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Baby Lifestyle

Pregnancy & the 1st trimester

If you’ve been following me on social media over the last few days, you’ll have seen that I am expecting! I’ve had a tough few months getting from the finding out day to here so I thought I would take you through the highs and lows of those first few weeks. I hope you’ll like this post and continue to follow me on this amazing journey! 

(This post, like any of the others I will be writing over the next few months will be as open and honest as possible, in the hopes that anyone in my situation can feel less alone!)

Before I got that blue line…

One of the things I kept thinking during the loss of our first baby to Anencephaly was how much I had wanted that baby and at the time, to me the only logical thing to help me to feel better would have been to get pregnant again. At the time though, I don’t think I thought those things for the right reasons, I think those thoughts came from a place of grief and an unwillingness to accept the loss that was happening. 

As I got through my own pain over the next couple of months, I actually did not even think about being pregnant again at all. I was quite happy just working through what had happened and trying to deal with it in the healthiest ways possible. Of course, there were times when I did still long to have that baby we had lost but I found myself accepting it, knowing that what I wanted wouldn’t change anything and that baby was at peace, which was what was best for them. 

So fast forward then to June. I knew when my expected cycle would start, and I let a few days go by with no sign of anything. I was a little freaked out about it being later than usual but thought it would arrive. Two days later I found myself unable to drink coffee and I found myself googling those familiar symptoms. Of course, Google told me I WAS pregnant, but then again it always finds a way to point you in that direction! 

Testing, July 4th. 

On the morning the day before, I let my partner know my worries. It then finally started to dawn on me just how big this actually was. We walked the dog and talked about it and he asked me if I thought I was. I thought about it and something in me just said yes. I never really heard my inner voice shouting at me like that before. I was so scared though because I hated not knowing, just being in limbo like that. Even before I knew, I was terrified -no, terrified doesn’t even do it justice- that there would be something wrong with this potential baby. 

The next day we rushed off to get a test. This was right bang in the middle of the heatwave! I wasn’t able for the heat at all so when I got to the chemist it really looked like I was having hot flushes. I searched up and down for where the tests were and I couldn’t find them at all! I went to the counter and the lady told me that the tests were, well, right in front of her. I wasn’t functioning at all. 

I raced back to do the test. I had a combo pack from Clearblue that contained one digital test and one of the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ tests. First, I did the digital one. I almost threw it across the floor so I wouldn’t be able to look at it. I checked it quite soon as the time was passing so slowly. Already it read ‘Pregnant’ but the date part was still calculating. After about a minute it read 3+. So, I was pregnant. I was partly happy and partly mortified. I didn’t know what I would do if something happened to this baby too, it was beyond nerve-wracking

About an hour later, for good measure I took the other test and a really strong blue line appeared in no time. I called the doctor’s right away to make an appointment to confirm it all. From there, I just had to distract myself with copious amounts of TV and video games. 

Confirmation & Our Early Scan

A little after finding out I was pregnant, I went to my doctor to have it all confirmed and to get me into the system. I don’t know what reaction I expected to get, but I was very surprised when my GP was so happy for me! I expected everyone to be as fraught with worry as I was. She told me that the chances of Anencephaly occurring again would be very small and that she would book me in for an early scan to put my mind at ease, as much as possible. 

So, at 8 weeks I went off to the EPU in Waterford University Hospital. I was very scared, I felt even sicker than nausea I was already feeling from morning sickness. We waited only for about 10 minutes but they felt like the longest ever. Once inside, we saw a lovely little blob on the screen with a very strong heartbeat. I had feared that I would go there only to find an empty screen or something like that, so at least that fear was put to bed. I honestly just found it hard to accept that nothing would go wrong this time, especially because during my last pregnancy I was so sure it was all going fine and finding out that it wasn’t was such a crash back down to earth.

Another month of waiting!

After our first scan, it was another month until the big day. I did all of the distracting that I could, but I kept feeling very stressed. I couldn’t see us having a successful scan, all I saw was more hardship and it made the wait unbearable. I feel really bad at how I felt because it sounds so much like I was unhappy to be pregnant, but honestly it was the complete opposite. I was really only frightened of something bad happening to this baby. Beneath it all I was so happy, there was just so much torment I needed to sort through first. 

Little under two weeks before our scan at the booking clinic, I had another GP visit. I’ve never had high blood pressure before but the stress of it all did give me a few high readings! I relaxed and sure enough they were perfectly normal. The GP said she could use her listening device to hear out baby’s heartbeat but she warned me that around 11 weeks it might be difficult to find, so not to panic if she couldn’t. I did the usual lying down and getting that cold gel put on and within about 15-20 seconds the GP had closed in on the most perfect heartbeat ever. I was so happy to have heard it, it made me feel a bit more confident that maybe baby would be okay. 

Seeing baby in good detail for the first time!

My booking appointment was for August 22nd. I took that pink folder with congratulations written across the front and all the baby reading material in it and just stuffed it into my bag. The last time I got one of them, it stayed in a corner of my room that I couldn’t bare to go near for months. I wouldn’t even peep inside until a later time. I saw the midwife and again I had another high BP reading until two tests later when it was fine again. I got my BMI calculated and went to chat with her about my medical history, diet etc. 

Then, I went back to wait for my scan or meeting with the doctor. I was a dreadful mess at the time and my partner was so worried it resulted in him nodding off a few times. I’d say anyone that saw us must have thought we were so unhappy about being there! Also, I was in a bad way with my bladder. I needed to pee SO. BAD. 

Instead of getting my scan done next, I saw the doctor and I told him I had been experiencing some cramps while walking my dog and such. He told me both hormones and the uterus stretching could be to blame for it, and not to worry as long as it wasn’t persisting. By now I had to pee so bad that I asked him if I could! He said that I should go if I was uncomfortable so I did and then downed the last 1/2 litre of water in my bag so that my bladder would be full. 

Two and a half hours later, we finally got called in for the scan. I felt this huge crushing weight on me and when I was in position for the scan I turned my head away. The incredibly amazing lady doing the scan told me to look over, that the skull was perfectly developed and she even showed us the brain and how it looked perfect for its age. I wanted to cry but happy tears. We then started paying full attention to the scan and amazingly we saw baby upside down pushing up to be able to kick the top of the amniotic sac. They were so active and were waving at us too! It was surreal to see them like that, we even saw their face as if they had turned to look right at us. We were told baby was doing perfect and we could breathe again. We were told we could have a reassurance scan in 4 weeks because the next one would have been 8 weeks away so we took that just so we could stay at ease with it all. 

Sweet relief

It’s so hard to describe the difference in myself since Wednesday. I’m enjoying this experience like I should be. Of course, I worry a little and I won’t be satisfied fully until the babe is in my arms but now I can look to it all and be excited about it! I’m taking it day by day and I’m also glad to say the symptoms are leaving me so I have a lot more energy! 

I do hope you’ve enjoyed this post, I plan to give many updates throughout and I hope you’ll enjoy my journey to becoming a mum. Keep everything crossed for me. 

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