Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hope and Healing

I've been keeping a secret for quite awhile now but it just hasn't felt like the right time to say anything on here. We've slowly been telling everyone over the past few weeks though so I think it is time to 'fess up. I'm pregnant again. Almost 17 weeks in fact. Many of you will have read the story of my ectopic pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage so will understand my apprehensions about sharing this news. Even at this stage of pregnancy I still have my fears and doubts although these are easing a little as I feel the baby moving and kicking.

We found out that I was pregnant at the end of October. I knew that I was pregnant because I'd been having a few symptoms, even before my period was due. I still ended up doing a test though that was positive (what is it about pregnancy tests that make us feel compelled to do them?!) I'd done a lot to prepare for this pregnancy. I'd worked hard to eat well and look after myself, I'd starting dropping the amount of breastfeeds that Esme was having and I'd been regularly going to get acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (which I continued doing every 2 weeks until I got to 12 weeks). I didn't expect to get pregnant so quickly after the miscarriage (I had one period and then I was pregnant) but I figured that my body was ready to conceive again and I had to trust it.

This pregnancy was different to the others I'd lost right from the start. The morning sickness kicked in even before my period was due (which it never did with my other two), as did the extreme tiredness and light-headedness. Even though I felt queasy 24/7 I was always grateful that I felt like this and that it was a sign of a healthy pregnancy. Whenever it disappeared for awhile I used to get a bit panicked (just ask Chris!) We decided that we weren't going to tell anyone until we got to 12 weeks.

Things never go exactly as planned and at about 8 weeks along I woke up in the morning with quite intense pain on my left side - the same side that I'd had the ectopic pregnancy on (funnily enough I lost the last baby at 8 weeks so maybe it was some sort of subconscious reaction to that). I didn't want to risk anything so went straight to emergency. I ended up having to tell Mum and Dad so that they could come with me to the hospital and look after the kids! While I was in hospital they did an ultrasound. Although previously I had decided that we weren't going to have any ultrasounds this pregnancy, it was the best thing to do considering my history and seeing the little heartbeat on the screen was just amazing! Not long after I'd been in emergency the pain had disappeared. I'm not sure that I ever really got an answer for the pain although the Doctor did say that I had a small cyst on my left ovary.

Since that trip to emergency though, things have been moving along nicely. My biggest struggle at the moment is learning to trust my body again and working through these two pregnancies I've lost as this pregnancy has brought up a lot of emotion around them. I am finding it hard to get excited about this pregnancy and feel guilt often about this. This is part of the reason why I have been so slow telling people about this pregnancy too. It feels strange when I tell people and they are happy for me because I don't really feel that way myself. I had my first appointment with my independent midwife, Jan, on the weekend and we had a chat about all of this. She is lovely and helped to reassure me that what I am feeling is normal (Jan was there for Esme's birth and supported me through my journey of losing my two babies so understands where I am coming from). She explained that there is a part of me that feels guilt for being excited about this pregnancy, that I feel I am forgetting about the two babies I lost. She also said that I am trying to forget that I am pregnant, for the same reasons. It's so true. I'm hoping that as this pregnancy progresses I will be able to let this fear go. The due date of our next baby is coming up in early April so I hope that I will be able to do something to both grieve for my lost babies and celebrate the new one that I am nurturing.

We are choosing to have another homebirth this time round - not that there's really any other option for us after Esme's wonderful birth last time! I'm really looking forward to the birth and holding a little baby safely in my arms. I'm also so grateful that I have been blessed with the opportunity to carry another little baby - for that I will always be thankful.


Kate said...

Congratulations, Narelle and Chris! Easter is in April this year, so it will be the perfect time for new beginnings :-) Much love, Kate xo

Megan Blandford said...

SO happy for you. Congratulations!

Yvette O'Dowd said...

So happy to hear your news :)
Nurture yourselves.

CatWay said...

great news - Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

What wonderful news! Many blessings to you and your little babe that you are nurturing :) Melanie xxx

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