I don't know whether I am up to writing this or not.
But I think that writing things down will actually be therapeutic for me at the moment. A way of proclaiming that this baby was here. This baby existed. So here goes...
This morning I had a scan which confirmed that I had lost my baby. It really didn't come as much of a surprise. But more of that in a moment. For now, I want to share the joy we felt at finding out we were pregnant again after the ectopic pregnancy I had earlier this year.
I think it was about the fourth cycle after the ectopic pregnancy that we conceived this little one. We had been trying for a few months but we were anticipating that it might take a while longer since I now only had one tube. I think I knew I was pregnant a couple of days before my period was due. Every other month I'd been getting little signs that my period was coming, but nothing this month. I was feeling slightly light headed and strange the day before it was due, while at work, so decided to do a test when I got home (even though I had told myself I wouldn't do one until the following day!)
POSITIVE. I spent ages in the toilet trying to get the damn test to work. Turned out I didn't put enough wee on it so it took absolutely ages to show up! Chris ended up coming to check on me because I took so long. But those two lines did eventually turn up. I was so excited! I took the test down to show Chris and he was equally as excited. I felt that all would be well with this pregnancy and didn't worry too much about all that had gone on beforehand. We decided that we would keep this news to ourselves until we were quite far along this time as I couldn't bear the thought of telling people we were pregnant and then having to tell them we had lost it again.
6 weeks: I went for an early ultrasound just to check that this pregnancy was in the right place. We couldn't take the risk that this was another ectopic pregnancy seeing as I only have one tube. Good news, it was definately in my uterus! But the sonographer dated my pregnancy at 5 weeks along not 6+2 weeks like my dates. Straight away, this gave me a little niggling feeling. My periods had been so regular and I didn't really see how the dates could be more than a week different. But I guess it is possible. So I tried to put my doubts behind me and focus on the fact that the pregnancy was in the right spot.
The pregnancy continued for a couple more weeks. I was feeling pretty good although initial symptoms such as tiredness, light-headedness and the occasionally sick feeling seemed to wear off a bit. I'd already been questioning why I hadn't felt so sick, as I had with both other pregnancies. But, once again, I passed this off.
I got to about 7+3 weeks and then when I went to the toilet that afternoon, discovered some blood. Not much at all but enough to make my heart sink. I'd said to Chris earlier that as soon as any bleeding started I'd know it was the end. The bleeding increased just a little bit each day until Wednesday when I started bleeding quite heavily. I experienced period pains all day and then Wednesday evening I had quite bad cramps and passed a large clot.
I knew that was it. That my baby had passed. That moment of realisation is the worst moment in the world. This was the moment during my ectopic pregnancy that I knew my baby had gone too. There are no words to explain that feeling. It evokes such strong emotions. Hurt. Sorrow. Disbelief. Shock. Anger. Bitterness.
So the scan this morning didn't bring any surprises. Although there was some small part of me that was still hanging onto a shred of hope. But in my heart I knew. It appears that my body was able to pass this baby on it's own which I guess is one positive about the whole thing. I was terrified that it wouldn't have all passed and that I would have to go to hospital again (you know how much I hate hospitals!!) The sonographer said there was still a tiny amount of blood left and to expect some spotting over the next week or so but that's all.
I have found the second time round to be so much harder than the first time. The first couple of days I just cried and cried. Chris had to take time off from work because I just wasn't capable of looking after the kids. I fear that I am a bad mother because whenever I look at my kids I am reminded of what I have lost and I resent them for that. Yet, everyone tries to tell me that I should be grateful that I have them.
And then there have been the reactions of people. Some people have no idea how to respond. Some people pledge that they care about you but then offer no support other than the initial 'sorry to hear about what happened'. And then there are the unthinking kind of comments. I was at the pool with Esme the other day and the supervisor at the pool asked how old Esme was. I said two and then made a comment about how she was growing up too quickly. So what did the person say to me 'Well, why don't you have another one then?'. That comment made me feel like bursting into tears.
And the future? I am scared to get pregnant again. I am scared that my body will let me down again like it has done twice already. How on earth can I trust it to do it's job? I know, in my heart, that I need to learn to love my body again after this. That I will need to do that to be able to fall pregnant again. But right now I feel like my mind is in conflict with my body. I am feeling exhausted after losing this baby. But I can't allow myself to just stop and rest. Part of that is to do with not wanting to give myself time to think too much. But I think another part is, subconciously, wanting to punish my body for what it has done to me.
For now, I have to focus on each day as it comes. Thinking too much about the future is just too hard right now.
I am so grateful for the support of my wonderful midwife, Jan, along the way. She has always been there to support me and offer guidance. Another reason why I choose to homebirth. I don't imagine getting this kind of support from a hospital or obstetrician! And also to my wonderful family and friends who have been here to support me every step of the way - you know who you are!