October is pregnancy and infancy loss awareness month, and like so many others, this is something close to home for us.
We conceived our daughter Lily in March 2012. She comes up for the big 2 in December. How time flies. However there was a time very soon before then that things were bleak and we doubted our chances of becoming parents.
6 weeks before our daughter was conceived I was pregnant for the first time. We had been so excited and felt blessed to be expecting. The first couple of weeks after getting those 2 positive lines were so happy, but it didn’t last long.
Somewhere a week or more earlier there was some light spotting. Then it became a bit more continuous but not heavy. The early ultrasound was a bit soon and didn’t show much. The doctor sent me for blood tests and the HCG (pregnancy hormone) wasn’t increasing as much as it should have.
The bleeding continued and the doctor ordered an emergency ultrasound. We went after hours, at about 7pm. We expected the worse. Instead we saw a little pulsing jellybean and heard a strong heartbeat. Everything felt good again, like it was going to be ok.
The bleeding continued and the doctor said if it got really heavy, go to emergency. It did, so we did.
I spent close to 6 hours in hospital. Most of it on a bed with a drip hooked up. Being the public system on a weekend, they didn’t have anyone to operate an ultrasound so eventually a physical examination predicted we were experiencing a miscarriage. I was in agony. And emotionally destroyed.
They gave me really strong painkillers and sent us home with a referral for an ultrasound Monday for confirmation.
We got our tragic confirmation on the Monday, little over 7 weeks into our first pregnancy.
It was no wonder it came as such a surprise to have a positive pregnancy result only 6 weeks or so later. But suddenly you are more scared because of past experience. Every toilet trip came with that fear there would be blood. Every scan came with dread that something awful would be found.
Yet the second time around none of that happened and in December 2012 we welcomed our daughter into the world. Nothing compared to the happiness of becoming a parent for the first time.
Something that I do struggle with though is the fact that as much as it hurts to have suffered pregnancy loss and you wonder who they could have been and know you would have loved them just as much, yet with such a small gap in between, there never would have been Lily… And I can’t imagine life without Lily. I guess as such I just accept that these things happen for a reason, however shitty that reason, and I remind myself how tragically common miscarriage is.
And now I’m right there again, experiencing that early fear of bleeding every time I go to the toilet and reading way too much into every sign and symptom. I am around that same stage now as what I was then so this is an extra scary time for my husband and I. But we are excited too and hope the hellish fatigue and nausea are signs of a sticky baby.
You may have noticed things were a bit quieter around here and on social media, despite my uni holidays. Unfortunately pregnancy isn’t being kind but we have everything crossed it will be ok again. Few people know but not many people who know me personally read my blog (or this will I suppose reveal who does lol).
While I can certainly relate to the emotional distress associated with pregnancy loss, I cannot even begin to imagine how to cope with infant loss or even later pregnancy loss. I have known many people touched by such tragedy and their strength amazes me. We live for our kids and as a parent, the thought of outliving my child just breaks my heart.
So this October and specifically today, October 15th, spare a thought for the many individuals who have experienced some form of loss as they are many .