Learning how to be parents

Ladies of blogland, you are brilliant!  Thank you for all the kind comments following my last post and for helping me feel better about myself again.  You are all brilliant people and it’s an honour to be a part of your sisterhood.

The past few days have been about a million times better than last week because now I am pretty much in no pain.  I do get a little stiff when I sit down too long, especially at work, but it is really nothing compared to the bad situation I was in a week ago. I honestly do not know how people in chronic and constant pain cope with it.

This week has also been one full of developments.  We met with our paediatrician on Monday and it was a great meeting. I already knew a little about her as she is very well known locally and highly respected. She also doesn’t take new patients, so it was a bit of a coup that I managed to get her to accept us (my colleague who is expecting a few days after me was turned down by her). Some of the reasons I was so keen to have her look after our baby – other than the fact that she’s English so I find her more relatable culturally – is that she’s all about skin-to-skin after birth and breastfeeding as she’s a lactation specialist.  I was also delighted that she confirmed she doesn’t prescribe antibiotics very liberally, whereas the tendency of most local doctors here is to give antibiotics if you so much sneeze in front of them.

During our meeting she took a bit of a medical history from my husband and I, and we chatted through what she will do with the baby after he’s born.  Because it will be a c-section there is a bit more that can be planned. We also confirmed that we are happy for her to give the baby a vitamin K injection shortly after birth as she explained this can help to prevent newborns from having a bleed on the brain. This was a very easy decision to make.

She will also visit me and the baby every day for the first week to check in on us and offer support with the breastfeeding, which is amazing.  She even does home visits once we leave the clinic and head home.  I’ve got to say I kind of love her! Even hubby was delighted with her – not that I gave him much of a choice – so it was a positive thing all round.

Today we headed to the first of our antenatal classes which are run by a wonderful former midwife who also coincidentally took care of me during my surgery to have a large fibroid removed three years ago.  We instantaneously developed a special connection back then and have stayed in touch ever since, so it makes the whole experience feel so much more natural and friendly. By coincidence, we were the only couples booked onto the course today so it turned out to be a private session.

This particular session was focused on the what would happen during the c-section, recovery afterwards and the basics of how to look after the baby in the first few days. There are other courses that cover labour and natural delivery, but I have opted out of these as they seem somewhat pointless in my situation.

Some of the information I already knew or was taught at the breastfeeding seminar I went to a few weeks ago, but what was great about it was that my husband was practically forced to listen and learn.  He did get into it, though I think he felt a bit awkward at times.  He was coached as to how to change a nappy/diaper – which he has never done in his entire life (to be fair, I’ve only changed one myself and it was a wet one, not a poo one) – and it was hilarious. He gave it a good shot and it all feels a bit silly when you’re messing about with a doll, but still I think he’s going to get peed on – or worse – a few times before he masters this.  Hahahaha!

I think a lot of the session was a reality check for him.  I think in his head he thought his main role would be to run about and get meals ready while I look after all things baby. However, it was pointed out to him multiple times during the session that actually he will need to change the baby a lot of the time and maybe even be in charge of bathing him. Let’s see how all this goes in reality….

Another highlight of today was receiving the delivery of our baby room furniture which includes a cot bed, chest of drawers with a built in change table area on top and the Moses basket with stand.  As they came during the work day and hubby had to come home to take delivery they are currently all over the place in the baby room.  Once we get everything in place and looking lovely I’ll be sure to show some photos.

I am quite surprised by how gigantic the cot bed looks, especially compared to the Moses basket. I appreciate that the baby will grow to fit nicely in the cot bed, but right now it looks like it is dominating the room.  The cats have gone bananas for the new furniture so I have my work cut out making sure they don’t think they are allowed to sleep in the cot bed! A compressed air spray is currently coming in very handy for making them aware that this is a no-go area.

As for baby, he continues to be very active.  It’s really getting painful when he moves about now and I even asked him out loud yesterday to calm down as it’s impossible to think straight when he’s shifting around. The bump continues to blow my mind with how huge it’s getting and even hubby is starting to marvel at the magic of pregnancy. Long may the good times continue!

Week 31 – So. Many. Tears.

This week has been tough. The back injury really took a lot out of me and made me feel really down. You don’t realize what an impact pain has on your energy and overall well-being until it eases off, which it thankfully has done now. But for approximately 72 hours after my injury I was in a haze where I couldn’t think straight for the pain and this manifested itself in me crying a lot!

I think this is genuinely the first time in my pregnancy that I was stressed out. The pain was so bad that it upset my stomach and I had a couple of days of diarrhea (sorry, TMI). I so desperately wanted to take painkillers just to take the edge off things, but it wasn’t an option. Today I am feeling much better and I’m able to stand up straight and move freely, and I’ve never felt more grateful before.

I even sent a message to my physio guy this morning thanking him for being a miracle worker. When he was treating me I was entirely skeptical that he’d done anything to help me, so gentle was he. At the time he said I’d feel better in 24-48 hours and he was absolutely right, although I think I felt worse rather than better immediately afterwards.

In any case, I am feeling much better today and being able to go about most regular activities (gently) without intense pain is a kind of treat that you don’t appreciate usually. So thank you universe and thank you physio man for making me feel human again. I will now cease from complaining about practice contractions which are like a walk in the park compared to the past few days of hell.

Weight gain: I’ve had practically no weight gain this week but I think this is because I felt sick with the pain and was not interested in eating. This means I’m still 12kg up (26 pounds) overall. No doubt I’ll play catch-up in the next few days and so I expect my next reading will be higher. I’m now only 6kg (13 pounds) off my husband’s weight and all along he has semi-seriously joked that I should not reach his weight. With about 7 weeks until the baby arrives, I am now worried this might actually be a proper risk.

Symptoms: I’ve not had any painful contractions since last Sunday, although perhaps I just haven’t noticed them with the back pain. I’ve definitely been having painless Braxton Hicks here and there but they are not causing me any great concern.

Eating: I’ve not been very hungry this week, but now I’m feeling better I think things will return to normal quickly. I need to make more of an effort to get some more veggies into me over the next few days I think as I’ve just been trying to get through this week rather than being strategic about things like diet.

Sleep: Over the past two nights I’ve noticed a new trend for the baby to kick like mad at bedtime, thus rendering it entirely impossible to sleep regardless of how tired I actually am. Put that together with the inability to get comfortable with the back pain and this week has been a terrible one for sleeping. I ended up cutting my work day short on both Wednesday and Friday so I was able to take afternoon naps, which were INCREDIBLE. I also took a short one on Thursday evening after work and I’ve had one today. In short, naps are the only way to make up from the sleep shortage in the night time. It does mean I have had to sacrifice actual useful evening activities, but I have cared not one bit this week.

Movement: He’s still a mover this one. Anyone with a cat will know that cats sometimes go all big-eyed and a bit crazy for a few minutes a day, with many of them enjoying being upside down under a bed or sofa where they run about on their back using their claws on the underside of the sofa/bed to propel themselves along. I think the baby is now doing a similar in-uterus movement where he pads his feet on the roof of the uterus. It’s very strange but funny. I can actually identify feet when he’s doing this… usually somewhere up where my lungs are meant to be.

Emotions: Oh I have been so emotional this week. I have sobbed every single day since Tuesday. It has been awful. Some other stuff happened this week too with my hubby where I have felt very upset with him. I won’t go into it here, but I think in any given week I would have been very upset with him and then you throw in my zero tolerance levels due to the back situation and… well… let’s just say it’s been tough. Thank goodness for my cats who have been almost the only things to bring me any kind of joy this week.

Missing: All I cared about this week was getting rid of the pain. Anything else was not on my radar and I couldn’t have cared less about most other things that might have bothered me in another moment to be honest.

Purchases: We paid the outstanding amounts due on the baby furniture today as it’s being delivered on Wednesday! How exciting! We also picked up some more baby socks, sheets and a few maternity nightshirts for me. The baby room has been freshly painted and has a new rug in it which also came this week. We now just have to get wallpaper on one of the walls of the baby room, but I think in a week or two the whole thing will be ready to go! That is pretty exciting!

Looking forward to: The baby furniture arriving. Then I think it will start to feel real. Also, our meeting with our pediatrician is on Monday and it will be nice to chat things through with her.

Best moment of the week: This week has been awful so this is a hard one to answer. I’d say today was good as I enjoyed going to Mothercare (baby shop) to finalise our furniture and add a few things to a gift list in case people want ideas of what to buy for the baby.

Exercise: Hahahahaha! No.

Bump update: On Thursday night, which was the day I was in the most pain, we had dinner with hubby’s family and his father’s opening line to me was (and this is a direct quote): “You are expanding in every direction imaginable!”

Firstly, WTF!! Even if I was the size of two hippopotamuses and a whale combined who in their right mind thinks this is a good/kind/acceptable way to address anyone, pregnant or not.

Secondly, I was in no emotional or physical state to withstand any such insulting comments so promptly burst into tears while sobbing “That is such a terrible thing to say , why would you say it when it’s not even true!” It’s really not true as I think I am very front-loaded with my bump. Yes, it’s getting bigger but that’s because I’M GROWING A BABY IN THERE! My butt, legs and even face have been pretty much unchanged throughout and that’s because I’ve been careful not to over-eat throughout. So yeah, that dinner occasion was a delight for me to attend.

In any case, here is the bump so feel free to let me know if I am indeed “expanding in every direction imaginable”.

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The room is a bit empty now as we await the arrival of the baby furniture!

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Front on bump
(in the background is the stroller and the Mammaroo in boxes still waiting to be built)

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A not very cooperative kitty today! 

 

 

Learning my limits the hard way

I think I’ve officially retired from regular yoga following a bit of a situation on Tuesday night. Everything was going great, I was doing all my regular moves no problem. Then we started doing a few warrior poses – again VERY standard fare and things I’ve been doing at least twice a week for over a year – and something twanged in my back. 

Not good. 

Immediate intense pain. Ugh. 

The thing is I’ve done this injury so many times I’ve lost count. Only difference is usually I have done it running! Explained simply, my pelvis gets blocked (i.e. Goes wonky) and at some point a minor action can trigger intense pain, muscle spasms and sometimes even a trapped nerve. 

I guess the extra weight I’m carrying and the fact that it’s all a forward-bearing weight has thrown my spinal alignment off a bit. 

So since Tuesday night I’ve been a cripple. The only position to be remotely comfortable is lying down. This is entirely incompatible to my work especially as yesterday I had to attend a conference which was about 80km from where I live. As well as driving there and back and shuffling about the conference like 7 months pregnant Quasimodo, I also had to walk up a massive hill to get to the venue from the carpark. I wanted to cry at this point. 

Today I visited my physical therapist who managed to do some gentle, baby-safe work on me but I don’t have any instant relief unfortunately. He says I will feel better in 24-48 hours. I wanted to cry when he said that too. 

In any case, the situation cannot be changed other than with time and rest, but I’ve decided once I’m better that I’m switching to pregnancy specific exercise. I have officially surrendered to the bump!!

Hello practice contractions! 

I got a bit of a wake-up call on Sunday night to take things a bit easier. I’d been hustling around the house in the evening getting ready for the week ahead and although I’d not done anything too intense in its own right, I had been going about for around 3 hours straight. 

It was just after I set up the ironing board that I realised I was having some kind of contraction or cramp that was definitely not painless! I understand that Braxton Hicks are a kind of tightening of the uterus but are genuinely not painful. 

What I felt was not intense pain but definitely enough that I immediately had a lie down on my left side on the sofa. After a minute or so it virtually disappeared but then it came back 15 minutes later. 

At that time I had hubby fetch a heat pack which I put on my lower back and that helped a bit. I couldn’t reach my phone to do some Googling and hubby refused to give it to me claiming it would make me more stressed (he’s right). 

The cramps continued to come every 15 minutes or so throughout the rest of the night but they did get less painful so I thought it was probably nothing serious.

I still reported the incident to my doctor yesterday and he congratulated me on how I handled it, which I took as code for being grateful I didn’t phone him at 11pm asking dumb questions. Haha! He also said sometimes these types of cramps are triggered by being too active. Hmmmm…

In any case the cramps have not returned (yet) which is good. I was super tired last night so had an early night and still had to drag my ass out of bed this morning for work. I think this is the way it’s going to be for the next 6 weeks until I go on maternity leave. 

Baby has been VERY active the past few days too so that’s a good sign. I’ve started to wonder if he’s redecorating in there though as there’s some weird action especially during the afternoons. 

I mainly feel the movements up high – towards my stomach, belly button and ribs – but the past few days I’ve also felt a real tightness in my right hip. Maybe he’s hanging some artwork on that side of my hip bone?!

Hubby meanwhile had got the memo big time that he needs to sort out the baby room and so in the past few days he has:

  • Dismantled the bed that was in there and removed all bed parts to various new locations (inlaws etc). 
  • Arranged for the air conditioner units to be cleaned today (folks, you’re meant to get them cleaned annually so if you have AC in your house I suggest to get onto that)
  • Booked the painter who is currently at our house ahead of painting the baby room tomorrow 
  • Measured the baby room wall to get the wallpaper installed
  • Ordered a rug for the baby room

The baby’s furniture arrives in 1-2 weeks and ideally we want the room to be ready to take all the furniture before then and I think he’s on track. 

Although he probably would have done all these things this week anyway, I think my contractions on Sunday night freaked hubby out a bit and helped him to get motivated. 

I’m off to my yoga soon but I think by the end of this month I might pause my regular yoga practice and take up pregnancy yoga instead for the last few weeks.

Before too long baby will be here anyway….

Week 30 – When stuff starts to get real!

Well helllooooo to the big 3-0! This is officially the week where you start thinking to yourself WTF! I’m actually going to be having a baby soon! 

A sense of restlessness has kicked in over the past few days and it makes me feel like I need to get stuff done – what stuff, I’m not entirely sure, but it needs to get done! Today we finally, FINALLY started work on the baby room.  And despite me going on and on about how my husband was procrastinating about this, when we actually started today by dismantling the bed and taking down the pictures ahead of painting I had a full emotional breakdown.

Tears.

It has less to do with the room turning into a baby room and more to the fact that this was the only room in our place that was – until now – all mine.  He owned this place before we moved here and so the design and furnishings were mainly his (and his mum’s) taste and style.  This was the room that I was given carte blanche to decorate and furnish how I wanted to.  Now of course I’ve been around long enough these days that all the rooms now have my touch on them, but still the remnants of the emotion haven’t gone away.  I’m sure I’ll be fine though once the baby room is all decorated and lovely.

Now that we have effectively gutted the room of furniture, we will get it painted next week before having some wallpaper (cute pale blue whales design) installed on one wall.  The other wall will most likely have some shelving on it so that we can add some special items here and there. Hubby was this week given a model Lamborghini car from a friend and so I think this will be the feature item on the so far hypothetical shelf.

For several hours today we went around different showrooms looking at rugs for the baby room and I think we settled on a cream one that we like.  The cot bed and drawers will arrive sometime around the first week of June so hopefully by mid-June we will be all set and ready for a baby!  That gives us a month to get the rest of our lives ready for the baby, subject to no early appearances or any other surprises!

Other than that, week 30 has involved being struck quite hard with tiredness and dizziness. I am sure this has something with the advanced stage of the pregnancy but also with the heat. The past few days we’ve had a bit of a break in the hot spell and I’ve felt more energetic as a result. So for those of you out there in cooler climes, trust me it’s better than being so freaking hot that you become a bit useless!

Weight gain: This week has been a growing week! I didn’t even need to weigh myself to know this, I am just feeling myself being bigger. But of course I did weigh myself and I gained about 1kg this week, taking me to 12kg up overall. It’s so weird how I can gain nothing in one week and then a full kilogram the next. I’m still doing okay with it though as I get regularly told that I am looking good. Someone even asked me where I was going on summer holidays this year not realising that the baby was due in July. Maybe they were just a bit clueless about belly sizes, but I took it to mean that I don’t look especially large for the stage of pregnancy I’m in.

Symptoms: FATIGUE! Oh boy I’ve been tired this week! I think this is just the way it’s going to be from now on, especially with the weather getting hotter. Most of the time I go about my day unbothered by pregnancy (if I’m not too hot), but I went for a walk the other night with hubby and I suffered such pain and discomfort it was a bit worrying. The walk was gentle, in the park like always, but my entire belly went rock hard and I had lower back pains. Braxton Hicks? Maybe. In any case I had to sit down halfway through the walk as I was in such pain. Even then I struggled to finish and I would not describe the walk as enjoyable. I felt more like I survived it. I wasn’t out of breath so it was not a fitness issue. When I got home I had a bit of a sit down and then dinner and felt perfectly fine afterwards so it’s all a mystery.

Today when we were out and about looking at rugs I also had a period where I was especially breathless even though I was not really exerting myself at all. I think I might have been a bit hot, but it was overall very strange.

Interestingly, my heartburn has completely eased off and I am so happy! I know it could make a return at anytime so I hope I haven’t jinxed myself here.

Eating: Fatigue has played a funny role in my appetite this week and I have not been very interested in eating dinner. I think it’s also the weather, but I’m most hungry first thing in the morning so I eat a fairly big breakfast and take it from there. I make sure to get a few fruits in each day and loads of fresh salad and vegetables. I am still not hugely into meat, but I am forcing myself to eat it for protein purposes. And I still finish my day off most nights with a glass of milk in bed. It always tastes nicer when hubby brings it to me like my man servant! Hahaha!

Sleep: There are officially not enough hours in the day to get enough sleep and still hold down a full time job. It’s a fact. This is not helped by the fact that I’ve hit that stage where I don’t sleep very deeply and don’t really know why. I don’t feel troubled by my size or belly, and while I do pee twice a night usually these days I don’t think that’s the issue. I can’t see it getting better before this baby comes and almost certainly not afterwards so I’ve decided not to focus on it too much. I had a good sleep last night though which makes me think that I am just going to have to hold on until my maternity leave kicks in at the end of June.

Movement: Oh my goodness, yes! The word “movement” doesn’t adequately describe what is going on inside my belly most days. I’ve taken some videos of my stomach lurching from side-to-side for various family members and even those who have had babies seem shocked by how much of a mover the small dude is. It seems he doesn’t throw his belly parties at night though – mainly during the day and in the evening so I am hoping this is reflected in his sleep habits when he comes out too.

Emotions: Apart from my tears today I have been pretty calm and serene.  I don’t seem to be particularly badly struck by the raging hormones making me cranky.

Missing: Just generally being able to do stuff independently. I don’t like having to ask people to do heavy or difficult jobs all the time. And I also miss being able to go for a walk or about town without every last person staring at me.

Purchases: Nothing! We did go to an educational seminar last Sunday run by our clinic that also had a bunch of baby suppliers in attendance like a mini-expo event. The brilliant thing about this was that baby brands like to give freebies. Lots of freebies! It was a bit like going into a gifting room with everything from bottles, pacifiers, different baby and maternity creams and even baby food given to us. I noticed that hubby must have had the midnight munchies the other night as he ate one of the sachets of baby food (those kind of wheat ones you add water or milk to). I guess that’s a good way to know what you’re feeding your child!

Looking forward to: Our appointment with the paediatrician. I have somehow managed to snaffle us one of the most popular paediatrician’s in the country, even though she’s not taking new patients. The appointment is not for another week but still I’m excited to meet her to talk about how I can manage to do skin-to-skin despite the planned c-section. This paediatrician is very pro-breast-feeding, pro-skin-to-skin and modern so I think she is going to be such a great person to have on our team.

Best moment of the week: When we were at the seminar last week, hubby was going about the booths at the event with me and I saw him pick up a sample of what I knew was vaginal cream, but he did not. Oh it was brilliant! He then asked the people there what it was for and his face as they explained was PRICELESS! He put that cream back in the basket it came from lightening fast and I nearly peed myself laughing at him!

Exercise: There has been more yoga than walking this week but that’s because it’s been too damned hot to do outdoor exercise. I did have a wonderful swim in the sea on Sunday which felt amazing! Hopefully I’ll shift that butt (and belly) of mine some more this week!

Bump update: The further along in my pregnancy the more I cannot believe that there are people out there who have no idea they are pregnant until they give birth.  Where are they putting these babies!!  There is NO WAY anyone can mistake that I am pregnant these days!

Side note: Say goodbye to the bed in these pictures as this is the baby room and I took these photos last night so the bed is no longer there!  But see below for a bonus bump view option this week with my cheeky kitty…

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The innie (belly button) is getting closer by the day to being an outie!

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I am fully front-loaded with the bubba! 

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Bump view – I can still see my toes (and put on shoes unassisted)!! 

 

 

Feelin’ hot, hot, hot!

The Mediterranean summer has kicked in big time over the past few days with a mini-heatwave seeing temperatures hitting the mid 30s (95 F approx) every day for the past week.  I love summer. Love.  But pregnant me is struggling!

I am routinely getting some pretty intense dizzy spells that include feeling very weak and tired to the point of being completely drained.  I think this is the combination of low blood pressure and the heat and is not actually anything serious but it does mean I am on a forced go-slow.  I do not like go-slow.  I am not a go-slow person.

I will confess though that I am very glad to have low blood pressure rather than high blood pressure so I am trying to stay positive about that! This morning one of these dizzy spells hit me while I was getting ready for work and all I could do is have a little sit down until it passed.  It was like someone had strapped lead to my legs!

The whole day at work I felt wiped-out and left the office promptly in the evening (rather than working late which is the norm), went directly home and lay down on the bed for about 1.5 hours. I was joined by all three cats and we had a nap together before hubby came home. I was meant to go for a walk but I was just too wiped out to even contemplate that! I do feel better now so clearly I did need a rest.

I’ve had a few of these dizzy spells, including one on Sunday morning when we were attending an informative seminar run by our clinic. They were giving a detailed presentation on epidurals, with photos, and I really did have to concentrate on not flaking out! Sometimes a little mystery with medical procedures is preferable!

Baby seems to be totally fine though. Today he was particularly active almost constantly throughout the day. My belly was quaking and showing various moving lumps all the time. I wondered if he was redecorating in there or something.

I think he’s going through a growth spurt as my belly seems to be bigger today from yesterday and the scales indicate this is a growing week. My “tharse” region – what the thighs and butt region is affectionately as in our house – seems to be unaffected so baby must be packing on the pounds! I did still manage to do planks in yoga last night but my big bump makes it hard to hold it for too long.

Baby is definitely starting to squish my lungs and stomach though as I feel breathless over nothing more often and I’m not so hungry these days. Maybe that’s also the heat at work again, but big meals are not an option at all. Maybe if all this was happening in winter I’d be scoffing down the carbs like nothing else! Haha!

As I approach the 30 week mark it really is starting to feel real now. I’m looking forward to meeting my small dude, and I can’t wait to see what combination of hubby and me he is! Until then it’s all ninja kicks and big sweaty bellies!

Antithrombin III deficiency and pregnancy

This post is a bit of an educational one and is perhaps more relevant to the infertility warriors out there than the pregnant mammas.  But keep reading pregnant mammas as maybe you’ll learn something hear that one of your friends might find interesting.

As part of my investigations into possible causes of my multiple miscarriages, I was tested for something called Antithrombin III deficiency.  The results showed that I did in fact have a mild deficiency which, put very simply, means I am more prone to thrombosis or blood clots than the average person.

It is good to be aware of if for no other reason that if ever I am having a major surgery I can let my medical practitioners know to take extra precautions to prevent blood clots forming.

What makes it a particularly big deal for me is that it may have been a contributing factor in my infertility and multiple miscarriages.  It is also a big concern when you are pregnant as a blood clot is generally considered a bad thing for both mother and baby.

I am really happy that I went and saw a haematologist separately to my IVF doctor as haematologists are more specialised in this and I found my IVF doctor was and still is sceptical as to the relevance of antithrombin III deficiency.

The treatment that I have been given to offset the risk of thrombosis has been a daily, self-administered injection of a blood thinning product, in my case it is Clexane.  Many IVF doctors do give a low dose of Clexane as part of the embryo transfer process (you usually start a daily dose a couple of days after your transfer), but in my case I needed a higher dose in order to combat my deficiency.

So yes, I have been jabbing myself every single day with a blood thinner since mid-November last year and I will continue up until the birth and then for six weeks afterwards!  Let’s just say that with the IVF injections and now the Clexane, I am not at all squeamish about giving myself injections anymore.  In fact, I am incredibly efficient about it – it probably takes me less than 2 minutes and that includes unwrapping the injection from it’s packaging.  I am a pro at injections these days!

At about six weeks pregnant my haematologist checked my antithrombin III levels again and found that the dosage of Clexane was sufficient at the time, but she did caution me to come back to be tested again once I’d gained some weight with the pregnancy.  Weight gain and increased blood volume can impact the effectiveness of the dosage.  So back I went to be tested a week ago and I was freaked out to learn on Friday that I need to almost double my dosage of Clexane as I am back into the risky zone for thrombosis.  Eeeeek!

Actually I expected to have my dosage increased as I had noticed I stopped bruising so very easily which I did at the start of my pregnancy.  It was a sign that my blood was not so thin anymore.  I don’t know why, but I felt kind of sad for 24 hours after hearing I had to up my dose.  I think I’d gotten to the point where I felt like all my struggles to conceive and failure to be a “real woman” had started to melt away and this was just a reminder that this pregnancy is a miracle of science as much as anything.

But really it’s fine.  It’s important I do everything in my power to keep baby and me healthy.  So what if my dosage is increased? So what if I have a couple of bruises here and there? This will all be forgotten in the sands of time.

Moral of this story though is that if you too have had multiple miscarriages, especially missed miscarriages like I did, then I suggest you go and also have your antithrombin III levels tested.  It’s a very specialised test and so regular blood clinics might not do it.  It’s also expensive, but it’s probably some of the best money I’ve spent during this whole process.

 

 

Week 29

After all the fun and games of Thursday’s glucose tolerance test apparently all is fine. The clinic phoned me today with the results and I was all set to tell them there was no way I was repeating the test unless there was some actual evidence that I may have gestational diabetes, however my tough girl stance was not needed. I didn’t request the actual test results so I don’t know if I really did pass the test properly or just my doctor didn’t want me to come back to do it again and puke in his consultancy rooms for a second time. Either way, I’m not doing it again.

I ended up emailing my doctor on Thursday night to apologise for the drama and he said that I might have been sick because of low blood pressure. What?! No, I think I was sick because you made me drink the most disgustingly strong glucose drink on an empty stomach, then you poked my belly with an ultrasound! Maybe THAT had a bit more to do with the vomiting!

Anyhoo, I did ask him to confirm the weight of the baby – I swear he told me at the time the baby weighed around 1.3kg but I was about to puke at the time so who knows – but the doctor couldn’t remember anymore and neither can hubby. The doctor did confirm though that the baby is long. One of the last measurements he managed to take before they ushered me out to the ward was of the baby’s thigh bone so I guess that’s how he can work out length/height. I was a long baby and I’m pretty tall and hubby is also fairly tall too so we are hoping that our baby is not a shorty like my sister and hubby’s brother. We joke that it would be unfortunate if the baby ends up being a combination of my sister and his brother. Hahaha! Obviously neither of our siblings are aware of this joke as I don’t think they’d find it as funny as we do.

I am still annoyed that my appointment time was cut severely short  by the vomiting so I feel as though I didn’t get to really chat through the things I had planned to. I mean, I don’t really have any questions but it was all so rushed and brief that I feel a bit short changed.

My next appointment with the doctor is in a month’s time which seems to be in conflict with what all of the pregnancy apps say is the norm for the third trimester. They all say it will be fortnightly appointments from now. It’s not actually a big deal for me though as the clinic is five minutes from my house and so if I am ever concerned I can just pop in there and be monitored by the midwives and the doctor would see me if it was something properly concerning.

Weight gain: This has been another week of minimal weight gain – less than half a kilogram. Overall, I’ve gained a little under 11kg (24 pounds) and I’m actually okay with it. Even my Ovia app gave me an ovation today for maintaining a healthy weight which is nice of it. Something has changed in my mindset the past few weeks as the bump has grown but the rest of me has stayed more or less the same. I think I was always fearful that I would gain weight all over my body, but so far that hasn’t happened. I am now embracing the bump and even wearing tight clothes! I should probably caveat that by saying practically everything I wear is a bit tight. This is sometimes by design (maternity wear) but often not. Haha!

Symptoms: I had another calf cramp on Tuesday night but I was ready for it this time and hubby even managed to help me out by stretching it. This was at 5am and when I thanked him for his help the next day he had zero memory of it. What this shows to me is that he’s so used to me and my weird night-time happenings now that he doesn’t even wake up anymore.

Apart from the awful glucose tolerance test and vomiting episode, I’ve not had a lot of symptoms this week. Perhaps I’ve been a bit more tired than previous weeks but that was mainly on Wednesday as I stayed up too late watching the semi-final of Eurovision on Tuesday night. Seriously, I love Eurovision and so the tiredness was worth it. I prepared myself better for Thursday night’s second semi-final so I was not quite as exhausted today.

Anyway, symptoms… I asked the doctor (pre-vomiting episode) about the probable cause for my dizzy spells and he said it’s most likely to do with low blood pressure. My blood pressure on Thursday was 113/71 but I think it occasionally drops lower when I get very hot and/or very tired. So essentially I should stay cool, well-hydrated, well-rested and eat well throughout the day without big gaps of time between snacks. I have felt a lot better at work this week because the weather has gotten a bit hotter and this means my colleagues have been very keen to turn the AC on at work. This makes me so much more comfortable and energised at work!

Eating: A couple of nights this week hubby came home unexpectedly late from work and by the time he arrived I was completely over everything about dinner. This has led to very light dinners (overgrown snacks actually) which seem to have done me no harm. However, I did have a good hearty meal of steak (cooked well done) and salad with quinoa on Thursday night and that was particularly good after all the glucose test dramas earlier in the day. Maybe it turned out my body really wanted some actual food after that!

Sleep: I want naps!! Someone design me a work day where it’s acceptable to take naps!

Movement: Baby has really stepped up the movements this week and his kicks can be really violent now! I get some movements that are so strong my whole bump visibly moves. I have named these “belly quakes” as they are like an earthquake in my belly. It’s good that he’s moving though as I know he’s growing and getting stronger.

Emotions: I’ve been much better emotionally this week. Some of the issues that were bringing me down last week with work and conflict over the baby room have been resolved or improved in some way. Work was busy this week but not like the previous two weeks thankfully.

Missing: Nothing really. I’m all good this week.

Purchases: I think hubby might have finally placed an order for the Mamaroo. We have been mulling over this purchase for some time and I am being swayed by the fact that everyone I know who has one raves about it. Hubby also loves gadgets so this appeals to him. Let’s hope our ninja baby loves it too!

Looking forward to: Hubby finally starting work on the baby room. The first step is to dismantle the guest bed we have in there and put it in our store room. He’s giving the mattress to his parents so this might even happen this weekend. Then we will get it repainted and wallpapered. The baby furniture is delivered in the first week of June so we better get moving!

Best moment of the week: The 30 seconds I saw the our small ninja on the ultrasound scan before taking ill. He’s looking pretty cute here and seems to have hubby’s lovely lips but who knows as ultrasounds are not exactly great at picking up on these things.

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Exercise: Yoga is getting funny now as it’s not so easy with a 10kg bump in the way, however I am not giving in yet!! Walking has been good though and I feel strong. I get a bit slow on the hill on the way home but other than that I actually overtook some people in the park the other day. Yay me!

Bump update: It really is just a big round bump up front with very little extra junk in my trunk! The bigger my bump gets, the more reasonably-sized my giant boobs look too.

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Fun times with my glucose test

I’m writing this from the ward of the maternity clinic I go to as it turns out that the glucose tolerance test does not agree with me. To cut a long story short, I puked it all up right in the middle of my scan with the doctor. Fun times!

How did this come about? Firstly, for the test I was doing you have to fast from midnight the night before. Water is allowed but no food. I turned up at the clinic at 8am and they took the first lot of blood for a baseline reading of my blood glucose levels. 

Straight after I was given this delightful drink to consume within five minutes. 


Now it wasn’t that bad tasting but as far as breakfast options go it would not be my first choice!! The baby went wild with the sugar hit though with lots of kicking and belly movements. He’s a strong one that’s for sure!!

At 9am I had my regular check-up appointment with the doctor and about 3 minutes into the scan I started to feel bad. I began feeling nauseous so mentioned it and he sat me a bit more upwards. That made me worse and I then started to see stars, was sweating and was sure I would be sick so requested something to throw up in. 

He supplied a towel (WTF?!) which I then repeatedly threw up into and did a little wee at the same time. Nice. Such a lady. FYI I had a back up pair of knickers in my handbag which turned out to be a GENIUS idea!! 

Next thing I knew a nurse had been called and she arrived with a wheelchair to take me to the ward. By then I felt a LOT better having purged myself of the evil drink so was like hell no I’m not getting in that thing. I can walk!

Now I’m on the ward resting and feeling perfectly fine apart from being very hungry. I had my second blood test at about 9.20am when I reached the ward and I have one more to go an hour later before I can eat and leave. 

The most annoying aspect of all of this is that while I do have 3 beautiful pics of baby from the short scan I didn’t really get a chance to get the full low down on his stats. Doctor said he’s fine which is great. He might have said he weighs 1.3kg but I don’t know if I caught that correctly as I was too busy vomiting. 

I am REALLY hoping my test for gestational diabetes comes back negative as I don’t want to do this again anytime soon!!

Week 28 – Third trimester hot mamma!

Helllooooo third trimester! If I’m honest, I had gotten to the point in the IVF road last last year and I really thought I’d never be pregnant or have a baby ever so hitting the third trimester is even more exciting and incredible than I could ever have imagined. I’ve looked back at old posts and this time a year ago I had just gotten the news that my second pregnancy was also not viable. So that was two missed miscarriages within about 5 months. I think I actually got worse mentally after that before I got better, but overall it was an epically awful time.

Yet here I am a year later – and seriously, it feels like just yesterday all that happened – and there is an actual, live, kicking baby inside of me. For so long I wondered if IVF was just a big scam, but then it worked. IT ACTUALLY WORKED!! For any of the IVF warriors who are reading this and are questioning the whole journey (god knows I was) then I hope this gives you some kind of inspiration to keep going.

Even after all the trials of getting pregnant and IVF, it’s almost comforting to know that you can still have disagreements over a lot of baby decisions! Hubby and I have been in a battle for some time now over the name of the baby, our son (wow, it still feels weird to write “son”). We ended up each asking one close friend for their opinions without the friends knowing which name we each favoured. Just my luck though that both friends went with hubby’s choice. I think I have officially lost the battle. In good news, the baby now has a name and hubby says I get to choose the name if we have another baby and it’s a girl (I assume if we have another boy the battle will recommence). This does feel like an empty victory for me, haha!

During the whole naming process I have had some regrets about my past though. It’s very hard to choose a baby name if the names you like are those of ex-lovers. I would give some advice to my 20-something self to only date men with names I don’t really like as I have had to rule out several names based solely on the fact that I had longish and memorable relationships with them. Not something you’re thinking about when you’re getting hot and heavy with someone new when you’re 20-something!!

On to this week’s summary…

Weight gain: Minimal this week! Phew! I continue to feel like I’ve gained a lot of weight though. When I’m on my feet for any length of time I feel the extra 10kg in my feet. When hubby makes fun of me needing a rest or a sit down, joking that he doesn’t believe I ever ran marathons (I damn well ran 6 of them!!) I want to strap 5kg ankle weights to each of his ankles! I probably would if he wasn’t still recovering from his knee surgery. Just so he shuts up!

Symptoms: See my previous post for a more detailed summary, but occasional dizziness continues, as does generally feeling sluggish and being out of breath. Sometimes baby sits really high up right under my rib cage and I kind of have to wiggle into a strange position to feel like I can breathe properly. It’s more of an irritation than anything. Most of the time I feel pretty fine, if a bit slower than usual.

Eating: I continue to more or less eat the same but I think I am a bit more hungry in general these days. I try and eat every few hours as I can get a bit dizzy and bad tempered if I don’t. However, I really don’t seem to be struck by crazy cravings like you hear about. There are no pickled onions with peanut butter for me. I almost feel disappointed in myself that I don’t have to send hubby out at 2am for some kind of chocolate chip ice-cream and salsa concoction. Also because it’s hot I think this affects what I want to eat. Maybe if it was winter I’d want to eat all the carbs in the universe at this point of the pregnancy.

Sleep: What’s normal at 28 weeks of pregnancy for sleep? I wake up at least once a night to pee and sometimes twice a night. I’m so well-practiced at it now though that I’m barely awake when I’m doing it. I continue to sleep better in the first half of the night so I just try and get a good 4-5 hours in before I move to the restless-half-awake kind of sleep that seems to happen in the last few hours before getting up. I do go to bed earlier than I used to pre-pregnancy and hubby – who is a bone fide night owl – seems also to be coming to bed earlier as a result. He usually spends an hour or so doing his own thing after I go to bed before he joins me and since I now go to bed earlier, so does he! This has also started to mean he gets up earlier. I swear my hormones are getting to him!

Movement: The baby has moved on from being a ninja to now being a velociraptor. They’re the small but really aggressive dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. I’m not trying to suggest he is a mean baby, but rather his movements are STRONG these days. Sometimes they even startle me or make me wince. I thought this happened later on in pregnancy so I’m starting to wonder what the kicks and punches are going to feel like closer to the end. Sometimes he gets so active that my whole belly is jolting. It is funny, but it is so, so weird!

Emotions: This past week has not been great for me. I’ve been emotionally drained and feeling really down. Hubby and I had a ridiculous and upsetting conversation on Thursday night about what to do about the room which is due to the baby room / nursery. The details of our conversation are so boring, but I was overly sensitive to everything he was saying and just sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. Even by Friday – my day off work – I didn’t feel better (the discussion was not resolved you see). It was the worst day I’ve had in a long time, but I think a lot of it was rooted in tiredness.

It’s been a tough week at work and it’s been hot weather too which has contributed to how tired I feel. I think it’s the time of year where companies are trying to get a lot of stuff done before the summer break, but also I think both my boss and my clients are freaking out a bit about me going on maternity leave at the end of June and so are trying to front load my schedule. Lucky me!

In good news I’m doing better today and I am so grateful to be carrying this lovely baby inside of me.

Missing: This is not a new one, but I am really freaking out about how tiny my support network is around me. I am a very capable, independent person, hubby is awesome (he really is, despite what I occasionally write here) and his parents are kind and generous, so I’m sure everything will be fine. But his brother and wife annoy me which makes family gatherings not relaxing for me. My family is so far away and they’re not very proactive with support at the best of times so I just get sad about this stuff occasionally. I don’t see anything changing with any of this so I just need to get over it really.

Purchases:  I got online again and bought a pair of shorts, a swimsuit and some new summer sandals. Yay! Do you know I really only look nice in blue and grey shades at the moment.  Pretty much all of my maternity clothes are in shades of blue, grey and white.

We also collected the stroller today (which is grey) but we asked them not to build it yet so we can keep it stored in its box for another couple of months until baby comes.

Looking forward to: Finally resolving the baby room situation and my husband not being totally annoying about it all. I guess when the baby furniture all arrives in a few weeks and he realises there is no where to put it then he might do something. Enough said.

Best moment of the week: There have not been a lot of highlights this week, but I do have a funny story! On Thursday evening I was hot and tired when I came home from work so I took all my clothes off except for my knickers and I had a little rest on the bed in the spare room. I was lying on my side on the bed, obviously without a bra or top on, and my littlest kitty came to say hello. She spotted my nipples, which are now dark brown saucers rather than the petite little things they used to be, and thought she’d give them a little pat with her paw like she would a toy. It was so funny and surprising, if a little unexpected. I laughed and laughed!

Also, I saw Beyonce wearing one of the maternity t-shirts I own this week and it’s about as close to Beyonce that I will ever be! Hahaha!

Exercise: This week walking was the focus, with only one session of yoga. I could have gone for the second yoga session on Friday but I was too miserable and tired to be bothered. I did go for a walk instead so I wasn’t a complete lazy bum.

Bump update: The bump is now starting to get a LOT of attention. It’s gotten to the point where people have started to touch it without permission. Not many people do this – perhaps I give effective F-off vibes – but we went to see our architects designing our house yesterday and one of them (a woman) went for the belly touch. I don’t know if I gave her a look of death, but I probably did because I know what I was thinking in my head and it was not friendly! She did back off quickly so hopefully she got the message. She then started quizzing me about the usual stuff (is it a boy or girl, when is he due, how are you feeling) and I kept giving very short answers so that was the end of that. I am delighted to talk about my pregnancy to people who I know well, but this woman gets on my nerves so I think I went into full defensive mode. The house looks good though so that’s something.

I’m also confused by how the size of my bump rates as some people, such as my father-in-law, keep telling me it’s huge (thanks very much) and others (usually women) telling me it’s compact and neat. I have decided that men just have NO IDEA and should not offer any opinion on the matter!

The kitties have joined the photo shoot again this week as they seem to be more popular than my bump photos are!

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