Monday, 30 May 2016

Reflections on our first pregnancy

It was a moment in my life I have spent years and years dreaming of. Peeing on a stick and finding it positive, feeling our baby kick, seeing my expanding shape, I had a rosy tinted view of how magical it would be to be pregnant with our first child. Now that our first pregnancy is coming to an end it's funny to look back and realise that yes, in some parts pregnancy has been a very difficult rollercoaster. With a haematoma causing a huge bleed early on, extreme sickness until 20wks, and then pre eclampsia, as well as life's usual ups and downs to contend with, it hasn't always been amazing.  But mostly? It's been far more magical than we ever thought it could be. The tiny life growing inside me lit up dark days and made happy times seem more joyful.  We reflected on our first trimester, and then on the events of the second trimester, but today we have almost made it to full term, 37 weeks, so I wanted to take a minute to look back over the past, crazy 9 months.

Time has gone so fast! I actually can't believe he has been inside me for 35 weeks, or that we started the frozen embryo transfer cycle over 37 weeks ago, it feels like it was a couple of months ago, not 9!

Some of the most magical moments of my life
* Embryo transfer day. 7th October 2015. It was a perfect, beautiful day. I don't think we will ever forget how special it was - a day coated in love, hope and optimism. The peaceful acupuncture, the amazing veggie brunch, the drive to the clinic listening to a playlist of our music, and then the incredible moment we watched our tiny, perfect embryo transferred in to my tummy.

* Positive! 14th October 2015. A moment that wasn't at all planned for, but turned out to be absolutely incredible. A spur on the moment decision to do a test, there and then. Two lines. Our world changed in an instant. We stood and hugged and cried and stared at those two perfect little lines. I wish I could bottle up the feeling in that moment, matched only when I said "I do".

* Telling our parents. 19th October 2015. My parent's 30th wedding anniversary - we told them, and told Sarah's parents, they were going to be grandparents. A first grandchild for both sets of parents, and they were all stunned and elated. I think it took a while for the news to sink in - their excitement has grown exponentially throughout the pregnancy, now I think they might all burst from pride and excitement!

* Seeing a heartbeat. 30th October 2015. After a rough week of a lot of heavy bleeding, I had an emergency scan, where we saw one tiny, perfect yolk sac containing a tiny, perfect flicker of a heartbeat. Our baby. I had dreamt of you for so long, and there you were.

* An actual baby! 11th November 2015. The scan at our clinic - what a difference! On the screen came a baby shaped blob, with gorgeous tiny little arms and legs. We watched them squirming around, waving it's limbs, we watched it's heartbeat, and we fell in love. 

*Hearing the heartbeat. 28th November 2015. The bleeding continued, so we booked another scan. Not only were we amazed that our little blob had grown and changed significantly, we also heard its heart beating for the first time. We held hands, we cried, a lot, such a surreal but utterly perfect moment.

* 12 week scan. 10th December 2015. Our first NHS scan, and again we were amazed by just how much our beautiful baby had grown and changed. They had proper arms and legs now, and proudly kicked and waved them around for their mummies. From this point things started to feel more real, maybe more so as they were no longer our little secret, we took this opportunity to share our news with friends and wider family. So much love, so much happiness shared by so many.

* Christmas & New Year 2015. Our last as a couple and a dream come true for me. I had always held this dream of being pregnant over Christmas, and here it was, coming true, I honestly couldn't believe it was happening to me. The sickness began to subside around this time, and we had a very peaceful Christmas celebrating with our families.

* It's a boy! 7th January 2016. What a perfect way to start a brand new year, finding out our little pudding is a boy! We had both always longed for a son, a handsome, perfect little boy, and yet I was completely amazed that he was a he! It was such a perfect day, and of course we had to go shopping and buy some tiny little baby boy clothes!

* First kick. 24th January 2016. Lying in bed late one night I felt the unmistakable feeling of our baby boy kicking me. I remember lying really still and willing him to do it again - he didn't! Until the next night. But I'll never forget that first time, that precious moment.

* 20 week scan. 28th January 2016. Confirmation that our gorgeous little boy appeared to be very healthy, and confirmation that he is most definitely a he. We shared this with the world, we are so proud of you little man.

*First kick felt by his Mommy. 2nd March 2016. The day I turned 24 weeks, a huge sigh of relief as he was now considered 'viable'. Lying in bed with her hands on my tummy, first thing in the morning, Sarah was able to feel his kicks for the first time. Since then she has been able to feel him everyday, and every single time it's amazing. You can see the love in her eyes as she feels him, and I just fall in love with them both, that little bit more each time.

* The bump. It started from about 20 weeks, more noticeably from 24 weeks, it's surreal, exciting and magical watching your own body change shape to accommodate this little life inside you. I am so in awe of the ability of a woman's body to change so much for the sake of her baby.

*Seeing him in 4D. 31st March 2016. We couldn't stop staring at him. Those lips, that cute little nose, those beautiful eyes, he is by far the most beautiful baby I have ever seen. Not that I am biased, at all.

* My 30th birthday. 1st April 2016. My wife planned the most incredible celebration, and the fact that through it all I was carrying our precious baby boy just made the whole thing a million times more special.

* Getting ready for him. Our house has changed to accommodate a beautiful nursery, chosen and decorated by my incredible wife and our families, our car now has a tiny baby seat installed, he has a wardrobe full of beautiful clothes, and a really awesome pram. From the first comforter we bought on the day we found out I was pregnant, through each and every tiny and big purchase we have made for him, it never stops being special that this is our turn, we are doing this for our baby.

* The third trimester. There haven't been any big events in this trimester - no milestones to reach or scans to look forward to, and yet it has by far been my favourite. Seeing my bump grow each week, feeling him kick in my tummy, no sickness or bleeding to contend with, finishing for maternity leave, and feeling on top of the world as I embraced the last few weeks and months of pregnancy. It has been a journey unlike any other in the world, and the last trimester has been really, really special. I don't really want it to end!

* The love you develop for each other when you are growing a baby together is unlike anything else. Sarah is my best friend, she is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, and our relationship is pretty special, but seeing her in the process to becoming a mother has been something else. She glows when she talks about him, her eyes light up when he kicks her hand on my tummy, she is strong, capable, protective and so loving, and I am welling up just thinking about that first moment they get to spend together.

What I'll miss about being pregnant
* Feeling him kick and wriggle about inside of me. It wasn't what I thought it'd be, I thought the kicks would be stronger and more frequent, I thought I wouldn't be able to sleep at night for feeling him, but I absolutely love his kicks and wriggles. I love his little bottom sticking up under my ribs and then squirming away if I put my hand on him. I feel like it's a little conversation we are having, he tells me he's there and I tell him I'm there too, I promise him I always will be. Then he squirms away and kicks me somewhere else. I love the time Sarah has with him too, talking to him, feeling his hiccups under my skin, feeling his stretching and wriggling, it's those times that make me feel in awe of our ability to grow an entire baby, and I'll really miss feeling him inside me when he's here.

*Time with my wife. We are about to become a family. We have dreamt of this for so many years, and we are on the edge of it becoming a reality, but at the same time I think I will miss the time that we have spent just me and her, as from now on it'll always be me, her and the little person.  I won't however miss how difficult it is becoming to enjoy the erm physical side of a relationship. So much harder with a bump. Let's leave that there!

* My shape. I love it so much. I have never loved my body, I've rarely even liked it. I have struggled to accept myself as an overweight red haired girl with too many lumps and bumps. But since I've had a visible bump I have found a new love for my own body. For the first time in my life I have had no pressure on myself to look thinner, work harder to exercise, to eat less, I love the perfectly round bump which houses my baby, I love the outline I have as a pregnant woman, I look beautiful, and I'll be quite sad when it's gone.

*The glow. My hair is shiny, my skin is glowing, my nails are strong. Pregnancy hormones suit me, I'll be a little sad when I go back to non-pregnant me!

* The build up. I love planning, dreaming, imagining, and pregnancy has been no different. Sometimes I like the build up to something more than the event itself, and whilst I very much doubt this will be the case with having a baby, I have really loved the build up, the planning, the dreaming of having him throughout this pregnancy, and I'll be a little sad when it's all over.

*Maternity clothes. They are the most comfortable clothes I've ever had. I might just keep wearing them!

What I won't miss about being pregnant
* The ridiculous need to pee. Getting up four times a night because your bladder feels like it might explode, only to find you only need a trickle, is really not something I love. Yep we'll be getting up constantly to a newborn, but that I am prepared for, the constant annoying need to pee I was not prepared for, and I don't like it much!

*The swelling. Probably due to pre-eclampsia, but my feet and ankles are now really swollen, and I can only really wear flip flops. It's a good job it's sunny most days!

*Not being able to put shoes on. As if the swelling didn't make it difficult enough, on the days I do decided to put converse on, it's difficult to get to my feet cos of the bump in the way!

* Not being able to drink, or eat certain foods. So I probably have an alcoholic drink like once every 4 months or something, but not being able to at all has been harder than I imagined. Occasionally I have thought "ooh I'd love a really cold glass of cider right now" or have wanted to go out for cocktails with my wife, but obviously haven't been able to. The same with food, I like blue cheese for example, and I can't wait to be able to have whatever I want again and not worry that I'm going to harm our baby.

*Being so blinking uncomfortable. I'm lucky in that unlike most pregnant ladies, I can sleep fairly comfortably (except the need to get up a million times a night for a wee!). I don't need ten pillows or to lie in a certain position, I lie on my left, fall asleep and wake up in the same position, but sitting on the sofa is another story (thank goodness for birth balls!) and walking is really hard work! I feel like my pelvis is carrying a watermelon (it is!) and it hurts. My back aches if I stand up for too long. The pressure hurts. I constantly feel like I need to pee again. I am looking forward to feeling myself again!

Looking back over our pregnancy is incredibly emotional, it's been so special in so many ways. It has changed us as people and as a couple, it has made us in to a family, and brought us even closer to each other and to our families. You are a very lucky and very loved little boy, my son, and I really, really can't wait to meet you. 

1 comment:

  1. This is great girls...enjoy it while you can. We just recently went to visit teh second clinic in our local area and have our hearts pretty much set on this clinic was great!

    Lauren can I ask you what your amh was? I ask because I know you also did egg sharing and we are also keen to do that but know that amh needs to be a certain level to be considered for this.

    Also did you have to take much time off work for appointments etc? I dont really want to have to tell my work and am unsure if ivf is covered under medical appointments etc.

    Thanks girls!x


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