14 Week Pregnancy After Loss Update

I don’t know whether to apologise or celebrate?! This blog post is going up so much later than expected thanks to my constant hemiplegic migraines but I am so glad today I am actually well enough to sit here writing! It would seem these migraines are going to play a huge role in this pregnancy unfortunately, although in all fairness if it turns out this baby is healthy then it’s still going to be a better pregnancy than Silver’s. I would rather suffer through these symptoms knowing its all going to be worth it. Then again it was completely worth it all the scary shit I went through with Silver’s pregnancy because I got sixteen amazing days with my little girl.

I’ll try my best to keep this blog pretty organised and in chronological order because I know I do have a terrible habit of jumping around a bit in my blogs! So the hardest part of my thirteen weeks was probably the sheer amount of appointments we had. I actually turned 13 weeks on the Tuesday so I’d had my second 12 week scan on the Monday, citizens advice meeting on the Tuesday, social worker on the Wednesday, health visitor on the Thursday, Beau’s birthday on the Friday followed by a resting weekend and consultant appointment on the Monday! I know these appointments are maybe only one to two hours long if that but doing that every single day is exhausting! I’ve been pretty wiped from the migraines, the headaches as I recover from the migraines and then to do all those appointments was probably too much to take on.

I managed to have one of my migraines on the Wednesday which we now have realised is usually triggered by stress. It is the most uncomfortable feeling as it makes the entire right side of my body feel week and restless. This is probably another contributor to my exhaustion as it can make sleeping on my right side sometimes impossible and uncomfortable. I get very upset with my migraines which probably makes them worse! I am very thankful to not have migraines which include a severe headache as most people stereotype. I actually only get a headache as I am recovering from the migraine and it is usually mild. It is unfortunately quite a persistent headache which can last a few days and with so many migraines recently despite being well hydrated I am often having mild headaches. My husband will testify that this is the last thing a hormonal pregnant woman needs, more reasons to be cranky!

I can’t recommend enough to anyone and everyone how good the Kool ‘n’ Soothe forehead strips are and they should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet! These are a great non-medicinal way of dealing with headaches but also morning sickness and general sickness too. You will have seen in most of my pregnancy blogs how I’ve used these often and I’m always recommending them. I hate taking pills and only tend to take paracetamol if my headache is stopping me sleeping although I still tend to use it as a combination with a forehead strip too. I also invested this week in a 4Head stick which has a similar cooling effect without anyone actually knowing you’ve used any product. You just rub it across your forehead and it starts cooling down and relieving the pain so it’s perfect for leaving the house when you don’t want to wear a forehead strip!

I had to deal with a lot of mum guilt this week too because I had had plans for months of what I wanted to do for Beau’s birthday. I wanted to do a party with BBQ and invite people over including some friends his own age etc. I had a whole board on Pinterest with ideas and I had a birthday cake planned I was going to make for him. All did not go to plan. I left it too late to invite people, I wasn’t organized at all and I was so sick during the week all I managed to do was bake the actual cake (with help from my mum). I put off icing his cake hoping I could finish it the day after his birthday but I realised my pride was not as important as Beau was and in the end I asked my mum to do the cake instead. She spent four hours making it and it looked great. Beau loved it and that was all that mattered. He especially loved the sparkler on top and nicking sweets out of the diggers bucket! (he’s never had sweets before)

 

Another thing in terms of mum guilt and Beau’s birthday was actually how we spent his birthday. I was so unwell and needed rest due to the migraine I’d had on the Wednesday that whilst we were all together first thing for him to open presents Fabian then took Beau with him to work and to nana’s house while I went back to bed to rest. I hated missing out on his day but thankfully I got picked up just after lunch and the rest of the day was spent as a family enjoying time together. Beau loved his ball pool from nana and grandad and despite having no fancy party tea we spent the day in each other’s company which was actually lovely and we were all very happy. Sometimes I think we do put too much pressure on ourselves and forget what’s really important.

I guess the party was more about convincing myself I was a good mum then necessarily what Beau would have wanted. I am sure he would have loved a party and to be able to play and interact with friends but I am able to arrange play dates for him and in the long run would he even remember a party at this age? I think I’ve been watching too much kkandbabyj on YouTube and whilst I am absolutely in love with them, I am not them, nor do I have the finances or energy they have. I need to remember to do me, I think we all need to remember to just do us. (I do wish I lived in Florida with my own pool though!)

One thing that was perfect about Beau’s day was how Silver was still very much a part of the day herself. We have got Beau a card from her and Stork (not yet written) but also a present. With her special animal it could only come from Silver and of course wrapped in Silver paper too. Beau may be non the wiser now but I know it is something I hope even he will come to appreciate when he is older and understands.

Moving on, the day after Beaus birthday I was even more sick. I was exhausted from the day before, super nauseous and the headache would not go away. I somehow managed to go to Sainsbury’s with Fab and Beau but soon realised it wasn’t a good idea. I was feeling sorry for myself and did the one thing that always cheers me up when I’m down or unwell. I bought new PJ’s. Don’t you just love the feel of new comfy PJ’s? I got a size 12 to make sure I could accommodate a growing bump; the worrying part is they’re not even baggy. I’m guessing their sizes just run small, or at least I’m hoping.

I also found some awesome baby outfits in the sale! As you probably know, Silver’s special animal was elephants and I found a two pack of elephant vests and two pack of elephant sleepsuits which were gender neutral and reduced! Initially I had thought how perfect they would be for bringing the baby home in, it could wear a vest and sleepsuit since it will be the middle of winter however since then I’ve had a change of heart. I love buying elephant outfits for this baby so Silver is a part of the journey still but I also want this baby to be individual and respected as its own self. I’ve got a pretty good idea for a theme for this baby but you’ll have to wait until my sixteen week update for that!

 

Another thing I bought at the shop was some stationary. By that I mean, a weekly planner, a notebook and a diary. I love to write things down. I make a lot of lists! I also have terrible baby brain and I’m generally pretty forgetful so with all these appointments it was a necessity. I also got the cutest little book for writing all my blog ideas and notes of what’s happened each week for my pregnancy updates. Most importantly however was a midyear diary. I don’t know why but I always prefer midyear diaries. I’ve mainly been writing diaries since having Beau as it coincided perfectly with his birthday. I regret the fact I was so unwell with Silver’s pregnancy that there are many gaps I now wish I could look back on and read about the excitement of her baby kicks. Hence I am now keeping a diary to treasure every little moment with this New Bean and recording all the highs and lows plus Beau’s childhood too!

stationary

I quickly realised I needed to get out of Sainsbury’s before I threw up or collapsed so we did have to rush home afterwards with the plan of sending Fabian back to actually buy food. Due to being so unwell this day we did actually make the decision and ask for Beau to stay at my mums overnight which was so helpful in allowing Fabian to look after me fully and make sure I was okay. It was only fair really as it meant Beau could then have the attention he needed whilst I too got the care I needed.

Being pregnant with a toddler is really hard. I was very lucky in Silver’s pregnancy that if I was unwell my mum could maybe help for a few hours whereas now its all or nothing. If I’m really sick Fabian takes Beau with him to work where my mum looks after him but with us now living thirty minutes away it is not as easy for someone to simply bring Beau back in the afternoon. I hate the days when I’m really sick but could maybe manage half a day and instead lose out completely. When we moved house our plan was after Silver to wait quite a while before having any more children so this was an unexpected turn of events. I am so thankful I have the support but I miss my little boy and hate missing more of his childhood because of having another difficult pregnancy. I am hoping the nausea will dissipate soon and I get my little boy back!

The last day of my thirteen weeks was probably the best day! It was my second ever consultant appointment. As I mentioned, memory is not my forte so I wrote a rather long list of things to discuss. It is so much easier this way as we can simply work through each item. I got the fantastic news that where Newcastle had done the C Section meant I now have the go ahead for a VBAC! I asked how long she would let me go over my due date and she actually responded with asking how comfortable would I be. This was fantastic to hear that actually I am still involved in the decision making and as I said, with Beau I was ten days over so I was in fact happy to do the same again.

We openly discussed that should any issues arise I was happy to have a C Section again if it meant I would have a safer deliver for myself and baby. I was so pleased that she was also happy for me to have a pool birth as they have special monitors so I can be under constant monitoring whilst still being in the water. We also made a plan to do stretch and sweeps from thirty-eight weeks to encourage a natural labour as induction can actually be risky with a previous C Section scar. All in all I’m feeling pretty positive about the birth right now and very hopeful I might finally get the pool birth I’ve dreamt of.

Due to my twelve week scan being the day before thirteen weeks its cocked up the plan of fortnightly scans. I discussed feeling anxious over the next scan being at sixteen weeks where possibly problems could show up as this was meant to be the detailed scan of baby’s kidneys. I had hoped to fit another “positive” scan in before sixteen weeks however leaving it this late meant it was going to be difficult to book. Thankfully we came up with a plan for my peace of mind to have a scan at fifteen weeks and postpone the sixteen week one to seventeen weeks.

Another exciting and unexpected thing happened in this appointment too. Being not quite fourteen weeks I never even considered the doppler however as I was sat there the consultant and midwife started whispering to each other. Me and Fab both heard the midwife say “why not, we can try”. I didn’t realise what was going on but then they offered to try check for the heartbeat. I was very shocked but thankfully the heartbeat was found pretty quickly and brightened my spirit. It was such a pleasant surprise and always a welcome reassurance. I didn’t however cry like I normally do at my scans! Both the consultant and midwife remarked at the end of the appointment how much happier I looked and how despondent I had been walking into that appointment.

I realise this is a pretty long blog post but hopefully you’re still with us and I’m not rambling too much. We now move on to fourteen weeks! We had a great family day out at the beginning of the week attending a local country show which my mum had a stall at. I had to be pretty careful with all the sheep muck with it being a farmer’s field and also making sure Beau didn’t stroke the sheep. Yep, I was surprised when I first found out pregnant women should avoid contact with sheep but if that’s the case I’m going to be overly cautious protecting this baby! For the people who know me they’ll know I love cows, their noses are just so cute and they’re like big field puppies. So I kind of had a typical hormonal pregnancy moment and when I saw all the cows at the show and how cute they were I cried… In my first pregnancy with Beau it was Dogue Du Bordeaux dogs which always made me cry with their cuteness. Pregnancy hormones do crazy things to you!

This is usually a show where we see a lot of people we know, with some this is the only day each year we see those people. I love getting to see everyone and have the yearly catch up but one thing I didn’t expect was to be avoided. I could be imagining it and maybe it was more a coincidence but either way it hurt. I saw a couple of familiar faces who we exchanged hello’s and yet I was surprised that they didn’t seem to want to stop at all and even talk. This is the first time I’ve actually been avoided and it was pretty painful. I now understand why people say baby loss is taboo and how it can actually make people uncomfortable.

This is why I write my blog, because I don’t agree at all with this guilt that mums and dads are made to feel for wanting to talk about their children. We as parents are not trying to make other people cry, we simply want to share how we are still proud parents to our children. We want to say their names and more than anything we just want to feel a bit of normalcy. We want to feel our children are still a part of our lives and others and that they are not forgotten. So despite this blow I will still keep my head held high and keep talking about my beautiful little princess along with my other babies, including our miscarriage Stork.

hollyv2

Unfortunately, I did actually have a mental health flare up this week. One day just did not go to plan and some of my triggers were effected. I yet again felt let down by the NHS. In a crisis I felt there was going to be no support available to myself which left me feeling pretty vulnerable as someone who was suicidal and pregnant. People with borderline personality disorder have a 10% suicide rate and unfortunately I have many times in the past attempted to take my own life. I won’t go into too much detail today as I feel this warrants its own blog due to the sheer complexity of mental health during pregnancy.

 I am however proud of myself that I did make the decision that despite the crisis team being appalling I knew for the baby’s sake I was at least safer in hospital than home. I simply felt overwhelmed from the loss of Silver, the anxiety of my current pregnancy and a feeling of instability within my life and not being where I want to be within my life. I asked Fabian to take me to the hospital knowing if I phoned 111 or 999 they would simply insist I go anyway so it was easier to skip that part. Fabian came upstairs to get dressed but watching me struggle due to my hemiplegia from migraines he instead had to rush to my aid before I fell over.

I think somehow this triggered the switch with Fabian as he then realised my vulnerability and decided he needed to step into the caring roll after not being able to support me most of the night. Thankfully he did manage to take care of me by physically helping me get to the bed and then was able to provide emotional support. This also meant we avoided a trip to hospital which would have meant waking Beau up, probably exhausted and frustrated me and most likely would not have been of much benefit.

You would think me having an appointment with my mental health worker the next day would be beneficial. Normally when I attend these appointments I try to hide the “borderline” side of me. I work hard to maintain a “normal” image. I didn’t in this appointment. Straight from the bat I told her I felt shit and let’s just say the appointment went downhill as I lost it. I felt suicidal and angry at the system. I was angry at the world and everyone in it. It didn’t particularly help when I was feeling anxious about baby due to how stressed I was the day before and then the mental health worker commented on how small my bump was.

baby bump

Clearly she didn’t know why Silver died. One big factor in her combination of symptoms was being a very small baby and measuring up to seven weeks behind. You can imagine the anxiety this then triggered. I left the appointment and straight away got Fabian to call my midwife to ask about getting a heartbeat check. I didn’t expect to get seen so late in the day but she was happy for me to quickly pop down to fit in between her appointments for a five minute reassurance visit. I am pleased to say she easily found a healthy heartbeat ticking away at around 134bpm which she allowed me to film so I could listen back to it! (See the video on my Instagram @rainbow_and_angel_mummy)

One thing we have decided recently due to how badly my body is physically responding to the pregnancy with the migraines, exhaustion and nausea is to postpone toilet training. We think Beau is just about ready to start and since we are going through so many nappies a day it would have been perfect to get going. The only problem is if he had an accident I don’t know how my nausea would manage with that and I simply think it would be taking on too much. I don’t want to get stressed from trying to do more than my body can currently manage. I know it would be easier to potty train in summer but I also don’t want to lose my temper if I’m exhausted and he’s had an accident which then causes him to have anxiety over toilet training. I want to do it at the right time so it works well for him and us as a family.

In terms of cravings at thirteen weeks I was craving anything “wintery”. So I wanted roasted veg, soups and stews. I think some of that is also the fact generally I am so over summer and just want the cool nights to start. I absolutely love autumn so I do tend to go through phases like this even when I’m not pregnant. I have however in the last two weeks also been eating a lot of ready salted hula hoops. I also loved these in my last pregnancy and once Silver had been born I lived off these at the hospital! I think they are just so basic yet have my favourite flavour (salt) so they agree well with my stomach and also my lack of energy to cook anything.

One lovely thing about the last two weeks is the little flutters I have been feeling, especially during fourteen weeks. Its starting to feel real now. Part of me finds that scary as I bond with the baby even more, and its also a sign of the impending twenty week scan. I don’t know why but I do have a good feeling about this pregnancy, I just don’t believe it is going to happen again. At least not this time. I’m so desperate to nest but I’m still being pretty cautious about buying anything just to protect myself. I can’t wait to be told I have a healthy baby so I can do the one thing I never got to do for Silver – nesting and lots of baby shopping.

I have done a little practical nesting within the house, I’ve got a load of Beau’s old stuff ready to wash and I’m storing all the things for new baby in the moses basket which is in the spare room. I love the moses basket we have but what do people think about me putting new baby in a basket Silver has laid in passed away? I wouldn’t want to lie in a bed someone had been deceased in but then again there’s financial practicality to consider too. Plus, although it had Silver in it did also have a very happy, healthy Beau in for five to six months. I must also add Silver had actually leaked fluids/ blood onto the mattress in the moses basket which we have now disposed of so it would be a brand new mattress etc.

SIlver's Journey Home
SIlver’s Journey Home

We actually had a really pleasant weekend during our fourteen weeks of pregnancy too. We recently bought a 4×4 car and our friends offered to take us “off-roading”. It was such a good day, if not a little bumpy. I did worry every now and again about baby purely due to how bumpy it could get but New Bean reassured me during the day with movements and for the steepest part which wasn’t really pregnancy safe I simply got out and watched. We let Beau sit in my seat for this part in his car seat and he loved it! He was shouting “wee…!” and every time he saw my friend with her camera he would shout “cheese”. He now does this every time he wants his picture taking! All photo’s below were taken by Creative Capture By Emma.

We got to see some amazing scenery and had a lovely picnic within the North Yorkshire moors. It was so nice to do something different, get out of the house, socialise and spend time as a family too. Okay so we did get a little stuck at one point but it would seem a few alterations to the car and we should be good to go again. As my pregnancy progresses I am going to double check with the midwife and consultant to ensure they are happy for me going from a pregnancy point of view. One thing’s for sure, if they say bumpy roads can help get labour going I know exactly how to get this baby out when the time comes! All photos below taken by yours truly (I’m not planning a career change just yet! Haha)

Well I think its fair to say I’ve saved the best until last. I had a scan! Yep, I somehow ended up having my fifteen week scan the day before I turned fifteen weeks so you guys get a bonus scan this week. If I’m honest this was actually my worst scan so far. Not because anything was wrong, because I was worried of being told there was something wrong. If you’ve read my other updates you’ll know I’ve cried at every scan when I’ve seen the baby. Well I outdid myself this time, I cried before we even got into the scan room! The sonographer was a little shocked but when I explained I was just anxious she completely understood.

She had already read my notes and knew a brief history but if we felt happy to which we did, she wanted to hear from us exactly what happened with Silver. I am pleased to say so far so good. At first she kept trying to point out the heartbeat to me and despite me seeing baby moving my eyes were blurry from crying plus a migraine starting that I couldn’t see it for quite a while. She was happy that the size of baby and fluid levels was normal. She could see fluid in the bladder which was reassuring to know baby is swallowing fluid and as far as she could see despite the small size everything looked okay. Naturally I’m still anxious of the next two scans but thankful for this reassurance and yet another picture to add to my collection.

Scan0001

One thing that has bothered me about this scan is reading the report in my notes afterwards which mentioned anterior placenta. After a quick google I realised this meant on the front of the womb. This has been quite upsetting knowing I was really hoping for a pleasant pregnancy after twenty weeks yet I now have an issue which may inhibit me feeling movement. I am so glad for Instagram though, it turns out it is pretty common and effects different people differently. The thing that does reassure me is I know 100% I have felt baby so it obviously isn’t effecting my ability to feel movement as it maybe does for some people. I really hope I get to feel lots of baby kicks for reassurance and bonding. I will keep you guys posted on how I get on with this!

I hope you are all enjoying following my pregnancy after loss journey. Please share with anyone you feel may find comfort reading my experiences and follow the blog to be notified of my next posts. I appreciate all the love and feedback I get on here and social media. The baby loss community is a sad yet strong and supportive community which inspires me to continue sharing my journey through loss and creating a rainbow.

Until next time,

Holly x