First Trimester, aka, There Will be Blood

Today I am 12 weeks and 1 day pregnant, which means I can almost wave goodbye to the first trimester. Yeah! Farewell first trimester, you terrifying, bloody nightmare!

We had our ‘Nuchal Translucency’ scan yesterday and I’m happy to report that everything is fine. Our twins have a 1 in 10,000 chance of having Downs or a similar chromosomal condition (muchas gracias, 21 year old donor) and both little dudes have the correct number of brains, arms, legs, noses, livers and hearts.

So, can I relax a bit now? Well yes, a bit. Statistically, our chances of miscarriage have significantly decreased now we’ve made it to week 12. However the bleeding is still there – a little bit every now and again – just enough to say ‘gotcha!’ every time I start to relax and feel blase. I’m still on knicker watch 24/7 but I think that’s just the way it’s going to be for the next 30 weeks or so. Well, it couldn’t just be easy could it? Nah. That’s life.

We have a meeting with our obstetrician, Dr K, tonight. I’m going to ask him if I can lighten up on the ‘pelvic rest’ a  bit now. I’d love to go back to yoga and hopefully be able to walk more than 20 minutes a day. I’m pretty sure husband would enjoy a bit of pelvic-action but I have a feeling that might be the last thing to go. Sorry husband.

I’ve been wondering what to do with this blog. I started it as a place to track my infertility progress (I refuse to say ‘journey’ even though I just said it). I know it must  be tough for some of my fellow IF’ers to read about my pregnancy. Personally I always felt glad when someone ‘won’ their battle and was curious to see what happened next, but I know that doesn’t apply to everyone. Infertility is a cruel mistress and I’m well aware that we just happened to get lucky – I’ve given up on the science of it all. Anyway, I’ve decided to keep this blog going in case there are people out there  interested in:

  • Donor egg pregnancy
  • Twin pregnancy
  • Pregnancy after 5 long, failed cycles of IVF
  • Pregnancy at the ‘geriatric mother’ age of 38
  • Pregnancy with Crohn’s Disease
  • A Mancunian/Maori pregnancy in a small flat in  London (haha)

 

 

 

9+5 weeks pregnant – to move or not to move

We met our new obstetrician yesterday and he is  – NICE! Of course he’s nice. I think I had a progestodream* that he’d be bossy/arrogant/dismissive but I was completely wrong. He’s lovely and inspires complete confidence. Within a matter of minutes I was oversharing about my brown bleeding and constipation. Must be love.

Here are some of the things we learnt:

  • It’s very likely that I’ll need a C section – mainly due to twins, ongoing bleeding and my previous bowel surgeries
  • My official 40 week due date is 5th September, but most twins are born at 38 weeks or even before….so probably early/mid August in my case
  • As this is classed as a ‘high risk’ pregnancy I’ll need scans every couple of weeks and regular checks for pre-eclampsia and other nasties
  • The bowel surgery I’ve had for Crohn’s Disease means I’ll most likely need B12 injections and checks to make sure the twins are getting enough nutrients
  • As I have B negative blood, and my husband and the donor both have RhD positive blood, I’ll probably need an ‘Anti D’ injection soon. Especially because of the bleeding.

He did a quick ultrasound scan (my first abdominal one) and the babies are both looking good with strong heartbeats. Unfortunately the frigging SCH (sub-chorionic hemorrhage) is also still there. It’s like a pantomime villain – it pops up in every single scan. ‘It’s behind you!’ etc etc.

Anyway, he seemed relatively unconcerned with the SCH. The settee rest has certainly helped – when I’m doing nothing around the house the bleeding goes away. However it pops up again as soon as I walk anywhere….in the hospital yesterday, to the corner shop this morning. It’s brown blood but more than just spotting. Ladies who bleed – what did you do? Did you go back to work and try to get on with your life? Or did you ‘rest’ for weeks and weeks?

Our obstetrician says there is no evidence that bed rest helps. I’ve found people online who think it’s best to let the SCH ‘bleed out’, and there are others who think that rest is best. I have an understanding employer but I need to get back to work sooner or later. I have an office job so I think I’ll be ok….I’m planning to go back to work on Monday and just stay off my feet as much as possible. Obviously I’ll call him if the bleeding becomes red/heavy. Any advice welcome here. The bleeding is terrifying but it seems unavoidable.

Here’s the best thing of all….the icing on the cake….the cherry on top. He sympathised about the bleeding and we explained that it has certainly sucked, and we’re just desperate to make it to 12 weeks. He said ‘of course you’ll get past 12 weeks’. What? Nobody has said this to us thus far. A small comment but it gives us massive hope. Everything – apart from the bleeding – is looking good. For the first time I’m allowing myself to feel a bit optimistic about this pregnancy.

*Progestodream – weird, vivid, psychedelic dreams caused by progesterone supplements.

 

 

 

 

 

8+5 weeks pregnant – happy update

Well it’s Saturday morning so I’m writing this with some trepidation (see previous posts – all my panics happen at the weekend), but I had another scan yesterday and all is well. 

I was very nervous. I’ve been on bed rest (settee confinement) all week. I had another bout of bright red bleeding on Weds which really shocked me – how can I bleed when I’m doing nothing at all? Anyway, aside from that, the bleeding has consisted of a grumpy brown trickle for the last day or so. So I took an Uber to the hospital and listened to the Albanian driver tell me about how they drive on the right and how he doesn’t get British roundabouts and how much he hates traffic lights and ARRGGH! I am freaking out back here and trying not to bleed all over your car seat! Quiet man. Anyway, got to the hospital and did a very, very slow, hunched over shuffle to the clinic to keep things calm down there. All fine. No knicker explosions.

So – here’s the good bit. The babies are moving now! I saw both of them wobble around and wave their strange little flipper arms. Really incredible – apparently this only starts in the eighth week. They are now both 20mm long  with strong heart beats. I relayed all of this to husband who has to sit behind a blue curtain. I have no idea why but our doctor prefers that partners sit in the corner behind a curtain, like Oz, but that’s his thing. Anyway – it was a magical moment. 

The blood clot/haematoma/hemmorhage is still there….about 30mm, on side wall of my uterus. Exactly where one of my fibroids is (fibroid is inside the wall). Doc still doesn’t understand why such a relatively small haematoma is causing so much bleeding but it doesn’t seem to be affecting the babies so far. He thinks the fibroid might be making it bleed more than normal. Fibroids really are the devil’s work by the way – apparently they grow during pregnancy and I have rather a lot of them.

Anyway he has advised me to rest for another week, just to give the bleeding a chance to heal. Tough for me as I am one of those conscientious (ie workaholic) people who never takes a day off and thinks about work constantly.  I worked from the settee last week though and it was ok, so I’ll just have to do the same again. I’ve had to cancel a work trip to Paris this week and…much, much, much more worse, I won’t be able to go to New Zealand on the 10th Feb. I’m gutted. We had booked a two week holiday to visit husband’s family (he’s from NZ) and we’re looking forward to it so much. The doc thinks it’s just too risky with the bleeding though – it’s a 28 hour flight. I’m already firmly in the ‘threatened miscarriage’ category and will be until at least 12 weeks. I have a feeling my travel insurance will therefore be invalid too.

Rubbish news. I’m trying to encourage husband to go without me …or we might see if the airline will let us reschedule for another date, when we’ll hopefully have (fingers crossed) two miniature New Zealanders to introduce to everyone. Really poor timing 🤕

Finally…we said goodbye to our lovely gynaecologist yesterday. Regular readers will know what a wonderful doctor he is. We got him a card and a little present (a silk tie with tiny hieroglyphics on it from the British Museum….he’s Egyptian) and I cried as I handed it over. I’ve been crying a lot recently, mainly because I’m a nervous wreck. He has been an absolute rock and a blessing from the infertility Universe. I felt like giving him a hug but I know he only does firm handshakes so I gave him one of those instead. I hope he knows what he means to us – we couldn’t have got this far without him. Anyway we all laughed as we said goodbye because HE knows and WE both know that I will be back there tomorrow if the bleeding comes back with a vengeance. Yeah. Oh well.

We see our new Obstetrician on Friday! He comes recommended by Dr Awesome (above) so we have high hopes. An obstetrician….now I feel like a real pregnant person.