Friday, 31 May 2013

Big things and exciting plans

So if I know you in real life, or if we're facebook/twitter friends, then you will know that I am pregnant. It feels pretty strange to be writing down, as it has felt like a half-secret for so long that actually saying it feels like standing up after a long flight; stiff and awkward but ultimately a relief. I do feel like I should also confess that I am terrible at keeping secrets, so rather a lot of people have known for quite a long time. I have been operating on a 'tell people when I see them' basis, which meant the vast majority of our friends and family found out when we went home for 3 weeks. I am now safely back in California, soaking in the sunshine (getting sunburnt) and eating In n Out burger more often than anyone strictly should. Our baby is due to appear on St. Andrew's Day*, the 30th of November.

Being pregnant a second time has been a strange experience. In some ways, it has been surprisingly easy. People dread the worst case scenario, but we'd already lived through it and discovered that while it sucked, it was not that bad.** In other ways, it's been harder than the first time. Every appointment has been a MASSIVE stress, the scale of which varied but peaked into 'meltdown' proportions yesterday, before my 12 week scan (due to travelling, this ended up being at 14 weeks). This was the big one. I know people worry about abnormalities, I just really wanted a baby in there. Everyone at the Ultrasound clinic seemed fairly convinced there would be, and they were right. It was just hanging out, flip flopping around like a fish out of water. It managed to flip onto its front and stayed there, kicking its legs off the bottom of my uterus like it was an Early Learning Centre trampoline. It is exactly as it should be at this stage. It has a brain (this might sound silly, but Anencephaly was one of my biggest fears) and an abdomen and two feet and at least some fingers and all sorts of other things one needs to function. It wasn't just ok, it was thriving, measuring a whopping 5 days bigger than it should.

This is in spite of the Hyperemesis Gravidarum that seemed to haunt me for the first half of the first trimester. Thankfully I don't need to explain it much to people since Kate Middleton and the resultant media coverage means its a bit more widely understood, but it is rotten. I was lucky and had instant access to amazing medication that made INSANE vomiting stop pretty sharp-ish. Before the medication, I had days where moving my head in either direction was enough to make me vomit. It reminded me of the extreme hangovers I had a few times in University after drinking a bottle of vodka/jack daniels/gin. Except it never ended. It just went on and on and on until I ended up in the ER. It was decidedly crappy. I slept for hours at a time, and stopped eating pretty much everything that wasn't baked potatoes. The smell of toast would make me sick. With the meds (Zofran, or Ondansetron in the UK, for those interested parties) I started to feel a lot better at 11 weeks, after arriving at my parent's house. 

Ultrasounds through the weeks (can't remember the exact size on the last one- sorry!)
Also, sorry, the paper is REALLY shiny- too hard to get a good picture!

Today, I didn't take any medication. I have eaten breakfast (and half a packet of leftover salt and vinegar McCoys) and had 2 cups of tea. This felt completely out of the realm of possibility a few short weeks ago. I'm not eating tons- I ended up 13lbs (a stone) lighter over the three months, and have managed to gain a solitary pound since I started eating again. It is going to be a slow process. But I now have an appropriate amount of envy that my neighbour appears to be cooking delicious chilli rather than locking myself in the bathroom and crying.

Today is the first day we have started planning a future with a baby in it. At my doctor's appointment this morning, we discussed her philosophy on Labour and Dellivery. Turns out she likes to do things as naturally as possible- she won't be inducing me on my due date, as is pretty common here (booo) and believes strongly in it being a natural process, but with sensible risk minimisation. This is essentially where I think we are, more or less. I'm definitely not aiming to do it completely naturally though. I am a TOTAL WUSS and will take paracetamol at the first sign of a headache, so pain relief (and lots of it) is definitely in my dream delivery. It was awesome to hear her talk about her experiences in hippy-ish Seattle, where she said she learnt to really trust the experience and wisdom of the midwives in her team and to hold back on interventions where possible. She sent us away with a form to guide creating a birth plan, and to get us talking about what we want (I'm saying we to be polite, but honestly, I'm the one pushing it out- I'm going to be making most of the decisions). 

I really love our doctor, she has been the most amazing mix of sympathetic, supportive and hilarious through violent sickness and miscarriage fear. She is pretty irreverent about pregnancy and birth, which is awesome. Most importantly, however, she loved my handbag enough to write down where I got it, so I trust her judgement implicitly.

My stomach is starting to develop a weird lump in it that feels a bit creepy and hard  So the weekend has a trip to the Old Navy sale for a maxi dress and some maternity shorts (I have lost so much weight nothing fits me anywhere except the stomach. The bum, thighs and most of the waist are hanging off me. It's pretty dispiriting) as well as a 'scoping out, non-purchasing' trip to Babies R Us on the cards (on the basis that if we go and look when their is zero pressure/time constraints it will be easier down the line. I've heard the first trip is the worst- I'd rather do it feeling excited and full of energy...) Plans and more plans. And for the first time in 3 months, I'm not worrying.

*The patron saint of Scotland. It's a public holiday, sort of the FAR less drunken Scottish equivalent of St Patrick's Day.
**Should clarify that this was just our experience, miscarriage is totally different for everyone.


  1. Congratulations, this is so exciting.( I kind of knew it sneakily from a comment you left on JustMe/BitsandPeaces blog). I loved to see your ultrasound, 8.5 cm and so perfectly formed.
    I am also glad to hear that you feel better with the medications and that you are slowly out of the tunnel of the first trimester nausea. I really hope it will get better.
    Your doctor really does sound amazing, and I kind of feel like you, when/ if (hopefully soon) I get pregnant.... I would like a birth as natural (as possible / if possible, there is just so much we can't control) but with painkillers please if I feel I need them. Humor really is a balm in difficult situations.
    So happy the scan went well.

  2. Congratulations again, exciting news!

    Glad you are getting things organised, my birth plan ended up being completely useless so if we ever have another im just going to see how it goes!

    So much stuff to choose from isnt there, we were lucky we went with the same buggy my sister had so knew exactly how it worked and have been really really happy with it.

    Hope you continue to fell better. xxx

    1. Ha, so far the birth plan form just has ticks in the 'I don't know' column for everything. I think I'm just going to see how it goes too.

      Thankfully my experience volunteering at the chidren's charity has given me pretty good access to a WHOLE LOT of buggies/prams/cots and everything else you can think of, so I'm building up a pretty good idea. Convincing husband on the other hand... We didn't end up going to Babies R Us this weekend. I can see this being postponed for a long while yet!

    2. Ha ha yeah plenty time yet to get everything!


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