Dec 29, 2010

40 Week Update

So the OB appointment went well this morning.  Apparently I'm already 2cm dilated which is obviously a good start.  So we decided to go ahead with the Stretch & Sweep.  My gosh it was painful!  But he did warn me that he wouldn't be gentle and would do what needed to be done to give it the best chance of working.

So he thinks that it will give me a 50/50 chance of going into labour over the next 48 hours.  Again, all opinions though and the baby will come when it's ready.  But it's good to know that we are doing all we can naturally to avoid an induction in a couple of weeks time.  Even though I know it's not a likely thing, I can't help but be paranoid about the drip after my experience last time.

Other than that, everything else was looking good.  If I haven't already had the baby, I have an appointment booked with the midwife (as my OB is away next week) for next Tuesday when I'd be 41 weeks.  She will then arrange an induction date with another one of the hospital OB's.  So the next time I see my OB, it will either be in the hospital after I have had the baby, or at the 6 week follow up appointment!

For now, I just keep waiting... ;)

Still here

Still here and off to the OB this morning for my 40 week appointment.  He was planning to have a look today to see if there is anything happening, and possibly do a stretch and sweep.  But he will only do it if he thinks it will actually have a chance at making a difference which I'm happy with.

No other signs of labour yet though.  Just waiting, waiting, waiting...

Dec 24, 2010

Another (late) update

So, my 39 week appointment went well, pretty much the same as all the others.  My blood pressure was the highest it has been at 110/70, but still on the low side and no cause for concern.  Apparently baby is now 4/5 engaged so position wise is still looking good.  The OB has written on my card 'Well' and 'Ready' so again I'm thinking this may be quite a big bub ;)

I had my final appointment with my doula a few days ago so everything is all set for whenever the baby decides it is time to meet us.  She brought over a shirt for the hubby with 'Kath Can Do Anything' written on it which I thought was very clever.  All he needs now are some pom poms! ;)

Other than that there's not really any other news to report at this stage.  Life has been so busy here, it's hard to believe that my due date is only 4 days away!

Dec 19, 2010

Not much to update

So, I meant to post an update after my 38 week appointment last week, but things have gotten in the way again. But now that I've gotten around to typing it, there's really not all that much to say!  The appointment went well, my blood pressure is still about the same, baby's heart rate is good and baby is in a good position for natural labour at this stage.

The midwife did say after feeling my belly that she thinks the baby is very 'ready to be born' but obviously I have taken this with a grain of salt.  I'm actually figuring that it is more likely that it means this will be quite a big baby, especially considering my first was 8lb 12oz!

It's been such a busy week this week that it's hard to believe my 39 week appointment is tomorrow.  I've had a more than usual workload at home for our business, as well as a husband who has hardly been here for the entire week.  It's all been quite a struggle with a toddler full time as well, so I'm very glad we managed to get through the week in one piece.

I'm very ready for this baby to come at any time now, but not in a desperate 'get it out of me' stage ;)  I'm actually feeling pretty good about the labour too which is surprising.  The idea of induction really freaks me out still though so I'm really hoping that I manage to labour naturally this time.

The sciatica isn't giving me much trouble at all these days, the SPD is mainly bad at night.  It has gotten worse too in that I can now feel and hear the loud clicking of my pelvic bones rubbing on each other when I roll over at night.  Not a nice feeling at all.  Other than that, it's pretty much just the normal pregnancy aches and pains. But I can tell you, I'm looking forward to being able to lay down and stretch out in bed comfortably...even if it means I have to get up again in a couple of hours ;)

Dec 7, 2010

37 week update

37 weeks...officially 'term'!  I'm actually coping quite well at the moment surprisingly.  I'm sure I was more 'over it' at this stage last time.  Maybe it's because I know that this will most likely be my last pregnancy.  Or maybe it's because I'm just a lot busier and more active this time.  I am trying to rest when I can, but obviously a toddler is keeping me a lot more physically active!

I had my midwife appointment yesterday and it seems all is still well.  My blood pressure is still low at 90/50 - she was a little surprised at how low it was, but she assured us that it isn't a problem pregnancy wise, it just makes me feel crappy ;)  After finding out I have been drinking an average of 3L of water a day (which I didn't realise was a concern), she suggested that I may be flushing everything out too much and thinks I should try a gatorade or two a day for the electrolytes that I'm possibly missing.  Apparently this may help to rise the blood pressure a bit.  I tried one yesterday and did actually feel better after it, but whether that was due to the electrolytes or the sugar...? ;)  If it helps, I'm happy to do it though.

Other than that, the baby is still sitting head down in a good position - she thinks 3-4/5 engaged.  Heat rate was also good at 142bpm.  My iron level has also risen so that it's close enough to normal for them to be happy with and it should continue to rise a little as I keep taking the tablets.

Other than that everything seems pretty normal.  I've been getting pretty bad heartburn, mostly at nights the last few days, which until now, hasn't been too much of a problem.  The amount of water I'm drinking through the night can't be helping though (approx 750ml) so maybe the gatorade during the day will help.  I've noticed my fingers are now swollen this morning - I can still get my rings on and off, but there is quite a noticeable difference.  I'm getting very minor swelling in my feet and ankles on occasions, but nothing too major.  I'm obviously very tired - not helped by the 2-3 bathroom visits, the pubic pain that I'm still getting at night and an early rising toddler.  Most days I am trying to get at least a 30 minute nap in around lunchtime which helps.  The pain from the SPD and sciatica during the day is still usually quite manageable, again as long as I watch what I do, how I do it and wear the support belt on the harder days.  I'm also getting a lot of braxton hicks contractions, which are now very uncomfortable...enough that I often need to change positions and breathe through them.

Now we just wait for this little one to be ready to meet us!

Nov 30, 2010

36 weeks

36 weeks today!  Here I am this morning...


And to compare with my last pregnancy...


Seems to me like I'm pretty similar - maybe a bit bigger?  Looks lower this time to me though.  Check out the tan though!! ;)

I had my 36 week appointment with the OB yesterday - all still going really well.  Bub is still head down and he is happy with how we are both doing.  OB thinks it's another decent sized baby (Jake was 8lb12oz), but I was also told in my last pregnancy that they expected the baby to be about 1 pound less than what he ended up being so I'm not thinking much of it!  Only thing is I have to get another blood test done today so they can re-check my iron levels to make sure the the tablets have brought them up to a more acceptable level.

I'm on weekly appointments now - I see the midwife next week, then the OB every week after that until baby decided to make it's arrival.

I'm starting to have a few more issues sleeping lately, but the pelvic & sciatic pain during the day seems to have really eased up...most days anyway.  As long as I don't do too much physically.  It's still causing quite a bit of pain at night with rolling over in particular, but while it's manageable during the day I'm not complaining too much.

Other than that, I am coping quite well.  I'm not at the completely over it stage, but I am very much looking forward to the end, being able to meet this special little one and being able to be more physically active with my family again.

Nov 24, 2010

A difference

A lot of this pregnancy has been so very similar to my last pregnancy that I was quite surprised to have discovered a big difference between them today.  And it's in my fingers.  Last time my fingers swelled up so badly that I had to remove my rings.  My engagement ring at around 30 weeks:

See Post Here

And a failed attempt at removing my wedding ring at 33 weeks:

here

This time however, there seems to be no difference at all in the size of my fingers.  All rings still go on and off just as easily as they ever have.  It didn't even occur to me until a pregnant friend mentioned the trouble she was having.  I have noticed a very slight amount of swelling on my feet from time to time towards the end of a day, but otherwise it seems to be mostly just a big basketball belly ;)

Nov 23, 2010

Update

35 weeks today...officially only 5 weeks to go until my due date :)  Of course we all know that doesn't really mean much, except that the baby should be here some time in the next 2-7 weeks ;)

Feeling ok at the moment considering.  Getting very tired again lately...of course my 5:30am start to every day doesn't help!  I've been trying to nap when I can and rest from time to time, but there's only so much rest you can get with a 2 year old.

The pain is still usually at a manageable level - I do have bad days from time to time, but mostly it's been just normal pain, not debilitating pain.  That is, as long as I am wearing a pelvic belt and being very very careful with everything I do.  The main thing I am missing is going to the beach - living on the coast we usually spend quite a bit of time at the beach, but walking in the soft sand is just too hard on my S.P.D. now and causes way too much pain for a day or so afterwards.  So most likely, no more beach trips for me until after the baby is here.

I'm a little concerned that I may be getting a cold :(  Have had a sore throat for a couple of days and I'm now starting to have sinus issues - feels very typical cold.  I guess it's at least better to get it now than in 3 weeks time.

Other than that, everything seems to be going along really well.  We are reasonably organised now too - still a bit of a 'to do' list before the baby arrives, but we're starting to get through it.  I'm trying to really lap up all the beautiful baby movements while I can as very likely this will be my last pregnancy.  And also spending these last few weeks or so relishing lots of toddler cuddles and enjoying our one on one time before our family grows.

Nov 10, 2010

Improvement

I'm a bit concerned about jinxing myself by writing this, but my pain levels have improved dramatically over the past couple of days.  I'm still in pain, mostly from the S.P.D. but also some sciatic pain, but no where near as bad as what it has been.  I have been doing a lot less around the house which is still a massive struggle for me, but it really seems to have made a difference to the pain level.  I'm even thinking that maybe the baby has changed positions or something because of the pain comparison in relation to the amount of reduced physical activity.  Even over the last day or so when I have done a bit more around the house (dishes, washing, tiny bit of sweeping etc), the pain level is still very manageable.  I'm still getting quite a bit of S.P.D. pain at night, but I have managed to find a position that doesn't aggravate it when I first go to bed which has helped a lot.

Now I'm just really hoping that it stays at this level for the rest of the pregnancy!

Nov 5, 2010

Physio Appointment

The appointment at the physio yesterday was pretty much what I expected.  I've been told I need to severely reduce the amount of activity I am doing, and add in significant rest periods throughout the day.  Um, yes, well that will be easy as a stay at home Mum to a toddler!

But she has basically explained that it is a necessity to prevent the problem from worsening and causing other problems, particularly because they are so limited in what they can do for the problem while I am pregnant.  And that if I can't rest myself at home, then they will make me with a week's stay in hospital on enforced bed rest.

My lower back is also suffering a lot more too with the extra work it has to do because of the weakness in other areas, and as the pain has caused me to develop a bit of a limp, that pressure has been added to my lower back too.  She managed to loosen the muscles there during the appointment and my back is feeling a lot better.  Not a whole lot she can do for the pubic/groin/leg pain though as expected.  She has me taking panadol in the afternoon and again before bed to help with the problem at night.  I also managed to get enough relief from the burning pain yesterday for a 45 min nap during the day by laying on my back, raised by a heap of pillows.  So I'm now trying that technique to help me get to sleep at night for the first couple of hours in particular.

So, the physio wants to see me in a week's time to check on how things are going.  If it hasn't improved at least somewhat or has gotten worse, she will be speaking to my OB about the next step.

Although after even 1 day of doing basically nothing yesterday, I can notice the difference this morning.  Still pain, but a definite improvement on yesterday morning.  I'm not the type of person who can just sit back and do nothing though, so it was a real struggle to do it for even one day.  But I don't have a choice, I need to take care of my body so that I'm able to properly care for both my toddler and baby in 5-9 weeks time (yes I am counting!).

Nov 4, 2010

Limits

Between the SPD and the sciatica, I have been trying to limit my physical activity as much as possible when I'm experiencing pain.  I'm trying to get light exercise, while not overdoing it and still trying to get some rest.  I'm trying to sit the right way, walk the right way, turn the right way, get in and out of the car/bed etc the right way, roll over the right way, sleep the right way etc etc.  I'm wearing the support strap during the day and only taking it off for breaks, particularly where I am sitting or laying down.

But the pain level seems to have doubled over the last few days.  I can't do anything without feeling pain - even sitting or laying still most often causes a strong burning pain in my groin.  Feels like I am being stabbed with a hot knife.  Walking is painful enough that I cant help but limp a lot of the time - whenever I put any pressure on my right leg, I get the pain from both the SPD as well as the shooting pain in my RH lower back from the sciatica.  After laying down in bed for a couple of minutes, I start to get a burning pain in my groin so bad that it brings me to tears.  It lasts for about an hour and I can't seem to find any position that makes it go away.

I'm off to the physio again today, but not expecting her to be able to do much.  I've come to the realisation this morning that I just have to accept that my mobility is decreased severely and will be that way until the birth.  I find it so difficult to sit back and do nothing, particularly with a toddler who wants me to run around playing and dancing with him like normal and still has times where he wants to be picked up or carried.  He doesn't, and shouldn't have to, understand why I can't.  But I just can't handle this pain anymore, I don't have a choice but to limit my activity to a much more severe degree.  I don't want to spend the rest of this pregnancy in tears.

Nov 2, 2010

32 Weeks

Here I am this morning at 32 weeks...


And compared with my last pregnancy...

So maybe a bit bigger, but looks pretty similar to me!  I've now put on around 12kg compared to the 11kg I put on in total last time, but I'm still 3kg lighter than my finishing weight last pregnancy.

I had my 32 week OB appointment yesterday which was pretty uneventful as usual...just what to hope for.  My blood pressure was pretty good at 105/60, baby's heart rate was 140.  OB just wanted to make sure that I was taking iron supplements, but other than that had no concerns.

The pain is still hanging around - both from the S.P.D. and sciatica.  I'm still seeing the physio every 2 weeks which helps a little, but only for a few days.  The midwife has recommended a remedial massage therapist now as well, but I must admit that I'm more than a little skeptical.  The last few days have been particularly painful, but I've also been at home by myself with a toddler over the whole weekend.  The pain seems to be very closely related to the level and type of activity I do throughout the day.  I'm trying to take it easy as much as possible, but there's only so much I can avoid as a stay at home Mum.  I'm also trying to wear the support strap as much as possible - not sure how much difference it makes though.  I try to wear it in the mornings when I am getting the most work done, but it's pretty uncomfortable and the baby doesn't particularly like it, especially if I sit or lay down.  I really think it is just something that you can get minor relief from while pregnant, but that won't go away until after the baby is out.  Even though he wont directly say it, I get the feeling that my OB agrees.

Nov 1, 2010

Hospital Tour

Ironically, after waiting an extra month to do the hospital tour because of the hubby's last minute work commitments, he ended up having to work again...the joys of business ownership!!  But I didn't want to chance waiting another month so I headed off to the hospital tour on Saturday morning myself, toddler in tow.

It was of such a great benefit to me - it really made a difference being able to see the place where our baby would be born.  The tour started with all the general information you would expect about labour and the actual hospital stay in particular from one of the midwives on staff.  This was the second hospital midwife I have met and she was just as lovely as the first one.  We looked through the rooms, as well as the whole ward in general, nursery & birth suites.

This hospital is so different from my last one.  It's not as 'pretty' to look at, the rooms are all smaller and older, but there were other differences that made it seem so much more 'homely'.  For example, at my old hospital, the bed was THE major furniture item in the birth suite and the constant fluro lighting made it seem more like a hospital.  These birth suites still contain a bed, but they are not the major feature of the room, and even the midwife commented that they rarely get used, only really for epidurals.  There's also beanbags, mattresses, fitballs, couches etc.  The lights are dimmed too which makes it seem a lot less like a hospital.  They also have ensuites with a large corner bath that I'm hoping I will be able to utilise for a water birth.

The rooms were simple, but clean and tidy.  All rooms are private rooms, mostly singles with just a single bed,   big comfy recliner, ensuite, tv, phone etc, and all except 2 of the rooms also have their own balcony.

I also noticed that this hospital seems to allow mums more privacy than my last one.  Last time, it was very rare to have an hour go by without someone coming into my room.  Here, they deliver breakfast, lunch and dinner to your room, but morning & afternoon tea is delivered to the kitchen so you can wander down and help yourself if you want them.  There's also a fridge filled with juices, softdrinks etc, as well as tea and coffee that can be accessed at any time.  They even have a sign for the front door of your room that you can use if you want to have a sleep - like a do not disturb sign effectively.  You have the ability to get your own fresh linen or extra supplies for the baby if you wish too.  Particularly as this will be my second baby, I love the sound of being able to have that extra privacy if I want it.

The tour has left me so excited...I want the baby here now!!  It also made me feel even more comfortable about the labour.  I wouldn't go as far as to say that I'm not scared at all, but it has definitely made me feel a lot more relaxed about it and in a way, excited to see how it will all happen and hopefully being able to have that 'healing birth' that people talk about.

Oct 20, 2010

Hospital Midwife Appointment

So, the hospital midwife appointment yesterday went really well.  Everyone there was so lovely, very friendly and focussed on making me feel comfortable there.

Before going in to my appointment, I was given a bounty bag (forgot about those little goodie bags!), as well as a brief questionnaire designed to assess my risk of post natal depression.  I was at a pretty high risk of this last time (but thankfully never got it), but the fact that I have a lot more support around me this time in the form of friends with children, means that my risk is significantly lowered.  Plus the fact that more time has passed since certain events that also added to the risk factor last time.

My appointment was with a student midwife as well as one of the staff midwives.  They basically went through my hospital admission form, as well as a question sheet to do with plans/expectations for the birth.  They explained a lot about how they work at the hospital, and spent some time talking to me about my previous birth.  I also had to sign for the first medical decisions for the baby - our baby will be getting the vitamin K injection after birth, but not the Hep B vaccination as we will be starting it at 2 months instead (All my personal research and advice from doctors/midwives confirms that this is the right decision for us).  I also agreed to have the injection to help expel the placenta after birth.

The also checked on the baby - bub's back was laying along my left side which is apparently good at this stage.  Baby's heart rate was good at 142bpm, my blood pressure was still around the same as it has been at 90/65.  My gestational diabetes screen has come back negative, but as expected, my iron was a little low.  It's not too bad (they like to see it at 120, mine came back at 103), but they have recommended iron tablets for me.  Partly to help me feel better (less tired, more energy), but also to get my iron levels up before labour because it is obviously harder for your body to cope with blood loss when your iron levels are down to start with.

I actually felt much better after walking out of this appointment.  They were so very reassuring about my upcoming labour and were also very supportive of the fact that I will be having a doula with me.  They work pretty much the opposite of my last hospital - the midwife was quite angry about the way I was treated last time, and has assured me that the things that happened then, would never happen at their hospital.  The fact that all of the variables from last time have changed completely, gives me much more confidence that this will be a very different labour for me.

Oct 19, 2010

30 weeks

30 weeks today...on the 10 week countdown!!


Finally managed to get one out of my pajamas!

Pain wise I'm still struggling.  Although thankfully the pain in my hands eased up a lot after a couple of days and is now barely noticeable - things I changed were being more careful about drinking lots of water and making sure to stretch my hands properly throughout the day.  I've also noticed the swelling in my feet went away too which probably has something to do with it.

However, over the last few days, I have developed some sort of pain in my lower back.  It's a stabbing pain right at the bottom of my lower back only on my RH side.  It's the kind of pain that almost brings you to your knees when it happens.  Because of the location, I'm concerned that it might be sciatica, but still hoping it's just a knot that can be fixed.  I have another appointment this week with the physio so will hopefully find out more then.  I'm just so envious of those people who manage to get through pregnancy with just discomfort rather than pain.

Other than that though, everything seems to be going well.  I haven't heard anything back about my glucose challenge test so hopefully that means that all is good.  Baby is moving lots and lots which is awesome...well most of the time, I am getting the occasional painful jab!

This afternoon I'm off to meet the hospital midwives.  I'm looking forward to talking to them and finding out a bit more about labouring in their hospital.  Will update after the appointment...

Oct 9, 2010

Pain

As if I needed more pain.  This is the second day I've been having pain in my hands, specifically at the base of my thumbs.  It hurts to close my hands into a fist and particularly when putting any pressure on my hands like picking up an object.  There's also a weakness there that makes me concerned that I'm going to drop the object I'm holding.

At first I thought maybe I just slept on it wrong, but it got worse at the end of the day yesterday, and is still bad this morning.  I've also noticed a small amount of swelling in my feet over the last few days.  Swelling from fluid is  what causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during pregnancy.  And like S.P.D., the only cure is delivery.  Its basically the same sorts of symptoms as a repetitive strain injury.  So if you imagine opening and closing your hands all day long, how it would feel the next morning and you get the idea.

Sitting on the laptop working on our business during the day wouldn't help, but I was also in an office based job during my last pregnancy and didn't have any sign of it.  Or the swelling though - I don't remember having any swelling until the day after the birth.

I ended up seeing a physio about the S.P.D. a few days ago - recommended by my OB.  She used to be the physio at the hospital and has a special interest in women's issues.  I did learn a few tips for pain management, but essentially it was what I already knew - pretty much put up with it until the baby is born and hope it goes away straight away.  She also checked my lower back and found it to be quite tight, apparently from having to help support the belly more due to the looseness of the pelvic muscle.  The massage to loosen it was awesome, felt so much lighter afterwards.  I'm already starting to get some pain back though.  I have another appointment in 2 weeks so she can keep an eye on it, then probably just one or two more appointments before the birth.

So between the pubic pain, lower back pain and now hand pain (which I am still secretly hoping will magically just disappear!), I am a bit over being in pain.  I'm still very grateful that all is well with the baby and everything has been going smoothly medically, but my body just doesn't seem to like pregnancy...

Oct 7, 2010

Doula Appointment

Last night I had my first official doula appointment.  Our time was basically spent going through a birth plan checklist so that we could both get an idea of my expectations and hopes for the labour & birth.  It was quite a good appointment - she managed to point out a few things that I hadn't thought of and it has given me a better idea of my level of preparation for the birth.  Let's just say I have a few more things to work out in my mind.

She also lent me a book to read...

...along with a matching hypnosis CD.  Looks like a great book and I'm really keen to get stuck into it - more info on it here.

She also lent us this book...

...to read to Jake to help explain about the baby coming.  Apparently there is a very cute song on the CD as well :)

Still very happy with our decision to use the doula and looking forward to our next appointment!

Oct 5, 2010

28 weeks

Here's my belly pic from this morning at 28 weeks...


I think I feel a lot bigger than I actually am...or maybe I am just forgetting how big I got last time!  Although these pics are being taken first thing in the morning - there seems to be quite a big difference with how big it gets by the end of the day...will try and remember to take another pic tonight!

I had my 28 week appointment yesterday - I ended up seeing both the midwife and the OB as he was running a bit late.  Everything is still looking really good though - BP was 98/60, baby's heartrate was 145bpm.  The OB has recommended a physio for the SPD - it doesn't help everyone, but he thinks it's worth giving it a go.  The one he has recommended used to work at the hospital as the maternity physio which has to be a good thing.  He has also given me a support strap to wear that is very uncomfortable ;)

I still have to get my gestational diabetes screening test done - meant to do it last week and time got away from me.  Will be trying to get that done today or tomorrow.  I'll also be keen to hear the iron levels - last time I had to take an iron supplement as they were a bit low.  I have a glimmer of hope that it is one reason why I am so tired.

I'm getting loads of movements from the baby which is always reassuring - hubby got to see some really big movements yesterday which was lovely.  Jake seems to have some sort of understanding about the baby - he has asked to carry it, change it's stinky nappies, hold it's hand and play with it.  (Still hard calling the baby 'it' when I know the sex!)

Other than that, nothing really else to report for now.  Next step is my first official appointment with the doula tomorrow, the hospital midwife appointment in 2 weeks, followed by the hospital tour that I missed out on last month due to business commitments.  Will also update with the results of the GD test.

Sep 21, 2010

26 weeks

Here is my belly pic for this morning at 26 weeks.  After the suggestion from Starpepper, I have dug out the outfit that I used for my comparison belly shots last time...so glad it still fits!!!


So definitely bigger, but actually not as bad as what I thought looking at that.  I've put on a fair bit extra than last time at this stage, so far about 9kg (!) compared to the total of 11kg I put on last time.  But then I also started out 4kg heavier the first time so it probably balances out pretty closely.

The SPD has been getting worse lately as well, it's getting to a point where I think I'm going to need to try to do something about it.  At the moment, it's mainly getting into bed at night that I struggle with the most, but also the usual rolling over, getting up and walking after sitting, getting in and out of the car and basically anything that puts any pressure on my pelvis.

I've also noticed lots and lots of braxton hicks contractions - a lot more than last time and definitely a lot stronger.  I don't even think I was aware of them at this stage last time, but this time they are quite strong - enough that I notice them even if I'm distracted and they are quite uncomfortable.  A bit scary when I'm still so far away from delivery!

Otherwise all is going well and I'm really looking forward to the hospital tour this weekend!

Sep 16, 2010

Doula

I now have a doula!!  I had been thinking about it for a little while, considering how scared I am of going through labour again after my last one.  The reading I am doing is helping, but I still worry about 'losing it' on the day.

Last week, I saw a request on a forum that I use regularly from a student doula in my area looking for pregnant ladies willing to use her services as part of her qualification process.  After a few emails back and forth, I met up with her last night and have booked in!  She seems lovely - she's had 3 babies at the same hospital that I am going to, including 2 water births which I am really hoping to have.

For anyone not familar with a doula - here is an explaination of what it is, including:

What Are The Proven Benefits Of A Doula?

50% less caesarean sections
Reduction in the use of forceps by 40%
60% less requests for epidurals
40% reduction in the use of synthetic oxytocin for inductions or augmentations
30% reduction in use of pain medication
25% reduction in labour length
Increased rates of breastfeeding at 6 weeks post-partum (51% vs 29%)
Higher self-esteem (74% vs 59%), less anxiety (28% vs 40%) and less depression (10% vs 23%) at 6 weeks post-partum

I will have 4 appointments with her before the birth to get to know her, discuss my previous labour, fears expectations & hopes for my upcoming labour etc etc.  We will also discuss hubby's role and how he will be involved in the whole process.  She has resources (books, dvds etc) that I will have access to for more information as I need/want it.  She will then be on call for my labour and will either come to my home at the start of labour, or meet us at the hospital, whichever we decide that we would prefer.  She will stay throughout the whole labour for support, and for as long as we need after the birth.  We then have a follow up appointment after the birth to discuss the labour and anything else to do with the baby.

I'm really excited about this plan, I think it will really help to have another support person there - particularly someone who has done it all before.  There's only so much weight my hubby's reassurance can be when I know that he doesn't know what I'm going through!

Sep 7, 2010

Another baby purchase

I ordered another baby item a couple of days ago.  Introducing, the Maya Wrap Ring Sling...

I'm so excited about this purchase!!  I wish I would have done more research and found this before I had Jake.  I really think it is going to make life with a baby so much easier.  Here is some info from their website:

This sling gets rave reviews for comfort and ease of use! The shoulder has a light pad. The rails are still unpadded for easy adjusting. Fans say it is the perfect first sling for new babywearers.

  • Wear newborns through toddlers in a variety of positions
  • Made of beautiful hand-loomed, breathable fabrics
  • Built in pocket for keys, diaper, cell phone etc.
  • Unpadded, open tail that allows for perfect adjustability and is convenient as a nursing cover
  • Fits easily into a diaper bag or purse
  • Machine washable
  • Recommended for children up to 35 pounds
  • Instructional DVD included
This link shows more information on just what this piece of material can do, it's quite amazing.  I've been really keen on the whole 'babywearing' thing since before I was pregnant this time and wish I would have done it more with Jake.

Wearing your baby in a baby sling or baby carrier has several benefits:

Less Crying - Babies who are carried cry less on average than those that are not. Research has shown that babies who are carried cry (on average) 43% less overall and 54% less during the evening hours. 

Smarter Babies - Babies spend more time in a "quiet, alert state" when carried - the ideal state for learning. When carried, your baby sees the world from where you do, instead of the ceiling above his crib or people's knees from a stroller.This extra stimulation benefits brain development.

Emotional Development - Babies are able to develop a sense of security and trust when they are carried. They are more likely to be securely attached to their care-giver/s and often become independent at an earlier age.

Physical Development - By being close to your body's rhythms, baby "gets in rhythm" much more quickly. Research has shown how this helps newborns (especially premature babies) to adapt to life outside the womb.

Helps with Post Partum Depression - Babies who are not held need more verbal interaction and eye contact, just to be reassured that you're there. Moms who may suffer from Post Partum depression will find that carrying their baby is a great way to connect with her (and provide stimulation too) without the "burden" of having to interact. Of course your baby is "right there" to enjoy whenever you feel like snuggling, kissing or talking. This is by no means a cure or solution for Post Partum Depression, always seek counsel from your physician first.

Eases the strain - Carrying your baby in a sling eases the strain on babies spine and your back!

I ended up ordering from the US - as a US product, it was cheaper to order from there and get it shipped over than it is was to buy it here.  Just means it will take 2-4 weeks to get here.  I've heard such great things about it, I can't wait to start practicing!!

24 weeks

Here I am this morning at 24 weeks...


Starting to feel quite big...particularly as I still have quite a way to go!  Not too uncomfortable yet though which is surprising - there are still times throughout the day where I don't even feel pregnant.

Heartburn has started rearing it's ugly head in the last couple of days though.  Mainly at night after dinner which is pretty normal.  Not finding it much of a problem during the day so far.  I've just started to notice my leg/feet muscles cramping more at night, as well as a bit of the 'restless legs' when trying to sleep.  And still getting up to pee at least once through the night.  But I am managing the nights ok (well as well as I ever do!) with just one extra pillow between my knees for a bit of extra support.

It seems I do have S.P.D. again though - I'm still managing to keep it at bay with just making sure to do the right kinds of movements and not the ones that aggravate it.  I spoke to the midwife at the 24 week appointment yesterday and she has also suggested a remedial massage therapist for if it does get worse like it was last time.  This time around I would have to try something, that pain was just horrible last time.  Medically  it is just birth that 'cures' it, but there are obviously a number of natural therapies that can help.

Everything else at the appointment went well, my BP is still about the same at 105/60, baby's heart rate sounded really good at 145bpm.  The only other thing we really discussed was all the paperwork that I will need to sign off on before the birth.  I am absolutely amazed at the options I am being given by this hospital compared to the last one.  Last time, my only choices were whether or not to authorise Vitamin K and Hepatitis B vaccine for the baby.  This time I need to choose both of these, but also whether to give an injection or oral doses of the Vitamin K, and whether to start the Hep B at birth or at 2 months.  I also need to choose whether or not to use the assistance of a Syntocinon injection to expel the placenta, or whether to birth it naturally.  Last time this wasn't even mentioned to me and they just jabbed me with a needle at the time.  The midwife has given me some information to read through so I can take my time to form a decision.  She did also assure me that while I have all these choices if everything is going to plan, they will take over the decisions if it becomes medically necessary for my or the baby's safety.  How wonderful that I get to be so involved in the decisions about my body and my baby!

So, next step is the gestational diabetes test in a 2-4 weeks time, followed by an appointment (which I really must book today!) with the hospital midwifes in about 5-6 weeks time.  I'm also planning on doing a hospital tour soon too - I think they have one at the end of every month.  I'm really looking forward to seeing more of the hospital I have heard so much about!

Sep 1, 2010

Frustrated

You know, I expected quite a bit of ass-vice when I was pregnant with my first child.  The whole "you're never going to sleep again", "you wont be able to do that when you're a Mum" and "you'll never get changed out of your pjamas and you'll have to live on take away forever" etc etc.  I may be exaggerating a little, but you get the idea.  But I never expected to have the same problem the second time around!

I'm now getting "Ooh, you won't be able to do THAT anymore when the second one comes along" or my favourite..."You'll HAVE to put Jake in day care when the second one is here".  I mean, seriously??  I may have no idea what this second baby will be like, but I do have an idea of what parenting involves by now and what my strengths/weaknesses are.  And it's not like I had a dream newborn the first time around - he was a screaming, refluxy, non-sleeping baby who hated both cars and prams.  So no 'idealised' images here!

I'm so sick of people telling me how easy I have it with one child and how I'll REALLY know what parenting is when I have more than one.  Particularly coming from people who's children sleep in past 6am and get days off during the week while their child/ren are in day care and they are still not working, while I don't get any days off and still manage to contribute a substantial amount to our home business...without putting my child in front of an electronic babysitter all day!  And when it hasn't been my choice to have only one child until now, it cuts particularly deep.  You know what...if you can't handle your children, then you shouldn't have chosen to have them.  And you should feel extremely lucky that you have that choice in the first place!

Ok, so I may be getting a little off track now, but as you can tell I have been quite frustrated!  I shouldn't have to have more than one child to be recognised as a 'credible' mother!

Aug 24, 2010

22 weeks

Here I am this morning at exactly 22 weeks...


Still feeling pretty good at the moment.  No change in the pelvic pain, possibly because I know how to control it this time so I'm not aggravating it.  But only time will tell if it will become a problem.

I'm feeling the baby more and more now and was actually able to watch some pretty decent kicks a few days ago.  It's so wonderful, beyond what words can describe.  Hubby is starting to be able to catch the kicks more and more now too which is great.  Besides still being tired all the time, I'm actually enjoying this part of pregnancy! :O

Aug 16, 2010

Update

So, not much happening at the moment.  This is what my OB calls the 'boring' time during pregnancy until about 28 weeks.  I don't mind though, I find this time much easier than the time between 12 and 19 weeks. (Well, really from the very start until 19 weeks!).

I'm feeling the baby move more and more - still only very faint and still only when I am really still, usually laying down.  Hubby has felt it a few times, but the movements are still not very often and don't last that long so it can be hard.

We think we have a name picked out!  Obviously I can't give the name as it would reveal the sex, but we are very excited to have a name in mind already.  We were always going to struggle with either name choice - we both have a lot of trouble with boys names, and we have very different tastes in girl names.

I'm starting to feel a small amount of pelvic pain from time to time which I'm really really hoping doesn't turn into S.P.D..  I had a lot of pain with my last pregnancy which I was really hoping to avoid this time!

Other than that, everything seems to be going along smoothly.  I'm still very tired, but not feeling as uncomfortable as I was in my last pregnancy at this stage which has been great.  Although maybe it is just because I know now how much worse it gets!!

Aug 9, 2010

20 Week Appointment

Nothing really new to add from the appointment today.  Everything is still looking good, we got to hear the baby's heartbeat which is always wonderful.  My blood pressure is ok (well still low at 100/60 but not concerning) and the OB was happy with the results of the scan last week.  He confirmed that the placenta is still anterior explaining the fact that I'm still not really feeling much from the baby.

We had a brief chat about the birth, in particular, the idea of water birth.  I can't remember if I mentioned it earlier, but he suggested it as an option for us to think about.  So far, I'm very keen and becoming more keen the more I look into it.

Aug 7, 2010

Movement

I felt the first definite (I think!) movements this morning!  The only reason I'm not 100% sure is that with my last pregnancy, I felt tiny bubbles first, then more 'movement' type feelings a week or so later.  This time, I haven't felt the bubbles popping sensation, but this morning it felt like movement and kicks, just feint ones, while I was lying down in bed.  Maybe I just recognise them better.  I was also able to feel them very gently from the outside so hopefully hubby will be able to feel them soon as well.

Aug 6, 2010

Scan results

Sorry for the delay in getting this posted - we had a friend look after the munchkin for us while we were at the scan and ended up staying for dinner ;)

I'm very happy to report that the scan went beautifully...everything is looking perfect!  I feel so much more relaxed now, very relieved to see the little one again and know that it is doing ok.

Didn't get a great shot though - the cheeky little munchkin did not want to show us it's face!


And yes, we now know the sex of the baby! :)  And no, I haven't changed my mind about keeping it a secret ;)  I'm really glad that I decided to find out though, it has made it so much more real for me.  It makes it easier to get a better picture of the future which also helps to reassure me.  I think, for us, it has been the right decision.  Let's just see whether we can manage to keep the secret!!

Just a little difference

As a bit of a time waster, check this out...

Just a little difference!

So nervous

I have my 19 week morphology scan today and I don't think I could be any more nervous.  I'm trying to do a lot of deep breathing to counteract the nerves so my body stays reasonably relaxed, but it's a bit of an effort.  I really don't remember being this nervous with my last pregnancy.  Maybe it's the whole 'natural conception' thing - I never thought it would be possible, therefore how can it be real.  Or  maybe it's because I know even more what I have to lose.  Either way, I'm really looking forward to that scan this afternoon...

Jul 29, 2010

18 weeks + 2 days belly shot

So here I am this morning...

I must admit, it does reassure me a  bit to see my belly growing comparing it to the older pics while I wait (very impatiently!) to feel the baby moving.  Really, really, really looking forward to my scan next week...!

Jul 22, 2010

First baby purchase

Our first baby purchase...well, sort of.

We went to have a look at car seats at the Target toy sale today.  Particularly with the new car seat regulations here, Jake will now have to stay in his existing car seat until he is 4.  For the new baby, we haven't yet decided if we will get/hire a capsule, but either way, we will need a convertible car seat which will take them through from birth to 4 years before they move up to a booster.

I have a personal preference for Safe n Sound when it comes to car seats because I believe they are much safer than other brands in general.  We didn't like the ones that they had in Target, but stopping in at K-Mart we spotted this one.

The Safe n Sound Galaxy Sports:
It was much much cheaper than our last car seat at $159, but still a great car seat, and still a Safe n Sound.  It turns around and is suitable from birth, but we have decided to give the new car seat to Jake and put the newborn in his old seat.  This is the seat that he is using at the moment (except ours is all black)

The Safe n Sound Meredian AHR:
So, as you can see, a lot more padding making it more suitable for a newborn.

I love that the new car seat is not as bulky so that it will fit better behind the driver's seat.  I also think that Jake will probably be able to look around a lot more as it is not as big on the sides.

As I said, we are still debating getting a capsule as well.  I didn't have one with Jake and don't feel that I needed one, but it's different this time around already having a toddler.  I can see it being useful for trips to the park/playgroup etc etc.  We are also still debating whether or not to get another pram with a toddler seat, or whether to just make do with the single pram and a sling/ergo.  The only thing making me lean a little toward another pram (besides the 'want' factor!) is that it will be the middle of summer when the baby is born, which can obviously get hot for both Mum & bub in a carrier a lot.

It's made it feel so much more real, buying an extra car seat and starting to think about the logistics of another baby.  Very strange indeed.

Jul 20, 2010

Hypnobirthing

After talking to a few people and doing some research, I have been recommended to look into Hypnobirthing.

So last week I went out and bought the book...


I have read about 1/3 of the book so far and I must say I am impressed and pleasantly surprised.  It is a lot more factual that I would have thought and has really given me a lot to think about.  Already I am feeling better about the impending labour this time, and I haven't yet gotten to the section with the tools to help during labour.  In particular, I have found that the book is helping me by showing just how bad my last labour was handled.  Knowing that I have chosen a much better obstetrician and hospital as far as low intervention rates, there is already a great chance that my experience this time will be nothing like the last time.  It has helped me realise why I felt so much pain, why my labour progressed so slowly before getting the epidural, and why I felt so disappointed in myself and my birth experience.

I'm also reading Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering:


I borrowed this from the library yesterday after the midwife at my OB's office recommended it.

I did try to do research on birth last time, but I'm hoping this time around it will be more effective, now that I have been through it before and know a bit more about myself it that situation.

The big question...

...to find out, or not to find out!

So, I've been meaning to do this post for ages (sorry AJ, I know you asked me AGES ago!!) so here it is.

We have decided that we will be attempting to find out the sex at the 19 week scan for the following reasons:

- Last pregnancy we found out by accident when watching back the DVD.  A flash of the 'boy bits' in 4D was very very obvious...not much else that could have been!  It was disappointing to not have that 'It's a ...' at either the scan or the birth and to have the decision taken out of my hands.  This time around, we are getting another 4D scan and don't want to take the risk of it happening again.

- I don't bond as easily as some during the pregnancy due to the whole 'self protection' thing based on our history.  Once I got past the way we found out last time, knowing the sex did help with the bonding during pregnancy.

- When my son was born, even though we weren't 100% sure that he was a boy, I didn't even think to ask or check if he was in fact a boy.  At that moment, I was so in love with this tiny baby, that I couldn't have cared either way.

- With already having a toddler at home, practically it would make it easier to know the sex of the baby.  Obviously if it is a boy, we won't have to get anything!  But if it's a girl, we may want to buy just a little bit of pink ;)  This is obviously easier to do with only one child in the outside world.

- Names...boy names in particular...I really struggle to find boys names that I like.  It will force me to try harder earlier if I find out that it is indeed a boy!

I think that pretty much covers it.  But I am sorry to add that we have decided to keep the secret to ourselves.  There are a few people that don't want to know and I don't want either the surprise spoiled or to have to keep track of who to tell and who not to.  Plus I love the idea of having that special secret just for us, and to be able to share the news as a surprise to all our friends and family.

We now just have to hope that baby co-operates on the day!

Jul 16, 2010

16w3d Belly Pic

So here's my belly shot from this morning at 16w3d...



Comparing to the shot from 2 weeks ago, I seem to be 'rounding' lol.

Feeling pretty good at the moment, still a little more tired than normal, but I'm thinking that will probably be the case for the whole pregnancy (and the first few months of baby!!).  It's manageable though and I'm still keeping up with my active little toddler.  This pregnancy seems to be going so much faster than my last one.  I guess I have a lot more to keep me distracted this time!  I just can't believe that in less than 4 weeks I will be at the halfway mark!

Jul 5, 2010

Midwife appointment

I had my midwife appointment today, what a great midwife I have!  The appointment ended up being just over 30 mins when all that was really needed was to check the baby's heartbeat and my blood pressure.  The heartbeat sounded beautiful, and it was so relieving to hear.  It's hard to know that I have this little life growing inside of me when I still can't feel anything.  My blood pressure was pretty low, but she wasn't too concerned as it can be normal for this stage of pregnancy and I normally sit on the lower side.

The rest of the appointment was spent discussing labour - basically addressing my fears due to my last labour experience and how we can make sure that this time is a completely different experience.  She was so understanding and really helped reassure me that there is a chance that I can get myself prepared before the birth and not have such a terrifying experience the second time around.

The only other thing from the appointment was that I got the referral for the 19 week morphology scan.  I've decided to go to a brand new place that has just opened, which is actually right next door to my obstetrician.  They do the 4D scans which I had with Jake and would really like to have again.  I booked it in while I was there - we are all set for the 6th August, just 4.5 weeks away!!

Jul 2, 2010

First belly pic

So, this is me earlier this morning (so excuse the pj's!) at 14w3d...



It's fair to say that I've been feeling very big for how early in the pregnancy it is!  It is my second pregnancy so I guess it's all normal, but it's still a bit of a shock to the system.  I'm in maternity clothes already...but am feeling more comfortable in them.

Other than that, all seems to be going smoothly.  I'm not feeling sick at all anymore, but still get more tired than normal.  Although that has improved a lot as well.  I have my next appointment on Monday, this one is just with the midwife.  No other news for now, will post another update again shortly...

Jun 17, 2010

NT Results

This morning I was able to pick up the actual results from the NT scan yesterday and I'm happy to report that all is looking well!  We are low risk for everything tested - these were the actual results:

Background risk according to maternal age:

Trisomy 21 - 1:675                 Trisomy 18 - 1:1648                                 Trisomy 13 - 1:5170

Adjusted risk using scan, bloods etc:

Trisomy 21 - 1:6974              Trisomy 18 - 1:32958                                Trisomy 13 - 1:103396

Everything else is looking good as well.  They have listed the gestational age from the scan as 12w5d, so 4 days ahead of the last scan.  Only other thing is that the placenta is developing anteriorly, which doesn't cause any dramas as far as the pregnancy, but does mean that it may take longer for me to feel the baby's movements.  I had an anterior placenta with my last pregnancy and didn't feel him until around 20 weeks - being at the front, it tends to block the baby's movements.  But as long as all is well with me and the baby, that's all I can really ask for!

Jun 16, 2010

12 Week NT Scan

I had my 12 week NT scan this afternoon, and while I still haven't got the actual risk assessment results, the sonographer was happy with the actual scan.  Everything looked as it was supposed to, the first heart rate measurement was 155bpm, another one later in the scan was 165bpm, both she was very happy with.

It was such a relief to see the baby today, and so incredible to watch him/her moving around...everywhere!  The place we went to was lovely too, and we got a DVD with some video and images to take home.  I'm picking up some hard copy photos as well as getting my actual results back tomorrow morning.

Going by my 28/12 EDD, I would be 12w1d today and as you can see from the first image below, the baby measured 12w4d which I was very relieved with.  It's amazing the difference that just 2 weeks can make!



It's still so hard to believe that we could have another baby in our family, but I am feeling a lot better after the scan today.  My job now is to try and relax and enjoy this wonderful journey that I have been given.

Jun 14, 2010

Awaiting scan

Not much new happening here, just waiting for my 12 week NT scan on Wednesday.  I had my bloods done on Saturday so that they would have the results for the scan.  My OB also organised for me to have the normal pregnancy bloods done, after having had them done around 2-3 years ago for my last pregnancy, I'm not expecting anything out of the ordinary.

I realised that I haven't actually mentioned my EDD - I've had a few of them, but the one that I think is probably the most accurate, and the one that I think the specialist is going with is the 28th December.  So a Christmas/New Year baby :o  :)

I'm feeling ok at the moment, the morning sickness that I was having has pretty much gone, but I'm still feeling very tired.  I'm trying to stay relaxed and positive, but I have to admit that I'm already getting nervous about the scan.

Jun 1, 2010

Announcement


Yes, that is my baby!! :)

On our break from IVF, we were shocked with a surprise natural conception.  Something we didn't think possible considering the issues we have on both sides.  And I'm so very excited to report that I am now 10 weeks pregnant with a beautiful looking little baby!!

I have been documenting my journey since we found out, but have been too anxious to publish until now.  We won't be announcing it to the world until after the NT scan in a couple of weeks, but I wanted to let you all know first as you have been such a wonderful support to me over the last few years.

So my apologies for not being able to tell you sooner, but please feel free to continue reading below to catch up, the last post being 'Obstetrician Appointment'

Big surprise...

As much as I still feel like a bit of a fraud writing this, I have decided that it is important for me to document all of my journey, regardless of the outcome. However it will most likely still be some time before I will actually publish this for the world to see...



The one on the left was taken last Friday morning (23/4), the one on the right was taken the next day (Sat 24/4).

To say that this was a shock is an understatement. As I have already written, we have been on a break from IVF since our last miscarriage back at the start of January. While our desire to have another child had not faded, we had not planned to go back to IVF until early 2011 and were comfortable with our decision and enjoying life without IVF or the pressures of TTC.

I have been keeping an eye on my cycles regardless - not really in a TTC sense, but more to see if they were going to turn into any sort of normal cycle. My first one after the miscarriage was no surprise - 51 days long and no clear ovulation (based on both CM and cervix position observations). The second cycle started on 14th March and continued normally (for me) until about 3 weeks ago. I noticed both CM and cervix position indicating ovulation. Now, this on it's own was not a huge deal - I have noticed this many times before, but have ended up with a period only a few days later. This time, I had nothing for pretty much spot on 2 weeks. Then I noticed my cervix drop down low and I had the tiniest amount of spotting. I was actually really happy...this was the first time that my cycle had followed a 'normal' pattern indicating that it could be possible that I ovulated! But the spotting very quickly disappeared, and I noticed over the next couple of days that my cervix became higher up, but remained firm and closed. I kept checking every night, and it remained the same and there was no more signs of bleeding. The pregnancy word kept trying to pop into my head, but I called myself crazy and moved on.

After 5 days of this, I ended up deciding to do a HPT. Not because I was expecting a positive, but I needed to see the negative. I was also looking at a trial at a local gym, and wanted to make 100% sure that I was crazy before working my body hard at the gym.

So, I got up early before Jake was awake. Hubby had already left for work. I did the test, then proceded to spend some one on one time with the laptop. I was so convinced that it would be a negative that I figured the time didn't really matter, so I didn't even check. I guess it would have been about 15 mins later when I looked at the time and saw it was 6am...the time that Jake normally wakes up. I figured I should go and throw out the test before he gets up to make sure I don't forget. I didn't want my hubby to find out that I had done a test - partly because I didn't want him to think I was crazy and partly because I didn't want him to get his hopes up about the potential for a natural pregnancy.

As I walked in towards the test, I was reassuring myself that I had seen many many negatives before so this one would be no big deal. I walked in to the bathroom and went to pick it up to put it in the bin, and that's when I saw the two lines. I was absolutely gobsmacked. Instantly my hands went up over my mouth and I started to shake. I had to sit down to stablise myself. I wish I could say that my first reaction was excitement, but it was actually fear. I was terrified of going through what I was still trying to recover from, the potential of having my hopes built up and then completly crushed. I didn't know what to do...I didn't want to call my husband at work and make his day difficult through having that excitement/fear on the phone, but I needed to tell someone, I needed to talk to someone...I needed my husband. So I called him to tell him the news - it was the last thing that he expected to hear! He was absolutely overjoyed...after the initial shock wore off that is! He was very reassuring and really helped me to feel better about the chances of this one working out. He suggested booking a doctor's appointment for later that day to get the hcg level, he took control. I was so glad that I called him, I even managed to stop shaking!!

I had my hcg level tested that afternoon and have a doctor's appointment booked for this coming Tuesday, hopefully to get the results. I have managed to find a fantastic GP who was more than happy to oblige with two quantitive hcg blood test requests that I can get a few days apart to check for doubling times. He has even already indicated that he would be happy to arrange an early scan once we get the results back and see where we are at. If only my last specialist was as supportive!!

The second test was done the next morning, mainly for our own peace of mind, needing to see those lines again. I had also noticed that the Friday morining FMU wasn't as concentrated as normal so wanted to get another guage. As you can see from the picture, the second test was much darker which was obviously more reassuring.

I am obviously very keen to get the actual hcg numbers back though. I'm really hoping that it will help me to accept that this is real. It is still such a shock, and after 3 m/c in a row, I am scared to accept that it is happening for fear of something going wrong. But on the other hand, I don't want to miss out on those wonderful feelings of joy that most people experience. I guess for now, it is just another waiting game for us. And as hard as it is, it is so much easier than the waiting after an IVF cycle - not being on any meds, not having the huge emotional, physical and financial comittment weighing in on the result. I just can't believe it...is it possible I could be one of THEM???

Level number 1

At the doctor's appointment today, I got the level back from Friday's blood test...380.

I wish I felt more reassured with that result. It's not a completely bad result I guess, I was just hoping for it to be a bit higher. I had another blood test this morning which I am very keen to get the result back on because the doubling time is a lot more important than a single number. The doctor is going to call me tomorrow with the result, until then all I can do is just keep waiting...

Another HPT

Here is the HPT from this morning...




It's definately reassuring in a way to see such a dark line, but I'm still hanging out for the second blood test result today. I guess it doesn't help when the line got so dark with my last miscarriage. But, no sign of any bleeding and lines getting darker can only be a good sign for now...

Second blood test result

What a wonderful GP I have found - 8:30am this morning and he has already phoned with my result!

2500!!

Wow, I was very surprised to hear such a high result. I was hoping for it to show doubling every 2 days - it was a bit under 4 days in between blood tests (Friday afternoon, Tuesday morning). Doubling twice would have made it 1520. So a great result so far...of course we still have a bit to go before I will feel comfortable breaking out the bubbly, but it did make me feel a sigh of relief.

The GP asked me what I would like to do next - I have asked for a scan in about 2 weeks time, so at about 7 weeks. He was happy to oblige (and in fact said that it would be his recommendation too) and is going to leave a form at the front counter for me to pick up. And just to come and see him if I have any worries or issues in the meantime. Where has this GP been all my life!!

Still here

Well so far, everything is still going well. I have been away interstate visiting family for the last week which has worked out to be a great distraction. I also decided though to tell both my parents about the pregnancy - I couldn't be down there and not tell them, especially when there most likely wouldn't have been any other opportunity to tell them in person. It felt very strange announcing it so early, but I'm still comfortable with my decision to do so, and won't be going completely public with it until after the NT scan.

I did another HPT just after I got back and the test line came up just as quickly and strongly as the control line which was a relief. And no sign of any cramping or bleeding - though I have been checking for any sign of blood multiple times throughout each day, and I don't think I have ever been more in tune with my body!


I've also noticed a few symptoms over the last couple of days...bloating in a major way for starters! I thought it was mostly the meds last time, but I seem to be just as bloated, if not more, this time around. I look around 12-14 weeks pregnant already and it is hard to hide - especially with a toddler (when people expect more pregnancies to happen).

I've also noticed that I need to eat more often or I start to get waves of nausea. And this morning I got what I can only assume was my first taste of morning sickness. I woke up early feeling queasy, ended up trying to eat some breakfast to make myself feel better, but had one mouthful of cereal and thought I was going to throw up. Had to let each mouthful settle before the next, but started to feel better by the end of the bowl. So although I was hoping to avoid morning sickness this time around, it is probably a really good sign.

I picked up my referral form for my scan from the GP's office yesterday and booked it in for Monday morning. By my guess, I would be 7w1d. I probably could have chanced going in a bit earlier (with my last pg I was 6w5d), but I wanted to wait the extra few days to give a better chance of a clearer scan.

So for the meantime, it's just more waiting. I have loads to distract me at the moment though, including my son's birthday party in a few days, so it should come around fairly quickly...

Again

I found out yesterday that my sister is pregnant!! We were both pregnant at the same time with our last pregnancies - she was about 2 months ahead of me. This time there is less than a week difference! She has worked out her due date as the 31st December, my guess of mine is the 26th December. It was pretty incredible when she told me, I must have looked very strange in the middle of the grocery shop yelling out 'Me too!' into the phone again and again lol.

Scan results

The results from the scan are in...we have one healthy looking baby on board!

The sonographer said the heart beat looked nice and strong, it measured in at 122bpm which I'm happy with. The measurements were smaller than what I was expecting though, based on my own observations of my cycle. I would have put it at 7w1d, but the overall result from the scan was 6w2d. But I am aware that scans this early have a margin of error and there is also some room in the dates of my cycle considering it was a natural conception. It's just a little difficult to adjust after having everything so rigid with IVF conception.

So overall a great result being that the main aim was to see a good heart beat. It was so incredible seeing that little blob on the screen, especially on a break from IVF. It's still hard to believe that the blob is our baby...

The next step

All seems to be going well so far. I've had mildish morning sickness pretty much constantly for the last couple of weeks, as well as episodes of fatigue. While it has helped to reassure me that the baby is doing well, I must admit it has been difficult feeling so terrible at times while caring for an active toddler! The morning sickness has been the hardest - I feel like I am constantly on a rocking boat. But I think I am starting to get better at managing it to minimise it's effect. I have to eat every hour or so...I am so sick of eating!!

My belly also seems to be confused as to how far along I am! I'm already running out of clothes that fit/hide the bump and I look comparable to how I was at around 3-4 months with my last pregnancy. I'm hoping it will settle down a bit soon, or that things will just catch up to themselves so I don't end up absolutely massive!

The follow up appointment at the GP went as expected. I got the actual end results from the scan, they have actually put me at 6w3d (crown to rump length of 5.4mm) which is 5 days behind what I expected. With margin of error on both my calculations and the scan, I think it is a good result. That would put my EDD as the 31/12/10. So if all goes well, it will be a very busy Christmas/New Year for us!!

The next step for me is an obstetrician appointment. I managed to make an appointment a couple of weeks ago, a difficult thing for me to do with my recent history. The appointment is for the 1st of June so only a couple of weeks away. I must admit I am very keen to hopefully get another look at the baby to get that reassurance that everything is progressing as it should. In the meantime, all I can do is keep waiting...

Obstetrician Appointment

I had my first OB appointment this morning and I'm feeling very relieved that all is going well so far. I am so very happy with my choice of OB & hospital. They are both very pro choice and low intervention which I really need after my last induction birth. My last birth has really scarred me when it comes to thinking about another birth, but the midwife has started helping me already and is confident that she can help get me into a better headspace before my next birth. She was so lovely and full of information and support. The actual OB is wonderful as well, he has a very relaxed and friendly nature and was very reassuring after knowing my situation. He is actually an IVF specialist as well which I guess would help with understanding the kinds of emotions that go along with such treatment.

We also got to see the baby again which was just wonderful. I was so nervous going into the appointment, but felt so much better after seeing that the baby had been progressing well. It's now actually starting to look like a baby and we got to see it moving around. Such a wonderful experience. And even with this being my second pregnancy, it's still so hard to believe that there is an actual baby inside me right now.

Jan 18, 2010

Closure

Well I had my scan today, so am now off all the IVF meds finally. I just have to take the pill for around a week so that I can have a withdrawl bleed and start off my own cycles again. Not that it will help at all when I don't ovulate, but at least it is an end to all that is IVF for now.

As expected, he couldn't find any specific reason for the miscarriage, just more bad luck. He doesn't think it is a problem with the embryos so still believes that we should start with another FET cycle when we go back. His opinion is that we should continue with double embryo transfers each time and he has suggested maybe adding some asprin to the mix when we do try again. Other than that, there isn't really anything that can be done except to just keep trying and hope for better luck.

I still don't have any desire to cycle again after going to the clinic, I was actually really happy to see the back of it for now. After 8 months of pretty much back to back IVF and 3 m/c in a row, it is definately time for a break. My desire for another child hasn't changed or even weakened. But I just can't keep going right now and continue to be the best Mum I can be to my son. We are going through a few major life changes at the moment so everything is a bit up in the air for us, but at this stage, I would expect that we will look at it again in around 6-12 months.

So it's goodbye from me for now.

Thankyou so very much to everyone for your support, it means more than you know. xxoo

Jan 7, 2010

More bleeding

The bleeding and cramping have started up again today, so I may not have to wait another week and a half for the rest of my period. I just want this bad dream to end.

New scan date

So I managed to get an earlier scan date, only 3 days earlier though. My specialist is going away o/s tomorrow until the 18th, but I have managed to get in on the day he gets back. The nurse was much more sympathetic this time thankfully, and is even moving someone to get me in earlier. And that's even with me managing to keep my tears off the phone.

Another test

Not good news this morning, I did another HPT and the line is noticibly lighter. I can't add a picture cause our laptop is in getting fixed and I'm typing this using my mobile phone, but it is definately lighter than the test done last Monday.

Not coping very well at the moment, I think because this one was so unexpected after getting such strong tests, no warning and now this makes three in a row. I'm going to give the clinic a call this morning and try to get my scan brought forward so I can get some closure.

We wont be going back now for a while, probably around 6-12 months. I need to recover emotionally and we need to recover financially. When we do go back, I will look at changing clinics. I still believe in my current specialist's high success rates, but I want to go somewhere that will do more monitoring for my own sanity -hcg and progesterone blood tests, early scans if needed etc. One that has a more sympathetic and caring nurse that I dont dread calling. I will talk to my specialist following the scan to see if he is willing to meet these needs now that I've had three m/c in a row, but I'm not expecting to have much success. But as I said, it will be a while before we need to make this decision.

Jan 6, 2010

No change

Just checking in, no news to report here. The bleeding still hasn't re-appeared, just the tiniest amount of spotting after this morning's pessary, then nothing at all.

I am wondering though if all the hormones I am still on are the only reason why I haven't continued to bleed. It's all just been a bit strange.

I know I probably should be demanding quantitve hcg tests, or even trying to get them from a GP, but to be honest, I'm just too tired to fight anymore. Right now, simply waiting and trying to distract myself feels like the easier option.