Every day I struggle with the thought that someone else has a baby and I don’t.

I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.

I’m sorry, you’ve lost the baby.

I’m sorry, you’ve had a miscarriage.

All phrases we’ve heard many times, and I hope I never have to hear again. We’ve had 4 miscarriages and several chemical pregnancies.                                                                                     

Chris and I started trying for a baby pretty soon after starting our relationship. I knew he was the one, and I knew I wanted a big family. Growing up with brothers, sisters, cousins and lots of family friends with children my house was always full and busy, exactly the way I envisioned my future would be. I always told Chris I wanted 10 children, he wasn’t as keen on our football team but said children would always be part of the plan.

Fast forwards 7 years, 5 years married and we seem to be no closer to having a baby as we did in the beginning.

I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis so I always knew our journey may be a little harder than some, but I never thought we would have numerous miscarriages and need medical help for it to happen.

After each miscarriage I threw myself into whatever could hold my attention for longer than 5 minutes, wedding planning, a new job, decorating the little flat we moved into. Anything to distract me and occupy my mind, I didn’t want to think, I didn’t want to relive things. When I was on my own the silence was deafening, all I could hear was the noise I made in the hospital, and I don’t think you could say it was crying, I sounded like a tortured animal. When I didn’t have something in front of me all I could see was Chris’s face when we were told we had lost the one thing we wanted more than anything. I would watch TV just to stop the images of the ultrasound flash across my eyes.

After each miscarriage I withdrew more from family and friends, no one knew what I was going through. I told them, and they tried to be supportive, but unless it was something they had experienced I felt like they were saying all the wrong things.

It was meant to be, don’t worry you can try again, at least it was early, your only young, at least you got pregnant. All of these were some of the less than helpful comments we received. I knew people meant well, and I knew lots of them were hurting for us, but I needed more. I needed someone I could cry, rant and at times even laugh with who would just ‘get it’!

Luckily our best friends are amazing and they have the cutest children, our honorary nieces and nephew that we can spoil rotten. Days out and holidays with them have definitely helped my heart heal. I can’t say it’s always easy, leaving them is difficult, the quietness hits in and it makes me realise what we don’t have and what we want.

I turned to Instagram and started to search for blogs, posts and people I could relate to. I found lots of accounts, couples who had lost their babies to sids, tfmr, stillborn, ladies whose babies had been born but never made it home. Couples who were suffering with secondary infertility. Ladies who had recurrent miscarriages. Some of these things I hadn’t heard of before, my eyes were really opened as I joined this ‘club’ that I didn’t sign up for.

I remember messaging some of them, saying I don’t know how you are so strong! Every single one of them said the only choice they had was to be strong, and I never realised what they meant until a friend said it to me. There was no alterative except to get up and get on with life, even if it took a while to put one foot in front of the other.

After our last loss last year, I felt more isolated from everyone than ever, we were 12 weeks pregnant and everything felt different, we were sure this time would be  4th time lucky. So much so I had bought a little rainbow vest ready to announce our news. I remember my mum ringing and saying she had a dream that we were having a baby girl, we hadn’t told her we were pregnant yet, but we face timed her and showed her the baby vest to tell her. I remember me and Chris sitting in bed grinning like Cheshire cats, oblivious to the heartache that was about to come. We were so happy, so blissful, so excited in that moment. We had seen 4 magpies several times, and considering everything thought we must be having a girl, for weeks she was nicknamed Peggy.

Unfortunately we had another miscarriage and are still waiting for our rainbow baby.

Leaving the hospital last time after lots of scans, blood tests, arms full of letters and leaflets I felt the strongest I had felt after any of the other miscarriages, because I knew I had a support network I could turn to.

When I had left the hospital previously with leaflets with giant titles such as early miscarriage, pregnancy of an unknown location and recurrent miscarriage was hard. I felt such shame walking out of the hospital with them, desperately trying to hide the leaflets and not make eye contact with anyone. But, after our last miscarriage something changed in me, the ladies I had connected with gave me such strength.

Everyone was speaking out more, more about infertility, more about their journey to parenthood, more about loss. It gave me the strength to talk more about my journey and I decided to start a public Instagram and blog. https://www.instagram.com/sammy_patnett

Sometimes I can’t stop typing and the words flow freely, other times I’m scared to type in case I say the wrong thing.

There have been times in my darkest moments that I wished I had birthed a baby, even if they died so that I had a ‘reason’ to grieve. I felt like a fraud, I felt like I didn’t belong. I felt like everyone would be thinking of so and so whose story is so much worse. But I was wrong, so wrong; everyone has open arms and an inbox or email ready to support you if you need it.

There have been times I wished we could go back to the naive bubble I was in where babies always came home healthy.

There was always a story that someone insisted on telling you, that your mums friends, hairdressers neighbour couldn’t have a baby but as soon as they relaxed, as soon as they adopted, as soon as they went on holiday they got pregnant. Again all well meaning, but not what I wanted to hear.

When Jess said she was looking for people to write a post for baby loss awareness week to cover diversity in loss, I offered to write from the recurrent miscarriage aspect, now that I’m writing I’m not really sure that I have a point to my post.

Recurrent miscarriage, and now infertility is bloody hard to deal with!

Every day I struggle with the thought that someone else has a baby and I don’t. That I didn’t get to keep my baby safe, the one job that I should be able to do. The one thing that I failed to do. There have been times that I’ve told Chris to leave and find someone who can give him a baby. Thankfully he knows me more than I know myself. He wipes away the tears and is my rock, the only positive that has come from this journey so far is that we are so solid and I know with or without children we’ll be a little old couple still making each other laugh in the future.

There have been times that I have felt broken and think I can’t get through another day not being able to have a family. Apart from that there have been good days. Days where I smile and laugh, days where everything is a little bit lighter and days I hope and dream again.

So if you are reading and struggling, reach out to someone, my inbox is always open. I may not be able to stop the storm but I’m sending a big hug through this little device and will hold your hand while it rains. So many ladies have done the same for me.

For now I’m sending so much strength and baby dust to those that are wishing for a baby to bring home soon, and our little rainbow vest is staying tucked safely in the drawer in the hope that next time we get it out its not to cry over what we’ve lost, but to celebrate what is going to come.

Rainbow vest- www.hm.com

Felt rainbows- www.littlebula.com                                                                                                        

Rainbow print- www.whenyouwish-uponastar.co.uk

Photoboard background- www.photoboards.org

This post was originally published in October 2019 for the #DiversityInLoss blog series hosted by Jess, you can find her website and Instagram here. Jess offers lots of support and regular virtual Twitter meetups for baby loss and everything surrounding it. www.thelegacyofleo.com www.instagram.com/thelegacyofleo

*Some links contain affiliate links, this doesn’t cost you anything extra, but means that i may earn some extra discount or pennies. You don’t need to use the link i provide, but i appreciate when you do, and in some cases you also get a discount with the link.

In a fertility flump…where we are now.

Dandelion wishes.

I have popped some updates on my Instagram page but there is only so much you can fit in a caption or story!

I’m in a fertility flump…a phrase i read online once, and what a perfect line to explain how i feel right now! At my last appointment with the recurrent miscarriage consultant my blood tests had increased, meaning the thyroid medication i have been taking since November needed to be increased. It was a hard pill to swallow, pardon the pun, as i along with the consultant expected my levels to be normal.

I am not an expert when it comes to the blood tests as its a pretty new thing. Ask me about blood tests relating to Chris’s heart condition and i can talk for days, this not so much!

My understanding is that my result has always been satisfactory and under the normal level, but the fertility clinic have a lower level that they consider normal. 4 is normal, the hospital want it under 2.5 and my result was 3.6. I started 25mcg of thyroid medication and my reuslt is now 4.9 so my medication has been increased to 75mcg. The consultant doesn’t know why its increased.

The side effects have knocked me for six the last week. Headaches every day, feeling sick, drained and tired and i have never been so sweaty in my life, but if they do their job i wont complain…well maybe only a little bit! I have to have blood tests again in 6 weeks to see if they are helping lower the levels.

I am normally a ‘glass half full’ type of person, but infertility is bloody hard and there has definitely been some half glass empty days in the last few months. It’s like the saying ‘some see a weed, some see a wish’. Everything is definitely looking like weeds at the moment, but hopefully there will be lots of wishes in my garden again soon.

I thought i would share some of the natural approaches i have been taking to infertility, i think it really helps my mental health, and personally i am a big believer that natural things can help just as much as Doctors and medicine.

Wild nutrition.

We have recently started taking Wild nutrition fertility supplements and i have started taking extra vitamin D, iron and folic acid. They are food grown supplements, and don’t taste as bad as most vitamins do! I haven’t been taking them long, but i don’t get sick after taking them like i have with other brands. This link will give you £10 off.

Nothing fishy omega 3.

Another supplement i am taking are omega 3 from Nothing fishy. I am not a fan of fish, so it was something i needed, and these are safe for pregnancy.

Yes mum fertility affirmation cards.

PMA- positive mental attitude…these Yes mum fertility affirmation cards are the perfect thing to read when i wake up in the morning or when i am having a wobble.

Each pack has 31 cards, and comes in a little box the perfect size to pop in your pocket or bag. I read one each morning, or just before an appointment. I find they really help as a little pick me up, and if we are lucky enough to have a baby i will definitely be purchasing some of the other collections that are available.

Infertility crystal prescription.

I am a massive believer in crystals, this infertility prescription from San circle crystal prescription contains Garnet, Rainbow Moonstone, Red Tigers Eye, Shiva Lingham and Green Jade. I love the quote on their website ‘Mother natures medicine cabinet’. At the moment i keep them in a bag by my bed but i will start carrying them around with me in the day as suggested in the instructions.

Martha Brook stationery.

Hands down the lushest notebook i have ever purchased! It’s from Martha Brook and was a custom cover that i requested. I use it to keep notes from the appointments or to remind myself of any questions that i need to ask, also just to keep notes of our fertility journey. Its not all doom and gloom and is something i want to look back on and read about in the future, hopefully a book for future babies to look back and read as well!

I won a competition for preconception support in the nutrition clinic with Laura at The pregnancy food co. I highly recommend following their Instagram page, its full of helpful hints and tips. I will definitely post an update about this at a later date, but so far Laura’s help has been amazing.

We’ve also tried a few other things, including Ovusense and Conceive plus, but i haven’t been using these for long so the verdict is still out, i will update in a few months.

Even if this helps just one woman feel not so alone i’ll be happy. I think infertility is one of the most isolating things i have ever gone through.

Sammy xx

*DISCLAIMER- The above supplements are being taken with the advice and support of my consultant, please ensure you seek medical/professional advice before starting any supplements.*

**Some links contain affiliate links, this doesn’t cost you anything extra, but means that i may earn some extra discount or pennies. You don’t need to use the link i provide, but i appreciate when you do, and in some cases you also get a discount with the link.

A little introduction.

I thought I would just write a short post to say hello and introduce ourselves!

I’m Sammy, 26, married to Chris, 31. We live in Bristol with our fur baby, Steve the cat, formally know as Percy, but now only responds to Steve. He’s fluffy, annoying, bites and generally is a pain in the ass, but he’s my baby and I wouldn’t change him for the world now.

We got married in 2014, after meeting in 2012, actually we met in June, got engaged in September and moved in together in October, we didn’t hang around!

We started trying for a baby pretty quickly, and I naively thought we would get pregnant and have a baby no problems at all.

I’m going to write more in-depth posts about our fertility journey as this is primarily what this blog will be about, but after lots of tests, miscarriages and heartache I found myself turning to blogs and pages of other ladies and couple who I could relate to.

I recently set up a personal Instagram page, Sammy Patnett, as I didn’t want to much crossover on my business page, Sam’s crafty corner.

I was getting a few questions about our journey, and some ladies just wanting to chat to someone who understood, so I decided to start a blog.

I’m not sure how much or how often I’ll write. I’m really nosy and love reading blogs and I’m always open about our appointments and what we are going through, however Chris is a very private person, so he may not feature as much, but I’ll definitely start with some more background on our journey to start a family so far.

Sammy xx