‘It is not the strength of the body, but the strength of the spirit.’

‘The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.’ – Haldir

Lord of the Rings, J.R.R Tolkein

So it’s been a hot minute since I wrote anything! I am so sorry dear readers! Time to remedy the situation and give you all an update on what has been going on.

As you all may know, we have been thrust violently into a New World with so many changes and uncertainties in these (dare I say it) unprecedented times. We are part of history, a huge part of which is happening right now, all over the world.

Among the sorrow, the anxieties and the grief comes hope and light. In many forms.

I think of our other angel babies often, the ones we called Ponyo, Bumble bee and Bug. These precious little ones have not, and will not ever disappear into darkness, rather, I think they will always be with us. Especially when all is uncertain and dark. They are beautiful, emotional reminders of our journey so far.

I am conscious of how long this post could be so I will keep it to the point for now and hopefully elaborate on some further topics in months to come – now that I feel like I have a small grip back on reality. My husband and I booked tattoos for our Christmas present to each other on January 6th of this year. We decided to get silhouettes of Frodo and Sam. Mine has the words “Don’t go where I can’t follow” written so beautifully in Elvish below. Thank you to the team at Rock’n’Ink for the amazing work!

For those who have followed our journey, you will know how important and apt these tattoos are for my husband and I. They remind us of our journey, of our importance to each other and to always remember that our love and support comes first. In the end, that’s what a foundation of a relationship is right? Loving each other at our worst and our best and never giving up hope.

Well, we arrived home from getting the tattoos done and a wave of curiosity suddenly took hold of me and for some reason (6 days before my period was due!) I felt compelled to test. As you remember, we decided to take a break for a couple of cycles and rest our brains and bodies. December came and as the days passed we finally decided we were ready to try again. Cycle one turned out to be a success straight away!
Here we were thinking we would be a couple of months before we got anything positive! I ovulate early in my cycle (hence the positive test happening so early for those wondering!).

So, off to our GP and Obstetrician we went for more wonderful bloods to confirm. And there it was. We were pregnant again.

For the 4th time.

It’s a funny feeling now. Anxiety. I find it seems to be the first emotion attached to pregnancy these days, which is only fair enough given our track record. So I spent most days pacing in my head through halls of doubt, rooms of uncertainty and emotion after emotion as I tried to process this all to familiar place again. My Samwise, being Samwise and holding my hand and my heart through every up and down and every anxious thought was always beside me.

With every other pregnancy I had very mild to non existent symptoms. They seemed to fluctuate day to day (which I am told is normal of course). This one was different. I had the works…nausea every day, heart burn, tiredness, headaches, emotional craziness, sleep disturbances and all other manner of things! But I was so happy to have them. It’s strange. The symptoms were such a reassurance, the worse I felt – the less anxiety plagued me.

More blood tests came and went – all showing good news – even after a little scare of spotting. We stayed apprehensive. Not telling family or friends until we had any idea whether this one would be different. It came time for our 10 week NIPT test. I must admit, I was dreading this the most. For those who don’t know what a NIPT test is – basically it’s a simple blood test that assesses your risk factor for common chromosomal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome, Turners Syndrome and others. It doesn’t tell you for sure that your baby has a specific problem, merely highlights your risk factor. If your risk factor is high – you will likely then go on to have CVS (if early on in your pregnancy) or Amniocentesis to confirm.

As most of you know. Our second miscarriage (which ended in me having to have a D&C procedure) was tested for chromosomal issues and unfortunately that was the reason our little one didn’t survive. So you can imagine the nerves getting this far and awaiting test results.

Part of me was CERTAIN that there would be an issue. If nothing else, I think it was my brain trying to cushion the fall should something go wrong. Prepare for the worst right? Well, you have your blood test and then wait 5 – 7 days for the results. 6 days passed and I got a text message saying my results had been processed and sent to my Obstetrician. I bit my nails and sweated bullets waiting for the call and when it finally came my heart jumped into my throat.

“Normal results”

Normal? What is that…..

“Would you like to know what you are having?”, said our amazing receptionist on the other end of the phone.

“Yes!” I replied…. my husband and I had decided we would find out the sex then and there as surprises just aren’t our thing these days!

“It’s a little girl, congratulations!”

My heart jumped and my head sighed. I frantically rung my husband to give the good news as he was working away that day. Our little rainbow girl. The first for our family as my brother has 3 boys and my husbands brother has 2 boys! What a special little one she is.

Ponyumblebug.

We call her Yumble for short. It’s a combination of all our previous nicknames. And I think it’s fitting as we remember our lost ones and celebrate what they have lead us to – hopefully we will be able to tell her the story of her nickname too.

I am 22 weeks as I write this today.

I would love to tell you that the ring has been tossed into Mount Doom and all is well in Middle Earth. However. That is not the case. The journey has taken an unexpected but relieving turn and we are walking in a lot more light.

It has to be said that there are always doubts, fears, anxieties, uncertainties and the worry of something coming along at any moment to throw us into chaos. After all, previous experience has paved the way for this pregnancy to be fraught with emotional hurdles and fears. But we are quietly confident with each week that passes and our little girl fighting… kicking…. moving her way towards the day when we finally get to meet her and hold her in our arms.

She won’t know how special she is.

I have a lot more to say on the journey we have had. On what it’s like to be pregnant after 3 initial miscarriages. On what it’s like to walk this path during a worldwide pandemic.

But those shall be tales for the coming weeks and months.

I thank you all in the real world for all your messages, comments and support you have provided us over the past few months. We couldn’t have kept going without you all lifting us up. I thank you all who read from all over the world – who have learned from our struggles and have walked with us at any point. For those who are struggling – there is hope.

Always light.

Always hope.

For now, I will sign off with this little picture to remind us all that “there is some good in this world…and it’s worth fighting for”

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