Welcome back to another baby update; I hadn’t planned to write them this frequently and probably won’t going forward but it’s been a rollercoaster two weeks since we announced our second pregnancy.
Following the routine blood test taken at my 12-week scan I received a call from the hospital two days later – never good news! They said there were some concerns with the hormones in my test and told me my options over the phone.
I could do nothing and wait and see when the baby was born. I could wait until 16 weeks and have an amniocentesis with a slight risk of miscarriage or I could go privately for further blood tests.
The choices weren’t brilliant and to be honest, as soon as she told me there were concerns about this and high risk of that I pretty much zoned out. I was sat at my desk at work, hands shaking, trying to hold the conversation together until I could get out of the room where I broke down in tears trying to relay it all to Kev over the phone.
We decided together that doing nothing wasn’t an option, I wasn’t prepared to risk the miscarriage of the amniocentesis and so we would just have to find the £400 for the private tests.
My wonderful parents offered to pay for it after I sat in the lobby of our office balling my eyes out (mum and I work for the same company), money isn’t an issue when your babies life is in question which I agree with but jeez, the thought of forking out £400 for a blood test. The earliest we could book an appointment for was Monday afternoon; 4 days away. It was the longest, most anxious weekend.
All was not fine on Monday though, the sonographer at the private clinic was unable to take a blood sample, I don’t blame her. I have terrible veins and it’s always been difficult. Not helped by my fear of needles and the fact I immediately clam up and get all fussy at the thought of having blood taken. After a failed attempt she referred me to the lead radiographer in their Southampton clinic, she could see me at 11.20 on Tuesday. It wasn’t ideal because it meant further delays and the test results would take 7 days so we wanted them off to the lab asap but it was what it was and I have every faith we would be more successful the next day.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more wrong in my life…the woman at the clinic was absolutely wonderful, she was calm, reassuring and gentle but nothing could change the fact that it took 2.5 hours and 7 attempts before she successfully obtain a blood sample.
She tried everywhere she could, even resorting to a tiny tube in my wrist, the blood flowed so slowly that it clogged in the tube and we had to throw it away. It was gutting because that was attempt 4 and it hurt like hell. After sending us out for air and a walk whilst she saw other patients we eventually resorted to using the ultrasound machine (yes the one for your tummy) to see inside my arm and try to locate a vein.
Turns out there is one, it’s 1cm deep and so small she never would have found it. Using the scan image as a guide she took one last attempt, manoeuvring the needle in my arm until it connected. I was so relieved but god it hurt. Then she told me the blood was too slow and it might clot again. That wasn’t happening! Not today! I need that sample.
To force the blood out I had to take a huge deep breath and then blow out my cheeks like puffing up a balloon, that would spurt the blood out and into the tube. I know this because she told me it was working, I couldn’t look, I was staring straight up at the ceiling, tears of relief, pain and stress rolling my cheeks whilst my mum squeezed my other hand telling me it was working, just keep puffing.
When we had the samples we needed, she declared me her most difficult patient since she starting radiography 26 years ago, gave me a hug and I promised never to come back to her clinic. She also warned me I would feel like shit in about half an hour when the adrenaline wore off and my arms would throb and bruise like squishy peaches. She wasn’t wrong! I returned back to work and sat at my desk all afternoon, arms killing me, bruises getting bigger and darker by the hour but it was done. The sample was on the way to the lab and I started the 7-day countdown to find out if our little baby was going to be okay.
It felt like the worst sucker punch, after keeping a secret for 8 weeks, sharing our happy news only to have doubt and fear cast over it all a few days later. We barely spoke about the baby for the rest of the week, neither of us wanting to talk about the possibility of a bad result but also not wanting to be excited about a baby that might not be okay.
I wished the next 7 days away, turning 13 weeks came and went; convincing myself everything would be okay because I couldn’t bear the thought that it wouldn’t be, it was unthinkable. I barely slept, I had the worst dreams, all the thoughts I pushed aside during the day came out in my dreams. I didn’t want anything to eat, nothing was appealing, everything tasted rubbish and I clicked refresh on my emails every 5 minutes just in case the results were early.
It might all sound terribly dramatic, and writing it out here it feels like it’s all a bit dramatic, to be honest, but when you’re caught up in it’s its hard to think about anything else.
We received the test results back on Monday afternoon; a day early, thank God! I saw the email pop into my inbox and immediately my hands were shaking, I could barely open it and again I was at work. Please God just let it be good news.
Dear Mrs Ebuehi, we’re pleased to confirm that your results have come back as 1 in 10,000 chance of all conditions tested.
That’s not exactly what it said, it was much more scientific than that but that’s all I took away from it. It might as well have said.
Dear Mrs Ebuehi, you’re baby is perfectly healthy. £400 well spent!
Oh the relief! And the added bonus of finding out the gender so early too. I was clinging to that little cherry on top all week. I kept telling myself, the results will be fine and you’ll know what you’re having in less than a week.
Last night I asked for guesses on Instagram for what people thought the gender might be and the results of the Stories poll came in: 61% Boy and 39% Girl.
That’s not to mention all the comments with people guessing too, it looked like a resounding guess for a boy.
I’m beyond blessed and delighted to share that we’re having…
Every parent will tell you that don’t care the sex as long as baby is healthy and that has literally never been truer than it was for me yesterday afternoon reading that email. The sex didn’t even matter, our baby was healthy. Our baby GIRL was healthy.
Secretly I’m delighted to have another little girl; the dresses, the bows, the dollies, the best friends our little girls will be, sharing a room, sharing toys (or fighting over them), the bags of baby girl clothes in my garage because I didn’t throw anything away. I’ve saved a small fortune here… but less reason to go shopping…damn!
So, that’s been my week and a bit. It’s been awful, I don’t ever want to do it again and have so much respect for mothers who have difficult and uncertain pregnancies because not knowing what is happening to your baby is just the worst feeling in the world.
In other news…
The bump is out of control. It’s enormous but I kinda love it! I’m going to feel like I’ve been pregnant forever because I’ve had a massive bump from day one but I suppose I’ll get good use out of the maternity clothes I’ve bought and no one is going to wonder if I’m just a bit fat.
I’ve got some of my appetite back and the nausea seems to be fading a little. I’m not quite as exhausted although the lack of sleep lately hasn’t helped. I wouldn’t say that I’ve had cravings as such, more like I’ve had fancies. I fancy this, I fancy that…mostly old school childhood cakes like Mr Kipling Bakewell tarts and Jamaica ginger cake, oh yeah and chocolate chip muffins. Basically, if it’s cakey and spongey I’m all over it.
Chocolate has taken a backseat in my life for the first time for as long as I can remember, I just don’t fancy it. That’s done me a favour though, I actually lost weight this week and am currently only 1lb heavier than I was when I found out I was 4 weeks pregnant. Given I can gain weight just walking past the cakes in Asda I’m really happy with this and am hoping to keep it all in check this time as I really let it go the first time around and am still living to regret it.
My anxious week of waiting was broken up by Amelia’s little nursery drama on Wednesday too. She fell in the sports hall whilst playing in the curtains; a trip to A&E suggested nothing was broken but she wouldn’t stand up or walk. I stayed home with her on Thursday and Friday and she spent all day crying, being carried and sleeping on me feeling sorry for herself.
We were considering on Sunday whether to take her back to the hospital when she just got up and walked across the room. She was limping but she did it all on her own. I was so happy. Clapping and cheering like it was her first steps all over again.
Since then she’s walked more and more although we’ve tried to limit it so that she doesn’t overdo it, she’s now walking on her own with a slight limp and will stand up to play at her craft table which is a massive improvement. Obviously, it goes without saying that I wish it hadn’t happened because seeing your child in pain is awful but it did give me something else to focus my nervous energy on and I was very grateful for her sleepy cuddles and watching carebear films instead of constantly checking my emails.
Well, this is the longest post in history, sorry about that but I needed to get it off my chest. I needed to be honest and share our experience because pregnancy isn’t all amazing hair and glowing. Sometimes it gives you a proper battering and makes you question everything about your body.
I’m so pleased that at 14 weeks, I can say we’re on track to have a healthy baby girl in February and I pray everything is straightforward from here.