Our little baby Jacob is now almost three months old. I can’t believe how quickly time is passing. You hear this all the time from friends and family, but it’s difficult to appreciate just how true it is until you experience it for yourself. We recently had our NCT class reunion, which has made me feel very reflective and it felt like a good time to write a blog post on my pregnancy experience. I am planning to do a separate post/video focusing on the birth specifically, but this post will cover the whole pregnancy.
I can’t explain how excited we were when we found out I was pregnant. This was also a time of great anxiety for us. Earlier in the year I unfortunately suffered a miscarriage, which was discovered at my 12 week scan. As I had shown no signs of a miscarriage before the scan it was such a shock to be told that the baby’s heartbeat was not present. I remember James and I were joking around as we went into the scan room, but came out feeling like the world had disappeared from underneath us. Thankfully we were fortunate to become pregnant again quite quickly after I had recovered from the miscarriage and subsequent surgery. We were over the moon that we were expecting again, but we were understandably nervous about the pregnancy.
Unfortunately our anxieties were made worse when I started to experience some problems at about six weeks (Which lasted up until 20 weeks). I started to have sudden heavy bleeds, which meant numerous visits to A&E, doctors appointments and scans. One such bleed happened on a Friday and after several hours of waiting in A&E we were told by the doctor that it was likely I had suffered another miscarriage. I couldn’t get a scan until the following Tuesday and we had one of the most nerve-wracking weekends of our lives. When this happened again a few weeks later we decided to pay for a private scan, which turned out to be a great decision. Being told you may have lost the baby, to then find out he was fine is a huge emotional rollercoaster. Over the course of three months we rode this rollercoaster far too many times, and we were absolutely emotionally beaten. We both did everything we could to stay calm; yoga, meditation, mindfulness. Anything to take our minds off the panic and anxiety that was constantly trying to overwhelm us.
Considering all of the issues I don’t think we told many people until I was about 20 weeks, and even then we were selective with whom we told. The only positive from the first part pregnancy was that I didn’t get any morning sickness!
Thankfully everything started to calm down during the middle of my pregnancy. For the first time since the start James and I begun to really enjoy the pregnancy. Once the bleeding had stopped my energy levels started to increase and anxiety lowered somewhat. I still suffered from mild anxiety attacks, especially around big crowds for some reason, but we were able to go out and enjoy time together without having to worry too much about what might happen.
We had tickets to the Baby and Toddler show at Sandown Park, which is an exhibition where you can buy every baby related product you could possibly imagine. Our plan was to buy some of the big items here and take advantage of savings that we couldn’t get on the high street. It did not disappoint and we spent a fortune! We came away with our Babystyle Egg pram, the MaxiCosi Pebble Plus car seat and a fancy high chair/spaceship called the Fresco Bloom. Even if you don’t buy anything from the show it is exciting just to be there and have a look at so many different options and brands all under one roof.
This was my favourite time during pregnancy. I had started to get an obvious pregnancy bump and all the scans had been fine up until this point, showing no signs of any problems. This was actually a pleasant surprise given the amount of bleeding we saw early on. We started to get his room ready and couldn’t stop ourselves from buying some gorgeous clothing and accessories. This made it feel much more real.
The final stretch
We had his room all ready, his clothes washed and our hospital bags packed. I finished work at 34 weeks and was looking forward to relaxing, practising my hypnobirthing techniques and generally just preparing for our little boy’s arrival.
My body had other plans. The day after I finished work I found myself in hospital following a routine midwife appointment. My blood pressure had steadily been increasing over the last few appointments and I now had protein in my urine. The doctors were concerned that I was developing pre-eclampsia. We had never heard of this condition, but after some Googling we were both very nervous once again. I was started on medication to help lower my blood pressure and had to be seen at the hospital three times a week to keep a close eye on my BP. At each appointment I was hooked up to a CTG machine to check on the baby’s heartbeat and fetal movements. I had an ultrasound to check on our baby’s development, and this showed his growth had tailed off, which is a common side effect of pre-eclampsia. We prepared ourselves for him to be rather small!
With each visit my BP seemed to get a little higher and the protein increased a little more. Thankfully Baby seemed to be coping well and showing no worrying signs. Over the course of the next month I was admitted to hospital on three separate occasions and spent over three weeks as an inpatient. In the end the doctors planned to induce labour on the 18th January. However after another routine check up, my BP had increased again and my symptoms were worsening. They induced me on the 12th January and after a turbulent 48 hours Jacob was born at 5lb 5oz. He was absolutely tiny.
As I mentioned at the start I want to do a separate post focusing specifically on the birth and pre-eclampsia. I feel like this warrants its own post and I am planning to record a video where I talk through everything that happened.
I would love to hear about your pregnancy experiences. Also if you are currently pregnant and experiencing any of the above symptoms don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat!