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30 October 2011

Livin' on a Prayer

Wow!  I have been a bad, bad blogger.  No excuses though.

Last time I wrote I was nearly 12 weeks.  This was me today at 20 weeks (halfway there):

The 12 week scan went well.  Our Down Syndrome risk came back as 1:5700 so we felt happy to share our news.  Posting it on Facebook and telling people at work was an amazing moment I feared might never come.  Here is "Hernlet" at 12 weeks:


Health wise has been pretty easy on me so far.  Apart from the chronic tiredness (so far the 2nd trimester energy lift has passed me by) I've been feeling pretty good, although I never realised I could pee so much!  There have been a couple of scares though.  The first one was about 14 weeks: I went to the bathroom and noticed there was blood in the bowl.  Of course I froze.  Trying to keep calm I asked Joe to take me to the Royal Women's Hospital Emergency Department.  I thought this would be the quickest way to get help, given that there wouldn't be car accident victims, assault victims or people with random illnesses waiting there. Well...3 1/2 hours later we were finally seen by a doctor.  He examined me to see where the blood was coming from, causing me a massive amount of pain in the process (and almost causing Joe to knock him unconscious).  We had told him about my miscarriages and he then proceeded to tell us it looked like "the same thing might be happening again".  This was an incredibly stupid thing to say, as my miscarriages were all earlier than 9 weeks.  Further, while I understood that "threatened miscarriage" was just the medical term used for bleeding during pregnancy, Joe didn't, and was understandably freaked out. Luckily the Dr did give me a scan and there was Hernlet, moving around as if nothing had happened.  As we left the hospital Joe paged my OB who said that if it happened again I should just call him straight away and he would fit me in for a scan.

A few weeks ago it happened again.  I was busy getting ready for work and felt a gush.  For a second I thought I'd wet myself but I hadn't been feeling the urge to pee.  When I got to the bathroom I saw a big bloodstain on my underpants.  Joe called the OB and he said to come in at 9 and he would do a scan.  Again, Hernlet was moving around happily.

Now we are coming up to the 20-week or 'morphology' scan on Wednesday, which also happens to be our third wedding anniversary.  Feeling a bit nervous as I don't know how I'd cope if things went really wrong after getting to this point.  The fact that I've been feeling flutters on and off since about 17 weeks is somewhat reassuring...but that niggling doubt remains.  For now I can just hope that Hernlet continues to be the little fighter he or she has been so far.   Or as Bon Jovi put it:

31 August 2011

Almost 12 weeks

Apologies again for neglecting this blog.  Between some late nights at work and the fact that by the time I get home I'm basically "running on fumes" it has fallen by the wayside a bit.  But I haven't forgotten about my little tenant.  It's a bit hard to when I'm still using 2 pessaries a night and having weekly scans.

The last scan we actually got to see Hernlet moving, which was really bizarre, especially since I can't feel it.  I think s/he objected to dildo cam disturbing his or her serenity and tried to move away.  We get little photos after each of these scans, but because it is a fairly basic machine, you don't get a huge amount of detail.  Still, the sonographer was able to point out the orbits of the eyes and where the limbs were forming.  I have to say though, with the greatest respect to my unborn child, in the photo we got s/he looks a bit like something from "Close Encounters".   I would try to scan the picture but I'm really not sure it would come out.

Friday is the last of these quick pregnancy check scans.  Sunday (by my calculations) I will be 12 weeks.  Tuesday is the big one: the NT (nuchal translucency) scan.  This is where they measure the thickness of the back of the baby's neck.  This result is combined with the results of a blood test (which I had about 10 days ago) to give you a risk ratio for Down Syndrome and a couple of other chromosomal disorders.  As I'm 33, my age-related or 'background' risk is already higher than a woman in her 20s but all will come down to the results of these tests.  From my reading I believe that anything higher than 1:300 is considered 'high risk'.  If the result comes back as high risk we will be offered a definitive test: either amniocentesis, which is done at around 16 weeks or chorionic villus sampling (CVS), which can be done at 12 weeks.  Both carry a small risk of miscarriage.  I am desperately hoping that my results come back 'low risk'.  Joe and I have discussed it and we don't think we could continue the pregnancy knowing that the baby had DS.  But I think it would be incredibly 'cruel' - if you can use that word for something that's really bad luck - for us to get this far and get bad news.  I am trying not to think about it too much as I realise that worrying won't help.

Provided we get good news on Tuesday, I should be in a position to 'come out of the closet' and announce this pregnancy.  The idea of that is almost as surreal as seeing the Hernlet moving around on the ultrasound screen.  I realise that things can still go wrong after 12 weeks but I figure some time in the next month or so I won't be able to keep it a secret anyway (plus I think if I make them wait much longer, my parents' heads might explode!) ;)  At the moment I don't have a clear "bump", I just look like I've been to too many all-you-can-eat restaurants.

Anyway, here's hoping for a good result on Tuesday.  I will try to update then.

13 August 2011

Too Tired to Blog

Yes, it has been almost 2 weeks since my last post.  Turns out the baby books weren't joking about the first trimester tiredness!  I even find myself nodding off at my desk...which is kind of awkward when people don't know that you're pregnant and probably think you've been having too many big nights.  Doesn't help that I get pretty bored at work.  Did tell my boss about a week ago. He knows about our m/cs and was really happy for us.  Anyway, I'm finding at the moment that I have just about enough energy when I get home to have something to eat, collapse in front of the TV and then drag myself to bed (remembering to pop in a pessary before I go to sleep).  Can't complain too much though...Hernlet really hasn't given me too much by way of morning sickness (the odd queasy moment here and there, especially when the guy across from me at work has his tin of tuna for breakfast!)

Speaking of Hernlet, we got to see him/her again yesterday.  The machine at the place where I'm having these extra scans is a relatively basic one so you don't see all the detail but you could see enough to tell that a) Hernlet has grown! and b) Hernlet has a good, strong heartbeat.  DH was pretty amazed because the previous week the heartbeat had just been a tiny flicker but yesterday you could really see it pumping.

Anyway, depending on who you ask, I am 9 weeks either today or tomorrow, so Hernlet should look something like this:


On Tuesday we have our first OB appointment where we'll probably get to see Hernlet again.  We'll also get the referrals for the NT scan and blood test, so of course that's the next thing I'm worrying about.  Hopefully all will be ok and then we'll be able to finally share our news.




31 July 2011

7 weeks

Well, 7 weeks today, and apparently the Hernlet should look something like this:









Cute, huh?  Still looks like an alien though.  They say that once you see a heartbeat your risk of miscarriage goes down to about 5%.  As I've said, I've been on the wrong side of statistics before...My sister also lost a baby after having seen the heartbeat so I know it does happen.  Just hoping that all will be ok for us.  All in all this is a pretty helpless time...I can't have scans every day and even if I could, if something were wrong there's not much doctors could do anyway.  I don't have many symptoms either, and the ones I do, like tender boobs, could also be due to the progesterone pessaries.  I'm also peeing all the time.  In fact I may just relocate my reading, TV watching etc to the bathroom to save time.  Just have to convince DH to install a TV in the bathroom.

We have an appointment with the FS on Wed.  Not exactly sure what will happen but she may refer me to an OB.  Still trying to decide on who to go with.  Have decided to go to Jessie McPherson Private Hospital (all being well).  It's on the same site as a major public teaching hospital so if we needed special care they wouldn't have to transfer us.  I was going to see the OB my friend used with her twins but she has apparently booked up as the other female OB who delivered there has just retired.  When I first got pregnant I wanted to go to Cabrini Hospital, which has a reputation for being a nice cushy place to give birth.  The problem is that you have to book in with them as soon as you get a BFP which, after three miscarriages, I didn't have the confidence to do.  In any event, my priorities have changed...I'd rather have the best medical care available than the cushiest hospital room.

Will post again after our appointment on Wednesday.  Keep growing, little one...

26 July 2011

A Beautiful Heartbeat

Just wanted to do a quick update and let you all know that we saw a beautiful heartbeat of 110 BPM this morning. 'Hernlet' is measuring 6 weeks 3 days so 1 day ahead. I was too scared to look when she inserted DC so I kept my eyes closed until she said "see this". DH and I were shocked and DH actually had a tear rolling down his cheek by the end. I realise we still have a long way to go before we are 'out of the woods', but as this is the first time we have seen a heartbeat, we are now in uncharted territory.

25 July 2011

Stressed

So the scan is tomorrow and I'm feeling a bit sick about it.  Every loss has taken something from me...a little bit of my optimism I think.  I'm worried that if it's bad news tomorrow I'm going to have to pull myself off the floor again.  I'm worried that this is going to affect my ability to do my job, go out and socialise, be happy for other people...Sounds like my priorities are a bit messed up, I guess.  But it's all part of self-preservation and reminding myself I'll be ok no matter what.

I realised I hadn't updated on the BT results last Monday.  HCG was 1406 and progesterone was in the 80s.  So the pessaries are definitely doing something.  I guess I'm one of those people whose HCG doubles every 3rd day rather than every 2nd.

Anyway, I'm hanging in there.  Send me any positive vibes, prayers etc.  I can use all the help I can get.

24 July 2011

Six Weeks Today

and two days away from possibly getting a better idea of whether this pregnancy is likely to be a success or whether it's going to be another cruel trick my body plays on me - the scan.  I have been trying to remind myself that it may be too early to see a heartbeat...even with dildo-cam.  By my calculations I will be 6 weeks 2 days which is borderline early for a heartbeat.  In fact my FS told me to go for one "so we could see if there was a sac".  She didn't mention anything about a foetal pole, let alone a heart beat.  So we shall see.  The memory of my last pregnancy scan is still clear in my mind; in fact, yesterday was the EDD for No 3.  I'm sure I will be feeling quite ill on Tuesday.


Been too tired to blog lately.  Joe and I have been working late and I've barely had time to eat, not to mention cook dinner or blog!  I read that progesterone is the culprit for the chronic tiredness in the first trimester.  Well, it's not surprising that I'm exhausted then since I'm taking a double dose of progesterone pessaries!

As for symptoms, they seem to vary a lot, but there always seems to be one that's prominent, which I guess is reassuring.  Yesterday it was peeing all the time.  Today it's feeling exhausted and incredibly thirsty.  Still not much by way of morning sickness, although on Friday I did feel quite unwell when I didn't eat between about 9 and 1.  It seems totally counter-intuituive to eat when you feel nauseous but I know that's what you're supposed to do.  I can't help wondering whether it's the progesterone causing the symptoms (2 x pessaries per day) or the pregnancy itself.

Yesterday I went to the dentist and then Rachelle and her gorgeous twin girls.  They seemed to find my 'pillows' quite comfortable and both slept on my chest at different times.  They are beautiful but it seems ridiculously hard having 2 of them at once, especially when one of them has a set of lungs that convince me she will one day be an opera singer!

Well that'll do for now.  Fingers crossed for the scan.  Will update then.

16 July 2011

Mind Games

I'm playing mind games with myself.  I've always been a fairly anxious person. I'm always trying to think of the worst case scenarios.  I remember being at my graduation looking up to the stage and thinking of all the places I might potentially trip and embarrass myself between my seat and the Vice-Chancellor.

I think I do the same thing with getting a BFP.  I think a lot of women in my situation do something like this.  I tell myself I'm not going to get attached.  I tell myself not to get ahead of myself and picture myself holding a baby.  I tell myself to picture going to the loo and seeing blood on the paper so I won't be shocked if it happens.  I picture going for an ultrasound and hearing the words, "I'm sorry, I can't find a heartbeat" again.  Why do I do this?  Do I think I can cheat disappointment by getting there in my mind first?  Am I trying to take back a little bit of control in a situation where I feel powerless.  But inevitably there's a small part of me that hopes I'm wrong.  And that little part of me is always going to feel crushed when i end up being right...again.

Got my second round of results yesterday and they weren't quite what I had hoped: HCG had gone up but only to 873, so definitely not doubling and progesterone had gone down to 39.5.  Then to make it even more reassuring I went to the loo and got a little brown spotting when I wiped.  To top it off, my FS doesn't work on Friday afternoons so I couldn't discuss the results with her.  I sent messages to 2 of my friends who know about my BFP.  One had the same FS and suggested I get the hospital to page her, so I did.  She didn't seem that concerned about the HCG not doubling and suggested I start using the progesterone pessaries again.  I still have some from last time, plus a prescription with 2 repeats so I get to have fun sticking little white bullets up my hoo-ha and then lying still for half an hour while it "melts".  Only this time I have to do it morning AND night.  I have a row of these things, in tear-off strips and in a moment of black recurrent miscarriage comedy I told DH I'd imagined myself with a whole 'belt' of them worn crossways over me...like a short, overweight, female version of Rambo.

The FS also told me to go get another blood test.  Results should be in Monday morning.  It's our housewarming tomorrow so at least that will provide some distraction.

I'm still getting some brown when I wipe.  It's really just tiny bits and if I wasn't so ****ing paranoid I probably wouldn't even notice.  And I know that brown spotting doesn't necessarily mean the worst.  But brown spotting for me has always meant the beginning of the end.  So other people's stories don't offer me that much reassurance.  Plus, now that I'm on the pessaries I'll worry that they're masking an impending miscarriage, which is what happened last time.  I was peeing all the time (like I am now) and I had the odd bit of brown spotting (like I am now).  But I had no idea that the embryo had stopped developing at 6 weeks.

When I tried calling my FS the answering machine message gave a number to call "in an emergency".  Are disappointing test results an emergency?  No, and they don't necessarily mean the worst.  Plus, even if they did, there's nothing anyone could do at this point if the pregnancy was failing.  But the mind games I play with myself could, if they continue, qualify as a mental health emergency.  For now I'm ok...for now...

15 July 2011

the Human Voodoo Doll

That's the best description of my experiences this week.  Tuesday had my HCG and progesterone levels checked.  The FS called about 12 on Tuesday and told me to get referrals for blood tests on Tuesday and Thursday.  Of course my GP is nowhere near work so I found a medical centre in the city that's close to one of the collection centres and luckily managed to get an appointment at 1:15.  Only 1 vial this time - not like when I had my recurrent miscarriage testing and they took 9!!!

Wednesday night I went to my acupuncture appointment where she did some treatment to help the little one stick and some positive visualisation and relaxation.

Yesterday I had my 2nd beta HCG and progesterone and got the results of the first one...online!  The doctor gave me a code to log into a website with my results.  This newfangled technology! ;)  So I know that my HCG on Tuesday at 16DPO was 557 and progesterone was 47.6.  I've been through this enough times to know that one HCG result doesn't mean anything on its own so I'll be checking today to hopefully see that it's doubling.  As forthe progesterone, I really don't know what is considered good, but I think as long as it's above 10 and not dropping it's ok.  Fingers crossed.

Otherwise symptoms aren't too strong.  Am peeing constantly and get really thirsty and my boobs are a bit tender but only really if I press them.  Just trying to distract myself as much as possible and not think too far ahead.  Sometimes I succeed...

12 July 2011

A Letter to my Baby

Dear baby

Ok...so apparently right now you are about the size of a poppyseed...yet still causing me to drink and pee all the time.  Go figure!  Something so small probably can't pick up on emotional energy or 'vibes' but in case you can I thought I would write this.  Even if it means nothing to you now, hopefully I'll be able to show it to you one day and show you how I felt right now...or at least remind myself.

You may have noticed, when I realised you were there, a distinct lack of endorphins or adrenaline, or whatever hormone is supposed to be produced when we humans are excited.  Please do not think that this is because you aren't wanted.  It is because you are so wanted that I have to try and stop myself getting attached at this early stage.  Because I have had to harden my heart to withstand disappointment.  But don't that let you stop getting attached.  You cling on tight.  You be strong until I can be and hopefully I will have the chance to show you soon how much you are wanted.

Love

your Mum-in-waiting

10 July 2011

Here we go again...

BFP this morning. Didn't even wake DH up to tell him this time. Will see how long this one lasts...

09 July 2011

Grant me the Serenity...

So I'm 13 DPO and I haven't tested. I usually have a 12-day LP. I'm also spotting. Just a bit of brown. It might be the start of AF...or it might not. Right now I am trying to be really 'Zen' about things, which is so un-me. We'll see how I go.

06 July 2011

10 DPO...not that I'm counting...

So...still getting those mild crampy feelings, but only in the afternoon today.  I was also seriously thirsty.  So of course I start googling symptoms.  I worry I'm setting myself up for a fall...either now or in a few weeks.  Call it the triumph of hope over experience.

Yesterday we had an electrician come to install a safety switch, our fan/bedroom light and a new power point in a better (and legal - i.e. not above the bath) position.  DH took the day off work as he doesn't like tradesmen being in the house when we're not here.  He used the time to clean and tidy :) but unfortunately forgot to reset my alarm :(.  Luckily my body clock woke me up this morning at 6.21 am.  I had to get brekkie at work but we did get out in time.

Now off to distract myself with some "Offspring".

04 July 2011

And let the obsessing begin...

So I'm 8DPO and it's started. Symptom obsession. Today it's my bladder. Now DH likes to tease me about its less than impressive capacity. But now I need to go 5 minutes after I've been. The problem is I've also had this symptom and then got a BFN. Plus, what would a BFP be anyway but a promise that may or may not be kept. In line with what my shrink says I'll just have to accept that overanalyzing things is in my nature because trying to fight it is only going to make me think about it more. Also feeling a bit queasy in the last hour or so. Still no testing till at least Sunday...Monday if I can manage it. Hopefully this blog will keep me honest.

DH and I went into USA Foods, American Grocery store, to get sloppy joe sauce and of course a few other things found their way into our basket as well. I've never had 'Hostess Cupcakes' but Joe remembers them from his childhood. They look positively evil.

02 July 2011

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Thanks to the beautiful Maria @ Every Day is a Country Song for this prestigious award.  Apparently I am not supposed to make 3 wishes without letting the power go to my head - mwahaha

Maybe I should ask Chief for advice since we believe he is "Ceiling Cat" after all...

Funnily enough, there is a black cat that lives nearby, who cries to get into our apartment sometimes.  I have taken to calling him "Basement Cat".  He hisses at us when we try to tell him to go home, so I think he is living up to his name.

Anyway, 'scuse the rambling.  I was cleaning the grout in the shower this morning with a toothbrush and might have got a bit high on the bleach fumes (j/k).  So...3 wishes...

I know Maria already said this one, but I have long said that the working week should be 2 days and the weekend 5.  Let it be so!

Secondly, I think it's high time there was such thing as a self-cleaning house.  I wish I could be a bit like Barbara Eden in "I Dream of Jeannie", fold my arms and blink and the dishes, vacuuming, dusting and bathroom cleaning would all be done.

Finally, I think we should all be able to travel by telekinesis, which means none of us would have to worry about airfares, airplane food or those tiny airplane toilets anymore - we could travel somewhere just by concentrating.  Which means, whenever I was feeling a bit down (or one of them was) I could travel to one of my internet friends and we could go get some girly treat like facials or ice cream sundaes or something.  Of course we'd also be able to go back in time so if we needed to speak to a close friend or relative who had passed away, we could.

Well those are my thoughts for now.  I suppose I should get back to cleaning the house...

01 July 2011

Intermittent Craziness

Happy New (Financial) Year!

Six months ago I was saying how I hoped the New Year would be better than the last one.  Let's face it...2010 pretty much sucked.  So far 2011 hasn't been much better, with Joe's dad dying in January, issues at work, my cycles going weird on me and then developing appendicitis!  But I was thinking last night, when I said I hoped the new year would be better, I didn't say which new year...So maybe 1 July is the turning point...

'Offspring' on Wednesday was so close to home it was almost painful.  Watching Bille's reaction when she had to listen to someone talking about how much they loved their baby but how they hadn't known what to do...but at least "she hasn't died" and trying to hold it together, or sitting it a cafe where everyone around you seems to have babies...painful!

Offspring - Season 2, Ep 10

In those situations I've always felt a 'pull' between the etiquette of sitting there and continuing to socialise and wanting to run far, far away to a place where there are likely to be no children...like a brothel, for example! (just kidding).  Of course, most of the time I do a good impression of being a functional, well-balanced human being...but sometimes the "crazy" comes out.  The other day at work, the Managing Director was talking to one of the partners about his wife's birth story a few steps away from my desk - how she'd had to have a caesarean etc...and I found myself humming so I didn't have to listen to it, not loudly mind you, just under my breath so I didn't hear the conversation but...Humming!  I don't think I've hummed to drown someone out since I was about 7 years old!  I'm surprised I didn't put my fingers in my ears and start singing "la la la la la, I can't hear you"!  This is not the behaviour of a mature, sane adult.  Anyway, I guess the facade is going to slip sometimes...

29 June 2011

The "Too-Weak-to" Wait

Well the all-knowing Fertility Friend has called O for Sunday, so I am now 3DPO. This is the part of the 2-week wait when I get to pretend I'm a normal, sane person. It's next week that I'll be analysing every twinge and playing hostage negotiator with myself about a HPT (step away from the pee stick. If you end this now, nobody needs to get hurt).

This month I am going to try to be really Zen about the whole thing (notice the use of the word 'try'). We'll see how I go...

28 June 2011

Offspring

"I'm sorry.  There's no heartbeat."

Last night's 'Offspring' was a little close to home (well, apart from the donor sperm from gay brother-in-law aspect ;)).  Hearing those words took me back almost 7 months to my scan.  It was hard to hear, even though I kind of guessed that's what the screenwriters had in store.  Billie, the pregnant character, was just a little too cocky about the pregnancy.  She still had the whole "positive pregnancy test = baby" innocence and kept talking about "when the baby is here" and "where the baby will sleep" and touching her tummy even though she didn't have a bump yet.  You could tell she was about to be brought back to earth with a thud. 

Was I ever that innocent?  It's hard to say,since my head was so screwed up when I first got pregnant.  I certainly knew that miscarriage was possible, although I never envisaged having 3.  This journey has been so much longer and harder than anything I could have anticipated...and it's still going.  I hope I never have to hear those words again...

Offspring

Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn't have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by
When "happily ever after" fails
And we've been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers dwell on small details
Since daddy had to fly
But I know a place where we can go
That's still untouched by man
We'll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
You can lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence
O' beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They're beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king
Armchair warriors often fail
And we've been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details
Since daddy had to lie
But I know a place where we can go
And was away this sin
We'll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair spill all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence
Who knows how long this will last
Now we've come so far, so fast
But, somewhere back there in the dust
That same small town in each of us
I need to remember this
So baby give me just one kiss
And let me take a long last look
Before we say good bye
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

26 June 2011

One day, two parties, many babies

There were a lot of babies today.  I went to a 30th this morning and quite a few people there had babies or young kids.  One girl, who is more of an "acquaintance" asked me if I wanted to hold her baby.  We weren't even talking at the time so it was a bit strange.  I surprised myself with how quickly I said "no".  I've never felt that comfortable with this girl, plus I'm not in the habit of holding other people's babies unless I know them very well.  Because of my disability I get nervous with newborns and think they won't feel comfortable, since I can't relax my left arm properly.  (I've never dropped one, though).  DH, on the other hand, is quite happy to hold other people's newborns (and looks comfortable holding them).  I found out later that the girl thought she had upset me, which I feel a bit bad about.  I can understand it would be difficult to know the "right" thing to say to someone in my situation when you have a new baby.

Then I went to my friends' "le'Chaim" for their twin girls.  I had warned my friend, R, I might not be able to stay long.  She went through 4 cycles of IVF to have them so she understands the emotions involved.  In the end it was more just the fact that there were so many people and I was getting claustrophobic that made me tell DH it was time to leave.  We still managed to stay over an hour.  I'm wondering if the day took more out of me than I thought it had though, as I was falling asleep in the car at 5 pm.

I thought I'd got a positive OPK on Friday but I got an even stronger one last night.  Unfortunately, DH lost his wallet last night, which put him in a foul mood.  Of all the days for that to happen.  I could see this month's baby chances going down the drain (metaphorically speaking ;) ).  He was still in a bad mood this morning.  Here we go again, I thought.  Another month of me having to guilt trip him into BD'ing.  My stomach churned at the thought.  Then I thought, why not take the guilt out of it for a change and stick to simple facts.  I said to him, "Can I put something to you?"  When he said yes, I said, "In a couple of weeks this stuff with your wallet and cards will be sorted out, but we'll have missed our chance."  And I left it at that.  And it worked.  I just hope we don't have to keep doing this every month for much longer...

25 June 2011

Freezing at the Football


 He is 12...and sometimes he acts like it ;)

So here I am playing the role of the supportive wife at the football. And I'm freezing my butt off! But since DH is being so supportive about bding this weekend I suppose it's fair enough. More later

24 June 2011

A song to make a baby to

Joshua Radin was awesome!  Even DH thought it was great and he basically went in 'blind'.  After whingeing because the concert was general admission and we were not guaranteed seats (we got seats) and about the fact that the concert was scheduled to end at 11:15, he loved it.  The support acts were Jim Bianco and an Aussie guy called Andy Bull.  They were also very good.  The latter sounded to me like a cross between Nelly Furtado and Ben Folds (note I said "sounded", not "looked" ;) ).

Funnily enough, after I mentioned Joshua Radin getting us 'in the mood' in my last post, he told the story last night about one of his songs called "You Got What I Need".  Apparently friends of his were trying to conceive without much success.  They told him they had fallen in love listening to his music and asked him to write them a song to help them to conceive.  This was the song:


When he played "Brand New Day" the tears just started running down my cheeks.  As I posted before, I first listened to this song after my 3rd miscarriage, when I was trying to pick myself up off the floor.   The 3rd miscarriage, really left me bereft.  I don't think I ever felt the need to apply that word to myself before.  I remember sitting there thinking "I don't know where to put all this sadness"...like it was a flood that I was trying in vain to divert or contain.  The thing is that the world does still go on and, even in the midsts of your despair (assuming you're not clinically depressed and can get out of bed), you know you have to find a way to pick yourself up and engage with it.  I knew that at the time, which is why the song helped me.  It's like the line in the Shawshank Redemption:

"Get busy livin' or get busy dying."

Oh, and the friends did have a baby...Unfortunately for us, by the time we got home it was almost midnight - very late for a "school" night,  so there was no chance of BDing.  But hey, there's always tonight...




22 June 2011

Mr D.C., we have to stop meeting like this!

So I had another encounter with Mr Dildo Cam this morning.  You'd think by now he would have at least bought me dinner, but no...I'm beginning to think he's using me ;P

The ultrasound was originally scheduled for 25 May, but of course I was in hospital recovering from being kicked in the guts by a mule (aka having my appendix removed).  The left-sided pain I'd been having just before AF wasn't there this cycle, but I contacted my FS and she said to go ahead and have the scan.

Good news, the Dr couldn't see any pathology except for one small fibroid on the outside of my uterus, which was not a problem.  He also said my endometrial lining was ok.  Unfortunately he also said he couldn't see a dominant follicle, even though I'm CD12 today.  That doesn't necessarily mean the cycle's a bust...I've generally O'd a bit later than the textbook CD14 (usually CD17/18).  I still think a monitored cycle is a good idea (assuming we have no success before the next FS appointment) but we'll see how we go.  At the moment it's just "business as usual": OPKs and BDing every other day until a positive.  So tonight's a night off.  Let's hope Joshua Radin helps get us in the mood...On that note...

  Sky - Joshua Radin (feat Ingrid Michaelson)




 

20 June 2011

Happy "Joshua Radin week"

The concert is Thursday night and I'm very excited so, even though I posted this song before, I will do so again.  This song helped me through the time after my 3rd miscarriage and I often think of it when I'm down.

Had a big weekend with my nephew's 1st birthday and my parents here from Perth, but I have an early work meeting so will have to blog about it later.  In the meantime, here's "Brand New Day"

17 June 2011

Lies, Damn lies and Statistics

You know you're having trouble starting a family when...a couple who got married the week before you are having their second child.

I've read in a few places that even after 3 miscarriages a couple has a 60% chance of a successful pregnancy without any intervention. I'm supposed to find that comforting and on some level I guess I do, but certainly not completely. The reason: statistics also tell me that only 1% of couples experience 3 miscarriages. Well I beat those odds. They also tell me that only 5% of fibroids are sub-mucosal - the type most likely to cause miscarriages. Beat that one too. Statistics aren't much comfort when you're already on the wrong side of them...

14 June 2011

Hope

"Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. " ~ "Red", "The Shawshank Redemption"

And the babies keep coming... My sister-in-law in Tel Aviv, Israel, had a little boy yesterday, so Joe and I are an aunt and uncle for the second time.  We knew it was a boy.  He's a gorgeous little thing.  It was tinged with sadness though, given that my father-in-law isn't here to experience being a grandfather. 

I think that's the last of my friends and family to give birth, for now.  People tell us they hope we'll be next.  I hope so too, but hope feels like a luxury these days.  Sometimes I feel like my hope has been worn away like the rocks in a gorge. But if not for hope, how would we keep going through this long journey?  I still have it, even though it has been dulled by experience.

When hope is not enough to get me through I rely on research and practical action.  What can I do to prevent another miscarriage?  The simple answer is there is no fail-safe way to ensure it doesn't happen again.  But when something is so out of your control, sometimes the feeling that you are doing something is as important as actually doing something to affect the outcome.  Today's thought: try Co-enzyme Q10.  Apparently it is supposed to help with the way the egg fertilizes or something.  And it has other benefits for things like energy and cholesterol, so I figure, it can't hurt...

AF is almost over already.  It worries me that it has got so light.  If so little is being shed surely my lining can't be that good to start with...Guess I'll have to wait for the FS and ask how we test that...

In the meantime, I still hope.  I still daydream about my baby...what it will look like, what we will name it...but I keep these thoughts to myself now.  They are too fragile (and seem too cocky) to share with others...

~~~~~

[Andy, in a letter] Dear Red, If you're reading this, you've gotten out. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don't you? I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I'll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend, Andy.

10 June 2011

Time

Time, why you punish me?
Like a wave crashing into the shore
You wash away my dreams
Time, why you walk away? oh, oh
Like a friend with somewhere to go
You left me crying

Can you teach me 'bout tomorrow
And all the pain and sorrow running free?
'Cause tomorrow's just another day
And I don't believe in time


Time - Hootie & the Blowfish

With my 3rd due date approaching and all the babies being born around me, I've been thinking about the words of this song a lot.  I bought the album it comes from, "Cracked Rear View", when I was about 16 or 17 and quite lonely.  My life is very different now, but the song still fits.

We have a long weekend here in Melbourne this weekend: Queen's birthday...even though her actual birthday was in April (go figure).  Still, if there's a day off work on offer, Australians are unlikely to quibble about the details.  Anyway, I don't plan on doing anything too exciting - having brunch tomorrow with my friend who just had twin girls (after I think 4 cycles of IVF) and another friend.  It will be the first time we've done this since her babies have been home from the hospital and it will be interesting to see if the dynamic is different.  Other than that, will probably try to get some reading done before the next book club meeting and might go see a movie with DH.  Not sure what though...I have vetoed the new "X-Men" movie and he has vetoed "Bridesmaids" so we'll have to see if we can agree on something.

Trying a new recipe in the slow cooker tonight: "Rich Beef Curry" with a few modifications due to lack of ingredients.  I love knowing that dinner is at home cooking itself while I am working away at my desk.  Will just have to hope it tastes good.

I'm not feeling my normal witty self today.  I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that AF is on her way.  I always feel a bit flat this time of the month.  Oh well...there's always ice cream... ;)

08 June 2011

Meditations on success

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life... as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”  - Booker T Washington


I love this quote.  I once tore it out of a Weight Watchers magazine and put it up on my wall at work.

"Envy was just the tax you paid on success" - David Nicholls

I have no idea who David Nicholls is.  Will have to look him up later.

This is just a short post from work.  Our fancy schmantzy home Naked DSL is acting up.  So we have no home phone (VOIP) and no internet.  Put together with the fact we are in a mobile phone blackspot and I am starting to feel like I'm living in the dark ages - quite literally when you consider we'll have no main light in the bedroom until July.  The ISP has arranged a company to come out and look at it, but of course they want to come during business hours.  It's so hard to get things done around the house when you both work full time, and Joe has already taken 2 days off to have stuff done.

Yesterday we had new cabinets, doors and laminate put in the kitchen.  It is looking much better but of course everything that you do to a place creates another thing that needs to be done...so now we need to replace some tiles in the kitchen and get some new ones for a splashback.  Anyhoo...

Had my fortnightly acupuncture appointment last night.  As someone who has never been good with needles I am surprised at how relaxing it is (except that the needle she put in my wrist was a little bit sore).  I'm still a bit of a skeptic but I figure even if it's doing nothing for my fertility, if it makes me more relaxed it's worth it.

Anyway, I started on the topic of "success" and seem to have got a bit off track with miscellaneous household issues.  So to conclude, I will share one of my other favourite Tom Petty songs, a "battle-cry" for resilience if you will...




07 June 2011

The Waiting

I decided a while ago that the Tom Petty song "the Waiting" was one of the themes of my TTC journey. I 'discovered' Tom Petty rather late but he certainly has some great songs that have struck a chord with me in my life.

The Waiting (feat Eddie Vedder)

For Maria (a fellow blogger): if you're reading, I thought you and/or your hubby might appreciate this version....

As any woman who has been through this journey will understand it is all about 'the waiting'. Your life gets broken up into these blocks of time and you always seem to be waiting for something: waiting to get AF, waiting for O, waiting to test, waiting for the next FS appointment...Then if you are lucky enough to get that elusive BFP, there's waiting for blood work, waiting for scans, waiting to see a heartbeat (not that I would know what that's like :( ). I think that's why we feel the time that has passed in this journey that much more than men. Every time I take my temperature I am reminded of how long we've been trying. The calendar mocks me as each key date passes.

Next month will be EDD number 3. I think it was the 23rd. I'm glad in a way that I didn't memorize the exact date.

I am just on my way into the city after my post-op appointment for the appendix. Everything seems to have gone well in that department. The surgeon said we could try again when I could sneeze or do sit-ups without pain. So if I start doing sit-ups tonight, DH might start getting ideas ;). Anyway, AF should be here in a few days and then the waiting to O starts again. And if we have no luck in June or July we will be waiting until August for our next FS appointment. And as Tom Petty sings, "the waiting is the hardest part".

31 May 2011

Friendships

I've written before about how most of my friends seem to be having babies at the moment and I have been wondering how the massive difference this has made to their lives will affect our friendships.  I am not foolish or naive enough to think that it won't affect it.  My friendships are so important to me and I am willing to be as flexible as I need to be to maintain them.  But the fact is that my friends have this huge thing in their lives in common with each other that I don't and it worries me.  Will we still have things to talk about?  Will we still have time to see each other.

Our semi-regular girls' brunch is coming up again and I don't really feel up to going anymore.  Seeing one friend at a time with her new baby I can handle, but more than one is a problem...especially when they start basing our brunch destination on its baby-friendliness and the timing of it on their baby's potential bowel movements...

29 May 2011

An appendix...

Ok, so a bit of a lame title but anyway...As if my TTC journey hadn't had enough delays, detours and set-backs, on Monday night my appendix decided to start misbehaving.

It started after dinner with what I thought was just gas/indigestion.   Within a few hours the discomfort had shifted  from generalised cramping to being very definitely focussed on the lower right hand side.  So at 3 AM I found myself up with "Dr Google" researching the symptoms of appendicitis.  Having experienced symptoms of pressure and discomfort in that area before (although generally more on the left) I still wasn't completely sure the problem wasn't something to do with my "lady parts".  As the pain wasn't excruciating I went back to bed and actually managed to get a bit more sleep.

In the morning the pain was still there.  I did the whole "do I, don't I go in to work" thing.  Then once I decided I probably wasn't going in to work, I tried to figure out whether I should wait to see if it got worse before heading over to the GP.  In the meantime DH, who had been through this with his brother, was getting increasingly concerned and suggested he take me to the hospital.  Having visions of myself driving to the GP, getting an excruciating cramp and causing an accident, I thought it might be better to err on the side of caution.

Well it's amazing how quickly the words "right-sided abdominal pain" will get you checked out in the ER (especially when there's only one other person in the waiting room).  Before I knew it I was having blood taken and a cannula inserted by a cute young nurse.  I was offered painkillers but really didn't feel like I needed them (the pain was nothing compared to the cramps I had on Misoprostol before my last D&C).  I was examined by an ER Dr and a surgeon, who told me I had classic signs and symptoms of appendicitis.  By this stage I was pretty sure I wasn't going in to work (and neither was DH).  They started me on prophylactic IV antibiotics.

I was admitted to Jessie McPherson private hospital and the consultant surgeon came to see me and told he would be doing a laparoscopic appendectomy.  I told him about the other pain I'd been having and he said he'd check my tubes and ovaries while he was there.  Apparently in about 10-15% of women another condition will mimic the symptoms of appendicitis.

Unfortunately, I was in a four-bed room, not a private one, despite my top level hospital cover.  One of the patients was a 95-year-old woman who was still as sharp as a tack.  Amazing!

A couple of irritating things happened while I was waiting to be taken into surgery.  The first was that I couldn't eat or drink (d'uh) and people were eating and drinking around me...always a sucky experience.  The other thing was that the cute nurse in the ER had put the cannula right in the crook of my right elbow, which meant that every time I used my right arm I would cut off the flow from the IV and set off the alarm on the pump!  And of course with all that fluid going through me I had to keep getting up to go to the loo...and taking the IV (which I nicknamed "my Pole-ish friend") with me.

Anyway, surgery went well apparently and I was discharged on Thursday after 2 nights in hospital.  Apart from feeling (and looking) like I'd been kicked in the guts by a mule, the recovery hasn't been too bad.  I am living in track pants at the moment as I can't stand having anything tight near my belly button.  The Dr certified me unfit until 10 June but I think that's a bit excessive so I'm planning to go back on Thursday.

Of course this had to happen right when I was about to ovulate.  This month is therefore another wasted month.  On the positive side, however, I guess at least this way I should be ready to try again by the next fertile period, whereas if it had happened at the end of my cycle I might have had to wait for 2 cycles. Also, the surgeon said my tubes and ovaries looked fine, so it the end I kind of did get my laparoscopy, although not exactly the way I thought I would.  Plus, at least it didn't happen while I WAS pregnant, which I think would have been MUCH worse!  So it's a setback, but hopefully only a short-term one.

22 May 2011

Please excuse the break in transmission

Can't believe there have been almost 2 months since my last post.  Whoops!  But I have some excuse.  We moved into our own home (yay) and between the commotion and not having an internet connection for several weeks (and work being pretty full on) the blogging has fallen by the wayside.

Unfortunately not much has happened from the TTC point of view.  Not that we haven't been trying...But my body just doesn't seem to be cooperating this time.  To make life more interesting my body has thrown me some curve balls -  my cycles have got a bit shorter, AF a bit lighter and I've started getting unpleasant symptoms in the lead-up to AF.  A few days before I've beein getting mild cramping sensations in my uterus (a bit like I had when I was pregnant, so of course I start getting my hopes up).  Then I start feeling like something is irritating my bladder mainly on the left side, so I feel like I need to pee all the time, even though there's not much there.  Then I start feeling pressure on either side of my pelvis.  Last cycle this actually lasted a couple of days into AF.  Today the bladder irritation is back and I'm only CD10!  Anyway I have booked in for another pelvic ultrasound (aka dildo-cam) on Wednesday so hopefully I'll get an answer.  At the moment I am thinking either more fibroids (since I have 'form' in that department) or endometriosis.  If it's endo, I'll probably need a laparascopy to confirm it but I'm thinking if the ultrasound doesn't reveal anything I might ask for a lap anyway.  I'm way past messing around and 'seeing how I go'.  I'm way past being patient.

Emotionally it's been (and still is) a very hard time.  I knew it would be...Everyone seems to be having, or be about to have, babies.  And I'm really happy for them, and doing so much better than I was 6 months ago.  But I'm sick of feeling bad and then feeling guilty about feeling bad for the same reason over and over again.  I'm actually starting to bore MYSELF!

Last night we were supposed to babysit my nephew while my sister and brother-in-law went to the musical, "Rock of Ages".  Well my nephew got sick so we ended up taking the tickets.  The show was great - I really enjoyed it, as did Joe.  But at the end of the night I thought, I'd rather be home with a baby.  My question is: is this my life now?  Am I not going to experience unmitigated enjoyment of what I have because of what I don't have?

I sometimes wish I'd been unable to conceive...at least then we would have people monitoring the whole process and I wouldn't feel quite as much like the past 2 1/2 years (almost) had been a waste of time.  The fact is that I'm just as childless as someone who hadn't been able to conceive for 2 1/2 years, but they would have been getting more intensive help by now.  I'm probably completely misguided and I'm not trying to minimise the difficulties involved in fertility meds, IUI and IVF...I just feel like I'm floundering.  I always say to myself, "you have to be an advocate for yourself" so I'm thinking that the next step after another ultrasound and a lap is to ask for a monitored cycle.  At least that will feel like doing something...

31 March 2011

Memory dump

Ok...so this is a bit off the usual track but I was thinking yesterday about how every service these days seems to have a password and/or pin.  It has got a whole lot worse with online shopping.  They tell you not to write them down and not to reuse them, so how the ****are you supposed to remember them all?

One thing I signed up for had an internet access number, a password and 2 pins (for different access methods)!  Well I promptly forgot the 18-digit access number and the pin and I had dutifully destroyed the paper with the pin on it so had to start all over again and wait for them to send me out another access number!  I wish biometrics were used for everything - at least I'm not in danger of forgetting my fingerprint!

27 March 2011

The girl who cried "baby"

My Dad told me something interesting yesterday.  He said that next time I get pregnant he doesn't want to know until after 12 weeks.  I'm not sure what to make of this.  Sure, I know it's upsetting for them to be told they have a grandchild on the way and then to be 'untold' a few weeks later.  I'm sure this is even harder for them when it happens again and again, as it has in our case.  Hell, I'd like to get past 12 weeks before finding out I'm pregnant, but I'm pretty sure that's not realistic, especially if I have to use the pessaries again.  I mean ignorance may be bliss, but it's rather difficult to maintain when you're sticking a little white bullet up your "hoo-ha" every night and then lying still for 30 minutes!

Even the first time I got a BFP I was very selective about who I shared the news with.  But once you've had a miscarriage, particularly if you're an anxious person like I am, the wait until that supposedly magical 12 week mark is absolute torture.  Trying to get on with ordinary day to day life like work, grocery shopping and paying bills in between checking your underpants for blood every 15 minutes and over-analysing every single little twinge or cramp is stressful, and time seems to slow to a crawl.  It helps to have a few select people who are in on the secret to offer support.  I'm not sure my Dad has considered it from this perspective and I'm sure he means well, but I do wonder how this would work in practical terms.  Because I'm pretty sure my Mum doesn't feel the same way, and it is hard to imagine her keeping a secret like that from Dad.  Anyway I guess I'll have to ask her myself.  Hopefully the next time I have news for them it won't just be a drill.

26 March 2011

Moving Forward

I really hate this phrase ... and its friend "going forward".  It's a management cliche of the worst kind.  But it also happens to be the name of the moving company we're using and, I guess, a good motto for the next few weeks.  So I'm trying to focus on the future: setting up our new home and hopefully filling that second bedroom.

Met up with some of the ladies from the baby forum I participate in, and their babies.  They were lovely and I was having a good, "not-feeling-too-sorry-for-myself" day.  Rest of the day has been pretty chilled: reading, a little afternoon snooze and some left over pizza for dinner.  DH is at a car show in Wangaratta this weekend and I am enjoying the peace and quiet...no sport on TV!!! :)

18 March 2011

Balm for the Soul

I know it's been a while since my last post but got quite distracted planning and then going on our holiday to Tasmania.  We had a wonderful time and visiting places like Cradle Mountain and the Tamar Valley was, as someone wrote in a guest book, a "balm for the soul".  It helps to remind me that there are beautiful things in the world that don't involve babies.

Did it make everything better?  Of course not.  And just to bring the point home AF arrived yesterday, a few days earlier than usual.  Am feeling a bit like everyone else is a member of a club that won't admit me.  I went with my sister and nephew for brunch.  As tends to happen we ran into someone we knew with a toddler.  There was the whole exchange, "Oh, is that your little one?"  "How old is he?" "Oh, that's such a cute age.  How old is yours?" And I just stand there like a spare wheel.  I am sick of this bitter person I have become.

At least I have pictures (on my computer and in my mind) that I can use when I need a "happy place" to go to.  For the moment that's the best I can do.

27 February 2011

On "staying positive"

Yesterday DH and I went to an engagement party barbeque for my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law.  There was a baby there.  The baby is the child of one of B.I.L's friends.  So of course I knew DH would go straight over to see the baby.  It wasn't long before the mother handed the baby to DH and, as usually happens, the baby took to him straight away.  As I watched DH's face light up and the baby interact with him, my eyes filled with tears.  Dammit, I thought I was coping with this!  DH saw me across the table, handed the baby back and pulled me aside to see if I was ok.  He gave me hisusual line of "don't worry, we will get there." 

A little while later I heard DH and the baby's mother talking.  I heard her ask the dreaded question, "so when are you guys going to start a family?"  I didn't catch DH's whole response, but my hearing was acute enough to pick up the phrase "...a sensitive subject".

I was thinking the other day about how I will cope with the next pregnancy.  Given that we seem to have conceived sooner than the average all three times, one thing I am fairly confident about is that I will get pregnant again.  The second and third times I remember trying not to think too far ahead and couching all discussions about the future with "all being well" or "if we get that far".  The person I was talking to would always say, "Don't talk like that...you have to stay positive" or some similar phrase.  Did they not understand that I was trying to shield myself from some of the pain of losing another one?  Did what I was saying make them feel uncomfortable?  Is it just something people say?  Or do they think that "staying positive" (as opposed to my techniques of denial and distraction) will affect the outcome of the pregnancy or my response to the outcome?  I'm not saying it won't...I genuinely don't know the answer.

23 February 2011

It's the End of the World As We Know It...

WTF is going on?! Floods, bushfires, cyclones, earthquakes?  And it's only February.  My heart goes out to thr people of Christchurch.  Just devastating!

And for us?  Coming to the end of this so-called summer and looking to TTC again (for the 4th time).  AF has come and gone.  Much shorter/lighter than usual.  I emailed the FS to see if this was something to worry about but she said it's just a normal variation.  Still looking forward to Tassie.  Hope nothing else happens down there in the meantime.

13 February 2011

Groundhog Day

So the FS told us to "try again" for another 6 months and call her when I get a BFP, or get to 6 months of trying, whichever comes first.  Shouldn't we be past this by now?  I should either have a 14-month-old, a 6-month-old or be approximately 4 1/2 months pregnant but instead I feel like I'm in one of those board games where you get sent back to the start over and over.  It seems that unlike most people, I only get to be pregnant for 2 weeks at a time.

I'm scared I won't be able to cope with another loss, or even before that that I won't be able to cope with that period of uncertainty before you find out if it's viable.  But what choice do we have?

Anyway, AF should be here this time next week, and then it's back to temping, OPKs and HPTs (and trying to get DH in the mood at the right times).  Hopefully one day soon I'll wake up and discover it's finally a different day.

11 February 2011

And now?

So, coeliac antibody test was negative.  FS suggested I still see a gastroenterologist but I have been feeling a bit better with the 'no carbs at night' and no dairy that the naturopath recommended.  Plus I still have to get in to see my GP.  I try to see the same doctor but it's hard with work, unless I'm actually off work sick.

As far as trying to have a baby is concerned she suggested we just try for 6 months and call her after 6 months or when we get a BFP, whichever comes first.  Trying to decide how I feel about this.  It's hard to feel excited when you've been let down 3 times.  Also the naturopath suggested we wait 6 weeks and it's only been 2, but by the time O comes around again it should be about 6 weeks.  I said to DH we might end up making a Tassie baby.  He said "ok, but we're not calling the child 'Hobart' or 'Launceston'."  Hmm, funny but...pregnancy = baby?  That's a novel concept?  But I guess we've got to try to keep a sense of humour about it...

06 February 2011

Map of Tassie

Well our "rest and recovery" trip to Tasmania is booked: 7 nights spread between Hobart, Strahan, Cradle Mountain and the Tamar Valley from 10 March.  We tossed up whether it was a good idea to spend the mone, given our impending indebtedness and other potential expenses, but decided that after what the last 2 months have thrown at us, we need this.  Who knows?  We might even make our "rainbow baby" over there...

Will be calling the specialist for coeliac antibody results on Tuesday.  If they are positive I will have to go see a gastroenterologist (there really is no abbreviation for them, is there?) and book in for a gastroscopy and biopsy of my small intestine (that should be a fun day out...).

In the meantime I have been to a naturopath.  Never thought I would go to one but she is also a pharmacist and was recommended by my scientist friend so I thought I should at least give it a go.  She has put me on a "detox programme", which I am following most of: no potatoes, no dairy, no grapes, no bananas (won't be able to afford them after TC Yasi anyway), no carbs at night, no beef (haven't completely stuck to that one), no fruit juice and LOTS of salad!  Never been a big salad eater so that one is tough.  She wanted me to give up gluten but I said I wasn't going to do that until I know the results of the coeliac blood test as giving it up now will mean I can't get a conclusive diagnosis.  So if my blood test result is negative, I will probably be giving up gluten from Tuesday (in case I'm gluten intolerant but not coeliac) and if it is positive I will probably be giving it up after the biopsy.

She also "prescribed" 3 different supplements, 2 of which I left at work on Friday.  Oh well...I was supposed to have a Supreme Court trial starting next week that just settled on Friday and have been flat out at work, so not entirely surprised I forgot something.  The supplements aren't cheap either!  But I figure if they help me feel less bloated and more energetic (and possibly carry a baby to term) they'll be worth every cent.

26 January 2011

Incompatible with Life

Well we had our D&C follow-up appointment with the Fertility Specialist yesterday.  Well we found out foetus had extra chromosome 16, which means it could not have been born alive, so that's a relief in one sense. It was a girl too. Am still having the coeliac test and we will decide what to do from there.

I think I'm a little relieved that it was a chromosomal problem, but not as much as I thought I would be. Maybe it's because there are still the previous 2 miscarriages for which we'll never have a definite answer. As for knowing the sex, I think it makes the loss more real, but knowing she could never have been born alive stops me fantasising about what she might have looked like etc. I still have no confidence that my body can do this - now I'm worrying about whether all my eggs are bad so really I think all I've done is changed which worry I'm focussing on.

22 January 2011

Blame the bread?

Well I have a new theory about my recurrent miscarriages - and it's one that would never have occurred to me if my Mum hadn't mentioned it the other day.  I may be coeliac/gluten intolerant.

I have had mild gastrointestinal symptoms (bloating, gas, sometimes upset stomach) since before we started TTC but I kind of stopped looking into it when I had my first m/c. Apparently there is a link. So I will be asking the FS to give me a referral for a blood test.

Strangely enough, the first internal ultrasound I ever had was because of the bloating; I'd read that it can be an early warning sign for ovarian cancer and freaked out.  Well, my ovaries looked fine but they did find a couple of small fibroids.  My GP said I could have further testing done (I think she suggested fructose intolerance - can't remember her mentioning gluten) but shortly after that I had my first m/c and my intermittent GI symptoms got pushed to the back of my mind while I started researching fibroids etc.  If I do test positive it'll be a huge life change and I think I'll find it quite hard as I love food and eating out.  But if it will make me feel healthier and help me carry a healthy baby to term I think it will be a small price to pay. 

Sadly I've read that many GPs and even fertility specialists don't think to test for this, even though it's been known for a while that coeliac disease is associated with recurrent miscarriage.  A lot of women apparently don't become symptomatic until their 40s or 50s by which time their reproductive years are over. :(

Anyway I still have to get tested first.  If the testing is negative I'll have to decide whether I try a gluten free diet anyway, in case I've got some non-Coeliac form of gluten intolerance or just go back to trying again.  If I do have to start a gluten free diet I hope it won't put off TTC again for too long.  I feel like a broken record - I've been stuck in the same place for 2 years now. 

Had my Vitamin D checked yesterday.  I have had so many blood tests now I am starting to feel like a human tap!  Apparently Coeliac Disease can cause that to be low as well (I always thought it was just living in Melbourne and working in an office all day) so if the result comes back low when we go see the FS on Tuesday it might have me more ammunition to ask for Coeliac screening.

The reason I haven't blogged for a while is that my father-in-law died suddenly the week before last.  He was very overweight and had been in hospital for a few days last year with heart trouble, but he was doing cardiac rehab and we thought he was making progress.  On the night of the 10th he apparently collapsed and couldn't be revived.  Joe's sister Jamie (who's pregnant) had to fly back from Israel and his 2 half-sisters had to fly down from Brisbane amidst all the chaos of the floods.  Joe is doing about as well as can be expected considering.

What has made it more stressful is that my mother-in-law wants to go back to the US.  She has no money and while the kids (and kids-in-law) are prepared to pay for her ticket, she is in desperate need of psychiatric help before she goes and won't admit it.  I'm hoping we find a way to make her see sense in the not-too-distant future.

10 January 2011

I Wish...

I wish I could look at photos of friends' babies without feeling a pull in my chest.

I wish I could think about trying for a baby again without feeling queasy - nausea should be reserved for when you are already pregnant.

I wish next time I got a BFP I could just go to sleep for 8 weeks and wake up when everything was ok.

I wish this was over.  I'm sick of making the same wishes.  It's been 2 years for God sake!

05 January 2011

"Novocaine for the Soul" (with thanks to the Eels)

One of the most upsetting things about my experience of multiple miscarriages has been its effect on my friendships.  For much of my childhood and adolescence I was a loner.  As a result of my experiences I find it hard to open up to people enough to make friends.  It wasn't until I moved to Melbourne that I gradually began to develop a circle of friends.  Now it seems like most women I know are either pregnant or have just had babies.

After my last miscarriage I stopped going on Facebook as much because seeing all of the belly pics and baby updates began to feel a bit too much like masochism.  But I have waited for too long to have this group of friends to crawl back into my cave.  But when I see them and their bellies it obviously reminds me of what I've lost.  So it becomes this strange dance of being social, showing interest in the most important event of their lives, and then going home and regrouping.  It's emotionally exhausting - the equivalent of embarking on a massive hike: you know it's good for you, but you also know you're going to pay for it later.  I'm doing it - I just wish there was a way to make it hurt less - hence the title of this post.

04 January 2011

New Year - New Start

Well I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and start up a blog.  The idea is that it will mainly be a place where I can vent my feelings about Joe's and my efforts to start a family - hence the title.  I am 33 years old, married for 2 years last November and have just experienced my third miscarriage (reason as yet unknown).  Will write more later.

Adi