I went in for my first antenatal appointment on Monday and thankfully the embryo is measuring right on track. However, I did not get to find out what the heartbeat number was again! It was harder for me to see the heartbeat this time, the embryo looked a bit more solid? Dr. Nice pointed it out but it was hard to focus as he kept moving the probe around. K said he saw it and I saw it briefly but it would have been nice to know how strong the heartbeat was. Honestly, the brief moment that I saw it I thought it looked a little slow but Dr. Nice said it looked “beautiful” and was measuring right on time (1.97cm) for 8 weeks 4 days. Sigh I guess I have to trust he knows what he’s doing. We got another ultrasound picture to keep and the blob is starting to look a bit more baby shaped.
Symptoms wise I’ve started having nausea which came on sporadically for a few days then became a constant every day thing. I think mine is quite mild compared to others as I’ve heard horror stories about the morning sickness rendering some women unable to function. Mine is just strong enough to make me uncomfortable but not so much to cause any vomiting or making it hard to work.
What’s bad is the gas and the bloating. Eating full meals is becoming difficult without feeling like a beached whale. I’ve also been dealing with differing levels of fatigue and frequent urination. None of that matters though as long as the baby is happy and sticks around for the long haul.
I go back for another scan in about 2 weeks and a blood test. It’s called the NIPT (Non Invasive Prenatal Testing) test and can even tell you the sex of the baby this early! Dr. Nice was really great throughout the whole appointment and said that anytime we have questions, feel unsure or just want to see the baby on the scan to call them up and they will book us in. He wants us to think of them as a constant support structure so that was lovely.
Today I’m 9 +2 weeks and the nausea has abated slightly which brings back slight crazy fears, but if I didn’t know before I definitely know now that symptoms come and go. I’ve still got my fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly but at least for now it looks like it is.
So the tally of people I know having babies this year has reached a colossal level. I’ve actually lost count. This will most likely mean a shitload of baby showers. My pregnant best friend extended the first invitation the other day.
And my first reaction was yeah, I don’t think so. How weird is that? I’m currently pregnant and due for another scan tomorrow when I’ll be 8 + 4 weeks (fingers crossed all goes well, story for tomorrow) but my gut reaction is still to shun baby showers and turn away from pregnancy announcements.
The truth is, I just don’t belong in their world. On the rare occasions that I have listened in on these fertile, pregnant women’s conversations I hear things like “my husband and I only tried once!”, “can you believe I’m showing already at 6 weeks??”, “I’m going to be so pissed if the baby is a boy/girl”, “I hate being pregnant” and the list goes on. It’s not that they’re horrible women, well, some are but you always find one. It’s just that I cannot identify with their ignorance of infertility, how life is created and the fucking miracle that it is.
I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I have to make small talk with them. The other day a colleague asked me, “So Em when are you having a baby?” I deflected and mumbled something about it happening one day then she said rather cheerfully, “Oh come one, if you want one just do it, it’s easy!”.
Lol, no. No, it’s not easy. It’s actually fucking hard for some people and harder still for others. Not only is it hard it’s fucking expensive. Try tens of thousands of dollars expensive. I wish I said that but a pregnant colleague overheard and piped up that no, it’s not easy and explained how it took her 6 years to get pregnant with one 13 week miscarriage in between. That’s fucking horrifying and I’m sorry she had to hear that. That comment annoyed the hell out of me but how must it have made her feel? Still, she said that gently and with a small smile on her face, handling it with so much grace. I gave her a hug and told her how sorry I was for her previous loss and how happy I am for her now.
To be fair, my other colleague is young, has no children herself and was naive to all of this. She didn’t apologise for her comment but seemed to reflect on it. I hope. I am not happy that I am infertile but I am happy about what infertility has taught me. I am more compassionate, more understanding and empathetic because of it. And if our world had a little bit more of that, it would be a much better place. So, I will resolve to be better and educate others on infertility and their stupid comments lest they hurt someone else. However, still on the sidelines and not at the fertile women’s club.
…what you think you know.
On Monday, I chose to work from home anticipating that this appointment could go either way. Our appointment was at 2.15 PM and I barely did any work that morning. I just could not concentrate.
Finally, when we arrived I expected to wait between 30 – 45 mins to be seen as Dr. Nice is always running late. However, to my surprise, we were seen on time. It’s practically unheard of with doctors!
He greeted us and didn’t offer congratulations straightaway. He said something along the lines of “Well, it looked like it worked!” and asked us how many frozen embryos we had left. I know this might sound strange to others but I liked that he wasn’t giving us any false hope.
He asked about my symptoms and if I had had any nausea. I told him I’ve felt a bit off now and again but nothing too major. He then mentioned he may have to do an internal scan but that he would start off with the abdominal and see if anything shows up.
I’d prepared myself for the worse so I sat back and tried to will myself to relax so I wouldn’t burst in to tears in front of him if it was bad news. He starts telling us what he sees on the scan, “So there’s the pregnancy sac and right here is the yolk sac and…oh, there it is!”
I was so shocked I actually bolted upright and said “What??” He laughs, tells me to lie back down and says, “Yes, there it is and watch closely, see the heart beating?”
And there it was. The most beautiful sight in the world. The flickering heartbeat of new life on the ultrasound. K had been as nervous as I and was hiding in a corner but when he saw that heartbeat, he ran over to me and the look of awe on his face was priceless.
I may have mentioned this before but the only thing I don’t like about my doctor is that he doesn’t give out a lot of details. He told me the embryo was measuring on track for 6 and a half weeks to 7 (how vague is that??) and that the heartbeat was strong. However, I did not get any actual measurements or number of heartbeats per minute. I should have pushed for more details.
Most FS in Australia are also OBs and I am considering whether to continue antenatal care with him. His services cost a whopping $4,800 OOP which is on the expensive side I’ve been told. I’ve booked in my next scan just in case on the 1st of Feb but I may do some more looking around before then.
I was so convinced on some days that there was nothing there and I’ve never been more ecstatic to be proven wrong. Now I just need to get through another 8 months without letting the crazy get out of control again. Definitely easier said than done but at least for today, I can relax and enjoy the fact that in 8 months time I might finally have a baby.