The most pregnant I’ve ever been

This is the time of year when you reflect on all that has gone by in the past 12 months and, yes, this year has been really tough going at times. On the flip side, this time last year I had just had a D&C after my first miscarriage and I was in a world of mental pain, but jump forward and today I am at the opposite end of the spectrum. Earlier today we went for our almost 9 week scan (I’m 9 weeks tomorrow) and everything is just as it should be.

The baby is now a foetus rather than an embryo, and I got to have my first external scan! No dildo wand for me!  (I was genuinely a bit let down as I had made a special tidying up effort last night in anticipation) This time on the screen we saw something vaguely resembling an actual baby.  We could make out its head, its body and its tiny little micro-limbs.  The foetus was even having a little dance in there as we could see it jiggling about. At one point I thought it looked more like a kitten than a human – and said so – which caused the doctor to inform me that it was illegal to transfer animal embryos into humans.  Aaaah okay, that wasn’t what I was suggesting had ACTUALLY happened!

In any case it was a lovely appointment and far less stressful than any other appointment I’ve had ever. The foetus measured at 2.26cm CRL and had a heartbeat around 160 bpm – all normal.  I think my doctor was actually really delighted by how well we’re doing.  This is the most pregnant we’ve ever been which is super-exciting! I am actually feeling really good about Christmas and just things in general. I know we are still a long way off, but you have to quietly celebrate the good milestones when they come.  If another speed hump does come along further down then we will deal with it as we have every other hurdle, but for now everything is okay.

We have decided we won’t come for another scan until The Big One in mid-January, which is when they do the Nuchal Fold test, which indicates Down’s Syndrome, and the blood DNA tests that check for other chromosomal issues.  Of course if anything pops up along the way, such as bleeding or whatever, the Doctor said I should come straight back in and we’ll check it out.  This works for me.

I had told my Mum our initial good news when we had the positive blood test way back weeks ago, but today I gave her an update including the scan.  She is delighted and I really do think it cheered up her pre-Christmas.

In the interests of reporting all side-effects, the past few days I have been REALLY off all things meat, and just generally off food in the evenings. There’s been no vomiting but I have felt quite nauseous at times!  I’m hoping some acupuncture tomorrow will ease this off a bit!  In the meantime all things savoury/salty and citrus are the best when I’m feeling a bit off.  Helloooooo crisps and clementines!! I’ve been feeling a bit tired at times, but nothing debilitating. I think I’ve so far gotten off quite lightly.  Anyway, every time I feel a bit gross I am actually delighted about it as it helps me to believe that things are happening as they should be.

8 weeks 3 days

Here we are at 8 weeks 3 days and as far as I know I’m still pregnant. I’ll know for sure on Thursday when we have our next scan. Given that I went a bit nutso at my doctor a few weeks ago he now seems keen to placate me at every opportunity so has not even tried to suggest I come for scans less often. 

I still don’t really recognise myself as “being pregnant” as the fear still looms large but hubby and I have allowed ourselves brief chats where we’ve discussed the concept of sometime in the very distant future shopping for big ticket baby items. The risk of jinxing ourselves is real though so we talk about things in a conceptual way as though it would be what other people would do should they be pregnant. 

Symptoms-wise I have observed some pretty feisty heartburn today, some low grade nausea that I would describe as “feeling blah” rather than wanting to puke, and (TMI warning) my “gas” situation is into a new dimension. I always thought the myth about husbands not wanting sex with their pregnant wives was down to their changing shape. Now I’m pretty sure it’s down to their farts. 

This is also joining together with regular progesterone-led bloating so my midsection is just a little thicker than it normally would be. My super-skinny jeans are now totally out of the question, but regular skinny jeans with a low rise waist are seeing me through so far. I’ve not felt super tired the past couple of days thanks to a relaxing weekend but I did go to a birthday party on Saturday night and my eyelids were closing on behalf of the rest of me by 11.30pm!

The party was at a sushi restaurant so not only did I have to avoid questions about why I wasn’t drinking but also I had to find creative reasons why I wasn’t eating any sushi. The couple sitting with us who met us for the first time ever at the party must think I’m the weirdest eater ever because I told them I don’t eat shellfish or raw fish because I’m kind of vegetarian (I’m not) and also I told them I was not drinking because I was driving home. Home was less than 2km away and I refused even one drink.

At one point the girl referenced my lack of drinking as “unless you’re pregnant” to which I just laughed excessively but didn’t actually respond to. At the end of the night they happened to leave at the same time as us so I had to hiss to my (not drunk) to give me the car keys so I could drive and keep up the story!! The things we do…

Right now I have one of my cats curled up on my belly. I think he knows our secret as he keeps cuddling my little bloat belly and showing it his love. Either that or he’s really cold. Haha!

Happy Birthday to me!

Tomorrow is my birthday and I got my present a day early… My scan went as perfectly as I could have hoped for!

I had so much anxiety leading up to the appointment that the morning seemed to pass by like an eternity. By the time I got to the clinic I had gone through every negative possibility in my head and had prepared myself for the worst. 

On arrival, the doctor asked how I was and I don’t think my answer of “So stressed my anxiety has reached a new stratosphere” was what he was expecting to hear. 

Into the scan room we went and hubby has learned from previous (bad) experience that it’s not good to be standing for this kind of news so went straight for the chair. 

And then on our screen we saw a lovely mass of something or other that is our embryo. I can’t say it truly looks like a baby, but maybe more like a dinosaur at this stage. In any case, our little baby dinosaur is now 12mm and had a heart rate of 143bpm, which is bang on what it should be for 7 weeks 3 days!

It was actually really funny as I pretty much demanded to know the heart rate so the doctor took some time to work it out. I’ve had problems in the past where the heart rate was a bit low – an indication that the embryo was failing – so when he confirmed 143 I burst into tears knowing that normal is between 120-160 at this stage. 

I am officially an IVF nerd. 

After leaving the clinic hubby asked me if I’m happy. I guess so but it still manifests itself in relief. I think happy must come a bit further down the line if we manage to get there. But for now everything is good. 

Everything. 

Is. 

Good. 

Please remind me of the fact that everything is good when I no doubt have a failure of confidence some time in the next few days.

Happy Birthday to me! 🎉

This is The Week

As the title says, this is the week for us where it all happens.  This is the week where we have previously encountered some problems and so it’s fair to say that it feels like life is on hold until we get past this period.  Even planning Christmas and New Year is next to impossible because I need to know whether I’m going to be pregnant still in order to know if I need to somehow come up with a way to disguise my lack of booze consumption.  I know that sounds a bit grim, but I’ve got history so I feel like I need to be ready for every eventuality, even the not good one.  Monday is my scan so I am crossing everything that is crossable that our little embryo is growing nicely in there.  Please, please be growing!

After my mini-meltdown earlier this week I have realised what caused my symptoms to mellow and it most likely had nothing to do with the embryo’s success or failure but rather that I’d told my acupuncture guy about the heartburn and so on Tuesday night he had given me a needle to ease it.  Turns out it works and I just forgot he’d done that!  So stupid of me!

So I am now officially 7 weeks and 1 day pregnant (unless told otherwise, I am forcing myself to refer to myself as pregnant even though I am still in denial) and I’m now feeling a bit more tired. I had a big day out yesterday with a client that involved me driving for about 3 hours behind the wheel, not to mention all of the “performing” that is required when you are client facing.  When I got home at 7pm I was way more tired than you would expect of the kind of day I had had.  Even today I’m still feeling a bit rundown so it’s been a very quiet one for me.

I’ve also got a bonus thing going on in the periphery of my life right now.  Someone close to me who has been trying for a baby for some time , including a round of IVF, has told me she just found out she’s pregnant naturally (she’s literally just passed 4 weeks). She disclosed the information to me because she knows my situation and she thought I would understand her fears and what she’s going through.  So it’s a massive compliment that she would share something so deeply personal and private with me.  At the same time it’s a lot for me to take on board as it means that – all going to plan for both of us – we will be due just a few weeks apart. Or worse… if one of ours doesn’t work out then one of us will be all in the other’s face.

I know this is going to sound weird, but I would have liked her good news to be a bit spaced out from mine. This person is already a mother to kids who are tweens so in many ways it would be good to have a buddy going through the same stuff who has some idea of what to do.  At the same time, I’m the kind of person who likes a bit of space to find my own way and I can’t help but feel a bit sad about this whole possibility of either sharing my pregnancy with her or having to watch hers grow and blossom if mine fails. Full disclosure: the latter is what is freaking me out the most.

I might change my tune later on, but it’s a bit like when you tell someone something great and they just turn around and tell you something even greater.  It makes you feel a bit miffed that your fabulous news didn’t get the reception it was due.

 

Losing my mind

Everyone bangs on about the two week wait, but I have to say that was a piece of cake compared with the past few days of wondering if my little one is going to make it this time. I pride myself on being the kind of person that can handle stuff really well.  I’m successful at work, manage multiple projects and deadlines more or less seamlessly, but this waiting game is BRUTAL!

I know pregnancy hormones are meant to bring out the see-saw hormones anyway, but I don’t even know if I can fully blame them for my current mental state of affairs.  I am just so scared.  So scared of having to go through the same loss/grief process as before and on exactly the same timeframe as last year.  If I wasn’t going through IVF again at this period in time I would still be thinking of everything that’s happened (and not happened) in the past 12 months, but now I am doing that and wondering if it’s going to happen again. It’s like the most messed up deja vu situation possible.

For the past 24 hours I have been full-scale panicking that I’m losing all of my pregnancy symptoms. This is mainly based on having lost my heartburn.  Who would thought anyone would actually be excited to have heartburn?!  I then decided my boobs were smaller than the day before and less sore, but I might have imagined that because they’re still feeling pretty darned sore today!  Tonight I started to wonder if I was imagining feeling nauseous but then I got that weird thing in my mouth where the saliva started overproducing so maybe it was for real. I found me a breadstick and felt much better! 🙂

On the medical front, I had my thyroid tested yesterday and it’s still too high, dammit! It came in at 3.9 and it’s meant to be under 2 during pregnancy.  Ugh. I think this was the trigger for my latest panic as underachieve thyroid is a contributing factor to miscarriage.  I don’t need any help in the miscarriage department so my mind started leaping wildly to conclusions, my heart racing and my fingers typing into Google faster than you thought was humanly possible.

Both my super-awesome haematologist and endocrinologist (both women) are really supportive and have told me it’s a little too high a score than we would like at this time, but it is not really bad either so I am feeling a bit better.  Both of them were all very much of the opinion that staying positive is Very Important, so I am doing my best to listen to the advice.

Hubby has also been reassuring saying I am pregnant until someone tells him otherwise (that someone is not me it seems).  I am almost in total denial that I am pregnant and he asked me how far pregnant I have to get before I’ll acknowledge it.  I suggested maybe when I’m in the delivery suite!  Haha!

So now I have to hang on / endure the days between now and Monday.  And stay positive.

Must.

Stay.

Positive!

Oooh this is fun!

Hello my new friend, heartburn!  From all reports heartburn is a very common pregnancy symptom but it is a new one for me and I am a little excited about it.  What a weird thing to be excited about, you might think, but given the previous failed pregnancies had very little normal symptoms I like to think that this is a good sign that things are progressing well.

I think I am feeling a bit nauseous too, but definitely not even close to puking. The way I feel a bit like I’ve been a passenger in a car on a winding road with a very bad driver.  Except I’ve not been near a car or a winding road and a dry Italian breadstick makes it pass pretty quickly. However, feeling sick is a good sign for me as I associate it with a healthy pregnancy (weird, I know).

Even though I was really pleased about my scan last Friday, such is the way the mind works, by Saturday I was already in a full spin about all of the things that could go wrong. Saturday night I practically didn’t sleep as I was up all night going through all the different horror of horrors that could befall us.  Great.

Since then both hubby and a good friend have given me a bit of a talking to about how everything is as good as it can be at this stage and just because bad things happened previously doesn’t mean they will again.  Reasons to be positive:

  • This is a new embryo from a fresh, potentially stronger batch
  • I am better prepared physically and mentally this time than the previous two times
  • I am taking all the necessary medical precautions as follows reproductive immunology, which I wasn’t the previous two times
  • The embaby measured normal as of Friday (and much better at the same stage than pregnancy 2, pregnancy 1 I wasn’t informed of such data and didn’t know to ask for it)
  • The embaby has a heartbeat which is very positive
  • Third time lucky

Already I am desperate for next Monday to come around so we can do the next scan.  Next week is the mega-danger period for us as this has been the period of previous pregnancies when things have been shown to take a turn for the worst and it is a huge marker in the sand for us.  I really do feel like I am treading water at the moment until I can get through this stage.  Until then, pass me a breadstick please!

Hello embaby!

Today is a good day! Off to the doctor today at 6 weeks exactly for my first scan and everything is on track and as it should be at this point. Phew!

Our little embaby is 4mm in size (bang on average) and it even had a heartbeat today! We were not sure if we would be able to detect a heartbeat as it’s a bit early but there it was loud and clear! 

Th doctor said the egg sack looks good – not too big which can be a sign of abnormality. So I am happy!! I am determined to celebrate all small successes even though I know we will be in the danger zone for a while later. 

So the meds continue (yay Clexane injections) and I’ll go for my third round of intralipids on the weekend. 

So far so good…

Next scan on Monday 12 December. One day before my birthday. 

🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀