My husband and I tried for five months to conceive. This is barely anything compared to some couples who try for years without success but it still felt like a tortuous rollercoaster of emotions to us. During my first cycle, it took 14 pregnancy tests for me to accept that no, they really weren’t false negatives. By my fifth cycle I felt burnt out on hope and decided to take a break from the paraphernalia of active trying – of course, this was the cycle we conceived.
We were both ecstatic but just three weeks into the pregnancy morning sickness hit. I had been expecting it, as I knew my mother had suffered terribly during her pregnancy with me. Having read that nausea is a sign of a healthy pregnancy I even tried to embrace it! I deteriorated quickly however, and soon became bed bound. I could eat nothing but ginger biscuits, rice crackers, and maybe a small handful of oven chips. At my worst moments I couldn’t even drink water. I rang my GP in trepidation, having read about other women who had been fobbed off by old male doctors who couldn’t emphasise with the misery they were experiencing. I told him the previous evening I had felt so awful that the thought had occurred to me, ‘at least if I miscarry this will be over’. He was a star, and immediately offered to prescribe something to help. I was so relieved I started crying down the phone to him. The drug didn’t work. Neither did the next two prescriptions I tried.
My health continued to deteriorate, and with it my mental health. I am progesterone intolerant. I discovered this a few years ago when I reacted badly to several types of hormonal birth control. After seeing multiple doctors and even undergoing a laparoscopy to rule out endometriosis, a gynaecologist put two and two together and realised the common thread between my heavy periods and wild mood swings was the progesterone in my birth control. Unfortunately, she neglected to mention the possibility of a reoccurrence during pregnancy when progesterone rises.
I began to feel suicidal. I made no plans to kill myself, but I wanted to die. Everything seemed hopeless and I felt worse than I ever had before in my life. I broke down and called NHS Direct, begging them to help me. They sent me to A&E. It was the …