My baby girl is here

I know it has been an age since I updated this post, but the last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I cant believe my last post was 28 weeks?! Well I’m overjoyed to say our baby daughter is here, healthy and thriving and 8 weeks old!

It was a planned c section in the end as she was breech, discovered at the late stage of 41+2! I wont go into detail about her birth, but all went well and she was a whopper at 8lb 8oz!

I am utterly in love with her, and it is unbelievably overwhelming and emotional. I still look at her in wonder, and can’t get my head round the fact that she is here, I thought we would never have the opportunity to be parents.

I hope this blog is some source of hope to anyone who stumbles across it, finding themselves on a seemingly hopeless journey…who knows if it was the aspirin, progesterone or just sheer luck…we will never have that answer. But whatever lengths we have to go to in order to bring our little ones to us, is worth every minute and every ounce of struggle.

I wish you all so much luck and love, am ever grateful for the support of you strong, enduring women…hope is what got me through every day, even if I didn’t realise it. And now she is here, so never, ever give up.

X

28 Weeks…

Can’t believe its here… I have just come back from my midwife appointment, utterly relieved that bump is measuring on track. I had been worried; although I do look like I’m sporting a watermelon up my top, that melon seems to have stayed the same size for a number of weeks, so am feeling immense relief that its measuring fine. Baby’s movements have been getting stronger and I can say that the usual pregnancy aches and pains that we generally hear complaints about, are quietly giving me so much joy.

Keeping busy with gardening and general home improvements has really helped us to focus and pass the time. I never thought I would get to a stage where I could embrace the planning and preparation for our new arrival. Of course, I have moments/days where I put off doing certain things, and I still haven’t bought anything for the babe yet… But we are decorating the nursery next and I think once that is done, I will feel better about getting all the other essentials on the list.

I have been doing a Daisy Birthing course which focuses on active labour and breathing techniques. I love it. Things are still up in the air with what type of birth I am likely to have, as it all depends on whether my placenta has moved out of the way… but I must admit there is something very empowering about taking part in these classes. As we know all too well, some things you just can’t plan for, but I do believe that preparation in itself, is an incredible tool for calming anxiety and regaining a sense of control – which is more important than ever for couples like us.

I will update again soon – next stop, 34 week scan. Lets hope we get there safely XXX

Developments…

I’m not sure if there are any readers still out there as I know I have not posted in a very long time. But I felt now was the right time to share. I’ve just noticed my last post was dated the 11th Feb, and quite a gloomy one it was… well three days later, on Valentines Day, I got a second pink line. Not a true, certain line at that stage, but enough to make me hold it to the light throughout the day, and googling ‘evaporation line pregnancy test’ endlessly…

The line got darker as the days went on. It was when we were away for a much needed break when my 4th test confirmed it with a strong positive. Of course, we were happy. But as you women (and your men) know, this does not come without a double dose of worry. I was concerned that my positive hadn’t shown up sooner, and that I usually dont have such a long cycle so it must be doomed…

I managed to get my prescription for Progesterone sorted and had a stash of aspirin to start from the off, so that is what I did. And we waited. And I spotted. And I panicked. From then on, I went through various mini milestones, including regular scans at fortnightly intervals. The spotting subsided and it was put down to a decidual bleed in the other side of my uterus (which is arcuate). 

9 weeks came, the point at which we lost our last. Then twelve, with 4 good scans behind me. Baby was measuring a week behind my LMP dates, so I was still on edge. But it was growing consistently so they were not concerned.

It feels like a long story of emotional ups and downs to reach where I am today, including my lowest point around 14 weeks where my symptoms subsided and I had no bump to speak of yet…

But, yesterday I went for my 20 week scan. I am overjoyed to announce we are expecting a baby girl!

She has been wriggling about for the last two weeks and finally I have my long awaited for bump. 

Of course I am still petrified. But am finally feeling more positive, even allowing myself to be excited. 

I know this is somewhat contradictory to announce so late, as one of my early posts rants about the stupid rule that makes us feel we should never tell before 12 weeks ‘just in case’, and here we are at 20 – only immediate family knew – we only shared with friends yesterday. 

But I still wanted to hang on. Even after telling some family at 13 weeks, we felt it was probably too early for us still, and we both suddenly felt anxious again after it was out in the open. So it was the right thing for us to wait, we just needed to keep it close for a while longer. 

It is a strange time… a milestone that I honestly didn’t think we would reach. I think with rm you always feel like every bad thing that can go wrong, is going to happen to you. I have my worry days and my relaxed, indulgent days where all I want to do is browse baby clothes online and plan the nursery. Little by little, day by day is all I can do. So while I wouldn’t say that this pregnancy has been an exclusively enjoyable time so far (particularly in the throes of vomitting every two days, which was no comfort, as I suffered with this in my first pregnancy), I am now beginning to feel more at ease. 

I feel obliged to talk to her with every little nudge or kick, like I want to acknowledge she is there and moving and growing well. I am so proud of her already. I just hope with all my being that my body will make me proud too, and do what its supposed to.

Hopefully there is still someone out there who will read this and take some strength and hope from it.  I know I have a long way to go and part of me is wishing away the summer and praying the Autumn comes soon so we can bring her home. I don’t think I will relax until she is safely and happily in my arms. 

Counting down the days…X

 

St. Mary’s

Well I thought it was about time for an update. The last three months I have been charting my temperature. I have turned into the obsessive woman, analysing every rise and fall and waiting for ‘triphasic’.

Enough. After two relatively normal looking charts, this last one was awful. Lovely sharp rise around day 15, then crash and burn. All the temps after stayed low, saw-toothed but low. I did have an evil cough which my acupuncturist thinks is to blame… But we did the deed every single day this time, and here I am awaiting my period which is no where is sight, despite two negative pregnancy tests and zero symptoms. I know we are out this month, but I do start to suspect an anovulatory cycle perhaps…

Anyway, with her blessings, my acupuncturist has agreed that this temping shit is just one step too far. I get that it is useful to detect hormonal changes, to see that you’re actually ovulating and to unearth luteal phase defects, but with relatively normal-ish cycles and two good charts under my belt, I need to put that one to bed. It just isn’t a good fit with me.

I’ve also sadly noticed my husband has started to experience anxiety around this whole thing, as well as generally. The pressure is on now more than ever. We really thought we might be lucky, as both pregnancies last year we conceived after 3 and then 2 months… This is the third cycle with a BFN – I know, I know, its nothing compared to how long some couples have to wait, but when its happened so quickly before, and then nothing, it does raise alarm bells somewhat.

My sister is also now expecting her second baby in September.There’s no getting away from it, it is the purest example of ‘bitter-sweet’ I have ever experienced. Somehow it feels like its just not going to be our year, because it is now theirs.

My friend pointed out that life doesn’t work like that…but I feel like it would be too good to be true to carry a healthy pregnancy alongside my sister’s and give birth to a healthy baby by the end of this year.

There is now another battle to fight too; TEG test result from St Mary’s indicates that I will require Aspirin treatment.

What a mixed bag of emotional mess this has all become. Initially I yearned for there to be a problem, a cause for all of this pain we have been through and still carry around with us every single damn day. Then when I got the NHS results saying ‘all clear’ I was ultimately relieved, having been told that this is the best possible outcome…

A lousy, pompus GP who refused to refer me directly to St Mary’s for this TEG test (which was a stone I just felt I should not leave unturned), pushed us to to pay for the privilege. Well THANK GOODNESS WE DID.

I chased them for my results which were over a week late, to be told that they had all been reported and ‘would I like to arrange a follow up appointment’. So I said well only if I needed to and could she give me my results over email?

Her response was:

Well your TEG result indicates that Aspirin treatment is required so you may want to come and discuss

I did have a mini melt down, panicking at the implications and imagining I’m going to keel over from a deep vein thrombosis induced heart attack leading to a stroke…and then I calmed down a touch!

So I’ve been drinking red wine, scoffing dark chocolate and necking pure grape juice, awaiting my appointment tomorrow for some real advice.

Other changes and developments:
After a low and lousy week (following a great one where  I lost 3lbs and exercised daily), putting all the weight back on and sleeping in late, I decided while on a long and sunny walk with my husband, that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. My fear and anxiety of doing the wrong thing, not exercising in the tww, avoiding long car journeys and not booking a holiday abroad ‘in case I get pregnant’ has robbed us of our precious first year and a half of marriage.

We will never get that back and it is heartbreaking. But the saddest part of all is how my own issues and how it has changed me, has rubbed off on him, and changed his outlook too. A usually level headed, calm man has become as paranoid as me, and where before he would say ‘no, lets drive up to the lakes, or lets fly off somewhere warm, the doctors would say if it caused problems with pregnancy’, he has considered postponing a much needed break which he actually really needs, as it is unclear where in my cycle I will be and I may be possibly pregnant.

This is what irrational thought looks like. And it is understandable of course. But I have been putting our lives on hold and it has started to damage and break the most important person in my life.

So we are heading up north on a long drive, and spending a week hiking in the hills (and the rain!) because we need it. Its what we love to do and what a huge part of our relationship is based on – being in the great outdoors together. We have been robbed of far too much – nothing will change that or replace it. But I need to make sure I don’t rob us of any more joy. And life. Every day that ticks by while we are waiting, we will never, ever get back.

We have also decided to get a puppy. I did initially agonise over whether it was the right thing to do before having a child… but we have been trying to grow our family for a very long time, and it has not worked. We need some life and fun in our empty home. I know its not a baby substitute, and I don’t really want a dog for those reasons. If anything, I need a companion for when Im working at home, when I need to go for a walk, and to ultimately shift my focus and give us some sense of fulfilment, away from the pressure of trying to get pregnant.

So that is where we are. I will write an update post with what Dr Raj Rai says tomorrow… was not expecting this at all… another challenge to deal with, as well as the minimal sub-septate/arcuate womb thing which still lingers at the back of my mind!

Will we ever get there, and how long will it take?

X

 

Dear Diary, you can do one!

Right. Some of you may remember my post a few months ago called ‘Dear Diary’. I talked about how last year around this time, I went to buy what was supposed to be my ‘mummy’ diary, filled with hope and gorgeous bountiful illustrations…it reflected my mood at the time somewhat.

With 2013 becoming such a devastating year, I vowed my diary choice this year would be different. In short; plain cover and not mummy-friendly ‘wipe-clean’. I vowed not to pour over cycle dates and project what month will bring us a baby, whilst doodling baby names in the flippin margins!

I found a low-key, quite masculine looking diary in Waterstones the other day… All cellophaned up, but the diagram on the back looked pretty straight-forward – a no-nonsense approach to just another year…No expectations, no newly-wed excitement at the prospect of cute little bundles of love…blah…just another bog standard year…

Or so I thought…until I open it up just now and what greets me on the first page?

Are you f***ing KIDDING ME?!

Here we go again…

Well. Much to our surprise, the NHS RPL results came back a few weeks ago. We were told to expect a 12 week wait (given that the consultant likes to get the chromosome tests from St.George’s before getting in touch). So thankfully they came after 8 weeks. 

All Clear. 

I am relieved, but also that we have an answer either way, just to know. You try and get on with things but that waiting is a real source of quiet and hidden anxiety…I do think that a part of me wanted to find a reason for this… it is still so hard to accept that this has happened to us three times, and to many couples even more, when there are no underlying causes…

Anyway, I know it is the best outcome possible. We are relieved to be able to start trying again, although having convinced myself I was pregnant due to unbelievably sore breasts and fatigue, I think I am starting my period. Deciding on which is cycle day 1 is a nightmare with this infuriating spotting and a 9 day period after that, but am really hoping this is something my acupuncturist can work on and improve. 

She has also suggested I take Chinese Herbs. I am off to see the herbalist tomorrow and will see what this involves, but at this stage I am willing to try anything. I still can’t believe what an epic, exhausting battle this is to have a baby. I am so tired. We wont give up yet, but now and then the horrors of this year just smack me across the head again and I feel utterly wiped out. 

I am feeling slightly anxious with Christmas approaching, when I think back to how happy we were to tell the family on Christmas eve last year… it feels like the elephant in the room, twice over.  As my father in law said, we just need to write the whole year off. Blunt, but true.

I will be indulging in alcohol (I’ve already started that and have a very healthy appetite), and the smelliest of cheeses going this year. I have not rushed to the shops to buy my 2014 diary and I have no plans for a NYE celebration.

My latest obsession with temp charting continues and makes me wonder if this new-found way of looking closely at my cycles is going to hinder conception, simply because I am analysing every surge and dip, and all the rest that goes with it.

Im off to the GP on Wednesday to beg for a referral to St. Marys. I am not entirely satisfied that the standard tests are enough, and of course a huge part of me is expecting to miscarry again. If I have an appointment pending, then hopefully they will deal with us next time around. 

So not the sunniest of outlooks, I think Im just trying to stay in the moment and be realistic about the future at the same time. But my usual diary obsessing is something I do mentally now… working out when the last month to conceive a healthy baby will bring us our bundle in 2014… somehow its the only thing that brings me a little bit of hope though.. to indulge in my sense of longing… its torturous in a way, but I just can’t help it.

So, I wish you all a peaceful, relaxing Christmas, and hope that we all find some kind of comfort from family and friends (the true and good ones we have left!). I won’t say ‘Happy New Year’, its just not my style anymore! But Im sending out warm wishes to you all going through this seemingly endless struggle. I would never wish this experience on anyone, but Im so glad we are not in it alone.  

Eat, Drink and (try to) be Merry 

XXX

A day to remember

Well, we have finished the DIY, welcomed our friends and family into our home and catered (with a bit of help from my mum) two courses for 50 people, all homemade grub!

Our housewarming was last Saturday and it was amazing. I was a little emotional, but only in a good way. No one mentioned spare rooms and filling them with babies, thank goodness. It was just a fun day and evening, with food, bubbly and laughter, finally. 

My mission was to have something this year to mark an occasion other than the miscarriages, the due dates and how this year was ‘supposed’ to go. Mission accomplished. I wish we had taken more photos, but just didn’t get a chance as we were so busy chatting to people and serving food. 

Finally feeling more relaxed…but as I feared, this long, exhausting waiting for the test results is starting to drain me and take its toll on my emotional state. Having originally been told 4 weeks, its no more likely 12 weeks, which takes us up to mid Jan for test results. Its the cytogenetics that are taking time, and the doc won’t release the other blood results until those come back…

To try or not to try… Im just so fearful of getting pregnant over Christmas and having to rush to EPU and request aspirin and progesterone he has said will be available to me, without knowing if I have some underlying clotting disorder which needs a higher dose of treatment. 

Whichever way I look at it feels like I cant win, waiting just prolongs it all, but trying will be fraught with a series of early pregnancy tests, then if we did fall pregnant, all the early scans where they can confirm nothing yet…. groundhog day!

Im not sure what to do. 

I’ve been carrying on with my acupuncture and getting to grips with my temping charts. Which has drawn me back to unanswered questions about my periods. Perhaps someone out there will be able to shed some light?

For the last few years I have been spotting (more like tan cm) for up to 5 days before my period begins. Even when it starts, it is slow and is very dark brown… Only mid-period will I get any sign of red. It typically lasts about 8 or 9 days from the day I count as 1. I know I have mentioned this to docs in the past. My worry now is did I mention it clearly enough to the consultant we are now under? 

My main concern is that if my results came back within the normal range, if he doesn’t know about my weirdly long periods, could that still indicate some kind of blood clotting disorder?

I am also prone to nosebleeds, not extremely often, but more than your average person. 

In the past, my progesterone cycle tests have come back normal and with my first and probably second miscarriage being ‘missed’, my acupuncturist feels that lack of progesterone isn’t an issue, because my body held onto the pregnancy for weeks after the baby died. 

I just cant help feeling that there is something in these long periods, some level, whether it is progesterone or whatever, must be dropping to cause this tan cm in the days leading to my period. And then the period doesnt seem to flow very well. I would say its moderate/light but just seems to drag out over 8 days! That plus the spotting beforehand, and I feel just YUK for two weeks of the month. 

I am hoping the acupuncture will help to sort this out, and she is going to focus on that as well. Just wondering if any of you ladies have experienced something like this with your periods?

Anyway, back to work. After weeks of DIY I now (thank god because I am skint) have a full month ahead of bookings from home. Could do with a long restful week somewhere warm and sunny!

When the dust settles; an update

Hello.

Finally I have internet connection and a spare five minutes to update you all in blog world. Thanks goodness, because I have really missed this!

The house move went really well and was a very much needed distraction from ‘Pregnancy Loss and the Great Unknown’.

It has since been a little stressful due to taking on decorating and DIY ourselves (mainly me, as hubby is working and I’ve been sheepishly putting off projects), and having to put my trust in tradesmen including a sloppy electrician which has caused an unbelievable amount of dust and mess, half of which we have inhaled due to clean up… we only got some down lights fitted! He also drilled through the artex ceiling with no precautions in place, so I spent a full day panicking that we have inhaled asbestos particles!

I eventually got through to a nice man at an asbestos removals company who has since reassured me that the risk is so minimal due to such a small quantity in artex, if at all, and he thinks we will be just fine. Thank you nice man!

The best thing that has happened in the last month was meeting with the new OB who has ordered our recurrent loss bloods.

I was so nervous, you know what I mean. You put all your hopes into this one person you have never met. But he was so nice. He said we will succeed at this, its just a question of when, not if. Now I know we have probably all heard this from family/friends, but its so much more encouraging when the experts tell you isn’t it! He was so genuine, and I could have just cried.

He said while it’s highly likely tests will be normal, he would still prescribe progesterone and baby aspirin to be taken from BFP as empirical treatment. He said that while this was not based on fully conclusive evidence, they cannot ignore the anecdotal evidence that this has worked for so many women. I was ecstatic! I was gearing myself up to talk him into this, and he offered it a couple of minutes into our meeting.

Then two days later, it all got a little more stressful again, when my husband passed out in the EPU after having his blood test! The consultant was concerned that it wasn’t a typical faint as he took a good few hours to feel well and normal again, so she sent us to A&E where we were ferried from ward to ward. At 8pm the doctor came over and said he didn’t know why we were there, as hubby was fine and his ECG was totally normal.

The consultant in the EPU who was initially concerned said they may fob us off but she thought we should see GP to be referred for brain tracing!  So we trotted off to the GP who as suspected, shrugged it off and kind of said ‘What does she know, shes a gynaecologist’!

I tried to explain that she sees people pass out all the time, as the majority of what they do is blood tests. But GP wasn’t having any of it.

The thing is, hubby fainted a few years ago, from severe back spasm, and was foaming at mouth, it was all very scary. The paramedics at the time outright said this was not a fit, and that can be normal from a faint due to lack of oxygen. He has been fine since with no ‘episodes’ out of context, but that doc really worried me by saying he needs brain tracing!

All the more frustrating because the GP won’t listen. Well, that gynae rang me back the other day, to see how my husband was and if we got anywhere. I told her what the GP said and she said ‘Well I’m not convinced that was a faint. It wasn’t a fit either but if it happens again I think you should pursue it further’.

She meant well, of course she did. But since, I have been utterly petrified. I cannot cope if there is something wrong with him. So, the only way to calm down is to have a plan. We will be changing GP surgeries soon due to the move, and I will just go with him to a different GP and try to see if they can do any further tests. I will say its causing me massive stress if I have to!

Anyway, after she asked about him, she asked if I want to take part in the TABLET TRIAL, which of course, I do. I will try anything! I’m getting the blood test for this done next week (and I won’t be taking hubby with me, just in case!).

So that’s kind of the jumbled events of the last month which I just had to get down here. We still have a lot to do on the house and we have set a date of 16th Nov for our housewarming. I want it all done! I think this year I have felt so robbed of celebration.  I just feel such a strong need to get our loved ones in the new place, to feel happy and positive, and to take something good and memorable from this hideous year, rather than a string of bad memories and experiences.

After the party, there will be quiet. It will hopefully feel like our home and not the empty nest I feared after the July loss. I have a singular, comforting thought, that simply involves me and my husband sitting in front of the fire, content. I will start reading again (just couldn’t get into any novels with everything buzzing round my head). I might even have a large glass of wine.

I have practically given up alcohol since we came back from the Edinburgh festival in August (which, was fantastic, you have to go!). I just felt like I have been drinking out of habit, and what if that is what is causing my bad eggs? It lasted until last night when I caved and had three large glasses at my friend’s birthday bash. Oh well. I still feel like I’ve done well to hold out for that long.

Oooh! I mean OUCH! I forgot to mention, I have started Accupuncture! A lovely lady who I have met through this blog recommended it to me. I have only had three weekly sessions, and I’m trying to get  the hang of charting as she wants to take a closer look at my cycles…its a weird experience! First session was a bit painful but I put that down to being tense.. Second one was much better, but man, last week…I YELPED a few times! I was due for my period so it may have been down to that! I think its the bit where she manipulates the needle after its gone in…. having said that, its fine when they’re in, and I get to lie down and relax, I actually quite like that bit!

I will be dropping down to fortnightly sessions after next week and we will see how it goes. But for now, it feels empowering to do something I haven’t yet tried. Even if I cave in to the odd glass of wine or three.

So there you have, it. A massive wall of update text for you. Sorry!

We get the results of the blood tests in the next three weeks or so. I don’t know what I want them to be, so I’m not thinking about it too much.

In the meantime, there is a bedroom, hall and landing to paint, a plasterer to (fingers crossed) do a good job of patching up the ceiling, the floor to be sanded and varnished, a friend’s wedding with a mutual acquaintance boasting about her pregnancy and no doubt quizzing us on the lack of ours, a much needed 5 day break to Sweden with family, prepping the house for housewarming, making the food for housewarming, clearing up after housewarming, postponing work (which I really should not be doing)  to get it all done, trying to stay sane….

…and remembering to breathe. X

Hope in a bin bag

I am sat here surrounded by boxes and bin liners. As I thought, this weekend would go by in a blink. We move on Friday and it is full guns blazing on the packing. I’ve had mixed feelings when I think about leaving our little flat where we have been for the last 4 years…and where ALOT of shit, and equally wonderful stuff has happened. But I will save that for another post.

I’ve mainly been sorting through clothes this afternoon, which is apt considering summer has well and truly buggered off here in the UK. Because its such a dinky little flat, every season I have to lug a load of woolly jumpers, or flimsy dresses up and down from the loft. Every single time I do this, there are a few items I am ashamed to say, which I do not currently wear, and have not done for a good while.

But these items I fold away neatly, telling myself they will be just perfect for when I am pregnant. Ridiculous! “Ooh that blouse has a voluminous lower half” or “this dress is nice and stretchy yet figure hugging, the only time I can get away with wearing it will be when I can shamelessly and proudly show off my bump”.

These are the thoughts of a selective hoarder. I have a bin liner full of such items. Since this year of course, the belief that I will actually get to wear them in a safely pregnant state is rapidly waning.

So, I will bring them with me and they will go straight into the new loft, as usual. Lately I have not been feeling hopeful at all. But maybe this is what hope actually is. Clinging onto a stretchy dress which I’m now too lumpy for, but will someday serve as great maternity wear!

I really hope that next Summer, when I pull that bag down from the loft, I will have found a reason to wear that dress again.

I better be either a.) very pregnant or b.) back to my thinner, pre-pregnancy-loss comfort-eating self!

 

Dates and disappointment

Dates and disappointment

My ever-so-hopeful diary of 2013.

My ever-so-hopeful diary of 2013.

My MMC Story

My journey from pregnancy, through missed miscarriage and beyond

Recurrent loss and moving forward

I'm tired of living with RPL, still waiting for a better option

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A good friend told me, "You will have a family, you just can't choose when". Here is my story.

Why Can't We Do This The Easy Way?

Our journey through the boggy waters of surrogacy

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The road to conceiving a baby....enjoying food and life along the way

Mel's Journey

My journey through fertility and living life right

Maybe This Time

A hopefully humorous look at infertility as we dive into IVF

Dogs Aren't Kids

A look at infertility with humor, sarcasm and just a little bitterness.

NewtoIVF

The trials and tribulations of a girl TTC

mommy this mommy that

If it wouldn't of been then it shouldn't of been even though it happened.

wombwarrior

Battling An Abnormal Uterus

Too Many Fish to Fry

Writing My Way Through Life

Recurrently Lost

My honest account of life with recurrent pregnancy loss

Momma Hope

finding the light at the end of the tunnel

A Calm Persistence

A Journey Through Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Project Sweet Pea

An ongoing struggle with recurrent pregnancy loss

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

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