After our 12 week scan, we had a blood test to check for Downs syndrome, this is an optional test which most expecting parents have, we were advised to have this, as the nurse doing our scan had spotted a little too much fluid (Nuchal translucency) at the back of our baby’s neck, which can be a strong sign of Downs syndrome. This worried us, but we tried to keep each other calm, there was nothing we could do about it till after the blood results.
Our blood results showed we had a 1:60 ratio of having a baby effected by Downs syndrome, we were now classed as a high-risk pregnancy (this ratio is calculated by measuring the fluid at the top of the neck, and looking at the hormone levels your placenta is producing). It never crossed my mind we would be at risk of Downs syndrome. We weren’t expecting this at all. I actually received the news whilst stuck in gridlock traffic on the M25, and was bawling my eyes out. We were devastated, the usual thoughts ran through our heads ‘why us?’, ‘what will we do?’, we had very different opinions so decided not to discuss it until we had more information. We ended up going to Harley Street for more tests at a private clinic. I’ll be writing a new post soon about our scare with Downs syndrome, how we coped and our glimmer of hope ‘The Harmony Test’
At 16 weeks, and after additional tests, we were given a new ratio of 1:10,000 this was the best you could get. We were on holiday when we got the results, luckily at the start, so we could really enjoy our last break as a couple! I don’t think i had ever felt so relieved in my life. I celebrated with a glass of wine.
Once we had the 20 weeks scan, it dawned on me that I wouldn’t see our baby until he/she was born (unless we wanted to pay for an extra scan). This worried me a little, and so I looked online to see if I could buy a heart monitor, similar to those your midwife uses at your antenatal appointments. I think Rich thought I was crazy, but after all the anxiety we had after our 12 week scan, I couldnt wait till my due date to know he/she was okay. I bought the Angel Heart Monitor Now I could check the baby’s heartbeat and movement whenever I wanted at home. This was great, not expensive, and gave me a little reassurance each week. Once we passed around the 28/30 week point, and I was feeling the baby move around daily, I stopped using this, as the movement was reassurance enough.
Most people opt for the extra scans and get 4D scans done, but these are quite expensive and you always find out the sex. We really wanted the sex to be a surprise, so stuck to our heart monitor. However if you did want to get these done, they are on Groupon most weeks.
Now we were in to summer my bump was rapidly growing, and this wasn’t the only part of my appearance that was changing…
Whilst pregnant I read so many blogs, and forums, spent half my time between mumsnet.com and netmums.com, Googling every movement, craving, and change in my body. Reading other peoples experiences really put me at ease. I have decided to document my own experiences which may then be useful for anyone else expecting in the future (over a couple of posts), especially as we had some difficult decisions along the way.
Having children has always been on my agenda, but getting a career was always my priority. I wanted to give myself a good start, before taking a break for children. Everyone always says ‘there is never a right time to have children’ this is totally true! There is always a promotion, or holiday, or big event like buying a house, or moving house, that wouldn’t be practical if you’re pregnant. We had been in our house two years so felt 2012/3 would be a good time.
My partner and I had discussed having children and being the organised one, of course I had a checklist of things to achieve before babies came along
– be in the right job, earning enough to provide for a stable life
– own my own home
– be debt free (as much as possible, a mortgage doesn’t count)
– be married
I could tick the first three, whereas our body clocks were ticking, a wedding could wait, as could the expense, instead we decided to spend our money on having a family.
We found out I was pregnant in March 2013, we were over-the-moon, and couldn’t wait to tell people, but having been through a miscarriage 6 months earlier, we decided to stay stum until we were a few more weeks. We agreed to share our news with one person each, our best friends. Then we told our immediate families at around 7 weeks, and the rest of our family and friends once we had our initial scan at 12 weeks.
I decided to tell my bosses at about 8 weeks, mainly as my role is very stressful, we had a lot going on, and I was feeling incredibly tired but thank-god no morning sickness. I know this was fairly premature, but I have a close relationship with my managing team, ‘we’re like a family so it felt like the right thing to do. It was fantastic once everyone could share our news, and within our family and friends we had such a great support system, however nothing could have prepared us for the shock we were about to receive at our 12 week scan…