Persephone: Parent

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Bumpity Bump

Is there some sort of rule when you’re pregnant? An unwritten one perhaps? One that says that everyone must name their unborn baby something? Some people choose something like Bean because it’s what their growing baby resembled on a scan. As someone who had a 7 week scan, I can attest that those 12 week babies look nothing like beans!

I completely understand that my actual naming of my bump is odd, but I do it because, personally I hate the term Bump. Am I the only one who gives the foetus an actual name? Elvis and Robin are not the true names of my toddler and foetus. Am I the odd one or are the people who call it Bump, Bean, etc?

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Elvis In the Womb

 

Some scan pictures of Elvis still in the womb:

august 15th egg cOk, so this is a scan of one of my follicles before ovulation/insemination/conception. I had three follicles ready to burst so the chances of this containing half of Elvis’ DNA is 33.3333%

EPSON MFP imageThis is the first “baby” scan at 7 weeks, it was used to check that there were no ectopic pregnancies, no OHSS and to check the egg sac and lining levels.

EPSON MFP imageThe 12 week scan, made no easier because I had a 7 week. Here is Elvis waving!

EPSON MFP imageAnd the last time I saw Elvis before his birth – 20 week scan. Taken on Christmas Eve with the Christmas present of telling us it was a he – Elvis!

So there he is, Elvis in the womb!

~ Persephone M

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Day 283: Verbalising the Worries

Yesterday I was reading through the blogs I follow that I get emails for and one of them stood out to me. I’ll try and find the blog link before posting.

The blogger said that they had been reading about mentally preparing yourself for labour and I wondered exactly what they meant. I’ve done my fair share of reading the facts with regards to labour and then, when it became relevant, induction, choosing to ignore people’s advice from their own experiences due to individual variability. It’s my preference to have knowledge and information regarding processes, signs and symptoms without knowing everyone’s horror stories.

So was that what the blogger meant? No, the blogger had read some information about verbalising, and therefore releasing, your fears, doubts and worries, that by keeping those things in a body could stop or at least hinder labour.

I don’t want to get into discussions or pros and cons or any sort of debate any more than I want people offering up their birth stories or unsolicited advice, but surely verbalising any kind of worry is good for the soul? It’s similar to writing lists before bed to get worries off your mind, not trying to solve the problems just simply getting them off your chest.

As I happened to be reading my emails with hubby sitting next to me I decided to verbalise my issues to him and he sat there and simply listened because there was nothing he could really say. He listened as I told him how I’m concerned that I’ve put all this pressure on myself regarding the birth. He patiently sat there as I admitted that I feel like a failure, that I’ve always considered our fertility problems being my body and my failure. For three years, once a month my body failed and, yeah, fair enough I’ve suceeded in growing this baby and nourishing this baby and doing as much as I possibly can for the good of this baby, but I can still be a failure.

And I don’t even mean the hugely pessimistic failure of something going so wrong that I still don’t get my baby dream. No, I mean that I can fail yet again because of an inability to give birth without assistance. And this isn’t a perceived view of how labour must go from propaganda where some organisation states that nature is best; it’s something I’ve decided that has become a stronger and stronger notion.

I tend to view it as that I was a failure in getting pregnant (you know that thing women are built for) I don’t want my body to fail in labour. By no means do I think that women who require assistance in labour as failures, just as no one else with fertility problems, no one else still sadly in the trenches, as failures. It’s just me! And I’ve now built it up to a huge thing all on my own.

He didn’t even laugh when I told him that I was scared to give birth because then I’ll have to share Elvis, even if it’s sharing Elvis with hubby. Which is crazy, but for however many months Elvis and his kicks, punches and reactions to being tickled have made him so tangible and my child that I don’t want to lose that. I sat there and told him I was concerned that I would push him away because until Elvis is born he is all mine.

Oh, and all the stuff about how I know he’s safe all the time whilst he’s still in me and once he’s out there are far too many things that I can’t control.

And so I told hubby all this stuff, crying very slightly at the time, but if I have been holding Elvis in, maybe now I’ve let the words out I can let him out. I haven’t solved any of my concerns/worries/fears, but I have shared them. So, come on, Elvis!

~ Persephone M

Blog I read: The Solo Mama Project

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Day 282: Still No Sign

I say no sign but technically last night I had another batch of period cramps which were accompanied by lower back cramping. Possibly slightly more uncomfortable than the 1hour+ on Sunday morning, but last night’s was only about half an hour long.

It did make eating dinner quite unpleasant, but after they were gone everything was back to normal.

He seems perfectly happy and, meanwhile, seeing as my countdown reached zero I’m back to counting how long this pregnancy is. So it’s 282 days since my last menstrual period. And am I now in some mystical 4th trimester?

My only real problem is that because Summer has been and gone (it lasted about 10 days) there isn’t much I can do for fun when it’s cold and windy. Where’s the fun in an ice cream when it’s cold? And there’s nothing on in the cinema I want to see until Friday.

Maybe that’s the one good thing about the in laws arriving tonight, hubby’s taking the rest of this week off as annual leave. I’ve been viewing it as annoying and disruptive, but maybe I can get a little bit of fun out of it. As long as we stay on top of the cleaning so it doesn’t build up right for when we lose the time.

So they can take me out to dinner until they leave or Elvis arrives. But I am not going to do as Grampa said and ask Elvis to hurry up because “Nanny Spain” (Grandma as far as I’m concerned) wants to meet him.

~ Persephone M

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Antenatal Info: Weeks 29 and 31

As I’ve just had what was technically my week 40 appointment, I thought I might blog about all the measurements taken.

The checks/appointments after the week 20 anomaly scan alternate between midwife and GP. From what I’ve been told who you see doesn’t fully matter, but I also believe that midwives are better than GPs in these appointments. Don’t get me wrong, one of the GPs I had was really good, but he doesn’t deal with pregnant women all the time – midwives do.

So the appointments occur in weeks 25, 28, 31, 34, 36, 38, 40 and then 41. Because of my dates, I’m not getting a week 41 appointment. I’m assuming that the NHS plans are that you’d see the same GP and same midwife at all these appointments. I’ve seen 2 GPs and 3 midwives. The third midwife has definitely been my favourite so maybe it’s a good thing the other 2… left/vanished!

At week 25 I had an appointment with the GP I really have never liked. He barely said a word to me and the only real data he put in my notes was my blood pressure and the baby’s heart rate. My BP was 102 over 58 and Elvis’ HR was 136-144 beats per minute. Not that I’d trust that GP to read HR correctly!

It’s from week 29 that proper readings started being taken.
Fundal height: 29. This is the measurement which monitors growth and plotted on a graph that came with my 20 week scan. The graph is customised for each pregnancy. The actual measurement is taken from the top of the uterus down to the pubic bone.
Approximate Weight: 1700g. This is the weight from the customised growth graph so is only approximate for me!
Lie Presentation: Cephalic. This means head down.
Rel to Brim: Free. This details how far/if the head is engaged. Free means his head’s free of the pelvis.
Fetal Heart Rate: 132-144 bpm.
This appointment was my one and only with the second midwife.

Week 31+4.
Fundal Height: 33cm.
Approximate Weight: 2500g.
Lie Presentation: Cephalic.
Rel to Brim: Free.
Fetal Heart Rate: 142bpm
This was the first appointment with a GP I’d never even met before, but I quite liked him!

More data later!

~ Persephone M

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280 Days

That’s how long a pregnancy is said to last on average from the last day of your last period. And that’s what today is.

So it’s 279 days since I took my first fertility drug. 268 since the ovitrelle injection, 266 since the insemination, 250 since I took that first ever positive pregnancy test and 231 since I first ever saw Elvis’ heartbeat.

I have had an awful few nights of sleep! Elvis had quietened down until he decided to go crazy at bedtime the other night. He kept me awake for ages! And then he woke me up the next morning with hiccups. So I then spent most of yesterday napping, which didn’t stop me sleeping most of the night! The period cramps probably didn’t help on my night of no sleep. It was the weirdest thing ever; after so long without any monthly pains, a night of them but nothing else. I honestly felt like I was going to start a period and wake up bleeding.

I don’t mean I worried about bleeding just that it so strongly felt like a period. They’ve all gone now though.

And I do not feel rested today! I ache all over!

Head Engagement: 3/5s. So still not engaged.
Waters: All still there!
Position: Left Occipito-Anterior. Apparently this occurs in 12% of pregnancies and has definitely reassured me that he’s not posterior at all!
Stage: Midwife appointment later today.

I think we’ll discuss induction today, but I’m not ready for that yet. Unless my waters break but labour doesn’t start.

~ Persephone M

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Excitement/Happy?

I’ve been chatting with a fellow mum to be on twitter about being, or not, excited about being pregnant and it got me thinking about when exactly I’ve been excited about my pregnancy.

I remember being nervous wondering if there would be space for me on August’s treatment schedule. I remember blindly trying to believe that hormonal intervention made my period 2 days late rather than hoping it had worked. I remember being nervous and trying to be emotionless as the test went positive.

I remember the nerves waiting for the 7 week scan. I remember the relief and tears as I saw my 7 week old baby with comfortable egg sac and no fears regarding miscarriage. I openly wept in a hospital corridor in pure joy and relief that not only was it not ectopic but my ovaries were not going to lead to needing a termination.

I remember the nerves continuing, not as bad but they did. I remember all the niggles and pains that didn’t go until well over 20 weeks. I remember not feeling comfortable until everyone knew which was 20+ weeks.

But I don’t remember ever really proudly showing off scan pictures. I don’t ever really remember excitedly telling people that it had finally worked, that I was finally pregnant.

I do remember (and still do) gazing at my Alien like moving belly in the bath or on the sofa, talking to him as he still kicks and wriggles. Sometimes I tell him off for hurting me or playing with my hips (it feels weird). Those are the moments I smile in happiness at being pregnant, moments when I know it’s all real, when I know he’s there, but even then it’s not really excitement.

Over the past week my excitement or happiness has been decreasing again. Either through nerves or hormonal shifts, but it is still there buried as deep as it probably always has been.

Everyone experiences pregnancy differently and either because I’m cautious or because it took so much to get here, I don’t want to risk showing my excitement and happiness to anyone other than my husband really.

I publicly announced my pregnancy after 12 weeks and one friend barely even congratulated me, her partner was downright insensitive to me. A few months later at only 6 weeks, she announced her pregnancy to me and honestly expected me to react better than I did. Why should I be more excited for her than she was for me?

I’ll be excited when he’s in my arms. Not because I fear it’ll never happen. Not because the pregnancy’s making me feel like crap. Just… because. And no pregnant woman, or their expectant partner, should be made to feel bad.

Why do people insist on putting such demands on pregnancies? From personal levels of excitement to size of bumps (see earlier post), what’s it got to do with anyone else?

~ Persephone M

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Disconnected

Today I’m wearing a t-shirt that says “It started with a kiss” but, of course it didn’t. It started with tablets, needles, doctors and catheters. But I always assumed that the moment I got pregnant I’d “get over” all my TTC “problems”.

That never happened though and I thought I was alone in that because I had yet to find blogs where someone’s TTC journey had ended in success. Until my due date of all days!

I’m not the only person who struggles with feeling normal through a pregnancy that did not start “normally”.

Scrambled Eggs

I started Hypnobabies this week. The 30 minute guided meditations are making me increasingly aware of how I am failing to connect with this baby. The cd’s ask you to think about your baby, connect with your baby, imagine holding your baby and so on. Hard as I try, I just can’t connect like this and am really struggling to shake the feeling of failure.

I did not make this baby. I did not put this baby inside of me. I did not administer the medications that kept the baby thriving for the first 12 weeks. On ultrasound this baby does not resemble me in the least – it looks like my husband. This baby has hair (I did not). This baby has my husband’s legs, his nose, his face shape, his mouth. This baby was paid for by someone else (my in-laws who now jokingly refer to themselves as the “investors”). This…

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Size and Sensitivity

My post the other day about weighty issues was mainly regarding my freaking out about Elvis’ predicted weight, whereas today it’s more about my size.

It’s all from a tweet I saw earlier about bump sizes and why we care about them, compare them so much. Part of me wants to say, at the basic level it’s simply because that’s what women do. Women are known, not only for comparing themselves to everyone else, but also to care so much about their own size.

Ignoring the pregnancy aspect, magazines are filled with the perfect women, famous women who have the money, time and reason to stay thin. And I do strongly differentiate between thin and healthy. I’ve not been thin since… too many years to count and I started gaining weight the moment I finally got pregnant – too much food! But since January I’ve been doing more exercise than any other 5 month period of my life.

These same magazines have always been filled with the latest pregnant celeb or post-pregnant celeb. However many of them get a perfect tiny little bump. Those that don’t, get this highlighted as if it’s the biggest crime in the world – oh no, not only is she pregnant but she’s also chubby! So that’s what normal women have to try and look like. It’s the same with any weight gain/loss by someone in the public eye – again about someone’s size not health.

So is it really that odd of a thought that normal pregnant women get viewed based on their bump size? Given that to certain extents, bump size is not controlled by the mother whatsoever, but that the media is filled with how we should look pregnant or not. I’m sure Kate Middleton doesn’t like having her bump size discussed. She probably likes it even less that some readers of those media use her images to judge themselves.

My midwife did mention that my bump was a bit larger than it should be, but only by a 2cm measurent. But at the same time I’ve had the shop assistant I regularly see telling me I’m huge. This was before I hit 37 weeks and I’d hardly say I have a relationship with her. Yet every day she’d tell me how huge I am, far larger than her daughter who’s due around the same time.

Then there was my boss who seemed to constantly be telling me that I was huge and wouldn’t last to term. Along with random people at work, whose names I don’t know, who would question why I was still at work when I was so close to term. Well I was still under 37 weeks at that point and kind of glad to finish work so I didn’t have to keep hearing all these people telling me how over-sized my bump was.

All of the above were female, by the way. I’ve only had two men make inappropriate comments on my size – my line manager and my husband. Neither of them meant it, they were just being boys and not knowing what to say.

What might be the most annoying or even hurt the most is my own mother who has questioned if the scan was wrong and there aren’t twins in my belly. Or she questioned (many months ago) if my dates were wrong and that was the reason for my over-sized bump. Gee thanks.

Not forgetting the in-laws who mention my planet-sized bump everytime they speak to my husband.

Before I got pregnant I always hated my weight. I was always convinced I was fat and had this awful belly. I have never been overweight or obese though. From the moment I knew that our IUI had worked, I stopped caring about my weight. I didn’t care how I looked before I even started showing. I didn’t care what clothes size I needed to buy. I was pregnant and as long as my baby and I are healthy, I don’t care if my bump’s big.

But I do care that people keep telling me my bump’s too big. Nothing gives anyone the right to comment on someone’s bump size, but then some people don’t help themselves. I was recently invited to a baby shower where the pregnant host even said it was the last chance to see her fat. Well, maybe she’s happy to be fat as I know I’m not, however there’s a difference between fat and having too big a bump. Are these same people going to tell me I’m fat the day after I give birth of my huge bump? Or will they develop sensitivity?

~ Persephone M
#ElvisIsComing

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Changes At The End

As I end a lovely Bank Holiday weekend of sun, it’s dawned on me that the past week has been the hardest. Now some might say that it was because it was second full week off, but nothing is that simple.

It was during week 39 that Elvis learnt to play with my bowels or that uterine contractions affected my bowels. Whichever it’s damn bloody uncomfortable.

It was during week 39 that, although sleeping on my side became more comfortable (probably due to my size) rolling over became impossible. For a while rolling over has been difficult, but it was possible to roll via my back. I could even lie on my back for a while, making it handy for hubby to feel Elvis. Until week 39.

Now I can’t lie on my back for even a moment. Rolling over at night is now impossible. Where I had simply needed extra room to roll now my stomach is simply far too painful.

And it isn’t just my sleeping and bowel issues that have got worse since week 39, my belly is huge! Maybe it’s simply the hot weather and therefore I’m wearing less, but everyone in the street keeps staring at me. Everyone keeps telling me that I’m huge and now that I physically feel like everyone’s eyes are on me, I’ve had to request hubby stops making any fat jokes.

I’m still quite itchy, but not as bad and now I have a sore bump, painful bowels which in turn gives me back pain and I’m massive. Oh, to go back a week when these things weren’t an issue! Why couldn’t Elvis have been born before these new developments? Why is he still growing? Some babies are ready by 38 weeks and so they decide to come, but not Elvis – he’s too busy getting fatter!

It’s such a waiting game, waiting for him to finish getting ready by growing more and more!

~Persephone M
#ElvisIsComing

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