Category Archives: Nursery

The buzzing of Bees

 

Having a urinary catheter in overnight means I can’t get up to visit Bumble and that’s absolutely heartbreaking. I feel like the worst mum in the world, having one baby absorbing all my attention and one totally neglected in a room down the hall in another ward, but there’s nothing I can do. Even once they take the catheter out I find I’m still hesitant to go and visit Bumble, I feel so unbelievably guilty that he’s in the situation he’s currently in, that I didn’t cook him long enough – or as my step-mum says I “had him on grill, not bake”

I eventually head down to see him an hour or so after I can move freely again. This is actually a few hours after the catheter comes out as it takes a little while to get up and running again – out of bed to the chair and back, a slow trip to the bathroom – but I’m determined to get moving as soon as possible and to not take too many painkillers so that I can recover as fast as I can. I indeed surprise the pain team by using the morphine pump just 2-3 times (and even then only because people told me I should), and requiring the minimum of slow-release morphine capsules, anti-inflammatory & paracetamol.

I’m so nervous as we push open the door to the room 11 (one of the Level 2 NICU rooms), what have I done to my baby?!? Bumble is the first incubator on the left as you enter the room and I see his tiny body stripped to the nappy and curled up on his tummy in the warm plastic cocoon. My heart melts but yet I feel so sad that I couldn’t give him a better start in life. My poor little Bumble.

He’s actually doing really well, despite the fact that he’s hooked up to a million different monitors and has a feeding tube coming out of his tiny nose. He was only on CPAP for five hours before he was determinedly breathing all by himself. Now he’s just being monitored to make sure he keeps it up (he had one spell of apnea in the first night), can regulate his body temperature a bit better, and until he puts on a little weight. I stroke his little head through the incubator window before the nurse comes to open the side and help me lift him out for a cuddle. Oh my gosh my darling little Bumble. We snuggle in the armchair for a while then attempt a breastfeed. My clever little man latches pretty much perfectly straight away and even re-latches himself when he comes loose. I’m so proud of him.

The next few days pass in a blur. Racing between NICU and my ward, feeding the boys, making sure I keep Bee’s temperature stable, expressing via breast pump to encourage my milk to come in, trying to coordinate times in my room with having my obs done, visitors, and the million program coordinators (hearing, dental, eyesight) that the hospital sends our way. It’s exhausting, especially as my husband is working this week (we’d stupidly thought him working would be ok as I’d be in hospital for a while) and I’m largely doing this by myself. I really struggle after a few days and beg him to take a day or two off work.

On day 3 Bumble is doing well enough to be transferred from level 2 down to the Parent Infant Nursery (AKA PIN, level 1 NICU – the lowest risk level). He’s now in a more comfortable open plan room with the potential to share with up to 12 families (in two conjoined rooms) rather than the four in level 2. He’s in a heated cot rather than an incubator, and my husband and I now have more control over his day-to-day care – ideally we do as much as possible but have help on hand as required. All the nurses are lovely and we can also bring Bee down from the ward to visit. It’s great, and I love that he’s thriving so much.

The following day it’s decided that Bumble is doing well enough to be allowed down to my ward room for feeding in an attempt to get the two boys back together as soon as possible. So on the evening of the 29th of September J, the PIN nurse, wheels Bumble’s cot through around 7pm. It’s so exciting having the boys together in our own room and we try to snap as many photos as we can before their feed (Bee isn’t so keen on this idea – not only does he hate having his photo taken but he’s also super hungry). I try my first tandem feed, which seems to go ok, and we have a few more cuddles before taking Bumble back to the NICU Nursery.

It’s barely half an hour later when the NICU nurse is back in our ward room. “Now I don’t want you to worry,” she says “but [Bumble’s] temperature and heart rate both plummeted when we got him back to the nursery so we’ve had to put him back in an incubator to try and stabilize him. We’ll keep monitoring him and see how things go.” And then she’s off again. Already emotional after having to say goodbye to my little Bumble (and not helped by the fact that today’s the day my milk’s come in meaning a surge in hormones) I totally lose the plot and cry hysterically for about three hours. What an atrocious mother I am; I couldn’t get pregnant, I couldn’t stay pregnant, and now my poor little man is suffering because I haven’t managed to cook him right. Thankfully my husband, who was due to go home, stays until 2am to comfort me. I’m a mess.

I’m pretty puffy eyed the next day but manage to pull myself together enough to tend to Bee and get down to NICU to check on Bumble. It’s horrendous to see him back in an incubator, monitors bleeping, him struggling to do just the basic things his body requires of him. I find myself subconsciously trying not to get too attached to Bumble (waaaay too late for that!) just in case we lose him. I know it’s silly as it’s pretty unlikely that will happen and that he’s way closer to coming out than staying in, but when you’ve sat and watched your baby (mildly jaundiced and half the size he should be) in an incubator stop breathing for 10 seconds followed by two strongly gasping breaths it’s hard not to prepare for the worst even though you expect the best. 10 seconds is ages, stop reading this right now and count that out, hold your breath if you have to, that’s a long time for a 5 day old.

Thankfully his struggles don’t last long and within a day he’s back in his heated cot and managing to maintain both his heart rate/breathing and, to a lesser extent, his temperature. We have to take his temperature at every feed/nappy change and add or remove layers of clothing or bedding accordingly. It’s a common theme for premature babies who just aren’t able to regulate their body temperature the way their older counterparts can.

Everything about Bumble is monitored so closely; body function, feeding, temperature, growth, yet Bee is almost forgotten about by the hospital staff. Officially he’s a patient of Ward 96 but they hardly ask about him at all. It IS hard as he spends so much time with me visiting his brother in PIN, and I guess the ward just aren’t used to babies spending more than a day or two with them before discharge, but the difference in care offered between NICU and the ward is astronomical, even with simple things like the vitamin supplements offered. NICU supplement premature babies with Vitadol (a multivitamin solution administered once a day), and there’s evidence to support the idea that it’s beneficial for all babies to receive this but especially premature ones. The ward do no such thing and don’t even seem to know about it – something the NICU staff comment on “the wards are a bit behind the times with things like that”.

I find it a little distressing especially considering the only difference between the two boys was 260g at birth. NICU won’t take Bee as he’s too big and doing ok, the ward won’t take Bumble because he’s not over 2kgs. I sometimes think “if only I’d managed to grow him an extra 20g the boys would be together” but then we’d have missed out on the amazing care, advice and help we’ve received through NICU so I guess it’s better this way. Every cloud has its silver lining as they say.

There are some things that Bee DOES get examined for but on the whole his hospital care is pretty minimal. Both boys get their near-mandatory hearing test. This involves a giant headphone being placed over one ear with sensors positioned on the baby’s head, which measure the response of ‘the hearing nerve’ to sounds played through the headphone. Bee is due for a feed the first time the screeners come so is fidgety and unsettled. Of course this means they get a ‘failed’ response as the baby needs to be almost perfectly still with no noise or electronic devices in the room. I have to switch off my phone and the heated cot mattress that Bee sleeps on, and hope like crazy that my newborn child remains motionless enough for the test. They’re dreaming right?!?

To make matters worse the hearing screening people turn up at whatever time they feel like, seem to get annoyed if it’s not a convenient time, and can never do any of the other times you propose despite the fact you know your child will be more settled then. It feels like a total waste of everyone’s time. Another example of the backwards system the ward, or even the hospital, operates on.

So after failing his right ear in the first test due to movement, or possible fluid in his middle ear (again something common in newborns, especially those born via c-section), then passing his right ear but failing his left due to dreaming in his sleep (again, WTH! How are you supposed to stop a kid dreaming!) he’s referred to an audiology specialist for further testing once we leave the hospital. They’re apparently not allowed to test them more than twice in hospital regardless of the fact that there were obvious causes of the failed result and the fact that it was different ears that he failed on in the two separate tests. I’m so pissed off, but lucky for her our second screener was really nice so I don’t take my anger out on her. Thankfully Bumble passes his test in both ears the first time round. Being that little bit smaller and working that little bit harder to survive (as well as the fact he’s spent a few days in NICU by that point) means he’s quite a bit more settled and remains still for longer periods of time. I’m sure that will change as he gets older!

Then there are the other bits and pieces that Bee manages to get included in purely because Bumble gets offered them as part of his NICU care. Regular weighing, extra blankets, various studies and other monitoring. We like to try and help out as much as possible so sign up for an eye test study (this never eventuates due to timing issues) and a body mass/nutrition study aptly titled ‘PeaPod” (Pea is one of my nicknames).

By day 6 there’s huge pressure for me to be discharged from the ward. Despite the fact that they’d hardly have a clue what was going on with Bee, both him and I are deemed well enough to leave hospital. While I can’t wait to get out of there, in my mind there’s a big issue with leaving Bumble, especially when he seems to be doing so well. Theoretically after a c-section I’m not supposed to drive for a few weeks, which makes the idea of me going home even more ludicrous. It would be different if both my babies were under NICU care but to have one at home and one stuck in hospital just seems so cruel. Anyway, I needn’t have worried. The NICU staff once again save the day, with C, our family liaison, assuring us that we won’t need to go home and that she’ll ensure one of the NICU family rooms is available for us.

And that’s exactly what happens. On the Friday, at exactly a week old, the boys, move with my husband and I into one of the parent rooms (essentially a studio apartment within the NICU ward) just down the hall from the NICU room that Bumble has been staying in. The idea is for us to spend a few nights in there, to adjust to being new parents with premature babies, doing everything on our own but with help at hand nearby should we need it.

The weekend passes in a blur of feeding, visitors, and takeaway food. It’s harrowing having the boys (somewhat unused to each other after a week apart) in a small area with nowhere to go. The boys are pretty good about things but the endless temperature checking, feeding (first one then the other), medicating (extra vitamins), monitoring and recording is exhausting. There’s so much more to do and worry about when your babies are premature, but (thankfully) ours are at the lesser end of that spectrum, other people have it so much harder.

We ask for Bumble to remain on his apnea monitor for at least the first night in the parent room as we’re a bit paranoid about his breathing. This turns out to be more of a nightmare than something that eases our mind as, for a while, it keeps going off. The first time this happens is incredibly traumatic. I still have it stuck in my head that he’s going to be taken from us and I quickly lose the battle to hold it together. After we’ve checked on him to make sure he’s breathing my husband goes to get help and I sit feeding Bee (woken by the noise of the alarm) with tears streaming down my face. The nurse, H2, is amazing. She’s there in a flash, making sure Bumble is ok then dashing off to make us hot drinks despite our insistence not to. The monitor continues to go off throughout the night until it’s discovered that the monitoring pad is not quite positioned properly under the mattress. It’s horrible but at least we work out the problem and can rectify the situation for the following night.

The worst night comes on Sunday. We’ve solved the problem with the monitor and Bumble’s breathing is ok, but something sets them off after the 8pm feed and the twins scream hysterically for the rest of the night. Bee had an unsettled night when we were back on the ward, crying constantly for a few hours but it was nothing like this. We try everything, different burping techniques, cuddling, rocking, more food, gripe water, formula, my husband’s father even comes in to try and help bringing new swaddles. We formula feed through the night in case it’s something in my breast milk setting them off…it’s later suggested that it’s perhaps the orange juice I had throughout the day that wrecking havoc on their inexperienced tummies, but who knows. Whatever it is it’s a long 10 hours until daylight.

And daylight brings it’s own new challenges. We’re completely over the parent room by this stage. I’m wanting some real food, some space, and, after 10 days in hospital with next to no natural light, some fresh air. We’d been told by the pediatrician on Friday that we should be fine to be discharged Monday and can finally head home, he’d even completed all the paperwork (again a little stupid as Bumble’s weight was incorrect by the time we’re due to leave), but our unsettled night and subsequent multiple formula feeds makes the young doctor question the call to discharge us and they threaten to keep us in another night.

I’m visibly upset by her comments knowing full well we were only trying to do the best for our kids and plan to continue breastfeeding now that it’s a new day – she didn’t even ask why we had formula-fed (and of course formula is seen as the evil no-no, puh-lease!) Lucky for us the lovely nurses and family liaison take our side and manage to convince the doctors that we know what we’re doing enough to be able to take the boys home. We give Bumble a bath, pack up our bags, and with the nurses help, get the boys into their capsules/carseats. Then at 3pm we’re set free, out into the big wide world to have a go at being parents. Wish us luck!

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The final countdown

And the roller coaster never ends. Monday we get given our C-section date and my blood pressure is high. Wednesday I have a Doppler scan to check the umbilical cord blood flow. Thursday we get the not so good news. And Friday I’m back in hospital. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning.

As mentioned in my last post, on Monday the 7th, we had an appointment with our obstetrician and he surprises us with our C-section date mere minutes before taking my blood pressure. It’s high which then puts us on pre-eclampsia symptom watch. Obviously this is not so fun, especially when my first cankles experience shows up later that night adding to the worry and nervousness around symptoms. Personally I think it’s just the timing of having my blood pressure taken and spending too much time on my feet that has caused the symptoms but after going through so much to get where we are I can’t help but worry.

Roll on Wednesday and the cankles have pretty much gone (I’ve been trying my best to rest and keep my feet up). I head in for my Doppler scan praying I have a different sonographer to last time. Alas, it seems that no one is listening to my prayers today as the same lady comes out and calls my name. Doh! She seems slightly more competent this time but still flusters at the beginning and just can’t seem to get her head around the simple fact that our twins have swapped places, so the one who is now our leading twin (the one nearest the birth canal) is actually titled “twin 2” while “twin 1” who USED to be leading has now taken a backseat. Again it takes a while to get what we need but at least we don’t have to do growth measurements this time. The Doppler readings look ok to me, and the amniotic fluid, although borderline for our leading twin, is acceptable so off I trundle home again.

Thursday. On getting back to my car after lunch with a friend there’s a voice message from our obstetrician on my phone. “Not too urgent but can you give me a call back.” Oh-o this can’t be good. I return his call and am transferred straight through to him. That never happens so now my heart is racing. Turns out it’s not so bad (I must have just caught him between patients) but it’s not good either. Apparently the Doppler scans show the blood flow to at least one baby is becoming compromised. While not urgent at the moment, this will require much closer monitoring so I’m booked in for twice-weekly visits to the Day Assessment Unit at the hospital. Not so convenient unfortunately as it’s 20 minutes drive away (rather than the 5 minutes to our usual scan place) AND I’ll have to pay for parking (exorbitant prices versus free). None of this matters though, as long as our boys are safe.

At each visit they’ll do a CTG to check out the boys heartbeats, a Doppler ultrasound to check blood flow, my Obs to keep an eye on blood pressure, and every fortnight (although realistically this probably means only one more) a growth scan ultrasound to measure the boys growth. Theoretically this should all fit into roughly an hour, yikes! Our obstetrician has booked me in at the Day Assessment Unit the following Tuesday (for CTG and fluid/blood flow check) and the next Friday (for CTG and a growth scan) – it’s all go and I cancel my pre-booked growth scan at our private radiology clinic (yay, no more useless sonographer!).

Friday. I’m not sure if it was the events of the previous day but one of our twins has decided not to really move for a good 24 hours. I’m sure everything is ok but it’s hard not to worry, especially with the ups and downs we’ve had lately, so eventually we call our obstetrician and head back to the Women’s Assessment Unit for some monitoring. I arrive pretty promptly and am hooked up to the CTG. Bee has still been quiet so I’m still stressing but of course within 10 minutes of the sensors going on he’s wriggling around like a fish. Typical. I feel bad for wasting everyone’s time but it’s better to be safe then sorry. My blood pressure etc. also look good so I’m out of there again just over an hour later. Talk about dramas!

The weekend is pretty uneventful and we truck through a few more of the things on the list in order to get the house ready. On Tuesday I head into the Day Assessment Unit for my first monitoring session. The fluid around each baby looks ok, still a little marginal for Bee but better than the scan we last had at our private clinic. The CTG is eventually fine too although it takes a while to find the two boys as the midwife (who I later find out is just helping out due to a busy day) is a bit hopeless…she actually blames her incompetence on me a little saying “it helps when the mother knows where the babies are” – um, you try having twins, especially ones who have already swapped places, and then let me know if you can tell me which way they’re lying! Anyway, the good midwife who usually runs the clinic manages to get the monitor to pick them up and after about 45 minutes (someone wouldn’t stop wriggling!) we have a reading. Although the scan report hasn’t come through yet I’m allowed to go knowing that our obstetrician will call later in the day with the results.

He does eventually call, the scan report took AGES to come through, and the rollercoaster hits a dip again. The fluid is marginal as we knew but it’s also looking like the blood flow to the babies might be becoming further compromised. I’m advised to skip breakfast on Friday and take my hospital bag in with me when I attend Friday’s monitoring session, just in case they need to do an emergency caesarian on Friday afternoon. Oh my god I’m not ready! I mean my hospital bag is pretty much ready to go but mentally I’m not prepared for the boys to arrive that early. At 35 weeks on that day I know they’ll be in reasonable shape but I have my heart set on getting them just a little bit further.

Turns out I needn’t have worried as Friday’s scan and CTG results are great. The boys are still measuring a little small for their gestational age, with one at approximately 1800g and the other around the 2kg mark (3lb 15oz and 4lb 6oz) instead of the recommended 2250g (4lb 15oz) but they’re not too far off. I ask our OB about the weight difference between the two but he’s not concerned. They only worry about a difference of 20% or more and that’s ours is only 10% so we’re ok. The fluid looks good – the boys have moved a bit allowing better fluid measurement (Bumble, although not the leading twin anymore, is head down, and Bee is breach, bum first) – and the blood flow looks fine too. The CTG takes only 15 minutes, it seems everyone is behaving today, and my obs are fine too. All in all a great result and a good day! Up goes the rollercoaster again.

And then it plummets once more when on Saturday evening I notice some tinting when I go to the bathroom and by Sunday morning I’m spotting again. Will this drama never end?!? It’s old looking and there’s not too much of it but my hubby suggests we call our obstetrician just in case, so we do. He’s not too concerned and thinks it’s probably just left-over from my last bleed 5 weeks ago. He’s happy for me to stay at home and keep an eye on it, especially given our latest monitoring results were good. I’m happy with that, I’ve spent enough time in that hospital lately and it won’t be too much longer before I’m back in there for the big event with just over two weeks to go until our scheduled c-section.

It turns out that time is actually much shorter than we anticipated.   We have friends around for a Sunday afternoon tea and my husband’s phone goes with “No caller ID” displayed on the screen. He silences the call and goes to put the phone back in his pocket. “It might be N” (our obstetrician) I say so he ends up taking the call. I hear our obstetrician on the other end of the line confirming that it’s indeed him but then I hear no more. It’s torture to only hear half the conversation and I feel my skin prickle and my hands and feet sweat with nervousness. Our poor friends having to sit through me anxiously waiting to see what he has to say, I feel a bit rude but I can’t think straight until I know what’s up.

My hubby gets off the line and says “Friday.” My heart races. WTH?!? Apparently our OB has been reviewing our notes and with the spotting occurring this weekend he thinks it’s a good idea to pull our c-section forward to the next available elective slot this coming Friday. While I think that’s true I also think it has something to do with him being out of town on holiday the following week, secretly wanting to be the one to deliver our children (seeing as we’re his freakishly young USA donor egg patients – he’s never had anyone like us before) and not wanting to chance me needing a c-section from one of his off-siders while he’s away. He’s going to be on holiday the following week too but being back in the city was going to pop in to do our caesar on the 5th….see what I mean by I think he wants to deliver our babies!

Oh my gosh, I’m seriously sweating now and have gone into shock. Our friends think it’s funny and I guess it is. All that comes our of my mouth for the next wee while is “Oh my god” and various swear words, before I finally pull it together enough to return to a normal conversation. Our mates depart and I return to my panic. There’s still so much I want to get done before the boys arrive…not much that HAS to be done but definitely things I wanted to have crossed off my list purely for my piece of mind and satisfaction.

I start to work through the plan for the rest of the week and we let our parents and siblings know what’s going on. We decide not to tell our friends for the moment (other than the ones who were there when the news broke obviously, as there was no avoiding that), partially because it’s not guaranteed that the operation will go ahead on Friday – it depends on whether my scans continue to look good, on whether all the necessary staff line up, and whether there are spare beds for the boys in the hospital nursery (all things that will be confirmed later in the week), and partially because we want it to be a surprise for them. There hasn’t been much we’ve been able to surprise them with over this journey so it will be nice to be able to make the phone call/texts/emails that other ‘normal’ new parents get to make after the boys arrival.

Keeping it secret proves harder than I thought. Honesty is a value I hold dearly so feeling like I’m lying to my friends really grates me. I make a point of not outright lying to anyone as I just couldn’t handle that, but more skirt the tricky questions and answer in more general terms. “Next monitoring session on Friday?” gets a reply of “The Day Assessment Units monitoring days are Tuesday and Friday”, “Any chance they’d let you go longer if things are still really good a week from now?” gets “No, not a chance, our OB doesn’t want to risk anything.”, “Want to catch up next week?” = “Sure!” (I just won’t tell you it will be a catch up in hospital! I still feel bad doing this but for some reason I just need this to be a surprise.

I guess it’s a little to do with wanting to feel ‘normal’ and a little to do with buying ourselves some extra time to bond with the boys. I know how excited everyone is, how desperately many of them want to meet the twins, and understanding this (as well as being excited for them to meet the boys too) I know I would be hopeless at trying to delay people coming in. It’s a momentous occasion that hubby and I need to fully experience and accept without anyone else around. We’ve waited years for this.

The monitoring session on Tuesday goes well again; even more fluid around the boys (they’re obviously moving around), good blood flow, and a great CTG; and I think our obstetrician is slightly second guessing his decision to pull the c-section forward. In the end he decides it’s still the right call, we’re trading off a little extra prematurity (not too much at 36 weeks) for the boys arriving safely, and I tend to agree. The spotting isn’t really letting up, although it isn’t getting worse either, and I don’t want to risk anything going wrong at this late stage.

Following the monitoring session I’m booked into a pre-op admission session at the hospital across town so make the mad dash there for that. I meet with a nurse who measures my blood pressure (a little high from my dash across town), weight and height, and takes me through what I need to do the evening before and morning of my operation. Take a Ranitidine tablet (to reduce stomach acid) Thursday evening, nothing to eat after midnight, another Ranitidine on Friday morning, water only until I arrive at hospital, and be at the hospital day surgery unit (ORDA) at 8:30am. I can handle that.

Next I see the anesthetist. She’s not the one who will be there for my c-section but she performs all the checks and writes copious notes for the one who will be there on the day. She’s really lovely and walks me step-by-step through the operation including the people who will be there, how and when they’ll administer the anesthetic, what to expect in the operating theatre, and what will happen afterwards. She demonstrates how they find the correct place for the epidural/spinal and makes me feel better by commenting on how good my back is for finding the right spot.   She details post-op pain relief, possible side effects, and likely length of hospital stay, and I leave feeling pretty comfortable about everything.

Blood tests on Thursday to check that I’m ready to go and to identify the details they’ll need should I require a blood transfusion in theatre, and all that’s left is to await the confirmation call from my obstetrician to let us know that it’s full steam ahead. My husband and I head out for a nice yum cha lunch (probably our last for a while) and to check out a part of our local museum that they’re closing down and was always my favourite when I was a child (on a sidenote for Aucklanders – can you believe they’re actually closing the Colonial Auckland exhibit?!? Especially after all these years!)

The call from our OB comes around 2:45pm and we’re still all up in the air. There’s one spare bed in the nursery but not two. This could of course change overnight, for better or for worse, so he’s going to call again tomorrow and give me an update then. So the ideal plan is no food after midnight and it all goes ahead as we hope but, failing that, he’ll admit me to hospital for daily monitoring and we’ll take the first slot we can once beds are free. Plan B is far from ideal but I guess it’s a matter of whatever’s best for the boys (lucky we didn’t tell everyone it was tomorrow!). I’m disappointed. I like the 25th of September as a date, and I’d really like our OB to deliver the boys before he goes on holiday, but whatever will be will be and I just have to roll with it. The rollercoaster’s not quite done with us yet.


Time for an update

Wow! Time is flying so fast! I can’t believe it’s a month since my last blog post. Things have been super busy both at work and at home and, with me feeling like bed around 8pm every night, there hasn’t been much time for writing. It’s definitely time for an update!

I’m back to eating most foods…well, not quite most – I still struggle a lot with any form of dairy, and raw food isn’t so good either, but as long as I’m avoiding the lactose and eating warm foods I’m doing really well on the eating front and am putting on weight (finally). I have to say I actually look forward to dinner-time now!

We’ve made it to (and past) the 24 week viability milestone – YAY! So at least I can relax a little knowing if the boys decide to arrive now, they have a pretty good chance at surviving and living a ‘normal’ life. Another bit of the massive weight on my shoulders falls away. People laugh when I say “I just need to get to/past x and I’ll relax” – “you’ll never relax” they say – but I find as we pass each little milestone I chill out just that little bit more, knowing that we’re one step closer to our long-held dream being realised.

We’ve also started setting up our nursery which, being an infertile in denial that this is actually happening to us, is a massive deal! We finally, after much drama, have two cots that we like; we purchased one second hand then tried to buy another from the same site to match, only it was sold under the wrong model name so didn’t match at all….something we would normally complain about, only the second cot was the style I’d really wanted right from the beginning of our TTC journey so we decided to sell the first cot and buy another to match the second cot. We tried to find one on the same buy-and-sell website but couldn’t, so made the decision to just buy it new as I’d found a good deal at one of our local shops.

Very excitedly we purchased our new cot and took it home, only to find that the company had decided to change the design of the model, so despite the fact that it still had the same model name, it now looked different and our cots STILL didn’t match! Tired and emotional (hey! I’m pregnant I’m allowed!) I threw in the towel and told my husband to just go and buy another new one and we’d sell BOTH the second hand cots. We’ve managed to get rid of one and are still in the process of selling the other. What a stressful, expensive, and time-consuming exercise that turned out to be. I wish I’d just bought them new to start with!

Our nursery also now contains a change-table (bought with a voucher my husband was given upon leaving his job of 11 years to start another and which luckily matches our cots, woohoo!), a bouncer (gifted from a friend who no longer needs it), a cool little canvas toy bag (bought from a local baby market), books, our stroller, one of our car capsules (one is still on order from the supplier), and various other bits and pieces lovingly donated by friends. We also plan to pop an armchair in there for the night-time feeds and/or story-time as they grow. Everything is slowly coming together….now to get onto the truckload of washing I have to do for them and load up the wardrobe!

As I mentioned at the start of this post, work has been really busy, so much so that I haven’t really had any time to work on/complete my handover notes. At least I’ve started them though so that’s something, and they’ve appointed someone to take over from me for 13 months which is great! I need to get cracking on the notes as my handover officially starts in two and a half weeks, with me finishing up work in four and a half, EEK!

The hectic nature of work at the moment, while great from a mental perspective, is becoming quite challenging physically. I find I’m getting really tired by early- to mid-afternoon, and am absolutely exhausted by the time I get home at night. This isn’t helping much on getting stuff done around the house as I basically arrive home, collapse on the couch for an hour while my hubby makes dinner (yep, I’m one of those lucky girls who doesn’t have to cook), eat, then hop into bed somewhere around 8pm. It’s crazy. The guys at work have been really understanding though and are letting me work more flexible hours. This means I can come in a bit later in the morning or leave a little earlier in the day without too much bother. I still need to get my work done though so I can’t do that all the time!

The last thing worth mentioning from the last 4 weeks or so is that I’ve really started loving my body. Not that I didn’t before, it’s just that being someone who’s conscious of their weight, I was always a little worried as to how I’d react as my tummy grew bigger. After our long journey to get pregnant I knew I be happy regardless, but what’s surprised me in a positive way is just how insanely happy I am to watch my tummy grow and how excited I am that this weight gain and expanding middle is our lovely wee boys growing away inside me. Not to mention feeling their little kicks and movements getting stronger all the time! It’s way more exhilarating than I could ever have imagined and I LOVE IT!!!

So that’s pretty much it, weeks 22 to 26 (well, 26 in two days time). Things are slowly beginning to feel more real, we’re slowly starting to get more organised, and I’m loving life! After 4 years of heartbreak and failure, this is one of the best feelings ever.


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