This time last year…

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The 16th of November was the beginning.

I took a pregnancy test in the evening as my period was 2 days late. By this point we were 10 months into trying so I hadn’t much hope, but there it was! A positive test.
A much different experience from my first pregnancy test in 2010, but oddly enough still nerve racking!

This time last year I was pregnant & began counting down the days to baby! Funny looking back at your life 1 year on.. How things change.

Blast from the past

K – if you read this, it was lovely to catch up with you again & I hope you don’t mind me blogging about this.

I almost never receive twitter notifications, and if I do it’s usually because my mum favourited a tweet of mine haha!
But yesterday a Uni friend got in touch via twitter with news of the recent birth of her little girl, asking if I’d had my baby yet, and expressing a wish to meet up. There was no reason for her to suspect anything had gone wrong with my little one because the last time we spoke my pregnancy was progressing smoothly.
At her 20week scan she’d found out she was expecting a girl, having had a son previously – something we had in common :)
Many excited texts were exchanged about plans to meet up in the future with our precious pink bundles and have play dates for our sons – this is where we left the conversation, both going about our lives for the next few months.

There are times when things catch you off guard and I just wasn’t prepared for that email notification. It was a reminder of what should have been but wasn’t. Her reaching out to me was an inevitability given the nature of our last conversation, but painful none the less. But this blog proves useful :) a few minutes after receiving her message, she contacted me again. This time to pass on her condolences having read about Ivy’s birth and death on my blog.

It’s a shame I won’t be able to share those fun play dates, or to have a friend whose family life was to closely mirror my own. Acknowledging these ‘should haves’ is hard, but is part of life after losing a baby.

12 weeks

Today marks 12 weeks since Ivy was born.
It still feels like yesterday when I was taking Theo to the park after having a smear, hoping to get things moving along!

I can’t believe how quickly time seems to have passed. I think it helps now that little man is at nursery – we’ve fallen into a nice routine :)

I wonder what she would have looked like at 12 weeks old? Wish I’d have known.

8 weeks on*

IMG_6135.JPG My gorgeous baby girl!! This will likely be the first and last picture of Ivy that I share with you – the others feel too personal.
This is one of my favourites as she isn’t covered in tubes and wires, and she’s wrapped in her brother’s blanket. It’s a special moment that I shared alone with her shortly after she took her final breaths.

Yesterday it was 8 weeks since Ivy was born. Thankfully the mini-anniversary of her birth was actually a lovely day thanks to my cousin’s wedding :)
Originally I had turned down their invitation as I expected to have a small baby who I wasn’t prepared to leave that early on. However, that obviously never came to be.
Besides having a lovely day watching my cousin walk down the aisle in her gorgeous dress with her 1 year old daughter carried down before her (absolutely adorable btw), I also got to say thank you to my cousins, Aunty and Uncle who bought me & my husband some incredibly thoughtful gifts – a copy of Ivy’s hand and footprint engraved onto sterling silver discs, along with her name and birth date.

I’ve put mine with her keyring on my car keys but it’ll soon be taken off as I’m beginning to worry about how I’d be if I lost my keys! The husband has her footprint, although I’ve popped it in our jewellery box for now as he seems undecided on what to do with it.

I was also fortunate enough to receive a necklace from another cousin and his wife which has Ivy’s name and birthstone – something I hadn’t even thought of! Ruby, just incase you were wondering.

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It’s small gestures like this which can really make a difference, and remind you that others are there to help pick you up when life deals you some pretty hefty blows.

*okay, so it’s actually now 10 weeks but I forgot to post this after drafting it!

Being the 0.2%

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You never think it will be you.

Pregnancy is full of statistics. From the very beginning, you are aware of the fact that 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage.
When you make it to 12 weeks and see that little baby bouncing around you can breathe a little bit easier.
We made it through those worrying weeks.

Then there’s the wait for the Nuchal Translucency results if you opt for the tests. 1 in 14000 – We had pretty good odds.

The anomaly scan at 20 weeks can be nerve wracking – will my baby appear healthy or will health issues become apparent? There are so many things that can go wrong, but thankfully most of us only have to worry about whether or not baby will have their legs crossed!
Our little one appeared healthy and it was confirmed she was a baby girl.

24 weeks – deep sigh of relief to have made it this far as baby is now legally recognised should they be born. It’s also around the time baby would be able to survive outside of the womb (albeit with intensive support).
She had stayed put and did so for many weeks to come.

And from then on, every week leads you closer to the birth. Brings you closer to that gorgeous, bouncing baby. You think about labour and birth, but never anticipate falling at the last hurdle. You’ve made it past every other obstacle, why would the birth be any different?
Only, for us it was different.

My only worry going into labour was whether we had enough newborn size baby grows. I told my husband he would need to buy some more after she was born because we only had a handful, and she would be small like her brother had been – I wasn’t to know we wouldn’t be needing them. One, because she would fit 0-3 comfortably! And two, because she would never be coming home with us.

One memory that is still quite strong in my mind is from when I was in labour about an hour before it went down hill. The contractions were very painful, and I was having quite a few back to back. I needed inspiration – something to get me through.
So I delved into my hospital bag which was filled with lots of different baby grows and outfits because I couldn’t decide on what to put her in when she arrived!
I dug out the very first outfit I bought when I found out she was a little girl. Underneath the little dungaree shorts, there was a pink and white stripy baby grow with frills over the arm holes.
I laid it out on the bed and rubbed my belly, telling her that I didn’t mind the pain because she would soon be here in my arms. Right then I decided this was the first baby grow I wanted her to wear. It was filled with so many happy memories for me because I bought it the same day that I had my gender scan – my dream of having a little girl was coming true. I couldn’t believe it! I would often stare at the little outfit hung up in her wardrobe, smiling like a goon and counting down the days.

That baby grow is now in her memory box, and is even more precious as it’s one of the only two baby grows Ivy ever got to wear.

The chances of placenta abruption occurring in further pregnancies is 10%. This seems like a ridiculously big percentage now, but with increased monitoring and an early delivery I hopefully won’t be part of that 0.2% again.

Damn that cleaner!

Dropping off little man at nursery for the afternoon and there’s a cute baby in a pram at the entrance (mum must have been dropping off her little one upstairs)..

I could hear the cleaner talking about the style of pram – and I couldn’t help but coo over this gorgeous little boy who grasped my finger tight and stared at me whilst I told him what a cutie he was :)

Cleaner, god bless her soul, asked me if it was my pram.

I replied, ‘no, but I wish it was’.

Painful. Very painful.

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