Baby announcement & birth story

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Well. This blog fell on its arse. I make no apologies, but wanted to come and ‘finish’ it off as there has been a slight tinge of guilt whenever I think about it.

My pregnancy was a dead good one. I say this knowing that I’m now someone who has a beautiful baby and is probably mis-remembering the journey it took to get here. When I think of pregnancy I do remember a certain glow, lovely hair and nails and a certain weird kind of energy that made me feel all light footed and springy on occasion. It felt as if the baby fitted me like a really good pair of jeans, I felt like I was the right shape for the first time in my life. If I add a little more reality to my memory, then there were also times of hobbling around walking like a duck because everything hurt, having to sit in my car for five minutes to catch my breath before switching the engine on, after walking minutes from my office to my car. Oh and the heart burn. Christ. One night I even had stomach acid trying to escape my nose. That shit was mean!

And then there was a birth. Oh god. You ready for this? Not sure I am.

I went in to labour on my due date. Like a magical fairy tale. It was a Tuesday. I lay my head down on the sofa for an hour in the afternoon, and woke up to contractions. Only nice mild “ouchie” ones to begin with but every five minutes and getting stronger with each one. I text Bec and told her not to get too excited, I was fully expecting a false start (I’d had a few ‘pains’ in the two weeks before and was convinced it would never really properly start!) It was about 15:30 so I told her to finish her day at work.

By the time she was home at about 6, it was fo’realsies labour. We had taken Hypno birthing classes and done a lot of practice to try make it work for us, so I was practicing my breathing and serenity and it was mostly calm and lovely. Candles and music and peace. Studded with me climbing the stairs every three minutes to empty my bowels, and the odd little cry as I momentarily lost hold of the calmness and got scared. My contractions were every three minutes from really early on but not massively high in intensity. I mean they bloody hurt. A lot. But I now know they were not at an ‘established labour’ level yet. The frequency of the contractions frightened me as I’d expected them to be three minutes apart right at the end, so even though the pain was bearable still, at 9pm I requested we go off to the birthing center as I was becoming nervous at home. I was scared it was going to ramp up too quickly for the 30 minute journey.

We chose a birthing center as we wanted a holistic birth. I wanted peace and quiet to practice my hypnobirthing, I wanted my own space and one-on-one care. That was a huge factor for me, I’d heard from so many friends who’d given birth at hospital about feeling ‘left’ because there weren’t enough midwives. People being turned away because the hospital was full. At the birth centre you get one-on-one care. I also didn’t want my birth weighed down with numbers and results and readings and centimeters. I wanted to be left alone to listen to my body with as little intervention as possible. The midwife would take heart rate readings every fifteen minutes but otherwise leave me to it and be there if I needed (and obviously for the pushing too!) “But what about if something goes wrong?” People kept asking me, when they heard there were no doctors there. And I repeated what I’d been told: the hospital is only a nine minute drive away by ambulance, they don’t leave anything to chance, the tiniest slightest concern and you’re transferred.

I had a ‘lovely’ labour there. A lovely big room to myself. I’d brought along flameless candles and music, we dimmed the lights and got down to business. I couldn’t sit or lay, I needed to be on my feet or knees the whole time which was a real problem as my legs were aching and shaking! My wife was AMAZING.  I felt so looked after, yet she gave me the space she knew I needed.  She was my protector.  Hypno birthing really worked for us.  Perhaps not in the way we planned it to; I wasn’t always able to practice the calm breathing during contractions (that shit hurts!) but was able to contain myself before and after and between contractions, and do a lot of positive self talking to keep me going and keep me feeling strong and brave. 

At about midnight my waters went.  There was meconium, which we believed to be a trigger for a ride to hospital and so Rebecca started gathering our belongings, but the midwife said she was happy enough that it was low enough grade that she would keep us there.

After midnight, there was a shift change and I got a new midwife. My body began pushing. At first I went with it because I was listening to what my body wanted to do, so with each contraction as my body started pushing I used the ‘breathing down’ technique and didn’t fight against my body, I relaxed my muscles as much as I could to let all the energy go to those muscles that needed to work the hardest.

The midwife examined me and said I wasn’t ready for pushing. Then it turned out I couldn’t stop. The labour became slightly more panicky as each contraction was all about my fighting every muscle in the lower half of my body that was bearing down and pushing. I have never not been in control of my body before but I felt I had no control over this pushing and lost the battle with every contraction.  No amount of relaxation or panting or simply fighting with my muscles stopped my body from pushing. 

The midwife wasn’t happy with the baby’s heart rate and wanted to move me to hospital and called an ambulance. We stayed pretty calm as we said we would do as we’d considered this scenario in advance. We felt it was a formality, being moved, a ‘just in case’. 

Just before getting in to the ambulance the midwife had suggested I tried gas and air to help my body relax and stop pushing. I was a little disappointed, I didn’t really want it, I’d been saving it for the proper pushing stage but took it if it would help stop my body pushing. The first real worry I had was when we were getting in to the ambulance and the paramedic asked the midwife if sirens were needed, and the midwife said yes. I remember Bec and I exchanged a look at that moment and my anxiety levels rose.  I went in to myself and concentrated with everything I had though, as it felt like the baby was coming, and I would NOT be giving birth in an ambulance.

When we arrived at hospital I was fully dilated. (Yeah, totes got to fully dilated with nothing but hypnobirthing! Well proud!)  They took a blood sample from baby’s scalp and there was a moment of quiet as someone went off to test the blood, then they burst in to the room and shouted “6.9” and before I knew what was happening I was being wheeled from the room at high speed,and Rebecca was told to stay there. I remember trying to turn round to call back to her down the corridor that I loved her and that everything would be fine. Someone was running along beside me trying to get consent from me to put me to sleep for a c section and I just remember laying there crying “do it, do it”.

I won’t talk about what happened in theatre. Suffice to say what I experienced before I went to sleep reflected the level of emergency and was the worst few minutes of my life.

The next thing I remember is waking up in recovery. It was about 5.30am. I don’t remember very much, but I know Rebecca was there, she told me we had a son, but that he was poorly and in NICU. My memory is so hazy, a mixture of the anaesthetic and morphine. I remember Rebecca trying to show me photos on her phone and I didn’t want to look. I couldn’t understand what I was seeing, it was all just wires and tubes and skin. I remember trying to cry out that I wanted my baby but I had no voice, they must have damaged my vocal cords as they intubated me. I ended up in the High Dependency Unit because my blood pressure was too high. I remember telling Rebecca to go and be with our baby but then I was there in HDU for hours on my own with a nurse who wouldn’t engage in conversation with me, and I was upset that Bec had not come back. As it turns out, the nurses had told her I needed to be left to rest. She couldn’t be with the baby because the Doctors were with him. So she went and sat in the canteen while I continually told anyone who would listen that I needed to get up to go see my baby and asked where my wife was and where my phone was. I wasn’t getting any rest! I do wish they’d have rung Rebecca for me rather than just keep shushing me. But I understand why they tried to leave me to sleep.

Eventually Rebecca returned and she’d been back to the baby and taken video of him in his incubator with her hands on him so that I could relate to what I was seeing.

I finally understood what had happened. The 6.9 was his blood gas level, and 6.9 was the lowest number that particular doctor had ever seen. He needed to be born immediately. When they delivered him he went in to cardiac arrest. He was born at 03.47 and his heart didn’t start beating until 03.49. There was a high risk of long term brain damage due to lack of oxygen, so he was taken to NICU where he was ‘cooled’. It’s called Therapeutic Hypothermia. They brought his body temperature down to 32 degrees and would keep it there for 72 hours. The process is proven to limit brain damage.

Rebecca said we needed to name him and I remember that frightened me because I thought it meant he was going to die. I said I wouldn’t name him until I could see him. We talked about names though and for some reason a name that was never really at the forefront of our list of possible names popped up; Sebastian. It just felt right.

I managed to get myself in to an upright position and asked to come off the oxygen. My blood pressure lowered a bit and I told them I was going to NICU with or without their help. They agreed eventually and Rebecca took me there with a wheelchair and all of my IV’s.

I’m not going to try and articulate the first time I laid eyes on my son. How can you? It was about 1pm, he was about 9 hours old. Rebecca and I agreed that Sebastian was perfect. Middle name Noel, after my Grandad.

For almost 4 days the only contact we got with him was to poke our hands through the incubator and hold his cold little hands.  He was doing so well though, he showed every sign of recovery and took over breathing by himself quite early.  As his cooling ended, it took several hours for them to bring him back up to the right temperature  and we saw him relax as they did.  It was like he was sunbathing on the beach!  Then we got our first cuddles when he was 4 days old, and he came home with us when he was 8 days old.

So that’s told as I remembered it – here’s the stuff we have found out since the birth… We arrived at the birthing centre at 9:40pm and at 10:30pm a tachycardic heart rate was recorded.  We should have been transferred to the hospital then but the midwife decided she would keep us as his heart rate normalised.  I barely remember this – I may remember her saying something about keeping an eye on his heart but it certainly didn’t seem a worry at the time. Then at midnight when my waters went and there was meconium we should have been transferred to hospital again. The midwife didn’t keep his heart rate plotted on the required chart on the file so when there was a handover of staff, it wasn’t quite as obvious as it should have been that there’d been a tachycardic episode. When an ambulance was called at 2am we waited 40 minutes until it arrived. I don’t really remember, to me the whole night felt like 5 minutes. From calling an ambulance to me actually seeing a doctor after all the messing about with arriving and getting to the right place in the hospital and getting attached to the right monitors etc, was an hour and forty minutes. So the “you’re only a nine minute drive from the hospital” was purely misleading. Had we been told there was a possibility it would take an hour and a half to get medical attention if we need it, we would not have gone to the birthing center, no way. We chose the birthing center because it felt safe. It turned out not to be.

We found all of this out because in the months following his birth we started having questions as we tried to piece it all together. We contacted the hospital to find an investigation had already taken place, as standard because a ‘Serious Untoward Incident’ had taken place.  A report of which was awaiting approval before being sent to us. We went in for a meeting expecting to be told the same as we’d already been told, that it was “one of those things” and that there were no answers. To hear the hospital admit negligence was a shock to say the least. The realisation that that didn’t need to be his birth, that we may even have been able to have a natural birth, or at least that I may have been able to have been awake for it. That he would have been born hours earlier and shouldn’t have had to have spent the first four days of his life alone and without his mums, cold in that incubator. His brain wouldn’t have been starved of oxygen and we wouldn’t have to wait two years before we know if there is any lasting damage. I feel like I want to campaign to let people know about the possible dangers of choosing to give birth outside of a hospital – I mean, my labour was lovely, and I’m not pointing fingers at the midwives because protocol wasn’t properly followed, because I feel really satisfied that proper measures have been taken since to rectify those issues at that birthing center – but I want people to ask, in reality, how far are they really away from a doctor?

For the record though, Sebastian’s looking good, hitting milestones, “thriving”.  He sees his consultant every couple of months for checks on his development and they are always happy with him.  We’re not out of the woods yet though, any potential damage caused by the birth may not show itself until he’s turned 2 years old.  Also for the record, if there are any signs of long term damage, we will sue.

For a birth announcement, this feels very negative.

After 8 days, we were allowed to bring him home, and life has been amazing since then. Genuinely. I have never laughed so much as I have every day since this fella joined us. And I’m so in love, a kind of love that I never ever could have understood before he was here. He’s a … (dare I say it!?) “good” baby. He’s the most smiley baby I’ve ever known, and I hear it from anyone whose path he crosses “goodness me he’s a happy smiley baby isn’t he!?” he wants to engage with everyone he meets.  He sleeps so well, he introduced his own nap routine which includes three hour long naps in the day, and he goes to bed (his self imposed bed time) at 7pm and sleeps through (after we’ve given him a dream feed at 10pm) until morning, usually 5 or 6. If it’s more like 5, he’ll usually go back off to sleep after a bottle until 7 or 8. We know how lucky we are though, I have lots of mum friends with babies the same age as him and I thank my lucky stars every day when I hear about their awful sleep deprived routines. Don’t get me wrong, he has his fair share of grumps, but they’re few and far between.

We are loving being a family. We’re completing on our first bought home together this week and looking forward to making the house our own. Neither of us have ever owned a home before, and it’s exciting!  We’ve bought a lovely big one for us to grow in to. And speaking of that, we have an appointment this week with the doctor who made Sebastian, to talk about getting Bec all lovely and pregnant soon. It’s soon. But we figured with this incredibly easy baby, we may as well strike while the irons hot … And before I start my downward spiral to 40 (there’s only 2 years left!)

So here’s the bit you’ve all been waiting for, here’s Sebastian Noel, who will be 5 months old next weekend.

Only an hour or so old

A day old


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Two days old, I got up in the middle of the night because I couldn’t sleep and hobbled from my post natal ward to the NICU, he’d found his thumb to suck.

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Still in hospital, after he’d come out of his incubator, plenty of skin to skin to try and bring my milk in (which, it turned out, never worked.)

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His first bath at home in front of the fire

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Our first trip out for lunch with Grandma and Auntie (his feet hang over the edge of this seat now!)

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One of our favourite pictures of him! It makes me laugh every time!

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First Christmas, 10 weeks old

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12 weeks old, meeting the Dr who ‘made’ him. it was such a lovely moment!

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13 weeks.

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18 weeks, out shopping trying on sun specs for his holidays. 18 weeks was also the week he found his tongue and wanted to show it to anyone who’d pay attention.

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20 weeks, yesterday morning, weekend cuddles in bed with Mums.

And that, is it from us.  I’m not going to say i’ll never post again, but I think the chances are probably pretty slim, just because I know I’m rubbish and will only be handing myself more guilt if I say i’ll post and then I don’t.

Thank you to those of you who started out following our journey, it’s been a crazy hard one.  Sending out lots of love and happiness to all of you, no matter where you are in your lives now.

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24+6 – tail between my legs

Sorry for the silence.  It’s been a bit of a funny time.  Not to dwell too far in to it, but I’ve been a bit all over the place in terms of sanity – mostly up and down.  Which is really, really shit when you’re going through “the most beautiful time of life” … it’s hard not to feel happy when you’re the “happiest” you’ve ever been.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not been constantly miserable, just finding things a bit tough going.  I have been able to also find the joy in kicks and swollen bellies – so it’s not all doom and gloom!

HOWEVER … I feel like I really turned a corner and am feeling loads better.  For the last couple of weeks, I really feel like I have fallen head over heels in love with being pregnant.  I look lovely – I have a lovely round hard belly that I carry everywhere with me (I’m literally carrying it, my hands are always holding it up or giving it a rub.)  It’s been many years since I declared that “I look lovely” which is a strange sentiment to say about yourself.  And baby is much more noticeably with me, in everything I do I feel baby responding or reacting.  Sometimes when I can’t feel baby moving or wriggling, I still feel like I can feel him – like I can tell if he’s awake or asleep.  I was looking out for movements for Bec to have a feel of last night, and I felt as if I could feel baby wake up, though he wasn’t moving.  Maybe I’m imagining it, maybe it’s mumbo jumbo – maybe it’s magic.  I don’t know.  I like it, anyway.

Him?  He?

No.  Still no idea.  At the last scan we specified that we didn’t want to know the gender, so the sonographer was doing her checking, and then said “OK I need to move down to baby’s bottom half now for some measurements, I’d advise you look away.”  It was the hardest thing to do! I was so enjoying watching baby floating about, waving his arms about, opening and closing his mouth, craning his neck and arching his back, I could have watched it all day long, so I had to scrunch my eyes up and turn my head begrudgingly.  There was also the internal battle of but I want to know, are you a girl or a boy!?  even though I don’t actually *want* to know; I WANT to know.  Obvs.  I most want to find out on birth day though.  So we still don’t know.  But I still can’t stop referring to ‘it’ as he.  It just feels right. Though of course, I may be wrong!  Who knows? No-one does.

Saying that, you know when you’re pregnant and you have everyone from friends and family to complete strangers shout “Boy!” or “Girl!” at you – because they know?  Well the world has predicted a boy.  Literally every prediction has been for a boy.

You watch … it’ll be a girl now.

I genuinely don’t care, I just want to kiss my wee baby’s face!

So there you have it.  I don’t want to fall out of step with the blog, though I clearly have done already.  I have so many things that I think about writing all the time.  Like choosing a birthing centre over a hospital, and I really wanted to document all my symptoms and funny pregnancy stories so that I can share them with baby one day (when baby is a bit bigger!), name choosing, baby stuff buying – it’s all been going on.  I’d like to write about it all.

No promises.  I’m rubbish at promises!

For now, here’s baby at 20+1

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And here’s me and baby at 22+5

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Fo’ reals (20wks)

 

I wrote a while back about feeling the first kicks and punches from baby … well, it was either a complete flukey one off or I imagined it!  I felt nothing then in the following weeks, which just made me feel depressed and worried.  I spent time just laying still and quiet, poking at my belly and concentrating really hard to try and catch a flutter or a gurgle but felt nothing.  It’s worrying!  Despite telling yourself it’s completely normal not to have felt anything yet, you still worry that there’s nothingness coming from your belly when you’re sure you felt something before.  You start to imagine all sorts of horrible things.

Until … you feel it again!  Horaaay!  So towards the end of last week I started to feel our little one squirming.  It’s so hard to explain what it feels like.  At first, it was only once a day if I was lucky and felt a bit like a really faint tummy gurgle, but I could definitely tell it was coming from baby rather than my stomach (which apparently now is pushed up somewhere in my chest!?) then as the days have gone on it’s become slightly more frequent.  Over the weekend I felt it a few times throughout the day, yesterday and today I’ve felt it loads!  I love knowing that baby is tumbling away in there!  It’s so lovely to know that I am now, unequivocally, feeling babs fo’ realsies. It feels like a wee high five from within 🙂

It is a massive relief before our 20wk scan tomorrow morning, which I have steadily been becoming more nervous about.  More on that, after that.

17 + 3

Hello.  Me again.  I feel a little sheepish for not having posted in so long.  I have lots of excuses I’m sure you’ve not interest in.

Mostly, I’ve just not had a great deal to say.

The second trimester initially brought me the promised burst of renewed energy, but then that was short lived as symptoms started to ebb back in, I started feeling a bit sick and mostly just exhausted again.  Not the same kind of all consuming exhaustion of the first trimester (there isn’t much that could match that!), just lethargic and lacking energy and motivation.  Hormones hit pretty hard too, and there was a period of time when tears would be the main theme of any day.  It just felt like awful PMT, I was moody and upset all of the time.

That hit me pretty hard too, and inevitably made me sink a little lower, as I’ve been waiting my whole life to be pregnant, I wanted the experience of pregnancy as much as I wanted a baby – I wanted to be skipping through meadows with my glowy skin and think glossy hair while rubbing my beautiful round belly.  It’s very disappointing when life doesn’t give you the fairy tale you expected. In reality, I felt like a fat lump who didn’t have the energy to get off the sofa, and who felt uncontrollably sad about nothing in particular.

Of course, it’s easier to articulate all of that now that I’ve (hopefully) entered a new phase. I feel loads better.  It could be the weather – you know when the sun starts coming out for the first time in the year, and you can leave the house without a million layers, and wear pretty little ballet pumps, and SUNGLASSES!  I do still feel a bit like a heifer … baby is really popping out now and I’m starting to feel a bit of a waddle going on – but I LOVE looking pregnant, I can’t help but wear things that really show my bump off and I feel so proud of it when I’m wandering about and notice people noticing my belly!

We had a midwife appointment on Wednesday and heard the baby’s heart beat for the first time – it was SO LOVELY.  We both just fell silent and listened.  The midwife was saying that she could tell the baby was wriggling about as she was having to follow the heartbeat around my belly as it tossed and turned.  It was lovely to hear her say that as I’d not felt any movement yet and so it’s nice to know that baby is still doing its thing in there, like it was when we saw it at the scan, 4 long weeks ago!

Speaking of movement, I’ve been feeling desperate to feel the baby move, every morning I wake up and wonder if today will be the day.  I lay still and concentrate really hard, and sometimes I think I might be able to feel a little feather like swishes inside, and on one hand I’m sure it must be the baby, on the other I suspect it could be just digestion I’m feeling … so therefore I conclude that it’s probably one or the other, therefore I must have felt baby at some points!?

Then yesterday (5th May 2016 10:35am! MILESTONE!), there was a definite jab in the side of my bump, like a twinge or a pinch.  I was working away at work and it stopped me in my tracks, for a second I panicked thinking something was wrong and then realisation washed over me and I was all overcome with emotion.  I looked around me for someone to tell and realised that I didn’t really want to share that super special moment with my colleagues, so I text my wife and kept it between the two of us for a while.  As I type, I can feel really very gentle swishy swirly bubbly feelings (baby’s ears are obviously burning!) … and it’s making the backs of my eye balls burn with love tears.

It really is a whole new phase now.  For the first time, I really feel like baby is ‘with’ me.  Before, it was an alien concept, a dream we had, an image on the screen, something I couldn’t quite relate to me … now the world can see it, and I feel like each time baby dives or tumbles or twirls (I can’t help but feel that our baby will be a natural born twirler) it’s like it’s talking to me, or snuggling in.  It feels like love.  So very gentle and little and light, but I know it’s going to get stronger and more often and I can’t wait.

Oh bloody hell.  Now I’m crying at my desk!

My wife and I are taking bump off to Ibiza tonight for a long weekend!  As a bizarre coincidence, my facebook memories popped up this morning and apparently on this day back in 2011, my status was “I want to go to Ibiza, even if only for a short break, which of you bitches is brave enough to come with me?” … well, now we’re off, for a very different holiday than I envisaged back in 2011 – we’re going to eat lovely food, listen to lovely music, watch the sun set, and basically just wander about in the sunshine, watching the beautiful people party.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  At all.

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All is well

I hadn’t even realised I hadn’t updated here! We’ve had a manic few days and now I’m back at work I’m catching up on my personal admin 😉

I’ll write properly when I have some proper time to chat, but in the mean time, here’s our healthy and happy baby:

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12+3

I feel like I have coped with the loss of our wee twin quite well, I’m keeping a check on myself, getting on with things, talking openly about it and learning to accept the massive change in expectations of the entire pregnancy and parenting experience.  I think that was one of the harder aspects, as well as loosing our baby, obvs, was the massive shift from expecting one baby to expecting two and then back to expecting one again.  It’s like a massive jolt moved our futures far right and then back to the left leaving us feeling confused and unable to focus on the horizon as if we’d just stepped off a waltzer.

One thing I have had real difficulty with is the guilt.  Not the guilt of what happened, I know (gosh, I hope) that wasn’t a result of any of my actions or anything within my control.  But some of my emotional and practical reactions to it.  Understandably, I was BLOODY nervous about having two babies at once.  From the birth, to trying to look after them (and our two dogs) alone at home after my wife went back to work.  Everything from how to get them from upstairs to downstairs while they are tiny, to how to take them to the park and keep them safe when they are toddlers.  I gave up on any idea of going to Mum/Baby type classes thinking there’d be no way of handling two alone and started to feel like being a twin mum was going to be a very lonely a difficult existence.  We even cancelled a holiday to Cornwall for a wedding in the summer as I didn’t want to travel that far away while heavily pregnant with twins.

And then our beautiful little baby died and relief replaced all of those worries.  All of a sudden I went from being a pregnant woman who had serious doubts about whether she would be able to cope, to being a pregnant woman who is confident in her ability, and has just been given back all the opportunity to do those things she so wanted to do but felt she couldn’t, with two.  And given back a holiday to Cornwall.

And that relief made me feel disgusting.

It was such a confusing time, from the moment the scan images on the screen switched from kicking jiggling baby to dead baby and back again, to all these feelings and shifts … it’s been a confusing time.

I have no idea where all of this came from.  I actually sat down to write a pregnancy update blog and all of the above vomited out of the tips of my fingers.

So, the update.  The scars of what happened have left me anxious.  I’m trying to juggle the anxiety with a little confidence, but I find myself at times frightened to even think the word ‘pregnant’ in case it’s not true any more.  Sometimes I have to really force myself to think and talk about the pregnancy.  This morning I went to the GP (my childhood eczema has flared and the cream I have for it isn’t recommended in pregnancy) and felt like I was telling a lie when I mentioned that I am pregnant.  I can sometimes trick myself in to pregnancy talk, when with Bec or a friend, talking about the future I can get a little carried away and actually start enjoying talking about the baby, and I love those times, they feel really hopeful and happy.

I realise how negative I sound.  I started this off saying I have coped with the loss quite well and then proceeded to tell you all the ways in which I appear not to have coped.  I think the point I am trying to make is that I am trying really hard to be positive. I’m trying to just be aware of all these feelings I have and turn them in to something useful.

We have our scan booked in for Wednesday, when we’ll be 13+1.  I have vowed to myself that on that day, when I feel the relief (note I said when and not if) of seeing our little baby boogie away on the screen, I will take that relief and keep it as joy for the rest of this pregnancy, because I so want to be happy and excited – I am so looking forward to meeting our baby and spending the rest of my life nagging at it and embarrassing it and having adventures, all of us.  I keep telling myself that I have no reason at all to think that we’ve lost our baby, except for the left over hurt of having lost our twin.

Sorry for the downer post.  I’ll post again next week with lovely news and images of a dancing baby.

Mother’s intuition

I’ve not written for a while. There’s been some stuff going on. I’ll start at the beginning.

The day after Mother’s Day (7th March, 8+5) I woke up and said to Bec that I had an awful feeling that something was wrong. It wasn’t based on anything other than a feeling but I told her I felt like one of the babies had gone. My mum was staying with us at the time as she had been visiting for Mother’s Day, we had breakfast together before she went off to catch a train home and she said she thought I should listen to my body and get checked, if only to put my mind at rest. I felt like I was causing a fuss over nothing but posed the question on an online pregnancy group and everyone agreed that if I could afford a private scan I should go for it, because it’s worth the peace of mind to know everything’s ok.

So I found a place to go for a scan and they couldn’t see us until the following Sunday. This was fine though as by now I’d convinced myself it was all in my head. I still felt that something was wrong, I can’t really explain it – it’s not like I had connected with the twins before hand, but I suppose I felt them with me. And I had an overwhelming feeling from that morning that there was only one. It was as if I kept trying to make a connection with two and feeling a certain blankness. But, logic had taken over and I was telling myself that without any evidence other than a ‘feeling’, everything was probably fine. I decided to see it as a bonus scan, to see our little ones again.

So, Sunday we went for our scan, the place only offered abdominal scans (they are a 4d scan place, not a medical establishment) but said this would be fine at 9+4. Sure enough, we got in there and saw twin one fine, measuring a day ahead at 29mm, but she couldn’t get a good look at twin two. She tried for ages and managed to get a measurement of 22mm but couldn’t see a heartbeat, though never really got a completely clear picture. She said she thought it didn’t look good and wanted us to go seek medical advice.

We were in a bit if a state by now – it was horrible having to walk back through the waiting room where all the other expectant mums were waiting for their 4d scans with their big bellies, with both of us in tears, so clearly having just received bad news. We drove straight to the hospital. We were there a while and saw a nurse who said they didn’t have any capacity to scan me (as it was Sunday) and to come back the following day. So, we went home and closed the curtains and waited.

Monday we went back. We had agreed that we both felt it was definitely over for twin two and were only going to have it confirmed. We sat in the waiting room and watched a beautiful pair of twins playing, read posters dotted around the walls about twin groups and twin antenatal classes, until it was our turn to go find or that we have lost our baby. It measured right on 8w5d, which was the day I woke up knowing something was wrong.

You couldn’t really tell it was a baby in the scan, no human features (i.e. limbs), just a bit of a blob. That was the bit that hurt the most, I imagined it all curled in to itself. Arms and legs wrapped up.

We saw our other beautiful little baby kicking its legs as if it was jamming it’s way through a spin class.

It was the most confusing ten minutes of my life, sobbing one moment at the sight of our baby there kicking and wiggling about, and the next at its brother or sister floating lifeless in space next to him/her.

I am so sad for our little baby who didn’t get to see the world outside. I’m so sad to have to tell our child that s/he is a twin without a brother or sister, and I’m sad for us.

I have a million other feelings of guilt and sadness that are hard to articulate at the moment. Perhaps I’ll try another time, or perhaps this will be the last you hear of twin two, because we really now have to give our all to twin one.

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I bought this necklace for Bec for Mother’s Day.  We are a little superstitious about buying things baby related things (or celebrating Mother’s Day, for example) before we know we’re ‘out of the woods’ but I explained to her as I gave her this (in my ignorance), that I felt it was appropriate for her to have it, as even if the worst happened, it will never take away from the fact that at that moment, on Mother’s Day, we had two little beans with two beautiful heart beats.

hearts