Pregnancy, what the books won’t tell you

So I left you last time on a high. After all I’d been though I was finally pregnant! Needless to say I was ecstatic however this was mainly overshadowed by intense fear. I would hazard a guess that I was not alone in this fear. When you’ve tried so hard, waited so long and been though so much to get to that point, paranoia kicks in big time!

I proceeded to buy every book I could about what I should and shouldn’t do during pregnancy and followed it to the letter. Despite doing everything right I was still so on edge, every twinge was terrifying. I spent more time at the hospital than anywhere else, constantly checking things were ok. The hospital were great with me to be honest, they understood my journey. I had more reassurance scans in the first 20 weeks than you could ever imagine, I had an album already full with the scan photos!

I made a deal with myself that if I got to the 20 week scan and things were ok I would bloody chill out, after all my books implied that after this time it was all about getting ready, making birth plans and all that other lovely stuff.

So my 20 week scan went well, we were having a girl and life was fantastic! I’m the weeks that followed we went furniture and pram shopping, I purchased an obscene number of beautiful tiny dresses. I was honestly having the time if my life!

Unfortunately the books lie. They don’t give you all the information, they only tell you half a story. We were about to find this out the hard way.

I went for a check up only to find that my cervix had failed. I’d never heard of this condition at the time but I had what’s called an “incompetent cervix”. What kind of shitty name is that, talk about making you feel crap about yourself! There is not one mother I’ve met over the years, whose had difficulties in pregnancy, that doesn’t blame herself. I know that self loathing feeling only too well. The term “incompetent cervix” makes you feel just that, incompetent.

I was admitted to hospital straight away. What followed from that was over a week of tests, surgery, dramatic blood loss, medication and a life that consisted of laying as still as possible, counting down the hours, in hope that I wouldn’t go into labour. It was like a nightmare that you couldn’t wake from. Every hour felt like a lifetime.

Sadly, nothing was working. Our little girl was going to come early and there was very little we could do to stop it at this sage. I finally went into labour a week after being admitted. This marked the start of the worse 48 hours of my life. Very little pain relief was offered, I had little to no sleep. Many women out there who have given birth can relate to how hard labour is. Normally at the end of that process it is all made worth it when a beautiful healthy baby is handed to you.

Unfortunately I wasn’t going to get that light at the end of my tunnel. With every contraction I tried so hard not to push as doing so would bring my daughter closer to danger. Sadly nature can’t be stopped. I gave birth to our daughter Isla in the darkness of early morning. She was completely perfect, ten little fingers, ten little toes, beautiful black hair and massive feet which she came out kicking! This was the moment I’d waited for my whole life. This made the last four years fade into an insignificant memory. She was here and she was amazing.

Sadly her time on earth was to be cut short. She was too poorly, too weak and just not ready. I held her in my arms as she silently slipped away. She was gone and I was broken.

The books just don’t prepare you for this. I’m sure it’s because they don’t want to frighten people, however, to be be honest, I’d rather have know that things can go wrong. You may be shocked to know that currently 16 babies die every day in the uk before, during or shortly after their birth. That’s a heartbreakingly large number yet no one discusses it. Not even those dam baby books.

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