What happens to your body..

So pre-pregnancy I was a pretty fit and active size 8-10 and I certainly worked hard to maintain that size. I went to the gym between 5-6 times a week and would always check in with my personal trainer boyfriend to see what I needed to do to tone up certain areas etc. So basically all I’m trying to say is that I was in pretty good shape.

After only just a few weeks into my pregnancy I was suffering from really bad morning sickness so instead of running 4 times I week I was only able to walk and the thought of participating in a class at the gym just made me feel exhausted, so as you can image I lost my fitness quite dramatically as I had morning sickness up until around 15/16 weeks. Along with the lack of exercise… the only thing I found eased my sickness was CARBS and I was never a massive lover before, so I did get quite obsessed with checking the scales every morning and usually every day I would of put on a pound…

I kept telling myself that once the baby was born I will run every day and get back into a really healthy diet and get back to how I was before.. But obviously things changed and we ended up having a still born…

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This ‘After’ photo was taken 6 weeks after I had a still-birth, before an event.. I was home and in bed by 10pm, I just do things now and don’t think about whether i’ll be okay in that sort of situation..I’m now realising this.

 

After you have a still-birth you feel numb… You feel sort of frozen and you just do what you have to do and nothing more.. Straight after the birth my stomach went down dramatically as I was told I had too much fluid around the baby.. so really even when just my waters broke my stomach went down dramatically and this was even before Sebastian had come out. So that wasn’t a massive worry for me. But when I came home I expected to weight a lot less and I think I had literally lost 2lb’s which didn’t make any sense to me.. After doing some research I found out that after a still-birth or miscarriage your metabolism plummets and I pretty much felt like even if I didn’t eat all day I would weight a pound more the next day.

I wanted to loose weight and feel better in myself again… I had this in my head a long with being so sad and also the thought that I wanted to get pregnant again and FAST so I thought whats the point in getting really fit if I’m going to get pregnant again… My brain was all over the place but I kept thinking to myself *Most women love their slightly larger bodies after having a baby because they’ve created something amazing, whereas I’ve lost my baby and I’m feeling horrible in my body* I’m now a very curvy size 12 and before I was pregnant my boobs were a size 32d and now I’m a 34F and as I haven’t done any running in what feels like forever my legs look much bigger and my stomach muscles have completely vanished.

It just doesn’t seem fair that along with loosing your baby you have to feel really insecure about the way your body now looks and then I go back to the NHS again… They give you no support or advice.. or even just someone to chat to about how to snap out of this hole.

This past few weeks I have been enjoying the sunny weather and making the most of walking outdoors, making sure I do it everyday for 1 hour and also doing a home workout tailor made by my boyfriend. Now I’m just hoping this helps me feel and look a bit better and then…. fingers crossed we will get pregnant again…

Depression

Ok, so.. after Sebastian was born, we were allowed to spend the day with him… baring in mind I was so drugged up and I had to be taken into theatre to have an epidural to get the placenta out. Once I got back from theatre at 7pm that evening Sebastian was taken away.. It still hadn’t hit me what had actually happened over the past 24 hours. For Ainslee he had to watch it all and probably absorbed what was going on a little better than me. After another night in the hospital we were able to go home… I was still feeling a little dizzy and light headed from the painkillers and Ainslee had to shower and dress me that morning because my legs still felt a bit numb from the epidural.

So we went home and as I opened the door my mum gave me a parcel… It was all of the paper work to finalise our mortgage and confirmation that we were about to exchange contracts for our new house. We had been so stressed about all of this throughout my pregnancy that we felt like our little angel had somehow done something to let us finally have the house of our dreams and be together.

With this in mind I wanted to go furniture shopping…. so Ainslee took me and we bought so much stuff and ordered our sofa, bed, tables, chairs… candles.. you name it we had ordered it all. Everything was ready to arrive on our moving in date, which had been confirmed.

I was focusing all my attention on our new house and making sure it was perfect because I wasn’t having anyone ruin this for us. Once we moved in it felt like our little safe heaven because our house is in the country side away from everyone, we were so happy that we could eventually be together and not really have to make much effort with anyone else. It’s safe to say looking back now that this was when the depression started to kick in.

We had Sebastians funeral coming up and I wanted to see him one last time because I felt like whilst I was drugged up in hospital I didn’t really get to give him a final cuddle. So we went along to the mortuary and we went in a room to see him. He looked nothing like what I remembered… He looked like all of the goodness I gave him had gone and it was heart breaking. I felt like he wasn’t been looked after… it was devastating. It soon came round to the funeral and we decided me and Ainslee would just be attending. We wanted it to just be us so that we could cry and so that we could have it as low key as possible.

After the funeral weeks went by where I would be working all day and late into the night.. I was putting every little bit of my energy and thoughts into work. It wasn’t until Christmas and probably the whole of January were I was a complete mess. Why were people saying Happy Christmas to me? Why should I be celebrating? OUR BABY HAS JUST DIED!! It was so frustrating and I just wanted it to be January so badly so that we could start a fresh New Year. Obviously this is much easier said than done.. MY DUE DATE was the 24th January and all of the girls that I was pregnant with now had there babies….. It was hard and we were having to go for tests at the hospital because Sebastian had a brain haemorrhage whilst inside of me and they were trying to find out why, these tests seemed to take forever which really made everything drag out a lot more than I felt it should.

All of our tests came back negative and we still don’t know to this day why it happened. This whole time I haven’t had any calls from the doctors or the hospital checking up on me to see how my mental state is. I would like to think I am quite a positive person and even for me I have had some pretty dark times. So I don’t know how other people get on (say if they have previously been diagnosed with depression etc)

If I had given birth to a heathy baby I would of been checked for postnatal depression, which they take really seriously… so why not check up on someone who will 100% have post natal depression after having a still born. It shocks me…. even to the point of going to the dentist… When you’re pregnant you get 9 months free dental care whilst pregnant and 6 months free after your pregnancy. So when I went to the dentist last week the receptionist says after my 5 minute check up… “That’ll be £40 please” So I say “Im exempt from paying because I was pregnant” So she asks me if I’m currently pregnant or have a baby… So I say “I had a still birth” this obviously makes me cry… so Im stood crying in the middle of a waiting room.. and she says “Sorry the NHS don’t give exemption if your pregnant was terminated, don’t worry you’ll start to feel better soon. £40 please.” I was absolutely shocked by her response and if I was in my normal state I wouldn’t of payed and kicked up a BIG fuss… but because I was so shocked by her reaction I just payed and got out of there as quickly as possible.

Baring in mind I had been going to that dentist since I was 2 years old.. and it being a private clinic where I know they could of had a little sympathy and understanding… but no!!! Its like people just don’t understand it as being so horrific and life destroying. It is by far in my experience the worst thing to happen to a couple.

So looking on to the future I don’t think I will seriously feel happy in myself until I get pregnant again… I think when you loose a baby, whether that baby was planned or not. You prepare yourself for that little person to come into your life… so when that doesn’t happen you feel empty and like there is a little hole in your life that you need filling. Hopefully it won’t be too long until we get that hole filled…

Sebastian

I found out that I was pregnant last May and my due date was 24th January 2017. Finding out that I was pregnant was a mixture of emotions for me.. excitement, panic and scared… but as the time went on and myself and Ainslee went to lots of baby events, classes and found out that 2 of my really good friends were also due around the same time as me (Sarah-Kate and Sarah).. so this made everything really exciting for us and the fact we were just about to buy a house together made it feel like the perfect time for us.

After the 1st trimester of terrible morning, (day and night) sickness I was so glad to be in the 2nd trimester and was loving life completely. I felt so lucky to have an amazing boyfriend and feeling our little baby growing inside of me was THE most magical feeling. By this point we had been to two scans at Stepping Hill Hospital, one at 10 weeks (because me and Ainslee thought I was at 12 weeks already) and then another at 12 weeks. Both scans were so exciting for us, everything was growing perfectly and the midwife always said how good all the measurements were and that because we are both really active and healthy everything will be really straight forward with us.

I got to 20 weeks and I was feeling full of energy and went out for a few of my friends birthday parties (only out for food.. no alcohol of course)… I had exercised throughout the pregnancy so far but was now able to go a bit more regularly as I wasn’t feeling sick 24/7 anymore. We went along for our 20 week scan and we found out we were having a BOY!! As soon as we left the hospital we went shopping and bought the cutest outfits for him and everything seemed really real now.

The next 3 weeks I started to feel much more movement and I remember calling my friend Sarah-Kate and saying to her how excited I was about meeting our babies and how it doesn’t seem far away at all now!

I feel like since I said those words ‘IM SO EXCITED’ everything changed….

I started to feel really flu like and my glands were really swollen.. I just told myself I must be fighting a virus and need to rest and take it easy. Anyway a week had gone by and I hadn’t been to the gym for a few days so went for a workout… anyway that was probably the worst thing I could of done. That night I felt like I had caught the flu…. you know when your body aches and you just want to stay in bed… I decided to have a bath and thought it would help ease my aches and pains… after my bath I went for a wee and noticed some slimy stuff on my leg… it looked like snot and I was a bit confused… I thought it may just have come out after having a bath… I researched this because it had never happened before and it said things on google like ‘You may get a “show” when you are in your final weeks of pregnancy and to call your midwife’ and ‘This could be a sign that you are in early labour’ anyway I remembered that everyone says not to read into things when you try to diagnose yourself through Google so I put it to the back of my mind and hoped I would feel better in the morning. I was around 25 weeks pregnant now so though all the things that I had read of Google wouldn’t apply to me… anyway in the morning I woke up and all day I was needing to wee more and more frequently.. this happened for several days until the 7th October where I woke up and got out of bed… when I stood up a huge gush of what I thought was wee went everywhere… it was at this point that I thought I MUST have a urine infection because I was weeing so much and uncontrollably (I have never had this before).

After going to work that morning I came home and got straight in bed. My flu symptoms were worse than ever and I was still weeing A LOT. It was at that point my mum told me to go to the hospital and get checked over. My mum took me to the hospital where the doctors sent me to the delivery department to just get checked over (Ainlsee was out at work all day so at this point he just thought I was being dramatic and that the nurses would just send me home)…. I was telling the nurses that I think I have an infection so they said to me that they were going to check the babies heart beat and do a few tests just to make sure everything was all okay… I was thinking at worst I would need some antibiotics to get rid of whatever I had. The nurses were all so friendly and as they were trying to find my babies heart beat they kept the atmosphere really positive and not once did I think there was something wrong with my baby. The nurse told me that she couldn’t find the heart beat so she would get a proper scanner so that she could see that the baby was okay. She said sometimes the placenta gets in the way so not to worry. A special doctor then appeared with a big scanner so that we could see the baby. I remember being excited to see him and said to my mum “It’s nice that you get to see him on the screen” because up until then it was only Ainslee and myself who had been to the scans. The lady was really taking her time with the scan and I couldn’t tell if she had found the heart beat or not because the placenta makes a strange noise… (It sounds just like a heat beat to me.)

She hadn’t said anything for what felt like 5 minutes, so I said to her “Is he okay?” she turned around and said to me “He doesn’t have a heart beat” I remember looking at my mum and breaking down in tears. We both cried in each others arms and I just didn’t know what to do. I rang Ainslee straight away and all I could say to him was “There is no heart beat.. He’s dead!” Ainslee didn’t understand and Im sure he was seriously confused but he said he would come and see me straight away. We then had to go in for another scan to confirm his death… I felt numb and the only way I can explain the way I felt was like there was a dead baby inside of me. As soon as she said he wasn’t alive I could explain exactly how I was feeling…not flu like, feverish or unwell… but like my baby had died. I felt lifeless and like my world had ended.

Before we knew it, it was 6pm and myself and Ainslee were sat in the bereavement ward and I was been given a tablet to induce my labour. Not only was I heart broken about loosing my baby… I now had to process the fact that I was going to go into labour, which I didn’t think I would have to do for another 13 weeks and I had no idea what I had to do.

During the night I was in a lot of pain and by 9am the following morning I was in full on labour.

Sebastian Ainslee Shafto was born at 11:20am on the 8th October and seeing him for the first time was so hard for both of us. We were devastated and had no idea why this had happened to us.

Intro

Okay, so I have wanted to do this blog post for sometime now and haven’t really known what to say…. Some of you may have known that I was recently pregnant and others may not… But yes I had a stillbirth.

A lot of my friends have been telling me to write my experience down on paper.. whether it’s just to help me process things, or to eventually tell my story to you all to raise awareness. So I started writing and ended up writing around 8 A4 pages and thought to myself I can’t put all of this into one post, so I have decided to dedicate part of my blog to ‘Stillbirth Awareness’ and tell you in small blog posts my story and how I am recovering from what I can only explain as the worst experience to happen to a woman and also try and give women advice and to create a community where you don’t need to be afraid to talk about it.

I’m not really very open about my personal life on social media but thought that because this is such a taboo subject and there doesn’t seem to be a lot out there to help people like myself, my aim is to open peoples eyes that this does happen, make people feel okay to talk about it and most of all to help other’s who have gone through the same experience and for women who are going through it… or women who it hasn’t even happened to yet.

Whether it’s yourself, a friend or a family member who has been through the tragedy of a still birth I would love for you to tell them about my new awareness program. Because no one should feel alone about this subject.

If you would like to talk to me personally about this subject please don’t hesitate to email me cheshiregossipgirl@gmail.com

I will be posting weekly posts sharing my story, talking about depression, body changes, trying again and how it’s really important to have family and friends around you.