Hello….Hello…

Well hello blog world, I”ll be surprised if this thing still works! Needless to say, it’s certainly been a while and life has marched on pretty much the same as my pregnancy did – at a very rapid rate!!

My beautiful Chloe Hope is 7 months old this weekend, she is truly the light of my life. She is a funny, happy little soul and it feels like she has always been here. It always amazes me how much she has healed my heart and mind, I can’t believe I once lived in a world of heartache, longing and pain.

Don’t get me wrong, I will always remember where I came from, Infertility shaped me as a person and changed me in ways that only one going/been thru it could possibly understand. It’s actually just undescribable.

Motherhood is everything I wanted it to be, that and so much more.  I always always knew that this love would be like nothing else i’d ever experienced, I knew I would love my child fiercely and that is what drove me. This love is so much more than even I thought it could be, you can’t possibly understand a mothers love until that baby is placed in your arms.

Motherhood is also hard, it’s such an adjustment for all three of you. It throws your world into a complete spin, I sometimes think back to the first 7 weeks with Chloe and honestly I don’t think I knew my name back then. I think I coped well with the sleep deprivation, she wasn’t a difficult child in terms of sleep but she’s always had and issue with drinking. Until 7 weeks she screamed for 3 hours every single night, in those three hours we would try everything, we took turns in rocking, singing, walking up and down with her. It was finally then that we had her tested for lactose intolerance and I stopped breastfeeding and put her on Isomil, it was like day and night. She was a different child and it’s just got better from there. She always battled with drinking and we’ve had some interesting food strikes and formula changes but thankfully she seems to have settled, she still doesn’t drink a lot but with the addition of solids I don’t stress as much as I used.

She’s growing well and while she is still smaller than other babies her age (apart from her chubby cheeks), we are happy with her growth. It has been explained to us that she will always be petite since she doesn’t come from large parents😉

She has reached all her milestones beautifully and is starting to try and crawl now, heaven help us and the dogs when this little thing is mobile, I think the house will never be the same. She is a fiesty little girl, she definately takes after her Mamma in that department, I think that she will be quite an independant child too. She has two teeth already and thankfully has handled the teething process quite well up to now. She is a good sleeper and has been sleeping between 9 – 11 hours since 16 weeks and we are truly lucky.

I am back at work and will do my best to update you all on her progress more, it was so hard leaving her but she is such a well adjusted child and seems happy with the change. She has a nanny who has been with us for almost 3 months now, she is very good with her and I haven’t left the house once with any crying from Chloe (can’t say the same for me). She obviously is feeling it and has been a bit clingy when I get home at night and lifts her arms for me to pick her up and let me tell you, once she in these arms, just you dare putting her down!

I have loads to update you on, but in the meantime, here are some pics of our little sweetpea

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Chloe Hope….

My long awaited little girl is here and will be 8 weeks old this week, it’s gone by in a wonderful blur, we are in love and our hearts are healed.

She came kicking and screaming into this world @ 7:45am on the 19th of January 2012

I promise i’ll update you all on her birth but in the meantime here are some pics that tell a bit of the story….

Waiting to go into theatre

Welcome to the world little one...

 

Mommy meets you for the first time

...and then we were 3

A dream come true

And my heart will never be the same

Mommy's heart

20 days to go…

Man alive, can you believe that title. Never in my wildest dreams did I think i’d be sitting here with a 36 week belly, expecting my baby girl and waiting just 20 days for her to arrive. Madness I tell you!

It’s been a while since I posted, time has completely lost me with it’s speed and so much has happened. In the last 7 weeks my little sweeheart has grown rapidly:

28 weeks she was 1.2kg’s – 30 weeks a whopping 1.769kg’s – 32 weeks 2.050kg’s; 34 weeks 2.397 and we’ll see what she is on friday. She should be somewhere from 2.7kg’s now. Obviously these are estimates, doc thinks she will be a petite baby weighing between 2.9kg’s and 3.1kg’s so we’ll see.

We had a bit of a scare at 30 weeks, I was getting some strange pains which resulted in rushing into the gynie for a non-stress test, everything was fine but I was warned to slow down as I have a irritable uterus. That was enough to make me slow right down and take it easier. My ute complains when I do too much now, especially since she’s getting bigger by the week. She is still a very busy bub, has seemed to form a nice routine, is quite busy during the day and settles down by 10 or so at night. Her movements have gotten so interesting now, she still moves so much for a 36 week baby, their movements are supposed to slow down but she seems to think she had lots of space even tho mamma disagrees. Sometimes her movements are quite sore and my ribs are taking a battering.

She has been head down since 32 weeks and from the breathtaking pains i’m getting really low down this week, I think she’s moving into the birth canal. I keep on wondering if she’s going to stay in until my planned 39 week ceaser date. This last part is definately interesting and while I love having her move and become more and more real, I can understand why some women want their babies out earlier than planned. Your body does some different things, in fact it feels like it doesn’t belong to you anymore. My feet and hands are swollen and sore, my feet get better at night while I sleep while my hands get worse, I often wake up with pins and needles in them now. My back is starting to take strain as my tummy’s shape changes, I don’t sleep well at all and am up most nights in the middle of the night, not because of her waking me but purely cos I just can’t sleep. I still feel incredibly blessed to be carrying this little miracle girl, nothing in my life so far can compare with this experience!

I’m lucky that i’m still carrying quite compactly, she’s really all in the front altho I feel like I look like a monkey nut😉 I have stopped putting on weight now, not because i’m not eating but because I can’t eat a lot. I’m getting a bit of morning sickness again and so I eat a lot of fruit, I’m on protein shakes now too cos some days meat or chicken just makes me feel yuck. As long as sweetpea is gaining weight then we all happy. To date I have put on 13kg’s which let me tell you, feels like a lot!

Her room is finally finished, her camping cot and pram put together. My bag and hers for the hospital is packed so we are ready if she chooses to come early. I still feel quite calm at the thought of her birth, i’m ready now and so is Frank altho he worries more than I do about parenthood. I know that we will be fine, all I can think of is the moment she is placed in my arms. I can’t wait to breathe her in, to look at her face and to hold her close to my heart.

In the meantime, i’ve had three baby showers, two from work and one home one where we were spoilt rotten! It was all very special and overwhelming at the same time. We are very blessed to have so many people that are excited about this baby in our lives. My very special friend Sam went out of her way to make my day special and put in so much effort. I love you my friend!

Here are some recent pics, baby shower and christmas…

My special friend Sam and me🙂

Aunty Sam harassing Sweetpea😉

My favourite little boy, sweet Kade!

SO Spoilt!

My cake!!

My husband playing silly buggers...

Work baby shower gifts

Last Christmas as two...

10 weeks to go!

Well well well, we’re a week into the 3rd trimester. Today is exactly 10 weeks until I meet our precious little girl.

To tell you that I can’t wait is an understatement, all I want to do is hold this little girl against me and take her all in. Frank and I day dream and speak about what we think she will look like, what colour eyes and hair she’ll have. Who she will be more like.

But then in saying that, part of me can wait too. To start off with, she’s only 1.2kg’s at the moment, measuring in the 33rd percentile for her age so she’s going to be (i think) quite petite unless she has some huge growth spurt. We want her to grow big and strong before she meets her mamma and dadda. Also, as organised as I feel, there’s still some stuff to get and do before her arrival. My baby showers (work & home) will be in the beginning of December, I will be 32 weeks then with some time to go which is perfect cos then it gives us time to get whatever we should still need.

I must admit that the further along I get the more I worry. All sorts of things keep me awake at night besides a busy little bub, I find myself thinking about things that I never thought would bug me, irrelevant things but I suppose it’s all part of it. They say the worry never ends and I think they may be right😉

Frank is bonding with his little girl more and more. He talks to my tummy so much now, puts both hands on my belly with his face right there, almost interacts with her. He tells her that he loves her and that she must grow big and strong for us. He sits with his ipod on my tummy and plays her music and then gets this cheesy grin on his face as she wiggles and kicks in response. I can’t wait to see her in his arms.

She’s a real wiggle bottom now, the kicks are so strong and the movements make my whole tummy move, I often sit with my hands on my tum and poke her in reponse. I giggle as she goes wild in there, I am certainly loving this phase of my pregnancy. The third trimester brings with it some interesting changes, I think I’ve grown quite a bit in the last 4 weeks and it sometimes feels like I’m waddling already. People comment on and touch my tummy a lot and for the most part I don’t mind (obviously depending on the mood for the day). I do find that I am more emotional and cry at the drop of a hat nowdays, some days I’m so uncomfy and others i’m fine. I can’t do as much as I used to without my body telling to slow down, I spend a lot of time sitting or lying down nowdays and this heat is absolutely killing me!

We had our 28 week scan last week with our 3D scan this week, little miss is growing well and everything is looking good. She was lying head up facing my spine on Friday but thankfully turned to face the front by Monday so we got to see her precious little face, I am even more in love now than I ever thought I could be! Here are some pics:

Side profile - feet crossed in front of face🙂

Snuggling with my placenta

Sleeping beauty

View from the top

Does this ever feel real?

I know I keep saying this. I never thought that I would feel this way. I always thought that when I eventually fell pregnant that it would “feel” different to this. Truth be told, I don’t know if we ever really know what it will be like to be pregnant, we have this picture in our heads, make our own assumptions from the way people look or the things they tell us about pregnancy.

My body and my baby are doing exactly what they should, my breasts are bigger and so much heavier, they have started getting colostrum, my belly is growing rounder and harder by the week, it too is full of dark blue veins. I have what they call Linea Nigra, a perfectly straigt line going up my belly. My baby girl moves so much and as she kicks, my stomach moves too. She’s growing and I can feel it.

BUT…

My mind, oh my mind. It’s the one thing that hasn’t caught up with all this, for some reason I keep waiting for it to end, to wake up and for it to be all gone. It truly feels like I’m living someone else’s life. I can’t explain it to anyone, no-one seems to understand, they think i’m being negative I think, they can not understand why I can’t just accept it, why I’m letting myself think this way. I keep dreaming that I give birth to her, this perfect little baby girl but I never end up keeping her. I always end up without her, she either gets taken from me or I give her to someone to hold and I forget who. Man alive, it’s warped and my husband think’s I’ve completely lost it.

I have days where it feels very very real, like when Frank and I went to buy her pram and camp cot. It was amazing, so very real. I loved watching him in baby city, like a child in a candy store, wanting to buy her everything.

This is the sad thruth of that happens to “infertiles”, we start living child free, start trying to make a life without children and while we never really give up on that dream, part of us believes (and I truly did) that we will never carry a child or become a mother. I know that my mind is damaged when it comes to this and I’m not sure where to start to fix it. This little girl has healed me in so many ways, ways I will never be able to explain. Right now, all I’m trying to do is take it one day a time, believe in her and love her. I’m hoping that when she’s here, the final act of healing will take place.

We have completed most of her room, there are a few things that still need to be done. I need to finish painting some plates that need to go on the wall and then I need to decide on what to do on the other wall above her compactum. I’ve ordered her linen (see below) and the rest will come with baby showers etc but the big things are done! Even standing in her doorway, looking at that space that in 13 short weeks will be filled by my precious girl, I still can’t believe that I’m going to be her mommy.

Here’s are some pics so long:

Compactum with little bear faces

The words mean so much, the Teddy in her cot is her first gift from her Daddy! Her name will go on the wall above her cot too😉

Scruffy bear linen that I’ve ordered🙂

25 weeks!!!

Man alive, I can not get used to the weeks flying by like this! It feels like things are changing and happening so fast!

I am a week past the 6 months mark, with only 14 weeks (as of today) to go until my ceaser date and the arrival of my long awaited for little miracle girl!

We went for our normal check up at the gynea on Friday last week. Sweetpea is growing like a little weed, she’s now weighing 728g. Her growth in 4 weeks still amazes me and then I look down at my tum and realise that it’s quite obvious that she is doing what she should! It’s amazing to think that’s she’ll be over a kilo at the next appointment. She is lying with her head down already, spine along my left and side and her feet curled into my right hand side.

She is still as busy as can be and her kicks amaze me, she kicks so hard now that you can see my tummy move. Frank loves feeling his little Angel move and she seems to like her Daddy’s hand on my tum. It melts my heart to watch his face when she gives a nice big kick for him.

She still loves her hands at her face, so much so that we really battle to see her face nicely. But on Friday after some prodding from the doc she lifted her head and we got to see her eyes, nose and lips from the front. That was the end of me, I cried like a baby. I was telling Frank that as time goes by, I’m getting more and more emotional, everytime I get to see her I cry. I think it’s because the further along I get, the more real she becomes, a real little person.

After our appointment we went across to the hospital to book my bed, still feels like i’m living someone else’s dream here, they showed me the bag that the hospital supplies with all the baby goodies, they gave me a list of what to bring for me and her. Wow people, i’m really having a baby!

My ceaser date has been booked for exactly 14 weeks time. I will be 39 weeks then so I’m hoping she’s a good girl and stays in for her mamma until then. 24th Jan sounds like a good day for our lives to change🙂

Things are happening in a whirlwind like fasion with so much to do and book. We will be finishing the painting and some of the finishing touches on her room this weekend, going to look for a pram and camping cot (for the first few weeks in our room). It all goes like this with our next appoinment being at 28 weeks, a 4D scan at 29 weeks, scan at 32 weeks and then every two weeks until she comes. Somewhere in between there are a maternity photo shoot and a baby shower….Eeeek!!

We didn’t get many nice pics, only this one of two little feet measuring 3.8cm….*melt* – I’ve said this before but I can not wait to kiss those little perfect feet!

Here’s a pic taken of Frank and I, I was around 21 weeks, bump has grown since then but I’ll update the belly pics with a 25wk scan this week😉

21 weeks and counting

I keep on forgetting that I am quite pregnant right now, I look down at this belly and it’s hard to believe that in 3 weeks I will be 6 months pregnant, 6 months people…how did that happen🙂 I’m carrying quite small which i’m not complaining about, it’s mostly in the front and is a very neat little bump. I’ll put up a 21 week pic soon.

I’m loving my body the way it is now, I love looking at my very pregnant boobs, the round firmness of my tummy. It still leaves me speechless everytime I see myself naked.

Our little sweetpea is moving so nicely now, kicking up a real storm in there. I felt her move on the outside for the frist time at 19w5d and from then on she’s made her presence known so much. It’s so awesome and always stops me in my tracks. Right now it’s still quite quick, except for early mornings when she moves a lot while i’m still half asleep, so her daddy has yet to feel her kick. I can’t wait for that.

Our Fetal Assesment scan went well, much better than I could ever have hoped for. I was so nervous and the weeks before that were so so hard. Dr Farrel is excellent, you can tell that this women loves her job. We started off talking about the result and she explained the things I didn’t know (I made a huge effort in not googling anything in the 3 week wait). Apparently raised AFP levels don’t only point to Spina Bifida. Firstly there are a lot of false positives but they all need to be checked because having a raised AFP level could point to:

Spina Bifida

A hernia at the baby’s navel

A tumor somewhere in baby

An infection of some sort in baby

Any bleeding into the amniotic fluid

She asks me how i’m feeling and I tell her that I am scared but that this baby is very busy so that gives me some comfort, she says that her being busy is a good thing. We go in for the scan, it was wonderful, she scanned me for a full 40 minutes. We got to see so much of our baby girl, she checked her spine from three angles and all three angles are perfect, she checked her liver, kidneys, heart, bladder, brain everything. Apparently many babies with Spina Bifida have club feet, as you can see from my previous post, she has perfect little legs and feet!

We finally got to see a side profile of her face, she has the cutest little nose ever! I can’t help falling more in love everytime I see her on a scan. She loves her face, her hands are always touching her face, it’s so sweet to see. Even this doc commented on how busy she is, we started the scan with her feet on my bladder and ended off with her head on my bladder and her feet up by my ribs. Little wriggler for sure!

She was weighing 360g and measuring 3 days ahead. Her tummy is measuring a full 5 days ahead, my little piggy😉 She’s doubled in weight from 163g in 4 weeks so has had a nice growth spurt and here I thought she’s stay behind all the other babies, she had overtaken some of them. She was measuring 21cm and doc is happy. She says that she should grow about 160g per week now and should weigh around 3.4kg’s at birth but these are all estimations so we’ll see.

Other good news is that my placenta has totally moved up and away from my cervix, it’s now in the front of my belly and apparently in a perfect position. Yay!

My gynea was happy with the results and said that she will only need to see me at 24 weeks again.

We started her room, it’s so exciting. We got the cot and compactum on the weekend and so now it’s just finishing off some paniting and doing the finishing touches, I’ll post some pics of it once we done. It still feels so strange to stand at her door and look in, I can’t wait for my baby girl to fill that space. We have also decided on her name, Frank is calling her by her name when we are alone, he talks to her and kisses my tummy, it’s so sweet to watch. We are so in love with this little girl, more than I could ever have imagined!

Now we start looking at prams and all the other things, I know my baby shower is being arranged by some very special people in my life and can’t wait for that too! I’ve been lucky, this pregnancy has been good, i’m carrying well with not too many complaints, I’m really trying to enjoy it as much as I can!

Our perfect little girl at 20 weeks

FAS done and dusted and our little girl is more perfect than we could ever have imagined. I will update you on the details as soon as I have some more time on my hands but here’s some pics that we got from the scan.

Finally a side profile, isn’t she beautiful, I just love that little nose

Finally, some proof that it’s a girl!!

Long, perfect little leg and foot

I CAN NOT wait to kiss this little foot!!

Why?

You know, right thru my journey to have the precious baby I’ve asked why, asked for reasons for my pain and my tears, I never got an answer, I never ever understood why. As I sit here feeling my baby move, I love her beyond belief and am very happy to have her growing inside me but still I will never understand why our journey was what it was.

I’m beginning to make peace with it all, maybe there really is a meaning to all this, a reason. Maybe it’s all about timing, this baby girl was only meant to be growing in my tummy now, but maybe there is no reason, no really good time. Maybe it just is what it is and who are we to ask why?

Pregnancy has changed me in ways I can’t explain, in ways I never knew possible. Our journey to this little soul seems surreal now as the weeks and moths fly by. I’m in awe at how my body just know’s what to do now, for so long I hated my body, for so long I cursed it for not doing that it was meant to do. I’m loving this pregnancy, every minute of it, every single thing. I’m loving gettting to know my baby, what makes her move (like loud music and ice-cream), I’m loving the privacy that her and I share right now in her every move. I still have days that this feels surreal and I can’t believe that I’m going to be a mother to a little girl and when I have those moments, I put my hand on my belly and send love to my baby and remind myself to enjoy her growing before it’s over.

I was getting good at being pregnant and happy.

Yesterday my phone rang, I saw it was my gynea’s rooms and I remembered that I had forgotten to check on my bloods. When I heard my gynea’s voice my heart droppped into my stomach, I just knew something wasn’t right.

I could feel my eyes start to burn already, Frank as if sent by an Angel walked into my office, saw my face and closed the door. Our tests for Spina Bifida have come back positive. I’m so confused, I don’t know what this means. Ask me about making babies, I know nothing about how this all is supposed to work.

She tells me not to panic but I need to see a specialist. Sweet pea has a 1 in 219 chance of having Spina Bifida/Neural Tube defect and she tells me that these odds are still good because it’s not like a 1 in 5 chance. I can’t concentrate and I keep repeating myself and saying, this is for Spina Bifida right? I didn’t even know that they had specialists to check this??

She tells me that you see the same guys that you see to do Downs screening if your tests have come back positive. She goes on to tell me that this may very well be a false positive result since a twin pregnancy (which this started off as) and any bleeding you have in the first trimester (which we had too) can affect this result but we need to get it double checked, my markers are my scan were all negative.

By now I’m crying, I explain it all to Frank and all he does it look at me. I phone Dr Nicolau’s office, he’s away and the earliest he can see me is the end of October. That’s too late.

I phone my gynea’s rooms, she’s in an appointment so I leave a message. An hour later I phone again. Frick man. She phones me back and tells me that she’s gonna try Pretoria East. The soonest they can see me is on the 13th September, which is in 3 weeks time and I’ll be 20 weeks already. I cry some more and as I feel her move I tell her that I love her and that she’s going to be just fine but my mind goes to the darkest of places.

I never slept a wink last night, I lay there with tears streaming down my face, my hand on my tummy praying that my little girl was fine until I eventually feel asleep and dreamt awful things. This morning I phoned the specialist to see if I couldn’t be put on a cancellation list, they tell me that this scan can’t be done earlier because it could be inconclusive. It needs to be done closer to 20 weeks and should they be concerned, it’s still early enough to do an amnio.

Frank is being such darling, telling me that he’ll take those odds cos they not that bad and that it’s probably a false positive and our baby girl is just fine. I’m trying so hard to believe, I love this little soul so much already and my heart breaks that we’re even dealing with this. I’m angry, I’m scared, I’m cursing the universe and asking why? Why do we have to have our joy stolen from us once again?

It’s been whirlwind and I’ve had to do some real soul searching on this. Things seem better in the light of day, i’m lucky to have friends and family to tell me that it’s going to be okay. I’m not going to let this take away my joy, steal 3 weeks of my pregnancy from me. This little girl will be loved no matter what. I’m telling her (and myself) that she’s healthy and beautiful and that we love her more than anything in this world. She has been so active (probably the stress) but I choose to think it’s her letting me know she’s fine.

I’m choosing to believe in her because she is my heart. Please believe with me and keep her in your prayers.

Much love to all of you Xxx

17 weeks

I know I keep saying this but my word, this pregnancy is just flying by. I will be 17 weeks tomorrow, over 4 months with 21 or so weeks left until sweetpea’s birth.

I’m feeling so good, I hardly feel pregnant nowdays and the days melt into eachother and before I know it another week of her gestation has passed and my body is changing more. My breasts continue to grow and change and are still quite tender, i’ve been lucky with my skin too. I’m still tired at night and am in bed at 8 every night but that could also be due to the fact that I’m really battling to sleep, I toss and turn all night and when I’m not doing that I’m getting up to pee😉

We had our 16 week scan last week friday, I cried so much at this one. I’ve been very good with that, I cried A LOT in the beggining weeks but things were so scary back then but this time, this scan was so wonderful. She’s a real little baby now, with long little legs and everything. She’s playing all shy with us and we have yet to get a good pic of her side profile and I have yet to see her little nose, she’s always lying face up or face down. She seems to be happy in a little ball, lying with her feet and head on my bladder like a little contortionist. She’s lying very low, hence me carrying so low.

At this point, everything is low and giving my bladder a real run for it’s money. She seems to like it all squished up down there and never moves up just side to side as that’s where I always find her with the doppler. Her heartbeat was a nice 150bpm and she’s weighing 163g which apparently is in the 36th percentile for growth so she’s still littttle🙂 All markers for spina bifida are clear and i’m waiting for my blood results to confirm but gynea is happy with everything. Only thing that might be a concern is the fact that my placenta is totally covering my cervix at this point, she’s told me that as the uterus grows it can pull the placenta up with it and away from the cervix and not to worry for now. We will keep an eye on it at each scan and hopefully it does not turn into placenta previa. This is another reason i’m feeling so FULL low down.

I started feeling her move at 15 weeks, what started off as “a bubble popping” has become more frequent and unmistakeble nowdays but still very subtle. I love feeling her move and she’s often active at night, I can’t wait for Frank to feel her too!

Frank has been so sweet, he’s so very excited about his little girl. She gets greeted with a tummy rub or a kiss before me as I walk in the door nowdays, it melts my heart and i’m so thankful that I am able to finally give him this baby.

Of-course we have been on a shopping spree and everything is pink, it’s wonderful to open her cupboard and see! She’s going to be so spoilt by so many people that have waited so long for her. We will start on the room from about 24 weeks – if I can wait that long😉

I’ve posted the last two belly pics too, I haven’t grown much and I think i’m quite small for where I am in my pregnancy, I thought i’d be bigger now cos I started off rounding very soon. I’m also pleased to say that so far my weight is looking good too😉

Here is our unco-operative little sweetheart (top one with her legs over her body (not that you can see much body) and bottom one with her head at the bottom facing the scan