Thursday, 26 April 2018

And breathe out.

The first trimester ultrasound found something in the heart. At that time, it could have been an isolated finding, a part of a complex genetic syndrome (one that I faintly remembered from my time in medical school all those years ago), or part of a more complex cardiac condition.

The obstetrician/sonologist appraised us of the percentage likelihood of each thing, that it was more likely to be normal than not. She wanted us to wait another 3 weeks for a review with a cardiologist, plus/minus an amniocentesis.

We were devastated. Percentages mean nothing, one either gets a disease or doesn't - they don't get 5 or 10 or 20 per cent of a disease. We needed to get it sorted out, and we could not wait 3 weeks. We did not get much sleep that night. It stopped us in our tracks.

I requested chorionic villus sampling, as this could be done earlier along. I spoke with my obstetrician, who spoke with the sonologist. This was promptly arranged, three days after the initial ultrasound.

The CVS was physically and emotionally painful. Seeing the fetus on the ultrasound, knowing that a needle was going into the womb. I kept thinking "sorry little mate". The local anaesthetic didn't work very well, and I jumped a bit. The womb shifted. The sonologist told me that she had to make another pass. I started sobbing, and they left me for a bit to pull myself together. My fella held my hand and cried with me. The procedure was completed, I was sore and sorry, we were pretty subdued. I slept the rest of the day. I took the next day off. Luckily, the next morning, some initial results were available. The syndrome had been excluded. I felt superficially happy, but numb. It had been a harrowing week.

We went away on a weekend trip we had planned for months. We went to a restaurant called Brae, and stayed in the boutique accommodation. I don't know that we were in the right frame of mind, we were a bit tired, and pregnancy is not really the time to try new sophisticated tastes. Still, it was lovely to get away with some reassurance.

The following Wednesday, I went for a job interview. This is a role I had applied for a while ago. I spent a bit of time preparing for the interview, mainly because I wanted to slay it and get the role, but also as a bit of a distraction from what had been going on. I managed the interview well despite my nerves, was able to give comprehensive answers to all the questions, and did not have any brain-farts (which I have had before in interviews). I decided that, whatever the outcome, I would be proud for holding it together and not having a brain fart during the interview. I was very jittery after. I didn't know how I would manage if I didn't get the role - I've had a few fails in the past year or so, missed out on a few roles, and this with the infertility stuff has been an assault to my self-esteem. I did my trick of planning nice contingencies.

I had a call the next day - the panel was very impressed, and I got the job. A senior colleague on the panel knew about my pregnancy and told the head of the panel - they gave me the job anyway, saying they wanted the best candidate for the job. I am not sure how I felt about this news being passed on, but it saved me the awkies of having to share the news myself.

I was buoyed by this news, but still in the back of my mind was the worry about the pregnancy. I stayed away from people who I thought would tell me "it'll be alright" - that may well be true but it does not help me. I preferred instead to stay distracted. I threw myself into writing a paper, into Bachie in Paradise. My mindset changed from frightened to hopeful.

On Tuesday, I got the final results from the genetic testing, and had a review by a cardiologist specialising in congenital heart disease. The genetic testing was normal, and as far as the cardiologist could tell at this early stage, it appears to be an isolated anomaly in the heart, unlikely to be of any consequence.

My partner is still quite traumatised and not quite reassured by everything, but he is getting there.

I am feeling overwhelmingly grateful. Grateful for the care and love I have received, grateful that good things are happening. So grateful I get emotional when I think about things.

I am getting my head back into the game. The next thing is to get my flu shot, and to plan the babymoon. Can't go anywhere much because of Zika. Have found some nice places in Australia though.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Foetus, interruptus.

We went for our first trimester ultrasound yesterday. The one that yields the photos that accompany the formal pregnancy announcements.

It took ages, and I had to empty my bladder and jiggle around to get things in the right position for optimal growth. There was abdo-cam and dildo-cam and every angle was taken.

The first warning was the time it took to do the scan. I didn't think it would take that long.

The second warning was being led out to the back room by the obstetrician.

It's not a normal ultrasound.
I have arranged some further tests.
It might be ok but it might not.
That is all I am saying about that, for the moment.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

11+5. Pagan festival of Chocolate. Imma doing OK.

And Happy Easter Folks!

I'm just sat on my couch, after cooking up a storm for dinner. My friend has left, my fella is at a gig, I'm nibbling at my chocky treats (Haigh's, no less), torn between craving and feeling full.

I'm still a bit sick sometimes, but no voms. Most of the food aversions have passed, I managed to cook a beautiful lamb roast today. I followed Nagi's advice of starting the roast in the slow cooker, then browning in the oven. It threatened not to work out, as I didn't give it 10 hours (only 3 or 4) but the result was succulent. I made roast tatties which didn't work out as I wanted them, but were delicious. All the other food was made with loads of fat and or cheese/cream. It was delicious. The Piece de Resistance was an apple and raspberry cake I made for afters. I was a woman possessed. It's the most cooking I've done in a while.

I have continued being hungry, but have seen my way to healthier foods. By healthier, I mean tins of spaghetti or baked beans, rather than fried foods. I am enjoying carrots, but with lashings of french onion dip (the less fancy the better). I am requiring fewer strawberry milkshakes to get me through. Fruit wise, it's all about the pink lady apple. I am coming back around to meat and curries. When I was in the midst of the food aversions, I felt like they would never go away, but here we are.

I have been enjoying Crossfit, enjoying breaking a sweat with my friends. Perhaps the reason why I am enjoying it so much is that I am just enjoying what I can do, rather than going hell for leather or trying to compete. I have been able to do the majority of what is programmed and I am proud of this, and proud of knowing my own body. I did get  a bit of pain about the pelvis last week, during a certain movement, which freaked me out a bit. The calming words of my friends and the obstetrician were effective.

I had been missing wine (or more correctly, sharing a bottle with friends and having a nice buzz with it). This nostalgia is settling. What I really get excited about nowadays is the afternoon nap, especially when I have a day off or finish early. I have tried to get through a day during the Easter break, go a hard-core all-dayer, but alas I have not managed it. Mama needs her rest.

Despite the fatigue and the seediness and the aversions and the cravings, it all seems a bit unreal. Even having seen the 10 week scan. Even as my pants get a bit tighter and I buy elasticated pants or clothing with a bit of give in it. It was only a couple of short months ago that I was planning the contingencies for if the pregnancy test came back negative (buy a car, book a holiday - I have done neither). How life can change. I am aware of how easily it might all go away, so hard was the pregnancy to come by. It seems a little indulgent to believe it.

Life is getting hectic, with the pregnancy, work, house renovations. I am taking it one day at a time, and in so doing I mostly avoid being overwhelmed. Perhaps it is the pregnancy hormones making me feel calm, but I have been practicing the art of telling myself I am doing fine, doing a good job. Even typing this seems a bit weird, I am not used to patting myself on the back. It does reduce the reliance on people telling me. I get the feeling that this might be a good skill to have as a parent.