Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Monday, 30 January 2012
Minutes later she said 'there's the heart beat. I'm very, very happy-it's a viable pregnancy'. I can't believe it! I feel like I can finally say 'I'm pregnant' and took great joy in calling my wonderful friend to tell her straight away. We have been through 2 premature births, a still birth and 3 miscarriages between us and she understands better than anyone what I'm experiencing. What a joy to be able to finally tell her!
I'm still feeling pretty scared if I'm honest but it says in black and white in my notes 'crown to rump length 4.9 mm' 'fetal heart action seen'. It IS real and it IS happening to me.
I've started my fragmin injections tonight-ouch! I'm making a point of taking joy in each sharp scratch of the needle-it's one day closer to meeting my baby!!
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
When I first looked at it I was struck by how thorny the surrounding pen was - I couldn't imagine anything being able to get in without a fight to harm the sheep. But then I noticed the gap in the fence and my heart sank. Predators would just be able to walk in and harm the sheep - this wasn't protection at all. I read on and learnt that the open space at the side of the pen is where the shepherd sleeps to protect the flock. I found this absolutely amazing and am clinging on to it. I have got the photo saved as the wallpaper on my phone so that each time I use my phone I am reminded of it. The link to the blog where I found this is http://becomingbubbalooch.blogspot.com/2011/05/whats-sheeps-gate.html.
Sunday, 22 January 2012
I was chatting to one of my closest friends who had a miscarriage very recently and we were talking about the fact that noone and nothing can prepare you for when having a family does not follow the usual 'get pregnant, stay pregnant for 9 months and have a fluffy baby at the end of it all'. I don't think our experience could be further removed from this norm. Samuel spent a month in special care following clotting on the placenta and restricted flow of blood to his vital organs. He had stopped growing as a result of this and was delivered at 33 weeks. Emilie-Rose was stillborn at 32 weeks following the same problems with the placenta and the added problem of placental abruption.
I have to admit, there is a strong sense of jealousy that I feel towards women who have a 'normal' and what I would consider 'easy' (don't shoot me!) experience. However, I also have a friend who has the same clotting problems as me. Her beautiful baby girl died in special care at 18 days after being born at 25 weeks due to clotting. Her second baby girl was stillborn 11 months later due to clotting and placental abruption. I think of her every day and remember how blessed we are to have Sam.
So... I guess, taking all of this into consideration, or putting it aside if you will, here is what I am feeling thankful for today:
That my little boy is happy and healthy regardless of his start in life.
For the short time I spent with my beautiful daughter-I would have given anything for her to live but I would not change her and will always treasure how special she was.
For every single pregnancy symptom I experience-I am taking joy in each bit of nausea, every ounce of tiredness and everything else that comes with it.
For the wonderful maternity hospital and the amazing fetal medicine centre on my doorstep. I can't imagine factoring travelling for care into all of this!
For my wonderful husband who has been amazing over the past 3 years and has stood by me when I've felt like I'm having a post traumatic stress induced breakdown!
For our amazing community of friends. I don't know how we'd be getting through this without them. They have cooked for us, cared for us, prayed for us and loved us. I guess it's true that you realise who your friends are at times like this and as a great friend told my husband this week, 'it's at times like this that communities are formed'.....
Monday, 16 January 2012
I then went through to see Dr B. She was great and told us how pleased she was for us. She explained that a scan is needed to confirm viability before I can start the fragmin injections but that it may be too early to detect anything-did I want the scan now or in a week? I was terrified but decided that now would at least have a chance of reassuring me. She first did a transabdominal ultra sound & could detect the gestation sac & yolk sac but no heart beat so tried trans-vaginally. Still no heart beat.
Dr B has been my consultant for three years now and I trust her. She reassured me saying there is a pregnancy there and I'm not imagining it but that it's probably too early and too tiny to detect a heart beat. Inspite of how much I trust her, I can't help but feel heartbroken again. I worry that the baby stopped growing a few days ago and that's why it's too tiny. I can't help but feel terrified. I've got to go back in 2 weeks for another scan.
I guess I have to cling onto the fact that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.....
Friday, 13 January 2012
I popped to the supermarket yesterday afternoon and found myself foolishly picking up a pregnancy magazine. One look at the cover was enough to send me onto a blind panic in the middle of Asda. I completely lost any ability for rational thinking. The stories on the cover were things like 'dispelling fears', 'enjoying your 9 months', 'how to plan your perfect birth'. How can me fears be dispelled?! They're totally rational and founded in experience. 9 months?! More like 7 with the last trimester on bed rest-who can enjoy that?! And as for planning my perfect birth; if I'm lucky enough to avoid a c-section I'll be wired up to monitors and closely supervised with a team ready to intervene at the smallest thing. I'll never see a birthing pool and the midwifery led unit will remain a mystery to me. I realised that looking at these magazines was not going to edify me in any way. In the same way that a celeb magazine would trigger insecurities and undesirable patterns of behaviour for someone with self image issues, these magazines just force me to compare myself to women with 'normal' pregnancies, making me feel inadequate and less capable. I need to remind myself of the truths surrounding this pregnancy-I have been given a gift and I will try to do everything I can to enjoy it-enjoying it in my own way, for my own sake and this has nothing to do with the experiences other women may have. A friend who has also experienced still birth reminded me that in addition to being pregnant I am also still grieving and that I need to remember to be kind to myself.
I had counselling this morning and i spoke about obsessive patterns that I can see emerging. I feel nauseous in the mornings but in some sort of self protection thing my mind is refusing to acknowledge it and instead I'm only noticing the lower abdominal cramping in experiencing even though I know that this is normal in early pregnancy. My counsellor explained to me that my brain consists of a sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. When you experience trauma, the sympathetic nervous system comes into force activating fight and flight response. Everything is overactive, stress levels are raised and it is much more difficult to normalise things. This is where I am at the moment and I need my parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation, to be more active. She discussed some breathing and relaxation techniques with me and I really hope that these eases the sense of panic and dread that I feel. I need to put aside some time each day to practise these techniques and relax......
On another note-the cake is virtually finished! I hope he enjoys it!
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
I know this is the sort of trust I should have for my baby growing as it should and being born alive. I was reading this this morning and it really rang home with me so I thought I'd share it: 'it is as though God has asked you to copilot this most important flight. He is holding the controls, but you're asked to come alongside on this journey, doing what he asks & responding to his requests. To be an efficient copilot you must trust your pilot implicitly and remain in constant communication. Trust God, your pilot, with ultimate control of your pregnancy journey.'. I know, that in the same way Sam can't painstakingly make tiny sugar paste bananas, or prepare sandwiches & pizza for his party, there is nothing I can do to form this baby. I can accept all of the medical advice I am given, eat well, rest as much as possible and ensure that I'm caring for myself. I can present my requests to God and let him know how scared I'm feeling but I can't form this baby-that is His job and I need to trust Him to deliver.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Sunday, 8 January 2012
I have started making a blanket. I made one for both Sam and Emilie but in the chaos and terror, Emilie never got to be wrapped in hers. It took me hours to make and is folded neatly in her memory box. I made a decision when we were trying for this baby that I didn't want to make or buy anything for them, just incase. But as the desire for another baby increased, so did the need to provide for them. The morning I found out I was pregnant I began to painstakingly crochet a new blanket. It will take me weeks but I know that that is what I need! I am focusing intently on the baby as I am making it and this is helping to make them more real to me. I read a while ago that hope is not wishy washy-it is a 'strong and confident expectation, the sure certainty that what God has promised in the Word is true, has occurred, and or will in accordance with God’s sure Word.' We will have a baby to wrap in the blanket I am making. They will be alive.
Friday, 6 January 2012
I found out this morning that I'm pregnant again!! I can't quite believe it. I know that the next few months are going to be so long and hard but I feel that it's a step in the right direction. We want to keep it quiet until we know that everything is ok. I desperately hope that at the end of this I have a baby to bring home.....
I still miss Emilie so desperately but think that being pregnant again eases the grief in some way. I just can't bear the thought of miscarrying. I need to trust and cling onto God's promises - he has a plan to bring me HOPE and a FUTURE and a baby will bring us hope. Bring on the scan...
We got our results today at the hospital. They have confirmed that what happened with Emilie was the same thing as what caused Samuel to be born prematurely although this time, in addition to the blood clots and placental infarcts, I also suffered a placental abruption causing her blood supply to be completely cut off. I can't quite believe it - how can the same thing happen twice? We are so grateful for Sam and his survival and this whole experience has reinforced how special he is.
We have been given the go ahead to try for another baby. I will be on a higher dose of aspirin than I was with Emilie-Rose, high dose folic acid and daily fragmin injections. I will have a very early scan and will be admitted at 28 weeks. As long as I have a baby at the end of it all I don't mind!
My consultant carried out umpteen blood tests to try and find out what had happened whether it was the same thing that had caused Samuel to be born prematurely and growth restricted. Throughout the day, various people came to talk to us about post mortem and funeral arrangements but the whole day is a blur. I remember saying over and over again to anyone who would listen that there was no point in trying t find out what had happened as can't go through it again and won't be having any more children.