15 weeks, 3 days

So, another week has passed and it has not all been plain sailing!

Thursday saw my second midwife appointment, at which she couldn’t find our little one’s heartbeat. She said that under usual circumstances she’d make me come back the following week to see if it could be heard then, as it was still quite early. However, because of the stress of the CVS, etc, last week, she decided to get us referred to the hospital for a scan to ease our worries.

We went to the hospital where a nurse was also unable to find the heartbeat. She made me put a fist under my bum incase I had a tilted uterus, she asked me to ‘flatten’ my skin around my lower abdomen to get closer to the baby and still couldn’t find the heartbeat. So we were told to go and have a cup of tea and come back in half an hour – that was the longest and most stressful cup of tea EVER! When we went back to the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU), we had a scan and – thankfully – the baby’s heartbeat could clearly be seen beating away. Phew!! I can’t begin to describe the relief and joy that washed over me! Our little orange (size according to WhatToExpect app) was facing us head on, so it’s heart was at the furthest point away, which explains why it couldn’t be heard through the doppler. What an emotional rollercoaster that day was..!!!

Since then, I’ve also booked another midwife appointment, as everything I’d planned to talk to the midwife about at the original appointment had kind of gone out of my mind when the heartbeat couldn’t be found. So my next appointment is exactly a week later, when I’ll be 16 weeks – hope we can hear the heartbeat that time, else we’ll be back to the EPU!

In other news, I’ve started showing this week, which is delightful! I’m just a little bit rounder, can’t wait to have a proper bump and to feel our little one kicking away – my mind will be far less stressed when that happens!

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14 weeks, 3 days

Well, what a crazy week it’s been! It turns out that our baby doesn’t have Down’s Syndrome, however, I do have a protein deficiency which means that the baby might stop growing at around 28 weeks. So the hospital has put me under a consultant who I’m seeing in a couple of weeks and will be giving me additional scans every few weeks from 28 weeks, to keep an eye on the baby’s growth. They’ve said not to worry as it’s something they will be monitoring, so I’m going to try not to think about it much until that 28 weeks scan and then just take each scan as it comes. I’ve also been advised to take a daily 75mg of aspirin to thin my blood slightly, so that it can get through the placenta more easily.

In other (very exciting!) news, I’ve started showing in the last few days! Only a little bit, and my bump seems to be bigger in the evenings, but hopefully I’ll have a lovely little bump in no time! It’s not bloat, as I’ve not felt bloated at all throughout my pregnancy so far, but hopefully the annoying ‘can’t fit into my work trousers but too small for maternity clothes’ phase won’t last too long – thankfully, summer is coming so I can get away with floaty skirts and dresses, rather than restrictive trousers.

The baby is the size of a lemon this week (size according to WhatToExpect app), can’t wait to hear the heartbeat at my midwife appointment on Thursday!

13 weeks, 5 days – CVS procedure

So today was the day of my CVS procedure. When I woke up I just couldn’t wait to get it over with, but on the journey to the hospital I got more and more nervous.

When we got there a midwife went through what would happen in the procedure and recovery time, etc. We met with the doctor, who was lovely and reassuring, very calm. It was quite a small room with a few staff in training. The doctor was very thorough, checking the baby, measuring the baby and telling me again what would happen in the procedure. So he smothered my stomach in alcohol (and I smothered!) before giving me two local anaesthetic injections followed by the needle which extracted the placenta cells. I’m not going to lie, it was uncomfortable, as I had the needle pricks and the ultrasound probe putting plenty of pressure on my uterus so that the doctor could see what he was doing. I didn’t look at the needles as I knew I’d tense up, but instead focused on the screen showing the baby and where he was putting the needle in. It only took about fifteen minutes from the moment we went in to the doctor’s office to the moment we left. I was reassured that we obviously got to see the baby and we heard its strong and steady heartbeat.

The doctor said that the increased miscarriage risk window is three weeks, but if I’m concerned at all I can go to my midwife and listen to the baby’s heartbeat on their doppler. I’ve got a midwife appointment booked anyway for next week, when I’ll be 15 weeks.

So it’s bed rest for me today and tomorrow, I’m then working from home for Thursday and Friday as I still need to take it easy. The doctor said we’ll have the results within 2-3 business days, so hopefully before the weekend. Will keep you posted.

13 weeks, 2 days – results are in

So our elation at the scan having gone well was reasonably short-lived. AS the sonographer had said that everything was looking great and there was a strong heartbeat, we just presumed that everything was ok (although it still may be, we just don’t know yet).

I had a phone call on the day I turned 13 weeks to say that we had come back as high risk for Down’s Syndrome. High risk is classed as a ratio greater than 1:150. Our ratio is 1:39.

The woman who called me was wonderful, very calm and reassuring, and talked me through the various options we now have. After talking with my husband, we’re going to go for the CVS procedure, which must be carried out before I hit 14 weeks. The procedure is very much like an amnio but instead of extracting amniotic fluid to test, they extract some cells from the placenta. There is a 1% chance that the procedure would cause a miscarriage, but for the definitive yes/no answer on whether or not our baby has Down’s Syndrome I’m willing to take that 1% risk. Afterall, the risk of it having Down’s Syndrome is higher than that and I’d like to know for sure.

One thing that did shock me, which hadn’t previously crossed my mind, was that we’ve been asked to consider what we would do if the CVS procedure result shows that the baby does have Down’s Syndrome – whether we would keep the baby or terminate the pregnancy. This made the reality of the situation hit home with me and I was deeply shocked and upset and spent most of that day and night in tears – although I suppose some of that could have been the pregnancy hormones.

Having taken a couple of days to think through my thoughts, discuss things with my husband and do some research, in hindsight I think I was just upset at the thought of having to make a decision, rather than the results and the fact the risk is so high.

I’ll be 13 weeks and 5 days when I have the CVS procedure. We should have the result within a few days, hopefully by next weekend, if not the beginning of the following week. I’ll post again when we know more.

12 weeks, 5 days

Yep, you’ve read the title of this post correctly, it’s over a week since my last post but my pregnancy has only progressed by two days…ok, so that’s not strictly true. On my dates, I should be 13 weeks and 4 days, but since my first NHS scan last week, they put my dates back by six days which means today I am still not quite 13 weeks.

I feel so much calmer since the scan, I had managed to work myself up into a bit of a stress ball in the lead up to the scan, thinking that something had gone wrong or something bad had happened. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case and our little plum (size according to WhatToExpect app) is healthy with a strong heartbeat and everything looks normal. Hooray!

We were given six photos of our little one which our families have been coo-ing over eversince! I also spent a lot of the weekend trying on maternity clothes kindly donated by my sisters. I’ve ended up with about two thirds of what I think I’ll need, so just a few things for me to purchase, thankfully.

I’ve got my next scan booked in for 5th July, when I’ll be one day short of 21 weeks, which is something to look forward to. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the day when I actually start properly showing, instead of just feeling like I’ve had too many puddings!

A not-particularly-welcome symptom I’ve been subjected to in the last few days is leg cramps and hip ache – both when I’m trying to get a good night’s sleep! However, anything is better than being nauseous and vomiting, right?! Yep, that’s right, still no nausea and I’m thanking the Lord every day..!

12 weeks, 3 days

So I’m slowly but surely creeping towards the end of this week when my NHS scan will be…I’m still very anxious/nervous. Most people say it’s a blessing to not have many symptoms during early pregnancy and, as much as it’s been an easy ride so far, it does make me uneasy without a constant reminder that there’s a baby growing in there!

I did end up telling my work colleagues after all, at our work meal on Friday night, with the proviso that we’re obviously still waiting for the confirmation that everything is ok later this week. Everyone is happy for us which is great and it’s hard to not be caught up in the joy of it all – but mothers of young children seem to feel the need to tell me every sordid detail about all of their pregnancies, which is great (knowledge is power/forewarned is forearmed, etc) but I can feel that it may grate on me if that’s the only conversations I’ll be having with them for the next six months.

The offers of maternity clothes, clothes for the baby, equipment and toys has been quite overwhelming, so I’ve resolved to thanking people and then telling them I’ll talk to them about it nearer the birth. I do plan to make a list in July/August time of everything we’re going to need and to cross-reference it with what all of our sisters can pass on to us and then figure out what’s left that we’ll need. With five sisters who all have children, plus close friends with little ones, we’re extremely lucky to not have much to get ourselves.

Though to be honest, at this stage, my most pressing issue will be maternity clothes. I did purchase one of those buttonhole things, which means I can still wear my existing jeans, trousers and skirts. That’s the only thing I’ve allowed myself to buy that’s specifically maternity before the scan later this week.

In other news, I’ve managed to not put any weight on throughout my first 12 weeks. This was a quiet goal of mine, as I started this pregnancy overweight so I had no need to gain weight during the first trimester. I haven’t actively tried to lose weight – far from it – I’ve just made more healthy choices, wanting as nutritious a diet as possible for our little plum (size according to WhatToExpect app). I’ve also been eating little and often rather than three larger meals a day but I’m pretty sure the lack of wine has had a lot to do with not gaining weight too!

So, here’s hoping the scan this week will show that everything is progressing nicely and that our squidge is doing alright in there and ready to tackle the second trimester!