Thursday, 10 April 2014

Pregnancy so far - thoughts, feelings and symptoms

by Bex

Although I have always written about everything we've faced throughout our IVF treatment, now that things seem to be going right, I am a bit more apprehensive about it.  Obviously I am super excited and really want to write about everything (and as I said, I think it gives a different view on early pregnancy as I can write about it as we go unlike many others who keep it secret for weeks) but I am also very aware of tempting fate.  Although we have finally made it this far, we are very conscious of the fact that so many things can still go wrong.  That might sound very pessimistic but I'm trying to be realistic.  As you know it's been a hard slog to get to this stage.  I truly lost hope that it would ever happen and now we're actually pregnant if we end up disappointed again I know I will take it extremely hard.  Obviously the positive is that we now know we CAN get pregnant but I'm so scared of losing this baby.

I'm also acutely aware that anyone who was following our IVF story and is in a similar situation, may now find anything I write extremely difficult to read, I know I felt like that when it seemed everyone else was getting their happy endings except for me (and Claire).  The thing is, and I hope this doesn't sound unreasonable, as much as I was jealous and sometimes found it hard to say my congratulations, I never begrudged anyone their happiness.  If I found it hard, I would either say nothing or say congratulations and then take myself away from the news, the happy messages and the joy.  I knew that if my turn did ever come that I would want to shout it from the rooftops too.  I want to be able to enjoy this time and share it with those who have supported me all along.  Having so often shared sad news and setbacks, it was so much fun and brought me so much happiness to be able to share our happy news (even if it was with a piece of plastic I'd peed on!)  Having waited so long to get to be a part of the pregnancy conversations and join in the baby chat without those feelings of jealousy and longing, I really want to immerse myself in being pregnant, finally being one of SO many of my friends who has been blessed with a positive result.

If anyone reading this or seeing my tweets/pins does find it hard, I completely understand.  I get it, I was there, I know the feelings.  I hope that you make it too and in the meantime, please try to understand my OTT reaction.  We finally get to be happy and really look forward.  By all means, stop reading and following if it's too much but please don't try to make me feel bad for sharing my happy news.  We deserve this, just like anyone else who's pregnant.  I'm sorry that so many of us struggle to get pregnant or give birth to healthy babies and I feel OH SO LUCKY just to have made it this far.  I am allowed to be ecstatic.  I am allowed to share my news and be happy in public.  Just as I shared my sadness.  If you don't get it or you don't like it, just leave.  Leave my feed, my blog, whatever, but please don't make me feel guilty.  There is already an element of that, now that we get to be the ones who are happy but to have it pointed out to us on our happiest days just seems cruel.  (If you didn't see this - yes, it happened, on the day I announced we were pregnant and it is hard and sad and I am trying not to let it get me down.)

So I will continue to write.  I want to be sensitive to those who are still struggling or who have had to deal with the most harrowing of losses but I have always written about my experiences on here and whatever happens, good or bad, I will write.  Obviously I'm hoping for good!

Anyway, this post was initially going to be about my pregnancy so far but obviously I had quite a bit relating to it on my mind.  I'm currently in week 5 of my pregnancy and have suffered only mild symptoms so far.  If I don't eat when I feel hungry (i.e. if I wake up super early as I have been and wait too long for breakfast) then I start to feel nauseous.  I am seriously tired most of the time.  I'd heard about this from many pregnant friends and while we're in Thailand I feel like it's a terrible waste as I have about 2 naps per day!  Goodness knows how I'll cope when I have to work and have no time for naps!  I'm trying to swim once a day to keep my body healthy and keep my energy levels up.  I'm pretty sure my body shape is still the same, other than my boobs being bigger (which Penny and Roz are loving pointing out on instagram!  lol).  I wasn't as fit as I wanted to be before the implantation so after a meal I can look like I have a bump already but to be honest, that was true even before!

[Edit: I'm now in week 6 and the pregnancy sickness (because it's clear it's not just in the morning) has really taken hold!  As much as I hate myself for complaining, oh it's hard.  I have no idea how so many women keep this first stage a secret while suffering so much, especially at work!  I remember Katie talking about the struggles she'd had travelling on the underground while sick and it just sounded awful!  I just keep telling myself it's a good sign, I wanted this (and paid for it!) and all the articles I read say that sickness is an indicator that you will likely have a healthy pregnancy with less chance of miscarriage.  So, yay for the horrendous nausea!  It does mean that I am no longer enjoying the yummy thai food, spiciness really isn't working for me right now but luckily both hotels have a good range of international foods all of which have been lovely.]

I have, of course as someone who loves knowledge, signed up to a weekly embryo and pregnancy information email and last week's advised me that calcium was particularly important for that stage of development.  I was a little worried that I might not manage to get enough in Thailand as I would be unlikely to be drinking milk (I'm not, the stuff they have out for the cereal isn't chilled enough) but it's actually been easy.  I'm taking pregnancy vitamins anyway but every day at breakfast I've had a decaf latte (the hotel makes really good ones!), some yoghurt from the buffet and miso soup which has a lot of tofu in it (a good source according to the email).  I really don't like slimy tofu but have been slurping down lumps of it with the soup every morning.

The food I was enjoying before the sickness kicked in!

Since we've moved to our new hotel this week, it's been a little bit more of a struggle at breakfast as we realised we'd been pretty spoiled at Swissotel.  They don't have decaf here, there's no miso soup, they don't have boiled eggs ready (waiting 10 minutes as well as getting them to understand that soft yolks are a bad thing is a bit annoying when you just need to eat!), they don't have smoothies (our last hotel spoiled us with 2 healthy option drinks at breakfast each morning - most of the 'juices' are actually squash, yuck), the yoghurt here is all incredibly sweet and the smells of the fatty foods here turn my stomach.  However, I discovered just this morning that the milk here at breakfast is VERY chilled and therefore I'm loving drinking that, yay!  I'm also finding potato is what helps with my nausea so I'm having fries with everything, even soup!

One of the major things I noticed in the first couple of weeks following implantation was my thirst!  I usually find it difficult to drink the recommended volume of water each day but I was constantly thirsty and downing 500ml bottles of sparkling water like nobody's business.  Obviously keeping that up in this hot, humid weather has also been easy and I've been enjoying the odd fruity mocktail as well.  And since my nausea has been worse, we've been buying 'dry ginger'.  We're not convinced it has any actual ginger in it but I like it and it seems to help.

Happy hour - My Shirley Temple and Nik's Mai Tai

I'm being as cautious as I can, considering how precious this wee embryo is to us and although I might be missing some of my usual foodie favourites and cocktails, I am still enjoying what food I can eat, safe in the knowledge I am doing the best I can for our baby.  I want it safe in there for as long as possible and missing out on the odd treat is nothing in comparison to the joy we feel that we have been given our chance.  I am actually pregnant!  We still keep saying this to each other.  It's amazing how difficult it is to get it to sink in!!

Saying that, we're enjoying being able to have the fun chats we always dreamed of.  Last week, on the super rainy day when I built a den on our balcony, we sat and made a list of baby names using a website as inspiration.  This week, I've introduced Nik to my 'baby stuff' Pinterest board and he loves most of the ideas on there.  We started a nursery ideas board together (and he now has the power to pin things to my boards, eek!) after seeing some lights we both liked at the thai market we went to last night (I know, I said I didn't want to tempt fate but sometimes you just have to grab opportunities) which have been purchased for our new home when we move.  I like them anyway, not just for a nursery.  It's fun being able to think about things like this again.  I haven't let myself for so long.


Anonymous said...

Good for you! Life is like that, full of ups and downs, never plain sailing. Our lives are not all in sync and therefore we should not begrudge anyone joy and happiness just because it's not happening to us at a particular point in time.
I have really enjoyed reading your blog and I was so happy to hear your good news. Don't feel bad about complaining, the sickness and exhaustion is difficult, it's not being ungrateful, it's being honest! x

Kirsty | A Safe Mooring said...

Ohhh, the nausea. It's funny how quickly you forget it once it's over, but those were three loooong months. I just ate non-stop and napped a lot. So, not that different from normal life then...

I hope you're able to put any negative reactions behind you. As you know better than anyone, they come from a place of sadness, anger (at the world, not really you) and bitterness, and you have every right to share your happiness here. Hopefully those affected will be able to follow your advice and spare themselves any further pain by not reading for a while.

Enjoy the rest of your holiday - sounds like you are taking very good care of that wee embryo. Don't feel bad about napping, that's what holidays (and pregnancy) are all about!

Claire said...

I'm really sorry that you were made to feel the way you were and please don't feel that you can't be happy & excited about this.

I have to admit I had to take a deep breath to read this post (I'm sure you have been there so many times before) but I choose to read it and will continue to read all about your journey no matter what heartache I am going through because it gives me so much hope. Hope for you & Nik and hope for me for the future. I'm still to get that positive test but I'm living through you until I do!!

Thanks for the mention:) I hope the sickness passes quickly. Enjoy this time as much as you can! You are an amazing lady and deserve this so much xxx

Anonymous said...

I wanted to comment on Twitter when I saw the negative reaction to your news - but at the same time didn't want to 'out' myself!
We are struggling, and it is looking like I will never be pregnant. And it's tough. I have told no one. And pregnancy and babies are everywhere.
BUT - I shrieked with joy when I saw your Mother's Day post - I have followed your journey through IVF and appreciated your honesty through all the hard parts, the setbacks, the disappointment. To see the happy news was just awesome - hope-fillingly awesome.
My sadness does not mean I cannot appreciate someone else's joy. So enjoy it, revel in it and allow those daydreams - you've waited a long time and I'm so so happy for you.

Lyndsey said...

I'm so happy you are 'enjoying' all the aspects of pregnancy - good and bad. Hope the sickness clears up soon. Love you lots.

Crysta said...

Your reaction, Bex, is in no way OTT. I cried with joy when I saw your news, I get a little smile of happiness every time you mention you're feeling ill on Twitter - not because you're ill, but because of the reason for it. You've looked forward to this for so long!

No one should have made you feel bad for feeling happy. I know it's often easy to hurt others when you're hurting, but it doesn't make it right. I hope it doesn't get you down. You should never feel guilty for it, either.

I know you wrote on a post a while ago about how sad it makes you that you couldn't do the big reveal in the same way as others have, and that perhaps people won't react as surprised and happily as they do in those instances. I wanted to tell you at the time, but thought it wasn't appropriate at the time - I was overjoyed at hearing your news, purely because you've been so generous in sharing your journey with us. I was at my parents at the time, eating breakfast, and had to tell my mother why I'd just exclaimed in surprise and teared up. She was pretty darned happy for you too.

Anyway, I hope you and Nik enjoy this time together. You are right, you deserve it as much as anyone. Have a wonderful rest of the holiday.

Crysta said...

I meant to say: "I meant to tell you at the time of writing the post that people would probably feel just as happy, if not more so because they know your story" Sorry, my brain was working too fast for my typing!

Bex said...

Ah, you're all so wonderful! Love you all so much, I do so hope those of you still struggling get your happy endings too! xx

Penny said...

You are FORBIDDEN from feeling guilty. You've felt so rotten for so long and finally something goes your way, it's your turn to dance in the sun. Don'tlet somebody else spoil it for you. This is your time.

I am already forgetting how bad the sickness was....awful! I put on a stone in my first tri (supposed to have no weight gain whaaaat) because constant eating was my only relief.

Enjoy the rest of your hols!


M-J said...

Lovely to read this update, though sorry you are feeling rotten. I can only imagine, but at least you are loafing around in the sun! Don't feel guilty about being happy, we are all so happy for you, and wishing with all our hearts that it all goes swimmingly from now on! x

Anonymous said...

Good for you Bex! I love that all your thoughts spill out onto your blog so we can know and understand what's going on! It's what makes 'you' YOU.
I'm personally not in a place yet where we are trying for children, but when we do, I know that I'll be coming to places like here and AOW for wise, heart on your sleeve writing. Enjoy the rest of your holiday!!

Amanda said...

Bex it is your moment, you are so brave for sharing this so early, for putting your vulnerable self out there, for being you, raw and real.
I am so sorry you had to deal with negativity in a time that is so filled with joy, don't let this steal any of your happiness.
The morning sickness / nausea does not really mean anything, some women get it, others do not. There is even research indicating that no nausea could also mean that your nutrients levels are near optimum and is not (always) indicative that something is going wrong.
I honestly think we are all unique and our reactions to hormones are all different, some feel barely anything, others feel very very sick, for some it's mostly tiredness, for others it is a trainwreck. I was relieved to read the correlation was not that linear, as during those first weeks I was freaking out at the almost lack of nausea.
Hugs to you. Enjoy every second of this precious in between time . We are so full of happiness for you.

Anonymous said...

Oh! So sorry you had to deal with some negativity, had no idea!
Am so over the moon for you guys - happy happy face :)

Lisa-Marie said...

I am so, so pleased for you. You look really well!

We are 7 years into the trying for kids. It has been tough at times - though we are alright now. When I saw that person's reaction, I wanted to shout at her because her journey is not yours, and she should know how hard it has been for you. I am very pleased there will be a little baby Olive in your future. :)

Amanda M said...

There is NO WAY you should be made to feel guilty and it makes me very sad (and not a little angry) that someone would take their pain (however real) out on you. You deserve every moment of hope and happiness - you've not had it easy and I for one am hoping fervently that you get your happy-ever-after.

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