Sunday, 31 October 2010

Honestly? It's hard.

Here is our little rainbow, Georgia May. Born by elective C section, 21st Otocber 2010 at 12.14pm weighing 4lb 14oz:

It goes without saying that I love her fiercely. She is precious. When I am feeling more 'with it' I will write her birth story, sadly (except the outcome) not a positive experience - I am not a big fan of C sections I have discovered.
At the minute I am lost in a exhausted haze. This is so hard, so much harder than I imagined it. I spent so long on worrying about her getting here I never really thought or planned for when she was here.
Her being so tiny and slightly premature has been a worry, but she's been a little star and was able to stay on the ward with me, rather than going to special care. I naively thought when she was here my stress and worry would dissipate, however my heightened sense of anxiety has simply transferred from bump to this little delicate person now in my care. Is she breathing? Does she sound snuffly? Has her jaundice gotten worse? Just check, is she breathing? Why is she choking? Why is she so sleepy? Does she seem jittery to you? Do you think her blood sugar is low? Is she getting enough food do you think?
At the minute I am trying to breastfeed, which I am finding hard work. I think I have said every day so far that I am going to quit. She only feeds for 5-10 minutes on one breast each feed, sometimes I am having to wake her every 3 hours because she is sleeping through feeds, other times she is waking herself every hour. I am constantly worried she isn't getting enough to thrive. I can hardly eat, I feel so anxious all the time. I feel guilty for bringing her so early, maybe we could have just pushed on for one more week? I seem to have baby blues, I cry lots. I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I can't cope, I can't handle the worry and the responsibility. I feel there is danger everywhere. Above all there is this guilt, after all I finally have what I have wanted for 3 long years and yet I'm not enjoying it, not one bit. Don't get me wrong, I look at her sleepy face and kiss her soft skin and my heart melts. I love her with every bone and sinew in my body. But this makes my anxiety uncontrollable, I worry like every other first time mother but times a thousand. I feel that I cannot rest, I have to protect her at all times. Sleep deprivation makes me irrational, but even when I have stolen a few hours I wake up just as worried. And reading this back I sound like a crazy woman! I really do! I sound ungrateful and I'm really not. I am thankful I have been blessed with her, holding her little warm body in my arms, holding her to my breast as she feeds - they are the most blessed and contented feelings I have ever experienced. But I can't help but feel sad. I look at her sometimes and she looks so much like her sister. And I can't help but wonder about what sort of mother I would have been to Lucy. Before my trust in the world was shattered, and my heart and mind embittered and exposed to the reality that bad things happen to people you love. I want to be that mother, not this crazy, fraught human being I see now in the mirror. I am sure I would have worried, but not to this extent. Now I know bad things happen and they are all I can see. My mind races with what terrible thing can happen next, to claim this fragile little creature in my arms. I am hoping that with time and confidence I will start to relax and enjoy her a little more. Until then I will just keep muddling through, trying to do my best. But it sure is hard.

Monday, 18 October 2010

I think the time has come... check myself into hospital.

Firstly, thank you to my wonderful angel mummy friends who posted and messaged during the Wave of Light to say they were remembering Lucy along with their own angels. It meant a lot to us both, I am sorry I haven't thanked via FB personally but I am avoiding the place at the moment as I can't handle all the enquires from my well meaning non baby loss friends whose optimism I just can't share about this pregnancy. We quietly lit our candle on Friday and shed a few tears, always such a poigniant moment seeing that golden light and thinking about the millions of candles burning brightly around the world and each little life that they signify.

So it's Monday morning, my section is planned for Thursday morning. I have tried and tried to hold it all together, taking it day by day. But I have reached a point where I just can't cope anymore. Every single day I am gripped by fear about her movements, despite now having daily CTGs for reassurance. Is she moving too much? Too little? Was that panic I felt in her last kick?

And so I asked myself this morning, what exactly am I trying to prove by staying at home? Well, I wanted this to be as 'normal' as possible towards the end. I wanted to spend one last night with John in our own home as a a couple before we realised our dream of becoming parents. I wanted to be in my own home with my own possesions around me. All very idyllistic of course, and at what cost? My own sanity? How many more nights can I lay awake for hours, or crying to myself through fear? The nights are long, lonely and suffocating. Bad thoughts creep in, negative emotions and they destroy any hope and positivity I have. For the sake of a few days I may as well take the hospital up on their offer of a bed and reassurance.
So I am going to my last scan today, and I am going to request to be admitted. It feels like a surrender in some ways, a defeat. I feel I have given in to the fear. But as long as in a few days time my little girl is safely here and in my arms I really don't care. Just 3 more days. Praying, hoping, dreaming of my 'happy ending'.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


And waiting and waiting.  9 days left.

The end of this pregnancy is approaching. One way or another. I have run out of things to say really, I feel drained and empty. I am turning into a recluse at the moment, I can't bear to be away from the safety of my own little house. I don't want to see people, or speak to people. I just want time to pass, quickly and without any problems.
I feel like I am slowly going out of my mind. Every single day feels like nine months in itself. I get up in the morning and it is all I can do to stop myself getting back into bed, pulling the duvet over my head and crying and sleeping until it is the next day. Rinse, repeat.
I can barely sleep, I am so fearful of losing her in the midnight hours. Each night seems like a long and terrifying battle to get through, clock watching. One o'clock. Two o'clock. Prod, poke. Doppler out. Toss and turn. Stifle sobs with my pillow to not wake husband. Half Two. Three o'clock. Quarter past three. Listen to the dog drinking from his bowl. Imagine life with a baby. Imagine life without a baby. Imagine having to tell everyone we've lost her. Four o'clock. Half four.
Endless worrying. So much responsibility. Desperation for her to come home with us. I think I may be getting the the point where I admit myself into hospital. I am trying hard not to. But I just don't know how much longer I can cope with this. What if something happens now? Before my c section date? So close now, so close.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

October 21st

This is the date for my planned C section. This is the date that hopefully all the tears, all the frustration, waiting, guilt, panic and every other emotion I've felt in this pregnancy will pay off and so many peoples hopes and dreams are realised.

A section is not my ideal by a long shot. I am not sure I am entirely at peace with my decision to go for it, rather than an induction. I have spent the last 2-3 months thinking about how my little baby might make her appearance into the world. Deliberating. Weighing up the pros and cons. I had hoped the hospital might have felt strongly one way or another, and the that decision was taken out of my hands. However it seemed they wanted me to choose. And when it comes down to it, I just don't have the faith in them to go for an induction. They have told me that as I am delivering at 35 weeks there is a high chance my inducton will fail and end in a EMCS anyway. I asked which was safest for baby and they told me a section was, but it wasn't safest for me. I have spent hours reading on the internet and in books about both. I have truly been torn.
On one hand I wanted the induction, I feel hopeful that I would react favourably to it. I don't want my only vaginal birth experience to be pushing out a dead baby. I want that romanticised birth, where I push out my screaming newborn and she is placed on my chest wriggling, and John and I gaze at her and each other adoringly. I ache for that experience. But my head is full of things that can go wrong in Labour. What if my placenta (that currently *touches wood* is working as it apparently should be) cannot handle the stress of going into labour and takes that moment to fail again? Will they monitor me enough? Will there be enough time to get her out? Would I be able to forgive myself if something happened? The answer being no, of course I wouldn't. She is too precious to take any chances with.
So, as I sat in the doctors office in tears trying to make my decision the doctor took pity on me and advised if I was even in two minds about it then I should go for the C section. So the decision was made. When it comes down to it, I want my baby here, alive, in my arms and screaming. With a planned section it will calm, collected, all the unknown elements that would come with an induction are removed - she will be out within ten minutes and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. For now. Yes my recovery will of course be slower and more awkward, yes there are risks to my own health. But there are with any form of delivery, and when it comes down to it how many women actually get that romanticised birth I am imagining? Because of my situation we are talking about delivering prematurely a 35 week baby, in this case there is no 'ideal' option because the ideal would be for her to stay put and cook a bit longer but this isn't going to happen becasue of the uncertainty of my placenta's ability to function at the end of this pregnancy. So there really is no 'right' or 'wrong' way of getting her here, but the less risky way is a section. Hence my final decision.

So with all this in mind, why do I still feel unsure? Why do I still feel that pang, that longing to just push out a baby that is alive? I keep trying to focus on the bigger picture, that I want her here alive and how she gets here is a very small and insignificant part of what I hope will be a long and happy family life together. But still I have this wistful longing. Maybe it's just that longing for normality, a 'normal' pregnancy, the normality that was forever stolen from me last year when the tragically 'abnormal' happened. Maybe. It's such a big decision to be left with, I was grateful when the doctor finally intervened.

But anyway, we have a date. I am dragging my ass slowly through each day. I am trying to be hopeful, but I still can't bring myself to get anything ready. I refuse to talk about, or make plans for Christmas. I won't pack my hospital bag, even though I know I will need it one way or the other. I won't entertain getting the pram or car seat out. I refuse to buy a single baby item. The only thing that I have bought are maternity pads. I just can't get enthusiastic. I just can't get the belief that the happy ending is round the corner. John is so excited, and it makes me nervous. I feel the pressure, his happiness is reliant on me. He has excitedly changed the chalkboard that we have been counting down on from weeks to days. 15 days he has scrawled. Please let this be so.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

32 weeks

I am glad that Lucy's anniversaries have been and gone. The anticipation of the day lead to many tears. The anniversary of the day she passed was heartbreaking and I was terrified that this baby was going to die as well. Being pregnant on that day was just too familiar, the weather was even the same, every second of that day I held my breath waiting for tragedy again.

Thankfully it didn't come. On Lucy's birthday we spent the day shopping, we met with friends for tea and then when it went dark we let a wish lantern off and toasted our firstborn with pink wine. We held each other and cried hard. There is a little girl who should be here, and she isn't. She should be teething and walking and my windowsill should be full of changing pictures of her beautiful self, when instead there is just a solitary picture of her tiny, still body being cradled by two ashen faced grieving parents.

I am now on maternity leave. I crept away, silently. Last time we had cakes, food and celebrations - a big presentation and baby gifts. I was made a fuss of and everyone had well meaning advice about labour and birth. We laughed and talked and I was so, so excited. This time I didn't announce when I was leaving. I just left. Only a handful of people knew it was my last day. I felt ungrateful but I just couldn't face the big celebrations. I felt like a fraud after losing Lucy, I couldn't put myself through it all again. I don't want to count my chickens. How can I celebrate, how can I be excited when I don't know the ending of this story yet? I want, hope, try so hard to believe it will be the happy ending that we have waited nearly 3 years for. But that is such a long time, and so much loss and heartache. I feel embittered by it all, cynical, pessimistic.
So now I play this waiting game. Waiting, waiting for the end to come. And I know that one way or another I will be birthing this baby into the world, be she alive or dead. I feel terribly guilty for even considering the latter, but as nothing is certain I can't rule it out. I want so, so much to be a mummy to a living child this time. I cannot bear the thought of letting everybody down again, so many people are depending on me to make their dreams come true.

The Turn. (Ben Johnson)

It is not growing like a Tree
In bulk, doth make Man better be;
Or standing long an Oak, three hundred year
To fall a log, at last, dry, bold, and sear:
A Lily of a Day,
Is fairer far, in May,
Although it fall, and die that Night;
It was the Plant, and Shower of Light.
In small proportions, we just Beauties see:
And in short measures, Life may perfect be.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

One Year Ago

One year ago today I was already up, awake, and worrying about my baby's movements.

In three hours time I would feel her last movements. Her struggles before she passed.

In four hours time I would ring the Labour ward in hysterics, knowing something was going terribly wrong with my perfect pregnancy.

In five and a half hours time we would walk into the scan room, for 'that' scan. You know the one. The one where your dreams are crushed and your heart torn from your chest by those three words - "I'm so sorry".

In eight and a half hours time - at four thirty in the afternoon -  I was given my first pessary to start labour.

At ten thirty in the evening my waters were broken and I was 5 cm dilated.

But we wouldn't meet my little princess, my angel, my joy, my love, my sleeping beauty until tomorrows date.

So I will leave it there for now, except to say that I love you Lucy. You are always in my thoughts, you are always spoken about, and always will be. We miss you and we ask you to help keep your little sister safe, your poor, broken mummy and daddy could not bear to lose her as well as you.

Sleep peacefully my angel xxxxxxx

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Happily ever after?

That's what I keep wondering. Will I get it? Of course, it won't actually be totally, 100% fairy tale style happily ever after, because my first little girl will always be just a ghost. The rest of my life will be governed by what ifs and how old would she be nows.

Over the last few days I have started to bond more with this little person in my belly. The middle months of this pregnancy were clouded by conflict, my poor, emotionally charged brain struggled with the comprehension that this pregnancy was not Lucy, this baby was not my second chance at Lucy. Even my friends and family had trouble, and sometimes referred to my new bump as Lucy, which was normally followed by a sharp intake of breath and rushed apologies. But I don't mind them saying it, I liked that her name was spoken out loud. It seems so rare these days I get to hear it.
Anyway, back to bonding. Yes I have found it hard to split the pregnancies in my head, and I found it almost frustating when baby behaved differenly to Lucy, it confused me, why was this pregnancy so unfamiliar to me when I'd been here before? Why is baby awake now? Lucy never used to be awake now. Why does baby not like to kick much? Lucy used to kick all the time. Why does baby do this, when Lucy used to do that?  But suddenly I seem to have accepted that this is a new entity, a new little soul kicking and flailing and wriggling around inside. Lucy's Sister, but not just Lucy's Sister, my new daughter whom I love fiercely already and have imagined her life with us, despite trying to keep my distance as a 'self preservation' thing. And suddenly my whole being is focused on getting her here safely, getting her here alive. It doesn't leave much time for grieving anymore, and I don't feel I have the time to spend on thinking, grieving, mourning and pining for Lucy right now.  This is hard in itself, as I feel terribly guilty. What kind of a mother am I if I can only give my attention to one daughter at a time? A year barely passed and already I am trying to push my dead daughter to the back of the picture, a shadow on the peripherals of my world.
The anniversary approaches. This time last year I was at a midwife appointment. All seemed very well with both of us, I commented that baby was a little quieter and had the standard 'not enough room' response. The midwife cheerily told me that no matter what happened I would have my baby in my arms in 6 weeks time or less. Well, I guess she wasn't wrong. It's just she neglected to warn me that a week later my baby would be lying silent and lifeless in my arms, rather than the pink and wriggling cherub I had imagined.
Would this this first anniversary be so much easier if I had my longed for take home baby in my arms? I don't know. Probably not. I have to be content that she is in my belly, and growing big and strong ready for her early appearance. Praying, hoping, wishing, bargaining, pleading with the gods, karma, anyone who will listen that in 5 weeks time I will have that squawking, live baby in my arms.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Her feet

Her feet, again. Those 'little' baby feet that are abnormally big and almost comical on a baby. There on the scan screen. Her beautiful feet. She has her Sisters feet.

I am so tired of worrying. I am exhausted from it. I feel that I have this terrible burden, this burden I have to carry. I am talking about the responsibility I have. This little life in my belly is relying on me to keep her alive and safe. The same way Lucy did. But I let Lucy down, and I am terrified my body will do the same again.
If I had written this post a few days ago i would have been full of confidence, happiness and joy. I believed the strength of my own words, that everything will be OK this time. Seeing my little girl, Lucy's little Sister, on the scan screen yawning and moving (and being a bit stubborn). I laughed, I smiled and I felt almost normal.

But today, I have crumpled. The fear, the fear that I have been waiting for, has returned. It never truly went away, but I didn't expect it back like this until much nearer to 'crunch' time.

7 weeks to go.

What if my placenta fails earlier this time. What if I lose this little one too?

We are so, so close.

So close I can almost imagine her baby soft skin against my own, almost picture the joyful calls from the hospital when we tell everyone that we did it, we got our little girl here safely. I can't tell you how much I want that reality for us this time.
But then again we are so far away. I couln't bear it if anything went wrong this time, not when we have come so far and are so close. Not when we could just get her out early. Is 35 weeks going to be early enough? I keep saying to John that I want her out now. I know that I am being stupid with that statement in many ways, I know she is (supposedly) in the best place. But I feel like I'm living with a ticking time bomb. The thing that was supposed to nourish my daughter, ultimately, killed her. It stopped working. And my consultant doesn't have the answers for me if it will happen again, and if it may happen earlier. He thinks it won't. He says the chance of a reoccurence could be as low as 10%. But he doesn't really know.
I get no rest. I fret all the time. I spend the day on autopilot, silently counting her movements. If she doesn't move for an hour I jiggle my bump. I prod and I poke. I drink freezing water until my head aches with brain freeze. Anything to keep those little movements ticking over. I need to know she is alive. Sometimes I am busy, and I forget to pay attention. When I realise I have not been paying attention, I panic. I lie on the floor, whereever I am, and pray that I feel her little kicks. Pray that she hasn't gone still in those few minutes, few hours that I wasn't 'listening' to her. I know how quickly that change can happen, life to death. And I know how powerless I am to stop it happening.
I can't remember the last time I had a full, restful nights sleep. My nights go like this:
Get in to bed. Lie there with my hands on my bump until I have had at least 5 or 6 strong movements.
Roll over and go to sleep.
Wake about 2 hours later needing a pee.
Get back into bed. Wait for her to move.
Roll onto my left side, waiting for a movement.
Lie awake waiting.
Then I will either get my doppler and listen to her swooshswooshswoosh, or she will give my a sleepy little movement.
And only then will I go back to sleep, only to wake an hour or so later and basically repeat all of the stages above again.

But I have to do it, I can't not do it. I have to do whatever it takes to get me through these next weeks.
It is exhausting. I am exhausted.

This is so hard. I can't bear to think of the alternative ending. It has to be the happy one this time. It just has to.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

V day and conversation stoppers

So, Thursday was 'Viability' day as all my pregnancy books tell me. 24 weeks.

V day with Lucy meant I breathed a sigh of relief and grabbed the baby catalogues to start buying things with a vengeance. My baby was a sure thing. No question.

Now I know differently, and V day seems hollow and a lie as I know that a baby born now would be very, very poorly indeed. In my naivety with Lucy I put my total faith that the miracles of modern science would be able to save my baby if she was born too soon. But nothing is guaranteed, and miracles are scarce in this harsh world. Even healthy, born at term babies can die.

But still, 24 weeks is an achievment and I am grateful that we are here. Only 11 more weeks until baby is delivered.

With Lucy I hit this mark around the day my Sister got married and I was Bridesmaid. I was so, so happy that day. It is only recently that I have been able to look at pictures taken then and feel OK about it, rather than feeling sorrow. I had everything I wanted that day, life was perfect. I truly radiated happiness and contentment.

Comparing bumps with the other guests. 20.06.09

Baby Girl is getting stronger every day, her kicks are more forceful now and I have started to feel her turn and stretch out more. I love it, I love that private communication between us. But with it also comes the worry - I feel I have to be 100% tuned in to it all of the time, I am fearful I will miss a key change, a vital clue that all is not well. This means that quite often I will be working, talking, on a phone call or in a shop and suddenly my brain will ask "When did you last feel her move?". I freeze and hold my breath as I wait to feel something. The panic will rise in my throat and I will prod and push my bump, I zone out and everything starts to go blurry, I am taken back to that fateful morning last September and I feel physically sick. Eventually I will get a little movement or a kick and I will be brought back into the real world, but not before the tears are stinging my eyes and my heart racing.
Always thinking of the worse case scenario. 
Never relaxed.
Because of this I am not sleeping well, when I wake up I am always waiting for that reassuring sign of life in my belly, if I do not feel something within five minutes I am wide awake and panicking. Poor baby rarely gets any rest as I am always pushing and prodding and trying to make her move so I know she is not dead.

Occasionally I venture onto baby forums. These are full of expectant women all gushing about which pram they will buy, to BF or not, baby names, sex lives during pregnancy. All of the usual trivial crap that fills peoples minds when they haven't lost a baby. I read through what people write on there and I am split between feeling envious of their unrelenting optimism or feeling an amalgamation of disgust, dislike, intolerance at their mindless ramblings and petty worries. On the odd occasion I feel the urge to join in, to get get carried away with their bouncy, happy, baby scented gushings. As if it will somehow 'normalise' me. I want to be like them, and my dislike only stems from jealousy that I'm not. So I write something, trivial, fluffy, a piece of advice or an anecdote from my pregnancy with Lucy.
And generally one of a few things happens. What predominantly happens is my comment is ignored. The women all talk and gush around me, their idle chat carries on as if I have never spoken. No one acknowledges me.
I don't know what I expect really - I guess to be engaged in their happy world in some way. But their chit chat carries on and I am left standing there, silent.
Sometimes what happens is my comment will end the conversation. Stopped dead in its tracks. I can almost see the tumbleweed blowing across the plains after I've said my little piece. Step away from the dead baby woman.
Very occasionally a few pitying women will reply to tell me how sorry they are for my loss, how they can't imagine what it must have been like. And whilst that is nice and very kind I don't want to be reminded of that, I want to be part of the 'in crowd'. I want that naivety back and the gushing joy, the unshakeable belief that I will be having a baby in a few months time. I want to be able to chat about my pregnancy experiences like any other second time mum, comparing cravings and sleepless nights and niggles.
So I don't post very much on those sites anymore as I come away feeling sad. I feel robbed of my pregnancy with Lucy, in more ways than one. Why have I lost the entitlement to talk about my experience? Do they see me as a failure? I feel they don't want advice from me, because my baby died.
I feel like I am in the playground, trying to get in with the 'popular' girls, whilst they bitch about me behind my back.

"Don't talk to her she couldn't even get PREGNANCY right! (and have you seen her shoes?)"

So I am finding out even more that the loss of a child cuts deeper than ever imaginable. I am not even allowed to discuss my memories with the other mummies. I am the outsider.

I have my wonderful baby loss friends to fill that void. To laugh with, cry with, and talk and talk as much as I want about Lucy, and my pregnancies. The ups, the downs, the cravings, the weight gain. We have our own select club.
And as I talk with them I feel their character and strength and it shines like gold. It makes all of those empty, vacant, gushing mothers on the forums and chat rooms seem like Pyrite in comparison. Every memory shared is more precious, every tear, every laugh is filled with more sorrow and more happiness than could be imagined. And this isn't lost on me.

So, some more pics as I document this little Rainbows journey with me.

24 week bump (looks a lot smaller in the mornings, after my day is spent eating cake it seems to stick out a LOT further):

And our nursery, which hasn't changed since we prepared it for Lucy (apart from the addition of another rug):

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Kicks and baby steps

Been a little while since I last blogged! I guess I haven't had a lot to say. Well that isn't strictly true, I have a lot to say but it's mainly the same things over and over again. How happy I am to be pregnant again. How scared I am of losing another child. How much I miss Lucy. How confused I am about this pregnancy.

Things have been busy here, I'm trying to make the time pass quickly. We had our SANDS launch even, it went really well and raised over £2000 for the local group. I was very proud to be part of that.

Other news, hmm I am 21+ 5 today so have 14 weeks and 1 day until I hopefully meet my baby girl. That sounds like a long time, it seems to have taken forever to get here but here I am. A long way to go it feels, lots of things that could happen between now and then. I am just having to blindly stumble on and hope it's going in the right direction. Baby is kicking now, but my placenta is anterior so I don't feel as many kicks as I did with Lucy at this stage. I go through regular cycles of being concerned baby is not kicking, to feeling her kick and being happy, to then going to the other extreme of panic that she is in distress and kicking me to let me know. This part was always going to be hard, mainly because I know exactly when Lucy died -I know those 'hiccups' I felt were her struggling inside me, and they got weaker and weaker. And I didn't feel her again after that. So with that horrific thought in my mind the movement part is a scary thing for me. I love it, but it terrifies me. I am scared my baby will try and tell me she is dying and I will not act swiftly enough.
It won't come to that this time. Surely not. I can't lose another, can I? I try and be positive, as hard as it is.

Lucy is always close to my thoughts. I try and imagine what she'd be like, what she'd be doing now, but I find it impossible. I simply cannot picture how she would be as a chubby toddler, as a little girl. I just see her how she was when we first held her. Even though it was only ten months ago it seems like a lifetime ago. Was that me? Did I really go through that? Was I that pale, sobbing girl in the pictures? Is it time to 'let go' of that pregnancy with Lucy and start living this one? I don't know. I can't erase what had happened, it is always with me. I am forever changed. I feel foolish getting excited. I can't think past October. I make no plans in my head with baby, I don't imagine pushing my pram, or changing nappies. I am still planning holidays that 'just the 2 of us' can go on next year. Just in case. It's not even that I think i will jinx it, it's just what is the point in getting my hopes up? My hopes were soaring this time last year and nature dragged me back to earth and smashed me over the head with her cruel blows. So I just can't muster anything other than cynicism. That isn't to say I'm not happy though - I am overjoyed to be given another opportunity. I'm just doubtful anything will come of it. Pregnancies for me don't = babies. But then our little Miss will give me a wriggle and a kick, and I will smile and stroke my belly and share our secret moment the way I did with her Sister. And I have just that little glimmer of hope. And I say to myself, "It will happen this time. You will be a Mummy". And for just that moment, I believe the hype.

So here is me at 18 weeks, and 20 weeks:

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Happy Fathers Day

Thinking of all those special men who have a heavy heart today.

It must be very difficult
To be a man in grief,
Since "men don't cry" and "men are strong"
No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult
To stand up to the test
And field the calls and visitors
So she can get some rest.

They always ask if she's all right
And what she's going through.
But seldom take his hand and ask,
"My friend, but how are you?"

He hears her crying in the night
And thinks his heart will break.
He dries her tears and comforts her,
but "stays strong" for her sake.

It must be very difficult
To start each day anew
And try to be so very brave --
He lost his baby too.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

This is my heart

So here in my hands is my heart. I have taken it from where it has been hiding from all the pain, the worry, the happiness and the excitement. I have dragged it out from its safe place, the place it couldn't get damaged again, the place no possible harm could come to it. It came out kicking and screaming but my baby kept pulling and tugging, and wouldn't give up.

So here now, it slowly beats in my hands.

Open and exposed to the dangerous world.

It is very scarred from previous battles of love and loss, but the biggest and deepest cuts of all carve out four letters.


But still it beats on. For my baby. For my babies. For the little girl I held in my arms nearly nine months ago.

And now for the little girl who is wriggling around inside my womb. I have fallen for her, there is no going back now. I have opened my heart to her. I love her.

Sunday, 30 May 2010


I am like a walking encyclopedia of ways a baby can die before birth. I find danger in every week of pregnancy, something to be fearful of, something I am convinced may happen to me.
I have been told that lightning doesn't strike twice, I am assured that "it will be OK this time". Except I know that there are lots of chances that it won't be. And I know lightning can and will strike again, right into the already shattered hearts of grieving parents. But if I want to be a mother then this is something I must go through, and the risks I must take each time.
I am frightened of losing this baby,  I hate the utter helplessness I feel - there is nothing I can do to alter the course this pregnancy will take. I am scared by my consultants decision to deliver at 35 weeks, scared because my poor little baby will not be quite ready, so I am worried about complications. And scared as he was so adament that I could not go past this gestation that it makes me realise he seriously thinks that the same problem with the placenta could reoccur, and so it could fail at any time towards the end of my pregnancy. And there is nothing I can do to help, no pill I can take to make my placenta work or grow properly. So I am all the time wondering if I have this ticking timb bomb, if the thing that is supposed to nourish and support my baby will end up being the villain of the piece again.

In two weeks time I will know what I am having, pink or blue. People ask me what I would like and of course the initial, honest answer is a baby that is alive, irrespective of sex. But then deep down, deep, deep down in my psyche I of course am longing for a girl. Because I should have a pink bundle in my arms already, a bonny 8 month old who would maybe be crawling and happily babbling away, enchanted by her own voice.

But then I think that perhaps a blue bundle would enable me to seperate the 2 pregnancies in my mind a little more, treat this baby as the second child. It's not that I am not thinking like that already, but sometimes the edges are blurred and I wonder if I am imagining Lucy is coming back to me. It is hard to explain. I have only known the pregnancy with Lucy and so it is hard to imagine another little person - their own entity with their own personality, growing inside me.

Feelings of the week are: sad, scared and apprehensive. I can't stop thinking about what we lost. I can't stop wondering about the whys and hows and just being utterly disbelieving that I have already in effect buried a child. A child I never even got to know other than her personality whilst I carried her. My heart aches so much when I think back to the scan at 20 weeks, the sonographer got a perfect view of her face and although it wasn't a 3D scan it was as close as, and for a while we watched Lucy yawn and root and stick her tongue out. The one and only time I actually saw my little girls face alive and moving. It captivated us at the time and now it is a very treasured memory, but so, so tinged with sadness. My beautiful little girl, why were you with us for such a short time?
I don't want to be an 'angel' mummy, I don't want this heavy heart. I want the confidence I had when I carried you, the concrete belief that I would hold you in my arms and spend a wonderful Christmas together. I want that feeling for this baby, instead of the dread each day brings.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Second trimester

Hmm well here I am in the Second Trimester. I like typing those words as there have been many paranoid moments where I didn't think I'd get here.

I have been away from the blogging world for a little bit, life just gets in the way sometimes. Today I announced Rainbows existence on Facebook. I debated putting it on there, but in the end my excitedness won out. To be honest most people that are close to me already know, and even those that don't have guessed by my already protruding stomach.

 Too many sausage rolls and crisps I'll wager, but it is looking more bumpy these days.
Only 3 weeks until our private gender scan, I am very excited about it now and feel like a kid before Christmas. I haven't bought anything and am not sure that I will, I feel that I will always just play at 'pregnancy' and never actually graduate to 'Mummy' status. It's strange.
I am enjoying being pregnant again although it feels surreal. I like the second trimester, I loved it with Lucy. So much happens, baby's first movements, the 20 week scan, baby's first kicks. So it's a nice time for me at the minute, a time to be enjoyed. I am just hoping things keep going well.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Cheshire East

Cheshire East & North Staffs Sands is fundraising for Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity - JustGiving

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Today I am happy

I am 10+4 today. I have listened to babys heartbeat twice with my doppler, just briefly, but it was enough to soothe my anxious soul.
I have seen my consultant and discussed my care plan for this baby. Scans every 4 weeks from 20 weeks and induction or section at 35 weeks, so baby will be in special care for a little while. That scares me, but we will deal with that when and if we make it that far. I also took the plunge and booked a gender scan for 16 weeks. I want to know what the sex is this time for a number of reasons. I am looking forward to it very much. As time progresses I am getting a little more excited. I dare to hope. I dare to dream. I have been into the nursery and tidied the life junk away that we had allowed to clutter it over the last few months. It now looks like a nursery again. I might put some pictures on here, I love our nursery. I hope Lucy and Rainbow bean love it too. I sat in the rocking chair and looked at the cot, bouncer, cot mobile, the pram still unsued in the box. And of course I cried and cried. The thing with a new pregnancy is it opens up those wounds that have only superficially healed like a knife. I cry a lot for Lucy at the moment, I guess it is hormones and the horror of what happened 7 months ago. There is an advert on the TV  for John Lewis, a department store. It shows the progress from a tiny baby girl all the way through her life to a retired lady at the end. It is a very nicely shot advert, and it moves me to tears every time I watch it. I just think of Lucy and all of the dreams I had for her that will never be realised. John just looks at me bemused as I sniffle into my sleeve. I love the music that goes with it too, I am a big fan of The Guillemots and the lead singer covers a Billy Joel song on the advert, it is beautiful.
I haven't been commenting on many blogs of late and for that I apologise, I am afraid the tiredness claims me every evening after work and I am unable to write. I do still read new posts though, and I hope to rectify my poor commenting in the next few weeks if I make it to Second trimester and hopefully start to feel a bit more lively again.

 I hear babys heart beating away and my soul is glad. Today I feel so happy, and I love my babies so much.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Dream state

Lucy feels so very far away from me now. My pregnancy with Lucy, and the subsequent heartbreak and devastation that followed - well they are taking on more and more of a dream like quality these days.
When I think about the key moments that are engrained in my mind - that sickening realisation on that sunny morning that I couldn't get her to respond to me, the drive to the hospital, the scan, the hysteria, the phone calls, the tearful relatives arriving, the endless questions (the list goes on and on) - they have that dream like haze over them these days. Like when you wake and you try and think about the dream that was just very clear in your mind, yet now the more you think the more it is like you are watching it through tinted glass - the edges are smudgey and you can't quite get clarity in the picture, just fleeting glances of faces, rooms, minor details.
The rawness of the emotion I felt in those early days has settled, but is never far from the surface. It can sneak up from nowhere, but all of a sudden the hot tears are stinging my eyes and the knot in my throat is suffocating and no matter how much I swallow it won't shift and then the tears fall. Time at first forces you to carry on living, you can't fight it as the second hand keeps going round and minutes pass, then hours, then days. Gradually you stop trying to fight it and acceptance of what has happened begins, albeit very slowly. And eventually you start to find joy in life again, although it is a strange happiness that you have now because underneath your smile and laugh your thoughts always flick for a moment to that little baby soul that touched your life and was gone. And then you want to scream at people and tell them your inner anguish. I hate it when people don't see Lucy as a baby. They don't have to say anything, but the way they speak about her, their body language - a whole host of things - it's a dead give away. I don't know how they perceive her, a miscarriage maybe? A strange alien bump that was once protruding in front of the host and then vanished? I just know that in their head they don't imagine ten pudgy baby toes and soft downy baby hair when they think of her. They don't imagine a baby.
Or do they?
Is this just my own paranoia? These almost protective feelings I have as her mother, I don't want my beautiful child to be though any less of, I want her memory to be respected and cherished. I don't want her to be classified as something she's not, or feared as some sort of freak. I just want people to see her and understand this pain we suffer at having lost her, she was a baby, she was absolutely perfect and we loved her fiercely with all of our hearts. We still do.

7 months today I held her for the first time.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Blind faith

8 weeks and 3 days today. I have gained 2 days I know, I had another scan on Thursday just gone and they dated the pregnancy. Baby was measuring spot on 8 weeks so my new EDD is 25th November - our wedding anniversary. I know you could say it's coincidence and nothing more than that, but I found out by my birthday I was expecting again and my due date is my 4th Wedding anniversary - I like to tell myself Lucy has sent her blessings and a very special present for her Mum and Dad. I hope so.
The browny discharge is continuing on and off, some days it is barely there and others is in full force. They saw a tiny bleed on the scan but nothing they said to worry about, just that it could be the cause of the discharge. Baby had grown from 9mm to 15.2 mm and still had a heartbeat.

I am trying to comfort myself with the thought we are now past the point that my little bean stopped growing before. Baby has grown as it should and the bleeding does not seem to be affecting the pregnancy. Sometimes it comforts me and I get a rush of excitement, I allow myself to think a bit further into the future and imagine a Summer with a bump and swollen ankles. Then I reign it back in again and the dark thoughts are back. It's all about having blind faith I think. No matter how many doctors I see, even if they scan me everyday, there is no guarantee I will take this baby home. No one can offer me that assurance, it is just impossible. So all I can do is believe it will be OK. Some days I can do that, others not so much.

The guilt about Lucy has also started. I feel bad for even wanting another baby, for being pregnant again so soon after losing her. I feel as though I am trying to blot out her existence, even though I am not. I feel guilty that I crave so much a 'normal' baby, not one that was lifeless and couldn't come home with me. But I can't spend my life mourning her all day, every day. Her journey started because we want so much to be parents, filled with days at the zoo, and noisy car journeys, and  first days at school. But the hurt is still there that I can't do any of this with her. Why was she sent here, to spend such a short time in her bubble world? My little daughter. My sweet baby girl. How much I love her. And whilst I am caught up with all these feelings about her I then get a jolt of guilt for this little life inside me. Will I be able to love this baby as they deserve whilst I am still so in love and grieving for my lost daughter? I know that I will, the evidence is there in other peoples blogs about their rainbow babes. But it is such a strange mix of emotions.  I am just very thankful to be given the opportunity to be here again, stange emotions or not. But I didn't realise though how fragile I still was until I was pregnant again. I thought I was stronger, more then ready to handle another pregnancy and more than capable of dealing with another loss should it happen. The bleeding has shown me how I would feel if I were to lose this baby as well. And it was not a good place to be. In fact I don't think I would be able to pick myself up again. It was scary, I just hope and pray that it is a place I will not need to visit.
4 weeks until the end of the first trimester. Please pass by quickly and uneventfully with Rainbow baby still growing, and heart beating away happily inside me.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Day by day

Another day is here. I am 7 weeks today.

My scan went OK on Thursday, we have a sac, yolk and small crustacean shaped human being with a beating heart.
As I was waiting in the day room to be seen (amongst four or five heavily pregnant women) I dissolved into tears and sobs. Scans bring no joy for me, I have no excited anticipation, just a feeling of impending doom that I can only compare to how Anne Boleyn felt on the morning of her execution. The unavoidable is apparoaching.

The fabulous Sister at the EPU scanned me straight away when she saw the state I was in, and for a brief moment I was content in that dark room watching my babies heart flickering.
But the anxiety and dark thoughts are never far away, as we left the hospital I began to worry about another MMC as with the one I had before Lucy the baby stopped growing about now but wasn't found until a couple of weeks later. And to compound that worry, I am still having browny discharge. It is enough to spot onto my panty liner and is on the toilet tissue after peeing. There is not loads of it, but there is enough of it to be a concern. I am also having back pain on and off, so I am in a constant state of fear.

I did have the same with Lucy from about 6 weeks through to about 9 weeks, so I am trying to tell myself that it is nothing to concern myself with. But my advice falls on deaf and ignorant ears, of course I am worried. I wish for this to be a normal, boring pregnancy that millions of women seem to achieve every year. I am waiting to hear from the hospital regarding my consultant care plan starting. I may phone the EPU again on Monday. Time is passing, albeit very slowly for me.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Birth

I am very, very proud of myself, my husband and my lovely angel Lucy, for getting through the experience. A very strange thing to be proud of I guess, but I was so worried about Labour and how I would handle the pain that I felt very proud when we got through it and were together as a family for a few hours.

The room they usually used for these sort of 'situations' was already being used, so I was ushered into the room where the birthing pool was. It seemed ironic as I had been planning on using the pool for pain relief when I went into Labour.
I had been forewarned it could take up to 24 hours for labour to really kick in. This sounded horrific to me, and I thought that there was every chance it would take this long as my body did not seem ready to give up my baby just yet.
I was given gel to ripen my cervix and told I would be checked in 6 hours at 10.30pm. Nothing really happened in the first few hours except more tears. We all sat around in the depressing room and wondered if this was really happening. I couldn't tell you what we spoke about, except they were empty, meaningless conversations. Nothing meant anything now my baby had gone.
Eventually I started get low back ache, like before my period. I didn't realise it at the time but these were contractions starting in my back area. John, my Mum and my Sister took turns to rub my back for me, or I would pace the floor rubbing it myself. It was surreal as I had tried to imagine Labour so many times, now here I was but everything was not as it should be. Everything appeared as though lit by a half light, making the experience even more surreal. The backache continued but it was bearable, at 10pm the midwife Meaghan came to check on me and everyone was ushered out of the room.
"Good girl!" she exclaimed, "You are already 5 cms dilated! I am going to break your waters now". A moments discomfort then a warm bath water feeling washed through my legs. "There is blood in your waters" she told me, "You may have had an abruption - have you had any pain?". The guilt as I racked my brains trying to think, had I missed a vital sign that could have saved my babies life? I didn't remember any pains, hell, I would have been straight up the hospital if I had!
She asked me if I wanted any pain relief, I told her no as I thought I had managed so far without any, I'd be OK. Then the next contraction came. And it hurt like hell this time, now that the soft cushion of my amniotic fluid had been removed. So I buzzed and was begging for pain relief, I was given Entinox and Diamorphine. And then things start to get a little fact, I lose an hour or two. I have vague recollections of hallucinating, the beeping of equipment made me think I was in a nightclub, I had an entire conversation with John that didn't actually happen. My grasp on reality had slipped waaaaay out of reach. I didn't say much and when I did it was total nonsense. And it doesn't take the pain away, in fact you still feel every single painful contraction you have, but for some reason you just don't seem to care or react in the normal way to the pain. I remember hanging over the back of the bed with the mouthpiece for the gas and air firmly clamped between my teeth, and I though how funny it was that I had been nervous, embarrassed about showing strangers my bits and pieces and yet now here I was, nightie hitched up around my waist, all my bits on display and I couldn't have gived a damn if the Queen herself had popped by. When you are in Labour you go into your own little bubble, you totally withdraw into yourself - well that's how it was for me anyway. Then I am feeling the urge to bear down, and Meaghan is telling me I can push, and I am now saying I need an epidural. Meaghan says I can have one but then she checks and tells me baby is already on the way- it's too late for any more intervention now. So I flip onto my back, and she tells me to push with every contraction. I push with all my strength, and despite the pain I try not to cry out as all I can think is I want my baby to be born with dignity, not to a sweating, cussing, screeching banshee. So I barely utter a sound, and I am concentrating on the words Meaghan is saying, I pant when she tells me to and it burns and burns but I don't push, and then she tells me to push again and so I do and suddenly... relief.

Lucy is born into the world, and the room is silent.

"It's a little girl" Meaghan tells us, and we kiss each other and cry softly, partly with happiness that we finally meet this little person, but mainly with sorrow that she will never be ours to keep or parent in the true sense of the word.
Lucy is placed onto my chest so I can see and I gaze at her through my drug addled fog and barely take in what had just happened. "Her name is Lucy" I mumble, and all doubt as to whether I would use my special name that I had lovingly chosen is gone - Lucy deserves her real name, not a made up name because I am too selfish to part with the name I love that I know won't ever be used for a living child.
And then all hell breaks lose, I am haemorraghing and my uterus won't contract down and they can't stop the blood. The cord was stuck round Lucy's shoulders and when they cut it to free her they cut me as well by accident and so the bottom end of the bed is now awash with blood and medics and doctors trying to stitch me up and trying to stop me bleeding to death. I am being injected, prodded, poked, stitched, manhandled. But I am still in a Morphine fogged dream world, and all I can say to the Midwife is I don't want them to take my uterus away. And I wonder why there is a cleaner at the end of the bed stuffing my lady bits with paper towels, John laters tells me this was another hallucination as it was actually a doctor stitching me up.

And suddenly the room is empty again, and I stare at this little girl on my chest, and I tentatively reach up and touch her face - it is warm - and this surprises me as death is cold in my mind. I stroke her perfect little cheek and marvel at her beauty and how much she looks like both of us but in miniature.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


What do I write about? Dare I let myself hope that the little pip in my belly will become a full blown rainbow babe? Do I throw caution to the wind and gush about how happy I am? Talk about the happy trips we will make as a family of three? Look at little onesies with cute animals on and throw nappies into the shopping trolley so we are stocked up?

No of course I don't. I am in that limbo land that all Babyloss Mamas must find theselves in once they see that positive test again.

I am living in a semi permanent state of fear. Every wipe of the toilet roll is inspected for the mereest hint of blood. Every twinge analysed, every pain googled. I have no peace. I have no reason to think this will turn out well, just as I have no reason to think it won't.
Everyone I have told has that cheerful optimism of someone who hasn't lost a baby. "I have a good feeling about this one". "This pregnancy will be fine, don't you worry".
I have found myself making strange bargains with the universe, like if I can cross the road before the lights change then my baby will be born alive. Then I cry if the lights change whilst I am still crossing, then I get annoyed because I know rationally a set of traffic lights have no bearing on whether this pip will make it to term and be born alive.
I think the most killing thing is the uncertainty. The not knowing if I will be back in hospital next week for another ERPC or if I will be reading this back in a years time with a milky smelling babe asleep in my arms. How I hope and pray it is the latter one.

Tomorrow I go back for the second of repeat blood tests. This is to give me more of an idea if the pregnancy is viable. The Sister will call me tomorrow afternoon with the verdict.

I am counting down the days until my scan. I have played every scenario out in  my head. Mainly the 'no heartbeat' scenario. I am steeling myself for bad news.
Time seems to be going slowly, the days drag past. Every now and then I let myself dream for a second and imagine a little further than next Thursday, imagine getting to feel a baby kick and tumble around inside me again.

Today I am 5+3. I hope you are OK in there Rainbow Babe. I hope Lucy will look down on you and keep you safe. I hope that this is our time. I hope so much I get to hold you in 8 months.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

I am a mole and I live in a hole

I need to write stuff down. It's going round my head, I can't concentrate. I am going through the motions, lights on, nobody home. No one rational anyway.

It's been a while since I've blogged. It comes down to the part nervous breakdown I had after my last period showed up. I freaked out completely. I screamed and cried and scratched my legs and face in rage. Total, utter psycho.
So as I sat, a sobbing mess on the floor of the bathroom, I decided something had to give. I looked at my huge flabby belly in the mirror and decided baby stuff was not on the agenda this month. Weight loss was my new obsession. So I've been rigidly following slimming world and exercising, weight loss so far 12lb. Feeling good about myself, but still a stone to lose before I am pre-baby weight, and I don't just mean the Lucy Lu weight as I also put a few pounds on with the babies I miscarried.

However something came along and has put a spanner in the works. After 5 months of hoping, I finally got to see 2 pink lines over the weekend.

I'm pregnant.

I currently have no less than 20 various test brands on the windowsill, all with differing strengths of line. You would think that this news would have me jumping for joy, right?
Well, it did for about half an hour. For half an hour I was blissfully happy, I kept telling John I had a 'good feeling' about this one. So did he, and we grinned at each other like loonies for a bit. But being me, and a total POAS-aholic, I wanted to see it in words. So we drove to the shop, and I plumped for those new fangled digital tests that have a 'conception indicator' to tell you how far along you are. Not cheap.
We drove home and I excitedly chattered about scans and telling people and the normal stuff your mind races with when you see those glorious lines appear. I was determined to be excited, no  matter what happened I wanted to revel in the joy of pregnancy whilst I had it.

Bizarrely though, the digital test had the opposite effect on me than calming me. Within a minute the word 'Pregnant' appeared and then below, where it tells you an approximate conception date, '3+' appeared.


Meaning I was 5 weeks or more pregnant. Which is a physical impossibility. I know I conceived this cycle. 100%. When I took the test I was 4+1 according to my LMP. It should have only said 1-2 weeks, hell I could have lived with 2-3 weeks. But 3+ weeks? How the hell can my hormone levels be so high that they triggered that response?

So like any paranoid dead baby mama , I googled my little heart out. For hours. And the 4 conclusions I have found with regards to high HCG are:

  1. I miscalculated my dates. As I didn't temp or chart properly this month I actually don't know when I ovulated. I thought I HADN'T ovulated, so fuck knows. This is a possibility, I could be a few days further on than I thought.
  2. My levels are high, but still 'nomal'. The Clearblue tests are gimmicky, and not an exact science. The test strip that 'diagnoses' the conception is not terribly accurate, it just relies on the strength of a line to predict the level of hormone present and thus how far along. In fact that makes it sounds more scientific than it is. So I could just have high levels and still be fine.
  3. It's a multiple pregnancy. As neither John nor myself have a family history of multiples, and I have not had any fertility drugs, I severely doubt this is the case. But it is not entirely improbable.
  4. It is a Molar pregnancy.
 Molar. A Molar Pregnancy. These are the words, that once I read them, have been going round and roung my crazy little brain. This is the worst case scenario. The thought that in my uterus is not currently a baby, but an out of control cluster of cells. Growing and growing like a cancer, and pumping out massive amounts of HCG. If it is a molar pregnancy, we won't be able to TTC for a YEAR after my HCG levels return to zero. And it could take months for that to happen.
It's all I can think about. I have totally convinced myself that this is the case. I am already devastated for the loss of this pregnancy and I have not even had a scientific opionion yet.
Molar pregnancies are rare, 1:1000 pregnancies apparently. Surely, surely we can't have THAT much bad luck? I mean come on, I'm not trying to complete the 'baby loss' set - spontaneous miscarriage, missed miscarriage, stillbirth...and Molar?

But no matter how I try, I can't seem to to get this thought out of my head. It haunts my every thought. I have googled to exhaustion the meaning of high HCG levels, the consequences and symptoms of molar pregnancies. My mind is full of information, and this is a bad thing. Too much information is a BAD thing.

I have a blood result due back on Friday to tell me what my level of HCG was as of yesterday, 4+3.
And I have a viability scan on April 8th.


The scan that will tell me if I have an uncanny sixth sense and this pregnancy is doomed, or if it is pure, unadulterated PARANOIA caused by experiencing nothing but loss so far in my journey for a family.

Please keep everything crossed for me, pray for me. I think another loss would leave me totally broken.

Monday, 8 February 2010


So after all my good intentions and promises and mantras I have woken up this morning and feel like all of the positivity has been sucked out of me.

Maybe it's the lack of sleep, maybe it's hormones, maybe it's just the phase of the moon. Who knows. I just feel that we will not have done it this cycle and I am just tired of trying to conceive again. This is just not how life should be. This is not how I want my life to be.

This post made me think today. Lately I have been feeling very, very jealous of my friend and her new baby. It's not a good emotion. I feel bitter that it's been so hard for us and so easy for her. We struggle for 2 years and lose three babies. She has aborted 2 previous 'unplanned' pregnancies, decides on a whim (in the middle of an argument with her boyfriend) to have a baby and is pregnant within 2 months, a year later she has a new baby, a new home (paid for by his parents). Everything I wanted and thought I would have. She text me the other day to ask how I was. She asked my opinion on something her baby was doing. But like Ashley said, what advice can I offer? I have never had a baby to bring up.  I can't give her advice because I have no idea.

How do I move past this terrible negativity I have towards her? I just can't get past the unfairness of it all. Why has it been so easy for her? Why has it been so hard for us? How can I stop this horrible envy that is eating away at our friendship? I can barely bring myself to speak to her. She doesn't have the right words to say. She never even bothered to come to Lucy's funeral. She complains constantly about her baby not sleeping. When I told her how down I was feeling about TTC she texted to say "I know, I felt like that. I know how long the months can be and it's literally all you can think about". What?!? WTF?!? How can she even pretend to know what it's like? She decided at Christmas she wanted a baby and was pregnant by the February! Why does she not understand that her situation and my situation are worlds apart?

God I sound like a total bitch. I hate feeling this way towards her. But I hate that she just doesn't GET it. I'm not sure our friendship can recover from this. I am a terrible friend. I can't even feel happy for my friends anymore.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


I met with the other Mamas this weekend. It was really good. I travelled down on the train with one lady and we chattered all the way to London. It was so nice to be able to talk openly with someone without having to apologise for getting upset, or with the other person steering the conversation away from dead babies.

We shared tears. We shared fears. I tried to soothe hers as she is pregnant again and frightened. We talked about how you are unable now to tell other pregnant ladies "It'll be alright". No matter how bad I feel I just cannot bring myself to, in effect, lie to them. How can I know it'll be alright? Yes it's the right and polite thing to say, but I'm sorry I have statistically had 3 'not alright' pregnancies so I feel like a fraud if I smile sweetly and paint a beautiful, rose coloured picture of being pregnant. Pregnancy to me now seems like you are holding your future baby in your arms and bungee jumping off the Severn bridge with only an elastic band to hold you up. There's a million chances you will hit the ground with a sickening thud or there is a remote chance you'll bounce and get that happy ending.

We met with the other Mamas in the hotel. After a little awkwardness we were soon chatting away, each eager to make the most of this opportunity to talk about our lost little ones. Every story different but with the same sad ending. And what seemed to crop up a lot, a LOT was the sheer inconsistency of advice given by the medical profession. You would think that it might help if they were all singing off the same hymn sheet. Instead it seems to be a postcode lottery, even a generation lottery - some of the older Consultants seem to be very much of the 'suck it and see' approach whereas the recent graduates of med school are following the textbook to the letter - god help you if your pregnancy deviates from that textbook.

Bit of a joke.

I am thinking of packing the nursery away. I left it all out after losing Lucy as I was sure I would be pregnant again quickly. As time ticks on with no positive test it seems a sadder place to me. I think I may just pack it all away for another time, whenever that may be. The empty cot makes me feel sad, the whole room does.

I feel I am running out of things to say about Lucy. I have talked about her endlessly but I will only ever have those nine months and those few precious hours to talk about. I was so surprised she was warm when she came out. I guess I imagined she would be dead and therefore cold. It was strange how warm and pink she was. Her skin was very soft, I stroked her cheek and nose endlessly. I wish I had opened her eyelids to see hers eyes, I never did it because it just didn't seem right to disturb her somehow but I wonder what they looked like. She had very, very long legs. And huge feet! Just like her Dad. She would have had his sticky out ears too. I remember thinking how she would have grown her hair to cover them, and then I cried because her hair would never grow and she would never be teased at school about her ears because she would never go to school. She wasn't meant for this earth.
I once read that babies that pass are Old Souls that have been here many times before. They have learnt all their life lessons and will now get to join God in Heaven as an Angel, but the last lesson they have to pass onto their chosen earth Mother. I guess this comforts me a little as I can't fathom the point of a little life sent here and taken before her beautiful eyes had even a chance to see the light of the Sun.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Levelling myself out. Temporarily.

I don't really have much to say at the moment. I am in that limbo land between my period and ovulating. So I am just sitting here, twiddling my thumbs until I see those 2 lines on the OPK.
This month I am *trying* to be relaxed about this TTC business. As relaxed as a desperate, bereaved mother can be. I am trying to be a 'cup half full' kind of girl. I guess today I wanted to write down in black and white my rationalisations on TTC. Apologies for the boring blurb I am about to write but I need to see this before my eyes, I need it to be my mantra for the next few months:

  • I have been pregnant 3 times in 2 years. To be specific, 12 months of those 2 years I was actually pregnant so I have been pregnant 3 times in 12 months of trying. To be even MORE accurate I have been pregnant 3 times in 10 months, as John pointed out that after the MMC we took a break and spent all our baby savings on a holiday so we didn't *try* for 2 cycles. 30% success rate. That's a pretty good hit rate really.
  • I know I can carry a baby to term. Despite my earlier losses, I now know that I can get past that stage and grow a beautiful, healthy baby.
  • My temps are looking very good for an ovulatory cycle. I see a clear triphasic pattern, all looking good for that egg squeezing it's way into my tubes.
  • I know it could just take time. We were timing sex pretty perfectly for 5 months with no luck. Then on the 6th month BINGO. So I just need to remind my impatient self that it'll happen, just in it's own time.
  • Every month we don't get pregnant is a month longer my body has to heal itself after Lucy.
  • We always would have tried for another after our first. So even though I keep thinking we are still trying for our *first* baby - we aren't. Lucy was our first baby, our daughter. We are now trying for her brother or sister, just sooner than we had anticipated.
Hmm. Looks very positive on paper. I just need to keep telling myself all of the above to stop regressing to my 'cup half empty' personality. No easy feat really.

Tomorrow I am going to London to meet up with four other Babyloss Mamas. I feel nervous, like I'm going on a blind date. I wouldn't normally ever do anything like this, but since Lucy I feel that nothing should ever daunt me again, or make me think 'I can't do it'. The hardest thing I ever had to go through was to find out my daughter had passed away inside me, and then to go through childbirth knowing my greatest reward had already been taken from me. I figure if I can do that, and carry on living to tell the tale, then I can do anything (or at least attempt to anyway).

I am going to try my hardest to start living for me, and stop living just to get pregnant. I am going to try and be more like the 'old' me. I want more fun in my life this year, I want more love and more laughter. I am going to make an effort to visit all of my friends from Uni that I always promise to go and see. I am going to make sure we visit the lovely couple we made friends with on holiday. I am going to start going to festivals again as for the last two years I have put off going because I *might* be pregnant, was pregnant or thought I would have a baby. I am going to cook, I am going to lose weight, I am going to meet other Babyloss Mamas so I can give them a hug and cry with them.

These are my new rules, and I will keep chanting my new mantra to help me focus less on TTC and more on my life as it was 2 years ago. Except I have the added life experience of carrying and giving birth to my beautiful, precious darling Lucy.

Sleep tight my little angel, we love you to the moon and back xxxxx

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Hitting the bottom...and bouncing back up

So this was the week I had a meltdown. A real emotional freak out. The kind where I moan, cry, wail, sob, scream and curse BADLY (and nearly put my own windows through).

The trigger was that....on Tuesday morning I got a faintly positive HPT.

Don't get your hopes up I told myself (as I got my hopes up).

On Tuesday evening I got another faintly positive HPT. I decided to wait until the morning and test again and then tell John. My hopes were, by now, firmly up and waving cheerily in the breeze. So Wednesday morning I am looking at a snowy white test. So I try another. And another. And a different brand. And I go and buy even more tests. And they all come back snowy white, not even an evaporation line to comfort me. And I have to face the crushing realisation that whatever small spark had triggered the 2 pink lines had gone.

It was like being smacked over the head with a boulder, I could hear the mocking laughter ringing in my ears.
This whole TTC again had become a desperate obsession, I am like a junkie looking for a fix just to see 2 pink lines on that test. On Wedneday I felt as though all of my hope had sailed - life and the universe was mocking me. I really hit the bottom, I cried and sobbed and drank and if I somehow could have scored hard drugs I think I would have gone and got myself obliterated. I felt like I was sinking into quicksand and no one could help me. A friend said that surely I couldn't feel any worse than the day I lost Lucy but you know what, I did.
I felt much worse, I felt grief for the child, the daughter, that I had lost and also grief for the child I hadn't even conceived yet.
That's how it is every month we don't fall pregnant - I grieve for a child that wasn't even there,  a child that is just a little glimmer of hope in my mind. And when that glimmer fades away I despair and torment myself.
So I faced the very real possibility that I was heading into depression. More and more was the urge to just vanish, close my blog, close my Facebook account, turn my phone off. And I realised that every day I was feeling this way then there was no hope of catching that egg. I believe the mind is a very powerful thing. Negative thoughts will not help my body conceive. I think my mind recognises that to fall pregnant whilst in such turmoil will not be good for the pregnancy.
And I know factually that the three times I have caught the egg have been when I 100% believed I wouldn't catch the egg, and I was therefore relaxed and putting no pressure on myself. So I have bought 2 Hypnotherapy CDs to listen to, one for relaxation and another directly for relaxation in preparation to conceive. Very hippy dippy I  know but I am relishing the thought of taking charge of my own mind again, and being able to relax each month and not obsess or stress or torture myself. That is my preliminary goal, and of course I hope that this will lead to my secondary goal, to conceive. Here's hoping. Here's praying.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Close to the bottom

"When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful."

There is a big Lucy shaped hole in my heart, in my life. In my mind I can feel her weight in my arms, feel her soft baby skin under my fingers. At the moment I am finding the days harder than ever. On my second day at work, a colleague said to me in the kitchen - "It's good that you are back, you have to move on".
That cut like a knife deep into my heart. Is that what everyone at work is now thinking? That at three months, I should be moving on, packing up my Lucy shaped hole and the condolence cards and everything baby related and putting them away? 

I can't do that. 

My life is always on pause, always stuck at that terrible day, hearing those words and staring at my dead baby on an Ultrasound machine. I can't and do not want to 'move on' right now. Carry on, yes I am doing that. I am functioning on a day to day basis. But I am hanging on to my little girls memories for dear life, and my opportunities to talk about her are dwindling by the day. No one asks anymore, no one mentions her the way they did. But she was here, she was my daughter, she kicked and rolled and hiccuped. She was made out of love by me and John, and she was the most precious, precious thing I have ever had the honour of meeting. Just seeing her beautiful face, it was the most wonderful and the most devastating moment of my life. If only she had opened her eyes. 

The grief at not getting pregnant again is mixing with the grief of losing my beautiful, precious daughter. It is mixing and churning into a heady cocktail of pain, and bitterness. I am in pain today.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Working 9 til 5

Well that's a falsehood really as I work 8 til 5.

So today was my first day back at work. I'm on phased return so only have to go in tomorrow and that's me done for the week. My weekend starts early, how very exciting.
It wasn't as bad as I had anticipated to be honest. My boss was nervy and a tiny bit irritating as he clearly has no idea how to deal with a woman who left to have a live baby and has come back a bereaved parent on the edge of sanity. I had no wobbles, I even answered the phone despite them telling me I didn't have to (in case I scare the customers away). I slipped right back into it, I have to say. I am always impeccably professional at work. I don't shirk, I work hard and I am good at what I do. So it was actually nice to slip back into that mindset again, it was a welcome injection of reality. In fact it was almost like the last 12 months of my life never happened. 2009 seemed like a missing year in my mind. A dream, albeit a horrific one.
The only thing that reminded me was the huge wallchart in front of my desk. Last year I counted down every milestone of my pregnancy on that chart. I counted the weeks and days to each appointment, each scan, each parenting class. At the end I stared endlessly at my due date, 14th October. I gazed at it and wondered  when my baby would arrive, knowing nothing of how much my life was going to change.
So it was hard to look at that empty calendar today. I have no happy goals, no celebratory milestones to look forward to. Just the anniversary of my babies death, and her birthday. And her cremation date.

I am in the 2 week wait at the minute. I am tired of living to ovulate every month, I wish someone could turn my brain off. I am all consumed with getting pregnant again. We have had endless sex each month and nothing has been happening. I am starting to feel like I am losing this pregnancy race. And I know it's not really a race, but I am starting to wonder if it will ever happen to me again. I want to move on from this chapter in  my life and just start living again.Just being me, and not living and striving to have a baby, a living, breathing offspring. I just want to live again, and not living to reproduce. And I'm pissed off that I can't get there yet.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

How much is too much loss?

Over the last few days I have heard very sad news from a few people, other ladies that have been though a stillbirth who have now had further tragedy. My heart is aching for them, I am feeling their sorrow very keenly. I can't get my head around this imbalance of shit that is being heaped upon the nicest of people, who have the simplest of dreams.
It has made me think about my own previous losses, and I am wondering how much loss can you put yourself through for this dream, before you are broken and enough is enough?

Two years ago we decided to start a family. A month and one day later we were both staring at two pink lines in disbelief. Shock. We never expected it to happen so quickly. We were shell shocked for about a week. Then one day that wore off and was replaced with so much excitement! We were going to be parents! We hugged and kissed and cooed and planned.

The next morning I woke up to period pain and heavy bleeding.

And that was the end of that.

We were very sad, but we were young, had time on our side. We hadn't expected it to happen so quickly, we rationalised it was not meant to be our time yet, we would keep trying.

A month later we were looking at two pink lines again. We were cautiously excited. At 6 weeks I started bleeding heavily. I was distraught.
We were scanned and to our amazement on screen was a little flickering heartbeat. So we were sent home on bed rest and the bleeding stopped. And then at 7 weeks it started again, heavier this time.
So off we trot to the early pregnancy unit, this time expecting the very, very worst. And there was our baby, heartbeat flickering. A fighter. A trouper. Little spud. And we are sent home again, and the bleeding stops. And it doesn't come back. And my family, friends, husband, all breathe a sigh of relief.

Then, when I am nearly 10 weeks I have to go back for a follow up and dating scan. We walk into the scan room full of happiness, relief that there has been no more bleeding, excited to see our spud again.

Except this time, there is no flickering heartbeat.

I thought my world fell apart then but now, after Lucy, I think maybe it just cracked wide open. I am sent home to let me miscarry naturally. Except my stupid body doesn't know the baby is gone and I continue with the morning sickness and pregnancy signs. So a week and a half later I go in for an ERPC.

Then follows the months and months of trying and hoping, but we can't seem to catch that egg anymore. And each month we don't I lose hope. And then, on 2nd February 2009 when I am 3 days late I find myself looking at those two pink lines again.
And this time I still bleed in the early weeks but all the scans are fine. 6, 8, 12, 21, 28, 34 weeks, all show my little girl waving and swallowing and kicking and sticking her tongue out. Until that fateful day 23rd September 2009.

And so, like so many others, I find myself here again with thermometers and test strips and jars of urine loitering about my bathroom (a few house guests have had an unfortunate surprise). And every month is torture. But that is only half the battle. If I ever find myself staring down at those two pink lines again I am only just starting a whole new journey.

And one that no one can guarantee me a happy ending with. I am sick of people telling me that it will be OK next time. That sort of comment could only ever come from people who have managed to avoid a life changing event. They still have that cheerful 'won't happen to me guv' attitude. But I know it can happen to me. It has happened three times, and I am not alone in this. So don't patronise me and tell me it will be OK.

So no happy ending guaranteed, right? So back to my original question - how much is too much? When do you stop? When do I give up on my dream? What if I lose another baby? Do I give up then? Or do I try again, and maybe lose another? How much more can my broken heart take? How much more can I put John and my family through? At the moment, my desire for a baby is too strong to give up. I am almost stubborn in my demeanour - I will NOT let that absolute BITCH Mother Nature beat me. I will keep going until I get a baby in my arms to keep. But I am feeling the pain of these other womens losses so strongly, I am questioning if I can do it. I have suggested to John about adoption, but he didn't see why we would need it as "It'll happen, we'll get our baby". I wish I had his optimism. And his resolve.

I have to try one more time at least, but there's not much glue holding this heart together anymore.

I have lit a candle tonight for some very special angel babies that have gone to join their brothers and sisters. I am thinking of their Mummies, Daddies and families.

I put this on my Facebook too, I think it is beautiful:

"A butterfly lights beside us, like a sunbeam. For a brief moment it's glory and beauty belong to our world. Then it flies on again, and although we wish it could have stayed we are so thankful to have seen it at all"

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy? New Year.

I've been so busy lately, I haven't had time to blog. This isn't to say things have got any better, things are still shit. But I just haven't had the time to write about the badness, I'm too busy living it.
So it is a new year. Everyone keeps telling me this will be our year and I am trying to believe it. So far I have not managed to get pregnant again, despite really trying. Every month I break my heart when my period shows up, the last one arrived on Christmas day morning so that was a big fat kick in the teeth. This time last year I got my BFP with Lucy. I was apprehensive as I expected to miscarry again but as time ticked on I let myself dare to hope that I would finally achieve my dream of being a mummy. I imagined that this Christmas I would be frazzled from no sleep, carrying a screaming newborn round and smelling of baby sick.
I have started having severe panic attacks. I have never had them before in my life and when I had the first one I truly thought I was having a heart attack. I had no idea how physical they were. The racing heart, the breathlessness, the sweating and shaking and the irrational fear that I am about to shuffle off this mortal coil. So I'm off to the doctors about them this week at some point. Obviously this is connected to Lucy and my sudden fear of death and people I love dying, but I am not sure how to deal with it and stop them happening.

I go back to work this month on 'phased' return, they are worried I am going to have a breakdown and tell my customers to shove their cheese up their arses (I work for a dairy company). I am looking forward to getting some normality back, and there is only so much Loose Women that I can take.

I also had my consultant appointment last month to get my PM results. Long and short of it is they think I may have APS and so I have been tested again for that, if it comes back positive again then next time I'll be on blood thinners. The other thing was a 'sudden catachylsmic failure of the placenta'. It just packed up. So I'll also be induced next time at about 35-36 weeks. Not sure how I feel about it all really. Angry? Numb? Satisfied to finally have some answers? Hmmm. All of the above I guess. Just need to get pregnant again now, it's all I can think about or talk about. I'm getting on my own nerves.