The story so far – part one

The last two years have been – to put it mildly – hellish. Hellish, for me, would even be an understatement.

It all started back in February last year when I found out I was pregnant with our first baby. For a couple of blissful weeks I walked around with a smug grin, thinking “yeah everyone, look at me, I’m carrying a baby. I rock, you know it”. And then it all went to shit. We lost that baby, over four gruellingly long weeks. Back and forth to the doctors, you’ve lost the baby, no you haven’t, it’s just too early to see the baby on a scan, it’s just implantation bleeding, no, you’ve lost it, no you haven’t. No, you really have lost it this time, I’m so sorry. And that last time – we really had lost it. I knew we had. I lost it when I was at my brother in laws funeral. So to top off the loss of our first baby, I was dealing with the grief of losing a man who had been more of a brother to me, a part of my family for longer than some of my younger sisters had been a part of it. I went into a deep dark hole and I stayed there for a long time.

But eventually, with the help of my partner, a fantastic counsellor and some pretty freaking awesome friends – I would be nowhere without my friends and my partner, I pulled myself out of the hole. I missed Moonlight (yes, we named our first Moonlight – we had reasons…) every day. But the baby was gone and nothing I could do would bring our baby back. It was time to move on and get myself into a good place to have another baby.

And it’s funny how things work out. In October last year, I decided to go on a sugar detox. Since losing Moonlight, my weight had been slowly creeping up and up. I didn’t care what I was eating, I just ate – I’ve always been an emotional eater, and I had a lot of emotions to eat. So I did a sugar detox, I started taking Evening Primrose Oil (because apparently that’s supposed to give you good mucus… who knew!), I did a bit of exercise (only a bit, because, to be honest, I hate exercising) and I also started charting my temps and making sure that we had fun times together at just the right time of the month. In November, a few days after Moonlight was due, I was sick. High temps, throwing up, so sore all over. And really, I don’t know what made me do this, but I took a home pregnancy test.

Lo and behold, there were two pink lines. And that second line, was so dark, and it actually came up before the control line. Cue excitement! (There was a lot of excitement). I think I knew it would happen that month though, because we had just booked ourselves a cruising holiday, and when I checked I realised that if I did get pregnant that month, we’d have to cancel because I’d be too pregnant for them to let me on the ship. But it happened. And after that initial excitement wore off, the nerves and worry set in. Actually, that was pretty much an immediate response. Worry, worry, worry.

The Man kept telling me not to worry. It would be okay. Last time was a freak occurrence, and we would be fine. I so badly wanted to believe him. I went to the doctor and I had a blood test done to confirm the pregnancy – though there really was no doubt I was pregnant  – I just had to look at yoghurt by then and I’d be sick. At this point, I had a great doctor (we shall call her Dr Lovely). I’d been pretty much tossed aside by my previous doctor (Dr Slack) who was “looking after” me before I got pregnant the first time (I use “looking after” very loosely – if I sound bitter when I write about this Dr Slack – I am and always will be). When I started losing Moonlight, it was like she wanted nothing more to do with me and I got passed to her new and almost inexperienced registrar Dr Lovely who had just started. But in the end, it was the best thing she could ever have done for me and I continued to see Dr Lovely after we had lost Moonlight. So I thought nothing of her doing not just my HCG levels, but testing for any infections, sugar levels etc. I didn’t expect anything to come back except – yes, your HCG levels are rising (and they were, very nicely thank you).

Oh, but then I got that call. A call saying that I had high sugar levels, and she was concerned. Could I please come in (on a Friday afternoon) and grab a blood glucose tester and just test my sugar levels for her over the weekend, while I waited to have a second – fasting – blood test on the Monday morning. No worries. I honestly didn’t think anything of it. My mother has Type II Diabetes, my sister had Gestational Diabetes when she was pregnant many years ago. But still, for some reason, I wasn’t taking it all too seriously yet. I tested my blood over the weekend just as they asked, and went in on the Monday morning and had my fasting test. I continued to eat pretty much as I had been – still trying to watch what I was eating, but not doing the whole sugar detox thing any longer.

It wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon when I got a call from Dr Lovely at work that it sunk in just what the hell was happening. “You need to come to the hospital tonight straight after work, we are booking you in for a couple of days”, she says. “Your fasting levels have come back very high, and we need to get you in straight away and on insulin. This is important, you need to come in tonight and we need to get this under control now”!

After my initial response of “Can I come in on Friday and do this, I’ve had so much time off work already” and getting severely told off by Dr Lovely, I went in on the Tuesday night and straight away I was given insulin and started on tablets as well. I cried. I cried a lot. I had just wanted to have a simple pregnancy, it was bad enough that every single time I went to the toilet I was checking for blood, but this was a whole different kind of scary. We had wanted to keep this pregnancy quiet, get to 12 weeks and gladly announce it to the world. I had been wrestling with how I was going to tell one of my best friends I was pregnant, just a few months after she had lost her first – I remember how badly it hurt having people tell me they were pregnant after I had lost Moonlight. I figured I would have many weeks to find a way to tell her, but all of a sudden, here I was in hospital and it wasn’t so easy to come up with a good excuse for being put in hospital on insulin – they don’t tend to do that with diabetics. Just pregnant diabetics apparently. So people found out. I wasn’t even 6 weeks yet and half the town knew we were pregnant. Or that’s how it felt – the reality is that it was probably only a handful, but a handful feels like a helluva lot when you don’t want anyone to know!

The Man and my friends were great, understanding and supportive and everyone helped me get my head around this new lifestyle of no sugar, counting carbs, pricking my fingers 8 times a day and testing my blood, injecting myself with insulin 5 times a day. Then came 6 weeks and our first scan. I was fully prepared to see nothing. Just like we always saw nothing with Moonlight. But there s/he was. Iz (yes, we named this one Iz. Iz he a boy, or Iz she a girl? Fitting right?). Little heartbeat flickering away. This miracle baby that had managed to withstand my sugar levels up at 13.7 and was steadily growing, right on schedule. Once again in an ultrasound I cried. But this time, they were happy tears. Only happy tears.

This post is continued in part two –

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Yes then no, then yes then no

The last four weeks have been a roller coaster ride for The Man and I. Turns out that the pink line I saw on that pregnancy test was actually a positive line. As confirmed by the other three tests that I took the following Thursday.

That should have been the start of the good news and the happy blogging and the buying up of fantastic baby clothes and hunting around websites to get nursery decoration ideas. Did that happen?

In a nutshell. No.

The happiness lasted for all of about a week. The thing is, when you take a pregnancy test and you see that super faint pink line that you can hardly even see, that usually means that you’re only barely there pregnant. But when your periods haven’t regulated themselves after coming off the pill and you go to the doctor to get a confirmation blood test, when the results come back they are naturally going to date you from your last period. Well for me that would have put me at 4 weeks pregnant. So that, of course, set the doctors mind to worrying, because my HCG levels did not come back to represent the levels of a 4 week pregnant lady. No indeed. So they insisted I come back and have more blood tests just to make sure my levels were all rising normally.

Yay for us. They were.

So for about a whole week, I was floating around, walking on clouds, feeling like the only woman in the world who had ever managed to conceive a child. I dreamed about babies and the future and what our child would look like.

Then came the bleeding.  Then came more doctors visits. I went in to have my HCG levels checked and they hadn’t risen as much as they thought they should – and they were still calculating me at being about 7 weeks pregnant, so they sent me in for an ultrasound. Of course, the technician couldn’t see anything, so the doctor confirmed the worst for us – we hadn’t had a viable pregnancy and we’d lost it. Although, they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) say it in those words. Just said over and over again that it didn’t look good for us at all, and come back in 72 hours so we could have more blood tests done and have the HCG levels checked to make sure that they were going down as they should be.

Of course, that was because they thought I was 7 weeks along. So when I went back for my 72 hour check, they called us into the doctors surgery and we were faced with two doctors. I feared the worst – I was pretty sure that we were finally going to get the confirmation we’d been waiting for. That I could put this all behind us and look to the future. Did that happen?

No, of course not.

The doctor looked at me, told me I was a conundrum and told me that we were still very much pregnant, but obviously, we weren’t 7 weeks along as they first though, but probably closer to four weeks. We were scheduled in for more blood tests in a week and another ultrasound, because they thought by then we should be able to see something floating around in that great fluid filled uterus of mine. The bleeding/spotting stopped and for four whole days I was in that happy cloud again – just a bit more apprehensive than I had been before. Until I started bleeding again. And until we had our ultrasound yesterday.

The technician couldn’t see anything. Nothing at all. He made a call to my doctor, she confirmed that my HCG levels hadn’t doubled like they should have. The technician went on to tell us that it wasn’t a viable pregnancy. By now, he should have been able to see even a tiny sac, but there was nothing for him to see. I went home, I cried, we grieved together and we accepted the fact that our little baby was gone.

So today we head off to the doctor to get the official report. She’s pissed at the technician for telling us what he did. She goes on to say that just because my levels hadn’t doubled, didn’t mean the pregnancy was over. Just that perhaps it was still too early to see anything, that now we have to wait a further week for yet more blood tests just to confirm that my HCG levels are dropping (or increasing, as she is still hopeful for).

But deep in my heart, I know we have lost our baby. My spotting isn’t just spotting. It’s bleeding now. There have been cramps. I know it’s over, but still I have this wee little teeny tiny hope in my heart that maybe my body is just fucked up and this is how it responds to pregnancy and my little baby is still deep in that happy little place of his/hers snuggling away and looking forward to meeting us in the future.

But I know it’s a futile hope.

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The thin pink line

So I couldn’t help myself this morning.

I did a pregnancy test.

Am I pregnant you ask? Well, I’m actually not sure.

There, right in front of me sat my test and there was that dark pink control line glaring at me, but there to the left of it, was a very tiny, very thin, very faint pink line.

So I’m no more sure than I was yesterday. Even more unsure if truth be told. I’ve been reading up about pregnancy tests all day and so far everything I have read says that even if there is a thin, faint, barely there pink line, that means you’re pregnant. I’d like to believe it, I really would, but I don’t. I can’t let myself believe it.

So I’ll just pretend I didn’t take it and go to Adelaide tomorrow for my meeting, come back on Wednesday night and on Thursday morning, if I haven’t had my period by then, I will do another one and hopefully that one will be more conclusive!

Oh the pain of waiting.

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