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.

Friday, April 18, 2014


 I "passed" the scan on Thursday and am home again for another week. We got most of the morphology done and everything looks good. In proportion. Little heart chugging away. Eyes. Nose. Hands and feet. All where they should be. Hope was being especially tricksy and I had to go and come back three times between my appointment time 1120 and last attempt at 1:30pm! Meant I got to see dr before he left for a lecture or some other important engagement.

Blood pressure was a bit up 130/85 for me. I was feeling super stressed out. No one seemed a bit concerned.

Dr sent me home and will continue to do so if there is no change. Stable cervix = good cervix. The stitch is holding, and if anything cervix was slightly longer beneath the stitch. Above remained the same.

I was very relieved to be coming home again. It's Easter. Nice to spend with my family. Especially that I get to be here for James when he realizes the Easter bunny has been and left chocolate eggs. And hubby has the week off. So far it has been a superb weekend, lots of sunshine. The boys are down on the beach building dams and castles. And then a bit later this morning a special treat :: a steam train will be stopping in Brooklyn, so they will go over for that spectacle.

I am feeling fine. My tummy has popped out in front and I feel her wiggling around all of the time. I am crafting and reading and watching catch up television. I am so pleased the progesterone issue has resolved, I am having no problems at all with this batch.

Until next time....

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

18 + 5

I'm still here. I'm still at home.  We have a scan in 2 days. I am looking forward to seeing Hope but dreading it all the same. We are having the morphology/anomaly scan so it's a big one.  I may go into hospital. I may not.

In other news I have started a new batch of progesterone pessaries. They are WAY less painful the previous, interim, batch. I now warm them slightly by keeping the next ones to go out of the fridge and use a tiny bit of Vaseline.  It's funny. I was dreading starting the new batch as they are double the size of the last batch. I was beginning to despair. How was I going to keep this up for the next ?? weeks? Asking the Dr my other options regarding progesterone administration was on my agenda but as long as things stay calm I think I'll persist with the pessaries. Stay tuned.

I am keeping calm and crafting on. I've started a crazy colourful crochet blanket. Not for Hope. Not for any reason except that I have the time and inclination. I am not making anything for her yet. I don't know when I will feel that I can....

I am being so good. So lazy. Barely lifting a finger. My butt hurts from sitting on it all day. I'd really like to stay home for a few more weeks. Andy has next week off. It'd be so nice to be with the family.  Until I have the scan I have no idea whether my cervix is behaving or not. I will pack my bags of course.

The appointment is for 1120 on 17th April. I will be 19 weeks. The same scan and gestation where things started to go to hell in a hand cart with James. Another reason for my worry. It'll be good to get it done.

In Hope news...feels like she's been doing little flips this afternoon. Very reassuring.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Am I cheating by posting at this time? Having counted another day? I need something to look forward to. Small, surmountable goals. Humor me.

The doc suggested that I get some sexy anti-clotting tights which my adoring hubby has picked up for me in the city today. He assures me they are S.E.X.Y. Whatever it takes. Beats clexane injections!

My progesterone arrived at Andy's work today. I'm looking forward to whacking a different pessary up my bum as the current batch burn baby. I have hours of post insertion squirming due the burning discomfort in my bum.  All for Hope. Definitely worth it. Definitely allowed to have a whinge.

I am staying sane by watching SBS catch up, house of cards and lots of news updates. I am very worldly at the moment. I am also crafting away on some secret squirrel projects that I can't detail here. I am determined to start another crochet project - I packed my yarn and hook action for the hospital on Thursday. I am also reading. A lot.

I am a prolific reader. A consumer of pulp and literature. I love to read. I'd rather read than do most other things to be true. Am currently reading " The Light Between Oceams" . Read it? If you have you might be wondering why I am at this point in time. I have questioned myself about this. An Australian novel, it's making a lovely break from my usual gory crime fiction. But there is a lot of baby death. It makes me cry. But I think I'd cry no matter what MY situation. If it gets too hard, I will stop. I have promised Andy that I won't look for sadness and heartache and death everywhere.

Baby Hope has been active on and off through the day. We're coming into her favourite activity zone. Usually right after I've finished dinner. Full as a goog and uncomfy as hell and she starts up with the kicking and punching. I type with a smile on my face.  I feel fine. Confined. I have a sore bum. But fine.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A scan and home

HOME. For another week. Until next time.

Todays scan went as well as could be expected. No change to cervical length. And the stitch is holding everything nice and closed. Dr is happy for me to keep resting at home, as it appears that I am getting the quiet time that I need.

Hope was looking great with a heartbeat of 142. Nice and relaxed in there.

Obviously if anything changes I will be back in. I will keep my bags packed as my insurance policy.

Next weeks scan is the 19 week morphology scan. I will have my cervix monitored as usual but the focus will be on the bubby and making sure all her bits and pieces are present and correct.

Hope to have some pics to post next week.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

18 weeks and a scan

I think you may safely assume if I'm not reporting, I have nothing to report. Although experience would dictate that when things go to hell in a hand cart the last thing on my befuddled mind is to reach out. But I am going to do my best.
For now it's safe to assume that things are fine.
Andy managed to get me some interim progesterone from a pharmacy in the city. I don't have many so I hope the original order arrives soon! These ones are a different shape and consistency for sure. They burn my bum. For a good hour after inserting them my bum is in all sorts. I want to go number two, I want to toot but am all too afraid lest I lose the $$$ pessary and the hormone to boot. I was told to try coating the pessary with sudocream or similar, it seemed to help a little with the burning. I also retained a grade A headache all night, I'm sure this is from the progesterone, and felt a little queasy as I woke this morning. Must ask the doc.
I feel Hope moving around a bit. Mostly at night when I am full to the brim of dinner. Perhaps she's fighting for space. A bit like me in my own bed at night, with James wriggling between Andy and I.
I had lovely visitors for morning tea yesterday::Skye and Shell. They have been wonderfully supportive and especially helpful with ferrying James and the preschool run. Michelle will pick James up this arvo and take her to their house for a play date, bath and dinner - what an adventure. He sure is a lucky kid.
I have a scan to check my stitch at 3, then off to see the doc at 4. While I can pack a bag and resign myself to a long stay in the big house, saying goodbye to James is going to be tough this morning. I can hope that the doc sends me home for another week. It could go either way I reckon.
Despite what's happening with my cervix I feel fine. Hope is getting bigger all the time. I feel her moving. I have had no suspicious discharge that would indicate ruptured membranes or an infection, and no cramps, contractions or otherwise uterine movements. I am amazed that she can continue to grow oblivious to the fine line that separates her from life and death.
Staying at home is clearly preferable. I am comfy. I have my family around me. The upsides to being admitted are that Hope, and me, will be monitored more closely, and mum will have one less body to care for, one less mouth to feed and to fetch for.
We shall see. Watch this space for cervix stats later today.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Nothing happened. Another day done. Pat myself on the back.

I am madly thinking of all the things I can, and want to do while resting for Hope. It's lucky I am a mad keen crafter and reader. Not much of a TV watcher although I plan to try harder.

I am still anxious as hell. Each visit to the toilet is with great trepidation. I am pregnant. I go a lot. A lot of trepidation.

Today was a good one. Mum looked after James and I. Dad shopped for the household. Andy worked his butt off. My job is to keep calm and gestate on! The care and catering cannot be faulted.

I finished a book :: Killer Angels. About the battle of Gettysburg. Lots of military hoo ha. I found it a bit dry. Was a nice change from my usual crime pulp. I started a new one, another Karin Slaughter. Crime pulp. It suits me fine. I know the players. Am determined to mix up my reading genres a bit. Feel a bit lazy in my brain though. That's OK isn't it?

I am out of progesterone after my dose tonight. C'mon Australia post. I need those little bullets to whack up my jaxy. That's right folks. There's nothing I won't do for Hope. Andy finds it hilarious. If it was happening to someone else I'd find it funny too. It's actually not that bad. I didn't say I liked it but there are way worse things to come. I need the progesterone to keep my uterus quiet, stop contractions and any other pregnancy disrupting malarkey my body might try.

I like ticking off the days. It makes me feel like I'm getting somewhere.

I need to lie down. My tummy is too full. We feasted on fresh flathead caught from the river.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

17 + 3

One more day. 17+3.No major incidents. Although every twinge, tummy movement, kick or gas makes me more anxious than the last one.

This is mine and Hope's journey. We are in it together. I am 18 weeks pregnant with a little girl. I have an incompetent cervix. I had surgery at 12 weeks to try to keep my cervix closed to keep her in. At my scan at 16 weeks my membranes were funneling into my cervix - how is this possible? I then had to have immediate emergency surgery to salvage the suture (what ugly words). That was a week and a bit ago. At the 17 weeks scan last Thursday the stitch showed to be holding.

We have no idea what's going to happen. We are living with the constant fear that my membranes will rupture, and whilst this might not spell immediate doom it greatly increases the chances of infection and preterm delivery. We have been down that road once before, we know what we're up against ( a story for another time). I think that makes it harder. Worse.

My reality at the moment is the bed or couch. I can't do anything for my little boy who at three and a half is just too young to understand. I can't lift him to bed, onto the toilet or even for a cuddle. It is so hard!

I am a person who likes to do things for herself. I cook. I clean. I keep house. I am not used to needing help for EVERYTHING. I can have a shower, go to the loo and that's about it. Imagine that.

This is only the beginning. I am resigned to going on bedrest for Hope in hospital. Full time. Away from my family. Away from my home. All alone. Once I go in I'll be there until I'm 32-33 weeks preggers. Magic numbers. An achievable goal? Let's hope I can do it. The cost? My sanity perhaps.

We knew this pregnancy would not be easy. I think human nature allows us to believe that the worst will not happen. I think I believed that I'd get through this pregnancy with a small to medium amount of  disruption to our happy life. I have two cold sores on my top lip. I haven't had a cold sore since James was born in 2010. They are a bell weather. I am run down. Anxious. Stressed.

Going into hospital means daily clexane shots - painful bastard injections into your tummy. Essential when movement is limited to prevent blood clots forming. Potentially fatal. They are awful. They leave bruises. I know I am a sook about needles. My issues are getting worse, not better.

My plan is to blog daily about my experiences. To count down. Some days will be harder, darker than others. I want to stay positive for my baby girl. I have the support around me that I need to get through this:: a wonderful, compassionate husband, adorable son, fantastic family and friends here in the wonderful community we live and a fantastic obstetrician. It is doable, and as my doctor said from this angle it seems like a very long way away but in the big scheme of our lives it's really only a short time. And the prize.......