Secret keeping

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I haven’t been completely honest with you. Oh, the posts have been all true, I’m not hiding anything there. I have however lied through omission. This week’s loss was a little more of a hit than I had let on, as there was a little more hope, more need clinging to that pregnancy than I had perhaps shared.

You see, my husband is currently going through something we never thought we would have to deal with in our thirties. My darling, beautiful, soul mate of a husband is battling cancer. He was diagnosed about a month ago, with stage 3 bowel cancer, meaning the tumour has spread to surrounding lymph nodes, but thankfully nowhere else. Our little pregnancy was created in the last week before he started treatment: chemotherapy and radiation combined. Since the cancer is right in that baby making region, there is a risk that fertility might suffer as a result of the treatment, and there’s also a chance it might not return. At all. So that happy (and then desperately unhappy) event was possibly our last chance of conceiving naturally.

I’m sounding all doom and gloom here, and I don’t mean to. The outlook for my husband is good, very good, and the doctors are discussing a cure, not just a treatment. Thankfully we also managed to visit the freezer section of the fertility aisle – that is we froze some potential offspring before things got real. I am very much expecting my husband’s…ahem…”production” to return to normal after treatment, but we’re realistic that it could take some time, like a year or so.

Technology has come on in leaps and bounds since I was born, and I know that the chances are excellent that we’ll get to create our own little being. Until the moment that’s confirmed though, there’ll still be that niggling “what if” seed of doubt.

For the next little while, life is about Mr Nester getting better, and our life returning to the future filled utopia we had before this fork in the road. We will get through this, we will be stronger, better, and other Kanye West lyrics. For now though, the conception wagon is taking a vacation.

I’ll still be here with the ins and outs of my extraordinary ordinary life (not a bad thing!), But the baby chat might be a little way off.

Thanks for listening, lovely considerate followers.

Jane xx

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After the storm

Storms in Melbourne last night

Storms in Melbourne last night

It was a ridiculously apt day yesterday, for all that happened. I woke up, got dressed, got ready for work, all was normal. Heading to the train station, there had been storms that night, and a lot of rain. I had taken a pregnancy test again the night before, and it seemed a lot lighter than previous tests. I was somewhat inconsolable straight after, then shook myself a little and focused on the fact that I had no bleeding, no cramping, it might just be the test. For me, the rain and threatening storms cleared, just like it did yesterday morning.

Getting on the train, the weather looked like the worst was over: the horribly dark clouds were receding, I was sure I could see the sun straining to emerge. I reached my stop not too much later, and the weather was what could only be described as torrential. Booming thunder, flashes of lightning, and absolutely bucketing rain. All without an umbrella. As I was walking through the downpour, being soaked to the skin, I knew I was wet, would get wetter, and this was pretty awful. But I also knew I would dry off, I would get home, have a hot shower, and feel a lot better.

I started bleeding yesterday morning at about 9am. Proper, heavy, red bleeding. I was working, so I just pushed it to the back of my mind and kept going. The bleeding got worse throughout the day, and the cramping set in. I knew that this was the end, I’d known from the morning (and really, from the test the night before). I managed to survive the day and make my way home. My beautiful husband had bought me flowers, amongst other comfort gifts. I sobbed. For a little while. Had a bath, wrapped myself in warm clothes, curled up on the couch.

Last night at about 2am I was woken by the worse cramps I’ve ever experienced. Like menstrual cramps times 10. I was doubled over, unable to sleep, paranoid something was wrong. For about half an hour, I was tossing and turning, curled in the foetal position (how ironic).Took more panadol, had a shower, managed to drift back off to sleep.

I woke up about an hour ago, and the (physical) pain was gone. Still more bleeding, still heavy, but without the constant reminder my body was rejecting what had been, what no longer was.

I know that right now, I’m in the rain. Wet, cold and miserable. But I will get through this, the weather will pass, and some point soon I’ll be warm and happy again.

Miscarriage is something that seems to be rarely discussed – so much so that it’s difficult to know what to expect, to know how to get through it. Thankfully for me, it was (is) very early on. It still has had a huge impact on me, but I’m grateful my experience didn’t include something recognisable in the evacuation. I know we will have other chances, and I know that miscarriage at this stage is very common. It will hurt for some time, but I think it’s important to share the experience, that hopefully someone reads this and realises that it’s not just them, they didn’t do anything wrong, and things will get better.

The sun will come out. It might not be tomorrow, but I will see it soon.

Jane xx

Lost

Lost hope, lost baby, lost me.

There’s always another chance, a good chance too, but for today I’m a little lost, a lot sad.

Jane xx

The phone call

An update from last night: the doc called today, to let me know that the blood work has come back as definitely positive, but the HCG level is very low – in the 30s. According to my Googling, at this stage (4 weeks), it should be anywhere between 5 and 426. So, definitely low, but still pregnant!

I also felt erky as this morning, which I’m very much hoping is a sign my hormone levels are spiking. I definitely don’t have any symptoms of a miscarriage going on, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m back in for a follow up blood test on Tuesday, and as long as my HCG level is past 60, I should be heading in the right direction.

Slight relief for the next few days, until the next test and waiting in limbo-land for the results.

Here’s hoping.

Jane xx

First Doctor’s Appointment: the pregnancy confirmation

Not my doctor, unfortunately.

Not my doctor, unfortunately.

So as you know, last Friday I found out I was pregnant. Cue disbelief! Also, even more aggressive symptom watching. The thing is, pregnancy symptoms are far easier to spot, as they’re massively obviously and mainly gross. This week (4 weeks pregnant, going on 5), I have had the following:

Sore, sore SORE boobs (oh my god get away from them!). I’ve had to go and buy some crop tops and supportive singlets, as I can’t stand to wear my bras at the moment. Ouch.

Gas. Oh my, the gas! I knew I was cooking a bun in my oven, I did not realize it was a gas oven. With rather large leaks. Not my sexiest feature at present.

Forgetfulness. There was something I was going to write about this…hmmm…maybe I left that idea…somewhere? My brain is not performing at optimum capacity at the moment, but seeing as I’m apparently growing another brain as well, I’ll let it slide. You got off easy this time, me.

The big one: fatigue. How I would love to sleep for a week! I seem to be dragging myself through each day at the moment. Drag self out of bed. Drag into shower. Drag onto train. Drag into work. Repeat, hopefully in reverse order.

The symptoms have been a pain, however they’ve also been a reminder of what’s currently going on in my body, which is quite nice really. It’s a lovely little hint that it’s all worth it, that there’s something kind of amazing happening. At the start of this week, I booked in to see the doctor to confirm the pregnancy. Of course, I wasn’t able to get in until today (Friday). So all week, I’ve been counting down to the moment where the doctor makes it official. I flew out of work this afternoon, and was bouncing in my seat waiting to be called in. I even practiced what I was going to say:

Doc: what can I do for you today?

Me: well, according to the stick I peed on, I’m pregnant.

Zing, right? Nailed it.

He said all the usual things. Then asked me if I’d like a blood or urine test to confirm. As I’d been holding my pee all afternoon, I (almost) shouted “both!”. So off I went to pee in a cup, returning proudly with my yellow gift. He busied himself for a minute or so, dropped the pee onto the stick, waited , oooh, about 30 seconds, looked at the stick and said…

*drumroll please*

“I’m not convinced that’s a positive.”

Right. He then showed me the stick, and asked me if I could see a line. It was there, and yes it was very faint, however (hh hmm): it was afternoon pee, not first morning, it was a shitty test that I know is less sensitive than the ones I’ve been using (early response, for those detail hungry readers), and I’m sure every test I’ve used has asked to wait for 3 minutes. As you can imagine, I was somewhat devastated. This had been what I had been waiting for all week, and it was not what I wanted to hear. I showed him a picture I’d taken of my last test – a very strong positive from Tuesday, and he seemed more open to the idea. He took blood, while my husband looked again at the (now MUCH darker) second line on the test. He’s promised me that he’ll call tomorrow morning with the results, and “if” it’s positive he’ll get the ball rolling straight away.

So obviously I went straight to the chemist and bought more preggo tests, got home and squeezed a little more pee into a cup to test again (sorry. It’s not going to get any better, either). I waited the 3 minutes, and my result?

ummm...pregnant much?

ummm…pregnant much?

Definitely still pregnant. Unless the quality brand I’ve been buying and using for the last week (all eleventy-billion of them) is faulty. Each and every one of them.

So tonight I’ve been ranting and raving for most of the evening (lucky husband!), while swinging smoothly from happy at the most recent test, to angry at the doctor, to bawling at the thought of not being pregnant. Totally normal and balanced.

I had to get all of that out, as it’s swimming around my (somewhat fuzzy) head at the moment. Now the waiting game starts again until tomorrow morning, when I’ll be phone watching like a lovesick teenager, waiting for what I am convinced has to be the good news.

Please, please, please HCG levels, be high.

Jane xx

Pregnancy Week 4

Baby: size of a poppy seed.

Body: starting to betray me – hello bloat!

Brain: sliding into madness. Husband said this morning “give me a kiss”, which I mistook for “Jiminy Cricket”. Of course.

Symptoms: heading towards gross. My body is wholeheartedly welcoming as much gas as possible, while chucking in sprinkles of heartburn, headache and a whole can of tiredness to boot.

So as of today I’m 4 weeks knocked up. 2 technically, as it’s been 14 days since ovulation, but those nice old scientists have decided to add a bonus 2 weeks into the calculation. I peed on my 3,254th stick this morning, and yep I’m still baking in this oven of mine. (Autocorrect just suggested “oven of mimes” then, I know they’re not everyone’s favourite but that seems a bit harsh…) I’m quite enjoying seeing the progression of very light line (am I? Is it?) to the seriously solid double line (KNOCKED UPPPPP). It also staves off my very real fear of miscarriage. From my panicked research, a woman under 35 who is otherwise healthy has a 10-15% chance of miscarrying, after it can be clinically detected. Prior to that, I’ve read estimates of between 20 and 50% of miscarriage, or chemical pregnancies. This is where the egg never really implants properly, and you may get a positive result for a day or two before it fades again. Thankfully I’m past that point, but it is still very common to miscarry in the first 12 weeks, more so before 6 weeks. I’m hanging for the 6 week mark to drop the chances down to about 5%, and give myself a bit of relief!

Embryo-wise, I’m still housing what is basically a ball of cells, but it’s now split into an amniotic bit, a yolk sac (mmm yum…), and the embryo in the middle. By the end of this week however, it’ll be like a freaky little person shaped blob, so we’re getting closer!

I’ve booked in to see the GP on Friday, from all the books I’ve been reading it looks like I’ll pee on a stick again, get some blood taken, and if I’m lucky get a bit of a feel up (boobs, babymaker), to make sure all looks good. Better put some lippy on for that one!

Jane xx

A rather large update

It’s been a while. How are you? What’s new? Blogs are shit for conversation, aren’t they? Instead, let me spiel at you for a while. Here’s a bit of an update. When I left you last, I was half way through my first month of trying to conceive. I am now in my fourth month of trying. Let’s recap:

Cycle 1: I stayed sane for, oooh, about 3 days before the mania set in. Ovulation tests: bought (many, many ovulation tests). 2 decimal place thermometer: bought (apparently one decimal place is for amateurs). Checking cervical mucus and cervix position: daily.

It was a little mad. The worst part for me was the temperature tracking. I could deal with the rest, it was quite interesting, however the combination of having to wake up at 6am every morning (it apparently isn’t accurate if you take it at different times, and it has to be done as soon as you wake up, no excuses) along with a change in temperature dictating my entire mood for the day had me a little wacky. See the idea is that your temps stay nice and steady up until ovulation. The day before you ovulate, your temperature drops, and then spikes on the big O. Then, if you’ve got everything right, it stays high and you’re pregnant.

It never worked for me. The temps would be all over the place, and after ovulation I would be manically checking, pleading with myself to have higher temps. That cycle, my temps were all over the place, as was I, and unsurprisingly I didn’t get all nice and knocked up.

Cycle 2: still manic, still tracking, but getting increasingly frustrated at the temp tracking and losing faith in its effectiveness. The thing is, it doesn’t increase your odds of conceiving any. It’s just a way to tell a little earlier if you might be pregnant, and to see when or if ovulation occurred (although it’s not foolproof, so needs to be done with ovulation tests anyway. Cycle 2 ended as Cycle 1 had, with nothing to show.

Cycle 3: I was over it. Completely. Took a break from tracking altogether: no tests, no temps, no cervix, lots of sex. A much nicer month, that alas, didn’t result in anything.

Cycle 4: my current cycle. A little different this time around. Still no temps, but I decided to use the ovulation tests again, just so my knowledge of where I was in my cycle was a little more accurate. The last three cycles, I was symptom checking like crazy. I was nauseous, tired, had sore boobs, everything on the list of “early pregnancy symptoms”. Thanks Google. I do think I had a few of these genuinely, however I was so hoping for them I think that may have emphasised anything that was going on. Cycle 4 was different. After some well timed…ahem…sex…(no point in being modest now!), the very next day I had super sore norks, jugs, feed bags. You know. Then at 6DPO (days past ovulation), I had this pain. A sharp, stabbing pain on my left side, down low on my abdomen. Hurt like hell, then it was gone. Of course, I tested a couple of days later, at 8DPO. Negativo. Like all the others (I think I’ve peed on about 20 prego sticks by now, maybe 30. It’s a disease). I made myself wait until 10DPO, before I tested again.

Let me set the scene: it’s 6am, my alarm has gone off, and I’ve stumbled into the bathroom to take what I’m convinced will be another negative test. I’m so bleary I pee in a cup instead of on the stick as this one requests (not my best at dawn, bodes well for me…). I swear. I stick the stupid stick into the cup of pee (God my life is sexy!), stare at it for a minute or two.

Nothing.

Turn on the shower, go to step in, take another quick look at the test before jumping in.

Squint.

Squint harder.

Tilt to the light.

Turn the shower off.

Start shaking.

Walk back to bedroom. “Um, honey?”

Poor husband jumps to attention, turns the light on and tries to force his eyes to adjust to see the very, very faint second line on the pregnancy test. The test that says we’re having a baby…

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Holy shit!

Of course I’ve put these around the wrong way, so the bottom test is the first one (barely visible), but you can see on Saturday’s test how much clearer it’s become…

I’m pregnant!

So that’s why I’m back. It was blood hard for the short time we had to deal with the cycle after cycle of hope and disappointment, but we are lucky enough to have had it work this time. I’m just hoping like hell that this little one sticks.

Jane (and ball of cells) xxx

PS. this is me, Week 3. All bloat, no bump at the moment!

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Week 3