I’ve not written a post in a really long time now and the title says it all, but I didn’t want this blog to disappear into the ether without any kind of resolution. So here goes….
Yes, I did get pregnant. After 7 months of trying to conceive, we conceived. Those seven months felt like forever, and I know that is a far shorter period than thousands upon thousands of other couples spend.
We found out at 16 weeks that I had low blood flow through the placenta, and this was also then revealed as a possible cause for losing Isabella. We only knew I had it this time around because I was offered an additional scan to check, just like a normal ultrasound; these are not offered until you have lost a baby before or have problems already. I was prescribed aspirin every day, and I found a special diet to follow to improve my blood volume and placenta health (more on this below). Our circumstance got better and, although we initially were told we may struggle to get to viability at 28 weeks, I actually chose to be induced at 37 weeks.
She was back to back and eventually, after much turning and turning back again, and pushing and dilating, and lots of gas and air and a lovely injection of something or other in my leg, I had a cesarean. And my baby girl was delivered, with a lovely quick cry, and Daddy cut the cord in his scrubs and remarked at the pinkness of my intestines as he did so (!). I was worried it would all be too much, and be too similar to Bella’s birth, but it was totally different and so was she.
I always think about the little two year old that should be running around too, causing chaos. Having another baby has not made me forget her. Sometimes, I accidentally call Sienna Isabella, and sometimes so have other people. And that is really lovely, because who doesn’t mix up siblings’ names? Why should we be any different?
The only advice I can give is to think very critically about our culture and pregnancy. I strongly believe that, had I followed a more nutrient dense diet specifically with building a little body in mind, I would not have lost Isabella. I found the Brewer Pregnancy Diet online after hearing about our complications with Sienna and feeling terrified about the risk of losing her the same way – our situation improved when I was following the diet, as hard as it was to wolf down all that food, and it makes me furious when I see the general advice peddled about not gaining too much weight, not eating anything extra, all underpinned by threats of developing pre-eclampsia (that is actually argued to be caused by malnutrition). It’s not how much you eat, it is about what you eat. Your body is performing something incredible and you need to fuel it properly. I would never have said I was malnutritioned with Bella, but I was. With Sienna, eating properly turned our circumstance around.
I’m not going to say, ‘miracles happen if you believe in them enough’ or ‘never give up’ or ‘your time will come’. Because sometimes they don’t, and sometimes people have to, and for some they just never come. The fact that we have Sienna doesn’t mean that I was blessed by some higher being, that I deserve to have a living baby any more than the next woman who can’t and I’m no better a mother than she would be given the chance; although I do think that losing Isabella has made me a better mother to Sienna, and that in turn makes me love Isabella more and also feel guiltier for her too.
As far as I believe, there is no great purpose or plan that can make sense of fertility and loss. You just have to do your best, stay as sane as you can any way you know how and remember all the good things you have. Some days it is harder than others. All I can sa is that family is about love, not blood.