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27 weeks pregnant | Pregnancy journey after blighted ovum (anembryonic)

Your family

I came to New Zealand around 12 years ago for my PHD education from Turkey. (My ethnicity is Caucasian.)

 During my student life here, I enjoyed living in NZ and I wanted to continue my career here. My husband, boyfriend at that time moved to NZ for me and we built our life here.

All of our family and relatives are back in Turkey. 

Relationship

How did you and your partner first meet?

My husband was my sister’s friend, she introduced us. Our relationship started as a long-distance relationship and stood against all obstacles of distance.

When did you first start talking about having children/was there a discussion?

After getting married, we didn’t want to rush having a child. But we stopped using protection. We had a few goals in our life to achieve first, like getting into a higher position in our careers, travelling around the world, buying our first home etc.

We bought our first home during the pandemic and decided to focus on trying for a baby then. Although I was diagnosed with PCOS and thought that I would never have a child, my husband believed otherwise. (we didn’t get pregnant for another 2 years even though we stopped using contraception since the wedding).

We decided to focus on our health more, eating much healthier, going to the gym regularly, trying to avoid stress (even in Pandemic). After 3 months of a more healthy lifestyle, I got pregnant for the first time. Unfortunately, we found out it was a blighted ovum (anembryonic pregnancy). This is a condition that occurs when a gestational sac develops without an embryo. I had a miscarriage triggered by medication and they suggested we wait for 3 full cycles to continue trying again. I was devastated, but my husband kept me strong. He believed that it would happen again. Surprise surprise, we got pregnant on the first try after 3 cycles!

Pregnancy

How far along are you currently in your pregnancy?

27weeks

How did you find out you were pregnant?

I always had irregular periods but tracked it with an app. When the app said my period was late I didn’t think too much of it, but I had horrible sore breast. I took an at home pregnancy test when I was late, I was 6 weeks pregnant according to the app. 

What was the first thing you thought when you saw a positive test?

It was a big surprise since I believed that it would never happen due to PCOS and irregular periods. When the positive test showed up, it was a faint line and I couldn’t believe it. I repeated the home test and also did a blood test just to be sure. 

How did your partner react when you told them the news?

My partner was super happy, but not as surprised as I was. He believed more than me that our dreams would come true. He kept hugging me while I was crying.

Who was the first person you told apart from your partner when you found out you were expecting?

In the first pregnancy, we wanted to share the news with our parents directly since we were so far away and they are old, it is already a weird time with the pandemic.

But after finding out it was a blighted ovum with our first pregnancy and miscarrying, we waited for the ultrasound confirmation with this pregnancy.

In both pregnancies, I shared with my work colleagues for safety reasons, I am working in the lab as a scientist and our project is on Covid-19 so I didn’t stay home during any lockdowns. Instead I worked longer, including public holidays. So I think our pregnancy journey was way different than any normal pregnancy in terms of sharing the news.

After 3months, we shared it widely among family and friends.

Did you do an announcement or gender reveal?

We didn’t do anything special, I baked a cake to make an announcement in the company and my husband just shared an ultrasound scan image on Facebook. We didn’t want to organize anything with Covid-19 around and I didn’t want to take any risks while pregnant. 

Did you experience morning sickness? What are the best ways you’ve found dealing with sickness?

I didn’t have too much morning sickness, it was more like car sickness when I was hungry and whenever I had some pretzels, it’s gone.!

What cravings did you have?

In the first trimester, I wanted to eat mostly very salty things. I would sometimes just lick salt with my finger. These cravings went away after starting iodine tablets.

Do you keep a journal/diary?

I wanted to keep a journal and buy the Made With Love diary but I always had a worry that pregnancy would end soon so I didn’t want to get too excited writing a journal or buying anything related to the baby. In both pregnancies, I don’t know why I was scared to look at my underwear or toilet paper to see any blood during the first trimester. I actually had brown spotting in both at around 9-10 weeks and I thought that I was miscarrying. I am just 27 weeks pregnant currently, and recently was the first time I purchased a baby item.

Birth

Do you have a birthing plan?

We decided to go to the hospital for the birth because we want to be safe with all possibilities. After the birth, we will stay in Warkworth Birth Centre.

What have you packed in your hospital bag? What have been the most recommended items?

I haven’t started to prepare yet but I have been checking blogs and asked my midwife about it. The most recommended items were

  • A merino suit
  • Beanie
  • And a swaddle for the baby

Advice and tips

What has been some of the best advice you have received along your journey

Being away from stress and focusing on yourself instead of getting pregnant. I read a couple of books giving this advice. I think the biggest issue in our life is stress, it affects our hormonal balance.

Although I am a scientist myself, I am against diagnosing PCOS which is not studied deeply enough. When you have an irregular period, excess weight and excess body hair doctors simply name it as PCOS and ask you to lose weight which you have been struggling with already. Blood tests and scans show nothing wrong, but then you have these symptoms.

As long as you are not stressed and enjoy a healthy lifestyle, you have a more regular period in my belief. I always had my period when I went on a holiday.

Tips for parents trying to conceive

  • Just focus on yourself first
  • Enjoy your life.
  • Avoid stress!
  • Eat healthy and do regular exercise, but not to lose weight and look prettier. Just to feel healthier. 
  • Don’t think of pregnancy too much. Just track your period and enjoy sex!

If this has helped you, would you consider sharing your story to help others too? Please submit your details through this form. Whether your story is about trying to conceive, pregnancy, surrogacy, loss or parenthood, we would love to hear from you.

 

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