Friday, September 30, 2011

Induction day 2 and 3. Failed hearing test. Meltdown.

I'm in a terrible state. It's going to be a long post.

Thursday started with a re-failed hearing test for Oliver. Ok now I was getting a bit worried. The nurse said they'll make a note for the doctor and she'll check him too in the afternoon. Oliver's second day at the crèche for 2 hours seemed to be much better, when I went picking him up, he was fast asleep (had just fell asleep), apparently had played all morning and Jennifer (sort of room supervisor) was so so caring I felt he was in the best place possible and that he would have settled in no time. The doctor visit in the afternoon was absolutely fine for development, weight and hight, he's well above the 50 percentile and not a bother. But the hearing test was failed for the third time. The doctor was not that thorough, kinda rushed it and said she was writing a referral for a more specialised screening and that in any case it was something very mild. Come again? Are we talking about a mild hearing loss? Maybe. Not sure. Don't worry it's nothing. Seriously?? Don't worry?? Me??? Obviously I do worry, I read a lot since on the fact that the neonatal screening may fail to pick up minor hearing problems, what if my little one can't hear well? We know he can hear us talking, calling him etc, but we'll have to look a bit more into this. As I got home I called the paed office and left a message. He called back this morning and was so so reassuring. The test they did to him was totally archaic, 80% of the children apparently fail it and are referred to a specialist who will do a proper test, check the baby's ears for wax or fluids and generally it's all ok. The doctor didn't even bother looking into his ears but the paediatrician agrees that it's very likely nothing. Probably some fluids, or teething, or a bit of cold, or tiredness, you name it. Anyway, if I'm worried to anticipate our appointment but he really thinks there's no need to do anything.
Breathing a little better.
I brought Oliver back to the creche this afternoon for his final induction. 3 hours. He was fed and had slept plenty in the morning. I got there on time and the first thing I was surprised was to see only one girl in the baby room. There were two babies on the mat and she was writing notes on a spreadsheet. Her name is Wendy and looks like 20 something. I asked her if there were only those two babies or of some were asleep. She said a few were asleep in the cot room but that one wasn't sleeping (we could hear him through the intercom). I asked her was she on her own and she said the other girl was just having her lunch. So..yes you are on your own. Who the hell is checking on the babies in the cot room? They are never supposed to be on their own and they swore to me they are checking on the babies every 5 minutes. I was there for 15 minutes, she was always on her own, and never checked on the babies including the one crying his eyes out. Not good AT ALL. Mike was there too and on our way out we talked to the manager asking for how long the carers can be on their own. She said absolutely never, it's the company policy and she'll look into it straight away, she said they have a system whereby when one is on a lunch break another one covers so that there's always two in the room. So we said maybe one is in fact in the cot room and we didn't see her. The manager also said that Wendy has been with them for 2 and half years and she's very experienced so she was going to have a word. We left it at that. This Wendy doesn't really come across as very well educated (she has a strong accent that generally is lost as you go to school and college), Mike think she's not really coming across very happy or bubbly at all. I'm less bothered by this, yes, she's not funny as such, but she seemed to know what she was doing. Anyway, Wendy told me she is generally off around 4 so there would be another girl when I was going to pick Oliver up. Not a problem. I went back 3 hours later, as it was pissing rain and I was a bit early I just sat in the corridor for a little while. The manager saw me and very warmly she encouraged to go in and that I could watch Oliver in the room from the glass. She buzzed me in. She had no info on whether Oliver had slept/eaten etc but that the girls would have told me everything. And here is where things started going really bad. I arrived to the room and could see Oliver on the floor getting very upset (he had not seen me yet). Two more babies were there. This other carer was holding another baby who seemed just fine and not really paying much attention to Oliver crying (ok...I realise this may be my memory playing tricks now). I put on the covers for the shoes and entered the room. The girl was a bit startled as obviously I had not called the room to announce myself like we generally do and was very quick in saying that Oliver was absolutely fine till two minutes beforehand. Yes right, see if I give a shit about your judgement right now. I picked him up and soothed him quickly. I asked if he had slept and she had no clue. Really?? WTF?? She said he maybe slept for 25 minutes probably around 2. What?? We got there at 2.30! I was totally losing it. I asked can she check his diary and let me know, this is important. She looked at it, couldn't tell me anything else. He didn't eat his tea and he took very little from his bottle. Very strange but sure it's possible he has to settle in...Normally he has a full bottle around 4 pm and now it's 5.30. I gave him the bottle and he drained it in no time. Maybe he was crying because he was hungry?? The thought tortures me. The I saw this girl picking up from the floor (under a couch!) Oliver's little bear-blankety thing he uses to sleep. Now I was very clear that this toy is for his sleep only, not to be used by any other child and not to be given to him when he plays either, how did it end up under the couch I have no idea. She was so so off-putting I was getting more and more irritated. I left the room, sat on a chair outside trying to calm myself down. First of all this other girl was also on her own in the room with 4 babies (the ratio is 1 carer and 3 babies). The second carer only came back in when I was already sitting outside the room. Say maybe after at least 15 minutes. The rage I was feeling I think may be comparable with a mother bear thinking his cub is in danger.
I went to the manager and first thing I asked if she queried about the fact that Wendy was on her own. She said it was because they were expecting us for 2.30 (and I was there at 2.30, not earlier) and that absolutely it'll never happen again. Then I told her about the lack of information provided but this other girl who was there now and of course started welling up. She quickly brought me into the office (surely she didn't wan't other parents seeing me upset) I told her about the bear on the floor, the fact that Oliver was crying and that I really needed strong evidence that this was NOT the norm. That I was having second thoughts and that there was no way I'd be having Oliver in there for a full day monday of next week. She promised me she would look into this and not to worry, she'll talk to me again monday morning, she'll have the girls in the office right away and will discuss with the other manager too.
So this is where I'm at. Oliver seemed absolutely fine, very chilled, as soon as he had his bottle and we were sitting out of the room he was full of smiles for all the children, played at home as always, had his dinner and bath and went to bed without a peep. Sound asleep. So obviously I know he was ok at the crèche but jeez this is not the service I'm expecting for a top class facility which won prizes and everything! On monday Mike will drop Oliver in, but I'll go in too. I feel all this responsibility is on me and I really need him to step up and talk to the managers too.
If you got this far, thank you so much for reading, I had to get it off my chest and hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight.

Tomorrow Oliver is 9 months old (and 39 weeks exactly...this only confuses me further on the length of a pregnancy...) I can't believe he is so big already.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Induction: day one

I have to admit, I was very emotional this morning! I went into work, had a couple of meetings I really would have avoided like the plague, I was aware I was quite short with my students and then when I reminded my head of department that Oliver had his induction starting today I had to hold back the tears!! He was very very understanding, has two children of his own so no problem of course and wished me all the best.
I got home for lunch. Mom had everything ready (bless her) and Oliver was in great form. He hadn't slept much in the morning though due to a very stubborn delivery guy who attached himself to the bell like it was a lifesaver...anyhow. We got to the crèche at 2.30 as planned and sure enough my little petal had just fallen asleep in the car. So it was a rough hour, I left him there after 20 minutes or so and warned the girls (all lovely) that he was very tired and probably would not have gone to sleep there. When I got back right on the hour he was really upset, crying and all but the girls said he was ok till only a few minutes before. He dove into my arms and of course he fell asleep as soon as he touched the car seat. Needless to say he was already in bed this evening by 7.45.
The crèche is fantastic, the girls specified that they want it to be a "home-away-from-home" and they'll follow our routine to the letter. It works well as they have lunch at the same time as he has it at home so I am sure once he settles with sleeping there it's going to be just perfect. They also are happy to use the reusable nappies (not really common in Ireland, but there's another baby there also with reusable wohoo!!) and they'll bring him to the loo too! They were very impressed with this info and happy to give it a go.
It's going to be another tough day tomorrow for Oliver.
9am the repeat hearing test. Oh yes I meant to say, we had him tested at 2 weeks by the paediatrician and we know the ear-nerves are perfect, so this may have been a fluke due to a cold or fluids in the ear. He only failed I think 3 tunes so hopefully tomorrow he'll pass those too.
10 am we are back in the crèche till 12, he'll definitely has to sleep there or he'll be wrecked by lunch time.
2.45 pm we have another health check with a doctor at the health centre and let's hope it'll be quick and on time or Oliver will miss his sleep in the afternoon too!
I let you know how it goes.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

38 weeks

My little darling is 38 weeks today and decided to start celebrating very early this morning...generally when I leave for work at 7.30 is just barely awake and I was looking forward to an extra hour in bed today. Nope. But thankfully my mum came to the rescue and looked after him so that we could sleep a little longer. I don't know what we'll do when she goes back home next saturday and we have to quickly establish a new routine which involves bringing him to the crèche and collecting him in the afternoon. I envisage quite a few pizza nights...

So this coming week is packed with new things we have to do. Wednesday he'll go to the crèche for the first time for one hour, then thursday two hours and friday 3 hours. And Monday next it'll be his first full day. On thursday he also has two health checks, he has to repeat the hearing one that he failed with a nurse in the morning and then a doctor will give him an overall developmental check in the afternoon.

We still have no teeth though he's definitely more in pain in the evening and I found that homeopatic granules called Teetha help him a lot, he certainly has slept soundly all week long (doesn't even wake up when the damn alarm goes off occasionally!)
He's eating everything, loves bread sticks and he's that happiest little man when he sees that you are giving him something from your plate. He clearly says "Mammamamamamma" very loud, generally if he's upset or hungry, he whispers "Papapapapapa" which is very very cute too.
So this is where we are at the moment, work has also settled into a more organised routine now that we are two weeks into term.
I'll update during the week with the progress at the crèche and at the doctors, wish us well!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The five Amigos!

The clinic just called and we have 5 frozen blastocysts! Wohooo!!! 3 of them were frozen yesterday on day 5 and 2 more today on day 6! All of them are "beautiful expanded blasts" as my lovely embryologist said after having wished me happy birthday... Only 2 had arrested on day 3 but the other 4 didn't look high grade enough for freezing (my clinic has very strict criteria for what can be frozen, they like to have their FET stats almost as good as the fresh).

So that's it for now, we'll be looking at single transfers in the summer of next year (we have the California holiday planned for June next year and then I have a conference near Boston early July), I really hope there will be a brother or sister for Oliver among my little penguins.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I'm 37 today and Oliver is 37 weeks! Nice coincidence. I love these coincidences, they make me smile even if they are totally pointless eheh. Happy birthday to me!

So Oliver has now been outside longer than he was inside. Again, soon this will be something I'll stop thinking about, look at how long I have been outside!
Nothing much new to say, no word from the clinic yet which is good I suppose. I had a very very busy week, a conference, several lectures, incoming students looking for advice, projects to be organised etc. I think I had a touch of OHSS, my belly was quite swollen and only in the last couple of days is a bit better. Still not back to normal though. The fact that I've been up and about from 6.30am every morning and often not back to bed before 11.30pm surely didn't help.

Anyway, I'm enjoying being pampered by my mom today, I slept in, she looked after Oliver. Nice. Fab food is being cooked and we'll go for some retail therapy later. Oliver had another inconsolable crying stint last night, sobbing and all. The poor baby. Then he settled but I could hear him a few times in the night crying a bit. Maybe he's teething. We still have no teeth at all! He has adjusted very well to be with my mom and not my sister, I am really confident he'll be fine in the crèche. And the sensor pad thing keeps going off occasionally, so annoying....but I'm not at the stage yet where I feel confident in removing it altogether. Soon, I promise.

I'll update with news from the clinic as soon as I hear. I am surprisingly calm.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fertility report is in

The embryologist called around lunch time to say that 11 out of the 14 eggs fertilized! This more or less in line with our previous results (14/16 first time, 6/9 second time and 5/6 the third time) which is really positive news. Mike was a bit worried that he hadn't taken his vitamins long enough before the procedure (usually he would have had a 3 months stint), but I'm glad it didn't affect the first stage anyway.

So here's what going to happen. They'll culture the embryos to blast and on Sunday at the latest (day 6) they will phone me with a full report of what we have. If everything goes south beforehand of course they'll let me know but Ivy (the really nice embryologist we had a few times) said it's still going to be Saturday before she knows for sure how things are. I said I thought they were going to change medium on day 3 and that perhaps I would have gotten an update then, but she reminded me that the critical step is day 3 to day 4 and she doesn't want to give me false hopes (the usual protocol of the clinic!). Anyway, she said I can call the lab if I'm anxious, but I'll definitely try not to be.

Today I feel a bit swollen, I'm trying to drink plenty and take it easy (I'm back in work), let's hope it won't worsen. I had a night full of nightmares (some fake photographer wanted to kidnap Oliver!) so I didn't sleep that well at all, which I'm sure it's not helping overall.

Monday, September 12, 2011


They got 14 eggs! I'm delighted, hopefully they'll fertilize, we'll know tomorrow.

The nurse said I had 21 follicles at the last count, so to watch out for OHSS symptoms. I think they went down quite heavy with the sedation this time, I could barely get up all day (still feeling quite spaced out) thankfully my sister could look after Oliver and Mike wasn't late coming back home.

I'll update tomorrow with the fertilization report.

And would you believe it, last night, Oliver's monitor went off 3 times! Of course all false alarms, which is great in one way, meaning there's not a hint of panic in me any more, but on the other, if we don't understand what the hell is wrong with it, it's going to be a real pain!
Update: Mike just came down and said the sensor pad was not in the centre of the bed so he repositioned it. Any time it went off, Oliver was at the top of his crib where he tends to migrate all the time. We'll see!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Retrieval on monday

Last scan this morning and all looks good. I think I have 20 follicles in total and 14 are of a very good size. Also I was scanned with a different (older) machine and even the measure of the lining (incidentally the best I ever had!) was less than 2 days ago so I am thinking there may be a couple more follicles in the "right zone", but we all know this means nothing till you have actually eggs and then embryos. So I don't want to have my hopes up too much as the disappointment the last time was massive. If I don't hear anything this afternoon from the clinic, I'll trigger with the full dose on saturday night and I'll be the first one in the morning going through the procedure.

In Oliver's world things are well, he had his first cold which had him up at night (and us too!) even more than usual, being quite uncomfortable and slightly feverish. But yesterday he was already much better and last night...oh yes, last night we NEVER had to get up! I'm looking 10 years younger this morning!! And it's just as well...we had the official opening of our new research facilities and the Prime Minister was on the premises...big big deal as you can imagine, in difficult economic times you have to really show that your job and research are worth the investment.
Finally we had another full on alarm with the sensor monitor. It happened one the afternoon, Oliver was actually awake and all smiley when Mike run up to check on him. Mike had heard him cooing seconds earlier so we are now absolutely certain the thing it's false alarming on us. I think Carlito may have started playing with the cable that connect the under-mattress sensor pad to the unit...I have to say I'm so so relieved!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Update number 2

Academic teaching term will start on monday and we are having orientation week at the moment and it's just hell. So I've not been able to read or comment! So sorry, I'll try my best during the weekend.

I had my second scan this morning, everything is on track, 10 follicles on the left and 7 good sizes on the right. A couple of smallies which won't count. Mike went in for his SA yesterday and he had nothing to report on the "Sample room" of the new facility, apparently it's the same as the old one, no new "interesting" material to look at. The results weren't great, 7 million/mL, low motility. Bleah. The Fav Doctor had a look for me at his precious number and actually in 2009 he only had 5.4 million/mL so it's not as bad this time. And she pointed out they only need a few for ICSI so they have plenty to work with.

In other news, Oliver had a terrible night last night, we had very little sleep, he seemed inconsolable between 1.30 am and 3am. Normally it's enough to give him his soother and the night-teddy but we actually had to pick him up and rock him till he stopped sobbing. My little baby...I think he suffers from separation anxiety now that I'm in work all day...and I'm a bit tender in the belly so I don't pick him up as much in the evening either...let's hope he'll settle soon. Love to all.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cycle update

Day 6 of stim and this morning I had my scan with the Fav Doctor.
All looks super, I have 8 follicles on each side all above 10mm (but one which is small). Retrieval most likely to be on monday! She said after a pregnancy it's very common to have great response. Nice to know!

In other news yesterday I went to the local pool with Oliver again and it was a success like the first time! He absolutely loves it.
We had one other incident with the sensor monitor, a couple of nights ago. I had just been in checking on him and actually I heard him making a noise from my bed when the monitor went "Bip"! So I went back in knowing though it was definitely a false alarm. And it was. Oliver was on his side at the edge of the bed asleep. It never went to the full on beeping though, but somehow it reassured me greatly it may have been a glitch!
I'm back in work full time and I'm trying to come in very early so that I can go home mid afternoon, so far so good!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

8 months old!

Oliver is 8 months today! My sister is arriving late afternoon and our baby sitting routine will begin. I have to be calm and relaxed, everything will be well. This is my mantra.

In other news my stimming protocol is the same as the last time, I started my puregon (225 U) and luveris last night. I have this thing that I fear I'll forget the injections...It was a strange feeling taking out my Puregon pen from the fridge (I store it there, it's the one I used the last time and so I think it's my lucky pen). Definitely the anxiety about the cycle is minimal which is great, but still I had this thought in my mind "we are going to try and add to the family" and a smile came to my face.

I slept a bit better, I think I'm overcoming the terror of what had happened. I would go as far as saying that Oliver would have been absolutely fine in any case and that I can only do my best to keep him safe. Let's hope it'll last!