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This week I have been thinking more about when I feel the right time to tell work will be. I thought I might tell them after my first scan at 7+4 but then it seemed too early, now I am thinking maybe after my 12 week scan but then the temptation to wait until 16 weeks means it may be a while yet before I do tell them. However, from next week my appointments really step up to at least one appointment every two weeks, trying to change shifts at the last minute without having a good reason to tell work is proving difficult already! It seems to be a battle of my desire to keep it a secret and my guilt for keeping it a secret.
We also faced Maisie’s first birthday this week, her head stone went in and we did a lantern release at the beach with the names of all the angels I have ever had the honour to be told about by their wonderful and brave parents. I found the build up to the day very hard the whole month has felt like a countdown and the constant memories of this time last year… we had the bad scan, we saw the doctor and then we had to make a decision. I haven’t been able to be at home much as I feel like I can see ghosts of my husband and I from last year crying, screaming, begging anyone who would listen to make it ok again to make our baby better.
Once the morning of her birthday was over I found the day very peaceful and have also found that my heart feels fuller and almost whole again. The day itself was not as hard as I ever imagined it would be and I was very blessed to have many angel mummies sending messages of kind thoughts on the day along with pictures of candles they had lit in memory of our daughter.
The pregnancy has really been pushed to one side this week to focus on Maisie’s first birthday. The only real event this week was the night before her birthday when for the first time in a week I could not find my babies heartbeat on my Doppler, given that I had only heard the heartbeat the day before I really started to panic. No matter how much water I drank, how much gel I used, how hard I looked I could not find it at all; I really started to get upset and wonder what a cruel world it could be that I could lose my rainbow on the eve of my angel’s birthday. Luckily I found it the morning of her birthday, nice and loud: turns out the baby had been hiding behind my vein. I have decided to stop using my Doppler for a while now as I have lots of scans coming up.
This week has been scan week! From now on the appointments really start to ramp up, this week we had 2 scans. The first one was at 10+2 and I was mostly thinking about if the baby had a heartbeat rather than any abnormalities as baby would still be so small. I explained my history to the sonographer and luckily she was lovely and talked us through everything allowing us to ask all the questions we wanted. Here is the best picture from the scan and a picture of my ‘bump’ from that morning. The bloat has now gone down and this is where the real bump starts to grow!
The second scan of the week was at 10+6 for dating; what took me by surprise was that this scan was not with my consultant but back in ultrasound. We have not been to ultrasound since the bad scan with Maisie and being back there really panicked me. The fear of having the same sonographer, the same room, the same bad news and being taken to the bad news room again was terrifying. It made me really emotional and anxious just walking through the hospital to get to ultrasound. When we went in I saw the receptionist who booked us in for the bad scan and panicked but luckily she was busy so didn’t deal with us this time. We asked if we could go and sit outside and get some air whilst waiting. The scan was due to be at 3.10pm but they were running late, not a problem except it left me more time to be scared, I could feel my heart banging in my chest not knowing how I would cope with bad news again.
Then I heard my name being called. I walked towards the sonographer like a condemned man, she explained that she had a student would it be ok if she watched. I asked if they knew my history and she explained they had both read my notes and the sonographer would do the scan not the student. We walked down the corridor and stopped by the room we had had the bad scan in and the door was empty I started to panic she was going to take us into this room, anything but this room! Luckily she said that we were right down the bottom and had further to walk. Lying down on the bed I was physically shaking not knowing if I wanted to have the scan or if I would rather run away and live in ignorance.
The sonographer pointed out the heartbeat, first box ticked, she then started to move through the anatomy for us explaining everything in detail. We looked at the shape of the head, the location of the brain, hands, feet, legs, arms, nasal bone, yolk scan, umbilical cord and tried to do the nuchal measurement but the baby was slightly too small (43mm and the minimum is 45mm). Ian could see everything that she was doing and explained to me afterwards that she was taking a lot of measurements of the nuchal which was between 1.7 and 2.1 (with Maisie it was 1.5 risk of 1 in 40,000) but we will have to wait to have it confirmed. The sonographer was so good, kind and we got to ask loads of questions; she stressed that everything looks normal for this gestation. We had decided to pay for 2 pictures (£10 each) to have as many memories of the baby as possible if something goes wrong; the sonographer said I’ll give you 3 and get you a refund so you only pay for one!
She has booked me in for another scan in 2 weeks to do the nuchal and to try and check the baby’s spine and brain a bit more (I will be 12+5). The baby was bouncing around wiggling its arms and legs like crazy which was so nice to see as Maisie barely moved. I feel so happy with how the scan went and the care I got. It was nice to walk out of ultrasound happy as the last time we left our world had just ended. Here are the pictures; amazing how clear they are and how much baby had grown in only 4 days!
This week I have had to tell my work. Unfortunately a situation arose which put me and the baby in danger which meant that I could no longer keep the pregnancy a secret until 20 weeks as I would have liked. I have stressed the importance of keeping it a secret and that I am not ready to tell my colleagues. At the moment only my immediate 2 line managers know and I am still hoping to keep it that way until 20 weeks.
This week I have also gone shopping for my first pregnancy related bits. We have a wedding coming up over the Easter weekend. I have a lovely red maternity dress to wear but needed some new maternity tights. Cue my first trip to Mothercare in over a year, the last time I went there was to buy an outfit to bury Maisie in and it was a horrendous experience. I felt very anxious going back in like I didn’t quite deserve to be in a place of such happiness or that my gestation didn’t quite give me the golden ticket that I needed to enter. I grabbed the tights as quickly as I could and made my way to the checkout trying not to look at anything at all. 2 staff members were blocking my way and didn’t move, they completely ignored me waiting for a few minutes and again I felt like I didn’t belong and didn’t deserve to be there. At the checkout I was asked if it wanted to join the email list for promotions, this really took me by surprise as I wasn’t expecting it. I stuttered whilst thinking ‘I’m already on your list from last time and cannot seem to get off it’ but managed to say ‘no thank you’. I then almost ran out of the store and breathed a huge sigh of relief that it was over.
This week I have had a lot of sickness up to twice a day which is more than I have experienced so far in this pregnancy. It appears to be normal morning sickness and not hyperemesis which I am very paranoid about having again. I am hoping that it is hormonal changes due to the placenta taking over and that it will all calm down again soon.
I have also had my nuchal screening scan this week at 12+5 it went ok ish, I think. I didn’t have a very nice sonographer, she didn't like me asking questions and was super quick at everything. I asked what the nt measurement was and she really did not want to tell me I had to kind of force it out of her, it was 1.5 which is great but I know I have to wait for bloods. I couldn't see a nasal bone and started to get a bit panicked. I asked her to show me but her reply was ‘we don't do that here’. I then asked if we can we look at the spine and she replied ‘no it’s too early’. I read my notes after the scan and she has put patient had to have the limitations of an early scan explained. I am very cross at this! If someone had looked harder they would have found Maisie’s abnormalities at 12 weeks as they were clear as day and can be seen on all the scan pictures we have!
Anyway she measured the baby at 68.8mm so 3 days ahead and has put me forward to 13+1, due 20th October. I then got sent for the combined screening blood sample to be taken. The lady who did the bloods was amazing, she talked everything through with me and we also talked about the quad blood tests. She went to get someone more senior to talk more about the quad test in more detail with me and it was decided I would not have it as there is a risk the test could automatically be high risk due to previous abnormalities. The senior doctor was lovely she went to go and find out the results of my booking in bloods as I am concerned I may have an iron deficiency as I am so exhausted. She explained the results in lots of detail and I do not have a deficiency and am rhesus positive so no need to worry about anti ds which is great. She has promised to call me in two days time with combined results so I don't have to wait 2 weeks for my midwife appointment as my local area will only contact patients if they are high risk and will not contact if you are low risk.
Then there was also some confusion over my 20 week scan, I have got an early anomaly scan booked for 16 weeks (15+3) with my consultant. The ultrasound department didn't know if my 20 week scan should be with them or her. They finally decided to book me in as my consultant can cancel it if she wants to do it herself. I also got a bit of a telling of from the receptionist as the week they wanted to do my 20 week scan we are on holiday. I was told that l ‘we only have one week to do it in’, well tough luck we’re not here! So I am having it at 19+1 and may get called back. That's fine I will take every chance to get the baby checked that I can get!
Finally, whilst sat waiting for my blood test, I saw a poster advertising medical students who want to examine pregnant women at the local university. I have emailed them to ask for some more information and to find out if I will qualify as it will mean more scans and checks which will be great plus a little thank you gift which is always nice! Both pictures are taken at 13+1 (12+5).
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