For most pregnant women, morning sickness is a terrible cross to bear. For me it was deliciously reassuring – all the time that I felt ill, I was calmed into believing that the pregnancy was succeeding and that this time, finally, we would get our baby. I was very lucky that the nausea lasted for 13 weeks, so took me right up to my 12-week scan and then stopped soon afterwards.
From Day 1 I had terrible back-ache – actually I still have bad back-ache 10 months after having Harri, so I no longer think it was a pregnancy thing although at the time I was sure that it was! Other than that, the major symptoms I suffered were overheating (sometimes I just COULDN’T cool down and felt I would explode with the heat, especially after a bath) and tummy stretching pains. With the help of Clarins Body Oil, I avoided stretch marks, but sometimes the weight of my bump felt unbearable and I had to take bed rest.
Once the baby started kicking, I also struggled to eat properly. This was particularly the case in the last month or so when her head was engaged and her feet were pointing upwards in my tummy, practically kicking my food back out as I ate it! She was a real fidget and constantly on the move. I remember reading that you should feel at least 10 movements from your baby per day, and at the time I was getting about 10 movements in 5 minutes!
All of my midwife and hospital appointments went well. My blood pressure remained good and constant, and I only put on just over 2 stone in weight over the whole pregnancy, so there were lots of reasons for cheer.
Being an older mum, we were quite anxious about the Nuchal Fold scan at 13 weeks. We knew from an early midwife appointment that my age alone gave us a 1 in 97 chance of having a baby with Down’s Syndrome, so when the results of the scan and blood test came back with a revised risk of 1 in 1947 were were absolutely thrilled.
Before the 20-week scan Chris and I had to have the conversation about whether or not to find out the sex of the baby. We had said early on that neither of us wanted to know as we wanted to look forward to the ‘surprise’ (how surprising can it really be though, with a one in two chance?!). As the scan loomed, Chris started to waver! He thought that he actually might like to know what sex the baby was so he could start imagining the future with the baby, toddler etc. I was still certain I didn’t want to know though, so Chris was persuaded back to his original decision and we didn’t ask to be told.
We had named the tummy baby ‘Clarence’ in the early days of the pregnancy, so always referred to it as “Him”, and as time went by Chris became more and more convinced that “Clarence” was a boy. In the end, he convinced me too! The name Clarence came from the angel in the film “What a Wonderful Life” – the baby was our little angel…
Our NCT classes came and went, and by the end of the pregnancy we literally couldn’t wait for the baby to arrive. Our consultant had classified me as a high risk patient simply because of my age and the IVF conception, so didn’t want me to go over my due date. He really wanted to book me in for a c-section so that he could maintain a lot of control over the birth, but I wanted to give the vaginal delivery a go. So I was booked in for an induction on the 12th October – our due date. When chatting through the induction process with the midwife, it occurred to me that it was unlikely to work straight away, and that the baby could be born on the 13th…… I have never had a problem with the number 13 before (or since!) but that day it totally freaked me out! Suddenly I was in tears, inconsolable, ridiculous. The midwife clearly had no idea what to do with me, so just said “Don’t worry, I’ll speak to your consultant and see if we can change the date”. Sure enough, the induction was shifted to the 14th October, and I was happy again. Phew! What a drama queen….