Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve thoughts

I can't believe I am about to celebrate my second Christmas since Orson died. It has been a long time but I still remember everything so clearly. It still seems very recent.

I am incredibly lucky to have M and for him Christmas will be happy and fun but it is tinged with sadness because we should also have an 18 month old to open presents tomorrow. This time last year I felt sad but hopeful, I was pregnant and I thought we would have a younger brother or sister for M and Orson by now.

This Christmas isn't as happy as it should be.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Not much hope

Well I am still here. Now 34 years old. My birthday was just over a week ago. I was 31 when I got pregnant with Orson and 32 when he was born. Seems like such a long time ago.

Nothing much has changed in my life lately. I am still not pregnant. Beginning to think it will never happen. When I lost Orson in July 2010 I found so many blogs of women who had also lost babies - most have either had babies since then or are now pregnant. It is the same with women I have met in forums. It gets very hard hearing so much good news when I don't have any to share myself.

I am trying to be positive. Trying to concentrate on the future. But I cannot escape the fact that my life isn't how I would like it and there is nothing I can do about it. I am trying to concentrate on Christmas. But I remember the last two Christmases. I discovered I was pregnant with Orson around Christmas time two years ago. I found out I was pregnant again about this time last year. At Christmas I had so much hope for this year. 2011 was going to be a very good year. But instead it has been very poor. Two miscarriages and six months since my last one and right now I am still not pregnant. I want to believe 2012 will be a good year but right now I don't have much hope for it.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Many Worlds Theory


Pandatolife at Tiny Glimmers wrote this post about alternate realities recently. It was nice to read as I had been thinking about a similar concept back in August after I watched the film Source Code with S.

Source Code is about alternate realities. After I finished watching it I said to S that it made no sense (I still think it made no sense). S has a theoretical physics phd and informed me the basis of the film is a mainstream theoretical physics theory called the Many Worlds Theory.

Some people think the many worlds theory could actually be correct. The website How Stuff Works explains the theory in more detail but here is a bit of what they say:

"As unsettling as it may sound, Everett's Many-Worlds interpretation has implications beyond the quantum level. If an action has more than one possible outcome, then -- if Everett's theory is correct -- the universe splits when that action is taken. This holds true even when a person chooses not to take an action.

This means that if you have ever found yourself in a situation where death was a possible outcome, then in a universe parallel to ours, you are dead."

When I heard this a few months back I burst into tears. Why? Well probably the wine I had consumed didn't help but there was another reason. If the theory is correct then there is another universe where Orson is alive. I am embarrassed to say it took me a while to get a grip and realise that I was being ridiculous. Firstly I do not believe the theory is correct. And secondly even if there is another universe out there where Orson lives it makes no difference - I am here in this universe where he is dead.


Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, 14 November 2011

Results: Unlucky

Image: tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


You may recall back in September I wrote a post saying that I had finally been tested for everything recurrent miscarriage related? Well I have finally got the results.

I have to admit I was hoping that they would find something wrong that was easily correctable. Something that explained losing Orson and both miscarriages. Of course no magic explanation exists and I knew that that 50% of the time the results all come back normal even when things clearly are not normal (so the miscarriages keep happening even with normal results).

So I expected my results would probably be normal. I was correct. I'm normal. Both me and S had completely normal chromosome results, my barrage of thrombophilia  tests were normal and my antibodies are fine too.

So what does this mean?

Well as you already know a sample of pregancy tissue from my June miscarriage was sent off for tests and they came back positive for Trisomy 22. Trisomy 22 pretty much always results in miscarriage. The Doctor today said that women who have one Trisomy 22 pregnancy have an increased chance of another Trisomy pregnancy, and in my case that would probably be a Trisomy 22 pregnancy. I was reassured that the chance of that happening is low, the chances of a normal pregnancy are much higher. I do like my statistics so asked about the chance she guessed that where the chance is normally 1% with me it is 5%. Although another Trimsomy is most likely to occur with chromosome 22 it could happen on any so early in pregnancy I would be offered all the Trisomy screening tests.

So for now we just keep trying to get pregnant and hope our luck improves. If I get pregnant I need to  take asprin (just in case) and take the normal dose of folic acid (I asked about a higher dose and was told it is not needed). I was reassured that I just need to phone the hospital early on in a new pregnancy and they will get me seen and scanned before 12 weeks.

Of course I still have to get pregnant. It has never taken us so long. I am beginning to doubt it will ever happen, but I will save those doubts and worries for another post.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Lack of posts

Sorry for the lack of posts again. I am still here but just not posting much. Wish I could say it was because I am incredibly busy with loads of exciting things happening but that is not the case. Equally nothing terrible is happening either. Things are the same, time passes and little changes.

Will post something new soon.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Trying

Trying to conceive.

Trying to get pregnant

Trying for a baby

One thing they all have in common is the word trying. Trying is included in these phrases because there is a chance you might not succeed. Those of us trying to get pregnant are all too aware of this.

I decided to research euphemisms for trying to conceive (30 seconds on Google searching for "euphemism trying to conceive.") I didn't do too well but instead found an article which was kind of funny. If you have ever spent some time trying to conceive you may find this funny too so I thought I would share it with you. The full article can be found here. I am in no way trying to imply that the article or website is at all factually correct, hopefully you know I know it is not. My intention is not to offend only merely to make you laugh. It was just the start of the article that I found funny and so that is what I have reproduced below for you:

Breathe: A Guy's Guide to Pregnancy
By Mason Brown


Trying to Get Pregnant

Getting pregnant doesn't just happen. You have to work at it (unless you're dating an unwed teen, in which case pregnancy can occur via contact with a doorknob).

Amazingly enough, science has proved beyond doubt that the odds of conception are inversely proportional to the desirability of conception. A simple graph renders this concept easy to grasp.



This immutable law of nature results in a curious corollary — the more financially successful a couple is, the more likely they are "trying" to have a baby. "Trying to have a baby" is a euphemism for "rogering like feral weasels," which is in turn a euphemism for "having sex often."

Some couples proudly announce that they are trying to have a baby without realizing that they are presenting an unsavory visual picture to their audience, who immediately conjure up the image of the naked wife doing a headstand while her husband cheers his mighty swimmers onward. More often than not, this visual image is uncannily accurate.

Still others try to conceal their efforts, feeling that failure to conceive reflects badly on themselves. Unfortunately for these shy souls, it is all too easy to tell when a couple is really making an effort. In such cases, one or more of the following symptoms will appear:

FOR THE MAN

Drowsiness
Irritability
Heightened desire to watch SportsCenter

FOR THE WOMAN

Normal post-coital glow replaced by grim attitude of soldier in the trenches
Constant concern over husband's choice of briefs rather than boxers
Neck strain from standing on her head after sex

Obviously, if a couple would really, truly make good parents, then all efforts to conceive are rendered futile. Nature abhors functional families. So, if you really want your wife to get pregnant, forget fertility clinics — institute divorce proceedings. Just remember to have one last drunken, abusive fling before separating. You'll be a daddy in no time.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Counselling verdict

My Consellor's verdict today - my well being is a bit low. Or to put it in English I'm a bit sad. Of course I had already noticed this.

I have had 11 sessions now and will not have any more. The sessions are provided by a charity and are supposed to be short term, normally just 10 but I was given an extra one. To be honest I am not sure continuing them would be all that beneficial any way. I think I would be just going over a lot of the same issues, or variations of the same issues. Talking about the issues again and again isn't going to change them.

I have to admit I was a bit sorry to stop having counselling. It has been nice knowing that I could tell the Counsellor my lowest of feelings and that I could talk about Orson and the miscarriages knowing that she wouldn't judge me. Or that if she did she wouldn't say she did. She reassured me that my feelings are completely normal.

But has it helped me? I did a test on my first day of counselling and I repeated it today. The test judges how you are feeling on a range of subjects. My scores 11 sessions later were almost identical. Everything is within normal ranges apart from my well being which scores lower than average, essentially I am sadder than the average person.

I was kind of hoping the counselling would be some kind of miracle cure for feeling sad. But it hasn't been. My conclusion? There is no cure. That in itself makes me a little sad. But I believe it will get better. I think time just happens, and as time happens life happens and slowly, very slowly it gets easier to cope. Counselling whilst helpful isn't a shortcut for time.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A story: Mr K's bad mood


When I was in my very early twenties a friend told me a story about someone we knew who I will call Mr K. She explained that he was in a bad mood. He was in a bad mood every month because his wife got upset when she got her period. My friend had to spell it out to me - Mrs K was upset because getting her period meant she was not pregnant. The couple had no children.

I was young, I had just left university and although I was in a relationship with S we were years away from thinking about having children. It was a bit of a revelation to me that to someone trying to get pregnant getting your period wasn't just a minor inconvenience. Even after my friend had explained the situation I don't think I truly understood how upset the couple might have been. They could just try again next month right? And what difference is a month or two anyway? And isn't it easy to get pregnant - isn't that why people use contraception?

At some point (I am afraid I am hazy on time scales) I remember signing a card for Mr and Mrs K and we gave them flowers. Mrs K had miscarried. It took years but eventually they adopted two children. They finally got their family.

At the time I never fully appreciated how hard it must have been for Mr and Mrs K to try for a baby for such a long time, to miscarry, to continue to try and fail, to apply for adoption and to wait to see if they would get any adopted children. I also want to add that I didn't know Mr K very well and never met his wife (just to defend my young self a little for my ignorance).

I haven't thought about Mr and Mrs K in years, but the other day when I got my period I found myself remembering my friend's story about Mrs K being upset at getting her period. Whilst I am sure that even now I do not fully appreciate how difficult Mr and Mrs K's journey to have a family must have been, I do feel that I have much more of an understanding now. And I certainly get how getting your period is upsetting if you are trying to get pregnant.


Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Saturday, 15 October 2011

International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

www.babyloss-awareness.org

October 15th is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. You can read more about it here.

I wanted to commemorate today in some way so asked women who have lost babies from a couple groups I use regularly on Facebook and SANDs if they would like me to publish their babies' first name and date of birth on my blog along with Orson's name and date of birth. I was overwhelmed by the response I got. It is so sad to see such a long list of babies names.



Aidan - 23 March 2004
Aiden - 7 April 2011
Aimee - 28 October 2010
Alessia - 28 June 2011
Alexis Ryann - 4 April 2011
Alexzander-James - 28 April 2011
Alfie - 25 January 2011
Amaranth - 26 August 2011
Amira - 31 July 2010
Andrew - 5 August 2011
Angel Kinney - 5 October 2010
Angel Mendoza - 22 March 2011
Angel Sanders-Knight - 6 April 2011
Arthur - 14 April 2010
Ashley - 27 June 2011
Ayden Simon - 31 May 2010
Baby Bump - 3 April 2011
Baby Folk - 23 September 2011
Baby Garside - 30 September 2011
Bella - 23 June 2007
Blake - 14 August 2011
Brandon Ty - 1 July 2011
Brandt Michael - 17 April 2011
Brayden - 17 April 2011
Briella Elisa - 31 March 2011
Caelan Matthew - 20 June 2010
Claire - 29 May 2011
‎Connor - 23 March 2004
Daniel - 25 December 2010
Daniel - 9 March 2011
Dexter - 3 September 2009
Dusty Ayres - 28 August 2010
Dylan - 6 September 2011
Edward - 9 June 2011
Elijah - 27 September 2011
Eliza - 11 July 2011
Ella - 20 June 2011
Ella - 31 August 2011
Ellie - 10 August 2010
Elliot - 17 September 2010
Elvin - 28 May 2011
Emerson Louise Marie - 4 March 2007
Emily - 1 October 2010
Emily Jessica - 6 September 2010
Esmée - 5 July 2010
Ethan - 20 November 2010
Evelie Belle - 24 August 2011
Faith - 17 September 2010
Finn - 17 September 2010
Florence Valentine - 22 October 2009
Freddy - 2 March 2011
Freddy - 4 February 2011
Gideon - 30 March 2011
Haeven 11 October 2009
Harry Edward - 19 October 2010
Holly - 8 July 2011
Ilyas - 31 July 2010
India - 17 January 2009
Isaac - 17 April 2011
Isaac - 22 September 2011
Isaac - 24 November 2010
Isaac - 9 April 2011
Isabella Blake - 24 August 2010
Isabelle - 24 January 2011
Jack - 26 April 2010
Jake - 3 February 2011
Jamie - 8 February 2011
Jamison - 20 November 2010
Jayden - 5 February 2004
Jenson Matthew - 6 October 2010
Jess James - 15 September 2009
Jordan - 14 May 2011
Joseph - 23 October 2010
Julian 1 August 2006
Keira - 4 April 2011
Kelton - 28 December 2010
Khloe Jayden - 18 May 2011
Kyle Matthew 11 September 2010
Lavae - 13 November 2010
Leo - 27 September 2011
Lilly - 20 June 2011
Lily - 5 October 2011
Lily - 27 December 2010
Logan - 25 September 2009
Lucas - 6 July 2011
Madeline - 17 August 2010
Maeve - 14 September 2010
Matilda - 17 April 2010
Matthew - 27 June 2011
Mia - 23 April 2011
Michael - 20 February 2011
Morgan Nicholas - 28 August 2011
Nicholas - 10 June 2010
Noah James - 27 June 2011
Nyah - 17 July 2011
Oliver - 13 November 2009
Oliver - 18 September 2010
Örlygur - 8 April 2011
Orson - 9 July 2010
Paige - 2 October 2010
Pearl - 9 January 2011
Rhiannon Elise - 25 June 1993
Robert - 14 December 2010
Rory - 14 August 2011
Samuel - 24 November 2010
Sarah - 19 June 2006
Sofia Christina - 27 March 2010
Sophia - 3 February 2011
Sonny - 26 June 2011
Taylor - 30 August 2011
Thomas - 9 August 2011
Tilly - 31 May 2011
Tobi - 15 January 2011
Unknown Angel Baby - 13 January 2010
William - 5 August 2011
Zoey - 24 April 2011

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Not this week.

I find it easiest to remember the sad times. I concentrate on them and forget about the ordinary moments that are the happy times. But not this week.

Day one: A meal out with S (with M at home with my parents) followed by a drink in a pub.

Day two: Breakfast out with S, M and my parents followed by a long walk with S and M enjoying the unusual sunshine and autumn leaves.

Day three: Sitting on a picnic blanket with M in the sunshine reading him books.


Day four: Meeting S for coffee after work, just before picking M up from nursery.

Day five: M running up to me whilst I am on my lunch break at work. He was delighted to see me and tell me about his bus ride with S to meet me.

Day six: Looking at the fish in the aquarium with M.

Day seven: Picking M up from nursery and hearing his teacher tell me how he had been able to recognise all the letters of the alphabet that day and how impressed she was to see him write his name on the board.


Image: Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, 29 September 2011

I've been tested!

l have finally had some recurrent miscarriage tests!

I have been tested for everything the Consultant could think of (relating to miscarriage) and both me and S are being tested for chromosomal problems. They are also getting samples from the placentas looked at again.

The consultant thinks possibly I have a tendency to have placental problems (as indicated by miscarriages, M's growth problems towards the end of his pregnancy and possibly Orson's pPROM). Possibly my bicornuate uterus is linked to pPROM (cervix problems) and growth problems but not the first trimester miscarriages.

I will have another appointment in a few weeks. I have been told to take folic acid and vitamins and if I get a positive pregnancy test to take low dose aspirin as it will do no harm and might help. I was given loads of printed research on miscarriage too which was nice.

I don't care care what the tests show right now I am just really pleased to finally have them.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Nobody can tell




One thing the past year has taught me is that in the case of fertility and pregnancy related problems you really cannot tell what a person has experienced just from looking at them.

Perhaps the 40 year old with no children just never wanted kids, maybe she never met the right man, maybe she has been pregnant and lost her baby or maybe she cannot get pregnant. In the last three cases the women probably acts like the first women. Unless you know her well you will probably not be able to categorise which category she fits into.

So what possesses those of us who have infertility / pregnancy related problems to act like the women who never wanted children (or in my case the women who only wants one child). I have been wondering a bit about this lately.

So more specifically why do I often act like Orson never existed?

Because I think:

- that is how I should behave.

- strangers would choose not want to know about Orson.

- friend's and family already know how I feel and don't really want to hear about it again, it might upset them or make them uncomfortable.

- it would upset me to talk about Orson.

- people think I shouldn't be so obsessed over a year on.

- it's easier.

So a week ago at a child's party when the grandmother of the birthday boy asked if we "had any more children at home" I said no which is of course the truth, but even if she had said "is M your only child?" I would have answered yes. And why? For all the reasons above.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Balloon

Finding my new normal recently wrote of her experience of buying a balloon to release in memory of her son on his first birthday. Her experience - an experience shared by several of the people who left comments on her blog - reminded me of my own. In a way it was comforting to know that I am not alone in the way I felt.

We bought Orson's balloon - a Peppa Pig balloon on the morning of his first birthday. M, S and me went to the shop together. I really struggled, I wanted to cry. It all seems so distant now but I remember it being very very hard. Too hard, in fact I couldn't decide which balloon to get. There isn't a perfect balloon. They are all too happy. S chose in the end. He told me he thought it would have been one that Orson would have liked. M loves Peppa Pig so probably Orson would have too.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Left behind

I am going to admit a feeling I am not too proud of. The feeling of being left behind.

A year and 2 months after losing Orson I sometimes feel like I am left behind. Women I have met online who lost babies around the same time as me have gone on to have new babies. And here I am with no new baby and I am not even currently pregnant. Will I ever catch up?

Even the celebrities who lost babies in the last year, such as Lily Allen and Amanda Holden are now pregnant. How do they do it so quickly?

I am afraid the left behind feeling is not a nice one. It is a feeling of jealousy, envy, self pity and sadness all mixed together. Yes I am happy for them. They deserve their rainbows. But I do feel like having a tantrum and screaming that "it's not fair" and "when will it be my turn."

Monday, 29 August 2011

Moving on


Is it possible to "move on" after losing after losing a baby?

I hate that phrase, to me it sounds almost like forgetting or not thinking about Orson any more. I don't want either. The idea makes me want to burst into tears.

I have been told moving on means thinking of the future. If that is the case then to me the nearest to moving on I can do would be to have another baby but that is proving hard.

So since I cannot do what I think moving on is does this mean I am failing to progress with life? I don't think so. I think mostly I am okay now (my new okay), I get sad and have bad days but they are becoming rarer.

With my Counsellor this week I found myself talking about moving on and then I found mysef talking about my life and not just losing Orson. It was interesting. Found myself thinking about what I did before I had M. It has made me think maybe some of the things I used to want I might still want. I used to run, maybe I should start to run again (that would also help with the fitting into my old clothes issue I also have). What about my job? It doesn't mean as much to me as it used to, am I okay with that? Do I want to go out more? Should we get more child care for M so me and S can go out more together?

I am not going to change all of these things at once, and some of them I do not want to change but I am starting to think that maybe I need to change something. My counsellor suggested picking one thing (her suggestion was running) and try that. I am almost at the stage where I think she is right. In theory I totally agree it is just a matter of getting over my lazy streak. Running is hard, watching television and eating bad food is easier. But feeling better about myself would be great. And being healthier has got to be good for trying to get pregnant too. I have almost convinced myself. Almost.

So for those of you who have had a loss, have you moved on? Is it possible? What does moving on mean to you?



Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Friday, 26 August 2011

Tests

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Everything felt very bleak after my last miscarriage. I felt like there was no point in trying for another baby because I will just miscarry again. I have a little more hope now. But what would really improve my hope would be tests. I really want tests to determine if there is anything wrong with me or S that is causing my miscarriages. This week I got slightly closer to my goal of getting these tests.

I saw a Consultant this week who explained that the sample of pregnancy tissue sent off after my ERPC had Trisomy 22. This means the pregnancy had three chromosome 22s as opposed to the normal two. He suggested that there is probably only a 1% chance that either myself or S are carriers of Trisomy 22. More likely it is just a random mutation caused when the egg or sperm was created during the dividing process known as meiosis. Normally an egg or a sperm has just one set of each chromosome if something goes wrong during meiosis and a sperm or egg ends up with two copies of a chromosome and that sperm or egg is fertilized the resulting embryo will have three copies of a chromosome instead of two. Trisomies can happen on lots of chromosomes. The most famous Trisomy is Trisomy 21 - it's better known name is Down's Syndrome.

I of course Googled Trismy 22 and found out it accounts for around 3% of first trimester miscarriages. Pregnancies with it rarely progress past the first trimester.

The Consultant explained that everyone has a chance of having a Trisomy pregnancy and that chance increases with age. Because I have had one Trisomy pregnancy now he believes my chance of a second one is increased. He didn't say by how much. And a second Trisomy could occur on any of the chromosomes, including 21. He guessed that at my age (33) the chance of a Down's Syndrome baby is normally around 1 in 600 and now I have had one Trisomy pregnancy is is probably about 1 in 400, so still very small. In any future pregnancy I will be referred to the Foetal Medicine Unit at my hospital at around 11 to 12 weeks to discuss the Trisomy issue.

We are also being referred to the Hospital's Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic. The Consultant agreed we not only need to be tested to see if we are Trisomy 22 carriers but for other miscarriage causes. He said the Clinic will also be able to explain the odds of Trisomies reoccurring more accurately. I am really pleased after all I have wanted tests for ages. But at the same time I am still a little disappointed because it takes so long. We were told to expect a letter giving us an appointment within a month. No idea when the actual appointment will be. The NHS is very, very, very slow.

We asked the Consultant whether it is okay to try for another pregnancy, he agreed it is fine. He tried to end the meeting happily by explaining that it is not unusual for women with my pregnancy history to have healthy babies. I am trying to convince myself I will be one of these women.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Apathy bubble

I think I am in an apathy bubble. Nothing much is happening and I haven't had opinions or thoughts that are strong enough to burst my bubble and make me write a post for a while. Even my non blogging life is a bit like that. I look in the mirror and think that I need to lose weight but that thought is not enough to make me exercise or stop me eating chocolates and crisps.




Life is just continuing. The second miscarriage has stopped me thinking too much of the future. I am not counting the months until I get pregnant again. I haven't lost hope of a baby one day but just think what is the point in hoping too much when I will just miscarry again? And if I don't well I have that dreaded pPROM to worry about. So I am dealing with it by not thinking about it. Or at least trying not to think about it. Ceasing to think about getting pregnant is impossible, there are far too many reminders for me. For example the other day I walked to work - a simple 20 minute walk - and I passed five heavily pregnant women (and they were not in one big group on their way home after an antenatal class). So forgetting is impossible.

And forgetting or at least thinking less of Orson is also impossible. I just cannot and I think I do not want to. So I still get sad. I am not moping around all the time but waves of sadness happen. I think of him and miss him. A day does not go by when I do not think of him.

I think I am tired. And fed up. I kind if feel like I am in limbo. And I do not know that I will get much better unless I have another baby. I suppose if I cannot I will eventually come to terms with it. And I am sure having another child will not automatically make things feel better, but it will help, I am certain of it.

So for now I am just carrying on and I continue to live in my apathy bubble. Looking after M, going to work, watching mind numbing television... the days and weeks are slipping by.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Counselling

Last week I had my first ever counselling session. I really wasn't sure about going before I went and now I have been I am still not sure. So why did I go? Well after a year I find myself still getting very sad at times and the miscarriages have brought the memories back both times. However this time around I also have the feeling that there is little hope for a future pregnancy - won't I just miscarry again?






Having never had any counselling I really didn't know what to expect. It doesn't feel like a very English thing to do. Certainly it is not a very "me" thing to do. The general impression I try to give complete strangers is that I am a perfectly normal average happy 33 year old mother of a 3 year old, with no problems what so ever. Certainly I would never share deep feelings with a stranger so the idea of just me and a stranger in a room where I talk about my feelings isn't top of my list of fun things to do.

My GP recommended this counselling service. It is run by a Christian charity for women with pregnancy related problems such as post natal depression, miscarriage, stillbirth, IVF related issues and abortion related issues. The counselling itself is not at all religious but it is a way to get counselling at a cheaper price than most private counselling available here. According to the NHS a private 50 minute session is £40 - £100. But with the counselling I opted for (actually all that my GP offered) I get an hour long sessions once a week for 10 weeks, with the option of extending that for a few more weeks if necessary and I just have to pay a donation (apparently most people give £5 - £10 per session).

So what did I think of it?

Well my first thought was my Counsellor wasn't the most experienced out there. She started off by telling me she had been volunteering for the company for just over a year and had just completed a degree. She didn't say which degree - I found myself thinking afterwards was her degree even relevant? But she semed nice enough and seemed to understand it was difficult for me to be there.

As I said before I didn't know what to expect. Okay I had a vague idea from watching TV shows and films what happens, but these views were probably outdated. For example on TV shows doesn't the client lie down on a couch? In fact the last counselling session I saw on TV was in an episode of Dexter where the counsellor murdered his clients, perhaps not the best example to remember...

But my experience was simply me sitting in a room - a room that looked much like a hotel room with a big box of tissues on the table. The Counsellor on another comfy chair opposite me, just asking me to talk about whatever I wanted. So I told her why I was there. What had happened to Orson and that since we lost him I have had two miscarriages. There were lots of uncomfortable silences. I don't like crying in front of others, or even in front of people I know and yet I found myself crying during the session. I tried so hard not to but just retelling my story had me in tears.

I left the session feeling very sorry for myself. Worse than when I went in. The counsellor told me that the first three sessions would be the hardest. I am going to continue going for the moment and see how it goes.

For tomorrows session I am supposed to be thinking of topics to discuss. An hour seems a very long time to talk. Last week the session wasn't a full hour because I started off having to fill in forms about why I was there etc. I like forms. I feel safe filling forms in but talking for an hour about how I feel...? I would have to say I don't like that but if it helps I am willing to give it a chance.


Sunday, 31 July 2011

Ilyas and Amira

A virtual candle for Ilyas & Amira, born after pPROM a year ago today.











Image: foto76 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Sunday, 24 July 2011

The day Orson should have been one

In my mind Orson's first birthday was going to be a perfect day. A peaceful day.

It wasn't perfect. It wasn't peaceful. It was hard. Really hard. It was sad. Very sad.

In retrospect I understand why it was the way it was. How could it be perfect and peaceful? Orson should have been there and since he wasn't it was a difficult day. Me and S were both sad, both struggling. Everything was difficult to cope with.

We told M about his little brother in the morning. We showed him Orson's photos. He of course had questions:

"Why didn't I hold him?"
"Why isn't he at our home?"

and many comments:

"I miss him"
"I want him in our home"

M's questions and comments made me even more sad. Other children get little brothers or sisters, ones that survive - why can't M?

I remembered M's first birthday. How happy I was, how excited to get him presents - why couldn't Orson be around for his first birthday?

We released a balloon for Orson. Again it was hard. How can you get the perfect balloon to release? What is the best place to release it? The answer is there isn't a perfect balloon or a perfect place. It is just wrong that we couldn't buy that balloon and give it to Orson instead of watching it in the distance until we could no longer see it.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Happy Birthday

I have lots to tell you all. Lots of post ideas but this post is all about birthdays.

It is birthday time, literal birthday time.



A friend gave birth to her daughter at 38 weeks this week. This is just over a year after her first child, Matilda died following pPROM. She had a non pPROM pregnancy this time around. I don't want to mention her name or her new daughter's name just in case she doesn't want it mentioned on the internet. But I am incredibly happy that her little girl is safe and well. Welcome to the world Matilda's little sister.

And also this week Emily from Aidan, baby of mine gave birth to Kaia. Emily lost Aidan following pPROM last year and again suffered pPROM in her pregnancy with Kaia. But little Kaia defied the odds and was born at roughly 32 weeks and is now just over a week old. She is still in the NICU. I'm wishing her a short uneventful NICU stay and I'm hoping she is home with her parents really soon.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Tomorrow



Had he survived Orson would have been one year old tomorrow.

Not sure what we will do tomorrow yet. What on earth is an appropriate thing to do to commemorate your son's death? I think there is nothing appropriate.

I have found myself re-reading my "For Orson" page today. My memories of Orson are all listed there. All written a long time ago shortly after Orson's death. I was scared I would forget if I didn't write everything down. Indeed some of the memories had slipped my mind so I am glad I have this record of them to jog my memory.

I tried to look through the list of memories to pick one that stands out and I cannot. They are all important to me.

I miss him.


Saturday, 2 July 2011

M's steps to achieving happiness

I asked M (now 3 1/2 years old) to give me ideas on how to be happy today. These are his steps to achieving happiness:

Step one - eat chocolate.

Step two - smile.

Step three - let someone (preferably M) tickle you.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Is it just chance?




It is the second day after my ERPC and I am in a very different place to where I was two days after my first miscarriage. Last time I was upset at the delay to getting a new baby this time I am just feeling very bleak. Very sad. I am wondering what is the point - if I get pregnant again won't I just miscarry again?

If the chance of miscarriage for my age range is 15% the chance of two consecutive miscarriages is just 2%. That statistic shocked me. Am I really that unlucky? Pprom / Stillbirth must be a less than 1% chance and then two miscarriages at 2% chance... Of course that is my fear maybe it is not that I am unlucky maybe there is an underlying factor causing me to miscarry.

I am not saying I am giving up but my hope is dwindling right now. After the first miscarrage I found myself calculating in my head things like:

Time before I can ttc again: 1 month
Time to ttc: 3 months
Time of pregnancy: 9 months
So time to new baby = 1 year 1 month.

Now my calculation is this:

Time before I can ttc again: 1 month
Time to ttc: 3 months
Time of pregnancy: 3 months
So time to next ERPC = 7 months

If my chance of first trimester miscarriage really is 15% then the chance of three consecutive miscarriages is 0.34%. Assuming it is a chance problem with no other factors involved. Even if my chance is as high as 25% the chance of 3 miscarriages in a row is about 1.5%. That is low.

Hoping my optimism will return soon. And happiness - I would love to be happy again.





Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Here we go again...

Well I never wanted to write this post. I wanted to write a nice happy one instead but I can't.

This morning I thought - well hoped - I was 11 weeks pregnant. I had an abdominal scan and when they said they would have to do an internal one "to get a better picture" I just knew it would be bad news. It wasn't my first sign of trouble. On Saturday I had some light bleeding but it stopped and I have had none since so I kept on hoping. But there was no heartbeat. The pregnancy only measured 7-8 weeks. Now I know why I never felt very pregnant...

Tomorrow I am going to go for an ERPC. Again. Two in six months - maybe they can give me some kind of frequent customer card?

I really wanted some happy news today. Two miscarriages after losing Orson seems so unfair.

I just keep thinking of Orson and how had he survived he would be coming up to a year right now and in all probability we would never have tried to have more children.

I really wanted to be pregnant on Orson's anniversary...

I wanted to stop feeling pangs of sadness when I see pregnant women.

Right now I am mad with life. I know things will feel better someday. Just wish it was today.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Laziness

I have so many ideas yet they never become blog posts. I am going to have to start writing them down as I forget them so soon after I think of them. And when it comes to actually writing a post well it really isn't happening.

Not sure why I am so lazy about this right now. Maybe it is because it is coming up to Orson's anniversary. 9th July is fast approaching and I cannot help but think of him a lot. Maybe it is because if the weather. Honestly I think we must be skipping Summer this year. I really need some sunshine.or maybe it is just laziness.

A lot if my post ideas are fleeting. I will see an article that will inspire me. This one http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/24/america-pregnant-women-murder-charges really shocked me, yet only enough to post it on my Facebook page for this blog, not enough to actually write a whole article.

I read so many other blogs right now. They inspire me too. I read the post and think I have to write about that but then I don't.

Hopefully things will get better. More posts will be coming soon I hope. In the mean time here is in an extract from one I found amusing recently from Mommy Odyssey (http://mommyodyssey.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/revenge-of-the-preggo-blogging-meme/#comments). I don't know if any of you read any pregnancy blogs, well it is really popular to use a kind of pro forma which asks questions about your pregnancy. You just post the answers once a week and you have your blog post. Lots of women who see these posts on blogs by babyloss mothers or infertile women find these posts hard to read, especially if they are not currently pregnant. I have to say I don't mind, after all I can relate to the laziness, it is hard to post new exciting ideas all the time. Anyway this one made me laugh:

"Week 50- Weekly Update

(why 50 you ask? That’s how long it’s been since my first BFP)

How far along: Well, it depends on which pregnancy. My first would be two months old about now. My second is due in two weeks. I’d be 8 weeks preggo with my third. So let’s just call this one a bust, shall we?
Size of baby: It’s a peanut! No! It’s a blueberry! No! It’s an orange! No! It’s a garbage can full of extra thick sanitary pads!
Maternity clothes?I wish. Then I’d have an excuse for the latest early pregnancy two pounds I gained. Now I just look a bit fatter than usual and with nothing to show for it.
Sleep?Not that much, since I’m waiting to see what instruments are going to be stuck up my uterus in the coming weeks.
Best moment of the week: The one day when I went into my google reader and didn’t see a single post with this ridiculous meme.

Movement: I’ve been told to start doing half hour walks to both relieve my anxiety and prep my body to actually hold a pregnancy to term. Does that count?

Symptoms: Well, I’ve got this recurrent stabbing pain in my right side, which is a constant reminder that there may be something wrong with my tubes. Other than that, it’s a sore throat and stuffy nose… Oh, right, sorry, those last two are symptoms of my COLD, not a pregnancy. Oh wait, I’m not pregnant! So I guess it’s all good.

Food cravings/aversions:I’ve been told to move to a low sugar diet to help ensure a baby sticks around next time. And I really want a hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream to comfort me while I feel endless grief and frustration. Ahh well, too bad for me!

Gender:Up until a few months ago, I would have said I wish it would be a girl. Now I don’t give a crap. Just give me a baby.

Belly button in or out:In – and will most likely remain that way for the unforeseeable future.

Stretch marks: Oh! Yeah! A bunch! But they’re mostly non-pregnancy related.

What I miss: Morning sickness. I loved living off of crackers and knowing that this meant that I had a baby growing inside of me.

How is Mommy Feeling? Bitter. Haven’t you noticed?

How is Daddy Feeling? Depressed and nihilistic. Check out his blog post from a couple of days back.

Total weight gain? About 15 pounds during the last three pregnancies. Mostly due to numbing my feelings with carbs.

What I am looking forward to: A day when this blogging meme gets wiped off the face of the earth."



Sunday, 12 June 2011

Forget me not



It's almost a year since we lost Orson and I still find some situations around pregnant women or newborn babies uncomfortable. I can't help but think of Orson. How I wish he was here. How I miss him. How I wish he could play with M. How I wish I could call his name like I call M's name.

But something I find harder to cope with is people who know me and know what I have been through who just don't think that I might still struggle in some situations. Work is a good example of this. A friend at work is pregnant, I will call her Ms Q. I am happy for her but sometimes it is hard to see her so excited and happy and to think that was me until my waters broke last year.

But worse than that I feel that some of my colleagues have just forgotten about me and about Orson. Actually I bet most don't even remember Orson's name (not all of them, some have been understanding, if you are a colleague and are reading this please do not worry I am not talking about you). I feel some colleagues do not even consider that I may struggle with Ms Q being pregnant. I have had people come up to me without Ms Q being present and strike up a conversation with me that starts off "Ms Q is so big now" or "Ms Q is looking so healthy."

Ms Q said to a small group of us that she is keeping a photo frame her colleagues have just given her for her birthday "until the baby comes." To put this into perspective (well my perspective anyway) Ms Q is around 18 weeks... I just kept thinking my waters broke at 21 weeks, Orson died at 31 weeks, at 18 weeks things can still go wrong. And Ms Q knows that. She knows my hstory well. And to be fair she has been lovely on other occasions and I realise she is acting like a completely normal pregnant women. I am not upset with her in any way. It is just that sometimes it is hard for me. So when I mentioned to a colleague that I found M's Q’s photo frame comments difficult to hear starting off by saying "I am sure she will be ok but she is only 18 weeks" she said "I was like you worried throughout my pregnancy." I gave in then. What is the point in explaining myself. This colleague didn't remember either.

As I said before some colleagues remember and understand. They are fabulous. Some just don't mention Ms Q's pregnancy to me which is also a great way of helping me cope. It is just those that have forgotten about Orson and end up being insensitive that I struggle with. It has been almost a year since Orson died but he is still very much on my mind. I hate that he has been forgotten. I hate that my continuing pain has been forgotten. I think about Orson every day and a few people do not even remember this time last year I was six months pregnant, a month off saying goodbye to Orson forever.

IMAGE: Forget me not photo by Ian Britton from www.freephoto.com

Thursday, 2 June 2011

It's just a cucumber...

I worry too much.

I ordered a sandwich today, cheddar cheese and salad. But when the assistant put cucumber in my sandwich I immediately asked her to remove it. Why? Because of the e-coli Spanish cucumber scare in Germany.




I don't live in Germany or Spain. Apparently cucumbers in the UK are safe, in fact they are now saying the Spanish cucumbers originally blamed for the e-coli outbreak are safe. The e-coli outbreak comes from some other unidentified salad item. And now they are saying it is a new strain of e-coli and has caused 14 deaths. So do I avoid salad completely now? Certainly in Germany they have been told not to eat all salad items, but what about salad in the UK - is it safe? Yes (we are told). But I still worry.

Logically I know there is no need to but I have always worried too much about these things. I am not the kind of person to use products past their best before or use by date. And I always keep ketchup in the fridge. Imagine my horror quite a few years ago when after eating some odd tasting mayonnaise at somebody's house I discovered it was out of date, and not just a little out of date but over a year out of date. Of course I was fine even after the mayonnaise incident. And indeed other occasions like when I discovered mould in the cream cheese and salmon bagel I was eating... half way through eating it (the shop I bought it from gave me the choice of a refund or another bagel, surprise surprise I opted for the refund).

So why am I so paranoid about food? I have no idea, it is not like I have ever suffered from severe food poisoning. But as I get older I become more concerned about these things. So maybe age is a factor. Gone are my student days when I would scrape the mould off bread and toast it.

And having children has made me even more paranoid. Let's face it I have spent an awful lot if the last four years pregnant, and during pregnncy in the UK we are bombarded with a long list of things not to eat. And instructed to wash vegetables extra carefully. Ensure foods are thoroughly cooked (I avoid chicken at barbecues). Plus there is so much conflicting information, some people say avoid all ham products, others say if it is cooked then you can eat it. Who knows what the truth is - not me.

Having to feed M, made me even more careful about foods. Babies can't eat honey, have to eat well cooked eggs... the list goes on. Even now that he is three I am still careful. There is no way I want him poisoned. Of course stopping a three year old getting sickness bugs is impossible, but what is the point in making it worse?

So I worry too much. And I am going to continue to worry.



Image: Kittikun Atsawintarangkul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net



Friday, 27 May 2011

The petition


In case you haven't already seen it here is a link to the SANDs / Grazia Stop the Stillbirth Scandal Petition.

According to SANDs "in the UK, 11 babies are stillborn every day. And... research, published last month in The Lancet, found Britain is ranked second from bottom: 33 out of 35 countries in the developed world for stillbirth rates. Countries like Australia – which have invested heavily in research – have managed to bring their rates down. In the UK, they have remained the same for the past 10 years."

SANDs and Grazia "... want the government to fund research to discover what is causing these babies to die, and to develop new ways of screening pregnancies to find out which babies are at risk of stillbirth… and save their lives before it is too late."

According to SANDs "Experts argue that a significant proportion of these deaths could be avoided if mothers received better care during pregnancy and labour. But current routine antenatal screening methods, measuring baby’s growth with a tape measure and scanning at 12 and 20 weeks, aren’t working when it comes to preventing many stillbirths."

If you haven't already please sign the petition by clicking here.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Sunshine, where are you?

Apart from all the worry, all the hospital visits, the visits from friends and family and my time on-line with a fantastic support group one of my clearest memories from this time last year - my pPROM weeks - was sunshine. It felt like every day we had fantastic weather and I couldn't go out in it. So this year I am determined to enjoy the sunshine.

I have the picnic kit ready, I have the Summary clothes for me and M and I have the sunscreen lotion but there is one big problem... I do not have the sunshine.

Maybe my memories if this time last year are incorrect. Or maybe May is just not as nice this year? But I am hoping we get some better weather soon, I am determined to make up for what I missed out on last year. So if we don't get some sunny weather soon I will have to take M on a picnic in the cold with our jackets on.

Come on sunshine, where are you?

Friday, 13 May 2011

M Update: Lego Star Wars



It is about time for an M update, so for a change here is a happy post:




Have you played Lego Star Wars on the Wii? We bought it because M loves games on my iPad and S's iPhone and is playing the sports games we have on the Wii. We thought this would be a fun game to play with him - we would get the references and he would have fun playing it...

Well all I can say is it really has demonstrated to me how much M has grown. I find the Starwars Wii game infuriating and difficult (I have never been good at these arcade games). M is actually far better at it than me. And he knows how bad I am. And tells me. He prefers to play with S. I have no idea how he does many of the things he does when playing the game, but if I ask him he explains in detail which buttons to press. And says things like "you can do it Mummy."

I knew a time would come when M would start to be better at things than me but I never thought it would be this early.

Monday, 9 May 2011

An invisible problem

Image:BBC News

Yesterday was Mother's Day in the United States. Faces of Loss asked Bloggers to blog about Mother's Day. I feel that women who have lost babies, especially if they have suffered a stillbirth often find days like Mother's Day very hard to bear. I would say it is worse if they have no other children. A small part of the problem is that other people (some not all) do not acknowledge how they feel on these days and it is this that I am going to focus on.

I found this article online recently - Stillbirths: the invisible public health problem. It quotes lots of statistics and facts I already knew, but I really like the title. I feel is true, stillbirth is invisible. Everyone has heard of cot death, every mother is at least a tiny bit scared of it yet more women have a stillbirth than lose a baby to cot death. Whilst I am not trying to say cot death doesn't deserve it's publicity, it does, but I think stillbirth deserves more publicity than it currently gets.

Okay so I am not suggesting that the media produces lots of sad articles about stillbirth on Mother's Day, obviously that isn't going to happen. But perhaps if stillbirth was mentioned more in the media during the year then the general public would be more aware of it. And if the general public are aware of stillbirth - of how common it is and how it changes those affected by it for life - then perhaps they would be able to help people who have had stillbirths feel a little better on days such as Mother's Day.

Sometimes the parents of stillborn babies don't want to commemorate Mother's Day but I believe even if they are doing nothing special that day a simple acknowledgement of the loss would be appreciated. A few words would help them feel as if their baby hasn't been forgotten and that other people recognise that they are still a mother even though their baby isn't with them any more.

And eventually you never know maybe stillbirth will no longer be an invisible problem.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Déjà vu

Do you ever get those fleeting flash back memories?

I had one today as I walked to work. Tomorrow we have an election, a referendum and local elections. That realisation brought back the memory of almost a year ago - the General Election. My waters had broken the previous week and I had been released from hospital. We asked my Foetal Medicine Consultant if I could go to our local Polling Station to vote and he agreed. So on the day of the election I walked the very short walk to the Polling Station and voted.

I do not recall actually voting or walking home, but I do remember walking there.... The strange feeling that came with doing something I had barely done in the past week or so - walking very slowly - outside. It was normal. Yet I didn't feel normal.

And M came with me, and S and S's mother... The weather was good, warm I think.... And there was a policeman outside the Polling Station on a horse...

These are my strange glimpses of memories that I honestly haven't thought about in almost a year. No doubt I am going to get more in the months to come.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

International Babylost Mothers Day

Today is International Babylost Mothers Day. Read more about it on the following blog:
http://internationalbabylostmothersday.blogspot.com

Friday, 29 April 2011

Just different

A year ago today I was a very happy women. I was 21 weeks pregnant exactly. I had been told at my scan two weeks previously that everything looked good and that I was expecting a boy. I had just started to feel him move regularly.

I had started buying maternity clothes. I was enquiring about maternity leave at work.

I was looking forward to having another son and wondering how I would cope with M and the new baby.

Then a day later my waters broke and I learnt what pPROM stands for.

The women I was a year ago doesn't feel like me any more. I am somebody very different now. Time has helped immensely. From the outside I am no different to the women I used to be. But all the time in the world will never bring me back to who I was a year ago today.

I am not angry. I am not sad (well alright, occasionally I am). I am just different.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Facebook

I now have a Facebook page for this blog. Please press the like button on the page if you like the page.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Worry

Every parent worries about their children when they are sick. It is a horrible feeling to know they are not well and that there is very little you can do to help them. Often waiting for the child to get better is all the parent can do.

I have always been a worrier. And I worry about M much more now that we have lost Orson. Like everybody, I have heard of incredibly rare and scary situations where children get seriously ill or die as a result of minor illnesses or injuries. I know these situations are rare but because I have lost a baby I now realise that rare horrible things can happen and they can happen to me.

It is best not to think about worst case scenarios when it comes to illness. Much better to be sensible and calm but there is a part of me that just cannot be calm and sensible. A part of me that worries too much and then sometimes my mind gets carried away and I fleetingly think about the worst case scenario. Usually it is at that point I have to stop my mind wondering because that just CANNOT happen. It is not an option that I will contemplate.

Do not worry, M does not have a serious illness. And I am going overboard to make my point. When M is ill I am not constantly worrying about the worst case scenario. But I know I worry more about him now. So when he hits his head when he falls off his scooter I Google "head injuries in children" and watch him like a hawk for signs of trouble. And when - like right now - he has a fever and is vomiting I find myself Googling again and taking his temperature a little too often... just in case.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Mr Perspective

If perspective was a man, I would write him this letter:

Dear Mr Perspective,

How are you? It has been a while hasn't it? We really should meet up again some time soon.

I have to admit I have missed having you around. Have you seen much of our good friends Miss Happiness and Mr Hope lately? The four of us used to have such fun together.

Lately I have got to know Miss Sadness a little better. I know you don't get on so well with her. I have to admit lately I have been getting a little fed up with her too.

Please get in touch I miss you. Hoping to see you soon.

Love

Loumary

xxx

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Matilda

A year ago Miss S gave birth to her first daughter Matilda after pPROM a few weeks earlier. Matilda died shortly after birth.

Miss S was the first person I knew of who had lost a baby to pPROM. I am really grateful to her for her advice and friendship.

I will be thinking of Matilda today.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Lol

Lol is now an official word according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Read more about it here:

BBC News Lol article

The above article got me thinking. There are so many acronyms and terms that I have come to know and use as if they are normal words since starting this blog. Here are a few of my favourites...

pPROM - preterm Premature Rupture of the Membranes, if you have read this blog for a while you will know that one!

TTC - trying to conceive, used lots on forums like Babycenter.

AF - Aunt Flow...you can work it out

DTD - doing the deed...you can definitely work this one out...

Now for my personal favourite...

From Drop Box
Rainbow Baby - a baby born after a loss, here is an explanation taken from Rainbow Baby Urban Dictionary definition

"A "rainbow baby" is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.

In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery."

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

It will happen when you are ready

"It will happen when you are ready."

Yes, somebody actually said that to me recently in relation to me having another living child. I know it is just one of those things people say usually followed up with "when you are not thinking about it" or something similar, but still...

At the time these words were uttered to me I just laughed. And explained how it had been quite a long time since we originally started trying for a second child - you know before the miscarriage, before Orson - and I am just impatient.

I am not alone in struggling to have another living child. There are many people worse off than me I know but there are also many who are better off. So for the purposes of this post I am going to ignore everybody else and concentrate on me and how I feel about those words.

And how do those seven words make me feel? Annoyed. It is clearly not true. Loads of women have babies when they are not ready. Some already have children and have decided their families are complete and then oops they have another one. So sometimes it happens when you are not ready.

Even if it only happens when you are ready - I am ready. I have been for some time now. I made sure both me and S were ready before we even started trying to conceive Orson. That was a very long time ago now. I was ready for Orson. I was ready for the pregnancy ending in a miscarriage and I am still ready. Just how ready do I need to be?

So the words "it will happen when you are ready" referring to me having a baby are annoying. And not one person who has said those words to me has had a baby that died. I am confident if they had they wouldn't dream of saying that because it is simply wrong. Oh and did I mention it's annoying?

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day in the UK. Happy Mother's Day to all the mums reading.

M gave me a bar of chocolate to celebrate Mother's Day. He is only three but already knows I love chocolate!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

I will be happy

From

Image: prozac1 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Spring is here. This time of year is very uplifting. New life and all that.

It is starting to get warmer. I no longer need a hat, scarf and gloves.

The trees are blossoming. Flowers are growing. I was impressed that despite my complete lack of care the flowers in my window box are now in full bloom.

I can't help but think of how the time if year I missed last year due to pPROM - May to July - is fast approaching. I was hoping I would be pregnant again by now. I had visions in my head how I would be heavily pregnant by July 9th, the anniversary of Orson's death. But now it looks highly unlikely M and Orson will have a brother or sister born this year....

I am determined to enjoy Spring and Summer this year. Despite the sadness this time of year will bring, I will be happy. I will be.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Heartbroken for Emily

Right now I am heartbroken for a fellow blogger. Emily is currently 17 weeks pregnant in a pregnancy after pprom where sadly her son Aidan died. Her waters have just broken again.

You can read her blog here.

Why is life so cruel? To have this happen twice... I just don't want to imagine it.

Please join me in supporting Emily.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Thank you Google

Is Google a help or hindrance? I like to think a help but sometimes I wonder...

No matter what problem I have I Google it. I no longer know how I coped before the Internet. Is it sometimes it is unhelpful?

Nowadays we can all self diagnose illnesses and medical conditions thanks to Google. During all my pregnancies I have googled various things. But never "labour" or "birth" - I have never been that brave.

So what do I Google when pregnant? "chance of miscarriage," "bleeding," "discharge," "pain in abdomen when pregnant," and of course now "pprom" and "stillbirth." I am never going to be one of these women who Googles "what baby equipment should I buy?"

And what do I Google now when I am not pregnant? I find myself learning all about trying to conceive... Not the fun side of that but "Luteal phase," "signs of ovulation" and "chance of getting pregnant."

So I now know that my "Luteal phase" may be short (but not abnormally short) this may or may not affect my "chance of getting pregnant" and I may not actually know how long it is anyway because the "signs of ovulation" are hard to interpret. My "chance of getting pregnant" is 30% in a cycle and just about everything from drinking coffee to stress to possibly what colour socks I wear influences my chance.

Was it easier without Google? What do you think? Certainly I would have more time to spare if I didn't have Google...

Monday, 14 March 2011

Apathy

Would love to say my lack of posts was because I am too busy enjoying life going on fantastic holidays etc but I think apathy is closer to the truth.

I have lots I want to write I just don't seem to get round to it.

Need to blog more...

Friday, 4 March 2011

Maybe this is normal after all

Image from BBC News
Of course it could all be in my imagination but I often feel like people either assume I am back to my old pre-Orson self or if they think I am not then they assume I should be. Yes I act relatively normal and if you ask I probably even say I am okay but I am still not as okay as I used to be even eight months on.

So I was pleased to see this article yesterday. The article reports a study of levels of depression and anxiety for women in and after pregnancy and says,

"The UK/US team found women who had lost a baby in the past experienced significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression during their next pregnancy.

This continued nearly three years after they gave birth to a healthy baby."

It is nice to read an article which suggests that maybe my feelings are normal despite what I might think (rightly or wrongly) people's perceptions of how I should feel are.

I don't think you ever get over losing a baby but I like to think there will become a time when I do not get so upset so often, when maybe I can think about Orson without having to suppress the feeling of wanting to burst into tears. Okay so that is a little dramatic and it is not that bad all of the time but sometimes it still is.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

When to tell people you are pregnant?

No I am definitely NOT pregnant. But Orson's death and my recent early miscarriage made me rethink when I will tell people I am pregnant if I am lucky enough to be pregnant again.

It seems almost traditional to wait until you are past the first trimester to share your good news. That is presumably because the chance of miscarriage drops dramatically after about 12 weeks. And for some reason early miscarriage is treated like some kind of dirty secret that you don't want people to know about.

In my first pregnancy with M I waited a lot longer than 12 weeks to tell people I was pregnant. I was 16 weeks when I told my parents and 21 weeks when I told everybody else. It was almost as if I didn't really believe I could actually be pregnant so didn't want to jinx anything by sharing the news.

With my second pregnancy I didn't tell anybody until I was 19 weeks. I had bleeding and wasn't given the all clear (how ironic) that everything was okay until 19 weeks. By that time everybody had guessed I was pregnant anyway as I showed quite a bit. But then 2 weeks later my waters went...

With my most recent pregnancy ending at 11 weeks I hadn't told anybody. When I miscarried I ended up telling a lot of people. I blogged about it, told close friends, told colleagues at work... So why did I keep it such a secret when I just told everybody when everything went wrong?

My new thoughts on the matter are that if I am lucky enough to get pregnant again I will tell people a bit earlier. I might as well tell those people I would tell if I have a miscarriage so at least I can for once share some happy news even if it is just for a very short time.

When did you tell people you were pregnant? When will you tel them about a future pregnancy? Would live to hear your views on this.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Moods

It has been 3 weeks since my miscarriage and I think I am doing well. But today is a good day. I feel slightly positive about the future.

Isn't it strange how although nothing changes from day to day some days are easier than others?

The day I went back to work I struggled a lot. I found myself almost in tears for most of the day. I kept expecting people would ask why I had been off work and had no idea what I would tell them. Of course lots of my colleagues already knew, but thankfully of those that didn't know nobody asked me outright why I had been away from work, although I did get asked if I was feeling better. To which I just replied "yes."

Straight after the miscarriage I struggled. But I think that is probably normal. I found myself having trouble getting to sleep at night. I thought about Orson a lot. How if he had survived I would never have tried to get pregnant again. Of how I missed him. It didn't help how the operation (erpc) I had was in the same hospital and even the same Theatre where I ended up when I had Orson.

I have had lots of 'feeling sorry for myself' thoughts. Most of these thoughts involve the immense time it takes to conceive and give birth to babies (without having a miscarriage, stillbirth etc). As I have said before it makes me wonder why people ever bother to use birth control as it feels so difficult to have children. I know it isn't the case with everyone. And that hurts. The fact that some people have babies easily, I know I have M and I am very grateful I have him. I have it better than a lot of women who have lost babies but then there are just so many who have had it even better than me...

But I am not going to dwell on these negative feelings today. I WILL be positive. It is hard to be positive about a pregnancy ending in miscarriage, but i will attempt it here for your amusement:

1. Whilst we didn't conceive this latest pregnancy ultra quickly we did conceive. I don't have any infertility problems. I have been pregnant 3 times. We can do it a forth time.

2. I didn't have any bleeding in my latest pregnancy until I started to miscarry. With my pregnancy with Orson bleeding started at just 6 weeks and my consultant thinks that may have ultimately caused my waters to break. So 2/3 of my pregnancies have not had really early bleeding, maybe that will be a trend?

3. The Consultant believes there is no connection between the miscarriage and losing Orson. I was just unlucky. But then combine anything with stillbirth and you are unlucky. Very unlucky.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Raising awareness of stillbirth

The stillbirth of Amanda Holden's baby (see my last post) has meant that stillbirth has been discussed in the press more than normal recently. Raising awareness of stillbirth is fantastic. Here are links to three articles discussing stillbirth, all recently published. All are from papers I never normally read but a Google search of stillbirth news brought them up and I thought they were surprisingly good.

This article is written by somebody who experienced stillbirth years ago. I liked how she described her experience and said you never truly get over the experience despite what people think (and tell you): http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1354469/BEL-MOONEY-You-pain-losing-baby-I-know-well.html

This article describes some causes of stillbirth and explains that treatment of women who experience stillbirth has changed over the last twenty years in the UK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/8309364/Amanda-Holden-I-know-the-pain-of-having-a-stillborn-son-too.html

This last article explains how babies are ten times more likely to be stillborn than die of cot death and examines why stillbirth is such a taboo subject despite it's frequency: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1354693/Ten-times-babies-stillborn-die-cot-death-So-little-known-cause.html

Finally while I am doing a really easy 'list of links post' here is a final link to a great website trying to raise awareness of stillbirth. The campaign known as Chloe's 'Count the Kicks' Campaign aims to encourage mothers to be very aware of their baby's movements and seek help if they are concerned. It is a great campaign that I support: http://countthekicks.org.uk/

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Reporting of Amanda Holden's stillbirth is a miscarriage in the press

Yesterday evening I heard that Amanda Holden an actress and judge on a talent show here in the UK had given birth to a stillborn son a few days previously. She was seven months pregnant. I recognised Amanda's name but wouldn't have recognised a photo of her and wouldn't have been able to say why she was famous. I am saddened to hear about her loss. I wouldn't want anybody to go through the pain of losing a baby. My thoughts are with her and her family.

The reporting of Amanda Holden's loss really annoyed me. Most of the initial reports from news websites such as BBC News reported that Amanda had suffered a miscarriage. A miscarriage? She was seven months pregnant! How can reporters not realise that a loss of a baby at seven months is not a miscarriage? It is either stillbirth or neonatal death. They really should get their terminology correct. I cannot give you a link to any of the stories using this incorrect terminology because thankfully most have now started to refer to the loss as a stillbirth.

I have seen so many comments on websites from women who have lost babies complaining that the press used the term miscarriage instead of stillbirth. I know it is just a word but it really does make a difference to those of us who have experienced such a loss. Correct reporting helps raise awareness, incorrect reporting makes women like myself who have experienced stillbirth feel like reporters are trying to demean our loss. I am not saying that miscarriages are not painful, and I still believe that there needs to be a change in terminology for late miscarriages. Sadly I feel - and I could be wrong- that many people who have not experienced late miscarriages, stillbirth of neonatal death think of early miscarriages when they hear the word miscarriage. They assume they are common and that the women can just "try again" and will "have better luck next time."

Using the term miscarriage for a loss at seven months feels hurtful, perhaps I am wrong about this, please let me know if I am, but to me if somebody calls the loss of Orson a miscarriage I feel like they do not realise what I went through and what I am still going through. Having given birth at term to M and had a stillbirth at seven months, I know that both experiences of labour are equivalent, but there is one big difference, with the stillbirth you do not have the excitement of knowing you will soon hold your baby. The stillbirth is so much harder and that is an understatement.

So if any reporters read this (I would be shocked if any did) please, please, please check your terminology is correct before you write stories about the loss of a baby in the future. It really will make a difference.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Strength

A friend posted this on a Facebook Group recently:

"You Never Know How Strong You Are Until Being Strong Is Your Only Option" *

I really love the quote. It is something I have thought is true for some time now. I think it applies to us all.

Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

* the quote was from Preemie Parenting on BCB (sorry no idea what that is so I can't give you a link!).

Friday, 28 January 2011

2011 isn't so great so far.

A few days ago I had a miscarriage, I was 11 weeks pregnant. I will write more on this in another post but I am quite angry with the world right now.

Maybe I should give up hope for a fabulous 2011 and concentrate on 2012 instead?

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Photos

In those weeks after pPROM but before Orson died I had time to read about all the possibilities. I tried not to read too much about loss but of course I occasionally did. Often I would stop because it would just make me too sad.

I read enough to realise that women often take photos of their dead babies. Something that I don't think we tend to do when an adult dies. Presumably because adults already have lots of photos taken throughout their life but a stillborn baby has never had any photos?

After Orson was stillborn the midwives took some photos for us. It is a standard thing in our hospital, maybe a standard thing in most hospitals? If you don't want the photos then they keep them in your records in case you change your mind. They gave us four photos. S also took a few photos on his phone, as did I, my favourite was one of me holding Orson. It was the last time I held him when I was saying good bye. Of course I was crying uncontrollably so thankfully S took the photo so you just see Orson and my arms holding him whilst he is wrapped in blankets. I like it because it shows how big he was.

We thought at the time it seemed a bit morbid to take photos and I suppose it is. But I am glad I have those photos. Admittedly I would never put them on display and the only people who have ever seen them are me, S and Orson's grandparents. I don't look at them very often but when I need to I do. I find myself gazing at the photos trying to see a resemblance to M, S or me.

I imagine that a lot of people don't even realise we have photos. Why would they even think about it? Until you have been in that situation why would you think about such things?

I know there are whole businesses out there which can help take photos for parents who have just lost their baby. They take professional photos so you end up with great photos which will be much better than the regular hospital ones. Sometimes the photos will have both parents in too and look much like any other family photo. It never occurred to me to see if there was such a company where I live. I do not regret that, I like how our photos are personal.

There are other companies and people that offer services you can use weeks, months or even years after your photos were taken. They will do pencil drawings of your baby photos, or paintings, or engravings. You can even have your baby's image on a necklace. I would never want to wear a necklace like that, what if a complete stranger saw it and asked about my baby? I really am not that comfortable talking about Orson. Maybe as time goes by I will change my mind, we will see. Right now I am just happy we have a few photos to look at when we want to.

Friday, 21 January 2011

I haven't forgotten

I haven't forgotten about my blog. More to come very soon.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

A little advertisement

Have you had a pPROM loss? Do you use Facebook a lot? If so then the following group may be of interest to you:

Life after pPROM loss

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Three years ago...

Three years ago... Before I continue I want to warn any of you reading who have recently suffered losses, this blog entry is not about my loss but instead about M's birth. It is coming up to his third birthday I have found myself thinking about my situation three years ago. I want to write down what happened, and for once on this blog the end is a very happy one.

Just after Christmas in 2007 I was driving home from visiting S's parents when I noticed I hadn't felt M move, once we got home I still couldn't feel him move. So we called the hospital that evening. I was 35 weeks pregnant. They told me to come into the Labour and Delivery Suite immediately. We walked to the hospital. At no point did I think there was a big problem. In retrospect considering all the stories I have heard since losing Orson I cannot believe I waited a whole day without feeling movements before calling the hospital. And how could I not have been petrified that we had lost him?

As soon as we arrived at the hospital the staff ushered us into a private room. Within minutes a doctor was in the room with us. She immediately started to scan me. A midwife was also present. Now that I think about it the situation is so similar to that when we were told Orson's heart had stopped but at the time I did not think there was a problem with M. I was of course correct. I recall the midwife saying to S "you can hold her hand if you want" I think they were thinking it was bad news.

M was fine, but he didn't move at all on the scan. They scanned me for a long time and gave me ice cold water to drink in the hope he would move but he was having a lazy time and wouldn't move for them. After the scan they monitored him using a ctg machine, he finally moved and they were less concerned. They let me home.

What followed was two weeks of hospital appointments almost every day. The next day I spent most of the day at the hospital, monitoring M's heart, growth scans, AFI checks, chord blood flow checks... They booked me in for an appointment with a consultant for two weeks later. They told me that I was probably not feeling movements because my placenta was anterior. Whilst waiting for my consultant appointment a few times a week I had ctgs of M's heart at the hospital.

Again knowing what I know now I cannot believe I did not worry about my treatment. I was feeling about one movement from M a day. That was not right but I just did not worry.

Finally the day of consultant appointment came around. It was also my last day of work. I was about to go on maternity leave. The consultant insisted on repeating every test I had already had, I am so glad she did because the growth scan showed that M had not grown in the last two weeks. She immediately booked me in for an induction.

Just before the induction was started I was still not convinced there was a problem with M. I was concerned I was being delivered too early. I even asked for a second doctor to come and explain why I needed to be induced. It was only when she mentioned stillbirth that I suddenly realised that I was happy to be induced that day.

The day before M was born the induction started at about 11 in the morning. I had been told that because M was my first baby and because I was being induced early the induction would most likely take days. I was convinced I had about 4 days before he would make an appearance.

I had a gel pessary and had to wait hours before they examined me to see if it had started working. During this time I felt perfectly normal. I even popped out of the hospital to go to a coffee shop for lunch. Because I had felt nothing the midwife who examined me thought nothing had happened yet - until she checked. I had painlessly dilated enough to allow them to break my waters (ironic?).

I will spare you the next few hours in detail. To be honest I do not remember them that well, isn't amazing how we forget these things? I was on a drip with continuous monitoring of M's heart. He was eventually delivered with the help of a ventouse at 6 minutes past 1 in the morning. He weighed 5lb 10 oz.

I am incredibly grateful he is here. I cannot believe he will be three years old. The time has gone so quickly.

Happy Birthday M.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Six months ago today

Six months ago Orson was born. I rarely phrase it that way. I tend to say he died in labour simply because it feels wrong to say he was born when he never got the chance to breathe.

I have come a long way in six months. The time has flown by compared to the weeks before his death which were extremely slow. I am in a much better place than I was however I still have my moments.

I was looking at photos of my partner S with his older brother taken when they were young children. I found myself trying to see if M looked like S. And then enevatably I found myself wondering about Orson. S's mother was here and when we were looking at one of the photos she even said "two little brothers."

I can't help but feel that we should already have photos of M and his brother. Instead M doesn't know about Orson. He was only two when he died and we felt he was too young to understand. We will tell him one day when he is a little older and show him photos.

And then I found myself wondering if we will ever have photos of M and a younger brother or sister. If you had asked me a year ago I would have said yes, now I really don't know. I hope so.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Pregnancy after pPROM Blogs

Several of the bloggers from pPROM loss blogs I follow have recently announced they are pregnant. There seemed to be something in the air this Christmas. I wanted to say a huge congratulations to them and wish them lots of luck.

One or two of the bloggers mentioned they were worried about upsetting their readers. I have always loved finding out about pregnancies after pPROM. It has always - even from quite early on after my loss - given me hope.

So big congratulations and good luck to:

Lara at http://babyhtaketwo.blogspot.com/

Amanda at http://thisgirl-amanda.blogspot.com/

and Emily at http://aidanbabyofmine.blogspot.com/


Image: M Bartosch / FreeDigitalPhotos.net