Sunday, 13 December 2015

Pregnancy Diary - Twelve Weeks!

9th December -  15th December 2015

12 weeks pregnant

Symptoms: Lauren feels like she can now feel her womb really low in her tummy! It's an odd sensation - not painful, but heavy!

Cravings: Again, oranges and orange juice!

Our baby: is practising reflexes - curling fingers and toes, and bending wrists and elbows. It will also react to outside movement such a poking your stomach!

Our baby is the size of: a plum

This week felt like such a massive milestone. 12 weeks is the bench mark you are waiting for when you become pregnant. The reassurance, the joy of telling the world, the 'real'ness of the pregnancy, and of course, the scan!
We had already had a private scan at 10 weeks, for reassurance that Laurens haematoma was shrinking, and although we were amazed at how 'baby-like' our baby looked, and that it was moving around, I don't think anything could have prepared us for the twelve week one.
As Lauren is a midwife, we were lucky enough that our sonographer was a good friend of Laurens, and was so, SO excited to be performing our scan! 
We were greeted by big hugs and congratulations, and after the necessary discussions and paperwork, it was time for the magic!
And magical was truly how it felt. Although we both know that a baby is pretty much fully formed at 12wks, and just gets bigger from there, the image on the screen was mesmerising.

For the first time, we could see our babies face. It's eyes, nose and lips. Our sonographer let us look at our baby for much longer than usual, giving us different views, at one point focusing on one of the babies hands, where we could see its tiny individual fingers. 
We laughed (and almost cried!) at how wriggly the baby was, constantly stretching, resting its arms behind its head, crossing its legs and bringing its hands up to its face. We listened in to our beautiful babies heartbeat, and then our sonographer checked things like our babies size (now over 5cm) and measurements, and Downs screening, which were all perfect. 
It was such a magical, wonderful experience, and one we simply could not have imagined until we experienced it. 
When people talk to us about how we feel about pregnancy and becoming parents, it's hard to know what to say, because we don't think you can imagine it until it happens - we can't wait! 

After the scan, we had the exciting job of announcing our pregnancy! It felt very surreal posting it on Facebook, after weeks of having to be careful we didn't mention anything that would have given it away! We wanted a picture to remember such a wonderful day, and took a picture with a candy cane heart on Laurens tummy!
Seeing sweet messages from our family and friends was so lovely, and gave us the excitement of finding out we were pregnant all over again! 

And of course, we got to show Willow a picture of her future sibling! We can't say she looked overly impressed!

The rest of our week has been quiet, seeming to pass in a blur of excitement and congratulations. We did visit one of our favourite local events on Saturday, a street food fair in Kings Heath where we know a few of the vendors. We bought vegan Christmas burgers (one of our fave xmas meals every year!) and chatted to a couple of our friends about our baby news, who then provided a box of joy, otherwise know as a candy cane brownie, Celebrations chocolates bakes into a brownie, and pistachio, cranberry and peanut butter rice crispie cake. Yum!

Reflections on the first trimester:
*It has gone so quickly! In the beginning we were counting down each and every day, every hour seemed to pass so slowly as we began to process the news that we had longed for for so long. 

*Now we are at the end of the trimester time is flying by! Although we still count each and every day, and count our lucky stars with each day that passes, those days are now quickly blurring into weeks that are whizzing by! 

*We have never felt happiness or excitement like that of finding out we were pregnant. We have wished on shooting stars, blown out the candles on many birthday cakes, wished as we have stirred up Christmas cakes, and used every other opportunity to wish for this. Now it has happened we know just how lucky we are. 

*Equally we have never experienced fear like we did when we thought we were losing our baby. And each and every day since has been tinged with fear. Slowly and surely that fear is dissipating though and replacing itself with a bit more confidence in our baby and my body. 

*Sickness is horrible. We have tried everything going. Every little trick in the book and not a single thing works. There is no rhyme or reason to it - I've either had a sickness day, or I haven't. No amount of ginger, eating little and often, avoiding certain foods have helped. And the only thing that is a certain to make it worse is fluids - I have to be careful how much I drink or it all comes back up! Fingers crossed it will start to settle now. 

*Food cravings and likewise aversions are madness! In the very beginning I had a very strong craving for pickled gherkins, it lasted about a week and then disappeared again. After that I have had an intense craving for tuna, pears, smoked salmon, oranges and orange juice. Supposedly your body craves things that it needs to help your baby grow. All I can say is they are intense and odd! In terms of aversions, I have really just wanted to stick to plain, carb heavy food. Toast is a good plain good for sick days, so I've eaten rather a lot of it! And pasta, rice and potatoes too. I've gone off spicy food, anything fried, and anything too rich. And sadly most vegetables have been a no-no too. I am really looking forward to eating normally again soon, I usually love a good curry, or a Sunday roast with loads of veg! 

*i have gained weight this trimester but not much, I think the total has been 5lbs which I'm happy with. To be honest the fact I've gone up two bra sizes accounts for some of that, and the fact I've had a carb heavy diet I'm sure accounts for the rest. I don't want to be a fat pregnant lady, or fat Mum, and as my weight has been my biggest issue throughout my life I want to be careful not to just "eat for two". 

*The exhaustion that comes with growing a whole human is exhausting! Some days I have literally slept all night, gone back to bed at lunchtime and slept for a couple of hours, fallen asleep on the sofa in the evening and then gone back to bed early! I'm sure the fact I work shifts doesn't help, as my body never knows whether it's coming or going, but wow it's been intense! 

* Sarah and I agree that this crazy wonderful unique journey has brought us closer together than we ever thought possible. People often comment that we are the strongest couple they know, and that the love between us is obvious, but this journey has made it all even more special.

Roll on the second trimester - I am promised a "pregnancy glow" - no more sickness, more energy and generally a chance to enjoy growing this baby!

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