(Mis)adventures of my womb

In the last five months I have become a statistic.  I have joined the ranks of women who suffer more than one miscarriage and it sucks.  My first miscarriage was my first ever pregnancy and it hit me like a high speed train, leaving me prone on the sofa watching the Gossip Girl box set (every cloud??) and eating my body weight in chocolate whilst also cracking open a bottle or two of wine.  I ambled along to my first scan at 13 weeks innocently looking forward to seeing our baby and feeling a little bit smug that we had fallen pregnant so quickly.  My blasé attitude was soon shattered when we were told that the foetus on the screen had no heartbeat and that it had stopped growing at around the 8 week point.  Before this experience I hadn’t even realised that missed miscarriage was a ‘thing’ and unfortunately it has made all subsequent pregnancies lose their sparkle a little bit during the first trimester.  The following week saw us make multiple visits to the hospital (a 90 minute round trip) due to a myriad of administrative cock-ups with our final trip ending with me having Surgical Management before going home to wallow.  We were lucky this time and after one period I fell pregnant again giving birth to a healthy (translate that as LARGE!) baby boy in February 2013.

The next part of my pregnancy story happened just as easily (ignoring the slightly stressful time we had at the beginning with dodgy nuchal fold measurements and subsequent amniocentesis) and in October 2014 I had a second healthy baby boy (who is currently creating merry hell in the kitchen with his big brother)  Following a fairly horrendous first labour and birth our second son was born by C Section in the most calm and tranquil atmosphere imaginable.  As they placed him on my chest I remember feeling very strongly that I didn’t want him to be my last baby.   Having had a 19 month gap between my first two children I was quite happy to have a slightly bigger gap between my second and potential third baby so I therefore threw myself into enjoying being a mum of two and making a life for ourselves in our new location (we had arrived in Glasgow when I was 32 weeks pregnant and at that point I didn’t know a single soul)

And so we come to 2016 and the (mis)adventures of my womb.  After a weekend in London back in late November I realised that my period was MIA and even though I was convinced I couldn’t be pregnant as we had been avoiding my most fertile days (HAHAHAHA!!!) a pregnancy test and subsequent calculations revealed me to be almost six weeks pregnant.  Whilst not exactly on our perfect timeline (we would be moving house when I would be 37 weeks pregnant, I would be attending my brother’s wedding one week postnatal and then would be left solo parenting with three kids whilst my husband went away for eight weeks) we were thrilled and started tentatively thinking about life with three kids under four (needing a new car etc)  On a Saturday in January I went to the toilet and noticed that there was a light brown discharge in my knickers and when I wiped after a wee.  I used Doctor Google and established that it might be something to worry about but that it might also be fine so decided to keep an eye over the next few days.  On the Sunday it wasn’t any better so I rang NHS24 and was told to go to the Out of Hours GP Clinic.  The doctor there managed to get me an appointment at the Early Pregnancy Unit and so we had a family outing to the hospital (always a joy with a 2 year old and 1 year old!)  After an abdominal and internal scan (having my hand held by an nursing assistant as my husband was looking after the kids outside) the midwife said that the foetus wasn’t looking viable and that I would need to come back in a week for another scan.  The situation was obviously upsetting but I resigned myself to the fact that I was more than likely going to miscarry the baby and carried on with day to day life.  That Wednesday I suffered a quick and thankfully complete miscarriage and was lucky in that my husband was able to rush home from work to sort out our boys as I was in no physical state to do any kind of parenting.  My main feeling throughout this process was that whilst rubbish it was a hell of a lot easier to cope with second time around as I still had to deal with my gorgeous boys and they are an amazing distraction when feeling a bit sorry for yourself!  The follow up scan revealed that everything had passed away and I was given the all clear to try again (or recommended to sort out my contraception!) as soon as I was ready.

The second part of my 2016 pregnancy story begins in March with another positive pregnancy test.  I was thrilled to be expecting again so quickly and rang the Early Pregnancy Unit to book in for an early scan (I had been told to do so after the previous miscarriage)  At 7W3D I went in for my scan.  Once again I was told that it wasn’t looking viable and that I would need to come back in ten days for another scan.  However this time around was different as there was only a gestational sac and no apparent foetus.  I went home and used Doctor Google again to find out more about the situation.  Through my research (I hasten to add that I did look at official sites as well as the doom and gloom chat rooms) I established that it could either be a blighted ovum or that my dates were wrong and that was why there was no visible foetus yet.  I started feeling nauseous (not something I’ve really had in any other pregnancy) so was hopeful that it was the latter rather than another loss.  I also looked at the statistics for recurrent miscarriages and told myself I would be unlucky to be in the 1% of women (Mayo Clinic Statistics) who have more than one miscarriage.  However it turns out I am in that 1% and it is a really rubbish club to be in.  My follow up scan showed no further growth and so I was booked in for Surgical Management the following week.  Rather inconveniently my husband was going away so we had to call in the support of my Mum to fly up and look after the kids whilst I underwent the procedure and then had all of 24 hours rest before normal parenting responsibilities resumed.  I’m quite a robust person and pride myself on my get up and go attitude to life (something that is very useful when your husband is in the forces and not always around!) and I dealt with this loss in the same way as the previous one in that  I was upset but life went on and we decided to try to conceive again as soon as the post op bleeding had stopped.

My 2016 story so far ends with the unexpected events of this week and to be honest at the moment I’m in limbo not knowing how things are going to turn out.  Last week I had a missed call from the Early Pregnancy Unit asking me to ring back regarding some test results following my procedure.  Alarm bells immediately rang (being a bit melodramatic I imagined all sorts of horrendous issues….) as I had not had any sort of follow up after my first miscarriage and first Surgical Management.  I eventually got through yesterday and was told someone would ring me back as soon as possible.  I received the phone call whilst having lunch in M&S with my boys and was told that the test results showed that I had had a Partial Molar Pregnancy and that it would need to be followed up by the specialist unit in Dundee.  Feeling more than a little bit bewildered I managed to reign in the tears whilst in public but the last 24 hours have seen a lot of uncontrollable sobbing whilst I come to terms with the fact that this third miscarriage is by no means resolved and that I am probably going to be told that I can’t try and conceive for at least six months (and this is only once I have started the actual monitoring that you have to have after a molar pregnancy and had satisfactory results)  Typically my husband is away and so he has suffered a snotty weepy wife on the end of a long distance phone line whilst I try to sort out the logistics of starting the follow up monitoring in one place and then potentially transferring to another location if I need to.  I am now waiting for my consultant at this end to respond to the specialist unit so that they can then send me out the relevant information, process and equipment (basically having to send blood and urine samples in for testing for as long as it takes for my pregnancy hormone levels to reduce thus making sure that the issue is resolved and isn’t going to need to be treated with something more invasive)

I have cried more in the last two days than I have throughout the whole process of this particular miscarriage and I think that this is for two reasons; because I thought that it was physically resolved once I’d had the Surgical Management and had stopped bleeding and because I hate the idea of being prevented from trying again straight away.  In both my previous miscarriages I have known that the way I will be able to move on (as much as you do anyway) is by falling pregnant again.  I am so blessed to have two healthy boys and I know that there are plenty of people in this situation that don’t have this but I can’t help feeling sad at the thought of my third baby not being something that will happen.  I look at my boys and don’t feel that my tribe is complete even though they give me more happiness, joy and love (and frustration!) than I ever thought possible.  I tend to mentally plan my life away and I imagined having my third baby at some point during the next academic year (ideally fitting neatly between a number of family weddings including one where I am a bridesmaid!) and then being able to go back to work the following year knowing that my family is complete.  Instead I find myself in a situation where I want to apply for jobs but would hope that in reality I can’t work all of next academic year because I’m expecting another baby at some point.  With a CV looking increasingly full of gaps due to army postings I’m torn between going back and potentially looking flaky or staying at home for another year and being even more out of the education loop.  At the moment everything is a bit confusing and up in the air and coupled with our imminent house move and related stresses and preparing the children for changing nurseries and a new house I feel a bit overwhelmed by everything.  I’m generally a firm believer in things happening for a reason but at the moment  I’m struggling to see why this is happening to me and for what reason.  So I finish this (epic!) blog post facing an unknown couple of weeks/months and hoping that at some point in the future I have the opportunity to carry one final baby in my belly and to enjoy the delights of a newborn once again….

Return to blogging???

So it’s been a LOOOOOONNNNNGGGG time since I last blogged. Over the last year a lot has changed and it’s been both a fantastic year and a bloody hard one. I’ve often felt guilty about my little space on the internet being so neglected but when I’ve thought about writing anything I haven’t really been able to think about what I’d like to write about!
I’m still not sure what I really want this blog to be for (or who for?) but I’m now out of the fug of newborn babyness and with no return to work imminent need something to keep my brain ticking over that doesn’t involve the bodily functions of small children.
So what has changed since last June? Well we have moved to Glasgow following my husband’s posting there with the army. He moved last June and we followed in August once I had finished teaching and we’d been on holiday to France. We are living in our own house rather than army accommodation and it’s been a bit of a learning curve! Within two weeks of arriving in our house we had builders start work on an extension so having unpacked the entire dining room and kitchen we then had to repack most of it and find a place to stash it all in the garage and loft. In early October we welcomed a second baby boy (Wilf) into the family. He was a c section so that restricted how quickly I was able to get back into things but thankfully was another easy baby and slotted into family life very easily! The building work was all finished by December and so I was able to enjoy my brand new kitchen (chosen by me for once!) over Christmas. Since Christmas I have been going to lots of baby groups when Teddy is at nursery and have now got a fab group of friends all with babies a very similar age to Wilf. I’m going to write a separate blog post about finding my feet in a new area with a toddler and a baby but it has been hard and there have been moments when I’ve wanted to get on a plane or train down south and run away to family and old friends! Nevertheless I’m now really enjoying Glasgow and all it has to offer. There is sooooo much on here for young children so I hope to blog a bit about some of the stuff available and that we have tried as well as some other aspects of our lives.

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The Ordinary Moments #11 – London!!!

London is my favourite city in the world and I love having opportunities to show Teddy my favourite places (I’m sure he is really appreciative of all our John Lewis visits…..). My husband is currently away in Latvia (!) for a month so I decided to book some cheap flights home rather than spend another weekend twiddling my thumbs in Germany (where nothing is open on a Sunday!) A fairly horrendous Ryanair flight later we are here enjoying catching up with my sister (and meeting her new bloke!) and cousin and enjoying the touristic delights on offer.
Yesterday was the trooping of the colour and so we made our way to Buckingham Palace to watch the flypast. Once we had made our way through the crush (with buggy in tow – yes I was that annoying person!) we found ourselves a good spot with view of the balcony and with space to sit down for a quick picnic. Unfortunately at that point the rain showers started and with no coat and only one umbrella between three of us I found myself using the maclaren rain cover as a temporary rain mac. This just added to the Britishness of the day and so we sat it out and waited for the action (whilst stopping Teddy from destroying the beautiful flower beds!). At bang on 1pm the rain stopped and the first aircraft flew over and for the next few minutes Teddy was transfixed by what was happening in the sky.
It is trips like this that I remember from my childhood and I am so pleased to be able to do the same sorts of things with my family and store up similar memories for my children.

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The Ordinary Moments #10 – Lots to be grateful for!

It’s been a funny seven weeks in our house and as a result I haven’t really felt like blogging (not that I’m particularly good at doing so at the best of times!)  In very exciting news, I am twenty weeks pregnant with another little boy so once again we will be moving house gearing up for the arrival of a little baby.  However, the beginning of this pregnancy has been a little bit stressful to say the least and it has only been in the last week and a half that I have felt able to relax and enjoy it.  To cut a long story short our twelve week scan had a borderline nuchal fold measurement and our blood tests gave us some rather scary results which all resulted in an amniocentesis and a very horrible three week wait for the results.  Having thought that we would be telling everyone our baby news over the Easter holidays we then didn’t feel able to until we knew what the full situation was.  Cue me wearing a variety of clothes and scarves desperately trying to hide the ever growing bump!  Thankfully, the results are fine and we have just as much chance of a healthy baby as the next person……

Anyway, one little person has made all of this much more bearable just by being himself and demanding all the things that a fifteen month old little boy demands and so this weeks Ordinary Moments is basically a big thank you to my gorgeous little boy Teddy!  Thank you for being so entertaining and making me laugh so often, thank you for coming up to me and giving me big cuddles and open mouthed dribbly kisses, thank you for making me see the world through your eyes and look more closely at the tiniest details and thank you for being a massive distraction whilst we have been waiting for those results!  The last few weeks have reiterated how good my life is even when aspects of it are a little bit tough and I’ve once again been reminded of how much I have to be grateful for.  Throughout the whole experience (and I do know that lots of people go through far worse) I have known that whatever happens I am privileged to have one little person call me Mummy and this made the situation much easier than I imagine it might have been if this had been my first pregnancy.  It has made me appreciate the ordinary moments even more and as we go through the second half of this pregnancy I am going to try really hard to remember to drink in all the little things that happen to our family of three before we become a family of four!
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The Ordinary Moments #9 – Snuggly Cuddles

This is going to be a relatively short blog post this week as both Teddy and I have been struck down with some horrid gastro bug and have therefore spent most of our time this weekend on the sofa snoozing and feeling sorry for ourselves. Typically, this has also happened during yet another period of lone parenting…… I never thought I would be grateful for Teddy being under the weather but because I have also been ill it has been a hell of lot easier not having to do too much running around after an increasingly speedy 13 month old! However, every cloud has a silver lining etc and one of the bonuses of this weekend has been the lovely snuggly cuddles we have been having. Teddy is a very active, self-sufficient little boy and only usually wants cuddles when it is bed-time. It has therefore been quite nice to have a little boy shaped hot water bottle to cuddle whilst I’ve been watching endless re-runs of Four Weddings, Don’t tell the bride and Keeping up the Kardashians (I like trashy TV and there’s no point trying to hide it as my Sky Box offers plenty of evidence…) I know that moments like this will become ever fleeting as he grows up and so for now I am going to savour every single one.

Gorgeous Boy…….

Gorgeous Boy…….

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The Ordinary Moments #8 – words, words, words!

That first moment when your baby says something that sounds like a word is completely and utterly awe inspiring. In Teddy’s case (as in the case of most babies) his first ‘word’ was ‘Dada’ which he used to shout from his cot when he woke up in the morning and after his naps. I used this as a perfect excuse to say “Oh look, he is calling to you, he wants his Daddy!” so that my husband was guilted into getting out of bed rather than me but unfortunately in the last few months Teddy’s word of choice in the morning (and in the middle of the night) has become “Mama” so that has backfired somewhat and I can no longer snuggle back under the duvet quite so smugly…

Teddy’s second word came courtesy of the son of his childminder. Every morning when I drop him off, her four year old son greets Teddy with “Hiya” and so prior to cracking “Mama” this was his second favourite thing to shout. He recognises this as a greeting and says it to people when he sees them; usually trying to pair it with an open mouthed dribbly kiss or a twinkle twinkle little star style wave. In the last few weeks he has added to his vocabulary and we now have “dickle dickle” when he is tickled or when he tickles other people, “dairs” when we go upstairs (accompanied by pointing up the stairs) and the now very ubiquitous “yeah”. This is said in a very clipped way so sounds quite a lot like “yuh” (maybe I have watched too much Made in Chelsea when he has been downstairs??) and follows on from any question asked when said in an appropriately sing song way; “Would you like some grapes?” “yuh” etc etc etc

I have always found the acquisition of speech intriguing and could listen to Teddy chatter away for hours despite not having a clue what he is after most of the time. He now couples most things with pointing so that I can generally decipher what he is after (which is basically anything he is not supposed to have) Watching him chat with his friends is hilarious and I would love to be able to tell what they are saying. He recently had a play-date with his friend George who is five months older than him. Teddy was thrilled to show George his new favourite place to play (the shower in the downstairs bathroom) and watching them converse about Teddy’s favourite game of moving the nappies from the changing table to the shower was very entertaining. They followed this up by playing the piano (with Teddy clearly explaining to George what it was all about whilst George had a look of “Does he ever shut up?” about him) and then sharing some raisins which they found very funny as they discussed putting them on the floor, picking them up again and then hiding them under the piano (or so I imagine!). This stage of development is so exciting and I cannot wait to see what the next new word is!

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