Sunday, 31 May 2015

Another battle

Yesterday was my follow up scan.

It wasn't good news.

I now need to have the op (ERPC or was known as D&C). 

There is still an amount of tissue remaining and they also noticed a cyst on my left ovary (apparently that's nothing to worry about for now). 

I won't lie. I was devastated and shocked when the nurse doing the internal scan told me this news. 

I really needed yesterday to be positive and now it feels the last four weeks were a complete waste of time.

My Mum was with me and we spent around 5 hours at the hospital yesterday after my initial scan and then being triaged to wait for a doctor for next steps etc. 

Since 1st May, the day of our 12 week scan this has been my life. I just want to move forward with my fiancé and try to get back to being me and my life. I've been off work this whole time and will need longer again now I need the op.

I've never had an op of any sort and this situation has been the first time I've been in a hospital for myself in any detail.

They couldn't confirm a definite day or slot as we were in at the weekend so I now have to make sure I fast as of midnight and have nothing, not even water from 6am. I have to call first thing tomorrow to check if they have a slot for day surgery so I can have the op. The doctor seemed to think if not tomorrow then Tuesday afternoon.

I have a million and one thoughts going through my head right now. 

What if something goes wrong
What if it doesn't work
What if they damage something
What if I get told I can't have children
What if I have complications from this cyst 
What if I get DVT or similar (I'm already being paranoid today that my legs feel weird)
Will I get an infection from the op or in general from the remains inside me (baby would've died 8 weeks+ ago now within me)

And just general fears of going into hospital in general.

My parents and my fiancé have been so so supportive as always. I honestly couldn't ask for more. 

I've been reading the leaflet of what to take/do before to prep for the op.

I'm petrified of needles etc and yesterday after having an internal scan I then had to have a blood test, urine sample (so they could do a pregnancy test to check if the HCG hormone is still showing) and swabs for pre-op checks. I imagine there'll be more tomorrow.

It even feels weird having taken off all my nail polish on my toes and fingernails. 

I know for instance I'll be put to sleep and they do this through a needle in your hand. 

In the grand scheme of things it is day surgery and the op takes about 15-20 minutes. If no complications I should be out the same day. I'm sure to others who've had ops and more I sound a right wuss. But I can't stop thinking about it.

It all just seems so cruel. Not only did we have to find out on 1st May our first ever child, my first ever pregnancy, our baby together was not alive. Now I've had four weeks of these awful physical symptoms and emotional heartache and all over the place hormones. And even after getting through that it's still not the end and now I need an op and recovery and more getting through things. 

I really do wonder what we've done to deserve this. I can't help wondering why us. There are so many people I know who go through this, but there are so many people right now expecting babies and all is well. Why did our Little Seed have to be one of the statistics? 

Right now I know I need to be strong and focus on after the op and think positively that it will work and we will be able to move forward and my health will finally start to return to normal. 

The longer this goes on though the more I question how much stronger I can be

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Ups and downs

So it's now 25 days. I can't believe I've spent nearly the whole month of May off work and dealing with what's happened. 

I'm still dealing with it and our lives are still deeply impacted by our loss.

I know we're never going to 'get over' this and it'll be an experience we'll never forget. This will always be with us. But rightly so, I don't want to forget our first child.

However, slowly but surely I think I'm having more and more better days.

My only wish now is desperately praying the physical side is going to stop some point soon.

My emotions can still change at any time, but I'm definitely crying less. And today even I cried happy tears.

One big change this week has been I've started to read again. Those who know me know I'm a real bookworm and I couldn't believe it when I lost all interest in books and reading. Yes, I am finding it harder to concentrate and am reading slower than I did. However, I did get some sort of enjoyment from reading.

Other little steps have been to do small things on my own - yes they were just to walk to our doctors round the corner, or the shops or my parents. I've done it on my own though and have had a couple of days where I've spent a good few hours at home on my own. This is a pretty big step really when I think about it since I couldn't bear to be apart from my fiancé before.

Due to the physical side still ongoing I'm still very tired and needing to rest a lot which at times I've found frustrating. 

I can't gym, but I can go for walks and I've been trying to make a start on our garden. Although I do need to remember my limits right now else I end up not feeling great.

Another step this week has been to finally see a friend. So far it's been close family only - my parents and my fiance's family. I actually found the experience did me good. 

Seeing anyone non-family on my own without my fiancé though still feels a step a bit too far. 

I also had my hairdresser over to dye my roots. It may sound vain, but it has helped my confidence slightly to have those grey and white hairs that had appeared hidden away. 

I've also collected a photobook today which I had made of memories of Little Seed which I plan to keep in a keepsake box of our little one. 

On Saturday I have another follow up scan to see if this second set of medical management has worked. I really feel I need that appointment to go 'well'. 

I continue to get comfort from other people in similar situations, people who've been through this in the past, my fiancé and family members, seeing the lovely flowers people continue to send and the photobook today brought happy tears. 

So although it feels a long way to go still, I'm finally feeling like I'm starting on that journey forward. Keep everything crossed for me this physical part starts to stop soon! 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Good bad, happy sad

One good day, one bad
Feeling slightly happy, then sad

Thinking I'm a little better yesterday
Down, hurt, angry and tired today

Alternate days see me smile, then cry
One day getting out, the next just asking why

Sometimes happy for others and coping around children or a baby
Others jealous of announcements and upset why it's not me

Then pains seem to ease, hot water bottle put aside
Now aches, cramps and more, at home I just want to hide

Emotions start to settle, not so many tears
Then it flips and I feel I could cry non-stop for years

Things start to make me smile and perhaps laugh or smirk
Next minute completely low and can't face seeing people or going back to work

Social plans start to crop up again in my memory 
A day later no interest in anything in the future, no fun or mixing for me

You feel you're starting to move forward and start to become yourself, well in the main 
Awake the next day, see a scan, baby, bump or similar and back to square one again 

One day it must get better, this logically somewhere in my head I know
But when will my emotions and physical side match again though? 

Even ideas to try again, could we have another Little Seed?
Physical symptoms keep putting any idea of a stop to that, how will we ever succeed? 

The good must outweigh the bad sometime in the future I guess
For now, I just wish life and nature would give my mind and body a rest 

Monday, 18 May 2015

The journey continues

So, Saturday saw us return to our local hospital and the now well-known early pregnancy ward we are all too familiar with nowadays.

As I've blogged before, I am sure at some point I'll want a good rant and to blog about our experience with our local hospital and the NHS, but I will leave that to another day (each time we visit I have another hoard of bad things to list unfortunately).

This was our appointment for an internal scan to confirm if the medical management route had been successful. I had mixed thoughts already about this:

It may help us gain some form of closure
I would be devastated as it could confirm my baby was definitely and finally gone
I was worried they would say it hadn't worked and I needed an op
They would find some kind of problem like an infection or similar

As it turned out they did find a few things. They confirmed there were no remains of our baby (which for the last day or two I found has helped my emotions somewhat). However, there is still some 'items' internally which my body has not expelled for whatever reason! (The irony at how good my body is at holding on to things doesn't fail to frustrate and upset me daily after what has happened - often people say a miscarriage can happen if the body views it as a foreign item and tries to get rid of it).

At this point I was not offered an op as what is left is small - but of course needs to get out - I was told to either wait two weeks naturally and come back or to take the medical management tablets yet again. We went for the tablets to try speed things up, and after many hours at the hospital we then headed home to start the horrific experience we'd been through the fortnight before.

We also need to return to the hospital and that ward yet again in another 2 weeks to check everything is finally gone, if not they will have to consider 'other options'.

Thankfully this time round the pain - although awful - is not as bad and the other symptoms are nowhere near the same.

Each step of this is mixed, there is always a down if there is some form of up. I was starting to try and take some form of control on the situation (those who know me know I'm a control freak!) and so I can't control how quickly my body deals with this, I can't control the emotions (a great example of this is the manic laughing-crying-laughing situations that have occurred at times with my partner). However, I could control my food intake and trying to get back in shape (I had put on a lot from the first week or more of gorging on bad food, not much sleep and lying in bed at home). I'm determined to stick to my healthy eating as surely that should help both physically and emotionally. Yet again though, the down, I'd forced myself to try the gym towards the end of last week in a bid to try become a bit more 'normal' and 'me' again. Not allowed, the hospitals have told me I'm not to go to the gym, the most I should try is walking outside and I need to rest.

I must admit that knocked me as it was something I was doing to try gain back control and feel better. There seems to be this constant clash between your emotions and physical side being mismatched.

Since blogging and sharing - as I spoke about last time - I have found some more people have got in touch with similar experiences and I've also discovered yet more people through people I know who've been through miscarriage. It saddens me how many people go through this and how little it's talked about. That's why it's so nice for me to get comfort from others and to hear from other people too now who are going through or had similar experiences.

I did manage to (eventually) make a family party for our nephew's 1st birthday yesterday and spent time around more than a couple of people and non-family members (a first so far) and I was around babies and children.

So the appointment was not the closure we'd hoped for and the journey still continues, I had a bad night last night and today my energy levels are pretty low and I have some pain. But no tears yet today, so I'll take that for now.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Two weeks

This week my baby would have been 14 weeks. We would've shared our happy news and surprise with everyone by now - work, family and friends.

Instead we're two weeks on from what right now feels like the worst day of my life. 

Friday 1st May 2015, when we went for what should have been our first scan, the 'safe' 12 weeks stage, we found out something very different.

Despite me having had no signs or symptoms (and just relieved to have reached 12 weeks!) the sonographer couldn't find a heartbeat and on measuring apologised and told us our baby had no heartbeat and judging by size it had died at around 8 weeks. 

A second lady came in to double check and confirm. 

I will never forget that scan experience for as long as I live. Me realising something was wrong as it was quiet, my partner concentrating on looking for something to see on the screen. 

1 in 4 women suffer a miscarriage, it is so very common in the first 12 weeks. I'd had a missed miscarriage (where the baby dies but you have no symptoms and the foetus remains within you), this apparently is a 1 in a 100 scenario. 

Images of scan photos tear me apart right now and just take me straight back to that room and moment. 

Another time I'll go into the whole NHS thing and how we were treated in our local hospital and what truly happens. How they make you feel. How they deal with you.

Im also considering sharing the experience of the route we went down (and are currently still going through now) called Medical Management. I've soon realised people don't talk about these things and you don't truly know what to expect. People think it's not something too big to get over as the 'baby' never truly existed, legally they don't exist and they weren't in the world as a human being outside of your body. 

The description given at the hospital was nowhere near what really happens. And after what I went through physically I know I would've appreciated being prepared (thank goodness for those close to me who have been through similar before as they've been priceless in their help, support and knowledge). 

It's only the second Friday since this happened, but I really wonder when I will ever again be able to get through a Friday morning without seeing that time 10.36. The timestamp on the only scan/photo we'll ever have of our first baby. Our scan was due at 10.05 and they were late and had kept us waiting, the time we went in was around 10.25 and our hearts were broken and our world destroyed in what must have been around 10 minutes of time. 

Not knowing what to think or do at the time, I'm now so glad we agreed to the scan photo we were given. At least we have something of our Little Seed.

We've had some absolutely amazingly supportive friends and family. 

Disappointingly we've also unpleasantly experienced the opposite in some rare cases too. Both our workplaces have been patient and kind. 

I wonder on a Wednesday if I'll ever make it through a whole day without thinking that was my new week marker day. When I'd check my Pregnancy App in secret on my commute to work or lunchbreak and look what to expect that week and the size that little person inside me now was. The progress they were making. 

My partner has seen a big change in me in this fortnight. I guess I can see some changes myself - being able to actually get out of bed (through pain/exhaustion as well as emotion) is a start!

Key milestones for me have been actually getting up and washed and dressed, that time I managed to put on makeup and even once paint my nails! That first step out the front door after days. Then gradually building up to some walks in our local country park. This week even I've made myself go to the gym (something I seem to be suffering for today somewhat though), I've decided to start eating healthy again and try exercise where I can in a bid to feel better and gain confidence again in my body. 

There are many awful side effects of the medicine and going through this, not least your body taking its time to realise you've lost the baby and your hormones need to return to normal (including your bloated and protruding lower stomach). 

In all honesty I don't feel I know my body right now, it's not mine. All it's been through and how I could carry something for 4 weeks and not know in any way it had died. I feel very out of touch with my body and right now I cannot stand how it looks and what it's going through. 

I can only hope trying to stop bingeing on junk to fill the void will at least help my body heal and get various parts of me fit and healthy. 

I've still not been brave enough to see anyone other than my partner, close family and the doctor. 

Time, time is what it takes I've been told and deep down I know this. When your body and emotions constantly clash and are at a mismatch this is very hard. I'm impatient as it is, let alone now.

Tomorrow we have a scan. A scan to check the medication has worked and - to be blunt - make sure there are no remains in my womb of what was a pregnancy. 

This feels a key marker in this tragic journey and I hope one that helps us move forward somewhat. I can only beg it doesn't reveal more issues or more procedures needed. 

To those of you who read this blog - whether as a regular reader or someone new. If you don't want to read this content or it brings you down, please feel free to hit close and don't read the blog for the timebeing. 

Those of you who have visited as new and have gone through similar or know someone who has I hope reading some of this helps in some way. 

I've found great comfort in sharing my thoughts briefly so far, alongside those close to me who have been there every day without fail with their messages and support. In addition reading others experiences, sayings or quotes and joining with others through various means - whether that be a Tweeter, an Instagram member or a blogger - have also helped me not feel so alone in my thoughts and experiences. 

It is not a cry for help or attention. I've got my fantastic fiancé who is like no other, true friends and close family to help see me through this and offer their support, love and friendship. 

But sometimes in a society where miscarriages (especially 'early' ones) are kept so quiet, the health service offers little support or information (in mine and some others' experiences) and where unless you've been through it you never really know, sometimes you do need strangers to write/speak to and other means of grieving and working through your physical pain and emotional anguish.

I would hope people reading this respect that and either relate or understand. If you don't and you'd rather not read my blogs for now, again that's your choice. 

For now, whilst it continues to aid me - and I hope others - I'm going to try use my love of writing to get me through. My love of reading seems to have gone for now, I hope it will come back soon. 

To those of you already who have helped me - in whatever way - thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Tiny step by tiny step, day by day, hour by hour, things are changing and thanks to those who've been through it and have chosen to share too, I know there are more positive days ahead, the old me is there somewhere and will return and my thoughts and body will feel mine once more. 

Friday, 8 May 2015

One Week On

A week since we found out we'd lost you
It feels like mere moments we've been through

The rollercoaster ride continues, small improvements then massive drops
Emotions constantly changing, the heartache tears, anger and hurt never stops

Starting to see small positives in those around us
Friends, family, work all supporting and there to make a fuss

Such kind words, thoughtful touches, gifts and offers of helping hands 
Truly appreciating all we have, even those we thought maybe were not part of our life plans 

Truly thinking of ways to remember our Little Seed
So grateful of those who've been there in our worst moment of need

Sharing experiences with those who've been through this same hell
At times surprised by some who I thought I knew well

Not trusting my thoughts, feelings or body, time to time 
Trying not to jump to conclusions, knowing not all impressions are truly mine

My love for my partner continues to grow and grow
His kindness, support and never-ending giving means more than you could know 

Truly learning for the first time to put me at the number one spot
So many lessons from this harrowing experience I feel I've got

That empty feeling I doubt can ever be filled, I can't believe anymore tears could exist within me
I'll always miss and love our Little Seed, though I hope in time we will be able to have another baby 

It would be truly, loved, wanted like no other
But wouldn't be our first baby, but Little Seed's sister or brother 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The truth

Raindrops hitting the windows, the sound so loud our home is so silent now
I imagine the rain are tears from heaven wondering how

How could you be taken, why did you deserve this
What did we do for life to feel this was fair justice

People focussed on the physical
Like emotions should be over with now after all

It was only small, it's so common, you know you can get pregnant now though
Things happen for a reason, you'll have another, you'll move on, it's better for your health that your body lets it go

Practicalities arranged, appointments cancelled, health items in post 
Work absence to be discussed, trying to think how long you'll need off at most

Nobody gets it, how can life ever be the same, that interest in anything
My love of reading gone, TV just a sound, social plans impossible, silence most comforting 

Cocooned in our home, not wanting to leave
Can't speak to people, I just want to grieve 

Even my phone switched on to silent, curtains closed blocking out the world out there
Getting dressed, washed, the news, people's lives, I just don't care

Not wanting my fiancé to ever leave my side
Knowing he'll have to and I can't always hide

The wind blowing high the rain pelting down
It feels fitting, matching my mood, my emotions, my constant frown 

Anger, agony, exhaustion and pain 
Nothing could ever be the same again

Feeling so empty, bruised and achey within
Nothing on the broken heart and constant thoughts, to smile feels a sin

So thankful for those who have been through it too
A constant source to message and feel there are some who get it like you

That feeling as you wake, thankful for finally some sleep
Then BANG it hits you your baby's no longer yours to keep

The logical side I had at the start, still in shock and not realising it's true
Now gone, a void, no idea what to do

One minute a baby brings you comfort and hope
The next anger someone else has one and isn't like you and won't have this grief with to cope 

Wondering what others think, nobody knew the secret we had
Now it's out there, the pity and the whispered chats, how we must feel so bad

It feels I can't end this poem I could write forever how I'm feeling
Right now it's just a simple tiny way I can slightly imagine it's helping with my healing 

Little Seed will always be baby number one
Whether we go on to have another, whether daughter or son

He or she may have been small and so early on that is true 
But remember this please, still living, existing, still ours, will you? 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Little Seed

I will always remember the shaking legs, the anxious wait, the discovering of those words on a screen
The happy secret, the unbelievable surprise 
Excitement over this little being we hadn't seen 

Constant worry at every feeling, change and mood
But also so proud and pleased to tell our parents we were going to be like them too 

Seeing my body start to differ and feeling a bond so soon
Counting down all the time to be safer and being able to tell people, we'd be over the moon

Reading reading, books apps forums whatever I could find
Keeping a diary describing this experience of mine 

That first appointment and being 'booked in',  getting that famous red book and leaflets and feelings within 
Waiting waiting for that special twelve weeks, time standing still until it would begin

Reaching that milestone, a bundle of nerves, imagining after and making such plans
Lying on that bed and staring staring looking at that scan

Being told you'd gone and had died long ago
Not understanding in this time why there were no bad signs to show

The shock the loss the moment my heart stopped
1036 on 1st May when my world was forever rocked

We created you, my body housed you, our Little Seed who already I loved
Now taken away and being looked after from above

The pain the hurt the emotions I can't even describe 
Knowing already you're out of my life

You must've been cosy right there within me
So warm and snug you must've been sleepy
You kept your eyes closed never to open and just stayed asleep 
My body still knows you're there and wants you there to keep 

We won't know if your heart ever did beat 
Never will feel your tiny hands and barely formed feet 

For some reason life decided this wasn't your turn to enter the world
People say maybe too tiny, something wrong or too weak
Not strong enough to ever laugh cry dance walk or speak

I say I don't care what wasn't right about you, my little boy or little girl
You were my first child and aren't just some cells or a shell

How dare nature take you and rip you away
Still you sleep in my body, you wanted to stay

The anger the hurt the pain and the fright
I would do anything to hear actually you're alright 

We wanted you so much why can't it be our turn
Why again and again must things be so hard yet another lesson to learn 

I can't imagine life will ever be the same again 
Always remembering that day when

I'm never awake not really here anymore 
Life is a burden trying to enjoy it simply a chore 

Facing today and imagining what it could bring 
Doing things to remove you and what's left within 

I want this all to be over so we can look to move on
Yet also can't believe how we ever will and that you're really gone 

So Little Seed, as we named you, RIP
You'll always be our first child, forever to me

(Written Sunday 3rd May 2015)