I started to write letters to the baby and even started buying clothes, a bouncer and an activity mat. We decided not to tell anyone else apart from my mum as it was our exciting little secret, we also decided not to find out the sex either interestingly enough (where as this time round we have done both). At 8 weeks or so my mum came to visit, I mentioned that oddly enough I hadn't felt sick for a couple of weeks, later that weekend I noticed a bit of spotting but it still didn't occur to me that anything could be wrong at all. My mum advised me to get myself checked out at the EPU (early pregnancy unit) on the Monday just for peace of mind. She came along with me and the scan showed a healthy little bean with a strong viable heartbeat. I was told this would now serve as my dating scan and that I was due the end of July. The only thing I worried about for the rest of that day was that my due date was pretty much the same day as Tom's sister's wedding and that we would have to tell her that we wouldn't be able to make it!
Midway through that week I started bleeding again, I checked the information the EPU had given me and assured myself as their literature stated that this would be normal for a few days. By the weekend I knew all wasn't right. Calling the NHS helpline the lady said I probably had miscarried, even though in my heart I knew that I had (I didn't feel pregnant at all by this time) I broke down on the phone, I couldn't speak. She asked me if I had anyone with me and that I needed to get it confirmed at the hospital on Monday but I couldn't answer her, I've never felt so much pain in my whole life. Through the rest of that weekend Tom tried to reassure me that it could just be the same as before and that I should try and not upset myself until I knew, but I knew already. Monday confirmed that they couldn't find a heartbeat although the baby was still there there was nothing they could do. There was no explanation as to what had gone wrong. I was given the option of a medical or 'natural' miscarriage and chose the latter knowing I would not want to spend the day/night in hospital rather than in my own bed. Due to this however it took another week of bleeding and on Boxing day 2010 I finally miscarried.
The days before I had felt strong bending over type cramps but I didn't expect the actual amount of pain you go through having a miscarriage at this point (10 weeks) I woke up around 5am or so doubled over with pain, the only thing I could think to do was to rock back and forth on my hands and knees, Tom made me a hot water bottle which helped a little but I really had to bite down to not scream out. I'm not sure how this feeling compares with any stages of labour but I sometimes imagine it might be similar to the start, either way it hurt like hell.
The reason I am talking about this now almost a year later is that this year on the 12th I will be celebrating my baby shower with my friends and family. My lovely sister in law has been arranging this for me and I am so thankful for the love and support of most of my family. Our baby is due this year around the same time as our other baby died (and I do think of it as a baby). I think its quite poignant/coincidental that these things are happening at the same kind of times. My mum once told me that some people like to think that miscarried babies were just not meant to be at that time but come back when they are ready. I like to think that this baby is the same one we lost but just coming back when it is ready.
Last year we decided to forget about christmas all together for 2011, we were going to cancel it, not put up decorations, not have a dinner and just go about it like it was any normal day. We knew that this time of year when everyone is so happy it would just serve as reminder of the worst time of our lives. I even thought about volunteering somewhere on Christmas day so I wouldn't end up wallowing in self pity. Now our plans for Christmas are rather different but there will still be a part of me that feels sad for what we lost. Although we are so excited for what is going to be (in the next six-ish weeks or so!). I don't know how I would be behaving right now if I didn't have this little baby kicking away inside me, and in many ways (rightly or wrongly) this pregnancy has kept me sane at times when I would be falling apart. I think Christmas is a time when you remember who you have loved and lost, it makes you think of family and appreciate what you do have. So Christmas for us I think will always be a bit of both, but its amazing the difference a year makes and I am so so so glad and thankful of my Christmas baby and the joy he will bring into our lives! xoxo