So prepare yourselves for an essay. I last blogged on November 14th (which is crazy but I’ve been so busy) and there is a lot to bring you up to speed on. So settle down with a cuppa.
4 weeks ago today I was 16 weeks pregnant and I had my check up with the midwife.
Originally my appointment was 4pm but it had to be moved to 11:40am which meant driving all the way to school in the morning, to come all the way back for my appointment, to head all the way back to school for the afternoon, and then drive all the way back home again afterwards. All in all I drove 90 miles that day going back and forth! But Cub was more than worth it.
I nipped home quickly first to do my wee sample. I was busting for the loo when I left school but there was no way I was pissing into a tiny tube in the staff toilet! So I used the measuring jug at home and decanted into the tube. I literally only had 7 minutes til my appointment once I was done so I just left the jug on the kitchen drainer. We’d run out of washing up liquid so I had to just fill it up with hot water and hoped Dave didn’t decide to randomly use it when he got back from work!
It was weird attending my appointment without Dave, but because it was just a straight forward check up, and Dave couldn’t logistically stop his work day to come with me, I was happy to go solo.
My urine checks were all fine – no blood, no protein and still pregnant! My blood pressure was checked and it was high to begin with which I expected because I get nervous with medical appointments and I had rushed to get there on time. But when it was checked again at the end of the appointment it was normal.
My stomach was checked by the midwife and a student. She remarked on my lacy black pants when she tucked the protective paper into my trousers. We made a joke that I liked to make an effort for these kinds of things. Straight away she could feel my womb underneath my belly button as it had moved up from out of my pelvis at that point.
I then got to listen to the heartbeat on a Doppler. The midwife warned me it could take a while to find it but after hearing the sound of blood through my placenta, the fast and strong heartbeat quickly followed. I recorded it on my phone to play back to Dave. It was simply magical. And the most reassuring thing to hear.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks back, and I went through a stressful time. Dave hadn’t behaved like the best husband on a drunken night out and this caused me a lot of stress. It culminated in really bad stomach cramps one day where I was so debilitated that I got sent home from work to rest up. Fortunately, with each hour that passed with me chilling on the sofa, the cramps dissipated. Unfortunately however, as the evening wore on I felt more and more poorly with a bad cold. I woke up the next day feeling thoroughly rotten and not able to do much about it other than take paracetamol and rub on the Vicks. I spent a few nights in the spare room with a bad cough. And I even had to take a day off work because I just couldn’t get out of bed. I’ve never had a sick day because of a cold but my body was just worn down and I needed to sleep. Even now, more than 2 weeks on, I still haven’t fully shifted the runny/bunged nose.
That same week Iwas poorly, my boss explained to me that I had been exposed to slapped cheek the previous day at a meeting. He recommended I got in touch with my midwife to seek advice as to what to do. Fortunately I caught her before she turned off her phone ready for a day of appointments and she was able to squeeze me in that lunch for an urgent blood test to check I was immune. Again, it meant another 45 mile round trip during the middle of the school day to head back to do it but I wasn’t complaining – I HAD to know, and I was especially worried about having been exposed to it because my immune system was vulnerable from being so poorly. Seeing as I was there, I asked to listen to Cub’s heartbeat again. Once more, it was picked up immediately and was fast, strong and healthy. It actually sounded like a dog barking without stopping for breath. I didn’t record it that time but I can still hear it in my head. It was an anxious 8 day wait until I got the results back (last Friday). Apparently my blood had traces of the antibodies for the virus which suggested I had been exposed to it in the past without my knowing, either as a child or from earlier on in my career. Regardless, I had immunity and Cub was safe. The relief was immense.
Fast forward again to this week and I have finally finished work for Christmas – I got so tired I was desperate for the rest – and today I have reached the halfway milestone. I can’t believe we are halfway through this pregnancy – it is such a cliche but the time really has flown by, what with being preoccupied at work. When you’re trying to conceive each month passed so agonisingly slowly. I kind of want time to slow down so I can cherish the pregnancy more. It is amazing to think that we are now closer to meeting Cub than we ever were.
Yesterday I think I felt Cub move for the first time. I was waiting in the dentist’s waiting room (taking advantage of not needing to pay for my check up because of my maternity exemption card) and I was sitting patiently for a good 25 minutes. I decided to people watch and rub my tummy rather than go on my phone so I was more I tune with my body. I felt what I could only describe as a bubble or balloon of air, about the size of a tangerine, roll over against my abdomen just underneath my belly button to the right. I was expecting it to move through my intestines and leave my bum as a fart! But it didn’t go anywhere. I think I felt it 2-3 more times since, but nothing today. Yesterday I was super stressed and upset about a few things so I think Cub was reminding me of what was important and to chill out. I’ve been waiting to feel it again since but I know the movements will be sporadic for a while yet.
And so tomorrow is our 20 week anomaly/gender scan on the NHS. I’m nervous (I always am)but so fucking excited too! We get to see Cub again, and hopefully find out the gender so long as they cooperate! We’re not revealing it til Christmas Day though so we have a few more days til we can stop saying “they” and start saying “he” or “she”. We will genuinely be happy with either a boy or a girl, but Dave would quite like a boy first and I’d quite like a girl so we can call her Hope, as we never gave up hope for nearly 2 years of trying.
We are so blessed and grateful and appreciative of this miracle growing inside me. I don’t think Cub realises quite how much we love them, and how much they are keeping their daddy happy and strong.
See you tomorrow little one xxx