Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Well. We'll be at the hospital in just over an hour. Although today's scan is unlikely to be totally conclusive, it should give us a pretty clear indication of which way the wind is blowing. It's scary knowing that in an hour or so, we'll know whether we can keep on hoping for 'boring and ordinary' or if we have another rollercoaster ride ahead of us.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

11 weeks

Hi folks. Well. Here we are at 11 weeks. I may be proved wrong but my morning sickness seems to be improving a bit. I suppose I am rapidly heading for the second trimester though, so nothing unusual there.
Mind you, I have had fairly lazy mornings the last few days, and it's always worse when I have to rush around.
I just realised I never wrote a proper update about our scan.
Well - we went up to the hospital to see the fetal medicine team. It's always nice to walk in and be greeted by the consultant with a hug and a kiss!
I feel so privileged to have such a wonderful team around me - it makes me more confident that we'll deal with anything that's thrown at us.
I had a scan. I lay on the table and chatted with the sonographer, but as soon as she put the gel on my tummy, I started to cry.
It was the most enormous rush of emotions - fear that she might tell us that the baby didn't have a heartbeat, and blind terror - if there WAS a heartbeat - at the journey we are starting out on.
Anyway, I pulled myself together and looked at the screen, where LO was wriggling around happily. We could see the little arms waving and the tiny legs pumping.
As I said in the last post, I was right about being a bit further on than my initial dates had predicted - the scan put me forward by three days.
In a stupid way, I found this reassuring. With both Will and the miscarriage, my dates were pushed back by a week, so that would have felt like a very bad sign. Plus, Charlie was exactly where my dates said he should be, so it was nice for this baby to be totally different in that respect. (Not that it makes any difference really, but it made me feel better!)
They said the baby looked great, and totally normal for this stage. They also had a look at the yolk sac, which apparently looked very good too.
After the scan, they did my booking appointment, so there's no need for me to go to the GP - all my care will be under the fetal medicine department.
I had my bloods done, and my blood pressure (which, by some miracle, was very good at 106/64)
Then we saw the consultant, Bryan Beattie. He was very positive, which was nice. We've known him for years now, and he always tells us exactly how it is. He knows I work best with a 'just tell me everything' approach.
We told him we were inclined to have no more scans until 20 weeks, because we didn't think that we would be able to learn anything useful until then.
However, he was very keen for us to go back in a couple of weeks for a nuchal fold scan.
This was only just coming into its own when I had the boys, and was for determining the risk of Down's Syndrome, and has to be done between about 11 and 13wks. We never bothered with it before, because a Down's diagnosis wouldn't have changed anything for us anyway.
But apparently, in recent years, it has been discovered that a thickened nuchal fold can also signify whether a baby is likely to have a major cardiac defect AND, as I later discovered, Meckel Gruber syndrome. Plus, some of the physical signs of Meckel Gruber would possibly be visible by then on ultrasound.
So, although we won't know definitively at the 12 week scan, we will have a jolly good idea of which way the wind is blowing.
The plan is to have the scan at 12w2d (March 22) and if the nuchal fold looks good, Mr Beattie is confident enough to leave any further scans until 20wks, when we would have the standard anomaly scan. We would then follow that up with a detailed cardiac scan at 24wks.
If, however, the nuchal fold is thickened, we will have another scan at about 14wks to see what's going on.
It feels good to have a plan in place.
Before we left, I showed Mr Beattie the scan pictures we were given. To be honest, I wasn't expecting him to look at them in a diagnostic light - I was just showing off LO's first portrait!
But one of the pictures showed a clear side-on picture of LO, with a clear shot of the nuchal fold.
He showed me how to identify the fold, and said: 'It's a bit early to assess it, but that, to me, looks like a very small one.'
I found that comment so reassuring - firstly, there was no need for him to point out the nuchal fold at all, and secondly, I can't imagine he would have mentioned it if the nuchal fold was likely to suddenly balloon over the ensuing two weeks, and if a small nuchal fold now has no bearing at all on how it might look in a fortnight.
Needless to say, I came home and started Googling images of nuchal folds, and it does look pretty good so far!
So, for the moment, things are looking as good as they possibly can.
I'm feeling more optimistic than I ever have before.
Foolish, probably, but what's the point in hoping and praying for something to happen, if you don't believe it ever will?
I know it's a bit daft, but we've always said to Charlie that if we see a rainbow, it means Will is saying hello. Then, a couple of days after Dad died, we saw the most amazing double rainbow, and Chas said 'Look - it's Will AND Grandpa saying hello!'
So rainbows always make us think of them and smile.
Anyway, as we left the hospital, we were walking down the stairs, and there, projected onto the floor at our feet were two rainbows.
I have no idea what the sun was shining through to make them, but they were there - bright and beautiful.
I know, scientifically, it has no bearing on anything at all - but those two little splashes of colour felt like a hug.

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Friday, March 04, 2011

Hello, LO.

Here is LO. His/her heart is beating strongly and he/she is 2.9cm long. They pushed my dates forward, so I'm now 9w5d. New due date is October 2. I'm tired now, but I'll write a proper update soon about our appointment - which went well. Let's just say, so far, so good.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Big day tomorrow.

Well, as the title says, it's a big day tomorrow - all being well, we get to see LO for the first time and to confirm my dates. I'm vacillating between nervous excitement and nausea-inducing terror. If LO's little heart is beating (not TOO little, mind you - all four chambers would be nice...) then I can relax a bit about the miscarriage risk. Not totally, mind you, but a bit. But then I have to start really worrying about all the other potential problems that could be brewing. And if there's no heartbeat? Well. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I was sick as a dog again this morning though, which is quite reassuring, because I wasn't sick at all with the baby I miscarried. It just feels scary to be getting back onto the hospital bandwagon - it all starts to feel real now. While hardly anybody knows, I can just keep pottering along, and pretending that I'm not really pregnant. But once I'm 'in the system' - it all starts to really hit home. I still have no desire to tell everybody what's happening. Only four of my closest friends know - two are fellow heart mums - but that's it. I'm itching to tell Charlie - I know he'll be so excited, but it's a long time for him to wait without knowing what's going to happen to his baby after it's born. I think we'll probably tell him when we go on holiday - I'll be 17 weeks then, and we'll be having the big anomaly scan a week or so later. That's assuming I haven't ballooned to the size of a small continent by then - hopefully I can convince him I've just eaten too many pies. I haven't told my mum yet. Part of me really wants to, but I know how desperately worried she will be, and I just want to spare her the worry and fear for as long as I can. She - and we - have been through so much over the past couple of years, and I'm so very conscious that this time round, she doesn't have my dad to lean on for support, and stubborn assertions that all will be well. I miss my dad so, so much. Every night as I turn off the light by his photo in the living room, I whisper how much I miss him, and ask him, if there's any way he can, to look after this new little baby of ours. I know that Dad used to pray for all of us, by name, every night, and he would also pray for our, as yet unconceived, future children - that they might be healthy. I know it sounds terribly irreverent, but I feel like Dad's got an even more direct line to the Almighty these days, so maybe he might be able to put in a word or two on our behalf. I so wish Dad was still here. The pain of knowing that he isn't really doesn't seem to get any better, however much time passes.

I'll let you know how we get on in the morning.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Sleepless in Cardiff...

It's late, and I can't sleep. Pete is away and I miss him so much. I seem to need his physical presence all the more when I'm pregnant - even if he's just asleep next to me, just having him here is comforting and reassuring. I have so much flying around my head - we have the first scan on Friday and I'm starting to get a bit anxious that there won't be a heartbeat. I've even been dreaming about it. In many ways, I don't feel a huge maternal bond with LO yet - I'm more concerned that if all isn't well, we'll have to go through all this again - the physical pain and inconvenience of miscarriage, the stress of the 'two-week wait', and then the exhaustion and the sickness. I so hope all is well with this tiny, little life. Hang in there LO.

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