Why create this blog?

First a little background information

I am 32 and live in the UK. I live with my partner S and our son M born in January 2008.

My first pregnancy

My pregnancy with M was relatively normal. I found out during early scans that I have a bicornuate uterus. This means it is heart shaped instead of the normal pear shaped. Nobody was concerned about this. At about 35 weeks I noticed reduced movements. I was always pretty hopeless at recognizing movements and put this down to my anterior placenta. But after noticing no movements for a whole day I ended up in the Labour and Delivery wars where they thankfully found a heartbeat and everything looked okay. They asked me to return fir further tests the next day as my son didn't move at all on the ultrasound scan.

The next day they did a heart rate trace which looked fine and a growth scan. They organised an appointment for me to see a consultant for two weeks later. In between I was to go to the day assessment unit if the hospital for scans and heart rate traces. When I finally saw the consultant she organised another growth scan. Our son hadn't grown and because I still hardly felt any movements she organised an induction.

M was fine when he arrived at exactly 38 weeks. He weighed 5lb 10 oz. Whilst still in hospital he developed jaundice which was treated with lights successfully. We stayed in hospital a week. At around two months he had surgery to correct an inguinal hernia. He didn't even have to stay in hospital overnight. Although I was terrified for him at the time it was a routine surgery and he was fine.

Orson - my second pregnancy

On M's second birthday I was six weeks pregnant with Orson our second child. I started bleeding. I bled again the following two weeks. I was terrified of miscarriage. I was told I had an area of haemorrhage on the side of my uterus opposite to where the baby had implanted. They gave me a 50% chance of miscarriage. At 19 weeks a scan showed little Orson was healthy and no bleeding.

Two weeks later at 21 weeks and a day my waters broke. This is known as preterm premature rupture of the membranes (pPROM). I was told I would go into labour or get an infection in the next three days. 75% of women do. I didn't and was discharged from hospital. What followed was a very difficult 10 weeks of pregnancy. We were given a less than 10% chance of having a healthy baby. We debated termination. They thought that if Orson was born alive he would have severe disabilities and might need a lifetime of care from us. We were worried about the effect this would have on M and on us. But we couldn't do it, not if he had a chance.

Instead we continued to wait and hope for a miracle. I was advised to rest, so was signed of work on sick leave. I had appointments twice weekly at the day assessment unit where my blood was tested for signs of infection. Low vaginal swabs were taken weekly and Orson's heart rate was checked via scans and from 28 weeks non stress heart rate tests. Every other week I had growth scans and consultant appointments too.

We were determined to get to 24 weeks. In the UK 24 weeks counts as viability and if the baby dies before birth it is stillbirth rather than miscarriage and you can register the baby's name. We made it and got steroids. The next milestone was 28 weeks and again more steroids, at 30 weeks they discussed making it to a planned c-section and whether to go for 34 or 37 weeks. But it was not to be, I went into labour at 31 weeks and a day. Poor Orson died during labour.

I was in hospital for three days following Orson's birth suffering from infection. We opted not to have a post mortem, we will never know why he died. It could be infection, cord compression or simply stress of labour (he was transverse and premature). He was 4lb 11 oz. We had his funeral three weeks after his death.

And finally, why I created this blog

I decided to start this blog after Orson's death. I had in fact started it whilst resting at home after my waters broke but never got very far. Some of the early posts have been created after the event, usually from e-mail conversations to friends but occasionally just from memory.

My hope before Orson's death was that this blog could be used by women going through pprom as a source of hope, a success story. However I still hope it is of use and a source of information. My new hope is that it will eventually in the very distant future show the successful story of pregnancy after pprom. For the moment it will simply continue to tell my story.

Loumary (August 2010)