Sunday, April 21, 2013

The beginning

Once upon a time a lovely young lady met and fell in love with a handsome young man. They married and settled down to a life filled with promise. Shortly after their first wedding anniversary they decided it was time to add another member to their small family. They fell pregnant straight away and had the 3 kids they wanted as soon as they decided they were ready for the next one. Each pregnancy and time of trying to conceive was full of joy and ease and they lived happily ever after without a care in the world....

Well, the first part of the story is true. In 2001 Nick and I met. We started dating after sharing our first kiss at our high school formal in 2002. Nick proposed Jan 15 2005 and we married Jan 14 2006. 

We decided to start trying for our first child shortly after we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. With everything you are told during your teen years - "if you have sex unprotected you will get pregnant" - "even if you have protected sex - you will probably get pregnant" - we thought it would take only one month or maybe two to fall pregnant. I guess most of what was actually taught in class went over our heads as both Nick and I had decided to remain virgins until our wedding night. We didn't need that information when it was taught and so I guess we didn't pay attention. 

We were pretty shocked then when month after month the pregnancy tests came back negative. At month 4 we went to the family planning centre in town to ask them if we could get fertility tests done and what advice we could get to help us get pregnant. We came to realise shortly into that appointment that they weren't really a family planning centre - more of a "family UN-planning centre". They didn't deal with how to plan for a family - only how to help people when they were already unwillingly pregnant and wanting to know their options. We were told to keep trying and go see a doctor if we weren't pregnant after one year. The first of the "oh you're so young, just keep trying and it will happen" pieces of advice were handed out. 

We decided to move to Perth, Australia in August of 2007 and were staying at Nick's parents house for a few weeks prior to the move. I was feeling really tired to the point where I would need a sleep every afternoon - physically not being able to stay awake. My Mum ate Marmite by the spoonful when she was pregnant with me so when I started to crave Marmite I thought that perhaps I should take a pregnancy test. It had been 9 weeks since my last cycle had started but that was nothing unusual for me. We were shocked when a pale pink line showed up next to the dark test line! After 7 months of trying - WE WERE PREGNANT!!!!

We told everyone straight away - no one told us about the "wait until you are passed the 12 week stage" rule. We wanted to tell our family and friends in person before we left for Australia. We were over the moon and so so so excited!

Three days later, I started to get a bit of a sore stomach. I didn't think much of it but went to bed and rested. The following morning I awoke to the feeling that something was very wrong. I was bleeding. With Nick already at work, I raced downstairs to his Mum and told her. With tears pouring down both of our faces, we jumped in the car and headed to the emergency room. A kindly Doctor told us that sometimes women do bleed in their first trimester and to rest and see what will happen. We headed home and I went to bed for the rest of the afternoon. I spent hours praying and crying, waiting for Nick to get home. The next morning I woke and knew that this wasn't just first trimester bleeding. Nick and I spent 11 hours at the hospital that day as I cried and cried as we lost our first baby. The humiliation of having to have a nurse come into the bathroom with you to check the 2cm thick hospital pad they make you wear to see if I had passed the baby yet. The quiet pity from doctors and nurses. The knowledge that right now you have gone from being 9 weeks pregnant to losing our already much loved baby. 

A scan the next day confirmed that we had lost the baby. Thankfully I was told that my body was doing a good job of "clearing everything out" and so I wouldn't need a D&C. We got back in the car, drove to a secluded riverside spot, and cried for 2 hours. I wondered what I had done wrong. Memories of things I had done the last 2 months came pouring back - horseback riding, spa days and trips to the sauna with the girls, eating everything that is off limits for pregnant women... I hadn't known I was pregnant until I was nearly 9 weeks. If only I had known sooner.... If only's became my thought pattern for months.

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