Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Stacey: A Rainbow Pregnancy: Weeks 17 to 20

This is the fifth in a series of posts that Stacey is writing about her rainbow pregnancy. To read the previous posts, please click on the links below:

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17 weeks

I have my second anomaly scan this week, I am not as frightened about it as the last one as we know that the brain looks normal but I am still a bit anxious. I have been finding it really hard to get through each two week wait for the NHS scans and have been finding it easier breaking it up with private scans and my midwife appointment but this time I promised myself I would try and go the entire 15 days with nothing and just wait for this scan to try and be ‘normal’. It has been hard at times but I do feel strangely proud that I have managed to fully achieve the entire 15 day wait. I have, however, suffered in another way; I am becoming increasingly anxious of late term miscarriage and still birth. As we move through this pregnancy and the scans are beginning to give us slightly more confidence that this baby does not have the same abnormalities I am getting into a panic about what could be round the corner. Just when we think we might be in a ‘safe zone’ there could always be something else waiting to strike. To try and combat these fears I have found myself increasing my usage of my Doppler; some days I have been using it up to 4 times. I am only using it for about 30seconds at a time as I do find it very easy to find the heartbeat and it gives me reassurance but I am sure that it is not good for my mental health to be thinking up to 4 times a day that the babies’ heart has stopped. I have read opinions online that using a home Doppler isn’t good for the baby but to be honest nor is the huge amount of stress I would go through if I didn’t use it, I guess it is the lesser of two evils. I am hoping that soon I will have strong, regular movements which will reassure me that all is okay.

The scan went well the baby was in the exact same position so back to back and breech; this baby ain’t for turning! Got scanned twice just to see if baby would move after a walk but nothing. My consultant is pretty happy but wants to look at the whole of the spine which she cannot do if baby is lying on it. The next scan is in 11days at 19+1 but back in ultrasound as my consultant is going on holiday for a month, she has told me to stress to them we must see the whole spine. She wants them to call me back at 21 weeks if they cannot see it. If they cannot see it then she will scan me at 24 weeks she will deal with a care plan after that but she wants to tick this box first. I am fairly happy with everything but obviously I would like the baby to move to be scanned! At the end the baby did this cute river dance type thing with its legs and feet and was having a little party in there.

18 weeks

This week I have been quite poorly, my blood pressure has always been a bit low but nothing to cause concern. However, I had a funny turn in the afternoon after a very early shift at work. I had barely eaten any food that day as I couldn’t stomach anything and I started to get very dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out. I decided to go and get some sleep and hoped that would help. Unfortunately it didn’t and despite getting over 16hours sleep I still felt very ill the next day. I tried to get an emergency appointment with my doctor to get my blood pressure checked and to see if I should go to the hospital but my doctor was less than helpful. Fortunately it seems that all is ok and that I have been doing too much, stressed and not eating enough. I weighed myself to see if this was true and sure enough in 2 weeks I have lost 3lbs. I am shocked by this and feel very guilty that I could have been putting my baby at risk by doing too much and not eating enough. My goal now is to eat at least a small something every few hours even if it is just a few grapes. My manager has also arranged for me to have a few days off to rest which has really helped.

We have also taken a huge step in doing something normal in this pregnancy and went to the Baby Show, we had tickets when we were pregnant with Maisie but unfortunately we could not go as she died a few weeks before. It was very scary going and trying to be normal but I am glad we went as it strangely helped to heal a very bitter wound.

19 weeks

This week I have what may be my final anomaly scan, I have been trying to prepare for it by doing everything possible to get the baby to move. One thing in particular is a yoga position called downward dog which is leaning against a chair and working your way down to the ground so your hands are on the floor and your bum is in the air. I definitely felt something was different after doing this my tummy felt different and my bump seemed to be in an odd position.

My scan was at 11am but they were running really late so I kept pacing the corridor to try and get baby to move. We were finally called in and began the long walk down the corridor, I explained how nervous I was as it was at the 20week scan in ultrasound at time that things went wrong. As soon as the heartbeat was confirmed I looked at the screen and could see that the baby had changed position luckily the baby was spine facing out which was exactly what we wanted so we got great views of the spine which looks healthy! But then she wanted to look at the babies face so we needed baby to go back to back again (poor baby doesn’t know if it is coming or going!) so I nipped to the loo and the baby moved so we got to look at everything. There was a scary moment at the end when she was looking at the heart and went completely silent, I wanted to scream what’s wrong, but it was all ok.

We have decided not to find out the gender yet as I am not ready to start bonding with this baby as a boy or a girl with their own identity but we are officially past the anomaly scans and are now going into the unknown.

I have 2 more weeks until I will be the most pregnant I have ever been and I thought I would feel more excited and outwardly happy but I feel a bit flat. Like we have climbed to what we thought was the top of the mountain only to discover the clouds and that we actually had only climbed a small hill and the mountain is still in front of us. I guess I just feel like we still have a long way to go but I am grateful that everything looks good.

20 weeks

This week we have gone on what may be our last holiday as a couple rather than a family with a living child. We took both our dogs to Cornwall camping for the week and have had a great time. I took my pregnancy notes and Doppler just in case (used my Doppler everyday!). I have had a lot more movement this week, mostly at night or in the morning when I am lying on my side, which is not comfy on an airbed. We have also worked on some picture ideas for a pregnancy announcement which we have decided to do if we make it to 24 weeks (pictures to follow if we make it!). The whole time writing this blog and being pregnant I have been every aware that this could all be over at any stage but I feel that this blog is important to write as I hope it can help others understand how traumatic and emotionally tough being pregnant after loss is and for those who are pregnant after loss to not feel so alone. I have been able to mostly ignore the pregnancy this week and try to just enjoy the holiday but it is slowly dawning on me that in just a few days’ time I will be the same gestation that I was when I had Maisie and then I will be the most pregnant I have ever been.

Here is a snap my husband took of me at the beach enjoying the view at 20 weeks and 2 days.

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To read Stacey’s next post, please click on the link below:

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