Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's the small things in life

Don't you think its the small things in life that tend to count for the most? A kind gesture from someone may make your day brighter, just something small generally counts for so much. And this is definitely true when referring to caring for your baby. A bad day may all of a sudden become alot better just because of one small thing.

When Alfie was really small, there were definitely times where I thought "oh my god, how long is it going to be like this for"? , is he still going to be power chucking when he is 21? Am I doomed to have a house covered in spew forever? Will I ever get to sit down and watch Coro again? yes you heard right, don't judge, Coro rocks and that's all I need to say on the matter. I remember sometimes feeling a bit over whelmed by the sheer time a small person took up, Alfie fed alot! he was very small so I think he didn't have alot at a time, I couldn't quite work out how he was so damn hungry all the time! The day would be taken up by feeding, burping, followed by of course a spew, then I had to clean all that up, then settle him down to sleep, then i could quickly eat etc, then he was up again! Some days I would literally turn my head and it had gone from being 9am to 3pm! how did that happen! I was very lucky though as he was and still is an amazing sleeper and very rarely cries. Any how my point being in those early days I really needed some little things to get me through. And there were plenty, all those small wee firsts that may seem like nothing to other people but were huge to us, they made all the spew all worth while!

These days life has got back to normal, Alfie will be 5 months next week and its still the little things that continue to amaze me. His gorgeous smiles which we just cant get enough of, his first laugh which is literally the sweetest sound we will ever hear, his first roll, which was like cheering on an Olympic athlete! seriously you will never hear as much encouragement in the up coming London Olympic sideline's as you will coming from our lounge! "go, go, you can do it"!!! and then when he does its applause all round.....WOOOOO.........YAH!!, he's probably lying down there thinking "what the hell is all the commotion about, calm down, I only rolled, i didn't split an atom".

I think in life it really really is the small things in life that count for the most, not all the big major things, Sometimes all you need is to come home and have the warm fire raging, a cup of coffee made for you and a cute little someone flash you a cheeky grin and that's what makes your day. Small things add up to a big load of happiness, small things don't cost money, small things don't require an amazing skill, small things don't take alot of time, so with that in mind, go do one small thing for someone and make their day.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dribbles, poo, spew and everything in between, not forgetting those heart warming smiles and giggles.

So I am back and badder than ever. Well that's not really true. I'm back and fatter than ever, ok that's not really true either, I mean I'm no supermodel, I'm no Miranda Kerr after baby, but I'm looking ok. So lets just say I'm back and bolder than ever.

Since our little treasure was born it has been a bit busy, a bit!!!!!!!!!! a fricken bit!!!!! more like alot. Who knew having a baby took so much time? well I sure as hell know that now. But here we are and Alfie is 4 and a half months and everything is under control, honestly it is! He is a great happy wee chap, he sleeps through the night, he is having solids now, he is just a darling. I seem to have time to sit here and write about a load of crap so that must mean something.

So what is this blog going to be all about? advice? hell no? I have no advice, we just do what we think is right for Alfie, I don't claim to be an expert on anything, all I will do is write about what works for us, what doesn't work for us, and really I think every mother is the best mother for their own baby. I am the best mother for Alfie, and you are the best mother for your baby, and if you don't have a baby yet, well when you do, you will be the best mother for your baby. I will talk about some of the new things we are coming across as parents, and anything really....... lets just see how it goes.

I am loving staying at home with Alfie despite the fact that we have no money, and when I say no money I really mean it, I'm not one of those knobs that says "oh we are really broke this week", as they get on their blackberry and transfer $10,000 from their savings account to pay for a 5 course meal, for me its more like I get on my Iphone and transfer $5 from my savings account to hopefully pay for a packet of loo paper after being declined at the supermarket! "sorry mam you have no money, you cant even afford damn shit paper"! .....oh fuck off! I have a baby, so what, who needs loo paper anyhow?, Anyhow, slight exxageration so lets just say being at home and being with him is a total joy, look at that little face would ya! and don't worry, I will be reminding him in a few years that he owes us $26,000. He can split the cost with the frozen embryo that hopefully will becomes his sister (notice i said sister, yes I want a girl, I want pretty clothes),so I figure once he steps into employment, say in about 5 years, he can start paying us off for the hefty price we paid to get him here and then we can buy loo paper till our hearts content, and even get a 5 course meal! or even better, get a 5 course meal and take our own fancy 2 ply loo paper with us, that's how we roll, loo paper falling out of my handbag getting dragged through the restaurant, people staring, sniggering, laughing, not too worry, its 2 ply and has pictures of cute little dogs on it. OK....  So off track again there....He will be 20 weeks tomorrow, he is cool! he smiles and laughs and just gazes up at me all day! he sleeps through the night now, he goes down at 7.30pm and sleeps through till about 7-8am. He sleeps great during the day and he is just a really cruisy happy baby. Jealous? you should be! hehe..... Kidding.

So as I said in my new "about me" description, hold onto your pinnies ladies, hold onto your nappies babies, and well hold onto your hold onto your belt? tie? ok, lets just say sit down and read men, we know men cant multi task. Join me, the hubby and baby Alfie as we fumble our way through life together, it may not always be easy but it will always be lived together and that's all that matters.

Friday, February 24, 2012

As one chapter closes another one opens.

Alfie John Piggott was born at 8.50am on Friday the 17th February 2012. He entered the world and without him even realising, changed our world forever.

And so the last chapter goes..... I woke up on Friday morning at 3am to go to the toilet, just as normal, fed up of being so fat and peeing a hundred times a day. When I went to the toilet I noticed I was bleeding, this was my first sign that something was happening, I thought, this must be my show, and my next sign was my tummy was a bit crampy, like period cramps, very mild. So I went into the bedroom and told Steve that I though perhaps something was going on, but not to panic as it would probably be hours before anything kicked in. So from 3am to 4am the cramps got a bit stronger and by 4am I knew I was having contractions. At first they were erratic, but very quickly I had ran myself a bath and was in there keeling over in pain. The contractions were coming on so fast and so strong that I was now making quite a bit of noise. Steve got up and told me he was ringing the midwife, she asked how far apart they were, Steve said about 5 minutes, but really by this point everything was just going so fast that they had pretty much progressed to being about 1 minute apart. The midwife rang back about 5 minutes later and said "just come in, it sounds like its all moving fast", I then got out of the bath and my waters must have broken as I was leaking all over the bathroom. By now the contractions were on top of each other and we needed to move quick!!! Steve grabbed the bags and got dressed and I tried my hardest to get dressed, this was near impossible as I would have time to get a top out of the drawer and that was it, bang......another contraction, these were now super duper strong, they were so bad I was curled up on the floor for each one begging for help. I tried my best to breath through them but it was just so painful, and having no pain relief when this was probably when I needed it the most was pretty hard going. I finally got ready and left the house in a right state, bathroom covered in water, blood and also a bowl of vomit! delightful!.

Steve drove like the clappers to the hospital while I kept trying my best to deal with the contractions. We reached the emergency department car park and I said to Steve "oh no, I need to push", I felt the pressure to push and wasn't sure what the hell to do!!! this baby was coming. A nurse who was finishing her shift saw the commotion and got me a wheelchair, then Steve wheeled me in, funny moment was there wasn't a ramp into the entrance and Steve almost tipped me out as he wheeled me into a ditch! I think I even gave a wee laugh at that one!. An orderly came and helped us and helped with the bags and phoned through to the maternity unit, and just like that I was wheeled into a room and greeted by my midwife and a hospital midwife. They quickly checked to see how dilated I was and sure enough I was 10cms, so I was told I was allowed to push. I asked for some gas and was given some, but I only took a couple of puffs. I remember saying "its not working"!, I was sorted on the bed and told to push when a contraction came. This stage of labour was bloody hard, but I must say the actual pushing wasn't as bad as a contraction. I kept trying to get more gas but the hospital midwife told Steve not to give me anymore as it wasn't doing anything and was just going to distract me from the job of pushing, and apparently I didn't need it, apparently she thought I could manage without it! hmmm......well I wasn't so sure of that. With every contraction I pushed with all my strength but it wasn't working, I wasn't pushing for long enough at a time, he was moving down but then back up. I needed to take bigger breaths and hold the push for longer! how the fuck do you do that I was thinking!!! At this point the whole pushing process was taking longer than they would have liked, they didn't want it to go on for too long or the baby might become distressed. I started sobbing and saying "I cant do it, I don't know how to push anymore", I was given lots of reassurance and encouragement from the midwifes and Steve that I could do it and I will. The midwifes told me that I needed to push for longer or the doctors might have to come in and we may have to yank him out with forceps. No thanks!!! something must have taken over as my pushing got better and better and he was moving out nicely. I remember I was able to put my hand down and feel his head crowning, I wasn't too impressed as it felt like I still had ages to go. With a few more god almighty pushes his head was out and Steve took a look! how amazing. With another wee push and a bit of pulling from the midwife the rest of his body came out! He was born!!!!

He was laid onto my chest and just like that the pain was gone!!!! I was given a shot in my leg to release the placenta more quickly and with a small push out that came. Me and Steve looked down at our son!! wow! he was slightly odd looking, his head looked a bit blue but oh my goodness! he was perfect.

Through out the whole process Steve was damn amazing! When we were at home he was calm but onto it, when we got to the hospital he just slipped into the role of a backup midwife!!! he was fantastic. He stood by my side the whole time, he held the gas for me, he gave me water, he rubbed my back, he told me to keep pushing, he didn't let up for a second. When the midwifes stopped telling me to push, he would start. He let me grab him, pull onto him, and fall apart, but he didn't fall apart, he remained in control and exceeded my expectations. There was lots of comments from the midwifes about how brilliant and hands on he was, when many husbands/partners are often over whelmed and a bit stand off ish.

I was then stitched up, as I had tore in two different places and one was quite jagged and awkward to get to, this took quite a while and was quite painful, but all was good. I continued to hold Alfie as I was stitched but then handed him to Steve. he got his first hold with his son, and to be honest I think his heart just melted there on the spot.

Alfie was weighed, he is a compact 6pounds 6ounces. And the labour was recorded as 4 hours 48 minutes from start to finish! not bad!!!  I then showered and my god, that was bliss!!!! I was given some maternity pads the size of a king sized mattress and the midwife helped me put these on and got me all sorted to go to my room. As Alfie's temperature was a bit low and I had previously tested positive for Strep B and we never got the time to get antibiotics into me to go through to Alfie, I was told to stay in over night so his breathing and temperature could be monitored every 4 hours.

We were moved into a shared room! damn it. the woman next to me had loads of visitors and was so noisy! but my midwife was great and quietened them down. We had Steve's parents come in to visit their grandson and they were just chuffed! Also luckily for us, one of the hospital midwifes came and told us we could get a single room as they are warmer and would help get Alfie's temperature up. Yah!!! so I got moved into a really comfy nice single room.

Steve stayed till 8pm and then had to go home. I was left with this tiny little person! and guess what, he was mine. Through out the night the midwifes came and checked on him and I got a bit of help with breastfeeding and latching him on correct. All in all it went well, we were up and down for most of the night but Alfie is really settled and the crying was very minimal.

Bang on 8am when visitors were allowed back in, Steve arrived to collect us. I was happy to see him and missed him. He was so excited to get us home! we loaded up our new wee guy in his car seat and off we went, ready to start our new chapter.

So far since Alfie has been home we have been getting used to breastfeeding, sleeping, and generally just having a new little person in the house, Our midwife has been visiting and taking very good care of both me and Alfie. I have found my back pain to be my biggest challenge so far in regards to my recovery, it makes doing stuff with Alfie a wee bit harder, picking him up and bending over has been a bit more of a challenge. I have been a bit sore with the stitches, but now a week on and they are getting less and less sore. Breastfeeding had been a real learning curve, getting used to being on demand has been interesting and my boobs are very leaky, I have far too much milk for our small wee guy, he is practically drowning in it! But as each day goes by I'm getting more and more confident with feeding and more and more sorted and I am getting used to it. I initially found it hard to adjust to this new wobbly belly, but as every day goes by and I lose more and more excess fluid and my uterus pops back into where its meant to be my belly is going down, I have lost 7kgs since Alfie's birth and have just 4kgs to go till I get back to my original weight before getting pregnant. I am not able to get into alot of my pre pregnancy clothes yet, so am sticking to the bigger looser ones till my tummy goes down, but as Steve keeps reminding me, its only been a week and he seems to think I look great regardless!
Steve has been spending the last week at home with me and again, just like the whole birthing process he has exceeded my expectations. He has done all the housework, he has cooked dinners, he has done all the dishes, he has held and changed and bathed Alfie and cleaned up his spew. he has helped me with breastfeeding, he has sat next to me in the middle of the night watching me feed and being on hand to grab anything I need. He has started to read parenting magazines and given out all sorts of handy hints. He has even made a batch of Jam and has just started painting the bathroom. He constantly asks me if I'm ok, how I'm feeling, and telling me how well I am doing. He is very hands on and more importantly he wants to be, He wants to do stuff for Alfie. He is absolutely loving having his son, and having him off work for the last week has been a real joy, I don't know what I would have done without him, especially since my back has been playing me up. When he returns to work next week I will be getting into a bit of a routine and have got some visitors coming and some appointments so will be very busy and then after next week, life just carries on, me and Alfie get into the groove of things and I will continue to enjoy my little treasure.

So how do I feel now that I've been through IVF and now I'm on the other side? Well Its amazing. I am living proof that IVF works, that hard work and perseverance and lots of hope and faith will get you there in the end. As I have always said throughout this blog, don't give up, no matter how many brick walls you hit, you can always get back up if you want something bad enough.

Even though Alfie is only 1 week old today, I just look into his little eyes and think "my goodness you are the cutest little baby I have ever seen", I cannot believe he is mine yet at the same time I feel like I cant imagine not having him now. When he was first born I don't think I had that instant immediate "i love you so much" type feeling that some mums talk about, and I think this could partly be because it all happened so fast and was such a shock. But I think it didn't take long, I am so so in love with him now, I worry about him, I worry that he's not comfortable in bed, I worry is he too hot or too cold, I worry is he happy, is he scared. When he crys in the middle of the night for a feed and I'm tired, I think "oh god, I'm tired" but I don't think "oh shit, I don't want to get up, go back to sleep", I just want to help him out and settle him and feed him and keep him happy. He is so delightful. He is a really settled wee baby, well so far!!! time will tell. He seems to have slipped himself into a little routine, not sure how we managed that! he doesn't really cry unless he has wind or is doing a poo, or hungry, otherwise he just gazes up at us, as we gaze down at him. He settles into his bassinet well, he is happy to be put down awake and just stare at the wall and nod off to sleep himself. Aren't we lucky! I could go on all day! My heart is happy not broken, its fully mended and boy does that feel good.

So as I close this chapter of our life, our chapter of making our son, I now open a new chapter, a happy chapter, a chapter that starts something like this " The day he entered our life, was the day our whole world changed, the day we knew everything we had done was worth it, the day we will remember forever, and the day we realized dreams really do come true.

Lots of luck and good wishes to all infertile couples still fighting the battle.
Catherine and Steve

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How we got here

I woke up this morning and for some reason I felt the need to document one last time mine and my husbands journey in full. As I have said I will be stopping my blog with my last entry being the birth of our son. But for today it feels right to write about how we got here. As in the great series "Sex and the City" - Mr Big's actual name was revealed at the end, I feel it right now to reveal my gardener guys name. So sit back and relax and get ready, you may need tissues, or you may laugh but this is the story of how we got here.

On the 14th February 2009 me and my husband Steve got married, while on our honeymoon about a week later we decided that we should try for a baby. The thought had always been there, we had always wanted children but I guess we were just waiting to get married. So as we both decided to start trying, we were filled with excitement, we had just got married and now we were going to try and start a family. It never really entered our minds that's it wouldn't work.

Months and months went by and we were having no luck, It wasn't really a big issue to begin with, things take time, but as every month passed we got that little bit more impatient and I got that little bit more older. After about 8 or so months I decided that it wouldn't hurt to look into things a little more. We made an appointment with our local doctor and had a few basic tests run. My eggs came back as normal for my age, Steve's sperm came back normal and that was it really. We were then told the next step was to look into seeing a fertility specialist, so we then made an appointment at Fertility Associates. I think this was probably the first time we thought, perhaps theres more to this picture than meets the eye. We had our first appointment with our fertility doctor who we would come to know very well over the next few years. From what I remember it was a basic question and answer type appointment, he was trying to discover why this baby making wasn't working which sometimes is a hard task. From the information I gave him about my cycles, our previous test, family history etc, he decided it sounded like I could have a bit of endometriosis lurking around. This didn't really surprise me as my mother had terrible endo and ended up needing a full hysterectomy. I was then booked in for laproscopic surgery and also a procedure called a hysterscopy which basically means they run dye through your tubes to check for any blockages. We left this appointment feeling good that we were going to get a little more information.

I think we waited maybe 3 or 4 months till my name got called up and I went in for surgery. This was the first time for me ever being in hospital so it was all a bit scary. The operation went well and I recovered at home for a few days. We were in the process of moving house so it was all a bit full on and I probably should have taken it alot more easier, but as Steve would say "you can never just stay still"! . But anyhow the operation was done, we had our answer. I had stage 3 Endometriosis. The fertility doctor had removed it all and we were all sorted. We all figured this was the reason why I wasn't conceiving. At our follow up appointment our fertility doctor told us to try naturally for 6 months and he had every hope that after this removal of the endo that we would conceive. 

Away we went, full of hope again. I started using ovulation kits during this 6 months to track when I was ovulating, thus knowing the exact time that my egg was released and ready to be fertilized. I must say I become a bit nutty, these tests make you mental, you want to have sex and this exact time and pushing someone into having sex is not exactly sexy, more mental!!! It became alot of stress to perform and get the timing bang on.

After this 6 months we still were no further, while most people who decide to have a baby had probably already conceived and given birth, we still had got no further. We went back to our fertility doctor and this was when all the real madness began! little did we know this would be the real start of our infertility journey, this would be the real start of the hardest time in our lives where we would have to muster every last piece of strength we had. How could we have ever known how tough it was all about to become. We didn't. 

We were then suggested to start our first round of IUI (artificial insemination), basically I was to ring the clinic on day 1 of bleeding and that was my first cycle day, I was then to start some very unpleasant little pills called Clomiphene, these pills helped me to release more than one egg during my cycle, thus giving us a higher chance of fertilization. With lots of blood tests and scans through out the month I was closely monitored and when the time was right Steve was to give his sperm sample. A task that seemed so weird and funny and just embarrassing to begin with, but ended up being a very normal part of our life. Steve's sperm was washed through a special machine and only the best were kept and put inside me. The actual artificial insemination process was fairly straight forward with some discomfort but really not too bad.

Over the course of this month, the medication I was on wasn't too pleasant, it brought with it some yucky side effects but I managed and we got through it. 

The waiting for the results was hard, this first treatment cycle was full of hope, we kind of magically expected it to work, although we were told that perhaps 3 cycles would be needed. But nah.....we though, it will work for us, maybe just 1 cycle if not then just 2. We had just invested $2000 of our money into this cycle, which at that stage seemed like so so much money, but looking back now it really seems like spare change. We got the phone call telling us it was unsuccessful, it did not work. this wasn't nice but we were prepared to keep going. We did another round and again it did not work. $4000 later and still no baby. Steve wanted to wait a few more months and try naturally before we did the 3rd and final round, I did not. I didn't see the point in wasting more time, It wasn't going to happen naturally and we needed to face that fact.

By round 3 we were experts on the whole procedure, we knew how shitty I would feel, we knew all the crazy emotions we would both be feeling again, we knew the strain it was putting on us, we knew we were up for another $2000 but we kept at it. We went again and prayed that this would work, if it didn't we didn't really know where we would go from there. We didn't have money to start IVF and at this point I don't think we really realized how up the creek without a paddle we were. We didn't think we would need IVF, it never really entered our minds. This had to work, simple as that. All our friends and family kept telling us "this will be the round" it will work this time. Did they really believe that? or did they just have to say that. Round 3 results came in on Christmas eve 2010. The bad news was shattering, This was meant to be a happy time of the year. It was not. This hit me hard, I didn't think a baby was ever on the cards for us. We had spent all this money, we had no baby, we had no hope, we had nothing to look forward too, at that point it all seemed hopeless. All we had was each other, and I must say through out the whole journey that never changed, we were always there together, we had a common goal and we never once gave up. never. I never heard the words "lets just give up, its too hard" come out of Steve's mouth. I never once said lets give up and neither did he.This really surprises me, after alot of hard work and heartache, giving up was just never an option. After every fail we were always in the mind set that there must be something else, this cant be the end, and I really think that's what kept us going. 

After a horrible Christmas/new year we went back to the fertility doctor again, at this point we had become used to the idea that IVF was the only way to go. At $10,000 a cycle we had decided we would get a bank loan, that was the only way. Luckily for us Steve's parents were in a position to loan us the money so now we pay them back rather than a bank, something we are both eternally grateful for. 

We started the first cycle of IVF fairly quickly and this was the start of a new journey, my goodness this was even tougher than before! hormone shots every day, blood tests, scans. It was just all so much. Going home with a bag full of needles and drugs and all these very specific instructions was very full on, my body was about to undergo one rough ride. Steve injected me every day twice a day full of these crazy drugs for a month. The side effects were not nice. I was sick, I was bloated, I was having hot flushes, I was exhausted, I was gaining weight, I was sore and bruised, I was an emotional wreck. But we got through it. The egg retrieval operation wasn't too nice, although I was given an anesthetic and some sedatives so I was very spaced out, but for poor old Steve who was in theatre witnessing it all it wasn't very nice. My eggs were removed from me and put into test tubes and taken straight to the lab to be put in dishes with Steve's sperm. Well that's it in a nut shell, I wont go on too much about the whole thing but really its pretty damn amazing. 

I went home to recover and wait and hope basically. How many eggs were fertilized by Steve's sperm. This job usually takes place inside the body, but here we were waiting for it all to happen in a laboratory.There is so many things that can go wrong here, its not just as cut and dry as egg sits there, sperm goes in and theres a baby made. You can have poor egg quality, not many eggs, poor sperm quality, or even just an unknown reason as to why the egg and sperm didn't become one!

We got a call the following day that 3 of my 7 eggs were fertilized. So there you go, the numbers drop so fast. We had 3 to work with, over the next few days anything could happen to these embryos, things could turn bad really fast. I remember these days waiting for the news on our embryos were the worst days ever, every day all my day would consist of was waiting for the call. I was on tender hooks and to be honest with this first IVF cycle most of the phone calls just weren't that good. From what I remember 3 embryos dropped to 2 and then 2 dropped to 1. I was absolutely crushed when we lost that last embryo, this meant we only had 1 single embryo to transfer inside me and none to freeze. During an IVF cycle you always hope for spares so to speak, embryos that are of good enough quality to freeze for later use, but there you go, I didn't get any to freeze. We had paid $10,000 and all our hope was hanging on this 1 embryo that was going to be transferred inside me and hopefully stick. The quality of the embryo that was going inside me was also not of the quality we had hoped for, I mean it was fine, plenty of babies had become of an 8 cell embryo, but more babies had become of a blastocyst, which is what we wanted. Oh well, this was going to be our baby, it was transferred inside me and there was a 2 week wait till we found out the result.

We waited and we waited and we waited some more, 2 weeks waiting for the biggest news of your life is hellish. We tried not to think about it not working but at the same time we tried not to get our hopes up either. By this stage are emotions were all over the place, we had been through so many treatments and we were really starting to push ourselves to the limit. For anyone who has been through many failed treatment you will know how shit life starts to become and how consumed you become in this one thing. Having a baby is all that matters, nothing else will make you happy, no other fun event matters, you just don't care. It makes me really sad to even write about how I started to feel as its a place I never want to go again, its horrible, sinking as low as I did is just horrid. But as I said we didn't give up. We had decided at this point if this first IVF fails, we will try again. We didn't know where the money would be coming from, until one day Steve's parents told us they could probably just manage to loan us money for one more cycle if need be! this took alot of stress off us in this hard two week wait for our results. We had a plan, we could do one more cycle if need be. 

The dreaded result day came, I can remember this one clear as day, I was standing in the back courtyard of our house and the phone rang, It was my lovely nurse. As the phone rang I bleated out to Steve "come here", the nurse told me it wasn't good news, straight away i broke down, I handed the phone over to Steve and he finished the conversation with her. We came inside and we sat on the couch, Steve held onto me and I cried and cried and cried, those were some pretty deep tears, as I cried, Steve started to cry too. We both sat their on the couch weeping together, he held onto me very tightly and didn't let go. Even as I write this now there is tears running down my face - why? because its a hard sad memory, I look over at that couch and can just see ourselves sitting there and can just feel the pain we were in. 

This failed result took alot of strength to get over, but we did. We had to wait 3 long months till we could start again. The thought of going through everything again was hard, but of course we didn't give up, no matter how hard it was we wanted a baby so much and had the drive to get it that we kept going. 

We soldiered on and started round 2 of IVF. This cycle was even more aggressive than the last as far as treatment went, but I was ready! this was surely then end for us, we had spent $26,000 and we could not go on anymore, it wasn't so much that we were giving up, more that we had no choice, I really think that had I had the money who knows how long I would have put myself through more treatments if I needed too. Round 2 just felt different to me somehow, the break from round 1 to round 2 had given me a new way of thinking, I had been doing acupuncture once a week and we had adapted a new way of eating and who knows if any of this made a difference but I still think to this day that the acupuncture cleared my head and had something to do with our success.

So there we were round 2 and real experts!!! needles, drugs, tests, you name it we knew what was what. We had developed a good relationship with lots of the staff at the clinic and really after all this time going to the clinic was just part of our daily life now. round 2 gave us more eggs, more positive phone calls and more embryos! we were delighted to find out that 1 embryo was able to be frozen, and to this day that embryo is still frozen waiting for when we want to thaw it and hopefully it becomes our second baby.

On the day of round 2's results we were dead nervous, there was lots of deep breathing and pacing around the house. The couch were we sat a few months earlier weeping in despair was soon to become the couch were we would sit crying with joy. The phone call never came, so I decided to call the clinic myself, I reached our favourite nurse and she apologized for being so busy and she would go and check my results. Positive!!!!! The best moment, the most amazing news I have ever heard in my life! I remember shouting "thank you, thank you" and Steve yelled "thank you" to her! we were given some details and a big congratulations and then we hung up the phone. That's when the tears started, I cried and cried, 2 and a half years worth of pain came gushing out of me! I could not control it, I could not stop it!!! Steve tried to get me to stop crying so we could tell everyone the good news, I finally gathered myself together and we made some calls to people that were waiting to hear. That was an amazing day, to be able to give family some good news after ringing them time and time again with bad news was just priceless. 

Now as I sit here heavily pregnant with only 26 days to go till our baby boy is due to come into this world and make us cry all over again, do I wish all this hadn't happened to us? do I wish it had just happened naturally? Well you know what, I don't think I can answer that, sure it would have been a sight lot easier and cheaper and quicker, but on the other hand, would we be treasuring this pregnancy and would we be as grateful as we are, would we be such a strong couple, would we ever know what real pain felt like, would I have been of any help to other woman? probably not. Things can be taken for granted far too easily in life, sometimes it takes a really hard long journey to give you a jolt, to make you realize the meaning of things, the meaning of family, the meaning of good friends. Life can pass by, life can be so easy for some, but when life throws you something hard I don't think necessarily you should wish it never happened, it happened and it happened for a reason. Why we were cursed with infertility I don't know, why we drew the short straw I'm not sure.All I know now is that you can go from feeling cursed to being blessed. Just because something is hard does not mean its impossible.

Our son will be due around almost the same time as we started trying to conceive 3 years ago! one week or so after we got married in Feb 2009 we decided to start trying for a baby and now on Feb 21st 2012 our son will be due to enter the world. 

Happiness fills my heart now, not sorrow. We cannot wait to meet him and will be sure to make him feel as special as he truly is every day. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Baby Shower, Antenatal classes and all my updates at 35 weeks!

Hi all, I am so sorry to anyone out there still following me, I have been so damn slack! pregnancy is wearing me down and to be honest I have been quite busy lately. But here I am, still pregnant, no baby yet! 

In the weekend I had my lovely baby shower, hosted by my amazing friend who I am so grateful too for giving up her home for the afternoon while we all invaded it and made a mess! I had a really nice time and got some very sweet gifts for the wee man. So many photos, so just put one up here of the owl mobile I was given for him, super cute. Was given lots of cute clothes, books, and other bits and pieces, so a big thank you to everyone. I felt very special!!!

The big day is coming so fast, only 35 days to go!!! wow! that's presuming he comes on time. Best do, I'm not so patient, in saying that I think I have a right to be fairly impatient as I have been waiting so long prior to getting pregnant.

I am now just a giant whale, I have gained almost 10kgs, which according to our antenatal teacher (yes we have started classes), isn't bad, apparently the average weight gain according to her is between 11kgs and 16kgs. So I guess over the next 5 weeks Ill be in the middle somewhere.I am certainly feeling all that weight, I am finding it hard to walk, have really sore feet and legs, am sleeping terribly and just generally am fed up. Baby is still moving heaps but when he moves now its like giant nudges, waves in my belly and weird bumps sticking out, making my stomach look very lopsided, he has so little room now that every little movement he does is so noticeable. 

So as I was saying, yes we have started antenatal classes, we have done two 4hr classes with another two to go. To say I am loving them would be an exxageration but I don't hate them, It's fine, I'm learning some things but also hearing alot of stuff I already know.This coming Saturday we are having a tour of the maternity ward, learning about all the different pain medication and its implications on mum and baby and learning some massage techniques, well gardener guy will be learning some massage techniques, It's not likely I can massage myself when I can barely roll out of bed. Gardener guy has never been one for sitting still, so really he's not doing too bad at the classes, the moaning is fairly minimal and he certainly isn't shy at asking questions and letting the whole class know that his wife (me), went and got fitted for new maternity bras and managed to find some really comfortable ones that she feels good in!! . Pretty funny, I may as well stripped off my top and given a demo of the new bra! but to be fair it was in reply to a question relating to breastfeeding and that having good fitting comfy bras that make mum to be feel positive about breastfeeding is important. Funny man!

So yes, antenatal classes are ticking along, baby shower done, and got another midwife visit today. We are going to discuss my birth plan today. I have written up some points I want to discuss with her. All I think are fairly normal. 

Going back to antenatal classes - while I remember, the issue of the placenta came up, and who might like to take it home. Well of course gardener guy being gardener guy piped up and said "as it has loads of nutrients in it, it must be good for the garden"! , and yes it is! so now we are apparently taking the creepy thing home and planting a fruit tree over it! luckily they seal it all up in a bag for you, you don't just have to make room in your handbag for this creepy jelly like bloody thing, so really If he wants it, its fine by me! he has now become obsessed with this damn thing! he may even be more excited about seeing what the placenta looks like than his son! I think he expects to put the placenta in the ground, put the fruit tree over it and wake up the next day to a fully established pear tree in the back yard. But seriously it will be a great growing healthy tree. Maybe we will go all out and put some kind of equally creepy plaque by the tree, [ the organ that grew our son, is now growing this tree] or [ plant a placenta, eat a pear]. hmmmm...... something to think about.

Another thing gardener guy has become obsessed with since our last antenatal class is this funny bit of stretchy fabric. stretchy fabric you may be saying......explain. Well ok, I will. So we got told that when we are in hospital you can take home this stretchy piece of fabric that is amazing to put baby in. Basically its like a boob tube, so you put it on and then tuck baby into it so he is nice and snug by your chest. This can be used whenever, if your doing jobs around the house, your arms are free, if you just want baby to feel safe and secure or whatever, basically its just a hippies version of a front pack. Now we have a very good Baby Bjorn front pack, but gardener guy has become obsessed with this damn fabric. Yes I agree its really good, and will definitely take one home. Gardener guy keeps talking about trying to steal more than one of them, and he even asked if he could shower with the baby with one on. Well yeah you can, but god damn, the 2 of you will be on fire wrapped up tight in one of those in the shower!!!. But there you go, was very cute to see him excited about this simple piece of baby gear. Oh the uses this fabric has! you just wait, ill be sure to post a picture of it in full action. 

Anyhow hope that's enough information to keep the interest around till next time. We are getting so close now till this chapter of my life comes to a close, and my blog ends. I really look forward to sharing my birth experience with you all and introducing our wee lad to you all. It has been an interesting journey to get here and blogging has been a god send and as I have said previously I want to leave my blog on the highest of high notes, the birth of baby (insert name here)............ .  

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sleep anyone?

You know when someone says to everyone when your out at a bar "drink anyone" and you think to yourself 'well don't mind if I do', then you get asked all these other questions like "do you want ice with that" "tall or short glass" "extra shot in that" "little beach umbrella and some flamboyant fruit in it perhaps"?, well maybe you only get asked the last question if your at a gay resort in Spain or somewhere like that but you get my drift. Normally if your drunk enough already you will say yes to all questions. "Yes ill have a drink, ice sure, ill have it in a tall glass and then a short glass too, Ill have extra shots please and why not throw in an umbrella and a half a pineapple hanging off the side of the glass thanks". 

Well my point to all that is this is kind of how I feel about sleep at the moment, if someone asked "sleep anyone" my answer would be "hell yes, ill take ten shots of that with a fluffy pillow and a  leg supporter with a nice piece of cake on the side for later". Much like the drunks who say yes to any kind of drink I will say yes to any kind of sleep. A small 10 minute pain free nap, ill take it, a 20 hour sleep marathon, brilliant!

I am going to be 33 weeks in 3 days time and I'm super excited, I am excited about the birth, not scared yet and I just feel really positive about it. Sleep is another story.

I think for me from about 30 weeks onwards my sleeping started to go down hill. I feel sore and uncomfortable and it feels like the bump is pulling when I lay on my side, but then if I lay on my back I cant breath properly. Some nights I am ok, others I find it hard to get to sleep and then when I do I wake up sore and stiff and have to get up and have a walk around the house, perhaps have a nibble on something out of the cupboard, cook a whole chicken, well ok so I don't go to that extreme but a few chocolates always goes down a treat. Its rather hot here at this time of the year so when I try to put a pillow between my legs to ease the pain I then start to over heat, its like having a 3rd person in the bed on a hot sweaty night, and as it is my husband is like a thousand, million wattage heater who is always on full, then we have the pillow in with me and then I have my baby lying on top of me and I'm sweating like a pig and I'm still leaking like a milking cow! what a pleasant experience sleep is for me these days! waking up in a pool of sweat and milk, lovely! well not really waking up in a pool of sweat and milk as that would insinuate I had actually been to sleep in the first place, which I haven't.

So that's the update really, on another note Christmas was good, we had a nice day and a good boxing day, busy but nice. I was shattered by the end of it and my feet and legs were killing me, but after a few days rest (note - rest not sleep) I was back to normal. here is a wee pic of me with some cute wee socks I got from the baby to be's cousin. Also in picture is the baby's nan to be and father to be. 

Anyhow, bye for now and hope you all have a good New Year's and that 2012 is just brilliant and magical for everyone!