Finally my secret’s out! After writing anonymous posts as ‘Mystery Mum’ on my other site Blogs For Babies for three months, I can now be me and introduce you to my Great North Bump, affectionately known as Lentil.
I think a lot of expectant mums grasp onto one of the equivalently sized foodstuffs the websites always compare to developing babies and use it for a pet name. Little Man was Bean, and a little jumping bean he was too (and still is at four years old!). So please welcome Lentil – they will be referred to as such until they have a proper name!
Yesterday we had our dating scan, which I was completely terrified about but turned out to be just an amazing experience. I found myself to be feeling quite emotional and anxious in the first trimester, fraught with the memories of a complicated pregnancy last time ending in an induction at 37 weeks for pre-eclampsia. I couldn’t shake the pessimistic feeling that something was already wrong, and couldn’t really enjoy being pregnant until I had proof all was going as it should be.
Of course the crippling fatigue and daily nausea (but fortunately no sickness!) didn’t help my mood. My husband has put up with a lot in recent weeks and I am both lucky and grateful for his understanding and support while I cried on his shoulder for the billionth time over nothing in particular.
So I lay down on the couch in the dimmed scan room with Andy by my side, breathing deeply and preparing for the worst. The cold gel was smeared on my stomach and I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen above my head. I gripped Andy’s hand as the sonographer pressed the transducer to my belly. And there it was, straight away, a clear outline of a seemingly perfectly-formed baby, with a little flickering heartbeat lighting up the screen. There were more tears, but they were short-lived as we became transfixed by the wriggling, hiccupping little person we finally knew was inside me.
Our sonographer was fantastic at explaining everything she could see – brain and skull, spine and ribs in amazing clarity, little black voids where the stomach and bladder were, two arms and two legs with tiny feet and hands at the end – perfect. She commented on how active Lentil was as they never stopped moving around, little limbs flailing everywhere. She took the necessary measurements and put my gestation at 13+4, only a day ahead of my own calculations, and gave me a due date of 11th July. I’d like to get as close to that as possible this time please!
After the excitement of the scan came the mundane pregnancy Holy Trinity of blood sample, blood pressure and peeing in a tiny pot. Then I had to wait to see the consultant, who was predictably running late in the busy antenatal clinic, to discuss my care as a ‘high risk’ mum. As I had pre-eclampsia and a small for gestational age baby in my first pregnancy, I will be closely monitored this time, with extra scans in later weeks to check this one is growing as they should. I’ve been prescribed low-dose aspirin which may help to reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia recurring. Provided nothing untoward happens in the pregnancy (!) I will have the option of delivering in the midwife-led birthing centre (co-located with the delivery suite at my hospital) which would be my dream, so everything will be crossed from now until then!
I have also signed up to a clinical trial investigating whether taking a larger dose of folic acid throughout the duration of the pregnancy will have a preventive effect on pre-eclampsia developing in high risk women. I’ve got a few bottles of little pills to take, which are either folic acid or a placebo, and I’ll be monitored for the study too. I like to do my bit for research where I can; I think it’s hugely important to potentially help the expectant mums of the future. So much is still unknown about pre-eclampsia. I’m glad to take part in something which may help develop a possible preventative treatment, even if it doesn’t help me in this pregnancy.
Then last night we told Little Man he is going to be a big brother in the summer, and he was as loving and caring as we knew he would be. He said he will share his toys with the baby and when he is a bit bigger he can reach the cupboards to get the baby food out for them. He also asked if I ate the baby to get it into my tummy, so we might have a bit of explaining to do! We read a lovely book at bedtime called ‘There’s a House Inside my Mummy’ which I would recommend for any big siblings to be. He loved it, and showed his appreciation by gently rubbing my belly and saying hello to the baby. I was overcome by the cuteness.
So here we are! Let’s crack on with the second trimester then. I will be giving regular pregnancy updates (as we pregnant bloggers do) and am looking forward to getting some shopping done and discovering new brands that I missed out on when pregnant with Little Man. I’ve made a cheeky couple of maternity purchases today from websites I already love, The Essential One and Beebies Baby Store, even though I’m not really big enough yet to fill the clothes properly!
I’ll also be linking up with Ghostwriter Mummy’s #MaternityMatters, which I urge you to check out if you blog about pregnancy too.