Really got to get motivated

I’m having trouble wanting to do anything, other than sitting around staring at my computer and thinking about Gideon. I’m not getting very much else done, no work, and no assignments. I have my last assignment due in with the Open University in a few days and I still haven’t read the book. It’s all sciency and confusing to my addled brain. But I hate the idea of doing the entire year but 1 assignment and then giving up. So, got to try and read sciency, brainy things.

Also can never really be bothered leaving the house much, it seems like such hard work. I know it’s the grieving, while I was pregnant, and when Gideon was alive, he motivated me, he was my entire motivation to do anything. Why clean? Because Gideon will be coming home in a few months. Why eat healthily? Because Gideon needs me to be healthy? It was all for Gideon, now it’s hard to motivate myself at all. I am trying though, especially as I want to have a brother or sister for my Gideon, and I wont be able to do that much during the next pregnancy, until I’m sure my cervix is holding.

I think I’m ovulating tomorrow, my OPK (Ovulation predication kit) looks positive, or almost positive today, which is surprising as I thought it wasn’t going to happen. It was why it took so long to conceive Gideon, I had problems ovulating on my own, and there was no telling when it would come, and I couldn’t afford endless OPK’s, they aren’t cheap. So, hopefully I will ovulate this month and get my cycles back on track and start trying for that brother or sister for Gideon. It’s the only thing I actually feel motivated to do at the moment.

I plan on stopping pumping next wednesday. I’ve been cutting down, but I’m still getting a fair amount of milk, but I think it’s time to stop. Luckily for the human milk bank, there is an entire freezer FULL of milk, enough for a LOT of babies. They sent me a letter saying all my tests were negative, but they didn’t say anything else, like how I get the stuff picked up. I’m nearly out of bottles as well, so it seems a good time to stop, feels weird though, I am so used to pumping, I’ve been doing it for ages! Hopefully my milk will come in easier next time, or even more hopefully, I might actually be able to breastfeed rather than need to pump? Dreams….

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OK, decision made

After much soul searching, research and talking about it with everyone I know, I have decided I want the cerclage. The way I’m seeing it is, if I get a cerclage and I’m right and have an incompetent cervix, then I stand a good chance of carrying to a good gestation, if it isn’t IC then I stand a good chance of carrying to a good gestation anyway. If I don’t get it and don’t have IC I might still carry to term, but if I do have it then in the space between cervical scans I could dialate and pPROM and next time I might not make it so far either. This is truly my best chance of coming home with a baby at the end. And it really isn’t that risky of a procedure, not when it’s done early, it gets riskier as time goes on, and I don’t want to do this in my late second trimester.

Of course now I have to find a doctor willing to do it. I have been given a few names from my pPROM loss support group, and I’m thinking I might be able to persuade my consultant when I actually get pregnant, that the anxiety of not having a cerclage will be too much, that and if I don’t get one I’m staying in bed for the ENTIRE second trimester, and that IS risky. Hopefully she’ll see that it really is the best option, or I’ll need to find someone that will. And if I have too, I WILL find the money to pay to go private, not sure how, but maybe like a million bake sales or something LOL!

Now, I just need to lose as much weight as I can before getting pregnant. That is the one thing my consultant was adamant about, I should lose as much weight as I can before trying to conceive. She wants me to be below 30 BMI, she even said “that wouldn’t take that long would it?” I had to laugh, considering I am just over 40 BMI now. But I have lost 5 stone, (70 lbs) in less than a year, so I am trying really hard. But it would take me another year to lose that much again, to get to under 30 BMI, so I told her I couldn’t promise that. I will try to lose 10 pounds per cycle, as my cycles (used to be) 5 weeks. So I will probably be at least a couple of stone lighter by the time I get pregnant next time, and I lost a stone during my first trimester last time as well. It would be nice if I weighed around 16 stone (224lbs) for my next pregnancy, thats around 30-35 pounds to lose, and a significant difference from last time.

But then again I am not avoiding at the moment, because we never really have avoided pregnancy, we just never got pregnant. As I see it, if we don’t avoid and actually get pregnant, then it must be the right time for that baby. And meanwhile I focus on my health and my weight, and hunting down doctors willing to stitch me up!

Thank you everyone who still comes to this blog and reads my posts and comments, it’s nice to know that even now people are thinking of us, and my Gideon. I am so sorry for those that read this blog who have been through similiar situations and/or losses, I have come accross so many wonderful, inspirational women who have had their struggles and pain and it makes life seems so unfair. I had such great support on the “fertility friends” due date forums during my “ordeal.” When I was first in hospital and couldn’t get online, my other half would update the forums on my progress and read me their replies and later when I was settled into hospital with my laptop (and everything else in my house apart from the kitchen sink) I would spend hours reading supportive messages, and even posts about me, offering prayers and comfort in my time of great distress.

These lovely women offered me support when I needed it and prayers came in from across the globe for Gideon. And even now when I pop onto the forum to see if everyone is OK, I still see the blinkie they made after Gideon died, in remembrance of him, in many peoples signatures, and it makes me smile to think he will not be forgotten.

So thank you.

Choices, choices

So, my consultant does not recommend a cerclage. She says that it could cause more harm than good, and since she can’t be sure my pPROM was caused by IC (incompetent cervix to the lay person) she is concerned that it would simply damage my cervix. We went back and forth over this with her, I told her I felt the bag inside me, and she told me that they would have seen the remnants of the bag inside my vagina  during the first speculum, so evidence of the burst bag. I disagree, I have never heard that before at all. She also said that the fact that I dilated so fast during labour could also be indicative of IC, but not definitive.

I would LOVE to believe that this was a fluke, and my next pregnancy will go smoothly and to term, I truly want to believe this. But I don’t. I have read too much. My cervix let the bag through, I am almost certain of this, otherwise how can I explain the feeling inside me? Why else would my cervix open apart from IC or preterm labour? I forgot to ask about progesterone though, oops.

But she did say I could get a second opinion if I wanted to pursue a cerclage. But I don’t know what to do. I know the risks of the stitch, but then again I know the very high risks of an emergent cerclage (one that is put in when the cervix is already funnelling or dilating).  I can’t decide what to do. I simply cannot make a decision right now, I am paralysed by the fear of losing another baby.

I don’t want unnecessary surgery (which is what a cerclage is) and I know there is a high risk of general anaesthetic because of my weight, and of infection, damage to the cervix etc. And how hard it will be to get a stitch in me since my cervix is pretty hard to get to. But if I decide not to do this, and to wait it out, what happens if it starts to open and I have to chose whether to get an emergent cerclage? I don’t want to make this decision when I’m 17, 18 or 19 weeks pregnant, I just don’t. I could lose another baby if I make the wrong decision, and it will be my fault.

The doctor says she will scan my cervix at 12, 16, 20, 21, 22 weeks, in order to ascertain whether it is weakening, but I also know it could very well be far too late even by 20 weeks, and that the cervix can change fast, between scans I could easily rupture or just give birth. For those that have pPROM second pregnancy, it tends to happen sooner rather than later, so the chances of me getting to a good gestation, if it is my cervix, is very low without a cerclage. But it might well not be my cervix, it could just be a fluke, and a cerclage might be unnecessary.

She says it is probably either infection or cervix, I was swabbed for infection 4 days prior to rupture, and it only showed a yeast infection. That leaves IC. She says she thinks I will make it past 28 weeks this time, but she also said she though Gideon didn’t stand much of a chance at all.  She says I have at least 1 in 10 chance of having pPROM again, but I know it to be as high as 1 in 5. How can I make this decision, why is there no easy answer? I want to just KNOW what is the right thing to do, but I don’t. I feel that I am not making it full term either way next time, but it could just be fear talking. But I have learnt to trust intuition, and I do not want to let a baby die because I am paralysed by the fear of making a choice. And if she wont agree to do a cerclage, and I think she wont, then what? How can I persuade another doctor to do one? Otherwise a private surgery is the only option, and I do not have the money at all to do that.

Someone send me a sign, I need an answer.

Forgotten appointments

Not by me, but by my consultant. I got all geared up to go, we drove through what can only be described as insane storms, gale force winds and driving rain, arrived, got lost in the hospital, found the right waiting area. But when we spoke to the receptionist there she had no idea we were supposed to be there at all, she had no record of me on her computer as having an appointment today. And our doctor wasn’t even around! After 20 minutes we were told (by our doctors secretary) that our doctor was actually in surgery and couldn’t come down for our appointment. She looked a little sheepish. We were told to come back tomorrow. So…they forgot. It made me a little annoyed actually, they know why we are coming to see the doctor, you would think they wouldn’t “forget” us.

But I don’t have the energy to really be angry, although if she doesn’t show tomorrow, I’ll get somewhat annoyed. Maybe.

I decided I want to push for a cerclage next pregnancy. It has taken me a long time to come to that conclusion, a lot of research, reading a lot of stories on pPROM and incompetent cervix, and getting advice from other ladies who have had stories like mine. It is my conclusion that it is highly likely that I have an incompetent or weak cervix, that funnelled, allowing my amniotic sac to slip into the cervix, which caused the cervix open a couple of centimetres. My sac must have been bulging around 17 weeks, when I began to feel something “strange” down there. I am lucky I made it as far as I did. I owe it to laziness, and doing not very much. The sac dropped much lower after far too much dog walking, shopping and obsessive cleaning in the week preceding the rupture, until it couldn’t hold out any more and then POP.

If it is an incompetent cervix, I am going to need a cerclage to make it next pregnancy, and I can either get it when they see my cervix open and my bag is already bulging (an emergent cerclage) which has very low success rates, risks causing pPROM and infection, or have it done around 12-14 weeks as a prevention to dilation, which has a much higher success rate. I want the early one, so I really hope she will agree. I am going with persuasive with a slight hint of desperation. And when all else fails, I’ll show her a picture of my Gideon, no one can resist my Gideon.

My milk is finally slowing down, and it’s making me feel a little sad, it’s the last physical remnant of my pregnancy with Gideon, it’s all I have left that proves I am a mummy. But I know it’s time, at some point I am going to want to try and conceive again and I need to get my cycles back in order. And my freezer is full, it seems a reasonable time to stop.

I realised we only took one video of Gideon, the entire 17 days he was alive. That makes me really sad, we were there about 10-12 hours a day every day, we took hundreds of photos, but no more videos! Why? I watched the video last night and cried, I miss him so much. I miss his tiny little feet that he liked to show everyone, and his cute little nose, and the way he used to smack doctors trying to examine him. I miss finding he’d pulled his feeding tube out (again) or that no matter what anyone did he just wouldn’t keep his mouth closed on CPAP, even with a chin strap. And best of all, when they suctioned his mouth how he loved to stick his tongue on the end of the suction tube, just because he could (and it felt funny).

Such character in such a small guy, he would’ve been a cheeky toddler, a handful as a teenager, and a charming young man. He may never be any of those things, but he truly is the best angel out there. If anyone ever needs a helping hand, just ask my Gideon for help, I’m sure he’ll be there in a flash, showing you his feet.

Been a while

I haven’t updated my blog been a while, There isn’t really much to say in my life at the moment My life feels sort of empty since Gideon died.  At the moment I’m trying to teach my computer speech recognition so that when I’m pregnant next and am on bed rest I can dictate my work rather than TYPE it.  So I am using speech recognition right now Hence the many mistakes. If it is supposed to make my life easier it isn’t really working, but it does make for many an amusing anecdote.

I also pumping while using my speech recognition program. I spoke to the milk bank yesterday, they told me that my blood results were back, but as she was about to tell me the results, she suddenly said “we’ll send you a letter.”  I do hope this means there isn’t a problem.  Anyway I should know soon enough. I am planning on stopping soon, but I have a freezer full of milk. I’m cutting down my pumping to every 4 to 5 hours rather than every three.  Then I will cut down to every 6 hours it and so on until I have no milk left.

On Monday, I have an appointment to see my consultant, the one that looked after me in the hospital just after my Pprom.  I have several pages of questions which I will ask her, and I hope she can give me some answers. I don’t expect her to tell me why it happened, but hope to discuss the risks in the next pregnancy and how I will be monitored to prevent a reoccurrence.  As my research leads me to believe that I have a weak or incompetent cervix, I know my next pregnancy is going to be very stressful, as if I am correct then I will almost certainly have a reoccurrence or go into preterm labour. All I can hope for, is that if I do have an incompetent cervix, I can at least carry another baby to a good gestation and we have better luck in SCBU next time.  I’m finding it very hard to come to terms with the idea that I may have to go through this all again.  However, I have to believe I will one day have a take home baby, because as an angel baby is wonderful, but I want a baby in my arms too.  I intend to spend my entire second trimester onwards on bed rest next time.  It won’t be easy, but I have to try.

I’m still waiting for Gideon’s grave stone to be ready, I hope it will be ready soon.  It is strange that I would be 33 weeks’ pregnant at the moment it doesn’t seem real.  I have moments of extreme sadness and extreme anger at no one in particular, and I try to imagine how different my life would be if I was still pregnant with Gideon now. I can’t even imagine how wonderful it would be to have taken him home with me, I can’t imagine ever been that happy again.

When I read about child abuse cases in the newspapers I’m struck by how unfair it all is.  I don’t know what kind of mother I would have been, but I think and would have been good, I love Gideon so much, and I hope I gave him the best life he could have in the shortest time given to him.

On the run

We started our running training two days ago, second day was today. We are doing the couch to 5k   running plan. Although couch doesn’t include somone hugely overweight and 4 weeks on bedrest, so we are starting with 30 seconds of running and 90 seconds of brisk walking for 20 minutes this week. It’s tiring but satisfying. Every time I’m running out of energy while jogging, I just think of Gideon and it keeps me going.

I have had some bad days, moment where it feels like my heart is being crushed, the pain of missing Gideon overwhelms me. It is so difficult, every one seems to be pregnant, or has a baby, everywhere I go, I can’t escape it. I want my baby boy so badly. The only thing keeping me going right now is my milk donating, I still need to get my blood tests done, last time I went in they couldn’t find a vein (of course) so it’s back again tomorrow. I am really hoping they don’t refuse my milk, I know I don’t have any of the main diseases they are testing for, as they tested during pregnancy too. But I don’t have a history of good health either. And with a freezer full of milk already, no idea what I will do if they refuse it. Hopefully they wont though. I want to carry on for another couple of months at least I think. The knowledge I could help some preemies like Gideon keeps me going.