Raising Eloise and Morgan

Topics: introduction prepregnancy pregnancy birth breastfeeding weaning teething routines bathing walking activities dad


I am covering the pregnancy in three "trimesters" each of which is three months.

First Trimester

I had a feeling I was pregnant before I took a pregnancy test. It had taken us 3 months to conceive since stopping the pill. Ellie was conceived whilst we were on holiday in South Africa. I had a metallic taste in my mouth, I felt tired and my breasts felt different. I waited about 4 days after my period was due before doing the test. I did it when I came home from work one day. I already knew I was pregnant before the 2 minutes was up, because as the flow of urine was going over the stick I could see the cross appear. But we still did that nail-biting 2 minutes before we confirmed it! positive pregnancy test

I told my mum when we found out. We decided to wait until we had the 12-week scan before we told lots of people. It was strange having this secret. I had lots of emotions going on in my head, as well as my hormones racing in my body. I was very happy of course, but all the worries were in my mind like how will we manage, how will I change a nappy, how will I know what the baby wants - is it hot, cold, ill etc.

I found reading books helped. The one book I enjoyed and found most informative was "Your Pregnancy Week by Week" written by Lesley Regan because it went through the pregnancy stage by stage. It told me what my body was doing and how my baby was growing.

I didn't visit my GP until I had missed two periods. I also saw the Health Visitor who explained what would happen during my pregnancy and about my booking-in appointment with the midwife. She gave me lots of leaflets about pregnancy and how to stay fit and healthy. When I saw the doctor she gave me a physical examination and asked questions about my health. six weeks pregnant

I didn't have much sickness; I felt a bit queasy during the day, but it was bearable. I was a bit all over the place at work, as my mind was on the baby and not the work. The first 12 weeks went very slowly as I was expecting something bad to happen and be glad when the crucial few months were over. I did have a few scares, I had a few spots of blood a few times, but all was fine. When I sought medical advice, twice at the doctors and once at the hospital, I was very happy with the advice they gave me. Thankfully it was all-okay. It is very common to spot blood at the beginning of a pregnancy as it can be when you would normally have a period or can be the egg implanting into the uterus/womb.

I wanted to keep a record of how much weight I put on during pregnancy, so I started to keep a chart. I also got Damon to photograph me during my pregnancy to see how my bump was growing.

We had the 12-week scan and it was good to see the baby and its heart beat. I didn't feel too emotional, but glad there was a baby there. The sonographer took measurements of the baby and to check the due date. She also carried out a nuchal fold translucency scan for the early detection of Down's syndrome. This test is to measure the depth of fluid under the skin behind the neck of the foetus. I was not put in the high-risk category, but this was always going to be something to think about. We got given a print out of the scan. I would not have another scan until 20 weeks.
ultrasound scan at 12 weeks

I had a booking-in appointment with my midwife towards the end of this trimester. She took details of both Damon's health and family health history and mine. She asked me what sort of birth I might want and if I was going to try breastfeeding. She also took some blood for tests. I had to take a urine sample in to check for proteins and sugars. I also had a blood pressure test. The urine and blood pressure tests would be carried out at each antenatal visit.

The first 12 weeks were special as not many people knew and we were getting to the time in the pregnancy when the danger of miscarriage was getting less, but with the bleeds I had I still worried it could go wrong. I think it dawned on us at the scan that we were going to be parents and now a third of the way through!

Second Trimester

Now having reached 13 weeks I started to relax a little and after the scan I started to tell people that I was pregnant. Everyone was very happy and it felt odd telling people the news. I was worried that when I began to show the bump would become public property. But luckily for me I did not start to show to most people until after this trimester!

I told work that I was expecting and everyone was very happy about it. I don't think my mind was very much on work, as I kept thinking about the baby.

I found myself thinking about how I was going to feel being a mum, how my relationship with Damon would change and would we be able to work as a team to be new parents.

I had another scan at 22 weeks. This time I had a little tear when I saw the baby on the screen. All was fine, it was a bit scary beforehand as this is when they can pick up on things that maybe wrong. She had her arm near her head - little did we know she would be like that at birth - more later!

ultrasound scan at 22 weeks

I had antenatal check ups once a month and I mainly saw my GP as my doctors had midwife and GP antenatal care. I had urine tests and blood pressure tests carried out at each one. They felt my tummy to check the growth of the baby. They also listened to the heartbeat, which was reassuring to hear.

I definitely had more energy in this trimester. I didn't have any cravings apart from the urge to sniff cleaning fluids. I even had to check out the polishes in Wilkinsons one time.

I think I felt the baby move around 22 weeks, it was a wind like feeling, once I was sure that it was the baby I kept making sure Damon felt my tummy to feel it. Once it got stronger movements Damon could feel it clearly. He even spoke to the baby each day, which I thought was lovely!

I started to write lists on what we needed to buy. After the first scan I went out and bought a set of vests for the baby. It was quite scary on how much equipment you need for a tiny person. But as the savvy shopper I tend to be I looked out for bargains and my mum found a great shop near her that sold new and nearly new baby things, so we she got a few things from there including the moses basket and stand for less than £30.

I booked my antenatal classes with the NHS and I would start them once I had finished work, I hadn't formally given a date I would go on maternity leave, but thought of about 6 weeks before, as I did not want to travel each day on the train towards the end.

I got my NHS medical card that entitled me to free dental treatment up until the baby was 1 year and also free prescriptions. twenty-six weeks pregnant

I was hardly showing at the end of this trimester, so I had just started to wear some maternity trousers as they were better for my growing bump than my usual ones. I just bought bigger size tops and maternity bras.

I was now two thirds of the way through and I now was counting down til I left work and also I was going to start to think about the impending birth.

Third Trimester

The last 3 months. I was having a very good pregnancy without many complaints, all my antenatal check ups were as they were supposed to be and I was told at one point that I was having a textbook pregnancy. I was starting to show more and people at work that hadn't noticed or thought I was just getting fat, now knew that I was expecting. I finalised my maternity leaving date with work, I would leave 6 weeks before my due date.

We started to get the room ready for the baby; my cousin helped paint it and took me to buy some bits and pieces. We were lucky that we were given the cot and I inherited a chest of drawers, so we didn't have to buy too many bits of furniture. Damon's computer servers were evicted from the nursery and into his office. There was one point when he said that she could sleep in the office if there was space!

I gradually got things together for the baby and also my hospital bag. I read books about what was needed and it ended up that I had at least 3 bags full of stuff. I had to take everything for the baby and also things for me, but as I will say in the birth page I didn't need all the things.

I was still playing darts at my local pub each week well into this trimester and it was good to get out each week, but I was tired with the late nights. Not sure me being sober helped the game!

As my leaving date at work got nearer I started to think about the birth more and what to expect, I read up so at least I knew what could happen. I also hired a TENS machine about a week before the birth. I got this from Boots, but was not impressed at the critical moment when it was so complex that it defeated even geeky dad.

I had monthly antenatal check-ups and then they increased to once a week nearer to my due date. I saw the midwife towards the end of my pregnancy, which was good as I had hospital-related questions. She was able to tell me where to go and what to do once my waters broke. I also wrote my birth plan.

I didn't really get a feeling of nesting that some women report, but I did have lots of energy. I suppose it was due to the fact that at the end of it I had only put on 26lbs (12kg), so I wasn't that big and my bump was neat. I did find getting out of bed a bit tricky to go to the toilet what seemed hundreds of times each night - but that is supposed to get you ready for all the times you get up at night with the baby. The baby wasn't moving as much as there was less room, but she was kicking and hiccupping. She mainly moved at night just as I wanted some sleep!

When I finished work, it was nice to have the time for myself before the baby arrived. I finished shopping, met up with people and had rest. I think once I had stopped work the anticipation of having the baby set in and it was hard not to think of anything else. forty weeks pregnant

My due date came and went and I was going to be sent to the hospital for a chat about induction. We went to the maternity unit and saw a doctor who said that she would not be able to perform a sweep to help the labour set in, but said that I was to come back in a week for an induction. She said that if that didn't work then I might need to have a caesarean; I was very upset as she was not very nice and I felt that it was my fault that I had not gone into labour on the due date.

However, whether it was the examination or the shock of having an induction, my waters broke the next day.



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This site is not official advice: just one mum's experience!
Copyright (c) Jean Ryder 2006-2008.
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