Nicola’s Story Part 3
Welcome to part 3 of Nicola’s Story. Nicola is a fellow photographer who is kindly sharing the tale of her fertility struggles with us. We spend such a huge portion of our 20s and, sometimes, our 30s trying not to get pregnant; then when we can’t get pregnant, it can be traumatising and frustrating. To get a baby, we’re willing to do anything. In part 1, Nicola underwent exploratory tests to see if her fallopian tubes were blocked and then started taking Clomid to increase her follicle production. In part 2, when this doesn’t work, the doctors decide to try IUI (also known as artificial insemination), a procedure where they separate the best sperm and insert them close to the cervix to increase the chances of fertilising an egg. After two failed attempts out of three allowed on the NHS, Nicola is given the choice to have a procedure where her cervix is forcibly opened further, as the doctors think this is the problem. Without hesitation, she goes through with it. However, there are complications…
I woke up and I felt a pain on the outside of my stomach. I instantly thought, “That pain shouldn’t be on the outside,” and I started to panic. A nurse was by my side greeting me into consciousness. “Why am I cut on the outside?” I asked her in a drowsy state. No answer was given, only “Someone will be along shortly to tell you what happened.”
WHAT HAPPENED?? WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHAT HAPPENED?? This was an in-and-out job, remember? What could have possibly gone wrong? So many thoughts were running through my mind, especially the ones where you hear of those Women going into Hospital for a simple bloody procedure and coming out with no womb.
I couldn’t even bend or sit up and, all of a sudden, two hospital porters turn up to wheel me onto a ward. I still have no idea what is going on and reach the ward that I was going to have to wait for the nurse in. I look around and it is clear to see the Women in this ward were all there after having hysterectomies. I can’t even explain how I knew; call it woman’s intuition. A Female Doctor appears and starts explaining what has happened.
“It went wrong…The instrument I used continued to travel through your womb…Perforated…Internal bleeding…Leave you with small scars…Never happened before.”
I was finding it hard for it to sink in and suddenly I got angry. “So let me get this straight. YOU perforated my womb, had to cut me open to see if I had any internal bleeding and you think, by saying this has never happened to you before, it makes it OK and now YOU are forcing ME to stay in Hospital when I want to go home?”
That was it in a nutshell. The tube they had inserted into my womb kept going and didn’t hit the wall of my womb (which I’m assuming is where they wanted it to stop) and just went right through it. They then had to perform an emergency laparoscopy, which means cutting me just above the pubic line and inside my belly button and inserting cameras to check for internal bleeding. This is what I could feel when I woke up, but the good news was I still had a womb. The reason they wouldn’t allow me home was because they were responsible for me for 24 hours and, if I left, they were refusing to give me the medication I needed. So, that was me, confined on a ward with these poor ladies that had no wombs anymore. I felt like a bit of a fraud even being there.
My Husband turned up very worried-looking and explained what they had said on the phone. He stayed with me until late at night, prepared to stay over until I sent him home. There was no point in both of us losing sleep over this and he had work in the morning.
Two days later, I was back at work (I told you I was stubborn) and ringing the hospital for my third and final IUI session. I had to wait two months, but before I knew it, those two months were here.
Lying on the same hospital bed, with the same nurse, in the same room we were ready for the cleaned sperm to be put in their rightful place. I then feel the same pain I felt before the cervix dilation and I knew she still couldn’t get through. In the two months it had taken for me to heal from them perforating my womb, my cervix had closed back up again. I was devastated.