Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Surprise! We’re Having our Rainbow Baby!

Pregnancy Announcement Top of the Rock New York

We have been keeping a little secret for the last 15 weeks, we will be welcoming our second baby into the world in August!

I am due around my birthday which is just completely lovely, I turn 31 on August 8th and baby is due the following day on August 9th.

It’s not been the easiest 15 weeks, we had some health concerns for the baby that means following a 10 week scan we were referred to Birmingham Fetal Medicine for additional scans and tests. I won’t go into that on this post, but I have of course been blogging behind the scenes so I can share our story with you now, following this happy post, a post I have been waiting to share when I know everything is ok.

Thankfully we have been given the green light and everything is looking good with our little rainbow, which is the best outcome I didn’t dare dream 5 weeks ago. 

We are currently in New York City, and we decided it would be here that we announce the impending arrival of our second, and much wanted baby.

Nugget is arriving August 2020 and we are so excited, and it’s so nice to see Leo so happy about being a big brother. 


Tuesday, 11 February 2020

The Due Date After a Miscarriage

Due Date After a Miscarriage

The 11th February 2020 was my estimated due date for the baby I lost back in July. 

Today is the 11th February 2020.

Today we should have either already be holding our baby in our arms, having our baby or getting very close to meeting the latet addition of our family.

I wondered how I would feel on this day, when it all happened I thought that today would be awful and incredibly sad. Weirdly it seems that time is a healer. I think I have cried all my tears and accepted that for some reason unknown to me, this was not our time.

Instead of nursing our baby or labouring, I have been in work. I have dropped Leo off at school and then picked him up again. In the grand scheme of things it was just like any other ordinary day, no stand out moments or signs. 

Just an ordinary Tuesday in February. 

A day that I should have been counting down for, a day that should have been filled with love and joy.

I have thought about the miscarriage every day since it happened, I have wondered who that little person would grow up to be, all the while knowing that I will never really have the answers. One thing is for sure though, the time really has flown by.

It is weird to think that the pregnancy would have come to term now, that we would be coming out of the other side. After we lost our baby I had to quickly delete all of my pregnancy apps and I couldn't bring myself to log back into the Babycantre forum that I had been frequenting, but this week I felt ready to pop back in and see what had been going on.

Ladies I had spoken to were all having or had already had their little February babies. My journey had come to an end, but for them the real journey was just begining. 

I still haven't found the tree to bury our baby in, but I do feel ready now. Perhaps today should have been the day to mark our due date, a way to solidify that they existed if only for a blink of an eye. 

I guess now I am released from the counting, from the waiting. Pondering how many weeks I would be now, wondering what might have been. It feels like the time has completed and although it sadly does not mark the start of a new life, it marks the end of a period of time.

I wonder if I will feel more emotional on July 30th, when 12 months since the miscarriage knocks at the door. 

Happy would have been due date little one.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Tourettes, Tics & The Complex Vocal Tic

Tourettes, Tics & The Complex Vocal Tic

This weekend I think I have felt the most parent guilt I have felt in my 8 years of being a Mum. 

I realise that I have a very uniqie parenting scenatio when it comes to Leo, his Tourettes and the tics that come out to play with increased anxiety. I never know when we are going to get an influx of the dreaded vocal tics, sometimes I can pre-empt them with the end of the school holidays, which 9 times out of 10 the root cause.

Then there are instances like this week, when it happens and I don't really know why. 

I noticed at the start of last week that the high pitch sqeal was more prominent. Each day after school it would increase in intensity. Then by Friday we faced a full on tic explosion, on the scale we faced when Leo returned to school after the summer holiday's last year...

From the moment Leo got in the car at 3:15 we had high pitch vocal squeals. The kind of shrill squeal that hits the ear drum and makes it shake. The kind that should not be mixed when you are driving a car. 

These tics repeated every 10-15 seconds, how do I know that? I know because I heard each and every single one, and I timed them. 

This happened all night Friday, all day Saturday (expect for the trip into town), all Sunday and still going strong Monday night. 

Friday night was by far the hardest night. 

The constant tics hurt my ears and my head, and there was no where to go to hide from it. Leo was in his room, but this is where my intense parenting guilt comes into play. I didn't want him to feel like he HAD to be in his room, but at the same time I was finding it hard to sit next to him because each squeal was going right through me.

It's almost like a smoke detector that beeps and beeps, before you have to change the batteries. Only we can't stop this. 

There was really nothing I could do for the best. We couldn't just cuddle up and watch a film, I couldn't read him a story. I was at a complete loss of what to do. Instead I let everything get to me and ended up in tears because I had no where to hide, no idea what to do for the best.

It's a catch 22 situation, I couldn't and can't do right for doing wrong. I don't want Leo to think that he couldn't or shouldn't tic in his home, in his safe place, but at the same time I just needed the noise to go quiet and to have a little bit of space, time without my ears feeling like they were going to split in two. 

Then I think about how he must feel, his throat must be feeling so sore, but he just gets on with it. Not once does he complain. I remind myself that we go through these phases, and yes they are hard but we always weather them. 

Eventually the squeal tic goes back into hibernation for a while.

Im frustrated that I can't do more for Leo, I have put in in front of CAMHS (Children & Adolescent Mental Health Services) in the hope that I can obtain CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) for Leo, but they declined on the basis that Leo's mental health wasn't 'in need' enough. It is like banging your head against a brick wall over and over again until it bleeds. Every avenue I look down and explore for Leo often results in a door banging shut in my face.

I would hate for Leo's mental health to deteriate to the point where CAMHS might think 'ok we will see him now'. I had been pre-warned that unless your bleeding, they will quite simply not see you. I am sad to report that this is exactly what I have come to find.

We are coming to the end of term, and I can't put my finger on exactly what has caused this particular flare up. I have spoken to him and asked how he is feeling, but all I can get is that he is worried about his school work, Math's in particular. Having spoken to his teacher though, he's his usual self within school, Leo supresses tics throughout the day so no one ever hears them there, but when he comes home, I get the full on storm of them.

As I write this the tics continue...

We fly to New York on Sunday, which is an 8 hour flight in close proximity with lots of other people. The thought of this right now makes me feel very anxious. So much so that I have actually been in touch with Virgin Atlantic who were really lovely. They have told me not to worry about it and advised that they can board us first or last depending on what will suit Leo better, and even asked if there is anythig else they can do. 
The only thing I can think of is providing all of the other passengers with ear plugs!

I am hoping that come Thursday when Leo finishes for half term, the tics may relent their hold on him. That we may be able to enjoy our holiday without Leo being held hostage by his tics.

This won't be the last time we go through this, and god knows it's not the first. It's the first time it's made me cry though, I just wish I could make it all better for him, to take them away.

We have been out shopping before now and the tics have happened in public, and we do get some looks. Mainly the kind that look to me to stop my child making such a noise, which of course I can't and won't try. When I ignore the tic (I never draw attention to them or mark them), the look changes to one that second guesses me and my parenting. 

They aren't to know, but I always wonder what I might say to someone who takes the judgement a little further than staring, and actually dares critisice.

I don't think I would be able to hold back...

Monday, 3 February 2020

A Little Life Update

Proposal Evesham Bell Tower

It's been all systems go behind the scenes over here at Life Unexpected, so here is a little life update to keep everything ticking along nicely!

In early December Luke and I set the date for our wedding! I was meant to do a whole post about how we got engaged a year ago on Christmas Eve, but unfortunately it is 13 months later and I never actually did *slaps hand* - I will get there!

Propsoal Box

We knew the exact venue that we wanted almost straight after we got engaged, in fact it was the only place we actually went to look around. We just knew it was where we wanted to have the day straight away. It's local to where we live which is perfect for friends and family within the local area, but it's also just far enough away to really make use of the beautiful rolling hillside of Bredon.

Bredon Hill is one of our favourite family walks, one we have walked many many times, and the venue of Deer Park Hall falls just below the hills peak in beautiful rolling hillside with a park full of deer!

Newly Engaged

We have a lot to sort out this year what with Luke's flat and the whole issue with the lease... We currently have 2 solicitors on the go trying to help us work this worm hole. One of the solicitors is pursuing a potential negligence claim with the solicitors Luke used to purchase the flat back in 2016. They never once advised against the lease or advised that the ground rent was onerous (which they would have been aware of and should have advised on!).

The second solicitor specialises in leases and lease extensions, and is helping us pursue an extension to reduce the ground rent to a peppercorn rent (as you can see it's been all systems go around here.... And this really is just the tip of the ice berg!).

We should have an update on the whole sorry scenario by the end of this month and know how to progress. 

Breakfast with Father Christmas

Christmas has been and gone, and although it feels like a lifetime ago we all had a really lovely time. On the run up to the big day we spent lots of time together as a family and had a trip to the pantomime over at Malvern Theatre to watch Aladdin.

We popped over to Webbs of Wychbold for a spot of ice skating and even caught a showing of the Muppets Christmas Carol at our local cinema.

Unfortunately Luke had to work this year, but Father Christmas delivered in time for Leo to open his gifts while Luke was still at home.

We spent the day at my parents eating far too much food and playing with all of the wonderful new additions that had appeared under the Christmas Tree.

Malvern Theatres Aladding Pantomime

New Year was a quiet affair and was quite simply one for the 3 of us, we saw the New Year in together and then made our merry way to bed.

Right now we are in the final stages of planning a rather epic family trip for the February half term, on the 16th all 3 of us are flying out to New York for 3 days. We will be staying near Central Park at The Wellington Hotel, and we are all very excited for some amazing adventures.

We figured after all of the disappointment last year, what with the not buying a house thing, the miscarriage and just trying to keep looking on the bright side, we all deserved something to look forward to.

As it happens this trip actually ties together beautifully, we should have been having a baby this month, but instead we are going to head state side and make some amazing family memories and remember the little life that we never got to meet.

Missed Miscarriage

We have purchased the New York City Pass so that we can fill our boots with all of the attractions on offer, so everything that I couldn't do last time will be seen and experienced this time with both of my boys!

If that wasn't enough... When we get back from New York we will be staying a few days in London where we will be showing Leo everything that he has not yet experienced in our wonderful Capital City.

That isn't the end of our family trip though... For one final shabang we are jetting back off again, but this time to Venice! None of us have ever been to Venice or even Italy for that matter, so we are really excited to see what it is like.

Lux will be heading off to the kennels for 11 days, we have our ESTA's in place, up to date passports and all we need to do now is sort our insurance!

Aside from all of the travelling, I have just this past week had Leo's draft EHCP through. I have gone over the plan with Leo's school's SEN and together we have made some slight changes before we accept the plan.


It's simply a case of waiting now to see what comes back and hopefully just accepting the EHCP plan so that it is ready to go.

So for now we are just looking ahead and putting one foot in front of the other. There is light at the end of the tunnel and this trip and the wedding planning are going to keep that smile firmly on our faces.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

12 Weeks Pregnant - High NT Measurement

12 weeks pregnant - High NT Measurement
Normally when you reach 12 weeks pregnant it brings a sense of relief, the miscarriage rate drops significantly and you will probably be thinking about how you announce you’re good news to friends and family.

I had made it to 12 weeks pregnant but my worries about miscarriage were as strong as they had been since that pregnancy test turned positive. We weren’t thinking that we could announce our news anytime soon, and we didn’t really know how this pregnancy was going to play out.

We didn’t even know if there would be a baby at the end of it.

Along with my anxiety about miscarriage, I was trying to be hopeful and excited. This baby is wanted, so wanted. 

We had the second Fetal Medicine Appointment on the Monday, which of course offered a huge relief. It cemented that I needed to continue being positive, because the NT fluid was now normal and we were now waiting the results of our Harmony Test (which should arrive in week 14).

The tiredness seems to have returned this week with a vengeance, I have been falling asleep on the sofa under a blanket (something I never do) and haven’t been able to make it to the end of the movie Luke and I were watching. Much to his annoyance. 

This week Leo brought a sickness bug home from school which he very kindly shared with me. I was sat at work on the Wednesday (Leo had been sick in the morning before school and was with my mum), and suddenly I felt nauseous. I thought it was in my head and carried on.... When I finished at 2pm I thought I was feeling ok. 

I went to get Leo and within 20 minutes of getting to my parents, I was there with my head down the toilet. Brilliant. I thought maybe that would be it, but I couldn’t keep anything down. 

12 Weeks Pregnant - NT Baby

I had been texting back and forward with Nicky (the lady who did my 10 week dating scan) and she was thrilled to hear our news. She asked if I had been given an official due date (which I thought was the date I was provided with last time), and told me that she would try and get me back in to get the official due date in my notes.

The next day Nicky text me and said that she had a spare appointment on Thursday 30th January. As it happened both Leo and I were off work and school due to the fact we had been poorly the day before (Leo was lots better now but couldn’t go back to school until the Friday). So it meant that Leo could come with me and Granny to finally see his little brother or sister on the screen.

The amazing thing was, Nicky was my midwife throughout my pregnancy with Leo, so it was a really lovely moment. Leo sat on a chair next to Granny while I lay on the bed, the gel was applied and the Doppler positioned, and boom... there was baby wiggling around and so much clearer than the images we saw at the fetal medicine unit. 

12 Weeks Pregnant - NT Baby (Cystic Hygroma Happy Ending)

12 Weeks Pregnant - NT Baby (Cystic Hygroma Happy Ending)

I wanted to turn to see Leo’s face but couldn’t contort my body while being scanned. Nicky said straight away that baby was looking good and although she wasn’t going to re-measure the fluid, she could see that it was within normal range.

Nicky measured the baby and at 12+4 was measuring 61.7mm - all of these scans have highlighted just how quickly a baby grows and develops. 

Leo was amazed and found the whole experience brilliant, I was so happy that he had got to come along, and as always he was so well behaved. He just looked and listened. 

My due date was adjusted to August 9th 2020, a day out from where I had been placed at my 10 week ultrasound. 

When the scan concluded Nicky gave me 2 new scans, 2 beautifully clear shots of our little nugget. You could see a real difference between these images and the ones from 10 weeks. The babies head was smaller and the body had got longer, and the fluid was now gone. 

Absolutely incredible.

I sat up on the bed and we started talking. Nicky told me that everything looks perfect right now and that I need to try and relax and enjoy my pregnancy now. All of these scans has really built an anxiety up for me and before each and every scan I worry that there won’t be a heartbeat anymore. 

Each and every time though, our baby has a beautifully strong heartbeat and is continuing to grow as expected. I think with the miscarriage and then the threat of a high NT, of course there is going to be anxiety at play. 

I am one of the lucky ones though, if I had my fist scan at 12 weeks, I would never have known that there was a high fluid reading at 10 weeks. Nicky said the same, but we acted on the information that was available and I will always be thankful to Nicky for everything she did.

You can see here the difference between the 10 week scan and the 12 week scan, and you cannot help but notice the pocket of fluid on the babies neck in the top image. At this last scan Nicky said that it was the first thing that she noticed, where as I was just worrying about whether there would be a heartbeat. I guess as Nicky said, we were both looking for very different things.

12 Weeks Pregnant - NT Baby (Cystic Hygroma Happy Ending)

I am just so glad that everything is looking much more positive now.

Nicky said that she was really impressed with how I took the news about the Nuchal measurement, which actually really threw me. I didn’t start flapping, I don’t know if that’s because I didn’t fully understand the gravity of what I was being told at the time, or if it was because I like to arm myself with facts. I remember being the same in July when I was told that I had a missed miscarriage. Again I kept it together through the appointment, and later when I was away from everyone I let my feelings out.

Nicky threw her arms around me and asked me to let her know when I got my Harmony results back. It was really lovely as she is such a genuine person and I could tell she really cared. 

I found this scan appointment the most re-assuring of them all. Hearing Nicky tell me everything was fine carried so much more weight than it coming from anyone else. 

I had been worried that the other consultant may have missed the fluid and Nicky would find it again. Thankfully though everything was fine, everything was normal, everything was as it should be.

We are almost at the end of the first trimester now, and what a rollercoaster it has been. I’m hoping that the rest of my pregnancy will be simple and straightforward. The one positive thing about all of this is, I have seen our little Nugget grow from a mere little blob on the screen to a proper teeny tiny little baby.

I am 12 weeks pregnant and already had 5 scans so far...

12 Weeks Pregnant - NT Baby

I’m going into the second trimester back in midwife led care, I’m no longer high risk and the chances of a baby at the end of all this are looking sunnier and sunnier.

Now all we need are our Harmony (NIPT) test results back, and we will be well on our way. 

Monday, 27 January 2020

The 12 Week Fetal Medicine Appointment

12 Week Ultrasound high NT fluid - Cystic Hygroma
Today (Monday 27th January) we made our way back to Birmingham Women’s Hospital, 6 days since our last visit. I had spent my time wishing the weekend away, eager to get back and make sure that little Nugget’s heartbeat was still swooshing away. 

Having been told I was high risk for a miscarriage, that is what I’ve worried mostly about aside from the potential of a chromosomal abnormality. The thought of getting to 12 weeks and then losing the baby I knew was growing away would be even more soul destroying than our initial miscarriage.

We arrived back at the hospital with time to spare, I had learned my lesson about guzzling lots of fluid before a scan after last time, so I had a small drink in the morning before we left home, and after the 50 minute drive there... I really needed to pee.

I had to go to the toilet at least twice to release a little, as I was getting fit to burst! As we walked into the Fetal Medicine Department first thing on a Monday morning, I could see just how much busier it was in the AM.

Our appointment was at 10:10AM but it was more 10:40 by the time we went in, it wasn’t an issue and we patiently waited our turn. Eventually our name was called and we followed the consultant into a scan room.

I handed over my pregnancy notes and lay down on the consultation table, the gel was squeezed onto my tummy and Dr Thompson apologised for the coldness (not that it mattered as I just wanted to see my baby was ok). 

My tilted uterus appeared on screen, and then Dr Thompson played the baby’s heartbeat straight away as if he had known that I had been feeling incredibly anxious that it wouldn’t be there. The swoosh swoosh of our baby’s heartbeat instantly reassured me and then he got straight down to bringing baby into view.

Having a retroverted uterus meant that it was hard to get a clear image of baby, which of course makes it harder to do all of the checks and measurements that were needed. 

Dr Thompson stayed incredibly quiet throughout, but I had a screen of my own to watch baby flipping around on screen. I was told that it may be beneficial to completely empty my bladder to see if it would provide a better view, at this moment the placenta was posterior and wouldn’t be easy to get to for a CVS.

I popped to the loo and came back, more gel was applied and the scan resumed. A long silence passed, I tried to peak at Dr Thompson’s screen where all of the measurements were being complied. Not a word was said as he completed a detailed scan on our little Nugget.

I did wonder if this was good news or bad.... on the car journey over I had pondered the thought that all of the fluid would have gone and returned to normal, but the idea seemed like crazy talk. Well... until....

Finally Dr Thompson spoke and brought us up to speed on what he was seeing. He told me that our baby’s Nuchal fluid was completely normal, that he had Re-measured it and it was between 1.2/1.4mm which is in the complete realm of normal.

12 Week Ultrasound high NT fluid - Cystic Hygroma

No abnormal Nuchal Translucency reading, no Cystic Hygroma, no fetal hydrops, no abnormality.

1 healthy little baby growing away!

I sat stunned and listened, happy butterflies bubbling beneath the surface. He explained that when I was initially scanned at just gone 10 weeks, this was outside the suggested scan period. They say that from 11 weeks or a minimum crown rump length of 45mm that a Nuchal Translucency scan can/should be carried out.

If today had been my first scan, I would have gone in and everything would have been perfect. I would have left and there would have been no concerns over our little nugget. Not one. 

Dr Thompson explained that based on what he could see today, he was looking at a structurally sound baby for the gestation. 

In that very moment I had decided against even attempting the CVS. There was no way any needles were going near my baby when the only marker that had enticed the idea was not there, or potentially even a valid measurement. It was such a early anomaly that could have been down to something as simple as the lymphatic system being underdeveloped or many other reasons.

I can’t recall how I broached the subject but I know I let the good Dr know that I was now against the idea of a CVS and enquired into the possibility of the Harmony test instead.

With this he said that we should go and discuss all of our options in one of the little rooms adjacent to the scan room. We all sat down and got comfortable, I didn’t want to celebrate too early, but I was feeling like I was on cloud 9.

Dr Thompson talked us through the options, he said that he could attempt the CVS but that it would be a difficult procedure. I got the feeling that Luke was leaning towards this, but I had already written it out of the options I was considering. There was no way I was having a invasive procedure that would be even more difficult due to the fact of where my placenta was positioned. It was a firm no go for me.

Secondly we could opt for the Harmony test (NIPT - None Invasive Pregnancy Testing) which would involve taking a sample of my blood that has the baby’s DNA within it. This would test for the 3 Trisomies and give a high or low risk. 

This is what I was hoping we would be able to opt for.

This would then be backed up with a detailed echo that would take place between 16-18 weeks - This is where they will take a closer look at Nugget’s heart and make sure that everything was as it should be.

Finally... we could do nothing and they would discharge us.

We discussed all 3 of these options and the Dr left us alone to discus them amongst ourselves. Luke was confused about how I had now changed my mind about the CVS. He was of the opinion that we should be fully prepared and know everything... I was not willing to risk my baby and wanted to do the harmony test and then enjoy my pregnancy. 

Eventually we agreed on the Harmony test and the echo. We were left in the very capable hands of Vicky - the manager of the midwifery department. We discussed our decision but she couldn’t say if it was the right thing to do, but in my heart of hearts I already knew that it was.

They had decided to try and look at the scan image from the following week before we made our final decision. Vicky came back to the room with the consent form and I asked about the previous scan, she said that she couldn’t really use it as the image was ‘skewed’ and it wouldn’t have been the scan she had used in the file (our original scan was done by a trainee consultant) - so we didn’t really know if the fluid was the same level at the 11 week scan as opposed to either the 10 week or 12 week. At this point I was too happy to mind. 

I signed the consent form and we waited for the blood room to become free. We followed Vicky down the hall and I had my blood taken for the Harmony Test, it was painless and over as quickly as it had begun. We were told it could take up to 2 weeks for the results to come back.

After a tough 2 weeks of waiting for answers, I was now happy, the results would just concrete the relief I was now feeling. I finally felt like I could be excited about our baby and their arrival in August. 

Only a day before I felt like I was in limbo, I had reached 12 weeks but didn’t think I would be able to announce our pregnancy in the near future. All of a sudden I felt that I could say ‘hey, I’m having a baby this year!’. 

It’s amazing what can change in a day!

Vicky told us that she would call with the results when they come through, got our report and new scan images together for us, and off we went. Ready to tell our families the absolutely amazing news.

I have had such amazing care at the Fetal Medicine Unit, they have taken their time to answer my questions and provided detailed scans to help our baby. Now we are coming out the other side, and I am in awe of the work that they do. 

It’s time to start being excited about the new life growing inside of me, it’s time to start thinking pushchairs, baby clothes and start getting prepared.

A high NT brings clouds, but they don’t always rain.

If you are going through this nightmare journey right now, a happy ending is possible at the end of all this. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

The 11 Week Fetal Medicine Unit Appointment

Birmingham Women's Hospital Fetal Medicine Department

On Tuesday 21st January we made our way to the Women’s Hospital in Birmingham. We were meeting with the team at the Fetal Medicine Unit for the very first time. A place I didn’t even know existed until a week before at our dating scan, where a body of fluid of 4.7mm was found on our growing babies neck.

This appointment was for the purpose of a CVS, a invasive form of testing that would give us answers to any potential chromosome abnormalities that may be present in our unborn child.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about none stop, it’s taken over every waking moment of my day as I ponder possible outcomes for this pregnancy and our little baby. 

We arrived with about half an hour to spare, the Women’s Hospital is the biggest hospital I have ever been to, I thought finding where we were meant to be was going to be a mission in itself so insisted that before we sit down for drinks, we locate the Fetal Medicine Department. 

As it happens it was a lot easier to find than expected, thanks to helpful signage all along the corridors. The next prominent problem was that I didn’t need a wee, and being 11+2 the likelihood was that they would require me to have a full bladder to carry out the scan.

We settled in the hospital cafe, I nursed a hot chocolate and a bottle of water, all the while knowing that when that body of fluid hit my bladder I was going to know about it. Still on the run up to our appointment at 4pm, I still didn’t need to pee. Sitting in the waiting room at 4pm, I didn’t need to pee.

As my name was called, suddenly I needed to pee. In fact my bladder was now so full that I thought it might burst. A Dr named Leo walked us down the corridor to a room set up and ready to scan, he took my pregnancy notes and started to ask me questions. I explained what had happened at our previous scan and that we were here to hopefully get more answers.

I had prepared 16 of my own questions for this appointment, and some flew right off the tip of my tongue without even looking at the composition I had composed. 

Dr Leo explained that the fluid was on the babies neck under the skin, that it was not in the amniotic fluid collecting behind the babies neck. The gel was applied to my lower tummy and the Doppler pressed down firmly on my extremely full bladder (which was of course picked up on the screen), straight away a grainy image of our little nugget popped into view.

Disappointingly it was no where near as clear as the scan I had at our local hospital the week before. I wondered if it was due to my very full bladder. Dr Leo said the amount of fluid looked about the same, and over all apart from that our baby looked as expected for the gestation. 

Baby had done some growing in the 5 days since our dating scan, going from a CRL (crown rump length) of 39mm to 44.8mm. I took this as positive as baby flipped around in utereo unaware that we were all peeking in. 

It was nice to not hear the doom and gloom that I was expecting from this appointment, it was being judged firmly on it’s own merit. I found out that the placenta in this pregnancy is posterior, which was going to make a CVS tricky (especially in conjunction with my retroverted uterus).

I was told to go and empty my bladder to see if that altered the position of anything that would make it possible to perform the CVS safely. My gut feeling has come to pass, I knew ahead of time that the possibility of a CVS was slim. 

I returned feeling a lot lighter, and they had me sign the consent forms for the CVS procedure. A consultant named Tracey came in and re-scanned me, she was positive for the most part but did bring the word ‘termination’ to the table.

It wasn’t advice to act upon, it was looking ahead once we have firm results. She was giving me options. I asked if was I was allowed to fly as we have a trip to New York booked in February and I was advised that this would be fine. I should take low dose aspirin to keep my blood thin a week before the flight, and wear flight socks to keep the risk of clots to a minimum. 

Tracey’s examination was the confirmation that a CVS would not be taking place that day. I was booked in for another attempt on Monday 27th January, where I will be 12 weeks + 2 days. 

The positives of today’s appointment was that the heartbeat was good and there were no signs of Hydrops (Hydrops are swellings that occur within the baby, like in the stomach or limbs etc). 

I left with no more answers than I had came with, but I was reassured that baby was doing ok in there. I feel positive that all this may turn out ok, But I won’t know that until I have the tests that can give me answers.

I could feel tightenings in my lower tummy today, I’m certain that this is my tummy starting to stretch to accommodate our growing baby.

I don’t feel like I can tell anyone I’m pregnant, I can’t announce that I’m having a baby, I can’t even actually say I’m having a baby, because I might not. All this might end in tears, but it might all be ok. I hate all of this uncertainty, I just want to know that our babies going to be ok.

Unfortunately not even the doctors can tell me that, it’s all about taking one day at a time, one test at a time and hoping, hoping and hoping.

If on Monday I cannot have the CVS again, I have decided that I want to pay for the Harmony test, this is a none invasive test that takes my blood that has our babies DNA within it. They can test this and then give us a low or high risk for the 3 Trisomies. 

The Harmony test is not diagnostic like a CVS, but it might just give us some answers where currently there are none. I want some form of answers before we fly to New York, and if they can’t do the CVS the only other option is waiting until 16 weeks when they will perform an Amniocentesis (A needle into the amniotic sac). 

I can’t go 5/6 more weeks with no answers so the Harmony result would acts as a potential band aid in the mean time.

That brings me to the end of my latest update, I will be able to write again on Monday.....