My First Pregnancy

This story doesn’t have a happy ending. There is no bouncing baby sitting on my knee as I write this page, but I felt it was a story that needed telling, it happened and I cannot and will not hide that away, she is still my daughter and this is our story.

I was overjoyed and terrified when I found out I was pregnant. I was 21, was doing up a house while still living with my parents, training to be a department manager at a supermarket and had recently got engaged, I had everything perfectly set up. Obviously you always worry something will go wrong, it’s such a vulnerable time for both mother and baby, but a baby was going to complete my little family.

I was unaware I was pregnant until I took a test at 6 weeks on 16 February 2013, I obviously had an inkling at 4 weeks when I missed my period but from 7 weeks onwards she made me well aware I was pregnant, throwing up up to 3 times a day! I was assured this was a sign of a healthy and strong pregnancy.

At 12 weeks I had a heavy bleed, thin blood poured out like I was peeing myself, I don’t have a clue how much I lost but it seemed an awful lot. It was all over in 10 minutes or so though. This was at midnight on a Saturday, I rushed to out of hours doctors, already sure I was having a miscarriage, but they booked me in for an early scan at the Early Pregnancy Unit first thing on the Monday. Everything was fine and baby had a strong heartbeat. It was such a relief and I clung to the scan picture I was given like a lifeline.

I went for my 12 week routine scan a week later at what turned out to be 13 weeks and they noted a large clot outside the sac and away from the placenta they assured me I may well bleed again as the clot cleared away but lots of women bleed in pregnancy and they weren’t that worried.

At 16 weeks at my midwife appointment I heard her heartbeat for the first time and I decided to buy myself a fetal Doppler just to reassure myself occasionally. It was magical to sit and listen to her heart, I even recorded it and set it as my text tone!

I was feeling really ill, still with terrible morning sickness and it was affecting my work having to literally run to the toilet so we decided between us that we could live on my fiancés salary and that I would be a full time mum once she arrived anyway, so I quit my job. I started relaxing more, not having the hour long commute to work every day or the stresses of work, I started really working on my house getting it ready for the little ones arrival.

At around 18 weeks I started to occasionally feel her move, getting stronger and more pronounced as the weeks went on and by the scan I could clearly feel her moving around. I remember once using the food mixer and feeling her jump with surprise at the sudden loud noise. It was so magical to feel such a natural reaction to the noise from inside me that I burst out laughing!

At my 20 week scan which happened to be on mine and my fiancés anniversary we were reassured that everything was perfect, heart was fine, kidneys, spine, they even showed us that her lip was formed perfectly. The clot was still there but it didn’t seem to be affecting anything so no one seemed that worried. She kept her legs crossed though keeping us guessing about her gender! It was the most perfect anniversary present for the both of us. I started to relax thinking that the second half of my pregnancy would be ok, the risky part was over, she was ok and perfectly formed, she just needed to grow now, after all, in 4 weeks she would be viable!

I was so desperate to find out her gender so we could start shopping that we booked in at a private clinic to get another scan, but that was never to happen.

A few days after the scan I stopped feeling her move. I wasn’t keeping notes on it so I don’t know exactly when but as the days went on and I realised I hadn’t felt her move for a few days I got really worried. I had also stopped throwing up so much, and was feeling a lot better.

I couldn’t sleep the night before we found out and I’m sure I subconsciously knew then, I tried drinking cold water to get her to move, but nothing. I also tried using the Doppler on myself but could only hear a heartbeat of about 80bpm which was either her heartbeat had halved (which was worrying in itself) or it was mine, I know now it was the latter.

The next morning mum made me phone the doctors seeing If they could book me in with the midwife but they were booked up, so I phoned the midwife line and they told me that people often stopped feeling their babies as they moved around and that she didn’t approve of people using their own Dopplers as they weren’t trained and didn’t know how to use them but if I was really worried there was a midwife clinic. I was completely put off by her attitude, almost as if I didn’t know what I was talking about and was just being a stupid hypochondriac. Mum forced me to go to the clinic and when the midwife there couldn’t find her heartbeat she sent me straight to the hospital for an emergency scan. I can remember every detail of that afternoon, I called my fiancé telling him to get to the hospital NOW! Luckily it was his day off, and I lay there while the doctor scanned my tummy, a sick copy of the scan less than a week earlier filled with positive comments and lots of movement on the screen, I watched the screen this time waiting for any sign of movement, but I didn’t see any, eventually when he looked at me I knew exactly what he was going to say, there was no heartbeat, my baby had died about three days earlier. Grief crashed around me and a gutteral scream escaped my lips, I just sobbed, I didn’t have a clue what to do.
They took over 16 phials of blood to test for possible causes, and I was given a tablet to start inducing the labour (this was a Wednesday) and told to come back on the Saturday.

I was given a private room on the Saturday and had tablets put inside me every six hours. It was an extremely traumatic time, obviously not having been to any antenatal classes I had no clue what to do when the contactions started and I didn’t see any nurses apart from when they came to give me my tablets, I was left in a room with my mum and fiancé to just get on with it. I was warned that the pain would get a lot worse so to hold off having pain relief until I couldn’t cope, some advice I wish I hadn’t listened to.
I started getting contractions at about mid afternoon, getting steadily worse, and by about midnight I was having to grip my fiancés hand to stop myself screaming.
By about 2am I was unable to get comfortable, throwing myself around the room, at about half two we asked for painkillers, no one came, there had been an emergency and the doctors and nurses were all dealing with that. I decided I needed the toilet (I know now that baby was coming) but I got up and on the way to the toilet could hardly stand, I was completely supported by my fiancé And when I got to the toilet I just collapsed onto the floor, it was cool and I lay there, I must have passed out because next thing I knew the crash button had been pressed and doctors and nurses were running. I was forced back onto the bed and they ran to get me gas and air, finally believing I was in pain! I was talked through my next contraction and it was bearable. Finally the gas and air arrived and after a few deep breaths of that, I passed out. I have no idea how long I was out for but the doctors came back and revived me and straight after that I felt baby coming.
She was delivered at about 3.15am on 02 June 2013. As my waters hadn’t broken she came out in the sac and all I could see was her perfect little ear through the bloody liquid in the sac, but already I didn’t want her to be taken away from me, I suppose hormones and maternal instinct had kicked in. She was brought back to me in a little basket, she was 26.5 cm long and so perfect. It was a shock when I first saw her, she looked quite alien, but the more I looked at her the more perfect she looked. Tiny little finger and toe nails, eyebrows and ears, she even had her little ankle bone perfectly formed. Because it had been a few days she had started to bloat so it was impossible to tell if she was a boy or girl yet, but we spent until 9am just looking at her and holding her and taking photos, the only photos I ever got to take of my gorgeous daughter. Eventually she was taken away to the morgue with the teddy we gave her, who although being small was still massive to her.
I was given some antibiotics to prevent infection and told I’d get an appointment in about 4 weeks to discuss results of the blood and genetic tests.
We decided not to have a full postmortem, they took a small piece of skin to test for genetic abnormalities and to determine her gender, obviously she was a girl and we called her Effy-Mae.

IMG_0008

We organised a small burial with just us and her grandparents, I carried her tiny white coffin to the grave, and she is now sleeping in a quiet local cometary. .

img_2301

I decided the perfect tribute to her would be to get a tattoo and the hospital made some lovely hand and footprints of her so I got her footprints and her name tattooed on the inside of my upper arm so she will always be with me.

After four weeks we went to the appointment to discuss the results and after waiting an hour had a 5 minute appointment where we were told everything had come back normal and we will never know why it happened, just to try again and hope… I left that feeling empty. I had hoped for some form of answer, something I could do different or change or avoid, but nothing. 
That evening I was talking to my friend who said they knew someone whose late miscarriage had been caused by an over active thyroid, something I had suffered from previously but had thought was sorted. So I decided to get the hospital to double check. Thank god I did. I rang the hospital and was told they would recheck my results.

A couple of weeks later a letter arrived saying my thyroid results had been normal and had not therefore caused it, however on re-examination of my results my Antiphospholipid Marker levels were higher than normal (31) and I should have a second blood test in 12 weeks. I waited anxiously for this second test and rang the doctors for my results as soon as I could. They told me it had come back higher than normal (47) and I had been referred back to the hospital.

Why wasn’t this picked up initially? If I hadn’t asked them to recheck would I have been having another miscarriage?
From those results I have now been diagnosed with Antiphospholipid Syndrome and though I’ve been given the go ahead to start trying again I have to take 75mg aspirin daily as soon as I find out I’m pregnant then go for an early scan at 6-8 weeks and go for an appointment to talk about blood thinning injections.

I feel I have an answer and a structured treatment now, though we have decided this is our last try. The loss of a child takes so much out of you I cannot keep going through it and I admire those who do. So I have everything crossed that this treatment works and I manage to carry my next child to term.

Advertisements
Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pregnancy phase with us ,I really like your blog. When I was pregnant ,I also enjoy this phase of pregnancy very much ,But the most amazing thing is that I was able to hear heartbeat of my baby before birth ,my sister gifted me baby heartbeat monitor ,So you can also enjoy this phase with baby heartbeat monitor.

    Like

    Reply
    • This post was written about my heartbreaking loss of my daughter. Which if you’d read, you’d know I actually already have a home doppler and used it when I hadn’t felt her move, and that I couldn’t find her heartbeat. I wouldn’t say this was a ‘phase of pregnancy’ that could be enjoyed… maybe if you actually read blog posts rather than posting prewritten comments which are actually adverts for your products on all pregnancy related posts you’d have more luck selling your product.

      Like

      Reply

Please Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • 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.

  • Follow Trying To Be A Good Mummy on WordPress.com
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: