A Little About Me

My photo
I'm a 29yr old first time dad living in South East London. I have been married to my gorgeous wife since September 2009. We are looking forward to the next chapter in our lives with our darling daughter, LC

Monday, 29 August 2011

2nd Trimester...

Facebook... The demise of modern society and relationships? It seems that as we had told a couple of people about our news it was all across the social network for all to see. It's not that we weren't happy for our friends to know. it was more that we wanted to tell our close friends and family in person, not them read about it a couple lines after they hear how 'John Smith is Single'. 

We managed to get to everyone just in time and they were all thrilled for us. Very few people knew about our difficulties in getting this far. Even though we were finally here, we were still nervous and comments like "what took you so long" weren't helpful.

One week - yes, one week - in to the second trimester V had some spotting. We got in touch with  that demon - Dr. Google. Let me tell you, the man is a Twat. He doesn't care how mild your symptoms, if you type something in and search, he will give you the very worst case scenario. Headache? Oh that must be a category 'A' brain tumor... Wanker!

No matter how much I reassured V, we ended up in A&E early on a Sunday morning. I was sat next to a girl with a black eye and her 'fella' with scratches all over his face - nice couple!

We finally got to see the GP (we were referred from A&E through to the Emergency Doctor). He had an excellent bedside manner and advised V that she was probably miscarrying and should just get on with it. Cue waterworks and paranoia. 

No matter how bad Dr Google had been, he paled in comparison to the real thing!

We managed to get an urgent appointment with Apeekaboo Imaging, they were so good. They said to come in that afternoon and although we may wait half hour or so, they would fit us in. 

We were both dreading that scan. How can you prepare yourself to look at the screen and see that your unborn baby was either in a very bad way, or worse... The staff were great, really empathetic and supportive. But when it came to look at the screen, we couldn't. 

There was some silence (seemed like hours) and then the technician spoke: "Well, I've no idea where the blood is coming from but your baby is fine". We both whipped our heads round faster than you can say "You Shit NHS bastard" and stared out our little baby, bobbing away happily inside V's tummy. Never have I felt such relief.

The spotting eased and stopped after a day or so and things went back to normal. We started making plans again, for major DIY work to be finished, for our nursery to be ready and also to ensure that we had everything ready for our arrival in September 2011. 

Things were going well, V wasn't as tired as she had been and we were back on a positive note again. It wasn't until about week 30 that V admitted she had been for another scan at around week 15 to reassure herself that our little one was still in good health! I wasn't angry that she hadn't told me but I wished she had so that I could have been there to support her.

We bought a Doppler at about week 15 and, despite a couple of long periods not finding anything, enjoyed listening to baby's heartbeat. It helped to reassure V that all was well and she got up a little routine of listening in the morning and evening. In my opinion this saved us thousands of pounds in scans!!!

We also got that wonderful moment of feeling our baby kicking. V obviously felt this long before I could. I was a little jealous as I wanted to feel what she could, but it was worthwhile when I could feel the kicks. I really enjoyed that, it reassured me that all was going well. But I didn't like to do it for too long in one go, I don't know why not? Maybe I thought I was restricting our little ones movements as I was having to press quite hard in the beginning? Who knows.

We had a few strops about looking fat not pregnant but then again, we had these from week 4 through to when LC was born and it still continues. For the record V is not fat, she was pregnant and is now two weeks post baby arrival and expects to be a size 8 (lucky I love her or she'd have driven me up the wall :)

Towards the end of 2nd trimester, V had some pains low in her stomach, Dr Google was consulted but not really listened too (we have learnt this now!). We went to our GP who diagnosed a UTI and V took antibiotics for a week which cleared up the infection and pains.

One major bit of good news in the second trimester was that V's best friend (who we had gone to Bruges with in the first tri) was also pregnant and due in December 2011. We were really happy for them and also, selfishly, ourselves. It would mean that our baby would have a friend and we would still be in touch with our best friends through pregnancy without them thinking we were boring for not staying up late or getting wasted with them.

After their 12 week scan we booked a holiday for June 2012. The six of us will be staying in a villa in Majorca! 2 bedrooms, 2 cots, 4 very excited parents...

On to the third trimester with renewed positivity and a nearly completely decorated house!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Third Time Lucky?

That one line, consisting of eight letters made my, until then, dull day lift beyond recognition. I finished work early and picked V up from her office with a smile and a spring in my step. 

We were both so happy that we had got that positive result that we'd been longing for after a tough couple of months. We had a GP appointment to find out the results of the PCOS scan and even our GP was happy to hear our news when we confirmed that the suspected sac had turned out to be the real deal. He referred us for an early scan and we attended our local hospital a couple of days later. 

We saw that familiar splodge on the screen, our little fetus was growing well but we were too early to see a heartbeat (gestational age was only about 5 weeks). The scan technician booked us in for another appointment a fortnight later - the longest two weeks of my life thus far. Low and behold the following week we did see the tiny flutter of a heartbeat inside our little ink splodge.

I was, at first, reluctant to get too excited as I hadn't taken our past losses that well. No matter how hard I put on a brave face and was a rock for V on the outside - on the inside I was still a little broken. But the days passed and that was all put out of my mind by the returning wave of excitement at the prospect of being a dad and having a son/ daughter of my own.

V was also nervous, we we paid for a private scan at nine and a bit weeks as this was further than we had been before and neither of us wanted to go longer without knowing what was going on. We booked an appointment with Apeekaboo Imaging in Erith, about half hour in the car from us. I picked V up from work and we tried to make the journey in 20mins. After 45 mins and two calls to the company apologising for traffic, we arrived. 

Their offices were spotless and decorated with 4d scans of their clients, a couple of celebrity scans in there too for good measure! The staff, Karen and Gill, were so friendly and seemed genuinely to care about us as people, not just a means to getting paid that day. 

We were led in to a room where V was squirted with the ultrasound gel (how can one liquid never be warm?) and we were shown our little baby to be. We could see the fetal pole and arm and leg buds, we even heard the heartbeat... amazing

We left with a renewed spring in our heels and had sights set on our 12 week scan,  which was after a holiday to Bruges with our close friends. We decided we should tell them as there was no way we could make a long weekend blagging about why V wasn't drinking. They had been aware of our previous bad luck so were also overjoyed for us. 

After a weekend in which V put up with me being drunk (a lot), climbing the belfry (shakily) and generally being knackered we made it to our 12 week scan.

We went to the West End in London beforehand as our scan was not until 3:30pm and V would have driven herself mad with no activity. We bought a book called "How to be a Grandparent" as I had always wanted to tell my parents by giving them this book with a scan pic slipped in it. Soppy I know, but a guy has to show his softer side now and then. We then made our way to Kings College Hospital for the main event. 

We checked in and sat in the waiting area, and waited... and waited and waited... An hour and a half later we were called in to a room to have V's BMI, height and weight taken. Had we known this would happen before I'm not sure V would have turned up, but there we go! 

After these tests, V had her bloods take and we went back to wait a bit longer next to a family who, I swear, had the missing link as a father. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a crossword as much as the next person but I don't answer questions at the top of my voice and I know that the Italian for ice cream isn't "Wall's"...

We were then called in for our scan. YES, saviour from the missing link - I was losing an IQ point per second of hearing his voice!

After several blood pressure tests, V was asked on to the table and the scan was started. I was gob-smacked at the little person we could see on the screen. My son/ daughter was there for all to see, bobbing up and down. S/he was not facing the right was so a senior technician was called in to carry out the measuring and NT (Neuchal Translucency) scan. The tests all came back fine and we had a one in 11,000 chance of Down Syndrome based on the NT score.

We left with ten pictures (including the one shown here of my future child appearing to be sat on the loo!). We called V's parents and brother to spread the good news. We then headed back to my parents (where we had parked for our train ride). 

When we got there I nonchalantly handed my mum a Waterstones bag, inside which was 'something we saw and thought of you'. They were both in utter disbelief; my mum could do nothing but open the Champagne (poor V couldn't join it but had a J20). 

We had passed our first milestone and made it to week 12, our first (well, third) sneak preview of our baby son or daughter who would be due to arrive on 21st September 2011. 

On to the 2nd trimester!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

How did we get here?

The following is a history of how we got to where we are today, it is quite long but it covers several months in one hit. Be brave!

As I said before, my wife and I were married in September 2009. We had discussed it before but on our honeymoon we decided that we both wanted to have kids. Instead of trying to conceive we decided that it would be better to stop trying not to, if you see what I mean. 

V had been on the contraceptive pill for some years and it took a while for her periods to come back in to sync and we eventually got our first BFP (big fat positive) in May 2010. We were both over the moon and so excited. However it turned out to be a chemical pregnancy and we were both left a little uncertain about what had happened and how. 

It was at this point that we both (unbeknownst to each other) joined the Baby and Bump forums. We found that we weren't just a statistic and that other people had been through this before. It gave us heart to hear that and we carried out with our not trying to prevent pregnancy!

V's cycles were still quite long but we got a second BFP in early September 2010. Again we were over the moon, both really excited at the things to come. I was a little apprehensive at getting too excited due to our previous bad luck. Days passed and we visited our GP who referred us for an early scan.

The scan, at 5 weeks, showed a little gestational sac inside which was our little baby in waiting. We couldn't see the heartbeat but returned the following week and there it was, fluttering away at nineteen to the dozen. V had been having some very light spotting but the doctor and scan technician had both reassured her. We were overjoyed.

We went along to a work colleague's wedding and were having a god time. V felt some discomfort in her stomach and excused herself to the toilet. Some ten minutes later I got a call from V, she had passed a large blood clot and was crying uncontrollably. We made our excuses and went to the nearest A&E. 

Upon arrival V gave a urine sample, which showed clear for UTI, however no techinicians were available to carry out a scan until Monday, two days away. We went home and I did my best to re-assure V, who was still very distressed. When we attended the hospital again on Monday, the scan showed that we had suffered a miscarriage. 

I can't put in to words how that felt... a kick in the stomach? or lower? that was nowhere near.We returned home and took a couple of days off work to get our heads around what had happened. 

There were some hard, dark days back then but I believe it made our relationship stronger and, although fragile, we came out of the other end. One thing we knew for certain was that we both wanted to have a baby more than ever.

V had been on Baby and Bump a lot and had made a group of friends who told her about the "Sperm Meets Egg" plan. This basically consists of doing the baby dance every other day and then every day for three days during ovulation.

We tried this for a couple of months but, and I hate to admit it, due to V's long cycles, it was hard to maintain. 

We had been reading up on Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome as it tied in with some symptoms V had as well as the long cycles. We went along for a scan after New Year (2011) to see if this was the case, hoping that it was and we could receive treatment. 

The scan technician could not have been more miserable, she asked the basic questions: name, address, why do you think you have PCOS, etc. A couple of minutes in to the scan she said that V was not classed as having PCOS as although she has some cysts, there weren't enough to officially be classed with the syndrome. She then asked if we had been trying to conceive currently? 

Now - we had still been trying but not as strictly as during the Sperm Meets Egg days. V had some time off between Christmas and New Year and we had simply been enjoying "a lay in" each morning ;o)

We said that we were trying to conceive and she proceeded to show us how she had found what she thought to be as gestational sac in one of V's fallopian tubes. She said she couldn't be sure and not get our hopes up but it could be the early signs of a pregnancy.

We thanked her, left hospital and went to the cinema. Neither of us watched much of the film we saw, in fact I can't remember what it even was. I do know that we shared a bag of Mars Planets though!

A couple of weeks later, whilst shopping during her lunch break, V bought and carried out a pregnancy test. At my desk at work I received a text, one line:

"So, it seems that it was a sac!"

How to Begin?

I've read many blogs, particularly since my wife - sorry, WE - first got a positive pregnancy test back in May 2010. 

Some blogs were helpful and informative, some funny, some sad and others just had some good pictures but not much content. 

Now, I've never been much of a creative writer, give me an official letter and I'll knock it out clearly and concisely; ask me to write about something I feel and I'll be stuck after 5-10mins, max... I never considered starting my own blog!

However, the birth of my beautiful baby girl - LC - on 16th August 2011 has changed all that. It has made me want to record everything I can about my life and times with her and my wonderful wife, V.

Although my reasons for this blog are purely selfish, I would love it if even one person was to find it entertaining, amusing or informative in any way.

So, that's why I'm blogging, as for how well it goes? I'll let you be the judge

Hope you enjoy :)