound super negative but I've been crushed by previous miscarriages and I've realised I'm playing down my pregnancy, not mentioning it and avoiding getting into conversations on twitter etc because the more I get caught up in it, the more it becomes real in my own mind, the more I have to lose.  I long to be one of those people without past hurts who has not had a loss of pregnancy so doesn't have that real knowledge that something can go wrong.

As a Christian, it's a difficult one as God is all powerful and I know I should trust in Him.  But does trusting in Him mean that nothing bad ever happens... unfortunately not.  Yet in Proverbs 3: 5 it says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding".  Clearly at the moment I'm leaning on my own understanding.  I'm remembering the hurts of the past and fearing hurts of the future.  God knows my weaknesses and I'm thankful that His grace covers these.  He has always been faithful through the good and the bad.

Despite my fears I have hope that my scan on Saturday will go well so I'm praying and hoping and staying close to God who is my refuge who always offers me a place of safety, love and acceptance.

Praying for all those of you in the twitter community who are waiting for your miracle and for those of you who are grieving loss.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Six week scan tomorrow!

I thought I'd just do a quick post as I'm nervously sat at home thinking about the six week scan I am having tomorrow!

I am trying to keep calm and keep my mind off all the potential problems!  This isn't easy as my mind keeps taking me back to them.. I've only ever had scans when there have been problems - either to confirm a miscarriage and check that all was now ok with my body or when I had a six week scan last year that showed a missed miscarriage.  My sister has also suffered from two ectopic pregnancies so I have that added fear in my list of what could go wrong!  :-(

My over active mind has taken to considering what I would do if they delivered bad news... would I opt for waiting for the miscarriage to happen naturally or opt for the operation or to take the termination tablet.  If I had an ectopic I'd need an operation and that would terrify me!  DH is trying to keep me on the straight and narrow is giving me lots of support.  There is no reason why this scan should show anything is wrong but with three miscarriages under my belt my mind wants to tell me otherwise!  I'm definitely having a battle with my mind!

I know I should be positive.  Not least because to have a positive test and to be at six weeks without any bleeding is a first for me.  But I want to be honest with people that I am struggling to stay positive.  I should be excited about the scan but when I let myself I become full of anxiety.

People who follow me on twitter may have seen my comment yesterday about my obsession to check that my boobs are still hurting.  Lol!  The wish to be pregnant, stay pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby makes us do some fairly daft things.  But I guess these daft things are what are keeping me sane at the moment!

I'm had a bit of nausea and have been sleeping lots so I'm taking those as good signs.

So please pray that all will go well tomorrow, that the scan will show a healthy pregnancy and that me and DH will have complete peace!  Think of me in the morning when I'm sat in the waiting room with a full bladder hoping that all will be ok... I've got a bladder the size of a pea at the best of times so it is quite a feat for me to sit with a full bladder and be full of nerves too.  So prayers very very much appreciated! xx

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Wanting to stay positive!

Just a quick post... I've been in the 'two week wait' and it's seemed to last an age rather than the two weeks!  My cycle is generally 4 weeks and 3 days but last month's was 4 weeks and 5 days so I've been a bit uncertain of dates and when I could do a test!  My period is due sometime between Sunday and Tuesday next week.

I'm a bit of a testaholic!  It drives my husband mad so I did a couple of sneaky tests last week but for quite obvious reasons they came back negative.  I then did a test a couple of days ago and it was ever so slightly positve... couldn't really call it a big fat positive as it was such a faint line.

I've got my hubby to buy some of the digital tests and done another one and as you will see it is showing as 1 - 2 weeks pregnant!  I'd like to say I'm over the moon but as I've had three pregnancies before that have all ended in miscarriage I've not had the feelings of joy yet!

So I'd really welcome your prayers that we stay positive both mentally. emotionally and also pregnantly! :-)

(Feel a bit bad as I'm telling people on my blog before my family... but don't want the pressure of people who I know knowing just yet if that makes sense)!

Friday, 22 July 2011

bruised and tired in our attempts to conceive

Just a bit of an update from me.  Hope all is well in your lives!

I've had a busy few weeks (getting to grips with a new job, still trying to conceive, injecting daily with my fragmin and generally socially there's been lots on) and I am feeling exhausted.

I am getting more bruised by the day with the fragmin injections and I think I may have to find a new part of my body other than my stomach to inject in as I'm running out of space.  The bruises look quite extreme but actually don't hurt.  What hurts more is when I inject in to a site that I've injected before and then over the course of a day a bruise like the one pictured appears.. not the most attractive of looks!  So I need to choose where to inject next.. my options are my bottom or my thighs!  Aargh... not looking forward to either option!

I'm also now in the two week wait time!  Feeling a bit more pregnant than last month so trying to stay hopeful.  But then I think I possibly get phantom pregnancy feelings because I'm willing my body to be pregnant!  So I'll wait another week before doing a test and let the test give me the true outcome.

Friends have been being completely insensitive as usual.  I've tried to think back to a time when fertility issues didn't cross my mind and wonder if I said similar things that would have been cutting to someone struggling to have a baby.

Last night I went out for a meal for a friend's birthday.  It's a girl who used to be in my housegroup so her and most of the people there know the struggles we've been through and continue to go through.

Despite this I had to sit through a different friend also from my housegroup talking constantly all night about her life as a midwife and the people she knows who've had children.  Seriously she spoke about this all evening.  Then towards the end of the evening the girl whose birthday it was came over to another girl sat next to me (also from housegroup) and said 'I think you should have a baby as I want someone from our housegroup to have a baby'!  Urrm hello... no one flinched or looked uncomfortable with what had been said and all the table had a good giggle about this.  Apart from me and my husband who were left feeling hurt and once again a bit unsure why we spend time with people who are in the main nice and friendly but who really don't try to walk even a metre in our shoes never mind a mile!

We don't expect people to avoid subjects altogether or to walk on egg shells around us but it would be nice for a bit of acknowledgement of the stuff we are going through.  The girl who talked about babies all night is one of the few who knows I'm having injections at the moment... injections that would hopefully keep the baby alive if I did get pregnant.  I just don't understand the level of insensitivity.

I came home feeling hurt and it led me to grieve a friend who sadly passed away suddenly about 5 years ago.  (Strange how these things pop in to your mind without any prompting).  A friend who would have known what to say, who would have comforted me when I was hurting and would have made me laugh and smile when I was feeling down.

Thinking over this it's led me to a couple of things I thought I would share.  Firstly, cherish those in your life who are a blessing as they really are a blessing and sad as it seems we don't know how long we will have these people in our lives.

Secondly I know that God loves me through and through.  It's easy for people to turn away from God when Christians mess up and don't seem to care.  But the truth is we all mess up... we're all human.  Over the past few years I've made the choice to stick by God because He has always been faithful and always will be faithful.  Don't miss the opportunity to have a relationship with God because people haven't reflected His love, kindness or compassion

Take care.  Hoping you have a lovely day and great weekend x

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

hitting a bit of an emotional wall!

Just thought I'd give a bit of an update!

Cycle one on the fragmin came back a BFN and so I'm now in week two of my second month of fragmin injections.  I've hit a bit of a wall emotionally with it.  I felt so positive last month but this one just feels difficult.  Every self-injection is a struggle and I haven't had the same hope I had with cycle one.  This has made me tired and so to be honest enthusiasm to actually even have sex is low this month!  Sorry if too much information but when you know you have to do it it kind of takes away the spontaneity!  But we're persevering ;-) so who knows!

As is the case when you are struggling with a situation, random conversations tend to happen around you so today at work (where I've been working just three weeks), two members of staff were talking about a family member who'd had a miscarriage.  It got round to talking about trying for a baby and one of them not so helpfully said that someone she knew had left it four years after getting married to try for a baby and was now in her early thirties and getting passed it as her body wouldn't function as well as in her 20s!!!

I couldn't believe what I was hearing... well I could as this girl seems to continually spout rubbish all day every day!...  But as someone who is 31 with 3 miscarriages under my belt this was like a red rag to a bull!  As a fairly new member of staff I haven't said anything, probably thankfully for her, but it's left me a tad annoyed and if I'm honest has added to my lack of positivity this month.

I know God has a plan and I truly believe that God will work all things for good in my life but it doesn't make it easy.  I promise to write something more positive soon... but I want to be honest in my blog and this season of my life isn't an easy one!

Hoping all you reading my blog are having a great week and are moving towards your dreams with positivity and hope!  It's what I'm going to try to do :-)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

update on our TTC attempts - 5th July 2011

Just thought I'd do a brief blog to update on my situation...  my period finally started on Wednesday last week.  Was a big relief on one hand as I'd allowed myself to panic about all that might be going wrong with my body.  But it was also a major disappointment on the other hand!

I had terrible period pain so spent my day off in bed and then the following day came down with a bug and spent that day in bed too!  Think I'm feeling run down with it all at the moment.  Certainly felt very fed up over the weekend.

So I'm back on the fragmin blood thinning injections tomorrow to start month two of trying.  I need to be more planned as to where I put the injections this time as I was beginning to struggle to find somewhere to put them as I was so bruised and sore last time.

Really hope it works this time as we'd said we'd give it two months and then explore other options.  Not sure at the end of this month I won't start thinking let's just try another month but that could just go on and on.  So the plan is try this month, if I'm pregnant we'll have a short break locally.  If I'm not pregnant we're booking a late deal abroad and we'll assess the situation then!

So please pray for us.  We need all the encouragement we can get at the moment as feeling quite discouraged from last month's attempts!

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Big Fat Negative has stayed but Aunt Flo still hasn't showed up!

For those of you who have read some of my twitter updates over the last week, you will know that I should have bought shares in First Response pregnancy tests... with the amount of them I've bought and used!

My period was due on Friday.  It's now Monday evening but it still hasn't showed up.  I did another test this morning which was... you guessed it... negative!  So I'm now willing my period to arrive, which is a bit bizarre when you are desperate to get pregnant and have a baby!

I have two reasons for this.  Reason one... my fragmin injections.  Until I get a period I have to keep self injecting because if there is any chance, however small, that I am pregnant I need to keep my blood thin so that the baby would get the nutrients it needs to survive!  My stomach is covered in an area of multi-coloured bruises.  I can cope with that.  The problem is more the areas that don't bruise because I certainly know about it if I inject in an area twice in too short a period of time (so if there's no visible bruise it's very hard to know if I've done so).

I had such an experience on Friday.  It was my last appointment at the nurses.  Having gone to the doctor's surgery every day for two weeks to have the nurses support in learning how to self inject, I had built myself up to the point where I was going to be let loose to do my injections at home the following day.  All had been going so well.  My confidence was fairly high.  I then injected myself and it felt like I'd stabbed a needle through a sore purple bruise (however, the bruise only arrived after the injection)!  I cried with disappointed as I'd been so ready to inject myself at home and this one failed attempt (the nurse had to help me put the plunger down as I couldn't inflict the pain on myself) now robbed me of my confidence to do it at home.  So much so that the nurse gave me her home telephone number and said I could ring her over the weekend if I struggled (quite above and beyond so I'm very grateful for her kindness)!  Thankfully since then they haven't hurt so much and I didn't need to telephone her!

Reason two for wanting my period to arrive... Those of you who have read my blog will know that I've had three miscarriages.  All truely horrible experiences but one thing I wouldn't want more than a miscarriage is an ectopic pregnancy.  My sister had two ectopic pregnancies before successfully having IVF and now has a gorgeous son and daughter.  The two ectopic pregnancies though were hard to watch from the outside so I know she went through a lot of heartache, grief and pain during the ectopics and for a long time afterwards.  With the first ectopic she didn't get a period but kept doing tests and getting BFNs so thought she mustn't be pregnant.

So whilst I wait for my period to come I start worrying about something that might not ever happen... I start to worry about what if I have an ectopic!

Sometimes I'm a really strong person and know in my heart that it is my choice what I choose to believe and think on and that when I want to I can have control over my mind.  But last night, as I slept I dreamt about every scenario I didn't want to happen!  As a Christian, I believe that God is above every situation and that I can hand all my worries over to Him so I'm not sure why it is that I so quickly want to go and take them back off him and worry some more!

So I'm going to be praying that Aunt Flo arrives very soon!!  Then it will be back to the injections and trying again next month :-)

Praying also for all of you who are having difficult times in your journey to conceive and have the son or daughter you long for!  Make sure you are taking lots of care of yourself and remember how valuable you are :-)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

An early Big Fat Negative!

I seem to be writing a lot of blogs at the moment... probably because I use this as a way of getting my feelings out of my head by putting them on to paper...or typing them on to a screen ;-)

Not having the best of days today.  Decided to do one of the very early pregnancy tests and it has come back with a Big Fat Negative :-(  My hubby was annoyed at me for doing it as he feels it was too early but the temptation was too much and now I'm feeling completely glum and dwelling on the fact that, yet again, this month is likely to be another disappointment on our journey to having a baby.

So this morning I've kept crying, pulling myself together again and then crying again!  My mind has a fantastic ability to make me feel worse.  Today it's been pondering on the fact that many of my friends will be going out with their babies and young children celebrating Father's Day.  As I said when it was Mother's Day, I love to be able to celebrate my own Mum and my Dad but these days in the calendar just draw attention to the fact that we've been unsuccessfully trying to have a baby for three years.

So now I need to get myself back in the mindset of having injections for the next week as there's no way the nurses will let me stop the injections until my period comes so I need to keep up the motivation knowing I'm more than likely not pregnant.

My issue, as I explained to my hubby this morning, is that I've only ever had an early negative that has continued to be negative with my period showing and so on the times when I got pregnant the early tests showed it.  Is there anybody out there who has had a negative followed by a positive later on??

My prayers today will be for all of you who find Father's Day tough for whatever reason that may be!

Friday, 17 June 2011

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

I've written a lot recently about overcoming fears as this has been a key thing in my life recently.

As I've mentioned I need to have daily injections to thin my blood whilst I'm trying to conceive.  I started out last week absolutely terrified of the thought of daily injections but knew needs must and got myself to the nurse, each day fighting against my will which was screaming internally for me not to go!

For people who don't have a phobia of needles you may be reading this thinking what is the big deal... but for me even having an injection is a major achievement.  (I've had a severe phobia of needles since a bad experience when I was about six years old).  It might be an irrational fear but it is a real fear!

I've gradually been getting better as the week went on and so yesterday after my injection I got myself thinking, what if I could do it myself?  I've been pondering this overnight and made the decision this morning that I would give it a go.

So this afternoon I've been to see the nurse and asked if I could do it.  I shakingly took the cap off the needle and hovered over my skin willing myself to do it and in my mind reciting the verse 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' (found at Philipians 4: 13).  If in my heart I believe that then I need to act it out!

It took a couple of minutes for me to build myself up to it but I successfully put the needle in and gave myself the injection (with a little bit of help and encouragement from the nurse)!!!

I am coming to realise that God doesn't let us harbour our fears forever, He gets us to face them head on so we can overcome them.  This feels shocking at the start of the process but hopefully by the end feels exhilirating and brings freedom!  Thankfully also, He doesn't make us do it on our own.  God is our biggest supporter, cheering us on and encouraging us.  I still hold some fear of needles but as I face this fear each day it is starting to fade!  Praise God!!

I pray today that you would seek God's love and encouragement to help you face your fears.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

overcoming fears, the two week wait & will power

So I've now been on the fragmin injections for six days.  It seems a lot longer but it is just six days.  I've started to bruise a bit.  Unfortunately the nurse has said the bruising means the injections are working and so I'm expecting bruising lke last time I was on fragmin (my stomach was black and blue).

I've also worked out that if I got pregnant this month the amount of injections to the estimated date of arrival would now be 259!!  Not sure why I decided to work that out but I wanted a clear idea in my own mind :-)

I've had a job interview today and been offered the job so I start the week after next.  This means I must get my head round my hubby doing the injections asap!  Overcoming fears isn't easy but I'm getting there!!  I've taken to shutting my eyes firmly whilst the needle goes in... it's kind of working but doesn't help with the stinging afterwards.

I'm now in the two week wait time too... so am itching to do a test.  No signs that I am pregnant but guess it's too early to tell.  I've been and bought a test today but I'm going to hold off until the weekend to use it (that is if I've got the will power).  My usual trick is to do the test far too early and then be bitterly disappointed that it's showing a BFN!  So I'm determined not to do that this time!

Hope you are all having a good week.  Praying for all of you who are going through fertility problems, miscarriage and IVF.  I've recently read some really tough and difficult times in blogs and on twitter and am inspired by your courageousness and strength.  So I pray that you get strength and perserverance to continue on your journey in trying to conceive.  I pray also for your peace xx

Monday, 13 June 2011

so we're now trying to conceive again!!!

So just a quick update from my last post.

I visited the haematologist on Thursday.  I was disappointed that it wasn't my usual constultant.  Unfortunately, it was the consultant who badly advised me last year to take the fragmin once I found out I was pregnant which likely contributed to my 3rd miscarriage.  So I wasn't filled with confidence when I realised that I would be seeing her again!

The appointment was pretty pointless (apart from obviously to get the prescription for the fragmin) as I went with a long list of questions and she seemed to just be hazarding a guess to the answers.  A couple of examples...

ME:  Do I need to take the fragmin when I have a period?
DR: Mmmm well yes probably... or you could stop.  It might make your periods a bit heavier

ME: I've read that fragmin can affect bone density.  I'm also on steroid inhalers that can affect bone density so should I be taking a supplement for calcium?
DR: Not initially as although fragmin can affect bone density if you're only taking it for a short time it won't
ME: If I'm taking it until I get pregnant and then through the pregnancy and for a bit of time afterwards that would be over a year.  That seems quite a long time
DR: Mmmm yes possibly.  Will cross that bridge later on down the line.  Don't take a supplement and just make sure you get vitamin D and calcium through diet, going out in the sun and doing weight bearing exercise.
(I'm left thinking when will we cross that bridge... what I think she meant was 'wait for your usual consultant to be back and ask her all the questions)!

So I left feeling a little bit irritated as I'd built myself up for my husband to be taught how to do the injections (though in hindsight I'm happy for the nurse to be doing them at the moment).  He didn't get taught as the Dr we saw wasn't really interested and just said my medical practice would be able to teach him.  My usual consultant is very on the ball and pro-active so I felt a bit short changed.

I then rang my medical practice the next day to ask for a nurse to do the injections.  I was consequently told that they wouldn't do them possibly until my next period.  For a couple of hours, whilst I was left hanging there wondering whether they would do the injections, I was busy ringing other practices to see if they had availability for new patients as I was so annoyed at my treatment.  As I told the nurse, I'd already started trying so there was a chance that by them not giving me the injections until my next period that it may cause me to have another miscarriage.

Anyway, a couple of hours later a Doctor rang me from the surgery and they'd done a complete U turn and asked me to go to the surgery for the injection.  (Seemingly, the hospital had now given them confirmation and they told me they needed to be careful as I could've just decided that I wanted the injections myself and not seen a consultant)?!  This was said to me by the nurse who has seen first hand my phobia of needles! :-)  I think she thought this explanation was a little bit far fetched too but I guess policies are policies and they need to be adhered to!

So I've now had 3 injections.  So far no bruising!!!!  We've got a few close friends praying and I'm sure that's making all the difference to my state of mind in having the injections (so far I haven't freaked out completely) and I'm very thankful that so far no major bruising... although I think at some point it will happen as it's known if you inject in the same place twice the area bruises badly so if I'm having them for a long time they are bound to inject in the same location.

My hubby is due to be taught on Wednesday but I might ask if I can have the nurses do it for another week as I'm not sure I'm at the point of being calm enough to let my hubby do it yet!

So time will tell how it goes... we're just deciding how long to ttc whilst on fragmin before calling it a day and looking at other options.  We will probably only try for a couple of months as we're conscious of the possible long term health implications and my obvious dislike for needles.  We both think, for us, we feel we have to draw the line somewhere as it's now been 3 long years since we started trying.  I know others have tried for a lot longer and I commend you for your strength and my heart also goes out to you... but we think, for us, we need to set a limit.  So please pray that if it's God's will for us to get pregnant that it would happen over the next couple of cycles.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

today's haematology appointment

Having finished work two and a half weeks ago (due to redundancy), I've had a couple of weeks of relaxing and fun things... been to a take that concert, a couple of spa days, met up with friends etc... but now I'm back on the trying to conceive wagon!!

This afternoon we have our haematology appointment so that I can start my daily injections of fragmin to thin my blood.  It was decided at my last miscarriage that I needed to start the injections before I got pregnant as I started to lose the baby on the day of my appointment to start the injections in my last pregnancy.

I hated the injections last time as they are painful and need to be injected in to my stomach.  My husband is going to be taught how to inject me so that will be a daily joy!!  Our neighbours will think we're have blazing rows on a daily basis!!

I'd really appreciate your prayers that I get pregnant quickly, that this time it's a keeper and is a healthy baby and that I overcome my fear of injections.

In my heart I know that as it says in the Bible "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' but living that out is quite different to knowing it!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

feeling such a failure

Well I'm blogging today as to be honest feeling really low and fed up with myself.  My husband is out this afternoon so unfortunately you're going to have to read my woes!

So today is a year and a day since I had my second miscarriage.  I thought I was doing so well, yesterday came and went without much drama.  I felt pretty unwell as I suffer from IBS when I'm stressed so figured my body was telling me that actually all was not well with my soul!

Anyway, today I was meant to be at a hen do all day.  The bridesmaid had organised all sorts of activities and I had strategically planned to go to the ones that my pregnant friend wasn't at.  Pathetic I know but I haven't seen her since she announced her pregnancy and I just didn't feel up to doing all the gushing congratulations etc so I decided the best thing was to go to the activities she wasn't going to (i.e. the morning and afternoon).

Unfortunately said pregnant friend decided to come to the afternoon activities and so I've given my apologies said I'm a bit under the weather and left before she arrived.  I know I looked rude and I certainly wouldn't want to put a dampener on someone's hen do but I couldn't face it.  So I've returned home tearful and feeling a failure.

This last week I went to Cherish 2011 (a women's conference at Abundant Life Church in Bradford).  The singer/ songwriter Natalie Grant was performing at Cherish.  Natalie has been through her own journey of trying to conceive and now has three beautiful girls.  I've attached a song that she wrote. %20I really relate to the introduction that Natalie gives to this song in the clip about trying to paint a smile on my face when I'm feeling really broken.  I recommend you listening to some of Natalie's music or getting hold of one of her CDs as her songs are really heartfelt.

It's great to know that God loves me just as I am!

Monday, 30 May 2011

An update on ttc

So just thought I'd give you an update as to where me and my husband are at in our attempts to have a baby!

If you've read my previous blogs you'll know that we've had three miscarriages, the most recent being in February of this year.  The Doctors have identified that I have a pro thrombin mutant gene so suggested last year that when I got pregnant I get in touch straight away so that I could have daily blood thinners.  (It's thought that my thicker blood prevents nutrients getting to the baby which in turn causes the miscarriage).

I followed this advice in February but unfortunately started bleeding on the day I had my appointment with haematology to get the injections and consequently lost the baby.

... So this time the advice is to have daily blood thinning injections (fragmin) from when I start trying to conceive!  We've our appointment with haematology a week on Thursday so we're going to start trying this month!  Quite nervous but trying to stay calm and really, really want everything to be ok this time!

Also really hope we get pregnant quickly as I've got a bit of a phobia of needles!!! So the less time I have to inject them the better!  Better still, my husband is going to be taught to inject me so we both have visions of him running after me round the house trying to pin me down to inject me! aargh!  I'm sure I'll get better and more relaxed about this with time and practice!

So a week and a half of having fun, doing relaxing things and then appointment with haematology and the trying starts again!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Why do my hormones have to get the better of me??

Why is that when it's the time of the month everything gets blown out of all proportion??

I had a situation the other day that made me laugh afterwards but it was all down to my ridiculous hormones getting the better of me!

I'd gone shopping with my husband and somehow managed to stub my finger on a shelf in a shop... it definitely hurt but at that moment in time I behaved as if someone had chopped my finger off not that it had had a minor bump.

I felt extremely sorry for myself so I left my husband in the shop and went out in to the street in the hope that I'd be able to pull myself together... I found myself a bench to sit on where I could quietly try and fight my tears back... I just so happened to pick a bench that a new mum decided would be a good place to sit too.

So I'm feeling hormonal, my finger is throbbing and then a throng of women decide to come over and congratulate the new mum next to me on her beautiful new arrival...

... this was all I could take.  I found my husband and couldn't help but burst in to tears.  In the middle of a busy street, I'm holding my finger somewhat pathetically and crying in to my husband's shoulder!  Childish doesn't even go there... the best bit though was when a lady came running over to us looking very concerned and asked I was ok and could she take a look at my injury as she was a nurse!!

In an instant I realised how ridiculous I'd been and couldn't stop laughing!

So please someone explain to me why us women have hormones that turn us in to crying, irrational wrecks for a couple of days each month!  Thankfully my finger is now fine and I've lived to tell the tale!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

confident, courageous and beautiful

Last year at the time I had my 2nd miscarriage, my friend bought me a beautiful notebook with a quote on the front and on the back cover.  I love the words on the book and so want to share them to encourage you this morning...

On the front cover it says...
'Tomorrow belongs to the confident and courageous who refuse to give up on their dreams'

Reading peoples' blogs and tweets of people who, like me, long for a baby I read about so many of you who are confident and courageous so be inspired not to give up on your dreams

And on the back cover it says...
Once upon a time
heaven dreamed a dream
and that dream was you,
beautiful you...
and you are beautiful, truly beautiful...
Perhaps you don't see it
but you have a tag attached to you
tied with the strongest ribbons
It is a tag that can never be removed
and these are the words heaven has written up on it...
"You always have been and always will be
perfect and beautiful to me...
created by design... a gift to this world"

(notebook created by

Never forget that you were created by design and that no matter how you are feeling God always see you as beautiful! x

Monday, 23 May 2011

Praising God in every circumstance

I've recently been reading 'Blessed Be Your Name' by Matt and Beth Redman.  This book was written following them writing the well known worship song of the same name.  This book shares stories from their own personal experiences and shows how painful experiences and our choices can either propel us toward God or away from Him, build up our faith or break it.

For those of you who are Christians you will have probably have heard this song but for those who haven't I recommend you listen to it.  It's a great song and in essence it is a song that talks about worshipping God always being a choice.  The book explains it as 'when life is peaceful and painless, the choice to respond to God in thanksgiving and praise may not be such a hard one to make.  But at other times in our lives worship becomes a much gutsier decision'.

I hadn't realised until a couple of weeks ago that Beth (like me) suffered three miscarriages in a row.  This experience was part of the reason behind writing the song.  Here are a few snippets from her story told in the book:

'When Matt and I suffered the loss of a baby again and again, I began to do what so many of us do when we're in pain - to notice how others around me were being prospered and blessed...

... To see the tiny frame of a baby's body, lifeless on a screen, with no heartbeat; and then at an early stage of pregnancy , to have to go through a mini-labour and hand that baby back to Jesus - that was one of the hardest times of my life.  Why was it happening?  Then to lose two more babies in a row, even when I'd sought God so hard, was almost more than I could handle.  Bitterness started to beckon'

Beth says in the book that she realised as she grieved each loss that the longing for a baby was becoming all that she could talk to God about.  The need to have a baby had become everything and she needed to realise that even if she never had another baby, God had already given her everything she needed in Christ Jesus.

As a Christian, Beth's story has really challenged me as I relate to every single part of it - the all consuming grief that has at times taken over all my thinking, the jealousy of other peoples' blessing.  Beth explains that she came to a point where in the depths of her heart she knew that God himself is all that she needs.  She came to a point where she knew that 'if it was God's will for us to hold another baby in our arms, then no closed womb, no condition doctors cannot explain, no age barrier or genetic condition could ever hold back his plan'.

I am so challenged by Beth's testimony - to stay in the place that continually trusts God and acknowledges God is all I need!  I believe in miracles and know that if God wants me to have a baby then it will happen but I equally need to come to a point where in the depths of my heart I know that God is all I need.

Soon after Beth's miscarriage, her and Matt felt challenged by the words of 1 Thessalonians 5: 16 which says 'Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus'

I encourage you to read this book as it has reminded me that through the good and the bad God remains faithful.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

A weary week!

Weary I think is a good word to describe how I'm feeling this week!

I'm on the final leg of my notice for redundancy and finish next Wed... so was very glad when I realised I've got two days leave to take so now I only have to work Tuesday and Wednesday and then I'm officially unemployed!

Motivation has been at an all time low at work and then I've had the pleasure of finding out all about various people either having babies or getting pregnant.  I hate facebook for that.  In the past you would have been blissfully unaware but now it's the best tool for sharing your 'good news' with your 'friends'.

The hardest discovery of pregnancy this week was a friend who has been really supportive to me over my losses, to the point of offering to come to hospital appointments if my husband can't make them.  She's really cared and been thoughtful and I've been really grateful for it as not many people have.  But I'm a little upset that I've found out she's pregnant through her husband's facebook announcement saying that 'after weeks of waiting he can finally announce that he's going to be a Daddy'.  I wanted to post a response to say 'try waiting a few years and then still not being able to make that announcement'.... but I realise that would show me for the bitter person I have become recently!

I still haven't actually been told that she's pregnant so I'll see how long it takes to tell me... though equally in the back of my mind I do know it must be one of those bad situations that you really wouldn't want to face - telling the person who has been trying for years to conceive that you are now pregnant after not really trying!

I'm still waiting for the results of the chromosome tests that I had done back in February after my third miscarriage.  Chased them up earlier this week and they said someone would call me back... I'm still waiting for the call but maybe it will be today.  This test is pretty crucial in whether we try again in June or not.  If they are clear we will, if they show potential problems we will wait to see the Consultant Gynaecologist in August.

So with the thought that we might be trying in June, I've rung haematology today to book in to get my fragmin injections sorted for when we try next!  Yey!!  I can't wait for the daily battle of having my husband inject me in my stomach!

I'm trying to feel more upbeat but honestly I am struggling this month... as I said before this time last year I was waiting for my body to miscarry after having a scan that showed that my 2nd pregnancy had ended without me knowing, so I'm finding it all a little bit tough.

Quite thankful to be finishing work... it will give me time to recharge my batteries, to take care of myself and to hopefully be ready to try again.  We just need to make sure we cut our cloth accordingly as the loss of income is the definite downside.

I honestly believe in God's timing and am sure that these experiences won't be put to waste but at the same time at the moment I feel truly crap!  Keep hoping I can write a really inspiring, happy blog sometime soon but at the moment that's just not how I am feeling.

Off to run a bath, to relax and pamper myself!

Take care and thank you for reading x

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Feeling sadness when I want to feel joy!

I tried to wait to write a blog until I was feeling in a bit more positive mood but the positive mood doesn't seem to be arriving any time soon!  I really wanted to write an upbeat, life is great blog as I'm conscious that people reading this may think that I spend my time feeling sorry for myself... I promise I don't (well not all the time anyway)! ;-)

My mood has shifted to be one of sadness since I moved in to the time of year that I found out I was pregnant last year (I found out I was pregnant on 22nd April last year) so I guess I hope that when I move past the time of year when I had my 2nd miscarriage my mood will improve?  So I'll hopefully be feeling a bit better come mid-June!

I hate the fact that I'm so jealous of others, that when my best friend (the one who got pregnant by accident when I had my 2nd miscarriage) told me that she was spending today going out to lunch with people from her antenatal group that I couldn't be happy for her but that all I could think was I want that!

I want to stop feeling so lonely in my situation but this month it just seems impossible to do.  Tomorrow I'll be at my niece's first birthday party.  I should be happy but all I can think is 'I don't want to be surrounded by all those Mum's and babies'.

My plan (in between my tears) is to get ready to try again in June.  I'm trying my best to have a bit of a health kick as I've not been overly motivated to eat well and exercise since my 3rd miscarriage earlier this year so I'd like to feel healthier and be in the best condition to conceive.

Next week I'll contact the Haematologist Consultant so I can book an appointment for me and my husband to discuss the blood thinners.  This time I've been told I should start the daily blood thinners before I get pregnant so my husband is going to need to be trained in injecting me.  Praying my phobia of needles is overcome quickly as a week of the injections when I had my last miscarriage was quite traumatic... but people go through worse so I'm going to get on with it and do it!  I'm also praying that I get pregnant quickly as I don't want to have the blood thinners for any longer than I need to and at best I think it will be for a year... i.e. before I get pregnant, through the pregnancy and then for a couple of months afterwards (I'm going to be black and blue as these injections really bruise)!

Anyway, off to have my evening meal... husband is out tonight so I'm going to have something nice and watch something fun on TV.  Hope this blog hasn't been too much of a ramble of words... I read other peoples' blogs and they are so eloquent.  I love reading them so I apologise if mine sometimes jumps from thought to thought!

Praying for all of you who read this who are struggling in some way, whether that's with infertility, miscarriage or something completely unrelated to trying for a baby.  I know that God is faithful and He provides.  It doesn't make the situation any easier but He has got a plan!  I pray that you would find comfort in Him and trust in Him for your future.  I'll be praying for your and my miracle to happen in God's perfect timing.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

looking back and trying to look forward

I've found this weekend difficult on a number of levels and to be honest it's made me grumpy, irritable, upset and not very nice to be around.

On 22nd April last year I found out I was pregnant (my 2nd pregnancy after the 1st ended in miscarriage in 2009).  I was so full of hope and happiness as I genuinely didn't think that this one would also end in miscarriage.  A year has passed and I have now had three miscarriages (one at the end of May last year and one at the beginning of Feb this year and the previous one in October 2009).

My hormones have been going against me this weekend as I know I have bad PMT but unfortunately this has just made me dwell on the past and I've found myself in floods of tears pretty much constantly! 

Yesterday (23rd April) was my 6th wedding anniversary.  I love being married and I'm happy to have had six years of marriage.  But sadly this year it was a reminder of six years and still no successful pregnancy.

Today is Easter Sunday.  I love celebrating Easter... a time to remember and thank God for the resurrection of Jesus and new life in Him.  Today, however, most of what I thought about was how unfair it is that everyone I know seems to have children who they can do Easter Egg hunts with!

This weekend has been one where I have spent most of my time feeling sorry for myself!  I'm not proud of it but it's the truth.  I've spent my time worrying about when we try again for a baby and thinking about the daily injections I'll have to have despite my needle phobia.  As I sit here now I can feel myself welling up ready to cry again.

I've also found it hard as a family friend passed away suddenly a few days ago.  There was no ill health and no warning.  A reminder of the frailty of life.  I so want my family to be around always!  To be around when I hopefully start a family... there's no reason why they won't be but unfortunately times like this show us that our time is not our own and we can't take things or people for granted.

This weekend has been one of my most difficult in a long while and I can't seem to shake off my sadness, loss and upset.  So I have pondered... is it ok to sometimes have a weep and a cry and to feel sorry for myself?  I think God shares my tears and my hurts and anguish.  Today that doesn't make me feel any better but I know God's unfailing love is true.

I now just need to find a way back to living in the present and hoping in my future.  I'm sure when my period comes in a day or two and my hormones settle down my mood will improve but until then I think a big box of tissues is required :-)

Please pray for me as I pray for you!  Thanks for reading :-)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

If you've got nothing good to say don't say anything at all :-)

I've had a couple of conversations over the past few days that have left me thinking and reflecting.

The first was on Friday at work.  I was having a conversation with a colleague about how I'd like to try for a baby again in the summer.  I explained that I'd now been trying for nearly 3 years (over this time I have had 3 miscarriages) and that I don't want to leave it any longer as time passes quickly.  My colleague responded to tell me that she wished she'd taken the opportunity to have a third child and that it was now too late for her.  She continued that she'd had a conversation with her sister in law last week.  Her sister in law also has two children and is 31 so my colleague explained that she had told her sister in law that time was running out if she wanted a third child and she should try again now so she didn't miss the boat.

To be honest, to me who is 31 and hasn't got any children yet, this was very unhelpful.  I think not least because actually in reality 31 isn't all that old but also comparing my situation to someone who already has two children just isn't a comparison to be made.  I may have once dreamed for a large family but now I realise that one baby would be a massive blessing.

The second conversation was last night.  We'd gone out for a meal with some friends who have been trying for a baby for about a year and a half.  (They are the only couple who we know personally who like us are trying for a baby and struggling).

I got chatting with Sarah who out of the blue said "I wish I had your situation, your situation is so much easier than mine.  At least you've had 3 miscarriages so know you can get pregnant".

I haven't found my life recently to be one that many people would wish to live.  At times I've been grief stricken at the loss of three babies and I have felt deep despair.  I hold on to a future of hope and live my life looking for the positives but I wouldn't say the past three years have been easy.

I also wouldn't say that my friend's situation has been easy either... she has suffered in different ways having to have lots of intrusive medical checks and interventions.

These two conversations made me reflect on my own thoughts and words.  I've been really challenged to be careful about what I say to people and to try not to offer empty wisdom that doesn't offer any real support.  I've been reminded that pain is pain!  It's not good to look longingly at someone else's pain or difficult circumstances and think that somehow what they are going through is a walk in the park.

I've also been challenged to think about the advice I give... if it isn't helpful or being used to encourage or build someone up I should consider whether it's worth sharing it at all.

As a child I remember a teacher's favourite phrase was 'if you've got nothing good to say don't say anything at all'!  I think this teacher was right.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Health tips and getting in the best shape to try to conceive

So I thought I'd write this blog to ask for some tips from you.

We're planning on starting trying for a baby again at the end of June.  This is dependant on getting clear results from various blood tests and chromosome tests (otherwise we'll be waiting to see the Gynecologist in August) but I'm thinking positive and thinking it will be June!

For those of you who haven't read my previous blogs, I've had three miscarriages and it's been identified that I have a pro thrombin gene mutation  (which is possibly the reason for my miscarriages), so next time I try I need to have a daily blood thinning injection.

Anyway, I would like to get myself in the best possible shape for when I next try to conceive... reduce stress, eat healthier and do more exercise are the obvious things but I wondered if people out there have any hints or tips on things I could do to give me and my husband the best chance of conceiving and having a healthy baby.

Specifically I would like to ideally come off my steroid preventative inhalers for my asthma (I wondered if any of you had any thoughts on natural remedies), lose a bit of weight by eating healthily and doing exercise.  My plan for exercise is taking part in the race for life so that I get out beforehand doing a bit of training and I also like various activities like swimming, aerobics and hula classes so plan to do these more regularly!

I'm speaking to my doctor about reducing asthma medication etc but equally I'd like to look at natural options.  All thoughts very welcome!

Enjoy your week x

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Stuck between a rock & a hard place?!

Well as work goes, this week has rated up there with the worst!  We are now well and truly in the redundancy process and as I've mentioned I've been having to rate staff on matrices whilst also being at risk of redundancy myself.

I am definitely of the conclusion that I'd like to go but that doesn't take away that there are four managers and two of us have to go and two can stay!  Unfortunately, peoples' circumstances are different and two of the Managers are particularly keen to stay.  So keen that there behaviour has become somewhat unpleasant.

We have had meetings about our matrices and during these meetings myself and the one male manager have been interrogated, questioned and belittled at every opportunity.  It's clear and obvious that particularly one of the other Managers wants to use this technique to show how well she has been working over the past year.

As I'm happy to leave the company I'm taking this on the chin but I didn't realise until this week how much pressure the male manager was being put under.  On Wednesday this week he told me he'd stayed up all night working on the matrices and simply hadn't gone to bed as he was so worried that his integrity was being challenged.

On Thursday we had another internal moderation meeting and the questioning and harassing started again... why hadn't we done x, y or z?  had we checked x's performance etc etc?  The male manager was clearly upset but I didn't realise how much until suddenly we turned round and his eyes had rolled back in to his head, he'd turned a shade of grey and passed out!  He then had about five minutes of an absent period and passed out again!  Very worrying as we didn't know whether it was him fainting or something worse.  An ambulance was called and he was taken off to have tests done!

Thankfully he has been given the all clear and said that it was probably down to lack of sleep, lack of food and pressure of work!  My prayers are with him as to have work affect you so badly is horrendous and it's unacceptable to be under so much pressure.

It has got me thinking when you're stuck between a rock and a hard place (like the other two managers are who desperately want to keep their jobs) what is your response?  What is your behaviour and tactics?  I have prayed over the weekend that my true colours in these situations will be ones that trust God, that have peace and that ultimately don't seek to cause distress or worry in others.  In simple terms that I would do as I would want to be done by! 

It's easy to be nice when life is comfortable but I want to be a person who behaves well and kindly and lovingly even when I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Monday, 4 April 2011

The rollercoaster of emotions in trying to conceive

I don't know about you but one of the things I've found whilst trying to have a baby is that over a short period of time you can experience extremes of emotions... I feel like this weekend has proved that!

I started out Friday morning feeling thankful, hopeful and aware that things could be worse!  I then went to visit a friend who'd just had a baby and to be honest found it ok... it's not always ok with such visits.  But I enjoyed cuddling the baby and had that hope that maybe next time we try it will work and I will have a baby!

On Saturday I then started getting a bit glum.  It started off with a letter through the post to say that my appointment with the gynaecologist will be on 1st August!  (I miscarried at the beginning of Feb and was told that my appointment should follow quickly and be no more than a 10 to 12 week wait)!

I then started getting myself down with the prospect of Mother's day!  I love showing my Mum (and my Dad) how much they mean to me.  But the prospect of yet another Mother's Day without a baby really upset me!  Technology at times does great things but I could have done without it over the weekend.  Reading all the happy, joyful messages that people I knew had written on facebook about how wonderful it was being a Mum, what a fabulous day they were having with their beautiful children who'd bought them gifts etc etc.

Mother's Day came, I focused on cooking my parents a meal which we all enjoyed but the day was tinged with sadness and jealousy!  I'd like to say that I was fine that I didn't spend time feeling sorry for myself... but that's not true I did!

But today, well today's another day!  I woke up feeling a bit more positive (perhaps a little bit glad that yesterday was over).  I decided to ring the Doctor's to see if I could get the results of my blood tests from February over the phone as I was meant to be getting them at my gynae appointment.  We want to start trying again in June and the appointment, as I've said, isn't until April.  So I've spoken to the secretary, she seemed a bit uncomfortable on the phone about giving me my results and has booked me in this afternoon to see a Doctor... I'm now a bit suspicious - either it's her excellent customer service or they've something to tell me that I won't like!  Praying it's the first option!  Also a little bit embarrassed as the last time I saw the Doctor I'm seeing this afternoon was the day after my miscarriage started and I had quite a bad panic attack in her room!

Oh well, I'll just have to see how my appointment goes... but as I've said my emotions are like they are on a rollercoaster ride at times with all the ups and downs and twists and turns!

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Thankful for God's grace!

As you know I'm at risk of redundancy but equally so are the 20+ people in my team.  So this week I am having to spend all my time completing matrices to see who in my team scores the lowest and in effect loses their job.  It's a very time consuming process where different areas of work hold different weightings (dependant on what the company deems to be most important) and is a very unpleasant task.

I think very highly of my team and wouldn't choose to have any of them lose their job.  However, unfortunately when cuts need to be made we have to then start weighing up who deserves their job more than the next person... who can contribute more... who has the best attitude etc etc.

It's got me thinking this morning how thankful I am that God isn't like that!  Thankful that I know that God created us in His image, that He loves us more than life itself, that He would do anything for us (even sending His son to die a painful death so that we could have eternal life).  I am so thankful that I know that my Father God loves me despite my failings... despite the fact that I often have a bad attitude... that I don't always do what I'm meant to do... that I regularly get jealous of others... that I so often fall short!

Nothing I can do will make God love me any less... when I grieve He grieves with me, when I am joyful He is glad for me.  I am so very thankful that God's ways are not our ways!  His way is always a way of grace, forgiveness and love :-)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Changing my focus!

On Friday last week, I found out that chances are in the next few week's I'll be made redundant.  My initial reaction was to go home, have a bit of a cry and a sleep.  These are my usual first reactions for dealing with things I'm not happy about... my husband can never get his head round my ability to fall asleep as my way of dealing with bad news!

Saturday and Sunday came and my thoughts and feelings on this shifted... I began to see the potential benefits to this!  The fact that I am currently in a very stressful job, one that often requires me to take work home and that has me rushing around trying to get 100 things done at once.  As you may know from my previous blogs, I have had three miscarriages and would really, really like a baby.  (This at the moment is one of my main hopes and dreams, my work situation is way down the list of priorities)!  As I pondered on my circumstances, I realised redundancy could definitely be a blessing in disguise.  It could be the push I need to look for a job I enjoy and to look for something that won't create extra stress when we start trying to conceive again.

It got me thinking how I so often need to change my focus.

As someone who believes that God has got a plan for my life, I am sure that at some point everything I've learnt and experienced through difficult times - my attempts in trying to conceive, the pain of miscarriage, the difficulties of losing my job - will help someone else.  It's a horrible feeling, feeling that you are the only one who is going through a painful or difficult situation so I'm hoping that someone reading this will be able to read this and think 'me too' and not feel alone in their situation!

I'm also going to try to 'change my focus' and embrace the positive.  Not always easy!  But when I find myself dwelling on my past losses, I'm going to try (and I'm sure at times fail) to change my thinking and to focus on future hopes and dreams and the good things I've got in my life now!

My husband told me the other day, I need to be more like Chumbawamba :-).  I don't know if you remember them from the 90s but a line of their most well known song was 'I get knocked down but I get up again, you're never going to keep me down' and so I'm going to take my husband's advice and when I get knocked down by circumstances I'm going to work at quickly getting back up again! :-)

Saturday, 26 March 2011

My journey in trying for a baby - part five!

Yesterday, I wrote a blog which explained that I have been told I have something called a 'pro thrombin mutant gene'.  This basically means that my blood is slightly thicker than most people and that in certain situations (e.g. pregnancy) I need to have daily blood thinners to protect myself and the baby.  I've been told that this may have been a contributing factor in my miscarriages as it can cause mini clots in the womb that prevent nutrients getting to the baby.

So I'd seen a consultant in November last year and we decided to try again after Christmas and bite the bullet and hope that these injections would help us to conceive a healthy baby and that I wouldn't miscarry.

I just about got through Christmas and New Year.  I found it really upsetting this year.  If my second pregnancy had progressed my baby's due date would have been the 1st January 2011!  I am usually a big celebrator of New Year.  I tried my best to celebrate this year but found myself crying myself to sleep at about 11pm.  Usually I would be out with friends but this year mine and my husband's upset meant we couldn't.  We also found difficult that no one else referred to the fact that it would have been the due date.  I think sometimes people think that if they don't mention it, it won't hurt... unfortunately that's not the case.

Anyway, with New Year out of the way we started to try again...  expecting a long wait as it had taken us well over a year to get pregnant the 2nd time!  I was so excited to find that we actually conceived in the first month of trying this time!  Again, we were filled with hope and expectancy that this time, through having the treatment for my blood, we might not miscarry.  I contacted the Doctor's and was referred to haematology at the hospital for an appointment in 5 days time.  In the meantime I took a low dose aspirin (as advised by the Consultant Haematologist).  We desperately wanted this time to work!

On the day of my appointment, I unfortunately started bleeding on the way to the hospital.  It was only a little bit of blood but unfortunately this made me fear the worst.  I was able to see my actual Consultant this time round (rather than the person who'd been covering last time) and was put a lot more at ease by this Consultant as she was very clued up.  She told me to get complete rest and to start the fragmin injections straight away.  I was so upset as this Consultant felt that I should have taken the injections as soon as I started trying and deep down from this point I knew we'd left it too late for it to make a difference (we were also a little bit cross that the stand in Consultant had perhaps advised us badly).  This coupled with my ingrained fear of needles meant I had a horrible week.

The fragmin injections are injected in to fat rather than muscle so there's only a few places in the body that you can have them put in.  I was having them injected in to my stomach.  I didn't find this easy as I am very phobic and the fragmin fluid caused stinging at the sight.  It also causes massive dark bruising.  Can I just say, the bruising sights don't actually hurt but it does look bad.  If anyone reading this is due to have fragmin, please don't let me put you off!  When it comes to injections I am a complete wimp!  I had to have my Mum come with me to hold my hands (not in a soft way but to stop me from going anywhere near the needles as they were going in) lol!

Unfortunately though from the Monday onwards I started to bleed heavily and miscarry.  I couldn't get an appointment for a scan until the following Tuesday so none of the nurses would stop giving me the fragmin.  My grief coupled with my hate of having the injections made me less than a perfect patient.  I just couldn't see why I needed these injections now that the baby had gone... this wasn't helped by insensitive nurses who were administering the injections who said things like 'think of the baby'.  I was so distraught as I knew I'd lost the baby.

The scan the following week confirmed this and I was told that I could stop having the fragmin injections.  The nurse who told me to 'think of the baby' has since seen me for a separate appointment and told me that next time I try they will 'teach my husband as there would be nothing more relaxing than having the injections at home'.  What she means is, I don't want the hassle of dealing with you again!  This makes me cross as I think it is their job to sometimes deal with people who are traumatised and upset, not just to deal with all the nice things!

So it's just over a month after this third miscarriage, we think we'll start trying again in early summer.  However, I've just been dealt a double blow that because of the goverment funding cuts I'm likely to be out of a job in a month's time.  Great!  So future blogs will tell you of what's going on in my life as me and my husband try for a fourth time (we've now been referred to a gynecologist and are waiting for an appointment) and also my situation with work and potentially looking for a new job (thinking that won't be easy when my sick record shows two miscarriages in the last year)!

I'll keep trusting God.  Thankful for the ability to read about other peoples' experiences through blogs and twitter so I don't feel so alone in my circumstances!

Friday, 25 March 2011

My journey in trying for a baby - part four!

In my last blog I mentioned my phobia of needles and injections... this is something I have had since being a child (when I had to have what seemed like hundreds of injections to check for various allergies).  Over time this phobia has got worse and I have to act against what my mind is telling me when I need to have any injections!

A couple of weeks after my third miscarriage I had to have my first blood test for about twenty years (I last had one when I was about 11 or 12 years old).  I went to the Doctor's for a check up in relation to the miscarriage and mentioned that I was having dizzy spells so the Doctor thought it would be a good idea to have a blood test to check that all was ok.

I arranged to go and took my husband with me for moral support.  I absolutely freaked out when I had to have it, I don't think my husband could get his head round my over the top reaction! lol!  If you've got a phobia you'll know where I'm coming from... you know it's irrational, you know that your body is over reacting but still you behave in a dramatic way!  My whole body was shaking, my palms were sweating and I couldn't sit still.  After a few attempts they did manage to get the blood they needed and I thought that would be the end of it.

All but one result was fine which was the liver functioning test... so the Doctor said unfortunately it would mean going back for another test the following week.  I spent the whole week worrying... thinking there was something wrong with my liver and knowing I needed another test.  (If only someone could have told me that liver functioning often changes after a traumatic event and then returns to normal)!

The following week I went on my own for a blood test (I know this isn't a big deal for most but it was a big deal for me).  I drove down to the Health Centre reciting 'I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me' :-) and praying that the waiting room would be empty so I didn't have to sit and wait and panic.  Praise the Lord it was!  But I still had to go and have the test... as you can see from me typing I lived to tell the tale ;-) but at the time found it quite traumatic and I had to be held down by one phlebotomist whilst the other did the test!  The test result this time came back normal though so that was good and I thought that would be the end of blood tests/ injections for quite sometime... maybe, I thought, next time would be when I got pregnant and the pregnancy continued (which would make the tests a bit more bearable)!

In about August time after the dust had settled after the miscarriage, I returned to the Doctors to ask if there was anything that could be done to look into why I had had two miscarriages and to prevent a third.  The Doctor's at my Doctor's Surgery are very helpful and friendly which is a real blessing as I was at a different surgery a while ago where they weren't at all!  The Doctor explained that I would need to wait until I had three miscarriages before being referred to a gynecologist... explaining that as miscarriages were common it was likely that my next pregnancy would be fine.  However, she was happy to send me for some more blood tests to check for common problems that may cause miscarriages (which is one of the first things the gynecologist would do anyway).  This included blood sugar levels, blood count, antibodies, thyroid functioning etc.

I decided that despite my massive dislike of needles I would go ahead with the tests as this would help me and my hubby move towards our dream of having a baby.  Again I prayed and recited Bible verses on the way to the Health Centre to have the tests.  However, this time I went in the waiting room and it was full to the rafters!  My heart sank but I knew I had to get the tests done.  God did provide an elderly man next to me in the waiting room though who could see that I was visibly worried... so he said he would tell me a few jokes.  This eased my fears sitting listening to jokes whilst I waited.  This man didn't know it but his kindness gave me strength!  (I strongly believe that there are times in our life when God uses us to bring kindness in to other peoples' lives to bring them strength and we may not ever know the impact of our words and actions)!

I had the blood tests (I think there were 5 pots in total that needed to be filled), again it took a few attempts with me moving my arm away as the needle came towards me, but in the end I got there!  I was asked to ring the Doctor's Surgery for the results in a week's time.  I waited a week and rang the Doctor's surgery and was happy to be told by the Clerk that all the results had been returned normal... what I hadn't realised was there was one more result that hadn't come back yet!

About a week later, I was sat having an evening meal with my husband when the phone rang.  I recognised the voice but couldn't place her... yes I'm sure you've guessed, it was my Doctor!  She explained that something had been shown in relation to my blood and that I would be referred to haematology.  I was told not to worry but that this might be the reason behind my miscarriages and that simply taking a low dose aspirin might prevent future miscarriages!  Well that sounded too easy... and it was!

In early November 2010, I had my appointment at haematology.  What I now know is for every appointment at haematology, it is standard practice to have a blood test!  Great! I have come to think over the last few months that God does not want us to live a life filled with irrational fears and so one way or another at some point you may be required to face your fears and to overcome them!  I wouldn't have chosen to but as you will see I don't have a great deal of choice!

I went to see the consultant.  The consultant I would usually see wasn't in so I saw a different one.  I was told that I had what is called a Pro Thrombin Mutant Gene.  This means that my blood is a little bit thicker than most people.  Generally speaking this shouldn't cause me any problems but should be monitored.  In relation to having a baby, it could be instrumental in the baby not getting the nutrients it needs to survive in the womb.  To counteract this I was told that when I next found out I was pregnant I would need to return to haematology to be given blood thinning injections to be injected every day of my pregnancy alongside taking a low dose aspirin... I knew the low dose aspirin suggestion on it's own was too good to be true!  This really upset me and took some getting used to.  But I knew I would need to get used to it, if I was going to give me and my husband the best chance of having a baby so we decided to wait until after Christmas and try again - hopeful that next time, maybe everything would be ok!!  And if I was pregnant maybe having daily injections would be a small price to pay for a beautiful baby at the end of it!

Again, I will continue this story with part five!  I'm getting pretty close to the present date now so hopefully this isn't too dull and long for people reading the story!

My prayer is that by reading this, people won't feel alone in their circumstances.  That by reading this people will feel that there is someone else out their who has irrational and rational fears, who has had difficulties and hurts and who is still pursuing a dream that hasn't happened yet!

Some of the things I discuss will seem small to others but have been giants to face in my life... I pray that you would have the confidence to face your fears!  God didn't promise an easy life but He did promise to be with us always and to give us the strength to face our circumstances head on :-)  I'm not perfect and have daily struggles but thankfully His mercies are new every day!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

My journey in trying for a baby - part three

So here is part three of my story in trying for a baby... so at the end of May beginning of June 2010 I lost my 3rd baby (I've put both months as it was about 3 weeks from finding out that the baby wasn't alive to actually miscarrying (see part two).

I found the time after this miscarriage a lot harder than my first miscarriage for a number of reasons:
  • I hadn't thought there was anything wrong... the pregnancy to me seemed to be going well and up to going for the first scan my body felt really pregnant!
  • My best friend got pregnant (unplanned) at pretty much the exact same time that I was going through my miscarriage... I found out 3 months down the line after her first scan.  However, between the time of my miscarriage and her three months scan she was very elusive and not available.  I can understand why so there's no blame given but I found this really difficult as I really needed someone to talk to and to spend time with.  I also fell apart when she told me the news.  I think on my journey that was one of the worst if not the worst days!  She had rung me to tell me and to explain that it wasn't her timing and, as people do when they are having difficult conversations, she said something that probably afterwards she wished she hadn't.  She said 'it wasn't our timing but I guess it must be God's so we'll have to work through it'.  Having just lost a baby to be told that it was God's timing for someone who had no desire to be pregnant was awful.  (I share a lot of this in the hope that someone reading this will realise that you're not alone in your experiences).  I didn't cope with this at all.  I rushed through some lame congratulatory sentences desperate for her to get off the phone and as soon as she did I suffered a really bad panic attack.   There have been days when my husband just hasn't known what to do to comfort or help me and this was one of those days!
  • Work... In April 2010, our organisation was taken over by a different organisation.  This organisation decided to do a service review and then a restructure.  I returned to work towards the end of June and had a 'return to work meeting' with my Manager where I explained that I was fine to be back but the Doctor had said to take it easy and in the short term not to take on any additional responsibility.  The following week information on the restructure came out to say that one Manager would need to take on two teams rather than one and that Manager would be me.  Again I was so hurt that people couldn't see how much I was struggling or worse still didn't care.  I spoke to the decision makers and was told I had three options - to take a career break for a year!?, to be demoted (but they couldn't guarantee geographically where I would be placed or what work I would be doing) or to get on with it.  I chose the last option but this created extra tiredness, stress and weariness
I believe time is a great healer and despite having just had a third miscarriage (which I'll write about later) most days I am feeling more positive than how I was last year.  But the above things didn't make it easy working through the grieving process and the loss me and my husband had been through.

I had numerous blood tests.  I know to most this is no big deal... but unfortunately, the only one phobia I have is needles... and wasps (but I see the two things as related :-))  Put me in a room with tarantulas, take me to a great height etc and I'll be fine but ask me to have an injection and I am full of fear! lol.  I've got to say that this phobia is starting to get less and become more something that I really dislike but that's because of the sheer amount of injections/ needles I've had to have since then as you will read in future updates!!

Anyway, I hope all of you who are reading this are well today!  It's a beautiful sunny spring day here... I think Spring weather always helps to make situations feel a little bit better! :-)  Part four to follow soon... if you are still following this and not finding it too long ;-)  I've never been good at telling short stories! :-)