Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ten weeks

Ten weeks today: we are officially a quarter of the way through this pregnancy!

Our Mums are both coming over to spend a weekend with us soon and we’re planning to tell them when they’re here. But that’s not for another three and a half weeks yet. How am I going to hang on? I’m bursting to tell people!

Mrs T, being fundamentally a much more private person than I am, seems less enthusiastic about sharing the news. I asked her, “who are you looking forward to telling?”, and she struggled to come up with anyone. I’m glad of a few very close friends who I’ve been able to confide in (and you readers here, of course!) as I think I might have burst by now otherwise.

Mrs T continues to feel – in her words – shitty much of the time. And inordinately tired. But we’ve kept busy: this weekend we’ve been decorating our utility room, which we’ve recently had remodelled by a local builder. She normally does a lot (okay, most) of our decorating as she’s better at it than me, but we’ve read that she should avoid too many paint fumes so I’ve been doing all the painting myself while she’s been sorting and reorganising all the kitchen cupboards in readiness for moving stuff into the room when it’s finished.

(Hang on: did she really read that about the paint fumes, or was that just a way to make me do my fair share..?)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Not Blob

I thought we might end up using 'The Blob" as an interim name, to avoid having to say "it" all the time, but no. Mrs T didn't like it. The Blob is now known as Flicker, after its heartbeat.

Seen the Blob!

Mrs T picked me up from work and we made our way to the hospital, and with a rare spark of efficiency we were seen at exactly ten o’clock and on our way out by ten past. Although we’ve opted to have our antenatal care at a different hospital, for this scan we were back at our local. It was odd to be back in that same scanning room where it all went wrong a year ago, but we took a deep breath and let the (same) sonographer do her job.

And there it was. Undeniably a blob. And in the right place. And then - a clearly visible heartbeat pulsating on the screen. (Well, I say ‘clearly visible’, but that was only once she’d pointed it out to us.)

When we came out Mrs T was desperate to empty her specially-filled bladder and we rushed to the nearest loo. (Okay, the second nearest. The nearest was out of order.) I waited outside, looking at the printout we’d been given and trying to make sense of it, and when Mrs T emerged she’d clearly been crying. There had been a lot of tension built up in her and the positive scan experience was a huge relief.

I’m guessing this is going to be an emotional time…

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"Booked in"

Good old NHS: Mrs T did say this afternoon that it feels like being on a production line at times. We turned up at the surgery at lunchtime for our first appointment with one of the community midwives. Once we'd overcome the first hiccup (our appointment was actually for next Tuesday but they managed to fit us in) we spent half an hour with Alli, a nice young girl who took us through all the paperwork to "book us in to the system". Yes, that's right, "The System".

As I say, she was nice enough but it was all a touch impersonal. Paperwork done, list ticked (literally) to confirm that she's told us all she was supposed to, wee tested, dates worked out. (Same conclusion as us, 27th March 2007, but we've already decided to tell people 10 April so we're not inundated with phone calls at the very end.) There was no "how are you feeling?", no "are you excited/nervous/etc?". Just facts and figures.

And that's about it for the "booking in" appointment.

When she was telling us about the first scan it was up to us to mention that Mrs T's GP had recommended an early scan because of last time. She had no note of that from our previous consultation. And, as a midwife she can't authorise it, as it needs a GP to arrange. So our "early scan" started to look like it was going to end up being the same time as everyone else's first one. In the end there was a GP present (not Mrs T's own) who was able to fit her in as an extra to his list and has arranged a first scan for us - for tomorrow at 10 o'clock! No idea how much we'll be able to see at 9 weeks 1 day, but all we want to confirm is that the embryo is where it should be. (Embryo? When does it become a Foetus?)

Me: excited, nervous, sad at times. Can't wait to be telling people.
Mrs T: sick of feeling so sick.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cravings? Not likely

Poor Mrs T has not been feeling well at all. I’m sure if food cravings would be likely to kick in just yet, but she’s not fancying food at all really. She is eating, but has to persuade herself to do so. And the nausea is pretty much constant.

We’ve not heard anything yet about the arrangements for the ‘early’ scan, which should be happening some time next week. It was over two weeks ago that we saw the GP, and he’s supposed to have referred us to the midwifery team at the hospital and arranged the scan, but we’ve no idea if anything’s happened yet. I’m hoping she’ll phone to find out what’s happening.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sharing Secrets

For a while I've been looking forward to the time when I can stop using a pseudonym to write this and start using our real names, but it seems that I may never get to do this. We were chatting about letting people know about the pregnancy, and Mrs T simply doesn't feel she'll be comfortable with people ever knowing about what's led up to where we are now. It's a shame for me, as I've been looking forward to eventually letting friends and family see all that I've been writing here, but clearly I'll need to respect her wishes.

Tricky thing to my mind is that fact that we'll now have to keep track of who knows what, as there are several versions of the story "out there". It would seem much more straightforward to me to simply tell all.

This weekend we've created another version: our independent midwife friend is here for the weekend with her husband and their gorgeous one-year-old, and Mrs T has confided in her. However, she's only shared part of the story, and I had to check before saying too much exactly what they knew and what they didn't. We've told them that the hospital admitance last year was a suspected ruptured ectopic pregnancy (ie, the truth) rather than an ovarian cyst (the cover-story), and therefore they know we've been trying for at least a year. But that's it. No five-year history; no IUI, no potential IVF.

I'm going to find this hard.

On a more positive note, we've chatted a lot this weekend about the pregnancy itself and about hopes and fears and lots else, and Mrs T is much more positive as a result. We're very glad to have our friend on board as a support and source of all knowledge. She has a wealth of professional expertise as a midwife and lactation consultant, and has a holistic/organic approach that we're very comfortable with.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Morning sickness

Okay, so why do they call it morning sickness? Mrs T has been feeling pretty nauseous for a good few days now, and it certainly ain't limited to the mornings! Still, we're told it's a good sign: an indication that the necessary hormones are being produced in earnest. (Although one book we've read suggests it's an inbalance of minerals that can can be sorted with good nutrition or supplements.) A couple of days ago she had no sickness - and of course worried that it was a sign of things falling apart again. Thankfully (?) the sickness returned the next day.

When we saw he GP the other day he did mention (after checking Mrs T's age, 36) that we'd be 'offered' some additional tests to check for any genetic abnormalities. We've spoken about this, and think it's unlikely we'd agree to any extra tests. Neither of us would consider a termination, so what would be the point?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Back to business

Well, now we're back from our trip, so I'm back online.

Having the time away gave us plenty of opportunities to talk about all manner of things - our hopes, our plans, our fears and so on - and I know there are a whole load more to talk about over the coming weeks (and, hopefully, months and years). One thing we discussed was telling people. Mrs T is really undecided about telling her Mum when we see her at the end of next week. On the positive side, it would give us an opportunity to explain the problems of last summer, when we didn't tell the truth about Mrs T's operation. On the negative, it would build up her hopes and, if things go wrong again this time, will mean she will always be wanting to know how it's going in the future. That's one of the biggest reasons we've never told anyone we were trying in the first place.

We've a really good friend who's an independent midwife, so we'd toyed with the idea of telling her. After all, it would seem silly to let the benefit of all her experience pass us by. I'm really pleased that Mrs T did, last night, phone and tell her. She wanted to speak to her before her appointment with her GP this morning, to run some questions by here and seek professional and personal advice. We couldn't hire her professionally, as she lives too far away and I can't imagine it would be good professional ethics anyway. (I'm also not sure we could afford her fee!) But she said to Mrs T "I'll be there! I'll block out some time in my diary and If at all possible I'll be there with you" which is simply the best news. She has, of course, been sworn to secrecy.

Mrs T's GP was good this morning. He's arranging blood tests for her thyroid function, as that will need more closely monitoring during pregnancy and, because of her history, arranging an early scan at about 8-9 weeks. He also confirmed that we don't have to have the baby at the nearest NHS hospital. Some will think it's an odd decision; we can see the hospital from our house so for convenience it's perfect. However, Mrs T simply doesn't want to use it. Thankfully there's another hospital in a town about 25 minutes away that's part of the same trust and we can opt to have it there instead.