It’s New Year’s Eve and I’ve had a couple of glasses of champagne so I’m feeling a bit nostalgic.  Here are some thoughts according to some key stats for me in 2017:

That’s how much free time I’ve had since getting back from Australia and that’s why I’ve been so woefully poor at updating my blog.  I remember reading ridiculous interviews with celebrities where they would say annoying things like there wasn’t enough time to eat, but now I understand it.  Some days it is really hard to find time to eat and when I do I find I’m stuffing something in a huge hurry.  Long gone are the days of a relaxing lunch or dinner! After surviving the return journey’s jet lag, we then had baby N’s christening the very next weekend.

Over here the christening is a VERY BIG DEAL and the babies don’t just get a little drop of water on the forehead, they get completely dunked in the water which can be somewhat traumatic for some babies.  With this in mind I was completely stressed by the whole thing, but you know what, baby N was a star!  He slept through the first half an hour of the ceremony in his godmother’s arms (parents are not allowed to touch the baby throughout the ceremony) and then when he was dunked in the water he did a bit of a complain but what more or less fine with it and was totally happy once he was bundled up in a bunch of towels.  I loved him so much on this day! Then there was Christmas and then he got sick and then I got sick, so yeah sorry for not writing more.  But onto the actual post…

17 July 2017 was the day baby N was born.  One of the few advantages of an elective c-section with a cool doctor was that I was able to choose his birthday. I love the balance of his birthday being 17-07-17 (American friends it is 07-17-17 where you come from which is not quite as cool).  It’s also David Hasselhoff’s birthday which did put me off somewhat but not enough to change it.  We also got married on 23-03-13 so I have a thing for balanced numbers.

I finally did a count of all the injections I took in the making of baby N and 338 was the final total.  This included the down-reg meds, the stims meds and the Clexane that I took throughout the entire pregnancy and for six weeks after his birth.  Even this number is probably lower than the final total as it doesn’t include the full round of IVF I did previously or the meds I was given in hospital.  I self-administered the injections myself and I swear if I’d not been so exhausted I would have thrown a party on the last day of the Clexane injections!

Baby N is now 5.5 months old and becoming even more lovely every day.  He has a cheeky smile that he willingly gives out to loved ones and strangers alike (I think he’s a natural flirt) and I am regularly told by people that he is a calm and friendly baby.  He is very communicative, only crying or complaining when he is hungry, tired or in pain. As someone who is highly strung I simply cannot believe I have managed to produce such a chilled out baby.

Baby N weighed 3.4kg at birth and now he is a huge 8.8kg!  Not only that he has been above height since his birth (53cm) and now stands at around 70cm which is the height of an average 7 month old, but he’s only just turned 5 months.  I have learned the hard way to buy clothes two sizes up as there have been way too many cute things he’s simply not been able to wear because he is extra tall for his age.  I find that people ask to hold him and then give him back to me after 3 minutes because they’re tired from holding him.  At least my arm muscles are pretty epically strong these days! But now it makes sense why people say babies grow so fast, because they really do.  These past five months have been both epically long and incredibly short.  I don’t know how to explain that better but it’s the truth. And I’ve got to say the last 6 weeks has been insane in the level of development that has happened.  I can now see my baby turning into a little boy and even a little bit of personality appearing. It blows my mind!

The number of teeth baby N has.  While it’s not freakishly uncommon for babies to get their first teeth at 5 months, they usually get them around 6-7 months old.  When the tooth surprised me by poking its way through I was also delighted as it explained why my previously excellent sleeper had been so cranky and awful for the past few nights.  I guess I had hoped everyone was exaggerating about how awful teething is, but now it seems they weren’t. The fun of parenthood is never-ending it seems.

That’s how many kilograms I gained when pregnant.

That’s how many kilograms I’ve lost since giving birth.  The first 9 were not so hard to lose, the next 4 have been beastly and required heavy dieting (food is the key to weightless, folks).  I still have 3kg to go but I’ve been too bothered with surviving life to try recently.  They need to be gone quickly in the new year though.  Even so, I can now fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes apart from my super skinny jeans and that is quite a good thing for my psychology.

The number of times I have questioned my ability to be a mother. Maybe it’s just me, but the level of self-doubt in this is huge. I constantly wonder if I’m doing things right or could be doing things better.  Mothering is REALLY HARD!

Boxes of tissues (Kleenex for American friends) we have been through since July.  Most of this can be attributed to crying (mainly me, again), but also baby reflux/vomit, baby drool, and then all the runny noses (baby + parents) caused by the various illnesses suffered. I know a few of you are expecting babies very soon – go buy lots of packs of tissues as I promise you that you’ll need them.

The number of foods baby N has rejected since starting solids two weeks ago. I have absolutely adored introducing “solid” food to baby N (puree barely counts as solids) as he seems to be super-keen to eat whatever I give him.  While we have had success with pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot and pears, the real winners so far have been banana and apples. Two days ago he even ate a whole (albeit small sized) banana!  I could not believe he managed to find a space for all of that, but he did! But oh my goodness the poo is something else!!

But in all of this what I cannot quantify is my gratitude that this New Year I am a mother.  My journey was bumpy and difficult and I know how lucky I am to have my rainbow baby.  So this New Year’s Eve I am home with my husband and my cats and my baby.  This is by far the least glamorous NYE I have had in a very long time, but also the most peaceful and satisfying (also comfortable… hellooo tracksuit!). This time last year I was still in a world of anxiety about whether my embryo would continue to grow inside of me to be a healthy baby. The year before I had just lost our first baby.  This year we are a family. Mummy, daddy, baby and 3 lovely cats.  3+3 and perfect.




Bye Clexane!

Finally, I am injection free!  Last night was the last time I had to inject myself with a Clexane blood-thinning injection which means that today will be the first day since 11 November 2016 that I do not have to jab myself! I am so excited about this as it feels like a weight is being lifted off my shoulders and it’s another step towards being “back to normal”.

That being said, I’m grateful to the Clexane as I don’t think I would have my baby otherwise.  I am convinced that the (higher than standard dose) of Clexane was the crucial difference between another missed miscarriage and a live baby. I even had my placenta analysed and the doctor confirmed that he could see I had issues with thrombosis and he expects that without Clexane I would have had another miscarriage.  While this has been my theory all along, it is so good to have vindication from a medical professional.

For those of you who are also trying for a baby via IVF and have stuck with my blog, I just want to remind you that my IVF doctor was NOT the one who tested me for my Antithrombin III deficiency (thrombosis problem).  I took myself to a haematologist for a bunch of expensive additional tests and this is how I found out about the issue with the thrombosis. It was also my haematologist who insisted on the higher dose of Clexane when my IVF doc (who is also my OBGYN) was doubtful about it. If there is one thing I have learned throughout the whole infertility/IVF journey is that you have to be your own advocate.  You have to do the extra research, ask the hard questions, push for additional tests if things don’t work out as they should.  I would not have a baby right now if I hadn’t done that for myself.

As for my previous post, thank you to those of you who reached out and offered comforting and helpful words.  I am feeling a bit better since I wrote that post, perhaps just getting it out on the blog was therapy in a way. I did speak to my paediatrician about how things are and we have agreed that for now we won’t take any further measures but if things get worse then I am to call her right away so that we can do so.  I’m happy with this as I know she is on the alert and will help me if I need help.

In the meantime, I am trying to get out of the house each day on little excursions to keep myself sane.  Sometimes this is to the Mall and other times it’s to a coffee shop. Sometimes it is to catch up with friends.  Next week I have set up a playdate with another new mum (who I met through this very blog!!) and I’m thinking to also pay a visit to my husband’s aunt who is very kind and will hold the baby for me.  Life is far from perfect, but I am hoping that these small attempts to get my shit together will eventually help me to find my new normal.  Until then, at least I don’t have to deal with Clexane jabs anymore!! 🙂

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 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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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. 




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! 🎉