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Thursday, October 25, 2012

And exhale....

So, I have had my first visit to the OB and thankfully, it was a good one!  It was great to see the OB again.  Funnily enough, I have not heard great reports about my OB from other people but I have always found him excellent.  Sometimes, you have to make your own judgement about these things.  He gives me great comfort because he has dealt with all of my various health concerns previously and of course, I had an excellent pregnancy and delivery with JBB so I just love him.

We had a great talk and he asked how Riley is which was very nice.  He gave me a scan and said that the baby was growing ‘perfectly’ which was sweet music to my ears.  He asked me how I was going and I said that I was very, very worried.  He asked what I thought was the source of the worry and I told him that it really was mostly because the last 12months have been pretty average and I didn’t feel I could take another blow.

He was soooooo comforting.  He told me that really, with the baby growing so well and the heart beating beautifully, it is time for me to stop worrying.  I am going to try really, really hard not to.  He is going to treat this pregnancy the same way that he did with JBB and that because I ‘did so well’ with JBB, the only thing that he will do differently is to reduce the scans from weekly to monthly.  This is a bit scary but will save us a bucket load of money (almost $500 per month – yay!!) so I will just have to practice my positive thinking!!

I also asked him about my weight because I am heavier than I was with JBB, he told me ‘of course, you will need to eat as healthily as you can but the small amount of additional weight you are carrying will have absolutely no effect on the outcome’.  This gave me no wiggle room to use it to beat myself about being a bit of a poppo (JBB’s word for hippo).  I have been stressing a bit about my weight so whilst I am not going to use this as a license to go crazy with my eating (thankfully most of my cravings have been for:  tomatoes on toast, tomato and cheese toasted sandwiches, chicken sandwiches and juice and fruit of all kinds, though mainly citrus), I am going to try to stress about it less.

I love my OB.  I next see him in another 6 weeks but I have the 12 week scan coming up on 9 November so hopefully this positive, happy feeling will last through till then!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Where the fear lies....

I think that this first part of the pregnancy is always (well twice anyway!!) the hardest part for me.  There is so much time between the visits to have scans or to see the OB send me into a bit of a panic despite there being really no reason.  Waiting for the first scan (which was all good) at 7 weeks was the 2WW turned into the 3WW and then I don’t see the OB until 10 weeks (next Monday) and whilst 3 weeks doesn’t seem much, it feels like a lot when your every nerve is stretched out in anticipation of more reassurance.  I mean, I definitely have been having plenty of symptoms but the doubting Thomas part of my mind will always find an alternate reason, other than being pregnant, that I would be experiencing these things.  Though the evil part of my mind doesn’t seem to have an explanation for the massive trail of veins over my breasts and abdomen – yeah, take that evil mind, what do you have to say for yourself – nothing, good, now keep it that way and shut up!! (okay, so maybe cracking up could be a pregnancy symptom too?)

From 12 weeks on it is a bit easier to bear but only because I have scans every week from 14 weeks as I am in the high risk category (for incompetent cervix) – the 2 weeks from 12 weeks is not that hard to bear and then getting to see the baby each week from week 14 is a real treat.  It’s nice too because many people want to come to the scans and because I have so many, it is nice to get people along (I warn them about ‘up the bagingo wandy’ so they are not shocked but it is all very discreet.  My Mum is coming to the 12 week one and then I think my bestie will be first cab off the rank in week 14 – it’s nice, it becomes a weekly event (or I hope it will again!).

The fear is 100% completely irrational and every time I bring it up with anyone, I don’t really feel like they understand – I mean, I wouldn’t understand either.  My motto has always been ‘past behaviour predicts future behaviour’ and by that motto, my body should behave as it did when I was last pregnant, which means big yayers, all should be great, right?  You would think that but I continue to have feelings of panic and dread.  I’m hoping that we have experienced our last cycle but don’t even want to contemplate life too far ahead in case I curse us.  

I think that all that has happened in the last year has really affected my ability to stand up and stare fear in the face.  Firstly, it was the failed cycle in October – until then I had actually thought we had the found the IVF certainty – donor cycles and because it happened first off with JBB, I just expected it to work straight off again.  The fact that it didn’t really affected me.  At the time, I also didn’t feel that I was allowed to grieve because I had to be excited for my sister who got pregnant at that time (I have gotten over that now, her little son is adorable and I really credit him with me finally getting excited to have an actual baby in the house again – I held him and realised I really, really wanted another baby). 

Then came JBB getting sick and spending 5 days in the hospital, this was so monumental, I was numb for months.  The thought that my darling little boy would have problems with his heart for life was just too much to bear – I couldn’t even contemplate it. 

Hot on the heels of JBB being in hospital was the second failed cycle in December, I was still so numb from JBB being sick that it barely registered as a cycle.  I was a mess physically, mentally and emotionally – there is no wonder that the cycle was a failure.  It was the best decision that we made to take a break and wait for 9 months before going again. 

Straight after that cycle failure, my Dad found that he had the cancer back. So it was treatment and horrible decisions and seeing him going before our eyes.   I didn’t expect him to die while I was away in Thailand.  It also feels very strange that my Dad’s death and this pregnancy are so inextricably linked.

It’s now almost 12 months since that first failed cycle in October last year.  Surely, we can put this 12 months behind us and look forward with great hope and joy at the next 12 months.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Catalogue of Pregnancy Symptoms:

Morning sickness:  Check – definitely have been having morning sickness from very early on and as with JBB, it is generally all day on and off.  Some days are better than others though – today is a good day, thankfully!!

Weight gain – whilst not a symptom as such, it is really a result of the massive amounts of food that I’ve been eating.  My biggest problem is that I have always thought that the cure for feeling sick is to eat (yes, sad I know) and unfortunately, I have been feeling sick a lot of the time so that has equated to eating a lot of the time.  I try to eat as healthily as possible but I can’t say that I haven’t gone to the dark side (macca’s, fish and chips etc) occasionally.  I am trying to reign myself in at the moment so that I don’t put on ridiculous amounts of weight during the pregnancy.

Bump – yes, you read right, 8 weeks and 3 days and there is already a bump.  I am sure most of it has to do with the above eating pattern but underneath the big layer of fat, I can feel a genuine bump there.  I am pretty embarrassed to be showing so early and of course no one from work knows, so I am hiding under massive baggy clothes.

Cramps – I am still getting cramps, some days are better than others and I (touch wood) have only had two of the very bad episodes in the last couple of weeks.  Hopefully things are stretching nicely at present!

No clothes at the Inn – since I already have a bump and the cramps make it extremely uncomfortable to have ANY pressure on my stomach, I am struggling for clothes, even my fat pants don’t do the job.  Yes, I have resorted to some maternity pants and on the weekend I had to buy some ‘harry high pants’ pants.  Today, I made the mistake of wearing normal skirt with normal leggings – wrong!!  I have been uncomfortable all day and the pressure on the stomach is very unpleasant.

Exhaustion – I am having trouble peeling myself from the couch at the moment.  When I get home from work, it is a struggle to get dinner for all of us and get JBB into bed.  The worst part is that I am also not sleeping well.  I keep waking up at 2am (to go to the toilet and I check on JBB at this time too) and 4am (another toilet break and a check on JBB) and then I can’t get to sleep.  I am very, very tired.  This morning, I got up at 5:30am and went for a walk for half an hour so at least that was a little productive.

Frequent urination – check – yep, got this one too but I am also thirsty all the time and making sure that I am drinking heaps of water so this could be a result of that.  I usually am able to sleep through the night without a toilet stop but at the moment I am on 2 a night.

That’s pretty much it – so I feel pretty crap but in the best way.  It makes me very happy to do this catalogue, I hope that all this means that this pregnancy is going to stick around.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I am member of a private Facebook community of women who are going through IF technologies, are pregnant via IF or are parenting post IF.  For the most part, it is great to be a part of this community as it is very supportive of everyone but sometimes things happen that disturb me.

An incident happened yesterday though that made me really sad.  A girl posed the question ‘if I am a donor egg mother, will I be less of a mother?’  As you can imagine, she got a lot of responses to this question - some were good and some not so good.  Some people said things like ‘if you are having doubts, you need to work through it before continuing’ or ‘maybe you need some counselling to work through your issues’.  Someone said ‘if you are feeling ashamed, you will pass that feeling on to your child’.  I wasn’t really upset by the responses personally because all these questions told me was that these people haven’t actually be in this position before because there is no way in hell you would respond in that way if you had.

To me, the only answer to this question was a flat out ‘no’ (my actual response was ‘no way, no day’).  No, you will not be any less of a mother.  No, you will not love your child any less.  No, you will not treat this child any differently.  No.  No.  No.  Unfortunately very few people answered that question directly and tried to assume what was behind the question.  Doubts, shame, issues. 

How many times do all of us do that – answer the assumption behind the question rather than the question itself?  I was the only actual donor egg mother who responded but by the time I did, she had gotten extremely upset, thought that she was upsetting others and  removed herself from the group and blocked everyone.  I was really sad because I think she just needed to hear ‘no, you will not be any less of a mother’.

I wish I had of gotten in on the conversation earlier because I could have told her that I had my doubts before doing donor eggs but they were wiped away when the cutest, smartest, most loving child came into my life (**there is a chance that I am a little biased on this subject).  I would have also pointed out that surely it’s impossible to have doubts when you are going into something so unknown?  I would have told her that when I was up night and day for days on end when JBB had Kawasaki disease, I didn’t think I was a ‘donor egg mother’, I was just ‘mother’ – no more, no less.  Indeed, JBB tells everyone he meets that I am ‘mummy’.  I would tell her that I feel no shame that I couldn’t use my own eggs to have children, I only feel great pride that I was brave enough to walk this path, that I was an integral part in bringing this wonderful miracle into the world.

I also wish that people could have just answered the question that was asked and not assumed the motivation behind it.  I feel very sad that this woman came to us for support and we failed her.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Scary Times

I had bad cramps last night – so bad that I could barely walk  I had cramps in the pregnancy with JBB as well but not so bad so early.  The only thing keeping me sane was the fact that there was no bleeding.  The sheer pain of the cramps had me worried enough to call the OB to see if there was anything that I could do.  Unfortunately my OB was on leave so I had to speak to another one who doesn’t know about all my issues but he did alleviate my fears enough to be able to sleep (after having some pain killers) and this morning when I woke up, they were almost gone.

I thought I wouldn’t have as many cramps this pregnancy because my uterus would have been stretched out with JBB.  I did some Dr Googling this morning and it turns out that people who have had caesareans seem to get worse cramping in subsequent pregnancies – bummer.

I am not sure whether I have any control of it.  I had pretty bad cramps last Tuesday as well and I have been trying to compare what I did on both those days but there doesn’t seem to be anything that I have really done that could have caused it.  Oh well, I will grit my teeth and thank my lucky stars that there is no bleeding!!! 

I am basically useless at the moment.  I am so tired that I can barely get anything done around the house, JourneyMan is an absolute godsend at the moment – he has been doing so much and I really appreciate it.

Over the weekend, we took JBB to the Royal Melbourne Show where he had an absolute ball!!  There is an animal nursery there where heaps of animals are wandering around to be patted, he thought it was the best thing ever – patting sheep, dogs, pigs, cows, chickens!  They also had a Sesame Street stage show on, he absolutely loves Elmo (or Melmo as he calls him) and was transfixed by the show.  There were rides everywhere and carnival games, flashing lights and people yelling - he was so overwhelmed by all of the fun things that when we got to the car (we drove some of the way and took the train the rest of the way) he was asleep in 2minutes.  It was a really fun day.