Saturday, 4 July 2015

13 weeks, 4 days - scan update! :)

I'm sorry I didn't update yesterday! It's past 1am here, but I fell asleep nursing Lydia to sleep, and woke at midnight to a spectacular storm. Torrential rain and frequent lightning - so fun to watch! THEN I felt sick, so I had to eat a sandwich and basically as many peaches as I can tolerate. Peaches are a serious thing for me this pregnancy, and I'm so thankful they are in season! :) For a couple of weeks (maybe 3??) I have been eating 3 or 4 a day if we have them. They quench my thirst and taste amaaazing, and make me feel better quite quickly from the nausea, even if it doesn't last all that long.

Anyway, so I should be getting back to bed, but I realised I hadn't updated, and wanted to. The thunder is pretty loud so if it wakes someone I'll have to finish this tomorrow.

So, my scan actually ARRIVED!!! So surreal! :) I forgot to drink much beforehand, so when the scan started, the sonographer said that my bladder wasn't very full and the baby wasn't in the best position for measuring. After a few minutes of seeing my tiny one (no glimpses of the nub, even!), she sent me out for 15-20 minutes to drink some more and see if my bladder filled a bit more.

Before the scan, driving to the hospital, I became irrationally nervous because I realised I hadn't felt the baby move for 3 or 4 days. I have marked little footprints on my chart on days where I felt the baby move, and I haven't had more than 2 days without one since starting to feel movements weeks ago. So I started to get nervous, and wished that I had had time to use my Doppler that morning for peace of mind. I was praying about it as I drove, and thought that the upside was that if my baby was alive and well, and had a boy nub, I would be 100% rejoicing that he was alive and well, NOT focusing on the fact that it was another boy! ;) I definitely was longing for a girl nub sighting, you know? I feel bad admitting it, and you know I would absolutely adore having a seventh boy (I mean, HOW blessed?!?!), but with my sort of "hunch" about the baby being a girl (or wishful thinking?!), I have rather latched onto the idea of a sister for my only daughter, and another baby girl to delight in for us ALL, and the fact that all the boys are hoping it's a girl, and Neil has said how nice it would be if this baby is a girl, and HOW I would love to use the phrase, "My girls." *heart swell* :)

But the one thing I really didn't want was to feel disappointment over that sweet little angled nub, if that's what I saw in the end. REALLY didn't. It felt so wrong to have ANY disappointment over a gift - a true gift - from God himself! So I prayed. And I was breathless with excitement and anticipation by the time I went in for my scan!

When she started the scan, the sonographer said that she would have a quick look for herself for a moment, and then if all was well, she would switch my screen on so I could watch. I don't think I drew breath in those few seconds before she said, "Little heart ticking away there!" Aaannnd relax! :) Then I was back with the focus of spotting that nub! So, like I said, I saw no sign of a nub in the first few minutes. When I came back, the baby was still in the same awkward position, but the sonographer said my bladder was a little bit more full so the visibility was better, and she might have to send me out again if the baby didn't change position, but she got on with the scan all the same.

The baby was lying on its back sort of up the side of the sac, with its bottom up at the top, lol! Little arms kept doing slow content movements up over the head and in front of the face. So sweet! The sonographer didn't want the little bottom up high because it made measuring the length of the baby (to date the pregnancy) more difficult. She wiggled the scan probe against my tummy over and over, and you could see the little one being jiggled about, but absolutely calm and laid-back, didn't move at ALL, other than the odd stretch, lol! Very laid-back baby, one of my most laid-back, I think. And possibly stubborn... which *certainly* isn't in the gene pool... :P

My eyes were straining, straaaaiiiining, for any sign of a nub. The first flash-through glimpse I got was of an angled (45 degree, pretty indisputable!) "thing" near the right area. I'm delighted that I didn't get a sinking heart feeling, I just thought, well that's that, then! :) I was really eager to get more views to confirm it, so I watched eagerly. I didn't get another view for a while, as the sonographer was also looking at the huge haematoma which is a big crescent shaped area around the gestational sac. It doesn't seem any smaller at all, but she said not to be too anxious about it, because it's almost all black on the scan now, which is the same as the amniotic fluid, and means it's liquefied. She said that it will do that before it reabsorbs, so I'm hopeful that it will now clear up. I am bleeding quite a lot at the moment, every day. It is all dark brown and more liquid (sorry!), so that concurs with what she found, and I'm hopeful that it means the haematoma is going to be reducing soon, with the bleeding out and the possible reabsorption. Anyway, it's still very large for now, but apparently not bothering the baby! :)

THEN I saw a great profile shot. She said she would print it out for my picture (ONE PICTURE FOR £5!!!!!), and pointed out the little hand near the baby's tummy, and then sort of cross-sectioned through the baby a little bit to show me the other hand up and over the baby's head, and THAT'S when I saw the nub really clearly. Not the 45 degree thing I had seen before (she showed me the umbilical cord going down and then under the baby's legs round the bottom), but a flat white line with no angle - NO ANGLE, people!!!! I almost gasped, but managed not to because I would have looked odd, since I don't think she had any idea, lol! The only thing was that it was slightly awkward being sure of that non-angle, because of the baby's bottom being tilted up the side of the sac - I sort of had to twist my head to see it right - and also, I had Lydia's VERY clear nub etched in my mind's eye, and this one was more grainy as an image, and not as clear or very obvious as Lydia's was. So it made me second-guess now and then as I watched. But every time I saw it, there was no angle! Definitely a flat nub. Forked at the end, and I couldn't remember if that meant anything boyish, but there was no denying it was a girly nub, and I could hardly breathe for excitement and disbelief thinking that I was 13 weeks and 3 days, looking at a girly nub - almost a certainty that this baby was a girl!

But TWO girls in a row?!! After six boys in a row?!! Could it possibly even BE?!!!

So I still do, somehow, have this disbelief thing going on! ;) The sonographer was very kind and gave me THREE pictures! :) She put two behind the first one and said not to show them! There was a moment where the baby put a little hand in front of its (I can't bring myself to say "her" quite yet - have to wait for that gender scan!) face, and I said, "Awww, so sweet!" So she printed me one of that too. :) The images were more grainy and zoomed in than some of my previous scans at my old hospital, and it turned out that NONE of the three pictures gave a very good view of the nub, but here they are anyway. Little monkey stayed with bottom up in the air most of the time, despite me turning onto my left side for a minute, and then back, and then my right side for a minute, etc. And all the jiggling with the probe! ;) There was a slightly flatter position for a moment and the sonographer used that time to measure the length, which was 71.something millimetres, and thus a gestation of 13 weeks and 2 days. I said I was sure I was 13 weeks and 3 days, and she said that was pretty much what the scan showed, but that they will go with a due date based on the scan rather than my dates from now on. Which is January 5th - my great-grandmother's 119th birthday. :) If it IS a girl and she's born on her due date, it would be so sweet to name her Emma (my great-grandmother's name), but I don't think we would, as Neil's sister has two daughters called Ella and Emily, and I can just see my lips tripping over each other at family gatherings and calling for Emmallamily to hold Elimma's hand or something. :P

Anyway, I am sticking to my ovulation based due date of Jan 4th. The previous hospital used to only change the due date if it was outside of 2 days from your original date. I am okay with them *thinking* I'm due on the 5th though, because it gives me an extra day to go past my due date! :)

Here are the pics of my sweet treasure-baby!



Little hand over face!...





The third photo is the position that the baby finally got into (hardly much change, but enough!) to measure the length.

So, the nub in the first photo is hard to see, but I *think* it is that little button-y thing poking out between the buttocks. Not 100% sure though. If it is, it's a girl, pointing down and out like that. :)

The second photo has a pretty good view of the nub, but none of them are as good as Lydia's white stick of a nub - really really visible in those pictures at that link there! :) Anyway, the second photo above shows a little white line near the lowest part of the tummy with a little white "forked" pair of lines at the end of it, and that is definitely the nub. Since the lines are all pointing off towards the legs, I am really hopeful that it means GIRL! :) The third photo doesn't show the end of the nub, but you can see a white line (maybe slight fork further down it) parallel to the spine, pretty much. If it's a girl it should be parallel to the spine. Any angling up means boy, generally. I really did not see the slightest bit of angling on this baby's nub, and because of my experience last time, I am hesitantly very confident that I'm having another GIIIIIRRRRL!!! I can't believe it, but I know (again from experience!) that it will sink in! I can't wait for my next scan to confirm it. It is booked for August 21st, when I will be 20.5 weeks. Cannot WAIT! I want to yell, "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! IT'S A GIIIIIRRRRLLLLL!!!!" again, and plan names and pinkness, and squeal a lot with 100% confidence, etc! But I am honestly so confident from what I saw. I posted the pics at ingender, of course (before even updating Facebook, haha!) and have had no boy guesses. I even had one of the experts respond, saying girl! :) Yay, yay, yaaaay!

I absolutely squealed in the car on the way home, lol! And I stopped off - I just HAD to - at the shopping centre near home, to buy myself a yummy sandwich and Belgian bun, try on some clothes (haven't had the chance to do that for YEARS!), and nip into Tesco, where I found myself *uncontrollably* buying sparkly nail polish and a newborn-sized sleepsuit that I passed and HAD to have, with "Little Sister" in silver lettering on the front! I know I am a crazy woman (this is one of the things you love most about me, right?! :P ), but who cares - it was only £5 and, as I said to Neil afterwards, I will gift it, return it, or stroke it longingly on a daily basis, if this baby does turn out to be a boy, ha! ;)

Neil was not with me for the scan, for the first time EVER at a regular scan, because we had nobody to watch the children, and even if we found someone to watch them, Lydia is absolutely inconsolable at this age with anyone outside of family. Some of our other toddlers have been like that, but where we used to live, they didn't have a policy about children in the scan rooms, so we always took our youngest (sometimes several youngest!) with us. This hospital, as well as being stingy with the photos (though the actual sonographer was very sweet and generous!), have an absolute rule of NO CHILDREN in the scan room, and "only one person to accompany the patient"!!! Tsk. So we are stuck. I really hate for Neil to miss these scans, because although he's not very connected to the babies when I'm pregnant, and thus doesn't mind missing them, that's the very reason I WANT him to be there, because it's a rare opportunity for him to actually CONNECT and maybe feel something towards the baby, or the pregnancy in general. :( There's only one scan left, and I am hoping (planning?!) to be able to find someone to watch the children, including Lydia, who I really hope will not be 100% miserable or difficult for whoever is watching them, so that Neil can be with me to see our little one, and find out for sure what we are having. It was weird getting home and him having to ask what I thought the baby was, and then saying, "Really?!!" when I said I thought it was a girl. I feel sad that we didn't get to see, talk about, and process together at the time. Also I was accosted by boys asking, "Did you see the nub?!!" and "Is it a girl?!! I feel SURE it's a girl!! Is it, is it?!!" as I was still closing the front door, let alone having had a moment to privately tell the baby's own daddy! Sweet that they are so excited and eager, but I felt a bit sad that it wasn't BOTH parents' experience, that's all.

So, I told the boys that it looks very much like another girl, but that we HAVE to wait until the next scan. I wondered if I should say, because their hopes are UP - they've been longing for another sister, and what if I'm wrong and it's a boy?! What damage will I have done by telling them?! But honestly, the nub was so obviously a girly one... I waited until the "expert" at ingender said girl, and then I told them. I don't think Arthur, Matthew or Nathan could have stood waiting even a day, let alone until the next scan! Arthur was ready to grab the pictures and study the angle of the nub himself, lol! He knows all about these things! ;) So I showed them the sleepsuit and they were so excited. :) I told them it COULD still be a boy, and we must wait and see at the next scan to be sure. I really don't think it's a boy though... :)

I am still feeling sick, but I think there's definite "lifting" of the heaviness of the nausea in the last few days. I'm nearly 14 weeks now, and sometimes I have had another 8-10 weeks of morning sickness yet (aaargghh!), but in all my pregnancies that have had nausea beyond 14 weeks, that mark is always a point of the intensity of the nausea becoming way more manageable, even if it goes on for a while. Nearly there!!! :) Lydia's was gone around 15 weeks.

It's REALLY late now so I am going back to bed. If I think of anything I have missed, I will update again! :)

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

13 weeks, 2 days - scan tomorrow!

So much that I wanted to make note of, and I just keep not having time, or else I'm too tired in the evening to stay up and write.

I'm in my 2nd trimester!!! Yay!

I still feel sick, no change yet, although I did wonder today and maybe yesterday, if the gaps between the horrid nausea before mealtimes might be SLIGHTLY less grim... It's not terrible, like the early weeks were, but it can get pretty unpleasant when I need to eat a proper meal, or mid-morning if I didn't eat a filling enough breakfast. I feel sick most of the time. Tonight we had burgers with onion in them, so I'm nervously anticipating the next few days! Onion in any form (especially in large amounts) seems to make me feel horribly sick for the next three days, like last pregnancy. So I have mostly avoided it. Last time I accidentally ate it was in a Tesco ready meal - ridiculous amount of onions, it was fairly unpalatable really. Ate it anyway, and I wish I hadn't because I had three horrible days! I don't think there was much onion in the burgers so I'm hoping I'll get away with it!

My belly has suddenly popped, literally overnight. The night I was 12 weeks and 3 days pregnant, I had to get up for a wee in the night FOUR times. That was the maximum I'd had to deal with - the previous few nights were building up to it, 2-3 trips per night. The previous week was about once a night, occasionally not at all, so I could tell there was significant growth and restricted space going on in week 12! ;) Also I remembered from my previous pregnancies that it was somewhere around that time that my womb had popped out of my pelvis, along with increased discomfort and night weeing before it, and relief after. The night I was 12 weeks and 4 days pregnant, when I woke the next morning, I realised I had not had to get up once for a wee! :) Such a contrast to the previous few nights! So I wondered, but didn't really think about it again until later in the day when Neil pointed to my tummy and said it had REALLY grown today, and I looked down and there it was - a proper pregnant belly! :) It was early evening and we were trying to round kiddies up in the garden to get ready for bed, but Arthur took a photo for me:



It should show up bigger if you click on it. I think I prefer Photobucket to blogger's own photo uploady thing, for the way they display the photos on the blog, but oh well. This was quicker tonight. So there is my bump! :) Twelve weeks and 5 days. I'm so excited to be pregnant!! I meant to post it at the time, but here I am several days later and only just getting around to it. I also wanted to post a picture of my completed wall chart that I made for myself to get through the first 6 weeks of morning sickness, colouring in the days in rainbow colours as they went by. I can't believe I have completed it already! I haven't got around to taking a photo though. I have drawn a little footprint above the days where I have felt the baby move. :) Not every day, but most, since 9 weeks and 5 days. :) I haven't noticed much movement in the last couple of days, but hopefully everything is fine. I haven't had time to get my Doppler out since I last had cause to with bleeding.

This evening I had another "surge" of bleeding, but it wasn't too heavy, and I was VASTLY reassured to see that it was brown, not even slightly red. So I'm hoping the old blood is coming away and there won't be much left to see at the scan tomorrow.

My scan is TOMORROW!!!! I thought it would never come round! I can't wait to see my little treasure again, but also I am about going out of my MIND with anticipation over the nub, which I will surely see tomorrow! :) Nice and accurate now I'm this far along, so there shouldn't be any doubt. I am not sure if I will get a picture with the nub showing (it seems like this hospital is really stingy with scan pics compared with my previous one!). I think I will only get one picture, and if it doesn't show the nub you will have to take my word for it on what I should get a very good view of during the actual scan! ;)

I have second guessed myself SO many times in the last week or two. I have such a girl vibe. But then I eat some meat and it tastes GOOD, so maybe it's a boy then? And then the girl "vibe" is probably more of a wishful thinking vibe, lol! So that can't be trusted. I don't have a strong boy vibe, but I think maybe it could easily be a boy all the same. I am left with really truly having no idea what to expect in the nub department tomorrow. I think I lean more towards girl in my heart, but it seems very unlikely in reality, so I am trying to remember to expect the "usual" (ha!) boy nub! ;) Whichever it is, I will be so happy to know, and to move on to thinking ahead and bonding and planning names, etc! I know it's not the proper confirmation scan, and will try to wait for that before going all out, lol! I wouldn't "announce" based on a 13 week scan, but it's so much fun to have a good idea, all from my own observations, without an expert telling me what I'm having! I can't wait! I hope my little one is doing well in there. I've just realised we haven't got a nickname for this baby. That's the first time ever. I haven't even missed having one, it's just nice to refer to the baby as "the baby", honestly! We wondered if we would even have any more. And it's lovely to say "my little one" and vary what I call him or her.

I'm sure there's something else I'm meant to update about... the midwife follow-up appointment? I finished my booking appointment (I might have said this last entry, I can't remember when I last updated!), and am being referred to the home birth team - yay! Hopefully they will give me an appointment for 16 weeks, and then it's the 20/21 week scan (which I have to get the date for at the 16 week appointment, apparently), and then 28 weeks, 34 weeks, and 36, etc. Not many appointments when you are not having your first baby, but I am fine with it.

Well, it's late and I must go! I will update about the scan when I can, hopefully tomorrow.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Scan update (almost 12 weeks!!!!)...

Sorry for a few days' wait! I have to be quick, I feel SO nauseous tonight and I need to get to bed.

So I went for my scan and all is well with my little miss or mister! :) The sonographer, unfortunately, seemed rather annoyed to see me, acting like she was supressing the urge to speak frankly to me, and instead saying in an "I'm cross but I'm going to throw this little laugh in with my tense tone so it seems light and cheery" way, that she *told* me there was a large area of bleeding, and she *told* me that I should expect to have some bleeding. Up popped the baby on the screen and she turned it very quickly to me, saying, "See? Baby is just fine, and *there's* the area of bleeding from last time."

It really annoyed me, and made me feel tense and unhappy (and constantly apologising for wasting her time, which of course she laughed at and said, "Oh don't worry!"), because I don't think she understood what had just happened, or that I didn't even make the appointment myself! I tried to tell her, but she was being "brisk" and kept cutting me off. I did get the part out about the midwife making the appointment for me, and also the fact that it was "pouring" bleeding, which I hadn't expected from what she'd said, but I'm honestly not sure what she even listened to.

Also, the "very large" area of bleeding from 2 weeks ago is still there, but it's only when I spoke to a nurse (no doctors available this time) afterwards that I made a point of asking for the measurements, and then had to actually ASK, "Is it bigger than before?" And she had to admit that it was bigger than before. They both had said it was probably "just how I was going to do things this pregnancy", and "it was probably just part of the original bleed coming out". Well, I don't buy it, and so my confidence in their reassurance is shaken. I'm not daft, and I have a LOT of experience of bleeding. (oh, and re. the question in my comments last entry: 1) Please don't be "anonymous"! I really don't like anonymous comments. :/ 2) Yes, you thought right - I did bleed in all but one of my previous pregnancies. What of it? I am not sure I understand the point of the question... I have only had *pouring* bleeding in my 3rd pregnancy and this one, though. The others ranged from spotting to heavy period. Is there a point to the question, or was it to infer that I should know all about bleeding by now and not be so stressed by it?!). I full well KNOW that fresh blood is red, older blood is brown, and really old blood is almost black in colour. I'm not about to run back to have another ultrasound 9 days after the last one, knowing I have a big haematoma in there, with a good amount of brown/black blood on my underwear all of a sudden. I feel a bit annoyed that they think I don't know better!

This bleeding was FRESH. Not all of it, so I am sure it was washing out some of the older blood with it, but for the most part it was RED. Proper fresh blood red, and lots of it. Also, how does a pool of old blood suddenly POUR out in a torrent that doesn't stop, and THEN the next day none of it has reduced from last time on the scan, but instead the size of the haematoma has increased?!!! Please, people. It's obvious to me that there was a new influx of blood to the same area, and not a small amount of it either. I don't understand why they wouldn't tell me that and discuss it with me, or maybe that they wouldn't actually think of it as a probability?! I told them both that my bleeding last time was red and pouring. That after my scan, it faded to more like a heavy RED period, and then to brown, and finally to light brown spotting, and then it was gone. Two days later, red and pouring again. Why don't they listen to me and see that it's not the same old blood from last time?! I'm so frustrated. My mum thinks that because there's nothing they can do about it either way, they just want to wash their hands of me so I won't keep on using up resources while we see what happens. :/ Possibly.

So, of course this time, the red bleeding faded to like a normal (red) period, and then brown but still fairly heavy the next day. It is now almost black but heavy enough that I need to wear sanitary pads, not those little pantyliners. That is what I am used to with pregnancy bleeds. They start, and then stop, and the "clearing" of the resulting haematoma is exactly like this. I am 100% sure I had two separate haemorrhages, but from the same source, or at least into the same exact place, which is why they won't entertain the fact that I had a bleed twice, just that it's all the same thing from the first time. It is important to me because one bleed that heals up and then clears out, is one thing. Repeated heavy bleeds from the same source worries me more, because it seems like something hasn't healed up, or is not right somehow, to allow that much heavy bleeding to reoccur. I know there's nothing anyone can do though, and for now my little one is safe and well. I hope and pray that this time the area heals up. The sonographer did note that there was a small area of the haematoma that is beginning to clot, which is good, I guess. I am thinking that was part of the previous bleed? The rest isn't clotting yet (shouldn't it be, after almost 2 weeks?! Another thing that makes me think a new bleed has disturbed the area).

Rebecca, thank you for saying about the rectal pain/pressure, and your concerns! I appreciate it! :) I don't think I can just go and get a colonoscopy - it's not that easy in the UK to just get one. I don't have any rectal symptoms outside of these two bleeds, and the sensation is identical to the pressure and discomfort that I feel in early labour, with my uterus pressing on it when it is contracted. That was what worried me. During these two bleeds, for the first 24 hours, or most of that time, my uterus was in a constant hard ball, low in my abdomen, so I knew it was contracted. It was the same when I had this type of bleed with my 3rd baby. It feels like a hard ball pressing on a not-necessarily-empty rectum, which is either uncomfortable or painful. I'm usually constipated which didn't help the sensation! As soon as my uterus eased up, the pressure and discomfort went away, and I haven't had any symptoms moving my bowels or anything. I saw a GI specialist last year because I had bloating and pain and nausea, etc. with GERD symptoms, and he was very thorough feeling my entire abdomen for masses and such, and didn't find anything abnormal enough to consider an invasive test, but said I had motility issues (which I haven't fixed!). I hope it's not wrong that I'm not feeling too concerned about the rectal pain and pressure because I know it from previous uterine episodes and all is well once that has calmed down.

I'm so grateful that my baby is okay. He/she is doing so well! :) Crown-to-rump measurement at 11 weeks and 4 days was 52.9mm, which gave the baby a gestational age of exactly 12 weeks on the nose! So, the first few scans showed 3 days behind my dates (I know when I ovulated, so there's no dispute over the ACTUAL gestation), and then finally the last scan at 10w2d, the baby measured exactly 10w2d, and now he/she is measuring 3 days ahead! :) I guess there was a growth spurt right before this scan, and there will be a slow-down to keep things on an even keel.

This time, the baby was very active! It's the first time I'd seen this baby active. It was moving its arms and legs about, ad doing a sort of hip-twist thingy as though it was shifting on its back to move into a position on its side instead. The baby eventually lay facing away from us, and pulled its little legs up so that we got basically a little pair of buttocks on the screen, haha! I admit, I thought, "Ah, it's a boy!", lol! I get a lot of "SEE MY BOTTOM!!!" at home with six little boys, hehe! ;)

The nub was VERY visible. :) Way too early to bother taking note of it, of course, at only 11w4d. All nubs at that stage are flat and "girly" looking. My baby measured 12 weeks, which is slightly more accurate (only slightly though, at the early end of 12 weeks), but I knew it wasn't accurate, gestationally, so... The nub was flat, and what they would call "early but girly" on in-gender.com. ;) I am wondering if I might see it angle up by my next scan (11 days to go!), because there was a bit of a bump on the end of it, more on the top side of the nub than the underside, and if I remember correctly, those in the "know" at in-gender say that is more likely to be a boy nub in the making, than a girl. Also I think Lydia's nub was so flat that it almost pointed down a bit at the end, whereas this baby's nub, although flat and parallel so far, definitely doesn't point down at the end. I tried to get a good eye on it as often as I could in the short scan, though my head was twisted upside down a bit, lying on the bed to see the sonographer's screen. I wondered if it might not be quite as parallel to the spine as Lydia's had been, and this is only at 11w4d! So surely that gives it a more likely chance of angling up, as boy nubs do, in the next week. I'll know what's it's been doing in 11 days when I see it again! :) I will know for SURE, at least there's that. So long as I can see the nub - and it was so very clear this time, that I'm sure I'll be able to see it clear as day at 13 and a half weeks - all I have to note is whether it's flat and girly (seen one of those pretty recently so I'm familiar, and have just seen a girly nub at this baby's last scan, so it will either be the same, or will have changed), or angled up, and the answer will be that simple. :) No doubts at 13+ weeks, at all. For me, it's almost as sure as a gender scan later on, unless this baby happens to be in the minority and have a nub that's in the "grey area" - barely angled at all, but possibly *some* angling! That will be frustrating, but oh well, I will just have to wait until the gender scan! :) I haven't had a grey area baby yet though! :D I totally know what all sorts of boy nubs look like.

I do wonder now if this is another boy... I have a girl vibe, honestly. But I don't trust it! I have had those before, with some of my sons! ;) This pregnancy I am now far enough along to say that I haven't got much interest at ALL in protein. Something will smell good and I will want to eat it, but not necessarily for the protein. I haven't craved any protein this pregnancy, not even eggs like with most of my boy pregnancies. I haven't ONCE desired beans and egg on toast with grated cheese on top, which is unusual to say the least! The only pregnancy I have had like this is Lydia's, so along with my mind-full-of-thoughts-of-girl-babies, I definitely have a girl vibe. Except for the bump on that nub... and the morning sickness - when did that actually start?! It started and then went away, at a girly time, and then came back at a boy time! lol! And then there's the whole thing where it's surely RIDICULOUS that I can have six boys in a row with nary a daughter in sight, and then all of a sudden have two girls in a row! Doesn't seem likely! ;)

So tomorrow is that wonderful milestone - 12 weeks pregnant, which means goodbye first trimester, hello second trimester! Yay! I say this every time (because people always feel the need to comment otherwise), but I have never gone by the method of dividing trimesters where you take 40 weeks and divide by 3, and there are your three trimesters. Some doctors and midwives do that, and thus many mothers, but it's only one method of doing it, and there isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to look at it, from what I've read. There's a weird "ovulation method" which makes the first trimester like 2 weeks longer (no thank you, lol!), but I much prefer the "developmental method", because it makes the most sense to me. It also gives me a 12 week first trimester, instead of 13-point-something weeks. There are three stages of development in pregnancy, and the first one is up tomorrow (hence on to the second stage, or trimester). The second stage ends at 27 weeks, which coincides with the simple division method too, as it happens. So, happy second trimester to me tomorrow! :D I'm so happy that the placenta is now developed and can take over from the yolk sac completely, and that all my baby's organs and body parts are finished, and just need fine tuning, and to grow! :)

I have a definite little bump now, and have failed to take a 10 week belly pic, which I'm sad about! I didn't even get one at 11 weeks either, but I will TRY to get a 12 week one. All this bleeding keeps me on my toes, and I forget to pay attention to the normal celebratory stuff of pregnancy while things are up in the air. I hope this bleeding settles down and then THAT'S IT for this pregnancy and bleeding! I really hope so.

No new foody things, except all food tastes bitter at the moment, especially dark chocolate (like "lemon zest" bitter!) and all carbs, especially bread and potatoes. The only mild cravings I have had so far this pregnancy are green beans, strawberries, mint choc chip ice-cream (though that was the mildest of all and didn't last long), any sort of fried, fast food smell makes me HAVE TO HAVE that food, lol! And yesterday I suddenly longed for nectarines or peaches, so I bought some today and have been enjoying them so much! :) Whether this baby is a boy or not, it's NOT like the boy pregnancies I've had, and it IS like Lydia's pregnancy as far as the food is concerned, I think.

I weighed myself today and I'm exactly 8 stone 9lbs. ;) Still not a pound lost or gained yet! I would have thought I'd have varied by a lb or two, in either direction, but oh well! It will come soon enough. :) I can't remember if I was gaining or losing any weight by 12 weeks with my other pregnancies. I gained the least weight with Lydia, I think. But I would have to look it all up to be sure.

So this week I have to finish my midwife appointment for the blood tests (especially interested to know how my iron is doing with all the bleeding - I am going to get some Floradix to help in any case, I'm sure it will be a benefit to my body at the moment), and urine tests, etc. I think that's on Tuesday lunch time, and Neil is working from home that day so I can attend it sans kiddies. Can you imagine if I had had to take 7 kids to the midwife appointment last time with Neil working in London 2 hours away, and then all that awfulness happened?! I would have been in some serious trouble.... Glad to have his work happy to let him work from home occasionally to cover these things! And you can be sure I will not be setting foot out of the house again this pregnancy without a heavy duty sanitary pad on, and two more in my bag! Lesson learned.

So this "quick" update turned out to be a long-winded waffle, and I'm up way too late, but that's not really a surprise now, is it?! ;) I am going to bed now though. I have been more nauseous and tired today than most of this week, and child #2 is down with a fever and sore throat, with 5 unsuspecting little people yet to become ill, so I should get my sleep while I can! :/ Sincerely hoping the littlest ones don't get it, and that I don't, because I seem to get things so badly when I'm pregnant, with the lowered immune system. This virus doesn't seem nice, and I don't relish being stuck with a bad case of it and lots of sick or newly-healthy-but-crabby children to look after at the same time! ;)

Back soon! :)

Thursday, 18 June 2015

11 weeks, 3 days - aaaargh!

So close to the second trimester! Still nauseous - have had a worse week than for a while, but the last couple of days have been a bit better. I think it was the HORRIBLY oniony Tesco ready meal that I ate 5 or 6 days ago. Nothing wrong with the meal itself, but I remembered that last pregnancy I discovered that if I ate anything with onions (even Ketchup!) I would regret it with awful morning sickness for 3 days following. I have had the odd thing with onions and been okay this time, so I thought it wasn't the case this pregnancy. But this shepherd's pie thingy was crazily over-onioned! Just touching the container made my fingers smell of raw onion, ugh! And the house stank of onion for the rest of the day after I ate it. So, I'm avoiding onion from now on! ;)

Today I had my first midwife appointment - the long booking appointment where you have to go over all the paperwork, medical history, obstetric history (obviously mine takes a while to recount, lol!), etc. The midwife was really nice, and I had been anxious in the waiting room, it being the first time I've had a pregnancy outside of my home town, as we've relocated now. I felt so lightheaded most of the morning, and figured I might have low blood pressure which I would find out about at the appointment.

We did about 40 minutes of the appointment, and I felt more lightheaded than before by the time we'd waded through all the questions and paperwork. I thought I would ask her if I could lie down for the blood tests, just because I was feeling a bit woozy. She stood up to get the equipment and said, "Right, let's get those blood tests done now, shall we?" and out of the blue, sitting in the chair, my underwear suddenly filled with a huge swirl of hot liquid (sorry for the graphics!). I knew instantly that I was bleeding - MAN, I am getting tired of the sensation and the panic it causes! I gasped (it was SO sudden) and said, "OH! I think I'm bleeding, I need to go and check!" and heard her say, "Do you want to go and check?!" at the same moment that I dashed out the door. You have to cross the waiting room to get to the toilets (joy) and I could feel that I was bleeding heavily, so I prayed silently that it wasn't obvious to the world, and expressed internal frustration that I wasn't wearing even a pantyliner (my bleeding from last week slowed to light brown spotting within days, and then non-existant really, these last couple of days, so I had stopped wearing anything). I rushed into the nearest bathroom and got onto the toilet as fast as I possibly could, but I still bled all over the floor, toilet seat and clothing in the few seconds I took to sit down. :( Yet again, steady stream into the toilet water. So so soooo horrible, and I'm fed up with this happening. I don't think anything is wrong with my baby, just with my WOMB, and I am anxious that I could lose my perfectly healthy baby because of what-on-earth is going on with my womb. I don't understand why it keeps happening, and so heavily.

I had that same sharp constant crampy pain over my pubic bone, and the sharp rectal pressure, like last time. It had started earlier in the appointment, and I sat there on the toilet thinking ohhh, I should have known! I just shoved the distraction of it away as I was concentrating on talking to the midwife, and put it down to bowel-related annoyance.

The difference today was that the bleeding was a slightly different colour than last time - last time it was BRIGHT red. This time it was a slightly "browner" red, but it has since settled to normal red. The other difference was that I felt REALLY faint and shaky and weird, in the bathroom at the doctor's surgery. I was trying to clean up the blood off the floor and toilet, and at the same time eyeing the red cord that hangs by the toilet to pull in case of emergency, knowing that I could pull it if I felt like passing out. Also I thought the midwife might check on me eventually, and I didn't know how I would get off the toilet since it was still pouring out, and I had utterly soaked underwear on, no coat or other clothing to put round my waist, and nothing that might serve as a sanitary pad! Eventually I shakily folded wads of paper towels either side of my underwear and hoped for the best. I washed up with the tiny amount of soap left (dear God let me not get a virus from that public toilet!!!), and went back to the midwife. She ordered me to lie down the moment I came in the room, and when I promptly bled through my makeshift sanitary pad, she couldn't find any in the building (for goodness' sakes?!) so she folded up a flannel sheet into an enormous bulky thing and I put that in my jeans, mumbling something about it being so undignified, lol! ;) Keeping my sense of humour helps me in big scary moments. If I haven't got it, I go straight to outright panic. :/

She said to call a stop to the appointment, because we didn't know the "outcome" of things yet, but she wanted me to go to the hospital, and I had driven myself the 15 minutes to the appointment in Neil's work car (we only have massive minibus otherwise!), and she told me there was no way I was fit to drive! She asked if I wanted her to call 999 for an ambulance, and I said that seemed a bit over the top so I wasn't sure... She called the hospital and they have booked me another "viability" scan for tomorrow morning, at 9.15. Then she said at the very least, someone would have to come and get me, and take me home. Neil was working from home today so I could go to the appointment, and watching the kiddies while I was out. She called him (I felt SO BAD!!!) and told him I was unwell and bleeding again, and could he please come and get me. He put the children in the minibus and drove over. I felt too faint to talk at first, even lying down with my knees up. She watched me with a concerned expression and asked me constantly if I was doing okay, and she took my blood pressure (100/60 - my norm, which I was relieved about!) and pulse, and my pulse was fine too, so that was reassuring. I wonder if it was just shock or something, and I had already felt so lightheaded and woozy before anyway.

So after a while I worried about getting up from lying down when Neil arrived, in case I came over funny, so I got up slowly and sat in a chair to see how I would get on. The midwife sat with me, and eventually asked if she could do some paperwork next to me, if I would tell her the moment I started to feel worse. She got me some water, which I felt desperate to drink, but upon taking the first sip I was reminded that I can't tolerate normal tap water without feeling really morning sick - whoops! So I didn't really drink much of it after all. I felt a bit less woozy after maybe 10 or 15 minutes. I was aware of bleeding, but thankful for a big wad of bedding between my legs, lol! So at least I didn't have to think about it much or go to the toilet again to sort it out.

When Neil turned up, they showed him to the room we were in, and the midwife said she would walk with us to the car park to make sure I got to the vehicle safely. We had to walk through the waiting room again, and as she was walking behind me, I felt her subtly tug the back of my top down as low as it would go, bless her! So much fun to walk through a roomful of bored strangers with blood stains on your backside. :/

By the time I got to the van I was really bleeding heavily and I thought I had probably soaked through the folded sheet, so I sat in there quickly. The kiddies were pretty well behaved, and Lydia dozed off on the way home. I went straight upstairs to change and put a proper pad on. I still felt so crampy, and I took painkillers and just sat as still as I could. I soaked through the first pad in about 15 minutes, and the next one in maybe 40 minutes. The next one took an hour or so to soak through. I had to change my clothes again once, and slightly stained the sofa once too. :( Really heavy bleeding.

It's late now, and my bleeding is still going, though it's dripping into the toilet when I sit there, instead of running. It is more like a very heavy period now, and calming down. I still feel kind of crampy and uncomfortable, but that is easing too. It was a few hours before I had chance (with the little ones around) to use my Doppler, and when I did, it took me about 3 or 4 minutes of PROPER scariness, not finding a heartbeat ANYWHERE! Finally, over to one side, there it was. I was so relieved! 166bpm and I heard movement as well, after a while. The heartbeat moved away from the Doppler a little, and I heard a couple of bumps and "splatches" on the Doppler that I know are little kicks and movements. :)

So THAT is reassuring. I just wish I wouldn't bleed like this.... it can't be good for the pregnancy if it keeps happening, surely? I feel like it's putting my baby at risk, and that worries me. I hope they can reassure me tomorrow, but I'm not sure how. They seemed to put it down as "one of those things" the other times, but it leaves me wondering how many more times I'm going to suddenly haemorrhage, and whether one of those times will cause a miscarriage or something?! :/

So, I have a scan in the morning and will update later about it, when I can. If I'm super tired, I might not until the next day, because at least I know that my little one is alive and well tonight. But I will get to it soon.

The midwife appointment up to that point was SUPER encouraging, by the way! :) I will elaborate another time. I have to get to bed now.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

10 weeks, 2 days - scan today

Just an update on today's scan. I am still bleeding and was still quite crampy this morning when I went for my scan, but it's much better today - very much like a period in terms of the bleeding, which is a great improvement.

Immediately after the scan was started, the sonographer said to me, "Baby is fine." and swung the screen round to show me. Perfect, PERFECT little person looking all proper-baby-shaped and everything! :) The baby was lying in a big round bubble, on his/her back. I could see the little facial profile, and the twisty umbilical cord rising up from the tummy to the "ceiling" of the bubble, and little legs curled up. The heart was beating away merrily, but the baby didn't move in the brief time I was watching the screen, not even a bit. When I have had scans at 12 weeks, sometimes my babies have been asleep through the first part of the scan, and I presume that's what was happening this morning. :) The sonographer measured the baby's CRL (crown to rump length, that is from the top of the head to the bottom), and it was 35.1mm - just 3 and a half centimetres! So weeny, and yet so perfectly formed! She had asked me how many weeks pregnant I *think* I am, when I arrived, and I just decided to say "Ten." because so far the pregnancy/baby has measured 3 days behind at all my scans. She said that 35.1mm dates the pregnancy at 10 weeks and 2 days!! Yay! I'm so happy because that's my exact gestation from my own (definite) dates, and it seems that my little one has caught up. :)

She then said she could see "a very large bleed" and showed me a dark area going up and over to one side of the gestational sac, and also down and under it to the other side. She didn't comment on the cause, just noted its existence, and said that bleeds like this usually don't interfere with the pregnancy itself. She said that I would probably have spotting and bleeding for some time as it clears out, but that some of it will be reabsorbed as well. I asked lots of questions, and basically she said that she couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't miscarry, but that everything looked okay at the moment and many women bleed without complications to the pregnancy (as I know from experience!). So that was reassuring.

I saw the doctor after waiting quite a while in the waiting room (I was getting so hungry and queasy!), and she was similarly reassuring. She made comments about how many babies I've had (lots of exclamation, awe, surprise, etc. - all positive, which was nice!), and asked how many more I would have - I don't know! She asked if it was for "religious reasons" and I said yes, though it helps that I've always wanted a lot of children and we really enjoy having them! :)

She said that sometimes a HEAVY bleed earlier in pregnancy can be associated with complications later in the pregnancy, such as a baby that is small for dates, or preterm birth. I said, "Interesting!!" and she gave me a look, so I leaned over and pointed on her notes to the list of my babies' births, and showed her Nathan's, and she said, "Oh, 35 weeks?!" I told her that this bleed was almost identical to the one I had with him only a few days later in gestation (it was heavier actually), and she said that maybe they should monitor me more carefully later in my pregnancy. So interesting! Elijah was small for dates, and I did have a bleed with him at the start of my pregnancy (like this time), but no further or big bleeds. I had bleeding with Benjamin and Arthur too and they were both good and chunky! ;) I'm a bit annoyed at my tendency to bleeeeed like this, actually. :/

Anyway, so it's good news today - the baby is beautiful and perfect and doing well! I was so thrilled to get a glimpse of my tiny one, and felt SO IN LOVE watching him/her! I hope everything continues to be okay... This evening my bleeding has eased up some more, and it's now like a light period. I still need pads, but it's much lighter. I have had some IBS cramping this evening which has been a bit... anxiety-provoking, since it causes me pain in a similar area to the cramping I had yesterday, and the whole bleeding-and-moving-bowels thing is just UNNERVING no matter how experienced you are at it!

They discharged me from the hospital straight off, because they could see that the baby was okay, and the source of bleeding. I have my booking appointment with the midwife next week on Thursday, and then my scan will only be two weeks away after that!! Coming up nice and quickly! :)

Today my morning sickness has been more manageable AGAIN. Still nauseated most of the day, but a new thing has come alongside the milder level of nausea - HUNGER. I am so so so hungry today! Maybe my little one is having a growth spurt?! I had two bowls of cereal before I went to the scan, and less than 2 hours later in the waiting room, I was distractingly hungry, and wishing they could hurry up so I could get home and eat, lol! I got home at 10.45 and ate half a pizza for "lunch" by 11am - my leftovers from yesterday's large pizza! That is a FULL portion for me, that's usually all I can manage. I snacked on bits of fresh coconut if I felt too sick and knew I needed to eat, over the next few hours, and then had to make a cheese spread sandwich with some cherry tomatoes to keep me going. I felt yucky eating, and that particular snack didn't leave a nice aftertaste, but oh well. It kept the nausea level at "bearable" so I could continue doing normal activities, which was good. Neil worked from home today and decided to make a beef and vegetable sort of thing once he finished his work, so that was about 6pm. I was so hungry my stomach hurt and I was distracted from even conversations, from about 5.30pm, and he sweetly made beef, carrots, broccoli, and green beans in a stock, and a pile of boiled potatoes in their skins on the side - oh my goodness, I just was so focused on eating, it was a serious business, lol! I felt queasy but that is all. I ate every tiny piece, and when Neil said he was over-full, I realised that we'd eaten the same amount and I was feeling restless in the kitchen wondering what sort of dessert I could eat! ;) I felt mildly nauseous once I wasn't eating any more, but this is SO much better than a couple of weeks ago, for that time of day! I made the boys a fruit salad while they ate their dinner, and ate a bit of it myself (strawberries, people! I ate half a pack of them last night at 1am with some vanilla ice-cream and it was the most heavenly taste ever!!! Ha! So pregnant of me! :D ). By the time they had finished their fruit salad, I was feeling pretty yucky again, and snuck into the kitchen to eat a big bowlful of Ben and Jerry's strawberry shortcake frozen yoghurt, mmmm! The only thing about frozen yoghurt is that it has the taste, but none of the fillingness or satisfaction, I find.

Bedtime went fine, just mild-moderate nausea which is better than I was used to not so long ago, and if it wasn't for the IBS kicking in, I would have eaten a good amount of something-or-other when I got downstairs! ;) It has settled down now, and I've eaten a bowl of cereal. I weighed myself this morning and I'm still 8 stone 9lbs, which is pretty much exactly what I weighed 4 weeks ago, and exactly what I weighed around the time I took the pregnancy tests, and exactly what I weighed before I conceived, etc. So, no gain, no loss yet. I thought maybe I would lose a bit of weight with morning sickness, but I haven't and that's fine with me. I personally think weight gain is GOOD and NECESSARY if you are pregnant, unless you have a medical condition that means you have to be careful. ALL other pregnant mamas, GAIN YOUR WEIGHT!! Your milk supply will thank you on the other side! ;) There's a lot of new research coming out about the many benefits of gaining enough weight and putting on fat (yes, FAT) - really important for brain development of the baby, and also protection for mother's brains and various chemical changes that we go through postpartum. Fat is important to have as you hit the postpartum stage, we gain it for a good reason, and lose it at variable rates as we recover (again, good reason for it!). Anyway - weight gain in pregnancy is a big soapbox issue for me, which you'll know if you've read my blog for long enough! I'm thankful that in the UK nothing is made of weight gain at all. You are not weighed at all when pregnant, and nobody keeps track of weight gain, or asks about it, suggests you gain more/less, etc.  It was phased out long ago as not relevant, unless medically necessary. There is no pressure on women to gain weight, or to try not to gain so much weight - I can't fathom the indignity of this in countries where they make it a big deal!!

Anyway!! Getting off my soapbox! :P

So, I am still very tired, but Lydia did not sleep well at all last night - really out of character for her. She stirred noisily in her sleep or woke up every few minutes for what felt like HOURS (I think it was at least 2 hours), and less often but still a few times an hour, after that. She was just making upset noises and reaching for me, or whimpering in her sleep, or yelling, "NO! Nooooo!" and stuff like that. She NEVER does this. She didn't look in pain or discomfort, so I am wondering if it had to do with the situation that day - me bleeding and she must have known something was up. And Nicola came round while the "something up" was going on - maybe she felt insecure with the general insecurity of her mummy? It didn't help matters that right after she got up for the day today, I left the house and drove off (which of course, I never do!)! She apparently cried and climbed to the window to watch for me, saying, "Mummyyy? Mummyyy?" (as the boys told me!), and when I arrived home and she saw me come in, her expression and the tone of her voice as she said, "MUMMY!!!" was like a million Christmasses for me! :) I hope she sleeps better tonight - her evening sleep has been solid so I'm hopeful! I think (hope) I am giving off a better "vibe" today, being no longer in pain, more confident and normal in my body language and activity level, and having seen my baby at the scan... She's at that age anyway, where she has been acting more clingy lately.

I must go to bed! I meant to take a belly pic, but my camera battery is dead and needs charging. I wore normal jeans to the scan but couldn't even begin to pull the zip up, let alone the button (which was gaping 3 inches!!!) so things are definitely changing! :D I used my desperate measures last resort, and wore a long length top over the jeans, which I fastened with a hair band looped over the button, through the hole, and back over the button. It still felt too tight, but it has done the job today! :) In the evenings I am more bloated than in the mornings, and I have a very definite baby bump in the hour or two leading up to bed time. I am not sure it's legit since it's a time-of-day thing, but I can't do jeans up in the morning either, so that is definitely legit! :) The boys noticed it one evening recently, and were very excited to see my tummy growing! If I lie on my back, my tummy is no longer completely flat. There's a little rise now! :)

I have been having some ligament pains when getting up suddenly or moving with a twist or something. I haven't had a lot of those this pregnancy, so even though it BURNS, it's nice to feel that familiar pain again. :) It also means that things are definitely growing!

I have had some tenderness and flashy pains in my breasts lately, just here and there. I get a few of those for a few days, and then nothing for a while. Breast tenderness has been really mild for me this time so far, and I haven't had ANY episodes yet of pain while breastfeeding, which is better than previous times too. Nursing pain has varied with previous pregnancies, and I will have none at all for ages, and then suddenly it's unbearable to nurse, and then if I make it through that, it's fine again for a while. I am still tandem nursing Elijah and Lydia. Most of my tandem nursing experiences of little ones their ages, have been nursing them one at a time. Elijah and Lydia breastfeed together a LOT. They are little buddies and if Elijah asks to breastfeed and I say yes, he will go to snuggle up ready, and suddenly stop and call, "Lydieee?! Do you want milky?!" and she will come running over, lol! Lydia usually just nurses whenever she wants to, with or without Elijah, but lately I have noticed she has started to snuggle up and then she might pat the other side and said, "Lide-lee?" (this is how she pronounces "Lijey" which is a short version of his name that we use a lot. Today she actually called him over and over until he stopped playing and came to see what she wanted, and joined her! ;) So, they breastfeed in tandem a lot. I have had a few brief occasions where it has felt skin-crawly to do that, but thankfully not for long, and for the most part it's fine. I am sure I will find that I get more occasions like this as my pregnancy progresses though. It's normal, as I prepare for my newest nursling! :)

Oh, I said I was going to bed! I feel a bit sick, but not too bad. I am wondering (beginning to really wonder!) if maybe I might be seeing the actual waning of morning sickness for this pregnancy. I know I am only 10 weeks, and maybe the fact that I've finally put that down in print will mean it bites me in the butt now. :P But it has been almost 2 weeks since it eased up, and it is continuing to very gradually become more manageable, though it is reassuring me by still being very much THERE. We shall see. I am certainly grateful for these last couple of weeks being so much better than I ever could have hoped! :)

I will try to remember to take a picture for the 10 week belly gallery pic (OH! Must start a belly gallery!), and post it soon with a general update on things. Thanks for the comments and well wishes! I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

10 weeks, 1 day - bleeding

The day after my last blog entry I heard the baby's heart beat with my Doppler again - 184 beats per minute this time! Being 9 weeks and 5 days, that was about right for the maximum speed the heart would ever beat at, since that's the gestation it reaches its peak. It was easy to find, and kept me company while I spent the evening without Neil, the night he was staying with his siblings at their family home for his mum's 70th birthday.

The very next evening, I was reclining on the sofa when I suddenly froze because there was a "sensation" about an inch above my pubic bone. It was like the slightest touch with the tip of my little finger, laid there for a second and then gone, on the inside. I KNEW what it was, and didn't dare breathe, waiting as still as I could to feel it again. Nothing more, except a slight "flumple" sensation, like a bubble of movement somewhere inside, not against my skin. But yay! Movements! 9 weeks and 6 days - I'm sure I've felt movements that early before. :)

I hit 10 weeks pregnant yesterday! Such a happy milestone! :) Quarter of the way through my pregnancy, double figures, only 2 weeks to go until the end of my first trimester, etc. I was eagerly awaiting 10 weeks because I knew that would be around the time I might feel the first movements, and sure enough, I felt that tiny light pokey touch again twice yesterday! :) Definitely the first tiny stirrings that I'm able to feel, of my little one inside me. So precious! I'm so excited to feel more movements and bigger ones too.

I've been so exhausted these past few days, and nothing is really helping - sleep, etc. I am trying to keep my fluids up better in case it's dehydration making me feel worse, but it doesn't seem to be helping. I think maybe the baby has just been having a growth spurt or something? I also got a headache the night before last that wouldn't go, and I went to bed because usually sleep helps, especially if it was due to tiredness. But I woke with it several times during the night, and it was still banging away in the morning so I took painkillers then. It eased up a bit, but was there all yesterday, and is hanging around a bit today. I just feel BONE tired! My skin feels too heavy, and my limbs are too. I feel out of breath just being up and about, not worryingly breathless, but just tired, like the air isn't very oxygen rich or something! I do remember parts of previous pregnancies being like this, especially in the first trimester - I was actually thinking how this is the first really bad tired patch, which I think isn't my norm by now.

Today began the same - tired out and dragging myself through the motions of getting the boys to do chores, changing nappies and dressing little ones, making lunch, etc. I had an AWESOME sandwich today, lol! I boiled an egg and sliced it, and made a sandwich with mayo, ham, the sliced egg, shredded lettuce, sliced cherry vine tomatoes and cucumber. Oh my goodness!!!! I did not feel a bit sick while eating that, but it kicked back in shortly after. :) Anyway, I make and eat my own lunch before making the children's, much like in a plane where you are supposed to put your own oxygen mask on before attending to your children's, in case of emergency - if I don't eat first, I can't make it through preparing their lunch and they eat late. If I eat first, my nausea lifts enough for me to face getting their lunch made quick, and I have better energy for it too. By the time I had made theirs, though, I was DONE IN. I put it out on the table and said I had to lie down on the sofa for 5 minutes while they ate. My eyes were stinging tired, and I just wanted to flomp my weight down and breathe deep and steady for just 5 minutes, because I thought it would be rejuvenating. Hopefully. Did they give me 5 minutes?! Nope. Not even 60 seconds - I was interrupted 20 times at least by bickering, questions, tale telling, requests for this, that or the other to eat/drink, spills, etc. Aaaargh! I was so thoroughly frustrated at the end of my effort to rest for 5 minutes. Lydia woke up from her nap and that was it.

After lunch and after-lunch chores (clear table, wipe bathroom sinks and pick up rubbish from bathroom floors, laundry (didn't happen), and clearing the surface of the shelving unit in the living room), they went out in the garden to play, and I put my feet up on the sofa and rested, glancing at them out of the window now and then, breastfeeding or reading to Lydia as she pottered around me, and checking emails and stuff. I had been talking to the boys about the baby's development and they wanted to know how a bunch of cells turned into a baby-looking-thing (!), like the exact process, so I went online looking for Lennart Nilsson's photos (hope I spelled his name right!). I have a book of his which is AMAZING, documenting the process, but who knows where on earth it is - it was put in the loft at our old house eventually, to minimise clutter, and the loft boxes have just been stuffed in the garage "for now" at our new house, so I have no idea where it is right now. :( Anyway, I got side-tracked and ended up watching a video of twins being born, lol! ;) While I was watching it, I became aware of feeling a bit leaky, and since it was only a bit, I put it down to CM, since I have had more of that lately.

Then the phone rang, and I got up to answer it, only to have a HUGE let down of fluid in my underwear, so I ignored the phone and ran to the toilet. I knew exactly what it was - I always just know, and it never takes me by surprise any more.

Heavy red bleeding. It had already gone through my clothes, and when I sat down, it ran continually into the toilet like I was going for a wee. I sat and tried to remain calm and just wait for it to ease off a bit, but it didn't. After a moment I realised I was also in pain, a sharp constant pain in the centre, above my pubic bone. I also began to feel pressure in my rectum like a hard ball was pressing against it from the inside, and the two sensations together started to worry me because they reminded me of labour. Thankfully because the phone had been ringing when I got up, I had grabbed it and still had it in my hand when I got to the loo, so I sat there bleeding into the toilet, and called Neil at work to tell him that I was sitting on the toilet bleeding! He had about 20 minutes left of his work day (he works flexi-hours so he starts really early and finishes earlier than most), so he just left right away to get home. the commute is two hours though, so I knew I would have to wait a while, and I wasn't sure what the deal would be in two more hours.

I got up off the toilet and put a pad on (thankfully I had some from when I was bleeding earlier in the pregnancy, though nothing as heavy as this!), and came downstairs to try to figure out what to do. I could feel heavy bleeding all the way downstairs, and hoped the pad would last me until I had sorted something out before I had to return to the loo. Arthur was on the laptop researching war history by then, and the others were in and out playing in the garden or the living room. Lydia was trailing after me. When I got to the living room, Nathan and Matthew happened to be there, and Arthur on the laptop, so I suddenly decided I needed to let them know what was going on - they are 10, almost 9 (on Sunday!!), and 7.5, and I knew they were mature enough to talk with about it. I needed them to be aware so they could help me, and so they would understand what events might happen for the rest of the day. So I told them I have a problem - I am bleeding heavily and also have pain in my tummy, and this is not a good sign. They know I have had bleeding before, and they know what it can mean. I told them that the baby might die, but also that I had the same bleeding even worse with Nathan and look how he is doing?! :) I told them I needed their help to watch Lydia and lift her down if she climbed onto furniture (Arthur does this regularly, very safely, already), because I should not lift anything, and should rest as much as possible. I told them Daddy was coming home, and that I would need to go to the hospital after that to check on the baby. I told them I would be going to the toilet a lot and that I needed their help watching Lydie while I went. They were very good about it, and took it in seriously.

Then I found Heather's number (my doula), and once I'd found it, I had no choice but to get back to the toilet, because I was worried I would be soaking through my clothes. The bleeding was continuous, I could feel it constantly. I went back and sat again, changed the pad which was soaked through, and the blood ran into the toilet water again. The cramping was getting sharper and more intense, and I was getting worried. I had only just heard the heartbeat and felt movement a day or two before, so I didn't think it was likely that the baby had died and my body had ALREADY got the message and started to miscarry. But I was worried that my womb had gone on "empty" mode and could clear out my alive baby, if it didn't calm down soon. I phoned Heather from the toilet, and she was very concerned. She has personal experience of miscarriage with haemorrhage, and shock as a result, so she wanted me to go to hospital as immediately as possible. She asked if I knew anyone I could call, locally, and we only know Nicola (we really should have made some friends by now, oh dear! I'm sooooooo painfully introverted, which is not helpful!). I knew Nicola would have been busy with bringing her eldest home from school and she has two littler boys as well. I felt like I couldn't possibly call her and ask her to come, it was way out of my comfort zone! But Heather insisted I call her, even if she couldn't come in the end, and then call her back (she always makes me promise to call her back, aaarrgh! Then I HAVE to follow through with what she's asked me to do! :P ). So I called Nicola, and she promptly put her boys in the car and drove 20 minutes to our house! What a wonderful friend! :)

Heather said I needed to get a taxi to the hospital when Nicola arrived, but I thought I would call the emergency gynae dept where I have been seen for my previous bleeding and scans this pregnancy. They were excellent before, so I thought they would be a good place to call for advice on where to go. I spoke to a nurse who brought my notes up, asked me a lot of questions about the bleeding and the pain, and told me (as Heather did - same words almost) that she was very sorry, but it really did not sound good. She hoped everything would be okay, but it didn't seem too likely, and she was sorry. She said that unless I was passing large clots or feeling unwell (leading to shock), I could wait it out at home tonight, but that I should go in to A&E if I started bleeding much heavier, passing large clots, or feeling unwell and showing signs of shock. She booked me a scan appointment at 9am tomorrow, which I am really relieved about. I was still talking to her when Nicola arrived, and Arthur let her in (Heather made me check that he knew how to open the front door in case I went into shock and couldn't, so he was ready, bless him!). The boys all played happily together, and Nicola got me a hot water bottle and folded all my laundry!! :) I was just glad to have company, though I didn't feel up to much. I took painkillers and just sat on the sofa as much as I could. I went to the loo again and was still bleeding the same, changed my pad, and went back down. The pain was really concerning me, it was so labour like. Not contractions or waves at all, just a constant searing sharp pain low in front, and in that same sort of "rectal" area. I remember that from early (??) labour with most of my babies. I didn't have the courage to get my Doppler and check. I just wanted to wait for Neil to get home. I was anxious about coming over faint or something, and at one point I was thinking, "Uh-oh, I feel sort of nauseous! Maybe I'm losing too much blood?!" before I realised that it was just morning sickness! ;) Good sign!

My morning sickness is definitely easing, though still there. More manageable again just in the last few days. I hope that's not a bad sign.... I think I would be properly worried if it was going completely, but I do still feel very sick at times. My peak time arrived while Nicola was here, and I really only had mild-moderate nausea which I knocked on the head with a few chunks of fresh coconut from the fridge - unusual... I have noticed in past pregnancies sometimes that if I have company, like someone over, or going out with friends (never do this any more!), my morning sickness would usually be MUCH less noticeable. So maybe it was just because Nicola and the boys were here?

Neil got home, and Nicola and her boys left, and soon I was feeling pretty sick. I wanted to phone Heather back to update her, and also to check the bleeding, which I wondered might be easing up a bit, and to pluck up courage to get the Doppler out. Neil sent me off to do that, and I went upstairs. I went to the loo and discovered that the blood was no longer running into the toilet, just constant dripping, which was much better! Now and then it sped up a bit, especially when the sharp pain intensified, but I felt better about the bleeding easing a little. Then I lay on the bed and felt my tummy - I felt a little hard ball like the size of a small tennis ball, above my pubic bone. Really hard, so I knew my uterus was WELL contracted. I wanted to check because I remembered being in the hospital when I was bleeding heavily with Nathan, and feeling my tummy and being dismayed to find that my womb was like a rock, never easing up, just contracted down hard all the time. I thought that was IT for that pregnancy, but still everything was okay! So I checked my tummy because I wanted to compare it to Nathan's pregnancy, and it was the same. I don't like my uterus contracted down like that with bleeding, and no release! But I wondered if it was my body's way of protecting me from losing too much blood? It's like putting pressure on a wound. I'm not sure it's good for the baby inside though... good for blood loss prevention - I would probably have been bleeding much heavier if my womb wasn't contracted down hard like that - but I hope my little one is okay with it...

Then I got my Doppler out, and it took me maybe a minute to find the heart beat, and I don't think I inhaled at all during that time! Oh the relief to hear that sweet little chuffy sound clipping away! I counted it at 169, and felt reassured that at least my little one is okay in there right now. I phoned Heather right after, to tell her about the bleeding slowing a bit, and what the hospital said, and Nicola's help, and the scan tomorrow. She has been worrying and praying all afternoon! I have had SO MUCH prayer support and just loveliness online, as I posted about it within 15 minutes of it starting, on a prayer group, and on Facebook. I felt so much better knowing I had people praying for me and my sweet little one while I waited to see what would happen. :)

We had pizza for dinner - Neil decided to just order some in, and I ate half a pizza - my usual non-morning sick serving... :/ I felt sick when it arrived, but hungry, and just started eating. I didn't have to slow my pace, or deal with nausea particularly, and I ate more than I thought I could. I have still felt queasy this evening, but it's only moderate. After dinner (I'm afraid you get all the details here!), I needed to go for a BM and was SO anxious with bleeding so much, but I was worried that needing to go was causing me more pain (or even maybe the source of some of it??), so I went. About half an hour after that, the sharpness eased right off, and I just felt uncomfortable, heavy, and just like I wanted to move delicately if I stood, sat or walked. I have shuffled about slowly all evening, lol! It just feels like I need to because I'm so uncomfy in the pelvic region - back, front and underneath. No longer sharp pain or actual cramping though. Just heavy achy mild crampy discomfort. I am still bleeding, and it is still red, but it isn't dripping into the toilet much any more, so I am comforted by that.

I have a serious thing for strawberries tonight! And it was green beans last week. (that was random)

So I will update tomorrow. My scan is 9am, and hopefully the little one will still be doing fine, and they will be able to see the source of the bleeding and it will be non-risky and therefore reassuring. I hope! Neil is going to work from home tomorrow so I can go to the scan. I just hope I have an easier day with the bleeding and pain, and it fades right off (and doesn't happen again!!!).

Friday, 5 June 2015

9 weeks and 4 days :)

Wayhey, back within a week! :P

Just wanted to update to note a few things - last week, the day after my last entry, Neil found my Doppler in the garage, and we put a new battery in it, and I went upstairs to see if I could hear the baby's heart beating yet. I was confident, because I have heard most of my babies by that gestation, and the ones I haven't, it's because I hadn't checked that early (but did somewhere during the 9th week, just a few days later). It didn't take me too long before I heard that sweet little sound chuffing away merrily! My Doppler doesn't have a number on it for beats per minute, but I count them over a minute - 168, which is perfect for that gestation. It should get faster still, around this week, and then begin to slow down. The fast rate doesn't mean it's a girl, it's just the development of the heart (it revs up, starting slow (like 100 bpm or less at first) and then slows down after that. It should be around 180bpm right now. :) I wanted to listen in again tonight but I have left it too late, I think, as I'm feeling sick and should get to bed. I started spotting mid/dark brown this morning and it has continued through the day, the same, so although I'm a veteran pregnancy-bleed-er (?!), it's always somewhat dismaying to see it, and I feel better for hearing the heartbeat. I'm encouraged by still feeling sick though! :)

The nausea has been more manageable since 8 weeks and 3/4 days, which I presumed would last a few days - maybe even a week if I was lucky! - and then kick back in again, but here I am at 9w4d and I am still managing a bit better. I am nauseous all the time from waking to sleep at night, and late morning it notches up a gear, and then a further gear after lunch, and yet further around 4pm or so. If I don't carefully watch how I handle it with food and drink, it goes back to just as bad as before, and I can't do anything or think about anything, just grimly bear the nausea. The difference this week has been that I struggled to pick through a meal before, and hoped I would keep it down. I ate next to a sick bowl, in my room, lol! Except not lol! :/ As the meal gradually went on, I would feel a little less like I would throw it back up, but I would not be able to eat more than half the meal or I would feel like I'd throw up because of overstuffing my stomach. This week I (OH SO THANKFULLY!!!!!) haven't had that. I am eating meals with nausea, but most of them without overwhelming nausea. Sometimes it's overwhelming to start with and I take it slowly, and it eases off quickly compared with before. Some of my meals, I have actually enjoyed my food! :) While I'm eating, if I'm able to enjoy it, the nausea might even almost disappear, until I get to the overstuffed feeling, which at first was at about halfway through my meal, but then I would leave it 15-30 minutes, come back and pick at a bit more, and eventually I was eating a full portion over an hour or so. Now, for the past few days, I have been able to eat maybe 3/4 of my meal before feeling nauseous and overstuffed all of a sudden, and once or twice that feeling has been mild enough for me to ignore it and continue eating until my plate was almost clean anyway. Felt sick for it, but it settled quickly, and I feel so much more at ease knowing I am eating well - better sized portions for the nourishment I (and the baby) need, etc.

It is also helping my tummy, somehow, not to have tiny portions and then get hungry quicker (which = nausea). I happen to have the type of system which doesn't like snacking frequently instead of meals - I end up feeling sluggish and full of wind, and like I haven't eaten "well", inside. I have begun to notice this week that a proper meal (and this doesn't work for "lunch" type meals like soups, salads, sandwiches, cheese on toast, etc.) in the evening will really settle my stomach by about an hour later. I might feel nauseous again because I haven't eaten anything in an hour, but a small snack and I feel better straight away. I feel GOOD for eating a proper meal. It has to be proper - carbs, veg and protein. Meals that work for me in this way are spaghetti bolognese; roast chicken with the trimmings; chicken pie, mashed potatoes and veg; homemade pizza; salmon, pasta and veg, etc. Meals that haven't worked for me are macaroni cheese (cheese is not my friend this pregnancy, apparently), take away pizza (doesn't have the same effect as my more wholesome and filling homemade pizza for some reason - it's okay, but leaves me unbearably thirsty (and I can't drink much!!) and queasy); waffles; breaded fish with oven chips; and pasta with a basic tomato pasta sauce. If I have the veg/carbs but not the protein, it doesn't have the good effect. If I have the protein but kind of "snacky" carbs with it and no veg, not the good effect either.

I am trying to work out if I am especially needing protein this pregnancy, as that was a definite gender thing for me, as it turned out, which I had heard about before my own experience from other mothers-of-many! :) I have craved protein with all my boys, but I realised early in my second trimester with Lydia that I really hadn't cared much about protein so far, even though I'd been eating it. I didn't have that same "pull" towards eating it and an urgency or craving for any type of protein so far, and I had by then with all my boys. The other ladies said the same thing - sure enough she was a girl! :) So I am curious to get some clues this time! I think it's too early though - I didn't really think about it with Lydia until 14 weeks ish? And obviously morning sickness is occurring until that kind of time anyway, so maybe that is in the way of cravings until it's eased off? I can't remember! I'm sure I had protein urges earlier than 14 weeks with my boys, but I don't remember if it was as early as 9 weeks, like I am now. I need to read my blog entries for the first trimesters with the boys, but that's a LOT of reading, lol! And I don't have time! ;)

So far, I am enjoying protein, and I keep thinking maybe I DO need it, because it's a necessary component of my meals if I'm going to feel better, but I don't think that's how it felt with the boys... I remember craving eggs with several of them, and meat, and someone telling me in my comments, "OH, IT'S A BOY!", lol! ;) I have sometimes had two eggs for lunch several days running, but not particularly because I urgently want eggs, more because I am trying to find a proper lunch to eat, instead of toast or something rubbish like that! ;) Carbs all leave a bitter taste in my mouth, so veg and protein (and sugar - oh, sugar is going down well this pregnancy! :D ) balance that out. If I eat an entirely carb-y meal then I'm doomed to bitter, mouth-watering-ness that leads really fast to nausea within minutes of eating. Like toast and sandwiches. I have eaten ham and cucumber sandwiches this week when I had no eggs, and that was okay, but I felt pretty sick afterwards.

So, no particular protein cravings YET. If I'm between meals and feel really grim, Cadbury's finger biscuits, traditional fudge and toffee are all helping in little bits and pieces! ;) As far as drinks go, I am so grateful to have discovered carbonated water this time around. I only found it because I asked at Facebook for tips, and so many people said fizzy water that I gave it a go. I have to switch the brand every now and then because I get "immune" (?!) to the specific tang or flavour of the water and it makes me feel sick after that, and a slight change improves things. I also have to drink them ICE cold. Sometimes it helps to drink with a straw. I can drink milk with a straw much better too! I start the day with exactly the same thing every day for breakfast, which normally would bore me silly, but I am not about to mess with something that works right now! Weetos chocolate wheat rings and milk. Every day. I eat a bowlful, throw a handful more in the remaining milk and eat those, and then drink the slightly chocolatey milk. Then I have filled my stomach AND had a drink to start the day. I can't stomach even the fizzy water first thing in the morning, so I'm grateful that I can gulp down chocolatey milk! :) Other cereals are not helping my tummy, so I'm relieved that I have one that works.

I am really only drinking fizzy water and milk, and have stopped looking for flavoured alternatives or teas, because there's not much point really. Many make me feel worse, and I've found something that works, and can drink 3 tall glasses a day at least, which makes me so happy knowing that I'm better hydrated this time than any of the previous times at this stage! :)

I have that yucky constant slight snottiness-of-nose that I always get in the first trimester, which comes hand in hand with postnasal drip, which REALLY aggravates my nausea and bothers my gag reflex. I blow my nose a lot, just to try and keep the yucky goop feeling away, but it's very persistant. I have had this with all of my pregnancies, so it's just something annoying to put up with for a while.

I have a little teeny rounded bump when I lie on my back and my tummy caves in (normally when I'm standing up it bulges out, such is the state of my abs!). I looked down this morning when I was lying in bed and had lifted my top off my tummy, and was really excited to see a rounded sort of semi-circle shape rising out of my tummy, about 2 inches above my pubic bone! It was about 3 or 4 inches across, and just such a sweet sight! :) Hello womb! Hello baby! :)

I am eagerly awaiting the first little movements - I had already felt some by this gestation with a couple of my pregnancies, but it was days away from now that I felt all the others for the first time - so exciting!!! I wondered at 8 weeks and 4 days if I felt the faintest little 'sweep' sensation against the inside of my skin a couple of cm above my pubic bone, but I didn't feel any more, and I dismissed it as too early. So I can't WAIT to feel those precious sensations again!! So near now! :)

I'm excited to be nearing 10 weeks! That's a quarter of the way there, and it is such a relief to be 4 weeks into the morning sickness, with HOPEFULLY less ahead of me than behind. Maybe not, but heading towards the end of the first trimester is always a wonderful thing! :) My baby only has a few days left of being called an embryo - soon he or she will be a fetus! Or foetus, if I'm spelling it English-ly, like I probably should! :P

Tomorrow is Saturday, and Neil is leaving home before we're awake, being picked up by his brother and sister - they are going to his mum's house, 4 hours drive from here, to surprise her and take her out for a meal for her 70th birthday! :) I wish I could be a fly on the wall for that surprise! He will stay overnight and come back on Sunday afternoon, and honestly I am nervous! I'm blessed that my hubby NEVER has a night away from the family. He has no cause to in his work. So we - myself and the children - are completely used to him being part of the chaotic end-of-day routine with dinner and bedtime, etc. I don't know how to do it without him! Although I've done it before when he has been home very late... I haven't done it with 7 children and morning sickness, though... :/ Despite the morning sickness improving, I'm still wary of it coming back to bite me in the bum (since it has in my previous pregnancies) at any time, and also I am still struggling between 4 and 9pm every day. Some days I have (fanfare!!!) been able to make a meal for the family before he is home from work, serve it and eat with the children! This is AMAZING compared with the past few weeks! But still, some days I have had to hang in there and wait for him to come home from work and help me, even if it has meant a really late bedtime for the children. That is still an improvement on the last few weeks, but it's a shame I can't help more, especially with the long hard day he has had! He is helping me so much, and makes the food when he comes in. So I am nervous of having a bad day tomorrow and no help with food in my yuckiest hour - even having something pre-prepared and heating/serving it is unbearable when I feel that sick. And if I make it through that, I'm nervous that I'll feel too nauseated to see the long bedtime routine through upstairs. This week I have been able to, but Neil helps with putting the little ones to bed while I breastfeed Lydia to sleep (which, lately, she isn't falling asleep to very often). The big boys have a couple of chapters of a book together while we do that, and then go to their beds to await me coming to tuck them in, pray, do back-rubs, etc. which I can only do once the three littlest are asleep. So it can be a long process, and I can't just feel too sick after a while, and go downstairs to be near a bowl, or get a snack to try to ease it! I'm nervous! I hope it will go okay... I know that if I can get them all asleep, and I'm out the other side of that, I will be okay. Even if I feel grim by then, I can escape it by going to bed and falling asleep.

Well, it's late and I've been waffling for a long time! I think I will go to bed. I am trying to think if I've missed anything... I have been especially exhausted today and yesterday - can't catch my breath sometimes, talking, climbing the stairs, calling the boys in raised voice, etc.  - those things make me run out of breath and puff for a while. I feel too heavy to hold myself up sometimes, and just want to lie down or recline a lot of the time. If I am breastfeeding in the armchair or something, and can lay my head back for a minute, I feel like I took a drowsy pill and could fall asleep and sleep for AGES, if I had the chance! I think it's a stage of pregnancy thing - this is familiar from other pregnancies, on and off - especially during the first trimester. I hope that isn't too bad tomorrow either!

Oh, I forgot to mention last time that I had just started a cold sore! I NEVER get those any more unless I am pregnant, or abnormally run down and low - usually has to be a combination of emotional wrung out and physically on the floor for me to get one now. I only get them when my immune system is low, and that happens naturally when pregnant, so I guess that's why I got one. HATE those things! They are so sore, and ugly, and most importantly, I CAN'T KISS MY BABIES!!! :( It's a small scab now, so I hopefully only have a few days left before it's not infectious any more and I can kiss my little ones again! It's when I CAN'T that I realise how very very often I kiss my little children, and it becomes really hard not to be allowed to for days on end!

Okay, GOING now! Back soon, hopefully!