Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fabulous and 40

Today I am 40 years old.

I thought i'd feel really old, but i couldn't be less bothered. All my school friends turned 40 ages ago - i was the very youngest in the year - so i feel young.

Funny to think that 40 years ago my Mum had a baby only 4 weeks younger than my little boy.

I hope all those of you still trying can take heart in my success at such a ripe old age.

We're off here for breakfast and my Mum and Stepdad are coming over with tea for us.

I don't need any gifts -


i've got everything i ever wanted. Thank you G-d.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happier times


This is Marylebone Registry office.

Last time I was in there it was to register my father's death. I went with my brother.

I visited yesterday with Mr G and BB to register BB's birth. Happier times. I must have blocked the earlier experience from my mind as I had almost no recollection of the room you do the registering in. I'll remember this time for ever.

Mr G had tears in his eyes as he signed the notification paper.

My son (my son!!) is a proper, legal person.

xx

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We made the front page

I'm about to blow cover with a link to a newspaper which has a pic of us and our little boy. We made the front page this week - which made us laugh...a lot.

We also made their headline board thing that stands outside the newsagents. It says 'Baby at last for IVF couple'.

If you know us please don't tell anyone else about my blog. I'm pretty sure no one will know us....

Here's the link

xx

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

BB's birth - SUPER LONG POST WARNING!

I've finally got a few minutes between feeds whilst the boy sleeps. I could either eat breakfast, go to the toilet or type and (madly) i thought i'd type whilst i've a few minutes.

So, the labour started at about 2am on Thursday 30th, the day he should have been coming out via C section. I woke with contractions about 5 mins apart. I didn't wake Mr G who was asleep in the next door room, where he'd been sleeping for the last few weeks as my nocturnal wakenings were keeping us both up.

By 6am the contractions had calmed a little and were more widely spaced. They carried on all day, sometimes close and sometimes up to 20 mins apart. They were just in my back so I wasn't sure that it was really labour pains.

A friend sent an e mail saying she'd been having similar pains for the last week!!! I cried at the thought I could be stuck with those pains for that long! It wasn't the pain so much as it was bearable but the thought i'd have to wait that long and probably would be housebound for that time as I had to stop and sway etc each time to get through them.

Anyway, I decided to put on my TENS machine at 9 or 10pm ish and I asked Mr G to help fix the pads on me. We had a bottle of alcohol type stuff to put on me to help the pads stick. He couldn't get it to come out and squeezed so hard the lid flew off and the stuff went in his eyes, down my trousers and in my underwear. It STUNG!!! He was running around shouting it was in his eyes and we both had to rush to the bathroom so I could shower it off and he could splash his eyes. It was all a bit Benny Hill.

I stood in the shower for ages and decided to use it to run a bath for the pain. I lay in the bath - my 3rd that day - and watched my tummy moving. I thought it was Barney moving but now I think it was contractions making it all move. When I got out the contractions were a minute on and a minute off and I couldn't even get dressed it was so uncomfortable. I had Mr G put the TENS on and that really helped. That, breathing and very loud music. I also moaned a lot - goodness knows what my neighbours must have thought!

So I rang the hospital who said I should wait a couple of hours before going in. Mr G was rushing around packing bags and showering etc while I swayed and moaned. AT 12am, we decided to get in my Mini to travel as I couldn't face going in a taxi. It took me 3 contractions to get in the car. I had to kneel on all fours on the back seat. We took a route to avoid speed bumps as I definitely wasn't up to them.

The contractions eased a bit once I was outside and in the car, so I suggested we drive around a bit to delay going to hospital. Mr G sensibly ignored that clever suggestion and drove us straight there. We slowly walked in and got up to the labour ward. They examined me and said I was 3cm and the cervix was nice and soft and well effaced.

I would usually have been sent home but they said I could stay as they were quiet. I was left with gas and air, my TENS machine and my ipod in a cubicle to progress. What they didn't tell me was that they were going to leave me for 4 hours until they came to examine me again!! Mr G went to bring in our luggage - which i'd made him leave in the car in case we were sent home. He also moved the car into a car park.

When he arrived he sat in a chair and snoozed whilst I moaned, gyrated and sang (quietly) to Madonna on my ipod. I found it really hard to go to the bathroom as if I sat, it brought on major contraction pain, so I had to try to stand.

At 5am they came to see me again and let me go into a delivery room. I was 4cm by then and decided to have an epidural. Had I been able to use the pool i might have tried that as water really helped relieve the pain. But the fact I couldn't plus the fact that if I didn't go for it then i'd have to wait another 4 hours before the opportunity would arise again (hospital policy not to examine more than every 4 hours). A lady anesthetist turned up and fixed me up. Marvellous.

By now, the sun was rising and I was having a good time! Mr G went out for bagels for breakfast and I was allowed to eat one but told no more food now in case i needed surgery. Mr G snoozed on and off and I chatted to our new midwife - Kirsti from Finland - who'd started her shift at 8am. As they were quiet, i had her to myself all morning which was fantastic. I walked around and tried to make things move faster and they broke my waters to push things forward. When they ramped up the contractions with Syntmetrine I really started feeling the pain as the epi had worked only on 1 side. Suddenly, I was 8cm and feeling contractions down one side of my body. OWWWWW!!!!

The anesthetist was called - a new one now on the day shift - and they tried to wiggle the needle to get it to work fully. It didn't, so they had to take it all out and start again whilst i puffed on gas and air again like it was going out of fashion.

With the epi sorted a new problem arose. Barney was starting to show signs of distress on the monitor so, after a series of Dr's had had a good look up my undercarriage, the most senior Doc - a consultant - said they felt they should get him out asap. I was rushed into theatre double quick. I seem to remember being stripped and put into a hospital gown. At some point earlier they'd had me peeing into a tub thing as my bladder had got so huge it needed draining. I was held up by one nurse whilst the other held the tub. How humiliating! After that they put a catheter in.

The pain relief was ramped up although I didn't believe it was properly working at all. They check by spraying a freezing cold spray on your upper body and then on the anesthetised bit to see if you still feel it. I was sure I could feel it on the bits that hadn't been properly sorted before. I was told to pinch my own flesh to see if I felt it and I couldn't. Mildly upsetting was that pinching my leg felt like pinching a comedy fat suit. Nice...

I was still arguing that I could feel on my left when the anaesthetist said 'well they've started' which shut me up. Minutes later, whilst Mr G and I cried, Barney was pulled from my tummy. I had tried to hold back the tears in case they thought i was being a bit baby about the birth. Mr G was sent to cut the cord and give them clothes for B whilst I was stitched up. I started feeling really light headed and sick as well as impatient to see my little boy - who was screaming and rooting on Mr G looking for a feed! He still screams like a loon when he wakes and only wants to feed.

I'm sorry for such a long post and i'm sure most people will have given up by now. It's as much so i've got the memory straight and recorded.

We're still good and Barney is 3 weeks old tomorrow. It has flown but has been pretty hard work - NOT that i'd ever, ever complain for a second. I really do appreciate how lucky i am.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Here's......BB.....

Not only was Mr G allowed to take his camera into theatre, he was positively encouraged to take pics.

Here's my little passenger emerging from my tum at which point his father and I we were sobbing like babies...



...and here he is after a clean up and weigh in



I'll try to type the birth story when i've 2 hands free! Like us, BB likes his nosh so i'm currently expressing for his next feed. He gets 30 mins on me followed by a bottle of my finest home brew to fill him up. If he doesn't get it in 1 hit I can have him stop starting for 4 hrs at a time...

I cry at least 5 times a day over my miracle.

Thanks for all your lovely messages and to my lovely BeeCee for her card.

xxxx

Thursday, November 06, 2008

i'm fine!!

...and typing this with 1 hand from under a v healthy baby boy.

Barnaby Baruch was born by emergency c section on friday 31st October. My labour started on thursday in the early hours - 2am. It was v sporadic until 11pm ish when contractions went from every 5-10 mins to every minute for a minute - OWWWW!

I came home from hospital on tues & he has kept me busy ever since. He has an endless appetite and little urge to sleep. I have raw nipples & more love for this little bundle than i know what to do with.

I'll type more when i've 2 hands. He was 7lbs 4oz and screamed immediately he emerged.

Thank you to all you wonderful girls for sharing my journey. They told us we had a 1% chance. This time last yr a clinic told us they wouldn't treat us and we should give up. If it happened for us....

I'll post pics asap.

xxxxx

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Show but no show

I'm sure you're all starting to get as impatient with this baby as I am!!

Was up from 2am until 6am with another wodge of gorgeous plug and major lower back cramping. It was really quite close together but i decided not to wake Mr G who I thought should at least get his sleep. Mr G keeps on saying how much the term amuses him - makes him think of Rogers and Hammerstein. Glad someone finds this funny!

As i'm still here typing you might have guessed that is hasn't really progressed. It settled down a bit and the cramps are now coming about 10 mins apart and more and are much more bearable. I still think it's really, really early days or even false labour at this stage but i'll be hanging out here today nonetheless. I've a lemon polenta cake recipe i'd like to test and i'm sure a day of tv could be quite inviting.

The hospital called at 8.50am to ask why I hadn't shown up for my C section. I told them the baby had turned and I thought it had been cancelled. They are SO inefficient!! I hope that didn't mean someone couldn't get a slot.... I asked the midwife who called what to do re my pains and she said just take it easy. It could all die down today. I can take paracetemol for the pain but as it's not that bad, I shan't do that just yet.

Thank you all for playing along with me today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Show and tell

No news at this end.

More "show" - which for info is (and you may want to look away at this point) bloody mucus from the mucus plug of the cervix which is starting to come away. Mine is brownish tinged and not overly mucus-y.

I'm finding walking a bit of an effort - a trip to the post box was fairly uncomfortable as TP is sitting low and heavy on my cervix and I now have a bit of lower back cramping. It's also FREEZING out. We've had snow in October for the first time in 70 years! Seventy years! All v strange. It was a beautiful crisp sunny day after the snow though.

I've been trying to finish off articles today and clear my desk. I fitted in an episode of Desperate Housewives - which i'm now up to date on. I'm so not loving the 5 year leap ahead. It's like watching a different programme. I'm sure you girls in the US are miles ahead of us here.

I need to do a final hospital bag sort out and then am ready(ish)

This could go on for days - i feel like the girl who's crying wolf. Watch this space xx

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Still here...just

Still here and trying to pack in work, invoicing, birth prep etc. Need to load my ipod still, buy a few hospital provisions and finish off some work.

Had a bit of a show earlier today but nothing since. Could be hours. Could be days. If TP decides tonight's the night i'll have stuff hanging over, but then, so what. It feels a bit like the night before going on holiday when i'm always up too late packing and now I should have been more organised.

All I can tell you is that it's way past my bedtime and I must go to sleep. Can you tell i'm in a bit of a tizz.....?!

xx

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tick tock


Time ticks on and there are no signs of TP emerging just yet.

I just saw there are 7 days until my due date. SEVEN DAYS! Can't believe it. My doctor decided to go her own way with my due date and work out the date of my last period, which seemed ridiculous as I knew the date of conception and really didn't know for sure the period date. She decided it would be 7th. The consultant i've been seeing chose the happy medium of 5th November. Sooooooo my due date has become v confused. What all this could mean is that we could be waiting until 19th November when they'd induce for sure. THE NINETEENTH!! I'm sure it won't be that long.

I had a really bad stitch-like pain on Saturday that I couldn't shift and it started roaming round my tummy so we were advised to pop into the hospital for monitoring. TP was fine and although they got the odd contraction (Braxton Hicks i'm sure) there was no action. I was told to take Paracetomol and come back if concerned. The pains went away.

The Dr who did have a feel around said TP's now engaged. I'm impressed with the quick flip and dive straight in. Clever baby.

I'm feeling quite heavy now. I popped to Oxford St in the pouring rain on Sunday morning (as you do when you're about to have a baby) to exhange some pj's and bras at Mothercare and had to walk (from my car) at about 1 mile an hour. I think i like it better at home at the minute. A first for me. I've been so active until now, it's just starting to hit.

My bag is now packed (mainly) and i've a separate bag with TP's provisions in it.

We've been tidying up and emptied a drawer full of old IVF drugs, needles, leaflets and vitamins etc into a bag. I'm too superstitious to chuck that (and my most recent needle bin) away just in case it jinxes anything. (I know, i know, it sounds totally mad) When I have TP in my arms (please g-d) i'll get rid of the bits. I've still got Pure.gon in my fridge - useless and out of date, but a sort of talisman. (Mad, mad, mad)

I still can't quite believe that there could be a baby at the end of this. After all the different Dr's we've talked to, the grim, silent waiting rooms, injections, clinic appointments, 2WW's, bfn's and despair. It blows my mind. I almost deleted this para as it seemed too presumptuous.


Right - i've work to do so i'll clock off. I'll post if there's any news. xx

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two year anniversary!!


Finally here. How things have changed in two years. This time two years ago I was into cycle one. I had no idea I was going to go through that five times over the subsequent two years. I still know I'm one of the lucky ones and feel immensely blessed.

I was going to celebrate with cake. Have eaten so much of it lately and having had a return to the nausea of early pregnancy, I actually don't feel like noshing cake.


For the last two weeks a hypnotherapy CD for a natural birth has been sitting on a shelf in my hallway. I've been meaning to return it and buy one on C-section births.

I won't be needing to do that.

TP has finally done what most baby's do and turned. At this morning's appointment my Consultant (and a medical student) had a feel and could feel a hard mass low down. We popped into the scanning room and sure enough, there was a little baby head down at the bottom of my belly.

I shouldn't admit this but i'm a little disappointed. We were all set to meet TP next week and now it could be anything up to 4 weeks. FOUR WEEKS!!!!

It's time to bounce on my Swiss ball eat hot curries, drink raspberry leaf tea and consider perineal massage. The thought of that was so gross - having been nowhere near that end for so many months, other than to tend to my haemorrhoids (TMI I know) - I haven't been able to face it. I might even have to persuade Mr G to do the do - which he's way to scared to as he feels it's just not right with TP so close.

I stil might not have to but now there's a very real chance that I might be pushing TP out the proper exit, it's time to prepare! Mr G paid no attention to the labour stuff at our classes as he thought we'd been let off labour. No chance. His child has other plans for us.

Well done TP for leaving it to the last minute and for mucking Daddy's diary up! A chip off the old block!

Please go cheer Meredith on (link in my last post) as her beta's moving on up. Everything's crossed for her - one of my senior buddies (hope she doesn't mind my saying that) - who's really been through it.

xx

Monday, October 20, 2008

Belly shot

I've (finally) posted a new belly shot way back in my July posts under the 20 something shot.

[Belly shot is in my 9 July post headed Belly and body Shot - sorry Soapchick that you couldn't find it!]

As you'll see, I've grown a bit - well TP has....

I need to shout out to a few of my buddies out there - Almamay who's in a 2WW, Becks who's signed up with the clinic that did the do for me, Andi - who's into another donor cycle with her sis and Meredith - who anxiously waiting to see if her low beta is going to turn her into a mom.



I'm thinking of you all, girls and so, so want it to be your time. xxxx

Thursday, October 16, 2008

No a lot to report

Can't believe the due date is so soon. It all seems to be speeding up and i'm desperately trying to get my work done, flat prep sorted, kit ordered or borrowed etc etc AND try to get some me time!

Ante natal check up today was fine. BP up v slightly but nothing to concern my GP. I've an appt with the conultant on Tues to assess TP's position. The GP thought the little one is trying to turn as i seem to have widened out in the middle and the head is moving southwards....

In the meantime i've been doing battle with my health insurers. As my lovely consultant will be away for my 39th week and can't do my c-section I thought i'd go private using my health insurance. It only covers medically required c sections - which this will be. They pay a ludicrously tiny sum for the procedure so i've had to cry, reason and negotiate them up a bit. I think we're nearly there but they're still being pretty unreasonable. Not really sure why we have health insurance - it's so hard to claim anything.

Oh the excitement of my week was meeting Gordon Ram.say last night. I took Mr G to one of GR's latest restaurants to review it. It's run by GR and Angela Har.tnett happened to be in the kitchen that night. (There's a pic of them in this slideshow but I can't get it to stop on their pic)

When I spotted him (as we'd finished our meal) I spoke to the front of house girls and said I was writing about my meal and could someone speak to me about the place. I in no way expected GR to come over but he did! He was utterly charming and when Mr G told him that we were expecting an IVF baby we even had an IVF chat as 3 of his 4 children are ICSI babies ! We told him we'd had 5 go's at ICSI and he was very sweet about it. He even kissed me goodbye!! I'll never wash again....joke.

Sometimes - very, very occasionally - my job is so cool! Oh, the restaurant - The York and Al.bany - is not bad. Probably better value at lunchtime and not for dinner but the food wasn't bad at all.

xx

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

We have a date...

I visited my consultant again yesterday. TP remains resolutely breech. Head and bot right up near my ribs. Legs dangling and treading all over my bladder. It's a squeeze - you'd think the little one would want a bit more room but perhaps it's nice and snug up there.

Anyway, on that basis, our lovely consultant - Mr S - gave us 2 choices:

1. Go for an ECV - external cephalic version - which means they'd basically shove TP the right way by brute force. From friends I hear this is uncomfortable and scary. From research the success rate with a first pregnancy is not great and it can end in an emergency C section.

2. Book in for an elective C section but check progress anyway at 38 weeks.

No prizes for guessing which option i've gone for....

...yup the winner is Option 2. I'm not risking TP's well being at all, so we've been booked for a C section on 30th October. The week before we'll see Mr S and he'll check to see how TP's lying.

In the meantime I can try crawling, kneeling doggy style whenever possible with my posterior in the air (v dignified), walking a lot, sitting on my Swiss ball - which came today - or swimming. Oh, acupuncture is also apparently a potential solution.

I'm in two minds. An elective C section gives me a date and peace of mind that my little one will come out safely. On the other hand, I'll have had major abdominal surgery and will need recovery time. I figure it might take a while to recover from pushing a child in the usual way, especially if I end up with stitches, piles etc etc. anyway.

I've heard of two people turning up for a planned C section and the baby being head down in the right place. They were both sent home to wait for labour! How much of a wind up would that be?!!

Anyway - that's just about it from me. I'm feeling quite large - but not unmanageable - my Carpal Tunnels is pretty bad and I have permanent pins needles in one hand. My hands, wrists, ankles and feet are swollen - my rings came off weeks ago. I get the odd sharp twinge in my ligaments as TP is getting quite heavy, but I'm so not complaining about any of it as it's all a blessing.

I can't believe that in not too long now i might even have a little baby. I burst into tears are periodic intervals at the very thought - hormones are HIGH! A friend with 3 mth old IVF twins from her 7th try said she often still cries at the site of them.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Two hundred!!



This is my 200th post!! On October 21st i'll have been blogging for 2 whole years.

I'd like to say its flown by, but i'm not sure it has. I re-read post number one and I was already stuck into my first IVF. Horrible memories. Such bad times.

I won't complain because i've been so lucky so far but it has been a difficult journey. I had a flick through the posts and saw i'd had comments from a pretty early stage and want to thank those of you who've been there for me. Comments have slowed right down to those who can face reading a pg after IVF blog. Not many of those are still in the trenches but then I found I had to drop out of reading the blogs of those girls who'd been successful whilst I still struggled.

I wanted to pick out a few ladies who've been fantastic:

Soapchick of The Quest for Baby Agosti - for being brave enough to continue to be there and for being such a life and soul of the party. Top chick.

Hopeful Mother - who has gone private with her blog. She was successful when I failed on my 2nd or 3rd cycle (can't remember) and who I admit to having abandoned whilst she grew and gave birth to her twins. I know times aren't easy for her at the moment and i'm thinking of her. I know she's still out there supporting me.

Heather of Desperately Seeking Baby - my first IVF blog buddy and another who got there whilst I was still trying. She has twins from her first cycle and (i've just read) is pg with another baby without any treatment. Go Heather!!

Betty M of High Land and Hard Rain

Bea - whose post baby blog is as cool as her pre conception one. She's another solid support.

Meredith of Someone Please Knock Me Up who i've also shared some heavy times with and to whom I wish all the luck in the world

I've also met some fantastic ladies in person - the lovely Becks, Andi and Almamay. Thank you all of you for your support. I'm not sure if you can face me at the moment but i'm rooting for all of you and hoping you'll get there.

Enough gushing and apologies if i've left anyone out. I'm still v conscious that i'm not quite there and TP remains a (transverse) squirming lump in my belly. I'm not going to count any chickens - or babies - until i've looked this one in the eye.

I'll celebrate 21st Oct and my two year blogoversary with a big fat cake.

xx

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

This baby's not for turning...

33 days until my due date and TP's still very happily nestling across my belly.

I feel stuffed up to my ribs and am also feeling a pressure on my bladder that is so like the sensation of wetting myself that I keep on having to pop to the bathroom to check for leakage. TMI I know!

I've done my last day at the cookery school and am now working from home. I've loads to do, but it's nice not to have to hope on the tube. I'm teaching my penultimate lesson tonight with one more next week then that's done too.

We've had blinds put up on our previously bare windows (which was most of them) and ordered carpet for our bedroom - after only 2 years of living in this flat. Since we've lived here we didn't have time to think about our home. All resources were plumbed into IVF. The rest of our life took second place.

I've been brave enough to order a baby buggy and have a bag out ready to pack for hospital. I need to wash the baby grows, booties, mitts, hats etc to put in it as well as think of what I need for me. It's so hard to plan, as if i end up with a Csection because of TP's awkward position i'll need far less than if i have a full-on labour. It's not even worth ordering a TENS machine as that may be a total waste of money!

It's all seeming a bit more real, but I still can't see that baby at the end of this. Only (please G-d) when i'm looking TP in the eye will I believe that we've achieved this miracle. This awful story has upset me and reminded me that just because we've struggled to get where we are doesn't guarantee a happy ending. It's so very, very sad. How do you move on from that?

Anyway, time to do some work. Loads of writing to do as the last few days have been spent on our weekend away - v nice apart from the wedding party outside our hotel bedroom playing thumping wedding music into the early hours on Sat night - and on celebrating the New Year. I made a gorgeous chicken dish - which was chicken roasted with saffron, honey and hazelnuts. (another Ottolenghi dish) with Persian jewelled couscous and a salad of cucumber, fennel and pomegranates, both old favourite recipes. We had orange flower treacle tart for dessert. Also a new recipe and one that went down well.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The vanishing stretch mark & the end of Clexane!!

The other night I felt particularly stretched as TP reclined right across my belly. When I showed Mr G my belly he gleefully pointed out a stretch mark. I suppose it was about time. Funny thing was that the next day it was gone....weird.

I have (finally) stabbed myself for the last time this pregnancy. (That's not that i think i'll be lucky enough to have any more but superstitious covering in case I end up having to try this again. On Tuesday, I shot up my last Clexane. At some point i'll work out just how many needles i've stuck in my belly/thigh/butt. It feels a bit like that time after you've done your Pregnyl (trigger) pre-harvest and you're on a stab free few days. V strange.

I've started ante natal and opened up to the group that this baby is the result of 5 IVF's. One other girl confessed (should it be a confession or a badge of honour) that she (at 39, same age as me) is also a successful ICSI girl. Hers was first time though. Still, it'll be good to bond with someone who has shared the experience. All the others - 12 of them - are all lucky natural preggers people. I suppose, statistically, we're bang on the money. 2 in a group of 14, 1 in 7.

I'm making supper for my family on Monday night for Jewish New Year, so I need to give some thought to what they'll be eating. Mr G and I are off for a mini break tomorrow until Monday morning. Should be lovely and relaxing. Just an English country hotel with a spa. Shame i've got to come back and shop and cook crazily. I'll keep it simple.

Time to take my New Year's Honey Cake out of the oven. xx

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Long time no blog

It's official.

I'm a rubbish blogger. I started this post over a week ago and it's taken me that long to get back to it!!

It's been too long - not that there hasn't been plenty to keep me busy - good and bad. I'll summarise in point form or i'll never get through it - and you'll be bored to tears reading it...

I'M GROWING
I'm now 33 weeks and looking bigger and bigger. I've put on about 30 something pounds and most of that aint' TP. Unless that baby comes out the size of a small toddler i've a lot of work to do at some point. Never mind.

I'M WORRIED
I've had 2 growth scans that both had me quite a bit worried. The first was my NHS (free on public health service) scan. Most things checked out ok, BUT and it was a big but (not unlike my own) abdominal growth has slowed a little. Still within the average lines, but dropped on what it was. Add to that that my amniotic fluid is borderline low and you've got a worried pregnant lady. Our Consultant said not to worry but to keep an eye on how much movement the baby makes. NOT TO WORRY! NOT TO WORRY WHEN I'VE GOT TO BE CONSTANTLY AWARE OF HOW MUCH THIS LITTLE CREATURE INSIDE ME IS MOVING. No chance. I'm trying to be calm, but it's very hard. It's made more difficult by the fact that TP has no routine. Some days there's a circus going on in there and others....zip. Today i was going mad waiting for a kick, roll or squirm. On Tuesday, we're going for a private scan to check out whether the NHS got it right.

The private scan said abdomen and amniotic fluid are fine...(Amniotic fluid index 16.8 instead of 9.8 on NHS scan). However, they said that TP's femurs and thighs are small - down in 5th percentile and that the cerebellum is also a little on the small side. They ended up by saying they're not worried at all and they don't need to scan me again. And i'm not going to fret over that???!!!! Still, nothing I can do but wait and see.

I'M STRETCHING
TP as decided to lie across me in in what's called transverse breech position. It's cute but not overly comfortable and will mean that we're in for a definite c-section unless that baby moves. I'm not hugely worried but would prefer to try to give birth naturally, esp since the hospital we'd like to give birth at (and are signed up to) has an amazing birth unit if you can do it on your own but a horrid VIctorian ward for those who need help....more on that when i've more time.

I'M CROSS
This has annoyed me. This is my fantastic clinic that did the do for me. Granted their admin is rubbish but they get the results and the man CARES. I don't want to see him hounded out of town by the jealous Docs who don't get the same results. All the clinics could be guilty of what he's accused of. Our last clinic were twice as bad as him and i don't see them being sued.

I'M SHOPPING
Still not a lot of purchasing going on for TP but progress is being made. We did start today, with some newborn grows, booties, mitts and hats. I almost cried in the shop and thought i'd have to go to the ladies to calm down. It was all a bit much. Do normal (fertile) mums get this emotional? We've chosen some bits and pieces from a big London Dept store and chosen our buggy. Just gotta get it ordered.

I'M TIRED
I'm starting get my 1st trimester exhaustion back again. i can't do a whole night without a toilet trip and if I get too awake i lie thinking about TP and hoping all will be ok.

I'M LISTING
So much to do and only 40 something days left to do it. Maybe even less!

I'M LEARNING
I've just started my ante natal classes. There are loads of us there - 11 couples(!) - so hopefully i'll meet someone to compare notes with...

I'M SURROUNDED
By girls on the verge of treatment. I had lunch and dinner with 2 separate friends at the start of treatment last week. My hairdresser is about to start her IVF as is another friend who's also my travel agent and one of my editors at work. A good friend is also in the midst of it and has had 2 cycles already. She's off to Turkey for no 3 in the New Year. A friend who adopted has asked me to talk to a friend of hers who's about to start IVF as she (adoptive mum to 2) feels i'm more up to date in my knowledge. I can't believe how many people I know in this boat now. I wish i could do more to help than talk to them.

I'M OFF FOR SUPPER NOW
I need an early night so i'm off for a light supper and to wind down a bit

Love to you all - i'll post a bump pic this week. Belly button is half popped - v weird look.

Sorry for long post.

xxx

Friday, August 29, 2008

All you Miss Muffets

I'm sorry if I scared you off!

I had zero comments on my last post. I think the spider must have given you all the heebeegeebees. I'm so very sorry!

Its actually been a slow blog week. Lowish numbers of updates. I have little to report really. Working hard still but gearing up to gear down a little.

I need to dedicate some time to prepping for TP.

Mr G and I went to look at prams and are more confused than ever. I thought we'd be brave enough to buy one itty bitty piece of clothing for TP, but we couldn't go there. I'm not sure when i'll feel brave enough to buy the little one anything. Hopefully before the arrival....

I'm about to switch off. I've a 3 hr pasta class to teach tomorrow and lots of chores to do with Mr G this weekend.

Have a good weekend all of you xx

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Yuck, yuck, yuck

I've had a few nights sleeping through but the last couple i've been up at 3 and 3.30am for a bathroom run.

We have an ensuite toilet but I don't like to use it for fear of waking Mr G. So, last night, i made the trip down the hallway in the dark as usual. En route i trod on something squelchy that left my foot wet. I continued to the toilet and after i'd squeezed out a few drops I went back to investigate.

I found this....if you're arachnophobic don't scroll down....


















I truly HATE spiders and am petrified of them! The penny is there to give you an idea of the sizer of the unfortunate arachnid out for a night time stroll. I feel sick looking at the pic. I TROD ON THAT THING WITH MY BARE FOOT!!!!!! Eugh!


I wiped my foot and got back into bed but couldn't sleep for ages. It didn't help that TP had an attack of the hiccups (which happens quite a lot and feels like a weird pulse going in my tummy) which always concerns me.

I'm really tired - worked a lot this week but am now feeling just a bit drained. Next week's a quieter one thank goodness and we've a new girl starting at the Cookery School so i'll be training her up with a view to stepping back. It's time to start planning some stuff for TP. We've done NOTHING. We're both too scared to buy anything. I think we do need to give it some thought now. We even need to change our car as neither my gorgeous mini nor Mr G's sporty 2 seater are really very suitable.

Tuesday will be 30 weeks - unbelievable. I still feel nervous even anticipating that. I was with my Auntie on Friday having lunch. She talked of nothing else but baby stuff. It was all a bit much and I burst into tears. I said - with ugly crying face - that I just couldn't believe i was even having this conversation with her and how i'm still really scared. TP has some more growing to do AND has to get out into the world. That bit worries me a lot. Not the pain - cos i'll deal with that - but the safety of the baby. I'd almost rather have a c-section just to be sure that nothing goes wrong.

Lets hope I can be less neurotic when the little one arrives. I hope so. I still feel so blessed to have come this far.


Please pop over to see two of my favourite ladies who could both do with some support. Andi's had a low positive beta at her first attempt with her sister's eggs and could do with some cheering on whilst the lovely BeeCee has had a nasty time with her 5th IVF and could do with a hug. I'm thinking of you both, girls.

xxx

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

I can't believe it's Monday already tomorrow.

I'm only in the office Mon - Wed and by Wed night the four weekend days stretch ahead like a mini break. I managed to pack those four days so full with other work, chores and outings, they've just flown.

Also, Mr G has been doing a bit of radio - which was his career until a couple of years ago - 3 overnight shifts in a row - so has been leaving at 11pm ish and returning at 6am ish so my sleep has been all over the place and he has been catching up on sleep at any opportunity - in between other commitments - a 4D scan for TP and a trip to celebrate my Mum's birthday.

As soon as his head touches the pillow - after a quick belly stroke (mine not his!) - he starts to snore, and my sleep is over. I got up at 6.30am today and watched this film whilst eating my breakfast and then had a short nap before heading off to the supermarket - how much do I hate grocery shopping on a Sunday! We then went off to my Mum's birthday lunch. I've worked since I got home and will go to bed soon in anticipation of my early start tomorrow.

The scan was weird. Unlike previous scans we were less emotional but I think that was down to the super annoying woman who did it. TP had her/his legs up over his/her head with feet right on the head. It was difficult to get a good view so I had to get up and drink sweet hot choc and walk about a bit to try and shift the little angel. It didn't really work but we did get some nice shots. Little blighter had been really active all night - i wondered at the time if he/she recognised Daddy's voice on the radio - and was probably worn out.

When we got home, we looked again at the scan - they give you a 15 minute DVD of the best shots - which we played to this song - which has always been a special one for us and we both were sobbing. I still can't believe that we have got this far. There's a little person in my belly and that makes me so grateful. I'm praying that little person makes it out of my belly safe and sound and is a healthy little baby.

Time to go make Mr G his evening's food. Sandwiches, fruit - which he won't eat - a flask of coffee and some chocs. I've given him some dried fruit tonight to try to keep the choc consumption down. He's so stressed and busy and sleep deprived he's freebasing it at the moment.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Daddy's birthday

My father would have been 67 today.

He'd have celebrated with a meal out and lots of champagne. Always lover of luxury he'd have liked a glass of Krug. He'd have made a fuss if his table wasn't in the best part of the restaurant and if the champagne wasn't chilled enough. He was very particular and embarrassed us children hugely in restaurants when he complained so we'd want to hide under the table. I'd be delighted for him to come back and embarrass us again. Just to hear him say my name and call me 'darling'. For him to give me a hug like I remember the last few hugs before he got too sick to hug from his hospital bed. I'd love to smell his aftershave. I wish he was still here with us.

I hate that I can't even remember how we celebrated the last birthday we shared with him. Not a clue. Perhaps he was away - he liked the sun and spent lots of summers in the sun. A true Leo. How can such important memories fade so badly.

I'm grateful and happy that i'm carrying a little piece of him, from his gene pool - someone who will carry on my Daddy's line - if not his name. I'm sad, so sad, that my Daddy isn't here to pat my bump and tell his friends about my pending arrival (please G-d) and to smile at me as I grow.

I'm sorry - if any of you girls still hoping for your miracle are still reading about my life - that this is such a 'pregnant' post.

Happy Birthday Daddy and thank you for everything you did for me. We didn't have the perfect relationship but you gave me such a great start in life and I know you loved me in your own way. I love you.

Friday, August 08, 2008

08.08.08

I'm not sure i've much to say - it's late and I should be getting ready for bed - but it's 08.08.08 and I thought i should mark the occasion. Oddly, TP is due in 87 days, shame it wasn't 88.

I made Mr G a gorgeous supper from my new cookbook. It's a fab book. I cooked Pan fried Sea Bass with pitta, labneh, tomato and preserved lemon and then made some strawberry ice cream -a recipe from one of last week's newspapers. Both were delicious.

I also visited my friend with her 3 week old IVF twins today. They're teeny tiny - like little chickens. She seems to be coping ok.

Mr G is moaning at me to stop typing so i'll blog something more interesting over the weekend.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Emotional woman

I've noticed myself being overly teary for a while now.

On Monday night Mr G inadvertently woke me when he got up to use the bathroom. I had a monster breakdown of the type you only have in the middle of the night. For some reason I was freaked out about being awake and not being able to sleep. It turned into wracking sobs that Mr G had to stroke and talk me down from. Of course, in the morning it was fine although i was super tired and embarrassed that i'd behaved like a five year old.

Then I cried last night watching the news of the honeymoon couple shot in Antigua. It's such a sad waste of life. How awful for that to happen on your honeymoon.

The most ridiculous breakdown was today. I was on my way to interview a restaurant owner - which, incidentally, he thought was tomorrow and wasn't there and I had booked in for today. (Pregnant brain? Most likely) The photographer and I caught the staff totally unprepared and very worried but we still managed to do the interview and get some pics. It was a raw food cafe and surprisingly really good. The photographer and I pigged out.

Anyway, on the way there, in my full make up (as they were going to take pics of me for the piece, I was listening to Stan by Eminem (you know, the one with the sample by Dido) and it made me cry! It was the thought of the man killing his girlfriend I think. I was even amused at myself, but couldn't stop the tears. Weirdo.

Finally - and you may want to stop reading here as it's DEFINITELY tmi - my bosoms have started oozing. About two weeks ago i noticed yellow goo coming from one of my nipples. Just a little. I believe it's the start of colostrum. Not unheard of at 26 weeks but a little freaky. Made me feel a bit strange.

Have been working hard again. Really enjoying being occupied but looking forward to tomorrow - first day of now work this week. Lovely.......

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thoughts

I think about my dad and my grandparents all the time. I miss them, in particular my daddy, my mother's mother and father's father. They were the three who I lost most recently and the Grandparents i was closest to, although the loss isn't really that recent, as Grandma died 6 years ago and Daddy and Grandpa, 5 years ago.

I feel like they're looking down on me. I realise this is going to sound like the writings of a lunatic, but I had this notion the other day that all of our departed relatives are queuing up on our behalf to secure us our babies. When they get to the top of the queue - hey presto, that's when the cycle works or the unexpected pregnancy occurs. My Dad was such a forceful personality i'm not surprised he got the top of that queue.

It also made me think that he had something to do with TP. Daddy died and TP was conceived - is it still called conception when it happens in a petri dish with a needle? - on the SAME STREET in London. Daddy's hospital is on one block and our fertility clinic about 5 mins down the street from it. Coincidence? Maybe, but i'd like to think the proximity is special.

My nephew was born almost exactly 9 months after Daddy died and I thought that was special. I felt like there was a sort of spirit turnaround as one left and another arrived. Interestingly, I met Mr G on the day my nephew was born which makes that a really auspicious day too. But perhaps Daddy hung around a bit longer until we had our first treatment at that particular clinic.

And there again, perhaps i'm talking a load of rubbish....

Humour me!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sun is shining

TP is 25 weeks this week and kicking away like old billie-o. Mr G sings to my belly and often gets a kick in response - we're not sure if that's hello daddy or please stop making that noise. Either way, its a joy to feel life in there.

I've been working at the Cookery School office. It's great to be up and out and in a routine. I've missed that. I have to commute on the London Underground in the morning and evening rush hours, but as i'm always given a seat, it's not so bad.

When i get on the train it's always packed and it's been interesting to see how long people give it before someone offers me their seat and who actually gets up. I always feel a bit embarrassed about taking someone's seat but do always accept. Might as well enjoy this perk whilst i can. The first few times it was young (20 something) men who got up. Since then it's been only women - often women older than me. There are always heaps of men pretending they haven't seen me or just plain not bothered. I would always give up my seat for someone who needed it more than me, so it amazes me how rude some people can be. it's SWELTERING on the trains at the moment so it'd be hard to be standing.

I'm also teaching private cooking lessons at home. I taught fresh pasta last night - we made taglietelle with meat balls in tomato sauce and lemon and ricotta ravioli. It was a great lesson but my pupil arrived late so it was a long day. Still, i'm off today so a big lie in and lots of sitting today.

I feel like my working life is just coming together now. Mr G has been moaning that i'm the only person who gears up to work more at 6 months pregnant but it's not full time and it makes me feel so good to be busy.

The weather today is beautiful and my garden flowers are blooming. Tomorrow i'm doing a half day at the School testing cup cake recipes. It's really not even like work!!

Another friend - who had secondary infertility and succeeded in her third or fourth IVF, after a m/c at 9 weeks in an earlier try - has just had a great 12 week scan. I'm so happy for her and even happier that I can now share her news with others as she's gone public. She's 41 - same birthday as me but 2 years older. She was also at my clinic. I love another positive story.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Three new babies

Yesterday I had news of three different births.

One close friend had twins and the other had a singleton. The first one - JC - gave birth to twin girls conceived after her 7th (yes SEVENTH) IVF. She, like me, refused to give up. Six were fresh cycles and one a frozen. The twins were conceived after a fresh cycle and she - JC - is 38 years old. I felt as emotional as if it had been me giving birth. I had tears in my eyes when i picked up the messages from her and her mother.

The second mother, C, is a cousin of mine. We're not especially close but i'm fond of her. She married her husband (who's lovely) in June 2007. She gave birth to their first child - a little boy - yesterday. I'm pleased but not to the extent I am for JC.

I just cannot shake feel an underlying emotion of mild bitterness. I'm not sure if bitterness is the right word. I just have a feeling I can't really explain about people having it too easy. I wouldn't wish infertility on anyone ever, I'm just less able to feel the same pure joy I feel for JC. I think perhaps my mother has harped on about C's pregnancy to me too much.

I feel guilty at how warped I have become. I wish i could be as happy for anyone bringing a new life into this world. Any baby born is a miracle and I should feel joy for all.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Been a busy girl

I've had quite a lot of work this past few days which has been tiring but great.

I taught at a couple of different cookery schools on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Thursday was a birthday party for two 11 year girls. There were eleven of them and it was chaotic. We did pizzas, ham and cheese muffins, cupcakes - which they iced - choc chip cookies and sausage rolls. They had a ball but i was exhausted by the end. They're at a London stage school and didn't it just show. Lots of drama queen behaviour a big sing song over their meal.

Friday was a group of grown ups on a corporate jolly learning to make a Moroccan menu. Much easier and fun. I had to get home to ice a birthday cake for a friend's 4 year old son. He's allergic to eggs so i made one large egg free choc cake and some smaller which I iced and decorated to look like 3 hedgehogs. He LOVED them, which was really rewarding. My friend has 3 children - 12, 9 and 4 yrs old - and is a great mum. They're all really well behaved, polite and lovely. My current favourite children. It was a pleasure to do it for her. Here's a couple of shots of the cakes. I aint' no pro at cake decorating but they're kinda cute....

....


I've also been to two 40th birthday celebrations. The first, my friend who's just finished chemo for her breast cancer. She's got her radiotherapy now but is SO brave and positive. Her hair's gone but she has a great wig. She looks tired, but after months of chemo, is doing really well. I'm so proud of her. The second celebration was another school friend who i'm not in such close touch with. Was weird being back in her parents' home. I've not been there for 20 years or so!

The first party felt a bit odd as it was all girls - high maintenance, manicured nails, blow dried hair princess-y types with super slim figures each with several children at expensive private schools. I don't feel right in that crowd. I always feel dowdy and frumpy and, for the first time since TP landed, I suddenly felt kind of old to be finally pregnant. Glamour chicks like that have always made me feel inadequate and it made me feel even less comfortable around them. Sort of a lesser person for still struggling to get to their stage of life. I know that all that really counts is Mr G, me and TP, but i didn't enjoy being around them. I suppose it's another difference between fertile and infertile plus my own hang-ups.

It's going to be a busy week. I've a new pupil starting private lessons on Wed night. Off to see this film tomorrow night. I love Abba. Saw the show twice when it opened - once with my Mum and StepDad and again with my Dad - one benefit of being child of a broken home! I'm looking forward to it as i'm going with two lovely girlfriends.

I'll also be helping out in the office of one of the cookery schools i work at. The owner has had a stroke and needs to recuperate. I'm really, really fond of her and want to help out. I think she'll be fine but really needs to rest and she's a workaholic so i want to do all i can to help her. I should be in and out of there this week.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Belly and body shot

Thank you all for your support. I do feel that i've less right to be sad than many, but i'm grateful for your support. Betty M - i'd love those links please to give to my friend, S.

I've finally got a shot of the belly. It was taken on our holiday in Greece. I've added in a sunrise shot and the view from our room first - both taken by the very talented Mr G with his birthday present camera - and then put in some space so those of you who don't want to see can avoid looking.








































I'm really sorry i'm holding my belly in a v annoying pregnant woman way. It's to hide my huge Clexa.ne bruises (yep, still injecting) and not for effect. I hope it doesn't offend. I'm standing by the pool at our wonderful holiday hotel and also showing off my pregnant woman lardy butt and thighs too....!





Sorry i've been so rubbish at belly shots. Maybe it's a relief to you all anyway...!

Here's the most recent shot of my huge tum. TP's going to be 38 weeks tomorrow and hasn't that baby grown! I had Mr G take a shot with his i phone last night. I've tried 'in the mirror' shots but they're pretty rubbish. Anyway, it's quite a difference from the last shot when i thought I looked like a pregnant bird....


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I miss you Daddy

I'm writing this in a local cafe as my flat is STILL infested with builders and smells to high heaven of chemicals. I slept badly last night because of the smells and my concern that it might be harming TP. They should be gone soon.

I'm feeling even more sad today. On this Tuesday 8th July 2003, my Daddy left me. He died of pancreatic cancer and I miss him. I wish he was here to be excited for our pending arrival. I wish he was here to laugh and joke with Mr G. I wish he was here to advise me on life matters - even if the advice is unsolicited. I wish he was here to give me a hug. I even wish he was here to give me a hard time. I just wish he was here.

I'm heading up to see him - well, his gravestone - later on. I'm going with Mr G and with my Uncle - Daddy's brother, who misses him as much as I do. They were very close and he often says how he thought they were going to grow old together.

I have a photo of me and my Daddy taken when I was a baby. I'll scan it in when the builders are out of my hair.


On another sad note, i spoke to my friend, S, who has lost her babies, yesterday. She is so brave. She has been through 2 labours in one week. She has been through 2 IVF's. She has lost 2 babies. She said all of that would be fine if she was leaving hospital with even one of her little ones.

I asked her if she was going to try again. I know it's too soon to know but she said something that had us both sobbing. She said that she feels that all this time she was calling for her babies and was praying for them, she knew what she was calling and praying for. She said that these two little ones WERE her babies and who she'd been praying for. They came and now they're gone. She doesn't know who else there is for her.

Her tiny perfect girl was alive when she was born. She wriggled and moved in S's arms. She was just a few days short of the magic 24 weeks when the Dr's would at least have tried to save her. I can't make any sense of it at all. I wish I could have made it better for her. I was almost without words.

I'm so very sad today.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sad...

...well, completely distraught actually.

I've just stopped sobbing. My friend has just lost her second twin. Her little boy was born (at 22 weeks) and died last Saturday. Her little girl stayed inside for an extra week but was born and died yesterday lunchtime.

What is wrong with life? She's been through so much to get pregnant with these babies. She and her husband are good, church going people. They've waited 5 years for these babies and gone through 2 IVF's. I just don't get it.

I have no idea what to say to her. There are no words. For now, i've texted to let her know i'm there for her. I'll call tomorrow.

G-d bless them and their tiny perfect little babies who were born too soon.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Da daaaaaaaaah

I've had a facelift. Well, my blog has. The wonderful Calliope has designed me a new header and i've done my best to bring the rest of my look up to scratch too. I'd love to change the background colour of my page but that was a step too far....

Thank you so much Calliope - you're a talented girl and deserve so much success and happiness.

I'm staying at my parents' house 30 mins drive north of London whilst Mr G is away on business. I love staying here - i'm being royally looked after. Bliss.

Our apartment is full of decorators painting and tiling our flat. We're having a bit of a tart up - part funded by 2 insurance claims for leaks from flats above us. Bad luck to have 2 flats leak into ours, but good luck that it necessitated repainting most of the flat.

We're also moving Mr G's home office out - partly to his new office in Soho and partly into my cubby hole office in the flat. His old office will be our guest room/TP's room. We don't really have space for a proper nursery if we want to keep an office at home and as we both do some work from home that seems the best option.

As we've just had two offers to paint murals on a nursery wall i'm starting to feel perhaps we should make the room a bit more of a nursery, but as we have our wardrobes in there anyway that's probably not possible. Our flat - which is 15 mins from Oxford Street - is perfectly placed for work and great shopping but is probably not big enough for us in the longer term. It's a shame as it backs onto a great park, is very convenient and i love living so centrally. We'll never be able to afford something big enough in that area, so in a year or so - when we have sufficient money (hopefully) - we'll look at a new area.

On another note, i had a call from a friend of a friend on Tuesday. We had some social chit chat whilst I was thinking 'what do you really want?' I was hoping it might be some catering work. What is turned out to be was to see if i'd talk to her friend who has secondary infertility as she's really low and not sure how to proceed. I said it would be my pleasure - and it is. If I can be of help to anyone going through this nightmare then i'd love to be.

She (the friend) called yesterday and was lovely and clearly in such a mess mentally. She's been told she has POF at only 35. She just about managed her first child - by a post-lap fluke - and now has been trying for 2 years for number 2. It ain't happening. Her AMH is less than 1 and she hasn't yet found a clinic to give her IVF. They say she doesn't respond well enough to stims. She told me when she has had stims, the most she has had has been a dose every OTHER day!!! EVERY OTHER DAY?!! What's that all about??

She had been at the clinic where we were told to give up. The one that is more concerned with their place in the official clinic league tables than helping patients. They turn you down if you look to be a bad candidate. She has spent about £40k so far and that's without any IVF. I've given her my clinic details and said she must call me to let me know how she gets on.

Better get dressed - i feel like a naughty child as my folks have been up and busy for ages and i'm still in PJ's!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Greece Rocks

I'm back!!!

We have just had a gorgeous week on a beautiful Greek Island in the most wonderful hotel. The first row of pics shows a room next to ours and pics of our room. It was stunning. We had a pool just outside our bedroom and a perfect view of the sea. The staff were all so lovely - nothing too much trouble - and the setting, totally peaceful. Mr G ended up working every day on his laptop and on the phone, rising early as he was so stressed - we saw more than one beautiful sunrise - but at least we were able to spend some time together.

We laughed (a lot) and generally enjoyed each other's company. We ate very very well. I worried it wouldn't be good for Mr G as he's a (fish eating) vegetarian but it could not have been better. He loves houmous, feta, haloumi and other Greek type foods and there was plenty of those. We ate three good meals a day, with snacks. I was horrified to read today that i have (at this point) gained half my pregnancy weight and have another half to go. As i've already gained about 20lbs, that's not good news. Not a lot I can do about that now...

My only blip on holiday was a really sore shoulder. I've pulled something and it feels like a burning sensation in the joint. I just couldn't shake it. It meant i didn't swim as much as i meant to, but spent plenty of time in the pool reading my book - far too hot to sunbathe. No complaints - it was bliss.

On the TP front. I spent a certain amount of time worrying all was well. On Friday, Mr G - who talks to my tummy on a daily basis now - asked for a big kick to let us know all was well. I was lying on the sun lounger with my hands on my tum when a felt something like a bubble rise to the surface inside and pop at the top. I felt something like a drum beat against my hand. I couldn't believe it. Mr G was on a business call so I couldn't be certain I hadn't imagined it. Anyway, we were lying on the bed last night laughing about some of the holiday exploits when it happened again. I put Mr G's hand on my belly and he felt it too! It was so emotional. I'd laughed so much I had tears pouring down my face - you know how it is when it could change any minute to full on blubbing? When TP did the kicking thing I nearly lost it.

I spend a lot of time feeling immensely grateful for everything.

On a sad note, my friend who is carrying twins and went in to premature labour has lost one of her babies. The little boy was born on Saturday night and didn't make it. His sister is still inside and doing ok. I'm praying that they hold onto at least one baby. Life is so unfair. Why should people who go through so much to get pregnant (2 IVF's for her with full-on OHSS for good measure both times) then have to endure such horror. Haven't they had enough? She's in a hospital on the other side of London but i'm going to go up there this week to support her and her husband. It's just not fair.

My friend having her second IVF was converted to IUI and is waiting. I'm praying for her and her husband too.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Rushing. Warning - scan pics in post

...so no belly for now...but the good news is that TP is looking good and performed well for the nice lady Dr.

All bits present and correct and no markers for anything horrid. Phew. We both cried - or rather welled up with - tears of relief and happiness. We know what sex our little one is for sure, but are keeping it a big secret for now.

I have to go - we're due to leave in about an hour and i haven't started packing. I'll be in Cephalonia for the next week chilling out and catching up on sleep i missed out on this week worrying about our scan. I'm so excited! It's meant to be beautiful there.

Have a good week and here's a 3D pic of our little TPLooking a lot like Mr G.

I'm blown away.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Alright already

Thanks for recent comments.

I've had a few requests for belly shots. I'll ask Mr G to do the honours or see if I can manage an 'in the mirror' shot. I'll get it up before today.

I was actually meaning to take pics monthly. So much for that! I must get started on the shots so thank you for the requests.

Watch this space - belly coming soon...you have been warned.

ps: made some gorgeous mini carrot cake muffins this morning. The pic isn't mine but look just the same - although i topped mine with a walnut each. Usual recipe but in small muffin cups. They were so cute! I made them for the attendees of my apartment block's management committee meeting. I've got so sick of them doing nothing i decided to join. We had the meeting in the gardens outside my flat and (being a Jewish Mother in waiting) I just couldn't have people here and not feed them. Hence the muffins. At least they appreciated them.

Does anyone else have to get busy when people come round - cleaning? cooking? hiding the clutter?

Monday, June 16, 2008

20 weeks tomorrow - lots about pregnancy

Tomorrow i'll have made it to 20 weeks. Who'd have thought? I never thought i'd get this far. I've got my 20 week anomaly scan on Friday. I'm still nervous about TP but i'm starting to feel a whole lot better about this pregnancy.

I'm starting to move from "is she tubby?" to "she looks like she could be pregnant". More than one person has touched my tum in the last few days. I still feel a bit nervous about saying i'm pregnant just in case i'm not next week. I'm also uncomfortable about looking too far into the future. Every so often though i am overwhelmed with the joy and pleasure of it all.

One huge change has been in my marriage. Neither Mr G nor I had realised how much IF had hijacked us. We thought we were doing ok, and in the circumstances, we were. We had our moments of being 'us' but it's only now, now that the pressure is off that I can see how far off 'us' we were. We've jumped back to how we were when we first met. Part of the joy of this pregnancy is getting my marriage back again.

I feel uncomfortable writing this when i know others who are still in the trenches might read it, but i need to say it. I feel angry that IF put us through such hell, but blessed and immensely lucky to be where i am now. I'm so full of love for Mr G i could burst with it. (Sorry for that mush)

I just hope that TP arrives and is healthy.

I have so many friends in need of good wishes and support at the moment:

My friend with twins in early labour was released (after her circlage) but re-admitted to hospital this weekend. She'll be in for the rest of her pregnancy. She's only 21 weeks and I'm praying her twins make it a few more weeks. She was very lucky not to have lost them already and is in the best place.

Another friend is in the middle of a cycle and only has 2 follicles to show so far after a week of stims. I'm praying things work out for her. Her husband - a friend of Mr G - is really finding it very hard to deal with.

I had tea with a lady who is covering as Features Editor for one of the papers I write for. She has just found out she and her dh will need to do ICSI. I so feel for her and have said she must ask me if there's anything she needs to know. She doesn't know anyone who's had IVF. I feel so very lucky to have made it this far over the fence. I hope I can help her.

Finally, i took some lunch to my friend who's in the middle of her chemotherapy for breast cancer. She's 39 with 2 small children. She's being so brave and i'm so proud of her. We sat in her garden and talked for hours today about IVF and cancer. She has 2 more chemo sessions and then radiotherapy. She won't know for a few more months how the cancer is doing. I'm praying it will all be gone. She and i had lost touch and i'm so grateful that we're back in touch again.

I think that's all for this post. Mr G's in Paris - for the second time in a week and for the next two nights. I'll miss him, but want to make the most of the chance of an early night, so i must get off to bed.

Night night.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Good news & quite a bit of PG stuff

I seem to be going through some sort of hormonal crying phase. Everything, and i mean anything and everything is prone to have me well up and, worse still, sob. Television programmes, good news and even just thinking about how far i've come all can trigger tears. I'm not sad - far from it - just prone to blubbing.

After some hysteria on Tuesday night - hours before Mr G was due to hop on the Eurostar to Paris - i decided to try to get seen a day early at the Emergency Gynaecology Dept. I'd got myself into such a state about the cramping that i couldn't face another night of stressing - especially with Mr G away.

I rang them all morning but no one replied. (I still haven't had an answer the next day!) I decided to turn up. I arrived to a packed room and immediately burst into tears. The male receptionist was pretty cool about the weeping woman in front of him and said they'd try to see me. He let me hide in his room for a minute to get my act together. The worst thing was that even then, i couldn't stop and the nurses were just totally ignoring me! I filled in a form whilst snivelling and managed to get it together enough to leave the room. It was 12.30pm and he said to come back just before 2pm when the afternoon clinic would begin. I decided not to go home but had some lunch - which turned out to be very nice - and spoke to Mr G, who was convinced i was so hormonal that all must be ok.

I went back to 2pm and sat waiting until about 3.30pm. They kept saying how busy they were, but they had no urgency at all. Clinic opened at 2pm. The Registrar doing the scanning strolled up at 2.10 and the nurse practitioner at 2.20. There were 3 of us waiting - one lady had been there since 10.15am!! They saw her first and then me. The Registrar just had a look at TP with the ultrasound. He said there was nothing else he could do. I asked if the placenta was ok. He then had a look at that and said 'yes, looks fine'. He said that if something was really wrong i'd be in huge pain and there would be bleeding or discharge.

He thought it was just growing pains. I'm sure he's right, but he gave me zero confidence. Whilst i was in there, the emergency room called him. Without even seeing the patient he said to give her heavy pain relief and he'd come when he could but he had lots to do and wasn't going to hurry. He said they could bleep him all they liked but it would make no difference to when he came. Very caring!

Anyway, i'm still hurting but less concerned. Suppose it's my fantastically taut stomach muscles - as if....

My happiest news is that a friend - you may recall i bumped into her at the clinic a few weeks ago. Has had her first scan (at 6 and a half weeks) and she saw 2 sacs and 2 heartbeats!! I'm so, so happy for her - it had me in tears again. She's very nervous as her last BFP ended in a miscarriage at about 9 weeks but as her numbers are were so much better this time i'm sure it's going to work out. It's another good news story for us older birds. She's 41 and a half - 42 in December. It can happen!

Monday, June 09, 2008

The other side of the fertility fence

I had a busy weekend. On Saturday we went to a garden party of an old school friend. She has been guilty of some hugely insensitive comments over the last couple of years and it was touch and go whether Mr G and I would attend, especially since it was going to be packed with small children. Even the friend's considerably younger sister had managed to produce her own small (and immensely cute) child!

As life is a bit easier on the IF front with TP on board, we decided we'd go - for a short while at least.

It was, as expected, packed with parents and small children racing around madly. It wasn't too bad. I only knew a handful of people there - including the hostess's family and a couple of our other school friends. We stood talking and eating canapes most of the time. The children were for the most part very cute. I'm very taken with the children of one of my school friends - V.

Mr G met a guy who used to be in the armed protection unit for the Queen which made his afternoon. He'd done that man nagging thing for the whole week before and all the way to the party - you know, the whole whiny "why do we have to go to this party", "how long must we stay" thing. All that changed once he met "a guy who protected the Queen with a gun!". My party curfew was immediately lifted.

Anyway, the point of this story isn't to embarrass my gorgeous husband. I went up to my two school friends to say hi. One (V) - who i'm in regular touch with asked how i was doing and I did that (yuck) pg thing of patting the bump. The other one - B - who is in close touch with V clearly had no idea I was pg and was full of happy congratulations. All very innocent you would think.

A while later I was chatting tp B. Turns out she had one child and was unable to conceive number 2. She'd had 3 failed IVF's after which she'd given up. I had no idea. She was asking me loads of questions about my treatment and then started to cry. I felt SO SO shitty. I took her to the corner of the garden for privacy and we had a longer talk. Her husband had been against donor eggs, she wasn't keen on adoption and after some matrimonial to-ing and fro-ing. they'd given up. She still hoped for that miracle, but clearly it was hurting.

I had tears in my eyes and felt so f'ing useless. I was cross too. Well meaning fertile friends had clearly chosen to keep my news from her so as not to hurt her. She was hijacked somewhat and probably had an emotional stumble as a result.

I realise i'm now contradicting myself. Two posts ago i was all for keeping certain news from the vulnerable. Now i'm angry at someone failing to share news. This is different though. If she'd known she'd have had time to deal with it. As it was, she had to deal with the pregnancy of a previously fertile-ly challenged person in very public place.

It underlined again how this stuff never goes away. We'll always be hijacked by the good news of others. Whilst we wish them well, we'll still feel a stabbing in our hearts.

Otherwise, i had a lovely weekend. The sun shone on Sunday and it's still beating down today. Gorgeous! Changes the whole outlook when you're deprived of it so often.

I went to the Dr today. I'm still getting period pain like cramps. They make me nervous. That, and some very low and different round ligament pain today made me decide to get checked out. We heard TP's heartbeat banging away but she rang the Fetal Emergency Unit anyway. I'm glad i'm not really, really panicking, as they cant see me until Thursday morning! I suppose if it was looking more serious they'd see me asap. I've no bleeding - but am on full panty watch. I'm sure it'll be ok, but we're off to Greece in a couple of weeks and i'd rather go knowing TP's not at risk.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Nightmares

I've been feeling bad about yesterday's post all night. Maybe there are some feelings you just shouldn't blog about. It feels sort of bad karma to even think something bad about someone who's also been through IVF hell. It made me feel rotten even thinking that way.

I've been having bad dreams for a while now. They're about loss. Oddly, not baby loss but losing Mr G. In my nightmares, he either leaves me or (g-d forbid) dies. I feel so wretched when I wake up as it feels so real. Last night i lost 4 people close to me. a very close friend, my father (who I did lose nearly 5 years ago but who i still dream about regularly) and another person that I can't remember. In the dream i was out somewhere and saw something i really wanted to share with Mr G and had that huge sinking misery of knowing i never could.

When i woke at 5.30am I had to touch him to make sure he really was there. He woke to and i had a sobbing meltdown - you know how weird you get in the early hours - over feeling a bit lacking in the friend front at the moment.

It seems all that i hold dear has taken me a very long time to get to. It took me many years (and some bad, bad relationships) before I met my gorgeous and wonderful Mr G and i have no idea what i'd do without him. It has taken us two years and lots of heartache to get where we are now with TP. I'm still so scared that it won't last. I have a lurking worry that the happiness i feel will be snatched away from me. I think the dreams are a part of that.

I'm sorry for a negative post when i've really got it all. I"m well aware of how lucky i am. Must be a touch of hormones...

I'm off to make some peanut butter and choc cookies to take to a friend this afternoon. New recipe but anything with chocolate an peanut butter's gotta be good...!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Should we share the bad news? + SATC plot spoiler

I bought a new little remote keyboard when i replaced my laptop and i love it!! It's a pleasure to type. As my new laptop is almost identical looking to the old one life isn't much changed. Mr G and I are both a bit nervy, and I don't leave the flat without hiding my laptop away. It takes time but whilst Mr Tickle's on the lose....


I've been a bit panicky this week. One of my MindBody girls texted yesterday to say she's in hospital with a threatened miscarriage. She's 20 weeks and carrying twins. I immediately got in touch. Turns out that she'd had a pain in her abdomen - which she now knows was some sort of urinary infection. She then had period like pain which it turns out were contractions. Her midwife told her to get to hospital. When she got to there she was 2cm dilated. They got her on an antibiotic drip and gave her meds to stop the labour. She was not sure if she was going to keep the babies - who were still very much alive and kicking inside of her. As i've been having a strong stabbing, stitch like pain and some period pains, it got me really worried and i've had a nervy 24 hours.

I spoke to her husband this morning and things are looking much better. She and the babies could well be ok. I'm so relieved for her.

I'm not sure if i'm evil, but she's someone who's rarely in touch and who is really insensitive to others who've not reached the stage she has. Whenever she gets in touch i worry that i'm not doing a well as her and she MOANS about her pregnancy symptoms in a disingenuous way. I'm not sure how to explain it but it's sort of like showing off whilst pretending to be moaning... Whilst i'm really concerned for her and at then end of the phone for her and praying for a happy ending, i feel a little upset with her for sending panic around the group. Three of us are also pregnant and one lost her first pregnancy at 18 weeks and is 18 weeks with another pregnancy now.

I hope i don't sound mean. Should we be sensitive about telling scare stories? Maybe i've just got it wrong and we should be there for each other whatever? It could just be my issue...Anyway, it's looking like a happy ending for her, which is the main thing.

My cramps come and go. I'm just not sure if period pain type cramps are part of the deal or if i should be concerned. Also, the stitch - in the appendix area - was sharp enough to really take my breath away. I had a rub of my tum to try and shift TP if they were the cause and changed how I was lying and it eased off, so i'm less worried about that pain. I've had it a few times this week. TP's been a bit quiet too - if i'd been feeling him/her that is. If the cramps return i'll go to the hospital emergency room - which is the only place you can go here if you're pre 20 weeks and have any pregnancy issues. You can also see your Doctor but getting an appt might take a week or so! Great medical system we have!

Sorry for the vent. I'm doing ok really.

Saw SATC on Monday. Loved it. Look away now if you plan on seeing it but I agree with a nacomleavmo blogger i read this week. It was a real let down that having adopted, Charlotte had a happy ending natural pregnancy. Why wasn't adoption enough and why could she not have gone down the IVF route? Disappointing that the whole "adopt and you'll fall pregnant instantly" myth was perpetrated once again. I'm still getting the whole - "you'll probably get pregnant naturally now you're pregnant" stuff. I WON'T !!!! It's not physically possible so leave me alone!!

Also had a long Brothers and Sisters session with a friend. 2 episodes over dinner. Pure pleasure! Rob Lowe is just too gorgeous! I've loved him since the 80's when i watched About Last Night about a hundred times! Who's your crush?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Burgled!!

It's been an eventful day already and it's only 3.30 in the afternoon.

At 6am, i was vaguely aware of noise in our flat and a window opening or closing. I assumed Mr G had got up ahead of me - as he does - and was moving around the flat. He hadn't. He was lying next to me. I must have fallen asleep as the next thing i knew, he was getting out of bed and pulling on some clothes. I drifted off again. Next thing, i heard him calling 999 - our emergency services - to report a burglary.

I was now awake.

I pulled on my pj bottoms. Previously a naked sleeper, I now sleep in a secret support vest top to try to prevent my new 36D's from sagging. I got up and Mr G - just finished calling the police - told me we'd had an intruder. All that the b**st**d had taken was my laptop, mouse and power cable! Mr G had caught sight of the thief running up the garden and over the fence with next door with my laptop under his sneaky, thieving, b**st**d arm.

The most amazing part was that he hadn't actually been inside. We have security gates on each window which we keep locked closed most of the time. Feels like a prison but makes me feel safe. Not so safe any more. The Evil Criminal (EC for short) had pulled up the sash window - not locked - and using two lengths of pipe, managed to lift my Apple Mac Power Book off its stand on my desk. The desk is at least 3 or 4 feet from the window. He'd got it over to him and pulled it through the bars. And, get this, he'd even closed the window!!! He'd even managed to unplug the power cable from its socket and take that.

I actually think we were burgled by this man because i sure as anything couldn't have done that. He also did it in about 10 minutes flat.

With a talent like that, he'd make more money in a circus!

Anyway, the police were with us in 5 minutes, took notes and told us the Scene of Crime people would be along later. They left and we sat - a bit shell shocked - waiting until i could ring our insurer, banks and whoever else.

As the flipping thing had been left on overnight, i'm now worried that EC/Mr Tickle may pretend to be me. You have been warned to watch out for random posts!

I actually feel very lucky because -

1. my gorgeous husband had backed up the entire contents of my computer last night - which was why it was still on.
2. I was allowed by my insurer to go out and immediately buy a new MacBook Pro - which is what i'm typing on
3. All my data is now on the new laptop;
4. we weren't hurt;
5. Mr Tickle didn't steal a silver photo frame on the window ledge that my late father had given me; and
6. Mr Tickle wasn't here earlier, when i went to the bathroom - in only my vest - which is what tends to happen these days as i can't get through the night without answering nature's call.

I'm now really enjoying nacomleavmo and have loved the comments. If you're visiting today - have you been burgled or had anything you love stolen from you?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Perhaps I was wrong...

I really enjoyed my visits to blogs new yesterday. I'm rubbish at remembering the names but at one I got to watch a video clip about Star Wars nerds that made me laugh out loud. Another played me music and another had me thinking about my favourite piece of kitchen equipment. Little things, but I really enjoyed the tour.

It's also making me post more so that my visitors - of which there are more now, thanks girls - are kept up to date.

The sun's shining here in London and i've had a lovely walk today on Hampstead Heath. I walked with the wife of one of my ex-bosses. He's a solicitor and i used to work for him when i was a legal beagle. I got on really well with both of them. We took her dog - a gorgeous lassie looking collie called Count Basie, Basie for short.

We bumped into a group of youngish (20 somethings) on the way. She knew one of them as he'd been very close to her son when they were growing up. She introduced him as Johnny. We chatted to him for a short while about a book she's about to publish about her son's drug addiction and bi-polar disorder (another story) in which Johnny's mentioned. He seemed nice enough. He was obviously in a band and said he's currently recording and it's going well. I assumed it's a hobby.

It was this man As we walked off she asked if i knew who he was. I said no and she told me he's Johnny Borrell the lead singer in Razorlight. I wouldn't have recognised him in a gazillion years and couldn't tell you a single Razorlight song. That makes me feel like my mother - AND i'm not even a mother!!!

Would you have known who he was?

Now, to steal an idea from another blog i visited and to give you something to comment on - what makes you feel old?

Friday, May 30, 2008

I think I can feel TP

[BABY RELATED POST]

Thanks for the comments girls. Glad i'm not alone here!

I'm not sure and perhaps it really is too early but i'm getting little flickers inside from TP. I thought you were meant to get the feeling when you lay down on your back, but I seem to get it when i'm upright. It's probably wind or some other charming ailment!

Did i mention we have not one but two dopplers? We caved and bought one a few weeks ago. I feel a little embarassed to admit to owning one. My mother was very down in the idea. My BF sneered and said i'm the only person she'd EVER heard of getting one. I explained they're more common in the IF community.

The second one was given to us by a friend of MR G. We met up with him down in Mallorca. He lives out there with his wife and they've got 2 IVF children. She got severe OHSS both times and was hospitalised. They've been through all of that together and have been married 10 years. They've just decided to separate. Mr G was really upset about it. Seems very sad to me. I met her too and they make a really lovely couple.

Anyway, he brought us their doppler and said they listened every night. We've only been using ours every few days or so. We'd not taken it away as i figured what would we do if we had a problem. Anyway, once we had one in our hands it was too tempting not to have a cheeky listen. As we had no gel, we improvised with some of the hotel freebie shampoo! It worked and we got to hear the best sound in the world.

Mr G doesn't like me listening on my own, but i have had the very occasional sneaky go when i'm a bit nervous.

I hope i have been feeling TP and i hope there's lots more.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Harumph

Not sure i'm a big fan of NaComLeavMo so far.

It's taking me AGES to get through the commenting - especially when I try to keep up with my usual blog reads. How does anyone spend this long on line each day??!!

AND - to add insult to injury - i didn't get one comment yesterday. The 217 commentors must have been elsewhere!!

I'm not sure i'm reaping what i sew, but perhaps i should be more selfless...!

I'll keep going - until my work deadlines mean i haven't as much time to join in.

On a less grumpy note - i had lunch with one of my Editors today at a really, really great vegetarian restaurant in Primrose Hill called Manna. I was amazed how good it was and not at all hemp wearing knit your own underpants. Well worth a visit.