27 February 2012
Thank you so much for all your lovely comments. We are so, so excited but also very nervous. This is my 5th pregnancy after all, and out of my previous four pregnancies only one ended in a healthy little baby. But, so far so good.. I am 11 weeks already!
So far this pregnancy has been a absolute roller-coaster of emotions. We ended up falling pregnant naturally just days before we were due to start IVF. I am so glad because I was really worried about going down the IVF path, although after a year of trying to fall pregnant since Grace died, I was prepared to do anything!
Because of my history, the fertility centre offered me a 'early pregnancy monitoring program' where they check your hormone levels every week until 8 weeks. At 6 weeks I started bleeding very badly and called Tom in tears, he rushed home and we called the hospital who told me that I could not come in until 7am the next morning. We basically spent the night in tears.. I had lost so much blood that I just had no hope of things being okay. Tom had said that just that very morning he had been hanging the washing out before work and thought to himself 'we just need this one thing to go well' and then that very day I called and said I thought it was all over.. we were devastated beyond belief.
The next morning we went to the hospital and had an ultrasound and were told that everything looked fine! We could not believe it! It was too early to see a heartbeat but apparently everything looked great and the bleeding was coming from a blood clot in my uterus. That sounded pretty scary to us but the nurses kept saying "oh, it's only a blood clot, thats great news" so we assumed that it was all okay. The doctors put me on progesterone supplements and injections of HCG to try and 'support' the pregnancy.
At 7 weeks I went back into hospital with bad pains, not cramps, but a really strange uterus pain. We were really worried but again an ultrasound showed that everything looked fine and this week there was a little heartbeat! I also started to feel really tired and really nauseous which was a good sign that everything was going well.
I spent the next few weeks in bed with severe tiredness and nausea, I was the same when I was pregnant with Sophie and Grace.. seriously feels like I have been hit by a truck! But I was still bleeding and feeling funny pains so I was very worried.
At 9 weeks I had my first appointment with my obstetrician only to find out that I had a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) that had been left untreated for 3 weeks and was put on antibiotics. I was also told that it can be quite risky to get a UTI in early pregnancy.. which was just what I needed.. something else to worry about! Tom and I kept saying "why can't we just have a normal pregnancy like everyone else?"
So here I am.. 11 weeks pregnant. And if everything is fine at the ultrasound I have this Thursday, then we will need to get through the biggest hurdle of all.. on Friday morning I go into hospital to have a cervical stitch. It's a very risky procedure and comes with a 10-15% chance that we will loose the baby. I am beside myself with fear. But I am trying my hardest to be positive.. we have an 85-90% chance of everything going well and I have to keep reminding myself of that. And if all does goes well, I will then be on full bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.
It's been a pretty stressful few weeks and I am just so nervous and so scared. I really wish I had a time machine and I could just fast forward to a time in the future when all is well and I have a healthy little full-term baby in my arms. Please keep your fingers crossed for me on Thursday and Friday!
Tom took this photo of me at the farm on the weekend. I popped out at about 8 weeks this time around.. I guess everything is pretty stretchy by now!
24 February 2012
23 February 2012
A few months ago I had a bit of a breakdown. Not a serious breakdown, but just a particular day when I felt overwhelmed with life.
I had just finished a month of 'monitoring' at the fertility clinic where they had tested my hormone levels almost every single day and told me exactly when I ovulated. I was sure that this was going to be the month. The month I finally fell pregnant, but when half a dozen tests showed negative at the end of the month I was feeling pretty low. And just like every other week, I had about 3 close friends tell me they were pregnant. I felt like it was never going to be my turn and I cried.
Tom, as usual, gave me a big hug and (in his usual motivation speech kind-of-way) said "Baby, it will be your turn soon.. you just have to be patient" then continued "Life is going to be good. No.. life is good. We will find a nice house, we will fill it with babies. We have so much to look forward to in our lives.. We will do nice things, read good books, eat good food, travel the world. Get some chickens" and went on to paint a picture of the life we will create.
I nodded my head. He was right as always. Things were going to be good. Things were ALREADY good.
As Tom walked off I quickly scribbled down what he had said, kind of like a reminder for me when I felt down.
So for Christmas a few months ago, with the help of Tom's architect sister (who has access to a large printer) I made this poster for Tom.
Tom's sisters gave me so much shit for this poster, but Tom thought it was great.. although when I asked him if he would actually hang it up in our new home he said "Um, yeah, maybe in the study" (Where no one can see it)!
P.s I have decided to close comments on this post. I have never had to do this before but I am not strong enough to deal with negative comments at the moment. I will leave it open for a few more days in case anyone wants to add anything. And remember.. please be nice.
P.p.s Joanna Goddard (A cup of Jo) wrote a wonderful post about depression the other day. Please head over and have a read.
22 February 2012
I found this really cool website the other day called 'My New Roots'. It is a bit like 101 cookbooks.. awesome photography and delicious, healthy recipes but with loads of nutritional information aswell.
In other food news, 'KR Castlemaine' have finally produced a sodium nitrate free ham! I don't think anyone else will be as excited as me, but I have been waiting a long time for this day.. It's about bloody time!
If you know any other food blogs that you think are amazing, please leave a link in the comments and I'll check them out.. nothing like wasting an hour or two looking at pictures of delicious food!
Image via 'My New Roots'
17 February 2012
A few weeks ago my dear friend Bron (who I met at mothers group in Bondi when our preschoolers were just a few weeks old) had a beautiful little girl called Rose.
Bron and I would catch up all the time when I lived in Sydney and Sophie and her little boy were the best of friends. It was very hard for Sophie (and me) to move so far away from them.
So.. please head over to 'Baby Space' and congratulate Bron on her gorgeous little arrival.. (We wish we could come and visit!)
/Photo via Baby Space/
Speaking of music, I came across a really cool duet called Karmin the other day.
I found them after I saw an episode of Saturday Night Live that was hosted by Zooey Deschanel and Karmin played live.
I then went and found almost every song I could by them on You Tube and I think these two are going to be huge.
They started doing covers on You Tube, but have just realised their first single. They are also engaged and pretty damn gorgeous.
You must check out this song. (Just wait for the chorus!)
It's real 'pop' music, but I bet you will be singing "boom, boom, boom da boom baby" for rest of the week!
15 February 2012
Tom got me the best present for valentines day.. He got me an album called "From Manhattan to Midnight in Paris" which is a collection of songs from all my favourite Woody Allen films.
I remember when I was single valentines day was such a big deal, but now (like my birthday) it's just another day, perhaps with a few more kisses than normal. I hope you had a lovely day and I hope that you did not get red roses (so tacky!)
/Image via Pinterest/
12 February 2012
"I know how you feel, my dog died" and other things not to say to someone who gave birth to a dead baby.
I am not sure if I should publish this post.
I actually wrote it more than 6 months ago, but I thought it sounded a bit mean and insensitive so I never posted it, but Ill try and write without sounding too ungrateful.
There are a few things that people say to me when they find out about Grace that really annoy me. Like, annoy me to the point where sometimes I think I might slap the next person that says it to me. I always smile and say thanks, but I think to myself "Who the hell says that? I just told you my baby died and you said THAT" !!??!
Tom always reminds me that I can not get upset because no one means to upset me, they are trying to empathise with me and make me feel better. And Tom and I have always said that if it had happened to someone else, we would have no idea what to say, I mean what do you say? There are often no words.
But still there are a few things that people say to me all the time that annoy me.
The thing I get most often is "Oh well, at least you are still young". Now, if I am talking about infertility, then sure, I'm very lucky I'm still young but in response to learning that my daughter died!? When people say this they are reassuring me that I have plenty of time to have more children, but they are missing the point completely. It does not matter how many more children I have there will always be a great big Grace shaped hole in my life. Full stop.
The other thing that people say is "I'm very sorry, I understand how you feel.. my dad died last year". I know this sounds insensitive but parents are supposed to die before you.. Your children are NOT. There is something fundamentally wrong with the world when you bury your own child. I know this sounds cruel, I'm sure losing a parent is awful (My dad got given 2 months to live almost two years ago and I have watched him get worse day by day) but I just can not imagine that it is anything like losing a child.
Alot of people like to tell me that "everything happens for a reason". This is fine to say to someone if they have lost their car keys or missed their bus on the way to work, but really? The whole medical profession can not find a reason my baby died, but you think there is? Oh good for you. I think the only people who believe this are people who have never suffered any real tragedy in their lives.
And lastly (and this one might make me very unpopular), is that people say "I'm so sorry, I know how you feel.. I had a miscarriage last year". Now, the ONLY reason I can write this is because I had two miscarriages before Grace died and I can tell you that having a miscarriage is nothing like having a stillborn baby. NOTHING.
I know this sounds so awful to say and I am really not trying to take anything away from people who have suffered a miscarriage. I know that when I had mine they were devastating, heartbreaking beyond belief. At the time I thought it was the worst kind of pain. But then I went through hours of excruciating labour and gave birth to a dead little girl who I got to hold in my arms and that was a pain unlike anything else. The kind of heartbreak that makes you wonder if you can go on living. If you can go on breathing. If you will ever survive.
So there. I said it.
I really hope that I don't sound like I am dismissing other people's loss as nothing. I don't mean to take anything away from people who have experienced a loss and I know that it is soo hard to know what to say. But people, things like "My dog died last week" or "Oh, you mean you had a stillborn, that's okay.. I actually thought you had lost a living child" or (when I returned all the baby clothes I had bought) "Well, at least you get some nice new clothes for yourself" are not cool things to say. Not cool.
This is a photo of Grace's coffin. It was taken exactly one year ago on this day. Sitting in the funeral parlour choosing a baby sized coffin while stuffing tissues down my bra to try and control the milk leaking from my boobs (the milk that was supposed to be nourishing my little baby) was the lowest moment of my life.
07 February 2012
These are a few of the books I have lined up next to our bed. Some of them I am going to read for the second time because they were just so good. I just finished reading The Slap and I thought it was brilliant.
I am writing a (very long) list of books that I plan to read while I am on bed rest. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.. Remember that I will be spending 6 months in bed.. I need something good to read!
I took out all Tom's books from this photo, which was.. every single book that Christopher Hitchens ever wrote.. the man is obsessed.
06 February 2012
Yesterday Tom, Sophie and I went to a fancy lunch at a beautiful restaurant on the river. It was Tom's step-mum's brother's wife's 50th. (Get that?)
It was the most beautiful afternoon and we had a lovely time. It's hard to believe that when we lived in Sydney, before Sophie was born, Tom and I spent a large percentage of our income going out to fancy restaurants. Tom loves to cook, but he also loves to eat good food and we were always heading out to trendy new restaurants and spending more money on one meal than we would now spend in a week!
It's funny.. now we never go out and our favourite thing to do is stay home and cook, all together. Sometimes we are tempted to go out when we hear about a great new restaurant (and they are few and far between in Perth), but we always think about all the other things we could do with that money and then Tom will say "I don't want to go out without Sophie" (and he is only half joking!)
Funny how life changes.
P.s Don't ask what is on my daughters head. She found it in the bargain basket at Spotlight when we were out buying fabric one day and will not take it off.