Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So excited!

We're leaving in about half an hour to go for our 4D scan - Charlie is SO excited and so are we!
I wonder if LO will perform for the camera? I'll be very fed up if she spends the whole time with her face in her hands!!
Watch this space for some pics a bit later!

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 26, 2011

26 weeks today.
Time is flying by - faster than I ever thought it would.
June is nearly gone and October is getting ever closer.
To be honest, it can't come quickly enough for me.
Not that I'm wishing my pregnancy days away - in all likelihood, this will be the last time I walk (or should I say waddle...) this road, so I want to appreciate the marvel of growing a baby inside me.
But I just want to get to the point where our little girl is safely in our arms... and we can start facing the next set of worries!
LO is growing well, as far as I can tell. I keep meaning to take some pictures of my bump but I haven't got round to it.
I always fancied being one of those supremely organised pregnant women who documented each week with a new 'belly picture' and a bullet-pointed list of the latest pregnancy news... but you know me! Organised blogging isn't one of my strong points.
She is moving lots, prodding and kicking all day long. Pete has felt her move now, much to his delight - she's even started responding to him prodding my tummy by kicking back at his hand.
Charlie is still SO excited about his little sister and can't walk past any baby stuff in the shops without eyeing up all the things he wants to get for her when she arrives.
He's still reading her stories every day, talking to her through my tummy, hugging my bump and singing to her. He's even making up songs specially for her! He calls her by her name all the time now - she's not just 'Baby' anymore.
We're all really looking forward to Tuesday and the 4D scan. It's so exciting to think we might get to see her face a bit more clearly.
That's about it for now - watch this space for some new pics on Tuesday!

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, June 10, 2011

Here she is!!

We went to the hospital yesterday for a further in-depth cardiac scan at 23w4d.
We were in a different part of the hospital, because there was a meeting being held in the Fetal Medicine Department, where LO is normally scanned, so, we were back in the old ultrasound department where I used to be scanned with Will and Charlie.
I'm not superstitious at all, but I couldn't help but think of all the bad news we'd had in those rooms before, and hope fervently that history wasn't about to repeat itself.
But the sonographer was a lady we've seen a few times before and she was great. She knows what we're like and happily tells us what she's seeing as she scans - and doesn't object to my many questions and clarifications!
But my fears were groundless - because LO's heart is still looking - and I quote the sonographer - 'Perfect'.
All the inflow and outflow vessels were perfect, the four chambers were very visible and proportionate, and the aortic arch was just beautiful.
It actually made me feel a bit emotional to see what a 'normal' heart looks like, and to really realise what a total miracle my Charlie-Boy is, managing as well as he does with what is, without doubt, a seriously underdeveloped heart.
Everything else was totally spot-on - all the measurements were exactly where they should be, and LO is growing well - already weighing in at an estimated 1lb7oz.
We go for a 4D scan on June 28, and then back for a 'normal' monitoring scan on July 14.
There are still a couple of things that could show up later on - coarctation of the aorta or small holes in the heart - but there's no reason to think they should, so we're trying to stop worrying a bit and enjoy this pregnancy!
It's crazy really - with Will and Charlie, I didn't stress about all the 'normal' worries like premature birth, placental abruption, cord accidents or stillbirth, but these seem to be looming rather large in my mind at the moment.
I'm not worrying about them as such, it's more that I'm really feeling the pressure to make sure LO arrives safely and in one piece - after all the hurdles we've successfully crossed so far, it would be beyond ironic to lose this baby to something else.
But anyway - back to the scan, and some almost equally important news - I was VERY smug to have my long-term suspicions confirmed... LO is a girl!
Charlie was on tenterhooks all day at school yesterday, and came flying out of the door when the bell went, whispering (because we still haven't told everybody...) "Well? Is it a girl or a boy?"
We had wrapped up a packet of pink muslin squares and a pink baby cup, so he could find out for himself when he opened the parcel! (I have to say, we're not really big fans of pink, but we didn't want there to be any doubt in his mind!)
We also included the scan picture above - taken yesterday and personalised for Charlie by the sonographer.
He was so thrilled when he opened the parcel - he's been hoping for a little sister for a good couple of months - even more so since they told us that she 'might' be a girl last time.
So he was VERY excited! I know boys aren't supposed to like shopping, but he's already planning all the things he wants to buy for his baby sister!
He's still hugging my tummy, and reading stories and chatting to the bump whenever he can - it's so precious to hear him telling her that she's "the best little sister in the universe, and I'm going to love you SO much..."
I guess he's been waiting a very long time for this! I'm in awe of how well he's done at keeping the secret though - it's been 12weeks since we told him, and he hasn't told a soul. :-)
It's still very hard to believe - this is a completely new experience for us - both in the fact that she's a girl and that, so far, she seems to be well.
We are so very thankful.

She is special in another way too - I think I might have mentioned before, that when Dad was still here, he used to pray, by name, for all his kids and grandchildren every day.
When he was praying for our little family, he would ask that if we had another baby, it might be healthy. And because he had read that HLHS is more common in boys, that maybe we might have a girl next time round.
And it's looking like Dad's prayers - and those of many others - have been answered.
It breaks my heart to think that LO won't meet her grandpa this side of Heaven - I know he'd have been as smitten with her as he was with his other grandkids, and I hate to think that she'll never know him and remember him like Charlie does.
But it makes me happy to think that when she's bigger, I'll be able to talk to her about her grandpa, and tell her that he thought about her and prayed about her, before she was even conceived.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

LO's heartbeat...

Click here to hear LO's heartbeat! (It might open a screen asking whether you want to open or save the file, so if it does, just click 'Open' and then press play when the media widget appears.)

June 1, 2011

Hi folks.
Well, it's been a while since I last updated LO's blog, but no news is good news!
We went for our anomaly scan on May 10... and everything is looking perfect so far.
I can't express how thrilled and relieved we were to hear this.
All the major organs looked totally normal - brain, kidneys, stomach, bladder, heart - everything was exactly where it should be.
Growth-wise, LO is spot on, and Mr Beattie was very confident that all will be well.
I however, won't be convinced until the baby is born, in our arms... and has had an echo and a sats check!
It seems such a long time since I started this blog last December, and I wrote about all the hurdles we had to jump on the road to Charlie Barley's baby. I don't really even want to say it, just in case, but it feels like the worst of those hurdles might actually be behind us.
Of course, there are always new and unexpected hurdles that could pop up at any point, but for the time being we're enjoying the knowledge that there doesn't appear to be anything major wrong with LO.
We go back next week - June 9 - for a really in-depth cardiac scan. The baby's heart grows massively between 20-24wks, so they should be able to get an even clearer view than they did at the anomaly scan.
Mr Beattie told us that they have been looking SO hard at our baby's heart, that he is confident that there are no major issues, and that if anything were to show up next time, it would only be something very minor and treatable - if in fact it even needed treating.
However, nothing he has seen has given him any cause for concern, and he doesn't expect there to be anything wrong.
Needless to say though, we are most certainly not counting our chickens yet.
In spite of that though, Pete and I have enjoyed the novel experience of wandering around John Lewis, earmarking the buggy and cotbed that we'll buy "if all is well".
We have never, ever done this before - even with Charlie we didn't buy anything apart from a packet of babygros and a cuddly dog before he was born.
We're not planning on buying anything big for quite a while though - but we're really enjoying looking!
Having said that, Charlie has bought his baby a cuddly Tigger, and I bought a lovely rainbow blanket, but that's it for the time being!
LO is quite the little wriggler, and I've been feeling movements for quite a few weeks now - since about 16wks. They are much more definite now though, and Charlie has been able to feel the kicks and prods from the outside. Pete however, has not - LO can be doing an Irish jig inside, but as soon as he puts his hand on my tummy everything stops! Hopefully it won't be too long though before he can feel how lively LO is.
We've decided on LO's name - whether we need a boy's name or a girl's name... at the last scan, they thought it MIGHT be a girl, but LO really wasn't cooperating so we're taking it with a pinch of salt! Hopefully we'll be able to find out at the next scan.
I also had my first ever 'normal' visit with the midwife last week - I've always been under the care of the hospital in all of my previous pregnancies, so haven't seen a community midwife. However I wanted to get the form to exempt me from paying dental charges (and I wanted my Bounty pack... it's nice to have some of the fun stuff as well as the serious medical stuff!)
She listened to LO's heart with a doppler, and it was beating beautifully at 147bpm. I recorded the heartbeat on my phone (sad, I know!) so I'll upload it here if I can work out how to put an audio track on Blogger.
I think that's about it for now - as I said, the next scan is on June 9, and we'll be going for a 4D scan a couple of weeks after that. So watch this space for some very cool pictures of LO!
For the record, I'm now 22w3d and LO is about 11ins from head to toe and weighs about 1lb.