Tuesday, January 27, 2009


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,

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.


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.


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...