Throughout my first pregnancy with my daughter I always promised myself I would do an update either weekly or through each trimester but that never really happened (apart from I think the second trimester) so I have decided that it is something I would like to try and do this time and with that in mind today is going to be the first of my updates and a little recap of my first trimester of pregnancy. So first thing’s first! I’m pregnant with my second child and I am due in the late spring of 2021.
I guess that some of you might be thinking “ok I thought this girl was very vocal about the fact that she only wanted one child?” and you would definitely be correct in that because up until this year one child was always our plan.
But then 2020 happened and it changed my perspective on a lot of things one of which being that I wanted to give my daughter a sibling.
I felt this way for a little while but I thought that maybe it would go away. When I realised that it wasn’t disappearing I knew I had to do somthing about it. I discussed it with my husband, because he had been on the same page about only wanting one child as well, but when I mentioned how I was feeling here absolutely agreed that we should try for another, something which I know I will be eternally grateful to him for. I expected it to be a while before I fell pregnant as it took over 2 years to conceive Hadley and I was expecting a similar wait this time, so you can imagine my surprise when I fell pregnant in our first month of trying. Having waited so long for Hadley and being so disappointed at so many times throughout our journey it was a massive surprise for it to happen so quickly. It was a surprise but it was also so welcomed because one thing we really wanted was a small age gap between our children. Our children will be 2 years and 3 months apart in age and although I know it’s going to be crazy and busy for many years we’re so excited to have two little ones with a small age gap.
When we found out…
I found out I was pregnant in September and it really was the funniest story. My period was late and I was curious as to why. My period does go through these little blips from time to time throughout the years (and usually when I am actively trying to get pregnant) and I thought this was just like one of those. I was only a few days late but I wasn’t really having any symptoms that I usually get before I get my period so I started to think maybe I needed to take a pregnancy test really just to rule it out. My dad has just come out of hospital after having heart bypass surgery and so we were shielding to keep him safe from covid so it wasn’t as easy as just popping out to grab a pregnancy test. Remembering that I had a spare pregnancy test left over from when I found out I was pregnant with Hadley I decided to try and find it and when I did the expiry date was the same day as the day I found it. It was clear that I might as well take it because this was the last day that it was going to be in date and if I took it after this day then I wouldn’t be able to trust the result anyway. I actually didn’t expect anything, as like I say it took me 27 months to conceive Hadley, you can imagine my surprise when I turned the pregnancy test over and it read the word Pregnant. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shocked or more shaking in my life. My husband was downstairs with my dad and Hadley and I called him up and showed him the pregnancy test. I hadn’t actually mentioned to him at this point that I was going to take a pregnancy test because when I found it ended up taking it on quite a whim. He was obviously over the moon and I think I spend a few days in shock at how quickly it had happened. After waiting for Hadley for so long to fall pregnant on our first try was more than I could have ever expected.
Time to tell?
When we fell pregnant with Hadley were very excited and we told a lot of our close family straight away, but this time we felt a little more apprehensive, maybe it was to do with the ongoing Covid situation or maybe it was just a second pregnancy thing and really knowing that things can go wrong at any moment. Either way, we decided that we would keep a pregnancy pretty much to ourselves and we just told my mum because there was no way I could hide my morning sickness from her even through we were staying apart during Covid.
We knew it was a precarious time to think about getting pregnant, when there is a global pandemic raging outside your door, but we decided that with everything in mind and knowing the risks and realities of the situation that we didn’t want to wait. We were keen for a smaller age gap as well as being aware that I am 35 and wouldn’t really want to leave it too much longer. These things, alongside knowing it took a while to conceive Hadley, helped us make our decision. This was all taking place later summer when the Covid situation looked a little less scary than it does right now, but we were also very aware of the realities of maternity services throughout the pandemic. I wasn’t too worried about having to attend my appointments alone and my husband was also relaxed about maybe not being as involved in the physical sense as he was last time. I plan to do a more in depth post about being pregnant in a pandemic as a second time mum at some point soon too. Realistically we came into this with our eyes wide open, as much as you can with an ever changing situation, and knew what we were doing.
The first trimester of my pregnancy was very similar to Hadley’s with all the same symptoms, in fact it was quite a reassuring start to my pregnancy in the fact that everything was exactly how I remembered it from the first trimester of her pregnancy. I feel nauseous a lot due to morning sickness but just like the first time round I wasn’t physically sick which I am so grateful for. I had one absolutely killer migraine which sent me to bed for a good few days but other than that and some tiredness on the whole I felt just a little bit icky.
The 12 week scan
End of the first trimester and the 12-week scan ended up being a little bit chaotic. Due to the current restrictions I went to my 12-week scan alone which I was totally ok with because like I said above I planned to get pregnant in a pandemic and I knew what to expect. I really think it also helped being a second time Mum and already knowing what the process was like like which meant I didn’t feel as apprehensive going into my 12 week scan by myself as maybe I would have done as a first time Mum. At the 12-week scan, while I was by myself, the radiographer said that they thought they saw something on the baby’s umbilical cord or nearby and they suspected it might be something called Gastroschisis. Gastroschisis is an abdominal wall defect where there is a hole in the abdominal wall and the baby’s bowel can escape through and grows outside of the body. This is a serious condition but is 100% fixable by surgery upon birth. After having this 12-week scan they referred me to the fetal medicine unit so I could have a more in-depth scan. The fetal medicine scan was the next day at my local hospital and for this appointment because they had found a birth defect they allowed my husband to come in as well. The scan appointment confirmed Gastroschisis and we were referred to UCLH in London for further evaluation.
Fetal Medicine & London
Just after I turned 13 weeks and then to the second trimester we went to a fetal medicine scan at UCLH which to our huge surprise confirmed that they saw no abdominal wall defect at all. They suggested that maybe what had been seen was a hernia that had resolved itself. I was scanned and those images looked at by two fetal medicine consultants and a midwife, as well as the baby apparently being in a perfect position, and all were fairly confident that they could not see any abdominal wall defects at all. Gastroschisis rarely picked up so early anyway and is usually picked up at the 20-week scan. We will know for definite at the 20-week scan but as far as UCLH are concerned they see no abdominal wall defect and my consultant and community midwife are confident that what has been seen (or not seen as the case may be) is correct. As you can imagine going back and forth like this was incredibly stressful and draining and we’re keeping everything crossed for a clear 20-week scan. At the time of posting I will have just turned 19 weeks, so not long to wait now and I will be sure to keep you updated (but you can follow me on Instagram where I usually update a bit more in real-time).
Almost half way there
Now we’re almost at the half way point, once we’ve got the confirmation either way on the Gastroschisis diagnosis I might start to think about what I need to get for the new baby. We’re ready to deal with whatever comes our way of course but are hopeful for a clear scan so the baby doesn’t have to have a rocky start in life.
We decided, with the back and forth’s that have happened so far, that this time we will find out our babies birth gender. We never did with Hadley and also never had the desire to but this time we’re quite excited to know. We’ve had a lot of surprises so far so aren’t really up for any more, but also think it will be nice to have experienced pregnancy and labour both ways.
I know this is a super long update but honestly, it was such a busy and chaotic first trimester of pregnancy. Other than that I have had a consultant appointment to evaluate my previous pregnancy issues. In my first pregnancy I developed Pre-eclampsia at 39+6 so they are on the lookout for that and being pro-active in ways we can hopefully avoid it. I have been put on Asprin daily and know that there will be a lot of monitoring post 24 weeks, both with my community midwife and also in the form of growth scans and consultant appointments. I also suffered a postpartum hemorrhage with my daughter but it is believed to have been situational (Pre-eclampsia, induction, episiotomy, and a forceps delivery) and they aren’t particularly concerned. If you want to read about everything that happened the first time round I have my birth story on here too.
I’ll leave it there for today, because this is more than enough information to digest in one sitting. So far since the scan at UCLH everything has been a little more relaxing and I am thoroughly enjoying my second trimester, I think I feel better this trimester than I did in my second trimester in my first pregnancy. I will of course update somethings in the meantime such as how we get on with our 20-week scan, the Gastroschisis diagnosis and also maybe a little gender reveal too. Other than that I will be back in a couple of months to do my second trimester update and hopefully it will be far less busy than this one was.
Thanks for reading!