Pregnancy After Loss Update – 9 Weeks

Firstly, I cannot believe I am already at 9 weeks! With Silver I was so ill the first trimester felt never ending and I lost a lot of weight. How on earth do I only have three weeks left? I thought I was getting pretty sick this time and compared to Beau’s pregnancy I am but compared to Silvers this has been easy! I was really worried about it getting as bad as Silver’s pregnancy because Fabian had to look after Beau a lot and I barely left my bed and the toilet for 3 months. It also had a detrimental impact on my mental wellbeing and I suffered acute prenatal depression.

Talking about sickness though, does anyone believe gender myths? Of course, after everything we’ve been through my main priority is a healthy baby but I would love nothing more than to have a girl. I was unsure whether to share that I had a gender preference, thinking people would say I should be grateful so long as it is a healthy baby but hear me out. I feel like the universe promised me a baby girl by delivering Silver and I completely don’t want to replace her. I don’t think I’ll ever find a baby as feisty as she was anyway, but I would be overjoyed to have a little girl in my arms. I am keeping my fingers crossed although as I keep saying, health is what I wish for more than anything. I want to actually bring a baby home! Fabian is absolutely convinced we are having a girl as I’ve been quite sick however I’m undecided.

kool ‘n’ soothes work wonders for morning sickness)

We went through hell trying to find out Silver’s gender. We went to that twenty week scan not wanting to know, never expecting the news that came with that scan. Since then we realised we wanted nothing more than to call her by her name. We had a boy and a girl name ready and hated saying “it” or “the baby”. The problem we had is even though we had plenty scans, the lack of fluid meant she was so tightly curled up it was impossible to determine gender. Luckily, we had decided with Newcastle to do a CVS test which checks genetics and only then did we find out. You can see the video of our gender reveal here! So, do we find out this time? I love the idea of a surprise but at the same time I think our last pregnancy had enough surprises and I’d like a much more relaxed pregnancy this time if possible.

20180102_190253

This leads me onto my next point. Thankfully we will have many opportunities to decide if we want to know the gender. I met with my consultant for the first time this week and she was lovely. She asked what I wanted the plan to be moving forward knowing I already had a ten and twelve week scan booked. I said I wasn’t sure but was terrified of the gap between twelve and twenty weeks. This is when she laughed and said she would never let me go that long worrying without scans and then made the suggestion of scans every two weeks. Of course, every two weeks I’m going to be terrified, we have no idea when exactly Silver started getting ill. I am hoping it gives me a ray of hope once I get reassuring scans and will help me cope however only time will truly tell. I think from sixteen weeks gender can be seen and I will likely still have many scans after twenty weeks so I am aware there will be plenty opportunities if we decide to go ahead.

One thing we had planned to do for Silver, as it was only fair she had the same as her brother was to do a 4D scan. Things obviously didn’t go to plan and due to lack of fluid it would have been hard to see anything anyway so we never got that opportunity. We are planning at some point to do a 4D scan for this rainbow baby and hoping to treasure every moment of its life, all the way from conception. Even when we knew Silver was ill we still made sure to celebrate everything, hence the gender reveal, pregnancy photoshoot and cute themed pregnancy T-shirts.

I’ll briefly delve into symptoms here besides the obvious nausea. I got a trapped nerve in my pregnancy with Beau which gave me rib pain all on my right side that went around my side. It was excruciating and only after my pregnancy did I get to see a physio who even diagnosed it as a trapped nerve. She worked wonders manipulating my spine and ribs and gave me some exercises. How many people ever actually do those exercises? Well for the first time I actually did! It worked a treat and I was virtually pain free again bar a few niggles. Within the last two weeks I think the wonderful relaxin hormone which helps you deliver baby is actually triggering my trapped nerve. We all know how hot it has been recently but I am having to rub heat lotion on my ribs and spine on a night, sleep with a hot water bottle under my ribs and on my back and even take painkillers.

I am not one for taking pills really, I think sometimes they do more damage than good. So you know the pain is pretty bad when I’m now relenting and taking paracetamol on some evenings just so I can be pain free enough to actually get some sleep. I did see a maternity physio in Beaus pregnancy and I think with how bad it is affecting sleep I’m going to ask for a referral back to this service. Fabian has been a true champ and let me steal his fluffiest pillow so that I can sleep with my arm over it, keeping my chest opened up. When I lay on my side without it and my shoulders scrunch together the pain is unbearable so now I’m taking up most of the bed with pillows and soft toys to rest my arms over to keep my chest open! I know you can get pregnancy pillows, I even have one but its just not big enough to have an impact so I resort to regular pillows instead.

I realise I haven’t addressed the elephant in the room. If you follow me on Instagram (@rainbow_and_angel_mummy) you may already have an inkling that after I bled a couple weeks ago I thankfully have not bled again since. I guess that is pretty obvious with me writing a pregnancy update though. I had a nervous almost two weeks waiting for my next scan to confirm a heartbeat and well I cried my eyes out when she pointed out the heartbeat – this is slightly awkward when doing an internal scan! There it was, my little blob. It definitely just looked like a blob in a dark pool of fluid but it was my precious little blob. I am pleased to say the scan confirmed a happy healthy baby. The haematoma was still there from implantation so I was told to still be prepared that I could bleed but not to worry. Thankfully I haven’t bled at all so it must have been reabsorbed.

20180615_150511

I explained after this scan my history of prenatal depression and how during both pregnancies I’ve had a nervous breakdown at eleven weeks. I honestly don’t know why but I convince myself the baby isn’t alive, then I get suicidal and let’s just say an ambulance always ends up at my house. I then end up in the Early Pregnancy Unit the next day and all is well for baby… So this time I wanted to prevent this from happening. I didn’t want to sound selfish asking for a scan which I know every mother would love to have more than the standard two. Luckily in this aspect they were understanding of my mental health, especially since losing Silver where I am worrying more than ever before. I’ve got a scan booked in for when I’m ten weeks thankfully. Even now it feels like forever since my last scan and in some ways the time has gone slower the closer we have got to the scan. I just want some proof that this baby isn’t all in my head.

From a mental health point of view, I feel I’m actually coping the best I’ve ever done in a pregnancy. That’s not to say I haven’t had my moments but generally since losing Silver I think I’ve learnt to cope better with life and found a much stronger part of me I didn’t know I had. I’ve focussed on trying to prevent any relapses this time by doing two things. Focussing on myself and not work (easy to do when still on maternity leave from Silver) and keeping a tidy home. Its so true what they say, “tidy house, tidy mind”. I take each day as it comes and some days I don’t have the energy to clean but when I do I make the most. Me and Fabian try our best to have time together on an evening and when I get the chance I have relaxing lavender baths and read books! Me and Fabian have already started to practise hypnobirthing on a night to keep me focussed on baby and keep calm which is a lovely way to bond and spend time together focussed on this new part of our life. (I can’t recommend hypnobirthing enough, comment below if you’d like to know more about my hypnobirthing journey)

20180627_173844

As we moved a few months ago we have finally got sorted with transferring my mental health care to my local centre. I had a meeting this week and both the two new staff members who will be taking care of me seemed really nice and willing to offer some help with anxiety management. I’m gladly not currently depressed and my borderline is generally really well under control. I think losing Silver helped me with maturing into an adult and altered my way of thinking and taught me what really matters and sometimes the things I can now walk away from or let go.

*Trigger Warning* Of course I’m not perfect, I had a meltdown in Disney Paris and did self-harm slightly. I hit my knees and dug my nails into my hands and knees. I was triggered by something so silly but it really upset me. Fabian has his own issues at the moment, his family effects his live very negatively and it’s had an acute impact on his wellbeing. This means he is not always able to support me and can respond with anger. Unfortunately, despite supporting each other well recently it had been a stressful day and neither of us coped very well. The positive that comes from this situation is although it took time we did eventually resolve the issue and go back to enjoying our day. Believe it or not that is a significant improvement and I’m so proud we are now learning how to resolve issues together. I’m also very pleased to say I do not feel at all depressed nor suicidal, perhaps this is my first pregnancy without prenatal depression?!

Let’s talk about bumps! I know I sound crazy but I’m pretty sure my tummy is already growing. The baby is currently the size of a southern pecan apparently and yet my already sagging tummy now seems to be protruding evermore and clothes are getting tight. I’d love some suggestions for what I should wear or where to buy good maternity clothes. I recently bought some new jeans to fit my post Silver fat tummy and now even these feel tight. I do have some maternity jeans from Mothercare but I can’t live in one pair and their stuff is pretty expensive for a product I’ll wear for only a short time. All I can say is I hope that the wedding dress I’ve bought for my brothers wedding will still fit in three weeks’ time! I actually like the fact I look pregnant in it, it’s a conversation piece to say the least and it feels like the baby is a part of the day too. Let’s hope this baby just keeps growing bigger and stronger every day.

20180620_110336

In terms of nutrition which I think some people may be curious about considering I am vegan, I am taking vegan omega 3 (DHA + EPA) and Pregnacare. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t know if Pregnacare is vegan. I think it does state vegetarian on the packet but I’ve got a good reason for still taking it. For example, the flu jab is not vegan. It is made in a way that uses and exploits eggs, that’s why they ask you if you’re allergic to eggs. I hate the fact it isn’t “cruelty free” but also at the end of the day if it is a medicine and protects my child I have to make that choice. Most vegans still take medication if it is a case of life and death. I would take a vegan general multi vitamin however I know in pregnancy the balances of vitamins can vary to normal every day. I believe vit A is one you are not meant to have too much of during pregnancy for example. For this reason and since losing Silver I feel more confident consuming something made specific to the needs of pregnancy than what aligns with my morals. Of course, if you know of any vegan pregnancy supplements I would love to know!

I have to say, one good thing about being vegan in pregnancy is being able to eat as much raw cookie dough as you want with no worries of salmonella. Yep, I had a full batch of cookie dough and ate most of it to myself! I have noticed a pattern with my nausea also where I really struggle to eat during the daytime but by evening you would honestly think I’m having triplets! I eat so much food on a night its unreal. Or maybe I’m just fitting into the stereotype of a hormonal pregnant lady? I wouldn’t say recently I’ve had specific cravings but when I first got pregnant I lived off tofu in black bean sauce and fried rice with pineapple and cashew nuts. Both of which make me want to throw up now.

20180624_172045.jpg

I would say you are pretty up to date with everything going on pregnancy wise now. Then again, I’ve probably got baby brain and forgotten something! I’ve realised it tends to be best if I write my blog post, leave it overnight and revisit the next day as I’ve always forgotten something important I wanted to share that wouldn’t warrant its own blog post. I hope you continue to follow me through this journey, I have many more posts regarding baby loss too and all about Silver also so keep checking and I will try categorise all the posts so you can find exactly what you want to read about!

Until next time,

Holly x

Please also check out my fundraising post and help me reach my target. Tiny Lives directly worked with Silver and supported us through our NICU and bereavement journey and now we want to help other babies and parents. No donation is too small, and please share to anyone you think may wish to help.