We are so happy to announce that all being well, we will be welcoming another baby into our family in June! 18 weeks hadn’t been the moment I thought I’d post a pregnancy announcement, but a threatened miscarriage due to a subchorionic hemorrhage and my mum’s death meant it’s come a lot later than anticipated. But we are excited and feeling blessed, as always.
We always knew we wanted another child, but we waited a little longer than the gap we had between Henry and Everly. Mostly in part to how much more difficult Everly was, (she didn’t sleep through the night until around 16 months, and I’ve continued to breastfeed), so we just didn’t feel ready to plan another until she was older.
Early October, I was feeling a little nauseous whilst watching the food ads on TV, and it suddenly crossed my mind to take a pregnancy test. It was night time, and my period still wasn’t due for another couple days, so it wasn’t an ideal time, but something spurred me on, and I snuck off to take the test. Much to my surprise, within seconds it had showed up as positive. I was shocked. Shocked that a positive had shown before my period was due (with the twins and Henry, I didn’t get a positive test until a week after my period was due), and shocked that for the fourth time, I’d got pregnant immediately. No ‘trying,’ no disappointment when my period arrives – for us we have been fortunate enough to always conceive right away.
A Threatened Miscarriage
When I was 9 weeks pregnant, in the middle of the night, I woke up and felt wet. I began to make my way to the bathroom and within a few seconds, as the fog of sleep lifted, I realised it was blood. I got to the bathroom, switched on the light and sat on the toilet. Blood everywhere. Down my legs. On the floor. It was an awful flashback to the many bleeds I had with William and Noah, which ultimately led to my water breaking, premature birth, and their deaths.
I saw all the blood, knew how early I was, and assumed a miscarriage. I shouted for Matt, and then lay down on the bathroom floor as I felt faint from the blood loss. Strangely, I didn’t feel sadness, but rather, a sense of disappointment. The weeks of nausea, for nothing. I knew there was no use heading to the ER, if it was a miscarriage, there’s nothing to be done, so we headed back to bed and tried to get some sleep.
In the clarity of the morning, with the realisation that I had no cramping and no more bleeding, I started to doubt the reality of a miscarriage, and another diagnosis popped into my head – subchorionic hemorrhage. A term I’d heard in the baby loss and PPROM support groups over the years. When you become part of the baby loss club, you soon become privy to the multitude of ways that babies can die. You know there is no safe zone, no certainty. And I’d heard that an SCH was often the cause for bleeding in pregnancy.
We called our OB and arranged for a scan that morning. We were apprehensive to say the least, not knowing if we’d see a heartbeat or not. But thankfully, baby was fine, and as suspected, she found a subchorionic hemorrhage. We were told it was touch and go whether or not I had a miscarriage, and all we could do was wait and see. We also knew that blood weakened the membranes, and so PPROM was, once again, a concern.
A flight back to the UK was not advisable, but unavoidable due to the impending death of my mum, so we just hoped for the best. Our time in the UK was filled with anxiety – not only were we dealing with the death of my mum and the planning of her funeral, but I continued to have light bleeding.
With us no longer being UK residents, we were no longer entitled to free maternity care either. We tried desperately to arrange to have an NT scan, but no private services offer diagnostic testing, only ‘for fun’ viewing of the baby or gender reveals, and to have one at a local hospital meant getting a referral from a GP (and being a US resident meant I was no longer registered with any doctor’s surgeries) to see a midwife, who would then need to make an appointment with the maternity ward – there just wasn’t enough time to jump through all these hoops. It was so disheartening, not being being able to check the status of the hemorrhage or baby, nor get an important scan.
We chose to cut our time the UK short, and thankfully, we made it back to the USA and had our NT scan and trisomy blood tests completed just before the cut-off point of 13 weeks + 6. Much to our relief, the hemorrhage had reduced in size, and I haven’t had any bleeding for over a month, so we’re feeling cautiously optimistic.
Nausea this time around has been bearable. I was apprehensive that I would suffer with hyperemesis gravidarum as I did with Everly, but thankfully there was no actual throwing up (let alone 7 times a day like last time). Nevertheless, I still lost weight during the first trimester, not the 14lbs as with Everly’s pregnancy, but still around half a stone. The nausea and reduced list of foods I was actually able to eat meant that our vegan journey came to a halt – one of the few foods I could manage was, strangely enough, chicken wings with buffalo sauce – something we’ve rarely ever eaten. Also a craving for rice noodles with sweet and sour sauce has remained steady for the past 3 months.
Acne has never been something I’ve suffered with, but very early on I had breakout on my chin area, and it hasn’t relented. It’s painful, difficult to conceal, and I’m unsure as to how to treat it, or whether I can.
My chronic illness (POTS) was especially bad during the first trimester; there was a period of two weeks when I couldn’t leave the house for lack of energy, and I needed to use a wheelchair at the airport, but that’s a whole other blog post.
The Children’s Reactions
Henry is so excited. He’s at an age now when he can truly understand and appreciate what being pregnant means. Upon learning that the baby could now hear, he kissed my bump and whispered, ‘I love you,’ before shyly running off; it was a very sweet moment. He loves to see my bump growing bigger and often suggests baby names to us.
Everly likes to say “baby bump” and stroke my tummy. She then likes to add, “baby bump, too,” and stroke her own little belly and pretend she’s pregnant. She will adore being a big sister. She already acts like a mother hen to Henry, insisting on getting him dressed, bringing him snacks, and washing him during their baths. She also dotes on her Baby Annabell doll, and any time she encounters her baby cousin, she plants a hand on his head and doesn’t remove it for the remainder of their visit, so I think she will relish having a real life baby to adore.
Finding Out the Sex
We love to find out the sex of the baby during the anatomy scan. For us, finding out during the pregnancy still IS a surprise, we’re just finding out earlier than if we’d waited until the birth. We’ll actually be discovering whether I’m growing another little boy or girl the day this post goes live!
How I’m Feeling
Truth be told, it still doesn’t feel real that I’m pregnant. I think with the visit to the UK, my mum’s death, dealing with a stomach bug that did the rounds multiple times in our family, and then Christmas, it has all been so chaotic that it hasn’t had a chance to sink in. And after the seemingly endless first trimester, I find it surreal to know that I’m suddenly almost halfway though this pregnancy.
Is It Our Last?
This is our fifth baby, our fourth pregnancy, what we hope will be our third living child. It takes its toll on me, mentally and physically. Our pregnancies are so filled with anxiety as it is, and then with the complications we had this time, we said, “we can’t take anymore stress, if this baby lives, it is our last.” Yet there’s something so final and profound about declaring that. Such a huge, life altering chapter of life, closed. I don’t know if I’m ready for our baby days to be over, no matter how hard we find the pregnancy and first year. So who knows.
SHOP THE POST