Where I’m Admitted to Hospital (38w3d)

Pain’s a bastard, right? Because it normally goes hand-in-hand with exhaustion, which means it’s friends with helplessness, and comes with a small side dish of panic.

Dr Spock sent me off to hospital.

After visiting her for my normal weekly check up on Monday, and my last post on Tuesday, the ‘roids got worse and worse. So much worse in fact, that I was doubled over sobbing by Thursday – at which point Mr Bun gently asked, why didn’t I try Dr Spock again?

On hearing how I was going (badly, would be an understatement) she asked me to come in and bring my overnight bag. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t that. What she explained was, if you’re in so much pain you can’t sleep, then you become exhausted and can’t heal … so you need to break the cycle by getting some proper pain medication.

So I ended up in the maternity ward for two nights, getting some rest and a little relief. It was pretty strange being there, surrounded by the cries of very-newborn babes. The midwives were all – mostly – lovely. Many asked ‘does this mean you’ll have a c-section then?’ When I raised this with Dr Spock she rolled her eyes. ‘Absolutely not’, she scoffed, ‘you should treat this as totally separate from your labour. This will get better – you’re just taking a little longer than most.’

I’m not sure if I believe her, but it made me feel a little better.

I really wanted out of there by the third day. Dr Spock wasn’t on call this weekend, so her backup Dr Bark came in to see me before I could be discharged. Well. She was a barrel of laughs. Basically told me the pain relief Dr Spock had prescribed me was ‘wrong’ because it would constipate me and make the problem worse. When I told her I was still in extreme amounts of pain she looked at me blankly. ‘Well – it’s your decision.’ How’s that for bedside manner? We can only hope she doesn’t end up overseeing our delivery …

So, I’m home, and still feeling pretty rotten. I am trying to stay away from the heavy-duty drugs, but the pain’s still bad enough at night to have me crying and feeling faint. I feel pretty hopeless. I’m weak, tired, very sore and certainly not exuding the rested, strong, at-peace, hippie-love pregnant vibe I was expecting at 38 weeks.

I trust my doctor. She says this will get better soon. My baby is moving around like a trooper and our house is ready for his or her arrival. Mr Bun is doing everything while I slide between bed and couch, and I have a cracking support team scattered around giving me lots of love. Need to focus on the positives and hope that this, too, shall pass.

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A Peek at L&D (31w4d)

Mr Bun and I took a detour on this gloriously warm, sunshine-filled Labour Day … we finally saw the inside of our maternity ward … !

The baby had been very quiet yesterday, but by the time I went for my nightly wee (I’m still working on keeping it to once a night) I started getting really worried. Dinner, drinks, bedtime, middle-of-the-night toilet breaks – all of these are normally events that wake the little one up enough to give me a squirm and a stretch and a ‘Hello, I’m here!’ But – nothing for almost 24 hours.

I lay on the sofa at 3am drinking icy cold, super sweet cordial. Nothing. I went back to sleep and got up to a big plate of toast and juice. Nothing. I went for a walk in the mid-morning sun. Nothing.

At my fortnightly appointment with Dr Spock last week I’d mentioned my ongoing anxiety that something would happen to the baby in utero. There have been a proliferation of articles in the mags I get through work lately. All – terribly – containing desperately sad tales of babies dying at 38, 39, 40 weeks with no warning and no explanation.

I’ve stopped reading those magazines.

Dr Spock was wonderful, as usual, and talked me through the stats and likelihoods and all that rational stuff. But she also said that the only thing I can really do is be vigilant, keep a close eye on the baby’s movements, and speak up if I ever felt worried. So, I called the Maternity Ward and they told me to come straight in.

I was expecting a long wait and the need to re-explain my story to a few different nurses, but they were expecting us. We were taken straight into a small delivery room and hooked up to monitoring for 20 minutes. There wasn’t much fluctuation and they had me stay for another 20 minutes until they were happy enough to send me home (after faxing the results to Dr Spock to be triply sure). The baby had a few big movements while I was hooked up (typical!) but has been very quiet since. So – good news!?

I know as bub gets bigger the movements will become less and less, but I just can’t shake this fear. Is it the fact I’m a neurotic hypochondriac? Is it that we tried and tried for three years and only found failure and loss? Is it typical first-time jitters? Probably all of the above. What I do know is I’m skating so close to fear and panic all the time. Routines and superstitions and things I’ve come to rely on (like a very active baby) are keeping me on the right side of ‘normal’ – all it takes is a day like today to reveal just how frightened I am.

But, I pick myself up, focus on the thumping, whooshing heartbeat I listened to for 40 minutes today, and hope this little baby decides to get its bum back into gear tomorrow!

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)

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.

Sunday, Grey Sunday

The optimism of Thursday has given way to a mildly grim weekend of waiting.

I am feeling so terribly pre-menstrual, but in a strange, strange way. Clearly the Progesterone Dr D has me taking is holding off a period. It feels sad, and unnatural. We fell pregnant naturally, and now my body is trying to begin my period naturally.  Yet these drugs have me in a chemically-induced holding pattern.

When we’re in an IVF cycle, it’s OK – like it’s all part of the plan. This time, I just want to get back to normal and be thankful for what we did get, instead of sad for what we’re losing.

I also have awful dizziness and clamminess – symptoms I recognise as hypochondria-caused, coming from a heady dose of anxiety. I know, because I’ve felt like this before. My brain is a powerful beast, and it’s very good at manifesting psychological blips in very real, very physical ways.

So, like I said. Monday afternoon can’t come soon enough. I have a great, but intense, few weeks coming up of OS visitors and travel. I want to focus on that, rather than the tail-end of this.

Starting with this: a link I found last night, that at another time may be upsetting. For some reason though, this weekend I took this in the way it was intended – with pure celebration and joy. If you’re in the right mood, click through.

Photo Essay: ‘I’m Going to Be a Dad’

“UK-based photographer Tom Robinson takes us back to the good old days in his series I’m Going to Be a Dad. His brilliantly simple idea? To photograph his friends, family, and coworkers as he told them that he was going to have his very first child with his wife Verity. The resulting candid images — and the wildly different immediate reactions people have — will make you smile.”

Image: thank you.

Stick Me Once, Stick Me Twice (6dp3dt)

So, today’s my official last day of baby-making leave. It’s a cracking winter’s day here – sun is shining for the first time in days and it feels GOOD.

I had my ‘implantation’ acupuncture session this morning. I’ve not done that before, but as I wasn’t at work I figured ‘why not’? It’s had an amazing effect.

I’ve been feeling increasingly more anxious and negative these past few days, and the 4am-wake-ups aren’t going away. In fact, they’re on the increase, and seemed to be filled with spiraling negativity along the lines of ‘what if it hasn’t worked – i bet it hasn’t worked – it will never work – self pity self pity …’ (repeat ad nauseaum bla bla yawn YAWN).

The acupuncturist noted my pulse was ‘fantastic’, which they’ve never said before – I’m always waaay too wound up for their liking. So, clearly some time off work has helped, even if I don’t feel very zen. The session was all about increasing blood flow to the uterus, and also keeping me calm. I can’t speak for the former, but I’ve spent the rest of the day floating a foot off the ground and feeling really POSITIVE. As in, stop-and-smell-the-roses, appreciate-what-you-have, understand-this-will-happen-one-day positive. It’s lovely.

Maybe that’s why I made it in and out of the chemist today without buying any HPTs. COME ON! V. proud of myself. I figure if I make it through this weekend I should be OK, as I’m back in the office next week and will have a lot less time for buying and and then weeing on expensive sticks. (she says)

On the symptoms front, the cramping’s completely stopped and the boobs are still just as sore – no more, no less. Make of that what you will. I have the varying range of diagnoses that I won’t share with you here – they’re typically schizophrenic and won’t do anyone any good.

Hooroo folks. Happy Friday! x

 

(image: thank you)