The Scan I Never Thought I’d Have

I am a mess. My hair is straggly and unwashed, my skin is dried out yet full of lumps and pimples, I look just about as sick and tired as I feel, I’ve sweated uncontrollably, with nerves, into the clothes I put on this morning, I have a chocolate swollen waistline, and right now, my eyes and nose are glaring red and wrinkled from crying. I am, in a single moment, probably at my most frazzled, unkempt, and unattractive.

But I made it.

No, not I.

WE made it. The baby made it.

The scan this morning was the most incredible, moving, tear-inducing, happy experience I’ve had in years. Not just a blob on the screen, but a complete, whole miniature person, JUMPING AROUND for god’s sake, as real and alive as can be.

Everything was okay – he’s measuring 11w4d, so three days ahead on growth (I’m 11+1 today). He has two arms, two legs, a body and a head. The sonographer is measuring the nuchal fold next week, but she eyeballed it today and said it looks nice and thin. The heart is pumping beautifully. And the jumping around – I could not take my eyes off the screen. Little legs and arms kicking and waving – it was like a MIRACLE in front of my eyes. I swear, I could not believe that the jumping, wriggling baby on the screen was actually inside my own body.

I went back to the waiting room to wait for the blood test, and I really don’t know how I held it together. I wanted to bawl my eyes out like a screaming toddler on the floor. I felt like my chest was going to explode. Tears just kept rolling down my face as fast as I could mop them up. The receptionist must have thought I was crazy.

Going in for the scan this morning, I was freaking out about the baby not having grown properly because I can still fit in my jeans, yet I was showing obviously enough for people to actually ASK me if I was pregnant at this stage with the boys. The total and utter relief to be told yet again, that absolutely nothing is wrong and that absolutely everything is okay seems almost like someone is shining a golden ray of love and joy down on a person who doesn’t deserve it (or who has come to believe that she doesn’t deserve it). Sometimes I have secretly wondered if the reason I couldn’t have another baby was because I just wasn’t a good enough mother to the children I already have….

So, when I got home, I cried some more. Great big sobs of relief while I tried to watch the video they gave me of the baby jumping around. And OMG – you can even see little toes on his feet at the end of it. It actually hurts my whole body to watch it. It’s a searing joy that burns through every part of me like fire rushing along my nerves.

[Deep breath]

I know I’m gushing. I need to slow down.

What else is happening?

I took my last dose of prednisolone yesterday morning – I can’t even tell you how pleased I am to be off that stuff. My sickness hasn’t abated, but it is more undulating, so I’ll have an hour –  usually about three hours after I eat and before I get hungry again – where my digestive system must be in neutral and I feel almost normal. But pre and post meal (especially post meal) it is still terrible. So bad in fact, that the husband has had to do the boys bedtimes most of the last two weeks because it seems to reach a peak in the evening. I have taken to going to bed somewhere between 8-9pm because that way I sleep through some of it.

My eating habits have gone off the rails. Sometimes I’ll crave a whole squash, so I’ll roast one and eat it. Or I’ll eat a whole pack of smoked salmon in one go. Or salmon fillets three days on the trot. Then on another day I’ll eat chocolate until my heart starts pounding from the sugar and caffeine, but I’ll still want more. The other night I got up at 3am so I could eat several bananas.

It was never like this with the boys, but I have given up trying to have any control over it.  I just eat what I think I want the most and hope that this all balances out at some point…

Hence the bad skin. My sugar consumption has gone through the roof and after several weeks of it, I just look so awful. I am so spotty it’s embarrassing. Part of me doesn’t even care because I just feel so sick.

I seem to have had a headache for several days, which might be mild dehydration but I’m still struggling with all liquid intake as it makes me feel so ill.

On a more positive note, I’ve done a little bit of gentle yoga and a couple of brief body-weight workouts at home over the last few days. My muscles hurt even though I didn’t work very hard – a sign of how unfit I have become. I’ve also just booked myself into a pregnancy yoga class which I can start next week as I’ll be 12 weeks along (so at least part of me seems to have accepted we might be in this for the long haul).

I took a photo this morning, as I haven’t taken any so far, but there’s not really much to show. The only thing that’s happened is I’ve laid down some belly fat from the chocolate I’ve been consuming and my abdomen is a bit thicker over my jeans where it’s all being pushed up:

bump11weeks

Just as an interesting comparison, here’s a photo of me at 7 weeks last year, before my Coeliac diagnosis.

I have always had a massive problem with bloating, and believe it or not, I am the same weight in the photos. Cutting out gluten might possibly be the best thing I have ever done:

old

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