Thursday, 30 December 2010

around and around and around

to see me talking to D last night, joking about what the baby was up to and whether it can hear yet, you would think that i'm faking the fear that i talk about on here.

but then, if you talked to me when i get upset and scared and convinced that the baby's dead, you'd think i had to be faking when i joke with D about the baby.

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in reality, they're both true. even when i'm scared and convinced the baby is dead and there is no hope, i'd still be shocked to the very core to find out there was really something wrong. even when i'm joking and talking about the baby, i'm still hating myself inside for believing.

the joy and the terror coexist, nearly every single moment. it's exhausting.

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i'm 15 weeks 4 days today. i'm not hating this part of pregnancy quite as much as i thought i would. since i had that scan a couple of weeks back time has actually been passing at a more normal rate, not superslowly as it was for the first trimester. but still. last time around, the baby was long dead by now, but i still wouldn't find out for another 9 days. part of me is expecting a similar outcome, part of me simply can't believe that the same thing would happen again.

and yes, i know how naive that is. i would expect more sense from myself, knowing all i know now.

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last new year's eve was when the shock wore off and the pain and the grief really started. i'm a bit nervous about it. i'm going round to a friend's house with D; it'll just be us, J and her husband, but... what if the echoes of last year get too strong and i just sit there in tears?

i think i'll be ok, but it's hard to tell for sure.

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i still need to write properly about christmas. soon.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

i thought i was doing really well. i coped fine with christmas and relatives and even one of my aunts patting my belly*, i didn't jump backwards and slap her hand away like i wanted to or anything. i was so proud of myself.

but then i told one of my sisters that i think i might be feeling movement, and then i started crying. i'm so scared. i thought i was feeling movement last time too, but the baby was long dead by that stage. so i really, really wasn't.

  • thinking i might be feeling movement seems dangerous.
  • telling people i think i might be feeling movement seems dangerous.
  • talking as though the baby might actually be born alive in june seems dangerous. even when i qualify it with 'hopefully' or 'if we're lucky'. and believe me, i always qualify it.
  • being in the second trimester seems dangerous.
  • believing that there is even a tiny flicker of hope for this baby seems dangerous.
  • thinking that this baby might currently be alive seems dangerous. and like the most ridiculous thing to think in the entire universe.
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but doesn't this baby deserve some belief? and some hope?

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*weirdly, my sister's husband touched my belly last night and even though a) i really don't want anyone ever touching my belly without an invitation to and b) he is the least likely person ever to do that i was ok with that, it didn't seem invasive or anything. possibly because he was doing it to make sure a pregnant friend of my sister's knew i was pregnant too. maybe that somehow made it ok?

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and actually i was glad he did it, because although she hasn't lost a baby (that i know of) she somehow gets it and it was really nice talking to her about pregnancy and my fears. i almost felt normal. it was nice.

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anyway.

i'm at my parents' house. D was here with me, but he left this morning as he has work tomorrow. i go back in the morning. i think maybe i'm freaking out because he's not here to keep the lid on my craziness.

i'm so exhausted by simultaneously trying to believe that there is hope and by trying to crush out any ounce of hope that flickers before it takes hold.

i want this baby so badly but i want the other one too.

there's no way i can have both and it's not fair.

i want to have them both.

it's just not fair.

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in just a few days Last Year will no longer be last year.

it seems like my snowflake is drifting further and further away from me. that soon my little mite will be lost to me forever. even more so than it already is.

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D strongly thinks this baby is a boy. i am secretly (well, not so secretly) hoping for a girl. i'm not quite sure what to do with a boy.

i don't have any strong feelings about what it actually is. as long as it's alive, i don't really care.

D is talking about what 'he' is doing in there. about what he will be like.

before i was pregnant, D was very vocal about the fact that he did not want to believe in any pregnancy until it was over and we had a healthy, living baby.

his belief and his optimism simultaneously help me to keep going and utterly terrify me.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

when i first discovered the world of the babylost and the many, many blogs out here, i was astounded. i had no idea that women were going through this. no idea what was really happening. it was such a comfort to me that other women were going through the depths of grief. that other women had done it and had managed to struggle out the other side, even though their wounds and scars were still very evident.

but the one thing i mostly couldn't do was read the blogs of women who were pregnant again. and women who had other children were a toss-up. some i could read; some i really, really couldn't. most - although definitely not all - of the blogs that i felt drawn to were those who had lost their first child (or, indeed, all of their children).

in time, i became more able to read the blogs of those with other children. some of them have become real friends. many of them have supported me even when i haven't been able to support them.

most of them have also given me hope.

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the one type of blog i couldn't deal at all with was the kind of blog where someone was pregnant post-loss and nervous, but didn't really seem to talk about their grief any more.

which makes it really bloody annoying that that's exactly the kind of blog that this has now turned into.

i don't want to be healed. i don't want this pregnancy to wash away my grief and my love for my first child. i don't want it to make me all better. i don't want to forget.

i don't cry for that baby any more. i hate that. doesn't it deserve my tears?

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i'm honestly amazed that so many people still read - especially those who are newly babylost or have been ttc for a while. but i appreciate you all and your support and your comments so, so much.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

other people's children

when we found out i was pregnant, there were already pregnant people around. my friend J's girlfriend was due in the september, eight months before me. H was due in the november. A (no longer a friend) was about six weeks ahead. my female friend J was going through IVF and ended up being about two months behind me. i was so excited that so many of us were going to have babies in the same academic year. i was fascinated by the fact that J's baby was born when i was only 6 weeks pregnant, but that in a few years our children would be in the same academic year. it seemed crazy and maybe even unfair that he got all that extra time to develop.

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but then, of course, everything went wrong. we didn't get to have that baby. i got a whole bucketload of grief instead.

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and then it took another ten cycles to get pregnant again.

i hadn't really realised until the other day that there will be nearly two full years between our child (if it even lives) and J's. and that thought felt like a punch in the guts. i know in the grand scheme of things it's not really all that bad, but... two years, man. two years. i've been wanting children for so long. their pregnancy was unplanned. the baby is delicious. my friend is doing so well in a situation that's hard for many reasons. but it just seems so unfair that he gets to be a full two years ahead of us in the whole parenting thing. that the chances are he will want to give us advice. it's not supposed to be that way.

it's supposed to be us blazing the trail for others. we've been together over a decade. they've been together maybe two, three years. this is all wrong.

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we see J's baby all the time. we're probably the people he's closest to outside his family. he's always happy to see us.

i've written before about the jewellery i wear now. my snowflake pendant and my black plastic bangle.

since the baby was old enough to grab things, he's grabbed at my bangle. it's the same size and shape as his teething rings; he thought it was his. i used to take it off my wrist and give it to him to chew.

these days, he takes it off me and puts it on his own wrist. and smiles at me, proud.

when i hold him, he plays with my pendant.

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these are just things that babies do. nothing amazing or out of the ordinary.

but it occurred to me the other day that this is the closest he will ever get to interacting with my first child. with the baby i was supposed to have. with the child who was supposed to be his friend.

and it makes me glad that he does those things. but so, so sad.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

i just marked 165 posts as read in google reader. i've never done that before. i hated doing it. but i need to give myself a break, and trying to catch up was making me even more stressed than i already am.

i phoned one of my sisters in tears before, entirely unable to order my mum's christmas present. too stressed by photo options and bad reviews of websites and deadlines for christmas ordering. i should get the order through by the deadline but christ, i was stressed.

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i stayed off work sick monday. went back tuesday. tried to deal with the terror. by the time i got home wednesday i needed to know what was going on. i called the maternity assessment unit and lasted about ten seconds before i started crying. they told me to go in the next day (thursday) at 12. that i would go to the end of the list and might have to wait quite some time, but that they would scan me. just this once.

we decided that D would stay in work until i called to say we were getting close. hoped they would give me some idea of how long i'd be waiting. as it turned out when we reported to the MAU a lovely midwife asked 'so do you just need to know this baby is alive?' when i told her yes she said she'd just do me a quick scan before her shift finished at 12.30. i asked if she could wait for D to arrive and she said of course.

i thought the scan would just be a 'there's the baby, it's fine, now be on your way' kind of thing, but it lasted about 15 minutes. she looked at the baby in detail and gave us another 10 (TEN!!!!) pictures. and it was fine. heart still beating away, baby still moving around and lying in bizarre positions. moving much slower than the last baby, but i think i'm kind of glad about that; i still wonder if it was moving around so much and so fast because it was in pain. i know it shouldn't be possible at 12 weeks, but it doesn't stop me being scared that it was and that i didn't know :(

so today i'm 14 weeks. and today i believe we've got a shot at this. no guarantees, but a decent shot. i'm still kind of scared, and i still feel that the 20 week scan is just too bloody far away for comfort, but right now i believe in my tiny baby. i'm scared for it, but i believe.

and just for the record, i've heard so many horror stories about the R.V.I., but for me they've been nothing but amazing. i far prefer it to ra.ke lan.e.

Monday, 13 December 2010

i've been disturbed recently. for ages actually. why? because i've felt mostly ok. i haven't wanted to cry. i only cried even on the anniversary of our loss because i made myself write a post talking about it.

i don't like that. i don't like feeling as though this pregnancy has somehow fixed me. made me forget my first child, as if i'm too busy focusing on this second one to remember what we lost.

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but i guess it's ok. it turns out it's just denial talking.

i got in bed tonight. all was well. D and i looked again at the scan pics; that's not really something we've ever done before in either pregnancy, get the pics out to look at them. we were laughing and joking and just chatting. we put the light out. all was well.

except. it wasn't. i moved around, trying to get comfortable, and i remembered the sonographer telling me to move from side to side and to bang my bottom on the bed to get the baby to move. and i thought, if i banged my bottom on the bed now, it would make the baby move. maybe even start it spinning around.

and then i started to realise that i don't believe that for a second. that somehow in my head i think that i believe the baby is somewhere in the machinery of the hospital, because that's where we saw it. it's not inside me. that's just crazy. i'm not pregnant. the baby's somewhere else. (if there even is a baby. how can there really be a baby?) in limbo somewhere. waiting to see whether it gets to live or die. and to be honest i'm just waiting for it to die. i don't want it to, but it feels like it's just a matter of time. maybe my time's up already. maybe i'll have a few more weeks this time. or maybe this time i'll get to go full term and then fall (fail?) at the final hurdle.

i don't feel any connection to this baby. i think i did before, but it's been fading away. the first scan, i cried. i was so relieved. the second scan, i cried before we went in, for fear of what we would see and because D had got trapped downstairs because of a fire alarm (he got to the EPAC before they scanned me, but i was so terrified he wouldn't) but i didn't really cry at the scan. at the 12 week scan i was crying when they called us in but again i was ok when they did the scan.

i think i believed i was pregnant early on but that the pregnancy would fail early on, too. and i was glad when it didn't, but i guess now i'm in my second trimester i can't get my head around the idea that i could possibly end up with a baby in six months. now more than ever i'm just waiting for things to go wrong.

i don't want to be in my second trimester. it doesn't feel like a safe place to be.

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i keep hearing about people who feel their babies moving really early, like 12 weeks. and i'm so utterly bitterly jealous i almost (almost, not quite) hate them. the last midwife appointment i had last time around i was 16+6 and i thought i was starting to feel movement. the midwife said it was possible. but obviously, i wasn't. the baby had been dead for weeks. i guess if i was feeling anything it was my body starting to think about moving things on.

i can't imagine ever feeling this baby move. i can't imagine ever being able to feel it kick me. or be able to let D feel it. it seems so utterly far away, unreachable. every day of this pregnancy seems to last forever. i already feel like i've been pregnant for a year. june next year sounds like a different century.

i can't imagine i'll ever get as far as worrying about giving birth.

i just wish i knew if everything was still ok in there.

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hang on little babe. please hang on. i know i don't even really believe you exist, but i want to. i want to be wrong again. so, so badly. i thought my last baby was alive when it had died. now i want to be wrong again, this time to find out that really you're fine, even if i can't imagine that possibility in even one of all the potential universes.

i need so badly for you to be ok.

i love you. even though i barely believe in you, i love you. please know that above all else.

Friday, 10 December 2010

i know that a lot of my readers here are babyloss people who have probably seen this quote already, but i still wanted to share it, because it's very powerful.

'If you know someone who has lost a child or lost anybody who's important to them, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn't forget they died. You're not reminding them. What you're reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that's a great, great gift.'

Elizabeth Edwards. Lovely quote, but so, so sad that it's necessary.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

just got the results back from the Combined Test. my risk of Dow.n's Synd.rome is 1 in 50,000. bloody hell, i didn't think it was going to be that low.

of course, that doesn't stop me worrying about whether or not the baby's died in the last week. but at least it's one less thing to have to worry about.

(of course, the risk of losing the baby last time was 0.4% or less, so i don't know why this should be reassuring. even a low risk such as that doesn't mean the baby is definitely ok. please let it be, though. alive and healthy. please.)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

i still have to write about going to see interpol on 25th november (it was amazing).

but.

we were also due to go and see biffy clyro in manchester on friday. but the weather was too bad for us to travel down. bugger.

and you know i mentioned that two of the songs that helped me to cry were songs the singer wrote about the death of his mother?

they played them both. acoustic versions. i'm so gutted i missed it.

Friday, 3 December 2010

pregnancy mentioned

ok, i know it might seem weird to title this 'pregnancy mentioned' when i've done little but talk about being pregnant for the last... jeebers, nearly 8 weeks now.... but, well, this post is talking about 'normal' pregnant stuff. so it might be harder to read. and i kind of wanted to warn you all before you started to read so that if it's too hard you can click away and read something else instead.

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honestly, i don't mind if you do. i've also posted a scan pic right at the end of this post which i know might be too hard to see for some people.

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so. this might be the most 'normal' pregnancy post i've ever written.

i'm only 11 weeks or so, but i'm already showing. i've been trying to disguise it in work with jackets and cardis and scarves, but i don't know how successful i've been; noone's actually asked me if i was pregnant, but i know that before i was even 8 weeks pregnant at least three people in work had guessed; and i'd been off work sick since before i found out i was pregnant until only about three days before that.

(so, yeah. that was a bit weird. two of the people i work with closely but one i don't see all that much of. i guess they all knew we were trying again, but still, it was a little creepy.)

i've been telling myself it's just my imagination that i've got a noticeable (if still small) bump, or just the fact that hell, i've put on a hell of weight in the last year (eating while depressed will either do that or make you unable to eat; i was unable to eat for a few weeks then started eating again, a LOT). but just before i lay down on my front, which i haven't done for a very long time now. and... it felt different. it felt... i guess it felt like there was something small and hard in the bottom of my abdomen. it was quite uncomfortable.

and. i've been starting to get less and less comfortable in my jeans; they fasten but they feel tight and they're getting pushed down and feel less secure. rather like they're going to fall down, in fact, which isn't a good feeling.

so today i bought a pair of maternity jeans. and a maternity top. (i bought a maternity top the day before my scan too. i was telling myself i'd take it back when i got bad news the next day.) i tried them on. i look pregnant in them. (far more pregnant than i actually am, too.)

last time i did not buy any maternity clothes. last time i didn't even look at any maternity clothes. last time, in fact, pregnancy did not really impact on my thinking or my self-image or even my plans for the medium-term future. i didn't really think about it. i knew we'd have to plan sooner or later, but before we got there it was suddenly all over.

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i didn't expect the scan to be reassuring, even if everything turned out well. i expected that i would be reassured at most for the next couple of hours. instead, i find that i feel far more secure. this scan was a very different experience. we didn't have to go back into that room. we were at a different hospital with a better set-up. the sonographer was incredibly reassuring. neither of us saw anything to worry about.

in fact, i just went back to look at the pics from last year. i remember them as much, much clearer than they actually were; while we were there we could see the baby clearly, but on the pictures there's almost nothing to see.

it's amazing. this time we saw a clear baby.

i don't pretend to believe that this confidence will last forever, but even if it lasts just a few days, i'll be happy. i was terrified that, knowing that these equivalent days were the last few of my last baby's life, i would be a nervous wreck. i'm so relieved that i'm not.

thank you to you all for having hope for me when i couldn't hold it for myself.

and thank you merry for making me laugh, if you are reading this :)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

after all that worrying.....

the baby was fine.*

it was very still at first, and i was a little nervous - even though the sonographer could tell me straight away there was a heartbeat, and let us listen to it too.

but to get the nuchal measurement the sonographer needed the baby to move, so she got me to roll around and to bang my bottom on the bed. after that, the baby moved a lot. the thing that amazed me most was the way it span around and around. it's amazing that a tiny little creature inside me can be moving around so much but that i won't be able to feel it for weeks.

by the date i ovulated, i should have been 10+6 today. at the last scan though, the baby was measuring four days ahead of that, so i was hoping that that growth would have kept up, making me 11+3. but i was afraid that it would measure 11+4, because that's what i was when we had our 12 week scan last time around.

so of course, this baby measured 11+4 too.

but i think i'm kind of ok with that. this scan was very different. we got to hear the heartbeat, and it was definitely fast enough (not sure what the actual rate was). the nuchal measurement was good, and... there were no niggling worries for either of us from what we saw. we did mention to the sonographer how slow the heartbeat had seemed to us both last time, and she said 'yes, that doesn't sound good'. i still find it so hard to believe that noone picked up on it when we (who don't know anything about this stuff) were both concerned. we asked the sonographer so many times and in so many different ways if things really did look good. luckily she'd read my notes so she understood, and was very reassuring. and told us many different ways that yes, everything looks the way it should.

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it's hard to know that this time last pregnancy our baby only had four days still to live. but everything feels very different this time round. i'm starting to believe that (whisper it) there might - just might - be a good chance that at the end of june, we'll be taking home a living baby.

oh, and we both preferred this hospital to the other one. so that's good too.

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the only real problem was the consultant appointment. my midwife had referred me because she wanted me to get another scan around 15-16 weeks to stop me from going insane. but according the the all-important protocol, there is no reason for this to happen, so i ain't gonna get it. right now, i'm ok about that, but ask me again in another couple of weeks and i might well be going mental. we'll see, i guess.

ah well. i love my midwife for trying.

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*incidentally, entirely depriving me of any opportunity to say 'i told you so', so if you could all be so kind as to not say that? i would really, really appreciate it ;) thankyouverymuch!)
6 hours 40 minutes until my scan.

not freaking out, but my stomach feels hollow.

i know i need to eat breakfast or i'll be ill later, but i can't face it.

i only realised this morning that if i get bad news today i'll have two loss dates only one week apart.

i feel like typing that was tempting fate.

but i wish i'd realised it earlier and asked to change my scan date when i thought about it earlier.

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i'm terrified.

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i might not be able to update until later this evening but i will do as soon as i can.

thank you all for understanding.