Okay, I’ve left a big gap there. My last post, I wrote how my IVF cycle was cancelled. After that cycle, I did another cycle which resulted in the transfer of two top quality day 3 embryos that resulted in an early miscarriage. This was followed by another cycle which also resulted in the transfer of two top quality day 3 embryos that resulted in a single pregnancy.
I did come on here once since that time and poured out my emotions about being pregnant after such a journey, but somehow I lost it before I posted it. Definitely not the same as after a natural conception. With my naturally conceived son, I was excited to go for a scan and see the tiny me. I learned that it was a boy and excitedly shopped for clothes. This time, the days preceding my first scans were nerve wrecking. Every other IVF cycle had failed at one point. Every cycle I expected the wheels to fall off at some point, and every cycle they did. That is all I knew. That is what I expected this time too and that is what I expected the scans to reveal. ‘There’s one arm, now where’s the other’, the lady says to herself as she probes around. ‘Great, so that’s what’s wrong’ I think with a sinking heart. ‘It’s missing an arm!’
I was 38 weeks on Saturday and no missing arms or other abnormalities have been detected. But somehow I still can’t believe that I will have a live baby. I went to buy a breast pump a few days ago. Then I was suddenly filled with a sense of dread that I was jinxing myself. I would now have a breast pump here as a reminder of the baby that never eventuated. Just like after each IVF failure, I would have jabs and bruise marks all over my stomach from all the injections that I just hated to stare at and wanted to go away. They were a reminder of another IVF failure. And now I was buying a breast pump as a painful reminder that this pregnancy did not eventuate. The breast pump turned out to be faulty so I didn’t buy it.
On the other hand, I know that I will never be pregnant again. That I should enjoy every last kick and movement. That I should write about them so that I can re-read and remember the feeling. I feel punches and kicks, but I also feel the baby pressing against my abdomen, as though it is out of room and stretching out inside of me. I was induced with my first and having heard that being induced is five times worse than natural labor, I am keen to avoid a repeat. Today I have felt sensations lower down in my pelvis, so hopefully that is a good sign that the baby is heading south and preparing for an exit. But still, I am nervous about watching my due date of 26.03.16 come and go, and then feeling the pressure of counting down being two weeks overdue which is the maximum the hospital will allow before I am induced again.
Even not being induced, I am nervous. It still won’t be a walk in the park. The first time ignorance was bliss as I decided not to do any research about what labor would involve and just to trust in the professionals at the hospital when the time came, but this time I know what I am in for. Granted, on the other side of the coin, being blissfully ignorant turned out to be a very bad thing last time, as I wasn’t aware how blissfully ignorant the staff also were at the hospital, where I was to lie on my back with legs in stirrups, unaware this is the worst position (bar doing a handstand) for the baby to put pressure on the cervix and for gravity to assist with delivery. Instead when their placement of me was ineffective, I was torn apart with blunt scissors and sutured by the trainee that left my GP taking one look and commenting ‘My goodness, that’s shocking! Who did this?’ I now have permanent pain. The hospital was also ignorant on breastfeeding, telling me he doesn’t need to be fed after he’s been born and taking him away from me so I could rest. Then the next midwife showed her ignorance by not being aware of incorrect attachment as my son was struggling to breathe while he fed with his nose pressing into me. Instead of correcting the attachment, I was instructed to use one hand to push into my breast tissue to make room for his nose. Very awkward but I did as instructed. Then the next midwife shrugging her shoulders when I asked why I had a cyst on my nipple after feeding. She was another who was unaware of correct attachment, but as she had no clue and it wasn’t hurting, I didn’t pursue the matter. Then being told ‘we are busy with our own patients’ when I rang up at 11pm asking if I could come in for advice as I started suffering excruciating pain from what I now know to be incorrect attachment. I tried to plead that I was one of their patients, that I was meant to be there for 48 hours but even left at 24 hours and now just needed 10 minutes back of that time, but the same answer was repeated to me. So in response to that horrid experience, I have this time gone down the opposite path and have prepared a birth plan that turned out to be so long, I had to summarise it before I handed it in at the hospital so it was simple enough that points would not get skipped as I gave birth while the midwife had to skim through my 20 page plan. I got it down to 3 pages. So my knowledge this time means that I will know what to do even if the midwifes don’t. But I’m still fearful that something will go wrong. That they will forget my plan and cut the cord before I have had a chance to realise what is going on and before all the stem cells and iron and cancer fighting T cells in the cord have been absorbed by my child. That they will inject my child with synthetic vitamin K. That my gaping episiotomy scar will cause issues, or worse still, that they will cut me elsewhere and I will have double the pain and a doubly mutilated who ha. I still get upset when I think about my first experience and I worry that going through childbirth and being in hospital again will be re-living that horrid experience instead of this one being the empowering experience I want it to be.
So while I should be and want to be enjoying my last few days of pregnancy, they are also a time of nerves for more reasons than the average mother who has not experience what I have.