Thursday, 11 February 2010

The long-awaited update (it's good news)

Yesterday I had my booking appointment with the midwife who will hopefully see me through this pregnancy and beyond.

I'm so sorry I haven't updated the blog with my news. The excuses I cite are a combination of taking time out from writing to focus on being well and getting used to the amazing change of being pregnant after four years of infertility heartache, and also a fair dollop of sheer superstition.

I honestly felt if I shared my news, I would jinx it. It's totally irrational and very unfair on those of you who've been commenting and asking for updates, but it was how I felt and it was very strong.

Only now as I approach the 11-week mark am I starting to feel more confident about actually taking home a baby at the end of this. I have gone through the past two and a half months battling a daily, sometimes hourly, terror of miscarriage. I don't think it will ever fully abate until I give birth, but it is starting to lessen as the weeks progress and my body changes.

I got the news on December 29 following a blood test at the fertility clinic. But if I'm totally honest, I already knew the IVF had worked. I took a pregnancy test on Christmas Day - stupid, foolish and potentially distressing, I know, but I couldn't resist it. I figured starting my fourth Christmas Day with a negative test surely couldn't be any more heartbreaking than the previous three had been.

It was a very, very faint positive. But it's the first time in my life I've had any sort of line in the right box, so it was momentous. Hubby was downstairs when I did it and my voice cracked into a barely audible rasp as I croaked for him to come and look.

I then did what I always do: started obsessively reading about pregnancy testing after IVF online, and convinced myself that it was a false positive caused by leftover HCG hormone in my system from the trigger injection I'd administered some 12 days previously. The general consensus seemed to be to wait until 14 days had elapsed and test again. This I duly did on the morning of December 27, and the positive line was darker. And I really started to hope.

It was still with a thudding heart and knocking knees that I answered my mobile on the afternoon of the 29th, knowing the person calling was a nurse from the clinic and that she had my results. I was stood at work in a glorified stationery cupboard, hiding away as I knew I'd cry either way. To hear the nurse say that not only was it a positive, but a strong one, was just indescribable.

Relief, joy, gratitude - it was a far cry from how I'd felt the night after the embryo was transferred back into my womb. That evening found me crying hysterically because I was sure I'd ejected said embryo during a particularly strenuous visit to the toilet (what can I say, the IVF drugs had bunged me up).

No, my embryo didn't fall out my bum but dug itself in and managed to find a snug home inside me, where I have for so many years longed for a baby to be. I had another moment of drama when I had a very light bleed on New Year's Eve. At that point I was just over four weeks pregnant and became convinced I was going to miscarry on just about the worst night of the year for such a thing to happen. But I was lucky, the bleeding stopped and the clinic, during my weepy phone call to them, said such things are common at around the four and eight-week mark, when periods would have been expected.

I started to feel a lot better, and properly pregnant, when my seven-week scan showed a strong heartbeat and a growing embryo, in the right place (as ectopic pregnancy had been a big fear). And while I am far from reassured, after everything we've been through, that things will be all right (I don't think I'll feel 100% content until I'm holding my baby in my arms), the changes in my body and the symptoms I've experienced have grown my confidence little by little.

I want to - and will, if you want me to - write more about how I am feeling and what it's like being pregnant after all this time and all those tears. But I'm going to leave this entry here for two reasons, the first being because I just wanted to give regular readers a long-awaited and much-deserved update.

The second reason is more complicated. This blog has been about my infertility struggles, and I'm unsure of the protocol of how to proceed. I'd like to keep writing about my experiences through pregnancy and beyond, but I am very aware that my outcome will be bittersweet for people who have not been so lucky.

I have suffered myself - many times over - that heady mix of elation for someone you genuinely like and feel a connection with finally having the success she has yearned for, combined with the inevitable and unavoidable feelings of desperation about your own situation. And to be honest, sometimes I have chosen not to read on.

What I don't want to do is inflict a pregnancy blog on a community of readers who don't want it. I couldn't bear it if I thought I was causing anyone struggling with a similar situation to my own pain. I know how badly it can hurt. So I would really appreciate comments on whether you think I should continue with the blog or leave it here, with a happy ending infertility-wise, but without an ongoing commentary on pregnancy, that longed-for condition which has, at times over the past four years, seemed almost mythical to me in terms of how hard it was for me to achieve.

Finally, for now - thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has asked how I am doing, wondered about my outcome or spared a fleeting thought to wish me well. I appreciate every comment and every thought more than you can know.

43 comments:

MK said...

Congrats!!! That is AMAZING news and I'm so happy to hear it. :) And what a great day for a BFP!

I have to admit that when women on my blog list get pregnant, I remove them from the list because it's too hard to read all their updates. But I still keep them on my follow list, or whatever it is. And every few months I read updates on pregnancies to see if they're doing well.
I DEFINITELY think you should keep blogging - your posts are hilarious! You would be missed if you left. :)

Annie said...

What wonderful news! Please do keep posting. I love your blog and though I am one of those still in the trenches battling infertility, I find hope in seeing others fight against the odds and win. Best wishes to you, your hubby, and your little baby.

Anna said...

Yay!!!!! I had hoped you were just celebrating quietly -- I totally understand. I am sooo thrilled for you! Your post has me crying tears of joy for you! As I am about to start my own IVF journey in March, on the pill now, I would love to continue reading posts on your pregnancy! Praying for a peaceful, wonderful rest of your pregnancy and a healthy little one. Congratulations again!!
p.s. This was your first IVF, right? You give me hope either way!!
Anna

kmina said...

Huge congrats! I am so happy for you. It's good to have you back. If my vote counts for anything, I vote for more posts - your wit was sorely missed, trust me.

newmumover40 said...

I have just come across your blog after doing a search for HSG scans. I was very excited to find someone else who was blogging about trying to conceive!

It is wonderful news that you have finally made it! And it makes no difference in my happiness to have found your blog. Because hearing about your pregnancy experience will be just as informative as I know nothing about that either! To share in the joy and hear how you are doing will be a pleasure to read.

Congratulations!

Jade said...

Congratulations! I was quietly rooting for you and hoping that your radio silence was finally due to a pregnancy. Congratulations again! It's so wonderful to be able to share in another woman's success story.

I agree with everyone else - keep posting!

Rambler said...

Congratulations! Glad to see the silence was for something positive.

I'm with MK, with the place I am in right now, it's still hard to read the everyday acts of being pregnant, but with your style of writing and humor, I think it would benefit a lot of people.

Rose Thorn said...

I am SOOO happy for you! I have been reading your blog for only about 2 wks now, but I have read it from beginning to start, You have given me hope, and let me know that I am not crazy for feeling what I am feeling. I am just starting my TTC journey. I have been half assed trying since I miscarried at 17, and havent had luck. I am finally off of my BC totally and sincerly hoping this all starts looking up for me. Congratulations and I hope all is well with this new leg of your journy! Again I am sooooo happy for you!

AllyAEC said...

Well glad you shared the news now! x

I am so pleased for you, and even though I can't even contemplate what you and some of the readers are going through, it is still one of the few blogs I read regularly with anticipation and interest like a good book (you still are one of my favourite writers :) ) Hope you keep it up, whether it is is here... or in a new chapter online. I am so please for you as I remember how long ago we worked together and it was a dream of yours and hubbies xxxxx

donna bean said...

OH! massive massive congratulations. I hope you continue to blog as I think the way you write is amazing. Am so pleased for you.

I was so hoping the absence of blogging meant good news.
x

galaxy IVF said...

Oh thank god for good news. I was so worried for you. I am thrilled that you finally have what you have battled so long for - you really deserve it.
I love reading your blog and I would not want you to ever stop. I bet your going to have some very funny moments during pregnancy and giving birth so I cant wait to read all about it in your unique comedy style.
I start my first IVF cycle next month and you have given me lots of hope and relief that it really can work first time. Good luck x

Any said...

Congratulations! I have been checking every day since your last post and was thrilled to read your update. I suffered from infertility as well and reading your blog really helped me deal with the stress. It was wonderful reading the funny and honest posts, because it was very similar to what I felt like.
I too have finally become pregnant and would love for you to continue to post throughout your pregnancy.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if your absence was due to good or bad news. I'm so happy to hear you finally made it. And although I admit I cried tears of sorrow for my own situation, I also know they were tears of joy and hope after all you've been through. Please keep blogging- personally, I want to hear every detail.

Illanare said...

Congratulations, I really am so very happy for you.

Laura said...

I KNEW IT! I've checked so many times and am thrilled to find this good news. Please keep writing. Even if you switch to another blog...
After struggling with IF and finally conceiving (but not through IVF) I totally understand your fears about the possibility of miscarriage. Now that I've made it to week 16 I am able to settle down a bit. I had implantation bleeding at 4 weeks and a bit of spotting at 9 weeks... it's always scary, but you did the right thing by going into the clinic! I went to the hospital on Christmas day!! I'll be thinking of you... please keep us posted!

*Ivette* said...

Congrats!! and yes please keep blogging!! Give us ladies some hope!! Bless you and ur lil one!! Yay!!

Bec said...

Congratulations - I am so happy for you! Please keep blogging. While it can be bittersweet somedays, it gives me hope that it can really happen xxx

Anonymous said...

Keep blogging lass, I have been checking back for some time now and am thrilled with your news and that you are posting again. You will not have the same pregnancy as someone who has conceived naturally as you will always have the fear but I for one will enjoy your posts. You're a terrific writer and should continue - even when the baby is keeping you awake and you wonder why you bothered!

t2c said...

Congratulations!!! I too have only recently started reading your blog, but have read the entire thing in about a month. I just completed testing for infertility, and fall under the category of unexplained infertility. You dont even know how much your blog has helped me. I know that I am not alone in going through infertility, but reading your inner thoughts and fears about tests such as the HSG and the internal pelvic u/s helped me feel "normal". I am so happy that your break from your blog was for such a great reason! I was really hoping that you were just waiting to reach the 12 week mark. Please don't stop writing and sharing your thoughts...because they really do help more people then you realize. Congratulations once again!!

Sarah said...

I am so happy for you and cried tears of joy at reading your post! Please keep writing, I'm invested in you the person, not the infertility (but maybe a blog name change is in order!)

Munchkin said...

Congratulations. I'm elated for you. WOW. What a huge huge blessing. I'm just thrilled.
Don't worry about turning this into a pregnancy blog and pissing off your readership. YOU DESERVE THIS. And no one thinks otherwise. No one!
While feeling like "the only non-pregnant person on earth" does cause a twinge of pain for many many women when they read posts about long-time 'infertiles' finally getting pregnant, there's another side of the coin as well... Reading posts like yours and reading pregnancy blogs (like yours should become) offers hope that, even after so many heartbreaking years of trying, there IS hope for a better future.
Hugs and best wishes for a health, happy, exciting seven months ahead.
xx

Thraesja said...

I'm so happy for you. I've been lurking on this blog for quite some time, not wanting to comment as I've managed to become a mother and figured you didn't want to hear about it, but pulling for you the whole while.

I was very hopeful that your long absence indicated you were waiting for that stressful first trimester to be nearing completion. I'm so glad I was right.

As for whether to continue the blog or not, I'm sure I'm not the only perfect stranger who would like to keep following your progress. But you may be right in that others would prefer it to remain about infertility struggles...what about opening up a new blog and just posting a link to it as the last entry on this one? That would give people the choice to continue with you or not as they wish.

Congratulations to both you and your husband!

Anonymous said...

YAY!!! I am so happy for you! Please keep blogging and let us know what is going on. I understand that many of your followers are still TTC but your story gives hope to all of us still trying...
Thank you for your wonderful sense of humor. Congratulations!

Rose Thorn said...

Please do keep writing...I think a lot of us will miss you if you decide not to.

Vidhi said...

Congrats and I fervently pray that may god bless you, your baby and husband. Ur blog seems like the light at the end of the tunnel for many TTC women, so please dont stop writing.
Even though many would cringe at the thought "I am still not pregnant but u r" I think reading ur journey towards motherhood wud be d hope to take us all TTC mothers towards it as well.
God bless and do keep writing. N do enjoy the best period of ur life.

Dazedlittlemiss said...

Wow. This is good news! Congratulations. I hope all goes well. I love your writing style and would love for you to continue blogging. Some women may not be pregnant yet but I'm sure they could use all the information you share here. Take care!

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