I vaguely remember having a baby dream. I dont normally remember my dreams so that may have prompted me to test. In any case - when we found out we were pregnant again, there was none of the excitement or anticipation of the future we had when we found out about Poppy. More like... trepidation?
As with Poppy, my nausea was mild, but I had strong cravings for ginger and dairy. I could have been perfectly happy with custard for all meals - which is part what prompted my Custards blog (loss of Pipkin and Mr Duncan's blood pressure is what has suspended it, but I hope to get back to it in the future).
So we were really on tenderhooks until our first scan. Especially since we never had a scan with Poppy. At my booking in appointment, the midwife offered to call EPAU - and managed to sort out a scan immediately. It showed a strong heartbeat and okay size for dates. What a relief!
Our next scan at nearly 13 weeks showed a high nucal fold reading which is a marker of chromosomal defects. I declined testing to confirm if/what defects existed as, for me, it would be inappropriate to have a termination for medical reasons. I knew the risks of 'elderly' conception and we were okay with the idea of having a Down Syndrome baby and a baby with more serious chromosomal issues is much less likely to survive full term. I thought it best to just let nature take its course. So I guess we knew it was possible, but when my nausea and breast tenderness started to subside at 14 weeks, we attributed it to the move between the first and second trimesters where the hormones settle down a little and many women start to enjoy pregnancy. And glow.
In retrospect, Pipkin probably died around that time.
On the Wednesday evening, I attended a prenatal information evening at my hospital where we were taught about how to move our bodies order to promote a healthy pregnancy and birth. This included practicing kegals (uterine contractions)? so when I noticed a tiny bit of brown blood the next morning. I attributed it to the activity the prior evening.
I was still spotting the following day, and called NHS Direct for advice. I was told it was normal, but maybe it would be good to get a bit more rest, take it easy. So I worked from bed on the Friday.
After an extremely rest oriented Saturday, Mr Duncan and I had been watching a primetime movie on TV and were just getting up to head to bed when I felt a huge gush of liquid between my legs. I was pretty sure it wasn't my bladder, went to the loo to clean up and noticed the browny coloured water stain on my underwear. Less than 10 minutes later was another gush down my legs, so I called NHS Direct again who, after asking an endless list of questions finally said they'd get a doctor to call me back. About 20 minutes later the doctor called and said it was probably fine, but I should go straight to the emergency room to be safe.
So Mr Duncan and I bundled into the car and I thought we were extremely lucky that a) our hospital doesn't deal with the usual Saturday night drunken and car crash emergencies and b) there were only three other people waiting.
Four uncomfortable hours of sitting in the freezing waiting room (and about six trips to the loo) later I started to bleed red blood and told the receptionist, who managed to get someone to try to get the gynacologist down to see me about 30 minutes later.
The doctor examined me with a speculum, and said although there was a lot of blood, my cervix was still closed and she could admit me for the night, but I "seemed quite sensible" so if I preferred I could go home and come back for a scan which they scheduled for Monday morning.
To be honest, at that point, although the doctor was trying to be reassuring, with the volume of blood I was losing, I thought it was likely I'd also lose Pipkin, and I'd rather do it in my own home than some random hospital bed amongst strangers. The doctor warned we should come back immediately if my blood pressure became too low or if I started losing blood really rapidly - ie more than one maxi-pad an hour.
I dont want to be too graphic, but when I got home I alternated between bending over in convulsions of extreme abdominal and pelvic pain and sitting on the toilet allowing the blood to gush out of me. Who had time to put on a fresh pad and measure how much was coming out in an hour? I was worried about haemorrage and checked with Dr Google, but despite the faint spells, my pulse was strong and not too fast so we decided I was okay without going back to the hospital.
Mr Duncan was a hero looking after me, comforting me and dealing with the general gory mess, but I could tell he felt helpless. As did I.
The intensity of the pain and blood finally lessened at about 7am and we went upstairs for a sleep.
When I woke up I needed to pee and when I wiped, there was a tiny baby body on my toilet tissue. I vaguely remembered reading something about ziplock bags and refrigeration from pregnancyloss.info after I lost Poppy, so in my dazed state I put the toilet tissue and all in a ziplock bag in a tupperware container in the fridge and went back to bed.
Before my scan, I delivered Pipkin's tiny body to the Centre for Fetal Care, who sent the tiny body away for testing.
About a month later we went in again and received the news that Pipkin was a little girl and that she had Trisomy13 which is considered 'incompatible with life'.