Sunday, 28 October 2012

One step at a time

I haven’t cried for a week now which is a real achievement. Don’t get me wrong, there’s been plenty of times when I could have. But I just decided I’m not letting myself sit in the victim mentality anymore. It’s just not my style.

It has been a difficult week as ovulating bought a whole new range of challenges. I never stopped to think about the impact ovulating would have. And lets face it, why would you? I was surprised I was even ovulating at my normal time anyway. But clearly the process of ovulating affected whatever internal processes went on through the operation so my body has been immense discomfort for a few days.

I had the standard pains on my right side but they quickly escalated into stabbing pains. They then moved to my left side and delivered those quick stabbing pains that make you feel dizzy. I went to the chiropractor thinking I had put my back out but then realised it was this wonderful baby-making process that was to blame.

I feel a little ashamed to say I doubted the process was actually happening. I was so surprised that my body could be bouncing back to normal so quickly that I didn’t believe it. I bought a 7 day pregnancy planning kit for some reassurance but all it bought me was anxiety.  

The kit comes with 6 ovulation tests and a pregnancy test so all your pregnancy needs are covered. I did the ovulation test two mornings in a row and got a negative result. I was sucked in and wondered if I was really ovulating or whether it was just post-op cramps. Then I read some reviews on these tests and realised they are very fiddly and need to be done at the right time – which could be any time. I decided that given everything was happening the way it had when I fell pregnant, I would trust in what my body was telling me rather than what a piece of cardboard wasn’t telling me.

My husband and I had discussed if we would try again this cycle or wait for my period to come. We just decided to give it a crack, understanding my body would fall pregnant when it was ready to. I did some research and the reasons they suggest waiting until you’ve had a cycle is so you have a conception date and you have time for the pregnancy hormones to leave your body. Otherwise you could get a false-positive pregnancy test and thinking you’re having a miscarriage when you’re having your period.

Knowing this – I decided to be smart and did a pregnancy test. Sure enough, the second line came up. I realised that the other reason I have felt emotional this week is knowing that if I’m ovulating, I will soon have my period and that will be the ultimate slap in the face that there is no longer a baby in there. I try not to think about it too much but the thought brings a pang of sadness to my heart.

But, with my positive pregnancy test, and dodgy ovulation tests put away, I’m ready to tackle it. I know I’ll have to wait a few weeks and if my period doesn’t turn up, I won’t get too excited if I get a positive pregnancy test. To be honest, the way we’re going at the moment, there isn’t much chance of it happening. My husband and I tried to have sex and the support to out bed slats fell off and we nearly collapsed through the bed. Funny how that can kill the mood!  

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Re-entering the world

It never ceases to amaze me that when crappy things happen to you in life, the world does not just suddenly stop. While your universe does, the external universe continues to operate. Eventually, your universe has to catch up. The groceries still need doing, the floor still needs sweeping and the cat still needs to be fed. And yes, you even need to go back to work.

It didn’t start off too well as my first day back I had to do my job interview. My Manager and Director had been so supportive of me but I felt the people making this decision showed a total lack of compassion and consideration. I had the weekend to prepare but it was very difficult to get my head around it as I was over whelmed with anxiety of going back to work, and just trying to act normal. There was no real way to know how I was going to cope.

Luckily, I had organised to do a half day so I went in, did my interview, checked emails and then left to see the counsellor. I figured that was a far more productive way to spend my time, rather than feeling stressed over the fact that no one had bothered to do any of my work in the week I had off.

Seeing the counsellor helped but I was a little surprised when she asked what I thought I couldn’t cope with. I hadn’t thought that I wasn’t coping, or I wasn’t able to process my feelings. It was really about getting some tips so I don’t spend my next pregnancy in a total state of anxiety thinking the same thing will happen again.

She asked me what the worse case scenario would be. “If you had another miscarriage and found out for some reason you couldn’t have kids would that be it?” I confirmed it would be. She said “So that means you and your husband would be sad for a while, you’d have to process a lot of feelings around that, eventually you’d be ok and then you would spend the rest of your lives doing the things you love, while always feeling a little twinge that a child wasn’t there.” That pretty much summed it up but it didn’t seem so bad. She asked me to write a letter to Peanut to say goodbye as a way to wrap this segment of my life up.

It’s been interesting how I have slipped into my normal crisis response mode through this. It’s funny that I said I would treat it like a break up as that’s exactly what it feels like. But, I have given myself a week to wallow and I wallowed good. But then I reach the stage when I’m done with it because it doesn’t feel proactive to keep engaging in it. And I know all too well that spending too much time in wallowing can bring on depression which is far more longer lasting.

I’ve always been a pragmatist when it comes to these things. I reach the point when I say enough is enough and I just need to get up, do something and put the first foot forward to move on. I’ve realised that while this hurts, and it hurts terribly, I will survive and it will be ok. I can’t see through it right now but I know that’s what’s waiting for me.

The hardest thing I did this week was catching up with my friend who is due at the same time I was. Even typing the word “was” is hard, but I had to see her to let her know I was still happy and joyful for her pregnancy. And constantly keeping my fingers crossed that the same thing wouldn’t happen to her.

At the time, I didn’t realise how brave I was being. I certainly had to push myself but I knew it was for the best. Even afterwards, when I started to feel down about it, I still knew it was the right thing to do. However, I didn’t realise it was also the first step into a downward spiral for the afternoon.

It was just one of those times when one little trigger starts the avalanche. I was already feeling emotional as I realised I had felt a total disconnect with my pregnancy. I would see pregnant women on the street and couldn’t imagine myself looking like that or feeling like that. There was just no part of me that accepted I was going to look like that. As I thought about that, one of the women at work suggested I had taken the week off because I just felt tiered. She’s a total moron so I didn’t listen to her but it upset me. I assured her that I would have much preferred to be at work dealing with all her crap then sitting at home dealing with what I was going through.

As I walked out to go home, I suddenly had a thought of something I wanted to include in my letter to Peanut – you were wanted, and loved, and won’t be forgotten. Just that thought made the tears well up and I had to push them down. I didn’t want to walk to the train station as a blubbering mess.

I decided that some exercise might be a good idea just to help pound out some of the emotions so I got off the train a station early to do my 30 minute walk home. Around the corner from home the tears started flowing, but again, I managed to control them. But, by the time I got home, I was totally physically and emotionally drained.

I laid on the couch in a blank stupor. I felt so exhausted I couldn’t do anything. I watched television but nothing really sank in. My husband sat next to me and tried to make me laugh but it was to no avail. I loved him for trying though.

We decided to get ready for bed and as I brushed my teeth, the tears I had been trying to push away all afternoon came on. The proverbial flood gates were opened and I sobbed, and sobbed, and sobbed for the next hour.  Whenever I do this, my husband makes me lie in bed and just holds me and tells me how much he loves me. I’m very lucky to have such a supportive man be there for me.

I had a sudden burst of anger and told him I felt like our life was perfect and now it was shit. In his sane wisdom, he told me that our life wasn’t perfect before this happened and it certainly wasn’t shit now. He was right of course, and I apologised the next day for saying it. Again, luckily for me, he knew what I meant.

The next day I felt like a vacant husk. I felt like my body weighed a tonne and each step felt like I was wearing cement boots. I was on the verge of tears all day and had to use what remaining energy I had just to try and be normal. I felt like I was progressing with two steps forward and one step back. I hoped that eventually, I would catch up to myself.

I was somewhat buoyed by the fact my body my body was starting to show signs of ovulating again. It was a few days earlier than expected but to be honest, I really didn’t know when it would happen. I was told that it could take 4 to 6 weeks for my cycle to come back so that’s a wide window. No doubt, it would take my cycle a while to settle down. But, I also realised that my body, just like the universe, was continuing to spin on its axis. It bought a bit of sunshine into an otherwise gloomy day. It represented the chance of another baby.  But most importantly, it represented hope.   

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The worst week of my life

Obviously the title gives it away – this is not a story with a happy ending. But, it’s part of my motherhood journey, and from the start, I promised to be honest and share every aspect of the journey. Of course I wasn’t expecting the journey would take me here, but that’s the thing about a journey – you never know where you’re going to end up!

I was celebrating reaching 7 weeks and it had been a good day. I was feeling well and other than slightly sore boobs, hadn’t experienced any other symptoms.  In the afternoon, I went to the toilet and noticed black stains on my underwear. They were lines so it looked like old stains rather than spotting. I always imagined spotting would be just that – spots!

I knew they weren’t there in the morning but couldn’t figure out what it was. The midwife had only told me the day before that they didn’t really worry about first trimester spotting but to make sure I had anything checked out to be sure.

I called my Mother who told me she had some spotting with her first pregnancy and rushed to the doctor who told her to go home and rest up. My nearly 10 pound brother popped out a few months later! She said it’s probably nothing but to just watch it.

I was getting ready to go shopping and went to the bathroom before I left. There again were the black marks. I knew something wasn’t right and called my obstetricians office.  The doctor on call told me to go to the hospital. He said if everything didn’t work out ok I might need to stay over. It wasn’t a helpful comment.

My husband and I got to the hospital and I told the receptionst what happened. She told me she had spotting with all her pregnancies and her waters never broke. She said “I was a real pregnancy freak.” I said “This is my second trip to hospital in 3 weeks so I’m feeling like a freak too.”

We were taken straight through which is the benefit of paying to go to a private hospital. I had a blood test taken and we had to wait to get the ultrasound. I was due for my 7 week scan just a few days later so I wasn’t sure if it was too early to see a heartbeat or not.

As I was put in a wheelchair and wheeled to the scanning area, I tried to remain calm. I had read so many stories of women who had gone through this and everything was ok. I tried to shut up the voice in my head that was telling me I was not going to be one of those women.
The sonographer did the ultrasound and couldn’t find the heartbeat. He said they would “normally” expect to see a heartbeat given the crownsize which I later found out was the length from the embryo’s head to the rump. Again, I had stories in my head of women who had experienced the same but they found the heartbeat through the internal scan. The internal scan was done and there was no heartbeat. Peanut was not “viable.”

I was wheeled back into my room in a state of shock. We now had to wait for the blood results to confirm the miscarriage. I asked my husband to call the nurse to see if I could have water. I didn’t know if I would have to stay in hospital to have an operation or not. Unfortunately he accidentally pressed the emergency button and suddenly I had a swarm of nurses around me. We had to stifle a giggle – we needed some light relief in the moment.

I asked the nurse if I could have water or if I would need the operation. She seemed mad the sonographer had told me the pregnancy wasn’t viable and in her thick German accident, told me I had to wait for the doctor. I felt like a naughty school girl! But she bought us in some sandwiches and juice which were most needed as we had been there several hours and were starving.

Finally the doctor came in and told me my hormone levels were 78,000. For 7 weeks pregnant, they should be between 72,000 and 220,000 so it was clear the miscarriage was very recent.  He recommended we go home and wait for the miscarriage to come on naturally. He checked with an obstetrician who agreed and we were sent home to see if my baby would leave my body naturally.

That thought horrified me. I didn’t want to see parts of my baby coming out of me. I didn’t want to see something that looked like an embryo or bits of the placenta, or the yolk sac. Actually, I didn’t want to see any of it. Knowing I was going home to do nothing but wait ripped my heart apart.

When I got home I called my Mother to tell her. I was told that if the miscarriage didn’t come on by Monday to call the obstetrician who could operate on Tuesday. My Mother still had hope that it was too early to see the heartbeat. I did too, but it was vanishing by the second.
I went for a walk to clear my head. I rubbed my stomach and said “Peanut, if you’re not well or you’re not happy in there it’s ok to go my darling.” This was 5pm. By 7pm, I had on overwhelming sense Peanut was gone.

I went to bed that night and sobbed. I was sad that I couldn’t protect my baby. I was sad that I couldn’t do anything to change it. I was sad that I couldn’t control anything – not even my body. But, I was also glad that we knew it happened when it did. I was glad that I wasn’t showing and the whole world didn’t know. I was glad that I wasn’t one of those women that miscarried at 7 weeks but didn’t find out until their 12 week scan. There were things to be thankful and I tried to focus on those. However, none of those really made up for the fact I didn’t have a baby anymore!

I woke up knowing I had lost my baby. I hadn’t felt any symptoms for a few days now and I knew it was part of the process. I decided the most proactive thing to do was just to get on with life. I went and did the groceries then came home and cleaned. While I felt some anger towards the universe, I was also immensely grateful for the fact it was a random weekend when my friend Chris was up from Newcastle. She had had two miscarriages and the operation both times. She was going to come over to have a chat to me about everything.

I told her about the last few days and she said the weird black marks were exactly what she had. Every detail I provided summed up her experience. Any last remaining drop of hope I had went in that moment. She went through the operation and recovery process. It was horrific going through this once let alone twice and I was so thankful for her bravery in sharing the intimate details with me. It bought me a lot of comfort.

There was no sign of the miscarriage happening naturally so we went to the obstetrician. I still hadn’t met my obstetrician as he was on leave so I saw the one the doctor had spoken to in hospital. He looked at my paperwork from the hospital and asked “How many babies do you have?” “None,” I replied. “How many pregnancies have you had?” “None,” I replied. “Well, that sucks,” he said. “Yes, it sucks a lot,” I replied.

He took one look at the scans and said “Yes, the baby isn’t viable.” He told me that given my age, and the fact it was my first pregnancy it was very common. I said “Are you sure?” and he said “There’s no doubting it but I can do another scan if you like.” I agreed.

He didn’t even bother with the ultrasound and went straight for the internal scan. He said it’s really obvious when the baby’s heartbeat was there and really obvious when it wasn’t. In this case, it wasn’t there. That was it. Nothing else needed to be said. Peanut was gone.

My husband asked him what the longest time was he knew of someone waiting for a natural miscarriage to come on. He said 16 weeks. I was shocked. The last 2 days had been painful enough, let alone waiting everyday for 4 months. He said I could wait but couldn’t guarantee how long it would take to come on. He recommended doing the operation as any extra time we waited was time we wasted in trying to get pregnant again. I was booked in for the next day.
The doctor asked us if we wanted to have chromosomal testing done on the embryo. He said he didn’t recommend it for the first miscarriage but would if I had another one. He said the first was treated as a random event and there was no reason to think it would happen again. Chris had told me she had it done for her second and had found out the sex and what the chromosomal problem was. We decided we didn’t need to know that information at this time.
We dined on smoked salmon for lunch and got some wine for dinner. I decided to send Peanut off with a bang! Despite not drinking for 2 months, I still managed to polish off a bottle of wine with no difficulties.

I tried to keep myself busy but I was exhausted as I woke up at 4am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I went to the shops with my Mother but felt overwhelmed so had to leave quickly to get home. The tears were coming in random moments in random places but for some reason, almost always in the car!

Eventually it was time to go to the hospital. I kissed my husband good bye and quickly left as the tears began to well up. I waited in this sterile room reading the paper. I was looking for anything to distract me so even read a 5 year old Readers Digest that was falling apart.
I was finally the last person sitting in the waiting room and was called in. The nurse looked over the paperwork and said “How many babies do you have?” I replied none.  “That’s really sad,” she said. I wondered why people kept stating the bleeding obvious. I just smiled.  As we were wrapping up, she said they had another patient come in from the ward and I would be pushed back. But she let me go into the other waiting room with the comfy chairs.

I was placed in the recovery room, outside the kitchen. So for the next few hours I saw sandwiches and drinks come and go to people coming out of their operations. I hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink in about 7 hours at this stage. It was killing me.

I was thinking it must surely be my time when the nurse sat down next to me. But no, the doctor had had to do an emergency caesarean and I would be another hour. A rather cruel twist of fate to think the operation to remove my baby was being held up by a woman having a baby. I chose to let that thought go.

Finally, after waiting nearly 4 hours, they took me through. There was another caesarean coming so they wanted to push me through before that would hold me up again. I was wheeled into a room and had my blood pressure taken. The doctor came in and put the drip in. The anaesthetist came in and explained everything to me. The nurse came in, looked at my paperwork and told me how sorry she was. Everyone was sorry but  I was just sorry I had been sitting here for so long and just wanted it over and done with.

I was pushed into the operating room and had a variety of medicines pushed into my blood system. I had a mask put over my face and was told to suck in the gas. I had a moment of panic that they would start operating on me without me being under so I made sure I kept my eyes open. I must have passed out sometime soon after.

I woke up in recovery 45 minutes later. I had some pain and they put a heated blanket on my stomach and gave me a panadol drip. They kept asking me what my pain level was and I kept telling them it was nothing compared to my hunger pains. At this stage, it was nearly 5pm and I hadn’t eaten in 10 hours. All I wanted was the bad sandwiches I knew were waiting for me around the corner.

Thirty minutes later I was told I could get dressed. I had some bleeding and had to wear a pad. I was also given some wet wipes to wipe the orange goop off my thighs they must have rubbed on before they operated. I was then put into a wheel chair and taken to the food.

I had a lemonade and sandwiches that consisted of ham and cheese, cheese, egg and chicken loaf. They were four of the most miniscule sandwiches I had ever seen. I didn’t touch the egg one as that was just wrong but I scoffed the rest down. I could have eaten another truck load but I just waited until my husband came and dreamt of pizza!

I was finally called to leave and had my drip taken out. The nurse gave me some information on how to deal with going home including a name of a support group. I listened to her half-heartedly as I was really just focussed on getting some food. I walked out, found my husband, and said just go to MacDonald’s or something.    

I went to bed early and my husband cuddled me. He told me he was so scared all day and was just happy to have me home in one piece. He was upset about the baby and wondered what it would have been and who it would have been. But he told me there could be plenty of babies but only one me and that was what he was most concerned about. I went to sleep feeling so lucky I had such an amazingly supportive husband.

I woke up feeling groggy as I hadn’t slept well. I hadn’t used pads in years and they were so cumbersome and uncomfortable. I felt crampy and had a headache so got up, had a shower and a few panadols.

We had decided to go up the coast for a few days so we could just rest and recover and not be at home to do it. I wanted to go to the bottle shop and get some wine to take with us. I then realised I couldn’t drive so had to get my husband to chauffer me. We were both tiered and emotional so had to try very hard not to snap at each other. We had to remind ourselves to be gentle with each other.

Just before we left, I checked the mail. My copy of Practical Parenting magazine had arrived. I took it inside, showed my Mother and said “Sometimes the world has a really sick sense of humour.” I didn’t even look at it. I just tossed it into the box where I had tossed all the other baby magazines and information I had been given. I’m letting it sit there until I need it again.
My husband and I arrived at our apartment and we went for a walk. We had a coffee and got some groceries. We decided we may as well make the most of the situation so we filled our basked up with blue cheese, brie, pate and nuts. All the yummy bad things I couldn’t previously have. That, and a bottle of two of wine would be dinner tonight.

I was starting to get a bit worried that I wasn’t really bleeding. I looked online and saw a lot of women had said they didn’t have any for a few days and then it suddenly hit. Clearly, it was going to be one of those things that would come on and off. I decided not to worry about it.
While I was googling, I came across a miscarriage support group. I read out one of the woman’s posts who said she had had a miscarriage, went on to have a baby, but still felt so angry and bitter about the miscarriage. I told my husband I didn’t feel angry about it as there was nothing to feel angry about it. I really was just accepting it. I didn’t want to be like this lady and hold so much anger and bitterness about it. I was really focussing on the things I was thankful for about the timing of it. My husband and I decided we would try again as soon as we could. We would try before my cycle came back and just take pot luck at when I would be ovulating. We wouldn’t put any pressure on ourselves and just see what happens. It seemed the most logical, calm and peaceful approach to take.

I woke up this morning thinking how quickly your life can change. This time last week I was celebrating being 7 weeks. Just 7 days later, I was lamenting the loss of my baby. I’m always amazed at how life throws us curve balls and all we can do is decide how to deal with them.
I told my husband I could easily be angry every time I see a pregnant woman walk past or a woman pushing a baby in a pram. But shooting them death stares would not be a proactive or a terribly caring thing to do. Even when I told my friends who knew I was pregnant, I wished them love and hugs to their precious babies. This process has taught me that every single child who makes it into this world is a precious addition as so many don’t. What I hope this situation will teach people is value every morning sickness vomit you have. Value every time your 2 year old has a tantrum. Value every time 4 year old tells you they hate you. Because they could have very easily not have been here to do those things.

Luckily, I’ve done a lot of emotional work with counsellors over the years so I think that’s put me in a good place to deal with all of this. I feel well equipped and relatively emotionally stable, minus the random tears. But I know that moving on all depends on how I choose to respond. I choose to respond with love and appreciation rather than anger and bitterness. I know the hard times will come when I see in my diary in a few weeks time I was meant to be having my 12 week scan. Or when I see my friend who was due at the same time as me and realise her baby is coming and mine isn’t. When I see my grandmother in a few weeks time and realise that was when I was meant to tell her. So, I am under no delusion that there will be some tough times ahead.

But, I have decided I will look at pregnant women with love and joy for them knowing my time will come. I will look at my diary and know my 12 week scan will come. I will look at my friend’s growing belly, send silent prayers she has a safe pregnancy,  and know my growing belly will come. I will look at them with the same love, joy and appreciation I always have. Because, afterall, when my time does come, that’s what I want to teach my child – that the universe will throw curve balls at you but you can choose to survive it and come out the other end stronger and better off for having experienced it.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Week 6 – The consistency of inconsistency

Weight – 71.2kg

I started this week by looking at child care centres. It seemed so strange to be looking at a child care place for my child in April 2014, but that’s the reality of the lack of spaces at the moment. I looked around at the other children, facilities and teachers and scanned their every move and interaction. Having worked in child care for 8 years in a previous life, I was probably more on the ball than most. This, coupled with the fact I took my Mother who was a primary school principal for over 10 years, meant we had everything sussed out.

It was hard to determine what a good centre would be. I couldn’t base my decision on the staff as they probably won’t be there come April 2014. I could really on go with my gut feel and the fact that food and nappies are provided. They were some excellent tips from friends with kids!

Other than that, the first half of week 6 went ok. I caught up with a friend who had a baby 6 weeks ago. I was shocked to hear she had no real symptoms throughout her pregnancy – no nausea! It made me realise that the only thing that is consistent about the pregnancy experience is it is totally inconsistent! Not only is it inconsistent between woman to woman, but also within yourself. I started reading some website forums and all the women say the same thing – I was feeling sick now I’m not. I had sore boobs now I don’t. I was feeling exhausted now I’m not. And all of this can be within the space of a few days. I expected that I would have some symptom and feel them every day. But no, it comes and goes. Clearly it’s dependent on what I’m doing during the day so funnily enough, when I spend the day lying on the couch, I don’t feel so bad. For the days when I have to come into work early, I feel crappy until about 12pm then it comes back in the afternoon. 

While it’s nice to know that other women are experiencing the same thing, it’s sad to also know that we all experience such anxiety about it as a result. We worry over every little twinge, twitch, pain, ache, gush, or stab. Everything is new. Everything is weird. And everything has the potential to spell disaster. But I’m trying to put all of that to the side of my mind as this week also brings my first obstetrician appointment. I am so desperately hoping we get to have a scan and see a heartbeat. I’m not afraid to use my hospital experience to my advantage and tell them we should do one just to make sure everything is ok. Surely something positive should come out of the experience! But, I must admit I am feeling nervous about it. I’ve already booked in my 13 week scan without having gone to this one. But, I’m telling myself I’m now over half way to the magic 13 mark where, hopefully, that scan will go swimmingly well and we’ll finally be able to share the news with the wider world.  But, we’ll get through this scan first!

The night before my appointment I burst into tears. I think it was a mix of emotions and all the bad stories I had read of women going to scans and finding out their babies had died. I just couldn’t imagine anything worse. My husband, in all his wisdom, told me there was no possible way we could prepare ourselves for that if it happened. So worrying about it was pointless. He also told me that I need to listen to him and put my Ipad down! He was right!

As is often the case, worrying was futile as I didn’t have a scan. I have to wait until I’m in my 7th week so the midwife gave me a referral to have one next week. It means more waiting but I’m happy to wait if it means there is more of a chance of seeing the heart beat.

We discussed my medical problems – including my back problems, tilted pelvis and vulvadynia. Given all of that, she told me it was likely I would need a caesarean. She said we will see how the pregnancy progresses, but to prepare myself for the likelihood. I had already thought that so it didn’t come as a shock. I told her I didn’t care how the baby came out – just as long as it was safe and healthy. I also told her I’m not one of these women who think they are less of a mother if they can’t have a vaginal birth. How you bring them into the world does not dictate the type of mother you will be. It’s what you do with them, and to them, that dictates the type of mother you are.

Other than that, I need to stop eating BBQ chicken, eat more red meat and take calcium tablets. I was concerned my calcium was down and she said the OB likes women to have 4 to 5 serves which I know I would be no where near. So off for some calcium tablets I go!

She told me I need to be careful about lysteria because even though it is rare, it happens. She told me a story of a woman who came up to her at a party and told her her child had died at 16 weeks from lysteria. They confirmed that was the cause of death and the only thing they could contribute it to was some pate she ate on a beef wellington at a friends house. This woman hadn’t told her friends she was pregnant so mental note – don’t eat dinner at anyone’s house who doesn’t know you’re pregnant!

It was timely advice as I got back into the car and realised I had left my lunch in the car. It had been an hour so my yoghurt and meat pie and mash had been warming up in that time. It was only 9am so it wasn’t too hot but the story stuck – it wasn’t worth the risk. So on the way to work I had to buy a frozen meal to have for lunch instead as I couldn’t think of any quick food I could get for lunch that would be ok to eat. It was a fairly depressing meal so looks like I’ll be doing some cooking on the weekend!

The last words for this week go to my remarkably insightful aunt. When I told her about my mini-meltdown and cry fest, she said “It amazes me that women are prepared to give up alcohol, smoking, coffee and cheese for the sake of their baby, but they’re not prepared to give up stress.” It was like a shovel between my eyes. She was right. The stress was not doing me, my husband or Peanut any good. It was time for me to start thinking about my family and what was best for all of us. I got into bed and told my husband I wouldn’t be looking at any more websites or reading any more books. I told him he was right and, on this occasion, I would listen to him. I then hugged him and thought wow, this is now a family group hug!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Week 5 – Battle of the boobies

I apologise for the late posting of this. It was one of those crazy weeks! I am endeavouring to post every Friday as that's the start of the new "week" - in baby terms that is!
Weight – 71.2kg
So despite eating like a Trojan I haven’t put any weight on this week. I’m trying to focus on doing some exercise which includes getting off the train at the station before mine and walking home for 30 minutes, yoga once a week and at least one walk on the weekend. I’m happy to see that even though my food intake has increased, I’m striking a good balance.
I found a pregnancy calculator that predicts how much weight you’ll put on during your pregnancy based on your pre-pregnancy body mass index ( It tells me I can expect to put on between 11.3 and 15.8 kilos. That’s quite a gap but it’s within the normal range for the amount of weight you should put on. Given you pretty much loose between 5 and 8 kilos the minute the baby is born, I can cope with that!
The nausea has kicked up a gear this week so the crystallised ginger has become my best friend. It’s terrible stuff but it seems to help. For some reason “morning sickness” is my greatest fear. Not the actual act of being sick, but the fear of never knowing when the onslaught may hit.
A friend once told me her morning sickness was so bad she had to vomit into her handbag on the way to work! I don’t fancy that so have a plastic bag stashed in my handbag for any emergency. I am keeping my fingers crossed I won’t succumb to anything that bad.
My breasts have become the star attraction this week. I’m suffering a dull ache that throws a few stabbing pains in there just for fun. It’s a little embarrassing to be in company, feel a stabbing pain, and want to grab your boob! All I can do is take paracetamol for the pain and hope it doesn’t last too long.  I’m still suffering my stomach cramps so between that, and pulsating breasts, my poor husband is too afraid to touch me.
But, the best news of the week is finding out a girlfriend is also pregnant and due at the same time as me. I am so happy to have someone close by to share this with and, given this is her second, she has past experience to guide me. We’re already planning our maternity shopping and play group dates so suddenly, the whole process doesn’t seem anywhere near as daunting as it did.
I’ve been very lucky that I have great friends around me that have offered fabulous advice thus far. And I will continue to rely on them to share their experiences. But I note they share their stories with hindsight and, for some, there has been an impact of time so some of the details aren’t as sharp as they use to be. For the majority of things, it doesn’t matter. I just appreciate their comforting words. However, what I really appreciate is being able to tell someone I had cramps and had to go to hospital and for them to tell me they had to be sent for extra blood tests. We are both anxious, scared and non-judgemental. We empathise that we would have done the same thing if that was our situation, and in fact, we did do the same thing! We understand where each other is coming from and I feel blessed by the baby gods to be given such a gift.


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