Saturday, 23 June 2012

A Rainbow Baby

I think I'm finally starting to allow myself to accept that maybe this baby will make it. 

It struck me at a random moment today that when I was pregnant with Pip, I used to sing "You are my sunshine" to her. I don't know why that song or when I really even started, I just know that in that final week of doom right before we received confirmation that she was indeed dead, I sang it over and over to my belly, almost imploring her to stay with me. You'll never know dear how much I love you, so please don't take my sunshine away... little did I know that she was already gone.

With this baby, whom we've affectionally started calling "jellybean" or bean for short, I caught myself singing "Somewhere over the rainbow". Again it wasn't a conscious choice. Just something that sort of happened before I realised I was doing it. It seems a fitting song for a rainbow baby, maybe, hopefully... Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue, And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true...

The past 3 weeks have been difficult. My pregnancy sickness (I refuse to call it morning sickness because it's not just in the mornings!) has gotten steadily worse. It wasn't just the nausea. I hate it when people say "just" the nausea as if that's something that's so easy to cope with. It's that awful feeling that sits low in your belly and just keeps building all day. I was vomitting acid once on a good day and about 3-4 times on a bad day at the start. Towards the end I was vomiting up to 12 times a day even when I didn't think I had anything left to bring up. There was the heartburn, the acid reflux and worst of all was how my mouth would produce a ton of saliva. Constantly! It was really gross and I hated that the most. 

I was also loosing weight as the weeks went on and eventually it all came to a head on Tuesday when I couldn't keep anything down at all. Not even the water I was drinking to try to stay hydrated. So finally we headed to the hospital and my doctor admitted me that night. For the next 2 nights and a bit I was on a continuous IV with anti emetics administered through the IV. My diagnosis was "Hyperemesis Gravidarum". I hope that most people won't ever have to know what that term means, because it's a really bad feeling. Trust me. 

I was finally able to come home yesterday with a bag full of anti nausea medication my doctor assured me is safe for the baby. My right hand was so swollen that my knuckles weren't clearly visible and I couldn't touch my forearm without pain. That was the hand that they used mostly for the IV, they only swapped to the left hand early the morning I was discharged. I was told that I had "baby veins" which were hard to find, so in the end on the night I was admitted they had to call in an Anesthetist to find a vein so that they could start the IV.

I'm not complaining. I would happily go through much worse if it would mean having a healthy baby. I am so grateful for this baby that I would never wish any of this away, but I think one can be grateful and also feel like utter rubbish at the same time. 

My biggest worry through all of this was whether my baby was alright. The next morning after I was admitted I was wheeled down to the ultrasound room. I told the nurse I could walk but he was horrified and told me he'd loose his job if they saw me walking. He seemed like a nice guy and I didn't want him to loose his job, so I sat and he wheeled. Again I had to have the dildo-cam (transvaginal ultrasound). I hate those things so much because they always hurt me. I always ask if I can insert them but they always want to do it and it isn't until I'm gritting my teeth and crawling up the bed to get away from it with tears running down my face that they look over and say "Huh...this is really hurting you!" No shit Sherlock. What do you think I was trying to tell you?

Thankfully I had a doctor who was human this time. I love that in my hospital ob/gyns do the scans not technicians. She allowed me to insert it and was nervously watching, "Please don't drop it". "Don't worry I've got a good hold on it". Within minutes bean's sac popped up on the screen. 

For one utterly bone chilling moment it looked exactly like we had an empty sac. I tried not to freak out, but old fears are hard to release, especially in the same environment that they occurred in. But sat there repeating the mantra I had been saying in my head from the time I was wheeled down from my room, "Please be alive", "Please be alive", "Please be alive"...

The doctor didn't seem concerned and was doing measurements. Then finally she zoomed in and there was our little bean. I actually saw bean move and just like that all my worries were gone. My baby is alive! She poked around a bit more and did some more measurements. Finally she pressed a button and I could hear bean's little heart galloping away. 169 beats per minute! It was the sweetest sound I'd heard. I don't know whether it's the hormones or the fact that I never got to hear Pip's heartbeat, but hearing Bean's heartbeat is so emotional and I could feel the tears running down my face. The doctor gave me a funny look but didn't say anything. She was probably used to hormonal women bawling at the sight of their babies.

And just like that all was well with my world. My baby is alive! Swimming around happily and floating upside down in there. My husband joked that the reason I was probably feeling so sick was because bean was doing summersaults in there. 9 weeks old and already so energetic. I wonder if this is a sign of things to come? 

Hubby couldn't be with me during that scan as he was at work, but later when he was visiting during lunch, the nurse came around with a doppler to check the heartbeat again. It took her a while to find it, but I won't ever forget the priceless look on my husband's face the moment she found it and the sound of bean's racing heart filled the room. 

Gradually I am slowly starting to believe that maybe, just maybe this one might make it. I still speak in "if's". "If the baby makes it..." I still am very well aware that there are no guarantees and that everything can go to hell in a handbasket in an instant. But for now, there is a small measure of peace. My baby is alive. 


  1. So so precious. Every moment is just so precious. I LOVE that you have been singing that song - its so very special to me, for all my kids, but especially for Seb, and will be for this little one too. So happy to hear little bean is doing well, and I so look forward to seeing him/her grow bigger and bigger!

  2. Thanks Nat <3 It's a very exciting and scary journey all at the same time :)

  3. San...i am just reading this. I an understand exactly wht u mean....every scan for me was scary. I also used to say the same prayer...pls be alive and stay healthy. My heart will only stop doing crazy poundings whn i see the baby's heartbeat.

  4. Meena, I just saw your response. It is a terrifying time isn't it? After I lost our baby, the innocence I had towards pregnancy was ripped apart and I will never be the same again. A friend who is a midwife told me that prior to the scan starting, if you explained the circumstances, most doctors or scanning technicians are usually happy to search for and let you hear your baby's heartbeat so that you can be assured that all is as it should be. Big hugs to you my friend xxx


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