7 weeks, 5 days

So the last few days have been so busy! Can’t believe how quickly they’ve flown by! I will say though, that the clocks changing for British Summertime have completely thrown my body clock – who would have thought only one hour would make such a difference! That, coupled with getting up in the night to pee and not finding it easy to get back to sleep, makes one tired lady! Still no nausea (thankfully!) but tinnitus is still very much present. I’s also still experiencing cramping at some point during each day.

I’m trying really hard to keep up with eating a variety of fruit and veg, whilst making sure I’m having enough calcium and protein. I’m actually finding it quite difficult to pack everything in without feeling too full! I’m also trying to not eat the same thing for lunch or dinner every day, my thinking being that the more variety I can get in now the better, just incase morning sickness starts and I can’t stomach anything. That way, the baby will get as many nutrients as possible in these all important weeks of development.

I’ve ‘met’ a fellow pregnant lady online via my WhatToExpect app, who has the same due date as me, so we email a few times a day which is really useful as I’m sure anyone else I talk to is probably fed up of hearing how worried/elated I am by now! We told our siblings and parents at the weekend too, so they’ve started fussing a little (mum has been messaging me daily since I told her a few weeks ago!).

I also had my blood/urine tests this week, which entailed one urine sample and four vials of blood. I’ve been told that if everything is fine then I won’t hear anything until I next see the midwife in two months time, so fingers crossed all is well! I’ll also find out what my blood type is, which I’ve never known. I’m still absolutely petrified that everything is going to go wrong and I won’t make it to 12 weeks, but I guess that’s fairly normal! I flit between joy and worry, each twinge making me nervous. Still, I have to think positively and mentally encourage everything to be ok – I can’t believe I’ve only know three weeks! The next four/five are going to go so slowly! Still, a month today I’ll be 12 weeks and into a safer zone, so roll on April I say!!

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First midwife appointment

So this afternoon I had my first midwife appointment, at 6 weeks and 6 days.

My husband went with me, as I thought that might make him feel more involved. I also thought it might help it to hit home that this is really happening and show the midwife that we are in this together and that I can rely on the support of my husband throughout the pregnancy and beyond.

We talked through lots of the formalities really: my family medical history, my husband’s family medical history, she weighed me and asked what my eating and exercise habits are. She explained the different stages of pregnancy care, what all of the tests are about and the options I have, etc. She was very kind and caring and very much put me at ease. However, one thing that surprised me is that there was no check to see if I am pregnant – she just took my word for it. In that sense, it left me a little disheartened as I don’t particularly feel pregnant at the moment and won’t start showing for a while yet.

We talked through my current pregnancy symptoms (and lack thereof!) and talked about ones that may or may not arrive in the coming weeks. I asked all of the questions that I had written down in my yellow book and she answered them all, whilst also providing additional advice. She referred me to my local hospital for my 12 week scan and said I should get my appointment letter through in the next three weeks. Despite having blood tests booked in for next week, I’m not due to see her again until 25th May which feels like a very long time away! In the meantime, she’s given me lots of information to read and my maternity notes booklet too.

My current plan is to have an early reassurance scan at 10 weeks, which is only three weeks away, which makes me feel a little calmer as it’s not that long away and I’ll hopefully have my 12 week scan appointment through by then too.

Other than that, things seem to be going relatively smoothly. It’s been almost a week since my last post and nothing additional has happened other than a nosebleed yesterday morning – which is apparently perfectly normal (increased blood volume and all that!).

So it seems our little sweet pea (size according to WhatToExpect app) is doing just fine so far..let’s see what Week 7 brings!

6 weeks

Having only written my last post at the beginning of this week, you’re probably thinking ‘well not much can have happened in the space of a few days’ – well you’d be wrong, lots has happened! Except…I can’t necessarily remember exactly what…I kept thinking ‘Ooh I must remember to include this in my blog’ but goodness knows what it was because it seems babybrain has taken over! Yes, for all those who are sceptical, babybrain is a real thing! Forgetfulness, moments of complete blankness and loss of concentration are apparently very typical during pregnancy – so I’m pleased to learn I’m still on track in that sense!

I’m still not experiencing many signs of pregnancy that are supposedly common: no morning sickness, no food aversions or cravings, no tender breasts or constipation. I am, however, still getting cramps in the evening, coupled with mild back pain. I’m also constantly tired and still need to pee often.  Oh and the tinnitus is still here – the familiar ‘beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep’ in my right ear. I’m still trying to drink a glass of milk each day and eat a rainbow of fruit and veg (mostly to get the diversity of nutrients in case morning sickness sinks in soon and I can’t stomach anything!) as I want to know that I’ve given our little sweet pea the most nutrition that I can. Yep, at six weeks, our little bundle of joy is the size of a sweet pea! Comparing your baby’s size to a fruit or vegetable is actually a good way to visualise how big your baby is – it has made me feel more connected to our baby so far and I’m sure that will continue throughout the pregnancy.

It’s odd to think I’m only six weeks pregnant. It feels like a few weeks longer. I also find it fascinating that a lot of women don’t find out they’re pregnant until six weeks. Unfortunately, there’s no blood test confirmation or scan confirmation at the doctors anymore, just an appointment to see the midwife between weeks 6 and 9 – until then they pretty much take your word for it that you’re pregnant. This can leave you questioning whether you read your test correctly, or if it’s all just a dream. I can’t imagine having to wait until 9 weeks to see someone!

Knowing that my first midwife appointment is next week, I’ve been jotting down some questions, as they come to me, in my little yellow notebook. These are questions such as; ‘will you be my midwife for the whole pregnancy or will that change?’ ‘when should I tell work?’ ‘how often will I have midwife appointments during my pregnancy?’, etc. I’m sure I’ll have many many more questions by the time the appointment comes around!

It’s funny how my pregnancy is starting to affect my working life. As a project manager, my schedule is booked up pretty far in advance and so I find myself looking ahead to November and realising what I won’t be around for. In some ways it’s great to have an exciting little secret and I can’t wait to tell my colleagues, but another part of me doesn’t want them to know because I quite like not being treated differently yet. Not that they would treat me differently in a bad way, they’d of course look out for me more and make sure I’m not over-doing it, etc, but for now I quite like being in our little pregnancy bubble. Part of me is also nervous of something going wrong, but I guess that part of me will always be there. Maternal instinct, some may call it.

I did have a little scare this week at work. The corridors in our building are in the process of being re-painted and I suddenly thought ‘what if they’re not water-based paints? I’ll have to request to work from home – what reason can I give? I don’t want to tell my boss or HR yet!’. Luckily, I was able to ask the workmen and it turns out the paints and fumes are safe for me to be around, thankfully. Just goes to show though, it’s things like that which can crop up at any time and, before you know it, you’re panicking!

Sticking with the theme of work, the next week is going to be pretty hectic for me, I’m abroad with work (really nervous about flying whilst pregnant!) for a few days which is quite scary, seeing as my pregnancy is still so vulnerable. I’ll have to be super careful what I eat, etc. I then have my appointment the day after I get back, so my plan for my next post is to let you know what happens at my first midwife appointment, in all its (probably gruesome) glorious detail – aren’t you lucky..!

5 weeks, 3 days

So here I am, the following week, 5 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Luckily I didn’t have to entirely lie to the family staying with us at the weekend, I’d managed to find alcohol-free red wine and so poured a bottle of normal red wine down the drain (sob!) and refilled it with the alcohol-free stuff. It actually doesn’t taste that bad and it even leaves the same ‘dry mouth’ ‘tannin’ after taste that the usual stuff does…only difference is the evident absence of actual alcohol. Seeing as the family don’t drink red wine, I managed to successfully get away with it! It was the perfect crime! I am the master of disguise!

Having tested positive for five days in a row now, I’m feeling a little more relaxed about it all and I’m not still waiting for my period to start! I’ve had cramps most evening, along with a high-pitched and constant beep in my right ear – I’m told tinnitus can be a side effect as there is more blood pumping around my body now, which raises my blood pressure. It’s only really noticeable when there’s no background noise and, apparently, this goes away after the birth. Other than that, there’s the many trips to the loo (it’s ridiculous how many times I’ve been needing to wee in a day!), my boobs are a bit tender (mainly just my nipples) and I have been waking up at 5:30am since the day before I found out I’m pregnant which isn’t ideal!

So far we’ve only told our three closest friends, my mum and one colleague in work – just in case I feel ill or faint in work, etc. Our friends and colleague are super excited for us, but my mum automatically went into ‘worry mode’. You mustn’t drink any alcohol! You’re not allowed pate anymore or soft cheese! Good job you already gave up caffeine! How are you feeling? Are you having any cramps or pains? Are your boobs hurting? Are you feeling sick yet? Make sure you drink enough water! Have you been to the doctor? What’s your due date? Don’t tell anyone, in case something goes wrong! ………… Yes, mother. Bless her, she really is a worrywart – she’s trying to help I know, but I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as she fussed. So, I assured her that I was/wasn’t eating/drinking what I’m supposed/not supposed to (although I’m still not too sure on the verdict for pasta carbonara, so I’ll avoid that for now) and promised to keep her updated on everything going on.

I’ve called the doctor and have my first midwife appointment next week, followed by a blood test the week after. I also picked up a pregnancy pack from the surgery which contains lots of useful leaflets and information, as well as guidance throughout your pregnancy – which I have of course read inside out and back to front, thirsty for knowledge about what our little apple pip is up to in there. That’s what my pregnancy apps (What To Expect and BabyBuddy) are telling me our baby is the size of this week, an apple pip. Funny how a tiny apple pip can have such a huge impact on your life and create such a rollercoaster of emotions.

So, in readiness for our first midwife appointment, I’ve purchased a yellow notebook and a green pen (technically gender-neutral) and plan to write down any questions I have in the lead up to each appointment, as well as keeping track of things such as my weight, any new symptoms, how big my tummy is getting and any food cravings/aversions, etc. Hopefully this will help me to feel a bit more relaxed and in control of what’s going on. Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a control freak (ok, a lot of a control freak) so not being in control of what our apple pip is up to is ever so slightly unnerving!

Changes I’ve made thus far in the 40 week process are: trying to drink more water, switching to Pregnacare Max tablets and trying to eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables (instead of the typical broccoli, carrots, peas, blueberries and strawberries). I’m also drinking a small glass of milk each day to try to up my calcium intake. Let’s see what the rest of this week brings…!

Discovery…

So we’re on our fourth cycle of trying for a baby and (seeing as my fertile week falls in Valentine’s week) I was hopeful that the inherently romantic time of year might just send us that extra bit of luck. Little did I know, I was right!

Having been trying for a few months and getting seriously stressed out by ovulation tests and basal temperatures, what my cervical mucus was like and how high or low my cervix was, I decided to try not worrying too much. Yeh, I know what you’re thinking, like that’s going to happen. Well, in truth (and rather obviously), it didn’t. I was still a huge ball of stress. However, February brought me other things to think about and my priorities slightly changed…the car broke down (for the millionth time!) so we had to buy a new one, there were odd jobs around the house to complete and, to add to that, we had a lot of changes in work to deal with…all of which distracted me enough for baby-making to not be on my mind 100% of the time. We were also thinking of getting a dog and I’m quite glad we didn’t rush into that yet! Being overweight (BMI 29) I had also decided to spend February trying to clean up my act, so I embarked on a healthier eating journey coupled with an exercise plan and managed to lose a little weight as well as some inches off my tummy (get in!) – I had hoped that this would help with the whole ‘trying to conceive’ situation.

Since we decided to start trying for a baby my cycle had decided to play funny buggers and keep me guessing each month. I went from a regular 28 days every time to anything from 30 to 35 days – that was stressful enough in itself! According to my ovulation app (Ovulation Calculator) I was due to start my period on the Thursday. I was nervous for the whole week leading up to it… Was I going to be disappointed again? How long was this going to take? What if we can’t have children? What if it’s my fault? Maybe my weight really is more of an obstacle than I wanted to admit? I had really bad cramps on the Wednesday evening and thought ‘great, not this month either then’. Thursday came and I hadn’t yet started my period, so I decided to do a test when I got home from work if it hadn’t turned up by then (impatient, I know!).

It hadn’t arrived by the time I got home from work, so I decided to test there and then. My husband wasn’t due back from work for another half an hour, so I figured that if it was negative I could have my little bad mood about it, get on with making dinner and pour myself a glass of wine before letting him know ‘this month wasn’t our month either, better luck next time’ to which he usually smirked ‘ooh yay, more practising!’ with a devilish glint in his eye. So I took one of those cheapie stick tests (approx £2.50 on Amazon, same make as the ovulation sticks) and after the longest five minutes in the world I thought I saw a very faint line…surely I was just seeing something that wasn’t there? The light was playing tricks on me? But if I look at it from this angle? After a couple of minutes of deliberation I decided to try with one of the more expensive tests I’d stashed for just such a moment (Clearblue). Within a minute the blue cross came up and I stared at the test in utter disbelief – it was there, my BFP! (Big Fat Positive) My jaw actually dropped and then snapped shut, then dropped and snapped shut – I looked like a fish! Utterly speechless, I sat on our bed and waited until my husband got home. Once I showed him the tests he showered me with kisses and I immediately burst into tears, feeling completely overwhelmed. It was really here! The moment we’d been waiting for! Oh my!

Less than half an hour later I was in tears for an entirely different reason. These were not tears of joy, they were tears of fear, worry and angst. A wave of uncertainty washed over me. Having wanted this for so long (we had been married for a couple of years but I wanted to buy a house and feel more ‘secure’ before trying for a child) the time was finally here and what if something happened and it all went wrong? My husband gathered me into his arms and told me everything would be okay, that we were ready for this and he would look after us and we’d make a fantastic little family. So, sniffling, I made myself a cup of tea and curled up on the sofa to gather my thoughts.

Shit! Tea! Am I allowed tea?! What about the caffeine? Oh my god, I’ve eaten crap all day thinking my period was on it’s way so I gave in to whatever I fancied to eat. Oh Lord! So I did what any desperate person seeking answers would do and turned to the internet – within about an hour was a new-found self-declared expert on what I can and can’t eat for the next 8ish months. Some of the stuff pregnant women aren’t allowed I don’t eat anyway, so that was easy enough, and I’d switched to decaffeinated coffee before Christmas thinking it may help in the long run so that wasn’t going to be too much of an issue. However, the penny then dropped. No wine. Obviously I knew pregnancy meant no alcohol, but we were having family stay for the weekend and there’s always drinking involved. What on earth was I going to do? I couldn’t have the excuse of being the designated driver in my own home! So I decided to tell them I’ve given up alcohol for Lent. Yes, that should do it *nods*.