So I started writing this a while ago and it was meant to be an exciting, hey look at our news. Hah!
But life doesn’t always go to plan does it? In fact every time I come to add something to this it gets slightly more mad.
Most of you will know about our little boy Archie. Jumping back on the pregnancy bandwagon after that was a hard one but we did, then lost a little girl earlier this year in March. The Royal Woman’s Hospital in Melbourne were lovely but in the end no one has any idea why it happened. Not much help or hope in that sentence.
Then in April we had a chemical pregnancy – google it – the only positive was I knew from the start there was something wrong. So May rolled around and right on time I spent the afternoon with stomach cramps. Waited patiently all weekend and took a pregnant test on the Monday and up popped a bright, in your face double line. We’re back on the horse, but basically living in denial. Not thinking about it, not planning, not hoping, just moving week to week. And slowly moving at that.
I booked into the Drs at week 8, figured that gave it plenty of time for things to go wrong before I started to make plans. I lay down as the Dr fished out the ultrasound and there was our little blob with a flickering heartbeat, snuggled in and fighting. Now it becomes more real, and more terrifying. Because 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 20 weeks. All those scans are a million miles away and so many things can go wrong. In fact sometimes it can all go right and still go wrong.
At this point Bob pops into existence (go with me on this one, it’s a fun ride). So Bob is in charge of my uterus. He’s in early fifties, bald, dresses in a bright orange high-vis jacket, jeans and a lovely yellow hard hat. He’s always got a cigar between his teeth (the no smoking issues apparently don’t stretch down there) and looks continually stressed about everything. Bob has made it as a man in a woman’s world and he’s damn proud but lately he’s been feeling a failure. His straight 3 for 3 batting average is out the window and he’s beginning to think he’s no longer up to the job. In fact after the chemical pregnancy he was all ready to hang up his hat and retire. There was a lot of time spent knocking back beers trying to work out where it all went wrong. Maybe his parents were right, maybe a man wasn’t meant for this job. Then one morning he decided to give it one last go, he was going to suck it up and make a damn baby stick!
He was down at the site early that day, yelling and organising. ‘Now is not the time for second guessing ourself, we are uterus men and we will make a damn baby!” He can be a pretty impressive when he’s on a roll.
When that egg came in he took no second chance. “Get me the jack hammer Mick, don’t be a wuss, dig it in there!” In my head lots of men in work gear are battling to dig out a hole deep enough to shove the egg in as far as it will go. The egg meanwhile is wrapped in a little blanket and being gently rocked by a little old lady with a bag full of knitting and glasses on a cord. She occasionally sighs and makes grumbling noises about the time it’s all taking but Bob won’t be rushed. Not until he is completely satisfied is that egg going in.
For the next 8 weeks Bob has hardly slept or eaten. He watches that egg grow slowly into a baby. Occasionally he’ll use his walkie talkie to demand more folic acid or throw down some more hormones.
“Increase the hormones!”
“Bob, no, she can’t take any more!”
“Did I stutter, get me some fucking hormones!” (Like I said Bob is very stressed at the moment.) But I would also appreciate a slight break in the large amounts of hormones surging through my system which was apparently higher than any previous pregnancy – maybe a bit of overkill Bob?
Week 12 comes and Jamie and I head to Melbourne at the Royal Woman’s for the first scan. Lovely people who are quick to point out the heartbeat the moment the screen lights on, who tell me everything is looking great, the heart (the size of your little fingernail) is looking symmetrical – although no guarantees. But so far we have made the hurdles. And as I sit in the cafeteria after the scan it’s all a little too much because I am starting to hope. This feels right but a very loud voice in my head is saying, don’t hope, don’t plan because last time we did this and it all went to shit. Now I am in twilight time, because last time I am well aware that our little girl died and for almost 4 weeks I did not know. I went on starting to make plans and get excited not knowing it was already over.
And this is where I meet Milton. Milton is in charge of my anxiety. He has no worries about his job performance, he loves pressing all those big colourful buttons and watching my anxiety levels hit the roof. Mostly he does this after slicking his hair down with a bit of spit, tucking his shirt into his trousers and adjusting his thick black rimmed glasses. Milton enjoys his job a little too much, and more than that he takes great pleasure in watching Bob like a hawk and then throwing the anxiety switch the moment Bob takes his foot off the hormone pedal. Milton is a smug, up his own arse bastard. It’s completely his fault I end up in the Drs like a looney claiming I just know something is wrong. First at Week 10, then week 13 and these in between all my other usual visits. I should get frequent flyer miles or something. But apparently Milton wasn’t too far off the truth. Still a smug bastard though.
So week 15 I am up the Base having a general check up and the Dr struggles to find a heartbeat, he switches to the scanner and eventually he says he sees a flicker. But the baby isn’t moving, weird repeat of my week 13 panic visit to the Drs. I put it out of my mind and a week later we heading back to Melbourne for a week 16 scan.
The kids are with us and we pile into the scanning room. The moment the baby pops onto the screen I know it is all over. It’s little womb room has shrunk around it, and our boy is curled up unmoving with no heart beat. It’s like a horrible deja vu moment. Except this time I have to explain it to the kids who are sitting in the corner watching me.
So now we are home, and tomorrow I head back into the base to start the whole rollercoaster of it all again. And I know how this will play out. They will find nothing to pin it on, it’ll be just one of those things. And everyone will say the right things about how it’s just unlucky and I am no more likely to have to happen again. But we all know now that that is bollocks. Unfortunate and horrible bollocks, but it’s a nice lie to tell someone when really you have no idea what to say.
So tonight Bob, Milton and I are having the one cruiser we can find in the house. We are raising a bottle to our little boy who started so well but just wasn’t made for this world.
That’s how it was meant to end. Instead things just a little more chaotic, because honestly if you are going to do something you might as well throw in a late night ambulance ride just to keep things fun. After last time I decided at home medical miscarriage was the way to go. The downside is you have to save everything in what can only be described as a large yogurt pot. The upside is I get to lie in bed with Jamie and watch movies and slightly pretend being home is not a terrible thing. Emma took Zachary – who thought all his dreams had come at once, hours and hours with his new best friend Rosie. Utter bliss. The other 2 spent the day at school and the evening at Gusty’s place. Peter picked them all up and Jamie tucked them into bed before they could really notice what was going on.
The evening trickled on and everything seemed to be going to plan. Quite a few tears and a large amount of blood, but not enough to get overly worried. We kept a watch on it, made some check-in phone calls to the hospital and kept waiting. I am lying in bed watching Suits and all of a sudden my heart starts to race, I wait a few more moments before clambering out of bed, heading to the bathroom while telling J I feel funny. Feeling funny leads to a a rather large amount of loss of blood and passing out having convulsions in the bathroom. In hindsight I think I got the easy route, Jamie had visions of having to raise 3 kids all alone and promptly went into a massive panic. I remember coming to on the bathroom floor as he raced in and out on the phone to 000 begging me not to leave him. I got to lie on the floor and alternatively drip with sweat and shake with cold while Jamie ran a marathon between the front door and the bathroom.
Linda arrived – faster than the ambulance in fact – and took care of the kids. The ambulance pulled in and took control. Loaded me in and eventually found a vein to shove fluid into before heading to the base. This was followed by 1 o’clock in the morning emergency surgery to remove a placenta that Bob was apparently not willing to part with. Bob is currently on sabbatical and will be until further notice. Bad Bob!
Linda looked after the children for us, and Peter collected Jamie at 3am when I was out of surgery and with it enough to send him home. It was not the way we wanted to end the night but honestly it was good to have it all finally done. It was nice not to have to worry, to just let the constant stream of nurses take readings, and keep filling me with fluid.Now we are properly home, just in time for Dad to arrive and school holidays to begin. I am looking forward to lying in bed, getting my head around it all and making new plans for the next 6 months of life. I cannot begin to say how grateful I am for everyone who helped us out over the last week.It is nice to know that you can always rely on friends and family to step and take over when everything goes pear shaped. My silver lining for the week. Love you guys xxx