Dyawannacuppatealuuuuuvvvvvv?

The hospital was crazy, crazy busy. But sometimes, you feel most alone in a crowd. This was the case for me. Even though the maternity base was extremely busy, I was completely by myself. Most women on the base has their babies or we’re going to have them soon. I found that my situation didn’t really match with anyone else’s. 
The noise. Oh dear lord, the noise! People taking at the top of their voices all day and night, beds and cots being pushed down the hollow corridors, sound ricocheting off every surface, alarms alerting the whole hospital that a someone has tried to take a baby from the ward, forcing the whole hospital into lockdown. 99% of the time this was because someone had not deactivated the tag in order for the baby to be moved wards. An amazing safety feature, but I can assure you when you don’t know what the hell it is at 3.17am on your second night and you’re standing at the door to your room in a strange hospital, knowing absolutely no one, glancing around hoping for reassurance or someone to evacuate you, it feels anything but that! 

Ear plugs and an eye mask, the work of Angels! Literally blocking our the entire world around you. Sound asleep, only to be woken every morning by the familiar chirp, “Doyawannacuppatealuuuuuuuuvvvvv?” Which became such a comforting, friendly sound. 

I was asked by the ward sister if I would have liked to move into one of the rooms with four beds in, so I wasn’t lonely. I understood her point, but seriously, being put in the very room where the noise was coming from with women who had their healthy babies when I was unsure mine would survive. Honestly? No, thank you.

The days actually passed fairly quickly to be honest. Routine was key, routine and counting the days till my next visitors. That made things slightly more bearable. 

8am: breakfast/monitoring baby

8.30: FaceTime Day/Alfie before school

9.30-10.30: drs rounds/jezza Kyle/colouring/baby monitoring ctg machine

10.30-12.30: drs rounds/ watch This Morning

12.30: dinner 

Afternoon: walk to the front entrance, read book, magazine, write, colour, draw 

5pm: tea

Evening: Netflix series 

7pm: FaceTime Day, read Alfie bedtime story 

8pm shower 

Monitor baby

More Netflix/read 

Ear plugs 

Speaking to Alfie and Day back home was hard, but comforting at the same time. I was still able to be part of their daily routine too, checking Alfie had everything ready for school and being able to ask him how his day had gone and to read him his bedtime story as I usually did. 
The thing I found the hardest were the doctors rounds on my own. The first doctor I had point blank refused to give me any form of treatment until I showed signs of labour. I used my question and I quizzed him on whether I should be given steroids for baby’s lung development now that we had reached 24 weeks. He said not and that was the new way of thinking. I asked if I would get antibiotics to ward off any infection. He told me no because I couldn’t prove to him I was leaking fluids. Even though the scans has proved the membranes of the water sack were floppy and I had felt small leaks, but I I was adamant most of my waters were coming out when I was going to the toilet. (Sorry for too much information! But I feel it’s important!) Eventually, I did what I had to do to prove to one of the midwives that I was leaking fluid! And the next day he begrudgingly started me on broad spectrum antibiotics for 10 days. It was like he had no hope, my baby wasn’t going to survive and there was little point in any proactive treatment. 

I felt a little bit like I was trying to tread water in treacle! Coping with being away from home and my family, whilst dealing with my diabetes, an extremely troublesome pregnancy, the niggling thought that our baby may be too sick to survive and now, once again, the blatant opinion of one doctor who doesn’t believe in you or your baby! 

It was like being thrown into a pool of ice, I’d come all this way because the care we had received in the foetal medicine unit was so incredible and gave us that spark of hope. Now I got the vibe that spark was to be dampened. 
Surely hope is better than nothing. I agree false hope can have a negative impact, but i wasn’t going to stop fighting for our baby because of the opinion and blatant refusal of one doctor. No way! We’d already battled through this once with ‘Mr Doom and Gloom,’ if we needed to do it again then that’s what we would do. 
The thing is, we weren’t naive, we fully understood our situation, the treatment I was asking for wasn’t going to have any form of detrimental consequence it would ignite that dampened spark once again and and make our baby stronger. 
Once again this is why I am so grateful for Ciara and Little Heartbeats or else I would have no idea what I was doing and how to challenge these professionals standing up for what is going to give your baby the best chance possible. 
I’m not questioning the job the doctors do, but we’re more than what is written on a piece of paper. Doctors are amazing, with so much experience and knowledge, but we are too, we have been armed with the knowledge and we are prepared to fight, especially when we’d got this far, we’d made via-bloody-bility and we weren’t going to give up here! When a mother and her baby are doing all they can to fight for that smallest chance, they deserve to be supported in that decision. 
There’s a case in the news at the moment about a baby boy and his parents fighting for his right to try some treatment to save him. My heart absolutely goes out to them. I’ve been there as a pregnant mum and as a mum feeling you are standing on the sidelines of your child’s care. I know there are many ins and outs and this differs from ours, a lot, but the principles are the same. No parent, no matter what they are told is going to give up on their child. Not one. You will fight to the bitter end. 

Thankfully, I was woken one morning with,

“Dyawannacuppatealuuuuuuuuvvvvvv?” 
A fresh cuppa, a fresh faced doctor and the whole of our treatment plan changed! 

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Viabilty 

Viability.

I hate that word. Via-bloody-bility! Makes me want to scream. That’s all we had been hoping for for the past 4 weeks, to make this point. The point where if our baby was born the hospital would actually intervene and try to save the baby. That day, that hour, when the clock strikes 12, that suspended moment when everything changes. When your baby will no longer be classed as a ‘miscarriage.’ There are cases of babies being born earlier that have lived, but in the most part this is the cut off. The legal abortion limit. That sends chills through my spine. That we were on our knees waiting for this day to come, to give our baby a chance. 
At 24 weeks and 1 day I had a scan in Liverpool. He would have liked me to have more fluid, but I didn’t and that was that. 

It was decided that I would be brought in to Liverpool women’s as an in patient. He was quite realistic about the management of our expectations. 
24-28 weeks looked quite bleak

28-32 was looking better 

32-34 pretty good. 
Baby would be delivered at 34 weeks because of the high risk of infection. 
But what choice did we have! We had to keep on keeping on for ourselves and the baby. And at least now we would be taken seriously and our baby given a realistic chance! 
If I was to be an inpatient in Liverpool, it meant I had to leave my home, Alfie, Day, the dog and cat, and my family and friends behind. I would have given anything to stay home, but I knew this was in the way interests of the baby and me, so I had no choice. 
Saying goodbye was the hardest thing ever. In the morning when I was due to leave, I remember sitting on the stairs with the dog. I hugged him so right and sobbed on him for so long, that when I eventually pulled myself away his fur was soaking. All the while he sat there and let me. He knew. 
A couple of nights before I was due to leave, I read Alfie his bedtime story. I had left his room and he protested about going to sleep. I remember sitting down heavily at the top of the stairs, not having the strength or energy to battle with him, with everything else that was going on. I sat there, head in hands as sobs wracked my entire body. Alfie came our of his room and put his arms around me and hugged me so tight as I cried. I have no idea how long we say like this. He cried too. It’s a horrible, horrible feeling having your 5 year old comfort you as you cry. But sometimes there is not a thing you can do about it. It also gave us the chance to talk about me going away and how much I would miss him, about how brave he was going to have to be without me here. It was then I sat back and thought what an incredible little boy we had. What a kinda, caring, considerate and amazingly brave boy we have. 
Saying bye to him on the morning of leaving was horrific. I cannot put it into words. But I think it was made every so slightly easier by the conversation we had a few nights earlier. 
In true Isle of Man style, leaving wasn’t easy. The flight was delayed, delayed, delayed and then cancelled. In the end we got the boat. As we sailed up the Mersey, I took in my home for the foreseeable future. We had to walk to the us station, Day continuously asked me if I was ok on the walk up. I wasn’t really. It had been an extremely long, emotional day. I thought back to my pregnancy with Alfie, and all the stuff I did, the boxes I lugged, I climbed hills, I stood for hours, I was as active as ever. This time I was terrified walking a few hundred metres. I felt so fragile. I just didn’t feel like me. 
 In the original plan Day was going to get the plane over with me, drop me off and then go home for Alfie the same night. As it happened, he got to stay with me on my first night in hospital. As selfish as it was, and as much as I wanted him to be there to comfort Alfie, I will be eternally grateful (for once in my life) for that delayed flight and that I had that comfort for one extra night. I knew Alfie would be ok, he would be being spoilt extra rotten by the grandparents. We were so lucky to have that support network. 
 Sometimes you have to be selfish, something’s happen for a reason. Something as little as one extra night of company, comfort from someone you love when you’re in unfamiliar surroundings in the most terrifying situation means more than anything in the world. 
I would have given anything to be in my own home with my family, absolutely anything. Except the health of my baby. 

Pure white love. 

I’m sharing Arlo’s story with you all, but I’ve this instalment is a little break from it. 

Mother’s Day. 

It’s just a day. We’re a little bit nicer to our mum’s, we make that special effort to see the grandmas and nannas. Maybe some afternoon tea, a walk along the beach, climb a mountains, take on the view, smell the flowers of spring, share perfume, flowers, candles, wine. Where we share cards with the special ladies that mean the most to us, it may be a sister, auntie or friend. 

It’s the day where I point blank refuse to cook in my house, where I don’t make the cups of tea, where as sometimes I would give in, parched and bored of waiting, only to hear, “I was just about to do that!” And I would roll my eyes and carry on regardless. But not today. It’s Mother’s Day and I’m not budging. 
It’s the day I spend time with my son and do lovely things and think about how lucky I am.

This Mother’s Day has been different. I’ve been all those things, but without the stubborn effort of previous years. 
There’s something missing, even though that something has never been with me on Mother’s Day. 

Our second son. 

It’s not like I can think, about the beautiful baby I had with us on Mother’s Day last year, because he wasn’t born. It’s a horrible unsettling feeling. Something is missing. 
Our baby is missing. 
I’ve felt his loss at other celebrations throughout the last 5 months. Birthdays, Christmas, but none like today and I don’t particularly know why. Maybe because there’s the distraction of others at birthdays and Christmas, the coming together as a family, going out for meals and opening presents. This day is purely about mothers and their children. 

I’ve noticed today a lot more than I thought I would. It’s not a day we usually make a massive song and dance about, where presents are more something to treat yourself or treating each other to afternoon tea or a take away, spending time, something to relax with rather than keepsakes. Just the way we have always done it, my mum usually gets wine as she has to put up with me so I feel she deserves a glass (or bottle!). 

Our special angel has never been far from my mind. He never is, but Today I’ve felt his absence even more. I’ve felt how unfair things are. How these occasions make things lay so heavy on your heart. I’ve experienced a glimpse of the pain those mothers with no living children must feel. And I feel exceptionally lucky to have a son with me here, though one with the stars and angels. My heart is shattered but those pieces are tightly bound together by my living son, every single day, but they pull even tighter to hold me together on days like this. There are no words to describe the loss other mothers know. Mothers that have no children living on earth. 

My son has noticed the shift in emotion too. He made me a Mother’s Day card at school, but spent last night making picture for me instead of coming in to watch tele after tea. 

On his picture he said he was sorry that Arlo had died and that he missed him. My heart well and truly broke. Though it is so touching to be safe in the knowledge that he would always have that bond with his brother even though they were cruelly barely given the opportunity to know each other. Forget jewellery and perfume and expensive meals. That means a million times more than any gift. 

I’ve had a busy day and I kind of chose to, less time to sit and dwell in the could have beens because I don’t think I would have made it through. I’ve spent time with family today, and time on my own to reflect. But I had to do something. On my way out to the car this morning there was a pure white, fluffy feather by the drivers door of my car. Not everyone believes, but I’m comforted by knowing it was a message from our boy in heaven. I have found a previous tiny feather with a tiny slug on the under side, this reassured me that Arlo is with my granda up there!! As it is just the kind of trick he would pull. No slugs this time, just pure white love. 

In a way I am so grateful for today, but in a completely different way to usual. I know my boys always have a brotherly bond unbreakable by death and that I am loved by both of them. I’m also grateful that I still have my mum and nanna to celebrate Mother’s Day with. (Even though I still think my nanna is mad that I didn’t have a piece of shortbread despite her trying to force one upon me at least 5 times.) I mentioned friends earlier on too. I am extremely blessed to have amazing friends who I had brunch with this morning and that I have friends who have messaged me throughout the day to tell me they have been thinking of me. A partner who is always there for me and held me while I sobbed in bed to comfort me. 

 I’m one lucky lady.

It’s all pure white love, no slugs. 

Where there are heartbeats, there is hope. 

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.

Two perfect little kidneys.

Two perfect little kidneys.

We received a letter from Liverpool women’s foetal medicine unit, they had made an appointment for us the following Thursday. So I went back to my old routine of lying in the sofa, something that an active person finds increasingly difficult, I can tell you!
I couldn’t just lie around and do nothing the whole time. If I was able to venture out it was somewhere where I didn’t have to walk far and I could rest. I remember going to the Point of Ayre with Alfie, Mum, Dad and the dogs. Upon arrival, Dad pulled a sun lounger out of the car so I was able to lie down while Alfie played and the dogs chased around like crazy!

Sometimes people who are in charge of your care forget that, this is everyone’s baby; child, grandchild, niece/nephew, great-grandchild, great niece/nephew an addition to the family that would be welcomed by everyone. It’s not just the parents who feel this, it’s everyone. Everyone feels it as the ripple spreads. Close friends and family did their bit to help when they could. And as an fiercely independent person part of me hated being the patient, but another part was so touched to see how supported we were.

Another trip I made was to marks and spencer. Because I had been told repeatedly that my child would not survive, and that when in Liverpool women’s I would be offered a termination. It was like everyone had written him/her off and made me realise that at any point the baby may be able to fight no more. I felt like I needed to get something for him/her because all hope seemed lost even though we were all doing everything in our power for the baby to hold on a little longer.

I chose 2 small rabbits. There was so much choice, some toys were overwhelmingly big for a baby that could potentially be born so small. Two simple rabbits with pink noses. One for us to keep and one for the baby to keep regardless of the outcome. It was something I had to do to be prepared.

It’s a strange situation to be in, being able to envisage two comes simultaneously and attempting to prepare yourself for both too, because at the drop of a hat either could be possible. Of course you hope for the best, but when your situation is so dire you have to prepare yourself for the worst. For your own sanity.

The week before our appointment meant many conversations had to happen. And most of them conversations you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy in their darkest of days.

Liverpool!

It’s funny being put in a different place and not seeing a familiar face, even if it’s a glint of familiarity. Nothing. It’s unsettling when you’re from a small place and you would definitely have recognised a face or two.

Everyone in the foetal medicine unit is there for a reason, and never normally a happy one. Don’t get me wrong, they have lots of positive outcomes, but in those waiting rooms there are lots of brows furrowed with worry. All high risk mothers or babies. I don’t know how we did it, but after a mammoth wait in the waiting room, we were finally called through. I don’t know where my mind had been, but I had managed to put out of my mind the real reason I was there!

Until, that was, I lay down on the bed in the room waiting to be scanned. Everything can be completely unfamiliar, a completely different city, hospital, room, but when you see that bed, with the universal white roll, the bottles of gel, the scanner and those screens, you can pretend no longer. Everything is the same. Unless a miracle has happened, there’s going to be no drastic reprieve.

I cried before the doctor (who I know now is a professor, not a doctor) set foot in the room. He was different though. He put me at ease immediately. He even joked about the fact I had tears streaming down my face and he hadn’t even spoken.

As much as I wanted the scan to check everything was ok, I dreaded it. I didn’t want to hear again that my baby wouldn’t make it.

Especially with the less than 1% chance we were given at our last one and the fact we had been told we would be offered a termination. I did not want to be asked that question. Those words sent shivers down my spine even thinking them.

The professor put us instantly at ease just by his manner. He scanned me in silence. Taking in every detail throughout his thorough examination of the baby, to see if the baby really did have problems with their kidneys and if they had stopped growing, which had been mentioned at the last scan too.
Even in the blackest of times a change of face, opinion and experience can reassure you the tiniest bit.

There was a small pool of water.

The membranes had visibly broken.

The baby was perfect measurements.

The baby had 2 perfect, fully-functioning kidneys.

The baby was perfect.

A termination was not offered.

Someone believed in our baby and was willing to give them a chance!!!

There were still lots of ifs, buts and maybes. I could still go into labour at any given time. The baby’s lungs may have not developed enough to survive, but we had something.
I would be scanned again in 2 weeks in Liverpool at 24 weeks gestation, if I got there. And if I did I would be admitted to Liverpool women’s to give my baby the best chance.

There was hope. There was a plan.

Two things that had previously been missing in action.

Baby bump the day we went to Liverpool for our scan. ❤️

Waters, watermelon and waiting.

 

Waters, watermelon and waiting

After leaving the hospital that day we went home and collapsed straight into bed. We both hid away from the world under the covers. And cried.
How do you even go about beginning to process this information. Being told it’s unlikely your baby will survive. Along with that, how do you carry on like everything is normal? The answer is because you have to. When you’re a parent you can’t be a sobbing mess, moping round the house. Well, of course you can, and as good as I know it is for your children to see you show your emotions, how are you supposed to display them when you are unable to comprehend them yourself?!

No, you get up, you dust yourself off, you find the strength within to throw some chicken nuggets and chips in the oven for tea, because even though the feeling of eating to you makes you want to vomit and even though almost everything in your life seems out of control, you still have someone else in your life to care for and to carry on for. You eat because you need your strength not only but the life growing inside you that needs everything he or she can get.

It was the summer holidays. A time I get to spend quality time with Alfie. Over the holidays we do anything and everything adventurous! Of course this year would have been more reserved, but I still wanted to go on adventures with him, even if it meant taking a backseat for this year. This wasn’t to be. I was too panic-stricken to even think about leaving the house! Too scared that something would happen as I’d been told over and over how much more susceptible I was to infection when I had no waters. Our family rallied round to care for Alfie and help him have a summer holiday while stayed at home and researched. I wasn’t prepared to sit back and let our baby pass away without a fight and it seemed the baby felt this way too. I still felt movements and kicks throughout the day. While I searched for similar situations on the internet. I found things on forums, hospital papers with official statistics on, I read them all. I needed to know what our chances were.

I read their advice and suggestions. I needed to drink plenty of water throughout the day and put myself on some form of bed rest. I also needed watermelon and coconut water because it contained electrolytes and this meant it was likely to stay in the body longer than water. I wasn’t told this by the hospital because their view was just to let the inevitable happen. And in their professional opinion it makes sense, but as a mother, they have absolutely no clue how much you are prepared to fight for your baby!
This was my plan and this was what I did. For that next week I barely moved off the sofa, I drank as much water as possible along with coconut water and I lived on fruit. My mum brought a constant supply of this in to me. I watched Lorraine, Jeremy Kyle and recorded episodes of countryside 999! All the while Day had to carry on going to work and we had to carry on with some form of normality (ha, normality, oh how that word would come to be stretched and morphed into all sorts of shapes over the coming months!!) for Alfie and for our own sanity. However, just how he did this I really don’t know. I couldn’t face seeing a single person.

I text my friends, the ones who became worried as they hadn’t heard from us about our 20 week scan that they knew was happening. They knew I didn’t want to see anyone so left magazines, chocolate and other goodies on my front door step and text me to let me know they were there. What an incredibly lucky human I am to have friends like these. ❤

Every night that week I lay there each night, not wanting to cry, wanting to preserve every ounce of fluid inside me, praying that it would find it’s way to the place it was needed the most and stay there, surrounding the baby and keeping him/her safe. Instead of crying I visualised the baby happy and smiling floating around in more fluid than he/she or I could ever imagine.

A week later, we returned to the hospital. We felt hopeful, like some miracle had happened! Our baby had made it further than all the doctors had believed. Once again we found ourselves outside the scan room waiting to be invited in. This time i felt no excitement at all, although nerves as well as hope were present. As I lay down on the bed I imagined once again the baby warm and happy, swimming in the oceans of fluid that would be miraculously discovered where they needed to be. I closed my eyes and said one last silent prayer to anyone who would listen as I squeezed Day’s hand as tight as I could. The scanner touched my stomach I waited for the audible gasps of happiness… I waited and waited some more. They never came. So I opened my eyes to find the same black and white fuzzy picture on the screen that we had seen a week previously. I don’t even know what I felt. Too many emotions to explain all at once, disappointment, anger, hopelessness, heartbreak.

The scan continued, and if it couldn’t possibly get there, the news was even more bleak than before. My waters had gone from one 2cm pocket, to absolutely 0 measurable. This time there was only one kidney visible and it looked to have fluid outside of it, although the baby’s bladder was full.

Just a bit of history repeating, we were off upstairs to maternity again to be seen by our consultant. While we were waiting I was given lunch. I ate it. How, I do not know, but when there is someone else inside you depending on every mouthful you take and every bottle of water you guzzle, you have to! ‘Mr Doom and Gloom’ himself, as he was now known by us, arrived before too long. This time we were told that if what was to be seen on the scan was correct our baby had potters syndrome. He/she was unlikely to survive birth, if they did survive birth he/she would live minutes/hours and the whole time they would be gasping for breath due to their lungs being born dry as due to this condition they wouldn’t be able to produce any more amniotic fluid. We were to be referred to Liverpool in the next week to be seen by specialists. It was likely that I would be offered a termination for medical reasons.

This time I howled.

We both sobbed uncontrollably.

Our baby had been given a death sentence.

We drove home, in silence. Walked upstairs, and for the second time in 8 days retreated to bed 💔

For the second time in 8 days, we got up out of bed, dusted ourselves off and made chicken nuggets and chips for tea for Alfie. All the while feeling those very same feelings we were unable to comprehend the previous week, except this time amplified by a thousand.

Baby’s cute little foot 😊

Pink or blue… 

Boy or girl? Pink or blue? We decided this time to find out the baby’s sex. We hadn’t done with Alfie as we wanted it to be a surprise, but this time we wanted to know. I didn’t want to find out with Alfie, but Day did, so I thought it was only fair that he got to find out this time. To be honest it didn’t really matter, they’d be riding a trials bike anyway!!!

Alfie went off with nanna and granda and I’d arranged to meet them for lunch after we had been for our scan when Day went back to work. Sitting outside the scan room we were so excited, talking about the most important detail, boy or girl. After all, the 12 week scan is the one that tells you everything is going to be fine? Right?
I lay down on the bed, giddy with excitement excited to see our happy baby gliding across the screen. The buzz in the air of the room was palpable.
This was the last moment of my pregnancy that I felt any form of bubbly excitement or excited for our future.

I’ve read this moment described in magazines and stories when something goes wrong at an ultrasound and people get devastating news about their baby, but I always thought it was exaggerated. It wasn’t. The second the scanner touched my tummy I knew something was wrong. The whole atmosphere in the room changed. On the screen barely anything was visible. Black and white squiggly lines but no baby was visible. The sonographer herself was taken aback. We had no idea what was actually wrong, until the lady asked me if I had been leaking my waters. I told her I hadn’t because I didn’t think I had been.

There was still a heartbeat flickering on the screen showing us just how strong that little bean or our ‘pip’ was. I can’t really tell you how we felt, ‘numb’ seems a bit of a cop out really, but that’s the only word I can use. We had no idea what was going on, what this meant for us? Our baby? Our family?

We were ushered upstairs to the maternity unit to wait to be seen by a consultant. At this point I couldn’t do anything, I cried but the tears had no substance whatsoever, it wasn’t the type of crying where you shed some tears and you feel better. It was an empty cry, because at that time, while waiting in limbo we had no idea what this meant. We knew things were bad, but our little fighter still had a beating heart, strong as you like.

When you’re in a situation like this you want to put all your faith in your consultant. You expect them sway into your room with an air of confidence surrounding them. It’s a pregnancy, some people have complications during their pregnancy, but that’s ok, the baby just comes early and they can be looked after in special care until they’re ready to come home. You want them to smile and tell you everything will be just as you wish, that they can fix everything, because that’s what they’re there for. Right?

Wrong.

You do not to hear the words, “waters breaking before 20 weeks rarely have a good outcome. At best your baby will be physically disabled because they will have been unable to move properly for lack of fluid…”
(This was neither here or there for us, it would have no bearing on how much this baby would be loved and cared for.)
“…At worst, you’ll miscarry, most likely over the weekend. So go home and wait, we’ll scan you in a week.”

It’s amazing to think that even though you class yourself as a ‘grown up’ how incredibly naive you can still be.

 

This is the point where I learned that not everything can be fixed. Not everything turns out the way you want it to, and you can do every single things right but things still go wrong. This is the type of life-lesson that knocks the wind right out of your sails. The shocking news that sinks that ship that was happily bobbing along on the waves.