One in Eight

Throughout this journey of infertility, there are several prominent moments that stick in my memory.

The time that my doctor gently explained that my irregular and painful periods, my weight gain and acne, my body hair and mood swings, were caused by the hormonal nightmare that is PCOS. 

The time that we realised that things 'just weren't going to happen' despite naively hoping we'd be one of the success stories who didn't need any help to start a family.

The time that we were brushed off by our first fertility specialist because of our age, our concerns never taken seriously.

The time that our first IVF failed, and we realised that this journey wasn't going to be as simple as it seemed, despite all of the research and statistics.

The time that we found ourselves hoping, once again, to be a natural success story for a second child, and swiftly realising that it just wasn't in the cards for us.

The time we found out that we had silently lost our second pregnancy, and then the third, and then the fourth.

The time people told us to ' just adopt' or to 'find a different path' or 'be happy with what you've got' - those words that were like swift stabs to the heart, over and over again.

I'm not shy when it comes to sharing our story. For us, it's not a taboo. We can't have children without help, and that journey can be a dark and twisty one. Without support, compassion, understanding, empathy, it can be a pretty lonely place to be.

It grates me when people make assumptions and judgements about infertility. Read any article sharing the word about infertility, and skip ahead to the comments, if you dare.

Maybe they just aren't meant to be parents. Maybe they should just stop being sad and find something else that makes them happy. Maybe it's God giving them a sign. Maybe they should stop being selfish and adopt. 

Why should it be my problem? Why would I want to understand this? Why is this even a big deal? Why should my tax pay for someone else's kids? Why would this be my problem?

Why? Because 1 in 8 makes this a common concern. 1 in 8 is someone you know. 1 in 8 could be your children one day, or your grandchildren. 1 in 8 people are grieving, hoping, wishing.

And so, we sit here during this Infertility Awareness Week, almost 16 weeks pregnant with Baby #2. It's a strange feeling, knowing that you're in limbo. You've suffered to get here, but you've unintentionally left people behind by moving forward yourself. I can't count how many times I was on the other side of this story, and I know, I KNOW how much it hurts.

Not everyone feels that they can share their story - and that's okay.

But for as long as I can, I'll keep on spreading the word. If just one person comes across this blog and can relate to my journey - even if it was a post from five years ago, then I've done my part. Infertility doesn't disappear; whether you end up with children, or on a different path. It's always there.

You're not alone.

Baby #2 - Week 15

Another week with not a lot of exciting things happening - no scans, no doctor visits, no movement.

How far along: 15 weeks + 4 days along.

How big is baby? This week, baby is as big as an apple or an orange. Crazy!

Image credit here

Sleep: Still loving it! In bed by 10pm most nights and completely zonked. Except for when a certain 3-year old shares the bed with us (cough, the last two nights) and then... then the sleep is not so good.

Symptoms: My poor run down immune system! I've caught a lurgy from my family & feel completely gross. I will grin and bear it, as long as baby is ok. I'm also cramping every now and again, but mostly feeling pretty well this week.

Best moment of this week: Not a lot to report, but just ticking off each week as it goes by is another milestone!

Miss anything: Cold and flu meds.

Movement: Nope. I thought MAYBE I felt something... but it was gas.

Food cravings: I wanted a chicken korma curry the other night. That craving didn't last long though. Now I'd give just about anything for a creamy strawberry milkshake.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still eggs.

Gender: Girl!!

How's your mood? The cold is making me miserable, but overall, I'm doing okay. Just hating this limbo part of pregnancy, where the bump isn't obvious, the movements haven't started, and where time seems to stand still.

Looking forward to: Next week's OB visit. I want to see the wee one again.

The Bump: Not that much different to last week, but I'm just hoping baby is growing well in there. :)

14 weeks + 6 days

I'm so excited to see the days keep flying by. Some days it feels like its going at a snail's pace, some days they're over before they begin - but each week, I'm looking forward to Saturday, so that I can officially enter the next exciting installment.

A lot of expectant mums that are due around the same time have already reported feeling movement, but things are pretty much non existent over here. I didn't feel anything when I was pregnant with Georgia until around Week 18, from memory - but everyone seemed to swear they felt those flutters earlier with subsequent babies. I don't think having the anterior placenta is going to help matters {especially combined with my pre-existing belly!} but man, I'm itching for some kind of sign that baby is in there and growing well.
Stretching out time between OB appointments is refreshingly normal, but it's also excruciating. How am I supposed to wait another two whole weeks before finding out if she is growing, if she's ok? 
Part of me still can't believe this is still happening. The other part is relishing in every minute. :) 

Baby #2 - Week 14

I have been putting this off for weeks, because I have been too afraid of jinxing things and starting my weekly updates again.

Why?

Well, I did a few with my second pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage & then had to stop abruptly. And, truth be told, I actually started around Week 8 of this pregnancy too, but was halfway through the post when I had one of my big bleeding episodes - true story. I decided I was tempting fate too much to go ahead, but after our good genetic report, I'm going to be brave & get going again.

So.... where were we?

How far along: 14 weeks + 3 days!

How big is baby? Growing, growing. Mmmmm.... cupcakes.

Image credit here

Sleep: Sleep is my friend. I love sleep. I cannot get enough of sleep.'

Symptoms: Lots of aches and pains this week. Ligament pain, lightning crotch, sore back.

Best moment of this week: The phone call this past week, finding out that the baby was low-risk from the NIPT results.

Miss anything: Long, ultra hot, Lush-filled bath soaks.

Movement: Nope.

Food cravings: I really, really want Subway. A boring old chicken fillet sandwich w/ spicy sauce.

Anything making you queasy or sick: The smell of eggs.

Gender: GIRL!!!! Can't believe this one just yet. Will have to keep on checking at every opportunity over the coming months, because until I see no bits for sure, it all just feels too surreal.

How's your mood? This week, I am feeling on top of the world. I've been so preoccupied and stressed out and terrified, and while I still am scared, some of my worries have been taken away. I'm so proud of this little fighter baby.

Looking forward to: Feeling the baby in there - even though I know it's still a long way off.

The Bump: Well, I started this pregnancy at almost the same weight I was pre-Georgia, but I'm a LOT different shape-wise now. I suppose being pregnant 5 times will do that to you, even though I only birthed one of those babies! I'm currently carrying a lot of my weight in my stomach area, so I haven't really been able to decipher baby from belly.. until this morning! I think there may be a bump developing under there. :)

13 weeks + 6 days

My OB greeted me this morning, saying:  'Well, well, if it isn't the almost 14-week mother of a genetically normal foetus!'

Oh, I like this guy.

We're stretching out to more 'normal' early pregnancy visits.. almost. The norm is 4 weeks between appointments, but he's going to do 3 for me. All going well, that means I would be almost 17 weeks by then.

He also did a quick scan for me, and baby looks great, if a little squished! 7.71cm long and measuring 13+6 exactly. :)

I AM SO FLIPPING HAPPY. That is all.

The Results Are In...

2+ years of waiting.
3 fresh rounds of IVF.
8 more embryo transfers.
3 babies that couldn't stay.
1 first trimester full of bleeding and terror and anxiety. 
& a miracle rainbow baby girl is on the way.
We are so, so lucky.
The NIPT report has spoken; Our baby has no autosomal aneuploidies detected. 
And... our baby is a GIRL.
We are beyond ecstatic & completely overjoyed with relief and excitement and so much love. 
Is this real life? Do we actually get to take home another little baby sometime this year? :) 

13 weeks + 2 days

I've been quiet since our scan, because.. well, I'm just plain nervous.

The scan was great last week, but it didn't tell us what we want/need to hear. I didn't have an OB appointment at the end of the week like we normally do; so I felt a bit lost. (That's how you know I've been spoilt with doctor appointments.)

I've heard that the genetic results can take anywhere from 5-9 days to come back, so we are hoping it's sometime this week. I'm so on edge, I can't let my phone out of my sight in fear of missing the call. I've had dreams where the results have gone both ways. I want to believe everything will be fine this time around, but part of me knows that anything can happen.

Whatever happens - it's week 13 now! I haven't been this pregnant since Georgia. :)

I've had some shocking back pain over the last few days, and lots of stretching and tightness. I sneak a listen to baby's heartbeat most days, and it's always reassuring. I can definitely tell that the placenta is in the way though, as it's quite often muffled behind all the other noises going on in there.

No puking or morning sickness, but I am finding it hard to find things I *want* to eat. Cravings are mostly salty things this time around. And my cats will not leave me alone - always up on my belly or in my lap.

Come on baby, we're all cheering you on.

12 weeks + 3 days

The first hurdle is over; our official 12 week scan was this morning & we made it through.

First things first, this baby is a wiggler! It didn't stay still ONCE the entire scan - and that meant the doctor had trouble getting decent pictures for us. Ah, baby. 
The little one is 5.9cm long now and right on schedule for dates. Two arms, two legs, a spine, a big old brain, bladder and stomach - and a nuchal fold measurement of 1.39. I also have an anterior placenta, which is a bit of a bummer in terms of movement potential - but one day at a time! 
All in all, the doctor was happy, so I'm happy! Hubby swears it's a boy already... wishful thinking on his part? :) 
Check out that giant head! 
After that, we headed down to the local clinic for our NIPT genetic testing blood draw. 
I have to say... answering questions about our previous pregnancy history (5 pregnancies, 1 live birth) and our Trisomy 21 miscarriage in particular - well, it just made everything feel so much more real. Real and scary. 
We're not just doing this test because we want to know the gender early, or because a doctor tells us to do it. We have a real risk of there being something wrong again, or having lightening strike twice. 
All we can do now is wait. Little baby's photo is plastered on my fridge. Doppler is here to pass the time while we hold out for our miracle & hope all goes well. Happy 12 weeks, little Alien baby!
HI MUM & DAD!

11 weeks + 5 days

We're at the point of the pregnancy where my anxiety will peak, but it's mingled with complete happiness & excitement too.

Today I'm 11w5d. Happily, baby measured at 12w1d. An overachiever! Totally beautiful in an alien-ish way.
Baby wiggled and grooved, stretched out his legs, and gave the doppler wand a huge wallop while listening to the heartbeat. 
It looked a lot squishier in there today, I guess because baby is growing. Last week it measured 3.8cm, this week it measured 5.4cm! So... seeing that baby was happy and growing, we have a new plan of action.
Next Tuesday: Official 12 week ultrasound and NIPT bloodwork taken.
Following Tuesday: Should hopefully get the call from NIPT blood results from clinic.
Following Friday: Next scan with OB to discuss results and have another peek for growth.
I also have to stop taking my Progesterone, Progynova and Metformin tablets after Tuesday's scan, since the placenta should be up and running well by that stage. Then.. it's into the second trimester, all going well.
I am so in love!

10 weeks + 5 days

We're in double digits, and it's a really nice place to be. I'm happy to have gotten further than we have in a pregnancy in a long time, with a seemingly healthy little peanut at this point in time.

Today's scan was great, a nice clear heartbeat (173-177bpm) and a baby that did a few hiccups and flailed their little limbs around... we have autonomous movement! The OB checked blood flow and we could see colour around the umbilical cord and around the placental area, so that was exciting to see.
Baby measures at exactly 10 weeks + 5 days and has grown a whole cm in week. It's now 3.8cm long! So exciting. :) 
It's not the greatest picture, but after it's little acrobatics session, it then decided to chill out in my uterus and recline like it was on a sofa. Ah, I am a happy camper right about now. Go baby go! Today there is hope nestled in amongst the nerves.





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