Thursday, 31 October 2013

Trying to release some of the pain

I have a lot of pain, anguish and trauma over the events leading to Lily’s birth, it’s all jumbled up in my mind and heart, part of my healing is to speak about it, to not be ashamed of the events and to try and release the guilt I feel. Just be aware that some of the details may be hard to read, living through them was so much worse and having to think of it every night when I go to sleep for what I imagine will be every night of my life is so much worse, but just a warning for you.

So go back to mid-July, we were having that heat wave, that glorious weather you all loved, at 19 weeks pregnant, working in a shop office with no cooling system and sweating like mad while listening to staff member whinging bout being hot I was just getting on with it. I found the heat horrendous but just got on with it, went to work, sweated for 8 1/2 hours a day, went home knackered and went to bed.

Fast forward to Monday 15th July, I worked all day, felt crappy, didn’t really talk to my much loved colleague and friend all day as was just trying to plod on. Got home around 5.45pm, same time as usual and Chris was having a nap, went up to see him, lay on the bed for a bit then came downstairs. As I walked into lounge felt a very strange feeling and felt liquid in my knickers, went up to the toilet and there was a wet patch, thought 'O that’s strange it’s definitely not wee but o well' Went downstairs and it happened again, again I went to bathroom quite bemused but was like a bit confused. The third time it happened I was aware something was wrong so rang Fern ward at the hospital (pregnancy ward bit) I had been there on 4 different occasions for bleeding so knew them quite well. They suggested coming in and they would check me over. I went to wake up Chris and as I was standing in the bed room the liquid started flowing down my legs, still stupid as it sounds I didn’t click this was my waters, well why would I, I didn’t think your waters could go at 19 weeks 2 days. Chris was grumpy as I had woke him up but off we went, neither of us particularly worried, both tired and fed up.

We got to Fern, they had asked me to put a pad on and they took it from me, put me in a cubicle and said they would check on me in a bit. Around 45 minutes later a doctor and midwife came in, I should have clicked then, you don’t see a Doctor unless they are worried, since then I have been told that they had guessed my waters had gone. I had an internal, once the doctor finished she asked if I wanted to get dressed first, I said no, I still wasn’t concerned. She then broke the news that my waters had gone. I remember hearing a wailing sound and wondering what it was................... It was me. I knew it was too early for this to be happening. At that moment for a brief second I knew I was going to lose our baby, I don’t think Chris realised at that point, that it was all over.

The doctor talked us through what was going to happen, they said that I would lose the baby, my body would go into labour and our beautiful baby would be born. They explained it was too early to do anything and the baby wouldn’t survive.

Shock, complete shock. They did a ultrasound, baby was still alive, a bitter sweet moment, one I would be faced with all too often in the next 3 weeks 1 day. We were moved to the delivery suite, Musgrove hospital have a special set of rooms for woman like me, it’s called the Rowan Suite. It’s a delivery room with a bathroom and lounge next door. Since seeing delivery rooms since it’s a non-clinical mush less harsh room, it’s also tucked away back with storage rooms. You are away from the noise and hub bub of the delivery suite, which is a blessing, hearing new babies being born is far too hard when you know your child will not live. We were settled in for the first night, I had phoned my mum and dad and they rushed from Dorset where they live, devastated as we were, they went and got clothes for us from home then drove home, they spent 4 hours in the car to spend maybe 1 hour with us. I don’t remember much from that night, only being in total shock, me and Chris barely sleeping and unable to understand what was going on. For the next 3 days I was in hospital, we were told there was no hope to start off with, that my body would go into labour within first 24 hours, then 48 hours. We passed those marks, they talked to us about the other things that could happen, Lily (at that point we didn’t know she was a girl) would die in my womb and they would induce me, I would get an infection and they would induce me as my life would be at risk, labour would just start. None of this happened. Gradually they started to be a bit more positive as the days wore on, at one point they talked about moving me to the antenatal ward, I refused, for 3 days they told me my baby would die and then they wanted to put me on a ward with pregnant mothers!!!! No not happening. It didn’t happen, I stayed where I was. Around 3 times a day they would listen to the babes heartbeat, that 30 seconds that seemed like a lifetime until they found the heartbeat, the joy at hearing it, the shock at our baby still being alive. Chris parents were on holiday when my waters broke, we waited until they got home 2 days later and phoned, they immediately came down, shock and despair on their faces, worry, hurt and total disbelief.

Eventually the hospital decided to send me home, they said there was no more they could do, either I would go into labour or I wouldn't. All they were doing there was monitoring my temp, blood pressure etc. I was told I would need to see the consultant regularly and have bloods taken twice a week to check for infection but that they still expected our baby to die. We came home, still shocked, still in a complete daze. We sat at home, all this time my waters were continually leaking, I would be sat there and feel them dripping from me, those magic waters designed to protect my baby leaving my body. It was heart breaking. 2 days later we went to hospital for bloods and a heartbeat check. 2 days after that had a consultant appointment and our 20 week scan. We were still told that the likelihood of success was 1%, they offered us a termination, we refused. At the 20 week scan they told us they thought our baby was a girl, without water the scans are very difficult to see and they couldn’t check for everything like they normally do. We were told if our baby did survive and make it too full term she could be born and never take a breath, 20-23 weeks is when the major lung development happens and my waters going could affect that massively. We were told she could be brain damaged, never breath unaided, never walk etc.

We went home and carried on for a few more days, fast forward to my sister coming up to visit and I had a bleed, cue major panic and rush to hospital, emergency scan, emergency bloods and sent home again. More days sitting at home, I couldn’t go anywhere, only time we left the house was to go to hospital. Sitting on my sofa feeling my precious waters draining from me. Every day we heard Lily's heartbeat, either at the hospital or my midwife came to our house, every day I heard our baby’s heart, fast and strong, she was hanging on, we started to build hope.

Fast forward a few more days, sleep at night was an impossibility, one early wed morning I was lying awake when I felt a huge gush, thought, 'god that’s a lot of water to lose' went to bathroom and there was so much thick, red blood, me screaming at Chris, him coming in bathroom and going white, I phoned the hospital, told them I thought I was going into labour, they told us to phone ambulance, wouldn’t let Chris drive me in, they were too worried in case something happened again. Sat in ambulance knowing this is it in losing my baby. Seen at hospital, put in labour ward, normal delivery room right next to the midwife station, I was a priority. Phoned our parents, my mum and dad travelled down again, Chris parents came in again. The consultant came round, I said I was having pains, we thought it was labour, this was it. Moved to Rowan suite, the day dragged on, no more bleeds. Told we were being kept in again. That evening just as I was relaxing 2 more massive bleeds, no sleep more heartache. Kept in hospital for few more days. Told the pains were irritable uterus, the blood was annoying my uterus causing it to contract. Check babies heart beat still strong, keep going, keep going. Start to build up hope again.

Get sent home again, back to weekly growth scans, twice weekly bloods, daily heartbeat checks, more time passing, hope being raised. Saw the consultant again, next visit we will see the paediatricians, to talk about if we get to 24 weeks what happens then. Before 24 week is not considered viable, if baby born it can’t survive (apparently) if we get there and I go into labour they will try and help Lily survive but it’s a long road. Making plans to try and get me to 34 weeks gestation.

One Sunday morning we wake up and go to Fern for bloods and heartbeat check, I don’t feel right, over the last 3 weeks I have tried to be so strong, not cry, not get to distraught but today I feel weak. We get there and I am immediately upset as usual, every time we go for bloods I worry they won’t find her heartbeat, that my bloods will show an infection etc. etc. They try to find her heartbeat, they can’t find it................I panic, get majorly upset. The midwife says she will get doctor to scan me and see as I am so upset. Doctor scans me, they find the heartbeat, I’m so upset, so tired, so worn out. No sleep in 3 weeks, emotionally done in. Scared for me, our baby and Chris. We go home, we watch TV and relax, I feel rubbish but Chris is with me, he hasn’t left my side since my waters went.

At around 9.30pm we go to go upstairs to bed, there’s blood, I ring Fern ward, we are told to go in, we get there, we are waiting, more blood, a lot more blood. We get transferred back to Rowan, another night in hospital. I am hysterical, so done in, I can’t take anymore. Next day things seem to have settled, Chris goes to work for a few hours as it’s been 3 weeks with neither of us working, if this pregnancy is going to continue he has to go to work, I can’t, I won’t be so he has too. He comes to hospital later after work, we make a plan, tomorrow we have consultants appointment, growth scan and to see the docs, I will stay in overnight, he will go home and then tomorrow after appointment I will go home and carry on at home. Amazing midwife gives me sum diamorphine to help me sleep as they can see 3 weeks no sleep is killing me.

I wake up after sleeping 5 hours straight, that’s the most in weeks! Chris come in, I have breakfast, we go off to antenatal and see Miss Robson, I lay on the couch, she starts scanning me, asks when my last internal was, we say ages ago as they try not to examine you cause of risk of infection. She breaks the news Lily has started to move down, in fact she is breech and her body has already passed into my vaginal canal, all she can see is her head. This was it we were told, labour was imminent. 3 weeks 1 day, our baby was today 22 weeks 3 days and this was it. They wouldn’t do anything, she was too young. Our baby was going to be born today and was going to die.

I can’t write anymore, this blog is way longer than I anticipated and that’s enough for today, that day, the horror and trauma of going through labour, of holding our daughter, of pushing my baby out into the world when I didn’t want to, that can wait for another day.

Besides I have to get ready for a funeral, I’m going today to honour a friends fantastic grandma, to stand with my friend and her family and celebrate her grandmas life. To provide her support as she has supported me. If it wasn’t her I would not be going to a funeral so soon, the last funeral was my daughters, my baby girls but I want to pay my respects to a wonderful woman. So I’m signing off to get changed and go to Weston to pay my respects to that beautiful soul who I believe is looking after my baby in heaven.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Lily Marie Rowland

So I decided to start writing a blog again, I have so many thoughts and feelings that I want to get out, im learning that part of my therapy is to learn to talk bout these thoughts and feelings. This blog is for me, its for me to write down about how im feeling, how having my beautiful baby in my stomach for 159 days has changed my life completely! The awful tragedy that me Chris had to endure and the hellish three weeks we endured, how the midwifes were so bloody amazing and how I have had to learn to try and live again when all I wanted to do was lie down and die with my amazing daughter. Im writing this blog for her, our amazing daughter Lily Marie Rowland who was born far too early at 22 weeks, 3 days.

I need to process my thoughts and feelings and speak out about the silence that surrounds pregnancy loss. Its not all negative but obviously there is so much tragedy surrounding Lily's  birth and death that it may seem like that but theres also so much beauty. Lily made me and Chris parents, she is our first born and she was a gorgeous tiny baby girl who we made, any of you parents will understand the wonder of seeing that perfect baby thats a part of you and a part of your partner. The fact that you created this perfect little being.

On 31st March 2013, Easter Sunday we found out the amazing news we were going to be parents, after over a year of trying we had that amazing positive pregnancy test results and its a day I will remember for the rest of my life until the day I die, the joy of knowing we were gonna have our much wanted, already loved baby.

7 pregnancy tests in 2 days and I finally believed we were having a baby. telling my Mum and Dad they were going to be grandparents again was the best moment, my Mum, who usually shows little emotion to me cried. Telling Chris's parents there were going to have another grandchild in person again was such a special moment, a moment of immense joy.

I never found pregnancy easy, from 5 - 14 weeks I suffered horrendous morning sickness, in fact all day sickness, I was tired felt like a pile of poo all the time and it wasn't much fun. Today I would take feeling like that for every single day for the rest of my life if it bought our daughter back, but I can't, no matter what I do I cant bring my baby back and I hate that, it hurts, its like a knife cutting through my chest. Everyone told me that when I got to my second trimester it would get better, I would glow it would be fantastic, it didnt happen, I wonder what my third trimester would have been like, would I have found that part easier? All I know is I wish I hadn't moaned so much, wish I had savoured every single day cause I would give anything to get it back now.

I cant write anymore today, the tears are streaming and I am just finding it too hard. After two good days, im having a bad day, 9.52am and the tears have been going since 7.45am. Thats the horrid thing about grief, the unpredictability of it. I wish people could understand, the pain im going through, I dont want you to suffer it but I want understanding. But then until you have lost a child, you will never understand, I know that before we lost Lily I would never have understood, I would have heard the news and gone 'o thats terrible' and thought about the person for a few minutes, but never really understood, I dont see how you can, until you have had to be in that room, go through labour and delivery knowing your baby possibly wont be born alive, but even if she is wont survive, you will never get it, EVER.

I know two people who have lost babies in the second trimester, (this is when my loss happened) I can remember thinking when I heard, 'Ahh thats sad' and you think no more of it, the reason I think we do this, is because we dont want to think about this, its horrendous to think about, it hurts, I wasnt even a mother when I heard about these, one happened when I was in my late teens and one happened before I knew this person but the thought of it is too horrific to think about. So for all of you, parents or not take 5 minutes to try and think about it. Losing your beautiful baby that was so wanted and how devasting it is.

I am a changed person, I will never be tha same person, I will never be the Kate I was before 15th July, (when my water broke) I cant be, I went through something so huge it has changed me forever, I am a mother but my daughter doesnt live here, I wont get to see my baby again until the day I die and that hurts! 


I will find a way to survive, I will honour my baby every day of my life, I will learn to love life again, I will count my blessings every day, I will look at Chris and thank him silently for making me a mother to an angel, I will think of my daughter and wait for the day I see her again, the day im reunited with my first born daughter, and I wait, not wishing my life away but longing for the day I can see my baby again. 

Lily Marie Rowland
Born 6th August 2013
Weight 350 grams
Height 15 cm