One month has passed and I can’t believe I haven’t updated this blog with my most important post and reason for starting this blog in the first place! My little boy was born on the 27th february and is the most gorgeous little bundle of joy & happiness. I keep meaning to write but I’m constantly distracted with feeding duties, visitors or doing stuff to the new house…we certainly have a busy household now but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Before I became a mum I knew I had so much love to give to a child but nothing compares to this love I feel. It’s stronger than any emotion I have ever felt. When something so pure depends entirely on you it’s humbling. I realized after he was born that if we had went down the adoption route or used an egg donor my love for my baby would be no less. There is something about an innocent, helpless baby that makes every fibre in your body fall in love with them. It’s spell binding.
I had a water birth in the end which was amazing. He was born without my waters breaking which was really rare and lucky i’m told! The midwife had to pop the sac when he came out!! I feel like all the vitamins, supplements and fertility diets paid off when I saw how perfect he was. He is feeding and gaining weight well and is starting to become more interactive. I could write all day about him but I fear I will bore whoever reads this! Bottom line is, my project is complete. We grew a bump which blossomed into a beautiful baby boy. I will always be grateful for him and will never ever take having children for granted.
It is not 100% clear what my fertility problem is but i’m convinced I have a non selective womb. If anybody reading this feels like they may have something similar I would love to get in touch. i have done a lot of research on it and would be happy to share my findings and personal experience of it.
i better go now and feed this little monkey 🙂
Much love xxxx
Today I am 37 weeks 3days. I still can’t quite believe it! It’s no longer project bump..this bump is here for all the world to see! So far this pregnancy has been the most magical journey. It’s easy to forget the pain and struggles of the last few years when everything starts going well but DH and I will never forget those little ones we lost and what might have been. We just sit and cry sometimes. We always remind ourselves though that we wouldn’t have this guy and i now wouldn’t have it any other way. Watching my belly grow and feeling him wriggle and hiccup just fills me with so much love and contentment.
I know that labour and birth are just around the corner which is a little daunting but I really just want to meet him now. I want to tell him how much he means to me and hold him tight. I just want to be his mum. Although i also just want to keep him safe and protected in my tummy forever and play Ed Shearan to him- i have a feeling he likes his music! 😉
On monday we will be moving house for a second time. This time it will be our own house, our very first home together. 🙂 I can’t wait to start memories there as a new family. Moving is a pain when you’re heavily pregnant though. I’m trying to pack boxes but can’t actually lift anything! Then i have to start decorating, although not sure how much i will get done before he arrives. Braxton hicks, cramps, pelvic pain, heartburn and tiredness are all common place now. I even had a show (mucus plug) at 33 wks. He is head down and ready to go so it could literally be any day now. It’s just a waiting game…
I guess my next update will be after the birth! I have my fingers and toes crossed all goes well and i look forward to sharing my experience! Xxx
It’s been a long time since I have written in this blog so I just wanted to update that I am now 7 months pregnant! I still can’t believe it, I am actually that pregnant lady I so envied and longed to be. Looking down at my protruding bump I am filled with so much love and joy, I feel blessed beyond words. After all this was why I started the blog- to grow a bump!! Now he’s making himself known to me (yes it’s a little boy) by kicking and wriggling about and getting bigger by the week.
The last couple of months have flown by, surprising considering I stopped working after 12 weeks to move back to the UK. Luckily I have been filling my weeks with aqua-natal and pregnancy yoga classes as well as visiting friends and family. We have also got an offer accepted on a house and plan to move in early next year. I have also met a lot of lovely ladies at yoga, many of them have shared their own stories of infertility. I met one girl who had an ectopic pregnancy and then a miscarriage at 12 weeks and another who was told she would never have kids and is now pregnant at 42! Many others had experienced at least one miscarriage! It’s amazing how many of us experience difficulties getting pregnant, it’s just that most of the time you don’t hear about it.
Tomorrow we go back to the hospital for our 28 week scan. I get two extra scans to monitor growth since I have factor V Leiden mutation. Although my fears of scans have dramatically decreased since getting past 12 weeks, I still worry a lot. I have also developed an OCD with washing my hands every 5 minutes when my cats are around me….Basically I made the decision to let them go outside again when we moved. This does increase the risk of them contracting toxoplasmosis but they were miserable being inside all the time and after DH accidently fed them raw meat one day, I thought the damage may already be done and decided to let them enjoy being out. Unfortunately after letting them roam (we now live in the country) they have become expert hunters and leave mice on our doorstep nearly every day. This increases their risk of toxoplasmosis even more since they get it from eating other animals. DH has been cleaning out the litter box every day since I got pregnant but I can’t help but think there may be a trace of it somewhere in the house. I am especially paranoid after one of our cats came inside one day and smelled slightly of cat poo. I thought it was just coming from outside but when he walked around for a while I realised it was him. I went crazy and immediately got DH to clean him from top to toe! When you go online and read the terrible effects it can have on the unborn baby it scares the crap out of me. I know I am probably completely over-reacting, after all 1 in 100,000 pregnant women get toxoplasmosis in the UK every year, so it’s a very low risk. But still, I want to protect this baby with my life. Unfortunately my two fur babies have to put up with their OCD momma for another couple of months!
Today i’m 15 wks 4days and feeling very grateful to have reached this far.
Yesterday i had my first meeting with the midwife since moving back to the UK. It was once again a very nerve wracking experience. I wasn’t having a scan but was banking on her checking the heartbeat which re-opened all my bottled up fear and paranoia. I actually convinced myself the night before that it was all over. I’m still very small and had talked myself into believing that it was because the baby had stopped growing. I had met a couple of pg women a few days previously who were less further on than me and looked bigger and this hadn’t helped things!
The morning of the appointment I felt terribly ill with nerves and had to be sick in the toilet. I go into complete panic mode which I know is not healthy for the baby. I just can’t help it! Thankfully the midwife was really nice and reassuring when I met her and we decided to listen to the heartbeat straight away to put my mind at rest. When she picked it up tears came rolling down my face. I have never been so happy to hear that thumping sound!! Relief!!
Now I can breath again knowing that baby is still alright in there. The midwife reassured me that everybody’s bump size is different. Because I am tall, I probaby wont show as early as other people. It’s all a very individual experience. So for anybody reading this who is also worried about their bump size, please don’t put yourself through the heartache I have these past few days. Everything is more than likely alright in there!
It’s been some time since my last blog…unfortunately I have had limited time and internet access to write. I’ll make sure this blog is a quick update on the last couple of weeks…which have been eventful to say the least!
A few weeks ago DH and I left the Netherlands to begin a new chapter in the UK. Leaving the apartment in a ”non-lived in” condition was quite the task. Basically it had to be left like a concrete shell. My biggest worry during this time was the wellbeing of our two cats. They had no idea what was going on and were terrified to discover their home dramatically changing. One of them even ran off and hid in the bushes and wouldn’t come back inside on our last day! Thankfully, I eventually got him in and locked them both in a secure room until we set off the next morning for the ferry to England.
The car journey over was ”supposed” to be the most relaxing part of the move. And I was actually quite enjoying it once the cats got settled. But when we arrived at the ferry crossing in Calais things suddenly took a turn for the worst.
When I presented passport control with the cat’s passports the guy handed them back and told me blankly that they could not travel. I looked at him in dismay, ”what??” The guy politely told me in his French accent that they could not get on the boat because they did not have their rabies vaccination. They would be killed if we were to bring them across. He then tried to reassure me (at this point I was crying franticly) that we could get them vaccinated in Calais but they would need to stay in quarantine for 21 days…. 21 DAYS??? My heart sank. How could I have let them down? They were already so frightened being stuck in the car for 4 hours. It was a major fuck up. My mother-in-law had booked the tickets and was told by the ferry company that they only needed to be chipped. Nobody mentioned bloody rabies vaccinations!! To make a long story short we got them booked into a really nice cattery in Calais. The owner, a typical cat lady was delighted to take them in and seemed like she would treat them right. We are now playing the waiting game to get them back to us…
Being back in the UK has been really nice. Friendly people and beautiful countryside!! We have been here a week and half now and all is going well. We still don’t have all our furniture but all will be arriving within the next couple of weeks. DH has started his new job and I am currently erm, jobless. Well.. jobless and pregnant!
This brings me onto the next news I want to share-this pregnancy update. Before I left the Netherlands I had one last scan at 12 weeks 4 days. Baby was measuring on time, bouncing about and sucking his/her thumb! The midwife told me not to worry anymore about this pregnancy and spent ages trying to find his or hers bits to determine the sex! How she could know at such an early stage I have no idea!! I was just so delighted to reach this milestone, I was willing to let her check anything out.
Even though the midwife told me my miscarriage risk is now basically zero (which again is just her happy go lucky personality, she is a very optimistic lady), I still worry every single day. I am now 14 weeks 3days and officially in the second trimester. I had an appointment today with my new GP and I will see my local midwife next week. I will also probably see a specialist soon to decide on a possible new treatment protocol. I was taking heparin in the first trimester for factor V Leiden and they are not sure if I need to continue or take aspirin.
The worst part now is not having regular scans. I was used to having a scan every 2 weeks in the Netherlands which crippled me with nerves but kept my hopes up. Now I don’t know if this little one is still growing ok or not!! My insecurities are being tested again!
With regards to work, I haven’t quite made up my mind on what to do. I think I will take the next 12 months off and focus on looking after myself. I will miss the money though and the social aspect, I already miss the company of my colleagues a lot. But I know what my priority is, if I bring a healthy live baby into this world, I will consider it my greatest achievement ever!
This is our last week in the Netherlands. I have been dreading this week yet dreaming of it for the past 3 months (no sorry, the past 2 years). Not only will I be leaving a job I love and all my friends, I will also reach a significant milestone in my pregnancy, getting to 12 weeks.
My dating scan with the midwife is booked for Thursday and since the weekend I have been feeling very nervous about it. However, yesterday I was in for a little surprise. I went to the hospital for a blood test and to my shock they also had me booked in for the nuchal scan. I didn’t have much time to get all worked up and anxious about it, DH wasn’t even there to talk me through it. But when I lay down on the bed next to the scanner and saw little bean with heart beating on the screen I was so relieved! Not only was he measuring 12wks 2 days instead of 11 wks 6 days, he was also looking like a little baby! I couldn’t believe it! With my last pregnancies I was so used to hearing awful news which has stayed in the back of my mind, haunting me. I am still in shock and ecstatic that this pregnancy has continued so far!
Moving country/house has resulted in a lot of stress lately which I know is not good for me. I found cleaning and emptying our apartment an overwhelming task. My expectations have become impossible and DH, who is normally very level headed and used to us doing things calmly is getting very annoyed with my recent outbursts. I blame it all on the hormones and my insecurities with this pregnancy. Whenever I don’t feel sick, I panic that it’s all over. I visualise going to my next scan and the midwife turning pale and swallowing hard before breaking the crushing news. I haunt myself daily with this image! Slowly though it is getting better. I am learning to trust this baby and my body. I am actually.. dare I say it, starting to allow myself to enjoy this pregnancy! I hope that in the coming weeks I can share our news with more friends and family and start thinking about the future with the ‘’three’’ of us.
I am also looking forward to starting a new life in the UK. I won’t have a job when I arrive (not sure who will hire a pregnant lady) but to be honest, it is the least of my worries right now. I just want to take good care of myself and be as stress free as possible. It’s weird how everything seems to have happened at once for us. I feel this move has given us the opportunity to start over again. We had some great times in the Netherlands but I want to leave the low points and horrible memories behind us. I will never forget the pain of losing each of my pregnancies but I hope this time the spell of RPL will be broken and I wont be haunted by it anymore.
I am so glad this week is nearing an end, I feel like I just came tumbling out of a hurricane and have finally caught my breath again. Pregnancy hormones are at an all time high as well as morning sickness, which seems to have come back with a vengeance at 11 weeks.
DH and I have had a constant week of arguing which we never do. This has massively contributed to me turning into an emotional, stressed, over-reacting mess! Fair to say, we are both under a lot of stress at the moment and it’s getting the better of us.
DH finally finished an intense study at work which involved staying most evenings and weekends at the university (we both work in nutrition/exercise research) over a period of several weeks. On top of that we are in the middle of moving house. Luckily the removal van came today and picked up most of our stuff which alleviated a lot of my stress. It’s amazing how self centred you become during pregnancy. I expected DH to be there helping me every evening with packing and cleaning, I couldn’t accept that he was also stressed and exhausted from working 12 hour days! In my mind I was the exhausted one and he should be doing all the donkey work. Anyways I am so glad that darn study is finished so we can both put that extra stress behind us.
We will try to have a date night this weekend to reconnect and enjoy our last full weekend living in the Netherlands!
With regards to the pregnancy, we are remaining cautiously optimistic. I always feel so nervous saying that, I can’t help but wonder when this dream will end. Our last scan was a week ago at 10wk 3 days. Everything looked perfect, little blob was measuring on time and was moving around and waving again! It was so precious. My midwife printed out about 15 pictures for us which I thought was really sweet. She also seemed to enjoy watching us utterly mesmerised by the little jumping jack on the screen!
Yesterday forced me to remember just how delicate this pregnancy is. I was cleaning out the freezer and came across a little bag containing the remains of my second miscarriage. I kept it in the freezer in the hope that the hosptial would analyse it for chromomal abnormalities. Sadly, they wouldn’t allow this procedure. Apparently it is something they no longer do in the Netherlands, their argument against it is that 99% of the time the embryo has a chromosomal abnormality so it is not worth testing. This is utter bullshit by the way! Unfortunately I had to suck it up and abide by their rules. Until now that little bag stayed in the freezer because I couldn’t bring myself to throw it in the trash. I cried as the pain of that miscarriage came flooding back last night. I cried for that little baby that never made it and for this little guy growing inside me. I pray he is strong and fights for life.
After the stress of this week I decided to take tomorrow off work. My priority is a healthy pregnancy so commitments at work are being put on the back burner. The stress I was under yesterday with packing boxes was unreal and stupid. I don’t know why I couldn’t keep it together. I ended up going to bed in the end just to relax my head! Tomorrow I will start with stripping wall paper and cleaning the house. But I plan to do it in a relaxed state of mind, with lots of chill-out music going on in the background! 🙂
After battling a lot of nerves and endless toilet stops, we made it to our 8.5 week scan yesterday.
I am so relieved to report that little blob was moving his teeny tiny stumpy arms and legs and even waved at us, which set DH off in tears! Blob was also measuring one day ahead which puts me at 9 weeks today…so i’ve actually managed to shave another day off these torturous 12 weeks.
According to the midwife, we are already out of the danger zone and should relax. I had to point out to her that we had a miscarriage at 10 weeks so according to us we are still very much in the firing line!
I am trying to take her advice and relax a bit more though. Everything is going how it should be and I am taking heparin to prevent clots which eases my mind significantly. I have so much excitement and love bottled up inside, it’s just patiently waiting to explode!! But I have kept every motherly feeling suppressed. I am protecting myself and everybody dear to me who is in on this.
I dared to dream about Christmas yesterday. Going back to Ireland to visit my family with a beautiful bump. Everybody asking how I am and nattering about babies. Going baby shopping with my mum. Everybody smiling. Everyone happy. It’s sad but this is my ultimate fantasy these days. Unfortunately the very dream was stolen from me twice before, both my first and second pregnancies would have coincided with Christmas but never came to fruition.
Uncertainty is around every corner, that’s for sure. I am aware that if I reach the 2nd trimester I will still be worrying, just as much as I am now! There is always uncertainty. No guarantees. I am slowly learning to accept that I have no control over fate. I can only hope that fate deals us well this time. I want to open the doors soon to my feelings and acknowledge that the little blob we seen waving yesterday is actually inside me and is a growing, happy, healthy little baby.
One month from today DH and I will be leaving the Netherlands and setting up home together in England. There will be so many things I will miss about living here, such as speaking the language and riding my Dutch bicycle to work every day. But despite the enriching experience of 4 years living abroad, the time has come to move on and finally set down permanent roots in the UK. The move will hopefully coincide with my 12 week scan, one which has always been beyond reach. My pg’s have never gone past 10 wks and right now I’m 8 weeks and starting to feel anxious about the upcoming weeks. I dread to think how I will feel if everything doesn’t work out again. I don’t know how much more my heart and head can cope with.
Moving to another country, without a job and having no friends around for support, is daunting in itself. But the thought of this coupled with trying to get pg again seems too unbearable. RPL definitely messes you up. Anyone going through it will know how much each pg takes out of you both physically and emotionally. No matter how much I tried, each pg I couldn’t stop myself from getting excited. You always think ‘’this might be the one’’. It’s a beautiful thing to witness your body changing, preparing itself for it’s most important role yet. You put up with the weight gain, tiredness, nausea and vomiting, anything if it means baby is growing. But when that person giving the scan tells you it’s all over, how can you let that sink in and become your reality? How can you be pg one minute and not the next?
I remember sobbing hysterically when the midwife told me during my second pg that she couldn’t find a heartbeat anymore. I couldn’t take in what she was saying and buried my head in DH’s arms. The third time I grabbed the midwife’s hand and begged her to keep looking for the heartbeats of my twins. She humoured me 4 times before stopping. I remember laying there, my body trembling from shock, trying to take in the reality of it happening again. How and why has this happened AGAIN?? With each loss your heart shatters. But somehow you manage to pick up the broken pieces and start over again. If this pg is successful I will be so grateful, beyond words. But I will always be haunted by those doomed scans for the rest of my life and will never stop mourning those losses.
On Monday I am booked in for the 8.5 wk scan. To say I am nervous is an understatement. I am pretty much s*itting a brick. I want so much for this scan to go well and this pg to be healthy. I have never wanted anything more badly in my life. I have told my closest friends about everything as well as my mum and grandmother. I feel it is important to have a trustworthy support network when you are going through something so intense and potentially heartbreaking.
Today my nausea and sickness haven’t been so strong and it makes me nervous. I guess it’s normal to feel like that after what has happened, just as it is normal to experience morning sickness some days and not the next. My previous scan gives me hope, however. I just hope he/she continues to thrive in there. Roll on Monday, I’ve got my armour on for you……gulp.
Today has been an emotional roller coaster. I have been prepping myself for this 6 week scan for days now but the anxiety nearly got too much today, so much so that I nearly left the clinic and ran home! Here in the Netherlands we go to a verloskundige praktijk which is basically a private clinic run by midwifes. I had myself booked in with the same clinic they told me my twins had no heartbeats so I was dreading going back there. When DH and I were leaving the house I decided to double check the address and saw it was a different street! I goggled it and realised I had booked myself into a completely different clinic! ..Blessing in disguise!!??
A little confused we arrived through the door to be greeted by a dozen smiling pregnant women and their partners all staring at us!! The waiting room was decorated with baby cards, baby photos and framed foot prints. The table was littered with momma magazines and children’s toys were sprawled across the floor. I wanted to die!! We had to wait for nearly 40 minutes in this place I can only describe as limbo. And I was busting for the toilet! ( I drank 4 glasses of water for the scan.) I attempted to leave a few times but DH talked me into staying.
When we were finally called I was shaking like a leaf. I got on the bed and the midwife started to do the scan. I don’t remember what was said in those first few moments, everything went blurry and I couldn’t hear anything except my pounding chest but I managed to look at the screen and saw the most beautiful little heartbeat! I had never seen it flicker so clearly before! Then the midwife said two things that made me want to grab her and kiss her! She said the heartbeat was strong and it was measuring ahead. I was 6.5 wks but she told me it was measuring 6.6-7 wks! I couldn’t believe it. It’s always measured small so this was a real landmark for us. I just wanted to run out of the room clutching the pictures and hide in a safe place.
I’m so relieved and grateful for today. It is only the first hurdle but blob passed with flying colours. For now I can go to sleep feeling that this pg might just have a chance!