Tag Archives: pregnancy

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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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: 25-27 weeks pregnant

29 Jun

25 weeks:

Started the week feeling very tired and with a sore throat. However, my appetite is through the roof and I have a major MacDonalds craving!

Baby is now squirming constantly, my stomach is like a washing machine. Experienced a foot in my ribs for the first time.

On a practical level, my doctor has now formally signed me off work for 3 months due to the risk of premature delivery and I finally plucked up the courage to submit my official notification of maternity leave to work. Yikes! It feels real now and I am woefully prepared. I have spent so long not daring to believe that this may happen, that I haven’t even considered any aspect of my maternity leave…. When will it start? How long will I take?

16/4/14 – Have hit the brick wall. Can barely keep eyes open, out of breath, feeling dizzy, eating has become my career. Nose constantly stuffy, can no longer bend over to put my own underwear on! I thought this stuff was supposed to happen in the late third trimester, how can it be happening already?

Little man is waking me up every night kicking. Trouble maker already.

19/4/14 – experiencing hip pain, tummy pain, sickness and hunger again. Not more third trimester stuff already?

Little man’s movements seem to have decreased today. Feeling worried.

20/4/14 Easter Sunday. I’m observing the little man for movement as I slept all night without being awoken by kicks and I’m still concerned.

I try the recommended trick of lying on my left side and drinking lots of water. I feel a bit of movement but it’s not very powerful compared to his usual thrashing.

My tummy is also feeling tight and sore. When my parents come round with Easter presents, I’m feeling awful. I make a dash for the loo… Diarrhea. Joy. However, the sudden movement Instigates lots of jiggling from baby! Hoorah! But lots of stomach cramps for me. Boo.

The boys went out after lunch to play, leaving me to rest alone for a few hours. Initially I felt better, but shortly before they returned, I started experiencing hot sweats and stomach pain. Another trip to the loo.

All the bowel cramping eventually resulted in intense pain above and below bump. Could stand it no longer. Burst into tears, writhing around on the sofa trying to reduce the pain.

Hubby looking panicked. I took myself upstairs to bed, surrounded by cushions and pillows, downed some paracetamol, and tried to zone out from the pain.

All the while, baby is wriggling violently. I guess that’s one less thing to worry about then.

26 weeks

We’ve put a deposit down on the pram! Exciting! It was a bit of a mission to accomplish, but I was determined to choose the right travel system for me. So, my ever suffering husband rented me a wheelchair for a few days, we successfully begged his parents to take my son for a couple of hours and finally hot wheeled it up to Mothercare.

OH pushed me around the store in my designer wheels, (bit of a come down from my usual motor of choice but needs must) while I pointed out each pram in turn that I wanted him to demonstrate.

We eventually both agreed on a Silvercross Wayfarer and chose a car seat that would be compatable. Deposit down, I chose a delivery date (27th June – eek!) and we were off to collect the tyrant.

Symptoms wise – my boobs are leaking! Time for a bigger bra size!
Tried on one of my old maternity bras. 38d. What the Actual F***! How big did those bad boys get? This time I’m only racking up (pardon the pun) a measley 36b so far… But I guess there is still time!

My bump is getting really heavy, and baby is kicking so hard is making me wince. All this doesn’t help the discomfort I still have from my hematoma and the regular braxton hicks contractions that occur pretty much every time I move. By end of the week the little rascal has burrowed really low into my pelvis and walking of any duration hurts. Every movement he makes results in the need to pee. Pressure everywhere…. Front and back. Not comfortable at all. I hope he moves again soon.

Not enjoying things right now. My anxiety is reducing as the weeks go by, but the discomfort is building to unbearable levels leaving me sleepless, immobile and grumpy. The thought of another 13 weeks is frightening.

I’m still eating enormous amounts, but not noticeably gaining weight. Bump doesn’t look any bigger this week, just feels heavier. There is definately a human being in there now, no more little tadpoles.

I’m also still craving fajitas, potatoes and cheese, but will pretty much eat anything right now. I just want food, food and more food.

27 weeks:
28/4/14 – it’s hubby’s birthday. I figured that since he’s been conducting all of the chores since I fell pregnant, the best gift I could give him would be a rest from as many as I could manage.

I woke up at 5am as is becoming typical at the moment and decided to surprise him by making Oscar’s lunch for school. I hobbled into the kitchen, grabbed the food, pulled up a chair and made a sandwich, washed some grapes, grabbed a yoghurt and a spoon. Quite enough activity. Uncomfortable stomach and back already. At 6.45am, I manage to “sneak” upstairs (as much as an elephant can sneak) into Oscar’s bedroom, woke him up to write daddy’s card, and then prompted him to run into the bedroom shouting “Happy Birthday”.

It went down well, and my OH was surprised and impressed by my lunch making efforts, but insisted I had done enough exercise for one morning and ordered me to rest again.

That evening, it was time for surprise number two. As my dad pulled up with my son, having collected him from childminder’s, I waddled up to the front door and flagged him down. I asked him to take me to the shop to buy a cake for the hubby. He agreed, and I “jumped” (as if) into his car to commence the mission.

When we got to the shop, my dad kept the over excited boy in check whilst I waddled, huffing and puffing, around the shop as best as I could manage. The cake was located, accompanied by a number of other items for my lunch and Oscar’s lunch (hell I may as well save him a shopping trip tonight), and a final “piece de la resistance”, a double size bottle of cold beer; my husband’s first since we had begun the successful round of fertility treatment over six months ago.

I dragged myself to the till, hung on for dear life as I paid, and then collapsed back into the car.

Once home, we didn’t have to wait long for my OH to return home from work.

As he walked through the door, my son threw himself at his daddy, shouting “Happy Birthday”, and dragged him to the kitchen fridge. He located the giant beer bottle and presented it proudly to my husband, who squealed in delight. Then he found the cake, and also passed it to my hubby excitedly stating “it’s a chocolate cake for you daddy and I can have some too can’t I?”.

Then I pointed out the rest of the food in the fridge I had acquired, explaining that he wouldn’t need to go food shopping this evening and could instead enjoy his beer.

He looked again stunned, but impressed and asked “who got this?”. “I did”, I replied. He looked confused. “Dad took me to the shop so I could save you the bother”. He beamed, and I could see that I had earnt some serious brownie points, but I was spent and in pain, so I clambered back onto the sofa, and put my feet up with no intention of moving again that evening.

29/4/14 – A normal day today full of the usual excitement… Being kicked in the bladder, multiple toilet trips and unreasonable levels of eating.

However, by late evening I am beginning to get pain behind my right ear. I’m immediately concerned… I do not like ear pain. It puts me on edge. At 30 weeks pregnant with my first son I developed Bells Palsy. The onset of facial paralysis was preceded by a week of “earache”, which at the time I dismissed as a virus until I woke with the left side of my face seemingly having had a stroke. It paralysed the left side of my mouth, cheek, eye and forehead. I couldn’t drink, speak, blink or talk, and almost 5 years later I still carry some of the residual injury to my face, so the thought of it recurring is perhaps one of the most frightening unknowns of this pregnancy.

I prodded and poked the area to try and pin point the source of the pain…. I decided that perhaps it was not coming from the area of my cranial nerve and was nearer my jaw. So, trying to calm my nerves, I decided that sleep was the best course of action to relax the area.

Awoke at 4.30am. Ear pain still just as bad, but no sign of any early paralysis yet. Anxiety still rising, I opened the box containing the long term antibiotics I have been taking to prevent a UTI to check for side effects. As usual, the list of possible problems was long… Ranging from mild to fatal. Nice. I spotted a couple of potential side effects that could perhaps be tenuously linked to the pain I was experiencing, but nothing obvious.

I decided that the only appropriate action was an appointment with the doctors to discuss and pain killers to relax me in the meantime.

The next morning I contact the doctor and manage to arrange an emergency appointment for later that morning. I text my dad to request a lift and fortunately he is happy to oblige.

When I arrive at the surgery, I am thankfully called in fairly quickly. I enter the doctor’s room and explain my nervousness that my Bell’s Palsy could be returning. She rather matter of factly replies “well if it is, you know we can’t do anything about it”. Harsh. “Yes, I know this, but would like to know if it is coming back.

She examines me briefly, and feels behind my ear and around the jawline.

“I think it is most likely you have TMJ. Take painkillers to stop you tensing your muscles and it should calm down within two weeks”.

And with that, I am dismissed.

Simple as that.

I hope she is right.

Other symptoms delighting me this week are
1) a swollen ankle. It seems rather early to have developed water retention, and odd to have it on just one side, but I assume that is what it is. I can’t wear shoes and it hurts to walk

2) buckling knees. How can this be already? I can’t get up the stairs easily and I can’t bend down anymore because if I do, my knees won’t lift me back up.

Feel quite disgusted that my body seems to be collapsing so early on. Definately showing my age and lack of fitness.

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My IVF Diary 3: 23-24 weeks pregnant

19 Jun

23 weeks: Hard week this week. Not really feeling any second trimester blooming right now.

Experiencing debilitating ligament pain every time I move. Even struggling to lie down without terrible pulling pains on each side. My bump also feels like it is stretched to breaking point. I wouldn’t mind, but it’s not even that big and I’ve got a long way to go, so dread to think how much worse it’ll get.

I’m struggling to get around in the house which is making my mood low and the time drag. Since the hematoma stopped bleeding, I have stopped receiving additional help at home from my family as they are working. However, I am at increased risk of premature labour so can’t get out of the house and the discomfort prevents me moving around the house much.

Add to that the regular pregnancy ailment of constant indigestion coupled with non stop hunger and I’m an immobile, non sleeping, ravenous, nauseous, tablet riddled grump, prone to regular emotional outbursts.

See…. No second trimester glow here.

It’s fair to say that my two boys are conspiring against me too. The boy in my tummy is kicking harder that ever. I feel like a punch bag much of the time and it’s not helping any. I try to smile through and welcome the reassurance, but f*ck me, I could do with a little less brut force right now.

Meanwhile, my boy on the outside is tantrumming out of control this week. I’ve always thought he had a temper, but he has seriously stepped it up a notch with screaming, hitting, throwing and general destruction occurring at the slightest cue. Maybe he’s starting to feel the strain of the changes ahead, maybe he’s just being a 4 year old brat, but either way it’s not easing my woes.

I just need to focus on getting to next week. Focus, focus, focus.

By the Saturday my mood has improved as I am due a private scan to check on the hematoma and baby. I don’t have another scan or appointment at my hospital until 28 weeks, which is too long to be in the dark so I am hoping this interim scan will ease my mind. The scan is quick and straight forward. Baby is growing right on track. He isn’t much ahead of his dates now, but is keeping up with the norm measurements for his gestation. The fly in the ointment is the ominous presence of the stubborn hematoma. I’m so disappointed, it really should have gone by now. It’s obviously as bloody minded as me. Just as well my baby is equally as strong willed and continues to stick two fingers up to the invader. I may not be grateful of it when he’s doing the same to me in a few years, but right now it’s that fight and determination that has allowed him to stay there despite the complications. My smile returns when the sonographer takes another peak at the boy in 4d. My god he has changed! Still a little scrawny, but his features are really starting to show.

I am pleased to see he looks a little like me… If I were an old man. But he’s a beauty.

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6/4/14: 23 weeks 6 days. Feeling anxious. Just want the day to be over and to wake up tomorrow already.

Week 24: Viability day!

Endured a totally sleepless night, full of braxton hicks, but we made it. Today my baby is officially viable and must be treated if born premature. As if to signal his approval, baby is more active than ever. His kicks frequent and so strong.

I’m excited, but immediately shift my focus to a new 28 week milestone. If this little fella is viable, I want him to have the best odds of survival, and every hospital and consultant marks 28 weeks as a key date for this.

In the meantime, I’m getting big and am fearfully awaiting the arrival of stretch marks. In my first pregnancy, I escaped with none until 40 weeks exactly, and then it was just a few. Somehow, at this rate, I don’t expect to get away so lightly. My skin doesn’t have much further to go. Still, I’m slapping on every cream I can find in an attempt to ward the Freddie Kruger effect off.

I celebrated viability week by purchasing the nursery furniture and choosing the fabric for baby’s curtains, which my wonderful friend has agreed to make for me.

On the Sunday a group of old friends come to visit me. I’m grateful for the company, but am fretting over feeling fat and wide in everything. My belly may be popping, but my hips are widening at twice the speed, so the cute maternity dresses that only a few weeks ago looked flattering and funky, now look tight and obscene And I can’t even get into my maternity trousers! For a laugh I decide instead to try on a non maternity bodycon dress. I think I look like a pregnant prostitute, but my husband is very complementary (whilst stifling several sniggers over the size of my bump).

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My sudden growth might be explained by this weeks craving for all things Mexican! I cannot get enough quesadillas, fajitas and cheese!

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My IVF Diary 3 – 19 weeks pregnant

29 May

Week 19

5/3/14 – I “think” the stomach bug has subsided finally. I am managing to eat again without instant stomach cramps, but OH, the indigestion! I feel sick most of the day and am only able to sleep vertical. Even the slightest recline and I immediately feel the wave of nausea engulf me. My chest burns, and eating has become a frequent hazard.

I’ve started on the over the counter antacids, but am not feeling much relief.

The boy is now in full wriggle mode, which is so reassuring, but is not helping my nausea any. Also new this week is the weight! I don’t feel my bump is growing at all. To me, it still looks broadly the same size as it has been for the past 4 weeks, just a little higher up, but the weight of it when I sit down has suddenly become uncomfortable. When reclining, the pressure on my insides is unpleasant, but when lying on my side, the weight on the muscles in my side is overwhelming and the nausea returns. I can’t believe I feel like this so early! I’m not even half way. I sense the second half of this pregnancy is going to be tough!

Thankfully, the bleeding has ceased for almost 2 weeks now and I’m praying that at my anomaly scan the hematoma will have gone and I can begin to resume some work and activity in a few weeks. I am still in great discomfort when I walk, but hopefully this will improve if the hematoma has healed.

7/3/14 – anomaly scan today and I’m nervous as hell.

I don’t know exactly why, I saw my boy two weeks ago and the sonographer said he is just fine, so there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises, he kicks me all day long, so I know he’s still in there, but I can’t help but feel this is kind of a big day.

I guess some of it relates to the status of the hematoma. All the doctors say they usually heal and disappear by about 20 weeks if they are going to. At 17+5 weeks it was shrinking, but still 4x3x2 cm approximately. That’s a lot to disappear in 2 weeks so I am nervous.

I guess if it is still there but hasn’t grown, or has maybe shrunk a little it isn’t the end of the world, maybe it will carry on shrinking and disappear by about 24 weeks, but the further I get through this second trimester, the more nervous I become of its ominous presence. So, today’s results will be kind of emotional.

12.15pm – I enter the scan room with the hubby and my mother in tow. The sonographer is a lovely lady. She laughs at my nervous jokes. She starts by taking a good look at the boy. For once he is in a shy mood, all curled up and refusing to give us a profile pic of his neat little face. But he is positioned sensibly for viewing all of his vital organs. First she measures his head, and two ventricles in his brain. Next she moves onto his heart. She spends some time viewing the four chambers and each of the connective tubes she calls the “plumbing”. All good so far. Then she measures his abdomen and views his stomach, kidneys and bladder, arms, hands, legs and feet. All present and correct. Phew.

Then she tries several different angles with the ultrasound probe to attempt a profile pic of little man. Eventually she gets what she is looking for and gives us a picture.

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Finally, she begins her search for the hematoma. (Please be gone, please be gone). She searches the area above the cervix and can see nothing. Yes! But…… As she scans upwards, there on the side of the uterus was an obvious blob. I saw it immediately. Then she says something that leaves my mother, my hubby and I all gasping for breath…”did you know about this other one?”…”What? Not another one!”

Seeing our horror, she reviews the previous scan photos and after some thought decides that it is the same hematoma. But as the uterus has grown, it has moved the clot upwards away from the cervix and onto the left side of the uterus. Phew again.

She measures the hematoma to chart progress and disappointingly, the unwanted squatter in this pregnancy remains stubbornly large. Barely any shrinkage at all. She seems unconcerned and says that if it did bleed again, the blood may just go into the amniotic fluid and the baby would not be harmed by swallowing it. I however am frustrated. The statistics show that the majority of hematomas resolve by 20 weeks, so why is mine still there and still the same size? And I am distinctly uncomfortable with the thought of my son swallowing my blood in the amniotic fluid. Poor thing!

So I leave the scan happy that my little man continues to progress on track despite my complications, but deflated by my body’s continued refusal to behave.

8/3/14 – argh! Back on antibiotics again! Enough already. Woke up just fine, and mid morning my mother took me to get my nails done. (Even bed rest won’t stop me getting my in fills done) After only 20 minutes of sitting in the salon chair I started to shift uncomfortably, feeling pressure and needing to pee. I stayed put while they completed my nails by constantly shuffling back and forward, sitting upright and reclining. By the time I could get up, I hot footed it to the toilet, looking forward to the impending relief I would gain, but after a pathetic release, I was waddling uncomfortably to the car, begging to go home so that I could lie down and take the weight off my bump.

Once I arrived home, I lay down, but no position could alleviate the constant desperation I had to pee. I was rocking to and fro, changing positions, visiting the toilet, but nothing could calm me. Eventually, I stopped drinking to keep my bladder empty and blocked out all discomfort until I could sleep. I awoke as my husband came home to check up on me. For a few seconds I felt fine, but even opening my mouth to speak to him was enough to resurrect the feeling of urgency in my bladder.

Since my consultant had provided me with an emergency pack of antibiotics for a recurrent urine infection, I asked my husband to contact the maternity triage to ask if my symptoms were enough for me to start the course or whether I could come in for a urine dip.

When he relayed the information to the midwife, she seemed confused and insisted on talking to me personally. Once hubby had passed the phone to me, she began to quiz me repeatedly about my symptoms and dispute my reasons for possessing a packet of antibiotics. Eventually after much arguing, she agreed I could come in to triage to be assessed.

After several more trips to the bathroom and a lot of teeth gritting as we drove to the hospital, we arrived in the triage and were promptly seated to have the usual observations completed. Blood pressure, check, heart rate, check. Urine analysis….. Hmmm, for the first time all afternoon, I don’t need to pee!

So I wait with my hubby, clasping my sample pot and downing water until I am drowning.

Eventually, I manage to summon the urge to fill the pot, and hand it back to the midwife on duty. She dips the stick and inserts into the reader.

Hopeful, I ask for the results, but they insist I wait for the consultant to discuss.

Fortunately, the consultant is already present in triage, so the wait is relatively short.

When I enter the assessment room, she discusses my symptoms with me and talks through the possible causes. She agrees that at just 19 weeks pregnant, I should not be experiencing so much discomfort.

She agrees that one possible cause of my constant need to pee could be the beginning of another UTI (tell me something I don’t know), but also suggests that another candidate could be my bladder failing to empty fully when I visit the loo.

Unbeknown to me, they have two tests to diagnose this, the first of which she completes immediately.

I lay on the familiar examination bed, and after the obligatory poking and prodding she pulls out an amusing machine, almost like a Doppler and holds the probe low down in the centre of my pelvis. It vibrates briefly and crackles, apparently providing her with a measure of the amount of fluid current in my bladder. 300 ml. Not bad.

She then asks me to visit the toilet and empty as much as I can, then return to be remeasured. I do as I am told, and return to the bed for the second reading.

400ml!

She looks stunned. Confused. Some head scratching even commences.

She declares the machine incorrect and tries again. 400ml!

After a brief moment of tutting, the consultant suggests they admit me into hospital to perform the second more reliable test. However, that test involves inserting a catheter to empty my bladder, which seems rather extreme after just one day of discomfort.

After some more deliberation, the consultant decides that actually the machine is incorrectly picking up the level of amniotic fluid in my uterus, rather than the level of fluid on my bladder and that, given my recent history of uti’s and my relatively early stage of pregnancy, it is more likely to be the onset of a new UTI than my bladder not emptying correctly.

Therefore, she recommends I return home and begin the emergency course of antibiotics prescribed by my consultant, and return if I feel no relief in a few days.

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