Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Saddest Day...

It has to be said that 2014 has been a pretty rubbish year for us so far.  We moved 100 miles away from all our friends, our marriage hit rock bottom, my husband lost his job and I suffered a miscarriage on my birthday.  Not a great track record.

We were thrilled when we discovered that we were pregnant again, so soon after the miscarriage.  It caused a lot of head scratching and debating from my GP but an early scan at the start of July confirmed I was 5 weeks pregnant.  We felt like this was finally a sign of our luck turning around, our rainbow baby.  Our little miracle.

I went for a repeat scan yesterday and received possibly the worst news.  There was no heartbeat.  It was expected that I would be in my 8th week of pregnancy and therefore, there should be a heartbeat.  

The only consolation the midwife at the hospital could offer was that in my 5 week scan there had only been the yolk and sac present.  In this scan a 'baby' was visible, which showed that there had been signs of growth.  However it is only 2mm which is too small for the original dates and, obviously, the lack of heartbeat is concerning.

In a conflicting turn of events I was offered an intervention for the same day but handed a small sliver of hope that they may have dated me wrong in my original scan and I could be earlier on than first thought and so given time, it may turn out okay.  I was put on the spot with deciding what to do and had to go with my gut, that I don't want a surgical procedure and would rather let nature take its course.

I have a repeat scan booked for 2 weeks time to see whether there has been any change but was encouraged to take the view that the pregnancy would have 'resolved' itself by that point.  In other words, I will miscarry naturally as my body realises it is not a viable pregnancy.

It feels like an impossible situation.  I have to keep turning away from internet searches, hunting for stories similar to mine; that I will find someone who says they were in my exact position and it turned out well.

I don't know whether to allow myself to hope and pray that when we return to the hospital in two weeks there will be a baby with a little beating heart or to accept that I have lost this baby, just a few months after I lost my last baby.

I don't feel like I can grieve because what if I'm giving up on a baby that is still alive?  But equally, can I hope for something which seems to have already been concluded?

It is utterly heartbreaking.

I do know that some people won't understand my dilemma.  That they will feel this baby is just a collection of cells, that it isn't really a baby yet.  But to me, it is.  The minute I saw that line pop up on the pregnancy test, they were a real person.  I knew what their name would be, I could imagine their future, I knew the way they would fit into our little family.  They were my much longed for baby and I loved them with every piece of my being.  How could I not? 

I feel like there is an axe hanging above my head.  I know that I will be in pieces in two weeks time, if I still don't know one way or the other.  Because of course, there's every chance that my body won't 'resolve' the situation itself.  That it will require some form of medical intervention which terrifies me to my very core.  I have had no bleeding, so I had no idea of the bomb that was waiting to drop yesterday morning.  What if nothing happens in the next two weeks?

Sitting in the hospital yesterday, surrounded by statistics about miscarriage I know how lucky I have been to have had two straightforward pregnancies which resulted in two beautiful children.  I know that the chances of having two miscarriages in a row is 1 in 16 but, to be honest, I just never thought it would happen to me.  Is that arrogance?  I never pictured myself as the hunched over woman, clutching a stack of tissues and sobbing as she is ushered out of the ultrasound room, looking over at the women in the waiting room with their rounded, swollen bellies full of perfect little people.  The woman who can't look and swallows down a gut-wrenching sob as she passes a woman carrying her newborn baby in their car seat.  Knowing that I have two babies I may never get to meet.

I don't feel lucky.

I feel devastated that I have somehow failed.  That my body let me down.  That I wasn't enough.

Although I think Meg has guessed that I was pregnant, we haven't worked out how we will tell her yet, if we will tell her. Instead I keep a smile on my face and pretend that everything is okay.  It doesn't feel okay.  I am swinging between feeling totally numb and completely broken.  We have to go to a family wedding in two days time, I will somehow have to muster the courage to face everyone knowing that I may be housing a baby who simply isn't alive.

I'm clinging to my little sliver of hope but every time I feel a cramp, every time I go to the bathroom I feel as though I am waiting for the first sign, the first indication that it's not going to end well.

It is the not knowing that is the worst.  It is eating me up that I don't know whether I have made the right decision or simply prolonged the inevitable.

It is utterly heartbreaking.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Book Review: The Vintage Summer Wedding by Jenny Oliver


The Vintage Summer Wedding by Jenny Oliver

This book was chosen as part of my summer of light reading and I downloaded it onto my Kindle (I know, gasp of horror) but the blurb on Amazon took me in and I couldn't help myself.

Anna Whitehall has it all; an enviable job in the capital city, money to burn, and a loving fiancĂ©.  To top it all off, she is planning the wedding of the year to be held at a top London venue and complete with Vera Wang dress.

Unfortunately, when she loses her job unexpectedly she has to return with her fiancĂ© to the village of Nettleton, the hometown she flounced out of at the first opportunity, promising everyone there that she would fulfil her ambition of being a Prima Ballerina on the stage.  Her return means abandoning her previous sophisticated life, taking a job in the dusty old antiques shop and having to face all the people she so ungraciously walked away from all those years before.

Through various experiences in Nettleton, Anna begins to see that she can have all that she wants and more besides, if she can just let go of her past.  This is a real feel good contemporary story about realising that sometimes life doesn't work out quite the way you plan, but that doesn't mean that you can't find real happiness.  

Jenny Oliver sets Anna up to be such a spoiled brat that in the initial chapters I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to continue reading.  She is rude and aggressive but as the story unfolds you begin to learn her journey and the reasons she was brought to this place in her life.

Although the ending is perhaps a little neat and predictable, it doesn't detract from the story at all.  It fits entirely with the feel good element.  The story is snippy and to the point, it moves along at a good pace and you don't get any unnecessary waffle which keeps the book short.  Although there were a few spelling mistakes which I am beginning to realise is usual for e-books but nonetheless a pain, I think this book would be ideal for a summer read.

Have you read anything good lately?  Why not come and link up with my July Book Love Linky.  Would love to see you there.