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Polycystic ovary syndrome and miscarriage

While waiting to start fertility treatment, Lauren found out she was pregnant. Sadly, she miscarried just a few weeks later.

I tried my best to get excited but for some reason, I had a black cloud over me. I just couldn’t relax.

I got diagnosed with PCOS in 2011, so I always knew I was going to have a few issues conceiving.  I got married in 2014 and we decided to wait a little while to try.  In 2015, we decided to “see what happens”.  I decided to visit my GP in Feb 2016 to discuss my PCOS and my options.  My GP sent me for blood tests which showed that my PCOS, while not horrendous, was hindering my chances of conception.  After a long 6 months of tests, I was finally referred to a fertility specialist for “primary infertility”.

I was prescribed metformin and Clomid at the beginning of December 2016 to get me ovulating.  After discussions with my consultant, we decided to wait until the New Year before starting on the meds.  With Clomid, you have to have scans to check for follicles so we didn’t want this to fall over Christmas.  This gave me a bit of breathing space to enjoy “party season” and chill out for a while.

Over Christmas, I started to feel quite unwell.  I had flu-like symptoms and a bad chest.  I was also very emotional and was feeling quite sorry for myself.  Pregnancy didn’t even cross my mind even though I hadn’t had a period since the middle of November (not unusual for me!) and considering we had been trying for over a year and I hadn’t even started on my meds yet.

I had to take a pregnancy test before I started on my medication.  We were due to go to Berlin over New Year, so I thought best to take a pregnancy test sooner, rather than later so I could enjoy Berlin and be prepared to start my treatment as soon as we returned.

On 28th December, I did the test.  I just sat there thinking about Berlin and what I needed to pack and how the hell I was going to fit all my stuff in my small hand-luggage bag.  I never in a million years expected to see what I saw.  I looked down and there it was – a big, strong blue cross.   I could not believe it.

I called my husband into the bathroom and showed him.  He was in utter shock.  I ran out and bought another test, one of the digital ones.  It showed that I was “2-3” weeks pregnant.  From that second, I loved that baby more than anything.  It was some kind of miracle.  My body had FINALLY done what it was meant to do.

On my return from Berlin, I contacted my consultant’s secretary who booked me in for an early scan on 13 January.  I was so nervous and my anxiety was through the roof.  Apart from mildly sore boobs, I had no pregnancy symptoms whatsoever.  This panicked me.  Endless Googling later, I had convinced myself that something was wrong.

We went for my scan on 13 January.  The scan showed a gestational sac and what was a tiny little blob on the screen.  They couldn’t see a heartbeat yet because they only dated me at 5 weeks.  I had to return the following week.  This was absolute torture.

I returned to the hospital on 20 January to be scanned by my very lovely consultant.  And there it was….a LOVELY little heartbeat flickering on the screen.  I burst into tears.  I couldn’t believe that we had got so lucky after all this time.  I was measuring at 6 weeks  3 days.  I worked out that I was due around my birthday in September.  I couldn’t have asked for a better present.

The next week was filled with blood tests and making midwife appointments.  I tried my best to get excited but for some reason, I had a black cloud over me.  I just couldn’t relax.  I still had no symptoms of pregnancy.  I felt absolutely fine.  I couldn’t shake off the worry.

On Tuesday 31 Jan, I had a bit of a stomach ache.  I was in work as usual and went to the bathroom where I noticed a small amount of spotting in my underwear.  I immediately panicked and felt sick.  I called my midwife who advised me that a small amount of spotting was quite common in early pregnancy and to try not to worry.  I visited my GP that evening who advised me the same, but to come back in a week if it was still continuing and then they would scan me.  I could not rest.  I was so anxious and I just knew something was wrong.  I have always been a great believer in trusting your gut instinct.  I just knew this wasn’t good.  My husband and my mum tried to convince me otherwise, but I knew it was no good.

By the Friday, I had booked myself in for a private scan on 4 February.  I just had to know one way or the other, either to put my mind at rest or to just start to expect the inevitable.  By this time, my bleeding was becoming progressively worse.

The private scan was awful.  As I went into the room, I knew what they were going to say.  As she scanned me, the sonographer simply said “I’m sorry; it’s not worked out well this time”.  Her words cut through me (and I was upset by her choice of words) but I KNEW she was going to tell me that.   There was no heartbeat.  Our baby was only measuring 6 weeks 4 days when I should have been 8 weeks.  Which means my baby probably died a day or two after our initial scan.  I was beyond heartbroken.  I was heartbroken for us, for the hopes and dreams I had for this very much loved baby.  I was heartbroken for our parents.  I felt like I had let everyone down.  Why did this have to happen to us?  This baby was so wanted.

The following days were a nightmare.  More scans at the hospital.  Being prodded and poked while bleeding heavily and feeling like my heart had been ripped out.

I am still upset that I had to sit in a room with heavily pregnant women coming out of the ultrasound rooms elated with their perfect babies – whilst I sat in the same room mourning the loss of mine.  It all felt dreadfully unfair.

I had my D&C on February 8 and thankfully, I healed well after the surgery.  Emotionally, I’m getting there.  I have enrolled myself in counselling because I actually felt like I was on the edge of a “black hole” of grief and I needed help before I fell into it.

My family and friends have been absolutely wonderful.  I am struggling a bit at the moment when I see pregnancy announcements – but I am trying to remind myself that I don’t know their journeys and how long it took them to get where they are now.  I don’t want bitterness or envy to take over.

I created a memory box with my first scan photo, my pregnancy tests and the cards I received from my friends and family.  I also pressed a couple of flowers and I wrote a letter to our baby.  It helped immensely with the grieving period.

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