**To everyone who’s bored of reading my old journal entries by now, I’m very very sorry. But since I shared my IVF journals with you, I thought it was only fair to share my journals from when I was pregnant, too. As before, these were previously published on an old blog in 2015/2016 that I wrote mostly for my own benefit, so they’ve been copied and pasted and edited slightly (to remove Mr Becca’s real name, for example, because I really want “Mr Becca” to catch on).**
Saturday 11th July 2015
Five weeks and 5 days PREGNANT! The news hasn’t quite sunk in, but everything seems to be OK so far. I’m tired all the time and feel sick a lot. I’m also feeling very anxious and worried that something will go wrong.
I’m worried that my anti thyroid antibodies will attack my baby (or babies). I’m on a gluten free diet (and have been for months), because I read one article that said it might help! I’ve also increased my levothyroxine dose, as recommended by my IVF consultant, but I’m so scared. There’s nothing more I can do, except wait and see what happens. I think that’s the biggest theme of this whole process – “wait and see”. I had no control over anything when we were trying to conceive naturally… No control over anything when we were going through the infertility investigations… No control over anything during the IVF… And no control over anything now. I’ve never felt so helpless!
I booked a private scan for Wednesday afternoon. I’ll only be 6w2d pregnant, but they should be able to see whether everything is ok and hopefully we’ll see at least one heartbeat! We’ll also be able to find out whether we’re having one baby or two! I feel like it’s just one, which makes me sad. Although there are lots more risks involved with a twin pregnancy, the thought that one of our little embryos didn’t make it is upsetting. A scan is the only way to know for sure and I just can’t wait another week for the official viability scan at the clinic. There’s also part of me that worries if I wait for the scan at the clinic, it will be bad news. I got so much bad news in that clinic, I can’t face anymore.
I’ve already booked my first appointment with the midwife for the 29th – the week after our scan at the clinic. I was going to wait to contact her until after the scan, but I’m not known for my patience. I wanted to be as positive as I could – acting like I’m certain I’ll need an appointment with the midwife felt like the best way to show that I have faith that everything will be OK. I just hope I’m right and that appointment on the 29th isn’t wasted!
Sunday 13th September 2015
I’m now 14w6d pregnant! I’ve been terrible at keeping up with my journal – there just seems to be so much happening!
We had our 6 week scan and found that that we’re having twins! Twins!! I can’t believe it! Our little embryos held on and snuggled in to my skinny lining to give us the best gift we’ve ever had! It’s such amazing news – we waited for so long to have a baby and now we’re going to have two! We were a bit shocked and very scared, but also happier than we’ve ever been! It was so lovely to see two beating hearts on the screen in front of us!
A week later, we had our final appointment at the clinic. The scan showed that both babies were still OK, both hearts still beating strong! I was so relieved. I’ve never been so happy to walk out of a place and know that I wouldn’t be going back. The staff there have been amazing, but I’ve had so many sad moments in that place. It was nice to end on a happy moment. Part of me was still scared that we’d come out with bad news – even after having the private scan a week earlier. I was so happy to be able to leave, for the last time, with a smile on my face and two tiny beating hearts in my tummy.
After that, we had another private scan at 10 weeks and then our 12 week scan. Everything is going OK so far and both babies are growing well. The sonographer at our 12 week scan told us that it looks like we’re having a girl and a boy! How wonderful! We’ve got another private scan booked for 16 weeks, when we’ll find out for sure. I don’t mind what we have, as long as our babies are both healthy, but one of each would be a true blessing. I can’t wait until our babies are here and I can tell them how much I love them and how happy I am to have them both!
I suffered with morning sickness through the whole first trimester. It was rotten, but at least it helped me feel like my babies were OK! It’s better now and my babies are worth every minute of suffering.
Unfortunately, while the sickness went away, my anxiety hasn’t. I’ve been anxious all the time, so far. I’m so scared that something will go wrong and I won’t get to hold my babies in my arms.
Saturday 26th September
16w5d. Today was our gender scan. We were so excited to see our babies again and make sure they were OK, the gender part seemed almost irrelevant. I was excited to find out whether the sonographer at our 12 week scan was right though… And it looks like she was!
Our gender scan confirmed that there’s a little prince *and* a little princess in there! We couldn’t be happier! They double and triple checked and we’ve got the whole scan on DVD so we can watch it whenever we want! Our little girl was wiggling all over the place while her brother just tried not to be kicked in the face! She’s going to be trouble, I can tell!
I also saw my midwife this week. She’s referred me to the mental health midwife because of my anxiety. I saw my GP, but he prescribed antidepressants, which I really don’t want to take. Medication has it’s place and I know it’s the right decision for some women… But not for me. I don’t want to take them and I need support. I just hope the mental health midwife can help me, because it’s so hard dealing with anxiety and depression when I want to just enjoy being pregnant. I think it’s hard for people to understand – I’m over the moon to be pregnant and to be having these babies. But I can’t be happy all the time, because I’m so worried about something going wrong. I’m trying to stay calm, because I know that me being so anxious isn’t good for the babies, but sometimes I can’t control it.
Thursday 15th October
19w3d. OK, lots has happened in the last few weeks. Mostly related to my anxiety. My first appointment with the consultant (I see both the midwife and the consultant because it’s a twin pregnancy) was originally booked for tomorrow… And then it was pushed back to the 30th, which just felt like a really long time to wait. I was so worried that something would go wrong.
My biggest worry has been my cervix. There’s a higher risk of premature birth and incompetent cervix with twin pregnancies and my cervix has been through a lot of trauma in the last 3 years with all the infertility investigations and the three painful embryo transfers. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something might be wrong and no one was able to reassure me, because a cervical scan is the only way to know. After begging for help from my midwife and the maternity unit at the hospital, I managed to get an earlier appointment to see the consultant on 2nd October. I was disappointed that it took so much effort to get some support. My GP and my midwife were both aware of my anxiety and depression issues, but it was so hard to get any extra support. I understand that the NHS is stretched resource-wise, but I worry about women who are suffering in silence and don’t feel strong enough to push for the extra help they need.
Seeing the consultant did help reassure me a little. She promised that my cervix will be checked at my next scan, which is booked for 3rd November, when I’ll be 22weeks pregnant. This still felt like a long time to wait, but at least it will be checked eventually! She also listened to both heartbeats, which is always lovely.
The reassurance didn’t last long though. I couldn’t shake the thought of something being wrong with my cervix and my 22w scan being too late. In the end, I booked another private scan and had my cervix checked yesterday. The sonographer was so lovely. She checked on both babies – confirmed that our gender scan was right – and made sure that both babies are growing on track with our dates. It was lovely to see our babies again and know that they’re OK. Our little girl was moving all over the place, just like last time! And beating up her brother like last time, too! It’s so sweet to see that they already have such different personalities! Raising twins is going to be an adventure, that’s for sure!
Then she checked my cervix, which was a very good 4cm long – absolutely nothing to worry about. With my 22w scan just 3 weeks away, I’m hoping I’ll be able to relax a bit now.
Today, I saw the mental health midwife for the first time. She’d previously recommended a hypnobirthing CD, but I really wanted to actually talk to her and see what other support was available. Our local hospital makes a big song and dance about how great it is that we have a dedicated mental health midwife, but if I’m honest… I didn’t find it very helpful. Since I’ve made the decision not to take medication, her advice was to carry on doing the things I’m doing already and just accept that I’m going to be anxious. I can refer myself for counselling or CBT, but there are long waiting lists and I still remember the things I learned in CBT in March, so I’m not sure how helpful it would be.
Still, it was nice to hear that the things I already do to try and manage my anxiety – knitting, hypnotherapy, journaling etc – are all good things to carry on doing. And it was nice that she thought I’m doing a good job at managing my anxiety, even when it doesn’t feel like it to me. I just need to focus on doing the best I can for my babies. I’m proud of myself for not just turning to medication when it’s not really necessary for me. Like I said before – antidepressants definitely have their place and, for lots of women, they’re the very best decision to make… But not for me. So I’ll carry on doing what I can to stay calm. I didn’t really like the hypnobirthing CD the mental health midwife recommended. I think it would be very helpful for lots of women, but the constant references to “baby” started to annoy me – I’m having TWO babies! Mr Becca (who knows a bit more about these things than I do, because he works in mental health and is a qualified hypnotherapist) says I should just focus on the positive aspects of the relaxation and ignore that it’s clearly intended for singleton pregnancies. But my brain kept getting stuck on that one little thing, which stopped me being able to relax. So I guess I’ll look for a twin specific version!
If you’re pregnant (congratulations!), check out Sue’s Essentials for a More Comfortable & Content Pregnancy over at SueFoster.info.