Saturday, 30 October 2010

Fresh Starts and Mending Hearts

Its been a while!
Before you read any further, I strongly suggest that you get yourself a drink and make sure you are sat in a comfortable position, for we have a lot to get through!

So, my last blog post was somewhat sombre (maybe an understatement) and its only lately that I have felt like putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, as it were).

The shock of losing our unborn child was far reaching and even when we thought we had come to terms with what had happened, little things made us all too aware that we had not. If I'm being honest, I don't want to get over what happened. I much prefer to be able to look back and remember, just without all the negative emotion and upset. Those who know us best know that we looked at the situation with a level head and I think this ultimately helped us to make sense of all that had happened.

After a while, the inevitable question crossed both mine and Karen's minds.
Do we try again?
At first, it wasn't even a question of when, but if.
I really don't think that we could go through the events of the early part of 2010 again and I know that this definitely altered the way we now looked upon starting a family.
Its strange that you can be scared of pursuing something that you both so desperately want.
One bitten, twice shy has never been so apt!

It was around this time that the consultations had begun to see if the cause of our baby's death could be established.
Test of Karen's placenta had revealed tiny blood clots, therefore our Consultant Gynaecologist had suggested that Thrombophilia be the most likely cause.
He suggested that Karen be tested and that the results would dictate any future course of action.
We discussed the subject of trying again and sympathetically, he suggested that we might want to wait until the results were in, as we could then best protect against the same thing happening again. So, that kind of made our decision for us, which made things a little easier.

The testing began on 1st April, with Karen having to give a huge amount of blood and me trying not to make Tony Hancock-esque jokes.
The preceding weeks/months were a bit farcical to be honest.
We had been told at the time of giving blood that the tests would take approximately four weeks.
This was an extremely anxious time, particularly for Karen.
I know that she felt that it was her (or her body's) fault that our unborn child hadn't quite made it, which is, of course, absolute rubbish. In situations like these, rational thought isn't always prevalent, and it was alright for me to bluntly state this, but I wasn't the one being tested.
Fours weeks came and went and after about six weeks, Karen could take the suspense no more and put in a chase up call to see what was happening.
Much to-ing and fro-ing followed and we really thought that the hospital really didn't have a clue what was happening.
Karen feared the worst and convinced herself that they had found something seriously wrong and were keeping this from us.
The bloke in me, saw the situation in a less emotive manner and I tried my best to reassure Karen that this couldn't be the case.
In vain, of course.
After 12 weeks, we received a letter that the test results were borderline and therefore inconclusive. We were told Karen would have to be tested again.
Inconvenient - yes. Worrying - yes. Necessary - yes. What else could we do?

Just to add to the emotion, the 11th of June fell in this period of worry and anxiety.
The 11th of June being our expected due date.
Emotionally confusing is the way I would describe that particular day.
Both Karen and I had discussed "doing something" but didn't know what. It wasn't a celebration, so we didn't want to do anything that would lean towards the suggestion that it was.
In the end, we ended up taking the dog for a walk to one of our favourite spots, coming home, lighting the candle that the hospital chaplain had given us and watching telly on the sofa.
Did we do the right thing? What exactly does one do in these situations?
I know that we both thought a lot about what had happened in January and that was enough for us.

Nearly there folks......maybe its time to get another cuppa and stretch your legs, if you are still bothering to read that is!

And so it began again.
We hoped that this round of testing would yeild quicker results but in reality, it was anything but! This time, Karen was a lot more direct and chased the hospital on almost a weekly basis.
It was around this time that we both decided that we didn't want to wait around and would get on with trying again.
Obviously, I was very happy with that decision but I'll not lower the tone.

Queue the same old worries from Karen that it wasn't working (the getting pregnant, not my err...well, you know). In fairness, before all this malarkey, I thought getting pregnant was the easiest thing in the world. Just walk round any council estate or watch daytime telly and its blatantly evident. I think the trick is to not want one or to be that whacked on Haribo and Stella that you just don't care.
Anyway, I digress.

The 13th August ended those doubts when a pregnancy test revealed that we were, indeed, pregnant again.
You'd think that we would be over the moon, but in contrast, we were both shitting ourselves.
Don't get me wrong, we were very happy but you cant help but worry, especially after all that has gone before.
We were told by friends / colleagues who had lost unborn children that the next time just doesn't have that sparkle and they are right.
The sparkle is there I suppose, its just a little bit dimmer.

September saw the return of the test results and after all that anxiety, they came back showing normal levels.
At the bottom end of the normal range, but within the range nonetheless.
Its funny, but we both almost wanted something to be wrong, if that makes sense.
On one hand, it would give us a bit of closure and give us a medial reason for what happened.
Truth is there is no reason and it was just one of those things, as I discussed in a previous post.
On the other hand, looking to the future, finding something wrong would give us something to medicate against and therefore avoid the same thing happening again.
I know in my mind that there is absolutely no reason for the same thing to happen again but then we're back to that rational thinking discussion again.

So there we are, you are just about up to speed.

We are being monitored more closely this time and have had three ultrasound scans so far (the first due to a blood loss scare, the second the regular 12 week and the third a fetal well being).

So, here it is:

Baby Roebuck #2