IVF 2: The first trimester!

OMG!

We made it through the first trimester! (Although I think some say it starts later, this is the furthest we have ever gotten through a pregnancy. Every scan, every hurdle is a first now.)

Today I’m exactly 12 weeks pregnant. (Yesterday… I wrote this yesterday!)

We had our private scan today, which was a much longer and more detailed version of the initial NHS scan we had on Sunday. Everything looked great! The doctor talked us through everything in lots of detail (he works in Dr S’ surgery but isn’t Dr S; let’s call him Dr R) and he was really reassuring and understood that we (well, I) was worried and tried to put our minds at ease. 

Our baby measured just ahead of 12 weeks which is apparently normal for IVF babies. The measurements showed that he or she is at low risk of Down Syndrome or Edwards or any of the developmental problems they measure for at this stage. Dr R said this rules out around 40% of developmental problems now and they can look at the rest after 20 weeks. He was really great, explaining at each stage what he was looking for and why, and then gave us a report (with graphs!) showing that our baby looked to be in the safe, average range. 

It went on for quite a while and the level of detail we saw was quite amazing. Even though it’s a fuzzy ultrasound, Dr R highlighted different things and explained what they were. For example we saw baby’s brain! Like a butterfly in cross section. And the heart beating away… The stomach, the umbilical cord, etc. Baby’s little legs were sort of crossed and looked like frog’s legs. I now feel like baby might be a frog…

It’s surreal. T asks me if I feel okay now and the truth is, I don’t know what I feel. Everything everyone has said means we should feel more confident in the pregnancy. And I suppose in a way I do – I wanted to get to 12 weeks. But in another way I don’t, because it just doesn’t feel real. I don’t really “feel” pregnant, because what does that feel like? I never have been, properly, for any length of time, so it’s like I have no frame of reference. 

In terms of symptoms, I seem to have put on a vast amount of weight. I am trying not to panic. I have lots of discomfort about that. I’m still dressing in normal clothes but they’re a bit tight around the stomach. I also have that pair of maternity jeans from M&S which I finally broke into about a week ago. They are definitely more comfortable than my other casual trousers which are too tight! But do allow my stomach to burst into the maternity elastic band part quite alarmingly. My boobs are humongous and quite uncomfortable as I have to keep hoisting them back up. And I’ve had a few breakouts which does nothing for my huge round face right now. 

I’ve definitely noticed more nausea and sensitivity to smells and tastes. Sometimes on the tube I feel really sick because of the horrible smells of some people! I feel sick quite a lot but haven’t actually been sick. The steroids apparently stop the nausea / sickness as well as hayfever which is great, as I usually have terrible hayfever. One good side effect!

The side effect I notice the most is tiredness. I’ve never been someone who needed that much sleep but I am so tired! Although that may have something to do with having moved into a new apartment which has 8 flights of stairs to the door and no lift! Ha! At least it will keep me to a slight level of fitness!

So what next? Now I’ve reached 12 weeks it’s time to reduce the meds. I am still on crinone until it runs out (progesterone gel, standard with IVF to 12 weeks) and then I have Cyclogest (progesterone pessaries, extra from Dr S) to continue through to 16 weeks I think. I have to start reducing the steroids every 4 days now, so I’m on 4 a day instead of 5 as of today (12+1). I also keep taking the supplements until further notice. I had a dose of IV intralipids too. 


Our next scan with Dr S is in another four weeks when I go back for another dose of intralipids. It will just be a standard checking out the baby scan. I guess this will be the longest we have to wait until a scan. I don’t know how I’m going to feel. Then after that we have the 20 week scan already booked in with the NHS. That is a sort of standard checking out the baby scan. We also have various midwife appointments throughout the pregnancy, but really there aren’t very many other scans or appointments that come as standard with the NHS. 

Dr R recommended we see him again at 22 weeks so we can have a similar appointment where he can rule out further abnormalities and figure out if there are any warning signs that I might deliver early, etc. It feels so strange even to think of getting that far. We’ve sort of been taking it one day at a time. T is keen to do it though as he thought our appointment was really good – Dr R really took a lot of time to explain everything which was really different from the NHS scan a few days earlier (understandably, as one is NHS and one is expensive!). So we will probably try and do that. 

Now we are at this stage, we have talked about telling people. Of course my parents and sister already know. And the friends from the girls’ weekend, more through necessity than anything. My BFF still doesn’t know but I’m going to tell her when I see her this weekend. 

What I want to prevent is people asking for updates. The one who was a bit difficult on the girls’ weekend texted me and asked about the scan. I felt like a b*tch but I was really quite short with her as I was on the way to the scan at the time. I said I would tell her the results but I didn’t want her to keep asking for updates as it’s very stressful. I almost feel angry at myself for telling her as she’s not one of my closest friends, but due to the timings of the girls’ weekend, it would have been difficult not to. 

I definitely don’t want to have this issue with others we know. But equally, now we are 12 weeks I sort of feel justified in explaining why I’m not drinking. (Those of you in the UK will understand the social pressures to drink!) T and I have discussed it and we are probably going to do “as and when” where necessary. And we will tell his parents when they come to visit. He wanted to do a big reveal so we might put an ultrasound in the second bedroom or something like that… Then again we have hardly made a dent in the unpacking so this may not happen!

I suppose we are in this weird period now where I am almost properly pregnant – which I still can’t believe – but we aren’t really telling people unless we have to, and we don’t quite feel like it’s actually happening… But then we are talking about the fact and actually thinkin about making plans or something – so I suppose we are in a cautious limbo now. Does that sound weird? I think maybe it is a pregnancy after loss thing. Half of me thinks “This isn’t actually real and will end at any time” and half of me is like Show me the nursery designs!!! 

In other news – we got our harmony test results back and baby is low risk! Which is super nice to hear. And…

We found out the baby’s gender!!!!!!


I’m not ready to share that yet… We haven’t told anyone so although I never check with T what I write on the blog, I do feel I should okay with him first. Also some of my blog followers I know in real life so it would feel a bit mean to tell all of you before we have even told anyone, so I hope you understand! All in good time! (You can place your bets in the comments! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a few pics from last night, where we went to the grand opening of one of our favourite cafes. It is a wonderful place that has just changed to a larger shipping container (very east London) overlooking the Thames. We thought it would be drinks and canapรฉs but we were served a slap up meal and live music. Such an amazing treat. A great way to mark us making it through the first trimester. 

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71 comments

  1. My Perfect Breakdown

    Congratulations on making it through the first trimester! I do hope with time you are able to get more excited about the pregnancy. BUT, I 100% completely understand your hesitation, I say take it one day at a time and hopefully before you know it you’ll have a wiggling little baby in your arms.
    I am so happy to hear that baby is doing well and all the testing so far looks so good! I’m really excited for the gender reveal. I kind of hope you are having a girl just so I can buy something super girly – I buy enough little boy things these days. ๐Ÿ™‚
    As always, I love your food photos.

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    • Nara

      Thank you! I think it must be some sort of survival mechanism. Although I don’t know when that stops. I suppose if I actually got a proper bump(?!) I might feel I was pregnant. I have put on tummy weight but just look fat right now!
      I was super excited for the gender too! โ˜บ๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  2. tidleone

    One whole third down!
    Well done and stay positive, going through IVF changes the way you view pregnancy and it makes you anxious/cautious but you have amazing things to hold on to – how exciting to know what you’re having already and to be able to see all of those tiny details. Really excited for you.
    I had my first midwife appointment today and now I have my NHS green book it feels a little bit more real.
    Xx

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    • Nara

      Wow that’s strange to think, a whole third! I do think this process changes you. I don’t take it for granted at all. I actually have my booking appointment next week! I thought the appointment last Sunday was for booking but it was for a scan. So I’ve no idea about a green book!

      Like

  3. theskyandback

    Ah, congrats on getting through the first trimester and also on having another good scan. I did not believe my pregnancy would actually give me q baby until I was holding said baby. I agree with MPB, take is one day at a time and let yourself feel however you feel. So happy for you. My guess is boy, but I am basically always wrong.

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    • Nara

      Thank you! Really, I bet that’s just how I feel! We are just taking it one day at a time… Oh and I’ll tell you if your guess was right shortly! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

  4. TryTryAgain

    Wahoo!! Fantastic news!! I’m guessing boy as well ๐Ÿ™‚ just keep taking it one day at a time, that’s all you can do. So so pleased for you! Xxx

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      • TryTryAgain

        Nope, only ever with Dr S. I think cos I was on the hydroxychloroquine for a lot longer then I needed to see him. So pleased for you!! All good here thanks, he’s smiling properly now which is brilliant! ๐Ÿ™‚ xxx

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  5. meandmycrazywomb

    Congrats on reaching 12 weeks! Nothing you’re feeling sounds weird. Definitely a pregnancy after loss sort of vibe. I was in a constant state of panic until… well now lol. I also delayed telling people and then simply forgot to haha. Some peole still don’t know. Just do whatever feels right and most of all, be kind to yourself. You’re growing a tiny human. xxxx

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    • Nara

      Aww thank you. I think that must be it. I’m not really intending to make any announcements. Will just say if I have to when I see them. Thanks for understanding and I’m excited for you xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thanks! I don’t know… I need to look it up but I think I don’t have to tell them till 25 weeks which is another few months! They’d probably guess by then!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amy M.

    Hooray for a great scan!! And hooray for great test results as well!! I’m going to guess that it’s a boy. I can’t wait until you let us know!
    I understand how you feel about everything. The whole “when do trimesters start and end” and even “when do months of pregnancy start and end” is so confusing! One of my books says each month is a straight 4 weeks, the other book kinda goes by calendar months so it uses approximations. And the whole 3-ways-to-figure-out-trimesters thing is ridiculous! You’d think they’d all just come to a consensus and make it easier on all of us!!
    I truly hope that things continue to go well with you!! Do you have to have more of the intralipids, or was this your last dose? So excited for you guys!!

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    • Nara

      Thank you! It’s confusing isn’t it? All the different expectations!
      I do have another dose of intralipids at 16 weeks. And still have meds, just weaning off.
      Hope everything is great with you guys!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. sewingbutterfly

    Yay!! I think I told my work and most people in person around 13-14 weeks, but only posted on facebook after our 20 week scan to make sure all was good. I think I will guess boy for you ๐Ÿ˜Š great milestone. I am only just starting to feel pregnant now at 20 weeks. The feeling will get there โ˜บ

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    • Nara

      We told some friends last night which was funny because it took them a while to get it. Then they basically said something like “We thought you might be” as they’re from the US and don’t see us very often! I must look so fat!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. stealingnectar

    So excited for you!!! You have so many great reassurances and I know, as the weeks tick by, you will feel better and better. What great news! Gosh, I am going to guess a boy just because I know you slightly favor that result and everyone I know is having a boy right now. I am super excited to find out! Huge congratulations- I feel the biggest hurdles are over now and you just need to keep going and feel better each week. Until our babies are here, I think it’s difficult to really relax after loss, but hopefully you’ll start to gain a little confidence. I have each week. I am over the moon for you!!!

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  9. anawnimiss

    This is the best thing I’ve heard all week!
    Btw, the little froggy (can I call him/her that?) is responsible for how you’re feeling right now – exhaustion in the first trimester is very common. Also, you won’t feel pregnant until the belly begins to grow. It happens to a lot of women, Big, big hug, Nara! Can’t wait to hear more good news from you.

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    • Nara

      Haha yes of course, I think of the baby as a little frog! I’m glad to hear it is quite common to feel like this. Actually I’ve been having weird pains in my stomach today and an Internet search says it’s either normal or a miscarriage… Aaagh. Trying not to worry and telling myself it’s normal. My belly has already grown!!! Thank you for the hug, it’s so great to hear from you!

      Like

  10. notabroodychick

    Fab news, and I well remember the relief at getting past this milestone. In the coming weeks as your bump gets more noticeable, and definitely when you start to feel movement (for me that was about 18 weeks), it will feel more real, and with each day you will worry less. I don’t envy you with a baby with all those flights of stairs and no lift! You will be fit indeed! Will you be able to store a buggy downstairs?

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    • Nara

      Yeah, I don’t know because I already feel my belly is really swollen! Hnnn. I am just looking forward to the apparent increase in energy… I am so knackered! Yeah the stairs are funny. At least it’s going down in the morning so not too bad! And I feel motivated to sprint up when my dog is there! We will be able to store a buggy downstairs in the car… The only problem is, we don’t have a car yet! ๐Ÿ˜‚ T says we will get one and he’ll drive me to work when I am heavily pregnant! ๐Ÿ˜

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      • notabroodychick

        Aw that’s sweet of T! You won’t want to be facing public transport in those latter days! Sorry you are so tired out..I somehow missed having that in the first tri, but did get hit with it in the third.

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  11. miraclebabyo

    My vote is a little girl that you can teach to bake all those yummy looking cakes! It sounds like we have very similar feelings and thoughts about this pregnancy. I just hope that we both end up with healthy strong babies. Hoping your energy picks up a bit soon. xx

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    • Nara

      Haha. Well you do know that most of the famous chefs are men! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I don’t care as long as I have a healthy baby. I wonder if we have ours on the same day?!

      Liked by 1 person

      • miraclebabyo

        This is a true fact, either way I just hope s/he is healthy. My husband and I don’t really mind either way. That would be pretty wild to have our babies on the same day in different countries! I once met two guys with the same exact birthday as me and one was from NZ and the other from France!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. EmilyMaine

    Yay for getting through that first trimester. It is weird as you so though. I mean you spend the whole 8 weeks you are getting there desperate to meet the milestone and when you make it it isn’t quite enough ๐Ÿ˜‰ I cal the next stretch the crap zone. Hardly any scans and you can’t feel baby move yet so it is nerve wracking. Don’t worry, excitement and acceptance will build,it is just a process. And I honestly didn’t feel true relief until baby was in my arms. Btw I predict girl ( although notoriously wrong about such things! Ha! X

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  13. circumstance227

    So nice to read all this! It also made me remember the whole tell? not tell? when to tell? questions we went through when adopting. I didn’t want people asking me “So . . . how is it going?” all the time. Totally understandable in your case too. Although in your case, I suppose there will be more and more visual clues to complicate matters . . . ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Nara

      Yes exactly! I think it’s a similar thing really as when you’re going through a process like IVF or adoption or anything(!) where there is some level of uncertainty involved, I think it’s hard to be asked constantly for updates.

      Right now I just look fat, not pregnant! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

      Liked by 1 person

  14. thegreatpuddingclubhunt

    Yey congratulations mummy!! You made it here!! I absolutely understand and empathise with the feelings you have of still not feeling perfectly happy about your pregnancy! We’ve worked hard to get here…there is so much at stake to lose still. What you say, Cautious limbo, is the best way to describe it. It’s not easy to simply just enjoy the experience. I’m so glad your scan went so well ๐Ÿ˜Š I can’t wait til you reveal the gender!! We have our results back, we still don’t know the gender (we have a note on our file for the docs not to tell us unless we ask!) but we are waiting a few more weeks until we do a gender reveal. Eeek.
    Food looks delicious-mmmmmm roast dinner!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

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    • Nara

      Thank you! I know you’re just a few weeks ahead so know how it feels. That’s funny to think you don’t know the gender. I really wanted to know but now it almost feels like an anticlimax… Not in a bad way exactly, but we aren’t looking forward to it any more – if you get what I mean! I suppose our next stage is the 16 week scan – eek. A whole month of no scans. That’s a bit nerve wracking!

      Had another roast today! ๐Ÿ˜œ

      Like

  15. babyangelb

    Congratulations! Things are going so well and I TOTALLY understand how hard it is to fully accept that. I am in my 3rd trimester and I am still having a hard time being 100% positive and connected to this pregnancy. It seems like whenever I make it past one milestone, I worry about the next thing that could go wrong. As I get closer to her being here, I am pretty convinced I won’t completely relax until she is 18 years old! Ha ha!

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  16. ashleykyleanderson

    Whaaaat?? I don’t get here for a few days and I miss EVERYTHING! So exciting to hear about the 12 week scan and your little frog, plus the gender results!! I am just excited knowing that YOU KNOW like RIGHT NOW. My guess is a girl– it’s actually what I first pictured right before your transfer, but I don’t remember if I told you that part or just kept it to myself so as not to sound too crazy. I’m bad at guessing gender though so it is probably the opposite… I thought Ross was a girl most of the 17 weeks. Kyle thinks it’s a boy and Ross is just really excited to have a new friend! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I guess one of us will have to be right. Also, how is your sister doing? Do they have plans to start round 2 soon?

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    • Nara

      Awww you didn’t tell me! I’ll definitely have to tell you once T has told his folks. We don’t really want to announce things until then. But was walking around Liberty (SOOO London) with my friends yesterday and thinking it really makes a difference in how people think of the baby! (Frog!) My sis is doing well, thanks for asking. She is probably starting treatment really soon but they probably won’t be starting off with IVF as she has other treatments to consider. If they treat the RI issues they may be able to get pregnant naturally, which is awesome!

      Like

    • Nara

      Thank you! I suppose I am getting used to it… It is such a weird feeling as I don’t really know what “feeling pregnant” is. I mainly feel fat right now! Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thanks love! We haven’t really started telling people unless we have to… I haven’t told my other siblings and T hasn’t told his parents yet! So we have that to go! X

      Like

  17. Lindsey

    Such exciting and wonderful news Nara! I am so happy for you! I vote girl! Best of luck with all other testing and prayers for a healthy pregnancy!

    Like

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