Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A bit bored

Well, luckily no more lower back pain or cramps today, just a few twinges. Other than that, I'm a bit bored (although I did check off a lot of tasks on my to-do list today), hubby is off around Europe for work this week, next check-up and u/s still two weeks away. Time to watch some Dr. House (but please no episodes with dying babies or sick pregnant women, those give me nightmares)...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lower back pain and some cramps

So last week, while I was sick, I was worried that my pregnancy symptoms were decreasing and that the baby was no longer alive. Now that the cold/flu is gone, I noticed the symptoms are still there, but get freaked out because yesterday evening I suddenly got some cramps and lower back pain and I'm worried I'm going to have a miscarriage. It came back early this morning and this afternoon around 4 pm (still there while I write this). Absolutely no bleeding or spotting though, just some mild pain, like when you have your period - around day 3, nothing like the horrible cramps I usually have on day 1 and 2. So I assume/hope it's normal, due to the uterus expanding or something, but of course I keep a check on it to see if it gets any worse.

How normal is my IVF pregnancy?

So, how 'normal' is my IVF pregnancy? Or how normal do I want it to be? On one hand, I want it to be as normal as possible, not different from any other, naturally conceived, pregnancy. But, on the other hand, I want it to be different... this might be difficult to explain, and I don't mean that I want complications or anything like that. But the other day, when I thought about the upcoming pregnancy & birth preparation sessions that the hospital is organizing for expectant couples, I suddenly had the feeling that I didn't want to be there surrounded by couples who got pregnant 'the easy way', I'd prefer to be in a group with people who'd had infertility treatments before being able to get pregnant. Because those people have been there themselves... and you don't have to be afraid of someone blurting out a remark on how she got pregnant unexpectantly because she forgot to take the pill, or something like that.

Last week I received a letter from the RE lab, asking to let them know the name of my OB and the results of the first u/s (which, btw, I had informed the RE's office about, but apparently the office and the lab don't communicate very well with each other...) and also informing me that they would send me a form, to be filled out by my OB after the delivery, about my pregnancy, so they would have that info for their statistics. A normal procedure and a sign that my IVF pregnancy will never be completely 'normal' - which is fine by me, because that's how I experience it anyway.

But... they also mentioned I would be contacted by an organization they work with, "which will propose to monitor your child for a longer period of time". WTF? When I read that, a sudden vision came to me of my child wearing a t-shirt saying "I'm an IVF baby". Everywhere you read that 'children born as a result of IVF are no different that other children', so why this follow-up and how long is a 'longer period of time'? A few months, a few years? I tried to find some information about this organization online, but of course there's nothing - welcome to France, this country is so offline, it's unbelievable (more on that in a future post). So I'll have to wait until I get the call/letter to find out what it is all about...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Feeling better

Wow, I'm finally almost over this horrible cold (or was it actually the flu, just without real fever?). Spent Tuesday and Wednesday in bed all day, felt super miserable. Fortunately things started to improve on Thursday, and even though I'm still coughing (which has resulted in a nice pain in the ribs), I can at least distinguish my pregnancy symptoms from the cold symptoms again, which is reassuring to my constantly worrying mind.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Registry date at the hospital

I had to go to the hospital this morning to register for the delivery date. Today was the first possible date to do this for due dates scheduled for the last two weeks of June. Both my OB and my neighbor had told me to go there as early as possible, because apparently all women want to deliver at this specific hospital (+ the birth rate in France is the highest in Europe), so it fills up pretty fast.

I arrived at the hospital around 9.15 am, already quite busy in the waiting room and it was too warm, so I got a nice coughing attack (and of course I had forgotten to bring water). After about 15 minutes it was my turn - as my OB is linked to the hospital, it was a pretty easy registration (but you wonder how they do it - because they first write down the info on some scrap piece of paper and then when you're gone they're going to enter it - you hope - into the computer system. Ah, the French...). I had registration number 4, so obviously I was well on-time. I had brought all kinds of paperwork (because my neighbor had told me I needed that), but didn't need any of it.

Next appointment is on December 17 - information session about pregnancy and delivery. Will have to get my 'labels' printed then as well, whatever that means...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Stupid cold

Thanks to my hubby, who was sick two weeks ago (and is still coughing), I suffer from a stupid cold since Thursday. I limit myself to paracetamol (the European version of Tylenol), homeopathic tablets for sore throat, and a little bit of homeopathic cough syrup twice a day. I also took some nasal spray for a few days, convinced it was just saline spray, but when I looked closer at the bottle this morning I saw that it was a little stronger than I thought - so I put that back in the medicine cabinet (and try not to freak out that I took it and it might be harmful...).

Other than that I still sleep a lot, but now it's hard to know if I'm tired because of the cold or the pregnancy. Breasts hurt a lot less (but still a little tender and bigger than usual) and no other new symptoms to speak of. My next doctor's appointment is not until December 9, so I'm getting a bit anxious that everything is still OK. I know I shouldn't worry, but the cold is not helping much. Still taking progesterone suppositories - now only once a day instead of twice - and baby aspirin. My OB told me to continue both until the next appointment, because stopping might do more harm than continuing (hmm, don't you love this kind of reasoning...?).

Eating out

Friday evening we went out to dinner with a friend from Holland, and I did not have a relaxing good time. Every item on the menu seemed to harbor a potential danger - salad (would it have been washed properly?), cheese (would it be raw-milk?), foie gras (out of the question), red meat (I rather don't eat it than eat it 'well done'), etc. etc. Pff, somehow the entire food industry seems to have become suspect. I think I prefer home-cooked meals from now on, even if I don't feel like cooking all the time...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Now that I'm pregnant, I'm not allowed to eat raw-milk cheese anymore. Normally I buy our cheese at the market, but since I suspect that all to be raw-milk, I went to the supermarket.

Well... it's practically impossible to find pasteurized cheese here in France, even at the huge hypermarkets! I must admit that I'm mainly looking for hard cheeses (I'm Dutch after all), there are some brie, camembert and other soft cheeses that you can buy pasteurized, but that's not what I like on my sandwich for lunch, and to eat 'laughing cow' for 9 months is not very appealing either...

So, luckily my hubby had to change planes in Amsterdam on his way back from a business meeting last week and bought me a kilo of Old Amsterdam. And my parents are coming to visit tomorrow, also bringing some good old Dutch pasteurized cheese!