#depression

5 weeks later

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It’s been 5 weeks since we sat in hospital sobbing for our lost girl Lily and 4 since Ava. It feels like yesterday.

I couldn’t bring myself to update the blog, but I did write notes on my phone some days. Looking back at them now makes for sad reading.

14th July

Every morning when you wake up, just for a second you forget what’s happened. But then it hits you like a train.

They’ve gone. And they’re never coming back. And you are empty. There’s no life inside you.

I have cried all day today. 

I’ve asked myself a million questions. Why has this happened to us? Are we such bad people? Is it my fault? Is there something wrong with me?

Why couldn’t I look after them? That’s all I had to do, just project them and keep them safe. I couldn’t even manage that.

15th July

I blame myself. I have lost 3 babies now. 3 tiny angels.

Maybe this will never happen. Maybe I’m just not good enough to be a mother.

19th July

Distraction is the only thing to stop the tears. Our ensuite has never been so clean, and I fucking hate cleaning.

I’ve started drinking. It’s my go to in times of despair. I’m such a walking cliche.

I want to scream.

A midwife is visiting me today because my milk ducts are blocked. My breasts are full of milk for my babies, but there are no babies to feed. 

Lee went out tonight. I drank a bottle of wine.

20th July

We arranged our twin daughters cremation today. This is something no parent should ever have to do.

22nd July

We’ve cancelled the wedding completely. Neither of us has the heart to plan it without them being there. It doesn’t feel right anymore.

23rd July

I’m so desperately sad today. I miss them, I miss them inside of me. I keep replaying their births over and over in my head. All I see is Lily’s tiny little foot poking out of me. A tiny perfect foot.

25th July

I see so many people wishing their children not to grow up so fast. Please just be grateful they do. Ours will never have that chance. 

Mornings are the worst part of the day. I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to start another day without them. 

27th July

Today is Lily May & Ava’s funeral. I didn’t think our hearts could break anymore than they have.

There’s so much irony in the dates things fall on.

The 27th was due to be our 20 week scan. It ended up being the girls cremation instead. The date in a few weeks when we find out their postmortem results. That will be the same date we lost our first child 2 years ago. It feels like someone’s playing a massive joke on us.

Last week we ran away. We’d booked a few nights away in Aldeburgh to rest and celebrate after we finally made it to the 20 week mark. I thought it might help to get away from everything/one. I can tell confirm if you’re scared of seeing babies & children, Aldeburgh is not the place to be in summer holidays. I have burst into tears at the sight of a breastfeeding mother, at a tiny girl with her mum in the pool, at families.

People ask how we’re doing, how we’re feeling, how we’re coping. It’s all that anyone can do really and we’re so grateful to be in peoples thoughts, but I don’t know how to answer. Do I say I’m ok? Or do I tell them I sob each day and some days all day?

We’ve had so many messages that I’ve ignored. I’m so sorry.

This is the reality.

I have bad dreams. I wake around 3/4am, lie awake with my mind filling with them until Doris wakes at 5.30. I have flashbacks to those days, to losing Lily, seeing her tiny foot. I hear the words of the midwife over and over in my head from the night we lost Ava. Hearing that she’d gone before I felt her slip away.

Lee would kiss my bump, now I can’t bear to look at myself in the mirror because I’m not the same anymore. As a wedding photographer he has had to carry on working throughout all of this and it’s taken it’s toll. 

Anxiety kicks in when I’m left alone, yet I don’t really want to see anyone. I’m scared to see my friends. I’m scared as some are pregnant and due when we were and I don’t know how to cope with that. I love them dearly and I’m happy for them, but how do I watch their bumps grow when ours is gone. It took 2 years after we lost our first child to start to feel like I fitted in again with my friends conversations. I’m back to being an outsider.

We have no idea how to begin again. 

Monday I go back to work. Part of me need the distraction, to do something, to have something else in my head. The other part of me is going to struggle with the role I play in the business. Sales. Meeting clients, networking.

I don’t want people to think I’m “better” because I’m back. I don’t have any choice, that’s the price of being self employed. 

Secrets

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I haven’t been entirely truthful with you for a while.

We found out at around 5 weeks that I was pregnant with twins. Sky high HCG levels and an early scan showed 2 tiny little lives. It was such an incredible gift, I don’t think we could have been any happier.

I thought we’d tell you after the 12 week scan, but with all the complications we still felt nervous about saying it out loud. We decided 20 weeks would be the right time and we were so close.

Devastatingly our baby girl Lily May Allison decided to come into the world way too early on Friday 30th June, stillborn at just 16 weeks + 4 days. Clearly a headstrong girl just like her mother with the “always early” trait from her dad. She was perfect in every way right down to her tiny fingernails.

I can’t describe the pain we are feeling. The grief is completely overwhelming despite trying to stay positive for our other baby. I can’t bring myself to explain what happened that day, it’s too raw.

I was taken to a London hospital where I’ve been since the 30th. Lee has been with me the whole time. I was transferred to Addenbrookes on Friday.

Our other little one seemed to be a fighter, but she was always at huge risk. Sadly she just wasn’t strong enough. Ava Allison slipped away on Sunday evening stillborn at just 18 weeks.

The things we’ve had to do this week are utterly heartbreaking. Agreeing to postmortems, arranging cremations. All for our precious girls we’ll never get to hold. No parent should have to do this.

How do we even begin to get through this? How do I answer questions about where my bump has gone?

We don’t know what the future holds for us and this will be the last blog post for a while.

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Thank you’s
There are endless people to thank, names I’ve forgotten instantly in the panic, but faces that will stay with me forever.

Thank you to my friend Andy for staying with me, calling Lee, calling my parents, just being there.

To our parents for taking care of the dogs and dropping everything to help us. We love you.

To the St Johns Ambulance team in Hyde Park, your speed and care was incredible and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you did that day.

To De De, Yemi, Lucy, Rita and the entire team on the Anna Zunz ward at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. We’re so grateful for the care and kindness you’ve shown us. For allowing Lee to stay with me day and night, for allowing us time with Lily to say goodbye, for explaining what has and what could happen as much as possible. Thank you.

To the team at Addenbrookes, thank you. I don’t have enough words to thank you for your care, especially Janet from the bereavement team.

Day 22 – last full day at the office

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Once the embryos are transferred, I’m going to take a week off work. I’m knackered and my head needs a rest. As we don’t yet know if that will be Thursday or Saturday, today is my last day at the office for a while.

Yesterday was a brighter day. We had a dog visitor to the studio, lovely little Rosie. She sat on my lap for a bit while I worked. Dogs make me super happy, and this is just another reason why we need to get a Doris! My search for Doris has not been fruitful so far, I can’t find a litter of Dachshund’s that have girls. I can’t get Fat Head to the office anymore, he can’t do stairs and he’s too heavy to carry up three flights of them.

A lovely friend from the village brought me flowers round last night, completely unexpected. It made me feel very grateful for the friends I made in the village last year. Working full time and 45mins from where I live, means you’re often ships that pass in the night with neighbours.

When Longstanton Bootcamp opened a couple of years ago I was over the moon. I could regularly make 2 of the 4 sessions a week and, it meant meeting new people who live right on your doorstep. Some literally! I met neighbours in the crescent I never knew before and are now good friends. We’ve all achieved so much more than we thought we could, we’ve competed in muddy team assault courses and there’s been a few boozy nights in the local pub too. I haven’t been able to go for a while (heavy exercise and IVF don’t mix) and I miss it. If by any small chance any of you reading this live close by, get yourselves along. Danny is a fantastic trainer, he’ll get you to be the very best you can be. You can book in online here.

Day 20 – we’re good to go

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Today we were given the go ahead and I burst into tears. I seem to be doing that a lot lately.

What happens next?

They wont defrost the embryos till Thursday. This is to try and sync the embryos to the natural cycle. Today is classed as day 0, tomorrow (Tuesday) day 1, so Thursday will be day 3. Our frozen embryos were grown to day 3 then frozen – so if defrosted then, we’re back in sync.

On Thursday depending on how many make it past defrosting and how strong they are, they’ll call us to go in that day for the transfer.

If a higher number make it past defrosting, and they are strong, they’ll try to grow them for 2 more days and transfer them on Saturday.

So now we wait for a call from the embryologist.

I’ve been slowly drowning over the last couple of weeks since the start of this cycle. I think brought on by fear of failure and the birthday that never was. I feel sadness, I should be excited.

All I can do is try and pull myself out of it over the next few days. Does this ever go away?

I’m sorry to friends that I’ve ignored or worse hurt with self obsessed words. It’s not you, it’s me.

Day 16 – The D word

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Last night we received a call from the clinic to say they’ll scan and take bloods again today, and then decide whether to cancel the cycle or not.

I don’t fully understand why, ovulation is only 2 days late but I don’t know what the bloods are showing. I have a lot of questions to ask.

I struggled with depression last year, and I can feel it bubbling under the surface now. I’m worried it will overflow and drown me again. I’m already beginning to avoid seeing or talking to friends.