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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nothing can prepare you!

Firstly, thanks to all for you comments and best wishes - both JourneyMan and I are touched by your lovely words and thoughts!
Secondly, let me bring you up to date on what has been happening. We are finally home from the hospital but not without a little drama. We had a private room at the hospital which was lovely and Journeyman stayed in the hospital the whole time. He has been absolutely wonderful and has been there helping and supporting me unbelievably well.
On Thursday after the ceasar, we had a few visitors in the afternoon, my Mum, Dad and younger sister dropped by, then JourneyMan's mum and youngest sister came, my bestie dropped by and then we had my older sister and her 3 boys who were absolutely fascinated to see JBB. I thought that I would be a bit overwhelmed to have visitors but I was thrilled to show him off!! We did bundle the visitors out whenever I needed to feed JBB though, I couldn't have done that in front of everyone.
I wasn't out of bed until Friday when they took out the catheter and drip and it was pretty painful to get to the shower first up. The mid-wife helped me to the shower and then I was able to get myself washed, though she did give me some help getting dressed. It was great on Friday to start really taking care of our little bundle - honestly, I have never been so happy in my life!! My bestie dropped in again on Friday night which was wonderful.
Saturday and Sunday went by with more visitors and learning how to take care of JBB more and more. I must confess that by this point, I had not changed a nappy, JourneyMan had done them all - he is amazing! We weren't getting much sleep as we were up changing and feeding but we were still euphoric so it didn't matter how tired we were! We were really happy on Sunday night because we would be going home the next day and were really looking forward to getting home and starting our family life in our house.
Sunday night was horrible. JBB was up all night screaming. There was nothing that we could do to comfort him, he had been fed, changed, rocked, sung to - everything we could think of. I checked in my book to see if there was something we were missing. I called the mid-wife in to see if she had any ideas, she basically said that there was nothing further we could do. This frustrated the hell out of me because he really was screaming and I really thought that it must be because there was something wrong. Nothing can prepare you for a night like that. I felt so powerless because he was upset and nothing I did gave him any comfort - it was terrible.
Finally the morning rolled around and before we left, had to be weighed. This was when we found out that he had lost more than 10% of his body weight at birth. I immediately started crying - I felt like a failure, I had been starving my son, no wonder he was up screaming all night. The obstetritian came to see us and I told him about some clots that I had passed the day before (TMI but they were almost as big as my fist) and he suspected that I had an infection. He suggested that we would probably need to stay for another night because of JBB's weight and my infection.
I was devastated, I really wanted to go home and I just couldn't stop crying because I really felt that I had starved my baby. They told me to start expressing my breast milk to give JBB some top up's at each feed and when I called my mum and sobbed to her about it - she was ropable because she said that the mid-wife should have at least suggested trying out a feed of formula when JBB had not slept all night on Sunday night - she was going to come in and give her a piece of her mind but I told her not to.
I saw the lactation specialist on Monday and she told me that I definitely had enough milk coming through so JBB should be getting enough to eat but clearly that wasn't happening. By Monday afternoon, I realised through expressing that I was getting less and less milk as the day went on - I felt like I was seriously under pressure because I wasn't getting enough milk and I didn't want JBB to lose any more weight - I also didn't want to have to stay another night in the hospital which there was a very real risk of. I called in the day midwife and had a chat to her and asked if we could start a top up of formula from the next feed on - she was absolutely wonderful and came up with a great plan and really talked me down from blaming myself - it was a great relief.
JourneyMan then had to go home because he was working on Tuesday and we needed my Mum to come and pick me up so he dropped our car off (with the baby seat) to my Mum so she could come in in the morning. Journeyman rode back in on his motorbike. On Sunday night I came back to the room after being in the breastfeeding room with the lactation consultant and practically all of JourneyMan's family were there - I nearly had a heart attack - I'd had a very trying day after a night of no sleep, I didn't think I could handle it. I left JBB with them so they could visit with him and I went back to the breastfeeding room to do some milk expressing. When I came back, I felt better and had a good visit with them - though Journeyman didn't let them stay to long which was much appreciated.
On Monday night, I got up every 3 hours to feed JBB and express milk - I didn't get more than an hour to 90 mins of sleep in a row that night as I wanted JourneyMan to have a full night's sleep as he had to work the next day. Finally, 5am rolled around again and we called for JBB to get weighed - we waited with bated breath and to our great relief, he had put on 150grams - quite a big amount in one day I am told (they hope that at this point they are gaining around 200g a week!!). We were esctatic - we were going home!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Journey to JourneyBabyBoy

Not surprisingly, I didn't sleep well on Wednesday night - I woke about every hour and by 3am there was no going back to sleep for me. I read until 4am and then got up and had a bath. I was in desperate need of some hair maintenance (the shaving of some and the washing, drying and straightening of others!). I was ready by 5am and JourneyMan was just starting to get ready. JourneyDog sat with me for a cuddle on the couch while we waited.

Despite being up early, I wasn't overly nervous - it did feel very surreal, the fact that the next time I was home I would have JBB with me and that I would finally see him that day, it was a weird feeling. We dropped JourneyDog off at my Mum and Dad's place (my Mum couldn't sleep either so she was up to give me a big hug before we went to the hospital. We had an uneventful drive to the hospital and checked in at around 6:15am. I then changed into the hospital gown and jumped (not literally) into the bed. We had quite long wait - we weren't going in to the operating theatre until 8am.

After much waiting, we were finally wheeled into the operating theatre at 8am. JourneyMan waited outside while I was given the spinal block. This was not my favourite experience of the day - it hurt, quite a bit. I think they hit a few nerves because I would get what felt like an electric shocks through areas on my legs, bottom and back. I couldn't hold back the tears - at first it was because it hurt but once I started, I had trouble stopping. I felt really stupid but everyone was really nice to me. Finally, they were able to get the spinal block working and I was laid down. I practised some yoga breathing and got myself back together and they led JourneyMan into the theatre. As soon as JourneyMan got there though, I started crying again and kept saying to him 'I don't know why I'm crying'. Thinking back now, I think it was a release of all the emotions of the past few years of IVF cycles and through the pregnancy - mainly I think relief to finally be there.

JourneyMan was a darling soothing me and making me laugh and honestly, the ceasarean itself was one of the stranger experiences of my life. There was lots of pulling and pushing but certainly no pain. Quicker than I ever imagined they told JourneyMan to stand up and see JBB being born. The next thing that I heard was JBB crying and that was it - the tears started again and did not stop for a long time - that I know was sweet, sweet relief to hear my son - it was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard in my life. They brought him over while they cleaned him up and cleared his lungs and whilst he was a covered with goo, he was the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen in my life.

They let me hold him whilst they stitched everything back into place - they were able to do the horizontal incision - yes!!! My OB said it was a text book ceasar - whoo hoo! Too quickly they took JBB away and JourneyMan went with them while they weighed and measured and I went to recovery. All I could think of in recovery was that I couldn't wait to get back to see my boys. After around 40 minutes, I was wheeled back to the room to be reunited with JourneyMan and JBB - I have never been happier in my life, it is my best day.
Thank you to you all for your lovely comments and best wishes, you are all fabulous!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

JourneyMan writes...First son of a first son of a first son.

Here it is!!! I am reminded of this phrase Paul Roos said after Sydney's recent Grand Final win. Now that we are at the end of a long and arduous journey to get JBB,

JourneyGirl's ceaserean was completed over a half hour period. I had this time to sit with JBB on my chest and I was quite content to sit him in the crook of my neck while he stretched and slept and I could have sat there for hours.

I was wondering how I would feel about JBB being conceived with a donor egg, once he had been born. Now that I have met him, I just see my boy and feel a well of love and emotion for him, nothing enters my mind other than his care; the same as if we had conceived him normally. I am very happy with this, I was sure I would love him the same, it is a relief that it has turned out this way.

I would not want to contemplate the emotional state we would be in, had JBB not come along. I know JourneyGirls life is complete in a way it would not have been without JBB, born 6 pouns 8 ounces 835am 19th aug 2010 AEST.

My daydreams are filled with giving him worldly sage-like advice, teaching him to kick a footy & helping him become a loved well rounded person.

JD told me that when we went to the hospital I could stay with her the whole 5 days after JBBs birth. I secretly wondered how I could sneak away for some foxtel & JourneyDog time. Since JBB has been born all I can think about is holding him & listening to his gurgles and assorted baby sounds. Last night I only put him back in his cot because I started to fall asleep and did not want to hurt him.

Originally I was nonplussed about whether I had children or not, I could take it or leave it. Now I am marvelling at JBB and I am glad I did not miss out on the love he has brought to our family.

I thank you all so much for the kinds words & advice to help JourneyGirl along, the best thing for someone worried about the worst outcome is to have some good people to talk through issues with, I think the blogging and support of blog readers has given JG an important outlet for her concerns. Love to all JM.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Twas the night before the ceasar.....

Yay - we made it - this time tomorrow, we will have our darling JBB in our arms - we are just SOOOOO excited but I must admit that it is pretty surreal. I was talking to my bestie tonight and we were thinking about all that has happened and now our day is finally here. After 6 IVF cycles, 2 laparoscopies for me and a vasectomy reversal for JourneyMan, a lap band surgery for me, 40kg's of weight loss, a trip to Thailand, acupuncture and natural therapies without count and 9 months of pregnancy - we are here!! It is very, very surreal and I am very nervous about the ceasar but I am focussed on that moment when they put JBB in my arms - I am beside myself to meet him.
The past couple of days have been wonderful, in fact the past 5 weeks since I have left work have been a lovely saionara to my fancy free days - I have savoured every minute. I am happy to wave goodbye to those days and am looking forward to my new challenge - motherhood!!
I expect that JourneyMan will do the next update to let you know how everything went - thanks again for all of your good wishes my friends!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

3 more sleeps!!

Gosh, so very, very close now - how can I be more excited, I definitely can't, that's for sure - I am so excited to see our JBB!! Thank you to you all for your lovely comments - they mean so much to me!!
Sleep is at a premium right now (and no doubt from Thursday as well!!) even though I don't need to get up to go to the loo, I am having a tough time getting comfortable and I am waking up every 1-2 hours so the quality is not quite there. Oh well - only three of those left anyone and I am still going to be pretty uncomfortable sleeping after the ceasar, I guess so I will just have to suck it up. I do normally sleep on my back so I am looking forward to being able to do that again.
I had a very restful day yesterday, mainly reading and watching trashy TV which was nice then JourneyMan and I went to the movies which was really fun. Today, I did a massive housecleaning and did all of the washing so there really is barely a cracker to do for the next few days!
Tomorrow, I am taking my Mum, older sister and Auntie to the movies, out to lunch and then we have been given free birthday vouchers (all of our birthday's are in August - in fact, I am having JBB on my older sisters' birthday - she loves it!!) for facials - it should be a wonderfully relaxing and fun day!! On Wednesday, I am going out to a friends place for a girls lunch which should be fabulous though I don't know if I will be too tired after tomorrow, we shall see!!
Well, I am off to bed to get a really good night's sleep before the big day tomorrow!!
Whoo hooo - not long to go now!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

5 more sleeps!!

The countdown is in full force!! Only 5 more sleeps to go, I am very, very excited!! I am also a little uncomfortable but that's okay, not long to go now!! At the last OB appointment on Monday, the doctor told me that I may have to have a classical ceasar - which means that the skin scar will be horizontal but the cut on my uterus will be vertical. He hopes to be able to do the horizontal incision on my uterus as well but may have to do the vertical due to the shape of my uterus - boooo. The effects of this are: the incision is harder to repair and is more likely to rupture in future pregnancies (OB said that they wouldn't let me go past 37 weeks in any future pregnancy) and more bleeding can result. I am very much hoping that he can do the horizontal incision on the uterus. I am trying not to worry too much about the operation part of the birth and focus on the result, the lovely JBB.
I had a lovely day with my bestie yesterday, we bobbed around in the pool for awhile chatting before we had a facial and then a delicious lunch - it was a wonderful day! I ended up going to the footy last night and JourneyMan, the fabulous husband, dropped us off and picked us up at the gate which made our lives much, much easier!! I am absolutely exhausted today so am having another day on the couch to rest up. I have a few fun things planned over the next few days, movie with JourneyMan and then lunch, movies and free facials with my mum, sister and auntie on Tuesday which should be fabulous!! I am busy, but not too busy which is really nice - I am making the most of the last few days of a child free life though I am very, very much looking forward to our lives changing forever in 5 short days - whoo hoo!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

One week to go!!!

Holy cow, people we are getting close now!! At this time in a week, our gorgeous JBB will be here and in our arms - whoo hooo, soooooo excited!!!
I am having a big rest day today, yesterday my Mum and older sister came over to help me out with the cookup and we did enough meals to last us for 3 weeks, the freezers are all completely full with healthy, nutritious meals - yay!! Gosh, it was a looooooonnnng day though and I was absolutely exhausted by the end of it. I also had some pretty bad cramps which made me a bit nervous but they were braxton hicks I believe - my sister and Mum said I would know if it was labour and thankfully they were right because it went away by the night.
So, today I am hitting the couch hard core to get some serious rest in. I have a busy day tommorow as I am off for a swim, facial and lunch with my bestie - I am really looking forward to spending the day with her - we used to travel together all of the time and when we were away we would float for hours in the pools just chatting - that's what I am really looking forward to, floating around, chatting with my mate!!
Tomorrow night I am off to the footy and then I don't have a huge amount planned for the weekend, just the market and brunch on Saturday and then some more couch time on Sunday.
I am all ready now. The hospital bag is all packed (though JourneyMan needs to pack his items!!), the house is ready, we are ready!!
Let the countdown begin - 7 more sleeps to go!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The birthday festival!

It was my 39th birthday on Friday - it is very hard for me to say 39th because I am a little in the horrors that this is the last year of my 30's - what the?!?! Where has the time gone? One strange thing about turning 40 next year is that I remember very clearly the surprise party that my Dad threw for my Mum's 40th birthday - again, what the?!?!? My Mum had had four children before she turned 30 and I haven't even had my first and I am 39. Oh well, they do say that 40 is the new 30 - I will have to take the whole year to get used to that I tell you!!
Anyway - I had a lovely weekend. Friday was very nice - JourneyMan woke me up early on Friday to give me my presents - a book that I had wanted and one of those blankets with sleeves. These were perfect presents for me - I love anything that keeps me warm and comfortable and I looooooooove books so it was a very lovely start to the day. My Mum and I went out for brunch, as her birthday was on Saturday. As previously posted, we very nearly had 3 generations on the one day as my Mum's Mum birthday was also on the 7th August - we had a good chat at brunch remembering her, I miss her so much. It is such a shame that she never got to meet JBB.
On Friday night, we had a family dinner out for mine and Mum's birthday at a dumpling place that we had heard was good (I hate to say it, it was very disappointing) and it was great to catch up with everyone. On Saturday I went to the market with my Mum and sisters as usual though I had to get way more food as I am doing a big cookup of meals on Wednesday to put in the freezer (I am also getting a small additional freezer) for when JBB is born - it will be nice to have home cooked, healthy food only a microwave heating away - I brought about 3 weeks worth of food and my older sister is coming over on Wednesday to help out with the cookup!!
On Saturday night I went to the footy and happily my team won - whooo hooo!! Today (Sunday) - I had a very restful day watching some TV, reading and then JourneyMan took me out for a lovely dinner. It has been a fabulous birthday!!
Tomorrow, I MUST get my bag for the hospital finished and packed (I have been saying that for 2 weeks!!) and give the house a good cleaning!!
Hope you all had a great weekend! Only 11 days to go - whoo hoo!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

12 months of blogging!

I have realised (belatedly) that I have now been blogging for more than 12 months - wow, that has gone really quickly!! I thought that in honour of my 12 months of blogging, I would do a bit of a review of the last 12 months because, well - so much has happened!!
This time 12 months ago:
We had just had our 5th IVF cycle cancelled due to no response. I was devastated as I had lost almost 50kg's in the preceding 12 months through lap band surgery and thought that the weight loss would make some kind of difference. Unfortunately it didn't.
One day after I had cried my heart out, I reviewed the 5 cycles that we had had and I realised that I had to face facts. I had only achieved 3 embryo's and had in total 9 eggs retrieved from the 5 cycles that it was doubtful that I would achieve a pregnancy with my own eggs. This realisation triggered off a bout of grief for my own biological child. It took me awhile to come to terms with this fact but I already had a new plan in mind.
I had researched donor egg cycles in Thailand (and other locations around the world) earlier in the year but had not talked to JourneyMan about the option. I just couldn't face the wait of 2-3 years on the donor waiting lists in Australia or did not like the thought of asking friends and family to be donors. I aprehensively brought up the plan to JourneyMan and found him completely supportive. We were a go for launch!!
Emotionally, I was a wreck - I felt like I was in a glass bubble, I couldn't relate to people anymore. I hardly saw my friends and my family had let me down with flippant responses to my pain. Through all of my emotional turmoil though, I had JourneyMan, JourneyDog and my bestie who saved me - they were my soft place to fall and even if they couldn't understand what I was going through, they supported me without fail. They saved me and I am forever grateful.
I decided to document the momental cycle of going to Thailand to utilise donor eggs because when I was researching, I tried to find a blog to read of someone who did it - I felt sure that there would be someone but there wasn't so I decided to create it myself. I was amazed by the catharsis the blog brought me and even more amazed by the friends that I have made - it has been wonderful.
The plan felt like such a gamble as I was only able to transfer one embryo (due to the shape of my uterus) but I thought that I would try absolutely everything I could to make the cycle successful.I drank fertility tea daily, I did castor oil packs every second day, I had acupuncture every week, I detoxed my body as much as I could, I took handfuls of vitamins daily, I listened to a fertility cd every night, all night, I exercised sensibly, I even avoided peas because I had read that they were a natural contraceptive!! In short, I was obsessed with making this cycle successful.
Our house was a debacle because we didn't dare spend any money on renovating because our money was all going to our cycles and trip to Thailand. It was a horrible place to live and JourneyMan got very sick of me whinging 'I hate this place!!!'.
Fast forward to Christmas day and we got the best most wished for present of all, a positive pregnancy test - it was a wonderful, wonderful day. Now with only 2 weeks to go until I am holding my JourneyBabyBoy in my arms our lives have changed exponetially.
And now:
We are preparing ourselves to be parents, 12 months ago, I couldn't even hope that this day would happen - I dared not let myself think of what it would be like. For the record, it is wonderful, scary, exciting and daunting!!
I have started to come back to myself. I thought that this would happen immediately but the transition back into the world was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. This week I had 8 girlfriends around with their children for lunch - it was lovely and I enjoyed myself in a group again, I feel a little bit normal!!
The house has been renovated, new kitchen, new floors, central heating, painted all throughout and of course, we now have a nursery fully ready and available for our darling boy to come home to. I LOVE our house now - it is wonderful to wake up in the morning to see how beautiful it is.
I have always felt blessed to have found JourneyMan, I am SOOO happy to be able to make him a dad and despite the fact that when we met he was not fussed about whether he had children or not, I know that he will make a wonderful father. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful family (despite them annoying the heck out of me occassionally) and brilliant friends (especially my bestie) and let's not forget my wonderful JourneyDog who is precious to me. The past 12 months have been kind to me and I am so very grateful for all of the blessings that I had over this time - I am very, very lucky.
I want to say thank you to all of you who read my blatherings and would especially like to say thanks to all of you who have offered your support through comments throughout the past 12 months, it has been absolutely invaluable to me!!
To those of you who are amidst your journey and are still waiting for your BFP, don't give up, your life can turn around in an instant and I hope it does!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

We're ready (and computer is back - whoo hoo!!)

Hurrah people - we have the computer back!! I am SOOOOO happy - now I can catch up on what you are all doing and can let you know everything that is on my mind!! Yay!!!
We are now ready. The kitchen is absolutely completed and the house is pretty much done. There are only a few small issues to fix up and they will be completed this week!! I am SOOOOOO happy with the renovations, the house is now beautiful and lovely and clean!! JBB's room is all ready for him to come back from the hospital too! We have a little gate on the door so that Journey Dog who is Woolly can stay out of the room but see what is going on in there. The car seat is all ready in the car, even the cradle has been all made up!
I have another OB appointment tomorrow that hopefully everything will still be going well and I have some girlfriends coming around for lunch this week which should be wonderful. I haven't had many friends around for a long time because the house couldn't really cope with more than one or two visitors at a time - there will be 7 friends coming over with 1-2 children each so the house will definitely be put under some pressure!! It should be a good fun week, I hope!