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On my way to the bathroom on the 28th of June, I remembered that it was 14 dpo.

Strangely, ovulation only happened on CD20 of this cycle, so it was actually already CD34. The ovulation date diagnosis was maybe a bit iffy, as it was based on characteristic ovulation pain and one ovulation prediction stick that had already expired in 2009.

So rewinding two weeks, back to CD20: I saw that LH surge on the OPK rather late in the evening on the 14th of June. So I walked over to DH, swaying my hips as seductively as I could manage at the time. I was actually quite exhausted and feeling very much not in the mood, as our gorgeous little girl was still happily doing stay-awake-training for parents at night, as had been the case for some time, actually. (And as is still the case, although we finally started countering this week with sleep training for little ones..)

Anyway, I mentioned to DH that there was a ‘target’ for him to shoot at. I said it was either that, or I was making up the target story to get ‘some’. Either way, he wasn’t going to get away! And as always, my awesome DH happily and grandly rose to the occasion. We rather hurriedly ‘made a plan’ not that long before midnight on the bunk bed in the nursery – as LO was asleep (for a change) in the cot in our romantic (hahaha – little joke here) bedroom.

So zooming back to 14 dpo: I went back into the bedroom and rummaged through my cupboard. Luckily I found an HPT that managed to escape the POAS-fest that followed after my previous BFP (at which time I was armed with enough fresh HPTs to test every woman in a small African country).

I went into the bathroom, did the deed and got back into bed to read my baby girl a story. I waved the HPT stick in DH’s direction and said that the test was of course negative, but he had to remember that we’d need patience due to my age, his age, my endo, our IF history, etc., etc., blah, blah..

DH took the stick from me, looked at it and became quiet. “Let me turn up the down lighters for you so you can have a closer look”, he said as he handed the stick back to me.

This time I looked. And there it was. Clear as day. A second line.


I’ve been back at work (from maternity leave) for over a week. It was long enough for me to realize that I’m going to take very long to adjust to this new setup.

I have a good enough job (if not the stuff movies or series are based on – hahaha, not even close!) and an amazingly understanding female boss. I found a daymother on Gumtree that I feel reasonably comfortable with (i.e. as comfortable as one could feel about a stranger you’re entrusting with the most precious gift you’ve ever received). I should be grateful.

It’s just that I always thought I’d be a stay-at-home mom like my mother. She married a kinda rich man though (my darling dad), while a geeky, kinda hunky scientist in an ancient bakkie stole my heart. I now realize that being a working girl is one thing, but leaving your long awaited baby girl with a total stranger is quite another.

So here I am, thinking some big-time jealous thoughts about The Other Woman… ’cause my baby angel’s daymother is the one who:

  • now gets to spend more time with my little angel during workweeks than I do.
  • gets to enjoy those Miss Sunshine smiles every weekday when my angel wakes up from a morning nap.
  • will have more opportunities in a given week than I will to comfort and hold her when she cries.
  • might be the one who gets to hear my angel laugh her first belly laugh, say her first word, see her take those first wobbly steps…

How is a mother’s heart supposed to adjust to all that? Ever?

I’ve finally finished the story of my LO’s birth (and about time!), so here goes:

On the 16th of July just before going to bed, I complained to DH that I was feeling crampy. It was past midnight and I thought the fun-filled Friday evening around Chinese take-aways with my brother, SIL and delightful 2-year old nephew explained my discomfort.

I was 35w6d pregnant and the weekend’s to do list was crammed with get-ready-for-baby chores: ‘pack hospital bag’, ‘buy car seat’ ‘cook food to stock freezer’, etc. At my gynae appointment only 5 days earlier there was nothing to indicate that baby was anything but cosily awaiting her due date (14 Aug).

At 4 o’clock, I woke up and went to the loo. A trickle started on my way there and I instantly knew it was amnio fluid. I was shocked to see some blood when I got to the bathroom. The trickle soon turned into a steady stream.

It turns out that the quickest way to wake a DH from his slumber is to holler from the bathroom that he should call the labour ward and inform them that we’re on our way. I popped into the shower and then hurriedly threw a few things into my hospital bag.

At the hospital, a friendly, but both adamant and clueless porter made me troop through most of the hospital. This is very inconvenient while you’re worried about the absorbency of maternity pads and whether you’re trailing amnio fluid. I insisted that I needed to go to the labour ward, but he somehow thought I was supposed to first check into the ER. After ER told him to take me to the labour ward, he proceeded to march me to the maternity ward. He then finally took me to the labour ward, i.e. where I was headed before he intercepted. 😕

The monitor showed some contractions, but the cramps were not even close to as bad as my AF cramps so I was unperturbed. The gynae visited at about 5:30. He admitted me and said he won’t give any treatment to keep LO in, but hoped that maybe she’d stay put for another week. My cervix was completely closed. He gave me antibiotics and steroids and then left for the beach. It was his day off and I was fine with seeing the on call gynae for the day.

When the on call gynae saw met around 8 am he didn’t want to do an internal check as I was clearly not in labour and he didn’t want to risk infection.

Considering the pregnancy was only at 36w, I did not want to have a C-sec should I go into premature labour. I previously booked an elective C-sec to avoid a long drawn out labour with a full term LO stuck inside followed by an emergency C-sec. Since preemies are very prone to respiratory problems, I didn’t want to compound that risk by having a C-sec for a tiny little baby. Also, by not doing an elective C-sec, LO could stay put for as long as possible.

Not long after the gynae left, the cramps intensified. A nurse hooked me up to the monitor again, but the dumb machine somehow showed that the contractions were less severe than previously. The nurse believed the machine and told me not to worry.. Sheesh!

I popped into the shower after sending DH to buy some shampoo, but by then the cramps became severe. I worried I might pass out in the shower, so I got out and sat down on the physio ball.

At 9:30 I called the hairdresser between contractions to cancel my 10 am appointment. Having a baby seemed a valid reason for cancelling! 😉

DH returned with the shampoo (which was no longer required) to find me on that enormously silly ball, in tears. I then got to do all that undignified moaning, crawling around and screaming I thought I’d avoid when I originally booked a C-sec. 😦

I called a nurse once or twice, but they just went on about Braxton hicks and rolled their eyes at this ‘overdramatic first timer’. I kept insisting that the baby was coming and that they’d better call the doctor..

At some stage a nurse thought it an idea to offer me gas for pain relief. I immediately started sucking the stuff like I was trying to make the cylinder implode. Alas, I can’t say I was impressed by the pain relieving properties of gas. The nurse warned me to go less heavy on the gas as it could apparently make you pass out. I was still sitting on the physio ball (by then all slippery from amnio fluid) and woozily hanging onto DH – my pillar of strength – for dear life. Actually, passing out sounded like a lovely option!

At around 11 the gynae was back and I asked for an epidural the moment I saw him. He took one look at my cervix and told me it was way too late for that! I was fully dilated and he said that one or two big pushes would bring LO into the world.

His prediction was slightly off as it felt like a lot more than 2 big pushes that was needed. The gynae was generally great, but he kept marvelling at how naturally everything was happening. I was too otherwise engaged to give him a piece of my mind on what I think about ‘natural’ birth.. (You can read all about those dark thoughts here.)

DH was wonderful even though I would quite frankly have preferred him not seeing me like that. He kept telling me that I was doing amazingly well. He was even assisting the nurses, adjusting the bed and keeping me up to date on LO’s progress (“I can see her crowning”!).

LO was born at 12:14 am weighing 2.7 kg and 49 cm tall.

I looked at her and felt the most incredible rush of love. After 9 months of carrying her (OK, 8), I was surprised to catch myself thinking, “There truly is a little baby! It was all true.” (Gazing into her dark brown, dazed eyes, I bet she was even more surprised to see me.)

My worries of her being whisked off to an incubator was laid to rest when they put her delicate, pink body on my chest. My late pretermer aced the Apgar tests with with 9/10 and 10/10. As she lay on my chest, she lifted her tiny head turned it to the side and guardedly studied DH’s face as he sat next to the bed.

After 45 more mins, the gynae declared the placenta stuck tight and I was rushed into theatre for an evacuation. Not too bad an experience really as I love anaesthetic. (Yes, seriously!) After an eventful night and having missed out on an epidural I loved getting some blissful ‘time out’.

DH was kangaroo-caring for LO until I came out of the recovery room. Soon as I got to hold my LO, I wanted to never let go of her again. I fed her and she latched and nursed like a voracious little tiger cub. I thought it was amazing that she knew exactly what to do to be able to nurse.

The nurses kept asking whether they could put her in the nursery for the night and I kept replying that I wanted to hold her just a few more minutes. They finally took her at about 1 am, but I couldn’t sleep anyway. At about 3:30 am, I tiptoed to the nursery and fetched my baby angel so I could hold her, love her and marvel at her tiny face some more. I waited for her long enough.

We were discharged two days later with LO weighing 2.5 kg. On my hit parade of favourite days, Take-baby-home day tops the charts as it is right up there with my wedding day. More joy, love and happiness were squeezed into that one day than one could ever dare hope for.

When we carried our little angel into her new home, DH turned to me and said, “Can you believe that we get to keep her? We never have to hand her back to some other parents again”.

My little star is weighing about 5 kg, so twice her weight on take-baby-home day. I love breastfeeding her. To me there’s something almost holy in those intimate moments when she’s drinking quietly and contently, her tiny body pressed against mine. (If we can ignore those fussy evening feeds for a minute here!)

As for sleeping, uhm, well.. stars are brightest at night, right? She takes after her never-tired daddy.. She still wakes up every two hours to visit Mommy’s Diner, roughly 12 am, 2 am, 4 am and again at 6. During the day, LO can go without sleep for up to about 6 hours! I often spend half an hour getting her to sleep – then after 15 minutes of sleep, she opens those big blue eyes, gives me a big grin and wants to be held, carried around, entertained or whatnot again!

She hates dummies, Telament drops, vaccinations, those frequent stomach cramps and sitting in the same spot for long.

She loves baths, her swing, her daddy, gripe water, lullabies and mommy’s breast (a restaurant, snack bar, pacifier and pillow all in one!).

I still spend a significant amount of time on work tasks, or stressing about work deadlines even though I’m on maternity leave till mid November. I’ve dropped out of my UNISA studies this semester – finding no time for the assignments. Sigh.

So in short, LO is doing well, DH is still the proudest dad ever and I’m the lucky, if utterly exhausted mommy of the most amazing little one.

At yesterday’s scan, our ‘Babaliefie’ weighed 1.47 kg. She is growing beautifully along the 50th percentile line, except for her tummy which is on the 90th percentile.

Sounds as if she’s looking a bit like mommy then! My bump has by now totally popped out and I’d be a prime suspect if anyone asked “Who ate the soccer ball?”

As for my birth plan, having perused everything I could find on birth outcomes, I told the gynae that vaginal birth sounds like a good option to me only if it doesn’t involve forceps, hoovers or an emergency c-sec.

The risks associated with an elective c-sec is much more acceptable to me than the risks (to both baby and me) associated with these less than ideal ‘natural birth’ outcomes – even if c-sec recovery would be a lot less convenient for me. All things considered and looking at my risks for having a not so uncomplicated vaginal birth, we’re therefore thinking along the lines of an elective c-sec after 39 weeks at the moment.

I’m also doing very well, although I’m (I guess understandably) a lot more tired lately. I’m constantly at war with heartburn, reflux and nausea, although I still feel much better than in the horrible 1st trimester. With my favourite pregnancy reflux drug, Cimetidine, out of stock in the Western Cape (DH says it’s cause I bought it all), I switched to Ranitidine which seems to be less effective for me.

Highlight at the moment: When I snuggle close to DH at night and hold him tight (“lepel-lê”), our LG loves kicking her daddy in the back/buttocks. It’s the first game that LG plays with her daddy and DH so loves this.

On Friday, the gynae simply shook his head and said he was giving up on getting a nice picture of our ‘woelwatertjie’.. Every photo was just a blur of activity!

Oh dear, I’m starting to wonder whether LG is going to be bouncing off the walls once she’s a baby too – just in bigger rooms?

“Hey, now listen to mommy, Liefie – a little sleepyhead baby (like mommy was) is way cute too!”

At least the gynae managed to take her measurements and she is right on schedule – 761g and perfect.

I’m writing a UNISA exam on Friday, so maybe when I get to relax more after the exam (not that I really feel stressed out), so will LG. However, since each of the 3 docs who scanned her have commented on her very, very high activity level (ever since her 8w scan), I wonder whether we are in for a bit of a challenge here!

I’m starting to practise saying the following phrase in my sleep: “Your daughter clearly takes after you, Daddy. It’s your turn to get up..”

LO was peacefully asleep at the start of today’s scan, allowing the doc to get a good look at my perfect little girl. I held my breath as I saw her lying dead still at first! However, she soon awoke and was her normal playful self, waving, dancing and amusing herself with the cord.

My thoughts are filled with dreams of my little angel. I constantly dream up new ideas for her nursery and our life together. Too bad we only have one room to decorate! Choices, choices..

I have overnight turned into one of those glowing, energetic preggy women I could only admire during the m/s weeks. I still wear ‘normal clothes’ most of the time, but I’m sure I’ll wake up with a proper bump any day now.

DH looks more excited by the day. It melts my heart when he speaks of his dreams, as he puts a laminated wooden floor in the nursery, makes baby furniture, plans how we’ll bath her, etc.

He says the sweetest things, like: “If I pave this part of the lawn, she’ll have some nice space for riding her bike some day..”

We’re so blessed.

My first ever beta test is spinning in a machine right now!

It’s 14 dpo and I feel totally pregnant. But OK fine, every previous month I’ve felt like just like this – but it was always only a matter of time before AF got onto that menstrual cycle and ran my ass over.

So this morning, DH and I had the following conversation over breakfast:

Me: What if it’s a BFN, as is most likely the case according to the stats?

Him: Hmm, I’ll have to give you a hiding then.

Me: Why would it be my fault?! Surely a BFN might as well be due to your wonky sperm?

Him: I gave it 25 million shots this month. And you? (Hmm, hard to compete with that. I had ‘only’ 4 follies .)

Me: True. But what if none of your boys find the way to those eggies and they’re too silly or proud to ask for directions?

Him: They’ve got GPS.. 😀

He got me there and I was by then laughing too much to even try and think of a comeback line!

Phew, ever feel like you’re not gonna survive the 2ww this time round?

I’ve been fine on Clomid, the Ovidrel didn’t bother me, but I those damned Utrogestan tabs.. Ever since I first saw those pills, I’ve been ravenously hungry and thirsty. By now, I’m both nauseous and hungry most of the time.

I have heartburn, but maybe that’s because I’m constantly craving (and devouring) olives, capers and the vinegar pickle they come in. Yesterday I left home late for work, but still had to stop to pick up yet another jar of olives on my way to work. I finished half of it before I even reached the office. (Without getting too much oil on my steering wheel, I’m proud to say.)

I POAS this morning at 11 dpo. And it’s just too early, right? Right?

I’ve already got my luckiest panty laid out for when I go for the beta on Friday, but to be honest: if my chances are 15% for this IUI cycle (let’s be optimistic and forget about my age!), it’s still easier to imagine 85% happening than 15%!

It breaks my heart when my DH prays every night that I be pregnant by Christmas so we can have a happy time with the family.

Last Thursday (the night before my 1st IUI), I came home to find my solid rock of a DH completely freaked. He panicked they’d have a mix up in the lab (he’s a lab rat himself) and we’d end up with a kiddie of the wrong race or something.

DH wanted to call the whole thing off! I called my dear FS at 9 pm and he listened patiently, came up with various solutions and calmed us down.

I think the tantrum was in part due to DHs internal struggle to cope with the situation. When I stood in front of my closet Thursday night, as always muttering to myself that I have nothing to wear the next day, DH piped up from the side: “You should wear your sexy, black teddy. I always wanted you to wear that when we conceive our first child..” So I held him tight as we laughed at the little joke and cried at the loss of one dream and the birth of another.

Friday was plain sailing and the procedure was over in the wink of an eye. (No, I didn’t wear that teddy!)

Amazingly, instead of scurrying off to answer e-mails afterwards, my sweet FS started chatting. We were talking about Sharon’s terrible loss, life, our jobs, God, dreams, disappointments..

When we glanced at the watch, more than 30 minutes had already passed. I got up feeling relaxed, hopeful, counselled and in awe of my FS. I called DH and reassured him that everything will be fine, one way or another.

Who knows whether I have a tummy full of triplets or no LO at all? Although the wait is on and the pressure is likely to start increasing soon, DH and I had grateful hearts and enjoyed a blissful weekend in the Karoo.

P.S. Please note that the reason I mentioned that popping a kiddie from a different race would be a problem, is that just imagine the amount of crap we’d get from everybody if that were to happen? Especially if we were less than open about how we got that BFP before the birth..


July 2019
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