So after years of deliberation, my husband and I decided we’re finally feeling brave enough to take the plunge into parenthood. What I’ve found is the more you think about it, the longer you’ll delay it. Let’s be honest, there’s plenty to put you off! The list of potential hurdles and problems is endless, so perhaps it’s best not to go there now, since it’s too late to back out!
I must admit, the media scare stories on fertility probably gave me the final push. I’m 34 now, which is fine, but considering I (currently) want two children, I realised I didn’t have forever. So we moved out of our thin-walled upstairs apartment to a larger house, with garden. I started on folic acid a couple of months in advance, and pretty much stopped drinking alcohol. Luckily I’ve found this easy and I’m enjoying the clear-headedness.
After two months without success I turned to technology and bought a digital ovulation kit which indicates your fertile “window”. It worked immediately. On the first day of the new decade we got our positive result. I felt strangely calm but very happy, and that’s how the pregnancy has progressed so far. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it but I haven’t felt any morning sickness, tiredness, or any unpleasantness at all. Apparently this isn’t uncommon, but of course the women who are suffering most are the ones who speak up. I could easily be in the same boat next time, especially with a toddler running around.
I had been hoping for some exotic cravings, but none so far. The best I’ve had is a violent aversion to raw mushrooms. They’ve been banned from the house and I have to run past them when food shopping.
The rollercoaster continues…
I rang the local midwives at about six weeks, and visited them a fortnight later. At each visit they check blood pressure and do a urine test for protein and glucose. They took some blood at this first visit and sent it off to be tested for everything they can think of. You’re not told the results for a while, lucky I’m not a hypochondriac!
At 12 weeks I had a scan which calculates the risk of Down’s syndrome and two other genetic conditions. I’m low risk, but if not, further tests such as amniocentesis can be done. These do bring a small risk of miscarriage, so it’s not an easy decision.
It was fantastic to finally see my little bean, and hear its heartbeat. Without any symptoms, I must admit I had been concerned. Luckily I didn’t burst into tears (quite possible) and my husband was fascinated to see its arms, legs, and especially its jaw moving. We were on cloud nine afterwards.
Since then I’ve had another midwife appointment and they found the heartbeat when I asked (yes I had been worried again!) Now, at 17 and a half weeks, my bump is obvious so I’m much more relaxed. Any day now I should start feeling it move. I can’t wait, although I expect it’ll get a bit wearing after the 20th kick to the bladder.
Highs and lows
As I’m almost half-way through my pregnancy, I thought I’d look back at the highs and lows so far.
Getting a positive result on the test was a wonderful moment. I took a while to sink in, but soon I was walking round with a glowy feeling and a special secret. Telling my friends (on Facebook, naturally!) caused a huge response and put me back in touch with some distant acquaintances. My family were very excited by the news, despite my sister already having three children.
Seeing the first scan and hearing the heartbeat were also great moments, although I’d been very nervous beforehand. Since I felt it move at about 18 weeks, my worries are almost silenced.
Now for the low points… Luckily there are not so many, but I have missed eating blue cheese and boiled eggs with runny yolks. The mushroom aversion (previously mentioned) wasn’t great, but now they’re banned it’s not a problem. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve started to feel achy twinges every so often, usually if I stand up quickly. I believe this is due to muscles expanding and relaxing. I’ve also become more itchy, which could be my skin stretching. I enjoy having an obvious bump, but I’m not liking the overall expansion, particularly being a pear shape to start with. On the other hand I realise this is healthy and I’ve gained the recommended weight so far, heading for the recommended 22-28lb by 40 weeks (but many women who go outside this range have healthy babies).
Getting up every night to visit the bathroom is manageable, however the famous pregnancy insomnia may well be on its way, along with enormous list of other potential issues. All I can do is trust my body to know what it’s doing!