End of July 2019 was suppose to be an exciting and happy new beginning for me and Alex. He had a lengthy court case which was so stressful for me. I’ve never even been to court before. I am not allowed to discuss what it was about for legal reasons but the stress of the horrible cold legal professionals played havoc with my mental health and well-being, so much so that doctors told me to delay treatment till the lengthy 5 day court hearing was over.
I started my 3rd round of treatment 1 week after the case had finished. I had spent 3 months preparing my body and mind; I tried my best following all of the advice especially not allowing these court proceedings to cause me any stress on my journey. So I started talking the talk and walking the walk. I cut out processed foods, meditated as much as I could, visualised our baby in my arms, had weekly acupuncture, ate a very healthy diet and tried to get plenty of sleep.. I saw professor Lesley Reagan a miscarriage specialist and a haematologist. I was diagnosed with the MTHFR mutation gene -It is an anomaly in a person's genetic coding which interferes with the body's ability to produce MTHFR enzyme. The MTHFR enzyme, in turn, is the chemical produced by the body to properly metabolize folic acid (vitamin B9). With that being said, many women with recurrent miscarriage will test positive for the MTHFR mutation gene. So I was advised to take anti-clotting drugs such as clexane and aspirin to reduce the risk of blood clots. I also tested positive for APS - Antiphospholipid syndrome sometimes known as Hughes syndrome, it is a disorder of the immune system that causes an increased risk of blood clots. This means people with APS are at greater risk of developing conditions such as: deep vein thrombosis (DVT), blood clot, stroke and, heart attack This can be hereditary. My mother had a blood clot in the brain (stroke) when I was 14 years old. It was a very scary moment for me, I had come home from school to greet my very young (in her early 40’s) mum, slightly scared to say hello and tell her how my day at school went because I had got In trouble and lost my monthly travel pass again which wasn’t cheap and got me to school on the train to Camden Town. As I opened the front door and said hello to mum I didn’t notice much difference, not till I told her that I lost my travel pass (awaiting her reaction of telling me off) she looked up to the ceiling in a really odd way, collapsed and started convulsing on the floor. Her eyes rolled back and she was foaming at the mouth. I was so scared I didn’t know what to do. I yelled at my little sister who was 10 years old at the time to get out the house and run up and down the road for help. I called 999 and begged them to keep my mummy alive. Luckily she was ok and recovered. She must of had god on her side as the same thing happened again 5 years later this time with my sister and her school friend just pulling up to the front drive in our family car after collecting them both from school! It could have been a very fatal accident. Once again she recovered and was ok. Unfortunately I later found out that my great grandfather from my mums mum side had a stroke (blood clot to the brain) and died In his early 40’s! Doctors have said it is genetic but as long as I look after myself and take my blood thinners I will be fine. This cycle was already different I started taking my aspirin and injecting clexane, I was no longer taking folic acid due to having the MTHFR gene and instead I took a purer form of folic acid - methyl folate. I was having regular blood tests to keep track on the blood clotting conditions, I did EVERYTHING!!! I really felt that I was third time lucky. Surely the universe wasn’t going to do it again to me? I’ve spent thousands on extra tests and seen top specialists on why I miscarried and we finally felt safe that we had been tested for everything and that this time it was going to work. So I welcomed every scan, every blood test, every bruise on my belly from self administered injections. Third time lucky, baby Phoenix Reid. (I spiritually felt it was going to be a boy). The treatment had worked my baby was growing! We would be parents. Dreaming of nappies was no longer a dream! We would be the best parents and Alex couldn’t wait to teach our baby some Mixed Martial Arts and I was being all sensible and bought myself a more practical family car. We did it! If I could get through 5 years of fertility tests and treatment, I could do this too! I embraced the nausea & the fatigue with Netflix and dry toast. We began to consider birthing options. But at seven and a half weeks, the day of yet another blood test to measure my pregnancy hormones and another scan, I knew from the silence in the room and the look from the doctor that my baby was no longer growing. This was all becoming quite normal for me and In a strange way I had no other choice, I cried and then just got over it. Kind midwives and consultants at The Early Pregnancy Unit of The Royal Free Hospital confirmed what my fertility doctors said a miscarriage later that week. For two weeks I bled and cramped and cried. By some small grace, I didn’t need any further intervention. I was saved from more needles, more scans and this time no surgery. I think miscarriage after IVF is different. Our only option for having a family is IVF. That may not be the case for everyone, but it is for me. Relaxing, letting everything go and trusting in the universe will not result in a pregnancy for me. Having sex for fun will not result in baby Reid. Trying Again’ means preparation, weeks of drugs, scans, maybe corrective surgery and let’s not forget needles. When we began this journey, I naively thought that I would be pregnant from my first cycle, I never really thought that the stresses from the outside world could increase your chances of miscarrying. I never really understood the importance of affirmations and visualisations and I never knew how to deal with miscarriages.
I maybe still dreaming of nappies but cycle number 4 just feels so different! I am getting closer to holding my baby with the help of Harley Street Fertility Clinic. In my next blog I will explain what Doctor Venkat is doing that is different and how I feel safer being in her hands. Watch this space