Welcome to the world little one

Meet Our Cute Baby Boy 

Hello lovelies,

It feels like such a long time since I’ve wrote a blog post, almost a year to be exact how crazy is that! I’ve actually missed writing blog posts and I’ve recently said on Instagram that I wanted to get back into it. Last year I found out I was pregnant with our first baby, I was exhausted, still working full time and literally had no energy to commit to my blog. I also didn’t post on Instagram for a while as I was just trying to come to terms with the fact that we were actually pregnant. So my post for today will talk about how little one came into this world, hope you enjoy…

  Our first baby a little boy was born on the 11th of November at 17.40pm weighing 7lb 7oz

My Ivf Story 1

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I went through IVF to conceive. We had tried for years to have our own baby and when nothing was happening naturally I went to the GP to talk to them about it. When I had my first appointment with the GP I was told to go away and keep trying for another year, at this point it had already been such a long time anyway. After that year was up I got really concerned and felt like something was wrong. I contacted my GP again and I had some blood tests done to check I was ovulating. I had quite a few blood tests done over several months just to confirm that my body was doing what it should be doing, luckily the blood tests came back normal. I was then referred to a gynaecologist for further tests. Again I had a range of bloods done and my partner had to have some tests done as well. I was then sent to our main hospital where I had a procedure called an HSG, this stands for Hysterosalpingogram. This test checks for abnormalities in the womb and any blockages in the fallopian tubes. In January 2018 I went to have the test done, unfortunately they couldn’t go through with it as we had trouble with the catheter that they needed to use to inject the iodine. The iodine is commonly known as “the blue dye” that is inserted through the catheter, this runs through the tubes and a camera takes photos of the fallopian tubes and womb area. I was then told to wait until the following month to try again…

Another month comes around and I get sent back to the hospital for a second try at the HSG test. Thankfully the test was able to be completed and I got the results that I wasn’t expecting. My tubes were clear, the test didn’t show any abnormalities or blockages. I got so teary eyed in radiology and the team were so so lovely. I also had an ultrasound to check my womb and ovaries, that came back normal as well. When we went back to see the gynaecologist the only other option they said we had was to be referred for IVF. They also said we could be waiting a while for the treatment, they were right IT DID. Eventually towards the end of 2019 we had our first consultation at the fertility clinic. We had to travel out of area miles away from our home to introduce ourselves to new doctors and nurses. They welcomed us and we got informed all about how IVF works and the process you have to go through. Because we were in care under another establishment I had to have tests and procedures done again. A new blood test I had to have done checked for something called AMH which stands for Anti Mullerian Hormone, this looks for the number of eggs in a women’s ovaries, basically her ovarian reserve (how many eggs are left). My result came back borderline, for my age my egg count was low. From the basic blood tests to ultrasounds. In December of 2019 we then seen an IVF specialist at another hospital, he then checked our results and said the wait for treatment would be in spring 2019. When he looked more into our case he said he would fast track us because we had been trying for years to conceive naturally. I’m sure he did it because of our ages as well as results we had back from tests. We then got told to wait for a letter for our first round of IVF…

Our letter arrived and we were invited to the fertility clinic to learn more about IVF and when we would receive our first medication protocol. When we got to the clinic for our appointment we were amongst lots of other couples going through “infertility”. I was surprised to see how many couples there actually was. We had a discussion about treatment with a lead nurse and by the end of the session we received our first medication protocol. I had no idea that we would receive it then and was told to wait for my fertility drugs to arrive…

I looked at the letter and OMG there was a huge list of medication and when to take it. I had to go on what they call “down reg” where you take contraceptive pills. This is so the fertility clinic can sort of ‘take control of the cycle”. You had to wait until you had a natural monthly cycle before the process began. I took contraceptives for two weeks before I had what’s called a “baseline” scan. This is where they check the lining of the uterus or your womb. They make sure the lining is thin before treatment begins. My ultrasound was fine and I was able to start my injections. I was shown how to do the injections and to administer them at home by myself. I did this for around two weeks or so then took a medication by injection to stop me from ovulating too early. The injections I took first were to increase the egg count so they can be collected on egg collection day. When it was time for me to go for “my egg collection” I had to take another injection a day or so before to enable my body to ovulate ready for the procedure. On “egg collection day” my stomach was so bloated after all the medications, I felt really poorly and developed OHSS. In the procedure room I was given a sedative and a painkiller, it took around half an hour or so for them to “deflate” my stomach and collect 11 eggs. I was awake through the whole procedure but had the most horrendous pain afterwards. They told us that they would monitor our eggs and inform us by the end of the day how many they were able to inject. With my treatment I also had ICSI which is Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. This is when the sperm sample is injected directly into the egg rather than letting it mix in a dish itself (IVF). At the end of the day they had managed to inject 7 out of 11 which later changed to 5. We kept in touch with the clinic and they let us know how our eggs were doing, they monitor them and give them grades. Basically finding the best ones for emrbyo transfer…

Just before the day our embryo transfer was scheduled we got a call from the team to say we had 3 eggs left, one was grade 3 and the other two were grade 2’s. They use a grading system, 1-4 with 1 being the best and so on. During an embryo transfer they normally insert one embryo but in our case they inserted two embryos to give us a better chance of conceiving. After the embryo transfer which was in the same week we had to wait 2 weeks before taking a pregnancy test. It was the most LONGEST, most HARDEST two weeks of my life. When we took the test it was POSITIVE, I couldn’t believe what I was reading on the test. We were over the moon however about a week later I started feeling odd like I wasn’t pregnant anymore and I decided to take a second test (the worst thing to do!). Unfortunately my instincts were right, the test came up NEGATIVE. I was heartbroken and phoned the fertility clinic to let them know. This was in June 2019. We decided to then have a break from treatment and come back to it when we were ready….

MY IVF Story 2

In December 2019 the fertility clinic contacted us and asked if we wanted to go ahead with our second round. We chose to wait until after christmas and I was advised to take pre-natals before treatment. Taking pre-natals was something we took in the first cycle but we hadn’t taken them enough leading up to the first round. We chose to start taking pre-natals in advance this time, thinking it would help the 2nd cycle. We chose to go back to the clinic in January 2020. We got a given a new medication protocol which was slightly different this time. My treatment started quite quickly and I had to go through a whole new cycle as we didn’t have any ‘frozen” embryos from the last cycle. When you have frozen embryos you can just have an embryo transfer rather than doing an IVF round again. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case for us and I had to take a contraceptive, do all my injections again and go through egg collection once more. When it was time to do the second egg collection we had 11 eggs retrieved again which was the same number as IVF cycle 1. They also used ICSI again and we had a similar number of eggs as the last round injected by the end of the day. Same process we waited for results. By the end of the day they had around 6 eggs which they monitored. Just before our scheduled embryo transfer day we had 3 eggs, one grade 3, one grade 2 and one grade 1. We had never had a grade 1 embryo before, I was absolutely in shock. They told us we had an embryo that was “SPOT ON”. However they did say they would insert two on transfer day to increase the likelihood of conceiving…

Embryo transfer day 2 came around. I went through the procedure and came home again. We waited for 2 weeks again, I didn’t know what to expect. 2 weeks later I took a pregnancy test, it was POSITIVE. I was over the moon once again but also very cautious about the result after what happened before. I carried on as normal informed the clinic but a few days later I started bleeding. I thought to myself “Not again”, I called the clinic who got me an emergency appointment at my local hospital. I went to have a scan done in the EPU. I was 5 weeks and 2 days. I had a gestational sac but there was no sign of any baby in there. I was so confused and din’t really understand it all. We spent ages talking to the doctors and nurses who kept talking about miscarriage, ectopic pregnancies etc. I got so worried and worked up about it, they said come back in a week for another scan. All week I was so anxious about what the result was going to be in a week’s time. I cried all week thinking it’s failed again. I went back a week later, I was so nervous. I lay on the bed in the room, the radiologist put the gel on my tummy and low and behold there was a yolk sac and a heartbeat, I was in shock and literally cried at the hospital. I was just gobsmacked really, seeing something on the screen just felt surreal you know. We went back to the hospital a week later to make sure the pregnancy was viable which it was, we then received received a HUGE congratulations from the fertility team. ONE little bean decided to stick around….

My Birth Story 

Throughout the pregnancy I had the usual midwife appointments and check ups. Only difference was my partner couldn’t come in to those appointments due to the covid-19 pandemic. I was also under an IVF specialist because of it being an IVF pregnancy. Between weeks 6 and 12/13  I had lots of pregnancy symptoms nausea, vomiting etc. It was horrible but then the cravings come and it was cherryade after cherryade and I ate a lot of salmon too. You also have booking bloods done when your under a midwife and my tests came back fine apart from being told my blood type was rh-negative. This can be dangerous if your pregnant as mothers and baby’s blood can mix causing baby to develop problems. Luckily I was given an injection to prevent this commonly known as the anti-d injection. The second trimester was the easiest, it didn’t even feel like I was pregnant and it went by so quickly. In the later stages of carrying baby I started to have odema which is fluid retention in the body, mostly in my feet and ankles. I also had very small nose bleeds too, nothing of concern though. The midwife kept a close eye on my blood pressure and also did urine tests too. My tests came back fine and baby was growing nicely. I also had ultrasounds at 28 weeks and 35+ weeks to check baby was ok, everything was fine..

Towards the end of the pregnancy I felt horrible, I just wanted baba out and I was having the nausea and symptoms like I did in the beginning. I remember missing an appointment I was that bad, luckily they gave me another one. My last appointment before my due date was with an IVF consultant and a nurse, I remember being sat in the waiting room and they called me from the examination room. Due to covid-19 social distancing is in place and you were only examined if necessary. They asked me If I had been made aware of being induced before 40 weeks due to it being an IVF pregnancy. I had discussed induction with the midwife but don’t remember being told that this may happen for me. The same day I went into the examination room to get basic checks done, blood pressure etc, they also did a membrane sweep. At this point my back was killing me and I felt so horrid but excited that baby would be on their way soon. Later on that day the pain in my back started getting worse and I had what’s called “the show”, I’m sure most of you reading this will know what is. I kept an eye on it and rang the maternity unit at the hospital. They said to ring them once my contractions started to happen. The following day the pain started getting even worse and it felt like extreme period pain. I was sleeping late on Tuesday evening which was the 10th of November 2020, the pain woke me up and I couldn’t stop going to the toilet. I kept saying to my partner “I think he’s on his way”. My partner rang for an ambulance and they literally started preparing him to help with the delivery HERE…at home! Literally moments later two lots of ambulance crew arrived and my bedroom just looked like paramedic city! I was rushed straight into ambulance, grabbed the hospital bags and went. When I got to the maternity unit they checked the cervix dilation and I was only 1cm, they got another midwife to check as well just to confirm this. They were going to send me home but because I was so much pain and I was vomiting, they decided to keep me in and keep a close eye. A doctor did an ultrasound to check position of the baby and the head was engaged well into the pelvis so he was clearly on his way into this world….

I was then placed into a labour suite and I had only gone to 3cm, this was hours after being monitored, dilation was taking forever and I was in a LOT of pain. They then gave me anti sickness injections as I was so nauseous and I was also placed on dia-morphine through a cannula into my hand.They also gave me the hormone trip to bring on the contractions, I started having them but baby wasn’t on his way. I also started developing severe symptoms of pre-eclampsia, my blood pressure was going sky high and the drugs I was on were affecting baby. I was getting so so nervous and my anxiety played a HUGE part during labour. The IVF consultant was called and basically said it was something to do with my placenta and that I had to under-go surgery immediately to get baby out. I of course had to give consent to this whilst I was on a lot of drugs. All I remember is going into theatre and being given a small liquid to drink and that was it, yes I was nervous and it WAS SCARY I remember my arms going everywhere because I didn’t want them to do anything to me, yet THEY HAD TOO! I remember them saying “We have to do it, we’ve got to get baby out”

When I woke up from surgery baby had arrived and my partner was sat holding him. Apparently baby was born over teatime but I didn’t come round until about 8pm or so….

“Ethan Carl Rhys Hughes born 11.11.20 at 17.40pm weighing 7lb 7oz”

When I held baby I just went into tears and I remember I just sat looking at him for THE longest time, it felt so surreal holding our baby for the first time. My partner was able to stay with me for a bit in the recovery room but then he had due to the pandemic. After he was born I was then put onto a womens ward, I was still hooked up to a PCA (patient controlled analgesia) which meant I could control my pain relief through a cannula. I remember it falling out on my left hand and I had to have it attached to the right hand instead. I also experienced a “bed bath” from the health care assistants there, I’ve only ever gave these to patients (working as a care assistant in the past) but to actually receive one was SO DIFFERENT…

Morning after the surgery I felt horrible, as if my insides had been taken out. I tried to get up a walk and was hobbling around, it was so painful. Where my caesarean scar was I all badly bruised, I’ve never seen anything like it. With me delivering by EMCS I had to be monitored and they checked my blood pressure frequently and I was also on other medication as well. My blood pressure was still quite high, I also had blood tests done as well. My platelets were low as well and so I was kept a close eye on. Whilst I was in the hospital I woke up one morning and had a HUGE nose bleed, just out of nowhere and some of my medication had to be stopped. It was quite scary actually as it was oozing out, eventually it stopped after an hour or so. It wasn’t bleeding constantly just on and off. I also had bruising on my arms, on my legs from blood tests and injections. Because I had an emcs I was in hospital for almost a week. Baby had his newborn hearing check done and was seen by a paediatrician too, everything was ok. My blood pressure was monitored still and blood tests were still being done, eventually I was able to come home and had to go through some discharge notes with a midwife. A week in the hospital felt like a month, I was so happy to pack up and leave to be honest. I hadn’t seen my partner and mum for ages and I just wanted to come home…

When we got home it felt DIFFERENT but in a happy way, we brought our little baby boy home. HE is the most cutest, precious little thing I’ve ever seen. Baby had to be seen by a midwife several times after leaving the hospital, he had his newborn heel prick test done, had his weight done and length checked etc. Everything was fine and I was kept an eye on as well, the midwife checked my wound and made sure I was ok in myself. We got him registered with the GP and his birth was also registered too. Everything like that was done pretty quickly. Baby then had to wait to hear from a health visitor and we also had to wait until his cord had fell off too. When this happened we were discharged from the community midwife. We then  met a health visitor who go to know about his IVF and birth story and she now checks in with us at the relevant stages. Baby is doing amazingly well, he feeds great, sleeps brilliantly and has just had his first injections. He will be three months soon, it’s just crazy to think how time has gone by so quickly already. We are enjoying every moment, being a MUMMY AND DADDY is THE best thing….