I did it

Did what?

Well. A few things.

First of all. I became one of those people who I really didn’t want to become. As in – haven’t written a blog post in I don’t even want to check how long. Must be at least 9 months though, because I’m 37 weeks pregnant today.

That’s right. I did that as well. Well that took 2 people obviously. And yes it’s been a journey!!!!

Being pregnant obviously made my hormones sky rocket, to the point I was having 1 or 2 panic attacks a day. It was the vulnerability of being pregnant. It was the aggressive guy I was sitting next to at work. It was everything. So I did the only thing I knew what what to do. I got some therapy. I got some CBT.

My partner – let’s call him Koso – just didn’t understand at firsr, but I can’t fault him for lack of trying. He did the typical “don’t panic”. Well isn’t that so helpful? But eventually he learned the best thing to do was just let me know he’s there and not give me suggestions. 

He understandably became extremely contious that our son will see me panicking in lifts for example, and pick it up. So we both knew I had to do something and not pass it on to him.

I ended up having 8 sessions of therapy (CBT), and 3 weeks off work. (Oh and I had a lovely understanding team leader who left while I was off sick and the one who replaced him laughed at me when I said I have anxiety. Great.) and it did really help.

I left for maternity leave at 33 weeks. Because it timed in well to leave before Christmas and take January as my annual leave. 

It’s not been an easy pregnancy either, and I wanted some rest. There was the anxiety as mentioned. Then the anemia – not such a big issue. Then the UTI’s every other week. Then the SPD (at one point I couldnt walk it felt like I was being stabbed in the back of the legs.) Then I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 28 weeks. I was high risk for this anyway due to the PCOS causing insulin resistance. So I carried on with the metformin and completely changed my diet. Bye bye sugar and all white carbs. Hello finger pricks. I found a wonderful supportive Facebook group for this which helped immensely. 

At 34 weeks I started getting Braxton hicks already so here is some more pain to deal with. Thats fine….

Then at 36 weeks I went to the hospital with reduced movements. Turns out I also have polyhydrammios, which is a complication of gestational diabetes. Basically there is too much fluid around my baby. Which is why I can’t feel him – because he is swimming!! I didn’t get any information. I just get wait to see my consultant (in 6 days). Everything is about waiting to see her. Waiting. Waiting. 

So as anyone would do. I consult Dr Google. Bad idea. So normal is 8-18cm of fluid. I have 29.2! I’m reading aweful things in Dr Google. If your waters break call an ambulance as there is a high risk of cord prolapse (cord coming out before baby), or the placenta can come away, there is an increased risk of bleeding, of preterm labour. “Try not to worry” they all say. 

Not worry? Not worry? I’m worrying! I’m panicking! I can’t sleep! The heart palpitations come back. Oh God what if my waters break while Koso is at work? What if something happens while I’m in labour? What if my baby boy doesn’t make it? 

Crap. I can’t keep worrying like this. My blood sugars have shot up. This affects him. I’m going to ask my consultant for a c-section. It’s the safest option medically. Safest for him. I don’t care if I tear. I dont care if it hurts. I care if he is in danger because of the placenta coming detatched or the cord falling out first. I don’t want to go to an emergency section where Koso can’t come in (which is very likely with induction – which she already mentioned what she wants to do) I’m sure every women has fears of childbirth it’s natural. But this is too much. I need help. I need an appointment with my therapist again.

Ok. I sort that. I book that. Then yesterday I go back to the consultant. Oh and my fluid index has now rised to 31.9. Ready with what to say. As soon as I mention c section she is not impressed. There are 3 of them staring at me I feel very intimidated. I tell them this. They laugh. I’m not joking. I read most of reasons but she isn’t having it. I say I’m anxious about childbirth too. She asks if I’ve been refered to the mental health pregnancy team. I say I’ve got a private therapist as the waiting list for theirs was months. She asks the midwife if that’s true she says yes. Why would I lie about this? 

My throat starts drying up. I point to my water which Koso passes, looking distressed as well. The seats are arranged so he’s on the other side of his room, too far for hand holding. My breath starts shortening and my eyes start getting watery. No. Not now. Come on. Deep breaths. I wish it wasnt so hot. I feel more exposed in just a t shirt. I need my arms covered. I grab my jumper and hold it like a child with a blanket. I can’t listen to what she’s saying properly because my mind starts to go cloudy and fuzzy. Its like I’m underwater and can’t hear what’s going on or breath properly. Concentrate. Concentrate. Its like this women is staring straight into me.  She’s very intimidating. I try to say something but I’m all dried up. What is wrong is me? Its just a meeting. With a consultant. Come on, you’re stronger than this. By my son. Why is she being like this. She asks for letter from my therapist for a second opinion if I want a c section for mental reasons. Koso says that’s fine we can get that. I say there are medical reasons but she shuts me down straight away. She can see I’m vulnerable but she doesn’t seem to care. You need proof? Look at me! 

Ok now I’m trying extremely hard to hold it in. I mumble I have more questions and just pass her my phone as I can’t really talk. She laughs at the first queation! About the midwife on the antenatal class says to pant at one point in labour but I feel it will make me panic. She passes it to the midwife to answer who kindly says “that’s ok. You do what you’re comfortable with, at this point you can use your breathing techniques.”. Why can’t the midwife be in charge instead of this consultant? A few more questions and she asks if I have any more. I shake my head. She asks Koso and he says no and next thing I know we are sitting outside waiting for the nurse (I need to start insulin). I need to get outside. This corrridoor is so small. Its so hot in here. Why are the walls yellow? Koso is trying to hold me and calm me down but I can’t breath. I need to get outside. Right now before I suffocate. I try to tell Koso. He looks concerned and says it’s cold I need to wear something. I’m so fucking hot I need to get outside NOW! I grab a coat and put in on as I walk out. Outside now. Fresh air. Thank God. My back is turned to the door people can’t see me. I start crying. I can’t breath. Come on. Stop it. In. Out. Deep. In deeply. Out deeply. Through the nose. My nose is blocked. There he is. Standing in front of me.  His arms around me now. Breath. Ok. “There’s no need to cry. Everything is ok. Our baby is ok. Everything is alright.” I know. I know. I’m almost in control. This will have to do. We head back in. I see the nurse and keep sniffling as she explains about how to use insulin. She asks a few times if I’m ok. She says she knows it’s stressful if I’ve done everything I can and my blood sugars are still too high. She’s nice. The midwife is nice. The consultant is scary.

Scary? Scary? You’re a grown women how can she be scary? Ok. Imtimidating, patronising, seemingly non empathetic. But not scary. Why am I so upset? 

Once we’re home I just want to sleep. I’m exhausted from all the emotion. Koso goes back to work. He’s fine. He’s happy. He’s always happy. Well he’s normal. Later on he doesn’t understand why I’m still so upset. I still can’t find energy to talk loud and move. Move out of bed. Off the bloody sofa. Clean the kitchen. I’m just so exhausted. 

I’ve let my son down. I didn’t fight enough for him. I should be giving him the best and safest way of how to come into this world. But I’m not. I’m exposing him to dangers. Too many dangers. I need to give him a better option. But I panicked. Again. It came back. I can’t keep panicking. When I’m with my son I can’t panic. I need to be strong for him.

Yeah I did it. I failed as a Mother already. Why am I so upset? I’m upset cause I’m upset. I’m upset cause I was upset. I was upset cause I was panicking. I was panicking cause I was scared. I was scared because there were too many things to go wrong. 

I’m going to have a couple of days with the curtains closed and getting my energy back. Mental and physical. Then I’m going to fight. I can’t be so weak. I can’t continue to let my son down.

Simple things

Hi all.

So, just to improve my social anxiety, I currently have an eye problem. I’ve got a ‘squint’. So I’ve got double vision all the time and I my left eye keeps wondering into the centre of my face. I have self-esteem issues as it is. And this does not help. It also makes it hard to play sport/watch TV/work e.c.t when there is two of everything. Glad my partner drives 🙂

So right now contact lenses are out of the question. So glasses it is. And they have some ‘prism’ sticker on one lens at the moment, this big chunky thing with lines which is helping me see while it’s under investigation. NHS staff at my hospital have been wonderful.

Apart from a blood test, I was required to do an Mri scan so they can check everything in my head is OK (er….physically). But alas, my anxiety had other ideas!

I’m also claustrophobic (I just get more fun don’t I?)! The waiting room has no windows. People had told me that they went in and we’re given headphones with music. My partner started to wall in with me but the nurse suggested he didn’t as he would have to stand for half hour. I told her I’m caustrohpic and she said ok and my partner left.

Put some bits in a locker. Go in. Lie down. They give me earplugs 😦 then start talking. I can’t really hear them though. I’m starting to get uncomfortable already. It’s a dark room they say something about 30 minutes and I slowly lie down. Then there are some wierd blue pad things over my ears. Ok, starting to find it difficult breathing now, am already imagining this thing swallowing me up. Then one lady goes to pull some plastic thing over my face and I stop breathing and get an overwhelming sense of panic. I’m straight into “flight mode” and say “I don’t like that, stop!” and push it away and sit up fast to get away from it. I swing my legs over the side and start breathing rapidly, and crying. I can’t stop thinking of myself being crushed in this thing and not being able to breath, which cause me more difficulty in slowing down my breathing.

The nurses are trying to comfort me saying they won’t force me to do anything I don’t want to. They ask if it will be better with him but I shake my head no. One suggests me to try it again, I turn and look at the thing and that’s enough. (Maybe it looked smaller because my glasses were in my locker?) I start panicking more and get the overwhelming urge to get out. I stand up abd the nurses come with my to my locker. I’ve started taking deep breaths once I’m out of the room. Through tears I ask if I have to be awake and she said yes. She said I need to talk to my consultant and see if there are other options because it wasn’t for me. She said she can sedate me, it will feel like I’m drunk, and I would be less worried about it

I came our and my partner saw me abd hugged me and I sobbed I couldn’t do it, it’s too small. He offered to come in with me but I said I just want to leave, so we did. And for half the bloody day I was still feeling panicky and upset. When I got back to work my supervisor saw me, and straight away took me to have a cup of tea and calm down before working (such a British resolve :)) 

A few friends have said “You’ve GOT to do it! Try again! It’s really important”, or something similar. And I know. But thinking about it makes me angry. I think I’m more angry at myself than anything. It’s an mri scan women, stop being so scarred!!!! I’m still not sure what I’ll do. I guess I need to find out how imperative it is that it’s complete, then go back sedated if necessary.

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so weak. There are lots of procedures people go through, lots of tests on unhealthy individuals, and I’m here moaning about at mri scan. But I wouldn’t have been able to go in there. I didn’t even go in it and I freaked. Oh and I forgot to mention to anyone wondering, you can come out half way through. They give you something to push if you want to come out.

Must keep pushing on

Imaginary line

So I don’t know about anyone. But I think I’m a serial ‘pee-on-a-stick’ er.

What annoys me is that during the time all other bodily symptoms indicate ovulation, I only ever get a faint line on my ovulation predictor kits (OPK).

I’m also an avid Googler. So I have of course Googled the hell out it. Read lots of fact pages and forums. Even found some pictures of opk’s people had done where the line kind of increases over time.

With a pregnancy test, any line on the test line, strong or weak, indicates a positive. With an OPK however, the test line must be darker or the same colour as the control line. Well this cycleand last cycle I have had all the other signs of ovulation (drop in basal body temperature, changes to cervix and cervical fluid), but only a faint line on the test line. Which is meant to be negative.

But if it’s negative then why do I have the other signs? And why do I only get a faint line around the time I feel like I’m ovulating? (I say ‘feel’ because I always get fatigue, back ache and cramps around ovulation).

Even though I’m testing twice a day, I’m going to go ahead and tell myself that it means I am ovulating, and that I just did it at the wrong time of day to get the positive result. I can’t piss in a cup at work now can I?

My partner’s opinion: “We just need to have lots of sex” 🙂

I don’t dare to think about what else it could be, such as not ovulating at all. No. That’s not an option. Sometimes I see the faint line, my heart jumps a little and I try to hold it different angles and in different lights. No. You ovulated yesterday, girl!

By the way, even if you’re period only occurs twice a year, you still always ovulate around two weeks before a period. So now is the start of my two week wait.

Still two weeks to wait…..

Oohhh I hope so much that I ovulated and we have created a miracle. If not, then I will start Clomid next cycle. Swe if that brings up a darker line…..

Some challenges are just too big

So last weekend I missed out on something which I really wanted to do. An event which lasted the whole weekend. Yeah, I was busy writing my final essay for this year on top of working full time, which gave me a great excuse not to go, but the reason I didn’t go is because I was too damn anxious.

People assume that when you don’t go it’s because you don’t want to. No. I really really want to but I emotionally can’t, and the emotions take over the physical, so you’re stuck.

What am I talking about? Capoeria. If you haven’t heard of it, I would suggest you YouTube it because it’s better watches than explained. It’s an afro-brazillian art form of dance, aerobics and martial arts.

I was instantly hooked on my first go. I’ve been to other martial arts centres but never for more than a couple of weeks because they make me feel so anxious. They are scary places with lots of people. I thought about learning to dance because I’m so stiff at parties cause if this nervousness so thought maybe if I learn how to do it I will have some confidence. So when Googling local dance places I saw Capoeira and thought I would give it a go.

Phoned them up. Turned up at first lesson nervous as hell. But to my surprise there were only five people there. That was lovely. They all introduced themselves and I imidietly felt comfortable there.

The couple who run it are really lovely. They have helped me out with food advice, general health and wellbeing, and it’s great fun. There is something endorphin releasing about doing cartwheels and handstands.

The course is held pretty much every day, with various lessons. But I only go weekdays because weekends there are lots of people.

As I said, I LOVE Capoeria. After a lesson I feel more energised, happier and more confident. But sometimes, if I’m feeling anxious, it’s too much and I might walk out of a lesson. I’ve done this a couple of times, but I’ve explained to the teachers and they are extremely understanding. It’s so lovely to be part of something special where people don’t judge you.

Well, I’m pretty sure they aren’t judging me. But then my anxiety pops into town and I start believing that they are judging me. At the end of most sessions there is a Roda. In a Roda, everyone stands in a circle and is clapping, drumming or standing, and two people ‘play’ in the middle, people take it turns to play. This for me is very nerve racking. As I said, there are not more than ten people there, so no more than 8 watching, but it makes me so nervous with people watching. I’m trying to get used to it but it’s hard. Of course, they are only encouraging me to do this not forcing me, and I could not do it if I wanted but I really do want to so am trying my best.

Actually, one of the guys there, when we were practicing, said “you need to look up.” You can’t defend yourself if you can’t see what your attacker is doing”
I said “story of my life I always look down” and he replied “no! You are at Capoeria now! Look up, be strong, see your problems and fight them”. This was quite heart warming to be honest. I do notice that I look at the floor all the time. My bf noticed this too, after we went skiing. I was wearing a gopro (cheap Chinese version) and all I ended up filming was the floor cause I was always looking down. So I’ve been trying to look up. Haven’t quite reached shoulders back confidence yet but small steps, eh.

So, on Saturdays there are lots of people there. They have food, and the lessons are longer, but there are too many people there so I haven’t yet worked up the confidence.

And every year they hold a wonderful ceremony in May, which is three days long and there is lots of lovely music and food, many workshops, and people get their chords (belts), first or upgrade to higher levels.

When I heard about this I was really excited to go. I think that was around September last year. But the closer it came, the more nervous I got. The idea of so many people being there while I was in the Roda, all the attention on me. It was making my heart race and making me angry just thinking about it. Even all those Maesters who had travelled to attend, which is delightful! But that just makes me more nervous. And then the socialising aspect of it. Of course, everyone is nice, but there would be lots of people there I hadn’t met and the attempt at making conversations. I can just about handle a couple of new people, if I speak to them individually, but lots is too much, especially as there would be no alcohol involved!

I let them know my feelings and they were understanding and said they would not make me do anything I was uncomfortable with. I really wanted to go and attend, and participate, but I just couldn’t. I think I would have just frozen, then gone to hide in the toilet, then started to panic and walk out. Sometimes that happens. I start panicking, I get really warm, my heart starts racing, my breath gets faster, and I need to get away from people and be completly in my own space or I’ll have a panic attack. I’m much of an avoid situations that make me anxious person. And flee as soon as I feel uncomfortable.

To, to avoid this, I didn’t go. I’m dissapointed in myself for missing our such a wonderful experience. I hope that I will be able to go next year.

I thought that I could still go to the party, though. They said I could come, and I wanted to go there too but I still worried about all the questions about why I wasn’t there (of course they would be friendly questions but it my mind they were interrogation), and by the time I finished doing my hair it was too late, it would have been finished by the time me and partner got there, so we didn’t go (he doesn’t do Capoeria but he attends the social events with me).

So, I didn’t even attend that. But now I’ve put myself in a predicament. As when I go back I will a) have questions. I think I will respond that I have had no time as I’m writing my final essays for the year and doing overtime at work. Which is not a lie. And then b) there will he people talking about it for weeks, if not months. So I will feel left out. Not because of the intentions of others, and I know this, I know that I know this! But because I will feel like I’m wasn’t involved, which I wasn’t, through my own fault, but it will still make me anxious and probably like half the time I won’t really talk to anyone there.

But must be strong. Must go back because I really enjoy it. Must not let this paranoia of social anxiety get it the way of doing something I love, and something which actually makes me feel like part of something, it does. But it’s hard to overcome social anxiety by feeling part of something because you misses out on a big part of that because of social anxiety.

This is something which is a good thing. Enjoyable. Why does my mind have to make it something anxiety provoking?

“sigh”

Small steps

So today something great happened regarding my anxiety.

But first, I’ll talk about my experience with Metformin so far. The first two days I felt extremely sick and tired. It was horrid. Last night I did some Googling and there were a few suggestions about eating half a sandwich, taking it, then eating the other half. So I did that and ate a breakfast first thing this morning instead of my usual eating it 3 hours after waking up. And today I felt good 🙂 So feeling positive about it at the moment.

Back to the social anxiety….

Once a month we have team meetings at work. There are about 20 of us. At the end, the manager goes round in a circle and asks everyone individually if they have any questions/comments/concerns or anything. Normally I will just say no quietly, or shake my head when my name is said. Even doing that, I still get my heart beatinf really really fast and feel like it’s going to pop out. Usually when they get to about four people in front of me, it starts, and I start shaking and feeling dizzy just because I know that all the attention will soon be on me.

But not today. Today my heart started beating fast when the question slide came up on the PowerPoint. So I started taking some deep breaths (surreptitiously) and concentrated on that, and decided that I did want to say something. I thought about what it was. It wasn’t a question, just a simple statement of something I had an issue with. And when it came to me I said it. And my heart was beating hard but no where near as much as usual. And after I said it, I focused really hard on what the manager said as a responce, meaning I could easier ignore what my anxiety was saying to me about what everyone else was thinking of me. And I kept concentrating on breathing after that.

For me, that’s a big success 🙂

Common abbreviations on fertility forums

So when I first started using forums about trying to conceive, problems with conceiving and the like, and also Facebook support sites, I kept seeing two or three random letters in the middle of sentences where words should have been! Recognising these from using selling and buying sites, I realised I had a lot of abbreviations to learn! (Note to self: Tia is not the name of half the people on buying and selling sites, it means Thanks In Advance).

So, I thought I would also share with you guys what they mean 🙂

TTC – Trying To Conceive
AF – Aunty Flo – Your period (if you get them)
BCP – Birth Control Pills
BFN – Big Fat Negative on your pregnancy test
BFP – Big Fat Positive on your pregnancy test – This is the goal!
CD – Cycle Day
CM – Cervical Mucus – Quite helpful to regularly check this to help predict ovulation days
DD – Dear Daughter
DH – Dear Husband
DP – Dear Partner
DPO – Days Past Ovulation
DS – Dear Son
DTD – Do The Deed – Always good
EDD – Estimated Due Date
HcG – Hormone which the HPT detects
HPT – Home Pregnancy Test – We should get discounts for buying these in bulk
MC – Miscarriage
MS – Morning Sickness
MW – Midwife
O – Ovulation
OPK – Ovulation Predictor Kit
PG – Pregnant
POAS – Pee On A Stick
SO – Significant Other
TWW – Two Week Wait – Which always seems to last forever

Hope that helps if anyone was wondering!

 

May 11th

Hey guys!

So took my first Metformin Xr yesterday. This morning I felt really spaced out! But I didn’t have crazy sugar cravings today, which is AWESOME!

But chocolate is always needed. Or at least something that tastes moderately like it. Recently my partner and I have been eating a lot of Alpro (wierd phone keeps trying to autotext Alpro to approximately) dessert. They’re vegan and low in saturated fats, and yummy. Absaloutly recommend 🙂

image

Pack of 4 for £1.50 in our local Sainsburys so not a hard find either!

Getting diagnosed with PCOS

Or should that title be “Not getting diagnosed with PCOS”

Because that would have been a more appropriate description of how my time was spent.

About four years ago I got the implant. Soon after that. Within three months, and with no noticeable change in my diet, I had shot from a size 6 to a size 12. I also hadn’t had any periods. After about a year I decided to have it out. It was quite a struggle to do this, the nurses at the clinic asked a lot of questions and insisted it was the best thing for me to keep it in, but I kept on going until it was eventually taken out.

I know some women who really hate being on their periods. And a lot of women seemed excited for me not having periods, like I was lucky. But I misses periods. I missed that pain of being a women and feeling like one. It’s wierd, but I didn’t feel like a adult, like I wasn’t a women. My body wasn’t working like a women’s body should.

Three months after having it removed, I still wasn’t having periods. I went back to the clinic and they said that it can take up to six months for periods to get back to normal after coming off the implant. I wasn’t convinced, but didn’t argue. I tend to back away from confrontation, even more so when I was younger, even just a few years. Actually, the nurse said to me “what the implant actually does is freeze your ovaries, and sometimes they stay frozen for a few months after it’s taken out”. (don’t quote me on that as fact, I haven’t researched it, so can’t say if it’s true or not!). It’s funny how they also don’t tell you that you will feel like you’re pregnant for about a month after having it taken out – that part is really crappy.

Anyway, I went back in another three months after not having periods and they said I should take the pill to help regulate my system. So I did. And after the second month, I had a period. It hurt like hell. I felt so sick cause I hadn’t had one for so long. But I was happy.

A while later, sometime last year, whilst with my current partner, I ran out of the pill. I forgot how many I had left, or I lost the last one?? Who knows. But it took me about a month to get an appointment and get more. However by then I had realised how different I felt off the pill. I felt happier, less moody and generally mentally better. So I decided I didn’t want to take it any more. My partner and I decided on different methods of conception, and I didn’t take it again.

Again. No period for three month. Start getting worried now, why does this keep happening? Again, I get told to wait after coming off the pill, they can take up to six months. Two months after this we decided we would like a baby. So I went back. They said it was only five months and I should keep waiting. Also, they won’t do anything on the NHS about checking your fertility until you’ve been trying for a baby for at least a year (Note: I can understand this, as there is a high percentage of people who concieve within their first year of trying). But I was sure there was something else.

My partner is Polish and he was speaking to one of this friends about this. This friend was a Doctor who worked at a private hospital. They spoke to the gyneachologist there and we ended up paying a small fee for an ultrasound and blood test.

Straight away, she knew that I had PCOS. She explained it, and it was all making sense as I continued to Google. She gave us some medicine to take home with us, but not use until the next period, and until she had the blood test results. They confirmed it, showing high levels of glucose and insulin.

I’m very lucky this friend knew someone. I’m still in the process of trying different medicines to sort it out. I’ve also started a Low-GI diet, hopefully I can blog some bits for that, too.

Sorry about the lack of a happy ending there. But it’s an ongoing blog, I hope to have a happy ending to this story soon 🙂

First post – Metformin

So today I start taking Metformin. I’m a bit worried as I’ve read that many women have felt really sick on it, with the constant need to go to the toilet, and nausea and being sick! I always feel like this about a week during ovulation anyway, and always have Imodium or something in my bag. But apparently the XR are slow release ones, so hopefully there will be less side effects! Of course, having the anxious brain I constantly worry about the negative outcomes of everything, but I’ll take this as my precaution and stock up my bag with Alka-Seltzer and Imodium!

Probably not the best first blog ever written, I will have to get more creative in future, including recipe posts. But for now, a problem (worry) shared is a problem halved and all that!