Thursday, 8 March 2018

Thirteen weeks of you.

You know when you wake up from a dream and it was either so amazing, bizarre or scary that you just have to tell someone before you forget all about it? Well that's how I feel about you, little angel baby. 

[Stone from Instagram - @my_story_stones_rock]

We had thirteen weeks of you, we knew about you for ten of those weeks. They weren't all great times, a lot were filled with worry and anxiety and panic but a lot of them were filled with hope, magic and the joy a new baby brings. 

It all started in July 2017, Martin and I threw a few joke comments around about having another baby sooner than we had planned. Evie was only 6 months old and we had spoke about 3 children being the magic number but we had guessed another 2-3 year age gap. I'd recently followed a few new people on Instagram and a lot of them were doing the amazing 2 under 2 parenting. While the idea was scary and crazy, it was also something I had always wanted. I wanted two close together. Logan was 3.5 years old when Evie was born and while I could make you a long list of the benefits of having an older child while juggling a newborn, I also really wanted to experience it the other way round too. 

What started off as testing the water with what Martin thought to the idea soon turned into him coming upstairs one day and saying Yes. It was completely out of the blue and confused I asked Yes what? 

Yes lets have another baby, now. 

One of the best feelings is when you decide as a couple to have a baby, it's the thrill of setting off on an adventure together, of creating a mini person and for some, a secret that is just between the two of you. We laughed at how crazy we must be because Logan still wasn't the best sleeper and while Evie had been great so far, she was beginning to establish her membership for team no sleep. 

I was still exclusively breastfeeding and I read a lot about how trying for a baby might not come easy. Unlike when I fed Logan until 10 months, my periods had already returned around 4 months post baby with Evie (I think she went longer between feeds!) so we set ourselves up for the fact it might take longer but when it happened, it happened, no pressure. I had been very lucky with my two previous pregnancies to fall the first month. 

Two days after we had made our decision, Martin's brother and his wife told us that they were 5 weeks pregnant. I remember Mart and I exchanging a cheeky smile to each other as we thought we may be adding to the grandchild number shortly! We were so happy that Evie would have a cousin at 14 months old and another baby may follow shortly behind.

It would take us to the 4th month of trying to fall pregnant. I was due to be a bridesmaid for my friends wedding on the 5th October 2017 and I took a test that morning. It was one of the clearblue early response tests but it came up negative. Not this month I thought and proceeded to celebrate my friends getting married with wine and dancing. 

Partying at the Wedding

We had a great family time that weekend. We visited the Pumpkin Patch and had a great day selecting our pumpkins and playing around the patch. 

Pumpkin Patch Fun

The new week rolled around and come Tuesday 9th October I was feeling strange. I still hadn't had a period and I use an amazing app called Clue that I'd used since after I had Logan to track everything on, it should have been here by now. 

The day I tested with Logan I had felt so sick in the morning. The day I tested with Evie I had woke in the night before with such sore boobs. I didn't feel either of those things, I just felt strange. I almost can't remember now why I took the test that day, especially when Martin was still at work. He had been at work when I took the test with Evie and I'd promised him this time round I wouldn't test if he wasn't there but it played on my mind all day. I went to Evie's swimming lesson and to my mums house and back home again. I'm a very impatient person and it felt like a lifetime away until Martin would be home at 6pm. I was naughty and I knew I had a test in the bathroom, so I took it. 

It was positive! 

Finally, I know 4 months is not long at all but to me it had felt like forever. We had even used ovulation sticks the last two months in case I was just having weird bleeds while I was still feeding. I waited until Martin was home and I hid the test with one of Evie's 'I love dad' vests in the top of the dolls house. When Martin asked if I'd had a good day I told him great, look what I'd done with the dolls house. 

It was a cheeky move but all was forgiven and we were so excited and beyond belief. Baby number 3 was on the way. We worked out baby's due date to be the 20th June 2018. Evie would be 17 months old and Logan would turn 5 years on the 16th June. We couldn't wait.

With Logan's pregnancy we told our family around the 9 week mark and our friends the 11/12 week mark. With Evie's we told them when we got home from Paris when I was just 5 weeks (we had known since 3 weeks and we had just got engaged) and our friends we told soon after. This time we decided we would keep quiet until our 12 week scan. Martin's family were so excited about other baby Humphreys that we thought we'd keep our news to ourselves for a while longer and we were also unsure how our family would react to our 'crazy' idea of another so soon. I didn't want anyone to react badly, so we kept quiet and a pregnancy is easy to cover when your not sleeping and feeding and have a 9 month old anyway. I took another test a few days later to double check! 

I don't know why but from very early on I had a feeling I wasn't going to have this baby. It felt very much like a dream, one I may wake up and say to Martin, how crazy, I had a dream we were pregnant again so soon and we had two under two! It didn't feel real and unlike my previous pregnancies, I didn't buy one baby item the whole 13 weeks. I came close once in H&M with the gorgeous wrap vests I love for newborns. I wanted to buy a white one but they only had one left in size 0-1 month and it had a stain on. I asked if they had anymore out back and she said no, it was the last one. I put it back, I thought I will just wait until we know what baby is. Oh how I wish I could go back to that day and buy that imperfect vest and bring it home. 

I already had a Christmas mini shoot booked in for the children with my friend Charlotte for the end of October (How organised of me!). When she took Logan's 3rd birthday photos for me back in June 2016, I surprised her with bringing along a big brother sign and asked if we could take one of him with it as an announcement photo. I thought I'd surprise her again by bringing along this board with us to get a snap for the Christmas cards, we agreed we would tell our grandparents this way. I'm sure Charlotte thought we were crazy but we got some beautiful photos of the kids with the board. At this point I informed her Logan could not read and certainly did not know what was on the board! We had learnt our lesson last time when he announced to a whole birthday party that I had a baby in my belly. 

By 7 weeks Martin was starting to want to tell his Mum, Dad and Brother. I still had such a weird feeling that I decided we would book an early private scan so I could see there was a real baby inside and help shift the feeling that it was all a dream. We had used a 4D baby before when we found out Evie's gender at 16 weeks. I loved that you were more relaxed having the scan and could see a huge screen in front of you and you got to take away video and photos. We booked to have a reassurance scan for 8 weeks, we had agreed we would tell our family after the scan.

The 11th November came round and Martin and I (Evie in tow) went to see our little baby. I had never seen a scan at 8 weeks, I didn't know what to expect but as soon as she put the scan on my belly up popped a little blob but I could see a heartbeat. It was real, it had a heart, it was beating. It didn't look much like a baby at all. The lady said that actually baby was measuring around 6.5 weeks and still had its sack of cells attached. I wasn't concerned, I thought maybe my dates had just been off. 

A little video of our baby shows it's heart beating away. 

We went away so happy with our little blob. We had received the photos from Charlotte and decided to print a copy of all the photos from the shoot and take them round to Martin's mums house.

Photo by Charlotte Collinson Photography

Now last time we took a photo round to her, it was of us outside the castle in Disney holding up a tiny Disney baby vest. Martin's mum missed the hint all together and pinned the photo on her fridge before we had to ask her to take another look. We were sure this time that she couldn't miss a board that was spelling it out. She did. It was hilarious, she looked through all 6 photos and announced the kids simply gorgeous and how beautiful the photos were and handed them over to Martin's brother and his wife. Now they got the hint straight away and exchanged some big smiles to us while passing the photos back for another look for Martin's mum. She finally got the hint and we got out our blob pictures and we talked about how the cousins would be only 3 months apart and the chaos that would be next year and everyone was happy. 

We decided to stick with my calculated dates until we got to our 12 week scan and they could tell us otherwise. I had bought these fruit pregnancy cards before I was pregnant and I had all good intentions of documenting everything like I had my last two pregnancies. However like with Evie's when sometimes we missed a week or two, it was even harder the 3rd time round, especially with a baby around. I would only use two of the cards in total and I'm so sad I don't have more photos. I also had bought a swaddle blanket with printed dates to take my bump pictures against. 

I only have the one photo against the blanket. 

Just like with Evie's pregnancy, my tummy swelled quite early on. I love being pregnant, I feel a lot more confident in my body with a bump and I have been very lucky to feel quite well in comparison to friends in those first few weeks. 

With Logan's pregnancy I felt sick every day from 4 weeks until 13 weeks. If I snacked all day I could get through it but I would get terribly hot and was the only person wearing short sleeves in our office in November. I was very lucky to never be sick, I have a terrible phobia of sick and I do not know how the amazing ladies do it that are sick everyday. With Evie's pregnancy I did not feel very sick at all, I had sore boobs for the most part but felt pretty good. Therefore when this little baby had me feeling even worse than with Logan everyday, I was sure we had another little boy on our hands. It was of course the same time of year I was pregnant with this baby as I was with Logan, so I thought maybe its just the heat on that makes me feel like this. I was also terribly exhausted and found it so hard to stay awake some days with both kids at home! I couldn't lay on the sofa or I would fall asleep. 

I returned to work in November and I was around 10 weeks pregnant. I must have only been back about a week or so when on a Wednesday night I had a bleed. It wasn't much and it was dark blood, this is 'old blood' and as google reassured this was better than red blood, it was a more hopeful sign it was not a miscarriage. I know, I know, don't ever google any sort of symptom because it will always pinpoint to doom. I was however looking for all those people who posted the same and had the positive outcomes, I needed hope. There was nothing I could do but wait to phone my midwife in the morning at 9am. I went to work, it had been terrible timing because we had told a couple of friends from work just the day before. They of course wanted to come and talk excited about our news and all I could think of was it might all be taken away. I got through to the midwife and she referred us to the hospital and we got a call back from the early pregnancy unit that they could fit us in for a scan the next day. 

That day felt like the longest ever, I couldn't do anything and I was scared to go to the toilet in case it got worse. It didn't and I had all the fingers crossed. We clung to hope and that evening I couldn't stop crying at the thought we would see tomorrow that we no longer had a baby. I'd had three friends who had lost babies at 10 weeks and I was all too aware it could happen and did happen. 

Our scan time came and I think I let out the biggest sigh of relief when the first thing we saw on the scan was that little heartbeat again. Baby was ok, baby was alive. They noted I had a clot showing up in the womb on the scan and believed the blood was from this coming away and warned there may be more but unless it hurt and was bright red to not worry. We were so relieved. Baby was measuring a week behind, I thought good, it's catching up, maybe it will just be a small one. At this point still there seemed to be no cause for concern. They moved my 12 week scan back a week and said they would run on the date of the 27th June 2018 for my due date. 

The next week while I was upstairs with Logan and Evie and chatting away with Logan, I decided I was going to tell him. A couple of weeks back he had run in our room and gone to jump on me and I'd yelled be careful and protected myself from his leap. He had replied 'why? Is there another baby in there?'. So I told him I had a secret to tell him, he loves a good secret so came close to hear. I told him 'There is a baby in my tummy' and his little face lit up with excitement, he then made me laugh so much because he asked 'Does Martin know?' oh the innocence of children. I confirmed Martin did indeed know and I told him we can't tell anyone else yet and he surprised me by saying 'Until you go to the Doctor' - how do they know so much?! We had a lovely chat about the baby and he thought about if he wanted a brother or a sister. He would change his mind a lot over the next few days and switch from a brother to 'another sister like Evie because I love her'. He was adorable over the next 3 weeks and would kiss my belly and talk lots about the baby.

I daydreamed about my three children together and when I purchased Logan and Evie new Christmas Eve boxes, I went back for one more so they would all match for the following year. We ordered matching Christmas Disney pjs and I made another order the next week in the next years size for Evie and took a guess at the boy version of some 6-9m ones for the baby. I was allowing myself to let it feel real, I was enjoying it again after our scare at 10 weeks. 

The 14th December date came and it was time for our 12 week scan. We had seen baby 3 times by now but I was still nervous. When they started our scan there was that beautiful heartbeat again. The lady showed us our baby's heart beating away, commented that everything looked great, the brain, the arms, the legs. They measured baby again and confirmed a date of the 27th June and we laughed and said at least it gave us 11 days from our oldest Childs birthday. I watched as she did the measure of the fluid behind the neck for the screening test and clocked it read 1.5 and later checked if this was ok, it was, it was a good reading and very low risk for Down syndrome. We were so excited after the scan, we texted pictures of our baby to all our family. We waited to have my bloods done and we returned to work and for that weekend everything was just perfect. 

At the weekend I took photos of the kids for an announcement picture for instagram sporting some of our favourite brands, including a lovely big sister vest that my friend Nikki had sent me specially for Evie from her brand Rose and Guy. 

I remember being annoyed at Martin because he'd left the baby scan picture at his desk at work and I really wanted to take the photo that weekend while Logan was home from school. We made do with a photo on my phone of the scan and it took several attempts to get both kids looking the right way. This photo is one of my favourite photos ever of all my babies and it saddens me that I feel I can't really display it anywhere. 

I dreamt of the close friendship that Evie and her sibling might have with such a small age gap. I tried to imagine her being so young when the new baby came along and what she might think. 

I knew how amazing Logan had been with Evie and I couldn't wait to see him alongside another baby to love on. He had decided he really wanted another sister by this point. 

Even after this photo resulted in tears after Evie whacked him in the face and I had to crop his tear filled eyes out of it. I wondered if he was sure he wanted to be teamed up against with two sisters. 

I posted the photo on my Instagram and enjoyed everyone finding out we were due another. I wrote that Martin and I 'loved crazy' quoting Frozen from Evie's latest favourite film we had watched on repeat. I didn't post anything on Facebook as the photo Christmas cards I had been delayed in ordering due to our 10 week scare had only arrived on the Friday and I'd popped them in the post first class but Martin's Nan's confirmed they hadn't received them yet. 

I enjoyed chatting within one of my brand rep groups about if I was due another boy or girl. Two of the other ladies were also pregnant and we were all due within about 3 weeks of each other. The picture above shows all my babies 12 week scans. I was still sure I had another boy in there. 

On Tuesday 19th December I had a midwife appointment booked for my 14 week check up. I had forgotten to cancel it when my dates had changed and it was too late, so I went anyway. My midwife asked if I had the results back from the screening blood test, I said no but that it had only been last Thursday and didn't they usually come by post a week or so after? She nodded but added as I went to leave that if I hadn't got anything back by Friday to give them a ring and they would check. 

I went home with the kids, Evie was asleep in her pram and I undid her Coat and let her sleep in the hallway. Logan had his iPad and I was feeling exhausted so I shut my eyes while he sat next to me watching youtube. 

Around midday I had a knock on the door that woke me from my snooze. I opened it to find my midwife on my doorstep, in my half asleep daze I was confused, she asked if she could come in. I let her in and she said she was about to go on her rounds but had to come and see me as my blood results had come back in, she asked we sit down. I was so confused by this point that I think the next 5 minutes never truly sunk in or seemed real at the time. She started with she was really sorry and continued with my blood results showed I had a 1 in 5 chance that my baby had Down syndrome and she must have said I'm so sorry another 3 times after that. I couldn't really take it in, Evie had stirred from her sleep and Logan was chatting about the video he was watching and I couldn't process anything. I think I asked her what did that mean. I don't really recall any of the conversation from then on but I think I remember her mentioning further tests and I know I asked if there was one that confirmed yes or no. I was given a number to call the next day and a midwife I was told to ask for, she was a screening midwife and would explain the next steps. My midwife left and I phoned Martin in tears and then my mum. My whole world came crashing down again, we couldn't just enjoy this pregnancy. 

It seemed like such a long wait until the next day when I spoke to the recommended midwife, she said for us to come in that afternoon to speak to them. I knew things were not great when we arrived at the hospital antenatal clinic and the receptionist was over friendly and showed us to a different waiting room down a hallway, away from the other pregnant ladies. We waited outside a room called 'The butterfly room' and I understand this is a room meant to feel homely and comforting but to me it felt over baring of bad news. I had a lot of tears in that room and Martin and I clung to each other for most of the conversation. We were handed leaflets and told about testing. We were told to later discuss with each other about a decision should our baby have Down syndrome. 

I can't fault the midwife at all, she was great, I felt comfortable with her and she was clearly very well trained in her job. She gave us time to process everything she told us and gave us every opportunity to ask questions, she discussed that at my age (28) our chances should be low risk but that while the fluid test was fine, my bloods had come back with results that changed those odds to 1 in 5 for Down syndrome and 1 in 250 for Edwards and Patau's. I clung to any hope that the results might indicate something else, was it because I was still breast feeding - did it throw hormones off? I was on anxiety meds - did this effect it? Was there something wrong with me and not the baby? but no, she explained that while my blood results were slightly on the high side, this could just indicate feeling a bit more poorly with the pregnancy, it was the fact that the bloods relating to the placenta were very low. Our test result was 0.12 and that was very low and indicated that baby either had a chromosome issue or something wasn't right with the placenta. 

Our next course of action was to get an appointment at Addenbrookes for a CVS test - it would involve them putting a needle into the womb and taking a sample from the placenta to further test. The risk of miscarriage I was reassured was 1 in 100 and the reason we had to go to Addenbrookes was because they did this test all the time and very well trained consultants. 

I felt broken when I went away from that meeting. No one wants to hear their baby might be poorly and no one wants to think they might have to make any sort of decision that is life changing. I cried for 20 minutes in the shower that night, it was the most pain I think I have ever felt in terms of heartbreak. I didn't know what we would do, I didn't want to think about what we would do. We never discussed what we would do, neither of us wanted to have that conversation.

I googled very very late into the night. I was searching for stories of hope, stories of they worried me about the risk and my baby was fine. I found these stories and I found stories of babies that did have Down syndrome. I found stories that the results were fine but they went on to have early births at 30 weeks due to issues with the placenta. I read about Down syndrome, about life expectancy, about other complications that come with the diagnosis, about G tubes and heart issues and my own heart broke even further. I suffer with a huge phobia relating to illnesses and sickness and I had been working really hard the whole year on mending myself. I thought if I can't cope very well with my healthy children catching a bug, how am I going to look after a child that might have a serious health issue? I did however already follow two amazing mamas on Instagram @aimeeswift and @etst that have the most beautiful little girls who just happen to have Down syndrome. I have loved following their stories and they are so inspirational with their strength for everything they go through to ensure the very best for their babies. It helped to read their blog posts (they both found out at birth rather than at screening) and know that it was ok to be shocked, scared and frightened of the future and the challenges. 

My brain hurt and my heart hurt. The next day we got a call to say they had an appointment on Friday 22nd at 9am. We would need to leave about 7am and it was the day I was due to take the children to the farm to meet Santa. Not only did my heart ache for my baby in my belly but I cried at missing out with Logan and Evie. My mum still took them for me and it was my sisters birthday so she went along too.

We got to Addenbrookes in good time and we waited about half an hour for our appointment. We met the consultant and filled in paperwork and she discussed what would happen. I had been dreading that needle in my belly for two days now and I felt so sick with nerves. She confirmed she would scan me first to get a location and then start the procedure. 

As soon as the image came up on the screen in front of me I saw what was missing. That heartbeat we had seen at our other 3 scans was no longer beating. Baby was still and not kicking and moving like just last week at our 12 week scan. The consultant immediately stopped the scan and touched my hand and told me she was sorry that something was very wrong and our baby no longer had a heartbeat. I knew before she told me and I was already crying but I remember saying to both her and Martin that it was ok, I knew baby was really poorly and now they were not suffering. I know now that I was in shock and this was my way of dealing with it. Martin took it harder that day, I think I was in a fog of shock and confusion. The consultant informed us that she needed to get another Doctor to confirm there was no heartbeat and she left the room. 

When the other Doctor came back they scanned me again. I looked back at the screen even though I knew there was no heartbeat the first time. They confirmed our baby had passed away and took us to a small room and we waited there for her to come back in. I find it strange that the whole pregnancy I felt like the baby was going to be taken away from me, like I was too lucky to have it in the first place and my luck might run out. 

When the consultant came back she explained I had a 'silent miscarriage or a missed one' due to the fact I was suffering no pain or bleeding. I remember thinking then that the baby must have passed away the night before because I had the worst stomach pain but I thought it was down to nerves of the procedure and the fact I felt so broken with pain anyway. I remember having a shower to try and ease the pain a bit and fell asleep pretty early. She explained that I would need to take a tablet to begin the miscarriage and then 24-48 hours later go in to be induced to pass the baby. It was the 22nd December, it would make it the 24th December I would be in hospital. At this point I was thinking of my other two babies. I asked if I could wait until after Christmas so that we could be with our children and make Christmas special for them. The consultant agreed to tell our hospital that we wished to go in after. The bank holidays and the way the weekends fell meant that I would carry my sleeping baby for another 8 days. 

It was a quiet car journey back. In a way I was glad something else had made our decision for us, I don't think we could have ever had that conversation if the results had come back as yes. I found peace in the fact I already knew the baby was poorly, it took part of the shock away but also in the whole process no one had really mentioned a risk that the baby wouldn't survive. We had been so focused on the tests that I hadn't considered the baby might pass away. Just a week ago we had seen it wriggling on the scan and had a 'all clear and healthy' comment. 

We had of course by this point told a lot of people, pretty much everyone. Our work knew, our family and friends, social media. I put the above photo up on instagram and explained we had lost our baby. It was the only way I could think to let everyone know without having to repeat ourselves over and over. We told our parents and asked them to tell the rest of our families. 

Everyone told me to rest the next few days but physically I felt fine. I still had a bump and I was not in any pain. We were due to host a Christmas Eve get together and we insisted that everyone still come round, I felt fine and we wanted a special first Christmas for Evie. 

What hurt the most at the time and maybe still now is that everyone just stopped talking about our baby. Of course they weren't going to still talk about a baby that was no longer going to be a real life baby in June but hearing family talk and ask about our niece due in March and another family baby due in July was so painful. I felt I had kept our baby to ourselves for those weeks and then before even our grandparents knew we had already received news that something may be wrong. We had hardly got to celebrate when it had all been taken away. 

We put on our best smiles and we made Christmas the best we could for Logan and Evie. We wore our matching pjs on Christmas Eve and we celebrated with family. Martin and I would take turns the next few days in being overwhelmed with loss for our baby, for the future we had planned for 2018 and the dread of what was still to come. 

On Boxing Day evening I took Logan to one side and I told him that there would be no baby anymore. How do you even explain that to a 4 year old? I told him that the baby was very poorly and would no longer grow into a big baby and come and join us in our family. He paused for a moment and told me 'that is very sad'. I'm so proud of him for recognising that emotion and being able to process it and I'm also glad that minutes later he ran off to play with his cousins and kept his innocence of the world. He didn't mention the baby again after that. 

We went back to see the screening midwife at our local hospital on the 28th December. She explained that I would need to take a pill today and come back Saturday morning, 30th December, to be induced. Up to this point I think I hadn't really thought or questioned what happened next. If your baby is lost after 13 weeks then you have to give birth to your sleeping baby and be induced in the same manner you would if you had a full term baby. Now I was induced with Logan's birth and I can't say it was the greatest experience, I felt very out of control the whole time and in a lot of pain that I felt I didn't have a grip on. 

We were briefed on what would happen and introduced to a lovely memory box option the hospital have which includes a guardian angel, a candle, a card from the parents who started the memory box and a place to put a photo of your baby should you choose. For babies born later there was also the option of a hat and small clothes to dress baby in and the option to print their footprint. I can't fault the hospital at all in how they helped us deal with our loss, at a time when you feel broken they gave us the best possible care we could have asked for. We were informed that we had the option to send the placenta and cord away for testing after baby had been delivered, this would give us the answer to if baby had a chromosome issue. We were also given information about a burial for the baby in a plot at the crematory that the hospital arranges for baby after it is born. This is optional and I understand some parents choose not to use the service. 

We decided we would like baby to be buried and that we would like to attend the service. We also accepted the lovely gesture of the memory box and confirmed we wanted to see baby once it had been born. At one point when I was waiting for the Doctor to come see us to prescribe the pill I had to take, I asked regarding breastfeeding alongside this medication. The midwife was unsure, I presume it is not often that there is an issue of the mother experiencing the induction is also still feeding, she said she would check with the pharmacy later that day but for now to not feed Evie after I had took the medication. This in itself was heartbreaking on top of everything, Evie had just turned 11 months, my target was her first birthday after Logan self weaned at 10 months. 

Luckily later that day I got a call to say it was fine to feed her for that day and the next but obviously once in hospital then not until the induction was complete. The day I went into hospital would be Evie's first night away from me. 

I was warned that the body might start the process of miscarriage on its own in the next couple of days before I was due to be induced on the Saturday. We were due to watch my sisters Panto the next day on the Friday and I had hoped I wouldn't miss out on another Christmas activity with Logan and Evie. 

My body for once was on my side and we arrived at the hospital on Saturday to deliver our baby. We had an amazing nurse, Sheldon, who at first I must admit the thought of a male nurse looking after me during the process was daunting but he was amazing and I couldn't have asked for better care. The induction didn't take long to take effect and being my 3rd labour processed quickly and at midday the baby was delivered. The pain of the induction was the same as any labour but it felt worse because I knew I would not get that baby at the end of the pain. 

I took this picture shortly after baby was delivered to remind myself how the sky brightened up and the sun came out. They presented baby all clean and laying gently on its side in a tiny Moses basket and allowed us to have our time with baby. We took our own photos and admired our little perfectly formed baby the size of a thumb with the tiniest little facial features already and tiny arms and legs. I am still to this day amazed at just 13 weeks old that it was a tiny formed baby already. I have always told family and friends if they wanted to see a photo of our little baby to ask me, I'm happy to share our baby but I understand it isn't for everyone and for that reason I won't post the photo here but please do not feel afraid to ask me if you want to see our baby. I googled what a 13 week old baby would look like before I went in that day, I wanted to prepare myself but I wasn't terrified as I thought I would be. 

I was in a lot of shock that day and I don't think I really processed everything. I was feeling pretty unwell after and it wouldn't be until the next day that the grief would really hit me. I think everything became very real for Martin the day baby was delivered and I know he was the more heartbroken parent that day. 

We said our goodbyes and today I wish we maybe spent more time with our baby. Later that evening we were informed we could go home and leaving the hospital without a baby is such an empty and horrible feeling, especially as just 11 months before we left with our baby girl. 

When we got home we lit the candle from our baby's memory box and we spent the evening huddled together not really knowing how to be or feel. We missed our baby and we missed our children, we hadn't been used to time just us two and now it felt strange after a day of what we had just gone through. The Doctor signed me off work for two weeks and while physically I felt ok, I really did need that time mentally. That first week I couldn't talk about baby or how I felt without the tears coming. I wasn't ready to face anyone either. My stomach slowly went back to normal and I worked on my emotions for the next few weeks. I cancelled attending two baby showers in January and I threw myself into preparations for Evie's first birthday party. I cried happy sad tears when I received a friends baby birth announcement and I worked really hard on being 'ok' around my pregnant friends. I wanted them to know that I didn't want them to stop talking about their pregnancies just because I no longer had mine. I threw away a 2018 calendar that had all my weeks written out in it. 

A month later we attended the burial of our baby. It was a beautiful service and did wonders for our healing and loss. The vicar was amazing and made us feel very welcome and comfortable, she printed off an order of service for us to keep for our memory box and Martin got to carry our little baby in a beautiful white box with 'Baby Humphreys' inscribed on the top to their final resting place. We are going to purchase a plaque for the grave spot and our mums wish to visit baby's resting place too. 

It has all been so important in remembering our baby and making me feel like it wasn't 'just a dream' that happened and was forgotten. I have wanted to write this post for many weeks but have been waiting for our results to come back to complete the post. We are now at nearly 10 weeks since baby was born but haven't yet had the results back. I know they don't make a difference as such but I feel I need them for closure. We should hopefully have them in the next couple of weeks. 

I know we will try again and that no baby will replace the one we lost but I hope they will help heal our family and make us feel whole again. I was so sad to learn how many friends and family have been on similar journeys to us with baby loss and how heartbroken it can make people even years on from their loss. As with anything, time heals a lot and I can now talk about what happened without bursting into tears but writing this post has made me cry about 10 times as I remember all those emotions and memories. 

Thank you for reading about our baby, I had so much I wanted to share and never got the chance to before. Our Angel baby will very much always be a part of our family and we had a beautiful watercolour rainbow of their scan picture done and it sits proudly along with our family photos on our wall, just how we want to remember them, heart beating and arms and legs wiggling and the joy we felt on that day. They were due the day after our first wedding anniversary and we will make sure we spend the day together remembering our little baby and celebrating our beautiful children Logan and Evie. 

UPDATE (13/03/18):
Today we received our results.
Baby had Trisomy 16 and not Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) as the screening test suggested we were high risk for. This is a trisomy that is not compatible with life and usually results with first trimester miscarriage. It is not an inherited problem and therefore no significant increased risk of us having an issue with any subsequent pregnancy. 

I'm so glad we finally have some closure, I feel at peace knowing there was nothing I could do differently or better to help my baby and that they were just very poorly. I'm so glad we got to see them on that 12 week scan moving about and have our forever photo. 

UPDATE (06/10/18):
We have been blessed with our rainbow baby due on the 20th December 2018. During a routine midwife appointment for this baby I asked if they had the full test results on my notes regarding the baby we lost.

My midwife later phoned that day to say our baby had been a little boy. Just like I always thought he was. We had just found out the week before that our rainbow was a little girl. While this would be another hard week of dealing with new information and feelings, it would help build on our emotions and allow me to find comfort in knowing all along he was a little boy.

We have the plaque for baby by his grave and we often visit to bring him fresh flowers and tidy up his grave site. The first time we took the children, Logan wasn't sure about the whole thing. He asked me if the babies were sad because they didn't have their Mummy's and Daddy's with them and I promised him they were ok because they were all together. The other times following that he has come with us he has felt positive and enjoys checking our baby and all the other baby's graves by straightening up pinwheels and talking about the flowers. 

I will always continue to talk about our story and our baby to raise awareness of baby loss and encourage others to talk about their missing babies too. Sadly the loss of our baby has been followed by other close friends losing babies and it never gets easier to hear or deal with but I hope I can always be of support to anyone who wants to talk about their lost baby.