Thursday, September 27, 2012

Week Eleven

Thursday, September 27, 2012
I cannot believe how nauseous I still feel...but I'm learning to live with choice really.

This is going to be a bit of a ranty post, but it's my blog, so I'm not going to apologize. I just wanted to warn you.

All my friends...actually EVERY woman to whom I've told that I'm pregnant, has a story about her or a friend's experience with morning sickness/exhaustion/birth. I welcome other's anecdotes as long as they're shortish and pleasant. However, every now and then someone doesn't think that what is in their brain should not be formed into spoken words.

Here's just one example...

Me: How was your trip to Los Angeles

Girl Friend (GF): It was great, caught up with lots of my friends but there was something that I can't stop thinking about that happened which was awful.

Me: Oh no...what?

GF: I wasn't going to tell you, because, you know, you're pregnant and this is about a friend who was also pregnant.

Me: Ummm, well now you've started and if you want to tell me the story, go ahead. (I was kind of hoping she was going to say NO, I'll save it until you've had the babies..but the words kept comin' out of her mouth).

She went on to tell me how this friend of hers was 25 weeks pregnant and had a miscarriage whilst she was visiting. Every second sentence was "I really didn't want to tell you this"


It's a very sad story and I realize things like this happen to many women, but, you know what, I have been trying to have a baby for SO MANY YEARS and now that I finally am, I just want to hear about butterflies and fairies.

Friends...this is one of many stories I've heard since being pregnant, whether in person or on social media (Twitter or FaceBook). Please think about what you are about to say to someone BEFORE could really upset the recipient.

N x

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Meeting A New Doctor

Sunday, September 16, 2012
This week I had my first obstetrician (OB from now on) appointment.
Sitting in the waiting room, I realized how different to mood was there to the one at the fertility clinic. The women at the clinic don't make eye contact and everyone is "hopeful". They're there for a blood test to check hormone levels. The results of which will tell them when they can start their IVF cycle/change, up medication/when their egg pick up will be/if they're pregnant.

In the OB's waiting room, however, all the women ARE pregnant. Most have probably never seen a fertility clinic and are lucky enough to conceive naturally. I like this waiting room. PLUS, I didn't even have to wait very long.

He answered all my questions, explained what's going to happen in the next couple of weeks and did an ultra sound. They're still there...tiny hearts beating away.

I left with a giant folder full of information and a book titled TWINS

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nine Point Three Weeks

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Yesterday I had another scan. I was fine until about an hour before, when the anxiety started. It wasn't because I thought anything bad had happened, more that I was a bit worried the Doctor might find that the third embryo was actually still there!!!

Thankfully that didn't happen!!!

The twins are there. It's still a bit very surreal

They look a bit like astronauts
They now have heads, stumps for arms, legs and even knees. Bloody amazing.
Cannot believe they're inside ME!!!

After three years of visiting my fertility Doctor, today's visit was my last. I thought I was with him until week 12, but nope. He recommended an Obstetrician, who is the one I have been asking around about and hearing only good things.
I bade everyone farewell and promised to visit when my belly is HUGE!

When I got home, I called the OB and have an appointment on Friday...
Thus begins a new chapter

N x

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Eight Weeks Down

Sunday, September 9, 2012
I'm now eight weeks pregnant. It's been such a long road to get to this point, I still find it weird to say, and even type the words
"I'm pregnant"

Three weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, I started bleeding and, naturally, I totally freaked out.

I called my Doctor's emergency pager number and whilst waiting for him to return my call I Tweeted about what was happening. I couldn't believe the responses. I was NOT alone. This happens to LOTS of pregnant women, sometimes it's a one-off, other times they bleed for days/weeks/the whole pregnancy.
By the time my Doctor called back, which was only about 20 minutes after I paged him, I was feeling a tad better. He talked me off the ledge saying pretty much exactly what I'd just been told. Also, there was really nothing to be done except keep taking my hormones and wait 10 days (TEN DAYS) for my first scan. He said I was welcome to come in on the Monday but was a week too early to see any heartbeat, so it would be kind of useless.

I resigned myself to the fact that truthfully, I was doing everything right and hopefully it was one of the three embryos that didn't attach, making a dramatic exit. I bled most of the weekend, but not as badly as Friday night. I still had all the same symptoms...sore boobs, all day nausea and beyond tired by 10:30pm, so I was pretty sure I was still pregnant. Just to be *sure* I bought more pee sticks and, sure enough, they kept coming up positive.

Just some of the pee stick tests I invested in

I spent a lot of the week with a friend who was visiting from New York. He and I had severed ties 18 months before. He made contact with me a few weeks ago, emailing me to let me know he's been thinking about me and he's having a mid life crisis and he'd love me to respond but wasn't sure whether I would.
I did and we started emailing back and forth, just like we'd never stopped. He told me he was contemplating coming to Australia to see a friend of his who lives in Queensland and would definitely visit Sydney but felt strange coming without me knowing.

So, as perfect timing would have it, the week before my scan, when I really needed to have my mind focused elsewhere, he arrived. It was awkward for about one second when we met at a movie theater...between when I first saw him to when he gave me a hug.
All good

It only took me about ten minutes to tell him about me being pregnant!!! We were early for the film, so we sat in the bar area. He asked a couple of times if I wanted a glass of wine and I had to say no thanks. To curb the same question at dinner after and any meals following, I decided this was as good a time as any.
He was shocked at first, but only because my news came out of left field...he was and still is, very happy for me.

This was the week my nausea and tiredness started getting worse! After the movie we went to dinner. I absolutely love(d) the menu at the restaurant but took one look at it and realized there was not one thing I wanted to eat. We settled on sharing 2 pasta dishes. I ate exactly three mouthfuls. By 10:00 I was ready for bed so he put me in a cab which I nearly fell asleep in!!!

The same thing happened the following night and the one after that. I'd told him about a great new restaurant that had opened only a couple of weeks before and was getting great reviews. it just happened to be attached to the hotel he was staying in!!! We ordered their signature dishes, one of which is Peking duck and I basically forced myself to eat them. The food is really good and I'm now looking forward to returning when I have an appetite so I can enjoy what I'm eating.

Finally came Scan Day. Mum insisted on coming with me, which was fine. She'd been with me (in the building, not in the room) for my transfer, so I felt it was right to let her do the same for my first scan. I made her wait in the Doctor's office. Not because I'm a bitch, because I wanted to find out on my own first.


Well, this is head shaking, tear making stuff.

I still can't get my head around it and don't think I will until I start showing, which will be ???

I'm really nauseous all day...the only thing I can equate it to, for those who have never experienced morning sickness (also everyone's morning sickness is different) is that I feel car sick every moment of the day...AND NIGHT. I also have overwhelming tiredness. So much so, that I've been having a nap most afternoons if I can and have now been going to bed at about 8:30pm!!!
I cannot make arrangements unless it's before 11:00am because I don't know how I'm going to feel. Mornings are my best time. My friends, thankfully, are understanding because they've all been there done that.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Home Again

Thursday, September 6, 2012
The horrible two week wait after IVF embryo transfers is exactly that...HORRIBLE.
During this time, I decided I should do some pee stick tests or POAS - pee on a stick. For the very first time EVER, including every IVF cycle, I started getting positive results.


I couldn't believe it, so kept buying you do. I was also feeling a bit off and very tired but put it down to jet lag.
The morning finally came that I could go for my blood test. I was there at 7am but knew I'd have to wait until the afternoon for the results as they had to go back to the Doctor first. As you can imagine, I was unable to function!!!
A girlfriend called check up on me and insisted we go for lunch. I agreed, because I knew there was no way she'd let me stay home alone.

She picked me up and we went to a local cafe, where I spent the next hour forcing down food and glancing at my iPhone...waiting, waiting, waiting for THE call.

Finally, we decided to leave. I was going to call the clinic from the car, but as we left the cafe, my phone was my Doctor.

"My Dear, you are definitely PREGNANT"

I burst into tears in the middle of the street. Literally, I was standing on the median strip with cars and buses driving by on both sides of me and there was I, shaking, with tears streaming down my face.

My friend, after we hugged, ushered me into the car to breathe and regroup. She drove me home so i could begin making the phone calls to family and friends...and announce it on Twitter. I *had* to because all my Tweeps (followers) had come to Athens with me and, whatever the outcome, needed to know.

N x

Monday, September 3, 2012

Greece is the Word Part 2

Monday, September 3, 2012
The first three nights we were in Athens, we stayed in a hotel in the city. I couldn't get the apartment for the whole time we were there. After weeks of deliberation, I booked two rooms - one each for Mum and me. It wasn't perfect, especially as it was too hot to go out between 2:00-7:00pm and the hotel had no pool (no idea how *that* got past me), so we were stuck in our rooms most of the afternoon.

The city of Athens is hot, dirty and full of back packers. Not my scene at all. However, the best part of being there was finding a vegetarian, mainly raw cafe that I'd been reading about called Avocado, which just so happened to be literally around the corner from the hotel.

My first appointment at the clinic was the day after we arrived. The cab ride wasn't long, the wait at the clinic was two and a half hours!!! Luckily my Doctor in Sydney had warned me about this and we went armed with ipads, books and snacks. However, it was more fun people watching than reading!
The clinic, Athens Genesis Hospital, was so much more than I'd expected. I'm not actually sure what I thought it was going to be like, but this was pristine. The staff are all very friendly, most speak English, it's was SO busy with patients coming in and, above all...CLEAN.

My name was finally called and I was ushered into Dr Kostas Pantos' office. The clinic is his...HE IS THE man everyone comes to see. I realized why the wait to see him is so friggin long - he doesn't watch the time.
There's no "Ok, your time is up." He answered all my questions and Mum's...of which there were many and when we were satisfied with all answers, he sent me off with a script as long as my arm for a lot of (fertility) drugs and told me to return the following week for my transfer.

All I know about my egg donor is that she's 20 years old. No.other.information...BUT they had SIX viable embryos for me...SIX. All would be unfrozen and left for five days. Commonly known in the IVF world as blastocyst.

We had a whole week to explore our new surroundings in Glyfada. The area is only 15 minutes by cab from the center of Athens but the total antithesis!!! It's by the ocean, open spaces, clean, the stores and restaurants are beautiful and as I said in my last post, the apartment was spectacular.

Six days later, I returned to the clinic for the reason I was in embryo TRANSFER.

The whole procedure took about 10 minutes. Three embryos were transferred. This is common procedure for the Doctor there for patients over 40 years old. He says there's more chance of one taking. I, however, am healthier than most women over 40!

My Embies...I named them Huey, Luey and Duey

Back to the apartment for the remainder of the day to rest and we left the following day.