Thursday, 31 October 2013

Pregnancy yoga

I'll start this post by saying that everyone is different. Some people are more open minded than others... I always thought I was a pretty open minded person and someone not easily shocked, it turns out that I am in fact the exact opposite.

A new pregnant friend of mine (I love making new friends as an adult, I genuinely think it gets harder to make new friends as the years go by) told me about her new yoga class, and invited me to go along with her. 

I quite like yoga, although the yoga I was used to (pre-wedding I got pretty into hot 'bikram' yoga) was quite different to this. She described the class as relaxing... not very active but good fun. She also said that at the end of the class the instructor talks through various aspects of birthing which is quite informative.

I was pretty excited about the class, having started to suffer quite a sore back and being an obsessive who likes to know everything about everything (so looking forward to the learning part of the class)

On the day of the class, I picked up my new friend and we headed to the class. I asked her to tell me the format of the class (weirdly I felt a bit nervous) She said that you do yoga for around 45 minutes, then there is a relaxation segment (where you lay down with a blanket and listen to music) and then a discussion where everyone sits around and talks about a particular aspect of pregnancy/labour whilst sipping herbal tea and munching homemade biscuits (I was particularly excited about the biscuits!)

As we arrived, I noticed that I was by far the least pregnant person in the class. After telling me off for not removing my shoes at the door (strike one) the instructor told me that I'd joined at a slightly odd time (no fault of my own) as most of the class were nearing the end of pregnancy, she assured me that more women around the same stage as me would be joining the class over the next few weeks.

The lights were dimmed and the class began.  I genuinely enjoyed the yoga segment of the class, I would have liked a slightly more stimulating class but given how pregnant most of the women were in the class I fully appreciated why it was so gentle!

The bit that came next was where I started to feel a 'little' uncomfortable... the instructor asked us to sit with our legs apart, rock back and forth with the aid of a scarf and 'open and close our back passages'... now I know this is a very important, and will help with ones bladder in the future... but being new to all of this... I felt like a naughty school girl trying to hold in my giggles! There I was sat in a darkened room unable to concentrate on the task at hand as I was so distracted by the look on everyones faces... everyone looked so serious!! My thoughts made me feel guilty but I just couldn't help it. It was just so out of my comfort zone!!

Next we were told to wrap ourselves in a blanket and relax whilst calming music played, the instructor read a passage about a women who had a very spiritual birth (she actually pulled the baby from the womb herself...) A lot of the group started to drift off at this stage and they all looked utterly relaxed.. Not me. I felt rather the opposite. My mind was consumed with a million thoughts... Was my positioning right? Was my blanket was wrapped right? Why was no one else seemingly holding back the giggles? When would the biscuits come out? What flavour would they be? No exaggeration, it felt like the longest ten minutes of my life! 

When the music finally stopped everyone rose from their slumber... these women looked so peaceful and rested... I did not. The instructor came round with tea and biscuits (raisin, very nice) and the (anticipated) discussion began... 

Whilst it was informative... I am not gonna lie, it was a bit scary! A lot of the ladies had been through pregnancy before and it made me realise how little (despite being such a book worm) I knew... 

They used words, phrases, medical terms that I had never heard of and it scared me half to death... they also told quite graphic stories which are very different when heard from the horses mouth, than when read in a book!!!

By the end of the class I was a bit of wreck... physically agitated, mentally panicked and by no means relaxed!!! 

I think going forward I might go to non pregnancy classes, or stick to my DVDs... needless to say I haven't gone back to the class and going forward will meet my new friend for coffee & cake instead!!!! 

Growing pains

An interesting thing that started to happen around week 13/14 was that I began to experience growing pains.

If you never had them as a child, it's the slightly uncomfortable sensation that your bones are stretching. It of course doesn't feel quite the same in pregnancy but it is rather a strange feeling. It kinda hurts, but not that much it's like little twinges of pain around your lower abdomen. 

Of course, the first time it happened I panicked and jumped straight on the phone to the Doc (so neurotic I know!) he assured me that all was fine, better than fine in fact. The sensations implicated the first growth spurts of Baby J's bones!!

From that day, I've become slightly fascinated with the 'miracle of life'. I know it sounds stupid, perhaps verging on earth mother but I just find the whole thing incredible. 

Yes it's been happening since the beginning of time, but in my case I didn't really appreciate how amazing it really is until I had life growing inside of me.

This is where the books come in handy, the week's food analogies are fun but nothing beats the medical side of things. One week 'baby' will not have ears, the next he will, same thing goes for hair and internal organs... What's even more magical is when they can hear you and when they can open their eyes.

Sometimes I get a little sidetracked by the concept of pregnancy rather than the literal side of things. It is an amazing thing us ladies can do and we shouldn't forget it! 

I recommend downloading one of these Apps ('What to expect when you're expecting', 'Baby Centre', 'Sprout' etc) and following your babies magical journey... 

For me it helped to put things like acne, tummy twinges & back aches into perspective!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The dreaded word... 'Gas'

I said when I started this blog that I'd cover the good, the bad and the ugly sides of pregnancy. Well then, (despite the Hubs asking me not to), I could hardly write an honest blog about pregnancy without mentioning gas.

I'll try and be as ladylike as possible but let's be honest, it's one of the less attractive and more common symptoms of pregnancy.

Instead of feeling feminine and radiant during the early stages of pregnancy... I physically felt fat and spotty and internally felt totally bloated and gassy.

I'd read about most pregnancy symptoms on various websites, blogs and in books but none of them (aside from the medical ones) really touched on gas.

Well let me tell you, aside from the embarrassing side of things (I'm clearly over that now given the blog post) it is horrendously uncomfortable. 

One particular occasion that springs to mind was sitting at a friends wedding feeling horribly uncomfortable. 

The Hubs and I were sat with one of our favourite couples, the male member of the couple turned to me and asked what was wrong? (I'm not one of those people who can hide their emotions, I've always worn my heart on my sleeve) By that point I'd had enough, everyone was drunk, my feet hurt and I was in pain so I told him... blatantly... "gas". With little hesitation he said "let it out!!!", the female member of the couple jumped straight on the bandwagon..."come on, let it out... don't sit there in pain". The Hubs face was priceless, I think he initially thought that these types of conversations were reserved for home... after a minute or though so he got involved as well... "go on babe, let it out" I honestly never thought I'd have to deal with this type of peer pressure!! 

The long and short of it is that I just couldn't do it, a lady has to maintain some dignity! 

Gas during pregnancy is horrid, it does eventually pass (excuse the pun) so try and stay positive. 

I'm not sure anything can be done to prevent this wonderful side effect of pregnancy but for me being careful about my diet (not eating anything  that encouraged it) and talking about it rather than just letting it bubble up inside (again, pun unintended) helps. 

The most important thing? Don't be ashamed and don't hide it from your partner (you won't be able to anyway!) and try (if at all possible!) and see the funny side :)

And if all else fails, have some excuses up your sleeve about why you have to abruptly leave a meeting... and master of the art of spotting a secluded area in a busy shop, restaurant or bar!!

Food glorious food

I love to eat. Always have, always will. As mentioned in a previous post, I fell pregnant almost crazily close to my wedding day so when I say I have gone from one extreme to another... I really have!

Ahead of my wedding, I put myself on quite a strict diet (misery). I have always been a careful eater following a few dodgy teen years (out of nowhere I become rather chubby with a tragic haircut... don't ask for photos, none exist - I've made sure of it!) Whilst I was never a chocoholic, or a sweet tooth, I've always loved carbs and have never really been into exercise. I did however make it my mission to get fit before my wedding day, I have always had an 'arm' issue (flabby, always look worse in photos!) and whilst I knew I couldn't eradicate the issue, I wanted to make sure I was comfortable in the fact that I'd done everything I could to make myself feel as good as I could for the big day! 

The Hubs and I joined our local gym about 18 months ahead of the big day (we had a long-ish engagement) and began our fitness mission. We perhaps started a little early so faced a 6 month lull where we almost gave up... 

A year before the big day we signed up for a personal trainer. For the next 12 months, 'Dennis' became quite a big part of our lives. Twice a week we'd get our gear on and head down to the gym for a gruelling work-out. Not saying I took it more seriously than the Hubs, but I definitely got into it quicker he did and enjoyed the competitive element ('competitiveness', another wonderful character trait of mine!) of the whole thing (rowing was particularly fun, in my mind I was transported to The Boat Race on The Thames racing the Hubs to the finish line!) 

As the months flew by, I started to feel more and more fit and people started to notice. I even started taking myself to the gym outside of the personal training sessions, after years of trying it had happened... I was hooked! If I missed a day, I felt guilty and longed for that feeling of pain that came after 30 mins of sprinting (jogging) on the treadmill. 

Not only that but we started doing 'Insanity'... If you've not heard of it, the only adjectives that come to mind when describing 'Insanity' are intense & pain! It's essentially a high fitness work out that you do with no equipment from the comfort of your own home... all you need is the DVD box set... you'll soon feel the burn! (no exaggeration, the Hubs was once sick after a particularly tough session... Insanity is not the faint hearted!) 

By the time the wedding day arrived, I felt fab and am thrilled I put in so much work as the pics are great and I wasn't at all uncomfortable in my strapless gown (a big pre-wedding fear of mine)

Whilst I could prepare for that, I could never have prepared for the change that was to follow....

From the moment I discovered I was pregnant food has become my focus. My literal focus. I love it. I orchestrate my life around and look forward to mealtimes (I 'try' not to snack but you'll usually find some rice cakes (well crisps, particularly Twiglets) in my handbag! 

My food schedule goes something like this...

Wake up, head straight downstairs to make me and the hubs bagels & tea for breakfast. I've always made him breakfast, I know it sounds ridiculous but I get a great amount of pleasure from seeing him eat and hate the thought of him missing a meal (I know I sound more like his mother than his wife but it's just who I am!)

11am, snack time - usually fruit, sometimes not fruit.... Jordan's Frusli bars are good for particularly hungry days... quite filling and relatively low calorie

1pm, lunchtime (I love lunchtime) this usually consists of any of the following; cooked salmon salad, jacket with beans and cheese, chicken wrap

4/5pm, sometimes an afternoon snack - usually fruit

7.30pm, dinner (best time of the day) - I love cooking which is great as I love eating - the two hobbies are literally made for each other! Dinner is usually made up of one of the following: roast chicken (sometimes with all the trimmings), spag bol (lazy days), some sort of Greek concoction (usually featuring tzkaiki, the Hubs & I love tzkaiki),  grilled fish and veg (healthy but dull), spaghetti puttanesca (what I refer to as my speciality) or something a little more creative when I am in the mood! 

9.30pm, snack (not always) usually fruit or sometimes a yoghurt or sneaky piece of choc (I've developed more a sweet tooth since falling pregnant)

I can't tell you how different this diet looks to my pre-wedding diet where I'm ashamed to admit that I mainly ate leaves and air! I will say that mealtimes are way more fun now, although I do worry about how big the role of food is in my life! 

In terms of exercise, I was reluctant to do anything at the beginning - I honestly think I was too scared! Now I am easing myself back in (slowly) with Pilate's and yoga. I do like classes, but I am not always able to get to them (especially having moved house a week ago) so for those who don't have the time/money for classes I highly recommend Suzanne Bowen's 'Pregnancy Workout, lean & toned', it is relaxing but hard work at the same time.

A lot of women are scared of weight gain during pregnancy, I am very much of the mindset that what will be will be. I'll do my best to lose the weight once Baby J arrives (I'm planning on revisiting the insanity workout eeeeeeeek) but I'm not going to beat myself up over a few pounds here and there. Pregnancy is hard work and all about being healthy, that doesn't mean over-indulge (although sometimes it's ok!) but don't fight yourself either - if you want something, have it! I've not really experienced cravings, but there are foods that I most certainly fancy more (biscuits & bread!) and I'm enjoying every bite, I invite you to as well! 

The harmony test

For those of you who haven't heard of it... 'The Harmony Test' is pretty awesome (I hadn't heard of it until it was offered to me!)

The test takes place in a lab in Philadelphia (don't worry, a passport isn't necessary!) after a very clever science man discovered that you could test an unborn baby for all manner of things (including gender) simply by taking a blood sample from the mother and extracting the babies blood. Simple... well not exactly! 

After this very clever discovery was made, it took a few more years for another clever science man to come along and work out how to do this seemingly impossible task. You see,
if you have a blood test, only 10% of the blood in that little viral belongs to the baby, so you can perhaps see why this may not be he easiest of things to do!

When I was told about the test I was pretty excited. Yes it comes with a price tag (as most things do!) but for a neurotic, obsessive worrier it was worth every penny. 

I don't know how you are with needles, but I'm not fab (for some reason I always cross my fingers when having an injection, I do the same in the dentists chair!) In this case, I'm not gonna lie, it's a decent size needle, just remember that it'll be worth it in the end.

I remember sitting in the chair trying to make conversation with the lady administering the injection, she unfortunately was having none of it! Within a flash it was over, and I only had to wait 3 weeks for the results (3 weeks! I know, basically a lifetime!!!) 

In the meantime, me being the person I am Googled every possible outcome under the sun. This test is pretty full proof and tells you more about the babies genetics (as far as I know) than any of the other tests out there.

I must have called the UK lab a hundred times to find out if they had my results, by the end I didn't even need to tell the lab secretary my name when I called... to my embarrassment my voice was enough for her to identify me! 

Apparently there had been a mix up and they couldn't find my results...  

Not the call I hoped for after 3 weeks of desperate waiting! I'm again embarrassed to say that on hearing this news I cried down the phone to (my new friend) the secretary explaining that I really needed these results for my sanity... Hearing how clearly insane I was she promised to do her best to find them... She had my full trust, she had over the past 3 weeks become my new best friend (during that period I think I spoke to her on the phone more that I speak to my Mum, which is a lot!)

An hour or so later the phone rang, I of course recognised the number so darted out of my meeting with no explanation, I can only imagine what my colleagues thought given the look of terror on my face.

The results were in, Baby J was fine. I was thrilled. So thrilled that I almost hung up the phone to call the Hubs to tell him the news before she could tell me if Baby J was a boy or a girl!

On this point, I have to say... Don't believe the myths! Everyone was convinced that due to my bad skin and carb cravings that I was having a girl... How wrong they were.

The moment I was told that Baby J was a boy everything changed for me. I burst out crying and immediately called the Hubs. The Hubs was over the moon (if not a tad surprised, by this point I had 99% convinced him that it was a girl).

The Hubs is football mad so instantly I know visions entered his head of cheering on his club with a mini supporter by his side!

As I said, the moment I found out the news everything changed. Suddenly he was real! I could almost picture him!! I remember calling up my Dad and screaming "You're having a grandson!!" and him sounding so so thrilled. For all involved (me, the Hubs  and the grandparents to be) it made the whole thing real and wonderful.

Baby J was happy, healthy & cooking away and was a little boy.

To celebrate I took myself off (after work!) to Baby Gap to purchase my first baby boy garments. I chose a mini pair of jeans and a mini blue and white shirt (it's similar to what the Hubs would wear which brought me to tears in the shop!!) 

I 100% respect those women who don't take these tests and don't wish to know the babies gender in advance. For me it was a wonderful experience, Baby J is no longer an 'it', he's a 'he' and I love him already! 

Knowing that all was as well as it could be was also a huge relief and priceless to me. 

Each of these hurdles are hard, but the feeling of relief is worth a million hours of worry. 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The 12 week scan

For me, the 12 week scan felt like it genuinely was never going to come. Time moved so slowly. It reminded me of those last few weeks before school broke up for Christmas when you were bursting with excitement whilst struggling to find the will to get you through those long dark days.

I remember being particularly hormonal around this time, screaming uncontrollably at the Hubs over the smallest things. I also remember feeling pretty low... Pregnancy is the most amazing thing and now that I'm over the hump, I fully embrace it. At this point I just couldn't see that far forward.

I'd been so lucky to fall pregnant without trying when I'd always longed to have babies, but given the circumstances the pregnancy was high risk. Aside from the acne ridden skin, and ferocious mood swings there was nothing to prove (to me) that I was pregnant. I was sure that Baby J was there no more, and obsessed to the point of going against everyone's advice and doing one (or five) pregnancy tests during this period. The reason they advise you not to, is because even if you have miscarried it may show that you're pregnant as the hormones are still in you... giving you a false sense of confidence.

I knew it was stupid but I've never been one to do as I'm told, once I've made my mind up about something it's near impossible to fight me on it (stubbornness, another wonderful quality I possess!) having said all that, doing the tests provided a slight feeling of relief. The relief was only short lived but it did help. The wall lining uterus pills were also taking their toll on me at this stage which no doubt contributed to my epic mood swings!

The day finally arrived and after a sleepiness night and a very quick taxi journey we were back there again, the waiting room. As much as I love my Doc, punctuality isn't his thing and appointments are rarely on time. More time to waste, more bad thoughts to have, more time spent in the loo trying to contend with my 'difficult' tummy.

Finally our names were called, I was asked to sit in 'the scan chair' where I had my first proper ultrasound scan. The Doc said he could tell I was nervous so wouldn't waste any time.

"Boom boom boom"...we have a heartbeat. I'll never forget the Docs words at this moment "we're in business, congratulations". My entire body relaxed and for the first time in a long time I felt relief. It was the most sensational feeling.

After the relief set in I turned to look at the Hubs who by this point was fighting back the tears. I'd really put him through hell over the last 6 weeks and that look on his face won't be forgotten for a long while.

It really was a wonderful moment, from that day on I look forward to my scans rather than dreading them. I also try not to obsess to much over them! 

Whilst I knew it was coming, I had forgotten that we'd be given a little keepsake to remember the experience... So here it is, Baby J's first picture... Amazing really isn't it?

Blemish after blemish...

I know that many women out there have suffered the dreaded morning sickness, weeks feeling dizzy with no appetite or bent over the loo retching feeling like utter generally crap. One friend of mine suffered such bad morning sickness that she was hospitalised after losing two stones in the first three months of pregnancy, at 6 months pregnant she can still barely hold anything down. I really feel for all these women and can only imagine (as someone who suffers from relatively bad car sickness, not quite the same I am fully aware!) how awful it must feel.

I cannot however relate, I didn't (and still haven't) suffer any morning sickness whatsoever (starting to fear I'm tempting fate). I don't mean to brag, I'm merely stating fact. Given that I am someone who picks up every bug going around (she says whilst sniffing) I found this quite surprising. I didn't jump for joy, it actually got me worrying a little, whilst I know how dreadful morning sickness is, at least it's a sign that things are happening inside... I (being neurotic) may or may not (may) have been on the phone to my Doc complaining about not having it, asking what was wrong!

After coming to terms with not suffering morning sickness (as a now rational minded person I am fully aware of how ludicrous this sounds) I did face my own early sign of pregnancy...

No sooner had I discovered the joyous news had my skin broken out in a way that only 15 year old boys can relate to. I was covered in vulgar pussy, red gigantic spots. Now I know this sounds self indulgent, vein, stupid etc etc etc... I couldn't help how much this bothered me in those early weeks. One particularly melodramatic morning saw me in tears whilst dressing for a friends wedding, by the time we were in the car on our way I was caked in make-up looking more like a (spotty) drag queen than a black tie wedding guest. The Hubs reassured me, telling me I looked great, but I knew the truth...

Every day I'd spend ages on pregnancy forums looking for remedies (quite a good way to make those spare minutes go a little faster), it was comforting to find that so many women were facing the same thing and many many were offering up their own advice...

After much research, I discovered that the most popular recommended products were:

1/ Grease Lightning Spot Treatment: Lush - kinda made my face tight (perhaps due to overuse) - didn't work for me

2/ E45: Boots - cost effective (you may even have a tube of this in your bathroom cupboard already) - didn't work for me

3/ Murad age diffusing serum: Harvey Nichols - very pricey, didn't work for me

In the end, a combination of leaving my skin the hell alone and dabbing on a tiny bit of diprobase (cheap and kinda worked) seemed to help a little. In truth it is hormonal so there really nothing you can do. As my Doc explained, 'it is a sign that things are working', ' your body is going through a great deal of change and it effects everyone differently', I know that isn't helpful, but it is what it is. 

I am 23 weeks today and whilst my skin has calmed down, it is still not quite right and I am regularly greeted by a new friend right in the middle of my forehead or at the end of my nose. 

Now that I am over the biggest hurdle (12 week scan) and Baby J is kicking away, these blemishes have become quite irrelevant, they even make me laugh at times. 

I just can't quite believe how much it upset me at the time (it really was all consuming), needless to say, everything is blown way out of proportion when your pregnant and even the tiniest things can trigger a mammoth reaction (as the Hubs can most certainly confirm!!!)

Monday, 28 October 2013

The books

As aforementioned, I am quite the obsessive (I also love to shop) so when it came to the books I was in my absolute element! 

In truth, there are a million and one books out there differing in style. Some scared me half to death with tales of sadness and graphic labour stories, some comforted me with heart warming cosy memories and some just irritated me... I'm by no means a 'holistic earth mother type' so anything of that vein really grated on me.

If you're pregnant now or have been in the past you may empathise with the ambiguity of wanting to tell every random person on the street that you're pregnant, to protectively wanting to shield your secret from the world. The early stages for me were hard, especially as the Hubs and I had made no secret of the fact that we wanted children soon after marrying (error!) As you can imagine this led to constant questions from friends, family and colleagues...'when would we start trying?' 'are you pregnant now??' and so on. I actually became quite paranoid in those early stages thinking people knew and were trying to second guess me!

The books for me (specifically the experience of purchasing the books) helped to make it feel real but only really to me, it was my (and the Hubs, rents and in-laws) little secret and I sort of relished in that. I loved (and still love) going into my local bookshop and browsing the baby books. I think I became (embarrassingly) animated whilst shopping around, 'umming' and 'erring' to make my presence known to the shopkeeper! Paying was also highly pleasurable as I'm sure (well, not that sure!) that the woman at the till knew they were for me... That knowing smile (that I most likely imagined) put a little spring in my step for the rest of the day... This is probably why I did it so often!! 

There isn't one specific book I'd recommend as they all gave me something different...

I'd suggest buying one factual book about the experience of pregnancy. For me, 'What to expect when your expecting' has been the most useful. I'd then suggest one book (that will become your bible) about what comes after the baby (at this stage it might seem a tad premature but I couldn't help myself), for me 'Your baby week by week' has been the best (I literally love this book, there are pages and pages just deducted the the first week!!) and one more lighthearted book about the whole experience... I quite enjoyed one by Jools Oliver, 'Minus none to One' (there's also one called 'Belly Laughs' by Jenny McCarthy which is quite good fun). 

At this stage you might fancy a baby names book too, I resisted and went with an App until I was 12 weeks (I had to have something to look forward to!)

Some people will tell you not to buy the books and magazines, read the blogs or download the Apps until you're over that 12 week milestone and they may be right... I couldn't help myself, it's who I am. Everyone is different so I'm not saying there is a right or wrong but I do think there is something to be said for being prepared for all sorts of things (good and bad). 

I did learn a lot in those early weeks which has benefited me over the past few months, it's also made my visits to the Docs more useful as I always arrive with a long list of questions in hand!!

The main thing is to try and relax through those early weeks and try to find something to get you through it and make the days go a little faster, for me the books helped... for you it may well be something different, as long as you find something it doesn't really matter!!

That first Docs appointment...

Having already made the appointment with my gynaecologist, and being (as mentioned) a high neurotic person I kept it... so the next day, after a sleepless night (still convinced it couldn't be so) the Hubs and I headed off to see the Doc.

After sitting in the waiting room for an eternity we were called in for our appointment. As we sat down, the Doc jumped into a rather long rant about not putting yourself under too pressure when you first come off the pill as that effects your hormones, and really not worrying as it has only been a few weeks... as this point I remembered that about a week before, I had sent him a rather long email explaining what my situation (at that point) was! 

I swiftly informed him that there had been a 'change' to the previous situation, that I had done 4 tests yesterday all of which were positive... he was rather surprised, and a tad concerned. We went into the room next door where he examined me and did the first (of many many) scans. 

A dot... that's what we had on our hands. After buying my first pregnancy book on my way home, I discovered that our dot was in fact the size of a lentil (very odd how all the baby comparisons are to food, comforting but odd). At this point, I was 5 weeks, 6 days pregnant with a due date of Feb 26th (it has moved forward a day now to the 25th) ironically that meant I was due 9 months to the day after my wedding day!

After much probing about stats (I am better with facts) the Doc reluctantly told us that due to the lack of a natural period, ours was 30% higher risk than normal pregnancies (where 1/3 women miscarry) so the odds weren't really in our favour. He gave us some pills to thicken the wall of my uterus (gross I know, the Hubs did not enjoy hearing this... he's become more resilient since!) and told us not to worry too much just to be careful and go about life as usual (yea right!)

As we left the Doc I called my Mum to tell her the news, her words will stay with me for a long time... "but we've not even got the wedding albums yet'... she repeated this several times, very slowly... to be honest it took her a few months to fully come to terms with the whole thing, my dad took a little longer. He is a worrier by nature (under statement) so to this day he doesn't really like to talk about it, or really acknowledge it's happening... he is fantastic though with remembering dates for appointments/scans and so on (also better with facts that emotions!)

We then called the Hubs parents who were equally in shock, they are real baby people. My mother-in-law in particular, she knows everything about babies and pregnancy having had 4 herself. She instantly made me feel reassured that if I had (and I did) any questions or worries to call her... Baby J is to be the first grandchild across both families so whilst this was a nervous time, excitement couldn't really be contained. 

We went to bed that night still in a state of shock but also feeling excited... boy or girl? names? how will this change things? We also came to the realisation that we'll never celebrate a wedding anniversary without a baby!!

I drifted off dreaming about unborn Baby J, my worrying unfortunately did surpass my excitement but I found that reading as much as I could helped comfort me through those first few scary weeks. Even reading the horror stories helped me as I am someone who likes to prepare for the worst! 

All I can say about those first few weeks is that they are hard... you worry constantly and convince yourself something bad has happened. Your mind is consumed with fear and small things like riding the tube or walking down the street suddenly feel like the biggest deal in the world. Just ride it out because what comes next is your first piece of reassurance partnered with a bucket load of excitement...  

Discovering the news

I have always wanted a big family, I am one of two and always felt a little deprived of a sister. Don't get my wrong, my big bro is the best friend I could have asked for but I always longed for more. I remember being a bit jealous as a little girl when I'd visit friends houses where there were loads of kids and loads of mess (I've always oddly dreamt of a home filled with loads of shoes, mess and sports equipment). From the moment the hubs and I got together (he's one of four) I knew that I wanted kids and lots of them (if I had my way!)

We met when we were teenagers on summer camp, however after some mild flirtation, a dance at a disco and an awkward date in a local coffee shop (awkward because I decided to bring all my friends, being the naive 15 year old who didn't realise it was a date) we drifted apart. Years later we reacquainted through the means of Facebook, and decided to meet up. Once again, when the date was arranged, I didn't realise it was in fact a date, much to the annoyance of the soon to be Hubs. Luckily, after one evening I was hooked, 5 months later we moved in together and 7 months after that we were engaged. The whole thing was a bit of a whirlwind and given what's happened since our marriage (which was 5 months ago yesterday) my feet still haven't touched the ground. Tomorrow I'll be 23 weeks pregnant which by my calculations means that I fell pregnant dangerously close to the wedding day (or night!) 

As the pregnancy wasn't planned, a number of problems did arise in the early stages... Being someone who for the last 18 months had been completely an utterly obsessed with planning my wedding day (I said I was an obsessive person) babies were the last thing on my mind. I remember uttering something to my Mum about dreaming for a honeymoon baby but this was a just a passing comment!

I'd come off the pill a few months before the wedding, we wanted to try roughly a year from the big day. Having suffered from PSO in my earlier years, and having spoken to a number of friends about it, I was advised to come off the pill let my body find its routine and then start trying. I was also told that it would take a while for my periods to come back after coming off the pill. I did purchase one of the fertility tracker things (the wee on a stick kinds) so I did know roughly when I was fertile, the thing was... me being ignorant to all this had rather a odd illusion of the whole thing... I was under the impression that whilst technically you may be fertile it is only after a natural bleed that you could actually fall pregnant. Stupid I know... so there I was on my honeymoon, having had my last 'pill period', with sore boobs, non stop weeing... Googling post pill symptoms. Here comes more ridiculousness of my part... I had (after some serious Google research from a lounger in Hawaii) convinced myself that the symptoms I was experiencing were nothing more than the side effects of coming off the pill. 

After returning home, I started to worry.. where was my period? Oh no, there was something wrong (I told you I was neurotic!) After 2 days of being back from my beautiful honeymoon I was on the phone making an appointment with my gynaecologist telling his (wonderful and patient) secretary that I was most likely baron! 
A couple of days before the appointment arrived I was on the phone to a Mummy friend of mine, I was explaining my woos (in detail!) to which she responded... "it really sounds like your pregnant", "no no I explained, I can't be as I've not had my natural bleed". Now, I don't think she quite understood what I was on about so she just sort of agreed and we moved off topic. 

The following day (day before the appointment) the hubs went off to work, at this point we still lived close to town so he used to leave around 20 minutes before me, whilst brewing a cuppa I started to think about what Mummy friend had said... maybe I was? I couldn't be though? After much deliberation I thought well why not, let's do a test. Anyone who knows me, would agree that I am someone who since meeting the hubs does nothing without hubs... so the next 5 minutes showed some rather odd behaviour on my part. I (being an obsessive person, I did tell you) opened the bathroom cupboard and pulled out a test (yes I always kept a supply). I popped in the bathroom, did the test and got ready for work whilst the result processed (again very out of character, had I thought for a moment that I was pregnant I'd of watched that stick obsessively for the full 3 minutes!)

3 minutes later and there it was... Pregnant 3+

I was in a state of shock! My first reaction was that the test was faulty, I just couldn't be? I hadn't had my natural bleed?? My second reaction was call the hubs... after trying him a MILLION times and receiving his voicemail (he was on the tube) he eventually called back. I blurted out the news, and he, being the calm one in this relationship, told me to go to the shop and buy another test. I left the flat almost immediately, and jumped on the tube heading directly for Oxford Circus (where I work, but also the location of a big old Boots). 

Much to my dismay, I bumped into an old friend on the tube. Having only recently got married, and thanks to the wonders of Facebook she wanted to talk all about my big day. On a usual day, this would make for a wonderful journey to work... today was not a usual day. 

After what felt like a 2 hour tube ride (realistically it was 15 minutes) I was off the tube and in Boots telling the pharmacist about my 'situation' in detail... she was the first to question my 'you can't get pregnant without a natural bleed' theory going into a 20 minutes detailed description of how her sister got pregnant the same way... I started to panic! 

No sooner was I out of there that I was in the toilets at work (now over an hour late) with 3 pregnant test wrappers around my feet... the results were in... positive, positive, positive. I called the Hubs who seemed excited, scared and confused all at the same time (he had bought into my theory) followed by my GP (a family friend) who told me my theory was 'idiotic' (still not forgiven) after congratulating me on being pregnant despite having PSO. I was in an utter state of shock for the rest of the day... well to be honest for the next 5 months!

Thus began my journey into the weird, wonderful and highly scary world of pregnancy... 

Why start a blog?

The (scary) moment when I discovered I was pregnant, the first thing I did after telling the Hubs was jump on my iPad and start Googling all matters pregnancy related. There was just so much to read up on and being a slightly (understatement) neurotic, impatient and obsessive person I wanted to learn everything at that moment. 

Little did I know that there is an overwhelming amount of information out there, not only does it take some time to get your head around being pregnant but it takes time to work out what is and what is not worth reading. 

This blog will take you through my experience of pregnancy and hopefully reassure you (if your pregnant) that you're not nuts! Everyone worries about the same things (from hot tubs, to gas, to prams), having read a million and one stories, blogs and books, hopefully I'll be able to impart a few pearls of wisdom!