On this day one year ago, Ben and I found out that we were pregnant. It is amazing how much your life can change in a year. Morning sickness had begun on Boxing Day, which I assumed was due to eating too much the day before! However the nausea persisted, and a week later I decided to see my GP about it. Despite having been trying to conceive for over six months, I honestly did not suspect that I was pregnant, as I had continued bleeding as normal. I was online the afternoon of January 2nd 2014, googling causes of nausea and chatting to some friends, when a friend asked if I might be pregnant (or UTD – up the duff – to be specific). I instantly dismissed the possibility, however I realised that this would most likely be the GP’s first question as well. I decided to do a home pregnancy test for the sole reason that I wanted to be able to tell the doctor that I definitely wasn’t pregnant, as I didn’t want to waste time.
So I peed on the stick, and surprise! Two very dark lines appeared almost immediately. My body reacted immediately, unable to stop shaking. Tears were in my eyes and I was extremely excited. I wanted Ben to be there so I could immediately share the news, and the half hour that I had to wait for him to get home from work was excruciating. I could not wait without telling anyone, so I called my mum and shared the news. When Ben got home I met him at the front door and took him instantly, and he took it in his stride like he does most things, smiling and saying that he thought I might have been pregnant.
Our hopes were almost extinguished that evening when we went to the doctor, who confirmed that I was pregnant but raised the possibility that I may have been miscarrying. We assumed that the pregnancy was still too early to see on an ultrasound, so the only way to know if the baby was still growing would be by two blood tests, one the following day and one after the weekend on Monday, to compare my hcg levels and see if they had increased.
We spent the night in a very strange space, unsure whether to be excited and happy or upset as we may have already lost the baby. The next morning I realised that the pregnancy might have been further along than first thought, as what if my most recent bleeding had not been my period after all? As I was bleeding again while definitely pregnant this was a definite possibility. The idea of having the wait another three days to find out if I was in fact still pregnant was killing me. I ended my going to a local emergency health care centre, and they examined me then sent me for an ultrasound. Ben was at work so Mum was with me, when we saw a little blob on the screen with a good heartbeat, measuring over six weeks. My relief was palpable.
Unfortunately this was not the last time during pregnancy that we had to worry about miscarriage. It is said that you become a mother during pregnancy as this is when the worry starts, and this statement could not have been truer for me. We had further bleeds at seven weeks, ten weeks, twelve weeks, fifteen weeks, and then on and off throughout the rest of the pregnancy. For each of the earlier bleeds I became a regular emergency room visitor, and we were often told to expect a miscarriage. The worst was at ten weeks, when I started bleeding and cramping during an engagement party. I didn’t say anything at first, as I did not want it to be real. Eventually I could no longer ignore it as the cramps were becoming more intense, and I told Ben what was happening. We ended up at Sunshine Hospital, which is not a great place to be on a Saturday night, and waited in Emergency for over three hours to be told that they do not do ultrasounds on weekends so we would have to wait until Monday afternoon to have a scan. We were informed, not unkindly, to prepare for news of miscarriage. The rest of that weekend passed as a blur. My instincts told me there was hope, that our baby was fine. But the signs said otherwise and I did not want to allow myself to get my hopes up.