Friday, December 25, 2009

Very long time, no post...

Whew, it has been a REALLY long time since the last post! Can't believe it was september!
Well, to briefly catch you up on what has happened...

Abbigail spent 8 days in hospital after the tendon release surgery to her left leg. The cast was a HUGE change for her, and she didn't handle it well. It made her reflux 10x worse... She began to refuse to feed, hence the return to hospital. She needed NG feeding, and slow introduction of bottle only feeding. Sarah had to completely give up physically breastfeeding. This was a great dissapointment for Sarah, but she continued expressing. Eventually Abbigail stopped losing weight and levelled off, at which point Abbigail was discharged and placed on weekly weighs to make sure she was continuing to put on weight.

The weighs produced a lot of concern for us, and the charts that we had received differed from each other a lot, causing confusion about how she was doing. The end result was that she is well below the 3rd percentile weight wise. And we were only guessing what her weight really was! We felt very in the dark, and she struggled to put on decent weight gains week after week, mostly they were mediocre gains, or no gains at all.

Her 6 week check up came, and the xrays showed that the problem of the first hip (dislocation of the joint) had occured in the right hip, and that the left may not have set in the correct place. So she was scheduled for a redo of the operation bilatterally, with another cast to go on. They booked us in to have the cast come off mid morning so we could have at least several hours of time with her with the cast off. Sounded like a great idea! We'd be able to give her a shower (as she had had several bowel blow outs requiring more than a simple nappy change!!!

The day came... We took her in to have the cast off, and they rightly warned us that she would be unhappy with the proceedure, and gave us ear muffs - good thing too, because she was screaming, and I had to hold her still. When the cast finally came off we realised why she was crying so much....

She had given herself a hernia - right where you might imagine that it would hurt the most should you have the inside of your abdomenal cavity pushing through the muscle wall. It looked like someone had stuffed a golf ball under the skin, and she was screaming the place down! So that was a really hard time. She was in such pain, and it could randomly pop out leading to a screaming fit, leading to exhaustion, and of course she hadn't eaten since early that morning, so by 5pm she was beside herself. She didn't know what to do with herself because the cast wasn't there, she ahd no leg strength or lower back strength. Putting her down wasn't an option because she felt really insecure, and started crying. So she was a great deal more settled by the time she had the second cast on.
The hernia has been an issue since then, popping out periodically, but over the last week it has popped out at least twice a day. So I think something may have to be done about that sooner rather than later.
We have in the last two weeks weened Abbigail to Formula, started solids for two meals a day, and just today (yes Christmas day!!!) she had her first tooth cut through her gum... SO it's been a fun old time, and it somehow seems that it's been one thing straight after another, or even during another! None of this waiting for one bad thing to finish before starting into the next thing... no... we do things the hard way. I'm told this kind of thing is supposed to build good character. DO I HAVE TOO??? Was my old character really that bad??!! I jest - I figure I should learn from these hardships what I can. They call it "good character" for a reason...
So Abbigail will be in her cast until mid march, at which point she will have spent 6 out of her 9 months in a cast from mid-chest to ankles, and these are the hottest months for us - we are having to strip her down to her bare cast quite frequently and we're only hitting highs of about 20 degrees celsius at the moment! Things could get a lot more uncomfortable over the next few months
She is adorable, and the light of both our lives. Here's some recent photos Sarah took of Abbigail that I simply HAVE to show off...












What a CUTIE!!! There are more, but this isn't the easiest way to show you 30 photos...
She keeps us enteretained with her coos, and giggles, shreeks of glee, the way she stares at us when we eat, the way her hair curls up after it's washed, her georgeous smiles that could win the hardest heart... She's amazing, and we are so amazingly blessed to be able to call her our daughter!
Take care all, and I'll TRY to blog more often...
Abe

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The hard yards

Hi all,



Sorry it's been so long since the last post. Abbigail was discharged on the friday after her surgery. We had to starve her for 5 hours before the surgery, which went well, and had the expected result. She was very dopy but still rather sore straight after surgery, and then only had a little feed off Sarah, and then struggled to get any kind of routine going straight after the surgery. That night was not fun. She woke every hour of so, and would only drink a little bit each time. But friday was better, she finally had a good feed in the afternoon, and they decided to discharge her at that point. She wasn't really happy that night, but Saturday was a great day, she slept and fed well, until the night which again wasn't one of her best, and then Sunday we struggled through. She was increasingly agitated and was very grizzly. She didn't eat well, and we had a really nasty night with her. Then on monday she just refused to drink. Sarah couldn't get her to take anything off her, and she would scream whenever Sarah put her to the breast. I came home from lunch and essentially tried my whole lunch break to get her to eat. Nothing doing! We luckily had our first appointment with her pediatrician that afternoon, so I took time off for it to be there with Sarah. And just as well too. She was inconsolable. She litterally cried the whole hour that we were there. Did I say cry - I meant SCREAMED. I had to take her out of the consultation room for at least half of the appointment so that Sarah and the pediatrician could talk. The pediatrician was great. He was very concerned for her, and one of the things we wish had been done differently with the surgery was that she was weighed immediately before the surgery, but not immediately afterwards. So with all her weight gaining issues we were now completely in the dark as to exactly how much weight she had lost since the operation. She weighed 4.0 kg (I think) immediately before the surgery, and then four days later she weighed 4.8kg because of the cast she was wearing. And we had no idea how much weight she had lost. We know she lost weight because she drank very little, and also she was starting to be able to wriggle around in her cast. We could litterally slide our hands down the front of her cast! So he decided that she needed to be admitted to the children's ward again to be monitored and fed nasogastrically if need be. We got there at about 5pm, and at about 8pm we saw an intern doctor who basically took a history (do interns do anything else?) and then we were left to continue to try to feed her - she refused the breast point blank, and we had to resort to using a dummy to quiet her and soothe her, and then switch it for the bottle - she took some but very little. Over the next day we continued to struggle to get her to drink, and she continued to loose weight. So they eventually tubed her and this allowed us to attempt to breastfeed her and top her up as needed. Which was quite frequently. She has been put on omeprazole 5mg twice daily, and they have stopped the ranitidine, as the pediatrician suspected that it may actually have made her reflux worse. She is on daily weighs, and has had two days where she hasn't put on weight, but also hasn't lost weight. There is little more we can do other than struggle through, but they are going to do some investigation on monday to see what more they can find. They may do a gastroscopy (camera down to stomach) and may biopsy the lining of the osophagus to check for issues. So she is spilling a lot less, but still screams when sarah tries to feed her from the breast a lot. Sarah is struggling with this a great deal, and understandably. we are greatful that she is able to express and keep up with Abbigails needs that way. She doesn't just cry, but screams like she is in pain.

Hopefully we will find out more information with the new week that will help us to get to the bottom of the issue.
Abe

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Surgery in 2 hours...

Hi all,

I can't believe what has happened in the last 24 hours...

Let me begin the story last week...

Abbigail had an appointment at the hospital last Thursday to have her Hip joints ultrasounded as a routine check to make sure that she didn't have a congenital hip defect that her cousin had. We had previously had 2 paediatricians, 1 orthopaedic surgeon, 1 GP, 1 nurse and 1 Midwife look at her hips and say that they felt she was fine as there was no audible click on performing the usual tests on her hips. So we thought everything was fine...

At the hospital the ultrasonographer had no problem doing the right hip, and that was fine. So they moved on to the left hip, and had trouble getting a clear picture because Abbigail was quite upset and squirming so much. The ultrasonographer got a little annoyed and got peed on for her trouble. (Haha! Serves you right for hurting my daughter!) After waiting an hour for the orthopedic doctor to see her, the call was made to give her a brace to ensure her hips were in the proper place. After searching for a brace her size they came up empty handed and so Sarah was told to bring her back next week when a brace would be available, and they would try to do the scan again.

So fast forward to yesterday... The head orthopedic surgeon was present to inspect Abbigail's hips. He immediately diagnosed a dislocating hip due to a really shallow hip socket, and a tendon that was too short that would continually pull the ball out of the socket when attempts were made to relocate it into the joint. Apparently it is possible for a joint to be fine at birth and slowly degenerate over the first couple of months. Apparently the only option is to operate. And so she has been scheduled for surgery today!!! She is on the emergency list, so we are hoping and praying that she doesn't get bumped by something more serious. We are currently starving her so that she can have the general anaesthetic, she is currently an hour overdue for her feed, and she is currently handling things, but we know all hell is about to be unleashed as she has at least another two hours to wait before her surgery.

After her surgery she will need to be in a CAST for 18 WEEKS!!! That is longer than she has been alive! The cast will start at her armpits and finish at her ankles, it cannot be removed. There is an opening for her bottom and vagina for obvious reasons, but that is all. No showers or baths will be possible, and somehow we have to prevent poos and wees getting inside her cast. She is going to be 7 months old before we will be able to cuddle her unimpeded by her cast. 18 weeks of time between now and when we will be able to look at her without her cast on.

Of course this may explain some of the incessant screaming that she has had over the last month or so, as it can't possibly be comfortable - the doctors say it's not painful and demonstrated the dislocation without Abbigail reacting painfully. But seriously! How could it not be at least a little uncomfortable!

I particularly feel really bad. Since she was born I have had a number of times where I've gotten so frustrated with her for crying for "no reason", and there were no real reasons obvious at the time, but I still feel like an incredibly selfish and impatient father for being angry with her. She couldn't tell me what was wrong, and we couldn't have known. Her tears are not for no reason, and now we understand what she has been trying frantically to tell us for goodness knows how long.

So in several hours we will have a cast Baby girl, that will no doubt be in serious pain, and will be frantically desperate to be fed once the surgery is over!

I'll post by phone with updates as I can.

Thanks in advance for thoughts and prayers,
Abe

Friday, September 4, 2009

Long time ... no post...

Hi all,

Abbigail will be 11 weeks old next Tuesday. That statement by itself is fairly amazing! But there have been trials along the way. The regular day to day of feeding, changing nappies and sleeping are just par for the course now - those aren't trials. Silent reflux, hip dysplasia, spilling milk and poor weight gain are our most recent trials. We realised after starting to treat the reflux that Abbigail actually spent most of her awake time crying. It's funny how when something that's abnormal happens all the time, it becomes the normal. It was kind of summed up well by an incident that occurred after the reflux started to be treated on Tuesday. Sarah needed something from Abbigail's room, and thought she was asleep because all was quiet, so she walked in and discovered Abbigail staring back at her from her cot! A quiet baby has been a foreign concept to us! On Thursday Abbigail had an appointment to have an ultrasound scan of her hips to check they are fine. We both thought it would be a formality, but Abbigail screamed blue urder the whole time, and after several atempts they decided that her left hip isn't properly positioned and that she needs a hip brace to ensure they stay in the right place for some undetermined period of time. So they proceeded to try to fit her to a brace, only to discover that there were none her size, so she has to go back next week to be fitted appropriately and have another scan to try to get a better picture of what is going on for her. On Monday we had the plunket nurse come and visit to weigh Abbigail and check on her progress. Apparently she had only put on 50g in the previous 11 days since the last weigh. Since then practically every feed has been a huge disaster - she simply struggles to feed well. We have put it down to silent reflux for which she is now being treated with Ranitidine. I've been feeding her at night to give Sarah a break between feedings to get a decent sleep, and ordinarily she would cry to wake us up to feed her, then she would settle as she fed and really guzzle it down, but the last three nights she has continued to scream (not just cry) and I litereally have to hold the teat in her mouth so that she swallows some milk between breaths as she screams. That is until she passes out from exhaustion and finishes the rest of her bottle while she is asleep. There are times when she is very happy and alert, so we're not so concerned about her not getting enough, but it's so hard on us, and of course her.

Don't get me wrong - this is not a complaining session, or a I wish we hadn't done this, because she is still the most amazing thing that has happened to us, and we thank God for her every day. But it has sure kept us busy, and emotionally drained. The thing is that there are people out there who have much harder times as parents, and considering where we've come from we have no right to complain.
She is still a (between screams) constant source of joy and pride to us both. She is more beautiful today than the day she was born! She just continues to get more georgous as the days go by. She is still under 9 pounds. Here are some more recent pictures...







Isn't she beautiful! We just busted her sucking her thumb! :-) That made us both laugh! I had a bout of awesome smiles from her a few weeks ago, and she's teased us ever since with the odd smile. It's a magical thing to behold. So that has caught you up on where we are at right now. The next week or so will be very interesting as it will lead us on to pathways of solution for many of her problems so far.
Take care all,
Abe

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The slideshow

Hi everyone,



We got back from the hospital two days ago, and it's been crazy trying to get everything organised just the way you want it...



Now I know that I teased you all earlier in the piece with a slide show set to music, and so here it is. For us, the fact that IVF was necessary in allowing us to get pregnant, did not automatically mean "baby in nine months time". Those who struggle with infertility know that there are hundreds, if not thousands of steps in the process from before fertilization of the egg through to live birth. If any one of those steps is flawed in our process then the end result is not a live baby in 9 months time. The rationalist might say "It's only a matter of time", but for us at the coal-face of infertility - there is so much more to it!



With the slide show I wanted to capture the emotion, as well as the faith journey that Sarah and I have gone through. Ultimately we feel that without God's loving hand being involved in every minute aspect from formation of gametes through to birth - none of this would have been possible. So this slideshow is as much to present Abbigail Grace to you all, as it is to give our thanks and glory to God for what he has done. And I guess I just wanted to say that he is magnificent. By the way, the photo of Sarah and I with a rose in the background was just after the moment Sarah told me that she was officially pregnant :-)









video




I put this together during the week, and I know it's caused one or two damp eyes since we've shown it to relatives and friends. So let me know what you think, and I'd love to hear if it touched you like it did them. I had the most awesome time making it!

I realised that I really need to explain a little bit more about why the song choice was so significant. There's a few lines which stand out to me particularly as relevant in our infertility journey.

Only love can leave such a mark - anyone who has truly loved knows this is true. In the case of having children the mark is exponetially larger

Only love can heal such a scar - you all know what scar this refers to. Infertility itself is for all of us one of ther heardest things we will ever endure. This scar penetrates so many levels of our psyche - and we all know the one thing that can cure it, is so elusively distant from our grasp... until the magnificent happens.

You and I will magnify, the Magnificent - This is perhaps the most moving line of the whole song for me. As a christian, it is only fair that I say that I attribute the birth of our daughter to Him. We couldn't do it by ourselves. Yes medical science was instrumental, but all medical science could do is put the sperm inside the egg. God still had to look over all the biochemical and genetic aspects of the fertilization, implantation, development, birth and everything in between. We all know that there are plenty of things that can (and have in our case) go wrong to prevent a fertilized egg progressing to the end result. We all know there is no such thing as a foregone conclusion.

Take care all,
Abe

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Introducing . . .

Abbigail grace, born at 1.39 pm, 5 pounds 9 ounces. She is feeding
really well given her 36 week birth. I'm sorry but I can't send a
photo with this method of blogging. Be sure it will be the first thing
I do when I get a chance!

Flash back . . .

We were taken up to the prep area in our gowns and scrubs. I got to be
with sarah right up until the birth, which sarah really appreciated.
She was given a spinal block, which according to sarah was the worst
part of her experience. Having to lean forward and hug her knees
(impossible) and not recoil with pain at the injection into the spine.
She felt very nauseous initially as her blood pressure dropped as we
had been warned. With extra fluid on board she felt much better. They
then set her up on the operating table with a screen preventing her
from seeing the drama unfolding beyond. I sat next to her just holding
her hand as the anaesthetist talked with sarah to keep her mind
distracted. Before sarah realised what was going on they announced
that they were half way there! Sarah was surprised that they had even
started! The anaesthesia was very good! I took a look at this stage
with a feeling of mounting anticipation! They must have been looking
to find the best way to cut into the uterus. Not only was placenta
previa a problem but placenta accretia. Sarah had blood vessels that
penetrated uterus. This further complicated things. Several minutes
later I looked again and the doctors were playing tug of war with the
head and body of our daughter. The doctors won and abbigail was put
under heat lamps and poked and prodded, towelled off. My attention was
torn as I took in the awesome sight of my daughter, and looked back to
ensure sarah was still well. They decided to take abbigail away to
neonatal and I was asked if I wanted to go and look after her. After
checking with sarah that she was ok with that, I went with the
paediatrician to neonatal. There they attached probes and monitors to
measure heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and measured blood
glucose. All the time I simply can't take my eyes off my daughter. She
is SO gorgeous! After what seems like only 5 minutes they declared
her well enough to not need to be kept in the neonatal unit. During
the whole time I was quite overcome with emotion, and couldn't stop
the tears. I was so privileged to have the first meaningful hug with
abbigail. She just stared back at me, taking it all in. So about half
an hour after leaving sarah, she was stitched up and waiting in
recovery. Abbigail and I went back to say hi and reintroduce then to
each other. Sarah had a really good session of feeding with abbigail,
and eventually sarah was allowed to return to her room. Sarah has been
in significant pain since then, and so far has been rather unable to
do very much at all. At the moment her speedy recovery and sleep for
the both of us would be our greatest wishes.

Sorry it's taken all day to get this written. I'm not sure where the day went!

Abe

--
Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Introducing . . .

Abbigail grace, born at 1.39 pm, 5 pounds 9 ounces. She is feeding
really well given her 36 week birth. I'm sorry but I can't send a
photo with this method of blogging. Be sure it will be the first thing
I do when I get a chance!

Flash back . . .

We were taken up to the prep area in our gowns and scrubs. I got to be
with sarah right up until the birth, which sarah really appreciated.
She was given a spinal block, which according to sarah was the worst
part of her experience. Having to lean forward and hug her knees
(impossible) and not recoil with pain at the injection into the spine.
She felt very nauseous initially as her blood pressure dropped as we
had been warned. With extra fluid on board she felt much better. They
then set her up on the operating table with a screen preventing her
from seeing the drama unfolding beyond. I sat next to her just holding
her hand as the anaesthetist talked with sarah to keep her mind
distracted. Before sarah realised what was going on they announced
that they were half way there! Sarah was surprised that they had even
started! The anaesthesia was very good! I took a look at this stage
with a feeling of mounting anticipation! They must have been looking
to find the best way to cut into the uterus. Not only was placenta
previa a problem but placenta accretia. Sarah had blood vessels that
penetrated uterus. This further complicated things. Several minutes
later I looked again and the doctors were playing tug of war with the
head and body of our daughter. The doctors won and abbigail was put
under heat lamps and poked and prodded, towelled off. My attention was
torn as I took in the awesome sight of my daughter, and looked back to
ensure sarah was still well. They decided to take abbigail away to
neonatal and I was asked if I wanted to go and look after her. After
checking with sarah that she was ok with that, I went with the
paediatrician to neonatal. There they attached probes and monitors to
measure heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and measured blood
glucose. All the time I simply can't take my eyes off my daughter. She
is SO gorgeous! After what seems like only 5 minutes they declared
her well enough to not need to be kept in the neonatal unit. During
the whole time I was quite overcome with emotion, and couldn't stop
the tears. I was so privileged to have the first meaningful hug with
abbigail. She just stared back at me, taking it all in. So about half
an hour after leaving sarah, she was stitched up and waiting in
recovery. Abbigail and I went back to say hi and reintroduce then to
each other. Sarah had a really good session of feeding with abbigail,
and eventually sarah was allowed to return to her room. Sarah has been
in significant pain since then, and so far has been rather unable to
do very much at all. At the moment her speedy recovery and sleep for
the both of us would be our greatest wishes.

Sorry it's taken all day to get this written. I'm not sure where the day went!

Abe

--
Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

6 Hours to go!

Whew! We made it! My only problem with not sleeping was because sarah
couldn't help but snore when she was asleep. I had ear plugs and
everything! I figured she deserted and needed the sleep!

It's such a surreal time. This morning is (apart from the early start)
is just like every other morning ... But we know it will be a day
unlike any other. Head knowledge can only get you so far in a
situation like this. We are about to be added to. Our miracle is about
to be revealed.

After the struggles and heartbreak of the last 4 years, everything
(apart from infertility) is about to change. The agony of 4 long
years of feeling the pain and dealing with the loss of what we never
had is about to come to a close.

Sarah has some nerves, but she describes it as more of a biological
response as she isn't nervous cognitively. I can rationalise that this
is the only course of action that could possibly provide a good
outcome, but I know better than most the possibilities of things that
may go wrong. That is enough negativity for today. Now that i've
thought about it, it won't happen! :)

The next time I blog, i'll be able to tell you about our bundle of joy!

Abe

--
Sent from my mobile device

One sleep to go ! ! !

Neither sarah or I slept very well last night. Only thought about
tomorrow once, but it's all the other things that come to mind! No
doubt tonight is going to be a write off too! But that's to be
expected. We are going to have the operation at 1 pm nz time. It seems
like a crime to spend this next 24 hours doing things like watching tv
or watching movies... But today will pass so slowly and of course
there is plenty to worry about.

I have dreamed so much of tomorrow. My mind has played through the the
scene so many times. I still find the idea so hard to imagine. I can't
put a face to the name, or a tone to the voice as emby cries that
first cry. This is ridiculous, I can't even type this without tearing
up! Tomorrow is going to be an incredibly emotional day!

--
Sent from my mobile device

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Two sleeps to go part 2

Sarah just had here baby shower here in the maternity ward. Iv was a
lot of fun for her, especially considering how long she has been stuck
here! They had games and food and gifts, it was very special! So many
of them have known for a long time of the struggles we have faced over
the last 4 and a quarter years. They even got me a "daddy's diaper
duty" tool belt. Which was very funny, but it was nice to be included.

We will probably find out the time details for the c section tomorrow.
I think I will end up staying here with sarah for the next few days at
least. I'm really looking forward to up all going home! Its been a
long four weeks so far!

Abe

--
Sent from my mobile device

Two sleeps to go!

grrr... I just deleted what I just spent the last 15 minutes typing on
my mobile phone. So frustrating!

I woke up several times last night with excitement and struggled to
get back to sleep. So i'm a little tired today, I have no idea how i'm
going to sleep in the next 48 hours! It's like a cross between the
night before christmas and the night before an exam that you feel
grossly unprepared for! It's obvious what the excitement is all about,
but the apprehension is due to what could go wrong.

Sarah is having her last baby shower this afternoon. We're going to
have iv in the waiting room of the maternity inpatients clinic here at
the hospital. Should be lots of fun, but I just hope that if anyone is
sick, that they won't come. We have had visitors in the last 4 weeks
who have come despite being unwell and have passed on colds etc and
its just not fair. Do people just not think when they enter a hospital
or do they not care?! Anyway, i'm going to make a point of asking
sick people who turn up not to visit us on tuesday. Especially with
the swine flu being spread through the community as much as it is at
the moment.

Anyway, that's enough for now. Will catch you later.

Abe

--
Sent from my mobile device

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Three sleeps to go!

Woohoo! So close!

Sarah is again allowed to have a couple of hours away from the
hospital, so we will do a little shopping and more organising at home.
So we are looking forward to that.

One really good thing is that sarah is doing really well at expressing
colostrum. She has been producing up to 25ml at a time now, so emby
will not have to have formula at any stage.

Sarah is thoroughly sick of hospital food! Its amazing the types of
foods that get passed off as edible! All this bland heart food and low
fat stuff ~ yuck!

Sarah is otherwise fine, and so is emby. So just hoping iv stays that
way until after emby is born!

Will let you know if anything changes.

Abe

--
Sent from my mobile device

Friday, June 19, 2009

Four sleeps to go ~ part 2

Hi again, sarah has had her iv replaced. No dramas and little pain,
which she is rather relieved about.

At this stage we are expecting that there will be a best case scenario
after emby's born of a 3 day wait before sarah and emby can in home.
That's probably an overly optimistic best case though. It could be as
long as 10 days though. It entirely depends on the needs of emby after
birth.

So what philosophical topic can I write about now? We have discovered
that we now know what emby's birthday will be! 23rd of june 2009. I
imagine not many parents get to know that kind of thing until
afterwards. It's just something we hadn't processed.

I'm trying real hard not to get too excited because iv makes time pass
too slowly. I know I said I wasn't in too much of a hurry to get
through this time, but i'm starting to wish it away. I just can't
wait! There is so much to do and get used to! Oh, and we've got to get
used to this new person that we've never met! I still can't imagine
what it will be like...

Probably the most amazing experience of our lives!

Abe

--
Sent from my mobile device

Four sleeps to go!

Sarahs special iv line failed yesterday so they had to pull it out.
The specialist nurse should be in today to put in another one. Sarah
is not looking forward to that.

Sarah has had plenty of visitors. And has put up a sign on two
afternoons to say "sleeping until 4 pm" and at 4:05 on both days
someone knocked at the door to visit sarah. So if anything sarah has
had more visitors than she knows what to do with. In a good sense of
course.

I've got to do some colouring with my niece now so i'll write again after that.

--
Sent from my mobile device

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How many days left?

I'm trying to decide how best to count down the time until emby
arrives. Should I count down days, or hours, or as sarah just
quipped, how many iv lines she has to go through...

Sarah has just been told that she has to have her iv changed again.
She's not looking forward to it because it's quite painful. She ran
out of veins before the last iv change so a specialist iv nurse had to
make it work. They have just decided to pull it out. So I don't know
how they will get the next one in without the specialist as he is away
today.

Sarah just decided that the best way to measure time left is that
there is five sleeps left! That sounds good to me !

Sarah just reminded me of how important doing this blog is. One day
emby will be able to read this and hopefully understand some of the
emotions that we have gone through as well as understand just how
special he/she is. I imagine that would be an amazing thing to read 10
years down the track.

That's all for now. We're going to take a nap.

Abe

--
Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Informed consent...

The words are very simple, yet seemingly elusive to certain health professionals in our locality. Sarah was asked to sign an informed consent form when she agreed to have the C section done on Tuesday next week. That was fine and dandy. She figured that really there is no choice regarding how Emby is going to come into this world. But the form says that you have been informed of the risks and possible outcomes of the surgery - and also that you agree that the risk is acceptable to you.

However tonight we had one of the better midwives on who asked if someone had gone through with us what will happen on Tuesday. We reply - no, no one has explained anything to us - which is true. We figured someone would at some point. I guess that time was tonight. Everything was pretty standard, until the midwife explains that if in the worse case scenario that bleeding cannot be stopped, then the uterus may have to be removed. Now, if that's what has to happen in a worst case scenario then fine, that is just what has to happen. Easy to rationalise when you are talking about your wife's life. But I think I would have been pretty annoyed had we got to the day and the worst did happen, if no one had explained to us that it could be a possibility. It wouldn't change the outcome, but that should have been explained prior to the informed consent form being signed!

Forgive me, I'm just a little annoyed about that because it's stuff like that that needs to be explained. I guess I'm the kind of guy that likes to know all the info, the pro's and con's so to speak. It doesn't change the outcome - I'd sign anything that would make sure they both come through the proceedure healthy and happy! But at this point I want to know all the risks.

Anyway, that's just my little rant for tonight. I'm liking being able to blog during the day while I'm with Sarah, because that has been a little frustraiting - there is actually very little to do, but I'm not getting bored. It's actually quite relaxing just sitting back and letting the rest of the world worry about it's own concerns for time. It's really good to let the world pass us by for a change!

The midwives have recommended that Sarah express to have some collostrum on hand should the baby come early. Apparently the usual amount for new mothers to be to express is only 2 or 3 ml daily, Sarah does that without even trying! She can do up to 25ml in a sitting, and she does it twice a day! But anyway the reason I'm mentioning this is because I just talked to her on the phone, and someone has taken the collostrum she expressed this morning - hopefully by accident. But she's real miffed! And fair enough to! It's not that we wouldn't share if someone asked, but people can't just do that. It was properly labeled etc. Anyway, who knows what happened.

Hmmm... Maybe I wasn't finished ranting... Oh well, I am now.
Abe

My first blog from the hospital

Ok, so this is my first real blog from hospital. It's going to be
really going to be great to be able to keep you all informed as to
what is going on! But I fear I may give myself RSI with using my phone
keypad if i'm not careful!

So where are we at right now ┄ well sarah got significantly better
pain wise yesterday. And her tummy just feels tired today. Sarah gave
a fellow inmate a manicure today and now all the nurses and midwives
are lining up for nail painting - well at least I think they would if
they could!

We have watched about 3 seasons of bones, half a season of americas
next top model and a season of project runway. We've still got a
season of bones and NCIS to watch so there is plenty to see!

So how are we doing otherwise? Well, sarah is bored witless which
really is to be expected after three full weeks! But otherwise she is
pretty good. We are both really excited about emby's arrival! But we
know we can't get too excited about it cause it's like the night
before christmas and getting too excited might just mean we explode
with anticipation!

But I guess there is only so much I can tell you can tell you about up
doing nothing but waiting for next tuesday to happen. But i'll try not
to bore everyone in the posts to come.

Abe

--
Sent from my mobile device

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sarah's still in hopsital

HI all,

I'm writing this completely on the run so if there's spelling mistakes, I appologise...

Sarah must stay in hospital until the birth of Emby, the placenta has grown to completely cover the cervix, and as well as that has grown up over the area they would usually make the first incision to do the c section, so I'm fairly certain they will have to cut higher up to avoid cutting the placenta. That's not a real problem I guess. They have set a date for the c section to be done - the 23rd of June. That is 36 weeks for Emby - which again is fine and not really a problem - Emby may need some time in the neonatal care unit, and Sarah will need at least 3 to 5 days of recovery time after the c section - which again isn't really a problem. The problems will start to occur if anything doesn't go to plan. Sarah has had significant lower abdominal pain in the last 24 hours. She describes it as being akin to period pain, and feels like she would just before she would usually start to bleed in a period situation.

Usually with placenta previs the bleeding occurs without warning and is completely painless, so maybe that's not what is about to happen here. Please pray that it's not about to happen that way. We have been told that when that kind of bleeding occurs that it's like a tap turning on - with not off position. One of the nurses in the hospital told us of a situation where one lady lost about a litre of blood as she was on her way to the operating theatre and the doctors were not preped and scrubbed. The nurse didn't tell us the outcome, but I'm presuming she survived. So yeah this is a little scarey. But things at the moment are fine apart from pretty intense abdominal pain. They put it down to the baby being so active on top of the placenta. I'm happy wiht that diagnosis, just hope and pray that it's nothing more.

Basically we need for Emby to make it until the c section date. Because the alternative is quite scarey. I know that God has all things under control - not the least of which is the two most important people in the world to me. But none the less, I think letting you all know will at least mean more people are praying and thinking of us.

Thanks all for your support.
Abe

PS: If anyone knows of a good application for a mobile phone that will let you blog remotely (without having to send sms messages) can you let me know, cause that would be SOOOO much easier! I'll keep you as posted as I can!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Still in hospital...

Hi all,

Sarah is still in hospital. There have been a few minor dramas - like Thursday when I was about 70% convinced that Sarah was about to go into labour. She had lower back pain, lower abdominal pain, had to lean over the bed to try and get comfortable, that kind of thing...

... but it petered out into nothing.

Sarah has had a blood clot inside the uterus which has been slowly releasing clots via discharge over the last week. They initially told us that she could go home once she was 24 hours with no discharge or clots. Sarah has been clear for about 36 hours - but they are waiting for another ultrasound scan on Tuesday to determine what is happening with the clot. If it is getting bigger - that is bad and could cause the placenta to come away from the lining of the uterus. If it is getting smaller then that is good, and Sarah may get to go home to have bed rest and no activity. That still leaves the problem of the placenta previa, which could still be a problem as the cervix softens and the uterus changes shape over the next few weeks. So lots of potential for drama, but we have been blessed so far that there really hasn't been any.

It has gotten me thinking though about "what ifs". I think my worst case scenario is that something happens and the doctors say "you have to choose between Sarah or the baby" - that is a question I don't know the answer to - and know I'm not likely to have to answer, so don't worry, I'm not getting myself too worked up. But it has really shown me how silly I've been in the past. I'm sure I've seen movies or read books where this question came up and I'd always thought "that's easy, choose..." - I haven't finished that sentence because I honestly can't remember what my oh so wise answer was back when I was free from the grip of emotional attachment...

I'm prepared for the fact that there is a possibility that things could go south - and I'm told they can go south very quickly - but surely I wouldn't have to choose...

I guess I should also say not to worry I'm not getting all pessimistic about this, I'm actually remarkably positive given the train of thought I've just taken you through. I have every confidence that Both Sarah and Emby will be just fine -it's actually really exciting that Emby could be born at any time. Sarah had the IM steroids that help speed the development of the lungs, and I'm told that 33 week babies do very well - if that's what Emby ends up being... It seems that the whole transition from husband to Dad occurs too quickly in the scenario where a c section is necessary, I imagine that when a normal delivery occurs both parents are at least mentally prepared that the baby is NOW on it's way - we may not get that. Another scenario is that Sarah has to have an immediate C section because she goes into early labour - and the baby could be out in the real world before I even get to the hospital from work - now that would be crazy! There seems (in my mind at least) some kind of visual cue that needs to happen for a father to see his child being produced from his wife - I think it would be horrible to simply arrive in the room too late and be handed the child and told that it's yours. It almost seems like there really is a stalk in that situation and you wake up one morning and a baby all swaddled up is sitting on your doorstep! Anyway I digress... I want to be able to hold Sarah's hand and watch as the baby is pulled out through the sunroof, and takes it's first breath and has it's umbilical cord cut. I think I need to see that.

So in the meantime we are watching and waiting with baited breath. Just what will the next 48 hours hold... and what about beyond that??!! It's amazing how you spend so long trying to get the chance to be parents - and when the time is almost upon you, you realise that you completely unprepared - despite all the nappies you bought, and the cot, and the change table... you get the picture. Obviously nothing can prepare us for this final frontier, but I'm sure God will give us that strength and the wisdom at just the right times.

On another note, I have decided that when Emby is born, I will need to make an electronic slideshow of photos/movies we have of the pregnancy/birth/early days to show friends and family (and you guys too!). The other day I decided exactly what song I will put with it - and it's possibly an odd one to initially consider, but I think it's perfect. And nope I'm not telling - yeah I know I'm such a horrible tease!

Take care you all - sorry for being neglectful of staying in contact - I kind of feel like I'm being pulled in about six directions at the moment with Work, Church, Sarah in hospital and all the other daily things. I'm sure you all understand.

Take care,
Abe

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Things just start getting exciting again

HI all,

I'm only able to write a small note because I'm about to head out, but here's a brief update on all that is going on...

On Friday afternoon Sarah had a light brown discharge that seemed to be fairly constant - she notified the midwife who said to let her know if anything changed. On Saturday it got slightly darker. So on Sunday after a continuing darkening of the discharge the midwife booked us in to see her in the evening at hospital.

During the short stay at the hospital a dark clot came loose and the midwife took some swabs to determine if it was due to infection or a blod clot. The did a referal for an ungent ultrasound scan to see if a bleed had occurred.

Monday afternoon saw us at the ultrasound clinic. The scanner told us that Sarah had a definite placenta Previa (planceta completely blocking the cervix), and Sarah has a blod clot and that Sarah needed to be in hospital because these can bleed profusely. So that evening Sarah was admited to the meternit ward, and there she has stayed - and will stay quite possibly until the baby is delivered! She has had a number of clots come away over the last couple of days, and they say that she needs to be in hospital until she has had a clear 24 hours with no clots or discharge. They are doing daily fetal monitoring, and have decided today to give Sarah steroids to encourage the lung development of Emby incase an early delivery is necessary. The delivery will have to be "through the sunroof". There is a risk regarding the clot that if it gets bigger rather than dissolving that it may cause the placenta to come away from the Uterus endangering both Sarah and Emby, so another scan will be had on Tuesday next week to determine what is happening with the clot.

Sarah is fine, just tired and a little sore from lying the same positions all the time, but is otherwise feeling fine.

I will try and keep you all up to date when I have the time - between working, and being with Sarah (without an internet connection) I'm not finding much time to even be on the internet, but be rest assured, I will be updating you with all the important info!

Thanks Guys,
Abe

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Long time, no post...

Hi everyone, sorry for the HUGE gap between posts - work has once again only gotten busier, and hence more stressful... 

Anyway - here's some pics of our nursery...



We thought that paddington bear was gender neutral enough... :-)

We have also bought a set of drawers and a baby buggy since these photos were taken - might show you those photos later.

As for something more poignant... I'm struggling to think of something at the moment. 

I have a couple of friends moving out of town who read this blog - you know who you are... Just wanted to say that we'll miss you heaps, but know that you won't be strangers. You two have been a huge support over the years and it's been a real privilege to be on the inside of your journey through infertility. simply by being there you have helped, your advice has been invaluable, and don't forget - we can still fly F16's and down Mig29's over the Internet :-)

And to the rest of you - thank you too for all that you do.
Abe

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

20 week scan...

Ok, so the votes are in!

To be honest I decided completely seperatly from the poll - but it's good to know what you all think! So by now you're probably begging to know exactly what I decided - It was all up to me because Sarah was sure she wanted to know, but only if I wanted to know. So there I was on the day of the scan thinking to myself how do I decide which way to go? Really my only two motivations for not knowing were that it will be something extra for Sarah to use as motivation during the hard times of labor, and that its another great thing to find out at the time of birth... But on the other had what motivation do I have to find out... Well, I will know now what sex the baby is, and be able to call it one of the "favourite names" that Sarah and I have picked out... and of course there is simply the fact that we can! I know lots of people think it's more natural to find out the old fashioned way, and I respect that.

So here we were - Sarah lying down on the bed, ultrasound probe showing us images of emby... and the operator says... "Now this is his face... oh, and by the way do you want to know what sex the baby is?", now of course we know he is kidding - or is he? Anyhow I decided on the spot... "Yep!". So the ultrasonographer continued and towards the end of the scan pointed out to us the essential parts that indicated with "great certainty" what we are having.

I'm sorry, but I just can't bring myself to tell you all what sex our Emby is. And for those of you who voted in the affirmative because you wanted to find out too, I'm sorry, but you will just have to wait until Emby's birthday to find out. 

Sarah and I have had a very public (especially in our church circles) period of trying to conceive, and pregnancy, and we both feel that we should be able to keep this one secret to ourselves - just for us. 

So I hope none of you are too bummed about that, but we are over the moon - and I guess we would have been either way - but it certainly feels very special to know that in approximately four months time I will be a father to a very special .... 

Ok,  I'll stop teasing you now :-)

For those who wanted to see pictures - here you go...



If I figure out how I will try and upload the video that we got, but it's not in a very useful format, and my laptop won't even play it unless I play it directly from the DVD we were given. Then again, many of you might not want to see it - in which case please feel free to not watch it. I know how difficult that can be. 

You guys are all so special, and I hope and pray that your odyssey will bring you to the place of joy that we have come to - by God's grace.

Abe



Friday, February 27, 2009

WOO HOO!!!

HI everyone,

you may be wondering what could cause such an emphatic and enthusiastic title - some of you may have guessed!

Sarah has been experiencing little flutters of movement for several weeks now... The night before last (sorry it's taken so long to blog about - I've been busy!) we were praying together in bed, and I, as I often do, had my hand on Sarah's bump where Emby is busily growing up, and mid sentence I felt a little poke! It was so unexpected - but SO COOL! It is perhaps the first milestone I was able to witness - apart from Sarahs waistline expanding - and it has added a new dimension to the understanding in my mind that this pregnancy may infact lead to a true bundle of Joy in late July (give or take of course). I feel on top of the world! How much more jubilant will it feel in about 4 months time??!! I don't know, but BRING IT ON! :-)

God bless you all,
Abe

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Have your say...

Hi everyone,

I'm still undecided about whether we should find out if the baby is a boy or a girl... Please vote and let me know what you think.  Sarah is keen to know, but if I say no, then she's happy to wait until the birth to find out.  I just don't know...

Let me know what you think and I'll let you know what we decide - our scan is on the 4th (at the moment)

God bless!
Abe

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Musings after the miracle

HI everyone,

I've been busy again, and realising that it's actually very tough to find the time required to read every one's blogs, and reply to everyone, so please don't feel neglected if you haven't heard from me for a while... I'm just a tad snowed under at the moment...

I've been reflecting recently about the journey, or odyssey as I've called it, and realise that the last four years or so have forever changed our lives. I've found a website that actually would have been really useful to direct friends and family to during the hardest of times as it would have said much more eloquently and completely all the things I wanted to tell them about how we felt, but didn't have the emotional energy to do... here it is...


It has a number of pages that describe really well a number of the issues that we have struggled with over the years. Hopefully some of you will also find it useful.

In reflection of how things have been I realise that to a greater or lesser degree depression had been a ... how do you describe it without making it sound like I should have been locked away somewhere for my own protection... a mist. Like a fog that had slowly and insidiously rolled across my landscape, tainting everything with melancholic frustration. I know that for us, the infertile, elusive pregnancy becomes something that we constantly long for, think about and dare I say it obsessively contemplate... It's natural - and I think even necessary - but I have to say it can become unhealthy. But how do you break free of it? Even having a big fat positive doesn't burn through that misty fog of obsessive melancholy. I haven't got that answer yet - I'm not even sure there is an answer. Having children is a core thing for us all isn't it? Perhaps the principle of longing for things we don't/can't have makes it worse... But there is so much that simply compounds our issues, our emotions, and our state of mind. 

One thing I know for sure is that being able to express my struggles, thoughts, emotions, depression and longings was essential, and just what I needed when I began blogging - and you guys have all been such a great support!

I always wondered how expectant mothers and fathers could possibly talk to people about their bundle of joy on the way without dissolving into a teary mess... But somehow I manage not to do it - yet there are other times I simply marvel at the miracle of life that we've been blessed with, and tears simply well up in my eyes... Anyone who has struggled with infertility - for any length of time - who eventually has their wildest dreams come true after so many disappointments, hurts and losses - knows that you can never take for granted the miracle that is pregnancy, child birth and life. Every day I thank God for the immeasurable privilege, responsibility, joy and precious life he has given us. What more can I do? 

I know that the struggle goes on for so many of you, and we will have to embark once again on the journey that is infertility... I'm praying for you all and hoping that despite past struggles, disappointments and failures, that your miracle is just around the corner...

God bless,
Abe

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

30!

Hi everyone,

No, I'm not turning thirty - not yet anyway - but according to my blogger dashboard this is the thirtieth blog I've written... It doesn't seem like that many - but I suppose it must be...

To update you all, Sarah is still trying hard to cope with tiredness every second day, has not thrown up now for a good few days, but still suffers with nausea until her stomach settles mid morning. She has had particular issues with her bladder - she called the midwife several days ago about it because she'd had continuous paid in the pelvic region for longer than 24 hours, and the midwife was a little concerned so she arranged for Sarah to have a quick hospital visit to have tests done so an obstitrician could take a look at the results - apparently nothing to be overly concerned about - just a little protien in the urine, and possibly a minor bladder infection - but could have been just bacterial contamination. She still frequently has bladder pain, but no urgency to go to the loo, or stinging on peeing. So Sarah has had to give more urine to be tested. Apparently the babies heart is beating strongly and the rate is "appropriately varied" - which is no doubt better than inappropriately varied... 

We announced our pregnancy at church this weekend - It wasn't as pretentious as that sounds... During the evening service they were asking various people if they had anything that they wanted to say that they were particularly thankful for to God - and Sarah was asked if she wanted to do anything like that - so it seemed appropriate to both say our bit and thank everyone for being so supportive and prayerful for us. Before I started this blog, Sarah had spoken at another sunday evening regular event called "My Story", where various people are asked to shar snippets from their life which are significant - So Sarah shared about our issues, and since then it's been a rather public affair, and there have been people who just assumed that because Sarah talked about it then, that we would be fine and happy to talk about it with who ever - when ever - which I'm sure many of you will agree is not always going to be the case. But most of the time it was fine. So this was our way of just letting everyone know what's going on and how we're going. There have been a great number of people who have prayed for us regularly from Church, and they have been a great support. As of course have all of you! So thank you for all your kind, and encouraging and thoughtful words of wisdom :-)

On a more quirky note - Sarah and I have been watching Smallville, and to my amazement Sarah knows very little of the Superman story - so we rented the five Superman movies and are going to watch them through this week. Who cares that the originals were made in the late seventies and eighties - it's a great story! Some classics will never die!

God bless,
Abe 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Meet Emby!

Hi everyone,

Sarah had her week 13 scan yesterday, which was a great 
time! Our ultrasonographer is really nice, and has a number of typical trademark jokes which are world famous in our neck of the woods... he hasn't tried any of them on us directly yet, but I know they are on their way sooner or later. 

The NT test result is fine. In his words we have a perfect looking baby. Nice to hear, but I'm sure he says that to all the parents he scans!

Here is our latest picture of Emby...


During the last scan we had we got to see a faint flicker that indicated the heart beat, and that was a very relieving sight to see (It seems like so long ago!), but yesterday we got to hear the heart beat, only briefly, but it was music to my ears I tell you! 

Sarah now feels like it's a bit more real. We also had an appointment with our midwife today - she is really nice. I missed most of it because I was working, but I was able to meet her during my lunch break, and I managed to catch some of the conversation. I think we can both be happy with her as our midwife. 

Sometimes it does seem a little surreal and rather dream like with all of this going on. It's a real challenge to let myself believe that everything could actually be ok, and that we can actually enjoy this time and process and it could actually turn out just fine. Maybe we don't need to second guess what will happen. Up until now we've felt that it's safest not to get too emotionally attached to the idea that we may actually get a healthy and beautiful baby at the end of all of this - but maybe we can allow ourselves the luxury of believing? Sarah said to me before the scan that she felt like seeing the baby in the scan would make it seem less like a trick, and more like a reality that there was a baby inside her. I think that is a good summary of how we've been thinking until now. It's seemed easier to think of it as simply a positive test, and a blob on an untrasound scan (let's face it - those have been the only proofs we've had that there was a baby), than the very real possibility of a little human life being born to us in about 6 months time. It's almost too exciting to bear thinking about! I can't remember which movie I've heard this phrase off but it fits... "Even whispering the words could cause it to vanish" - well it was something like that... Basically it has almost felt like if we were to talk about having a baby, the whole thing could vanish as if it were a mist on a hot summer day. 

But now we have an abstract image to call OUR baby! God has truly given us so much more than we deserve. When having a baby is something that you struggle to do - pregnancy is never taken for granted, and our Baby (if I dare say it...) WHEN it is born, will be the greatest treasure we've been given.

Abe

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The life and times of...

Hi all,

After being spurred on to give a more thorough update on the pregnancy (and seeing as I have a little bit of spare time) I thought I'd do just that.

We are about 12 and a half weeks through now, and we've finally managed to get hold of a midwife who seems even remotely interested and sensitive to our situation. This is quite a relief for Sarah, as it's been on our radar as something that we needed to get organised. We have been referred to from our fertility clinic to specialist obstetric care in our little hick town hospital. This doesn't exactly fill us with confidence as our hospital is notorious in our district is being filled with locum doctors who don't hang around long enough to get any real experience, and the doctors that do hang around tend to be foreign with poor communication skills, and a bed-side manner to match... We simply pray like mad that there won't be any complications to the pregnancy or labor - because anything out of the ordinary will likely be beyond the knowledge and skills of the doctors available unless its during normal working hours... Anyway enough ranting about that... 

We are almost due for the 13 week nutial test to look for the possibility of Down's syndrome... We are not impressed that we are being made to consent to the test. As I understand it - apparently the test (for it to be funded) is required for us to be considered eligible for our 'specialist' care. Our LMC ("Lead maternity carer" - apparently the in vogue term for a midwife - who really cares what you call it?!) seems really lovely and is looking for a way around it for us. We don't object to the test - or it's ramifications, it's just that either way we will never terminate our pregnancy. The only thing a positive test result will do is cause more stress for us. What everyone in the health system fails to take into account is that there are very real chances of false positives for this test. So many abortions occur based on this test, and only God knows how many of them are performed in error based on the results of one scan. We personally know of situations where a positive result has led to christian parents-to-be being forced to decide on whether to continue the pregnancy, and having decided to go through with it have had perfectly normal babies. So for us the result is irrelevant. But I guess there is a certain attraction to the philosophy that ignorance is bliss at this stage.

Otherwise, Sarah is not feeling quite so sick, but still struggling with eating eno0ugh to stave off the dizziness and headaches and finding palatable foods to eat.  We find ourselves trying to figure out if there is a little bump present or not. We have begun telling some closer friends that didn't already know about our Emby, and perhaps it hasn't been on the radar of as many people as we thought it was. Of course this whole thing has consumed much of our thoughts and been on our minds constantly for the last 2 months, but everyone else's lives go on, and it's probably a good thing that they don't think about us as much as we think they think about us. :-) 

We decided this morning that every weekend we would do something baby orientated. I guess it has a number of positives. Firstly it means that we get things done on a more even keel than what is normal I guess, and secondly it means that we have something to look forward to during the week. This week I think we will pull down the Christmas tree, and move back the furniture we moved to the baby's room to make room for the Christmas tree, and finish off tidying the baby's room. It is a real mess at the moment - although not as bad as when we started of course...

I really can't believe that we are almost through the first trimester! I suppose we have had it on our minds right from the beginning - where as most pregnant couples don't know for possibly a month or six weeks into it. I guess all those old people I ever asked about how quickly life  seemed to have passed during this time were right - it does seem to vanish as a vapour into the past. The past always seems to be like that, because all we have to quantify it with is our memory, and it never records things for us linearly - it's like things can be recorded in parallel - and of course the mundane always gets edited out. It's the present that always seems to be the most boring, mundane and time consuming. Somehow the future always seems so far away - unless of course it's a test or some unpleasant work thing that's tomorrow or next week - then the time flies by!

I just re-read what I've typed below and wanted to add a wee prefix. Please don't think that what I'm about to say is arrogant or condesending in any way. If you read my earlier blogs from before we had our positive test you will see my thoughts were the same then when we had only glimmers of hope always just out of arms reach... anyway - back into the stream of conciousness...

I have been reading a few other blogs where people have felt that they have had a bit of a drop in readership since they announced their pregnancies. I recall a number of times before Sarah's pregnancy where well meaning people (this happened more in real life than through blog comments) would offer stories about a relative, or friend who had apparently tried for years to get pregnant and succeeded through IVF, or IUI, or by simply not stressing about it anymore... and God granted them a miracle... Which is great for them, but as the infertile couple struggling with day to day and month to month - stories like that offer no comfort what so ever. I know that. So I hope that when couples who are struggling with trying to get that big fat positive pee on a stick test or blood test or what ever, read my blog - that they don't feel like I'm rooting for that same view point of 'encouragement' in their life - cause I'm not. I realised that for us, all those 'positive' stories were simply irrelevant. You can't say that simply because we managed to have a positive pregnancy test after our second IVF, after 3 and a half years of trying that it's ok cause sooner or later you'll get there too. Your situation is entirely different. I'm not naive enough to think that simply cause we had all our dreams come true that you will too. God has his own rhyme and reason. Like Job in the bible, I refuse to rant and rave at God for the perceived injustices in my life. There is more to my life circumstances than what I can perceive or understand, and it would be arrogant to suggest any differently. So if you are reading this and are asking the question "why has God allowed this to happen", don't be so quick to blame him. If you want the best answer you are going to get to that question this side of death then read the first couple of chapters of Job. There are hints there as to what really happens behind the scenes in our lives. In the last couple of chapters God lets us in on the secret of why we have no right to blame him for the circumstances we can't control in our lives. He puts us in our place. But makes it clear that he loves you and I - and those things which cause us short (or even long term) pain are often necessary in God's economy to bring us to an even longer term gain.

Sorry, I didn't mean to get all philosophical on you. It kind of just happened.

For those of you struggling with those things that are just beyond your grasp the best thing I can say is keep struggling - not don't give up hope - cause there might be days when you may not have a choice. Life wasn't meant to be fair, we should stop expecting it to be. But don't stop being optimistic. Pessimism is easy when we are trying to protect ourselves, and it's easy to be surprised when we don't think something good will happen. But pessimism will rob your joy, and hollow out your heart. It's simply the best thing to say that there is much in the world and in the life that we are just not supposed to understand. So stop expecting to - and thank God for all the blessings he has given you.

I know that if/when our baby is born we are going to look once again at having another. The same series of emotions/hopes/hurts/desires are going to re-emerge. We haven't been cured from our infertility by having one BFP.

Infertility is not just a medical condition, it is a social condition, an emotional condition, a mental condition and a spiritual condition. I'm not however saying that it is a disease. But for those of us who have the condition, it is all encompassing.

Abe

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Every expecting husbands worst nightmare...

I was just browsing the blogosphere for blogs about fathers who had become such recently and hoped to gleen some pointers. I searched for "blog becoming a dad", and there were various returns but one stuck out... "Becoming a Dad and a widdower all at once". So I followed the link.
 The blog this link refered to is a tear jerker, and as I say - every husbands worst nightmare.  It's certainly worth a read. I take my hat off to this guy - so many guys can't be a father to their child when there is a mother around to share the load - this guy has his priorities right - despite the tragedy of their situation he has continued through probably the roughest days any of us can imagine. 

Still I got thinking before about how life must change when fatherhood approaches - its a scarey thought how the responsibility of parenthood is thrust upon us. We've been trying for about three and a half years to get pregnant, and now that we're here, I don't think that we'll ever feel ready for children, so perhaps it's just as well these things get thrust upon us. I've just realised how that sounds - when I say "thrust upon us", I mean that once you start this journey it cannot be paused so you can catch your breath, or check the user manual. I can't wait to hold our child in my arms, and speak it's name. But as I say there is lots of potential to screw things up along the way. 

Still it's probably as easy as falling off a log - cause usually you have no choice about how you land once you start falling, but very few people don't live to tell the story afterwards :-)

That's enough musing for one night...
Abe