Trying to Grow a Rainbow: First Trimester

It’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve blogged anything of note. One of the last times, I was retelling my despair at having not fallen pregnant, our first month of trying again, after suffering our fifth miscarriage. It was a blow. Time has never felt like it was on my side and I was caught up in the scary notion that it was running out. All I wanted was to be pregnant again. Gladly, I got the joy of those two pink lines the very next month. The joy though, was short lived; almost immediately replaced by the all consuming fear that haunts every single second of pregnancy after loss.

By my calculations, I was only 3+3 when I took the test. I wasn’t for a second expecting a positive. I just couldn’t help myself when I saw the bag of cheap strips in the bottom of my drawer. It was mid afternoon. I had to leave soon on the school run, but I did it anyway. I glanced down as I wiped and the shadow of a line had already begun to appear. I couldn’t quite believe it. I didn’t believe it. First because it was so early and second because, even at 4 weeks and beyond, my tests are always barely positive. I presume now, that’s because of my body’s inability to produce enough HCG. The reason behind most of my losses. Or so the consultants believe anyway. The line this time was strong. It was real. I was pregnant again. Number nine.

 

Number nine. At the moment, you’re growing inside of me, but I don’t know if we’ll ever get to meet you. I don’t know if you’ll make it that far. My success rate currently stands at less than 50%. They’re not the best odds. If all it took to keep you, was want and longing, I’d be holding you lovingly in my arms, 8 months from now. But you need more than that. You need my body to work properly and for some reason, it won’t.
It’s nine months since we decided to try for you. We knew that ultimately you’d be worth the risk. But already we’ve lost two of you. I can’t stand to lose you too.
This isn’t an announcement seeking cheer and congratulations. All I need is hope. Because that’s all I have myself.
I’m not spending these first weeks, filled with excitement and making plans. I’m spending them fearing the worst. Stocking up on pads for when the bleeding begins, ticking off every passing hour terrified of when it might all go wrong and wondering how I’ll be able to go through it again. I want to enjoy you. I want to feel excitement, but I need to be careful. The likelihood here, is that my heart will be shattered again. All I can do is hold on to the small chance that it won’t. To try to believe that we will come out of this complete and not broken all over again.
You are wanted. You’ve always been wanted. And if I lose you, I don’t know how I’ll bear it. Please stay. Please keep growing. Please be in my arms 8 months from now ❤

I found out on a Friday. On the Saturday, I went into the Early Pregnancy Unit for my first HCG injection. I was to have these weekly. Our next shot at making this work, after diagnoses of “bad luck” and a prescription for progesterone failed to help. With Rufus, my rainbow baby, born after three losses, I took a natural supplement that I found online. Cassanovum. Just some cassava root extract that you take whilst trying to conceive. A natural source of progesterone. His pregnancy was a healthy one. I’ll never know if it was that supplement, or pure coincidence, but I took it again this time. I figured it couldn’t hurt. And it didn’t. I honestly think it might have helped. The HCG injections did the rest. I returned to the EPU each week to have a needle pressed into my glutes, topping me up with the hormone that would, hopefully, keep my baby alive. At six weeks, I had my first scan. I’ve never felt fear like it. When the sonographer turned the screen to me and showed me that tiny heartbeat, I broke down. I could barely breathe for the relief flooding every pore. It was alive! It was ok. It was early days, but that tiny heart was beating.

Those early months continued, dragging painfully on in a blur of injections, scans and the constant terror of something going wrong. Of bleeding. Of going to a scan to be told the heart was no longer beating. But neither of those things happened. Little 9 continued to grow, to thrive, to live inside me and I began to let myself believe that this might really be happening. I began to let myself feel excitement. Joy. I was discharged from the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic at 12 weeks. At 14 weeks, I had my official dating scan. The scan that gives most people the go ahead to announce their pregnancies to the world. Of course, I’ve already done that. At least, I’ve announced it to this little online world of mine. But I haven’t made it official, not yet. I haven’t told real life friends and acquaintances. Family members. Those that don’t follow my blog, have no idea. I still don’t feel ready. I don’t feel like i’m ready to bring this out into the real world. I thought I would, once we were safely into the second trimester, but I had another unexpected blow to come to terms with.

Incompetent cervix. That’s what they called it. Having had a LLETZ early last year, I was told I’d need a routine check on my cervix. I thought nothing of it. It was a few days after my scan and I took the kids along. It was half term and I had no childcare. I lay on the bed, fielding questions about my foofoo as two consultants peered into the abyss and decided amongst themselves that I fell short. Or at least, my cervix did. And thus, I’m now considered “high risk”. Risk of premature labour. Risk of late miscarriage. Just when I thought we were safe, it turns out we’re not.

 

So Little Nine and I still have our mountains to climb. We still have a battle to fight until I can hold this baby in my arms. But I hope I will, with all that I have. The final piece of our puzzle. Come on, Little Nine.

 

I’ve been documenting this journey over on youtube, a new foray for me, but I’ll link the videos below if you’d like to see more of the ups and downs in real time…

Finding out:

5 weeks:

First scan:

7 weeks:

10 weeks:

12 weeks:

Cervix issues:

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