Endometrial Scratch

So after what can only be described as a quite depressing start to my blogs, I have decided to be more me – someone who is usually quite upbeat, love to have fun and being inappropriate – particularly at times when you really should not (think churches, lectures, meetings – you get the gist)! I love getting into those situations where it’s so ridiculously not funny, it becomes the funniest thing that has ever happened where I am trying to stifle laughter and it keeps escaping through weird snorts and coughs with watering eyes and being barely able to breathe.  I think that might be the best feeling in the world!  I often get like this, and have managed (thank god) to bounce back to my normal self after 3 weeks of hell and sadness.

I haven’t actually updated you as to our next cycle and how it is decided we proceed – I will cover this in another blog very soon as it’s already started and want to update as I go.  What I can say though is there is a new Consultant at our clinic who has taken over our care, and he is HOT! And for this reason I will not disclose which clinic we are at or even the area of the country!

He’s a very professional man, and the feeling is certainly not mutual as he is mainly trying to get me pregnant with my husband’s and my own children.  But it is bloody awkward to be lying legs akimbo with a hot man basically the same age as you doing some quite hideous procedures to you! And last Thursday was no different.

Thursday was a day I was very much dreading.  I had been told 3 weeks ago after our last chemical pregnancy that they would like to try the endometrial scratch to see whether that may help with implantation this time round.  Even the name sounds rank.  Why can’t they call it ‘endometrial caress’ hm that sounds weird.  How about ‘endometrial nudge’?!  I would not be scared of an endometrial nudge! But SCRATCH! Are you effing kidding me.  I’m quite glad I didn’t look up until afterwards what is used to ‘scratch’ you.  It’s more like those extendable branch cutters you use in the garden.  They nip away at your uterus for about 20 seconds…look it up on youtube if you’re bored at lunch/a sadist.

I did want to write a blog to tell you what it’s like and say it’s all fine and not to listen to other blogs or people on FertilityFriend or Baby Centre, but I can’t I’m afraid.  I arrived at the clinic and weirdly was not scared or apprehensive.  I took paracetamol and ibuprofen an hour before as advised.  I then went into the holding room where I got changed for the procedure and was spoken to by the nurse.  Then my nerves did kick in.

The nurse came and sat down to talk me through the procedure.  She said there will be the doctor and a nurse there to BREATHE ME THROUGH THE PROCEDURE. A what now?! To help me breathe?! Is it breath or breathe ? I’ve thought about this too much, they both look weird. Anyway, I was expecting it to be a little uncomfortable, but not like labour!  She did reassure me it was very quick but not very nice.  I burst into tears.  I feel a little bit done with all this prodding and having to lie in the most ridiculously non lady-like positions with strangers doing horrible things to my bits!  And it felt like enough was enough at that point.  Especially when blokes just get to go and wank in a room and get on with their lives!

So I was lead in to the room where the fit doctor was waiting to scratch me up.  I sat at the end of the bed with my head in my hands and declared I was very unexcited about this whole thing, and I might just not do IVF and be a rich childless couple (we’re not rich but I think we might be one day if not paying for uni fees and school uniforms).  However, I lay back and got on with it anyway.  I must say the doctor was good at being very quick and getting it over and done with.  He said that some people feel nothing and others hit the roof – guess which one I was.

It really is very quick and I did breathe/breath through it.  But eff my life! The pain was insane.  Like the worst ever ever period pain – the type that makes you puke your brains out and feel faint.  It was over after 20 seconds and I just lay there in shock and pain for another minute.  They make you stay lying down for that time in case you do puke or faint.  And then that was it.  I walked out, got dressed and it was done!

So if you are going in for an endo scratch and you’re worried – well I probably haven’t helped.  But I would say – you might be one of the lucky ones who feels nothing, or just think about the fact it will be over before it’s even begun and 5 mins later you won’t feel a thing!  The picture at the top of this blog is a true representation of what happens.

Chemical Pregnancy

I was planning to write every day but realised this is not a good idea with a very busy job!  I want to share what’s going on with this 4th IVF cycle, but also wanted to talk about some of the issues that I have come up against and see if anyone else has any tips/feels the same.

Although I wasn’t too affected emotionally by my first two cycles, it seems the last one has really hit me and it seems that a lot of people around me don’t really understand the enormity of the situation.  It may be my own fault that I have reacted well previously, so friends and family are slightly confused my be this time or it might be the fact that it seems very early miscarriage doesn’t warrant much of a reaction.

The term ‘chemical miscarriage’ means a pregnancy loss before the pregnancy can be seen on a scan – so can only be identified chemically by blood or urine test.  This usually occurs from 4 – 6 weeks pregnant and often happens when a positive test is seen and either slowly or very quickly (as in my case) goes to negative before you’re able to have a scan.  It’s a term that a lot of people are now campaigning about removing as it tends to play down the enormity of the experience of having one of these – the term ‘early miscarriage’ should certainly be put in place.

I’m not trying to play down or even try to compare this type of miscarriage with people losing babies much later.  I have a number of friends who have attended their 12 week scans and realised the baby has passed away, and I’ve had a couple of friends who have lost babies very late in pregnancy.  To be honest, having gone through my recent experience, I’m not quite sure how those friends have gotten through those times without just staying in bed and shutting out the world.  This experience has given me a lot appreciation to those who have been through any miscarriage.

I think the problem this time for me, and I can only speak for my own feelings, is that we were officially pregnant for a week and a half.  I know that’s not long and I know, especially in our situation, that you shouldn’t start to look to the future – but it’s human nature surely?  This was the furthest we had ever got with a pregnancy.  The others, as I previously explained, I had seen a very faint positive test, but this was massively different.

We got a positive that just kept getting darker and darker for a week and a half, and then it disappeared.  I didn’t even start bleeding for another 4 days, so I could have gone on until ‘5 weeks’ pregnant without knowing and start bleeding.  It was horrendous.   However, I think it was the reactions of certain friends and family members that really got me.  Stating things like ‘some people wouldn’t even know they’re pregnant at 5 weeks’ well I did as I’M DOING IVF.  ‘This is your way of life now and you need to get used to these things happening’ – that doesn’t make it better. It’s not just the actual words that have hurt me and made me feel like I’m not allowed to be sad, or I’m pathetic in some way for being sad, it’s actually some of the people that have been there every step of the way with me, through all cycles, that have just treated this like nothing has happened, not checked in to see if I’m ok, and actually been actively horrible in some cases!!

Anyway, I have been surprised at my own reaction, but think it might be the fact that I dared to dream (thank you Izzy Judd for a great title) and that this was a compounded reaction to three failed attempts.   I don’t expect people to understand, but I don’t expect their opinions either.

I think the term chemical pregnancy really undermines what happens to you and how someone should feel.  You still see the positive test, you still go to bed that night thinking ‘oh my god I’m pregnant’.  You still have to watch what you eat and what you do physically.  You start to get some symptoms, like bigger boobs and feeling very tired.  You still feel that inner elation and contentment that you are pregnant and a certain glow about the day.  And then it goes away.  It’s really screwed up.

I remember I just felt something had gone wrong, I ran to get more tests to check and everything was still positive and fine, but I just knew something wasn’t right.  I cried at my desk at work thinking, oh god I won’t be able to deal with this if it all goes wrong.  And it did.  But I’m out the other side now.

I don’t want this to be all doom and gloom but I did want to write this.  To anyone who is going through this right now – you do come out the other side.  Your hormones calm down, the tears do dry, you do end up laughing about something even without just a brave face, and trust be you do enjoy a little tipple to help! We sent ourselves away for Easter – it was actually something that I had booked when I was pregnant to try to distract ourselves before our first scan (which was meant to be this week).  However, we still enjoyed it. I enjoyed the fact I could now go in the hot tub on the beach, the pool and enjoy a prosecco here and wine with dinner!

In our room in the hotel there was this painting which initially made me angry, but then I thought how I would feel if it was there and I was pregnant.  Maybe I’ll visit there again and it will be going right instead and I’ll be really happy to see the painting!