waiting for a miracle

31 weeks to 34 weeks

31 weeks

This past week has flown by. My sciatica is so painful but again, so worth it. I’ve had it on my plans to pack the hospital bag since about 20 weeks. Well, this weekend I finally got around to finding a bag and packing it with everything that we have already that may be needed at the hospital for the baby and for me. Scott can pack his bag. So I managed to get most things in, and then there were just a few things that we needed to go buy. By Sunday night everything that needed to be in the bag was in the bag minus my clothes – I’m still wearing them and have a very limited supply of ones that fit so these can be thrown in closer to the day. I felt a real sense of achievement and relief after I had finished packing it. One less thing to stress about.

Handy tip for anyone packing their bag: put all of the baby’s clothes into zip locked bags and label them. That way when you are looking for something in a hurry, your partner can help find the singlets or whatever it is you need fast.

On Sunday it was also Father’s Day. We went to church in the morning and heard a great message by John Grey. If you get the chance, he is worth listening to. Our boy enjoyed moving to the music. And making his mum and dad laugh – especially with the hiccups. I actually really don’t enjoy the feeling of the hiccups. I know it is great for his developing lungs but it feels so weird. Scott laughs every time he has them because it makes me so squeamish.

I saw a really cool idea for a card on a social media website so I copied the idea and made our own message. Scott seemed to like it. I had also loaded him up with books to read to prepare him (and me) with some knowledge. It was probably one of the best Father’s Day celebrations – for once we had something to look forward to.

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Another great thing happened during the 31 weeks – I had two days without nose bleeds! Woo hoo! I also had one day where both sides of my nose bled for almost an hour. But you take the good with the bad. I’ve had daily nosebleeds for most of this pregnancy, so to have two days without a bleed was so amazing!

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Positiveness makes everything seem better.

We got some more painting done inside the house. So much more to go but each step forwards is great. It will be great to like the inside of our house when I am looking at it while on maternity leave.

We were given this awesome book this week, too. It is one that I had wanted to get one day down the track. I was so excited to be given it! It’s a great little story.

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I’m finding it so difficult to roll over in bed – the pain in my legs makes it difficult. But my wonderful husband helps me in the mornings to get out of bed. During the night he enjoys his sleeping and I take my time to get out – sometimes it’s a race between my bladder and my pain to see if I will make it to the toilet in time or not.

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Haha This is so true – or what’s worse is doing this and then realising you need to get up to pee anyway.

I’ve been trying to get the previous blog uploaded but just can’t get the photos to load. It’s been *slightly* frustrating. Hormones may be adding to it just a tiny bit. I am breathing deep and learning more patience. I’m sure I will get it done soon… maybe by the time you read this both will be up. (This one has been taking ages too – photos take forever to download and load.)

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How cute are these pants for our little Baker? A gift he was given from a friend.

Third trimester energy… totally awesome concept and idea… I am yet to experience this. I still think it is a mirage and doesn’t really exist. Some cruel person made it up so that people have something to look forward to, only to find out that the exhaustion actually gets worse. But that’s okay, it gives Scott something to do… you know, finding all the random things I place in random places because I don’t remember what I am doing. And it keeps him busy preparing food for me. Without this extreme exhaustion he wouldn’t have so much to do…. (Friendly sarcasm in case you thought I was serious!). As I type, he is in the kitchen preparing my huge lunch for tomorrow. He always gives me about 3-4 types of fruit and/or veggies plus my main meals times two. He is such a hero in all of this – never underestimate the power of a supportive husband. He keeps me going!

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Scott brought this in to me as I typed. Such an awesome guy!

And a few positive thoughts to finish the week off with. I love the Toby Mac page – there is always a great, positive thought there to read, to uplift you.

And here is my growing belly:

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32 weeks

This week my sciatica has eased up a little bit. It’s still there but I can actually move without losing my breath each time. I also feel a lot bigger.

We were so lucky this week – we got to catch up with my bestie. Her youngest is 8 month old and he had a fascination with my belly. Kept reaching out to touch my belly. I’ve never seen a baby/infant do this. It was as if he knew. He did get to feel our little man move. It was so awesome and yes, I did cry a little bit… maybe that’s the hormones. Here he is touching my belly below. And also we got to attend a sports game together.

I also discovered that I can no longer bend over and wash my dog. I tried. I really did. I got half way through and then ended up in uncontrollable tears until Scott came and took over. My knight. I tried plan A, and then needed plan B – Scott’s to help. 🙂

I’m feeling so much more discomfort and am really struggling to sleep – making me so tired. But you know what? I thank God for all of this. I’m not complaining about it all. Just acknowledging that this is a challenge worth going through. I am so thankful for the rest that I do get.img_8365

My mum came over and gave us some time in the yard so that Scott isn’t having to do everything. I have to keep resting my ankles because they are just swelling up every day now.

I finally got our previous post up. Took forever to get the photos to load! I’m hoping this one is much quicker! The first person has popped in our due in November group! It just got real! So exciting – twins for her.

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Zazu wanting some of my home made hot chips… I guess you could call this a craving that I have had…

And here is my growing belly and also one of Scott and me together:

Here’s my 32 week notification, a great book that I’m reading (which was actually part of Scott’s Father’s Day present), and smoothies that we have been making to make sure this bub is getting all the extra nutrients that he needs.

33 weeks

We had a check up with our obstetrician on Wednesday and also had to pay our management fee – ouch! We also used this as an opportunity to discuss birth and what our choices are. Obviously sometimes there are emergencies but we wanted to lay down some things that are pretty much set in concrete for us. Some things that we feel strongly about and aren’t prepared to compromise on unless it is a life or death situation.

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“Yes, there is a baby in that belly.”

One of the things we feel strongly about is the cut. Also known as the episiotomy. It used to be common practice but these days it is considered not needed and not best practice. It can also leave a female with so many complications lasting for a year or longer. So one of our non-compromises is that I do not want to be cut. This is a no go and we believe it must be something you should have to consent to in order for the doctor to do this to your body.

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My view.

Another non-compromise for us is position in birth. We’ve read enough and talked to enough professionals to know that the traditional giving birth on the back is no longer best practice but ‘lazy’ practice – it is designed for the obstetrician to be able to sit and see better, not for the birth to go better. The back part of a woman’s spine needs to be able to move and rotate a bit like a flap as the baby comes out. If you are lying on your back on the bed, it physically cannot move and then you can end up with permanent injuries. So unless this is a position that I want to be in, it is a no go for us. I doubt I will want to be in that position anyway. So we said that this is another thing that we feel strongly about – allowing my body to work out the best position for the birth.

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The view an ant has.

Our third one is delayed cord clamping. Some doctors cut the cord fairly soon after birth.  It saves them having to wait around, is what we have heard. But it is now considered best practice to allow all of the blood to flow through the cord into the baby. So we have elected to do this – where the cord is not cut until it goes white and the baby has all of the blood in them instead. We had talked about cord banking, but it is simply so expensive that we can’t afford it. And the decision was based on a possible help in the future for our son versus an immediate help at birth for him.

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Scott and me waiting for our appointment.

And the last thing was due date. We won’t be going past our due date because IVF babies typically hold a higher risk when going past their due date but also in general, this is where still births are more common. We also asked about a water birth but apparently it can be dangerous to stay in the water as the baby is born but we can be in the water prior to that.

I took Thursday off of work so that I could rest my body – it totally needed the rest. The obstetrician also gave me Friday off of work but I went in anyway – I was raised to work hard and not to take time off unless I pretty much couldn’t get out of bed. So for me, even having one day off was a big deal and took a lot of convincing.

On Friday morning, I went to let the dogs out of their crates and collect their bowls. We have two resource guarders and it is the safest place to feed them in their crates so that they don’t fight each other. Well on this particular morning, as I was letting them out of their crates, one of them came towards the other dog as she was being let out which created a potential for a fight. I had to quickly intervene (to ensure that there wouldn’t be a fight) by picking up the bowls and distracting them towards the door (our regular routine is to open the crates and take out the bowls as we all head outside for a pee break). As I was trying to get them to go straight outside, I tripped over my own feet and fell all fours on to our floor. And then had to quickly hop up to continue to shoo our boy towards the door so that he wouldn’t continue to instigate or escalate the situation. In falling I had pulled a muscle in my back and then I had to push through to get our boy to go because he kept trying to check on me.

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I need one of these…

I shooed my boy (dog) through the door and managed to get as far as the bathroom where Scott was getting ready for work. By this stage I was in so much pain from my back and was in tears. Possibly some pregnancy hormones in there too. He left what he was doing and immediately hugged me and tried to mend my back for me. And then of course insisted that I don’t go to work. But after a few minutes my back eased a little, although I still couldn’t bend my toe.

I insisted that I was fine and went to work that day. I had a doctor’s appointment that afternoon anyway so I knew that I would at least be checked out then.

During work I had some very kind people looking out for me. Scott had messaged one of his mates to make sure that someone else also knew and could watch out for me (Scott made me promise that I would tell two of my friends about the fall, so I think he was telling a third in case I didn’t say anything).

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When life gets hard, remember that you can get through it!

I got through the day okay, my toe still hurt but thankfully at the doctor there was still a strong heart neat and good movement. My blood pressure seemed fine and there was no blood in my urine. She said to keep an eye out for blood and for any pain that continues and gets worse. So far so good so I think our little man is just as stubborn as me… I didn’t just admit to being stubborn did I? haha

I’ve been getting what I think is Braxton Hicks the last few days. So I think my body is getting prepared for labour but it knows I’m not ready yet. And reflux – oh my goodness it hurts and keeps me awake most nights for ages. I know it will go away over time though.

This week we had to take my old girl to the vet. She behaved so well. Older dogs are the best. If you ever get the opportunity to foster or adopt an older dog, I say go for it! Here she is at the vet and then on the way home.

Oh and the second person in our group popped. That’s now three babies (two ladies) due in November that have been born. It’s really getting real!

Here’s something extra special. A day before we turned 34 weeks, we had our third trimester ultrasound with our favourite sonographer. She checked everything out and our boy is still developing well. He’s still a bit ahead too. Speaking of heads, he has a big one. He’s getting a big head from all of this attention. So now I just hope that he doesn’t get such a big head that I need a c-section! So far he should be okay for a natural birth but he will need to be monitored for my sake. I may have shed a few tears seeing him on the screen… I mean, who wouldn’t? Look at those chubby cheeks! Such a cutie already – must take after his dad. Here’s a some photos.

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Look at that little hand to the left and that button of a nose!

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Look at those chubby cheeks! And that nose! 🙂 Looks like a baby version of Scott.

Our little man looks a lot like Scott (I think). Phew! Our embryos weren’t switched with anyone else. 🙂

And lastly, here’s a picture of our growing baby bump:

34 weeks

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Baby expo time!!!!

This weekend we went to a baby expo. It was so much fun to be there and to be one of those ladies – the ones with a basketball shoved up their dresses, also known as a baby bump. Scott and I had lunch there after lots of walking around (and lots of people at the stalls saying I look like I’m about to pop –thank you). I was looking around me at all the bumps and reflecting on how we got here. I tried to say to Scott, “it’s nice to finally be here and be one of the pregnant ones,” but it came out more like a wavery voice mumbling something because he replied with “huh?” So apparently hormones make us ladies emotional.

(Now looking at these photos as I upload them, I am suddenly craving a salad!!!)

So we had fun walking around, trying freebies and just generally seeing what’s around. I almost fell asleep in the car on the way home! And the rest of the day at home was a ride off – I went straight to bed. It’s amazing how tired walking around with an extra 10kg plus makes me!

Here’s a freebie bag I got – free stuff is always fun!

On Sunday my parents kindly came over and helped us finish the painting inside and with some yard work. This is one of the nicest things you can probably do for anyone expecting. In my opinion. I watch Scott bust his heart out to cook, clean and keep this house and me going. I do the best that I can. He is trying to do everything, and then all of the additional things on top of it have left him burning the candle at both ends. And his dislocated shoulder has limited him too. So the help my parents have given to us has been so helpful beyond any words. I am so thankful to see Scott getting a hand because he so desperately needs it. He would never ask for it though. He’s more likely to offer help to others before he will ask for help. That’s one of the things I love about him.

What a relief though to have the painting inside finished – for now. There’s still some other areas to be done but those can be done after the baby is here. The main parts are done for now. Yay! Thanks Mum and Pappa.

Oh my goodness! Creaming soda is the best! It is just amazing! You remember that red drink from childhood that was only for very special occasions? Well I think our son has already decided that he loves it. He better enjoy it while he tastes it now because he certainly won’t be getting any of these sugary drinks until he is much older. And hopefully I won’t be wanting them after birth anymore. I used to rarely even want a sugary drink prior to pregnancy. At least majority of this pregnancy my body has really only been craving fruits and vegetables so it’s been pretty healthy, a few sugary drinks should be expected.

So something else exciting happened this week… On Friday the 23rd September we administered our last clexane injection for this pregnancy! I never thought I would want these needles to continue but you get so reliant on that security blanket that as each medication slowly drops off you want to hold on to it a little bit longer. But this one is so awesome to be stopping. I may actually have nosebleed free days. Having at least one nose bleed every day is not fun. You never know when it will start dripping blood. And it’s usually at the worst times. So now that this medication is over, I am looking forward to when I eventually have days without a nose bleed. To being able to blow my nose gently without a pool of blood. I’m not sure how long until that day but hopefully soon.

 

Here is a video of the last clexane injection. I have my terrified look on… the one I have every time I have any needle. This is also the first time I have watched it – not at the time of filming – I positioned the camera and then looked away into my heat pack… but afterwards… and I didn’t faint. Nice to have this one done and dusted (finished).

Well that day came, today. On Tuesday the 27th September. I was able to blow my nose gently today without a massive nose bleed. It still did have a slight bleed, so we aren’t there yet, but it wasn’t a massive one. I didn’t have to stand there for over half an hour waiting for my nose to stop bleeding. It was more like 5 minutes. Yay! The luxury of blowing my nose, haven’t been able to do this in months!

I also started getting sick on Friday night. My body is fighting this bug off. I think I passed it on to Scott though – sorry Scott… at least he can take cold and flu tablets. I can take…… water. I’ve been trying my best to rest when I can since Friday but as you can read above it’s been pretty busy and I also have tons of work to do before maternity leave so I’m trying to get it all done.

Yesterday I had an eye specialist appointment. That was interesting. You see, the bonus of having ulcerative colitis is you get so many surprises along the way of life. One of those wonderful (sarcasm) surprises is getting growths/ulcers in and on your eye lids. Oh it’s so exciting (sarcasm), you just never know when one will appear. This one on my eye appeared around the second trimester and hasn’t gone away. It has only gotten bigger. It was so incredibly painful when it came out but now it is just very annoying. And gets in the way a lot. Usually they go away after a few months, but this one has decided to stay. There are actually two, one on the outer and one inside. The inside one hurts a lot.

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Waiting for the blurry man. Lucky I took this – now I know what the place looks like without blurry eyes.

So after doing many treatments on my eye that should have made this added extra go away, and it deciding to stay, I went to the eye specialist. That was an interesting experience. The nurse or receptionist takes all of your details in the eye testing room. Then she puts this stuff in your eyes which makes them vey blurry and numb. Then you wait for the doctor. And wait. And wait some more. And you can’t see. It’s a hoot! I was giggling away at how everything was so blurry. Then the blurry doctor comes in and talks to you and checks the eyes out. He agrees that the mass has decided to make a home in my eye lid. He said that we will have to wait until after pregnancy to do much for it. Surgery is the answer. So he’s booked me in for surgery after this little fella is in this world. I will get to catch up on some sleep and when I wake up these lumps will be gone! And I will get to be a pirate for a few days with an eye patch. I hope that when I go in for surgery that I will recognise my doctor – they will have to blur my eyes so that I can pick him out from the line-up because that is how I know him. I couldn’t pick him out if I could see properly.

After the appointment I asked at the reception as I was paying and trying to punch in the numbers for my credit card how long my vision would remain blurry for. They said an hour or two. Hmmmm…. So I can’t really drive… so I went to my car (ouch! The sun is sooooo bright!). I sat in my car and called Scott. At least I think I dialled his number, the guy on the other end sounded like Scott but I couldn’t tell you for sure if I actually dialled his number because I couldn’t see – I did it on auto pilot mode. Pity I can’t drive on auto pilot mode. The guy on the other end told me to stay where I was, keep my sunnies on and try take a nap, but to lock my doors.

I stayed in my car and did as was suggested. And eventually I could see enough to drive home via groceries. Once I got to the grocery store I realised that I felt so groggy. So I grabbed my groceries as fast as I could (I lost track of time, definitely groggy!) and went home. It was late afternoon by then and I spent the rest of the day in bed. Exhausted.

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He is sitting on my right side – every time I take the camera out to take a photo or video he goes back to normal and quiet…

34 weeks has proved to be quite eventful and at the same time exhausting after not much! Night times take a few minutes to roll from one side to the other. It’s so interesting the things pregnancy does to the body. It’s still amazing to feel the baby moving around inside. Especially when he goes from one side to the other. The whole belly moves. It’s so weird but so awesome at the same time.

It’s so surreal to think that any time now we could be holding our baby in our arms. We hope that he stays put until full term, but from here it’s relatively safe for him to come. We have tons more work to get done before he comes, so it would really suit us much more if he could wait it out, but we won’t be complaining when he decides to show up.

We thank God all of the time for this incredible miracle. And we pray for those waiting for theirs. And for those who have lost theirs way too soon, for we know that feeling never goes away. We count ourselves as so incredibly blessed to be going through this season in our lives. And we pray and hope (and have spent many years learning as best as we could) that we will be the best parents that we can be for our son and hopefully for any siblings after him.

We treasure each movement, and each step. We don’t know what the future holds and this may be our one and only chance at carrying a child. It sure is expensive having the infusions and medications on top of the IVf process – we may not physically be able to afford another one. We really hope that we can provide a sibling for our boy but we are just so forever thankful that God has given us this opportunity. Every ache, every discomfort is a reminder that this is real. Each high five and movement is a reminder that there is a real human growing inside my belly – he may feel more like an alien at times, but it is so awesome beyond words.

I would never wish loss on anyone, and am certainly not glad for our long and painful journey to here. But we can’t change the past – we can only learn from it. So that being said, the path that we have walked, and sometimes been dragged through, has given us perspective that we would have never had before. Instead of complaining about each stage of pregnancy, we have rejoiced. For every injection, we have given God a prayer before.

Someone said to me the other day that they stopped believing in God because of their losses. And whilst I can understand this to some extent, I have found that God has revealed so much to me through each painful loss. He’s allowed us to grow in ways impossible without the life experience that we have had. And through it all, He’s been there for us. We wouldn’t be on this side of things without Him, and we certainly wouldn’t be here with a positive spirit if it weren’t for Him, I can tell you right now this journey creates bitterness when you don’t look up and out. So call it coincidence, or call it answered prayer, but every time we have prayed, God has answered us in one way or another. Every time we have been so broke that we haven’t been able to afford the next medical appointment and we’ve wondered how we will pay for it, and we have prayed, God’s provided for us. Every tear I’ve cried, God’s turned into beautiful rain that nourishes the spirit. What was meant to hurt me has only made me stronger. I don’t believe that God is the source of the bad, but he is the source for turning the bad into something good, and giving purpose in those times where you can’t seem to find a reason.

We are about to reach 35 weeks tomorrow, my belly has dropped and I am getting lots of Braxton Hicks. This boy is getting prepared for his journey into this new world ahead of him. As he does, we are preparing too. We have a post yet to come about our wishes for birth which we will share in the lead up to his birth.

Here’s our growing baby bump:

Thank you all, once again, so much for each and every prayer. We are almost there… praying that God continues to grow our boy healthy and to take care of us, with no complications. Thank you so very much for all of the support. xxx

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