My IVF Diary 3: 33-35 weeks pregnant

19 Jul

Week 33 –

9/6/14: Woke up last night feeling sick, feeling rough this morning. I’m not sure if it’s a tummy bug or just my body falling apart at this late stage.

I can’t bring myself to eat much, just crunch on ice instead. By evening, I manage a bland dinner, but feel pretty nauseous afterwards.

However, it isn’t all bad. The sun is out and I am loving it! I’m desperate to lie outside and soak up the warmth,but I’m sweating like a sumo wrestler, so my ice machine is on overdrive crushing approximately 1kg ice cubes per day.

12/6/14: Baby movements have been suspiciously quiet the past two days, this little mite is determined to have me worried throughout this pregnancy. I phone the hospital who insist I go in to be monitored. As I arrive with my husband I am met by a midwife immediately and slapped straight on a monitor. Baby begins moving instantly. Tease.

I sit on the machine for 30 minutes watching the trace of his heart rate and listen to him wriggle and jiggle. My consultant arrives to review the trace, declaring it normal and I am discharged soon after with a follow up in clinic the next day and growth scan already booked.

13/6/14: I return to hospital with my mum for my preplanned appointments. We begin with the growth scan. My boy is looking fine, head down-bum up, legs wide apart flashing his now rather impressive manhood. Thank goodness I know the gender already, because there is no avoiding the sight of his bits and pieces staring back at me. Most importantly, his growth is on track, 5lb 10 oz already and 78th percentile. Gawp, another big boy.

We leave the scan room reassured and head over to the consultant’s office for my check up and review of the scan report. After reading the report, the consultant confirms that his growth scan is normal, so yesterday’s reduced movement was likely just a quiet day or position change. There is no need for another scan now unless any concerns arise in future weeks.

As for me, all my observations check out normal this week. We agree to switch my profilactic antibiotics to a different type because they are known to be safer in late pregnancy, and organises another blood test there and then to assess my iron levels. The results next week will determine whether I need an IV infusion of iron before the birth.

15/6/14: I decide it is time to complete the outstanding baby shopping. No cute baby clothes this time, just a breast pump, nipple pads, nappies and car seat base. This stuff is not glam.

Week 34 –

Arghhhhh! The insomnia has resurfaced. I’m up until 2.30am every night and then up every hour for toilet trips. Consequently, I’m exhausted by morning.

To get through the days I’m still crunching ice constantly, but am now eating cake alongside it.

Unfortunately, all this ice crushing is not without it’s hazards. Since I’m now suffering from swelling in my hands and legs, I have become a total clutz. During a bout of ice drinking insomnia at 1am, I succeed in pouring two full cups of freezing ice chips over myself within 10 minutes. I nearly wake the whole house screaming but somehow manage to stifle my squeals with a cushion.

My consultant phones me with my iron results from last week. He is pleased to see a modest improvement, and therefore confirms that there is no requirement for an iron infusion yet. I am instructed to increase the spatone again and repeat the test before the birth.

Other than this I experience a very lazy week. The weather is too hot and I just haven’t any energy.

Knowing the weather was forecast to be warm, and how I love to be out in the sun, my lovely husband bought me lounger to move my house arrest outside. Feeling guilty lounging around, I attempt to be useful by cleaning the hanging glass from the chandelier whilst resting outside. At first, I only succeed in drowning myself from head to toe in hot soapy water.

I change outfit and begin again. I finish at 11.30pm, completing the last few with one eye closed and only just semi conscious.

On Saturday, I attempt to pack my hospital bag but manage only a few minutes before collapsing in a hot, flushed, huffing heap. In addition, I realise that the baby’s very first outfit is now likely to be too small. I instruct my better half to take back to the shop and exchange it for the next size up.

On Sunday, I am determined to take advantage of the good weather and kill my mounting claustrophobia by taking my son up to Hyde park. My hubby packs the wheelchair and a picnic lunch. I manage just over two hours of him pushing me round the park while my son plays in the Diana fountain and play park, but am utterly exhausted when we arrive home. How can being pushed in a chair be so draining?

My exhaustion may be related to my current inability to eat meals. There is absolutely no room for my stomach now as the baby has moved under my ribs. This brings my reflux back and consequently most food is coming back up. Yum.

Week 35: I’ve been up all night with painful braxton hicks and a very wriggly baby. Tonight he is pushing with all his might as if trying to get out.

By morning I am shattered, but I’m due in to work at lunchtime for the first time in 5 months, so I focus but on being ready for my 11am taxi. By 9am my braxton hicks contractions are 10 minutes apart. I try to change positions but it makes no difference, I try to eat, no change. Eventually, I down 1 massive cup of ice and A bottle of water. I visit the loo and finally everything seems to calm down. My guts are still feeling rather traumatised and I am shaky so I attempt to eat a nectarine for energy but my stomach isn’t having any of it.

My taxi arrives 30 mins early. I’m not even dressed, but there is no hurrying my unwieldy frame so I make him wait.

I drag on a dress, throw on some accessories and decide to make him wait a little longer while I crush some ice for the 50 minute journey. I need it in this heat.

I arrive at office just before 12.30pm – it seems weird after so long, although largely everything looks the same with the exception of some different faces. I am greeted by my manager who sits me down with the team and one by one colleagues arrive to say hello.

I feel abit of a spectacle as people endlessly observe the bump and ask how I am feeling, but I guess right now I am. Still, it is good to see some familiar faces.

Before I leave I am presented with a hungry caterpillar baby hamper and a chocolate cake, which I steal for the journey home.

The taxi collects me 1 hour later and my visit is over, a year of maternity leave ahead.

That afternoon I feel the heat and journey has really taken it’s toll on me. I am tired, sick and having hot flushes. I try to sleep it off but can’t settle long. By the time my husband arrives home I am feeling dehydrated, hungry, weak and in constant pain from stomach tightenings.

I am desperate to eat immediately, so I beg him to make my dinner early, but when he serves it up I can barely concentrate on eating because my stomach is contorting so badly. The baby is also wriggling and kicking constantly as if trying to get out.

I force my dinner down in between braxton hicks and have my husband help me onto the sofa to lie down. I take pain killers, collapse in front of the fan, and refuse to move until the pain subsides. Eventually, I fall asleep and by morning, the pain is all but gone.

During the rest of the week, the braxton hicks continue to get progressively stronger. They are now leaving me welded to the spot for the duration of contraction, and hot and short of breath. I’m also finding it generally difficult to be mobile. I have significant pressure low down. I suspect baby is heading south.

On Friday I attend another consultant appt, they seem so close together now. All obs are normal: My blood pressure is going down again, urine is clear, tummy is measuring bang on date and baby’s heartbeat is fine.

I ask the consultant to discuss the baby’s vitamin k injection with me as it has been the subject of some debate between the other mums to be and it was never raised with me when my first son was born. He assures me that it has been administered for many years but became the subject of debate in more recent times when one report showed a possible link with childhood cancer. He suspected Oscar was given it, and that I had forgotten it in my post birth adrenalin rush. I assured him that I would remember, and suspect that since this was my previous hospital he may have been administered the injection without me being told. When I return home, I immediately consult his trusty red book to find that he was injected with vitamin K on 10th August 2009. He was given it the day he was born without our consent!

My next consultant appointment is in two weeks at 37+5 weeks and then I have just one more appointment a week later for pre-birth blood draws. Time is flying by when I think about it.

Saturday: I am feeling so uncomfortable. Trying to make some positive memories with my first son before the new baby arrives, I sit playing with him all morning on the floor as we get creative making sticker pictures. 2 hours later, and I’m totally stuck! I can’t move. My hips are locked, my legs jelly, my body unable to lift the weight on my front. I am forced to shout for help from hubby and spend the next 30 minutes reclining on the sofa to take the strain away.

By lunchtime I am starving and in need of some peace. My OH takes me to MacDonalds for a shameful lunch and then drops me to my parents house for a few hours of rest and relaxation. I don’t think I have ever appreciated having the olds nearby quite so much. In fact, I am so enjoying the break, I stay there all afternoon.

By early evening, I’m beginning to feel ill. I experience hot flushing, sweats, shakes and tummy cramps. Concerned and bemused, I race upstairs. Diarrhea. I feel awful. Green. So I return downstairs and ask to go home. When I arrive, I am in pain and battling frequent braxton hicks. Hubby kicks into nurture mode, and I am swiftly bedded, served crushed ice and water, along with my trusty paracetamol.

I fall asleep within a few minutes and do not wake until the following morning.

Sunday 29/6/14:

Morning- Baby shower! My one and only, since I never made it to my first baby shower with my oldest son due to the arrival of my Bell’s palsy. The girls decorate, lavish me with presents, and play games.

Predictably, this day time activity triggers evening contractions and dehydration. Hubby is concerned enough to begin night watch. He refuses to drink in case a hospital dash is required and I have to wake him to get to the loo in the middle of the night as I am unable to lift myself out of bed when awoken by the inevitable pee accompanying braxton hick.

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