IVF 2: In the club

It’s about time I did an actual pregnancy update rather than a load of random blethering. So if you’re bored by those things, feel free to skip!

I’m 16+5 weeks pregnant today*, which is nuts. According to my pregnancy app, baby is somewhere between the size of an avocado (week 16) and a navel orange (week 17). Right now there is at least that in my stomach!

(*For the sake of accuracy, I wrote most of this yesterday but then got tired and didn’t post it, so I’m posting it today en route to the hospital for my consultant appointment. Seeing my boss later today. Not sure whether to break it to him before or after we work on a presentation together. Wish me luck!)

Now I’ve reached 16 weeks, there is a lower risk of miscarriage, which is something that has made me feel cautiously better. I still worry my ass off about this, but I’m getting gradually to that stage where I think, well I am probably pregnant now. I think I’ll feel even better than this if I manage to make it to week 20. That’s when we get to do a longer NHS (standard) scan and we have a private scan at 22 weeks. I’m guessing by then I might actually look pregnant!

So the last week has been a bit about feeling a bit more “in the club”. It’s starting to do those things that actual real pregnant people do. 

Firstly, I had my community midwife appointment last Wednesday. It was okay. Bit weird tbh. I mean it was just more to get me in the system and she didn’t really do any checking at all. You get this book at your booking appointment (the first one, at hospital) which you then take to all NHS appointments (NHS is the National Health Service – UK healthcare) and she just sort of went through that and filled in forms. She was perfectly nice but also it didn’t really seem like a necessary meeting. We don’t have another meeting until 25 weeks! So I suppose they just have to get you in the system or something. At least I know where the centre is now. 

Other news is that they decided I did have a UTI. They test your urine each time you go to the midwife. I was really worried about this last week, but apparently it’s something that is really common in pregnant women. I didn’t really have any symptoms so it hasn’t bothered me. Except I do go to the loo loads of times overnight – I have always done that. It’s been really hot (for us!) these past few weeks so I’ve been drinking lots of water, so it could be that. Anyway, my lovely GP/doctor (the old one where I used to live as I haven’t changed yet) managed to get me a prescription for antibiotics so I’ve been taking those. 

Last Friday I went to my private doc for my last ever infusion (hopefully) of intralipids. It’s always a bit of a drag as they find it difficult to get a vein for me. The lady had to try a couple of times and it was a bit unpleasant as it ends up being wrist or hand which is a less nice way of having an IV! There was one lady there who was really upset as they couldn’t get a line in. They’ve usually had to try more than once with me, but fortunately never sent me away to come back the next day. I think that would be really upsetting. I felt bad for her. I guess everyone who’s been to the private doc has experienced infertility/loss of some sort so we know what it’s like.

I also had a brief scan with the private doc. This was nice to see although T could not attend as he was at work (intralipids take hours!). I saw the little hand waving and it was really cute! The slightly disappointing thing is that the stills taken during the scans are not clear at all. I see everyone else’s and our scans really aren’t like that at all. So poor T had to take it on my say so that baby was waving, as the still is really fuzzy and barely recognisable as a baby. I think they just focus on checking the baby is alright and not about getting a nice photogenic picture!

Next scan is the NHS one at 20 weeks, and then at 22 weeks we have the private scan. That should be a bit more detailed and hopefully we will get some better pictures. We are also keen to have a 3D scan but we have to wait until 24 weeks and we can do that privately. 

In other news, I saw the second nursery. Almost didn’t see it because they had to cancel at short notice in the morning, and both T and I had taken time off work so were pretty annoyed. They managed to get us a slot in the afternoon but T had to go back to work, so I did it on my own. Bear in mind we really liked the last one. I guess we were quite open about expectations having no previous experience of nurseries! 

It was just like the other nursery but it’s even bigger, equidistant and has about three times the outside space. I really thought that was great as we are in a small apartment with no garden, although there’s a park directly across the road from us and lots of grassy areas on the estate. So it’s nice that they get that. The babies even have their own playground so they don’t get trampled by the toddlers! And they also can take the kids for longer hours than the other nursery, so it works out great. We have filled in the form (Baby name and DOB Tbc!) and we will pay the deposit and then baby can have a place there next year, all things being well. 

(Note: Baby doesn’t have a nickname on here. Baby does have one in real life, but that might be the actual name, so I’m leaving it off for now!)

We also got to thinking about leave. I have to speak with my boss about it. I hardly ever see him but hopefully will be seeing him tomorrow… I am a bit worried but I’m planning on being super reasonable and saying I’ll take hardly any time off. At the moment it’s looking like between 2-4 months which is nothing on the UK (where mat leave is usually a year). T looked up his terms and apparently he could get up to 4 months leave with shared parental leave, which is where the mother gives up some of her maternity leave to the father or secondary caregiver. 

I do get leave, and am entitled to a year off, but because I have been there only a couple of months it would be mainly unpaid. (I get a few months of statutory but that’s about £200 which is nearly nothing if you live in London. And a lot less than my monthly salary.) Anyway we thought it would be nice if we both had 4 months off together before baby went to nursery. We could probably just afford that. Or maybe I take 2-3 months and T takes 4. It could be good. Since I earn more, it’s better if I go back to work and he can take more time off, if his company allows him to.

Other than that, it’s just pregnancy symptoms. I am now very definitely preggers in the sense that I have a bump when I wear certain clothes. I don’t have very pregnancy like work clothes right now though, so I just look fat. 

Symptoms wise I’ve felt a bit sick off and on. They did warn me of this because of coming off the steroids. Also I’ve had hayfever which I didn’t have on steroids. Another thing is that my humungaboobs have turned itchy! Not sure what that is, but it ain’t pleasant. I was absolutely shocked when I actually looked at the size of them. I’ve been rubbing them with cocoa butter morning and evening but other than making my boobs smell like chocolate, I don’t think it’s been doing much. I now have stretch marks, which are horrible. I’m considering getting some bio oil to see if that helps. 

I’ve definitely noticed a decrease in appetite this trimester so far. Maybe because I was eating loads before, in the first trimester. I just don’t feel like eating so much any more. Like I have to spend ages deciding what I want to eat. Weirdly it’s not the things I usually like, like pizza! More fruit, cheese, juice, simple stuff. I suppose it’s a bit healthier than normal. Oh and I’ve had a craving for chicken satay! I don’t know if that’s an emotional rather than physical thing. I haven’t managed to satisfy it as all the chicken satay I’ve had recently was disappointing!

I’ve had breakouts too. Fortunately not too noticeable, but again not pleasant. I guess it’s my hormones going haywire. It’s quite weird as it’s different sorts of spots from when I get my period. Sort of smaller, harder and angrier. But… I’m coping. I really am trying not to complain about pregnancy. I’m aware how much I wanted this when I wasn’t pregnant and had next to no hope of being pregnant, and I just thought pregnant people were really ungrateful. 

That said, I still don’t fully believe in this pregnancy, but I’m getting there day by day. It’s hard to explain for anyone who’s never been through looooong term infertility and loss. I thought I was finally in this situation last year and it didn’t happen. And it really was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. That might sound melodramatic because “It happens to everyone” but I hadn’t been prepared for the pain (physical and mental). So it’s self preservation in a way.

So part of me is happy about this pregnancy, and part is scared that it won’t last. I do know that as each day goes past, the more likely it is that we will see little bub eventually. I want to be one of those expectant mothers who just expects that it will all be fine. I think maybe everyone is, unless they have a loss. 

T keeps asking me when I’ll feel okay. At first I said 12 weeks – and I did feel a bit better. Then 16 – and I feel a bit better still. So the next milestone is 20 weeks. The “big” scan. And 22 weeks, the private version. And 24, when we can get a 3D scan… I suppose I just want to be reassured that baby is still alive and wriggling every now and then. I haven’t felt any kicks yet at almost 17 weeks, but they say for a first pregnancy that it can take up to 20 to feel anything. 

I think I’ll feel better when I can feel some kicks (although T says I will probably regret wanting that!). Also when I am actually publicly acknowledged as pregnant. Right now it’s a bit ambiguous in work clothes, and not that noticeable in casual maternity clothes, although others say it is! I feel like it will be nice to have a proper preggers lady bump! This weekend we have a big extended family do and I will wear one of my pregnancy dresses and we shall see. I think it’ll just look like I’m fat!

One good thing is that the little one is getting better at hanging out by the doppler site. In the beginning it would take me ages to try and find the heartbeat, but now I can find it quite quickly. 


(Ignore the counter and listen to the noise!)

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30 comments

  1. thegreatpuddingclubhunt

    Everything is sounding like great progress (except the breakouts 😩) 🙂
    I wish I was back in the UK to take advantage of the shared parental leave! I would love Chris to be able to share some of it (of course Chris would love it too!) it’s a shame that you will be on stat pay 😟 good luck telling your boss! I’m sure you will wonder what you were nervous about afterwards 😊
    20 weeks is my next milestone too for relaxing and letting a little more of the worry go. The Doppler thing is very cool, I hope it has been a good help for you! The club is pretty cool even if it is nerve wracking 😊

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    • Nara

      Thank you! Yes it is ticking along. It’s a weird feeling.

      Shared parental leave may be a lifesaver! I don’t ideally like to go back to work so quickly, but equally I don’t want to screw up my new job which is going okay for now. I’ve heard enough tales where people got treated badly when they got pregnant. I get on really well with my boss so would be so disappointed if that changed.

      I will let some of the worry go at 20 weeks I think! And I just met my consultant and he’s really nice and very sympathetic so I’m hoping that’s a good sign. Can’t believe you guys have to wait so long between scans! We would too I suppose if it wasn’t for the private ones we are getting. Here’s hoping it’s all good for both of us!!

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  2. sewingbutterfly

    I kept setting small goals. I am 25 weeks now and have had the all clear from the cardiac scan. Now my next goal is 28 weeks and the growth scan. I am starting to feel regular movement, although no real pattern due to my anterior placenta.

    I think my doppler was the best investment in my sanity I ever made. As well as my ‘mind the bump’ pregnancy meditation app.

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    • Nara

      Thanks! It’s good to know. I do feel reassured by the doppler even though I’ve resolved not to use it often. Just once every few days. It definitely helps. I’m glad you’re feeling movement! I don’t know where my placenta is. The doc said not to worry if I don’t feel movement yet. It’s just weird when this is the first time I’ve experienced this, as I don’t know what to expect! So great to hear from others!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sbach1222

    YAYY!!! I have to say, the 3D image helped me out a lot… I got to see his face, and now I can picture him as my baby that looks like B, not like a black and white 2D picture that looks the same as everyone elses! I know that the 3D scan will help you out.

    I’m sure you will feel movement soon, really depends on where your placenta is. I started feeling it a little after 18 weeks, and I don’t regret wanting to feel it yet, though the bladder kicks can be awkward, painful and confusing. lol. But you will love it. I think I finally stopped using my doppler when I was able to feel him move, it’s a constant reminder that baby is alive and well. I hope you get to feel those movements soon!

    Also, like you said, once it is recognized by other people, it feels way more real.

    Good luck with your upcoming discussion with your boss!

    Happy Healthy baby thoughts!

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    • Nara

      Thanks so much! Yes I’m not too worried about the movement as I know it can take up to 20 weeks. The doc said not to worry too much so I’m trying not to! I’m sure I’ll feel the same about the Doppler if/when I feel something. I can’t imagine what that would be like!

      Thanks so much for the well wishes and glad to hear you’re doing well!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. novelnic

    Great news, am so pleased for you. No movement for me until 21 weeks in first pregnancy so don’t stress about it just yet. Good luck with the next few weeks, totally understand the ‘not wishing to reveal news until the next milestone’ feeling – I didn’t tell some people at all & avoided them for months then announced on Facebook i’d had a baby! Haha, lots of shocked friends!! It’s so hard but do try & cherish it as I do regret not enjoying one minute of my last pregnancy through utter fear after 5 losses. It’s so hard but cherish the little things that you’ll recall with fondness in years to come – the weird cravings for pancakes or cheese and Nutella toasties, the flutters you first feel when they move, the ripples you see across your tummy in later months etc – it’s truly magical for most & it should be for you too xx

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    • Nara

      Thank you! I can’t believe you didn’t tell people till your baby was born! Haha. I think I will definitely do that with some people! Congratulations! I don’t know how you’d cope with 5 losses; I think I’d be beside myself. I’m still worried about this one but trying to enjoy it. You’ll laugh but my skirt has been slipping down over my bump all day today… I can’t believe nobody has noticed! I’m not wearing very figure hugging stuff to work so it’s disguising it at least! 😂 I haven’t had any weird cravings… Cheese and Nutella sounds disgusting!! 😂😂😂 x

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  5. RJ

    Ahhh congrats on making it to 16 weeks! Glad you got a little scan to see the baby, those are always reassuring. The doppler is so great! So fun to hear the heartbeat. You’re always in my thoughts and I’m glad things are going well.

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    • Nara

      Thank you so much! Yeah I found the Doppler a bit scary at first, trying to find the heartbeat, but it’s become easier and easier all the time, which is nice. Hope all is fab with you! X

      Like

  6. EmilyMaine

    Almost through that slow zone. Hope it goes well with the boss and he is as understanding as he seems he will be. I’m glad they gave you something for the UTI. They can be problematic in pregnancy so important to have it treated even if it is just a maybe. I’m excited for you to be able to feel out and proud soon with the bump. I think it does make you feel a bit more accepting and sane about it all. Lovely to hear from you X

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    • Nara

      Thank you! Yeah I’m apparently all clear from the UTI now (as of my test yesterday) so looks like the antibiotics cleared it up fine. I do have quite a big bump! But my work clothes are quite loose (I’ve stopped wearing dresses and wearing separates with the tops untucked so don’t think it’s so noticeable!). In mat clothes it definitely shows! Hope all is fabby with you! X

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Maternally Optimistic

    Sounds like shared parental leave will totally be your saviour here! I know it’s not ideal for you to go back to work so soon but at least doing that will give you some comfort! Also hopefully your annual leave entitlement is good in the new job and you can take some time off using it!
    If you find something that works on stretch marks, please share! although I have just resigned myself to the fact that I have type of skin that’s just going to get them. I too smell of chocolate 24/7 lol
    I am so happy for you that things are progressing so well! It’s so exciting!
    x

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    • Nara

      Yes I’m hoping so! T has to talk with his boss about it and see what they say. It would be fab if we could both have four months off together.

      I haven’t found anything that works on stretch marks! And the itchiness is driving me crazy! My boobs are SOOO sore and itchy. I read online it’s to be expected! How are yours?! Funny we are all going around smelling of chocolate! 😂

      It’s great to have a pregnancy buddy! ☺️ x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maternally Optimistic

        My other half has been saving his A/L so he can maybe take an additional two weeks after his two weeks paternity leave and then possibly do a phased return for a while. Althought his all depends on when baby comes as it could be so close to Christmas!

        I haven’t had the itch although I had read it happens a lot. My boobs actually seemed to go back to normal for a few weeks there. And the moment I started thinking about it the ache returned and I am back to wearing a soft a bra to bed. No stretch marks there at the moment other that ones I had before, just seems to be my stomach that’s getting them.

        It is great!!! xxx

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      • Nara

        Imagine if you have a Christmas baby! That could be cool! Then you could add annual leave on and have about a month off!

        I find the itch and humungaboobs really odd! They’re like inflamed melons! So weird! I am wearing a super soft bra. I can’t stand it otherwise! Haven’t got anything on my stomach. The different experiences are so weird! Glad you’re doing well! Xx

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maternally Optimistic

        There has been a lot of chat around me about a Christmas baby and the appropriate festive names I could use if the baby is born of Christmas day lol

        I am completely in the non wired bras now and wondering why I never made this switch before!! They are so comfy!

        The stretch marks on my belly only started the last few weeks I would say. I know it’s so weird how everyone is so different! x

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      • Nara

        Haha! Yes I’ve heard those before as friends have had babies due at Christmas. Noel! I had a friend at school born on Christmas Day… Chris! 😂
        Yeah I’m in non wired but I have been in them for ages since before I was pregnant! Haha.
        Oh I hope I don’t get belly stretch marks as the boobs are terrible!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maternally Optimistic

        Chris is one I haven;t heard but Noel has been mentioned along with Jesus and Holly lol x

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  8. My Perfect Breakdown

    I loved reading this update because i loved hearing that baby is doing well and you are listening to baby’s heartbeat. I think that must help reduce your anxiety!
    Lots of our friends have done shared parental leave, and they have all really liked it. Especially the dad’s actually. So, I think that’s a great idea! I hope the conversation with your boss goes well!

    Like

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