Tick Tock by Sarah

Hello! My name’s Sarah.

I’m 42 and childless-not-by-choice. I came fairly late to the party, and it wasn’t until my 30th birthday that the tock-tock of the biological clock really started to up the volume. It was literally all I could think about to be honest, but I wanted things to be in the right place (pesky perfectionism) and so I was 34 by the time we were really trying.

We tried for three years in total. I can feel myself wince when I say that, because hindsight is a wonderful thing. I’d had health problems before this and had two gynaecologists do investigations. I took them at their word when they informed me that I’d be able to have children without problems. How wrong they were! I wish I knew then what I know now. I would’ve pushed them to do more tests rather than skipping out the room in blissful ignorance.

Anyway, after almost three years of trying, I finally fell pregnant. But, it was a difficult pregnancy from the off. I did the tests (four in total, I was so excited), but I started to bleed in week three. Again I was informed that everything was fine, although the pregnancy test was ‘weak’ (what the heck does that mean anyway..?).

The bleeding became far worse and not long afterwards we rushed to the hospital to check it was going to be OK. We sat nervously in a waiting room with heavily pregnant teenagers who were ‘gagging for a cigarette’. And when we saw the scan – the little heart pumping away so quickly, we felt relief and joy. We were both so happy to see the little person that we’d created was safe and sound.

But that was where the good news ended, because I lost him at eight weeks. The blood increased and became bright red. I lost my morning sickness and the smell of cooking meat no longer made me want to run out of the house. I remember laying on the bed upstairs before we went back to the hospital. I told him that I loved him and always would. I told him that if he needed to go then I understood. I sobbed because I knew.

However, when the scan came back that he had died and his little heart had stopped, mine broke. I couldn’t get out of the scan room quickly enough. We ran the gauntlet of expectant mums and the stall selling baby clothing, and then I sat in the car and sobbed. My husband drove us home and watched as our world fell apart. The next day on the 5 July 2012 at 4:50am I miscarried our child.

We carried on trying after that for a couple of months, but my health became worse, to the point that sex was impossible. Less than two years later, after getting my hormones tested (all normal), we went to find another gynaecologist and finally found one that was worth his salt. He listened, he gave his thoughts and then I had the laparoscopy confirming stage four endometriosis. It had wrecked absolute havoc on my body meaning there wouldn’t be any children. We were offered IVF, but having done our own research, we decided we had been through enough and the odds were so low thanks to the damage to my body, it would just be prolonging the agony.

I’ve since been diagnosed with Adenomyosis, which meant that I had to also goodbye to my womb, as I ended up having a hysterectomy at 42. All in all, it has been one tough journey, but I’m determined that while it has been defining, it will be positive. I’ll be supporting people in future who have also had the same experience. And I’ll do it all for Aaron, my partner Jim and me.