Monday, 23 October 2017

Getting to know you

Check this out, blogging twice in one week! This could become a habit.

I'm actually writing this yesterday morning, lying awake with my standard case of pregnancy insomnia and enjoying feeling my little guy wiggle and kick. It's got me thinking that I know him pretty well in some ways and not at all in others.

It's kind of weird to think that in less than four months this little near stranger will be moving into our house, so it's reassuring to remind myself that I do kind of know something about him.

Right from the beginning, well 12 weeks, Bo has hated having his space invaded. One of my lasting memories of that scan, our third glimpse of him (not counting seeing his bundle of cells pre-transfer), was the way he turned his back on us. It was done very pointedly, as though he was saying 'okay, you've had your look, now leave me alone'. He rolled over in exactly the same shifting motion as his dad does in bed when I'm talking too much and he wants to sleep.

This hatred of having his personal space invaded has continued as he's grown. We've seen him pushing the scanner probe away from him in black and white on the screen, raising his little hands above his head and giving it a firm shove. He has a special dislike of the doppler and on at least two out of three occasions when he's met it he's managed to land a perfect hit on it as he attempts to kick it away. If you want to incite him to kick, prod my belly, it's rare that this doesn't get you a 'knock it off' kick or punch from within.

He's also not a fan of one of my hitherto most comfy positions. I like to sit or lie with my right leg bent up towards my tummy. Clearly this cramps his space because he's now able to tell me this might be comfy for me, but it isn't for him, and kicks my thigh til I move it. Sometimes I'm a nice mummy and give in to his comfort over mine; sometimes I'd rather sit with my leg where it feels good though, sorry kiddo.

He likes cheese and onion crisps. This is a recent discovery. For the last couple of weeks I've started getting a mid-morning cheese and onion crisp craving. When I inevitably give in to it, Baby Bo gives me this happy little wiggle. It's become a regular part of my work day, sharing a packet of crisps and enjoying one another's company.

Haribo Tangfastics have a similar effect, though I question my wisdom at hyping my son up on sugar this early in his young life. I tired him out the other day when we got a massive bag of Haribo at work and I steadily munched my way through every mini pack of Tangfastics I could lay my hands on. He was so active I could see my belly thumping through my top, but the next day he was pretty quiet. I guess the sugar let down is even heavier when you're only the size of an ear of corn.

Baby Bo seems to enjoy baths. We usually have one on a Saturday afternoon to unwind and when I get in he thumps around then mostly chills, unless I top up the hot water.

Conversely, he did not seem to enjoy ex-Ophelia who paid us a visit last week. I'm sure barometric pressure must have had an effect on him. He was pretty quiet for the two days of strong winds we had, but made up for it after. It was like he knew we needed to hunker down.

He doesn't much like going to work with me. Sorry little guy, since we're a package deal right now, you've still got another three months of that to look forward to.

He has virtually stopped having me throw up for roughly an hour of each day we are there, for which I'm grateful for. He does still impose some pretty strict rules though.

I've already mentioned the cheese and onion crisps which I bribe him with to get through the day. My son, like his father, is very food-oriented. Lunch MUST be Philadelphia and Ryvitas. Attempts to switch the menu to something mummy might enjoy more have been met with violent disgust (and vomiting, from me, not him). Since I'd rather spend my afternoon at my desk than crouched over a loo in a toilet cubicle, I meekly comply with my son's demands and add variety with the occasional second bag of crisps for the day.

He's also not a fan of me writing at my desk at work. I've recently taken on a new role at work which means I have a big notebook on my desk which I frequently spend time writing notes in. Like his aversion to my right leg, he doesn't care for my hunched over notebook writing position. Of course, he has no shame in letting me know this, but as writing angles are somewhat limited, he's mostly going to have to learn to accept this one.

From what we've seen of him in his recent scans, he's fascinated by his face. I can't blame him there. It's an adorable little face and I can't wait to study it too.

And in the absence of a mirror in there, he's having to resort to other methods to explore his good looks. When you've covered that ground with your hands, it's time to branch out and see what you can learn using your feet!

I'm fairly certain he's got my nose, which is exciting. No one else in the family has my quirky turned up nose. I'm looking forward to seeing if this is something we'll share, but based on what we've seen of that little face so far, there's definitely a family resemblance.

He's also a bit of a night owl. He does seem to enjoy a good dance party around 1 or 2am. I'm sure this is partly to blame for my early morning blog post writing. He's been wiggling and kicking pretty much the entire time it's taken to write this post. I foresee many more sleepless nights in our future once he arrives!

I'm also pretty certain that Baby Bo will not become an Alexander in four months time. This was a bit of a surprise to me when I realised it about a month ago, but as I get to know him better, he just doesn't feel like the Xander I've been imagining all these years. He's someone else entirely and that's pretty cool. Especially since the name he feels like seems more and more right for him as the weeks progress.

We still have an awful lot to learn about him. Will he settle best for mummy or daddy? Will he enjoy car rides or see them as a special kind of torture? Will he be an easy going little guy or a demanding baby?

Who knows?

But I feel like I'm starting to get a handle on this little fellow I'm sharing my body with right now. And I'm sure I'll learn so much more about him in the coming months before B-Day (that's Birth-Day, obviously).

Saturday, 21 October 2017

24 Weeks Pregnant

I'm sorry, I've been neglecting the blog the last few weeks. Pregnancy has been eventful as always and that's my main reason for not updating. So here's a quick rundown of what we've been up to, more or less in the order it happened.

There is no denying the bump now. I feel like I get bigger by the day. Honestly, I kind of love it. We only have one teeny tiny shaving mirror in our house so when we stopped at my in-laws' house last week (due to Ophelia potentially cutting us off at home) I may have spent longer than necessary admiring my belly in the mirror there. It's just lovely.

In my 22nd week I had a midwife appointment to check up on me, Bo and pick up my MATB1 form. While there I mentioned the weird rash that had developed on my right cheek (you can see a hint of it in my 21 week photo up there).

Suddenly the midwife was pulling out an info sheet on Slap Cheek (also known as Fifth Disease or Parvovirus B19) and getting me an appointment with the doctor for that afternoon. Bloods were taken and I was checked to see if I had an active infection. I didn't and when they discovered this the lab helpfully cancelled the test to see if I had an immunity to Parvo (which would mean I'd had it in the past and was immune now). So we're none the wiser as to what it was but at last it's gone now.

Of course the highlight of the appointment was listening in to Bo's heartbeat again. One of Baby Bo's last favourite things in the world. The midwife said he sounded like a boy.

We also had a Superhero Day at work that week. I dressed up at Super Mum-to-be, complete with cape, mask, L-plate, and accessory belt containing a bottle, nappy, teething ring and Superbaby onesie.

Note the strategic placement of my L-plate. The skeletal baby on my top is making a rather obscene, work-inappropriate hand gesture.

And then we hit the weekend which was pretty eventful.

I spent the weekend wondering if I was getting a UTI, despite there being no sign of a problem at my midwife appointment. The needed to pee almost all the time, felt generally uncomfortable down there and pretty much bleh. But it wasn't constant.

I felt well enough on the Saturday to escape the island for a while to get measured at M&S for some maternity bras (ZOMG! The comfiest bras I've ever owned). But by Sunday I was feeling more rotten again.

Mr Click gamely produced two cartons of cranberry juice and I chugged my way through them as the day went on, trying to see if it was making a difference.

That afternoon I got back ache. Just mild at first, which I put down to sitting in my in-laws' uncomfortable sofa. The evening wore on and it got worse and worse, all centralised on my lower right hand back and no amount of shifting position would help it was.

At 10.30pm I admitted defeat, accepted paracetamol had made no difference whatsoever, and called the midwife, who told me to head in to hospital. This was all very similar to my kidney issue of a couple of years ago, something she agreed with after finding blood and protein in my urine sample.

I was allowed home with antibiotics and painkillers, and an appointment at Day Care at the mainland hospital for that day (by this time it was after midnight). But not before a thorough examination.

One again, Bo was most miffed at having his space invaded. The midwife prodded my belly all over to check I wasn't having connections; Bo responded to that by kicking out at her. Then she grabbed Bo's old friend, the doppler. His little heart was pounding away at around the 155bpm mark, but he didn't appreciate being spied on and squirmed away. When the midwife chased him across my belly, he let her know his displeasure by aiming a direct kick onto the doppler probe. Even the midwife felt it.

To cut a long story short, this week, I did manage to pass a large kidney stone. Followed by what I suspect was a smaller one a couple of days ago. Hopefully that's the last of it now.

And as of yesterday, I'm 24 weeks pregnant.

It feels incredible to have reached this point. Aside from the tiredness and nausea still, I'm feeling pretty good. I definitely have more energy than before but I have to use it sparingly, if I do too much I need more time to recover afterwards. But I don't feel the need to spend all my time in a darkened room napping anymore.

And Bo is getting stronger now. He's able to kick hard enough to actually see the movement on the outside. I've spent way too much time this week watching my belly to see where the next one will hit. It looks pretty freaky but so cool at the same time.

I may have eaten a few too many Haribo Tangfastics this week in an attempt to encourage the little guy to kick. I'm practicing already for my Bad Mother Award, hyping my son up on sugar to get him to perform.

But it just feels lovely to have him wiggling away in there. Apart from when he scores a direct hit right before the belly button; that's a very odd sensation!

Friday, 29 September 2017

21 Weeks Pregnant

Dear Baby Bo,

I feel like it's time that I addressed one of these updates to you directly. Hi little guy! I'm your mum. I'm the one whose bladder you're currently using as a pillow and enjoying feeling you kick.

Right now I look like this:

We got another sneak peek at you today, thanks to your shenanigans last week when your heart rate was higher than they liked for a baby of your age. I must confess, thus was entirely my fault. After you wouldn't move from your Baby Buddha position in my pelvis, I took it upon myself to try running up the stairs back to the maternity floor at the hospital. It got my heart pumping and apparently yours too!

This time we were a lot calmer. The consultant we saw complimented us on what a compliant baby you were, just to show us up after last week, I'm sure. Your heart was perfect, just like the rest of you.

You did put on quite a show for us though. Even Dr M couldn't help but laugh when you decided to demonstrate how flexible you are by sticking your foot up your nose!

So not only are you a great thinker; you're a bit of a clown as well!

I feel like I'm getting to know you now.

We often lie awake together in the wee small hours of the morning, you giving me little kicks and nudges and me rubbing or gently poking you back.

You tend to find work boring and don't bother kicking too much, unless I crack out the dry roasted peanuts. I tried switching out the Philadelphia and Ryvitas we have been having for lunch there for cold pasta, because I was getting bored. You weren't impressed and I threw up on both Monday and Tuesday this week. We switched back to the Philly on Wednesday and you've gone easy on me ever since. I can't believe you're not even born yet and I'm already giving in to your demands!

You don't like having your space invaded. You didn't seem to appreciate your 12 week scan. When the midwife used the doppler on you at 17 weeks you kicked out at it. At your scan last week you were pushing up against the scanner as though you were trying to get it out your personal bubble. I don't blame you, I don't like people invading my personal space either!

You've got a comfortable spot in there too and don't seem in any rush to move out of it. I kind of like that though. The strong thumps to my right are your feet, the lighter ones to the left or middle are your hands, the occasional jab to the left is your head and is usually followed by a ripple as you adjust your position. Yesterday at work I got a strange flip flop sensation which I think was you turning over.

It's going to be a long wait until we see you again in December, but I'm going to enjoy getting to know you from your movements in the meantime.

Keep growing and getting stronger, little boy.

I love you so much already and more with each passing week.

Your Mummy

Friday, 22 September 2017

20 Weeks Pregnant

We've reached the halfway point! Who ever thought I'd ever get to this stage?!

This week Facebook popped up a memory reminding me that a year ago that day we'd gone to Glasgow for our WTF appointment after our failed cycle that summer. That was the day when we put the plan in place which ultimately led to Baby Bo being conceived, transferred and us reaching where we are today. It's been a long time coming.

Today I'm looking decidedly rounder than I was last year:

And the reason for the big grin today?

Well we had our 20 Week scan today. And I know you've seen pictures of Baby Bo before, but humour me with one more.

Allow me to introduce my son:

Yes, son.

It's looking like Baby Bo is almost certainly a boy. I'm having a son. A son who apparently is already an intellectual given his evident resemblance to The Thinker.

For a while it didn't look like we were going to be able to find out. Bo was sitting nice and comfy with his bum planted deep in my pelvis and his head off towards my left hand side.

Eventually, after trying a hip wiggle which did absolutely nothing to reposition my stubborn little son, I was instructed to go take a walk. We took the stairs down to the ground floor, walked round then back up the stairs again. I may have jogged on the spot and tried touching my toes in an attempt to shift him up a little way.

It made very little difference.

Baby Bo turned round slightly so we established he has a spine and pair of kidneys. But we still have to go back next week to have another look at his heart which was registering a little above the normal range; probably because of the orange juice, chocolate bar and running up and down stairs. Hopefully all will be good at that scan and we'll get to enjoy another sneak peek at our baby boy.

Once we'd established all of this A, who was doing the scan, asked if we'd like tip know the sex. Well, Mr Click and I have £35 riding on whether we're having a boy or a girl. She took a look and she was pretty certain Baby Bo is a little boy.

That means I won the bet.

And I get to have a little boy too.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

19 Weeks Pregnant

By this time next week we will have had our 20 week scan and may even know if Baby Bo is Baby Boy Bo or Baby Girl Bo. After being so sure Bo was a he, I can't help but feel myself swinging in the other direction a little now. I'm hedging my bets, I guess.

Opinions on what you're thinking it is, besides a baby, obviously, are most welcome. Perhaps we should have a poll.

I've been a little bubble of anxiety this week just thinking about it. Perhaps part of the reason why I'm awake at 4am writing a blog post (the other part is because I was dithering about buying a second-hand cot which I checked on at 3am, as you do, to find I'd missed it, now I'm considering springing £100+ for a new one just because).

I've had three scans in this pregnancy and before each one I've worked myself up about it. There'll be nothing there, it'll be bad news, something will be wrong. I'm reassured by the fact that these seem to be fairly normal worries and it's perfectly natural to care about the health and well-being of your unborn child, but that doesn't make it any easier to sleep through the night.

Added to this, Baby Bo helpfully fell silent on me for most of this week.

Since I started feeling little ripples of movement, things have been fairly consistent. Midway through or after meals I get some movement and sitting upright for a while then quickly lying on my left will prompt a wiggle (I like to think the baby suddenly finds itself upside down and this wiggle is a general complaint about me moving without warning, sorry kid, but it's pre-emptive revenge for all those nights you're going to spend trying to get your feet into my lungs).

Well, aside from odd little flutters, from Sunday onwards Bo has been rather quiet. I was still getting occasional 'was that the baby?' moments but it wasn't as familiar as it has been which of course does nothing to quiet the worry of the upcoming scan.

Reading online shows that I'm still pretty early to be feeling anything as a first time mum, that I probably won't notice a real pattern to movements for another month or two, and that the baby has a lot going on at the moment so may be sleeping a little more for growth spurt energy. Despite knowing this, I had several conversations with my belly begging Baby Bo to kick or something.

Bo responded by having me throw up in the shower on Wednesday. All normal in there then.

Thursday I tried playing classical music to my abdomen to see what Bo thought. I selected tracks by Donald Fraser, who does arrangements of Disney songs in the style of classical composers. Age appropriate and soothing to the foetal brain.

Bo wasn't impressed. Not a wiggle did we get.

Later that day I was listening to the Moana soundtrack, post-shower, phone in hand, reclining in bed, when I got a definite movement. Bo has good taste. Moana was the film I watched the day after our embryo transfer and again on the day I found out I was pregnant. Bo obviously recognises the significance there.

Which brings me to yesterday, 19 weeks on the dot. I had to do a comparison photo showing two weeks ago (roughly) because the bump is definitely bumping now:

It's so unbelievably amazing to see me with this little proto-bump, after all these years of reading blogs where other women graduate and get theirs, that I can't help but go back and keep looking at it.

You can also see that I'm finally putting on weight now I'm eating more normally. The chubby cheek look is how I normally look, the one on the left is still rather 'recovering from malnutrition'. Until I was pregnant and suffering from hyperemesis I never had such defined cheek bones. I'm not a fan of my chubby cheeks but I'm kind of glad to have them back.

It's also weird to look down at my big round belly (I should take a top view photo, it looks much bigger from up here compared to the side view) and realise that it's going to get a lot bigger yet! Sometimes it feels so stretched and uncomfortable that I can't believe I'll grow anymore, then I see photos like that one and realise it still has it in it!

Anyway, back to yesterday. I've been craving dry roasted peanuts this week, Bo may finally be getting over the Philadelphia kick, so I sat at my desk at work shovelling peanuts into my mouth (why does the phone ring right after you've put a handful of nuts into your mouth?!) and Bo started having a little party in there. I have no idea what he was up to but there was almost constant swooshing and ripples going on down there. Very nice and reassuring.

I guess this means Bo is as nutty as his (her?) parents!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

18 Weeks Pregnant

Well, 18 weeks and 1 day today. It's been a long and tiring week after traveling back from Lincolnshire on Sunday. In hindsight, I probably should have taken Monday off to recover from the journey.

All the same, I've slept really well this week, aside from the middle of the night trips to the loo. And I'm spending my Saturday morning chilling in bed with Tara and Bo watching 101 Dalmatians. Tara likes it because there's a black Labrador in it; Bo is still forming an opinion.

Despite being tiring and busy, it's been a fantastic week.

The first highlight was surprising everyone by returning to work with a bona fide bump.

This photo is actually from 17+3 because my bump yesterday looked smaller. I think it was a combination of the trousers I was wearing and the angle I was standing at.

Of course, I've been aware of a bump for a few weeks now, but it was fun to have other people spot it at last. I even got my first unsolicited bump handling, it was from a friend who is generally touchy feely so I didn't really mind. I may slap the first stranger who touches my tummy though!

Second highlight was definitely my midwife home visit on Tuesday. Everyone else I've spoken to has their home visit much later in the pregnancy, with the exception of a few who have had their booking appointment at home. Here on my little island home, that's just how we roll, I guess.

The midwife also brought a student midwife with her. I'm a teaching case, apparently. She went over my notes with her to show that just because a pregnant woman has no ketones in her urine (because she's only able to stand sucking on sweets, rather than eating or drinking) doesn't mean that she can't be dehydrated and going into liver failure. I'm guessing the consultant at Inverclyde may have been in contact with them.

Most of the appointment was spent filling in a rather repetitive form about my Strengths and Pressures both now and when the baby arrives. It seemed largely geared towards women who are maybe having an unplanned pregnancy or who or younger and having been trying to start a family for upwards of seven years. Yes, I'm taking my vitamins. No, I don't smoke, drink or take drugs. Yes, I understand the baby will need love and care once it's born.

Then there was the pee test in a leaky pee pot.

I was given one of those foil containers which always remind me of Chinese takeaway tins. I was instructed to use it to fill a sample bottle and leave some in the container so the midwife could do a dip test too.

I set it all out on the bathroom floor on folded up toilet paper, in case of drips, which was just as well because between filling the pot and going to empty it into the sample bottle there seemed to be a lot less in the container. Then I noticed the sodden toilet paper beneath it. I'd basically peed all over my own bathroom floor!

Luckily there was enough left in the pot to dip (all good there, yay!). And our bathroom floor is wood rather than carpet so it was easily mopped up and disinfected.

But that obviously wasn't the highlight of the visit.

At the start of the visit the midwife mentioned that we could try listening with the doppler if we wanted, with the heavy proviso that it might be to early to hear anything. Right at the end of the visit she pulled out the doppler, invited me to lie on the sofa and we could give it a go.

For a long moment there was nothing, just swishing and gurgling noises. Then the wonderful WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP sound started. We listened for about a minute until Bo had obviously had enough and kicked away from it. I felt a little ripple and we actually heard the movement on the doppler too. If I'd had any doubt about what I'd felt last week after the chilled orange juice, it was completely dispelled, I'm definitely feeling Bo now.

This week I also feel like I'm becoming more aware of Bo's movements. I guess since my bump has popped up, he's in a better position to feel them regularly.

Mostly I feel him after I've eaten. Especially at tea time, when I recline slightly. The flutters are also giving way to the occasional definite 'pop' sensation which I'm guessing are definite kicks or punches. Bo is certainly an active little bub.

I've also had a crazy craving for Philadelphia this week. Normally a tub will last me four or even five days for lunch at work. On Thursday I polished off half a tub in one go. I was restrained enough to spread it on Ryvitas but that was only really because I was in public; if I'd been at home I'd have just gone to town on the tub with a spoon!

Friday, 1 September 2017

17 Weeks Pregnant

I'm still here. Actually here isn't the usual here as we're on holiday right now.

Baby Bo is currently chipmunk size, clocking in at around five inches long. Hopefully he's not looking like a chipmunk, though I hear he's cultivating a full body hair covering right now, so maybe it's not a bad comparison after all.

I'm currently looking like this:

This was taken earlier today at the Skegness Aquarium after a magical moment when I had a big swig of chilled orange juice which set off a wonderful fluttering in my lower abdomen. Apparently it gave Bo a bit of a shock!

Sadly our time away is coming to a rapid end but we've had a lovely time. I've not been able to do as much as I might normally have done and we've had lots of rest days too, but it's been nice to get away for a while. Especially as the week before, well, the day of the holiday, we were still considering cancelling owing to my sickness.

I'm coming home with lots of goodies, photos and a far bigger bump than I left with. I may start taking bump photos soon.

Friday, 11 August 2017

14 Weeks

Today's been a bit of a landmark day today for several reasons.

Firstly, I'm now officially into the Second Trimester. This means I'm supposed to be seeing an end to the sickness, fatigue and sore boobs.

Of course, the steroids and ondansetron are taking care of the sickness right now, even if I am still suffering with crazy nausea; I'm not sleeping through the night so I'm still pretty fatigued; and my boobs didn't hurt much in the First Trimester but they're ramping it up now.

Oh, and you're supposed to stop needing to pee all the time. Well, dehydration had put paid to that for most of the last two months but now I'm drinking reliably, I'm in a constant state of wanting a wee. It seems worse when I lie down, which is helping neither the sleeping, nor the fatigue.

On the whole though, I am feeling a little more like myself. The other night I sat in bed and played with my watercolour paints. I might even try reading again this weekend.

The second milestone is the fact that I went to work every day this week.

Now I'm actually ashamed to admit that I don't remember the last time I managed a full week at work. Okay, a couple of times those partial weeks have been down to holiday or appointments, but mostly I've been too ill to go in. This Monday was the first I managed in I don't know how long!

This has been frustrating for several reasons. One, I never used to have absences. I was two years there before I took a sick day and it was because I was in hospital after narrowly avoiding being airlifted off the island. Two, I actually enjoy going to work and I like my colleagues, missing work makes me feel out of the loop and like I'm not doing my best, and I'm nothing if not an overachiever.

But I managed it this week. And apart from one 3am puking session on Tuesday, I managed it with only a few retches and no puking in the ladies' loos. This was actually cause for celebration with my team leader this afternoon; she clearly believes in celebrating personal achievements.

And thirdly, our final milestone of today is this:

Our first official Baby Bo purchase! And it was an absolute bargain!

I've said all the way along that it's cost us enough money to actually get Bo, so we're being pretty frugal about buying stuff for him. And with that in mind I've been keeping an eye on a local Facebook group where people on the island pass on or sell unwanted items.

In the last three months two cots have cropped up there, which I passed on because it seemed a little too early. But I still keep checking, just in case.

And yesterday that beauty showed up. It's a Clair de Lune moses basket, with a rocker stand, for those of you in the know about these things. So I guess we can make sure Bo gets over any tendencies towards sea sickness nice and early which'll come in handy living on the island. This was listed for the handsome price of £20. And that seemed like too good an offer to reuse.

After a quick discussion with the spousal unit (via Facebook Messenger, since we were in different rooms and are a thoroughly modern couple who weren't even in the room together when our child was conceived so why should we deal with this face to face?) He agreed we should go for it. And we did.

All that's left to spring for is a mattress which will bring the full thing to well under what we had been planning to pay for a basket, basic stand and all.

Oh, and you see the beautiful crocheted shawl I've oh-so-elegantly draped over the edge for the photo above (you can tell I'm getting better, I'm staging photos again)? That was handmade by Bo's Great-Nanny. It'll be hanging out in the basket for the next six months, waiting for Bo to join it.

Friday, 4 August 2017

13 Weeks Pregnant

No, I'm not a day ahead of myself. Bo is. We had our dating scan this week and our due date has been bumped up by a day!

Speaking of which, Hello World:

I've not posted because of a combination of reasons; I got sicker, my Mum came to visit, I got even sicker.

I've had a bit of a battle to get further treatment for the hyperemesis which saw me hitting complete rock bottom on Monday but luckily I saw a brilliant consultant on Wednesday who spotted signs of liver damage, got me on more medication and started treatment for malnutrition as well. I narrowly avoided another hospital admission but all this is for a much longer blog post.

Bo has been totally unaffected by all this. If anything he's been thriving, possibly because he's doing everything I have. He's now a day ahead of schedule and expected to arrive February 9th instead of 10th.

He's got arms, legs, a brain, a stomach and a beautiful little beating heart. He had a little stretch and a wiggle, then got bored with the whole being scanned thing and rolled over to turn his back on us. Of course, he may still be a she, but for now we'll go with he for simplicity's sake.

We next get to check in on him at the end of September which seems at once both really near and an an eternity away.

I'm hoping I continue to respond well to the new meds and as I'm now able to do more than just lie in a dark room, perhaps I'll even be able to get caught up on blogging again.

Keep everything crossed.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

9 Weeks Pregnant

Well it's been an eventful week at Chez Click.

Just to give you an idea of just how eventful it's been I'll begin by saying I'm writing this post from my bed in hospital in Paisley.

But first let's rewind a little way back to Monday when I discovered I could not stop throwing up. I've had pretty bad morning sickness but this had started on Sunday and I was no longer keeping anything down.

Cue a trip to the doctor where I was prescribed Stemetil which, once I doubled my dose, helped improve things enough for me to get to my scan on Wednesday.

There was that heart stopping moment when the nurse had the scanner in me (it was at the ACS Unit so it was an internal scan, of course) and she said something about the heartbeat. For a moment I wasn't sure if she was seeing one or not but then she turned the screen and there was a little heart-shaped thing flickering away and accompanied by this brilliant whoosh whoosh whoosh noise.

We got to see Bo wiggling away quite clearly though he'd flipped round by the time she came to take a photo so he's looking decidedly blob-shaped here. But that is a baby, honest.

We could also see evidence of the second sac/bleed which is still there but smaller now.

On the whole it was a very successful day.

Sadly the following day, Thursday, was less successful.

I managed some toast for breakfast and then began throwing up about three hours later. And couldn't stop.

I came home from work early, sobbed and vomited my way through the evening and agreed with Mr Click that I needed to go back to the doctor the following morning.

The doctor prescribed Cyclizine and asked for a urine sample, which I couldn't provide until much later in the day, and recommended drinking lots of flat sugary drinks.

Eventually I was able to pee and hand in my sample and expected that to be it for the day.

But it wasn't.

A couple of hours later Mr Click got a call asking to bring me and an overnight bag to the hospital. I was woken from my nap and was rushed in to see the midwives who set about arranging for me to come to Paisley.

Which meant rushing to catch the 4pm boat, being bundled into a waiting car and hurried up to the Maternity Unit.

Where there were rushed off their feet but were really fantastic. I had a long wait but after two hours things moved very quickly and within the next hour and a half I was admitted, hooked up to a drip and began the first of so many bags of fluid I lost count of them all.

And then I got moved up to the ward I'm on now.

For those who know about these things, my ketones were +4 when I was on the island and admitted to hospital. I think that means my body was basically breaking itself down for fuel.

After being permanently attached to a drip all night I was down to +3 and after lunch I was +1.

Now, at almost bedtime, I'm all clear. At last. So I'm set for a discharge tomorrow morning. I can't wait.

And did you notice the meals? That's right, I've been eating again. Proper food as well!

Here's hoping the rest of 9 Weeks Pregnant is a little less eventful though.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

8 Weeks Pregnant

Don't worry, I'm still here. The first trimester is just well and truly kicking my butt. I'm pretty much getting up every morning and counting down the time when I can get back into bed (6.30pm every evening). I also have morning, noon and night sickness and despite being the world's biggest baby about throwing up, I'm kind of loving it in a weird way. Oh, and don't suggest ginger for goodness sake, it's everyone's answer to morning sickness and it does nothing for me except burning like hell on the way back up!

First I'll catch you up with what's been going on here because although Seven Weeks was relatively calm, Six Weeks proved to be a little dramatic.

You'll remember that I started Week Six with a spot of bleeding. Well it was all good until the Monday when I tried to return to work. Getting out the car I felt a little 'wetness' so I moseyed on to the loo to discover bright red blood and not just a little of it.

I was 6 weeks 2 days, a full week on from the massive bleed which prompted the end of my pregnancy with Olaf and Elsa. I felt panicked and yet strangely calm because somehow this felt different to what I'd felt that time. I called Mr Click while I was on the loo, told him to come back for me, wandered through to tell my Team Leader I had to go and then headed over to the midwives at the hospital. It all felt a little like deja vu but just with less crying this time.

The midwife we saw, K, was lovely. She was so calm and reassuring, even though at first blush it WAS a lot of blood. She got us booked in for a scan at the Early Pregnancy Unit the following day (the earliest they could take us as scans are only scheduled for the morning) and even called me later in the day to see how I was getting on.

Luckily the bleeding tapered off over the course of the day and by the following morning I was just getting the tiniest bit of spotting. We headed off to the mainland for the scan not really knowing what to expect.

What nobody likes to tell you is that bleeding in early pregnancy is incredibly common, particularly in IVF pregnancies because of the effects of the medication you're taking. Doesn't make it any less scary when it happens to you.

We knew there was a whole spectrum of things that could be happening from a miscarriage right through to a bleed which just happens without any real reason. We knew we should see a baby on a scan at 6 weeks 3 days but it could be too early to see a heartbeat in which case it might be a little inconclusive. It was nerve-wracking to say the least.

Surprisingly it was an abdominal ultrasound rather than an internal one. And the moment she put the scanner on my belly I could see the gestational sac. Even better, before she zoomed in I could see there was something in it. Being the obsessive IVF patient that I am, I've been googling these things.

But the far better moment came just seconds later when she zoomed in on the contents of the sac and there was the perfect flicker of a little heartbeat just merrily doing its thing. I called it before she did!

That's our Bo. He's nestled over towards the right hand side of my uterus.

And the bleeding? Well that appears to have been coming from a second gestational sac so it looks like Luke tried to get going but couldn't for whatever reason. Whereas Bo's sac was nice and round with a nice dark background, Luke's was an odd shape with white bits in it. This was labelled detritus and could have been blood in the sac.

I noticed she did take a measurement of a little long narrow bit in that sac which might have been an embryo at some point. It was slightly smaller than Bo and it didn't have a flicker of a heartbeat.

Strangely I don't feel too sad about the prospect of a vanishing twin. I'm actually glad to know that our second embryo implanted and I'm glad we know what happened to him. It also justifies that little niggle of unease that I had about putting back two embryos. What if we'd only transferred the one and that was the one we put back? Instead of seeing a heartbeat on the scan it would have just been that sad looking sac. The fact that one took and the other didn't makes me think that chromosomally something wasn't quite right and I can cope with that. I'll miss my little Luke but I know he tried.

And it told us where the bleed was most likely coming from and also that we might expect another one (thankfully not so far) as the blood would either come out or be reabsorbed. All in all, as scans go, it was pretty perfect.

And as if to prove it was all okay, Bo kicked up the morning sickness that week. We progressed from nausea to full on vomiting. Usually I spend an hour in the bathroom from about 5.30pm onwards. Sometimes he starts it around 4pm to keep me on my toes. I'm becoming very well acquainted with the bottom of the loos at work!

This week Bo will start to look decidedly baby-like.

We've got a scan scheduled this week so I'm hoping to see that little heart still doing its thing as well as some little arm and leg buds and maybe even some movement. 

Speaking of arms and legs, the Ovia pregnancy app I get these pictures from has this section which shows you your baby's hand and foot size relative to what it's likely to be when they're born. Of course the hands and feet don't actually develop until around Week Eight so I've been waiting rather impatiently to see what this feature looks like.

I have not been disappointed, look at this tiny hand:

And this little dot is the actual size of a foot this week.

I actually beg to differ on this one. I have massive feet for my height, clearly I'm part Hobbit, so I suspect any child of mine will have feet twice as big as the average so as not to let the side down.

What with the tiredness and the sickness and my incredibly limited diet at the moment (oh, and the insomnia, hence the writing of this blog post at 1am, about the only time of day I can keep my eyes open), I'm definitely feeling pregnant right now. And I'm hoping to stay that way for a good while yet.

So keep everything crossed for a nice strong heartbeat this week.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

6 Weeks Pregnant

Today I'm officially six weeks pregnant and according to my app the baby (or babies) will be looking something like this soon, if not already:

This is from the Ovia Pregnancy app and apparently I'm having a character from The Simpsons as all the growing baby images are yellow.

The app tells me that this week a tiny little heart should be beating in my offspring's chest. The baby itself will be about the size of a ladybird and the heart smaller than a poppy seed. My mind is seriously blown at both how tiny this is and also how much it has grown in just three weeks.

This week's been a bit of a mixed bag. We started it with the confirmation that I was definitely pregnant thanks to the hospital blood test, we also made it through the equivalent days when everything went pear-shaped with Olaf and Elsa, and then finished up our last day of Week 5 with a bleed.

It was small but scary and entirely not what I wanted to be seeing following the week when I'd bled and ultimately miscarried. I immediately took the day off work, put myself to bed and have remained there ever since. It seems to have done the trick.

As if to reassure me that all hope is not lost, this evening saw me with my head down the loo, retching up a storm, while I alternately laughed and cried. I've been feeling nausea for about two weeks now but this is the closest I've come to throwing up.

I'm sure I won't be saying this in a few weeks time, but for now, I hope it continues for a while.

I've also got some major good aversions. As in everything except chips. I have a theory that since we went to McDonald's immediately after transfer, the embryo(s) believe chips are the only real food. Mr Click served up chocolate spread on toast for breakfast and my immediate response was to hurl though once I started eating it passed.

Happily I can stand small quantities of dark chocolate but most sweet things are a definite no right now.

Except for sour gummy worms... or tangfastics... I could really go for some of them right now.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Taking the Test

The 'Two Week Wait' is a torturous time between your embryo transfer and the date you've been given to test on. Different clinics ask people to test on different days, some ask people not to test at all and instead have them go to the hospital for a blood test.

Even between my four transfers I've been given a range of different days to test on, from nine or ten days post transfer right the way up to 12 or 14 days after. Of course this time was the longest I've had to wait.

When an embryo implants it takes a little while for the hCG to build up in your system to be at a high enough level to be detected by a pregnancy test. This starts to be produced around day five or six after transfer but isn't really measurable until day nine, which is the first day you could expect to get a result on a pregnancy test.

With this in mind I carefully calculated that June 3rd would be the earliest I could possibly get a positive test. I'd planned to test early mainly because my official test day was a Thursday and I didn't like the idea of getting the result and then having to go to work straight afterwards, particularly if it wasn't a good result.

The Saturday seemed like the best day to do it, since we would have the whole weekend to come to terms with the result. It was also early enough not to completely ruin my hopes if it was a negative, it might have just been a little too early for it to show up, but by the same token it would help to cushion the devastating blow the following Thursday.

Mr Click and I discussed it. At first he wasn't keen on me testing early, but then he came around to my way of thinking and agreed that testing on Saturday seemed like a good idea.

On the Thursday before I was all for testing but then the following day I felt completely zen about the whole thing. I wonder if this was a little like the overwhelming feeling of 'I'm pregnant' that I got with Olaf and Elsa at about the same point. I sort of felt like I didn't need to test, I could wait until the following Thursday, it was all good.

But then I woke up at 3am on Saturday. Now, if you're not familiar with pregnancy tests, you need to hold your pee for a while before you take the test. They recommend about four or five years to allow the hCG to build up. I worked out that if I was going to take the test, it would have to be then, there'd be no way I could hold on until 7/8am later that morning.

So I dragged myself out of bed. Peed in a little container for the purpose, dipped the test, turned it over and waited three minutes.

And this is what I saw:

That was taken virtually as soon as I'd turned it over and it was a total squinter. The camera wouldn't even focus on it properly unless I stuck my ring on the thing to give it something to focus on.

But it was all I needed to give me a little hope, so I kept watching and after about five minutes it looked like this:

Bear in mind that these photos were taken in awful lighting in the bathroom at some unholy time of the morning. In daylight you could see the line without even squinting:

I think that was when I truly believed that we might just have done it.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


... with a suspected UTI.

I think it started on Monday when we took our trip to the hospital to pick up a fresh supply of my meds. I was aware of the fact that I didn't want to be needing to pee all the way into Glasgow so I drank less than usual which seems to have had an adverse effect on me.

The problem is a sore lower back, needing to pee all the time, and feeling generally run down pretty much describes all my pregnancy symptoms so I sort of hesitated on whether or not it was worth going to the doctor. Yesterday I thought it was nothing to worry about, but this morning I asked Mr Click to make the call and he decided a trip to the doctor was worthwhile.

I'm glad he did.

To paint a wee picture (no pun intended), I filled up a sample bottle. Within ten minutes I needed to nip to the loo again. As well as ten minutes after that. About ten minutes after that we left to go to my appointment (five minutes up the road), by which point I abandoned the spousal unit to check me in so I could nip to the loo again. And then another ten minutes later (right when I was due to go in to see the doctor) I had to nip in again.

I've got a short dose of amoxicillin and we're waiting until Monday for my results to come back in case I need to take something stronger. I have a funny feeling this won't be the last time I'm getting a UTI during this pregnancy.

... After the Crash by Michel Bussi.

It's this month's book club book and I'm finding it to be one of those 'one more chapter books'. It's told in both the 'present day' (late nineties) and through a journal which one of the characters is reading. This means that inevitably a chapter ends and you have to wait until halfway through the next one or the one after it to pick up the strand of the story you've been reading so you just have to keep going.

I managed to read about one hundred pages straight off at the weekend though I've slowed down a little since then.

I'm also reading a Mother & Baby magazine, because why not? Mr Click picked it up for me today (I think to cheer me up after the UTI and antibiotic stuff). Our baby doesn't even have feet yet, but I'm going to be hot on tips to help them learn to walk when they get here.

What's keeping you occupied this week?

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Books 52 & 53 of 2016: Betty's Bright Idea; Deacon Pitkin's Farm; and the First Christmas by Harriet Beecher Stowe & A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Yes, I'm still reviewing Christmas books. Look at it this way, you can use this to give you an idea of books to look out for in the run up to December this year.

First of today's books is a collection of stories by Harriet Beecher Stowe; Betty's Bright Idea; Deacon Pitkin's Farm; and the First Christmas.

This is a trio of stories, all with a Christmas theme and to be honest, they're kind of depressing. The first has babies dying at Christmas to give people a sense of pity for suffering. The second has a guy giving up on his dreams of an education. And the third was about the Pilgrims and had people dying as well!

These stories are obviously intended to be religious and moral stories for the season though one of the biggest things I was aware of as I was reading them was how much has changed since this book was written.

It's a very short book, only about one hundred pages. All the same, it took me quite a while to get through. It was a nice glimpse into the past, but it's one that I'm unlikely to read again.

I followed this up with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens because it was the second week of December and it needed to be done. This time I read it in ebook format.

I've reviewed this one so many times that I'll keep this fairly short. And I'm pretty confident that you know the gist of A Christmas Carol. If you don't, head over to Project Gutenberg and read it, then come back and read this review.

As always, I enjoyed my reread of this book. It took me a little longer than usual to read, though I've noticed in later years I've been slower to read it than in the past. For a while I used to be able to sail through it on Christmas Eve, but now I try and read it earlier in the month so it's done before Christmas Day.

I picked out all of my favourite quotes as I read. Some of them are favourites purely because of the various adaptations that we've seen and own, but lots of them are because of the way that Dickens writes. And some are a combination of both the writing and the way they're played in the adaptations.

Speaking of the adaptations, I couldn't help but imagine them as I was reading. In my head I've got the kind of perfect version with Scrooge taken from this film, and Marley taken from that one, and Bob Cratchit from this one. In my head it's also a musical with a mix of songs from three of the musical versions as well. It's a little distracting when you're trying to read.

Monday, 12 June 2017

A Confirmation & A Confession

If you saw yesterday's Silent Sunday post you might have realised I have some news for the blog.

That's right. Someone's stuck around. I'm pregnant.

Today I had an appointment at the hospital to pick up the meds to see me through the next three weeks until my scan. I was kind of hoping we'd get a sneak peak scan to see just who might be in there (right now I'm saying one, Mr Click says two; we've got £5 riding on this).

No such luck sadly but the nurse did request a blood test for me to help set my mind at ease since I've had a little bit of brown discharge (not spotting like last time).

We got the results on the way home. My beta hCG levels are over 4,000 which is pretty good.

I'm definitely pregnant.

Which brings me to my confession.

I've actually known this since the 3rd of June when I took a test five days before my official test day and got a faint but definite line.

The top one was done at nine days post transfer whereas the bottom one was 14 days post transfer.

That original one took about ten minutes to darken up fully whereas the bottom one was there right from the the minute mark.

It was kind of fun keeping it a secret like a 'normal' pregnant woman would. But now I know, I don't mind other people knowing.

Besides, I'm needing to pee so much there's very little I could do to hide it from my friends!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Moving House

I did plan a proper blog post for today but unfortunately I spent my evening doing this instead.

I'll tell you all about it in a future post.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Dinky Dodge

We don't have favourites in our house. Well, Tara is our favourite labrador but we can't have favourite rats. They're all so lovely in their own little ways.

Fezziwig begs for attention and then pushes you away when you stick your finger in the cage. Jingle likes to ask to come out and then hover in the doorway for ages before he actually leaves. Pocket just wants all of the food.

And then there's Dodger.

Due to his rather rough start in life, he's become a very special ratty. I have to admit, when we got the boys I couldn't help but think he looked rather plain by comparison to our handsome brown, black and white rats. Dodger's a black hooded rat, and is kind of a cross between my first two ratties; Millie, a chunky black and white hooded, and Rosie, an agouti hooded who was clearly the runt of the litter.

Because of his ear infections Dodger spent rather more time in the Baby Cage than his brothers. The first time we kept them all together in there but by the time he got his second infection they were too big to all stay in there, so we separated him out and he spent a couple of days sleeping in our room, getting taken to my In-Laws' house for trips to the vet and generally being mollycoddled.

And now I think he's come to expect it.

Whenever we open the top of the cage to put in food (which is delivered as they expect morning and evening, they can tell the time better than we can), the boys crowd around the shelf to get first choice of whatever the day's treats are.

All except Dodger.

Despite looking like a little dink compared to his brothers, Dodger is actually longer than any of them! He stands on the top shelf, stretches his little paws out and grabs hold of the top of the cage. He's also got fantastic upper body strength which he uses to great effect to pull himself out.

Generally he's happy to just trundle around the top of the cage, but what he really wants when he does this is a cuddle. So you lift him into your arms, or hold him in your hands, and let him sniff your face or plant little ratty kisses on your nose and lips. Sometimes he'll get adventurous and climb onto your shoulder or try to use you as a platform to more interesting things.

It's when you put him back that things get tricky. As soon as his feet touch the floor, he's springing back up again! Mr Click and I are becoming quiet adept at the manoeuvring which is required to get him back in the cage and the top or door closed without trapping any part of his little ratty personage in it.

But he's such a cutie that we don't really mind. After all, if we'd not acted when we did a few months ago, he might not be with us today. That deserves a little bit of spoiling, I think.

And you just can't say no to his demands for cuddles.

Especially as when he sleeps he looks like this:

Thursday, 8 June 2017

IVF #3, FET #3 Symptom Spotting: 1dp5dt - 7dp5dt

Since my transfer I've found myself reading more blog written by people who have undergone IVF treatment, particularly those who blogged about their 'two week wait'. Blogs were a better source of information compared to forums because people tend to keep blogging after the outcome of the test, whereas people on forums often disappear and there's never any follow up. So the person who had spotting on Day 5 disappears and you never know whether that was an implantation bleed or sign of an imminent failure.

Of course, not only is every woman different, every pregnancy is different and as I mentioned last week the side effects of medication and the symptoms of early pregnancy often go hand in hand. This means you can't really compare one person's experiences with your own, but it's sort of nice to know that other people are going through the same thing as you (or went through it, no matter what the outcome).

And with that in mind, I thought I'd share a quick rundown of my first week after transfer, just in case you've found your way here by Googling "4dp5dt blog post".

For the lay people at there the first number and two letters, such as '4dp' stands for the number of days post, the second number and letters stands for 5 day transfer (which is how old our embryos were when we transferred them). The second number will always stay the same but the first number will change each day.

1dp5dt (Friday)

I was feeling pretty crampy, almost as though I was gearing up for my period. I was pretty emotional as well as feeling generally anxious. Probably the other main symptoms were feeling headachey and light-headed which I put down to starting the Clexane the night before.

2dp5dt (Saturday)

I think that it was around Day 2 that the tiredness started creeping in. Considering I was sitting at home with my feet up, I wasn't really doing anything which warranted getting tired about. There was less in the way of cramps this day so I guess that what I'd been feeling was from the transfer itself. With Olaf and Elsa this was the day that I felt very definite implantation pains which I didn't feel this time around, so I kind of wound myself up that perhaps it hadn't worked.

3dp5dt (Sunday)

I finally got some actual twinges and unusual sensations in my abdomen. Perhaps a sign of implantation? I also had an overwhelming sense of happiness, it wasn't really that I felt sure it was working, but I just felt like I was doing everything I could and I was cool with that. Still very tired and my chest felt a little sensitive as well.

4dp5dt (Monday)

I started to feel really thirsty. It wasn't really that I had a dry mouth, just that I was aware of needing to drink more. I also had a fantastically vivid dream that night. I was still feeling pretty happy but waves of emotion would hit me as well and I would need to have a bit of a weep. I think I was also suffering from a touch of hayfever as my nose would alternately block or run at various points in the day. Ended up with a massive craving for doughnuts.

5dp5dt (Tuesday)

Back at work at last. This is both a good thing and a bad thing since I need to focus on what I'm doing so I have less time to obsess about what's happening in my body but also people keep asking me how it went and how I'm feeling which makes me think about it more.

I feel like I get hit with all the side effects/symptoms today. I feel knackered by about halfway through the day, I crack out the ginger biscuits I've been hiding in my locker because I'm feeling nauseous, I'm still really thirsty which of course means there are some moments when I end up going to the loo three times in an hour. Feel nauseous and bloated, end up leaving my jeans undone when I finish work because it's uncomfortable to button them.

I'm slightly anxious as I had a touch of brown spotting when I got up and again periodically through the day. We are moving seats at work and while I'm ferrying stuff from my old desk at one side of the room to my new one the fire alarm goes so I have to stand outside in the sun while we wait for the clearance to go back in. End up feeling really nauseous and kind of light-headed. Feel convinced that I'm out and it's only a matter of time before the inevitable happens and yet kind of optimistic too, decide to try and stay optimistic.

Have to do my Clexane injection on my own. Survive and don't die!

6dp5dt (Wednesday)

I had All. Of. The. Side Effect/Symptoms again today! A little more spotting but no where near as bad as the day before. Still feeling crampy but also incredibly bloated. I make it to lunchtime before I have to undo my work trousers. This helps to almost instantly relieve the nausea, though it seems to come back whenever I start to feel peckish. I eat quite a few ginger nuts.

More vivid dreams. More drinking. More peeing. Got really bad backache as well. Not sure if this is due to my chair at work or if I've been sitting differently because of the bloating.

7dp5dt (Thursday)

Mr Click sees me in the shower and announces that I must be pregnant because my belly is so bloated there's no way there's can be nothing in there! I've felt crampy all day, a mix between feeling like I'm gearing up for a period with a mix of IBS-type cramps thrown in there as well. Begin to wonder if all this peeing might not be a UTI instead and debate whether I should try blasting it with cranberry juice.

Still feeling tired and have a little bit of spotting though the lightest so far and it's pinkish rather than brown as before. Begin to feel anxious about waiting another week for the test.

I'll share how the second week of the two week wait has gone in another post.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017


Anxiously awaiting...
... test day.

It's looming very near now and just hoping that everyone is still where we left them. I'm hoping I will soon have some very good news to share about Bo and Luke.

... this little gift Mr Click came home with yesterday.

Hopefully it'll be some time before I'm able to use the bath bomb (since baths are a no-go at the moment, you're allowed one as long as it's not too hot and what's the point if you're not boiling?) but I'm hoping to crack out the soap to celebrate before too long.

... that you have to be very careful shaving your legs when you're on blood thinners.

I'm currently sporting two very fetching plasters on my right ankle!

... a trip away in August.

Although our original plan had been to take a trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour but a family friend has invited us to visit them so we've taken them up on the offer. It's a part of the country that Mr Click used to visit on holiday when he was much younger but it's somewhere I've never been.

I've been scrolling through pages and pages of places we might like to visit while we're there. I suspect that we may have to make a repeat visit in the future because there just won't be time for everything!

How's your week going? Waiting for an important date or looking forward to something fun?

I'd love to hear about it.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Books 50 & 51 of 2016: The Jewels That Was Ours by Colin Dexter & The Spirit of Christmas by Henry Van Dyke

I decided to take a short break from the Christmas books at the very end of November last year and Mr Click was working on his Colin Dexter books so I decided to give the next one a go; The Jewel That Was Ours.

A group of American tourists are visiting Oxford when one of them dies suddenly and the priceless antique that they were bringing to a special presentation is stolen. Of course, once Inspector Morse is on the case, it's not long before things get very complicated as the case is solved.

I got through the first half of this book quite quickly but then as the case dragged on I found that I slowed down my reading as well. I wanted it to be solved but it seemed to take a long time for it to get figured out and I just found my attention wandering.

I don't know if part of the reason for my slowing down was because I could vaguely remember the TV adaptation . It's been quite a while since I saw it, but I think that the ending was different. I guess that's a good thing since you can enjoy the book and the adaptation without one spoiling the other.

This book definitely doesn't give you what you needed to know to solve the case. I suspected that this is also part of the reason why it took me so long to get through as well. If I can't help figure out the case myself, I end up feeling frustrated and I guess that translates to a lack of motivation to go on, since nothing I read will help me solve the crime.

Mr Click has very nearly finished reading all of these books, I think he's just got the one left, so I suspect that we'll be watching the TV series in the next few months. I'm quite looking forward to seeing the adaptation of this one again.

By the time I finished up The Jewel That Was Ours I was ready for something a little more Christmassy, so I went with an ebook version of The Spirit of Christmas written by Henry Van Dyke in 1905. This is a collection of essays and stories about Christmas.

This is a really short little book. I was able to read it all on the 8th of December in a couple of sittings, but it's short enough that it could be read all in one go.

The story at the beginning kind of reminded me of Pilgrim's Progress. It was the angels learning about the birth of Christ so I guess that it was the setting which put me in mind of Pilgrim's Progress. On the whole though, I preferred the essays. The very last one made me think of A Christmas Carol since the message was about carrying a Christmas spirit all through the year.

It's an interesting little read and I think I picked exactly the right time of year to read it.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Going Up In The World

Mr Click and I have been planning a short break in August which means our Tara-Tup gets a little holiday in the local Kennels and I put out a call to my friends to find someone who will volunteer to look after the Mischief.

Last time this happened Tara went away with a lead and some tins of food, whereas the rats (at the time this was Yoda and Wicket) took a big cage, a small travel cage, a big bag of shredding, a big bag of food, a tub of treats, cleaning spray, and of course the rats themselves. It filled the car! Our boys do not travel light.

The Mischief currently live in a Ferplast Jenny. We got this one several years ago, back when we had our girl rats and Carol figured out how to open the door (waking up at 3am with a rat in your bed is a little alarming, especially when two of the rats are missing from the cage).

Now I've liked the Jenny cages. My first one was donkeys years old when we decided to retire it (it was getting harder to keep clean and there was the aforementioned issue of the rat being able to open the door) and after considering the alternatives, we went with another Jenny. This was the new improved version, with plastic coated bars which helped to keep it cleaner for longer.

But now the coating is coming off the bars and it's getting rusty which I don't think is great for the ratbags. Plus not long after we got it, the girls chewed through some of the plastic which keeps the top in place. It's still fine but I dread the day when one of the boys realise that they just need to chew away some more plastic and it would be very easy to get out.

I'd hate for someone to be watching the rats for us and have someone decide to go for a wander. Plus it's getting harder to keep clean and the shelves have jammed in place. Rather than spending the £20-30 to replacement, we're sucking it up, paying an extra £50 and getting a whole new cage (complete with three shiny new shelves).

I was all set to get another Jenny but they seem to be a bit hard to get hold of so we're going for a Savic Zeno 3. It's actually a little bit larger than the cage the boys are in at the moment (so even more of my little living room is going to be taken over by rats) but I think they'll enjoy moving in. I think we'll enjoy setting it up too.

Of course, I did break the news of their impending move to the Mischief. Fezziwig was the only one who was awake at the time and he was supremely underwhelmed.

I'm sure he'll be more enthusiastic once it gets here.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Film Review: Moana

I really wanted to see Moana but we just missed it when it was at our local cinema so when we were putting an order in to Amazon shortly before our frozen embryo transfer, I asked Mr Click to use it to make up the order so we could watch it during my long weekend chilling at home.

The day after our transfer, I dragged myself out of bed in the afternoon, settled in front of the TV and we popped in the film.

Moana is a teenager who must set out on a quest to help save her people as their island is slowly enveloped by a curse. She meets up with the demigod Maui who must help her to return the heart of Te Fiti to prevent the spread of the darkness which is taking over her island home. Of course, along the way, in true Disney style, Moana learns what her true destiny is.

I can remember when I was younger being told that you can always tell a Disney film by the way that they animated the water. Disney animators seemed to have cracked the way that water flows and ripples and reflects the light in a way which many other film studios just couldn't seem to get.

Nowadays I think that's probably not so much the case. When you look at films like Shrek or Ice Age the water flows and ripples and reflects the light in a very believable way. But Disney have outdone themselves with the animation in Moana.

I wasn't expecting the sea to be a character in its own right, but it selects Moana for her quest as a child, capturing her spirit and calling to her despite her parents attempts to keep her away from it.

Moana is a brilliant character as well. She can't help but be drawn to the sea from an early age, after the encounter seen above. But she's the chief's daughter and is expected to help lead her people. Her father is keen to keep her away from the sea following his own bad experience, but eventually Moana gets her chance to go and heads off on her mission to save the island.

She's a strong character, but she's also a teenager and she's not totally confident in herself. I think she's pretty gorgeous as well. I like that Disney are exploring characters of different races and even more impressively almost every character in this film is voiced by an actor of Polynesian descent. As a young white girl I was lucky in that many of the Disney Princesses had skin or hair or features just like me (more or less) and it's only in recent years that I've really become aware of the fact that for many children that's simply not the case. I think Disney still has a way to go in this department, but I think they're taking steps in the right direction.

Moana's got a lot to learn which I like in a character, it's always good to see that a character is out of their depth and doesn't really know what they're doing. Obviously if you're going to run off and take on a mission at sea, perhaps one important thing to master is the ability to sail. Something which Moana isn't too hot at, but luckily (or perhaps unluckily at first) she meets up with Maui.

Maui is a demigod who thinks rather highly of himself. Unfortunately, he needs his hook to use his shape-shifting powers so they have to hurry off on a side mission to retrieve this from Tamatoa, a giant crab creature before they can restore Te Fiti's heart. Maui isn't overly keen on Moana at first, but gradually he comes around.

One of my favourite things about Maui is his tattoos. He's covered in little miniature representations of himself and the great things he's achieved. These little mini-Maui's seem to be rather critical of him which is the source for lots of little funny moments. There's something about the tattoos which reminds me of the chorus in Hercules.

Maui also has probably the best song in the film, You're Welcome:

If you've not heard this before, be prepared to be singing it for the rest of the day!

The music in this film isn't quite as earwormy as the songs from Frozen, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, I'm sure there are many preschooler parents who are thrilled not to have Let It Go the Second blaring at them every five minutes. I was a little disappointed that the songs didn't quite capture me the way that they did when I watched Frozen (and to some extent, Tangled) but now I feel like they're more of a slow burn collection of songs. I think with each rewatch I'm going to like them a little bit more.

And that's the same sort of feeling I have for the film as a whole. I think that there'll probably be a lot more that I could say about this film once I've watched it again. I'm actually already planning a rewatch a week on from seeing it, which is a clear sign that a film has actually grabbed my attention even if I didn't think it had.

If you've not seen it already, definitely make time to watch it. Enjoy the story, have fun listening to the songs, and celebrate the new characters Disney have introduced us to.

Friday, 2 June 2017

IVF Superstitions

I'm fairly certain that I'm not the only person out there who has developed a set of very specific superstitions relating to their IVF treatment. They're probably sort of obsessions at this stage, though that sounds kind of bad, I prefer to think of them as little habits and routines, which spins them in a more positive light.

I was thinking about this yesterday when I was planning a blog post ahead of time and I chickened out of writing it because I couldn't bring myself to write how many days past transfer I was for that day because it seemed somehow unlucky to assume I was going to make it to that many days past transfer, especially considering how last year's frozen transfer ended so disastrously.

Which in turn got me to thinking about how we ended up taking the train to our most recent transfer partly because that was what we did on the cycle that worked. I suppose it's only natural to want to try and recreate the events which led to your last success.

Back when we were originally planning on taking the car for Bo & Luke's transfer, Mr Click mentioned stopping at a particular carvery on the way home. I immediately shot him down. And why? Because we've stopped there for lunch twice after previous transfers and both of those failed. It's got a black mark against it now, even though that's just a sad coincidence.

On the two that have failed I've also done a bit of walking soon after the transfer, whereas I was very chilled after the cycle that took. Going by that logic I came home from the transfer last week and put myself to bed and relaxed all weekend.

One little quirk I've developed is having a lucky totem. This time around it's my unicorns; Ixi has come along to every appointment (crammed into my bag, poor little guy) and each appointment he's come to has gone smoothly so he's obviously doing his job. The rest of the time he lives beside my bed and it's quite comforting to reach out for him when I'm feeling a little down.

With Olaf and Elsa it was a poster pinned up on the door which was to be theirs. Each time I passed it, I'd tap it for luck. And I had two little charms which I wore on a bracelet, again, I'd fiddle with those when I needed something to distract me.

I think during a cycle, particularly during the interminable two week wait, you need something tangible to hang on to and have some control over. So much of your time during a treatment cycle is spent either waiting to find out what's going on in your reproductive system or at the complete mercy of the hospital and the drugs you've been prescribed; we have to retain our sense of power in any way we can.

And I think for many IVFers we do that with our little routines and superstitions.

We might not be able to control the outcome of the two week wait, but we can control whether or not we eat at an unlucky restaurant or whether or not we're wearing our socks which make us feel like things will go right.

We might not be able to see whether or not our tiny embryos have implanted in our uterus, but we can cling onto that little reminder that they're in there and hold it in our hands in the way that we hope some day to be able to hold our children.

So while it might seem kind of silly, and I kind of hesitated about even posting this blog post today, I think I'll just carry on doing these little things in the hopes that they'll help us get the result we want. And even if they ultimately play no part in the grand scheme of things, well at least I'll feel like I've done everything in my power to help them along.

Even if that does mean occasionally going out with a small crocheted unicorn stuffed in my bag.