The pink line:
A week after ovulation I was fairly sure I was pregnant, my boobs felt bigger and tender, my nipples felt weird. I waited a few days and took an early pregnancy test two days before my period was due. It was my first wee (so the hormones are more concentrated) on the Saturday morning. I told my husband what I was doing and I sat next to him to wait the two minutes out as he was on the computer (annoying).
The line was fairly faint but as any excited trying to conceiver knows A LINE IS A LINE. It isn’t like those stupid ovulation tests where a line has to be darker than the test line exactly two minutes after the wee blah blah blah stupid things. With pregnancy tests any line counts!! My husband wasn’t convinced by this line (annoying). So I posted a photo on my group of online mum friends for verification, I got the enthusiasm I was after (thanks ladies) and showed my husband who gave lots of hmmm you aren’t really pregnant though are you noises.
In the few days after this I used the cheaper and less sensitive tests getting a better line each day. I kept showing my husband who conceded that although they say I’m pregnant the chance of miscarriage is so high I should forget about it for a month or two as it is too likely I would…not be pregnant?! Such optimism and excitement. Exactly what an expectant mother hopes to hear.
The first announcement
After this I decided to tell close friends and family as and when I saw them. I know some people wait for the 12 week scan but I would have told those close to me if I had a miscarriage so it seemed odd to hide being pregnant.
My mum was first to be told when she was next at my house. Apparently I didn’t create enough fan fare…I just told her. She said I must be joking because she knows I would have made it more special for her if I was actually pregnant. Like dressing up and going to their house with a bottle of wine to toast the pregnancy. What sober pregnant woman would do that? No sober pregnant woman celebrates by watching people drink wine. Watching people drink wine is annoying when you aren’t drinking with them.
Oh so shitty
Other than sore boobs I felt OK until week six when exhaustion and nausea hit. I also needed a wee ALL the time which I thought was a pregnancy thing but turned out to be a bladder infection. I also had shocking cramping as my uterus was expanding, I needed a hot water bottle in bed as it got a lot worse at night. Through the day I was sipping on cold cold lemonade, munching on plain cheese sandwiches, crumpets, pom bears, babybels and other toddler foods that only a truly hungover person would go for.
After work I would feed the pets and then flop onto the bed. When my husband was home I would demand plain microwaved rice and plain boiled chicken, with a little soy sauce if I was feeling wild. I know it sounds boring but I’m kind of craving it right now…except I want it all fried.
Work was bloody hard. I got stupid straight away…probably the tiredness. We had saleswomen called Karen and Carole. I used their names and email addresses interchangeably. I just couldn’t remember who was who. So embarrassing. I repeatedly got other names wrong on the phone. Luckily I had saved annual leave in expectation of this so I was on four day weeks throughout the December and January. As I’m lazy and frivolous with annual leave no one batted an eyelid of my reasoning that I hate winter and want to spend Wednesdays in bed with Netflix from now on.
At week seven we booked a private scan. Weirdly it was within Mothercare in Leeds. I just wanted to see that all was well and that there was a heartbeat. This would confirm it wasn’t an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy and also that the miscarriage risk would be a lot smaller once there was a heartbeat. Luckily there was a heartbeat.
Annoyingly there was also a cyst the size of an orange in my ovary that I was previously unaware of. So I’ll probably sound like a knob here but I always assumed the pregnancy was safe and viable so I didn’t get all that excitement and emotion at seeing the scan. Just a yep, all as expected feeling. It’s literally just a blob anyway. Quite boring. I was however very disappointed at my body for this cyst that there was a small chance would need to be operated on during the pregnancy. I’m needle phobic and this was not in my plan. Also the greedy pig part of me thought wow an orange, once that is gone I will have more space inside my abdomen…does this mean I can eat more in future?
We told most of the family over Christmas and got the congratulations you would expect. Although everyone was a bit surprised which was weird because I’m sure I’d vaguely talked about a summer 2018 baby for a while.
I told two of my school friends over coffee, one congratulated me and my oldest friend did a mum. She didn’t believe me! Apparently I said it too nonchalantly. I think she said how are you doing? And I said “oh yeah good, got pregnant. How are you?” in my defence I don’t make a big deal about things like that. It’s the small stuff I make a big deal out of. You should see me when I’m waiting for the bacon sandwich order to arrive at work, the air around me is electric with excitement, I can’t keep it in.
I pulled my closest work friends to one side and said don’t react but I’m pregnant, there was much suppressed excitement. But open plan offices mean we had to stay hush hush.
The first midwife appointment
This was with the GP at eight weeks, they don’t do it before as they don’t want to waste their time earlier than that in case you miscarry (I think the receptionist said this when I booked, what a twat…had she been discussing this with my husband??).
I thought they would do a blood test. I am extremely needle phobic. The night before I posted on my online mums group for advice as I was crying with fear. A doctor told me to get some EMLA cream from my GP to numb the injection site. I had annual leave in the afternoon for the appointment so I last minute booked the morning off to get the cream. The receptionist booked me a telephone appointment and I felt so much better.
Then the GP phoned me and was a twat. He said I was a drain on NHS resources and if I’m that bad I should have thought of it earlier and had therapy. Very kind of you to say to a hormonal pregnant lady with a phobia you ABSOLUTE DOUCHE CUNT. I asked if there was anything I could get from a pharmacist that was similar and he said oh i’ll bet it’s dangerous for a pregnant woman anyway. I insisted he checked and it turns out that it is OK for a pregnant woman to use occasionally and you can get it from a pharmacist. When I got to the pharmacist it was cheaper than the prescription charge anyway. So his drain on the NHS was not just pure twattism but also incorrect as they would have made a profit on it anyway. Fuck you mate.
I had a little cry at home and got very nervous again. Lots of googling says you need to stay warm and get moving for an easy blood withdrawal. I arrived with the cream under cling film. I kept my coat and gloves on, hot water bottle on tummy and marched myself around the waiting room whilst crying out of fear. When I arrived they asked if I had a hot water bottle because I had a poorly tummy and I burst into tears and explained the needle phobia. Turns out midwives are far less twatty than the GP. They were really nice and I didn’t even need it until the scan anyway. Just lots of form filling in.
Getting bigger, lots of scarves
I ballooned straight away. I was slim but with no muscle tone so when the hormones triggered massive bloating it showed badly by week eleven. For years I had given myself a uniform of slim fitting skirt with a loose blouse tucked in…it makes a bloated tum very obvious. I had to switch to the stretchy black maternity skirts with a loose scarf draped over to hide it. My pencil skirts were uncomfortable by week ten and gone by week eleven.
People were starting to look at me and I could see the cogs turning as they were considering if I was fat or pregnant. I keep going oooff I’m bloated, which was true. I was extremely tempted to not announce it but to get ridiculously large and keep blaming it on ‘that massive McDonald’s breakfast’ on the way to work. Just so everyone would feel awkward and want to ask but feel rude.
I waited for the results from the 12 week scan before I properly announced it. This is because if there was a very high risk for something the baby would be unlikely to survive such as Edwards or Pateaus syndrome then I wanted to make the decision to abort or not privately. Annoyingly they took the scan estimated at 13 weeks and then it was a further two weeks for the results. I was looking pretty pregnant at 15 weeks.
I felt all weird making a big deal out of it so I just sort of mentioned it in passing to someone and then when the rest of the office overheard it became a big floor wide conversation.
Funnily enough the women had guessed but the men were genuinely surprised. Then they looked at me and said oh yeah!!
The 12 week scan
This is definitely the most fun scan in my opinion. They look baby like for the first time. They dance around. The scan image covers the whole baby at once. It’s fun! I was anxious first but as soon as I had the heartbeat confirmed I was happy. I wasn’t crying happy, but yep, all as it should be, thumbs up type happy. But also really desperate for a wee.
…but then the blood test. I explained I am needle phobic and a fainter. They got the pro blood taker over and an extra midwife to chat away and hold my hand. I had a little cry but not a big one. I wasn’t brave but I didn’t faint.
And then we left the hospital, I was quite happy because I got to sleep the rest of the afternoon. This pretty much sums up the first trimester for me….sleep.