Tag: first trimester

12 weeks pregnant: Announcement time.

As you might have gathered from my last blog post, I HATED having to hide the fact that I was pregnant for the entire first trimester. HATED IT. While I didn’t feel ready to announce it to everyone (for various reasons), I also hated having to hide things. Because I am not a ‘hider’. I am a sharer. Big on openness and honesty. At least that’s when my soul is the happiest.

It got difficult when I started to show. Even though I’m sure I just looked like I had a severe case of the muffin top (probably kind of still do), I felt incredibly self conscious and would take ages trying to figure out how to disguise my emerging bump. Big scarves. Hoodies that have great front pockets you can put your hands in on cold days. A big puffer jacket. At one point, I literally wore a big camouflage button up shirt which is pretty hilarious now that I think about it.

I was working through a lot of things.

I felt confused. I had survivor’s guilt. Something I did not really see coming. I had bonded with a bunch of amazing women in a private Facebook support group. Women who had been in similar situations to myself – desperate to grow their families but struggling. We had been able to vent to each other and feel safe with each other – no fear of being misunderstood or judged. You felt less alone in there.

I realised that by being pregnant, I was possibly no longer a sufferer of secondary infertility and while it’s something to feel absolutely stoked about, it brought me sadness that now I was set apart from these amazing, tough women. That they couldn’t feel the joy I was feeling. Not yet.

It really gave me an identity crisis, truth be known. Now I’m just another happy pregnant woman and it takes a bit of getting used to! I could still strongly identify with those who would feel sad seeing my bump. Hearing my news. I felt like I would walk around forever feeling guilty that I might be unknowingly hurting someone’s feelings. Because I knew how it felt.

In the end, I realised that I couldn’t hide any longer. That I should celebrate. That I need to for the sake of my mental health. That I never begrudged anyone who was pregnant while I was struggling. I just kept to myself because it was my issue, not theirs. I had to assume that someone who was suffering would probably feel/do the same. If the time came to make a happy announcement, I would not be afraid to document my pregnancy and to share the great news. I would understand if anyone needed to unfollow me or mute anything on the topic, but I couldn’t deny myself my own joy. What would be the point in waiting so long for this moment if I sabotaged it for myself? That would serve nobody. I was so grateful. AM so grateful. To act ungrateful out of some weird guilt would be stupid.

We had planned on not telling anyone until after my 12 week screening. We then wanted to tell the Little Mister, followed closely by our families. We wanted him to be the first to know.

Of course, things don’t always go to plan. When I had my bleeding/spotting scares, I had to call my mum to help me take care of the Little Mister so I could have extra tests. She was able to guess but her and my dad were awesome and not only kept it to themselves, but held back from congratulating us because they knew how I felt. I didn’t want that moment just yet – especially when I was so worried. Not long after that, we let our siblings and my parents in law know because fair’s fair. Everyone was instructed to not let on to the Little Mister. Once he knew, the whole world would!

When the day of my 12 week ultrasound arrived, I was a big ball of nerves. I knew that with that would come the news about whether we were at high risk of having a child with Down Syndrome or other abnormalities. I was so stressed about it. Even though the odds should have been low for us, I was still feeling panicky. Partly because of hormones making me anxious and partly because we’d just come from a fertility clinic where a lot of the patients are older and considered higher risk – it had been drummed into me somehow. Not to mention I was still trying to get past the whole “we can’t ever be that lucky” mentality.

The scan went well. The sonographer was lovely. We saw the baby moving a lot (A LOT!) and all the measurements looked good. It was fantastic to share that with Mr Unprepared who had been unable to see some of my more recent scans in person.

 

Afterwards, I was still a bit wound up and tense. I wanted my phone call. The phone call where the sonographer makes calculations based on the scan results and the blood test results and tells you if everything’s fine.

We were waiting in the school car park to pick the Little Mister up from school when the call came. It was amazing when she told us everything was looking fantastic. I could physically feel a weight lift off my shoulders. It was amazing. I finally felt actual, unrestrained joy.

When we got home, we told the Little Mister by presenting him with a T-shirt that said “Big Brother” in trendy font (as you do these days haha). He took an agonisingly long time to open his gift but his reaction when he realised what it all meant (with a little help sounding out the words) was so priceless. He was overjoyed. He had wanted a sibling for so, so long. He had even invented an imaginary brother and sister for at least the previous year (much to my horror and guilt)!

After that, we told our closest friends via message. It might have been nice to be able to do it in person, but we felt like we had waited so long and we couldn’t possibly cover enough ground. You have to understand my level of desperation at being able to live out of the shadows for the first time in a very very long time. I just wanted the news out there. Not just to be able to share the joy with so many amazing people who had supported us through the tough times and cheered us on, but to be able to live my life without being frustrated, secretive, paranoid or anxious. Finally.

Then came the public announcement…

Not the most artistic thing you’ve ever seen – I couldn’t get the colours right haha. But it made the right impact! Making social media announcements isn’t for everyone, but for us it worked. It got the message out there to as many people as possible. I knew now that I could live my life out in the open and it was a really important step in the healing/moving forward process for me. There was no going back. I had to make that clear to myself. This was real. Now everyone knew. Best get used to it and have some damn fun!

All of the overjoyed comments, the people who had goosebumps, sweaty eye balls and who had confessed to dancing in their kitchens at our news made us feel so amazingly loved and supported. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

The first trimester.

I just want to start this blog post with a huge thank you to all of you who have been following my journey (can we come up with a  better word than ‘journey’?) from secondary infertility to pregnancy. Your supportive comments and congratulations have all been so heart warming and revealing. I think it’s so important that we talk about those hard things. I wasn’t always ready to in real time, but it’s meant a lot to me to share my story – even after the fact. To know you have been there reading along is so wonderful. So thanks. You’re frickin’ amazing. 

I feel so lucky to finally be updating you on my pregnancy. I hope you will bear with me as I document it. I didn’t really write down as much as I wish I had when I was pregnant with the Little Mister, so now is my chance! x

I think this felt like the longest first trimester ever. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, time just dragged. I felt like I was carrying the weight of 3 years of trying to conceive around with me – not just 3 months. All of the cards kept close to my chest. Not being quite as open and as honest as the usual me would have liked to be. The stress of wanting to make sure that all was OK. Even though I was so grateful to be pregnant, I was also sick of still feeling like I was living in the shadows. I didn’t feel safe to celebrate. I didn’t feel like I was able to be fully me. The me I was before we started to try for a baby in 2014. The ‘me’ I’ve missed so much. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad I’m stronger and I’m wiser. I wouldn’t take that back. I just missed being able to live my life without it revolving around my fertility (or lack thereof as it was). Having to stay quiet and never quite feeling safe to spill the beans kind of took some of the joy out of the experience. I felt like I was still trying to process everything that had gone before. My head really struggled to keep up. I am not at all trying to sound ungrateful. Holy shit, I am. SO GRATEFUL. This is literally a dream come true. It still didn’t quite feel real.

I spent a lot of days not getting a whole lot done (I think some of my friends thought I was being the laziest cow haha). I was spotting non stop from week 5 to week 8. It scared me and even though I knew I couldn’t prevent a miscarriage if it was ever going to happen, I was worried about everything. The two times I really did venture out, I dodged a bullet with food poisoning (all my friends ate the same thing and had it but somehow I did not – pregnancy super powers?) and I even accidentally ingested alcohol (long story – not my fault and not my friends’ faults either). So then I was too scared to do much after that. And then I bled one day before 12 weeks ticked over (which lasted for two damn weeks). Which was crazy because it was exactly the same day of pregnancy that it happened when I was pregnant with the Little Mister. So I was worried, but trying not to be because the last time I’d had a beautiful baby. But then I psyched myself out thinking that what if I didn’t worry too much but it did turn out to be something horrible. I worried some more. Luckily the doctor reassured me I was fine.

I worried about my 10 week blood test (the one that screens for risk of Downs Syndrome etc). Did I mention that when I’m hormonal, I get anxious? Great side effect, that is. Add all the trauma I was trying to work through from the infertility and the enormity of the IVF and shit got crazy inside my brain at times.

I was quite wiped of energy in the first trimester and I got a bit nauseous so my appetite would fluctuate from non existent to wanting to eat ALL OF THE FOOD. And then when I would eat ALL OF THE FOOD, I’d feel like shit after. I had a bit of heartburn. Who knew it happened so early? Luckily it passed (for now).

But it wasn’t all totally stressful. I was finally able to dream a bit. Slowly begin to accept baby type things into my mind. I could get clucky looking at baby stuff on Instagram. I could be happy when celebrities gave birth. Hey, I was even pregnant at the same time as Beyonce for like a few days. Goals! I let myself watch movies that had been on my DO NOT EVEN GO THERE lists for years. I cracked and ordered some maternity clothes because I was not fitting in my jeans anymore. It was fun looking at pictures of people with bumps showing off some really great fashion ideas on Pinterest. I even found myself hoping some of my good friends would announce pregnancies at the same time as me so we could be baby bearing buddies (some did which was so amazing – I never thought I’d be in sync with anyone in my close circles ever again).

For the first time in a really long time I could think about that stuff without crying or having a mental breakdown. You have no idea (or you might). That in itself was huge.

I was tested a lot during the first trimester – blood tests every week until 8 weeks (plus a couple more when I had bleeding scares). My hormones were always on track. I had my dating scan at 8 weeks which was amazing. Oh and hearing that heartbeat never gets old, right? 😍

I started at a new clinic closer to home where I was lucky enough to get a bonus scan at 10 weeks (again – AMAZING) and when I had that bleed just one day shy of 12 weeks I got an extra scan again! I was really weirdly lucky to get to check in on how it was all going as often as I did. I found it very reassuring.

I started to get a little bump from about 9 weeks onwards (always worse in the afternoons/evenings) as my uterus expanded and changed shape. I am only 5 foot tall so everything shows with me. Even lunch when I’m not pregnant. There’s nowhere to hide anything. Even though I’m a bit chubbier than I was when I fell pregnant with the Little Mister (I honestly blame the infertility stuff because of the hormones and the comfort eating and the irregular ability to exercise the way I wanted to), that bump still made itself known. I had to hide a lot in hoodies with front pockets and big jackets etc. It got a bit stressful! I hated hiding but I was too scared not to.

I was hanging out for the all clear at the 12 week scan so much, like you would not believe!

FAQ.

Pic: So many questions! Let me put my beanie and hipster glasses on and answer some!

So now that I’ve made my Big Announcement and people know that I’m expecting, I am already being asked all the questions that come along with a pregnancy. Right now I welcome those questions because even though I am asked them a lot, it kind of feels nice that people care about my answers (ask me again in a few months’ time).

Did you guys plan this??

We did. We decided to stop NOT trying, but to be honest other than that we didn’t do a whole lot to make it happen (besides the obvious)! I didn’t want to become some kind of temperature checking, calendar crazed, internet myth believing person so early in the piece – I know what I’m like and I would have driven myself crazy. We figured there was plenty of time for that if things didn’t happen within a year (doesn’t mean I didn’t have my occasional moments).

Just as I was starting to get a little nervous at about five or six months, we had the great news! Trust me, when people say, “Did you plan it or was it a surprise?” I really would like to say, both actually! Even when you really want it, it is a big shock to get the positive reading on your pee stick/s!

It may have been more of a shock to other people as we were very tight lipped the whole time I was off the pill and not NOT trying. We said a lot of things like, “Pffft. Kids? As if! Not even!”

You know – just to throw people off!

I didn’t want the pressure of people watching me constantly and trying to decide whether it was all happening or not. People were already on our case (married three years – no kids – what gives), so we didn’t want any more worries! I was already terrified that each pasta dish I ate (or every glass of wine I didn’t feel like) would lead to a rumour!! I concentrated on being healthy and losing weight until the big HOLY CRAP LOOK AT THAT POSITIVE PREGNANCY TEST DAY (ie the 19th March).

Is your pregnancy the reason you’re not working?

It didn’t start out that way! I left my job in August 2010 because life was very tough (you might know the LONG story) and I had to make the really tough decision between developing my new career and supporting my hubby who needed a lot of care emotionally and physically (with good reason). Last year was really awful and not one I am in a hurry for us to experience ever again! I couldn’t focus at work anymore (despite usually being a really professional person) and there was a lot of stress and grief. I was glad to spend quality time with my husband and a terminally ill family member before he passed away a month later. I wouldn’t change that for the world.

I took my time with my husband – I had saved a lot of money (it was initially so we could travel) so we lived on that while he was out of work before his income insurance came through a few months later. In light of all the perspective changing stuff that had happened, I wanted to spend time with him as he was working fly in fly out (FIFO) at a remote minesite and was only home half the year. Before we knew it – the silly season had arrived – Christmas, new year, you name it.

I started looking seriously at jobs at the end of January and the field was more competitive than I remembered. I had every intention of getting a good job in my field before I got pregnant, with the idea that I would work through my pregnancy!

Pffft. Not quite how it worked out! Still, if some miracle (kind of flexible) opportunity came up right now I wouldn’t necessarily say no 🙂

Have you had morning sickness?

Nope! I’ve had dizziness when I get up too fast, ridiculous fatigue (hence all the tweeting from my couch which must have had everyone wondering why I was being such a bum) and wooziness but no vom vom time – yay!

Strange cravings?

Let me tell you a secret. I’ve always been a weird cravings kind of person as it is. I go through new food phases ALL the time, so actual pregnancy cravings would be very hard to pinpoint! I have decided that I like oranges a lot though – maybe it’s a natural hankering for Vitamin C with the winter coming (don’t want some nasty colds this year)! Citrus has been the only real craving I can recognise.

I think that munging down Cookies n Cream icecream is just a symptom of me not watching my diet anymore 😛

Do you want to find out the sex?

Yes. I do. Hubby would probably be happy with a delivery room surprise, but I am kind of impatient. We’ve decided to hold off on a definitive decision until closer to my 20 week ultrasound scan.

Can we see a photo from your last ultrasound scan?

I admit to being a little weirded out by the idea of posting pictures of my insides on facebook or my blog. I find it very…intimate! I mean, that’s my frickin’ uterus, man!

However, it is pretty cool 🙂

It looks so sleepy - my favourite picture.
4D - it looks like a gummy bear or something 🙂

So…those are my insides at roughly 12 weeks!

Confession: I do not have a beanie or hipster glasses. I have a cute little olive green crocheted beanie (that I only wear in Tasmania on the mountain) and non hipster glasses which I pretend I don’t need. Therefore my answers may not be as profound or groundbreaking as we all imagined they would be.

*sigh*

It’s what you’ve all been waiting for…

Pic

I know some of you have been speculating for a while now (*ahem* twitter friends) on how my life might be changing. I did suggest that perhaps I’ve had a sex change operation and that my name is now Barry or Greg or some such thing. Well, let me tell you: that was a lie. You know, in case you were actually wondering 😛

The truth is that I’ve been working on a secret project for the last three months. It’s called Project Growing a Human Baby. Yes, all you “every surprise must be pregnancy” rumour mongers might have been right…my eggo is preggo.

🙂

I have kept this secret ever since we found out in March (and when I insisted on taking a second test just to make sure the first one wasn’t broken). And let me tell you, it is reallllly hard being a pregnancy ninja. Do you know how many oversized shirt dresses I’ve purchased?! It’s been killing me keeping such a big secret!

Every time someone says, “So what’s new in your life these days?”

Every time friends give the usual ribbing at a social event, “So – when are you two gonna start popping out kids?” *wink wink nudge nudge*

Every time I turn down a glass of wine or some AMAZING looking camembert cheese in public.

Every time I look in the mirror and see that due to my short stature and natural ability to bloat up like a motherf*cker, I look so much more pregnant than I am and soon no amount of shirt dresses are gonna hide this!

Every time my pregnant friends are discussing their symptoms and life plans (that include ACTUAL HUMAN BABIES), while I sit in the background silently taking it all in and freaking out that they know SO MUCH MORE THAN ME!

Every time I’ve thought about something awesome to blog about and then realise that it won’t make sense if no-one knows about my condition.

*sigh*

So, if you’re not a clucky person or this information makes you uncomfortable, please turn away now. I’m about to get all Pregnant Woman Raving on you (what am I becoming?!!).

My due date: 25 November, 2011 (well it better be 2011 or that’s just not what I signed up for)!

Currently: 12 weeks and 2 days along.

AND I just had my 12 week ultrasound scan (brought forward a couple of days due to a little scare) where everything was said to be wonderful and perfect and there’s nothing to worry about (for now – you know – until I do something stupid like google my symptoms or start reading misinformed discussion boards on being pregnant – FYI there are SO many on the internet my head might explode).

It was pretty amazing seeing a little (alien) baby shaped um… baby making itself at home in my uterus. It looks so sleepy and settled and I didn’t realise just how much it would make my heart melt to think about it. It all definitely feels real now. Scary, exciting and real! I suppose the “scary” factor is the fear of losing it now that I fully realise what I would be losing. I hope that feeling fades (I bet it doesn’t).

I don’t know what kind of pregnant woman I will be (or continue to be) now that everyone knows. I am excited to shed the whole Pregnancy Ninja act and just be open about my life, but I want anyone to stop me if I become so obsessed that everyone who isn’t pregnant just wants to shoot me between the eyes execution style – STFU already!!!

I always thought I was a little too rebellious to deal with this whole pregnancy/impending parenthood thing. If everyone else is doing something, I don’t want to follow the crowd! It’s kind of why I took so long to see the movie Avatar and why I haven’t read the Twilight series…

The pressure from other people has been intense in the last year or so! HAVE A BABY! GET PREGNANT! HAVE A BABY! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU THAT YOU HAVE NO BABIES YET?! (which admittedly isn’t always tactful no matter how well meaning people are).

Of course, our decision to have children (and when to have them) has had nothing to do with anyone else’s opinions on the matter – just so you know 🙂

So…I’ve gotta go now. I’ve gotta decide important things like whether or not to announce this on facebook like a smug wanker and whether it would feel appropriate to post intimate photos of my insides on tumblr. I also need to let the reality sink in that half of my wardrobe is now unwearable…that might take some time…gooooodbye sequinned, backless mini dress that I had only just lost enough weight to wear again…gooooodbyeeee (expensive and new) pretty blue mini dress that has the cool beads on it and made my legs look long…

Well, you get the idea…

Any questions/comments/unsolicited advice?
(my adorable nephew wanted to know how the babies come out of the ladies but I think if you’re able to read this you might already kind of know).

P.S. To any of my readers who might be going through fertility difficulties – I am sorry if this is hard to read – I understand xx