Nearly time

Dear Baby,

I’m writing this from your bedroom. I am sitting in a rocking chair with a small table to my left, a wee clothing rack to my right, and slightly further afield is your cot, your changing table, another chair, and a rug and soft play mat on the floor. Maisie has decided the play mat is hers, by the way. You may have to fight her for it.

A year ago we were planning this cycle. We were only a few weeks away from the regime of pills and injections that would lead to egg collection that would lead to embryo creation, that would lead to you.

You. You came from nothing. Cells manipulated and forced together by science. An embryologist created your beginnings and then a doctor and his team made you real.

In 5 days at the latest, you’ll be on your way. We’ll hold you and sing to you and give you your name. I’m hoping you’ll decide to show up a bit quicker, but if not, that will be just fine. You have so many people waiting to meet you, and a puppy that wants to give you lots and lots of licks.

I still can’t believe it sometimes. How did we get so lucky that it all finally clicked into place? How am I going to be a mum in 5 or so days? What will you look like? What will you do with your life? Who will you be?

I love you so much.

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34-36 weeks

I feel like individual update posts for these weeks would be all the same.

So it seemed better to combine them! That and the end of the year has been a total whirlwind and so busy – it’s really hard to leave your job for a year!

The past few weeks have been a bit mad with baby showers and meetings and appointments with my midwife and the hospital… all seems to be okay. I’m being referred to Wellington but it’s just a precaution, and baby will be induced on his due date if he doesn’t turn up before.

Some stats…!

The size/what features: Romaine lettuce or something. A toolbox in one of my apps! Either way, he is a large boy, now 82nd percentile. I think he’s just a long baby, though his head is 90th percentile…

Sleep:  I’m awake every hour just to rotate because of my hips aching. I hug my maternity pillow and have another one between my knees and then usually the dog under my feet. Dave is… somewhere in the bed.

Food cravings:  Give me all the chocolate.

Food aversions:  Nothing too bad lately, I’ve actually been able to eat a bit more.

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Symptoms I HAVE:
Hunger – Increased a little and I can’t wait for him to drop because I’ll be able to breathe/have less reflux. But then again, I think I’ll cope without the extra cervix pain, thanks.

– – –

Stretchmarks:  I think more have appeared and I’m sure more are on the way…

Doctor’s Appointment:  I saw the maternity unit today and they lost my notes. Doh. However they’re happy for me to keep seeing my midwife and see the Wellington unit in January. It’s also a bit weird to be booked in for induction… I’m going to do my best to get him to come before then.

Movement:  Super wiggly baby and I see it almost every time now – it’s quite strange and alien watching your stomach roll and wiggle. He gets hiccups in my groin which is funny.

Best moment of the week:  Seeing him wiggle from the outside. Finishing work soon!

What I’m looking forward to:  Christmas. Getting some rest. Finishing up his room (even though he won’t be using it for a while, I want it to be a proper baby’s room rather than half guest, half nursery!

Not working for a year! Financially it’ll suck, but oh boy I can’t wait for this time with my wee man.

What I miss:  Not taking forever to get everywhere. Not hurting. Fitting clothing. But it’s all worth it a million times over.

I’m 37 weeks today. I’ll do another update later in the week, but for now I’m feeling just so blessed we made it here.

Picture day

(Thoughts written at the time):

Today I’m 12+6. Today we had another scan.

I’ve been waiting for this for such a long time. Today was the chance to find out if you are doing okay, after weeks of wondering. We got to see you and hear your wee heart.

You kicked away and waved your wee arm and the technician measured your parts and pointed out your legs (crossed at the ankle), your spine, and the two parts of your brain.

Here is a picture of you!

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We’ve been telling some people about you. Tonight we’ll tell your uncles and aunts, and your cousins. Tomorrow we’ll message our friends in Scotland and here, and maybe on Friday we’ll tell social media.

It has been hands down the hardest secret I’ve ever had to keep. After years of infertility, we’ve had so many people in our corner, cheering us on. I can’t wait to see how happy knowing about you will make them. I can’t wait til you make my pudgy belly round. I can’t wait til I get to feel you.

Such a wee miracle.

8-9 weeks

(Thoughts written at the time):

I have the weirdest feeling – it’s like I know you’re there. I can feel this pull in my uterus, like it’s being forced to grow. It’s almost constant. Like an ongoing hello.

I’m feeling a bit breathless at the moment. And so, so tired. I’m also quite over the medications, but also every day this gratitude is always there. What a milestone to get this far.

Apparently the babe now measures as a raspberry or a cherry.  I haven’t gained any weight yet, which is common for those who had a little extra padding to begin with. So far I’ve done nothing but lose (no appetite, queasiness) so I’m a few kgs down. However, I’m already sleeping with a pillow between my knees (the progesterone supplementation makes everything relax, including hips etc, so can lead to early achiness). I think I’ll order some maternity clothes next week. The bloat is unreal.

Had my first real craving last week – salt & vinegar chips!

The worst has been the heartburn. A kind friend sent me some Rennie’s from Scotland (what a life saver). I’m going to stock up on Gaviscon.

My skin is dry and I’m getting a fluffy chin (delightful). Also my boobs being so much bigger and sweating together has given me a rash. Isn’t pregnancy delightful?

I also met my midwife this week who is super lovely and supportive and everything I wanted in a midwife. Chuffed.

So. We’re moving along! The hardest part is not telling anyone. I want to shout it from the rooftops.

Scan day

(Thoughts written at the time):

Today I am 7 weeks and 4 days pregnant. Today we had our first scan.

Last Thursday, when I hit 7 weeks, it felt like a switch had been flicked. Suddenly, I felt pregnant. I already had the usual symptoms of the hormones: sore/enlarged chest, gas and bloating, fatigue – but suddenly my uterus had a fullness to it, a slight pressure. I also had very mild pulling cramps. It was like, “Hey! I’m here!”

I don’t understand how other mothers-to-be cope waiting for their first scan. Often it’s this long wait until 12 weeks to know whether or not all is well. I am grateful that one positive of the fertility treatment process is that you always get this early look. It’s a chance to check all is progressing as it should, and hopefully see that heartbeat.

I spent the 3.5 weeks leading up to it terrified that there wouldn’t be a heartbeat.

But there was. There was a little babe, with a little yolk sac, and a little flickering heartbeat. I had to stick my fists under my hips to raise myself a little so we got a good view of it, and then the doctor flicked a switch and suddenly, we heard it.

Magic.

I was measuring right on schedule (even possibly a few days ahead) and all looked well. He advised me to up my thyroid meds until my first blood test, and to get myself a midwife. I’d already seen my GP and contacted a midwife, and shortly after my scan, spoke to her and booked in an appointment.

 

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We’re all go, and finally, suddenly, it all feels real.

I think I’m going to be a mum.

6 weeks

(Thoughts written at the time):

We reached 6 weeks pregnant and I waited for the dreaded morning sickness to come. None came, but shortly after beginning the week, I was hit with a nasty cold. It’s the total worst – as much as I’m embracing being pregnant, it’d be nice to be able to take something to speed up my recovery. Instead, I must rest.

The bloating has begun, and my boobs are already ridiculous. Other than that, I’ve been doing okay. Every day is a day closer to the scan, which I’m most excited about. I know that hearing that heartbeat gives us a 90-95% chance of taking home a baby. Oh how I want to hear it.

For now, have a picture of our weird little moon crater offspring:

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Isn’t that wild? That’s a picture of our embryo freshly thawed on the day it was transferred to my uterus. It blows my mind to have such a tangible reminder that this future person started as this tiny clump of cells.

Today, at 6+4, our babe is the size of a chocolate chip, a pea, a ladybug, a grain of rice, a smartie. The apps all have different cute size reference points, and I have all the apps.

The baby is growing organs and has eyes that can’t quite see yet, and may already apparently be waving its little nubby arms and legs around. This is all super surreal to me. Apart from the little bloated belly (which to be honest, I’ve always had a fat tum), and the tiredness, I don’t really feel any different. I’m still on estradiol and progesterone for 4 more weeks, and I’ve just started separate folic acid and iodine instead of my expensive prenatal, so I currently take about 11 pills a day.

I can’t wait for the first scan, and to reach that 12 week point, too. I think I’ll be forever counting milestones until we feel like we’re “in the clear”. But maybe I’ll never feel really in the clear. It took so much heartache to get here, there’s a part of me expecting failure and devastation.

I pray every day that this pregnancy continues.

Betas

To update you on last week’s very exciting post, our home tests were followed very quickly with a blood draw: the only one I haven’t dreaded.

I knew we were pregnant, I needed to know how pregnant – that number would tell us if this pregnancy was likely to continue or just a blip on the radar.

Thankfully, our first number was 260. 5 days later we were followed with 2300 – an excellent “doubling time”. HCG should double every 48-72 hours, mine had doubled in 38.

Then test number 3 followed a week after that one, with 14300. I finally felt like I could breathe a little bit. All we had to wait for now was the scan: once I’d heard that wee heart beating, we felt like we could tell our close friends and wider family.

It felt like the longest wait of our lives.