#misCOURAGE story, 22/02/2017, by Charlotte
I met my husband a few years ago and shortly after, his son. We took things slowly as it had to be right for Jude. It was strange initially and not like I'd imagined meeting the man I wanted to marry. I got two for the price of one! It was terribly hard and but so rewarding at the same time yet I was desperate to be a whole mum, not just a part time one.
My husband, James was an amazing dad and wanted a whole troupe of children so shortly after we got married in June 2013 we started trying to get pregnant. I found out in September that I was.
I was blown away as I think deep down I thought it wouldn't happen.
Not long after I'd seen my GP I started to spot. She was awesome and sent me to the Early Pregnancy Unit at QMC. They were amazing too. I had a couple of successful scans, including seeing the heart beat and we began to hope, despite the bleeding.
Then on our third scan at about 11 weeks I was asked to empty my bladder so I could have an internal. I knew. I knew as I sat on the loo right next to the room. I knew when I saw my husband's face as he'd heard the hushed conversation. I knew yet I so desperately hoped.
We cried. We hugged. We listened to options and came home to talk to our parents. We decided to opt for surgery as I couldn't bear the thought of it possible taking a while for it to be over.
We talked about how awesome it was to have gotten pregnant so quickly. We put a brave face on it and I went back to work after a week.
I bled heavily for a while after and found my periods horrendous but I put it down to the hormones and in March we found out I was pregnant again.
And right on cue, week five I began to spot.
I self referred to the early pregnancy unit and they initially reassured me. Tests showed my hormone levels weren't right and then a scan could see things weren't in the right place, then it was, then it wasn't. Those nurses were out of this world looking after me.
I decided to manage my loss myself this time as coming round after surgery and realising my child had really gone had been awful the first time.
Still, I spent an awful Easter holiday sobbing on a hotel bathroom floor because it didn't seem fair.
I went back to work as I was still slowly losing my child and eventually I haemorrhaged. I couldn't believe my body had so much blood to lose and neither could James.
Once again I found myself on the ward but this time there was no hope and I was frightened. James and mum heard the registrar on the phone to the consultant saying I didn't have time to wait as I'd lost so much blood, she had the same conversation with the emergency anaesthetist who was worried as I'd eaten too soon before as I was being wheeled into theatre.
I woke feeling like I'd been run over by a bus and felt so drained but strangely calm. Once again we talked about how I'd got pregnant quickly and it would work again although I wanted to punch other people who said it to us to try to reassure us.
I felt id done something wrong and felt immense guilt. I felt a failure as a woman. I felt for James.
Everyone tried to console me, to look after me but he was terrified. He'd nearly lost me and now he had lost two children. Men don't talk about it do they?
I carried on, going on a youth camp as the cook. I woke up one morning whilst there and knew I was pregnant. I couldn't wait to get home to do a test. It was positive. It was the summer holidays and I stopped. I relaxed and took time for me.
Week five it started again. But I took myself to almost bed rest and stayed that way until September and back to work.
It was so hard on Jude. For a year now his step mum hadn't done anything, I'd been in hospital, ill, grumpy, sad and now trying to hold it together on family holidays whilst trying to not move from the sofa!
The EPU scanned me regularly and despite the continued spotting I made it to meeting the midwife and going for the "proper" first scan. We told Jude who was really excited.
It was a long 40 weeks with several scares and terrifying early morning toilet trips waiting for the inevitable. It never came.
I just came across as a completely neurotic pregnant lady. I didn't want to be but I was scared every day would be the last which is ridiculous if you think about it but hormones and fear don't mix well together.
In April 2015 I gave birth to a nine pound bundle of joy after a very quick labour. She'd scared us then too-as her dad says trouble from the start!
I cried with relief and pure joy as she made her way across me to feed and even now have a cry about how lucky we are to have our gorgeous, stroppy, loud and hilarious Martha.
My love for her is tied up huge greatfulness and in absolute sadness for those that go through losing babies, for those who lose more than two babies, for those that don't yet know the joy of holding your squealing child and soothing it with your love but I count my blessings daily.
I only wish others didn't have to go through the pain of loss.The sadness on the due dates each year thinking about a birthday party you'll never celebrate. The wondering what they would have been like.
I also wish people were more honest because when it happens suddenly people who you thought you knew tell you about the children they lost. It shouldn't be so hard to share and this is why the Tommy's Facebook page has helped me to forgive myself and to heal.
As I said I count my blessings. I have a wonderful husband, a stepson who is truly gorgeous in every way and a daughter who is delicious. Life isn't a breeze but it's flipping exciting and full of love.
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