Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pregancy after stillbirth: 9 weeks 0 days

I've not been sleeping well.  I've felt OK over the Christmas period (it's the 30th December today) but that's because we're in a new albeit safe environment and I feel like I've run away from my shit life.  I have had lots of Thoughts going through my head, usually from about midnight to 2am, and more nightmares.  I won't detail these - some things needs to remain personal - but it has led me to realise that I need to write something to get this stuff out of my head.

So, where to start.  Howabout my fears around when this clump of cells/blob/foetus becomes an actual real baby.  How do I express my terror about losing it before it's a real baby. I know what to do when it's an actual baby and it dies.  You go through labour, you hold it, you cry, you hold a funeral.  Everyone is very sad until the point when they're not and it's just me and my boyfriend left feeling empty and dead and despairing.

But you only go through labour from about 14 weeks.  Before that I guess it's something like a mini labour?  I dunno. Your cervix has to open and you bleed and pass clots and from about 9 weeks you could see the pregnancy sac and if you look really close you could see the foetus and oh my god this is the most horrifying thing I can imagine.  What would I do?  Would I look at it?  I don't think I could function if I didn't, because I deal with stuff by looking at them, analysing them and understanding them, but if I did look at it and understand it was my baby in the toilet or in the sanitary towel or my knickers or whatever I think I'd start clawing at my face and I'd go irrecoverably mad.

Then if we make it to 14 weeks and it dies after that what would it look like?  It would be tiny. Before 24 weeks they have transluscent skin.  Could I bear seeing my baby that is not a real baby?  When they are really small and you cremate them you don't get ashes.  How the fuck am I meant to hold another funeral?  Will anyone else care?  Is it that one is a tragedy but two is careless? And we're supposed to just get over it, because we've already done it and we know how these things go.

Better for us to get to 24 weeks and then it dies because then I can cope, then I can understand, then I know what I'm looking for.

When am I supposed to start bonding with it?  The 8 week scan showed that it has grown so I'm fairly certain that we'll get to 12 weeks OK.  Will it look like a real baby at the 10 week scan?  By 12 weeks they are real babies, swimming around.  Do I start bonding with it then?  Is it a real baby then?  How can it be a real baby if I don't need to labour to get it out?

I don't have anyone I can speak to in real life about this.  I can't speak to my boyfriend because he can't think about this stuff, and as much as the medical profession is geared around caring for me, it needs to care for him too.  This affects him - he is - will be - a father again.  This doesn't just happen passively around him, he is involved and key to the whole process.  My friends will get upset if I talk to them about it, so I sit here throwing everything down and hoping it will clear my head.  Maybe it is.  Perhaps it is bringing everything to the surface instead and I'll be a whimpering wreck by the time I'm finished writing this.

Or maybe I'll move on to writing about the physical stuff and pack the mental stuff away as over and done with and then not deal with it until it bobs up to the surface again.

So physical stuff - my nipples have been getting more sore over the last week, but my boobs aren't sore.  Not like I remember them being with C.  They felt like they were on fire.  I'm not showing yet although my clothes are tighter.  I suspect this is a mixture of mince pies adding to my reasonably substantial middle and the fact that I'm too early.  When I lie down I feel my belly is raised, and have felt that way for a week or so, but that might be wishful thinking.  I don't have any scales here so I don't know how much weight I've put on, but I do know I haven't been overeating.  I have been eating rich, fatty, sugary stuff, but I haven't been overeating.  Nausea isn't a constant, but I did wake up yesterday, have a shower, felt very hungry and then dry heaved once before I legged it downstairs for a fruit salad breakfast.  We went out for cooked breakfast half an hour later and while waiting for it to arrive I had to eat a fruesli bar, I was that hungry.  Mind you, my lunch consisted of a hot chocolate and a fruit scone so I guess it balances out. I feel tired a lot, but I think that is more being around other people, not sleeping well and emotions, rather than pregnancy per se.

I was wondering if this physical stuff would be interesting for anyone to read (when I publish it in about 3 or 4 weeks time), but I've decided it is useful for me to write down for me.  These days are dragging.  I need to mark them somehow.  We came down on Christmas Eve and I've just not been busy, so I've had time to think, all day, every day.  At least work keeps me busy.  The first two or three days I was barely thinking about pregnancy and babies, except for at night, but then my head started going all over the place and I was getting hung up on dates and scans and weeks and everything.  I had to keep reminding myself I wasn't past 12 weeks yet.  I've now decided to think about just the day I am at.  Today I am 9 weeks 0 days.  Tomorrow I will focus on being one more day along.  The day after I shall focus on that day.

One more note about physical stuff - I keep scaring myself thinking I've got cramps, but as they don't last long and go once I've visited the toilet I'm pretty certain it's just my bowels and not my uterus.  Thanks be to everything that I don't have the severe cramps I had with C.  If I did I think I'd be laying in bed going nuts.

And now, I feel lighter.  Jubilant almost.  It's good to write.

Edited to add: here is a link to the Miscarriage Association's webpage giving info on the likelihood of miscarriage throughout the first trimester.  This particular piece of text gives me hope:
"Research has shown that if you see a heartbeat at 6 weeks of pregnancy, the chances of the pregnancy continuing are 78%.
A heartbeat at 8 weeks increases the chance of a continuing pregnancy to 98% and at 10 weeks that goes up to 99.4%.
So things could still go wrong and sadly sometimes do, but as long as there is a heartbeat, the risk of miscarriage decreases as the weeks go by."

It's in the 'There's  a heartbeat.. I'm still bleeding' section.
Also, I hate the term miscarriage.  It's horrible.

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