As the title may suggest there is a bump pending. The initial shock of receiving 5 positive pregnancy tests was almost overwhelming. The shock was mainly based on the fact I had been told for the last few years, by a number of doctors, that I would probably find it quite difficult to conceive naturally. I have a number of conditions that make pregnancy a challenge; Endometriosis, Polycystic ovary syndrome and Antiphospholipid syndrome (also referred to as Hughes syndrome).
Once we both got over the initial shock we were so excited and immediately the questions came flooding to us. What should we expect in the first few weeks? What foods should I avoid? How often do I need to see a midwife/doctor? Thank goodness for Google. At the time I hadn’t known anyone close to me who had a baby. So, unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone to ask about what to expect, other than my mum and Ryan’s parents. But their pregnancies were quite some time ago. Even they said things have probably changed since they were dealing with a pregnancy.
I think what I ended up googling the most was; ‘what symptoms to expect at _ week of pregnancy’ and ‘baby bumps’. I became concerned about the baby’s development pretty early on. I think this was mostly due to the fact I was told I would find it extremely difficult to conceive naturally. Our little miracle baby!
I kept thinking about the baby’s development and I couldn’t help but worry about having a miscarriage. Once we hit the 12-week and 20-week milestones I did begin to relax more. However, this didn’t stop me from worrying completely.
I ended up searching through different baby apps and websites to see other women’s baby bumps (which sounds weird when I say it out loud!
). At my 16 week appointment the nurse who took my blood pressure, jokingly I’ll admit, said ‘oh where is your bump, are you sure it’s in there’. Now, I appreciate she was having a little joke as I had no bump whatsoever. However, as I was already worrying about my lack of bump this really got to me. I suddenly felt very anxious and I began to worry even more. A few days after my appointment I sat on the sofa and cried.
Although my 12-week scan came back absolutely fine; the baby was the right size, lots of movement and overall seemed very healthy, I was still worried. I had seen how some women had suddenly ‘popped’ in their third trimester. My mum reassured me that she didn’t show signs of being pregnant until she was around 6 months. Ryan was so understanding of my anxiety and my worries. He would reassure me that everything was fine and that our baby was going to be perfectly healthy.
From the first day of finding out we were pregnant I worried. I think I took about 6 or 7 pregnancy tests within the first 4 weeks. Part of it was disbelief and the other part was the worry I would lose the baby. Ryan was always reassuring, however, I think he found it a little comical after the first few tests. But he understood my thoughts. He appreciated that I had previously been told of the difficulties I may face conceiving and during pregnancy.
Doctors always say that everyone’s body reacts differently. So you shouldn’t assume you will be the same as someone else. Well, I heard this enough times from pretty much everyone I spoke to about pregnancy and they are right! It is just a little difficult to not compare yourself to others. So, seeing so many women with beautiful bumps at 12,14,16,20 weeks etc I found it a little difficult. Maybe there was also a little bit of jealousy, because why didn’t I have a bump yet?
If I thought about it I realised I was being silly and hard on myself. My body was doing what was needed to grow a human being. Why on earth am I giving myself such a hard time?!
It is like having an irrational fear, you know it’s irrational, but you are unable to overcome the fear regardless. I knew my thoughts, my anxiety and worries weren’t necessary. Sadly, I was so in my head for a while that all I could think about was the 20-week scan. I knew if I could see and be told our baby was healthy it would ease my worries.
Although I only had a very small bump at 20 weeks, I had felt a few changes with my body. I experienced severe boob pain and felt like I constantly needed to pee (which became extremely irritating out on long dog walks)! I also noticed how much tighter my clothes felt. So, even if I didn’t see much of a bump my body was definitely changing.
Those little kicks I started feeling around 17-weeks helped my worrying. Each time I felt them, regardless of how slight, it calmed me – because I could feel the baby. You can’t imagine how odd it feels knowing and experiencing a little person moving around inside your tummy. Although some kicks would take me by surprise and occasionally feel uncomfortable, they also helped me relax. I would think ‘oh, there you are, you’re there’.
I can imagine every mum-to-be and dad-to-be have their own worries, anxieties and concerns. I’ve learnt how normal it is to worry during pregnancy and now, I can’t imagine the worry ever leaves.
I’ve learnt that worries are normal. Not everyone will have the same pregnancy journey and it is important to express your feelings with those around you. Being stuck in your own head isn’t good for your mental wellbeing.
We are now in the third trimester with only a few weeks left until the due date. After a few trips back and forth to the hospital, due to a lack of movement from the baby, I was given the all-clear. It is not unusual for baby movements to decrease, however, it is important to get checked at the hospital. I was strapped up to the monitoring system a number of times over a couple of days. This was done to be sure the baby was still doing ok. On top of the lack of movement, it was also found that the baby was below the 5th centile line in terms of growth.
It basically meant that the baby wasn’t as big as what would normally be expected. This actually didn’t concern me too much as I am quite petite myself, being 5ft2″ and on the slimmer side. However, the doctors wanted to do some additional measurement scans. After speaking with two different senior doctors they were happy for me to go home. Overall, I was rather happy I had to go to the hospital. It meant I was able to hear the baby’s heartbeat and have some additional scans.
With only a few weeks left, we are now in the final stretch. We’re beyond excited to meet our little person.
I’m trying to remember to not worry or become overly anxious about the baby, or, my newer worry, labour! It’s easier said than done. But reminding yourself that everyone is different, your journey through pregnancy won’t be the same as anyone else’s and telling yourself that you are doing amazingly, definitely helps relax some of those worries/anxieties.
Below are a few links I have found to be really helpful
Tommys.org – First Trimester Worries
WhatToExpect.com – Worries About Miscarriage
MiscarriageAssociation.org – Worried About Pregnancy Loss
Parent.com – Top Pregnancy Fears
Parent.com – Top Pregnancy Fears You Can Feel Better About
BabyCentre.com – Worrying About Your Baby
Women’sHealth.com – Common Pregnancy Fears
WhatToExpect.com – Anxiety During Pregnancy: What’s Normal and What’s Not?