Sunday, July 6, 2014


5 weeks since I last posted. Sorry if anybody reading this has been worried or thinking the worst has happened. It hasn't! I am still preggers!

I was discharged at 28 weeks on 19th June. What a wonderful day it was. It is difficult to say how good it is to be home. It has relieved a lot of the pressure on the rest of the family. I thought that I would be uneasy about it but I have been OK. James is probably the happiest of us all.

Before I was let out I had another 2 shots of celestone - the steroids that help Hope's lungs, brain and gut in case of premmie birth. I had the same reaction as with the first round at 24 weeks, very hot and flushed face although no temperature or other symptoms at all.

I had 10 days at home before needing to report back to the hospital on 1st July for a scan and appointment with OBGYN. While waiting for the scan I had a mild anxiety attack - racing heart, chest pain, dry mouth, wanting to flee! I was able to control that one with some mind exercises and breathing techniques. We went in for the scan and they always do the tummy scan first, to make sure everything is OK (AKA baby still alive). I was sure Hope was fine as I'd been feeling her move all morning but it seems to be protocol. I was super anxious about the internal one, the one that would show the integrity of my cervix. Not sure why I felt so worked up about this one. I know that medically if she was to be born now Hope has a great fighting chance of being 100% fine, much more so than in previous scans. Worried about being put back in hospital? Yes. Worried that I had been doing too much at home? Yes.

And so I couldn't breathe. Became very hot and sweaty. Felt like I was going to be sick. And worst of all the busy brain feeling I used to get with anxiety attacks when James was tiny. We had to stop the whole thing, I was turned on my left side and ordered to breathe! The girl doing the U/S kindly offered to get the internal out of the way and come back to the rest of the scan!

What ho! My cervix was stable. No change. Great! What a relief! Back to the measurements. She is bang on track, still being little Miss Average in all things. Apart from my cervical issues the pregnancy is a healthy one. Phew!

I saw a friend for the first time since before going into hospital. He asked me how long to go? I had to really think on it. My brain is so rained to keeping this baby in that counting down to get her out hasn't registered. I got all flustered and didn't quite know the right answer. The true answer of course is 10 weeks to take me to full term. My/our reality is more like 5-6 weeks when the stitches come out but she could come any time from 4 weeks.....
Dr B found nothing to be worried about, took my BP (low but fine) and told me to go do the gestational diabetes test (fine) and to have an Anti D shot in my butt (barely felt it - what's the matter with me?) with the next one at 36 weeks if we get that far. Next appointment with Dr K 15th July...

I promised myself a hairdo if I get to 32 weeks so have made an appointment for 17th July. I am so looking forward to it

We had a very very busy weekend with visitors coming and going all weekend. By last night I was feeling quite sore from all the sitting I'd been doing. After a good nights sleep (HA!) I am feeling much better. And ready for much resting today. Andy has gone to PNG again, for the week - it was either go now or later and the risk of being away when the baby comes. I wish he didn't have to go at all.

I will try to be a better blogger. But hey, life gets in the way sometimes....

Monday, June 2, 2014

25 + 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where does the time go? Here we are, Hope and I, at 25 + 4 weeks. An enormous milestone. James was born at this gestation. At this point in time I am the most pregnant I have been. Things are still stable and Hope is having plenty of parties in my tummy to celebrate!

This is a quiet week I guess. No scheduled ultrasound. No special meds. Just rest and eat, rest and eat. I now have upper and lower body bed physio to do to help with my bed resty weakness. It takes me about 45 minutes to get through all my reps in the morning but I think they will be worthwhile. I feel better for doing them.

I have been talking to the midwives a little about doing a tour of the special care nursery. I have been so focused on getting to today's milestone that I haven't really thought about the reality of a premmie again. For some reason in my doughy mind I go from 25 +4 to full term and home with a healthy baby. In all likelihood she will come early and we will spend some time there. Andy and I will visit before I am discharged at 28 weeks ( 17 days and counting).

The staff here are wonderful and are very subtle in their guiding my mind along this journey. I know this is still very early but I feel as though we're definitely going to have a baby girl to take home the end of August. They are helping me transition from fear of loss to a baby that might need some help to get going. I am sure as we progress that there will be more mind shifts.

They can deliver from 32 weeks here. I got this!

Luisa, our lovely au pair has arrived. James adores her. She is a good match for him energy-wise. She is a bit jet-lagged - to be expected. She is adorable, bubbly and enthusiastic. James just loves that he has his own very special friend. Tomorrow Andy is off work and will take her to get all her admin worked out - bank account etc. She should take some pressure off Mum at home I hope. I am looking forward to getting to know her. She's been for a visit twice already, she seems very kind.

My bump is coming along nicely. I scarcely had time to get a fat front with James. It's nice to watch it grow. I feel so well. So healthy and vibrant.

I have started Hope's blanket. I held off and held off....until Friday. And starting it early did not make her come early. Don't know what crazy stuff I was thinking. I am also planning to make her a cute scrappy crochet floppy eared bunny from some of my "new scraps".

James was so super cuddly with me today. He just wanted to snuggle and kiss me. I am missing that little guy so much. Everything has settled down with him, and I think he's coping extremely well for a little dude who hasn't had his Mum around for 6 weeks now. He is well loved and cared for, I just wish I was the one doing all the loving and the caring.

As the countdown to home begins I am feeling more homesick, missing some little things;
  • those first-thing-the-morning cuddles with James and conversations with my hubby
  • cup of tea in a china mug
  • home cooked food, in particular bowl of spag bol or BBQ breakfast Andy style
  • my chooks and their delightful and reassuring clucking and beautiful eggs
  • the amazing view from my living room

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I am still here. Still in the hospital. And not mad....yet. I have plenty of little projects, books and TV shows/movies to fill my gaps between visitors. I am feeling very loved by all the visits and lovely messages I am receiving. Hope for Hope!

Hope is going from strength to strength. Her thrice daily fetal heart checks are reassuring and have all had the wondrous sound of a galloping horse. She moves like crazy when it suits her which makes me smile. James has been here to hear her heartbeat which he is curious about but I'm unsure what he really thinks of it. I asked him to talk to her yesterday, telling her his name and that he's her big brother. It was very sweet. I can't wait to be at home again where we can read and talk and Hope can hear us, rather than this enforced silent bubble we are in. Her ears are ready to hear our voices!

A big day tomorrow! Week 24 AND the first (of 2) of the steroid shots to help Hope's lungs along in case of premature birth. I will receive the second jab just before I go home at 28 weeks if all ist still going to plan.

Scans are now fortnightly rather than weekly. It's a relief in many ways. They are expensive. They make me very, very, VERY anxious and then exhausted afterwards. It's wonderful to know that things are going well but it's also rather anticlimactic as the only need for change would come from a bad scan. Not sure if that makes much sense, it's difficult for me to explain how it feels.

We (my little family and Dr K) are all feeling cautiously optimistic about the next few weeks.
After tomorrows jab the next really huge milestone will be 25+4 weeks - this was when James was born. To get past that will be massive. Then 28 weeks. Sometimes I daydream so hard about getting to these milestones that I get ahead of myself and think myself more pregnant than I am.

I am starting to believe that Hope will be OK. That I will be OK. That our family will be OK. I am reluctant to start Hope's bunny rug...I don't think myself superstitious usually but...I'm just not ready yet.

I am missing everyone like crazy and can't wait to be back in the thick of things on the island. I feel so well and healthy, like a woman in her second trimester should. It is infuriating to be bedded up here, so far from home. Mum and Dad are doing a great job with James and keeping on top of the washing etc.

My poor husband is running to and fro and his feet are barely touching the ground. This is a stressful time for us all and he's trying to be good at his job, a good dad, a good husband, a good son-in-law and still have time for himself. It's really not for much longer.

I must start meditating again, I was getting a lot out of it but have let it lapse so far this week. I think it will be particularly helpful in the coming months when there will no doubt be some big challenges in store for us. Today!

I will report on the steroid injection. It's not one that sticks out in my mind as particularly nasty although by the time I got it last time all kinds of other nasty things were being done to me so perhaps it's relative. I hate needles. Almost or as much as I hate spiders.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

22 + 3 , Mothers day

It is Mother's Day. I am still here, in the hospital with nothing to report except that I am still here.

Hope is growing and wriggling and kicking me. I hear her galloping heartbeat several times a day which is so very reassuring.

My mothers day brekky has just arrived. Breakfast in bed complete with white carnation. How sweet! I have treated myself to a cooked breakfast this morning. The food here is really very good with lots of variety. The vegies aren't overdone and the soups are delicious!

I saw James yesterday for the first time in 10 days. It was so good to see him, snuggle him and smell him. I've said it before - the very hardest thing about this whole bedrest palaver is being away from my family.

Mentally I think I'm holding up quite well. I am trying to stay positive despite feeling so helpless when my little boy was homesick last week. I've been here almost 2 weeks and have settled into the comforting routine of hospital life of doctors rounds and regular obs.

This pregnancy is NOT just about Hope and I ( Hope and me?). We are being supported my family and friends and relying heavily on others for help at home and with James. My sister, BIL and two girls hosted James this last week and a bit. James was in a loving and safe environment and wanted for nothing. Thank you to the big hearted Fordes who really already had enough on their plate. If and when we can ever help please just ask.

My Dr talked to me about going home at 28 weeks. We will talk more as the date, 19 June,  gets closer and I mustn't get too ahead of ourselves as there's plenty of time between now and then. It is 5 weeks and 4 days away. I have almost done a third of my term! Cup half full people! Cup half full.

I oscillate between not allowing myself to get too excited and attached to Hope and thinking that golly gosh, we could just have a baby girl at the end of it all. Whatever that end entails. I don't know the right way to think. So I try not to. But I catch my growing tummy in the mirror and I cannot ignore the facts. She is in there, and growing stronger every day.

I had lots of lovely visitors this week. And they all brought food. So much food. I have pared back my ordering from the menu to accommodate all the delicious fruit and treats my friends have given.

I was quite unwell the first week I was in here and kind of lost a few days. I had a cough that the Dr was particularly concerned about. Don't want to bust this stitch, cos that would really mean the end.

I have ordered some yarn online to make a poncho for my niece. I can't wait for it to arrive and to make a start. Want to get it done so she can wear it while the weather is good for it. Who doesn't love a poncho?

I am watching Season 2 of Downton Abbey, I've seen  it before but it's so good I'm glad to watch it again. Seasons 3 and 4 should come today. Also watching Orange is the new black which I am enjoying. Have my nose stuck in a fabulous book - thank you Dangar book club, set in North Korea. Fascinating and funny - who'd a thunk it! news is good. Things are quiet where they should be quiet. And baby is moving. I feel quite well.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

21+ 1

Well here we are. In the hospital. I was admitted after my weekly scan on Tuesday. There was no immediate danger or emergency, just an agreement between my doctor and I.

I had almost a month at home I didn't think I'd get, so I count myself as very lucky. The plan for now is to keep me in through this critical period. Dr said that if we get to 28 weeks without too much drama I might be able to go home on bed rest. That would be nice.

My cervix had lengthened from the previous scan!!!! Dynamic. Volatile. Just a few words to describe it.  The main thing is it remained closed and Hope continues to thrive.

So far in hospital I've had loads of visitors, watched some tv, done some craft and come down with an awful cold. I am coughing and sneezing. Less than ideal with this stitch so precarious.

This is tough. I am trying to stay positive. I am trying not to let my brain wander down the many paths of what ifs, but I am also holding out on false hope. It's hard to know what to think. No one has any answers for me. We don't know what's going to happen. The idea for now is to keep my cervix and uterus quiet, keep an eye on things and cross our fingers.

I hear Hope's heartbeat every morning when they take my blood pressure etc. it's very reassuring. She's still very active at different times of the day.

Monday, April 28, 2014

20 + 5

Here I am. Still feeling pregnant and kinda normal.

I have a scan to check my cervix length this morning. And of course they'll check on Hope too. She has been very active the last few days which gives me....hope. I have had no pains or contractions or blood loss or anything that could pass for amniotic fluid. I didn't last time. Or the time before that. Who knows what my cervix is doing?

All I know is that I am giving this my best shot. Lots of lying down. Lots of reclining on the couch. Lots and lots of time by myself! And much more stretches ahead.

If I can hang on for another 3 weeks or so we enter the viable zone. Viable for Hope's life. No guarantees of much else. A baby born at 24-26 weeks is up against it from the get go. We know it well. Not a path we want Hope to have to make. Not a journey we want to endure again. I started to think 27-30 weeks wouldn't be so bad....what am I like!!!! That is still a super premmie baby. With a long hard struggle.

I am getting ahead of myself, of us. For my own sanity, so I don't get overwhelmed by all the ifs and buts, I need to tick off each hour, then the day, then hopefully each week. Every trip to the toilet makes me wonder if I'll see blood and the beginnings of the end. That's an awful thought. But that's where I'm at. Every movement has a cost, although I don't know what it is yet.

Both eyes are twitching now. The right only occasionally. The left is constant. I don't think anyone can see but it's very annoying. I have also started having some mild anxiety attacks - I tell myself this is perfectly normal and to just ride them out. It's a hard thing to do as my heart feels like it's going to beat right of my chest and it hurts to draw breath. It feels like what I imagine a heart attack might feel like in the beginning.

On the up side, I read a great novel. The Rosie Project. A wonderful story of unusual characters. I haven't read a "nice" book like that for an age. It kept coming up as recommended in my amazon list. I ignored it for ages but finally gave in. My only regret is not riding it sooner. It's an Australian novel, which seems to make it better somehow. Most of the books I'm reading are crime fiction; Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardiner, Patricia Cornwall and my newest author Karen Rose. They are easy to read, a bit like watching the tv I guess.

My boy is sick. He coughed all night last night so he can't go to day care as planned. I had hoped to spare him the drama of the hospital today. A little part of me is selfishly happy that he's coming along as it's an extra bit of time I'll get to see him. To give him cuddles and reassure him that love him. We've been trying to prepare him for the possibility, and now the reality, of Mummy having to go into hospital for a little while to rest and look after Hope. I don't really know what he thinks. He's a very secure and happy little boy with lots of people around who care for and love him so he shouldn't suffer too much. I, on the other hand, will be bereft without my little sidekick!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

20 + 0 weeks and home

I had the rest of the morphology scan, nothing to report there, Hope's kidneys and spine look fine. She has been very active this last week which I read as a very positive sign.

In cervix news::: it has shortened slightly. By 2mm. Doesn't seem much but when there's not much there to start with every little bit counts. The stitch is still holding closed," hanging on for dear life"  to quote my dr. And so we decided I could come home again until the next scan as long as I promised to take it very easy.

It looks very much like I will be admitted to the hospital next Tuesday. I have scan at 11 and then most likely into hospital from there. We shall see.

I am in bed as I type. Feeling let down by my body and helpless and useless. I can't play with my three and a half year old and won't be able to for months. I know it's the blink of an eye in a lifetime but it still makes the here and now tough to live with. He doesn't and can't understand why I am in bed so much. I'm not sick. All I can do is reassure him and cuddle him and play with him in a safe way for now. Lots of stories and bed time snuggles.

We had an amazing treat last night. Andy was invited to dinner on the other side of the island by some good friends. They didn't realise I was still at home, albeit limited in my capacity to get out and about. So when Andy said he felt he couldn't cos I was at home they insisted on bringing the dinner party to us.

A cheese and olive plate. Gifts for James. Flowers and a bottle of Maggi Beer "not" wine ( really scrummy) for me. Books and wiggles undies for James. Snapper pie, amazing salad and sour dough. Chocolate mousse cake. Bloody hell. I was full to my gills. It was so nice to have company and just be normal for a few hours. Talk with adults about their lives. Thank you Matt and Di. This is the kind of stuff that'll keep us sane.

I have started to make some plans for my little boy for next week too. I am lucky to have such great support from my friends here in this amazing community.

We have secured an au pair to help with James over the next 6 months no matter what happens. She is arriving from Germany on 31st May. She seems lovely and James seemed to like her and asks at least once a day about her or if we can go to Germany to visit. Cute!

I will not lie. I feel deflated and sad even though I knew this was coming. We have 4 more days before I go to hospital. I want to make the most of them and enjoy my family and my home. I will try to rest for Hope.