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! 😉)
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 canapés 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.