I’ve decided to write Lily’s pregnancy story in a sort of series because otherwise it will more than likely be ridiculously long. I had wanted to do weekly updates when I was actually pregnant with her but life and other shit just got in the way.
In May 2015 I found out I was pregnant with Lily. What is even more amazing, is that I got those 2 pink lines exactly a year ago, to the date, with my Angel Baby. Pure coincidence? Or was this planned for me? Who knows, but it felt as though my Angel had chosen this little bean to send to me which sounds silly when I write it down but it helped.
I had been feeling a bit shit and really tired so I honestly just took the test to rule pregnancy out. We had been careful and in my mind there was no way I could be pregnant. Turns out I was super wrong but also incredibly happy. I smiled as soon as I saw the two lines. Knowing what date it was I just felt that this was meant to be.
After the initial shock of things had calmed down was when the anxiety came out. From this point on, I was absolutely terrified of losing this baby and honestly believe that it was all too good to be true and that my body was going to fail me again. I couldn’t be happy because I felt like the second I let go of my anxieties and let myself get excited, even for a second, that it would be then that my baby would be taken from me again before they even had a chance. I remember reading everything there was about pregnancy, when the risk of miscarriage reduces, counting down the days to 6 weeks when the first drop happens and the baby’s heart starts beating. Praying that the beat didn’t stop this time.
We told Ben’s family first as I was anxious about telling mine after what happened last time. Eloise ended up letting slip to my sister and then my Mum who ended up taking it better that I had first thought. Then came the public social media announcement which happened on the same day as I had announced my Angel because I felt like that was the right time. I didn’t want to wait until 12 weeks because regardless of what was to happen, I wanted my baby to be remembered. I also felt like doing it on the same date would reduce the chances of losing the baby because the odds of everything happening on the same dates was slim right?
I started bleeding at 6 weeks. Exactly the same as last time; The same heavy feeling. The same blood loss. How could my body be doing this to me again? Pretty much down to the date? How was this fair? I still hadn’t forgiven my body for last time and I had only just began to drag myself out of the dark there was no way I could cope with this happening again.
I rang the doctors who said I needed to come in. I remember sitting there, the terror bone deep, waiting for my name to be called. I went in alone, leaving Ben in the waiting room and explained to the doctor what was happening. She echoed the same words the EPU lady had a year ago “it will either progress or it won’t”. She had me lay down on the bed and checked me over to rule out anything serious and told me to come back if I started bleeding more or experienced any pain and off I went. I asked to be referred for a scan but she said there was little they could do at the stage (I was later told that she should have sent me for an emergency scan considering my history). I wanted her to tell me everything was fine and I was being stupid worrying so much but she didn’t and I left feeling even worse than I did before, convinced this was the beginning of the end all over again.
This is when my pregnancy test game went up, I must have been testing 4+ times a day. I became completely obsessed with pink lines and pissing on sticks. I kept trying to tell myself what I was told last time, that the colour of the line on a test is not instinctive of a healthy pregnancy but it didn’t matter. I think I took multiple tests every single day for over a month and would have continued longer if I hadn’t left them were I couldn’t get to them. It was so unhealthy the amount I was stressing over the colour of a line. It was all I could think about for the first few weeks of knowing. I’d get up at ridiculous o’clock and take a test, it was my first thought when I woke up, even during the night if I happened to wake up I would want to test “just in case” and every time I saw the line, still there, still just as dark, I relaxed for a few minutes. Literally a few minutes, then the anxiety would build and build and build. It was like I was addicted to taking pregnancy tests. The bleeding stopped after a few days, going from bright red streaks to brown to nothing.
It was around now I started to get the nausea, a lot earlier than I did with Eloise, along side my already painful boobs, I’d wake up and instantly feel just a little bit sick. If I woke up and didn’t feel sick I would panic, or if my boobs hurt a bit less. I was forever analysing my symptoms and if anything became less apparent, my mind would spiral downwards and I would convince myself of the worst possible scenario, over and over again and that’s very much how my entire pregnancy was spent. I was absolutely overjoyed with being pregnant, I loved everything about it but at the same time I was terrified of anything bad happening. So much so that I don’t think I ever actually got to enjoy it.
Midway through the first trimester I moved out of my Mums place for a second time and in with Ben and his family as tensions were quite high at home and after a particularly stressful day Ben basically helped me pack some shit and took me and Eloise home with him. That decision ended up being a complete disaster but more about that later.
After moving house, I also moved doctors. I was about 8 or 9 weeks now and because I was a new patient I had to wait 2 weeks for a check up before I could see a midwife. The doctor was surprised at how my old surgery dealt with my earlier bleed, especially given my history of pregnancy loss and she booked me in for an emergency scan in the early pregnancy unit. I was so relieved that someone finally listened to my concerns!
The scan date came round and I was terrified. I was completely convinced they wouldn’t be able to find a heart beat and I felt so sick with anxiety. If you’ve ever been to the EPU you will know how truly awful it is sitting in the waiting area knowing that all these ladies are here because they are equally as terrified as you, and some will be told their babies have passed away.
During the scan there were two sonographers, one doing the scan and the other as a second opinion. As soon as they put the probe on my tiny bump and I say the tiny little bean that was to become my Lily there, bouncing away I finally relaxed a bit. I remember her saying “there’s your little jellybean” which became Lily’s in utero nickname. I even call her Lily Bean so much I’m sure shes convinced that’s her real name. After that they didn’t say an awful lot and that alone made my brief relaxation completely disappear. I was even more convinced there was something wrong. They printed off a photograph that I was to pick up from reception after the appointment had ended because waving a scan photo around in front on parents that could have just lost their babies would be just awful.
After the scan the sent me to a different waiting area to see the consultant who was just reviewing the scan findings. I was called in what felt like hours later, to be told that everything looked okay with the baby but I had a Subchorionic Heamatoma on a section of my placenta. This basically means that when my placenta began to form a small section came away and caused a pocket of blood to form underneath as the placenta grew over and around it. They told me that this was the most likely reason for my bleed and that it will either be reabsorbed by my body or it will make its way towards my cervix and come out with more bleeding. I was booked in for another scan and they explained that they would reassess the heamatoma then in the hope my body will absorb it without any issue but I was also told that if it isn’t absorbed that it is likely to get bigger as my placenta grows and it could could increase my risk of miscarriage, placental abruption and pre term labour. Not what I wanted to hear at all. My mind spiralled downwards and whilst I was glad to have found the reason for the bleed I was also distraught at the thought of losing another baby. Why was my body doing this? Why couldn’t it just do it’s job properly? The thought of losing another pregnancy wasn’t fathomable to me. It couldn’t happen. Not again.