Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Finding my joy.

Almost three weeks ago I was sitting at this very computer, in this very same spot when I looked down beside me and smiled yet again, I was beaming, once the shock wore off I was on cloud nine, surprised does not even begin to explain seeing that positive sign on the stick.

I have never had the pleasure of a surprise pregnancy, of my three pregnancies I have two healthy boys, both planned in doctors rooms and with plenty of time to prepare ourselves.  This pregnancy took our breath away and continues to daily.  For that whole first week I would smile just to think that we had done it, all on our own, no doctors, no tests, no bloodwork, no scans, no probes, no tears or heartache, just two people who love each other doing what most people do all on their own.  It certainly wasn't the best timing, a house to renovate, a new FIFO (fly in/fly out) job that takes my husband away during the week and two boys that take all my energy and time, I thought of the goals I had for my training this year but none of it mattered we would make it work.

Almost a fortnight ago I was here at this computer once again, trying desperately to remember if I spotted during early pregnancy with either Otto or Hugo, being at once reassured and concerned by Dr Google.  Han was due to fly out again early the next day so we made the decision to head to the doctor due to my increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, and from there we were sent to the hospital for a scan.

As you can imagine, waiting for that scan and the blood test results was excruciating, I kept rebounding from assuring myself and Han that I was just being a worry wart and it would all be ok, to thinking the worst.  Finally the radiographer arrived and we were in the cold lifeless scan room waiting to hear our fate, that booming sound of silence from both the radiographer and the screen soon told me all that I needed to know.

No baby, not this time.

What can you say, what can you do, when that flood of emotion comes racing at you like a tidal wave, ready to destroy and obliterate all the joy not only from you but from those closest to you.  We go through the motions, try to say the right things, "something wrong with the baby"  "better to know now than continue on until the 12 week scan"  "Someone else is fighting a greater sorrow than us right now", but nothing takes away the pain of a little life that we will never get to know, for whatever reason it wasn't meant for us, but that doesn't make the sadness any less.

I am however a rationalist and a realist.  I gave myself a few days to feel sad, ironically kept myself busy helping two friends that had just given birth and looking after the boys, acknowledging the sadness but at the same time keeping myself aware of the joy that was around me.  The boys and I headed up to the coast for a night to catch up with family and friends, breathe deeply the ocean air that always restores and calms me and soak up the sun and salt before summer slips ever so slowly into winter.

While we were there I noticed some pain, nothing too serious but certainly persistent.  It continued to grow during the day but I was busy keeping the boys from drowning or falling of high objects, by the time I started to drive home that night I noticed that it was pretty uncomfortable, took some panadol and headed straight to bed.  The next day the pain was still there, I just made sure to take it easy and not lift or bend too much.  I have had this pain before and it was investigated surgically towards the end of last year where some Endometriosis was discovered (I was diagnosed with severe Endometriosis in 2007) and removed, the pain had been manageable since then but this time it was clearly escalating quickly.  By the afternoon it was becoming obvious that I would need some medical attention, as the pain is centered around my diaphragm it makes breathing difficult and painful so for the second time in a week I went to hospital, this time in the middle of the Easter weekend.

I was upset, the boys went to bed without us so we weren't able to talk about, or get ready for the Easter bunny to visit together, at that stage I thought I might have to be admitted to hospital and didn't want to miss the Easter egg hunt or my birthday (also Easter Sunday) with my family, mostly I just felt like such a failure.  The miscarriage was sad, but I felt as though throughout the week I had come to terms with it, I felt ready to take a deep breathe and move on, but this pain was holding me back, holding us all back from moving on.  Once I was comfortable and yet another scan was performed I was allowed to go home, with an appointment to see my specialist on Tuesday.

I was ready early Tuesday morning, armed with questions and information when my brilliant minded but terrible mannered doctor bluntly told me that the only option moving forward was to start on a medication I had taken 7 years earlier just after being diagnosed.  Zoladex.  This medication hinders the release of oestrogen, the hormone that feeds this disease, with the hope that it will kill the patch that is sitting in my diaphragm.  While taking this medication I will be forced into a chemical menopause which will be reversed once I stop, after six months.  I wasn't expecting this at all, last time it didn't work, hopefully this time it does, the disease we are treating is in a different area now and the medication has proven to be effective for this type of spread before.

So for now, I am preparing to enter menopause at 34, we have gone from such a happy high a few weeks ago to an exhausted body and mind low currently.  Previous experience has taught me that we will be ok, that these life experiences make us stronger and closer as a family unit, it is now more important than ever for me to find the joy in my little everyday with the boys and Han.  People all over the world face sorrow much worse than this, disease worse than this and a much greater loss than I could ever imagine.  If this is the hardest lesson I face than I will be forever grateful.


  1. Oh Alanah, I am so so sorry. I know words mean little but know I am thinking of you. Big hugs. xx

    1. Thanks Andrea, your words mean a lot to me I appreciate it.