Saturday, January 30, 2010

Trip to Phillip Island

Yesterday we arrived home from our week long adventure at Phillip Island. I have to admit that I heaved a big sigh of relief when we finally walked through the door. I love holidays but I'm always glad to get home again. There's something about all the packing and unpacking that's not entirely appealing. And coming home to a huge pile of washing - 4 loads since we came home and more to do tomorrow!

Putting aside all that organisational stuff, we had a wonderful time! We had perfect weather the entire time we were there. Beautiful, clear blue skies and not too hot. Perfect beach weather! We ended up spending most of our time there down at the beach. The kids both loved the water this year and spent ages jumping in and out of the waves and building sandcastles. I'm just remembering back to when Jacob was Esme's age and we were down at the beach. He was petrified of the water. Esme, in her usual manner, showed no fear and was running down to the water the instant she set foot on it.

Jacob and I did lots of walking together during our week there while Chris stayed at the apartment to look after Esme while she had her sleep. The first day we were there Jacob and I walked down to the beach at Rhyll. It ended up being a tad bit longer than I expected but Jacob diligently kept walking. He did slow down quite a bit near the end but still refused to be carried! I think we worked out afterwards that we must have walked about 3.5kms. Whew! Can't believe Jacob walked so far!!

All in all, it was a great holiday (apart from Jacob getting a cold the last few days of it!) It's so nice to be able to escape from the distractions of our modern life and just slow down to enjoy our time as a family. Warning: photo heavy!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The journey of our angels

Where to start? The last month or so we've been on an emotional rollercoaster. We're still not sure exactly what's going on but I felt the need to write things down...Here's our story so far:

A couple of weeks before Christmas I was late for my period (or we suspected so, they hadn't been exactly regular in coming) so we did a pregnancy test. The result was instant: positive! We were both very excited although I think I was still in a little shock. We hadn't been actively TTC but hadn't been using any contraceptive since Esme was born so it wasn't totally unexpected ;)

It looked like this baby would be another August baby, like Esme. I thought I knew when I had ovulated so we calculated it from there. The EDD would have been the 15th of August (3 days before Esme's EDD, although she decided not to come until the 27th in the end!) We were so excited about being able to tell our families about this little baby at Christmas time again. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. Four days before Christmas I started to bleed. It wasn't much to start with, but each day it seemed to increase just a little bit. I'd had bleeding with Esme's and Jacob's pregnancy but it never lasted more than a day or two. This bleeding was different. I think I knew then that this baby wouldn't make it. Combined also with a lack of pregnancy symptoms, morning sickness, sore breasts, tiredness, etc, I didn't hold out much hope. So we decided not to tell our parents at Christmas time and we spent Christmas day and Boxing day wondering what was going on.

The day after Boxing Day, I got hold of the midwife who'd attended Esme's birth. We had a chat about all that was happening and we both agreed that it didn't look good for this baby. I got off the phone to Jan and just cried. I knew it was over. I was passing a lot more blood by now and also some small clots. I felt strangely reassured by talking to Jan though and I think I was able to start grieving. The next morning I got up and lost quite a large clot. I knew that was it and the baby was gone. I felt incredibly sad and just wanted to be alone. I'm so grateful that Chris was on holidays and could take care of the kids so I could just be by myself. I've had so many people say to me to just 'cuddle my kids' to help me feel better. I love my kids dearly but that comment really didn't help me. I just kept looking at them and thinking about what I'd lost. About the baby that I'd never see grow up and do what my kids were doing.

Anyway, the week moved on. I think my immune system must have been affected by the miscarriage because I caught a mild tummy bug and then a few days later I caught a bad cold that dragged on for ages and made me feel miserable. The following Monday I was still having vague pregnancy symptoms so I thought, I'll do another test and it came up positive! I know that the pregnancy hormones can take a while to come down so I was trying to convince myself that that must have been it. But I couldn't help having a glimmer of hope, 'What if? What if this baby is still here?' Up to now I had been reluctant to have any sort of tests done, blood tests or ultrasounds (I just wanted this pregnancy to be as natural as possible) but I thought maybe I should get them done 'just in case'. So off I went to the doctor to get the referrals. I didn't bother with the ultrasound because I was feeling more and more that this baby was gone, but had the blood tests and HCG levels checked. This involved two blood tests, 3 days apart to check if the levels were rising and how quickly. I absolutely hate blood tests with a vengence so this quite a horrible experience for me.

The following week I made it to the doctor for my results. He told me my levels were 1000 and had risen to 2,500 in the time between the tests. He indicated that this was a really positive sign and the fact that there'd been such an increase was great. I nearly fell off the chair, I had so expected to hear bad news. He told me to get the ultrasound done straight away. I walked out of the Doctors feeling on top on the world. This baby was still alive, I hadn't lost it after all. I rang Chris straight away to tell him the good news, he was excited too. I spent Wednesday feeling great. I had managed to book an ultrasound for the following afternoon so was looking forward to it and hopefully finding out some answers for all the bleeding.

The next afternoon I met Chris at the ultrasound place and we all went in to the appointment together. The sonographer ran the scanner over my tummy. I couldn't see the screen and he seemed to be doing it for an awful long time without any comment. I started to wonder...We'd thought we'd be about 9 weeks or so by now so surely he'd see the baby straight away. Eventually he says that he will need to do an internal ultrasound because he couldn't see anything. My heart just dropped. After the sonographer left the room I turned to Chris and said 'this isn't good' I wanted to cry. The sonographer came back and continued on with the internal. Again, he was doing it for ages. He couldn't see anything again. I asked him what that meant. He said it could mean that it is very early in the pregnancy, that I have had a miscarriage or that it is an ectopic pregnancy. I didn't know what to think or what was going on. I just knew that there wasn't any hope for the baby I thought was still there. I cried in the room but had to try and compose myself to go out and pay. I said to Chris that I wish I hadn't had all these tests and scans done. I wish I had just left it to nature and TRUSTED my body.

So where does this leave us now?? Well, we know that I have definately had a miscarriage for sure. This pregnancy should have been at least 9 weeks along by now and there is no 9 week baby in my tummy. I've had to go through all the hurt and pain of losing a baby again. I'd done my grieving for this lost baby after I bled and lost those clots but the Doctor gave me hope that this was the same baby. For that I feel so sad. It is unlikely that this is an ectopic pregnancy given that I have already had all that bleeding and haven't experienced any pain that goes with ectopic pregnancies. The only thing that it can mean is that I have gotten pregnant again since the miscarriage and it is very early pregnancy (hence the big rise in my HCG levels and not being able to see anything in the ultrasound). I have spoken to Jan and she agrees that this is probably the case. She told me to keep a diary of how I feel and she'll visit me in a couple of weeks. And she told me not to go back to the Doctor.

Fast forward two days...

I had another blood test to check my HCG levels (as per doctor's instructions) and went back on Monday to see him to get the results. Levels were 4,700 so still rising. I questioned him about the rate of rise (everything I had read seemed to indicate that HCG levels should double every 30 hours). The doctor seemed to think that the rate of increase was fine but for some reason I walked out of his rooms not feeling confident that this pregnancy was going well. Going to see him hadn't reassured me at all, in fact I just felt worse. The doctor didn't want me to have any more blood tests, just insisted that I have an ultrasound in a couple of weeks. I think if the levels had been about 10,000 I would have felt a lot better! I mentioned that I'd had a little bit of blood tinged CM and he didn't seem to think it was a problem (and I also passed it off as implantation bleeding). The following day I had more bleeding, quite a bit more. I rang the doctor but once again he told me a little bit of bleeding was ok. I think I knew that it wasn't ok but tried to convince myself that there's no way I could be having another miscarriage. Surely that just isn't fair?

Well, it looked like nature had other ideas. Yesterday morning the bleeding all started in a rush but I am certain that I have now lost this second baby as I am passing clots again...I would have been 4 weeks along yesterday. My heart is breaking and I don't know how I am going to get through this. How can it be fair that the universe does this to me??

And now the decisions...I don't think I can go through this again next month. The worry, the heartache, the lost dreams...I think we are going to give TTC a rest for a little while (even though we weren't actively trying). I need time now to heal myself physically, emotionally and mentally. I've decided that the next time we think I might be pregnant that I am not going to be getting any tests done. I need to learn to trust in my body again. I think the tests we've done with these two little babies have caused us more pain and heartache than not having tests done. I probably wouldn't have even known I was pregnant a second time if I'd hadn't had these tests done....

Good bye to our two little angels., you won't be forgotten!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Our first trip to Emergency

Well, our first trip to Emergency with Esme, that is! And I have no doubt that we will be back there again in the future with her, daredevil that she is! Yesterday morning she attempted to copy her brother's antics and practice some balancing acts on the couch. Needless to say this resulted in a bad fall, lots of crying, plenty of blood and a HUGE gash in her lip where her teeth had gone through. I was actually in bed when it all happened but woke up pretty quick with all the crying and Chris screaming out 'Narelle, I need some help!' There was so much blood to start with and we were worried that it wasn't going to stop. The cut looked huge and deep! Luckily it slowed down after a while and I bundled Esme into the car and off to Emergency.

By the time we had got there the bleeding had pretty much stopped but I thought I'd just get her checked out just in case. She ended up having a breastfeed in emergency so I was pretty confident that it wasn't too painful. I can tell you now that I have never been so grateful to still be breastfeeding! It's provided Esme with some much needed comfort today, as well as nutrition since she hasn't been able to eat much.

Anyway, we got in to see the Doctor pretty quickly who assured us that it was all ok and wouldn't need any stitches (thank goodness!) He told us it was in a really good position to heal well and that he wouldn't put any tape or anything on it because she would most likely just pull it off. We left with instructions to come back in the morning if the wound was gaping (really nice imagery there!!) or we had any concerns. Luckily, it has all looked fine this afternoon and seems to be well on it's well to healing. Esme, of course, has been fine and has been pretty much her usual happy self (apart from a few more comfort feeds than usual understandably!) She's such a little trouper, she had her immunisations yesterday too so has put up with a lot in the two days!! Like I said before though, I'm sure we'll be back to the ED sometime soon ;)

Just after we arrived home from hospital (still with blood all over her!)

What it looked like by the afternoon (photos don't do it justice!)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A picture speaks a thousand words

It really is true what they say. These are some pictures I captured of the kids the other day. The first is of Jacob after playing with the hose outside (tank water of course ;)) He had a ball sticking his finger over the hose and getting water everywhere (unfortunately lots of it in the laundry!!) The second is of Esme in her doll's basket. I turned my back for two seconds and she'd climbed in there and was happily sitting in there. These kids really do make me laugh sometimes!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Reflections on the year that was 2009

Ok, I admit I'm a bit late writing this post too. But I do like to have a record of what has happened in the year gone by so here goes:

2009 has been the year for watching our two beautiful children grow and change so much. Jacob is starting to be such a little boy (complete with doing gross things and not listening to us!!) We can have proper conversations with him now and he understands jokes very well!! He's come out of his shell this year and is a lot more social and willing to have new adventures. I think a lot of this has to do with starting Steiner playgroup. Being with the same lovely group of kids and parents and having a structured session has been so good for his self esteem. I can't believe that next year Jacob will be starting 3 year old kinder! It'll only be for one morning and one afternoon a week but seems like such a big step. We have chosen the Steiner route for kinder for him too. I think the Steiner focus on social/emotional development as well as their 'play' approach in the early years will suit Jacob perfectly.

What can I say about Esme? This time last year she was only a little baby but now she's turned into a real little girl, with attitude!! She is the complete opposite to Jacob in every way. She's always into mischief, always on the go and so noisy!! If there's trouble to be had she's right in the middle of it all. But we love her anyway ;) She was on the go early, crawling by 6 months and walking by 11 months and she hasn't stopped since! She's starting to say heaps of words recently, just about everything she tries to repeat these days! Most of the time she drives Jacob crazy but you can see the mutual admiration between them. Esme is usually up before Jacob in the morning and she waits (rather impatiently) for him to get up. She calls out 'J' while waiting for him. As soon as he comes downstairs he gets smothered with kisses and cuddles from her - so cute!

I have continued with my ABA training this year and am hoping to have it all completed this January. It will be such a relief to have it all finished and to actually be able to do some counselling! I've had a few days work in the second half of this year. It's been great to go back and see all my students and to be something else rather than a 'mum' for a day. I've also been enjoying doing some sewing lately (with my new machine that Chris bought me for Christmas!!) and making some clothes for the kids. Chris has continued with the same job at Swinburne and hoping to apply for a new position coming up that will give him more authority lol and a little more money hopefully.

Unfortunately we had a bit of a sad end to this year. A few days after Christmas I had a miscarriage. I'm still feeling very sad but I'm at peace that it wasn't this baby's time.

Anyway, we are looking forward to the new year with all the promises that it brings! And can't wait to see our children continue to grow and change :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas 2009

Another Christmas over...I'm a tad slow in posting about it this year! As per usual the kids were spoilt rotten and got a heap of presents! We had a lovely day, Christmas lunch at Chris' parents and then dinner at my Aunt and Uncle's at the farm. Jacob loves going to 'the farm' these days, it was hard to drag him away from there at the end of the night. I think the highlight of the night was jumping on the trampoline there. He spent hours on it I think! He did sleep pretty well Christmas night after all the exercise though ;)

Here's a selection of some of our favourite Christmas photos (as you can probably tell, Christmas is all about family for us!)

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