Saturday 13 September 2014

Saying goodbye to our baby

I wanted to do a little post for anyone who doesn't follow my Instagram or Twitter and hasn't heard the news. Baby Conway was born at 1:30pm on Friday 12th September at 15 weeks with no heartbeat. 

I have had a few people asking me what happened and I guess it's only natural to wonder so I thought I'd explain in a bit more detail, if you don't want to know then I wouldn't read any further. I apologise in advanced as it might be long but I want to write every detail so I remember for the future!


It 'started' on Saturday 6th September, I went to bed and decided I wanted to listen to the baby's heartbeat with the doppler, I did it twice a week as I found it comforting but didn't let myself get obsessed and do it every night. 

After a good 15 minutes of trying to find it, I couldn't find anything. The last 3 or 4 times of using it I had found it within 5 minutes in exactly the same place so I thought it was odd but I tried not to panic. I decided I'd just try again Sunday morning and hopefully it would have changed position or something so I could find it. I tried Sunday morning and again, nothing. I kept trying every few hours on Sunday and still nothing. I tried every few hours on Monday and still nothing. I tried having a cold drink, laying on my sides, doing star jumps, with a full bladder, with an empty bladder, nothing seemed to work and I couldn't find it. I was starting to get worried. I tried Tuesday morning and when I still couldn't find it, I panicked and rang the midwife straight away.

She explained that they didn't agree with home dopplers as baby's heartbeat can be hard to find and tend to make people worry (which I already knew) but she did say if I had been finding it for a few weeks already it was a little strange. She told me that the drop in clinic at the hospital was open from 2-4pm that day and I could just turn up and asked to be checked, so that's exactly what I did. I explained to the midwife again that I hadn't found it for a good few days and she had a listen. She couldn't find it. She tried another doppler as apparently that other one had been playing up (i think she was just trying to make me feel better to be honest) but she still couldn't find it. I could see on her face she was praying she would find it but after about 20 minutes, she stopped. She assured me that it was probably just hiding really low or was in a funny position. She said it would be highly unlikely anything had happened as I hadn't had any pain or bleeding and had only had my 13 week scan 9 days ago and everything was fine. She told me it would be about a 1 in 100 chance anything was wrong.

She said they didn't normally do reassurance scans but I was really worried naturally and had already suffered 2 miscarriages so I asked her if she could try and get me one. She managed to get me one for the next day, Wednesday 10th September at 11:40am. Warren came with me for the scan but to be honest we had convinced ourselves everything was going to be fine. In hindsight, I wish we'd prepared for the worst scenario as it hit us like a tonne of bricks. 

I went in and laid on the bed and the sonographer put the jelly and wand on my stomach. As soon as we saw the baby, I stopped breathing and looked for the heartbeat, we couldn't see any flickering or movement, it was just a still image like looking at the scan pictures. I looked at Warren and we both just knew. Tears started rolling down my face but the sonographer still hadn't said anything. She tried another angle, still nothing. It seemed like she took forever and kept trying to find it but we knew. Finally she put her hand on my arm and said 'I'm so sorry, I can't seem to find the heartbeat'. I just let a big cry and couldn't look at anyone. She went to get another lady so she could look and double check as a second opinion but of course, still no heartbeat. We were left in the room which they got all the papers together and then sent upstairs to talk through everything. 

They classed it as a 'missed miscarriage' as my body hadn't realised the baby had gone which is why I'd had no pain or bleeding. I do feel that the word 'miscarriage' isn't strong enough. To me it was a lot more than what I used to picture a miscarriage as, to me it was more like a stillbirth. If it wasn't for the doppler I would have been unaware the baby had gone inside me until I started bleeding or getting pains which I think may have been a bit more scary. At least this way we had the Thursday to kind of prepared ourselves and know what was going to happen. 

I was trying my hardest to listen to what she was saying in that room but to be honest it all became a blur of words between my tears and thoughts. I remember the words induced, delivery, post-mortem and funeral. I just kept thinking those words shouldn't be used when talking about my baby. How was this happening? 9 days ago everything was perfect on the scan and we thought we'd got through the worst of it and were so happy. 

We wanted to get things done sooner rather than later so we were asked to go back that evening for me to take 'the tablet' which would start the process of my body passing everything out. The lady we had, Juliet was amazing, really caring and spent ages talking us through everything and answering all our questions. I took the tablet and then had to go home until Friday morning, the tablet would take 36-48 hours to work. Thursday was a blur of being drained and tired and just waiting for the day to pass.

Friday 12th September, we took Sienna to my mums and then headed to the hospital. I had to be induced just like you would be for labour with pessaries and then it was a waiting game, just like labour. I don't want to go into too much detail but the whole experience was extremely similar to my labour with Sienna, only a bit quicker and with an induction. I had the pessaries at 10:11, contractions started almost instantly within 5 minutes and got stronger and stronger until my waters broke about 1:25pm and baby was born at 1:30pm at 15 weeks.

Obviously it was heartbreaking, all I could think was this shouldn't be happening. Warren was brilliant and there for me the whole time just like he was with my labour with Sienna. I'm so lucky to have him. 

The next few hours were a case of 'sorting me out'. The cord broke when the midwife tried to tug the placenta out so the doctor tried to get it out himself but couldn't. They then got a cannula in me and started fluids in a drip to get my contractions going again to see if that would push it out. If that didn't work I'd have to go down to theatre and have surgery. Luckily, the drip worked and the doctor managed to get the placenta out so no surgery was needed. My bleeding had to be monitored for a few hours but if all was well I could go home after that. 

I know it may seem weird to some people but we opted to see our baby. We didn't see it as soon as it passed, they took it away and presented it to us in a little moses basket once I had my cannula in and we were waiting for the placenta to come down. Seeing it really helped us, I don't think I could have given birth and not seen my baby, we would have forever wondered what it would have looked like or how big it was etc. As soon as we saw it we both broke down, I have never seen Warren cry so much I didn't know how he was going to stop and that upset me more than anything. I felt so sorry that I hadn't grown our baby properly like I should have. 

After an hour or so we got ourselves together and actually felt comforted by the fact we had met our baby and it would now be part of us forever. We looked at every cm of it's body, took loads of photos and told it about Sienna. Talking to it and wanting pictures may seem crazy but until you're in that situation, you don't know what will help or how it feels. It was our baby just like it would have been if it was born healthy at full term. We got to have it with us for a good 3 or 4 hours which was lovely, they gave us as much time as we needed although we didn't want to say goodbye and give it back, but I don't think anyone would, you just want to keep it there with you forever. 

We aren't going to post pictures of it as it isn't very nice for some people although in a way I wish you could see, we are still proud of him/her and looking at the pictures makes me smile and cry. 

 I know a lot of people will be wondering what it looked like and it looked like a little baby. It was bigger and more developed than we imagined. He/she was about 4 inches long, he/she had 2 arms, 2 legs, fingers, toes, perfectly formed but super duper tiny ears, tiny nostrils and perfect but super duper small little lips.   It didn't have any bones formed yet so was very jelly like but you can still see it's a baby. 

We didn't know the sex however we have opted for a full post-mortem so they will find out for us then. We were undecided wether to opt for a post-mortem or not but we feel like we have to at least try and find out why this happened otherwise we will be trying to guess. We can also make a decision on how likely it is to happen again which will help us decide if we want to try for another baby or not. Obviously everything is still very raw to us at the moment so we aren't in any frame of mind to make that decision yet. Honestly, the thought of being pregnant again terrifies me and I can't see it changing anytime soon.

We have to wait up to 6-8 weeks for the post-mortem results and gender and then we are having a little service for it, only Warren and I will be there just to say bye and get some closure. We will also name it when we know the gender. He/she will be cremated and then we will get the ashes so we can choose what to do with them. At the moment we don't know what that's going to be. 

Recovery wise I'm doing ok.. I'm not bleeding too much although still in a bit of pain and a bit sore. Emotionally it's only just all sinking in and I keep randomly crying but I think that's to be expected. I hope each day will get easier and easier but I know I will think of him/her every single day. I have to have another scan in 2 weeks just to check that everything did come out.

I will update you when we know the gender, have named him/her and if we have any results from the post-mortem.

I don't think there is much else to say apart from thank you for all your support and comments, I have read through every single one wether it be on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. It really does help and remind me how many people have been thinking of us and care about us. It's the worst thing that's happened to us and we are heartbroken but we will get through it together and we are so, so, so, so, so grateful that we already have Sienna.

UPDATE: Our baby was a boy, we named him Rocco John and all the tests found nothing wrong. We had him cremated on 21st October 2014. 

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