Birthdays, Scans + Plans

I’ve been so busy recently preparing for our little Rainbow baby, I can’t believe another month has passed..

July ended with Grace’s first birthday. It was really nice to have all the family around her grave, chatting and laughing. All her Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and Cousins, all came to support us. We released some balloons for her special day and even lit some candles, which were blown out by the wind but I like to think that was Graces doing!!

I’ve started a birthday memory box which is so far filled with letters and cards.  I plan to write to her every year.


The day overall was bittersweet. 

They say the first year is the hardest and it’s true. I still can’t get my head around why it happened to us. Why should we be releasing balloons in to the sky, when she SHOULD be here?

I imagine her walking and babbling now. I wonder who she would look like more? What her little laugh would sound like. It’s painful to think I will spend my life always wondering. 

On such a shit day there was some positivity which did help ease the pain…


Little Esme! Grace’s baby sister gave us a wave again.

She is thriving, growing bigger and stronger every day. I can’t believe I’ve passed the mark when we lost Grace. Everything is new and exciting and I am really getting used to the idea that potentially our baby is going to come home this time.

We’ve been to see our Consultant, who has booked us in for an induction on the 4th September. I am literally counting down the days.

The thought of giving birth this time to a live baby excites me but scares me all the same.

When I delivered Grace, there was no end goal, no pink, crying baby at the end of it. I painfully pushed with no reward.

I’ve pictured a dozen times the moment Esme is placed on my chest. My ears long to hear the sound of my baby crying. I can’t wait to hold her in my arms as she nuzzle’s in to me.


On the day of the scan, we had arrived early so I wanted to make a little visit to ‘Kitty’s Room’.

This little room is located on Burley ward at the Princess Anne, a few doors down from the bereavement suite.

It’s set up in a lounge style, where you can sit, have coffee and take photos with your baby. In the room are dozens of memory books, each dedicated to a little baby born too soon.

I found Grace’s page almost instantly but was surprised to see how full the book had become,in a year.

As much as I hate the way things turned out, I find comfort knowing my little girl is connected to that room and I like knowing that I can go anytime and just sit there to feel close to her. 


Ending on a high, the last couple of weeks we have been slowly, decorating and organising the nursery. I’ve enjoyed every minute although not without some trepidation. 

I never got to experience this side of pregnancy, so for me I’m trying to savour the moment as much as I can. It’s not fully finished,as there will always be doubt in the back of my mind but I like to thing positivity breeds positivity! 

Xxxx

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Friday feels…


Another session for me up the Day  Unit this morning. I obviously love hospitals so much.. When I arrived, I felt guilty for even turning up, however this mornings anxiety was too much to ignore so I am glad I was seen. 

The midwife was very reassuring as she put  those familiar belt-like straps across my tummy. I got to lay there for 30 mins listening to our little girls heartbeat. The sound is addictively soothing to me. Like a freight train reminding me a little human is inside of me, thriving and full of life. Even though this is the 6th time I’ve turned up at Day Unit that sound never gets boring. 

I knew I probably didn’t need to go in, however, the doubt kicks in and your mind begins to wonder ‘When did I last feel the baby move? Was it even her moving or do I just think she moved?’ You start to think you are no longer pregnant as you just don’t ‘feel it’, even though you are super tuned in to your body now.

I knew this pregnancy wasn’t going to be easy, but it’s hard when you have lost trust in your body’s ability to bring a baby safely in to the world. You no longer trust your instincts. 

You start to conjure up symptoms, which the longer you allow your brain to think about, the more anxious and paranoid you become. 
I apologised to the midwife profusely as the CTG revealed that everything is/was okay! Deep down I probably knew all was well I just felt the need for someone to put my wild, mind, at ease. 

29 weeks and counting…oh the joys of pregnancy after loss. I can’t wait to meet this little babe and tell her how crazy her mum is/was!! 

8 weeks of paranoia to go!!!! 

xx

Final trimester…

It’s growing closer to Grace’s first birthday, yet we are further and further apart. In 11 months I have learned that nothing will ever fill the void. I will continuously think about her and the young girl  she would be now. 

I think back to this date last year. My memory is split in to the before and after. Memories surrounded in a haze of what seemed like a textbook pregnancy and then the ‘shit-storm’ that came after.

This time last year I could of never predicted the outcome. 

28 weeks today I got to see our beautiful rainbow baby on the ultrasound. Grace’s little sister. I wonder how similar they will look. 

A bitter sweet moment whilst watching her turn to face me on the screen. I recall 28 weeks last year- being rushed in with my blood pressure at 166/110. How different things are now…

I feel reassured but doubt still lurks in the back of my mind. What if it happens again? Surely not? I love this little baby so much. I am glad we are having another daughter but I wish Grace was here. I wish things were different.  

In three weeks we celebrate the  baby that never was. In nine, we meet the baby who has given us hope..

I pray, every day, that we make it.

xxx

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. 🌈