I made it past 1st trimester for the first time ever, it’s time for me to celebrate.
The last Monday couldn’t have gotten any more real, I not only turned 35 but I was also going in for an ultrasound to check on my high-risk pregnancy on my birthday, nervous and excited all at the same time. I’m currently 15 weeks pregnant with my first child, though it’s my 7th pregnancy.
For me Pregnancy hasn’t come easy, to start off with I was one of those women that we’re afraid to touch babies because I thought they were so fragile that I could break them. I was always career-focused and living for fun moments like travelling, booking adrenaline deals such as rally car driving, building myself a house, and having casual drinks with friends. Living for the moment and setting myself up for the future was my goal because I had such a scare at 23 and another at 26.
At 22 the doctor prescribed the Gardasil vaccine for me as the government was giving these out for free to help stop Cervical Cancer in the younger generation, though I had no signs of having such a thing. At 23 I went for my pap smear and was told it came back abnormal, I really didn’t understand what this meant, it didn’t help that the doctor struggled to even speak English, I thought I was never going to be able to have children, I was told I could still have children, there will just be some minor complications.
I went for some more tests and was rushed through for surgery, I was close to having cervical cancer! They burnt my cervix to try and prevent this cancer and found traces of Cin3, stage 4 is cancer, after surgery, I needed pap smears checkups every 6-12months I fell within the 5% of people where the surgery didn’t work, I then needed another surgery in 2018 because it wasn’t looking good, Cin 3 again, with finally being told I’m clear 6 months later.
Finally, I felt freedom, I could breathe again, I was told I could still have children, there will just be more complications than before.
Keep up to date with your smears ladies – You can find out more about this at the Australian cervical cancer foundation.
I first fell pregnant when I was 26, this ended with a nasty 11-week miscarriage, the nurse in the hospital was to busy to help me, she was overwhelmed with patients, my boyfriend at the time was also working away, luckily for me, his sister was a student nurse at the hospital and came in while off duty and helped me through. I was in so much discomfort I didn’t know which way to position myself, once the fetus passed my body I started to uncontrollably tremble, I went in for a DNC. 5 weeks later I could feel something wasn’t right, I was even vomiting and nearly fainting at work, they flew me home urgently. I had an ultrasound, they wouldn’t let me look at the screen and was put in for another DNC. This was enough to frighten me. I was too scared to ever fall pregnant again. Our relationship didn’t last long after this.
Since then I had fallen pregnant to boy-friends along the way, unplanned, out of fear I terminated one of those, and miscarried with the others between 8-11 weeks, my last attempt the doctor referred me to a local gynecologist and was put on the progesterone pessaries and still miscarried.
Now happily 15 weeks pregnant to my Fiance, this our third attempt and very planned with the help of our gynecologist. My Fiance and the doctor encouraged me to quit my job, I hesitated a lot because I’m the stubborn independent type, I sold my house, then quit my well paid 6 figure income job, because a high-risk job doesn’t work well with a high-risk pregnancy, the hours were too much for this sensitive girl so I forfeiting my well-earned maternity leave take another attempt on pregnancy. Not only that but I learned that working night-shift can really mess with your hormones, and I had done this every 3 weeks for 8 years, doing a 86 hour week.
To help move forward we sold my car and traded in his for an automatic, as I was told I can’t drive a manual vehicle when pregnant and we both had manual vehicles. I had to let go of all the stresses as for the last 3 years I had also been working on setting up an online business so I could work from home eventually, that came sooner than expected.
Enough was enough, some things had to go.
Next week will be my last week of having to inject myself with Pregnyl hormone replacement twice a week (it is so NOT fun), I have my cervix measured every 4 weeks via an internal ultrasound, insert a progesterone pessary every night, and take Aspirin every day. I have a student midwife wanting to follow my pregnancy for a case study and want to come to my appointments, which I’m ok with but I haven’t met her yet. Monday I sat at Dome after holding back the happy tears because I’ve never seen my pregnancy reach this far and on my 35th birthday too, even though they were measuring the cervix I seen a big head, long legs, confirmed there’s a little doodle between them, he looked like he was sucking his thumb and most importantly a strong little heartbeat, I always ask them to check I can’t help myself, I can just need that confirmation. We had the Nipts test done to confirm the babies health and sex at 10 weeks, due to all my complications and medication, of course, I want to get everything checked.
This year I’ve also dealt with the recovery of Jaw reconstruction, I was born with an underdeveloped Jaw and needed it broken in 3 places to have my teeth line up and in hope that it would stop dislocating daily, a miscarriage, 2 dislocated feet, a broken middle finger, the Pandemic, the sudden death of a younger cousin and some other dramas along the way, so forgive me if I look exhausted, it’s because I am. Some good things have come out of this year like becoming engaged and having a wonderful German Shepherd by our side. Now I’m in Perth full-time, I have pretty much housebound myself to be on the safe side for my pregnancy and to concentrate on my business, Fembuiz Directory with recently joining Chambers of Commerce Kwinana and Rockingham to help reach out to other female business owners and create awareness for fembuiz.com.au.
To keep my spirit high I believe things are possible, if you can dream it, you can achieve it, just one step at a time in the right direction and asking for help along the way. We hope and pray every day that I’m going to make it full-term so our little boy can say hello. There’s no better feeling than getting those butterflies and getting those first real food cravings, even if I am eating weird combinations such as stuffing my Kalamata olives with nerds haha.
I feel that the discussions around miscarriages get buried and this is an area that should be more openly spoken about, there are more people out there going through these troubles then we know.
It’s time for the big scan, the one where they measure all the ligaments, head and sizing of the baby through Ultrasound, this can take up to 1.5hours but the amazing thing was that my Fiance got to be home for the Ultrasound this time. Everything is looking great and my Cervix is also holding. One small hiccup is that the placenta is at the front and Low, 6mm away from my cervix. It needs to be 2cm away before birth, hopefully, as the placenta lifts as the Uterus grows over the next few months. If bubs head would rub up against the placenta or get stuck, it could cause a lot of bleeding from the placenta and then this would cut the oxygen supply to the baby turning and moving forward with an emergency C section. More monitoring now required.
On the plus side, I’ve now started to feel little kicks, it’s the best feeling in the world, it brings so much reassurance that everything is ok in there, even if I’m not getting as much sleep at night and I’m getting up for midnight Nutella sandwich snacks.
I know that he is moving around in my belly and it brings that feeling of “everything is going okay“, so keep kicking little buddy.
To be continued…