Tag: ultrasound

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? 

Our secondary infertility story: Part 2 – HSG.

This post was written in October 2015 (about 15 months into our efforts to conceive) while everything was still fresh in my mind. I’m trying to publish the stories that I would have liked to read at the time. These stories haven’t been told by me until now, because it was a sensitive subject that was hard to talk about and I thought it best to wait until it wasn’t so raw. 

You can catch up on part 1 here

I’m quickly learning that sometimes it’s the anticipation of a fertility related procedure that is the worst part. So far I have had an ultrasound (yes – that includes the type where they stick a wand up your hoo ha to get a closer look at things) and today I had an HSG (a procedure where they push dye through your fallopian tubes to check for blockages and stuff – yes – that involves a complete lack of dignity in the hoo ha area too).

I have found both experiences to be very nerve wracking. Waiting to undergo these things was one big mindfuck, to be really blunt with you.

There are two elements to help you lose sleep at night:

  1. Not knowing how you’re going to cope with the physical procedure – it’s quite *ahem* personal and you hope that things won’t hurt or cause you pain or put you at risk of infection (I am a bit sensitive about that because it was an infection that caused me to go into labour some issues when I was heavily pregnant with the Little Mister). You’ve never had some of these things done before, so the unknown can always be daunting.
  2. Not knowing how you’re going to feel emotionally – before, during, after – depending on what the experience is like and what the experts find while they’re exploring/testing. Will the staff you deal with be friendly and have a good bedside manner? Will they explain things to you in a way you understand? Will they make you feel comfortable at such a vulnerable time? What if you get bad news? Is that at least an answer (after spending over a year not knowing what the hell is going on and why you’re not pregnant)? Is no bad news good news? Even if you still have no idea why you can’t conceive?

Today as I was lying there on a big table with my feet up in stirrups, feeling the air on my private parts, I felt all kinds of nervous. The lovely radiology nurse was so good at talking to me – making conversation, showing empathy. I was able to ask questions about the kind of pain I would be dealing with (if any). Nurse people, you are all AMAZING. While I did have a midwife (after a C-section, PUPPP rash, an infection, blood tests out the wazoo and several drips etc) make a stupid comment at me after I had the Little Mister, “Gee, you don’t like pain do you?” I have decided that she was just being a thoughtless cow and it’s OK to cope with the anticipation of something you’ve never had done which might be invasive or hurty in whichever way you need to. For me, asking about the pain level or when I’ll feel the discomfort – having the nurse, phlebotomist or doctor tell me in detail what’s going to happen and what I might feel at each stage is how I cope. It stops me from having an anxiety attack about it all. It helps me to relax. If it helps you too, then do it. If someone doesn’t honour the process you’re going through and how vulnerable you are in that moment, they are in the wrong job. It’s not a reflection on you.

If the nurse hadn’t told me the pain/cramping/discomfort might only last 30 seconds to a minute, I would have freaked out thinking the procedure took longer (it’s not like I’d had it done before). If she hadn’t explained in detail (with warmth and empathy) the process I might have just kept thinking the worst about the words on the consent/information form I’d signed – ‘injecting’, catheter, cramps, ‘side effects’…etc.

I am honestly so overwhelmingly grateful for the people who have been so good to me in this process. The kindness and caring of the staff has been second to none and I admire them so much for bringing that to their work.

In the end, everything happened exactly how the nurse described it might. When it was over in a flash, I was just relieved it wasn’t worse. I was given my dignity back and looked after well.

In both my ultrasound and my HSG, things have come up as seeming to be normal*. Which is great from a structural point of view, but mystifying from a ‘why can’t we conceive?’ point of view!

I am just relieved that I will not have to do any more blood tests or have any more strangers exploring in my private parts for a little while.

I know that it will take a couple of days at least to process everything that’s happened so far. I find that on the day I’m a bit mentally numb, glad I survived a procedure, a little bit weepy, but it doesn’t all sink in for a while as the busyness of getting back to real life kicks in. I just hug the Little Mister and keep on going until I get a moment to myself. Then I let myself bawl, journal it out, use my wonderful support networks. Plan for whatever comes next.

I don’t have my follow up appointment with my doctor until mid-late November. About three weeks from now. I am hoping that he can take all my information gathered from my tests and give us a real direction to head in. I am nervous but excited to actually get started.

*while they didn’t technically see anything wrong, in hindsight I have looked at the X-ray and wondered if the fact that the dye seeped out slower through one of my fallopian tubes could be a factor in my secondary infertility.