Friday, 31 January 2014

The One Where I Reveal The Gender

We got our Harmony test results back and all is well with Baby Oleo, no genetic abnormalities.

Woo Hoo, what a relief. You gotta love 24 year old eggs!! Thank you anonymous 24 year old egg donor!

We also found out that Baby Oleo is a....... GIRL!

That's right, a girl. I was absolutely 100% positive she was a boy so that shows you how much I know. The Hubby has resigned himself to a house full of women.

I told Frostina she was going to have a baby sister and she replied by laughing and running away from me. She really has no idea what's going on and what's to come.

So now I figure we can't call her Baby Oleo here since Oleo sounds like a boys name. So I guess we'll go with Baby Olea. I considered Olina but it sounds too much like Olean which is that stuff in fat free food that makes you poop if you eat too much of it. So that's out.

Now we have to figure out what to call her in real life. I can't find our baby name book so I guess I'll have to get another one. Wow, we're picking names for another baby. There were so many days when I never thought we would be here again. 

Come on Baby Olea, please be born alive and healthy.

Friday, 24 January 2014

The Pregnancy **After** The Pregnancy After Loss

A lot is written about pregnancy loss and almost as much is written about pregnancy after a loss. I've done quite a bit of writing about it here and on various other pregnancy loss blogs, grief blogs, and on BlogHer about this very subject and I've done a bunch of reading on the topic as well. I suppose you could say I've become a bit of an expert on the subject. Not that this a subject that anyone wants to know intimately, but sadly that's how things have happened for me.

We hear about the shock and horror of the initial loss and the complete and utter devastation it leaves in it wake. We cheer for these women as they struggle to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and put the pieces back together.

We read about their subsequent pregnancies with trepidation. We leave encouraging comments for them and wish them all the best. We wait with anticipation for them to be blessed with their rainbow babies. Those amazing and precious babies that come after a loss. We are so relieved for them when we know that they have finally had their "happy ending."

But what about the pregnancy after that?

I've just begun to navigate my way through the pregnancy after the pregnancy after loss. I wasn't expecting it to feel any different than my previous pregnancy, but it does. Last time around my experience was that every time I get pregnant, my baby dies at 36 weeks. I had no other alternative in my head. My only experience of pregnancy was of tragedy and loss.

I now know what it feels like to have experienced both sides of the coin. One pregnancy where my baby died and my life was shattered. Another pregnancy where my baby was born alive and healthy. One ride home from hospital with empty arms crying into my husbands chest. And another pregnancy where I rode home with my beautiful daughter and struggled to figure out how to get the car seat to latch into the car.

Last pregnancy I was "sure" that things would go wrong. This time I'm more hopeful. I'm less fearful. I'm able to think ahead and start looking for double buggies (strollers). Not to buy one of course, because that would be tempting fate. But at least I've allowed myself to do the research. You have no idea what a big step that is. If you've been around for a while you will remember that I didn't allow anything in my house for Frostina until after she was born.

It's not all goodness and light though. I certainly haven't reverted back to the person I was during my first pregnancy. The person who just knew that once I had my 12 week scan and all was well that I was for sure going to be bringing home a healthy baby in the end. I know all too well that there are no guarantees in life.

I know full well that even if you are a Baby Loss Mom, you don't get a free pass for all future pregnancies. One of my fellow BLM's just had her baby after her rainbow baby and it was not all smooth sailing. She had some complications right near the end that nearly resulted in another terrible loss. If it weren't for her absolute insistence that something wasn't right, and her brilliant doctor who followed her gut, things may have ended badly. Thankfully, all is well and she was able to take her beautiful daughter home with her.

I have a 50/50 history with pregnancies, which is much better than the 100% fail rate I had last time. I know those odds still look pretty grim to those of you who don't live in a world where babies die. But from where I'm sitting they offer hope. I have now lived the happy ending, and I want it again. More importantly, I believe I can have it again. That's a huge mind set change from last time around.

I have no idea if I will feel this way throughout this pregnancy. It's entirely possible that as Baby Oleo's due date approaches, all the old fears and paranoia will return. All I know is that this pregnancy is different than the last one, and I feel differently about it. It will be interesting to reflect on just how different it is as time goes on.

Have any of you been through this? If so, how did you feel during your pregnancy and how was it different than the one before? Oh, and what do you call the baby after your rainbow baby? Are they a rainbow baby as well?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Baby Oleo

I know I have been a bit more lax about writing these days. Not just in frequency, but in depth. I am so distracted with Frostina that I don't have as much time in the day to really sit down and write. By the time she goes to bed I'm so tired that all I want to do is eat dinner and veg in front of the TV.

I feel bad because I really love this space. It was my lifeline in the early days of grief and became a huge support during my pregnancy with Frostina. It's weird how something that was so important to me has become something that I have cast aside. I don't know exactly how it happened, but I don't seem to need it as much.

But I still want it, so I'm going to try harder.

I'm going to begin with a confession. I feel awful that I haven't given this new baby a blog name. Frostina had her name before conception and this poor little one is still nameless. They do say that your second (living) baby doesn't get as much attention as your first (living) baby. I wonder if this is the beginning of that? Who knew that second (living) baby syndrome could start so early???

Naming Frostina was easy. She was my frozen embryo who we called Frosty until we figured out she was a girl. That's when we started calling her Frostina. This baby was from a fresh cycle and somehow "Freshie" doesn't have the same ring as "Frosty." I'd love to come up with something clever but alas, my clever gene seems to be in remission at the moment.

So I'm going to use the name we have been using at home, "Baby-Oleo." Why Baby-Oleo you ask? Well you see, when Frostina gets really excited about something we are going to give her (mostly food) she says ole-ole-oh a bunch of times. It's really cute and we like to copy her.

So when we found out I was pregnant I joked by saying "ole-ole-oh." Then I figured out that oleo rhymes with embryo (well sort of). So we started calling him/her Embry-oleo. That got shortened to oleo at some point and at the moment we're mostly using the name "Baby-Oleo."

I suppose that if Baby Oleo ends up being a girl that we will have to find a girly modification. But for now I'm sticking with Baby Oleo. Not as cute and clever as Frostina I suppose. But there you have it.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Happy Day

Today I had my 12 week scan and it was great news. Baby is alive and kicking! He or she is also just the right size for gestational age and my doctor says everything looks great. I can't begin to express how happy this makes me. I was so worried that we would be told something was wrong today. I made the mistake of reading up on missed miscarriages and had somehow convinced me that it would happen to me. It didn't help that two close friends both had miscarriages in the past month which helped fuel my paranoia.

I had a bit of a surprise today when he told me that he would be doing a Harmony test instead of an NT test. In my previous two pregnancies I had an NT test at 12 weeks to test for genetic abnormalities such as Downs Syndrome. Basically they take measurement of your babies neck and also look for a nasal bone. Then they do a blood test and combine the results to give you your chances. The results are in ratio form. So for example you have a 1 in 1000 chance and so on. They can be very confusing and often you need a CVS or Amnio to know for sure.

But this new Harmony test can tell you all of this in a basically non-invasive way. They take a blood sample from  me and somehow they can access my babies DNA from it. So not only can they tell me for sure if there are any genetic abnormalities, but they can tell me the sex of the baby. Cool huh?

Medical science is truly amazing.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Wait And Worry

I finally heard back from my doctor's office and my ultrasound has been moved to next week. On the one hand this is good news because The Hubby really wants to be there, and I don't really want to go by myself. On the other hand this isn't good news because it means I have to wait another week to find out if everything is OK with our little baby-to-be.

As I mentioned before, I'm not as terrified this time around as I was when I was pregnant with Frostina. But once a BLM (that's Baby Loss Mom for those of you who are new to this blog) always a BLM. I think I could be pregnant 10 more times and still never feel completely safe and at ease. This delay is causing me to worry just a bit more.

I know logically that it doesn't matter if my scan is tomorrow or next week. I know that the date of scan won't influence if things are fine (or not fine) with baby-to-be. If things are going to go wrong, they will. My history tells me that they can go wrong when you least expect it. Things can go wrong even when you're not worried. So the worrying and wanting a scan every week won't change anything. And yet as I type this I am worried.

So for now I will wait and worry. Sigh.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Feeling Rough

I am officially 11 weeks pregnant today. I apologise for the lack of posts but I have been feeling ROUGH. The nausea and extreme exhaustion seem to be worse this time around. Either that or I have just forgotten how horrible the first trimester can be. I suspect it may be a bit of both. I think Mother Nature makes you forget about some of this stuff so you will have more kids.

I'm off all my medications now.


Up until last week I was still doing estrogen injections every third day and progesterone suppositories (yuck) twice a day. I am so glad to not have to inject myself with needles or stuff something up my butt everyday. If you haven't been through this you probably can't relate, but if you have then you know what a huge milestone this is. 

It's so much harder to manage early pregnancy when you have a toddler to chase around. Frostina has no empathy for poor Mommy. I actually feel pretty bad for her. The poor kid has been trapped inside with me for way too long.

There was a stretch where we didn't leave the house for almost a week. The poor kid kept bringing me my shoes and her shoes (a sign that she wanted to go out). When that didn't work she started bringing me her coat and my coat... that she somehow managed to wrangle off the coat rack.

So luckily on babysitter day (my one day a week where I have childcare) we had good weather and she could go out. I've never seen her so happy to put her shoes on and leave Mommy in the dust. No separation anxiety, no clinging to my leg. It was "See you later Mommy,,,, I'm going out!"

Next week we have our next scan. I'm still negotiating the dates because of course The Hubby is going to be out of town on the day I originally scheduled. The office has been mostly closed over the holidays so I haven't been able to confirm the date change yet. Here in the UK pretty much everything shuts down from December 24th until January 4th or 5th which is sooooo frustrating.

I'm impatient. I just want to take another peek to make sure everything is OK with this little one. I probably won't get a call from the doctor until Monday which sucks.

Please let everything be ok.