So in case you don’t follow me on any of my other social channels and missed my life update post, I am pregnant with baby girl Walsh who is due January 2019. As you are reading this I am 22 weeks however I thought I should start at the beginning, I hear it’s a good place to start!
Finding out I was pregnant…
For those of you who have been following me for a while will know, the journey to having a baby hasn’t exactly been the smoothest. We sadly had a miscarriage in November 2017 and didn’t really start properly trying and tracking my cycle until the February as I just didn’t feel ready. Although I was still dying for a baby, I found myself not having the same emotional reactions in the coming months when my period came, mostly because I was somewhere between desiring a baby so badly and being terrified of being pregnant again. Then in late May I noticed that I was feeling a lot more tired than normal, and found myself having to have a little lie down at lunchtime when working from home to get through the day. To be honest,I didn’t initially go ‘I think I’m pregnant again…’, in fact,I had messaged my best friend saying I didn’t think it was this month, something in my gut just didn’t think it had happened, but I thought I would do a test anyway. I was so blaze about it, in fact, I did it and popped it next to me in our study and kept on working and sort of forgot about it – so when I turned it over to see the word ‘Pregnant’ I almost fell off my chair!
This was around mid-afternoon and I can’t say I was wholly productive afterwards – I was in shock and was itching for it to be 7pm when the husband got home! So how did I tell him? Well given his birthday was the beginning of May I decided to tell him that a late birthday present had arrived and then handed him over the test. Similar to me he was pretty shocked, but unlike the first time we didn’t jump up or down or express how excited we were because (truth bomb alert…) we weren’t. Don’t get me wrong we wanted it so badly but having gone through something traumatic we were, of course, worried about things going wrong again. Spoiler alert clearly in the introduction – everything was fine!
The symptoms I experienced were largely the same as my first pregnancy, I was lucky enough to avoid morning sickness and only had a couple of nauseas moments, usually after eating my dinner in the evenings. The biggy for me was fatigue – oh man this knocked me sideways. It isn’t like your regular type of tiredness either, I think the best way I can describe it was like extreme jet lag, when it feels like its right to your bones. I was going to bed at 9pm and on weekends sleeping 12 hours a night then another 3 or 4 hours during the day – I think at one point I was rivalling the cat on hours slept in a day!
Other than that I felt largely okay, I went off certain things including hot drinks which I’ve only just now re-embraced with open arms. My sense of smell was particularly heightened and sensitive if I smelt something I didn’t like it wouldn’t make me feel sick as such I just couldn’t bear to be around it as it was too much!
Not so much a symptom but I did get a bad stomach virus in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy which was particularly worrying – I had terrible diarrhoea for 6 days – on the hour every hour – it was AWFUL. It was strange because I didn’t feel sick so I kept eating as I knew I needed to for baby. I spoke with a doctor and the midwife who were both very reassuring and explained the reason I was so ill and for so long was because baby was taking all the nutrients out my body to keep it healthy. But after an early miscarriage I was convinced that something wouldn’t be right so we wanted a little extra check in to make sure baby Walsh was okay…
Scans & Complications
Due to my unexpected illness at around 8 weeks, we decided to pay for an early viability scan at a private clinic. It cost us £89 but was worth it. We went along, explained to the sonographer that we were particularly nervous and she showed us our tiny blob and more importantly the missing ingredient from our previous baby – a heartbeat. We were elated that everything was fine after such a worrying week, but equally we knew that our previous baby had stopped growing at 9 weeks so didn’t feel totally in the clear yet.
Although it was only a few weeks later, the wait till our 12 week scan felt like a lifetime. But when it did come around, the nerves set in again. This time round we had a lovely gentleman sonographer and we explained again that we had bad news when we were in one of these rooms and he was really lovely and reassuring, and sure enough baby Walsh was a grade A student and looked great – honestly the joy I felt when he said ‘there’s it’s heartbeat’ was like nothing I can describe. So we skipped out the room, took ourselves to The Ivy for brunch to celebrate and spent the entire day smiling. Little did we know that the joy bubble was about to burst big time!
When you have a positive 12 week scan you have the option for additional screening bloods to be down to test for a number of things including Downs Syndrome. Well our scan was on the Friday, then on the Monday evening I got a call from the hospital to say that we had been flagged up as high risk. I think back now and wonder how I held it together while on a packed commuter train from London to Cambridge without having a total meltdown. You are flagged up if you are less than 1/500 and we were 1/18. There was three options available to us, do nothing and hope for the best, a free procedure on the NHS called CVS or pay £500 for a blood sample version privately. We opted for the NHS version as it had the best rate for being conclusive (100%).
CVS or Chorionic villus sampling is where they put a needle into your abdomen to take a sample of the placenta to test – you can read more about it here. Now I am not going to dwell on the procedure too much other than to firstly commend the doctor who did it who was SO reassuring and positive (I was convinced it was going to be bad news) and secondly to reassure anyone who has to have this done that it is NOT THAT BAD. Yes, it sounds horrific but it is uncomfortable at most and not painful – it just feels a little strange that’s all.
After the procedure it was bed rest for a few days and 5 days later we got the call to say that Baby Walsh was totally fit and healthy. The reason we were flagged up is due to an issue with my hormones, particularly my pepe hormone which creates the placenta. Mine is low meaning that I am at a high risk of developing pre-eclampsia – which is linked to high blood pressure and can be dangerous to me and baby. There is also a chance that Baby Walsh might be a bit smaller than other babies come birth. Because of these complications we are lucky enough to get extra monitoring, two extra scans at 23 weeks and 32 weeks and also a whole host of additional midwife appointments which will be weekly from late 20 weeks to daily from 30 or so weeks until birth. Just because I am at high risk it doesn’t mean that I will, I am trying to keep positive about it all and take each day and week as they come.
However, one positive with the whole CVS debacle was that we didn’t have to wait to find out the sex of baby Walsh – it’s a GIRL! We were more thrilled to know that baby was healthy but it is nice now to be able to refer to her as she! We’ve also nicknamed her Jelly Bean!
So that is my rather long 1st trimester update – well done if you stuck it out till the end! I will now do updates grouped into weeks so my next update will be my 13 – 17 weeks update and I will continue in groups of 4 probably from then! If there is anything else you’d like me to include in these updates please let me know below!