Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Once, twice, three times a (pregnant) lady...

I have just done yet another pregnancy test (my fourth) and yep, still pregnant. I went out at lunchtime to buy the tests and I went to the Central Library, my most favourite building in Bristol, and did the test there.

I also looked in lots of books to reassure myself that the relative lack of symptoms I'm experiencing is nothing to worry about. I discovered that this time next week, I will be out of the realms of possible ectopic pregnancy, and my risk of miscarriage will be 15%. That's 85% likely that my pregnancy will be a goer - hooray! Pretty good odds.

Throughout my fibroid investigations, the most useful thing I've done is to have contacted other women in the same situation through Yahoo groups. I've had the sweetest emails and the most sympathetic and helpful responses.

Today I got this email from a lovely American woman called Erin:

It IS VERY SCARY... but, but, but, try not to stress out too much or worry.
You can totally do this. I have to say that my fibroids (6 of them) are all
really big (the smallest is 7cm, the largest 14cm), and I gave birth 19 days
ago to a very healthy, perfect baby girl!

My pregnancy itself was characterized by fear. Fear in the beginning of a
miscarriage, fear midway of giving birth way too prematurely, then fear
towards the end of complications of giving birth. Although I did enjoy the
pregnancy, I realize now, I should not have spent so much time worrying.

Please do keep in touch, as I know it feels VERY LONELY and scary to be
going through this.

I have a positive feeling for you though.

Best of luck!

Isn't that just such a sweet email? It really helped me when I was feeling so down. Plus it made me realise that other people have bigger problems (and bigger fibroids) than I do, and they are still fine.

Here's another from a woman called Samantha:

I made it through pregnancy with large fibroids, both interior and exterior to the uterus. The real issues are conception (well, implantation) and your comfort. YOu made it past the big hurdle already. :)

Good luck, and if you ever need a sympathetic ear - I'm here. Congratulations!!!

In amongst the worrying, I'd sort of forgotten that I should be congratulated and excited, for god's sake! Which is sort of what Larisa is saying with this brilliant piece of advice:

Being pregnant is really wonderful time, so enjoy everything as much as you
can! Do not stress over things that you do not have control over... that
would be my biggest piece of advice.

That has really helped me to realise there is no point in worrying because what will be will be. I have to just try to take it as it comes, and have faith that the odds are overwhelmingly for a healthy, normal pregnancy.

I'm booking a dating scan for the week after my birthday, which will mean I'll be 8 weeks pregnant. Can't wait to see my little muffin on telly!

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

5 weeks and 3 days

Still very excited although it's killing me not being able to tell anyone. I nearly told my dad at the weekend, had Ben's sister and her husband both ask me whether I was pregnant (because I wasn't drinking) and so had to lie, and so many times I've nearly said something about pregnancy at work.

I've bought books and yoga videos already, and have had my free mum-to-be bag from Lloyd's Pharmacy, and feel a bit like I've joined an exclusive club. Most of my waking hours have been spent on the internet reading everything I can and looking at maternity clothes - very excited that this means a whole new wardrobe.

The excitement is mixed up with a real fear that washes over me like a cold wave that the fibroid is going to cause problems, or even that I have had a missed miscarriage and wouldn't even know about it. It's pretty horrible.

We went to the doctor on Friday to register my pregnancy, and she asked me to call her when I'm 12 weeks gone in order that she can schedule me in with a consultant obstetrician - reading between the lines I think I'm a high risk pregnancy because of the fibroid.

So I'm swinging from being thrilled and over-excited to not counting my chickens and trying to pragmatic and cool about it all. But really, it's like saying I haven't revised before an exam because when I'm out of the danger zone I'll be telling everyone I come into contact with. And the likelihood is that I'll be fine. I'm sure all women in the early stages feel this way - it is a bit of a comfort to know that whatever you go through in life someone will have been through the same.

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

I am pregnant!

I found out yesterday that I am 4 weeks pregnant! I had my suspicions, which were confirmed with a pregnancy test done at work in the loo. I only had my reflection to celebrate with until the evening, when I could tell BV. I decided to wrap the positive test up and give it to him as a present. The excitement really got the better of me and I had told him that I had a pressie for him, and at the end of the day I couldn't wait for him so I went to stand on Pero's Bridge to see him coming. He stopped to talk to the Big Issue seller which was sweet and made me so glad that I am having a child with such an incredible person - sweet and kind and generous and all of those things.

He approached me and we stood together at the centre of the bridge while he ripped off the wrapping paper. I think it took him a little while to sink in - it was dark and he didn't realise what it was for ages. When the penny dropped he let out a whoop and hugged and kissed me. Then he started crying. We both stood there for what seemed like a really long time grinning at each other and saying we couldn't believe it. But it's true. I did another test this morning to confirm and, once again, a positive result, this time a really strong line appeared.

Ben spent all evening saying that he knew that it wouldn't take us long - it happened the second month we tried - and calling me Mum, which was funny.

And this morning I got my first horrible taste of morning sickness, which was vile. But in a funny kind of way made it feel all the more real. I am finding it so difficult not being able to tell anyone though, and eventually had to email Sebastian, my herbalist, who has been treating me for the monster fibroid.

At the moment I am glad we chose to try to conceive rather than opting for surgery, but I might well change my mind as the pregnancy progresses. There may have been implications with the surgery that I wasn't prepared to accept - not least the massive doses of Lupron each month for three months before the surgery which would have given me a medical menopause. Anyway, it's irrelevant now.

When I spoke to the consultant about the fibroid she confirmed that it is a pedunculated subserosal fibroid, so it's on a stalk sitting on top of my uterus. All of the reading I've done around the subject suggests that these are least likely to have a direct effect on pregnancy and the development of the baby (eg submucosal fibroids can increase likelihood of miscarriage, preterm labour and need for c-section), but that the main issue is degeneration of the fibroid. This would obviously put me in a great deal of pain, but this pain can be managed, is temporary, and could end up solving the problem if the fibroid degenerates and dies completely.

I am going to make an appointment with my doctor to have the pregnancy confirmed and to discuss the impact the fibroid might have. I imagine they may want to monitor me more closely in order to find out how the fibroid is behaving. I suspect it is enjoying the increase in hormones as my stomach feels a lot bigger and tighter already, although this could be bloating/water retention.

I am also going to keep track of my developments here, both in terms of the baby and the fibroid. What an exciting time...
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