After the recent appointment with our obstetrician, we hadn’t planned to see her again until mid June which would be just after the 20 week morphology scan. Since I’ve been feeling the daily reminders that this pregnancy is indeed progressing normally – nausea, back pain etc – I felt confident that I could go 6 weeks before needing a check up. But then last Thursday night I had a little bleeding/spotting.
I’ve been having a difficult time at work, and last week I was particularly struggling with the graveyard hours of 10pm-6am and feeling so exhausted. I knew I was pushing myself too far physically as my lower back pain had become so awful that I was having to walk with a limp. Any pressure in the joints around my hips and tailbone made me flinch with each step. I work in a laboratory and in an effort to avoid all chemicals, I’m taking on a lot of tasks I usually wouldn’t. A rack of samples can weigh up to 6kgs each so bending and lifting these for analysis when you have back pain isn’t fun. Anyway, it was almost the end of my shift when I used the bathroom to find a small amount of blood. My heart immediately fell into the pit of my stomach. I never had anything like this during my pregnancy with Oscar so I went into panic mode. A quick search on google told me that spotting in pregnancy is actually quite common with about 20% of cases classified as unexplained. By the time I got home, the spotting had stopped. I called the obstetrician the next day and made an appointment for the following week.
The next day, Candice and I took Oscar camping/glamping for Mother’s Day weekend which was exactly what we needed! Sitting by a crackling fire helped to take our minds off everything. There was also very limited phone reception which I really appreciated. Being disconnected from the rest of the world made the whole weekend so much better.
I was back at work on Monday and immediately started having trouble with my back again. I woke up today with more spotting so I was relieved to realise that today was the day of the OB appointment. The first thing she did was a quick scan which showed an active baby, a strong heartbeat and plenty of amniotic fluid. Next she did a speculum exam which showed that my cervix is completely closed and no signs of infection. She could see small traces of blood but nothing major. All good results. So I guess for the moment, I’m part of the 20% of women with unexplained bleeding during pregnancy. She gave me a medical certificate which states that I will need to be placed on light duties at work so I’m hoping that will help to lessen the back pain I’ve been having. In one month I’ll be at the halfway mark of 20 weeks. Although this pregnancy has felt far more stressful and harder than the one I had with Oscar, it’s going a LOT quicker.
At this point, I’ve pretty much accepted that there is just no way I can update this blog as often as I managed to when pregnant with Oscar. I’m so much more tired this time around and I’m also still feeling waves of nausea. Between a really busy work schedule, being a parent to a 3 year old and sleeping every chance I get, it leaves very little time to come on here. Candice has taken on soooo much of the parenting but even so, I still wake up exhausted after a nap. While I’m waiting for some pasta to boil, here’s a run down of the last few weeks.
We had the Nuchal Translucency scan and everything looked perfect. The baby is very active which was awesome to see. I’ve been so lethargic and low on energy that it actually surprised me to see how much movement is going on in there. All the test results came back low risk which is excellent news. A healthy, bouncy baby which is more than we could have hoped for.
Prior to the Nuchal Translucency scan we also had the harmony test (NIPT) as extra reassurance. Everything came back as low risk which meant walking into the NT scan, we felt a whole lot less anxious. We initially decided not to find out the fetal sex of the baby but then changed our minds. I’m really glad we did decide to find out as it has made this pregnancy feel a whole lot more real now.
We threw together a gathering of just immediate family to share the news that we are expecting a baby girl. To be honest, it was quite a shock to both of us. It’s been difficult to imagine having a daughter as all we’ve ever know is having a son. But we are beyond excited and can’t wait to meet her. Before we popped the balloon, someone asked Oscar if he wanted a baby brother or a baby sister. Lucky for us, he declared, “Baby sister!”.
I have a few more updates but my pasta is done so I’ll finish up this post and hopefully jump back on in a couple of days.
My last update on here was 2 months ago. I did not intend to go that long between posts but the morning/all day sickness plus simply having no energy has meant it’s turned out that way. The good news is that as of today, I am 12 weeks, 2 days! I’m so excited to be entering the second trimester and hopefully start to get some energy back.
Once we got past the initial 6 weeks of waiting to know if it was going to be viable, this pregnancy has since been almost identical to the one I had with Oscar. Same level of nausea, same timing of the round ligament pain in my lower back, same lack of energy and fatigue. I would say that the only difference so far is that I’m showing a LOT earlier. At 12 weeks, my bump looks about the same as it did when I was 18 weeks pregnant with Oscar! I’m told that it’s normal for women to show earlier in their second pregnancy but I feel quite embarrassed about it. I’ve had one person assume I’m 20 weeks pregnant, I’ve had another say, “Are you sure it’s not twins?”. I just feel uncomfortable all the time. When I’m wearing my normal clothes, everything feels tight and restrictive which adds to the nausea. I’ve partially given in and I’m now wearing maternity pants/shorts etc when I’m at home but still wearing my normal work clothing during office hours. Luckily while I’m at work, I’m hidden behind a lab coat most of the time so my bulging belly under my blouse can’t be really noticed.
Next week on Tuesday, we have the Nuchal Translucency scan. I’m looking forward to seeing how much the baby has grown and getting final confirmation that at this stage everything looks healthy. We also have a routine scan with our OB next Friday which means getting to see the baby twice in one week, yay. So far we have had 2 scans, one at 7 weeks and the second at just under 10 weeks.The last time one we had it was still looking quite blobby but measured perfectly with a strong heartbeat. Our OB was able to point out its head and also its legs/nubs wriggling about which was both awesome and weird.
Here is our 7 weeks scan.
I’m pregnant! Blood tests results showed a hcg level of 152 which our doctor was more than happy with. She explained that I didn’t need to go for a follow-up blood test but if I wanted to, simply for my own piece of mind, she would organise one for me. I decided I would, so next Saturday I’ll go for another test and fingers crossed hcg is increasing as it should. After that, a scan will be booked in for about 2 weeks after that.
I’m trying to relax a bit more now but there is still a bit anxiety that everything may fall apart at any moment. I will say though, I feel stronger and I feel like this baby is a strong one too. If all goes well, we will be bringing home a teeny tiny newborn in early November!
It’s been almost a week (though feels like a lot longer) since the transfer. I had the entire week off work in order to ‘take it easy’ but of course the downside to that meant that my mind wasn’t distracted from thinking about whether this transfer will work or not.
Symptoms are hard to identify because the progesterone mimics all the usual early pregnancy symptoms. I’ve been really tired, feel bloated and have had tender breasts for the last day or so. I’ve also been experiencing intense anger over things that would usually just annoy me. Like, if someone cuts me off when I’m driving I end up shaking with anger which is really unlike me. I’m also crying at silly things as well so I guess I’m having PMS type emotions but a bit more crazy.
A few people have asked if we will be doing a home pregnancy test before the blood test and the answer is yes. I just don’t know when at this point. What I told Candice is that I don’t want to be squinting at the test trying to work out if we can see a faint line or not. If it’s going to be positive, I want it to be clear and obvious. I’ve been looking online and it seems that at 9 days post 5 day transfer, if there is going to be a second line, you’ll see it by then. If it’s negative though, I won’t want to test again and will just wait until the blood test on Friday.
I’m back at work from today so at least the week should go fast.
Please let this work.
Yesterday morning we were on route to the hospital for the embryo transfer. With morning traffic it takes about 45 minutes so we figured we would be fine but what we didn’t account for was being held up by an accident. When the highway came to a stand still after only 15 minutes on the road, I updated my Maps app and saw that it had added almost 90 minutes to our journey! We were told to arrive at 7.30am but with the hold up it looked like we wouldn’t make it there until after 8.30. I started going into panic mode when Candice suggested that I message our doctor and see if the transfer could be delayed. While I was waiting for a reply, the traffic started moving slowly. Our time of arrival improved and then continued to improve until the traffic cleared all together. During this time our doctor had replied to my message, telling us not to stress and to drive safely, everything was fine. In the end we got there at 7.55am. My stress levels were through the roof though.
We took the elevator up to level 4, I got changed into the gown and went straight into theatre 1 to see our nice doctor waiting. The nurse told me to climb up onto the table and both the nurse and our doctor left for a moment. Candice said something about the room seeming smaller than usual and I started crying. A combination of relief to have made it, mixed with the terror I always feel before the actual transfer and probably a little of the fertility drugs and hormones still in my body.
The scientist came in and gave us the good news that we had a really good embryo to transfer. It was graded a 3AA which is the best we could hope for. She also explained that our 2nd embryo wasn’t doing as well. They would continue growing it and and if it improved, they would freeze it either that afternoon or the next morning. We were told to just call the next day to find out if it was able to be frozen.
Then came the actual transfer. I hate this part and as usual my tilted cervix made the whole procedure long and awful. But she got there in the end and our beautiful embryo was placed in its new home. Hopefully for the next 9 months.
So now we are in the two week wait, or more accurately the 10 day wait. The blood test will be on the 23rd of February and we will probably do a home test either the day before or on the morning of the blood test, just to mentally prepare.
This afternoon I called the doctors office to find out how our other embryo went. She told me that it had made it to blastocyst stage by yesterday afternoon but it was a 3CC grade, which is really poor. They decided to give it a little more time overnight to see if it would improve but by this morning it was all but dead. I feel really sad about that and a whole lot more pressure knowing that this is now officially our last shot.
So if you’re reading this, cross your fingers. We need it and would truly appreciate any positive vibes and luck you have to throw our way.
On Friday morning, Candice called the doctor’s office to find out how many eggs had fertilised overnight. She was told that two out of two eggs had indeed fertilised and were now growing embryos! She then called me, forgetting that I had specifically asked her not to call. The whole reason I didn’t call the doctors office myself was because I knew I would burst into tears and wouldn’t be able to speak if it was bad news. I’ve been in that position before and hated it. I was holding my phone when she called and panicked. I dropped (threw) my phone at the bed and just stood there staring at it as it rang. When it stopped ringing, a text came through from her that just said ‘2/2 fertilised’ with a happy emoticon. The relief washed over me but only really lasted a few seconds until I remembered that the embryos still had 4 days of growing to do. But I thanked the universe and allowed myself to be happy anyway.
Today is Monday morning and we didn’t receive a call over the weekend with bad news so I’m assuming that the 2 embryos are still multiplying and doing their thing. At least we hope so. My stomach drops every time my phone has made a noise but there is now less than 24 hours until the transfer is booked so we just need to get through today and tonight. A few people have asked if we will be transferring 2 embryos if they both make it to 5 days. We won’t be, we plan to only transfer 1 and freeze the other if both happen to make it. Fingers crossed that my next update will be about the actual transfer tomorrow!
Here’s a photo of my big baby, still as beautiful as ever.