Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pregnancy after stillbirth: finding out.

So I did a pregnancy test and I got a pale second line.  For those of you who haven't tried for kids, a second line of any shade on most pregnancy tests means a positive result.  It was difficult to see it, but it was there.  I tested again the next day and the line was still there, a bit darker perhaps.

I knew that when I got pregnant again I would want to blog about it.  I need a way to get my thoughts out and I knew that I needed an audience that wasn't my fellow Sands members.  I go between furious and uneasy and baffled when I think that I didn't know babies could die in utero without any warning and I want more people to know that this happens.  It's important.  We all know about the dangers of the first trimester but no one talks about the death of babies in the second and third trimester.

If I want people to know about this then I need to write about it, not on a specialist child loss blog, but on my regular blog, where people follow me for my comics thoughts and other guff.  I want other bereaved parents to find these writings, to find them useful, and I want parents whose children are all living to know about this, and I want the childless to know about it too.

I write this on the second day of knowing I am pregnant.  I have no idea how I will cope with people knowing about this pregnancy, I found the pressures of being pregnant the first time bad, this time I expect it will be nearly unbearable.  If you are reading this then I have taken the decision to publish my posts, but I am probably in the second trimester now, that mythical 'safe' stage.

I don't know how I feel about being pregnant again. I'm not excited. I'm pleased, I guess.  I don't feel positive, or negative, yet.  I'm calmer than I was in the days before testing.  I had a panic earlier today as I had to tell my masseuse, thankfully she didn't say congratulations, she just said OK and let me talk/cry.  Right now I don't have a child, I have a clump of cells with the potential to be a child.  I might believe that I have two children when I have a scan (assuming there is something there and I haven't had a missed miscarriage).

I have only been pregnant once before, with my son, who I shall refer to as C.  I am 4ish weeks gone and I have the same symptoms as before - increased appetite, increased tiredness and twinges/cramps in my womb region.  Last time my cramps lasted for most of the first trimester but I was assured that it didn't mean anything was wrong.  We shall see this time.

Last time my pregnancy was pretty textbook and completely uncomplicated until one day I woke up and C had stopped moving and we went to the hospital and they told us there was no heartbeat. Later on we found out there was nothing to detect, there was nothing wrong and there was nothing we could have done.  Had we gone in the day before to get checked it is unlikely they would have picked anything up.  Babies die inside you for no reason - 1 in 200 in the UK.  If anyone tries to tell you that the longer they are in there the better you can tell them they are talking horseshit.  I was at 37 weeks and 3 days when C died.

I have been promised more care and checks this time but really, there is nothing they can do.  If there is nothing to detect there is nothing to treat.  It's pot luck whether this clump of cells will turn into a baby and will then live.  I have no idea if this can be any harder than the weeks of life after C's death, which I maintain are harder than the time I found out he died.  Weeks and hours and years and months will continue to be hard for the rest of my life. Another baby, should it live, will not replace him.  My boyfriend and I will simply have made a second human being, a brother or sister to C.


celticfeminist said...

Oh, love. Thank you for sharing your story and your pain. For being brave enough to do so. I don't have any wisdom or comfort to offer ... I'm not sure any exist. But I do offer my love and you will be in my thoughts.

jfcfanatic said...

I'm so honored to be able to be a part of your journey. I'm putting out positive energy into the world in the hopes that it reaches you from California. <3