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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Much to Tell...

There has been a lot going on over here.  Last Saturday would have been my Dad's 70th birthday so it was a pretty sad day.  We got together as a family and celebrated his birthday together.  I miss him.  I know that people expect you to get over these things very quickly but it is not so easy.  I still have a cry about it most weeks.  I cried on the way to work this morning.  I went to the market in the morning on Saturday and what with the emotionality of the rest of the day, I was exhausted when I got home and I started getting cramps - cramps in a position that I had never gotten them before - immediately, I started to worry.

JourneyMan takes JBB to swimming lessons on Sunday mornings so I was free to have a sleep in and even though I went to bed at 9:30pm, I didn't wake up until 9:50am - what!?!?!  I did have a couple of get ups to go to the loo but still, that is one loooooong sleep.  I felt so much better after it such an amazing rest and even though the weather was beautiful on Sunday, we had a nice quiet family day at home in the backyard.  The cramps didn't come back so I relaxed a bit.

I got a call from my Mum at 6am on Monday morning telling me that she was sick and could I work from her place because she couldn't take care of JBB on her own.  Of course I said yes but when I got there, she was worse than I thought, she couldn't lift her hands above her head, she couldn't do up her bra or pull up her pants the whole way.  I was REALLY worried.  I took her up to the doctors and it turns out that she has polymyalgia.  It's a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the joints. Unfortunately, in the course of getting JBB in and out of the car so many times, I did my back (which is always pretty dodgy anyway).  When I got home that night, I was absolutely exhausted again.  Interestingly enough, the drug that they have prescribed Mum is the same one that I have on the cycles - a steroid to help the pain and reduce inflammation.

Thankfully, when I called my Mum the next day, she had already started to feel a little better.  My back was also feeling a little better on Tuesday but still a little tender.  In the afternoon, the cramps came back with a vengeance and were accompanied by a discharge.  I immediately packed up my work and left.  I called the OB on the way home, he said that even though it was in a different area than I normally have - this was in the cervix, he thought it was still stretching pains but because of my uterus shape (which is linked with incompetent cervix), he wanted me to go in for an ultrasound the following day, despite having one booked for Thursday.  I was worried, I couldn't help but imagine the worst.  I tried to put it out of my mind as much as possible but I was still worried.

JourneyMan and my Bestie came with me to the scan - I really wanted my people with me to have the support.  Thankfully, the scan revealed a delightful picture of the new but and we could see the heartbeat straight away, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  The baby is measuring perfectly and everything is going really, really well.

I am happy to reveal that we are having........ A BOY!!!  We are SOOOOOOO happy!!  There was a moment of sadness that I won't experience having a daughter but that evaporated quickly and a smile has been on my face since.  I am destined to be surrounded by blokes - even JourneyDog who is Woolly is a boy.  I am in love with our new little baby boy already and I am so very happy that we will all be a family.

They checked my cervix and everything there is perfect as well so we are still very much on track.  

The other lovely news is that I can feel my darling boy moving - I don't think that I had forgotten how special this was but it is such a special time.  Only I can feel him moving, it's our own little special secret.

JBB is also a complete and utter darling.  Today, we experienced a ridiculously hot, 39 degree day (102 F) - our hottest November day since 1997.  I thought I would take JBB to the pool straight after day care because really there was no other way to get really cool.  We normally go to a pool near to our old house but in my wisdom, I thought I would try the one a little closer to the new house.  Wrong, there was massive construction going on there and we ended up walking for 20mins in the blazing sun to get to the pool.  I was not feeling great and must of been whinging a bit because JBB said 'Mummy, stop, hugs' - he gave me a hug to feel better.  He is honestly the sweetest little boy that ever lived.  I am a little ashamed that I had to be comforted by my two year old but also proud that he has the ability to give comfort. Every day, he amazes me with the new words that he knows, the songs he can sing and the jokes that he can tell - he just loves to make us laugh.  

Now that I know that the baby is a boy, I still can't help but be a little sad that he won't meet my Dad and I don't want him to feel a bit left out that he didn't get to meet him when JBB did.  A thought struck me this morning though, maybe my Dad went to get our darling boy and make sure that he got to us.   That makes the relationship between the two special.  I have resolved to tell our new little baby boy this when I tell him about my Dad.  It feels like the truth to me too.

A very big week in the Journey household.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

14 Weeks

Last week, I had a brief reprieve from the total exhaustion that I had been feeling but this week it came back with a vengeance.  Probably not so much from the pregnancy, it is probably more to do with being very busy at work and on top of that - trying to organise my taxes for the year.  This time tomorrow, the taxes will all be done and I will be a lot less stressed, it is one of my least favourite jobs to do and it always comes around so quickly.

Despite the fact that I don't feel great, I am really loving being pregnant.  My tummy has popped out a lot this week and that makes me very happy.  I am really looking forward to meeting this baby and having our family complete.  I still worry but I have not had the heart clenching panic that I had early days.

I was able to tell quite a few friends over the weekend and it was wonderful to have such great news but there is always a tinge of sadness when I tell anyone that I am pregnant because it is so inextricably linked with the death of my Dad.  I feel utter joy that I am pregnant but whenever I tell anyone, I can't help but feel so sad too.

Next week, I am due for the 16 week scan (sorry but the 14 week update is only just slightly before the 15 weeks comes up) and I am really hoping that we can find out the baby's gender.  We have had a girls name picked out for a long, long time but we are very troubled with names if we have a boy!  We cannot agree on a name.  Though if we find out that we are having a boy at least we have got some time up our sleeve to decide.

I have so much happiness in my life.  I am so lucky to have all that I have.  It has been a rough year but just like the weather here in Melbourne, the sun is shining now and I feel like for some precious moments, I can lift my head towards it, close my eyes and soak up its rays.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm on your side...

I am on Facebook but I don't post any statuses or keep up with anyone on there.  I have always been pretty much against it, my feeling of privacy overwhelming any need to connect with people from my past.  I mostly keep in contact with my friends and family in person, though of course this has taken a massive hit from going through IF.  I don't hate FB, I am just wary of it.  I also don't mind if people use it all the time to keep in contact with their people, we all make our own ways of communicating in the world and it is not up to me to decide how other people go about it.  

About 9 months ago, I got invited into a IVF secret group on Facebook.  This was a spin off group of a forum that I used to be a part of.  There is a group for those in the trenches, a group for those pregnant and a group for those parenting after IF.  At first it felt great to be a part of these groups - I mean, what can go wrong with women who have such a profound issue in common?  It turns out, a lot.  There have been arguments, people who have been hurt from others' words and many other upsets.  I have been perplexed, we are all in the same boat, what is there to argue about?  

For me, the biggest lesson that I have learnt on the IF journey is that there are many people out there that don't like others to have powerful emotions.  Unfortunately, IF brings out so many of those profound emotions, grief, loss, emptiness, jealousy, depression, failure, hurt, resentment, exhaustion, defeated, alone, guilt - obviously there are so many more but I am sure that you all have felt many, if not all of these emotions at one time or another - I certainly have.  At times that the people who I am closest to were the ones that were invalidating the emotions - mostly because I think it hurt them to see me hurt.  One person that never invalidated my emotions was my bestie.  She is single and doesn't really want kids but she was one person who never shied away from me admitting to a horrible emotions like being jealous about my sister getting pregnant when I had just had a failed cycle - a horrible emotion to admit about your sister but if you don't face it, how do you move past it.  One day I asked her why she is able to empathise and be there for me when others wanted me to 'think of the good things in my life' and move on.  She said simply 'I'm on your side'.  I've never forgotten it.

So, when thinking about the arguments, hurts and misunderstandings that I have seen in the secret IVF groups - I wonder why can't we let the differences float by and be on each others side?  I will support you if you want a water birth or you elect to have a caesarean.  I will support you if you exclusively breastfeed or if you decide that formula is the only way to go.  I will rail against the horrible IVF god's that give you a negative or a loss or a cancelled cycle.  I will give you the benefit of the doubt if you say something that hurt me, I am pretty sure that you didn't mean it that way.  The biggest lesson that I have learnt as a parent is that no child,  or indeed no parent is 'one size fits all'.  We are all unique, we are all different, we all have different opinions.

I have written a post about this and will post it later but one of my new bosses told me that she is going through IVF.  My heart broke for her as it does for any of us that walk this difficult path.  I asked her how she was going and she said something like 'fine but it's hard.....but of course not as hard as what you have been through'.  I said to her 'you never have to say that to me, it doesn't matter what I have been through or what you have been through, there is no harder, there is just shit - this is probably the shittest thing that has ever happened to you and it is the shittest thing that has ever happened to me'.  She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said 'yes, it is just so hard'.  I hope that I let her know that it is okay to have crappy emotions.  Just because there are millions of people that are worse off than you doesn't mean that you can't feel sad, hurt, jealous, devastated and every other emotion that comes with the rocky IF terrain.  

When I was younger, my bestie was in a terrible bus crash in France.  She had had the crappiest year of all time and had gone away on the holiday of a lifetime.  A few weeks later she was at home in the hospital, her dreams shattered and her back hurt in a way that she has never fully recovered from.  Not long afterwards, I said to her 'I feel sorry for the bus driver, he will have to live with this for the rest of his life' and it upset her terribly - because in my youth and stupidity, I gave the impression that I was on the bus drivers side and not hers.  Of course it was okay to express empathy for the bus driver but it was not okay for my friend to think I was not on her side - lesson learned.

At the end of the day, I know that my little blog does not have a huge readership and I am okay with that but I do want all of you to know - I am on your side, wherever you are:  in the trenches, pregnant or parenting after IF.  I have quoted this before, I am sure but it is a favourite from the West Wing:

'The things that unite us are far greater than the things that divide us'

Monday, November 12, 2012

13 Weeks

So, we have made it to the second trimester – YAY!!  I am really happy to report that I had a scan on Friday and everything is going well.  The baby is measuring perfectly and the down syndrome tests came back very low risk.  It was quite funny because I went to the scan on Friday expecting to get the internal scan and huzzah, it was external!!  It was so nice that I didn’t have to drop my dacks at an appointment – what a revelation.

At one point, the ultrasound technician did say that they needed to step out to get the doctor which always sets the heart racing but it turns out they wanted to make sure that they had a good angle for the down syndrome test.  I am pretty used to them going to get the doctor’s though – everyone loves to have a look at the deformed uterus.  Here is a sample of the general conversations that come up:

Technician / doctor – So you know that you have a unicornuate / bicornuate / didelphys uterus? (there is some conjecture about just what type of deformity that I have)

Me:  Yes

Technician:  It’s very interesting.

Me:  So I hear

Technician:  And very rare

Me:  Yes, now how about we check how the baby is doing?

We wanted to find out the baby’s gender if they could but unfortunately, they couldn’t tell.  Of  course, I would love to have a baby girl so that we could have the perfect one of each type of family but I am also keeping my eye on the prize and that is a healthy sibling for JBB – I want both of these babies to grow up having each other and if we have two boys – that’s also fabulous!!

I told my boss at work today.  It was good to have it out in the open (because my guts certainly are getting out there already!) and he was really good about it – he said that my contract could be extended 3 months and asked when I wanted to come back, which was nice considering I am on contract and they are under no obligation to do so.  It did feel strange though saying to people ‘I’m pregnant’.  I mean I have seen the baby squirming in there on the ultrasounds and everything but there was just something about saying it out loud that made me say to myself ‘yes, you actually are pregnant’.  What a nice feeling.  I am actually pregnant.

I have another scan at 16 weeks which is less than 3 weeks away now, which is good.  I am really hoping that we will find out the gender at that time.  So exciting!!  I think that now it is all out in the open, time is going to fly by.  Christmas is not even that long away and on Boxing Day we are going on a family holiday, which I am beside myself excited about – JBB is going to have the time of his life – we are staying in a cabin in a caravan park right on the beach and it has a park and his cousins are going to be there – he is going to be in his element!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pop's Boy

This week, I have been thinking about my Dad a lot.  I don't really know why but I think that it started on Wednesday when I took JBB to see his Nanna (my Mum) as she had been away for a week.  As I was putting him in the car when I picked him up from daycare - I told him that we were going to see Nanna, he then asked 'Pop too?'.  Over the next few days, I had a few periods of crying, crying because I miss my Dad, crying for the time that mine son could no longer spend with him - they had such special time together.

I couldn't stop thinking about 'Pop's Boy' - that's what my Dad called JBB.  Every time he walked in the door, he said 'is that Pop's Boy? and JBB would go over to him, lean in and Dad would pat him on the head.  I was always touched by their relationship, it made me so happy that they could spend time together.  When I was in Thailand, my Mum called JourneyMan and JBB over to the house the morning that my Dad died, they spent time with him.  It hurts me very much that I was not able to comfort my Dad when he was near the end, just for him to know that I was there, a touch on his cheek, to hold his hand.  Moreso, it's upsetting that I didn't see the final interactions between JBB and my Dad, those are memories that I will never have.  

Still all through the week, 'Pop's Boy' kept running through my head and I didn't understand why until I was having breakfast with my Mum and older sister yesterday.  I realised that the precious baby that I am carrying is the first grandchild that my Dad will not see.  He will not give him or her a nickname, he will not call out to them as they come running in the door.  I absolutely know that I my Dad would be so happy that I am pregnant, I know that he wanted me to go to Thailand when I did.  I am just sad, really sad that my kids will miss out on him being in their lives.  I'm sad that he is no longer in mine.