Thursday, 30 September 2010

What is the point of this blog?

Blogs should have themes. I read that somewhere. So what is my theme? I think it is going to be constantly changing. And I already have more than one theme. Hmmm not great but i never said this was going to be a great blog! At the moment the themes are:

1) To help others going through pPROM. I hope the pPROM section of my blog (from May to July 2010) helps other women looking for pPROM stories.

2) To help me remember my pregnancy with Orson. I don't want to forget any of it.

3) To help me. I will use this blog to record my views, feelings, opinions, ramblings... In fact anything I fancy. Some of my entries will no doubt be serious, some mundane and others trivial.

As I said in my last entry I have been looking at other blogs. I never knew there were so many. One I came across is The Baby Plan. Ms Baby Plan asked her readers to answer at least one of eight questions she posed. I'm answering two.

1. Who inspires you? Lots and lots of people... Sticking with a pPROM theme I will say women who have been through the loss of a baby due to pPROM and go on to have another pregnancy afterwards. I have heard many stories on forums and blogs. I understand how terrified they must be, but they show me that maybe it is possible.

Would I cope without chocolate? (Image:Suet Iman/
2. How do you relax in this hectic world? This answer falls into that trivial category I mentioned earlier. I relax by watching tv, eating nice food including chocolate (I don't know how I would cope without chocolate!) and playing with M. There is nothing like watching a two year old laugh to make you happy.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

pPROM Blogs

I added a new page to my blog at the weekend listing lots of pPROM blogs I have found. I had never heard of pPROM before it happened to me. I suppose that is common as it is so rare, I think it happens in 2 - 3 % of pregnancies. And then of course it happens a lot later when the baby has more of a chance. But it has surprised me just how many women who have experienced pPROM write blogs.

I hope that anyone who is currently going through pPROM might find the new pPROM blogs page useful. I would also recommend looking at the web links I have listed too. The Kanalen site is very useful with lots of stories of pPROM successes and losses. The forums I list are also great too. I found it really useful to meet other women going through pPROM at the same time as me. I still find them a great help.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Where is my Transporter (like the ones in Star Trek)?

Where is my Transporter (like the ones in Star Trek)?

I was thinking about this and discussing it with S as we drove with M back from a few days at M's Granny and Granddad's house yesterday. It is a 3 1/2 hour drive with good traffic and no stops. Of course it is not possible to have no stops with a two year old so it takes longer. If only we had a Transporter then we could visit them more often...

We could visit M's other Grandparents who live 2 1/2 hours away more often too.

M just loves his Grandparents so much. He always has a fantastic time. He was so excited the first day we were there that he didn't go to bed until after midnight.

Would roads exist if we all had Transporters? (Image: dan /

It got me thinking how different the world would be, like something from a science fiction novel. If Transporters were invented and were affordable enough then cars would become obsolete. As would roads. Suddenly people wouldn't have to worry about commuting to work they could live wherever they wanted. Cities would become less crowded until they just didn't exist. After all instead of having shops in cities purpose built shopping centres would exist. You would just Transport to the shops go shopping and Transport home again.

Everyone would see each other so much more. There would be less excuses for being late. Families would be able to stay in touch even if they lived in different countries (if countries even existed any more).

It goes on and on. The world would be so different. It might well be better. Yes I have decided I want my Transporter now please, oh and while you are there please could you invent the time machine?

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


I'm frustrated. So sorry this is going to be another post where I complain a lot.

I have all of the normal little problems that women get after giving birth but do not have the baby. And it is making me fed up.

Problem One. I do not have that sleek slim body I once had.

Okay admittedly it was years ago that I had that body but I want it back now. And I would like not to have to work at it. I don't want to exercise and I want to be able to eat lots of chocolate and cake.

I know that realistically after just 10 weeks after birth most women do not have a slim figure especially those that do not exercise but still it is a problem.

Problem Two. My hair is falling out.

That makes my situation sound more dramatic than it is. Nobody can tell my hair is falling out. It looks the same as it always had but I am noticing lots of extra hair falling out all of the time. I know this is normal. Relating to the changing hormones. I had this after my pregnancy with M. My hair didn't visibly look thin but I just had to pick a lot more hair off my clothes. It is the same this time.

I am fed up of having to pick hair of my clothes. I want my hair to be normal again.

Problem Three. It's a girlhood thing.

This final problem is one I am not entirely comfortable talking about but I am going to anyway. It is something that forums would say fits in the TMI categories... Periods.

Despite my GP assuring me that my lochia (as if using a posh name for it makes it easier to write about...) would be over quickly, it was not. It took a full seven weeks before it was gone. And my first period lasted longer than normal. To top it all I have been getting spotting as well.

I am fed up with sanitary towels etc. I had to wear them for almost my entire pregnancy and now I have to continue to fund this industry. How I wish I bought shares in a sanitary towel company back in January...

It is probably just hormones again. I will discuss it with my GP when I have my postnatal check. But it makes me fed up.

All of these problems are minor but are starting to make very frustrated and fed up. As I  have continually said throughout this post. I think ny woman after having a baby gets fed up with similar if not the exact same problems. I know I did after I had M. But the difference is then I had a new born baby to distract me. I had other women in postnatal groups going through the exact same problems. We cooked complain to each other.

I could join a support group like SANDs and share my troubles with other women who have experienced the loss of a baby. But I don't want to. I just want to be normal again.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Stressful but fun birthday preparations

It was S's birthday yesterday. M and I had been preparing for a while. A week and a half ago we went to a pottery shop which encourages customers to paint their own purchases (Flying Saucers). We bought an espresso cup and saucer for S. M painted it an array of bright colours all on his own. I had planned to just have a look in the shop and return another day but was convinced to stay and let M paint the cup immediately. They claimed otherwise there would not be enough time to glaze and fire it. Of course M was in smart clothes and the shop had no aprons for him... Miraculously he emerged relatively paint free after having loads of fun.

We also made a birthday cake for S. A raspberry and almond sponge cake (see photo). The experience was a little more stressful than if I had been baking the cake on my own but M had a lot of fun and I did too. And the cake tastes lovely, so worth a little stress.

S's birthday went well. A mostly happy day. Only one sad moment for me. We were at a park in the centre of the city. One I haven't been to since April. It is on a hill and you can see almost all of the city from there. I looked around and spotted the green hills surrounding the city. I found myself thinking of Orson's funeral. I tried to look for the Crematorium which would have been on the hills somewhere but couldn't. I was almost in tears but M distracted me with his pleas to play on the swings and slide. I of course stopped feeling sorry for myself and relented and took him to the playground.

Friday, 17 September 2010

In 2010 Autumn will be better than Summer

I follow a website called Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. It has many stories submitted by women who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. I have decided to accept their monthly writing challenge. This month they would like women to write a post on their blogs' describing how the changing of seasons (from Summer to Autumn) impacted them in their grief journey.

Image: Evgeni Dinev /
Orson died 10 weeks ago today. July 9th. It was the middle of Summer, soon it will be Autumn and I can already see that as time goes on it gets a little easier to cope. I still think of Orson all of the time but I can now think of him without getting upset. I still cry, but there have been days when I do not cry. Some days are better than others. Today is a good day.

This Autumn I hope to return to work a big step considering how long I have been off work now. My last day in work was in April. The day before my waters broke. It will be strange going back. Knowing the last time I was in work I was pregnant. Maybe it will be good for me, allowing me to get back to my normal life from before Orson died. Then again why should everything ever be normal again?

The start of Autumn is going to be very different to the start of Summer. I am not the same person I was at the start of the Summer. I will never be that women again. At the start of summer I was resting at home. We had great weather but I didn't get to go outside and enjoy it. My waters had broken. I knew Orson's chances were not good. But there was hope. Hope and possibility that by Autumn we would have another son and we would be struggling to look after a two year old and a new born baby at the same time. I would have loved to have that struggle!

I know there still is hope. But it is not the same kind of hope. Orson is gone forever. Our new hope will have to be that one day we will be able to add to our family again. But that seems like a very distant possibility right now. My hope is that by this time next year I will be pregnant again but we will have to wait and see what our consultant recommends about trying to conceive again. Hopefully she won't expect us to wait a year to try again.

I have drifted off topic now, no longer talking about the contrast between Summer and Autumn. But I think that is just me right now. I am easily distracted. Perhaps by the end of Autumn I will be less distracted. Autumn will be less eventful, less worrisome and less sad. In 2010 Autumn will be better than Summer.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Submitting my pPROM story to Kanelen

I am submitting my story to Kanalen. Here is my submission. Please see the Kanalen website for my story and that of others.

Problems with my second pregnancy started at just six weeks when I started bleeding. I was told it was implantation bleeding. I bled for about three days. A week later I started bleeding again, much heavier than a normal period. I had an ultrasound scan and was told I had a large area of haemorrhage. I have a bicornuate uterus and the bleeding was coming from the opposite horn of my uterus to where the baby had implanted. After two or three days the bleeding stopped and a week later it started again. I was told to expect to bleed again but didn't.

My pregnancy carried on and at 19 weeks I had an ultrasound. Everything looked great. I found out I was having a boy. I was told everything would probably be fine with the pregnancy.

Two weeks later at 21 weeks and a day my waters broke. At first it was a few little gushes and then overnight whilst in hospital I ruptured completely soaking my clothes and the sheets. I was told to expect to miscarry. I would go into labour in the next three days. When I didn't I was sent home from hospital and given an appointment at the hospital to see a Fetal Medicine Consultant. I was advised to rest, going from the sofa to bed etc.

I had no symptoms of an infection and because I had already carried a baby to term they did not think I had an incompetent cervix. They do not know why I pPROM'd but bleeding and having a bicornuate uterus are known risk factors for pPROM.

The Fetal Medicine Consultant scanned us and didn't give us much hope. I had less than 1.5cm amniotic fluid in the deepest pocket. He said 2cm or more between 18 and 24 weeks is needed to guarantee lung development and so our son might not be able to breathe at birth. He said there was also a high chance I would give birth around the cusp of viability and our son would have severe disabilities. He offered us termination. However he said there was a less than 10% chance of having a healthy baby. We decided to take that chance.

I was seen by my local hospital (in the UK) twice a week for blood tests to check for infection, once a week for a swab and every other week for a growth scan. From 28 weeks my son's heart rate was monitored on a ctg twice a week too. My AFI was measured at every appointment. The highest measurement was 4cm the lowest zero. I never had more than two pockets of fluid.

I had steroids at 24 weeks and 28 weeks. At one point I had a symptomless UTI which was treated successfully with antibiotics. I was also treated for a symptomless Candida infection at one point too.

I had many scares, from 22 weeks onwards my fluid loss would turn pink at least once a week. At 28 weeks I passed a blood clot and was admitted to hospital for a few days. A week later I had no fluid left around my son at all. I never accumulated any after that. My son started having decelerations on the ctgs.

I went into labour at 31 weeks and a day, a Friday. The Monday before I had a show. The next day I passed a second bright red blood clot. On the Wednesday I was worried about my baby's movements, the hospital did a ctg and he had a long deceleration. However the day before he was born all was well.

I didn't realise I was in labour initially. I was getting mild pains which came in waves but it didn't feel like contractions. I was at the hospital and during a scan the midwife realised I was in labour. By this time the pain became extremely bad and almost constant. I started feeling nauseous and dizzy too. My baby had a heart beat during the scan but in the 10 minutes or so it took me to get to the Labour and Delivery Ward his heart stopped.

My son was lying transverse, he had been from the time I ruptured. If he had lived I would have had to have had a c-section but they were able to manually move him so I could deliver vaginally. I developed signs of infection during labour and was in hospital for four nights after the birth on IV antibiotics. I had a Staph infection.

They do not know why my son died. I may have had the infection before labour or it could have been cord compression or just stress due to labour, prematurity or lack of amniotic fluid for so long. He looked perfect and weighed 4 lb 11 oz. We called him Orson. I do not regret my decision to continue with my pregnancy.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

What is happiness?

What is happiness? Right now it is watching M when he's happy.

Image: Salvatore Vuono /
Yesterday I took him back to a toddler group I hadn't been to since  at the end of April. It is a music class with about 12 mums and their two year olds. I really noticed a difference in M. He has grown so much in these last four months. Last time I was at the group M didn't like to stay in the room for very long. I found myself having to leave the class and run after him. Yesterday he didn't leave once. He was very attentive and had a great time.

I was even particularly pleased that at one point when it was time for the children to hold each others' hands and form a circle so they could do "The Hokey Cokey" M did it happily. He didn't mind leaving me.

It was nice to see how the children have changed. They have all grown a lot just like M. Three new children and mums (one heavily pregnant and one with a little baby...).

M loved the class, he went home happy. I went home happy.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Technorati Blog Claim

I am submitting this blog to Technorati (a blog directory) and have to publish a code to authenticate the blog...


Party, party, party

Friends have sold their house, quit their jobs and are about to embark on a round the world trip for a year. They had a party to celebrate. This was to be my first group social outing since Orson's death. S and M went with me.

My first dilemma was what to wear. This wasn't to be a formal occasion but still I wanted to find the perfect outfit, one that made me look like my old self. However after a quick look in a shop I soon decided that I might as well wear something I already owned so in the end I wore jeans and a lacy green vest top. Sadly the jeans were a size larger than my normal size, ones I bought whilst in the early stages of my pregnancy before maternity clothes became essential - need to work on the exercise...

Any of you that know me will be aware that I don't do make up. I wear a little but try to go for a natural look. I try to be the me without make up if only I had that perfect complexion. Well I haven't really bothered with make up in a long while which was evident to S when I came out the bathroom and asked him how I looked, he replied that I looked great if I was trying to loom like a vampire... So back to the bathroom for a second attempt! My excuse? I was rushed, bad lighting, lack if practice, a new lipstick... okay I know I am almost 33 and I should have figured the make up thing out by now.
Image: Maggie Smith /

The party was good. We didn't stay to the end as we had to go home to get M to bed but I enjoyed my first proper social outing in a long time. Only one awkward moment. It happened very soon after I arrived when I was chatting to a women I hadn't met before. After asking me how old M was she quickly asked if he was my only child. I think I probably emphasised that he was a little to firmly and then looked away quickly, ending the conversation rather too abruptly. But I expect she didn't even notice, how I wish I could have just told her I have two children...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Just complaining

I finally got a letter in the post yesterday giving me an appointment at the hospital to see my Consultant. 18th October. Ages away. I was told after I had Orson it would be 6 weeks after the birth. I hadn't heard anything last week so called the hospital. That wasn't a fun experience as I ended up being transferred twice and had to explain the situation. I just hate having to say my son was stillborn. One very confused women seemed bewildered as to why I was calling and even asked if I was pregnant again. No. Eventually I got through to my Consultant's PA who knew what I was talking about and said she would put a letter in the post.

I just thought I would be seen earlier. I know my Consultant isn't going to be able to say for definite why Orson died or why my waters broke but I would like to hear her opinion. I also want her opinion on how long to wait before trying to conceive again. I have heard some women have been told to wait a year after pPROM. I hope she doesn't recommend that for me. I can't wait a year. I also want to know what treatment I can expect in a future pregnancy. I have heard between 20 to 40% of women pPROM again. It is terrifying.

Today was Orson's due date. I Never thought he would actually arrive today but it is still a sad day. I went to bed very early in the morning, just after midnight and found myself crying. I always imagined he would be early so thought I would have a baby who was two or three weeks old right now.

I intend to keep busy today, trying not to dwell on the sadness I feel. So off to lunch with M and a friend.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The kindness of others

Yesterday afternoon whilst M was sleeping my doorbell rang. A woman from a toddler group I take M to had come to give me a massive bunch of flowers. I haven't been to toddler group since April. I had said I would go yesterday but completely forgot about it. The flowers came with a note welcoming me and M back. So lovely, can't believe I forgot to go.

People have been lovely throughout my pprom experience and following the loss of Orson. I have had many emails from colleagues at work, even ones I was not really close to. Work even sent me the largest bunch of flowers I have ever seen just after Orson died. Honestly I was amazed how huge these flowers were, they even came with their own vase.

I have had many emails from friends and relatives. I appreciate every one. I am not too good at replying but I really appreciate the messages. It has surprised me that so many people care and that those that are most supportive are not necessarily those I expected to be most supportive.

There are a few people that were invaluable in allowing us to continue our pregnancy after pprom. Our parents visited often. S's Mum stayed a couple of times staying for a whole week on one occasion and my Mum stayed many times. I am very grateful to her. And almost every day she would send me an email in the morning as well as phoning in the evening.

My parents were also on stand by throughout the last 10 weeks to drive to us if I went into labour so that S could be with me in hospital. In fact they did just that the day I had Orson. They picked M up from Nursery for us and looked after him, staying for the weekend while I was in hospital.

A close friend I'll call Ms T was also on standby throughout the 10 weeks. She agreed to help day or night and look after M before my parents arrived. My parents live a 2 1/2 hour drive away. Ms T also visited me loads and was a great help. She turned up with cakes on many occasions much to M's delight.

Friday, 3 September 2010

It could have been us

I have been a little sad today. Firstly my son, M has had his first day in the Preschool Class at nursery. When I dropped him off he asked me if a some of his friends were there, but one has moved to France, the other is on holiday and the third doesn't move up to his class for another month. The teacher was great and went to get him a Horsey to play on (a Horsey is a trike that looks like a horse). M loves the Horseys and whizzes around on them in the garden. But today he sat on one and just stared at me looking sad as I left. All the way to nursery he kept asking if I could stay with him.

The other reason I am sad is of course Orson.

I am a member of a pProm Support Group. An online group of women who have been through pProm or are currently going through it. Today a women in the group announced she had her little boy on 1st Sept. Whilst I am very happy for her I am sad because it makes me think that it could have been us. Her little baby boy is a miracle and his story was so similar to Orson's up until this point. I'll call this women Ms E to make it easier to describe her in this blog entry.

Ms E's water broke at about 19 weeks and she delivered her son by c-section at 31 weeks and 6 days. After rupture she only ever had an AFI of about 1.5cm. She had bleeding on and off and her baby had decelerations on heart rate traces towards the end. Just like Orson. He was born with Pulmonary Hypoplasia, Patent Ductus Arteriosus and a pneumothorax. He is currently on the highest settings of respiratory support. He weighed 3lb 5 oz. Things are very difficult for Ms E and her family right now. They have a huge struggle ahead but they have a chance. I wish them so much strength and luck to get through their struggle and bring their baby home healthy.

Ms E's little boy and his story remind me so much of Orson. Would he have been like her son had he been born alive? At 4lbs 11oz would Orson have been better off? Or would he not have made it at all.. I think he would have made it.

I walked down the street crying after I dropped M off at nursery, passed a delivery man who gave me a very funny look...

It will get better I know.