A journey into Parenthood & dealing with loss

Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

Another miscarriage…

I found out I was pregnant just before my son’s first birthday party. Since all the family were going to be around, we told them a few days after the party. Everyone was thrilled as they know I want a big family. Once again my parents were sad that they were going to be in another country for the pregnancy, but were super excited about another baby. They had really enjoyed their 3 week visit with Kyle for his first birthday.

I went for my first scan early (6w5d) as my doctor knows my history and wanted to check that everything was ok. We even saw a heart flutter, which made me feel really positive. The baby measured 6w4d according to the scan, which was exactly what I was expecting, since I knew the date of conception because of my app. He scheduled me for another scan at 10 weeks, as then we would be able to see more etc. But things were positive.

As with my previous pregnancies he put me on Ecotrin (a mild aspirin) and folic acid. This time he also put me on Utrogestan (a progesterone supplement). I had had my HcG and Progesterone levels tested, so assumed it had to do with that, although I didn’t get the actual figure from him.

In the 3 weeks between my first scan and second, I had major nausea, tender breasts and all the usual signs of a good pregnancy. This led me to feel comfortable in this pregnancy. It allowed me to tell people, and start looking at buying things for the new baby. I was comparing this pregnancy to Kyle’s and how different the foods were that made me feel better. Although the nausea had subsided a bit the week before I went for my follow up scan, I thought it was maybe due to the chiropractic session I had had on the Monday after a weekend away camping for my birthday.

On Friday I went through for my appointment and knew almost immediately that something was wrong when he started the ultrasound. He was struggling to find the baby. And there was absolutely no movement. I felt my throat clamp shut almost immediately. The more he scanned and moved the device around, the more I realised something was wrong. Baby only measured 8w1d, and there was clearly no heart beat. I know it’s his responsibility but he then proceeded to explain what he was looking at, and showing me the different tissue density and how clearly the baby’s heart had stopped beating. He then double checked with the colour blood flow monitor and the sonar. The more he checked the more I could feel the tears welling up in me, until I couldn’t contain them anymore. At that moment I really wished that I hadn’t gone to the appointment alone.

I was scheduled for a D&C for Monday. But before I could escape the public eye I had to pay for my appointment, in a waiting room full of pregnant woman and then get the meds for Monday from the hospital pharmacy. I managed to pull myself together enough to get through that. When I got to my car I just sobbed. I sat in my car and sobbed for a good half an hour. And then I realised I needed to pull myself together enough to drive the 40 minutes home. Alone.

The weekend was tough! Everyone was checking in, giving advice, sharing their stories. I spent hours lying awake thinking about what i would post on this blog, amongst other things. I feel bad that my first post back on this blog is a depressing one, but it is what it is.

Monday morning we had to be at the hospital at 0530. I inserted the tablets to soften my cervix before I left home and proceeded to get more and more cramps as the morning wore on. I was finally taken to theatre at 0950. It was good to have hubby there for support, and my best friend popped in to hang out with me too. So at least I wasn’t alone for all the waiting. Dr P saw me after the procedure and said it went well and they got a good sample of tissue to send for genetic testing. I’m really hoping that something from the testing will maybe give us some guidance as to why this keeps happening to us.

I’ll post again when we get the test results and maybe share a bit more about what my emotions are doing. I’m still struggling to figure out what I’m feeling. I do know that this one has been the worst. Having seen the heart flutter first, and then seeing that I’m carrying a dead baby inside me was just so heart breaking. I can’t believe that my body could let me down again 😦

The BSquirt has arrived!

Kyle Connor Johnson

Minutes after birth

Minutes after birth

was born at 13h50 on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 at Life Westville Hospital in Durban, South Africa. He came into the world via natural delivery after a relatively short labour at 40 weeks and 2 days.

I began counting contractions around 19h00 on Tuesday evening. They were fairly regular, but quite far apart and not very intense. Since I’d thought labour had started on Sunday night, I was not going to count my chickens before they hatched. I eventually decided to go to sleep around midnight. At 02h30 I was woken up by a rather painful contraction. I once again started recording them and they were closer together and firmer, but still a little erratic. At about 04h30 I woke hubby to let him know we were getting closer. He remained very calm and began getting everything together and into the car.

We both showered and at about 05h45 I was in the middle of getting dressed and had a leak of fluid. Now we knew it was time to head to the hospital. We left home just after 06h00. Here is the last photo of me pregnant:

Leaving for the hospital

Leaving for the hospital

We arrived at the hospital and I went straight to the labour ward. I was admitted and put on monitoring. I arrived a few minutes before the shifts changed, so we waited for the day staff to do most things. I was assessed and was at 3cm dilated, baby’s heart rate and contractions were regular and everything was as it should be. After the assessment was done we were moved to our labour room. I was the only mother in the ward the whole morning. All other deliveries that day were Caesarean Section.

We were made comfortable and then left to our own devices pretty much. My sister arrived around 08h00 to check in on us, and remained at the hospital for the rest of the morning, sending updates to all the family and friends. My parents had already started their journey from Swan River, MB, Canada to Durban, so they were getting updates as and when they could get wifi in airports.

Dr P arrived just before 08h00 and assessed me and I was now at 5cm and he was happy with how everything was going. I continued to to labour for a few hours without any intervention, but eventually asked for the entonox gas. Although that made me slightly woosy, it wore off quickly and definitely too the edge off. Dr P checked me once more when I was 9cm and said it would be in the next 2-3 hours. The last few hours are all a bit of a blur!

Once Dr P was happy for me to push, I managed to push Kyle out in 4 or 5 contractions. I avoided an episiotomy and only had a grade 1 internal tear. I got over and hour skin-on-skin time with Kyle in the delivery room and then he was taken with B to the nursery for his check ups and first bath. Dad finally got to hold him – I hadn’t even realised that I was hogging him the whole time in the labour ward.

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B was the most amazing partner during labour and I am so impressed with him. He was there for the me the whole time, making sure I was as comfortable as possible. He was a great distraction when I needed him to be too. He was totally all I could have asked for. The nursing staff were exceptional too and I am very impressed with my time in the labour ward,  the maternity ward is another story, for another day!

I was so thrilled to have had nearly everything from my birth plan stuck to. As Dr P said, my labour and birth were not just text book – I rewrote the text book. I was even told I’d get a gold star on the day I was discharged.

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Kyle is doing well and we are loving having this beautiful little boy in our lives!

The poser even at 2 days old!

The poser even at 2 days old!

 

It’s been a while

I apologise again for the delay. I’ve been really bad at even reading my blog roll, never mind updating my own blog. There really isn’t much of a reason really.

My pregnancy is still going very smoothly. I am 38 weeks on Monday and BSquirt is expected to arrive any time in the next 3 weeks. Dr P will induce on 3 June if baby hasn’t arrived by then on his/her own terms yet. I’m really hoping that an appearance will be made some time from 10-14 days from now.

I have had a surprisingly easy pregnancy, that I feel terrible complaining at all. However my pelvic bone pain is now almost constant, and baby hasn’t even engaged yet. I’m not sleeping well at all, and pretty much haven’t the whole pregnancy. I’ve been very lucky with very few other symptoms. I am still quite mobile and am still driving fairly happily. I do find walking up stairs a chore, but otherwise I’m feeling pretty fit.

All our shopping is done and we are as ready as we will ever be for baby to arrive. The best news is that I was told today that I have won a competition I entered in a magazine. The prize is a pop up travel cot that we just love. I saw it early on in the pregnancy and just knew it was perfect for us. So excited that we have won it. I can’t wait for it to be delivered!

I thought I would also share a few things that I have been watching on Netflix that have been really good. I watched The Business of Being Born and the follow up documentaries More Business of Being Born. I got so much useful information from these shows and really felt more empowered about my birth. I watched A Doula Story and enjoyed that too, although not really relevant to my own life. I then discovered Call the Midwife – a BBC series about midwives in the East End of London in the late 50s, early 60s. What a really fun show! I am loving it. I’m hoping season 3 will load on Netflix soon!

I can’t believe that I’m just over 2 weeks away from my due date! This has truly been an amazing experience and I am feeling calmer about the impending birth.

To all the other pregnant women on the blogs I follow – I am thrilled for you and wish you everything of the best, even if I don’t always comment or like your posts. You are always in my thoughts!

Everything is ok….

… I’m just really sucky at keeping my blog updated!

I am 32 weeks today and can’t believe that I only have 8 weeks-ish left until we meet the BSquirt.

I can’t remember when last I posted, and I’m on my phone so it’s complicated to check. I think it was before our 4D scan. That was truly awesome. My sister came with to the appointment and she mentioned a week later that it had made her broody. That from my sister who in her 30 years has always been adamant that she did not want children!

Two weekends ago we had our maternity photo shoot with a photographer that I really like. We got some really lovely shots and he is putting together a photo book for us too.

We have pretty much finished the nursery – we just need to put up the ceiling light and put the skirting boards in, but we’ve decided to pay someone for that.

My next appointment with Dr P is on 9 April, when we will have a detailed scan again. So we are looking forward to that. It was pretty cool to see that baby has hair on the last scan.

I will try and update the gallery soon with some pics, as hopefully I will have a calmer time at work from now on.

I usually work part time (about 25 hours a week) and help out a colleague who runs our big client’s concierge desk with extra tasks. Part of my job though is to cover her when she needs leave. Well 3 weeks ago her Dad suddenly took ill and she needed to take leave rather suddenly. I immediately jumped in to take over running the desk, and was expecting to be there for 4 days. 4 days turned into me working full time for 3 weeks! I was shattered! I’m not used to working full time right now at all, to be doing it 30 weeks pregnant has been a little insane. Thank heavens for my chiro or I would be in even more pain.

One benefit of this though is that our big client happens to be the company that B works for, so I have seen him during the day almost every day for the last 3 weeks. We had lunch at least twice a week together which was really nice too. I will miss that aspect.

So here’s to hopefully a quieter week, with a Chiro appointment and maybe even a spa appointment slotted in this week. And time to catch up on my blog posts as well as catching up on what everyone I follow has been up to.

Here is one of my fav shots from our maternity shoot:

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Week 24 – 26 Update

I’ve realised why I’m not so good at remembering to post on my blog. Well I remember that I should, but never get around to it. There are two reasons – firstly I don’t feel that doing it on my phone or iPad gives me enough control in editing, and so I keep putting it off. Secondly the computer room at home is one of the hottest in the house, so I try not to spend too much time in there. Given that today is the 5th day in a row of highs around 32C, and this whole month has been highs above 28C, this room is decidedly uncomfortable. Our AC at work wasn’t working so I am at home earlier than normal (I just couldn’t stand to be there anymore), so I thought I must just buckle down and get writing. There are so many updates.

Baby is more than 960g. This whole fruit thing is way too confusing.

How far along are you? I am 26 weeks and 4 days. 94 days to go. This is the last week of the 2nd Trimester already!!

What’s happening with the baby? We had our 24 week appointment last week (a week late). Baby is measuring ahead of the average, and the sonographer said that baby was growing well. Dr P made a note to look out for a big baby. Baby is very active and we have nicknamed BSquirt the little dancer.

What’s happening with my body? I am getting bigger, and strangers are no longer unsure if I am pregnant or not. My skin across my belly is starting to feel tight, but my belly button is still an innie, and my butterfly tattoo is still recognisable. I have had some pain in my pubic bone area, but other than that, I’ve been feeling pretty good. I tire very quickly – especially when going up stairs. I did my first preggy yoga class and loved it, although I was shattered after the class. I will be continuing with the classes. I still don’t feel like my boobs have gotten any bigger. A lot of people have said that I look like I’ve lost weight everywhere else, which is good I guess. I have only put on just under 4kg the whole pregnancy so far.

Moments since the last post? We have painted the nursery finished. We are very happy with the outcome, although it was a lot of very hot, tiring work, it will be good to know that we put the effort in and did the work. Here are our pictures documenting all the work.

Miss anything? I’m not really missing anything. I’m still not sleeping well and I know that’s just going to continue, so I’ve stopped missing that.

Movement? Loving this little dancer! Lots and lots of movement. The most annoying habit is that baba loves to bounce on my cervix, particularly when I’m in a meeting or something like that. I feel lots of movement often during the day.

Any weird Food issues? Still loving frozen grapes and all kinds of fruit. The heat makes me very anti cooking which has not been great for our budget.

Gender? We still aren’t finding out, but it’s getting harder with each visit. I had a dream in these last couple weeks where I introduced the baby with my girl’s name, so now I really don’t know. We still mostly refer to baby has a “he”, but we would be perfectly happy with either gender.

Looking forward to? Our baby moon this weekend – we are camping in one of my favourite places. It is also the Clarens Craft Beer Festival, which B will very much enjoy. Unfortunately none of our friends are able to join us. This is our third year going and we love the atmosphere. I don’t normally drink beer, so for me it’s never been about the beer, but it is just a festive day and there is really good food. The location is amazing too.  Photos from this site.

Clarens Golden Gate

I am also really looking forward to our 4D scan next week. And mostly looking forward to February being over, in hopes of having some cooler weather.

For those that are interested, I have posted a few photos in the preggy gallery, but I’m going to end with one more. This is B’s favourite photo of me so far – barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen!!

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Week 21 – 23 Update

Ok – so I am being awful at keeping this blog updated! I keep reading other people’s blog posts and never get round to posting my own update. Like someone else said, when you’ve been through what we have, it feels awkward just posting week on week that things are going well. I do acknowledge that things aren’t always peachy, but so far this pregnancy is actually going very well and I am enjoying it and really starting to get excited. It’s been a busy few weeks since my last post. I have had a few moments of doubts, but generally it’s not major issues. My psychologist still says I’m doing really well, and I do overall feel that I am. But having been through loss, and read the stories of other’s losses, I know that I won’t truly be completely free and easy with any pregnancy until I have my baby in my arms. With that said, here is the update for the last couple of weeks. I will post updated photos in the gallery later this week.

Baby is the size of a grapefruit or mango depending on the app.

courtesy of TheBump.com

courtesy of TheBump.com

How far along are you? I am 23 weeks and 1 day already, about 118 days to go still.

What’s happening with the baby? We had a really awesome scan for our big anatomy scan just over 20 weeks. BSquirt’s spine is perfect – we even got a pic. Heather checked for cleft lip & palate so we got to see baby’s face – while she was looking at that baby put his/her hand up in front of their face. It was very cute. The brain, heart, bladder and kidneys are all looking good. Baby was measuring on track at between 2ow6d and 21w4d  – averaged out to exactly correct, so my due date remains the same for now. BSquirt is very active, especially when I lie back on the couch in the evenings – Dad and Aunty Cam have both felt good kicks. I got a kick on the inside of my hip bone the other day which was a really weird feeling.

What’s happening with my body? I am definitely showing now – No more mistaking this for too much food at Christmas anymore lol. I have ordered some maternity clothes online and expect them next week. I have started using the hairband trick to keep some of my pants on, since I don’t have that much of a flexible wardrobe yet. I did get two pairs of pyjama pants which are working quite well as maternity pants for now. Although the grey pair really looks a bit too casual for work. I have a lot of new skin tags and most of my moles are growing a lot – Dr P says this is all normal, but it is a bit weird. My finger nails are the longest and strongest they have ever been which is pretty cool! My chiropractor is seeing me every 3 weeks now rather than every 4 since I seem to be getting much more tense. I am also swimming a lot (well standing around in the pool), since it has been really hot and it is really comfortable to take the weight off my belly. My belly button and tattoo on my belly are getting rather stretched. The only reason I know my belly button is getting bigger is that I am now noticing the scar from my appendectomy.

Moments since the last post? It has been a busy few weeks. My In-Laws were staying with us for 10 days around the time of my scan. It was lovely to see them and we have a really nice visit. While they were here we visited B’s Aunt and Uncle who live on the South Coast and that was a really lovely day. While there we went to the beach. B & I went to put our feet in the sea and a very large wave was approaching. We both turned to run, and he was in front of me. I managed to fall over and when he turned around after being told to help me all he did was laugh! It was a very funny moment, but that seemed to be the start of me falling over. I fell over walking to the shops during the week again and grazed my knee. While B’s parents were here his father helped us get started on our nursery and his mom sewed the new curtains for the nursery. I’m very excited to have a lot of these things started and it is now feeling very real. This weekend B & I painted the ceiling in the nursery. Yesterday we bought our pram – we had to change the original colour we liked, but we got a 10% discount on their sale which made me very happy.

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Miss anything? Not really – pretty much the things I have been missing already. Sleeping late, taking good drugs, being able to sleep comfortably and some foods. Also I miss my parents. It was lovely having B’s folks here, but it really made me miss my folks a bit. When I sent my Mom the pic above she mentioned that she feels like she’s missing out on stuff, and it’s kinda true. We try to keep them updated, but it’s just not the same.

Movement? Oh Yeah! The flutters have now changed to definite movements, and B is able to feel them most evenings. BSquirt is definitely most active between 5 and 6am and in the evenings when we sit down for dinner – around 7pm for an hour or so.

Any weird Food issues? I am in love with frozen grapes. I eat a bunch almost every nights. I do find that when my brain decides I want something, that it really hangs on to that for ages. It took me almost 3 weeks before I finally found a place that did potstickers – as it turned out it was our house when I bought them at the Chinese supermarket. I was so glad to finally get to eat them, I could let that craving settle down for a bit.

Gender? I’ve had another dream that it was a boy, so now my gut changes from day to day. Most people close to me are saying boy. B and Aunty Cam are both adamant that it’s a boy. But I guess we’ll wait and see.

Looking forward to? Finishing the nursery – we need to finish painting the room, then get the guys in to sand and finish the floors, then we can start to put all the decor stuff in. It really is beginning to feel real now! Other things we have coming up in the next few weeks are my next appointment on 11 Feb and our 4D scan on 28 Feb which my sister (Aunty Cam) is coming to. In between there we are going for a weekend camping trip to the mountains – it just happens to also be the weekend that the Craft Beer Fest is on, and is our 5 year anniversary of being together that weekend too. So there are lots of fun things to look forward to in the coming month or so.

HALFWAY! Looking forwards and backwards.

I can’t believe that I am half way through this pregnancy already! It has both dragged and flown by! I can’t believe that I haven’t done a proper update in almost a month either. I apologise to my avid followers. I don’t really have any real excuse except that I was being super lazy. In South Africa the 16th of December is a public holiday, so the whole festive season kinda starts then. It didn’t help that it was a Monday and gave everyone a long weekend, which made for a real start to the laziness. I worked right through until the 24th and also kinda worked on the 27th, but it was all such random work, that it didn’t really feel all that much like work.

Christmas Eve was very low key, with my sister and her friend coming over for dinner. I did a really good ham recipe that I found online, with salads and roast potatoes. We had a really yummy Panettone trifle for dessert. After they left we started our new Christmas Eve tradition of watching a Christmas movie together. This year we watched Nightmare Before Christmas. On Christmas Day it was just B and I. We spent the morning slowly getting up (and staying in the aircon), we then had a lovely breakfast of leftover ham and fried eggs, and then opened our presents. I got another angel for my collection (it’s kinda become a tradition with him that I get some sort of angel decoration every year), Matt Preston’s (a judge on MasterChef Australia) latest cookbook, and some lovely lingerie that I had kinda picked out and sent the details to him a couple of months ago. I got him a case of craft beer that he was very excited about, and other bits and pieces. We then spent most of the day in the pool while we cooked a turkey on the Weber (kettle BBQ). It was delicious! The 26th is a holiday here as well, and it was also spent lazing around the pool and doing very little. We both had to work on the 27th, but then we were off for the rest of the year LOL

It was lovely having B home for 10 days. We had great plans of cooking and baking and getting things ready around the house, but we accomplished none of that. We slept in, we swam, we caught up on the whole season of MasterChef Australia Season 5 and just enjoyed being lazy together. We also ate a lot of leftovers and a lot of cookies! New Years Eve I was treated to dinner at one of the top restaurants in Durban, and we had a fabulous meal, with fantastic service. Knowing it will probably be a few years before we can do that sort of thing on NYE again, made it extra special. I really loved not starting the new year with a dirty kitchen too! I tried really hard to stay up, but only made it to 11:15pm LOL. I got a kiss at midnight from B.

Our family has a tradition of always going to a movie together on New Year’s Day. This year the movie was supposed to be The Hobbit part 2. My parents saw it a little early in Canada, and my sister and I made all the plans to see it on New Year’s Day as usual. Well the movie house managed to mess it up so badly they restarted 3 times but couldn’t get the sound right so we ended up getting a refund. B hates going to the movies, so he is now insisting that we will watch it when it comes on Netflix and invite everyone over for a movie night. So the traditional movie this year didn’t happen. It’s a tradition I want to try really hard to hang on to, as it came from my Dad’s side of the family. Hopefully we can make it work.

I started feeling confirmed flutter from BSquirt about a week or so before Christmas, but by Christmas I was very sure that that was what I was feeling. It is now becoming quite distinct which I am really loving. So here is the update:

Baby is the size of a banana, or a carrot, or a coconut, depending on which app I’m looking at. It’s a bit confusing. as they seem like very different sized fruit.

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For this in metric that’s about 25cm and about 300 grams

How far along are you? Today I am 20W3d.

What’s happening with the baby? Baby is swallowing amniotic fluid and is gaining weight all the time. Eyelashes, eyebrows and hair are getting thicker. Foetal kicks are more prominent now. Baby has functional taste buds and can hear noises from outside the womb.

What’s happening with my body? I am showing quite a bit now. Strangers still aren’t sure, but people who know can definitely see that I am pregnant. I actually got some really restful nights’ sleep while we were on leave which was lovely, but since this past weekend I’ve had vivid dreams and nightmares every night. My nipples are still itching a lot, but I’m a little disappointed that my boobs haven’t grown as much as I hoped they would by now. My whole life all I wanted was decent boobs LOL. Otherwise I have had very few other symptoms. I am struggling with the heat, but that happens normally, although I am feeling it more than usual I think.

Moments since the last post? I posted above about Christmas and New Years. These were the really good moments. B also got to feel the faintest of kicks the other night when baby was being particularly active. Just enjoying the time together has been the highlight. We also started shopping for nursery items – we have bought our cot and we bought the paint to redo the room. My in-laws are coming down next week for my scan so Mum in Law will be working on the curtains which will be very exciting.

Miss anything? I had a small glass of bubbly on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve and enjoyed them, but other than that haven’t had anything much to drink. We have discovered that Sodastream makes cocktail flavoured syrups, so I have been having lots of mocktails. I have been missing sushi a bit as it’s so hot, and it’s such a nice lunch time food in this heat. But other than that I’ve been pretty good and not really missing anything much.

Movement? YES! 🙂 I’m loving feeling baby inside me and like all the books say baby is definitely active when I settle down. This is usually in the evenings when we settle on the couch to watch our shows for the night.

Any weird Food issues? Still mostly fruit and not so much of the chips anymore.

Gender? We aren’t going to find out, but the votes are coming in and are going about half and half right now. B still is sure it’s a boy, I’m tending to lean towards girl now, although I was sure it was a boy early on. I guess only time will tell 🙂

Looking forward to? Our big scan on the 15th. I’m also looking forward to having my in-laws here as Mum and I will go shopping for fabrics and stuff for the baby’s room. I’m also really looking forward to getting bigger, even in this heat! We are spending lots of time in the pool and it has been lovely, very nice on my body, so I’m looking forward to lots of afternoon swims. For those in the frozen north, to give you an idea of our heat our high temp today is allegedly 29C (85F), but when we left for work this morning at 8am the car registered 33C (92F). So I think it’s well above what the app says. And next month is only the height of summer here.

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