Billy

Its been a while since I last wrote. I suppose a lot of it is because I’ve been having some down time to heal from the miscarriage alongside dealing with ANOTHER lockdown with my daughter at home as somebody in her year at school caught Covid.

But this post is in full devotion to a special boy in my life who I met in 2008.

At the time, had been having a bit of a tough part in my life with my moods out of control whilst living at my mums and the newest solution for me to “get over it” was to move to a whole new location to try a new start. As my dad had moved to Scarborough quite some time earlier, he had kindly offered to take me in. I was really grateful however I barely had any kind of a relationship with my dad only seeing him on the odd weekend since being a child. I remember it was quite an awkward time for a while, we awkwardly shuffled around each other not really knowing much about each others routine around the house. I think we both subconsciously were praying for a bit of a distraction.. que Billy.

I remember the first time I ever set eyes on Billy. My dad and I had visited a rescue home out in the sticks near to Whitby, I can never remember the name of the place I just remember it was somewhere near to where the ITV drama “Heartbeat” was once filmed! The noise in the kennels was deafening but one bark sounded more desperate than the others, more scared and I was drawn into it. There he was, a little shadow in the corner barking his head of, he had the head of an German Shepherd and body of a corgi! But even though he wasn’t the most attractive dog in there that day I instantly felt a bond and we took him home as the best distraction tool ever known.

To cut a long story short, alot of stuff happened in between then and now with billy being with me through thick and thin, various house moves and alot of emotional trauma but also some great times too. After a few years, I had to move into a one bed flat meaning Billy couldnt come so he ended up getting adopted by my mum! He lived with my mum up until yesterday when his old age finally got the better of him.

Its strange as Billy was around for such a long time that I almost put him to the back of my mind. He was like a part of the furniture at my mums. But he always came up with his wagging tail to greet you no matter how stiff his joints were or if he could even see you through his cataracts. Towards the end, I think we all were expecting Billy to go but he outlived everyone’s expectations to a grand old age of almost 20! but for some reason it still seems to be hitting me harder than I expected. I think it got me thinking of all those years ago when we rescued him and it actually made me think that at the time, he rescued me.

Dogs are emotional creatures and I think the bond you create with them can be unbreakable. I get really annoyed when people use the phrase “Its just a pet” because they aren’t just a pet. They are possibly the most loving part of our family.

Rest in Peace my Billy boy.

Adopted April 2008- Died November 2020 xx

The pregnancy that wasn’t.

If you have already read some of my previous posts you’ll know that I was considering whether or not to have a second child and the consequences that came with that, especially the mental wellbeing consequences.

Well, I did decide to take the leap and let things happen because remember, I’m a great believer in everything happens for a reason right?! Sadly it would appear the gods aren’t in favour this time of my decision.

Miscarriage – My own experience with a Blighted Ovum.

I just want to start by saying until something like miscarriage happens to you its so hard to visualize just how traumatic it can be. We all know the statistics and how common it is to suffer miscarriage especially in the early days however, I for one never really sat and thought about it. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always had huge empathy for those around me that have gone through it but nobody actually tells you HOW much of a long, messy, emotionally tiring and not to mention painful time it can be.

I’m still quite raw as mine has just happened in the last couple of weeks which is why I wanted to write about it now. To catch the emotions and hopefully help me heal and move on. Writing has always been good at helping me.

I had gone along for my first scan (12 week) last Tuesday alone as due to the covid rules partners sill aren’t allowed to come (I’ll try not to lose my rag over that situation) I didn’t mind as I thought I could video call him whilst inside if there was much to see. That idea went straight out the window as I entered the cubicle to be greeted by a very short and stern looking sonographer. “phones switched off in here please” she said. Although slightly disappointed I put my phone in my bag and got prepared on the bed.

After about 5 minutes of prodding and poking but no words the lady then asked me to go for a wee as she would need to do a trans-vaginal ultrasound (and yes, it is as bad as it sounds) I asked if there was a problem and why couldnt I see much on the screen but she turned the screen away and said she just needed a better look as I could be slightly earlier than we expected. I went to the toilet with a really bad feeling. I knew then something wasnt right but returned to the room with a smile on my face so not to look silly if everything was actaully ok!

On the screen I stared at the black hole on the screen. A black hole with nothing visible inside. No yolk, no fetal pole …nothing. To be honest i knew then that this was not going to be a successful pregnancy but to follow protocol the sonographer explained I would need to go for some blood tests to see what’s happening. I played along.

I had blood tests every 48 hours which kept consistently showing that my levels were high enough to be carrying a foetus…somewhere! Just not where it was meant to be. The stress of limbo and the unknown took its toll on me and by the Saturday my blood pressure had gone through the roof and I had started getting bad cramping. I stayed in hospital all day waiting for the doctor to tell me whether or not he thought I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy (foetus grows in fallopian tube) I knew this to be dangerous which added to my stress. I begged to go home to be with my partner. He had waited in the car for the whole thing. Not being able to be a part of it or grieve himself, not being able to console me when I cried and not even being able to listen to the doctors when I had zoned out (thanks a fucking bunch Boris..happy thoughts..happy thoughts…) That night in bed I thought I was dying! I was bleeding and cramping and crying and almost passing out with the pain. It felt like actual labour. I called the ward I had been on that day and they explained I was most definitely experiencing a miscarriage (yeah, no shit sherlock)

To be honest it was a relief. Not because my pregnancy was failing but because I’d had enough and I wanted it all to be over. After everything, the most likely diagnosis for the loss was something called a ‘Blighted ovum’ (see description below) My body had thought it was still pregnant even weeks after the egg had stopped growing. This made me feel strangely embarrassed. I felt awful that I had been telling every Tom, Dick and Harry my news even when I technically had no news to tell. It was also a harder pill to swallow as I had got myself over excited to the point I was googling baby names and planning the baby’s room. Silly me. I have had to spend the past few days re-texting those people telling them I’m actually not pregnant now. That in itself has been pretty rough.

Its clear to me now that I really did want another baby and the last two weeks have honestly been nothing less than hell. I had all the pregnancy symptoms and stopped all the bad habits i.e. caffeine and alcohol for almost 3 months. I had felt sick and tired with boobs that felt like boulders for 3 months. All for absolutely no reason at all. This is a type of miscarriage nobody talks about. The loss feels real but the baby was never there? So now, I sit here writing it all down hoping for a bit more clarity from the fog I’ve been in but its still yet to clear.

I know I will recover from this but now I ask myself whether I was only ever meant to be a mother to one? Whether this will happen again? Whether this is the clear sign I should take note of? Or whether I need to forget everything I ever believed about how things happen for reasons and try again. Time will tell I guess but in the meantime I will hug my daughter a little tighter at night and be thankful for her and her health.

Blighted ovum (anembryonic pregnancy)

Blighted ovum and anembryonic pregnancy are both words used to describe a particular type of early miscarriage. You might also hear it called an early embryonic loss or early embryonic demise.

A blighted ovum occurs when the cells of a baby stop developing early on, and the tiny embryo is reabsorbed. However, the pregnancy sac, where the baby should develop, continues to grow.

Doctors think that a blighted ovum pregnancy happens because of an issue with the early development of the baby – for example, a chromosome error. It is extremely unlikely to be caused by anything you or your partner did or didn’t do.

A blighted ovum is diagnosed by ultrasound scan The scan shows a pregnancy sac, which doesn’t have a developing baby inside. This is sometimes described as showing ‘no fetal pole’.

This kind of miscarriage is usually discovered between the 8th and 13th week of pregnancy, sometimes at a routine early scan.

In this kind of miscarriage, the pregnancy hormone levels in your body can stay high for some time after the baby has died, so pregnancy tests can be positive and you may still experience pregnancy symptoms such as sore breasts, nausea and tiredness. Because of this, you may have no idea that anything is wrong, and being diagnosed can come as a real shock.