Mom to an unnamed baby
Lost at 5 weeks on October 15, 1997 at 5 weeks,
‘Dot’, lost September 4, 2010 at 5 weeks,
‘Bert and Ernie’, lost March 2, 2011 at 5 weeks
Auckland, New Zealand
My first pregnancy was an accident. And I didn’t know anything about it until it was all over. And while I was upset, I wasn’t devastated. I was 19 and in my second year of university, had split up with the father and really didn’t need life to be complicated. It has come back to bite me since.
I met my husband in 2000 and we married in 2004. We had no plans to have children at that point – plenty of time, and we wanted to move from the UK to New Zealand. Once we had settled in New Zealand we ditched our contraceptives and didn’t try too hard at first. Then we started to try. And then try hard, with temperature charting, ovulation predictors etc. After 18 months we visited our GP and were tested and referred to the fertility service. We were ‘lucky’ to be given a diagnosis and a plan of IVF. We waited a year for our first funded round of IVF and it all went very well – good number of eggs, good fertilization rate, good maturation etc. We had one embryo transferred and two for the freezer – this was great news.
After a very long two week wait, with me convinced that we weren’t pregnant, it turned out that we were…with ‘Dot’. Life changed at that moment. Life was good. But it didn’t last long. At 4w3d I started bleeding and at 4w6 days I was tested and it was all over. I lost Dot on Father’s Day 2011. We were devastated. All the heartache of getting to that point and it was all over before it really began. Dot was wanted and longed for and loved and then gone.
At the earliest opportunity (2 cycles later) we decided to have another go with a frozen embryo. One didn’t survive the thaw, and we had ‘Piri’ transferred in October 2011 (Rugby World Cup Final day). Another stressful TWW and a negative pregnancy test.
We decided to take a TTC break and enjoyed the early summer and Christmas break. In January 2012 we started a private IVF cycle. Again, it went well. We didn’t have any embryos to freeze, but we had two fresh ones transferred – ‘Bert and Ernie’. I felt nauseous from 6 days after transfer, and we were stunned with a really good positive hCG. The nurse joked about twins. That would have done me just fine!
I requested a follow up hCG after 4 days because I was scared, so scared, and they agreed. I took the test (still feeling nauseous) and the numbers had fallen. I was beyond devastated. I was in denial. I was angry. I was utterly despondent. And I wasn’t going to do another round until I had answers and a different plan.
We met the eligibility criteria for the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss clinic, attached to my fertility clinic. After a million more tests we met with them and they could tell us nothing. ‘Have another go. Maybe you’ll be luckier.’ I don’t feel like three losses at exactly the same time is a coincidence. And we haven’t decided whether we’ll try again or not.
I have lost all my innocence. I know too much about IVF protocols and procedures, supplements, what to and not to eat while IVFing. Last year I was the newbie. Now I am in a position where I can advise. And I feel that people look at me and think, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” But I hold my head high when I can. I am not a victim.
I am proud to be the mum of four children I didn’t have the privilege of meeting. They have made me stronger and kinder.