Tag: IVF pregnancy

19 weeks pregnant.

And another week bites the dust!

I spent this week feeling stressed for non pregnancy related reasons, which was quite annoying. I felt really emotionally and physically drained, when I should have been feeling amazing. But I hope that next week will be a fresh start.

I am still getting used to calling my bump a ‘her’ or ‘she’. It sounds so foreign to me. I spent a long time calling the baby, ‘it’ haha. Probably shouldn’t do that anymore, considering there’s a creepy AF remake of the Stephen King movie out right now! Even saying the word ‘girl’ feels awkward. I guess that’s OK – I have a while to get my head around it! I am very excited but I think I am in a bit of shock. I never realised how used to the idea of having another boy I was. I just thought it would be an inevitability, quite honestly! I think maybe once my mum is around more and we can start planning fun stuff together, like decorating the nursery or going shopping for clothes together, I will start to feel more able to embrace the idea. I think maybe the stress I felt this week sadly overshadowed a time when I should have been adjusting to, and really celebrating, the good news a lot more.

This week, I also bought myself new bras. Up a cup size, y’all. Probably up two, but I got a good deal on bras from Big W so we’ll just go with that for now. Maybe I’m in denial haha. I think my next over the shoulder boulder holder purchases will probably be proper nursing bras, so I am holding off a little.

I had a doctor’s appointment this week. I was looking forward to it. Partly because I had some issues I wanted to ask about and address, and partly because it’s always a way to connect in some way to my pregnancy – I am always likely to have a scan or hear the heartbeat. It was good/important to have Mr Unprepared visit the clinic for the first time and meet the doctor. He’d taken a lot of time off work to get me through my fertility treatments and appointments and IVF, so making it to every appointment once I fell pregnant became a lot harder (although he hasn’t missed the important ultrasounds). I felt like he needed to connect with the process more and this was helpful, I think.

I had been worried about my itchiness (as mentioned in previous updates). I was finally able to show the doctor what my rash spots looked like. The bad news is that he agreed it could possibly be a re-emergence of the PUPPP rash that I’d suffered from during my first pregnancy, but the good news was that he was really knowledgeable, compassionate and pro-active about it. During my first pregnancy, I’d waited until it was really bad before telling anyone (it was embarrassing and it was my first pregnancy so I didn’t know what was normal), and then my previous doctor had been on leave (haha of course) and I’d had weeks of seeing random GPs who had no experience with the condition, and then I’d had to make my way up to the city for a dermatologist’s appointment, before finally getting help. By then everything had set in quite awfully and the mental and emotional damage had probably been done too.

This time was different. I was quick to mention my itchiness. The doctor was also quick to prescribe me some medicated cream and anti-histamines – all safe to take during pregnancy (please do not try these things without getting medical advice of your own). He explained that I am probably allergic in some way to my own pregnancy hormones/baby’s DNA. So that’s fun!

I immediately filled out the scripts and already felt better, mentally. It’s always nice to feel like you have support and a plan. So far the drugs seem to be working OK (not perfectly but OK). Some areas seem to have become 100% better and others are still a bit of a problem but haven’t got any worse. I will re-visit the clinic at about 24 weeks, just to check in and get any extra help if I need it. I am just glad that I am catching this condition earlier than last time. Maybe I can stop it from ever getting as bad as it was.

I cannot stress enough just how important it is to mention anything and everything when you see your care providers. If you’re uncomfortable in your skin or have an embarrassing issue, just listen to your gut and tell someone. The earlier you get help, the better it is for your mental health. Truly.

I’ve always thought I was huge (bump wise), although not as big as I thought I was when carrying the Little Mister, but I was surprised when the midwife measured my belly, to find out that its size was bang on between 19 and 20 weeks at the time of my appointment. While this can vary a lot in every woman and should probably largely be taken with a pinch of salt, I still felt a little relieved that maybe I wasn’t as massive as I originally thought (especially with my snacking being a bit out of control haha)! My mum reminded me that I was actually quite small (normal and healthy but small) when I was born – according to my adoption records and early photos. I felt relieved at the thought that maybe having a girl might mean she could take after me (Mr Unprepared was quite humongously big when he was born and while the Little Mister thankfully never reached that size it was close enough for my comfort levels I can tell you).

I was given instructions for further appointments and tests (I am not looking forward to finding out if I have gestational diabetes or not) and I was on my way. It felt good to fill out my calendar with exact dates for once (after the relative unpredictability of infertility).

I don’t know how to end this post, so here’s a picture of my bump at 19 weeks…

Until the next update, see ya later! x

18 weeks pregnant.

During the 18th week of pregnancy, a lot of my thoughts turned to: OH HOLY SHIT. I AM ALMOST HALF WAY THROUGH THIS PREGNANCY ALREADY. I’VE DONE SHIT ALL TO GET READY FOR THIS BABY.

Very helpful thoughts, obviously.

Then I’d calm down and remind myself that I wanted to find out the sex of my baby first, before buying too much stuff or planning on how to decorate. Not that I am too fussed about the whole pink vs blue thing or the full on gender stereotypes (in fact I think that I can be a bit of a rebel), but it was a good way to procrastinate guilt free for a bit longer haha.

This week it really felt like my belly was streeeeetching and with that stretching came some itchiness in my stretchy areas. I also had some itching in the areas that can get a bit hot/humid. Arm pits, backs of my knees (weirdly), other less dignified creases. I’d happily not bring this up, because it can be embarrassing (and not very glam) but I didn’t talk about similar symptoms when I was pregnant with the Little Mister right away and I think it gave the itchiness too much power. Maybe I’m weird but I am a person who finds itchiness to be the worst psychological torture you can imagine (from a privileged first world point of view of course).

Gotta keep it real.

I’m probably not overreacting (much), because during my first pregnancy, I suffered from the PUPPP rash – most women get it from about 35 weeks pregnant and it lasts until they give birth. For me, it came at 20 weeks!! It’s a severe rash and it involved a panicked trip to a dermatologist (after suffering way too long because I had no idea what to do and neither did a lot of GPs I saw while my doc was on leave) who had to prescribe me a strong steroid cream because it was the only thing that would help. It was hell on earth.

Anyway, this severe rash had seemingly started with the itching symptoms I have described above, so I was paranoid for most of the week. I had to keep reminding myself that lots of women feel overheated or get dry, sensitive or stretchy skin when pregnant. It doesn’t have to eventuate into a big fuck off rash situation. It might, but it doesn’t automatically mean it will.

So I’m avoiding soap in the shower (no I do not stink – I use soap free lotions to clean myself) and using a light moisturiser on my problem areas. I’m also avoiding tight pants or jeans. Luckily, spring weather is arriving so this isn’t too hard to do. Wish me luck!

This week, Mr Unprepared felt his first kick from the outside of my belly. I find when the baby moves much lower down in my uterus, you can feel it more. It was a fleeting moment but a special one. I am sure there will be many more where that came from over the coming weeks!

One day shy of 19 weeks along, I had my anatomy scan. We had been very excited about this because we hoped to find out the sex of the baby (and I would have no choice but to face the fact that my procrastination period would be over haha). We went in and it was so awesome to see how the baby had grown so much since my 12 week scan. Seeing it move, hearing the heart beat, having the sonographer tell us everything was measuring beautifully and everything was looking healthy was fantastic. The baby was not very cooperative at times and really didn’t want to pose for photos or be easily nailed down (that’s a terrible use of words) for measurements of certain things and it freaked me out about future personality issues hahaha.

Eventually, we heard the words…

“I can tell you that you are definitely having a little girl.”

Neither Mr Unprepared or I could hide our shock or our excitement. I had secretly hoped that one day we’d have one of each, but it just didn’t seem like it could happen (I mean I know scientifically it can but I just didn’t think it could happen to us). I’d been ready to love and embrace another boy because we had been through so much that any healthy baby would be more than enough – preferring a gender just seemed greedy. Not that a baby won’t be whoever they are as they grow up (regardless of their body parts), but I guess I did appreciate my brother and I being ‘one of each’ and I was happily a breaker of stereotypes anyhow – still am. The Little Mister had expressed this desire quite openly. He wanted our family to have a boy and a girl. A brother and a sister. I was overjoyed for him (and relieved we weren’t going to have to work through any disappointments with him).

We whooped a bit and looked at each other like, WOW. THIS IS AMAZING. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT.

We told our loved ones right away and everyone was so excited. There are so many males in both our families that everyone is excited each time a girl gets added to the mix (things are slowly evening up)!

We are over the moon and I still can’t believe I will have a girl! I can’t believe my husband will have a girl! This will be so good for him haha. I think he will be smitten. I think he already is!

We went to lunch to celebrate (I had a fancy mocktail) and before we knew it we were talking names and giggling over the bad ideas we found in our new baby names book!

We told the Little Mister on the way home from school and his face lit up. He exclaimed, “YAY!” and told us that he was more excited than when we told him I’m pregnant. It was very sweet.

What have you been up to this week? Would you want to find out the gender ahead of your baby’s birth? 

17 weeks pregnant.

Yo! Here’s my 17 week update…I’m crap at thinking up a really smooth pre-amble so I’m just going to jump into it and let you know how my week has been!

Celebrity baby news…

Yep. We all heard about our good mate Kate and her baby news. I have decided that our babies will be besties. I’m pregnant at the same time as royalty, so that’s nice haha. I have to say that when I read that she is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum for the THIRD TIME, it made me feel really grateful that I have not had to experience anything like that. Imagining a princess (or Lady anyhow – I don’t know how it works) looking wrecked AF, head over the toilet bowl, really weirdly makes me love her more. Weird pregnancy bullshit does not discriminate, y’all.

There’s a Kardashian West baby rumoured to be due in January. I guess it’s time to let you in on something. I am carrying Kim and Kanye’s baby. I know. Please. No media.

Little Mister has been working it to his advantage…

This week, the Little Mister realised that if he told strangers that I have a baby in my tummy, they thought it was the cutest, sweetest, funniest thing ever. So he played up to it as much as possible.

“Hi, my name is *Little Mister* and my mummy has a baby in her tummy.”

Everywhere we went.

All the “oohs and aahs” and “I bet you’ll be a great big brother”s really made him happy haha. Shout out to all the staff at the local IGA – thanks for sharing in our news 😂😂😂

Cravings…

I had a real hankering for anything peanut butter related. Whether it was in ice cream or a slice or whatever, I was wanting it. I’ve enjoyed peanut butter before, but I have probably never raved about it. In fact, I thought it was kind of an overrated flavour and couldn’t really understand the fuss. I mean, I loved it as a spread on apple slices when trying to be healthy, but that was the extent of it. Now I feel like I get it. I really really do.

Forgetting I am pregnant…

I think I had a pretty good week. At times I was able to forget for a few hours at a time that I was even pregnant. I didn’t feel huge and I could get through the day with relative ease. Occasionally, I would have to run my hand over my belly to remind myself! I swear that at the same stage of pregnancy with the Little Mister 6 years ago, I felt more pregnant than that.

Is it a boy or girl?

That’s been the most frequently asked question lately! Basically, we have decided we want to find out at our 19 week scan. I keep asking myself why it’s important to find out – I’m not that rigid on gender stereotypes – but I really do want to know!! I honestly have no gut feeling about what this baby might be. All I know is that I will be happy either way. It would be cool to have a girl (even things up a little in my house), but I have an AMAZING little boy who I have enjoyed immensely so another one would definitely be lovely.

Do you like to find out before the baby is born or do you like to wait?

16 weeks pregnant.

At 16 weeks, the baby was the size of an avocado. Yum!

This week, I started to feel some little movements! I felt little movements at 16 weeks when I was pregnant with the Little Mister, so it was nice to have it happen so soon again! At first I wasn’t sure, expecting some of it to be indigestion or something. Trust me, I thought I felt a lot of things going on in there while we were trying so hard for a baby (not kicking or anything obviously but tugs and pains that I hoped were a sign of early pregnancy) and I was always wrong. I am not one to jump to conclusions these days!

A couple of times I sneezed (fact: I sneeze with gusto) and right after, I would feel a couple of suspiciously timed little jabs like the baby was all, “WTF WAS THAT, MUM?”

Another time, we were eating lunch out with friends and I hadn’t really had much for breakfast beforehand. The moment I started to munch on my meal, I felt little flippy, movey feelings! Since then, I have had occasional feelings of movement when I’m still and now I’m really impatient for them to become pronounced enough that Mr Unprepared and the Little Mister might be able to feel them. In saying that, it’s probably a good thing there’s a while until then…I remember how I felt last time at that point haha.

I was really excited because I was able to get out and about in my favourite dress. The one with a cool tiger on the chest and a flowy black skirt. The bad ass dress that I was too scared to wear when I wasn’t pregnant in case it made me look pregnant. Hilariously, when I put it on I realised it made me look NOT pregnant and I was all, you mean I could have worn this all along?!

This week I did a big clean out of my wardrobe. I put aside all of the things I am now too round to wear and I tried on literally every other thing so I could see what outfits I could create from my existing non-maternity wardrobe. I was pleasantly surprised by a few things (and unpleasantly surprised by a lot of other things haha). Now I know how everything will look/fit and that makes life a lot easier. Before that, I was doing trial and error last minute before going anywhere and it was getting a bit time consuming and tiresome!

Also of note: my stretch marks from my last pregnancy decided to reinvent themselves. Back from the dead, a little more dangerous looking and ready to cause trouble. Much like Taylor Swift. LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. I’ve been moisturising a bit and praying I will never have a repeat of the rash from hell of 2011.

The Little Mister has suggested some baby names already. So far we have Little Mister Junior, Tim (random) and Pat because he wants the baby to grow up to be a postman. I’m thinking that maybe when we do start to think seriously about names, we might need to create a shortlist first before handing over any input!!

Also, on the topic of the Little Mister – he got his first wobbly tooth this week! Maybe it’s not pregnancy related, but damn it’s awesome and he’s growing up so much and I love him so!

15 weeks pregnant.

Week 15 of my pregnancy felt like a bit of a roller coaster of emotions! I blame the hormones!

I learned that I’m a bit more sensitive to the energy of other people when I’m pregnant. One example was a beautiful, sunny day when we went out to a community event. There were people everywhere and there was a wonderful, buzzing atmosphere. We ran into heaps of people we know and it was lovely. I actually had a really great time! When it was all over, I felt like I was completely wrecked and on the verge of tears! I think I had just gone into some kind of overwhelmed state and I couldn’t process everything. I was also feeling a little awkward as so many amazing people were excited to congratulate us in person and I never know what to say (although the sentiment is so lovely and it feels so nice to know so many people care so much). I think I just needed a nice shower and a rest.

The next emotional moment was a heart wrencher! One day, the Little Mister had written everyone’s names on his little chalkboard. Mummy, Daddy, Little Mister (obviously he wrote his real name) and the joke name for my bump. The names of everyone in our family. It was very sweet. Later that afternoon, Mr Unprepared walked past and noticed that the Little Mister had rubbed his name off the board but left everyone else’s. He asked why he had done that and the Little Mister replied, “Because when the baby comes you won’t love me anymore.”

He had the saddest little face and Mr Unprepared scooped him up in the biggest hug and tried to reassure him that it could never ever happen and that we would love him forever and ever no matter what. I had been in the other room and walked in wondering what was going on after hearing the tail end of their conversation.

When Mr Unprepared explained, I wanted to cry for my little man (who has wanted to be a big brother for the longest time)! I hugged him tight and told him that one of the reasons we wanted so much to have another child was because we wanted two children to love and who could love each other – not one! I said the family would never be the same without a very important person in it – him. That Mummy and Daddy’s hearts are so big that there’s plenty of room for us to love two beautiful children just as much as each other and that would never change. He seemed really reassured by that and afterwards, his demeanour changed a lot. He seemed a lot less anxious and more sure of himself. Poor little mite.

I was trying to figure out where he got that idea from. We had certainly not treated him much different. We talked about the baby coming, but I had always made a point of not obsessing in front of him. We had talked about the dogs – one of our dogs is very old and we were worried about her health (turns out the spritely old bugger is fine) and had mentioned in passing that when she was no longer with us, we might just stick to one dog for a while. Could it have been that?! I felt a bit bad when it occurred to me! I’d been giving the Little Mister extra cuddles and affection since I’d found out I was pregnant because I wanted him to feel special. Did he think I was just getting my last hugs in before the big goodbye where we set him adrift?! It was heartbreaking to think that he could even believe that we’d stop loving him. Whether he likes it or not, he’s got us for life!!!!

This week, I also started to get a bit self conscious about how fast my bump was growing. Being my second pregnancy, I think I’m a bit bigger than I was at this stage with the Little Mister growing inside me. I can’t be sure because I never took photos (sorry not sorry for the spam but I don’t want to miss out this time), but I felt like I was getting huge. I don’t know if it’s a throwback from the extra hormones from IVF but I think my boobs are much more massive than they were last time too! I thought people would be staring at me thinking I’m about to pop. I felt a bit embarrassed that I was only 15 weeks along. Like maybe people would think I was just 90% fat and 10% baby. Even though if that was the case, it would be nobody’s damn business anyway!

I think I felt like I started this pregnancy a little bit behind with my fitness and my eating habits and my weight. IVF (and all that had come before it) had been rough and I weighed more when I fell pregnant than I had with the Little Mister.

Even though the rational me knows that a growing baby/bump is a good sign (it’s the not growing that has to be worried about) and that looks are nothing compared to mine or the baby’s health, the irrational, temporarily insane, pregnant me had a cry anyway. My bump will grow how my bump will grow and it’s a miracle and I needed to get over myself! Mr Unprepared set me straight one night when I did the hormonal crying thing and it really did help. I did get over it.

By the end of the week, my energy started to return. It was a really good feeling. I could make it through a whole day without needing to have a nap! I still fell asleep quite early at night, but that’s acceptable I think! I had started to think that maybe being an exhausted sloth was just who I was now. It was a relief to find out it wasn’t!

Do you have more than one child? How did your first born react when they found out that a sibling was on the way? Did they worry? 

14 weeks pregnant.

This week was full on. We were very busy and it felt like bub was very busy growing too!

It all started when Mr Unprepared showed me a car that was up for auction. He always shows me cars on auction websites (or Gumtree) so I don’t usually pay them much attention (especially when they’re very expensive or have crazy V8 motors in them or they’re the 10 millionth ute he’s fantasised about in a day – he already has a ute damn it). But this time I have to admit that he had my interest. He’d found a car that was newer than mine, practical for a growing family (with dogs), ran on gas (cost effective to run when you have just committed to many school years with hour long round trip commutes) and it actually looked nice in the photos.

It was his version of nesting. He wanted us to have a good, reliable family car so he knew that preggo/mummy me would be safe and comfortable. How could I say no to at least having a look at it? Anyway, long story short, we checked it out in person and I had a really good feeling about it. We hadn’t exactly planned on a purchase like that right that minute, but thanks to some frugal living and pretty sensible financial decisions it was doable. Not to mention that it was a bargain. We won the bidding on it and it’s beautiful to drive! Nobody knows who the hell I am in the school car park anymore but it’s fantastic haha. I do feel comforted knowing it will be a long time before we need to upgrade or worry about reliability/ease of maintenance.

A lot of the week was spent making arrangements to collect the car – I did so many hour long road trips on top of school runs!

I felt a bit uncomfortable when sleeping this week. I could feel my uterus stretching a lot and it was a little unsettling. I mean, obviously it was great that everything was growing, but it could get uncomfortable as I tried to lie on my side at night. I found that the constant ‘stretched’ feeling was exhausting and thought, oh shit – I ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

I’d laugh because when I first woke up each morning, my belly would look quite small and sometimes I felt like I didn’t even look pregnant. However, by the evening it was a different story (no matter how much or how little I ate)! I felt HUGE by the time I climbed into bed!

I felt like my bump had really popped out this week and was no longer just the bloat of early pregnancy. It was a good feeling.

I really enjoyed dressing my bump too. After hiding in hoodies and (non maternity) jeggings for what felt like an eternity, it was fun to not worry about showing off my belly. I actually love being pregnant because a lot of my hang ups about my belly disappear. Suddenly it’s not this annoying body image issue that I have to fight with myself about each day. I think I spent 3 years on and off hormones, dealing with bad PMS bloat and feeling sensitive/paranoid about the idea of someone mistaking me for being pregnant (the one thing that was a sore point for me throughout all the infertility stuff). It was nice to finally be able to shake that off.

Here is the first ‘put together’ outfit I had worn in ages. It felt good – like I’d deliberately dressed myself in something that resembled a ‘style’!

Also, this week I stopped spotting. It had been happening for a couple of weeks and I was so over it. It was so exciting when I realised it had disappeared. I really hope it’s gone for good. Even though I knew my pregnancy was looking good, it is never fully settling to know that there’s some bleeding going on.

Because of this, I started to look forward to the idea of being a bit more active and thinking a bit more about exercise. Key word: thinking. I was a bit too tired and busy to quite get to it!

 

13 weeks pregnant.

At 13 weeks, it felt really good to see the end of the first trimester! I had worked through a lot of feelings, found great reassurance in the fact that our first trimester scan had gone well and I felt comfortable enough to make plans with people again. It gave me a thrill to take my time walking through the baby sections of local shops without having to look over my shoulder and worry about who might see me. I could peruse the (very god damn limited) maternity clothing. I could buy some stuff in person. I was out and about with my bump and it felt good (even though I was still bloody exhausted)!

I took my first official ‘bump’ photo in a Target change room. Turns out that I am a size 8 in their popular stripy maternity dress. I have no idea how they work out the sizing. It’s so weird. I suggest going down a size or two in their maternity range!

I had brunch with a couple of long time friends this week. It was so lovely to catch up. One of these friends was spending some time over here (she lives in the US now) introducing her gorgeous baby daughter (3 months old at the time) to her Aussie people. My other friend is about 10 weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy and had actually told me about it the day before my IVF transfer (not realising that I was going to have it done)! It wasn’t just the same wonderful catch up we always have. Well, it was. But for me it was also a beautiful moment. We talked all things baby – maternity wear, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, how my friend was doing a fantastic job as a first time mum, how my pregnant friend and I could relate in having a larger age gap than average between our existing ‘only’ children and our babies to be. Weird food cravings and aversions. How amazing it was that the three of us (plus another dear friend who had a 3 month old baby also) had managed to share this experience so closely with each other, despite none of us ever imagining it. I was just beaming with happiness for all of us.

I was thrilled. I had sat there with these gorgeous people and instead of harbouring a little bit of sadness for myself, I had been over the moon. Really happy. I was in sync with my own little ‘second mother’s group’ – something I never thought would happen to me as I fell further and further behind a lot of my friends’ family planning schedules. I am so excited for what’s to come.

This week I had my first really definitive batshit crazy pregnancy dream. The symbolism was so hilariously obvious that I woke up laughing. Basically, it was Mr Unprepared, the Little Mister and I. We were headed for a little getaway. I had my guitar with me and some books to read (i.e. luxuries that can be hard to partake in with a baby or toddler) and we were going to be staying in some flash suite at the top of a hotel (I KNOW). But it turned out that to get to the top floor, we had to undertake an obstacle course. A tricky situation that resembled the Mousetrap board game, somewhat. It took balancing and leaping and dodging things. There were vacuum cleaners and piles of Lego and all manner of shit in the way. This wasn’t your usual ‘take the stairs’ kind of situation! I had to push the Little Mister up through these obstacles, trying to keep him safe the whole time. You get the idea 😂 Nice work, subconscious! Oh, and I never made it to that luxury hotel suite hahaha. OH WHAT HAVE WE DONE.

I had my appointment with the doctor this week, to follow up on my first trimester scan. It went really well. I got to hear the baby’s heartbeat again and that was pretty freakin’ awesome. And funny. The slippery little sucker kept trying to escape the doppler, so the midwife had to trap it from the outside with her hands! I’ve got an active one in there! It made me really excited for later on when I’ll be able to feel it.

I also realised this week that I have been a bit scarred from having so many vaginal ultrasounds. I keep associating doctor appointments with having to take my pants off and deal with having an awkward wand up the bits scenario. So I would find myself trying to dress as if it was going to happen, mentally trying to psyche myself up for dealing with that kind of thing. I would do the whole over the top ‘trying to maintain grooming/freshness down there’ us ladies tend to do before that kind of situation, before having to remind myself that those times are over. It’s OK. They’re just going to put some gel on my belly and my pants are staying put. It’s been harder to shake that weird expectation than I thought it would be.

Some people dread dealing with that kind of thing once a year – or ever – so I guess it’s probably understandable that I have lost my mind a little bit after experiencing it about 12 times a year (on average) for like 2 years.

Has anyone else ever had some wicked pregnancy dreams? I want to hear about them. I find them so interesting! 

12 weeks pregnant: Announcement time.

As you might have gathered from my last blog post, I HATED having to hide the fact that I was pregnant for the entire first trimester. HATED IT. While I didn’t feel ready to announce it to everyone (for various reasons), I also hated having to hide things. Because I am not a ‘hider’. I am a sharer. Big on openness and honesty. At least that’s when my soul is the happiest.

It got difficult when I started to show. Even though I’m sure I just looked like I had a severe case of the muffin top (probably kind of still do), I felt incredibly self conscious and would take ages trying to figure out how to disguise my emerging bump. Big scarves. Hoodies that have great front pockets you can put your hands in on cold days. A big puffer jacket. At one point, I literally wore a big camouflage button up shirt which is pretty hilarious now that I think about it.

I was working through a lot of things.

I felt confused. I had survivor’s guilt. Something I did not really see coming. I had bonded with a bunch of amazing women in a private Facebook support group. Women who had been in similar situations to myself – desperate to grow their families but struggling. We had been able to vent to each other and feel safe with each other – no fear of being misunderstood or judged. You felt less alone in there.

I realised that by being pregnant, I was possibly no longer a sufferer of secondary infertility and while it’s something to feel absolutely stoked about, it brought me sadness that now I was set apart from these amazing, tough women. That they couldn’t feel the joy I was feeling. Not yet.

It really gave me an identity crisis, truth be known. Now I’m just another happy pregnant woman and it takes a bit of getting used to! I could still strongly identify with those who would feel sad seeing my bump. Hearing my news. I felt like I would walk around forever feeling guilty that I might be unknowingly hurting someone’s feelings. Because I knew how it felt.

In the end, I realised that I couldn’t hide any longer. That I should celebrate. That I need to for the sake of my mental health. That I never begrudged anyone who was pregnant while I was struggling. I just kept to myself because it was my issue, not theirs. I had to assume that someone who was suffering would probably feel/do the same. If the time came to make a happy announcement, I would not be afraid to document my pregnancy and to share the great news. I would understand if anyone needed to unfollow me or mute anything on the topic, but I couldn’t deny myself my own joy. What would be the point in waiting so long for this moment if I sabotaged it for myself? That would serve nobody. I was so grateful. AM so grateful. To act ungrateful out of some weird guilt would be stupid.

We had planned on not telling anyone until after my 12 week screening. We then wanted to tell the Little Mister, followed closely by our families. We wanted him to be the first to know.

Of course, things don’t always go to plan. When I had my bleeding/spotting scares, I had to call my mum to help me take care of the Little Mister so I could have extra tests. She was able to guess but her and my dad were awesome and not only kept it to themselves, but held back from congratulating us because they knew how I felt. I didn’t want that moment just yet – especially when I was so worried. Not long after that, we let our siblings and my parents in law know because fair’s fair. Everyone was instructed to not let on to the Little Mister. Once he knew, the whole world would!

When the day of my 12 week ultrasound arrived, I was a big ball of nerves. I knew that with that would come the news about whether we were at high risk of having a child with Down Syndrome or other abnormalities. I was so stressed about it. Even though the odds should have been low for us, I was still feeling panicky. Partly because of hormones making me anxious and partly because we’d just come from a fertility clinic where a lot of the patients are older and considered higher risk – it had been drummed into me somehow. Not to mention I was still trying to get past the whole “we can’t ever be that lucky” mentality.

The scan went well. The sonographer was lovely. We saw the baby moving a lot (A LOT!) and all the measurements looked good. It was fantastic to share that with Mr Unprepared who had been unable to see some of my more recent scans in person.

 

Afterwards, I was still a bit wound up and tense. I wanted my phone call. The phone call where the sonographer makes calculations based on the scan results and the blood test results and tells you if everything’s fine.

We were waiting in the school car park to pick the Little Mister up from school when the call came. It was amazing when she told us everything was looking fantastic. I could physically feel a weight lift off my shoulders. It was amazing. I finally felt actual, unrestrained joy.

When we got home, we told the Little Mister by presenting him with a T-shirt that said “Big Brother” in trendy font (as you do these days haha). He took an agonisingly long time to open his gift but his reaction when he realised what it all meant (with a little help sounding out the words) was so priceless. He was overjoyed. He had wanted a sibling for so, so long. He had even invented an imaginary brother and sister for at least the previous year (much to my horror and guilt)!

After that, we told our closest friends via message. It might have been nice to be able to do it in person, but we felt like we had waited so long and we couldn’t possibly cover enough ground. You have to understand my level of desperation at being able to live out of the shadows for the first time in a very very long time. I just wanted the news out there. Not just to be able to share the joy with so many amazing people who had supported us through the tough times and cheered us on, but to be able to live my life without being frustrated, secretive, paranoid or anxious. Finally.

Then came the public announcement…

Not the most artistic thing you’ve ever seen – I couldn’t get the colours right haha. But it made the right impact! Making social media announcements isn’t for everyone, but for us it worked. It got the message out there to as many people as possible. I knew now that I could live my life out in the open and it was a really important step in the healing/moving forward process for me. There was no going back. I had to make that clear to myself. This was real. Now everyone knew. Best get used to it and have some damn fun!

All of the overjoyed comments, the people who had goosebumps, sweaty eye balls and who had confessed to dancing in their kitchens at our news made us feel so amazingly loved and supported. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

The first trimester.

I just want to start this blog post with a huge thank you to all of you who have been following my journey (can we come up with a  better word than ‘journey’?) from secondary infertility to pregnancy. Your supportive comments and congratulations have all been so heart warming and revealing. I think it’s so important that we talk about those hard things. I wasn’t always ready to in real time, but it’s meant a lot to me to share my story – even after the fact. To know you have been there reading along is so wonderful. So thanks. You’re frickin’ amazing. 

I feel so lucky to finally be updating you on my pregnancy. I hope you will bear with me as I document it. I didn’t really write down as much as I wish I had when I was pregnant with the Little Mister, so now is my chance! x

I think this felt like the longest first trimester ever. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, time just dragged. I felt like I was carrying the weight of 3 years of trying to conceive around with me – not just 3 months. All of the cards kept close to my chest. Not being quite as open and as honest as the usual me would have liked to be. The stress of wanting to make sure that all was OK. Even though I was so grateful to be pregnant, I was also sick of still feeling like I was living in the shadows. I didn’t feel safe to celebrate. I didn’t feel like I was able to be fully me. The me I was before we started to try for a baby in 2014. The ‘me’ I’ve missed so much. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I’m stronger and I’m wiser. I wouldn’t take that back. I just missed being able to live my life without it revolving around my fertility (or lack thereof as it was). Having to stay quiet and never quite feeling safe to spill the beans kind of took some of the joy out of the experience. I felt like I was still trying to process everything that had gone before. My head really struggled to keep up. I am not at all trying to sound ungrateful. Holy shit, I am. SO GRATEFUL. This is literally a dream come true. It still didn’t quite feel real.

I spent a lot of days not getting a whole lot done (I think some of my friends thought I was being the laziest cow haha). I was spotting non stop from week 5 to week 8. It scared me and even though I knew I couldn’t prevent a miscarriage if it was ever going to happen, I was worried about everything. The two times I really did venture out, I dodged a bullet with food poisoning (all my friends ate the same thing and had it but somehow I did not – pregnancy super powers?) and I even accidentally ingested alcohol (long story – not my fault and not my friends’ faults either). So then I was too scared to do much after that. And then I bled one day before 12 weeks ticked over (which lasted for two damn weeks). Which was crazy because it was exactly the same day of pregnancy that it happened when I was pregnant with the Little Mister. So I was worried, but trying not to be because the last time I’d had a beautiful baby. But then I psyched myself out thinking that what if I didn’t worry too much but it did turn out to be something horrible. I worried some more. Luckily the doctor reassured me I was fine.

I worried about my 10 week blood test (the one that screens for risk of Downs Syndrome etc). Did I mention that when I’m hormonal, I get anxious? Great side effect, that is. Add all the trauma I was trying to work through from the infertility and the enormity of the IVF and shit got crazy inside my brain at times.

I was quite wiped of energy in the first trimester and I got a bit nauseous so my appetite would fluctuate from non existent to wanting to eat ALL OF THE FOOD. And then when I would eat ALL OF THE FOOD, I’d feel like shit after. I had a bit of heartburn. Who knew it happened so early? Luckily it passed (for now).

But it wasn’t all totally stressful. I was finally able to dream a bit. Slowly begin to accept baby type things into my mind. I could get clucky looking at baby stuff on Instagram. I could be happy when celebrities gave birth. Hey, I was even pregnant at the same time as Beyonce for like a few days. Goals! I let myself watch movies that had been on my DO NOT EVEN GO THERE lists for years. I cracked and ordered some maternity clothes because I was not fitting in my jeans anymore. It was fun looking at pictures of people with bumps showing off some really great fashion ideas on Pinterest. I even found myself hoping some of my good friends would announce pregnancies at the same time as me so we could be baby bearing buddies (some did which was so amazing – I never thought I’d be in sync with anyone in my close circles ever again).

For the first time in a really long time I could think about that stuff without crying or having a mental breakdown. You have no idea (or you might). That in itself was huge.

I was tested a lot during the first trimester – blood tests every week until 8 weeks (plus a couple more when I had bleeding scares). My hormones were always on track. I had my dating scan at 8 weeks which was amazing. Oh and hearing that heartbeat never gets old, right? 😍

I started at a new clinic closer to home where I was lucky enough to get a bonus scan at 10 weeks (again – AMAZING) and when I had that bleed just one day shy of 12 weeks I got an extra scan again! I was really weirdly lucky to get to check in on how it was all going as often as I did. I found it very reassuring.

I started to get a little bump from about 9 weeks onwards (always worse in the afternoons/evenings) as my uterus expanded and changed shape. I am only 5 foot tall so everything shows with me. Even lunch when I’m not pregnant. There’s nowhere to hide anything. Even though I’m a bit chubbier than I was when I fell pregnant with the Little Mister (I honestly blame the infertility stuff because of the hormones and the comfort eating and the irregular ability to exercise the way I wanted to), that bump still made itself known. I had to hide a lot in hoodies with front pockets and big jackets etc. It got a bit stressful! I hated hiding but I was too scared not to.

I was hanging out for the all clear at the 12 week scan so much, like you would not believe!

Our IVF story: Part 5 – Pregnant or not pregnant?

June 2017 (2 years and 11 months after beginning our attempts at trying to conceive)

Waiting after our first round of IVF to find out if I was pregnant or not was pretty tough! I had basically coped by talking myself out of any possibility of it working that time. I tried to be philosophical about it all. I figured that if it had failed, then it wasn’t meant to be. I wanted my eventual baby to be strong and healthy and if it wasn’t going to be viable, then I would have to be OK with it. I still had more chances before my odds of success decreased significantly.

I had a blood test lined up for 12 days past my IVF transfer. THE blood test. The one that would tell me if I was expecting or if I would be trying again. Oh, the pressure!

In the meantime I had to insert progesterone (guess where) twice a day. It was gross and a bit annoying, but nowhere near as bad as having to inject myself.

Mr Unprepared had been really supportive while we waited. If I worried about anything, he would read about it first and then tell me only the reliable information. It made me feel so much calmer not having to sort through the noise of the internet.

Only thing was, he was getting impatient. He kept reading about all these women who took home pregnancy tests really early and got positives. He never pressured me, but I could feel that he was really really hoping I’d try to be one of those women (he’s not always known for his patience). Thing is, I had trained myself for at least the last two years to never take a pregnancy test. Just wait for my period. Because taking a test was stressful and heartbreaking and never positive. I knew that what would be, would be. Whether or not I knew a few days in advance wouldn’t change anything. If I was pregnant, I would find out eventually haha.

I had started spotting a bit. That usually happened in the days leading up to my period. I tried to brace myself for a disappointing outcome. So what if all the things on the internet said that spotting was more common in women who have had IVF and that implantation bleeding can be a thing. SO WHAT. I had done this so many times before. I was not prepared to break my own heart at home with a pee stick. Let the nurses and doctors do that with their blood test!

We made it as far as 10 days past my IVF transfer. Two days before my scheduled blood test. It was a Saturday morning of the June long weekend. I was getting myself all knotted up worrying about my period arriving and ruining everything. I was so tired of my life revolving around my period and I was nervous that a movie date with my friend in a couple of days would be a bust. I was sick of having to cancel plans (my periods were ridiculously heavy). I was sick of the unknown. I was sick of the unpredictable. I wanted to know if I was pregnant or not so I could get on with my life.

I had it in my head that it was far too early to test, but Mr Unprepared (buoyed by the resounding idiocy of the internet haha) was in disagreement. He had seen my frustration and finally he had his chance to quietly suggest I take a test. He must have been so relieved when I said I would. He wasn’t the only person dying of suspense.

He left the bedroom to tend to the Little Mister – getting him breakfast and such. I took that chance to head to the toilet with an old test I’d had in the bathroom drawer for about a year (I couldn’t believe it wasn’t out of date yet). I followed the instructions and I stood in the toilet (not in the bowl just in that tiny room haha) and waited. I knew from that fateful positive test with the Little Mister 6 years prior that if it was going to be a great result, it wouldn’t take long for the second line to show.

I wasn’t too optimistic. I figured that I might get a super faint line that you had to squint at to see. That this test might tell me nothing. But I was so sick of not knowing, I was willing to take a chance.

Soon a faint second line showed up. I sighed and thought – yep. It’s super faint. I don’t know about this.

I kept staring. The three minutes wasn’t up.

The line progressively got stronger and stronger before my disbelieving eyes. My brain really wasn’t catching up, to be honest.

 

Soon the line was only a millionth of a shade lighter than the control line.

I stood there in shock. I was willing this strange new information to go into my brain. I kept saying to myself (not out loud), YOU ARE PREGNANT. I’M PREGNANT. HOLY SHIT. I’M PREGNANT. NO FOR REAL. I’M PREGNANT. AFTER ALL THIS TIME I AM PREGNANT. LISTEN TO ME, YOU DUMBO, YOU’RE PREGNANT.

Finally it registered. I started crying. 3 years worth of tears. Oh gosh I’m tearing up writing this.

Mr Unprepared eventually managed to extricate himself from the Little Mister’s breakfast demands and came to check on me. He saw me crying and he went straight into comfort and sympathy mode. He hugged me tight and kept saying, “I’m sorry. It’s going to be alright. It’s going to be OK. I’m sorry.”

I stopped him and said, “You haven’t even looked at the test…”

“It’s negative, I know. I’m sorry.”

“I SAID YOU HAVEN’T EVEN LOOKED AT IT.”

He looked at me like I’d lost my mind, took it from me and saw the two lines.

I was hugged ferociously again and I could hear him laugh-crying in shock. He didn’t have to say it. I could hear it in his tone.

You. Bloody. Beauty. We did it (well so did a lot of other amazing people who helped us but you know what I mean).

We might have experienced our miracle. Finally.

I was over the moon. We were over the moon.

I went on that movie date with my friend and gosh it was tough not telling her. I was so happy not just that I was pregnant but that I wasn’t getting my period – I’m not kidding. You don’t even know. My shark weeks had been ROUGH.

Two days later, I had a phone call after my blood test.

“Congratulations! You’re pregnant and your hormone levels look great.”

Oh, my heart. Of course I had an inkling already, but hearing it from somebody else was amazing. This was finally real.