A long story about my babies

WARNING- there are some people who are very close to me who say they don’t often read my blog because it makes them cry. Whilst I am sorry my appalling writing has this effect on you, please don’t read this post. OK? 🙂



I think the chemo has put me into the menopause. I understand from my dr that about 30-40% of people go back to normal after they stop the chemo, so this may well be the case for me, but I am surprised by how fine I will be with things if it doesn’t happen for me. I am absolutely certain that my family is complete now.

Child bearing has not been easy for me. I wanted children for a number of years before Ian was on the same page, but he was never in “that place”, so when I got to my late twenties I was starting to wonder if I’d ever get to have any. It was one of those situations where if he really hadn’t wanted any kids, I would have agreed not to have any, but I know I would have resented him for ever over it, and I wonder if in the long term our relationship would have survived, because I think I would have been very bitter about it.

In October 2003, Ian broke his ankle whilst playing rugby, and had to take some time off work to rest his leg. He spent a lot of time with his foot up, and had as he puts it, a lot of time to think. It came hot on the heels of him catching me crying because one of my colleagues had announced her first pregnancy, and, pathetic though it may seem, it made me feel devastated and sick with jealousy. Also I was furious with myself for having feelings that I felt were unworthy of Ian and me. He of course couldn’t really say much to comfort me, but I think it made him realise that this was a very big deal to me.

Once he was recovered somewhat, we came home from a lovely night out with some of our closest friends and Ian completely astonished me by announcing that he wanted to try to start a family. For the first time ever, he completely caught me by surprise, my jaw hit the floor, I couldn’t speak. We’d both had a few drinks, so the next day I told him that if he wanted to reconsider, now was the time to do it, because if he changed his mind later, I’d be very, very hurt and disappointed. He said he had given it a lot of thought and wasn’t going to change his mind. I was completely ecstatic.

We aren’t married and have no plans to do so for now, and I knew this would be a problem for some of my family, so I thought the kindest thing to do was to warn them before I got pregnant that we were going to try. This went down better with some of my family than with others, but I am really glad I did it, because I think it softened the blow somewhat!

I got pregnant almost immediately, and was overjoyed. I didn’t get sick, felt great and was cocooned in happiness.

When  I was 13 weeks pregnant, at the end of January 2004, the reason for my lack of symptoms became clear and I started to bleed. A number of devastating trips to the hospital revealed that there was no real baby growing in there, just a clump of cells which had gone wrong at some basic level. My hormone counts were going down and I was going to lose the baby.

On 2nd February 2004, I had a miscarriage at 14 weeks. The bleeding seemed to slow fairly quickly, so I thought I was over the worst of it- Ian and I tried our best to comfort each other, we had a takeaway and a bottle of wine, and watched some tv (insane though it sounds). We even looked into taking a few days away to try and come to terms with it.

Later that evening, I haemorraged in the bathroom and passed out in a pool of blood. Ian luckily heard me hit the deck and was able to call an ambulance. Everything was dealt with quickly, I had a D&C and was able to go home the next day, but the experience left me deeply traumatised and weakened.

The next couple of months passed in a blur and I think I came very close to having a nervous breakdown. I couldn’t believe that this baby, which I had been so desparate for, and had been so happy to be expecting, had been taken from me. I didn’t know if I’d ever have children. Emotionally I was a mess, and cried for no reason and all the time. Ian must have wondered what the hell to do, but he was grieving too, just in a completely different way, he shut down and didn’t want to talk about it.

We decided to try again, on the understanding that if I had another miscarriage, we’d decide not to do it again- I didn’t think I could take the pain.

Once again, I got pregnant right away- and to my joy, I was as sick as a dog almost from day 1! 😀 We went for a scan at 12 weeks, and there was Ricky. (I think actually it took me about ten scans between the two of them not to cry every time I saw them on the ultrasound, such was my overwhelming relief that they were kicking their arms and legs, and that their little hearts were beating!) My pregnancy went well, though they told me he was quite large and I could hardly walk by the end.

Ricky was born on 17th January 2005- at 10lb 14oz. I laboured for 52 hours before having a c-section- I just don’t think my 5ft 1 frame was equipped to deal with such a big baby! 😀

I look like shit in this picture, which was taken shortly after he was born. Does he look like a newborn to you?? 😀


I think Ricky saved me from a serious, full scale, brain-is-melting-down, I need a trip to the mental institution style breakdown. And it’s kind of a strange one, because if I hadn’t had the miscarriage, Ricky would never have been. I can’t believe that. I guess maybe things happen for a reason. He was (and is) so perfect and beautiful. Everyone on the ward wanted to hold him, he was so big that the nurses kept bearing him off to show people, he was a star! Maybe that’s where he began to develop his massive superiority complex, I don’t know! 😀

He’ll be four this Saturday. I can’t believe time has gone by so quickly, and yet it feels like he’s always been there.

With Robbie, we decided when Ricky was about 18 months to try for another baby. Once again, I was lucky to get pregnant right away (we have been SO fortunate with that). Owing to Ricky’s size, I was very closely monitored with Robbie and had scans every two weeks or so. I also kept getting really sick, and was admitted to hospital twice during the pregnancy when I couldn’t keep anything down and got really dehydrated. I had several minor bleeds, and they found that I had a low lying placenta. They were estimating that Robbie’s birth weight would be around 12lb! I did not want to try and have him naturally at that weight, so we decided to go for a planned c-section for him. Of course, when he was born, it emerged that he just had a big noggin, and was a comparatively normal 9lb even. If I’d known that, I might have tried to get him out myself! 😀

Here’s another one of me looking like shit with no makeup on, just after my section. Robbie looks MUCH smaller than Ricky!!


I had very big bleeds after both sections, with Ricky I lost 1 litre of blood, and with Robbie nearly 1300mls. They told me after Robbie to really think long and hard before I tried for another baby. I was done anyway- unfortunately I am not one of those people who loves pregnancy and finds it easy to hulk a baby around- so it was a no brainer.

So, to sum up, it’s all Ian’s fault for playing a dangerous sport like rugby. 😀 I am so, so grateful for my beautiful children, and am very relieved I had them when I did- if I’d left it any later, who knows? Breast cancer makes you think about these things too much!

Sorry for the slightly depressing, but I hope ultimately uplifting story! I know this isn’t something I have discussed on my blog before. I was just thinking about it all too much last night- between my chemo ending today (or not as it turned out), Ricky’s birthday on Saturday and the end of my first pregnancy anniversary creeping up, I guess it weighs heavily on me at this time of year.

I look at my two golden, shining sons and realise how sweet life is, and how short it is, and how it sometimes isn’t that easy to come by or maintain, and I realise that if you can’t see hope and happiness in that, it’s not a life worth living. I am very fortunate.

16 Responses to “A long story about my babies”

  1. 1 laura7906
    January 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    What a beautiful story, Suzy! I knew parts of it, but learned some things for the first time as I read this. You are indeed blessed, and Ricky & Robbie are such special little guys! And January 17th was definitely the best day in 2005 to have a baby. *wink*

    January 17th was definitely a good day for new babies! Ricky still thinks Maya is gorgeous! 😀 You probably knew as much of this story as anyone in the world… 😀

  2. January 13, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Yep!! You got me again!!

    Did not find it depressing at all, it was a story of love and of hope!

    I begin my menopause tomorrow hon, I am thinking that I may take my final giant box of tampax, model them into a bonfire type shape and set fire to them. Glad to see the back of periods – hell yes! EVERYTHING has a positive. I may well be grumpy. sweating, joints seized up, put on 2 stone, have hot flushes from Thursday onwards but at least I will be able to rollerblade whilst singing “Its my life” (advert in case youre wondering) knowing that the my white hot pants won’t get blood stains!!!

    Love you lots xx

    Heidi, you do make me laugh!!! Even though there’s nothing funny about tamoxifen, I really hope you will not suffer from any of the more unpleasant side effects. I too will have a similar bonfire if I find this is permanent! 😀 Love you back! xxx

  3. January 13, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Its the potential vaginal warts that I am really looking forward to!!! 🙂

    Will let you know how it goes, its my first appointment with oncologist tomorrow since radiotherapy, and thats when I get given the tablets. xx

    Sorry I missed you yesterday- you sound a bit frazzled in your messages- I’ll try to get you today! Hugs!

  4. 4 Kim
    January 13, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Yes, this did make me cry as well, but I cry over a lot of stuff, most of it happy stuff. I’m so happy your pregnancy problems ended and that you got two beautiful babies!
    It’s motivational for someone like me who has been trying for a long time and who just now has gotten hope that I’ll finally be able to receive medical help – happy endings are good to hear.

    I’ve been very lucky. I really feel for you, Kim, and pray that you’ll be able to get some medical help. ((hugs))

  5. January 13, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I think it’s a lovely story. You have two (three?) handsome young men, and I’m happy for you that you can smile at such a gift. I should print out that last paragraph and stick it to my computer monitor. 🙂

    If you have questions about menopause at your age, talk to my wife – surgically menopausal for a few years now.

    If Dys would be willing to talk to me, it would be wonderful- would she mind me emailing her, do you think? That was a very sweet compliment you gave me about the last paragraph! Thank you!

  6. 6 Bernadette
    January 13, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    A lovely and very touching story Suzy.
    None of us look great after just delivering a baby either normally or by section.
    It’s the babies usually, who look gorgeous, which when you think about it, is amazing.

    Yeah, they both look so cherubic in those pics, of course it didn’t last!!! 😀

  7. 7 Kristi
    January 13, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    ♥ Love to you Suzy! What a lovely recap!

    Thanks Kristi! I know some of you know a lot of this already!

  8. January 13, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing Suzy. I always love hearing how one’s parenting journey started. And I do agree that your boys are perfect!

    Your “newborns” look like my “newborns”. It’s crazy that I want this baby to be small more than I care about gender!

    I can’t believe you’re doing it a third time!!! 😀 Seriously though, you have managed to have natural births with babies as big as Ricky- hats off, BIG style, to you Noah!!!

  9. January 13, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    I have to admit, my friend, this made me a bit teary. I don’t think I’ve heard you speak so in-depth to your first loss. I know you treasure those little men more than anything! They are so, so blessed to have an amazing mama like you, my dear. *hugs*

    Thanks Megan, sorry I made you teary! xx

  10. 10 welshpurpletree
    January 13, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    wow, 10lb 14oz that huge! I thought my Oliver was big 9lb 10oz. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    Oliver was big!!

  11. January 14, 2009 at 12:54 am

    I think you are absolutely beautiful in both pictures and I probably would have wheeled myself around with both boys to show everyone in the entire hospital how big, strong and handsome they were!! Hee!

    This might be my favorite entry of yours ever. It’s a wonderful story of how little miracles are granted to beautiful souls every now and again.

    I look far from beautiful (and think I have proved that vanity isn’t quite as high on my list as some may previously have thought, ha ha!!) but the kids are the real stars and they both look gorgeous!

  12. January 14, 2009 at 4:44 am

    There is nothing more beautiful than a newborn child and its’ weary mother together. We had multiple issues with some lost pregnancies.

    Ricky looks awfully large!

    Losses are very hard, I don’t know how well I would have coped with another one. You guys have such gorgeous children too!

  13. 13 Leigh
    January 14, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Sometimes reading your blog is a privilege, this is most definitely one of the occassions. I love this, I think this is also one of my favourite blogs ever too. The journey from planning to birth is long and scary but your pics show how very worth it it is. I have the pleasure of knowing you and your beautiful boys personally , golden & shining is the perfect description of them , they are wonderful kids but what beautiful babies they were too, absolutely perfect. I am sorry you had to go through the agony of losing a baby, the pain it causes is never really spoken about.
    You have also made me ask myself a fundamental but very important question which I will tell you about sometime xx
    I think you are hugely mistaken about your pics though, you falsely claim these are taken post birth & section when they are obviously taken many days after , how else can you explain the fact that unlike in my post delivery pics you don’t look like a Cabbage Patch Kid with 2 black eyes ??
    I think this won’t be the last time I read this blog and especially that last paragraph which did make me cry !! thats a very simple truth right there xxx ( Can’t wait to see you & the guys next week)

    I am intrigued!!! It is my privilege to know YOU, silly sausage!! And congratulations on passing your driving test- woo-hoo!!!

  14. 14 Emma C
    January 14, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    That photo of Ricky.. haven’t seen anything quite like it before, are you sure he didn’t belong to someone visiting you with a 4 month old baby? Robbie looks pretty heavy to hold too!

    Robbie looked tiny to us when he was born! Ricky was always just massive!

  15. 15 apieceofwood
    January 15, 2009 at 7:34 am

    What a lovely post… I often lurk, but don’t comment, but felt I had to on that one..

    Thanks for your comment! 🙂 And thanks for reading, I don’t ever want anyone to feel under pressure to comment!

  16. January 15, 2009 at 8:04 am

    What a beautiful post. I found it so interesting that some of that I just didn’t know. I always love learning something new about a dear friend.

    Thanks Corey! I think I’ve probably told you guys quite a bit of this before, but some of it is bound to be new. 🙂

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