15 weeks today

I am 15 weeks pregnant today and it still doesn’t quite feel real. I had a midwife appointment on Tuesday and heard the heartbeat which was less emotional than I was expecting but it was great to know that baby bean is still alive and well. I heard back from the consultant about the high beta hCG and essentially they don’t know what is causing it. No one seems unduly concerned but they are going to give me another scan next week (at 16 weeks) which is great as 12 to 20 weeks felt like a very long wait! We’ve also booked a holiday to Croatia at the end of next month which I’m really looking forward to.

I’m starting to find the constant nausea pretty depressing. I keep being told that I must be feeling better by now but I’m really not. The nausea, excess saliva, headaches and exhaustion have now been pretty constant for over ten weeks and I’ve hardly had any time off work so I basically feel like I’m dragging my body around during the day at work and then sleeping at home, interspersed with frequent eating! I am getting excited about my tiny baby bump which is just starting to appear and look forward to finally getting the second trimester glow so that I can enjoy a shopping trip to get some maternity clothes.

I’m still worried that something might go wrong but from talking to friends I’m realising that this is normal whether you’ve been through RPL or not so I’m pleased that my experience now seems to be the same as most first time mums to be. My wish from now on is just to have a normal, event free pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Would very much like to be ‘normal’

We got our nuchal test results back yesterday and were pleased to see that we are at low risk of a Down’s Syndrome pregnancy (1 in 460). However, my blood test showed that my Free Beta hGC was 5.75 times higher than ‘average’. Dr Google says that this is a sign of Down’s Syndrome when combined with low PAPP-A and AFP but my PAPP-A and AFP levels were average or slightly above average so it seems that my elevated Free Beta hCG is an isolated anomaly. No comment was made on this result in the accompanying letter and no follow up has been scheduled so I’m assuming that I shouldn’t be unduly concerned but I’m still going to phone to see if I can get some answers. Having had a molar pregnancy which results in insane hCG levels I’m keen to check that this isn’t related. The high hCG might explain why I’m still feeling really nauseous all day. Whilst I have no reason to think that there is anything wrong with this pregnancy I do wish that everything could just be ‘normal’ so that my worrying head wouldn’t have anything to grab onto!

How do I feel?

How do I feel? There is a question without an easy answer.

First, and most obviously, lucky. I’m nearly 11 weeks pregnant. This is the furthest we’ve ever got and so far all is looking good.

Apprehensive. See in the paragraph above, I couldn’t just write things are looking good. I had to qualify it with ‘so far’. Whenever I think about having a baby it’s always ‘if this works out’ not ‘when’. I’m so terrified that the other shoe is going to drop at any time. Maybe I’ll start to bleed or there’ll be no heartbeat on the scan or something will be wrong with the baby. It’s always in the back of my mind. Bad things happen.

Optimistic. I try to convince myself that I’d be ok if it didn’t work out. That I’ve prepared myself and not got too attached or too hopeful. But I know it’s a lie. Every day that I’m pregnant I grow a little more attached and a little more optimistic. If this fails I will be broken and I don’t know how I’d recover.

Guilty. I’ve been blogging for over a year and have felt the jealousy and the ‘why not me’ feelings when other bloggers have got pregnant. I’ve felt like others have stolen my BFP or that their successful pregnancy has pushed the negative statistics my way. And now I feel like I’m the one making others (people who’ve supported and cheered for me) feel bad. I wish that happiness for one didn’t have to come at the expense of sadness for others.

RPL causes a unique mindset. My blog feed consists mainly of two types of bloggers (ignoring those who now have their babies). The infertiles and the RPLers (I’m in the RPL group). I’ve always been in awe of the infertiles as IUIs and IVF sounds completely horrific. In the RPL group I’m sure we regularly annoy the infertiles with yet another BFP (perhaps only one cycle after our last one) and all we had to do for it was have sex (not that that is particularly easy when you’ve been having timed, unromantic sex month after month/loss after loss). The difference comes with the BFP. The infertiles seem so completely, teary-eyed happy. They’ve worked so hard to get there. They know the statistics are on their side and they can imagine the baby in their arms. The RPLers are different. Our announcement goes something like: “A BFP, I wonder how long it will last and whether I’ll miscarry naturally or need a D&C. Please don’t hate me. It’s unlikely to work out”. I’m trying to move way from the RPL mindset and remind myself of all the reasons why this could be the successful one. But this is my fifth BFP in two years of trying and it’s hard to forget the past. For now I’m enjoying reading the optimistic pregnancy posts from those who’ve made it through IVF and IUI. Good things can happen and they remind me of that daily.

Awful. I’m not complaining (well maybe a little). I obviously would happily be ill for 9 months if I get to take home a healthy baby. But currently I. FEEL. AWFUL. My day starts at about 5am when the nausea wakes me up. I lie in bed and the world spins. Like an awful hangover or travel sickness. And it continues all day! I get so dizzy I can no longer cycle and driving the car feels a bit dodgy. I start grazing at about 7am and continue throughout the day. If I go more than 2 hours without eating the acid in my stomach feels like its going to eat through the lining and the pain is distracting. Whether I eat or not I have awful bloating. A random fact about me is that I cannot burp. This was awful for my parents when I was a baby and has meant a lifetime of avoiding fizzy drinks and in pregnancy this is causing problems as I get so gassy a look like I’m 9 months pregnant with twins and gas hurts. I am getting so fat already from all of the grazing and I have no idea what to do about it. By 2pm the headache starts and by 7pm I can’t hold my head up any longer and when i get home from work I lay on the sofa with my eyes closed trying to forget about the hammering behind my eyes. Add to this some bone crushing tiredness that makes a two mile walk with the dogs feel like a marathon and you’ve pretty much got how I feel every day. Each morning I think that I should take the day off work but it won’t make any difference. I just feel awful at home (and guilty) and its not like I could have taken 10 weeks off! The final (and frankly most depressing symptom) which I have had since 3w5d pregnant, is an insane amount of excess saliva. I know this sounds random but it’s horrid. Every 30 seconds my mouth is full and I either need to swallow (making the stomach pain worse) or spit it into a tissue (grim). My doctor thinks its because I need to be sick. I have a phobia of sickness and haven’t vomited in nearly 20 years (which make me happy) but my body’s defence mechanism is to keep swallowing to keep the vomit feelings down. This is not pleasant as by midday my stomach is full of my own saliva and I need to clean my teeth every few hours. I am hoping so much that these symptoms will pass in the next few weeks and I’ll be able to start exercising again, reduce my food intake to a normal level and stop drooling!! If any follow pregnant ladies are also feeling rough, please let me know. I’m feeling rather alone in this. Two months ago today I took part in a triathlon and today I feel physically broken!

Wow that was much longer and complaining that I was expecting. I really do hope that this is the last first trimester I’ll have to do before I get to take home my baby. Here’s hoping that a blossoming second trimester is just around the corner!

Further than we’ve got before

We’ve just had our scan and baby bean is measuring 10w 4d and looking great. I don’t think I’m going to feel 100% relaxed until Im holding a happy and healthy baby but the Miscarriage Association’s statistics state that we now have a 99.4% chance of carrying to term and that is definitely the most positive statistic we’ve had so far so I’m going to try to embrace this experience and hopefully I’ll start feeling a bit more like a mummy to be and a bit less like a nervous fool waiting for the other shoe to drop!

Potential UTI. Why can’t it be easy?

On Monday I had my first midwife appointment to book my 12 week scan (which I still feel is getting ahead of ourselves as I have a 10 week scan to go first but I’m trying to think positively). The appointment was pretty uneventful. After all, this is my fifth pregnancy so I’m a bit of a whizz at the first trimester. It’s getting any further that I suck at.

Anyway, as expected, the midwife took blood and urine samples but told me not to worry about the results as she’d phone if there was a problem. So my heart sank when I saw a missed call from the doctor’s surgery at 8am this morning. The worst bit was when I called back their out of hours answer phone was on so I couldn’t speak to anyone. Eventually I did get through when the surgery finally opened and the receptionist told me the call was from the doctor and that there was a problem with my test results but she couldn’t tell me what and I would have to wait for the doctor to call me back… at lunchtime!

Needless to say this morning was hugely unproductive and work tine was mainly spent worrying, consulting Dr Google and worrying some more.

When I finally spoke to the doctor she said that my urine sample showed that I had a UTI and asked if I had any symptoms. I told her that I felt pretty rubbish, tired, nauseous, bloated etc and that I had a dull ache in my lower abdomen but I’d had all of those symptoms for weeks and had assumed ( and been told ) that they were normal pregnancy symptoms. The doctor concurred and asked if I had any burning sensations when I wee or a frequent need to urinate with little passing each time. I said I didn’t and she concluded that the test result may have been wrong. Apparently despite feeling like a pro, I don’t know how to pee in a cup correctly. I had no idea you were supposed to wee a bit first and then catch the urine mid-flow. So tomorrow morning I get to repeat the process and see if I can get a clear result. If not I’m going to need a course of antibiotics. The problem is, I’m allergic to the main pregnancy safe antibiotics so the doctor is going to see what I can take instead.

So far I’m resisting googling things like UTI and miscarriage risk as there is nothing I can do about it and I don’t want any more worry. I just need to get through the next week and hopefully we’ll be able to see bean kicking away at 10 weeks + next Thursday. I just wish things could be simple, just for once!

Starting to let the hope creep in

We had another scan today (8w2d) and I was relieved and thrilled to see that little bean is still looking good. Now measuring one day ahead and with a good heartbeat. I can’t quite believe it. The sonographer was lovely and has agreed we can have another scan in two weeks time as 12 weeks still feels like a lifetime away. I really really hope that this one is for keeps!