It’s about time I did an actual pregnancy update rather than a load of random blethering. So if you’re bored by those things, feel free to skip!
I’m 16+5 weeks pregnant today*, which is nuts. According to my pregnancy app, baby is somewhere between the size of an avocado (week 16) and a navel orange (week 17). Right now there is at least that in my stomach!
(*For the sake of accuracy, I wrote most of this yesterday but then got tired and didn’t post it, so I’m posting it today en route to the hospital for my consultant appointment. Seeing my boss later today. Not sure whether to break it to him before or after we work on a presentation together. Wish me luck!)
Now I’ve reached 16 weeks, there is a lower risk of miscarriage, which is something that has made me feel cautiously better. I still worry my ass off about this, but I’m getting gradually to that stage where I think, well I am probably pregnant now. I think I’ll feel even better than this if I manage to make it to week 20. That’s when we get to do a longer NHS (standard) scan and we have a private scan at 22 weeks. I’m guessing by then I might actually look pregnant!
So the last week has been a bit about feeling a bit more “in the club”. It’s starting to do those things that actual real pregnant people do.
Firstly, I had my community midwife appointment last Wednesday. It was okay. Bit weird tbh. I mean it was just more to get me in the system and she didn’t really do any checking at all. You get this book at your booking appointment (the first one, at hospital) which you then take to all NHS appointments (NHS is the National Health Service – UK healthcare) and she just sort of went through that and filled in forms. She was perfectly nice but also it didn’t really seem like a necessary meeting. We don’t have another meeting until 25 weeks! So I suppose they just have to get you in the system or something. At least I know where the centre is now.
Other news is that they decided I did have a UTI. They test your urine each time you go to the midwife. I was really worried about this last week, but apparently it’s something that is really common in pregnant women. I didn’t really have any symptoms so it hasn’t bothered me. Except I do go to the loo loads of times overnight – I have always done that. It’s been really hot (for us!) these past few weeks so I’ve been drinking lots of water, so it could be that. Anyway, my lovely GP/doctor (the old one where I used to live as I haven’t changed yet) managed to get me a prescription for antibiotics so I’ve been taking those.
Last Friday I went to my private doc for my last ever infusion (hopefully) of intralipids. It’s always a bit of a drag as they find it difficult to get a vein for me. The lady had to try a couple of times and it was a bit unpleasant as it ends up being wrist or hand which is a less nice way of having an IV! There was one lady there who was really upset as they couldn’t get a line in. They’ve usually had to try more than once with me, but fortunately never sent me away to come back the next day. I think that would be really upsetting. I felt bad for her. I guess everyone who’s been to the private doc has experienced infertility/loss of some sort so we know what it’s like.
I also had a brief scan with the private doc. This was nice to see although T could not attend as he was at work (intralipids take hours!). I saw the little hand waving and it was really cute! The slightly disappointing thing is that the stills taken during the scans are not clear at all. I see everyone else’s and our scans really aren’t like that at all. So poor T had to take it on my say so that baby was waving, as the still is really fuzzy and barely recognisable as a baby. I think they just focus on checking the baby is alright and not about getting a nice photogenic picture!
Next scan is the NHS one at 20 weeks, and then at 22 weeks we have the private scan. That should be a bit more detailed and hopefully we will get some better pictures. We are also keen to have a 3D scan but we have to wait until 24 weeks and we can do that privately.
In other news, I saw the second nursery. Almost didn’t see it because they had to cancel at short notice in the morning, and both T and I had taken time off work so were pretty annoyed. They managed to get us a slot in the afternoon but T had to go back to work, so I did it on my own. Bear in mind we really liked the last one. I guess we were quite open about expectations having no previous experience of nurseries!
It was just like the other nursery but it’s even bigger, equidistant and has about three times the outside space. I really thought that was great as we are in a small apartment with no garden, although there’s a park directly across the road from us and lots of grassy areas on the estate. So it’s nice that they get that. The babies even have their own playground so they don’t get trampled by the toddlers! And they also can take the kids for longer hours than the other nursery, so it works out great. We have filled in the form (Baby name and DOB Tbc!) and we will pay the deposit and then baby can have a place there next year, all things being well.
(Note: Baby doesn’t have a nickname on here. Baby does have one in real life, but that might be the actual name, so I’m leaving it off for now!)
We also got to thinking about leave. I have to speak with my boss about it. I hardly ever see him but hopefully will be seeing him tomorrow… I am a bit worried but I’m planning on being super reasonable and saying I’ll take hardly any time off. At the moment it’s looking like between 2-4 months which is nothing on the UK (where mat leave is usually a year). T looked up his terms and apparently he could get up to 4 months leave with shared parental leave, which is where the mother gives up some of her maternity leave to the father or secondary caregiver.
I do get leave, and am entitled to a year off, but because I have been there only a couple of months it would be mainly unpaid. (I get a few months of statutory but that’s about £200 which is nearly nothing if you live in London. And a lot less than my monthly salary.) Anyway we thought it would be nice if we both had 4 months off together before baby went to nursery. We could probably just afford that. Or maybe I take 2-3 months and T takes 4. It could be good. Since I earn more, it’s better if I go back to work and he can take more time off, if his company allows him to.
Other than that, it’s just pregnancy symptoms. I am now very definitely preggers in the sense that I have a bump when I wear certain clothes. I don’t have very pregnancy like work clothes right now though, so I just look fat.
Symptoms wise I’ve felt a bit sick off and on. They did warn me of this because of coming off the steroids. Also I’ve had hayfever which I didn’t have on steroids. Another thing is that my humungaboobs have turned itchy! Not sure what that is, but it ain’t pleasant. I was absolutely shocked when I actually looked at the size of them. I’ve been rubbing them with cocoa butter morning and evening but other than making my boobs smell like chocolate, I don’t think it’s been doing much. I now have stretch marks, which are horrible. I’m considering getting some bio oil to see if that helps.
I’ve definitely noticed a decrease in appetite this trimester so far. Maybe because I was eating loads before, in the first trimester. I just don’t feel like eating so much any more. Like I have to spend ages deciding what I want to eat. Weirdly it’s not the things I usually like, like pizza! More fruit, cheese, juice, simple stuff. I suppose it’s a bit healthier than normal. Oh and I’ve had a craving for chicken satay! I don’t know if that’s an emotional rather than physical thing. I haven’t managed to satisfy it as all the chicken satay I’ve had recently was disappointing!
I’ve had breakouts too. Fortunately not too noticeable, but again not pleasant. I guess it’s my hormones going haywire. It’s quite weird as it’s different sorts of spots from when I get my period. Sort of smaller, harder and angrier. But… I’m coping. I really am trying not to complain about pregnancy. I’m aware how much I wanted this when I wasn’t pregnant and had next to no hope of being pregnant, and I just thought pregnant people were really ungrateful.
That said, I still don’t fully believe in this pregnancy, but I’m getting there day by day. It’s hard to explain for anyone who’s never been through looooong term infertility and loss. I thought I was finally in this situation last year and it didn’t happen. And it really was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. That might sound melodramatic because “It happens to everyone” but I hadn’t been prepared for the pain (physical and mental). So it’s self preservation in a way.
So part of me is happy about this pregnancy, and part is scared that it won’t last. I do know that as each day goes past, the more likely it is that we will see little bub eventually. I want to be one of those expectant mothers who just expects that it will all be fine. I think maybe everyone is, unless they have a loss.
T keeps asking me when I’ll feel okay. At first I said 12 weeks – and I did feel a bit better. Then 16 – and I feel a bit better still. So the next milestone is 20 weeks. The “big” scan. And 22 weeks, the private version. And 24, when we can get a 3D scan… I suppose I just want to be reassured that baby is still alive and wriggling every now and then. I haven’t felt any kicks yet at almost 17 weeks, but they say for a first pregnancy that it can take up to 20 to feel anything.
I think I’ll feel better when I can feel some kicks (although T says I will probably regret wanting that!). Also when I am actually publicly acknowledged as pregnant. Right now it’s a bit ambiguous in work clothes, and not that noticeable in casual maternity clothes, although others say it is! I feel like it will be nice to have a proper preggers lady bump! This weekend we have a big extended family do and I will wear one of my pregnancy dresses and we shall see. I think it’ll just look like I’m fat!
One good thing is that the little one is getting better at hanging out by the doppler site. In the beginning it would take me ages to try and find the heartbeat, but now I can find it quite quickly.
(Ignore the counter and listen to the noise!)