Moyra Vipond, 35, lives in Edinburgh with her husband Andrew and children Alex, 8, and Emily Mae, two. Alex came along quickly but their daughter took a lot longer...
What happened when you got pregnant first time around?
Although we'd only been together about a year and a half, and weren't married or engaged, Andrew and I both knew we wanted a family. Andrew is one of four and I had lost my mum the year before so was keen to establish my own little unit. Then, six weeks after coming off the pill, I fell pregnant. I was actually really shocked as I thought getting pregnant would take time. We were both happy but also a little nervous. My pregnancy went really well.
How was the birth?
I went into labour naturally six days after my due date. I stayed at home for as long as I could, and after only about nine hours of labour, got to hospital to find I was 9cm dilated already. I was a bit freaked out as I thought with my first baby it would be a much longer event! Our little boy Alexander was born weighing 7lb, 12oz. All I remember was how loud he was, he was already screaming before he was fully delivered!
After you had Alex, when did you start trying again?
I was training to be a Chartered Accountant, so we planned to hold off having number two until I had completed my final exam. Sure enough, I fell pregnant in October 2009. We were really excited and happy that our 'plan' had worked out.
Then what happened?
Our 12-week scan was booked for January 2010. On reflection, the normal pregnancy symptoms I'd had with Alex, like nausea and sore boobs, had started to wear off. The week before the scan, I had a little bit of a bleed and we went in to the early pregnancy assessment unit to have an early scan. It was bad news; the pregnancy was actually a blighted ovum and had stopped developing at about nine weeks.
We went home devastated: we never in a million years thought this would happen to us, especially as pregnancy before had been so easy and straightforward. The miscarriage happened naturally two nights later and was unbearable, more painful in a way than labour with Alex, and so depressing,
When did you start trying again?
My periods took ages to come back after that, I think the first cycle was about nine weeks. I became obsessed with pregnancy, conceiving and miscarriages, frantically searching the internet for information and tips.
We decided to start trying after my first period following the miscarriage and fell pregnant again straightaway. I was so happy, I felt we had been through our 'bad luck' and was sure this was meant to be.
How did this pregnancy progress?
At about nine weeks we were offered an early scan. This scan was to give some reassurance, but we still would have to wait until the 12-week scan to be sure. I was so nervous leading up to that point, constantly checking for bleeding. In the end our scan showed we were 8+4 weeks and a strong heartbeat. We were both over the moon – finally, we were on track to having a healthy sibling for Alex.
So we were completely stunned to find out at our proper 12-week scan in June 2010 that there was no heartbeat and the pregnancy had not continued past nine weeks. I felt physically sick with shock. I had believed my statistical miscarriage (the one in four you read about) had already happened back in the January, and that this pregnancy was meant to be. I had a medically managed miscarriage this time, which was equally as awful.
How did you cope?
We decided to give my body a break, get my cycle back on track and to relax and enjoy Christmas with Alex before trying again. I went for reflexology and this seemed to help my cycle return much quickly than before. I tried to relax a bit but I was terrified I wasn't going to have any more children.
Alex started school in the August and was always asking when he would be a brother. I felt I'd let him down, and that the problem was with me as we were getting pregnant easily enough, the babies just weren't surviving.
Did you go for any tests?
Yes – I persuaded my GP to test me for PCOS, and they ran lots of blood tests which all came back clear normal. We were also referred to a specialist in recurrent miscarriage, who ran even more tests on both Andrew and I, all of which came back fine. They all said we should focus on the fact we'd had one healthy baby and were capable of another. But I just didn't believe them.
When did you conceive again?
I was so excited to find out I was pregnant in January 2011. Again, we had an early scan, but this time it actually showed the pregnancy to be at 12 weeks already, so right away we thought that this could be 'the one'.
How did this pregnancy go?
I was terrified the whole time. I bought a Doppler and was obsessed with listening in to the heartbeat. We were given one extra scan appointment with a consultant at about 17 weeks, who afterwards discharged us back to the normal care path. But I didn't really relax and enjoy it until I had a large bump that I felt moving all the time.
And then you finally met your baby after such a long wait!
Yes, finally. Emily Mae was born on her due date and the birth was even quicker than with Alex. In fact my labour, from my waters breaking, was only five hours long. Emily Mae was so much quieter than Alex, but the spitting image of her brother. I was thrilled to have a little girl and I loved every minute of breastfeeding and maternity leave.
Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
I wouldn't have obsessed as much about it all, and not panicked about not being able to have another healthy baby. I actually had another miscarriage in December 2012, and although I was upset, I certainly felt differently about it now I've had Emily Mae. She has changed everything and was worth the wait.
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