A birthday, and a goodbye.

My baby is one year old and my heart is full. A balloon of joy swells up in my chest and bursts. Not every so often, but constantly, always. When I am with her, when I thinking of her, when I am talking about her, when I am watching her sleeping …

My life is full, too. Mr Bun and I are racing, racing – juggling and tap dancing through a weekly circus of two very demanding jobs, the insanity of this property market, our marriage, our families, ourselves. It is all going by so, so fast. We are breathless. But we are happy.

Today is my daughter’s first birthday. It’s my 100th blog post. It is time to say goodbye.

I have squeezed so much pleasure out of this blog, which is wondrous considering it was borne from a place of pain. Infertility hollowed me out. It was a physical battle, but the scars are emotional. While driving last week I happened to looked right instead of left – and out popped a memory. A curve of road, a traffic light: there I had been, wailing at the steering wheel as I left behind another negative beta. Oh, that pain. The pain of wanting something so very badly. I remember every aching minute.

I am not a closed person, and have been open about what we went through … but no-one knew, no-one knew like you did. I have relished the luxury of not having to explain anything. But equally, you listened to the detail I sometimes felt compelled to go into. This place allowed me to open up all of that.

Thank you. For your support, and your curiosity, your advice … your humour! This age that we live in is truly miraculous, allowing us to build these extraordinary communities from all around the world.

When I first discovered the world of infertility blogs, I fell upon page after page, seeking out stories that mirrored mine. Some sites I found were years old, many had stopped writing altogether. Most, though, had stuck around long enough to reveal that they had finally become mothers. This gave me hope like nothing else. I like to think that maybe I’ve done that for someone out there.

I will miss this space, particularly as a kick-up-the-bum to write – because I don’t get to do that so much any more. I dunno, I may drop back and regale you with more minutiae … or maybe create somewhere new? But for now I think it’s a good time to sign off.

Life is a matter of contrast, and I’m sure there will be dark days ahead … but there will be light ones as well.

Right now?

Now – my baby is one year old and my heart is full.

Sending you all love, and luck, and happiness so pure that it makes you float.

x

A New Stage

After last post, I decided to call both of my doctors – Dr D, and our new obstetrician (although we haven’t even met yet).

Dr D’s receptionist remained true to form and was … brisk. She effectively told me that at 7 weeks I was no longer under Dr D’s care and they couldn’t really help me. While I’m not technically under the obstetrician’s care until 10 weeks, I tried her office and the receptionist was wonderful. Warm, caring – and very focused on what I was saying. I explained my drop-off in symptoms had occurred after the 6 week scan and she suggested I go in for another scan immediately.

So, on Tuesday we drove across the city in the rain to a weird, poky little office (our usual scan place is more exclusive than a three-hatted restaurant – you need to book in three weeks in advance!) And, at 7 weeks we saw the heartbeat. Still drumming away.

Sweet, sweet relief.

Now, I feel like I’ve moved into a different stage. I feel a little more positive. I feel like I need to focus on being optimistic, rather than pessimistic. I need to concentrate on hoping that everything will be OK, instead of expecting everything to fail. I need to set aside the miscarriage demons, even though I fear leaving them behind will encourage something bad to happen.

I won’t say the approach is perfect. Every day that I feel a little more hopeful is another day we have further to fall if something goes wrong. And, I did find myself lying in the dark, reading ‘miscarriage after heartbeat’ stories online at 4am today … which is clearly not healthy or helpful. But I’m trying hard.

This may seem phenomenally negative, but I think it’s important to be honest. Infertility isn’t a condition that switches off at a positive pregnancy test. This is what us women have to bear – a trauma over years that affects our very psyche.

I’ve received the OK to travel, have sex, and exercise again (but not at the same time! – boom boom). I need to trust the medical advice I receive and go with it, rather than second guess with the ‘aid’ of the sad stories scattered throughout the pages of Dr Google.

So, here I am. At 8 weeks and focusing on the good – the amazing luck we have had up to now, the beautiful blurry grey images we’ve seen, the happiness in the faces of those we’ve told. Focus, focus, focus!

Days Like Treacle

Every day is c-r-a-w-l-i-n-g along. I thought the original TWW was torture. Jeez Louise. A week ago today I saw a heartbeat, and in a week today I go in for another scan.

So. Halfway there and crapping myself.

You see, the evening-queasiness, smell-sensitivity and strong food aversions I was experiencing around 5 1/2 – 6 weeks completely disappeared last week, and haven’t returned. I’m also not dizzy at all anymore, and am feeling a little less tired. Basically, I’m 7 weeks and almost symptomless – a big change from a week ago.

I’ll be honest. It has me worried.

Any symptoms that were there, and now aren’t, do make me think … missed miscarriage? I haven’t had any actively bad symptoms (touch wood) like serious spotting or painful cramps. So, I just clutch onto the heartbeat we heard a week ago and pray that disappearing symptoms are a freak of early pregnancy and not … anything more sinister.

Mr Bun said if I’m really worried, I should call Dr D and see what she says. Yet she’s effectively ‘graduated’ us, and we haven’t yet met up with our obstetrician. So, I’m sorta in between doctors – and I don’t even know what they’d do. Crap. I’m rambling now.

In the meantime, I’m getting piles of letters already from the hospital, obstetrician, ultrasound, health insurer – all talking about tests and forms and decisions and – EEK! I just want to get another good scan and then maybe I can look at them. For now, they stay in a steadily increasing pile on the table.

Shit post. Sorry (distracted by the tedium of the Brownlow (!) … that’s for you Aussie ladies out there)

The Fear and the Ecstasy

Wow. Well, that’s been a big few weeks. Want to know what intensity is? Have your in-laws arrive after 18 months and 12,000 miles, on the day you have your entirely unexpected and very wanted pregnancy confirmed.

Then, go on a trip with them and your husband. One house. One bathroom. Four people. Spend the entire time spotting and cramping.

And, yeah – try and remain C.A.L.M.

Excuse my French – but, fuck me.

This week, two things happened: they headed home, and Mr Bun and I saw a heartbeat.

At six weeks and five days, a feathery, flickery heartbeat. I didn’t cry – I haven’t cried at all since this happened. I think I’m still in shock. I was happy, yes – but it feels like a measured, superstitious relief. It’s been so long, with so many months of so much bad news. I just can’t quite come to terms with it.

And that’s probably the theme of Me right now. While I have Dr D’s words of reassurance in my head, that a heartbeat at six weeks means the chance of miscarriage is much lower, I am still very frightened. My symptoms of mild queasiness and dizziness have disappeared over the past few days, and I find myself fretting that that’s a bad sign.

We have only told immediate family, and every happy announcement is followed by a sombre warning, ‘It is very early days … please don’t get too excited.’ It’s like I am compulsive in sharing my pessimism, hoping that to multiply it is to create a fortress around us that can defend from bad juju.

I feel a tad ridiculous now I’m writing this down. Especially when I know there are other women out there at this stage who are happily shouting the news from the proverbial rooftops, full of joy and baby catalogues. Why do I have to be so neurotic!?

My paranoia and hypochondria is balanced by Mr Bun’s quiet, steady optimism. He’s the rational one, and prefers to rely on the scan, heartbeat and Dr D’s pronouncements rather than my ‘feelings’ and ‘vibes’.

 

Smart bloke that one – lucky I married him.

I apologise if you’re having a tough IF time, and this sounds like the ungrateful bleatings of a woman who has what you want (I may be neurotic, but at least I’m self-aware). This blog has always been about honesty on the most self-centered of subjects: me. The support I have received (and hopefully will continue to receive) has been priceless and magical.

Whatever happens, I hope that remains, while I in turn can continue to provide it to others.

Breathe.

I did it. I asked for another beta.

I’ve doubled again.
My numbers aren’t crazy-high, but they’re in the safe zone. My progesterone is also increasing. Dr D is OK with my progress.
And so, today, I exhaled a little.

Tomorrow I head off for a week with Mr Bun and his parents. Of course, it will be tough. I don’t have any symptoms at all. I am still so early. So much could change.
Yet I received some great advice via Infertile Days – live in the moment. Each day, remind myself ‘Today, things are going well.’
There will either come a time in the coming weeks when that’s no longer true. Or there won’t.

And in the meantime – I will just try to keep breathing.

OK, here goes …

I have had three positive betas. As of last Thursday (when I had my most recent test) they were still doubling.

I’m sorry I haven’t written. You see, I’ve been … superstitious. Not just about blogging, about everything. Since we had the results of the second beta – which I was SO SURE would confirm this was just another blip – I’ve been a neurotic, wobbly knot of superstitions. Everything I do, I wonder if that will be the ‘thing’ that causes this to end.

It feels very strange. I know I sound crazy. Please forgive me. I’m sorry if it seems selfish, or ungrateful – but I’m not ‘elated’, or ‘over the moon’ or – even – ‘excited’.

I am scared. I. am. so. scared.

We went for a ‘viability’ ultrasound on Wednesday, as I had been having some sharp, stabbing pains and Dr D was worried about an ectopic. What was discovered was … nothing.

Rather than being 5-6 weeks, they measured me at 4w5d, which points to ovulation a week or so late. They couldn’t confirm if what we were looking at was viable, was growing, was ectopic – was anything. So, we had the third beta on Thursday (again, which I was sure would have dropped) and now we sit tight until a second viability scan in just over a week.

I don’t have any symptoms. Absolutely nothing. I don’t feel like this is real.

I am a toilet paper addict. I stare at the sheet at what seems like 100 times a day. The seconds after I see white are probably the only times when I feel OK. The rest of the time, I am walking around wondering how long this will last … whether I will break completely when it ends … and then sometimes, really brief moments of sometimes, I allow myself to maybe think that possibly this may last.

I am heading interstate on Tuesday morning, and I so desperately want to book in another beta before I go. That at least may tide me over until I return and we have our scan.

But, if it is dropping … I’m on a plane with Mr Bun and his parents the next morning, away from Dr D for six days, and … god.

What do you think I should do? Am I being paranoid? Shouldn’t I just enjoy the trip with the hope of a scan delivering good news on our return? Or should I give into this fear that three years of infertility and loss has given me?

We keep holding each other tight and saying thank you and hoping hoping hoping this bizarre, surprising, shock has a wonderfully happy ending. I’m trying so hard to be positive. I’m also trying to build a little support structure around my heart, just in case it breaks.