Pregnancy after Stillbirth – Month 5 (and a bit)

Month 5
So this month contains what would have been Claudia’s 1st birthday. It’s only a few days away.

However this week what has been overwhelmingly on my mind is the out of school activities that our eight year old participates in, to which I dutifully take her too; hang around and randomly fill time for an hour and a half and bring her back from in peak hour traffic. For my thanks, she tells me she hates it – even on the days she doesn’t have to go – in a “I hate everything that is not Minecraft” eight year old kind of way.

I could bang my head on the table, continuously. So much for “Thanks mum for trying to give me opportunities that suit my learning style”…..ahhh, should have known better. So now I am debating the pros and cons of keeping her going on these activities; Should I take the hit and see it as money wasted or make her see out the term; whingeing, moaning, bone cringing traffic and all.

Ohhhh, did I mention I was pregnant and just want to have a chilled out house. By the beach. Luckily the beach is not too far away and on this day, the day before Claudia’s one year anniversary/ birthday/ day of passing I take me, myself and I down for some salty air and water joyousness. It works in the best way possible, I love the salt air and it cheers up my sombre mood. Down at the beach the is an annual art installation/ exhibition on, with big and small art pieces scattered all around the beach and dunes.

All around our slice of sunny Australian beach is packed; with regulars, locals, and people coming to look at the art. A myriad of various aged school children on excursions all gather in long rows to see the pretty stuff. It funny and cute to see a group of what look like 4 year olds armed with tiny clip boards and a pencil attached to it with string, all being corralled by some dedicated teachers and parent helpers showing the kids the giant 4 metre crawling chrome babies on the grassed dunes. The kids all laugh and chuckle as they realise that the big shiny babies have big shiny baby bums.

I take my time and walk around; up the dunes, along the white sand and up the pier. It takes me an hour and a half to walk the circuit and I haven’t even managed to see everything. Luckily for me I have my big camera in the car and indulge in some artistic photography, which I will no doubt post on Instagram, I’ve moved on from food pics…… So predictable..

The ocean air does me untold good, I figure that right now I don’t need the hassle of disagreeing with my daughter, I love her to bits and she is already doing an out of school activity that she loves (and is much easier to get too). So yes, I am trying to give her an advantage for her future, and it would be much easier in the long term for her to continue with what she has started, and yes she will probably regret not continuing in the future, but right now – it’s not worth the aggravation and tears.

Seeing all the schoolchildren down at the beach I also decided to give the kids and out of school education activity, which basically means I will bring them down the beach on a school day to look at all the beautiful sculptures and breathe in some ocean air of their own. It will be far to busy on the weekend and the installations will be taken down by the end of the week.

It’s what I call an ‘Executive Parent Decision’. It’s nearly the end of term and both my girls have been working really hard, and like all of us they relish a surprise and change from the normal routine. A happy surprise for them and at a time when as a family, one year ago we were devastated by an unexpected grief. To be able to have some fun in the sun together as a family is worth its weight in gold. I think I’ll treat us all to piece of cake from the patisserie as well, I wont mention it’s really birthday cake.

Month 5.5

So at 21 weeks I wake up with a bleed, well actually discolouration. My suspicion from the previous night is confirmed in the morning when there is a definite discolouration of discharge. My first response is to call up the doctor’s office, which I do quickly. I ask the receptionist if the midwife can call me back and give my name and the details of my new development.

The next thing I do is have a bit of a cry, just for a couple of minutes as the kids are still running around the house, next I get my shit together start thinking rationally and continue cleaning the house. My theory is to keep myself busy and the doctors will call back in no time. I carry my phone in my pocket around the house as I clean and intermittently take the phone in and out of my pocket to check.

Half and hour passes, an hour panic has subsided and I check again what kind of discharge I am actually having. It looks like a dark staining, so not bright red. I know they will ask me all about it because I had a constant bleed with my second pregnancy and was put on bed rest. However that started much earlier, at 14 weeks and continued until I delivered my healthy baby girl, Leah.

In that pregnancy with Leah the blood was a different colour every day; brown and red and pink, a mixture of all things you don’t want to see whilst pregnant. At every ultrasound and every scan I would ask if they could tell me where it was originating from, but no, they just kept telling me it wasn’t coming from where the baby is and baby is growing well. I was put on bed rest (which is not as fun at it sounds, and I hated it) and had to live in a dull slightly subdued and resigned panicked state for the rest of the entire pregnancy. I truly hope it is not like that again.

My ultimate fear during any pregnancy was/is blood, but Leah’s pregnancy ended well. In contrast when Claudia died, there was no blood, no cramps, no pre term labour. It really was just every thing was text-book, then bam – brick wall. Not a red flag in sight, in fact we had an ultrasound only a few days prior, and all was perfect. So I understand when things go wrong, sometimes it’s slow and long and sometimes it blindsides you. I hope neither is happening this time and wait for the doctors to call back.

Finally, after an hour and 23 minutes the doctors call back (not that I was counting). They will see me in an hour. They reassure me on the phone, and now that the general panic has subsided and I can function normally, I explain calmly to the midwife about what is going on. So still with fingers crossed I have to leave my two girls and their cousin who has come over for a play in the hands of my grandfather. (who has already driven to the hospital twice today, for family matters unrelated to me and my current condition – and it not even 10.30am yet)

The midwife asked me about sexual activity? (husband is away at work, and much to my disappointment I’m far to moral to fool around on him) Answer is No. Foetal movement?, Yes. Thankfully bub had a ten minute exercise session this morning which made me feel very relieved. Next- Bowel movement? Which is complicated and frankly any women who has been pregnant will tell you that sometimes you are better just not asking, unless you are a doctor. So I will spare you the details but I strongly suspected this may end up being a case; that my bowels are the cause of yet another issue.

So after some chatting and looking into things at the hospital offices, my suspicion are confirmed that the blood is being caused by my bowels rubbing on the outer wall of the uterus, and the cause can be fixed in a few days with some decent laxatives. I have decided that in general I am a happy, optimistic and generally easy going person, my bowels on the other hand are pure evil and harbour a grudge against every good turn I make. Those evil bastards.

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