After finally getting over the shock, the excitement really kicked in. I was desperate to tell everyone but we decided to wait hoping to get to the safety zone of the 12 weeks scan.
After a couple of weeks being at work, I had terrible morning sickness throughout the day. Whoever calls it morning sickness is sick and twisted. It's definitely false advertisement :/. After making all the excuses I could, at 8 weeks pregnant I finally decided to tell my boss that I was pregnant and then everyone else could know. I was on a temporary contract so was very nervous about the whole thing.
At 10 weeks, I met with my midwife who took my blood and did the initial assessments. I was advised as my BMI was 39 and due to my family history, I was classed as high risk which means I would see a consultant, probably have growth scans later in my pregnancy and would generally be kept a close eye on.
Later that week, I was suspended from work and they eventually sacked me, giving appalling excuses when it was obviously down to me being pregnant. Typical for me the law had just changed, meaning that I had to pay to take them to a tribunal, for which I had a good case. Obviously being out of work and with a baby on the way this wasn't possible as where would be get the money. As if being pregnant wasn't hard enough, I was now jobless and worrying about how we would manage. I decided nothing was going to pull me down, I had received the best news ever, I was expecting our little one and we had to just find a way.
As I was in my 3rd year of my teaching course, it meant I was qualified as a higher level teaching assistant. I therefore decided as nowhere seemed to be hiring and let's face it who would take a pregnant woman on anyway, I would sign up to an agency and get as much work as I could. I waited weeks to be allowed to work as they had to do checks and get reference and when I was finally offered work it was hardly worth taking, paying minimum wage. But work was work and every penny counted, especially with us still doing up the house and preparing for our little one.
On 29th August 2013, the 12 week scan date had arrived. I couldn't wait to see our baby. For me it still didn't seem real. I couldn't wait to see the beautifully, amazing person growing inside me.
12 Week Scan - Baby due 8th March 2014
By now the sickness started to settle down thank goodness, I wasn't being sick all day just in the morning and sometimes just felt it in the evening. No one every tells you this stuff about pregnancy :(.
At 16 weeks, now finally feeling little flutters of our baby's movements, I met with the midwife once again. She said my blood had come back fine except for the fact that I was rhesus negative. She said this wouldn't be a problem for this baby, as it was my first but could potentially be a problem for a future pregnancy. She said they would give me an Anti-D injection at 28 weeks and after birth so it would prevent any future issues.
I started to develop discomfort down below, feeling a lot of pressure when I was walking or standing aswell as pain in my back. I spoke to my midwife about it and she decided to refer me for physio. She said it was likely that I had SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) or PRGP (pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain). Whilst waiting for the appointment my anomaly scan was fast approaching. I was so desperate to know that everything was ok and see our little one again. Ricky and I had decided we wanted to know what we were having but I was adamant we were having a girl. I felt I already knew the answer and just needed the scan to be certain so we could start buying :), the exciting part. It seemed to take forever for the date to come round and few times I almost booked a private scan but then I read some bad reviews and we couldn't really afford to waste money on a scan we was ready getting for free, granted you get a lot more with private but let's face it our baby was worth the wait.
On 21st October 2013, we went for the anomaly scan. I was so excited I could hardly sleep. We waited forever in that joke of a place but finally we were called. I was so nervous, I wanted my perfect little baby to be ok. It took a while for the sonographer to say anything and I was so sure something was wrong but it turned out that the baby would sit still or get into the position needed to be measured, just like Daddy, awkward :). I was asked to go and have a walk around and come back apparently stairs are good to help babies move into position. So after doing 20 laps up and down the stairs, to Ricky's delight, we returned. Thankfully everything was perfectly fine, but they could only say they were 70% sure she was a girl as the umbilical cord was between her legs. I was so relieved she was ok but so disappointed as I had to know. I had waited all this time, didn't get a private scan and I didn't know for certain if we were having a girl or not.
20 Week Scan
The next day we had to return to the hospital for our consultant appointment. We saw a lovely doctor who got all the scan images up on screen, as I was concerned they didn't get to see everything they needed to. It was amazing to see her again and the images they take. The doctor talked me through all the images and what they were of, her heart, liver etc. He then confirmed what I knew all along, I was having a girl. A perfect little princess.
A few days later, I attended my physio appointment and it was confirmed I had SPD, by now it had got a lot worse and moving generally was quite uncomfortable. I was really struggling with the work I had as I was on my feet a lot, when I got home I just slept I was so exhausted. Although I felt much better now I was into the second trimester. I was just miserable in the first. I plodded in on with what little work I was getting now. Certain jobs I was now having to refuse due to the children I would work with being to violent. I couldn't afford for something to happen. By now we had already decided on a name. Well to be fair we knew it from the beginning but explored other names just in case. It would have been Jacob Steven, Jacob after my great grandfather and Steven after Ricky's Granddad or Charlotte Elizabeth, Elizabeth being after my Nanna. We were even calling her Charlotte now, she was already here even though she was still inside me.
As the weeks went on, my pregnancy got more unbearable. By now, I could hardly walk. Thank goodness I had little to no work coming through, financially it was hard but physically I wouldn't be able to managed. I couldn't cope standing for more than a few minutes and being on playground duty really took it out of me. I cried as I walked upstairs, so just mostly stayed in bed. I loved my baby and felt lucky for being able to carry her, but I hated pregnancy. People say it's such a magical time. Yeah carrying and growing a child is, seeing them inside you and feeling them is a true miracle but it's also hard and sore and difficult.
By now she was kicking like crazy, never stopped but even that was tiring and painful. She kicked so much, when she had quiet days it worried me and on a few occasions we made visits to the lovely people on MAU. It would always be fine, except for once when I had a slight bleed and was given the Anti-D injection but always worth while checking. Normally she would make me out to be a right liar and start moving not long after we got there :/ cheeky baby.
I had to go for a GTT (glucose tolerance test) due to my BMI, to ensure I didn't have gestational diabetes. What an awful test that is, nill by mouth from 10pm the night before which means only sips of water, not good when you have cravings. Then your blood is taken first thing in the morning, you have a horrible drink and have to wait around the hospital in uncomfortable chairs for 4 hours before you can have it taken again, to see how you have responded to the sugar. Thankfully the results were fine but I do not envy anyone who has to go through it, especially with SPD.
At the end of December I had a really bad night, I woke up with what felt like contractions, I was so worried as I was only 30 weeks. After an hour they finally died down but my original plan of a water birth was now out the window and I knew I wanted the drugs.
I had my extra scans at 28 and 34 weeks and everything was going perfectly, except they kept telling me I was going to have this huge baby. By now I couldn't even walk, I was counting the days until she was out. I was so scared I might go over, as I couldn't cope with this discomfort much longer. I was now bed bound and cried when I crawled to the toilet. The pain of movement was so bad I just stayed in bed and cried.
Thankfully Ricky would feed and water me when he got home but during the day it was so hard, I would hobble downstairs in the morning and bring up supplies to last me the day. The weeks went by so slowly.
At 34 weeks, I started my raspberry leaf tea, the tea leaves as my Nanna was adamant they were the best. Getting this wisdom through my mum, I drank a cup every night before I went to bed hoping it would improve my stages of labour and ensure I didn't go over. I was willing to do anything to bring her here. I wanted to get her to at least 37 weeks, as I knew she would be safe then.
38 Weeks Pregnant & Miserable
After screaming the place down, it was eventually over and I was on my way home with confirmation that I was 1cm dilated, whoop but Charlotte was still very far back and my cervix very hard. By the time I got home, it looked like things had already started so I did anything and everything to help her on her way. I changed the bed, did washing drank 6 cups of raspberry leaf tea. It nearly killed me I was in so much pain but at least I knew there was an end in sight.
That evening, I started with cramps again but they seemed to die down so I tried getting some sleep. the last time I checked the clock it was 2am then all of a sudden I woke up at 4am with cramps. These cramps were breathe taking and so painful. I decided as crying by itself wasn't curing the pain, I would get a bath. The bath didn't seem to do anything and they just kept getting stronger and stronger. I had these cramps before, at Christmas but they eventually just stopped. I didn't want to wake Ricky, who was up for work for nothing. So breathing through it was all I could do.
At 7 Ricky's alarm went off and I was rocking on my front and crying into a pillow. The pains were 15 minutes apart and unbearable. Ricky said he would book the day off but I told him not too as I didn't want him to loose any of his paternity leave and this could be a false alarm. After another hour of no reprieve, Ricky called work to let them know he wouldn't be in while I got in the bath again as I mooed with each contraction, to Ricky's amusement. I was even scaring the cats.
Finally, we decided to contact MAU, as this had to be labour, it was to painful not to be. They advised me to take a bath and have something to eat and call back in another hour if it still continued. With the pains getting stronger and now closer together we decided to call them back and as advised made our way down. When we got there, I was sent to the waiting room for over an hour, scaring anyone who came in.
Eventually I was finally seen, when they examined and only 2cm which demonstrated some progression as my cervix was much softer but she was still to high. Due to my contractions being only 5 minutes apart and in so much pain, they wouldn't let me go home and I was admitted to anti-natal for pain management, as MAU said they could give me Gas & Air and Diamorphine.
So it was finally starting, my beautiful girl was on her way and I just wanted her out. At that moment I couldn't think of the excitement, just the pain. As my mum says they don't call it labour for nothing.