Pregnancy, Second Time Round

I say second, it’s actually the sixth, what I should have said was the second successful pregnancy.

It really couldn’t have been more different with our little lady than with Noah, from start to finish!

I suppose I should start at the very beginning, to coin a phrase. 

On the 16th August 2016 after a stop/start period I took my sixth positive pregnancy test and so it began. The anxiety, the excitement, the hope, the fear, the desperate need to be positive and enjoy this, my final pregnancy but the reality that negative thoughts can’t help but plague me to somehow protect me, should the worse happen.

I was 4 weeks and 4 days pregnant at this point, my due date being 22nd April 2017.

The weird bleeding I had on and off for a week 28 days into my cycle didn’t help make me feel at ease that this pregnancy would be fruitful, but I needn’t have worried as I sit here penning this 14 months later.

The sickness (well nausea) started at 5 weeks which, unlike Noah, started at wake up and lasted until 9-10PM which was far from ideal when I had Noah to entertain aswell as trying to keep it secret. This continued until I was about 15 weeks. With Noah I felt nauseous for a few hours in the afternoon and stopped at about 12 weeks.

From the moment the nausea started I went off pretty much EVERYTHING healthy. Vegetables and salad, which were my key foods with Noah, literally turned my stomach. I am not joking when I say I lived off chocolate and carbs. I had lost all my (Noah) baby weight just prior to my BFP, to say I piled it on with some additional is an understatement, but that’s another story for another day.

I started to show at 9 weeks (16 with Noah) and I just grew and grew and grew. I was massive by 38 weeks and very grateful that she arrived early as I don’t doubt I would have had a late 9Iber.

Barring a trapped nerve in my neck that caused me excruciating pain for about 10 weeks of the pregnancy and the usual aches and pains that are associated with it all went ok. I wasn’t as fit or as healthy as I was with Noah, nausea and lack of time stopped me from taking regular exercise other than walking. Prenatal yoga which I did religiously with Noah was undertaken about a dozen times.

I had extra growth scans thanks to the enormity of my bump, also a diabetic test which came back negative (I did have my doubts considering my appalling diet).

Couldn’t find a 38 week for Noah so used 36 as a comparison

Looking at the above comparison you can see I carried very differently with both my babies yet at the time I’d have said it was the same. With Noah I was convinced right at the beginning he was a boy, this time round I had no inkling whatsoever.

This time baby behaved at the anomaly scan, and all scans following so we didn’t know the gender (Noah defied us and made sure we knew, even though we didn’t want to).

Noah was a turner and wriggler when in the womb. This little monkey was fighting to get out from the moment I started to feel her move at 10 weeks, it was like being attacked from the inside with really sharp jabs and kicks, there were no worries with her as she didn’t have as much down time as Noah did, which would send me into a panic.

I should have known she was going to be a girl just from the differences.

Of course my age caused issues nearer to my due date and I was shocked to hear from one of the consultants that they would want to induce me at 38 weeks. I wasn’t really prepared for this as I was told 40weeks with Noah and he came three days early and I was gearing up for the same this time and had no worry that I could try and bring baby on a couple of days early but two whole weeks? I knew baby would never naturally arrive two weeks early.

Induction has never sat well with me, the thought of artificially introducing hormones into my system quite frankly scares the living crap out of me. However the thought of putting my baby at risk is non-negotiable. See my dilemma?
My consultant knew my worries and agreed, at my 36 week appointment, to go with what I wanted which was to check my placenta at 38 weeks to check for any sign of degradation and then go in regularly for Doppler tests to check on its health until 40 weeks when I would then have an induction. By way of a compromise he gave the midwife written ‘permission’ to do whatever she could to get things moving naturally beforehand so on my mum’s birthday, the 4th April 2017 at 37 weeks + 4, I trotted off to the midwife where she performed a stretch and sweep (I’ve written a full account of the process here).

This started a process I wish I had never started. Cramps started pretty much straight away meaning I frantically sewed up the shawl my mum had knitted me before she passed away years ago convinced baby was coming that night. By the evening they were forming a regular pattern so put everyone who was going to be involved in Noah’s care were put on high alert. The early hours of the next morning the contractions stopped.

Contractions continued on and off for the next few days and I can’t tell you how stressed, worried and upsetting it was and on Friday 7th April I went for my final consultant appointment at Exeter to have my placental health scan, however I had at this stage decided that I was going to just say book me in and get this baby out.

I was contracting every 5 minutes by the time I saw the consultant though so he booked me in to be induced on the following Monday and sent me to be examined by the midwife incase baby was already on its way. I was 3cm and told to go home and wait. 

I sobbed all the way home.

Contractions kept coming every 5 minutes, though not painful they were annoying. That night at 2030 whilst saying goodbye to my friend’s partner at the front door my waters broke but due to the annoying ceasing of my contractions the hospital told me to go in the next day (Saturday 8th April) at 9pm to start the induction process as they can’t let pregnancies continue longer than 24 hours after water break. My treatment by the on call community midwives based at Truro was appalling and the whole debacle was quite simply horrifically upsetting but that’s another story for another time.

Needless to say nothing happened the next day, except leaking waters pretty much continuously, so off we trotted to get induced at 9 that evening, the 8th April.

The below pictures were taken the evening of my induction. I was 38 weeks + 1

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Baby Loss Awareness

My partner messaged me from yet another of his hotel restaurants to let me know, whilst holding back tears, that it’s baby loss awareness week this week and it got me thinking. Thinking about awareness weeks… not about my baby losses because I think about them every day and no doubt will do until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil.

I wonder who decides when these weeks will be and whether they ever really make anyone more ‘aware’ of the subject matter or whether it’s just a week that makes those who are directly affected remember with more vigour.

I’ve found myself thinking more deeply into my own losses this week, thinking more about the four beautiful babies I never held but still love with all my heart, wondering more deeply about who they would be and thinking over, once more, why we had to suffer these losses. It’s an awareness week yet I don’t see anyone talking about it. I find that when I bring the subject up with a lot of people their eyes glaze over and their eyes wander, I can almost hear them thinking “here she goes again, how am I going to get away” (I’m not talking close friends here).  I find the only time you’re allowed to talk about your own losses after a certain time is when someone else has lost, and even then only if they ask to hear your story directly because they’re going through their own hell and (quite rightly) don’t need to listen to yours too, but from experience it’s nice to know that you’re not alone and it happens to more people than you are aware of.

I find this doesn’t only happen when discussing baby loss, but any loss and have come to the conclusion that we just don’t like to talk about grief in whatever parcel it’s delivered in. There seems to be a period of time where you are ‘allowed’ to express your feelings and grieve and no matter who you talk to they will listen, or at least politely pretend to. Then suddenly, and it’s pretty soon I think, you’re not allowed to talk about it anymore. People get bored of listening and if you persist in mourning your loss you stop seeing these people because they just can’t deal with your misery.

I remember being told on a number of occasions, on the loss of my mother and then subsequent miscarriages and then the recent loss of my father, that I shouldn’t ‘dwell on it’ or ‘wallow’ anymore… As if I choose to feel this cutting grief, as if I enjoy it, as if I’m purposefully prolonging my own agony, as if I should just forget they ever existed.

So as I light my ‘Wave of Light’ candle for my four babies that weren’t given a chance I think of everyone else who has suffered the loss of a baby, or a pregnancy and give them strength and hope that the future does brighten. I want to tell them that their feelings matter, regardless of how many years have passed since their loss and that they are not alone. 

I spent half an hour of the WoL hour sitting on the edge of my bed listening to and looking at our beautiful boy as he slept peacefully and thanked the universe for him, aware that others aren’t as lucky as we are. 

So perhaps that’s the idea of awareness weeks such as this, not necessarily raising the awareness of those that haven’t suffered, but to make the affected aware that they are not alone.

  

Goodbye Summer

Wow, it’s September. The summer has gone, the Autumn (proven by the incredible plunge in temperature) is here once again. Summer seems to have passed me by and I struggle to remember a nice, sunny day of it. Did we have any, or is it my darkened mind that has tarnished their memory?

I love summer, always have. I hate the rain, I hate the grey, I hate the wind, the sun is where I find my happiness, it’s my power source but as we approach another long and bleak Cornish winter I feel I haven’t had my batteries fully charged with what I need to get through it.

I hated this summer mind, hated it like no other. All it seems to have brought to my door is more grief, loss, disappointment, fear, stress, anxiety and rage and for once I’m looking forward to winter as the beginning of winter means a new year is just around the corner.

I find myself writing this the day after my baby was due to be born and so much has happened that I nearly forgot that this had happened to us too, this that I thought would be the worst thing to happen to us this year, so forgive me for this rather maudlin post.

‘They’ say things happen for a reason but I struggle to contemplate what the reason is for so much heartache to fall on my doorstep this year. 

I’m not a bad person. In fact I’d go as far as saying that I’m a fairly nice person, a caring person, a fair person, a tolerant person. So if things happen for a reason, please can someone enlighten me as to what that reason is? Because I can’t see it right now. 

I’m not going to say Why Me? Because, quite frankly, why not me? What makes me so bloody special that I shouldn’t have a hard time more than the person next to me. I just struggle to know why all my babies couldn’t be with me now instead of just the one, special, precious one that was strong enough to stay with us. Why both my parents have been taken away from us so they are unable to witness my beautiful boy grow into an adult and give him the magical memories grandparents provide. Why we have been dogged with such bad luck where other matters are concerned. So to you people who say it, please give me the reason and if you can’t, then stop saying it to people when dreadful things happen to them because it doesn’t help. The saying should be, quite simply… “Things happen” and that’s the end of it.

So as I say goodbye to Summer and hello to Autumn I hope, beyond hope that our run of bad luck has come to an end and that the changing of the leaves will also bring the changing of our fortunes. As those leaves fall away from their branches and begin to become one with the earth once more, our misfortune will join them and leave the hope of a brighter, more fortunate future.

17 Months Old

Music Train has finished and I’ve decided we’re not going to go again until you’re a little older so instead we’ve been going to a Shining Stars at the children’s centre which has loads more activities you like. Hopefully the others will join us so you won’t miss them.

On the 28th we took you up to Brooks Soft Play before your nap as the weather hasn’t been that great lately, then joined Mila at the Milky Way, it’s so lovely watching you guys play together and gives us a chance to catch up. Daddy had a whale of a time with the soft play and I’m never too sure who enjoys it most.

Over Easter we had some lovely day trips as a family and walks on the beach to tire you out. You absolutely love it down there and constantly make a bee line for the puddles which you promptly fall into. It must be so nice for you to have such a large expanse to just run around and ‘be’ without us worrying that you’re going to bump into something.

On the 4th of April we went to Grayson’s 1st Birthday party where you all just ran wild with all the fabulous toys and activities that were laid on. Your favourite being marching up and down the driveway shouting at everything and everyone and trying to climb into the pond whilst wiping everyone out with a broom that you found. On the same day we had our first viewing on flat which went well, despite Lolly trying to gas them out on their arrival.

The 5th was Easter Sunday and such a beautiful day so we went for a nice long walk on beach in the morning then walked to Weir for lunch. You napped on the way and had your first proper meal out… beans on toast! You love it up there and walked around shouting at people and looking at the birds of prey.

On the 6th we had a second viewing on flat which resulted in an offer, so fingers crossed there. We took a trip to Jess’ farm to see her and Roo along with Samuel and Mila. She laid on a lovely spread of food for us all and followed up by a close up meeting with some lambs and chicks. You were so gentle with them, unlike the gung-ho attitude you have with Lolly. We’ve had some lovely play dates and trips to the park too.

  

On the 12th we went over to Auntie’s as she has returned from New Zealand and I had an early morning hospital appointment the next day. We met up with Uncle Simon and Auntie Jacqueline and, along with Auntie and David, we had a lovely lunch at a new bistro in Lyme, “The French Lieutenant’s”. It was fabulous though not a great deal for you to eat, however you managed with most of the cheese out my sandwich, bread and a pouch. 

On the 13th you did really well while I was being sorted out at hospital. There was lots of waiting and you didn’t take it well when I left to speak to someone but you were tired, bored and we were there a long time so I really don’t blame you. Afterwards we went into the city and did a bit of shopping and then let you run around Cathedral Green for 40 minutes before lunch. You loved it and spent ages looking up at, and shouting at the cathedral and feeling all the bark on the trees. The hours I’ve spent in the exact same place over the years I daren’t count, it’s so beautiful and peaceful. Afterwards we met David at Carluccios where we had lunch. You had your own menu lack which contained crayons, pictures and paper for you to draw on and then helped me with my Gnocchi al Gorgonzola, it’s safe to say by the amount you ate that you liked it. That evening Daddy drove over to join us, though you were asleep by the time he arrived.

  

On the 14th I had to go into hospital for an operation but you had a fabulous day in Lyme with Daddy who sent me photos of your antics throughout the day. The rest of the week was spent in Lyme while I recovered enough to drive us home and we had lots of lovely walks on the beach with Auntie and Uncle David. It’s so lovely seeing you playing on the same beach I grew up on. It was really quite moving (I know, I’m a soppy date)

  

Health

All good this month, so far. So nice for you not to have a cold.

Teeth

On the 27th I noticed your upper right molar was making an appearance. Would explain a lot about the increase in drool and gnashing of fingers. No sign of any lower molars as yet.

Firsts

First paddle in the sea and play on the beach at Lyme.

Character

I say it every month but you are turning into the most amazing little boy. You are loving, funny, inquisitive, thoughtful and so helpful. You can spend ages pouring your water onto the floor then trotting off to get a towel to mop it up again. You love taking things apart so you can put them back to together again, namely the telephone or remote control battery compartments.

Muscle Development & Coordination

Mobility: You are fast mastering running which, when on concrete, fills me with fear. You are constantly stomping up and down slopes which is good for you, but again stressful for me whilst trying to encourage you and hope you don’t fall in equal measures.

Communication: Little improvement on the verbal communication here, though you are making more sounds and I find you miming stuff a lot of the time. Like your walking I think you’re working up to this quietly and will, maybe, one day shock us all. You do however have no problem communicating with us with your version of sign language. You point to what you want eg: the door to go outside; the toaster for toast; the chair if you want me to let you play with the door key; the floor if you want to walk; your mouth if you’re hungry; and use makaton hand gesture for when you want milk etc . You have recently started pointing to your wrist (like you have a watch on) but we have yet to figure out what this means.

You have no problem identifying objects, numbers etc. For example, when we ask you where something is, or where a certain digit or colour is you will go over and point at it whether it’s by using flash cards or objects around the house.

Entertainment

I’m loving making tidying up a game for you… You love it and it makes life easier for me only having to tidy things away from a pile rather than from everywhere. There’s no better game than making you put your toys, etc in your basket. You love putting things in the bin and get really excited when I put a nappy in a nappy bag or give you some rubbish to “go put in the bin” then off you toddle and congratulate yourself when you’ve completed your task with a nice clap.

Your greatest entertainment now is the outside, it doesn’t matter what we’re doing outside as long as it is out side! From 6am you are putting my feet in my shoes and dragging me to the front door where you simply point to the outside shouting “Ah”. You’re not happy until I agree to put your shoes and socks on and get stuff together to go for a wander. Anywhere you’re happy with, castle green, the downs and Summerleaze beach being our most frequent haunts so you can roam free. I love that you love the outside so much, though it’s a little more difficult when it’s raining (note to self: buy you some proper wet weather gear).

Your fascination with carrying long objects continues, only now you’re rarely seen out without your spade and god forbid if we see a broom anywhere, be it childrens ones (like you love at the children’s centre, or adult sized ones in our neighbour’s courtyard).

 

Discipline 

I’m still trying to make you understand the gravity of the words “No” and “Stop” especially now you’re raving around outside. Sometimes you react in the way I want, others you don’t… This is a work in progress.

Sleep

This is steadily improving, though I hate to tempt fate by saying this. You are sleeping through more often (not every night, but baby steps) and when you don’t you only wake the once, invariably. You’ve had a couple of episodes of night terrors which are hideous

Growth


Feeding

Your appetite has returned, thank god. You are pretty much feeding independently now. You’ve pretty much mastered a fork and have been throwing in some knife action to trial, this isn’t as successful, but you’ll get there. You are loving baked beans at the moment, nice to see we’re raising a proper Brit. As for veg, I’m having to mash them and hide them in your pizza toast and pasta,as you’ve gone off eating them individually but I’m hoping that will return soon enough.

New Tastes: Vegetable Pasty, Quorn Sausage, Yorkshire Pudding, Gnocchi al Gorgonzola

15 Months Old

It’s been a pretty shocking month, unfortunately (hence the late posting), though it did start off nicely so let’s start with the good bits.  

On the 30th we took a trip over to Lyme and stayed with Auntie for four days so Daddy could get the flat painted so we can put it on the market. We had a famous time. You were so busy racing around and tiring us all out, Auntie in particular when you insisted on climbing all the stairs in the house repetitively.



We went for lots of walks and I took you on routes I haven’t walked since I was at school, it was lovely reminiscing if a bit sad too.

We read lots of books and you sat on my knee whilst you played my piano, I forget it’s there and haven’t shown you it before, you loved banging around on it. I often wonder whether you’ll have some musical talent.



Whilst here we took you shopping and for the first time I put you in the kids seat on a trolley (I usually carry you in the mei tai)… You absolutely loved it, looking around and swinging your legs it was lovely to see. Auntie and I embarrassed ourselves no end in the attempt at getting a decent photo of you in it mind. 



On the 3rd we tried a new soft play room, ‘Jumping Jacks’ at the Bullers Arms in Marhamchurch where you had me racing round like a loon pushing you on a bike, this went on for pretty much the entire 3 hours we were there but you did let me have a little break when you tried out a bouncy castle for the first time.



On the 11th we went and stayed with Uncle Dan et al as I had a hospital appointment the next morning. You slept fantastically despite me leaving all your bedtime accoutrement neatly folded on the sofa…. At home. In fact you slept 10 hours straight, I couldn’t have asked for more. The next day Uncle Dan took care of you until I got back from Exeter. It started so well, until Auntie Sam and Tommy left for school, then you made him work. You cried from the moment they left til the moment I walked in the door… 2 hours later bless you, and poor Uncle Dan. Unfortunately, due to this visit, we missed Samuel’s 1st birthday party of which I am so sorry.

A week later all manner of hell broke loose where your poor Daddy was thrown in at the deep end and forced to be in soul charge of you for a whole, entire night. More to the point this was the longest we’ve been apart since your conception. I, unfortunately, was taken into hospital by ambulance at 2130, luckily I’d managed to settle you before the paramedics arrived and I had hoped you’d sleep for a good few hours, unfortunately for your Daddy you woke up 5 minutes after I was taken away and that was the start of a hellish night. You both ended up only getting 4 hours sleep (which was 1 hour more than myself but 10 hours too few for you my precious). Apparently you kept pointing down the hall no matter what room you were in, thinking I was in the other and when you discovered I wasn’t there you broke down. This, of course, made me breakdown when Daddy text me when I was in A&E. My precious boy, you finally settled for him at 2 am and he brought you to me by 9am, luckily because I still breastfeed visiting hours don’t apply. We had a fun time trying to keep you amused as all you wanted to do was walk down the corridors shouting and their were lots of sick ladies that probably wouldn’t have appreciated it, though some older ladies loved seeing and hearing you.  

On February 17th you partook in your very first pancake day and you wolfed it down. Classic with blueberries all the way.



Health  

Bleurgh, another cold, more temperatures, more vomiting, more icky nappies. May be due to teeth, could just have been a cold but you’re on the mend now and full of the joys of spring once more. I hate seeing you so poorly, as a parent all I want to do is take it for you and feel totally helpless when there’s nothing more than cuddles that I can do. 

Teeth 

On the 11th February I discovered your upper right molar has finally come through after, what seems like, weeks of drooling, icky nappies and fist chewing. You’re yet to allow me to see if any of the others have come through mind. 

Firsts 

On the 31st you had your first ride in a supermarket trolley.

You rubbed your head after bumping it 2nd February. Now you rub whatever you’ve bumped, it’s so cute and terrifying too as you look so grown up doing it. 

On the 15th February you walked independently and of your own volition across the room. It’s official. You’re a walker. The speed in which you took to it confirms my suspicions you’ve been able to do for ages now but didn’t have the nerve, or the inclination, to do so. Next stop, shoe shopping! 



On the 17th February you ate your first Shrove Tuesday pancake.

Character 

You are turning into such a sweet little boy and love sharing everything you have, be it your biscuit, drink, toy or dinner you always offer it up to share, be it to us, another child at a group or play date or your doggy. It’s very endearing. 



You still know how to throw a tantrum and I have to stifle the laughter when you sit there banging your feet on the floor. You are due to exit a leap any day and after this apparently I have to start laying down the law… This should go down well!!! Watch this space!

I love how when you’re bored you throw things away shouting at them as you do so and you clear the sofa of stuff by chucking it over your shoulder shouting as you do it.

You’ve also taken to coming and getting us by the hand if you need/want us to get you something you can’t reach, it’s so adorable. You also grab our fingers and make us experience your touch and feel books as you do.

You are still sharing everything which I find so endearing. Whether it be everything you’re eating, or something you’re playing with, 

Muscle Development & Coordination 

Mobility: it’s official. You are now officially walking independently. We’ve been getting free steps everyday for a while now but only a couple at a time (6 being the most) and only once or twice a day. I think it was either a lack of confidence or pure laziness because you run whilst holding onto my hand and you’re not putting any of your weight onto me at all. However, whilst running a fever and thoroughly snotty, on the 15th February you were standing yourself up and taking a few steps towards furniture, you were practising pretty much all day and by the evening you were becoming really brave and pushing yourself. By the next morning you independently walked from the door to the chair then to me, by the afternoon you walked the entire length of the lounge. There is no stopping you now, the speed in which you did it proves you’ve been able to do it for a while, you lazy little monkey. Next stop… The dreaded shoe shop, though I still maintain my no shoes rule on the whole, however I can’t have you walking around barefoot outside, especially in this weather and in these times.

I’m beyond proud, and maybe boring Facebook and Twitter just a little. 

You continue to climb everything. We’ve had to modify the cat tower to stop you climbing the rungs but the rest of the room is pretty much your playground seeing as we can’t protect everything.



Communication: Still no improvement on words but you certainly know how to communicate using your finger, shrugs, nodding, shaking your head and props. You’re very clever, we just need to hear your voice more than just ‘mama’, ‘dada’, ‘AH’ and ‘uh huh’. 

Entertainment 

Telephone play. EVERYTHING is a telephone at the moment, be it your thermometer, the remote control, a credit card or a spoon, you are constantly nattering away to whoever you’re talking to.

Buttons. Your fascination with buttons is driving us mad. Especially the TV power button, where you press it three times, every time meaning it’s ALWAYS off. 

Keys. You love keys and are always wanting to put them in the door keyhole (or anything that resembles a keyhole, for that matter).  

Books. You still LOVE books and are constantly toddling over with one for us to read to you. You still prefer your ‘If I Were…’ And ‘That’s Not My…’ books.



Sleep

You really have turned a corner on this front now and sleep really well most of the time. The odd night you wake up still, but only the once. Though, having said that, on the 9th you threw a right whappy. We’re not sure what really happened but I knew it was going to be a tough night when I put you down, but I didn’t envisage that. All we can think of is that you had a night terror because it took ages to calm you down when you woke and then you point blank refused to go back to sleep. You kept pointing down the corridor at the lounge and when I finally relented and took you to the lounge you pointed down the corridor at the bedtime, and so this went on…. For hours!!! 

Growth

You now weight 23Ib 10oz and have, finally, grown out of all your 6-9 month clothing.

Feeding

I’ve started introducing a knife and fork at dinner times now and you love trying to use them. The knife is no more than a toy at the moment (I’m not expecting you to cut anything just yet) but you handle the fork brilliantly, stabbing the food with it and managing not to take an eye or your tongue out when putting the morsel into your mouth.

New Tastes: Omelettes; Cherries; Stuffed Jacket Potatoes; Lychees; 

The Fourth Star

You’d think I’d be used to this by now, right?

A familiar face comes and gets me, warning me of an imminent power cut and uncertainties of how far we’ll get before the engineers test the generator again. I joke with her and discuss the improbabilities of the engineers carrying out this sort of work outside ‘their’ working hours.

We get started and get the first part done before the power goes off and as I lay there in the dark staring up at the forest scenes taped to the ceiling tiles her words keep resounding in my eyes “It’s not the size it should be”. I need an internal scan as soon as the power is restored and I wait. This uncomfortable and intrusive procedure confirms that the tiny little heart I’ve been nurturing for the last 11 weeks stopped beating a couple of weeks ago.

A second opinion is needed and I’m doing ok. Until the second sonographer, full of sympathy, confirms what I knew, but had hoped against.

I fall apart.

There in the dark, I wonder who’s making that barking noise and realise it’s me. Uncontrollably, I sob like a baby.

Why?

I’ve never broken down like this before.

I frantically try and build that wall that’s protected me so well in the past to save my dignity but I struggle to glue the bricks together.

Why has this one hit me so hard? Sadistically I can’t help but stare at the little kidney shaped image on the screen and I realise, for once, that since the birth of my most precious Noah, that shape wasn’t ‘just a cluster of cells that wasn’t viable’ that little shape was a life, a person, my child that hadn’t made it. It hurts. It hurts more than I ever thought it would. I feel like someone has driven a poker into my very soul.

Turning down offers of support, “I’m fine, I’ve been through this before”. Yet in this moment I kick myself because all I want is a hug, a massive hug, one of those hugs that takes some of the pain away for just that instance. A hug only a loved one or true friend can give. Yet here I was discussing with a known stranger how I am going to proceed. I’m numb. I just want to get back to my boy who I’ve left my brother, I just want to hold him, to hug him, to kiss him, to look into his eyes and be grateful that at least I have him, I just want to get out of here.

Thankfully, as a ‘season ticket holder’, she lets me go without having to sit in that waiting room awaiting a consultant to talk me through what I already know. I turn down that forget-me-not decorated ‘sympathy’ pack, opt for the ‘natural miscarriage’ option and I race back to the car to phone D and break the devastating news while he’s hundreds of miles away and not able to do anything.

In just 6 days we would have been announcing to family and close friends that Noah was going to be a big brother, in 6 days time! I was beginning to get excited about it… More fool me. Now I’m left waiting for my useless uterus to clear itself of ‘the product’ once more. ‘The product’, my child.. MY CHILD.

I still feel sick, I still feel tired, I’m still enduring those first trimester headaches but for no reason whatsoever. I ask myself, why? Why me? Why does this keep happening to me? What have I done to warrant this once again.

But then, why not? Why shouldn’t this happen to me? What makes me so special that I feel that things like this shouldn’t happen to me? Nothing, that’s what. I just have to deal with it and thank the universe that my beautiful, healthy, happy little boy is in my life and, god willing, who knows whether he’ll be blessed with a sibling in the not too distant future.

As for today? I wait for this to be over, pray it’s not as traumatic as my second and think of my four little stars that were never destined to be, but love like they were.