Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Black Hole

'You can't always get what you want. Life's a bitch, life is sweet, life is life.'

A simple quote from my husband that pretty much sums up the last few days for us. I told you that this blog would go up and down and round and round.

Two months ago we found out I was four weeks pregnant. Hoorah! That was quicker than we expected, a July baby, a younger sibling for Leelah to boss around at her mercy. But of course in those first months there also lingers a doubt, the spectre of miscarriage, of hope dashed. We'd been there a year or so before Leelah; a missed miscarriage was revealed by an emergency scan at week 11 and showed that the fetus had never reached week 8, there was no baby but my body carried on thinking there was for several weeks. As if given permission to let go I miscarried naturally that night and we grieved, we talked, we moved on. Such is life.

And so here we are. Our 12 week dating scan was on Monday just gone. Of course we hoped we'd come back from the hospital jumping with joy, clutching images of a healthy baby bouncing around in my womb. We had started to look forward to sharing that grainy black and white image with our friends, family and anyone who was polite enough to feign interest. After all we'd got to 12 weeks and I felt great, no signs of anything amiss.

And then there was the black hole. 

Our relief and joy at seeing the tiny waving being on the screen soon subsided into silent angst. Our tiny little one had a huge black abyss in its belly, too big for something as wee as this little mite. A 'grossly enlarged bladder' we were told by the very lovely Sonographer. 'We'll need to book you in to come back this week for a re-scan and some tests.' Then we got led into the little room. Every ante-natal clinic has 'a little room' and you know when they lead you in there it ain't good news.

No one told us much on Monday, they couldn't really say much until my blood tests and the nuchal scan results had come back. All we knew was that the enlarged bladder could mean one of three things; a chromosomal disorder, a structural development problem or just that the little tyke hadn't done a wee just yet and its plumbing hadn't kicked in efficiently. 

There was hope. 

We prepared for the worst but hoped for the best. That's what I do and it works for me. I am a pragmatist but I am also emotionally open. I talk, I share. I might seem flippant but I'm not, I just don't bottle things up. Ever.

And so today. I felt sick, couldn't eat. Too much work to do. Emotions all over the place. Just getting on with stuff as you do. Both of us working, working. 

Back to the hospital this afternoon. This time to see a Fetal Medicine Consultant. He was very nice, calm, sympathetic but practical. He ran through the possibilities with us and told us our risk of Downs was almost negligible but there were other chromosomal disorders that may be causing an enlarged bladder. And so to the scan. Both Mr B and I were still clinging on to a very real hope. I asked for the screen to be turned off and closed my eyes in the dim light of the room.

A gentle voice... 'I will continue the scan but I can tell you that the bladder has got larger.'


As the lights came back on I wiped off the gel and sat up slowly, a couple of tears rolled down my cheeks. That small ray of hope was fading into a dim flicker.

And then the reality and the practicalities kick in. Fast. Within minutes I was on the bed again, this time in bright light. I had a CVS test, which will reveal any genetic abnormalities. I think this was worse for Mr B as he watched the long needle penetrate my abdomen and sucking up bits of my placenta. I just felt numb, physically and emotionally - my brain finding some quiet place to process what was happening.

So it doesn't look good for this little bean inside me. It's doubtful it will make it to the scan we have booked in next Wednesday by when we'll also know the results of the CSV. If by some miracle it does make it but the bladder is still enlarged then we have some difficult decisions ahead. 

But that is for another day.

I don't know how I feel right now. All I know is that coming back home and seeing my beautiful daughter look up at me, with her cheeky, toothy grin and listening to her babble away to me in her soft cooing voice, makes my heart soar.

And for her, my husband and the good things in life I am thankful.