24 weeks and viable! — January 4, 2016

24 weeks and viable!

I am now 24 weeks and apparently our daughter is now ‘viable’ It’s a funny term isn’t it. Viable. It’s not something I’ve been before with regards to fertility and I found great comfort in reading that. Now, as keen as I am to meet this little being that has started to move around in my belly, I am certainly not wanting to meet her now. There is however a comfort in knowing that if something really bad does happen there is still a good chance all will turn out ok. It’s a horrible by product of so many years of IVF failures that you are always waiting for the other shoe to drop….the bad news after the good. Although I must say I have finally reached a time where I am accepting that I’m pregnant and will be having a baby. I feel good. All of my checks and measurements are good. She is moving around now which is also a comforting feeling.

 I do worry about being an older Mother though. Not worry in the way that I have regret or question if we are doing the right thing but still worry. We are going to tire a lot easier and may not have the patience we once had. But I’m also comforted in the fact that we are exactly where we want to be and just couldn’t want this little girl to come into our lives anymore. We went to see an old work friend of my Husbands the other night for dinner. They have 2 children, 5 and 4, and the Mother is now 30. This past year she has gained employment in her dream marketing role in the inner city and has been living moments of her life as a seemingly single woman. She even says (in front of the children) that this is the year she isn’t a Mother and is living it up as she was having kids when she was 25 so this is her year of being 25 again! She talks of wanting to live in a cool place in the city and goes out to 3 or 4am on most weekends with her work colleagues. She talks of wanting to regain the lost years of 25 as if they were wasted on having children. Now, I know she is joking when she makes a lot of these statements but she does it in front of the kids and I think these jokes have more truth in them than she would like to think. So looking at that particular example of a young Mum I will happily take my lot as an older Mum. I’m ready and honoured to be the Mother of this beautiful little miracle and simply wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now.

 

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21 Weeks!! — December 14, 2015

21 Weeks!!

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So, I have gestational diabetes. Now let me start by saying that I know this certainly isn’t the end of the world, and will very likely go once I give birth, but I will admit that I did have a bit of a pity party for one once I found out. I had the test quite early with my original OB and he called me with the results saying everything looked absolutely fine and no concerns. So I mentally ticked that off the list. We then went in for our first meeting with the hospital OB who started our visit by saying “lets address the bad news first shall we (the WORST thing to tell someone who has had multiple misscarriages by the way…!!) ………the fact that you have gestational diabetes” He said that apparently some doctors have a different measure to the hospitals and by the hospitals measure I have it….by .1  Now, as I said, this is by no means terrible and is very easily managed but that afternoon I fell in a heap. I thought all of the years of poking and prodding and testing and checking were mainly behind me and now I was being told that I would have to test my blood sugar 4 times a day and could not longer indulge in the ice cream that has become a (very poor) wine substitute at the end of a hard day. I’m tired…..my body is tired…! Guilt. I feel guilty and ungrateful for even having the nerve to feel sorry for myself like I am. In reality I would test myself every hour on the hour if it would mean that this beautiful little girl comes into this world safely. When I told friends they were quick with a “it will all be worth it in the end” and I absolutely know that it will. I’m just being a sook.

I had my 20 week scan last week and all is normal. I really didn’t think I was such a fan of the word normal until each measurement was coming back with that result…..normal is amazing!!

I also have a new set of stress factors…..mainly money. Trying to get pregnant in my 40’s has meant that we just havent had the luxury of time. Time to recover emotionally, but mainly time to recover finacially. You grab money from wherever you can just to make the next cycle happen. We borrowed against the house twice, increased loans and even borrowed money off my pensioner Mum!! Now that we are wonderfully pregnant I am again looking to see where we can get money from but this time to pay bills whist I’m off. At this stage it looks like I will only be able to take the 4 months of maternity leave paid for by the Govt ($500 odd dollars a week) as I just don’t think we can afford for me to take any more (is it bad to say that it will be nice to get a Govt benefit of some sort….you tend not to be eligible for a lot of the rebates and bonuses when you are working full time….) We are saving as much as we can but that may just be the reality. Work is also a major stress factor at the moment with major financial issues and pressures on staff that are giving me sleepless nights wondering if they would look to find a way to fire me prior to my maternity leave…..after 5 years with the company I would like to think that wouldn’t even be a thought but I’m just not feeling safe at all in this regard and if I am not working full time when I go on maternity leave the Govt will not pay the maternity leave pay for 4 months. My other concern is if I have to finish work a lot earlier than my birth…..I used all of my sick leave and annual leave for our last trip to South Africa in July and the bits that I have been accruing since have been used for hospital appointments so this will mean leave without pay if that ends up being the case.

So there are all of my complaints…..but in reality things couldn’t be better. I am starting to pop a bit which is making me finally start to feel I might just be pregnant. I’m also starting to feel little flutters which I am led to believe are her moving around (she is very active around 3.30pm which is fantastic if that continues to be her active time…..rather than the same time in the AM….I know, I know….tell her she’s dreaming!!) This was our absolute last shot at being parents. We had tried IVF using my own eggs a number of times which resulted in 2 pregnancies and resulting loss. We did 3 donor cycles, travelling to South Africa 3 times in 9 months with another pregnancy and loss at 9 ½ weeks. I am 45 now and we were done, both financially and with certainly with regards to age. This was the last cycle and I had some peace that, upon reflection, I would be able to say that we absolutely tried everything and gave it our all…no regrets. And then the most amazing thing happened…..this wonderful and strong little girl started to grow and started to flourish within me. It seems so trite to call this shot our ‘lucky last’, as there are so many wonderfully deserving people who don’t get this result, but it was and we just couldn’t be happier 🙂

It’s a Girl!!! — November 10, 2015

It’s a Girl!!!

We are now into our 16th week and all is looking text book great!! We also found out that we are having a little girl J Hubby didn’t want to know but I really needed to find out so I could try and start believing it was all real. I called Hubby when I found out and told him all of the tests were clear with regards to Down Syndrome and also informed him that I knew the gender. He immediately said “well you have to tell me then!!” but when I asked him he backed off and told me he still didn’t know if he wanted to find out. I got home from work that night and there was a big bunch of flowers with a card that said “Is it a girl or boy? I love you xxx” I again asked him if he wanted to find out and again he was unsure…. So I told him I would cross out the gender it wasn’t and put a heart around what it was and popped it back in the envelope. It was killing me that he didn’t want to find out…..I wanted to talk all things girl with him! It wasn’t until the following night that he sat down with the envelope in his hand and eventually he unveiled the answer. I really thought he had a slight preference for a boy (due to wanting to use the name of his gorgeous late Father as a middle name) but when he found out it was a girl he just couldn’t be happier. He really is the most wonderfulman and our daughter is just the luckiest little girl having him as a Dad.

Dave's card

We had our last appointment with our wonderful Obstetrician on the weekend. He has been such an amazing support over many many years and I’m really sad to leave him (held the tear until the drive home) Unfortunately I don’t have private health insurance. I say ‘I’ as Hubby does but of course that doesn’t help when I’m carrying the baby. I kept thinking about it but every cycle I was naively positive and didn’t think it worth it as I would be giving birth prior to the required 12 months waiting period. How wrong I was every time but this final one. So public system it is. I am however very lucky as I’m booked into the Royal Woman’s in Melbourne which is a great hospital and has all the gizmo’s and gadgets should I have any issues. My first appointment is on Monday with the midwife and Obstetrician.

Generally I’m feeling pretty great. If it wasn’t for the swelling belly and constantly feeling tired I don’t feel pregnant. No nausea or any other concerns. Yesterday I had a few feelings in my belly and I’m wondering if it’s the ‘quickening’ that could be happening any time now. We have also settled on a name! We are going to be keeping that as our secret until the birth as this process is so open to the world that we haven’t really had many things just for us. I was actually surprised we agreed on something so quickly. I thought Hubby would be very plain and, whilst this isn’t an unusual name in the slightest, there are not a million of them around. We have also done the Aussie thing and worked out what the shorter versions of her name will be and are happy with both.

I still can’t believe how unbelievably lucky I am to have this gorgeous little girl growing within me. She has been so longed for and so wanted and I know that not everyone is as lucky as we have been. J

Waiting to pop! — October 9, 2015

Waiting to pop!

So I am now 1 day off the 12 week milestone and, whilst I still don’t think it’s real, I am chuffed to be here.

I have been very grown up and brave this week and I have not had a scan. It’s making me a little antsy but I don’t have any reason not to think things are still going well (ie: no spotting or pain of any sort) I am having my next scan on Wednesday as well as the testing for Down’s Syndrome and gender! I’ve made the decision that I am going to find out. I will not tell my Husband if he is still insisting on not knowing but I feel like I ‘need’ to know where as his desire not to find out is really a ‘want’. I am starting to get really tired now though and get a headache that kicks in around 3pm and stays. I haven’t been this tired before….I’m sure fatigue is supposed to ease at 12 weeks not kick in! I’m also about to stop taking the estrogen and progesterone tablets and pesseries. I’m really pleased about this but then there is a little voice in the back of my head that keeps whispering….”but what if that’s all that’s keeping this kid growing….!” I know it isn’t and it’s time so will be good to not rattle so much when I walk 😉

As I am now 12 weeks I am expecting my belly to start to pop fairly soon. Here is my dilemma…being chubby I’m finding it a little hard to work out if that has started yet. You know how people are said to have resting bitch face….well I’d say my waist could probably be referred to as resting 4 months pregnant waist. So as I’m starting from a popped base it’s a little difficult to know if the popping has commenced!! Not for the first time in my life I have thought how fab it would be to have a flat belly but that usually comes with visions of me frolicking on a beach somewhere looking fantastic….not like now, wanting it to be a better base to actually grow a belly! 😉 I think I’ll just chalk this, the headaches and fatigue down to fantastic problems to have!!

— October 1, 2015

 Baby Burke pic 10w4d 

We are now 10 weeks and 5 days and all continues to look…..well pretty fantastic!

 We had a scan yesterday and the heartbeat is still fantastic….the size is great…..and there was so much movement we could see fingers and an arm stretching up to its forehead!! (you can see the arm and fingers in this pic but it’ not that clear) Now, I still don’t have any clue that this is occurring in my body…and nor can I muster any great emotion apart from relief due to the ever present fear of it all going pear shaped but yes….it’s all pretty fantastic!

I have been having weekly scans but thought I would be a big girl and wait for 2 weeks for my next scan. This will also be when we do the blood tests for Downs. We also get confirmation of the sex back with these results. Hubby is adamant that he doesn’t want to know…. I have my practical pants firmly on and do want to know. I want to set up a boy or girl room and eventually buy boy or girl specific things. The other thing is that I feel like it will finally make it all real. Anyway, the conversation continues….I did calmly look at him the other day and ask me not to pull the card…..he asked what card….and I told him the card that has seen my body continually full of hormones, injections, invasive scans, blood tests and so many visits down below I feel like a cheap hooker!!! Now, I’m not normally manipulative at all, in fact I am really easy going about most things….but there has to be pull with some decisions…doesn’t there? He had an enjoyable few moments into a cup and keeps enjoying his nightly beer…..am I being unfair playing the card on a few decisions along the way? What a great problem to have though huh…..we have never been this far before where we have seen a mini person in a scan or even dreamed of having a dispute over finding out the sex or not. So far we are just so lucky and so so happy……

There is that word again…..normal….!!! — September 10, 2015

There is that word again…..normal….!!!

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We are now 7 weeks and 5 days and all is…..normal! We have never been normal at this stage before and I’m not really sure how to react. I’m relieved of course but I’m also feeling really retarded emotionally at the moment….. I taped 60 minutes that had an interview with William Tyrell’s parents (a terribly tragic case of a 3 1/2 year old that has just vanished from the backyard of his grandmothers house 12 months ago)  and watched it last night……they were crying…..Michael Usher the dude interviewing was crying……now, I usually burst into tears at a sad ad on TV but watching that I had nothing…..not a single tear…..I felt devastated for them and was thinking that there was just no way to understand the daily torment they face……but not a tear……I think my emotions have really just gone into shutdown protection mode….. it’s just the darndest thing!! I may need to be referred to as Steven…..I’m even Steven….!!! 😉

Last night I also had a very small amount of blood….not really enough to even be red….more a smear of pink….I took a deep breath and did what any person with a number of miscarriage’s and IVF cycles behind her would do…..I googled the crap out of it!!! And my unknown Google friends from years gone by rewarded me with their tales of perfectly normal bleeds at the same time I am now……so I simply took a deep breath and relaxed. A big improvement from completely losing my lolly bag 2 weeks ago when the same thing happened 🙂

So, I am going to go back next week for another scan just to check that all is still going the way it should. My Husband gets stressed about too much prodding near the baby and wants me to leave well enough alone but my beautiful Obstetrician understands…..as we left he placed his comforting Fatherly hand on my shoulder and told me he would see me next Thursday for a scan as he knows this will be of emotional benefit to me. Yes….yes it will 🙂

Positive…..it’s still all positive..!!! — September 2, 2015

Positive…..it’s still all positive..!!!

Happy And Sad Smileys Shows Positive Negative Emotions

We went in for our scan this morning. It was the same room and same Dr we got the bad news at 9 ½ weeks that it was all over so I got a funny feeling going in. I tried to remind myself that the room couldn’t be jinxed….and nor is the Dr horrible (quite lovely in fact) and I was being a little ridiculous. Anyway, we got settled and the first thing she says is: “so we are concerned about the size after last week’s scan?” Um…..NO!!! My heart just dropped…..then after, what seemed like an eternity, she tells us that the dates were wrong in the system (My blood pressure is currently 156 / 109 so I really don’t need this today….!) She then checked everything and all looks great (to the correct dates!) Last pregnancy we got a heartbeat around 7 or 7 ½ weeks and it was only around 94…..this time is earlier (we are 6 weeks and 6 days) and is 124 so that is good….it’s normal. I have learned to so love that word…..normal…!

I am relieved but I still can’t be joyful….too damn scared still and that makes me feel really bad but my brain is just not allowing me to really relax into the reality of it. I swear I will get to a point down the track where the baby will move or similar and it will suddenly dawn on me that I’m actually pregnant and shock the pants off me!! 😉 Hubby started to cry (and he isn’t much of a crier….he works on trees……he’s a blokes bloke!) he was very sweet. He was so happy with the news of the heartbeat he was sitting next to me and didn’t know whether to rub my arm or hold my hand and then the tears came and then he punched me in the back!! It was only soft but was just the funniest thing 🙂  Anyway…..as a very wise woman once told me……it’s more likely to go right than wrong…..and so far this one is going right!! 🙂

Ok….for now — August 24, 2015

Ok….for now

I have just come out from having an ultrasound. She said everything looks fine although its very early and difficulty to really see the embryo clearly. Importantly she said all looks as it should for 5 weeks. I am so relieved but still wonder what the blood was…..was it the ‘vanashing twin’? I haven’t had any blood at all today….even after the prodding of the ultrasound. I’ve booked my next scan for next Wednesday so fingers crossed we get a better look with a strong heartbeat and please……no more blood…..!!!!

Not again…please…not again… — August 23, 2015

Not again…please…not again…

I’m bleeding. For around the last 2 hours I’ve had cramping and a shocker of a headache. I get up to get ready for bed and do what feels like my 38th visit to the toilet and there it is…..bright red blood.  I’ve been here before but every time it’s like you have been punched in the face when you see it.  Now, it isnt gushing (sorry. ..not such a delicate adjective in this senario really…) nor are there clots….but its blood….and that has always signaled the end. 

So I am now wide awake…. shaking… crying…. and feeling numb. I have an ultrasound booked for Friday. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see if the bleeding increases and I might have a blood test on Tuesday. Going through this so many times you learn to wait for every result and update so this is no different….but please….please….not again….

This is the bit where I lose my mind…… — August 20, 2015

This is the bit where I lose my mind……

I’m trying to be calm and carefree I really am….it’s not working. I’m still feeling queasy which is giving me comfort…..but I have also just come down with a cold so I’m now attributing all of my aches and pains to that. I guess it was inevitable that I would get a cold as I’m taking steroids to lower my immune system (I have a high NK Cell count) to enable baby to implant and grow but that also leaves me open to other bugs going around….and everyone in my office has a cold at the moment!

So I’m feeling queasy and I’m a little constipated. My breasts are little sore but I’m wondering if that is due to the fact that I keep squeezing them and pressing them to check if they are actually sore…..they haven’t really grown…should they by now? It’s so strange as this is not my first rodeo….I’ve been at this stage twice before but each time I find myself googling symptoms like a mad woman as I don’t seem to have any recollection of what should be going on from the other times. Or maybe it’s that feeling of actually having something to do, something to research, that helps a bit. I have my scan booked in for August 28th which will be close to 7 weeks so of course we will be hoping to hear a heartbeat. I am trying with all I have to resist having another blood test in the mean time….it’s killing me…..I feel like I need to do something that will give me some sign or confirmation that all is progressing as it should. Maybe I should do a home pregnancy test…..maybe seeing the lines will give me a boost? But for now I continue to think that my queasiness is the baby growing….my cramps are the baby getting nice and comfy…..and try to ease up on my poor over prodded breasts….!