Thursday, 29 January 2009

Passed! (Updated)

I passed my physical exams yesterday with a High Distinction!

Bub was wriggling and giggling and even turned to face us during the scan which was just amazing. I am so, so relieved! Next appointment is in three weeks.

The breast exam went well also. Next appointment in 12 months. The surgeon asked me how long did I hope to breastfeed for as this would affect the appointment timing. I had not even thought about it!

I relayed the conversation to my mother as I thought it was so funny, and she said "well how did you think the baby would be fed dear?", "I haven't really allowed myself to think as far ahead as even having a baby yet mum" - long silence - "oh".

These loss anxieties and defence mechanisms are so normal to me, sometimes I forget that they may not make sense to other people. I still look at the ultrasound screen and think "oh wow, look at the little baby bouncing around on the screen, how cute" but it hasn't really sunk in yet that its my body and my baby.

In other news:
- My work computer at home has died (you know what that means - I can blog all day on the kids computer! - or I could go into the office....)
- The mercury is set to hit 43 degrees today (109f) and my backyard is full of men digging massive big holes ready to lay the concrete slab for our house extensions. I wonder how long they will last?


The temperature has managed to reach 44C/111F so far here today with only 10% humidity! You can feel your skin start to shrivel the moment the sun hits you - no wonder we have such high skin cancer rates. The minimum overnight last night was 29/84 and will be again tonight. My workmen lasted until 10am which was a pretty good effort. I hadn't expected them to turn up at all today, and they did a phenomenal amount of work in those 3 hours.

I have the world's noisiest (and ugliest) portable air-con in the dining room with me, which is keeping the room at a balmy 31/88 degrees. Bub and I are on our 4th litre of water for the day. Days like this bring out my Scottish roots.... Help me, I'm melting!!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009


I rang and left a message at the Ob's office this morning. Apparently it's his theatre day today but he rang back within a few hours.

Without saying whether or not I should be concerned about the weekend's events, he gave me a lecture about not ringing him on Saturday. He was working all weekend, and regardless would have seen me immediately to allay my fears. He was very gentle but used words like surprised and disappointed and hard-fought pregnancy, and duly made me feel severely reprimanded.

I am seeing him for a scan first thing tomorrow morning. Then its off to see the breast surgeon for a follow-up - so its a full physical exam for me tomorrow. I hope I pass with flying colours.

Monday, 26 January 2009


I went to bed Friday night feeling some strong cramping and woke Saturday morning to light, brown spotting. The cramps became worse on moving around so I spent most of the day in bed. The spotting remained for about 24 hours, but didn't get any heavier. The cramping continues but is less frequent and less painful.

Everyone says not to worry about brown spotting, but that's never really been my experience. The spotting and cramps together freaked me out. It was DH's birthday and I couldn't help but think it would be just our luck to miscarry on his birthday.

At the risk of being labelled an overly-anxious patient, I will be ringing the Ob on Tuesday (its a public holiday here today) and asking for another scan asap.

After this little scare, there is no way I am going to risk doing an amnio.

Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my last post. This is such a fabulously supportive and wise community, I love it.

Monday, 19 January 2009


We had a fabulous 12 week scan today, but a very confusing high risk for Downs Syndrome result.

Bub looked great and was dancing around, showing us he'r high kicks and juggling skills. Brain and heart development looked great; measuring on target for dates; hands and fingers, feet and toes in all the right places. We were told the nuchal fold measurement was within the normal range. Everything looked great!

The Doctor came in and we discussed our PGD results. She said she wasn't sure how that would effect the Downs risk result as the statistical approach doesn't allow for that to be taken into consideration. When she finally got back to me in the afternoon, I think she was as surprised as I was with the combined results of 1 in 38 chance of Downs.

Due to the combined risk of my age and IVF, my baseline risk was 1:70. Apparently the nuchal fold measurement was actually on the higher side of normal and the maternal serum blood test showed my hCG again normal but on the high side of the range, while the pregnancy protein marker (PAPP-A?) was on the lower side of normal. All these together doubled the risk.

My confusion comes from this: how can these figures be accurate if they do not take into account the following VITAL information?
1.) This embryo has already been tested for Downs (and several other chromosomal abnormalities) and was given a tick of approval considered to be >90% accurate
2.) The baby's nasal bone could be clearly seen on ultrasound (this is often absent in Downs babies)
3.) The long bones appeared normal on ultrasound (Downs babies often present with shortened femur and humerus bones)

We now have to decide whether or not to do a CVS or amnio. We are somewhat stuck on the point that we believe we have already tested the chromosomal makeup of this baby. We've taken so long to get to this point - why should we risk miscarriage to re-test something we have already tested? Are the tests in fact the same, or am I wrong? If we do opt for further testing should we go CVS and find out now, or wait another 3-4 weeks for an amnio?

I feel I'm in deep water here. Any advice and/or sharing of experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


I learnt a couple of things about myself whilst babysitting my 4mo nephew the other night.
1. I'm going to be a helicopter parent. I must have gone in every hour he was asleep just to make sure I could hear him breathing.
2. I actually felt quite confident and natural changing him and feeding him. Well it was only a few hours, he wasn't screaming and I wasn't sleep deprived. But they do have times like that don't they?
3. I love babies, always have, always will. Its when they get to 4 they become a bit annoying, and 10, and 15.
4. I'm a bit more excited about this than I have allowed myself to admit.

I started reading a babycare book my SIL had on the coffee table. In the introduction the author explained how she'd been mindful to include the experiences of same sex couples, but she obviously didn't mind excluding infertile couples. I suppose she didn't expect them to read her book. The rest of the intro was full of comments like; "when you have a baby you join the human race.... you become a member of an exclusive club..".

Although I can't technically call myself infertile anymore, I still find this sort of stuff so incredibly offensive. Childless people are not members of the human race? Are you kidding me? Sometimes I wonder how the hell I will ever fit into a fertile world that thinks this way. I can't imagine how I'll cope with things like "new mother's group". I'm far too old and prickly and cynical to be unleashed into the general populace.

I guess its my own fault, I shouldn't keep telling random strangers that I'm pregnant (well not really random as such, the lady at the pathology clinic, the lady at the dress shop, our financial manager at work), but still, if one more person tells me how much they loved being pregnant, to relax and enjoy it, to just go with the flow.... I will throttle them! Relax and enjoy? Are you serious? Do they not understand all the things that could go wrong? Bloody hell, I've never been so terrified in my life! Four weeks between scans is far, far too long, I'm feeling the need to pee on a stick.

DH on the other hand is relaxed about the baby but worried about me and my headaches. After years of nagging, I had promised if this past cycle failed that I would have them fully investigated. He read online this morning about an American woman who's baby was delivered by c-section 2 days after she suffered a fatal brain haemorrhage. Apparently having a baby without me would be like having a big TV and surround sound system, but no house. Gotta love those man metaphors.

He said that bub visited him in a dream. He said it was a boy with dark hair. He got the sense that he was very aware, very intelligent, and thought "this kid knows what's going on, I'll never have to worry about him". I had to laugh when he apologised for not asking his name.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

So much time, so little to say...

Earlier this week I spent 2 straight days in bed with a headache. Unable to take my usual medication, I discovered that icepacks and pan.adol are about as useful in fighting pain and swear words and tears. We had 2 kids with us so DH had to take time off work and look after the 3 of us. He was very sweet, putting wet face washers on my head and trying to tempt me to eat with my favourite choclate biscuits. I hope that bub was able to access my plentiful fat stores because I just could not eat, and what I did did not stay around long.

I was giving DH grief about something yesterday and he said "I missed you. I'm so glad you're back." Awww. He's a keeper that one. Last night he was rubbing my belly as we discussed baby names. He wanted to know how big s'he was. I said "if s'hes still there", "where else would s'he be?" was his confused reply. Why can't I think like that?!

Sunday night I am babysitting my niece and baby nephew while everyone else goes to watch the South.African.Cricket team kick our ass yet again. I'm sorry if I offend any Aussies, but I'm not terribly patriotic when it come to cricket as our team tends to become boringly arrogant on a winning streak so I like them to lose regularly.

Not much else is going on in my little world at present. I have piles and piles of work to do, but just cannot be fagged.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Welcome 2009

The new year has started off with the purchase of big girl panties and a real life maternity bra (only because it was the only soft cup bra I could find in my small town in my size - although having worn it for a day I do believe my size has changed!). My body is tender and so very tired, I have been having nanna naps almost every day. Oh, and DH says don't forget to mention the moods. Thankyou sweetheart - now go away.

I seem to have acquired an aversion to food. I went food shopping yesterday and came home with several varieties of flavoured mineral water, juice, mango sorbet, cherries and grapes, but virtually no real food to speak of. Just a few days ago it was all carbs, carbs, carbs but now bub's taste seems to have shifted to cold and fruity. My parents are coming to stay this weekend. I hope they're not hungry.

I have many hopes for 2009. Not the least of which are for our troops to come home safely from I.raq and Afga.nistan, peace in G.aza, and for the Australian media to get over Pa.risHil.ton and stop clogging our news bulletins (I could care less how much she was paid to attend one party, or spent in one Melbourne shop; lets talk about climate change and stabilising the world's economies). I hope this year is full of excitement and love for all my fellow pregnant bloggers (us Aussie girls are on a roll!) and that this is the year for others who are still waiting. I hope 2009 holds something fabulous for everyone!