10 weeks + 5 days

I'm sure some of my IF-er friends can help me out on today's subject: the great progesterone debate.

To give you a bit of history..

For IVF #1, my progesterone support was just Crinone gel. I used it for 15 days, but got my BFN before I'd run out anyway, with AF following not far behind. For IVF #2, my fertility specialist told me that I'd be using Crinone gel + progesterone pessaries - and if we got lucky with a pregnancy, I'd continue the pessary support up to 10 weeks, to keep supporting healthy growth.

Well, we did get lucky, and here we are now.

I've been taking two vaginal pessaries each day, one in the morning & one at night, and being diligent about lying down for 30 minutes each time, to insure maximum absorption. It's become a comfort thing for me, knowing that there's at least something that I'm doing to try and help our little one stick around. That's all well and good, except the time has come & the pessaries are running low.

At our OB visit this past Tuesday, I asked him about it - he said that we're fine to stop cold turkey, that the placenta should be well and truly capable of supporting the baby. He also said that two ultrasounds have shown a heartbeat, and that baby is growing, so not to worry.

Ha! Of course I'm going to worry. It's what I do!

So.. here's my plan. I have enough progesterone pessaries to either go another 4 days, morning & night. OR, I have enough to last me 8 days, once a day, to get me through to 12 weeks. I'm leaning towards weaning off and having it in the mornings only, just to last that little bit longer.

Has anyone had any experiences of finishing progesterone support that they could share to make me feel better? :)

The Weekly Run-Down: 10

How Far Along: DOUBLE DIGITS. 10 & a half weeks, baby!

Size of baby: Baby is the size of a prune. A prune? They couldn't think of something more fun to compare it to, other than a PRUNE? I'm going to substitute it with a strawberry. Much cuter, don't you think?

Random & Interesting Developmental Stuff:  Here's this week's run-down:

Up until now your baby was classified as an embryo, but by the end of this week he will be a foetus and lots of changes are on the way. Paddle-like, or webbed, hands and feet will now separate into fingers and toes, bones will begin to harden and his kidneys are now producing urine. Most impressive? At this point your baby's brain is developing at astounding rates -- nearly 250,000 neurons are forming every minute! The end of the embryonic stage also marks a turning point for development dangers -- your baby is much less susceptible to them now.

Total Weight Gain: I don't like the OB scales. They give a different reading to my home scales. *5.3kg. :(

Sleep: Really awful. Have this horrible, scratchy cough/throat that wakes me up. Also, I keep forgetting to get a pregnancy pillow, and I'm suffering a little bit.

Symptoms: Had some on/off nausea this week, but mostly fatigue and bloat. I've also been ridiculously snappy {sorry, hubs} and more than a little emotional. Thank goodness for school holidays.

Cravings: Potatoes. Jacket potatoes, potato soup, hot chippies. That's all I want right now.

Gender: I've noticed as I describe the ultrasound/baby, that I'm referring to it as a 'he'. Interesting...?

Movement: Way too early yet.

Maternity Clothes: I got some hand-me-down stretchy jeans from a friend, and I LOVE THEM. I also put in an order with Old Navy for some summer maternity stuff. Elastic waistbands are my friend.

Milestones: Meeting our OB for the first time & getting to see the baby again!

What I'm looking forward to: Relaxing over the holidays - and getting closer to the magical 12 week mark.

The belly: Here she is!
You can catch up on my weekly pregnancy updates {in reverse order} by clicking here. For bump shots - go here!

10 weeks + 1 day

We met our Obstetrician today!

He seemed really lovely, although it was a bit of a wait to see him - the appointments ran quite long. He had a new midwife starting today too, so we went to see her first.. weight, pee check, blood pressure. All ok {except ew, their scales are evil} except that I had quite a high blood pressure reading, which we'll need to watch. I personally think it was the stressful hospital car parking experience that caused it...

Dr. P had a nice chat with us, and has deemed us a regular old pregnancy with nothing to worry about. We'll have to watch the weight gain and try to keep it minimal {yes, please} but in particular, we're watching out for Gestational Diabetes. Since I'm on Metformin & have had borderline insulin levels in the past, he's going to screen me early for GD, and then again at the regular time. I'd rather be safe than sorry.

He also did a quick ultrasound scan for us, though his machine was super old and had a teeny, tiny screen. It was my first tummy ultrasound {ouch!} and we saw the baby straight away. Dr. P measured the baby as 9+4 but told me not to worry - he said he did a very rushed measurement check, and that we should stick with the 10+1 IVF date range for all intents and purposes. We'll find out more details at the NT scan in a few weeks time.

Heart was beating away quickly, and baby looks good. He was waving arms and legs around! It's hard to see, but the picture shows that his head is low and to the right, and his legs are up high to the left. Can you see the arm?

I love this blob so much already.

A flashback to the early days

This morning I came across a lone post sitting in my drafts folder - talk about a blast from the past. I'm not sure why I never posted it back in July of last year; probably because I was in the process of recapping our wedding, and never got around to it? Maybe because things were too raw, and I wasn't really being as 'out there' about our TTC struggles? I really can't tell you.

In the spirit of ICLW week, I thought I'd share it here.. I'm sure many people can relate to the frustrations involved with TTC, wanting so desperately to have a baby, and being blocked at what feels like every step of the way.

---

July 2011

This whole baby thing is hard work. And we don't even have a baby.

I knew it would be a struggle to fall pregnant. I've known for a while. I've read the books. I've researched. I've watched the documentaries. I know that my body is screwed up, and I've known about it for a while now. But even though I've had this awareness of the difficulties in conceiving, I'm really feeling it now. We've been trying for a little while, but it's different now. It's like... now that we're married and have been in the right frame of mind to seriously want to be parents now, everything is continuing to go against us. All those fears and worries are suddenly more real now - because we've gone from 'struggling in the future' to 'struggling in the here and now.'

I saw a doctor today, six months after my last check up. After the scans and the bloodwork and the lectures about PCOS and high insulin and weight gain, after the Metformin was upped, after the diet was discussed... it's pretty obvious that things aren't going to just 'happen' for us. I've been charting my ridiculous cycles for a few months now, after monitoring them for almost two years. I'm not ovulating. I have no 'average' cycle. I've been monitoring ovulation by temp, cervix, mucus and strips ... nothing is happening. My doctor told me I was silly for even trying those methods, and said that considering my high insulin levels, if I'm ovulating naturally it's a miracle.

I asked if I could go on Clomid, or another medication to help me to ovulate. That was shot down, due to my ovarian cysts. Apparently, I'm not ovulating consistently or fully - the eggs aren't releasing properly, if at all, and when they do, they are half-expelled and result in cysts. If I take any drugs to hyper-stimulate ovulation, all that's likely to happen is for me to accumulate even MORE ovarian cysts, which could hinder the process all over again.

This is where infertility sucks - everyone is so different. It's one thing to be ovulating regularly and having a regular cycle - at least then you know you're trying each month at your fertile time and nothing is working. But for me and my long and erratic cycles, I'm not even getting twelve shots at falling pregnant each year. In fact, going by my average of 55 days,we will only get 6 tries each years. SIX. When you break it down into numbers like that, adding in all of the normal 'odds' of getting knocked up, it's no bloody wonder things won't be happening anytime soon.

I've been given another time-frame, another six months to wait. I've been told to 'relax' and to eat well and to take my Metformin 3x per day. It's the same information I've heard before. As if it were easy to just drop the weight and keep it off, despite struggling with it for years now. As if I'm not trying. As if six months is no time at all. But six months we'll wait. And you know what? I'm going to continue charting. I'm going to continue peeing on sticks. Because even if it IS a miracle to be ovulating, I want to know about what my body is doing. Come December/January, I'll be putting my big girl pants on and demanding to see someone else.

9 weeks + 5 days

To my ICLW peeps - welcome! Thanks for stopping by. You can see a bit of our TTC timeline down the right hand side of the blog main-page, but in summary.. after two rounds of IVF, we're pregnant! It feels unreal to say that, and we're still in the first trimester, but .. here we are. Wishing you the best of luck wherever you're up to in your own cycles.

So.. I'm <   thiiiiiiiis   > close to double digits. I can almost taste them!

I was starting to get really anxious about the obstetrician visit next week - what if something's happened since the 7 week scan? What if the baby has stopped growing? What if the heartbeat can't be found? What if he harps on at me about my weight? What if, what if, what if?

It's a bit silly, but I tend to be an over-thinker at the best of times, so I can't say I'm surprised that I'm worried. I'm so glad hubby is coming with me to this appointment - I'm praying the OB will do a scan so that we can see the baby, since Jase can't make it to our 12 week NT ultrasound.

So, I'm bloaty mcbloaterson right now, and it's not pretty. Being overweight to start with is kind of awkward, because I have this fear that I'll never actually 'look' pregnant, or get to enjoy the lovely baby bump experience in the same way as other people do. I'll keep on taking weekly pictures, and hope that over the coming months, the pregnancy might become a little more visible.

I took advantage of an Old Navy sale {even though forking out $40 for international delivery kind of sucks} and have ordered some nice, stretchy summer clothes. Hopefully that will tide me over for a while.

I recently bought a Doppler off Ebay. I saw some super expensive ones, and had given up on the idea of getting one - but then saw a bargain for a brand new one at $20, so snapped it up. I tried it last week and didn't hear anything.

Yesterday, in the middle of the aforementioned panic-attack about baby not being okay, I decided to try again. And... I think I found it! It's very faint, but it's under my belly roll, so I'm not surprised. Jase wanted to hear it, so I tried again - and found it in the same spot. It's under my belly button, to the left. We did it again this morning, just to be sure - and there it was. I'm breathing now. And have two heartbeats inside of me! :)

10 years & Counting...

I'm having a little break from your regular 'up-the-duff' style posts today, because today is a pretty special day.

This time, 10 years ago, I was 18 years old. I was in my first year of university, I was in the process of getting my licence and becoming more independent, and I was in love with music - lots of music. It was through music that I met my {now} husband.

The first time we met was at a movie theatre. He was already inside, and I arrived with my mum. I remember walking in and seeing him sitting at a table, and oh, he was the cutest thing ever. So handsome, and so tall - and the most lovely freckles I've ever seen. I was smitten, from day one.

Here we are, 10 years later. Married - finally! Well travelled - and so lucky to be back here in Sydney with our home and our fur babies. And now, expecting a baby - I almost can't even believe it.

I'm so lucky to have spent a decade, a third of my life, with this wonderful man. Happy anniversary, Jase! x


The Weekly Run-Down: 9

How Far Along: Hullo, nine weeks! We're pushing on ahead...

Size of baby: Baby is the size of an olive or a grape. And, is a foetus now, apparently!


Random & Interesting Developmental Stuff:  Here's this week's run-down:

Even though you still have to wait another eight weeks to find out if your new addition will be a boy or a girl, this week, your baby gets the goods she'll need to, well, make her own baby one day. That's right -- reproductive organs are beginning to form now, along with some other key organs, like the pancreas and gallbladder. At this point your baby has doubled in size and her head, which is about half the length of her entire body, is tucked down toward her chest. Her tiny fingers are growing longer, and the ends are slightly enlarged right now -- this is where those unique fingerprints will ultimately form.

Total Weight Gain: Holding steady this week. I'm still down from my start weight.

Sleep: Not too bad - still interrupted by random midnight pee-stops.

Symptoms: Not feeling much of anything this week. I still haven't thrown up, no nausea this week, just getting by one day at a time. I'm bloated, hungry all the time, and constantly tired.

Cravings: Mostly dairy. Especially cheese. Yes.

Gender: This week, I took this Chinese gender prediction test & it said GIRL. Oooh-eeeee. 

Movement: Way too early yet.

Maternity Clothes: Nothing yet. I'm sad that summer is coming - I love my leggings !!!

Milestones: Another week disappearing, which I LOVE. I want time to speed up a little.. just a little.

What I'm looking forward to: Our first obstetrician visit next week, and hitting 10 weeks - double digits. :)

The belly: Again with the bloat. And the fat arm. (I blame the delicious dairy products that baby has me inhaling.)


You can catch up on my weekly pregnancy updates {in reverse order} by clicking here. For bump shots - go here!

8 weeks + 6 days

I like numbers. Especially when they make things go by faster. Here are some of our upcoming milestones:

One day until we hit 9 weeks.

Five days until Jase & I celebrate our 10-year {dating} anniversary. A decade - can you believe it?

Six days until the school holidays begin - two weeks free of work, joy!

Eight days until we hit double digits.

Nine days until our OB visit - I'm really looking forward to meeting him for the first time!

Twenty-two days until our NT scan at 12 weeks.

What are you counting down to lately?

The Weekly Run-Down: 8

How Far Along: I'm halfway through my 8th week of pregnancy - the start of month three. :)

Size of baby: Baby is growing into a raspberry. Apparently it'll grow by 1mm per day this week - crazy, eh?

Random & Interesting Developmental Stuff:  Here's this week's run-down:

Your baby's growth spurt continues: In the last two weeks he has quadrupled in size. As he gets bigger, his delicate facial features are becoming more refined, with his ears, upper lip, and the teeny tip of his nose all clearly visible. His eyelids will also take shape for the first time this week and his heart is growing stronger by the day.

Total Weight Gain: Starting to gain back some of the lost weight - dodgy scales, ahoy!

Sleep: I'm doing a little better. I still find myself going to sleep a lot earlier, but I wake constantly, so I'm not fully rested when I wake up in the morning. I think I need to give one of those long pregnancy pillows a go.

Symptoms: Back aching, cramping (quite sharp sometimes) and tiredness.

Cravings: Chai lattes, made on milk of course. They are my weakness. Baby likes dairy products.

Gender: In the face of all the BOY vibes, I took cheesy gender quizzes & the results said GIRL. Very scientific! :)

Movement: Way too early yet.

Maternity Clothes: Nothing yet, but I have been wearing more of my elastic waist skirts lately...

Milestones: Getting to 8 weeks. Yay! :)

What I'm looking forward to: The weekend - I want to sleep some more. zzzzzzzzzz.

The belly: I'm going to try and embrace the plus sized pooch, so here goes...


You can catch up on my weekly pregnancy updates {in reverse order} by clicking here. For bump shots - go here!

8 weeks + 2 days

From everything I've read on the interwebs, now's about the time that lots of pregnant women start noticing their clothes fitting tighter, or their bellies starting to protrude.

If you look at 'bump shots' of pregnant ladies, most of the time they are average sized women, who's obvious baby bump grows delightfully throughout their pregnancy. They start out small, but become more and more apparent as babyies grow and bellies stretch.

But what about people who are bigger to start with?

I have been overweight for some time now, and I can safely say that IVF did not help me in the weight department. Sure, the bloating has gone down and I feel much more human again - but at the end of the day, I have a tummy. I have excess weight. That's me.

We just don't seem to see weekly pregnancy shots of women who are plus sized. I'm sure they are out there, but they are a minority. Is it because they feel like I do: ashamed of their size, comparing their baby bellies to those of their thinner counterparts, worried they'll be judged for sharing their journey? I don't know.

All I know is that I do share that apprehension, and it's something that makes me anxious.

I want to take weekly pictures. I want to see my baby grow, visually. I want to share that with people who might not see me for some time, and to have a memento of this experience for the future. But I'm also nervous, too.

7 weeks + 6 days

We're nearly at 8 weeks - in just a few more hours, in fact. This is good. Every week is a new milestone, and I relax a tiny bit as the weeks go on. Can you believe that I've known about our little blob for over a month now?

I'm feeling pretty good. Still the occasional bout of head-spinning nausea, but no real morning sickness or heartburn. The backaches and cramping are still hanging around, and I'm either completely starving or I'm off food altogether. In fact, if I hadn't seen the heart beating on the ultrasound last week, I'd feel perfectly normal.
I do feel like I've become a bit of a recluse, though. I've been so bone-tired all the time, that the only thing that sounds appealing is coming home and lying down. It's also been hard with friends, because I've not told many of them that we're pregnant yet - and hanging out & keeping this secret is way too hard to do. Plus, not everyone is interested in hanging out and listening to a {slightly over excited} pregnant lady ramble, and I get that. It's just hard, and a little bit lonely.
Jase has been amazing, even though he has been lumped with the jobs that I just haven't had the energy to do. I'm just waiting for a second wind of energy and hoping it comes soon, so I can give the poor guy a break.
Two more weeks of work {until we get a fortnight for spring break} and I am counting down those 10 work days. It's bad, but I am just so.. not with it. It's almost as though I've mentally checked out, like all my energies have turned inwards, and I'm floating through the days. Is that common, so early on?
In the meantime, I'm staring at our ultrasound pictures constantly & praying that our blob is happy in there - and hopefully busy growing fingers and toes and an appendix, and all those other vital body parts! :)

The Weekly Run-Down: 7

How Far Along: 7 weeks + 3 days {I'm still confused if I'm supposed to be reading about the 7th or 8th week}

Size of baby: It should be about the size of a blueberry right now! It's doubled in size since last week.


Random & Interesting Developmental Stuff:  Here's this week's run-down:

Your baby is already developing amazingly distinct facial features. Dark spots mark the areas where her eyes and nostrils will be, and a little mouth and ears are starting to form, too. Your baby's brain is also growing more complex; if you could take a peek, it would be clearly visible inside the transparent skull. In fact, nerve cells in your baby's brain are growing at an amazing rate -- 100,000 cells per minute! And she's started to move in small, jerky motions, although you won't feel these movements until about your fourth month of pregnancy.


Total Weight Gain: I lost another half a kilogram this week.

Sleep: This week has been much better, I'm happy to say. If I make sure I use the bathroom RIGHT before bedtime, I occasionally make it through the night.. though I'm used to getting up a few times to look after the cats.

Symptoms: I'm wary of pissing off the pregnancy gods, but I'm still doing pretty well. No morning sickness, not even any nausea this week. The odd twinges and cramps, and lots of backaches - but mostly just tiredness.

Cravings: Banana flavoured yoghurt. I have no idea where this came from. Bring on the dairy products.

Gender: For some reason, the folks at my work are already calling boy. At 7 weeks! I know, crazy eh?

Movement: Way too early yet!

Maternity Clothes: Nope. I'm tempted to look into some bigger sized leggings; my current ones are feeling snug.

Milestones: Meeting our wee baby for the first time at our 7 week ultrasound. I can't stop looking at the pictures, and I can't stop staring at the video of it's wee heart beating away. Absolutely incredible!

What I'm looking forward to: School holidays! I'm so tired. Two & a half more weeks to go...

You can catch up on my weekly pregnancy updates {in reverse order} by clicking here. For bump shots - go here!

HEARTBEAT!!!

I've never felt more worried than before this morning's ultrasound. I'm so thrilled to say that things went well.
Meet our baby. :)
Baby is measuring exactly on par at 7 weeks + 1 day, and has a nice healthy CTR length of 1.03cm. 
We didn't get to hear a heart beat, but my own heart just about cracked in two when I saw the flickering blob on the screen. Baby has a heart rate of 139 bpm, and I've never seen anything more beautiful.
It's real! There's a baby in there!

6 weeks + 5 days

These past few days have been a complete and utter clusterf*ck of emotions.

On the bright side, I'm close to 7 weeks now, and just days away from our first ultrasound. I'm swinging rapidly from emotion to emotion - complete joy and excitement at seeing our baby, but then overwhelming terror that something will be wrong and this journey might be over for us.

And then, on top of that, some things went down at work that left me reeling. If you're relatively new here, you might not know the details of my employment: I'm a primary school teacher, on a Year 1 class this year. I'm not a permanent member of staff, I'm a long-term temporary teacher, and I teach from year to year - Jan to Dec.

On Wednesday, our principal called me in to a meeting. She informed me that my class was to be getting a new student, and proceeded to inform me that he was coming from a special school with diagnosed emotional & behavioural disorder. I had one of these children last year, who was violent, left school grounds on multiple occasions, and caused me to have the most difficult term in my teaching career so far. Needless to say, the second she started talking, I had warning bells going off in my head, and in my tummy.

Immediately, I told her I wasn't comfortable with the idea. She knows about the pregnancy, I told her several weeks ago. She asked if I would go to a meeting to learn more information about him, and I agreed - asking her keep my reservations in mind. I won't make this a long and boring blog entry, but let me summarise: I was railroaded into going to observe this child at his behaviour school, and told I was the first option for his care. I was in shock, and sat down in my room after school, looking around and trying to visualise all the work that would have to go in to this behavioural child - and I lost it. I cried, I sobbed, I hyperventilated, I had an epic meltdown.

With the help of a friend, I stood my ground to the principal the next day, and explained that I just couldn't teach this child right now. I was anxious, too anxious about the what-if's, I had my own safety (& the wee embyro) to think about, and that it wasn't the right time to be able to give 100% to this high needs student. I may not be the most liked teacher at the school right now {although I'm told everyone supports my decision} but I know that I made the right decision. Everything in me, every nerve in my body, tells me I did the right thing this time around.

So, it's over. I did it. It's a new month, a new week - and I think I just had my first protective momma moment.





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