Thursday 25 December 2008

third time lucky

So there I was, telling everyone who asked that there was NO WAY we were having any more kids! NO! Three, and you're outnumbered! I'd have to buy a new car! The child would have to sleep in a drawer! No, no, a thousand times, NO.

Yeah, it's not too tricky to guess where this is heading.

Although we didn't plan to have another, I am now finding myself with child #3. And I'm happy and remarkably calm about it. Hormones do strange things to you. They can make you throw heavy objects at loved ones for no good reason, but they can also make you feel entirely at peace with something that one month ago would have given you a mild heart attack. We had a little "oops" a couple of months ago with a slight condom malfunction, and I literally woke up for days afterwards in a complete panic about being pregnant. This time, very shortly after we figured out that I was indeed fertile during that night of frivolity and red wine, I felt okay. Out of nowhere, a thought popped into my head: another child would be absolutely fine. And then I knew that I was pregnant. Well, I didn't know know because obviously that doesn't happen until you wee on a bit of plastic and you squint at lines for an hour in variable lighting. But I knew. And it made me smile.

I've promised myself to enjoy every single second of this pregnancy. I deeply regret spending the majority of my pregnancy with Mia in a state of panic and fear; I was newly grieving a missed miscarriage and incapable of feeling joy for this new life growing inside me until I was well into the second trimester. For months, I didn't want to plan anything "just in case", I didn't allow myself to simply feel happy, I stayed away from pregnancy web sites, I wouldn't dream of things to come, I didn't want to know her sex because I didn't want to get too attached if I lost the baby again. I refuse to do that this time.

Whether this lasts for another day or until the birth, I will cherish every moment. I didn't think I'd get to experience this again, and I'm elated to have the honour.

So, here we go...again.

0-4 Weeks
I've got every symptom in the book, and then some. I don't remember feeling this rough so early on - I haven't even missed my period yet. Everything hurts, I've got heartburn, nausea, headaches, shortness of breath, cramps, comedy boobs, and enough bloat to make my clothes snug. It doesn't help that I've got a cold, but's all hitting me hard.

Spoke to a GP about getting an early scan but this isn't the done thing now that I've had a successful pregnancy - apparently Mia has cancelled all of my "risk" out and I'm no longer deserving of an extra scan. It took every ounce of strength to not lean over and go, "Look bud. It's just one damn scan. I'm paying for the 12 week one myself and I'm birthing at home with an independent midwife again, saving the NHS hundreds of pounds. Give. Me. The. Feckin. Scan." Surprisingly, I am actually pretty much okay with not getting the scan. I'm not as scared this time (thank the gods) and I can wait until the NT scan. It would have been nice to get an early peek just for my peace of mind and to be able to tell some friends and family. He said he'd look into it and get back to me, so who knows. Otherwise, it means I can make a Christmas announcement which would be lovely, too.

On Friday, while I was driving along and thinking of baby things, a nickname suddenly popped into my head - Junior Mint. No clue why and you can't even get the silly things in this country, but it made me giggle. I told Paul, who gave me that funny look I tend to get from a lot of Brits on a regular basis. I think he's okay with Minty as a nickname. Paul and I talked about names today (Oct 26) and we have picked a boy and a girl name. How easy was that? Go us! As is the tradition, when we have difficulty coming up with a name for a particular sex, this means we're having the opposite. Today, the boy name was easy and we had quite a few contenders - the girls were harder. We've decided not to find out the sex before the birth, so that we have that nice element of surprise. I really needed to know with Jack and Mia but maybe because we've got our "pigeon pair", we're prepared for either sex this time.

I asked Jack, "What would be a good name for a girl?" and he said "CUCKOO MONKEYHEAD!" and fell over laughing. Well. There certainly wouldn't be another one of those in school.

I'm sad that I gave away/donated all of my maternity clothes. I was just looking back at photos when I was pregnant with Mia, and there are some pieces that were really lovely; some of them had been around since I was pregnant with Jack. And how annoyed am I that we just left the land of inexpensive and plentiful maternity wear (AKA The US of A)?! Grrrr.

Just about to enter week 5 and I'm not feeling nearly as hideous as last week. Which is good.

5-9 Weeks
I'm now in week 5, and I'm starting to worry about Bad Things happening. I'm very tempted to get an 8 week scan done privately, but is it worth £95 just because I'm impatient? And will it matter? When I got the early scan with Mia, I was slightly relieved but I still worried right through to the 20 week scan. Would an early scan actually make a difference? At the moment, my fears are about miscarrying or having an ectopic pregnancy...which are exactly the same fears I had when I was pregnant with Jack, and I managed to make it to 12 weeks without having a meltdown. Argh. Just don't know what to do.

YES! Lovely Scan Lady called and my scan has been scheduled for Nov. 25th! But - I'm on jury duty the week before and I have no idea if I'll be free that day. Gaaaaaaaaaaaah. *stress stress stress* Need to ring the jury duty people and ask if I can be excused on that morning, if need be. In other news, I'm feeling very pregnant. Some may say this is a good thing, but I'm not really enjoying the moment. Nausea, heartburn, cramps, extreme fatigue, and a cold that just won't go away. I'm a real bucket of fun right now.

The baby likes: meat (the redder the better), cheese, eggs, spicy foods, sweet foods.
The baby doesn't like: pasta (only sometimes), asparagus (unless it's grilled), the smells that come out of the kitchen at the office.

Just passed week 6 and oh, the nausea. I'm almost phobic about throwing up, so I am spending every waking hour concentrating on not vomiting. Seriously, seriously not a happy bunny. On the plus side, all I had to do was send an email to the jury duty people explaining my delicate state, and I've been excused from service. Phew.

7 weeks, 2 days and I'm scared. Found a bit of bright red blood when I went to the toilet this morning, so the 8 week scan has been moved up to tomorrow. God, I hate this.

All went well, baby measuring on time, with a little heart flickering away. Phew. Well, sort of phew. Glad to be over this hurdle but annoyed that I didn't hold out for 8 weeks (because the baby I lost stopped growing at 7 weeks 5 days, so a 7 week scan may have shown a healthy baby.) It did alleviate a few of my's in the right place, it's fine right now, there's only one. That sort of thing. Apparently the bleeding was probably from straining, which makes sense as I've been constipated for days now. Lovely.

For some reason, I've got a snowstorm happening in my uterus:

Just passed week 8, and all seems well. I've booked the midwives (they work as a team of two), and I'm looking forward to my first appointment. I'm hoping that they will try to hear the heartbeat at around 10 weeks, just so I don't go totally nuts by the time I have the NT scan (Dec 22.) Pregnancy-wise, I'm feeling fine. Not nearly as nauseous in general, although I had to use all of my concentration not to throw up during dinner with my in-laws last weekend. That might have been tricky to explain. I've had a cold for a few weeks it's hard to tell what's pregnancy-related and what's due to the virus. I've got a noticeable belly, but it's probably at that stage where people are unsure if it's a baby or from the 4 dozen oatmeal cookies I made this afternoon. I'm still happy and excited, but a bit "oh, shit" about everything at the same time. It's just very surreal. I can't imagine having a newborn in the house again.

10-12 Weeks
Just starting week 10, and all is (I assume) well. I've decided to change midwives, not because of any major catastrophe and I'm probably just being hormonal, but because my gut wasn't feeling right about certain things. I've contacted Jane, who delivered Mia, and I truly hope she's available. Why I didn't just go with her in the first place is beyond me. Seriously. I have no explanation except temporary pregnancy insanity. So, I have no idea when I'll finally see a midwife and if I'll hear the heartbeat before my scan. Feh. I'm still feeling pretty rough: exhausted, nauseous, headachey, and just sorta fuzzy in the brain. I feel like I can barely do my job and I'm sure most of what I'm writing at work is fairly incoherent. I just want to sleep. And eat.

10 weeks, 5 days and I've found a bit of pink on the toilet paper. Shit. Cramping again like crazy and I'm very worried. Hate this. Again.

11 weeks, 2 days and I am all sorts of happy right now. Lovely Jane was available and is now our midwife, and I'm so glad. I met her today for my first appointment and immediately felt at ease and knew she was exactly right for me. She's now Jasper's BFF, which is nice. We went through all the details, chatted a lot about everything, and at the very end, she offered to search for Minty's heartbeat - and there it was, choo-chooing away, easily found. A beautiful, beautiful sound. She held the Sonicaid on my belly for ages, letting me relish the thump thumps. It's over 160 bpm, so old wives say girl for now. I'm just so relieved. Roll on Monday for the NT scan.

11 weeks, 4 days and I'm probably going insane, but I swear I felt the baby today. I was leaning forward on a table at a meal out with the girls, and I felt the "thud" I only ever feel when I'm pregnant. Sort of a twinge/spasm/sharp prod kind of thing, far enough down to have been Minty. How very, very cool.

12 weeks, 2 days and we had our NT scan. Now I know that I'm not going insane, because when I see the baby move on the screen, I can feel it at the same time. Hugely relieved to say not only was baby wriggling and well (literally doing somersaults), but my chances of Down's are low for an old broad like me. I've got the same risk as a 32-year-old, which prompted my husband to say, "Woo hoo! I've got a younger wife!"

Here is Minty, in all his/her glory. A Merry Christmas indeed. And now, time to publish this post.


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