Saturday, 10 March 2012

Official testing

I really can’t focus today. I did not expect this to happen. It’s only the first attempt at having a second baby. It was only a two cell embryo. But nevertheless, I am pregnant. The home pregnancy test said so, the test at the hospital said so. Now I have to wait for my blood test results.

The two week wait went by so quickly this time. I hadn’t expected this to work so I was obsessed with imagined symptoms. And I have a 1 year old to look after. I have a 28 hours a week job which I complete within 3 days and a second job which can be anything from 2 to 10 hours a week. So I guess I didn’t have time to worry…

Anyway, half past 2 and I got the call. 174 hcG. It has to be at least 30. Last time it was 193. Close enough. I need to go back on Friday next week for the second blood test.

So let’s keep crossing fingers!

1st May would be the end of the first trimester, when the risk of miscarriage goes down. But maybe I should take it one step at a time.
Ahem, yes. I already calculated. The due date would be 14th November.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Now what

The past few days I felt awful. Sick. Stomach cramps. Diarrhea. Blocked nose (which I had throughout my first pregnancy). But it's a bug. My daughter had it. My husband has it. Still, I felt pregnant. Even though I hadn't believed it'd work because the embryo was only a two cell.

Still, my period is due today. Tomorrow should have been the test at hospital but I had move it to Wednesday because of work. So this morning I decided to test. The first test didn't work. No control line. The second showed pregnant. 2 minutes later I started bleeding. Not a lot but still. No bleeding since. But badly diarrhea.

So, against all hope, I am pregnant again. But the bleeding makes me wonder if I will stay pregnant...

Monday, 27 February 2012

I am back!

Okay, so you might think I am stupid, greedy, ridiculous. You name it, I thought it. But I love my little princess so much. Even though, now that she is a Year old, she is showing some tendencies of being a little terror! No, really. She is lovely, but like all toddlers she is starting to test her boundaries and that can be rather frustrating. It doesn't help that she is extremely proud and wants to be independent...

Anyway, we decided to try to have a little sister or brother for her. I love motherhood and my husband was quite surprised with how much he loves our little one.

We decided not to go through the full thing again though. We wanted one child to be able to be a proper family. We have this one child and I couldn't ask for a better one. But we still had 9 embryos frozen and at the time our treatment was funded by the NHS (I only needed a fresh cycle and the 2 frozen ones were still funded as part of that first cycle) so the money we saved for treatment lay in the bank account until now. So we have natural frozen embyro transfer.

End of January we had a meeting with the consultant and went through the formalities. Then the first day of my period on the 8th February. I called the hospital and told them. Day 10 I had a scan and as always my follicles looked pretty ready. A few days later my ovulation test went positive so I called again.

And last Thursday I had my transfer. It wasn't ideal as I had a big meeting with external visitors to come in all day to see me, but I had to call in sick in the morning and a colleague had to cover for me. I first said to my husband that I could say I lost a filling and need to see the dentist for an hour or two, but he reminded me that I felt pretty rough last time after the transfer and shouldn't go in at all. So I claimed both me and my daugther had a bad stomach bug.

We were lucky again - the first embryo survived defrosting. But it was only a 2 cell like our first failed attempt. My daughter was a 4 cell. I am hoping, but somehow I don't think it worked. A 4 cell has no much better chances. But a tiny bit of me is still hoping.

No pregnancy sign spotting this time. I am a lot more relaxed and calm as I know if it doesn't work I already have a lovely child. It would be said but not the end of the world.

I do have bad backpain and stomach cramps since the transfer. I don't remember this from either the failed nor the successful transfer. So I hope there isn't a problem somewhere. It might well be because I have to carry my daughter around though. Not carrying heavy things doesn't work anymore once you got a young child.

So, we'll just wait and see.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

My story - paperback or e-book

I haven't written for a while, but as I said in my last post: My story is really over for now. Will we go for a second child? I'm not sure. We are thinking about it. We still have some frozen embryos left, so maybe...

Anyway, throughout my journey I have written down my feelings and my experiences. I did this for three reasons:

1) To share it with fellow sufferers of infertility and to give them hope
2) To digest and cope with my own feelings through writing them down
3) To be able to share our story with my daughter when she is older
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When I tried to read through my story in the blog a few months ago I found it difficult to read the whole story, though. It's easy when you follow it at the time or just want to look at certain stages of the process. But it's not practical when you want to read the full story.

I have therefore compiled my 'infertility to pregnancy' story and published it both in e-book and paperback format.

If you are interested in buying it and to be able to read the full story in an easy format, please use the following links:

Infertility to Pregnancy - Paperback

Infertility to Pregnancy e-Book

Otherwise you are more than welcome to read my story on the blog.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Happy Ending

Well, I just realised that my story and therefore this blog have really come to an end.

On Tuesday, 25th January 2011 my waters broke. It was just a light trickle, but it kept happening during the day so by evening I was convinced it was my waters, not just a weak bladder which is quite normal towards the end of pregnancy. When my husband came home I called the hospital. They wanted to know the colour of the water (just before I called they had become slightly pink) and if it was liquid or like mucus. Earlier the day my mucus plug had come off so I knew the difference. Based on that they asked us to come in.

We put the labour and hospital bag in the car and went to hospital. We left everything in the car though. We had to wait for a while until someone was available and in the meantime my contractions started slightly - it was after 8 pm so there was reduced staff - and then they checked that my baby was okay. 20 minutes on a machine and we had the go ahead for the examination. The heartbeat was regular and I had recorded sufficient movement (by pressing a little button everytime I felt her. My contractions had been picked up by the machine as well.

The internal examination then showed that my waters had indeed broken. I was sent home to come back when my contractions where about 4 minutes apart and given an appointment for induction on Thursday 4pm if nothing happened until then. But as I already had quite regular contractions they expected me to come back during the night or next morning anyway.

We went home and my contractions became much stronger. They were now every 10 minutes apart during the whole night. At some point in the morning (Wednesday) they were 6-7 minutes apart. My husband worked from home because we expected things to kick off soon now. But my contractions stayed on 6 minutes rhythm. All day. All evening. In the night they became much more painful but didn't get any closer apart. We called the hospital and they advised to have a warm bath and take 2 paracetamols and hang in there. It helped a little and I managed a couple of hours of sleep. I had another bath in the morning and then we waited desperately for 3pm to arrive so we could set off to the hospital.

Once arrived we had to wait until the bed in the induction room was ready then we had to wait for the doctor. They put a belt on me to check babies heartbeat as well as my blood pressure but everything was fine. Then they brought dinner through. I didn't feel like eating having had contractions for over 48 hours but my husband convinced me to have some - he had looked after me all day as it was so important that I kept my strenghts up.

The doctor then said that the cervix was very thin and I was 2 cm dilated and he could feel babies head. Only part of my waters had broken so he broken the rest manually. It was a sharp but short pain and the waters soaked me completely through.

They said they'd expect the contractions to get quicker and stronger on their own now without an induction, so I went to clean myself up in the bathroom and was shown my labour room. Then we planned to go for a walk to the coffee shop. They told me to be back in an hour. But on the short walk to the room my contractions became really strong and were only 4 minutes apart. I sent my husband to get his coffee and stayed behind. A couple of hours later contractions were really strong and I was nearly 5 cm dilated. An hour later though no further change had happened. They decided to put me on a catheder and do an induction after all.

Because my waters had broken well before birth I was also given antibiotics to protect the baby and I was on machines to check baby's heartbeat. This meant I couldn't walk about freely which I really wanted. But at least my husband arranged for a labour ball which I found much easier than lying on the bed.

The induction worked and pain became very strong and frequent now. I was on gas and air and at some point opted for pethidine injections as well. They didn't take the pain away but worked within 10 minutes and took the early and late pain of each contraction away so I could focus on the worst pain in the middle which I managed with breathing, my hypnosis cues and gas and air as well as my husband massaging me.

Talking about my husband - he was ever so good. He hadn't wanted to be there, but he was so supportive and lovely. It meant so much to me to have him there by my side. He kept giving me sips of fruit juice as well.

Everybody said I did ever so well, would be amazingly calm. I really thing the hypnosis preparation had worked. They kept losing babies heartbeat though during heavy contractions and put some sensors on babies head to ensure it's just me moving and not the baby in trouble. Luckily it was just me moving. At some point early morning I really thought I'd had a bowel movement on the bed. I know this happens a lot and I was terrified of it happening to me. I was desperate to go to the loo but after they finally took me off the machines to enable me to go I couldn't. I lost the sensors though. By this point they agreed though that the baby was about to come and didn't put them back on. It was probably the baby when I thought I was about to disgrace myself...

Anyway, about 3pm the midwife told me to start pushing through contractions. She said it'd burn like hell, and she wasn't joking! Finally the head was through and she told me to puff with the next contractions.

3:26 AM on the 28th January my beautiful baby girl was born.

I held her immediately and it was the most amazing feeling ever (even though she shit all over me, I didn't care). Then baby was cleaned up and passed to Daddy as I had two little tears to be stitched up. That was agony as she had to start 5 times because of blood vessels bursting. Finally she got someone else in to do it.

Baby was weighed (3550g) and checked (AGPAR score of 9) and I gave her the first feed. Then I was helped to have a shower and afterwards brought up to the maternity ward. A single room was only available later in the day so we started off in an open room.

And that was that. I am Mummy to the most beautiful girl you can imagine. My story might end here but hers is just beginning. I am so proud of her for making this journey with me and even though early motherhood is hard and tiring, there is nothing that could ever make me stop loving this little precious bundle.

For anyone out there going through the same struggles as me - I can't promise a happy ending. But I hope my story gives you hope, something to cling to. If you suceed with your treatment, it will most certainly be worth every tear, every injection, every painful examination. Just keep your eyes on the goal - a beautiful baby of your own.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Count down

Well, I am now 39 weeks + 2 days pregnant. There are still days I can't actually believe that I am pregnant. That this is real. Until I try to turn on my stomach that is - I quickly realise that there is a baby because there is no way I can lie on my stomach nowadays!!!

I am not overly tired in the moment, but that's because I do very little. I get exhausted when just doing the weekly shop... Since yesterday I have a lot of bowel movements. Maybe that's a good sign and labour is imminent. My back still hurts but much less than before and it feels as if baby moved quite a bit down, which probably puts less pressure on my back. Baby still moves regularly, but has calmed down a lot. I guess she is just running out of space, poor thing. I keep telling her that she just needs to come out and then she'll have lots of space. Not sure she understands what I am trying to say, though. :-)

I can't wait for her arrival now. Or - better said - for her to be here. I am not all that keen on the 'giving birth' experience, even though I am not really overly worried neither. It's just something to get through. But I can't wait to hold my little darling in my arms. I just hope she's alright in there and well prepared for real life.

She could arrive any day now. Or in 2 weeks... I don't think they'd leave her in there for any longer. They usually give babies 1 week after the due date when you had infertility treatment before induction. My husband says not to worry - she'll come when she's ready. That might be right, but it doesn't stop me from being impatient.

I can't really do a proper count down before the due date is only an estimation and most people go over it!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Mid-wife or consultant-led labour

I just had a positive phone call!

Because of our infertility treatment I was classed as consultant-led pregnancy. I kind off understand it especially as ICSI has a higher risk of low-birth weight and early labour. However, my pregnancy so far went without any complications whatsoever. I am 39 weeks pregnant today, so early labour is out of the question. And low-birth weight? Well, unlikely. I am massive and the baby is marked on the 90% line of the average growth chart based on my belly measurements. I also had a growth scan and everything was just fine.

Anyway, I wasn't too bothered either way - in some respect it is positive because you get additional scans - until I did the labour ward tour recently. There are different labour and delivery rooms for consultant versus midwife led labour. As consultant led patient I could not use the birthing pool and the rooms are much smaller, so there is less space to walk around. At the hospital they recommended to speak to the midwife about if it is possible to be recommended to be mid-wife led for the rest of the pregnancy or at least labour.

I raised this last Wednesday at my midwife appointment and she agreed to discuss it with my consultant. And she just called me and advised that the consultant has no concerns whatsoever and they make a note in my hospital file that I can have midwife led care for the rest of pregnancy and labour.

I'm really pleased about that! It's always worth asking I guess.