| Everyday Motherhood

The Next Great Adventure – Baby No.2: The First Trimester

I’m super excited to be embarking on this second great adventure and bringing a sibling for Oscar into the world! When I was pregnant with Oscar I absolutely loved writing my trimester diaries especially as it gives me something to look back on years later and relieve the good (and not so good) memories of pregnancy!

If you’re a long time reader -since before Oscar – you might remember that my journey to pregnancy was more of a crash landing as Oscar wasn’t exactly planned but he was of course a more than welcome surprise! This time I stayed in my type A comfort zone and well and truly planned the pregnancy of number 2! Using Clearblue OPKs I pinpointed my my high fertility days and I actually got pregnant straight away. Unfortunately that pregnancy ended in a missed miscarriage which was discovered in an early scan at eight weeks, it’s devastating to hear your baby has no heart beat but sadly an experience that is all too common. We tried for a further six months to fall pregnant again but while we were away at Sani towards the end of the holiday I thought my period is a little late… I waited a few days after I got home to test as a pregnancy test feels so definitive and I didn’t want to lose hope. I was dreading the due date of baby I’d miscarried as it would bring back unhappy memories but I actually tested the day after the due date and lo and behold it was a Big Fat Positive (as they say on Mumsnet!).
Obviously those who have experienced pregnancy after loss know how anxiety inducing it can be but I had to put those thoughts aside as I had Oscar to look after and we were going to Disneyland Paris. I was bit apprehensive as I knew I wouldn’t be able to go on many rides at Disney being pregnant but as I’m not a fan of thrill rides this isn’t a huge problem. I also struggled to queue as Oscar made me hold him the whole time and I was weary about carrying a heavy load especially given my miscarriage fears. I have to say that while we had great fun, taking Oscar to Disney without Mr S while in early pregnancy was totally exhausting. Oscar was really overstimulated from the day and wouldn’t go to sleep until really late, the struggle getting Oscar to sleep got my cortisol levels up and I suffered from bouts of insomnia while away. I was seriously exhausted and there were times I thought I’d collapse… but we move!

Anyway when we got back and I’d caught up on my sleep I was feeling ok but then we had a small scare at six weeks and I immediately booked a private scan. While I expected a scan that early to be inconclusive I was delighted to see little heart beat! Expectant mums will concur that seeing that little flicker on screen is the best thing ever as once you’ve seen the heartbeat there is a high chance of your pregnancy progressing. We left feeling elated and I finally allowed myself to be a little excited rather than a state of limbo where I was trying to manage my expectations.

Our next big moment was my 40th birthday. To be honest I hadn’t planned much because I felt in such limbo after the miscarriage and being in the midst of trying to conceive, I didn’t even want to think about a birthday let alone a milestone… I wasn’t in the mood for celebrating. In the end the plan was quite last minute but I was able to book the Chef’s Table at the Dorchester Hotel for a family meal and I booked a private room at Hutong at the Shard for dinner for about 20 friends. In the end I was able to have a brilliant birthday safe in the knowledge that my little bean had a heart beat. It was also really nice to be able to announce the news to close friends and family at these occasions. I know the ‘rule’ is tell people after twelve weeks but I’m a big believer that you can do whatever feels right as these are the people I would tell if something happened but I prefer to make the news more public knowledge after the twenty weeks scan. I think everyone would have been rather suspicious that I was at my own 40th birthday without a glass of champagne anyway. I had of course told Oscar already too but he was still yet to understand what it all actually meant

It was actually the next day that I had my eight week scan and we saw the heart beat again and it was confirmed that all the measurements were on track. Pregnancy, especially early pregnancy, feels like a series of hurdles that you have to over come and this feel like the first proper hurdle.

How was I feeling in general? Well, I’m in many way fortunate to have ‘easy’ pregnancies without major symptoms. I know every pregnancy is different but mine have all been pretty much the same… very low level nausea and no sickness, tiredness, sore breasts but not really much else. I didn’t even really experience the next level fatigue that I did when pregnant with Oscar but I think when you have a child already you kind of have to ignore any tiredness and press on! But honestly, I felt so normal that I could almost forget I was pregnant. Though this sounds ideal it can be somewhat disconcerting with the constant feeling of am I still pregnant? Especially in those early days when you don’t have a bump and you can’t feel any movement.
The next few weeks passed uneventfully, we’d be busy with school, swimming lessons, music classes, and the start of Christmas activities. When it came to the twelve week scan I couldn’t wait to see our baby swimming around on the screen again. We actually had the scan at eleven weeks and one day (from my calculations) but the sonographer deemed us at twelve weeks from the baby measurements. This was good news, putting our due date forward a few days and giving us just that little bit less time to wait for the baby and to out of the scary first trimester. The twelve week scan went really well and all the measurements were on track. As we did with Oscar, I had blood drawn for the the Panorama (NIPT) test while we were there – a non-invasive pre-natal test that screens for chromosome conditions and also gives you the sex of the baby. It took a two weeks to get the results of the test so I was already in the second trimester by then but fortunately the test came back low risk for all conditions.

That’s about it for a fairly non-eventful first trimester! I’m looking forward to filling you in on the second and to be writing these diaries again!