So, tomorrow is one year since we lost Frankie in pregnancy at 13 weeks. By now we should have a 6 month old baby causing havoc in the house, smelly nappies, toys and baby paraphernalia everywhere.
Instead, we have a huge empty space in our hearts where they should be, we haven’t been able to celebrate each milestone, first tooth, first smile. There will be no firsts.
By now, in my head, I expected to be pregnant again and in my wildest dreams maybe even already have a baby. This is not the case, in fact with the cruelness of the world since losing Frankie we have also lost another baby.
A Little Baby ‘Alby’ was due 28th May 2017 two days after Frankie, but we lost them exactly two weeks before them.
On 24th September this year, we had been home from holiday for a couple of weeks and as last year, I felt ‘different’ that special kind of ‘different’. Incredibly sore boobs, queasy at the thought of pretty much anything and the give away, no monthlies!
So, we have a pregnancy test, as I have a stock in the medicine cupboard nower days and at 6am I decided I would take a test.
There is was.. Positive, a second chance at having the family I have always dreamed of.
I wake my husband, who wasn’t best pleased, I explain why on earth I have woken him up a good 2 hours before his alarm. We both sit there staring at each other with such joy but such anticipation.
What if it happens again, this is the first thought in my mind!
First thing I did was research early pregnancy scans, I read the pros and cons and we decided that we would go for it. So I booked an early scan at 8 weeks. Between then and the appointment, I literally worried about everything, every twinge and every pang.
The day came, I had wicked morning sickness but I think it was mostly nerves. We went to the appointment, the staff were faffing about in the room because the big screen wasn’t working and this was working me up even more, to the point where I thought I was going to leave because in my mind it could only get worse.
Instead I stayed and eventually we got to see our beautiful baby, well fuzzy flickering blob rather than baby. She said, look can you see, that’s the heart beat, well my eyes were streaming, we didn’t get to experience this with Frankie and this is amazing, next thing, we can hear the heartbeat whooshing and swooshing!
The day after, whilst at work, I started spotting. Instant Panic. Instant Anxiety. Instant Tears. Here we go again, this isn’t fair etc. etc.
I get sent home, I called our local EPU and explained, they said to keep an eye on it, I had a midwife appointment booked two days later, so they advised to hopefully hang on till then. It didn’t get worse and was just a consistent spotting. The midwife booked me straight in for a scan the next day.
We arrived at the hospital, back through the same entrance, up the same lift. This was becoming a little familiar for our liking!
We sat in the same waiting room as last year and were called in to the same scan room. Same sonographer from last year. I was a nervous wreck but was trying to hide it all. I had to have an internal scan, and after a bit of manoveing, there they were A Little Baby, heart flickering away, “perfect”!!
The next two weeks, my sickness hit a high, just the smell off food was enough to make me ill but I did my utmost not to complain.
It was a blessing to be in this situation again and I told myself to try not to moan about any symptoms and not take anything for granted, it will all be worth it when we get to meet our bundle of joy.
The Monday after the scan my app told me I was 10 week, the spotting started again. The midwife last time just advised to keep an eye, if anything feels different so to speak, call the EPU for advice I felt that, this was just as two weeks ago and carried on with my day.
Tuesday morning at around 4am, I woke up with dreadful ‘period pains’ I went to the loo and there it was, the bright red blood I effectively have been waiting for since day 1!
I again wake my husband and let him know but I say look lets go back to sleep and see how I am in the morning. 6am comes around, I am hiding how much pain I am in but then the gut wrenching feeling of hang on.. my boobs don’t hurt.. at all!
That’s when I knew exactly what had happened. Another child of ours had died.
By 10am my husband had taken me to hospital due to the amount of blood loss, the pain was just so much worse than last time and it was making me physically sick. We had what felt like a 3 hour wait in A&E, I think it was actually 40 mins.
Again, in the same assessment room, painkillers and a porter came and whisked me up to the EPU. The same corridors the same lifts the same entrance. I was in such a great amount of pain and could keep my pain killers down between A&E and the EPU.
I arrive at the EPU and I was taken straight on to a ward and was asked to get straight on the bed to be examined, in the meantime I had reached an unbearable temperature and my instinct was to just strip off. I apologised to the nurse when she came back to take my blood, she of course said, don’t worry I’ve seen worse sights.
After a little while I was examined and after what felt like a good route round the nurse explained that my cervix was open and there is no sign of the baby and she has removed some tissue, hence the routing!
After this, I lay in bed with my husband sat next to me, not crying but feeling like such a big disappointment.
I was trying to find the words to say to him, all I wanted to do was apologise, apologise for the fact that this is the second time I have not made him a father, the second time I feel like I have failed him. Even three weeks later, I feel like I have failed him as a wife and failed out children as a Mother.
These are words that, for sure I can not say out loud.
During that week he whisked me away for a few days in Wales and it was lovely, it was a great break and I feel a better way of dealing with what had happened. Last year we sat at home crying and wollowing, this did neither of us any good and I believe hindered my recovery greatly.
This time is different. I feel like we were more prepared, I feel like we were waiting for this to happen and this makes me really cross, it makes me sad to think that behind all the excitement of seeing our baby on the screen and carrying a photo around, the back of my mind was screaming “don’t get carried away with yourself” what a sad way to look at pregnancy. But I can’t see any other way of looking at it.
Then I remember, this time I didn’t secretly buy anything new, I wasn’t on Pinterest planning the baby’s room, planning their future.
I feel like I failed ‘Alby’ so much and feel like I need to tell them that I loved them dearly and hope that they will always know that, I hope they never had to feel my anxiety or apprehension.
So, I have now lost two children and feel like now more than ever I cannot talk about it. How a year hasn’t changed anything.
#MisCourage around the time that we lost Frankie, and we both jumped on board sharing the posts and hopefully making people aware. But as always, with pretty much everything, if you have not been directly affected by something then, you are pretty ignorant to it all and I think that about a lot of things, not just miscarriages and the loss of a child, I feel that what we can’t see won’t affect us.
Unlike last year when I felt like I was pushing my loss on to people and expecting them to feel the same way about it the as we did.
I feel we have tried not to push it on people and not to make people uncomfortable by talking about it but our children have died, we are grieving the loss of people who would have been our family members, if we feel we want to talk about it it seems a little sad that it shouldn’t be taboo’d.
In 2014 I lost both my grandmothers and my Mum and figured that nothing would ever feel as bad as that year, well how wrong.
This past two and a half years have literally been physically and emotionally draining, sandwiched in between loosing my Mum and the babies, we bought a house and got married, ready for a bright future and I can’t help but play the unfair card.
“There is always someone worse off that yourself” – this is correct, but it doesn’t mean you can’t take moments of sadness for the babies you have lost.
So, 26th may has now passed, my due date! In a perfect world I would now be sat snuggling with my new born baby!
Instead, I'm sat in work getting on with my day.
Back in September we found out we were expecting our honeymoon baby!! Over the moon would be an understatement!
Before our 8 week midwife appointment I'd pick their university never mind anything else. Growing up and only child, I've always dreamed of the day I have my own baby.
After the 8 week check it was just the wait for the 12 week scan appointment to land on the door! It arrived, 17th November at 3:20pm! That date couldn't come round quick enough. We only told close family and close friends.
I was suffering from morning sickness in waves, some days it was all day! I got to 12 weeks on Thursday 12th November but was dog sick on the Friday, I had no energy and was literally sick all day.
I woke up Saturday and felt fine, must have been a 24hour bug! Around lunch time I noticed some spotting after going to the toilet. I shouted my husband and we did the big no no and googled it. Everything we read said call your EPU, called them and they said to keep an eye on whether it gets any heavier.
We went out for lunch with my dad and it carried on. I started to feel really tired while we were out and went home early.
Around 5 I went up to bed feeling just awful, I couldn't put my finger on how I felt.
I convinced myself I was constipated and I felt really rough! I shouted my husband as I couldn't lay still and started to feel in a lot of pain! It was coming and going quite strong so looked through the cupboard for something safe for me to take.
I went to the loo an hour is so later and experienced what I can only describe as a gush! I rang the hospital and the said to go straight in to a&e and they will refer me.
My husband had had a drink so couldn't drive so we had to call a taxi. By this time it was clear that I was having contractions. In my mind I was thinking that it was nothing as I was pat 12 weeks the "safe" period of time.
We got to a&e and I was seen straight away. I was put in a wheel chair to my disgust I told them I am not ill I do not need a chair. After a little battle and tears I sat in the chair and was wheeled to the EPU were I was asked to get in bed again, the stubbornness in me wouldn't get in the bed and sat on the chair.
I had blood taken and urine test and an internal examination, I was still bleeding really heavy and really big clots. The dr advised my cervix is firmly closed but I do have a urine infection which might be causing the pains.
I take what they say and feel an utter sense of relief, my hgc levels are really high and match my gestation. I'm given the option of staying til the morning for a scan or coming back. I of course chose to come back.
In the meantime we get a taxi back, while waiting I am violently sick in the toilet at the hospital and the pains are getting so much worse. The nurse mentioned to my husband that bleeding like this is quite normal and women get much worse bleeding and go on to have a healthy baby!
We get home, I go straight to the toilet and there is a large splash and a lot of pain! I knew then and exactly then I have lost my baby!
But looking in to the loo, nothing is there at all just toilet paper! I literally didn't no what to think.
I shouted my husband and as horrid as it sound asked him to also look, he said look there's nothing there. So we went to bed, all through the night I woke every 30 mins to make sure we didn't miss the alarm for the scan.
We get to see the baby in the morning and I was so excited, but tainted by my heart saying exactly what was happening.
Morning came, I made my husband stop and get change because the letter for Tuesday says to have change for photos.
We get to the hospital have a little wait and the call my name. We started walking in and I had a lump in my throat, hang on why have I been so excited, what happens if my baby has died.
After what felt like an hour, the sonography the looked me in the eye and said there is nothing there. I cried instantly, nothing there what? She asked us if we wanted the screen, which at the time felt like the most insensitive thing to say! I quite un-politely said no. I very much regret that.
We were then escorted to what I ended up calling the miscarriage room, where we sat crying.
The nurse handed my husband a leaflet about the next steps and an appointment was made for 48hours for a blood test. 48hours would take us to the day we were supposed to see out beautiful baby's photo for the first time!!
As the time went by I kept going back to the hospital for blood tests until my levels reached 0, my last appointment they asked me to take a pregnancy test to confirm which broke my heart.
So, the days passed, the weeks passed, months. All building up to my due date, I felt that once that had passed I would feel back to normal and just not so sad!
My aim was to be pregnant again by my due date so I knew that there was light at the end of the tunnel! This hasn't happened which made the day much harder.
I only heard from a couple of people in the baby's due date, this was hard. Why didn't people remember, if I was still pregnant I would be inundated with any movement, but had people forgotten or just ignoring it.
A colleague of my husband had the same due date and last Tuesday we got the txt to say he had arrived. I felt really happy for her! It wasn't till a few days later when we saw a photo that the pain felt really raw! In the same week of my mums anniversary of passing.
I literally just had a morning of crying, breaking my heart.
I cancelled plans to go out with my cousin for her birthday, but I couldn't I couldn't go. I explained to her what had happened and didn't hear back. This really hurt, a selfish part of me wanted her to understand how sad I was and send a message to say it was ok I wasn't going.
This then made me realise that, people just don't know how to deal with someone who has had a miscarriage. Not everyone feels it's a taboo subject, not everyone wants to hide that they lost a baby. People still need support, even after the event.
Without realising people really close can say some really hurtful things. "It's time to move on" "stop looking back" "maybe you need to get some help" "keep trying, you've got pregnant once" "there's always next time" "well you were only early on" or just complete ignoring the fact that it ever happened.
I think people need to be made aware that not everyone is the same, it's not fair for you to assume that someone doesn't want to talk about miscarriage or assume that it's easy enough to "forget" or "move on" those words for me made it a lot harder.
When I lost my Mum people talked about her and her memory and on the anniversary of her passing they send me flowers and cards and texts. Why can't I remember my baby the same way? I know my mum will be looking after our Frankie and I find a lot of comfort in that.
During this time I have had such incredible support from my husband he literally has held me up when at times I didn't want to stand up I didn't want to brush my hair I didn't want to do anything. He is amazing!
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