Saturday 29 February 2020

The 16+6 Gender Scan that Ended in Tears

Today was going to be exciting, full of smiles and love.

We had big plans. 

They involved excited family members, a proud big brother, helium balloons and conftti cannons.

Today we were finding out if we were welcoming a healthy baby boy, or healthy baby girl into our family this coming August.

The gender scan had been booked for weeks and had been something I was really looking forward to, after all of the official and serious scans it was nice to have something that was lighthearted and allowed me to bond with the little person growing inside of me.

Something that wasn't about high nuchal translucancy, or cystic hygromas, or worrying about the babies health. Just a fun private scan to find out if we were having a little boy or a little girl, something normal pregnant mum's do when everything is going as it should.

I was finally feeling excited after all of the un-certainty of the last month and a bit. I even ordered one of the big purchases for the baby last night, now it was all feeling positive and real.

As Luke was at work today, we decided that we would have the scan and have the gender written down on a piece of paper. We had a gender balloon ready to get inflated and filled, and we were going to find out all together later this evening.

I should have known I was setting myself up for a fall, I should have known that it was all going to come crashing down around me.

We arrived at the scan, I paid the bill and we were called into the same room that I have been in twice before. It started off very light hearted, Nugget's heart was beating nicely and we saw that he or she was still hanging around upside down like at the last scan.

With their legs..... firmly crossed.

I did some jumps, I shook my belly, but little Nugget was not interested and was not about to roll for us anytime soon.

The sonogropher moved onto taking measurements and having a closer look at baby. 

The head, the heart, the femur length and the spine.

We watched Nugget on the screen all the while thinking that aside from them not wanting to give away their little secret, everything else was ok.

I don't recall how she broached it, it all seems like such a blur now. I don't remeber what I did, or even what I said. The sonogropher started rolling off a list off 'differences' in our little baby.

The differences or abnormalities as they should probably be referred to were rolled out one after the other, in the babies heart she had only identified 1 outflow tract and was questioning a VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect) which could mean a hole in the babies heart.

I asked if this was fatal or there was treatment but she couldn't or wouldn't speculate.

Then there was the abnormal posterior fossa and cerebellum topped off with a dilated 4th ventricle in the babies head. I know one of these can affect balance and the 4th ventricle which she suspected could be filled with fluid, could simply be an immature fetus that would dissapate with maturity ,or maybe even be an indicator for Spina Bifida.

Finally she topped this all off with scoliosis of lower spine marked with a ? on the report, again potentially another marker for Spina Bifida?

At the end of all of this she said that she was pretty certain she knew if we were having a boy or a girl, and she asked me whether I want it written down as we had discussed, or given what we had just been told, did I just want to be told?

At this point any real curiosity for the sex of my baby had long since gone, it had been replaced with that all to familiar worry about whether or not my baby was going to even be ok at the end of all of this. 

I told her to just say, I no longer had any desire to make a song and dance out of announcing our babies gender to friends and family. 

'From what I can see, It looks like you are having a girl'.

 We were in love with the idea of a baby girl, Luke had been hoping and so had my Dad for that matter. Our little girl would be the first Granddaghter in our family, but here we were again with so much un-certainty, I just couldn't get excited at the prospect and definetly didn't feel like rushing out to buy clothes.

We were supposed to walk away with 3 scan images and a CD full of all the snaps taken, including 4D. Instead I walked away empty handed without even a mention of any of it. I was too broken to question it. I was trying to digest what I had just been told.

I held it togeher on the drive home, I held it together as I told Luke the concerns over the phone. I fell apart when we pulled up on my parent's drive and he asked 'How did it go?'.

Any composure was now gone and I let the tears roll.
I was told not to Google, I was told to just wait and see fetal medicine when they called. Googling is what I do to try make sense and understand what I am being told. Googling heart related conditions when you have no idea about hearts in general is not advised. I left more confused than when I started, I couldn't match any of these anomolies with anything, so I sat there defeated at my keyboard.

I went over the report I was given, and I went over it again. I cried some more, and then I cried some more. Luke called and I balled.

I went around in circles, Leo came out and gave me multiple cuddles, I listened to JJ Heller's Missing Peace on repeat all afternoon and into the evening. It summed up exactly how I was feeling. I cried some more.

Eventualy the tears stopped, but I was very aware they could start again at any moment. 

It feels like the stress and anxiety of this pregnancy has finally got me on my knees, but again I had to remember that where there was life there was hope. 

I will fight for our baby girl, I will be her biggest advocate and number one supporter. I will see this pregnancy through and be strong enough to do what is neeed. I may cry, but I will do it. 

Right now I am thinking positively, I am clinging to the fact baby was in a difficult position, that just because things weren't seen, it does not mean they aren't there. Babies grow and develop at different rates, there are many variations of normal.

So baby girl, you just have to keep on fighting in there, because I am fighting for you out here.


Thursday 27 February 2020

16 Weeks Pregnant

16 Weeks Pregnant

As the 16th week of pregnancy arrived we found ourselves jetting off to Venice for the last leg of our trip. 

In the last week I am either starting to show or I have eaten way to much pizza, I am still unsure what the main answer to that scenario is... my belly is certainly feeling harder and is more protruding but I can’t decide if it’s partly bloat from the food I’ve over indulged in. 

Upon the first afternoon in Venice while we were stood right in the very heart watching some street entertainers, my Father sent me a link to some news I would rather not have received given my current location...

North Italy was now Europe’s biggest Coronavirus outbreak, wonderful. Suddenly it all made sense, upon arrival into Italy we had our temperatures checked before we were granted access. Everyone around us on the streets of Venice were pretty much kitted out in masks.

I can’t lie it did put a cloud over everything and we found ourselves staying away and not doing as much as we had hoped. Equally though I think we were completely tired out. 

I did actually enquire with EasyJet about amending our flights to a day earlier, but they were unwilling to accommodate unless we paid additional fees. This did really frustrate me given that we were not provided any information on what was going on in Venice before we departed London, and literally arrived to be thrown into it.

Given that my anxiety was already super high, this did not help and I do feel that EasyJet’s current advice does not reflect the worry and over all media attention in regards to Covid19.

I have been asked to take the rest of the week off work due to where I have been, and I have been in close discussion with the school that Leo attends. I’ve spoken to NHS 111 and their advice right now is to carry on as normal as we have not been in the quarantined/infected areas and as we are symptom free. Therefore Leo is being welcomed back to school (much to the dismay of other parents I feel). 

I was pretty certain that this week I felt Nugget’s first movements. It was like a big low down flutter across the front of my belly, and then 3 little pops a short time later. I haven’t felt anything since though, so I’m hoping that over this next week I feel more movement and they begin to get stronger.

As I’ve been out of the country so much this half term, I was yet to book my 16 week midwife appointment. I made this a priority when we got back, and managed to get it booked for the following week on the 4th March.

The countdown is now on to find out if we are welcoming a baby boy or girl. I am more anxious to find out that everything is still ok though, I keep telling myself that there is no reason for anything to have changed on that front, but we all know that I am a complete worry wart by now! 

The only pregnancy symptom I would say is still sticking around is that my boobs are still sore, I was never really full of symptoms anyway, but apart from what I think is a growing bump, sore boobs are all that remains from those first tell tale signs of early pregnancy.

At 16+5 I experienced the first cramp in my leg, I remembered this from my pregnancy with Leo. It had been our first day back at home and I had been busy washing all of the holiday clothes. We went to bed, and I awoke in the middle of the night to the pain of my left leg cramping up. 

Thankfully I remembered that by flattening my foot, it helps to eliviate the shooting pain that comes with it. It was painful enough to wake me up though! 

The following morning, I decided to stretch and got a second cramp... this time in the right leg! 

16 weeks for me is a milestone week as it means that I am no longer sent to the early pregnancy unit for anything, I can now be seen at the triage which gives me more scope should I need to speak to someone out of hours.

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. 


15 Weeks Pregnant

We have spent my 15th week of pregnancy jetting all over the place, we kickstarted it off in New York City and then flew back to London for a few days, by the time I turn 16 weeks pregnant we will be flying out to Venice.

I had managed to worm myself back to the peak of anxiety just before our trip and took myself back for a second reassurance scan at BabyFace4D, I was convinced that this time my nerves would be settled once and for all. For the most part that was true, and I was able to enjoy NYC to the full and spend time with my 2 boys.

During our exceptionally busy few days in the big apple, I had another super weird dream (we should all be used to this by now right?) In this dream you could meet your unborn baby before birth. By means of science your baby could continue to grow outside utero if they stayed connected by the umbilical cord. In my dream I was holding our baby, a little boy, who was about the 15 weeks that I am now (my dreams always seem in tune with my actual pregnancy) and all of a sudden the cord severed.

I got hysterical, knowing that this now meant my baby was born to early into the world. We rushed to the hospital to see if they could operate and re-attach the cord.

Then I woke up..... Thankfully!

The flight to New York was no problem, I was equipped with my flight socks and made sure to drink lots of water. I had been worried about flying because of the potential risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), but on the way back I soon felt like I had pressure in my ankles from swelling. Automatically my brain started thinking about potential blood clots.

I kept exercising my ankles and standing up when o could to keep movement circulating, but I was so glad to get off the plane and check into our London hotel. By the next day my ankles were feeling more normal again.
At 15 weeks I still haven’t felt moment, I was hoping that by now I would have as I have a posterior placenta this time around. Alas, nothing. Yet. 

I have found that I have been sleeping really well this week due to the amount of walking that we have been doing, we have marched all over New York and then done exactly the same in London. We’ve eaten so much food, and I can’t decide if my tummy is bigger because of this, or because I am finally starting to show? 

I guess we shall see over the next few weeks....

It is starting to feel more solid at the bottom, but I can’t really remember how it all started with Leo. That’s the problem with having babies with a big age gap! 

I had wanted to pack my Doppler for our travels but unfortunately forgot, the last few days I have been kicking myself about this. It’s only a few more days now until we head home, and it will be time to get my 16 week midwife appointment booked in.

One thing is for sure, I will be glad to get home now. We have all had a fantastic time but it’s been a lot of travelling and running around, it will be nice to get home and back into a routine (and maybe even start taking things easier!).

We have the gender scan coming up next weekend which I am really excited about, but at the same time I’ve been feeling really nervous that the travelling will have harmed the baby in some way, I know it most likely hasn’t and pregnant ladies travel everyday, but with everything else that has been thrown our way over the last 3 and a bit months, I can’t help but worry. 

It will be so lovely to finally know if we are welcoming a baby brother or baby sister for Leo, and I think once we know this, is when I can really start thinking about what to buy. If we are having a girl then I’ll need to start looking at a whole new wardrobe, if we are having a boy...well the beautiful thing Is that as Leo was a June baby, we will be able to make use of pretty much most things again due to us having another Summer baby!

We are well on the way to 20 weeks now (my milestone week!), and we finally made our pregnancy announcement this week. It was from the Top of The Rock while we were state side, and it’s so nice that everything is out in the open (I have even started sharing my blog posts that have been sat in my drafts, some since November!).

I think I have to accept that this time around my anxiety is going to be a consistent force throughout this pregnancy, I’m normally very calm and don’t like to panic or over react, but I am going to give into however I feel, if I think I need to be monitored I won’t hesitate about calling up triage. 

I’m so glad that I am almost 16 weeks, from this point I can call triage for assessment should I need to (this is a milestone in itself). 

For now though I feel pretty good, the sore boobs are still there, but aside from a larger tummy (that doesn’t even resemble my pre pregnancy tummy anymore) I don’t have any other symptoms. 

This baby needs to start wiggling around now so that they can be felt, and maybe I can finally relax a little. 

Wednesday 12 February 2020

14 Weeks Pregnant

14 weeks pregnant - Second Trimester - High NT baby

The day I turned 14 weeks pregnant I had the most real, most awful dream. 

It was so vivid that it felt like it was really happening. I was standing with Luke, I don’t know where we were, but he was on the phone. I was 14 weeks pregnant and I felt the baby moving and wiggling really low down. 

So low down that it felt like the baby was falling out.

The next thing I know the baby has wiggled out and is lay in my hands. Our baby was a little girl and was still very much alive, her face was moving and her little mouth was opening and closing, her eyes closed tight. I held her as she took her last little gasps before she left this world.

Then dream Laura became hysterical. 

I felt like this dream lasted forever, and I can still see the little details and features on her tiny little face as she lay in my hand.

I can’t get the image out of my head.

I’m writing this just after waking up, and I’m just so glad that it was all a big horrible dream.

Of course the first thing I did, after calming down of course and convincing myself that it hadn't really happened... Was have a play with the doppler. I know this isn't meant to be for reassurance, I know that people advise against it, but now I am pretty confident in finding baby's heartbeat (eventually) and have a round about idea where baby will be, I just can't help it.

Hearing the beat of Nugget's heart is just incredible and I don't think that it will ever get old. 

Thankfully since this not so pleasant dream on Saturday night, I haven't had anymore like this. Aren't pregnancy dreams just something else? Following this dream though, I can't help thinking that we have a baby girl growing away in there!

We won't officially know until Saturday 29th Feb, but before that we have a lot going on what with our looming trip to New York, London and then Venice for good measure!

At 14 weeks my boobs still hurt, and I am getting some shooting pains through them from time to time, I have been continuing to nap more, and often find myself in front of Netflix having missed almsot entire episodes just to how easy sleep appartently descends on me these days!

I am at that awkward in between stage with clothes and have been living in my gym leggings. I did try my pre-pregnancy jeans on the other week and although they did up, they were far from comfortable!

I have been sent some really lovely Maternity Leggings from Love Leggings, I ordered a pair of Grey Marl in size 8 which is my usual size, they fit beautifully on my legs and bum but I still have lots of room in the bump to fill right now. I wore them for the first time yesterday and they were so comfortable, it was like wearing PJ bottoms.

I love how stretchy the fabric is and how they stretch up over your bump to offer support like a warm hug. I will be packing these for my trip to New York and expect that I will be wearing them for all the travelling as they are going to be the most comfortable option for me.

I'll update how I get on with the leggings as my bump continues to grow (and of course share plenty of bump photos, because it's not everyday you have a bump!) - I also have a pair of their new Maternity Tights to try, I believe these aren't for sale just yet, so I will keep you posted with this too!

I was pondering what I will be packing to take with me this coming Sunday, and everything I am considering boasts the 'comfortable' factor. I will be leaving my pretty dresses at home and thinking sensibly for once!

Tuesday 11th February would have been my due date with the baby I lost back in July. I felt ok in regards to this, but had a day of complete anxiety in regards to my current pregnancy. I convinced myself that I was going to suffer an incompetent cervix and that the dream I had earlier in the week might actually just come true...

I manged to gain some clarity and calm myself down. That night as I was sorting washing I looked over at Luke and chuckled. He asked me what was funny, and I suddenly saw the funny side of how dramatic I was being. I laughed relentlessly, well.. until I cried. 

I laughed and cried at the same time.

I think it is some weird and wonderful pregnancy trick.

On the back of this I have booked myself in for a private scan tomorrow. I just want to know that everything is ok still, calm my anxiety and see if she can check that everything is closed 'down there'.

I recieved a call from the midwife at Worcester Hospital today too, they had finally got my results and progress from Birmingham Women's hospital (apparently it took some chasing) - I wasn't aware that this would now be followed up with Worcester, so that's positive. They advised that I would be under the care of a consultant/midwife, so I don't know how that extra care is going to look at this point.

They did advise that from 28 weeks I will be recieving 3 additional scans just to keep an eye on baby and their growth. This news made my heart fly, I was worried that following the 20 week scan, that would be it. I knew my anxiety would go through the roof. I am beyond happy that they will keep a closer eye on us.

14 weeks baby ultrasound

The final baby related appointmnet before we jetted off on our half term travels, was the second reassurance scan that I had booked in with Babyface4d. This is the same place we went for our early scan at 8 weeks.

Of course baby was absolutely fine, nice strong heartbeat and I was told that as baby was so big now they don't measure the crown to rump length anymore. Instead they measure each limb and entity on it's own merit. I was told that everything was fine and these measurements don't really matter until the 20 week anomoly scan.

At 14 weeks baby had slightly shorter femurs than the line percentile, and she said that today she would have given me a slightly different due date to that on my notes.

I was hoping we might get a scan with a good display of the nub, but as you can see baby was feeling very awkward on this day. Their legs were firmly crossed, and we couldn't see a thing. In fact Nugget was feeling that awkward that he or she was actually floating around upside down, the sonogropher had to rotate this image for us!

I left feeling happy, there was no sign of any fluid on the babies neck. I am not going to work myself up over measurements. All I wanted and needed to know right now was that Nugget was still alive and well.

So now our travel adventure begins....

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...

Wednesday 5 February 2020

13 Weeks Pregnant & Harmony Test Results (NIPT)

13 weeks pregnant - High Nuchal Translucancy (NT)

13 weeks pregnant. 
The second trimester.

This time seems to have gone as slowly as it has quickly.

I seem to spend my time waiting for the next baby appointment to roll around. This week is the first week in 3 weeks that I haven’t had some form of scan or assessment, and I am missing the reassuring words that followed last weeks scan.

I have been driving myself banana's this week, worrying that the baby’s heart will have stopped beating. This is and has been my top anxiety even before the high Nuchal Translucency (NT) reading.

 This was only heightened after that of course... Nothing quite jolts you like being told your at higher risk of miscarriage now.

With each scan though I have been reassured to hear and see our baby’s strong heart beating, pumping away helping our baby grow. But from our last scan until we get back from New York at the end of February, there will be no more scans and no more assessments.

Deep down I know baby is ok and I’m being a worry wart for nothing. I keep telling myself after the next scan ‘I’ll relax and enjoy my pregnancy’, but after the initial reassurance of each scan I have had, the potential doubt enters my mind and it’s hard to shake.

If anything the extra scans haven’t helped my anxiety, I’ve become almost reliant on them. It’s like at this stage in my pregnancy I need them to let me know that Nugget is doing ok, but any reassurance I gain from the scan is short lived, and a few days later the cycle begins again.

Obviously that is far from ideal, and a scan each and every week is not going to be happening.... but I think I will get in touch with my midwife and see if she can run the doppler over my stomach to hear baby’s heartbeat before we fly to New York.

Just for peace of mind of course.

It is Thursday today - 10 days since I had my blood taken for the Harmony (NIPT) test, I’ve stayed pretty relaxed about receiving the results. I felt like I knew they would come back low risk, and today I finally got a call from the hospital. 

The midwife introduced herself and sounded like she had good news to tell me, you can just tell by the tone of people’s voices. Straight away she said ‘It’s good news!’ And then proceeded to tell me that I had received a LOW RISK for the 3 Trisomies! That means that Down Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome and Patel Syndrome were less likely to be present in our baby!

The best news! I couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear. I was at work when I took the call and the lady I work with shared in my happy news.

With the outcome I had hoped for under my belt, I text Luke, my family and Nicky (the lovely sonogropher who has been a god send to me these last few weeks) to let everyone know. 

After that, we announced my pregnancy to the director. So now I have informed work that I will be having a baby in August!

God it feels so good to actually say that.

It’s all starting to feel so much more real now, and tonight I pulled the doppler back out of the cupboard I had thrown it (I couldn’t find the heartbeat so hid it away to stop myself going mad), and I lay down on the bed to see if I could locate the boom, boom, boom of Nugget’s heart.

Below my belly button and just above my pubic bone, and slightly to the right.... there baby was. A beautiful strong and super fast swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. I lay there just listening and smiling feeling so so lucky.

I don’t take this pregnancy forgranted, everyday I’m feeling so lucky to be able to bring this life into the world. I’m feeling so excited now, and this outcome is better than I could have dared dream. 

I have started the process of booking my gender scan for Saturday 29th February. That is the next time I will see baby. I have decided that it would be nice to head back to Babyface4D where I had my early scan at 8 weeks. 

They are really competitively priced and even throw in the 3D prints all for £49, which is a complete steal. The other deal I was looking at an alternative company that would have cost £80, and would have been extra for 3D scan and images...

I’ve ordered a gender reveal balloon so that we can make it fun for Leo. It worked out cheaper to find the balloon on EBay... The plan is not to find out at the actual scan, but just to enjoy watching baby on the screen and then getting them to write down whether we are having a boy or a girl on a card. I will then take this card to the balloon shop and get them to inflate the balloon as per the instructions on the card.

Then when Luke finishes work we can all get together as a family (a big family that is, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and their partners!) and find out a little more about who the next member of this mad clan will be.

Week 13 has sharped into a really good week, we have more certainty over Nugget, and I think Luke is finally feeling relieved and able to get excited. The Harmony results are exactly what we hoped for, we have New York in just over a week, and we can finally tell the world that we are HAVING A BABY!

I’ll be happier once I can feel movement properly, there have been a few instances this week where I have wondered if it’s baby... but the jury is still out and I’m not sold. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will be able to feel them wiggling and jiggling.

I haven’t had any round ligament pain since the first fetal medicine appointment, I can’t really remember when it started with Leo. Or maybe you don’t feel it as much in subsequent pregnancies? 

I do feel like I’m starting to get a little teeny bump, I’m definitely not as flat as I was before falling pregnant (but then I’ve been eating what I want and not exercising... so it could just be that catching me up!)

On a final note for week 13, I have recieved my 20 week scan appointmnet now *insert woop woop* - It's the week after my echo cardiogram at Birmingham Fetal Medicine, and I will be 19+5 weeks pregnant.

Hopefully both of these scans will bring even more positive news, and following our gender scan in a few weeks, will take our scan toll to 9 already in this pregnancy (and that is even before I round it up to a neat 10 with a 3D scan at 26 weeks!).

For now though, all is well and we have come such a long way in the 4 weeks following our 10 week scan. 

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.