READER REPORT:

Finally, babies after the heartache of loss

KATRINA HOWDEN
Last updated 05:00 12/07/2014
Scan
ON BOARD: Katrina Howden's 12 week scan - her twins are due in September this year.

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After a fairly straightforward pregnancy with my daughter, we figured trying for number two would be just as easy. Now I feel like my body has given me every pregnancy scenario possible and it has been a rocky road.

When my daughter was 8 months old she decided she was a little less interested in breast feeding and within a month stopped altogether, just as I found out I was pregnant.

When we went for the scan we were so surprised to find, yes, I was pregnant but there was no baby.

This was a molar pregnancy which meant two sperm had got the egg at the exact same time. This caused too much information to be in the egg so the baby could not develop, but hormones meant I was still pregnant.

It was horrible being pregnant with no baby. You still get the same sense of loss. The worse thing with a molar is you are not allowed to try again straight away. There is a chance anything left behind could become cancerous so monitoring for up to a year is required.

A year later I went back to work and my partner became stay-at-home dad.

I had just started the new job when I found out I was pregnant again. We weren't trying but I know I didn't get my dates wrong so I felt something strange was happening with my body.

We sat down and worked out how we would manage it, but this time we weren't going to get excited until I had a scan. That was the theory, but it was still devastating to see an embryo with no heart beat.

I had been hanging out to tell everyone at work and now I had to tell them anyway because the inevitable miscarriage could happen at any time.

We focused on the fact this would have been too soon for my job, but decided we would be ready to try again soon. This time I was going to be ready, eat the right things and put on a bit of weight.

We tried again after a few months and I fell pregnant straight away. I discussed options with my doctor and we decided to monitor things closely and keep an eye on my H.C.G. levels.

I told work straight away this time which was fantastic, they were so supportive. At five weeks my H.C.G. dropped so I prepared for more disappointment.

We were ready for the bad news when I went for the scan, but there was an embryo. The embryo was too small for a heartbeat and there were lots of grape-like patches.

They were worried it was another molar, so I had another scan a week later. In a week's time there was a heartbeat and many of the grapes had disappeared. The conclusion was; I had lost a twin.

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Several weeks later I started bleeding. I knew as soon as I saw the foetus on the scan. There was no heartbeat.

This was the hardest. I was upset I lost the first twin, you can't just get pregnant again and have twins, and then to lose the remaining twin - I was devastated.

I tried to focus on the fact that whatever child becomes my daughter's younger sibling, they would not exist had I not gone through this.

One day I would meet that child and love them so much I could not feel resentment at what I was going through.

At the end of last year I had another miscarriage very early on. I did not feel anything for that loss, I was so over it by then.

At the start of this year I started taking baby aspirin to thin my blood and prevent any potential clots if I fell pregnant again. I felt I had to do something.

My first period of the new year was only three weeks after the previous and I felt pregnant. I thought it was a chemical pregnancy and therefore another miscarriage. I went to my doctor who gave me two blood test forms.

So three days after my next period I was to check my hormone levels or if I didn't get my period I was to do an H.C.G. to assist my eligibility for fertility treatment.

Just before my period was due I felt so sick and horribly pregnant, I went off the blood thinners because I thought that might be causing it and I did the H.C.G. test.

The day my period was due I spent all night vomiting, so I took the next day off work and went to the doctor.

My doctor had my H.C.G. results and I knew from previous miscarriages 16 was probably not a good level for four weeks.

I sat there thinking "please say higher than 16, please say higher than 16".

The doctor said my H.C.G. were 172,563. That was higher than 16 but I also knew that was stupid high, even for twins.

We talked about the possibility it was another molar and I was booked in for scan that afternoon.

We were prepared to see grape patches, but the radiographer pointed out a heartbeat straight away. I asked if there was another one. She said yes. They were identical and the size indicated they were around six weeks. My last period wasn't a period, it was implantation.

This pregnancy has been horrible because I have been so sick and I am always worried something will go wrong.

My colleagues have known from the start and have been fantastic.

Everything I have been through has been worth it because it looks like these two little girls will be our much-wanted children that we fall in love with and who become part of our family.


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