I have some news – today I am 21 weeks pregnant. It’s the furthest I’ve ever been in a pregnancy but before we throw our arms up in congratulations remember that this is my fifth pregnancy and I’m yet to bring home a baby. In under two years I’ve been pregnant for 55 weeks and grieved four losses.
Whilst I am incredibly grateful to be pregnant again and to have reached a stage where I can finally begin to hope, it’s been really hard.
One of the sad things about miscarriage is that it takes away the innocence of pregnancy. When I saw the positive pregnancy test my first thought was “let’s see how long this one lasts.” With each trip to the toilet you’re scared you’ll find blood. I was hysterical at every scan because I was scared we’d find out another baby had died. There hasn’t been one day in this pregnancy where I haven’t thought my baby has died.
I thought that once we had a successful 12-week scan it would feel easier, and for a few days it did feel like I could breathe a sigh of relief. But then the tiny voice at the back of my head returned telling me that something would go wrong again. I became paranoid that everything I did or that happened to me would hurt my baby. I slept badly and then worried that the lack of sleep would kill my baby. If I woke up on my back I panicked I’d killed my baby even though it’s not something you have to worry about until the third trimester.
I still haven’t bought a single item for the baby yet, not even a sock. Whenever I told anyone our news, I always caveated it – never when the baby comes but if.
I don’t think it’s helped that I’m still grieving my little boy Tadeusz whose funeral we held the week before our dating scan. Kyle and I decided to have a private funeral with just the two of us. Losing him broke me and I am all too aware of the place I will go to again if I lose this baby.
I was a wreck the day before the anomaly scan. I googled all the things they scan for and the likelihood of survival which was silly because I’ve already been a 1 in 4, 1 in 100 and 1 in 4000 – stats are all or nothing at the end of the day. At the scan, I barely paid attention to what was happening on the screen, half expecting the sonographer to say “I’m sorry, there’s a problem here”.
But it was fine. Our baby is normal. Normal has never felt so magical.
Having talked about the difficulties of pregnancy after loss, I want to acknowledge how wonderful it is to be here now. After months of trying to get and stay pregnant, for the first time I really have hope that we will get to bring our baby home.
I’m embracing my changing body (even my swollen legs), my cravings for insanely spicy food and love feeling every movement.
Of course I’m acutely aware that so much can still go wrong – 1 in 225 babies in the UK are stillborn (and sadly recent stats have shown this is getting worse) and then there’s SIDS and neonatal death. But we’ve been through so much to get to this point that I want to try my hardest to start enjoying this pregnancy.
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