#miscarriage

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.

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.

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.


 

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.

Day 16 – The D word

by

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.

Day 13 – Frustrations

by

I’m snappy as hell today. Tiredness from the seemingly endless clinic trips is taking its toll. Sorry everyone that I’ve spoken to today.

The nightly meditation which usually helps me sleep had no effect last night. My mind decided that 1.25am was the perfect time for me to remember a rather unfortunate incident with a blocked toilet on my school german exchange, when I was 14. “Beate, hast du die Toilette im Ensuite benutzt?” is etched in my mind forever. And no, she didn’t – I did and it ended badly.

My main frustration is that I can’t control the situation. I can’t do anything to make it happen quicker or better, and I have no idea when the next step will happen or what the outcome will be. I have to keep picturing us with our baby, us with our toddler.

Tomorrow is March 14th. Our little girl might have turned one tomorrow. We might have had a party, or family day to the park or seaside.

I won’t be writing tomorrow, but I will be remembering her.

 

Day 11 – London sun

by

Saturday morning clinic visit and scan over with, we took advantage of the spring sunshine and spent the day in London.

We hit the shops along Oxford Street and the we headed over to Spitalfields market for a mooch. Lunch at Pho with a window table, chatting and people watching then a walk along Shoreditch high street before jumping back on the train to Cambridge. It was so lovely having the sun on our faces.

I’m currently not taking any medication so feel pretty good. My skin is really behaving itself too, which means I’ll now wake up with a giant spot of some sort!

As I type this I’m home alone, well not totally, Fat Head is snoring away at my feet. Lee is out this evening for a few drinks with his brother.

He’ll no doubt have a hangover tomorrow so I’ll be heading back in to London again alone. I think my credit card might take a bashing in Zara…

 

How a photograph can break your heart.

by

 

Today began with a relaxing acupuncture session and ended with a drive home sobbing into the steering wheel.

A photograph broke my heart today. Sound a bit dramatic?

It was just a photograph of children playing.
All my close friends children together.
The children that were bumps when I had a bump.
The children that are missing another playmate.
Our missing little girl.
I’m trying not to live in the past really I am, and I am hopeful for the future.
But today that photograph and the sudden reality that our embryo transfer will fall around what would have been my little girls 1st birthday, well that just broke me a tiny bit.

Hope

by

It’s been a week of really good news for friends and I’m over the moon.

One friend is finally on the way to the help she needs for endometriosis, and another is being referred for IVF after an incredible year of guts and determination. I’m so proud of both of them for the women they are, and so grateful for their friendship.

Is it just me or does 2017 feel better? Or maybe I’m better.

I’m definitely better.

Whatever it is, there’s hope now, and a lot of it. Despite Trump.


So quick update for you. We have 6 embryos in the freezer and our consultant has said they are all of a really good quality. Last Tuesday I went in for the scratch (you’ll have to Google that, I still can’t bring myself to describe it, and yes it really bloody hurt) and now we’re just waiting for nature to take its course this month – should be Friday 24th.

The scratch was completely new to me as we didn’t have this on the first failed round. It’s generally used for people who’ve experienced unsuccessful IVF cycles, despite good quality embryos having been transferred. The process triggers a repair reaction, making the lining of the womb more receptive to the embryo implantation, which in theory should increase the chance of pregnancy.

I plan to get as much work completed this week as is humanly possible and I have 2 networking events to attend which I’m really looking forward to. I’ve been able to roughly work out when I’ll be off work on the two week wait and keep my diary clear. After the 24th, my diary becomes a daily planning exercise again!

I’ll need to go in for a baseline scan between day 1 & 3 of the cycle, and then again on day 9. After that it could be every other day or daily scans until they are ready to transfer the embryos.

It would be incredible if all 6 embryos make it past defrosting and then another 2 days of growing, getting them to day 5 blastocyst embryos. The likelihood of that is slim as around 10/12% will die after being defrosted.

If that’s not possible, then the result we’re looking for is 4 to make it to day 5. Our consultant has already advised us they will transfer 2 again this time, and then we can re-freeze the remaining 2.

Embryos, much to our surprise, are not like chicken from the freezer.

I’m excited to start, but I am so busy this week that the time is going to fly by!