Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: bye bye second trimester

Week: 27 Waist: 37.5 inches (+0.5 inches but 0.5 inches less than week 25) Feeling: Like I’ve swallowed a stick sideways It looks like we might have made it: against all the odds (it seems to me) this weekend marks the final days of the second trimester. There’s no doubt the baby is getting bigger. According to the midwife he or she is transverse, meaning they’re lying across my tummy sideways. And don’t I know it. With the placenta at the front acting as a kind of ‘shield’ I’m feeling all the baby’s movements to the extreme left and right, and sometimes behind, which feels very odd as this never happened with BB who was most definitely at the front. I also feel like I’ve swallowed a stick horizontally with the skin straining to accommodate it, so am slapping on the cocoa butter with even more zeal than usual. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: my waist has got SMALLER

Week: 26 Waist: 37 inches (-1 inch) Feeling: Still chickeny Oddly, my waist measures a whole inch less than it [...]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: I’ve gone over to the elastic side

Week: 25 Waist: 38 inches (+ 2 whole inches!!) Feeling: Properly pregnant owing to new ‘over the bump’ jeans My plan to make do with low-rise jeans for the duration of the pregnancy has been thwarted: the button on my Levi’s simply won’t stretch any further and, not wanting to ruin them, I’ve gone over to the elastic side. I’m talking full-on maternity jeans with an ‘over the bump’ elastic panel (below – I’ll spare you a picture of me actually in them – it’s not a pretty sight). Misery Guts laughed out loud when he saw them and I can’t say I blame him. They weren’t what I intended to buy at all. I intended to find a non-maternity pair that simply fitted, but when the sales assistant in JoJo Maman Bebe enthusiastically encouraged me to try them on I was too polite to refuse. Oh. Lordy. They are sooo comfortable I was instantly converted. I knew as soon as I pulled them up and before I looked in the mirror I had to have them – I didn’t care what they looked like. Like my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder maternity bra, which also isn’t a pretty sight. […]

Shock horror: I’m running in pregnancy

Week: 24 Waist: 36 inches (no change) Feeling: Pretty good Dare I admit it? I’ve been running throughout my entire pregnancy and with the sixth month almost upon us I’m still clocking up around 12 miles a week. It’s now clear I have a baby on board (pictured) and it’s amazing how many people I’ve been running past since we moved here 18 months ago have suddenly started smiling and saying hello. Which is heartening. When I was expecting BB and carried on donning my trainers it wasn’t long before I discovered people seem to view pregnancy as some sort of illness, requiring one to sit on the sofa and eat crisps for nine months. I also discovered – and became increasingly infuriated by – people who dished out their advice on the subject despite having no medical knowledge whatsoever. ‘I’m not ill, I’m pregnant’ I would find myself saying over and over again. Having run six to nine miles at least twice a week for more than 10 years, there was no question in my mind that hanging up my trainers in favour of the sofa would be more of a shock to my system than continuing to pound the pavements. Every pregnancy book you find will tell you – assuming your blood pressure is ok – to continue your normal levels of activity as far as possible. What’s more, I love it. Why would I stop? […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: chicken soup for the soul (or baby)

Week: 23 Waist: 36 inches (+0.5 inches, possibly owing to Misery Guts’ work trip to the Cadbury factory) Feeling: Chickeny I’ve developed my first pregnancy craving: chicken soup. And not just any old chicken soup. It has to be fresh (tins are a no-no), it has to have actual pieces of chicken in and there can’t be any other ingredient other than chicken (sweetcorn is the stuff of the devil). I realise it’s been one of the hottest weeks of the year, but I can’t get enough of the stuff. I’m sipping as I write. It’s now got to the point that my local Tesco has been sold out of its Creamy Chicken Soup for three days in a row, and I’ve had no option but to move on to the Finest version instead, which oddly isn’t as nice (forget Covent Garden, have you seen the fat content?) […]

Miscarriage care campaign victory!

Just two weeks in there’s a victory in the next phase of Mumsnet’s Miscarriage Care Campaign: following a live webchat with mums last week shadow health secretary Andy Burnham MP has pledged to include better miscarriage care in Labour’s 2015 manifesto. At first I wasn’t sure if victory was the right word to describe the commitment – the cynic in me asks what good being included in Labour’s manifesto will actually do – but the fact is that without Mumsnet raising the profile of this issue and without mums like me sharing our first-hand experiences and demanding action this wouldn’t have happened. So in my book that’s a victory. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: why can’t I just sit back and relax?

Week: 22 Waist: 35.5 inches (no change) Feeling: Like an overactive worrywart With the 20 week scan out of the way and all looking good, I’m now worrying the baby is going to come early. Too early. I’ve spent the last four months silently praying we make it beyond the next milestone: 8 weeks, when my last two babies died, 10 weeks, when the last miscarriage was actually diagnosed, 12 weeks, when we see whether everything appears to be ok or not, 16 weeks, when apparently the risk of miscarriage dramatically drops, and then 20 weeks, when again we see whether everything appears to be ok or not. I hadn’t really allowed myself to think beyond the 20 week scan, and now we’re here it’s almost as though my subconscious self is saying ‘you must have something to worry about’ and finds a new anxiety to harbour. […]

Why is NHS miscarriage care still so poor?

Ok, so I said I didn’t want to write about my miscarriages. However, this week Mumsnet published the results of its Miscarriage Care Survey showing that the treatment and support women receive following miscarriage is often less than ideal and fails to meet official national guidelines. Did you know that half of women who miscarry have to wait more than 24 hours for a scan to find out if their baby is still alive, and are treated alongside women with healthy pregnancies? Or that 58% of women wanted counselling after miscarrying, but only 12% were offered it? In a bid to improve NHS miscarriage care and lessen the trauma of pregnancy loss Mumsnet is calling for the three main political parties to pledge to improve the system, based on its Code of Care, by the end of the next parliament. Of course achieving this means women like me need to speak out about our experience, or nothing will change. There is no doubt elements of my care were less than ideal, and despite considerable – and unusual – encouragement from Misery Guts I have felt absolutely no desire to blog about it. But if sharing my story means another woman doesn’t have to face what I did, I will. So here goes: […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarrigae: the 20 week scan

Week: 21 Waist: 35.5 inches (+ 0.5 inches, possibly owing to indulgent weekend mini-break) Feeling: Relieved It was the day I’ve been looking forward to and dreading in equal measure: the 20 week scan. The scarily named ‘anomaly’ scan, or the day we found out whether our longed for second baby is developing as he or she should, or whether something had gone amiss. Remarkably – and impossibly it seems to me given all that’s happened – everything appears to be as it should be: two arms, two legs, four chambers in the heart, a butterfly brain and blood rushing in and out of all the right places. I can hardly believe it. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: my story

It’s been more than six weeks since I first announced we were expecting baby number two, and I think I’ve mentioned the pregnancy in a grand total of no posts. There is a very good reason for this: I daren’t. You see, there was more that went on in the crummy mummy household than met the eye in 2013 – two miscarriages in the space of six months to be exact. While my fellow mummy bloggers have been excitedly charting the days and weeks of their latest pregnancies, I have been too terrified to contemplate next week, never mind next month, praying that this time nothing will go wrong. Instead I have been quietly ticking off each day, and silently congratulating myself on each week. It’s been the longest four months of my life. But next week we will reach a milestone: 20 weeks, or half way there. And the little hands and feet starting to nudge me are finally giving me the confidence to record the experience. It looks like I might really become a mummy again. […]