Sunday, 13 May 2012

One Year On...

Well, it's exactly a year since this post, the amazing day when I got my first (and possibly only ever) BFP. In some ways it seems like just yesterday and, in others, it feels like a million years ago given how different my life is now in so many ways.

For a start, I now live in a new city, in a different country. I put this first because the move happened first, not because it's more important than the other big change in my life - the arrival of Baby B.

Baby B is now almost 4 months old and it's been an amazing, rollercoaster ride. I say rollercoaster, not because there have been highs and lows, but because the whole ride has been accompanied by screaming, laughter, hysterics... all whilst feeling completely out of control, but loving every minute! Here is Baby B a couple of weeks ago, flashing one of his cutest smiles.

And here he is watching TV, his new favourite thing.

Baby B, my Bloke and I are doing well. Of course, there have been challenges with feeding and sleeping and getting used to the responsibility of taking care of this little fella 24/7, but on the whole, he is a happy, smiley, fairly predictable baby. He is still exclusively breastfed and I'm enjoying the special time together that this gives us. However, I'm also looking forward to a time (not for a good while yet) when I can leave Baby B with my Bloke or another caregiver without having to worry about pumping enough milk for him and him taking it from a bottle (so far, so good on that front).

Anyway, I'm in danger of starting to waffle about all the ins and outs of a day/week/month with Baby B and I have decided that this is not what I want for this blog. This blog was, if not a lifesaver, then certainly a sanity-saver during our infertility diagnosis, treatment and the journey to Baby B. I don't feel it's appropriate for it to turn into a parenting/baby blog, even though I love reading those of my fellow infertility-sufferers who are now parents. So, for now, this blog will be closed. 

Of course, our infertility is not 'over'. We still have 4 frosties sitting in a freezer in China which we apparently have to use by April 2013 because the clinic only keep them for 2 years. This would mean attempting to get pregnant again when Baby B is only just over 1 year old... not sure if this is what we want yet, but no decisions have been made. Maybe we will be content with our one precious boy... Maybe I'll fall pregnant naturally (no expectations of that here!).... Maybe I'll end up back in China next year getting those lovely progesterone shots again and keeping everything crossed for another miracle BFP. Only time will tell...

So goodbye for now and thank you for all your support over the last 18 months :) I'm hoping for the best for all of you and your families.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Baby B's Birth Day

After thinking on it, I've decided that baby boy will remain baby boy, or Baby B for short. As he lies asleep beside me, I'll take this chance to record his birth story.
I'm sure the hormones have given me selective memory and/or dulled a lot of sensations I felt during the labour and delivery, but I can only look back with happiness at the whole experience. Beware, this post has got long and detailed.. I won't be offended if you stop here!

Monday evening, 5 pm (40 + 2)
We finally finished repainting and cleaning the glider chair for the nursery. I'd been joking that Baby B was waiting for it to be done before he would make his appearance! And, no joke, as I stood up from finishing, I felt my first contraction! I wasn't sure if they were real or fake so I didn't tell my Bloke. I just practiced my Hypno breathing and waited. They kept coming so I started timing them.. Seemed to be about 6-7 minutes apart which made me think they must be practice ones because they wouldn't start so close together!

Contractions still coming - I needed more concentration to breath through them. Told my Bloke and decided to get in the bath.

Got in a lovely hot bath.. Felt amazing and almost immediately my waters broke a little! Decided to call our Doula and she told me to get out of the bath and try to sleep for a couple of hours because my contractions still seemed a little irregular and it could be a long night. But when I lay down, I had some big gushes of waters so decided to go to our birthing clinic to get checked out as Baby B didn't seem to be moving well. We could always go home again if nothing was happening.

Arrived at our clinic and got an NST and vaginal exam (1st during all pregnancy!)... Turns out I was 3cm dilated with contractions 3 minutes apart! We all agreed I wasn't going home! I had antibiotics through a heparin lock IV, my Doula and her trainee arrived and then it was into the birthing tub.

Fast forward about 6 hours!...
I spent the night in the tub with my Doula and/or trainee and/or my Bloke keeping me calm, helping me breath and relax. I have little memory of these contractions.. Don't remember any 'pain' though.

This is based on what I've been told because I lost all concept of time! I felt the urge to push and used Hypno birth breathing to try and 'breath the baby down and out'. I was 10cm at this point. Apparently he was moving down well, but after an hour I was so tired that my 'pushes' weren't having much effect (despite being fed raisins and energy drinks by my Bloke). The OB and midwife came in and got me to squat, holding onto 'ropes' above me. (Before that I was sort of floating on my back.) One contraction and a few big pushes in this position had Baby B crowning! Back onto my back, one more contraction, some intense pressure and stretching and he was born! Baby B was placed on my chest whilst we waited for the cord to stop pulsating - I felt the cord and cut it when it stopped.

After this it was out of the bath into our room to birth the placenta and Baby to have skin to skin time with Daddy. Then breastfeeding with help from our Doula and midwife whilst the Dr examined me. I had a small tear but didn't need stitches and I'm healing well :)

Thanks for persevering if you got this far :)  Here is our little guy propped up on my Boppy on my lap.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Beautiful baby boy :)

Sorry for the delay in posting but our gorgeous baby boy arrived safe and well at 5.59am on Tuesday January 24th after a relatively quick and calm water birth. I'm still deciding whether to post his name and photos, so for now he remains baby boy!

He is perfect and we are in love :) Now the challenges of breastfeeding and sleep (or lack of it!) begin....

More soon... Well, when I get time!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Happy Due Date to me!

So the big day is here and our little guy isn't! Of course, I always knew that there was a good chance he wasn't going to arrive before now, but there's always hope! And so many of my IRL and blogging first time Mums have had their babies a little bit early that I thought I might join that club. And don't get me wrong... I am happy for him to stay in there as long as he needs to be fully ready, but I am also incredibly impatient to meet him.

And how am I progressing physically? Any closer to his arrival? Well, my clinic is very natural-oriented and doesn't do internal exams unless necessary and not before 41-42 weeks usually, so I have no idea what my uterus is doing from that respect. I do know that I've been having more obvious practice surges (Braxton Hicks contractions... but in Hypnobirthing we don't call them that!). At first I think I wasn't able to identify them, but now I can recognise the tightening, sometimes closely followed by baby wriggling like crazy. I tend to get these in the evening when I'm making dinner or around that time if I've lost all motivation to cook ;) A few nights I've woken to cramps in my lower belly - very similar to mild menstrual cramps. They don't last long and changing position and relaxed breathing usually helps. My Doula says these are also 'practice surges'. But I've had no 'show' or evidence of real progress, so all is just conjecture at the moment.

One weird thing is that I've felt overly emotional for the last day or two, just on and off. For example, Thursday was a busy day for me and I couldn't face cooking by the time I got home, but I'd pretty much not cooked all week so was feeling guilty. I called my Bloke to see whether he minded sandwiches again and, of course he didn't (he'd be a fool to demand a cooked meal when I'm big enough to sit on his head and suffocate him if he complained). I got off the phone and felt so relieved that I actually cried... real tears! I was so happy that I could sit on the couch and rest rather than having to stand in the kitchen and cook something! Now this could just be the relief of a large, tired pregnant woman, but I'm hoping it means my hormones are changing and 'things are happening'....

This weekend is a holiday for the Lunar New Year so my Bloke is off work until Wednesday and we are both hoping that baby makes the most of those days and arrives soon. If not, I have another OB check-up on Thursday with the now-usual NST and scan to check amniotic fluid. If all is fine, then I'm pretty sure they'll let me go another week before any intervention. I am really hoping that isn't necessary...

And to try and encourage this little guy along, I am now:

  • having acupuncture and taking herbs - I started the acupuncture to help with my back (which it has) and my Dr is known for easing and inducing labour through his techniques, so I'm currently seeing him 3 times a week
  • eating spicy food, though we do pretty often anyway, so not sure how much difference it will make
  • nipple stimulation - just started this so we'll see how it goes
  • walking as much as possible - my OB recommends up to 3 hours a day, but that's never going to happen with my sore pubic bone and shooting nerve twinges into my lady parts. I feel I've made the effort if I get the bus/metro to my various Drs appointments, rather than taxis!
  • attempting sex as much as possible (which so far isn't that often, but we do our best!)
The rest of my time is occupied with practicing my hypnobirthing relaxation techniques and spending time with friends and their newborns, so I can pick up some tips on what the heck to do with this little guy once he finally makes his much-anticipated appearance :)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Counting the days...

As the last days (hopefully days rather than weeks!) of this pregnancy slip away, I've had a realisation. But before I start, I want to be clear that I am not at all worried or stressed or pessimistic about the labour and birth - either the process or the outcome. Since getting upset talking to my doula, I'm feeling much calmer - I think I just needed her to know how we got to this point and, now she does, the stress has lifted. We also did another fear-release exercise at our meeting last week and I think that was useful.

But the realisation is that I still can't actually imagine having our own baby in my arms in the space of a few hours/days/weeks at the most.  I've thought about it and realised that the IF journey contained so many processes that had no 'outcomes', that I've got used to that.

We tried naturally - nothing happened.
We had testing - nothing happened.
We had IUI after IUI after IUI - nothing happened.
We had IVF - at last, something happened!

But though I've been enjoying this pregnancy immensely and feel so grateful to have that opportunity, I'm half expecting it to be another process which I go through and there is no 'result' at the end.  Like something to tick off the list - 'well, we've done that, what next?'...

I don't know if this will make sense to anyone else and it's hard for me to express without giving the impression that I'm worried about the arrival of our little guy, which I'm not. Maybe I'm just impatient to reach the end of this stage of our journey and meet the baby boy we've waited so long for (and I'm writing that with a smile and not a tear in sight!).