I found out at the beginning of October when a pregnancy test casually taken ‘just to see’ was almost immediately positive. It’s been a terrifying time of very mixed emotions. Although getting pregnant quickly was my best case scenario when Isobel died, I never really imagined it would happen so quickly and without attention to ovulation and timings. It took two years and a lot of action to get pregnant with Isobel. This time was very random as our sex life had not remotely returned to normal after Isobel with the whole mix of physical and emotional difficulties consequent to having and losing her. It was practically immaculate conception!
Alhough it was what I wanted, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, all I felt was fear. I worried that I was not ready emotionally or even physically to experience pregnancy but most of all to cope with another loss. I thought that a loss of this pregnancy will be the last nail in the coffin of my mental health. I still do think this. I didn’t want to tell anyone because I felt irresponsible that I was putting them through this again so I didn’t have anyone except Simon to talk to and his coping strategy was to pretend it wasn’t happening which didn’t help me much!
I had to fight with the health service to get started on blood thinners which I knew from reading online was the minimum treatment suggested to try and prevent the placental clots that killed Isobel. Then I had to fight to get seen in the Early Pregnancy Unit to see if things were developing on track. The hospital couldn’t seem to understand why I couldn’t just wait until my 12 week scan and made no allowances for my anxiety at all. I’ve been so disappointed with the health service. So although we can’t afford it, we’ve decided to borrow money and have private antenatal care. We met with the doctor on Monday and I’m so happy with our decision. She is going to scan me weekly from now on and I know she will do everything she can to make sure we don’t lose another baby.
It’s only been seven weeks since I found out and it’s been the longest seven weeks of my life! After our positive scan yesterday we told our friends and families so that may make it easier going forward. People’s reactions have been very positive but even that annoys me. Reacting like its the best news in the world that I’m pregnant only makes sense in a world in which I don’t have Isobel, and I don’t want to live in that world. I want to have a five month old baby right now and have the thought of another pregnancy be the last thing on my mind. I should be getting ready for Isobel’s first Christmas, not obsessively checking for any signs of spotting and scanning my stomach for cramps. Even going to the hospital for scans is retraumatising. It was less than five months ago that I was there for Isobel. In truth I don’t want another baby, I want Isobel.
That’s not really to say that I don’t want this baby. I cried my heart out yesterday with relief when I heard their heartbeat and saw them moving around. I’m trying not to get attached but I find myself talking to the baby, willing it to grow and live. I have briefly allowed myself to contemplate that this could be our rainbow. But the biggest part of me is just waiting to lose it and hoping it will be sooner rather than later. I hope it makes sense that it’s not that I want to lose it, I’m just so pessimistic and hope is hard to hold.
How do you mourn for your first baby while contemplating either losing another, or having a live child? I’m trying to keep focused on Isobel and my grieving process as I know this is work I need to do either to face another loss or to face parenting after loss. It’s all very overwhelming just now.
These are our scans so far – 6 weeks, 8 weeks and 11 weeks. Please hang in there baby 💕