We’re still on holidays, but we b-lined it back to Sydney for two trips – one to see my old dietician in Hornsby last Friday, and once to see the obbie on Monday. The dietician was lovely as ever, made some good suggestions about replacing certain things with lower GI ones, and how to get more pulses/legumes into my diet particularly when faced with the current red meat turn off I’ve got going on. She was very informative about recommended weight gains in pregnancy (7-11.5 kg given my Body Mass Index), what not to eat, good new brands on the market. She even sent me about 15 recipes after I left, to help. I’ve put some of it into action already.
It is hard, because I think I’ve had a good balance for a while, but there’s so many choices OFF the menu during pregnancy between food safety and nausea you’ve got to rethink a lot about what you eat. and I didn’t want that to throw me off the wagon and onto bad choices. Nutrition is pretty important when you’re making someone’s kidneys, or lungs, especially with my history of PCOS and insulin resistance. Gestational Diabetes is NOT on my to do list.
As it turns out, I’ve successfully grown a heart.
Another one. It’s beating at 164 beats a minute. I think I’m giving birth to a greyhound? At the end of the obstetrician’s visit, which in my little paranoid mind could have been the end of it all, there it was, at 9 weeks and two days, the lub dud lub dub lub dub of a little heart beating like mad. The graph on the screen seemed to make more sense than the funny sound. The pictures this time were not real clear (an external ultrasound, and me with an empty bladder, big dummy), but the ob said it’s all looking fine. Still measuring one day ahead of schedule (9 weeks 3 days), though he didn’t give us the measurements. (Until I read it. 2.59cm).
I’ve been having that “am I really pregnant?” thing going on all week, particularly with the spotting. I just don’t have many symptoms. I can see how people sometimes don’t realise they are pregnant. The cramping has all but settled down (mostly), though I still get stretching pains occasionally. Every meal repeats on me a million times. I sleep more, or have trouble sleeping. I can’t eat red meat, broccoli, carrot, bacon without significant flavour / smell disguising. I get dizzy if I change position too quickly. Some days, I feel kind of permanently hung over, without the fun the night before. But really, these are relatively minor. I have read other blogs of people almost dying from morning sickness, I’ve heard all the tales. And I’m sure part of my “ease” is that I’ve been on holidays for the past few weeks. But I’m just not getting it. There’s no winning really. You worry if you do get sick, that you’re not getting nutrients, that you’re not enjoying being pregnant. You worry if you don’t get sick, that you’re just not pregnant enough. I think in my head morning sickness is a rite of passage you have to pass through to earn the pregnancy, and I wonder what it means if you just don’t get ill.
I think it means you’re bloody lucky.
We spent a long time with the lovely midwife, Belinda, on monday, who got all of the history and took lots of notes. Then it was what seemed a rushed visit with the obstetrician, Stephen. He talks too fast. I like him, but he’s so quick I felt spun around and confused. I hope he isn’t like that in the delivery room! He’s to the point, a bit disconnected. I hope next visit he slows down a bit. I do remember our fertility specialist was like that the first time, and he turned out to be wonderful. Hub in boots really likes Stephen (the ob), and I trust hub in boots judgement of character implicitly. The first ob/gyn gave us BOTH the creeps in a BIG way. I am so glad we moved on from him. He’s also been captain bad news for us, with all of the infertility results coming across his desk. So it’s nice to have a fresh start.
And this was a strictly pants on visit. How exciting. He did have a feel of my boobs (without even buying me a drink!) because I’m a little behind schedule on my well woman type checks, but he definitely did not creep me out. He was efficient. He made sure we both heard the heartbeat and saw the graph, he emailed us and printed us the ultrasound. He advised us about the 12 week serious scans and tests (nuchal translucency scans for downs syndrome) which are all pretty important given my age. He made the risks and outcomes pretty clear, in a non judgemental way. (1 in 90).
So I’ve booked in on the 6th of Feb for the “scary scans”. And I feel a little better that they are locked in now, a known quantity, and I feel a LOT better that it turns out they are with the same group that did my hy-co-sy test with the dye and tubes, because they were incredibly professional and filled me with confidence. If I fall into the high risk bracket (under 1:300 change) after the combined scan / bloods, they can do the Chorionic Villius Sampling test (along with its fun risk of miscarriage which is variously quoted as 1:50, 1:100 or 1:200 depending on who you read) on the same day, with results taking two weeks. So at 12 weeks, or maybe 14 weeks, we could finally get to breathe a sigh of relief.
IVF waiting is nothing on this waiting. It is so high stakes. Each passing day I become more invested in this as a real possibility, so to lose it, agh, gets harder. And a pregnancy post IVF seems so hard won that it seems like further to fall. I think that’s ok. I am happy to face the possible loss, and take the risks. I am dealing with the uncertainty and the worry better than I thought I would. Sure, I have my moments. But really, it is amazing we have got this far. And we are SO far along now. Blink, and we’ll be 10 weeks on Saturday.
Someone else’s blog that I read wrote about having hesitations at the start of IVF this week, about what a baby would do to their lives, and her body, and their life together. I have to admit I hadn’t thought much about the experience of pregnancy when I started down this little road. I thought about having a toddler. I didn’t think through pregnancy, and having a baby all that much. Call it self protection. (self delusion?). I hope I don’t get pregnant ankles. And geez, when you’ve battled with your weight for years, the possibility of a weight gain well into double digits is incredibly challenging. And weird. The first baby book I picked up after finding out I was pregnant talked about up to 19 kilos. What the? Bugger that for a joke.
I keep thinking about the practicalities. How do you paint your toenails? Seriously? How do you get CLOTHES to go AROUND that thing? Will I feel like a 4 tonne truck complete with alarms when I go into a reverse gear? How about my amazing risk factors for pre and post natal depression? What the HELL are these giant blue veins on my legs (and boobs?). You’d be mad not to have hesitations. It’s like being colonised by an alien species, and whilst they do eventually leave your body in a painful never going to be the same type manner, they aint gonna leave your house for quite some time. With some prams costing the equivalent of an airfare to Venice, hell, you’ve got to wonder what you’re doing. I really like Venice. I like sleep, too. (hub in boots keeps reminding me of a comedian we heard, who said watching his wife give birth was like watching his favourite pub burn down!).
I’ve counted seven pregnancy related appointments up to the 10th of Feb. That’s a lot. I thought IVF was bad!
I may sound like I’m having a whinge, but I’m not. I’m still completely wondreously stupefied that we’ve made it this far. I still cannot believe it. I’ve found the scans give me a sense of ease and wonder, and a scan gives me about two weeks of serenity, before the worry (what if it’s stopped growing?) kicks in again. Some days I look at my iphone pregnancy tracker type apps and I cannot believe we’re already over 9 weeks. It seems miraculous. It is miraculous. Time moves slowly and quickly all at once. I love Saturdays, our “graduation” day, when we move from 9 weeks to 10 weeks. Or 10 to 11. I’m having a party after 13 or 14. You’re all invited. I read book after book on pregnancy, like somehow knowing more gives you more chance, or more control. The information is sometimes hard to hold in my leaky baby brain head. Not quite as leaky as it was, but still definitely not operating at full system capacity.
So three o’clock and all’s well. Yay us. I had a dream last night we had our baby and it was a very cute girl and we called her Chloe. And that I was now pregnant with our second. Interesting. I don’t think I’ve misplaced any children, so not entirely accurate there.
The important thing is, we’re still going.