If you follow me on social media I post regular positive updates on my pregnancy with Dexy’s little brother. I talk openly and honestly about how hard it is and whenever I get asked questions about it I always try to make sure that no matter what I say I make it positive. I’m now 22+3 with this pregnancy and so far it has been pretty smooth sailing! I’ve tried my hardest to embrace both the negative and the positive parts of this journey. I’ve tried my hardest to not let the thought of having another stillbirth invade my thoughts and take over.
This morning was a whole other story. The harsh reality and flashbacks of Dexy’s death hit me. The last couple of weeks this little baby has done nothing but wiggle around and kick. For me, this is reassurance my baby isn’t dead. I know what happens when your baby stops moving. So when I woke up and ate my breakfast and felt no wiggling around I started to panic. I started to shit my pants that my baby had died again. I started to relive new years day. I was doing star jumps, eating his favourite foods, drinking fizzy drinks and basically prodding my belly in hope he would boot me back. But nothing. Under 24 weeks you can’t track movements fully. The baby is too small and can hide at the back and you can’t feel anything but in this moment that fact completely escaped my head. Instead of using common knowledge and using what facts I knew I decided to go into panic mode.
I was texting Phil to explain that I couldn’t feel him wiggling around and I think what happened to Dexy has happened again. I then had to make the dreaded phone call which felt like I was repeating every part of the phone call I made for Dexy. The hospital was super lovely on the phone and I explained about Dexy and that I was scared. They booked me into the DAU (day assessment unit) so they can have a listen and for my own sanity. The wait until we got seen was fucking dreadful. It felt like forever.
We got called into the room and she whipped out the Doppler. The same equipment that didn’t pick up Dexy’s heartbeat. The couple of seconds before she found it was awful. I felt like I was going to puke everywhere and breakdown. Then there it was. The strongest sounding heartbeat I have ever heard. It sounded louder than Dexy’s ever was. It was so strong. There was in no way it wasn’t his. He done a little kick to I think let me know that he is okay in there.
After being checked over and everything being perfectly okay it hit me. This was the first time in this pregnancy that I have feared for my son being dead. I’ve had up and down moments within these 22 weeks but not to the point where I’m convinced he is dead. It has hit me that I am no longer naive to baby loss and what can happen if you can’t feel your baby kick. I know that no movement means they could be dead. I know what it is like to walk around for 4 days with a dead baby inside you. I know what it is like to give birth to a baby that never cried. I know how much a Baby’s coffin is. In the time between the first moment of worry this morning until I heard his heartbeat I know both the pain or the relief that is going to come next.
I’m vulnerable in this pregnancy. I know that now. I know that this is probably not going to be the last time I wake up in a panic and have to go to hospital this pregnancy. I know that now movements are involved I’m going to be obsessive. But knowing how supportive my husband is, how supportive the hospital is makes it that tiny bit easier admitting I’m scared. Hearing his little heartbeat has given me hope that maybe just maybe this baby might come home.