Baby Number Two

This is baby, just a quick one because, you know, I’m not born yet or anything so typing’s tricky. I just had to say, gymnastics are so much fun! You can do somersaults and everything in here! Starting to get a bit cramped though, might need to ask for an upgrade…

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So, we had our 20 week scan this week. No prizes for guessing from the post title what we found out! Yes, we’re having a beautiful baby girl – at least, I assume she’s beautiful! I’m really pleased we were able to find out, as we had put a lot of store in knowing what we were having.

I need to say straight away, it would have made little difference to us whether we were having a son or a daughter, either would have been wonderful and have both its advantages and disadvantages. It would have been lovely for Daniel to have another little boy to play with, a lot of toys and clothes would have carried over and there is a really lovely image of having two little boys running around. At the same time, I love the idea of having one of each, I like the idea of having a daughter I can do girly stuff with, and I have had a feeling since the beginning that this was a girl, and it is great to be right again!

The main reasons we wanted to find out what we were having were mainly convenience – we would be able to buy clothes and toys in advance. We would be able to get  shortlist of names – this was really stumping us as we could think of very few boys’ names that we liked. We could talk to Daniel about his baby sister – after all, baby brother slash sister is quite a mouthful, especially for a two year old. Most importantly, we can now start thinking about the baby as the little person she is, rather than some vague, nebulous ‘it’. Giving the baby a gender gives her an identity, makes her more human and allows us to connect with her on a whole other level.

I personally don’t go along with the ‘necessity’ of waiting until the baby’s born. We had a lot of people trying to talk us out of finding out what we were having last time, and the same people were delighted when we were able to say we were having a boy. I know there is the whole element of having a ‘surprise’, but really, isn’t it enough of a miracle that there’s a new baby there? That both you and the baby have made through what frankly is a tortuous process and both lived to tell the tale? I also know that the scan is not always accurate, and that you could be in for a disappointment if you’ve decorated and bought for one sex and end up with the opposite. But this can also happen when you don’t find out. A friend of mine did not find out, was convinced she was having a little boy, and didn’t believe the baby was hers when it was born as a girl. Another friend, who did find out what she was having, was devastated to find out it was a little boy but finding out during the pregnancy gave her the time to adjust to the idea and by the time the baby was born would not have had it any other way. If you don’t want to know what you are having in advance, if you want ‘The Moment’ when the midwife says “it’s a girl!” (or whatever), good luck to you. But I know we feel much happier and don’t miss that ‘moment’ at all.

Of course, it is possible that the sonographer was mistaken, or the picture was unclear, and we could end up with a surprise after all. We’ll be taking neutral clothes to the hospital, just in case. But in the meantime, we’ll look forward to meeting our daughter in April.

OK so I know I’m only 6 weeks, but I swear my flabby tummy isn’t flabby anymore. I know that’s not the prettiest picture but tough. I never really lost my weight from Daniel, so my clothes have started to tighten really early, but it wasn’t particularly bump-like, more just like being very overweight on my tummy. But this morning especially I, and my husband, noticed that the tummy was suddenly much firmer and more solid. I asked Andrew to see what he thought, and he expected to have to humour me, as I tend to get a little carried away. But no, he agreed with me that it’s definitely solid and bump-ish. Yikes! I knew second (or third) bumps tended to show earlier, but hey! 6 weeks!
So I guess I can wave goodbye to pretty much all my current trousers, and take a load of early maternity stuff on holiday!

I do not remember being so tired in my last pregnancy. I can’t decide if this is because I actually wasn’t as tired or if I just didn’t really notice because I was being sick so much, but I definitely feel far more tired. It isn’t so much that I feel I’ve done lots of hard work, more that I am constantly exhausted, if you see the difference. To the point where I’m literally falling asleep where I stand and can’t tell if I’m more sick with tiredness or morning sickness! I did read about this in the books, but took it to be an exaggeration. How wrong can you get!

The thing is, as well, that you have nothing to show for it. You can really feel for the poor lady who is obviously nine months pregnant, probably with triplets, and struggling for breath, needing to sit down regularly. But a woman who is a relatively normal size, and who has not even told half of her acquaintance that she’s pregnant, gets no sympathy. When I am in charge of the world I will do something about it.

I have to say, I have a huge amount of admiration for ladies who can be pregnant, and work and look after the family and do all sorts of other things as well. While yes, I am quite daunted by these supermums, I honestly wish I had their energy and get-up-and-go.

Bit of good news today though, been to the doctor who doesn’t think I am likely to have hyperemesis this time, or maybe even be sick at all. I am nearly six weeks pregnant now, and despite feeling waves of really strong nausea, I have not yet been sick once (touch wood). Yes, I am feeling twice as moody, tired and dopey as last time, but to be perfectly honest I would have all of that if it meant I didn’t have to be sick this time! (Yes, I know it doesn’t really work like that, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if it did? “Yeah, I tried sickness last time, didn’t really do it for me. I’ll have a quarter of moodiness and half a pound of tiredness instead, please.”)

Ok, so I know this is really irrational, but the first post on the blog is a pretty negative one. I am suddenly really worried that something’s going to go wrong, or that I’m not even pregnant after all. I am even going to take another test in the morning, just to be sure.

The thing is, I have been pregnant twice before. The first time, (goodness me, over 7 years ago) I was not sick at all. We lost the baby at 6 weeks. Now, we’re only just over 5 weeks, and I have not yet been sick although I’ve felt a bit queasy. So now the stupid, irrational part of my brain (what’s left of it lol) is telling me that that’s not a good sign, even though there’s been no spotting, and I have loads of other symptoms.

This is not helped by all of the well-meaning people who told during my last pregnancy that being sick was a sign of a healthy baby. Probably to make up for the fact that I was being sick several times a day up to being in labour. They were right – Daniel was a very healthy 9lb 5oz. So even if it was a coincidence, they were right, and a little bit of me is saying “So what’s going on this time?”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be sick. I was pretty miserable last time and just wanted it to stop from about the third time of being sick. The thing is, I have experienced both extremes and at the minute I can only associate not being sick with losing the baby. I know, I can tell you till I’m blue in the face, that millions of women sail through pregnancy and have bouncing babies without so much as a retch. I guess I just don’t believe I could be that lucky!

So that’s number one. The next, not worry, more concern, is again a different extreme – what if it’s twins? How would we manage? I know we would, that’s fine, just HOW? I don’t really know why I’m worrying about this, there’s virtually no history of twins in the family, and it’s a natural conception etc, but, you know, I’m a little neurotic. And I just have a tiny feeling about twins.

The third is more realistic – we go on holiday in 2 weeks and I do worry a little about complications while we’re abroad. This isn’t entirely neurotic; leaving aside the fact that I’m one of the women in three that lose their first baby, I had a difficult time last time. There was the sickness (I don’t know if I mentioned that?), combined with (ahem):

  • I have congenital hypothyroidism, so there is always a little worry that the baby won’t get enough thyroxine (particularly if it’s twins!), although Daniel seemed to manage fine.
  • I was borderline for gestational diabetes last time, and let’s face it, I am older and more overweight. Last time I looked, that made the whole diabetes thing more likely. Oh, and both my parents have it.
  • I am Rhesus negative. Worryingly, when I phoned the midwife to arrange my booking-in visit, I spoke to a student midwife who told me that “Chances are you’ll be the same blood type this time.” I wasn’t aware it was likely to change…
  • I was in and out of hospital, particularly towards the end, with many of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia, finally being induced on my due date. The really irritating thing about that, bearing in mind how rubbish I was feeling, was that I never had all the symptoms at the same time, otherwise I would be have been induced long before that!
  • When I was finally induced I had a fairly nasty labour. Is it normal for the consultant to brace her foot on the bed before pulling the baby out with forceps on the third attempt?

I do know, that for all my whinging, I was lucky enough to have a healthy baby and that many more women go through much worse. I am probably just having a hormonal moment, so please let me luxuriate in that for a while. Then tomorrow you can feel free to tell me to stop being such a wimp and enjoy the fact that we’re going to have a beautiful baby brother or sister for our beautiful son.

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