Our surprise baby
Baby no4 is on the way! I can't believe I'm even getting to write that down and say it aloud. I'm still so confused, and shocked, and in disbelief that this is happening.
We lost a baby in October of 2019. I have never felt sadness like I felt during that season. I was 10 weeks pregnant, gearing up to announce that we were expecting when it all came crumbling down around me. The whole ordeal was caked in drama as, in addition to losing our baby, complications happened causing me to bleed out. I almost died, losing 4 litres of blood in a few hours, so as you can image, the experience was very traumatic.
We tried to get pregnant again. Doctors and nurses told us they couldn't see why we wouldn't be able to, so we naively thought we would fall easily. A year of trying proved otherwise. Every month was met with disappointment as I realised we weren't getting any closer to having the family of 6 we'd always dreamed of, and in October 2020 we decided to stop. That month was painful. I went onto long term contraception, and we got rid of baby stuff. That was it. Our dream was gone and we were learning to come to terms with never having our rainbow.
Not all hope was lost though. We'd always wanted to Foster and after a period of praying and discussing with friends close to us we decided to start that process. The further along the process we got, the more excited we became. We'd wanted to foster since we first started dating - always dreaming that once we started it would become a life long vocation. I always pictured a home filled with children and love, and the excitement of seeing this dream come alive spurred us on through those initial weeks of grief.
And then disaster struck. I woke up, puked my guts out and just KNEW. It seems so horrid to call it disaster, but honestly that's how it felt. I cried. Full on ugly, loud crying in the kitchen. I was feeling all sorts of emotions. I felt grief and disappointment in knowing we'd have to lay down the fostering journey. I felt anger and frustration that NOW would be the time we got pregnant. I felt joy and elation - the baby that we'd always wanted! Mostly I was petrified. Part of the reason why we'd stopped trying was because the experience of miscarrying was so utter devastating. Neither of us wanted to go through that again. Lee particularly was incredibly fearful of losing me.
We barely told anyone once we found out. A few close friends and some family members. There was a lot of trepidation just in speaking the words, "we're pregnant". There were some family members who we knew would be disappointed and I didn't have a clue how to tell my boss or work colleagues. It sounds silly, but we didn't want to jinx it - what if we told people and then we lost this one too?
As each week passed and I got more and more sick (I suffer with hyperemesis) we felt more and more confident. We were given a dating scan and saw our blob of a baby on the screen. I don't think I've held my breath for longer as I searched the image for a heartbeat, but it was there, and our baby was alive!
I was immediately put onto a consultant and unfortunately the news isn't great. It would seem that there is a long journey ahead of us. Our doctor has given us a lengthy list of complications that could happen this pregnancy and I'm being monitored regularly. Her final words to me as I left that first meeting were, "you're probably going to lose this baby, and if you don't there will be lots of problems in labour so this is why we don't recommend people to have multiple births". Nice. I'm still a bit cross about how that was handled, but I also have faith and trust in a God who promises to sustain me.
I'm 16 weeks now, and at our last scan the midwife told me the baby is looking very healthy. I'm sick every day (and will be right till the end), but that has become a comfort to me. The more sick I am the more confident I feel that the baby is growing and everything is working how it's supposed to.
It's such an odd feeling to be excited and fearful at the same time, but that's exactly the high I am riding - every day feels like a success. We're taking each day as it comes and I'm continuing to be extremely careful with my body, but I feel positive. We're now counting down the days until we can feel our baby moving, and I'm enjoying that extra monitoring means extra scans and more chances to see the beauty of life growing inside my belly. It's not going to be an easy journey, but I'm hopeful that in September when I get to hold the child I've so dreamed of holding I'll look back and know it has all been worth it.
Until next time...