My Journey to Solo Motherhood: The First Year- Episode 22 B

I didn’t plan to have such a long gap between posts but after taking myself back to that first scan and reliving that moment so vividly I knew I needed a break before finishing the story. So somewhat renewed and refreshed I feel ready to share today’s post which continues on from the last.

Trigger for pregnancy loss, please read with care

Jan 2014

I went to my local early pregnancy unit the following day willing with all my heart that I’d hear better news, that the first sonographer had made a mistake and it’d all been a horrible nightmare, but again they confirmed the worst.

I was moved into a tiny room with no windows. Furnished only with a small sofa and a plastic chair it felt like a coffin, which suited me as I didn’t want to see the sky outside and be reminded that life continued while my baby’s has stopped.

A Dr eventually came to talk to me, explaining that they’d need to repeat the scan in a few days to confirm as occasionally a heartbeat could been seen in a later second scan. I held on to this teeny bit of hope and booked in the second scan as late as possible, hoping to give my baby enough time to prove the first scan wrong.

I was given a leaflet from the Miscarriage Association about missed miscarriage and wasadvised to think about which option I wanted.

-Natural miscarriage, which would just be waiting for it to happen naturally, but there would be no way of knowing if this would happen in days or weeks

-Medical management, which would involve inserting a pessary into my vagina which would open the cervix and induce the miscarriage

-Or Surgical management, a procedure under general anaesthetic where they remove the baby surgically

I went home and furiously searched the internet for stories of scans that’d been wrong and babies that had survived an early diagnosis of no heartbeat

The following 10 days were unbearable, I didn’t feel able to tell people my baby had died as I was still hoping against all odds the repeat scan would show a heartbeat. But deep down I knew and I didn’t know how to behave, walking around with my baby within me but no longer alive. I lay on the sofa all day watching Miss Marple while simultaneously doing jigsaws or adult colouring in books.

A few days later my birthday loomed and I was persuaded to go to a previously planned lunch with friends and family. I’m not sure how I made it out of the house but somehow I managed to dress and brush my hair. But I spent the whole time terrified I’d start bleeding and was glad to leave and hide in the comfort and isolation of my own home.

Birthdays have always held a little bit of sadness for me since that day.

Friends and family kept in touch with flowers and cards, sending text messages and dropping round food but I could also see the pain in their eyes at the loss for them too and the discomfort of not knowing how to help me

Days later the repeat scan confirmed the devastating news and I choose to go on to have medical management. Surgery felt too clinical and unloving (not an opinion I now hold, just a snapshot of how my mind worked at the time). I felt I needed to be present to bring my baby earth side.

I was sent home to self administer the pessary and advised to take paracetamol and ibuprofen

During the night I gave birth to my baby, my first love. I say give birth because it actually felt just how I’d imagined labour to be. The pain was excruciating and I had to rock back and forth on my hands and knees for hours while vomiting into a bowl.

I experienced a popping sensation and felt my baby leave me.

I’d been anxious about what to do with my baby when I passed them but some quotes and advice on the Miscarriage Association helped me prepare, I knew I might instinctively flush the toilet and that that was ok.

I bought a starfish charm and it helped me to think of my baby flushed out to sea, travelling the worlds oceans under the starlit skies

I still wear that charm today ✨

I took 4 weeks off work and then things kind of went back to normal, even though I felt anything other than normal

My friends and family were wonderfully supportive but most of them didn’t really understand. I did find a lot of support from online groups, being able to talk, day or night to people who really got it made a huge difference

And being creative was another way I managed to curate my emotions.

I let words flow from my pen and drew how my heart felt

I’ve wondered a lot while writing this what it is I hope to gain from sharing this story and to be honest I’m not sure.

In part it’s because I want to share my Solo Motherhood story and I can’t share that part without too sharing this

But also I think I just want it in writing, as evidence, that my babies existed and I loved and love them all ✨✨✨✨✨✨

For those that know the pain I stand with you

Tasha xxx

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My Journey to Solo Motherhood: The First Year- Episode 22 A

23rd January 2014

7 weeks pregnant and my first scan

*Trigger warning for pregnancy loss, please read with care*

I don’t have any more diary posts to refer to from this point onwards but what happened will be forever etched into my memory.

I left work early with giddy excitement and drove to the clinic where I met my mum.

One of the nurses I knew well was scanning me, it would be a vaginal scan at 7 weeks pregnant, the plan was to confirm a viable pregnancy and then they would discharge me from their care on to the local community midwives. I’d already booked the appointment with my midwife for later that week and was really looking forward to meeting her and making it official.

I was quite used to internal ultrasound scans now so hopped on the bed and relaxed my legs into the accepted position. The room was so quiet and I held my breath waiting for confirmation that all was well,

But that reassurance never came.

The seconds expanded into minutes and the walls contracted in around me as the nurse adjusted the probe around to get a better picture, but I already knew something wasn’t right. She placed a hand on my knee and said “I’m sorry there’s no heartbeat”

I wanted to jump up off the couch and run as fast as I could away from that place, back to before I’d heard those words.

The nurse went on to say that baby was measuring just 2 days behind so it looked as though they’d died just days ago and I hadn’t realised.

How could I not know my baby had died?

I’d still been talking to them every day, playing them audio books every night and dreaming of our life together.

Surely I should have realised 😢

The nurse rang the Early Pregnancy Unit and made me an appointment the next day while I put my underwear and tights back on (that image is so clear in my mind, I wonder why my memory decided to hold onto that?)

My mum wanted to drive me home but I just wanted to retreat and hibernate and pretend it wasn’t happening. I drove myself home despite her protestations, got into my bed, buried myself under the covers and cried and cried.

I asked my mum to tell everyone what had happened as I couldn’t bear to say the words aloud, or even write the words down, it would have made it true and I couldn’t bear that.

That night I hugged my belly one last time and talked to my baby.

I often think about how my experience of loss may have differed because I was doing this without a partner. In many ways I think it was easier for me. All I wanted to do was cut myself off from the world. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for a partner in this situation, feeling cut off and unable to help, while also carrying the burden of their own grief too.

I know my parents and family grieved as well, and my friends were so supportive but I was able to be selfish in my grief. In the days that followed I’d spend hours doing nothing but blindly watching Miss Marple episodes while making jigsaw puzzles or colouring in, anything to keep my mind occupied with unimportant stuff.

I could be selfish in my grief as I had been selfish in my love and I didn’t have to worry about anyone else.

This story continues but for now I want to pause just there:

Most of you lovely readers who follow me on Instagram or who’ve read my profile will know how my story ends but there’s still so much that’s been written in between.

I’ll be continuing the story of my 1st baby and my 1st miscarriage in my next blog post but for those that don’t want to read please feel free to jump ahead (it’s important to protect yourself if you’re feeling vulnerable at the moment). I’ll be filling in the next part of my journey soon.

My stories of loss, longing and of trying for a baby on my own are so intertwined my posts will likely always contain an element of the three but I will try and keep the topics separate where possible to allow those following my my solo mother by choice Journey to jump ahead if needed and vice versa.

For tonight I’m thinking of all of you who’ve lost babies

Sending love to you all and blowing kisses to the night sky to all our babies gone too soon but loved so much ✨

My Journey to Solo Motherhood: The First Year- Episode 21

6 weeks pregnant

I’m totally obsessed! All I can think about is babies and baby things!

I’ve been looking at prams and baby changing bags and I’ve started a folder on my home screen full of baby items I like.

I don’t have any obvious symptoms but I randomly threw up in the car this week! Is this the start of morning sickness? How exciting! (yes I know that sounds ridiculous 😂)

Baby is currently the size of a pea

I’ve bought some ginger biscuits because that’s what you do when pregnant 😂

My 7 week scan is booked for the 23rd January at my clinic, not long now 😬

My Journey to Solo Motherhood: The First Year- Episode 20

I’m 5 weeks pregnant and I’ve been checking out this teeny baby’s progress every day.

The Tommy’s website says:

It’s week five and your baby’s tiny face is already starting to form – the beginnings of a tiny nose and eyes are already taking shape.

My baby has a face already 👶🏻 🥰🥰🥰

https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-week-by-week/5-weeks-pregnant-whats-happening

I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of baby names for years but this week I brush it off and start looking at names with more purpose.

I have so many names for girls and only a couple for boys so far.

I’ve worked out my due date to be the 11th September 2014. I’d hoped for a September baby and can’t quite believe my dream might actually come true ☺️

My Journey to Solo Motherhood: The First Year- Episode 19

January 2nd 2014

The Two Week Wait becomes the Three Week Wait

So it seems this fertility business is all about being patient ⏳. I phoned my clinic this morning to tell them the good news. They are delighted and they book me in for a scan in three weeks times when baby will be 7 weeks gestation.

They tell me to take progesterone suppositories as my luteal phase is short (that’s the second half of my cycle) which may suggest a low progesterone level.

I’ve never given myself a suppository before although as a nurse I’ve given plenty! But it’s surprising what you’ll do if it’s important enough for you!

My baby is the size of a poppy seed .

I’m so distracted at work! I want to tell the everyone I’m pregnant, I want to shout it from the roof tops and broadcast it on the radio! I settle for telling my one office buddy!

My Journey to Solo Motherhood: The First Year- Episode 18

New Years Eve

I tested again today and the second line was darker which is really reassuring.

What an amazing present for the new year!

I go to one of my cousin’s houses for a New Years Eve Party and have an amazing time dancing and singing despite being totally sober. One of my cousins pops a party popper in my face and it makes me jump out of my skin. I immediately feel really protective of my little dot of a baby and hug my tummy protectively. Im already totally in love 💓

Here’s are some of the first photos of me pregnant from New Years Eve 2013 🎉

Me and my cousins x

My Journey to Solo Motherhood: The First Year- Episode 17

30th Dec 2013

Can you see them!!!

Very faint but there are two lines?

Ive just phoned my mum, text my best friends and messaged my smbc friend, she asked how I felt and when I was due, I hadn’t even worked that out yet!

By IUI date I’ll be due on the 11th September 2014! It feels really scary saying that. Scared as in terrified of things going wrong but I also feel really positive about everything 🙂

I walk into town, although it feels like I’m floating, to buy another test. I am absolutely terrified it will have become negative already and I feel sick waiting for the results to flash up.

How will I tell people I was wrong if it comes up negative

But I am ecstatic to see it written in words

PREGNANT 1-2 weeks

I actually feel like I’m glowing.

I’m sure people can guess just by looking at me!