#hope

Secrets

by

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.

X


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.

12 weeks

by

I can’t quite believe we’ve made it this far. As I type I’m 12 weeks a 5 days pregnant. The tiredness has lifted a bit and I’m expanding rapidly.

We had another scare just before we hit the 11 week mark, exactly the same thing happened all over again at 5am one Saturday morning. Despite being scared, we tried to stay as calm as we could and called the emergency clinic at The Rosie at 8.30am. They asked me to come in as soon as possible so they could carry out a scan. Lee had a wedding to get too so I ended up going alone.

I’m really grateful of the care I received and so happy to say that everything was ok. The only upsetting thing is no-one can really tell us what it is or why it’s happened twice. We don’t think we can fully relax as we don’t know if it might happen again.

I thought I’d be a lot more nervous hitting week 11. It did bring back a lot of sad memories but we both just tried to focus on the positives. We’d already seen the baby and seen a heartbeat a few times by now.

The morning of the 30th we both felt a bit nervous. It’s such a big milestone to get to and we were desperate for everything to be perfect. And it was.

So now we wait for 20 weeks, and to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl.

 

A&E

by

I wasn’t going to write about this because for the past 2 weeks I’ve been trying to block it out of my mind. Lee’s encouraged me too in the chance that it may help someone else.

2nd May I fell asleep on the sofa about 9pm – this is pretty standard behaviour at the moment, I can barely keep my eyes open. Lee woke me at about 10pm and I headed up to get ready for bed.

The next few hours became a horrendous trip down memory lane. I was bleeding and heavily. I passed something terrible, I can’t and don’t want to describe. We sobbed together and I screamed over and over again.

Lee rushed me to A&E. Yet again he was the calm to my terror. My heart bursts with love for him for the care he takes of me, yet I feel so sad for the things he’s had to see.

The next few hours where filled with tears and numbness. We sat in a cubicle in A&E waiting to see someone, anyone that could reassure us. Of course they couldn’t without a scan and the wrong assumptions were made.

We were sent away around 3am to wait for a call from the emergency clinic in the morning. You see this isn’t classed as an emergency – it’s not threatening to the mothers life. I will never forget being told that for the second time in my life and feeling pure rage fill me.

We did not sleep. We decided to go straight to our IVF clinic the next day but had an agonising wait till 2pm for a scan appointment.

To our absolute shock, we saw a perfect scan and heartbeat. The relief was completely overwhelming.

What I’d passed was a clot. A particularly large clot, possible caused when I was taken off the Clexane blood thinners or could have been caused at implantation. Nothing to worry about, but everything to be terrified of.

While this is a horrid thing to write about and read, the important thing to focus on is getting seen quickly and staying as calm as you can until you are scanned. There’s always a chance that it’s not what you think it is, and I am so glad that was the case for us.

9 weeks already

by

I feel bad for not writing for so long, but truth be told I’m totally exhausted. It’s taking all my energy to get up, get the dogs sorted, get to work and then get home, only to fall asleep on the sofa!  Lee is being incredible and pretty much not letting me do anything, which is lovely but putting a lot of pressure on him. All good practice for what’s coming next though.

Our 7 week scan went well and all is just perfect. We have another scan at 10 weeks then we’ll be back in the hands of the NHS care for the 12 week scan and rest of the pregnancy.

It doesn’t feel weird talking about being pregnant this early anymore, I’m quite comfortable telling people especially when I’ve had to avoid lifting anything! I have noticed a few people look a bit shocked when I say how many weeks I am though. Maybe its because I’ve been blogging about it, but I forget not everyone I meet knows that.

Doris the tiny terror is settling in well. We still have early mornings but toilet training is getting much easier now she can go out for walks, and I found the most amazing doggie day care centre just 5 minutes from the house! If you live in Cambridge and need dog care or dog training, check out Norman’s Dog Day Care in Over. The people are so kind and caring and Doris loves it!

Easter update

by

The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind. I think we’ve both suffering from sleep deprivation.

We picked up Doris last Friday and we’ve been knackered ever since. She is a cute, funny, crazy little thing. It’s so weird having such a tiny dog running around. We have to watch where we step all the time in case we squash her!

The first night wasn’t too bad, she slept in her crate from 11.30-5.30am, actually a lot better than I thought. But Saturday was a whole other story. She cried, barked and whimpered in her crate for 6 hours solid. It was the saddest noise we’ve ever heard, so heartbreaking.

Sunday was due to be our test day, but we couldn’t wait any longer to find out so tested Saturday morning. We also wanted a little bit of time for only us to know if it was good news.

And it was. I’m pregnant.

I can’t describe how happy we are, although I think the news was slightly overwhelming due to the lack of sleep. There were a lot of tears.

I’ve been in to the clinic for a blood test to confirm and our first scan is in a couple of weeks.

There’s such a long, long way to go but we’re staying positive and taking each day as it comes. I want this to be a happy time but I’ll admit I feel very nervous and I don’t think that will ease until we make it to at least 12 weeks. There won’t be any scan photos on Facebook or big announcements, we’re all too aware of how tough that is on others that are in the same position.

It does feel a bit weird telling people this early, but that was always going to be the biggest dilemma of writing this blog.

I want to thank everyone that’s taken time to read or comment on our story, it’s been truly heartwarming to receive such lovely words and we’re so grateful.

Whatever comes next, I’ll carry on writing.


 

A new arrival

by

No, it’s not what you’re thinking, well not yet anyway.

We’ve found our Doris. On Saturday we took a little drive over to Biggleswade to see a puppy dachshund and completely fell in love. She comes home this Friday.

IMG_5168

You might think this isn’t super sensible considering there’s a chance I’m carrying twins. Thing is, we’ve spent so long not doing things we’ve wanted to do, or not booking things ahead because I might be pregnant by then. It’s really life limiting and we cant live like that anymore. The excitement of Doris coming home Friday is helping me not think quite so much about the impending test day. And although we feel nervous, we have something else to focus on now who needs us. Just look at her face <3

So now we wait. For Doris and the test.

I feel pretty good in myself. My skin has reacted badly to the progesterone I’m taking which I knew would happen. Nothing that a few layers of Mac Studio Fix can’t hide.

I’m back working today but just from home. That’s going to help keep my mind busy, there’s lots to do. I’m really looking forward to seeing friends tomorrow night for a good catch up and Wednesday I’ll be at the SME Cambridgeshire Awards. My networking group Grub Club Cambridge is up for an award – fingers crossed. I have to find something to wear that I can actually fit in..

A good friend had some incredibly sad news this morning, and my heart goes out to him and his family. Remember to to hug the ones you love tonight just that little bit tighter. Life really is too short x

 

After the transfer

by

The transfer went well. There’s two tiny 5 day old embryos tucked up in the warm. No lie, they look a bit like Cadbury mini eggs.

The clinic called on Sunday, Mothers Day to let us know that three of the four remaining embryos were being re-frozen. The last one didn’t make any progress after it was defrosted.

We’re really happy and it made what is a tough day, a little bit brighter this year.

This is day three of five days off work resting. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I spent laying flat as much as possible, apparently it helps the embryos embed and I’m not taking any chances.

Lee has been amazing. He’s cooked, cleaned, walked Fat Head and kept the tea flowing. He’s also been a tiny bit bossy about my laptop hence no updates, but I’ll let him off.

Mum & Dad came on Sunday and brought with them chocolate cake, chocolate hobnobs (the true king of biscuits) and four easter eggs. Beaut neighbour Lucy visited that morning with flowers and fake fizz. My Julie brought cakes and more flowers Tuesday and Ellie, well Ellie left the sausage roll at home so you know, she’s got some making up to do next week! 

My gut will never be the same.

I’m a tiny bit bored but, hoorah for Deepa keeping me updated on the world, mobile purchasing and Netflix! No chill though (and that had to be explained to me because old). I’ve binge watched Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and Stranger Things – how good was that?!

I’ve bought a beautiful vintage dress – what do you think?

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/518864355/70s-boho-dress-70s-floral-dress-chiffon

It’s got a stretchy waistband. Luckily.

Every night I’ve continued to listen to the Zita West visualisations. They really help me relax and sleep and that can only be a good thing.

A morning of crochet awaits me tomorrow before another lovely friend visit. I could get used to this.

Eggstatic

by

We got the call from the embryologist yesterday at 11.27am.

All 6 embryos survived the defrosting process.

To say we were shocked would be an understatement. I mean we hoped, but usually 10-15% don’t make it. It really was the best news.

They called again this morning to say that all 6 are still viable. 1 is really strong, already at blastocyst stage, 4 are good (at the stage they should be) and 1 is developing a little slower than the others.

We go in tomorrow at 11.30am for the transfer.

We’re both excited, and I am so looking forward to a rest next week. The whole process is an emotional rollercoaster and I feel like I could sleep for a week. I won’t though, I’ll be climbing the walls by Tuesday. I have Netflix, books & crochet to keep me busy but I’m banned from any work. I’ll sneak updates on here from my phone…

I’ve had some lovely gifts from friends this week that have brought happy tears to my eyes. We feel lucky to have such kind people in our lives.

Day 22 – last full day at the office

by

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.