Saturday, 17 April 2010

Up to speed: a 6 month snapshot

Without wanting to sound Julie Andrews-esque, let's start at the very beginning...

I'm 24 weeks pregnant and a whole lot of stuff has happened between then and now, so there's a lot to catch up on. Overjoyed to be expecting, our baby-to-be was conceived back in November when Matt and I were down enjoying the late autumn sunshine in Norfolk with our dog and best friend, Daisy-woof. I knew almost straight away I had fallen pregnant, as my cycle has always been like clockwork. Husband is particularly excited as he'd been wishing me pregnant since we were married, and here we are less than a year from walking down the aisle and baby is on the way.

My first trimester was over in a flash and thankfully not encumbered by too much morning sickness or any other ailments. I did succumb to a rotten head cold and for once appreciated what over-the-counter remedies actually do (obviously not being able to benefit from them being so early in pregnancy). I am grateful (touch wood) that there have been no other rumblings of illness since, so fingers crossed for the next 16 weeks until due date.

The first scan took place at 12+1 weeks and we were quiet stunned seeing our handiwork on the big screen! Everything seemed to be fine and we treated ourselves to a jolly good fry up after the early appointment. Typically the anxiety floating around in my head worked up into being convinced the scan picture looked abnormal, irrational I know when the ultrasonographer had assured us everything seemed to be developing normally for this stage. Nevertheless I drew on stories I had heard from my own mother who had multiple pregnancies that weren't viable including a stillborn, with spinabifida and another condition affecting the development of the skull. Utterly freaked out, we decided to book a private scan to put my mind at rest.

Our second scan took place at 13+3 weeks, and we were immediately reassured by seeing our little-one on the screen again. Being a private clinic, the time was taken to show us all the growing parts from many angles and the ultrasonographer really put my mind at rest. Money well spent, as I slept well that night for the first time in over a week.

By this time both Husband and I felt very firmly we were expecting a little girl. Just a gut feeling, but one that couldn't be confirmed or refuted until our next scan at 20 weeks. And that time dragged, and dragged, and dragged some more! We broke the wait with a week in the sun - our last guilty pleasure before making the transition from happily married to happily learning the new art of parenthood. We spent a glorious week in a wonderful spot on the beach in The Gambia, West Africa, relaxing in the abundant sunshine and generally making the most of doing very little.

Working full time has been ok for me. I'm lucky to be able to work flexi-time and have been able to work longer days when I feel up to it which makes up for days when I feel drained and need to leave early. That said, I feel fortunate to be a pregnant worker who hasn't suffered a difficult pregnancy. So far, fingers crossed! Apart from a scare when I experienced my first bout of growing pains where I thought my uterus was being over-inflated with a bicycle pump, I've been in every day with only 1 day lost.

Our 20 week scan was wonderful and quite emotional. We killed time in the morning, until the appointment at 1.30pm. Nervously waiting for the heads up that there were no obvious abnormalities, I could feel the tension coursing through me. We had a trainee ultrasonographer and her mentor was very supportive, helping her get the measurements that she needed, showing Husband and I shots on the screen whenever an anatomical feature was obvious. After almost 40 minutes we were given the all clear, told that baby-to-be was measuring normal in all areas and nothing untoward had been picked up on. We were asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby.... IT'S A GIRL!!!!!

So now bump-to-be needs a name, and we're planning on calling her Grace Mae after my granny that passed away when I was quite young. The bump soon became affectionately nicknamed Gracie-wiggle once I began feeling regular movements at 21 weeks.

4 weeks have passed since then, and it's another 16 weeks until Gracie-wiggle is due to hit terra firma. And so that's how we got from then to now. And now I hope to get on here regularly enough so that one day, Grace can log on and read about her life, from the very beginning.

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