12 Week Pregnancy After Loss Update

Hello Everyone, I’m back with another pregnancy update. I decided when I did my eleven week blog post I was going to do one at twelve weeks for you since I am slightly paranoid of thirteen being an unlucky number. In theory this should have been a shorter blog post but a lot has happened including two scans so its probably a good job this is only one weeks worth! We should then resume the two week schedule unless something else monumental happens!

Firstly, let me address my aim to do videos documenting this pregnancy. I have actually been filming as much as I can, very much in a vlog style rather than a sit-down style. I’ve been trying to capture the good and the bad moments, the moments when I feel so happy and excited and the moments where I’ve had a good unexpected cry on camera. If you follow me on Instagram you will know technology has not been my friend in the last six months, I’ve had computer issues, hard drive issues and camcorder issues. Its cost me a lot of money in repairs and replacements but hopefully by the end of this week I will have a fully functioning hard drive and can then start editing these videos together for you guys to see an aspect of this pregnancy only a video can capture.

This week has had many ups and downs. One of which was obviously my hard drive breaking and me believing I had lost all baby photos of Silver and Beau. I can’t stress enough to other parents to back up, back up and back up! Its better to have a million copies of baby photos that you never need than to lose them all. I was completely broken when I first thought they were all gone and hysterically cried. I’ve been informed it’s a hardware issue and not software problem so its going to be an expensive repair but so worth it if they manage to be successful. I’ve always agreed with my mum, if there was ever a house fire and no one needed saving, the one thing I would save is my photos. Everything else can be replaced. Would I be going too far to be contemplating a fire proof safe for my hard drive? I’m pretty sure Argos sell them!

Probably the hardest part of this last week was when my good friend who was eight weeks pregnant and had also previously lost a baby started bleeding. We got a call one day that she was heavily bleeding and needed to go to hospital, thankfully we were in her town and were her only transport option. We gladly rushed her through to the local hospital and unfortunately her fiancée was unable to come too as he was waiting for their son to arrive home. As soon as we had got that call you’ve never seen me and Fabian move so fast. I had to fight so hard against the tears and was breaking inside with the worst feeling.

We checked her in at A&E whilst of course staying with her, trying to hope for the best. Her bleeding was progressively getting heavier and we were becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of urgency from the staff. I appreciate it was the busiest I’ve ever seen that room but at the same time she was gushing blood!!! I was so glad when instead of sending her to the other side where I have at times received poor care she instead was taken by two consultant gynaecologists to a very nice new ward where they were then able to do testing away from the hustle and bustle of the emergency room. I sat most of the time trying my best to support her whilst holding back the tears.

I’ve had nightmares in this pregnancy generally of miscarriage but I do wonder if they have increased a little since then, or perhaps its that sixteen week scan looming over my head making me on edge. I have actually had miscarriage nightmares in all pregnancies, it’s just harder to dismiss after losing Silver. I know her loss will have greatly affected her so much more than me but going though that day with her did leave me quite anxious and very emotional thinking about Silver. I thought I was coping well with her loss but this week I’ve been very tearful and emotional most days.

I have also been struggling with increasing nausea. I thought nausea was meant to get better as you near the second trimester? For some reason mine is actually picking up and feeling slightly worse. I can’t tell you how glad I am to be starting to crave foods meaning at least when I can manage to eat I actually know what I want to eat. From last week I am still very much loving chow mein pot noodles but a new craving has started in the past few days. Its actually a very old recipe, from Mrs Beeton’s cookbook which is over 150 years old. It was a recipe my nana and parents would make and was traditionally served at Christmas in our household.

Forcemeat balls became a huge comfort food for me and I always used to want them when I was sick. The only difference being we now have to “vegan-ize” the recipe. They are basically stuffing balls consisting of suet, breadcrumbs, bacon, egg, parsley, lemon rind, salt and pepper. I never said they were healthy… All we need to do is change to veggie suet, vegan bacon and we use an egg replacement with a bit of additional water. Trust me, these are divine and meat eater or not you need to try them! I think with them being such a comfort food and so simple in flavours without being too pungent like many foods they are perfect for my stomach right now. Oh, and these go really well with sprouts and chestnuts I might add!

forcemeat balls

My nausea did play a role in this last weekend with travelling 6 hours down south to my brothers wedding. Thankfully the drive down went pretty smoothly and I could eat the sandwiches we packed and my graze chocolate oat squares. I’m also pleased to say my sickness tolerated Starbucks for three days – I got a small size due to caffeine content obviously. I am so glad my stomach behaved during the actual wedding and we had our first ever afternoon tea too, the sandwiches were amazing!

afternoon tea

Unfortunately, I paid the price the next day after two good days. I honestly thought on the drive home I was going to end up throwing up in the car as I had actually been retching at the hotel! Kool ‘n’ Soothes came to my rescue again and I am so glad I actually managed to fall asleep in the car which is a rarity. I also had a splitting headache so did relent and take paracetamol, I didn’t know how else I was going to get through a 6 hour drive and thought we might even have to stop half way and find a hotel. I managed to eat a little at the services to keep me going but food was not my friend and I wasn’t eager to eat much of the options available to vegans. All I can say is thank god for forcemeat balls when I got home! (As I write this Fab is currently making me forcemeat balls for breakfast…)

While we are on the topic of travelling, let me back track a few days to the day we actually travelled down to the wedding. I think I actually forgot to mention in my last pregnancy update that I’d had a hemiplegic migraine that week, well one week later and I had another. It can take a few days for me to recover as my muscular and coordination go back to normal so I had barely recovered before having another! We do think a trigger for me is stress and my vision was a bit strange the day before which we now believe is a warning sign of an impending attack. It was quite emotional travelling to the wedding which I always thought Silver would be attending and to have this migraine made me very tearful and emotional. It felt so unfair to not only be emotionally suffering but for my body to let me down too.

I am going to speak with my consultant about these migraines just so she is aware and I know how best to deal with them. The neurologist consultant who I saw regarding these migraines did say if I got pregnant it could either get worse or they completely disappear. I was actually really hoping I would only ever have that one but since getting pregnant I have now had three (during pregnancy). From my research it does say it can either be spontaneous or genetic and considering all the genetic testing we’ve had done for Silver I plan on asking for genetic testing for this to confirm if it is something else I need to consider that could affect my children.

I know I’m going to sound a little bit crazy now to all the people who know when baby kicks should be felt but I swear I’ve felt tiny movement. I know its not gas and its not exactly kicks, but “flutters” I guess you could say. They say from around sixteen weeks you can feel baby, sometimes much later in your first pregnancy but I’m sure every now and again I do feel baby move. It is such a comforting feeling and a gentle reminder he/she is tucked away in there still. I am just looking forward to hopefully growing a bigger, stronger, healthy baby and that these movements just continue to increase in strength and frequency.

One thing I have been enjoying this week is crocheting. I’m not an expert by any means and usually start projects I don’t complete but this last week I have started to crochet simple baby hats and have been loving it. I spend the evenings with peace and quiet instead of having the television on which has been allowing me to practise mindfulness. I’ve also found it a way of trying to think positively about this pregnancy and give me a way of looking forward whilst feeling proud of myself for accomplishing these small achievements. I’m hoping to progress and be able to make even more items and now have several different hook sizes making it even easier to start new projects.

baby hats

I want to briefly talk about placenta results before getting to the best part – the well known twelve week scan. I was told it would take two weeks to test the placenta, well here we are five months later and I finally received the results. The placenta was small, being in the 10% range for placenta size for a baby of Silver’s age. This would give some explanation for her being a small baby. There was also evidence blood flow to the placenta was not great – known as hypoxia. A poorly functioning placenta would also explain her size however they feel it is not the definitive cause of her being so unwell and rather one piece of the bigger picture. The placenta would not have caused her kidney, gut and lung abnormalities and therefor we are left still with so many questions. I am thankful I will hopefully be able to find out more info from my consultant at our appointment next week.

I know just how lucky I am to be getting all the scans I am currently receiving and I’m sure people pregnant with healthy babies will no doubt be jealous. Of course, I just wish I knew I had a healthy baby and didn’t require scans as I am doing. I do feel lucky in a way due to my errors with my first twelve week scan. Yes, I’ve had two. The letter wasn’t very clear about the blood test for extra screening so I wasn’t prepared to do a blood test, mentally nor with numbing cream. We contemplating not having the screening done at all as I was all ready to be scanned and desperately needed to see the baby for reassurance. Thankfully the sonographer interrupted and said they could scan me now but also reschedule and do the screening scan and blood test the next week. I can’t tell you how glad I was to be able to get that reassurance but also know I would still be able to have the testing for a different type of reassurance. I’ve never actually had the screening done before so didn’t understand how it all worked really!

My first twelve week scan went great actually. Okay well, great in the sense we had a healthy wriggling baby. You’ve got to remember though, my twelve week scan with Silver was the last good scan I had of her so naturally I was already emotional in the waiting room. I’ve also managed to keep up my record this pregnancy of crying at every scan. As soon as she showed me this “baby looking” baby I burst into tears and needless to say I cried through the whole scan. I probably should just ask for a tissue before we start next time really… Baby was measuring a couple days ahead and seemed healthy and well. He/ She was wriggling about, sucking their hand and even scratched their head! I asked if they could see the kidneys and she had a good look. They were small but this was due to generally they normally can’t even see the kidneys at this point, I was reassured there was fluid in babies stomach so I’m hoping baby is swallowing and weeing plenty! I even got my scan pictures for free, probably due to crying so much but Fabian thought he even saw the sonographer tear up at one point.

1st 12 week scan

My second twelve week scan didn’t quite go as smoothly although still all was well. We simply have a naughty baby who didn’t want to be measured for the extra screening. I of course cried and it was quite difficult when I knew she was struggling to get the measurement and asked me to go for a wee. The last time I had to do that for a scan was the twenty week scan with Silver where slowly we realised something was not right. She tried to scan again and baby was still being naughty so I had to go for a sugary drink, also reminiscent of Silver’s twenty week scan. Thankfully baby eventually behaved, it had even completely flipped sides! She got all the measurements and reassured me everything she could see in terms of the baby, measurement and fluid were all so far looking completely normal. I got two pictures two, one with baby refusing to pose but also a picture perfect one!

2nd 12 week scan

I went for my blood test next with my numbing cream and then I saw my midwife afterwards to share the placenta results where we then discussed that it might be worth taking aspirin and would be something to discuss with the consultant next week. We are also hoping to arrange a maternal physio for my rib pain which is affecting sleep on some nights, darn that relaxin hormone! I mentioned my hemiplegic migraines which she seemed a little concerned about and suggested if it happens again this week to go see the GP and possibly back to the neurologist to see if I should be taking anything but if not, this will also be a point of discussion with the consultant next week.

emla-cream.jpg

Something I did want to mention is a couple days ago after my brothers wedding on the way home we stopped at a service station. I have been coping pretty well seeing other babies but for some reason I saw a new born baby and it made me want to cry. Something I did very often soon after Silver, I cried in many public places very awkwardly. The thing I find hardest though is how confusing it is when I feel this way because I am so desperately grieving my little girl but at the same time it doesn’t make sense because I do have a baby inside me. In theory I should be happy knowing I too will soon have a new born yet I have the most conflicting emotions going around in my head. I was planning on mentioning this to my mental health worker this week to find out whether this was a normal response or not.

So, where does this leave us now? We have a healthy baby so far, I’m trying to stay stress free and relaxed for my sanity and migraine prevention. We are due on the 29th January and are taking things one day at a time. I’ve got some new books and crochet gear to really give me a chance to focus on myself. I’ve got a plan in place to still be receiving mental health support alongside seeing my amazing hypnotherapist who always manages to make me so much more relaxed and at ease. I am hoping next week will be more relaxed and stress free and will be keeping my fingers crossed for this sixteen week scan looming in the near future.

Until next time,

Holly x