It’s been three weeks and one day since we discovered our missed miscarriage at the 12-week scan. And two weeks five days since the ERPC procedure. So let’s call it three weeks since the nightmare began.
When we heard those words, that our baby had no heartbeat, my own heart broke. I looked at my husband, who had dissolved into tears before my eyes, and my first thought was: ‘I knew it was too good to be true.’
We went through the motions, from crying in bed and having no motivation to do anything, to slowly picking ourselves up, day by day. And now, three weeks on, I cannot believe I can say I’m starting to feel better.
I almost feel guilty just admitting this to myself. It’s like saying I don’t care anymore, that I’ve moved on. Trust me, I haven’t. I still think about what could have/should have been and how unfair it all is every hour of every day. But I know I’m turning a corner, which is the biggest relief ever.
Here’s how I know.
1. My body is getting back to normal
I stopped bleeding from the ERPC about two days ago, and what a blessed relief that is.
My little pot belly is still there a bit, but the bloating has gone down and I no longer look pregnant anymore. My digestion and constipation (sorry) are slowly improving, and my skin looks less sallow and pale.
I’m not quite ‘there’ yet, though. My nipples started lactating last week, which was so, so sad for me. And I’m still having headaches and migraines.
But… I don’t feel pregnant now. Which is OK. I mean, it’s not – I can’t believe I went through a first trimester of pregnancy for nothing – but my body is slowly healing.
2. I’m back at work and I’m coping
I was dreading going back to work. Before the miscarriage, my job had been really full on, and I was absolutely exhausted from it.
But two weeks off sick was just what I needed. I really struggled to decide whether to take the second week, but I’m so glad I did.
It gave me some much-needed perspective and made me realise that working those long hours was doing me no good at all.
I read Zita West’s IVF Diet book last week and she strongly emphasises the importance of limiting stress. So this week, back at work, I told my boss I wanted to work a couple of days at home from now on and that I was going to be stricter with myself with my work hours.
Surprisingly, she was OK with this. But I know it’ll be easier said than done.
And I coped, folks. Even when I was in a meeting with a girl who is 18 weeks pregnant – a few weeks more than I should have been. I smiled, said appropriate things and – somehow – did’t cry. In short, I survived.
3. I’m planning my next IVF move
First thing first, I have an appointment at the hospital to check my cervix in two weeks.
After my ERPC procedure, the doctor said they saw what could potentially be abnormalities and wanted to double check there’s nothing sinister going on up there.
But, after that – which I’m assuming will go OK – I want to start working towards my next IVF cycle. We have four frozen embryos at GENNET, but we’re seriously considering doing a fresh round in the UK. IVF Surrey is quite near us, is relatively reasonably priced and has good success rates, so that’s a consideration.
My husband and I are thinking it might be less stressful to do our final fresh IVF round in this country. Yes, much more expensive, but when you add up the cost of accommodation and transport in Prague (which will be expensive in August and September), as well as private scans, it’s not vastly different.
But then I think: what if there are two viable pregnancies out of those four frozen embryos? It’s highly unlikely, given our track record so far (five transfers = zero babies), but we could be throwing away thousands of pounds for no reason…
Whatever we do, I know this planning is helping me change my focus away from the past and towards the future. And I do feel positive it’s going to work now. Yes, our last pregnancy resulted in miscarriage, but I have hope we will get our babies, by hook or by crook!
4. I’m doing nice things for myself
I don’t know about you, but I struggle to treat myself. I always feel guilty – that I shouldn’t waste money on frivolous things when I could spend it on IVF.
However, ladies, now is the time to invest in yourself. You don’t have to spend loads of money to do so nice. But it’s actually OK if you do.
Some of the nice things I’ve done over the last three weeks are:
- Had reflexology – I’m lucky we have a lady who does massages and reflexology who comes to our office. This week, I treated myself to 45 minutes reflexology and it was brilliant. Apparently it’s good for rebalancing your body, and I honestly feel it’s made a difference.
- Bought a few clothes in the sale – including a £50+ fleece from Fat Face, reduced to £12.50, and a coat from Sainsbury’s reduced from £32 to £12. Both are warm and snuggly, which is perfect for the changeable weather at the moment. How I love a good bargain!
- Started exercising again – after three months off, my first run last week was horrendous. I was so angry with myself for being so unfit. But, five runs in, I’m definitely getting stronger. I always feel better after a jog. I’m also doing my 10 press-up challenge. Progress, people. It’s all about feeling like you’re making progress.
- Cooked some good grub – I don’t love cooking, but I’ve made a real effort over the last three weeks to cook from scratch, buy healthy snacks and start planning my meals better. Tonight I’m making a veggie lasagne and I’m actually looking forward to it.
- Borrowed loads of books from the library – I love books and I love libraries, too. Going into one reminds me of being a kid. All these books, and for free! I was going to buy a couple of books from Amazon, but no need. The library has them. And many of them are about self care, which is exactly what I need right now.
5. I feel a bit more like me
I think all of the above are helping me to feel like myself again. Three weeks ago, I felt like my world was ending. Now I am physically and mentally getting back to normal, and it’s a huge relief.
And that’s because I’ve given myself lots of time off (I’m the kind of person who needs a lot of down time and space), I’ve gone back to work when I was ready and I’ve really looked after myself.
I was so angry, irritable and upset in the first couple of weeks following the ERPC. Now, I’m OK. And you will be too. But if it takes more than three weeks, that’s OK. We’re all different, and what works for me won’t necessarily be the same for you.
I do hope you manage to turn the corner soon.