This is a bit of a strange post to write … and I most definitely had my reservations, but the more I thought about it I hoped by sharing my story maybe ..just maybe one mother somewhere out there would feel some sense of comfort .. even if its just the fact that we are or have been in the same foreign and unexpected boat.
My pregnancy with Baby E started out text book…. I was late, I took a test… It was negative – weird! .. a few more days later… also negative – this happened a few times until those two pink lines exposed themselves- (by this point I had assumed I was just having further hormonal issues and pregnancy wasn’t the diagnosis). I walked out of the bathroom with a blank look on my face pretty shocked, Nathan asked me what was up – deep breath, slight awkward/worried laugh … “I’m pregnant” i said unenthused, he asked if i was sure.. yes i was sure, we had a bit of a laugh and a “oh man” moment as we had recently come to the conclusion two girls was enough.. life was getting easier as they got older and we could make more progress financially as well as enjoying more trips etc.
The rest of the day we both kind of zoned out and were completely absorbed among our own thoughts as to .. how, when, what etc etc…
Soon I started to feel sick… REALLY REALLY sick.. I was rather unwell with Annalise but this was definitely next level and so much sooner… we made do, he cooked, he cleaned.. he was amazing – I lay on the couch for a solid 3 months and my poor husband had to deal with my emotional outbursts and frustrations dealing with what felt like a never ending gastro virus.
The time came for our dating scan (around 8 weeks) and there She was our little bean with a beautiful beating heart…. it was at that moment the reality of the situation hit me and i knew I could make it through…. as the scan carried on I said to our ultrasound tech… “so your sure there’s only one in there?” … She looked at the screen intently and asked “whys that?” I said ” I just felt so so unwell so incredibly early” she replied with “oh okay” again looking at the screen with pure concentration and didn’t say anything further, our scan finished up yet we waited after for our pictures for about 30 minutes.. I thought it was a bit odd but oh well maybe they ran out of that shiny photograph paper they use to print the baby pictures, who knows….. it was only a few days after I was to see my doctor… She told me during my appointment that among thyroid issues and insanely low iron that we had in fact conceived twins… sadly baby E’s sibling’s heart had stopped beating and I had joined the percentage of women that have had what I now know as “Vanishing Twin Syndrome” Ill be honest it broke my heart.. I felt so strange during my appointment as my doctor told me In such a simple manner as though It was nothing and I really didn’t know how to react.
I left the doctors and rang Nathan.. after telling him there was a pause on his end of the phone… I could feel his disappointment and we both didn’t know what to say… its so strange, at a time when you feel you should be celebrating this little baby yet here we were feeling loss.. and then guilt for not feeling happy over the perfect little baby who was thriving… what a mix of emotions – and a giant bag of pregnancy hormones thrown In the mix obviously doesn’t help. I cried. I doubted myself.. what have I been eating? did I do something? … I googled looking for any tiny scrap of information that the ultrasound technician had made a mistake and somehow our second baby would be there and doing well in the following scan.
After getting through all of the above stages I came to the point of acceptance.. tinged with a slight hope.. after all that’s all we could do.
Nuchal scan – It was time and I was SO looking forward to It, our scan went fine and there she was our little girl now looking like a little baby, moving around and bouncing up and down.. the ultrasound technician had a bit of trouble doing measurements because of this, she also measured the home of our lost baby which now looked like an empty bubble this Is because the vanishing twin Is absorbed by the placenta – hence the name “vanishing twin” I felt a bit sad but I mostly appreciated the closure I’d needed, Baby E was healthy and we could now move on focusing on her and maybe I could stop worrying so much.. so I thought!
Not long after the scan I met my midwife.. she’s AMAZING and I cannot wait to bring our little girl into the world with her… It was like when you meet someone for the first time yet you feel you already know them.. I was so comforted by this and so happy we landed a good one!
She read me my nuchal results for baby E and although one area came back In the intermediate range she felt everything was fine and there was no need to worry.. fast forward to the following day.. my phone rings early in the morning and its my doctor .. she is a flurry of words over the scan results and blurts out how dangerous they are and how there is something wrong with our baby, she starts saying I need to make a decision NOW about further testing or termination… I was in disbelief, I felt pissed.. what the hell, why has this pregnancy been so taxing both physically and emotionally.
After I rang my midwife (who was also pissed about what the doctor had said as it was completely inaccurate). I rang my mum.. I explained I cried some more, She was so confident and said nothing was wrong but we both agreed for my piece of mind and for the sake of the progressing pregnancy to get further testing done.. just so i could finally relax and enjoy our baby – we also gave that doctor the flick and found a much more savvy practitioner – who is absolutely beautiful.
After seeing her we opted for the Generation harmony test … a non invasive blood test, my blood is taken and the DNA of our little one is separated from mine and tested for defects, $450 and 7 days later and one evening my phone rang.. I answered unsure as it could have been anyone… my new doctor said hello and asked how I was.. my heart started to pound in my chest and I waited for her diagnosis…. “Everything looks great” she said…. “baby is at the lowest risk for everything”… oh man I took the biggest and most satisfying breath at that moment and silently thanked god.
She then went on to tell us we were expecting another little girl (this is just a side perk of the blood tests they can find out the gender as soon as 10 weeks now!).. We were so happy and from this moment Ive been able to feel so much more of a connection to this little girl and really enjoy the remainder of the pregnancy.
So here we are.. half way through to meeting you precious little lady, how special you must be baby E after everything… and yes baby E stands for your name which we have already agreed upon and chosen just for you.
For all the Mama’s out there going through pregnancy struggles, loss (this was my second experience with loss), the intense changes making a baby can cause, the emotional roller coaster and prenatal trials your enduring… there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I feel your pain…and from one mama to another I say… and I totally believe …
You’ve got this.