Wednesday, 10 June 2020

31 Weeks Pregnant

31 Weeks Pregnant - Oligohydramnios

It's been quiet around here, and with good reason. 

Baby boy is still here with us, fighting on as he always has. 

I have had to take some time out, some time to try and rebuild the foundations that have been rocked to their very core. 

My full attention should be focused on Nugget and his impending arrival, but instead I am pondering my future with Leo and the pup. Instead of packing a hospital bag, I have been sitting mortgage appointments and refreshing RightMove hoping that my dream buy (within my new budget may pop up).

At 28 weeks pregnant my fiance left. 

The reasons as to why he left are pretty laughable (and excuses at their finest especially given that I am preganant with our sick baby) but right now all that's important is he walked out on me when I needed him the most.

I will never forgive him for that. 

The days and weeks that followed did so in a blur of tears and confusion. I felt resent that my hope for the baby had been diminished and I felt like I was in limbo. 

31 Weeks Pregnant - Oligohydramnios

The feeling of no longer wanting to be pregnant set in, the reality of Nugget surviving as a single parent scared me more than I could have imagined. What if he did indeed continue to defy all the odd's and expectations that had been placed upon him?

What if he needed permenant care that would stop me from working?   

I cast my mind back to the 20 week fetal medicine appointment, would I have made a very different choice had I known all of the facts about the life that I thought was so stable and secure? Sadly I believe that yes, yes I would have. 

I made my decision to carry on with the pregnancy because I was in a commited and stable relationship. Suddenly I was pregnant with a sick baby and on my own.

Here I was at 28 weeks pregnant all alone, when all I really needed was to be pulled close and told that everything was going to be ok. Of course the one person who could have provided that safety blanket, and should have wrapped it around me without hesitation had left me carrying our baby and already started his new life.

At 28 weeks pregnant my friend Pieter.uys.photography reached out and asked if I would like some bump photos taken. It had been something I was considering as I didn't know how long I would be pregnant for, and given the prognosis, any memories I could make of this time would be greatly appreciated. 

I made a concious decision on that day, there was a choice between a White and a Black dress. I decided ahead of time that the Black dress was very fitting for this particular shoot. The Black dress represented the expected outcome of my pregnancy and also the outcome of my failed relationship. 

Had the situation been different the White dress would have been the obvious choice, but right now this Black dress represents a lot of what is and has been going on in my life.

So I shook off the hurt and glammed myself up for a bump shoot, and I have to say that I am so glad that I did. I will treasure these photos forever, and will most certainly be having some prints framed for our new home!

31 Weeks Pregnant - Oligohydramnios


On the 2nd June I was back at Worcester Hospital for a follow up scan, Nugget had reached yet another milestone that some had believed was out of reach. 

I thought by this point I would be able to stay composed enough to explain that Luke wouldn't be at this appointment or any subsequent ones. As soon as I was asked if he was joining us, the tears fell uncontrollably. By this point I wasn't sure why I was crying, was it sadness? Anger? Frustration? A combination of every emotion I had been feeling? 

As always my consultant went above and beyond, I could tell she wanted to wrap me up into the world's biggest hug, but Covid 19 and all of her PPE wear prevented more than her holding my hand and gently rubbing it.

I lay down on the same bed I had all of those times before, only this time I didn't have any expectations, I had already been pondering what I wanted to do, and all that was left was for me to tell my consultant. 

I recognised bits of baby popping into view, but as always it was clear as soon as the doppler hit my belly that baby boy still had no amniotic fluid. By this point it was classed as complete Anhydramnios.

Nugget's heart was inspected again, it was noted that it looked to be larger in his chest cavity than it should be, and this was likely down to his lungs being so small that they hadn't developed. 

Eventually Nugget was measured, which is always difficult when there is no fluid, and it was estimated that he was around 1.5lbs. This means that he had only put on around 4oz since my last scan at 26 weeks.

In typical Nugget style, he had now turned breech again! At my last scan he was head down and essentially ready for birth... But even without fluid little Nugget liked to keep me on my toes.

Baby boy is so very small for his gestation, the prognosis is that he may pass away before my next scan in a couple of weeks, during delivery or shortly after birth (the same as always).

31 Weeks Pregnant - Oligohydramnios

I explained to my consultant that given my new circumstances, I no longer wanted to pursue steroids or medical intervention. I asked if there was a way I could be induced now... It was explained that the only way to get baby out at this stage would be via a c-section. She believed that if a c-section was performed he would be born alive and I may get some time with him...

I want to have Nugget naturally, whether that means being induced over the next couple of months... or if he decides to come on his own. All I want to do is meet him, hold him and let him know how much I love him.

 This was all discussed with my consultant, I told her I felt like the fight had been knocked out of me, that I hated feeling like I had given up on my baby. It was at this point that she took my hand again and told me that all she had ever seen me do, was fight for my baby boy. 

This made me cry all over again.

So it was decided, they will scan me again in a few weeks. I don't know whether this will prompt them to bring baby on or if they will just let me keep going. I have been warned that the likelyhood of a still birth is high.

When the time comes the birth won't be monitored, baby boy's heartbeat won't be checked. What will be will be. 

I have been advised to write a birth plan so that I don't have to answer lot's of questions while I labour. Sitting down and writing a birth plan for a baby who is not expected to survive is so foreign. 

Do you pack nappies? Babygrows? 

Putting pen to paper and saying that you want your baby to be born and handed straight to you knowing what that will mean, not asking the medical professionals to help or intervene...

After the scan I had my bloods checked again as I had missed my 28 week midwife appointment with all of the madness going on. Usually this would be the end of my hospital jaunt, but this time I was ushered into another room to speak with their crisis team.

My consultant had asked them to have a chat with me and support me if needed. The midwife walked into the room and asked how I was. I told her I was fine, but as soon as she said 'That's not what i've been told...' the whole sorry tale started spilling out of my mouth for the second time that day.

The poor midwife looked like she was about to cry with me. We talked through all of the options I wanted for the birth and she agreed that it was important for me to do what was best for me, not to worry about other people.

31 Weeks Pregnant - Oligohydramnios

I have decided that I will labour and birth alone, this now has to be a private time for me to meet that beauiful boy of mine as it really does feel that this entire pregnancy has been something I have fought alone. 

I want to take all my photos, record footage of him and take casts of his hands and feet.

I need to be selfish.

I want to tell Nugget that I am sorry for losing my fight, that I am sorry for not being a better Mummy, that I am sorry his Daddy didn't have any fight for any of us at all. 

When I first saw those two faint blue lines on that pregnancy test back in November, I was so full of excitement. I imagined this little baby being welcomed into our secure family fold. I imagined Leo meeting his baby brother for the first time, getting all teary as he snuggled him in close for a big brother hug and snapping that tender moment that would sit proudly on display.

I still have the dream that Leo will get to hold his baby brother. I still want that for him, and that photograph will be one that we treasure forever.

It's been 3 weeks since I took this journey on solo. 

I have come a long way in that short space of time. I have started getting all of my ducks in a row, I can sleep at night again, the tummy knots have gone away revealing a nice calm feeling that I didn't think would ever return.

Somewhere in those 3 weeks I realised that Leo and I deserved so much more than what we have been given. The lies and deciet, the abdonment, the continued lies. 

We have a difficult few months to weather, but I am a firm believer that you have to travel difficult roads to get to beautiful destinations. I am lucky to have a great support network of family and friends, people who check in everyday to make sure that we are ok.

Once the next few months have passed and I have met that beautiful baby boy of mine, the only way forward will be onwards and upwards. I will turn this situation around, make the most of the time we get with Nugget and then do everything within my power to provide the very best life for Leo. 

We will weather this storm and then we will pick ourselves up and live our lives.





7 comments:

  1. Laura, you are amazing, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Your tough journey isn't over yet and for that my heart breaks for you, I'm so glad you have a strong network around you and you don't have to do this alone. Sending much love to you, Leo and Nugget xx

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  2. You’ve been through so much and yet have such a difficult path ahead. Stay strong beautiful. You’re amazing and your babies are blessed to have you as a mother x x

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  3. So so sorry your partner decided to do what he did, your such an incredible woman I have been following you for years being quite in the background but I wanted to come and say I'm thinking of you and Leo and Nugget, and I really hope you manage to get the birth you want and manage to make all the memories and keepsakes. Stay strong x

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  4. Sending so much love to you. I can’t imagine what you are going through. xx

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  5. If anyone can do this lovely, you can. I have never known anyone have such strength and determination. Our children choose us and I am sure that Nugget chose you because he knew you would do your very best by him. Sending you huge virtual hugs xxx

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  6. Laura, I have no words for how incredibly brave you are. You are stronger than I can ever hope to be and I think I can speak for womankind as a whole when we say how proud we are of you. If anyone can do this, you can. Sending you and Leo so much love xox

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  7. I found your blog through BabyCentre and just wanted to say I’m so sorry you’re going through all this - it’s nothing but unfair. Most people, myself included, would not have been able to stay strong for this long and your boys couldn’t have asked for a better mummy. Whatever you intuition tells you to do next (given the new reality), rest assured that all you’ve ever done is based on love for your little family with their best interest in mind. I’m also sorry to hear that your fiance decided to leave you when you needed him the most - it’s in crisis people show their real colours. I hope you have other people around you that can be supportive. Sending lots of love. PS the pictures are absolutely beautiful!

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