Monday, 27 July 2015

Miriam: Right Where I Am 2015: 1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days

So, I left my last blog on 27th July 2014 wondering if there might be a future rainbow. Turns out that there would be, and sooner than I thought with a bfp just three days after writing that.

We visited a local petting farm open day in September. It was a lovely day, though I was anxiously trying to avoid touching any animals and hand washing to OCD levels. While there, we saw a man making objects from weaving willow. Without knowing I was pregnant he made a baby's rattle and gave it to me. I also made a corn dolly - symbol of fertility. They became my good luck and were tucked up safely on Gabriel's shelf.

Of course it goes without saying that the rainbow journey is an emotional one. The inner turmoil of 'what if it all happens again?' is never far away. I just felt so detached I had to force myself to buy baby clothes and took 6 weeks to pack the hospital bag. Whilst I breathed a little easier after reaching certain milestones, I don't think I really felt certain that we'd be bring a baby home until he was in my arms.

Then there are the little digs made by others. The hints that of course, everything will be fine now, because a 'replacement child' will surely make everything right. And there are all the usual antenatal appointments that are now far from that. That innocence of pregnancy before loss now robbed. It's not usual to cry before going for an ultrasound scan, but when you've heard those awful words 'I can't find a heartbeat' each and every scan was met with trepidation and held breath until a heartbeat was found.

I really do think that across the board, maternity services need to be much more aware of and sympathetic to the struggles of a rainbow pregnancy. From the stupid small talk of 'is this your first?' Have you taken a moment to read my notes? Did you not see the large count the kicks loss sticker I put right beside my name? To being told that my concerns about things that had previously happened at the time of Gabriel's birth, that should have happened to no woman, being dismissed as 'irrational' as they 'just don't usually happen'! Err... hello? They happened to me! How do I say 'you'll never get a sensible bp reading off me in that room, because of what happened previously'? Being kept waiting in triage for a ctg bringing on the tears, and when asked to explain why, being told 'Well, it's best not to think about it'. Really? Are you for real?

However, in my case it was my loss of innocence I think that saved my rainbow baby this time. I kept the pressure on my consultant to not let me go over my due date. This resulted in several failed sweeps, which in turn led to a scan the day after my due date to check my fluid levels, placenta function and baby's head position.

As the sonographer placed her probe at the top of my bump, 'Well, there's the head!' she said. My previously supposedly head down baby was now footling breech. This triggered a whole new birth plan. I was kept in for monitoring of my raised bp and plus protein, while they tried to get me on an elcs list - no mean feat the week before the Easter weekend.

A sudden feeling of relief oddly as this meant a whole different birth form Gabriel's. No fighting to get past the mw on the phone, or the woman in the desk at the ward. No sitting in triage! Small things, but they'd been massive concerns.

After my baby, a gorgeous 8lb 13oz boy, was born, the mw told me when I was back in the recovery bay, that as well as being footling breech, there was a true knot in the cord. Gabriel, I truly feel that you were watching over your little brother, and I sincerely thank you.

Today, my little rainbow isn't so little. He's rapidly approaching 4 months already. His babyhood is passing by far too quickly and I'm fighting against accepting the reality that he probably will be my last baby. I'm not a young parent and I've had truly awful SPD with all three pregnancies. I just don't think I can put me or my family through it again. And yet, I'd really love another. I'd love another baby. I'd love a little girl. I'd love.... But there's also the feeling that it wouldn't matter how many children I had: there'll always be one missing and so our family will just never feel complete.

Where am I right now?

Once again I'm wrapping birthday presents and feeling blessed. How many children do I have? I have three - I have my Sunshine, my Angel and my Rainbow. I consider myself a very lucky mummy to have each of these three.


You can read Miriam's previous post here:

Right Where I Am 2014: 9 months 3 weeks 2 days

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