Indignity: A Story of Loss 2

After going through to see a doctor I was examined and asked how far along I was. I didn’t know I found out half an hour ago and at this point I was probably no longer pregnant anyway.

They felt my stomach which hurt a lot at both sides and in the centre where my womb was. They said they would get a cannula in and some fluids going then call ambulance to take me to EPU which was in a different hospital. Elva’s hospital.

The cannula didn’t work out 3 times so I was taken without. My partner couldn’t come as he needed to be home with the boys so everything now I was alone doing.

We got there and I was taken to the assessment room. I had been in this room before having an early scan with Elva when I was having pain and convinced I was miscarrying. This wasn’t great for me understandably I felt upset and just tired of everything.

They needed the room before the doctor could come. She was busy delivering live babies which is always hard to know when in the past year I’d failed twice to take a baby home.

They decided in mean time to pop a cannula in, start fluids, check my cervix and give me some rest. Around 1 am the doctor came to scan me. As I was at the most 3-4 weeks I didn’t expect they’d see anything at all anyway so wasn’t too concerned when they said they saw nothing and I’d need another scan in the morning. They told me not to eat anything or drink.

I didn’t understand why and asked but the nurse didn’t know. I was then told it was only from 6am so they would bring me tea and toast now.

Off to bed I went in my own room but I was woken very often in the night to have my vitals taken and blood was taken 3 times since I arrived. They told me my hemoglobin levels were falling so were concerned and needed to get me scanned.

8am I was scanned and the doctor this time said I can see blood and we think you’re having an ectopic this explained the nil by mouth instruction. They told me I’d need surgery but it wasn’t till the anaesthetist came that I understood it was a general I would need. My first one.

By 9am I was sat in the surgery waiting area ready to be first one in. I was crying a lot at this point. I’d just woke up to be informed I needed surgery my baby wasn’t in the right place and it wasn’t even 12 months since Elva. At this point the compassion was lacking. I was alone in tears and i was given tissues and my curtain closed.

I eventually went  into surgery and don’t even remember falling asleep. I woke around 11 am to pain in my side, a throat drier than the desert and weird BP type bands on my legs. I was drifting still not wanting to wake but knew I had to so I could  leave recovery. They were talking saying it was my left tube and my BP was fine to be taken back to the ward.

When I got back I just wanted to sleep I barely remember arriving back as just drifted. They checked my blood pressure and suddenly oxygen was turned on and was a few people in the room saying my BP was low and why was I brought back yet. They decided to check my wounds due to being on my side and found me to be bleeding from one of them I was able to turn over for them and they stopped that bleeding but my BP was going even lower still (around 84/49 at the highest).

The doctor came in and the decision to give me blood was made. I seem to remember all of this but considering this was 11 in the morning and I didn’t sit up till 2ish I can’t have remembered a lot. I was given 2 units of blood and 1 of fluids. My BP finally came up and my hemoglobin levels which had been 75 (should be 125) where now on the up.

Around 1.30pm my partner came and I still was drifting he look petrified but couldn’t stay long. After he left my Bp shot up to 100 and I was told I was so much better and didn’t need checking every 15 minutes and could go to hourly.

That day I drifted in and out of sleepiness. Around 5ish I was allowed to get up to loo and eat. The food was gross  due to fact my throat was so dry but I had a sandwich my partner bought and that was tons nicer.

Tuesday I saw the doctor  he came and told me that my belly had filled with blood (hence the bloat) and my left tube had completely ruptured ( explains sunday night). They removed the tube and blood. My womb and right tube look healthy no issues and I should be able to conceive again just needed time to heal.

That day I met 4 people who said wow you look so much better than you did what an improvement. I met more than 4 that said this about 10 maybe but these 4 were unique because I have no recollection at all of ever seeing them before. So yes I must have passed out at some point.. repeatedly.

I am now home with 4 wounds from keyhole surgery. I was extremely sore and bruised. Movement is hard as is bending so simple tasks like nipping for a pee or getting dressed are very tiring but napping isn’t easy with 2 noisy boys.

Sleeping is hard as I can only lie on my back and 1 side and even moving from one to another is painful. I’m on iron tablets and need  blood checks in a week to check I don’t need further help.

Emotionally I feel ok. I’m sad we tried for a while  to end like this. I’m sad Elva isn’t here then we wouldn’t be trying. I’m sad nothing feels like it goes right for me. I’m grieving but more for former not a baby. I never saw the pregnancy test and as soon as we found out we knew something must be up. I felt like I shouldn’t bother having more kids but since I’ve gotten more positive.

I can still function normally my chances are pretty much the same in terms of fertility and because we were improving our health chances are that is what helped me conceive and once I’m more healed in another couple weeks we can get back to losing more  weight and hopefully it won’t take as long.

It’s changed me more and I’m even more grateful for what I have. I’m trying to concentrate on that to stop me sinking. I wanted another girl so much but now the desire isn’t as strong and I just want  to give my family happy news instead of sad all the time.

Next month whatever was taken from me tissue  wise will be taken with other pregnancy losses to the local crematorium and spread in the garden there. Won’t be long and Little Pea (2011) Elva and our new angel Rainbow Dot will all meet in the wind and play.

Why I called these blog post indignity. Well in the time I was there I had 2 vaginal scans, 1 speculum, had a sanitary pad checked about 3 times, went into surgery practically naked and at some point someone had put the pad on me! I had to answer if I had passed wind and pooped and have my fat belly poked and prodded a few more times.

When I had Elva I was had to be checked for dilation and birth alone is undignified. I’ve never had a smear but through miscarriages and fertility tests I’ve had countless speculums. Being a mother comes with indignity no two ways about it. Worse part for me was the first time a man had to check me. I didn’t protest as I knew it was my own insecurities but it’s hard to understand that a man can accept the grossness of childbirth and loss so easily.

That’s my story of loss number 3. I hope to never add to this blog about more loss every again. I hope to add happy news and make Elva a big sister on earth as well as heaven but for now I got pregnant which many don’t and I have great kids, a great partner and caring hospital staff who I trust with my life and that of potential future children.

As for the alone part I had Dolly with me. My memory doll of Elva. It brought back the happier memories of spending my time with her and for me that helped me a lot as I felt so close to her.

tracy

Indignity: The Story of Loss 1

This week I’ve been ill. Very ill in fact. On Monday I had to have surgery for an ectopic pregnancy that had ruptured my left tube. This is my story of that because I never realised myself how awful having an emergency ectopic was and I think people should know.

On Saturday 19th September I had hip pain which I assumed was a period symptom. We had been trying for a baby but once more I assumed we had no success. The only weird part was nothing was easing the pain and if anything was very gradually getting worse. I hoped I wasn’t going to have a horrible period.

Sunday we went out for a bike ride and I struggled to get home but felt fine. Once kids were in bed I settled on the couch trying to get comfy not wanting to take anything ‘just in case’. Around 8 I went to the loo in pain and ended up doubled on the floor as the pain was suddenly increasing.

I went downstairs again only to start crying as I started with what I can only describe as labour pain. We both wondered if I was having a miscarriage but due to the fact I had no spotting and I didn’t feel pregnant plus I wasn’t due on for a week it seemed too severe to be a very early miscarriage.

I got into the bath in hope to relieve it and succumbed to pain relief. This didn’t work though and my pain increased rapidly. All across my pelvis, belly and up towards my stomach.

My partner went off in search of stronger relief and found codeine which was taken and slowly made me more sleepy but the pain didn’t improve. I decided I needed the loo hoping that would help which it didn’t.  I decided to get into bed where I slept for a short while before I needed the loo again but I started panicking I was light headed, lethargic and sweating a lot.

At this point the floor was the perfect place to rest and rest I did on the cold bathroom floor. I awoke to pain in my shoulders and ribs which was making it difficult to move. My stomach pain had stopped and assumed I was hurting because I had been on the hard floor.

My partner helped me get up so I gripped the bathroom door to stand and next second I was in the hallway which freaked me out and I fast crawled to bed. He said I had collapsed.

Getting into bed I slept on and off till the morning where I woke not being able to breath without pain in my ribs. My shoulders were still hurting but no belly or hip pain.

I rung the doctors for a home visit as moving was extremely difficult. I had an agonizing bath and got dressed as best I could before sleeping on and off again. Around 11am I started with very painful spasms in my diaphragm. These would leave me screaming out loud.

The doctor came around 1.30pm saying he didn’t know what was wrong so was ringing an ambulance to get me and perform some tests. We waited 5.5 hours and no ambulance came. My pain at this point had gone from my ribs and was going lower again but was 100 times better and I started to think I was probably ok but afraid of the pain I might get again we said we’d still go to get checked.

In the end we got a taxi to a&e I realised I felt very bloated at this point and wasn’t very hungry as made me feel nauseous.

We were seen by the nurse who took blood and urine for testing. They said they needed to check for pregnancy as standard. After 10 minutes I was called back to be congratulated that I was pregnant. After 11 month finally we had a rainbow on the way. But due to the pain I had I just wanted to cry because I knew this couldn’t work out.

They said a doctor would examine me and then I’d be taken to epu.

Read on for part 2.

tracy

Faith

Yesterday I went to church and I didn’t expect how hard that would be. I’m not religious and I don’t go to church very often. However I do tolerate services and don’t always disagree.

The vicar giving the service (well one of) asked the children what 4 questions are unanswerable. MY first thought was WHY. Not why anything just why. There are so many why’s that simply can’t be answered. Why do we suffer? why do we experience pain? why is there no natural order of life? why did my baby die? why!

His answer to this was faith. You need the faith to accept that you can’t know and you trust in God to know the answers, you trust in God to see you through. At this point I tried hard not to cry. Daddy suggested I pray (I don’t pray normally) maybe a miracle could happen for us. I told him I prayed for the first time in my life last October. I begged God every day to bring Elva back to me somehow.

At this point I would have said he doesn’t exist because Elva isn’t here. I never woke the next day to find it all a horrible nightmare it was a living one.

That week a ladybird appeared and they kept appearing. We took it as a sign from Elva that it was or her sending them to show us she was here. Maybe God provided that maybe he didn’t. Many mums don’t get a sign and we did within weeks of her death.

I struggled to trust that God knows best I struggle to accept that faith is it. The simple teachings are God loves us all. A hymn sung said he feels our pain but how can he feel my pain when it’s not physical, it can’t be located in one part of my body and it changes so often.

How can an all loving God cause this and not prevent these horrible things.

I know I don’t truly understand the faith I understand some have the faith and it’s not the faith I’m disagreeing with it’s the simplicity of the teachings. It’s not as simple as having faith and God knows best. It’s not as simple as praying and what you want to happen will.

When Elva first died I was told Elva can’t see me on Earth. God’s children can’t know pain or suffering so she can’t see me grieving. I knew she was wrong very very wrong and I knew Elva would be just as annoyed. I was told another time she was in the best place she could be, in the Buddhist pure lands. I know their understanding but I disagreed.

The world may be a hard place but you watch a child live besides the tantrums over tiredness, hunger and sheer stubbornness and you see beauty. You see awe, you see wonder. You see love and fun and excitement daily. You see determination and glee in every day. You feel their limp body relax as they snuggle in trusting and loving you with every fibre of their being. You see how the tiniest kiss and gentlest hug off Mummy or Daddy can raise a smile on the grumpiest and saddest of faces. Not you tell me my baby is better off without her family. Without the fun and love a family brings. You tell me how our lost life together is better for everyone.

I can’t do this and say yes she’s in a good place. Because although I know she is there is no better place than in my arms smiling and laughing with her brother.

Think of your week unless your life is truly terrible I bet you had more good things happen than not but often we can’t see this. We only see bad we see life as hard and the world as terrible. Deep down it’s not and it could be so much worse. I’ve begun to see the fun in life I’ve begun to feel a contentment (albeit slowly) in life through simply seeing it could be worse.

One day God will answer whoever he or she is. In whatever form I believe God to be Elva will return but I accept it won’t be how I desperately want it to be.

Faith is important at a time of death but it doesn’t always have to be the one you think it should. You don’t have to accept the answers. You can create your own faith and for me I just know she’s happy and watching me comforting me every step. That is my faith.

tracy

Staying Safe in Groups and Forums

I know I’ve done a couple of mentions about fakes in groups but I thought I’d do a more centred blog on how to stay safe. Here are my tips based on 11 months of membership

DO

  • join groups recommended by friends
  • get to know the group, the rules and how it works before you contributed it helps you gain trust for the group
  • keep an eye on activity. One group I joined had many reports of photos and it was just never sorted so I never posted Elva’s picture in there
  • join many. You will find some work for you and others don’t. different ones allow different rules which may help or hinder you
  • remember members and admin have had a loss too and are struggling just the same
  • be aware SANDs charity do not currently have a facebook of their own any groups with SANDs in the name are run by angel parents and not the charity. This isn’t to say don’t join but if you need help off SANDs contact them directly.

DON’T

  • rush into sharing too much. It’s nice to introduce yourself and it’s nice to share but it’s also good to follow above about getting to know a group first
  • befriend just anyone. Just because you have a connection through your loss doesn’t mean you will be friends.
  • leave a group rashly. If you post your picture in a group and leave you can’t remove it without rejoining which you may not want to do
  • always believe what you hear whether it’s about some fake person, whether its a loss story or whether it’s about bad behaviour. get proof before you join the ‘witch hunt’
  • share everything unless you’re happy to, don’t feel pressured remember these are safe places for you.
  • set up new profile to join and be surprised if you’re turned away. It’s worth messaging admin first

RECOMMENDATIONS

First I recommend my own group that I run with 4 other admin members. Our group caters to those who wish to not discuss TTC (trying to conceive) and rainbow pregnancies. We do allow live children posts but only if its relevant to your loss. This is to protect those members who remain childless and those who will not have hope of further pregnancies. We do however have a TTC and rainbow group should you wish to join details are on the main group

We update our cover picture every month with a collage of the members babies. Some find this comforting others don’t it’s not a requirement and is never done without permission: Stillbirth and Babyloss Support

Another group is S.O.B.B.S (Stories of Babies Born Still). I recommend this one due to fact triggers are in place so your not subjected to reading a post to see what might contain then be triggered. It is a largely American group but there are members from all over the world too.

Grieving your Youngest Support is another good one. As the title suggests it’s about your grief for your youngest child. This group is one of the few besides my own that caters for those not wanting to talk about ttc due to choice or because medically they can’t. It is a safe place for parents. The emphasis on parents here is those with live children BEFORE their loss. This isn’t done to separate or leave out anyone but us mummies of live children need a safe place to moan about life that only other loss parents with no rainbow will get.

Before you feel disgruntled though they also have a group for mummies with no live children that have experienced loss. As with the previous group the mummies with only angel children need a place to vent where only those people will understand.Still Mothers Support

The last 3 require you to reply to a message from admin so make sure you’re able to get messages and check them when you request. You will be ask minor details on why you wish to join. This helps stop anyone not belonging to these groups from joining. My group we will look at your profile and if you’ve a relatively new profile you may want to message one of us to join as we may reject your request.

At present I wouldn’t like to recommend more simply because I feel those are some good groups that are idea to a loss. Some people like to discuss rainbows and pregnancy whilst grieving and there are so many groups it’s impossible to recommend so many. But seen as there are fewer places that are safe from those supports I felt the need to only suggest those in this blog.

Search tips for finding groups should include: stillbirth, stillborn, angel, sleeping baby, forever baby/child, babyloss, pregnancy loss, miscarriage, child death.

tracy

Remembering

With the anniversary of Elva’s death approaching I’m reliving many memories from last year.

The dark winter nights that felt pretty empty and life sucking. Those are coming again and I’m dreading it. I’m dreading the cold, the dark the sign that the past year has passed me by in a blur of grief.

Christmas is coming and I’m organising but it makes me feel sick. The need to take part, look happy, have fun it’s heavy pressure I’m not ready for. I mean come on I need more than 12 months break to deal with it again.

In one month Baby loss week will start in the UK. People are joining events for it ready to light their candles on the 15th October for wave of light. This is another trigger for me and further stretches the gap I feel in my life. Baby loss week starts the 10th I found out that day Elva died she came half way through the week on the 13th and 15th 4 hours before wave of light I walked out that hospital and left my baby there to be transported to the morgue for the night.

Since my miscarriage I never enjoyed ( not that anyone does) the wave of light. I wanted to block it out and not be part of a world I felt I had no right to be part of as so many had suffered more. The first year I feel like I would be more remembered on that day was the day I never imagined I would do.

I hated those candle pictures even more than ever. I asked not to be tagged and many closer friends obliged and although did light for me didn’t mention me or Elva which I’m grateful but I was tagged in other pictures. This year I want same no tags, no extra reminders no attention. The guilt that eats me up daily is enhanced on that day. Not the day she died not the day I could have helped  but the day I walked away.

Even with the logic I have to she must be laid to rest she can’t come home tonight with me it felt unnatural I felt I was leaving her alone, I felt I was giving up and abandoning her against my will but also it was only me saying we must go. Very conflicting and very hurtful.

I can’t watch this show of support, I can’t see these candle pictures nor do my own I just haven’t got it in me to be able.

Another thing I find I fumble over is describing my children. In life Jem is my eldest and Leif is my youngest. In life Jem is my first Leif is my second and in terms of viability Elva is my 3rd.

Except Leif is my 3rd not my second, Elva is my 4th. Elva is my youngest not Leif. I get round it by calling Leif my second son and my youngest son. It divides things up without denying Elva but without explaining why I appear to only have 2 children when I talk like I’ve 3.

When I got pregnant 2015 was meant to be so different. I imagined 3 kids together and although that was scary it was happy too. Then she died and that chanced I saw loneliness and upset. Then We decided to try for a baby and I had hope that maybe 2015 could be turned around for us some happy new at the time there was even chance of a baby this year.

But now the year is nearly ending there’s no baby no hope of a baby and 2015 although wasn’t as desperately miserable as i expected we still have no baby and no hope.

tracy

11 months

WOW 11 months has passed since Elva’s passing and birth. The changing weather is upsetting. It’s a reminder of my favourite time of year, Autumn but it’s also a reminder that it can no longer make me feel happy. Autumn is now the most heartbreaking time for me. I still love it but it’s forever tainted. At this point last year I was impatient for time to tick by.

We love halloween and we had a holiday booked. Then it was the boys birthdays and then it would be a matter of weeks waiting for our baby girl! Instead I remember wishing the time away anxious for it to hurry up. At this point we had slight concerns over her size and I was a matter of days away from first spotting.

The guilt I feel at not being able to repeat that time and redo it so differently doesn’t help my memories at all.

I still feel anger at the care we got, the inconsistent care and blatant stupidity we were subjected to. I still don’t blame them I blame myself more than anyone I should have known but its hurts all the same knowing it wasn’t only down to me.

As I see many many bumps and babies my heart aches. It kinda feels normal we should have no more kids but I know we have another child and I know I can’t know her and it cuts deep.

My head replays everything daily over and over and over. What I did what I didn’t do what I could have done what should have been done what she’d be doing now how old would she be what would she look like what would she be doing how would she sound what would she love.

Would she love food would she cry a lot or be a content baby would she sleep well would she be crawling by now at  8 months old or would she be late mover like her brothers.

Everything we do we can do because we have no baby. Bike rides (babies under 1 can’t go in bike seats), water slides with our boys, cheaper christmas than originally planned for this year, our youngest has full use of his room again and we’ve no babies toys tripping us up. How I long for a screaming baby in the middle of the night, tripping up over play mats and bouncy chairs. How I long to be losing weight pushing a pram instead of cycling for hours on end.

How I long to be scared of catching pregnant with a baby instead of scared I can never catch again. How I long to be free from grief.

Just under 6 weeks and Elva is 1. One years old 3 months too soon. She is 12 months older yet hasn’t grown. No first steps to share, no smiley pictures with her first cake. They say the first year is the hardest but I don’t see it getting any easier.  The memories are more vivid as time passes for me anywhere I go they replay.

I am considering slowing down. Not updating as much. I no longer see what my blog has to offer and grief is so repetitive all I can be telling you is I feel the same way in 5 years as I did from the start. I have no stories to share no future story to add to Elva’s. Nothing can change for her.

I had thought one day I could talk about a rainbow pregnancy but wasn’t sure if a loss blog was really the place to do this should I have a separate blog should I use this blog as the place to document the next step as it’s all connected. I still haven’t decided but it’s not something I need and that is part of the decision to stop also. I will update on her first anniversary then I don’t know.

Maybe I’ll be back at it with rainbow news guiding you through another new scary upsetting experience but at the moment it’s not a future plan.

tracy