Our Tiny Pregnancy Diary: The First 12 Weeks
November 30th 2018 (Week 3): Finding out.
This whole adventure started, well, we won't go into THAT, but everything came to light after experiencing a bout of heart palpitations. I was concerned because I had no idea why I was getting them. I had an ECG done by the nurse and it all came back fine. Because of these irregularities, I became super sensitive to anything that felt different and the symptoms started coming; stomach cramps, back pain, bloatiness and tiredness. If you haven't picked up on it already, we had not being planning on having another baby at this point... three was an eventual number, but it was more planned to be around the time that Winter started school (and he is currently only 2 and 2 months). That being said, I stopped taking the pill about 6 months ago because it was playing havoc with my emotions, so really, it isn't that surprising!
I must have known it was going to be positive subconsciously, as I bought the fancy digital test with how many weeks you are so I could see just how pregnant I was. Because I'm not one to leave the test aside until the three minutes have passed, preferring to stare at the screen until something happens, I notice that 'Pregnant,' appeared within a minute and the little timer continued to spin around to work out how far along I was. I wasn't surprised when I saw it, but unlike with my last two pregnancies, I had a serious shock as the next 9 months and beyond swirled around in my mind having all been thrown up in the air. One of my first thoughts/concerns was the litre bottle of Bombay Sapphire I had just bought for Christmas... this was a serious blow to my festive plans.
I called Chris upstairs and he just knew from the look on my face. He grinned a childish grin and squeezed me. He's always like a kid a Christmas when it comes to us having babies! I cried as we went downstairs to tell Jonah and my bewildered brother who happened to be staying with us. I wasn't sure whether I was happy or still in shock at that point. There was no sadness, but the huge adjustment to the direction of our lives that had taken place within the last 5 minutes was a lot to take in.
This picture was taken hastily to send to my sister who was travelling in Sri Lanka. Still in shock, I needed to tell someone to make it seem more real!
Saturday December 2nd 2018 (Week 4): Winter's 2nd Birthday
After all the excitement of finding out our news, Winter's 2nd Birthday was here and we had a busy weekend celebrating. I was still feeling fine and had energy thank goodness, but we took the opportunity to tell our families the good news. We played Chinese whispers as one of the party games which Chris started and spread the word around the circle.
Monday December 4th 2018 (Week 5): The Ectopic Scare.
Having been pregnant twice before, I was familiar with the general aches and pains that early pregnancy brings, but this time around, everything seemed more painful. Since identifying that these cramps I was feeling were pregnancy related, I realised that they were more consistent and more localized than anything I had had before. I did a little bit of online research (NHS Direct only!) and started looking into Ectopic Pregnancy. If you aren't aware of this, an Ectopic Pregnancy is when the egg gets stuck in one of your Fallopian tubes. This can be painful and dangerous and makes the pregnancy impossible to continue. I was concerned because I had also been struggling with a pain in my shoulder which I wasn't comfortable with just leaving to chance (apparently you can feel pain in your shoulder which could be a sign of internal bleeding) so I called NHS Direct after about a week of this, having convinced myself that this was happening. We were advised to go to A and E in Exeter and were seen really quickly. Everyone was lovely as I blubbed my way through the whole experience, afraid that this pregnancy was coming to an end before it had even got started. The morning ended in the Early Pregnancy Unit where I was given an internal ultrasound and told that everything was fine. Our tiny little 5 week old baby was where it should be with a teenie tiny heart fluttering away. I was able to leave the hospital reassured that everything was ok and that I had a healthy little baby growing inside of me.
Wednesday December 6th 2018 (Week 6): The Nausea.
And just like like, the nausea began. I woke up on the morning of the 6th and I could tell that something was different. The smell of our house was wrong, even although nothing had changed. We have moved in recently to an old house and I had never noticed how musty it smelled before. I did not like it. My stomach would feel empty and that brought on the nausea and the only was to fix it was to eat something. I'm still not out of this phase but have got into a routine of grazing from the moment I wake up, to the time I fall asleep. It's not as bad as it was and I'm now at week 12, hoping and praying that it is gradually fading away. I really wanted to share my struggles with you all on Instagram as I was lying in bed feeling sorry for myself but I knew I just needed to wait it out and it would pass.
When it was at its worst during weeks 6-8, so many things bothered me with the smell of home being at the top of my list and also the exposure to heat. At the time, we were getting our central heating fitted, with only an electric fire to keep us warm. The heat from the fire still gives me goosebumps remembering how ill it made me feel. Tea and coffee were a no no, fried food, and even worse, the smell of fried food was completely out. I ended up buying random things sporadically in the hope that I could jumble a meal together; rich tea biscuits, a Pot Noodle (which I never eat) and weetabix were all tolerable, and not much else.
Thursday December 7th 2018: Jonah's Nativity Play
Although I really didn't feel up to it, I couldn't miss Jonah's Nativity play, especially considering he was playing a sheep... I mean, how could I miss that important role?? The smell of the hall made my stomach lurch as soon as I entered but by this point I was just getting on with things. You just manage, it's unpleasant and you feel rubbish and amlost detached, but you just get on with things. It's so tough during the first trimestre that it's probably the most turbulent in terms of symptoms and yet it's the time that people don't know you're pregnant so you just get on with it all. He was wonderful by the way... and I won a bottle of wine in the raffle... typically...
Wednesday 21st December 2018 (Week 8): Christmas
Every year for Christmas we drive up to Inverness in Scotland to celebrate Christmas and New Year with my family. We've found that leaving at about 4am usually works out quite well for our 12 hour drive of 600 miles and was the plan for this year too... that was until I woke up at 1am with D and V which continued every hour for the remainder of the night. I had been feeling progressively more nauseous during the day before at work but just put it down to being tired, as that has been making me feel very very sick. I managed to get in the car at about 10am, arrving at 10.30 that evening washed out and still feeling sick. I was so ill the next day, I couldn't get out of bed. I think it was norovirus and it was bloody horrible... I thought I was going to die! Problem was, I wasn't sure what was pregnancy nausea and what was stomach bug and it took me up until Chrismas Eve to feel anything normal again. Chris, Jonah, Winter, my brother and his girlfriend all suffered over the Christmas period so it wasn't just a wash out for just me. The Bombay Sapphire did get drunk though unfortunately, but not by me! Here's one photo of me from New Year's Eve having recovered enough to get dressed and do my hair. Even treated myself to a glass of Shloer!
Monday 8th January (10 weeks): My First Midwife Appointment
I was excited about this first appointment, even although I know from past experience that it's mainly about being weighed, peeing in a pot and a lot of paperwork. Going to the appointment sort of makes the pregnancy feel official, you know?! I met my midwife Pip and she was lovely. I was apprehensive about going through my previous pregnancies with her as they were both quite stressful and I get a bit anxious talking about them, particularly Jonah's birth (which I'm happy to share at some point!) but she was so nice and calming. We booked in for our 12 week scan (yey!) and I now don't see her again until 16 weeks which seems so far away, but I'm pretty sure that the more babies you have, the less they see you, so I'm sure it's normal!
Sunday 14th January (week 11): SPD and Me
Ok, so when I was pregnant with Jonah, I was desperate to push my stomach out and have a little bump. Now it's impossible to hide one at 11 weeks. It was always on my to-do list to get my stomach muscles back into shape but somehow I never got round to it... Unfortunately I've been starting to feel the familiar 'electric shocks' of SPD this week. They made my pregnancy with both boys pretty painful, but particularly Winter. It got so bad that I had to get two very lovely ambulance men to carry me out of my house (which is no mean feat) and get me to hospital for some pain releif before I could even stand again. I'm praying that it will hold off a little longer, but fear it's coming whether I like it or not.
Monday 15th January: Work and Planning
Work now know that I'm pregnant and are delighted for me I'm sure (not that they have a choice!). As a teacher, I'm not faced with the practicalities of advertising for a replacement and deciding how long I will take for my maternity leave. With Jonah and Winter I only took 5 months each but since this is ABSOLUTELY going to be our last baby, I'd like to take the whole year. It's a bit scary and between now and then we will have to work out our finances but I really want to do it. I'm excited.
Thursday 18th January (week 12): The scan!
Today we had our 12 week scan and it was so lovely to see our little jellybean again. He/She is the size of a kiwi fruit and was jiggling around on the screen during the appointment. We had Winter and Jonah with us, despite the polite requests to not have children present (sometime that's not possible!) and I'm so glad we did. I love introducing Jonah to his new brother or sister (Winter was snoring in the buggy at the time) and really give him a sense of what's going on, that there really is a living, jiggling human being growing in Mummy's tummy. He loved spotting the little hands and feet and charmed the sonographer. We had all the extra tests done this time too, which we haven't had done with the boys, such as the Nuchal scan for Downs' and we recieved a letter saying that all is fine.
What a journey we have had already and I'm so excited that we can share our news with the world now knowing that this little baby is growing, kicking, living as it should be! I can't wait to share our pregnancy journey with you here, which is something I haven't done before. I think I'll do it fortnightly instead of weekly so keep an eye out for our next installment!