Our favourite blog from last week’s iBlog Friday has been chosen. Lisa Baker is the winner with her moving post at Little House Inspired
You heard it right folks. We finally made our decision. To have another baby or not to have another baby? We went with 'to have'.
We took the plunge, did the deed and got ourselves (myself) well and truly knocked up with the long awaited and highly anticipated baby number 3.
I had been going over it all in my head for months and months. Weighing up all the pros and cons over and over and over again. Can we do this? Will we cope? Will I cope with 3 kids at home?
What if we have twins.....?!?!
Do we have the room?
Will we still be able to travel, go on family outings, afford private schooling??
Will we be able to afford to eat????
Urgh, Ill get fat again. And unfit. Could I possibly end up with any more stretch marks??
Does it really matter.....
There I was. Having this debate with myself, inside my own head again when suddenly I had an answer for all those questions.
Yes we can do this. Yes we will cope, we always do. And yes I will cope, because being a mother is the most important thing in the world to me. I wont not cope.
If we have twins, we have twins. It will be scary and awesome and cute and loud and expensive all at the same time.
I lived in a house much smaller than ours with 4 other children for a decent chunk of my childhood - yes, we have the room. Kids can share a bedroom. It won't kill them.
Travel and family outings will just take a little more time and consideration, but they won't need to cease to exist.
Private schooling? The more kids you have, the bigger the discount. We'll be fine.
We will always be able to afford to eat. C'mon woman, stop being so melodramatic.
Get fat, unfit and end up with even more stretch marks? Probably. But you've survived twice before and you can do it again.
And you know what, the day I had this 'epiphany' of sorts, just so happened to be on a day I was ovulating (according to my period tracker app thingy). When the husband arrived home that night I put it all to him with a 'no pressure, if it happens it happens but I was kind of thinking we should just go for it' approach. Mister 'play-it-cool, I don't care if we have another baby or not' was a little more eager than I expected.
And that was all it took. Yes, we are that couple. The ones who think about having a baby and magically become pregnant. Luckily we have only thought of it 3 times because otherwise we might have a whole soccer team trying to share 2 bedrooms and 3 car seats...
But that was where our luck ended.
I knew pretty much straight away that I was pregnant again. I could sense all the subtle changes. I was doubtful though, even I didn't think I could fall pregnant three times in a row, first try each time. But 10 days later that familiar faintest-of-faintest lines started to appear on the first of many home pregnancy tests. I think I did about 15 before feeling confident enough to go to the GP and get the process started. I was about 4+4 at that visit so when I did the pee test and it was barely visible, the GP seemed a little doubtful that I was pregnant. And then she got my blood test results. My HCG levels were only 35. I didn't know what that meant then as I had never known my number before. I had never needed to know. But apparently it wasn't a good sign. My GP tried to reassure me by telling me I just wasn't as far along as I thought, but I knew my dates. Still I persisted and tried to remain positive. I had another blood test done 48 hours later. My levels had tripled to 102. There was hope. But after way too much Google 'research' I realised that this was still way too low for 5 weeks pregnant.
I was stressing myself out, obsessing over every little twinge or pregnancy symptom. The first sign of any nausea, fatigue or food aversion I would rejoice. Then panic would set in and I would resign myself to waiting to lose the baby at the first sign of any cramping. Then there was spotting. I didn't spot with the others. I just knew things weren't right. I wanted so desperately to be wrong. But I just knew.
At 6+4 weeks, I went in for an early dating scan. I had had another lot of bloods done a few days earlier. They had risen to 706. Still too low, but they were rising.I went into that scan with the faintest flicker of hope. But as I lay there in that cold, dimly lit room with the strange looking cross-eyed man, on a bed that was stained and being scanned with equipment that had not even been unpacked from its bag yet, all hope was lost. He looked confused. I asked him what was wrong. He told me he couldn't find the baby. All this time my Google research had told me I had a blighted ovum. I had imagined this scene so many times. Me laying there on the bed, seeing an empty sac on the screen. The beginnings of a baby, but one that was just not meant to be. But to be told I was faking it! What the hell!?! 'No, no, no I mean, I think you have an ectopic pregnancy' 'What do you mean you think?' 'Well, I cant find a sac in your uterus but I can see something in one of your tubes'. Oh.....
That afternoon my GP rang me. I had mentioned to the sonographer that I had had a stitch like pain in my right side all morning. I had initially shrugged it off as I had been holding in my pee for the scan, but to be told I had a possible ectopic pregnancy in my right tube, I wondered if it was related. He assured me it wasn't. My GP on the other hand was very concerned and once I told her that my right shoulder was really achy as well, she gave me very strict orders to head straight into the ED. In a bitter sweet turn of events, I was already headed in there. To be by my little sister's side while she was in labour with her very first baby.
Shit suddenly got real at the hospital. I was still in shock up until that point. I was still holding onto an even tinier flicker of hope, but it was still there. I didn't have any pain or discomfort when I was lying in the hospital bed. So maybe they got it wrong?Maybe I'm not as far along as I thought? I pleaded with the doctors to let me go and see my sister. It wasn't that far away and I was feeling fine. They hadn't even done another scan yet so how could they be sure? Why were they talking about surgery and removing my baby and my tubes? Why was there such a wave of panic surrounding me? I felt fine. I was starting to get pissed off. I could sense them becoming increasingly frustrated with my relentless disbelief. Then one of them suddenly turned to me and said straight out: "Lisa, this is very, very real. We can see it clearly on the scan from earlier today. You are in very real danger and if you leave here, and your tube bursts, you could die. You are not going anywhere."
Cue hysterical crying and overwhelming guilt.
Crying for the baby I wasn't sure I wanted and the one who was now not going to be. Guilt for feeling scared of having another child and questioning whether I made the right decision in the first place. Crying for the possibility that if things go wrong in the surgery, I could be left without the opportunity to ever conceive another baby. More crying for the realisation that I wasn't going to be by my sister's side. I hadn't told her I was pregnant yet, I was waiting for the right moment. My poor Mum had been going back and forth between my room and hers, trying to keep it a secret so as to not distract her while she was in labour. In the end, we had to tell her. And we both cried together.
My surgery was scheduled for the very next day, first thing in the morning. They removed my little baby and my right tube. Apparently, it is better to completely remove the affected tube then to leave it and risk a future baby getting 'stuck' in there again. Still, it felt weird to know it, and my baby, were gone.
The doctors and nurses marvelled at the coincidence of two sisters being in the same hospital at the same time, only for one to be having surgery to deliver a baby and one to be having surgery to remove one. I marvelled at the irony that even though my little nephew was born on the 19th, as were both of my children, therefore carrying on the special meaning of that date for our family, our little tube baby was also lost on the 19th. Hows that for irony?
More than 2 months have passed since we lost the baby. Physically, I am recovered and am back to my usual self. Emotionally, I am so much better than I thought I would be. I think it helps that I kind of knew all along that things weren't going to end well. My little nephew is thriving and he is such a delight. I am grateful that my sister got to have a healthy baby. It would not have been right for things to have been the other way around. I have two healthy, happy beautiful children and now she has one of her own.
And as time passes and we come closer to being allowed to try again, we are back to square one. Back to the should we? Shouldn't we? Back to this. Although now there is the added 'con' of if we fall pregnant again and it turns out to be another ectopic pregnancy, than that will be it, all over folks, no more babies ever. I'm not ready to have that taken away from me just yet.
So in the meantime I'm keeping myself crazy busy, the way I seem to like it. I have been actively trying to finish off all of my half-finished projects like painting the house, Lila's rag quilt, boring bookwork and tax stuff. We have booked a family holiday to Fiji in October and Id be lying if I said I wasn't excited to be able to make use of the all-inclusive alcohol package. Cocktails in the pool bar? Yes please! And, I have just returned from my annual girls weekend away in Melbourne and I am in a cultural, food and design hangover. Whilst feeling inspired and creative and hopeful. Hence my return to the blogosphere.
I'm not going to make any ridiculous promises of daily or even weekly posts. That ain't my style. But I do intend on finishing my grateful project and I still have a way to go since I made this public declaration. There has been progress folks, progress! Oh and there have been a few happenings about the old 'little house' itself. So I will see y'all soon.
If you'd like to be included in this week's iBlog Friday weekly roundup of Aussie bloggers, send your entry through to us by midday on Thursday at [email protected]
This week's winner will score our fabulous "Books You Must Read" pack.