30 weeks

Still here, still cooking – 30 weeks today!

I’ve continued to take it pretty easy since my last appt with the consultant at 28+4, and I was really hoping to make it to 30 weeks. I don’t know if it makes a great deal of difference to be at 30 weeks, but it definitely feels good to be in the 30s and out of the 20s 🙂

I’ve bought all of the basics for baby now, which has been strange to do, but needed to be done. Everything is safely packed away and hopefully will stay that way for plenty of time yet.

I saw the midwife yesterday for a check up and she measured my tummy to check baby’s growth. I was 29+6 weeks, so my tummy should have measured 29cm, yet she measured it at 23cm….?! So my tummy had apparently shrunk…..?! I told her that this couldn’t be right, but she insisted it was and brought forward my NHS scan from a week tomorrow until tomorrow. I naturally got upset and worried about this smaller measurement, but luckily I was seeing our private reproductive immunology specialist today for a scan, so that was handy.

When I told the specialist about the measurement he almost laughed and said he could tell by looking at me that I was 30 weeks! Quite a skill if you can do it I guess!! But he measured me and I was at 30 weeks, so I’m guessing the midwife (who was lovely, but very young) might have been relatively new and didn’t quite get it right. Ah well. I’ve always measured small, which I told her, but I definitely could have done without the extra worry!

We had the scan today and baby had a good heartbeat at 143bpm and weighed in at a brilliant 3lbs 8oz! Hurray! He/she is also above average size for their dates, which always makes me feel better. I’m staying on my progesterone, metformin and hydroxychloroquine until 36 weeks, and the doctor has said I can get back to normal now, which was good to hear, if not a little scary. 

So, back to plodding on and hoping for more cooking time! One of my best friends has taken over organising a baby shower for me a week on Sunday, so I’m really hoping that baby stays in until well after that. I’d love to be able to see my friends and enjoy that experience, fingers crossed. My husband has also booked us an evening away at a spa hotel next week too, so again I’m hoping baby stays put so we can enjoy that. It definitely makes me nervous to think about getting back to normal, but I know I’ll always take it pretty steady when I’m out and about – my days of long walks are over for now!

Thanks again for everyone’s good wishes – I really appreciate them 🙂

X

28+4 weeks 

Still here, baby’s still cooking, hurray! 

We had a good scan on Monday last week and baby was growing well, measuring in the 71st percentile at a healthy 2lbs 11oz which was great! We were due to see the consultant straight after but it got pushed back to today instead, so I thought it best to just take it easy until today’s appointment, so it’s been another steady week of pottering round the flat and not doing much at all.

On Saturday we had a photo shoot with a photographer friend of mine who specialises in maternity and newborn baby shoots. As odd as it might sound, it was really important for me to make it to that shoot. After all we’ve been through to get here I was so keen to have some photos of us together and also of me being pregnant, as it looked for so long like I’d never get here and I’ve loved watching my body change and grow as the time has gone along. Whatever happens, I just so wanted those photos that remember all of this by. We made it to Saturday and did the shoot and we’re both so happy with the results. I had several nude photos done (move over, Demi!) and they were honestly some of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen. I’m no supermodel by any means, but it just makes me so happy to see what my body is doing. So we’re really pleased that we were able to get those done.

I ordered a few essentials for baby and they’re slowly starting to arrive. I still find it all a bit surreal, but I have to start planning ahead a bit, even if it is tricky for me. The Moses basket is due to arrive this week, which will be a biggie I’m sure. I’m just keeping everything tucked away for now, but it’s good to have them there.

So today we went to the specialist – I took my mum as my husband was at work. Whilst we were waiting we got chatting to a couple who were also waiting and they were 25 weeks along and expecting twins. They already had two children aged 8 and 9 and the twins were a surprise. I found my heart sinking a little when she said this – as it always does when I hear of someone falling pregnant without trying – until she mentioned that she had been pregnant with twins two years ago and sadly lost them both as one was ectopic and the other was lost during the procedure to remove her tube. It just made me realise once again how many women go through hard times to have their babies, it really is sadly so common. 

We went in to see the specialist and she was very happy with how baby is growing, which was great. She did a quick scan and my mum got to see the baby, hear the heartbeat and see all of his/her little body! I was really happy that she got to see this as she hadn’t been to any of the scans. I asked if I still needed to rest at home and she said that I could start to get back to normal, but just to take it steady. She said that I need to start enjoying the pregnancy, as I’m past the very premature age now, so I’m allowed to start doing some things again.

This made me a bit nervous, but I’m happy to potter in the flat during the week, but at least it means that on a weekend I can go to the cinema, or to dinner, so my husband and I aren’t stuck at home the entire time. I have no intention of doing long walks or shopping trips, but walking for 2 mins to get from the car to the restaurant is allowed. She said that they won’t check my cervix anymore now as I’ve reached viability, so I just need to take it steady and see how I get on. I’ve got an appt with our specialist in reproductive immunology on 10th March, if we get that far, then another scan the week after with the NHS.

I’ve taken another big step for me and am organising a mini baby shower for just about 6 of my friends and my mum. It’ll be at the flat, so no drama for me to get to, and my mum has kindly offered to make the cakes and scones for the day, which is great. This is planned for the weekend of 20th March, which isn’t that far away, but as usual it feels like a lifetime away when you’re hoping to keep baby cooking inside! It makes me nervous to plan this, but as with the photo shoot it’s something that id love to have to remember all of this by. It’s also been very hard for my friends as none of them have really known what to say/do because we’ve had so many medical hurdles along the way with this pregnancy, so I’m hoping we can make it to then and be able to celebrate a little bit with them.

So another day is almost done. I’m so grateful that baby is doing well and is staying cooking, this really is the most important thing. Please keep good thoughts coming this way for plenty more cooking time! 

X

27+4 weeks

I’m happy to say that baby is still cooking and today I had a growth scan to see how he/she is doing.

Earlier this week the midwife measured my tummy and said that I was measuring smaller than I should, which obviously instantly worried me. They measure your tummy after about 24 weeks and the number of weeks should be the same as the number of cms, so at 27 weeks I should be 27cm, but I was only 24cm. Ugh. This isn’t a very scientific approach, and lots of doctors don’t use it anymore for this reason, but I was told to tell the sonographer when I had my scan. My bump isn’t very big anyway, so I was worried that baby wasn’t growing as he/she should, but tried to put it out of my mind.

My scan was due to be at 11.40am this morning, then see the consultant afterwards, but I got a call at 9.30am saying that they had to delay my scan till 4.10pm as they were short of sonographers. Bit of a pain, but I wouldn’t be able to see the consultant afterwards, which was a real shame. Ah well.

We went to the scan and thankfully all was well! Baby is measuring in the 71st percentile (wahoo!) and weighing in at a stonking 2lbs 11oz!! Wowzers!! We’d thought maybe around 2lb 6oz at best, but even more is brilliant! I know that there are no guarantees, but in my mind the heavier they are, the better chance they have if they decide to make an early appearance, so this was great news. They checked blood flow to the placenta and that was all good too. We even got to see baby’s little foot, and all the little toes, which was amazing and made everything feel very real somehow. The sonographer said everything looked fine and that I obviously just carry baby small, which is fine with me as long as baby is ok. 

I didn’t have my cervix measured at the scan, so I’ll ask the consultant on Monday and see if she wants to check it again and then see what to do regarding my resting situation. I’m happy to keep taking it easy until the appt on Monday, the more cooking time the better really 🙂

I’m taking a big step and going to order a Moses basket this week. As yet I haven’t bought anything for baby, but I’m realising that we do need to have some things here, just the basics, just in case. It’s scary, but I’m going for it. My dad and his wife also sent me some little cardigans today, which are the first baby clothes I have in the flat. It felt quite surreal opening them, but again, I’m just going with it.

Thank you for all your comments and well wishes, they really keep me going and I’m so grateful. On the way out of the hospital today I saw a big patch of daffodils. I posted last year about my love of daffodils and this really lifted my spirits even more. Here’s a little photo to brighten up Monday 🙂 Fingers crossed for plenty more cooking time and calm days ahead. 

  
X

27 weeks 

27 weeks today! We made it!! Wahooooo!!!! ☺️☺️☺️😁

In my last post at 24+1 weeks I’d just been given the great news that my cervix had lengthened from 2.7cm (on the low end of normal) at 23+4 weeks, to 4.4cm (normal range) after 5 days of bed rest. My consultant was very pleased with this (as were we!) but said that I still needed to take it very easy and hopefully get to 27 weeks, as the chances of baby surviving, with help, would be much better by then. Well, I’ve done basically nothing at all since then!

I mentioned a while ago that we bought a house and are having it completely renovated and extended, which is great, but the house is super old and not a very relaxing place to be when you’re stuck at home. As luck would have it, we were able to move back to our old flat at the start of Feb, as the builders needed to start the internal works, so I’m now back in our lovely bright, clean, but pretty sparse flat! I honestly couldn’t be happier to be back there and luckily there are no stairs once you’re in the flat, so I’m able to potter around easily during the day, rather than navigating the stairs every time I need food/the bathroom!

It’s been a pretty strange three weeks. I’ve got into a little routine of eating, watching tv, reading, laying in bed, and that’s about all really. I left the house for a midwife check up two weeks ago and other than that I’ve just been in the flat. I expect that this would probably drive a lot of people insane, but luckily I’m quite happy in my own company and knowing how important it was to get to this milestone made it absolutely fine in my book – I’d do whatever it took to give our baby the best possible chance, no questions asked. My mum has been to see me a couple of times and has been fantastic – cooking for me, cleaning the flat and ironing my husband’s shirts. Basically all of the stuff that I can’t really do just now and I’m so grateful. My lovely husband has been fantastic too – it’s probably not much fun seeing your wife just sitting around all day every day, but he knows how important it’s been to get to today and has been amazing too, I’m so lucky to have him.

I was at the doctor today and had a listen to baby’s heartbeat which was loud and clear, which is always brilliant to hear! Baby has been very active and I can feel him/her getting bigger and stronger, which I love. My bump is still pretty small I think, but it feels like I’m just all baby and I guess there’s still plenty of time (hopefully) for it to get bigger. Baby has also started to get hiccups, which is strange but a good indication that his/her lungs are starting to develop properly, which again makes me feel better. I had the steroid injections at 23+4 weeks so hopefully these have helped things to develop more quickly. 

If I can make it through this weekend, we have a scan on Monday and an appt with the specialist to check that baby is growing and see how things are going. Baby has always measured bigger than average, which I’m hoping is still the case as the bigger they are the better chance they have if they come early. Baby was last measured as approx 1lb 4oz at 22+4 weeks, so I’m hoping he/she will be tipping the scales at well over 2lb, but we’ll see. I’ve tried to stay off google as much as possible (very difficult when you’re in the house all day!) but I’ve found lots of good stories of babies born after 27 weeks, so I’m really, really hoping that this would be the case for us if it happened. Luckily, now that I’m 27 weeks i’d be able to have the baby at our local hospital, as they can care for babies 27 weeks and above, so it’s good to know that we wouldn’t have to travel miles everyday to see baby if they came early. It’s a small detail, but definitely would make things easier.

When I started on bed rest I said that if I got to 27 weeks I would start to think about buying some baby items, as I haven’t bought anything as yet. Because we’ve had so many complications along the way – the general worry of having lost 5 babies previously, then bleeding at 6, 10 and 12 weeks and now this cervix issue – I’ve never felt the need to buy anything. I always hoped that the urge would come, but it never did. Now that we’ve got to this point, I think I’ll try and start. I definitely don’t feel comfortable filling the house with anything and everything baby, but the absolute basics like a car seat and a basket and some clothes are probably needed. It does make me a bit sad that I’m not at all excited to buy any baby items, but I think it’s normal after my history, so I just have to plod on and buy what’s needed and maybe when it comes to it the excitement will be there…?

I did do something quite bold for me – a friend of mine is a photographer and I’ve booked her to do a shoot with my husband and I and bump next Saturday 27th. I was terrified to book it, as I still felt like I was tempting fate by doing it, but if baby does come early I’d love to be able to have some photos of us with the bump to remember my pregnancy days by. Despite all the obstacles I’ve had with this pregnancy, I love being pregnant and look at my bump and my body with absolute love and awe every single day, as I genuinely never thought that after 5 losses I would ever get to experience this. I’ll never complain about any of the rough sides of pregnancy, as I’m just amazed that my body has been able to grow a baby after everything and I’m so grateful and proud of what it is doing and how it looks. So fingers crossed we make it to the shoot so we have those pictures to remember this by.

My doctor today said that even though I’ve got to 27 weeks I’ve still got to take it very easy, so it does look like I’ll still be mainly in the flat for the foreseeable future, but that’s absolutely fine by me. Every day now is a blessing and a chance for baby to get bigger and stronger. I’ll let you know how the scan goes on Monday, fingers crossed as always for good news.

X

24 weeks

Well, what a week this has been!!

I posted on Monday when I was 23+4 weeks pregnant with the worrying news that my cervix was closed but down to 2.7cm, on the low end of normal. Given my history, my consultant wanted to be extra careful (which I was very grateful for) so she said that I needed to rest and come back today for a rescan. In the meantime, I had to have two steroid injections which would help baby’s lungs to develop faster, so he’d have the best chance if he decided to make an early appearance. 

I had the injections (easily the most painful shots I’ve ever had, and I’ve had 8 shots for rabies before!!) and then I just had to wait. Being on bed rest is the scariest thing, as you feel every single twinge and change and have nothing else to do but lay and worry, but if it gave baby the best chance then that was fine with me. 

I went to the scan today and didn’t know what to expect really. If it was 2cm or less then I would have had a cervical stitch put in to help baby stay in for longer. The scan started and I didn’t really know what the heck I was looking at, but it turns out that my cervix is still closed and has lengthened to 4.4cm! Wow!!! This is the best outcome that we could have hoped for, and it took a while for it to sink in, I was so terrified.

We saw the specialist afterwards and she said that I still need to keep taking it easy, but I can move around the house a little bit more. Basically we need to get to 27 weeks, so my goal is just to do as little as possible until then. I’m not working, so it’s not difficult for me to do very little each day, which is great. My poor husband has been brilliant and fed and watered me all week, I’m so grateful for him and I know it’s been a worrying time for him too.

So I’m now back in bed, back on Netflix again! I figure that I might as well rest up as much as I can to give the baby the best chance. Everything feels very surreal still, but I just have to keep plodding along and see how things go. I’m 24+1 weeks today, so every day is a blessing and a chance for baby to get stronger. 

Thank you so much to everyone for your lovely and encouraging comments this week, they’ve really helped me through. Let’s just hope for a very uneventful few weeks now, fingers crossed.

X

23 weeks 

Hi all, as you could probably tell, i’d gone quiet again since my last post at 20 weeks, just hoping that everything would continue to go well. 

I’d gone to hospital at around 21 weeks with some pressure and discharge and had had my cervix checked by a doctor (it was closed) and then the next day had an internal scan to check how my cervix was doing. It measured at 3.4cm and was completely closed. For anyone who doesn’t know much about the cervix in pregnancy (I certainly didn’t!) it’s basically the muscle which keeps baby inside until you go into labour, so until then it needs to stay nice and long and closed. It should be between 3-5cm at this point in pregnancy. I’d had it checked at 17 weeks and it was even longer at 4.5cm.

This was a relief, so I carried on as usual, but took things a bit steady. The doctor said I should come back in 2 weeks to see how it was doing, so you off I went this morning. The sonographer did a tummy scan first and baby is doing brilliantly, measuring above average and all looking good. This was lovely to see as always. She then said she’d do the cervix check. I was feeling ok about this, as id had no more pressure really, but my heart dropped when I saw it was closed but only measuring 2.7cm. Not good.

I had to go to see the specialist straight after to see what the plan would be. As you can imagine, I was pretty upset by this point. I was trying to stay calm, but the thought that our baby might not make it after all that we’ve been through was just unthinkable. 

The specialist was brilliant and said that right now I’m 23+4 weeks, so only 3 days away from viability. Realistically, the chances aren’t great if you give birth at 24 weeks, but there is a chance. So she said I need to try and make it to that point first. She said I need to have two steroid injections – one today and one tomorrow – these will help baby’s lungs to develop faster so that if he does come early then he’ll have a better chance of being able to breathe on his own. She then said that I need to go home and take it easy completely, then come back in for another scan on Friday to see how things look. If my cervix has shortened to 2cm or less, then I’ll have to have a cervical stitch put in straightaway. This is a procedure which basically tries to hold your cervix tight and closed for as long as possible, to give baby as much cooking time as possible. Again I don’t know a great deal about this, but I know it’s definitely an option if things are heading that way.

So I had my first steroid injection, which hurt like you wouldn’t believe, and have been in bed all day. My husband has taken the week to work from home and has been getting all of my food and drinks, I’m only getting up to use the bathroom. 

Honestly, I just don’t know how to feel right now. I allowed myself a quick google on this and happily I found much more good stories than bad – which never happens!! It seems that once this issue has been spotted by doctors they can keep a good eye on you and do their best to keep baby cooking for as long as possible. My doctor said that if I can make it to 27 weeks then there is a good chance that baby would be OK (with help once they’re born obviously). I have faith in my doctor as she’s been so proactive given my history and I definitely feel like I’m being monitored as closely as I can be. Luckily we only live 10mins from the hospital too, which is a relief.

I have to keep taking it easy, but go to hospital if I have any pressure/pain, so I’m just hoping that this doesn’t happen. My cervix was closed at that point, which was good, but because it’s a muscle it can change at any point, so you never really know what’s going on I guess.

I’ll let you know how Friday goes, but please send good thoughts our way. I honestly can’t believe the journey that we’ve been on so far and I’m just hoping that our little fighter baby can stay cooking for much, much longer. 

X

20 weeks 

Sorry for the radio silence for the past month or so, if I’m totally honest I’m always scared to post updates on here. It might sound ridiculous, but I always worry that I’ll post and then something will happen. I guess RPL does that to you, but I’m doing my very best to stay happy and positive 🙂
I had my 20 week NHS anomaly scan last week and am happy to report that all went well. I was petrified going into the scan, as usual, so was very relieved that all was ok. We chose not to find out the gender too, which makes it much more fun when speaking to people about it I’ve found.

Overall I’m doing pretty well. I won’t complain for one second about any of the physical bits of being pregnant, as I’m still amazed and overjoyed every day that this is happening. I do find it hard not to worry about anything that I feel/hear/experience which is unusual, but I just keep trying to tell myself to relax and enjoy everything. Much easier said than done! I’ve got the Headspace app, so think I’ll start to use that to help chill me out a bit. 

I’ll post a bit more soon, when all the Christmas and new year madness has calmed down, just didn’t want anyone to think I’d fallen pregnant and then disappeared off the face of the blogging world. 

Happy new year to everyone. I know too well how difficult this time of year can be, I hope that everyone found some peace, fun and rest over the last couple of weeks. Here’s hoping for a wonderful 2016 for all of us, lots of love

X