My IVF Diary 3: 28-29 weeks pregnant

6 Jul

Week 28:

Feeling so excited this week. My boy has finally reached a fighting chance of survival on the outside. Every consultant I have met during these past few stressful months has earmarked 28 weeks as a significant milestone for the successful long term outcome of my baby, plus my husband was born at 28 weeks some 38 years ago so it’s always been a subconscious hurdle for me in pregnancy. But I’ve made it, and at last I feel like I can begin to enjoy what remains of this pregnancy in the expectation that we may get to take this little man home for good soon.

I also have a few exciting appointments this week. On Thursday I have a growth scan followed immediately by my first nhs consultant appointment in 8 long weeks.

Then on Saturday we have our official 4d bonding scan. Our 28 week 4d scan with my first son was simply breath taking for my parents, my husband and I, and I can’t wait to see what this little man looks like now and finally show him to my dad.

In other great news, the nursery paint has been found! Never did it occur to me that decorating a nursery would be so difficult, but choosing the correct colour paint to match wallpaper and soft furnishings is seriously tough when you are confined to the house almost all of the time. But find it I have, and my parents have volunteered (been forced) to decorate the room at the weekend so my OH can assemble the furniture and I can find a place for all of baby’s bits.

I’m also pleased to have reached a stage where I’m rather enjoying my maternity wardrobe. I love the stage where you look ravishingly round in all your bump enhancing gear, but haven’t yet reached beached whale status. Plus it’s soooo blimmin comfortable. I wonder how long I can get away with all the elasticated waists and maxi dresses once baby is here?

On a slightly more negative note, my ear and jaw pain, nerve tingling and coldness is still persisting which troubles me. The timing is just too close to when my Bell’s Palsy initially arose during my first pregnancy and I can’t relax, the fear of it returning haunts me.

7/5/14: Scan tomorrow, but baby’s movement has slowed and become faint the past few days. I’ve been up all night trying to feel him with little success. Unable to ignore it any longer I phone triage first thing and am at the hospital by 8.30am. I’m invited to sit on the CTG monitor for 30 mins. First the junior midwife tries to locate baby’s heartbeat before she begins the trace. For a good 30 seconds she is unable to find him or his heartbeat. Hubby, hearing the struggle appears from behind the curtain looking anxious, the blood drained from his face. After a few minutes she calls for a senior midwife who manages to find his heartbeat and roughly places the Doppler pads over him before starting the trace. Typically, the boy begins moving with seconds of the monitor being powered on, but his motion is lethargic and weak. Clearly not satisfied with this, the midwife hands me an ice cold cup of water. I drink it and baby goes nuts for next 5 minutes. Wind up.

We are discharged just 10 minutes later, but by afternoon I can’t feel movement again. By evening, I’m on edge, so I kneel on the floor with hips above head and began to sway from side to side to encourage some response. Instead, I turn light headed and immediately develop indigestion!

5 minutes later, baby is kicking more vigorously than he has been in the past 3 days.
I eat dinner and take my iron supplement with orange juice and baby slows again but his kicks remain much stronger than they had been previously.

I just pray we make it to the growth scan tomorrow without any more panic over night.

8/5/14 – Another early start at the hospital for our growth scan. We are called in late, which annoys me as we will be late seeing the consultant, but once called, we are in and out quickly. The sonographer is thankfully a pleasant one. The same lady who scanned me when I was first haemorrhaging from the hematoma. She measures all necessary areas quickly but satisfactorily, and comments that his growth seems just about normal but that she will write it in the report for the consultant. Then as a shocking bonus, she flips the screen view to 4d, right on his face. And my he has changed! He now looks a proper little squish!

I exit the room quite giddy with excitement to have seen him again. That excitement abruptly ends when I enter the consultant’s room and she greets me with the words “Oh, I’m surprised to see you here, I didn’t think you’d make it to 28 weeks”. Sensitive. I reply with “Well I have, and I am still going”. She reads through the scan report in silence, and scribbles my blood pressure and urine results in my notes without a word. I mention our visit to triage the day before and she shrugs it off saying, “well the scan is fine”. I mention that I have been itching a lot over the past few weeks, so she prints me my 28 week blood test request form, adds “liver function”, hands me the paperwork and says “see you in another 4 weeks”.

Not if I can help it.

I return to the waiting area until I am called by the midwife for my blood to be drawn. Fortunately, she is able to retrieve a full 5 tubes with only a little unpleasant poking around and I ask her when I should expect the results. She tells me to call the antenatal clinic on Monday, and with that, I waddle out to the car.

After 16 weeks of bed rest/ house arrest, my body is perhaps surprisingly not coping too well with the changes of pregnancy: the stretching skin, the increasing weight and the shift in posture. So, having completed the hospital chores, my husband drops me to a local therapist for a pregnancy massage. I spend 90 minutes being rubbed and manipulated from head to toe, and exit feeling rejuvenated, if slightly bruised.

But baby’s movement is reduced still, so I spend the evening fretting and sleep all night with none of the now familiar wriggles to wake me.

10/5/14 – 4d scan this morning. Wake up pumped with adrenaline to see my little man in all his glory and to proudly show him to my parents.

My hubby drops my little man off to his other grandparents for the morning. He’s been to earlier scans, and despite being intrigued for the first few minutes, he largely becomes bored and disruptive so we decide that rather than drag him to the scan itself, we will show him the DVD afterwards.

Once my parents appear, we make the 30 minute journey to the clinic. When we arrive, we are ushered into the room by a lady I haven’t met before. She is matter of fact and rather abrupt and my excitement fades.

She confirms that we are there for a 4d bonding scan, and once I nod, she directs me onto the table and hurriedly begins. Within seconds she is huffing and whinging that he has his head down and turned away from us and is warning that we may have to reschedule for another day. It seems abit hasty, given that she only put the probe on my belly a few seconds earlier. Give the boy a chance!

She tells me to turn on my side, then the other, then she jiggles the ultrasound probe to encourage him to move in response. He does, but unsurprisingly he doesn’t look best pleased with the disturbance. He looks grumpy, in fact he doesn’t look how I expect at all. He looks totally different to the 4d image just a few days earlier with a big nose and big frown. It just doesn’t feel right somehow. That isn’t my boy.

She turns me over from side to side until she gets a few photos of his face then declares the scan over and ushers us back to the waiting room to choose the photos we want printed.

When we leave I feel numb. I don’t feel I’ve bonded at all. I feel like a piece of meat, and I feel guilty that I didn’t instantly connect with my boy. We return home after some lunch and I sit watching the unedited silent movie of my scan. I can’t help it. It’s left me disappointed.

29 weeks: My boy’s movement is now regular again. Hoorah! and with all his wriggling comes hunger, I am just eating, eating, eating.

However, I have zero energy. Since the nursery has now been wallpapered and painted and the chest of drawers assembled, I thought I could finally make an attempt to organise the baby’s clothes. However, despite sitting down, and having just a small number of items, it seems like an impossible task mand it takes me two whole days to complete. The result makes me realise just how many essentials I am still missing and I pledge to acquire. Them I the very near future.

My other major symptom this week is constipation. Sorry for the tmi, but shit happens (or not in my case). Baby is now feeling heavy and placing some noticeable pressure on my bowel, so despite downing orange juice and eating plenty of good fibrous food, it’s a struggle for anything to get out.

By Monday I am still fretting over the disappointing and rushed 4d scan experience the previous weekend. I watch my first son’s scan which was conducted at a different clinic and I smile and coo and tear up throughout the 10 minute DVD. I feel resentful that I don’t feel the same over baby number 2.

After discussing my feelings with my OH, I agree to speak to the Harley street company who performed my first son’s scan. We had been avoiding the clinic since they rather bluntly informed us that I had suffered a missed miscarriage last year, we just couldn’t face the possibility of returning to that same room with the same sonographer. But they are the best 4d scanners I know, so I call them and explain our predicament. They make a note of our disappointment and fears and agree to do an extra long specially arranged 4d scan that meets our exact requirements to try and make me feel better. I arrange for Saturday.

This week we have also taken the big decision to move consultant and hospital. If you have followed this pregnancy diary from the beginning you will know how unhappy we have been with the care we received from the original consultant and hospital. I had a scary birth at that place with my first son, and, having battled their apathy and negligence for the past 20+ weeks I have no confidence that this time will be any better. For the sake of our baby and sanity, I had to do it.

So on Thursday, I meet my new consultant to kick off a care plan. I love him. He is extra cautious… not the most cheery of people, but safe, thorough and I feel positive about his plans for me. So, after the obligatory observations and a review of my latest blood results (which I had to phone my old hospital 18 times to collect), it is agreed that I will return in two weeks and increase my iron supplement in meantime.

On Saturday, we visit the Harley Street clinic for our 2nd 4d scan. We are called in promptly to be seen by an experienced sonographer who has full notes our needs. I take my place on the bed and While she is opening my record on the computer, I catch sight of a small fuzzy image on the 50 inch plasma screen in front of me.

It is a scan image of the baby we lost. The last image we saw. It brings chills to my spine, the memory still fresh and raw, so I look away and grasp my husband’s hands. This time is different… This baby is fine. We know that. Today we make happier memories.

And we do. This little man is again feeling shy and uncooperative, but this sonographer will not be beaten. She spends 40 minutes chasing him around my tummy to catch multiple glimpses of his face. We see him sleep, frown, open his eyes, pout, and suck. And he looks like ours.

I catch glimpses of my first son, pieces of me, features of my husband… Who notes his Grandad’s eyebrows. This boy is one of us. I feel it now.

Once the fun stuff is over, the sonographer moves on to complete multiple measurements of his growth, placenta blood flow, fluid levels etc.. And all is as it should be. I leave the clinic in great spirits. Full of the same adoration I felt 5 years ago when seeing my first son… This is how it should be.

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3 Responses to “My IVF Diary 3: 28-29 weeks pregnant”

  1. Kay Cugini July 6, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    He looks soooo like you and like Oz!! Am so bloody angry at your disgraceful treatment at the hands of your consultant so Im really happy you have managed to change, I know that must have been a difficult and stressful decision for you all xxxx ps bad bad K and D have been shopping this week, we cant help ourselves! 😉 xxxxxxxx

    • ferreroroche123 July 6, 2014 at 8:56 am #

      Best decision I made we are in good hands now and the end is in sight. I’m lucky I can’t get out much, I would be unbearable in the shops. Having to make do with very focused trips in my wheelchair with Ben pushing me past everything that isn’t on the list and Oz running wild. I don’t get any time to muse over cute stuff. But I of course have the internet and my mum to make sure I have a few gorgeous pieces. 😉

  2. ~Merlinda~ (@pixiedusk) July 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    Awww I am so happy for you! Congrats for this development and thanks for sharing the scans =) #pocolo

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