Wednesday, September 27, 2017

week 17 - harmony test #pregnancyDiary

So my last updates ended up being pretty long! Well done to those of you who made it through the entire thing. It's making me wonder whether I should break up the weeks into smaller chunks so that's what I'll try now.

Week 17 thoughts

I've been experiencing pain on my right hand side above my hip. At my last appointment I mentioned to my doctor that I'd had various cramps and pains but in general they weren't severe and usually went away and he didn't seem too concerned. The next day the pain on my right seemed to get worse! I noticed it more during movement such as when I'd get up from sitting or turn around in bed during the night. It felt sort of like a stitch or pulled muscle. When it didn't seem to go away I started wondering whether I should go to the hospital to get checked out (this was outside my doctor's opening hours). I had more or less decided I would go to the hospital when I was googling and started reading about something called round ligament pain and realised that's exactly what it felt like. I also messaged several friends who'd had kids to ask them if they'd had something similar. Some hadn't but the majority had. I decided I would wait and see if it got better and luckily it did. I still notice it sometimes but it's not as painful. It seems like aches and pains are to be expected!

Even though I am feeling delighted to have reached 17 weeks, the anxiety hasn't gone away completely. Instead of worrying about miscarriage I've started fearing something going wrong at the birth, even though it's ages away. I've had two surgeries in my lifetime and I have a lot of adhesions and scar tissue as a result. I was told after the operations that the adhesions around my intestines could cause a blockage at any point and that would require emergency surgery. I was googling and saw that although adhesion surgery during pregnancy is possible it carries high risk of infant death and even maternal death. I decided to stop reading those articles! I did take serrapettase for a few months before getting pregnant so hopefully that dissolved some of the adhesions. And there is no point worrying about something that please God won't happen! Stillbirth is another worry. It's not such a far fetched thing as it happened to one of my best friends from home.

I am trying to not think about all those things as obviously worrying and stressing isn't good. I doubt I'll be able to fully relax until our baby is actually here safely. I've been trying to remind myself that so far my body has done what is is meant to and everything has been fine. When I share some of my worries with hubby, instead of telling me that the things I'm anxious about are really unli kely or whatever, he starts to look worried too. So I don't think he's the best person to share all my anxieties with! I think the next time I'm at my gyno I'll tell him about my worries in terms of my previous surgeries having an impact and hopefully he'll give me some reassurance. Anyway later today I'll be phoning my doctor about the harmony test results. I'm feeling a little anxious and really hoping that will all be fine.

Next day

So the update is I must have phoned the doctor about thirty times yesterday but couldn't get through! He has certain Sprechstunde (available speaking times), just a short window really. 4.30 till 5pm on Monday and wednesdays. I had to get to work extra early that day, take a short lunch and rush home in order to try to make that time slot. At first the phone was engaged every time I called. Then finally at 5pm I got through but no one answered, making me wonder whether he just ran out of the door once the window has closed! I tried several times after but still no joy. It was frustrating as we really just want to get the results of the harmony test now to find out if everything is ok. This morning I phoned and was told that I can only be given the results by the doctor and "that's what his Sprechstunde are for". His receptionist can be a bit snarky. I explained how I HAD phoned. She said he's busy today and not there tomorrow so we have to wait till Monday and try again then. Frustrating!

Anyway, I guess I am used to having to work on my patience by now so whatever. I decided I'll hold off on telling more people in the office till next week. Actually I did read that some women don't tell work till they are 20 weeks. They probably wait until after the anatomy scan then. Depending on your figure, it IS possible to conceal the pregnancy. I take back what I wrote before saying it is very hard to hide. I do have a small "bump" but it doesn't look that different to being bloated or whatever and unless someone is looking for it it's not so obvious. There was a team lunch I was at a few weeks ago where the waiter brought us all a digestive shot to drink after the meal, with alochol. I turned it down but so did some other colleagues who didn't want to drink during their work day so it wasn't so noticeable. And even though I've been nasueas, I haven't had to throw up at work luckily, only at home!

The majority of my friends here already had kids (most have two by now). It would have been nice to have gotten pregnant at the same time as some of them. However I love this baby now and I'm not going to live in the past wishing it had happened sooner. I do have one friend here who is two weeks behind me though! I met up with her yesterday which was really nice. We are going to try to go to the same Geburtvorberitungskurs (birth preparation class) in the hospital if possible. Most of the courses have already been booked out! We are hoping to get the one starting November which goes on till January. It'll be two hours once a week.

At my husband's work there are more pregnancies too. I am surprised at how fertile all his work colleagues seem to be. It looks like we are the only ones who had difficulties, judging from how soon most of them seemed to have gotten pregnant after their weddings. Nice for them not to have to deal with infertility of course! Sometimes I feel a little sting at people who are easily able to have several kids wheras we have accepted that we'll most likely just have one. And I hate when people make comments about only children being lonely or how it's selfish for parents to only have one. I can imagine that our one will be very happy! We can make sure to go on plenty of "play dates" and maybe get a pet at some stage.

Later that week

I've noticed that I've been feeling much better in general! It's like a fog has lifted. I don't have the nausea as bad at all anymore and I'm feeling more energetic. I guess this is why the second trimester is considered the "honeymoon" phase! I had a productive week in work on a big project and was feeling very proud of myself. So overall it's been a good week. I've even been more social too. Now I'm not as exhausted all the time, I've started meeting up with friends more often which is fun.

Hubby finally managed to get through to our doctor and we found out the results from the harmony test. Everything is great! The baby only has a 0.01% probability of any of the three major defects. Such a relief! I'm glad now we did decide to go for the harmony test in the end, it's so nice to have that peace of mind. The doctor even said that the results were hervorragend meaning excellent. We already feel like proud parents! My thyroid levels were also fine - TSH 0.7. And my iron levels are a solid 12.2. So good news all round.


  1. Sorry you had to wait so long for the result but so happy they are great!!

    1. Thanks! Yeah having a longer wait than expected was annoying but delighted everything is ok.

  2. Glad the results were good!
    And yes, I found it funny just how many friends/acquaintances got pregnant promptly within the first year of getting married.

    1. Thanks! Yeah it's almost comical sometimes how so many people seem to get married then a few months later announce their pregnancy.

  3. I'm sooo glad the Harmony test result was good. And it would not surprise me at all if the doctor ran out the door on the dot of 5!

    One of my friends had a baby in August, almost exactly a year after she got married. She had originally told me they planned to wait a while before trying for a baby. I guess three months is "a while" now.

    There are a lot of Mormons in my dad's family, which of course means loads of kids (gotta take over the world somehow, right?). His youngest cousin (who is younger than me!) got married 6 years ago and they just had their THIRD baby. I can't even conceive one.

    1. Thanks! Yeah German doctors probably end their Sprechstunde on the minute!
      Personally I think it's nice for couples to just enjoy being married for awhile before having kids but it definitely seems like so many try immediately or very soon after wedding and luckily for them not have any problems.

      I'm sorry that you have so many fertile people in your family which just rubs it in. It's so hard when you see people having 3 or 4 kids and you'd give anything just for one!

  4. I love reading your pregnancy posts. I'm thrilled for you.
    I'd wanted a home birth on my third baby and yet got it into my head it would not be safe so I didn't. I remember clearly going into labour with her and knowing I could do this and all would be okay. I did have a hospital delivery but on number four I had my homebirth.
    The reason I'm saying this to you is to address your fear of the delivery. You can do this and it will be okay. Read some of the home birth stories on the UK home birth web. They will help you to believe that many people have 'normal' births and all is okay.
    Don't get me wrong I'm not speaking about births vs sections I'm only trying to allay your fears and to assure you that birth is not always full of problems and hopefully yours will be problem free. Just trying to lessen your fear of something going wrong.
    I hope I've made my point I seem to be rambling!

    1. Thanks Tric. No you aren't rambling! It could be that all the horror birth stories just stand out more and then stick out in my mind! But that's a great idea about reading more "normal" birth stories, such as on the UK home birth site. I'd like to go into this feeling positive and expecting good things rather than preparing for the worst!

  5. So glad things continue to go well! Yep, anxiety is a tricky beast and always finds another shape to take. I second Tric Kearney's idea: explore some positive birth stories as well as all the "what could go wrong's." Reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth helped me. It didn't make me want to give birth at a hippie commune or even at home or in a birth centre. But I did find it helpful to read stories of people for whom everything was fine. Infertility can really shake your confidence in your body. While it's not wise to ignore the very real possibility of complication, sometimes you have to fight the shadow with a bright light. For me passive acceptance of my situation and its uncertainties was not enough...the negative thoughts would always win over any attempt to placate or accommodate them. I had to explore a totally different worldview. Everybody is different but your thoughts, feelings and worries do matter, so do what you need to do to find that confidence, and don't be afraid to address what you want.

    1. That's a good idea, thanks. I have also been thinking about buying some books on childbirth and trying to prepare myself more for a positive outcome and focus on that idea. Yeah, that's so true that infertility really shakes your confidence in your body! I want so much to believe that everything will be fine but it's hard sometimes!


Comments are welcome