In May I published this post to announce my fourth pregnancy. I was 14 weeks pregnant and already weeks into the horrendous sickness that debilitated me for so long.
I was happy to be pregnant. I was excited; I’d always wanted four children and that dream was becoming reality at last!
But the sickness was horrific. The medication helped, but it never really went away. The emotional scars of feeling so desperate, too scared to leave the house incase I was sick all over people I didn’t know, hating the sight of the kitchen because it meant food, lying on the floor at 7pm every night while my eldest daughter helped to put her brother and sister to bed… the emotional scars of all of that run deep, even now.
I stopped taking my medication at 27 weeks pregnant, and give or take a few sick days here and there I was lucky enough not to need any more at all.
My Positive Pregnancy
At 29 weeks pregnant, I went for a growth scan… the rest is documented here. Our baby was not growing. We had reduced flow through the cord. Our baby was being starved of oxygen. It sounds silly, but I felt a little like a ticking time bomb. It was unnerving to be unable to see what was happening in there. If baby was ok. If baby was going to make it to the next appointment. If baby would survive an early delivery. If baby was going to be ok.
Nothing was certain.
Nobody could tell us what we needed to know.
Only Elsie really knew what was going on in there.
My Positive Pregnancy
I cannot tell you how important it was to me to understand. To know what was happening and why. Much frustration still exists because we will never know what caused the IUGR., but the things I did learn are all thanks to MAMA Academy’s dedication to education.
Elsie was at risk of sitllbirth.
My hospital picked up the risks because they used customised growth charts. MAMA Academy’s commitment to the Growth Assessment Protocol programme means a lot to me. With their help, more NHS trusts will adopt these inexpensive charts which could save babies like Elsie. Had my pregnancy continued beyond 37 weeks, our outcome might have been very different. MAMA Academy exists to educate mums to be aware of their bodies, their babies, and their rights during pregnancy. Without this information and the knowledge that I was in control, and I knew my body and my baby better than anyone else… without that I would not have been empowered at all. Without the support of the charity I would not have had the confidence to question the doctors, to seek information for myself, or to trust in the diagnosis I was given.
And so this is a thank you. To MAMA Academy for helping me to have a positive pregnancy. Despite the sickness and the worry and the stress of early delivery, shattered VBAC dreams and a battered body… despite it all I had a positive outcome. A positive pregnancy.
And I have Elsie Rose.
Thank you for watching our journey, and for reading about it too. I intend to write a lot more about Elsie, and IUGR and I also have an exciting announcement to make. From January I will officially be part of the MAMA Academy team as I’ve taken on the role of News Coordinator! I am extremely excited and incredibly honoured and cannot wait to help the team spread the word to other mums to be. It would mean the world to me if you would follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook! And if you’re pregnant, start the ball rolling today- order your Wellbeing Wallet and help us spread the word!