28 January 2013

A Flickering Flash

A few days after my last post, we were scheduled for a seven week scan to hopefully find a heartbeat.
We received good news, and saw the tiny flickering heart on the ultrasound screen. The sister pointed out the head and showed us where little arms and legs were forming, but I'm afraid I'll have to take her word on that though, as scans always look a bit alien to me.
The last few weeks have continued to be a roundabout of happiness and reservations. Every time we have a scan it brings a huge wave of relief...that lasts about five days, before the worry sets in again.

I've been feeling quite guilty, in that I've finally achieved what so many IVF patients dream of - but rather than being thrilled I've just continued to worry. We still haven't shared our good news with our families and I'm still dreading the prospect of doing so. Last week I decided to see how other people had announced their pregnancy after IVF.

A quick Google revealed I wasn't alone. After all the disappointments of IVF and trying to conceive naturally, it seemed plenty of people are reluctant to trust their luck. Quiet a few waited four or five months before announcing, while some never did! They just went from not pregnant to heavily pregnant with no acknowledgement in between.

One story struck me however. She'd waited till at least five months before announcing, and if she had to do it again she wouldn't. While there were plenty of reasons to worry, telling or not telling wasn't going to affect the outcome of her pregnancy. Instead worry robbed her of the excitement and joy of those early months -plus the support of others.

So I've decided though I can't stop the worry completely, I can stop it from controlling me. Now that we're past the seven weeks scan the odds are in our favour and I've decided to assume things will be fine. There's obviously no guarantee, but there's no reason to torture myself with the possibility.

While we will wait a few more week's to tell my husband's family, that's because there is a big family event where we can tell them all in person, but my parents I'll tell the next time I speak with them.

One thing that has surprised me, is the wonderful support I've had from my Women's Institute ladies (who read my blog and so are in on the secret!) It was completely unexpected, and has really helped me appreciate our good luck - even if it lasts just a short while.

I'm coming to the conclusion there isn't a right time or a wrong time to tell people - but never under estimate the support you may find in unexpected places.

This was originally written for the Emma's Diary Blog.

20 January 2013

A Quiet Winter Break

Each year for my birthday we book a midweek break at Center Parcs. It's a holiday I adore, but being eight weeks pregnant threw a few wrenches in our plans.

Normally I'd spend the whole week in the pool going down the slides and rapids, but the last couple of weeks I've been absolutely freezing! Plus the morning sickness is still a bit challenging. The idea of walking back to our villa with damp hair, after a boring swim where I can't go down any of the slides just made me exhausted. So instead we spent most of the week curled up in front of the fire and in Starbucks.

I did manage to take the camera out for some photos of the heavy frost and snow though.

10 January 2013


This week has been a huge relief. First the kidney stones have finally passed, so I'm feeling a ton better. The morning sickness nausea is still there, but I'm not especially hungry so I don't mind. (The kidney stone nausea in contrast drives me mad, as I feel desperate to eat but can hardly stomach anything.)

They IVF clinic doesn't consider a cycle successful till they find a heartbeat, and yesterday we were booked in for the decisive 7 weeks scan. It was such a relief to see the little flashing of a tiny heart.
About the size of a blueberry, I've been assured that the slightly darker blotch to the left is the head and the little hazy bits to each side are budding limbs. Not sure I can see it myself, but I'm willing to trust the nurses on this one.
So far everything about the pregnancy seems quite normal, but in new developments we've discovered I absolutely can't bear the smell of fish - just walking past tuna sandwiches and sushi has sent my stomach reeling this week.

Oh and while on the topic - if you ever end up taking fish oil capsules in the future make sure you don't accidentally pop them! For some reason I though the oil would be fairly neutral and processed, but it turns out it smells absolutely vile! That's what I get for not taking them straight away, I absent mindedly gave it a squish and then had to swallow the vile thing as quickly as possible. (Though I'm vegetarian, I have enough food intolerances and digestive problems that we felt it was worth taking the fish oil tablets just to make sure I wasn't missing anything vital.)

I'm still finding it a bit difficult concentrate and write, but hopefully I'll be posting more regularly soon - I've got a new crochet project I just can't wait to share!

7 January 2013

Slowest... two... weeks... ever...

I think the Christmas holidays may have been the longest two weeks of my life!

We received our good news on the 19th of December, but there was still plenty to worry about. I began to get heart palpations, and as my heart-rate jumped above 100 bpm I began to feel dizzy and ill, like I couldn't breathe. Though it seems to be a common side effect, it was also how hyperthyroidism first presented during my previous pregnancy. Between that, the kidney stones making a themselves bother and having had an ectopic pregnancy - a trip to the GP seemed in order.

I manage to book in on the Friday and the doctor rang the BEP (bleeding in early pregnancy) clinic. Though I'd not had any bleeding, they would make sure it wasn't ectopic again. They suspected it was too early for a scan, so asked the GP to take a blood sample. I was instructed to attend the hospital first thing on the morning of Christmas Eve when they'd take another blood sample and compare the results.

Monday morning we were the first outside the clinic doors. To our surprise they skipped the blood test and went straight for the scan.
Our little one's first picture at 4 weeks and 5 days shows it safe and growing well! Our next big hurdle is the 7 weeks scan, when the IVF clinic will check for a heartbeat.

The two weeks since the scan have been a challenge, as kidney stones have been grinding away on both sides. And of course being pregnant I can't take my normal pain relief tablets. I could try paracetamol, but I'm not comfortable with how many tablets I'd be taking for very little relief - so instead I'm making do without.

The constant nausea and pain also made it tricky to keep our pregnancy a secret through all the family festivities, though I think we managed it. There was a slight panic when my niece broke out in chicken pox on New Year's Day. After some research we realised there probably wasn't much danger, but we eventually decided not to risk any additional exposure.

So we made it through Christmas but time continues to trickle past. The 7 week scan is nearly here and we keep thinking we're nearly half way through...until we realise we've only known about the pregnancy for 3 weeks and it'll be another 5 before we start telling friends and family!

Does anybody have any suggestions for making time pass more quickly?

This was originally written for the Emma's Diary Blog.