Farwa’s Story

1. Describe the process of getting pregnant. Was it easy for you? Was it hard? Did you have to go through fertility treatment?

I knew I had pcos after a ruptured cyst sent me to the hospital at the age of 21 but had no education on it and didnt really educate myself either so when the doc said go on the pill I said alright, I knew my mother had it and the 3 of us were born so thought shouldn’t be a problem. 

Its only years later once we decided that we wanted to go off the pill, but not yet actively try that we would find out the difficult 3 years ahead. 

I went off the pill in Feb 2020 and was pregnant in March 2020. So we thought “wow that was easy” but little did we know. What followed was the toughest years of my life. We lost our first little one at 8 weeks, this was during covid and going to all the appointments alone was difficult and traumatising. We got told, this is common. Happens all the time. Just keep trying. In the months to come, we picked up the pieces and tried again, in September that year we had our first chemical pregnancy. At this point, I was truly frustrated because I had already tried and spoken to GP and been told they cant help me until I have been trying for 2 years. In February 2021, came my 2nd chemical pregnancy, I contacted my GP because I had pain and wouldnt stop bleeding. Bless the GP that saw me (different to my usual) who straight away referred me to EPU and also told me I will now be referred to gynaecology as I have had what they classify as 3 recurrent losses.

Gynaecologist requested some bloods, scans and HSG. Results came back and she told me I have PCOS, which I knew of and some polyps that might be causing issues. In July 2021, I had hysteroscopy with polypectomy and was told that whilst I have been referred for fertility treatment and further investigations I should continue to try because sometimes polyp removal solves EVERYTHING. 6 months later there had been no positive tests, in fact, my period was more erratic so it was time for further testing… After a long few months we were told our only good chance was with IVF because they could not identify a single reason clearly that would be the cause of our infertility and that was in July 2022. 

We then had 2 IVFs, 1 failed FET, 1 cancelled FET, another polypectomy and then finally our successful FET. My husband was my biggest support in this. I am a student and dont earn but this man worked insane hours to support me with hardly any time off whilst also giving me his full attention, love and care.

2. What was the pregnancy like? Was it easy and smooth? Hard with a lot of pregnancy symptoms?

At the start, I was super guarded and worried, constantly stressed about every niggle, pain and feeling. The feelings from my previous miscarriages were coming back. I struggled for a while. I also had a bleed at 12 weeks which completely ripped apart my illusion that everything is fine after 12 weeks. It wasn’t until I started feeling him move at 17 weeks that I truly relaxed and started to enjoy this pregnancy. Thankfully, after the bleed at 12 weeks, I had no further episodes of bleeding or any other issues.

I am currently 26w pregnant and have had a fairly ok pregnancy. No morning sickness (even in early days) but lethargy and fatigue. And now starting to have PGP. Completely put off chicken in the first trimester but other than that I’ve well and truly enjoyed my pregnancy and my baby. He moves a lot now and I’m truly enjoying being pregnant. I know for sure I will miss him being inside me. 

I’ve got lots of growth scans (unlike most in the UK) so I’m just glad he,s being well looked after and I get to see him pretty much once a month from now until his arrival.

3. Did you have a reason why your losses occurred?

After several tests, scans, hysteroscopy etc we were told whilst I do have PCOS, polyps and fibroids of insignificant size, our diagnosis was unexplained subfertility. 

Since my baby was born via emergency c section, the doctors found adenomyosis and said that was probably why we ended up having IVF in the first place. So I now have a diagnosis post my rainbow to help with any future siblings if/when we are ever ready for it. 

4. How far along were you?

8w, 5w and 4w

5. What are your babies names?

I choose to keep this private. I have not shared this with family or friends and wouldn’t like to. Not yet at least, maybe few years down the line.

6. What was the birthing/loss experience like?

My first one was the hardest. I started spotting and bled for nearly a month waiting for my body to naturally do it all. Eventually had to go for a manual vacuum aspiration and that was very traumatic. Even the doctor didn’t expect the amount of blood that came with that. It was a sight I wish I never saw. Traumatising and still difficult to think about on some days. What was even harder was that no one was allowed in with you so you basically sat in a waiting room with no one and came out and sat again alone waiting to be discharged (they needed us to wait for 30 mins before we left)

Second and third were just like a long painful period. I was also very numb by this point of my ttc journey. 

7. Did you get to spend time with your baby or get any keepsakes?

Unfortunately they were so early, I only have memories of when I told my husband …

8. How was the medical treatment/support during your loss?

My first loss was hard because it was during COVID. The doctor that saw me in the early pregnancy unit did some questionable things like leaving the uss wand inside whilst opening the door and speaking to someone else. This was straight after she told me that I likely miscarried. Had to complain about this one because at the time I did not realise but later on when I finally felt all the feelings I realised how truly horrible and immoral that was.

However, the doctors I saw after that for MVA and further care were all super supportive and lovely. 

9. Did you receive support from family and friends after your loss?

My family were all supportive and so was my husband but to be honest the first time round I really was so numb that I did not even say much or cry. I was just super confused about the loss of a future that I had already dreamt of. 

Lack of awareness around these issues in my culture also meant people responded differently, it was because you did or did not do xyz and I shut myself down from the external comments. Always wondering if it was my fault. I now know it was not. Part of me wanting to do this is to do with the fact that I want more people to openly share in my culture. Until we share, people will continue to have misconceptions.

10. How were your emotions after loss? (Angry, sad, scared, confused, etc)

I was angry and confused the first time. After that I was numb and sometimes sad. 

11. How did you know you were ready to try again?

I always knew I was ready to try again because I still wanted a family and doctors reassured me this is common and won’t happen again until it did. And then it happened again so for me it was more of a “I want my family to grow so I must continue trying till I get there”. Even though what I didnt recognise was that emotionally I was shutting down with every passing month. 

Even during IVF, after the failed transfer the first-time round, my husband thought maybe I should take a break because he realised it was emotionally breaking me up but I wanted to continue. In hindsight, I was in pretty rough shape but no amount of waiting would have helped me, I needed to keep trying.

12. What has the pregnancy with your rainbow baby been like? 

Beautiful, strange. I’m shocked and surprised at what our bodies are capable of. I’m absolutely in love with him and love his movements. I love that he is started to respond to certain stimuli like if its super loud or when I’m rubbing my tummy. He has also started to respond to his dad so I find that super emotional at times.

13. Is there anything special you do to remember your angel baby/babies?

I mourn my first one the most. And always light a candle for them every year. 

I do also pray they are up their with my mum being taken care of. 

But since I didnt get long with any of them most they live just in my memories and made up thoughts of what they would have been like. 

14. Is there anything you want others to know about going through loss?

It does not get easier with time but time just teaches you how to soothe yourself. I do not think the phrase “It gets easier with time” was made for mothers who’ve lost babies at any stage. We never forget, we never find it easier, we always think of what it would have been like. The only thing time does for us is to teach us to manage those emotions when they hit us sometimes out of the blue and sometimes when we decide to delve into those memories.

Farwa wears a white top and the rainbow skirt.  She stands on the sidewalk and holds her pregnant belly.
Farwa wears a white top and the rainbow skirt.  She stands in front of some greenery.

Farwa wears a white top and the rainbow skirt.  She stands on the sidewalk and holds her pregnant belly.

Farwa wears a white top and the rainbow skirt.  She stands on the sidewalk and holds her pregnant belly.

Farwa wears a white top and the rainbow skirt.  She stands look towards the sunset.

Farwa wears a white top and the rainbow skirt.  She stands look towards the sunset.

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