Wednesday, 28 September 2016

9DPO again!

So apparently I never updated last cycle, sorry!

Here I am again at 9 days past ovulation. I finally got my CT scan appointment through for the old waterworks, which they have rescheduled for next week in case I am pregnant and it's too early to tell. I am pretty much 99% convinced that it's not a kidney stone or anything related to my urinary tract. The ache in my side is almost a muscular feeling, and it's intermittent and I'm used to it now so it's less bothersome and worrisome in general. I am suspicious that maybe it's an ovarian cyst or something - also I have a couple of cysts on my ribcage and hip on that side which ache and can be pretty painful at times. Maybe they are referring pain into my side? I need to ask the doctor if she will send me for an ovarian ultrasound instead. I had one 2 years ago which was clear, because my periods stopped for ages, and then they were normal looking during my pregnancy with Rosie, but ovarian cysts are very common and can cause urinary symptoms as well so who knows. My urinary symptoms have cleared up, and the second urine sample after the antibiotics was clear, so who knows!

As always, we have not prevented pregnancy, and are trusting God with the outcome. I'm honestly (HONESTLY, lol! I see you rolling your eyes in disbelief! ;) ) not really thinking about it. I have no idea what's changed with being in my 40s, but there has literally been more... parsnips (!!) since turning 40 than probably in the whole decade beforehand, haha! Bit TMI but hey ho. I am seriously not even thinking about getting pregnant.

So, there is a good chance this cycle, and I'm temping since just before ovulation so that I could confirm my ovulation when it occurred. My temps are so-so, highish, but down a little these last two mornings. I do not know if I'm pregnant or not. In some ways things make me wonder if I am, but then I can't be pregnant EVERY cycle there's a chance, can I?! :P

The one thing that is really odd for me is that I am horribly crampy today, and I was yesterday and the day before as well. The evening of 7DPO I began feeling a little more crampy than "mild cramps", but I couldn't chart it as "bad cramps" because it wasn't as bad as that. I had the same crampiness the next day, on and off throughout the day, along with a weird pressure sensation, almost like constipation, but not in the right place. Maybe that's a typical sensation with an ovarian cyst at a certain part of a cycle though? It feels a lot like very early pregnancy. Today I have definitely had BAD cramps. I also keep feeling leaky and running to the loo expecting bleeding, but nothing yet. It was bad enough (with low backache and pressure and the whole works) while I was making lunch that I would have curled up with a hot water bottle if I'd had the chance (I didn't, of course), and that is really odd for me in a normal luteal phase.

The weird thing is, my norm for my periods now is that they are fairly light/moderate, and almost cramp-free. I used to have SUCH crippling cramps in my teens, and then through my 20s it was pretty bad, but I could still function on day 1, just about. Over my child-bearing years, from my late 20s until now, they've gradually become less painful. Still yucky and crampy, and I would chart the cramps as "bad cramps" but only because they don't class as "mild cramps", which I need to differentiate for reasons of pregnancy symptom spotting over the years. Since having Elijah (and more so after Lydia), I would only have mild cramps with a period. And since Rosie, sometimes I've wondered if I was pregnant because of the almost non-existent cramps! I think it is just my body changing as I get older. My periods themselves are about the same length and heaviness.

Anyway, it's REALLY different for me to have cramping in my luteal phase. Something I get when I'm pregnant, but never when I'm not. I have had it the last few cycles without really having confirmation of any pregnancies, it being too early to test (though I'm sure I have been pregnant, maybe every cycle, maybe not, but definitely in there somewhere). I'm also wondering if maybe cramping in my LP and then almost no cramping during my period could be a new norm for me or something? Who knows, anything can happen with changes towards menopause, I guess, so I'm open-minded to the possibility. I don't really buy it, but it's a possibility.

So, I'm crampy, and REALLY bloated, like water-retention over my tummy (squishy-skin, not bowel-y). I am irritable and exhausted, and not sleeping great when I do go to bed because I can't fall asleep sometimes. Also my restless leg syndrome is kicking my butt for the first time since my last pregnancy, this week. I need to start taking magnesium again.

I took my last FRER pregnancy test this morning because it was staring at me from my drawer (!!), and I got a shadowy line that I am now getting frustrated to see, because I keep getting those. Only one cycle did I get a stark white negative on those tests. The others I've had a faint line, and since I also felt pregnant (and had a good chance of being so), I presumed I was, and that it was a chemical pregnancy. I do still feel like I was, and the faint lines were confirmation of that, but I'm starting to feel silly, looking at stats and having people scoff at me - I can't be pregnant EVERY cycle there's a chance, cycle after cycle!! Apparently. Statistically it's like a 30% chance each cycle even for the most fertile couple at their peak fertile age. That has NOT been my experience, so I am confused on that stat, but anyway. I'm 40 now, so I can't just assume I'm pregnant every cycle just because I might be. Maybe my symptoms can be explained away with "gearing up for menopause". Maybe the faint lines on the tests are just... I don't know, evaps? (others who use that brand say not though, and I would tend to agree) Or maybe there's no faint line, I'm just seeing things?! Because the alternative is that I'm conceiving pretty much every cycle that parsnips is timed with ovulation, which the world says is not likely.


Anyway. I have no tests left. I don't care if I'm pregnant or not. If I am, I will be thrilled. Tired and anxious, but thrilled. If I'm not, I will be happy. Time to continue recovering from the last pregnancy, the ability to attend the CT scan (that my GP might still cancel if it isn't necessary), and more time to... um... enjoy my husband, since pregnancy usually = bleeding for me early on, and thus pelvic rest. :)

I just wanted to update for this cycle, so it's here. Busy otherwise with family life, school (six kids now doing school work!! How did that happen?!), and little people! Rosie is 9 months old tomorrow, crawling everywhere and standing at the furniture. She is exploring more each day, though thankfully not climbing yet! ;) Outgrowing the 6-9 month baby clothes. Still just the 4 teeth, though she is teething hard at the moment so I think the next two at the top won't be long in coming. She's babbling and very noisy with it, lol! Eating whatever I give her enthusiastically. Everybody loves her so much!

[Just editing to add this morning (12 hours after I wrote this entry) - my temp dropped some more and my period turned up late morning. I knew I would likely not get chance to write an entry saying that, so I thought I'd edit this one, rather than say nothing at all! ;) I've ordered more pregnancy tests, but just cheapy sticks so that I've got something in the house to test if I need to know one way or the other, another cycle. See you next month!]

Friday, 2 September 2016


Just quickly to say that I'm now 9 days past ovulation and I took a pregnancy test this morning which was completely negative. I compared it to last cycle's one and that was DEFINITELY positive - the difference is huge at the same number of days past ovulation.

My temp is still up there, but in general the temps aren't as high as I'd hope for them to be if I was pregnant. It would make me wonder (and worry) about low progesterone if they didn't go up a bit more. I definitely have had some proper pregnancy symptoms, but on the other hand I feel rather neutral at the moment, just waiting. It's unusual for me to get to 10DPO without pregnancy being the cause, lol! Absolutely no signs of a period coming yet, no spotting or anything like that. I have had a headache all day from waking this morning, and sometimes that is something I get the day before a period. I have allergies today, and the last two days (who knows why), and that's bothering my sinuses so it could be just that.

I will get a better idea in the morning when I would expect to see my temp drop to show an impending period. Neil is out all day tomorrow, driving long-distance to pick up a new minibus! :) I hope I don't get whacked by a heavy period, and that I can just carry on as normal with the children like I was planning to. If my temp doesn't drop, I would maybe test again, BUT if I'm using First Response Early Result tests and I'm 10DPO AND I don't get a positive, then I'm not pregnant. Those tests are sensitive and reliable for getting a clear line nice and early. I should see a line for sure by 10DPO - I have with all my other pregnancies even on cheapy internet sticks by then. Except Samuel - I had a stark negative at 9DPO and a positive at 11DPO. Anyway, tomorrow will tell.

I'm weirdly relieved to think maybe I am not pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I would so love to be! But I'm anxious about the pain in my side and if I can, I would like to see what it's about without worrying about being pregnant preventing me from getting diagnostic tests, or pregnancy making "something" worse. I struggle such a lot with health anxiety and it's constant work to keep from thinking of the worst possible scenarios just with a pain in my side. I hope to finally get reassurance and peace of mind, and THEN I would feel at ease about being pregnant again.

I am feeling crampy tonight, as I have done over the last couple of days, on and off. I have had an actual ligament pain when getting up from the bed at an angle (trying not to wake Rosie up after I'd breastfed her to sleep) - that's 100% a pregnancy symptom - never had that outside of pregnancy. I still might not be. Maybe I'm getting older and having more aches and pains when I never used to?!

I charted frequent urination a couple of days on my chart, because I had to get up in the early hours for a wee two nights running, despite not having had much to drink the night before. Usually means pregnancy for me, but it hasn't continued, so...

I feel, conflictingly, very much pregnant (Neil is convinced also), and very much normal and NOT pregnant at all! Weird of me. I am more tired this week than usual, and having a couple of unpleasant very vivid dreams. I wonder if I'm just forgetting what normal hormones in a normal length luteal phase are like, leading up to a period?! I can't remember if this was normal for me or not. Much of it seems only familiar from pregnancies, but then I guess it's the same hormones.

I will update, anyway. Just wanted to do so tonight before I forgot, about the negative test. Thanks for the lovely comments again! xxx

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

New cycle update

Hello! :)

Life is zipping by as usual. My lovely baby girly is now 8 months old! She has her next developmental check and weigh-in tomorrow. She started crawling last night, and I can't remember if this had happened last time I updated, but she has her two bottom teeth, and then cut her first top tooth just over a week ago. The second top tooth is about to come through. She hasn't been cranky or symptomatic at all. She is such a smiley happy baby, with tons of attention all the time, and adored by all her siblings, and her mummy and daddy, of course! :) She pretty much snuffles down whatever food we give her, enthusiastically. :) She had her first experience in the paddling pool when the weather got hot recently, and she has become especially fond of her daddy lately too, crying when he leaves the room, and flapping and squealing with excitement when he comes into the room! Bless her! :) Here are a couple of recent pics of her - paddling pool, and pizza crust. :)

It has been a busy month. I had a UTI diagnosed and had antibiotics, then had those changed after my urine culture grew a strain of bacteria that needed a different antibiotic. I called the doctor again after I finished the course of treatment because I still had the occasional soreness when I wee, and also the same side pain, but it feels weirdly muscular, or perhaps even closer to the surface, and it radiates deep sometimes. It's definitely not feeling like a kidney stone. I even wondered about an ovarian cyst, but there's zero pain during intercourse (which is a common symptom), and it radiated up to my ribs which I would think is a bit high?? Anyway, they took another urine sample to be sure it's all cleared up, and I'm waiting for those results right now. I feel better in myself though. Waiting for the scan referral to come through.
The children are all busy and happy, NOISY and active. We changed our curriculum choices this summer, re-evaluating what is and isn't working. We subscribed to Reading Eggs and Mathseeds for most of them, and they love it so much that they are queuing for turns at two laptops every single day, including Saturday and Sunday!! :) Elijah is 4 and would be starting school next month (gasp!!!), and he's reading short sentences now thanks to Reading Eggs. :) He is also potty training (somewhat reluctantly!) at the moment, and doing great. He's so like Nathan, and did not want anything to do with it, but I've put my foot down now. ;) Two of his brothers were 4 as well. Lydia will be 3 in two months (!!!!) and has decided she wants to potty train as well due to the chocolate rewards she's seeing her brother enjoy, lol! She won't have the hand-me-down Thomas the Tank Engine pants, and has asked me to buy her pink Peppa Pig pants, lol! So I'll buy those for her when I get the chance. :)
Neil got head-hunted and offered a new job with a different company, with a massive pay increase and car allowance! It's still a long commute, but it should be a slightly easier one using the train as it's more direct than his current work location. SUCH a blessing and an answer to prayer, we are so so grateful! :) He will start that in roughly 6 weeks, no specific start date yet.
As far as this month's cycle goes - it's the first time in what feels like MY LIFE that I've ever suggested to Neil that maybe we prevent pregnancy this month. Just because of the scans coming up - I am not sure if they would want to do X-ray and I can't have that if I am pregnant, so... We just really... contraception just does not sit right with us, even so. So we chose to abstain when I was most fertile. Except that I had some maybe/maybe-not fertile CM for several days that I wondered about - it wasn't EWCM, but it was the "precursor" that I often chart as EWCM for my own reference, because it's not any of the other types and I know it means the proper EWCM is coming. But I know that I have many days after the "precursor" stuff starts, before I'm fertile and ovulate - if I even do ovulate that time around. And it was WAY early in my cycle for me to be fertile - like CD11 or something. So we figured it was still okay for the parsnips. ;)
Fast forward a week or something, and I've ovulated. I counted a 5 day cut-off between the last parsnips and ovulation, which I figured was close but "safe" - it feels really weird talking like this about avoiding pregnancy! :/ Who would want to prevent such a blessing?! Or at least, that's how I feel about it. It feels strange to be making that choice, after all these years. Just for this month though.
Well, I was merrily going about my business, temping to be sure of my ovulation and charting to see it nicely, when my sweet friend Rebecca pointed out that it was a 4-day cut-off, not 5 days. I went back and counted again, and lo and behold, she was right! I can't believe I looked at a chart and counted wrong, haha! I guess I counted the day of the parsnips as day 1, instead of counting up to ovulation day from the day after parsnips.
Suddenly I felt kind of panicky - again WEIRD for me because the very chance of pregnancy is a thrill and a great excitement, God's timing - a blessing! But because I had had the mindset of preventing, I felt a bit thrown. So I am 6 days past ovulation today. Yesterday, 5DPO, my temp dropped like a STONE, right down to the coverline, like a pre-ovulation temp. That's really odd for me. At the time I thought, oh it's like an implantation dip, haha! ;) Little did I know that maybe it IS one!
I checked all my previous charts for evidence of pregnancies that I've had from the exact timing of parsnips to ovulation, 4 days before, in the past. Guess what I came up with? Matthew, Nathan, Lydia and one chemical pregnancy. All of them one incidence of parsnips 4 days before ovulation. Hmmm! ;) So I guess we wait and see. It feels surreal that there could be a chance, and I'm thinking surely NOT?! I mean, I can't just EVERY SINGLE CYCLE go "Oh! I might be pregnant!" lol! But usually, bizarrely, I might. Even this time. :)
I haven't really got any really obvious early symptoms. Well, I tell a lie - maybe I just don't want to imagine there are any? I have had bad cramps this morning. Proper ones with radiating back ache. Never happens unless I'm pregnant. Also a weird... sensation which is too personal to ever explain here (even in my previous pregnancies I've mentioned it in about the same detail as this) in my... nether regions (!) which again, I have only ever had in very early pregnancy. Not every time, but most of them. I am irritable and tired, but sometimes that's just normal tiredness when I've been woken a lot in the night like I often am. I am gassy, and to be honest very similar to early pregnancy gassiness, but I'm not making anything of it because it could easily be nothing to do with potential pregnancy. I have been having quite a lot of back ache and the odd bit of pelvic pain - I had pain in my tailbone when I got out of bed yesterday morning and I remember it really grabbed my attention (had no idea at that point that there was any chance of conception) because I hadn't had pain in that area since I was last pregnant. It just aches occasionally when I'm pregnant, but for whatever reason, it doesn't really bother me outside of pregnancy, except in the early weeks I guess when there's still relaxin or whatever it is in my system.
Anyway, that's it really. I am feeling sluggish and like I just want to eat junk and drink Coke, ha! I don't normally do that, but it could easily be a pre-period thing, so...
If I am not pregnant then I don't know what to expect of my luteal phase length. Maybe it could finish tomorrow even, shorter than the last 2 cycles but I am sure I conceived those cycles and that lengthened my LP to a day or two longer than it would otherwise have been.
I mentioned it to Neil, and it's like our roles are reversed! :) Normally I am the one all thrilled with the possibility and he's cautiously happy but anxious about providing (financially, that's his main concern). Now he has this new job coming up, he is so much less anxious. *I* was slightly anxious because what if, for thorough investigation, I need some diagnostics done that I can't get if I'm pregnant? What if they are annoyed with me for becoming pregnant when I knew those tests were upcoming? I did mean to prevent for that reason, but... Anyway. Neil was happy and even congratulated me and told me to test in the morning, lol! WAY premature for all that at only 6DPO when I still might get my period. He reassured me over the worries I had, and moved on to thinking about moving house again to somewhere bigger with even more space for our growing family. :) And you know the children will be THRILLED - so so happy to have another baby in the family. :)
I will see what my temp does from now, and just wait. When I was feeling very crampy today, I had a really full heavy feel in the pit of my abdomen, almost in my groin, and I also felt very "leaky". I kept going to the loo to see if my period was starting early, but (of course) nothing was there except my usual suspiciously "pregnant" CM. Which I'm trying not to get too focused on. It's way too surreal, for some reason. And it could all just be for nothing, if I end up with my period anyway.
My temp went up again this morning, after yesterday's big dip, and I'll see about tomorrow's. Will update again soon. Thanks for the supportive comments. :) Someone asked at my other blog if I could update there again - it has been YEARS since I updated there, I think! Or it feels that way, anyway. I would love to keep up with my other blog, and record all the lovely stuff about my children growing up and my thoughts and memories, etc. But I just can't. I haven't got time, what with being Mummy to them all, at all hours of every day. I can keep my pregnancy blog updated, barely, so that I don't miss recording any pregnancy I might be blessed to have, but my updates are now restricted to Facebook. I do record EVERYTHING there, and I can't do it in two places - I thought I would just copy and paste to my blog at one time, just so it was recorded there too, but I can't. I can't force the time into my waking hours. Right now it's 11.35pm and I'm so tired. I would have gone to bed when I brushed my teeth and checked on all the sleeping children 45 minutes ago, but I remembered my blog and wanted to update it, so here I am instead. I feel sad that the old blog is stuck - suspended in time, before my little girls were even a part of it. But it can't be helped. :/ I don't accept friends easily on FB, as my personal information is there, and if I don't know you... I'm sorry that my little ones' lives aren't available to read about any more, but I can assure you they're doing fine, as loved as they ever were when I used to write about them, happy and growing fast. :) When I can, I'll put a bit about them here when I update about the things that this diary is meant for. I hope that'll do. :)

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Quick update

Just a quick update to say I had another faint line yesterday on a test, and then heavy bleeding and a temp drop this morning, so it seems like a chemical pregnancy. Ah well. I know that God knows best. I definitely need to fix whatever is going on with my kidney stone (is it even one?!) and be pushy for some sort of diagnosis. It is really sore to wee today and my side aches. All my urine samples are clean and do not grow anything when cultured, so it's not an infection. I will call the doctor tomorrow, and it's kind of a relief to know I can get an X-ray if I can convince the doctor to get me one.

My bleeding is heavier so far than a normal period, but maybe "normal" is going to change anyway, now that I'm getting nearer to menopause.

Thanks so much for the comments, with the obvious exception of the person who is so twisted with bitter envy that they can't control themselves over typing unkindness in a comments box. I pity you, who ever you are. And it was deleted about 0.2 seconds after I clapped eyes on it. Editing 30 minutes after posting it to add: I just randomly came across a quote from someone on Facebook (about something completely different, and not to do with me), that made me think of this immediately, so I'm sharing it: "It used to bother me a lot but then I realized that people like that are just miserable people and their opinions do not matter anyway..." Truth. :)

I'll update again at some point, just because I want to keep track of my cycles and conception seems somewhat likely in the future. I really appreciate everyone who is supportive and loving towards me here! :) xxx

Friday, 5 August 2016

Rosie photo overload, although I meant to talk about something else...

I'm so sorry I didn't update after the last entry where I wondered if we had conceived!!! I can't believe I forgot to update! Of course you know that means I got my period, otherwise I would have been back here the very next day! ;) Thank you for the comments and messages, and I am just sorry it has taken me this long to update.

Rosie-Bo is now 7 months old - she turned 7 months last week. She is beginning to vaguely crawl backwards, and can scoot forwards a little if she is desperate for a toy that's almost within reach. She is vigorously fascinated (!!) about all things on floor level, and most things at table or sofa level too. She loves soft toys, especially Nathan's beloved Monkey - he delights in her squeals of excitement and limbs flapping away eagerly when he dances Monkey in front of her. No other soft toy has the same effect, and she just beams if he puts Monkey into her arms for her to hold for a minute. He takes Monkey right back if she starts trying to chew on his ears though! ;) She seems really fond of teddies and soft toys, so we'll have to try to find her a good "lovey" of her own.

She is finally starting to show interest in food! She was interested at 6 months, but when it came to actually putting food in her mouth, nope. She has her own little booster seat with a tray on it, and sits up to the table with all of us, in that. She eagerly looks round the table at everyone talking and eating, like she's been longing for this for months, bless her! We have given her cooked carrot slices - she was not impressed. Also banana - not thrilled. That was her first food, like all the others have had, but at 6.5 months, instead of on the day she turned 6 months. Here she is at her new booster chair, and a couple to illustrate her reaction to the banana - the happy face was the moment she had just dropped it on the floor, lol! :D

Then another time she had a roast potato and LOVED it! She ate most of the inside of it, and chewed on the tough outer part for ages. I didn't realise it, because it hasn't happened this early with any of my other babies, but she was cutting her first tooth! She got her first tooth at 6 months and almost 4 weeks, and then her second tooth (both bottom middles) a few days later at 7 months. My youngest to get a first tooth was Matthew (and Elijah, actually) at 7.5 months, so she's the earliest now! :)

Anyway, so potato = success! :) She has eaten roast potato since then too. Also the next time we had a roast chicken, I handed her some of the leg meat, and she was chewing and sucking on strips and fistfuls of that for the whole meal, lol! She ate quite a lot of it, which I was surprised to see. I really only expect them to go for tastes at this early stage - breastmilk is enough until 12 months, so I'm not aiming at filling up with food or anything. She also likes cucumber and if I cut them in sticks with one side "skin", she gnaws out all the soft part and "rounds off" the ends. :D Those are all the foods she's tried so far.

I have no idea what she weighs or measures. She hasn't been weighed in months and months, I can't even remember when! Her next baby check is probably around 8 or 9 months, so I should be getting an appointment through for that soon-ish, I guess. She is so roly-poly and chubby still! I will post a few photos that I took last week. She is YUMMY! :) I think I didn't post the ones I took of her a month ago yet, at 6 months, so I'll post those first, and THEN the delicious roly-poly ones! ;)

The day she turned 6 months old:

A family outing on a hot afternoon, trying to keep her out of the sunshine. She had some milky, we had some snuggles and chatted a bit, and then Elijah came and talked to her and made her giggle. She LOVES all of her siblings and lights up when she sees them! :)

Cute little outfit with a matching girly hairband at 6 months and 1 week! I am still loving having daughters SO MUCH!!! (love my boys fiercely too, just to say!)

Here are the roly-poly photos taken the day she turned 7 months old! :)

Love her so much!!! :D

Well, I actually didn't come here to talk so much about Rosie, as other things! Only I got side-tracked and accidentally posted a bunch of photos of my yummy girl instead! ;)

I have had a kidney stone - the second one I've ever had - bizarrely 5 years to the exact week since my last one! It started mid-July, and THANKFULLY never got as torturous as the last one. The GP was fairly useless (except for the prescribing of a lot of medication), and refused to send me for diagnostics, like X-ray or scan to actually see if there was a stone, and where it might be. I had the same symptoms as my last one started with - intermittent bladder pain and it hurt to wee pretty badly. I thought UTI last time, but apparently it's a typical symptom of a kidney stone, along with the others. So I ignored it, and it was only a few days later when I began getting sharp twinges in the soft part of my side that suddenly (horrifyingly!) I realised that I recognised them as a mild form of the same exact pain as when I had had a kidney stone. I needed to be ambulanced to hospital for pain relief last time, it got SO bad, but it has just been very bothersome sharpness this time. Also my kidney has become really achy and painful, I guess because it has backed up somewhat because of the stone blocking the way. Last time my kidney was completely obstructed for 3 weeks and urine had broken through all around it, yeurgh! It was indescribably painful, but this time much less so.

Anyway, I was super anxious, obviously. I kept going back to see the doctor and asking for an X-ray, but they wouldn't let me unless I was in more significant pain, and sent me home to drink plenty, take the pain meds and wait for it to pass. So I've been doing that, and I still haven't passed it! BUT the pain has been significantly less bothersome for the past week, at least. My kidney no longer aches at all. I read that once the stone gets really low, near the bladder, it seems to cause the least symptoms and the kidney isn't obstructed so badly, even though it's the most narrow part of the ureter (weird!), and it can sit there for some time before passing. I still have pain in my side on and off, and it still hurts to wee intermittently, sometimes a lot, so... I had blood in my urine a couple of times, which was the give-away for me that it was a stone, along with the other symptoms. 98% of stones cause blood in the urine, even just microscopically. Last time the bleeding was horrible, but this time less severe, which I'm grateful for!

ANYWAY, it seems like a crazy time for a pregnancy, but...

It's not like it was planned or anything. I feel a bit daft now, thinking of an unpassed stone and the fact that I can't get an X-ray if I might be pregnant. But we were just being... husband and wife, and since hitting my 40s, there has been a major shift towards... being husband and wife, um, more. NO IDEA where that has come from, but there we go. No missing the "fertile window" or anything, lol! Kidney stone be darned! ;)

So here I am at 8DPO after possibly conceiving last cycle, which lead to a longer-than-usual luteal phase of 7 days last time. The same thing happened at that cycle (the same number of months PP) after Elijah, leading to the same 7 day LP, and then the following cycle I conceived Lydia.

I have been super over-heated (like a radiating oven - Neil has noticed it just giving me a hug) since 4DPO. My temps are higher than last cycle in my LP, and they have been mostly flat except for a couple of spikes, which is another promising sign. I haven't felt much of anything in the first few days - not pregnant or otherwise. The last few days I have been INSANELY irritable, and Neil has been telling me I'm pregnant, especially with the radiating heat. He stroked my cheeks and said they were weirdly soft (my unique sign over all these pregnancies!) at 5DPO!!! Very early for that - it's really only from 8DPO that this usually happens for me.

I haven't had any of my usual pregnant "bad cramps" yet, although I have felt pretty crampy today, on and off. I do have my "pregnant" CM, and also the occasional unpleasant fluttery heart palpitations that I only get when I'm pregnant - happening right this second actually. I have been having vivid dreams most nights, which is very pregnant of me, and one of them was about Neil having had a child with someone else, a little girl about 3 years old with blonde hair. She was with us in our home though - very odd dream! The next morning (I think this was 7DPO, yesterday), I came downstairs to find the older children already up and busy, and literally the first thing Nathan (8) said to me was, "Mummy, if we DO have another baby, I don't think we should call it Charlie. It just doesn't go with our family names." I nearly stopped breathing!!! They never mention things like that, but on the other hand someone ALWAYS does (it's SO uncanny) when I'm in very early pregnancy, when they can't possibly know yet! So there's that. :)

And there's this, despite only being 8DPO:

I know it's SUPER faint, but it's there, isn't it?

If it's true... IF... (I just can't believe it!!!)... then this is the earliest I've got pregnant after a previous baby, I think. The baby would be due April 20th (FINALLY my April baby that I've always wanted, if you remember back when I was blogging about trying for a 3rd baby?!), when Rosalie would be 15 months old - my smallest age gap yet! Yikes.

It's way too surreal right now, and maybe it'll all be gone again tomorrow, so for now I am just going to go to bed (it's late) - I am crazy tired today, pregnant tired, if I'm honest, and I will temp and test again in the morning. I totally expected my temp to drop right down this morning, but when it didn't I thought I might as well take a test (at 8DPO, hahaha!) because I'm Crazy-Obsesso Woman after all! :D

Will definitely keep you posted! :)

Monday, 11 July 2016

Cycle update - 6 months postpartum! :)

Thank you all SO much for the lovely encouraging comments on my last post! I was so uplifted by them, and they made me think not to make my blog private over some horrid people and their comments. Thank you for the perspective! :) I really like my blog to be open anyway, so I'm glad to have felt comfortable with keeping it open for now. THANK YOU! <3 p="">
So Rosie-Posie is SIX months old!! Already! Half a whole year has passed since she was born. She is rocking on hands and knees now, and rolling over and over in both directions to get where she wants to go. I am obviously getting more slack now that I have had 8 babies, or else just more relaxed and wise (!!) because she hasn't had any food yet. Normally I whip out a half peeled banana on the day they turn 6 months old, and it has become a tradition, whether they want to start trying food yet or not! I don't offer food before the day they turn 6 months, and some of them have chosen not to be interested for another few weeks or even a few months after that first banana. I think Lydia and Elijah were both more like 8-9 months exclusively breastfed, so I am honestly not in a hurry with Rosie. On the day she turned 6 months, all the bananas were not quite ripe, so I waited. Then, having blinked briefly, locusts - ahem, *children* - must have descended on them because several bunches went within 48 hours. Fast-forward two weeks and I still haven't got around to The First Banana! I did order a new booster seat for her to sit at the table like a big girl (*sob-gasp*!), which arrived this morning, so if I ever have a ripe banana in the house which isn't being devoured, I will be able to make a big deal of her first food and take some photos! :) I'm expecting her to show interest, mostly reject it, and prefer milky for a while longer yet, and that's fine with me. :) She's sooooo chubby and squishy and yummy! I think she is my squishiest baby yet, which is saying something! Benjamin and Arthur were probably equally squishy, but she's my squishiest GIRL for sure! ;)

I haven't been charting because... I think I said last time I wrote here. I just didn't feel the need. Which, of course, only lasts until I have the urge to KNOW what's going on with my cycle a bit more closely. Last few cycles my luteal phase has been 3-4 days. Reeeally short. I haven't confirmed with temps, but I had ovulation pain and obvious fertile signs leading up to ovulation (and sudden cessation of said signs right after the ovulation pain), so I've charted those.

I had one cycle in there which was like 23 days long or something crazy. It made me straight away think of menopause... apparently cycles get shorter towards menopause, and it's one of the signs to look for. Hmmm... That was the cycle before this one. This cycle has been longer because I didn't ovulate until Cycle Day 28 (normal for me this soon after having a baby). Worst ovulation pain I ever had, for some reason. Because parsnips occurred in the obvious fertile time, it sort of triggered my memory to temp from the next day onwards, but not to check whether I might be pregnant, more to confirm when I ovulated and also to see exactly what was going on with my luteal phase.

So now here I am at 7 (seven!) days past ovulation. My temps have been flat (FLAT!!) - as in 36.4-something - for the last FIVE days straight! :-O I was bizarrely hormonally weepy at 2DPO, which is obviously too early for pregnancy symptoms, but which nonetheless occurs for me in many of my pregnancy cycles at specifically 2DPO, and sometimes 4DPO too. Yesterday and today I am craving Belgian buns. Like I woke up, came downstairs and opened the kitchen cupboard to start breakfast, and literally could only think of eating a Belgian bun IMMEIDATELY, which of course we didn't have. Today I wasn't overwhelmed with the thought of Belgian buns until mid-morning, when I actually ended up phoning Neil at work and asking him to please please bring me some home from work. ;)

Late last night I was minding my own business when out of the blue I had a sharp pinching pain in my lower back on my right side. After maybe 30 seconds it bored right through to my front over the right side of my pubic bone. That gave way to a general periody crampiness for an hour or so. I wondered if I was getting my period, but there was nothing when I went to check. Today I have had the same kind of discomfort on and off, but it feels more like one-sided period pain, and I would go so far as to call it "bad cramps" this afternoon. I went to resettle Rosalie when she woke too early during her nap, just maybe 30 minutes ago, and while I was lying in bed with her and breastfeeding, the discomfort I was already having increased until it was a sort of nauseating hot vice-like cramping, like actually having my period. I so hoped she would hurry back to sleep because I didn't like the idea of having my period and just lying there for ages before being able to go to the toilet and deal with it! At last she settled back to sleep and I hurried to the loo, to find absolutely no sign of my period. I still have the cramps. It was right sided (back and front) in bed, but it's settled to more general across the whole of my lower back and the pit of my abdomen now.

I lay there feeding her, thinking, "But I can't be!... I *can't* be pregnant already - she's only 6 months old!" The earliest I was pregnant before was when Elijah was 7 months old, but I checked my chart and I did have a chemical pregnancy the cycle before when he was 6 months old. I got a faint positive at 8DPO the day before my period showed up.

I totally expected nothing from the parsnips that occurred this cycle - didn't even give it a second thought, because as far as I recalled, I don't conceive at 6 months postpartum. I forgot that I did conceive before Elijah, but I knew I wouldn't be able to sustain a pregnancy at 6 months in any case.

But, 2 days in (I don't care what anyone says), I knew. The other things that are typical of my pregnancy cycles - the flat temps, the weepy day, the pinching pain at 6DPO and the cramping, especially today at 7DPO, only serve to convince me more, but none of them surprise me because I have that feeling in my knower, which is more sure and reliable every time, it seems, as I've been there and felt that more and more times.

I haven't mentioned it to Neil because a) he will totally not be expecting it and therefore *may* ever so slightly freak out, lol! ;) and b) I'm pretty sure it can't stick. Never had a sticky baby with previous cycles having such short luteal phases. :( Also, c) I don't know... I just like that it's a secret deep within only me, and nobody else can know unless I tell them. I won't get to keep it for long, so I'm indulgently enjoying and cherishing it while it lasts. I think I was only 3DPO when I talked to my tummy - I told myself "just in case it's true", so as to avoid the feeling of daftness that came over me, being only 3 days after ovulating with no actual proof of conception and a history for doing this whenever it feels like I've conceived. But, I'm right, just like I was right the other times. A mama knows. Well, this one does, anyway! ;) Talking to my little one and saying hello and I knew this hello would only last a few days, but that I was so glad that he or she had the chance to LIVE, and I would see him or her one day, eventually - I realised that, for me, that's another sign of my "knowing" that there's someone in there in the first place. I don't just talk to my tummy on random other cycles, in case pregnancy occurred! ;) I didn't sit and think about doing it before doing so - I was lying
and just realised I was doing it without thinking.

I didn't expect to get to 6DPO, let alone 7DPO, and I guess now that I've blogged about it, I pretty much guarantee myself a temp drop and a period tomorrow! ;) I am also beginning to be wary of bleeding that looks like a period - I have had that enough times at implantation to know that I shouldn't presume it a period until my temps agree in a *sustained* manner! With Elijah my temp dropped like a stone the day I started bleeding heavily (7dpo), and I stopped temping and felt sure it was a period. It wasn't! ;) So I temp until it stays down!

I ordered 2 packs of First Response Early Pregnancy Tests today, but they won't be here until probably Wednesday (the day after tomorrow, and thus 9DPO, which I can't fathom actually getting to, so I might not need to use them after all). When Rosie woke from her nap (I had to stop typing this to get her while the kids were playing in the garden, and am now back to finish off, an hour later), I carried her into the bathroom to rummage through the cabinet in search of pregnancy tests. I had boxes and such left over that I hadn't thrown out (tsk! So disorganised!), but I was delighted to see that one of the boxes has a FRER still unused inside, AND in date! Yay! So, at least I have that to use if I should want to, but I fully expect to get my period, maybe even tonight, or if not then at least a drop in temp to herald it in the morning.

It feels weird ordering pregnancy tests, like... almost like I feel guilty and like I want to do it as secretly as possible. I am surprised by my own response - I've realised that I have this bizarre expectation that it's All Change now I've hit my 40s - no more easy conceptions, no more babies, even - maybe? And I feel self-conscious about being pregnant in my 40s even though I totally disagree with my own brain on that one!! Such a weird feeling, lol! Being pregnant in one's 40s is a true blessing, and you're not to old to bear children until you're too old to bear children, in my opinion - by that I mean physically incapable of conceiving due to menopause. That's God's design right there, so before that point, it's all good as far as I'm concerned. But I guess society (darn society!!) has strong opinions and they seem to have filtered down into my subconscious. Otherwise there would be no reason for me to feel odd about being pregnant in my 40s.

Somewhere under the surface, I must have honestly thought that there would be some sort of switch going off as I turned from 39 to 40, haha! I don't know... I guess I did not expect to just carry on as usual once I turned 40! Not sure why not, now I think about it, and my body seems to be doing the same thing as it did at 37, 38 and 39, sooo....

Anyway, I'm sure I will get a period - my body surely can't sustain a pregnancy yet, but I also feel sure that I've conceived (slightly cringing because of the mockery I've had for always saying that - it's just that when I feel that way, however often it has happened, I'm always right!!! ;) ). So I will update tomorrow probably. I didn't want to miss blogging about any of my little ones, whether they stay with me or not, and also I had a private message about my chart, urging me to update my blog! ;) Thanks, sweet! :)

I'm just going to save this and not post it until I've been to the loo to be 100% sure that my period isn't starting, lol! I feel so paranoid now I've written this, and also have that feeling that I am starting my period. So far it hasn't been, it's always just CM. Incidentally, my usual "pregnant" CM. :)

Finally had chance to check (an hour later!), soooo sure I would see at least some spotting, but nope! :)

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Update on Rosie at 5 months old, and other stuff...

So, this was fun to read:

A real-life friend has started blogging for the first time, and I was about to encourage her saying that I have been blogging for a long time and found it a blessing, but then wondered how easily a real-life friend in the know might find my blog. So, all light-hearted, I googled my full name and the word "blog". Nada. Then I googled "Alice Neil blog" and found stuff, including the link above to a site I've never heard of, called "GOMI" which appears to stand for "Get Off My Internet" - in other words a place for gossiping and bitching about people who are on the internet, I assume. Ugh.

I started out with amused curiosity, but just, ugh. I have no idea how many total strangers are keeping up with my personal life whenever I post here, but it's not a nice feeling to see a bunch of total strangers discussing what they do or don't like about you (on a much deeper level than that - I'm generalising) in a forum. And knowing as I write this that some of YOU are them, and there are probably many more people not in that conversation who share their opinions and still read my blog with the fascination of a car wreck.

The worst thing is, even though I am very transparent and open in my writing, and so there shouldn't be much room for error - these people have a lot of stuff wrong bout pretty much everything they are talking about! If true, those things would be cause for concern, but it bothers me that apparently I have given these impressions here about my parenting, my kids, my motives, and my choices, so what if everyone thinks these things are true of me as well?!

There are a few, "She said..." about things I never did say (because they aren't even accurate!", and everyone is on about my choice to unschool, and then a ton of ignorance about the perils of unschooling. Do I really give the impression at my blogs that my kids run wild? We have never officially unschooled - been using curriculum from 2009 (Arthur was 4.5) until 2016, so I can't think what they're on about. We do unschool in part. So what? The neighbours never called social services - what the?! Uggghhhh.... I can't even be bothered to explain AGAIN about all the whys and wherefores, not that there's any need really, but yeah...

Also. I do not write much about my older kids because I do not have any time to blog. BUT, when a new life is in the works, a) YES, it is exciting, and b) I want ALL of my children to have had their pregnancies journalled. I write less and less each pregnancy, it seems, in terms of number of blog entries, because I can't find the time, but what I DO write, I have to FORCE time to do it. And I do it because I have a huge guilt-trip about needing to have the details blogged for memory's sake. I know I will forget it, and I don't want to. I don't want any of my kids growing up and wondering why there's nothing much to detail what my pregnancy was like with them, when there's a ton of detail about all their brothers' and sisters' pregnancies. So I do it. I love rejoicing in new life. It's so exciting that I have to share it. The time is squeezed out to get to write about family life and the older children's milestones. It's both infuriating and hilarious to me that people think I don't think much of my older children (and how sad it is that I only care much about them when they're little) based on the "evidence" that I don't mention them much in my blogs, only the little ones. Seriously, delusional people??

I am hurt by what I read, but I kind of laugh about it as well because oh how little people actually know of my life, my heart, my thoughts, my family. I thought because I blog really openly, that I'm like a book and readers must know me pretty well (weird and not always comfortable thought!). But I guess *I* know me really well, since I'm living the actual life of "me", and when I write I only write bits and pieces of my life, and because my brain knows the rest of it, I don't really think about the bits that are missed in my writing, or the effect the overall view might have as I have written it.

I write for me, not you. I love my children. I love all of them exactly the same, every age, both genders, all personalities and abilities and individual difficulties. They all know I love them dearly. None are struggling with abnormal issues or neglected in any way. We are not conventional in our schooling and we are not wildly social as a family. We do see other families, the kids do learn how to behave in public, and I am sad that I have in the past had a lot of flack for struggling with children who - as it turns out - are on the autistic spectrum, not just wild and out of control, and the result of me having too many kids to handle properly. Now that I have younger kids who do not have those same behaviour patterns, I am less self-depreciating over my ability to parent and do it well. Now that I have learned that not all children can learn on "schedule" - but guess what?! They DO learn eventually, just like the encouraging mamas assured me! - I am not so anxious about that.

Dear readers: I do not "care more about getting pregnant and being pregnant than the actual kid it creates". Has it not possibly occurred to you that I write about pregnancy to the extreme (and pretty much no other aspects of my life) because, ohhh, I don't know - this is a PREGNANCY journal? One that I started so that I could write about all things pregnancy, on purpose? And that I have an actual life outside of the blog?"! This is a snapshot of a part of my life. Would have thought that would be obvious, but whatever.

Also, what the heck about not having sex for 2 years due to vaginismus at the beginning of our marriage?!?!! Where do these people get this stuff?!! Housebound with M.E. people. Chronic fatiiiiigue. Get your facts straight, they make a difference.

If your husband calls me "mad Alice", stop reading my blog. I mean actually just go away.

I'm SO READY for making my blogs password-protected now. Never wanted that before, because I like people to be able to find me and read about the joys of things I hold dear. Also I have a lot of sweet readers who I don't know, but would not be able to give them a password to read because apparently who can be trusted with my vulnerability? Ugh.

In other news, I'm so sorry I haven't updated since Rosie was born. This must be good evidence that I don't care for her as much as my other babies because I used to blog about *their* early months, hey? Poor little neglected baby.

She is darling, smiley, contented and lovely. She is 5 months and almost-three weeks old, breastfeeding as I type this, rolling and laughing and delighting in all her siblings all day long. She is my rolliest, chubbiest baby with the best cheeks ever, and dark hair growing in beautifully. She started sitting without support this week, three day after Matthew's 10th birthday.

We are all doing well - kids are happy and growing like crazy, loving our not-so-new home and enjoying their own interests and each other. Neil has a long commute and is tired, and I hate that for him. He's so involved and helpful all the same and I love him. I am healthier, I think, than I was after Elijah and Lydia. No anxiety breakdown this time (so very grateful!), and my hormones feel way better balanced than they have after the last THREE babies before Rosalie. I don't know why, but who cares! ;) My periods came back at 3 months and I have just finished my 3rd so far. I am not charting, not temping, very aware of when I ovulate (super obvious signs leading up to it + pain on the day) and vaguely aware that only a few days pass from ovulation to period. I am busy enjoying my life, enjoying my children, doing the mummy thing, soaking up my babies at their fleeting precious stages, and enjoying my husband. ;) I turned 40 in February and for the first time I have no expectations or hopes or plans. Sometimes I hope for more babies yet. But I no longer plan on it, and I no longer expect it. In a way, I am MAYBE expecting my cycles to even out to normal again and to possibly conceive again. I know the risk of miscarriage goes WAY up after the age of 40 and I have no plans in mind of how anything will be from now on. So far I could have potentially conceived a couple of times, but with the short luteal phase I wouldn't get pregnant anyway, and I'm not expecting that to change any time soon.

Breastfeeding is going great. Elijah self-weaned when Rosalie was born, though he has asked twice since to try (once just today, actually, totally out of the blue!) and I have let him. He turned 4 last month. Three of his brothers were older when they self-weaned though. :) Lydia still nurses as often as I'll let her during the day, and not at all at night, ever. Rosie nurses on demand, day and night and I'm sure she will do for some time to come. I am loving it.

I can't think of what else. I wish I had time to update regularly, and post a ton of photos, but life is more important, you know? *sigh* A blog is a very narrow view of what I am actually like as a person. If you take it as the full picture, that's pretty narrow-minded. Ironically what they called me.

Anyway. Here is Rosalie at 3 weeks old. :)



At 2 months old - Arthur was holding her and she was fussing, and this is what happened! So precious! They all love her so much. :) (eta: He is not making that face because he is a) unhappy, b) unloved, c) overwhelmed with the burden of too many siblings. He was making his stillest face while wanting to be looking at the camera (his chin was resting on her head when I arrived with the camera) so that he didn't risk waking her. He would laugh and roll his eyes  if you suggested to him that he has too many siblings, and by the way my eldest children are already hoping "so very much" for another baby, "hopefully a girl" and according to Matthew, "hopefully TWINS!!". Not neglected.)
Rosie at 3 months old - her hair did not fall out! Only the girls have done this - all 6 of my boys lost their newborn hair, isn't that odd?!
My little girls - Lydia at 2.5 and Rosie at 4 months old. Lydia had chosen both their outfits herself from their drawers and been totally insistent on them! She did a great job! :)
This photo was taken a couple of days ago, of Rosie sitting unsupported for the first time (5.5 months):
And finally, here's a photo that I took of us on one of our family outings last month, at the woods. We rounded a bend and the pathway and the light looked so beautiful that I insisted everyone set up for a quick photo! I set the camera timer and put it on the front of the pushchair, and took one shot, and this is it. :) All my loves together. I love it so much.
I don't know when I'll be back, and I may yet make this a private blog. I'm too tired to think about it for now. Thanks so very much for all the lovely comments asking how we're doing, and I'm sorry it has taken this long for any sort of an update. You are lovely! xxx