Blogathon entry – Nadine Campbell “Our Journey”

Derek & I met on March 28th 2009 and were inseparable from that day on, even moving into together approximately 4 months after meeting- we both hoped for a future together. We brought our first house in May 2011 and adopted a baby pug (the love of our lives) in August of that same year.

In May 2012, I had my last dental surgery, so Derek and I both decided from that day onwards I would stop taking the contraceptive pill and we would see what happens (hoping that we would fall pregnant).

Derek and I got engaged on Sunday 10th June 2012, we continued to try to fall pregnant up until January 2013 – without success, we stopped trying as I didn’t want to be almost due as we had set a wedding date and planned an overseas honeymoon. However, I remained off the contraceptive pill, just using protective measures.

As the wedding date got closer, so did our plans of starting a family (and the worry that it isn’t as easy to get pregnant as we first initially thought). It was April, when we thought we would start officially trying again.

On Friday May 31st (after a day of feeling squeamish in the stomach and the smell of garlic bread wanting to send me running to the bathroom). I sent Derek this text (he was away on a buck’s weekend) “I honestly think I’m pregnant – I have been feeling sick in the belly on & off all day & last night!!! Will do a test tonight!!! Derek immediately replied “wow hope so (smiley face)” Well at 3.30 pm that afternoon I finished work and rushed home to do a test. At 3.43 I sent Derek a photo of a positive test with “We are having a baby!!!!”He’s response was “That’s awesome I’m so happy!”

I booked in for a doctor’s appointment the following morning to confirm (the doctor did not want to send me for a blood test as she said that 2 positive tests confirms I’m pregnant – but I insisted and went ahead anyway). It was confirmed I was 4 weeks 4 days and due the 4th February 2014. Derek and I were so excited everything was happening – we were getting married and also expecting a baby in the New Year. This was my dream come true all in the same year!!

I had my hen’s party on June 15th and told all of my close family and friends why I was not going to be drinking- it was an awkward night that’s for sure (being sober at my own hen’s party).

I booked in for an ultrasound on June 28th (8 weeks). I had a whole day planned with my mum and sister (who had taken the day off work) – ultrasound, meeting, lunch and wedding dress fitting and planning.

The day of the ultrasound, I was so ill after drinking all the water – I threw up twice on the way to the appointment. My mum and sister came to the appointment with me as Derek had just started a temporary job that week. As soon as the lady put the scanner on my stomach we could see the sac with the ‘baby’ inside. I looked at my mum and sister with a smile from ear to ear (I was so happy that I could actually see something on the monitor).

The lady was asking so many questions how far along I was, when my last period was, if she could do an internal examination, I was so ill I couldn’t even think straight. After the internal, she then said that the stage that I was she should be able to see a heartbeat- there wasn’t one. I was confused – I didn’t believe it. I had read the previous night that we may not hear the heartbeat sometimes in the scan. I said this to the lady and she said that at this stage would definitely hear one, she said “I’m sorry; you will have to see your doctor “and left the room. I just sat there, still not sure what had just happened. This is not what was supposed to happen – I was supposed to hear a heartbeat and be extremely happy and take home a picture of the scan to put on the fridge.

My sister immediately grabbed me and held me; I looked at my mum who was sobbing. I was numb – I didn’t cry, I dressed and got the images/cd and we started to drive home. Just outside the x-ray clinic we stopped at a red light and a Hurst with a coffin and flowers inside pulled up beside us, my mother started to sob again. I rang my doctor and got an appointment for later that day.

My sister came in to the doctor’s appointment with me. The doctor said “what can I do for you” This is when my crying started. My sister explained what had happened early that morning and that the ultrasound lady said that I had to see a doctor. She viewed the images on her computer and rang the x-ray company but the reports “had still not been released”. The doctor explained that she wasn’t saying that it was there or if it was gone at this stage. I was hopeful but expecting the absolute worst. The doctor said she would call me when the results were in.

I continued my day; as best I could – I went to my meeting (acted like nothing had happened), went to lunch and went to my dress fitting.

Whilst at my dress fitting my phone rang – it was the doctor – I answered dreading what she was about to tell me. She then proceeded to tell me that my dates that been mixed up and I was only 5 ½ weeks instead of 8 weeks pregnant (too early to hear a heartbeat) and that the sac was still intact and everything was fine. I just couldn’t cheap bactrim believe it – I was ecstatic. I, my mother and sister all laughed about what a rollercoaster of a day it had been and continued the rest of the day. When Derek arrived home that afternoon – I explained everything (I was full of mixed emotions whilst telling him). We viewed the ultrasound pictures together and spoke about the future.

It was time to book another scan 3 weeks after this the first scare- I couldn’t bring myself to go ahead with another one that soon. I booked in for scan 5 weeks after the first (10 weeks) – unfortunately I would never make this scan.

To make matters worse – Derek started a new job working a fly in fly out construction job on the 16th July with a roster of 3 weeks on and 1 week off, he was away for everything that was about to happen.

The day of my mother’s 50th birthday (21st July) I had some cramping, enough to take some pandoel. However I wasn’t worried as I’d read that it was ‘normal ‘to have slight cramps.

The next morning – I noticed some discharge on my underwear (I wasn’t overly concerned but rang a doctor for some advice; she recommended I go straight to the emergency department). After an entire day of probing and prodding, tests, samples and ultrasounds – it was confirmed I had an incomplete miscarriage. I could see on the ultrasound that the sac was still there but it had nothing inside- not that tiny bean I had seen the first time, but nothing.

I was gutted – I felt empty, I was devastated. This time I wasn’t numb – I could feel everything, the tears did stop. I just wanted Derek to hold me – but he was wasn’t here.

The (lovely) nurse practioner Louise went through some options with me: I could let the ‘baby’ pass naturally or I could have a curette procedure to have the sac removed. I didn’t know what to do – my thoughts turned to try and ralationze, had the natural process already started with the slight discharge? I wasn’t sure but I opted to wait and see for a week, in the mean time I saw my doctor and discussed what had happened.

A week passed and nothing, by this time my wedding was two and a half weeks away. I didn’t want to be bleeding heavily on my wedding day or go through this on my overseas honeymoon.

On Tuesday the 30th July, I admitted myself to The Townsville General Hospital for the curette procedure. I knew this day wouldn’t be easy, but to make it even harder the hospital was very busy. They said you’re on the list for surgery but you could be waiting until 10pm tonight, there were no spare beds so they put me in a bed in the palliative care unit. Yes, palliative care (the ward that dying patients are sent to make their last days on earth comfortable).

Just after midday, I went in for the procedure and was back in the ward by 230pm. The nurse came in to see how I was feeling – I felt horrible, I had a gigantic pad/nappy on that felt full. I said to nurse I need to use the bathroom, as I got off the bed- there was blood everywhere. I was cleaned up and by 330 I was on my way home (the only place I wanted to be). I had the following day off work, but I went back 2 days after my procedure – I needed to get back to ‘normal’.

I bled for the entire two weeks leading up to my wedding, it stopped 2days before.

Derek arrived home (from being away for work) 2 days before our wedding. We shared a massive cuddle and barely spoke about the situation as I was trying to keep upbeat for the weekend of wedding bliss.

We got married on the 17th August 2013 on the beautiful Daydream Island in front of our closest family and friends. It was just spectacular- it really was my dream wedding. We spent three magical days on Daydream Island – it really was a weekend of wedding bliss. We arrived home on the Monday after the wedding and left very early Wednesday morning for our 3 and a half week overseas honeymoon to the USA.

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First stop New York – we were having a blast!! We were typical tourists- we done the sex and the city tour, central park, helicopter ride, statue of liberty, museums, empire state building and Times Square. We had a massive Sunday sesh with a few Aussies; we were having the times of our life – carefree and not worried about a thing.

It was our last night in New York; we went to the Broadway show The Lion King (it was incredible) but something wasn’t quite right. We were sitting in our seats waiting for the show to begin when the gentleman behind me took his seat – I immediately could smell his feet, they were very smelly. I asked Derek if he could smell them – he couldn’t, he wasn’t sure what I was on about. Alarm bells tinged in my head, this happened the last time I was pregnant, could I be pregnant again? Could my dream of a honeymoon baby come true?

Two days later (1st of September), we were in Las Vegas (and I finally found a chemist). I purchased a pregnancy test and immediately done both tests – both positive!! I couldn’t believe it – I was pregnant again and I must have fallen pregnant on my wedding night!! Derek was happy but he was anxious at the same time telling me not to get too excited.

I immediately stopped drinking alcohol, didn’t go on the rides at universal studios and was unable to shoot the guns at the shooting range because of the lead levels, I was disappointed that I missed out on these things but at the same time I was grateful.

We arrived back in Sydney two weeks later and I found a chemist and purchased the digital date pregnancy test – this time they both read not pregnant. I couldn’t believe what was happening, why was this happening again?

We returned to Townsville (home) three days later (Sunday) after attending the cowboy’s football game and climbing The Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was good to be home!! Derek and I had one whole day together before we both went back to work (Derek would fly back to his job).

Tuesday arrived and I had to say goodbye to Derek for 3 weeks after spending a whole month being each other’s shadow whilst on our honeymoon. It was the hardest goodbye, I sobbed all morning. Tuesday lunch time I started to get some cramps in my stomach and I started bleeding heavily. For the next six days I continued to bleed quite heavy – I continued at work and told only my closest friend who is also my colleague.

Two weeks later, I woke not feeling very well – so I skipped breakfast (very unlike me) I went to work and went on the excursion to the park. I had a sandwich for lunch and about a half an hour later I felt ill and threw it all up. I stayed at home for the next two days (couldn’t keep anything down) I moved from the bed to the couch for four days straight. To make matters worse I started bleeding again (not a normal period but contents of my miscarriage). I saw my doctor on Tuesday 8th October, she was quite concerned and took a blood test and ordered another ultrasound.

I had the ultrasound the very next day & yet again – my worst nightmare has come true, this miscarriage looks to be an incomplete one as well so I was required to have another d & c procedure.

On Thursday 10th October, I was admitted to The Townsville General Hospital – where this time I was required to stay overnight in the maternity ward. I was pumped with antibiotics 3 times throughout the night (as I had an infection, as the “product” had been inside me for a month).

In a matter of only two and half months I had my second curette procedure. This time around, it was hard to stay overnight in the maternity ward because I could see the pregnant women walking down the hallway and hearing the new born babies crying. I imagined the next time I would be in hospital (& the maternity ward for that matter) I would be giving birth and holding my very own crying baby. This was not the case. The doctors have suggested we wait at least six weeks before trying again. I’m trying to remain positive for what the future holds as I honestly don’t think I could face another miscarriage.

On Sunday 13th October I participated in A Walk to Remember held at Anzac Park. This is a memorial service and walk for those who have miscarried or lost babies through still birth.  I sat through the service and sobbed my heart out – grieving for the two ‘babies’ that I had lost.

Derek does not understand when I say ‘babies’- he says that they weren’t developed enough to call them that, but as soon as I weed on that stick and the two lines appeared I felt like I was carrying a baby. I think it’s hard for him to understand this and he was away (working) for all the doctor’s appointments, blood tests, ultrasounds, hospitalisations and the crying myself to sleep each night. Derek says that I need to stop wanting to have a baby so bad, relax he says. This to me is impossible – how do I stop thinking about my top dream in life? – To be a mother. How do I relax about Derek working away for 3 weeks at a time and only home for 1 week (so only home for 12 weeks a year!!!), so what happens if I can’t fall pregnant again?

On December 9th, I had a hospital appointment for the 6th week follow up for the second curette procedure – the doctor was nice as I had to explain my whole story to her, I cried again. She was lovely and explained that it’s just something that was very unfortunate (it was nothing that I had nor hadn’t done and it’s was nature’s way of saying it wasn’t a perfect baby)

Now that it’s December, Derek is home (on holidays) for 3 weeks – we have been enjoying the silly season and being together again. We have been trying to conceive in these 3 weeks and I’m hopeful that I will be pregnant soon.

Unfortunately it’s now February, and I’m still not pregnant. I’m just so disappointed that my body just isn’t doing what it is supposed to do. It seems very easy for other women to conceive and have babies – what’s wrong with me? Everyone keeps saying “oh – it will happen when it’s meant to happen” – if one more person says this I’m going to scream!

It’s supposed to happen NOW – Derek and I are happily in love and married, we are active healthy people, we have stable jobs and income, have reliable cars & we own our own house.

After a stressful few months at work (I got a job promotion to 2IC) and filled in as director whilst my boss was on leave, Derek and I treated ourselves to a week holiday in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. We had an amazing (jam packed!!) time where we went to Draculas (a cabaret restaurant), we swam with the dolphins (at SeaWorld), I finally got to shoot a gun (at a gun range), we completed a surfing lesson, loads of shopping, a massage, movie date and lovely dinners. It was just fantastic to spend the entire time together, I cherished every second.

We are now in the month of March and I’m getting quite anxious and stressed that each month is passing by and I’m still not pregnant. To the point that I don’t feel like my normal self – I cry a lot and the situation is on my mind constantly (stupid me – and my Google researching, not a good thing but I just can’t help myself). It contains so much of my thoughts that I had a mini melt down with my boss and asked for some time off so I could travel to see Derek the following week (in my fertile time). How embarrassing – breaking down and telling my boss my whole saga. Lucky for me I have a very understanding boss who was fine with me taking more time off.

At 730pm on Thursday March 6th I made the 13 hour bus trip to Gladstone to see Derek. I know I’ve put WAY too much pressure on falling pregnant but it’s just so hard when his work roster doesn’t fall on my fertile times, I feel we have to be pro active in the situation.

Now on 2nd April I will be taking my second trip to Gladstone as the first trip was unsuccessful – I just can’t believe that Derek and I have been dealt this card, when will we finally get the chance to become parents? This fifo gig is hard because my body cycles just isn’t lining up with the times that Derek is home – its added extra (unneeded) pressure on trying to start a family.

Well now we began the month of June and nope I’m still not pregnant!! On Monday 02nd June I have booked myself in for a fertility therapy session with a doctor, I’m hoping that she can provide me with some tips for taking the stress out of trying to conceive as I have put way too much stress and blame on myself.

On my first session with Dr Sharon Moloney I poured my heart out – told her every little detail about both miscarriages and my attempts at trying to conceive. It was a very emotional; I cried and sobbed most of the session. She listened attentively and at the end of the session, she guided me through some deep relaxation meditation.

I left feeling drained but also relaxed at the same time. I got in my car to drive home and thought I would check my phone- I had a text message from a friend telling me that she was 12 weeks pregnant. I sat in the car staring at my phone- Seriously, I’ve just got out from counselling about my fertility issues and BAM somebody else around me is pregnant, I sobbed the entire way home.

Dr Sharon also recommended that I look into acupuncture – at this stage I’m going to try almost anything!! I had my very first acupuncture on Tuesday 10/06/14 – it hurt a little but I felt great afterwards, I will be going back again. I figure it can’t hurt. He has given me some Chinese herbs to take morning and nightly also. Michael (the acupuncture therapist) has recommended that I attended monthly on the 18th day of my cycle. After the first session my menstrual cycle was 4 days late (which was a bit of a bummer because for once it was going to coincide with when Derek is home). My next session is booked for 15th July.

Derek is as supportive as he can be from a far – he is obviously doing some research of his own, he sent me a text on 22/06/14 with a screenshot of some methods to help conceive. It had items such as charting cervical mucus and basal temperature, taking folic acid and drinking green tea. He wrote “I don’t know any of that stuff except for green tea just thought more info is good right?” I just love him so so much, how adorable of him. The very next day I went and brought some green tea and a basal thermometer and having been drinking the tea in the morning and also charting my temp daily.

I had 2 more sessions now with Dr Sharon and now feel that I have finished my counselling journey as far as fertility is concerned.

Well it’s now late November and still no pregnancy to report. Derek and I have to decided not to stress about it anymore this year (I know it’s only 1 month to go) and start a fresh next year. We have spoken in depth and have decided that I will be moving to his next job location and really ‘trying’ to conceive for at least 6-12 months and if nothing eventuates we will go down the path of IVF. I hold high hopes for 2015.

This has been our journey and it’s only just begun…………………….. Fifo is not for everyone and surely has been tough for us but I can honestly say it has brought us closer than ever as you have to communicate and trust each other beyond belief.