So this week is going to be a longer week than the rest, weirdly, because my due date changed by a couple of days based on the scan! I was counting Monday as 12 weeks 0 days, but the size of the baby at the scan on Tuesday suggested 11 weeks 5 days, sooooo this “week 12” is going from Monday all the way through to the next Thursday! I knew that changing due dates at the 12 week scan was very common (it’s called a dating scan for a reason!) but I was secretly hoping I might jump forwards a few days because I felt like I’d already completed and ticked off those days up to 12 weeks, then I had to live them again – argh! I’m also splitting it into two because it turns out I had a lot to say about the scan!
Fortunately, I’d started feeling much better towards the end of 11 weeks and that mostly continued into 12 weeks – at least in terms of not feeling sick pretty much 24/7, which was a massive relief. I did have this massive fear that I’d turn up at the scan and there wouldn’t even be a baby there – I still totally felt like I was making it up! – so the disappearing symptoms were a bit of a cause of anxiety for me.
The wait to the 12 week scan was absolute torture too. The due date groups I’ve joined are fairly predominantly US based, and seemingly you get earlier scans, or at least to hear the heartbeat there, so while I was imagining that there wasn’t even anything inside me, there were people with a similar due date who’d seen the baby, heard the heartbeat 3 or 4 times, and some who even knew the gender already! I was definitely looking up prices and locations for private scans just to see if there really was a baby in there or not!
So by the time we reached scan day, I was pretty much an anxious mess. Ben took the day off and I worked at home in the morning, but I found it SO hard to concentrate – I was hyperventilating and my bladder was going overboard. This only served to contribute to my nervousness because I knew I needed a full bladder for the scan but (TMI? Sorry, this whole series probably will be!) it was filling up like crazy and I was weeing every half an hour even though I wasn’t drinking that much. It felt like my body was deliberately trying to get all the liquid out of me then there would be nothing there by the time I was called in for the scan, so I was worried they would send me away not able to see the baby. Yep, like I said, I was a rambling anxious mess.
But as you’ve probably figured it, we DID see the baby and REALLY was there!! We arrived at the hospital early (because I was panicking) but luckily didn’t have to wait too long (this was one of my big fears – with my already existing bladder issues and recent infection, I really didn’t want to sit there too long with a full bladder!) and we were called in.
Our sonographer was very lovely, introduced herself, explained what would happen, what she would be looking for and how she would do it. As she talked through it, she said: “So I’ll keep the screen turned to me while I find baby, then spin it around so you can see”. On the outside, I nodded and smiled; on the inside, I was thinking, “Well, we’re going to look REALLY silly when she puts that thing on my stomach and realises there isn’t really a baby in there.” Still felt like I was making it all up, right up to the point that she spun the screen round and there was a tiny baby kicking its little legs on the screen.
Even afterwards, I still doubted it a little bit. I asked Ben if they could have just got a recording of someone else’s baby on the screen and shown it to us so I didn’t look ridiculous. Yeh, he definitely looked at me like I WAS ridiculous then!
The scan took around 15 minutes. She’d warned us that she might struggle to find the baby or that it might be in a difficult position to see anything, but she found it immediately and it was in a very good position to see what she needed to see. We’d opted to do the nuchal scan, so she needed to measure the fluid at the neck, as well as the size of the baby, which is standard, and check everything like arms, legs etc. The whole time I was just looking back and forth between the screen and Ben in awe that this tiny thing was inside me and moving and alive. There it was, wriggling around like crazy at first, then just shifting around a bit afterwards, and then whole body jumping – I think the baby had hiccups! She even zoomed right in on the head, showed us the tiny nose (that looks like my sister’s!), the chin, the two halves of the brain. We could see the little heartbeat flickering away.
We came away with 5 pictures and these haven’t left my side since – they’re even coming to work with me at the moment! Any guesses towards boy or girl yet? I was convinced boy before, but based on the photos, I’ve had the vast majority of people saying girl now.
After the scan, I needed to get my blood taken and this was a fun experience. My veins like to hide, and while I was really impressed with the midwife getting my blood on the first time a few weeks ago, this wasn’t exactly the same. 4 (maybe 5?) needles, 2 of those tourniquet thingies and 2 nurses later, they finally had some blood. That’s not my worst yet (remember those 15 or so attempts with the IV and the damaged vein when I had my gallbladder removed?!) but it wasn’t my favourite part of the day!
But not to fear, I was rewarded with a trip to H&M’s maternity section afterwards! I’d decided that if everything was okay at the scan, we’d go and find me some maternity jeans as I only had one pair of jeans that were comfortable at this point – the others still fit, but just felt weird, so I kept unbuttoning them. And OH MY GOODNESS. Everyone’s said it, but maternity jeans are THE BEST. I’ve worn them everyday since and I don’t think I’ll ever take them off. I’m also recommending non-pregnant people to buy them because they’re just ridiculously comfortable.