Peep

Excuse me while I dust away the cobwebs….

I wanted to come back and fill in some gaps, for neat and tidiness sake more than anything, as I don’t expect there are too many people hanging around after 6 months of no posts!!

I’ll cut to the chase ….CJ is doing fab!  He is rolling around on the floor by my feet as I type this and is proof that happy endings are absolutely REAL.

I don’t know how to fill in the gaps of 6 months but am going to type madly while I have the chance and not over think it:

– I didn’t have a magical birth experience, it was horrific and to have both mine and CJ’s lives on the line was way too much for DH to have to deal with.  We are both perfectly fine now, but its not something I can easily shake from my memory.

– I didn’t get any sleep for the first 10 weeks.  No shit I thought I was in hell.  I felt like a failure, why the hell wouldn’t my baby sleep, why is everyone else able to go on coffee dates already and I am barely able to dress myself???  It was rough.  He was tiny and demanding and honestly… we hadn’t bonded yet.  I hear people talk of how they had that instant bond feeling with their baby when they held him/her for the first time.  This did not happen to me.  I loved him incredibly but the bond was definitely not instant.  I cant pin point exactly when it happened but its there now and i know what people mean now when they say there is nothing like the love you have for your child, holy crap it is the best thing.

-My mum got diagnosed with breast cancer the day CJ was born.  So she has been going through treatment, including a masectomy, since then.  Its been hard, but we are closer now than we ever were.  Near death, and new life certainly give a person perspective.

– He is my baby. Yes he is a donor baby, but he is my baby.  But a lot of people before me have said they never even give the donor egg thing another thought and they forget they arent biologically related to their child.  Well this isnt so for me.  I think about it every day.  Its not a negative thing, its just unrealistic to think I would forget it I think.

– My thoughts on motherhood?  Unreal. Nothing can prepare you for the power of this love.   It’s not easy being responsible for a baby though, not easy at all.

– Society has opened back up for me. I am no longer isolated and angry.  CJ has given us a lot more different challenges but these aren’t ones that make me feel bitter and lonely.

I hope I will be back here to keep updated but honestly I cant guarantee anything.  I don’t know how those of you with children carry on being the great bloggers you are.  Time is precious and I just don’t have any of it.  Plus we are basically broke so have had to make serious sacrifices to keep ourselves staying afloat.  This includes down scaling our internet plan, so its not as easy for me to be as connected as I used to be.  As I write this CJ is impatiently bashing at the keyboard so each word is taking me way to long to get legible.  So I better go, sending love to you.

xx

what a way to enter the world

this will b short as its coming via my ph via my hospital bed….

c.j was born on 1 may after being induced at 36+6 weeks. i had an u/s a few days prior which showed no interval growth so they made the decision that he was better out than in. my bp was creeping up too.. so within the space of 2 hrs i was told to stop wk immediately and go home.  the labour itself was apparently uneventful but as soon as he was born it all changed.  i had a huge bleed and lost over 2.5 litres of blood (over half my blood supply) and had to be rushed to surgery to get my placenta removed.  it really was touch and go for a while and definitely more stressful for dh than i as i was passed out by this stage.  i do remembyer lots of blood. everywhere. absolutely everywhere. at the same time c.j wasnt breathing properly and was sent to scbu (special care baby unit). it was such a brutal time for dh.  so, thats the express version.  we r both in hosp and c.j is doing amazing.  still being fed by the nasal tube but the breast is making more of an appearance.  once he gains enough weight and has 48hrs without a tube feed we can go hm.  i have preeclampsia so am being monitored closely too.  so yes, it was a day of drama, but worth every second. c.j could not be mire perfect.

 

 

 

 

Now, where was I…

It’s been 5 and a half weeks since my last post… oh boy, what has happened in that time?  Well I am still pregnant (thank you to those of you who popped in to check on me while I was silent) and thankfully, baby boy hasn’t made his appearance yet.

These weeks have been long, and these weeks have been fast.  Long because baby’s growth is still being watched under a highly intensive microscope which means some weeks we get bad reports (slow growth! low fluid!) and then the following week things seem to have worked themselves out and we are told we can relax a little.  Overall he seems to be doing pretty good, he is a small baby, but still growing at an ‘adequate’ rate.  I know there are words a lot better than adequate which would be nicer to hear, but as long as he’s doing ok to stay inside and be safe we are content. And grateful.

My nanna passed away a few weeks ago.  She was 91 and my last grandparent.  I miss her and wish I could have made it to the funeral in Australia but with a high risk pregnancy we made the hard decision not to travel.  OB said technically there is no reason why I couldn’t fly (its only a 3.5hr flight) but I had to weigh up the emotional and stress side of things and decide how I would actually benefit by going.  So I stayed behind and took a few days off work to sit here and remember her.  I found my favourite photo of her, taken about 10 years ago, when she was feeding some birds at her house, and I set out a little shrine with flowers and candles.  I took the dog to the river and threw 10 flowers into the water to signify the 10 decades she saw and said goodbye.  In a way I think this was more meaningful to me than attending a funeral, but I guess I’ll never know as I can’t compare the other options.  It’s hard knowing my child will never know her.  The spiteful side of me is p*ssed because I can blame infertility for standing in the way of this, the time it’s held us up and stopped these relationships forming.  My brother has clothes and blankets that Nanna made for his children when they arrived, this baby won’t.  I know he won’t mind, and its a silly thing to even spend 5 seconds wasting thoughts on, but I guess it shows that infertility is the gift that just keeps on taking, and no doubt it’s not over yet.

I am now 32 weeks along…. unbelievable!  This boy now (almost) has a bedroom to call his own.  Day by day it slowly transforms from the junk room of its former life into a little persons room.  I’m transfixed by this space, it is proving to be more of a time waster than Facebook.  I walk past the room and before I know it i’m sucked in there by some force field which turns me into wide-eyed mute who just stares at the cot, the change table, the clothes, the cute little socks.  Not that Dh or I have any clue how to use any of these things (perhaps that’s part of the fascination) I’m hoping the baby will teach us when he arrives….

Our dog has been a bit troublesome lately.  It’s worrying me a lot.  He has started being growly and a bit aggressive towards DH and I at random times.  It’s very infrequent, and I guess at this point, minor, but why is it happening?  I’ve stopped trusting him so much and find myself avoiding him a bit more because I’m worried and I don’t have the skills to know what the hell he is thinking.    I love him and I want him to be better but we can’t have a dog like this round a baby.  It’s tearing me up inside.  We have our Dog Behavouralist Man coming in a few days to hopefully help us work this issue out.  I don’t think he’s a bad dog, in fact I know he’s not, but once you get that question mark in your head it’s not easy to ignore the possibilities of what could happen in the future.

Other minor headlines:  My belly is still pretty small.  I’ve put on a total of 6.5kgs.  Baby weighed 1.64kgs at last ultrasound.  We’ve finished our AN classes (thank gawd, they were nothing special).  I’ve been sewing up a storm of cloths and wraps and breast pads and other totally foreign things and am moving on to making my own cloth nappies (the all-in-ones) very soon.  I wish someone would clean our ceiling, the fly sh*t on it is driving me nuts.  Work is getting to be a chore, but I’m still eager to stay at it as long as I can.  My friend is planning my baby shower, which excites and scares the bejesus out of me, I’ve never liked being the centre of a party, in fact it terrifies me (what if no one comes!!!).  Next ultrasound is in 2 weeks time.  It’s starting to get cooler here and in reality winter is not that far away.  It’s Easter this weekend so I’m off to scoff my body weight in chocolate eggs. 

x

Back into OK-land and thoughts on antenatal class.

So we’re not out of trouble yet, BUT we are back into the land of OK.  OB was sort-of reassuring… he poo-pooed the low fluid diagnosis saying that fluid doesn’t reach its max till 30w so no point in worrying about that yet.  He was a bit concerned about the slow growth but said it’s still early and many pregnancies aren’t monitored so rigorously so its hard to get an accurate measure of growth rates before 28w.  He said just to cling to the fact that the bloodflow through the cord is great and he said he doesn’t want us giving birth before 32 weeks (umm, yes well sure, if I have the power to control these things he’ll be in there a lot longer than that).  It was quite good to get some honest facts because I know my midwife is superb at looking after the emotional side of me (she is amazing, love her) so she left the hard facts to the OB to relay.  Basically he said we’d only have a 50% chance of there being no long-term effects if he was born that early (24w) – I needed to hear that because people keep saying to me “oh well, at least you’re at viability” as if there was nothing to worry about.  But viability doesn’t mean things are guaranteed to be perfect and I don’t know why I needed to hear that but I think it was because it meant my fears were justified, that I wasnt over reacting and that it really is a big deal to need to keep this babe brewing inside.

I had another growth ultrasound yesterday (26w) and things seem to be better, he’s still smaller of course, but his growth hasn’t dropped off like it did at the scan and the fluid levels are back to normal.  He was doing some kind of complex martial arts in the midst of the ultrasound which tested the u/s techs patience (but made me smile from ear to ear, how can it not) while my belly bounced all round the room.  I can’t say I’m back to the blissful state I was between 19-24w but at least things seem a bit clearer and as I learn more I feel more relaxed. 

We have started antenatal classes.  Actually we started them a few weeks back.  We’re about 4 weeks gestation behind most of the class so I struggle with the fact that I’m much smaller than everyone else and I honestly still feel like a fraud and keep waiting for someone to ask me what the hell I’m doing there.  As much as I thought I’d walk away with a whole new bunch of friends, I havent clicked with anyone yet.  We all seem to just turn up to the evening class, sit there like mute idiots while the teacher does her thing then we rush home.  I guess I imagined more interaction or something.  The facilitator is pretty opinionated (she LOVES home births) and basically assumes that everyone’s pregnancy is complication free.  I guess that’s a reality for most people and it’s probably quite good for us to be mixing with the norms, but sometimes it makes me want to scream.  Like the time when we were asked to write down a few things that we wanted to achieve in labour/pregnancy.  DH and I were thinking things like “a live baby” and many others in the class wrote down “no stretch marks”.  So I guess it’s not suprising that there is no clicking going on.  Last week a lady passed out in the middle of the class, it was pretty scary actually as her eyes just rolled back into her head and she fell sideways smashing into the wall.  I hope she’s ok, the facilitator sent us home so we didn’t get to find out if she recovered alright.

 On that cheery note, I’d better get myself off to bed. 

x

Not much

For documentation purposes I’m just here to report an update real quickly (cause, you know, I’ve been SO GOOD at documenting and keeping up to date on this blog recently so it would be a shame to let my standards slip now…ahem *bullshit*) on our ultrasound yesterday…

Ironically there is not much to report really because I’ve decided not to jump to conclusions till I see my OB in 2 days.  I’ve learnt that the u/s tech isn’t really qualified to tell me things…. well maybe she is but she doesnt always get it right so if I listen to her then I generally end up being dissapointed when I get my OBs interpretation….  Yesterdays scan was really just to check fluid levels around baby boy and make sure the bloodflow through the cord hasn’t deteriorated.  It’s too early for another growth scan as the last one was only a week ago so not enough time to show credible progress.   As far as I could tell things aren’t worse than a week ago and we have good bloodflow.  Not sure about the fluid, I didn’t clarify this (why didnt I clarify this???).

My midwife gave me a few more facts at our last visit… apparently baby’s growth was at the 35th percentile on xmas eve (anatomy scan 18.5w) and last weeks growth scan showed he had dropped to the 13th centile.  So it seems significant drop and not something that will just go away.  I know people say that they can get things wrong, measure things wrong and that things might be fine at the next scan but I dont think so.  He’s small.  U/s lady did do some measurements yesterday (before she realised a growth update wasnt required) and they are definitely still little measurements. 

I don’t know what this means in terms of his future.  I mean I KNOW he’s at viability (which gives me only about 12% comfort cause who would be happy about having to consider birth at 25w?) but is he growing slow because of me (placental problems.. which is what we’re all assuming at this point) or is it because he has something else wrong with him?  I hope he’s ok, I really hope he is.  I know we’ll be able to handle a premature birth and all the palava that goes along with it, but I just want him to be OK – as in long term OK – as in be able to lead a normal and perfect life.  I guess thats what we all want so no special thought process there really.  DH asked if he will stay small forever (as in not grow to normal size when out of the womb) and I thought it was a dumb question at first because of course he’ll grow to a normal size after birth, right?  But how the hell do I know that?  I told him ‘yes’ anyway because it seemed like the right answer.  It better be the right answer.

 

Ugh

So technically 24 weeks is viability right?  It’s supposed to make you feel comfort because you are told your baby could now survive outside the womb if born today.  I think being an outsider looking in this makes sense, and I know I imagined feeling a sense of comfort after reaching this time because it should feel like a safety net.  But honestly it is too soon, all it has made me realise is that this baby is too small to make an appearance now and hope so madly that he’s able to spend many more months growing where he is. 

I’m not sure how much of a reality that is for us anymore unfortunately.  At our 24w ultrasound yesterday we learnt that baby boy’s growth has slowed down.  It was the most bizarre ultrasound because it started out all happy happy with the u/s tech saying how normal everything is.  I questioned her on a few things because I noticed the head measurement she took was small for our dates, but she explained this being because of the baby’s head position the crossways measurements can not always be accurate.  She went on to measure everything else, and we were just about to leave when she said she’d show us his growth on a percentile chart… then she noticed that one of the leg measurements were obscure and so I lay back down so she could get the ‘correct’ measurement.  Then she concluded that the baby is on the small side – so for some reason we went from being normal to being shunted into the halfway grey area in about 2 minutes flat.

Good news is that the placenta looks good and the actual bloodflow to him is good also.  Bad news is that the fluid around him (you brainy peeps will know the real name for this, my midwife called it something fantastical that I can’t remember, not amniotic fluid, something else…) is a little low, and obviously the slow down in growth since last scan is not ideal.  We were supposed to have another u/s in 4 weeks time but that has been changed to 7 days time, which panics me a little.  On the one hand its brilliant to be monitored so carefully, but on the other hand its devastating to have to be.

For now I can still feel him bouncing around and I cherish that, I think he knows to keep reminding me that he’s ok.  I hope he knows he also has to stay in there for a lot longer yet.  We just have to take things a week at a time I guess.  I’m trying to stay positive because I know one wonky ultrasound does not a premature birth make, but I guess coupled with our low papp-a diagnosis it’s harder to get myself off the edge of my seat.

We’re not ready for a baby yet (the room he will call his own is an absolute bomb site right now).  OB and midwife reminded me that if he was born this early it wouldn’t matter what equipment we had at home because he wouldn’t be going there for a long while anyway as he’d be in hospital.  Oh yeah, that’s right, silly me.

It’s all fresh news right now and it’s not a definite that things have turned bad.  I know I’ll spend the next few days getting all this sorted in my mind and will come out of it feeling more organised and able to deal with it.  I keep saying out loud to myself this afternoon “baby boy needs you to look after yourself” and so I will try not to worry and instead just go back to focusing on a day or week at a time.  It has been nice to let my mind drift off into the distant future these past weeks so I’m glad I gave myself that freedom while I could.

I have to rush off now, and I’ve probably said all that I can for now anyway.  Thanks to my bloggy friends who continue to pop in and say hi despite my drop off in comments recently.  I love hearing from you and I’m sorry the comments havent been reciprocated much.

x

Gratitude x 1million

Today finds me officially 23w3d pregnant.  This chapter in my life is by far the most amazing I have ever experienced.  I am literally blown away by the fact that there is life growing inside me and pregnancy has exceeded my expectations so far in every single possible way.  I know I am supposed to be anxious and worried and terrified of jinxing myself by saying things like this (and believe me, The Fear still very much exists) but I find myself just becoming more and more grateful each and every day and that gratitude is so very humbling.

There were so many tears and so many painful memories that built the path to this chapter.  Those memories are forever here with me too, and I think that is what makes me feel so incredibly lucky to be here right now.  If I were reading this post I would probably think it was corny or unreal or over the top but honestly I feel like right now my life is a magical fairytale – it is Perfect – feeling this baby moving and shaking inside me is indescribable.  It is the most special thing in the world and once I acknowledged that I realised I owed it to this innocent little babe to enjoy what I can, enjoy him, enjoy now.  Battling infertility and pregnancy loss is crippling and extremely isolating.  It has taken me some time to let my guard down (and it is still well up compared to the ‘normal’ population) but the days since I have accepted that we might end up with a baby, and let those around me be happy for us have taught me so much.  I can’t remember the last time I felt this way – the socially crippling side of long-term infertility shrunk my world to such a small size.  I refused to plan, I couldn’t be happy, I couldn’t find peace, It was (is?) so incredibly exhausting and demoralising.  Now, although I still have those feelings and memories, and will never ever forget them, I can look forward, something that has been impossible for me to do for over 7 years.  There IS a future.  And although I don’t know how this will all end, I am able to give less airtime to the bad dark place and instead put myself out in the filtered sun for a bit.  I am so lucky, and so grateful. 

We have a growth ultrasound at 24 weeks and I hope we’ll find all is still well with baby boy.  I do worry that we are not at all out of the woods yet and our OB has told us to keep ourselves firmly on the edge of our seats from now on as the predicted slow growth could kick in at any point now, but it’s so hard to be miserable all of the time when you’re constantly getting booted from the inside out.   

x

A Gender

We have one (a gender that is).

Warning: a total pregnant post follows, and maybe even with a dose of happiness, which may not be ideal if you’re not in the same place as me.  I know it’s hard to read, honestly I do.  But as my moments of pregnant happiness are pretty sparse, it’s important for me to be here right now to prove I don’t panic and angst every second of the day.

We had our anatomy ultrasound on Christmas Eve (18w4d), OB requested we get it done earlier rather than wait til 20w as he wanted to see what was happening with growth since my PAPP-A was so low

Growth was pretty much perfect (a few days behind but everyone is quick to assure me this is fine, FINE, F.I.N.E.  And since the pregnancy has been measuring a few days behind all along I’m comfortable accepting this for now).  No sign of any low PAPP-A problems at this stage, I know there are plenty more opportunities for this to be a problem but it is a HUGE relief to not have to kick-start my extra worrying early.

I can honestly say this was the best christmas present ever.  DH and I cancelled Santa this year as life has been too expensive for us to afford lots of gifts this year, but Santa found a way of making an appearance anyway.  I think this is a little turning point for me in the pregnancy, it is amazing to have made it this far, and each day I wake up pregnant is a true miracle, I appreciate being where I am right now so much.  Which doesn’t mean I am not also worrying and panicking at the same time but am I in a better place than I was a year ago?  hell yes.  Was this undeniably the best christmas I’ve ever had in my life? hell yes again.

My mum and dad even had a few presents under the tree for this baby.  One was a hand crocheted (by mum) blanket, which is just divine.  I have found myself pulling it out of its bag on numerous occasions since then and just looking at it, marvelling at the fact that one day there will be a baby of ours (ours!!!) wrapped up in it.

And the sex… it’s a boy.  Definitely a boy, we saw his weener waving in the ultrasound clear as crystal.  I can say with my hand on my heart that it wouldn’t have mattered what sex this baby turned out to be but it was important for us personally to find out, to help make this feel real, to help us believe.  And it did.   

So today I am 19w3d and is there a bump yet?  well hardly.  ‘Where the hell is that baby hiding?’ my friend asked me the other day.  There must be some secret bat cave inside my body because honestly I don’t know.

Next step for us is u/s at 24wks and then at this stage monthly after that to track growth and hopefully catch any slow growth early.  But maybe this little boy will be ok.

Hope you all had a merry christmas

xx

 

Moving day

17w4d.  At the risk of sounding like I actually know what is happening inside me, I’m pretty sure 2 days ago I felt movement.  My midwife told me to look out for it from now on but I was convinced I wouldn’t feel it for ages because (a) I havent done this before (b) I hardly have a bump.

The other day I felt ‘things’ and then I pulled down my pants to get a visual on this activity (never thinking I’d see anything from this angle) … and pop! – I could see my skin bounce up.  It’s so so low, this baby likes to low ride and I’m still trying to figure out if that is a problem or not (my midwife always starts out looking for the hb very high up and seems surprised when she ends up finding it so low – I’m trying very hard not to assume low=bad but you all know how good I am at thinking logically these days) there is very little fat down there so I guess that’s why its easier to see/feel?  Still unconvinced, I hooked up my doppler (absolute friggen godsend that thing is, I adore my friend who offered to let me borrow it – its saving my life) and I could hear the movement on the monitor at the same time as I could feel it and see it.  I call this triple sensory evidence.  And it is a whole other world.  My advice to anyone who finds themself here in this halfway land of pregnancy after infertility/loss is to hunt yourself down a doppler.  You are worth it.  It is worth it.  Do it. Now.

In betweener

I’ve read and followed many of you as you moved from trying to be pregnant to actually pregnant and I know what I’m about to say probably isn’t a revelation to any of you but these are strange times.

I knew it wouldn’t be easy for me to own this pregnancy and that it might take me a while to believe its reality.  But I guess I imagined that I would feel different (as in physically feel pregnant) but I don’t.  If we hadn’t gotten on a plane and paid some people money to mix another woman’s eggs with my husbands sperm then I could easily believe I am not pregnant.  I can now understand entirely how woman can go for months and months and months before discovering with disbelief that they are half way through brewing a baby inside themselves.  I’m a small person and at 16 weeks I imagined myself sporting a bump which would help me imagine this is real.  But no, no bump, sometimes i’m a little round at the end of the day but no one but me would suspect why unless they knew. 

I know we’re at risk for slow growth and, as my OB worded so plainly in the report he sent me following our visit, “this finding implies impaired placentation, therefore has an association with IUGR, pre-eclampsia, premature birth, placental abruption and unexplained fetal loss”.  They are all scary things to contend with but the last one is unfathomable and must not happen under any circumstances.  So naturally I wonder if I’ve inexplicably lost this fetus already and that’s why I don’t feel pregnant.  I hope not, I know I’ve felt nothing the whole way through and have literally been astounded to see/hear something to the contrary when we’ve been to u/s or doppler check ups.  Hopefully this is still the case.

I’m reading a book called “Mind Power” right now and the main thing I need to be doing is stop saying to myself  “hopefully everything is ok…” and instead I should be telling myself “I am so grateful to be pregnant with a healthy baby”.  So I’m trying, but it does feel like I’m talking to a big open black hole sometimes, would be nice if there was more of a two-way conversation going on.

In some ways this blog annoys me now, I know how hard it was to read of people whining about being pregnant when all I wanted so badly was to be in their shoes.  I know its normal for bloggers to lay off the posts a bit when they finally get pregnant, and I’m no different there.  But I actually imagined it was because they were off skipping in flower filled fields screaming “hooray! I’m finally pregnant” but the reality (if everyone else is anything like me) is very different.  I’m very very sorry if this classifies as me being a stupid ungrateful pregnant person.  Honestly this whole situation baffles me, I certainly don’t feel comfortable to call myself pregnant, but I am.  I know it sounds awfully high school of me, but I really don’t feel like I fit in anywhere.  Where do paranoid, over thinking, infertility challenged, scared by failure and loss, apparently pregnant woman hang out these days?  I suspect they are all in hiding like me, just believing that tomorrow they may wake up and feel like they belong in that pregnant category that science has put them in.  I suspect they dream of that day of being able to flippantly tell people about their news and that they are just waiting for that feeling to happen before they come out and play with me.

x

PS – all my love to Adele for her recent loss.  So tragic and unfair. x

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