Happy Half Birthday

Happy Half Birthday

6 months today!!! Flown by. Although in those first few weeks i didnt think we would make it.

Little T is an absolute delight these days. Except when he is teething and/or stays up late. Which is a lot at the moment. But its fine because mostly he is awesome 

I still worry EVERY morning that he has died in his sleep (he is in his own room). I wake up and lie there waiting for him to make a noise, im too scared to go in first in case i find him lifeless. I remind myself daily that he is fine but im not sure ill ever stop feeling this way.

During the day though, we are having the best fun together. We have 4 classes a week and my anxiety about attending new ones is virtually zero. 

Support network is set up, and brilliant. 

We start weaning at the weekend. We are going with baby led. Im nervous and i dont know why. Perhaps because i have had such a strange relationship with food. Perhaps because its a sign time is flying past. Whatever it is, im fully kitted out now, and the veg is bought so i just need to take the plunge.

Changing tac slightly…

I had my 1st really down day yesterday. Id forgotten how low i could feel. It was preceeded by an anxiety attack the night before. It was a shock. I felt tearful all day. Its passed now but it was a stark reminder of why i take my meds.

Im currently having a kid free shop, its weird and i miss him. But its been nice to eat a sandwich slowly and drink a warm cup of tea. Haha

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

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NHS Funded IVF

NHS Funded IVF

There has been a lot of press recently regarding whether or not the NHS should fund IVF. 

Many CCGs have cut all funding and all but 3 of those that do provide IVF do not provide the recommended 3 cycles.

Funded IVF has become dependant on postcode. The ability to access IVF is now wealth based, not need based.

Ive been following articles regarding this subject on facebook. Reading the comments has either made my blood boil or made me weep…

‘Infertility isnt life threatening’. No, but the side effects (depression being a big one) are.

‘Infertility isnt an illness.’ Yes it is. Something doesnt work that should meaning a baby cannot be made the traditional way.

‘Having a child is a choice’. Nope. I NEEDED to be a Mummy. I NEEDED a biological child.

‘IVF shouldnt be funded as fostering/adoption is a better alternative.’ No. Simply not true. As above, for some, if not most, having a biological child isnt just a want, its a need.

‘If you cant afford IVF you shouldnt have children. Plain and simple’. By that logic there should be no child benefit, no child/working tax credits. If you lose your job your child should be taken away and given to a family who can afford them. In fact, unless you earn £X amount you shouldnt be allowed to concieve.

The majority of these arguments have been argued by couples able to concieve by the way.

Many of the arguments against funding revolve around it not being a medical need…tummy tucks, boob jobs, lipo, all provided on the NHS due to the mental health impact of not having these surgeries on a patient.

How is IVF different? A couple are not awarded funding willy nilly. There are so many hoops. Length of time trying, length of time living together, years of investigations, years of other treatments, smoker status, BMI. Its not an easy option. 

I totally agree that once you have a living child, the funding stops. However if that child is from a previous relationship i do think 1 cycle of IVF should be funded. At the moment, people are being punished for having step children, which doesnt allay the NEED for a biological child.

The other problem people have is, IVF doesnt guarantee a couple a child. Hate to break this to you, but nor does the tradtional method. Otherwise every time a couple had unprotected sex during ovulation, a woman would be pregnant.

There does need to be a national standard on how much a CCG is charged per cycle of IVF. That would help enormously as some areas are charged 3 times more than others. However, that issue should affect the patient. Ever.

The widespread cutting of funding means thousands of couples are left without any options. I was lucky. I was awarded 2 cycles. Used 1 and then borrowed money to go abroad, the rest of my IVF was funded by inheritance. I opted out of my second cycle to access better treatment abroad. That was my choice. Choice being the key word. No funding means no choice. 

Alcoholics, smokers and over eaters all have a choice. And whichever choice they make, the NHS is there to help. So why are infertile couples any different? 

They arent. 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Halloween Fun

Halloween Fun

As a bit of fun, i entered Little T into a cute baby contest. 

I by no means think he will win but if you want to have fun looking at cute babies, follow the below link

Cute Babies! 

We also won a free photo shoot last week. 

We got lots of images but here are a few halloween themed ones

He’s not a massive fan of the pumpkin costume and certainly not the hat, but it wasnt cheap so ive already had him in it twice and he’ll be wearing it all day today.

Its super fun dressing up babies!!! 

Happy Halloween everyone

Stay safe

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Pointless post

Little T isnt well. He started off snuffly and now has a hacking/barking cough and a cold.

I passed him my cold. Im wracked with guilt and shattered as im not sleeping. Im worried hes going to die. I can hear mucus on his chest but hes not coughing it up. Im worried he will drown. Which i know is stupid but im a mess anyway.

Hes also moved into his own room this weekend. He had to. He was practically wearing the crib in our room. Hes taken really well to his big boy cot. Im actually shocked at how well given hes poorly.

Hes napping more as he is unwell, but has no temperature so i think its just a cold. Do i take him to the GP anyway? 

He is eating but less than normal, probably as he is snuffly. Im giving him Calcough to coat his throat as it sounds a bit sore. Im running the shower and letting him breathe in the steam, what else can i do? 

Its a minefield. I dont want to waste the GPs time but i dont want him to suffer. Am i worrying un-neccesarily? 

I thinking of sleeping in the rocking chair so i can hear him breathing between coughs.  Is that OTT? Will it make me more anxious? 

When awake hes in good spirits, seems himself etc. 

What do i do? Im not one for bothering the GP usually but im worried ill try to manage it and itll be a chest infection and ill put him at risk.

Minefield.

Its 1am and i needed to get it out. I might get some sleep now. I saw 1am, twice, last night, stupid clocks going back.

Anyway.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Wave of Light 2017

Wave of Light 2017

Today marks the end of babyloss awareness week. For those of us unlucky enough to have experienced babyloss, everyday is awareness day.

It lives with you. Even if you have a sunshine baby (before a loss) and/or rainbow baby (after a loss) you never forget your angel baby/ies.

People expect you to move on, to get over it, but how do you say goodbye to someone you never met? How do you stop wondering what you missed? 

My favourite part of this years campaign has been what to say and what not to say to someone going through babyloss.

The amount of shitty things that were said to me after both losses was insane. I was the one grieving and yet i had to smile and nod at the downright awful and often stupid things people said to me. I was often reminded people were ‘just trying to help’ but they were hurting me even more.

So, here is a list of what NOT to say

  • Everything happens for a reason
  • At least you know you can get pregnant
  • Try not to dwell on it
  • It was early, dont think of it as a baby
  • Its just a heavy period
  • You need to look to the future
  • Its time to move on

Things you SHOULD say/do

  • Im sorry for your loss
  • Its ok to cry
  • Im here for you
  • Use the baby’s name in conversation
  • Dont shy away from talking about the loss
  • I wish i could do more to help
  • The pain will get easier to live with 
  • You need to grieve

So here are my candles for my angels, surrounding my rainbow. They will burn for the next hour as part of the worldwide wave of light.

I also have a more permanent reminder of my angels

Mr Me designed this for me 10 years ago. I kept meaning to get it done but life and IVF and loss got in the way.

After Little T was born I added the colour for Milo and Millie and the 3, for the 3 T’s (me, hubby and little T)

I couldnt be more pleased with it.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Mental Health

Mental Health

Yesterday was #worldmentalhealth day. A day where people are encouraged to talk about thier issues with mental health and everyone is reminded how dibilitating mental health problems can be, but how very normal it is too.

1 in 4 suffer with mental health problems and im one of them.

I suffer with depression (for which im medicated) and anxiety. Ironically, my anxiety was through the roof yesterday.

Im not sure what triggered it. Perhaps the lack of sleep ive been experiencing (due to insomnia, not Little T). In retrospect ive ‘not felt comfortable in my skin’ for the last 48hrs so i should have realised it would end in a full blown attack.

For me, the physical/visible symptoms consist of

  • Increased heart rate
  • Clenched teeth
  • Tensed muscles, particularly in my legs
  • Wringing hands
  • Fidgeting

The non physical/visible symptoms are

  • Doubting myself
  • Questioning all my decisions, past and present
  • Thinking people are upset/angry with me
  • Not wanting to leave the house
  • Not wanting to be alone
  • Unable to communicate my feelings 
  • Fearful of everyday activities

Little T is a great distraction. During the day im so focussed on him, there isnt time for my mind to wander, no time to question or doubt my decisions. Then he goes to bed and the anxiety monster rears its head.

Ive been averaging 4hours sleep the last few weeks which has taken its toll, ive kept myself super busy during the day in order to ignore the warning signs, but yeaterday it caught up with me.

Im lucky, Mr Me is very unerstanding and supportive. He goes out of his way to make things easier for me when im suffering. Whether that be rearranging social events or just cuddling me and reminding me of my good qualities. 

Im very open, ill happily tell somone about my mental health problems, if the opportunity arises. Sadly, in our society, that doesnt happen often. Its another taboo, something people dont want to admit to and that society doesnt want to hear.

It makes no sense. Its an illness. Same as a cough or cold. But as its not visible, people struggle to understand.

But its OK to talk, its time to break the stigma. These illnesses lead to sucicide or self harm, how can we not talk about that?? 

Days like yesterday are vital. Thing is, EVERY DAY should be mental health awareness day. 

You never know what somone is feeling, what demon they are fighting, so be nice, always.

I come across as very confident, for example, but most days there is an internal war going on in my head. Some days are better, the meds help, but some days, like yesterday, it wins and i lose

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

When you realise what you’re missing

When you realise what you’re missing

Its my birthday on Saturday, which means today is the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week. Itll forever more be a bittersweet week for me.

Theres a saying ‘you dont know what youve got til its gone’ which is a great saying that applies to most situations.

Except when you lose babies before having a live one to take home.

The grief is devastating, but you dont really know what you missed out on, until you take home a baby.

I love little T so so much, and to watch him learn and grow gives me so much pleasure. More and more i think about Milo and Millie and how they wouldve developed.

Would their eyes have started blue and changed to a rich brown? 

Would they be dying to sit up? 

What wouldve made them laugh? Or cry? 

Would they have slept through by now? 

I now understand what i lost, what couldve been. Its pretty painful all over again when i think of all the cuddles i missed out on, l the smiles i didnt see. It never goes away, the pain just lessens in severity. 

Loss, at any stage, is just horrific. No parent should ever have to lose a child. More so though, no parent should feel they cant talk about their loss.

In todays society, its still a taboo to mention miscarriage, early or late. Talking about stillborn babies makes people uncomfortable. As such, bereaved parents are made to feel they must just get over it or forget it.

How do you just forget a person? Regardless of gestation, that baby was a person to his/her parents! Should we just forget when a grandparent/parent/aunt/uncle/brother or sister die? No! 

So why is it different when the child is in utero? Put simply, it isnt.

So if you or someone you know loses a baby, talk to them about the loss. Dont worry about upsetting them, they are already heartbroken. 

You are already likely to know someone who has suffered a loss as it happens to 1 in 4 pregnancies. 

All life is precious no matter how fleeting.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

#IVFis40

#IVFis40

So this year marks 40 years since the 1st IVF baby was born.

In honour of National Fertility Awareness week, i wanted to share some of my experiences/memories.

Ive done a whopping 9 cycles. 3 of those resulted in no embryo transfer. Of the other 6, 3 worked. Im INCREDIBLY lucky to have such good numbers. Sadly, only 1 pregnancy made it to term. The other 2 were lost at 21 weeks.

I remember after being referred for IVF i cried. I honestly thought we’d make a baby the normal way (or as i now say, traditional way). We had no idea there was a problem at the time of referral either.

Then at our 1st meeting at the clinic we are told i have polycystic ovaries (but not the syndrome) and he has poor sperm in terms of count, morphology and mobility. We have 0.01% chance of making a baby tradtionally.

Then the wait to cycle. I think the waiting was one of the worst things for me. Youve got your head round the idea and then you have to wait. Wait your turn. Get knocked back due to clinic being full/bank holidays/clinic closing for a clean/incubators not working/hormones inbalanced/uterine lining too thin…all of those were actual reasons i couldnt start a cycle or why i couldnt have an embryo transferred.

The 1st time i was naive. I got 23 eggs, the most that day. But only 13 fertilised. Youre not warned the numbers drop so fast. I got ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome but didnt tell the clinic in case they cancelled my cycle. I was really quite poorly but i was also desperate. Itd been 2.5yrs of trying by then. By transfer day i had 3 embryos left and a touch of OHSS. The transfer went ahead. 10 days later my period started.

Little did i know itd take another 6 years and 8 cycles before i brought a baby home.

I started out shy, taking my knickers off for a scan, WHILST on my period, was mortifying! By the end, id take my knickers off as easy as most people take off a pair of sunglasses when entering a room.

I knew all the acronyms, i was a huge contributer to online communities, i read all the research, ate brazil nuts, pineapple core, avocado, whatever the lastest study revealed. 

I lived, breathed and loved IVF. Im still an advocate for talking about infertility, and now, sadly, terminations for medical reasons and late miscarriage.

I went abroad, to Cyprus, for my final 4 cycles of IVF. I met a wonderful team at my chosen clinic. They blessed me with 2 pregnancies including the one who made it to term. They are like family, and i like to think im paying for thier kids to go to uni!! Haha! 

They were the best of times but also the worst of times

Even now, with my miracle rainbow baby sleeping upstairs, im still jealous of a pregnancy bump. 

I have 5 frozen embryos, im exceptionally lucky. But im not sure i can do anymore IVF. Its emotionally draining, its a lifestyle not just a treatment. Its scary and hard and consumes your very being.

Im so grateful for IVF. I am truly lucky to live in an age where treatments get better every year. Still, i wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy.

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

Break Up! 

To my darling Jeans, 

Im sad to say, its over. We had a long run, probably 20 years or so, but its just not working for me anymore.

You no longer make me look good, you make me look a state really.

Its not you, its me. My thighs are bigger, my tummy flabby and unruly. In fact if we are placing blame, lets be honest, its Little Ts fault.

He made my body blow up and it just wont go back down. You are unforgiving, you give me a builders bum, you fall down and give me a ‘saggy nappy’ look.

Ive met someone else. Leggings. They hide a multitude of sins. They are ‘Mum attire’.

Ill never forget our time together, you sparkled, you ripped, you toned, you frayed, you were boyfriend, skinny, bootcut, there were jeans for every occassion.

Except post birth. Mum Tum and you are just a disaster.

Ill remember you fondly, and maybe one day, we can meet again and have a more positive relationship.

Until then, 

Love, Little Miss PMA xxx

More grief…

Does it ever let up? 

Last night, my fur baby, Splash, died. It wasnt a nice passing.

It was expected, he was diagnosed with a serious heart complaint earlier in the year, was on 5 medications a day, but i still wasnt prepared. 

We couldnt get him to a vet in time. He was gone when Mr Me arrived there with him.

As such, im following my normal grief pattern, im numb.

He was 10, had a good life and never wanted for anything. 

But he also saw me through the toughest years of my life

At times, him and his brother were my only reason to get out of bed. My only reason to function.

Between them they offer me company and friendship and so much love.

He wasnt just a pet, he was my friend. My fur baby.

I wish he had gone in his sleep, rather than being aware and struggling. 

I wish i could feel sad. We have lost a loved one once a year in 3 of the last 4 years. Im not sure im able to process more grief right now 

I keep looking for Splash and hearing him. Thats not great. Dont think its really sunk in.

Rest in Peace my lovely friend. Thank you for the memories.


Love, Little Miss PMA (Mummy) xxx

PS im so grateful Smudge is still with us