31 August 2009

Fat lady singing

My doctor sent me to have an ultrasound today once I explained the situation. The ultrasound confirmed that there is just emptiness where my baby should be.

I have had some blood tests and will have some further tests on Wednesday to check that everything has passed. I don't know how it could have since I didn't have any cramping or see any clots, but apparently my uterus is just a big empty space. Mystery to me.

My doctor is my GP. I don't have a team of fertility doctors on call for me to ask questions. My doctor is as knowledgeable about the common cold, sun spots and tinea as she is about pregnancy and miscarriage. I guess I will never have enough answers anyway so it wouldn't make much difference if she could explain it better.

So many bad thoughts have passed in the last couple of days. I have summer maternity clothes; now I don't need them; now I need a new summer wardrobe. I saw the heartbeat, Muscles was alive, but not anymore. All that morning sickness for nothing. Time wasted. Energy wasted. Love wasted.

And we are now at a 'where to from here?' point. My doctor is very proactive. In an instant she would refer me to a specialist if that was my request. So despite doctors generally waiting until the third consecutive miscarriages to react, she would act now, for me.

I don't know if that is what I want though. I know that statistically the odds are still in our favour for a successful pregnancy next time. That doesn't stop the worry and angst meanwhile. My doctor says she thinks we should try once more by ourselves. Her point is that we conceive so very easily so it is not like we would be 'wasting' a lot of time in trying again. Just 'wasting' love, dreams and hope.

I have no real idea of what the specialist tests would be. I think my next step is research. Or, maybe research while Cowboy and I practice our baby making. This time, there ain't no waiting.

Stupid, stupid, stupid

Saturday afternoon my spotting became bleeding.

'It is too much blood.'
I told Cowboy when he asked if there was any hope left.

I kept bleeding through Sunday, soaking pads with bright red, thin, watery blood. Sometimes it was thick and maroon just to spice things up. Sunday afternoon I felt a stabbing pain down where my baby must have been. I took some pain killers and went to bed.

This morning Champ blessed us with a sleep in (7.45 - wohoo!). I asked Cowboy to collect him as I wanted to stand up and immediately go to the bathroom to clean up and change pads. I expected a lot more blood. But there was none.

This morning I have had no more blood. I have not passed any clots. I have not had any cramping.

Maybe it means that I will need a D&C because my body isn't clearing it on its own.

I wish I could squelch this stupid, stupid, stupid hope that is coming up every time I think of Muscles. I don't want to hope if it is only to be shattered yet again.

30 August 2009

Empty

Another miscarriage.

The emotional pain is coming in waves.

But mostly I just feel an emptiness in my stomach.

29 August 2009

Another (hopefully) 9 Month Long Panic Attack

The last couple of mornings I have woken to small, small, small amounts of blood as I wipe after using the bathroom. I have actually been remarkably calm about it; mostly because I realise that at this early stage nothing can be done if the worst has started. I will not rush to the emergency department, I will not expect an ultrasound, I will not expect the doctors to do anything other than confide that they can't see into the future any clearer than I can.

So, I have just picked up and gotten on with life. What else can I do?

But then when Champ is asleep or I have a moment to myself, I do allow my mind to wander.

I already love Muscles. Don't let this happen.

Champ would benefit so much from a sibling. He already asks after the baby. I want a playmate for Champ close to his age. This close. This exact time. 2 years 4 months. Perfect.

What if something is wrong with me since I delivered Champ? What if I can never again carry a baby through to a healthy, safe delivery?

I can't remember what it felt like to feel Champ move inside me. Oh my God, what if I can never carry a baby through to that stage and I can't remember what it felt like to feel a baby move inside of me? I loved the feeling. What if I never get to feel it again? Please let me feel it again.

28 August 2009

Glowing report

We have just returned from Champ's Health Centre check up, so please excuse me while I partake of some Mummy-bragging. The health nurse was so pleased with him. She could not believe how much he is speaking, especially for a boy and the concepts he can understand.

When we first got in she was taking to him and he was just staring at her. She asked me is he knows any words yet. I was incredulous, but hid it and just replied that he does speak quite a lot but will just take a while to warm up. Although I wanted to reply 'Does he speak any words? Well only over 100 of them.'

Soon afterwards she asked him to show her his nose, and the picture of a pig on the wall. Then she asked him to sit on the chair in the room so she could test him a little. He sat down and and saw he pencils 'Colouring' he exclaimed; unused to pencils (we use crayons) he held it the wrong way; 'Upside down' he realised his mistake; 'Broken' he pointed out that the pencil needed to be sharpened. Then he drew on the paper a little with another one and then noticed some other toys on the table.

He started playing with the beads on the wire frame 'Up, down, up, down.'; 'Orange' he pointed to the orange bead (yes, Cowboy's jump-the-gun colour teaching has finally paid off). He moved to the blocks 'Block...s' (I don't know how he figured out plurals, but often uses the plural form of words with a pause before the 's'); 'nuther one' he said as he added each block to build the tower; 'Down' they all came crashing to the table; 'Again, one more time' he loves this game; One by one up they went again 'One, two, tee, pour'.

Ok kid, now you're just showing off! None the less, cue proud parents who realise that despite the tedium, the hours of play time we have poured into this kid are absolutely priceless.

The rest of the session went pretty much the same, Champ overachieving in every area. Then, she suggested that since he is quite ahead in other areas he might be ready to toilet train quite early. Drat! I had thought that his glowing report would mean I could slack off a bit and wait for the other kiddies to catch up (ok, so maybe not really).

I confessed that he does tell me before he does a poo and he can wee on demand when we ask him to in the bath. She said that with summer coming up I should let him run around with no nappy on outside so that he sees cause and effect and gets used to predicting the sensation. Ok, so that doesn't sound too hard. I have heard from other mothers that toilet training is the single hardest thing that they have done in child rearing. Running around naked though, that is a first step that I can handle.

26 August 2009

9 weeks a blessing

Muscles and I are 9 weeks today and I am happy we are here. I am tired, ravenous, emotional and nauseous, but so happy!

I have started to wonder when I can expect to feel movement this time around. I thought I felt Champ move at 15 weeks when I sneezed. Whether that was really it or not I can't be sure though. I know that second time around you can generally feel movement earlier than the first time, but I'm not sure quite how out of shape by tummy muscles have become. If my current physical state is anything to go by, it might be pretty early!

I am scheduling my blood test for the Downs screening for Monday week when I'll be 10.5 weeks. We decided to go ahead with the screening test (which we didn't do with Champ) for a few reasons. One was that I wanted another ultrasound (12 weeks) just to check up on Muscles. Another was that it is a more serious issue this time as we also have to consider Champ should anything be amiss, not just ourselves. One more reason has cemented our decision is bad news which a poor friend of mine received after the test.

She is only 31 but received a 1 in 9 risk rate at the screening test. At the amnio test at 15 weeks they found out that the baby had heart and brain problems, but also that the organs were forming on the outside of the body. Even if they decided to give the baby a chance to survive, his odds were not good.

I don't know what they decided; only that she lost the baby sometime this past week. I don't know if it happened naturally (which was quite likely) or if it was their decision and I understand her keeping that information to themselves. This friend has a daughter the same age as Champ and I know that her daughter's future, her understanding of what was happening and her emotions were serious considerations that my friend took into account when making her decision.

I am so sorry for my friend's loss. I will give Champ and Muscles an extra cuddle tonight before bed and thank God for all of our blessings.

24 August 2009

Springing into action

Yesterday I simultaneously blunted my razor in one use and lost about 100 grams. Yes, spring is springing a little early down under and it was time for the annual de-fuzzing of my legs. Of course today the weather has decided to remind us of the winter which is almost over and now my legs are cold beneath my tracksuit pants, but they'll be ready come next week - Spring!

Cowboy, Champ and I have used the early nice weather to get into some gardening. A typical afternoon involves Cowboy dead wooding, pruning and raking. Me trying to get some weeding or veggie planting done while supervising Champ. And said cheeky toddler doing all manner of non-productive garden play.

This week alone I have caught him pulling up some newly sprouted tiny sweet pea sprouts and proclaiming he was 'weeding' like his Mummy. I turned my back for an instant (yeah, I know I should have learnt not to do that) and turned back to find him at my height, having scaled Cowboy's ladder until he was 6 feet up it. And then once, quietly playing by the porch saying 'push, push, push' at regular intervals.

Curious, I crept quietly over to him to check over his shoulder what he was doing. After a little chuckle to myself, I left him be and got back to the weeding. He was squashing ants, one by one with his little fingers. Push, push, push. Boys will be boys, and I got a few minutes peace out of it.

20 August 2009

Superstitious

So I forgot to post an update yesterday when I was actually 8 weeks. Well, I didn't forget but I was busy during the day and then too tired at night. But I was thinking of blogging, does that count? I was thinking of you Muscles. Oh boy, was I thinking of you as I struggled to force down my food through the all day nausea.

So I have much the same symptoms as last week, only more exaggerated. I am super sensitive, sick and exhausted. Fun! But I am happy. Generally, until something makes me cry. Like an advert, or a nice passage in a book. You know, something important.

One new symptom has emerged though and I am sure it is related to the pregnancy. Superstitiousness.
  • Every morning I ask Champ to say hello to the baby, to cuddle the baby, to kiss the baby and to say 'I love you, baby.'
  • Every night Cowboy has a little 'chat' with our baby, encouraging it to stick around. If he forgets, I remind him.
  • Each night after I turn off the lights I continue that chat with Muscles. Telling the baby how much we love it and how much Daddy, Champ and I are looking forward to it joining the family.
  • Every night I ask God to take care of Champ and Muscles. I tell Him that I want them to be happy and healthy and grow old together as best friends.
I don't know what will happen if I don't do these things each day. Because I do them each day, so why would I need to know otherwise?

17 August 2009

Grateful?

Red: I can barely stand this nausea now, honey. (tearily) It has gone from that background nausea to full on feeling like I am going to chuck constantly.
Cowboy: (grinning from ear to ear) Good! Great to hear darling!

I am grateful that fell pregnant. I am very grateful that Muscles has stuck around this far. I am very, very grateful that we are (God willing) expecting a new baby in April next year. But does that mean I have to be grateful for feeling this poorly too?

14 August 2009

I love you (or: Bad, bad Mummy)

I think it has been well documented here that despite his many wonderful characteristics, Champ is not a good sleeper. He improved significantly when he weaned himself at 14 months, but still continues to be very hit and miss from night to night.

Recently we have been going through a bad patch. A very bad patch. He was sick a couple of weeks ago and was shocking, and despite him being a lot better now he has gotten used to night waking again.

Two nights ago I hit a wall (no, not literally although it might have made me feel better than what I actually did). Champ woke up ago at 1 a.m. screaming. I went in to him and as soon as he heard me he calmed right down as I tucked his covers back around him. Then as I made to leave he started screaming at me. I was very firm (somewhere between a nice calm but firm voice and yelling at the kid) and said 'It is sleeping time, no crying. No Champ, NO CRYING. CHAMP! Mummy said no crying.' He continued fussing as I tried to leave the room. So I said loudly "Ssssshhhhh! No crying. Sleeping time!' and left the room to his wailing.

Two seconds later I hear him screaming 'I love you! I love you!' repeatedly in a very angry non-loving-you kind of way.

I was so cross at this continued waking that I didn't trust myself not to yell at him if I walked back in again, so I went back to bed and asked Cowboy for a hand. He went in and calmed Champ and Champ continued to sleep for the rest of the night.

But I didn't. I was so upset with myself for loosing it. I mean, surely I can be compassionate to my son at night just as much as during the day. Then I realised the worst part about it all.

When I leave Champ's room and say good night I always finish with 'Goodnight, I love you.'. Always. Except that night at 1 am. The poor kid was screaming at me because I hadn't told him I loved him. Of course I knew that he knew that I loved him. But knowing that didn't help me sleep a wink that night.

BTW, just to make me feel even worse he woke up with another tooth, plus another one almost peeking through and two more bulging gums. Poor kid is getting all his eye teeth at once, and they are terribly painful ones I hear. Bad, bad Mummy.

12 August 2009

7 weeks

I am happy to say that Muscles and I have made it to the 7 week mark!

Still experiencing morning sickness at times (usually when I am hungry, full, thirsty, need the bathroom, or have been standing too long) and am completely exhausted. I could seriously sleep 16 hours of the day. I have even once succumbed to having a nap while Champ did (and I am only 7 weeks - imagine by 37 weeks!). I also have been bleeding and gagging while brushing my teeth, have had pins and needles more often and feel light headed when I stand up quickly. All my good old pregnancy symptoms. Yay!

I decided to be brave and weight myself yesterday. I actually haven't put on any weight yet. I realise that at 7 weeks I shouldn't yet have put on any weight, but the way my jeans are fitting me I thought I must have. Looks like it is just a redistribution of body mass, although I can't figure where I have gotten smaller to account for my larger waist and hips.

I am absolutely not making weight gain an issue during this pregnancy. However, I ask you to view these two photos below. Let's just agree that I'll try to be more careful this time. Breastfeeding two hourly around the clock and a child that didn't sleep unless being rocked in my arms or pushed in a pram got me back into relative shape quite quickly, but I have got my fingers crossed for a better sleeper this time so I am hoping not to have quite so much weight to shift post birth.

The first photo was taken a week or so prior to conceiving Champ, the next one was me at 34 weeks. Yep, I had another 7 weeks of growing ahead of that photo! I ceased to take photos after I saw this one!

10 August 2009

Breath #2

Cowboy and I just returned from our first ultrasound with good news.

Despite knowing the futility of it, I dutifully drank my litre of water 1 hour prior to the appointment and did not empty my bladder. I knew from experience with Champ that at only 6 weeks 4 days an internal would be required and it was. The sonographer found the sac externally then ordered me to the bathroom to relieve myself and to strip down.

After a few minutes (which felt like an eternity) of legs held high and wand inserted, the sonographer told me to hold my breath and it was then I heard music to my ears: the eerie sounds of a ultrasonic heartbeat. One darling little baby sac and one little heartbeat filled the screen and filled our hearts.

As fate would have it this ultrasound was scheduled for the same point in the pregnancy as my first one with Champ (6 weeks 4 days). Which is why I am not worried that this baby (aka Muscles) is measuring small: 6 weeks. Champ was measuring 6 weeks also and he came out a very healthy 9 pounds!

Champ's heartbeat at this point was 120 bpm, Muscles is slower 100 bpm which I am going to try not to let worry me. Saying that, I'll likely opt for the 12 week ultrasound even though I personally do not want the Down's screening.

I know that the pregnancy is still young and fragile, but the chance of miscarriage drops significantly when a heartbeat has been detected. Hence, I draw my second breath and consider telling friends and family about this pregnancy.

09 August 2009

Mummy Wonderful

I never knew I was so funny, clever, wonderful, beautiful and generally a blast to be around until I saw myself through the eyes of my son.

Seriously, if you could see the way Champ looks at me sometimes.

Despite all the Mummy-guilt, the self-doubt and worry, I must be doing something alright for that kid to love me so much.

07 August 2009

Handy

We like face washers here in the Lemoncake household. Those little terry-towling squares are useful for all manner of things.

We use them to clean Champ in the bath, obviously. We often have a spare one in the bath for Champ so that he doesn't snatch the one we are using. We use them instead of bibs (Champ refuses bibs) to clean up Champ's face, hands and highchair after a meal before we let him loose on our lounge room. We use them when Champ's t-shirt has left over lunch on it (but not quite enough lunch that it warrants an actual clean). We let Champ suck them with cold water when he is teething.

They are pretty handy.

I still wash Champ's clothes separately to Cowboy's and mine. I still use the sensitive baby stuff (despite him ceasing to be a baby some time ago). I wash Champ's clothes/sheets/towels/everything-machine-washable once per week. Today was the day.

Today I counted 21 wash cloths which I had pegged to the line. Twenty-one!

They sure are handy.

06 August 2009

Six weeks

Well, it has been a couple of years since I could say I was 6 weeks pregnant, but I am saying it now. Despite the spotting scare on Monday (which was bright red and then the next two days I experienced tiny amounts of brown blood twice) I am still claiming to be pregnant until proved otherwise (please, no!).

I have nausea on and off. Boobs are still not sensitive (and I can't see from my Champ pregnancy notes when this started with him). I know it is early, but if I had to guess the gender, I'd say girl based on my cravings. With Champ I was all about salt (think hot chips, potato cakes and vegemite on crackers) and I guzzled orange juice daily. This time, I love sweet (think fruit and chocolate!).

I could also sleep for 24 hours a day and it still wouldn't be enough. Yesterday at the park at 10 a.m. I told Cowboy that I could happily fall asleep on the swing. To which he replied 'You could sleep more?' I teased him with 'Yep, the twins are kicking my butt!' and breaking out into slightly hysterical laughter. 'Yeah, laugh now... until you find out about the triplets.' The laughter died out quite quickly as we assessed how we would ever cope with that reality.

04 August 2009

Allowing myself hope

After the little spots of blood yesterday morning, I am relived to say there has been no more. I still feel nausea intermittently, although if I allow myself to analyse it too much I realise that it is probably less than it was over the weekend.

All I can do is wait until the ultrasound in 6 days and keep everything crossed until then.

03 August 2009

No, no, no!

Spotting again.

Still holding on tight with all my ute muscles.

The nausea is still there, keeping me hopeful.

I'm not letting you go, little one.

02 August 2009

Breath #1

I am now past the date of my last miscarriage. Still feeling the nausea. Yay!

One more week until my ultrasound (Monday week). I was again checking my Champ pregnancy notes and found that the date of this ultrasound is the exact date (in terms of gestation period) that this one is scheduled for - 6 weeks 4 days. Champ was measuring 6 weeks at that stage (despite him being born above average weight - 9 pounds) and his heartbeat was 120 bpm.

Based on that heartbeat we hypothesised that he was a boy - and were obviously correct. This time I don't care if the heartbeat indicates boy or girl, as long as it is there and is healthy.

One more week til my next breath...