A journey into Parenthood & dealing with loss

Posts tagged ‘fears’

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.

IMG_2018

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.

IMG_2003

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!

 

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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.

Spreading a little Sunshine

sunshine-award

I’ve been nominated for a Sunshine Award by My Hope Jar. I really appreciate the nomination. I keep seeing the other blogs posting various awards, and I wasn’t sure if I would have the chance to get one. I’m really appreciative that I do have a chance to share the sunshine. Considering the dark place I was in a few months ago, I am amazed that I qualify for spreading a little joy. I am thrilled that I am able to give some hope to others through my posting. And I appreciate all the encouragement and community that I have received through these blogs.

How the Sunshine Award Works:

  • Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post
  • Link the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers to receive the award
  • Link to your nominees and let them know you nominated them

My Hope Jar’s Questions and my Answers:

1.  Why do you blog?

I actually have three blogs – two that are related to businesses I started and this one. First there was My Recipe Hampers – which was a business concept that I started and developed through the first six months of this year. I used the blog to try and spread the word about my business and what I did. I had some good things happen, but the concept just didn’t take off. I admit I have not been on the blog in a long time. Second was Pure Romance by Bianca J – this was a blog about my journey in becoming a Pure Romance consultant. I used this blog more to look at the process that I was going through as well as to use it as a bit of a marketing tool. This blog also has been neglected for a while.

I started this blog in June when I suspected I was pregnant with my third pregnancy in under a year. I had lost a pregnancy at 7 week late last year, and then had a possible chemical pregnancy in April. Each pregnancy got harder to deal with as I had always thought it would be the easiest thing to do. I lost that pregnancy in late July and so really began to use the blog to deal with my emotions. I had kept everything very much inside over the last few months and really only my husband – B, knew what was going on. I decided to be public about my loss and found that that was a good way to deal with it and for my family and friends to know what was going on. About 7 weeks ago I found out I was pregnant again – which was both scary and exciting at the same time. I am now using this blog to share my pregnancy – fears and all – with others. I have found this community to be the best thing I have ever experienced in helping me deal with all the very complicated feelings that come with being pregnant after 3 losses.

So that is why I blog!

2.  What is your favourite movie?

I love movies. Moulin Rouge is still the first one that comes to mind as my favourite. I also love Chocolat. But I will pretty much watch anything as long as it’s not a horror or cheesy slapstick.

3.  What is your favourite food?

My comfort food is Macaroni & Cheese – but not the packet kind. I make a delicious baked Mac & Cheese. I love most Italian food and B & I really enjoy Mexican cuisine too. I’m a self confessed foodie, so there is not much I haven’t tried.  And we are always looking for new and interesting restaurants to explore, or recipes to try. With the pregnancy I am completely obsessed with fresh and dried fruit. I eat a dried fruit stick almost every day and can’t get enough of pineapple with is currently in season.

4.  What is your favourite thing or memory about your spouse?

I knew B was the one on our first date! We had met online and for our first date we went to a very nice restaurant. I have never in my life giggled as much as I did with him that night. The fondest memory of that night is that we somehow got onto the topic of Naked Lawn Curling (we don’t remember either – but we laugh about it often now still). That joy and laughter has stuck with us the whole 5 years that we have been together. We laugh and giggle a lot. And best of all!! He loves Christmas as much as I do!

5.  What do you do to relieve stress?

That’s a really interesting question – I really don’t know. I love to be near water – usually looking at the sea. I always find that very calming. I find as well that I need to be distracted in order to quiet my mind, and so I find watching fairly mindless tv quite relaxing too – discovery channel shows, documentaries, things I don’t need to concentrate on to follow. And chocolate always helps (especially now that I can’t have a big glass of red wine anymore). To relieve long term stress though there is nothing quite like a holiday in the South African bush to recharge your system. B & I have just got back from a week in the bush and the difference is wonderful.

6.  Who or what inspires you?

The women in this community of bloggers inspire me. I am always amazed at the strength and caring that is shown. I have a friend, Jaune, who inspires me too. She has been through years of infertility and pregnancy loss and yet is still so incredibly excited to share my journey with me, and that is inspiring for me. I am inspired by women who surrounded me when I was younger, who have given me insights into what good parenting looks like, and I hope one day that I will be able to inspire others in the way that they inspired me. Lastly I am inspired by my mother, who at the age of 62 has started a new job, in a country far from home literally and figuratively, and continues to amaze me with what she is capable of.

7.  What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear used to be going blind. Now I fear that I will never be a mother. Pregnancy loss is a cruel mistress – even when things begin to go right, there is this fear that sits in the pit of your stomach for ever and ever.

8.  What is your biggest dream?

My biggest dream is to have the big happy family that I have always wanted. For B & I to build our dream home in the Natal Midlands and live a self sufficient life that teaches our kids to be kind to the environment, to grow up knowing where their food comes from, to grow up with a connection to the earth and to have the freedom to be kids in the same sense that we did growing up.

9.  What is your best piece of advice?

My favourite quote is from Reba McEntire:

reba-quote

I really feel that this quote is the best advice anyone can give. You need to be able to dream. You need to be able to stand up for yourself when it’s necessary, and also to be able to stand up for what you believe in. And lastly you need to be able to see the funny side of things.

Another quote I love is the song from Cars  – Behind the Clouds. The words go: Behind the clouds, the sun is shining, even though you can’t quite make it out. You may not see, the silver lining, but there’s a big blue sky waiting right behind the clouds. That song got me through quite a few dark moments.

10.  What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the kids that I helped raise briefly when I was an au pair/nanny in the USA. Em & Will are 19 now and in college, I was their au pair when they were 5 and went back as their nanny when they were 10. It is lovely for me to see kids that have achieved so much and are growing into such wonderful people. Lee, Mimi & Sammy are the other kids I nannied and it is so good to watch them grow up and be the amazing kids they are too. I’m convinced that one day Sammy will be famous and I’ll be able to say that I changed her diapers LOL :). I may not have my own kids to raise quite yet, but I know that I have had an effect on other people’s kids and that they are better for having had me in their lives. I truly hope that a year from now I will be able to say that I am most proud of my own child!

My Nominees:

Each of my nominees have reason for why I have nominated them. I have learned something from their blog, I have found comfort in their words to me, I have shared something of their pain and anguish. I hope that through this award they will be able to write something that lifts their spirits just a little bit.

The Adventures of Fanny P

A Calm Persistence

Project Sweet Pea

A Hundred Affections

Wombwarrior

DesperateintheDesert

The Rain Came Down

Baby Maybe

Mama, Interrupted

Whispers of a Barefoot Medical Student – this isn’t a blog from within the infertility and pregnancy loss arena, but I have found her blog truly inspiring and feel that this award would be good for her too.

My Questions for you:

  1. How long have you been blogging, and why did you start?
  2. What advice would you give your 13 year old self?
  3. Where is the best place you have travelled to and why was it so good?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
  5. Are you a cat or dog person? Or something else or neither?
  6. What is the one book your think every person should read?
  7. What was your favourite subject at school – have you used it in your career/adult life?
  8. What is your favourite time of the year?
  9. What is your “Happy Song” and what is the memory that makes it that?
  10. What food do you love as an adult that you hated as a child? What changed?

I am so looking forward to reading your answers and to finding out a little more about each and every one of you.

 

 

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!

So much for skipping this cycle!

Since the news this morning I have decided not to publicise my blog for now. So no sharing on Facebook & Twitter – this is just for the special people  that I have come to know in cyber space. For those of you that are still struggling with the journey I wish you every hope. I am truly sorry if this post causes anyone even a little sadness! I know I’m going to have a lot of conflicting emotions over the next few weeks and months, and I’m going to need to share with someone! I hope some of you will stick around.

AF was due last Friday! When she hadn’t shown up by Monday I thought it was just a glitch with how I was tracking. Yesterday I counted the days. 33 days since my last visit. This morning I peed on a stick (POAS).

#4 in less than a year

#4 in less than a year

There’s no question there!  I phoned Dr P’s rooms to make an appointment and can’t get one until 7w5d – 3 weeks from today. I went for blood work this morning – I just go directly to the lab, as it’s near impossible to get a short notice appointment with Dr P and I know which tests to ask for.  I’m still waiting – just got the call – for Dr P’s rooms to phone me back with my levels: Progesterone is at 57.3 and BETA wasn’t done – they are doing it now. All the lab confirmed with me was that I was positive for hCg. I will go again on Friday morning for another round of blood work. I’m hoping that everything goes smoothly from now until my appointment.

With my last pregnancy I didn’t wake B up when I tested (it was a weekend & I was up before 6am), and I waited for his alarm to go off before I told him. He was upset that I didn’t wake him up as soon as I knew. This morning I woke him up. I told him in his groggy, half asleep state and he just rolled over, wrapped his arm around my waist and told me he loved me. Later when we woke up a bit we talked.

He worded it beautifully – We are apprehensively excited!

I found myself thinking about being pregnant at Christmas, and doing an announcement and stuff. Why is it always so instant this hope?

My tummy was in knots the whole mornings – I’m not sure if it’s nerves or hormones. I managed to eat and find eating calms my tummy. I’ve also been drinking loads of water.

I feel bad that I haven’t been looking after myself this month in preparation for being pregnant, as I thought we had avoided the fertile week entirely. I had an incredibly stressful week last week and was consoled with multiple glasses of wine. Yesterday was National Braai Day and I had a drink or two while we sat around the braai. I’ve eaten lovely mature brie, drunk too many giant mugs of coffee and I’m sure done a whole lot of other things I shouldn’t when trying to conceive. At least my eyes and teeth are getting sorted out, I have the final dentist appointment tomorrow to fix the last filling. Guess it is back to focussed healthy eating and no more bad stuff! Just one teeny-tiny espresso in the mornings. B even bought me decaf Nespresso pods when we placed the last order – to him that’s sacrilege. The fact I drink instant coffee is bizarre to him!

I will update again when I have more info. Right now it’s just kind of a blur of emotions.

I don’t know when I will publish this post but it was originally written on 25 September 2013. 

Eye tests

I went for my retina check today. I was surprisingly nervous. Both my pupils were dilated which was a very strange experience. I’ve been told that I don’t qualify for laser eye surgery as my eye sight is too weak. Apparently the cut off is -6 contact lens strength, and I’m already at -10 and -10,5!

I was also told, quite matter of fact-ly, which I found quite disconcerting, that I will develop cataracts at an early age. That happens to people with my poor site, but then when they do the surgery to fix them, they can then fix my eye sight at the same time. Told as if the last part was a benefit.

There was nothing showing on my retina tests so I am now being sent for a visual field test next week to figure out if the weird dark patch I keep seeing is my mind playing tricks on me, or something wrong with my brain!

Have I mentioned that I don’t particularly like doctors and testing? Especially when it comes to my sight. My biggest fear in the whole world is going blind and all these tests are freaking me out just a little bit.

In other news I went for my teeth cleaning today and I was told that my mouth wasn’t as bad as the dentist had suggested. I have to floss daily and change my toothbrush head and toothpaste to the sensitive ones and I should have better gums in no time. So here’s to no more inflammation caused by iffy gums affecting my pregnancies.

Tomorrow I have one of my fillings repaired and on Monday the other one. And tomorrow is session two with the therapist.

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