Tuesday, 17 December 2013

I don't like to swear on the blog, but...

by Bex


You don't want to read this.  It isn't a happy post and it is December which is supposed to be magical and full of Christmas cheer and miracles and you will not find any of those things here today.  I will be quite honest and say this is a selfish, woe-is-me, depressing post.  It is raw and emotional and therefore probably also crap writing.  I just had to get it out, this is what I do when I am sad.  (Come back tomorrow for pre-arranged Christmas jolliness if you like.)


Today I just received the ultimate in bad news - yet another unexpected, unusual, rare problem which means we are rapidly losing the already fading hope that I will ever be pregnant.  You honestly couldn't make this up.  Everything we've been through and the fact that I just find it so hard to believe myself, that just one person can have so many different rare problems.  As much as I want to believe this will happen for us, and I know so many of you are trying to do this for me, I have always tried to remain realistic at each stage; knowing how low our chances are after each failed treatment and yet I've always been excited and hopeful that finally, finally our luck must change.  This just has to happen for us.  And yet, it really, really may not.  Ever.  Each time we have another plan and after all the waiting and feeling in limbo, I get so excited when something is happening only to be utterly deflated again as yet another attempt is unsuccessful.  Despite all the advice with the best intentions when people recommend certain things we can try, if they can't get embryos inside me then no amount of eating well, de-stressing, second opinions, acupuncture are ever going to help.  They are not going to change my anatomy.

I understand too much (being from a semi-medical background and married to a surgeon) to know that in our case with everything we have discovered this year, there will be no miraculous conception for us, however much we wish it.

Unless you have faced your biggest fear, having something you always took for granted (which in this case is basically how I thought I would be living 30s.  I was fully expecting to at least have a baby by now, if not a toddler!) suddenly being taken away from you, I don't think you can fully understand the feelings involved.  Not that you have to, like I said, I write about this just to get it out.   The family life I expected to be living by now is the biggest thing I thought I'd ever do and I have to accept it may not ever happen as expected.


I have always lived and worked with the intention of one day being a mother, growing and bringing up children.  I can no longer watch Chandler's speech about Monica already being a "mother without a baby", when he pleads with Erica to let them adopt her baby, without being a complete blubbering wreck muttering "me too" like a pathetic child.  To have the possibility of getting pregnant slowly but surely diminish over a year has been something I really wasn't sure I could withstand.  And yet I have.  Each and every time something went wrong I kept going and I'm not ready to give up yet.


I have periods, they get out, so there has to be a canal there.  It's not missing or blocked.  They just can't find it or get in it.  And since that's the only way for me to be pregnant, I can't say goodbye to the possibility yet that somehow they might manage.  They've said they might try again and just warn me of a higher chance of perforation (basically be more forceful) but risking a hysterectomy or infection is nothing since I won't ever be pregnant without this procedure anyway.  The thing is, the surgeon couldn't even see the way in.  My anatomy's all messed up.  It's not good when you surprise so many doctors.  I am the wrong kind of medical marvel.

I'm trying, I really am.

I am also fully aware that this is not the only way to be a mother.  I am not ready to face the alternative yet.  If this really is the end of the possibility of me ever carrying our child I will have to grieve for the baby I always assumed I would have, as a person always planning ahead and thinking of the future, that is something I've thought about in detail.  In fact when I was somewhat disappointed with our wedding photos (there's not really a good one of just Nik and I) I said to Nik that I was going to get a really good photographer to do a bump shoot when I got pregnant.  And when I visited friends with new babies, I would always think about when it would be my turn and how I couldn't wait to be a mother who would stand up to any judgemental breast feeding bitches out there, whether it was about feeding in public or not managing it at all.  Having read so much about these issues, I couldn't wait for my turn and I was going to be brave and stand up to them.  Not to mention all the fun stuff too.  I have already designed the nursery in my head (and on Pinterest) and have the fabric for baby bunting.  I have my old knitted baby clothes from when I was born, the cot my grandfather made for my dolls, the dress my Mum bought for Vikki's baby but liked too much to give away and is now stashed in my spare room wardrobe.  I imagined walking along with my bump discussing baby names with Nik in the park where we got married.  Going to pregnancy yoga, joining in with the Mummy friends and midnight sleepless tweets.  Tempting fate, perhaps.  I don't know what I believe anymore.

I remember when we first started trying to conceive and I wanted to avoid having a baby at the same time as year as my birthday (30th Dec).  I remember saying this to Gemma as I always moan about my birthday and how so many people can never celebrate with me and I wouldn't want the same for my child and we actually stopped trying for a couple of months.  And I remember she said to me "be careful what you wish for" and I've never forgotten it.  And she was right.  If I never have a baby then it will never be an issue.

If we adopt in the future (and it will have to be in the future since we're probably moving this summer for Nik's job so can't start the process yet anyway), there will still be things I miss out on.  The bump photos, watching it grow, maternity shopping, that coming home from the hospital feeling of oh, shit what do we do now, the newborn photos, naming ceremony, excited tweets, having my own (potentially horrific yet amazing) labour story, breast feeding (even though I'm scared I'll hate it), baby shopping for all the bath bits, clothes, nappies, Sophie the giraffe...

I know all this because I have seen so many people experience these things, a lot of them recently.  I've been trying to be patient for my turn but it would be so much easier if I knew it would eventually BE my turn.  I currently know at least 9 people who are currently pregnant or have just had babies.  Some of them closer than others.  This makes me sound awful but it's not easy being happy for them.  I am happy for them, I don't want anyone else to go through what we are but it can be very difficult to see everyone else's happiness while being unable to think of my own which may never come.  I don't want to feel like this.  I want to be able to enjoy this time with them and on occasions I can, like when I went shopping for maternity clothes with Roz last week.  But it's so often hard.

We're not the only ones who are going through this.  I am aware that I am not a special case.  But this is how I feel right now.  It's mainly the fear of losing everything I never had.  Which sounds ridiculous.  I am fed up.  I have had enough.  I just want to go to sleep and wake up in 2014.  Which could quite possibly turn out worse than 2013 but I'm running out of energy.  I'm starting to wonder if it just isn't meant to be.


I do want to just say thank you again to everyone who via Twitter/email/phone/text/flowers has been supporting me yesterday and today when I suddenly found out yesterday morning that this was going to happen today and I was so excited to get one step closer.  And then when the nerves hit this morning before my GA.  And when I got the news that we've failed yet again to get any closer to being parents.  This one has been the most difficult so far in that we're getting to the end of our options, although I have cried the least today.  I think I'm beginning to expect the worst after all of our experiences throughout the year and as much as I hate to be that person, I can't help but lose some optimism.  So thank you.  For believing for me, for the love and for being my friends.  I'm sorry I've not been such a good one this year.


Unknown said...

Lovely Bex
There is nothing I can say which will help or make you feel better. I know that. But I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you. I wish I knew you "in real life" so I could hug you. That's all really.
Lots of love xxxxxxx

Sarah said...

I couldn't read this and not comment. I don't know you in real life but I read your wonderful blog all the time. I'm sorry you have to go through this. Sending you love and thinking of you xx

Unknown said...


I have now words for you that can change this, and I have not gone through this so I cannot say I know how it feels but I just want you to know I am sending my love and thinking of both of you.


LionLovingTiger said...


I'm so sorry to hear your news and send big hugs your way.


Frankie said...

So so sorry and sending you virtual hugs. X x x x x

Lorri said...

Like some of the other people who have commented I don't know you in real life but want you to know that I'm thinking of you and Nik at this time. I really do wish that one day your dream of becoming a Mum will come true which ever path you take. If there ever comes a day when you feel that there is no hope remember that we are all here and we'll keep hoping for you. Hugs and a handhold. Lorri x

Amanda said...

Bex, I am so so sorry to read this today. I was really hoping / cheering / praying for you both, that *this* might be your time. I really do believe that it can happen, and I hope you have found a team of medical professionals that will be able to help you.

And I get you on all the feelings, on the fear, on not being ready to even fully ponder the alternatives or even think about it at all. I really wish I could make it all better.

I don't want to seem disrespectful / naive with these questions, but,

-if they were able to retrieve your eggs / follicles in two different cycles with the transvaginal needle, it means they should be able to go back in with the catheter for the embryo transfer? Could it be that depending on the moment of your cycle your cervix is more or less accesible?(With our failed IUIs there were a couple of occasions when the doctor had trouble accessing).

-Did you have an hysterosalpingography done already? I know this is an obvious question, but, they should be able to see if there is any blockage / curvature / anomaly? And hopefully get an idea on how to bypass it?

-I am not sure if fertility treatments are this far yet in humans, and I really do not want to be disrespectful with this, but as a vet I know that on sheep, IVF / Embryo transfers through laparoscopy (minor surgery)have been succesfully performed, placing the embryos directly in the uterus, because anatomically it is very difficult to access. Maybe this could be a possibility?

M-J said...

Thinking of you xxx

Rachie @ A Chi Chi Affair said...

Heartbreaking. And I too are so sorry that you are going through this. Its just not fair. Not sure if you believe in fate but if it helps then i believe this is your journey and you will look back on it and understand why one day - however utterly shit it might seem now. You will be a mother somehow and however that child gets to you then they will be lucky to have you as mum.

lots of love xxxx

Amanda M said...

You're so right that I can't really know how you feel but although I can't empathise, I so, so sympathise. I have two friends who are going through something similar and it is utterly heart breaking.

You don't have to be jolly or happy, you just have to be you: that's enough for everyone who loves you. And it's clear that many people do.

Take care, both of you.

Bex said...

Amanda, no offence taken.

For the transvaginal egg retrieval they insert the needle via the wall of the vagina. There is no issue getting into my vagina. To implant an embryo they need to get into my uterus which they haven't had to do before so weren't aware of the problem. To get into the uterus from the vagina, they have to get through the cervix which is the problem. I never had a hysterosalpingography. I had an ovarian assessment where they checked with an internal ultrasound scan for any problems with my ovaries or uterus. Presumably they did not see or notice the problem with my cervix.

There is only one point in my cycle when they can perform the implantation as they need the endometrium to be there for the embryo to attach to and implant. The problem was therefore picked up when they were physically unable to insert the catheter to place the embryo inside my uterus. They then ascertained using the internal and external ultrasound that there appeared to be a 90 degree bend in my cervix as my uterus is ante-verted and ante-flexed, basically sitting at a funny angle (or I think actually the correct angle but via a very twisty cervix, I suspect this is why it wasn't picked up at previous scans).

The procedure today was arranged on the NHS to try to stretch and straighten my cervix and also dilate the canal so they will be able to pass the catheter next time. This is when they discovered that my anatomy is very unusual and they weren't even able to gain access using stronger instruments.

My private IVF doctor, who has an excellent reputation, has suggested we can try the dilatation and hysteroscopy again before giving up. He has mentioned gaining access via another approach (transmyometrial embryo transfer -

"Transmyometrial embryo transfer

In this method , using a special Towako set, two needles (one inside of the other) are passed through the vagina into the uterus wall , under ultrasound guidance, until the needle tip reaches the edge of the endometrial lining. The inner needle is then removed and a thin catheter is inserted inside the outer needle, which carries the embryo into the cavity. The embryos are then released in the endometrium. But the success rate with such embryo transfers are less when compared to transcervical embryo transfers." http://blog.drmalpani.com/2013/01/all-you-wanted-to-know-about-embryo.html)

But this apparently has horrendous success rates, he says he has had to resort to this only 3 times in his working life - of course I have all the rare things - and it has never worked although we haven't ruled out this option yet and 3 isn't a high number for a significant result, if we were number 4 and it worked then 1 in 4 is a pretty good result! He suggests surrogacy as our next option if the dilation still doesn't work next time. Like I said, we're not giving up yet.

Unknown said...

Oh Bex. I saw your tweet at lunch today and shed a little tear for you in the restaurant. It kills me that someone so lovely and kind and generous can be having such a hard time. I wish wish wish I could just lend you my insides which are probably never going to be used for a baby for me and give them to you. I wish so many things for you, and at the same time feel awkward posting a blog comment at a time when you might need some peace and quiet. I'd love to email you, if that's okay? Xxxx

Anonymous said...

Oh Bex - just saw this post! Gutted for you and Nik, and so sorry you are having to go through this!
Am thinking of you often, and hoping and hoping! xx

Gemma C-S said...

Of all the times for me to be right - this is NOT the one I'd choose. Love you and thinking of you xx

Anonymous said...

I'm just catching up and was thinking how beautiful your Christmas decs were and how amazing you are for putting so much effort into everything, then I read this. I'm so sorry Bex.

All I can say is, you've come this far, you are so strong and you can keep going. And you will be a mother, even if that is via a route you didn't think you would take, and it will be just as sweet one day. x

Lottie said...

I'm sorry for ever giving advice about acupuncture, healthy lifestyle etc. and giving you the impression that if only you did those things then you would miraculously become pregnant.

You are right, they won't necessarily make you pregnant and living with that growing possibility every single day becomes a physical pain that just drains your strength and happiness. BUT they do give you a tiny tiny bit of control over a situation that feels like a runaway train right now. Should a fertilized egg be implanted miraculously, then it will be implanted into the womb of a healthy, relaxed person which will be one factor for optimal success.

You have so much to deal with and I just hope it works out. During out fertility treatments, fertility counselling was a huge help. Perhaps this is currently an avenue for you, or the two of you, to explore.

A counselor will help you grieve, explore other pathways, help you cope with the day to day of what you are having to go through.

Anonymous said...


This your latest post made me cry a bit. Wish we could change the way things work out with mere words.
Thinking of both of you, and sending my love and virtual hugs.

I'm sorry that life seems to be such a bitch at the moment.

I'm praying for a rainbow tomorrow.

AS x

Anonymous said...


This your latest post made me cry a bit. Wish we could change the way things work out with mere words.
Thinking of both of you, and sending my love and virtual hugs.

I'm sorry that life seems to be such a bitch at the moment.

I'm praying for a rainbow tomorrow.

AS x

Emma said...

Hi Bex,
Sorry I'm late commenting on this post, but I just wanted to say I'm sorry to hear of the latest developments. I hope that the further attempts are more positive and like you say, there are other ways of becoming parents, even if its too soon/raw to be considering them. Wishing you all the best this Christmas. Love Emma x

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