Feel the fear and do it anyway

We did something crazy, reckless and very uninfertile-like today – we brought DS to a scan. I am 22w3d with very regular movement so after careful analysis of the ongoing risk management program, we decided to give it a lash. Outcome: successful. Baby is alive and kicking, all bits and parts (including the girl ones) present and correct. And the big boy is pleased as punch, albeit a little disappointed that she didn’t wave at us or talk to us during the show.

I was pretty surprised to see, on a quick google, how many pregnancy and parenting sites advise bringing older children to scans to involve them with the new baby. Really??? Similarly, questions on message boards about bringing older siblings to first ultrasounds are always greeted with enthusiastic, positive gushing. Now, this is the first scan, the one at which you find out if your baby is alive or dead. Is it really such a fab idea?

I know most women don’t have the infertile, hab-ab fears that I do. But most women also don’t have the fortnightly scans that I do, so a first scan at 12, 14 or even 18 weeks is likely to be the first feedback they get on baby’s health. With one in four pregnancies ending in miscarriage, wouldn’t you be just a little concerned? Maybe I’m just too much of a realist spoilsport. Or maybe the uninitiated just look at women like me and reckon we bring the stats up. It’s true, we do. And then we reel them off at every available opportunity to try and make you feel the fear!!!

Just saying though, it can happen. Probably does all the time.

Dream on

Last night I dreamt that A died. No reason, as usual; no heartbeat. The doctors thought it best to wait and see if I went into labour on my own. I thought I could still feel her moving but they said no, that was impossible. The paralysis came back in a second, all the familiar thoughts locked it in place. My little girl gone, reduced to nothing. The still-growing age gap. The dread at trying again. The senseless comments. Some thought it was “obviously” “for the best”. Others couldn’t see why I was coping so badly given that, at 22 weeks, it was “just another miscarriage”.

A is fine. So why did I do this to myself? I am happy now. All the other stuff hasn’t gone away, nor do I want to hide it away. How could I anyway? But I am very adamant that I don’t want the past to ruin the future. The dream was so vivid, the feelings were so intense and so accurate. Why now?

I tell ya, this was one morning I was very glad to wake up.

The Internet says: For expectant mothers, dreams of miscarriages are common in the second trimester of pregnancy.

Now, if only I could find some stats for the live birth rate amongst expectant miscarriage dreamers!

I am finally expecting

I am having a very easy pregnancy. Memories of my ten weeks of nausea and vomiting hell are fading fast. I have no pelvic or back pain, no tiredness or irritability, no memory loss worth mentioning. My little daughter, A, reassures me that all is well every time I ask her. I am happy. The agony of the last three years has been for something.

What I mean is, I hope it has been for something. I have been given the luxury of hope, I have even been handed the gift of expectation. I hope and expect to hug and kiss A in a few short months. I can hardly believe it. But already I can feel the softness of her skin, I can touch her tiny little baby hands, I can smell her hair, I can feel the letdown as she feeds. We are all expecting. DS is already reorganising his life to fit her in, he never forgets about her. Every piece of his future contains a space for her.

If we lost her, I would die. I am sure of it.

Update: No, this is not a suicide wish. “Die” is meant in a figurative sense, “die inside” if you will. Like before only much, much worse.

Irish Blog Awards 2008

It’s that time of year again – nominations for the 2008 Irish Blog Awards are now open. I remember saying after last year’s bash that I hoped (I was in the middle of an IVF cycle, I was full of hope) I wouldn’t be still stuck here in Groundhog day by now but such is life and here I am.

So, feel free to nominate me if you think I am worthy but don’t get carried away! I am not the best blogger and this is not the best blog. But maybe there is a little niche for me somewhere!!??! Thanks!

The best of times, the worst of times

With a nod to DD, here is my year in review:

January: The start of our first IVF.

February: The worst moment of our infertility career – only two follicles at first stim scan and the realisation that we could be dealing with an ovarian reserve problem.

March: Two eggs retrieved, both fertilised, two embryos transferred and a pregnancy against all odds. And then another miscarriage. Followed by baby #3’s due date. Not a good month.

April: Another failed cycle.

May: Another pregnancy, another miscarriage, another missed birthday. And then the hardest blow of all, confirmation of our worst fears – an FSH of 17. Definite ovarian reserve problem and virtually no chance of a baby. IVF #2 begins.

June: Only one slowly developing follicle despite antagonist flare protocol with max dose stims. Cancelled. TSI. Pregnant again. Devastated again.

July: Another pregnancy. Looking good this time. Ha ha, only joking. Massive hair loss. Time to stop.

August: Blah.

September: Back to the clinic on the sly. Pregnant again.

October: Still pregnant.

November: Still pregnant.

December: Still pregnant.

To absent friends

This year there will be four empty places at the dinner table – our 19 1/2 month old, our 9 month old and our newborn twins. And the others that couldn’t make it in order to give this baby a chance. Happy Christmas my darlings – I love you and miss you all.

Normal at last

Baby was alive and kicking on today’s scan. Well, was actually asleep for most of it but definitely alive. All is as good as it can be. And the best news – “this is now a normal pregnancy”. Now, if a normal pregnancy is one where the nursery is decorated and the birth plan is written by six months, then this is never going to be a normal pregnancy (my birth plan will probably be: get the baby out alive by whatever means necessary). But if normal means that my baby has as much chance of life as any other 16w3d baby, then that’s the best Christmas present I could hope for.

In other good news, my nausea has reduced to negligible levels, I can stay up until midnight at a push, I have started to put on a few pounds and I have a definite bump. My god…………………I am pregnant!!!

Hope and hapiness

Sixteen weeks tomorrow, I can hardly believe it. All is well and I am the happiest girl in the land. I did have a brief panic last week and decided not to post about it. A lot of close family and friends now read my blog and I didn’t want to worry anyone.

All that happened was that I lay still one morning for about an hour and couldn’t feel the baby moving. Went about my business and came home with some niggly doubts in my mind. Lay down again for another hour or so and nothing. Tried again later, nothing. Shed a few tears, went back to my (home) office, couldn’t quite stop the tears and before I knew it I was back at the bottom of the pit of infertility, crying and wailing like a pro.

I chilled out a little the next day but didn’t quite get my groove back until junior started bouncing again the following day.

So, once an infertile, always an infertile? Well that is certainly true but does it mean we can never enjoy pregnancy like normal people? I don’t think so. It is terrifying at times but it is also the most fantastically wonderful feeling in the world and I can’t stop smiling when I’m not crying. Pregnancy is so important, so special and so worth waiting for. I know it will upset some people to read this and that is the last thing I mean to do but I just wanted to reassure those that are still waiting that it does make all the badness go away.

And I am so proud of myself, for getting through everything, for keeping going when many thought I should stop, when even my doctors didn’t know what to do with me. I knew it was the right thing to do, the only thing we could do and when I hear my DS talking so excitedly about the baby (it will be a girl and he will call her Josie or Annie) all the time, I can’t imagine what a loss it would have been if we had given up.

I know I am talking like a woman who thinks she is going to have a baby. I know it’s not that simple, I know there will be dangerous times ahead. But I have to be optimistic, to enjoy this time that we have waited so long for. And maybe there will even be a baby at the end of it.