Well I’d love to say my pregnancy got easier as it went along but unfortunately it didn’t. It was pretty much stressful from 5 weeks until the end which was 33 weeks. I’m only now feeling good enough to write about it (probably with the help of the anti-depressants I’m on!).
So I had gestational diabetes (which is where I think my last post ended?) that didn’t worry me too much, I wound up on insulin, then at 28 weeks my blood sugar started to drop dramatically (which is an indicator of placental breakdown) my OB was not too concerned though as I was being closely monitored with weekly scans so I dropped the insulin and just did my finger prick testing 4 times per day, my cervix held well so there came a point where we moved back to fortnightly scans, then my OB went on leave for three weeks and I noticed my blood pressure creeping up slightly… once he was back from leave it was pretty much stage one hyper tension and at my 30 week scan I was informed baby was very small (like 1.2kgs at 30) so we were looking at IGUR placental deficiency given the baby had perfect measurements everywhere except for the stomach which meant she was not getting the nutrients she needed from me and that the placenta was beginning to fail. At 31 weeks my blood pressure was pretty crazy and I was hospitalised for a couple of nights because despite being on medication it would stabilise for a couple of days then creep up again. I was ordered to finish work (which was super stressful trying to tie up loose ends in 3 days when I’d planned on doing it over 3 weeks!) I came home to a toddler with gastro and promptly got it myself (nothing like being pregnant with a baby rolling around in your stomach when you’ve got the stomach flu urgh) recovered from that and blood pressure continued to go up… more medication. My OB’s plan was to try to get me to 34 weeks as that is when the baby is pretty much a ‘term’ baby but just needs fattening up. I saw my OB on the 17th of August and I was feeling ok – tired but ok. The meds were making me so tired … at 8pm that night I felt a bit off and went to bed, woke at 3am with a splitting headache, took my blood pressure which was 194/120 so ridiculously high, I was so sick I couldn’t do anything. I was downstairs, everyone else was upstairs at 7am my husband came down and I promptly threw up, told him to get our daughter to daycare and called my OB who told me to come in and that we’d likely deliver that day.
I was in the hospital by 9.30 am – and protein was found in my urine so it was pre-eclampsia again. Bloods were taken, they put me on a magnesium drip and my blood pressure just plummeted, they lost the babies heartbeat, I had a midwife on my sitting on the bed with me trying to get a trace on the ctg as they raced me to theatre … my normally cool high risk OB was looking worried, my husband looked terrified. We got there had that 5 second ‘chat’ with the anesthesiologist that costs you $300 and is called a ‘consult’ – they were waiting on my platelet blood test results to see if I would need a spinal or general anesthetic, the lab lost my platelet results, my OB was livid, we had a theatre full of people waiting… finally they phoned back… platelets were low so it was going to be a general…. very fast kiss with my really worried husband and then bang I was out.
I woke in recovery being told I was being transported to another hospital down the road. I was so groggy I didn’t even question it… my husband was telling me the baby was doing well, small but good… she was in special care but he had to go and get our daughter from daycare as they would be closing soon. I was going to ICU as my blood pressure was still way too high. I got transported in the ambulance to the other hospital, in a soulless room with a dynamic catheter in my arm with showed on a loud beeping monitor above my head, if my blood pressure went over 160 /95 an alarm would go off (so stressful) I was on a magnesium drip that was keeping my blood pressure low if they stopped it, I’d go into eclampsia and have a stroke or seizure… they had to slowly lower the magnesium and make sure my body was lowering my blood pressure until they could stop it completely, it was a balancing act really. I asked the head ICU doctor how long it could take… 24 hours to 3 weeks was the response I got. I was so upset… I hadn’t even seen my baby she was over in the other building, my poor husband was running all over town looking after the toddler, visiting me and then visiting the baby. I was there for 3 days in the end and I’ve never been so happy to get out of somewhere in my life… the staff were great, but I just wanted to see my baby.
So baby Ruby was doing incredibly well, no issues at all aside from needing to fatten up – I was finally in the maternity hospital and in a room next to special care so I could just toddle across and sit with her. All up she was in there for 3.5 weeks and has been home for almost 3 weeks now – so crazy she’s only due to be born next week but will be 7 weeks by then. She’s doing really well (still a micro baby at 2.4kgs!) at home and putting on weight – I battled with exclusively pumping for her and have decided to wean early – breastfeeding just wasn’t happening and I was going further and further down a hole trying to keep up with it (and also got nipple dermatitis on both boobs which was excruciating) and feeding her so I decided to cut myself a break and wean her as soon as her first vaccinations are done. I’m feeling much more mentally stable for making that decision. So all in all I we are doing well and I think this is where my donor journey ends after 6 years of IVF and donor cycles. It seems fitting to finish this blog on the same day as I was choosing my donor last year!
To anyone wondering if they should take the plunge with an overseas cycle – I’d say yes, research, look at forums and talk to women who have taken the path before hand, I wish you all the best and hope that you get the family you’re longing for.