And breathe

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This morning my family said goodbye to my grandma. I couldn’t be there, but I was in spirit and I had one of my cousins read something out for me at the celebration of life. We will miss grandma always but we all have so many memories that will live on forever.

Meanwhile, yesterday was our follow-up appointment at the hospital. Pretty much as expected they have no idea where the infection came from. All my swabs were negative, so I definitely didn’t have any vaginal infection. They found traces of infection in the placenta and the babies though (the boys were otherwise perfect – no physical abnormalities/defects that would have caused a miscarriage). The most likely explanation is that some bacteria that’s naturally present in the vagina made its way into my uterus and developed into an infection there – a random event that couldn’t have been predicted and was undetectable from the outside, other than via a blood test. Next time I will be in a different risk category and if I start spotting again they will happily do a blood test even if I have no other symptoms or anything that indicates an infection. If there is a next time…

I have alluded to this, if not in blog posts then certainly in replies comments, but now I’m just going to say it outright. Our babies were conceived using fertility treatments. Not IVF (I know that’s where everyone’s mind goes first!), but the hormones I had to inject myself with were the same. We were incredibly lucky that it worked first time and resulted in not just one but two babies. I have no idea whether it would work a second time. Right now, I don’t even know whether we automatically get to try a second time or if my health insurance will have to approve the procedure again. We were originally approved for three tries, but the remaining two may have been cancelled out when I actually became pregnant. All I do know is that it’s highly unlikely I will ever become pregnant on my own. And I’m 35 now… time is not exactly on my side. And, whatever happens I have to wait two cycles to allow my body to physically return to normal before we can start trying again.

For now, we at least have some kind of closure. Perhaps not as many answers as I would have liked, but reassurance that it was nobody’s fault. Not ours, Not the hospital’s. We were simply the victims of bad luck. Now it’s time to heal. Then we will pick ourselves up, take a deep breath, and join the infertility roller coaster again…

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OK, you can stop now universe!

On Wednesday, a week after losing our babies, I went back to the women’s clinic where I gave birth. I had been feeling dizzy for most of Tuesday and had a bad headache that night. When the headache was still there on Wednesday morning I decided to call my gynaecologist and was advised to go back to the hospital. After three people failed to take my blood, resulting in my lying there for hours waiting for an anaesthetist, another nurse finally managed and they discovered my haemoglobin was still low… specifically it was 10 grams per decilitre or 102 grams per litre (the nurse used one measurement and the doctor used a different one). It should be 12 or 120. Interestingly I also found out that on Thursday, before I was given IV iron, it had been down to 6… yet I actually felt worse this week than I did then. Maybe because in hospital I was pretty much just lying around whereas on Wednesday I was trying to actually do stuff.

While I was lying around at the clinic waiting to find out what was wrong with me, my mum was keeping me up to date with the other sad family news… within hours of losing my boys, I found out my maternal grandmother had pneumonia. By this Wednesday it was obvious she was going, and she finally passed at 10 p.m. that night, in her own home and surrounded by all 9 of her children – exactly what she had wanted and a fantastic achievement (trust me, getting the all together is hard). She’s been bedridden for years and had Alzheimer’s, among other issues, so in a way it’s a relief that she’s finally at peace, but she was an absolutely amazing woman and will be a huge miss for the family. If I can master the challenges life keeps throwing at me even half as well as she did I will be happy.

All in all, this has been an absolutely awful few weeks for my family (there have also been a couple of other health scares and things that are not mine to talk about here). Next Friday we will hopefully find out what exactly happened with my pregnancy and at some point we should also get out boys’ ashes back and be able to lay them to rest at the memorial for babies who were lost too soon to be officially registered. After that, we can truly start to heal and look to the future. I would just appreciate it if the universe could not throw anything else at us for a while. I think we’ve had enough!