A week before Christmas MM and I were due to fly out to the Maldives. Throughout all of this IVF caper, travel was our outlet and the fact that we are lucky to still afford to travel whilst spending our money on fertility treatment does not escape me. When we were planning this holiday it honestly never crossed my mind that I would be pregnant. I might be an optimist by nature but I’m still a realist and allowing yourself to think you will get pregnant “next cycle” is an emotional risk at that. So when I was undertaking this cycle I always had the Maldives as a back up plan for Christmas. Packing my bag and swapping my fertility herbs for my pregnancy ones (yes I was still drinking dirty water) felt truly wonderful.
The day before our flight I started to bleed. A lot.
I was understandably hysterical and I rang MM with the most intense fear I’ve ever felt. 20 minutes later I was in the emergency department. The nurse triaged me and then asked me to take a seat. I pleaded with her to get me in first, to not make me wait. I was so selfish in that I didn’t care about the others in the room, I needed someone to fix me and fix me now.
After what seemed an eternity I was being lead through to see a doctor. My behaviour over the next couple of hours is not something I’m proud of but in the interests of being blogging authentically I shall admit that whilst feeling very scared I behaved in a rather appalling manner. Firstly the doctor who was to treat me looked about twelve. Never mind that the man had spent years at medical school. In my defence, he wasn’t great in the way of bedside manner and he was very non-plussed about it all – his couldn’t tell me if I was miscarrying but certainly suggested that in light of the bleeding it was probable. This is where I got a bit rude and demanding. Logically I knew that if that were the case then nothing could be done about it but in my mind science and medicine had gotten me pregnant surely then it could save me from miscarrying. What I wanted, needed, was a scan – I needed to know if there was a heartbeat. My ability to communicate this was lost and so MM took over. He politely (thank God one of us was being pleasant) asked what we could do to get a scan – could we go somewhere else in the hospital? Was a gynaecologist available? 3 hours later I was being scanned at a private clinic about 5 minutes from the hospital.
This was all within 24 hours of our flight. I knew MM wanted to go on this holiday and I did too. The thought of getting on a plane and flying to a remote island where there would be no medical support absolutely terrified me but something inside me told me this baby was going to stick around. It felt as though we’d come this far the very thought that this pregnancy wouldn’t stick was incomprehensible.
As it happened, the Maldives was probably the best place for me. We had a room over the water and within the 50 metres radius there was the pool, restaurant and bar. I read, swam, snorkelled, slept and ate whilst MM enjoyed the local ales, scuba diving and water skiing. I remembered one particular moment when I was lying on the beach and MM was coming toward me after a morning of snorkelling. He had this huge grin on his face and he began to tell me that he’d just spent the last 50 metres or so swimming with a huge turtle. The locals really were proving to be so welcoming and calming for us both.
Before returning home we spent New Years Eve in Singapore. At this point I was beginning to feel the first tell tale sign of pregnancy. I was becoming bone weary tired and the smells and sights of the local markets were making me feel nauseous. I felt revolting but truly happy.
Returning home on a Sunday, I was due at the doctor’s the following day for another scan to ensure everything was okay. There was of course still the very real threat of miscarriage (or rather a missed miscarriage since I’d had no further bleeding) so it was with the hugest amount of relief when the doctor smiled at me, confirmed everything was going well, I was 10 weeks pregnant and then he said “here’s your baby here, it looks like a turtle.”