Blood Tests, Consultant Visits, Bounty Pack and Midwife

The last few months I’ve been feeling incredibly ill, spending a lot of my time in bed watching tv, I couldn’t even bring myself to do any craft or anything (up until a few days ago when I started kitting again), which is so unlike me, and I was only dragging myself out if I needed to, for doctors appointments and the like. I started feeling better a few weeks ago, but in the last few days my energy seems to have pinged right back up. I hadn’t worn makeup for months, up until yesterday, when I put on a faceful and I felt alive again! You honestly wouldn’t believe how just a little bit of makeup makes me look not like a zombie, and this gave me the confidence to go with my new found energy.

So every Monday at 9.00AM I’ve been going to have a blood test to make sure my thyroid levels are still heading in the right direction. I had my last one of these this morning, and the phlebotomists first comment was that I looked well and was glowing – ok so the glow was the makeup but my, did it make a difference. I have pretty much been skipping around today, it’s crazy, like I’ve gained the whole few months energy back!!

I went straight from the doctors where I had my blood test to the hospital where I had an appointment with my thyroid consultant at 10.30AM. Unsurprisingly her clinic was running 30minutes behind, sitting in the waiting room I wasn’t really concentrating on anything but suddenly in my tummy there was a tiny floopy feeling and as soon as I’d felt it, it was gone. I’d never felt anything like it before to describe it as, not sure if it was baby rolling over or what but I’ve occasionally felt similar over the last couple of days and wondered… I was eventually called and again she commented how well I was looking. I’m not sure if that was the fact I’ve gained a stone since I last saw her, had eaten a square meal in the last few days, the makeup or the massive grin on my face.
We talked about how I was doing and she said all my results were heading in the right direction, and we’re now round about normal. She is reducing my Propylthiouracil down from 4x 50mg tablets 2x a day (400mg a day) to 1x 50mg tablet 3x a day (150mg a day), with a plan to move me onto 10mg Carbimazole a day in 2 weeks as this is considered safe to use in the second trimester. She is loathed to leave me on Propylthiouracil as it is known to be detrimental to the liver (both mine and babies) if used for extended periods. I am having a blood test in two weeks, before I change onto Carbimazole and then one in another 2 weeks to see how the Carbimazole is working.
She also mentioned that I will need to have a close eye kept on my thyroid levels at both 24 weeks and 30 weeks as if my thyroid levels are high at these points, it is likely to affect baby’s thyroid and if baby gets an over active thyroid it can affect weight gain, which is obviously crucial for a growing baby. I am booked back in to see her in 7 weeks when I will be around 22 weeks pregnant so we can see how it is going and discuss what extra tests I may need in the next couple of weeks. She seemed really positive and with every consultant I see I am getting more hopeful that maybe, just maybe, everything will go well.

On the way back from the hospital we stopped off at Asda to pick up my bounty pack, and decided that while I was there I would have a quick look round the clothes for me. I stumbled into the baby clothes and instantly homing in on a gorgeous pink set I realised that as much as I was saying it was cute, I wasn’t imagining a baby in it, just that I liked it. Phew. I hadn’t broken my one rule of imagining the future. Back in the car I opened my bounty pack and found it contained some gorgeous little white booties that say cutie on. Same reaction of how adorable, but again not imagining my baby wearing them. Let’s hope I can keep this up!!

I had a midwife appointment on the 18th which I was really excited about, remembering that at my 15 week appointment last time I got to hear my babys heartbeat and just hoped it’d be the same this time. I turned up and was quickly called in. I went through a speedy roundup of what had happened in the last few weeks and eventually she asked if I’d like to try to hear babys heartbeat. I of course jumped at the opportunity but she warned me that its possible that its still too early to hear anything. Luckily almost as soon as she put the microphone on my stomach I heart a heartbeat that was too fast for mine and as she moved it around it got louder. She counted that babys heart was at 155bpm which is apparently good! I couldn’t stop smiling! Thankfully that’s another hurdle over.
Now to hope my 20 week scan is just as positive! Only a month to go, and counting.

Knitting Project and Contemplating Grief

I decided I would allow myself to get a little bit excited and bought myself a Sirdar knitting pattern for a cuddly rabbit. I settled down to start, and like always happens I couldn’t stop, so I managed to make it in three days.  It turned out positively adorable! Obviously as of yet I don’t know if I am having a boy or a girl so I had to pick a wool that would suit both, I picked Sirdar Baby Crofter 158 and I think it fitted the brief perfectly. I absolutely love how it has turned out!

image

I find knitting very therapeutic, but it gives you a LOT of time to think. I didn’t allow myself to think much about the baby I would be giving the toy to – be they born now, silently,  or at full term and screaming. They all deserve a toy. This pregnancy is turning into a mind exercise, training myself to be able to see and do things without allowing my mind to wonder and imagine.

To stop the inevitable problems arising from endless free thinking, I set myself something to consider, something that made me think about both of my children and it also answered some questions I was silently wondering.

I read something online recently asking whether it is possible to grieve for one child while celebrating another.
I gave this a lot of thought and came to the conclusion I was managing to do both.
Every time I celebrate something for Shrimp, a small hurdle, eg. I heard a heartbeat, I also think about my little girl. At the moment I’m thinking that at the same stage of pregnancy she was doing the same thing, that at 15 weeks I heard her heartbeat at the Midwife too. I’m subconsciously trying to compare the pregnancies and revelling in the similarities and excited about the differences.
In the future every milestone will be in my head that my daughter should have already celebrated this. That Shrimps first cry shouldn’t be the first I’ve heard, that the first birthday cake i make, I should have made one 10 months earlier. For every celebration there is also going to be a mourning, but I am not going to let that stop me celebrating. That wouldn’t be fair. I chose to get pregnant again, I decided I was ready for this mish-mash of joy and grief, I can’t take it out on my baby and I can’t make them miss out on things, celebrations etc. I can’t hate every moment of this pregnancy as I would only end up resenting this poor baby.
That said, I worried earlier in the pregnancy that I was forgetting to think about my little girl and getting too wrapped up in this pregnancy – there are so many doctors visits and things going on it would be easy to do, but I soon realised that my mind wanders to my little girl everytime it has a chance. My subconscious is keeping her with me even if my conscious mind has to be occupied with other things.
Effy-Mae will always be my first born, my first daughter, and any children I have now will know about her as their big sister. She may have only been in my life for 21weeks, but im not going to pretend those 21weeks didn’t happen, nor am I going to let the grief I still feel from that time affect my future.
I think there is a fine line between letting go and letting the grief overwhelm you. I have moments, many, in fact where I wonder why what happened, happened, whether it was preventable, whether it was my fault, and i feel totally overwhelmed and sure that this pregnancy will end the same. Its a crushing feeling knowing that all too easily this journey could be over too, that I could be visiting both my children in graves, but I will not let it affect Shrimp. Shrimp is, of course, my number one priority, I will do all I can to protect Shrimp from my grief and make sure I enjoy every second of this pregnancy, but I don’t think I will ever live a day where I don’t also think of my little girl.

Bump Photos

Bruising is coming with every injection now so my tummy looks abused!
Definitely growing though!!

All the purple bruising on the most recent photo came from one injection! OUCH!

22/02/14
16 weeks 1 day

 

18/02/14
15 weeks 4 days

 

13/02/14
14 weeks 6 days

Injections, Bump Growth, Movements and Turning 17weeks.

So the injections are not getting any easier and I’m pretty sure I will never get used to them. I have now done 29 of them, finishing my first prescription tomorrow! I have found that getting the right amount of pressure is tricky, many times I have plucked up the courage and jabbed the needle in only for it to stop after only the tip has gone in and have to take it out and start again, then there is the fact that the stuff still hurts. Not every time now, and I haven’t yet worked out what happens different when it does hurt, but sometimes the liquid stings like bees and sometimes I can hardly feel it! And lastly I have the fact that sometimes the injection bruises, and I don’t mean a little bruise, I mean a massive great bruise that swells to a lump and really hurts! Obviously the injections are thinning my blood, making me more likely to bruise, I have noticed this down my legs, a little knock and I have a bruise to show for it. I was warned about this side effect, however the bruising around the injections goes dark purple within minutes and keeps growing for hours! To start with it was only occasional injections that were causing it, and then it was after every injection, more recently however I have noticed I am not bruising so much! Work that one out! I haven’t changed how, when or where I inject, but for some reason I don’t seem to be bruising at the moment. Maybe my body is being nice and giving my sides time to debruise themselves before starting again!

As you can see from my previous post ‘Bump Photos’ my bump is steadily growing. I love showing it off and it’s starting to get past the ‘is she just realllly bloated’ stage. I am pretty sure people in the street must be able to see I am pregnant, atleast I hope they can! I wore a dress last night that used to be able to conceal my bump, but noticed that it just made it more obvious. I was so happy!
I have got a posh do to go to in the next few weeks and I haven’t thought about buying a dress for it yet, as I didn’t know what size I would be, whether I would be the same size I was last time at nearing 20 weeks or bigger or smaller or god forbid, not pregnant any more. Considering all this I have put it off ’til now to get a dress, and now I am panicking as I am really fussy and don’t have a massive budget and it seems if you add the word maternity to things you instantly add a whole lot of money to the price tag! I am going to drag my mum into the city in the next week with one aim – to find me a dress – and we shall suceed! I think I will also look at empire line non maternity dresses as I am sure that I will be able to still fit in them without the hem line going funny and atleast that increases my choice a little! I shall add updates to this dress hunt – I’m sure lots of pregnant ladies have exactly the same problems as I am having, I’m sure there is a simple and cheap solution (apparently cutting the stomach out of one of my dresses is not considered a sensible budget option)

For the last few days I have been trying to feel Shrimp move. During my last pregnancy I never felt what felt like butterflies like everyone else describes it, I only felt her kicking when I held my hand against my belly and it felt like gas bubbles popping in my gut. I am finding myself hyper aware of my stomach, feeling for anything that might be a kick or a shuffle or a hiccup. I have taken to sitting there on an evening with my hands clutching my stomach in the hope I will feel a little kick. I half convinced myself Tuesday/Wednesday that I was feeling kicks, they seemed constant and concentrated in one area, but by Thursday morning I sat all morning clutching my tummy and nothing, absolutely nothing! Obviously my first thought was that I was clearly wrong about the previous couple of days, that I must have been really gassy (great!) then my mind started to wonder and maybe Shrimp is just asleep and will start kicking again soon… Then I began to panic that maybe this was exactly like last time, that maybe those last couple of days was Shrimp kicking, only they would be the only ever kicks I would get to feel. Last time, being my first baby, not knowing what I was feeling for I was feeling the kicks and in my heart I knew what they were but it wasn’t until I stopped feeling them that I KNEW what they had been. That couldn’t be happening to me again could it? I grabbed my Doppler and half panicking, half excited, turned it on, moving the probe around my stomach listening for a heartbeat, I moved it right round my stomach, panic rising in my throat, not again, not this time. Then there was a quiet dumdumdum, moving the probe slightly it got louder and clearer, then moved away again, I moved the probe around and found it again, listening with relief and finding myself relaxing to the sound. Without having my own home Doppler I would be a nervous wreck by now. Having not felt any movements since then either, I would have been ringing the midwife this morning asking her to listen for baby’s heartbeat.
I am going to be one of those women who will panic about every little thing, and without a home Doppler the midwives would probably be getting so many calls from me, they’d probably block my number!! I am pretty sure the sudden moments of panic won’t change until this baby is in my arms and not in danger of my body any more!

So this morning my phone app informed me that my baby is now 17 weeks (yeah, my phone didn’t really need to tell me, my head has it’s own counter!)
This gives me:
Just over 2 weeks until the posh do.
3 weeks until my scan when I can hopefully find out if I’m having a little girl or little boy.
4 weeks until I reach the point that last time it was all over (I shall not think about that, I shall not think about that – who am I kidding? It’s all I can think about, then I feel guilty when I catch myself.)
7 weeks until baby is viable.

Bump Photos

The bruising is starting to fade, I don’t know why it goes through phases of bruising and not bruising, but I’m liking the not bruising phase!!

I’m so proud of my bump, and I’m wearing whatever shows it off at the moment!!

02/03/14
17 weeks 2 days

 

27/02/14
16 weeks 6 days

Effy-Mae

My baby girl, our future was to be
ever so bright and very happy.
I loved you from the moment I took that test
and I knew you were there, my little guest.
I did everything doctors said I should
and I was told everything was going good.
At 15 weeks I was allowed
to hear your heart beat – gosh it was loud!
Very soon I started to feel
you moving around, and that made it real.
Gentle tappings from your little feet,
from then I counted the days ’til we’d meet.
At every scan they said you were perfect,
and that is the word, I came to expect.
You refused to show us if you were a boy or girl,
hard as they tried you wouldn’t let your legs unfurl.
Little did I know I wouldn’t have long to wait,
or that hearing you were a girl wouldn’t be so great,
for a week later I stopped feeling those little feet
and on the ultrasound there was no heartbeat.
The rest of that day is a total blur,
I asked again if you were a him, or her.
The doctor couldn’t tell, but he told me
that when I gave birth I would get to see.
I was given a tablet and that night sent home,
though I couldn’t bring myself to be alone.
The next few days were a flurry of faces,
getting things sorted and breaking in places.
My heart had shattered into a million pieces,
I spent my time wondering if the pain ever ceases.
And then it was time,
I had to face natures crime.
I had to deliver you, my beautiful daughter,
my child who had been taken, purer than water.
All my life I’d pictured labour with thoughts of my child
occupying my mind to keep the pain mild.
I’d never have guessed that I would know I’d not see
a breath on your lips and feel a moment of glee.
Despite all this, from the moment I saw you,
I knew above certainty one thing was true,
that my love for you could be no stronger,
it was a mother’s love, and nothing lasts longer.
Your beautiful lips, your little nose,
your perfect fingers and your tiny toes.
I spent hours just taking them in,
my face plastered with a ridiculous grin.
For although you were born sleeping,
and I knew I should be weeping,
I was just so proud of you, my little girl,
I knew you would never grow a curl,
or look at me with a beautiful smile,
you’d been in my world only a little while,
but you’ll always be my first born child.
For though my life plans will be restyled,
and I’ll never get to push you on the swings in the park,
or protect you from the monsters that you see in the dark,
I can’t take you for walks in your new pushchair,
or even brush the tangles out of your hair,
I won’t ever take you to school,
or watch you swim your first length of the pool,
in-spite of it all, I have to admit
my life is better for having you in it.
You have made me see that when life gets tough,
you stick it out, even though it seems rough.
I can celebrate your life that should have been,
as long as I have people on which to lean.
Life will never get that bad,
I can never be as sad,
so I take each day as it comes,
I don’t make a fanfare or sound the drums.
I just aim to honour you in all I do,
I want to make you as proud of me, as I am of you.

Click here to read the full story.

Feeling Movement and Dress Shopping

So last night, me and Shrimps daddy headed out to the cinema. I sat with my hands over my tummy enjoying the film when all of a sudden I felt something. I turned my concentration to it, thinking I’d imagined it, but there it was again, a little nudge against my hand. I decided it must be a massive bubble of gas or something, it felt so much more definite than I ever felt in my previous pregnancy, but I kept my hands there and the nudging continued! Not a fluttery feeling, not like gas bubbles popping, but like a baby kicking from the inside. It was so surreal. Every time I thought I’d grab daddy’s hand to see if he could feel it too though, the movements stopped for a bit. They’d always start up again though, and continued right up to the end of the film! Being 17weeks and 5days I wasn’t expecting to feel anything so definite for months, but I have no doubt about what I was feeling!

All I wanted to do today was sit and wait to feel Shrimp again, but no such luck, I’d already arranged to go dress shopping for the posh do I am attending in just over a week.
We set off straight after lunch, allowing me to have done my injection before we left. Might be a bit strange doing that in the toilets somewhere – I feel awkward enough taking my tablets in public!
My back has been aching for a couple of days now, an aching feeling around my lower back, either side of my spine, a pain which is made worse by walking so I wanted to make this trip as quick and successful as possible. Arriving in the city at about half one we set off on a trail around the shops. We had already partially planned which shops to try – the ones likely to be in my price range and have something relevant. We got through them quickly, mainly because the majority of them either didn’t have evening wear, or the evening wear cost around £200, at that point we exited the store as quickly as we could! In the entire day I picked up one dress that was maternity wear, it was on the sale rack and was a total coincidence it was maternity. The only shop I found a dedicated maternity section in was H&M and there was definitely no evening wear in there!
I should probably mention that I am relatively tall, 5’10”, meaning that even normally I have to check the length of maxi dresses as some are just too short. Today I found that removing the couple of inches that my bump takes up makes 99% of maxi dresses too short, and even made knee length dresses unsuitable for this event! I found Quiz dresses were the only ones that would potentially be suitable, but I wasn’t over-keen on them, so chalked them up as maybes.
Four hours later however, I was ready to give up and go back to Quiz, pick one, any one, and go home, but first we decided to give House of Fraser a go, even though the first price tag I looked at was £195 I knew they had bargains occasionally so we kept looking and finally I found a lovely Little Mistress dress which is big enough over my bump, is long enough to not look too short on me and is dressy enough for the do and best of all, it was £37.50! It was the last on the rack, the only colour combination I liked and in my size. It was like it was meant to be! I bought it as quickly as I could and left, glad that it was finally over!

  
A couple of sneaky pictures I took in the changing room – I shall hopefully get some nice ones at the event

I’d been limping around the city for about 4 hours, my back was absolute agony by this point. I even had to sit down waiting for our lift to get us, and finally sitting down in the car felt so amazing I could have just stayed there!

Now why didn’t I just buy online? Honestly, I normally do. Buying clothes online is my norm, but with an ever growing bump I needed to know it was going it fit and give me room to move and eat.
I don’t know why I couldn’t find any maternity ranges anywhere, maybe they were there but didn’t include evening wear so I didn’t notice them, but I must admit I did keep my eyes peeled for any signage and it atleast didn’t jump out at me!
I know some stores keep maternity ranges online which is fair enough, it keeps costs down not having to keep all sizes in stock in all stores, but it made actual city shopping a total nightmare! With the amount of pregnancies going up I’d have thought everywhere would have a maternity section!

Atleast I have finally got myself a dress, that’s one less thing to worry about, now for shoes and jewellery! I think I’ll be raiding my cupboards for those. Less walking!!!

Bump Photos

So for now, my body seems to have given up on the serious bruising, now I’m only getting little purple areas around some of the injections – I won’t pretend to know why, but I’m sure as hell not complaining! I haven’t changed how I’m doing them, I did move down my side a little bit to a slightly less fleshy area, maybe that’s why, but then again, maybe not!

I’m still trying to show off my bump in everything I’m wearing! I love it!

09/03/14
18 weeks 2 days

 

05/03/14
17 weeks 5 days

Early Morning Confusion

I woke up early for some reason this morning, the cat was probably banging around, but like normal, I checked my morning Facebook to see it anything exciting had happened and saw something that would stop me going back to sleep.
It wasn’t news, it wasn’t anything tragic, it wasn’t anything exciting, just a picture of a face I knew holding a baby. Now I should probably explain, i knew this person for about a year just under a year ago, I am not Facebook friends with this person but we have a lot of mutual friends and therefore when one of them liked the photo it popped up in my newsfeed.
A little bit of detective work told me this baby was born sometime at the end of November/beginning of December – A couple of months after my Effy should have been born.
I don’t know why this stirred such ridiculous emotions in me, that she was pregnant at the same time as I had been, that when I announced, she was also pregnant but too early on to tell anyone, or when I lost Effy, she had probably just announced. One of the happiest moments of her life at the same time as the worst of mine.
I found myself flicking through her photos, not looking at what her baby was like, how her family was together, but looking at her baby and seeing what mine should have been like, how big she would have been at three months, how I should have pictures of us in the park, with her in a Christmas suit, with her winter coat on to keep her warm.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t resent this lady having her baby at all, she deserves it, but I think it must have been the shock of not knowing she was pregnant at all to seeing her with a three month old. I suppose I should expect it, having shut myself out of the pregnancy world for so long, scrolling past any Facebook post that mentioned babies, scans or pregnancy. So long infact, someone could have got pregnant and given birth in the time!

Losing a baby has made me change my views, I now walk down the street and flinch when I see a pregnant person. I find myself wondering if it’s their first, whether they have ever lost a child or whether they have 6 kids at home all waiting for tea. I can’t just admire pregnancy for the wonderful gift it is, my brain wants to know everything, but at the same time nothing.
But my brain has also become paranoid. When I catch another woman looking at my bump, I don’t think that they’re just guessing how far along I am, or that they’re disapproving because I’m a bit young, I instantly wonder if maybe they’re silently hating me for being pregnant when they’re not, just as I felt in the months after I lost her. I want to walk round with a sign over my head telling people what has happened. Screaming that I deserve this.

I’m sure that my head will calm down, that maybe when I have given birth and the raging hormones have settled down a bit, maybe when I have my rainbow baby I’ll be able to look at the world rationally again, but until then every pregnancy is either a mockery at my loss or a challenge, and I hate feeling like that.
Every pregnancy is different, faces different challenges and every pregnancy deserves a positive outcome. I don’t once wish that someone else went through what I did instead of me, that wouldn’t be fair, I just spend my days wondering how life would be different if it hadn’t happened to me.

Dressing Up a Bump and Bubbling Panic

On Friday I turned 19 weeks! It is scary how quickly it seems to be going now – the first few weeks after I found out seemed to drag so much, yet here I am now coming up to halfway, though thinking that I have this length of time to go again, it seems a long time again! Thankfully I will be having a scan every month from now on though, this two months of not checking on little Shrimp has been torture! It’s getting better now that I am feeling movement more regularly though, atleast I have a reassurance that I can rely on.

You may remember that a couple of posts ago I wrote about looking for a dress to go to a relatively posh do in. I spent a day in the city and eventually found a dress to wear.
So last night I got all dressed up – ok, I spent most of the day getting ready – where did all this extra hair on my head come from? I swear it now takes double as long to wash and style (Not helped by me not knowing what style to do and I believe I probably exhausted all the youtube tutorials before giving up and making it up as I went!)
Eventually ready I posed for some photos for my mum, and honestly I love the dress. From the side I was obviously pregnant, but from the front you couldn’t really tell, and the best part – because the dress isn’t a maternity dress I can wear it again and again, and I will because I really love it!

 

So being out for the evening and busy all day getting ready I hadn’t had any time to sit down and concentrate on feeling Shrimp move. A couple of people asked me throughout the evening if Shrimp was enjoying themselves and I think a look of panic had to have come into my eyes each time I replied that I hadn’t felt any tiny dancing tonight. I enjoyed the evening, pushing those fears to the back of my mind, forcing myself into believing that I only hadn’t felt any movement because I hadn’t been concentrating on it.
When I got home at half 1, one of my mums first questions was whether Shrimp had enjoyed it! I forced myself to relax, as I’m normally dosing off at about 8 or 9 in the evening I knew I should go straight to bed having not had any naps all day. I managed to push it from my mind promising myself that if I didn’t feel anything I’d check first thing in the morning.
This morning I had my breakfast and sat with my hand on my belly, knowing it would be unusual for Shrimp to be awake so early, and so I wasn’t any more worried when I didn’t feel any little kicks against my hand, however having not used my doppler in the last few days I felt no guilt in having a little check. It took a while of wooshing crackly silence, all the time my heart was in my mouth and I wasn’t breathing, but eventually there was the fast tap tapping of Shrimps heart. I checked it against my own heartrate to make sure it wasn’t mine, and then the noise dissappeared. I moved the probe around a little and it came back, clearly Shrimp decided to play hide and seek with me! I sat there listening to the heartbeat for a minute, then turned off the doppler. without turning it off I would just sit and listen all day!

I have a feeling this fear isn’t going to go away, that until I give birth any time I don’t feel anything I’m going to panic. I think the fear is probably heightened because I only have 2 weeks to go until the stage in pregnancy I lost my little girl, but noone has indicated to me it is likely to happen again. We shall see what they say at my 20 week scan in 4 days!!

  • An 'Angel Baby' is a baby lost during pregnancy or early childhood, who sleeps in the clouds instead of our arms.

    A 'Rainbow Baby' is a baby born following the loss of an 'Angel Baby', a beacon of hope after a storm, while not denying the storm happened.

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