13+4 and Harmony Results

3 more days until I reach the second trimester. 3 more days!!

I have been totally floored this week with a terrible virus. It started out with a vicious sore throat, but rapidly progressed into a fever with chills, aching joints, nausea (as if I haven’t had enough already), and a completely blocked nose, which left me barely able to sleep at night. I spent two days in bed, and the husband did the school run and cooked. Just awful.

Thankfully, that has passed, and I wasn’t too worried about the baby as I had already had swine flu with my youngest (caught when I was 7 weeks pregnant), and despite leaving me bedridden for 10 days and exhausted for months afterwards, it didn’t affect the pregnancy at all. Those babies are well protected in there!

So, I’m mostly back on my feet now, if still a bit snotty.

Lots of news:

1. We got our Harmony Test back a week ago: results are low risk for everything. I AM SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS!!!!!!! It was a huge weight lifted. Huge. I had quite a lot of abdominal pain over the weekend, including two teeny streaks of red blood on the Saturday morning, but after that my belly seemed to have definitely popped out. I suspect it was growing-related. The heartbeat is still going strong and it’s been almost a week since those two streaks of blood, so I’m not feeling overly anxious. I look obviously pregnant now, and I’m finally at the point where it is totally okay if someone asks me. I can deal with it.

2. We told my family over the weekend (Mum, Dad, Bro). Their reaction was lovely – they were pleased and really smiley for us. My Dad said he didn’t want to say too much, but he asked a few questions and seemed excited about it. I realised after we’d told them that my reticence has been down to how they react when I have a miscarriage, not when I have a pregnancy. So actually, it’s been a really nice thing to be able to share. Good news is a much nicer thing to talk about than bad. We haven’t told my in-laws yet, as they weren’t particularly encouraging about the pregnancy I lost in 2012 (god – so long ago now), and know nothing of what we’ve been through since then. All in good time.

3. The boys are pretty excited about having a little brother or sister. I won’t gush about the adorable way my youngest wanted to give my belly a kiss, or the way my eldest has asked so many questions about what the baby will do and when it will arrive. Suffice to say that I have dreamed of sharing this news with the boys for so, so long, and to finally do so is just pure joy for me. Pure joy.

4. I bought some maternity jeans. Yup – I have acknowledged the fact I’m pregnant by going into the actual maternity department and trying on actual clothes and not feeling like some kind of wishful-thinker or fraud. It was very surreal. And yet it made it all very real too. I converted to maternity jeans on Sunday after all the abdominal pain and I am so much more comfortable. Pretty pleased that I made it to 12 weeks with my 3rd before getting into the bigger clothes 😉 My weight gain stands at a couple of kilos now (4.5 pounds).

13_4

5. Lastly – the sex. As you know, the Harmony test tells you the gender. However, we didn’t want to know, and we didn’t find out with the boys either, so the clinic very kindly white’d out the front and back (no peeking at all!) of the results before sending them to us. There is no way we can see the gender unless we start trying to scrape off the tape/paint, which we’re not going to do. So… the sex is unknown, which I am very pleased about. I have no inkling either way so far. I knew my youngest was a boy, but I was wrong with my oldest – I was convinced the entire time he was a girl. We’ll just have to find out on the day.

So, big update, and all of it good. Isn’t that incredible? This has been such a wonderful, welcome relief of events after the three years we have been through.

Oh – one more thing – I’m still sugar free after 15 days. 15 days!! My skin has calmed down again, thank goodness, and my nausea is now very mild. Tonight I will be celebrating the launch of my first course, and perhaps most importantly the imminent arrival of the second trimester, with a small glass of bubbly. Good things like this have been severely lacking in our lives of late so the opportunity to sit down and celebrate is just fabulous. I am full of gratitude and happiness and really cannot quite believe how lucky we have been.

I guess that the lower you fall, the better the view when you climb back up. And it is a view to behold, that’s for sure.

Goal Achievement – Online Course!

I’ve been suspiciously quiet, I know.

With good reasons, honest! Firstly, I’ve had a terrible viral infection this week, with two whole days where I could barely get out of bed. And secondly, I’ve been working away like mad on the completion of an online course I’m offering on my professional website.

Well, the course finally opened this morning! Eight months from conception to completion, and I am really proud of having pulled it all together. If you’re curious about my professional life, you can have a peek here.

This is the first thing I’ve ticked off my Impossible List, and it will free up SO much time for me to work on other things now. Phew!

12+1

Twelve weeks. Waking up yesterday morning to the knowledge that I was twelve weeks felt very surreal. It’s the number bandied around so carelessly: “the 12 week scan”. It’s a milestone. A huge milestone.

Today I had my “12 week scan”, or at least, the private version of it, because I’m still happily unknown by the midwife system.

The baby (my baby!), was asleep on his back, legs and arms floating up in the amniotic fluid. The scanner said the nuchal fold was a “dream” to scan because the baby was in the perfect position. Today’s scan results:

  • My nuchal fold came in at 1.3mm. That’s about as thin as it gets and is around the 5th percentile.
  • It reduced my background risk of Downs (based on nuchal only) from 1:101 to 1:503.
  • All other risk factors associated with a large nuchal measurement have therefore gone away.
  • Baby has hands and feet, which we looked at today, and brain looks normal for this gestation.
  • Apparently there is a good amount of amniotic fluid around the baby.
  • He is measuring 12w4d, which is exactly a week on from last Tuesday, and is still 3 days ahead of my dates.

What is leaving me totally baffled is that every time I go for a scan, it’s all perfect. Honestly – it feels almost… ridiculous. I came out today and wondered if I should buy a lottery ticket, because I am clearly having a run of luck here like no other.

So, as grotty, and horrible and awful as I feel on the outside, I am still capable of growing what looks (so far) like a perfectly healthy baby on the inside.

I still cannot quite believe this is the case.

I came home, and you know what? I didn’t have anything to Google.

Nothing.

Nothing to research, nothing to look up, nothing at all that I could possibly have even the tiniest iota of concern about.

So, instead I looked at the pictures, and today’s video (which shows nothing more than baby sleeping, his heart beating away nicely), and then I had a cry.

Because I really don’t know what else to do with myself. I suppose I should be phoning people, sharing my news, sharing tears of joy with others, but it’s the last thing I want to do. I have this rapidly growing secret that I am still completely at a loss, emotionally, of how to deal with. I can’t even handle my own reaction, so I know I’m not going to be able to deal with anyone else’s.

One more week and we should have the Harmony (genetic) test results back. And in 13 days I’ll be at the start of the second trimester. The second trimester.

Sigh.

Otherwise, things are ticking along. I’ve been sugar free for 5 days now, and coincidentally (?) my nausea has downgraded itself from debilitating-all-day to debilitating-in-the-evenings. This is great news, as it means I’m feeling a bit more human and a bit happier than I have been. I’m still going to bed at around 8pm each evening.

My sugar cravings are now in full force, but so far I’ve stayed away. My skin is really bad, but today it’s not as red and angry as it has been. Slow progress, but I’m hanging in there. I did read that coming off prednisolone can trigger acne as your immune system effectively starts back up. Oh great.

Overall, I’m feeling tired, heavy, sick, and uncomfortable inside this skin of mine that looks so angry and spotty. And alongside that, in total awe and amazement of this baby that is so happily growing away inside what feels like the shell of the woman I was a few years ago.

My husband says I’m starting to look a little more bloated now, but it’s all intestines hanging over the top of my jeans. I’m hanging out as usual in my normal clothes, so really I just look like I’m getting fat. Fat and spotty just about sums it up really 😉

Little Moments

This morning I retrieved and opened the small bag of maternity clothes I had saved in the loft. My first foray into the collection of things I was on the verge of getting rid of.

I don’t need them yet. I haven’t looked at them since I put them away after my youngest was born. Through all the first trimesters we’ve started (and never finished), I’ve left that bag untouched.

Opening it today was wonderful. It only had a handful of things in it – two skirts, a dress, a top and a pair of summer trousers. I only kept the things I really loved from my last pregnancy. But it also contained a couple of other treasures – firstly, my ring sling, which I can’t wait to use again. It’s a Storchenwiege (I still have no idea how you pronounce it) and was the best of the slings and wraps I tried:

sling

And best of all, the nightdress that I gave birth to my youngest in. It’s a beautiful, soft, loose cotton thing, in black, with a button down top. I held it up to my face and remembered how comfortable it was, and how I sat in the hospital bed, in the middle of the night, breastfeeding him while wearing it.

I already know I’m going to wear it again.

It’s a soft feeling of awe to be able to look at these things with the intention of using them. I believed that the next time I saw them it would be while I was sorting them out for donation or sale. I am truly, truly blessed.

Sugar Addiction

I am literally sick of how much sugar I am consuming. I crave it uncontrollably all day long. I wake four or five times a night, so restless and exhausted, which I think is down to the excess sugar. My skin… oh my skin. It is awful. My confidence is shattered – it’s like I am 15 again, hiding from bright lights and from talking to people. I took a photo of my face today – it’s just awful. I can’t even post it.

I’ve just chucked away the last of the chocolate in the house. No more sugar. I know I’m now facing five days of hell as I withdraw from it, but in all honesty I am at my wits end.

So I am stepping in, over-ruling the cravings. I am not going to do this any more. I’ll let myself eat anything I can think of, but nothing with sugar in the top three ingredients.

No. More. Sugar.

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