Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My birth story

OK, so this is me attempting a birth story! I may not finish it in one go so bear with me. Oh, and before I do just to let you know that B bshould be home with us on Friday. he had an MRI scan today and has his last antibiotics later, Thursday is an observation day and we'll all be staying together in the family room at the Neonatal unit on Thursday night before going home. Breastfeeding is a bit hit and miss mostly because B gets frustrated by the fact that my breast doesn't deliver milk to him at the speed of the bottles which deliver my expressed milk. Each time I feed him he fusses at the breast and the nurses suggest a top-up. They also tell me what a hungry boy he is and how they have given him 'extra' but I think that's just making him more frustrated. Hopefully when we stay at the unit and I can feed him on demand he might get more used to more frequent but less volumous feeds. We'll see.

So to the birth story.

We first went to the Midwife led unit on Friday 17th December when I was 6 days overdue because I felt like I was having contractions. We'd called the MLU twice and they suggested we come up the second time because I sounded like I was in labour and also it was snowing really heavily. When I got there they checked me, said I was only 1 cm dilated but fully effaced and sent me home. A few hours later we went back up and were told I was only 1-2 cm dilated but could stay as the weather had got worse. Basically I spent 48 hours in pain but my body doing nothing apart from a show. At some point they offered me pethidine, though I had put on my birth plan not to offer me it. I decided not to have any but agreed to have co-codamol even though I know it makes me feel sick. Then after the midwife had gone away I talked to D about it and we decided I should have the Pethidine. It was amazing, let me sleep a bit and although I was still aware of the contractions it was like someone else was having them for me. Yet still nothing happened and I didn't dilate any more so on Sunday we came home again. I came home with a urine infection, or at least that's what they said it was. Tests on my blood and urine showed nothing much but they put me on anti-biotics anyway. I was in a lot of pain and only able to pee if I crouched right down to the floor and peed into a bed pan, and even then it was such small quantities and bloody.

Monday and Tuesday I spent most of the time being unable to sleep from pain, unable to pee, and with a massive pain in my bottom. I think I managed a bit of sleep on Monday night purely by propping myself up in bed with a thousand cushions but most of the time the contractions I was feeling were so painful that I wanted to run away from myself. The pain in my bum was so awful that I tried drinking prune juice because I thought perhaps I needed a big old shit and then I would feel better. Sometimes the pains I felt were so awful I would jump out of bed to stretch across the birthing ball or hang off the door. By this time D and I were just exhausted and I was finding it really hard to eat so I felt really weak and unwell.

At some point on Tuesday, at 10 days overdue, I called the MLU again. I'd been trying to time contractions and felt like the ones I was having were 12 minutes long. It was all really confusing because for whatever reason (urine infection?) I was getting pains which started in my bum but then spread all round my abdomen before going full circle back to my bum again. I started this thread on mumsnet on the Monday because I was so confused. MLU suggested I come in (praise the lord) but when we got there I was massively disappointed to find I was still just 2-3 cm dilated. There was absolutely no way I was going home again though. I felt wretched because we were back in the same room and once again pretty much left to our own devices. I couldn't pee (still) and kept telling them that the pressure I felt with each contraction was just awful. I showed them the really tiny and really bloody urine that I was able to pass and explained that the urine infection was just making everything worse.

I managed to find a technique on the birthing ball which made the pain go away a little - stretching myself fully across it and breathing deeply repeating 'just one step closer to meeting the baby' with every breath. D, by now, was utterly bored; neither of us had had much sleep for 5 days and he really didn't know what to do apart from try to say encouraging things. I just wanted someone to come and check how far dilated I was but they kept just checking the baby's heartbeat and telling me that I couldn't be that far gone as I wasn't having close enough contractions. At some point I was given pethidine again but it really didn't have any effect the second time round. I was still leaping off the bed with every contraction. So... all of a sudden everything changed and until I get my maternity notes back I can't really give an accurate account of what happened and why...

All I know is that some time around 10 pm on Tuesday 21st December one of the midwives (not one I remember seeing at all in the previous few hours) decided they should do a trace on the baby. This meant being stuck on a monitoring thing which of course meant me being on my back and was agony as I still wanted to leap off the bed with every contraction. I think I asked at this point for someone to chack how dilated I was but they kept saying that wouldn't be much more dilated and I'd had lots of internal checks and they were wary of doing more if not necessary. However the trace showed a slowing down of the baby's heartbeat and I remember one of the midwives saying they would check me before taking me up to the Consultant led unit because they thought the baby might be in distress. They also kept saying that perhaps my contractions were so painful because the baby was back to back. Instead of checking me they put me in a wheel chair and took me upstairs. We waited for quite a while, me still in the wheelchair, in the reception area while a cleaner prepared a room for the birth. It seemed like ages and I was still contracting and by now a little worried about what was going on and why I had been transfered. Eventually they got me into the room and onto a bed where they stuck me on another monitor. Finally someone suggested breaking my waters and putting in a catheter which couldn't have come soon enough as by now I felt like I was going to explode from the fact that I hadn't had a proper piss for about 3 days. Not sure what order this all happened in but they broke my waters, fitted the catheter (half a litre of pee!!!) and then checked how dilated I was. Guess what - 6 cm! I remember thinking 'see I told you' about both the urine situation and the dilation. Immediately after I think they let me have the gas and air - thank fuckery! Honestly, I recon I should have had some kind of pain relief a long time before they actually decided I should. It was amazing, though made me very chatty and I told about a million jokes. I managed to use the gas and air very efficiantly through each contraction.

So - when they broke my waters they found meconium in them. This was really bad news as it suggested the baby was in distress and also they thought the baby could have swallowed it. I have no idea what time they broke my waters but after that they decided to get some blood from the baby's head (while he was still inside me!!) to check various things. All I know is that the blood tests came back fine but they wanted me hooked up to another monitor and also wanted to start preparing the theatre so I could have an epidural incase a C-section was necessary. Next time I was checked I was suddenly 10 cm dilated and they said it would be time for me to push. Trouble was that no one actually gave me any instruction on how to push or when to push. I wasn't expecting everyone to yell at me 'push push push' but a bit of guidance would have been nice as I have read that there are wrong times to push and so a bit of me was holding back until someone said something; no one did. So that is how I ended up in a theatre having an epidural, episiotomy and forceps birth. The whole Epidural bit was bizzare, lots of people talking to me, consent forms for C-sections in my face, needles in my back, my legs feeling like elephant legs and people with icecubes asking me to tell them if I could feel them. The whole time I just kept thinking 'what next?' though I was pretty calm considering the fact that I seemed to now be in some kind of emergency situation. Then I was told, with the next contraction I must push as hard as I could and that although I might not be able to feel anything I shold put my chin into my chest and just push hard. 3 pushes later and baby B was born at 1.21 am on December 22nd 2010 weighing 6lb and 15 oz. They put him straight onto my belly - no skin to skin as I had these weird blue surgical leggings on and all the stuff to create a screen for a C-section. All I remember is D saying 'it's a boy' and then the baby being whisked to another area of the room (I couldn't see properly) where D says they stuck things in his throat to suck the meconium out. it seemed like ages until he cried and even then it was weak. Then they brought him over wrapped tightly in a blanket so I could have a 30 second cuddle before he was taken away to the Neo Natal unit. I meanwhile had to have stitches which took an age. Can't remember the placenta coming out but I think I had the injection to make it faster. Basically everything I didn't want on my birth plan - I got.

They took me into the recovery ward and D and I just stayed there for ages until he was asked to go to Neo Natal. he came back with a photograph of our little boy all wired up to leads and monitors but also with good news that he was doing well. They said he was a 'floppy baby' and needed special care. D went home (About 3am) and I tried to sleep but it's just impossible when you have elephant legs you can't move, the doors are all open, the lights in the coridoor are on and there's a succession of midwives standing about moaning about their jobs. At one point I even heard them talking about me and my birth and the fact that the baby is an IVF baby!!

At about 7 am someone came to see me and to ask if they could give the baby some formula. Not what I wanted but I did say yes at which point I was given a choice of which formula! Well of course I didn't have a clue and thought it was an utterly stupid question to ask a first time mum recovering from an epidural whos birthplan clearly stated she wanted to breastfeed; why would they think I would know the difference between one formula and another? Anyway - I had teh presence of mind to ask about expressing milk and thanks to a lovely midwife managed to fill a siringe with some colostrum. At least I knew his next feed would be from me, even if not the ideal situation. A little while later the 'baby doctor', as he described himself, came to tell me that Bwas doing really well. Wonderful news which all changed a few hours later when we were told he had had some fits - but that's a whole other story.

That is my birth story as i remember it, but I will edit and add over time.



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Introducing my baby boy

I am a mum. Our baby boy was born at 1.21 am on 22nd December 2010. he weighed 6lb 15 oz and of course he is beautiful.  His name comes from various things. Dale and some of his friends have a habit of calling eachother by the name instead of by their real names, I had it as a nick-name at University because of my great love of Bob Dylan - so the name is kind of a tribute to both those things. We called him B when he was in the womb and knew that even if we put it as a middle name we would still call him B rather than.

At the moment I am at home and the baby is in the Neo Natal Unit. Basically he has needed some special care. He is barely five days old and he has had a CAT scan and a Lumbar Puncture. The short version is that after a labour which went from me having my waters broken at 6cm dilation and Meconium being found I was taken to theatre where I was given an epidural incase they felt a C-section was necessary. In the end I pushed him out myself despite not being able to feel a thing and they barely had to use the forceps. I got to see him for a matter of seconds before they took him away to take the meconium out of his airways and then took him off to the NeoNatal unit. D went to see him at 3am and they said he was fine. At 7 am they came to see me in recovery and told me he was doing fine. At 11am we found out he had had some fits. He had 3 fits in 3 hours and so the testing began. It's all ok now, nothing bad was found, but the first 2 days was a bit hellish. me on the maternity ward with no baby, D at home and B having all sorts of tests and drugs. He is still on antibiotics but we are really really hoping that he comes home on Friday.

I have found it really hard emotionally because when you have a baby you expect that you will bring him home. Instead I spent 3 nights on the maternity ward expressing milk and visiting him when I could but not being able to pick him up or feed him. Now he is in the nursery and I can feed and cuddle him but it is almost worse because I know what I am missing when I am at home without him. I am also very tired (Waking to express every 3-4 hours) and emotional.




Friday, December 17, 2010

Things I have discovered since becoming pregnant.

People really do say 'are you sure it's not twins' quite a lot. Usually these people have no proper perception of what it's like to be pregnant or how much space one baby does actually take up in the average sized belly.

My husband thought that all women give birth on their backs because that's what they show on TV.

There are some crazy people on the internet.

People do really think being born around Christmas is the worst thing ever and they are not shy about telling you.

Never discuss baby names with other people; Everyone knows someone they hated with the name you have chosen.

Even your own mother will give bad advice but you have to remember that things have changed.

Everyone starts calling you when you hit 39 weeks and if you don't update your facebook for a few hours they panic.

Most people think they know what the sex of your baby is, even when you don't know yourself.

Most of the people you meet at NCT classes are lovely, but it's not easy to make personal connections.

Having a baby brings out all the worst judgyness in you and other people.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Overdue

I am 4 days over my EDD, well the one the hospital gave me after the 12 week scan. If I go by the due date estimated from the Egg collection then I am only 2 days over. Nothing to report except I am getting tightenings and wibbles in my belly late at night which means I go to bed every night thinking 'could this be it' and then wake up every morning feeling normal. I am not in any rush to get the baby out but I am a bit anxious because I have no idea when it's going to happen and that's just weird. We've not done anyting to encourage the baby along but D is on a promise for Saturday noght as they say sex may help. I have a midwife coming on Monday and she will offer me a sweep. I am not sure what to do (If I last that long) because I really do want to avoid and induction but I am not too keen on the idea of a sweep either. I suppose that I just don;t want to hurry things along because at the moment I feel absolutely fine. Not like a lot of women who I read about on the internet who get to 37 weeks and start to get very frustrated.

I went into town yesterday for an hour to pick up the last of my christmas shopping; I think I am all done now. I have been pretty organised really and am all set for if we can make it to the Christmas meal D's mum is throwing. Last night we went out for her 60th birthday and it was good. It did help that D and I had an air clearing argument about the whole Christmas thing a few days ago and he seems to understand why I am anxious. We popped into the cottage she is renting and it was good to see where I will be if we do go, though I am still a little concerned about having a new baby, breastfeeding, people smoking etc.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Due date cometh!

It's just over a week until my due date; I am still really hoping that the baby comes late - very late. I went shopping with Lis today and while looking at pretty stuff in Homesense I came over all funny. I am not sure if perhaps it was braxton hicks or if I was just needing the loo. So I went to the nearest toilet and after that was fine. It's strange not knowing what to expect and not knowing when it will happen. I am definitely not fixating on the due datebut I am worried that the baby might come early.

I am feeling fine, I little more weighty in the pelvic area and a little more tired but OK. I find it harder to get out of bed now, I have to roll and shuffle. I also have heartburn quite a lot too. Apparently giving birth is an instant cure so I am looking forward to that. We have had a bit of snow but none that has settled. Apparently it's quite bad in some areas but we have had nothing to write about. I hope it stays away as I really do need to be able to get to hospital. Lis scared me a bit about the birth, saying all hers were really painful. I sensed a bit of scorn at my plan to have a natural birth - I just hope I can get through it ok. I hope D can support me and I hope I don't have any bad things happen.

Mum and B brought the crib around the other day, it is so lovely. I just don't know how to thank him. It's all set up by the bed and so everything seems quite real now. I haven't yet had anyone call and ask constantly how I am doing, not something I am looking forward to!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

sitting in a parked car

So I just spent 45 minutes sitting in the car right outside the house wishing I could just drive away and de-stress. my husband and I have had a major disagreement over me not wanting to call anyone when I go into labour - or more to the point not wanting him to call his mum when I go into labour. Perhaps we just have very different expectations and beliefs about what is important when it comes to family? I don't think that there is any reason for anyone to be informed that I have gone into labour, infact I can't see why it is in any way important that they know. It is really important to me that I get space and privacy and so I have requested that we don't tell anyone, not even my mum. For some reason my husband thinks, to quote him, 'it's the normal thing to do'. I think he watches too much TV, where women give birth on their backs and it only takes half an hour while extended family pace up and down outside. I don't think he realises that a lot of the labour process will happen at home and may take a long time. I don't think that he understands that my feelings and my anxieties are what are most important. I don't care if it's what he thinks is normal, or if it's what his mum expects - my feelings should be considered first surely?

leaving work

 I am now officially off work until next September! My Maternity leave doesn't kick in until December but I have 2 weeks holiday and yesterday had a lovely lie in. Probably it won't hit home until Monday when I realise I can stay in bed and have a lie-in. I intend to get started on the spare room and sort the house out. In reality the baby could come any time as I am now 37 weeks but I hope it hangs on for a couple more.

My sister has been having a rotten time. Her ERPC didn't work and the doctor who did it failed to tell anyone, she ended up getting very ill in hospital which is when they found out he only removed 5ml of blood and the foetus was still intact and in her womb! So on in the week they decided on medical management and she was in hospital all day waiting for the foetus to come out. She was in a lot of pain (said to me she had no idea how I managed it without gas and air!) but still by Friday evening nothing had come out apart from a lot of clots and blood. So today she is having another ERPC with a different doctor. I feel so bad for her. Me and mum went to see her at home during the week and she seems ok but I know just what it's like to have to deal with family and people with big pregnant bellies when you're going through the loss of a much wanted baby. I really hope today's procedure works and that she can start trying again when she's ready.

My last week at work was extremely boring and just really hard work. My usual work mate was off and I had my replacement in the office with me so had to train her whilst doing enquiries and answering questions. I am not going to worry about it now I am off .  Part of the difficulty with the last week was that it was so quiet and so very difficult to really train her in anything useful. Without real enquiries it was quite hard to demonstrate all parts of the job.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Last week in work

We had our last NCT class today. At the end the leader said we would all meet up for a reunion some time in late February but that most classes arrange a meet up between themselves before our due dates. I feel lilke I didn't gel with anyone really and so feel slightly worried that I will not be a part of the group for long. I am probably being stupid but you know me, I just don't fit in. The class itself was ok, we did a lot about the effects of the birth and the first six weeks afterwards though the one thing I didn't like was the class being split once again into gender groups. I think D should be involved in conversations about Lochia and stitches, how else is he supposed to really understand what it might be like for me after the birth?


Tomorrow I start the training of my replacement and I am really not looking forward to it. I am going to find it so hard and so tiring and then I am going to come home and find D surrounded by sweet wrappers and playing call of duty. I would much prefer it if I came home to find he had made me dinner but I am guessing the chances of that are minimal.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Facebook - the Devil's work?

So after today I have one week left in work. Technically speaking my replacement starts her job on Monday, though we are using that week as a hand-over and training week. The other person in the library is off on a weeks holiday so ages ago I asked that our usual cover person be here so that I can get on with the training. However yesterday he called me saying he might need to just be on a stand-by basis as he has a big job to do which he can't put of. Fair enough, these things happen. Though I wonder about the sense in getting a 37 week pregnant woman to train someone and work at the same time? I mailed my boss to let her know what had happened and you know what her response was?... just 'ok'. no offer of another person to cover, no view that maybe all of the above is not that good an idea. Ah well, at least she is consistant.

This last week has been a bit frustrating, it's got to the point now where I just don't care and I want to just get the next week over with and start my maternity leave with no worries. I am feeling pretty tired truth be told; I just can't wait to leave!

My sister has another scan on Monday to double check there is no heartbeat then make a decision on what to do. As it's a missed miscarriage like mine she has the choice between a medical or surgical miscarriage or waiting for it to happen naturally. At first she was thinking of the medical (pills) route which is what I chose, but now I think she has decided on the surgical option as it's done while you are under general anaesthetic and deals with the problem fairly quickly. I guess like her I am clinging on to hope that the first scan was wrong and there will be a heartbeat on Monday but from my own experience I know it's unlikely. Though - the private clinic where she had the scan at 10 weeks seems to have given her some cnflictin information. Apparently when the scan first started off the woman doing it said she thought my sister was measuring small. Then when my sister looked at the paperwork the size of the foetus tallied correctly with her dates - so what was that all about? They seemed to be saying the baby stopped developing a week and a half ago but then gave measurements which show it continued to grow to the size of a 10 week foetus. Hopefully the scan on Monday will give her some reassurance.

She has dealt with this in a different way to me, despite us both very much wanting the pregnancies, and has created a memory box for the baby. I just flushed mine down the loo and kept no momentos because that's just th way I am. My sister has a different way of dealing with stuff and I hope it is helping her. She has definitely been able to move on from thinking she never wants to try again to accepting that two miscarriages doesn't always mean it will happen again. I really do hope that she is able to start thinking about a future with babies rather than giving up.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Life can throw some real s**t sometimes

My sister's pregnancy is no longer viable. I am utterly and completely gutted. She had a scan a couple of weeks ago and saw a heartbeat at about 8 weeks. There was one small question mark which worried her in that the baby was measuring a teeny bit smaller than she thought it should be so rather than wait for her 12 weeks scan she decided to book a private scan for tonight. I completely forgot about this so when she called it took me a couple of seconds to register the reason for the call. She was calling to tell me that there is no longer a heartbeat and that the baby seems to have stopped growing at eight and a half weeks. In that moment I failed completely to be able to give her any support whatsoever. Having had a similar thing happen myself (missed miscarriage) and then have to go on to IVF and finally a successful pregnancy I knew immediately that there was nothing I could say to help, nothing which would change the fact that this baby she wanted so much will never be born. Nothing I can say to drag her out of the misery she will be feeling nor to take away the fact that I will, all being well, be giving birth to my own very much wanted child within the next month and a half and she will have to survive becoming an aunt while at the same time dealing with her own grief. On top of that, for a brief moment, I felt my heart sink in a completely selfish way as I wondered 'how on earth can I enjoy the rest of my pregnancy and the birth of my first child when I know it will cause my sister so much pain?'.

My sister has been pregnant twice in 6 months and is now going to have to go through her second miscarriage. It is no good anyone trying to console her by telling her how lucky she is to get pregnant twice in six months and so quickly at the age of 42, no good anyone telling her 'it will happen one day' and no good anyone saying they know how she feels 'because it happened to me too'. All that will matter to her is that she has now miscarried twice and she will be worrying that it is never going to happen and that everyone else will get pregnant but her. I know because I have been there, but because I have been there doesn't mean I can offer any words of wisdom. My being pregnant just makes it all worse.

Friday, November 05, 2010

'Mother of many' Short animation

wonderful

NCT

D and I went to our first NCT Ante-Natal class on Wednesday evening. The overall experience was a good and positive one and I think D really did enjoy himself, he certainly cracked a few gags and bonded well with the blokes. I was so excited about going I almost choked myself to death in the car eating an egg mayonaise roll before going in. There are seven couples in total all I would say in their early to mid thirties; I am pretty sure that I am one of the oldest there though no one asked. For some reason I can remember all the names of the blokes but only a couple of the women. We started by introducing ourselves with the men giving their name and the due date and the women their name and where they hope to give birth. Most people are due around Christmas time like me though there's one person due in January and another who may be induced early. We then split into two groups, male and female, and had to write down what we expected to get out of the course. I was quite surprised as it seemed to me that the majority of the other women didn't really seem to have a clue about their options or the kind of birth they wanted. For a moment I thought perhaps I was the only one who had done any reading as everyone else was a bit 'oh well I have tried not to think about all that'. Turns out that most of them were just holding back and the reality is that most of us do have some idea of what we will be comfortable with.

Everyone wants to breastfeed. I wonder if there's anything out there on the statistics RE NCT members breastfeeding. Would be useful to know. We (the women) talked about episiotomies, water births, pain relief and breastfeeding while the blokes talked about 'not killing the baby' and 'when will she be able to drink again'. When we mentioned the choice between being cut or tearing the groupl leader said we would talk about it probably when the men were out of the room 'having coffee' at which point several of us said we would prefer to talk about it with the men there as we felt it was really important that they know what might happen in labour. The Leader's attitude was a bit confusing to be honest. The whole point of the writing things down on a list was that no one person could be identified as having a particular problem but that the group could talk about it all together. I hope that the men aren't excluded as that hardly seems to make sense.

Our next excercise was to split again into gender groups and the men had to write down their idea of a perfect romantic night at home and the women their idea of a perfect birth. It was to show how similar the two are; how women want low lighting, calm and peace during labour. It was quite a useful thing to do really.

So to the people... the couples all seem nice enough. All the couples were lovely. They all live quite far away from me though (on the other side of town) so not sure how this is going to work out as an excercise in making friends. Most seem to be typically middle class and I did laugh inside when two of them started talking about a handbag one had brought with her and how her husband had surprised her with it and then bought the matching purse for her too. There was also a bit of chatter about 'push presents'  which is something I have never wanted or expected. I always thought the present you both get after labour is ... erm, a baby?

In contrast the leader of the group was definitely not one of these well put together women, seemed quite a lot more down to earth and stuck out even more than I did. When we left D was able to tell me lots of things about the couples, like only one couple knows what they are having, what all the blokes did for a living and so on. None of us women vollunteered this information so maybe it will take a while for us all to get to know eachother - infact maybe we do need a bit more direction in this so I hope the course leader gets us all to chat a bit more. Or maybe I need to chat a bit more rather than leave it up to D.

The last part of the evening was all about hormones in birth and how they fight eachother. We then did a relaxation excercise which meant the lights being turned off and lots of giggling. It was fun, D enjoyed it and I feel happy that he will learn a lot from the whole thing. next session in Sunday from 10 - 4 (!). I had thought that we might all go out to grab some lunch or something but she's asked us to bring a packed lunch. Ah well. We'll be doing stuff about labour I think.

Just 2 weeks left in work now and I haven't spoken to my boss for at least 3 weeks. It's getting up my nose so yesterday I sent her an email suggesting we meet up wlong with my current work mate and the woman who is taking over. Specially as my boss missed a meeting with me yesterday and failed to even mention that she wouldn't be there. I still haven't heard back from her so I feel incredibly ignored and undervalued. I've been working so hard to get the training for the new person sorted and in the last week my usual workmate will be on holiday so I will have to be doing my job and sorting out the new person - a little bit of input from my boss would be appreciated to be honest.

Pregnancy wise I feel fine, a little less mobile and am finding bending really uncomfortable but generally I am ok. Still getting some sleep and my ankle only swells up occasionally. I was a bit worried at the weekend as the selling pain went all the way up my leg, but keeping it elevated and walking seems to help it. We were invited to go out with BIL and his wife at the weekend and they did badger us a bit by text when we decided not to go but perhaps when SIL is as pregnant as me she will understand that sometimes all you want to do is stay at home.

I tried to do some tidying up last-night and found it quite exhausting; bending down makes my heartburn worse and I had to sit down regularly for a rest! At least I will have a couple of weeks to get things done slowly if I suddenly start nesting. I need to do a list because there is so much to do, including cooking and freezing some meals. I have started hoping that the baby comes a week early so at least that way I will get some time alone with just D and the baby.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Scans, work and hospital visits.

I forgot to blog to say that my sister had a scan at just over 7 weeks and saw a heartbeat. So it all looks ook so far. I think she is worrying a bit about it staying OK but that is only natural. At least now she has calmed down a bit, though having said that she seems overly worried about how her life will change. I do sometimes wonder if we don't all get a bit caught up on not being able to have a baby and so having one becomes so important that we forget why we ever wanted to have one in the first place!

I have just over 3 weeks left in work and six weeks until my due date. I have been training the person who is taking over which is more tiring than I thought it would be but not as bad as I thought it might be - if that makes sense. I do feel a bit like my boss really fails to value what I do as she's not been that involved or encouraging and doesn't seem keen to involve me in future plans. Ah well. I am really looking forward to leaving now but have to be careful that I don't end up wishing the days away and getting bored. I am also not pinning any hopes on giving birth on my due date, after all only something like 5% of babies come on the due date. I have tried finding out if there are any statisitics for IVF births and the percentages for babies arriving on time because it would be interesting to know if knowing your exact conception date makes a difference. Doesn't seem to be anything out there though. It would make an interesting study.

D and I went on the tour of the midwife led unit last week and it has really put my mind at rest; I now feel like I will be supported to have the birth I would like. Of course any number of things could go wrong, but barring all that it seems like they will encourage me to use the birthing pool and to give birth naturally. My biggest hope is that I get through it with as littel fear as possible, that I work with my body and that I can cope with the pain. We will see.

I had the midwife on Tuesday and all is ok, baby was head down but not engaged yet but then I am only just over 33 weeks so wouldn't expect it to be. This is the second time that I have been seen by a student midwife but I am assuming they know what they are doing? I was measuring a bit big this time but not a lot so I guess that is all ok. I also had a problem with my right foot swelling up but it seems to be ok now. My blood pressure is fine so far.







Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More woes

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Induction

Someone gave me a link to this story about induction which I think is fantastic. I am, as anyone who reads this probably knows, really not looking forward to having to resist induction so knowing that 10 months can be considered normal has given me a boost. I worry that because of my age and because it will be Christmas they will put more pressure on me. Who knows.

My sister has her scan tomorrow, she will be just shy of 6 weeks. I really really hope that they can see something and that it's in the right place. Doubt they will see a heartbeat. I tried to encourage her to wait another week so that they would have more chance of seeing the heartbeat but she's decided to have this one on the NHS and then pay privately for another one.



I have six weeks left in work after Friday! SIX WEEKS! I have to train the person who is taking over which is going to be such a pain in the bum.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Here is why I am irritable

1. Why has my husband suddenly become so obsessed with Mafia Wars?
Mafia Wars is some stupid game on Facebook . To be fair I do the same in our bedroom on my laptop. I surf mumsnet and play farm town - probably far too much.
2. I can't drink Wine.
But my husband seems to spend every night downing a bottle of wine, or if not wine it's beer. It really pisses me off because I just lie here like a lump drinking water and wondering if I will ever fall asleep without difficulty again. If it's not water it's Gaviscon. Where's the fun in that?

3. Did I mention I can't sleep?
One reason for this is that I am alone. Firstly, while I am preparing to sleep my husband is talking loudly on the phone downstairs about mafia wars, or chinking glasses, or playing something loud on his computer or let's just face it he is generally forgetting that I am here.

4. I spend too much time on my own.

5. Everyone keeps asking 'how are you feeling?'.
I actually feel fine, except my sex life is shit.

6. My sex life is shit.
What sex life? I don't seem to have one anymore.
7. I have to train someone to do my job.
 My boss wants me to train her during my last week at work which just happens to be the week my work-mate is on holiday.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My sister's good news

My sister is pregnant! She has done a test 5 days before her period is due and it's come up with a line; an immediate and clear line. She is, of course, over the moon as am I, although I am feeling cautious for her because with these early tests there is so much that can go wrong. I don't mean the tests make the pregnancy go wrong but that so many things can happen between now and when she would be expecting her period and between then and her 12 week scan. We both know this having been through a miscarriage each. Though I am never quite sure if she had a miscarriage or an ectopic but do know that one of her tubs is apparently blocked and so gettin g pregnant is a risk for her. I don't know the science of it all but she's under the impression that if she ovulates from her blocked tube side then there is more of a risk of her having another ectopic. She says that she knows each month which side that she is ovulating from and this was a 'safe' month. I don't know if that is how it works but I hope that she manages to get through these few weeks unscathed. If the baby stays then there will be 6 months between our babies which will be lovely.

I just hope that she isn't getting her hopes up too early. I know that sounds really pessimistic but she's got herself so excited and it's just that after the recent experience she has had I think she should be more cautious. Maybe that's just me, maybe that's just because that's how I was when I got pregnant after a miscarriage.

Anyway. here's hoping that she has a smooth and event-free pregnancy and that the baby develops and that I don't get daily telephone calls about every twinge!

I went to the midwife today and all is ok. I had been feeling a little worried about the lack of movements lately and last night was really worried as I didn't get the usual kicking in the evening.  I have never had furious movements but at about 10 pm every night the baby does tend to do a little bt of kicking and punching. Last night it just seemed strangely quiet and I lay away for quite a while worrying. Anyway, it seems the baby has moved position and may now be breech after several weeks of being head down. This may be why I am feeling less? The midwife measured me at 29 weeks (I am 28 +3) and we heard the heartbeat plus it did a bit of kicking too. Also this morning I was on a course all day and most of the morning I was desperately trying to hide the movements in my belly. So it all seems ok, I just need to spend less time slumped on the soffa and try to get this baby to move back into a better position for the birth.

Monday, September 20, 2010

not a yummy Mummy

Why do people put pictures of their baby as their profile picture on Facebook? I mean, why!? I really hope I don't turn into that kind of person. Someone I never expected to do it has just changed their profile picture to a picture of their baby girl. Weirdo. Surely you have a picture of yourself, surely having a baby doesn't sap you of your own personality and identity?

I went to an NCT sale on Saturday and it really freaked me out. Lots of Yummy mummies but then what more would you expect from the NCT? I felt like a complete fraud. What really amazed me was all the women there with their partners/husbands. It seems odd to me that a husband would be that arsed about what is basically a jumble sale, or that these things become family outings! Do they? I am wondering what kind of people I can expect to see in my NCT classes in November and will I be the hill-billy one in the corner?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Baby's first Christmas

I am really hoping that our baby's first Christmas doesn't become an all singing and dancing 'BABY'S FIRST CHRISTMAS'. I am dreading it more and more each day. While I just want to snuggle in with our baby and have some time to learn how to be a mum I have a real fear that it may become something of a big occassion. Hopefully people won't shower us with ridiculous gifts, hopefully no one will insist on dressing up the baby as Father Christmas, hopefully I won't have to hand my baby form person to person for endless photo opportunities, hopefully people will have the sense to know that babies that age don't need their first taste of mince pie. I don;t know why I am worrying all these things will happen, surely people are not that stupid?

I know my fear comes mainly from just not having a clue what the hell other people have planned.I feel too that I am going to be in a po sition from the due date where everyone is waiting for me to give birth and that if I go overdue I will have family pressure to go for an induction. Not that I would bow to that pressure, I will only have an induction if there is something wrong. Thing is, I really want the baby to be late now - maybe around 20th so that I will have a perfect excuse not to go anywhere.

D brought Christmas up the other day so I used the opportunity to try to explain to him that if the baby is late I might not be able to or want to go for a big Christmas meal. I also explained the whole milk coming in and baby blues thing and I am really concerned that he doesn't seem to understand at all. I sometimes wonder if he thinks that giving birth is just a matter of popping out a baby and then carrying on as normal. I get the impression that he expects that I will! Maybe because my pregnancy has been so easy he assumes the birth will be too. Many years ago they would keep a new mum in hospital for a few days, sometimes even a week, but these days they release you ASAP and I think a lot of people just assume that this means a new mum is all set to get up and go and carry on. Not true, at least not from what I have read. D kept saying 'but the baby is more likely to arrive on time than be late isn't it?' which is just not true. First babies are statistically more likely to come late, and anyway that's not really the issue. Even if the baby was on time I still might not want to be fannying about going to a big Christmas meal with all his family at the expense of my own.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Amazing birth story with pictures

I just had to post a link to this wonderful site

Baby shows and childbirth woes

I went to the baby show on Sunday. SIL had suggested we go together on Saturday but I had a friend visiting so was able to excuse myself. Then SIL suggested we go on the Sunday instead which is how I found myself driving round in circles in the rain trying to find a way into the sports centre where it was being held. In the end I walked up the Taff trail and then back on myself to find a way in which was ok as I probably do need the excercise. The baby show was fine, a mixture of pointless and interesting very much like a bridal show. I spoke to the people at the NCT stall and also to someone about breastfeeding support. I am worried that because the baby is due so close to Christmas I might not get the support I need what with people being on their holidays and staff perhaps being over-stretched. I guess in general I am scared about the level of care I will recieve but more of that later. I also spoke to someone about re-usable nappies and feel a lot more able now. We will still use disposables for the first few weeks (D has bought a stack of them) but I really want to switch to re-usables later. It was nice to see my SIL and her husband, though I feel way ahead of them; they are just starting to think about travel systems while I have everything almost sorted. I have just over 3 months to go! I also couldn't help judging a lot of the baby show. There could have been more stuff there for breast-feeding mums and more stuff on childbirth options.

And that is my other worry, the birth. I guess it is natural for someone at my stage to start to worry but my worries are not really to do with the pain but more to do with my options and having those options taken from me either through bad policy or through bad health.  I know that my first problem could be if they try to induce me and then if I refuse if they try to emotionally blackmail me. I don't want a cascade of intervention. people tell me not to have my wants too set in stone because I will only be disappointed if it doesn't work out as I expected but I think so long as I can cope with the pain and as long as I am informed and not in any medical danger then it's not too much to ask that my wishes be considered and catered for - or does that sound too much like a control freak?

A home birth is looking more desirable by the day. I just feel that by being in hospital in the first place I am setting myself up for a medicalised birth. Plus the Heath hospital has higher than average interventions including emergency caesarians! Meh! My age is an issue too, I think it just means I am going to be viewed as being more in need of an induction, more in need of intervention etc.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

feeling left out...

I was gobsmacked to read this thread on Mumsnet today. in particular the comment "it may be that your mil is feeling a little left out in the feeding process". There have been several threads on there recently about interfering parents or in-laws, including ones about visitors after the birth, and there seem to be two schools of thought. The first being that women who have just given birth must include the extended family as soon as possible, sometimes even during or straight after the labour, because if they don't then they are excluding the people who love them most and messing up the grandparent's chance to bond with the baby. The other is that a woman who has given birth should be allowed to say exactly what she prefers and should exclude all visitors for as long as she wants to, plus her husband/partner should be backing her up. I know which I agree with!

So - I find this whole idea that a grandparent might feel excluded from the feeding process a bit odd. Breast-feeding is surely not something that a grandparent should feel they have a right to be included in; it's physically impossible for a start! Where does this sense of entitlement come from and why are women who want time to get used to their newborn and recover from the birth always treated like they are some kind of irrational and mean cow? Maybe because I don't have a huge extended family myself I am a little too much of an Island in my thinking and maybe I will have to learn to compromise when it comes to family wanting time with my son or daughter but I still think it's weird behaviour for a grandparent to expect all these things. I have read so many stories of grandparents punishing their offspring, sulking, kicking off - all because they feel hard done by. Obviously there is the opposite, where mums and dads sem to think they are entitled to free childcare from their own parents and are equally as horrible when it doesn't happen.

Monday, August 30, 2010

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

'Honestly, you won't care'

I really get quite annoyed by all the 'you won't care what you're wearing in labour, you have to let go of all dignity' shit that people spout. I will care actually, and I really don't see why women think I should just give birth topless and exposed when my tits have nothing to do with giving birth. Everytimes someone starts a thread on mumsnet about what to wear in labour there's always someone who comes on and says 'honestly, you won't care' when, plainly, whoever has started the thread really does care or why would they have asked in the first place? I am sure there are plenty of women who don't care and who are happy to be stripped naked or never even thought twice about which nightie to take in but that doesn't mean it applies to everyone. Sometimes I think women who have already given birth can be very smug about other people's choices or needs. Like they have been there and done that and it worked for them so it should work for everyone else. Bollox.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Handling Visitors

I have most probably blogged about this before; my concerns about visitors after the birth of the baby. I went to a BBQ today and we got talking about someone who has recently had a baby. I said I'd dropped a card round but not been to see them as they may not want visitors. Someone said 'oh they won't mind' and then went into a massive ramble about how different they were to another friend who had been quite strict about when people could come round, asking them to come at set times. Now I think that is quite reasonable and is probably what I will prefer to do so it made me worry a bit about how people percieve others and their wants and needs. I don't think I will appreciate people just dropping in without warning or calling to say when they will be round rather than checking first that it's ok. I am mostly worried about the whole breastfeeding thing, and the privacy issue. I don't want to be put into the situation where I have to go up to my bedroom to feed because the house is full of people, I want to be able to enjoy my first few days in my home with a new baby without feeling pushed out. Maybe I am over thinking but I will be giving my husband strict instructions about who can come and when.

The friend at the BBQ said that the latest new mum was out of hospital the same day she gave birth and didn't mind visitors but I am amazed by how people seem to assume that just because you are home the same day then everything is OK and life goes on the same. For all she knows new mum and dad were knackered and craving some privacy but too polite to say. I really think that most people who haven't given birth just don't know anything about what it's like. In the old days mums used to be kept in for days with visiting hours restricted and so they didn't have to deal with people visiting and hanging about for hours. I have been told by some people on Mumsnet that you should make visitors pitch in and help but I can't think of anything worse than having people do my housework or fiddle about in my kitchen just as an excuse to hang about.

My ideal scenario is that we will be given some time alone for a few days to bond with our baby. I have been told that days 3-4 can be particularly bad as new mums can get the baby blues and also the milk comes in around then making breastfeeding more difficult. So I just hope that people will leave us alone and not be too offended if we say they can't come over.

Friday, August 27, 2010

good news

My SIL had her proper Nuchal scan with the properly trained person and her Nuchal thickness came back as 1.8mm so perfectly normal. She still has to wait for the blood results but will know on Tuesday. Mr Beattie at the clinic told her that the NHS sonogropher wasn't trained to do the scan and should never have told her the result (she said it was 4mm) and certainly shouldn't have said it was the thickest one she had seen all year. Totally unprofessional. I wonder if SIL should maybe put in a complaint - I would. Though she says she doesn't want to risk being scanned by the same woman after she's complained. I am so so pleased for her and so so angry at the NHS for being so stupid. Hopefully she can now get on with enjoying her pregnancy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

...and my midwife visit

Went to the midwife yesterday but forgot to blog about it with all the stuff going on with SIL. It was all ok, I heard the heartbeat and my blood pressure and wee is fine. She gave me some vitamins and is sorting out a prescription for gaviscon for the heartburn, The only odd thing is that she says I am measuring 29 weeks when really I am just over 24. This means that the baby may be bigger than expected or that I have a lot of fluid. I knew I was looking big and everyone was just being kind when they say I'm not. I have to go back in 2 weeks and be measured again and if the measurement is still big will have to go for a dating scan.

One thing which really concerns me is that they are already measuring me a week ahead and so this means they will consider me overdue when really I am not. I know exactly when I conceived because of the IVF but have consistantly measured a week ahead . The hospital would say I am over 25 weeks. Hrmph. If they think I am more overdue than I really am then they might push to induce me whichI really don't want to happen and am going to resist as much as I can because inducement can lead to other interventions.

I am thinking of doing a bit of research into a home birth because I wonder if it might be an option.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nuchal woes

I waited all evening for my SIL to call about her 12 week scan which was this afternoon so by the time she called at 8pm I was quite worried. Seems that she has not had a particularly great scan. The heartbeat was there and the measurements were spot on which is all one really expects from a 12 week NHS dating scan in Wales. For some reason, though, the sonographer measured the nuchal thickness and said it is a 'worrying 4mm'. Thing is, I know that taken in isolation the nuchal thickness is not an accurate test. The NHS offers blood tests but those aren't done until 16 weeks and so the two combined are not accurate either. Why they have done this I don't know. V has already booked a nuchal test for Thursday and so I have advised her to wait for then before she stresses too much. I just hope I have been of some help, though I know how awful it is to have to wait for all these tests and to get the all clear. Stupid stupid NHS and stupid sonogropher. She may not even be properly trained FFS. It makes me so mad. I just hope that the nuchal measurement on Thursday is better and that she doens't have to go through the grief I did.

Expert advice

I had a big long email from my SIL (The one who has just announced her pregnancy) yesterday RE the Nuchal Scan. They have decided to have it done and in a way I feel a little sad about it. I suppose I thought that they might not bother and now I am worried that they will get a similar result to me (She's 38) and have to go through more anguish after so many years of trying. I have to bear in mind though that everyone makes the decisions that they know they can personally handle. I've told her what I know and what to look out for and to ask. She has her 12 week scan today and so hopefully that will make her feel more positive because I know she is worried about her symptoms stopping. I tried to get her interested in mumsnet but she mailed me back saying she doesn't really do forums. I am surprised by that but maybe I am the strange one. I just wonder how you go through 8 years of TTC without using the internet to do your research!?  Maybe some of us are information junkies and some of us are not. I remember before I had the IVF I researched the best diets to prepare myself for making great eggs and I stuck some stuff on my fridge door. She came over and seemed really surprised by all the advice and at the time I thought 'but surely you of all people would know all this already?'. Strange. We're all different I guess.

I really need to get my arse in gear RE work, there's a lot to sort out before I go on maternity leave at the end of November. I can't leave the place in a state and I will only worry if I do. Still notmuch of an idea who will apply for my job but most likely to be a numpty from over the road.

I am not impressed by my expanding belly - I am HUGE. I'm not saying this because I am just bigger, I really do believe that I am bigger than I should be. I have the midwife today and I think she will measure me. Hopefully I will come out as being some kind of normal.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

There is nothing I can say...

...to make this journey easier for my sister. I do keep telling her to remember that all her tests have come back so much better than mine ever did, that at 42 she has better chances than I do to conceive naturally although since she discovered a blocked tube perhaps that is not really entirely true. I wish I didn't know so much about infertility because I feel like I could give loads of advice but really I shouldn't be because I know better than anyone that advice is useless and doesn't help. Either she will get pregnant or she won't. She came to see me today and I could see that all she was thinking about was not being able to get pregnant. It's just really sad and I can't help in any way. I am pretty sure that the recent news from V has effected her too. She is in the same 'why everyone else but me' territory as I was a year ago.

This weekend has been another lazy one, apart from the fact that I was up early both days because of D's snoring plus we had M here so the house felt rather full. Is it wrong of me to be really looking forward to when we have the baby and having guests will be impractical? I went to see my friend R yesterday to celebrate her 40th birthday.  I was 'the pregnant one' so most of the conversations I had were about the bump, the due date, the lack of morning sickness and the strangeness of being a first time mum. Rachel is kind of my oldest friend, or at least the person I have kept in touch with the longest. We were freinds at school though I am not sure we were best friends as I never really had a best friend. I feel a bit separate from her life as she has been marrid for years, lived away and has 2 kids. we have seen a lot more of eachother since she moved back; I have lunch with her every couple of weeks. Our friendship is a bit like two strangers who see a lot of eachother. We are getting to know eachother again but we never really have the time.
Today has just been a lazy day, though D did put a load of stuff into the roof and K and T came to see us. It's almost midnight and I am shattered.

Friday, August 20, 2010

IVF bag

I just wanted to post this link to remind myself that I want to buy one.


though this one really makes me laugh

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

busted plumbing

My SIL is pregnant! So wonderful. It's my husband's brother and his wife who have been trying for over 8 years (have had to edit this as I put 18 not 8!). We knew that they were going to have another round of IVF but for some reason I had it in my mind that she was having it at the end of July. Turns out she is 11 weeks pregnant and was on the long protocol so she had the IVF around the begining of June. They came to tell us yesterday after several attempts to meet up including coming round when my sister was here last week and so not being able to tell us. I am so happy for them, it is just such good news and I am also really glad that our kids will be very close in age. She is due in March. We will be on maternity leave at the same time too, so hopefully can spend a bit of time together.

In other news we found out what the trickling sound coming from under the floor was - the mains water pipe was leaking! Husband pulled up some floorboards and there it was. We have had it fixed but it was a bit of a nightmare, not least because when I started looking up how to get it fixed Husband took it as some kind of slight against his ability to fix it. We had a bit of an argument. I have been feeling so emotional lately and I don't think he fully understands that growing a whole other person inside you is a really hard thing to do on all sorts of levels. We did talk about it last night and I think he is trying to understand but I can't wait until we get to the NCT classes and he can learn a bit more about the reality of all this.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Turning tables

It seems I am in the unenviable position of being surrounded by people who are desperate to conceive. The tables are turned. Instead of being the one who is being eaten up by my failure here I am at almost 23 weeks, happily pregnant and loving it. I wake up every morning and remember I am pregnant and despite the creeping disrupted sleep and the expanding girth I feel happier than I have for ages. Meanwhile my sister is mailing me daily with updates on her EWCM and SIL (my huaband's brother's wife) has been trying for 8+ years and we think is going through IVF right now.

While I am so sympathetic to all of them, as I know what it's like I don't really want to know about how often people are having sex or when they are experiencing a mucus cascade. On top of that, knowing what I do about how easy it is to get sucked into the whole 'I must have a baby' thing, I fear for them going from naught to full on in a matter of weeks. Naturally my sister's miscarriage has made her realise how much she really does want a child and I have been giving as much information as I possibly can but I feel pretty useless as I know that I can't make her get pregnant. I would hate to think she is turning into me, only having sex when there's a chance of a baby and then feeling totally not up for it the rest of the time.  She has told me of times she has cried over it and it makes me feel so sad.

Was I like that? I don't really remember. I know that I was in tears a few times at my mum's house or on the phone but I didn't ring my sister daily. Perhaps I have forgotten it all because it is so easy to do so once you manage to get pregnant and stay pregnant. Maybe I need to be more sympathetic, particularly as I know what it is like. Thing is I know there is nothing I can say or do that will help apart from to pass on the information I have from my own attempts to conceive naturally.

I probably won't have another child after this one, it won't be biologically possible, but I am really grateful for the one I am going to have. Maybe it is easier for me to accept that because of the struggle I had to get pregnant in the first place and because age is most definitely against me and I have accepted that. Perhaps I am too hard on people who struggle to have a second child but still a part of me shouts out 'at least you have one and you had that one without any trouble at all'.

Last I knew my sil was having IVF towards the end of last month but that was mostly hearsay. I wouldn't expect her to tell me about it as I know she wants to do it all privately. I don't blame her, I wish I had! I just hope that she is successful. I really do hope that they have some happy news because I can't even begin to know what it must be like to be trying for 8 plus years.

We picked up a moses basket and stand yesterday, another not completely essential thing. I won it on e-bay for £12.50 and want it because though Barry is making us a swinging crib we will need something  for downstairs. It's lovely and will certainly sell on - though I could freecycle it once the baby has outgrown it. So another thing for my baby stash which now consists of most of the things we will need in the first few days. All I really need now is re-usable nappies though my husband says he's not keen. I personally don't want to be contributing majorly to land-fill and so re-usables will suit me better ideologically. I will buy them in dribs and drabs over the next few months I think but we will use disposables for the first few weeks while we get to grips with the baby's bits.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

"You're really starting to look like your mum"

So said old school friend at the weekend. I was horrified. Yet thinking about it now and thinking about her I realise I shouldn't have been quite so appalled. My friend is adopted and although she has made a few basic attempts to track down her birth mother she has never really seen it through. Her mum and dad (the ones who adopted her) both died very close together a couple of years ago. I wonder if anyone ever told her that she looked like her mother, and was she polite enough to ignore it - seeing as she has no real biological link with her mum and she has never met her birth mother. I should learn to be more gracious.

Everything is fine with me, I am 21 weeks +3 (open to debate!) and starting to get more aches and pains. Sleeping is really difficult and not just because of husband's snoring. This weeks worry has been the Christmas visits and a very weird thing happened on Mumsnet while I was discussing it with the other women in my ante-netal thread. A new poster came in and started giving me advice about it. It was their first post and they later claimed they had seen mine in the active topics and just felt like responding. I am completely convinced that it's someone I know in real life. At first I thought it might be the husband but really that's not his style. He has his own mumsnet log-in and if he ever reads something I post that needs discussing then he speaks to me in person. Still none the wiser but this is the second time some random person with no posting history has wandered into the ant-natal thread and given me advice. Time for a name-change?

I am now completely convinced that we are having a boy, though I have no medical evidence to base this on except for my husband and I both thinking we saw something on the scan.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Everything is baby related

Or rather everything isn't. It just seems that everyone thinks all I want to talk about is babies or children. If I update my facebook then I get a string of replies all relating to baby stuff. if I can't sleep it's because of the baby, if I am tired then it's the baby, if it's anything else then it's the baby! I am aware that I am also talking about it quite a lot but it seems that once you announce a pregnancy it is all anyone thinks you want to talk about. That and people thinking being pregnant means you are madly interested in their babies or children.

I am being over-sensitive for sure; my emotions are going into overdrive. On the other hand I feel like it's not an excuse, certainly not for other people as in that 'oh it's just your emotions' thing when I am genuinely upset about something like their behaviour.

We had the 20 week scan yesterday which was brilliant as we hd a trainee who took ages giving us loads of time to look at the baby, plus the person training him did it all again afterards just to double check. We were also given about 10 photographs. All is well with the baby, no noticible problems, which is a relief. D thinks he saw a penis, I think I may have too - though we decided not to find out the sex.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

baby stuff

I think I can feel the baby. I am not sure because I just don't know what it is meant to feel like but after about a week or so of little fluttery pops I think I can now accept that this is definitely the baby. I don't know if this means the baby is thrashing about or if it's just that it's wibbling about a bit but I am quite excited to finally admit I feel something.

I have my 20 week scan a week Thursday - the anomaly scan. We also still have the more detailed report to come back after the Amnio. It's been 2 weeks now so I am hoping we get it soon. I feel pretty confident that all will be ok and that if anything is wrong it will be mendable or copable with. Downs syndrome was my biggest fear I suppose. Now I feel like this is really going to happen and I am almost half way through so on the home strait.

I feel quite big, stupidly so because I know I am not really. I think compared to people who had good muscle tone to begin with I am probably a bit on the large side but I shouldn't worry about it. I do think sometimes about how I am going to get my body back into shape after the baby is born, specially as I am not that good at excercise and presumably just won't have the energy. We'll see, perhaps I just won't care.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

All is well

I am almost 18 weeks though the hospital would put me nearer 19. I have had my due date changed from 15th to 11th and then at the Amnio to 8th which is impossible so I am sticking to the 13th which is the correct date going by the egg collection date. So... everything is fine. After the Nuchal scan we decided to have the Amnio which was a 2 week wait. In the meantime we went to Glastonbury Festival which was hot hot hot! I had a pretty miserable time really, just because it was so bloody hot! Saw some of the bands I wanted to and spent a lot of time seeking shade. I guess Pregnancy makes everything more difficult and it's made me think twice about taking a baby next year. We'll see.

So the Amnio was fine, not painful and not as scary as I thought. I did all my freaking out about it in the week before Glastonbury and then was calm as anything when they did it. The consultant (The same guy who did the Nuchal scan and who would charge £400 on the NHS) even commented on how calm I was. My thinking was that while you're lying on a table waiting for a needle to be put into your abdomen, it's probably the wrong time to start freaking out. We had the preliminary results the next afternoon. D called me while I was driving back from seeing my mum so I parked up at Asda and called him back. My first response was 'are you sure?'. I am so happy and relieved. We now have to wait for the fuller report which looks for things beyond Downs and Edwards Syndrome but it was those chromosonal things I was most worried about. I have maintained an openess about all this with most people but there was one person I felt I couldn't talk to about it as she had been very open about her dislike of ante-natal testing. it meant that I didn't really speak to her for three weeks while I went through it all. I've told her now and she's been great, though didn't ask me what I would have done had it been a bad result. My other friend, lis, was really helpful as she chose to have an Amnio with her third. She also works in a special needs school so can see it all from the perspective of someone who deals with special needs every day and who also deals with the parents of kids with special needs. She told me not to worry or think about other people's opinions as it was only mine which counted in this case. My mum was also very supportive and was thrilled when I told her the results. She is now setting about making me a patchwork quilt for the baby and her partner Barry is making us a crib.

I have started buying things, just small things like baby grows and newborn nappies. I still don't feel like I have a baby in me but I do feel like I can plan a bit more now. I have also really started pouring over the books I have as I know nothing about babies. Or at least last week I didn't. I have a really helpful book called the baby book which is great for someone like me who has very limited (non-existant!) experience of babies. I'm also doing a lot of reading up on breastfeeding because I am determined to do it successfully for at least 6 months. So now is the time when I have to start thinking about finances and maternity leave and how all that is going to work out. I have my health and safety thing next week in work and will then need to inform the relevant people of the dates I plan to leave etc. I have already contacted the work Creche and hope that I would return to work in Aug/Sept 2011. Expensive business though!

D's mum called the other day to ask if it was ok for her to knit some things for the baby. Of course it is. She then mentioned a Christening gown and although I should have just said 'we won't be having a Christening' I didn't know what to say apart from 'oh, right'. Maybe she got from my tone of voice that I wasn't that keen. I will have to tell her that there is no way I will be having a Christening, or a naming ceremony.

The other issue is the one of visits over Christmas. I have had to make it clear to D that I don't want anyone here in the house from my Due date as I don't want to risk going into labour with someone here. Nor do I want anyone staying right after the birth. D's mum is going to rent a cottage, possibly for 2 weeks, she has said she would like us to go to the place she is renting for Christmas Dinner which I will be fine with so long as the baby is older than a week by 25th. If the baby comes late then I won't want to go anywhere as I will be in bed concentrating on breastfeeding and sleeping and recovering from whatever has happened to my body after the birth. D seems to understand this. If the baby has come on time or early and we do go then I have also told him that I will only want to stay a few hours and won't want to stay overnight. Hopefully he will realise once the baby is here that everything will have to revolve around what I and the baby need rather than what his mother wants. I also have to cancel Christmas with my mum because I can see it would be nice for D's mum to have all her family together for the first time in years.

So - we have all that to sort out and I really hope that I am given the time as a family to get used to the fact that I have had a baby. we will need bonding time and recovery time.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

nuchal scan

I have been wanting to blog for ages but knew I might get upset if I did. Our Nuchal scan gave us a 1:80 chance of Downs. This is only about 1.24% and there's a 98% chance the baby doesn't have downs but we have decided to have an Amnio because I need to know for sure. I can't have it until I am 16 weeks pregnant so have booked in for just after we get back from Glastonbury. It's all so scary. My risk when I walked in was 1:77 because of my age and it went up to 1:65 after they did the scan which showed a nuchal measurement of 2.4mm.

Now 2.4 isn't awful because they say anything up to 3 is ok but because of the crown to rump length of the baby they say it's not good. My bloods actually put the risk down to 1:100 but then when they combined the three it came out at 1:80. I cried and cried afterwards and thought a lot, maybe too much, about how I am going to be if we find out it is Downs and I terminate the pregnancy. At first I wasn't even sure if I wanted to have the Amnio because the fear of the result is so great I just didn't know if I couls bear it. In the end I went to speak to my very good friend Lis who had an Amnio with her youngest and also had quite high risks with all three of her kids. She is a special needs teacher so knows how tough it is to have a child with learning difficulties. Lis basically said to me that I musn't let other people effect my decision as it is me who will have to deal with a child with special needs and not them. The reality is I do not want to leave an adult with Downs Syndrome in the world when I die.

So the plan is not to stress about the Amnio and just enjoy Glastonbury. I do know that the man doing the Amnio has a very low miscarriage rate, though it's not miscarriage which scares me it's having to terminate such a wanted pregnancy. It would be the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I just hope that everything is ok. Basically my age is so against me and yet women all over the world have babies who are fine over the age of 40.

  I am worried about feeling crowded just after I give birth and when I am trying to learn how to breastfeed, when really what I want is a couple of days after the birth to just learn about our baby and have time alone with my husband. Breastfeeding really worries me. We are going to have to lay down some ground rules but I know they won't go down well. I have talked about it a bit with my husband but not made too much of a fuss yet as I don't want us to be having rows about something which hasn't happened yet and is so far away. I don't want to seem mean either but I don't do well in situations like this.

When I go into labour I don't want D to call anyone to tell them, I want to go to the hospital with him and not let anyone know. I want to tell people after the baby is here. Then if I get kept in hospital I am fine with people coming to visit me as it means they will be somewhat restricted by the visiting times. At these visits I want to tell people that D and I now want a couple of days on our own with out baby and so don't want any visitors. I have read that day 3 - 4 can be a difficult time after the birth of a child and so I want people to keep away until after then. Then I am happy for people to visit but only if they arrange it first with me and D and don't overstay their welcome. People will have to be gone by the evening and no one can stay overnight.

I hve no way of knowing what my birth will be like or how easy I will find it to establish breastfeeding. it may all go really well but I still want to have that time alone as a family without people assuming they can call in without notice. People have said to me that it will be useful to have his mum or my mum there because they can do the ironing or the housework. To which I reply, what ironing? What housework? That is not how my life works and even if it was it would be D who would pick up on those things not my MIL or my Mum.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Coming Out

We had the Nuchal Scan and bloods today. I was so relieved to see a hertbeat; sometimes it feels like there is nothing in there and so I was scared we would get bad news. The results of the bloods won't be available until next week but I feel quite reasured by the scan part. The measurement for the neck was 2.44mm and the nasal bone was present. Everything seemed normal and I am itching to tell people. We have talked vaguely about coming out on Monday after the dating scan. I wonder how stupid that would be? Can I go with the good scan or am I setting myself up for a fall when I get the blood results on Friday? Why not wait just a few more days?

I also have to plan how I am going to do this. Most of my closest friends and family know about the IVF and know I am pregnant so it's really just work people and distant friends that I need to tell. After all these months of hating seeing other people's scans on facebook I feel like I might be betraying my principles by announcing it on Facebook yet it seems like the easiest way to come out. I am thinking that just simply posting the scan is the best way to do it but I also want to use it as an opportunity to highlight that not everyone gets pregnant easily or quickly. Would it be too much to post that wonderful 'what IF' video I wonder? I want to be open about the fact I had IVF but I am unsure how people will respond to it particularly because of my age. I feel a bit like people might judge me badly for it.

This is the scan picture from the Nuchl scan, it's not very good. Hopefully I will have a better one on Monday.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Busy Week

We have the Midwife on Thursday and the Nuchal scan on Friday, all paid for. I am a bit scared about both. What if the Midwife thinks we are a couple of tramps who live in a shack and don't deserve to have a child, what if I don't like her much, what if the scan is bad news? I had terrible dreams last night, or at least I did when I was actually managing to sleep. I had a dream that I was smoking and saying 'ah but just one won't hurt' and that we went to the scan only to discover there was no baby. I suppose anxiety is normal at this time.

On Wed/Thurs I will be 12 weeks exactly and I have gone down to just one pessary a day now. Oh and D and I finally had sex! We'd not done it since before the IVF; he had to abstain a couple of days before and then they told us not to, then I was too scared, then we both were too tired. So it's been more than 2 months since we last did it! Quite a change considering that we'd been at it all the time for about 2 and half years in our fruitless attempts to have a child naturally.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Midwife!

So today I enter my 12th week of pregnancy. I have been feeling a little unwell when I wake up in the mornings for the last week and am hoping that it doesn't develop into full blown morning sickness. It's a bit like sea-sickness and soon passes. I am also feeling quite tired but not at night, just in the morning. it may be the change of weather (it's been glorious) or perhaps because I get up in the middle of the night for a pee I am just having broken sleep.

A Midwife finally got in touch. Not my midwife but a nice sounding woman who tells me another midwife, who is also not my midwife, will come and do the booking appointment next Thursday. I will be 12 weeks by then. So we have decided to book a private nuchal scan and blood tests for as soon after that as we can. It costs £180 (!) and it's a pain that we can't just go and get it done on the NHS even with me being 40, but needs must.

I had a hissy hormonal crying fit the other day as one of the bathroom taps was dripping - or rather pissing water - and I bought new taps but then couldn't find out where to turn off the water. We eventually found it but not before I ended up in a heap sobbng on the kitchen floor surrounded by the stuff we had pulled out of the cupboards in our attempts to find the tap. It's all sorted now though and we have 2 new gorgeous taps.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ante-Natal testing

I am just so confused and a little upset. A really good friend of mine popped in today with her baby boy. I'd left out the maternity pack the GP gave me and as soon as my friend saw the ante-natal tests booklet she said 'Oh, just throw that out straight away'. A little astounded I told her that I was hoping to have the tests they offer and that I was feeling a little scared about it all. Her response was to start telling me how if she was told she was having a Downs syndrome baby she would keep it and that a friend of hers had recently given birth to a child with Downs Syndrome and so on... I'm afraid I then told her that if I do have the tests and I do find out for sure that we are having a child with Downs Syndrom then I would seriously consider terminating the pregnancy.

Everything was a little awkward after that, not least because of the shocked face she pulled. I realise now that sometimes the hardest decisions shouldn't be shared with your best friends. I had a similar response on a thread I started on mumsnet asking about the tests available to me. Someone there laboured the point that this 'might be your only chance to have a child' and that because I had conceived using IVF the decision would be harder. My opinion is that the decision is never easy but the way I feel about bringing up a child with Downs Syndrome doesn't really fluctuate even though this pregnancy was hard to achieve.

Am I a bad person? Should I keep these things to myself in future? I hadn't realised that there were so many people out there who disagreed even with the ante-natal testing, I certainly didn't realise that someone so close to me would be so against them. Though I think the fact that she has a healthy child probably makes it easier for her to judge other people; she hasn't had to make that difficult decision and she has a 'perfect' child. My feelings are that I am 40 years old, if I bring a child into the world with a disability like this it will be an only child and I will die before they do. I feel like my friend has judged me, that she has stepped a little out of line by telling me what I should do without even asking me anything about how I feel.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Scan happiness

It was all ok.
measured 9 weeks exactly.

My Sister's hCG has risen slightly so they finally did a scan. Not ectopic, not anything which looks like a viable baby. Poor thing. All she can do is wait.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Scan anxiety

My sister's hCG went up again, slightly. It might be that she has retained some of the 'product' or just that her body is messed up a bit. Certainly isn't likely to be viable as the rise is very small. She seems a lot better but I know she wants this to be over with. They have promised her a scan so hopefully she will get that soon. I wish she would stop smoking. I know I am a fine one to talk, it took me so long to finally give up, but when I speak to her on the phone she tells me all about how her healthy eating plan is going and how much better she feels and the whole time I can hear that she has a fag in her mouth. I know that it's hard but stopping smoking was so good for me and my fertility.

I have a scan on Wednesday and so of course I am getting paranoid that there will be nothing there. I will be 9 weeks and I still have no symptoms except I am having to get up and pee a couple of times a night and my boobs still have lots of veins. Please let it still be there. I have been so much more chilled about it all since the last scan but now the worry is creeping back in.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Sad for my sister

Turns out that my sister has miscarried and I fel so bad for her and so annoyed at her GP. I should have kept in mind that the average GP doesn't specilise in fertility and quite often they are talking out of their arses. She is really very upset, of course. She went from believing she was having a miscarriage, and actually dealing with it in a very 'well at least I know I can get pregnant' way, to hoping that there was a chance she could still be pregnant, to being told the pregnancy was progressing and then being told that her hormones had dropped. We had both got excited about the prospect of being pregnant together, being on maternity leave at the same time and raising our kids to be really close and then it all got smashed to pieces. I felt so bad for getting so excited because I felt I had been partly responsible for her hope. It's also reminded me that while I may be pregnant now I mustn't forget what it is like for other people who are still trying.

I would really hate for someone I love to go through what I have been through, to feel the same emotions I felt about other people being pregnant and about my body's inability to do what other people seemed to find so natureal. Or to go through the worry that my partner might leave me or that our sex life might be ruined for ever. I now wonder if I am in the same position my SIL was in that I am pregnant and my sister is not. Even though it took me a long time to get to this point I am still lucky because I did when thousands just don't.

I have a scan next week - I will be 9 weeks. This last week has been a lot less stressful than the ones leading up to my last scan but lately I have been thinking 'am I still pregnant'. I just hope that we have a good outcome on Wednesday because I have read that if you see a heartbeat at 9 weeks then the chance of miscarrying falls to about 2%. I have to see my GP the day after to arrange for a midwife to come round for the booking appointment. I've left it so late because I wanted to make sure everything was ok with the baby before I started thinking of midwives etc. Hopefully they will get one out to me soon as I think most people would have had their booking appointment by 9 weeks.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Stpid bloody GPs

I have a horrible feeling my sister has been told something which isn't true. She called me earlier to say that the doctor has siad the hCG level has risen from 24 last Thursday to 64 on Tuesday. That's a rise of 40 in 5 days but it should be doubling every 2 - 3 days and to my mind it just doesn't work out. She has been told to go to hospital for a scan. Her dates put her at about 6 weeks so maybe they will see something, and I really hope they do, but I am wondering if her doctor really knows what he is talking about.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

My sister's pregnancy is progressing!

OMG! this is most probably the best news I have heard since I found that the IVF worked for me. My sister has had a call from the nurse at her practice who says the doctor has marked her second blood test with 'the pregnancy is progressing'. That is all she can tell her and my sister has to call the doctor tomorrow so she can find out the figures but all indications are that her hCG must have doubled as it is supposed to. The second test was done yesterday. She says the 'period' she had was not like a normal period but it was quite clotty. I wonder if perhaps she was carrying twins or if she is just one of those people who have bleeding in their pregnancy. This is such great news. She will be due 2 - 3 weeks after me and we will be on maternity leave together.

Friday, April 30, 2010

...and a little about me

I went to see my friend R today, she has a 7 month old baby boy and when I was pregnant last year I was just 3 months behind her. We had both been really excited that our kids would be so close in age but sadly it wasn't to be. I love R, she's one of my two very best friends. We met by chance outside St. Davids hall in Cardiff back in the day when we used to just sit about in the sun on a weekend. We bonded over a guy, we both loved him but she got a date with him and was wonderfully mature enough to come and tell me when all our mutual friends told her to keep it a secret. Their relationship was short-lived and he turned out to be a tosser; we've been friends ever since.

She is really excited about my pregnancy and when I was going through my meltdown about it being another miscarriage she tried to keep me sane and never gave up hope. She was the first person I told about seeing the heartbeat. So I spent the day with her and her son and allowed myself to get a little bit excited about having a baby. We went shopping in the Charity shops and I had to resist picking up bits of baby stuff. It frustrates me to see stuff but feel that it's too early to start buying. I won't be getting everything new and plan to use a combination of charity shops, Freecycle, ebay and hand-me-downs. People in work sell things all the time, but I just can't buy anything yet. I think I will wait until 12 weeks before I do though there is a temptation to go a bit mad after the 9 week scan. R has said she can give me a few things and also that she will kill me if I don't use a proper cloth sling! She is very much into what they call 'baby wearing' and says the new ones, the modern carriers, are really bad for a baby's hips. To be honest I wasn't thinking of using the cloth ones as they seem so complicated but she has talked me round. She also said she will support me through breastfeeding. I know she had a tough time because her baby had tongue-tie so it will be good to have someone to teach me what they have learned.

On the way home I stopped off in Tesco and bought a couple of bigger sports bras. I also got myself a bigger underwired one, though R warned me that under-wires are bad. Not sure I agree, I have read lots of different stuff on the internet. Anyway - it fits me so much better than any of my old bras and so I have obviously gone up a size if not a cup. I need to look into all these things I know nothing about like nursing bras. I have so much to learn.

Not all about me me me...

Have I mentioned my sister before? She is 42 and last year she left her husband. He was an OK guy, or at least I always got on very well with him but he wasn't right for her. They had been together 15 years and married for 3 but he had long term depression, infact was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder, and had become more and more dependant on my sister as the years went by. He didn't work, he didn't contribute much, he was apparently quite aggressive at times. This is something which only became apparent after they split, though my sister had confided in me a few times about his angry behaviour. Anyway - she is better off without him and has now got together with a guy who is someone we knew as kids. New guy is nice.
So... my sister confided in me that the whole time she was with her ex she felt like he was denying her the chance to have children of her own. He has 2 children - a son he never sees and has not seen since birth and a daughter who is now 18 and very close to my sister, even now. My sister was instrumental in keeping her step-daughter in her ex's life. Still - she felt like she couldn't bring a child of her own into their relationship and I know it's been a big regret of hers. Since she got together with new man she has talked to me about trying for kids. I know she is very aware that her age is against her and my troubles can't have given her much confidence in her own fertility but they have been to the doctor and had the tests and so far all looks ok.

I rang her today. I was feeling pissed off with D because he's planned a stupid Call of Duty game with his internet mates and I didn't fancy being confined to the bedroom while he twatted about downstairs so wanted to know if I could go over to hers and maybe stay the night. When I called her back to say I wouldn't be coming after all (D and I had sorted it out and I prefer to sleep in my own bed to be honest) for some reason I said wouldn't it be great if she got pregnant too and asked if she was still trying. The reply that came made me very sad.

She told me that she wasn't going to tell me until I got through the 12 week stage but she is actually miscarrying right now. I feel so terribly sad for her but she is being quite pragmatic. She hasn't been trying long, she only found out a few days ago and then started bleeding lightly the day after she tested. She was only about 4 - 5 weeks pregnant. The doctor has done a blood test and says her hormones are very low which means she's either only very recently pregnant or she is miscarrying. Apparently the bleeding is heavier now than it was before and so she is resigned to the fact that it is a miscarriage. They are doing another blood test on Tuesday (it's a bank holiday here hence the long wait between blood tests) and then she will know but I think she is pretty much certain it is a miscarriage. New man is very upset, she is the one holding it together.

Knowing what I do about long term TTC I really didn't want to come out with the usual 'well at least you know you can get pregnant' crap but infact it was she who said it and she's looking at it quite positively. She knows that there is a chance that she will be able to get pregnant again and is thankfully now going to start taking more care of herself. She started smoking again when she split with the ex and has tried several times to give up without success. She is also in the first flush of new love which tends to mean more socialising, more drinking, take-aways and general unhealthy behaviour. So she has decided to make a real effort to stop all that in an attempt to get pregnant again. I really hope that she does.

It would have been so so nice to have my sister just 3 weeks behind me and so with a bit of luck perhaps she can be just a couple of months behind me soon.