Knitting Project and Contemplating Grief

I decided I would allow myself to get a little bit excited and bought myself a Sirdar knitting pattern for a cuddly rabbit. I settled down to start, and like always happens I couldn’t stop, so I managed to make it in three days.  It turned out positively adorable! Obviously as of yet I don’t know if I am having a boy or a girl so I had to pick a wool that would suit both, I picked Sirdar Baby Crofter 158 and I think it fitted the brief perfectly. I absolutely love how it has turned out!

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I find knitting very therapeutic, but it gives you a LOT of time to think. I didn’t allow myself to think much about the baby I would be giving the toy to – be they born now, silently,  or at full term and screaming. They all deserve a toy. This pregnancy is turning into a mind exercise, training myself to be able to see and do things without allowing my mind to wonder and imagine.

To stop the inevitable problems arising from endless free thinking, I set myself something to consider, something that made me think about both of my children and it also answered some questions I was silently wondering.

I read something online recently asking whether it is possible to grieve for one child while celebrating another.
I gave this a lot of thought and came to the conclusion I was managing to do both.
Every time I celebrate something for Shrimp, a small hurdle, eg. I heard a heartbeat, I also think about my little girl. At the moment I’m thinking that at the same stage of pregnancy she was doing the same thing, that at 15 weeks I heard her heartbeat at the Midwife too. I’m subconsciously trying to compare the pregnancies and revelling in the similarities and excited about the differences.
In the future every milestone will be in my head that my daughter should have already celebrated this. That Shrimps first cry shouldn’t be the first I’ve heard, that the first birthday cake i make, I should have made one 10 months earlier. For every celebration there is also going to be a mourning, but I am not going to let that stop me celebrating. That wouldn’t be fair. I chose to get pregnant again, I decided I was ready for this mish-mash of joy and grief, I can’t take it out on my baby and I can’t make them miss out on things, celebrations etc. I can’t hate every moment of this pregnancy as I would only end up resenting this poor baby.
That said, I worried earlier in the pregnancy that I was forgetting to think about my little girl and getting too wrapped up in this pregnancy – there are so many doctors visits and things going on it would be easy to do, but I soon realised that my mind wanders to my little girl everytime it has a chance. My subconscious is keeping her with me even if my conscious mind has to be occupied with other things.
Effy-Mae will always be my first born, my first daughter, and any children I have now will know about her as their big sister. She may have only been in my life for 21weeks, but im not going to pretend those 21weeks didn’t happen, nor am I going to let the grief I still feel from that time affect my future.
I think there is a fine line between letting go and letting the grief overwhelm you. I have moments, many, in fact where I wonder why what happened, happened, whether it was preventable, whether it was my fault, and i feel totally overwhelmed and sure that this pregnancy will end the same. Its a crushing feeling knowing that all too easily this journey could be over too, that I could be visiting both my children in graves, but I will not let it affect Shrimp. Shrimp is, of course, my number one priority, I will do all I can to protect Shrimp from my grief and make sure I enjoy every second of this pregnancy, but I don’t think I will ever live a day where I don’t also think of my little girl.

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Bump Photos

Bruising is coming with every injection now so my tummy looks abused!
Definitely growing though!!

All the purple bruising on the most recent photo came from one injection! OUCH!

22/02/14
16 weeks 1 day

 

18/02/14
15 weeks 4 days

 

13/02/14
14 weeks 6 days

Injections, Bump Growth, Movements and Turning 17weeks.

So the injections are not getting any easier and I’m pretty sure I will never get used to them. I have now done 29 of them, finishing my first prescription tomorrow! I have found that getting the right amount of pressure is tricky, many times I have plucked up the courage and jabbed the needle in only for it to stop after only the tip has gone in and have to take it out and start again, then there is the fact that the stuff still hurts. Not every time now, and I haven’t yet worked out what happens different when it does hurt, but sometimes the liquid stings like bees and sometimes I can hardly feel it! And lastly I have the fact that sometimes the injection bruises, and I don’t mean a little bruise, I mean a massive great bruise that swells to a lump and really hurts! Obviously the injections are thinning my blood, making me more likely to bruise, I have noticed this down my legs, a little knock and I have a bruise to show for it. I was warned about this side effect, however the bruising around the injections goes dark purple within minutes and keeps growing for hours! To start with it was only occasional injections that were causing it, and then it was after every injection, more recently however I have noticed I am not bruising so much! Work that one out! I haven’t changed how, when or where I inject, but for some reason I don’t seem to be bruising at the moment. Maybe my body is being nice and giving my sides time to debruise themselves before starting again!

As you can see from my previous post ‘Bump Photos’ my bump is steadily growing. I love showing it off and it’s starting to get past the ‘is she just realllly bloated’ stage. I am pretty sure people in the street must be able to see I am pregnant, atleast I hope they can! I wore a dress last night that used to be able to conceal my bump, but noticed that it just made it more obvious. I was so happy!
I have got a posh do to go to in the next few weeks and I haven’t thought about buying a dress for it yet, as I didn’t know what size I would be, whether I would be the same size I was last time at nearing 20 weeks or bigger or smaller or god forbid, not pregnant any more. Considering all this I have put it off ’til now to get a dress, and now I am panicking as I am really fussy and don’t have a massive budget and it seems if you add the word maternity to things you instantly add a whole lot of money to the price tag! I am going to drag my mum into the city in the next week with one aim – to find me a dress – and we shall suceed! I think I will also look at empire line non maternity dresses as I am sure that I will be able to still fit in them without the hem line going funny and atleast that increases my choice a little! I shall add updates to this dress hunt – I’m sure lots of pregnant ladies have exactly the same problems as I am having, I’m sure there is a simple and cheap solution (apparently cutting the stomach out of one of my dresses is not considered a sensible budget option)

For the last few days I have been trying to feel Shrimp move. During my last pregnancy I never felt what felt like butterflies like everyone else describes it, I only felt her kicking when I held my hand against my belly and it felt like gas bubbles popping in my gut. I am finding myself hyper aware of my stomach, feeling for anything that might be a kick or a shuffle or a hiccup. I have taken to sitting there on an evening with my hands clutching my stomach in the hope I will feel a little kick. I half convinced myself Tuesday/Wednesday that I was feeling kicks, they seemed constant and concentrated in one area, but by Thursday morning I sat all morning clutching my tummy and nothing, absolutely nothing! Obviously my first thought was that I was clearly wrong about the previous couple of days, that I must have been really gassy (great!) then my mind started to wonder and maybe Shrimp is just asleep and will start kicking again soon… Then I began to panic that maybe this was exactly like last time, that maybe those last couple of days was Shrimp kicking, only they would be the only ever kicks I would get to feel. Last time, being my first baby, not knowing what I was feeling for I was feeling the kicks and in my heart I knew what they were but it wasn’t until I stopped feeling them that I KNEW what they had been. That couldn’t be happening to me again could it? I grabbed my Doppler and half panicking, half excited, turned it on, moving the probe around my stomach listening for a heartbeat, I moved it right round my stomach, panic rising in my throat, not again, not this time. Then there was a quiet dumdumdum, moving the probe slightly it got louder and clearer, then moved away again, I moved the probe around and found it again, listening with relief and finding myself relaxing to the sound. Without having my own home Doppler I would be a nervous wreck by now. Having not felt any movements since then either, I would have been ringing the midwife this morning asking her to listen for baby’s heartbeat.
I am going to be one of those women who will panic about every little thing, and without a home Doppler the midwives would probably be getting so many calls from me, they’d probably block my number!! I am pretty sure the sudden moments of panic won’t change until this baby is in my arms and not in danger of my body any more!

So this morning my phone app informed me that my baby is now 17 weeks (yeah, my phone didn’t really need to tell me, my head has it’s own counter!)
This gives me:
Just over 2 weeks until the posh do.
3 weeks until my scan when I can hopefully find out if I’m having a little girl or little boy.
4 weeks until I reach the point that last time it was all over (I shall not think about that, I shall not think about that – who am I kidding? It’s all I can think about, then I feel guilty when I catch myself.)
7 weeks until baby is viable.

Bump Photos

The bruising is starting to fade, I don’t know why it goes through phases of bruising and not bruising, but I’m liking the not bruising phase!!

I’m so proud of my bump, and I’m wearing whatever shows it off at the moment!!

02/03/14
17 weeks 2 days

 

27/02/14
16 weeks 6 days

Feeling Movement and Dress Shopping

So last night, me and Shrimps daddy headed out to the cinema. I sat with my hands over my tummy enjoying the film when all of a sudden I felt something. I turned my concentration to it, thinking I’d imagined it, but there it was again, a little nudge against my hand. I decided it must be a massive bubble of gas or something, it felt so much more definite than I ever felt in my previous pregnancy, but I kept my hands there and the nudging continued! Not a fluttery feeling, not like gas bubbles popping, but like a baby kicking from the inside. It was so surreal. Every time I thought I’d grab daddy’s hand to see if he could feel it too though, the movements stopped for a bit. They’d always start up again though, and continued right up to the end of the film! Being 17weeks and 5days I wasn’t expecting to feel anything so definite for months, but I have no doubt about what I was feeling!

All I wanted to do today was sit and wait to feel Shrimp again, but no such luck, I’d already arranged to go dress shopping for the posh do I am attending in just over a week.
We set off straight after lunch, allowing me to have done my injection before we left. Might be a bit strange doing that in the toilets somewhere – I feel awkward enough taking my tablets in public!
My back has been aching for a couple of days now, an aching feeling around my lower back, either side of my spine, a pain which is made worse by walking so I wanted to make this trip as quick and successful as possible. Arriving in the city at about half one we set off on a trail around the shops. We had already partially planned which shops to try – the ones likely to be in my price range and have something relevant. We got through them quickly, mainly because the majority of them either didn’t have evening wear, or the evening wear cost around £200, at that point we exited the store as quickly as we could! In the entire day I picked up one dress that was maternity wear, it was on the sale rack and was a total coincidence it was maternity. The only shop I found a dedicated maternity section in was H&M and there was definitely no evening wear in there!
I should probably mention that I am relatively tall, 5’10”, meaning that even normally I have to check the length of maxi dresses as some are just too short. Today I found that removing the couple of inches that my bump takes up makes 99% of maxi dresses too short, and even made knee length dresses unsuitable for this event! I found Quiz dresses were the only ones that would potentially be suitable, but I wasn’t over-keen on them, so chalked them up as maybes.
Four hours later however, I was ready to give up and go back to Quiz, pick one, any one, and go home, but first we decided to give House of Fraser a go, even though the first price tag I looked at was £195 I knew they had bargains occasionally so we kept looking and finally I found a lovely Little Mistress dress which is big enough over my bump, is long enough to not look too short on me and is dressy enough for the do and best of all, it was £37.50! It was the last on the rack, the only colour combination I liked and in my size. It was like it was meant to be! I bought it as quickly as I could and left, glad that it was finally over!

  
A couple of sneaky pictures I took in the changing room – I shall hopefully get some nice ones at the event

I’d been limping around the city for about 4 hours, my back was absolute agony by this point. I even had to sit down waiting for our lift to get us, and finally sitting down in the car felt so amazing I could have just stayed there!

Now why didn’t I just buy online? Honestly, I normally do. Buying clothes online is my norm, but with an ever growing bump I needed to know it was going it fit and give me room to move and eat.
I don’t know why I couldn’t find any maternity ranges anywhere, maybe they were there but didn’t include evening wear so I didn’t notice them, but I must admit I did keep my eyes peeled for any signage and it atleast didn’t jump out at me!
I know some stores keep maternity ranges online which is fair enough, it keeps costs down not having to keep all sizes in stock in all stores, but it made actual city shopping a total nightmare! With the amount of pregnancies going up I’d have thought everywhere would have a maternity section!

Atleast I have finally got myself a dress, that’s one less thing to worry about, now for shoes and jewellery! I think I’ll be raiding my cupboards for those. Less walking!!!

Bump Photos

So for now, my body seems to have given up on the serious bruising, now I’m only getting little purple areas around some of the injections – I won’t pretend to know why, but I’m sure as hell not complaining! I haven’t changed how I’m doing them, I did move down my side a little bit to a slightly less fleshy area, maybe that’s why, but then again, maybe not!

I’m still trying to show off my bump in everything I’m wearing! I love it!

09/03/14
18 weeks 2 days

 

05/03/14
17 weeks 5 days

Dressing Up a Bump and Bubbling Panic

On Friday I turned 19 weeks! It is scary how quickly it seems to be going now – the first few weeks after I found out seemed to drag so much, yet here I am now coming up to halfway, though thinking that I have this length of time to go again, it seems a long time again! Thankfully I will be having a scan every month from now on though, this two months of not checking on little Shrimp has been torture! It’s getting better now that I am feeling movement more regularly though, atleast I have a reassurance that I can rely on.

You may remember that a couple of posts ago I wrote about looking for a dress to go to a relatively posh do in. I spent a day in the city and eventually found a dress to wear.
So last night I got all dressed up – ok, I spent most of the day getting ready – where did all this extra hair on my head come from? I swear it now takes double as long to wash and style (Not helped by me not knowing what style to do and I believe I probably exhausted all the youtube tutorials before giving up and making it up as I went!)
Eventually ready I posed for some photos for my mum, and honestly I love the dress. From the side I was obviously pregnant, but from the front you couldn’t really tell, and the best part – because the dress isn’t a maternity dress I can wear it again and again, and I will because I really love it!

 

So being out for the evening and busy all day getting ready I hadn’t had any time to sit down and concentrate on feeling Shrimp move. A couple of people asked me throughout the evening if Shrimp was enjoying themselves and I think a look of panic had to have come into my eyes each time I replied that I hadn’t felt any tiny dancing tonight. I enjoyed the evening, pushing those fears to the back of my mind, forcing myself into believing that I only hadn’t felt any movement because I hadn’t been concentrating on it.
When I got home at half 1, one of my mums first questions was whether Shrimp had enjoyed it! I forced myself to relax, as I’m normally dosing off at about 8 or 9 in the evening I knew I should go straight to bed having not had any naps all day. I managed to push it from my mind promising myself that if I didn’t feel anything I’d check first thing in the morning.
This morning I had my breakfast and sat with my hand on my belly, knowing it would be unusual for Shrimp to be awake so early, and so I wasn’t any more worried when I didn’t feel any little kicks against my hand, however having not used my doppler in the last few days I felt no guilt in having a little check. It took a while of wooshing crackly silence, all the time my heart was in my mouth and I wasn’t breathing, but eventually there was the fast tap tapping of Shrimps heart. I checked it against my own heartrate to make sure it wasn’t mine, and then the noise dissappeared. I moved the probe around a little and it came back, clearly Shrimp decided to play hide and seek with me! I sat there listening to the heartbeat for a minute, then turned off the doppler. without turning it off I would just sit and listen all day!

I have a feeling this fear isn’t going to go away, that until I give birth any time I don’t feel anything I’m going to panic. I think the fear is probably heightened because I only have 2 weeks to go until the stage in pregnancy I lost my little girl, but noone has indicated to me it is likely to happen again. We shall see what they say at my 20 week scan in 4 days!!

Looming 20 week Scan and Seeing Movement

So as I am nearing my 20 week scan, I am filled with both fear and excitement.
It’s only 2 days to go until I get to see my little Shrimp on the screen again, until they give my little one a thorough inspection and potentially tell me something has gone wrong, or that something hasn’t developed properly, maybe that there is a clot forming, but hopefully that everything is perfect and whether I’m having a little girl or boy.
All these things are in the back of my mind, but also the fact that it might be the last time I see my little one moving around on the screen. I lost my little girl less than a week after they told me everything was perfect at my 20 week scan. What if history repeats itself. I’m not sure I could cope.

Straight after my 20 week scan I am having another meeting with my consultant, looking at my blood results to see how my Carbimazole is working and checking the growth measured from the scan to check baby is growing at the right speed. Hopefully everything will be developing ok and the meeting will be positive.

But keeping thinking positively, for the last couple of days I have been able to see Shrimp kicking me. It’s incredible seeing my stomach moving of its own accord! I’m only 19 weeks along, at 21 weeks last time I was only feeling slight movement, but to be feeling such defined movement is amazing. I have a proper little kicker in there! I need to start counting the kicks so I can notice any changes in movement.

You are looking to the right of my tummy, above my hip bone. There are 2 kicks in this short clip one at 00.02 and one at 00.06.
Sorry about the quality of the clip – everytime I turned flash on to get a clearer video Shrimp stopped kicking, clearly doesn’t like the light!

Bump Photos

Over the last few days I have been able to see Shrimp kicking and my tummy moving, it is the most bizarre, yet amazing thing to see, to watch my belly moving of its own accord!

I haven’t noticed any major growth in my bump recently, but slow and steady. I’m making sure I moisturise though to minimise any possible stretch marks!

19/03/14
19 weeks 5 days

 

12/03/14
18 weeks 5 days

IT’S A BOY!

Today I went for my anomaly scan. I was half dreading it, half incredibly excited. I was counting down the time until I got to see little Shrimp on the screen again, but at the same time I was terrified about what they may find.

The scan wasn’t until the afternoon, which was probably good as I take ages to wake up properly in the morning nowadays, but when I realised I only had an hour to get ready I realised how quickly it had crept up on me. I booked it 2 months ago, and it had seemed forever away then, even a week to go seemed ages, but suddenly it was here and I was so not ready!
We were the first appointments after lunch, I chose them because I figured they couldn’t start to run behind so soon, SURELY! On the whole I was right, however they didn’t open reception until it was time for my appointment and the two people before me both took FOREVER, but after I had booked in we didn’t have long to wait until I was called in for my scan. She checked at the beginning if we would like a photo and whether or not we wanted to find out gender. We answered yes to both.
She started at the head, showing us the nose and eyes and lip and then she made her way down the body, looking at the skull circumference and measuring bits within the brain, checking the heart was ok, both kidneys were there, stomach, which she noted was full, and baby had clearly just had a drink, measuring the abdominal circumference, checking both legs were there and measuring the femur length. She then checked the spine and I think she could tell we were waiting with bated breath as she quickly reassured us everything was ok.
She then went inbetween the legs and quickly and very definitively told us it was a boy, pointing out the penis and scrotum! With both of us grinning like loons she checked a few other bits, took some lovely snap shots and sent us back to wait in the waiting room.
As soon as we got into the waiting room we were both instantly on our phones texting friends and family to let them know everything was ok and that we were having a little boy. We had decided on our boy name back at the beginning of our last pregnancy, so there was no doubt that he was going to be called Jackson Theo.

After a while I was called into the antenatal clinic by the maternal medicine consultant who told me I’d be seen separately by an endocrinology consultant but that she knew I was on Asprin to thin my blood, but she would like to start me on injections… I quickly pointed out I was already on the injections and had been for 2 months, she looked a bit abashed and said it wasn’t in my notes, but when I told her the date I had started on them she checked my notes again and realised it was there! I swear they don’t read anything before seeing me!
She then sent me back out to the waiting room to wait to see the endocrinology consultant. I didn’t have to wait too long and I was called back in. He told me my thyroid function results had come back normal and he was tempted to take me off Carbimazole completely. I must have looked really worried as he told me he would play it safe and leave me on them for two weeks, but he wanted to see me back in two weeks after another blood test. I’m also booked in to see maternal medicine in two weeks, not that I’m sure why! After that appointment I will be allowed to book my 24week scan, why I couldn’t book it today I am not sure as it’s not going to change!

On the way home I decided that I wanted to buy a cute blue baby grow to help with my Facebook announcement that I am having a boy, but after browsing both Asda and Tesco I have deduced that baby boy clothes suck! I ended up just using one of the pairs of booties I already had and had used for my pregnancy announcement. I’m not complaining though, it made a cute photo of the two scan photos we got today and the booties.
I shall really have to shop around for some cute boy clothes though. BUT NOT YET.
It’s really hard now I know what I’m having, what he’s called and what colour I should start buying, not to get excited. I know I can’t, atleast not for a little while. I want to hold off buying stuff for as long as possible, but knitting I can do! If I put off knitting I will never get the time to do it, so I suppose I shall have to head out and buy myself some blue wool! I am yet to decide what pattern to do. I think I may do some booties to start with, then maybe a hat, then we shall see where the blue takes me!

Everyone is excited, I can see that it has all become more real for my mum and she is literally bouncing off the walls! We know there is still a long way to go, but we are halfway there, so that has to be a little celebration!

  • An 'Angel Baby' is a baby lost during pregnancy or early childhood, who sleeps in the clouds instead of our arms.

    A 'Rainbow Baby' is a baby born following the loss of an 'Angel Baby', a beacon of hope after a storm, while not denying the storm happened.

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