December 18, 2010

23 Weeks

I've had a cold this week, and the amount of coughing I've done with the mucous being made has been turning my stomach a bit. Still, my perfect non-puking record this pregnancy is intact (proud of that one! :P). Unfortunately I've passed the same cold onto my husband and he's feeling poorly this morning - we leave to go on holiday to his parents place in Tasmania for Christmas today.

Work is now finished for the year... I'm officially on school holidays! :D

Excited? You bet. Unable to relax, on the back of one of the busiest months I've experience in a while? Definitely. It usually takes me a week or two to unwind at the end of the year, I'm guessing that this year will not be much different. ;)

Our little one was bestowed with more gifts this week (I'm honestly overwhelmed by the generousity of others), in particular:

From an online friend who has a three year-old son. She spoilt us. :)

Okay... so many all of this isn't for the baby, but at least the teddy is! (being a teacher at this time of the year often results in excess, but a nice excess)

One of the families I have taught this year wrote me a beautiful note (you will have to click on the image to see it full-size to read it more clearly)
And lastly, it wouldn't be the end of the year with the annual "jump" picture - even being pregnant it wasn't going to stop me! Behold the disappearing bump:

Which really looks more like this....

(23 weeks & 3 days)
So my classroom is now empty, a new teacher has been employed to take over from me in the beginning of February, and I'm a little petrified. Teaching is what I know and love, and the idea of it being out of my life for at least a year (or more) makes me feel a little unstructured - or out of control, even. Come April, I know that this time will be a distant dream, but for now it's more than a little surreal.

December 9, 2010

22 Weeks

The bumping and thumping continues, with baby making his presence known more by the day.

We had an appointment with our obstetrician this morning, where we found out that everything was well with the 20-week scan (as expected, as we were given every indication during the scan that nothing was awry!). Weight gain so far this pregnancy is at 8kg (I'm now carrying an extra 1/7th more weight than pre-pregnancy!), the doctor seems to be pleased with how everything is progressing.

I'll be doing the (non-fasting) glucose test on January 4th - not particularly looking forward to it but such is life! The doctor also said that with his IVF patients he usually schedules a 28-week ultrasound to make sure that everything is continuing to progress nicely. Another ultrasound? Another chance to see the little man's features more developed? I'll definitely be in on that (even if it's for purely selfish reasons :P).

I quite like our obstetrician, he said he needs to have a "reason" (his words) to perform another scan, with IVF in itself not usually being enough on the request form. So he popped down that the baby is potentially measuring small (even though he's not!), and voila... scan is booked for January 20th.

Recent gifts for the little man(atee) that arrived from my MIL and sister in-law. Very cute, and in squee-worthy newborn size!

View from the top at 22 weeks! ;)

December 6, 2010

21 Weeks

The last week has brought another milestone - I'm now able to see my belly move from the outside when the little man kicks out at his surroundings. It's very surreal seeing your tummy poked from within, but at the same time very cool too, I can't keep my hands off it!

I bought some cloth nappies second-hand from a friend recently and they arrived this week - very exciting! (we're hoping to use cloth after the first month in or so; if things don't work out and we go back to disposables then that's okay too - nappies are pretty easy to sell on as there's always a demand. However, there's not much that's cuter than a fluffy bum on a baby!)

More on purchases, I finally outgrew my last pair of pre-pregnancy jeans and sourced eBay for some maternity jeans (I'd tried a couple of brands on in a store so I knew which fits and sizes were best for me). I must say I'm impressed with the two pairs that arrived - even though someone else has worn them, they fit me like a glove! What a shame it's been Summery weather this week and too warm to wear them yet (empire line dresses have been my friend!)

My best friend (and honourary Auntie) bought the baby his first alligator toy, also very cute - the gesture of the gift means a lot to me too. :)

Marisa and her thoughtful gift; our house is now decorated for Christmas too!

It's nearly the end of the Kindergarten year and while things are crazily busy right now, I know that within two weeks hubby and I will be escaping the pressures from work and heading away to Tasmania until nearly the New Year...can't wait for that. My replacement at work has also been hired recently, and rather than starting maternity leave from March 1st, it'll most likely be after February 15th - yippee! (although what I'll do with myself for potentially 8 weeks I do not know; I'm sure life will dictate otherwise)

Speaking of work, management bought me this gorgeous bouquet of lillies and presented them to me at the Christmas party on Friday night. Made me feel so special. :)

November 29, 2010

A Milestone


Hubby felt the baby kicking from the outside for the first time last night (at 20w5d).

I've been feeling him from the outside for the last two weeks, but it hasn't been strong enough for hubby to pick up on. Sure enough last night he felt three swift kicks and his eyes lit up.

"Is that the baby?" he asked.

Yes Matt, yes it was. :)

November 27, 2010

Ultrasound Says...


We will soon be buying more clothes that look like this:

Yes, baby is very much a little BOY!
(measuring right on schedule, everything is exactly where it should be)

So how does it feel to know that this baby is in fact a little man? Surprising, and yet wonderful at the same time! I have been feeling definite girl vibes for most of this pregnancy and went as far as to call myself 75% certain. There you go... that goes to show that the universe likes to save the best surprises for the most important of times.

Laying there on the bed while the ultrasound technician (the same woman who did our 13-week scan) waved her wand on me, manatee squirmed and wriggled, barely giving us all two minutes before he decided to change position and show us his goods. Previously, legs were crossed and I joked to hubby that it would figure, we wouldn’t get to find out the gender today and the technician said “oh, I already know what it is, do you want to know?”. Umm, yes please! She repositioned the wand and zoomed on in, and asked hubby and I what we thought we were looking at. Not three lines, but a something.

“Is that a boy?”, I kind-of-squeaked (wondering if she’d laugh at me if I was wrong).

“Yes, it’s very much a boy”, she responds.

Hubby and I squeeze hands, grin and while she takes pictures and continues the scan the tears stream down the outsides of my eyes. Happy tears, and the realisation that we were going to be parents to a manatee boy.

Yes, it figures that we had all but agreed on a girl’s name and hadn’t yet settled on a name for a boy (we decided not to push it anymore and come the 20-week scan, we might not need to have that conversation anymore!).

After the technician confirmed our realisations, hubby laughed and replied “that’d figure!”.

So now starts the journey of suitable names for little boys, names that will carry on through to adulthood painlessly. The list of ‘I hate it’s is lengthening, but the list of ‘I don’t hate it, but...’ is growing. Perhaps we’ll see eye to eye soon, or maybe when our little boy is born we’ll know the perfect name? Either way we won’t be sharing any names online before the birth!

Post-ultrasound, we emerged with an envelope of highly-prized pictures, DVD and big grins on our faces. It was a relief to also discover that the baby’s head isn’t overly huge (even though he currently weighs in at 380g or 13oz, which sets us on track for an 8lb+ birth at full-term), which was the case with my brother who required a forceps delivery during his birth. Dissimilarly, I practically slid out at a tiny 6lb 13oz (at 38 weeks; whereas hubby was born at 42 weeks and weighed over 9lb, if I remember correctly).

He. I have to get used to saying that. I’ve been so used to saying ‘it’ that there’s that adjustment period.

Now the fun of buying little jeans, overalls, t-shirts, rompers and shirts begins. And we couldn’t be happier. :)

November 24, 2010

20 Week Belly

In less than 24 hours we'll hopefully find out if we have a son or a daughter growing in my tummy. :)

November 21, 2010

19 Weeks x 2

My mind is a-swirl with things to come in the months ahead - planning this baby's room, putting away old furniture, building up our cloth nappy (diaper) stash. Hubby and I went to Mothercare yesterday and left without actually buying anything (!!). Actually, what was supposed to be a quick look at cots (which we'll be purchasing and setting up after Christmas) turned into ooh-ing and ahh-ing over soft blankets and co-ordinating nursery bedding, analysing prams and carseats, and envisioning the little one in little jeans, t-shirts or dresses. It was the first time either of us had looked at things specifically for baby together, so that was a milestone within itself.

We've decided to forgo the traditional pink or blue-toned rooms and are looking at light wood and shades of yellow, green and white (even though we hope to know whether the baby is a boy or a girl). We found the perfect nursery set which brings together all of these colours, and has cute baby insects with happy smiling faces. This will be perfect (in fact I had to restrain myself not to buy it right there and then - I know we have many eager family and friends who are itching to buy us gifts for baby; it'll be nice to be able to point them in a certain direction now!).

(this is what the quilt looks like...isn't it cute?)

After a few goes, both hubby and I have been improving with using the doppler. Baby's heartbeat tends to measure between 135-145bpm (which the old wives tales say could point to a boy ;P), nice and strong. This has definitely put my mind at ease after the fall I had a couple of weeks ago (my knees with their new pink skin still tell the tale!).

Two days until I'm 20 weeks (!!) and 4 days until the big ultrasound. It's set to be an exciting week. :)

Bump at 19 weeks.

November 16, 2010

19 Weeks

I am 19 weeks pregnnat today, one week shy of being (give or take) midway through this journey with the soon-to-be-not-so-little little one.

A gorgeous package of cute baby things arrived from my husband's family (and a couple of their friends) yesterday - including slippers, a soft yellow rabbit toy, singlets, jumpsuits and hats. What a surprise!   There's just something about the extreme softness of all things baby *goes gooey*.

(the blanket is especially cute!)

Even though I'll only be 25 weeks-ish at Christmas, the in-laws are throwing us a baby shower when we're over in Tasmania in December (baby showers aren't a big deal here in Australia, but it's a tradition within their family according to my husband - so when in Rome....!). Sister-in-law is apparently planning some cheesy games, I said that as long as it involves food I don't mind what happens! Famous last words perhaps? ;)

We've been giving some thought to the future room of this baby. In our two-bedroom apartment, the second bedroom already houses a bed, three bookshelf units, a corner computer desk and linen cupboard. There isn't an in-built wardrobe (since it's not a large room to begin with), so storage has always been a bit of an issue. Since there isn't another space in the apartment for the desk and shelves, they'll remain in the room, we'll just co-ordinate the cot (crib) and change-table (which we already have; it's our old entertainment/TV unit) in a similar colour to tie it all together. This will be the 'baby nook', which will start its transformation after Christmas... which is surprisingly not too far away now!

(excuse the things on the bed, it's some of the last things to be put away or Freecycled from our move almost a year ago. The styrofoam [from stereo speaker packaging] is being picked up tonight for its new home. We will have more space then!)
I saw my Naturopath this morning, the lovely woman who has helped me from my initial diagnosis of infertility back in 2008 through to the IVF and finally pregnancy. She even had some wonderful pregnancy news of her own to share (!!). I find visiting her a very holistic experience and always leave feeling relaxed, empowered and happy - today was no exception. I'll next see her again after the new year, and am plied up with vitamins and minerals to last me until then. I can't recommend my naturopath (who are also known as herbalists in some countries) highly enough. :)

In other exciting news, I picked up my doppler from the post office this afternoon! Great timing, as it will be good for my reassurance when this baby is going through stiller periods (even though I feel movement most days, usually somewhere between 7-11pm).

.... now to just pick up some AAA batteries and try this out!

November 11, 2010

Letter to a Little One [18 Weeks]

"Everything grows rounder and wider and weirder, and I sit here in the middle of it all and wonder who in the world you will turn out to be“ (Carrie Fisher)

Who are you, the little one who kicks me softly in the early evenings and as I lay down and sleep each night? I've only known you for eighteen weeks but already you have changed my life and the lives of those around you immeasureably.

In fifteen days we will know whether you are a little boy or a little girl, and the rest of the surprises will be kept for after you join us in the outside world in April.

(Bump at 18 weeks)

We went out on the weekend to a fancy restaurant and discovered that I could still fit into a fairly small pre-pregnancy dress (I was thrilled, in fact!). It's not often that either hubby and I have the opportunty to dress up, so we took full advantage of it. :)

The way I was standing made it look as though I was carrying my bump really high (which isn't the case at all!)

November 4, 2010

17 Weeks

Thwack, thwack, thwack.

When I'm lying down in bed most nights, this is what I feel in the half-hour or so before drifting off to sleep. Always below the belly button, sometimes off to one side, sometimes to the centre (and down pretty low). I definitely know it's the baby I'm feeling now.

It's difficult to describe the movements - they're very light, almost like a muscular twitch but not. It makes me smile and forget whatever it is I'm doing (ie, if I'm having a conversation with someone while sitting on the couch).

Also had a 'gender' dream two nights ago, where I found out that this little one is a girl. I don't know if there's any significance to this, or whether my subconscious is just playing games with me (only 22 days until we potentially find out). Interestingly I haven't had any actualy baby dreams yet - as in holding this baby, or who it is outside of the womb. I'm going to trust my intuition and hope that these dreams come later in the pregnancy.

For the time being, I'm bidding on a cheap fetal doppler on eBay to put my mind at ease - I think for $30 both hubby and I will definitely get our money's worth with the reassurance it brings. :)

October 30, 2010

16 Weeks

This week marks an important milestone - no, not just that I'm officially four month pregnant, but that I felt the baby move for the first time on Tuesday (the 26th).

We were at an appointment with the obstetrician and I laid down on the bed while he put the doppler on my tummy. As he started up the doppler (before we could hear any sound) there was a small thwack off to my left side, between belly button and pelvic bone. If I didn't know any better, I'd say the baby was startled!

I kept my thoughts to myself in case hubby or the doctor laughhed at me and said "oh no, that's way too early for movement with a first baby". But sure enough, I've felt the same muscle-twitching type movement another two times since then.

The little one is trying to make itself known to me, and I am ever so excited. I'm filled with love, gushiness and maternal pride *insert gooey smile here*. :)

Another big week for growth, and am getting more comments from families in the workplace. The old wives tales have begun, and people are adamant that it's "definitely" one gender over another. Of course, everyone has a 50/50 chance of being right... including hubby and myself. Hubby is currently thinking Team Pink, whereas I'm undecided (although looking whistfully at little buttoned shirts and cargo shorts). Only 27 days until we get the opportunity to try and find out! ;)

16 weeks & 3 days.

October 24, 2010

Infertility in a Fertile World

I've had a few moments of serious thinking lately, which has been triggered by a few people saying "You're not infertile anymore, you're pregnant!".

I have a bit of a problem with this for a few reasons - if anything I feel more guilty because I have an obvious phyiscal marker of fertility in front of me every day now. People notice my growing bump (which has been on the move quite a bit this week), so it's easy to pretend on the outside that I'm fertile like a lot of the female population.

The trouble is that I'm not. IVF and the wonder of science has helped my husband and I achieve this dream of childbearing, and without it we would still probably be trying and experiencing BFN after BFN, slowly losing hope. Where do I sit now? With the women who pregnancy has come naturally to, or with the women who still yearn for a child and my bump is a reminder of what sets us apart?

It can be difficult being an infertile woman in a fertile world, and the thought of going through IVF again in the years to come terrifies me as I now know what we're in for. I'm not the praying type, but I hope that my fallopian scarring somehow reverses with this pregnancy.

October 21, 2010

15 Weeks

I'm in the eager stage of pregnancy right now.

Eager to feel those little flutters for reassurance that everything's going okay.
Eager for further belly growth, despite knowing it'll be around the corner.
Eager to know whether this little one is a boy or a girl.
Eager for baby room decorating, despite a lack of space to do so!

I guess that's one of the down sides to popping out early (for me, it was from about 10 weeks), you think that everything is going to happen just as instantly... but it doesn't. It's all slow and steady - and at times non-existant! I've had a couple of random tummy rubs recently, which has been surprising to say the least (I'm not a hugely touch-and-feely person), so there must be some physical changes going on. ;)

Innie belly button is becoming shallower.

October 14, 2010

14 Weeks

Hubby and I went away to the Grampians (a mountain range in inner Victoria) for a wedding I was shooting last weekend. It was an amazing experience (with views for miles and miles!) but unfortunately the morning sickness I thought I'd avoided reared its ugly head on the morning of the wedding...oh dear.

Thankfully I didn't empty the contents of my stomach, though I had to excuse mysef out of rooms multiple times during the day (including while shooting the bride getting the end of her make-up done). Talk about an experience!

Here I am before the ceremony (photo courtesy of the hubby) -

Photo at 13 weeks & 4 days

I made my pregnancy official to management at work last week, which was a relief (as it turns out many people were guessing anyway, given the fact I'm starting to show and was quite thin pre-pregnancy!). Many of the parents and families I work with at the preschool are very happy for the news too... even if it means I won't be teaching their children next year!

Got a shocking cold at the moment, which is the first I've had since I hit 6 weeks (when I had 3 colds in quick succession... hello compromised immune system!) and am thinking of taking tomorrow off as a sick day - I barely ever take time off. I think I owe it to myself. :)

October 5, 2010

Letter to a Little One [13wks]

Hello baby, we saw you today and heard your heart beating at 160bpm. You're measuring 6.75cm from head to rump right now, and that doesn't include your legs (the ultrasound tech said you'd be closer to 10cm realistically!).

Everything looks good - your brain, heart, kidneys, body, cord, feet and hands. Unlike last week's scan you decided to surprise us by being still (and more than just a little bit stubborn... I think you take after me already!). As soon as the tech flipped into 4D mode you put your hand up in front of your face as if to say no more!! We'll get you used to the camera yet, there's plenty of time. ;)

The next time we see you will be on November 25th, when I'll be 20 weeks. Hopefully you co-operate and let us discover who you are!

Love you.

September 29, 2010

12 Weeks (!!)

Today I had my first appointment with the obstetrician and he surprised us with a quick ultrasound....cue much excitement (and nervousness!) on my part!
We got to see our baby on the screen.... not a blob, but a fully-formed (but tiny) baby! Sure, this picture doesn't quite do the experience justice, but it was amazing to see it moving around on the screen. In fact, the obstetrician commented on how active he/she was, and that may be a sign of things to come.... oh my! :O

Measuring three days ahead too - it must have our tall genes... I've never been so proud. :)

(Not the clearest angle, but here's our little one's second picture! (head to the left, legs to the right)
We have our 'proper' scan next week, so I'll be sure to update then.

And my twelve week tummy picture. Nearly out of the first trimester!!

P.S. - Hubby and I made the pregnancy public on Facebook tonight, now it's officially out there. :)

September 26, 2010

11.5 Weeks

I'm on school holidays from teaching at the moment (bliss!) so there's been a bit of relaxing as well as catching up with friends and family. I've been thoroughly enjoying my time off - still another week to go - and then it will be (hopefully) my last Term of classroom teaching before office duties for Feb/March next year before starting maternity leave. Can't get too ahead of myself though, I'll be meeting with management at some point in October or November to discuss exactly what the beginning of next year will bring (I'm due at a tricky time, with not being eligible for maternity leave until 4 weeks into the school year).

Lots of changes this week, including:
- A couple of bouts of (mild) random quasiness
- Light-headedness if I don't eat every two hours
- A total of 3kg gained so far this pregnancy
- The potential beginnings of colostrum (!)

Our first appointment with our obstetrician is on Wednesday, with our next ultrasound the following week (October 5th). So hopefully exciting times ahead!

P.S. - I think it's nearly time to (sadly) put away my favourite jeans:

September 14, 2010

10 Weeks

Well, here I am (roughly) 25% of the way through this pregnancy already. In one way it's been a very fast time, but in other ways it's been a slow crawl - ie, the IVF cycle that seemed to last six weeks, all the blood tests, waiting for an ultrasound, everything else that comes along with the first trimester etc.

And suddenly, wham... there's the beginning of a (tiny) tummy. It's hard to believe that these two pictures were taken only two weeks apart, or that I'm 5'11" to begin with and have quite a long waist. Genetics should tell me that I can't possibly be showing yet, but sure enough there are genuine changes here.

Image as proof (I debated about leaving my head in or cutting it out, then thought "bugger it") -

Hard to me to deny this, hey?
It's almost the term break at work, so with another three weeks under my belt I wonder if any further changes will be obvious by the time we come back in the beginning of October? It will be t-shirt weather very soon in Melbourne, so creative dressing may be appropriate until it's time to announce things formally.

Either way, these changes would probably explain why I've been feeling lots of pulls and tiny cramps (not in a bad way) lately.

September 12, 2010

9.5 Week Belly

This is what I'm seeing by the evenings lately, I've had lots of 'pulling' pains/twinges and the urge to wee has been stronger again in the last few days. My favourite pair of jeans are holding on for dear life!

Hubby and I had our first discussion about names the other night, he brought up a list I'd mentioned about names I'd liked during the years and then crossed off along the way. It turns out that there are at least a couple of girls names we agree partway on, but so far nothing for boys. Hopefully for our sake this little one turns out to be a girl (if my instinct is correct, then it will be the case!).

September 7, 2010

9 Weeks

I'm nine weeks today, with only one month to go until I'm out of the first trimester!

After getting over the initial shock of discovering that we were pregnant at the beginning of August, the last five weeks have been an interesting time: the never-ending appetite (including massive cravings for cheese that have only been getting stronger!), countless toilet trips, the tiredness and more. Morning sickness has been kind to me so far, with only a few queasy moments to date (my Mum jokes that I'll be in for it later down the track).

We have our first appointment with a hands-off obstetrician (who comes highly recommended) on September 29th, and our twelve-week scan on October 5th. Hubby wants to come to both, which I think is really quite sweet (though little does he know yet that I'll be having to take a urine sample to the OB appointment!).

The little bloaty bump that I posted last week has hung around, which leads me to believe that it's the beginning of something real. Skinny jeans have been put to the back of the wardrobe in favour of fitted pants with a little more stretch to them - hopefully these get me by for another 1-2 months, or until it's warm enough here for skirts/shorts again! (secretly I'm glad to be having a Summer baby because my wardrobe is more suited for it, with me probably only having to buy a few pieces here and there).

Anyway, enough of vanity, that's this week's update. ;)

September 2, 2010

8 Weeks

The last week has been a whirlwind affair, starting off with the all-important first ultrasound which made me cry when I got to see this on the screen:

Pregnancy at 7 weeks & 0 days

With a heartbeat of 133bpm, it was truly a beautiful sight to behold (even if it's difficult to make anything out yet). This little one was measuring ahead, which the technician said could either be because of our genes (I'm 6'0" and hubby is 6'2" - or in metric terms, 181cm and 186cm!) or that the blastocyst implanted early. Either way, I feel proud already. :)

We have officially 'graduated' from the IVF clinic and are currently in the process of being referred to more local care at a nearby private hospital. Our last HCG blood test results were really good, with the numbers being in the 105,000's! :O

Both families now know about the pregnancy and everyone seems thrilled for us! I'm ecstatic we've been able to share the good news with them all (even if we're not making it completely public until after our 12wk ultrasound).

I've been sleeping a lot more lately (tending to nap at about 3pm when I get the chance) and morning sickness is still fairly non-existant (I've only had a couple of days where I've woken up a little queasy).

And I think that's my update?

Oh wait, I forgot to show you what's appeared during the last week, a little teeny-tiny (probably all bloat) protrusion:

August 23, 2010

Ultrasound is Tomorrow

Tomorrow marks the land of no return... the first ultrasound. Will there be a sac? Will there be a manatee-shaped human-to-be inside? Will there be a heartbeat?

I'm on edge because I'm still in that limbo between being treated for infertility and so-called 'normal' pregnancy. I'm seeing a reproductive endocrinologist (tomorrow will mark the second-last visit before graduating to more local care) and will be joined in the waiting room tomorrow by a variety of women - some of whom might be in a similar situation to me, or midway through an IVF cycle - or their assisted reproduction journey may be just beginning.

In plainer English, I'm a little scared, more than a little cautious and hope that above anything tomorrow brings good news.

...and for the time being I place my hands carefully over my lower abdomen as if to protect the life that I think is going on within right now. Pregnant until proven otherwise.

August 17, 2010

6 Weeks Today

I've been keeping a lower online presence everywhere lately, I'm not sure why though I think dwindling energy levels might have something to do with it.

Today marks being six weeks pregnant, which to me is my first mini-milestone. I'm so proud of my body for doing what it should be, now that I'm off all drugs/medications related to the IVF (just on natural-based supplements, prescribed by my naturopath). Last week I had more blood work done that proved my HCG levels are rising (9014 vs 793 a week ago!). Progesterone was down a little, but still within normal range - the nurse that's probably because I'm off progesterone supplements now. I have one more blood test next week and then I get the all-clear for a while. :)

In other exciting-to-me news, hubby and I will be getting a super early sneak peek at how this little one is doing next Tuesday (which I hope brings news of a strongly-beating heart and everything measuring on schedule). Our first ultrasound! I've had many during the couse of the last few years, but only of an empty uterus.... this is completely different and I'll be ecstatic for good news *keeps fingers tightly crossed*.

Also this week we need to decide on what kind of birthing care I'll be having, as our IVF specialist will be writing a referral shortly. Then we'll be officially be done with the clinic and continuing pregnancy care locally. It all feels too early to be planning these things - after all, I've only just found out that I'm pregnant! Originally I was interested in midwife-led care, but now I'm considering other options too. I've been recommended a couple of hands-off obstetricians which sound like a good fit for me, and I know that at least one of them accepts IVF women *thumbs up*.

So now we wait a little bit, and hope that next Tuesday brings good news (yes, it's all about the waiting, waiting, waiting!).

P.S. - My stomach turned yesterday at the smell of disintegrating rubber gloves. Hoping this isn't a sign of things to come!

August 10, 2010

5 Weeks Today

It feels as though I've known about being pregnant for ages, but in reality it's only been a week and-a-half. The trouble with knowing so early is that there is longer to wait to make real progress.

But then again, every week is progress, and closer to the goals of staying pregnant and birthing a baby (which sounds strange to say because my goal for the last couple of years has been to actually get pregnant!).

I've had a cold this week, which has been knocking me around, and my appetite continues to be big (metabolism, I suppose??). No sign of sickly feelings as yet, so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that this continues.

Two days until the blood test which hopefully confirms that my HCG levels are rising properly, and 15 days until our dating ultrasound. This is the big one for me... it'll all feel more real then. Hubby is excited, I'm so rapt to see him feeling happy about what's happening (did I doubt otherwise, I'm not sure?!).

August 5, 2010

HCG Levels

What a wonderful day.... my pregnancy has been confirmed by blood test!!

I was right on the money (4w 2d) with my dates, with my levels being -

HCG: 793
Progesterone: 391

The nurse said that those levels are looking really good! Now to have another blood test next week, and my first ultrasound is scheduled for August 24th (6w 6d). Great timing, as two days after that hubby and I will be flying to visit the in-laws to tell them the good news! :D

P.S. - I told my best friend about our news over lunch today, predictably she cried! I know she's going to be the best non-related auntie ever! ;)

August 4, 2010

On Why I Love Carrots

Symptoms to date: Lots of weeing. Tiredness. Big appetite. Thirst. Carrots are yummy.

It's funny, I've only known I'm pregnant for five days but I feel so attached to the mass of cells that are growing inside of me, and hope that they make it to this side of the world. I know it's wrong to feel like this already, but this is something the hubby and I have wanted for so long -- and strived for. We like to succeed in all facets of life and fertility is no exception. Now I'm growing a baby and trying to do the best that I can. :)

There are 11 hours to go until my blood test, and I'll find out the results 5-6 hours after that. Very nervous despite knowing in my heart that we'll have a good result (hopefully enough to go off the progesterne, but won't be devestated if I have to stay on it... I'm thankful we've gotten this far).

I've told a few close online friends and decided to be an active part of a forum I've been a part of for a couple of years (after the initial endometriosis diagnosis). There are other women who are in the very early stages of pregnancy like me, and it feels good to share in this experience with other people. And to validate my thoughts... that it's okay to feel attached. :)

Tomorrow I'm lunching with my best friend and I plan on giving her the good news in person. I know she'll be rapt (she can't wait until the day when she and her partner have a baby of their own), and will probably wonder why I'm spilling the beans so early. I questioned a good friend who said the same thing once and she said that if anything were to 'go wrong' she'd rather the love and support of others around her, rather than trying to cope alone.

I tend to agree with her, so this is why my best friend and I will be jumping around in excitement together this time tomorrow. ;)

August 3, 2010

No Doubting This Response...

Who would have thought it? After yesterday's very faint positive on an internet cheapie strip, I bought myself a First Response test and.... well, there's no doubting that result. I'm pregnant!

Before I get ahead of myself there is Thursday's blood test to get through, and early ultrasound after that. But wow, I never thought I'd get this far so fast - I feel so bleesed!

Hubby and I are trying not to think ahead, but we can't help but talk about when we'll tell both sets of parents (probably at the 7 week mark, since his parents live interstate and we'll be seeing them in person for the first time this year in a month's time). Interestingly, that means also keeping "the secret" from my own mother until then, someone that I'm very close to. My guess is that she'll figure it out, but we'll just have to see. As I said, a month is a long time away and we don't even know yet whether this little one is meant for the world (I think she it is).

P.S. - The urge to pee very frequently on Saturday night made me realise that maybe my period wasn't on the way after all. That and a general feeling of 'oddness'. Since then, the peeing han't stopped (I've been waking up at least twice a night needing to use the toilet) and this morning I haven't felt all that hungry but have eaten my bran cereal anyway. Isn't it too early for all of this?

I worked out my dates, and I'm only a tad over 4 weeks...

August 1, 2010

Two Lines

If July was the month of upheaval, then I think I am really going to like August.

Last night the cramping continued and I found myself keeping on going to the toilet to check whether I'd started my period yet (11dpo7dpt). The cramps were identical to period pains, increasing in intensity and I was trying to steel myself that this was it.

A couple of hours later, while sitting on the couch with hubby, a calm descended over me... an oddness that told me it was time to test, that something was stopping this period from coming.

Fast forward to this morning and..... TWO LINES!!!

Sure, the second line was faint but still visibly there without squinting. Holy moly, I think I'm pregnant. Four days until the blood test to find out for sure... cautious optimism shead!

July 30, 2010

Embryos on Ice!

It's like Disney on Ice, only without the cartoon characters coming to life.

*thumbs up to good news* 4 out of our 6 remaining embryos made it to freezing, which means if this cycle is unsuccessful we've got a couple of frozen cycles up our sleeves! :D

Do I feel any different at the moment? Not really, I was telling a work colleague this morning that besides a bit of cramping on and off yesterday and today, I feel like life is really back to normal. But now that I feel 'back to normal', I'm second-guessing myself?

Wait... is normal a good thing or a not-so-good thing?
Sore breasts: tender = progesterone or HCG?

Can we please fast-forward to seven sleeps from now so I can find out??

July 29, 2010

Hello Little One?

It's good to have rejoined the world again. Sure, I was thrown into the deep end back at work yesterday, and the kids were off.the.wall - but it was satisfying. :)

I wonder if there's anything going on within my body right now, I'd love to know whether this little embryo has implanted (or even if it's going to), with progesterone masking any possible changes - tender, swollen breasts etc. The hubby mentioned yesterday that I'm being awfully calm and patient about this whole waiting time, I told him that the closer it gets to next Thursday (blood work day) the more antsy I'll probably get.

A woman who has been cycling with me (IUI) took a home test yesterday and had a negative result, despite being adamant that her symptoms were pregnancy related. I'd told her that it was too soon to test, but she wanted to do it anyway. And now she's disappointed and waiting until her bloodwork. I don't want to say I told you so, but.... well. ;)

Time to go and knead some bread dough, then onto some paperwork for a meeting tonight.

July 28, 2010

Pea in the Honey Pot

I go back to work today (in about an hour) after sitting through a meeting last night and another one is scheduled for tomorrow night (different tiers of management). Although I’m a little anxious about using my body (or stretching/lifting too much), it’s time to rejoin the world again. Live some kind of normality for the next week-and-a-bit before my blood test.

Speaking of which, that’s now scheduled for Thursday (August 5th) at 9.30am, with results available in the afternoon. Many people have asked me if I’ll be taking a home pregnancy test... the answer is no. If I get a positive after all of this, I want to find out over the phone and then see lines for myself on a test. If it’s negative, I don’t think I could bear to see another BFN. So that means waiting the full amount of time.

I was told by the embryologist and my IVF nurse that implantation usually takes place 3-4 days after the embryo transfer... which means if it’s going to happen it may have already, or will be sometime day (nervewracking!). Besides the occasional twinge on either side (internal healing from egg collection last week) I feel normal. Although if you ask the hubby, he’d probably tell you otherwise... skin has broken out in a mass of teenage-like pimples, my emotions have been awry and despite my best fibre-inhaling efforts the progesterone is determined to clog up my insides (sorry!).

It’s funny, for the first couple of days after the transfer, I was worried that using the toilet would mean the embryo would fall out... I didn’t call my nurse about it but I did consult Dr Google.Apparently your embryo will not fall into the toilet bowl (imagine a pea in a pot of honey, it takes an awful amount of force to knock it about!).

Since this entry’s turning into a marvellous blog of toileting habits, I think I can consider this update done *nods*.

July 25, 2010

Transfer Day

One of our embryos stopped dividing after Day 2, but the rest (seven!) have plowed on.

Embryo transfer is done. One very healthy-looking embryo (an expanded blastocyst at 5 days!!) was inserted into my uterus via a catheter through the cervix (not as painful as it sounds) this morning.

See that white speck in the middle of the screen? That's our embryo.

Even though we were the first transfer scheduled for this morning (there were four other couples waiting, including the woman who was sitting across from me in recovery on Tuesday), the nurse on duty hadn’t shown up which meant the embryologist couldn’t get started until an hour later. As luck would have it, our IVF nurse was called in to work instead and got to hold the ultrasound wand on my tummy during the procedure (so the embryologist could get a clearer picture). And getting the transfer done by Prof. Gab Kovacs (an IVF pioneer in Australia and internationally) ... icing on the cake.

You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when we got to see a print-out picture of our embryo (sadly, not to take home!) and it looked perfectly round and healthy... so excited. And the best news? All of the remaining seven embryos had made it to blastocyst stage.

Err... what?  o_O

Apparently that’s not all that common, you literally had to pick my jaw up off the floor after that one. We’ll find out more in the next day or so about their grade, as they’re allowing them to continue developing a little more before picking the best candidates for freezing. But seriously... seven healthy blastocysts out of eight fertilised eggs? That’s brilliant news! :D

July 21, 2010

Fertilisation Results

*deep breath*  Results are in.... are you ready??

Out of the 14 eggs that were collected yesterday -
14 were mature
14 were suitable for fertilisation and mixed with Matt's sperm
8 fertilised and are dividing
2 more are fertilised but are being sluggish (I blame hubby's laidback genes :P)
Transfer day is Sunday
11 days after transfer I'll find out if I'm pregnant.

This result is even better than I'd secretly been hoping for.
Maybe, just maybe, we have hope.

July 20, 2010

The Harvest

Egg collection was this morning, and all things considered I don't feel too bad. A little bit groggy due to after-effects of the anaesthetic (they needed to give me some Zofran and even that struggled to hold me at bay for a while...whoops!) and tender down below, but only a little spotting.

My specialist wasn't there today to do my procedure (!!) but instead i had a lovely lady named Dr. Hope (yep...seriously!) who reminded me a little of my naturopath and had been on the news talking about IVF recently. She seemed really nice!

A little off-putting was getting to speak to the embryologist and walking into the operating theatre and being greeted by the team of four before getting to lie on the table and the mask coming down over my face. The room swam a little and then I woke up in recovery about half an hour later.

.... There was some great news there (I wondered if I dreamt it first), a smiling face told me that they collected 14 eggs!!

I'm so thrilled by that number, only four days ago they told me there were six follicles and now there were many more eggs. I'm not doing a huge happy-dance as yet because I don't know how many are mature, how many will fertilise etc. I'll find out tomorrow, and then they'll advise whether we'll have a 3 or 5-day embryo transfer. In the meantime, I'm going to rest up and relax and feel satisfied for my body coming through for me.

July 19, 2010

Egg Collection Day

I haven't been writing in this blog as much as I should have been over the last couple of weeks... I've been keeping some things to myself while other aspects of life I've been sharing with other friends.

Injecting myself has become easier over time, in fact I nearly escaped unscathed (no bruising) up until two nights ago, when a slightly wrong angle resulted in the tiniest of tiny bruises. Then came the HCG injection, to trigger my body to mature and release the follicles - that happened last night. Sure it was a syringe (as opposed to the Puregon pen) but I survived it. ;)

Want to see an amusing side-effect of the HCG injection?

Yep.... it makes you test positive. ;)

I've been feeling slightly uncomfortable over the last few days, mainly a bit of bloating, sore breasts, mild cramps and tiredness... all just uncomfortable, not too annoying (after hearing other people's stories I was expecting a horrible time). I know it'll all pass soon.

Which leads me to tomorrow.... egg collection day! At my scan last Friday they counted six follicles (I was hoping for more, but my nurse and specialist agree that this is a good number for someone my age, as egg quality tends to be good in your 20s). Who knows what tomorrow will bring, all I know is that it's time for bed and in 12 hours time I'll be under anaesthetic. wish me luck!

July 11, 2010


Day 4 of FSH injections.

Yesterday passed in waves of emotion, I just couldn't keep it in. I think that it was a bit of cabin fever (being at home for two weeks) coupled with a lack of sunshine, and a healthy dose of artificial hormones. Thank goodness I woke up this morning to a cloudless blue Winter sky, a hot cup of rooibus tea and a farmer's market full of organic yummies. It made a world of difference to my mood, and I feel almost ready to tackle being back at work tomorrow morning.

... I did say almost.  There's a little more work to be done tonight before bed (it's 9.20pm) because let's face it, I have a healthy dose of let's-leave-it-all-to-the-last-minute going on. It wouldn't be life otherwise. ;)

July 8, 2010

Grow Follicles, Grow!

It took me half an hour of holding the instructions and shaking like a leaf, all the while my husband sat next to me giving moral support, before I was able to give myself the first FSH injection.

And you know what? It didn't even hurt.

I'd psyched myself out that this was going to feel exactly like the Zoladex injections (they were very thick needles; the doctor did those) mainly because they were going in the same spot. But I did it.... I DID IT! I've officially started this IVF cycle and there's definitely no going back now.

Grow, little follicles, grow! (but don't overstimulate)

July 7, 2010

Blood Test Results

Well, the results are in and apparently my oestrogen levels are "within normal range" (I didn't think to ask what they were at the time).

I get to start FSH injections tomorrow.

And because I can, here's my attempt to get both my face and blood-prodded elbow into a single frame. I'm cool like that, you see. ;)

Blood Test

I had a blood test this morning to get my oestrogen levels checked and I'll find out the result in a few hours. Keeping my fingers crossed for this one because it'll mean I can start FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) injections tomorrow. If my levels haven't fallen low enough then it'll mean continuing with just the Synarel for a bit longer before getting rechecked.

My body has been getting used to Synarel, I'd been feeling very tired (a bit 'foggy') and was prone to emotional outbursts for a few days there, but now I'm just getting irritated nasal passages (ie, sneezing more often) for the first couple of hours after sniffing. I'll be on it for at least another 14 days, so it's good to know that it hasn't been as bad as I'd heard.

I'm going out to dinner with the girls tonight, which I'm looking forward to. They've been curious about the whole idea of IVF too, and I've been upfront and honest with them about it (rather than keep it a secret; if we share in it together the support network is bigger).

July 1, 2010


Four days into Synarel and I feel a decided lack of... well, not much. Some ladies on the boards I frequent have complained about headaches or dizziness on this drug, but I haven't experienced very much of that at all. If anything I've been a little tired, but that could be due to the cold my husband brought home with him at the beginning of the week.

I take my last birth control pill tomorrow night, so it will be interesting to see whether I get a period or not (according to my nurse, I may get a full one, just spotting or skip bleeding completely as my oestrogen levels are lowering as a result of the Synarel).

I've had twinges in my pelvic area the last couple of days and was feeling a little bit down emotionally last night, so who knows? I've turned my body over to the capable hands of Monash IVF for the next couple of months, so whatever happens... well, happens.

... and in the meantime, I sip the glass of white wine that I've been told I'm allowed to have occasionally. All about the sanity, you see. ;)

June 28, 2010

*Sniff Sniff*

I officially started on the Synarel nasal spray today, in preparation for starting injections on July 8th.

There was a tingling sensation in my nostril afterwards, and a bitter kind of taste in my throat about ten minutes later. I guess that means the medication has entered my body?

I don't why I've been so anxious about starting this part of the treatment, I handled Zoladex fine for six months back in 2008 and that was full menopause. It's just nasal sprays... I've never been a fan...

June 26, 2010


I promised myself that I'd try to keep my emotions in check, in light of everything that's happening (and what will be happening), yet I found myself snapping at the hubby today.

Not over anything earth-shattering, but an accumulation of inside-out washing and frustration that I just mopped the bathroom floor and still couldn't keep it clean.

Ugh, I shut myself in our bedroom for a while until I calmed down. We shouted a little at each other and I'm making a concerted effort to calm down. I haven't cracked it about silly little things in a long time, and hopefully this isn't a sign of what's to come.

Starting Synarel in two days.

June 24, 2010

The Wiggly Woo + Drug Cocktails

It was while dancing the Wiggly Woo with my Kindergarten group in a circle today that it happened. My eyes welled up with tears and I cuddled my chest. No, not in sadness or due to the already long day I’d had, but my breasts. In particular, they were here and announcing to the world their extreme tenderness. Ouch ouch ouch... I’d forgotten about that part of the Pill! (though the hubby's not complaining, he’s a fan of the bloat)

Too much information? Well, get used to it... you’re going to hear a lot more about body parts and squeamish events in the coming months.

Today marked an exciting day – meeting our IVF nurse for the first time and picking up all of the medications I’ll be taking for the cycle. Apparently 8.30am is peak time up at the clinic, they were packed with couples of all ages and stages. I was actually a little in awe – some people were older (some younger!) and others who looked just like us. However, no one gave each other any eye-contact... understandably people were looking to get in and out as quick as possible, yet we were all united by our infertility.

The nurse was nice (I found myself staring at her necklace during our appointment), she explained how to use the nasal spray, the pessaries, the injections – I got to practice giving myself one which was an interesting experience and a sign of what’s to come. Because I like being in control, it was reassuring to see some timeframes and that I start on the nasal spray (Synarel) on Monday (injections starting from July 8th if my blood test and ultrasound show the right [lowered] oestrogen levels on the 7th).

I’ll admit it was a little overwhelming taking home a big paper bag of medications, especially when I had to put my game face on and go straight to work afterward. However, it was probably for the best because I didn’t get the opportunity to wallow or go over it all in my head. After all, I wouldn’t miss out on Wiggly Woo-induced boob bounce for the world.

This is the complete kit for my IVF cycle. To the left is my Puregon pen, which will deliver FSH (follicle stimulating hormone; hopefully leads to a good egg collection) via injection (the little vials), which I can dial up. Very user-frendly. To the right is Synarel, the nasal spray which will switch off my oestrogen production starting on Monday (I'll be taking that every 12 hours for the next month). The injection to the lower right is Ovidrel, which is a shot of HCG, the pregnancy hormone which will tell my ovaries to release the follicles it's growing. Apparently egg collection will occur 38hrs after taking the injection. The white/purple box in the middle is Crinone, which is a synthetic progesterone in the form of pessary (vaginal) gel. After the embryo transfer up until the end of the cycle (16 days-ish) I'll be inserting one of those in the morning and at night... not too keen on that one!

In comparision, this is my husband's contribution to the process:

June 21, 2010

Countdown to Wednesday

I'm feeling a lot better now, the nausea passed within a week of starting the birth control pill and, come to think of it, I haven't had a headache today (double score!).

Big appointment on Wednesday morning coming up - hubby and I pay for our first IVF cycle upfront (no-frills; we get the starter form of it which is a good thing!) and get to pick up all the medications from our nurse. I'm not sure what to expect, I've heard horror stories about huge boxes... which wouldn't be all that fun considering we've got a decent walk to and from the train station to the clinic. Maybe it'll be less, I don't know?

All I know is that my account is going to be significantly lighter come Wednesday (bye bye Nikon D700 for now!), and I'll be a heck of a lot more informed. No backing down now, it's game time -- and in five weeks time I'll be either celebrating a positive result or getting ready to start again. Cautious optimism is the key here.

June 14, 2010


Ugh, I'm not feeling so good this morning.
(It's a long weekend here in Australia and the day's half gone already; normally I'm out of the house by 7.45am for work on a Monday)

Nausea's hit me and it could be anything - the muffin/hot chocolate I ate while out yesterday, eating cheese and biscuits before bed last night with the hubby, or the BCP (Microgynon 30) I've been taking for the past two days.

If it's the last one, I'm disappointed that I'm having symptoms already (me and the BCP have never gotten along well in the past) and there's still three weeks to go of this stage. If it's any other reason, well I'll certainly find out in the next day or two.

Hubby joked that I'm pregnant already, that resulted in daggers cast in his general direction (trust me, my love, my body tells me otherwise!)

This may be a long eight weeks!

June 11, 2010

Kindergarten Anecdotes

A watched pot never boils, and neither do periods apparently.

I’m still late (though nothing to get excited about), but feeling like I’ll get it any minute now for the past two days. I’m hoping that this entry is the catalyst that my body needs to kick-start into action or – even better – it’s already started. I picked up my Pill prescription from the pharmacy during my lunch break today, since it was the local one near work I’m glad there weren’t any Kindergarten families in there at the time as the pharmacist asked me a few questions (it was a particular kind of Pill, I thought I’d had it before but it turns out it was just the brand rather than the tablets themselves). It felt kind of odd to be picking up a contraceptive pill prescription, like it’s the antimatter to what I’m trying to achieve.

P.S. – Our IVF nurse called today to introduce herself, she sounds really nice. Unfortunately I couldn’t make an appointment with her just yet (to pick up the other medications etc) until my cycle starts. It’s a long weekend here (the last until November!) so it can wait until Tuesday now... no pressure. :)

I was in my office afterwards, nibbling on lunch while doing some paperwork and the other four year-old group was in session (different teacher). One of the little girls in the group (ever-so-patiently) knocked on the transparent glass door before I opened it, and out of nowhere she asked “where are your kids today?”

I asked if she meant my Kinder group.
“No, the ones in your tummy”.
“They’re not there yet”, I replied.
“But why?”
“Sometimes it takes a long time for them to get there”
“Do you have to wait?”
“Yes... I have to wait”
“Will they come soon?”
“I hope so”
“Me too... I love you”

Although I can’t decide whether that exchange or being asked by one of my own group’s children what I wanted to be when I grew up made me smile more.  Life is full of possibilities.