A Surprise Baby

A surprise baby wasn’t even something we had considered as a remote possibility, if we had we might have been a bit more careful!

Way back in January of 2015 I had some final tests to confirm that I was having some fertility problems. Not because we were seriously trying for a baby or anything, but because I was having cycles that could range from 28 to 60 days and periods that would start out of nowhere with really heavy bleeding then disappear just as quickly.

The confirmed that it looked like I wasn’t ovulating properly, or at all, and that I had all the symptoms of PCOS. The indications being that we would probably need fertility treatment in order to conceive.

It wasn’t that big of a shock. We had suspected that for some time, we hadn’t been using contraception for nearly two years by this point, and although we were making a slight effort to have sex in my non-fertile periods that was really difficult when there was nothing regular to go off!

After we got the news we thought about trying for a baby then, seriously trying. I was working as a writer and due to graduate in the June, we had our own house, our income was stable if not massive and we knew time might be against us. I’m pretty certain a lot of people who get news like this go through a similar reaction. So for a few of months we did, I started charting, dieting and generally trying to improve my symptoms.

I had already lost nearly two stone on Slimming World before the diagnosis, but about the same time I found out about the PCOS I lost my grandmother, and I gave up on going to classes. I did keep the weight off though.

I did have one weird month, in the June 2015. Sore boobs, nausea in the evenings and I wondered. But I did a test which came back negative. Then, after my shortest cycle to date (28 days), I bled, heavily. So I assumed that the symptoms were possibly ovulation ones.

It was about then we had another serious discussion about starting a family, and decided that maybe it wasn’t the right time. I think maybe when we thought we might have been caught it made us think about whether it was the right time, also, I had been reading a lot about the PCOS and talking to women who had it and the miscarriage rate, frankly, scared me. We had already made the decision that we didn’t really want to look at fertility treatment, and we had already said we wanted to adopt, at least once. So our path seemed to be pretty clear.

We were going to spend some time building our careers, particularly as mine wasn’t bringing in an income and L. had always been interested in being a stay at home parent. Plus, with adoption, there wasn’t the time pressure hanging over us like it had felt there was to conceive naturally.

So we did a bit of work on the house. I graduated, and then I did some volunteering over the summer and autumn. I was interviewed and got a job in the first week of December, and was given a start date for January. Although it was only a six month contact it had the potential to be extended, and even if that wasn’t the case it was some relevant and up-to-date experience that I could build on.

So I spent December volunteering at a local charity, helping at their Christmas events, sorting donations, moving furniture, sorting boxes of tins and bags of food.

Then came Christmas, I was going on a family holiday and I was massively ratty and moody, so I thought “brilliant, bound to be on my period over Christmas”. Instead I developed a urine infection on Christmas Eve and spent the evening with a sky-high temperature guzzling cystitis sachets.

It seemed to clear up though and Christmas Morning was lovely, with some Champagne and Mulled Wine, then travelling home to see the in-laws and more Champagne. We had a family meal on New Years Eve too with, you guessed it, more Champagne. Plus a lovely Camembert and some Brie.

I had been having some cramping, even at this point, and my boobs had been sore. But I put it down to my period being on its way. So as I lay in bed on the Saturday morning, rubbing my sore tummy, I grumped. I was griping away about how annoyed I was that my period never arrived regularly, and that the bleeding was out of the blue and heavy, and really? how was I going to cope at work with this?

So, I decided that if my period hadn’t arrived by Monday I was going to make an appointment with my GP to get put on the pill, again, and I would take a pregnancy test on Monday morning. Not because I thought there was a remote possibility but because they always ask whether you might be, and then I could say “absolutely not, I took a test this morning”.

Then, because I am impatient, I decided to get up and see if I had any tests left over from June. Which I did. Almost as soon as the test got wet the first line appeared.

The first line. The line that isn’t the control line. The line that says absolutely that you’re pregnant.

I think I must have sat there in shock for a few minutes. Then I ran into the bedroom and told him we were going to have a baby, to which he replied, “No we’re not.”

He was wrong.

It took some adjustment. We’d gone from the idea of having children somewhere, quite firmly, well into the future, to having a child in a very short few months. Whilst I still had no long-term job, and the house still had a huge pile of work that needed doing to it and maybe we weren’t prepared.

So we kept telling ourselves that nobody ever was prepared, and, yes, finding out you’re pregnant two days before starting a new job isn’t a brilliant time, but there’s never a right time.

Then a couple of things happened. The cramping continued, and I had a little bleed, and we all of a sudden realised that what had happened in June was remarkably similar to how I was feeling now. Suddenly all the difficulties of having our baby now took a backseat to the worry that we might not actually have a choice as to whether the baby made it or not.

Luckily baby Pippin appears to be pretty tough, and though my midwife has subsequently confirmed (as much as can be at this date) that what happened in June was probably a chemical pregnancy they don’t feel that what happened then will have any baring on what happens now. Especially as we have gotten so much further this time.

Baby brain? What Baby brain?

I have heard tell that baby brain does not exist. This is a fallacy. Why else is my memory shot?

I lose my keys around fifteen times a day, my purse keeps going walkabout and it’s very lucky if I have remembered to put on clean underwear in the morning*

Maybe it has less to do with the physical aspects of pregnancy and a little more to do with the fact that I am 20 weeks away from one of the biggest life changes that will ever happen. And am not prepared.

There seems to be so much to take in, remember and learn, plus I am working and juggling everything I was doing before and house renovations. On very little sleep.

Maybe this is nature’s way of preparing us for the sleep deprivation and it’s related symptoms that will follow. I will let you know in 20 or so weeks.

20 weeks pregnant – 20 weeks of urine infections.

I am 20 and a bit weeks pregnant and the poorlys are making a comeback.

By that, of course, I mean I have the 60572319th urine infection of my pregnancy.

Or third, I have my third urine infection.

Only I didn’t realise. Again. I just got weepy and woke up shivering despite my body being the temperature of a furnace, sobbing that I was leaking amniotic fluid, again. Until my husband kindly pointed out that I had woken him up with chattering teeth, it wasn’t amniotic fluid, but urine (again) and maybe I should ring the doctor. Then he stole my duvet, made me have a big drink and a cuddle.

Once I cooled down I realised he was right and these were the same symptoms. It’s really strange just how messed up a couple of degrees can make your body! I cried yesterday because I couldn’t make up my mind whether to go to pregnancy yoga or not (the answer was clearly not). My husband had to ban me from entering the kitchen because I couldn’t stop clinging to his shirt and he was trying to fry sausages. I actually asked him whether he was going to come back after having a wee… (he said no).

My temperature comes down and I am back to criticising the couples on Double Your House.

Unfortunately as we are approaching antibiotic course number three it looks like they might just stick me on a low level dose for the rest of the pregnancy. Really bizarrely my cultures didn’t grow, but my midwife assures me pregnancy can mask it. So I will drink as much fluid as possible and make my 300th trip to the bathroom in order to flush this thing out.

Early Pregnancy Blues

It has been really difficult to say how I have felt about this pregnancy so far, in fact its really difficult to write this post now!

People who know me very well don’t tend to ask this, but with people I don’t know that well (because we all know pregnancy is the time for all sorts of intimate questions!) it is pretty much the first thing I’m asked: “Were you trying?”. The conversation continues in the same way each time:

Me: No, it was a complete surprise.

Well-meaning Acquaintance: A nice surprise though.

Me: *Nods vehemently*

Yes, it is a nice surprise, especially considering our history. But it hasn’t been easy, in fact I’m not sure when I have had a harder few months. Although I don’t mind people telling me it must have been a nice surprise, when I’m exhausted or unwell or have spent four hours waiting at the walk-in centre I don’t necessarily want to be told that.

As I wrote before we found out in the first week of January that I was pregnant. I started my new job on the 4th. We thought I must be around seven weeks gone then.

Midway through that week I had an appointment with the emergency doctor due to cramping and a bleed. So I got booked in at the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) for the following week. At the EPU they told me that I was so early, somewhere between 4 and 5 weeks, that they couldn’t see what might be causing the bleeds, so I had to come back two weeks later. Although we were lucky enough to see the little bundle of cells or, more accurately, the yolk sack.

The last Sunday in January and I ended up at the emergency GP again because I was really ill with what I suspected was a urine infection, I was going to wait until midweek to see my GP but had another bleed on the Sunday morning so off we went. After a hellish wait we saw a lovely dr and I got some medication, but I was so poorly I ended up having a week of work.

The following Friday we were back up at the EPU for a follow-up scan and baby, who is clearly a little fighter, was doing well. The Dr put me at about 8+4 pregnant and there was a nice strong heartbeat.

Monday after I was back at the GP again, after they called me in due to back pain as they were afraid the infection may not have cleared and was actually up in my kidneys. Turns out I was lucky it wasn’t a kidney infection, it was just Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) setting in early. So I got some exercises and sent on my merry way.

A switch to flat shoes, more supportive bras and a chair with lumbar support helped a little. Plus my sickness died down a little and I was able to eat more regularly. Though I was still throwing up my pregnancy vitamin half the time, and hadn’t been able to keep down the medication I’m supposed to take twice a day for an ongoing medical problem since getting pregnant. But things were looking better, and I was feeling brighter.

Then I ended up back at the Dr’s on the 1st March, again with severe cramping (though thankfully no bleed this time) and the symptoms of, what I thought, was a pretty nasty cold. It had come on pretty swiftly, between the late afternoon of the 29th and the morning of the 1st I gained hot, burning eyes, a splitting headache, aches all over, a nasty chesty cough and the cramps that were really concerning me.

As it turned out my ‘cold’ was actually the flu. Luckily the Dr thought the baby was fine, and even if it hadn’t been since I was only 12+3 there wasn’t much they could do about it anyway. However he advised I rested. To be honest, I don’t know if you’ve ever had flu, but there’s not really much you can do apart from rest! This culminated in another few days off work whilst I recovered. The cramps passed pretty quickly, and possibly had more to do with me not getting my medication than anything else.

I am complaining a bit, I know, but I was expecting to have some problems with sickness, but I wasn’t expecting to be so run down all of the time! The sickness, though horrible, has been pretty mild – nausea most days and actual vomiting every couple of days – so I know I have been lucky there. The exhaustion has been really limiting though, and the hormones have been horrific, plus I’ve spent a large amount of my early pregnancy poorly.

Not to mention just how afraid and anxious I have been the whole time. They still haven’t identified a reason for those early bleeds, though the best guess is that it had more to do with the urine infection than the baby. I’m not sure I will believe its all going to be ok until I am much, much further along than I am.