Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Pregnancy after Stillbirth.

After Zachary passed away, I was lost. At the end of a pregnancy you're meant to have a baby. A bit like a marathon, you'll receive your medal for finishing. Its frustrating, knowing I now have stretch marks, larger breasts, bundles of baby items, but no baby.
I began trying again, although it depended on my mood. One moment I was desperate to be pregnant, but 10 minutes later I sad I never wanted to be pregnant again. It only took 8 months and I was pregnant. I was ecstatic, then a day later I wanted an abortion. I was in shock, thinking that I could lose another baby and I didn't trust my body at all.

I'm now 21 weeks pregnant, 5 months pregnant. I have only 'announced' that I'm pregnant, I knew I wouldn't have a miscarriage, that's not what scares me anymore. That's natural. What happened to Zachary could have been avoided. I've had tonnes of people telling me that they'll keep an eye on me, and I have been getting a scan every 3 weeks, I'll be seeing my midwife weekly soon, etc, etc. But that thought never leaves me head. The same thought that means baby shopping doesn't happen, as I think 'what if I'm not getting my baby at the end of this'. Being optimistic isn't an option in this situation. Pregnancy holds terror for me, I want to think I'm finally getting a baby to take home, a baby will fill the clothes I've had in boxes for over a year, but I'm terrified of getting my hopes up, terrified of letting my shield down that means if something does happen I'll feel the same pain I've felt before.
Thankfully this baby is active, I get a daily notification that he's ok, I'm constantly checking for any kind of swelling in my feet, I've even asked for a urine protein test to take home. I've been sworn off buying my own Doppler, that will make my anxiety 100% worse. I'm having another boy, but thankfully a pregnancy that's different to his brother's. Cravings are different, my stomach is different, general symptoms are different. My body's want of telling me this isn't the same baby and hopefully not the same outcome.
Browsing prams and cots is a daily routine, but I'm trying to shut up the annoying little squeak telling me your baby isn't going to ever use them, you're wasting your time and money. Positive thinking is a constant war, and with every future pregnancy will never be 'normal', I'll have constant checks, extra scans, and the weight on my shoulders knowing I've got a 50% chance of having this pregnancy disease again.
I've considered adoption and surrogacy, as I want 2 children, an only child is a very lonely thing, but its the battle of knowing if I want that, I've got to go through another pregnancy after this one, but it all depends how this pregnancy goes. If PE doesn't reoccur I will be more likely to go through another pregnancy. It doesn't even matter if I do get PE again but the baby is fine, pregnancy will be off the future plan for good. I don't trust my body at all, this pregnancy has been such a massive stress, I've lost sleep, lost half a stone in weight and I'm not able to talk about pregnancy without it turning negative.

I have around 17 weeks left of this pregnancy, as long as I get my baby at the end of this, life will make more sense. Fingers crossed.


This is going to be personal, maybe at times graphic and I wouldn't recommend women that are pregnant to read this, as it doesn't have a happy ending.

Pregnancy is supposed to be happy and joyful and things aren't supposed to go horribly, but they sadly do. I know there are women that have been through worse, I'm lucky enough to be able to get pregnant, for my body to handle pregnancy and I've avoided miscarriage twice. I know I'm lucky, so there are a lot of women far worse off then me.
I'm lucky enough to have a support group around me that when I feel like there's no light at the end of the tunnel, that I failed my baby and that it was all my fault will pick me up.

Zachary Kevin Golightly was born a year ago today, 2nd October 2012, at 5:10am. I have no idea how long my labour was, I didn't feel much at all thanks to an epidural and the fact the disease that caused his death was making my body want the placenta out immediately. The only thing I am grateful for (if anything) is that I didn't have to labour at home like some women have to, I don't know how I'd cope knowing my baby had died and having to surrounded with all his unopened and brand new clothes and toys.
Pre-eclampsia hit me like a train, but I had no idea I had it. All I knew was that from my toes to my knees I had a ridiculous amount of swelling, I couldn't wear socks or tights and I cried daily my clothes didn't fit. But I had no idea there was anything wrong, I think I subconsciously hid and tried to pretend there was anything wrong. I know I was terrified but I didn't want to admit it. I put it down to working full time and being constantly on my feet. I blame myself often, I should of gone to the hospital, I should of done more. I did go to my GP and he didn't perform the checks and I know that's to blame as well.
I remember going to my midwife and that's when the alarm started going off and my panic set in, there was a lot of protein in my urine, my bloog pressure was sky high, she couldn't find his heartbeat with a Doppler and she glanced at my swelling and sent me straight to hospital. Within seconds of being on the maternity ward I was scanned and it was confirmed, Zachary had died. All I remember is screaming and being held by my partner as I continuously apologised to him, all I thought of was I killed him, it was my job for 9 month to protect my baby and I had failed.
I was moved into another room and I was told that I would have to deliver a dead baby, and depending on my blood pressure that I would be induced and sent home until I was ready to deliver him. My mother called this barbaric but I was numb and 90% of my wanted to leave the hospital and end my life. But I knew I had to stay for Johno, I had to protect him and I didn't want Zachary down. I wouldn't still be here if it wasn't for Johno. My blood pressure was too high and I was told that I had to stay in hospital to deliver my baby, I was then tied to a bed by a spaghetti junction of tubes and wires.
I was then told I was seriously ill, my liver was beginning to fail due to severe Pre-eclampsia, if I left the hospital I'd be dead in days. Zachary's placenta killed him and was now trying to kill me, this didn't matter to me, I didn't care. Zachary was gone and that's all I knew. I had 4 lots of magnesium, to stop me having a seizure, this caused me to vomit and I also lost control of my bladder, it burned through my veins and caused me to cry. It was horrific. It didn't help my blood pressure was high due to my anger about then worrying about me, not about my baby. I was then given an epidural and my labour induced. I kept swaying in and out of consciousness, until around 4am when I felt my hip crack, and was told that was my waters breaking. 1 hour later, Zachary was born, 2 small pushes and he was out. I was told not to look as he wasn't in a way that I may want to remember, so Johno covered my face and held me. My midwife took Zachary into another room to clean him up then she came back to help me tidy myself. Soon after my midwife warned me he may look very pink, his face may be distorted and he will be skinny. Then I met him, he was perfect. He looked like his father, long legs, big feet but my chubby fingers. I was happy, I was terrified he wouldn't look right, and my only memory of him would be of him not looking like a baby. But he did, he was perfect. He was light, 1lb 12oz and his placenta was the size of a coaster. Which put it in perspective how hard he worked and how long he fought for, 4 weeks he worked as hard as he could to survive. I'm very proud of him, he passed away in the best place, inside of me. He was destined to die, and I'm glad it was as calm as possible. I avoided going into labour at home or at work, I avoided seizures and bleeding, Zachary didn't have to fight in the outside world, he was safe, warm and knew he was loved.