Where there are heartbeats, there is hope.
I tried not to google and read things that aren’t written by medical professionals, but it’s difficult! Extremely difficult! You need that quick fix, something to reassure you that there is hope! Most things I found about Pprom (preterm premature rupture of membranes) were on forums.
In pure desperation I posted on a pregnancy and baby forum. A kind lady let me know about a non profit organisation called ‘Little Heartbeats.’ I sent an email and received one back from within a few hours from a lovely lady called Ciara. Ciara immediately asked for my address to send me a pack.
The organisation had the slogan, ‘where there are heartbeats, there is hope.’ This was something Ciara was and is very passionate about, as she knew babies could survive their waters breaking and go on to live a full and happy life. Having lost a baby due to Pprom herself, Ciara knew exactly what mothers like myself were going through and was always there to offer advice. She works tirelessly to support anyone who’s waters have broken. She is always there in the Facebook posts/messenger/ email to offer support which is incredible. She does all this because she wants change in the way doctors deal with Pprom. And sending out information packs is her way of doing this.
Through little heartbeats I found Facebook groups of those going through similar situations at the same time or who have been through them, all offering support.
I’m so glad I found these groups because you can feel so alone on this journey.
She said a pack had been sent to me, It contained all the information I needed about Pprom, questions to ask the doctor, a regime to follow. Including what to drink, to put myself on bed rest (even though this wasn’t something the doctors felt was needed) a colouring book and crayons for bedrest and a heartbeat bear.
This bear allows you to record your baby’s heartbeat and place inside the bear, and when you cuddle it you are able to hear the babies heartbeat.
The informations sheets were invaluable too, arming you with all the information for fight for your baby’s life.
I’ve found through travelling this journey they Pprom is something that, because of its extremely rarity, divides opinion. Every doctor you meet has a different treatment plan. So having that information, knowing the questions to ask is something that empowers you.
Throughout this time, I couldn’t have been more grateful for the support from the groups. Since my 20 weeks scan, is kind of for used to nothing happening apart from that dreaded worry in the pit of my stomach, but nothing was happening with the baby. We were no where near ‘normal’ but we were holding our own. ‘No news is good news.’
The two week period between appointments in Liverpool was to change that. Day was getting ready for work, I was still in bed as was Alfie. He shouted his goodbyes and I heard him open the door. That’s when I felt it. I was bleeding. I shouted and hearing the panic in my voice he came immediately. We phoned the hospital who advised me to come in. I don’t remember anything about getting ready or getting to the hospital, or dropping Alfie to grandma. The one thing I do remember is bringing the bag with the teddies in. I think in my head I was so convinced of things going wrong that was in the forefront of my mind.
I was as terrified as I could possibly be, but all I felt was numb.
The hospital checked me over, I wasn’t in labour, the bleeding stopped. I questioned the doctors about what was happening. I can’t explain to you how this feels, you yourself feel ok, but the life growing inside you is far from it. You’re in hospital because the professionals are there to help you, that’s what happens? Still in my head I was going to be made better, or offered reassurance.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow that nothing could be done. I think the expectation was that I would miscarry and that would be that.
After being checked over I was sent home. Feeling more miserable and hopeless than before. As I lay down on the sofa and logged on to the support groups the door bell sounded. I thought about leaving it as I didn’t want to face anyone, but I dragged myself to the door to find a parcel delivery man there. I took the parcel, most likely without the pleasantries I usually would have exchanged, because raising a smile was too much. I opened it to find the parcel from little heartbeats. The first thing I did was open the bear, a ran upstairs, grabbed the Doppler to listen to the baby’s heartbeat and recorded it and put the recording device back inside the teddy. Hearing that reassuring sound after that day we had had was indescribable. It reminded me that even though all around me there was doom and gloom and misery and uncertainty and that understanding that at any moment something could go wrong. That even though the expectation from every medical professional was that my pregnancy would end and our precious baby wouldn’t survive, this sound reminded me that…
WHERE THERE ARE HEARTBEATS, THERE IS HOPE! ❤❤
It’s little things like that that can give you the slightest glimmer of hope. Finding ciara and those groups when I needed them the most, the parcel being delivered once I had returned from the hospital.
I cannot thank little heartbeats and Ciara enough, what an incredible, passionate woman, campaigning so hard for change on behalf of all women going through the most awful of times. She and little heartbeats will feature in future blogs too. She desperately wants to get registered charity status, please support her if you can. She wants so much to keep sending packs to women all over the world to give them that support, arm them with that information, and have that recording of that most precious heartbeat forever.