Saturday, 13 April 2013
We're in Fuerteventura on holiday this week. We got here a week ago. Day 1 and I was poorly with diarrhea and sick in bed all day. Day 2 I managed to get out a bit more but no appetite at all. In fact, my stomach would turn completely when I looked at food. Day 3 much the same but a little brighter and the same on day 4, until the evening and I just felt so sick and lethargic. Also I had started getting acid reflux so bad I was having to vomit repeatedly. So we went to the doctor in town. She diagnosed an acute uti as well as borderline dehydration needing a drip. Very thankful not to need intravenus fluids but not too happy about requiring antibiotics for the uti or strong antacids for the reflux. But apparently all safe for baby.
We managed to get out for dinner while we were in town which was lovely. I managed to eat a bit more too! Baby has been very active most days which keeps me reassured that me being ill isn't harming her. I'm obsessed with her movements though and hate it when she's quiet for too long.
So day 5 was a fair bit better health-wise and started feeling stronger and eating better. Day 6, the Friday, I seemed almost full-strength. We went out to the old town that night and enjoyed a beautiful 3 course meal at a lovely little place. Came home feeling very, very full but happy. Then my old friend diarrhea hit again. Joy oh joy. Went to sleep hoping it was just a big dinner that had done it. Woke to a trapped nerve in my shoulder and, quite literally, explosive diarrhea. Seriously, just put me down now! This is day 7, the day we go home so the timing is not great. Breakfast was followed by more of the same. But now we've checked out of the room so are laid by the pool. I'm just hoping I don't need to frequent the public loos too much today!
So, that's my update. More bowel-related than baby loss but I'll tell you something... being ill with something that could cause complications is petrifying. A virus in me has killed one of my children and I am not going to be responsible for another baby dying. I'm focusing on getting lots of fluids in and checking for strong, regular movements. I'll see the doctor when I get back but until then, I'll just keep clenching and praying!
Tuesday, 12 March 2013
We know our precious bundle is a little girl now, which is lovely. Hasn't even crossed my mind that she's a replacement for Isla, though I know some women feel that pressure.
This pregnancy has not been easy at all. I've had lots of trips to the hospital but seem to be getting looked after pretty well. I managed to fall over the other night which scared me a bit, but again, she seems fine!
Today I've been reminiscing. On my July birth board, a forum for others due in July, they have been sharing pictures of their previous bumps. I'm not really prepared to do that, but it's interesting to see. I can only find a couple which I thought I'd share here instead.
This is my Isla bump at 18+5
Compared to Rainbow bump at 18 weeks
I find it so sad to read those posts, just the day before we found out we'd lost our darling girl. Scary too, that I am only 6 weeks away from that exact time.
Saturday, 2 February 2013
A complete surprise so soon after our beautiful Isla and a very nervous journey so far. But we are of course excited. Every day that passes and I still hear the wonderful sound of that little heartbeat (I have a home doppler to keep me sane!), I get more and more excited about this blessing.
We're not actually being monitored more closely really as they consider me low risk. However, I have my own midwife who will see me right through to the birth and also a consultant on the end of the phone who I've met twice so far and the next time will be at 19 weeks. He basically said that he doesn't believe I got pre-eclampsia at 26 weeks for pre-eclampsia's sake. As I suspected, he said it was Maternal Mirror Syndrome, meaning I was mirroring what was wrong with Isla - the bloating basically - which, in me, manifested as pre-eclampsia. I was very poorly and could have died just like she did. Scary but means I'm not actually 'high-risk' this time. Obviously I can't catch parvovirus b19 again (slapped cheek) but there's still an epidemic of it going on, so I've had my bloods checked again to ensure I was really immune. My midwife is part of a team called the Jubilee Team. I refused to go back to the same children's centre as before, where those 2 midwifes are who I hold responsible for Isla's death are, so get to choose a different centre for my antenatal classes etc. She's always on the end of the phone for a call or text.
I had lots of bleeding in early pregnancy and therefore lots of scans, but everything has settled. After the picture above was taken at 13 weeks, I now have to wait until 4th March for my 19 week scan, when I will also meet with the consultant again. He advised me to use the doppler to check on the heartbeat when I felt worried. I do it every couple of days and it's such a wonderful sound! Currently beating at about 160bpm so, according to the old wive's tale, still in girl territory! I can't wait to find out for sure!
Tomorrow I am 15 weeks pregnant. At Christmas, Dan and I were given the original canvas of the Mewstone Rainbow painting by my friend Toby Ray. I mentioned it during my October project and again since I think. And my mum and step-dad got us an original one made up! It's not hanging on our wall yet as we're trying to move house still, but it will certainly have pride of place when we do! So lovely to have a representation of both Dad and Isla in a very special piece of art.
Monday, 24 December 2012
I'm not over all this, if that's what you're wondering. Is that even possible?! To be over the death of your child? I don't believe I'll ever be 'over it'.
My mum said it a certain way the other day... Saying you're over something isn't recognising it enough. 'Getting beyond' something implies manouvering around it, rather than it not being there at all; getting beyond it but knowing it's still there and will never go away! But still putting distance between it and you.
Mum was referring to this poem:
Starlings In Winter
“Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine
how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard, I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.”
- Mary Oliver
I like that idea of getting past something that I am still very much aware of. It's still there and always will be. I'm not 'over it' in the traditional sense but still...
I don't think I'm explaining myself very well.
I miss my amazingly beautiful daughter. I always will. But I can find happiness in my days now. I explain to people I no longer have bad days. Just sad moments in otherwise happy / normal / busy days. And those moments sometimes hit me like a sledgehammer. But I can cope with them now.
I will never be so far from this that I can no longer turn and still see it. I walk past it, tripping and stumbling as I go and it's always there. But I have to be able to carry on.
Thursday, 1 November 2012
I think I probably spent too much time thinking about catching a good photo while the light was good and which setting to have the camera on, but did end up taking some time to think of her properly too. I threw the flower initially and it caught the wind and landed just on the rocks below me, so I threw it again, much further this time, which worked better. As I remembered my little girl, I found some peace there on the rocks, with the wind blowing and the waves crashing. She is gone in body, and gone from my body, but remains forever in my heart.
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
So that's the end of baby loss awareness month. Though obviously not the end of our grief.
The weather here in Croatia was not good today so I prepared by taking a photo last night when the sky was beautiful.
I have found this project healing in a way. I have found it therapeutic to be able to share my grief with others. I apologise to those who have not shared in this experience and found it useful in some way. Thank you so much to those of you who have.