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When life throws you a MASSIVE curve ball

27 Apr

I’ve been dying to write this blog post for weeks. But now it comes to it, I can’t even begin to think how to start it.

After 10 years trying to conceive without success, 4 rounds of IVF, 1 miscarriage and two children, my husband and I were done.

Or so we thought.

I disposed of my maternity clothes, gave away all my baby clothes, sold all our baby toys. I started Clubbercise classes to get my body back, bought a new house, and booked our first proper holiday in years to Disney World in Florida.

But life it seems decided it had other plans for us.

It is with complete shock, a little confusion and some cautious excitement that I announce I am somehow 3 months pregnant with Baby Roche #3.

I’m still not entirely sure how this tiny miracle has happened (although the medical profession are keen to tell me it involves birds and bees) – we were in fact taking precautions for the first time in a decade in an attempt to avoid it.

But I guess, like a true cliche, these things happen when you least expect them to.

I know my Mother In Law will be up there laughing at me right now. In fact I’m pretty convinced she may have had something to do with this.

And like every holiday is usually sabotaged by my children, so too was my trip to Disney by this one. I was forced to stay at home due to Zika virus risk, in hiding to avoid detection.

Unfortunately, this announcement is a little bittersweet as history is currently repeating itself in my pregnancy.

Just a few hours after my 12 week scan, I haemorrhaged at home alone while my husband and children were in Florida. I was taken to hospital by ambulance where I spent 2 days, before it was confirmed that baby was fine right now, but I have another SubChorionic Hematoma, which could pose a risk to the pregnancy.

So I am again at home, with my feet up, on modified bed rest until the hematoma hopefully resolves, crossing everything that this precious gift will be ok in there until its time to join us around 30th October.

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You Should Be 1

5 Nov

Today should be your first birthday. We should be celebrating with you.

But you are not here.

You weren’t meant for this world, you were meant to be with the angels.

Instead you gave us a gift.

One year ago today, on what should have been your birth date, we found out that your little brother was conceived.

He made it. Our rainbow baby.

We never met you, never saw your face. I don’t know if you are a boy or a girl.

Yet in his smile, I remember you.

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You gave us hope. You gave us Leo.

We’ll never forget.

Happy Birthday

X

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First Month Fog – Part 1: Birth Story

30 Aug

Last week my little man was one month old.

We made it! We are all still alive!

I’d say I can’t believe it’s arrived already, but in truth, it’s been a long old month. A lot has happened. In fact too much to fit into one post, so since I know there are people waiting, I’ll start with the day of his birth.

The day of his birth was largely an adrenalin fuelled haze, and despite the preplanned nature of my elective c section and the knowledge that my littlest man was going to arrive safely into this world after such a torturous pregnancy, I was a bag of nerves about the procedure itself. After all, I’d never had a baby through surgery before, so this was all rather new to me.

We arrived at the hospital promptly at 7am and were immediately ushered into our room where the midwife showed us around and took some basic observations. Shortly afterwards we were visited by my consultant who explained what would happen and asked me to sign my consent forms.

We were thankfully first on the list for theatre, and would therefore make our way down to the waiting area within 30 minutes. Up until that point I had managed to fill my head only with excitement about the impending birth of my boy, we had waited so long, but as we sat awaiting our cue to enter the theatre, my first thoughts of fear crept in regarding the epidural. During my first birth (natural) my epidural was administered whilst I was experiencing excruciating contractions, I was practically begging them to stick the drainpipe like tube in my spine, but on this occasion it would be totally different… I was of sound mind, not in pain… Shit! I would feel everything. Oh god, oh god, oh god….. Deep breaths.

After a brief chat with the anaesthetist, we were escorted into theatre. First the anaesthetist attempted to insert a cannula into my left hand. No luck, vein not cooperating (probably the fact I was dehydrated and hungry from 12 hours of fasting before the procedure). After a rather painful failed attempt she moved to the other hand and hit jackpot a little too well, spraying me and my gown with blood.

As the consultant entered the room she immediately quizzed him about my blood results, and he confirmed that they had come back and were all normal apart from slight anaemia, but not out of the ordinary for late pregnancy. The two of them then had a respectful tussle over the implications, the anaesthetist suggesting increased blood loss…. A professional debate if you will, while I quietly freaked out over whether I might bleed to death on the table.

Once their discussion was over, the anaesthetist began the epidural. She leant me forward, inserted the local anaesthetic into my spine… It stung but I was determined not to flinch. She then inserted the epidural tube into my spine and began to feed the anaesthetic in. My legs began to turn warm and my feet tingled, a familiar sensation to my last and all on track. At this point they lifted my legs onto the operating table and positioned me for the procedure before attaching the curtain in front of my chest to prevent me seeing the gory details.

Ever thorough, the anaesthetist began to explain how she would test my readiness, producing a bottle of cold spray and squirting me at strategic points to see how numb I was. I panicked when I could still feel her touching me on my legs, but she explained that it was normal at this stage to feel touching and pressure, but no pain. She asked if I was ready, and as much as I was trying to stay upbeat and calm, I was finding it hard to breathe.

Like really hard. My chest felt under immense pressure, I just couldn’t get any air in. I told the anaesthetist who seemed surprised but unfazed. She passed me an oxygen mask and placed it over my face. I tried to take deep breaths, but couldn’t. As I began to panick, she reassured me that my oxygen levels were normal, and therefore, despite feeling unable to breathe, I was breathing just fine.

As I remained agitated, the consultant suggested that they begin the c section as he felt I would breathe easier once the weight of the baby was removed. I nodded nervously, and feeling claustrophobic, wrenched the oxygen mask from my face.

The procedure itself was quick and straightforward. The anaesthetist informed me what was happening at each stage. I felt pushing and tugging… Perhaps just a little too strongly at times, and at 9.46am my beautiful boy was born. He came out frowning and screaming to air his displeasure at the man holding him aloft, and was immediately placed onto my chest, where he promptly weed. Troublemaker.

I was so relieved to see him pink and well I didn’t notice. I also no longer noticed any difficulty with my breathing, I simply wept with joy.

After a short while, he was removed by the midwife and taken to be weighed. 7lb 15oz. My hubby and I cheered. We had guessed 8lb only the day before. Not bad.

He was returned to my husband and photos taken while the operation was completed.

A short while later, we were wheeled to the recovery area where we remained for several hours so the nurses could check my blood pressure, temperature and bleeding and top my epidural up to maintain my pain relief.

By this point, little man was screaming. The nurse suggested I try to breastfeed him. I agreed and spent an hour trying to encourage him to latch on. It didn’t work. Determined to remain upbeat and calm, I tried over and over, but my little boy was not having it. Eventually, after what felt like an eternity, a midwife came in to see why the baby was still screaming.

Clearly looking for some peace, she grabbed his head and rather brutally rammed it down towards my chest, placing my breast roughly into his mouth. Poor sod had only once choice… Suck or suffocate, so he desperately began sucking. “There we are!” she exclaimed triumphantly, and promptly exited the cubicle.

Once fed, we dressed him for the first time, (surprisingly difficult after 5 years) took photos to announce the birth, and placed him in a cot to sleep.

It was then I realised I was ravenous. I was also required to take numerous tablets, I suspect they were painkillers but I have no idea, so I sent hubby off to the hospital cafe to buy chocolate and drinks.

I scoffed it down, and shortly before I was returned to the ward the nurse topped up my epidural for the third and final time.

I was elated that the procedure was over and I could now recuperate in my room with my long awaited cooked lunch, but as I was wheeled into the lift clutching my newborn, I couldn’t help but notice that my face and eyes were massively swollen. I looked bloated and tired.

When I arrived in the room, my lunch was immediately served. I eagerly began to tuck in, but after just two mouthfuls I started to feel dizzy and nauseous. I was flushing hot and cold, unsure of whether I would throw up my lunch or faint. Midwives swarmed round with blood pressure monitors and thermometers to urgently check my obs. My blood pressure had dropped. What happened next is hazy.

Later that afternoon my blood pressure returned to normal, I was plied with paracetamol, and every midwife on the ward attempted to get my baby to latch on and breastfeed, without success. In the end, I was taught how to hand express into a syringe. I collected 1 whole millilitre. This was fed to baby and the midwives suggested I top him up with a bottle. He guzzled on it greedily.

By evening, my mum and dad visited with balloons and flowers, bringing my eldest son to meet his baby brother for the first time. He was so enthusiastic, we had to stop him from climbing into the crib and squeezing the little one to death. His excitement peaked when he found the welcome gifts that baby had left for him. This little brother is so generous! He only stayed for a short while as a hospital room was no entertainment for him and I was beginning to experience more discomfort as the epidural wore off.

By night time I was in excruciating pain. I felt as if my insides were contracting and that someone was stabbing me with a knife. I tried to move into a more comfortable position, but my stomach had no strength and my legs were still partially numb and felt heavy, like lead. I woke my husband and cried out for help. The midwife on duty, a kind but non nonsense lady came into the room and explained that I was likely experiencing after pains as my womb contracted back to its former size, and that my bowel felt hard as if in spasm from the trauma of the operation.

I was plied with paracetamol, tramadol, and peppermint essence in hot water to numb the pain and relax the bowel.

Sometime later, the cocktail of drugs kicked in and I fell asleep until baby woke me for the first of many night feeds we would share over the next month.

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My IVF Diary 3: Announcement – introducing baby Roche

8 Aug

It is with absolute overwhelming happiness that we announce the birth of Leo Gordon Christopher Roche.

Leo was born by c section on 21st July at 09.46am, weighing a healthy 7lb 15oz.

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My recovery since the operation has been difficult, with an extended stay in hospital and some ongoing side effects back home.

Leo has himself faced some early difficulties with feeding, which have made our first few weeks more sleep deprived than hoped. However, currently on dairy free milk and anti reflux medication, he has begun to thrive and we are finally getting a few hours sleep!

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Oscar is a proud and protective big brother who wants nothing more than to kiss the baby to death.

 

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We must express our extreme gratitude to the staff at Boston Place Clinic, to whom we owe our successful ivf treatment. Their professionalism and care during a tumultuous time was outstanding, and to my consultant Anna Carby, I owe my life. She not only demonstrated an unquestionable level of medical expertise which gave me my children, but showed me a personal care and understanding throughout the journey which has rarely been equalled. I will never forget her.

And for every person who followed my diary, read a post, left comments of support or shared their own experience, I thank you. Every action was appreciated at the darkest of times.

To my husband – you have been the best
To my parents – you rock
To my son – thank you for accepting a mum who couldn’t play with you for so long

But this isn’t the end. Just the end of this journey and the start of a new.

As a mother of two boys, I know times are gonna get wild, so I look forward to my next blog posts as a fumbling, stumbling, occasionally grumbling second time mum.

Stay tuned.

To my baby Hope – never forgotten x

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My IVF Diary 3: 36-38 weeks pregnant

1 Aug

Week 36:

This week can best be summarised as tired, grumpy and uncomfortable.

I am sleeping, sleeping, sleeping during the day, but barely sleeping at night.

I’m plagued by braxton hicks, especially during the evening and night time. I’ve started regular contraction timing to check that labour hasn’t begun and am half willing the baby to come out already, but then willing him to stay in a little longer.

Baby movements are now so strong. I think he is trying to move down towards the exit. His feet are in the ribs pushing hard until his head bumps my pelvis/bladder causing shooting pains, which is pretty uncomfortable. Baby has periods of extreme quiet. Sometimes I find it a relief, sometimes worrying, but I figure that space inside must be pretty cramped by now and the boy needs to conserve his energy.

The ongoing warm weather is a challenge now. I love the sun and my non pregnant self wants to rush outside to bask, but my very pregnant body is finding it so draining. I’m lucky to manage 10 minutes in the sun, before I am hot, bothered, dizzy and need to hide in a dark room or make use of my car’s air conditioning (since I haven’t driven it for nearly 6 months I may as well use it for something).

Another side effect of this heat is that my appetite is suffering. I’m struggling to eat, there is just no room for my stomach and the heat removes any last trace of interest in hot meals. My ice craving however is in full swing, and the ice crusher is on most of the day. This baby will have hypothermia!

As the weekend arrives, I persuade hubby to take me shopping for the last remaining essentials before baby arrives. I acquire the last remaining pieces for my hospital bag and the baby: travel toiletries, nursing tops and a steriliser. That’s it!

I spend the rest of the weekend being short tempered and snappy to everyone misfortunate enough to encounter me. I can see the end is in sight. I know it is a waiting game, but I’m struggling to maintain any patience when in constant pain and without sleep… I know, I know… Get used to it.

Week 37:

Today we are full term. Yay!

But I’ve had no sleep, and have pain in my pelvis and sides. Boo!

I’m also swelling up! My hands, wrists, face and feet. In a panic, I insist on removing all of my rings. But no matter how hard I try I can’t get my engagement ring off. My hubby tries ice water and neat fairy liquid along with a substantial amount of brute force, but nothing is persuading that bad boy off! Instead I am left with a throbbing and unsightly red mark for his efforts. I decide to leave alone and pray it doesn’t cut off the circulation in my finger before the birth or I may have to take desperate measures and cut the darn thing off.

As the swelling worsens, I consider phoning the hospital, but decide to just monitor it for the day to see if it progresses.

Fortunately, towards the end of the week the weather cools, and the swelling calms a little.

On Friday I visit the consultant for my regular appointment. As always my observations are fine. Blood pressure is textbook, so no sign of my recent ballooning being linked to pre-eclampsia. I arrange my final appointment for the following Friday to check my final obs and take bloods ready for my c section. Holy s*** this is getting real!

On Saturday I retreat to my parents house at 10.30am for the day. I am shattered and uncomfortable and my hubby is taking my son to a family day at the airport, so I decide to seek the company and solace of my folks to pass the time.

As usual, I am so comfortable in their hospitality, I stay until 8.30pm. My dad cooks me lunch and dinner like a gent and I lounge about all day swapping from sun to shade.

On Sunday, I attempt to play with my son at home, but I’m struggling. Hubby takes him out shopping by lunchtime and then on to soft play centre to allow me a few hours of peace.

By evening, I have earache and am feeling a little unnerved. I take paracetamol and hope it will disappear overnight, but it is still there the following day and my son begins complaining of sore throat and tiredness. Bugger.

Week 38:

On Monday I feel rough. My glands are swollen and my earache remains. I’m unsure whether I have a virus or Bell’s palsy again. Either way I am unamused by the timing.

The warm weather remains relentless again and I have zero energy to do anything. Thank goodness this is nearly over, the thought of another potential 3-4 weeks of this would be unbearable. However, I need this sodding bug thing to do one pronto.

By Tuesday I’m feeling worse. I’ve not slept since 5am, my tummy is hurting, the braxton hicks are horrendous, I’m hungry but feeling sick and my ears and glands are killing. I am worried about how this may affect the impending birth and whether the baby will catch a virus as soon as he is born.

Miserable, I decide to book a doctors appointment to get my ears checked in case of infection.

The kind doctor checks my ears and suggests they look fine, but in view of how close my surgery is, she agrees to prescribe me more antibiotics to keep incase the earache turns into an ear infection so that I have a chance of being in reasonable health on D-Day.

In other news… The ice crusher is broken! And my hubby is trying to kill me.

This week, my crushed ice drinks from him have contained a piece of plastic big enough to break my tooth and a huge blade. I suppose it was inevitable that the poor overworked machine would give up soon, but I’m perturbed by my hubby’s failure to spot large chunks of it in my drink. Unless of course he really is trying to bump me off willingly.

On Friday I am back at the consultant for c section prep, bloods and final observations. Knowing my luck the pesky little bubs will put me in labour over the weekend, but in the meantime, the countdown is on and I feel excited, nervous, and yet inwardly calm.

Saturday is a tough day. I endure another night without sleep, this time due to some serious thunder storms overnight which wake me and my son up with a start. I’m suffering from major sausage feet and sweating from the incessant heat. The braxton hicks are never ending, and baby is rummaging.

I spend much of the day wincing with constant backache, tightenings and hip pain.

Every step I take induces a shooting pain. God this final period is just brutal on the body. Thank god Monday is the day, any longer and this strain would send me over the edge.

By evening, I back to timing my braxton hicks again. They really hurt, but are still irregular… Just enough to prevent me sleeping a wink.

Sunday morning I’m in pain. My stomach tight, baby crammed in, I’m struggling to walk.

Just 1 more day. Must get through it. I take an early morning paracetamol to cope with the discomfort.

Despite my efforts to be organised, we still have a list of last minute errands to complete ready for hospital.

Unfortunately, my son is being a nightmare… Not listening, or behaving. I go to mum’s house while my hubby and dad take my son to a car show to satisfy his need for stimulation.

Whilst the boys are away, my mother and I make a last dash to the supermarket to buy my son food supplies for his stay with Grandma and Grandpa while I am in hospital. Whilst there I seem to attract a number of gasps and comments from strangers about how big I am, and how I must be ready to drop any second. Rattled, I tell their alarmed faces I am due tomorrow and huff off to eat a pork pie.

By midnight I am nil by mouth in preparation for the operation. I ask hubby to cook me and my parents a large roast dinner as a last supper. I am also determined to drink as much as possible until midnight to avoid dehydration tomorrow in this heat.

It’s only now I begin to get nervous. We must be up and out of the door at 6am to be at the hospital by 7am and into theatre by 8.30-9am providing their are no emergencies to put me back on the list.

Tomorrow I am having surgery. Eek!

Tomorrow I’m actually having my baby! Yes! Eek!

See you on the other side people x

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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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My IVF Diary 3: 30-32 weeks pregnant

13 Jul

30 weeks – 3/4 of the way through. Every week feels increasingly exciting now as new milestones are hit and my boy grows stronger and closer to meeting us.

However, with each week passing, so the discomfort moves up a notch. I’m struggling to walk at all due to pain in my pelvis, hips and sides.

Baby’s movement this week has become slower but powerful, purposeful and intense! It’s reassuring but sometimes has me screaming out loud.

My craving right now is TGI Fridays strawberry lemonade slush. But, since I am unable to get out of the house barely, this is a tough craving to satisfy. My hubby has valiantly made the odd evening trip up to the nearest restaurant with a giant lidded cup to fetch me a takeaway from the bar, but it’s not sustainable and isn’t enough to satisfy my constant need.

So I do the next best thing I can think of and order an ice crusher, some strawberry cocktail purée, a 2kg bag of ice chips and a bottle of lemonade so I can make my own.

In just a few days, the items are delivered and the crushing commences. I try combining the ingredients to recreate the TGI cocktail, but it’s not quite the same. May take me a few attempts to refine my technique. Plus, it’s quite sickly, so I decide to alternate it with other crushed delicacies such as iced water with a dash of lemonade, iced orange fizz and iced coke. Typically, the iced coke is my favourite, I’ve been wrestling to avoid it throughout this whole pregnancy, but the damn stuff keeps taunting me so I vow to strictly ration myself.

After a relatively trouble free week, Friday throws a curveball when my son is sent home from school at lunchtime with a fever. Great, just what I need right now.. A flipping virus.

I have to call hubby to collect him as I can’t drive to the school, and when he comes home we agree that I should stay at arms length while we watch to see how it develops.

The fever remains high all night and all of the following day despite multiple doses of calpol and nurofen. My son complains of tummy pain and sore throat and I assume it to be flu until I remember that my hubby was ill with a fever and sore throat on the Thursday evening.

I have a hunch that this is just too late in the year for flu, and may be connected to my husband’s off day. So I begin googling “spring viruses”. One possibility strikes me… Scarlet Fever. I had seen on the news that it, and may other virtually extinct illnesses were making a comeback and the symptoms on the nhs website seem to tie up with the early stages of the virus.

By next morning, my son gets out of bed and I immediately spot what looks like a prickly heat rash on his torso. As he approaches me, I study it further and am convinced it is Scarlet Fever. S***.

I phone NHS direct who book an appointment with the out of hours doctor that same morning, and within a few hours his diagnosis is confirmed and penicillin prescribed for a full two weeks.

I phone my new hospital to ask how this might affect a pregnant lady, and the midwife consults the microbiologist for an answer. They confirm that it is not known to be immediately risky to a pregnant woman unless she passes it on to baby, which is most likely if infected whilst in labour, but that should I develop any symptoms at all (such as a sore throat), I must immediately obtain antibiotics. Since I am still at risk of premature labour, my hubby instructs me to move out to my parents house for a couple of days while my boy’s antibiotics kick in.

I agree, but feel awful for leaving them when I should be caring for them. But I guess I am a mother of two now, so I have to look after this little boy in my tummy as well as the little boy on the outside.

31 weeks – 2nd day away from my son and husband. Feeling so guilty. Spend most of the day on the phone for updates of his progress, and receiving texts, pictures and videos of him to keep me sane.

That aside, my parents are proving good hosts and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying the peace and tranquility of adult company and the luxury of being waited on.

By Tuesday, my son has been on the antibiotics for 48 hours, his temperature has returned to normal and he is recovered enough to attend school, so I am able to go home.

I promise my husband I will get back before he drops my son to childminders at 8am, so I am up early to prepare for my lift home.

When I arrive home at 7.30am, my boy is dressed and clean all ready to greet me. This is a miracle. He runs towards me beaming and throws his arms around me for a hug. I spend 20 minutes asking him how he feels and what he got up to before he has to leave. As he exits, he grabs my tummy and kisses the baby goodbye. My heart melts.

On Friday I have my 2nd appointment with my new Consultant. I’m feeling crappy. As I traipse the hospital corridors I am out of breath, dizzy, have no energy and need to pee with every step. However, all my observations are fine… My blood pressure is text book, my urine dip is clear, my bump size is bang on target. Baby is head down and settling into my pelvis. That explains the need to wee, since every twitch reverberates on my bladder. Ouch!

The consultant sends me for a repeat blood test for iron levels to verify the results from my previous hospital and to see if the spatone supplement is sufficient at the current level. He agrees to call me with the results on Monday. Blimey, service.

I am also booked in for a growth scan in two weeks time with a consultant appointment immediately after. Damn this place is so efficient compared to my old hospital. I’m actually beginning to rather enjoy this experience.

Finally, we discussed the whooping cough vaccine and the birth. It is agreed that I will not be permitted to go overdue because there is no benefit to the baby but the risk of placental abruption and failure increases for me due to the a SCH. Therefore, a judgement call will be made prior to 40 weeks on the right time to bring the boy out depending on how his growth and my health progresses over the coming weeks. So bubs will arrive before his due date. Yikes! Scary! But a relief to know that I now have a drop dead date, and it isn’t 42 weeks like last time!

Symptoms this week are to be expected at this stage: needing to pee every 5 minutes and skin itching all over. I’m so uncomfortable in my own skin I’m finding it hard to tolerate any clothing.

Fortunately, the increase in my spatone iron supplement isn’t causing any obvious side effects, but an increase in my reflux is making it hard to drink the glass of orange juice I need to take the supplement.

Cravings are simple. Ice, ice, ice. I’m crushing ice for Britain, eating almost 1kg per day. Im trying all toppings, but my favourite is still coke. Gah!

32 weeks – This week I’m tired, uncomfortable, snappy and tearful. Just generally feeling run down and miserable.

My mood isn’t helped by the fact that my son’s behaviour is really poor. He is constantly playing up, craving attention and acting like a total brat. Everything I hate in a kid.

I am due my whooping cough vaccine on the Wednesday but that morning the surgery calls to tell me that the nurse is off sick and I will have to re-book for a later date, which I do immediately.

I’m sleeping lots, eating non stop and crunching on ice, ice and more ice! I’m feeling sick most of the time, can hardly breathe and have pressure in my pelvis.

Baby is moving lots again now and it seriously hurts.

I feel sorry for the people living with me, especially my husband. I must be an absolute monster to be around.

At the weekend, I am still moody. I’m feeling wracked with guilt that I don’t have the energy or mobility to play with my son and am blaming his bad behaviour on boredom, which is of course my fault.

In the evening, he spots some other children from the neighbourhood playing outside, and goes out front to join them. I am happy for him to have some company, so when he insists on having his dinner outside so he can talk to the neighbours kids, I agree against my better judgement. I set up the camping chair, place a tray on his lap and instruct him to hold it steady while he eats. He manages all of two whole spoons before, distracted by the other children, he knocks the whole dinner on the floor. Having waddled in pain around the kitchen for 20 minutes for the first time in months to cook this feast, only for him to waste it all because he can’t concentrate makes me furious and I totally over react.

After 15 minutes of shouting and screaming in a wholly irrational manner, I remember this is a 4 year old clutz I am dealing with, not an evil, malicious, mastermind, calm down and remake the dinner.

Afterwards, I have a really nice chat with my son about the baby. He says he is looking forward to meeting him, and asks what type of hospital we will go to to meet him. We discuss what will happen when the baby comes and when he can come to see him for a cuddle.

I sense that he is really looking forward to having some younger company around the house. I am relieved, but also feel like an inadequate parent right now for boring him.

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