Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pins, Needles & Pregnancy

Well, there you have it, I am pregnant. I'm already pretty much there and the time has flown like the wind, my friends!

The first trimester

But, oh my, how the first 12 weeks did DRRAAAAG.

I was understandably very nervous about another early miscarriage. In the first few weeks of this pregnancy a friend suffered her second early miscarriage and I also knew of a another woman who had two miscarriages before her next baby so I just kind of got it in my head that two miscarriages was normal. So, yeah, despite the nausea (which I didn't have with the previous pregnancy) it was three months of checking my undies for that tiny pink smear. There was even one instance (it's all coming back to me now!) when Asa and I were driving into work and I was certain I was bleeding. I was overcome with this blind fear and put my hand down my pants - yes, in peak hour traffic - there was nothing there but I didn't relax until I got to work and checked properly.

Suffice to say, I was a bundle of noives leading up to the first scan. The actual scan went really well where the sonographer said it was a 'beautiful baby' more than once. The fact I was actually flattered was pretty funny. Of course the baby looked adorable to me but, seriously, how cute can a 12 week old fetus be? Also, suddenly a 3D image came up and that was definitely NOT cute!

I felt so good that even when I was told afterwards that my combined screening put me in the 'increased risk' for down syndrome I was fine, relieved in fact! Here's why...

I had until, the last minute, been torn between having the combined screening or going straight for the CVS. This was mainly due to my age and wanting a diagnostic result that left me with no doubt as to whether my baby had down syndrome or not. Before I got pregnant I was definitely heading down this path. After getting pregnant I began to seriously consider the risk of miscarriage. What's a girl to do? I wanted that 100% assurance but imagining causing a miscarriage of a perfectly healthy baby was making me break out in a cold sweat...

So back to the combined screening result. I had a 1:269 chance of having a baby with down syndrome. That's a 99.6% chance that the baby was normal but it's still considered an increased risk. I was relieved because it meant I felt ok about having further testing but it was a low enough risk for me to feel confident that everything was going to be ok. Even though I could have a CVS straight away I had since gone completely off the idea and was prepared to wait a few weeks for an Amniocentesis.

The second trimester

So, into my second trimester, I still couldn't 'come out' as pregnant. I felt like I had started to show at eleven weeks so waiting another 2 or 3 weeks to tell people was pretty hard. I was getting paranoid thinking that everyone at work was glancing at my belly. After a week or so I just started blurting to people. Like I said, I was feeling pretty confident that everything was going to be ok. I still got a few weird reactions when I told people I was having an amniocentesis. One woman looked at me like I was heading towards imminent tragedy and was all like ' poor thing, oh I hope it's ok' One friend even started telling me stories about amnios that didn't go ok, I mean, seriously some people are just bizarre.

The day came (a Friday) and I was absolutely SHITTING myself. So, sooo nervous. It didn't help that the first thing the Doctor launched into was the risk of miscarriage stats. Then, the one that I thought was a nurse was the one with the needle. Yes, my worst fear was being realised, my amnio was being performed by a student! I didn't say anything at the time and, actually, everything went really quickly and smoothly but I completely broke down when we got outside. Asa was with me and apparently was none the wiser about what just happened while I'm bawling saying 'it was a student, and I was the guinea pig!!!'.

I was emotionally and physically exhausted by the time we got home and went straight to bed. For the whole weekend I was convinced I going to miscarry (you go girl with those positive thoughts!)

I was told that I would get a call on Tuesday with the results. By Monday morning I felt okay enough to go to work but while the miscarriage fear had subsided, I was now beginning to worry about the results. I was going to be at work Tuesday and had actually given the genetic counsellor my number to give me the results there. What kind of madness was this? I thought I'd better call her again to ask her to call me at home with the news on the Wednesday instead. When she answered the phone, it was like she was expecting my call. There was a reason for that...she had just left a message on our home answering machine to say everything was fine!

Oh, and my 19 week scan was fine too! I have also resisted all temptation of finding out what sex I'm having but enjoying the guessing game!

Reasons why I'm having a boy
  • In the second ultrasound the sonographer accidentally let slip 'he'. (although I should mention that she apologised profusely and told me she didn't even know what sex it was and called all babies in utero 'he' - BUT could it be a case of 'thou doth protest too much?')
  • My pregnancy is exactly the same as it was with Pascal and I'm carrying the same way (i.e. a basketball). I'm 'all baby' and haven't gained much weight so I'm having lots of nonnas and nonnies telling me I'm having a boy.
  • Pascal thinks I'm having a boy and aren't kids meant to know?
Reasons why I'm having a girl

  • A woman from work who is an 'intuitive healer' believes I'm having a girl. When I told her my news she asked if she could 'read' my baby. She had her hands about a centimetre away from my belly and I felt this incredible warm energy. She then told me that before she read me she felt boy, boy, boy but as soon as she went to my belly she realised it was a girl. She maintains that this girl is enjoying playing tricks on people. Also another woman did the pendulum test with a 'girl' result.
  • According to the Internerd Chinese's a girl! (but also according to this calendar so is Pascal)
  • When the genetic counsellor told me the news of my amniocentesis results she seemed a bit excited to tell me what sex it was. She knows I have a son already so could this mean she was dying to tell me I now had a daughter as well?
  • I am also getting 'girl' from the nonnas and nonnies. Actually, the guesses have been pretty even, I have to say. It's interesting only in that when I was pregnant with Pascal I never had a girl guess.

I am taking everything with a grain of salt. It's ALL a guessing game and to all the people who have guessed - you have a 50% chance of being right...

The third (turd) trimester

So here I am. I have the foulest acid indigestion and very wriggly baby in my belly (he/she is wriggling right now). I have sciatic pain down the front of both my thighs and I'm finding it hard to get my poo out from time to time. Other than that, everything is going really well.

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