Friday, September 24, 2010

Before I forget what it feels like

Last night I cut down the dose of prednisone by 5mg. After seeing Sile I am so so paranoid now about it's side effects that I am willing to get off it asap, even if that means the ms coming back with a vengeance. This last week has been great. I haven't vomited or retched in a week now. I have about an hour or so in the morning where I feel really nauseous and have nearly run to the toilet a few times, but have been able to hold it in. I then feel a bit off until lunch, bone crushingly exhausted in the afternoon, and fine by dinner. Sitting here right now I actually feel really really good. Alot of my cravings for salt and junk have decreased and I am starting to want to eat healthier again. Given that the ms really started about the 4 week mark, it has been just over 2 months of daily vomiting and retching.

I actually imagine that this is what alot of pregnant women feel like when they talk about morning sickness and being a bit queasy. I've heard women say that they have ms but can cope with it because they know it's all worth it. Well feeling like I do now, I can see how you would feel that. But when you are dealing with the level of ms I had before, it feels like you are in a living hell. It is hard to even think about the positive outcome you will have when every secon is spent thinking about vomiting and just getting through the day.

So I wrote this post to remind myself that I have felt good at some point this pregnancy! With Charlotte I was still really sick at 24 weeks and still vomiting at least once a week until the end. I completely expected this pregnancy to be the same. I just really hope that by weaning off the prednisone I don't go backwards, but I also want to be off the steroids!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Our crazy Irish doctor

Today we went to see our OB, Sile for the first time. I just love her, she is a crazy Irish lady. The care she gave us with Charlotte was wonderful and I know she will do the same again.

We had another scan straight up and saw bubs wriggling away. It even waved at us which was lovely. But she could see another bleed under the placenta. Sile couldn't tell if the placenta was sitting low or not though so I guess we will see that at the nuchal fold scan next week. The heart beat was 149.

We talked about medications and she thinks I should stay on the cyklopropan until about week 16, finish off the pessaries I've got but go to one a day, and stay on the metformin probably for the whole pregnancy. She wasn't too happy about the dose of prednisone I was on and thought it may even be contributing to the bleeds which has got me a little bit upset. So she gave me a script for zofran and wants me to wean off it. Sile also said that I should be taking it 4 times a day rather than all at once so I will start doing that today. I guess this is the differences between doctors. Warren assured me it was safe to take but I guess he is the IVF expert, and my OB is the baby expert. I haven't vomited in nearlya week though so it has been such a blessing.

She has also put me back onto digoxin which is a heart medication as I am getting a few tachycardia's. When I mentioned it she just gave me a look - I think I'm going to be trouble. And she wasn't too happy with my BP. It was 130/70 which is pretty good for me but Sile really is a stickler for low bp, low blood sugars etc. She has told me before about a patient of hers who stroked out literally in front of her with a bp of 150/100 and I think once she has seen it happen to one person, she knows it can happen to others.

So I asked about work and James said that he doesn't want me to go back, and she said I should be listening to him. She was actually prepared to write me a medical certificate but I don't need it, so I guess she was serious. I'm not on bed rest or anything, but I think she wants me to take it easy.

Then we talked about whether I have a c/s or a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). I said I wasn't sure at which she said we could see how I go but she wouldn't induce me or speed up labour. She then went on to say that she has seen some VBAC's go horribly wrong, and the consequences were horrific. As soon as she said that I was happy to go with the c/s. She then went on to say that baby's are too precious at which I have to agree. I know that some people can go through VBAC's ok, and she even said that, but for every dozen that are fine that one that goes wrong undoes all the good. And knowing my luck, things will go wrong!

So it was actually quite a full on appointment. I got a bit teary at one point. Sile was trying to reassure me that at this point it is unlikely that things will go wrong, at which point I mentioned my sister. I know things can go wrong. So I think she understands where I'm coming from.

But it was a good appointment. We were there for a quite a while and she has made me feel like we are in good hands. Our next appointment is in 4 weeks barring any issues!

Monday, September 20, 2010

12 weeks today

I can hardly believe it but I am 12 weeks today. Phew, we made it to that momentous milestone. As far as I know, bubba is still hanging in there. The bleeding finally stopped Sunday night but I'm still feeling pretty anxious. Every twinge and pain makes me stop and think. And of course every time I go to the loo I'm checking for that horrible colour.

But, at 12 weeks I think I'm on top of the morning sickness. I've had 3 days now where I've felt like I would be sick, but haven't. No retching, no vomiting, just a few deep breaths. This is just so wonderful! I did up the prednisone to 50mg so that is obviously the magic number. I'm still feeling outright exhausted but I'm wondering how much of that is the stress of the last few weeks.

I'm also wondering if I am feeling movement. I've had a few flutters that don't feel at all like gas and the other night I definitely felt a little flutter. I've also well and truly popped out. The books tell me that the uterus is now sitting above the pelvis so that isn't helping I'm sure. I bought my first pair of maternity pants last weekend which was such a relief - so much more comfortable.

I'm still taking it easy and am looking forward to seeing my OB on Thursday. I have so many questions: will I keep bleeding, do I need to keep resting, can I work, or do exercise. Then I want to know what drugs to stop/stay on. Not to mention all the other issues I'm starting to experience such as the tachycardia's (I had them with Charlotte and was on medication for it).

But last night I took my last progesterone and oestrogen tablets. What a milestone. I've been taking hormones now for over 4 months. I'm still on the pessaries but only 2 a day. The end of the IVF journey is in sight, now we just have to fight to keep this bubba!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Two words you don't want to hear

Two words you don't want to hear - Threatened Miscarriage. After the bleeding stopped Thursday, it started up again on Thursday night. I still didn't have any cramping but I did have a heavy feeling. James and I contemplated going up to the hospital but decided to wait until morning and go and see Warren.

After a restless night, I woke at 6am and called Warren who said to come in straight away. So we all quickly got showered, breakfasted and dressed and were out the door by 6:30 am. I was pretty impressed with that.

He did another scan, and there is bubba, wriggling away. But right next to it you could quite clearly see where the bleed was. Warren said that it was on the edge of the placenta but not the placenta itself. He also thought that the placenta was sitting quite low so I might have placenta praevia but wasn't really sure. He thought that the bleeding had mostly stopped for the time being.

Warren did say that he thought we would be ok, but I guess there are no guarantees in anything. He prescribed another drug that is not commonly used and is an anti-fibrinolytic which is supposed to stop the bleeding. He assured me it is safe to take, and I trust him, but it is one more drug to add to the already large cocktail. He also thinks I should be on bed rest but said I could do my last day at work since it was an office day. He didn't think picking up Charlotte was causing it, he really didn't know what was.

So I went to work and finished up all of my discharges and charts. I felt really bad as my manager wanted to extend my locum again and I had to say no. I feel like I've let him down and the team down as they are so desperately short staffed. But I was glad to finish and by the end of the day had wished that I had stayed away as when I got home there was more bleeding.

It seems to have slowed now - just that yucky brownish blood but I am still so anxious. James has been wonderful but I know he is so stressed too. I'm not on strict bed rest, just not supposed to go out of the house but I'm a bit too anxious to do much other than lie on the couch. And on top of that Charlotte has a mild (at the moment) case of conjunctivitis!

I managed to move my OB appointment up to this coming Thursday so I am looking forward to seeing her and talking about what we need to do now. I will let her advise me on whether I go back to work or not, and what drugs I stay on, although Warren said I can stop the progesterone and oestrogen tablets (I run out on Sunday) but to stay on the pessaries for a while. I guess we will have a quiet few days around here! Hopefully!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More bleeding

Why can't I just have a boring simple ordinary pregnancy? Today I had more bleeding - alot more. It started again during the night and was very heavy. Strangely though I felt quite calm. I took a half a Valium right away which probably helped. The bleeding lasted all night but by morning had eased, and by mid morning was that pinky/browny colour.

So I finally took everyone's advice and took the day off work. This is a huge deal for me - because I see clinical clients I feel so obligated to do my job. But I had my sister's words ringing in my ears "is it worth the risk" and today, it wasn't. I also considered calling Warren and going in for another scan, but honestly, the thought of going all the way into the city and seeing him just seemed more stressful. I haven't had any cramping, and the bleeding has eased off. I have to hope that it was just another artery popping. And even if it isn't, there is absolutely nothing he can do about it.

So I have had a quiet day. I still vomited this morning which was reassuring although my MS has been alot less all day (I said it was getting better the other day, but I lied. I've had a terrible few days with it). So the rest has probably been good on many fronts. I took another half a Valium at lunch time and had a nice afternoon nap.

I will go into work tomorrow as it is my last day, but if my manager asks me to continue I think I will have to say no. At least not for another week until I've seen my OB and have a chat to her. I just don't know what is causing these bleeds - is it picking up Charlotte (all 14kg of her), the vomiting (which does cause a bit of pain), housework, or nothing at all?

But on a slightly good note, our cat had to have an abscess drained this week and the drain came out today. The sight of it had been making me so sick so now she just has a bit of a scar. We are all in the wars at the moment! Hopefully this is the last of the bad luck!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not strong

So I spent a few days last week feeling a bit sad and sorry for myself. I'm feeling alot better now, and am wondering if I've turned a little bit of a corner with the morning sickness. But these last few days have had me reflecting on our IVF journey. Alot of people who know about our story often comment on how strong they think I am, and don't know how we do it. But I'm not, I'm not strong at all. I am stubborn though.

I also just go with the flow. When we were told our only option for a baby was IVF, then we just did it. Once you start the ball rolling you kind of just go with it. You are told when to take what drugs, when to have blood tests, when to have surgery. And so we just did it. I found that doing back to back cycles was the easiest thing as I didn't have to think about it. We just jumped back on the roller coaster and kept going.

On the surface, life goes on, but behind closed doors is another matter. When we were cycling I would often retreat into my world and not do much else but work and IVF appointments. There were times when my world felt like it was collapsing underneath me. And when we did finally get pregnant with Charlotte I felt quite disconnected from the pregnancy as it hardly felt real. I know it sounds silly, but it wasn't until we were waiting for the c-section that I really thought and realised we were having a baby. Up until that point it had all been about getting pregnant, staying pregnant and so on.

This time around I am feeling so much more excited about having another baby. Which is why I think the bleed the other day absolutely rocked me. I know that alot of people feel anxious in early pregnancy, and I also know that a miscarriage is devastating for anyone. But the thoughts going through my head were so much more than that. If we lose this pregnancy we can't just try again. And we have been through so much already.

So I'm not strong at all. I have periods where I get really angry. I get angry that we can't get pregnant naturally, that we have to do IVF. I get angry about how much it all costs us especially when our house is falling apart but we can't afford to fix it. I get angry at how the drugs make me feel. And now we are pregnant I still get angry at how hard pregnancy is for me. It doesn't seem fair that we have to go through so much to get pregnant and then I struggle everyday. Sometimes you feel like "what have I done to deserve this" which then makes you feel like you are a bad person and not worthwhile enough to even have a baby.

But as I said, I am feeling better again after the last few days. Infertility never leaves you, I will always carry around these feelings and experiences. Yes sometimes I do think that we have achieved a great thing by doing 8 IVF cycles and getting pregnant twice. And I have to give myself a kick up the bum as there are so many others who never achieve their dream of a baby, or who do have miscarriages, or any other of the many challenges life throws at us. We all have them, and I guess getting on with life is how we all are strong.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Some bleeding

Well I've had a rough day. I woke up at 4.30 for another pee stop and found some bleeding. I then freaked out, and spent the next few hours lying there crying. I just couldn't stop, and had so many negative thoughts in my head. I felt -empty - and just not pregnant.

So in the morning I called my specialist and got into see him. He was really good about it and did a scan and the bubs is looking ok. We saw it wiggling away and it even waved at us! But he can see where I've bled - I seem to be popping arteries in my uterus and so having small bleeds. He thinks I'll be fine, but advised me to take it easy, no "nookies" (his words), etc. He also prescribed me half a Valium as it relaxes the uterus. He reckons I could work and function with that but I took one this arvo and was instantly a zombie. He also recommended a glass of wine with dinner as it too relaxes the uterus. Goodo, I can take that medicine! Plus to increase the hormones I'm already on which means 4 pessaries a day. I really don't know if I can keep taking the Valium but I think he only wanted me to do it for a few days.

So I've had a sleep this arvo, James took Charlotte out for an outing so I had the place to myself. She wasn't sleeping at nap time and I just needed to sleep! I still feel like a basket case and can't seem to stop crying still. I'm supposed to go to work tomorrow even though my FS did suggest taking some time off, but I've only got two weeks left, and have clients booked in etc. (yes I know, after my last post, my manager offered me two more weeks which of course I accepted). I guess I'll just have to take it easy. I'm feeling pretty fragile emotionally. I haven't had any more bleeding since this morning but I think knowing that there was one is quite stressful.

I wish this was easier!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Two more days left

Tomorrow is my second last day of work. When I started, I knew that it was only for a few months, but I am shocked at how quickly it has come to and end and honestly it has taken me by surprise. The first few weeks were really quite hard as I found it mentally and physically tiring, but I have been getting into the swing of it the last few weeks. There is the possibility of a few more weeks here and there, but at the moment I am preparing for this week to be the last. It is hard to believe that we hadn't even started this latest cycle when I started back at work, and now I am 9 weeks pregnant.

One of the lovely things about being back at work has been reconnecting with work colleagues. It has been lovely to see the professional development of some of them. But in seeing that, I realise how static my skills are, and that is a little scary. These months have probably just kept me in touch but I really have to have a hard think now about the future and what it means for me professionally. I really didn't want to work with two children until they were at least in school but I just don't think I can afford to wait that long before returning to work.

I now have a bit of a conundrum in what to do with Charlotte. She has just settled into daycare so I don't want to pull her out, and of course with the possibility of more work it makes sense to leave her there for a while. However I don't think we can afford it for too much longer. But I am looking forward to having a few weeks where I have a few days to myself, especially while I'm still feeling under the weather. I have some big plans for things to do; finish a rocking horse I'm doing up for Charlotte, do some heavy duty cleaning that I can't do when she's around, and finish painting the upstairs of the house (something we said we would do before she was born and only got 3 rooms done).

So the next few weeks will prove to be quite interesting with lots of things to do, but first to finish this week up!