May 9th to 15th 2016

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Kelly's story

After trying unsuccessfully for 2 years,  my husband and I sought help through Fertility Plus. I was 28 and my husband 29. We went through all the standard testing and nothing was obvious as to why we weren't conceiving. I suffered from painful periods so underwent a laparoscopy in September 2013 after three unsuccessful IUI's on chlomiphene. The laparoscopy showed up very low grade endo which was removed. We continued to try naturally, while those around me seemed to fall pregnant by just looking at their partners! This was a really tough time where I was consumed by envy and longing for my own child. I am an Early Childhood Education  teacher so my life was very child-based and some of my closest friends were starting to fall pregnant with their second and third. We had paid thousands of dollars for the three private IUI's on chlomiphene as well as seeing various natural specialists to try herbs and supplements - not to mention weekly acupuncture!

In February 2015 (after three years of trying!) we were in shock when we saw the two blue lines on the pregnancy test. We thought surely after waiting so long that this was it. Sadly at 6 weeks I started bleeding. I went to the A&E where the dr on duty did a urine test and told me that if I had been pregnant, I definitely was not anymore. I was devastated but I had no time to be sad as I had to be bridesmaid for my best friend the next day. Our GP sent us for a scan to make sure everything had passed naturally and then I tried to move on. Everyone told me how common miscarriages were and that "at least now you know you can get pregnant!".

In April following that we again got a positive pregnancy test - however this one ended less than a week later. The Dr called it a 'bio-chemical' - again telling me this was very common. This one affected me much more than the last for some reason. I started to isolate myself a bit from friends and family, this wasn't helped by the fact that my older sister had fallen pregnant accidentally which caused friction for everyone involved, including my parents.  As our relationship started to mend itself when my niece (whom I adore) was born, I again found myself pregnant again. This time my hcg levels were monitored every second day. They were looking good, doubling steadily. At 6 weeks I started to get some spotting but everyone said this was normal. Tests were still coming back postive but my dr sent me for an early scan just to check and the radiologist could see straight away that there was a mass in my Fallopian tube and no sign of pregnancy in the uterus. I was rushed to hospital straight from the scan. I had to call my husband at work to tell him to meet me there. He was starting to get embarrassed by having to tell his bosses that he needed yet more time off as his wife was losing yet another pregnancy. It seemed like he needed to make something up as it was almost unbelievable! After a night in the wards, I was treated in hospital for an ectopic pregnancy with methotrexate in November 2015. I was sent home and told that it was best not to try for 3-6 months being that methotrexate can have bad side effects on any pregnancy during this time. I almost felt relief at being forced to take a break! My husband and I vowed to have fun over summer and enjoy ourselves before starting try again in the future which we did.

Lo and behold, after exactly three months we "accidentally" got pregnant again in February 2016. I had stopped taking all of my folic acid and supplements so I was wary. This time I found out a week after my best friend had told me she was pregnant. We would be two weeks apart! I couldn't even get excited knowing my history. I was hopeful but expecting the worst. I was again monitored with blood tests every second day by the early pregnancy unit and the recurrent miscarriage clinic. I had no bleeding but at 5.5 weeks, on a Sunday morning my GP called to tell me that my hcg had stopped increasing and this pregnancy was not viable. I waited for two weeks before I started to miscarry again, and was barely managing to maintain a normal life. I was going to work, but I would come home and go straight to bed. The recurrent miscarriage testing has shown up that my anti-cardiolipin levels are slightly higher than the norm however our specialist is unsure if this is the leading factor for our losses.

I am now gradually picking up the pieces again... We are on the IVF waiting list now and also have support from Fertility Plus and the recurrent miscarriage clinic. We have recently paid for my husband to have a SCSA test where they look at the DNA fragmentation, I have also just had another hsg where they have found some scarring or endo on my tube so we are waiting now to hear back from the specialist as to what that may mean. We hope to privately pay for some lipiadol treatment in the next few months. I go between thinking positively to having panic attacks at the thought that I may not ever get to be a Mum which is the he worst case scenario for me. This has been such a rough ride for my husband and I but we have had so much support from our families and good friends and I so find peace when I hear of others who have suffered from recurrent miscarriages going on to have successful pregnancies. I could write for days about the emotional roller coaster I have been through but I think at this stage I am a bit numbed to it all! I used to be very open about what was going on but after the last loss I fear that people are uncomfortable and have run out of sympathetic things to say. I feel like it's unfair of me to take any more time off work when we have a loss as they happen so often. I also feel robbed - there will never be excitement when I get a positive test because it is always overridden by anxiety. I don't think I will ever believe that I can carry a full term pregnancy until I have a baby on my arms!  I also feel ripped off that for many others around me pregnancy can be such a joy and easy ride and this has not been the case for me.

So, this is my journey! I am very aware that there are couples in worse situations than us and all we can do is keep on trucking and try to stay positive and hopeful. I always appreciate seeing posts and information from Fertility New Zealand and all the support they provide for us riding this roller coaster :-)