The longed for baby…
My baby is my rainbow baby, that is the forever baby after a loss. It was a long hard journey to get our baby.
I met my husband when I was 28 years old and we quickly realised that this was it, we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. The topic of children came up within the first few months and we both agreed that we wanted them, but not before we had enjoyed time together as a couple, and to this end we had five wonderful years before we married, travelling every summer.
In August 2009 we got married and had the family orientated wedding we dreamed of, a day full of family and friends, sharing laughter and happiness. We decided that we would try for a family immediately assuming that it might take a month or two, but no longer than that. The months passed by and there was no sign of a pregnancy. This hit both of us hard. You always think that you won’t have problems conceiving, yet 1 in 6 couples in the UK do have issues.
After over a year of trying we found out that we would need help. Our infertility doctor was positive that we would be able to have a child and we attempted ISCI IVF full of hope. The first cycle was full of hurdles, but every time we overcame a setback we felt that we were one step closer to our baby. When you first attempt IVF you believe it has to happen… that it is the answer to your problems… sadly we were bought back to reality with a big bump when it did not work. A failed IVF cycle leaves you grieving for what you dreamt could have been. A few months later we tried again, this time with a more realistic view, and I was far more relaxed about the whole thing because I knew what was going to happen at each stage. This time success!!! We were pregnant, the best feeling in the world. I was going to be a mother.
Everything with the pregnancy was going well. I had morning sickness, food aversions and all the other classic pregnancy symptoms. I was loving being pregnant and I loved feeling my baby move for the first time. Yet fate played her worst card yet on me. At the 20 week scan the world stopped spinning for me, everything stopped, and life went into slow motion with the words this baby is not viable and will pass soon, there is nothing to be done. Three days before Christmas 2011 I delivered the most precious and perfect baby. I cherish the hours I got to hold my baby. I loved her so much and still miss her every day.
January and February 2012 were a blur. The days passed me by, but I decided early on that I was not going to be defined by the sadness I felt. I refused to wallow, and I wanted to live and enjoy life. I knew my little girl would have wanted me to be happy. In March we went back to the fertility clinic to talk to our doctor about the next steps and decided to try a new cycle of IVF in August. In the meantime we went on holiday, and I booked a week in Turkey. We decided to give all inclusive a go, a complete rest and recharge.
Two weeks after our return I discovered that a little interloper had come home with us. I was pregnant. Naturally. The 1% chance had happened.
Our miracle baby Eve Abigail was born on the 12th December 2012 weighing 6lbs 1oz.
I still miss my first child. She had a rare genetic condition called Patau syndrome or “T13”. This condition has about a 1:10000 chance of happening, and we were simply very unlucky. However I am forever grateful to her, as she did potentially save Eve’s life.
We discovered at the time I lost her that I carry an antibody that makes my blood clot too easily and which can cause a growing baby to not get enough oxygen and food. Due to this discovery I was able to have daily injections to prevent this from happening in my next pregnancy.
Eve is now 6 months and is the light of my life. She is wonderful and has helped heal my heart. The first few months of motherhood were very hard for me, as I had conflicting feelings. The birth of Eve was very close to the anniversary of my first baby’s birthday, and I was still grieving for her as well as getting to grips with feeding Eve, who fed every 2 hours.
At times I did think, “what have I let myself in for, this is so hard!”, yet I had longed for this for years and felt that I should be ecstatic. But with every week it got easier and I was lucky to have the support of my husband and family to help me through the difficult first weeks.
Every second of my heart ache was worth it to have my daughter Eve, and I will always have a place in my heart for her very special older sister Abigail.