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Gypsy's Subsequent Pregnancy Diary

ĎSheísí HereÖ8/22/00!!!

Merenia (mir-a-near) Saskia Finn Stockley

Click on balloons for the birth story of Merenia on August 22.

Click on balloons for Gypsy's story reflection on the first seven days and, then, four months after Merenia's birth. Entered January 25, 01.

Click on balloons to go to "New Arrivals

Contact Gypsy:

Thirdterm/cord accident Nowra, NSW Australia

Visit Gypsy's Story about Saskia, her daughter who was stillborn

Entry #1: 12/19/99

Hello, I have just spent some time at shareatlanta, it is so nice to visit again with the opportunity to spend some time!!

I have recently met with Lynda from Goulburn, she is lovely and expecting a new family member in January. I can't wait to meet and spoil their new baby.

It is taking us a while to concieve this time around. But having talked to Dr Collins I am armed and ready to manage the pregnancy in a way that suits ME!

I've attached some photo's of Sask, one of which is with Les (dad) and Kieran (big brother).

Marcia's thoughts: For more information about Dr. Collins:

Dr. Collins discusses Cord Accidents...) for information related to cord incidents.

Entry #2: 1/13/00

I have waited so long to be able to write my subsequent pregnancy story and now finally I can!

Subsequent Pregnancy, After 6 months of erratic cycles and really inexplicit fertility signs we are finally Pregnant (with a capital P). We found out on New Years Day. My due date I think is the 9th of September.

I have had absolutely no symptoms of being pregnant which I hate I would really like to be terribly ill with all day morning sickness- so that I know that my hormones are raging are working away to grow a healthy baby. I only know because 3 home pregnancy tests told me so!

To this end I called my doctor to get an order form so I could find out my HCG levels. What ensued I'd describe as a fight. Why this woman didn't want me to have the test and couldn't see that I was in desperate need of clinical, physical reassurance, I don't know, but I feel certain she has never lost a baby.

Anyway in the end I won! I got the result back today and it is really quite good. And so I am less stressed, for the moment at least.

I have already written a pregnancy and birth plan to present when I see my independent midwives next week- the same ones as I had with Saskia, wonderful women who I cherish dearly! I don't think they will be too happy with my plans- I want regular scans (4 weekly from 20 weeks) and various other things which don't align well with their philosophy, one which I used to admire and share, but sadly can not share any more.

At this stage the thought of still being pregnant at my due date makes me feel literally nauseous so I hope that I deliver early naturally- I don't want to be induced for a third time either.

We are keeping this baby a secret for now I don't know why but it feels right and it is nice to hold it close to us just for a while. I am not looking forward to peoples excitement and "isn't it wonderful"'s It will be fantastic when my little one is in my arms but until then I just can't share their enthusiasm.

Oh this letter sounds so down- overall I am happy but the weight is constantly on my shoulders and the fear lurks like a bad smell in the back of my mind, it's going to be a long 34 weeks and 2 days. I'll keep you posted and let you know about Lynda.

Hope you are well and that the New Year and holiday season brought you peace, joy and contentment- (just as it is going to bring me- eventually) Best wishes Gypsy

Entry #3: 1/21/00

Marcia YES PLEASE!!! I would love to do a subsequent Pregnancy Diary!

I had the results back from my HCG test last week and they were excellent quite high. I didn't realise how worried and anxious I was until I got the result back and actually relaxed some.

I also had my first appointment with my midwives they are the same ones who cared for me during Saskia's Pregnancy- they are so wonderful I couldn't have gone to anyone else.It is hard though as we had intended a Home birth for Saskia and I was very against any sorts of intervention. This time around though my views have done a complete turn around from serial scans through to a elective C-section.

Morning sickness is coming and going all day but with no consistency or real force I wish it was full-on and awful so I could know that my hormones are raging. At least I have exhaustion to comfort me.

Today I am 7 weeks only 33 to go phew!!!


Entry # 4: 2/05/00

9 Weeks...

Wow time is sort of flying by and I'm really not feeling to bad or so I think most of the time...

Lynda and Martin have finally had their baby a not so little boy called Drew. I had mixed up the date of their c-section and so was feeling very anxious when I didn't hear anything- when I finally got the call it was like a HUGE weight had been lifted off my shoulders! Boy did I cry!

We had our first ultrasound on the 31st. In my head I had planned what I would do in case of an ectopic and if it was another missed miscarriage- and so when it came out that we had a normal looking healthy, heart-beating baby I didn't know what to do with myself- so I cried! This is pretty usual for me.

I am sort of enjoying my all day morning sickness as it is very reassuring but what it is doing to my eating habits makes me feel terribly guilty for my little baby- I just do my best when I can.

I have found SPALS a newsgroup for people who have suffered a pregnancy loss and are trying or about to try and concieve and those who are pregnant. It is a great forum to vent bad feelings to a bunch of people who understand where you are coming from. And they are great for advice and reassurance and much more...

I would be more than happy to e-mail or write to anyone who is trying for a baby after loss or is already expecting. Especially those who lost a baby through cord accident as it would be good to share infomation and advice. Best Wishes to all 31 weeks to go! Gypsy

Marcia's thoughts: A link to SPALS (found on SHARE Atlanta's "Links/Support Groups- medical and grief) -

SPALS Information
  • Information and support on Subsequent Pregnancy after a loss.
  • Discussion group for support of parents during a subsequent pregnancy following a loss.
  • You subscribe to SPALS - visit their site to find out how.

    Entry #5

    Wednesday the 23rd of February

    Originally I wrote the following on paper as I couldnít get to a computer and thought it would be best if I recorded my thoughts before I went to my 2nd Ante-natal appointment later in the day.

    I was going to write after the appointment but I knew there was a good chance that my attitude could be completely changed by any outcomes at the appointment.

    As this appointment has drawn closer my stress levels have grown higher and higher. Iíve basically convinced myself that we wonít be able to hear the heartbeat- the reason in my head for which will be sinister not logical (especially as I donít really feel particularly pregnant at the moment). Iím 11 w 4d today and have a bit of excess padding on my belly so it is perfectly reasonable that we may not be able to hear it. But my brain is having a particularly hard time impressing that on my heart- talk about mission impossible. Lots is going on for this early stage of pregnancy but most of it is in my head.

    I am amazed at how many of my original intentions have changed between Saskís death in June and now. The biggest change being our intended method of birth, which has really only changed in the last 7 weeks since I wrote the birth plan.

    I am pretty much decided on a c-section. But because I have always had such a strong belief in childbirth with minimal intervention, (I had considered a homebirth for Sask), a c-section is a very difficult decision to come too. The whole prospect of major surgery is very unnerving and the selfish side of me wants to be able to hold, nurse and care for my baby directly after the birth.

    So why have I come to this decision- well I feel sick at the thought of being overdue and instinctively I donít want an induction- (Iíve had two- I had no problems with them but a gut feeling tells me not this time). So unless I go naturally into labour early then a c-section is my only option.

    There are also some other reasons for this which I find strange and maybe even a little selfish. I want a Ďlittleí baby- Saskia was 2.5kg (5lb 2oz), I canít say why, I really donít know. I really want this baby to be a girl as well but that doesnít surprise me as I have always wanted to raise a daughter.

    It can be really confusing thinking things that can only be related to pregnancy after loss as I find myself Ďchecking outí thoughts that I have to make sure that they seem healthy or Ďnormalí whatever that is!!!

    The grief process is so different in everybody and every situation that sometimes I find myself worrying that I am doing it Ďrightí. I think I am - itís just that believe it or not itís been easier than I ever imagined going through the death of a child would be.

    We are currently living in Australia on a posting with the New Zealand Airforce and so we have no family here- but of the 55 people on the squadron 37 are married and many have children most of whom are under 5. There are currently 5 of us expecting babies. Since I found out that I was pregnant I have not wanted to be around any of these people- I donít intend telling them directly that I am pregnant- eventually it will become obvious and Iím hoping if I say nothing they wonít ask.

    Why? Lots of reasons the first reason is that I donít particularly want to share this pregnancy with anyone but Les and Kieran. I would like to distance the squadron because if the unthinkable happens again I really donít want to have to deal with them. I think that Iíll just want to be left alone.

    Another reason I donít want to announce the pregnancy to people is that the standard response is ďcongratulations!Ē. Something that is about a million miles away from how I feel and Iím too stressed out to have the patience and energy to deal with their comments. My overriding feeling is of fear. Iíll be happy for them to congratulate me when Iím holding a healthy baby in my arms but until then- I just want to stay as far away from others as I can.

    Final issue at the moment- When I was pregnant with Saskia one of the other squadron mums was also due on the exact date as me, she went on to have a healthy baby girl about a month after Saskia was born, and I wish them all the best. Yesterday though I found out that once again I am sharing my due date with another woman I know. It makes me feel sick I was really upset when I found out. This is going to sound awful but she does such a poor job raising the son she has and life is always so unfair that if one of us has to loose a baby I feel like it will be me again. And as she is one of those people for whom everything in life is such a terrible drama Iím sure that she will tell us that she has every pregnancy complication known to man and some others as well. While Iíll be thinking if only she really had a clue what some people have to go through!!!! AAArghhhh!

    Iím just going a little nuts at the moment and Iím sure it happens to most people at some point thank goodness for internet friends who share my point of view- there always seems to be at least one other person who knows how I am feeling!

    This has been very long Iíll finish up now and add a quick note after I have the appointment. Fingers crossed we hear the heartbeat. LaterÖ

    Well we didnít hear it I keep telling myself that doesnít mean it is not there butÖ

    Tuesday 29th February 12w 2d

    I am actually feeling a bit better since the entry above not great but better. We have a appointment to meet with my Ob/Gyn on the 6th so hopefully he will find the heart beat Iíll be 13w 2d by then. I have been advised to tell him my background, then let him make suggestions for my care, after which I can tackle any situations I donít like or want differently. This doesnít sound very good but I have little choice there are 3 Ob/Gyns in town one is stopping the OB work in June and the other we dealt with when Sask died (he wins the prize for insensitivity).

    On the positive side I think that maybeÖ just possiblyÖ I FELT THE BABY MOVE!!!!! Iíve felt something 3 times now and I guess itís possible that it is the baby as I felt Sask move at 14 weeks this is only a couple of weeks earlier. Oooooohhhhhh I hope so!

    And more good news an Australian Parenting Magazine is going to publish Saskiaís birth story and another magazine is considering following this pregnancy for their pregnancy diary section. This means a photo shoot every 4 weeks and a short story about whatís going on. It will be fantastic to have a photographic record of the pregnancy especially if something awful happens. Itís quite exciting and I think will bring more reality to the situation!

    Entry #6

    WOW! I can't believe it 16wks and 2days... I guess I really have made is past the 'miscarrying' stage, I think I'll keep holding my breath until the u/s on the 6th.

    On Saturday I completely lost it because my husband dropped a film off to be developed. The reason in my head I lost it was because I wanted to do it. It was my excuse for getting out of the house. The actual reason was that I really needed to get out of the house to get away from my 'life' for a break. I ended up spending the entire day in bed feeling extremely tense. I couldn't stop feeling tense because I had no outlet. I came to the conclusion in the end that I was really stressed out about the baby and it had nothing to do with getting out of the house (and certainly not to do with a film being processed- poor Les, my husband, he told me he had just put it down to hormones and had decided to steer well clear of me for the rest of the day- I've taught him well:-))

    I found the best way to describe how I feel and it will be what I use when talking to people who haven't experienced pregnancy after loss before. I am a walking time bomb. I have no idea when I am set to detonate and I have to rely on a bunch of strangers (my Ob, midwives, and u/s technicians etc) to diffuse me, knowing full well that they can't know exactly what they are doing.

    To cap it all off it's my body and I have absolutely no control over the situation. I can't even trust what I think I'm feeling because I am so paranoid about every little twinge or the lack of twinges. ( I was wrong about feeling the baby move. The last time I was pregnant I felt movements at 14 weeks so I am, of course, worried about this.

    Do I feel worried all the time? Am I actually happy at all? After reading this far through my diary I'm sure you will be asking yourself this. Well no I don't worry conciously all the time. We do talk about the time 'when the baby is here...'

    I have hung up my two favourite baby outfits in the bedroom to help me look forward and I have a picture beside my bed of a newborn which I look at often as I turn out the light. I am not walking around with a black cloud above me in part this is because of my super excellent husband, and also because I am very fortunate to have an incredibly intelligent and beautiful two year old son who never ceases to amaze me everyday with the wonderful things that he can do.

    I am a planner though and while I would say I am an optimist I still like to have contingencies as to what we would do if something were to happen to this baby- so there are conversations going on in the back of my mind all the time.

    I take things in steps I got past 6 weeks (1st miscarriage) past the first u/s past 14 weeks (2nd miscarriage), heard the heart beat... next I have to make it to the feeling movements and then the next u/s after that we can share our news with family and friends which will be a big relief (lying is getting harder and harder).

    Overall there is an underlying blanket of stress that is constantly there but I can and do function like a 'normal' human being most of the time- I do laugh and smile and imagine a happy future.

    Marcia's comments: We actually have a piece about "future pregnancies" that talks about the blanket of stress-very real indeed! I like Gypsy's comparison to a time bomb. We are because we don't have any control and we never know when or what might set us off! These are very common thoughts within our groups...even the part of thinking of what we would do if something goes wrong! I have had moms (that did survive and have a living subsequent child) describe in detail what they would do if the child they were carrying died. Letting light through that blanket with hopeful actions, such as the picture or the small baby keepsakes, helps many to survive each day. Also, the need to "get away" and do something different or for yourself is healthy!

    Entry #7- 23 weeks and 3 days-May 15, '00

    Well just when things were looking a little more cherry lots of Ďstuffí happens. The squadron (Les my husband is in the airforce) has been away on a deployment for around 5 weeks and during that time a few of the partners have health problems so it has been really quite stressful. The most recent of which was one lady breaking her leg- none of us knew but she is also pregnant and due on the 1st if June. She is a lovely lady and I wish them all the best, but I am so hoping that she doesnít deliver on Saskiaís birthday.

    Motherís Day has just gone by- YUK! I hadnít actually thought that it would bother me but I was kind of blue all day and itís the only explanation I can find.

    I realised recently, I think, is that the reason why I have coped so well with Saskiaís death is that I concentrate I what I had and what is, rather than what could, would or should have been. The only significant date is June the 8th. I donít wallow every month on the 8th thinking to myself "Oh she would have been doing this now" or "sheíd be Ďthatí old now". She just is- my absolutely beautiful daughter, who, by-the-way, is dead. It is the same for my other babies I remember them on their Ďbirth datesí.

    I donít see why I should think of them on their due dates- I donít do so for Kieran who was born alive and healthy 6 days after his due date. The due date was something brought about by my LMP or a u/s computer based on some reasearch data, I see and hear a lot of people putting a lot of significance on dates that were nothing but possibilities- by doing this they are commemorating what could/would/should have been- maybe this is right for them I would never suggest that it is a wrong thing to do. But I much prefer to celebrate what is trueÖ Saskiaís birth or existance and her place in our family, our second child and first daughter.

    This is something, for me, that made the miscarriages harder in some respects to deal with. I was left with next to nothing and the lack of knowledge robs those tiny angels of their rightful place in our family.

    Whoops I got off on a tangent there for a while. Recently one of our squadron families went home to New Zealand for a holiday. While there their six month old son, Luke was taken seriously ill and it was suggested that he would not survive. He seems to be out of the woods now (although there maybe some long term consequences). This has been the most heart-renching experience for me. I have been an absolute basket case over the past weeks and thought about very little else than Luke and his family. This is a whole new pain- I donít ever want someone I care for to lose a child for obvious reasons, but also for more selfish ones. Knowing intimately the grief and pain that they were going through and being totally helpless to ease it in anyway. This is one of the worst imaginable feelings around. The whole thing left me feeling quite low and wondering why it is I am risking my heart bring children into the world when there are such terrible possibilities awaiting some of them.

    I know the answers to this question and really only ask it because I am feeling so low- but it is really a scary concept- only out weighed by the absolute joy and rapture that comes with a new baby.

    (This joy is something that I made a paramount effort to capture with Saskia- as we were fortuneate enough to know with plenty of warning that she had died) That feeling is summed up in the prose below.

    Love by Hillary Jackson

    > "Love is a feeling which fills you up from the inside out- just like when you take a breath of fresh air with which to fill your lungs, so does your soul take in a deep drink from love. Love is the air of the soul. Just as our lungs need air to breathe, so does our soul need love to live, to survive, to be itself. It feels like a smile to your sadness, like cool water to your thirsty mouth, like a bed to your weary body. It is the place of rest for your essential self. Love is how you would feel if you were simply connected to and experiencing only the moment you are in- not wanting anything more- not desiring anything but what the moment contained,"

    So thatís been my emotional week- phsically this baby is driving me nuts it will have an active day and then as if it has really tired itself out will be a lot less vigorous for the next three or so days. I have had, headaches, shortness of breath, palpitations, blocked sinusís, some chest pain and am waking twice a night. I am stacking on the weight (a big (excuse the pun) issue for me) but can still sleep on my belly more so than in any of my other pregnancies at the same stage.

    Things get to the point where I am about to call my midwives for reassurance or to do a trace or just do something and then the baby perks up and Iím left wondering if I am just paranoid!

    We have a midwife appointment next week and an OB appointment the week after. After which I am hoping to start serial scans. The first of which will hopefully happen before we head off on holiday on the 9th of June. Plus Iíll do the glucose tolerance test as well and arrange to start Non-stress test on our return from the holiday. All that will hopefully put my mind at ease.

    Assessment for the week- things are ok- just!

    Take care sorry to ramble so Gypsy

    Marcia's thougths: I found this very moving. The world of pain around us doesn't stop as we try so hard to bring a living wonderful child into this world. We are so fragile-life is so fragile- and all the tragedy around us is very overwhelming! I remember cherishing EVERYTHING and I still do.

    Entry #8 6th June 1999 26+ weeks

    AAAARRRGGGGHHHHH WellÖ we went for our 2nd visit to the OB last week and heís put me back about a million miles in feeling good about the way things are going.

    Things that really hacked me offÖ

    If the baby goes for a couple of days without moving and Iím less than 30 weeks then he wouldnít be at all concerned. My thoughts: well thatís lovely for him, but Iíd be going out of my head!!!

    I wanted a u/s before we embarked on our holiday. I havenít had one since 17 weeks and Iíll be 29 by the time we get backÖ He disscussed who would be paying for it- (as New Zealanderís on a defence force posting to Australia we are in a kind of unique situation). My thoughts: it isnít going to come out of his wallet so why should he care.

    I would like to have antibiotic cover from two weeks before my due date until I deliver as I am Group B strep positve. He never let me finish a sentence and so never grasped the concept that I wanted it right until delivery was over. So kept repeating that the B strep could just come back once I stopped taking the antibiotics. --- My thoughts: If I donít stop until I have had the baby then who cares if it comes back after. I will revisit this with him again.

    He stated that all women should be in hospital from the time their waters break--- My thoughts: excuse my language but I really think this is a load of utter crap!!!! If I decided that I am going to have a vaginal delivery then I am not going to spend hours on end at the bloody hospital under this creepís care having to endure a miriad of interventions etc which would probably lead to some thing awful like an emergency c-sec or an induction. My intuition is trying to steer me clear of. My secret fantasy is that I will have a silent and fast labour the day before my section is schelduled and deliver the baby with no problems at home moments after my husband and midwives walk in the front door.

    The last time I felt Saskia Ďmoveí was the first time that I ever felt her have the hiccups and in fact she wasnít really moving voluntarily she was just moving under the volition of the hiccups. So when he told me the funny noise we heard just as he was finishing listening to the babyís heartbeat was a hiccup I must have looked ill. He reassured me that it was nothing to worry about--- My thoughts: logically and rationally I know this is true but I have lost most of my ability to be rational and logical :-)

    I spent the whole appointment on the verge of tears and was in fact at one point actually crying- not that Dr Creephead noticed. Poor old Dh (my husband) was sitting looking bewildered, angry, frustrated and helpless- this combination is not a good look (lol). Plus the only thing he asked me about was nausea and dietÖ I didnít get a chance to discuss any other concerns with him: like daily headaches which are really starting to worry me. (My BP is fine)

    There are two OBís in the town where I live and believe it or not the other is worse! He refuses to treat the independent midwife teamsí patients (by all accounts because he doesnít like to have anyone challenge his autonomy/authority. Boy I tell you Iíd love to have a go at him!!!!!! His reputation is absolutely terrible and medical staff in this town would rather pay to go private if they end up in labour when he is on call!) The nearest decent OB is over an hour away, which would be tolerable except on the BIG day plus if I have an elective c-sec it would be done here so Iíd still have Dr Creephead.

    I will have my boxing gloves on for my next appointment and will practice the line "SHUT UP and LISTEN" many times before next time. It is really tiring to have to fight for what I think is a barely decent level of care.

    I also hate that I find myself having to challenge my thoughts and say well am I Ďover emotionalí because we are coming up on Saskiaís birthday. Or is some or other symptom actually caused by stress rather than the pg- I know myself well and other peopleís actions and words are making me doubt myself at a time when it is essential that I feel confident. I wish people would trust my insticts. If something does go wrong then itís them that will sound the first alarm!

    Marcia's thoughts: I had to smile ever so gently as I read this latest report. Our feelings, reactions, etc. are ALL over the place during the subsequent pregnancy. I have seen it in me and so many of our group members. After 15 years of sharing stories in our group much of what you have writeen fits right into most folks agenda for feelings and reactions (both to the doctor and to your growing body and baby). I have found that the doctors that our woman prefer are those who listen and do what is needed to reassure the mom. Dad does feel helpless at this time and mom feels as though she is neurotic. Well... maybe she is but with good reason. A doctor we can trust to listen and provide what is needed to support our fears IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR SURVIVAL!!!

    Entry # 9 July 11th 31 weeks and 3 days- no I canít believe this either!!!

    So whatís been happening in my part of the world ? Well we just got back from a 2 week holiday and it is good to have the security of familiar surroundings although we did have a great time. Car travel @ 29 weeks is not the smartest of ideas thoughl. I have intimate knowledge of many public toilets covering three states (of Australia) LOL. Les was (kindly) hassling me about this. I canít see what his problem is - I only needed to go every time he stopped the car or I stood up. LOL.

    The day before we left was Saskia's first birthday- we got her birthday cards for her scrap-book and a bunch of flowers very similar to those that we got her last year. I am in the process of making a blanket to donate to the local hospital for the parents of the next still born baby to have as a keepsake. I think that all of these things will become tradition.

    Only a few members of our family acknowledged that it was her birthday which was a little disappointing and I was upset to learn that my sister-in-law had been made to feel bad (by my mother-in-law) because the balloons they took to her grave had left a mark on Saskia's cross. Personally I am absolutely delighted that they cared enough to make the effort as far as I acn tell no one else did!

    Since we have been back I had a scan and everything was just perfect. We *may* be having a girl which is my preference but Iím not at all picky except for the part about live and healthy :)

    We have found the ultimate in u/s tech and will ask for her now until the end! (6-8 weeks I canít believe it!!!)

    I am still having *MAJOR* difficulty in deciding on the method of birth - a huge issue for me. To add to it after 7 months of ttc and 29 weeks of pg my dh (damn husband) ;) piped up with his opinion- he never said before that he had one. He doesnít want a c-sec- I didnít talk to him for three days after that I was totally devastated. As if the decision wasnít hard enough! The closer I get to the end the more I lean towards a c-sec and he knows that!!!!!!!

    After a 2 hour wait I saw my OB last Thursday. I have come to the conclusion that he has a multiple personality disorder- because he was nice and vaguely helpful and he listened!!! I want to know where is the guy who was in-habiting his body at the appointment before. Sonít get me wrong Iím glad he is gone but itís just a bit strange!!!

    Anyway he will allow me to have antibiotics for Group b Strep- for sanity (mine and his :) ) rather than medical reasons. He ordered another u/s (this Thursday) without prompting and I start NSTís every 3 days next Tuesday bliss!!!

    All in all it was a great relief as I had spent the day looking after Kieran who had thrown up every 20 mins from 5am till 12 noon. Quite worrying on itís own even worse when I knew that I had caught a similar thing from him a week or so before Saskia died. They said the two were unrelated but the feeling of history repeating is kind of scary!

    Anyway all seems well in the Stockley house and womb at the moment I feel surprisingly healthy and unaffected- physically- by this pregnancy, which I try to be greatful for.

    We are debating the subject of a name almost daily. Nothing feels 'just right' like it did with Kieran and Saskia. Hopefully we'll sort it out in time for the big day.

    Take Care and best wishes where-ever you are on this journey,


    Entry #10 - Aug. 9, 00 35 weeks and 4 days

    Hi all a quick update, sorry I haven't written much recently

    I finally made up my mind and committed myself to a c-section- possibly the hardest decision I have ever made. But listening to a woman labour recently during a routine trace (ctg) I realised I would just be to scared to go through that. Plus as we get closer to the finish line Iím getting even more stressed and tired, emotionally and mentally. So I told my OB and asked for the 22nd of August (37w 3d) and much to my surprise he agreed (after some coersion, he would have preferred the 29th). (Co-incidentally this is our official wedding anniversary.)

    That night all I dreamt about was delivering the baby- I arrived at the hospital wearing a nightgown, something I havenít had since childhood, and gumboots- (big rubber boots for farm work). There was ice all over the carpark and I had to tread very carefully over it to get to the hospital. Iíd like to see a dream analysis of that one- something about skating on thin ice, maybe, LOL.

    Sunday was 35wks 1d, the point in my last pregnancy when Saskia died and it passed without event and was certainly easier than expected. We have a u/s tomorrow and Iím looking forward to seeing that all is well in there two weeks between scans seems like an eternity even with 3rd daily traces!

    Only 13 sleeps till delivery day, excited and apprehensively yours


    Marcia's thoughts: I love the dream scene!! Skating on thin ice indeed. You are getting sooooooo close. I know that week 35 was so hard. We worry through these awful dates with those in our group. Not easy,,,EVER!

    WE are thinking constantly of you. You might need those farm boots. I can just see you walking into the hospital with those on! They would make some kind of statement. Noone can truly know how much work goes into a subsequent pregnancy until they have been through one!

    Take care,

    Entry #11 on August 22, 00

    ĎSheísí HereÖ

    Merenia (mir-a-near) Saskia Finn Stockley

    Was delivered at the Shoalhaven District Hospital, Nowra, Australia (but sheís a kiwi at heart)

    By: Elective Caesarean Section- yes we chose this option!!!!!!!

    On: Tuesday 22nd of August (Our Wedding anniversary good timing eh!)

    At: 0843 hrs

    Weighing in at; 6 lb 14 oz 3110 grams (despite being almost 3 weeks early!!!)

    She is 49 cm long

    She has a beautiful mother, handsome dad, and wonderfully talented big brother, an angel of a big sister, and a strong dislike of the colour pink- (ahh sheís her motherís daughter).

    As well as brown hair and blue/grey?? eyes. A big head (the Smith Family Brains), and short legs- (a Stocky- Stockley trait)

    Mother and Baby are now resting, relatively, comfortably in the, private hospital, luxury of Nowra Community Hospital- (Yay for the defence force!)

    To answer your questions the ones I can anticipate anyway:

    Merenia: Itís a Maori name.
    Because it was one of the few we could agree on.
    Off the top of my head no I donít know the meaning.

    Why a Caesar? InsanityÖ and actually it was looking like we werenít going to have a choice because in the typical Stockley Baby habit of being difficult she liked to lie sideways as opposed to head or bottom down like 99.9% of other babies!!!!!!!!

    Yes she is gorgeous- I canít believe you even asked that!!!

    Marcia's note: I have a picture and am going to put it on very soon! How wonderful it is to have little Merenia safely with her family!

    Entry #12 - January 14, 01


    Here is a epilogue to Merenia and Saskia's story... a happy ending at last

    Sheís Here!

    Life with a new baby is not all that easy and adjusting to this new life is complicated further after an earlier loss of a childÖ It has itís downís but the loss makes it so much easier to appreciate just exactly what a gift a new baby is- a new life a tiny baby to be treasured and loved.

    Not the most dignified entry into the worldÖbum first out of Mumís tummyÖĒoh, Iíll just do a little Ďweeí here while Iím waiting for them to get my head out of here!Ē ďAhhÖ thatís better. Whoa, turn the lights down! What do you mean smile- Iím stark naked and not exactly at my best right now. Whereís my MUMMMMM!!!!!!!Ē

    Finally after 7 months and 22 days (not that I was counting) of waiting Merenia Saskia Finn is here. A healthy 6lb 14oz, she is born by elective caesarian at 37weeks and 2 days and doesnít look back.

    Me on the other hand I have a lot of adjusting to do! Iíve spent most of the last 37 weeks not letting myself believe that this day would come- I guess I thought it would make it easier if the worst was to happen.

    Day 2: The midwives canít understand why I donít leave dirty nappies and the like to them- they canít understand what is a pleasure it is to wipe a little bum, after not being able to do it for Saskia.

    Day 3: I find myself wondering when that crying babyís mum is going to come and pick her up and considering if the mother would mind if I picked the baby up in the meantime. Well probably not seeing as how I AM that babyís Mum! When are they going to take her away? Thatís what happened with Saskia. I am thinking of Saskia- is this what she would have been like? They have the same hair and features, most definitely sisters. I find myself a little sad that they wonít be able to play together. I feel like I am expected to forget her now, as if Merenia replaces her or somehow makes up for the loss. This is certainly not so. My grandmother says how nice it is to have ďone of eachĒ, but we already had one of each- Saskia still counts. You donít get over it either, you learn to live with it. Merenia sleeps all the time, it is kind of un-nerving. Is she okay? Still breathing? Is she getting enough to eat?

    Day 4: Iím feeling so guilty when Kieran was born I was in love with him instantly- a huge feeling of joy, that all was well in the world. I donít feel that for Merenia, donít get me wrong I do love her but it is building gradually over time, almost as I build up the trust that she really is here with us to stay. The baby in my life for the last year has been Saskia, I keep slipping up and calling Merenia by her name. I feel terribly bad when it happens and worry that someone will hear me and think Iíve gone crazy. I told Les about it and it turns out heís done it too so I donít feel so bad.

    Day 5:Sheís still hereÖ perhaps we can keep herÖ take her home even. I hope so our family is so ready for this beautiful little girl. And oh she is so beautiful and over night my little boy has grown into a true pre-schooler. Kieran is wonderful with Merenia. We had done a lot of preparation before-hand, but I expected there might be a little trouble. I guess it might be different when she gets mobile and starts Ďplayingí with big brother Kieranís precious treasures!

    Day 7: Home from the hospital- we are still in Ďbabymooní so, no visitors- it is great to have this time together as a family and just get to know Merenia. Not that there is much to know all she does is eat and sleep. Sheís a fantastic baby- making recovery from the caesar very easy.

    Four and a half months: Merenia is an established member of our family, we couldnít imagine life without her. Although I often do. Having lost a child, the fear of cot-death is ever so real, and our little girl refuses point blank to sleep on her back- Iíve tried everything! It is always a huge relief, when I creep in the room to watch her sleep, to see the rise and fall of her little back. Kieran truly loves her and she him watching all that he does. And if he has his way she will be fully literate and an expert on the animal kingdom by her first birthday- he reads her stories all the time, pointing out all the most important bits. She is of course also the apple of her dadís eye, taking much pleasure in their gentle play wrestling bouts, stories and quiet cuddles. Breastfeeding, fortunately, is going well and Merenia is growing fast- she is no longer a Ďlittleí baby anymore. She is ďbasicallyĒ sleeping through the night, (Kieran didnít give me that pleasure till 12 months), and so I consider myself very lucky. Of course I consider myself very lucky anyway I have three wonderful children- two who are live and healthy here with us. And Saskia who we carry in our hearts. In one short life she has taught me so much and blessed my life in so many ways- least of all being her little sister, Merenia.

    ďSome people only dream of angelsÖ we held one in our armsĒ

    Marcia's comments: I really appreciate your continued story. I have to tell you that I had the very same thoughts around both Aaron and Joel (both being 'subsequent" babies) that you did. I have heard these comments many times as folks share with me after they have had their subsequent baby, but I have not seen it in print that I can remember.

    I kept waiting for someone to tell me "time is up we will take him now"- I wondered how other moms could not be as involved with "baby-care" as they could possibily be - after the wait! - I called each subsequent baby by the name given to the one in heaven (so did Leon!) and I, too, felt guilty (until I realized that I would get names mixed up anyways and the boys learned to live with it!) - Yes, I, too, wondered how Aaron was like Seth might had been. - And I got overtired "watching" my new baby sleep! (Yes, the baby adjusted faster than I did! (-;) - Lastly, Joel absolutely adored Aaron and shared his room with him until years later and pre-teen set-in then Aaron was mystified as to why Joel REALLY wanted his OWN space! (Not to say there weren't disagreements, etc, but for the large part things went fairly well on the brother to brother issues.)

    Your thoughts are heart-warming and a gift to every mom who is blessed by the living, subsequent baby. We do not forget the ones we hold so close to our heart and each of our children is a blessing. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

    Entry 9/01

    Merenia has just turned 1!! life is wonderful ! We have moved back to New Zealand as our Air Force posting was up.


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