I don’t know any man in the world more deserving of the title ‘Dad’ than Ross. His love and care for Grace is wonderful beyond belief. It takes a strong man to bring up another man’s child and treat her as if she were his own. He takes her to and picks her up from school, comes to parents evenings, school plays and church services and even pays for her – and takes her to and from – her piano lessons. He is a good and special man. That is why I feel anger and disappointment for him as baby loss hits us for the second time in just over a year.
It was October last year that we lost our first. I was pregnant at the MAD Blog awards 2013. I didn’t realise it. I had my suspicions and did a pregnancy test which was negative. I wanted to make sure I could drink! The following Thursday, and the test was positive. Ross and I were shocked. We didn’t think it would happen so soon. For one glorious week we revelled in the fact we were going to be parents. Then the following Thursday our world came crashing down. The miscarriage started. The bottom of my world fell out and ‘Fix You’ by Coldplay became my song. I believe that this all lead to my frozen shoulder and so many difficulties between Ross and I as we grieved in our own ways and started to try again in vain over the past year.
It is hard not to become obsessive when all you want is a baby. You see announcements every where and start to wonder why it is not happening to you and what you have done wrong so much as to not deserve it. You get annoyed when people complain about their pregnancy or their kids because you so want to be in that position yourself. Ross quite rightly asks me on a regular basis why men, who don’t deserve to be parents, seem to be given the gift of offspring when he works hard, looks after another mans child and is a decent, law-abiding person who would love a baby of his own. Not only have I seen how he is with Grace, I have seen him play and laugh and mess around with my nieces and nephews. The kids at Grace’s school all seem to know him and mess around with him too!
This time it felt different. We had agreed not to try any more until after Christmas. We wanted to get ourselves fit and healthy. We both started juicing adding more vegetables and fruit into our diet as well as exercising and we both lost over a stone. We were ‘in training’ ready for next year. So, when I started to feel the signs 2 weeks ago, we started to feel excited once again for what might just be. This time it would work. This time we could believe. We put off a pregnancy test for as long as we could but at 4.30am on Wednesday 3rd December, I couldn’t hold off any longer. ‘Pregnant’ showed up before the egg timer had even stopped turning. This one was strong. It had to be ‘our time’. It didn’t even matter that that same day, Grace’s father sent us a letter threatening us with court. I was going to fight to make sure that Grace’s voice was heard and that I protected our new baby.
Grace – who didn’t know – had even said to me one morning as we walked to school that all she really wanted for Christmas was for me to tell her that she was having a brother or sister. I was bursting. I wanted to tell her that it might just be. Then, last Friday, when Ross was out at a gig with his band, Grace and I had a girly evening together. We watched ‘Nativity’ and had a lovely dinner followed by ice cream with chocolate sauce. As we lay on the sofa, Grace rubbed my tummy and said ‘come on mummy’s tummy. Make a baby’.
It did. For less than one happy week. We we went to Wookey Hole on Sunday to visit Santa. There were people in the queues with young babies and there was a sparkle in Ross’ eyes as he looked at them and mouthed to me ‘that will be us next year’. Then, as we arrived home on Sunday night something felt wrong. There was a small amount of blood. There was a slight cramping pain. Ross insisted I put my feet up and he would sort the roast dinner.
As the evening progressed I increasingly knew that something was amiss so on Monday morning, after Ross had dropped Grace at school, we set off for A&E at Yeovil Hospital. This time I wasn’t taking any chances. We were seen by the medical staff quite quickly who took fluids from my body and left me to wait for the gynaecological department. We were getting concerned by 1pm because we were worried we wouldn’t be back for Grace but finally the doctor spoke to us. He explained that my hcg levels were low. It could be a miscarriage or an ectopic or healthy pregnancy. As we were preparing to leave, the lady who had taken my blood pressure (who looked just like Tanya from Mummy Barrow) said that she hoped everything would be OK and, as I told her that Ross was such a good dad to my daughter and he deserved to have one of his own, she had tears in her eyes as she said goodbye and wished us well.
I came home and went back to bed whilst Ross continued to keep everything together. Grace got home and came to find me in the bath with a bandage on my hand where they had taken out the cannula. Grace was worried and I had to tell her that I had been to hospital for a bad tummy but that I would be OK. What else could I say to a girl of nearly 8 who sort of knew what the world was about but wasn’t yet ready to understand the full implications of adulthood. We sat on the sofa and ate burgers and watched ‘The Return of the King’ (we had been making our way through the Lord of the Rings trilogy yet again). As ‘Into the West’ came on at the end, Ross, Grace and I held each other close as I dissolved into floods of tears.
We went back to hospital yesterday morning. We were there for far longer than we had anticipated as we were only expecting a blood test, a result and a goodbye. This wasn’t to be. They took my blood and then decided they wanted to do a scan as well. We had to wait for nearly two hours for this. Finally we went in and the Sonographer couldn’t find anything externally so decided to do an internal scan. This not only found that my endometriosis had started to raise it’s ugly head again but it also found a mass that appeared to be an ectopic pregnancy. There was some free fluid in my pelvis which contained some echogenic debris.
We returned back up to the second floor of the EPAC unit and waited for the consultant who was dealing with an emergency caesarean. By this point we had been in the hospital for almost 4 hours. The consultant finally came in and explained that the likelihood was an ectopic pregnancy and that I would either need surgery which meant the possibility of losing one of my tubes or, more likely, a course of methotrexate injections – which would affect my body for the next 3 months. The consultant wanted to go and check my hcg levels and left us to decide which option we wanted to go with. Ross and I decided that the injections would pose less risk and be a better course of action. It also meant that we would use that time to get even fitter and healthier.
The consultant returned with very good news. She said that the levels were so low that my body was self-aborting the ectopic pregnancy. I would not need any treatment except for bed rest. Ross and I were so relieved. I cried. I was crying with relief because my body had decided to resolve this issue itself and Ross and I could still continue with our fitness plan. The consultant was so apologetic but we told her that this was a good thing.
This baby loss has been a bitch. I hate it for the fact that it has made me miss Grace’s first Christmas Carol concert since she started school (thankfully Ross went in my place). How it has taken the sparkle out of Ross’ eyes. How it has deprived my daughter of the one thing she truly wanted for Christmas and how useless it has made my body feel right now.
And now, as I sit here with tears streaming down my face, my heart bleeds for her and Ross and me. How our family of 3 W’s was going to become 4. How the loss of our cat Muse meant that we would be watched over and deserved to have this for how much we would love and want this baby and how great we would be as a mum and a dad and a sister.
The parent blogger world can be a minefield of emotions and suppression when this happens. I speak from experience of last time. Especially when you run linkys or read other peoples blogs. It’s hard not to feel upset coupled with a small amount resentment. Believe me, last time I felt this on a massive scale – but I hid it. And this, I believe, is what lead to a year of issues and problems for me. It is for this reason that I need to shut up shop on these for the next couple of weeks and spend Christmas with my family.
I don’t begrudge anyone their happiness and joy. I am so pleased for you all but I am sorry if I don’t comment on your pregnancy announcement or your breastfeeding issues or your joy in weaning or your baby’s first year. Whether it be on Facebook or on your blog. I need to be selfish. I need to look after me, Ross and Grace right now and be grateful for us and the fact that we have each other. Nothing else matters.
There will still be blog posts here and there – I’m behind on reviews and I would still love to apply to be a Mark Warner family. God knows Ross, Grace and I need something to look forward to.
I refuse to let this beat me. I want to take some time to get over this and then come back fighting harder and stronger than ever.
Thank you for reading and thank you for understanding.
Prose for Thought, Post Comment Love and Social Follow Love will return in the New Year.