A journey into Parenthood & dealing with loss

Archive for the ‘1st Trimester’ 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 ūüė¶


12 Week Update

Friday was 12 weeks LMP. We had a super busy weekend so I’m only getting to posting now. I had the Pure Romance South African Convention in Johannesburg and so my hubby, sister and I drove up for 48 hours and drove back yesterday afternoon. Of the last 48 hours I’ve spent 13 in a car and 8 sitting at a table. It was a long weekend¬†but¬†very¬†motivating and inspirational. I’m glad I went. It was especially good to be there to see my¬†sister go on stage to receive her award for reaching a high level of achievement in Pure Romance. Here is a pic of us before the awards dinner.

Me, B and Aunty Cam

How far along are you? Today I am 12 weeks and 3 days.

What’s happening with the baby?¬†Baby has all the necessary parts and now is just growing. Reflexes are starting to develop, and baby is moving quite a bit. We saw that on the scan last week. Baby is the size of a plum and my uterus is the size of a small melon.

Total weight gain?¬†I don’t know, I haven’t weighed myself this week, but I am definitely starting to show and having a harder time sucking my belly in lol.

Maternity clothes? I bought a belly band last week and went shopping for a maternity bra, but didn’t get one yet. I was told to come back when my boobs were bigger. I did enjoy being confident enough to walk into a maternity clothing store, so that was a good move in the right direction.

Stretch marks? Nothing yet.

Sleep? I need more than I got this weekend. I’m still waking up early and a couple times a night to pee.

Best moment this week? I’ve had lots! I told work and my boss was more excited and happy for me than I was expecting him to be. The girls in the office are thrilled. We also got to tell quite a few friends who are all really excited. I went to a sale of the Hooligans clothing brand and got almost a whole wardrobe for the BSquirt at R25 an item ($2.50). Their clothes are just adorable! I also got a whole bunch of stuff for our friends’ kids for Christmas from the sale.

Miss anything? I really missed having a glass of red wine on Saturday Night at the formal dinner. And I didn’t enjoy being designated driver most of the weekend either. B met up with all his Jo’burg friends and had a fun time with the boys, so I did most of the driving up there. I also missed just being able to eat what I want – we went to a Farmers Market yesterday and there were all these lovely cheeses and cold meats and Eggs Benedict (which I love), that I felt not right eating. I miss just eating what I like when I want.

Movement? Nothing I can feel, but non-stop on the scan. Although Dr P said that I will probably feel movement earlier as I have a posterior placenta so that’s exciting.

Food cravings? Still mainly fruit and fruit juice. And I’m really loving salty foods.

Anything make you queasy or sick? I had a really bad bout of MS on Friday morning, but I hadn’t slept properly since 2am and it was probably because I was really hungry. As soon as I had eaten I felt a bit better.

Gender? My gut still says boy, but we aren’t going to find out.

Symptoms? My boobs really need to be in a bra. On Sat night I decided to wear a stick on bra so I could wear my dress one shouldered, within half an hour of getting to the function, they were aching. They are feeling a little achy and full again. Also starting to feel uncomfortable lying on my stomach. Otherwise nothing much has changed.

Belly button in or out? No change, but my belly is starting to stick out a bit, and you can feel my uterus starting to move up, there’s a firmness above my pubic bone.

Wedding/Engagement Rings on or off? Both still on.

Looking forward to?¬†A very lazy weekend at home next weekend, and just having a more relaxing week. I’m also looking forward to getting a bit more of my energy back soon.

12 Week Appointment and Scan

Today was our 12 week appointment and detailed scan.

The BSquirt is measuring 54 mm, which is 12W3d, I’m 11w4d since LMP.

The estimated due date is around 24 May 2014.

The scan included multiple checks for ruling out Down’s Syndrome: The Nuchal Fold is measuring 1.3 mm. The want it to be under 3 mm and it’s usually more than 1 mm, so we are measuring perfectly. The nasal bone was visible. The heart and bladder were both apparent and what they expected them to look like.

My weight has dropped by 1.5 kgs since my first appointment, but Dr P said it’s probably because I’m eating healthier and drinking more water. I can expect the nausea (which is very limited for me) to start to disappear in the next 2 – 3 weeks. The tiredness takes a couple of weeks longer.

I have a posterior placenta – this means that I will be able to feel baby moving earlier rather than later.

Dr P said something really interesting that I didn’t know. The uterus grows at about a centimetre a week, so that’s how fast it will start to expand from behind my pubic bone. And yes the little bit of firmness is not in my head, it is in fact the beginnings of a baby bump ūüôā By 16 weeks the uterus will be half way at my belly button, by 20 weeks half way between my belly button and my rob cage and by 32 weeks at my ribcage. Apparently this is a good time to be tall!

I was also sent for blood tests – these will be back in 5-7 days. Dr P will phone me with the results as I am over 35. He phones anyone with abnormal results and all his patients over 35. B and I have talked and we are unlikely to go ahead with an amnio even if it’s recommended, since we will not terminate if the Down’s results are positive. It’s been a lot of hard work getting here, we are going to do everything to keep this baby!

I see Dr P again on the 10th of Dec.

We have started telling close friends now. I went to tell the girls I used to work with and they were beyond thrilled!

For those that would like to see the scan pics they are loaded in the Pregnancy Gallery above.

In other news, our new organic vegetable garden was installed today and I am very excited about us having our own fruit, vegetables and herbs growing in our garden. The cats have already found the catnip plant!

The new vege Garden

Greebo found the Catnip

Greebo found the Catnip


11 week Update

Yesterday was 11 weeks. According to my apps baby is the size of a fig or a lime.

limes  figs

How far along are you? 11 weeks and 1 day

What’s happening with the baby?¬†Arms and legs are continue to grow and they can now bend. Baby starts to kick, but this is still undetectable by me. Baby is on the way to looking more like a baby now.

Total weight gain?¬†I’m still weighing in about the same.

Maternity clothes?¬†Nothing bought yet, and I don’t need to wear them yet.

Stretch marks? Nothing new in this department

Sleep?¬†About the same as it’s been all along. I do find that if I wake up to pee after about 430am, I very seldom am able to go back to sleep. Although yesterday I did, and I had been feeling a little queasy when I got back into bed. I then dreamed about eating an apple, it was very odd.

Best moment this week? It’s actually been quite a stressful¬†week. We had two sets of contractors at the house – the electricians sorting out the work they didn’t do when we were away, and the roof guys doing repairs that had been put off due to the rain. My best moment was having my house back to myself on Thursday evening. Also I’m starting to be able to feel something of a baby bump – it’s really just a firmness above my pubic bone, and I can only feel it if I’m standing up, but I’m pretty sure it’s related to the pregnancy.

Miss anything? Being able to wind down the evening with a glass of wine, especially after the week I’ve had. Other than that, nothing really

Movement? Not that I can feel.

Food cravings? Still mainly fruit, nothing weird.

Anything make you queasy or sick? I’m very luck in this department, I only seem to be queasy when I’m hungry.

Gender? I’m thinking it’s a boy, but it’s really just a hunch. We won’t find out until the birth. Although this week I dreamed about having an ultrasound that showed twins – a boy and a girl, who I kept referring to by the names of the twins I nannied for. The boy was developing as expected, but the girl wasn’t and the unspoken suggestion was that I would only take one to term – the boy. It was a weird dream.

Symptoms?¬†Strange dreams, highly emotional this week! We had our year end function for the school that I volunteer at. I cried (like big heaving sobs) through one of the songs they sang, and all I kept thinking is my hormones can’t take this LOL.

Belly button in or out? Innie

Wedding/Engagement Rings on or off? Both on

Looking forward to?¬†Definitely our 12 week scan on Tuesday – I’ll be 11 week 4 days. This will also be when they run the 1st trimester screening. Dr P has advised that he doesn’t recommend an amnio or CVS, unless the screening in this test shows a higher than normal risk. We will talk about that once the results are back. I’m also looking forward to telling some more people. I’m not looking forward to telling work, although I know they’ll be excited. I’ve only been there 4 months and I’m worried it’s going to be an issue.

Week 9 – 10 Update & Some pics of my holiday

According to my apps, baby is the size of a prune or a green olive. Someone somewhere must grow really big green olives!


How far along are you? Today I am 10 weeks and 2 days.

What’s happening with the baby?¬†Baby is now termed a foetus!

Total weight gain?¬†Weirdly I’ve lost more weight, down 0.7 kg – I’m not sure how that’s possible with having eaten at restaurants most of our week’s holiday.

Maternity clothes?¬†Nothing new, although I’ve found a few new Durban websites for buying them.

Stretch marks? Nothing new

Sleep? Full of really intense dreams. I’m also waking up a lot to pee., but otherwise not too bad.

Best moment this week? Seeing the most adorable baby rhino on our holiday. The video is below.

Miss anything? A big glass of red wine after a particularly irritating day on our return from holiday.

Movement? Nope

Food cravings? Still lots of fruit and fruit juice.

Anything make you queasy or sick? Being hungry seems to be the biggest trigger. Also when I smelled the fishy smells on holiday after we had eaten.

Gender? Not going to find out.

Symptoms? Aside from weird dreams and being nauseous when hungry, most other symptoms seemed to have dissipated.

Belly button in or out? No change.

Wedding/Engagement Rings on or off? All still on.

Looking forward to? Our appointment for our big scan on the 12th Рonly 9 days away.

B and I had the most amazing week away. We stayed in a self catering apartment in the town of St Lucia, South Africa. Our weather wasn’t the best, but we had two really beautiful days. We went to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi game reserve on the day that was supposed to clear up and it rained the whole time we were there! We did see some elephants and more than 10 rhino which was really good. This is one of the oldest game reserves in South Africa, and also the place where the entire population of rhino left in South Africa were bred from. When the park was declared there were only about 20 left in the wild, and this park has since increased the numbers and exported rhino to most of the national parks in South Africa.

The next day we had the beautiful weather and we spent the day in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park which is a world heritage site. The video above was taken there. We saw other general game, as well as spotting whales far out at sea, which was pretty awesome. The weather turned in the afternoon as we got to the swimming beach, so we didn’t really get much time there. We did however dip our feet in the sea.

The rest of the week was spent relaxing, building Meccano that I got B for his birthday, eating out and just generally enjoying not being at work. It was a lovely relaxing week and exactly what we needed.

Here are some other pics from our trip:

B & I on the beach

This was home for a week.

This was home for a week.

Crocs at the Crocodile Centre

The famous sign at the croc centre

He blocked the road for more than 25 minutes.

He blocked the road for more than 25 minutes.

A pod of hippos

A pod of hippos

Mission Rocks Panorama




8 week update

Friday was eight weeks since my LMP. According to my apps, baby is the size of a raspberry or Jelly Bean. 

jellybean_1  RASPBERRIES AR

According to my ultrasound this week baby is 16.8 mm (or was on Wednesday). Something I read suggested that baby is growing about a millimetre a day at the moment, so by today would be around 21 mm! 

How far along are you? I am 8 weeks and 2 days today. This is a big day for me. This time last pregnancy was when my miscarriage started. So tomorrow I am the furtherest along that I have been pregnant in the last year. 

What’s happening with the baby?¬†Arm and leg buds start to form, the neural tube is closing and tastebuds are beginning to form already!

Total weight gain? I weighed in the same as last week. 

Maternity clothes? Nothing new. I did go and look at Woolworths, which is one of my favourite clothing stores, but discovered that the biggest one in my city only has one rack of maternity clothes Рall pants! That was a bit disappointing. I will have to contiune looking around to find where to get affordable options. I liked some of the suggestions I got through my Bump app in this article. 

Stretch marks? Nothing new. I’m using Save my Skin from Pure Romance when I remember to try and keep my skin a little flexible. Both my sister and I are Pure Romance consultants. I have a blog about becoming a consultant here, but I’ve been very lax at updating it.¬†

Sleep? Not so great this week. I’ve been awake early almost every day. Between the need to pee and the very vivid dreams I haven’t been sleeping very well. I dreamed this week that I was in a competition to undress guys without using my hands – don’t ask – it was really weird!¬†

Best moment this week?¬†Obviously seeing and hearing the baby’s heart beat at our appointment with Dr P on Wednesday. Second best moment was when he said when we were walking out that there was nothing that was niggling at him and he really felt everything was exactly where it was supposed to be at this point. My cousin gave birth to her third child on Wednesday afternoon and B said he though that was a sign. Happy coincidence of welcoming a new family member and us seeing a heartbeat on the same day?

Miss anything? Smoked Salmon! I went to breakfast meeting on Friday morning and they had smoked salmon & scrambled eggs to put on croissants. I’ve never been a scrambled egg fan (especially in hotels and other institutions), but I absolutely love smoked salmon. Unfortunately I knew in my head not to eat it, but my stomach wasn’t interested either which was disappointing. I also miss sex. I feel bad for B that I’m not interested right now – I know part of it is concern for the pregnancy, and part of it is a true lack of libido. But I’m not feeling like a very good wife right now!

Movement? Nothing to report in this department. Although apparently the foetus is moving already. 

Food cravings? Nothing weird this week. I am drinking loads of Milo in the afternoons. 

Anything make you queasy or sick? Nothing in particular, although I’m even more anti-smoking now than ever.¬†

Gender? We will probably not find out. 

Symptoms?¬†Weirdly this week they all seem to have dropped in intensity. I have moments of tenderness in my boobs, especially with the weird change in temperatures we’ve had this week. I haven’t noticed much queasiness, and my skin is less icky than it was last week. My digestive tract is still on a major go slow. Otherwise just the frequent peeing and the weird dreams have remained about the same as the last few weeks.¬†

Belly button in or out? Not expecting much of a change here until a few months from now. 

Wedding/Engagement Rings on or off? All the same here too. 

Looking forward to?¬†We go on holiday on Friday for a week. I’m really looking forward to having some quiet time in the bush. Also my parent’s visas have finally been approved and the leave for Canada the week after next. I know that sounds weird to say I’m looking forward to that, but they have been in limbo for so long, that I think it’s going to improve everyone’s lives a little bit. It’ll be good for B and I to finally feel like the house is ours. I will definitely miss my folks, but we will stay in touch with them via Skype regularly.¬†

I’ve decided that this is a book I really want for this pregnancy. I have always loved Dr Seuss! Click the pic to be taken to the Amazon page where you can read an excerpt.¬†

Oh Baby!

First Antenatal Appointment Ever!

Today was my first doctor’s appointment with Dr P for this pregnancy. It was also my first antenatal appointment ever! With my previous pregnancies I only ever got to the doctor after the miscarriages had already happened. Today was a lot of firsts!

First time seeing an embryo in my uterus! Measuring 16.8 mm from head to rump. Good yolk sack visible with a clear foetal pole. There is good thickening around the placenta. The pregnancy has implanted quite high in the uterus. There is lots of fluid in all the right places. Dr P said that everything looks exactly how he’d like it to look at this stage.

First time seeing and hearing my baby’s heart beat! 170 pbm. Dr P said it was right where he wanted it to be.

First pictures of BSquirt. Here is the first pic, there is another in the gallery.

BSquirt First Photo

First appointment that B came with me to the doctor. I think he was as emotional as I was when we heard the heartbeat.

I must admit that the nerves had started to get to me yesterday already. Suddenly it crossed my mind, that as positive as I had been about this whole experience so far, I wasn’t out of the woods, and had no idea what today might actually hold. The worried thoughts started to go through my mind – What if there was no foetal pole? What if it was a blighted ovum? What if there was nothing there? What if I started spotting last night – would it all be over before the appointment again? What if there was something terribly wrong when he looked today?

I did not have a very good night’s sleep. It didn’t help that there were other issues in our family that were on my mind too. It boiled down to me being awake from 4am this morning with thoughts racing through my mind. At 6am B woke up and told me to just relax. Way easier said than done.

Thankfully my job is very varied, so I could find a fairly mindless task to help me get the time to pass. I wrapped Christmas presents all morning for one of my clients. I still have more to do, but it definitely helped the time pass. By the time I left my office to fetch B I was a bundle of nerves! I downed my bottle of water in order to ensure a full bladder and we headed to the hospital where Dr P is based. We were super early as usual. I do love that about B – he doesn’t mind that I always like to be on time, but preferably early for appointments. We sat and waited, and I waited for all the water to reach my bladder, which it did, about 10 minutes before we finally saw the doctor. Why do they always want pregnant women to have a full bladder for these things? It’s really hard concentrating on other stuff when you are trying so hard not to pee your pants!

We went through to the room and I changed into a gown. Dr P checked my eyes, my heart and lungs and my blood pressure. He was happy with all of that. Then he turned to the ultrasound. Up until this point B was sitting quietly in the corner. He then tried to find a place where he could also see the screen. This is South Africa – there are no ginormous flat screens on the wall for us – we all shared the ultrasound machine’s screen. Dr P invited B to stand right next to him so he could get a clear view. It was awesome. As soon as he started, I began to feel my heart race – I was so worried that something was going to be wrong. Dr P takes a moment to explain where all the parts of your body are, which was actually quite nice – showed my bladder which was full, my cervix, vagina and then – there it was! You could definitely see something was there. He then proceeded to go through all the things he was checking and letting us know what we were looking at. He then showed us the heart beat and flicked a switch which let us hear it! That was the point that I teared up, and I’m almost certain B did too!

What an amazing moment! I can’t describe all the emotions that were going through my mind!

Dr P is very cautious – it’s one of the things I like about him. He’s also very factual, which both B and I really like. We talked about the schedule for the next few months, in particular about the next appointment which is 12 Nov. This will be my detailed 12 week scan and blood work for chromosome tests. He discussed the options and what he recommends. As we were leaving, I think he could see that I was still a little apprehensive about everything and he said the best thing he could have: “At this point there is nothing that I am even a little bit worried about. Everything looks exactly as we’d like it to look at this point. We aren’t completely out of the woods yet, but there is nothing niggling at me. This is a good pregnancy.”

I feel like we can go out tonight for dinner and really celebrate this milestone.

I’m still going to be cautious and take things one step at a time, but I really am feeling 100 times better than I was yesterday this time!

I got an album as I was paying which says “Baby Scan Album”, it’s quite something to have two pics in it already. I really am feeling like this is real now.

Here’s hoping for an uneventful 4 weeks until my next appointment!

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