The journey before the 20 week scan:The 12 Week Scan
‘Would you like to know the sex of your baby?’
It was finally time, we had waited a long 20 weeks to be able to know if our baby was going to be a little Elijah or Evelyn. Overriding the questions of whether we were having a boy or girl, was the underlining need for reassurance, that everything was going OK, and that the ‘anomaly scan’ hadn’t pick up any anomalies! The pregnancy worry, the mummy guilt and the constant need for reassurance that your baby is thriving begins when you first take that pregnancy test, but the scans during pregnancy can help alleviate some of this concern, if only for a few moments until you meet your little bundle.
The Anomaly Scan
It had been such a long wait for the ‘big scan’ which is also referred to as, somewhat worryingly, the anomaly scan. The seriousness and the reasoning behind the scan comes into stark reality once you hear the official name. It’s not simply to tell you whether your having a boy or girl, this is a perk of the scan, and some hospitals don’t actually provide this information at all. It is a reminder that although pregnancy is completely natural, it is also a medical condition that needs assessment.
Looking at the screen, our baby was upside down but decided not to move much for his big screen debut. He was clearly camera shy. I remember feeling the rush of relief, I think I held my breath as the Sonographer went through each body part internal and external and confirmed that as far as she could see, everything was going exactly how it should be.
Boy or girl?
I always felt I was having a boy. Everyone insisted due to my morning sickness that it was a girl due to the old wives tales but I didn’t doubt myself, I have no idea why I was so confident but it was nice to have my conviction confirmed. Click here to read the pros and cons of finding out the sex of the baby
The 15 point summary of my second trimester
1. The beginning of a bump emerges: this is more accurate if this is your first pregnancy, usually for subsequent pregnancies a bump may be more prominent. For me, it was the awkward stage of having a bump but looking more food baby than actual baby. I could tell people were looking at me wondering if I could be pregnant or if I had put on weight.
2. Clothes started to become an issue: Pre-pregnancy clothes didn’t fit. But full on pregnancy clothes aren’t great either, as you aren’t fully expanded. I struggled with pregnancy style so I definitely can’t give advice on this front!
3. Apparently your meant to be able to sleep more, with less pressure on your bladder: Hahaha is all I say to this one. I slept abysmally. Although my post pregnancy brain tells me I didn’t take advantage of this phase in hindsight.
4. You feel the first flutters and kicks of movement: This is the beginning, but PLEASE monitor your babies movements. By proactively monitoring my baby’s movements, I saved his life. I recommend following Kick’s Count, a charity, on Facebook and Twitter, so that on your feed when they post, it reminds you.
5. The midwives appointments start to become more regular now: It seems like your pregnant as tangible checks take place. Blood tests, doppler checks, blood pressure and weighing. The medical profession are actually able to do something.
6. Your hair and skin are unbelievable: You may not appreciate this now but when you’ve had your baby and your hair might start falling out, then you’ll reflect on your luscious skin and locks during pregnancy with fondness as you bitterly unclog your shower plug hole.
7. Purchasing items starts in earnest especially if you know the sex: We started purchasing items after the 12 week scan, but we kept gender specific tailoring until after the 20 week scan.
8. Reading parenting books: it hasn’t sank in yet that you will need to look after a little person after pregnancy. This comes with a bang in third trimester during the ‘nesting’ phase. (Post coming soon on third trimester and joys of pregnancy brain- nesting included)
9. Eating more food: I still had morning sickness but it didn’t stop me from feeling starving all the time. Here is my cravings during pregnancy
10. Official notification to work: Having the date when your maternity leave begins which inevitably commences the count down.
11. Bump measuring: I always measured small. It’s quite a subjective, inaccurate measurement but there isn’t really a better way to check except for scans- which even then aren’t 100% accurate.
12. Leaky boobs: Towards the end of this trimester, and nobody warned me of this. (It’s like there are some secrets to motherhood that people like to keep as a ‘surprise’ which can be extremely unhelpful. Just tell us so we can prepare!) But your boobs may start to leak. And for me, this came suddenly and without warning. I warned you- pregnant lady I have your back!
13. Your boobs grow: and continue growing.
14. Constipation. Sometimes diarrhea: Pregnancy really is a barrel of laughs, although in perspective, your body is growing a baby, a whole little person so I guess it has reason to be out of whack.
15. You start to think about the birth: When, how and what will happen. The birth is something that is an unknown. And for me it was hard to think I didn’t have any control over the factors that would begin the birthing phase. You might even complete a birthing plan. (Post on pros and cons of birthing plan coming soon!)
And now…to the final third trimester! (Coming soon)