Rainbow Baby Announcement

Wow, where do I start? Is it bad that I am starting to write this in preparation for posting later this week and I just had a small fleeting thought that what if tomorrow there’s no heartbeat? I can imagine that’s a normal part of pregnancy after loss. I’m already paranoid and terrified. I thought I’d tell you how this all came about first and then go into telling you how I’m emotionally feeling about it all and how the past few weeks have been.

Now you may say this is pretty soon after a C Section. I was 3 months post-partum when we conceived. I was actually told at my 6 weeks check I would be okay to try again at 3 to 4 months although a natural birth was more likely if we left it longer. This completely shocked me as I had read waiting up to a year online but I completely trust my GP and I can assure you I wouldn’t have risked getting pregnant if I had any concerns it was not safe. So basically, we decided to not try, not prevent and let fate decide if it was the right time. I didn’t honestly expect it to happen so quickly as it had taken 6 months to conceive both Beau and Silver Rose. Leading up to my period I was in two minds about how I felt if I was to get pregnant or not. Part of me was desperate for a baby to hold in my arms and knew how long the 9 months alone would feel so I didn’t want to wait any longer and yet emotionally I was and still am very much broken and openly grieving.

I honestly didn’t think I was pregnant, I had even been a little bit crampy for a couple of days and thought for sure my period was coming! I was so convinced that the day before my period was due when I went to my good friends hen do I packed extra toiletries with me thinking it was going to start early. Thankfully I don’t drink as part of the days events was a cocktail master class but I gladly sipped my mocktails instead. One thing that had also convinced me I wasn’t pregnant was I had said to Fabian how every time I get pregnant my breasts change, they go a bit lumpy and tender yet they hadn’t this time. Of course, that night I couldn’t sleep I had the most awful pain in my right breast. This totally threw me, I had been up all night and it really got me wondering. I had just bought a few cheap tests at the shop so I could satiate my POAS needs (Pee On A Stick) and so decided to collect a sample in a clean glass and test.

I couldn’t believe it! It was faint, but it was there. How do these women you see on YouTube manage to keep it a secret to surprise their husbands? He’s the first person I want to tell! So I went downstairs and told him I need him to take a look, just to make sure I wasn’t going completely crazy. He saw it straight away too. Thankfully I had still left my sample on the side upstairs and we decided we needed a clearer test to be able to definitely tell there was a second line. We drove into town with Beau and as it was a Sunday had to walk around for a little bit waiting for the shop to open. Well pregnancy tests are not cheap I’ll tell you that, but I purchased my trusty favourite brand and we eagerly came home to test the same sample. Within seconds that second line appeared! I am pregnant.

I might sound crazy but I’m pretty superstitious and believe in signs both good and bad. On the way home with our expensive tests we actually saw a rainbow near our home despite there being no rain at all. We both took that as a sign that Silver was telling us this was our rainbow sent down from her with love. In all honesty that was a very strange day, we were both in shock and felt very confused. I couldn’t understand what emotions I was feeling. I think it was a culmination of guilt, happiness, sadness, shock and fear. I still to this day have those emotions tumbling around and I swiftly drift between each one often. I guess in some ways it shocked me when I realised that day that nothing was different, my life around me was exactly the same. I don’t know what I was expecting but I thought something would feel or look differently. Instead Silvers boxes and clothes were still on display and there next to them was a rainbow baby outfit we had initially bought before getting pregnant – simply because we always knew we would one day have a rainbow, even if it was years from now.

One thing we did keep doing was saying to each other “can you believe it?”, and of course part of us could, part of us couldn’t believe we had been blessed so quickly. I was already desperate to tell people and the first person I told might surprise you, it was not actually a family member. I told me close friend Emma as I had an idea in mind of a beautiful announcement but had no idea how to pull it off let alone get Beau to sit still. I needed her photography expertise and I was not let down at all. The final product was beyond all expectations and despite it not being how we originally had planned with balloons it actually turned out so much better. If you look closely enough you can also see the little rainbow going over our chalkboard. Check out her website here.

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It was two days after my first positive test when we had our initial appointment registering with our new GP practise. I mentioned I was pregnant and asked what happened next as being in a new area I didn’t even know where we go to see a midwife. I explained the situation of Silver and how I was told I would be monitored more frequently so was told to go ahead and make an appointment with the midwife who I would see at the GP practise. I received a phone call the next day from a lovely midwife who I made an appointment with and arranged I would do my booking bloods at the same appointment to get the out of the way. I was over twenty weeks before having booking bloods done with Silver due to a midwife who didn’t understand anxiety. This time I will be doing every test offered to me which I have declined in all previous pregnancies- the glucose tolerance test, the Down, Edwards and Pataus test etc. I want every possible reassurance of a healthy baby, of course if we did however have an unwell baby we would again always choose life and fight for as long as the baby fights.

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I was four weeks and five days according to my app when we went to see the midwife. We had to find a last-minute baby sitter as for some reason my mum was unable to take Beau and she didn’t yet know the news. Thankfully a good friend came to the rescue, much to Beaus delight at having a whole packet of Oreo’s, well they are vegan… And most importantly it meant he didn’t try escaping his car seat, with straps that won’t go any tighter! Well the midwife was absolutely lovely, she was very understanding of why I was seeing her so soon and through sharing Silvers story she even needed a tissue as she started to cry. We really took our time beginning to fill in my green notes paperwork and thankfully she was on the same page as us for having extra scans for reassurance.

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I had prenatal depression in both pregnancies which was ten times worse when pregnant with Silver. So not only do I need the scans to show a healthy baby after Silver passing away but also in both my previous pregnancies I have had a nervous breakdown at 11 weeks and ended up having emergency scans to reassure me my baby was alive. I’ve made it very clear this time I would like preventative measures putting in place for my mental wellbeing so that hopefully I will not suffer a third episode of prenatal depression. When I was pregnant with Silver in my first trimester I unfortunately did become very suicidal which I will perhaps delve into more detail one day. This and the fact of losing Silver meant the midwife wanted to get me a scan as early as possible with the hope of seeing a heartbeat.

In between this appointment and the scan we decided to tell my parents the exciting new, it was hard to keep needing a baby sitter for appointments and pretending they were for other things. For my midwife appointment and blood test I had told my mum Newcastle wanted my blood to test for something to do with Silver’s post-mortem results. We did a pass the parcel style announcement, not something I have seen before. I wrapped up the vest we had bought for a rainbow baby along with the matching trousers, a little note card and two of my positive tests. In each layer was a clue to what the present with. I managed to get away with filming it because I said I had started vlogging again and told them it was an early fathers day present! No suspicions were aroused and it was a complete shock to my mum although my dad did wonder when I was getting a blood test apparently! Click here to see the video on YouTube.

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The scan was booked for when we thought I would be 6 weeks and a day. Thankfully my parents had Beau sleep over the night before so we could go to our 9am appointment without the stress of trying to watch him and control his temper. I was naturally very nervous of the scan. My mum had actually given me a little silver angel ornament to take with us as good luck and so we headed towards the hospital. Being to the early pregnancy unit so many times before it was easy to navigate. I was the first woman in the waiting room that day and the procedure was still the same as always. A nurse will call your name, you walk down the corridor and have your blood pressure taken and height and weight measured. You then get sent back to your seat before being called into one of the consultation rooms. I was surprised to see another nurse and not a consultant but she went through the paperwork with me of how many miscarriages (1), Births (2) and terminations (0) I’d had along with a brief medical history. I was then sent back to the waiting room to await being called to go for my scan.

My name was called so me and Fabian followed the lady down the corridor. I had to empty my bladder as it was an internal scan, I couldn’t remember if I needed a full bladder or not but thankfully I didn’t! I undressed my lower half behind a curtain before wrapping a sheet provided around myself and propping myself up on the bed. She raised it quite high so it was easier to scan and then proceeded. I don’t think you need the in-depth details of an internal scan from me…! Straight away I knew from previous early pregnancy scans what I was looking for and I could see that the dark sack was empty. You know it’s not looking good when she actually asks you if you’ve felt symptoms, to which I replied yes, this being my worst day so far with the morning sickness. I was just about to say “there’s nothing there, is there?” when she explained as of yet she cannot see a pregnancy. What she could see was a pregnancy sack, and a yolk sack. She did point out where she thinks a baby might be developing but suggested I am not as far along as I think I am so it is too soon to see a heartbeat. Naturally I was close to crying but she tried to reassure us she was not yet too concerned and simply wanted me to come back and be rescanned at a later date.

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We left the room feeling pretty broken, only to go sit in a much busier waiting room now. All I could think of was how these women have no idea what I’ve been through and I know its not true but I felt like if they were miscarrying my situation was still worse. Losing Silver in my eyes was more painful than a miscarriage. Of course, I don’t mean it like that, I simply mean I have also experienced a miscarriage too and personally although it completely tore me to pieces it did not have the same affect as losing a little girl I had spent 16 days getting to know. I think I was just feeling very low and my mind was wandering however I will admit now that I know how awful it is to be in that waiting room and how nerve wracking it is that all those other mums were probably also going through their own personal hell. Perhaps they don’t even have children yet, I know how scary it is when you first try to conceive and I guess the only way you’ll know you can is when you try and it is successful with a healthy baby. It’s not always that straightforward though.

Fabian had been holding and stroking my hand before we got called back into the consultation room. The consultant was now present however didn’t really have much to say. All they did was ask if it had been explained to me so I relayed what had been said and then was told I would have a follow up scan in two weeks. Thankfully this was actually when we would be on holiday so they moved it forward a few days, to the day before we travel. I can’t tell you how much I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping this is going to be a positive start to our holiday.

We left feeling very shocked and came home, me still suffering with bad morning sickness. The initial plan had been to all go through to my mums for the day so I could be with Beau and Fabian could go to work. Instead my mum actually offered to allow Fabian the day off work whilst she covered his jobs so he could be home with me and we could try process this shocking news. I was exhausted and still feeling sick so whilst I had a nap Fab went to pick Beau up and returned home to spend the day trying to come to terms with the lack of reassurance and knowledge of whether we had a healthy baby or not.

I have to admit I wasn’t actually as worried as I might have been because when I had tested on the day my app told me my period was due the line was actually fainter than expected. So I already had an inkling I might not be as far along as I expected. I tested for 6 days with my cheap tests and each day the line got darker which was a reassurance, except the last one which was a bit fainter. I don’t think this was a sign of my HCG levels dropping but more the fact it was possibly not as strong a urine sample. I had actually tested in the week leading up to my expected period also and got negatives whereas with Silver for example I tested positive 10DPO.

What I’m about to tell you next may be a trigger, especially for anyone who may have suffered a miscarriage before but I feel its important to share as this could be of importance in our pregnancy journey. The day after the scan I had successfully managed to put Beau down for an afternoon nap and was feeling pretty proud and thankful for a break. That’s when I went to the toilet and wiped blood. It wasn’t loads but it terrified me. I called Fabian but his battery was dead, I phoned my mum who was super supportive and told me to phone the EPAU (early pregnancy assessment unit) while she went to find Fabian for me. I phoned them and as I was explaining what had happened I broke down in tears on the phone. I was in shock and couldn’t believe this was happening to me.

The lady just so happened to be the nurse I had seen the day before. I was told it could be a miscarriage if it starts to get heavy, and if it does to go to A and E as the bleeding needs stopping. She explained if it is a miscarriage there is nothing much that can be done and until a miscarriage is confirmed to only use pregnancy safe painkillers. I wasn’t in any pain though. She said if it did stop that it was still best to wait until the next scan otherwise it would still possibly be too early to see anything. We ended the call and I felt broken. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me, it was something I never expected a possibility. I had focussed so much on the 20 week scan I forgot there was still the first trimester to get through.

I can’t tell you how glad I am that she called back a few minutes later to explain that she had looked at my scan and notes and it mentioned a haematoma on my womb, which basically means a bruise. I panicked thinking it was to do with my C Sect scar but she reassured me it was likely from implantation and when this happens two things can usually occur. It somehow magically disappears, or sometimes you bleed it out. This gave me so much reassurance to know there was a possible explanation which did not effect the health of my baby. I did of course put a pad in place but I am happy to say days on that I didn’t bleed a single spot after that one occasion.

I want to share just how proud I am of my little boy too. It is amazing how perceptive and emotionally responsive a 23 month old can be. He has tantrums over the smallest things and repeats behaviours he knows is wrong yet when he woke up I was crying and his reaction was heart-warming. I carried him downstairs to sit on the snuggle chair but at the time we had builders in the back garden and a digger parked on our drive right in front of the living room window. This boy is digger crazy and seriously nosey. Instead of running to watch either he stayed with me as I cried and hugged me, laying his head on me. At one point he did go to the kitchen door to see what the workmen were doing yet instead of going to watch them he came straight back to me, climbed back into my lap and continued to cuddle me.  Below you can see just how broken I was, it was a terrifying experience after just losing a baby and I guess is a part of pregnancy after loss.  Nonetheless I am a very lucky mummy.

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The bleeding did effect how we shared the news and instead travelling and doing a pass the parcel with my brother and his fiancé as intended to fool them into thinking we had bought them a puppy I simply blurted it out to Pippa (sister in law to be) on the phone who is a midwife. I needed womanly, midwifery advice you see. I did tell her she could just tell my brother and we would still come visit but obviously were slightly more concerned for baby. She did the most amazing thing by not actually telling my brother so when I pulled out the scan picture not only was he confused but I too couldn’t understand why he didn’t know what I had a scan picture for. I looked up to see Pippa smiling and confirmed to me she hadn’t told him anything, obviously he guessed from the fact I said the scan was from the previous day and they were both very happy with us.

Unfortunately, not everyone has been happy for us sharing this news and it has even caused family tensions. We find it such a shame that people cannot celebrate this beautiful life and as it is so precious to us we find it disheartening to hear negative feedback, after all we should have a tiny baby in our arms now. So if they wished for Silver to live it would only make sense they celebrate this blessing too. We are of course never wishing to replace Silver and it was very much a joint decision of when to start trying again. I can’t tell you how happy we are, we feel so blessed and will treasure this little baby’s life so much, knowing the true value of life and love. I hope everyone reading this also feels the happiness we are feeling and I hope everyone else who is grieving will be blessed by a beautiful rainbow one day too.

Until next time,

Holly x

 

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