A bad day

“I’m surprised there are any tears left to come out, with all the crying you’ve done this year.”

That’s what Dave said to me as he cuddled me whilst I sobbed into his shoulder this morning, after coming back from a disastrous appointment with the doctor.

I have a severe phobia of going to the doctors. My white coat syndrome began when I was around 13 or 14 when a particularly insensitive doctor made a thoughtless comment about my weight (I was maybe 7 pounds overweight and developing into a woman pretty damn fast). From that moment on, I hated going to the doctor because I was fearful of being criticised, judged, not understood. In my late teens and early 20s, having to go to the doctor or nurse was a catch 22 situation because I was so worked up in the waiting room my blood pressure rose, which meant trying to get a repeat prescription for the pill was tough because they were reluctant to award it with high blood pressure. I found a sympathetic nurse practitioner who understood and would wait till the very end of our appointment before she took my blood pressure, after she chatted to me about normal things and put me at ease, and it was always within ‘normal range’ with her. Even being forced to go to the doctors for something like an ear infection would mean heart palpitations, sweaty palms, a racing pulse and a bad tummy. I’ve learned to get there in plenty of time and do breathing exercises for 10 minutes before my appointment.

And that’s what I did this morning. It was quiet. I felt reasonably calm. I breathed in through my nose for 7, held for 3 and out through my mouth for 5. Getting to this stage was bad enough – I made this appointment online spur of the moment over a week ago. Trying to make an appointment is ridiculous as it is, let alone when you’re a teacher working 25 miles away from the surgery, so holiday times are the only appropriate time to try and book an appointment. This was the ONLY slot available with a doctor I had seen once before and didn’t particularly have a relationship with, but beggars couldn’t be choosers.

I managed to say one sentence (“My husband and I have been trying for a baby for a year this month”) before I burst into tears. Of course. At every appointment I’ve ever had, tears have appeared at some point. But other practitioners have at least read my notes and seen that I have an issue with doctors and they’ve given me a reassuring smile and been patient with me. This lady was confused as to why I was crying. I’d just told her we had been actively trying for a baby for a year, but had been having unprotected sex for much longer than that, and we were desperate for a baby. What the fuck couldn’t she understand?! She dismissed my chemical pregnancy as “not a proper loss” and told me 30 is still young and she didn’t have her first child until she was 31. We’ll that’s YOU, not ME. She then had the audacity to say I should stop stressing about it or overthinking it. “Just relax more, when you stop trying so hard it will happen.” EVERYTHING YOU SHOULDN’T SAY TO A WOMAN TRYING TO CONCEIVE! I couldn’t speak. I was so dumbstruck by her ignorance and lack of empathy. I literally had to beg her for tests to be run as I didn’t want to waste any more time. She reluctantly agreed and told me to book myself in for a blood test (I’d need 3 months’ worth before they would take any next steps) for my Progesterone 21. This basically meant your 21st day in the cycle for a ‘normal’ woman that ovulates on day 14. Well in my case that would be day 24 roughly, but my cycles can be between 30 and 33 days long so to work out my day 7 of the TWW for the progesterone check (again, assuming you have a 14 day LP) would be 7 days from ovulation. Well guess what, I still haven’t ovulated this cycle yet (wtf body?!) but assuming it is today and I get my spike tomorrow, I would need a blood test on NYE. Which is a Saturday. When the doctors are closed. And Monday is a bank holiday. So I asked the receptionist for an appointment on the Friday (30th) instead. And (you guessed it) THERE ARE NO FUCKING FREE APPOINTMENTS. The next available one is 6th January. By which point I’ll be either well into my period, or just finished it. I can’t explain how frustrating this is. So now my tests are delayed for another cycle. Then 3 months of tests takes me to the end of March. We won’t be able to get any outside help until April. And this is assuming I can even get appointments on the right day of my cycle. It’s a fucking joke.

Anyway, what Dave said to me about crying struck a nerve. Not because he was being insensitive or unkind. But he has a point.

I’ve done a lot of crying this year. And all of it has been to do with trying for a baby. In fact, I struggle to remember what I used to cry about before the start of this year. Adverts, sad films, arguments with Dave, stress at work I think.

Not now.

Now, I cry about getting my period, the fear of my parents not getting to be grandparents in their lifetime, the pressure it puts of my marriage, the dread that I might never make Dave a dad, my panic at the rate that time is passing and I’m still not a mum, seeing people I know announce their pregnancies. Hell, seeing people I DON’T know announce their pregnancies makes me cry.

I live my life like a reservoir, bottling up all the sadness over a period of time, until one day the dam can’t take the pressure of a million tears behind it and it cracks. The tears come rushing and I can’t make them stop. 

Like today. I sat in my car in the doctor’s car park and sobbed. I cried for a good ten minutes with no tissues and then had to drive straight to Tesco with red puffy eyes and all my mascara had worn off. I distracted myself with the last bits of the Christmas food shop but every now and then I felt the prickle of tears behind my eyes again. I made it home and unloaded the car, before subsequently breaking down in the kitchen as I relived the appointment with Dave. Then he disappeared to get his hair cut and left me to sit alone in the kitchen with a cup of tea, silent tears streaming down my cheeks. After 15 minutes I pulled myself together again and started cleaning the house in a frenzy. Then my mother turned up with some parcels. I promptly burst into tears again and filled her in on the situation. My heart disintegrated even more when she said she wished she had a magic wand to make it all better for me.

I wish you did too, mum.

Maybe I’m feeling particularly sensitive because this month marks a year of trying. This month would have been the month our baby would have been born if our chemical pregnancy stuck. This month is a time for family and love, and let’s face it, the magic of Christmas is for children.

So I’ve spent the day letting that reservoir fill up again. No doubt some time in the future the cracks will show and the dam will break once more.

Have you ever had that feeling where you’re so sad that your teeth actually hurt? That your heart is so heavy there is a permanent lump in your throat? That your eyes have shed all the tears they have to give, so that you’re left with a dull pain behind them? That’s how I feel.

I’m so fucking tired of this shit.


15 thoughts on “A bad day

  1. I see so much of myself in this. I too am 30, 31 in a month and been trying for almost a year with my partner. I’ve been trying so hard to stay positive, don’t worry it can take time people say, as soon as you relax it’ll happen. But today I’m sat at home on my own and a post pops up about someone announcing their pregnancy and I just broke down into tears. For me this is the first time I’ve let myself cry at the disappointment I feel in myself and my body for not being able to fall pregnant quickly like everyone else seems to (although I know they don’t but I can’t help but feel that way). Ive never really had the time to sit down and think about it, but once the flood gates opened I didn’t think they’d stop.
    I hope that you get the help you need or better still it happens of its own accord.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey you. Reading this made me cry. Partly because I really do sympathise with everything you say as I too reached the 12 month mark this month and started to get the AF cramps and spotting today. But mostly because I don’t want you to give up hope. If you can get the courage up, please go back and see a different doctor. After 12 months of TTC you can be referred straight to a specialist fertility clinic. I’ve just been and had the exact same appointment and saw a lady doctor who turns out referred me for the wrong blood test and to the wrong hospital where I was told I’d have to wait till the end of Feb for an appointment. After a few weeks of mulling it over and building courage, I made another appointment with a different (male) doctor at the same surgery and had a completely different experience. He booked me straight in there and then at a local fertility clinic for January. It’s the small wins but I felt victorious leaving that day! I feel a weight has been lifted just knowing I’m going to speak to a specialist. Sometimes we have to fight and unfortunately I feel like too many female doctors are dismissive of these things because they’ve ‘experienced it all’. But you’re right to say, that’s her experience, not yours. Sending lots of courageous vibes xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lorna. That has given me a kick up the bum. I’m in the UK so my experience is of the NHS but I’m thinking of paying to go private in the New Year. I just need to switch off from it over the Christmas break first. Thank you for your encouragement. And welcome to the club that no one wants to be a member of! X

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      1. I’m in the UK too! Honestly, you’ve nothing to lose from kicking up a bit of a fuss. My best friend was told because she had a miscarriage, she’d have to wait another 12 months for testing on the NHS. She wouldn’t let it lie so they eventually gave in and sent her for testing at the same clinic I’m going to within a couple of weeks! Theyre just targeted with cost cutting so will put up some resistance. Have a break, collect your thoughts, then channel your inner lionesses 😉 Have a lovely Christmas. Let’s get shit faced!! xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Sheph! What an insensitive, heartless bitch of a doctor!! A big 🖕🏼 To her. Sending lots of hugs and well wishes, and cheering for your 2017 rainbow, following 2016’s tears. Also, she is WRONG. Your baby does count, and he or she is very loved, valued and significant. Lots of love to you 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey there…this post has just made me cry too – you are not alone with these feelings. I’m 34 and almost been trying for a year. I’ve not only had to do have 3 day 21 tests but also a day 3 and this week an STI test too. Its taken 4 months just to get these done and my partner had his semen test this week too. So be prepared there are more tests before NHS will refer you on. They’ve told me to go back in the new year and I hope I will get a referral.
    Try to enjoy Christmas….altho even yesterday I got accused of being pregnant because I was drinking!!!
    Like Lorna says I also think you get different responses off different GPs, I too have had the whole relax / don’t stress advice which frankly is BS!
    Sending you lots of love and Christmas good vibes xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks girl. I appreciate the heads up and what to expect. I’m really feeling about looking into going private in the New Year and see how much that would cost. My family know the situation so at least when I get off my face drunk this weekend I won’t have any comments! Have a good Christmas xxx

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      1. Do what you need to do!
        I’ve had several friends who have had babies successfully under the nhs with IVF, and in our area it’s the same doctors I think but basically shorter waiting lists if you go private.
        Be warned tho one friend spent around £20k for her second baby and hasn’t been lucky (although she has a gene issue)
        Have you tried acupuncture? I’ve been having reflexology but next week am starting acupuncture…I’d anyrhing to avoid medical intervention but I am starting now to feel an air of desperation!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time right now. It marks a year of trying for us too and we’re a bit older than you, so I’m think adoption might be our avenue. I hope the specialist is able to help you have a baby. I wish that for all my K-sisters that this time next year, we’ll all be holding our babies. I hope you have a good Christmas and if nothing else, wine will make you feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That doctor sucks!! I’m so sorry you had such a shitty experience!! 😥
    Same boat. Same same. Just over a year. Baby was due next week. 😥
    Oh gosh I hope there is some light at the end of this ridiculous tunnel!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How insensitive of that doctor! It sounds like your not being taken seriously at all! just keep pushing them you will get there! Its shit when you reach your due date, but i felt like I could breath again a bit afterwards. We were trying for ages too we had tests done (GP dragging there feet) so it took a while was a but frustrating. Then they couldn’t find anything wrong so finally got referred to fertility clinic! Only to find out that I was pregnant! I wonder sometimes if someone is playing a massive shitty joke on me! lol. Hope you have amazing news next year keep going! its worth it! xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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