Hey Ho…..Let’s Go!

It’s probably about time I updated this, last time I blogged I was impatiently waiting for maternity leave to begin and preparing for the arrival of our little one. Fast forward 10 weeks and I am impatiently waiting for a good nights sleep. We are over the moon to be able to say that our gorgeous little (or not so little) boy Arlo Ramone arrived at 5:40pm on 3rd August, weighing in at a hefty 9lbs. I can’t blame him for ALL of the sleepless nights, a lot of them have been down to me just laying next to him staring. 

 

Approx 1 week old

 
As someone who had always been terrified at the thought of labour (not the best fear for someone going through IVF) I can now happily say I would do it all again. Though scared I had always said I wanted to attempt it sans pain relief, mainly to prove a point to my mother and P who laughed everytime I suggested this. However, after 2 hrs of contractions I had totally changed my mind and was open to anything…..anything more than the 2 paracetamol I was offered. 

I was induced at 1pm on the Sunday afternoon and with little progress had to stay in hospital overnight. The following day they gave me another pessary at 10am and told us to go and occupy ourselves on site for 6 hours. I don’t know about you but kicking about a hospital is not my idea of a fun day out so we rebelled and drove home to chill (shhhhhh, keep it on the downlow). We only live 5 minutes drive from the hospital so figured it would be ok. I’d literally made a cuppa and been forced to watch 5 minutes of Homes under the Hammer before I had my first contraction and we headed straight back in (nothing to do with the fact that I’m a wimp and already felt scared that we had broken the rules and gone off site). That cuppa was still where I left it 3 days later.

Once back on the labour ward I was told that the pains I was having were more than likely down to the pessaries, not contractions and that I would be checked 6 hours later (4pm) as initially told. Eventually P convinced them to check me an hour earlier and it turned out I was 9.5 cms dilated…so bang went the chance of any pain relief, apart from said 2 paracetamol and a few puffs of gas & air. I’m still convinced that the gas & air did nothing but am assured that I sounded out of it. So, to cut a long story short we now have an Arlo. 

The past 5 weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind to say the least and all of the cliches you hear throughout pregnancy are true. You do forget the pain instantly, you will never have felt love like it and you will never have been as tired…..but it is all worth it.

I’ll write more about our first month in the next couple of days now that I’m back into this blogging shiz but for now I’m kicking back with a large vino while he sleeps. Mucho love to everyone x

  

The Final Countdown

With only 11.5 actual working days left at work I feel like I can finally start counting down….although to be honest I’ve been doing that ever since I handed in the formal notification to HR. Getting ready for work is a bigger chore than going to work and I’m looking forward to some well-deserved lie ins, getting up for approximately 14 toilet visits per night really takes it out of you. I’m forever questioning why we didn’t install an en-suite when we renovated our house.

I’m hoping that once I am on maternity leave I become motivated to do some of this nesting I’ve heard about. I’m quite an obsessively tidy person when it comes to our abode and thought this part would be a breeze but even looking at the ironing pile makes me retreat to the comfort of the sofa and remote control. I’m trying to rope in my mother to help me nest, she assures me it’s an instinct you’re supposed to get and do yourself but I’ve explained she’s better at it than me. P.S. I’ll pay you in cuppas and biscuits if you’re reading this.

Put aside the exhaustion and the rising levels of discomfort it’s actually been really enjoyable of late. I had my ‘non baby shower style get together’ that I was adamant I didn’t want. I’m not a fan of the old nappy cake, and being the centre of attention puts the fear of god into me but I enjoyed a fab day out with family and friends (and received lots of lovely gifts). Stop press! I stayed out until 8pm, good going eh? Mind you, they stayed out until around midnight and got suitably mortz on my behalf so we all put in a good shift.

I also kindly offered (i.e was bribed by the promise of a Marks & Spencers voucher) to go along to assist medical students with their final exams. The midwife mentioned it at my last scan, said they needed a pregnant ‘lady’ for one of their sessions and casually mentioned that I had a lovely bump and should do it. Flattery (and said Marksies vouchers) will get you everywhere (I’ll do anything for a 2 Dine for £10 meal deal). It was quite surreal lying there while a conveyor belt of students came in one after the other to question me and have a fondle of my bump. I’d say a good 75% of them were quite hot though so I’m not complaining. A good day out and doing my bit for the NHS after they’ve done their bit for us.

More good news, we were signed off from being classed as high risk from our consultant and are now midwife led. I’ve still been allowed my late scans though just to check he/she is growing ok. The little chunk was 4lbs 10 at the 28 week scan, I thought that seemed huge but the midwife assured me that it’s the norm. So now we only have 5 weeks (hopefully) before meeting Little Pip. I’ve hit a point now where it really feels like time has slowed down and that I’ve been pregnant for years. I don’t suppose it helps that with IVF you find out you’re pregnant at the earliest of stages, combine that with the 6 – 8 weeks drug fuelled lead up then you are looking at the best part of a year….but as they say, good things come to those who wait. Now just need to wait for the mother (aka designated nester) to turn up with her feather duster and marigolds and all will be well.

Happy Days

Rejoice for the weekend is upon us. Not much has happened this week but I thought I’d share my particular highlights. It’s only a matter of time before I start banging on about my bits again so let’s just have some nice stuff for a while eh?

1) I managed not only a night out but a day AND night out (with a quick outfit change in between obvs). Spent the morning and afternoon at a christening and celebrating with friends, quickly followed by a wedding reception in the evening. I even stayed out until just after 10pm…..I KNOW, achieving what I thought was the un-achievable. I did leave in tears mind, but they were happy tears caused by friends being super nice about our news. I was due a cry anyway, it had been at least 21 hours since the previous one.

2) I’ve no idea what I was spouting on about at the time but I mentioned our impending son or daughter to OH and he panicked upon realising he’s going to be a dad. I’ve no idea what he’s been thinking he’s going to be for the past 14 weeks but he now says we have to grow up immediately. I’ve informed him that this will never happen!

3) It’s been a week since our NT scan and we’ve heard no news. They said if was high risk we would be contacted within 3 days. I’m taking this to mean that we’re in the clear and can start to chill for a while. No news really is good news.

4) I’m finally starting to develop a bump (rather than bloat) and as a result I have purchased my 1st two pairs of maternity jeans. I haven’t tried them on yet so may be jumping the gun a bit but I’m very excited about the prospect of having alternatives in my wardrobe. I’m already sick of the sight of black leggings…..it was a short lived affair.

5) Not only have I ventured into the world of maternity clobber this week but I also had my 1st morning sickness based “real life vom” tmi??? I’ve only recently gotten my appetite for cooking back and thought I’d knock up a curry from scratch, 30 mins in OH had to take over whilst I stared down the toilet bowl for while. I’m pretty happy about it though, now I feel like I’m actually going to be a mother. I’m still not growing up though!!!

Oh and one not so great thing……still no glow! How long before I can sashay around looking all radiant and elegant like Blake Lively instead of putting on 12 layers of Bare Minerals each morning just to look alive, is it that much to ask? xoxo download

What. A. Week!!!

So, I’m pregnant, have I mentioned that? AND now I have a new job! I don’t want to jinx things but I still can’t quite believe how well everything is turning out. I don’t want to be a negative Nancy but after years of infertility struggles I’m just not used to things going right. Suffice to say, I’m exhausted and overjoyed that it’s Friday. A quick breakdown of the weeks highlights so far;

  • 2 x job interviews (not necessarily a highlight but the outcome certainly was)
  • Our 12 week scan (AMAZING….but freaky)
  • A job offer!!! (Nuff said)
  • A successful negotiation with the HR department to leave my current role early and still get 100% of my redundancy pay (I should think so after 11 years of hard graft, ahem)
  • Another 12 week scan as baby refused to stay still for the 1st one, so they had to have another attempt at taking the nuchal fold measurements (achieved on this occasion)
  • Announcing our pregnancy (finally feels real)
  • Discovering my new found love for pickled onions (I’ll never look back)

So, all in all it’s been pretty full on…especially on the pickled onion front. We have a healthy baby bouncing around (literally) inside, it’s no wonder I’m knackered! In between all this excitement I had the dreaded issue of letting my new employers know about my ‘current situation’. Being an honest person (yeah, yeah I know I didn’t mention it at my interview) I wanted to tell them sooner rather than later. I braved it before accepting my offer and I couldn’t have asked for a more understanding and welcoming response. My current team have been fab too. I don’t want to get all soppy but I’m truly thankful for everything that’s happening right now. It’s only now that I’m starting to take everything in and can finally start to feel relaxed about the future….once the screening test results are in. Can a pregnant lady (I use that term loosely) ever relax???

I’m starting to think this blog is a good luck charm, I feel like bloody Noel Edmonds banging on about that cosmic ordering shiz.

Happy Friday y’all!!!

Gis A Job!

I haven’t been very prolific on here recently. I have been writing lots….mainly personal statements declaring how bloody marvellous I am, in the hope that someone will take me on when my job role is made redundant at the end of March. It’s a good job I’m pretty relaxed as early pregnancy and being faced with unemployment isn’t the best of combos. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change it for the world, but talk about awkward timing. Still, that’s infertility for ya! Anyway, if I think about the money I’m saving on Sauvignon Blanc then we should have a fair bit put away by the time the new addition comes. 😉

The thought of interviewing is quite daunting, luckily the bump/bloat can still be hidden relatively well at the moment so that shouldn’t give things away and what’s a little white lie between me and a potential employer?  I also worry about getting a job offer, would I tell them at that point or would I wait until my (rapidly increasing) bottom was placed firmly on my swivel chair? Any wise words from people who have been in a similar situation would be much appreciated.

Apart from employment woes not much has been going on. There’s been the usual ‘ ugh, I’m sick of feeling sick symptoms’ quickly followed by the ‘WHY HAVE MY SYMPTOMS DISAPPEARED’ panic. I’ve now learnt to enjoy those rare days/hours. I’m waiting patiently for my first midwife appointment on Thursday morning and hopefully we’ll get a date for our 12 week scan. Then I can really start to worry again.

I also made my debut on the airwaves?!?! this week. I was kindly invited to take part in an interview for an episode of The Fertility Podcast, a brilliant online resource offering hope and advice to people trying to conceive.  You should check it out…..not just the one featuring me obvs. There’s a great back catalogue of podcasts on the website featuring interviews with fertility experts like Zita West and Emma Cannon as well as real life stories with people like little ol’ me.

You can download the podcasts here and can follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/fertilitypoddy

Right, those applications won’t write themselves! Hmmmm, I wonder if the midwife needs a PA??? Please send positive job based vibez!

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Stay Positive!

I always hoped that I’d be able to write this post, however I wasn’t expecting it to be so soon. To cut to the chase, I appear to be up the mother-flippin duff! Of course, going through IVF you hope that it will, one day, end in a positive pregnancy result but when it does it’s a bloody big shock.

The shock and disbelief first kicked in on Tuesday evening. In previous cycles I’ve never done a home test before having my blood test at the clinic. I was always too scared of the result and wanted to stay in my little bubble of maybe being pregnant. This time I did actually feel different and the not knowing was making me feel more anxious than usual. We decided to go ahead and do one, thinking it was better to put ourselves out of our misery earlier. For the 1st time ever we saw that elusive second line. Cue 10 minutes of staring and going back to check it several times, at different angles, in different lights, in different rooms, via a photo taken on his phone?!?!?!?

We kept it to ourselves and vowed not to take it as gospel so as not to be let down on Wednesday if the blood test came back negative. I went in for my test early Wednesday morning, prepared for the long wait to get the results back. In the past I’ve generally received the call at around 4:50 so when my phone rang just after 3pm a little bit of me thought it must be good news. And it was, the best news I’ve ever had!!!

We’re both still in complete shock and it doesn’t feel real. I’d always imagined that the scenario of getting a positive would be totally different to the reality. I didn’t think I’d be ringing the other half while he was at work to just say “good news” as he was with his apprentice, nor did I imagine I’d be on the phone to my mother whilst sitting in a Tesco car park, telling her off for crying (and therefore making me cry) as there was a man in the car opposite looking at me like I’d lost the plot….or my Clubcard perhaps. It’s not like that in the movies.

So, over 24 hours have passed since we got the results that we’ve dreamed of for ages now. I still can’t quite believe it and don’t think I will until our 1st scan. The other half won’t believe it until I’ve actually given birth.

I’d not really considered what I would do with regards to blogging when we did fall pregnant, maybe deep down I had come to terms with the fact that it just might not happen. As I started this blog with the intention of sharing our story, I’m going to keep it up as I’m actually enjoying the process of writing…..and it’s good to have success stories out there. If you want to keep reading that’s fab but I’ll totally understand if those of you following me who are going through the same process find it difficult to read and stop following me (I’ll still be following you though……does that sound a bit stalkerish?). Also, to friends and family reading this who I may not have told yet can I ask that we keep it between ourselves (and this internationally accessed publishing platform 🙂 )for now as it’s still very early days.

The Appliance of Science

I planned to write this yesterday after the transfer but as soon as we got back I felt the horrible cold (that I only recently got rid of) returning. So I was a little preoccupied with feeling like crap and worrying that every time I sneezed our little embryo might fly out and ricochet around the front room.

After a decent nights sleep (no one could ever accuse me of not getting my 8 hours) I’m almost feeling back to ‘normal’, apart from the usual bloating. I say bloating, I’ve put on half a stone since starting this cycle. I’ve no doubt that most of it is down to the medication, but the fact that I’ve been pretty much mainlining carbs for the past fortnight can’t have helped matters. So apart from having a cold and barely fitting into my clothes, things are fine….oh I forgot about the ridiculously sore chest-icles, I almost wept when I removed my bra last night. I wouldn’t care, it’s not like I’m blessed in that area. Let’s take a moment to think about those poor women who are better endowed than me in that area and also have to endure this side effect of the progesterone pessaries. God bless you ladies. Troopers!

Anyway, about yesterday. We arrived at the clinic with plenty of time to spare (a first), I noticed they had changed the radio station….I wonder if they read my last post?  We were called in and met with the embryologist and one of the nurses to go through the results from the egg collection. It was my favorite nurse, she always says my hair looks lovely so that’s what has earned her the accolade. They were transferring a top quality 5 day hatching blast and freezing the remaining 2 top quality ones the same day. The other 3 of good quality were still developing so they are going to call me today with regards to their progress.

We were taken to the ward and given our fetching gowns to wear for the procedure. This is usually the most challenging part for us, every time we struggle with which way to put them on, in the transfer room I spotted the embryologist had hers on the other way to us……wrong again! Still, feeling not too dissimilar to Walter White and Jesse Pinkman ready for a meth making session, we were ready to go.image

Considering past struggles with locating my awkward cervix I’m always prepared for a not so straightforward transfer. However this time it was the easiest ever, my cervix was playing nice and we were in and out in seconds….literally. It helped that the nurse had hand drawn a ‘map’ of said cervix location on our last transfer to help her should she need it again. Another reason why she’s my fave, I might ask if I can have a copy to frame for above the fireplace 😉

With it being a 5 day transfer we only have to wait 9 days for our test to determine if it’s worked. 1 day in I haven’t googled symptoms but I am already dreaming about a hot bath, this is the thing I find hardest during the 2ww,  a warm bath just won’t cut it. I’m just going to have to make do with a shower to try and steam out this cold. At least the sneezing has subsided so I can uncross my legs.