Today officially marks the end of my first trimester. I’ve reached the landmark end point, seen baby wriggle and his or her tiny heartbeat on the ultrasound scan, and wondered whether I can feel movements. I’ve relaxed enough to consider buying something for the new arrival, and to start thinking about names just a little bit, although we haven’t got very far on that score yet.
I’m not working this time. Instead I’m a stay at home mum with a small, determined and very active eighteen month old. I’m pretty sure pregnancy has been harder this time around. Trying to navigate quiet trips to the loo, bouts of lying on the sofa feeling unbelievably ill, and being sick in between getting ready for toddler groups, has been no fun at all. Nappy changes have been something of a personal challenge too. Fortunately, she’s been really well behaved and hasn’t done anything she shouldn’t! We’ve watched more kids TV in the past few weeks than is good for anyone, but thank goodness that phase appears to be passing now. Naps and rest have been difficult to come by. They say sleep when baby sleeps, but when your toddler prefers to be up all night if she has a nap, your daytime doze on the sofa looks far less appealing! Fortunately, granny has been stepping in to help a fair bit, and thankfully I’m over the worst. My mummy friends, too, have been brilliant, stepping in and giving me chance to rest and sleep through the worst of the sickness.
I didn’t tell anyone beyond immediate family and friends who would see us regularly, but somehow the news seemed to spread, and I occasionally found myself wondering who we’d have left to break the news to by the time the second trimester rolled around! OH even told a couple of his work colleagues, and the list of people who “knew” just seemed to grow. It seems this time, though, that the second trimester is here before I know where I am, and we’re counting down to hearing the heartbeat and dating scan already. Compared to with E, where it seemed to take forever to get to this point. Last time, the first trimester was a nervous one, but this time so far, it’s been a time of anticipation.
How has E taken to the idea of a brother or sister, then? So far, she has shown some certain interest in the baby. She pointed at the ultrasound and said “Baby!”, so my guess is that she has some understanding of what is going on. She picks up the baby doll we bought for her, and cuddles it, and tries to feed it milk, and asks me to put it in the sling. Still, I’m well aware she’s just a baby herself, and doesn’t really have any idea of how things will really change once the baby arrives for ‘keeps’. In practical terms, pregnancy has brought about small changes for her. Less slinging, as I have felt so sick, and more independence. Her bedtime routine will change soon, and granny will put her to bed one night a week ready for mummy and daddy being away at hospital. I’m hoping not to have too many nasty shocks in store for her along the way, and to make a gentle transition from only one to older sibling, but we can only see how things go…
Despite the awful morning sickness, which I found somehow reassuring, and the exhaustion, which is frustrating, I’ve felt very healthy so far this pregnancy. I suspect it’s partly because I have had less time on my hands to sit and worry, but I think it’s also because this time around my care has been more relaxed. When I was pregnant with E, I had bleeding at 9 weeks, and a scan, a scan at 12 weeks, a scan at 20 weeks, 28 weeks, 32 weeks, and 36 weeks. Not to mention a glucose tolerance test, two extra bloods taken because of a mix up, and several consultant appointments, all because my BMI was over 35, and so was I. I was a nervous wreck by the time it came to delivery, and I think that stress impacted negatively on my ability to breastfeed, regardless of the fact that I had a straightforward birth with no clinical complications, and not even a tear.
E was slightly turned (although not back to back) and wasn’t quite in the optimal position, so I was pretty proud of myself as I’d managed with gas and air. I was terrified I would lose her, right up until the moment she was in my arms, but this time, I’m a lot more certain things will be okay.
Yesterday I had a trip to the consultant. I was expecting the same routine as last time, but she took one look at me and said she only needs to see me at 32 weeks, and I’ll be booked in for an extra scan then too, but the rest of my care will be midwife led. I’m much more comfortable with that. I like my midwife, and I feel comfortable with her. I think that half the battle during pregnancy is feeling as though you are in your comfort zone. I feel like I’ve been treated as a person at last, and not as a statistic. Long may it continue. On the forms, I’m classed as “high risk”, but in reality, I’m not. At the moment I’m happily anticipating my next midwife appointment, and feeling grateful that everything seems to be fine.