Viability + Anxiety 

So we finally reached viability at 24 weeks and are now going in to week 25. Although we have hit another milestone, the last fortnight has been filled with anxiety and worry. 

As I continue further in to this pregnancy and begin to feel more movements, the more I find I am becoming attached. 

The thought of losing another baby is constant and I just don’t know how we would cope if we had to bury another daughter. I am trying to keep positive besides this. 

We are also creeping up to the events of last year. When I hit 28 weeks last July, I was having a routine midwife appointment which resulted in me being rushed to the day unit for monitoring as my blood pressure was abnormally high (166/110)!! 

I remember bursting in to tears and immediately calling Lew to tell him. 

We arrived at the day unit where I was hooked up to a blood pressure machine and a CTG machine. 

I was sent home after 30 minutes being reassured everything was okay. I remember that day so clearly, little did I know 4 weeks later my baby would die. 

We have three weeks to go until I hit that dreaded date again. Although I am reassured with extra scans this time I can’t help thinking it will end the same way. We have been told I am going to be given scans at 28, 32, 36 weeks, with a possible induction around 37 weeks. 

This means our little rainbow baby could be here end of August, first week of September. 

We also have Grace’s 1st birthday to think about. One whole year on the 28th July. I wonder what she would look like now, what her giggle would sound like.. we would be planning it all so differently. 

This journey is long, the daily mental battle with my thoughts is tiring but I know the end result will all be worth it. 

I can’t wait to meet Grace’s baby sister and give her all the love waiting in my heart. 

xxx

Halfway.. 


139 days, 21 weeks, 6 months pregnant. It’s crazy to think that we have even made it this far. 
As each new day passes, my optimistic side, counts her blessings and allows herself to be more hopeful about the idea of finally bringing her baby home.   

Then there is the negative side to me. The side who walked out the hospital yesterday, smiling, but thinking that even though we saw our baby girl all healthy on the screen, it is still no guarantee she will be born alive.

Those are the thoughts of a childless mum.  You can’t escape thinking them, all you can do is acknowledge that you see things differently now compared to before. It is a mental battle of the good versus evil thoughts. 

I wouldn’t say it’s been enjoyable. I am excited one moment but terrified the next. I want to believe my body will keep her safe until I have her in my arms. I want to believe that this pregnancy will have a different outcome. I want believe I can watch her grow up. I want to allow myself to believe my dreams of a family could actually happen this time round.

I’m halfway through. That’s what I have to tell myself and try to keep positive. We meet with the consultant soon to discuss this pregnancy, as I will be monitored a lot more closely.

The question of ‘will I develop Pre Eclampsia again?’ plays over and over in my mind. I know first hand that Pre Eclampsia can kill the babies. I also know it can kill mothers too. 

I have a 20% chance of developing pre eclampsia in this new pregnancy. It doesn’t sound a lot but to know there is even the smallest chance of going through what I went through is worrying, however I am trying to accept that I have no control over anything. All I can do is keep relaxed and as stress free as possible.. (if that’s possible?!) 

Today I am painting the spare room, in hopes that it will become Baby White’s nursery. After losing Grace last year, I am surprised at myself for even wanting to do anything baby related, but it keeps me busy and something to focus on. 

Every day my love for this new baby grows, I want to give her everything that I couldn’t give Grace. The first cuddle, the first kiss. It’s almost double the love. I will love Grace for eternity, she will always be my first born. She will be always be spoken about, and Baby White will grow up knowing she has an older sister looking down on her. 

I love both my girls, but we really can’t wait to meet you, little one!
xoxo

Miracles & Second Chances…

On the 15th of April, after a long and stressful few months, we got find out what gender the little person growing in my tummy is. I am over-the-moon to have another little sister for Grace, although I have been reflecting on last year and everything in between these last few days. 
I was secretly relieved to be having another girl, but it’s all so bitter-sweet. In a way, I am happy that I get a second chance to have my little girl but with the due dates almost exactly the same it’s hard not to prepare my self for the worst.

I wish this pregnancy was text book. Like all the other mums. I wish it was as straight forward as I so naively thought the first time round. I hate that I have become the ‘worrier’. Pregnancy is supposed be enjoyable. You download the baby apps to your phone, sign up to the baby emails, you mark in your calendar, you start to countdown the weeks. 

Pregnancy after loss is a whole other dimension. You look at things so differently. You are scared to love this baby growing inside of you- and believe me you really do love them. When you feel those first kicks, the little nudges, you can’t honestly believe that you have this little life growing inside of you! I am finding the further along I get the harder it is going to be to say goodbye. I don’t want to have to bury another child. Forgive the negativety but when you have had your whole world ripped from underneath you, life isn’t so rosey. 

It has already proven to be a stressful, few months. We can already tick one pregnancy scare of our list. It started at my last my appointment with my Midwife. As I led on the bed, waiting to hear baby’s heartbeat, I was chatting to Maddy, telling all about how Grace’s heartbeat was still saved on my phone.(spookily almost one year to the day). 

The midwife puts the Doppler across my tummy and tries to locate baby’s heartbeat. Twenty minutes later and still no joy. ‘Holly you are going to have to go to hospital”. My heart was in my mouth. Was this happening again? Maddy tried her best to reassure me that baby was still quite small and could be in an awkward position. 

I drove to hospital trying to remain as calm as possible, I arrive, to be told to take a seat in the waiting room.

What feels like an eternity the nurse calls me and uses her Doppler to  listen to heartbeat. She can’t find it either. I literally am preparing my self for it being the end before it’s even begun. I am back in that room just like last year being told my baby has no heartbeat. Finally, the nurse manages to get me in to see a sonographer. The usual drill, they tilt the screen away from us and apply that cold gel (a feeling I will never get used to) with in seconds, she tilts the screen to face me and there little baby is.. wriggling and squirming with a strong heartbeat. 

It is such a shit feeling. To have your emotions constantly up and down. To have the very worst happen to you, to find out you are pregnant, to not being able to find the heartbeat, to finding out you’re having another girl after losing your daughter not even a year ago. I thought I was prepared for a new pregnancy but really that just brings everything up again. I literally pray every day for this new baby, for our little rainbow of hope… 

Xx 

12 long weeks… 

I made it….We made it. The first milestone. As we sat hesitantly in the Ultrasound reception yesterday, my nerves were all over the place. For the last 12 weeks I have been uptight, hormonal and even unsure if the pregnancy was real or something I was just imagining in my mind. 

The appointment was booked for 9am. We were there 15 minutes early. It honestly felt like 15 hours, and even then the sonographer was running 10 mins late. Not good for someone who feels like she is about to have a mental breakdown!

We finally get called in to the room. ‘Here we go again’ I think. I settle myself on the bed whilst the butterflies in my tummy are fluttering away. The sonographer is stern, and straight to the point, she tells me to lift my top, applies that cold gel (which I will never get used) and firmly presses in to my abdomen. 

She points to the screen on the left. Those 30 seconds while she is scanning, trying to locate the baby were horrible. Then finally… we see little the bean shape babydancing on the screen. Our second chance. Our miracle. 

I burst in to tears. Tears of relief as this confirms I am infact pregnant. Tears of joy as we get a second shot at becoming parents and tears of pain as I know this baby is not Grace. 

The sonographer  passes me tissues and tells me to keep looking at the screen, she relaxes a bit and shows a bit of compassion for me. I explain we lost Grace last year. She points to the screen and shows me the little baby’s heartbeat, then she checks that baby is healthy. Lewis and I smile at each other.

She quickly prints our photos and gives us dates the baby. 11+6 with a due date of 22nd September 2017. Two days after Grace’s due date. Seriously?!

I know this 12 week milestone doesn’t guarantee a baby at the end of it. It doesn’t mean I won’t miscarry later in the pregnancy or that something won’t happen but I am trying to stay positive. I am praying for our little Rainbow baby. 🌈

The first of many milestones

One whole year. Wow. This time last year I saw the two little lines on the stick. I would be lying if I said I was ecstatic when I first found out we were going to be parents. It was pure fear.. my thoughts started racing with questions. Would I be good enough? How would we afford a baby? Do I even want this baby? Where would we live? How would we cope? 

I feel guilty for feeling like that now. They say pregnancy starts the moment you find out you are a mum. There is truth in that as a couple of weeks later, when we saw our little blob dancing around on the screen, that’s when it finally felt real to me. I couldn’t wait to meet the life we had both created. 

What I would give to be back in that moment and to have my baby here. People may say it’s cliche but Grace changed our lives. She really pushed us to do the best for her. She was our saving Grace.

We loved her so much already so buying the 5 door car was a necessity. Preparations for the new house began, unfortunately, the day she was born was when the solicitors were ready to exchange contracts. That day we didn’t even contemplate moving in. We didn’t want the house now. What was the point? 

Any trip we made, whether to the shops or visiting places, were always baby orientated.  We were always seeing things for Grace.. whether it be clothes, toys, or nursery furniture, we would always say ‘that would be great for Grace’  or ‘she might like this’ . I had it all planned in my head. So many hopes and dreams. 

 I still can’t quite believe this happened to us. If she had lived when she was born she would be 6 months old now. I wonder what her little face would look like now? If she would be a chubby little babe  with podgy legs? How fair would her hair be? Would she inherit her daddy’s long eyelashes? 

I will always question and wonder what would have happened if things were different. She will always be the baby that never was. I will never not yearn for her. She will always be the little girl I can’t have and I hate it. Six months and the pain is still so raw, I’ve never felt anything like it. It’s like a dull physical pain that never goes away, obviously, now I’ve just got better at hiding it. Six months on and still miss her, my love is still so strong for her. 

Until we meet again, my little cherub… 

New year…

Today is the day. You know when you go for a job interview or are about to do a speech and you feel the butterflies dancing around in your stomach. That’s how I feel today. 

I am retuning to work after 6 months off and I am bricking it to say the least. It’s not the job, or even the people, it’s the fact of facing the world again. 

I’ve been in my own little bubble for the last half a year. I can’t even believe it’s been that long since Grace died. It feels like an eternity. 

I wish I was going back to work after a year off and knowing that after today’s over with I would be coming home to my little baby, but that’s not going to happen. 

This is a milestone that should be way different, nonetheless I am going to try and stay positive among the nerves and remember to smile no matter how hard today might be. 

Still here…

I’m still here. Still surviving, just about. Yesterday was Friday. Before what happened, Friday was favourite day of the week. I used to look forward to finishing the long week and enjoy my weekend. Now, I hate Fridays. They seem to be a weekly reminder of Graces fatal entry in to the world, another reminder that she is not here in my arms. Its like I replay everything from friday onwards.

Friday she was born still, saturday and sunday was the most bittersweet weekend I ever had. We spent those days singing to Grace, cuddling, and reading her stories. Then the dreaded monday. I suppose Mondays always have been shit. On monday we had to register her death. That was hard leaving her in hospital with our family, but her Uncle Christian played her Disney songs.  (I attempted to listen to the playlist the other day, I got through 2 minutes of Little April Shower and my eyes stung and I couldn’t stop for a good 10 minutes).

On Tuesday, we moved from the side room in to the bereavement suite where there is a double bed. Me and Lewis were able to cuddle properly for the first time without tubes or BP machines getting in the way.

Wednesday. The day we say goodbye to Grace. That was painful.

It was comparable to scenes in a movie, where you leave and walk out the door but then suddenly you realise you can’t leave, so you go back and give one last cuddle. You look at each other and know it is the right time to go. I think we went back three times. Grace will always be the most beautiful dead baby I have ever seen, however, the more time went on, the more I could see her, well, deteriorating. Five days were enough. I wish she could have stayed that perfect, in fact I just wish she was born alive.

Wednesday was also the day of the funeral.

This so-called journey I’m on is so fucking hard. I can’t lie or pretend as much as I want to. I wish I could say I am getting better or doing okay but I’m really not (‘Getting better’ I’m not sick). I feel if anything, I am getting worse. Or maybe its just hit me. AGAIN.

I’ve been caught up a whirlwind the last couple of weeks. We had been busy organising a charity football match in order to raise money for the hospital where Grace was born. It was an okay day, I mean, how I felt on the day was ok-ish. We had many people come to support the Lewis and Christians teams, both teams drew but Lewis brought the cup home.

We raised £1,341.91 which is a really positive thing I just feel really sad. Maybe because everything up until the match has given me focus, and now that the match has ended I’ve somehow lost Grace all over again.

I feel I have become a bitter person because of what happened to us. Jealousy is still a big emotion I feel daily. I try to stay off social media, to avoid seeing pregnant women or young children but something inside me just can’t. It feels like I have to look to satisfy something in my brain. I havent quite worked out what that is yet.

I envy how everyone else gets their little family while I’m here just floating along in my own bubble. Life is unfair and shit and I hate it.

My counsellor has encouraged me to keep writing as sharing my story. I guess I will try to stick at writing about my thoughts no matter how shit I feel.

It really is like they say. Grief does come in waves. Or as I often think, its similar to swimming in the ocean but you get dragged under by the rip current. Just when you think your head is above the water and you get your breath back, your pulled back down again.