2016 was going to be our year.
We started the year off by getting married in January, we went away for a weekend to celebrate my husband's 30th birthday, we had a fantastic two week family moon in Cyprus in April, and in May we decided it was the right time to try and give our beautiful 3 year old daughter a sibling.
My implant came out in the beginning of June and on 10th July we got a positive result on a pregnancy test, I was 5 weeks pregnant.
We were both in total shock, not expecting to get pregnant straight away but soon we started imagining ourselves as a family of four and the excitement took over.
The following week, anxiety and nervousness kicked in, I couldn't stop crying and worrying about what might go wrong, I felt different to my first pregnancy and was convinced something wasn't right.
After speaking to my husband, my mum and some close friends, I decided to book an early scan at a private clinic to put my mind at ease, I already had my date in for my dating scan and I couldn't bare to wait that long.
The day of our private scan came, and worked out from the date of the first day of my last period, I was 8 weeks & 6 days pregnant. The ultrasound technician out the probe to my belly and straight away, an image of our wee blob appeared on the screen. "You're actually measuring at 7 weeks + 6days, but this is just an estimate".
It didn't matter to me, there was a strong heartbeat, our wee baby was fine.
I waited for the anxiety to shift but it only got worse as the date approached for our 12 week scan.
The morning of the scan I was in work, and was expected to return after my appointment. Something deep down told me I should have taken the day off.
My mum was meeting us at the hospital as she had never been to any of my previous scans in my first pregnancy. She and my husband chatted and laughed in the waiting room while I jiggled my foot nervously, my brain telling itself to get a grip and everything is fine, my heart knowing different.
As soon as the black and white image appeared on the screen, I knew our baby had died. It wasn't much bigger than what it looked like at the early scan, the only difference being this time there were little arms and legs.
I could feel my mum and husbands eyes burning into me, desperately trying to make eye contact but my inner strength kicked in, I held it together and listened to the technician as she handed me a gown and told me an internal scan was needed to make sure there was no heartbeat, even though we all knew it didn't look good.
It wasn't until after the internal scan when she told us that our baby was measuring at 8 weeks + 6 days and there definitely wasn't a heartbeat, my whole world fell apart around me, I broke down, my mum crying and apologising, my husband just in complete shock.
I couldn't understand - I had no bleeding or pains? How could my body have continued to carry on 'being pregnant' for almost 4 weeks?
A midwife led us into a different room where my mum left us and my husband and I cried and held each other and apologised to each other.
The next hour was a blur. The midwife presented us with a leaflet with different options to remove the baby and pregnancy tissue.
Straight away I thought 'I need this next bit over and done with', so I chose surgical management. Little did I know that I would have to wait a whole week before they could take me in for the procedure.
I convinced myself it was the best option, I didn't want to see anything, I didn't want to feel anything and surely I had went this long carrying my sleeping baby, what difference would another week make?
I was wrong, my body caught up with what was going on in my head and on the Saturday before my scheduled procedure, I started bleeding, in the middle of a shopping mall. My husband took my daughter to Boots to get disposable bed mats and wipes while I sat in the toilets, whilst my body contracted and emptied itself of the pregnancy.
The pains were excruciating and there was so much blood, I knew something wasn't right.
In the time it took us to drive home I bled through two of the disposable bed mats that I had fashioned a giant nappy out of. I ran into the house while my husband dropped our daughter off at his mums.
In the time he was gone, I decided to climb into the shower and try clean myself up. I gave up as the blood continued to pour and the contractions got worse. I lay in the empty bath trying not panic, as I begin to pass lumps of tissue.
My husband and my mum appeared at the bathroom door, just as a clot the size of my hand passed, and I began to feel weak and tired.
The next few hours are a blur, an ambulance came. We were rushed to the hospital where the doctors informed me I had lost a dangerous amount of blood, I was put on a drip, the doctor manually removed more clots from the neck of my womb, there was an internal scan which showed there was still a 2cm size piece of tissue left but my bleeding had slowed right down so it was ok, it might pass itself and with any luck I could go home in the next couple of hours.
Then like a never ending nightmare, the bleeding and clots started again, I had to be kept in. Then hours later I was eventually allowed home. Through the whole ordeal, I didn't shed a tear. The adrenaline kicked in and I held it together, for my husband, for myself.
The next day, on a hormonal come down, I tried to deal with the realisation that it was all over, I was no longer pregnant, my baby was no longer with me. I felt like my heart had broken into a million pieces. Flowers, cards and well wishes flooded the house, it was so warming to know the people close to me were there to support me and my family.
But no amount of words could take away the pain, physically and emotionally.
For just now I can't imagine trying for another baby, to have to go through that again, all I can do just now is grieve for the baby I had lost, along with the ideas and plans that were no longer going to be.
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