It’s the middle of the night and I am all chuffed as I just finished giving an exceptionally easy feed. I should sleep but, since we are heading home from hospital in the morning, I wanted to take some time to write.
Our daughter, our little miracle, arrived on Monday evening. She is perfect and we are so unbelievably happy.
I haven’t cried when I saw the positive pregnancy test or when I got out of the 12 week scan (I instead rewarded myself with a slice of carrot cake, a muffin AND a chocolate chip cookie..). I hardly shed a tear when the midwife put her on my chest after she was born. But on Tuesday morning all tears came up when I saw her next to us and heard my husband say “the IVF doctor was right: ugly embryos can also make beautiful babies”.
My mum asked me if I can now say thay all the injections and struggles were worth it. I love my mum but that’s a silly question… She is definitely worth every minute of waiting, every injection, every cycle, and even more. But that was never the issue. The issue was knowing whether there would ever be a baby at the end of it. Now that she’s here I can only better measure my luck that our lazy little embryo has made it safely to our arms.
Right, this post can win messiest and cheesiest post of the blog. Sorry about that. You can blame it on hormones, lack of sleep or overdose of happiness. Before I go, let me send a quick request to the universe: there are a few embryos under decision making, please have them decide to stick!
I don’t know what it’s like where you live but in general people are rather antisocial here, especially in public transports. But there are exceptions, and one of these is food markets.
About a year ago a nice lady- about the age of my mum – started talking to me while waiting at my favourite fuitmonger’s. A conversation that started with courgettes and aubergines soon turned to THE question: do you have kids? I remember tears coming down. She tried to cheer me up, and said I should stay hopeful. But the hope argument never quite worked with me.
Today, the same lady came up to tell me she was happy to see things had changed. I was really touched that she remembered me (I didn’t remember her until she reminded me of last year’s chat) and that she took the time to come talk to me. It was a nice surprise.
I really hope that the Universe has planned more surprises and that things this time next year will be very different for those who are still waiting.
Today marks the start of the third trimester of this pregnancy!!! OMG!!!! Hard to believe. I feel like crying of joy even just thinking about it!
My first trimester was characterized by fears that this baby may leave me. They slowly decreased as weeks went by and as I started feeling her move.
I spent most of the second trimester in a high, as it started sinking in that I was likely going to have a baby. For real. I only had the exception of a couple of weeks of feeling low mostly due to (yet another) flu as well some emotional stuff going on around me, which reminded me all at once how hard it was to get here. But it didn’t last long!
I don’t really know what to expect from this third trimester, other than focusing on getting ready for this baby to arrive. I hardly have any experience with babies so I really need to do a bit of preparation. It’d be a pity to do something silly after all the hard work…
To start this third trimester, I am actually focusing a lot on crossing fingers, lighting candles, doing fertility dances and poking unicorns because there has been and will be a lot going on between my IF buddies. Some need confirmation of good news, some are in serious need of good news very soon and some will be giving it another shot at IVF soon hence needing good news in the next months.
So, Dear Universe, please please please be nice and do some more miracles. These lovely ladies have been working hard and they’ve been waiting for too loooooong already!! Thanks!
One thing that I find helps a lot during infertility is to do things that make us feel well. There is no strict rule and everyone finds different activities. Some people who go for physical activities (tap dancing, tango, zumba, running, swimming… ) while others for more creative type of activities (sawing, knitting, crochet, painting, decorating…). Some go for couple or group activities, others prefer to find some time for themselves.
Personally, I tried several things (football, bootcamp, zumba, flamenco, knitting, making felt Christmas decorations…) but really had two main ones: running, which I had always hated before, and photography. They both really helped remind me that there was a lot of beauty around me.
Why am I telling you all this today? Because with some of the pictures I took in the last years I won a photo competition at work! Besides being rather excited about winning something, this also reminded me of all the pictures I took and how much it helped me. In fact I took so many that I wouldn’t have managed to pick 3 for the competition without my super sister. She helped me chose last summer, making it become a fun distraction activity during treatments.
Here are my winning pictures!
(Who can guess where they are taken??)
About a year and a half ago I did a glucose and insulin test to help decide if I should follow some particular diet that could help IVF or take metformin. The endocrinologist said I did not have diabetes but that my insulin reaction was a bit borderline. She advised to carry on with low GI diet and actually gave me instructions to follow a diet for gestational diabetes.
I had already cut sweets and desserts of all kind, but that added more restrictions, such as on bread, pasta, rice and – the toughest of all – fruit. I followed that diet for over a year and I only went back to a less restrictive diet after I got pregnant.
Today I had my glucose test (which is compulsory at the 5th month of pregnancy in here). Having in mind what the endocrinologist told me before, I was expecting to be positive but I am not. I am seriously amazed that my body is behaving so well and I am very very thankful that all is going so well!
A couple of weeks ago I went to my first mid-wife appointment. There were 4 of us there: one very grumpy lady pregnant with her 2nd child, one slightly older lady with a very complicated pregnancy and one younger lady. We were all asked how we were feeling and how the pregnancy was going. I answered that I had a healthy pregnancy and that I was generally feeling well. When it was her turn, the younger girl said that she didn’t have any health issue but that she was really struggling with pregnancy symptoms. She said – giving me a nasty look – that she also felt bad because around her everyone else loved being pregnant.
That was really weird for me! It made me wonder if, after looking at other women with easier journeys towards pregnancy with varying degrees of jealousy, I have now become the nightmare of many pregnant women: the one who loves being pregnant! Not that I spend my time telling everyone how awesome it is to be pregnant, but if asked I usually just say that all is well…
Besides initial bleeding episodes I am extremely lucky to have avoided other issues so far (hope I’m not jinxing myself..). And I guess years of dreaming of a baby make it really easy for me to feel that annoying symptoms are a small price to pay for the massive chance I have. I haven’t been immune to pregnancy symptoms but my mind keeps making it all relative to IVF:
- Morning sickness? After having it every time I had to take estrogen patches (that is a month each time I had a FET), it was good to finally have it for a good reason!
- Bloated? Not nearly as bad as OHSS!
- Food restrictions? A lot less traumatic than giving up sugar 2 years ago!
- Tired? The levels of tiredness of my body were and still are impressive but I still found it easier compared to the combination of body and mind tiredness that a failed IVF or a miscarriage can lead to.
- Anxious? Scared? Yes, I am bloody scared and I often have nightmares that this may all be taken away. But I am getting a chance at this and that’s a lot more than I had in the previous four years..
I can see how me saying I was doing well may have made the young lady believe that I am luckier than her. But I am also pretty sure she wouldn’t swap with me if she knew the whole story. Because, while I am well aware of how lucky I am now, it was hard to get here. She doesn’t know that and probably hasn’t even thought of it. But I do.
I am thankful every day for what I have, and even more so this week: the second semester scan showed all is still going well! Oh, and it’s a girl!
One of the first questions I was asked after telling people about the positive pregnancy test was about adoption: what about adoption? will you give up adoption then? Will you still adopt? You should change your twitter profile: it still says “trying to adopt”.
My husband and I discussed this immediately, especially since we had an adoption meeting while waiting for the results of our fist beta. We both agreed that we would still like to adopt, despite the added complications of having a biological child.
But, despite this sort of I-want-it-all type of wish, we may not be able to adopt. If all goes well with the pregnancy, we will let the adoption people know about the baby and we’ll be taken out of the (7-year) waiting list for national adoption. Legally, we would still be able to adopt from abroad. However, you may recall that we have applied to several agencies but that none of them retained our profile. We have a permission to adopt a young baby (3 year old maximum) but this is not feasible given the situation of international adoption at the moment. We have already been told that we need to ask for an extension so as to be able to adopt an older child or a child with health problems. To do this we would be asked to go through a another series of meetings with the adoption services, in order to discuss what is basically our new adoption project. There is no way that we could do this in the coming months: it would feel wrong and I am pretty sure that the lady from the adoption services would tell us that we need to focus on a project at a time, which makes perfect sense.
So, to answer the question on whether we’ll still try to adopt, I think the adoption project we had in the last years won’t be possible anymore. If we get approval for it though, we would love to transform our adoption project into a new one in the future.
But for now, after all this time of dreaming of having a baby, I think we owe it to ourselves and to this baby to just take one thing at a time, enjoy the present and simply live our dream.